LAUNCH AND WE’VE REACHED HENRY V

I will be launching More Truth, Lies and Propaganda this week. I’m not sure which day yet and it will only be on kindle to start with. Amazon keep telling Dear Husband that he’s embedded fonts he’s never heard of, so we need to sort that out. But, because I’ve not missed a deadline in 40 years, I will format for Kindle and have it out in time for Easter if it kills me. So, watch this space, or rather my Facebook page and Goodreads, if I can ever get into their page, another nightmare! I will be posting the time in lots of groups as well.

In the meantime here are a couple of pictures that illustrate one or two of the stories.

CIMG3950

This is a lady who was acting the part for us in a trauma room at a rural police station.

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This little girl was concentrating so hard in her gym class!

One of the chiefs I met. he kept his cell phone in his knickers, but he was a real gentleman and very charming.

Crew shot 0345

Our journey through history continues with Henry V.

The next king was his son Prince Hal or Henry V, that is Richard the something’s son, it’s not important which number, not in this version of history. Hal won the hearts of the English by his boyish pranks such as trying on the crown while his father lay dying and hitting a very old man called Judge Gascoigne.

HENRY V 2

Sadly Henry V could not find a decent hairdresser so he took to wearing his crown a lot of the time.

HENRY VMore about this king later in the week.

THE LOST HOUSE AND HENRY VI PART ONE

Now as far as I know, Henry VI never needed to build a decent squatter house and he would probably have decreed that a non politically correct way of describing a dwelling built by the peasants. It is just my clumsy introduction to another teaser from More Truth, Lies and Propaganda. The proof book has arrived and you can’t believe how many things I found to change. As soon as I have finished this blog, I will be back making all the corrections. I also need to prepare for tomorrow when I am joining three other writers at the Easter Fair. We have a table together and I’m really not looking forward to it as I am a strictly behind-the-scenes sort of person. I never know what to do if people come to look at the books. Do I try to avoid eye contact? Jump up and give them a big kiss, start rabbiting on about the books? I will never, ever make a good sales person.

Next, a teaser for More Truth, Lies and Propaganda. It’s how we lost a house.

I wrote a comedy script around a lazy city dweller, showing off to his relatives who had just moved into town, telling them how to construct this superior house. He didn’t actually work, he only pretended to, while conning the rest of the cast into doing all the manual labouring.

We were using employees from the Housing and Health Departments to act the parts, but the truth was that while we shot a little of the action each day with them, another team of council workers would move in later and build a little more. To save time and cost we were only planning on a two-sided house, as we could shoot from various angles and cheat a little. OK, we were going to cheat a lot!

The shoot was going very well. The cast was really excellent and we didn’t even need to understand the words spoken in Zulu, their actions made the messages crystal clear. We had done so well that, by Friday night when we packed away, I thought we should be able to wrap the whole thing in another day and a half. I looked forward to a relaxing weekend.

We arrived bright and early on the following Monday morning and, for a brief moment, I thought I was hallucinating. I went into a mild state of shock and grabbed my cell (mobile) phone. While I called the Housing Department, Carl phoned the studio.

“We’ve lost our house!”

“What do you mean you’ve lost the house? You can’t lose a house.”

“Well we have. When we left on Friday night, it was almost complete. Now it’s gone, not a post, not a brick, not a wall in sight, it’s just bare earth! The house is gone, it’s not there anymore. I’ve got six actors down here wandering around looking for their set.” I just knew I was never going to live this down, it’s not every day you lose a house.

It transpired that the Civil Protection patrols had seen our ‘set’ and, because we were building in an unsuitable area (it was on a flood plain), they followed their orders and demolished what they saw as an illegal build. I was not comforted by the report they showed me, which stated that:

The half-completed structure was particularly difficult to destroy, as it had been extremely well built and resisted our initial attempts to demolish it.

But back to the history lessons and you are taking notes right? Don’t forget our exam at the end of the course. We are up to Henry VI part one. He was not happy on the throne, it was not quite what he thought it would be, especially when the barons accused HIM of murdering Richard II.

