Saturday, 25 May 2019

Slipping Down Stairs

I thought you must be wondering where I’ve gone, as there have been no posts for a couple of weeks. The reason is that I slipped down the stairs at home and sprained my ankle and broke my wrist. Luckily the stroke-affected side, otherwise I wouldn’t have a working hand at all, but that’s about the only good thing about it.

I thought the shock of the fall had aggravated my arthritis, which it may have done, but the pain in my right hip has been getting steadily worse, so I went to the doctor yesterday. It turns out that I sprained the ligaments round my hip when I fell, and my attempts at getting back to exercise and walking have only aggravated it. So I’m on extra pain killers and rest for the next ten days.

You would think with all the extra time on my hands I could get lots of writing done, but I’m afraid it doesn’t work like that. It’s very hard to be creative when you’re in pain. So I have been trying to work on the business side and plan how to serve my readers better and how to nurture new ones.

I’m sure things will get back to normal soon and you’ll see some changes for the better. If you have any suggestions or requests, please get in touch.

Ann Marie Thomas is the author of four medieval history books, a surprisingly cheerful poetry collection about her 2010 stroke, and the science fiction series Flight of the Kestrel. Book one, Intruders, and book two Alien Secrets, are out now. Follow her at

Thursday, 2 May 2019

Building a Castle: The Bailey

The bailey or ward in a fortification is a courtyard enclosed by a curtain wall. In particular, an early type of European castle was known as a motte-and-bailey. Castles can have more than one bailey. Their layout depends both on the local topography and the level of fortification technology employed, ranging from simple enclosures to elaborate concentric defences.

Chepstow Castle (
Baileys can be arranged in sequence along a hill (as in a spur castle), giving an upper bailey and lower bailey. They can also be nested one inside the other, as in a concentric castle, giving an outer bailey and inner bailey. Chepstow Castle, built on a limestone ridge above the River Wye, has three baileys which were added over time along the ridge, rather than inside one another.