I had planned a lengthy post today about our visit to Leicester, two years ago, to pay our respects to Richard III.  I made notes about what I wanted to say and was ready to write it.

Then I turned on the news this afternoon.

We do not know why this man drove his car at a bunch of innocent people and killed some, injured many others.  We may never know what was in his head as he did it.  Many people have beefs with Westminster and the MPs inside it, I complain about them plenty myself, but what on earth led him to take a knife and try to force his way into Westminster??

The policeman who gave his life trying to keep this guy away from the people inside, which included many children, some as young as 8 I heard, whould be hailed as a hero.  He was unarmed, did not stand a real chance against the madman but did everything he could to bar his entrance.  And he paid for his bravery with his life.

I had a great uncle who was a policeman, and we do not give them the credit they deserve for the work that they do, for the risks that they take.  No matter what the situation, the police stand between the innocent and the evil, and fight to protect the good.  Too often they give their lives to save others.

Then there are the unknown victims, the people going about their everyday lives.  Walking down the street, crossing a bridge, then suddenly your life changes forever, or even ends.  It happens in other countries every day, with bombing raids and shootings, but you do not expect it on your home turf, as it were.  It is a sad thing to think that our children could be used to this when they get to our ages.

I am not a fan of the MPs as I have said, but we should give a shout out to the Mp who attempted to save the policeman’s life after he had been stabbed.  Tobias Ellwood is one MP who does deserve some kind of recognition from the crown, not for his duties as an MP as many get, but for his humanity and bravery.

There were many others out there today who were brave or tried to help people, we will never hear about them all.

I do not turn back to my faith often, but tonight I will say a prayer for those who need God’s help after today’s incident, whichever God or Goddess they believe in.

I am sad tonight, sad that this is the world we live in, sad that we can’t all find a way to live together in peace, sad that a number of people will not return safely home tonight, through no fault of their own.

Dear God, please fix this world, it is in desperate need of it, Amen.


RIP Chuck

Another sad post today, as the world says goodbye to the legend that was Chuck Berry.

He died in St Louis, the place he was born and raised at the age of 90.

I am not old enough to remember his early music, but no-one can say they do not recognise Johhny B Goode at the first riff.

One of the very early performers of rock n roll, he was perhaps eclipsed by the success of others such as Elvis and Bill Haley, but without his pioneering mix of rhythm and blues, we may never have had these other musicians.

One of the last of the great 50’s artists, we bid him farewell and send him to his rest.

I wonder if Beethoven really will roll over when he hears Chuck play his music up in heaven…………………

St Patrick

Today is St Patrick’s day (yeah go on say it, big surprise!), so before everyone gets drunk on their green beer, I thought I would say a little about the man himself.

He is thought to have lived, in Ireland, during the fifth century.  Generally he is said to have been the founder of the Christian religion in Ireland, though this is doubted in some circles, as Christian missionaries were said to be crossing to the isle in the previous century.

Nevertheless he is said to have built over 300 churches in Ireland and personally baptised over 100,000 people in the new Christian faith, which during Roman times, must have been some feat!!!!

The 17th of March is celebrated as his feast day as it is thought to be the date that he died.  The feast day is celebrated the world over, though in many different ways.  In some places it is seen as a holy day, for contemplation and religious devotions.  In most places it seems to be a day for celebration with funny green outfits and green beer, and probably copious amounts of Guinness too!!

Though he is named as a saint, he has never actually been canonised by the Catholic Church, his sainthood simply being announced after his death by the local clergy.

Though who would argue with our Irish friends that their patron saint is no saint, on a day which gives pleasure to so many people.


Happy St Patrick’s Day to all !!!!!

what a day !

I began the day wanting to write a post about the twenty-first anniversary of the Dunblane shootings.  It is quite a sombre subject and I was ready to write in a sad mood.  While I still wish to say that we should remember those 16 children and their teacher, who were murdered on this day, and of course their families, my mood changed dramatically during the day, due to an item on the news.

