After The Deluge… Part 7: Communal Living

One of the features of life in my post apocalyptic world that people may find strange is the communality of living, for example the public bath houses. I should stress that I am not a communist nor a kibbutznik and, in common with most modern westerners, live in my own space. The idea that people… Continue reading After The Deluge… Part 7: Communal Living

Ancient Food… Part 1

Libum Roman cheesecake

In thinking about a post-apocalyptic world I spent quite a lot of time thinking about food. Nothing new then! Food and the enjoyment of food, as I have observed before, is a universal human trait. What sort of food might people in such an England enjoy? One thing is for certain; that mass produced, packaged… Continue reading Ancient Food… Part 1

After The Deluge… Part 4: Dance

ballet dancer

I have made use of dance in my plot, because, well, it has a long tradition of appearing in literature. Dancing allows people to be intimate, almost private, in a public space, it is a good opportunity to converse - used to great effect by Jane Austen for one. All very convenient for moving a… Continue reading After The Deluge… Part 4: Dance

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 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