For Sale: An authentic Vampire Slayer Box Set

One of my favourite television programme 20 or so years ago was Buffy The Vampire Slayer and even now there have been few shows with such sharp dialogue often overlooked by many at the time due to the perceived nature of the show.

Buffy is just one of the more recent example of vampires in history and popular culture and this week an actual “vampire-slaying kit” containing a pocket-sized pistol and a 19th century copy of the New Testament is going under the hammer.

The rather lovely looking gothic-looking container is said to be worth between £2,000 and £3,000, also comes packed with pliers, rosary and a bottle of shark’s teeth.

Vampire slaying kit - credi mark Laban Hansons (2)

An authentic Vampire Slayer Box Set

Also inside the metal-bound box is an ivory-robed wolf carrying rosary beads, as well as a blue phial with mysterious contents and a silver-bladed pocket knife. Inside the lid is an oval enamel painting that depicts the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

There’s no record of the box’s origin, but the 1842 copy of the New Testament within bears the inscription of an Isabella Swarbrick.

Charles Hanson, owner of the Derbyshire-based Hansons Auctioneers, the firm selling the box, said: “People are fascinated by stories of vampires, hence their continued appearance in films and on TV today.

“They have been part of popular culture for more than 200 years.

vamp image 2

Looking inside a Vampire Slayer Box Set

“The publication of John Polidori’s The Vampyre in 1819 had a major impact and that was followed by Bram Stoker’s 1897 classic Dracula.”

He added: “However, a belief in vampires and strange superstitions goes back even further and persists to this day.

“The task of killing a vampire was extremely serious and historical accounts suggested the need for particular methods and tools.

“Items of religious significance, such as crucifixes and Bibles, were said to repel these monsters, hence their strong presence in the kit we have found.”

The box will be sold online on 16 July, as part of a five-day-long antiques and collector’s auction.

Vampire slaying kit - credi mark Laban Hansons

Everything a Victorian Vampire hunter would need!

It’s awfully tempting!   If you don’t fancy a spot of vampire hunting but do like some spooky goings on then take a peek at another Victorian supernatural event The Legend of Spring Heeled Jack

Posted in history, Life, News, Religion and Faith | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

My instagrammable blue cottage

I thought I would post some new photos of the front of my new but ancient cottage.  it being outside, it is the one of the few things I have managed to get completed during the virus situation.

It is still not quite complete but due to everything going on I missed a few planting deadlines and will have to wait until next year for them.  I’m sure it will look better next year too as the plants I’ve put in place will have settled in by then and grown a little.

Cottage wout number l

It looks nice and cheery in the bright sunshine but somehow it stands out even more in the cloud or rain as it is still bright and blue when the other buildings are gloomy looking, even the white ones.

Cottage wout number r

You probably couldn’t have a newer or bigger house painted blue in Britain unless by the seaside but there is something about very old and small cottages that can pull off bright colours.

I am pretty sure if I lived in a trendy village mews in London I would end up having a steady stream of tourists taking selfies outside!  As it is I get so many people crossing the road to say how much they love the house or how it cheers them up.  People take photos, sketch drawings and just stand and look at it as well as those who knock on the door just to say how walking past the house is the highlight of their day.   I’ve even had an old lady stop and ask if she can sit on the bench for a few minutes.

Everyone says the rest of the street should do something similar so we will look like Portobello Road in Notting Hill but I’m not sure everyone else is quite as brave.  It shows though what you can do with some paint, a simple piece of garden furniture and a few flowers and shrubs.

I wonder what the people who lived here in 1826 would think. Some things haven’t changed and I’d like to think they would appreciate it especially as Georgian houses were often brightly painted but as accommodation for a farmer or mill worker, I can’t help but think they’d go their whole lives without ever seeing an olive tree, let alone having an olive.  I’m sure they would feel at home with the roses though!

What do you think, is it Instagram worthy?

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Coronavirus Diary 56 – My first hug!

In England, last Saturday was known as Super Saturday with the first substantial re-opening of shops and pubs soon after most shops re-opened.   Of course none of that interested me in the slightest.

It probably shows something of what a simple life I lead and what makes me happy when on an off-chance I decided to go and see a friend in her shop not too far away from where I used to live.  I didn’t even know if they would be open, if she would be there or if I could go in.  Still it was worth going there just on the off-chance to say ‘Hi’.

