Saturday, 20 December 2014

WHAT A PUNCH! Boxing.



Any person who steps into a ring in front of thousands of prying eyes deserves great respect, in my opinion. This is something I could never do. For me, this is the ultimate test and each challenger is totally alone once inside that ring. No more help, just you and an opponent who wants to crush you and destroy you. The opponent will not help you in anyway. You are alone and dependant on your own ability with thousands wanting to see someone defeated. It could be you?

Everyone baying and howling for a knockout, an ultimate defeat an ultimate humiliation. Its exciting to watch, but what must it be like in that ring?

Virna Lisi, Jack Lemmon, Terry Thomas in a Grand Comical Movie.




















It was with great sadness that I learnt of the passing of Italian actress Virna Lisi. She was a drop dead gorgeous women who starred in one of my favourite comedy movies. She was in the wonderfully funny film called: How to Murder Your Wife. 

It has Jack Lemmon as the devoted bachelor who has it all. He is a newspaper comic script writer and artist and has a regular strip in a top selling newspaper. He has the most excellent bachelor pad and is living life as he pleases. He also has a gentleman's gentleman in the form of Terry Thomas. The devoted English butler who makes sure the master has everything at hand.

One morning the butler gets up early to prepare breakfast and all, but then discovers the master of the house has accidentally got married to a lady that came out of a giant cake the previous evening. The master was drunk and full of jolly frolics with his pals and while at the bash, he went out on a drunken limb and married this gorgeous lady that came out of a cake. Well... the gorgeous lady is Virna Lisi and quite a lot of blokes could make a mistake, even if sober.

Terry Thomas, as the trusted butler, helps Jack Lemmon, the cartoon strip artist, to formulate a plan and get rid of the unexpected wife, Virna Lisi. It is the morning after, and Jack Lemmon can see his grand days of bachelor freedom crumbling away. The consequences are an absolute scream because every time Jack Lemmon looks into his wife's face he becomes smitten again and can't bring himself to go through with things. 

This movie is a must see. No special effects needed here. Just a fabulous story carried along by dynamic and wonderful actors with a smashing comical script. 

Virna Lisi comes out of the cake.



RIP Virna Lisi

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

A Far Side Newspaper Funny!












































Steve McQueen Retro Movie King

Steve McQueen always had a commanding presence in movies. He seemed like the hero that always sneakily found a way around things. What ever the problem, he would work out a way to fathom, correct or overcome it.

The movie Bullitt was an ordinary drama with not much of a script really. Yet McQueen brought the film alive, especially with the great and exciting car chase. It was a real stand out feature of the movie.

My most favourite film of Steve McQueen is The Sand Pebbles. It is set upon an American Gunboat during the Chinese Civil war during the year of 1925. The Sand Pebbles Gunboat is an old Spanish ship captured during the American/Spanish war of 1898.

In the movie, this little gunboat patrols the Yangtze river in China during a time of great civil unrest. It is a splendid film and once again Steve McQueen makes the story come alive.

Of course there are many other Steve McQueen movies, including the Great Escape, The Magnificent Seven, The Towering Inferno and Le Mans - another great car movie. McQueen was the King of Cool and had that endearing presence in all of his movies.










Overload at X-Factor 2014



British Cinema Matinee - Light Up the Sky




Some of the old British retro movies from the 1950s and the early 1960s had a grand feel good factor about them. Light up the Sky was one of those afternoon matinees that came on t.v. during the mid-week afternoon in the late 60s early 70s. 

I remember catching it completely by surprise and finding it a very charming, enjoyable, and rather moving story. I was just a kid when I first saw the film and could not recognise the actors as being anyone special. I knew Tommy Steele because he was rather famous back then. I did not recognise the Young Benny Hill (Benny Hill Show) or Dick Emery (Dick Emery Show) at the time.

There was also the actor Johnny Briggs of Coronation Street and Ian Carmichael too. Plus a host of many other, soon to become, t.v. stars.

The film was about an air gun crew stationed in a field in Kent with the code name Agincourt. They work a search light and try to shoot German bombers during the night time raids in the war. As war goes the group of men seem to be having it all fairly cushy compered to many who are overseas fighting the war in far off places.

Our group of characters are arguing and joking during the day in the usual camaraderie way. A group of lads doing their thing. Ian Carmichael plays the officer who rides around on a motorcycle inspecting the various air gun crews and Agincourt is one of his inspection points. 

The film develops nicely as we learn of the men's little personnel problems. Tommy Steele and Benny Hill are brothers who want to go on stage and do a comedy double act with singing too. It is one of the most charming movies I have seen and is a story with wonderful moving themes. The backdrop of the war and the blitz make the story all the more insular for our little gun crew stationed in a filed in Kent. Marvellous movie and sad because they don't make them like this anymore. It is a basic and very simple little story that moves anyone. 



