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OUP “Word of the Year”

Oxford University Press (OUP) has announced its ‘Oxford Word of the Year 2019’ and  ‘Climate Emergency.’ It was also no surprise to see the short list for the entire year was full of references to ‘Climate‘.

climate emergency

‘Climate Emergency’ saw an increase of 10,796% year on year increase in 2019. Others from the short list with high year on year increases include “Climate Action”  with 266%, “Climate Crisis” with 2,510% “Global Heating” with 18,358% “Eco-Anxiety” with 4,291% and “Ecocide” having an increase of 681%. There are other words too ‘Climate Denial’, ‘Eco-anxiety’, ‘Flight Shame’ and even ‘Extinction’.

2019 has seen a huge increase in awareness of climate change and the issues we, as the human race, and also wildlife are facing. As well as the most highly visible, older action groups such as GreenpeaceCeres and the WWF 2019 has seen the rise of the new kids on the block – Extinction Rebellion (Belated Happy 1st Birthday wishes), and activists such as @Greta Thunberg raising the awareness of the views of the youngest of the generations.

The Climate Emergency is swiftly moving at a pace where we will not, as a race, be able to reverse the damage which has been done in the decades preceding the current one. The next decade will see climate and ecological disruption at catastrophic levels and this will be as a result of ongoing Biodiversity Loss, Extreme Weather Events, Desertification, Crop Failure, Water Shortages, Rising Sea Levels and Wildfires.

These will in turn lead to disease, the displacement of millions of people, the increased risk of conflicts and wars and thus, have a major impact on the human rights of everyone affected by these negative events.

 

For a look at the full article on the Word of the Year and the shortlist check out the OUP website here.

For full up to date information on the Climate Emergency check out the Extinction Rebellion website here.

xtr

 

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Word of the Day

Today’s word is ‘Wonderwall’ and today’s dictionary is Urban Dictionary

I chose this word because this is also today’s earworm. I’m hoping by putting ‘IT’ out there it may be gone from my ear and I can concentrate on other things – like writing!

Wonderwall

  • somebody you find yourself thinking about constantly; you are completely infatuated with them.

‘[…] she’s my wonderwall’

wonderwall
Picture from themindsjournal.com
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I’ve Been Nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award

I arrived back to Nattinatters HQ today to find my blog has been nominated for the ‘Sunshine Blogger Award’ by a writer whose writing and blog I greatly admire. PeterWynMosey’s short stories and daily writing challenges set by other bloggers and writers are of a very high standard which makes me wonder why he follows me and has nominated me for the award as I feel I still have a long way to go before my writing reaches his standard. Thank you Peter for nominating me regardless 🙂

To accept the nomination I have to

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog 
  • List the rules and display an award logo on blog post.
  • Answer the 11 questions
  • Nominate 11 new blogs.
  • Ask nominees 11 new questions
  • List the rules and display an award logo on blog post.
  • Answer the 11 questions
  • Nominate 11 new blogs.
  • Ask nominees 11 new questions

 

sunshine-blogger-award

 

MY ANSWERS TO PETER’S QUESTIONS

What is your favourite song, and when did you first hear it?

I have 2 and I wrote a blog post about favourite songs/lyrics not too long ago. Here’s a link to that post.

If you became the leader of the country that you live, what would be the first thing that you would change? 

There’s so much going on with this country right now (the United Kingdom). I’ve lost all faith in the politicians who are supposed to be running this country and are making a total hash of it. I have a list as long as my arm of things I’d love to change so things work in a more organised way and in a way the country can afford, but for me right at this minute whilst it should be to get Brexit done I would rather go to sleep at night knowing there are no UK residents without food, clothing or a safe and warm home. ( I personally voted to remain in the EU as I have a strong sense of ‘one world, one family)’. Whilst some may consider this a naive attitude, it’s really the only way humans will continue to thrive on this Earth. There cannot be any self-centredness. We are a race which is consuming at an alarming rate which is just not sustainable.

There is an uneven distribution of wealth and resources. I agree that those who are millionaires, billionaires, etc., may have worked hard to achieve their status and position, however, when exactly will they spend their millions and billions? Whilst there are people in abject poverty, and I include the disabled, children and families in the UK within this, there should be a corporate consortium or community alliance (or both) which will replace school breakfast clubs, food banks and other charities currently helping homeless, hungry or deprived children and families, and the disabled who are unable to work, with adequate housing, clothing and foods so no one should have to go without their very basic needs catered for. This is the 21st Century not the Victorian era of Oliver Twist’s “Please Sir, I want some more?” No thank you UK, get it sorted.

What is one item of clothing that you own that you would not want to part with?

I have a women’s Grey, round neck Waistcoat which I bought hurriedly when I saw it in a sale at Dotty P’s (Dorothy Perkins) several years ago. There are so many pictures of me throughout the years wearing it and I have no plans to throw it away yet. The thing which is great about it is that even if I am wearing a t-shirt under it I still look smart, plus it means I can wear one of my many vintage or funky brooches – right now it has a very large hand-knitted poppy because here in the UK it is Armistice Day.

