Tag Archives: History

Henry the creative researcher

My Henry is eleven years old and this post is going to be about him.

Henry has wanted to become a chef since he was eight years old, before that he wanted to be a doctor, he still wants to be a chef, but he also wants to be an artist and writer and understands that life as a creative can be hard so he will need to find a more stable job until his creative career takes off.

Henry has a love for learning, particularly culture and history.  Henry knows that his family history is rich and he loves to learn about it all, from the deepest darkest depths that we can find through the assistance of places such as GenesReunited etc.

Learning about family history has prompted Henry to want to write his own novel.  Henry wants to write a novel about the late Edwardian into early Windsor times (if that’s a time period?).  The only thing I am allowed to say about the novel is that it is about two friends who live in the countryside and have a love for trains and is surviving through the throes of the dreaded Spanish flu.

I have no idea what made Henry interested in writing such a book, but I am proud that he is doing it, complete with his own illustrations and is determined to get it published once finished.

He is obsessively learning about life from 1900 to 1925 as this is the era he is writing about.  This is an obsession I can live with, because before that, his obsession was what he calls “The golden era of professional wrestling”.  Now I love wrestling personally, but when my Henry gets an obsession, believe me, it is a total war type obsession!

Henry, working on his novel.

Henry has been telling me how the poorest of poor in those days ate mostly rabbit, he told me this whilst giving awkward glances to our house rabbit Ray, who was quick in thumping his foot at hearing this, which was both spooky, funny and very apt!

Henry’s art is really good and at school most of his house points come from the art class and design technology.  Henry’s school is attached to the performing arts college, so he has been doing a lot of art, dance and drama in this school.

Henry has been noted for having a natural talent for entertainment, but has recently refused an audition for Matilda, down to the fact that since he has been bullied, he is losing his confidence slightly.  He also feels that the jealousy could increase his risk of being bullied, if he were to be successfully accepted in a role.

I have noticed that Henry tends to write and do art more when he has visibly seen me do this in front of him myself – so it is my duty, as his role model, to work when he is around instead of avoiding him like I have done in the past.  Because I personally work better alone, but Henry is influenced by what I do, so as I said in previous posts, I have to get out of my comfort zone and do work, regardless of who is present with me at the time.  I have to work it out for Henry’s sake!

Happy reading everyone!

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Researching religion to its core

In my previous post I mentioned a book that I am reading called “A History of Judaism” and some of you may be curious as to why I am reading such a book?  There are in fact two major reasons for me reading this book and both are to do with simple research.

Firstly I wanted to get to grips in understanding Judaism from its core because of a couple of specific themes I want to write and I don’t like to be ignorant when I am writing about culture.

Secondly, I want to find out why my ancestors left Judaism at the turn of the twentieth century just a decade before the Second World War.  Why some of the very oldest members of my family admit they were originally Jewish, but get rather aggressive about it and somewhat evasive.  I am also interested in finding any new books regarding this subject but set in Italy and Italian Jewish history in particular.

My son Henry absolutely loves learning anything at all about his family history and he has become less afraid of R.E at school since we have been learning the differences between what we know to be Evangelism, J-Witness and Judaism.  My family became Catholic and Evangelists when they left Judaism and part of that branch that left Judaism, also became J-Witnesses.

Part of my problems growing up was the cultural confusion my extended family had on supposed opposing ideas and therefore my understanding of religion was warped over the years; as literally my family would rage war on each other over their beliefs.  According to my grandmother, my great grandmother’s sister reacted so violently against her leaving Judaism for a Catholic man that she threw her into the fireplace and she escaped barely scarred.  Another incidence was that I was reminding an anti-Semitic evangelical relative of mine about how Jesus was a Jew and their response was to slap me across the face!

It astounds me how so many religions are at odds with each other when they all share the same core, corrupt the word of the core and kill each other in the name of the God that is the mainstay of the core.

However, as I am teaching my son, I am reminding him that you cannot hate anyone regarding this, because you cannot blame them for their ignorance.  Most people simply do not have the time on their hands to research as much as we do and therefore, you must always react to their violence with kindness if at all those people could make it possible for us to remain passive and kind that is.  Self-preservation kicks in for us all eventually.

The crucial thing to understand about all religions and cultures is that most people do not have time, they are too busy, they have other priorities and over the years many people have surrendered their personal research to trusted authoritive individuals who may or may not be corrupt within themselves, with the aims of controlling their particular congregations etc.  To be fair, everybody wants to try and honour their ancestors by keeping to what their parents believe and it wasn’t until the last century or so, that humanity in general were largely uneducated due to class differentiation and lack of opportunities.

There will be many updates in the future of my reading lists and there will be many different types of cultures and religions I will be study over the course of my life, because I have an insatiable yearning to understand humanity.  In fact in 2009 I signed up to the OU to do a Social Science degree, but I couldn’t cope with the demands of a new-born baby and running a house so went on extended leave, which is still ongoing!  The OU is lovely in that they have still left it opened for me to return whenever I want to, and I may eventually, as I miss it.

I feel I must apologise to some readers who may have found the tone of this post offensive, because no doubt, there are some who do.  But it is by no means an attack on religion, simply a passive eye opening, hoping that, with the tools of the modern age, that you will find time to research the roots of your beliefs to the very core and not just what your local parish tells you.

Thank you for reading.

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Schedules & personal butt kickers

Reading as much as I used to have taken a back bencher in the past couple of years, my Goodreads.com account is evidence of this; but I have a plan which seems to be keeping me on track with my library rentals.

Before this downturn in how much I read, I used to borrow ten books a week from the library and read them all, then it lessened to just three per week, now it is around four to six per month and I haven’t been able to read them all by the end of the three week period either.

