‘Curiouser and Curiouser,’ said Alice…(smart young lady)

So I visited the WP forum where WP folk post up details about changes, like to READER….and folk who know what they are doing with their various devices and also how to correctly manage, navigate and arrange their WP make sensible technical statement.

Me….I’m just an embarrassment to those who know me……pogo.stick.10




melodramaOh woe! He does vex(ed) me so with his variable manners.

My post:

I’ll start by saying I shouldn’t be allowed on a computer without assistance, however that said.

It was interesting to read about the update because:

  1. When I try to reply on Reader at some stages the site feels the need to show me my Notifications status half-way through my typing a reply; then forgets what we were doing and I have to start again.
  2. Sometimes it loses interest in what I am typing, forgets, and insist I go back to the original notification and start again.
  3. Decides whatever I might have to say can be of no possible interest to anyone and doesn’t give me the opportunity to reply.


In addition the site is very severe with me. If I do not look at notifications at least every hour it grows very cross. When I scroll down the posts it will again get bored with the process and not move for a while. Then when I do find where I was it plays tricks by slipping back making me suppose a contributor has posted the same post several times.


I suspect these are all teething problems which arise whenever something new is introduced and I shall preserve.

If however any one can enlighten by dim mid-20th century brain over something is obvious to a more modern person I would be grateful.

And I shall on record that I do perversely enjoy WP.


If you don’t hear from me again, you’ll know that WP have extracted me to give me a stern lecture:Gunner Sargeant Hartman





Part 22 of The True History of The Isles- Normans and their approach to assimilation (known back then as Conquering

Although the next era is full of very colourful characters and resulting impacts on the Isles it is essential that we consider the effects and affects of The Normans in general.

The Past

To summarise the history to date. The Celts came along and forced out, or subdued or unpleasantly removed the First Folk, The Beaker people. They tried to consign them to legends as big hairy giants, or small furtive creatures or folk of indeterminate natures. Unfortunately for the Celts, The Beaker people had Stonehenge and thus haven’t truly gone away. Once the Celts had spread out so much they started being Britannic, Pitcky, Scots (or Irish) and displayed so much Gall that the Romans invaded; resulting in Romano-Britains. These weren’t up to much and suffered from Galls, Picts, Irish (or Scots) and if that wasn’t bad enough Franks and Saxons and a few Jutes. As Roman was declining the latter two decided to stay but the Saxons decided The Jutes’ territories were jutting out too much and obliged the Jutes to go back to what would become Denmark. As the Saxons advanced the Britons re-invented themselves as Welsh or Cornish, except for a few who stayed North and insisted Strathclyde was theirs; meanwhile the Scots (or Irish) and The Irish or (Scots) argued with the Picts. This was all put on hold when the Vikings arrived and all was jumbled up until memorable kings arose, showed the Vikings they knew a thing or two about slaughtering as well and in the meantime invented Ireland, Scotland and England; the Welsh & Cornish being a couple of centuries ahead of the game. The Normans were about to change all that.

The Norman and Their Cultural Outlook

The Normans had been used to the very cramped conditions of the west of France, which resulted in them arguing amongst themselves as well as folk in Anjou, Brittany, Maine, Aquitaine etc as well as any King of France who tried to insist they should pay attention to him. Thus, when they invaded and conquered the Saxons who had been used to their own angles, they were much pleased to find there was only one kingdom and some folk on the extremities (ie Wales, Scotland Ireland… And The Isle of Mann whose folk had a parliament which ill-informed outsiders didn’t pay attention to).

The Initial Normanisation

Firstly the Normans mixed with the Anglo-Saxons, and some became quite Anglo-Norman; these were looked upon with suspicion by their fellow Normans. As they saw it, the Anglo-Saxons being the subject people should have become Normo-Anglo-Saxons. The Church said this would be too fiddly to translate into Latin, deemed the whole business beneath the concerns of the Ecclesiastic authorities and thus consigned it to The Rather Common Law of the Time. The various kings said it didn’t matter as long as everyone realised they belonged to the King, and recognised him, even if they hadn’t met him.