How many countries have you ever visited?

I think seven. I went to France, Belgium and Holland on a school trip, Spain (Balearic Islands) in my very early twenties, the U.S.A (Philadelphia and New York; Upstate and NY,NY), Canada (Niagara Falls is best seen from the Canadian side), then Spain (Mallorca twice), Spain (Tenerife) and this Summer Spain, Italy and France as we did a cruise around the Mediterranean.

Books or e-readers?

Both. There is nothing which could replace the smell of new ink on new paper. Walking in to a book store instantly relaxes me as I feel at home, however I do love my Kindle. I have so many classics on there as well as contemporary and literary fiction and if I am going on a long journey I will take it with me as it’s not as thick or heavy as 2 thick paperbacks in the suitcase or hand luggage.

What is your favourite movie? Why?

I’m struggling to come up with just one favourite movie. If I had to strictly pick one it’d be Forrest Gump. It’s a clever premise, a man with lower than average intelligence who re-tells his life experiences during some of the most important events in the late twentieth century history of the United States of America. I find the story moving and funny but also feel it shows the best side of human nature. The clever editing-in of Forrest into these events is amusing too. Tom Hanks is my favourite actor so that’s a huge bonus for me too as I’ll watch pretty much anything with him in.

When and where do you do most of your writing?

I used to sit in the living room, either on the sofa with my laptop, in front of the telly, or at the dinner table, but hubby built me a writing and sewing studio so I’m over there most of the time now.

What has been a job that you have had that you have liked the least?

I worked in administration for a Government department. My original line manager was a bully, plus I found the work very boring and repetitive; it was like a conveyor belt; one finished, on to the next one, same processes, done, onto the next one…yawn. I just couldn’t handle it so I took a career break and finally (at 34) had the opportunity to go to University to study English Language (Linguistics). In order to start the degree I had to resign my position. It was such a hard decision (not!)

What does your morning ritual look like?

I wake up, hubby does coffee and breakfast for the cat then for both of us; I have a glass of almond milk and a small pot of nuts; with the change in the weather I think I’m going to start having the milk warmed. I then shower, dress, and depending on if I have any appointments will either do my hair or not or put on make-up or not; usually when I’m in my studio all day writing I don’t bother with either; my hair goes back in a band so it’s out of my face and I stick my glasses on.

Do you often remember your dreams when you wake up?

Yes, quite often as most of them are on the weird side.

What would be one piece of advice you would give to someone starting a blog?

Try to read every day and write every day. I’ve not been doing this too long and it’s so easy for life to get in the way. Read other blogs, like, comment and network to build your following as well as other bloggers as they’ll be grateful for every single one.

MY NOMINATIONS

blankpagesofmine

Roxi St Clair

Refresh Her

All Things Tudor

Wandering Ambivert

To Write Or Not To Write and What To Write

You Are Enough

A Real Lady Drinks Whiskey

The Alchemist’s Studio

Fictive Dream

Soul Writing Project

MY 11 QUESTIONS TO MY NOMINEES

  1. If you could close your eyes, wish to be anywhere, and when you opened your eyes, be there, where would that place be? Why?
  2. Thoughts on the plastics polluting our oceans and ideas for resolution?
  3. Who was your favourite teacher in secondary school (UK) high school (U.S) and why?
  4. How would you politely end a conversation with a person who won’t stop talking?
  5. Have you ever eaten food past it’s ‘Sell By’ or ‘Use By’ date?
  6. What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done?
  7. If you could ask your pet 3 questions what would you ask them? If you don’t have a pet, ask a farm or a wild animal instead.
  8. It’s the start of a Zombie Apocalypse. You can only take the first 5 things you touch with any part of your body. What will they be?
  9. What is your favourite book? Why?
  10. You’re told you are going to cook for 4 celebrities. What will you cook and for who?
  11. Charles Dickens or Charlotte Bronte?

Well, that’s my nomination accepted, thanks again Peter 🙂

sunshine-blogger high quality

 

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Back with a…little bang…?

Hey! I went again didn’t I? I had a slight blip and fell in to a little bit of a dark hole. I then realised my plans to be fully prepped for the start of Nanowrimo 2019 on 1st November were slipping but I managed to semi sort my head out and wrote well at the start, however my son and his girlfriend came to visit for a few days and all research and writing went out of the window. As we’d not seen them for 8-9 months I wanted to be fully present.

