Category Archives: Other stuff

Brexit- A Summary of the Current Position

You may or may not be aware that two minsters from  the British Government have resigned over the Brexit Crisis t08-is-this-whist-may-i-askThese are

David Davies (Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union)

Minister of the Crown

And Boris Johnson (Man What Occupied the Office of the Foreign Secretary, while they tried to find someone competent)

Boris Johnson

Nevertheless the Government has continued in its stalwart mission to find a constructive and intelligent solution

British Cabinet

Under the guidance Prime Minister Theresa May

Theresa May

The Brexiteers are of course upsetAngry Brexiteer(BEEEETRAYED!! ARRRGUH!!)

And us Remainers are somewhat insufferable

Smug Remainer

(Toldja)

For ordinary folk the situation is not helped by various commentators, pundits and supporters of all sides coming in with their own favoured explanations:

Confused person on Brexit (For a lucid and clear explanation as to how the British keep getting into these messes, suggested reading is History Vol II(a snip at 0.99p through Amazon Kindle)

The Official Opposition; The Labour Party continues to claim a co-ordinated and innovative approach:

Labour solution

frowning-puritan-CROPDespite a few disagreements.

Meanwhile the nation carries on……Social Graces

Towards a bright and glorious future

Britain after Brexit

Cheered by the thought it could be worseJerk

 

 

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A FaceBook Thing (Not THE FaceBook thing)…Rant Warning Gale Force

Well we all know about the FaceBook controversy, I mean in this Age of Social Media it’s one of those subjects which isn’t going to be missed.

Many people are closing their accounts or limiting their activity and their reasonings are understandable. No one likes to be pried on and having someone trying to use the information for questionable purposes.

Those reasons didn’t trouble me to much, not because of apathy, ignorance or because I think my senses are heightened to such any extent that I can detect any manipulations. No, it’s just that being so cussedly contrary and being of such a low social media profile….it’s…. ‘So what they going to do with the bits they have on me? Good luck with that dust people! And at 66 I’m so set in my ways like I’m ready to listen to anything I’ve not known about already?’ (that kind of cussedness, takes practice y’know).

At this juncture, yes we all sound off and we all write out our annoyances. But there’s limitations to expressing in our opinions, and if the other person comes in, well listen you never know what you’ll learn about them. And don’t hate them. Let’s keep a sense of proportion in this…..

No, the reason why I am cutting back my ‘FB’ to family alone comes from a different quarter, one where there is a toxicity, an absence of discourse and exchange of views. Where the ignorant and the bigoted reside, feeding off of each other’s fears, prejudices and self-congratulatory delusions. I alluded to this in a previous post. Now Here is a Thought About Writer’s Block (aka Log-Jam)

Anyways my new laptop was really cool with FB, enjoyed putting words down. Must be innocent, and my old one must have known something because it was never happy there, always claiming the connection had gone, taking one minute to type one letter and never navigating well, But you know it goes, something new, something different.

So there I was sifting along and amongst the various threads, sort of drawn towards those on the UK Remain side of the Brexit argument, putting in my pro-Remain six pennies worth, trying to avoid the folk who suggested Brexit folk should be rounded up and incarnated. Then on Friday and Saturday I chanced upon a thread which was doing a common theme railing that the BBC was pro-Brexit and a tool of the Government.

Yeah, we all reckon we all get mis-represented by someone or another don’t we? Someone doesn’t understand our side of the story. Tell me about it. 45 years working in the UK Civil Service, man. But these folk were taking their venom to a whole new level. And what did I do, I went in and said I wasn’t buying their line. It’s my opinion, right? The BBC is not perfect, it’s dumbed down some of its outlets, but it’s still as trustworthy as any. WELL, I could just as soon have suggested we have a ‘Let’s Beat Puppies To Death With Kittens’ week. It didn’t take more than two exchanges before I was:

A fascist.

Ignorant.

Not capable of having an intelligent debate.

A Putin Troll (can’t figure that one out……)

A click-baiter (what the frib’ is a click-baiter? More to the point do I care?)

That was not much really, I’d paid my dues on 9/11 sites being told I was a CIA shill and on religious ‘discussion’ (ha!) sites that I was an ignorant superstitious closed-minded fool for daring to believe in God. Yeh…yak-yak-yak.

No, the one which pulled me up short was the one who was complaining about the BBC not reporting a Remain March (gee that’s tough) but about news from America. So when I suggested the latest shootings were more important, they came back with the response that ‘The World (ie them) didn’t care about Americans killing Americans’. Imagine…. your march is more important than the death of a person, no words of regret or compassion. That is a very sour mind-set.

So I gave that person short-shrift over deaths in the USA and South Sudan (which the BBC reports from time to time), irritated another by telling them I had better things to do and some folks would love to hear the accusations then said ‘bye-bye’ (they hate that, they hate being treated frivolously, for they are so important and have such a BIG message).

I was FB done.

There’s other stuff I’ve come across, but you get the general gist.

The worse thing about it all is me being Far-Left you kind of get it into your head this sort of stuff comes from the Right-Wing. You grow up with the idea that The Left is Tolerant and Inclusive. Is educated and socially aware. Of course there are hot-heads, but everywhere you go you find those.  Sorry, all wrong. The Left can be just as bigoted and narrow-minded as any fringe Right-Group. And if there is one thing I am Intolerant over it is Intolerance.

