The Last Days of Thunder Child

The Last Days of Thunder Child
War of the Worlds - spin off adaptation novel.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Little memories (SKA - Skinhead clips)

In 1969 to 1971 I remember Canning Town and the Isle of Dogs (East London.) This track and set of pictures reminds me of those times. I was between 8 and 10, but many of the teenagers of that time dressed very much like the people in these pictures. They were a type of Skinhead lot (though not racist - a sad stigma that has, sometimes, blighted this look) They liked Caribbean reggae tunes like Desmond Decker. It is often called SKA, but I'm not sure if this was the same then. It might have been. I just like the photos and the tune because it has that little nostalgic feel of a time gone by. Some of the photos probably don't go back to the late 60s early 70s, but they still stroke that memory for me. It makes me think of some of the people of that time and I wonder what they look like and are doing now. Most from the 69-71 era would be clocking 60 years by now. It seems like just yesterday when I was around 10 and the SKA people were teenagers of around 15 - 17.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Wonderful quirky SKA fashion - skingirl dancing early reggae

SKA skinhead girl dancing to the SKA music of late sixties early seventies times. There was a little craze of this in the later 60s early seventies - I remember Ben Sherman shirts were a must and think it was a development from the mod times of the mid-sixties. I could be wrong, but that is how it seemed to me. Still, it seems to be a nostalgic Brit thing that I remember and the sight of this girl doing this strange SKA dance brings back memories of the teenage fashion of that time. I was around ten years of age then, but remember thinking they looked great. Fashions is a strange and charming thing, it comes and goes. Suddenly there was a new look - it was upon us and it seemed to have come through the back without me realising it. By the time I did, everyone was moving onto platform shoes and Gypsy style long hair cuts for glam-rock.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Giving You Napoleon's Grandson - Who Fought and Died Fighting for Britain - Face to the Enemy (Prince Louis Napoleon)

Louis Napoleon Faced the Enemy Fighting for Britain

Prince Imperial
Louis Napoleon Bonaparte
 Another disaster to fall upon Britain during the Zulu War was the death of France's Louis Napoleon Bonaparte - Prince Imperial - Head of the House of Bonaparte. He was a dashing young man of 23 years and was rumoured to be a possible match for Princess Beatrice - Queen Victoria's youngest daughter.

Prince Louis had been living in Britain with his mother and father (Napoleon III) after the Franco-Prussian war. He had joined the British army and been commissioned as an officer. His mother had been able to pull some strings for him.

Once commissioned and after his father's death, Prince Louis wanted to see active service. He believed it would be a good political move and enhance his career, for he hoped that one day; France would elect him to rule, as other Bonapartes had done. Had he lived; it is almost certain he would have led his nation one day.

However, this was not to be, and much to the embarrassment of Great Britain - a nation that many French people thought was anti-Bonaparte because of the Napoleonic wars. There was even talk among some of the Bonaparte fanatics that Queen Victoria might have engineered the situation. Nothing could have been further from the truth. Young Louis Napoleon Bonaparte was favoured by the Queen and she took a keen interest in the young man and his widowed mother.

When the Zulu War broke out Prince Louis saw this as a grand opportunity to gain experience. The nation of the Zulus was far away and he could not offend any European nations by fighting in such a war. Much against the British Prime Minister's advice, the young Bonaparte was assigned to go out to South Africa and blood himself with war experience.

He took with him his great relative's sword - the very sword worn by Napoleon Bonaparte during the Battle of Austerlitz. When he arrived in South Africa he made his way to Natal and from here he eventually went out to Lord Chelmsford's camp. The Zulu War had been going on for some 5 months by May.

Jahleel Brenton Carey
He was pleased to meet some men from his officer training school and another officer by the name of Jahleel Brenton Carey. Jahleel Carey was a man that Prince Louis quickly developed a friendship with because he spoke very good French having been educated at Lycee Imperial - a famous French university. The man had also been in a British First Aid unit during the Franco-Prussian War and had seen service during the siege of Paris.