Saturday, 13 December 2014

Free SciFi on Kindle USA From Christmas Day! Happy Christmas!



FREE KINDLE DOWNLOAD IN USA FROM CHRISTMAS DAY TO 29TH. 

HAPPY CHRISTMAS!

Great pastiche SciFi for Free on Kindle USA!

From Christmas day for five days until the 29th of December get a free download of The Last Days of Thunder Child. 

New Kindle for Christmas? Then go for it over the free promotional period.




Friday, 12 December 2014

Good Historical Fiction Book - Saxon Quest




A tale of the Dark Ages when Saxon colonizers were spreading westwards across Britain and the Celtic nations were trying to stop the migration into their lands.

To Read via Amazon: CLICK HERE

New historical fiction books are always looked out for. Good historical books are in the realms of the reader opinions. For good or for bad, best new historical fiction books can only be hoped for by the author. Therefore, keep readers happy and hope for good book reviews.







Wednesday, 10 December 2014

The Black and Tan Reserve Police Force of the Anglo/Irish War


A story set in a small village of Cafgarven in Ireland. It is a beautiful summer in the year of 1920. The country is in political turmoil because of a strong and growing desire for Independence from Great Britain. The Fenian Flying columns are attacking the local constabulary and now reserves have been brought in from Britain to support the Royal Irish Constabulary. 

Cafgarven is caught up in the horrendous tit-for-tat war of murder. The little village finds itself caught in the crossfire and the local priest - Father John finds God's work cut out for him in the most bizarre way. He must help a person from either side of the conflict.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Underground Bare Knuckle Boxing in the UK







The UK's bare knuckle fighting contest is underground and illegal, but  there is a growing movement to try and get it legitimate. It certainly looks vicious and I'm sure its not to my taste. Some of these guys are getting on in age and fight youngsters 20 and more younger in years. It's interesting and I've heard the gypsies around the Fenlands sometimes do bare knuckle fights. Other travellers from all of the Isles come and invited guests. Its meant to be secretive, but everyone in the area gets to know the venues and the law does not intrude. 

The above documentary is another venue from a person who wants to legitimise the sport. I think it would lose its appeal if it became regulated.






Giving You Queen Cartimandua of Roman Britain and the Iceni Warrior Queen!





Queen Cartimandua lived during the time of Queen Boudicca - the Iceni Warrior Queen. Cartimandua was a queen of the Brigantes and ruled  for 26 plus years. She was more successful than Boudicca yet less famous. This is because she was friends with the Roman Empire. Even in 69 AD during the Year of the Four Emperors - when Cartimandua was overthrown by her divorced husband, she still escaped into exile deep within the Roman Empire. 

In the story of Meeting Boudicca; Cartimandua tells three Roman guards a tale of how she once met Boudicca after she was defeated and before the warrior queen committed suicide. It is a tale of intrigue that Cartimandua relates to her guards before departing Roman Britain to go further into the sanctuary of the mighty empire and drift out of recorded history.


Monday, 8 December 2014

Chuck Wepner's Amazing Fight Against Muhammad Ali in 1975!



Chuck Wepner went 15 rounds with the best boxer the world has ever seen. Muhammad Ali looked to have Chuck Wepner outclassed from the beginning. He was dancing around dogging while Wepner appeared to be using up excess energy following the dancing king around the ring. Wepner also looked awkward when punching at Ali. On occasion Muhammad Ali would lean against the ropes almost laughing while Wepner tried to pummel him with punches. It all seemed to no avail. 

As the fight continued, Ali taunted his opponent as though fattening him up, indulging Wepner before dispatching him, but no. Wepner still seemed to keep going. He did not look like he could win because he did not seem to be hurting Ali and he looked less fit too. However, something kept this guy going. It was strange because as the rounds went on Ali began to seem perplexed. Chuck Wepner just would not go down. Then he caught Ali with a punch and put him on the canvass. It was euphoric as the crowd gasped in amazement.

Ali got up and was suddenly boxing and landing punches with a stronger sense of purpose. Wepner had won some respect now and was being taken much more seriously. Still Wepner stayed on his feet amid a barrage of Muhammad Ali punches. Wepner looked smashed and broken but the guy would not go down and now battered and bruised as he was, he had the audacity to start taunting Ali, mocking the Champion of the World, the same way he had been mocked at the beginning of the fight.