I’d organised a surprise bonfire and sparklers for the 6th and cooked baked tatties, bangers and beans. On 7th we went to a photography studio for a 1 hour session of a mix of casual and smart shots. As we’d had no portrait sittings since late Summer 2005 it was great to know we’d have a new collection. The reason behind my wish for new pictures is because since my older sister had a major stroke a week before her 50th birthday this May, and with my 50th next Summer, I’ve become more aware of my own mortality and I’d want there to be recent pictures of us all together. I lost my Dad in 2005 and the only picture I could find of him with me was on my wedding day 12 1/2 years earlier. I’d asked for shots of Hubby and I, Hubby and I with our son, both individually and with both of us, and then some shots with his girlfriend included. They then had a few of them on their own. I am so excited and cannot wait to see the results when the photographer sends me a sneak preview and then posts me the disc with the rest on. Janine was fantastic with all of us. We were all feeling more than a bit awkward but she’s very bright and cheerful and got us all laughing and we all really enjoyed ourselves. Here’s a link to her Fleet Photographics Facebook Page. While we were back in Cambridgeshire we visited an old friend (she’s not old, I’ve just known her since she was 4!). We didn’t get back to Norfolk until late.

Nat and Gary

On Friday we all had a chilled day. I spent the time reading the pile of research books I have to help my Nano project along; I’m striving for authenticity and I’m hoping having researched my subject that it’ll show.

On Saturday it was hubby’s birthday and we celebrated with a trip to the cinema to see ‘Joker’ and then went to an American-style diner ‘Fatso’s’. I wasn’t sure about ‘Joker’. I’ve never seen ‘The Dark Knight’ where Heath Ledger portrays, what so many people insist is the best Joker characterisation ever and wondered if I should wait until after watching The Dark Knight before seeing ‘Joker’. As hubby wanted to see it while it was still in the cinemas we all went to see that. I have to say Joaquin Phoenix’ is fantastic as Joker and blew me away! If he doesn’t get at least an Oscar nomination there is something very wrong with those nominating.

So my sunshine left Norfolk 5 hours ago and after a grocery shop I’m here to let you all know I am HERE! I am BACK and I’m going to be hitting Nano full throttle. As I set myself the challenge of writing 60K words in place of the usual 50K (yes I am as mad as that seems) my daily word count should be around 2,300 – 3,000 words per day…Until next time! NN 🙂

 

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Daily Writing Meme

I found this and it’s hugely inspirational, especially as tomorrow is the beginning of #NaNoWriMo. For us fiction writers, I’d guess the majority know that #NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month, but I discovered the other day there are a few people who do not know. The briefest explanation is it is a commitment/challenge for writers to complete a 50,000 word novel draft. There are non-fiction writers who do use the site now to give them a target to work towards.

The hardest thing when I write is to go without editing as I go. It’s something I’ve always done – which is why I’ve probably never had a book published as it’s just never good enough and I think if left alone I’d continue editing until I edit the story out of the story!

Anyway, for all you writers out there; Pantsers,Planners or Plantsers, who are committing to the 30 days of writing Good Luck! See you on the other side! Until next time! NN 🙂

 

Write

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Happy Halloween/Samhain

Hi Everyone

Happy Halloween! And Samhain greetings to those who follow the nature religions.

happy halloween

It’s that time of the year where we all share our love of spooks, dressing up and sweets/candy. My husband and I have done fancy dress parties several times but we’ve moved away from our friend networks so this year is a lot quieter.

Samhain

As a coincidence my #NaNoWriMo project this year is based around witchcraft so I’ve been discovering a few things I didn’t know, despite thoroughly checking out different traditions, etc., for previous parties. Hopefully, if you buy the book this project is to become you’ll be able to learn some of these new things throughout the pages.

I may be disappearing quite a bit as I am determined that this will be THE year I actually earn the NANOWINNER t-shirt I’ve bought in 2 prior years, but never actually deserved. My third is on order, however and I am going to wear it on 1st December and photograph myself in it to share with all of you!

I’m determined to try and write short posts and continue Word of the Day, Writing Memes, Reading Memes and Inspirational posts as I do enjoy hunting out things to share.

If you’re heading out to celebrate either of the festivals tonight, stay safe and enjoy yourself! Until next time! NN 🙂

 

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Word of the Day – Malfeasance

Today’s word is ‘Malfeasance’ and today’s dictionary is the Cambridge Dictionary

malfeasance

EXAMPLES of malfeasance

malfeasance
Against a background of corporate greed and malfeasance, a renewed focus on transparency and accountability is or seems to be permeating the business world.