During patrols from the base, there had been a couple of incidents when the young Prince had unsheathed his sword and wanted to pursue distant sightings of Zulu warriors. On two occasions he was sternly ordered to stand down and remain with the troop.

He became involved in mapping the surrounding areas and was a little restless with the chore because he wanted to gain some fighting experience. Then on 1st of June, he was allowed to take a small party of horsemen out to reconnoitre the land - a task to do with mapping.

The patrol had his friend and fellow officer Jahleel Brenton Carey and a few other troopers - plus a renegade Zulu who was a scout. They were about their duties for a number of hours when they came upon a small deserted Zulu camp consisting of some abandoned beehive shaped huts.

They dismounted and let the horses graze for a while. The troops made tea and it was a lazy affair allowing the men to lounge around and take a break. One of the men returning with water reported a distant sighting of a Zulu watching them and it was then decided to gather the horses. As the men were about to mount, waiting for the young Prince Imperial to give the order; shots rang out and a large group of Zulus charged out of some scrub screaming their war cry. One of the troopers was slain, while others mounted and panicked - riding away from the attacking Zulus.
Sudden Zulu attack catches Prince Louis Napoleon by surprise.
Prince Louis had acquired a temperamental grey horse, which bolted. He was caught out trying to mount while the horse began to gallop off. A young Guernsey man was among the troop and he was having difficulty amid the panic too. He called to the Prince in French but could offer no further assistance as he desperately struggled to get upon his own mount which was also galloping away.

Prince Louis turned to face his assailants
Prince Louis slipped from his horse and was left on foot as chasing Zulus came after him. He ran for a short distance then turned to face his attackers. He managed to fire two shots, but it is reported that none of the Zulus was hit. 

The young Prince met his death bravely as the group of about six Zulus fell upon him. The rest of his troop looked on in the distance and when they returned to the camp and reported what happened Lieutenant Jahleel Brenton Carey was charged with cowardice in the face of the enemy. His fellow officers were furious with him. He was court marshalled and found guilty, but this was later overturned because the people on the court marshal had not been sworn in.

The next day, British soldiers went out and found the naked and mutilated corpse of Prince Louis Napoleon Bonaparte - Prince Imperial and head of the House of Bonaparte. He had been ritually disembowelled as was the Zulu custom to stop his ghost from haunting his slayers.

When the Zulus learnt of who they had killed, they said he would not have been slain if they had known him to be a prince. One of his assailants was called Zabanga and he was killed at the Battle of Ulundi.

Even though the charge of cowardice did not carry; Lieutenant Jahleel Brenton Carey would have the harsh stigma of inappropriate conduct in the face of the enemy, for it was generally believed, by his fellow officers, he should have tried to rally his fleeing men and save the young Prince Imperial. Jahleel Carey died in Karachi India during 1883, just four years later. In his obituary, this incident earned him his unwanted celebrity and place in history - perhaps unfairly.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Giving You Colonel Durnford of Isandlwana 1879

Colonel Anthony William Durnford's final moments.

Colonel Anthony William Durnford was born in Ireland in 1830. He was a brave man who would earn his celebrity in the final moments of his life, fighting bravely, as a valiant soldier, in a battle that was one of the biggest disasters in British military history.

As a 12 year old boy he left Ireland to grow up with his uncle in Dusseldorf Germany, but as a young man he came to England and enlisted in the Royal Military Academy in Woolwich, London. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1848.

He was stationed overseas in Ceylon, but tried to get transferred away during the start of the war in Crimea against imperial Russia. He wanted to see action. He was not accepted for this and was disappointed to miss the campaign. While in Ceylon he also got married. 

He was then sent to Malta for a few years and had three children by his wife. Sadly, the first - a boy, died in infancy. The second - a daughter survived, but the third - another daughter, also died in infancy. This was a traumatic time for Anthony William Durnford and his wife. They separated after this and, for a while, he was stationed in Gibraltar, before returning to England.

He was then sent to South Africa in 1872 and stationed at a place called Pietermartizburg. He was now 42 and may have thought his army career had been uneventful on the action side of things.