At the moment I have six books out from the library and some of those I have re-borrowed the maximum amount of times, one such book has only nineteen days left for me to read it and it is only halfway and I have already re-borrowed this book three times in the past and I can have it no more after that!  So, noticing that I have just nineteen days left to read this book, I panicked, because there are approximately two hundred pages to read of this enormous essay about “The History of Judaism”.  Why am I reading such a book?  I will explain later in another post…

So how do I solve the problem of reading things in time?  I have only just started this idea from yesterday, so who knows how well it will work for more long term!  The plan is this… I calculate with a calculator as I have dyscalculia, the number of pages per book I have and divide that by twenty one, which represents twenty one days, the average length of time to keep a book without re-borrowing.  So, I did this will all the books I am currently reading on Goodreads that are borrowed from the library currently.  This breaks down each book into littler bites and gets every book picked up daily! 

To a lot of people who love reading this sounds like a nightmare plan, because I know a lot of readers can’t put a book down until it’s completely read for another book.  But for me this works a treat because I lack focus and have a very shoddy attention span.  Paul believes I may have undiagnosed attention deficit disorder, because I can’t stick to one thing solidly and concentrate on it for more than fifteen minutes at a time.

So for me, the idea of skipping through books one after the other in the same day works well. 

So my current list is broken down like this;

History of Judaism by Martin Goodman 11 pages per day for the next 19 days

Fermentation on wheels by Tara Whitsitt 9 pages per day

Preservation book 17 pages per day

Abundance by Aly Fowler 10 pages per day

Burning the books by Richard Ovenden 11 pages per day

The last book from the library is actually currently completed, so I shan’t add that here.

To me, each from the above would take around twenty minutes to accomplish when not having a bad sinus day, which in comparison to how fast I used to read, is very, very, slow.

But it is doable if I break it down throughout the day, rather than sit back with sixty two pages a night in bed in around ninety minutes.

It is not a maximum requirement, it is a minimum requirement, if my attention span is enjoying the book naturally I will read more if I feel I can and have the time.

Yesterday, so far, I have read more in a day, than I would have otherwise, if I had not had given myself a schedule and deadline.  I think I have mentioned before I am a person who thrives on deadlines? 

Yes I am one of these weirdos who literally rot away in a corner without some kind of schedule or motivational person hounding me to do things all the while.  Unfortunately Paul is rather passive on this matter and so, Henry, my doting eleven year old son, has taken it upon himself to be my butt kicker and I thank him tremendously for it!

So, any future postings, writings and art and even YouTube videos and podcasts, will really be, to the thanks of my son who is prodding me to accomplish things.  He too, has made a sort of pact with me that I should do the same for him and we will together, become a successful family.  Totally Henry’s idea and isn’t it brilliant?   I am so proud of him!

Happy reading!

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Filed under About Me

What I am trying to do as from now…

I am more than a little irked at the concept that my followers could have been scammed or duped by a poser; I had not planned to start writing on my blog or become active on social media for another couple of months, because I am taking a long time to heal from a current chest and ear infection.  I am very ill at the moment to the extent of being permanently exhausted. 

However, I think that I should start again right now, when I am at my worst physically because it seems likely I am having more bad days than not and I am sick and tired of being sick and tired and not doing what I want to do in life, even the most sedentary of things.

I often struggle with the idea that I must always produce a poem or a short story for my blog, because this blog was created with creativity in mind.  I was meant to use this as a portfolio of sorts; for my creative writing, photography and art, instead it has become more of a journal.

I think therefore, that this blog is likely to be 50/50 journal and creative outlet.  Because I am going on a big journey spiritually, physically, mentally and hopefully career wise too.

My blog will show you more of me, my personal life, my art, my thoughts and feelings and I will try not to be too bias when I do so.

A lot of my day to day stuff will probably be talks about how I am trying to manage my mental health and disability whilst trying to be a productive creative and housewife/mother.

I will also talk about my medical journey, because it still is not entirely clear what it is I have, other than it seems to the doctors that I have around 4 different types of auto-immune disease, deafness, PTSD and potentially a serious neurological disorder too, which they are leaning more towards MS on, but irritatingly it has not been thoroughly confirmed yet.  Sometimes they say yes, sometimes it’s again, no, it’s all presumption by my GP because I haven’t been tested yet.

I will talk about my past, if I feel it would be therapeutic at the time to do so.

I will discuss life with my pets and gardening, what little I can do there.

I will discuss most aspects of my life, whilst throwing in my poetry, songs, compositions, short stories, art, snippets and advice.

I am working on far too many stories at once, most of the time.  I am also practising art, because I have an idea for a children’s picture book and I have also two ideas for comics.  I don’t buy the fact that the comic industry is dead, sorry!

I have also learned recently that there are many people who like reading my reviews; I have had so many requests for reviews recently that I have considered to be more proactive in that.  But I tend to review old stuff, because I am pretty slow to reaching out for current social trends.  To me, something is a current social trend if it has been published or bought out within the last decade.  Oh dear, well you see what I mean – non-fiction science aside that is.

I am one of these lame people who love the 50s & 80s and are waiting for a huge retro bash that will last a decade or more in fashion, movies and music.  So you won’t find me any time soon, sporting the latest trend of anything that is currently major, if it is not retro based. 

Personally I feel the best decades for fantasy were 1860s, 1870s, 1890s, 1950s, 1980s and 2000s, 2010s;  I am a huge Lewis Carroll, George MacDonald, Frank L Baum, J.R.R Tolkien, Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Susan Hill, Stan Lee, Tim Burton, Stephen Spielberg, The Frouds, Colleen Doran and Neal Shusterman and oh so many more I better stop listing them=  fan.  This was just fantasy; don’t get me started on horror, Sci-fi and dystopia and lets not be picky between artists, writers and directors either! 

There is a lot of people I have missed on the above list that deserves to be here!  This is how I know; I really can’t sit back and say I have no idea what I post for my blog.  I was just being too picky about what I should put.  I didn’t think I should really put reviews and personal feelings towards other people’s work on my blog, but you know, if it keeps the blog active, then maybe I should start?  At least it will give you an idea of how I became who I become; the kind of things that I devour for my hungry creative soul that made me produce, what I produced.

Until next time, happy reading!

