Well I would have blogged last weekend but as we were due a flat inspection last Tuesday I spent most of my time cleaning, hoovering, washing and tidying up. But don't despair I did manage to get out into the glorious summer sunshine we had last weekend to enjoy myself with a good book and the always cheerful company of my neighbours.
This is an above view of the garden earlier this spring to give you a better idea of where I got my teeth stuck into 'Raven' by my little tweeting friend Giles Kristian (@GilesKristian www.gileskristian.com ) and managed to race through constantly eager for more and enjoying every minute of the un-put-downable experience. I sat there in the sunshine, on my blanket engrossed in such an exciting story.
If you love anything to do with medieval/middle/dark ages, anything to do with vikings/danes/norwegians/anglo-saxons then YOU MUST GET THIS ASAP! The second installement of this new fantastic saga ,set to rival the age old talens of Bernard Cornwell and even better Tim Severin AND Robert Low (all three have given this new kid on the block of norse sagas great reviews), is already out in hardback, 'Sons of Thunder: A second Raven novel'.
I would have dived straight into this apart from the small fact that my boss Terry announced her knowledge of this brilliant author a few weeks after I bought Raven (which I hadn't started yet) and I revealed to her that I bought both books to add to my must read list. So whilst I worked my way to reading Raven I lent her Sons of Thunder. But I don't mind the wait - means the pleasure of reading will be that bit more sweet.
To breifly summarise the saga followers the young adventures of a lad named Osric who has a blood clot eye and who can't remember anything of his earlier life accept waking up at Abbotsend. Then Vikings come to trade and things go slightly wrong from there - for example the fact that Osric becomes aware he understand the language of these norwegians (who ironically nearly all the anglo-saxons they come across presume are Danish.) And so the adventure or fate whisks Osric away with these apparently savage warriors and discovers ....well I won't say anymore. All I can say is Giles Kristian has joined my list of great historical novelists.
I went on to the middle of the week where I had another greatly enjoyable medieval experience and that was with the new Robin Hood movie featureing Russell Crowe.
I know there is a lot of controversy surrounding his supposed 'accent' as Robin in the movie but to be honest it's worth seeing even if you think his accent turns out to be rubbish. After all no one knows for sure where the Real Robin originated so his accent from all these centuries ago may well be unrecognisable but to me it sounded like that of a good northerner.
The plot was amazing, the drama was incredible, the action superb (the fight scenes felt actually genuine to the time) Kate Blanchett is excellent as Marion, no ditsy maid who stays up in a castle but shows as much passion for fairness for her people of Nottingham as Robin does when the two meet. And althought after later Wiki'ing events from the film I discovered the end battle actually has a different outcome - be blunt I didn't care! Because the ending had enough conclusion to finish the movie itself but also left a lot open and who knows - maybe there will be a Robin Hood 2 in the making?? I do greatly recommend it and give it 5/5 stars.
Now I am about to reveal something incredibly COOL and in fact AWESOME about my neighbours that I learnt from them in the summer sunshine of last weekend when they noticed me watching the GreatTit family zipped too and fro from their birdhouse feeding their chicks chirping with delights (and calls for MORE).
Joan and Bernard didn't always live at Arncliffe Court, they lived somewhere else for about twenty years and in their neighbourhood they had a local fox. They called him Charlie. Joan would leave out balls of meat and cooked chicken pieces for him and soon he became a regular feaster in their garden. So regular in fact that he even dined at theirs with his vixen companion and apparently brought the entire litter of pups when he had a family. Joan and Bernard were so fond of him and he was so relaxed with them that they even managed to take photographs. Here are a few my favourites which they allowed me to get copies of.
Charlie and his big tea
A meal for two at Joans and Bernard's Fox Restaraunt :P
This could have been last weekend! But was in fact summer of 1997. Charlie having a time out in their garden.
Sadly Charlie died before the millenium but I think it's incredible of Joan and Bernard to continue to feed his family insuring his descendants live on. I am eternally jealous of my neighbours for the years they had contact with Charlie. The closes I got was 6 feet away from a group of young fox pups 3 years ago in Bluebell woods. But I know foxes still live there as evident by their poignent calls on full moon halloween last year when me and my boyfriend had a campfire in those same woods.
Now that's me done on here for the time being. I am off back to good old North Yorkshire for half term hols, catch up with family, my fellow friendship musketeers Tasha and Hannah and play time with my wonderful puppy dogs Bailey and Gem. If anything incredible happens whilst I'm away then I shall nip onto my sister's laptop and tell all but if not then I will report back on my mini adventures at the end of the week when I'm back. I know my 2 main goals are this half term apart from spending time with all my favourite people (and animals) is 1) get writing done on WIP 'Soul Chaser' and further editing on short story entry for Waterstones Books Quarterly competition (please do google it as there is the most fantastic prize EVER next to being published) and 2) catch up on my backlog of Writing Magazines to inspire and encourage me. Just finished May issue today so just 2 more to go. I won't be able to tweet much either whilst I'm away as lack of computer and lack of single so text tweeting will be limited us well unless I'm out on trips with Auntie Jo.
So I bid all my writing friends happy writing, all my reading friends happy reading and any other blog following people a happy half term week. Becky (aka valkyrie1008) over and out.