In South Africa his first chance came and he took part in his first action when he was caught in a skirmish with  an African tribe called the Hlubis at Bushman's River. He fought bravely and took two stab wounds during the fight. He managed to kill two assailants with his pistol but one of his wounds left his lower left arm paralysed from the elbow down. He had no use of his left hand after this and would ride with his native horsemen (The Natal Native Horse) keeping his redundant hand inside his jacket similar to the way Napoleon sometimes did.

Colonel Durnford was very popular among his fellow horse contingents and was regarded affectionately as a larger then life character - a commanding Irishman with a confident presence. He moulded his Natal Native Horseman in to fine riders and very competent men.

In 1879, Colonel Durnford and his men were used in Lord Chelmsford's invasion of the Zulu's land when Britain declared war upon the Zulu King Cetshwayo. The mission was to be a disaster. A large force of the British army encountered the Zulu warriors at a place called Isandlwana. A huge battle took place between over 23,000 Zulus against 858 British troops and 471 native soldiers. All but 55 of the Britain's troops were wiped out during this battle.

During the desperate struggle, Colonel Durnford and his men rode out and tried to hold the left horn of the flanking Zulu army and put up a very fierce resistance faltering the enemy until his men ran out of cartridges. They then had to remount and return to the main camp where the Redcoat British foot soldiers were being over run by the Zulu forces.

Colonel Durnford and his last remaining men put up a last stand as they ran headlong into the Zulus. They were overcome and killed - falling alongside the other soldiers of the British army. Of the 55 soldiers who did manage to escape across the Buffalo river; a few were NNH soldiers. 

Rusty Buckley's Strawberry Arse Complaint.

One day Rusty panicked and run to the doctors. The dialogue went something like this:

Rusty "Doctor I think my arse is turning into a strawberry."

Doctor  "mmm, I see... Bend over, I have some special cream for that."

He didn't half walk funny at work the next day... :)  

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Last Boer War Veteran

111 year old Boar War veteran
I had to put this one on the blog about a 111 year old man who fought in the British army during the Boer War of 1899 to 1902. He was a 19 year old when he went into Queen Victoria's army and over seas to South Africa. In 1992, he came back to London from Canada, where he had emigrated, to lay a wreath at the cenotaph to commemorate his fallen comrades of the Boer War. 

The above clip shows some moving cinematic scenes of the Boer war and interviews the 111 year old veteran.

DECLINE of EMPIRES: The Signs of Decay

(From YouTube)
Chalmers Johnson, author of Blowback, Sorrows of Empire and Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic , talks about the similarities in the decline of the Roman and Soviet empires and the signs that the U.S. empire is exhibiting the same symptoms: over extension, corruption and the inability to reform.

Chalmers Johnson is president of the Japan Policy Research Institute, a non-profit research and public affairs organization devoted to public education concerning Japan and international relations in the Pacific.
I was very fixed by this man's talk on, what he sees as, the inevitable decline of the USA. I was impressed and frightened by such a prospect. What would we do in Europe? Would it have a profound effect on us today with no Soviet threat?
Then I began to think on who would be the next big noise on the block (world trade wise) Surely they would make the same mistake. What surprises me about this is the fact that the USA has not had a particular long reign as the dominant power. Not even a hundred years. This man says that history moves faster now, but surely the US has got longer then this man speculates?
As he went on and began to compare what the US trade deficit is like and the ability to pay back, plus consuming more and more; I began to see his point of view. It certainly creates an eerie prospect because I, as a Brit, don't see the USA in any bad light the way some countries, he spoke of, do.
I think the UK and many European countries might suffer if the USA does decline. I wonder if all us Europeans might be sneaking off and getting into bed with China, India and Brazil. Perhaps one of these will be the big kids on the block in the future. The world has changed so much in the last twenty years.

A book called The Memoirs of Sergeant Bourgogne 1812 - 1813

In the year of 1812 the French Emperor Napoleon gathered a vast army of 600,000 men and invaded imperial Russia. At the time, Napoleon had built France up to be a very powerful country and the nations influence stretched across Europe. With the defeat of Russia, only the United Kingdom would remain and the French Emperor would be able to deal with this nation once all mainland Europe was under his control.