The Kings had also been quite forceful telling those Anglo-Saxon nobility who hadn’t been correctly slaughtered in battle or found guilty of something that if they knew what was good for them they should seek employment elsewhere. Some took the hint and emigrated to Norse lands where people would understand, others took extravagant (ie costly) oaths (ie bribes) of loyalty, some took the cheaper method and joined the Church.

Why The Normans Had problems With Wales

With such a dearth of nobility many Norman ascended up the Social Ladder and so were entitled to follow the kings about; both Williams as it will be recalled developed a fascination with Wales and The Welsh; so did some of the followers. They stayed only to find they had become Cambro-Normans, which meant they had not only to speak Norman-French but also Welsh and probably some Cornish. They also discovered that Welsh politics was far too complicated. The Norman noble was a simple straightforward fellow; if someone annoyed him or was a rival he attacked them with a retinue (and a big sword or axe). The Welsh went in for betrayals, false alliances and often conducted their politics in a bear-pit. Thus the average Cambro-Norman was inclined to seek out easier options.

Celtic Failures to Understand Normans

Now whereas prior to 1066 all the nobles, kings and their relatives spent a high proportion of their time entering into alliance, breaking them, betraying folk and generally behaving in an unsporting manner, no one really took it personally, as there was always tomorrow when (if you have survived) you could pay them back in the same way. (See above example; Wales) However, the mistake the various Celtic folk were going to keep on making for many centuries was that the Normans didn’t see if that way. They had come to conquer as one large Norman enterprise and by Saint Whoever that was the way it was going to be! (The Celts were still miffed with the Anglo-Saxons so didn’t ask them what it was like to be on the business end of a Norman)

The Irish and the Normans (Or the other way Around)

The first to make this mistake was Dermot MacMurragh ex- king of Leinster. He had been un-kinged by a rival and having heard how good these Normans were at battle, he asked some if they would care to help him get his kingship back in exchange for some portions of land (which were not his to give away actually). The Cambro-Normans were quick to take up this offer and in 1169 Dermot and a lot of Cambro-Normans landed. Although he got his kingship back he found out that the Cambro-Normans were not content with the footly bits of land and began to spread themselves about.

At this time the King of England was Henry II who being a very active fellow was planning on setting up an empire based on Normans and believed thus in the principal The Norman, The Whole Normand and Nothing But The Norman, irrespective whether they were Anglo or Cambro. On hearing, how well the latter were doing in Ireland, he turned up in 1170 with even more Normans (probably Anglo). In this venture, he was assisted by the support of Pope Adrian IV, the ONLY pope so far to have originated from these Isles. Adrian was a very piously dogmatic sort of fellow, that’s when he wasn’t being dogmatically pious. He (and the Vatican) was fed-up with the way the Irish kept being Celtic about their Christianity and thought Henry II was just the one to get them into line and do things properly in Latin. Thus Ireland was properly conquered, as England had been in 1066.

Henry The II went back to England to continue to be very colourful (see future chapters) thinking the Normans (of various sorts) left behind would be sufficient to make Ireland much like England. As he had not spent much time there he didn’t realise this was not how things were done thereabouts. Over the passage of time, liking the general country, the way folks conducted themselves and there being less Latin to learn, both Henry’s Normans and the Cambro-Normans decided they wanted to be Hibro-Normans and thus became more Irish than the Irish. This would cause the Kings (and Queens) of England a lot of problems in later centuries.

The Scottish and Good King David I (if you were on his side that is). All rather jolly to begin with.

As it will be recalled from pervious chapters David the I of Scotland had been quite impressed with the way Normans did things, and since he was having trouble with Morays, Norse-Gaels, Highlanders, Islander, laggardly Vikings who had not got the hint and a few niggling unrepentant Picts he had reckoned the answer was Normans. These settled in bits of Scotland which probably had not been part of Scotland proper but bits of England the Scots had only recently appropriated. With his south secured this allowed David the deal with the Morays, Islanders, Highlanders etc. These Normans were probably not of the best Norman stock as they didn’t do any of the usual conquering, just to showed their appreciation to David by saying they were now Scoto-Normans. It is likely Henry II was not best pleased with this cultural abrogation but since he was being colourfully confrontational with his equally colourful family and a Beckett he didn’t really have the time to say much on the matter.