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Filed under About my work

Just couldn’t read more…

Because I found a certain sentence indigestible in one of my previous reading books, I had to stop reading it.  So, I added another to the reading pile and I hope that it will be finished by the 1st march too – the newly added book is called “The library of the dead” by T.L Huchu.

The book was “The Prophets”.  I was finding the book very enjoyable and had rated it 4 stars until I read just one simple sentence which I felt did nothing for the book or the writer other than causing racial provocation.

The whole book is racially provocative anyway, because the subject of slavery can’t get any more provocative than that, but in my mind – there is a fine line between what is acceptable to write and what is acceptable to keep to yourself.

Coming from an ancestry where my many times great grandmother was a slave in Boston USA, I can appreciate books like these, but I cannot endorse something which could talk of revenge killing an innocent baby – that is just not on.

My ancestor was raped by her master’s son and her daughter was raised by her white grandfather and educated, both he and she had problems within both communities, especially when my great great grandmother was being educated as a governess – nobody wanted a “mulatto” for a governess in Boston in the early 1800s.   So rejected by the American community my great great grandma moved to Gibraltar and a couple of years later met an English sailor who took her to London to be his wife, she had to live a life of pretence in London, pretending to be of Spanish descent just to fit in with the locals and they bought it. 

I just can’t visualise these people in my ancestry who could bring themselves to sneak murdering a white baby in cold blood, just because of their situation.  I just can’t.

This little rant of mine will probably fall on deaf ears because as the years has gone by the family have got whiter and whiter and I am white, but I have black slave ancestry too and that is something that some people don’t realise – they don’t realise that some white people have black ancestry too and quite recent!

The book definitely touched a nerve and I know it really should, because slavery is just horrible, it is more than that, it is utterly disgusting!  But still, there are some things that should be said and other things best unsaid to prevent further racial division in the world!

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Filed under Reviews

February’s reading pile

  1. Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson
  2. How to build a girl by Caitlin Moran
  3. Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake
  4. The Prophets by Robert Jones Jr
  5. The little book of Wonder by Bernadette Russell

I very rarely read fiction in comparison to my friends from goodreads.com; I consume mostly non-fiction books and self-help, so my monthly updates will rarely show that I have fiction on the list.

I am fascinated by the structure of language and its origins, all languages worldwide, not just the development of the English language.  I definitely consider myself a philologist, hence why Mother Tongue is on this month’s list. 

I have a life goal to become fluent in 5 contemporary languages and one ancient by the time I am eighty years old – hopefully I’ll live that long!

I am not yet fluent in anything other than English at the moment, but I can understand small bits of French and Italian.  If I were able to travel, I suspect that I could feed myself and ask very basic questions in France and Italy, I would say my Italian skills are better than my French skills at the moment.  I would also say that the main problem would be hearing conversations if they are spoken fast because I am deaf – totally deaf in my right ear and with only a half working left ear.  People ask me why bother learning then if you know that eventually you will lose all hearing altogether?  Because I believe that tomorrow there will be a cure for me – I believe that science will provide, so why not live with what I have and make the most of it now?  Basically – why give up on something I love, just in case I can’t?

I’m not really sure how I got spoken into reading Caitlin Moran’s books this month either, this is the second book I have read in the last couple of weeks by her and I can see a consistent theme, a theme which is getting eye-rollingly boring to be honest.  I shan’t be reading anymore from her, there is only so much masturbation you can read about!

Entangled Life is on my list because I have a weird fascination for microbiomes, fungi, bryophytes and subterranean lifeforms in all its forms.  I have no idea where the fascination came from but I can say, that if I lived my life again, I would run away from home, tell social services everything that ever happened to me and study maths and biology hard, because if I could live my life again I would like to be a microbiologist or something along those lines.

The prophets look really refreshing and I was just lured to it, I have no idea why, but at the moment I am enjoying the read.  I love learning about Afro American culture ever since I found out my nan was right about her great grandmother being mixed race and from Boston USA.  I believe this is fiction, but not sure to be honest. 

The little book of wonder is being re-read with fresh eyes and new perspectives; I am redoing all of the tasks in there and enjoying it again – especially as I have different ideas these days about things. 

So with any luck, all of these books in particular will have been finished by the 1st March and I might write up the reviews of how I feel about them all.

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Birthday poem for Nanny Howe

I miss you now you are gone

I miss your funny ways

Such as waking up at six O’clock to carboot it all the day

I miss your dusty, ashy house; I miss how you used to swear

I miss everything about you gran, I wished you was still there

I know a lot of people would call you crass and uncouth

But if you weren’t there every day, I would have had a worst youth

You showed me what normal should be like

You bought me down to Earth

You taught me nothing domestically

But you always had a warm hearth

Literally, like in the summer, we are all baking hot

And you will still put the fire on, killing us lot

I miss how you used to guzzle tea and mispronounce your words

I miss how you used to talk about the fights you had with birds

I miss all of your gypsy superstitions and your weird little ways

I miss you so much gran, I think I will always

Happy Birthday Nanny Howe

This poem was for you, you silly cow ❤

For those who don’t know my gran, she really wouldn’t have been offended by the last line, it was more or less something everyone said to her and she was so confident in herself she literally rolled her eyes and ignored us.

If anyone wants to know what she was like, I am telling you now, the likeness of personality between her and Catherine Tate’s Nan is amazing!  It is almost like Catherine Tate knew my Nan herself!

But my gran physically looked very different, very exotic to some.  She had dark olive skin, thick black tight curly hair like an Italian style, she always said we had Romany gypsy in us, Italian, Chinese, Hindu and black, but no one ever believed her.  I was told to ignore her, but I never did, I always felt she was the most honest person I ever knew.  As it turned out, two years ago I discovered she was right about certain things genetically.  I found it wasn’t a Chinese man who was supposed to be her great grandfather, it was a Vietnamese man, I found out on GenesReunited.com he adopted the surname of his English wife to fit in to Victorian Britain.  I also found out that her great great grandmother from 1840 was born in Boston USA and was mixed race, her mother’s former owner was so kind about her situation he had her educated to become a teacher but something happened by the time she was twenty three which meant she needed to go to Gibraltar, I don’t know what, but there she met a sailor who was British, married him and went to live in Kensington London.