This would also be the first time I’d been in a proper building that wasn’t an empty church since the last time I was in a shop, funnily enough hers. (See Coronavirus Diary 2… wow have we been going that long?).  I still remember that day very well, it was a totally crazy day outside as the much of the planet seemed to obsess over toilet roll and food hoarding and even hand-shakes were a thing of the past. We had a good-bye hug that screamed we don’t care too much if we get the virus and if we aren’t going to see each other again then this is the way to go.

These days only 1 in 2,200 people have the virus in any form across the UK generally and many of these are concentrated in hospitals and caring institutions.  I was happy with my 0.052% chance I would get the virus and 1% of that of dying from it.  If I didn’t go out then I may be stuck inside for another 6 months or 2 years or ever and I’m way more likely to be on a ventilator machine in hospital from one of my regular chest infections that anyone else is of dying from this virus and I hardly lock myself away in mid-winter.

Having said that it is now 18 months since I last had a serious chest infection that required hospital visits or antibiotics… normally I get them right through the year.  How funny it is that having endured these awful things all my life, the one time everyone is getting a piece of the action, I have so far had the healthiest winter, spring and early summer since at least 1982.   It would be terrible to stay locked away for 2 or 3 years and then die of a bad chest infection anyway or indeed get pushed under a train…. again.

Anyway, when I got to the shop there were signs up with social distance measures advertised and only 3 customers would be allowed in at any one time.    I could see 3 in all ready so I hovered around outside until my friends husband waved me in and I took my customary point behind the counter.

Sometimes when I am behind the shop counter, I am left in charge for a few minutes and I always think of poor incompetent and not too bright Manuel when he finally gets to man the front desk in Fawlty Towers,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0Apd0IXZs0
My friend wasn’t to be seen so I chatted away for 10 minutes to the chap who also jointly runs the shop when my friend appeared from the store room.

“Mr Liddell’s!” she exclaimed, “I am just going to take Stephen round the back for 5 minutes” which sounds a bit naughtier in writing than in practice.  We didn’t quite make it to the store room or the back yard or kitchen and spontaneously one of the biggest hugs in history took place.  It was so big it would not have been a surprise if the skies had darkened and lightning bolts appeared as the the Earth rumbled ominously like in movies when 2 unstoppable forces finally come together!

My friend is very slim and quite tiny but very strong so I don’t worry too much about breaking her and she is one of the best huggers though very kindly she says mine are the best as I’m a human sized teddy bear and happily I haven’t yet banged her head on the ceiling.  I’m sure it normally looks something like this.

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Most people won’t understand unless they too have gone 4 or 5 months without any contact but whilst others complain about things relatively high up on my ladder, having a hug is the most important thing in the world.

We pretty much hugged each other to exhaustion so she had to have a cigarette before getting back to her customers and I needed a cup of tea.  Sometimes I look over or ask her husband who is as equally laid back about life as I am and he just says “hug away, it saves me a job!”

Just as others think fondly of a nice meal or sitting in the sun, I will think of that hug until the next time… well actually the time after the next time as I got one when I left a few hours later. I stayed about 2 hours soaking up the atmosphere, making customers laugh and getting randomly prodded, patted and squeezed.

I’m quite hoarse today as I’ve probably only said 100 sentences in total these last 4 or 5 months since.   Good job I’m too shy to do video blogging!  So as everyone goes out protesting or getting drunk or overcrowding beaches or complaining about something they don’t like, just remember there are still just a few people even in a country such as this who have waited 4 months just to have a simple hug to receive any level of joy. As they say where I come from; everything else is just gravy.

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Happy 8th birthday to my blog!

Would you believe that on Sunday I was notified that my blog is 8 years old.  When I started I had no idea that I would still be writing almost a decade later.  I pretty much thought I’d be lucky to make it out of July 2012.

The timing is rather convenient because of Sunday night I didn’t have a single post for the week for only the second time in 8 years.  My motivation to do very much at all being way down due a total absence of real life, work and money nor any indication of any heading my way; the government and the world at large generally not caring either and the stupid virus apart from everything else resulting in my still living in a home that is still in many ways a shell almost 6 months later.  I think I was pretty accurate with my predictions on how the virus would impact on me all those months ago.

Screenshot 2020-07-05 at 11.04.43Screenshot 2020-07-05 at 11.07.17

My best every blogging day was late in 2019 despite my figures being down a little over the last year or so.  I think partly as I have almost written about all the obvious and less obvious topics but also because Google changed its algorithms which means some old posts that once had many 10,000’s of views each year, now get hardly any.