I do not hide the fact that I support independance and freedom for Scotland, and today’s announcement by Nicola Sturgeon has made my heart soar.

I have not been a lifelong political supporter, but the last few years have shown us much about how badly Westminster treat Scotland.  For those who research facts (come on, am an author, research is my life!), the rest of the UK will struggle without Scotland, and I do feel a little bad about that.  But Westminster deserve to be shown that they do not always get everything their own way.  I do not, for the life of me, understand why the country of my birth gave these politicians the green light to leave Europe, and I seriously doubt that I ever will understand it, but Scotland voted overwhelmingly in favour of staying and we deserve the chance to do that.

I do not know if we will win our independance in another referendum, but I will fight damned hard to get a yes vote this time round.  I want a better future for my children than Westminster offer them in an as yet unknown Brexit, and I am determined to get it.  Whether it is next year, the year after, or even longer, Scotland needs to be a free country again, and as it’s people, we need to stand up and make our feelings known.

Let us hope it does not come down to the wars of independance from our history books…………..

Come on Scotland, time to be heard !!!!

Happy birthday Henry

Born on  this day in 1133 was the baby boy who would become the first Plantagenet King of England.  He was named Henry, after his grandfather.

His own father was Geoffrey, Count of Anjou, known as Plantagenet because of the sprig of a plant called planta genista that he liked to carry in his hat.  His mother, Matilda, had become her father’s heir, when her brother William was killed in 1120 on the White Ship.  The English were not keen on a female heir, but their king Henry I had ordered his nobles to swear allegiance to her during his lifetime.

Unfortunately after his death, the nobles had reneged on their promise and turned to Matilda’s cousin Stephen, to take the throne.  Years of battles and wrangling over the inheritance would ensue, eventually leading to young Henry being named as Stephen’s heir.

He will forever be most famously remembered for the death of Thomas Beckett, even though he did not personally kill the man.

His tumultuous marriage to Eleanor of Aquitaine was the stuff of legends.  She first being married to his overlord, the King of France, divorcing him to marry Henry and later become Queen of England.

They had four sons who grew to adulthood, Henry, Richard, Geoffrey and John.  Henry was declared as King during his father’s lifetime, maybe to prevent an argument over the succession as had happened with Henry’s mother.  But young Henry wanted more power than his father wanted to give him, and he was eventually killed in an uprising against Henry II.  Richard would become King upon the death of his father, and become known as ‘Lionheart’, though would spend very little time in England during his reign.  Geoffrey would become Duke of Brittany through his marriage, from which he sired a son, Arthur, who was born after his death.  John would follow his brother Richard to the throne, and go on to be remembered for his slaughter of his young nephew Arthur (to clear John’s path to the crown) and his reputation as a bad king, leading to Magna Carta.

Henry also had three daughters by his Queen, Matilda, who would become Duchess of Saxony, Eleanor, who would become Queen of Castille and Joan, who would become Queen of Sicilly.

His reign was not an easy one, he spent much of it fighting battles across france and England, even invading Ireland, to provide land for his favourite son, John.

My favourite story of Henry’s life is his affair with Rosamund Clifford.  She is said to have been the love of his life.  Tradition, or legend, says that he created a maze at his castle at Woodstock with a cottage for fair Rosamund hidden at the centre.  He would visit her there, to hide his affair from his Queen.

She was said to have borne him children, though this has no evidence behind it.  A legend that she was murdered by Eleanor is also purely fictional.  She would die in a nunnery in 1176, traditionally said to have happened on the 6th July, the exact date that Henry II would die, 13 years later.

Perhaps one day I will write a story of fair Rosamund, giving up her future for the love of her life, to be holed up in a cottage amidst a maze, visited by him only occasionally, then to die in a nunnery, abandoned by lover and family.  Yes there is definately a story in that……….