It was to become one of the biggest military disasters in history and by the end of the ordeal - a year later; only 93,000 exhausted soldiers of Napoleon's beloved army would return.

The Russian winter set in during the retreat home
Among the survivors was a soldier called sergeant Bourgogne - a man of the Imperial Guard. Although the French army took the capitol city of Russia (Moscow) There was nothing there and the main population had abandoned the city to retreat into the surrounding wilderness. The prisons were opened and the inmates were granted a full pardon if they looted and burnt the city. This the prisoners did and the French were forced to abandon the city and begin the long march home as the horrendous Russian winter began.

Gruelling retreat
Sergeant Bourgogne documents this and went through all the terrible ordeals in order to survive. He later wrote this account that was first published in 1857. The next complete version was done in 1897 and then translated into English in 1899. It is a terrific read and a gruelling testimony to one man's determination to get back home during one of the most noted horrors to fall upon an army. If you like your history, then give this book a try. I was engrossed and could not put it down.

Moyra Melons friend has over sized ear rings.

Moyra Melons felt sorry for her best pal Brenda Bouncer, who preferred to work in the building industry. When it got hot Brenda went all navvy like the blokes she worked with.

Brenda, like Moyra, had a fascination with ear rings and would only wear her best danging ones on the particular hot summer's day in question. A day when Moyra Melons saw her friend on a building sight with a pneumatic drill.

"They're bouncing about a bit," called Moyra to her friend Brenda as she walked along the street.

"Its this drill," called back  Brenda Bouncer. "I can't get it steady with these things bouncing up and down."

"Why wear such long ear rings on a building sight Brenda? Why work on a building sight at all? This is a place where men are men and we women should be glad of it."

Brenda scoffed tartly. "I wear nice ear rings to help passers by. They get fed up with looking at hairy arsed builder's bottoms. I thought such ear adornments would be more to their attentions. I hoped they would prefer to look at a pair of dangling jewels instead."

Moyra understood her friend. "But surely the pneumatic drill is a problem. They're bouncing about all over the place."

"I know," replied Brenda. "I should cover them up on this occasion." She got a large pair of protective ear muffs and covered her ear rings inside the red ear guards.

"You'll have to let the passers by suffer the navvy's builder's bottoms," added Moyra Melons.

Fortunately for the passers by, none noticed the navvy builders bottoms, which came as a delightful surprise to Brenda Bouncer 

Poor girl realised she had been worrying unduly. Strange that, don't you think?

STAGECOACH: 1939 John Wayne version (IN COLOUR)

I was delighted to find this full movie in colour. I love this film and it was the first western I remember watching as a kid. I admit it is the total romantic view of the Wild West of America, but it oozes of the nostalgia that is the retro America that we universally love. This film is pure quality and it is the American doing their thing during the heyday of Hollywood. John Wayne - every young kids hero - no matter where you are from.

Today's Boer People.

The Boers of South Africa remain colonists because they would not adapt and change with the world. I know this sounds rich coming from a Brit who's nation once went around trying to conquer it. However, the world constantly changes and we might not always like it, but if we allow ourselves to become too over specialized as the Boers have done; how can people adapt to new situations. Nothing lasts forever and the idea of carving out a huge chunk of land, in this day and age, for white farmers in South Africa is  totally unrealistic.

The man above (Eugene Terra Blanche) was a very proud and racist man, trying to drag his past world along into today. He had a following of Boer people who, even today, will not wake up to the terrible reality about them - much of it created by themselves. No matter how much the Boer people carry on ranting about injustice; no one will sympathise with them because of leaders like this and what he preached until he was viciously killed.

South Africa is a country that could have it all, but it is riddled with separate peoples, all trying to rob one another, and the white Boer is among them. They just can't see it. If Boer people can't change and persist in wanting a separate land; they risk being driven from South Africa. They can't adapt, they don't want to and they think it is beneath them. Wether the Boer is right or wrong; he does not have the ability to get what he wants now. It is the cold, stark truth.   

Thursday, 10 February 2011

The Red Baron's Demise.