Thus did the Normans impact upon many parts of The Isles. As there is no record of the Anglo, Cambro, Hibro and Scoto- Normans getting together from time to time for a celebration of things Norman suggests the reverse was also happening.

Next we shall look at a real soap-opera family.

A True History of the Isles Part 21- 1135-1154 Who Is Who and Who is in Charge of England Anyhow?









A True History of the Isles Part 21- 1135-1154 Who Is Who and Who is in Charge of England Anyhow?

As was shown in the previous chapter the first king of England to be a Henry (not a Willy or a Sam- old British Musical Reference-check it yourself, if successful award yourself something and let The World know) died of eels and his son (actually a William, not a Sam) of drunken sailors (this has been left in as misleadingly salacious). Thus England in 1135 did not have a king’s son to take over. This was not really settled until 1154 and Henry the II. So turbulent was the period 1135-1154 that some Victorian historians who lived in a proper era were so upset they suggested the country was ruled by an Arky which it can only be surmised they thought was a very obscure and not very efficient medieval official. It is this period and the impact of the succession crisis had on all the Isles which will be covered in this chapter.

The crisis was caused by there being the not usual case of more than one claimant to the throne. These being:

Stephen of Blois (grandson of William The I & Conqueror)

Matilda (or Maude) (daughter of Henry The I &something of a conqueror)

Stephen was born in region of Blois which although only a county was a powerful one. Thus not being involved in the usual rebellions, disputes etc in Normandy allowed him to build up reserves of land, and marry well. When Henry (the I) died Stephen was encouraged by his brother Henry (a bishop) and several barons to come over and be king. Stephen was known as an affable and generous fellow and not wishing to appear rude took up the offer.

This was not appreciated by Maude (or possibly Matilda), and you have to see her point of view. For at the age of 8 she was married off to another Henry; he was a ‘V’ and such an emperor that folk thought he should be a roman. She took the role of empress quite well, trying her hand a bit of ruling while her husband was being holy. As he died young and empresses were not allowed to emperors Mauilda was packed off back to her father, who promptly married her off to a Geoffrey of Anjou as she was 28 and he was 15 she was far from happy; naturally as he was 15 he was obviously not happy anyway, and it took Henry the I of England and a pope to settle them down. Matudal’s father Henry had said she could probably be king if there was no one else around, but probably only to keep her from nagging him, so there was not much support for her, but that did not put her off. She having the support of Robert of Gloucester who being half a brother and not having had Stephen being very affable to him thought it was time for a change.

In addition, Maditla was assisted by David the I of Scotland. In his youth when escaping relatives, a few stubborn Vikings and probably some Moray eels he had been hidden at the court of her father. David thought that The Norman way of doing things, taking folk through the due processes of law then massacring them if that didn’t work was a much more civilised way and so when he became of king not only bought in Norman laws but also some Anglo-Normans who could teach the locals how to be legal or if they preferred massacred. Thus when Matilaud said she was going to be king he thought it was only rite he support her. He also managed to seize a large portion of north England and not give it back but offered to settle it by legal means. The Arch Bishop of York thought otherwise and there was a Standard Battle in 1138, although the Scots lost they stubbornly refused to go away.

In 1139 Matliadu used cunning strategy of getting her husband out of his room where he had been listening to very loud lute and discordant music and giving him the hobby of conquering Normandy, which hadn’t been for some time. This allowed her to build up resources to land in England the same year.

At this, still being new to kingship and still affable Stephen was very chivalrous to Mautilad, who as a woman didn’t have be in return. She was ruthless and having been an empress also understandably imperious; had she been a man this would have endeared to the barons, but being a woman she ended up being besieged; Stephen being a good sort let her go, so she could imperiously seize the south west of England and bits of Wales whose inhabitants didn’t see much difference anyway.

At this stage several nobles who although were not half or even quarter brothers, never mind being removed cousins to Maultilud thought Stephen had not been very affable to them either and thus became revolting. There were so many of them that by 1141 despite being noble, brave, chivalrous and astute in battle Stephen was captured at Lincoln. Thus to ensure folk knew who she was Matiulda said she was now Matilda and king of England.

