Monday, 27 July 2015

Magna Carta Exhibition at the British Library


2015-07-23 British Library Magna Carta
The British Library is running an exhibition from 1 March to 1 September this year called Magna Carta: Law, Liberty, Legacy. I had the chance to visit it last week.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Intruders: Blog the Book 1.2

Tabitha Enns (swimmer Ellie Simmonds) cropped
If you missed the start of Intruders, Flight of the Kestrel book 1 last week, here is the link.

Chapter 1 Scene 2

Principal Hernandez called Tabitha back to her office when the Kestrel’s Captain arrived to collect her.  Captain Joseph Darrow seemed friendly enough, with dark curly hair and warm brown eyes. He seemed very thin compared to Alphan men, she had to remind herself that most human men would be of a similar build. His rank was marked by the yellow armband on his green uniform and Tabitha made a mental note to brush up her knowledge of the rank colours.  He smiled as she saluted then shook her hand.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Armour Through the Ages: Plate Armour

Last week I looked at chain mail, and shared some colour plates from the book Knights by Andrea Hopkins. This week I’m moving on.

Sir John Chandos, Knight of the Garter c.1350
2015-06-22 12.55.48
Sir John's armour is interesting since it is somewhere between full mail and plate armour; at this point a suit of mail is worn beneath supplementary pieces of plate armour. His pointed bascinet for instance is attached to a mail aventail by thongs. Over his mail hauberk and breastplate, the surcoat has now become a closely tailored jupon which displays Sir John's arms – argent a pile gules – as do his shield and horse's caparison. Beneath the edge of the jupon the bottom of his short mail skirt can be seen. Plate armour protects his limbs; cuisses on his thighs, poleyns on the knees, greaves on the shins, hinged vambraces on upper and lower arms, with couters at the elbows. The squire carries his great helm which bears his crest.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Intruders: Blog the Book 1

Over the last several weeks I have been introducing you to the crew of the Kestrel. Now I am beginning to blog the book itself, a new section every week. Hope you enjoy it!
Tabitha Enns (swimmer Ellie Simmonds) cropped
Intruders (Flight of the Kestrel book 1)

Chapter 1

When Tabitha Enns was called to the Principal’s office, her first thought was it was related to her being top of the class.  But then she had already had a presentation in front of the whole academy. Next year she would be going on to the Academy on Earth for final training, her first time off-planet. So she wondered if she had done something wrong. Maybe she wasn't going to Earth after all. But why? She was still frowning when she knocked on the door.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Armour Through the Ages: Chain Mail

When you take part in hand-to-hand combat you need protection from the blows of your opponent. When your opponent carries a sword, axe or lance, no fabric can be thick enough to protect you. Boiled leather was worn by the foot soldiers, but this protection was limited against a sharp blade.

Because of my interest in things medieval, I'm always on the lookout for second hand books on the subject. I've got an amazing book called Knights by Andrea Hopkins. One of the features in the book is some coloured plates of armour through the ages, which I want to share.

Monday, 6 July 2015

Saturday, 4 July 2015

PACT - The Planetary Alliance for Cooperation and Trade

spiral_galaxy
Members: Earth, Altair, Zoa, Ochra, Caspar, Anak, Kohath
Outside: Boka

When Earth was first discovered by the alien species, it was PACT that made contact. Earth's space capability was already quite advanced, with high speed ships serving colonies across Earth's corner of the galaxy, and exploration expanding all the time. But it was an unmanned space probe that strayed into Kohathi space that alerted them to Earth's capabilities.