Some personal thoughts on Meghan, Archie and an inherently racist institution—the British Monarchy—which has spread its ideology throughout history to its colonies, present and former

“How dark will his skin be?”, a member of the British Royal family asked Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, of her unborn son, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.

One of my grandparents asked my mother the same question. Really sets the tone for a life.

My answer, after some time spent living in this skin: dark enough that you feel the need to ask that question, and dark enough to know why you would.

Dark enough as a child to turn attention while walking in the street with my mother, but not so dark that I fit in at a mostly-black school.

Dark enough…

Making hemp where the sun shines is proving more difficult than where it doesn’t

Photo by Esteban Lopez on Unsplash

The subtropical archipelago of Bermuda, a 21-sq-mile British Overseas Territory in the North Atlantic, is renowned by tourists for its pink sand beaches, centuries-old British fortifications and world-class wreck diving. Long ago it was to be avoided at all costs, known as the “Devils Islands” by mariners whose ships fatally met its reefs. In William Strachey’s “True Reportory”, published in 1625, and often cited as the primary source for Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”, the castaway writes of “devils and wicked spirits” that were thought to haunt this wretched land.

Today the ire of superstition has mostly faded. Yet the lust for…

Don’t be afraid to spill a little blood

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

I waste so much time just trying to feel normal and not shitty that I never get around to writing anything.

Well, more accurately, I never get around to publishing anything. I write loads. I’ve got close over 100 drafts saved in Medium; each a little or a lot of myself that I started bleeding out onto the proverbial page, before deciding that the pain was too much to bear and stitching up my wound.

In the past when I’ve been long on time and short on things to do, I’d fall back on an ever-present clutch to fill the…

Bermuda’s classic drink is perfect in any weather

As I sit here on this dark and stormy evening in Oxford, Ohio, I yearn for one drink and one drink alone. A drink that takes me back home to the sun and gales and sea and sand of the North Atlantic rock I call home.

This barely-a-cocktail cocktail is sophistication in its simplest form. It’s Bermuda in a glass. Highball, ice, ginger beer and a float of Bermuda black rum, lime wedge optional (but preferable). The Ginger Beer:Rum ratio is typically 70:30, 60:40. Doesn’t matter too much, so long as the ginger beer comes first. …

A breakdown of the weather and climate of The North from ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’

Courtesy of Wikicommons

The cold winds are rising in The North. Winter is here.

It is perhaps fitting to start where George RR Martin’s books and the HBO series both began and will end. Winterfell, the ancestral home of House Stark, is at the heart of Westeros’ largest territory—known simply as ‘The North’. It is referred to by Cersei Lannister as “too big, too wild” to be held by an outsider, and by Roose Bolton as “bigger than the other six kingdoms combined.”

The North has a harsh, unforgiving and cold climate in the best of times. Both the series and the books…

A series on the weather and climate of the ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ world

Courtesy of Wikipedia

As a fanatical watcher on the couch of HBO’s Game of Thrones, the past few weeks have been bittersweet. With the eighth and final season airing, the anticipation of waiting two years only marginally outweighs the pain and emptiness I know I’ll feel once it all ends. Although I wasn’t on the bandwagon from the beginning, the story and world created by George RR Martin in his ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ (ASOIAF) novels has completely consumed my imagination for the past six years.

I also happen to be an unabashed weather and climate nerd. Although I’ve never comprehensively…

For smaller clubs not in the Premier League, the FA Cup is everything

Millwall vs. Leicester City at The Den, from the Cold Blow Lane end. January 2017. Courtesy of Archer K Hill II

The FA Cup is magic. Millwall beat Everton on a cold and rainy January evening at the Den and I lost it. But despite the Lions of South London — a Championship (second-tier) side — being massive underdogs against their Premier League opponents 29 spots above them in the English footballing pyramid, I wasn’t the least bit surprised when they went ahead in the 93rd minute. Because I had seen it all before.

Back in the 2016-2017 season, Millwall—who were in League One (third-tier) at the time—went on an equally impressive run in the FA Cup, beating quality Premier League…

The only way to find peace is from within

Photo by Adrien Ledoux on Unsplash

Almost two years ago a series of unfortunate health events, relationship troubles and life in general teamed up to take me down. I began to suffer debilitating panic attacks, illogical fears and developed an incapacity to complete even the most straightforward, mundane tasks required by life.

I lived in London at the time, and taking the tube was a literal hell. It was excruciatingly worrisome for me that I would become physically ill and dizzy when descending the platform and waiting for the train. I was fairly confident that it would be the death of me. I’d lived in London…

A beautiful, lifeless Utopia

On this sunny Friday afternoon in late-September, I sit on a perfectly-manicured and pesticide-ridden lawn that feels more like a graveyard (albeit a beautiful one) than a wood. A fair wind blows—not quite howling—but enough to rustle the leaves as if in a faint, distant whisper. I recall, during my first stint here four years ago, the lush green trees and other flora that inhabited this little plot. Those old-growth maples and oaks—which existed here long before Oxford was a town and Miami a university—were allowed free reign over the land. …

It took months of not writing and luck

Courtesy of Quote Catalog via Unsplash

Last month my phone started blowing up with Medium push notifications. New followers, claps, comments. All that brilliant social engagement stuff that all writers pretend not to care about, but most would secretly die for. I thought this was a bit odd as I hadn’t published anything since May. So I figured it would be merely a passing blip.

Sitting here at my computer one month on, my 15 minutes of low-level Medium fame seem to have lasted quite awhile longer. Not only has the trend of engagement continued—it has substantially increased. …

Archer K Hill II

Bermudian-American journalist based in London 🇧🇲🇺🇸 Formerly @TheEconomist 🖋 weather, climate, travel 🌎

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