And so thus, I no longer bother with FB, unless my wife who inhabits saner regions tells me about something she or my family have posted up.

And this is something I have dallied with over the past couple of years too, I am done with what used to be The Labour Party in the UK. If it cannot get its virulent parts under control or kicked out, then it’s not my scene anymore. What my grandson will make of that I do not know, he being a member, that’s going to be tricky next time we get talking politics.

I’ll just stick with being Catholic Christian(because that suits me), writing and breathing the fresh air of the Word Press. Because you folk have perspective, generosity and openness. You folk deal in realties and creativity. You folk, do things.

Ps….

As for the Brexit issue, right now ‘A Plague on Both Your Houses’.

Now, back to the book and posts about writing….

You folk. You rock!

Now Here is a Thought About Writer’s Block (aka Log-Jam)

Let’s be open about this. Being a writer is not easy.

There will now be a pause for readers’ varied reactions, the politest of which might be

YA DON’T SAY!!!

outrage1-620x350

 

Ok?

Right let’s carry on.

I hit this log-jam recently on Vol II of this fantasy project. Words just would not…. Not the usual problem of getting them from thoughts into intelligent or at least legible and semi-coherent statements on paper or screen. This was serious, a vague, fog across the fen lands of my mind, the characters and the motivations were out there but I could not get out to reach them and ask them what they had planned. This was a worry, after all when you go on record saying this work might be a trilogy or even a pentalogy, well you can’t just fade away after Vol I. It looks, sad. About to Rant

What was exacerbating the situation was I had these ‘bits’ of blog posts hanging about in one form or another which were nowhere nearing completion, and they and the book narrative were simply slopping about in allegorical stagnant water.

By happenstance the solution came along in the most curious of ways.

I’ll keep the actual details out, not wanting to turn this post into a platform for arguments over the subject matters, those are being rummaged over with glorious glee on FaceBook by those who like to rummage on FaceBook and compete in one of the many Who Is Most Outraged competitions which make it such a vibrant place (sarcasm).Daffy duck

Anyway suffice it to say two items on the news or social media. One new, another a very old saw which has been going on since frib’ knows how long….Now two of the arguments put forth really irritate me. You’ll just have to accept this statement and put yourself in a similar situation, in your own experience.

By another goodly happenstance I had come by a brand new efficient laptop, which enabled swift and efficient access to FaceBook. (Previous machine did not like typing directly onto social media, I’m sure I don’t know why !). So I weighed in putting in my objections in long balanced posts about reality and the quality of communication when stating one’s view OR using history as a foundation for why my view point made more sense. Then a few side-swipes at folk using obscenities. And telling those who hurled facile judgements like they were in food-fights that they’d lost the argument. These by the way were folk who in theory share the same political views as me….civil wars are always the bitterest.

Now once I had got those opinions off of the chest, and the lyrical flows were set free, well everything became easier! Firstly the blog posts popped up in swift succession and seeing them there made me feel a whole lot better. Nextly the fog lifted, the characters said ‘That where you’ve been is it! Get over here, have we got things to tell you!!’ and the book starts to rattle along.

Of course, in retrospect, all made sense. I had been annoyed with these FB warrior folk and their opinions for ages and I had not cleared my head of the simmering thoughts. There was no intention of winning an argument. No one wins anything on Social Media,Andronicus1_2572537b I just wanted to bust into these little self-congratulatory groups and scare the horses a bit. Done. And I am feeling better….muttley_laughing_by_sektor8bit-d7fv6shThey had it coming.

The morale dear reader? If the words are not reaching daylight, maybe there is something outside of your book/story/poem which is getting in the way. I would not go so far as to suggest you fire off polemics at the nearest target or throw well passed use-by-date sticky buns at people or buildings which cause offense. Nor would I advise taking a picture or model of whatever distresses you and jumping up and down on it, neighbours notice things like that. Anyway whatever ‘it’ is, such treatments may not be applicable. Suffice to say ponder on the possible exterior reasons for the log-jam, then mull over any ways you might rectify the business, even this exercise may kick-start the writing.

Just a thought.

PS…..

This is the First Vol of the fantasy project; it’s on Kindle.

Patchwork

Of Patchwork Warriors….. By R J Llewellyn

This is me marketing.

Social Graces

Sad isn’t it?

My giggling as I write this part is not appropriate, I really must get Mature Me Marketing, some day.

Interludes with Cortana

An Interlude on Stage

Sleeping Beauty. One Foot Soldier’s Account (A Tale in II Parts)

Sleeping Beauty. The Foot-Soldiers’ Side (All Tale in II Parts) (Part II)

 

 

Sleeping Beauty. The Foot-Soldiers’ Side (All Tale in II Parts) (Part II)

Hey, not a bad watering hole this. Nice to have ale which tastes like before it’s been drunk and not afterwards…..

Now, back to the story.