So my gran was right to attack my mum all those years about racism, she was right in saying “we’re not all white you know”.

I was never sure of the gypsy claims though, but I do know that she took me to Portobello Rd Market once and introduced me to Old Gypsy Lee who lived under a bridge and he recognised her as kin.  I do know that Nan was raised on a farm in Enfield and that gypsies in the olden days often worked for farms, so it could be true, the family do have a big love for horse brasses.

Haven’t found the Hindu bit yet, but there was something in her history which showed in the 18th century that there was a Spanish lady who apparently was thought to be of Muslim origins, which makes me wonder about another claim gran had – the one about us being Egyptian somewhere down the line too.

I never forget the time that I was arguing with my mum about grans claims; mum was adamant we have an all-white and all British history that goes back before time, so I asked her to explain grans colouring and mum was quite offensive with her reply.  She said that she got her colouring for not being hygienic and washing enough, gran was there at the time and slapped her one, it was classic.

I got a slap too and was chased to my bedroom and threatened with all sorts of things by mum when I blurted out that she deserved that as it was a disgusting thing to say.

I believed gran more than mum because I have found evidence of these things a lot since leaving home.  I found out that gran was right about great grandpa Ernie being born and raised in a workhouse and he ran away aged thirteen and stole food from allotments to survive until someone employed him as an assistant gardener.  I found his workhouse papers on Genes Reunited; mum reckoned this never happened because she would have known about it as she was close to her grandpa Ernie; but mum fails to understand that before the 70s a lot of people didn’t like to dwell on a bad past because life was tough enough to go around wallowing in self-pity and many people liked to be private, so they never did talk about things, not even to family it was almost seen as a taboo to be nostalgically gloomy and my mum likens herself to being an avid historian – yeah right.

God I miss my gran.  I miss staying with her overnight, watching wrestling, horror movies and the shopping channel, whilst munching on fish and chips as she couldn’t cook to save her life, I reckon its why she visited us every day, because we fed her.  She wasn’t at all domestic, not the type to keep house, granddad did all that when he was alive, me and a couple of cousins tried to keep on top of it for her when she was alive, it was why I spent a lot of time with her.  Mum allowed that because it would keep me out of her hair and secondly it was to keep an eye on my dippy gran, as gran would do stupid stuff and that was normal even before her dementia.  She was in every way a bimbo and she knew it and she relished in it, because a bimbo can’t help it see, it works out good for her in a lot of things – to play ignorant that is.

It was a miracle my gran was alive at all, born in the early 30s with a heart condition and having a heart operation every 18 months her whole life and being on warfarin since she was in her mid-twenties, one of the first she claimed to get that medicine, coincidentally as gran was accident prone she was also haemophiliac which was scary as she was given a snappy jack Russell called Star.

You are probably wondering why I keep skipping from gran to Nan a lot when talking about her, it is common even when she was around, everyone called her Nan but I always alternated.  Her name was Doris-Dorina but everyone called her Dolly, which suited her bimbo nature.

I love you gran and wished you were still here.  But blimey gran, you’d be 88 now if you were. 

She died too young by today’s standards.  She died in 2006.  She was absolutely fine before she got ill; she got ill because of a car accident.  She had a car crash which caused her to have a head injury, like a fool she didn’t bother to go to the doctors and the crash was so mild that neither parties car was damaged and so she and the other party decided to not mention it to anyone and gran went home, she suffered migraines for a while and started to do silly things over a six week period – eventually we took her to the doctor as she was showing signs of dementia and a quick forming one too – turned out we were right and it the dementia was so fierce that within six months gran couldn’t talk anymore and would only stare into nothingness and needed to be forced fed.  Within a year of silence, gran died of a heart attack whilst at hospital waiting for a place to go into councils old peoples home.  She was living in a hospital for over a year waiting for some other old biddy to die so she could have a new home being cared for properly.

Apparently it can happen even to young people, a head injury in a certain way and within months you can become vegetative.

My gran hadn’t even retired when the accident happened, she was a cabby.

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Other hobbies

What do I do when I am not writing?

Quite a lot actually, because I don’t write much at all these days; I have lots of ideas for things to write but I think illness has made me lose focus and passion for it.  I was a lot more passionate about writing than I am nowadays.  It is simply because pain distracts me and makes me lose where I am heading – coughing fits and a severely runny nose are the biggest contributors for throwing me off course, yanking me out of the zone, as it were.  As I have said before in many posts, I live with a perpetual chronic cold, with ear, nose and throat infections thrown in.  It isn’t just a sniffle, I wish it were, but I can get through five hundred individual tissues on a bad day, two hundred being the norm for me.

Since the 21st December 2019 the only things I have written are what are on the blog and approximately 5000 words of non-posted works of other things, but nothing contributing to my novels.  Hand written notes of other ideas are not included in this, I am spending more and more time in bed these days as I can barely move.  All these problems are giving me severe insomnia and hypersomnia.  What do I mean by that?  Well I don’t sleep at night, I seem to sleep better during the day, for some reason my chest and sinus is worse at night.  When I do eventually sleep during the day I sleep between 7 and 16 hours in a stretch, to wake up for 2 hours in a choking fit with a dry crusted mouth.  Not a pretty visual I know.  I can go 30 to 40 hours without sleeping, purely because I am too busy clearing mucus from my system.

So it isn’t any wonder why I lack focus and concentration really.

Basically, everything I do when I am not writing, are things I can do at home, in the bedroom.  Primarily with my desktop computer, as I have recently had it moved to the bedroom due to the fact I am often too sick to get downstairs these days and I have moved my laptop downstairs for the rare occasion I am down there for more than an hour.  Because my legs swell a lot sitting at the computer desk, I can only sit here for an hour before I have to rest with legs up for thirty minutes, to get the swelling down, so even if I am on a roll, my ankles start burning and that throws me off course and I have to go and put my feet up.