Chuck Wepner went to round 15. The final round and Ali was well ahead and would win unless Wepner could put Ali down again. He had no chance but he went for it anyway, and Ali managed to land a punch that finally took Wepner out of the fight. Wepner went down as he tried to defeat Ali. To be fair Ali never looked like losing, but there was something truly remarkable about Chuck Wepner. He almost went the distance and certainly turned the tables on Ali for periods of the boxing match. It was entertaining because this small no hope guy suddenly rattled the cage of the World Champion - for a brief and very entertaining moment.

I honestly believe that the idea for the Rocky movies are a jazzed up version of this fight. 





Giving You H.M.S. Thunder Child's Defiant Stand



Read H.M.S. Thunder Child's adventure against the Martian tripods. Victorian Britain is now a dystopian land. The world has gone mad and the British Empire is exposed for all the weakness it has against an alien technology it cannot compete against. One small out dated ironclad steps up to the mark with a brave crew. In the River Blackwater, Thunder Child makes a defiant stand. Follow the crew and her last voyage.



Sunday, 7 December 2014

Swedish Formula 1 Driver Ronnie Peterson and my Memory of his Passing.

The world of 1978 was a very different world from the one I live into today. I was young and 17. I had just started work in London and the city was a vibrant hive of activity. The music scene was wonderful with Punk Rock and other great British bands imposing themselves upon the music scene. There were record shops everywhere with all the latest albums up for grabs. The book shops were plentiful with wonderful novels of all genres. The magazine stools were fabulous too with all sorts of delightful topics that lured me. The world seemed like a very glamorous place and London seemed at the centre of it all. I stared out at this world through naive and very impressionable eyes. I drank in all the glamorous aspects of the late 70s decade world and fantasied that all these wonderful things were waiting for me. I thought the whole wide world was an eternity of voguish things and that I might be a young knight of the modern day waiting to take it by storm.  I looked at the world with huge delusions of grandeur and believed the world, in turn, would view me with awe and marvel because out there was something waiting. Something I might be good at. Of course this was all fantasy, but sometimes I imaged I might be a dynamic Rock Star (waiting to be discovered) and live life in the fast lane with beautiful ladies falling head over heels in love with me. Perhaps, a star footballer scoring goals for England or maybe a formula 1 racing driver who would win acclaim in the great arena tweaking the nose of danger. I would die young and be an icon. Perhaps a member of the 27 club. Wow! Ten years of fast lane living – an eternity!

I can see the reader laughing and saying, “Yeah right.”

But I was, as mentioned, incredibly naïve. I rather enjoy my naïve young days when I look back now. What an Earth was going on in my head. I imagined I would climb some mountain of achievement and have millions of onlookers stroke my adolescent conviction of vanity. There were celebrities everywhere and none more so then in the Formula 1 racing world. Nikki Lauda, James Hunt, Mario Andretti where all big at the time. Maybe, I would like to be a Formula 1 racing driver. I began to buy the motor racing magazines and was blown away by the sleek look of the Lotus team’s John Player sponsored black racing car. They had Mario Andretti and Ronnie Peterson driving for them. I thought the cars looked great and often envied the life style these daredevils might live. I knew James Hunt had a great swashbuckling reputation and he had one a championship back in 1976. Nikki Lauda bore the scars of injury, but had also taken championship titles. Now in 1978 it seemed to be Mario Andretti that was amassing points with his team mate Ronnie Peterson. It was the Lotus car designs turn.

I had got a job as a humble coding clerk in an American Re-insurance company called CNA-RE based in Fenchurch Street in Fountain House. It was the claims department and I spent my time writing policy numbers, premium amounts received and claim payments paid out. It was before computers and there was no excel programs or computers back then. I was writing these from policy cards kept in a large filing cabinet on wheels. All day long I pulled out claims polices from this trolley and copied the various transaction numbers and amounts into a folder. Why? I haven’t the foggiest idea. It seemed like an incredible waste of time because everything I was writing down was on other files here there and everywhere.

CAN-RE dealt with Lloyd’s insurance brokers who went about the city E.C.3 area – predominantly Fenchurch Street, Leadenhall Street, St Mary Axe etc. There were hundreds of these small Re-insurance offices for the brokers to sell their insurance premiums to. The risks were so great that the insurance was broken down into small sections and 5% or 10% would be sold to various different Re-insurance companies. These insurance risks were big. Like airlines, shipping industries or other multi-commercial interests. Interests so big that one insurance company might not be able to take on a big risk alone. Because a claim for a huge cargo ship or jumbo jet could work out to be multi millions.

For a single person life insurance could be bought against an ordinary insurance company, but a single Formula 1 racing car driver was Re-insured due to the high level of risk involved.

