Category Archives: History

Hump Day Hook

It’s Hump Day again, folks and unfortunately I’ve been absent for the last two. It’s been a particularly ghastly few weeks for me and mine. (Well, two of them) And we’ve all been stressed and worried; but, as we know, women are like tea bags…..we don’t know how strong we are until we’re in hot water. πŸ˜ƒ However, things are slowly getting back on track and I’m slowly beginning to lose myself in writing again. The perfect antidote to life’s horrors IMO.

So, onward and upward as they say and in the last two hooks, I’ve told how two sisters are visiting Pontefract Castle where one of the girls has a rather nasty ‘vision’. Her sister, a history buff does a spot of research to try and discover who the man in the vision may be….and this is what she discovers;


So, the poor unfortunate is Anthony Woodville, Earl Rivers, brother to the widowed queen, Elizabeth Woodvile. And yesterday, 25/6/2013 was the anniversary of Anthony’s execution.

To read more hooks, visit This Site sit back and enjoy some great hooks from fabulous authors. πŸ˜„

A-Z Challenge….The Final Day.

20130430-102005.jpg is for The Zouch Chapel.

20130430-102200.jpg The Zouch Chapel is in York Minster and is a place of quiet prayer and contemplation but is not open to the public.

The chapel was built in memory of William la Zouch, Archbishop of York (1292-1352) William wrote his will in 1349 probably during the worst of the Black Death outbreak which was claiming so many of the clergy. And in it, he left instructions for a Chantry to be built in his memory. However, in the event and such was the dire situation of the economy after the ravages of the plague that only a chapel was endowed in his name. The Zouch Chapel

The Chapel has some of the most beautiful stained glass to be seen and many of the windows depict animals, birds and even in one….a spider.

20130430-105219.jpg This charming scene of a wren and a spider is my favourite. Just look at the expression on the birds face. But is he hungry or just curious, and did anyone notice that the poor arachnid has only six legs. Perhaps it sacrificed the other two to the wren.

Here to, in a corner of the chapel is a well which is known as Saint Peter’s Well. It was here, according to tradition that King Edwin of Northumbria (Born: 586 AD, Deira Died: 630 AD, Hatfield)
was baptised by Paulinus on Easter Eve 627. And this is why York Minster is called St Peter’s Cathedral.


20130430-111451.jpg St Peter’s Well

More Beautiful Glass




To read more about this lovely little chapel…..visit this site and see some more beautiful stained glass and stone carvings.

A-Z Challenge

20130428-212830.jpg is for Yew Trees, wise guardians of the dead.

If I had a garden….I would plant it with masses of conifers. Tall ones, small ones, dwarf and spreading, I love them; but my favourite of all is the Yew.
Because when seen in a typical English country churchyard, all rich dark green and sometimes sooty black…clipped and often shaped to that never intended by nature; they appear to be watching and waiting for….something. I don’t know what these stunning trees could be waiting for but I wouldn’t be surprised if….come night fall when the village sleeps, they uproot themselves and wander around their melancholy domain just because they can….maybe.

Yes, I know that’s really fanciful but that’s how I see Yews. They live, breath and think and are blessed with the wisdom of ages. They never fail to give me goosebumps when I see them flanking a path to the church door, or grouped almost protectively around graves as in the image below. The Yew, then has been the subject of myth, legend and worship for centuries, and it is said that this is rooted in Plato’s teachings that evergreen plants are associated with the immortality of the soul.

20130428-214453.jpg Beautiful ancient clipped yews among table top graves. The Yew has been the subject of myth, legend and worship for centuries, and it is said that this is rooted in Plato’s teachings that evergreen plants are associated with the immortality of the soul, and in Wales the Yew is indeed the symbol of immortality arising from the pre-Christian beliefs and customs of Celt Druids. Yews were planted around Pagan temples and later, this custom was adopted by Christians as a ‘Holy Symbol’ and consequently Yews were planted in British graveyards as a symbol of everlasting life.

Yews can live for hundreds of years, indeed some say thousands of years and some very ancient British Yews are the only survivors of lost Medieval villages. Yews have a maximum height of 33ft they grow very slowly and larger trees have two or more trunks growing and uniting through fusion. And in this case, they can have a circumference of up to 57ft. So goodness only knows how old these trees are. I wonder what they could tell us if they could talk.

20130429-223404.jpg Yews in Borley church yard, Suffolk

20130429-223532.jpg Can you see the ghost nun amongst the Yews? Borley church yard

A-Z Challenge

20130428-185254.jpg is for Xanadu and the Poem Kublai Khan by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

Now I don’t know a great deal about poetry much less Coleridge’s Kubla Khan….but trying to find something to write about beginning with X was very um…trying. So, I thought ‘Ah, Xanadu!’ And looked it up and Bingo! I found where it was from and the poem where it is mentioned.

The poem was written (or at least started) in 1797 after an opium influenced dream Coleridge apparently had after he’d read a book describing Xanadu, the summer palace of the Mongol ruler and Emperor of China KublaKhan. When he woke up, he began to write the lines of poetry that came from the dream. He was interrupted in the middle of his writing by a visitor, consequently he did not complete his work because the interruption caused Coleridge to forget the lines. One wonders if he was, in fact suffering from an opium induced hangover as the effects of the drug wore off.

However, Coleridge did publish his epic poem in 1816 on the advice of his old pal George Gordon Byron…but unfortunately some of Coleridge’s contemporaries denounced the poem and questioned his story about its origin ( they obviously didn’t partake of the poppy then) But years later Kubla Khan is now hailed by critics as one of Coleridge’s greatest works along with The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Christabel

I’ll have to take their word for it I’m afraid.

Here then…for your delight is the first verse….with the word Xanadu in the first line πŸ˜„

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round:
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.



A-Z Challenge

20130428-121759.jpg is for The White Queen…a novel by Phillipa Gregory about Elizabeth Woodville, queen of Edward 1V.

The first in a stunning new series, The Cousins’ War, is set amid the tumult and intrigue of the Wars of the Roses. Internationally bestselling author Philippa Gregory brings this extraordinary family drama to vivid life through its women – beginning with Elizabeth Woodville, the White Queen.

Now, this book has been made into a television drama to be shown next month (May) I believe. I am eagerly looking forward to watching it as this period in history is a great favourite of mine. However…..I hope they haven’t ‘sexed it up’ and created a Hollywood type royal soap opera as was the case with The Tudors although I admit to having watched and enjoyed that series.

I don’t mind seeing a bit of (tasteful) nooky between Edward and Elizabeth…after all, he was well known for his love of beautiful women and bed sport. But I don’t particularly want to see it in every scene. And please God no gratuitous masturbation scenes as we saw in The Tudors. Surely even kings are allowed to indulge in this pleasure in private. πŸ˜‰

20130428-124625.jpg From left, Clarence, Edward & Gloucester

20130428-124802.jpg Edward & Elizabeth

20130428-124909.jpg Ben Lamb as Antony Woodville And I approve of the choice of actor playing my hero….Antony Woodville. I hope he plays him well. He is handsome as was Antony and he looks good here in armour. I wonder if that will be Antony’s famous joust against The Bastard of Burgundy.

Anyway…..roll on May and I’ll leave you with a taster of The White Queen;

Oh dear, apparently the above video has very poor sound and I can’t find another one to post instead. But….to see the clip with sound, visit this site . I do apologise for the rubbish video….and thank you Ciaran Dwynvil for pointing it out.