Red Baron's last duel
No one knows for sure who killed Manfred von Richthofen otherwise known as 'The Red Baron.'

The Royal Air Force credited a Canadian pilot called Brown with shooting down the infamous Red Baron, but Manfred von Richthofen died from a fatal chest wound caused by a single bullet. The projectile penetrated his right armpit and exited his left breast.

Therefore, it is unlikely to have come from Brown’s guns. Richthofen would not have been able to pursue another pilot called May for as long as he did. Brown and May were both Canadian friends in the same squadron and May was being chased by the deadly German fighter ace in a dogfight.

Canadian pilot May had dropped low and flew over his own lines with the Red Baron determinedly giving chase. Brown, trying to aid his fellow comrade dived deeply after the Red Baron and fired a burst before having to pull up to avoid smashing into the earth. If Brown had struck Richthofen at this moment; The Red Baron would not have been able to pursue May for as long as he did because the ace’s fatal wound was such, that his life would been over very quickly. There would have been no time for the German Ace to land the plane and then die as he did. It means the fatal wound occurred after the Canadian pilot Brown broke off his pursuit. 

Brown never spoke much about what happened that day, claiming "There is no point in me commenting, as the evidence is already out there".

It is now generally agreed the bullet that hit Richthofen was fired by someone on the ground. The wound through his body indicated that it had been caused by a bullet moving in an upward motion, from the right side, and more importantly, that it was probably received a minute or two after Brown's attack.

Many sources have credited Sergeant Popkin – an Australian anti-aircraft machine gunner as the most likely person to have killed the Red Baron. He fired his Vickers machine gun at Richthofen's aircraft on two occasions: first as the Red Baron was heading straight to his position, and then at long range from the right. Given the nature of Richthofen's wounds, Popkin was in a position to fire the fatal shot, when the pilot passed him for a second time, on the right.

Others believe another Australian soldier called Gunner “Snowy” Evans might have shot him with a Lewis machine gun.

There are also other claims as well, but in general it is strongly believed the Red Baron met his demise by ground fire among the Australian soldiers on the ground. Manfred von Richthofen managed to steer his plane into a field and land it. When Australian soldiers got to him; some said he was still alive for a final moment and muttered “Kaput” before dying.

The plane was intact but was quickly stripped by souvenir hunters because of the pilot’s celebrity of being the Ace of aces. He had gained recorded 80 kills during his air duels.

Manfred von Richthofen
(The Red Baron)


Australian War Memorial


Sunday, 6 February 2011

Boer War interment camps

I had to put this YouTube video on here because I have been arguing with some people who were going on about the Boer War. I know what happened in the interment camps was a terrible tragedy, but it was a war and these were not extermination camps. Also around 15,000 British soldiers camped around the interment camps died of the same pestilence too.

This does not excuse what happened to the Boer women and children and I defend neither side, both of whom, were fighting over land they stole from Africans. The problem of logistics for the British was not thought out before removing these people, who were aiding the conflict against their Empire. Also the Boer fighters were disrupting supply lines.

This man on Lloyd's rant does make some very valued points. I had to put this on the blog because a lot of what he says is viable. Comparing the British internment camps to concentration camps of Germany is very extreme. It was an almighty mess up that cost around 36,000 lives. 15,000 of them, British soldiers.

They were not death camps, but the people who needed to get the logistics of housing and feeding vast numbers of people were very incompetent to what the task required and the problems they would face.

It is also, perhaps, unfair to be so wise after the event. Wars are brutal, terrifying and very messy. All sorts of people get caught up in the crossfire and, if Brit and Boer are honest; it was not their land to fight over in the first place.

Sometimes, I can't help feeling that the Boers have an audacity crying wolf when a bigger dominant power came along and did exactly what they once did. Live by sword and die by it. What happened to the Boer women and children in the interment camps was dreadful. Also, for the British soldiers who died of the same illness. Or, perhaps, some might think they don't they count?  

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Moyra Melons Cleopatra ear rings

Moyra Melons' poor husband came home from work, feeling a little nervous because he knew that she wanted to go to a fancy dress party. As you might well imagine, his mind was racing at the thought of what preparations she had made for the forth coming event.