In 1978 the Lotus team racing Driver Ronnie Peterson got killed during the Italian Grand Prix. He was Mario Andretti’s team mate in the Lotus racing team – the black JPS cars I thought looked great and sleek, the racing driver I envied beyond all things. He was a young man living this life I imagined as glamorous, but his sudden death shocked me. I remember seeing Nikki Lauda in TV. interviews after his death defying accident and the scars he had to his face. I believed that the turning point had been reached. Now Ronnie Peterson had also been killed in this promising Lotus team.

It made me dwell on things a little and was a short shock about the less sensational aspect of racing from the driver’s point of view. Maybe I was happier being a spectator on this one. Perhaps there is always a price to pay for such dearing escapades? The feelings resurfaced a few weeks later when I was writing out the claims transactions and pulled out a Re-insurance claims card to copy details from. 

CAN-RE had a small percentage of Ronnie Peterson’s claim. It said he had been killed in the Italian Grand Prix and I realised he was actually re-insured. I can’t remember my much company’s actual risk percentage, but it was probably between 5% and 10%. I can’t remember the exact figure in US dollars but it was multiple thousands of. At such a small percentage I began to wonder what the overall claim would have been once the Lloyd's claims brokers had done the rounds upon all the Re-insurance companies taking these multiple thousands here and there. It had to be staggering, I know it was, but I remember thinking it was no good to poor Ronnie Peterson – the talented Swedish Formula 1 racing driver who died aged 34. There is a statue of him in Orebro, Sweden and among his funeral pole bearers was Ken Tyrell, Colin Chapman, James Hunt, Nikki Lauda and Jody Scheckter. I remember thinking it was a tragic thing at the time and for me; perhaps a slice of life after the glitter is brushed away.


Saturday, 6 December 2014

Cartimandua of Brigantes meets the Iceni Warrior Queen Boudicca!




Roman Britain in the first century. The Brigante queen was friends with Rome, but the Iceni queen rebelled, slaughtering thousands in her bloody wake. Upon the Iceni warrior queen's defeat, she fled to sanctuary and committed suicide. It was her honourable way out, after her people lie slaughtered upon the battlefield. To be taken alive, would mean humiliation and degradation in the city of Rome. The Gaul king, Vercingetorix had been publicly executed before the Empire's mob. Cleopatra and Mark Antony's rotting corpses were said to have been paraded before the Roman plebiscite too. There was no other way but to chose suicide and secret burning and disposal of the remains. The warrior queen could never be found. Before her final act, she met the Brigante queen Cartimandua.

What came about was a bizarre plot in which, both queens were being used as pawns in a third party's plot - a conspiracy of Celtic intrigue and lust for tribal power. Power over the Brigantes and their fraternising queen's fragile loyalty to the Roman Empire.

Eight years later during the year of the Four Emperors (69 AD) Queen Cartimandua is about to leave Britain. Her power usurped by her vengeful ex-husband Venutius. Only Rome could aid her now as she left the shores of the Isles to go into exile in Gaul. Three Roman guards sat with her as she waited by the river side for the Roman galley to come up river. To pass the time, she indulged her compliant hosts with a tale. One that was not known before - Cartimandua's dramatic one time meeting with the warrior queen Boudicca.


Monday, 1 December 2014

Giving You Mike Hawthorn's Legendary Dream Machine of 1955 Le Mans



Mike Hawthorn and Ivor Bueb drove this Jaguar D-type to win the Le Mans 1955 race in very controversial circumstances. The car is a real piece of work from a layman's humble point of view and still looks elegant today. Mike Hawthorn would later race for Ferrari and would win the Formula 1 title in 1958. In a terrible twist of fate, Mike Hawthorn would leave the dangerous world of Formula 1 after seeing so many close friends perish to the sport. His 1955 win of Le Mans had also been marred by a horrific crash in which almost 90 people were killed. Yet Hawthorn went on to win the race in the above D-type Jag. After all the terrible trials and tribulations of his racing life and finally achieving a Formula 1 championship, he retired; only to be killed in a burn out along a motorway in the UK a few months later in January 1959. A silly prank the went wrong.








LA BÊTE BLOOMS - Everyday's The Same







Some Brit Indie bands have a feel that lets one drift and remember their young days. LA BÊTE BLOOMS does this, I'm pleased to say. I used to like bands like Echo and the Bunnymen, The Teardrop Explosion in the 80s and then came The Charlatans and Logpigs for the 90s. Then this modern day band comes along and manages to reach into the middle aged me and pull out memories and feelings of when I was in my 20s and a dreamer. Its rather nice to go back for a while and touch such moments. This song does that for me. Hope to hear more from this band in the future. Great sound, promising band. :D







Sunday, 30 November 2014

Sparrow Hawks - Two Predetors on the Telephone Cable



Because it was one of those clear, blue, sky winter days, I fancied there might be two Sparrow Hawks along the country road leading to the town of Whittlesey. Every time a dust cart goes along this road, we always see sparrow hawks, buzzards and kestrels. I've tried to click them on my mobile phone camera but they are always too far away. 