Screenshot 2020-07-05 at 11.07.40Screenshot 2020-07-05 at 11.07.48

I have so very diverse followers aside from those very faithful and fun people who like and comment on my posts regularly.  Would you believe I have national and local governments 5 continents following me? A whole pile of university and schools… I pity the poor souls who find my musings worthy of study or reference but on the other hand I suppose I am a lot more fun than most of my teachers were.  Everyone from militaries, police departments, the United Nations, freedom fighters, cultural and media institutions, various stars and a handful of oddballs which of course are amongst my favourite people!!

Screenshot 2020-07-05 at 11.09.07

Can you imagine how many 10,000’s of people have some of the posts above even away from my blog  if they have been shared over 100 times?  It’s enough to give me stage-fright!   Maybe I should repost some of the older and most popular ones which are now lost in the mists of time.

I guess there are 3 big goals coming up, my 1000th post, my 10th year and my millionth reader.   We will have to arrange some sort of epic 24 hour long online video call party so everyone can say hi to each other.

 

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Remembering Ennio Morricone

I heard early yesterday morning of the death of film composer Ennio Morricone who provided the soundtrack to some of my favourite films. Born in Rome in 1928 while Italy was headed by Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, Morricone learned music from his father, a trumpeter in small orchestras.   He went on to compose scores for movies such as ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’, ‘The Mission’ and ‘Cinema Paradiso’ until his death  at the age of 91.

The first time I heard his music was from the title music for the 1981 BBC series The Life and Times of David Lloyd George.  What a 7 year old was doing watching political period drama television programmes is probably known only to myself!  It’s a very beautiful piece of music though and I’m sure was very popular in the 1980’s but I’ve not heard it for decades until today.

Morricone wrote for over 500 films, television programmes, popular songs and orchestras, but it was his friendship with Italian director Sergio Leone that brought him fame, with scores for Spaghetti Westerns starring Clint Eastwood in the 1960s.

They include the so-called ‘Dollars Trilogy’ – ‘A Fistful of Dollars,’ ‘For a Few Dollars More,’ and ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’.  Morricone used unconventional instruments such as the Jew’s harp, amplified harmonica, mariachi trumpets, cor anglais and the ocarina – an ancient Chinese instrument shaped like an egg.  The music was accompanied by real sounds such as whistling, cracking of whips, gunshots and sounds inspired by wild animals including coyotes.

Even though they were obviously big hits at the time and remain iconic, they were a bit before my time and perhaps a little controversially I don’t count them as his best work though I know that is what he is most appreciated for.   I think the composer himself must have felt similarly as he always tried to shake off the association with the Spaghetti Westerns, reminding people, particularly outside Italy, that he had a very creative and productive life before and after the films he made with Leone.

‘It’s a strait-jacket. I just don’t understand how, after all the films I have done, people keep thinking about ‘A Fistful of Dollars’. People are stuck back in time, 30 years ago,’ the Maestro, as he was known in Italy, told Reuters in 2007.  ‘My production for Westerns is maybe 7.5 or 8 percent of what I have done overall.’

All told Morricone won two Oscars and dozens of others awards including Golden Globes, Grammys and BAFTAs and may have continued if not for an unfortunate recent accident when he broke his femur some days ago and died during the night in a clinic in Rome.

His last Oscar was in 2016 for best original score for Quentin Tarantino’s ‘The Hateful Eight’. He first declined the job, but then relented, demanding that Tarantino allow him a ‘total break with the style of Western films I wrote 50 years ago’.

One of Morricone’s most evocative soundtracks was for the 1986 film ‘The Mission,’ by Roland Joffe, for which he was nominated for an Oscar and won a Golden Globe.

To accompany the story of the Jesuit missions in 18th century South America, Morricone used European style liturgical chorales and native drums to convey the mix of the old and new worlds.

Another non-Western classic was Leone’s ‘Once Upon a Time in America’, in 1984, which told the story of poor Jewish children in New York who grow up to become Prohibition-era mobsters.

In Italy, Morricone developed a close friendship with director Giuseppe Tornatore, whose ‘Cinema Paradiso’ won the Oscar for best foreign film in 1989. Morricone also composed for Brian De Palma’s ‘The Untouchables’, Barry Levinson’s ‘Bugsy’, and Margarethe von Trotta’s ‘The Long Silence’ and all manner of other hits.

