Playing Hnefatafl in the Park (with a pagan) — Historytalker

Today I ticked a point off my bucket list playing two ancient boardgames in the park with a friend. We played about five games of Hnefatafl and one of Fox and Geese in the War Memorial Park in Coventry. Hnefatafl, also known as Kings Table, is a board game popular in the Viking period. Fox […]

Playing Hnefatafl in the Park (with a pagan) — Historytalker

Soveida Ensemble Charity Concert in Coventry

I just got home from playing board games in the park and received a email from my City Councillor telling me that Sovedia Ensemble are playing a charity concert in Coventry on the 18th September. Below is a concert played at the British Museum in aid of oppressed minorities in Iran, the Coventry event will be to benefit Afghan refugees.

The group performs Persian traditional music with rhythms and warm sounds that you will never have heard before and has been organised by Cllr Mattie Heaven and Cllr Barbara Mosterman who are members. This is a special benefit concert with all proceeds going to the Afghan Refugees.

A charity concert from Soveida Ensemble on 18th September from 7:30 to 8:30om

I think that this event gets me on two levels. First, on this blog I am a ‘culture vulture’ who is fascinated with people, their societies and sharing that. On another level, and in a different life, I am a historian and Soveida Ensemble use rhythms that have been culturally relevant for thousands of years. To hear music that has been important and relevant to a society that reaches far into the past and was touched by Alexander amazes me. That it is accessible to us today is wonderful and I for one will be taking advantage of this great opportunity.

To register go to Reservations are needed due to limited space. If you have any issues using the Eventbrite link you can make a reservation by replying to with your name and guest names.

Please note that this is not a paid post, I have not been offered or would accept any payment to advertise a benefit concert for refugees. Please consider going or sharing this post to advertise the event.

Catching People doing well

I know that this one seems a little bit commercial but todays “Quiet Bat People” see here for the, reference, is Sainsburys. Now at this point I do need to say all the boring things that this is not a paid for post and that I have had nothing for this from the company. I am writing this because I think they have done something good and I want to celebrate that.

Photo by Lukas on

I was walking through my local Sainsburys last week like Diongenes. Diongenes was a famous Greek philosopher who lived in a barrel, insulted Alexander the Great (and lived) but most importantly loved going to the marketplace and looking at all the things he did not need. Now this is important because he like us lived in a materialistic age with waremongers trying to bubble us out of our hard earnt cash for trinkets. I bet the marketing people at Sainsburys are loving reading this so far. Well as I wandered, lonely as a reluctant consumer I came across something I did need, a new Soda Stream CO2 bottle.

Now the cool thing about Soda Stream is that you can have fizzy water, my favourite, without polluting the planet with loads of plastic bottles. Sometimes you have to just “Walk Away from Omelas” and if my love for fizzy translates into death and a legacy of pollution and desolation then I will not drink fizzy. But then with Soda Stream I can have my fizzy in reusable bottles and that is at least a step forwards. As a Christian I am well aware of the role of the devil as accuser and very soon he was well at work pointing out all the CO2 canisters sent off for an unknowable fate at the hands of Coventry City Council. This is why Sainsburys gets on my list of good guys (and gals) because if you look carefully at the picture… do not worry, I will blow it up for you.

Okay so that does not really help, that is because I am writing this at late o’clock and I have not read my “How do edit pictures for dummies” book yet. The point is that Sainsburys is offering to exchange CO2 canisters when you buy a new one. That is brilliant, like glass milk bottles!

Well done Sainsburys, have fifty house points.

