Well, I have returned and, to be honest, despite my dire expectations the weather last week in the vicinity of Penrith and Keswick was much better than we could have hoped for; grey but dry last Saturday, Sunday, Monday, admittedly peeing down on Tuesday, but really rather bright and sunny for the rest of the week (although on Thursday I was trudging along an extremely exposed ridge on the Cumbria-Northumbria border following a mostly-surviving section of Hadrian's Wall, which while sunny proved to be blimmin' cold too).
Anyway, sights were seen, ale was quaffed and photos were taken, so I reckon I'm counting that one as a result. To get back on-topic, anyway:( Read All About the Violent and Interesting History of Pencils! )
I will just leave you with a book rec. I am currently reading State of Emergency
by Dominic Sandbrook, a social and political history of Britain between 1970 and 1974. The author is perhaps a bit softer than I would like on the Conservative Party in general and on then-Education Secretary Margaret Thatcher in particular (but then again, looking at the newspapers he writes for as a day job, this might not be wholly surprising), but not to the point where I'd say it was a one-sided view of the period. The stuff about contemporary popular culture is pure gold, and very interesting for the Doctor Who fan. The chapter about the rise in popularity of environmentalism during the period is even entitled "The Green Death", and features a detailed analysis of said Who story and a couple of others in the context of the period. I haven't got to the chapter about what many people at the time called "women's lib" yet, but a quick flick forward reveals repeated mentions of Sarah Jane Smith in the first couple of pages. ;D Good stuff.