Being a big fan of more genre films, I have always been a fan of his sound track for The Thing, a sci-fi horror film by John Carpenter.

Just listening to it now it is still as chilling and unnerving as it always was.  It sets the scene perfectly and though I’ve never been to a polar region, I wouldn’t want to be listening to this one snowy night on the moors all alone… after all Man is the warmest place to hide!!

My favourite soundtrack though is actually the one he recently won an Oscar for in 2016 The Hateful Eight.  It’s a Quentin Tarantino film and like many of his films, the first half of the Hateful Eight is long on suspense and build-up with not a great deal happening until the inevitably violent and bloody pay-off.

This piece of music is from the introduction and really does a perfect job of setting the scene.  In many ways it is a very old fashioned western film but with a very stylish 21st century twist.  The whole score is great but the long intro that settles on a carriage being ridden through the snow sets the scene for the distrust, deceit, and murderous intent that is about to hit us.

As someone who goes to the cinema more often than not, I rate this film very highly if you like cinema as a kind of art and for me the soundtrack is a fitting epitaph for Ennio Morricone.

For another of my favourite deceased film composers, see my 2015 tribute to My tribute to James Horner – Movie composer extraordinaire

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The forlorn church of St Mary Somerset

When I was out in London last week, I went on a walk of discovery.  As is often the way in London, I ‘discovered’ several places but also got the chance to visit somewhere I knew perfectly well even though I’d never been there… at least not for 6 or 7 years and never to have a proper nose around.

I’ve seen the church of St Mary Somerset thousands of times from the side view as one can observe it near the northern approach to the Millennium Bridge.  This isn’t your typical church though, in fact it’s not really a church at all anymore and for once it isn’t due to Great Fires, plagues, the Luftwaffe or modern day terrorists but Victorian urban planners and their fantastic engineers.

St Mary Somerset gardens part of

Mary is obviously a very popular name for a church and even in the square mile of the old City of London there were 14 churches so named before The Great Fire of London with just 6 being rebuilt afterwards.

After the Fire, the parish was combined with that of St Mary Mounthaw, which was not rebuilt. Building of the new church began in 1686 (one of the last 5 of the 51 to commence) and stopped in 1688 owing to the financial uncertainty associated with the Glorious Revolution. Rebuilding recommenced the next year and the church was finished in 1694, at a cost of £6579.

The parish was very poor, and it was one of only two churches (the other being St. Andrew-by-the-Wardrobe) for which Wren provided funds for the furnishings from the Coal Tax. The rebuilt church was smaller than its predecessor, as a strip of land was taken by the City to widen what was then Thames Street.

Upper Thames Street

Upper Thames Street today… once where the churchyard was and before that the bank of the River Thames.  You can tell by how flat it is as there is a steep slope just out of view to the left.

Late in the eighteenth century, the church had a reputation as Low Church, as Malcolm in London Redivivum (1803) stated ‘When I mention that the late well-known Methodist Mr Gunn was a preacher in it on certain days, the trampled and dirty state of the church will not be wondered at.’   As if to re-inforce that view, in 1805, the communion plate was stolen and never recovered.

The second half of the 19th century saw a movement of population from the City of London to suburbs in Middlesex, Kent, Essex and Surrey. This left many of the city churches with tiny congregations, while many of the newly built suburbs had no churches. The Union of Benefices Act 1860 was passed by Parliament, permitting the demolition of City churches and the sale of land to build churches in the suburbs. The last service at St Mary Somerset was held on 1 February 1867, with about 70 people attending. The parish was then combined with that of nearby St Nicholas Cole Abbey, and the church demolished in 1871.

St Mary Somerset door

The door is so huge it was impossible to even fit in a photo given there is only a small space between it and the normally very busy road.

In this case I think it was a Fait Accompli as the authorities were once again expanding Thames Street which all ready was right up against the churchyard and to think a thousand or two years earlier, the river would have reached this point.

At the instigation of the architect, Ewan Christian, the church tower was preserved. though for sometime as a rest room for ladies.  The remaining parts of the building were demolished but not before the fixtures and fittings could be sold or rescued with the proceeds going to build a new St Mary church in Hoxton.

tunnel

One of the tunnels…. this one actually goes under where a castle used to be.  Every one only thinks about the Tower of London but we know differently 🙂 

Today the steeple is surrounded by a small garden on quite a steep slope and right next to busy Upper Thames Street and its tunnel and as far as I can tell is now a private home.

