Saturday, 30 January 2016

Intruders: Blog the Book 12.2

This week Tabitha asks about the Captain's mayday & has to write her first mission report. To read the book from the beginning, go here. My idea of Tabitha is athlete Ellie Simmonds.


Ellie Symmonds

Intruders chapter 12 scene 3

Tabitha was desperate to know what the captain’s mayday call was all about.  As soon as Chambers returned to their cabin, she bombarded him with questions.

‘Did you find out what happened to the captain?’

‘Well, he’s safe now, but I don’t know what actually happened,’ he said.  ‘It’s all very secretive.  Lieutenant-Commander Hoy came back alone, and Ensign Reuel went back to the mine.  Then the Captain returned and rushed straight off again to meet with Mr Jones, the Base Administrator.’

Monday, 25 January 2016

Jemima and the French Invasion (Welsh History)

Jemima Nicholas lived in Fishguard at the end of the 18th century, when the last invasion of Britain took place. In February 1797 an army of 1400 soldiers of the French Legion Noire landed near Fishguard as a diversion for an attack on Ireland. Their arrival spread panic across the country.


south west wales

Shot at by the Fishguard port defences, they landed on the rocks near Carreg Wastad Point. They were opposed by 190 part-time soldiers, who withdrew to Haverfordwest as they were outnumbered. This left Fishguard at the mercy of the French.

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Intruders: Blog the Book 12.1

This week Darrow gets reports from Robinson and Blackwell. To read this book from the beginning, go here. My idea of Engineer John Blackwell is actor Brian Cox.

Brian Cox


Intruders Chapter 12 Scenes 1 & 2

Sam Ryan returned from the mine tired, dirty, and mourning the tragedy of John Rees’s death. He stepped into sick bay and stopped, hit by another shock to see Dr Robinson on a bed and the place in a mess.  Apparently Dr Thomas had made sure the stasis chamber was running correctly and treated Robinson, but it seemed he’d returned immediately to the base.  No one else had thought to clear up sick bay, but why would they?  That was Ryan’s job. Jaw slightly slack, not knowing what to say, Ryan turned to Robinson where he lay in bed.  Robinson instantly ordered him to his bed for rest.  Ryan figured the man must be unwell, Robinson was usually a stickler for a clean and tidy sickbay, but Ryan was too tired to argue.  So he went to the cabin he shared with Stubbs, removed his filthy uniform, letting it drop to the floor, and flung himself into bed.  He was asleep before his head hit the pillow.

*    *    *

Monday, 18 January 2016

Mary Jones' Bible (Welsh History)

Last week I told the story of the Welsh Bible. The Bible may have been translated into Welsh, but few people had one. Here’s a famous story from two hundred years later.




Mari [Mary] Jones was from a poor family, born in 1784, the daughter of a weaver. She lived in Wales at the foot of Cader Idris, in a place called Llanfihangel-y-Pennant. She didn’t have her own Bible, but she wanted one very much. Bibles were scarce in those days. It took her six years to save enough money to pay for a Bible, but there was nowhere locally to buy one.

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Intruders: Blog the Book 11.2

This week Captain Darrow talks Jones, the base administrator, round. To read the book from the beginning, go here. My idea of Joseph Darrow is the actor Michael Sheen.

Intruders Chapter 11 scene 2

Jones crossed his arms and waited.

Darrow took a deep breath. 

‘My engineer examined a copy of the video record of the night Mr Kozlik saw his ghost.  He tried changing the lighting, and under infrared light a figure appears.  I don’t have the details yet, but Kozlik was right.  I told you earlier there have been thefts elsewhere, but this is the first time we’ve found proof of a figure.  The aliens can’t be seen in normal light, so no one knows they’re there.  Now, what else can you tell me about this latest incident?’

Monday, 11 January 2016

The Welsh Bible (Welsh History)

During the reign of Edward IV, son of Henry VIII, the Latin used in church was replaced by English. This was of no use to the Welsh people, since they understood English no better than Latin. But when Elizabeth came to the throne, she knew how important it was to keep the Welsh happy, and an Act of Parliament was passed in 1563 to allow the translation of the Bible and the Book of Common Prayer into Welsh.


Imaginary portrait of William Morgan by T. Prytherch, 1907 (Wikimedia)

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Intruders:Blog the Book 11.1

This week Darrow gets some good news and some bad news. To read this book from the beginning, go here. My idea of Joseph Darrow is actor Michael Sheen.


Intruders Chapter 11 scene 1

When Darrow returned to the Kestrel, Commander Blackwell reported he had checked the video record from the stores door.  He was able to confirm that a figure did indeed show up under infrared light.  Darrow drew in a breath, to control his thumping heart, this was good news, very good news.  Proof at last! The Intruders he had speculated about were now on record.  At that moment a call came through from Holland.

Monday, 4 January 2016

Laws Against the Welsh (Welsh History)

In March 1401, in response to vociferous protests against the Welsh in Parliament, the king passed harsh new laws.


  • It was illegal for any Englishman to be prosecuted in Wales by a Welshman. An Englishman had to be found to conduct the hearing.
  • Bards were forbidden to sustain themselves by minstrelsy.
  • Welshmen were forbidden to hold any meetings without having a representative of the crown present.
  • No Welshman unless he were a bishop or temporal lord, could possess a castle or defend his house.
  • No Welshman was allowed to hold a responsible post.
  • No Englishman, if he were married to a Welsh woman, was allowed to hold a responsible post in Wales or the Marches.
  • Welshmen were not allowed to carry arms without a special licence.
  • No food or armour was to be sent into Wales and an English official was appointed to stop supplies.
  • All garrisons and walled towns were to be manned by Englishmen.
[Taken from Highlights of Welsh History by Phil Carradice]

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Intruders: Blog the Book 10

This week the trapped miners are finally rescued and Captain Darrow makes a discovery. To read this book from the beginning, go here. My idea of Sam Ryan is a young Leonardo de Caprio.





Intruders chapter 10

Following Ryan’s advice, Dai Williams called for another drill.  This made conversation impossible.  Ryan now had to rely on the sensors for monitoring the miners' vital signs, the video screen showed them only faintly through the shifting and increasing dust.  As the hole was enlarged Williams planned to try to rig up a canopy to protect them from falling rock and crystal shards.