This Sunday morning, (30/11/2014) I took my German Shepard dog for a walk along the river Nene and had taken my camera just in case. There was nothing going, so when I returned with the dog, I let her out into the side yard and told my wife I was going to drive along the long country road to Whittlesey and see if the Sparrow Hawks were out. I closed the long five bar gate with Sasha barking for me to take her again. I could not because I would be along a country road with farm land. I could not let her run over the farmer's fields, so she remained. 

It was a fine day for any bird of prey to hunt and I had noticed,  on numerous occasions, two sparrow hawks watching over a freshly dredged dyke. A couple of weeks previously, I saw huge JCB scooping the reeds out of the long ditch and clearing the vegetation, leaving it to rot along the bank. This is done every year to keep the dykes clear for flood water to flow.  

If the ground is disturbed it means various worms and what not come to the surface which would encourage sparrows, voles and mice to go on the hunt. In turn, I think this has attracted the attention of the two Sparrow Hawks we kept seeing in the particular location. They were hunting the hunters - the sparrows, moles, voles and mice.

As I cruised along with my eyes peeled, I was relieved to know there was no other traffic on the road as I got closer to the dredged dyke. For miles in all directions, there was nothing but ploughed farmland. It was like I was the only person in the fen. Then I spotted the two sparrow hawks sitting upon the telephone cable that ran along the country road. I slowed to a stop and started clicking with my camera. They saw me and began to fly further away along the telephone cable while I kept jumping back in the car to pursue and take more photo shots. Most were blurred because I was rushing and shaking with excitement, but some came out and I have chosen a few to blog. I hope any reader will enjoy.







Friday, 21 November 2014

Muslim asks about discrimination, gets awesome answer!





This lady is so right. I wish we had a politician like her in the UK. She is not being wicked or bad to the young Muslim lady, but she is pointing out episodes from history from many ideologies that made peaceful majorities irrelevent. How very right she is.





Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Red Baron (Manfred Von Richofen) Replica Fokker Dr1 Dreidecker

An aviation enthusiast named Paul Ford has spent £180,000 building an exact replica of Manfred Von Richtofen's Fokker Dr1 Dreidecker. This was the deadly German WWI fighter plane that Richtofen used among the 70 allied pilots he shot down. He was nicknamed; The Red Baron.

Now Paul Ford intends to take people up in his replica of the original WWI plane to indulge in mock dogfights.









Monday, 17 November 2014

Did Boudicca - The Iceni Warrior Queen Meet Queen Caritmandua of Brigantes

Queen Cartimandua of Brigantes

Ancient Britons fought the Romans for a number of decades from 44 AD to 120 AD. There continued to be tribal unrest in Caledonia (Scotland) but much of the rest of Britain gradually became Romanised. 

For 300 more years Britain became a settled area of the world and when it finally fell apart due to Eastern European migration from today's Russia area; the Roman administration packed up and abandoned the Isle in about 408 AD.

The Isle witnessed a kind of dystopia for some years. The Dark Ages came and there followed many centuries of uncertainty.

It is so strange because the Britons were not the most welcoming of people towards the Romans at first. There were a number of wars in the beginning, but the might of Rome prevailed and Britain prospered under her rule.

In the early decades of Roman rule, Britain was known to have 2 queens. Boudicca of the Iceni (The Warrior Queen) is known for her bloody rebellion. The Warrior Queen’s rampage burnt her name into the history books and she echoes through eternity. She lasted but a year, yet her legacy lingers to this day.

The other queen is Cartimandua of the Brigantes. She is less well known, yet she was more successful in ruling her rebellious Brigante and got on well with Rome.

Historians say that Boudicca fell out with Rome because the Roman Empire would not recognise a woman’s rule. I think this is hogwash because Queen Cartimandua was recognised and supported against her divorced and exiled husband Venutius. Also Cleopatra - Queen of Egypt was another who enjoyed Roman support until she challenged it.

Cartimandua ruled from the year the Romans invaded Briton in 44 AD or close to this time. Her rule ended in 69 AD during the year of the Four Emperors. Her divorced husband came back and usurped her from the Brigante throne, though Cartimandua managed to escape and went into exile and vanished from historical records. No one knows when she died. Although she ruled for around twenty five years, virtually nothing is known of her, save that she got on well with the Roman Empire. This is a great shame because to last so long under such dire conditions says something about this queen.

