Sunday, 19 November 2017
Saturday, 18 November 2017
|Vespasian -Wikimedia Commons|
|Vespasian - Jewish Revolt|
|Nero sends Vespasian to Jerusalem|
|Vespasian - Ostia|
|Vespasian sestertius A.D. 71 reverse 'Judea Captured'|
Wednesday, 15 November 2017
The weekend vanished in a flurry of preparing for and attending one of the largest Christmas Craft Fairs in Aberdeen, Scotland. The AWA (American Women's Association) has been organising very popular Fairs for more than 2 decades and generally have very high turnout of shoppers. Sunday past was one of the good days. I had a great time, sold 25 novels and maybe a few ebooks.
But to the matter in hand...
He maybe had a big battle at the elusively referred to battlegrounds of Mons Graupius (biased written evidence for this)… and then he left quite soon after to go back to
From written records we know Agricola was back in
In northern Britannia, the population of the tribes would have been relatively small compared to some of the tribes in southern Britannia (the south of
|Giovanni Panninni Wikimedia Commons|
According to the most recent archaeological excavations in northern
|The Baths at Caracalla|
- Civilised: -behaving in a polite way instead of getting angry
Of course, there might have been sumptuous baths like those portrayed here by L. Alma Tadema. Wikimedia Commons. Have I ever mentioned I love his paintings- even if they are not quite what would have happened at the baths.
Friday, 10 November 2017
Saturday, 4 November 2017
My week has been extremely busy writing wise, most of which has been out and about talking about and selling my novels.
On Wed 1st November, I spent a lovely evening with 30+ ladies from the Kinellar SWI who had asked me to give them a talk/ presentation about my novels. They wanted a mixture of my writing background; the novels I've had published to date; and a little bit more about Roman Aberdeenshire- all of which I was delighted to give them along with a PowerPoint presentations of relevant images.
They were an extremely appreciative and intent audience, some of whom asked brilliant questions afterwards. I sold some books and though I live only some 4 miles from the venue, the travelling expenses were welcome.
Here's hoping it's a good shopping day because I'm hoping to sell a lot of my stock! Yesterday, and Wednesday evening, the popular one was Topaz Eyes. Updates later...
Wednesday, 1 November 2017
Today was my turn to post at my regular x 2 per month Writing Wranglers Blog. Since Hallowe'en is now over and I have done a post on Scottish Hallowe'en already for them, I decided to post some interesting facts about Scotland.
Here's a bundle of random facts...
The shortest scheduled passenger flight in the world is from the Orkney
Saturday, 28 October 2017
Monday, 23 October 2017
The dawn sky was very pretty this morning. I was hoping this meant that a good day was about to follow but that's already not the case as more rain is settling in at 11 a.m.
It's not really a problem though, since my intention is to write and read and research till late afternoon when some guests are due.
In the meantime...
Another recent read...
This novel was one that I acquired through my Amazon Kindle Unlimited and was recommended to me via one of the ebook sites that I've subscribed to.
I was in the mood for a very light read in the midst of lots of heavy research reading and this was just right for the occasion.
Reclaim My Heart by Donna Fasano 4*
This was an easy read with a feel good factor. The author highlights some issues of illegitimacy, possible abortion and adoption, prejudice and bigotry but does it sympathetically showing that major decisions made by parents can be for both good and bad reasons.
The concept that life changing decisions can be made at different stages in a person’s life is evident in this novel but the author also points out that positives can be the outcome of negative deeds.
She has also set out, I believe, to show that negative influences of other people (e.g. parents) can be devastating to a younger person but that some people can change their opinions over time, though others may only manage a partial transition. The story of how Tyne and Lucas resolve their son Zach’s dilemma is a simple one and quite predictable but I liked how the extended family were included within the whole redemption situation.
Love does find a way of making a HEA ending.
