Saturday, 30 May 2015

Meet Roy Stubbs, Assistant Engineer on the Kestrel

Roy Stubbs joined PACT to escape from the poverty in which he grew up on an Earth colony planet. He reminds me of a young Nicholas Lyndhurst.
Actor Nicholas Lyndhurst

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Weobley Castle Visit

Yesterday was a bank holiday and we visited Weobley Castle. I have posted about this before, but that was the guide book version. There's lots to explore and learn.

2015-05-25 13.31.36

Weobley is actually a fortified manor house, and a lot of it still remains.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Meet Sam Ryan, Medic on the Kestrel

Sam Ryan grew up on Orion 3, an Earth colony world with little technology. He reminds me of a young Leonardo de Caprio.
Ryan (young Leonardo de Caprio)
The original colonists on Orion 3 wanted to return to a simpler way of life.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Book Launch? What Book Launch?

I wrote recently that my book launch was arranged for The Magna Carta Story.  I also wrote on my personal blog about How to Run a Book Launch.

Well, the book launch was last week, on Tuesday evening. There were posters up in the bookshop where it was being held. I had told all my friends, put a poster up at church and told people, and announced it at my writers group. I was interviewed on Swansea Sound, the local radio station, on Monday, and I was in the Evening Post, the local paper, on Tuesday.
I was all ready.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Meet Quentin Robinson, Doctor on the Kestrel

Quentin Robinson has been a ship's doctor for twenty years, and has served on the Kestrel for five years. He is human, from Earth, and has no living family.
Robinson (Stephen Fry)

Monday, 11 May 2015

Fascinating Facts: Henry VI

This time we have a king who ruled twice, wrote miserable poetry, and nearly became a saint!

Fascinating Facts: Henry VI [1422-1461, 1470-1471]

In sharp contrast to his father Henry V, Henry VI looked on ruling as an anxious burden, distained pomp and notoriety, and distrusted pleasure.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Fascinating Facts: Henry V

Fascinating Facts: Henry V [1413-1422]

In Shakespeare's quartet of plays, this is the last and most famous, containing the stirring battle speech that ends, “Cry God for Harry, England and Saint George!”

  • Henry was born at a time when his father was at odds with with the king, which eventually led to his father's banishment. He was kept at court as a hostage.
  • When his father usurped the throne and became Henry IV, he suddenly became heir to the throne.
  • Like his father, he was highly skilled in the knightly arts, and was given his first military command in his early teens.
  • He was well educated and may have studied at Queen's College.
  • He played the harp and gittern, an early guitar-like instrument. 

  • He became an expert tactician and skilled at siegecraft.
  • He was seriously wounded by an arrow in the face when he was sixteen.
  • When he relaxed he liked low, loud, raucous company and was often in tavern brawls.
  • As his father's mind became clouded by his illness, it was difficult to get him to make decisions, and the two often quarrelled. In September 1412, Prince Henry went to see his father with a large entourage, poured his heart out to him and then knelt and offered him a dagger: “Father, I desire you in your honour of God, for the easing of your heart, to slay me with this dagger.” The king threw the dagger away and tearfully forgave his son. Six months later, the king was dead.
  • Henry V was crowned in a snowstorm. He spent the night before in confession of all his sins and became a reformed character.
  • He was determined to recapture the French lands and fought the famous battle of Agincourt, which was a huge victory in which he was actively involved. His men were inspired by him.
  • Though brave in battle, Henry was afraid of occult forces and spent many hours each day in religious devotions.
  • By the Treaty of Troyes, in May 1420, he became heir to the throne of France. He married the King of France's daughter Catherine, and their son Henry was heir to both kingdoms.
  • He became ill and eventually died on 31 August 1422. His funeral was more magnificent than that of any king for generations, and his legend continued to grow.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Meet Shom Reuel, Altairian, on the Kestrel

Shom Reuel is the other non-human on the Kestrel crew, along with Balitoth, whom we discussed last week. He is Altairian. I couldn’t find a picture on the internet to show what he looks like, but he reminds me a little of JarJar Binks, but much more intelligent, and without the ears!
Reuel (JarJar Binks)