Donors have often stressed the lack of ‘political will ‘, to account for limited action against high-level state malfeasance.
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Word of the Day #29

Today’s Word is ‘Galbanum’ and today’s dictionary is Collins Dictionary

Galbanum

noun

a bitter aromatic gum resin extracted from any of several Asian umbelliferous plants of the genus Ferula, esp F. galbaniflua, and used in incense and medicinally as a counterirritant.
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Word of the Day #28

Today’s word is ‘Phosphene’ and today’s dictionary is Merriam-Webster.com

phosphene

noun

phos·​phene | \ ˈfäs-ˌfēn  \
An impression of light that occurs without light entering the eye and is usually caused by stimulation of the retina (as by pressure on the eyeball when the lid is closed) or by excitation of neurons in the visual system (as by transcranial magnetic stimulation). Early studies have demonstrated that direct electrical stimulation to neurons of the visual system will cause a subject to perceive points of light (phosphenes).— George Scarlatis
phosphenes gif

Phosphenes is the word you’re looking for to describe the luminous floating stars, zigzags, swirls, spirals, squiggles, and other shapes that you see when closing your eyes tight and pressing them with your fingers. Basically, these phenomena occur when the cells of the retina are stimulated by rubbing or after a forceful sneeze, cough, or blow to the head.

History and Etymology for phosphene

The word phosphene comes from the Greek words phōs (light) and phainein (to show). Phaineinis also a contributing element in such words as diaphanous, emphasis, epiphany and phenomenon among others.

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Reading Meme #6

I LOVE this meme! I taught my son the alphabet when he was 18 months old and read to him every night. I truly believe the earlier you start reading to them and introducing them to letters and numbers the easier they will find it to learn. Besides that, it’s introducing them to all the different worlds which exist inside and outside of our minds and our world. My son is now a writer – I’m waiting for him to set up his own blog as his stuff is amazing. I’ll be sharing as soon as he does it.

Its-Called-Reading

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Word of the Day #26

Today’s word is ‘Kalopsia’ and today’s dictionary is Your Dictionary

kalopsia

kalopsia

Noun(uncountable)

The delusion of things being more beautiful than they are.

‘China can bring on serious bouts of kalopsia in otherwise intelligent observers’ – The Times, April 24 2006
[kal-op–see–uh]

-noun. a condition, state or delusion in which things appear more beautiful than they really are. As a combination of the Greek roots kallos, meaning beauty, and opsis, meaning sight (or opos, meaning eyes), in English kalopsia can also mean beautiful sight or with beautiful eyes

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Creative Writing Challenge – Go to your chosen music streaming app. Set it to play on random. Write a story about the first song that comes up. (250 words or less)

A Town Called Malice

The building was abandoned; left empty by the previous owners, but the yard was full; rust-covered milk floats, discarded crate mountains, dust-covered and cobwebbed milk bottles.

The whole town had a frigid atmosphere, disapprobation carried on the breeze; no disapproval towards its occupants for chaotic afflictions over which they had no control.

This once bright, prosperous and busy borough now dulled as if touched by an artist with grey-wash; a shadow of its former self; memories of lines of boiled sheets and smalls, neighbourhood chatters and calls, kids on their bikes or playing hopscotch or marbles in the streets; gone with the factories, which like dominoes falling, closed one by one until all which remained was an ensemble of skeletal steelworks, a rarely-used bus depot and the discarded rail tracks, for there were very few visitors now.

The remaining residents lived a traditional British way of life; roast beef and ‘Yorkshires’ on Sundays, Chips and scraps Fridays and hand-me-downs while week-in, week-out Dad went to the pub pissing ‘it’ up the wall.

But while I watch the kids slide and zip and swing; there’s laughter on the breeze and hope with pride and humour.

A Town Called Malice – Facts 

This was a song by a band called ‘The Jam’. Their lead singer was Paul Weller and it was he who wrote the song. It was released in February 1982 and debuted at number 1.♣ If you don’t know of the song then checkout the video. Video of ‘A Town Called Malice’ by The Jam

Paul Weller has said that it was written about his hometown Woking, as a result of his teenage experiences there, described by ‘The Guardian’s Greg Freeman on 

 […] the grey commuter town that Weller grew up in. As a railway junction its sole benefit seemed to be – and maybe still is – the availability of a fast train to London.

although earlier described by Freeman that the song lyric was ‘a direct result of his dissatisfaction with the way the band was working as a three-piece’.♠

The lyrics for the song are as follows:

Better stop dreaming of the quiet life, ’cause it’s the one we’ll never know
And quit running for that runaway bus ’cause those rosy days are few
And stop apologizing for the things you’ve never done
‘Cause time is short and life is cruel but it’s up to us to change
This town called malice
Rows and rows of disused milk floats stand dying in the dairy yard
And a hundred lonely housewives clutch empty milk bottles to their hearts
Hanging out their old love letters on the line to dry
It’s enough to make you stop believing when tears come fast and furious
In a town called malice, yeah
Ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba
Ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba
Ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba
Ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba
Struggle after struggle, year after year
The atmosphere’s a fine blend of ice, I’m almost stone cold dead
In a town called malice, ooh yeah
A whole street’s belief in Sunday’s roast beef
Gets dashed against the Co-op
To either cut down on beer or the kid’s new gear
It’s a big decision in a town called malice, ooh yeah
The ghost of a steam train, echoes down my track
It’s at the moment bound for nowhere
Just going round and round, oh
Playground kids and creaking swings
Lost laughter in the breeze
I could go on for hours and I probably will
But I’d sooner put some joy back
In this town called malice, yeah
In this town called malice, yeah
In this town called malice, ooh yeah

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Paul Weller. A Town Called Malice © Universal Music Publishing Group

♣ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. pp. 405–6. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.

