2017 in a nutshell

So that was 2017. The year we lost David Cassidy, Jerry Lewis, and Keith Chegwin. The year a mentally unstable narcissist was sworn in at the Whitehouse. The year the UK Government acted like a petulant child with the EU. The year in which Her Majesty's official opposition did nothing to oppose.

On the plus side, I finally put out a book and took some more photos. So here’s my seventh annual video slideshow review of the year:

(Click the arrows bottom-right next to the word Vimeo to view the slideshow in full-screen mode.)

Consistent as ever, as in the previous six years, this year’s slideshow contains 97 photos.

Once again, I composed the ambient pap backing track. It is called Placid Reflux:

See also:

30 not out

I made my 30th consecutive Christmas Eve ascent of Moel Famau earlier today, accompanied by Carolyn and her clan.

30 not out

More photos here.

This seems to be coming something of a habit.

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*Really*, Facebook?

I think you’ll find I don’t live anywhere near Northampton.

Posting Stense's Christmas present

Me: Can I post this bomb to Scotland, please?
Postmistress: No problem. But I'll need to stick a HAZARDOUS label on it.


Be honest, now, you were beginning to wonder why I’ve been so quiet…

158 years ago today saw the publication of my hero Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. Darwin was staying on the edge of Ilkley Moor at the time, just 13 miles as the curlew flies from where I type these words.

What better excuse could I possibly need for choosing today to launch my own medium opus inspired by another Yorkshire moor…

I’m delighted to announce that my book On the Moor: Science, History and Nature on a Country Walk is now available as both a paperback and Kindle ebook on Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, and other international Amazon websites.

On the Moor

Buy from Amazon uk | .com

On the Moor shows how a routine walk in the countryside is enhanced by an appreciation of science, history, and natural history. It covers an eclectic mix of topics, with each chapter being inspired by something I encountered or was thinking about during one of my regular walks over the last 25 years on the Moor above my home. These topics include:

  • Charles Darwin’s weird experiments and ailments;
  • the 17th-century skeptic Sir Thomas Browne;
  • Celtic languages;
  • Bronze Age burials;
  • evolution’s kludgy compromises;
  • bird migration;
  • DNA barcoding;
  • skull anatomy;
  • where Earth got its water;
  • the mapping of Great Britain;
  • grouse disease;
  • Scott of the Antarctic;
  • how to define a species;
  • Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath;
  • the Brontës;
  • the Laws of Thermodynamics;
  • why the sky is blue (and sunsets red);
  • the Greenhouse Effect;
  • the songs of skylarks;
  • snipe courtship;
  • vapour trails;
  • rooks’ faces;
  • the best way to cook a wheatear.
  • …Oh, and there’s even a plane crash!

I appreciate I’m a bit biased, but I think you’ll like it.

But don’t feel you have to take my word for it. Here’s what nature writer Neil Ansell had to say about On the Moor:

Richard Carter’s fascinating exploration of his local grouse-moor in West Yorkshire digs deep into natural history, human history, prehistory, and the history of science. His writing is grounded, insightful, and frequently hilarious, and he shows how falling in love with your own local patch can be a gateway to the whole world.

Well, exactly, Neil! (The cheque’s in the post.)

…Are you still here? What are you waiting for? GO AND BUY MY BOOK, DAMMIT!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go and order an Aston Martin.

Lateral thinking

I've just had a totally brilliant idea…

Why doesn't the UK stay in the EU, and leave the European Song Contest instead? That way, we get to make some sort of stupid nationalist point without actually doing something totally bloody insane.

You can thank me later.