The tower is 120 feet tall (about 40 metres) so it stands out and it is hard to imagine how in the middle ages, Brabant weavers from what is now the Netherlands used to congregate here on the shores of the Thames as they waited to be hired for work.

ST Mary Somerset

The church of St Mary Somerset as it is now, converted into a home.

This isn’t the only church steeple in the City of London that has been converted into a private residence.  There is one that is actually right in the middle of a road but that is for another post.

 

 

 

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Coronavirus Diary 55 – great oaks from little acorns grow

Do you remember a few months ago in my post Coronavirus Diary 28 – Dancing in the rain I purchased a baby Spider Plant?

Spider plant

It has been growing over the months and it must be doing well as last week I noticed that a runner and sprouted so I must have been doing something right.

Spider Plant2

Obviously the plant needs a larger pot too but one of the things I’ve always liked about Spider plants is that it sends off these runners which develop buds which intern become baby spider plants.

Before you know it you can have several small plants connected to the mother plant which then become viable plants in their own right. Of course if this keeps happening you can easily be overtaken by spider plants in which case no-one should get too excited what they might receive for Christmas in 2022!

 

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Coronavirus Diary 54 – Going on the London Underground!

Last week I decided and sort of had to go into London for the first time since the 6th of February to meet with a colleague.

It probably wasn’t the best day to go given that it had been hot for a week and I knew the underground would be a whole magnitude hotter.  Also I had been suffering from a sore chest or a touch of the Covids as I shall forever now call it for a few days.  Still there was a mixture of mild dread and excitement the night before and I kept thinking of a quote from Lawrence of Arabia.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uE0DBpw09SU.

Following the guidelines I travelled well after rush-hour but typically the usually deserted buses had 6 or 7 passengers seated downstairs so I had to go upstairs.  Everyone was wearing those general and vaguely medically looking masks except for someone who seemed to be wearing some sort of home made garment over his face.  It was enough to satisfy the rules but if there was truly someone sat 2 metres / 6 feet away with the virus, I wouldn’t want to be wearing it.

Annoying because I had sat upstairs, I had to hold on to the metal rails when coming down the stairs of the still moving bus.  I used 4 or 5 heavy squirts of hand sanitiser afterwards but even then spent the next few days wonder whether it was enough to open my bottle of drinking water at the end of my journey.

The bus turned out to be the worst part of the journey in someways.  Happily now living able to get on at the end of a tube line, it was all very airy and spacious at first.  Knowing if there was a bad cold, chest infection or deadly virus to pick up then I would find a way, I was travelling with my modified bank robbers mask on but supplemented with sun glasses.

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Luke, I am your father!

It should be said I never ever wear sunglasses, I think the last time was in 2012 and there isn’t that much sun deep underground either!

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I picked a seat close to some double doors as I reasoned the air would be moving more freely here on the off-chance my special forces mask fund the 0.5% virus particle that wasn’t picked up with the 99.5% guarantee.

The train gradually picked up people as we headed into Central London, people sitting as far apart as they could and the train always being many times quieter than usual not just in terms of the numbers of people but how quiet everyone was.  I guess everyone was too busy trying not to die to play their annoying music or make pointless phone calls as they usually do.

I can tell you one thing though, there isn’t much that is more claustrophobic in life than wearing a totally air-tight mask with a sore chest in extremely hot trains and stations deep underground during a pandemic.  I can only marvel how some of the special forces can fight in this gear though it must be said I’ve worn it before with only moderate discomfort, that day was one of those days I was out of breath just sitting still.   I comforted myself with the thought if it is so hard to breath then it must be even harder for the virus to get in.

Changing at Bond Street was quite surreal, usually one of the busiest stations and there was barely anyone around at all.  I realised I missed quite a few things such as escalators, the tannoy announcements now with new safety messages added.  The noise of the tube trains and the whoosh of the hot air blowing down the tunnel which can be either refreshing or agonising depending on how hot it is and what you’ve been up to.

50 minutes after I left home I had reached my destination.  Normally stations are only this quiet early on a Sunday morning or on Boxing Day or New Year, if like me you work every day of the year!

Chancery Lane

Even the busy escalators were mostly empty.