♠ Freeman, Greg (2012) ‘Old music: The Jam – A Town Called Mallice’ [online] Available at ‘https://www.theguardian.com/music/musicblog/2012/apr/05/jam-town-called-malice’

 

textual-analysis-town-called-malice-1-638
Slideshot.net
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Creative Writing Challenge – Begin with “I thought I saw…”

I thought I saw Elvis Presley in the reading corner of my local library this morning. Of course it wasn’t ‘The King’ as he died in 1977. I was only a kid and I cried – Mum said that I was a fan even as a baby.

Why would Elvis even be in the local library? We’re thousands of miles away from the U.S here, and Memphis, or Graceland. He was wearing Black drainpipe trousers and an open-necked shirt; looking like he did in his heyday, so either he followed a fantastic diet and had a whole range of plastic surgery done or he’s dead as no one should look that great at 84. Although, it is great what surgeons can do these days.

The thing is I also saw Prince. He was wearing a beautiful shiny Purple jacket with a very high collar. I was surprised by how short he was. I mean I knew he was short as heard it on the telly but when I saw him he was even shorter than I’d imagined. I’m sure he was wearing boots with platform heels too – at least 4- or 5- inch heels. The boots were Purple too. He definitely has, or had a Purple fetish – a bit like me with turquoise. I’ll search anywhere for a gorgeous turquoise dress. Anyway, I digress. Prince was entering the library as I left. I wondered what the **** was going on. I wonder whether he was going to meet Elvis for a chinwag or just for some peace and quiet. Maybe he was returning books, although he didn’t have a bag with him. I didn’t spot any book-shaped bulges anywhere either.

I think I must be hallucinating, or maybe I have a brain tumour pressing on my neocortex or thalamus (the parts of my brain which work the imagination). Maybe a little bubble of a tumour took root somewhere and grew and grew until it made me see dead legends. I’m not sure I’ll mind that.

Oh, and I nearly forgot. David Bowie was in the local Co-op. I tried to have a nose at what he had his in basket but he turned away before I could see. Thankfully he wasn’t looking ill anymore, or that old really. I loved him in all his guises but thought he was really hot in the 1980s when he released Blue Jean, China Girl, Let’s Dance, etc I’d have loved to have been able to stand in front of him long enough to see his different coloured eyes. I wonder if the kids he went to school at took the p*** out of him for that. I have dark brown eyes which have been described as pools of melted chocolate. I guess the only way to have taken the p out of them would have been for them to be called piles of dog sh*t instead. I’ll have to ask Emma next time I see her. She was my friend all the way through school and I know she’d tell me if I ask.

Thankfully, I made it home without seeing any other dead legends. As I unlocked the front door and went through it I called out a ‘Hi’ to my hubby.

‘You’ll never guess who I saw in the library!’

Walking along the hallway I could hear him talking to someone and oddly he’d ignored my call. I walked in to the lounge and there he was sat having a cuppa and biscuits with Pete Burns. I’m off to book a brain scan.

Creative Writing Featured Image via BBC.co.uk
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Creative Writing Challenge – Write an obituary for a historical figure

This has been a definite challenge as I had to research it along with the research I’ve been doing to prep my Nano project for Friday whilst also trying to finish my WIP. I don’t think it’s my best work as it doesn’t flow that well but I decided I had to leave it where it is before I write a book! Interestingly I discovered that the Iceni town of Venta Icenorum is a very short drive from where I currently live, and rather spookily where she is believed to have died, in Mancetter is next to the village of Atherstone where both my Grandfather and Grandmother’s families both come from.

Queen Boudica Obituary

Boudica, as with many historical figures, has also been known as Bunduca, Voadicia, Boadicea, Boudicca, and, in Wales as Buddug.

Queen Boudica was queen of the Celtic Iceni* tribe of Britannia between 47 AD, when her husband Prasutagus was granted the kingship of the Iceni following the Icenian war, until her death in c.62 AD.

boudica

Boudica is believed to have been born into an elite family in 30 AD at Camulodunum in Britannia. Camulodunum was capital of the Trinovantes and later the Catuvellauni tribes. The city was one of the few Roman settlements in Britain appointed as a Colonia rather than a Municipia, meaning that in legal terms it was an extension of the city of Rome, not a provincial town. Its inhabitants therefore had Roman citizenship.

Now known as Colchester, in the county of Essex, Camulodunum is claimed to be the oldest town in the United Kingdom, originally being the site of the Brythonic-Celtic oppidum (a large fortified Iron-Age settlement) named for Camulus/Camulos, a deity of the Celts.