I read approximately 30 to 80 pages of a book per day and about half a magazine too.  The types of things I read the most are fantasy, sci-fi and comedy fiction with a lot of non-fiction thrown in; the non-fiction I enjoy are self-help books, nutrition books, history books, theological research, mythology, folklore and cultural studies.  My current reading list is Time Song by Julia Blackburn, The Toll by Neal Shusterman and Roy Vickery’s folk flora. 

I do puzzles such as codebreakers, arrow words and gardening magazine crosswords – before my chest got too bad I used to love doing 1000 piece jigsaw puzzles, but it is frustrating having a coughing fit and losing pieces across the room all the time!

If I am not too busy fighting mucus, I get to knit, crochet, sew or practise my recorder and keyboard. 

I watch TV only if there are documentaries I am interested in, I mostly watch Smithsonian and BBC four with some Drama channel thrown in.  I will watch anything with Lucy Worsley, anything about the history of jazz, soul and classical music, nature and wildlife documentaries, documentaries about farming and country life.  I like science too, so I will watch sky at night and space science programs as well as things in the past such as time commanders, gladiators and the occasional wrestling show.  I love comedies, I only watch the comedies on the Drama Channel, but I am picky about which ones to watch.  I like only connect and some quiz and puzzle shows like Countdown, but I don’t watch them all the time.  I have to be in the mood to watch TV and before I was sick I watched around three hours of TV a week, these days it’s about two hours a day.  We never miss Michael McIntyre’s Big Show if we can help it, nor do we tend to like missing gardeners world or shows such as the RHS show, cruft’s and BBC Proms.  I’m pretty old fashioned I suppose for someone who is thirty seven.  I dislike soap operas and drama llama stuff – yes I mentioned the drama channel, but there are three hours a day where it is strictly comedy and I tend to only watch that channel (at the comedy times) or food network when there is nothing else on.  Sometimes I put on a DVD and I will often choose vampires or family animations and comedies. 

The main things I do these days are play games online.  I don’t even socialise that much online anymore, because I lose concentration and people who know me are starting to think I have memory problems.  Because a coughing fit will make me forget what I have said or what I was on about.

The online games that grip me are… Roblox, yes Henry got me onto it and to be honest, Roblox has saved my relationship with my son!  Because I find his kind of games hard to do since becoming sick – Roblox has opened a whole new world for us and we play hide and seek and various other games together.  When Henry is at school, I still sneak onto the site and play bee swarm simulator, Ripull mini games and fairy simulator.  Bee Swarm simulator especially!

Other online games I play are ovipets it is a cute breeding game on facebook and I have been addicted to that for nearly 5yrs. 

Flightrising is another breeding game, but I go in and out of phases with that.  Primarily I have played this for a whole eight months without a break, purely because Henry wants to see what dragons I breed and he loves to name them and do what we call “Dragon Lottery”.  Dragon Lottery is where I look through the offspring possibilities scrying menu to see what will happen if I pair certain dragons up, sometimes I can’t decide, so I make a list of all the best ones that go with my chosen female that day and I number them, then Henry, Paul and I will choose a number from the list and put it through random.org and sometimes someone gets the number right, in which case that person must get a treat of some kind or get to choose to do something; I breed five pairs of dragons every five days, because that is how long it takes for the eggs to hatch and we have a limit of five breeding nests on this game. 

I used to play online scrabble but I have got accused of cheating because I know too many unusual words.  I don’t cheat on that game, I don’t see what purpose that serves other than the joy of creating misery on another person who loses and I am not a vindictive person like that.  I really do have a broad vocabulary, though I rarely use it outside of scrabble and I love doing anagrams for fun, so I see a lot of seven letter words and I am a dictionary and language addict, so I know words that are weird to normal people.  Here is a list of words I know for high scoring on scrabble, which have got me accused of cheating when used previously – plus, I have read books written by scrabble champions.

ZEBU – QAT –  QUARE – SEQUIN – AWK – EUOI – AIA – QI – KIMCHI – VEX – VAV – TAV – EAU – UVEA – AEON – OXIDE – POXY – QIN – QINTAR – FATWA – QABALA – QADI – SJOE – KHAKI – EUOUAE to name but a few.  I have to admit I was shocked when SEQUIN was considered a questionable word, the others I can understand, but I was sure almost everyone knew what sequins were?

I love words and word play so much I have considered about having a word of the week thing, but I am unreliable with keeping to things like that, as you can clearly see from past efforts or lack of.

Other than sketching with pencils or sharpies in bed and/or colouring in and story planning, I don’t do much else on a bad day.  On a good day I can add about an hour of light gardening to the list but not much else anymore.

I’m pretty boring I suppose, by my peers.  I can’t even cuddle the rabbit lately because I cough too much it terrifies the poor thing!  I suppose I sound like some big barking bear or something to the poor creature.

I have gone out to the doctors and walked past dogs when I am like this and the dogs think I am barking at them, they react accordingly, it is embarrassing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Considering non-fiction

A common piece of advice in the writing world is “write what you know” and although I do like to write a lot of things for research and so forth I have never really completely considered writing non-fiction before, but now I feel I would like to, for magazines eventually.  I have contemplated writing for a couple of specific hobby magazines because I have extensive knowledge on their main subjects.  I am going to list what I feel I know a lot about here and I may or may not share posts in the future of these subjects just to give you a taste of what I know.

Gardening

More specifically no dig, organic, permaculture, poly-culture style gardening.  This also includes wildlife gardening and creating mini-ecosystems, building a pond and dry stone walling.

I am also very knowledgeable in wild food foraging, where plants originated from and native British species, this also includes an interest in garden ornithology, and I wouldn’t say I am a bird watcher, but I pay too much attention to the wildlife and bird life within my own personal property that I have gotten to know their numbers as well as their habits.

