She looked out of the window at the seeming endless expanse of the Firth of Tay thinking.
“It was probably such a night as this in 1879. All those poor passengers.”
She felt the train curving to the right ready to go over the bridge.
Like everyone else she crossed her fingers. 277 c.
Joannus Rodriguez took one last look to right and left then quickly ran across the sand. They had gone. For two days he had been hiding in the small cave at the base of the cliff. Nobody had thought to climb over the rocks and search the shingle beach to the West. They had all been concerned with the few items that he had left in his small, upturned skiff. These paeons were so predictable, a bundle of gaudy blousons, some cheap stockings and a small cask of cheap brandy had kept them arguing amongst themselves for hours. Now it was time to make his way to the house of the Throckmortons. Then after a good meal they could commence their spreading of the true faith. They had all the ecclesiastical vestments safely hidden, ready for him to begin his tour of the houses of the faithful. His flock who still supported the old religion before the upstart Elizabeth the frigid cat had driven them underground. Those steadfast men and women who were forced to keep their services hidden. Proud in their defiance of those heretics who threatened them with imprisonment, painful tortures and violence, even death. All for their belief in the true God through his representative on Earth, His Holiness Pope Benedict.
22nd. March 1832 and one of the greatest thinkers of the age dies at the age of 82. Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe , whose last words are reputed to be, “More light.” A poet, novelist and philosopher he was probably most famous for his work, “Faust,” written in two parts the second of which being completed in the year of his death and published posthumously.
I have been reminde that on this day in 1841 was published what some have called the first modern detective story . A short story entitled, “The murders in the Rue Morgue,” by Edgar Allan Poe, the literary critc and poet, appeared in Graham’s magazine in which the author tested the detective power of his readers. The aim was for them to establish the identity of the villain before the reveal. Thus was established a new genre which continues to increase in popularity, providing readers and writers with many now well known and favourite characters who have become household names through the printed page and more latterly via television and film.
where once pictures
gazed down and smiled
content in their task,
ransacked, the gospels
in the glass now gone
the sins of the world,
through the arch revealed
let in with the cold
Though the talks had stalled both sides of the table were eager to get a resolution. It was a tense situation but with use of common man to man language albeit in foreign tongues, the impasse was broken and there was seen to be leeway on both sides. Thus the deal was reached limiting the production of weapons of mass destruction.
Over polished tables
old enemies scowl and stare
settled with one smile
while hunting in the forest
is beset by thirst
Salmacis looks for his love
in an eternal embrace
Lupinus stopped and raised his right arm. He glanced to right and left sniffing the warming morning air. There was nothing to see on both sides but a mass of dense forest. “I smell woodsmoke,” he explained, “but it may be from an old fire or perhaps more recent. It is quite strong however.” I knew better than to question his judgment, after all that is why he had been chosen to accompany me on the journey. A native of this strange land he seemed to have almost magical senses, hearing, eyesight and smell. His tastes left a lot to be desired, he abhorred fish oil, perhaps he found the smell rather overpowering. He was not averse to the meat from the pheasants that we had introduced though, declaring them to be good, much better than his native avian choices and took every opportunity to attend a meal where he knew pheasant would be on the menu. For this journey though we had brought very little of either, relying on our wineskins and small packs of bread and cheese. After all we would shortly be arriving in Camulodonum. The prefect of the town would be happy to provide sustenance for his unexpected guests from Gaul. We had important news to deliver concerning a local woman. Apparently a strikingly good looking woman but still obviously barbarian in speech and habit. Lupinus had spent the previous day trying to convince me that the women of this island had rights equal to the menfolk, they could even lead armies and make all the decisions that we Romans would not think of entrusting to anyone but members of our Senate. “Nonsense, ” I had scoffed, “they are only good for two things, keeping you fed by day and warm at night, oh, and producing sons of course.” Although even I am inclined to believe that they have a devious nature and are probably secretly laughing at our mistakes, occasionally offering advice that we should be foolish to ignore. It was my turn to feel slightly uneasy, I could smell nothing, let alone see more than ten metres to either side, the trees and undergrowth were so deep. Anyone could be lurking in there, I could even be walking into a trap, after all Lupinus was originally one of these barbarians, he had been hostaged when he was but a young boy and as far as I knew, had never expressed any desire to return to the home of his parents or contact his remaining brothers and sisters. No. I was being unnecesarily wary, I would trust him with my life, but? Anyway only another couple of hours and we would arrive in the town. I was looking forward to a hot bath, a change of clothes and an evening banquet………..
I put the book back into my rucksack. It was a pleasure reading the story of Paulinus. The book was recommended to me as my landlord knew that I would be walking down the same old track that those two unfortunates had taken some two thousand years before. Ironic that the manuscript on which the book was based was recovered from the old cellars. A part of the town that survived the storming by the Iceni. Reading between the lines it appears that they were on the way to warn the Provincial governor that there was a stirring in the North and with the legions away in the far West they should think about shaking the dust off the uniforms and weapons of the local militia. Pity poor Paulinus arrived at about the same time as the good-looking red-haired woman who he thought incapable of anything but cooking and cuddling. That’s the way it goes. Anyway that’s my rest over, time to get walking again before it gets dark, you never know what’s lurking in these woods.
On these fabled walls
a poet did once inscribe
visions of paradise
even now we search in vain
for these stately pleasure domes
Resolution, a name used frequently for ships and submarines of the Royal Navy. The first ship of the name being built in the 1600s. The last vessel to bear the name was a ballistic missile firing submarine of the Revenge class, specifically built as Britain’s nuclear deterrent being armed with the Polaris missile system, and remaining in service until 1994 when the Valiant class of submarine took on the mantle.