Many regard her as a traitor because of her friendship with Rome. But some people believe there was more to Cartimandua then this. She must have had some ability and somehow she contained her Brigante from joining Boudicca’s rebellion.

When Boudicca of Iceni lost her final battle against the Roman army, her forces were in the midland area of today’s England. Cartimandua’s boarders would have been close to where Manchester is.

Suppose when Boudicca fled the battle field, after defeat, as some historians believe, she went north to commit suicide. Even if Rome had her rotting corpse they would have displayed it and recorded such an event. It is safe to say the Romans did not find the corpse of the warrior queen. Suppose Boudicca took a poison elixir and was buried in a sacred place? Suppose Cartimandua had some reason to meet the warrior queen in secret? Could the British queens have met?



Sunday, 16 November 2014

Giving You Roman Britain during Boudicca's Rebellion in 61 AD



Queen Boudicca left a lasting legacy after but a year of rule. Her Iceni murdered and burnt their way into the history books that left a forever echo.

At the same time as Boudicca's rebellion, Queen Carimandua ruled her Brigante and was supported by Rome. She never joined Boudicca. She had been ruling for around fifteen years before the Iceni Warrior queen and would rule for another eight years after the warrior queen was gone. Even then she lived after being usurped from her Brigante throne.

Cartimandua just vanished from history after going into exile. What became of her; no one knows. She did tell a story of a brief meeting with Boudicca. After the Iceni warrior queen was defeated and prior to Boudicca's suicide.

Presenting You with a meeting of both queens in a novel by C.A. Powell: Meeting Boudicca.
In paperback or Kindle.


England 3 Slovenia 1 - Euro Qualifers


I sat down on the Saturday night to watch England play against Slovenia. In European football, there are not many easy games anymore and Slovenia are worthy opponents in this day and age. They have a good side with some high quality players. 

The game started and Slovenia packed out the defence and managed to frustrate England all through the first half, denying England a shot on target. I have to say that Slovenia looked like a side waiting for an opportunity to exploit - not some low grade side playing on chance. They seemed like they had a game plan, which appeared could work. The longer England came up against that brick wall, the more frustrated they would get. However, England remained calm and plugged away doggedly to the first half whistle. Both sides left for the dressing room at 0-0.

The football panel had Ian Wright, Lee Dixon (former England players) Also Glen Hoddle - a former England manager. They spoke of the lacklustre first half and Lee Dixon gave due credit to Slovenia for the defencive way they contained England. Glen Hoddle rightly pointed out that England would have to become more creative because Slovenia would get at least one chance in the game - maybe more. We could get caught on a counter and Slovenia looked like a side with that skill.

The second half started with a little more positive assertiveness from England and the began to get closer to testing Slovenia's goalkeeper. However, Slovenia also looked more adventurous and seemed to have a different outlook for the second half too. They managed an attack and caught England when England defender, Jorden Henderson deflected the ball into his own net giving Slovenia a 1-0 lead. It was as Glen Hoddle predicted. The law of averages decreed that a side of Slovenia's worth would create chances. They did and capitalised on some sloppy England defending.

Fortunately, almost straight away from the centre kick, England's Wayne Rooney got the ball and dribbled into the Slovenian penalty box and was brought down. The skipper scored from the spot kick and levelled at 1-1. Slovenia's lead had lasted less then two minuets. Suddenly England looked more invigorated and they began to pile pressure upon the deflated Slovenia side. What followed were more chances from which, came two more goals, from Danny Wellbeck.

I thought the result was a good one and it did take the goal to liven England up. However, I think the lacklustre first half was also due to Slovenia packing out the defence. Other opponents in this group have tried the same thing. To Slovenia's credit, they did well in the first half, but in the second they tried to come out and be more creative. They managed to steal a goal, but lost the opportunity to stay ahead very quickly. It was certainly that old cliche about a game of two halves.








Saturday, 15 November 2014

Wildtrack - My Goodreads Review

Nick Sandman is an ex-soldier wounded in the Falklands war and owner of the VC. He has lost all his wealth and has an ex-wife who is constantly after more maintenance. His shattered spine makes walking about difficult, but he gets through the grinding day, willing himself on. He has a boat called Sycorax – a yacht that is his prized possession. In this meagre possession Nick harbours his hopes of sailing away from all his troubles in Britain, like a sea gypsy, to New Zealand. However, while in port, Nick finds out that the hull of his yacht needs extensive and costly repairs. In order to find the money to complete the necessary repairs, Nick decides to take employment from a media star named Tony Bannister. The celebrity wants Nick to captain his yacht Wildtrack in a transatlantic race. That’s when Nick’s troubles really begin as he is dragged in to Tony Bannister’s more seedy side of life. A great thriller and fabulous page turner. 






