AMIE DOES IT AGAIN!

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 ……

ANGLO SAXON CHRONICLE

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

ETHELRED THE UNREADY

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.

DANEGELD, OWNED HALF OF BRITAIN

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].

BRITISH NAVY

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.

GUINAVERE N ARTHUR

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!

WE HAVE GOT TO ALFRED!

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.

KING ALFRED

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.

KING ALFRED 2

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.

KING ARTHIUR

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!

DREAMS OF FAME CRUSHED

For a few moments last Monday I thought that all my dreams of fame and fortune were about to come true. I received a pm on my Face Book page with an invitation to friendship from a smiling girl with a parrot on her shoulder. She told me she worked for Amazon in the e.book ranking department. This was it, the breakthrough I had been waiting for! Apart from asking questions about the parrot which I thought rather intriguing, I just hoped she might spill the beans on how they decided to rate the books and I would get inside tips, which I was going to share with all my writer friends, and every time anyone logged on to Amazon our books would be up there on page one just begging to be bought.

It didn’t take too long for her to ask me for my email address and bank account details as she had a $6 million prize to send me. Another Nigerian 411 scam, my hopes were dashed. Surprisingly when I refused to give both pieces of information, she cut herself off and I’ve not heard from her again.

But you have to admit, these scammers are getting more savvy. They know our weaknesses, and are quite prepared to play on them. So it’s back to the drawing board and on with the history lesson.

We left off as England was being invaded by just about every other inhabitant on the planet, especially the BRUTAL Saxon invaders who drove other Britons westward into Wales, FORCING them to become Welsh. And a Saxon warrior Hengist with his wife Horsa made himself king in the south and some say he was possibly the first King of England,

SAXON WARRIORS

[Please note I am pretending they are standing in a field of daffodils, the Welsh national flower].

However, this plaque on the wall of Bath Abbey announces that Edgar was crowned there as the first King of all England in AD 973. You can safely ignore the date, I  don’t go in for them in a big way myself. Even in those days they didn’t always get it right. Apparently Edgar is the 29th great grandfather of Queen Elizabeth II, now who would have guessed that?

But now we come to the EGG Kings.

KING EGBERTEGBERT 2

Another version tells us that England was still divided into seven kingdoms, and there were a series of Egg and Eth kings, such as Eggbert, Eggbread, Ethelwulf, Ethelred, Ethelunready, Ethelbald etc. but not much is known about them. So we’ll quickly whizz past those and pick up again in a couple of days.

ONLY ONE SO FAR – DON’T PANIC

I know I promised to ‘learn you’ all about the kings and queens of England and so far we’ve only had one, the lady with the interchangeable name – Boudicea / Boudica, but hang on in there, we are getting to them all. It’s just that the Romans hung around for an awfully long time being force-fed grapes in Londinium and Corinium and Aqua Sullis and other British places they rudely re-named in Latin.

We know the Romans were snobs as they did not mingle much with the primitive Britons who were too busy burying each other in long round wheelbarrows.

cartoon-long barrow

Generally, the occupiers were quite happy, and to prove that here are three more Happy Romans. But all good things come to an end – often a sticky one –  and the invaders were called back across the channel to take part in Gibbons Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, and England was subjected…..

ROMAN SOLDIERS

…. to invasions from the Ostrogoths, Visigoths, and Goths, and Vandals and Huns, and Picts, and Scots, and Angles, and Saxons and Jutes. They were ALL at it.

INVASIONS THEY WERE ALL AT IT

Sadly I must leave them being horribly invaded until the next post. Serves them right for going back to the dark ages once the Romans had left.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Romans in Britain

Onwards with the non-history lesson.  Be honest, you’re not learning much are you? That’s OK there is no exam at the end of this – now there’s a thought. Maybe a free book at the end to the best answers?  I’ll have to think about that. Sorry I did not reply to some of the comments as when I tried to get in – my own blog would not let me! Now how sad is that?

But enough of this idle chatter, back to Roman Britain.

Besides eating grapes they also built very straight roads, all of which of course led straight to Rome. This was very inconvenient for the Britons, as they had no desire to visit Italy. They simply wanted to get to the next town or village.

cartoon-roads to Rome

The Romans caused even more inconvenience by building a very high wall at the bottom of Scotland, to keep out the Scots who were originally Irish, but by now were Scotch, having driven the Irish Picts out of Scotland, who were now living in Ireland and known as Irish. [I bet you’ve always been puzzled about that before, just nice to clear it all up once and for all].

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

[Sorry about the backpacker, he refused to get out of the way].

So, just to re-cap, this time was known as the Roman Occupation, and here is a pic of a Happy Roman to prove it.

ROMAN SOLDIER 2

A bit more about the Romans next time, they did hang around for a very long time!

 

HISTORY MARCHES ON

Firstly let me wish everyone a brilliant New Year and may 2015 bring you everything you wish for and that is also good for your health, happiness and contentment. [I’ve trying to circumvent that old saying ‘Be careful what you wish for!’]

To my writer friends, lots and lots of sales and yellow bestseller stickers and to all my reader friends, many fantastic new books to read – preferably mine! I didn’t say that – really I didn’t.

So, onward with the history lesson.

BOUDICEA BOUDICA 2

 

I mentioned that many British refused to go out and fight the Romans without putting their make up on, but there was an exception. Yes a woman! They fought heroically under a dashing queen called Boudicea – or, as they call her today for some reason that COMPLETELY escapes me – Boudica. In fact they did so well, ….

LATIN VERBS

 

……that poor Julius was forced to return the next year, in 54 BC, yes that is an earlier date, but this is due to the peculiar Roman method of counting. This time Julius was armed with more battering rams and axes and other war machines.

 

CAESAR AND GRAPES

The Romans hung about for two or three hundred years, living a semi-detached life in villas, eating grapes, having baths …….

… more to follow.

Isn’t it great to get educated 🙂