As I promised, or threatened, there will be the occasional picture of an anecdote in my next book, starting today. This is a shot I took when we were filming The Devil’s Claw.  Now that should puzzle lots of people! The new book is called ‘More Truth, Lies and Propaganda’.

Crew shot 0344

But I know you are really here for the history lesson,and we had of course got as far as Henry I – and here he is.HENRY I

Henry I who came next was famous for his hand writing and was nicknamed Beau-geste. He was INCONSOLABLE when his son died and he ate too many palfreys which killed him. He was thus a tragic king.

The moment Stephen came to the throne it was realized that he was a mistake. Everything and everyone was very confused, so his Aunt Matilda or Maud [the name seems to be interchangeable for some unknown reason well beyond me] announced that she would be king instead. The picture below shows Matilda, in case you were confused. And if you are not confused by now, you should be!


This is Stephen against a blue background….Stephen I

… and being crowned against a red backdrop.KING STEVEN

Stephen got upset about this and he and Maud or Matilda spent the entire reign escaping from each other all over the kingdom.

And next time I will tell you what was going on secretly while our two monarchs were playing hide and seek all over England.


I woke up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat. I was dreaming about the age of the lawyer, when everyone sues everyone else for the slightest thing. You’ve probably read about the mother who successfully sued her supermarket when she slipped and broke her leg on the juice from a broken bottle. That might sound fair, until you realize that it was her toddler who broke the bottle in the first place!

So, although I am not a lawyer couched in legalize, let me put my own disclaimer here.

I hereby refute all claims or payment for damages from anyone, who, as a result of reading this blog, at any time in the future fails a history exam, or is misquoted in any way whatsoever with regard to the monarchy in England. This author will not be held responsible for any action that results from reading or believing anything relating to historical facts they may find on these pages.

I think that about covers it. Now I can go on telling you the most horrendous lies and not have to worry. You have been warned.

It’s taken quite a while to get as far as William the Conqueror, but now we move on to his successor


Rufus. Rufus was always red in the face and therefore unpopular. He was killed while out hunting one day in the forest,

WT and apple

…. when William Tell was taking aim at a red appleSIR ISAAC NEWTON which had landed on Rufus’ head and promptly shot him through the heart.


Sir Isaac Newton (that is his picture above, I’ve yet to learn how to put the captions underneath – my project for 2016)  was passing by just then and invented the law of gravity and so the reign of Rufus was brought to a GOOD end.

Quite exhausted now, not with the history lesson, but I have been editing all day polishing off ‘More Truth Lies and Propaganda’. Almost ready for the beta readers now, so the history lesson will continue in a few days.


I was supposed to be editing today, but got lost in a book, written by someone else that is, and that was that! So, I will write my blog tonight and tomorrow I shall get up early and make up for lost time.

Soon I will be adding a different picture at the beginning of each post to illustrate my next book. I thought about trying to include them in the book itself, but I’m not sure if that is a good idea. I would be interested to hear from anyone which they prefer. Pictures or no pictures? I do know they don’t come out too well on most kindles and e.Readers in general.

So, where had we got to? Ah yes, William the Conquerer, who, the British will inform you led the last successful invasion of England – and as you will have learned already there were plenty of those before him. I simply won’t bother with any dates as they are not the slightest bit important, not in my version of history.

Now William was also the first environmentalist, because all the forests which had not previously been owned, now belonged to him. Anyone found in the forests was to have his ears and legs cut off and if THAT didn’t work, the perpetrator was to have both eyes put out with red hot irons, after which, he was allowed to flee the country.


Another very conquering law William made was to make everyone go to bed at 8 pm. This was called the Curlew.


In many ways William was a good king.


I have absolutely no idea if this is an accurate photograph of William I. People in those days were notoriously camera shy, so if it bears any resemblance to any famous person, this is entirely co-incidental.

Despite his love of animals William was eventually killed by his horse and was succeeded by his son…..

And I will leave you on that cliffhanger until next time.


You either love them or hate them, but you have to admit that Amazon are one of the best when it comes to marketing. Here is a good example.

Around Christmas I had an email from them saying that as I was such a good customer – hey they noticed how many books I have been buying – they were going to give me a Christmas present of a free Kindle book!! Was I excited!! As soon as I had a spare moment (this retirement lark is more than exhausting), I dived into my wish list looking for one of the more expensive e.books I had been thinking about buying. I chose one and pressed all the right buttons only to find Amazon had given me a choice of only 6 books to choose from. Their choice of course. I had only vaguely heard of one of the authors and, wait for it, each one was the first in a series. Now how crafty is that?