Described by Roman statesman and historian Cassius Dio as a very tall woman with thick, reddish-brown hair, which was usually associated with the Celts, and was so long it hung well below her waist. Dio stated she had a loud voice and intense stare and that she always wore a colourful tunic with a flowing plaid cloak attached with a brooch and her neck was adorned with a large golden torque.

With her husband Prasutagus and two daughters, Boudica ruled the tribe and inhabitants of much of the area of the present-day county of Norfolk, North-West Suffolk and parts of North Cambridgeshire in East Anglia, England.

The Iceni were a significant power in eastern Britain during Claudius’ conquest of Britain in AD 43, in which they allied with Rome. They lived in a town known as Venta Icenorum, now Caistor St Edmund, just outside of Norwich, which was a market city (‘The Market of the Iceni’) and Prasutagus was allowed to reign, although due to Roman rule and administration this was effectively in name only.

The family were extremely prosperous and Prasutagus left everything to his two daughters and the Roman Emperor as joint beneficiaries. Seeing this as an act of deliberate deference to protect his Kingdom and household the will was ignored and the Romans pillaged Briton kingdoms, raped Boudica and her daughters as well as nullifying earlier agreements, recalling funds gifted to the Britons. It was the procurator of Roman Britain, Catus Decianus and Roman financier Seneca the Younger who confiscated the sums of money given to leading Britons by Claudius, declaring them as loans which were to be repaid with interest. Centurions plundered the Briton Kingdom and it was at this time when the Iceni, the Trinovantes and other tribes challenged Roman Rule, leading a revolt against them in 60 or 61 AD.

The tribes chose Queen Boudica as their leader and she told them she was fighting as a warrior and not a noblewoman, for the freedom of the entire tribe, the people and not for her own personal liberty.

“We British are used to women commanders in war; I am descended from mighty men! But I am not fighting for my kingdom and wealth now. I am fighting as an ordinary person for my lost freedom, my bruised body, and my outraged daughters…. Consider how many of you are fighting — and why! Then you will win this battle, or perish. That is what I, a woman, plan to do!— let the men live in slavery if they will.”

Their first target was Camulodunum, which had since the uprisings of AD 47 evolved from the capital of Trinovantian into a Roman colony. The tribes flattened Camulodunum, leaving nothing for the Romans and killing or maiming 80% of the Roman foot soldiers whilst the cavalry escaped to a nearby fort.

The next target the tribes set their sights on was Londinium, which was formed in 43 AD after the Roman conquest and was a bustling commercial centre. The then governor of Britain, Gaius Suetonius Paulinus had been fighting in Wales but quickly made his way back towards Londinium, however after considering the might of the tribes and the amount of troops he had with him decided to sacrifice the city and Boudica’s army razed it to the ground in much the same way they had in Camulodunum.

The third target of the rebels was the town of Verulamium, now St Albans, which had been a pre-Roman and Romano-British town in the region of the Catuvellauni. The results of the attack matched the fate of the previous targets and the army moved onwards along Watling Street, to Manduessedum, a Roman fort, now the village of Mancetter which is where the Romans finally crushed the much larger force led by Boudica, leading to complete subjugation of the Iceni.

It is not known exactly where Boudica died but it was in the general area of Manduessedum. She is rumoured to have killed herself by taking poison; Tacitus wrote that she poisoned herself although Cassius Dio claims she died of disease. The poison seems the most likely having seen the revolt as a life or death matter; she had no wish to be a slave.

Archaeologists have long hunted for her burial site – and some believe the Iceni queen’s bones may even lie in Kings Norton, on the south western edge of Birmingham, under what is now a Mc Donald’s restaurant.

Queen Boudica. Born 30 AD Died c. 61 AD.

scythians4

(*or Eceni – Icenian coins dating from the 1st century AD use the spelling ‘ECEN’)

Resources and further reading: –

BBC History – Roman Britain: Dr Neil Faulkner

https://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/boudica-8067.php,

www.Roman-Britain.org

https://archive.is/doWr

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/romans/colchester_01.shtml

https://www.business-live.co.uk/lifestyle/nostalgia/west-midlands-location-britains-bloodiest-10739813

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venta_Icenorum

https://www.visitengland.com/experience/explore-caistor-roman-town-venta-icenorum#/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camulodunum

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verulamium

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Londinium

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manduessedum

 

 

 

 

 

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Reading Meme #1

There’s nothing like a book to make me feel happy. When I move house they’re the last things to be packed and the first things to be unpacked. Having them with me makes me feel at home, like I belong. I get the same feeling when I enter a bookshop. Firstly, I love that new book smell. That is home to me. Hubby has often gone off elsewhere only to come back to find me still browsing after an hour or two. I’ve just moved into my newly built studio and the first thing I did was to unpack several boxes of books into here so I have them around me. A long, deep sigh left me once that was done and my friend and hubby both smiled because they knew why! What do books mean to you? As a blogger and writer I’ll automatically presume you’ll also be an avid reader. How do your books make you feel? NN 🙂

Jane Smiley Quote
Picture from https://www.panmacmillan.com/blogs/literary/books-make-the-best-valentines
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Word of the Day #21

Today’s word is novaturient. The definition of the word is as seen in the image. Sadly, it does not appear in any of the main dictionaries (A non-word?), however as it holds meaning and there are numerous instances of it online I’ll just let it sit here quietly!

