Sorry, What Did You Say Your Name Was Again? Any Relation of Robert Wagner?

I was going to post the third and final part of ‘An American Abroad’ this week, but then stumbled across something so weird that it set me off on a different train of thought. Don’t worry, though, my relative John D Lewis’s bemused take on early 1950s Britain will return next week (unless something more […]

An American Abroad, Part 2

Another extract from the journal of my grandmother’s cousin, Ohio businessman John D Lewis, during his extended visit to the UK in May and June 1952. He’s now moved on to Birmingham, where he spends one night at the Midland Hotel and two at the Grand. But the weather is a lot cooler than he […]

An American Abroad, Part 1

Among the items I’ve recently inherited from my mother is a typewritten journal of a visit to Britain in May and June 1952 by my grandmother’s cousin, John D Lewis, a businessman from Cleveland, Ohio, whose branch of the family emigrated to the US in the 1890s. It gives some fascinating insights into the time, […]

Weapons of Mass Destruction

I don’t usually comment on current events in this blog. For one thing, it’s a guaranteed way of losing half your readership; the phrase ‘agreeing to differ’ seems to be on the point of extinction in the English language, with plenty of people seeming to take offence at reading or hearing something that even mildly […]

FAQs

What’s happening with the Quinton series? Right, that’s a long story… Recently, e-book editions of the entire series, plus print-on-demand versions of the two most recent titles (The Rage of Fortune and The Devil Upon the Wave), have been published by Endeavour Press, who did a great job with them. But Endeavour has encountered ‘a little local […]

Not A Norse Saga

(With apologies to the real Norse sagas, especially the greatest of them all, that unmissable TV staple of my childhood, Noggin the Nog.)   Runes the First Harken, ye warriors, as you sit by your campfires in the long dark nights. It was a time of heroes. To those who considered them so, these were Kor-binn […]

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 […]

Unbereaveable

First, and most importantly, thanks to all those who sent condolences for the passing of my mother – your kind thoughts are very much appreciated. Secondly…well, yes, secondly. Any death is sad: that goes without saying. But, let’s face it, death has always been with us – along with taxes, if one believes the old […]

A Mother and A War

Apologies for the late start to blogging this year, and for my near-total absence from social media last month. This was due to the unexpected death of my mother a week after the New Year – ‘unexpected’ despite her being 92. Obviously, there have been a thousand things to do (I was her only child), […]