Tuesday, 21 August 2018

The Sealed Knot at Claydon House

I write all kinds of stuff on this blog. The stuff of my life. My books, short stories, my failures, my victories.

Well, this weekend about 2000 Sealed Knot re-enactors will be at the home of the Verney Family for the Sealed Knot's 50th Anniversary.

It's going to be a fabulous event, over 200 living history tents, the backdrop of the house - a real Sword Divided family. Father Ralph the Royalist Standard Bearer and son Ralph a member of Parliament. In between them, the women of the family, daughters, wives, aunts, grandmas.

The famous story of Sir Ralph the Standard Bearer, holding so tight to the King's standard that the only way to get it from him, even after death, was to cut his hand off. The ring on that hand was returned to the family, but Sir Ralph's body was never found. His ghost is said to haunt Edgehill battlefield looking for his lost hand.

Then there was the son, trying to keep the estate together as a Parliamentarian, while his father fought and died for the King.

The mysterious burnt arm portrait in the upper gallery. Look what they have done to us...

Daughter Mal's desperate pleas for help when she found herself with child in London. "Mend me or end me." She wrote to her brother.

I have researched the 17th Century for so many years now that if I were to meet any of these people in the flesh I would know them as friends. I know more about that time than the century I live in now.

I will be on the living history demonstrating the cures of a Goodwyfe, taking musket balls out of the wounded, and binding them with bandages. I will show how pox marks will be covered by ladies, soap of the day, antiseptics etc.

Here are some photos to get you in the mood for the weekend:

Quiet, peaceful, but the war is coming and no-one will escape.


Monday, 13 August 2018

Life...the Universe...and anything.

Today I watched a mother murder her child on YouTube. It was a Crime programme from the USA.
On Facebook I saw an eagle being pulled from the front grill of a car and released back into the world by a couple of kind Americans.
On Twitter I saw an Orca whale grieiving for her deceased baby.
Too much.
Too much pain.
Too much information.
Not enough Kindness.

Mostly I feel nothing. I don't want to feel like this. As a writer I should be motivated by the stories I see and hear.

We are bombarded by facts, figures, politics, cute kittens and dogs, murder, mayhem, etc.
Reams and reams of it.

Trump taking war into space with his "Space Force". What a moron, every day he wakes up he does something so unspeakably evil and hypocrytical, and lies through his false teeth.
He should be impeached, the only President who is a self confessed traitor.

Meanwhile, a woman whose only crime was to go to Iran to visit her parents has now been moved into a prison for political prisoners. She is being helped to live through this terrible time by the other inmates. Nazazin Zaghary Radcliffe's life is wasting away in this hell.

Why is it when we all pull together so that we can get where we're going faster - is it that some-one always cuts the rope?

My latest book is finished. It combines the stories of several women, trying to live through a war not of their making. Where the United Kingdom is being torn apart by two rival factions.
Sound familiar?

History repeats itself and yet no-one learns from it.

I try and look for the good, but it's getting harder to find. 

We are in Sodom and Gormorrah, at the moment. Self centred narcissistic sexually profligate, non binary, WTF?  

I think it was GK Chesterton who said that if man doesn't believe in God, he'll believe in anything. Seems to be true.

I believe there is goodness in the world, kindness, sense, happiness. We just need to get it back. 

I know there is more to this life than flesh and blood. I want men to stop making their own Gods. 

Here we go then  Norman Greenbaum - enjoy - God can be fun.  No I'm not really a Jesus Freak, as I said before in these blogs. I believe in everything. From Angels to the Loch Ness monster, but I think there's room for God as well.