HENRY IV PART ONE

All during his reign pseudo Richards kept popping up pretending that THEY were king, and it all got very confusing. So Henry had his head exhibited in St Paul’s cathedral to prove his innocence.

RICHARD II 4This is a nice picture of a horse lying down. I have no idea if it is relevant but thought you might like to see it.  On second thoughts it might be a deer of some kind. Anyway, it looks important.

All during his reign, Edward’s that is, pseudo Richards kept popping up pretending that THEY were king, and it all got very confusing. So Henry had his head exhibited in St Paul’s cathedral to prove his innocence.

RICHARD II 5

I think this might be one that escaped, but I’m not sure.

Sadly I think I have lost the ability to word wrap around the pictures. It’s bizarre isn’t it? I could do it on Monday.

Now, have you noticed the deliberate error? It’s a really bad one, but I thought I would leave it in for fun.  🙂

A RICHARD AND AN EPHIFANY

I have a very hard time believing that the human brain actually works more efficiently than one of those gigantic computers they have at IBM headquarters – well certainly mine doesn’t I’m sure of that! I have to admit I am absolutely brilliant at multi-tasking (like most women) but, if it comes to doing more than three brain type calculations at the same time, then I struggle. But, just occasionally, I have a brain wave which takes me by surprise and I had one of those last Saturday morning.

I was driving down the road into the village and it all fell into place. What did? The story, the complete story for next time. As by now you are terribly confused let me explain.

After writing Amie it was taken for granted there would be another episode on her life and I didn’t think too much about this as I raced to get the other two biographies out. But then I began to think about what was going to happen to Amie and I started to worry, big time!  I had no idea at all! I was all out of ideas. I have been panicking about this for weeks and weeks. Where was she going, what was she going to do? How could I get her into trouble?

Then on the drive down to the village it all fell into place. Not the minute details but the story, the outline and possibly the conclusion as well. So, what was the catalyst? I have no idea, not from the radio, nor the passing motorists, nor the road ahead, it just popped into my head from nowhere. I guess that doesn’t happen if you are an IBM computer does it? So maybe there is some truth in the rumour after all.

Time to go back in time and we move on to the next king whose name was Richard II. He was only a boy when he ascended the throne, so he neeRICHARD II 2ded help with this as it was a very LARGE piece of furniture.

To add insult to injury, he was born in France!

By the time he was 21 he was able to sit on the throne all by himself, and was in turn a good king and a bad king, and then pronounced unbalanced.

RICHARD IIThe picture above shows him younger and the one on the right shows him when he was old enough to dress himself, although he never did. There were plenty of people to do that for him.

Poor Richard did not have an easy time. His cousin Lancaster, quickly mounted the throne the moment Richard got up to run a quick errand and declared that he was Henry IV part I. Richard was thus abdicated and was sent to the tower and then later to Pontrefact castle where he dies under MYSTERIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES.

Are you beginning to agree that it seems just a little dangerous to be a king of England?

CHEATING, BURGERS AND GARTERS

I am going to cheat a little this morning as we are expecting visitors for a few days and the weather is cold and wet and there is just do much to do.

After reading that only 7% of Facebook friends see any post, I am going to re-post a short extract from More Truth, Lies and Propaganda that I posted on my timeline the other day. There will be a few more snippets before it is launched on the unsuspecting public. Should you have already seen this then do skip down to the bit about the garters.

I do remember on that shoot I had written in a couple of shots of the mortuary. At the time, I reasoned a quick picture of the exterior would be quite good enough, but the client thought this was a ‘really good’ message to get across and was eager for us to go inside. Yes! Inside! He wanted scenes inside the mortuary! Well I’ve done some stupid things in my time, but writing myself into a mortuary scene must be one of the dumbest.

If we had been one of those large Hollywood film crews I might have been able to slide away unnoticed into the background but, when you are one of only three crew members, your absence is just a tad more obvious. As a Director, which is a very smart term for me waving my arms about telling either Subisiso or Carl what to film (in Carl’s case it was more telling him what not to film), if I wasn’t there, someone would notice.