Although probably king Matilda failed to crowned because she couldn’t find London, but more importantly she had overlooked Stephen’s wife. She was also called Matilda, her mother was a Scottish saint and she didn’t want to be king, but said her husband still was; thus she endeared herself to many barons and through her efforts Stephen was not forgotten, exiled, blinded or castrated.

As there were now two quite formidable Matildas loose in the kingdom, the barons became quite afraid they might end up supporting the wrong one, or annoying them both. Many of the barons adopted the solution of building very large castles and pretending they were not at home when a Matilda came calling. After either Matilda, had gone away the barons claimed they were actually quite strong and ruthless by terrorising the peasantry and lesser nobles who couldn’t afford castles.

Whereas he had not been nobly captured in a battle as Stephen had Robert of Gloucester nonetheless found himself imprisoned by Mrs Stephen’s forces. Although it is likely both Matildas found this rather amusing they decided it would be best for the general masculine pride of England if there was a simple exchange of prisoners, then the men could go back to doing what they were supposed to.

Stephen was not quite as affable as he used to be and on finding out that many castles had been built with royal permission began 1142 by attacking a lot of them. During one occasion on finding a Matilda was in one and thinking his wife might be held captive, he swam across river to romantically save her. On finding it was the wrong Matilda he allowed her to escape when she proved her true royal blood by skating across a frozen river in her nightclothes.

During the next few years both sides besieged each other in the remaining castles, while Geoffrey of Anjou (Mr Matilda, ex-empress) kept invading Normandy until everyone there said his wife should be King of England. Although this was of some significance, the situation in England was only resolved when various important nobles began to die of age, sieges, and Matlidas. Most importantly Stephen’s son Eustace died of circumstances, though there was some contemporary evidence he had actually been struck down by God’s Wrath in 1152; this distressed many of the surviving nobility as this was usually a fate reserved for far more memorable folk than someone who was just Eustace. (Although later studies Eustace may have died of Bishops; a common ailment in those times).

Since neither of Stephen’s daughters wanted to be king discussions were opened between Stephen and Matilda (The Not His Wife), she had a son called Henry, and since this had an air of continuity about it Stephen said he would think about it. As David (The I of Scotland) was now busy conquering or re-conquering the north of Scotland (and probably massacring in a pious way), Stephen tarried on the matter. He had a more promising son who was a William but inexplicably William caught a disease from the gates of Toulouse and died in 1159, since this showed a rather weak constitution Stephen was quite right to choose Henry who was known to be robust

Although peace had sort of seeped out after all these years Stephen was no longer affable and this showed as he constantly argued with the Church over who could appoint who and who should reform what and when, and if a Cistern should be installed. In addition, Matilda (The One in France)’s son Henry was nagging that he should be king now.

To prove he still had what it took to be king, in 1154 Stephen embarked on a busy schedule of reforming currency, travelling around the south of England, issuing royal writs then moving to York and even further north to remind the local nobility it was he and not David The I who was king and producing a writ to prove it. On learning David was also married to a Matilda Stephen’s health suffered and he travelled to Dover issuing royal writs as he went (probably decrying no one should be now named Matilda), He intended to visit with Theiry The Count of Flanders who was famous for recognising who was King of England. The strain of the journey proved too much for Stephen and he died in 1154, obviously of Matildas.


Sadly whereas we know of Alfred The Great and William The Conqueror, very people give much thought to Stephen The Affable.

Although there will be the very interesting Plantagents, it is important we next look at the other nations of These Isles and also how cultures evolved

A True History of The Isles Part 20- The England Has Its First Henry. Scotland an Edgar, an Alexander and a David.




Listen to Mama…

Says it all!


mamasideeye Mama throwing serious side-eye!

My 22 year-old son and I are very close.

We always have been.

From the moment he was born, he and I were inseparable.

I can remember turning down plenty of opportunities to go hang out with friends; opting instead to stay home with my baby boy.

People would say, “I know the perfect babysitter.”