How To Calm The Restless Mind — Awake Your Inner Dragon

Anxiety takes energy. Your heart speeds up, you sweat, and your muscles tense. Anxiety might be better if it had the decency to burn more calories, but there really isn’t an upside. Having a restless mind destroys your focus, concentration and can cause many a sleepless nights. A restless mind drains you. Then, when it’s […]

How To Calm The Restless Mind — Awake Your Inner Dragon

Listing the Firs — Coventry Society News

The Firs, the former Coventry Preparatory School on Kenilworth Road, is one of the finest Georgian Buildings in Coventry. It is currently the King Henry VIII Preparatory School which is shortly to close. It is architecturally important and has some fascinating historical connections. Over the last few months the Coventry Society has been working with […]

Listing the Firs — Coventry Society News

Lady Godiva – The realistic Collier’s Godiva is being exhibited in Coventry —

An 1897 painting by English artist John Collier, who worked in the style of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. The model in the painting is Mabel Paul, an artist model and West End theatre actress. Lady Godiva was a late Anglo-Saxon noble woman, who is relatively well documented as the wife of Leofric, Earl of Mercia, and […]

Lady Godiva – The realistic Collier’s Godiva is being exhibited in Coventry —

Best Pre-Raphaelites Paintings — Mysterious Art Century

The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood founded in 1848 by seven young artists who banded together against what they felt was an artificial and mannered approach to painting taught at London’s Royal Academy of Arts. Inspired by the theories of John Ruskin, who urged artists to ‘go to nature’, they believed in an art of serious subjects treated […]

Best Pre-Raphaelites Paintings — Mysterious Art Century


Today I am starting my second read through of this novel in preparation for a review. In my first read through I noted some really high notes amongst a pretty okay book. I do not do bad reviews and would normally ignore this book so in order to keep to my rules I will highlight what Chistina Dalcher does incredibly well.

VOX is a dystopian novel about the take over of the United States of America by a right wing, fundamentalist Christian WASP autocracy. Which is pretty standard, uncontroversial stuff. People who it is approved of and safe to hate. Against them are the usual suspects of feminists, human rights activists, foreigners and other allies. Again not controversial and a good solid base on which to tell a story about oppression and resistance.

Vox is obviously the Latin word for voice. The voice and the mouth were very important in Greek and Roman times because it was your political organ. By your voice you could participate in the forum and in politics. Denied your voice you are “idiotic” meaning an individual unable to effect the body politics. In this novel the autocracy removes (or at least limits) women’s political power by forcing them to wear a wrist band that gives an electric shock if they exceed a hundred words in any twenty four hour period.

What follows is a story about a woman’s conflict in staying safe, keeping her family safe and resisting the state as much as she can. Ms Dalcher, I think, does this very well. The Quisling son betrays his girlfriend, the husband slowly descends into alcoholism, the antagonist finds herself isolated from friends, her work and her family until the situation is resolved by a cataclysmic collapse of the state.

What Ms Dalcher does well is that that she draws very strongly on the existing tropes of dystopian fiction. She then weaves them together and combines them with the terrifying innovation of technology that punishes people, specifically women, from speaking. That is awesome thinking, powerful imagineering and keeps me coming back to this novel. This gimmick is powerful and I would like to see more of it explored in the future.

Magic in the Skys: Lands End Fireworks

Yesterday was the last of this seasons firework display at Lands End. Despite living less than a mile away for the last ten years my mother decided to go and have a look.

She sent me these photos with a cheeky grin. I am all the way in Coventry and have not seen this display. It is just one more reason to move down to that lovely part of the world.

Currently I am working though a guide to Cornwall and the interesting fork lore attached to the many exciting and historical sites. If you would like to support my work please help me via Patron.

A Selection of Cats

Cats have featured a lot in my life. They have usually been rescue animals who have been saved. On of the first cats in my life was called Rascle. She was saved from being put down because her owner discovered she was allergic to cats.

In the photographs are Cleo and Zach. Zach was abandoned in a forest and climbed a tree to escape the local wild life. We decided to adopt him from the farm where he was found. When I heard his story I Christened him Zacchaeus after another famous person who climbed a tree. Cleo was a rescue from the Cats Protection League. It has taken four years but now she is beginning to believe that I am not out to kill her and sometimes will sleep on my bed.

One the case is Drucilla who was the rescue cat living at the Lunt Roman Fort. We were told that we would never see the working cats unless they wanted to be fed. You can see from the photograph just how shy she was.