Maleficent doesn’t see why she should go tracing around for the kid, I mean a curse is a curse right? She goes over a border, her sights on another of those widowed kings, I mean what do they do to their poor wives? Maleficent gets her hooks in and in a year he’s dead! Yep! NO doubt abut it, screwed him to death! Wadda way to go uh? But he’s got this teenage daughter, and like all of ‘em at that age she’s get spikey. Next thing you know she’s slipped the castle and shacked up with seven guys running an illegal mining operation. No wonder Maleficent tried to have the little monster put down! The story gets messy after that, some young noble getting involved, the kid nearly chokes on something…what I don’t care to know. But that was they’re problem.

Now there’s us. Fifteen years of putting down spinning wheel riots, hunting out Conspiracy Kooks who claim the kid is actually a boy half-elf and the king an’t his dad, and border patrol for smugglers AND the next door kingdom.

Next door? Yeh, well y’know how it goes, any instability and your neighbours are leaning over the fence. Kingdom to the east, that guy, he’s sharp. He’s heard things an’t so good back in Our royal boudoir, that the king is elsewhere looking for his royal happy-times. He knows he can’t take us on in a full-out invasion, so he nudges a bit. We’re on to him. He’s send these regular large patrols out, we ‘bump’ into them. And it always goes;

‘Hey you guys’ we say, ‘How ya doin?’

‘Ahhnn, not so bad. How’s yerselves?’

‘OK. Say, do ya know you’re on our side of the border?’

And they go, like

‘No shit?

And the corporal…it was always the corporal, he says

‘See sarge. I toldya that map wuz out of date,’

And their sarge says to our sarge.

‘Gee sorry ‘bout that guys. Ah, we’ll be on our way. Some weather uh?’

Then we report back and they report back and the officers report up the line that they doin’ all that is necessary and everyone is happy. As the years rolled on and I stuck with it I moved up corporal to sergeant and we’d play the game back to them. When we sneak over to see what they were up to and encounters happened I’d open my arms an’ go.

‘Aww heck boys! I’m sorry. It’s our l’tenant. He’s the biggest asshole ever! I told him this way was the border, but he says in his squeaky voice ‘No sur-jent! I have the latest map! Now obey your orders.’ Do you see him here? I mean Honest-To-Stars! He could no more find his way around a map that he could a brothel!’

Yeh, you had to get some fun somewhere.

An’ let me tell you if we’d been patrolling that forest where the old biddies had kept the princess none of what I’m about to tell you would have happened. But that’s what you get when a king kits out a bunch of youngest sons of second-class nobles and call ‘em the LifeGuard. It was only a money-scheme anyway!  Them having to pay for their outfits and ‘special’ training. Then wander about in groups of five making enough noise than even a deaf man could hear them! No surprise then, when next door nation gets into that forest. Led by none other than the heir to their throne himself. What was he doing there? Who knows? Maybe the kid was bored sitting at home, maybe he was running his own side-line in the smuggling racket? Maybe he’d got intel on who was in the forest. Anyways he finds her, she apparently being a girl who likes to sing, loudly.

And that’s just what we reckoned happened! Him being royal and young, just like a buck rabbit on aphrodisiacs! And she not knowing much about men. Dunno what it’s like up here, but down there, they got laws about girls under sixteen! Uh-uh. Must have been something to it because next thing we know she’s being scooted back to the palace, and an entire regiment put on guard around it. LifeGuard? Huh! They got theirs! Sent on patrol duty in one of the stinkest swamps you smelt, sewer outlet for a nearby town.

Now there’s a lot of toing and froing between kingdoms and a wedding is being put together pretty dam’ quickly, if you ask me. Some meeting between Aurora and her parents that must have been! Of course, we were up north at the time, chasing…yep you guessed it right…spinning wheel smugglers! Then check the irony, while we’re up there, the kid is nosing about the castle ‘cas it’s her first time, and wouldja believe it? She finds one dam wheel! Can you believe that after fifteen years of us poor dogs smashing and burning ‘em , some winner in the village-idiot contest five years running has left one in the castle. And, yeh the kid stuck her finger on the needle, ya saw that comin’ didn’t ya?

Well the curse kicks in and it is a doozey!

Not only does she fall asleep but so do the whole dam’ castle staff and her folks. Not just that but a big mess of thorns grow up around the place, scattering that regiment all over the place, them that were awake that is!

King Next Door makes his move! Says everyone needs to be rescued and over the border he comes with troops to help us, naturally his son is there, all noble and upright to save his bride! For solidarity show we get called back and we all trudge off the scene of the crime.

Man! And those were no regular thorn bushes like the ones veterans throw bare-naked recruits into to harden them up. These were like branch thick and castle high with thorns that would double as swords. The lad must have really had the hots for the girl, for he’s off his horse and calling for us all to join him in hacking his way through. And us and his troops are looking at each other and sharing ‘What’s with this lad! Do we look like we’re combat engineers? Do you see any siege weaponry here?’. No use trying to complain to royalty though… Yeh you got that right!…And we had to hack and dig. Chop and cut. Seven days and half the army down with sprains, cuts and hay fever and only five feet in. Someone has a bright idea and has sent for some of those new-fangled cannons to blast our way through.

With the curse going off, it’s bound to attract Maleficent. Must have got fed up of that step-daughter and the eight-in-a-bed scandal. She flies in smooth as a hawk and stand all haughty and grand demanding everyone to back off, because a curse is a curse! Us lot, it’s not the kind of thing we’re paid for right? Even the officers are a bit leery. Sonny, though he notices his father looking Maleficent up and down. The lad must have brains, no doubt reckons with her as step-mother his chances of getting hitched to Aurora and his own throne are slim no thing! The boy ups at her with his fancy sword and get this! She turns into a dragon! Wings, fire! The whole deal!