To which I would respond with something along the lines of, “Well, I don’t know that person and neither does my son…so there’s that.”

Sounds harsh doesn’t it?

Oh well!

Anyway, suffice it to say, whenever my son (or my daughter) would ask to do things that were borderline ‘iffy,’ I’d think long and hard before deciding whether or not I would allow them to partake.

And, whenever I decided NOT to allow them to do something, I would explain, sometimes ad nauseum,  why I came to the conclusion that I did.

Then I would punctuate…

View original post 312 more words

An Open Invitation concerning Presidential Inauguration Day 20th January 2017

I have read statements as to why this is either a step on the road to return to liberty or the greatest disaster to fall upon Humankind since 3rd September 1939 (which kind of forgets the Chinese who had had a few years of misery already). There have been the usual encounters with hyperbole and the sense that the writers are preaching to their own group. Now since President Elect Donald Trump is not the sort of person to engender a non-committal shrug I must assume we have two specific camps; with those who write professionally and wish to retain their reputations as impartial analysist doing their very best to come across as being so detached as to be positively Spockian. All well and good.

So my next question is along these lines.

Can those of you who voted for Donald Trump explain to me why you reached the conclusion this was the correct choice? Since the media(s) seem to delight in trying to make us paranoid I have add ‘this is not a trick question’ (whatever that is supposed to be). I have a genuine interest in the motivation and the rationale which led to the casting of the vote.

(Now I should warn you I have a nil tolerance for any answers which contain abuse against persons, assertions of alleged wrong doings, conspiracy notions etc, etc. Don’t bother. I- Don’t-Care. Not interested. Off you go, agitate the gravel. You are dealing with someone who has read a lot of history, and History is a stern teacher. And there is no one in Human history who does not carry a string of accusations against them from one group are another, or a list of shortcomings. )

Thus I will be hoping to receive a rational, intelligent, carefully constructed explanation as to why you voted for Donald Trump. Therefore, this should be a positive argument concentrating upon his features.

I would not have posted this if I did not have a genuine interest. These should be times of dialogue and genuine exchanges of information. Shouting, accusations, abuse, YouTube ‘journalism’ & Facebook ranting doesn’t cut it in my own little hard-left socialist / Roman Catholic world.

I await replies, please.

A True History of The Isles Part 20- The England Has Its First Henry. Scotland an Edgar, an Alexander and a David.

As it will be recalled from the previous seminar King William The II had died from a quite explainable hunting accident very neatly in the year 1100 and by very good happenstance (God Be Praised) his young brother Henry just happened to be around at the time to take charge. His claim being based on the fact that his father William (the I, Conqueror etc) had been a king when he was born, while only a baron when elder brother Robert arrived. Robert thought this too picky by half, but before he could raise an army, and bribe barons Henry had been crowned and bribed the barons and thus was The I which allowed him to imprison those who wanted bigger bribes or preferred a Robert to be king.. In addition, Henry had the advantage of being able to read and also write legibly, which meant he could produce his own proclamations quickly and not have to wait around from a monk to turn up.

With this attended to, he then married Matilda daughter of Malcolm The III who had been a king of Scotland and to re-cap had died of a severe case of vengeful Norman barons in 1093. Henry wished to show this had nothing to do with him. And initially had no cause to upset the Scots whose king was Edgar (The Only) who cleverly remained obscure, his only mistake in this policy being to succumb to a fit of generosity brought on by a case of Crusades, during which he gave a king of Ireland a camel; this doesn’t seemed to have any impact of Irish politics at the time.

Initially as was the customs of those times Henry had a lot of trouble with his brother Robert, who understandably felt he should be king. At first Henry paid him money to shut up, but Robert ravaged parts of Normandy that were not his, obliging Henry to go and unravage his bits and ravage those that belonged to Robert. Eventually Robert got the point, and behaved. Henry then showed his generosity of spirit by only arresting and persecuting those who had supported Robert and not Robert himself.