I would also say that regarding garden pests and flora disease I am also a very knowledgeable biological warrior, using only nature against nature, nothing man-made, to benefit my plant-life, this means I will sometimes grow things I don’t specifically want, simply to provide my garden what I call “Sacrificial” plants.

Along with this I have had an avid interest in flora folklore/superstitions and ancient medical uses and my flora Latin is quite good, almost Carol Klein like.  I keep up to date with the gardening world as much as possible and before my health and benefit cuts happened I was a subscriber to four of Britain’s most renowned gardening magazines amongst other magazines I was interested in – bit of a magazine addict I was/am.

I have a huge amount of experience gardening a lot throughout my life (not professionally) but in the past three years specifically it has been only in dribs and drabs and the garden is looking a mess to put it lightly, namely because of health complications.

American professional wrestling between the years 1990 and 2003

I was an addict of watching wrestling when I was 10yrs old right up until I met an ex-boyfriend who didn’t approve of how much I loved wrestling.  I watched every kind of wrestling that was available to me, I bought every VHS and DVD I could afford at the time and I was even planning to go to America to learn how to wrestle – upon reflection it is a good thing I didn’t considering my career would have been over aged 30 because of these health problems!  I read a lot of wrestling magazines and body building magazines because I was so into it, then aged 21 I kind of grew up and loss contact with wrestling almost completely until last year.  I now sparsely watch TNA and AEW.

I am not sure I could write very much about what I knew from that long ago because it would be considered too ancient for anyone to care, I suppose?

Dogs, dog breed histories and dog training and grooming

I have been considered by people who know me as being the female British version of Cesar Milan as I seem to be a dog whisperer and have helped several people understand their dog’s behaviour!

I know it sounds absolutely awful but a few weeks ago on TV there was a show on it called train your baby like a dog and I have to say it is absolutely true – I see no difference whatsoever in training a dog than I do a baby and vice versa, it is very similar!  Every social creature has an innate desire to become dominant within its social circle and this usually is the worst during infancy, every social creature eventually learns through infancy and good guidance from its elders that it has to follow rules or there will be ramifications, it is not different to humans at all.  Humanity has to get over this silly idea that humans are different to animals.

You get a neglected child and they tend to grow up off the rails and they attack authority at all costs in many cases, you get a well nurtured child and they are more likely to fall in line and be a good citizen.  I know from personal experience not every child who is neglected grows up to become an anarchist, because not every child in the world has the desire to control others.  Children like I was simply wanted the world to be a lovely peaceful place and this in turn, made me quite a submissive and quiet individual.  My brother on the other hand was the type to go off the rails and fight authority all his life.  My other brother was nurtured pretty well because he was a love child and was wanted, unlike me and the other brother, consequently he is a neutral person who has a good relationship with his mother and is socially stable with very little emotional problems.

It is the same with dogs in my opinion.  You nurture that dog like it is your personal baby and depending on how much discipline you demand of it, it will either take advantage of you and become a nasty biting little dog, or it will grow up a stable individual who loves his mama and will obey at all costs.  By discipline I don’t mean shout and yell or kick and hit, that is disgusting behaviour which will eventually become a habitual behaviour in whatever creature you are nurturing as it will become a normality for them.

With a dog, like a baby and a toddler you command and teach with as few words as possible that you repeat regularly so not to confuse them, so it sinks in and you give them infinite patience no matter how you feel.

Superstitions and folklore around the world including cryptozoology

I have had a massive interest in all things supernatural and all things strange and unknown since I was around seven years of age.  I have studied extensively as many books on the subject as possible, particularly witchcraft and vampires, but there has been other creatures and situations I have been interested in hugely.  I have also been interested in peasant folklore and their beliefs, such as talking to the bees, bowing and saluting magpies and being aware of what colour and type of flower you bring to a person or a house.  I am interested in the Victorian art of the language of flowers, something I should have mentioned above in the gardening section.  I have been gifted beautiful bunches of flowers and often hide a laugh behind my polite thank you smile, when I notice I have been gifted red and white lilies as in some superstitions around the world red and white denotes death as well as lilies being the flower of death.  I don’t hold with the superstitions myself, but I love learning about them.  For example, I have bought lilacs and hawthorns into my home as part of my cut flower display for the dining table, many superstitious people would say that my health is my own fault then, because those plants bought into the house will make the head of the house sick and even kill them within a couple of months.

World History primarily European and Chinese history

This is another subject that I am interested in, particularly my own personal genetic history and the history of aristocrats, royalty and gypsies, also ancient warfare and combat.  The history I am interested in is vast, I also love reading about architecture too and fashion from the ages.  I have a lot of useless information in my head if I wasn’t a writer, but as I am a writer these so-called useless bits of information that seem to serve no purpose are actually polished gems which will help me create real feeling worlds in my novels.

Food is another interest of mine

I am knowledgeable in vegan and vegetarian dishes (but not a vegetarian or vegan myself), the paleo lifestyle and the diet known as The Wahl’s Protocol, Mediterranean diet, Indian and Chinese diet, as well as desserts and pies and so forth.  I love cooking and baking, sugar crafting and making homemade sweets, cakes etc. you name it, I love it.  Despite my allergies, which adds another skill to my list, all these things above I can do gluten and lactose free!  I don’t just research recipes and share them either, I am so interested in the world around me and how to keep healthy (because let’s face it I need to try and stop being ill) that I can tell you the sorts of vitamins and minerals you will find in each piece of food you eat as well as tell you the best way to grow it and it’s best companion plants in the garden to grow it next to and the type of soil it needs for the highest of nutritional benefit!

I make compotes, jams and chutneys, soups, pies, pastries, cakes, bread, I am just very versatile in the kitchen, but I must warn you… I am one of these strange people in life who can’t do anything simple like omelettes or frying sausages, without burning them or myself, the more complicated the recipe, the better I am!

Chickens too

Yes you heard it; I am knowledgeable about keeping chickens and how to keep them healthy, including any plants you must avoid around them and using their chicken manure as well as making excellent homemade chicken stock and soup.