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Writing Meme #24

And back to it I go, after a ‘few days off’ unpacking boxes into my studio. I like this quote as it tells it like it is. We have to put in the work to be successful at what we do. We need to aim for the stars and be an unstoppable force. Go do it! 🙂

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Word of the Day #20

Today’s Word of the Day is ‘Vorfreude’ and today’s definition comes from Dauntless Jaunter.

Vorfreude is an untranslatable German word with no perfect or direct English translation, however it describes a feeling of ecstatic joy when considering or anticipating an upcoming pleasure or thrill, such as a future vacation.

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Daily Creative Writing Challenge 4 A poem using the words: blue, mistrust, half, twang

I’m not great at poetry, although if I take my time I’m willing to give it a go. I’ve always wondered about giving Haiku a go so thought I’d see if I could fit the four words specified in the challenge into a Haiku. I’m not sure if this is a great success but here’s what I managed:

Blue half-light, was eventide

mistrust of the dog

Caused by the twang of the lead”

N.C Toon October 2019

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Word of the Day #17

I love words and I’m enjoying sharing words here every day but I’m taking today to refer you to a great page on Facebook by a writer who is also a logophile to a grand extent. The page is Grandiloquent Word of the Day and every day there is shared the ‘Grandiloquent Word of the Day’ and they really are amusing, charming and sometimes hilariously funny words. Here was the ‘Grandiloquent Word of the Day’ for 1st October 2019.

Sphygmomanometer

Sphygmomanometer [sfig-moh-muh-NOM-i-ter]
(n.)- An instrument used for measuring blood pressure.

From Greek “sphygmos” (a pulse) from “sphyzein” (to throb, pulse, beat)
+
Manometer (instrument for indicating the pressure of vapors) from French “manomètre” from Greek “manos” (thin, rare, scanty, few) from Proto-Indo-European root “men-” (small, isolated)
+
French “-mètre” from Greek “metron” (a measure) from Proto-Indo-European root “me-” (to measure)

Used in a sentence:
“I’m sure that you must realize, that is altogether the wrong appendage upon which to be checking your blood pressure; we don’t even have a sphygmomanometer cuff small enough for that… no, no, that’s alright, you can keep it… I’m afraid I must insist.”

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Daily Creative Writing Challenge 1 Re-write a classic fairy tale

All challenges for this month’s Daily Creative Writing Challenge are from thinkwritten.com – at least I think they are. I’ve done the horrible thing of saving a list and not copying and pasting the originator’s web address to it. <Hold wrists out for the slap!> However, I do have some 365 days challenges in the exact format by thinkwritten.com so I’m assuming they’re from the same source. Apologies to them, to you if it’s your list and not theirs (please let me know so I can edit with correct details).

A Fairy Tale for the Modern Age

Everything was dull and blue-grey; like an artist had painted a beautiful coloured picture and then given it a thin wash with the water from the rinsing jar. It was wet too, had been raining all night. Her bum was numb and damp, her hands were cold and while she wasn’t shivering, she wasn’t far off it.

Shifting her weight to one side she grabbed the wheelie bin she’d squeezed in next to late last night; the bin hut the only place she’d been able to find which looked half dry. Lifting the lid, she double-checked in the muted daylight for anything she may have missed when searching it in the orange-tinged half-light. No, only the greasy pizza box, slung in angrily when she’d discovered it only held a cold cheese string and two thin-as-you-like pizza crusts with scalloped edging where they’d been scoffed by someone earlier that night. They’d been her sole meal yesterday and her stomach gurgled and groaned as it played its rebuke.

ev-IWJH-l-vb4k-unsplash
Photo by Ev on Unsplash

Squatting down between the bin hut and fence she quickly checked no one was around then pulled down her jeans and pants. Oh, the bliss of an empty bladder after a long night. It steamed in the cold as it left her body, cooling as it met the puddle of cold rainwater. She drip-dried, giving her undercarriage a quick wipe and then pulling up her pants and jeans wiped the hand down the back of the leg to dry it.

Unzipping her jacket, she took a swig from the water bottle, then reached down for the grubby rucksack she carried with her. Taking out a very worn toothbrush she brushed her teeth, then taking another sip of water ran it around her mouth and spat it out. Pushing the brush back to one side of the sack she zipped it up, repeating the same action with her jacket after returning the water bottle. No single-use plastics here. That bottle had been used for at least a fortnight now; topped up from the water tap in the public loos just off King Edward Street Bus Station.