The king. He’s backing off, hiding up and half his army ready to protect him. You got it! There’s always some ready to get back to the rear area out of the front line. MY squad and me, we get stuck at the front, and we’re ducking, dodging and diving, flames, flying thorns, you name it! The lad and some of his buddies go for the dragon, y’ know what nobles are like. No surprise, a few get barbecued. The lad is carrying some good hardware though, his shield is beating off the flames. Right then up rolls one of those cannons, while the witch an’t looking, the crew get a shot off and..pow! Right where we’d be looking if she were a woman and down she goes. Of course, the lad gets his sword in her neck so as he can claim credit and since he’s about that business a lot of us pile in with our own steel and hack off a few souvenirs to impress the yokels.

Since she’s dead the curse goes and all the thorns fall away. Off goes the prince, up the castle steps, finds Aurora gives her a magic kiss or something and she wakes up, then so does everyone else. If you ask me the lad knew too much about the business!

With all the fuss dying down and everyone active again and the girl past her sixteenth there’s a wedding. In just about nine months, there’s a little Aurora! Yeh! We reckoned we wuz right all along. The kicker is though, her old man. He dies in a riding accident, or so it’s said. And his widow swift to be consoled by her daughter’s father-in-law and they are wed and the two kingdoms joined! An’t that neat?

The three old biddies? There was scandal about security and upbringing, the Church got involved and they had to flee the kingdom. Spinning wheels were allowed again, and suddenly there’s no need for so many soldiers they say, peace and happiness ever after, they say. And no severance pay, only some crappy bits of land and a few skinny hogs! I ask ya!

So here I am? Whadda ya reckon sarge? Sign on sure! What’s the deal around here? Uh-uh. Security sweep, hunt and search. Yeh-yeh. Your prince is looking for one girl. Don’t they all. He met her at a ball…..Oh that kinda ball! She was wearing glass shoes, then lost one? And last seen riding off on a…pumpkin? You did do a narcotics sweep of the guests did you??….Just the usual sunk-drunk…Hmm…..

I tell ya what there sarge. You tell your officers we gotta look out for three old biddies…they’ll have the dope of this for sure!

Sleeping Beauty. One Foot Soldier’s Account (A Tale in II Parts)

Interludes with Cortana

So, new Dell laptop. Fearlessly and without the aid of any children or grandchildren I switched it on, and at once was assailed by this maiden of loud cheery voice who informed me her name was Cortana and could she assist me. She was astute enough to suggest I might want not to have her talking to me, and that was ok by her, which was fine by me, cheery voices are not required when setting up a new computer, not in this house anyhows.

Now all was well, save for trying convince McAfee I have a two year subscription in force and not their tweedly 28 day free one…I sense phone calls are in order, never much fun when contacting computer helplines, no matter how much info you have prepared for the call someone always manage to find some obscure question to ask you.

Well, truth be known that WAS my only problem. I have a new one; this lady Cortana. She has taken to asking me odd questions. I was about to check something  and Type Search when the following announcement appeared:

Remind me at Saturday 6pm

Convert 172 inches into centimetres.

This troubled me greatly. In the first instance I could not recall having put aside any time at 6pm on the coming Saturday for anything whatsoever, it was a possible blank piece of the day for me to do so as I wished. Then there was this question of converting 172 inches into centimetres. Why should anyone should think I wish to know how many centimetres are equivalent to 14 feet 4 inches was beyond me, there seemed no possible use to the business to my mind. Admittedly if you are one of those people who concern themselves over quantities of the consumption a particular species of edible fish and wished to demonstrate this in terms of length there might be some use. But for myself it was a random subject of no interest.

By good fortune though other domestic matters took my attention, such as trying get my other computer out of its state of complete cantankerous faux-collapse. As the fiendish device had been foiling my attempts at productive work for weeks and I now had a more sober and responsible machine, this task I set about with a cavalier attitude and the craven thing sank into meek submission.

Feeling quite superior, I went to checking with my new model and found Cortana was now advising me

My groceries are arriving

Flight BA 196

At this stage it was obvious the young lady was getting quite giddy in her attempts to be helpful. If she had troubled to consult a Google map or whatever else, she would have noticed the nearest supermarket of note is but three miles from our house and does not have a runway. This however did not occur to her for in her excitement she had now imagined a stalwart pilot had manoeuvred their craft into a 90 degree climb to be over our home, at which point bold members of the crew would be deploying parachuted goods to land all over our street. As I had not been consulted over the order, goodness what Cortana assumed would arrive. Happily the air space above our home was only intruded into by one light aircraft about its own business.

It now remains to be seen just what the lady will have believed to be of import to me, there are obviously a myriad of possibilities, and to suggest one might seem rude and spoil her fun.

Once the initial shock is over, the best strategy is to accept these little eccentricities for what they are.

Let The Words Flow….

Firstly, ‘ware those if you are going to spout hatred against people because of their race, religion or social grouping while using use lies, distortions, and hysterical venom. If you are intending to waste precious space and resources on such sinful behaviour and hide behind the tawdry excuse of Freedom of Expression, you are a menace and a fool. You will also be on the receiving end of such treatment. For you have no right to pronounce your filth. 

