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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?