Welcome to October

Vegans do not eat eggs, do not drink milk and do not make exceptions. I have encountered 2 people in the last 2 weeks claiming they know a vegan who eats eggs. They are not vegan, they are vegetarians, or some variety of vegetarian.

Now that is cleared up, I can move onto a brief poem to welcome the full forces of autumn and the upcoming month. Today marks the start of Black History Month in England. As you can see from the painting below, an iconic figure for the rights of minority groups.

Poem: Autumn!

Greens to yellows and reds
my bed of roses is now dancing in the moonlights shadow
neighbourly connections
surreptitious directions
jewels that hung on the balcony
wet days on the way 

As we approach the darker months of the year it is so important to connect and be with other people. I think we should be connecting in person but talking online is just as good. Video calls would be better since you are able to gauge the facial expressions of the other person. As mentioned in a previous post going to church can be a good way to connect with likeminded people. Attending any group would be a start. I am of course talking to myself at the same time as typing this; I should be doing this and more often.

Some suggestions:

  • Walking groups
  • Coffee groups/ coffee morning meetups etc
  • Art groups
  • Online groups – online quizzes and presentations or general chit chat
  • Religious groups – anything from church to a meditation group (lots online now)
  • Courses – like a short course either in person or online

As for solo activities I can think of a few to keep you busy! This is assuming you live alone though

  • Walking/dancing/exercise in any form at home and outside
  • Healthy eating/cooking/baking/dinner parties hosting or attending
  • Going to the cinema or to a show – with people as well!
  • Painting and drawing
  • Writing and blogging of course!
  • Meditation
  • Learning something new! online courses at home or even in person!
  • Travelling somewhere new
  • Reading
  • Home decoration/renovations
  • Movies and tv at home
  • Creating a routine if you want one
  • Connecting with other people – in any form
  • Visit historical places

There is a lot of things you could do in the autumn months. I can imagine taking a long walk in the countryside would be nice. Or perhaps going for some high tea in the local teashop. This is something I want to do, and I intend to go to London for some high tea. As for visiting historical places, you can do that with people too. I’d like to get down to the Tower of London and visit Clarkson’s farm at some point.

Welcome to autumn. Welcome to October. Spooky month for most of us! That reminds me, why not turn the entire month into an even for yourself and have a fantastic Halloween! No limits. No restriction on what you can and cannot do.

Crash

Vesta "call on me"

call my name

hold my hand

be my rock

my guide and thy hope

"I hope to stay"

you hope too much

"hope not enough"

yet the moon is now red

through the mist your family is dead

I see a crash

"you are the crash"

tonight we meet on the edge of our desire

"crash" she said

climbed the vines of destiny

Vesta

Lots of New Stories are out and More are Coming.

Back in January 2020 I wrote a story before the lockdown not knowing that we were in a pandemic… so that is why I left this story on the backburner.

It is about people left behind following the evacuation of citizens after a zombie apocalypse. I mentioned on twitter that I was tempted to publish it now… and people seemed to encourage me to do so. I went ahead and made a cover. I’m quite impressed with the cover tbh.

What do you think? Because it was already completed and edited 2 years ago I only need to go over it once or twice for last minute edits and checks, as such I’ve set a 31st August release date.

My short stories: In Our Home & On Our Graves have done extremely well peaking at no. 2 to no. 4 in horror short stories so if you downloaded and read thank you. I think the free promotion is still on so grab copies now for life, otherwise you need Kindle Unlimited to read them. Number #3 In Their Minds is being edited and will be out this week. Then I’ll release In The River which should round the series off.

So as you can see since Beach Town ~ Survivors was released, and I am so glad it has, I’ve been busy. Granted I kept all these things on the low side because I was wanting to promote Survivors more than the others. I have more time now to dedicate to writing and with multiple stories in editing, and being written I’d say I have my hands full.

At the end of the day if I want to be a writer and be known as one I need to put my work out there. I see so many writers on twitter who started publishing only 2 years ago who have loads of fans and tons of stories out, with good ratings. It is my hope to become one of them, although maybe my work isn’t good enough. You need to tell me if that is the case.

My New Official Title!

Sir Michael Grantham-James-Stewart III

Wizard identity revealed

My new title, or should I say, my official title. I am so damned blessed to have such a long name! That is all! You might find me by other, more boring names, but this was all for show anyway. How many of you are alive?

Fist Fighting the Undead (Cont.)

Welcome to this short story post. I decided to start a story on Medium to give me something to write on that platform. It really will be a short story. I don’t usually write in first person but oh well. I am also letting you go to read the first part by clicking the link at the end of this post. Hope you enjoy. This is an ongoing story.

The foul stench of death breezes under my nose and the woman cradles my torso. Lingering fear slips beneath my shallow breath and tickles my throat. “We fight to the death,” I add. She sits up and slumps her head on her hand and gazes into my eyes. I feel the doubt creep into my mind. We should fight, and we must. But the nameless wanderer like me, had that pale look of desperation and weakness.

“I can’t fight, I’m too weak,” she says, her thick European accent is hard to figure out, could be French. I was not in the mood to ponder such thoughts so I just glared back hoping she’d go to sleep. But sleep was not easy, wolves howled, seemingly closer than before, and seemingly in larger numbers.