I had no choice. I downloaded one and now I’m scared to read it. What if I get hooked? The rest of the books in the series are very expensive indeed! Clever Amazon.

Still enough of the nonsense, on with the really important history lesson.

I left you with Harold I, but he was only king for 10 months before William shot out his eye with an arrow at the Battle of Hastings.



(Hope you don’t mind the gory picture).

Thus, Harold, was the last English king of England.

THE END!!!!!!!!!!!!!

From here on, England has been ruled by a succession of “foreigners”. (Oh the Shame!!!!)


William the Conquerer, or William the Bastard, was a strong king. He invented the FEUTILE system, whereby he noted down everything in England so that he knew what he had conquered.


He wrote about this in the Doomsday Book, along with ALL the possessions of ALL his new subjects which William said now ALL belonged to him. This is probably the first record of an inventory or stocktaking. Today, Tesco and Asda STILL follow his lead.

More next week as we go to the woods.

Another Nonsense Blog

I read lots of  brilliant blogs each week, and I have to congratulate so many people for writing really interesting stuff. Many are about selling and marketing books, others about writing and still more describing places, food and different cultures. Maybe one day after more practice, I too will be writing erudite, cultural and informational blogs but it may take me a lot more practice.

Well of course you don’t get anything like that on this blog yet of course, at best it will be a giggle as we continue with the kings and queens who ruled England.


Edward married late in life, and it is said he refused to sleep with his wife in case they considered him for canonization after he was dead. This is probably true as he had no children.


This picture shows Macbeth and lots of blood.

As an aside, over on the OTHER side of the wall, Macbeth was busy murdering his friends and relatives and anyone else who wanted to be king north of the border.


Back in England, Edward’s successor was Harold Goodwinson, or Harold I who bullied his way to the throne.

To the reader who is looking forward to the Tudors, we will get there I promise. There were just so many monarchs before them, as you can see!

Blog tonight, edit tomorrow!

I thought I would get ahead and write tonight so tomorrow I can settle down to two lots of editing.

Sadly  I still can’t remember the brilliant stuff I was going to share with you from the shower [don’t even go there mentally please!] So on with the history lesson for Monday.

We left off with Edward the Confessor, who was happy to confess to anything at all. He was also the patron saint of England until STRANGELY….


….he was ousted by Saint George who in fact never went anywhere near England at all. Did you know that he is a TERRIBLY important saint in Ethiopia! He is more accurately known as St George of Ethiopia.


Edward liked pomp and circumstance and as well as building Westminster Abbey he also invented lots of ceremonial things to do for coronations, funerals and other celebrations. He did this knowing that it would pay off in the long run through the money from tourism, as we can see from this picture of some happy tourists.


Edward was aware that at some time in the future the Americans and the Japanese would come and visit. He knew they might like to stroll around his Abbey. He is acknowledged as the first forward thinker and long term planner.

Next time we leave Edward and see lots of blood!

It’s Friday and history marches on and on and on!

I had thought of something brilliantly witty and thrilling to write at the beginning of today’s blog, but do you think I can remember what I was going to say? The moment I stepped out of the shower my ideas dissolved with the steam. So, no clever comments from me this morning, you’ll have to manage without them somehow.

So, having spoiled your weekend, let’s go back in time to what happened when King Ethelred died. [big ahhhhh there].


He was succeeded by King Canute who had set out from Norway to collect Danegeld, landed by mistake at Penge and so of course, he became king.


He was not however a memorable king and when he died his kingdom was divided into two…


…. and he was succeeded by Edward the Confessor. Apart from confessing to these and other crimes, Edward the Confessor is remembered for contributing to the continued disintegration of royal power in England. However, because he was SO PIOUS AND SO GOOD, he was made a saint by Pope Alexander III and is the patron saint of kings, difficult marriages and separated spouses. He was also the patron saint of England until STRANGELY…


… and on that exciting cliffhanger I will leave you until Monday. Have a great weekend!



OK I know I shouldn’t boast, it’s really not my thing, but Amie was #1 bestseller in genre again on Amazon.co.uk. Overall she was 10,761 and #1, #2, #4 in the various categories. This is the third time she has hit the dizzying heights and I guess I should go and collect her soon – I’m planning to start that after Easter. I was going to put up the screen shot, but it won’t work so that just serves me right for showing off. – She is discounted for another day and a half if you need a cheap read.

