Mongol Vegetable Chopping

The Mongols created the world’s second largest empire. Their cavalry were a fearsome sight as they headed westwards to invade Russia and Eastern Europe. What most impressed the peasants around Kazan was the soldiers’ dexterity on horseback both with bows and arrows and with swords. One day a peasant discovered a discarded Mongol sword andContinue reading “Mongol Vegetable Chopping”

Manton Rempville – Part 1

Barnes and Knowles drove their individual vehicles back to Goat Parva and parked outside The Cottage, the residence of Adelaide Hills and her retriever Bingo. “Well here we go again, sir,” said Barnes as he knocked on the door and heard the mad barking of Bingo inside. “Bingo is in fine voice today, oh howContinue reading “Manton Rempville – Part 1”

The Anti-Pope Games, Avignon

The Western Schism in the Roman Catholic Church began in 1378, when the French cardinals believed the election of Pope Urban VI was invalid. They elected Clement VII as an anti-pope and he took up residence in Avignon in France. The Protestant reformer Martin Luther was excommunicated by Pope Leo X on 3rd January 1521,Continue reading “The Anti-Pope Games, Avignon”

HASTE – Mary Celeste

I was asked to attend a sailing ship in the North Atlantic, where it was believed some illicit alcohol was being carried. On November 7, 1872, the 282-ton brigantine Mary Celeste had set sail from New York on its way to Genoa. On board were the ship’s captain, Benjamin S. Briggs, his wife, Sarah, andContinue reading “HASTE – Mary Celeste”

The Waterboarding Duck

Evolution has been kind to the duck family. Ducks are viewed as benign creatures, who wouldn’t say boo to a goose. However, don’t be fooled by the ducks that have survived through to the modern day. A few centuries ago a particular branch of the duck family, called the waterboarding ducks, were found in partsContinue reading “The Waterboarding Duck”

The Hopping Race in Trevelez

Trevelez is a beautiful village in the Sierra Nevada mountains just to the south-east of Granada. This village is situated around 1,500 metres above sea level, making it the highest in Spain. Some of the streets in the village are narrow and others are extremely steep, which is why Trevelez hosts a unique hopping eventContinue reading “The Hopping Race in Trevelez”

Freddie in the Douglas Fir

After many successful forays into the garden, Freddie suddenly decided that he wanted to start climbing things such as the fence and trees. He found the fence very hard to navigate as he didn’t have the strength to pull himself up the links. Trees on the other hand weren’t too difficult and he enjoyed climbingContinue reading “Freddie in the Douglas Fir”

HASTE – At the Giza Plateau

I was called to the Giza Plateau near Cairo in Egypt where a giant building project is being undertaken by the Pharaoh. I meet with the Grand Vizier amidst reports of many people being killed during construction. The Vizier greets me warmly and we walk to the site, where I see that a giant cubeContinue reading “HASTE – At the Giza Plateau”

Gobekli Tepe

Gobekli Tepe is an unprepossessing archaeological site in Northern Mesopotamia – the area between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers. No postcards of the site are on sale and no guidebooks. Indeed, the gatekeeper has only one book for sale and that’s an English translation of the work by Klaus Schmidt that first alerted the world to his significant discoveryContinue reading “Gobekli Tepe”

Grand Turk

Grand Turk sits apart from the other islands in the Turks and Caicos, separated from South Caicos by a trench 7,000 feet deep. People flying over to Grand Turk from Providenciales – one of the Caicos Islands – will notice the change in the colour of the sea from a light-blue to a dark blue,Continue reading “Grand Turk”