“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 […]

Maritime Nation(s)?

Just over a week ago, I attended the annual conference of MOROL, the Institute of Welsh Maritime Historical Studies. This took place in the somewhat unlikely setting of Trinity St David’s University College at Lampeter. Now, Lampeter is a very nice town, but one thing it most certainly isn’t is ‘maritime’ – it’s not quite […]

The Joy of Myth

It’s a refreshing change to come up for air after the intensity of all the Carmarthenshire Archives posts, and to actually blog about something else: something more like the normal fare of this particular website, in fact! (No doubt many of you will be breathing a similar sigh of relief…) I’m currently heavily engaged in […]

Launching the Dragon

You are in an oak-panelled library, or, perhaps, a fine old bookshop, full of musty antiquarian tomes. All around you is a hubbub of lively, erudite conversation. You’ve tried to play ‘spot the celebrity’, but there are just too many – Huw over there, Jeremy in the corner talking to Melvyn and Polly. You sip […]

The Proof of Sod’s Law; or, the Curse of the Killer VIPI

People sometimes ask me which I prefer writing, fiction or non-fiction. I love doing both, and both have their pros and cons, but one of the biggest differences between the two genres is that with fiction, of course, you don’t usually forget to put things into the book. Sure, you might deliberately cut a sub-plot […]

The End

It’s good to be back after a two week break, although ‘break’ is probably the wrong word – most of that time having been spent frantically finishing off Britannia’s Dragon, which has now gone off to the publisher! This is my fourth non-fiction historical book, so I think I’m now probably qualified to pass on some of […]

The Sailors’ (and Soldiers’) Graves

Last week’s post about naval and maritime graves in west Wales got a very positive response, so I thought I’d return to a similar theme this time. I spent the second half of last week further north, on the shores of Cardigan Bay, dodging torrential downpours, visiting a few places of naval interest (both expected […]

The Comfort Zone

One of the challenges and delights of working on my new non-fiction book, Britannia’s Dragon: A Naval History of Wales, is that it’s taking me into all sorts of uncharted territory and, in some cases, territory I’m revisiting after many years. The book is meant to cover the entire time period from the Romans (AD 60, to […]

Coast of Ages

I spent the whole of last week on a Britannia’s Dragon research trip in north-west Wales. Coming originally from the south-west of the country, where it’s far easier and quicker to get to London than to the north, I knew Anglesey and Snowdonia quite well but didn’t really know the Llyn Peninsula, and this proved […]

Aristocrats

When this post goes ‘live’ I’ll actually be beavering away in the search room of Anglesey Archives in Llangefni, where I hope to obtain some useful material for Britannia’s Dragon. I’ll report back on my North Wales research trip next week, but in the meantime I thought I’d explore a theme that connects my current […]