Thursday, 6 November 2014

Queen Cartimandua of the Brigantes and Roman Britain.

No one knows if Cartimandua and Boudicca ever met. However, when Boudicca was defeated in battle, it was in the midlands of Britain and not too far from the southern boarders of Queen Cartimandua's Brigantes.

In the story; Meeting Boudicca, Queen Cartimandua tells three Roman guards a bizarre story of a meeting that took place between herself and the defeated warrior queen after the final battle against Rome's Suetonius - governor of Roman Britain.

Cartimandua and Boudicca are pawns in a divorced husband's plan to rid the Brigantes of Cartimandua. During the intrigue, Cartimandua can't resist the chance to meet the Iceni Warrior Queen.

So the story begins as Cartimandua indulges the curiosity of three Roman guards, telling the story while reminiscing back to the year it all happened. 



Fiction books to try by C.A.Powell

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

War of the Worlds - Vintage Fantasy Version from YouTuber





From YouTube - a version of War of the Worlds. An extra creepy vintage presentation. Like the background music.  :D










Out and about in the Fenlands of England

amid the fields of the fen 
Where market towns appear and disapear. No suburbs just houses then, full stop! Then fields and more fields before the next market town - where begin houses, little town centre, houses - full stop! Then fields and more fields. :D
secret doors to secret gardens


Allyway cloister


Cloud with a claw



Crassus the Great Entrepreneur of Rome and His Final Push Too Far

Crassus
Marcus Licinius Crassus was a Roman entrepreneur during the time of the Roman Empire. By today’s standards, he would be comparable with Donald Trump, Bill Gates, Richard Branson or Lord Alan Sugar. However, his world of industry and commerce was dreadfully different from the world we know today. Industry and commerce were run by slave power including entertainment which involved slaves taken from conquered tribes of the Roman Empire. Wealth was gained by military might and slave ownership. It was the world where brutal people were hardened with complete conviction of vanity – a belief of their own self-righteous ways and existence to be better than hordes of others. This is not a condemnation. It was a fact of the type of world that early civilisations and empires were. Before and well after the Roman Empire. Marcus Licinius Crassus was no exception to this rule and excelled within the Roman doctrines of this world.

He was born into this world from a wealthy family in 115 BC during the time of the Roman Republic. He would see many things and be part of the early shift and change from the Roman Republic to Roman Empire. Though he would die before the empire took over the republic. He was also instrumental in defeating the slave leader Spartacus during the great slave rebellion. In fact, Crassus is probably most well known as the wealthy general who led his army to the slave revolt, after Spartacus had defeated several armed forces sent against his rebellious slave force.

Crassus’ family fortune was lost during civil strife and political upheaval when lands and other wealth were confiscated from his relatives. Crassus managed to regain his prosperity through trafficking slaves in vast amounts. Among such slaves, he was able to pick out those with a skilled trade. He also got involved in silver mines and types of wreckage acquirement. If buildings were destroyed by fire, he had armies of slave builders who could make good lands or estate that had suffered building catastrophe, like fire or subsidence. He would acquire the lands cheaply and then redevelop at prophet. I suppose one might say a property developer, and insurance auditor all rolled into one.

At his peak of wealth, he was worth an equivalent of over $8 million US or £10 million UK. Not small potatoes by any stretch of the imagination. With all this wealth he acquired his own army and was also granted control of other armies by the senate in times of emergency. The slave revolt of Spartacus being the most notable.

One of Crassus’ great rivals was Pompey – another influential Roman who had won renown in Spain, campaigning for the Roman Empire. He had also been requested by the Roman Senate to confront the slave rebellion of Spartacus. There is believed to have been some competition between the two concerning who would win the credit for defeating Spartacus and his army of slaves. History favoured Crassus in the end.

Crassus would later become a patron of a young up and coming Roman called Julius Caesar – a Roman who echoes throughout history. He would go some way to building a bridge between Crassus and Pompey as young Caesar advanced and matured.

Marcus Licinius Crassus gained Syria as a province of rule and it was here that he was consumed by his daring ambitions. With his armies, he decided upon further opportunities to increase the vast wealth he had already gained. He looked further and decided upon a campaign of conquest against the neighbouring Parthian Empire. It is also believed that he wanted to emulate Pompey and Julius Caesar who were winning recognition for military victories elsewhere in Rome’s grand empire. Perhaps he felt overshadowed. A victory in the Parthian Empire would be more worthy of victories in Gaul or Spain.
Crassus' invasion of Parthian Empire

Crassus led his Roman army across the Euphrates and met the Parthian forces who came forth to confront the invaders. The year was 53 BC and Crassus was 62 years old. Behind was a lifetime of acquisition, which had brought fame and fortune. This would become another monumental gain for his fame and fortune, or so he thought.