“No, we do not need any shots of those cute babes on the beach with hardly any clothes, we’re shooting a programme on the sewer system so I need a shot down that open manhole into the drains. Right Carl? Not such an exciting shot I admit, but we are explaining waste water here, not half naked women.”

Five minutes later, “No Carl, I am not going to ask that cute babe to come and stand next to the open manhole while you shoot. Now why on earth would she be standing next to an open manhole cover in the first place? Don’t you agree that would look just a little unrealistic?”

So there we were, Carl and Shezi, with me cowering behind them, walking ever so slowly into the mortuary. First the smell hit us, some sort of chemical, something I had never noticed when watching CSI.

On with the history lesson. We had left the Black Prince slaughtering most of the French nobility, meanwhile, Edward laid siege to Calais and when it surrendered, ordered that the six most important burglars come and surrender the keys to the city. After this Edward had all the wool in England kept in a stable in Calais instead of in a sack in the house of Commons. This was OBVIOUSLY the beginning of political economy. These are the burglars.

burgers-fp And here are the keys they handed over. They were not sure which ones fitted the main gates so they gave him the lot.keys ORDER OF GARTER

Edward III had very good manners and we know this because one day he saw a lady of the court whose stockings had fallen down. Other courtiers were laughing at her. Edward stopped dancing and cried “hon y soit qui mal y pense”  referring of course to her state of undress.

He quickly handed her a garter and to shame those at court, he instituted the Order of the Bath so everyone could have one. A garter that is, not a bath.

Have a great weekend!

COUNTING AND EDWARD III

I am going to ask you all a huge favour. I have no idea how many people are reading these blogs and getting a good historical education which will stand you in good stead for the rest of your lives. You never know if you will be asked at a cocktail party which king died from a red hot poker, but you will be able to astound people with your expert knowledge.

Now once I finally get into my blog page (and believe me that is not an easy thing to do) when I hit the publish button it links it to Facebook and to Twitter. However, and this is the puzzling bit, when I check out the WordPress stats there are hardly any views.

OK, I’m a grown up and I can cope with that, but then I get a lot of feedback by pm and messages and verbally etc from lots of different people telling me they are enjoying the blog. So, I’m not sure if the WordPress stats only count the readers who log on directly and ignore those who visit via Facebook or Twitter. So, the huge favour is, if you are reading this can you please leave a comment either here, or on FB just to let me know you have been here, and how you got here? I would really appreciate that.

So on with British history and we are about to meet Edward III. (You would think they could have been a bit more creative with the names wouldn’t you?) That’s something severely lacking right up to the present day. Personally, I would be really upset if my parents had named me after a king who had his head chopped off, even if Charles is a very nice name. Now we will have a 7th George on the throne sometime in the future.

If I was going to be king I would like to be the first. There are so many interesting names to choose from. How about Tristan, Frank, Timothy, Gerry, Caelan or Jason? If you do get chatting to some royals, you might like to mention this to them.

So already we are learning about the third Edward who EDWARD IIIwas a very romantic king. We know this because he imprisoned his mother in a stronghold for the rest of her life.  He also invented a law called the Gallic Law which made him King of France and gave him the right to invade it ANYTIME he liked.

(Have you noticed I have found out how to write around the pictures – I do hope you are impressed, I am).

King John II of France
King John II of France

In order to placate Edward, the French King sent him a box of new tennis balls. When the parcel was opened the Prince of Wales who was present, decided to invade straight away.

Black Prince

This Prince was the memorable “All Black Prince”  (even his underwear was black) and the war was called the 100 years war, as the troops signed on for 100 years or the duration, whichever was the longest.

BLACK PRINCE

The All Black Prince then began the battle of Crecy where he SLAUGHTERED about a third of the French nobility.

And I will leave you on that cheerful note until Friday. (Oh and apologies to any French people reading this).