IMG_3489

Overall I wouldn’t say it was a very pleasant experience but aside from the whole virus thing, it was far far from one of the worst journeys I’d taken.  In fact I would give a lot for it to be this way after the virus has been dealt with but then as was said in Lawrence of Arabia.

Dryden: Lawrence, only two kinds of creatures get fun in the desert: Bedouins and gods, and you’re neither. Take it from me, for ordinary men, it’s a burning, fiery furnace.

Lawrence: No, Dryden, it’s going to be fun.

Dryden: It is recognised that you have a funny sense of fun.

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Nova Anglia – The Anglo Saxon refugees who built the original New England on the Black Sea.

Everyone knows about the New England colony that was established on the eastern coast of North America but much less known about and something I’ve long been interested in is that accounts of a creation of a New England on the shores of the Black Sea around 500 years earlier than the one in North America though just like there, many of the settlers named towns after their homes in the U.K.

It is thought that this settlement was necessitated by the Norman Conquest of England in 1066 which eventually occupied all of these islands.

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Kingdom of New England in Crimea

One of the best of these accounts is from the14th Century Iceland and the saga of Edward the Confessor which explains…

They left their estates and fled away from the land with a great host and were led by Siward, earl of Gloucester, and headed south to the Mediterranean, making a raid on Cueta, North Africa, and slaughtering there.  Afterwards, they made haste to Micklegarth, now known as Istanbul, where they had heard a siege was underway.

They defeated the enemy ships and the saga says that the emperor ‘took wonderfully well’ to the newcomers. According to the saga he offered the English positions in his personal bodyguard, the Varangians, so impressed was he by the warriors.  Rather astutely the Englishmen asked for land instead.

Rather than deprive his own aristocrats of their lands, the emperor advised the English of a region across the sea, which had once belonged to the Romans and that if they were able to defeat the barbarians that were living then then they could have the land. 

Extract from an Italian portolan atlas of 1553 of the Crimea, which names Susaco (Sussex) and Londina (London), believed to have been settlements in 'Nova Anglia'

Italian atlas of 1553 of the Crimea, which names Susaco (Sussex) and Londina (London), believed to have been settlements in ‘Nova Anglia

After countless battles, the saga says that they took the land and named it England.  It goes on to explain ‘To the towns that were in the land and to those which they built they gave the names of the towns in England. They called them both London and York, and by the names of other great towns in England.’

There is a problem with this tale and is that there is no recorded figure of a Siward, earl of Gloucester but there is other evidence.

It is well documented for instance that the emperor’s Varangian guard went from being largely made up of Scandinavians in the 10th and 11th centuries, to a predominantly English force and this would fit the timeline precisely.

A 12th-century depiction of the Varangian Guard, the bodyguyard of the Byzantine emperor, from the Madrid Skylitzes

A 12th-century depiction of the Varangian Guard, the bodyguyard of the Byzantine emperor, from the Madrid Skylitze

Nova Anglia appears to have been established by the late eleventh-century and their control of at least some land and cities here apparently persisted for several centuries, perhaps thus providing a regular supply of “English Varangians” to the Byzantine Empire that helps to explain why the “native tongue” of the Varangian Guard continued to be English as late as the mid-fourteenth century.’

For a post of a similar ilk you might enjoy…

When your biggest hope turns into your worst nightmare – The Legend of Prester John

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Coronavirus Diary 53 – A nice neighbour calls

I was rather in a state of undress when it happened which is rather typical.  For the first time in 5 months in my new home, the door bell rang unexpectedly… ie not a delivery of any sort and I was about to get into the shower.

It was two dog walkers who lived in a neighbouring street.  They just wanted to say hello and say how much they love my front garden when they pass on their daily dog walk.  They said it is fantastic and one of the best in the village and how they wished the rest of the street would do something similar.

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A 19th Century cottage garden, almost.

We ended up having quite a natter albeit me from my bedroom window and hoping they didn’t possess x-ray glasses.

You can see from the recent photo above how the little Japanese willow near the camera and the flowers at the base are coming on well as are the roses.

On the left is my new baby Olive tree, I also purchased one for the back as there was a special offer on.  There are already tiny olives growing.

I’ve had quite a few people stop and tell me they are loving my house and garden transformation, some even cross the road to say so but to have people knocking on the front door takes it to a whole new level.

And how nice of them to do that; it looks like I’ve moved to a much more neighbourly area.

Any day now the whole of the outside house is going to be totally re-painted so I will post an update in a week or two.

 

 

 

 

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