The Value of Friends

Those two cutie pies at the top are my baby girl Bindi (black/tan/white) and her best friend, Molly. They've known each other since they were puppies. They can go ages without seeing each other, but when they do, it's like long lost family. And they have each other's backs: when Bindi got a huge fright... Continue Reading →

Third Person POV – what a minefield

According to Your Dictionary, "[w]riting in third person is writing from the third-person point of view, or outsider looking in, and uses pronouns like he, she, it, or they. It differs from the first person, which uses pronouns such as I and me, and from the second person, which uses pronouns such as you and... Continue Reading →

Medicine: curing for thousands of years

I don't know why, but medicine, especially medical practices form the past, have always fascinated me. As an avid reader of History Extra by the BBC, I came across an interesting article this morning: Seven Surprising Facts About the History of Medicine. Not only was this worth a read, but extra investigation. Fact One: Many of the... Continue Reading →

The Wives and Family of King Harold II

And stealing some more good stuff to share

History... the interesting bits!

Statue of King Harold II at Waltham Abbey

The future king, Harold II Godwinson, was born into an Anglo-Danish family whose extensive influence and power meant they were frequently seen as the power behind the throne. This also meant that they were often seen as a threat to the man wearing the crown – especially Edward the Confessor – and suffered exile as a result.

Harold was born around 1022/3 to Godwin and his wife, Gytha Thorkelsdottir. Gytha was a member of the extended Danish royal family, as her brother, Ulf, was married to King Cnut the Great’s sister, Estrith. Gytha’s nephew, Sweyn Estrithson, would eventually rule Denmark as king. Harold received the earldom of East Anglia in 1044 and, as the oldest surviving son of Godwin, Earl of Wessex, he succeeded to his father’s earldom in 1053. Godwin died at Winchester in Easter week of 1053, after collapsing during…

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Chapter 12: The Battle 4) Harold meets his end and William wins by the skin of his teeth.

I’m pinching stuff again. This is an interesting read

The Road to Hastings and other Stories

In the previous post, the battle had reached a turning point, one that had finally made a dent in the English Shield Wall. We saw previously, how the Normans had been fighting hard to crack the hard nut that was the English defence. No matter how hard the infantry and cavalry fought, they just couldn’t break in. Even the Norman archers had not made much of an impact. The terrain was not conducive for archers to shoot up hill on such an incline, many of their arrows fell short or went over their enemy’s heads. And it depended on which way the wind was blowing, too, for the wind in their faces would have hampered their shots. The archers were lightly armoured, and most likely would not have wanted to come too close to the fierce, snarling men of the shield wall with their huge Dane axes that could cleave…

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Why Animal Farm is the Best Dystopian Novel

I love Animal Farm! An interesting look at it here

Daniel Douglas' Blog

I recently watched an Intelligence Squared debate between two inimitable men of letters, Will Self and Adam Gopnik, on the motion entitled “Brave New World vs Nineteen Eighty Four.”

But the real purpose behind the debate, much more than a simple literary analysis of two great novels, became clear immediately with the moderator’s introduction. “Rarely can a debate [such as this] claim to be so urgently topical. And yet somehow with two novels, one written in 1931 and the other written between 1948 and 1949, you nevertheless have two works that speak to us in our own time with great urgency and topicality.”

Ah, yes. The great urgency and topicality, always, of dystopian fiction.

In one sense it’s a completely ridiculous statement to make. The world today is far from a dystopia; and, in fact, it’s becoming increasingly less like a dystopia. Consider just a few key metrics: Poverty, Literacy…

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