Always Dream

Photo by Eric Ward on Unsplash For a cynical world a moment in time that I will never forget - the first appearance of Susan Boyle. A lady with a dream and a crowd full of people ready to sneer because of how she looked. I am always uplifted by this clip as she rams their mockery right… Continue reading Always Dream

After The Deluge…Part 3: Food

grilled sardines on metal plate painted wood background

Post-apocalyptic food. Is it ever mentioned? Rarely, except where it has been reduced to a joyless protein pill that meets all a human's nutritional needs or the terrifying Soylent Green. Speaking personally food is one of the great pleasures. I am sure, even in these neurotic times, I am not alone. Why should a recovering… Continue reading After The Deluge…Part 3: Food

After The Deluge… Part 2: Wood

Logo wood the original carbon fibre

Wood. The original carbon fibre composite. And still the best. Low energy, clean, green, recyclable, simple to work with and beautiful. Everything to like and universally available. A few years ago I happened across an old book, "Woodland Crafts in Britain" by an H. L. Edlin. Published just after the end of WW2 it chronicles… Continue reading After The Deluge… Part 2: Wood

After The Deluge… Part 1: Slow Train

Ffestiniog Railway - c1900

Following on from my little rant in the last couple of posts - too many 'Whys'?? - about our culture's obsession with speed, at the price of quality of life and experience, I thought I would start a series of articles on what I imagine post-apocalyptic life and technology might look like, starting with travel… Continue reading After The Deluge… Part 1: Slow Train

Italian Inspiration Part 3

Venice gondolas

I wanted a close, almost claustrophobic, setting for my alt. history world in 'Renaissance'. I needed a space in which it was normal that people who wished to be discreet might disguise themselves, as a matter of course, as a response to societal oppression. I turned to the example of Venice. Alley in the back… Continue reading Italian Inspiration Part 3

Italian Inspiration Part 2

ponte vecchio bridge Florence

From the home of Machiavelli I have drawn the way in which an individual, without necessarily officially having power, can control the State. Lorenzo the Magnificent ruled early Renaissance Florence through a mixture of patronage, place men, rigged ballots and calculated violence. Yet he officially held no political office. Bronzino and workshop artist QS:P170,Q4233718,P?,Q7803, Lorenzo de Medici,… Continue reading Italian Inspiration Part 2

Italian Inspiration Part 1

View Grand Canal Venice inspiration for part of Renaissance novel

I am fascinated by the complex history and politics of the medieval Italian city states. Their energy, enthusiasm, violence, political and economic chicanery all add up to a glorious resource on which to draw. They were a melting pot of religious fervour, economic, artistic and intellectual ingenuity at the crossroads of the Mediterranean and northern… Continue reading Italian Inspiration Part 1

Why Post-Apocalyptic But NOT Dystopian? Part 4

So, after thinking these thoughts about a possible post-apocalyptic world over the three previous parts, where did I arrive and why did I pursue it as the background to my novel? I have assumed that a global pandemic has wiped out ninety plus percent of the world's population in the early second half of the… Continue reading Why Post-Apocalyptic But NOT Dystopian? Part 4

Why Post-Apocalyptic But NOT Dystopian? Part 3

The other factor in the event of an apocalyptic event or global pandemic would likely be that people turn to religion, most probably in a fairly fundamentalist form. The demands that such a form makes on the individual may make it seem more powerful, more useful, in confronting the disaster. This, I think, is natural… Continue reading Why Post-Apocalyptic But NOT Dystopian? Part 3

Starting Out

Every journey, they say, starts with a single step. I have already taken many steps and completed my first novel. It has been pushed out on the unsuspecting world. To a predictably deafening silence. So here I am taking a step I had hoped I would never have to take into the dark arts of… Continue reading Starting Out