Back In The Day

I read an article recently which was talking about the development of mankind over the last 100 years. It was basically saying that if you go back 100 years, which isn’t that long, in fact it is 1 lifetime nowadays, literally everything will be different. This vast growth and change is not really seen through the rest of human history, even in the great renaissance period not everything changed quite as dramatically as the last 100 years. Bring someone into our lifetime and they would truly not believe the world we live in, and would question their very sanity. Just your average Joe Blogs in Britain would see all of the following for example:

Food – 100 years ago food was a luxury, people had a make do attitude and made food go as far as possible, nowadays we have an obesity crisis, regular dieting is required by many to maintain a healthy weight and there are actual campaigns to reduce food waste!

Money – currency in Britain has completely changed over the last 100 years with the introduction of decimilisation.

Kids – If a child had a bicycle they were very fortunate. This years “must have” Christmas present was a hoverboard! Now kids can get to school just by balancing. Speaking of school, 100 years ago it wasn’t uncommon for children to be pulled from school to help with harvesting and other activities required by families, nowadays if a child misses 1 day of school a parent can risk being fined.

EvolutionAdd in changes such as; TV, travel, holidays, jobs, NHS healthcare, clothing, housing, bathrooms, roads, female rights, gay rights, just about everything you can think of has changed over the last 100 years. It really makes you wonder what the next 100 years will bring, doesn’t it?

—————————————–Just Jot It January – 2016————

Post prompted by: – Just Jot January – 10th – Sane. To find the rules for Just Jot It January, click here and join in today. It’s never too late! And don’t forget to ping back your January 9th post.



Review of Viking Myths and Sagas by Rosalind Kerven

Viking Myths & Sagas: retold from ancient Norse textsViking Myths & Sagas: retold from ancient Norse texts by Rosalind Kerven
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I came across this book in an independent book store so had seen no recommendations or reviews to sway my judgement and I must say it wouldn’t have been a book I would have naturally browse for online. However for those that do come across this book, you are in for a real treat.
This is an excellent and informative book surrounding all the Viking myths and legends. The authors writing style is so excellent and at a perfect pace so that it truly feels like you are sitting round a fire at camp being told a story. I can also imagine this novel as a great inspiration source for writers in the same way Grimm tales are, being adapted and re-told into modern stories.
The range covered in this book is also exceptional, from all the places the Vikings travelled to, to the number of mythical creatures; gods, dragons, trees, trolls, all sorts.
All in all, an excellent, insightful and informative book that I am very pleased to have discovered.

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Review of Durham Murders and Misdemeanours by John Van Der Kiste

Durham Murders and MisdemeanoursDurham Murders and Misdemeanours by John Van der Kiste
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I came across this book while looking around the shelves of a lovely little independent bookshop. The range of cases in the book is intriguing and it is astonishing so many cases took place within a short distance of each other within a relatively short period of time.
The book is well researched as can be seen from the case file extracts and the witness statement extracts contained within this book. Yet John Van Der Kiste also manages to remind readers that these cases involve everyday people; miners, housewives, landlords and labourers. Not the monsters people often expect to find.
The most interesting case is that of Mary Anne Cotton “The West Auckland Poisoner”, as many as twenty may have died at her hand. The details researched are as amazing as the story itself. Sometimes fact is more bizarre than fiction. A very enjoyable read.

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Know Your History – 19th April – Etheridge Knight

know your history - writing

On this day…

19th April, 1931 – Etheridge Knight born

Etheridge Knight (April 19, 1931 – March 10, 1991) was an African-American poet who made his name in 1968 with his debut volume, Poems from Prison. The book recalls in verse his eight-year-long sentence after his arrest for robbery in 1960. By the time he left prison, Knight had prepared a second volume featuring his own writings and works of his fellow inmates. This second book, first published in Italy under Etheridge Knightthe title Voce negre dal carcere, appeared in English in 1970 as Black Voices from Prison. These works established Knight as one of the major poets of the Black Arts Movement, which flourished from the early 1960s through the mid-1970s. With roots in the Civil Rights Movement, Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam, and the Black Power Movement, American artists within the movement sought to create politically engaged work that explored the African-American cultural and historical experience.