However, for you dwell in the myriad shades light, then if you wish of course you should write, just whatsoever you have in mind (in spirit and heart). You are entitled to let your imagination flow out onto paper or cyber and no one has any business stopping you.

There used to be this lazy saying masking as wit which went ‘Everyone has a book inside of them. And in most cases, that’s where it should stay,’. This was never about the moral content (see above), this was always about ‘style’. So who appointed anyone the Supreme Arbiter of ‘style’? Yes, I admit there are many books I personally wish had never seen the light of day…however for my one opinion there are many others who say ‘yes’, therefore personal taste of style should not be the judge of anyone’s work.

Of course, nothing which flows out of your pen or keyboard in the first flush of inspiration is going to be the final draft. The world of writing does not work in this fairy tale way. There are revisions for continuity, punctuation, grammar, even for pace. Parts may have to be taken out because at the end of the day they detract from the main theme. You will at some stage seek for outside opinions; take it from me writing in a bubble just does not work, I cannot stress this hard enough, you are reading the words of one who worked thusways for twenty years; being partially delusional at the time had something to do with that strange path. You may even seek out a professional editor. All part of the writing process.

My opinion is never to think too hard about the motivation, on being inside of the characters. In the first instance let the words flow out, even if you know they may be less than final perfect. The important part at this stage is to finish your first draft; there is plenty of time and opportunity to work on self-editing, honing polishing; entire chapters may be re-worked even scythed in the re-working stage. Quite a normal procedure.

There are many good and valuable blogs out there with advice on how to perfect your style, how to go about seeking help and guidance. You will find many as well who can assist on the path of submission, agents, publishing organisations etc. There are many who will guide you through self-publication. Sadly, I am of no help to you here for being a ragged, insolent and rebellious sort when it comes to publication, being more interested in putting work out there than anything else my choice in Amazon Kindle, and so be it. There is much hard work to be done on my marketing skills.

The important facet of this post, which cannot be stressed enough is when bearing in mind the opening paragraph I urge you to write for the initial joy of freeing your muse out into the winds, to soar, glide, dive, skim, bank and soar again. Be above the clouds and worry not where the journey will take you. You have every right.

‘Of Patchwork Warriors’- The 2nd Launch!

Book Cover 9

Firstly, the …errr….First Edition sold some copies. And despite what I thought was a thorough self-editing process was so full of typos, bad grammar & other stuff that didn’t work I was somewhat horrified. Thus I set to….errrr…to put it right (write?). And so the 2nd Edition now digitally sits in Amazon’s Kindle Store. With my very own ‘garage-approach-cover

Because some folk purchased a flawed copy, I’m putting this edition out on a free promotion from Friday 12th January to Sunday 14th January. So, to those out there with their flawed copy- please get yourself a free copy. Anyone else you can join in too. (It’ll be 0.99p or $0.99 from Monday 15th onwards). In a perfect world I would know everyone who purchased a copy and e-mail them a pdf, but I realise folk might not want to hand out e-mail addresses, etc. So it’s a bit of a ‘fudge’ as we say in the UK.

Anyways, for those of you who have not come across this book.

‘Of Patchwork Warriors’ is a fantasy work with heavy sf overtones (or undertones- decide for yourself). When comparing it with many fantasy works it is Fantasy-Lite, an easy-going (sort of) work charting the adventures of three young women pushed together by a powerful force. They face quirks of Nature, monsters, evil folk, crooked folk, grim sincere folk, well-meaning but inept explorers ‘bastions’ of the Empire seeking stability and of course each other. There are fights with sufficient blood & gore. There are discourses of varying sorts, one being long and technical just to prove what goes through some folks’ minds. Intrigues, badly thought out schemes, cunning strategies, half-baked ideas and hope-for-the-best actions abound. Humour is on the bawdy side, although satire and parody take place. Romance and scenes of an adult nature occur. Swearing is covered by mostly made-up words. Overall it is hoped the word ‘fun’ permeates the reading. The first drafts were hard work; the later ones and the editing were actually ‘fun’

Shameless Plug warning35fe5d2718a60f4046d53bdc1e2bd495

…. If you’ve never read fantasy or sf, or read one and not the other. You could start here.

And it’s Part I of a trilogy or more…no sure yet.

Thanks to Audrey for a generous review and Sha’ Tara for hounding me over errors

OK,

en_greekphilosophersI’m done……

Martin Luther, The Reformation and Why Not?

The common and popular media would have you believe that 500 hundred years ago today Martin Luther invented the Reformation. Naturally being the common and popular media this is somewhat inaccurate. As a dedicated and serious historian (See “A True History of These Isles Vol. 1 (Prehistory to 1216 CE-ish)”, available on Amazon Kindle $0.99/£0.99- terms and conditions apply) it therefore falls upon myself to ensure the correct application of facts and a fair interpretation of both Luther and the events.

