Sounding the Trumpet

I don’t often review books to which I’ve contributed, but this week, I’m going to make an exception and do a bit of trumpet blowing. During the last couple of weeks, the post has brought, inter alia, two complimentary copies of titles with which I was associated to varying degrees. The first is of the National […]

Soldier No More

I’ve been largely maintaining ‘radio silence’ on both the blogging and social media fronts for the last few weeks. This is due to a combination of factors: wanting to concentrate on finishing my new Tudor naval novel (hunky dory, since you ask); what Harold Macmillan might have termed ‘domestics, dear boy, domestics’ (although in his […]

Art

Time for some culture, although I can’t help thinking of a quote I first came across when teaching Mussolini’s Italy to schoolchildren some 30 years ago: ‘when I hear the word “culture”, I reach for my gun,’ said, yes, Mussolini’s Minister of Culture. Seriously, though, this is a particularly good time to be a lover […]

“One Year of the Sea! There’s Only One Year of the Sea!”

A version of this post would have been my first of the year, and would have been published some weeks ago, had not more pressing matters intervened. *** So it’s 2018, the Wales Year of the Sea. Or so the marketing gurus who came up with the concept tell us. Now, those of us who […]

Merry Christmas from the Restoration Navy!

A festive re-post from the very first Christmas of this blog, namely 2012… *** Henry Teonge, a Warwickshire clergyman, was fifty-five when he first went to sea as a naval chaplain, presumably forced into the job by the extent of his debts. In 1675 he joined the Fourth Rate Assistance, commanded by William Houlding, which […]

Dead Admirals Society Dons a Kilt

Apologies for the ‘radio silence’ last week. Regular followers of this blog will know that I sometimes take myself off to Landmark Trust cottages to brainstorm new novels or just to chill, and I spent last week at the tiny but perfectly formed Glenmalloch Lodge in Galloway. The upside of this was that even by […]

Dead Admirals Society Goes Danish

In last week’s two posts, I talked about the lovely Swedish city of Karlskrona, and the international conference on dockyards that I attended there. I bookended the trip with stays in Copenhagen, which I’d never visited before – a shocking admission, especially as my grandfather was there as long ago as 1965, arranging the deal […]

Don’t Mention the Cold War, Part 2

In this week’s first post, I gave my impressions of the dockyard town of Karlskrona and its terrific naval museum. Now on to the reason why I was there, an international conference on International Approaches to Naval Cities and Dockyards, held in the museum. From the moment it started, it was clear there was a […]

Don’t Mention the Cold War, Part 1

Last week, I was in Karlskrona, Sweden, attending and speaking at a conference on dockyards and port cities organised by the Swedish Naval Museum. It was my first ever visit to the town, and shamefully, that’s also true of Copenhagen, where I stopped over en route in both directions. So this week, there’s two for […]

Scandinavia or Bust

A quick post this week, as I’m busy tidying up loose ends and packing before heading off to Scandinavia! I’m speaking at a conference in the Swedish Naval Museum, Karlskrona, and am ‘bookending’ the trip with overnight stays in Copenhagen, which I’ve never actually visited before. (There’s a possibility that I might never visit it […]