Now he faced the Pathan's who had mounted archers that were swift and could fire arrows skilfully and accurately. The horseman would ride around the infantry of the Roman legions and loose arrows from a distance then retreat and return - continuously. The casualties began to mount and the Romans began to despair. Usually, Romans had formations that could deal with such attacks. Their famous shield protective manoeuvres were legendary and do not seem to have worked or been deployed. It is not known why? What happened after a time, was the Roman soldiers became mutinous with Crassus demanding that their leader talks with the Parthians and get a truce. It does seem strange because Crassus had lost his son Publius during the battle. Perhaps the situation had become so dire that he realised there was no other way forward but to try and gain some sort of truce.

When Crassus went out with his group, to meet the Parthian envoy, things did not go to plan. The Parthians overpowered the Roman group and killed all, including Crassus. Some reports say that he was held down and had molten gold tipped down his throat. This was because of his greed for wealth. It is also rumoured that Crassus had his head taken before the Parthian king, who was attending the wedding of his son and heir. It was displayed at the marriage ceremony to the delight of all. How true this is, one cannot say, but it was a cruel time and Crassus lived by the sword and died by it.

Back in Rome Caesar would return and cause upheaval and bring about the fall of the Roman Republic into an Empire ruled by Emperors. Pompey would also perish during these new civil wars. The downfall of Marcus Licinius Crassus would become obscured by these events. 


Sunday, 2 November 2014

Southend United Vs Manchester United 'Freddy Eastwood's goal'








Southend United's magnificent goal against Manchester United. David slaying Goliath. It was during the League Cup competition one week night when the famous Manchester United visited Southend's humble home ground. 

At the time Southend had a young striker called Freddie Eastwood. This young striker was beginning to make a name for himself, but that night he carved his reputation in rock with a wonder goal that knocked the high flying Premier and European football side out of the League Cup competition.


Bluebell - My New Grandaughter.

Bluebell
I went back to Leigh-on-Sea where my eldest son Lloyd still lives with his girlfriend. They have just had a little daughter called Bluebell. I drove there for a Guy Fawkes/Halloween barbcue. It was the first time I've seen my new grandaughter and she is now four weeks old. 

Also many other grandaughters turned up for the event too. I have four sons and five grandaughters and one grandson plus many more step-grand children on my wife's side. In all there are 16 grandchildren between us,

The fireworks went down a treat with the kids and I might have overdone it with pints of guiness. They tend to slip down too easily. I stayed at my son's place during the night and came home the next morning.

It was a nice bash and lovely to see the kids all enjoying themselves.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Fatal Formula 1 championship crashes - Road Warriors that Perished Trying.





Many road warriors perished trying to win the most ultimate of prestige in Formula 1. It is in all human nature to try and attain good things. We test ourselves in many fields of endeavour. It could be medicine or exploration - the adventures are endless. Many men can't help but pursue the idea of speed where they can push to the limit and briefly reach the zone - a world where one is running parallel with death. What makes us do it? What excites us?

I can see the attraction but lack the courage of such conviction. Perhaps I'm right to? However, I can't help admiring the Formula 1 racing or the Isle of Man TT because it is so dangerous.

It must be intoxicating once you've done such things. What motivates these men when the more they dice with death, the greater the risk of meeting it became so?


Friday, 31 October 2014

Watch Scotty M on YouTube - GREECE: Punishing Greece and the Successful




Check out Scotty M on YouTube. He has a lot of good things to say. I don't always agree with all the things he speaks of, but I do concerning this YouTube clip. I begin, once again, to think of voting UKIP.

Halloween on the Bin Round in March, Cambridgeshire.

The Fenland's are battling against the oncoming winter and, for the moment, the flat lands are holding their own. 

At work, we all like Fridays on the Bin round. I like it because it is the last day of the week and the bins are in my own market town of March. 

Our works' yard is also there, so we finish and work close to base. 

Today was a very strange Halloween day indeed. All week the weather as been exceptionally warm for autumn. Well, today it was 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The last day of October, in Britain, and we have 70 degrees! We worked till dusk which is around 16.30 and it was like a summer evening around 21.30. It even smelt like summer apart from the leaf fall around the streets.

Still make the most of it, because it will not last much longer. I wonder if we'll get back pay in the summer?