Luther’s Early Life

Martin Luther was born 10th Nov 1483in Saxony into an industrious family; he had several siblings. His father insisted he become a lawyer. He seems to have had a typical education as he referred to his time in school as being both ‘purgatory and hell’, while his university (at Erfurt) was a ‘beer and whorehouse’. Despite this he received a Master’s Degree in 1505. As his father was still stuck on the idea of his son being a lawyer Martin Luther was sent back to Erfurt to study just the law. He didn’t like it and felt there was more to Life, so took to philosophy, but on encountering Reason and Logic felt he might be slipping back into Law. He concluded the only way to be worthwhile and content was to encounter God

A Dramatic Event

On the 2nd Jul 1505, or so the records state, while walking in a field or riding on a road, he was struck by lightning, but survived. Not wishing to have that such a close encounter with God, as yet, weary of people inferring there were many other reasons why a student would be lying confused in a field and also not wishing to risk a repeat experience he became a monk.

How Things Were Done

At this time a large portion of Central Europe was supposed to be ruled by The Holy Roman Emperor. As was the custom of the time he divided his time between fighting the French while arguing with any pope as to who had the final say in things. In the meantime various princes, dukes, counts etc fought or sued each other, while suppressing peasants who rebelled or worse took the nobles to the courts. It was a good time for mercenaries and lawyers (Be fair, you can see Luther Snr’s point of view).

Luther in Conflict with The Church  

At this time the Church had become very indulgent by making a rule which said you could do what you liked as long as you said you were sorry and paid a large amount of money to the Church. Luther thought this unfair upon the poor people and showed his displeasure by writing a version of the Bible in a very common language called The Vernacular while in 1517 (31st Oct) also by nailing to the door of a church a work of nine-five reasons why he was right. The Church authorities acted swiftly.

In 1521 he was summoned to a church court. Here, he defended his case with great eloquence for three or five days and then confused everyone by saying he had nothing to say and was going to stand there. Despite this clever and dramatic move The Church authorities said Luther was incorrect and thus an hysteric. They then condemned him to the terrible punishment of a Diet of Worms.

The Peasant’s Official Revolt

Because Luther had been saying the Church was too wealthy and not Religious enough he had gathered a following. On hearing the news of the cruel sentence passed on him The Poor People were so outraged by this vile treatment that they rose in official rebellion (instead of their normal rowdy behavior). This started in 1524, a peasants’ council was formed and in was agreed to upgrade the rebellion into a war. This ended in 1525, because the authorities could massacre better than peasants could massacre large armies.

The peasants however were good at wrecking churches, monasteries, and being not educated also libraries. Luther was disgusted with this and told them they should concentrate on praying, being rude to bishops and but listen to their rulers.

This was well-received by many of the nobility.

Luther’s Private Life

During this turbulent time people were daring to think the unthinkable. This can be typified by the case of twelve nuns at a convent in Brehna, Saxony who were fed up of being nuns. On hearing of this Luther in a spirit of gallant manliness smuggled them out in herring barrels on the 4th April 1523. The Church authorities may have thought something fishy was going on but possibly shrewdly deduced he’d end up in a pickle. He and one nun Katharina von Bora did however fall in love and marry, thus allowing all clergy to marry. When Katharina found out he’d been living on hard bread and sleeping in a mildewed bed (or maybe the other way around) she soon sorted him out, Luther learning the great value of the phrase ‘Yes Dear’

Luther and The Reformation    

Several bishops and affiliated lesser nobility had tried to have Luther massacred but more sympathetic nobles kept hiding him. When the authorities realised he wasn’t arguing with them, but only the bishops and rowdy peasants it became safe for him to come out of hiding. The first thing he had to do was to tell people to stop listening to people who were not reading The Bible but just having visions as you never knew where they’d got those visons from. He wisely then set up his own church to ensure more Bible reading and singing of hymns.

In Later Years

Luther had a family, his own church and a reformation, however in later years he also suffered with many types of ill-health which made him short-tempered, and sadly not amusingly irascible but down right unpleasantly rude. Being a typical man when admonished by his wife on this score he blamed someone else. This included in particular The Jews, which was very unfair because he was supposed to have read the Bible and it didn’t need much of an excuse for the population to pick on Jews. This outlook of his may have led to a case of Terminal Stupidity as he died in 1546. Normal and balanced people do not subscribe to these later views and wish he’d just to stuck more wholesome pastimes in his retirement such as tending to a garden or annoying bishops.

Luther’s Legacy

It can be argued that because of Luther there are a lot more ways of being Christian than there used to be. As long as people don’t hurl insults or objects at each other over the matter then this is no bad thing.

Foot-Note

The author wishes it to be known this article is originally based on a post of some two years ago (Whimsicalities Anyone?) which is so full of inaccuracies and incorrect assumptions that is has been fully overhauled.

For more interesting views on matters historical readers may (or may not) wish to consider investing in a copy of  51vnj7ZqupL__SY346_

 

 

Available on Kindle (normal terms and conditions apply)

 

 

A True History of The Isles Vol.II Chap 11- The Scottish Way of Managing Things

Forewarned

As previous chapters have covered much of the activities of the Scots and how they upset or distracted the kings and northern nobility of England, there will be some brevity hereabouts

Initial Overview

In the previous volume it was annotated, recorded and generally written about, over the long history of these Isles the folk who lived in the part we call Scotland were wont to march south to raid, enslave, loot or conquer folk in places we now call Northern England. If we go even farther back to about half way through Volume I they did the same to those who were what we would call Welsh, only they were Britons and lived in a place called Strathclyde. Being a fair-minded folk The Scots of the lowlands of Scotland did the same to those who lived in the Highlands or the Islands (as opposed to Ireland, which is another matter). Thus, the Scots in general were a busy and industrious folk who when they had no particularly serious issue with outsides (or Highlanders or Islanders) fought amongst themselves for land, heritage and if they were ambitious enough the Scots throne.

