Monday, 30 November 2015

The Last Prince of Wales (Welsh History)

Edward I conquered Wales and when his fourth son and eventual successor, Edward, was born in Caernarvon castle, he named him Prince of Wales. This has been a common practice ever since among the kings of Britain. Today, the heir to the throne is Prince Charles, and he was invested as Prince of Wales in Caernarvon Castle in 1969.

But these princes had no right to the title, except the power of the king to bestow it. The last rightful Prince of Wales was Llywelyn ap Gruffudd in 1258.

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Intruders: Blog the Book 8.1

This week, Dr Robinson gets rescued. To read from the beginning, go here. My idea of Quentin Robinson is an old-fashioned Stephen Fry.

Intruders chapter 8 scene 1

Dr Thomas and Reuel arrived at the airlock, put the stretcher beside the stasis chamber and lowered the stand.  Thomas turned to Reuel.

‘Don't close the outer door, Ensign. I'll keep the gravity low when the airlock pressurises, so I can transfer Elwyn to the stasis chamber on my own.  Will you return to Dr Robinson?’

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Welsh History: Pause for Recap

This series began when I heard a report on the Welsh News that a government report had found that Welsh children are not taught enough of their own history. So I have been blogging some highlights. I thought it would be good to pause and recap what we have covered, and add in some previous posts which also fit in to what we have covered so far.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Intruders: Blog the Book 7.3

This week Captain Darrow goes to the abandoned opencast mineworkings as part of his investigation of the missing quartz. To read the book from the beginning go here. Darrow looks a bit like actor Michael Sheen.

Intruders chapter 7 scene 4 [last week had scenes 2&3 together]

Following his interviews, Darrow called in on Wil Jones, the Base Administrator.

‘Mr Jones, I’m going out to the old opencast mine workings.  Is there a map?’

Jones crossed his arms.‘I don’t see what you expect to find.  They were searched.  There’s nothing there.’

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Intruders: Blog the Book 7.2

This week Dr Robinson helps Dr Thomas take his casualty to the Kestrel via the asteroid surface, and gets into trouble. If you want to read from the beginning, start here. My picture of Dr Robinson is  Stephen Fry.

Intruders chapter 7 scenes 2&3

Robinson contacted the Kestrel from the pithead and arranged for Stubbs to deliver the supplies Ryan needed. When Robinson got back to the stores airlock, he found Thomas had been busy.  He had brought an old airtight stretcher from the opencast days and fitted a new oxygen supply.

‘Ah, Doctor, give me a hand to transfer Elwyn into the stretcher.  How are the men in the mine?’

Monday, 9 November 2015

Llewelyn the Great, part 2, & the Scandalous Affair (Welsh History)

The next major figure in Welsh history after the Lord Rhys, was Llewelyn ab Iorwerth, known later as Llewelyn the Great. I wrote about him before in detail, which you can find here.
There is also a whole chapter devoted to him in my book Broken Reed: The Lords of Gower and King John. My interest in Llewelyn is because of his links to King John and the de Braose family: He married King John’s illegitimate and much-loved daughter Joan (known as Siwan in Wales); in return for his help in their battle with John for their ancestral lands, both Reginald de Braose and his nephew John married Llewelyn’s daughters.

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Intruders: Blog the Book 7.1

This week we see what’s happening in the mine, on Level Two where they’re trying to reach the trapped miners. If you want to read from the beginning, start here. My picture of Sam Ryan is a young Leonardo de Caprio.

Intruders chapter 7 scene 1

Dr Robinson went to contact Ryan about the casualty transfer, when the call came that Level Two had broken through to the trapped miners and established communications.  A doctor was needed urgently.  Since Dr Thomas was treating Elwyn, Robinson responded, thinking he could send Ryan back once he got there.  He fumbled his way to the pithead and carefully climbed down the rungs in the shaft, much to the miners’ impatience.  On Level Two he was met by Dai Williams who helped him over the rubble steps, across the slab, and up the other end to where Ryan crouched with a monitor and a microphone. Ryan covered the mike and reported.


Monday, 2 November 2015

The Sitting (Welsh History)

The Welsh word eistedd means 'to sit' so an eisteddfod (pronounced eyestethvod) is literally 'a sitting'. The purpose of the sitting is to listen to stories, songs and poetry, and later, to watch dancing. The people reciting the stories and poems and singing the songs were the bards. At a time before writing, history was oral. The bards' task was to keep the history alive by retelling it and praising the leader's great deeds.