AFRICA IN PICTURES AND EDWARD’S TERRIBLE END

It’s been a good week. I finished the last bits and pieces for ‘More Truth, Lies and Propaganda’ and now it is all ready for formatting. Hopefully it will be on Amazon before the end of the month. Getting a book out is more that just writing the story. There is the cover to design, the dedication to compose along with the blurb on the back which aims to have potential readers riveted to the spot. There is the end stuff as well, and all those little fiddly bits seem to take ages.

A few readers have written to ask if I am going to include pictures in the book and the answer is no. For ‘Truth, Lies and Propaganda’ I had very few pictures of my early days in the media on my computer, and frankly when you are out on shoot you seldom have time to stop and take still pictures. But when we were traveling all over the country, part of each project was to produce a booklet, so I needed to take lots of photographs. I won’t include them in the book, but I will sprinkle a few on my blog and on my Facebook page.

Crew shot 0344There is a chapter in the book called the Devil’s Claw and on the day we spent with the villagers, they put on a play for us which we recorded to include in the final programme. But I’m not going to tell you what Devil’s Claw is used for – you will have to read the book!

This is the blurb from the back cover: –

More unbelievable tales from behind the camera lens, as Lucinda and her ‘rainbow crew’ travel across South Africa. They meet Mandela, endure a terrifying helicopter ride and empathise with the forlorn Bushmen. There are riots, an abandoned patient, a ram with an identity crisis and a house that disappears. Their stories are both hilarious and heartbreaking, revealing the truth about what goes on behind the scenes in the media. This book proves that propaganda is alive and well on television screens across the world.

Time now to go a little further back in history, to Edward II to be more precise. He’d just lost the war with Scotland (and no the year is not important as we’re not bothering with difficult stuff like dates).

Edward had fallen out with so many of his nobles that he was quite surprised when he received an invitation to a big bash at Berkley Castle.  BERKELEY CASTLE 2He was really looking forward to a great party and got all dressed up for the occasion, but when he arrived they were not nice to him at all. In fact  they dropped him into a large dungeon in the front hallway.

DUNGEONThere were many piercing screams during the night and in the morning, Edward was declared dead.

His body seemed to have received a red hot poker in a particularly awkward and private place, but it was never PROVED that there was ANY question of foul play so a verdict of accidental death was recorded.

BERKELEY CASTLEThus Edward was no more and was succeeded by…..

ARACHNOPHOBIAS DO NOT READ

(Yes, it is spelled correctly, I looked it up).  I’m sitting here in the sunshine, bright and early on a Monday morning and my mind has gone a complete blank. That’s what happens sometimes. I wonder if Shakespeare, or Tolstoy ever had this problem? Perhaps they popped out for a quick sleigh ride or a punt along the Thames? Mind it’s not really so important for me, no one expects flowing prose, especially on a Monday morning. In fact you probably don’t expect anything sensible at all do you?

Maybe my remaining brain cell is refusing to work because of all the racket coming from the farm on the opposite hill. Easter is approaching and the pens are full of quacking ducks, squawking chickens and the donkey has been evicted yet again. I’ve noticed that before major festivals, there is plenty of livestock over there, and just before, it all goes very quiet. No prizes for guessing where they have gone – yes, to the big barnyard in the sky, via the Spanish digestive system.

Enough of this waffle, let’s cut straight to today’s history lesson, where we left Edward II on the throne of England.

EDWARD IIDoesn’t he look splendid? The problem with Edward II was that he kept falling out with his friends at court and banishing them and then unbanishing them again. This was confusing for everyone.

ROBERT THE BRUCEDaddy had left him with the Scotch problem, now under the leadership of Robert the Bruce and his pet spider. I’ll label them so you can see which is which.  Robert is on the left and the spider is just below.

SPIDER 2I didn’t make the spider too big in case you don’t like spiders.

There was a big battle at Bannockburn which was won by the Scots using very UNFAIR means……

BANNOKBURN 2such as using weapons of war AND starting the fight before 10 am.

BANNOCKBURN

On Friday I will tell you about the awful end of Edward II. It’s very sad so buy in a large box of tissues.