The Perceived Wisdom of the Scots of the Middle Ages

It was an acknowledged fact of Scottish politics that no matter what had been done by whom and when, if the fighting involved the English (or to be precise the Norman Kings and nobles), at least one side was fighting for Scottish Independence, even if they had started it by invading England. As we will see this was used to good effect.

The problem facing those who survived long enough to be a king of Scotland was the number of other folk who wanted to be king and kept on asking some of those Norman lords (aka English) to the south if they could lend them a retinue to bolster the campaign. This became very irritating and Alexander III last of the Dunkeld had some very strong words with Edward I but did not invade, preferring to visit nuns, widows, virgins and in fact any women and as recorded previously died 1286 in a hurry to meet his new bride.

The Rise of The Bruces

Not happy with the other twelve or fifty candidates for the throne or people asking what an English king thought about it, The Bruce family acted. The Bruces from 1306 started by killing John III of Comyn who was Scots but might have wanted to be English

As John had been killed in a church Robert Bruce was quick to say this was only done to protect Scotland from being taken over by the English. In the confusion he then said that all his wars were against the Kings of England and various rouges bought by English Gold and so everything was a war of Independence which gave him the rite to invade not just England but Ireland as well. This worked quite well in Scotland but as noted previously did not do so well for Robert’s brother Edward who died of unconvinced Irish. Robert however defeated the English and their Norman kings, nobles etc at Bannockburn in 1324 on the 23rd June. A peace treaty was signed in which it was clearly stated that only scots nobles could massacre other scots nobles but that Robert could not be held responsible for cattle raiders. He then ruled Scotland but made a hobby of acquiring various ailments and so died in 1329, but the pope at the time said Robert could be buried, so all ended well.

A Time of Turbulence and Then Stability and then Not So Much

Because there was no Son The Bruce, matters were somewhat tempestuous between 1329 & 1356 when David (The II and a Bruce) and Edward (Not a Norman one but a Balliol) disputed who should be king. A lot of time was wasted with small battles, one king escaping from or imprisoning the other until Edward noticed no one was supporting him anymore and he retired.

With all this practice David (The II and no one arguing about it) set to massacring or just punishing disagreeable nobles and inventing a Treasury by which means he was able to prove that Scotland was very wealthy. Thus ahead of the game he cannily died in 1371.

Regrettably there was no David to be the III, so a nephew named Robert but who was really A Stewart was crowned The II. England and France at the time were having peace talks and Robert (The II) wanted to join in. This did not go well with his sons or other nobles and he spent the rest of his life losing his throne to various claimants until 1390 when he expired of coups.

In this unhappy situation Robert (the II)’s son, John said it was in order that he should now be king, because he had had experience at trying to depose David II and/or Edward and also rebel against his father. Although he convinced the Scots parliament to allow him to be called Robert and thus be The III, the nobles were not convinced. Considering some of these had splendid names such as Black Douglas, Red Douglas (possibly an early socialist) or Archibald The Grim it is easy to see why. He was also blamed for failing the pacify the west and north of Scotland where folk were wont Gaelic and opposed to Scots. It is likely he would have been deposed or slewed but for the king of England being Richard The II, The Hopeless and The Deposed. This allowed the nobles in the south of Scotland to raid, pillage, slaughter etc the north of England and not really care who might call themselves King of Scotland. He was to eventually die in 1406 0f ill-health possibly bought on by a series of Douglases.

The Church in Scotland    

Whereas the Scots had been properly Christian, they had to put up with the Archbishop of York telling them what to do. What with Scottish nobles raiding across the border this was not always an effective means of religious leadership. The Papacy in 1192 attempted to sort this out by telling Scottish bishops they didn’t have to speak to the Archbishop of York anymore. Regrettably due to a clerical oversight no Scots’ Archbishop was appointed even though the Scots’ church was titled Ecclesia Scoticana which sounded very important. For some obscure reason they were known as The Special Daughter of Rome even though they were more than one and naturally men. Thus, somewhat confused and not a little depressed the church in Scotland generally restricted itself to religious matters.

The Scottish Parliamentary Experience  

As was fashionable in parts of Europe various knights, local important un-nobles and folk with money felt the nobles were having far too much say in the running of things and so grumbled together. Kings liking the idea of having folk who were not nobles around the place allowed them to form parliaments. The idea unravelled a bit when these folk stopped just talking and gained powers.

In Scotland to avoid the attentions of nobles disagreeable or otherwise, these used never to meet in the same place but in various towns, then tell the king what they thought of things. By deft manoeuvring they even managed to gain some powers of taxation and telling the king what his name should be (See Robert III).

Unlike later commoners (see Oliver Cromwell) they were never able to gain an army and so their role was often marginal.

