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), […]

The Sandwich of Xanadu

Last week, I went along to the Historical Writers’ Association Christmas bash. This is always great fun – it’s good to touch base with one’s fellow practitioners, especially because our line of work is, by definition, pretty solitary. Above all, it’s always reassuring to find that author A has exactly the same issues that you […]

Stasis Revisited: Part Two

So now, as promised in Monday’s Part 1, here’s my utterly personal and idiosyncratic ‘top five’ of UK secondhand bookshops. As in the previous post, everything in black font after the section break below is material originally posted five years ago, when I only produced a top three; everything in red is brand new, and […]

Stasis Revisited: Part One

Last week, I used my recent holiday in Galloway as a perfect excuse to update an older post about King Arthur, first published four years ago when this site had a much, much smaller following than it does now. This week, I’m doing a similar exercise with an even older post, from the very early […]

The Offpeak Day Return of the King

A bit of an oddity for this week’s second blog. (And anybody thinking ‘the blogger’s a bit of an oddity anyway’ is toast.) Last week’s trip to Galloway – see the previous post – provided me with lots of inspiration of all sorts, and, thanks primarily to Wigtown, also provided me with lots more books […]

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 […]

Societal Intercourse

I joined another society last week. Come to that, I stepped down from positions of responsibility at another, too, and the conjunction of the two events got me thinking about historical societies generally, and their roles in the modern world. I think I’m reasonably well qualified to comment on this, and to explore the challenges […]

Bang

I’ve come late to the whole thing about the BBC series Gunpowder. First and foremost, it’s good to see any primetime TV at all about the seventeenth century; and second and, umm, foremost, it’s even better to see primetime TV about the seventeenth century getting big audience figures and plenty of reaction from the critics and […]

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 […]