Turning she thanked the bin hut quietly for its’ shelter last night then began to walk. The sounds of life had begun while she’d been freshening up; the cacophony of the human life, played out in birdsong, radios, televisions and the busy roads around the suburb. Marigold had no destination, and the start was so far away now she could see no way back.

A garden gate opened, and a man appeared. Busy tucking his shirt into his trousers as he walked to the car, he didn’t see her. She ducked behind the garden wall she’d just passed; didn’t want to be seen. He found his car keys, unlocked the car and called out towards the gate.

‘Shelly! I’m gonna be late!’

‘Alright! I’m coming Bob. Darius, make sure you lock up properly before school!’ She appeared rolling her eyes and forcing what looked like a sandwich bag into the top of her handbag. Leaving the gate, she quickly got into the car and they drove off.

Marigold squatted back down, squinting through the small gap left by the slightly open gate. As she peered through, she could see a young boy, about 10 or 11, rinsing something in the sink. She thought it strange that kitchen windows always seemed to look in onto sinks. Or, maybe it was that standing at the sink you could see the pile of rubbish across the matchbox-sized piece of dust; the only thing which appeared to have grown in this garden.

The door opened and the boy turned to close it. His mobile phone rang, and as he answered it, carried on walking, not noticing the door was closed but the catch had not fully engaged.

She waited for a full ten minutes in case he came back or that someone else would notice the door, but realised it was so nearly closed she was probably the only person who was aware. Straightening up she strode confidently through the gate, attempting to give off an air of belonging and ownership. Closing the gate behind her, she made her way straight to the door. It was open; only because the brushes surrounding it were new and hadn’t relaxed fully; they made a loud swishing sound as she opened the door. She stepped in, closed the door and stood in the silence enjoying the stillness.

Living on the streets was hard, but it was also noisy. Depending where she could find to stay would depend on if she was woken by a very rare glimpse of a milk truck ‘whatever happened to milk floats?’, the dustbin lorry and its’ respective bin men, or just the increasing hustle and bustle as the city awoke and its’ people began their days.

The house smelt strange; a combination of a musky perfume, a mustardy smell and a sugary-sweet odour. She could also smell and see freshly laundered clothes and towels; that smell reminiscent of Mum and the constant piles of laundry she dealt with; her joking she was scaling iron mountain for the afternoon and if she didn’t return to send the mountain rescue.

Marigold looked cautiously up the stairs and took them slowly and quietly in case there was an unknown occupant of the house she didn’t know about. The landing was dark but there were only 4 doors on it; 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom and, opening the smaller door, the airing cupboard; now empty of the hot water tank it was stuffed full of toys, games, blankets and coats. That meant no one else was here. Breathing a huge sigh of relief, she quickly but carefully opened the other doors to confirm to herself she was alone. All the rooms were empty, although there was a startled, fluffy, black cat in the middle of the very large bed in the parent’s room.

Making her way into the bathroom she stripped in record time, ran the shower and stepped under it. Soaping herself all over and shampooing her hair felt blissful. The soapy water rinsing from her body to the bottom of the bath was grey-brown.

She found clean knickers in the bottom of the rucksack, put them on and . the dirty pair into a plastic bag she had there for that purpose. Slipping on a clean vest top she then pulled her jeans and jacket back on.

The sun was now shining as she made her way back to the kitchen. These people had left their breakfast in all stages of being eaten; like a bomb had gone off and they’d run for shelter; as if time had stood still. There was a plate with half-eaten toast; slathered in butter and marmalade, a bowl full of soggy chocolate shapes and another full of thick brown sludge, which she thought was claggy muesli. The toast rack was full, and the milk jug, butter, marmalade and open boxes of cereal were left where they’d been set down.

She sat down at the edge of one of the chairs, scared of leaving any dirt or grease behind. Helping herself to chocolate cereal she poured in a little milk and realised she didn’t have a spoon. She spat on the cleanest of the 2 spoons, cleaned it off on her vest then ate the cereal at break-neck speed. She buttered all the toast, added marmalade to half of it and bagged it in another sandwich bag.

Still anxious she’d be discovered but wanting to offer thanks for the shower and meal, she tidied the table and found the homes for everything. Running hot water into the sink she then washed everything and left it to drain, finishing by wiping the table.

Going back to the larder unit she added individually wrapped chocolate biscuits, a couple of packets of crisps and after adding them to her rucksack popped in a couple of bananas and apples from the fruit bowl, which looked as though they were more for decoration than for selecting to eat.

Checking around she smiled at the tidy scene in front of her. On a post-it note she wrote in large, clear handwriting.

Thank you for breakfast. I’ve cleaned up and will ensure the door is locked as I leave. Goldi x’