Gemstone healing

I used to be into this big time, but lately I am so ill with so many things going on that unless I lay down for three hours a day I really don’t benefit much from these anymore, simply because I can’t lay down for more than 3 minutes on a bad day without choking.

But the stuff I know seems to work for others.

Religion and religious history from around the world

Despite being renowned as a person with humanist leanings and having no precise religion, I am actually quite obsessed about learning about religion in all its forms and researching intensively.  I don’t have a religion because I don’t like to commit to something which could actually be what I call a “deceivers religion”, I am paranoid about getting it wrong.  In a lot of my research material I have discovered amazing things that have surprised me so much I have been absolutely stupefied at how little so-called pious people know about their own faith and its origins.

I try not to preach to people when religion is bought up (only inform so they can make their own decisions about things) but I am shocked about how little they know of their own faith, it is hard, but I have made a point that as far as religion and politics are concerned, I can air my beliefs online on social media but I will not engage on any debate about it, because once you commit to something like that, it will become a never ending argument as neither side tends to relent.  For some religious people, when I simply state “each to their own and lets agree to disagree” they simply won’t leave it at that.  I have extensive knowledge of Judaism, Catholicism and Christianity in all its forms as well as Hinduism and Buddhism; I haven’t much knowledge just yet on Islam or Sikhism unfortunately.  But I also know a lot about ancient religions such as Norse, Greek, Roman, Egyptian and especially Sumerian beliefs.

It is interesting to read the origin of Christianity too; a lot of the original beliefs are not upheld in Christian communities of today, a Christian from the time of Christ’s death around the time it first started, would have a problem digesting a lot of what goes on in Christian communities of today.

For me personally God is gender-less, they do not have a name simply as being known as a creator or more specifically the creator, I cannot give them an image nor assume that they are in human form just because I am, I will not presume what he deems is good and evil, but I do believe he will give me the innate instinct of knowing what he thinks about certain things I am pondering before I do them.  If I think I would feel bad or remorseful after doing something, I generally consider that as a sign I must not do it and I have had this belief for nearly 18yrs.  It is naughty to presume anything about God or the creator, no one must think they can speak for him or make laws based on what they believe he wants – because I do also believe there is a deceiver who works against the truth and that is the evil in the world.  If anything hurts or kills or hates or does anything remotely negative, it has been influenced by the evil in the world or the deceiver as I call them.  I will also state that I do believe billions of people can be wrong, because billions of people can be duped, look at the concept of fake new for one thing – fake news is not new.  I must admit I have been planning a book on this, but I am scared I will become the new Salman Rushdie with death threats and so forth.  Paul believes he has never met a more pious person in his life, pious but without religion, pious but without an explanation to the world and he would never dare call me religious in a mainstream sense, because that would be very wrong, there is no religion in the world which is remotely pure enough that it cannot be tainted in some way and I believe I am by far from perfect, no one can be perfect in a world where evil resides so freely.

Some people in the past have considered me to be a Satanist, simply because I quoted something that Satan was reputed to have said once.  I am trying to remember the source where I read it from, but he was quoted in saying “I do not hate God, but I hate the God of man”, which in my opinion tells me a lot, it tells me that the God of man is what man has made for himself either by humanities own design or by the design of a great deceiver, which also shows me that Satan is not someone who is at war with God if I were to believe the Judo-Christian concept – it means there is a different devil at work, someone who has cleverly kept his name unknown and has spread bad media against those of the truth, whilst endeavouring over the centuries to conceal, hide and destroy the truth, to confuse humanity with false knowledge.

It is very deep stuff, but it is worth thinking about.

I believe wholeheartedly that there is a balance in the universe and at present the balance is tipping hither and tither good and evil, there is definitely a power struggle and I have no idea why humanity is key in it all nor whether or not humans are the only creatures on earth who have a religion, because I am not Dr Doolittle.  But we can’t presume that animals don’t have a religion no more than we can presume what the truth is.

You can find the truth in a lot of lies, because a liar can never remember their own lies and will often slip up.  If you read many conflicting religious ideas over the centuries you do begin to see a pattern of both inconsistencies and consistencies.

I know I am religious in my own way because five years ago a person in the street yelled next to me at some Jehovah Witnesses in Birmingham this “God is dead”! and for me, that was a knife through the heart and stomach and it made me feel quite ill, it affected me badly enough that Paul had to stop me ranting at them about how wrong and evil they were to state it.

I know some of my poetry seem to attack God directly, but you have never asked which God I am writing about.  Usually when I write about God so venomously I write about the God of man or the deceptive God and I will tell you something extraordinary and you may not be inclined to believe it.  But when I was 25yrs old I spoke a lot about my beliefs on four religious and spiritual forums and I was researching for the truth, I discovered many things, many so-called secret societies and secrecy in general, I was shocked to find in my private message box, a message from the Vatican telling me that what I say may or may not indeed be true, but I must stop talking about it, lest I have problems from them.  Thinking nothing of it, for a short while in my life I noticed I was stalked, primarily by priests and nuns which is unnerving and a strange coincidence.  When I decided to stop vocalising about it all, they stopped following me.

Now is this a coincidence?  I was never really sure.  But it is food for thought.  Coincidentally, seven people I knew from the forums that refused to be quiet on the same subjects, died in accidents in less than two years after my silence and a further two people were arrested for apparently nothing and was never released, weird enough their families and friends are unable to visit them which has caused big stirs with the authorities.

It is a strange world out there, stranger than you think and more secretive and deceptive than you think.

Arts and crafts

I have a  broad scope of knowledge regarding arts and crafts, from doing 1000 piece puzzles, to knitting, sewing, embroidery, decoupage, greeting card making, scrap-booking, felt making, making Christmas and Halloween decorations, you name it, I have probably done it for a time. 

