$tow High in Transit ($HIT)

I've added new work to the website. The $tow High in Transit ($HIT) project explores the tensions of globalisation through the Peruvian guano boom of the 19th century. More info here.

The title comes from the fact that - when transported by ship - guano, like other natural fertilisers, had to be stowed high enough off the lower decks so that it wouldn't be wetted by seawater. Not only would this have increased the weight of the guano, but contamination by seawater could have led to a build-up of methane, which, in turn, could have triggered an explosion.

Volume VI of The Chemist journal (1845) includes an account of this happening to a vessel off the east coast of England. (Click on the image for a larger view.)

By the way, the word "shit" does not come from the acronym for "stow high in transit" - this is a common false etymology. It still makes a fitting acronym for my project, though.

Loupe Magazine

Chincha Islands

For my project on the Peruvian guano boom of the 19th century, I recently visited the Chincha Islands. This group of three islands off the coast near the town of Pisco was the main source of guano during that time period. I posted a couple of videos on Instagram, featuring the key guano birds: the Peruvian booby, the Guanay cormorant, and the Peruvian pelican.

Video 1
Video 2

The house that bird shit built

I visited Tyntesfield today for my new project on the Peruvian guano boom of the 19th century. Tyntesfield used to be the countryside home of the Gibbs family who made an absolute fortune from guano. Imagine the house as a 19th-century version of MTV Cribs - billiard room with hunting trophies, private church with 24-hour chaplain, the lot!

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Lewes FC

I spent the weekend at Lewes FC - a Sussex club that became member-owned in 2010. The men's team beat Whyteleafe 2-1, the ladies' team drew 2-2 with Crystal Palace.

Cabbage

One of the most exciting British bands at the moment. They've got a great song on their latest EP that goes: "Free Steven Avery, Free Steven Avery, he epitomizes everything wrong with America” and “Death to Donald Trump … There is something about politics in America". 

A project on punk?

This is an idea that's been on my mind for quite a while. Last night I took a first stab at it: Bad Breeding at the Green Door Store. And they did not disappoint! They perform punk at its best: raw, angry and political.