Can you imagine the poor man's mind when he walked through the door to be confronted by his fabulous wife saying; "What do you think of these ear rings?"

He, of course, staggered slightly and gulped. For a moment, he struggled to find the words and frantically searched for the ear rings.

"Err... They look great Moyra. Are you going as Lady Godiva?"

"Don't be silly," she replied. "Lady Godiva had no clothes. She just turned up with long hair, complaining that she had nothing to wear. You know me, I'm not one to show off... I'm Cleopatra."

"Oh, so I'm going to be the noble Mark Antony - strong willed, lantern jawed hero of Rome," He imagined.

Moyra giggled. "I was thinking more Julius Ceaser - middle aged, balding, and full of holes... But enough of this nonsense," she uttered coquettishly. "Surely you've noticed my humble attempts at accesorising; I'd like your opinion please, do you think they look too tacky?"

He nervously dropped his gaze, hardly daring to look. Once again the old hot flush swept over him. 

"Oh... They're magnificent, my dear... I'm fighting the urge to run my fingers over them," he muttered breathlessly.

Moyra raised a questioning brow. "Certainly not. I've just rubbed them down with a warm flannel."

"Oh, of course my dear. It was never my intention to sully their exquisite beauty."

Suspecting he may have over stepped the mark, he ventured upon a new course. "I couldn't help noticing that they are a beautfully matched pair, my dear."

Moyra Melons teased him with a smile. "You don't think they're too large do you?"

"Err... Certainly not," he mumbled. "They are so beautifully round."

Moyra was puzzled. "Well of course they're round, silly. The lady in the shop informed me that they are the most perfectly crafted bracelets that she has ever had in stock and..." She noticed his expression had changed. "Are you alright?"

"I'm perfectly fine Moyra," he chocked, gathering his wits. "I believe you were talking about your... err , bracelets?"

"Yes," she smiled triumphantly. "And she said they would match my ear rings perfectly.

"They certainly do that my dear," he said deflated. "Please excuse me I must go to the bedroom."

"Oh... before you go;" she said cunningly. "What do you think of my nipple caps?"

He stood motionless and open mouthed.

Moyra grinned. "I have a smaller pair in the bedroom. It might take some time, but would you help me put them on?".... :)

The Eagle - Official Trailer [HD]

In 1954, historical children's writer, Rosemary Sutcliff, wrote a story based on the legend of the Roman 9th Legion. In 1977 it was adapted as a BBC television series. This year in 2011, the novel is resurrected under the film title: Eagle. Above is the trailer clip. I put this here because I was writing a blog previously about the Antonine wall in Scotland. In this story, a young Roman soldier with the aid of a British slave, must venture into the Caledonia wilderness in search of his father's lost legion's Eagle standard and bring it home to restore the lost honour of the legendary 9th legion. 

Antonine Wall (North most Roman Frontier Post)

Between Antonine and Hadrians
wall where Picts fought attempted
Roman occupation
Before the time of the, Irish based, Scotti (Scottish) invasion and the, Germanic based, Anglo-Saxon (English) invasion into Britain; there were different Celtic tribes all over the island. Just under 2,000 years ago, many of these tribes fell under the rule of the Roman Empire. Especially in the South of the island, which is today's Wales and England. 

Menai Massacre of Druids

There were tales of resistance from the Ordovices of the North Wales area and the Menai massacre of Druid priests on the Isle of Anglessy. The uprising of Queen Boadicea and her Iceni from today's Norfolk and Suffolk area of England and the Catuvellauni and Trino-vantes of Essex and Cambridgeshire. There were, of course, loads of other feudal Celtic Kingdoms that tried to resist too, but all, eventually succumb to Roman rule.

However in the Caledonia areas of the north, (Today's Scotland) the Picts nations were still able to resist the occupation of Rome. Not too much is known of these evasive tribesmen, but most remained at large during the entire 400 year occupation of Rome.

Under the Roman Emperor Hadrian a vast wall was built roughly along the borders of today's Scotland and England. Construction of Hadrian's wall began in the year 122 AD. This vast wall marked the boundary of Roman rule and the wilderness where the Picts lived.

