Fragment 2 – The History Professor

He waved rapidly, if not a little vaguely, at the bare top a nearby grassy hill. “It was there upon that hill where the Huscarl stood resolute as the Norman tide surged and broke against them” he spat the words whilst chopping and thrusting with his arms as if they were swords. “Arrows darkened the sky and slammed into the stout shields of a human wall. Crossbows made their first deadly appearance on British soil.” By now we had reached the bottom of the sloping ground. The Norman position. He gestured to his right where a tangle of wild flowers spoilt the verdant green. “The Bastard, William, unleashed his secret weapon from here. Knights. Not like the knights you’re imagining I’m sure. There’d be no plate on this battlefield and therefore no knights in shining armour here. These would have been the first knights, cavalrymen in chainmail, carrying a kite shield and lance. Swift of horse, manoeuvrable, deadly to isolated footmen. So alien to the Saxon fighting man that rode to battle and then dismounted to fight on foot.” Despite his advancing years the Professor charged up the slope, his thinning grey hair being lifted by a gentle breeze. I struggled to keep up. He was fuelled by passion, I merely flirting with the idea of it. Near the crest of the hill he stopped and turned to look back down the slope. His eyes, originally cold and a little hostile sparkled with life. “Here,” he whispered, “is where the Saxon story ends. This very spot.”

I took a moment to consider my acquaintance. I began to think to myself that this strange Professor may be a little unhinged but certainly not unlikeable. In fact he had me enthralled, carried along by his passion like a stone in a roaring river. Bouncing along just below the surface but very much a part of the process. There may have been a gulf of years between us but this man transgressed the ages as though the years were seconds. Whilst he seemed slow at first impressions he quickly traversed vast distances both physically and culturally. He was a man in love with the people of the past and that clearly endeared him to the people of the present.

By now he was gasping for breath have not stopped speaking whilst performing acrobatic feats a man twenty years younger would have been envious of. He stopped for a heartbeat longer, contemplative, finding the strength to renew his assault on the events of the past. This time from within the Saxon shield wall itself.

Eventually, this piece of writing might find itself fleshed out into something more. I’m just waiting for the inspiration to come to me.

Fragment 1 – Revolution

It started just like anything else. Small. Just a few scattered voices thrown into the void. Nobody knew then how it would grow like a vine chokes a tree. It was a death by creeping inches rather than the suddenness of an axe blow. The gentle caress of a promised truth was much harder to resist than a shouted lie. While the seed of doubt sprouted in people’s minds we were powerless to offer resistance. Even when we did it only pushed more people into their embrace. As we watched they grew in numbers and those quiet whispers began to grow louder. It was inevitable that these malcontents would eventually search each other out. Behind closed doors they spread their poison, inducted new members and continued to thrive out of sight, out of mind.

Meetings became protests and protests became riots. Revolution. The people cried out for it, they fought for it, they died for it and yet they never truly achieved it. Freedom. How many crimes have been done in your name? How many people have been oppressed? The great lie. We who replace one cage with another and claim to be free because we cannot see the bars of our cell.

Something a bit different 4 – Sand Castles

You used to build me castles,

And we’d watch as the tides surged,

Around the bastions piled high,

Throwing down the walls and flooding in,

The sun would set, the wind blow,

And the ruins would remain to mark,

The place where we made our stand,

Against the sea, against the sky.

Something a bit different 3 – She drives a Micra. Red.

Rather than a photo, today I’m posting a piece of writing a friend submitted to me about a car journey home.

She drives a Micra. Red. I don’t drive. Not because I don’t want to but because I’ve never needed to. Some people were born to drive and others to read the map. Some people know when they’re in the right place whilst others concentrate on getting there. She is the former and I am the latter.

Continue reading

Something A Bit Different – 2

Sunset Oct 2014

So this was one of those pictures where I don’t claim any skill, just luck. I was sat in my third year bedroom (2014) writing yet another essay and fast becoming bored. Upon glancing out of my window this is the sight I was greeted with. Knowing how fast the sun sets in Autumn I did a mad dash out of my house in my socks and quickly snapped a range of exposures. It probably took me no more than ten minutes but as my shutter closed the last time the magic was already fading. Luckily, upon downloading the results this is what I found. Just goes to show that sometimes we all get lucky.