Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Olympic flame outage in Torrington

The internet abounds with legends, conspiracy stories and plain old hoaxes. I am happy to add to that body of knowledge with the strange tale behind why the Olympic torch went out in Great Torrington on Monday 22nd of May 2012.

Great Torrington is a town with a long history going back to well before the 13th Century. The towns most noticeable historical event was during the English civil war. The Royalist Cavaliers and Roundheads of Cromwell battled in February 1646 resulting in the defeat of the Cavaliers by the army of General Fairfax. Royalist prisoners were locked up in the church, that had also been in use as a power store.  Due to a stray spark or flame the church burnt/exploded destroying the church and killing the 200 local prisoners.

Wind forward a few hundred years the sight of a government sponsored flame approaching the town with an army of 300 supporters and 30 vehicles may just have been too much for the sad old ghosts of Torrington.

The good news is that the current local society of Cavaliers are very much in control of most of the flames around Torrington. Holding bi-annual fundraising bonfire events that involve setting alight historical reconstructions such as life scale Nelsons Victory and in 2010 a huge castle complete with dragon the Cavaliers continue to assert individuality in a good cause.

If you can get the chance visit Torrington in North Devon do take the opportunity. Surrounded by 200 acres of common land and linked to the coast by the cycle friendly Tarka trail, Torrington is a great classic Devon town where legends live on.


Friday, 18 May 2012

What's brewing at the Country life brewery ?


Devonshire 10'der'
10 % - the new ale from
Country Life Brewery. At
10% this is the strongest
ale in North Devon. A dark
barley wine style made with
Devon malt, UK hops and
a special yeast imported
from the U.S.A. Available
in bottles and a limited
number of casks.

As the name implies, Golden Pig
4.7% is a full bodied and
smooth tasting ale; it was the
first brewed and still remains
the favourite among many a real
ale drinker. Crystal and wheat
malts are both used in the mash,
with the Challenger being the
main hop which gives this ale its
distintive taste.

Black Boar 5%, the dark ruby
red porter, is brewed using Maris
Otter and Black Malt. With a mix
of Fuggles and Golding Hops,
this gives a very easy drinking
dark beer to be enjoyed at any
time of year. 'Smooth and

Bumpkin 6% is dark and has a 
slightly malty ease. Not sweet
as other beers in the strength
band, it is a great beer for the 
winter months or for drinkers
who enjoy their beer with a 
serious punch.

Old Appledore Ale 3.7%
Is a classic session beer. This is
the most popular beer produced
by Country Life Brewery; it has a
real depth of taste and character
without being too strong. Marris
Otter and roasted malts combine
with Fuggles and Goldings hops
to give Old Appledore a taste to be
enjoyed at any time of day.

Copper in colour, Lacey's 4.2%
ale Is made from Marris Otter and
roasted malt with Challenger hops
giving this popular beer a gentle
sweet malty taste without being
too strong.

Pot Wallop 4.4% is a very light
coloured beer brewed for a local
festival. Jt was so popular we had
no choice but to include it in our
regular range. A favourite with the
younger drinker and in the warm
summer months as it is a very light
refreshing ale.

Buy Direct
Visit the brewery and shop - open daily
No Entry charge to visit the brewery shop

Take hope ales
2-pint Cartons
500ml Bottles
10 Litre Minipins (18 Pints)
20 Liter polypins (36 Pints)
9 Gallon Firkins (72 Pints)

Outside bars available
Weddings, Birthdays, Festivals
100 - 10,000 People

Bar Hire
We set up - you do the rest

We are based at the big sheep
North Devon's No.1 tourist attraction
Come and stay for the day !

Country Life Brewery
The Big Sheep
EX39 5AP

Phone +44 (0) 1237 420808
Bideford, North Devon. UK

Some of the favourite brews of Gannett.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Easy Philosophy for the business school generation

Sometimes ideas just strike a cord. Often those ideas are things you kind of know and understand but the way they are described makes the concept resonate and appear as if for the first time.  It's quite a gift to be able to present ideas in this way with clarity, precision without resorting to greeting card schmaltz.

One person currently blogging for Forbes that seems to capture this style is Jesica Hagy. She uses a simple business graph or diagram to really capture the essence of a philosophical idea. Here is one such graphic that completely captures the idea of how much burning passion is welcome on any subject you choose. Known as the "Goldilocks factor" you can apply this to religion, politics, recycling or even expressing keenness for the wonderful taste of Marmite.

She has lots more concepts collected in series such as "Nine Dangerous things you we taught at school" and "Six enemies of greatness (and happiness)". Really worth a read and maybe even a close study.