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Thursday, 29 March 2012

Druid - Medwyn Goodall



This is a very haunting and compelling slice of music from Medwyn Goodall. It makes me drift and imagine Celtic Britain in pre-Roman times. 

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Sampdoria football club's English fans in Genoa in Italy 1991


In this picture, I and four mates (all of us from England) plus our Italian friend Claudio of the Sampdoria Ultras (Football stewards.)From left to right is: Paul Stamp, Me (Colin Powell), Dave Fenton, Claudio (with scarf around waist) Ronnie Fenton and Jim Morey.

We all caught a train one Saturday morning from Victoria station in London to Dover. From here we caught a ferry over to France and another train to Paris. We changed at Paris and caught a train to Genoa in northern Italy.

We arrived in Genoa at about 7am on the Sunday morning. I think it was in March or late February - I can't be exactly sure of the date. We all wanted to go to see Sampdoria in 1991 because they were having a splendid season and we had been watching the Italian league football via the old defunct square dish of BSB.

This was the season after the Italia90 World Cup and everything Italian and football was in, for Italy was the Hollywood of football talent at the time. Because Sampdoria was having this magnificent season we decided to go and watch a game and got an Italian friend who worked in London with us, to write a letter in Italian. We got a taxi driver ,at the station in Genoa, to take us to the football ground on this early Sunday morning. Everything was closed, as one might expect, on Sunday morning. The city was charming, old and surrounded by mountains. 

When we got out of the taxi by the football ground we approached a group of Ultras standing outside of the ground and gave them the letter written in Italian. They seemed surprised and pleased that English football lovers had come to Genoa to watch Sampdoria. It was then that one of the Ultras called over to Claudio, who seemed to speak good English. I can remember them being amused and saying 'Inglesis,' amid their talk.

The Italians treated us so wonderfully as we waited through the day to watch the match that started at about 3pm. We made good friends with Claudio who got us into the ground.

It was a great game for us to watch because Sampdoria was playing Napoli and Diego Maradona was still playing for Napoli at the time. It was one of his last games for the club. We, of course, were cheering for Sampdoria who had players like Mancini (Man City Manager) Vialli (who later played at Chelsea) Attila Lombardo (who also came to England)

Sampdoria was challenging for the Italian league title at the time and rivals Inter Milan were playing AC Milan in a local Italian derby. Inter lost against AC Milan which helped Sampdoria to take the lead of the title race. They beat Napoli 4-1 in a great game. First a Brazilian veteran player named, Cerasoe scored. Then Vialli scored making it two to Sampdoria. Mancini was subbed early because I think he was injured. In the second half, Vialli got another - I remember he headed in from a corner. Napoli got one back from the penalty spot. Maradona scored this goal. Then finally Attila Lombardo got a fourth for Sampdoria.

We also met a Scottish doctor living and working in Genoa. He was from London and liked Spurs - much to Ronnie and Dave Fenton's delight. (I know London is not in Scotland, but this guy, called Don was like a Rod Stewart or Ronnie Wood type Scot) He took us to a restaurant after the game and see us off to the station later in the evening as we caught a train back to Paris and then to Calais then again, via hovercraft, back to England.

Sampdoria went on to win the Italian League. I think we English visitors brought a little good fortune along with us on that day. The great side stayed in front until the end of the season. Sampdoria is always this group of English men's favourite club. I always look at the Italian results to see how Sampdoria have done.        





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Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Roman Emperor Vespasian fought in Britain - Attack at Great Hill Fort (Mai Dun) Britain's Durotriges Tribe

Mai-Dun - Ancient British Great Hill Fort Attacked by Vespasian.