Civil Administration under Henry

Henry surprised and upset a lot of the nobility by telling them they had to obey the law and this included not pillaging villages when they felt like. However, as Henry was cunning, ruthless and able there was not a lot they could do about it. He also punished folk who had been doing things he thought illegal; as he could read and write and find obscure bits of law to prove he was right there was little most of them could do to argue against this. Not trusting the nobility, he brought in a large number of ‘new men’. While the established barons were trying work out what was new about the new men they took control on Henry’s behalf.

The Church and Henry

Although Henry donated much to the abbeys, monasteries etc and had a spiritual side to his nature, as was common in those times he did not care for bishops and archbishops who insisted the pope was more important than he was. After a great deal of arguments, exiles, prisons etc the clergy and Henry agreed: He could not appoint Bishops, Archbishops etc and leave nuns alone (see Personal Life). The Bishops, Archbishops etc should turn up every so often and agree that he was the King of England (and the nuns were to stay away).


During Henry’s reign Wars with French Kings were invented, initially because of Normandy, Brittany, Anjou, Aquitaine etc, but also because of the Holy Roman Emperor who was German and thought Popes were far too intrusive; this was the forerunner of international politics, Henry imposed his authority by having his daughter Matilda married to one of the emperors, and so show her show at social gatherings as ‘My Daughter The Empress’ (Until such times as she would naturally go to war with him)

Wales and Scotland.

At this time because of his literacy, ruthlessness, cunning and scots brothers-in-law (Alexander and David) Henry wrote up an argument which proved conclusively that he was the top king in not only England (full of Anglo-Saxons and thus in need firm leadership) but also Scotland (by marriage) and Wales. The latter because the various kings of Wales were being nuisances, insisting they were independent so and could raid across the border whenever they felt like. Henry gathered one or two armies and with the aid of the Scottish King Alexander invaded Wales so much that all the welsh kings and princes were obliged to see Henry’s point of view. Henry then built some more castles to make sure they didn’t forget.

In Scotland, in keeping with Henry’s trend Alexander was the first Scottish king to be an Alexander and although he had a brother David and they disputed over land oddly enough he did not go to war with David. This might have been because both men were very pious or because of Vikings who would not go back home, and because Alexander was often obliged to make war on folk from the Islands (as opposed to The Highlands), which he did with much ferocity. This done, he then died to make way for brother David. David who had had a very exciting childhood fleeing from relatives, Vikings, rivals etc continued with his brother’s business of sorting out the folk from The Isles, any difficult relatives and Vikings who were still hanging about the place. He was astute enough to be on good terms with Henry, who was willing to overlook the odd cattle raid, minor incursion etc. David in keeping with his brother’s habits also continued to be pious and only slaughtered folk in the correct manner and with good cause, which as he was king meant he was perfectly positioned to decide what was a good cause.

Back to Henry-Personal Life

Although apparently quite fond of Matilda (wife-Scottish), Henry also had voracious appetites, as these particular appetites involved women the Church could only disapprove and not condemn. Had Henry concentrated his appetites upon Matilda (the wife-Scottish) he might not have ended up with only two legitimate children, Matilda (the daughter and now empress) and William (intended to be the III). All would have gone well had not in 1120 William and some others not been travelling back to England from Normandy on The White Ship. Accounts here differ, some say everyone on board was drunk, others say it was only the helmsman and that Williams and friends tried save the ship and then William being very noble tried to save an illegitimate half-sister. Whatever, everyone drowned. Henry was distraught. At not having a legitimate heir. As Matilda, had died in 1118 he married Adeliza of Louvain who being younger by 35 years might have been able to bear him sons. She didn’t but did promote the arts.

Henry meanwhile was obliged to go campaigning against various Normans and as befitted a family tradition other relatives, to bolster up his strength he ate more than the medically safe number of eels and in consequence died. This may also have been a result of other but less interesting appetites.

This event threw England and some parts of Normandy into a state of confusion as to who should be king next and also how many eels you could safely eat. The ramifications of which we shall discuss in the next seminar.

The succession that is, not the eels, The latter remains a topic of controversy to this day.


A True History of The Isles Part 19- William the II (The Man who should have been Rufus the I)

A True History of The Isles Part 18- The Rule of William The Conqueror (and also The I)

A True History of These Isles-Introduction and Part 1