Wednesday, 24th November

Tonight’s message is clearly fated: two events I was going to include are either cancelled or sold out! I’ve made enquiries about the sold out one.

1. All That She Carried – The Journey of Ashley’s Sack, a Black Family Keepsake by Tiya Miles is this year’s New York Times non-fiction book of the year (Can someone let me know that review is available to non-subscribers, please?)

The inscription on Ashley’s sack, which she was given by her enslaved mother Rose, was embroidered two generations later by Ashley’s granddaughter, Ruth, and reads as follows:

My great grandmother Rose

mother of Ashley gave her this sack when

she was sold at age 9 in South Carolina

it held a tattered dress 3 handfulls of

pecans a braid of Roses hair. Told her

It be filled with my Love always

she never saw her again

Ashley is my grandmother

Ruth Middleton, 1921

2. This one’s a bit niche – read the eligibility criteria carefully – a scholarship on an ALTE Introductory Course in Language Testing next March

ALTE is the Association of Language Testers in Europe, who “work together to promote the fair and accurate assessment of linguistic ability across Europe and beyond”.

3. I’m unsure how this story might be spun by conspiracy theorists. Maybe they’d say we should neither be vaccinated nor clean our teeth?

4. Bit of a stretch, this week’s phobia: daknophobia. It is actually one I suffer from, following an encounter with a friend’s Alsatian dog many, many years ago when visiting for tea. Rumour has it, clearly in shock, I said, “I’m awfully sorry. I think your dog has bitten me”.

5. And, finally, my favourite act from The Selector birthday show tonight was Yard Act

Some of the guitar (and the politics) reminded me of another group from Leeds, Gang of Four; here’s two of their songs

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