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!