Anyway enough of that and on with the history lesson. We had got as far as Alfred’s reign, and it was during this time that the Anglo Saxon Chronicle was published ……


….. which had all the news about his victories and Lady Windemere and the cakes etc.


Next we have Ethelred the Unready who was the next weak king of England. He was always late for everything, and so he was not there to defend England when the Danes came again.


They would fine him Danegeld for not being on time and they came back again and again, until the last time – when Ethelred did not show up at all – because he was DEAD.

Another episode towards the weekend.

Screaming Brain Cells

Slightly weird title yes? The reason for this is the triumph getting as far as this in writing my blog.

Now everyone tells me that WordPress is one of the best and easiest to use blog sites, and I’m sure they are right as even I am managing to post without too much anguish. But it’s getting to the point when I have to plan carefully, as the moment I try to log in – I’m not always successful first time, I need to make sure my cell phone is to hand to use the Authenticator. This is a series of numbers that flash up on the screen so I can type in the appropriate six digits to allow me to gain access.

The biggest problem is they flash up so fast before they change to another six digit number and I have a problem typing them all in. ‘1347… no, 4765… no I mutter and it’s a race between getting all the numbers typed in quickly and being locked out for ever. If I lose my phone then possibly it’s bye bye blog?

However our ancestors had no such problems of course. If they had something to say they either shouted it from the hilltops, or  sent a trusty servant off clutching a bulky piece of parchment – a sort of ‘man on horseback mail’, before ‘snail mail’ was invented. [I understand they refer to it as ‘static mail’ these days]. Which neatly takes us back in time to Alfred.

The best thing that Arthur did was to found the British Navy. He had seen the long ships used by the Danes, so he built much longer ones and from that time on, since invaders don’t like to fight against long odds, they seldom attacked the British navy. Thus a new international law was promulgated called the Rule Britannia, technically known as the Freedom of the Seas – as long as they were British. [I have a feeling this is totally wrong, but you may have noticed that accuracy does not play a major part in this history lesson].


I bet you’re surprised at the technology they had in those days aren’t you? They would have been too, especially if they read this.


The Danes were defeated, by Alfred, not Arthur which is a bit puzzling, however it seems that the name is interchangeable – which solves a big problem for me without having to do any research. Now Alfred/Arthur had a wife called Lady Windemere, who always wore the same white frock and who used to go bathing in the same lake as Sir Lancelot. She protested that it was all innocent, and that they were just looking for a lost sword which Arthur/Alfred had accidentally thrown into the water.

To be continued…..

Just a note that I am reducing ‘Amie an African Adventure’ to $0.99 / £0.99 for tomorrow only, that’s Tuesday 13th January, if you want to pick up a cheap copy.

Also thank you to all those people who have left comments on here, I do try to get in and reply to them but sometimes that does not work! Just hope you are enjoying the posts!


Well my talk about myself yesterday was not my finest hour. A lovely, lovely group of friendly people, and the technicians were awesome as well, but the temperature in the massive hall must have been below freezing! Afterwards I had trouble signing the books, my fingers had frozen up!

I’m not on any crusade, but if I can get people to think about what they watch on television and read in the newspapers and then question the facts that are blithely thrown out, then this is a step forward. I am so aware  after “Lying for a Living,” [which is one way of describing what I did to earn money and pay the bills], that I can often see what the media say and what they [conveniently] omit.

Anyway I’ll put the soapbox away and get on with the history lesson.

After all the Egg Kings there came a wave of Danes who INSISTED that the whole of the right hand side of England belonged to them. Alfred was the king at that time, but he was so busy taking cooking lessons from an ancestor of Gordon Ramsey, that he was forced to pay the Danes to go away.


But Alfred was a Good King, even if he DID burn cakes, and he did a lot of good things for the Britons, though no one seems able to remember what they were.


Now I am going to include King Arthur here, as there is no exact date for him, but I CAN’T leave him out can I? Everyone knows about Arthur, but between you and me, Arthur was a weak king. He invented the conference as he preferred to talk rather than fight. He was also VERY nosy and always wanted to know what his 1001 knights were up to, so he had a very large table built, so they could ALL meet together and have a chat.


But they didn’t get to meet too often as in those days restaurant accommodation was booked up for months and months in advance.

Have a great weekend!