Mai-Dun - Celtic for (Great Hill)
Imagine the inner rampart walled by a wooden palisade
In 43 AD the Roman Invasion of Britain was well underway and led by the Roman Emperor Claudius. There had been a huge raid by Julius Caesar over ninety years prior, but this was mainly to stop a British war chieftain acquiring too much territory in neighbouring Celtic kingdoms and forming a British union of tribes that may have aided Vercingetorix and his Gaul nations.
By 43 AD Emperor Claudius had designs on bringing Britain into the boundaries of the expanding Roman Empire and to this end, he decided to send Roman soldiers to invade the Isle and subjugate Britons to imperial Roman rule. It is fair to say that the Britons had little concept of the might and organisation of the Roman forces and many would learn the hard way as to what mighty Rome was capable of.
To the west of Britain, in today’s county of Dorset, England, UK, the second Roman Legion attacked the British kingdom of the Durotriges. There would have been fighting in many areas of Britain as the Roman conquerors began to systematically take over the lower southern part of the British Isle. This particular campaign was noted because of the siege of Mai Dun Fort, where the Durotriges attempted to secure themselves from the Roman Second Legion, commanded by Vespasian – a man from a noble Roman family who would one day become Emperor during the year of four Emperors in 69 AD. However, this was 43 AD and Vespasian was proving himself as a strong Roman soldier who commanded his men well.
Today Mai Dun Fort is known as Maiden Castle, but its original Celtic name of Mai Dun means ‘Great Hill.’ It was a flourishing centre by the time the Romans arrived and had its beginning back in Bronze Age 1800 BC. For over eighteen hundred years people had come to the great hill fort of Mai-Dun and it went through various stages of progression with earthworks and ramparts being built. It was a huge centre of attraction – perhaps trade and commerce in the form of a market town. Around 450 BC the Celts built more extensive earthworks and the place became a larger more fortified town of dealing among the Britons. It was certainly attractive to the Romans in 43 AD and the Durotriges Britons seemed to have an ill-deserved confidence in their ability to defend Mai Dun against Vespasian and his Second Legion. The Great Hill Fort (Mai-Dun) had a huge palisade that was surrounded by various ditches and ramparts that afforded the defenders a good view of any attacking force. They also had thousands of slinging rocks to propel against the Roman Second Legion.
The defenders came up against advanced Roman ballista siege warfare and were unable withstand the modern engineering of Rome’s more precise technology. A great siege ensued and the Durotriges finally fell to Vespasian’s Second Legion of Roman soldiers. It is believed to have been a fierce and bloody battle with Roman Legions eventually marching upon the fort after heavy ballista bombardment of darts, fire and stone projectiles.
Model impression of Romans attacking British Durotriges at Mai Dun Fort in 43 AD
In the 1930s excavators found several buried bodies of Durotriges defenders that were killed during the siege and one person had an arrowhead embedded in his spine, believed to have been shot from a ballista machine equipped to discharge several darts at a time – like a small magazine of multiple arrows. One might imagine a young Durotriges warrior manning the palisade and being taken out of the action by a scattering of high-velocity darts, one of which strikes the young defender in the back and fatally injures him. Perhaps these buried men were killed during artillery attacks and were then laid to rest before the fort fell. So it may have been that the Great Hillfort (Mai-Dun) held for a few days, at least, while Roman ballista weaponry softened the fortifications before the soldiers attacked.
Arrowhead lodged in spine of stricken Durotriges defender buried at Mai Dun Fort
There may have been a Roman military presence for a short time afterwards and there was a temple erected in the fourth century that fell into ruin, but mainly, the site of Mai Dun became an apocalyptic place as the many people that inhabited the thriving and commercial fort left after the fall to Rome’s Second Legion lead by future emperor to be; Vespasian. It became a lonely place of abandoned ramparts and remains so to this day.

 

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Ninja Cat Doing Covert Stealth


This is a clip from YouTube about a cat that stealthily sneaks up on the man with the camera. The young moggy is like Doctor Who's Weeping Angle foes. Every time you blink, the creature gets closer...  :)

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Dynamic German Engineering - Monster Railway Tunnel Builder in London

Metal moles begin work below London

Tunnelling work is about to begin on a grand scale in London as the £16bn Crossrail project gets set to build 26 miles (42km) of tunnels beneath the capital.

The first of eight highly specialised Tunnel Boring Machines (TBM), which each weigh nearly 1,000 tonnes, is being positioned at Royal Oak in west London. From here it will begin its slow journey east, as it carves out a new east-west underground link. The scheme is currently the largest civil engineering project in Europe.
Graphic: Crossrail tunnel boring machine