About the Writing..

 Knight’s poetry uses Black vernacular and includes a number of haiku among its forms. Joyce Ann Joyce places Knight “in the context of an African philosophical/aesthetic tradition.” His “tribute to the ancestors,” she writes, “emerges as a ritualistic drama in which the values of the poet’s ancestors are reborn, redefined, reaffirmed and reinterpreted, at once giving them added viability and sacralizing their new form.” This ethnophilosophical perspective, she finds, “differs significantly from the Eurocentric concept of intertextuality that confines itself to reading texts only within the context of other texts.” Joyce calls him “a truly African oral performer,” whose subjects “grew out of his and his people’s lives” so that “viewed in the context of an African philosophical/aesthetic tradition, his poetry places him among those at the vanguard of any discussion of the history of African-American poetic letters.

Did You Know?

Etheridge Knight said, “To me writing haiku is good exercise… I work with haiku a lot in my attempt to handle the language—the word.”

WordPressers… If you are interested in trying your own haiku visit:

Links – Wikipedia & Etheridge Knight Speaks

Today in History – Writing – 17th Dec

know your history - writing

On this day….

17th December 1892 – First issue of Vogue is published


In 1892, Arthur Turnure founded Vogue as a weekly publication in the United States, sponsored by Kristoffer Wright; the first issue was published on December 17 of that year. Turnure’s intention was to create a publication that celebrated the “ceremonial side of life”; one that “attracts the sage as well as debutante, men of affairs as well as the belle.” From its inception, the magazine targeted the new New York aristocracy, establishing social norms in a country that did not value class and ceremony as much as England or France. The magazine at this time was primarily concerned with fashion, with coverage of sports and social affairs included for its male readership.

The name Vogue means “style” in French. Vogue was described by book critic Caroline Weber in a December 2006 edition of The New York Times as “the world’s most influential fashion magazine”.

Source –




Today in History – Writing – 16th Dec

know your history - writing

On this day….

16th December 1901 – “The Tale of Peter Rabbit,” by Beatrix Potter, was printed for the first time.


For those that don’t know, the tale was originally written for five-year-old Noel Moore, son of Potter’s former governess Annie Carter Moore, in 1893. It was revised and privately printed by Potter in 1901 after several publishers’ rejections. The rejections proved frustrating to Potter who knew exactly how her book should look (she had adopted the format and style of Helen Bannerman’s Little Black Sambo) “and how much it should cost”. She decided to publish the book herself, and, on 16 December 1901, the first 250 copies of her privately printed The Tale of Peter Rabbit “was ready for distribution to family and friends”.

It was later printed in a trade edition by Frederick Warne & Co. in 1902. The book was a success, and multiple reprints were issued in the years immediately following its debut. It has been translated into 36 languages and with 45 million copies sold it is one of the best-selling books of all time.

I think this tale is an inspiration to all aspiring writers, especially those who are entering the self-publishing world. I think the moral of this is “know your book is the best it can be and dream big”.

Sources –

The Most Heartbreaking Abandoned Place on Earth

After reading The House at Sea’s End: A Ruth Galloway Investigation by Elly Griffiths. I was inspired to research the book that inspired her Myths and Legends of the Second World War by James Hayward.

This has had a bit of a snowball reaction in inspiring a vast variety of genre’s I wouldn’t normally choose to read (not to mention have a dabble in writing). Imagine my excitement in finding out this beautiful quaint little story in the news today – The Most Heartbreaking Abandoned Place on Earth. This truly does evoke traditional childhood horror stories of wandering souls in a time-warp returning to each day to the place the called home unaware the rest of the world has moved on. Or a story of a true love returning to this desolate place each day hoping his lover who was taken from him finally returns home. I could go on but I am sure you get the gist. The past can be the most fascinating inspiration for the future.