Swakopmund, Namibia

Swakopmund, Namibia –

a German town in Africa

Recently, the Australian broadcaster SBS reported that the German language is making a comeback in the Barossa Valley in South Australia, which has a rich German heritage.  In my opinion, it could only be to the advantage of the Barossa to cultivate this heritage and promote the language to help attract German tourists.

This reminded me of our experience of Swakopmund on the Atlantic coast of Namibia. Several years ago we spent an unforgettable holiday in Namibia. We were in Swakopmund for 6 days.  I would like to share some of my memories with you. Continue reading

Memorial to the Duchess

Book Review:  Memorial to the Duchess

Jocelyn Kettle, Memorial to the Duchess.  Coronet Books, London, 1974 (first published 1968) (Pbk)

While we are on the topic of Alice Chaucer, here is a look at another novel on this fascinating historical character.

Alice Chaucer, Duchess of Suffolk, was a fascinating person, but I have yet to find any in-depth analysis of her life, preferably non-fiction.

However, you would think that she would also make the perfect protagonist for a work of fiction.  As seen, she is frequently a minor character (not that there is anything minor about Alice!) in the Sister Frevisse novels by Margaret Frazer, like for instance in the short story The Stoneworker’s Tale.  There is one full length novel about her, Memorial to the Duchess.  I had been warned, but I was still prepared to give it a try.  I should have headed the warning! Continue reading

The Stone-Worker’s Tale

Short Story Review:  

The Stone-Worker’s Tale

Margaret Frazer, The Stone-Worker’s Tale, Kindle edition, Dream Machine Productions, 15 April 2011

The Stone-Worker’s Tale is a short story by Margaret Frazer, featuring her medieval sleuth Dame Frevisse.  Gail Lynn Frazer, wrote a series of novels under the name Margaret Frazer.  The majority feature Dame Frevisse, a medieval nun, while several books have Joliffe, member of a troupe of travelling players, as the protagonist.  Unfortunately Ms Frazer passed away in 2013, so there will be no new encounters with either Dame Frevisse or Joliffe to look forward to.  Therefore it is even more rewarding to return to the old favourites. Continue reading

Merevale Abbey

Merevale Abbey – for a good night’s rest while travelling to and from Bosworth

One year, while travelling in Richard III’s footsteps, we went on to Atherstone, after spending a fascinating day at the Bosworth Battlefield Centre.  We had booked accommodation at a B&B, Abbey Farm , which had come highly recommended by a friend from Canada – and we were not disappointed!

I knew that the B&B had got its name from its proximity to Merevale Abbey (the address – Merevale Lane – was a certain give-away), but had not realized that some of the ruins of this former abbey are actually in its garden and the only remaining complete buildings, the gate and gate chapel, are right next door. Continue reading

William Bingham

William Bingham – the founder of Godshouse, “the first secondary school training college in England”

While researching something completely different, I made the acquaintance of William Bingham (as you do).

William Bingham was an important educational innovator.  His claim to fame is that he is the “man who founded the first secondary school training college in England. What is even more remarkable, his college still exists, although discharging other educational functions as well.”[i] So this post is especially for all school teachers among our readers. Continue reading