Clans

In the not uncommon circumstance of the various Middle Ages there was no shortage of folk to fight, the Scots very cannily invented the Clan. This was based around the family of a chief. However not only his family, but followers etc could join and all use the same name. This made raids, squabbles and wars a much neater affair as everyone knew which side they were on. Something not always shared in England and Ireland (Wales being in a bit of a sulk). Because the ordinary person gave loyalty to the Clan they did not have to listen to The King. Whereas this seemed a smidge democratic it meant that kings of Scotland developed aggressive tendencies, or went into a sulk neither of which boded well for stable or healthy long-term government. However, as the Clans survive to this day, theirs, it must be argued, was the better arrangement.

France

Because English Kings felt obliged, for many reasons, to fight both Scotland and France it was understandable the latter two should form an alliance. In Scotland, this was called The Auld Alliance, and to ensure everyone Scottish knew who was who The English were titled The Auld Enemy. This arrangement allowed the French and Scots to be very sentimental about each other and when it suited kings of either nation they could join with the other in wars with England without footling about with new treaties.

Conclusion of The 14th Century.

Although far from united, The Scots were able to maintain the argument that whatever they did was to ensure they remained independent from England. This enabled Scottish History to be Romantic so more socially attractive than England’s which was deemed only to be Eventful and Turbulent.

A True History of the Isles Vol II Chap 9 – The Celts A Necessary(Socialist) Overview

Shameless Advertising One ( A Sorta Link)

If you have been following this series and would like to know more then Volume I is available through Kindle 51vnj7ZqupL__SY346_ (Impress your friends, make controversial statements at parties, defy established historians, get sort of educated on the cheap, select your own quotes to use on any occasion, put things in context- throughout history there have been even bigger idiots than the current batch in charge!)

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Of Patchwork Warriors (The Ragged Jagged Book Launch)

Book Cover 9

I apologise that this will probably cause exasperation to those who have managed a successful and professional launch on more than one occasion. I regret the confusion or puzzlement experienced by readers who are new to me and my ways. There may come a time when I will sneak back and change the whole format then those who have purchased this through Kindle will have a ‘collector’s item’. However, for the present finally after much more post-narrative work than has ever taken place in my small part of Creation ‘Of Patchwork Warriors’ is finally onto Kindle and if Computers, Fates and Good Fortune keep the gremlins away should be available for sale in 3-4 days, at 0.99$ or 0.99£…and such low prices world-wide.

It’s my own cover too; with the assistance of www.addtext.com who were so easy to navigate. Now there are those naturally who will think or say ‘Yer whaaa?’ or ‘What the Ffffudge!’ or ‘Oh My God, what was he thinking?’ and such. Yeh, I know, I understand, but if you visited inside my head and watched my tendency after a while to say ‘Arrhhh! So what! Full steam ahead!!’ you would, maybe sigh and say ‘Oh well’

For any reader who is unfamiliar with my blog, this is a Fantasy Work; the 1st Volume of some epic of which I have no inkling where it will go. This is Adult; includes drama, fighting, intrigue, heroics, friendship, humour, villainous deeds, blood and gore (in small buckets), romance (and consequential episodes of an adult nature). And is also quite ‘lite’ in comparison with some of the volumes forged by the best in this genre. This is the ‘blurb’ which hopefully will appear on the Amazon page:

“There came an era when the threat of incursion from the infernal other world realm of the Zerstorung was strong, placing the survival of entire unsettled Oakhostian Empire at risk and thus disparate forces began to marshal, to take up any cause or seize any opportunity.

There in the background The Ethereal, The Stommigheid or The Astatheia just a few names for the force which had arrived upon The World in Ages faded from record. Viewed either as a pernicious creature seeking to control, a power for good, an aspect of Nature to be treated with caution or a means to an end, it remained a constant. With an oft forgotten tendency to engage with the unwilling, the unassuming and the unruly from the rank of lesser folk whose consequential and various struggles would unsettle many a careful plan.

This is the tale of three such, an innocent housemaid, a dutiful soldier and a self-appointed scourge of evil quite unaware the safety of an Empire would soon be resting on them.

They did not take uniformly or conventionally to the task, for that was the way of things, when involved with The Ethereal, The Stommigheid or The Astatheia.”

I wish to thank a lot of folk who in one form or another contributed to the sensible side of this project, but are in no way responsible for my more quirky actions and decisions, so should not be held accountable for any blame- that’s all mine. (Mine! I tell you! All Mine!!….high-pitched laughter): Anyway it could have been very peculiar but for:

In alphabetical order:

Audrey, Dan, Gwin, Jerry, Jill, Lennon, Lisa, Lucy, Rachael, Ron, Sha’Tara & Simon.

All that remains to be said is

I will now return to keeping up to date with other folks’ posts.

Return to the ‘History of These Isles Vol.II’.

Finally read that magazine on how to improve the appearance of my WordPress site.

And of course suffer the attendant horrors which follow self-publishing a book: Such as ‘Did I check everything? What happens if Kindle……? Should I have written ‘that part’ differently? Oh My God what have I done?’ ‘There will be errors I missed, I know there will be’ and other common ailments.

Thank goodness my contact with Reality is tenuous anyhows.

Book Covers Part II. If it was easy, where would the fun be?

A Leap In The Dark (Sort Of) ‘Of Patchwork Warriors’