Monday, 16 July 2018

Alien Secrets: Blog the Book 14

If you missed the start of Alien Secrets, Flight of the Kestrel book 2, here is the link. To help your imagination, my idea of John Blackwell is the actor Brian Cox.

Blackwell (Brian Cox)

Chapter 14

'We need to discuss two things,' Darrow said to his senior officers. 'Battle damage and this man Tanu. Commander Blackwell, your report please.'

Blackwell raised an eyebrow at the unexpected mention of Tanu. 'Aye sir. Kestrel sustained some serious, but not critical damage,' Blackwell said. 'Most of the damage has been quantified and repairs have begun internally on non-critical systems. Without landing somewhere we will have to suit up and go outside to repair the thrusters and the sensor array, but the rest we can fix from Engineering. The hull plating will have to wait. I've got Stubbs checking the inventory for spares, but I think we have everything we need. Engine output is reduced to half power, but we need to shut down all engines at some point.'

'Any idea when we'll have full warp drive?'

'We're carrying out a full survey of the engines now. I'll have the results for you in an hour.'

Tywyn to Nefyn (Gerald’s Journey Through Wales 1188)

This is a series about the journey that Archbishop Baldwin and Gerald of Wales took in 1188 to preach the crusade throughout Wales. Gerald kept a detailed account of the journey and their surroundings, which he later published. The series began with some background posts about Gerald. If you want to read the series from the beginning, go here.

Towyn to Nefyn

When Archbishop Baldwin’s party left Tywyn they were faced with two rivers to cross: the Mawddach and the Wynion. Most of the group crossed by boat, but Maelgwn ap Rhys (the reluctant crusader from Strata Florida) daringly forded the Mawddach estuary near the sea. The party then continued northwards to the little village of Llanfair in Ardudwy, where they stayed the night.

Monday, 9 July 2018

Across the Dovey to Tywyn (Gerald’s Journey Through Wales 1188)

This is a series about the journey that Archbishop Baldwin and Gerald of Wales took in 1188 to preach the crusade throughout Wales. Gerald kept a detailed account of the journey and their surroundings, which he later published. The series began with some background posts about Gerald. If you want to read the series from the beginning, go here.

We haven’t had a map for a few weeks, so here is one showing the journey round north-west Wales:

Towyn to Rhuddlan

Friday, 6 July 2018

Alien Secrets Blog the Book 13

If you missed the start of Alien Secrets, Flight of the Kestrel book 2, here is the link. To help your imagination, my idea of the MO Dr Sebu Nefar is a bit like this picture:

Nefar

Chapter 13

Nefar and Tomos guided the hover stretcher off the bridge and down the corridor to sick bay. What now? Nefar thought. Is this more of the brain injury I hoped the Casparans would heal?

'What do you think would make everyone pass out, Doctor?' Tomos asked. 'Should we ask Engineering to check for a coolant leak? I know inhaling coolant fumes can cause loss of consciousness, but I don’t see how it would get all the way around the ship.'

'Good thinking Tomos,' said Nefar. 'Any other ideas?'

'Some kind of anomalous field in the space we passed through? A sound beyond human hearing? Would that be a question for Engineering too?'

'Let us leave those questions to Engineering and see if medical science can tell us anything. Try hard to remember what you experienced and record it as soon as you can.'

They eased Tanu onto a bed and Nefar switched on the medscanner.

'What's happened to his forehead?' Tomos asked. 'Why is it so red?'

Monday, 2 July 2018

Gerald and the Princes of Wales (Gerald’s Journey Through Wales 1188)


This is a series about the journey that Archbishop Baldwin and Gerald of Wales took in 1188 to preach the crusade throughout Wales. Gerald kept a detailed account of the journey and their surroundings, which he later published. The series began with some background posts about Gerald. If you want to read the series from the beginning, go here.

It may have sounded like boasting when Gerald claimed he was ‘related by blood to almost all the princes and great men of Wales’ but it was true. He knew most of them personally and was happy to take advantage of these links. He joined Lord Rhys at dinner in the Bishop of Hereford’s house and visited him as an envoy at Llandovery. He enjoyed the hospitality of the princes of Gwynedd at Rhuddlan and Aberconwy and persuaded one of the mid-Wales princes to help him win a quarrel with the Bishop of St Asaph. He even borrowed money from the prince of Glamorgan when he was short of cash in France.

By Gerald’s time the Norman advance into Wales had stalled and there was an uneasy balance of power between the Normans and the Welsh dynasties. The blood of both ran in Gerald’s veins, which was why he was such an asset to the English kings and to Archbishop Baldwin’s mission. He was well-placed to write about them all with sympathy and insight.


Saturday, 30 June 2018

Alien Secrets Blog the Book 12

If you missed the start of Alien Secrets, Flight of the Kestrel book 2, here is the link. To help your imagination, my idea of First Officer Nathaniel Parks is a blond Vigo Mortensen.

Parks (Vigo Mortensen)

Chapter 12

Parks looked up from Tanu. 'Get him to sick bay and then report for duty. We’re going to have the Casparans on our tail.'

Within minutes battle stations sounded. Everyone scrambled for their breathers and tethers, in case of a hull breach. The bridge crew, Darrow, Parks, and Chambers all strapped in. Reuel arrived at a run and strapped in.

'Tanu is in sick bay, sir,' he reported.

As Reuel took over the scanner station Chambers told him two Casparan pursuit ships had been detected. Immediately a third ship registered.

'Captain, the Bokans have found us again,' Reuel said. 'One ship coming on screen now.'

'Damn!' Darrow said and opened the comm channel. 'Commander Blackwell, can you give us any more speed?'

'Negative, Captain, we’re flat out.'

Darrow closed the comm and turned to Reuel. 'Ensign, any PACT vessels in the vicinity?'

'Negative, Captain, and the nearest base is ten hours away.'

Monday, 25 June 2018

Outrage at Llanbadarn (Gerald’s Journey Through Wales 1188)

This is a series about the journey that Archbishop Baldwin and Gerald of Wales took in 1188 to preach the crusade throughout Wales. Gerald kept a detailed account of the journey and their surroundings, which he later published. The series began with some background posts about Gerald. If you want to read the series from the beginning, go here.

We saw last week that according to Gerald the party travelled south-west from Strata Florida Abbey to visit Llanddewi Brefi before turning north to Llanbadarn Fawr (the great church of St Padarn). In centuries to come the town of Aberystwyth would grow up on the coast nearby, but in Gerald’s time Llanbadarn Fawr was the key place. Or we might say, had been the key place. Gerald was outraged at what he found.
Llanbadarn Fawr Church (near Llandrindod Wells) geograph org uk 681133