Learning languages and having an interest in the origins of words and names

For some of my friends I can come across as a bit of a Susie Dent from Countdown to them, I will explain the name and origins of their chosen names for their babies and I will bring up words they’ve never heard of before because they have recently been removed from the English dictionary and I am vainly trying to popularise those words so that they can get back into the dictionary once again.  I had a huge debate three weeks ago with a bunch of online friends about the new username I have on a game site we use, the word was Eventide, a lot of people misunderstood this as being Eve as in Adam and Eve and some others thought what does ide mean?  Because they thought I meant event ide as some thought perhaps I loved fishing!  Well no, eventide is old English for evening and they can’t understand why I just didn’t name myself Evening instead.  How boring.  A lot of people are forgetting the use for the words dawn and dusk and even twilight, you say the word twilight now and they instantly think shitty teen vampire movie.  Twilight by the way is my most favourite time of the day, it is so beautiful sometimes and I have often thought about naming a daughter Twyla because of it, though the meaning of the name Twyla is old English for two or double, usually given to a twin daughter a lot like the name Thomas for boys, which also means twin.  I know quite a bit of Latin, I am currently a level 3 Italian students, fluent in French, tourist ability in Japanese and Spanish and I have learned excellent methods of learning languages at an incredible speed.  If I practise a language an hour a day I am usually fluent within the year at most, regarding languages I am a fast learner, astute, adroit, you name it!  It can be difficult to speak in all the words I know because I still have that working class way inbuilt into me, but I can shift the manner of which I speak very well to whomever I am talking to at the time.  I don’t mean my voice, I don’t mean my personal mannerisms or accent, I am simply talking about going from tabloid to broadsheet whenever the situation needs it!  I often sit there, with my semi-working-class accent talking to people of upper middle or high class talking to me, they think working class, OK, I use some big words here to make myself sound smarter and I sit there and grin because I can use big words too, it is a lovely feeling to have, smarm.

That’s about it really.   That and general literature, but that is mostly useful for quizzes or recommendations rather than being a piece of worthwhile knowledge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Happy New Year & update

Happy New Year everybody!

This is just an update on what has been going on with me;

Today has been the first day since the 21st December 2019 that I have been able to actually leave my bed for more than an hour, flu hit me hard and fast and without warning and then it turned as it always does into a chest and double ear bacterial infection. (I pre-scheduled some posts for the holidays in anticipation for this) I have been on antibiotics but there are still bubbles in my chest so, I may have to go back to the doctor again on Friday about that.  Thankfully my chest has not been as bad as it usually is this time of year and that could be down to the fact that I am taking care of myself better – I literally did confine myself to my bed all this time and have been drinking something akin to 3 litres of fluids a day to keep myself hydrated.  My vertigo and asthma has been bad though.

I should be much better by the end of next week if all goes well – which makes this illness thankfully short in duration.

There has been a suggestion that my post nasal drip and chest problems could be COPD, a friend is convinced I have to have this looked into.  I wouldn’t be surprised if it turned out to be that because my mother and other relatives have this condition, though I have never known them to be so severe for so long.

I am also convinced that the lumps I get in various parts of my body are not what my GP calls “folliculitis” at all, because these lumps come up within hours or a day or two before I get hit badly with infections, colds and flus, I told this to them but they seem to be smarmy enough to know more than I do about my bodies reactions!  Whenever I get badly sick, doctors are always surprised at how swollen I am everywhere, but still, the warning lumps as I call them are only folliculitis, not a sign of anything else at all.

Goodreads.com annual reading challenge I set myself for 2019 was 75 books and I managed to read 119 (and a half). 

Goodreads challenge this year for 2020 will be 104 books.  Which, health willing, I should be able to totally smash by August.

This illness is making me go off of food lately.  I am really begin to dislike food, I don’t enjoy it anymore and I don’t think it is just the illness as this has been coming on slowly for the last couple of months – but since this flu started I have virtually not wanted a thing at all.  I think I have lost a lot of weight in the past two weeks, my pyjamas are very big on me and there seems to be gaps in places I haven’t had in a while. 

I don’t normally watch a lot of TV but this illness has dictated that I have watched an average of 10 hours of TV per day since the 21st – watching a lot of stuff that has been giving me a lot of inspiration but unfortunately too tired to write most of them down.  Mostly I have watched Minions and Shrek, fantasy movies and wildlife documentaries.  I like the new BBC Dracula series that’s on this New Year, but then again it is vampires, why am I not surprised?

Over the past few months I have been lulling over two ideas based on the novel Dracula, which is unusual for me, as my vampires are usually unique characters designed purely by me, but these two particular ideas I have are entirely based on the original novel by Bram Stoker.

One idea of which is based on the viewpoint of Dr Van Helsing and it is based on the future rather than the past.  It is based on a post-apocalyptic world.

The other idea I have is based on the viewpoint of the three brides of Dracula, there is a big twist though with one of the brides, based on European history and so forth, so it is more than I let on.

A couple of days before the flu struck me down, I did more genealogical research on my family and found out I am a descendant of someone in history I have always particularly hated – typical isn’t it?  I found out I am descended as a 23rd great granddaughter to Ralph DeNeville through his daughter Philippa.  Since discovering this, I have been getting ideas based on these times as well, with a fantasy twist of course.  I have been thinking about writing alternative historical fantasy fiction.  I am very keen on history so I think I could make it come across very realistic, the thing is, I will not leave fantasy out of the equation, so there will be a lot of strangeness to the stories and quite possibly comedy.

There is a lot of history in my vampire novels, particularly around the Roman, Tudor, Renaissance and Victorian times, so I already have some skill writing about that. 

I don’t want to lose the concept of comic fantasy though, I have recently heard that comedy fantasy is very sought after and hardly anyone is taking the bait for it – so hopefully if I took myself more seriously as a writer, I should have an open market for what I have to offer.  I am not cocky enough to presume that it will be a doddle for me to get published at all, I really don’t believe I am all that great – despite what people have said to me, but the market is appears to be less crowded?

Well I can only hope in the least.  I nearly forgot to write those six stories I wanted to do for the magazine as well, I will get on that in the next couple of days – I have settled on a mermaid story for that as my first entry.

Happy New Year Everyone!

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