Sunday, 22 October 2017
|Augustus of Prima Porta Vatican Museums|
|Forum of Augustus- Temple of Mars Ultor (Nancy Jardine)|
|Roman Forum 1870s Feelix Bonfils (1831-1885)|
|Claude Lorrain -painted c. 1634|
Saturday, 21 October 2017
Thursday, 19 October 2017
|Rome Aqueduct - Wikimedia Commons|
|Aqua Claudia by Pietro Sassi - Wikimedia Commons|
- continuous flushing out of their communal lavatories
- supplying water to their communal bathhouses
- for other domestic, trade and industry reasons
- for sluicing down their streets and sewers
- and for feeding the many fountains around the city.
|Aqua Claudia -Wikimedia Commons|
The longest unbroken stretch of an ancient above-ground aqueduct near Rome is the Aqua Claudia.
I'm off now to do a bit more of my FutureLearn Rome course and some very neglected writing.
Sunday, 8 October 2017
I really can't believe it when someone tells me that their week has gone slowly past. I never have enough hours in the day to do all I want to. It's always a case of squeezing something in.
I do make time for non-fiction reading as well as my fiction slots and some of my recent reading has been quite enlightening. It's easy to see why rumours can grow and why local folklore is deeply embedded in what people believe of a an area. While doing some research on the possibility of Ancient Roman roads in Aberdeenshire, I got myself a copy of a book I'd been recommended some months back (probably sometime during 2016).
What I have in Highways and Byways Round Kincardine is a companion volume to a first book entitled Highways and Byways Round Stonehaven and is the work of Archibald Watt who certainly (faithfully and lovingly) had tramped many miles to gather up his information. The book I have is essentially a book of local driving routes which also take the hiker off road for much of the time- sometimes through public access land and at others over farmland or local private estate land.
I'm not local to Aberdeenshire and I have little experience of Kincardinshire or the Mearns area but the book is a little gem of Watt's knowledge gathered over decades which doubles as a history of the area as well.
Where his original information derives from is very varied -some from original textbooks, old maps, and histories of the area; some from anecdotal material; some from the libraries of landowners of the area whom I'm guessing he was acquainted with.
The aim of Watt in writing the book of routes is to "stimulate public interest in the history, character and beauty of Kincardineshire, to further knowledge of and interest in our local heritage and to encourage the preservation of various ancient historical sites and buildings that mean so much to us and are of aesthetic and environmental importance."
The book was published just a few years before I moved to Aberdeenshire but I'm very ignorant of the area save when I drive northbound along the A90 to reach Aberdeen, or the opposite direction to drive south to Edinburgh or Glasgow. Watt is careful in his book to make clear that some roads which were anecdotally and in the local oral tradition thought to be historically Roman are not attested by the Archaeological Department of Aberdeen University. That is not to say the Romans never laid down any proper roads in Kincardine, it just means thorough excavations have never been done to prove it.
In the following extract he writes about a Roman Camp near Kair House (Fordoun) It is believed by some historians to have been created by Emperor Severus around AD 210 rather then during the Agricolan expeditions of the first century AD (AD 84). Watt sounds pretty sure of his information in this book but the site has never been given official status because, like so many others, no formal adn positive excavations have been recorded.
An aerial survey led to this belief the aerial photograph taken in 1945. Watt's description is highly readable even if not proven!
"A Tired Roman Legionary's Earthen Wall
Now let us carry on up the hill to the steading of the Mains of Kair. Here we turn right and left again, past the dwelling house, until in just under a quarter of a mile in all we reach two small huts on the right. Between them you should stop again for you are parked on the site of the porta praetoria or general's gate, the main entrance to the camp, placed as was always the case in a slight re-entrant angle in the middle of the north-east side of the camp, the side facing the enemy. Between the two small huts can still be seen the remains of about 20 yards of the turf rampart or agger which, originally 7 ft high, had once surrounded the camp surrounded by a palisade (vallum) of sharpened wooden stakes. How fascinating that the earthen wall built by some tired legionary some nearly 1800 years ago should show today where the line of defence once continued for another 280 yards down the field on our left!"
I'm particularly interested in the parts where Watt points out possible Roman sites but the general historical details are also very interesting for periods across all eras.
My next non-fiction 'book I've read' post is likely to be on The Military Roads in Scotland by William Taylor- also a fascinating, though not up-to- date, book.