Described by Boris Johnson as "voracious worms nibbling their way under London", the 150-metre long machines will take three years to build a network of tunnels beneath the city's streets.
Tunnelling will start from the newly-constructed portal at Royal Oak
While tunnelling the TBMs will operate 24 hours a day and move through the earth at a rate of about 100m per week.
Each one is staffed by a 20-strong "tunnel gang" and comes with its own kitchen and toilet.
The machines are monitored from a surface control room which tracks their positions using GPS.
Hydraulic rams at the front keep the 980-tonne machines within millimetres of their designated routes.
A TBM will set you back about £10m.
Once their work is finished, the machines will be sold back to their German manufacturer Herrenknecht and refurbished for further use.
Map: Tunnel drives through London
The TBMs will have to navigate London's existing subterranean infrastructure, including sewers, some 10 Tube lines and the Blackwall and Limehouse link road tunnels.
At the deepest point the machines will be travelling about 40m below ground.
Crossrail tunnel profile
The Crossrail scheme was first proposed in the mid 1970s, although plans to build full-size railways through central London were also drawn up after World War II.
When complete by 2018, the line will pass through 37 stations and run 73 miles (118km) from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west, to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.
Crossrail interchanges
The line is expected to carry about 200 million passengers per year and expand London's rail capacity by about 10%.
Unlike the Tube, the line's rolling stock will be the same size as mainline trains and some 1,500 passengers can be carried in each train at peak periods.
Other tunnel boring machines from all over the world:

Will the human race begin to live underground? Not on Earth but perhaps somewhere else? On asteroids as they are mined etc? Such machines above or below might be a start to such excavations in creating underground artificial environments in places that are less hospitable on the surface but with valuable ore or minerals to be mined.

Below are other such monster boring machines:


Sunday, 11 March 2012

Reggae, Ska, Skinheads of Retro Britain - late sixties early seventies.


Lots of the youngsters dressed this way in East London when I was a kid in the late sixties and early seventies. I don't remember the change or when they faded away, but when I look at the above photos it really takes me back and knocks me for six when I realise that all of this was over forty years ago now.

Now we are they ones who say; "It was not like this in my day." In that day I can remember my Grandparents saying exactly the same thing and my grandchildren think these people are from the olden days - the olden days...   :)




Petula Clark Sings Downtown



This is a good old Retro Brit song from the sixties decade when all of Britain was a green field with bunny rabbits hopping about beneath a blue sky with a rainbow across it. Yeah right....  :) I can hear many say.

In my little boy mind it was because I loved Britain and thought everything happened here and nowhere else. How naive I was. Still little kids must be allowed to play. This song was among my Mother's many records. (I'm sure it was not my Dads) 

Nic Jones - The Bonny Bunch of Roses


This song called; The Bonny Bunch of Roses is about Napoleon and his invasion of Russia in 1812 and Britain's stand against him. I always liked the lyrics on this and it starts of with young Napoleon talking to his mother about conquering Britain. Young Napoleon is either the grandson or son of Bonaparte. It is a song that 'bigs' itself up, but then we all like these type of things some time or other. This rendition is sung by Nic Jones but there are others that sometimes sing this song too. Fairport Convention being one of them. Hope you enjoy this version.

Steeleye Span - Saucy Sailor




I always had a soft spot for Steelye Span. I love their old world style combined with modern instruments. Many of their songs are old folk from all over the Isles and to listen to them often takes me back in time to a different world and way of life.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Moyra Melons Captivating Ear Rings

Moyra Melons husband came downstairs into the living room and saw his lovely wife sporting her new ear rings. His darling wife was always full of surprises, especially when posing with new ear rings. She always managed to flick a switch. Strange that - don't you agree.
"Are these subtle dear," asked Moyra turning sideways so that her husband might be able to see her ear rings to maximum effect.

He, of course, coughed slightly and was taken unawares upon entering the room, where his darling wife posed as you, the reader, can see in the photo opposite. Perhaps any man might cough at the captivating sight of such fine ear rings.

He dithered a little before stuttering. "Most elegant Moyra - very alluring darling - very compelling indeed."

"Oh good," she responded. "I was wondering if they might be for the more acquired taste - perhaps take a little time to get used to."

"Perhaps take a little time to notice would be more appropriate Moyra," grinned her husband warming to the sight of such fine ear bling. "There are more things about you then just fine ear rings my little petal."

She smiled back at him enthralled by such kind words. "Really? tell me what else."

"I can show you if you would like Moyra," he smiled enthusiastically.

"Oh please do darling," she replied.

He closed the door and BOY did he show her what he thought of her fine ear rings and other things too. Could you, the reader, be as complimentary as Moyra Melons' husband - would you like to be Moyra's husband?

Her fabulous ear rings are, after all, very enticing - don't you think.