Forts along Antonine Wall
However in the year 142 AD, another Emperor called Antonius Pius wanted to go deeper into the Caledonia wilderness and try and tame the areas of the lower Highlands and further north, the Lowland areas in the middle of today's Scotland. This would leave just the Upper Highlands free of Roman rule. At the narrowest point of Scotland's west sea coast and east sea coast, there are inner water ways, where the land is only around 40 miles in width. This is between today's areas of Old Kirkpatrick in the west and the Firth of Forth in the east. 

Way Antonine Wall was constructed
At this point, Emperor Antonius ordered a new wall to be built, which consisted of Stone and turf fortifications. This took between 10 and 12 years to build, but the Romans found it hard to police the surrounding areas on their own side of the wall. The Pict tribesman were able to hide in the vast untamed wilderness of their country and inflict defeats upon supply caravans travelling between Hadrian's wall and the new northern fortifications leading to the Antonine wall. The logistics of maintaining these garrisons proved too expensive and for little gain.

Therefore, the Antonine wall was abandoned around 170 AD and the mighty Roman Empire retreated back to Hadrian's wall after an attempted occupation of Southern Caledonia (Today's Scotland) that lasted just 20 years.

In 208 AD, under the Roman Emperor Septimus Severus, the Antonine wall was re-occupied by Roman troops in an attempt to quell the Picts a second time in the Southern Caledonia areas. The wall was renamed, the Severan Wall, but again; Rome could not police the surrounding areas and the Picts were able to continue with hit and run tactics.
Picts attacking Romans
Among many of the legends that surround this time, there is one about a Roman Legion that was meant to have perished to a man. It is only legend but it makes for a good story. Historians today, try to find out what happened to the 9th Legion of Rome. It was stationed in Britain and then disappeared from records, though the names of some of its commanders crop up in other areas of Europe after the rumored disappearance of the 9th Legion. Some historians think that an entire legion vanished in the Caledonia wilderness during the time of either Antonius or Septimus.

Foundations of a fortification on the Antonine wall
After the second failure, to tame the Caledonia wilderness, Rome never tried to venture further into the land of the Picts. Today, the Antonine wall looks less significant then Hadrian's wall but it is still recognisable with its earth works and fortification foundations.

Read links below for more on Roman Britain:


Thursday, 3 February 2011

Moyra Melons ear rings make her top heavy.

Moyra Melons extremely worn out husband came home to this image one fine day. His wonderful Moyra was out in the garden practising her dancing for the karaoke night out she and her husband had been planning. He was, of course, a little surprised to see Moyra in the garden strutting her stuff to some modern dance themes and trying to sing at the same time. Fortunately they live in the country and the neighbours are far off. 

Unfortunately for Moyra Melons, her singing voice was a little out of tune and this concerned her. She was getting flustered and worried about the dance routine too. She wanted to wear her big round silver ear rings but they were a little on the heavy side when she started dancing about. They tended to jingle and bounce about.

"It's because they are dangling ear rings, " she retorted. "They keep bouncing about and people are bound to notice."

"What your ear rings?" Her poor bewildered husband asked.

Exasperated, she looked to the heavens and sighed. "Well what else could I mean?"

"Well, I think the audience is not going to be too concerned with your large dangling silver ear rings Moyra. They will be more interested in other things..."

"Like what?" she frowned and was genuinely confused. 

Her husband played for time and cleared his throat and stuttered, while looking for a suitable answer.

"Well..." he began. "...your dancing and singing will hold their attention."

"Do you really think so?"

"Of course," he replied. "Come inside and put your huge silver ear rings on, then come back out and practise some more." 

Moyra Melons decided her husband was right, so she complied and went inside. He followed, coming over with his usual hot flush. 

Moyra Melons took an awful long time putting on those ear rings and when she did finally come out to practise her karaoke/dancing routine for the big night out; she had a wind swept look of gratification, and her poor husband looked more worn out then usual, which is certainly saying something about the man for he tends to get worn out a lot. Though some how, I don't think he minds too much, do you?