“Don’t worry, we will be okay.” She lays back down and huffs. I know I can’t keep myself from worrying and have to open the tent netting. The fresh cool air brushes my face and the smell of mildew is already filling the fields. There is nothing to see and nothing to do but wait. Sunrise was many hours away, and they’d have to endure the isolation just a little longer. But no, through the thick black and slivers of moonlight I see not one but several corpses sway toward us. I go to move, and the stench creeps around the tent and claws inside…


Read the first part on Medium now 👇 All feedback is welcomed. Criticism is welcomed.

https://medium.com/@thomas_maxwellharrison/fist-fighting-the-undead-4f63b257b79?source=friends_link&sk=ac5ef2189a1655f3fb046b983ea83e49: Fist Fighting the Undead (Cont.)

Find the back cover and blurb for the upcoming novella – Beach Town: Survivors – due for release over the summer period (aiming for August latest).

Lots of Money & Wizard Nebula

A couple have won £184,262,899 on the lottery. I used to think ‘wow, that is great,’ but now I just roll my eyes because they all act so noble by saying something like ‘I will continue to work,’ WHATEVER. The reality is you will never work again and you know it, so stop with the attempts at trying to look like a superhero you fools. Oh, and the lottery company are going to keep you tightly controlled as well, because when you win you get a ‘personal advisor’ who will stay with the winners throughout the process, sometimes decades after the win, and access to a panel of ‘specialist advisors’ who help navigate their new life and wealth.

Listen closesly, if I won that amount, I would not be interested in advisors who work for the company dishing out the money. I’d hire my own. I can guarantee these advisors and specialists from camelot are not free of charge. They invented something called ‘sudden wealth syndrome too.’ I wish people would wake up. When you win, go and take the money far away and say ‘goodbye you sticky fingered peasants’ to camelot.

They say to beware of people begging for money and ‘new friends’. Interesting, because if I had that money, I would give it away, little by little. I would happily pay so-called friends money. Why? Because I can’t think of any bank who is going to protect all of your money. £184m is not protected in one place. You can’t even deposit that anymore. I’d buy loads of properties and then fill them with poor people. Yes. Camelot ‘suggest’ a bank which I find highly suspicious considering it is private banks. I am not comfortable with this. Camelot probably own the bank in small print. My point is that winners should be free to use their brains and go live their life. They cannot possibly spend all of that money quickly. So, why not give a lot away to the disadvantaged? I wish people had better morality and ethical goggles. I might also invest in a zoo, so some luxury. But in my defense I would run said zoo (again). I’d also pay to have my books made to movies. It cost £365m to make Avengers Endgame. You know that money could have solved half the problems in LA. I love how the rich are self obsessed to the point they don’t even realise it. Then they play camaraderie at the ass licking Oscar event. Host: Kiss my ass, Will Smith. Will Smith: Hold my gun while I slap this bitch.

Beautiful Wizard Nebula. It is all there is and ever will be. A globe, the earth, which floats through space for eternity. Stars streaked across the sky, a black hole full of debris. God is watching us in the abyss. We should learn to escape to the other side. If we did, we might be scared or relieved.

Psychonaut

What say you, might psychonautus?

Choose to be a good person out of the reality that is your true nature, an intelligent and loving being created by God. ~ Wizard

I see that the man with all the pennies is now buying about twenty acres of land. I also noticed he had got rid of his old cat. That is a shame, but I suspect the cat was beginning to use his audio device to listen to the old man’s neighbours. That isn’t an unfounded allegation by the way, I saw that cat out in the streets, talking spy language with other cats. Anyway, there is the possibility the cat was sent to defector prison. What say you, you beautiful human? “Meow.” Okay fair enough, ciao. Cat chowder.

Castles (5)

Welcome to episode 5 of the Medieval England History series. You can access all the episodes by going to this link here. I hope you are enjoying this nostalgic adventure into the heart of what England was during the time of the black death. If you do like what you read then be sure to follow because new episodes are posted regularly. Today this episode is about medieval castles!


Castles in medieval England served a very important purpose, they were designed and built primarily as the homes and fortresses of a monarch or noble. Early castles would have been built from earth and wood, but as the times moved on, by the 12th century most castles were built from stone.

The roof of the castles were built or covered with slates, clay tiles or wooden shingles. The castle had to be well guarded and defended both by men and in terms of the position and structure, because a poorly built castle meant almost certain doom for the occupants. That is why they built castles on steep hills or at the top of rock cliffs, sometimes beside the sea. The positions meant that the castle automatically had an advantage from attack, as potential invaders had to get up the hills or cliffs before getting into the castle. It was still possible though, and the use of other weapons like catapults certainly helped this.

If the castle was not built to house a monarch or noble then it could have secondary uses or purposes. Notable is the use of castles as barracks to house soldiers (spearmen, militia, swordsmen, archers, crossbow men, knights, billmen etc). They could serve as prisons, armories, treasure houses, and the center for local government… yes, they still had a government in medieval ages, albeit under the rule of the monarch. Other less violent uses included using castles as brew houses, laundry, workshops, dovecotes, and stables. It was not uncommon to have a few of these things mixed together in a castle grounds, along with a barracks for example.

The castle would be surrounded by a huge wall which would be many meters high and dense. They were not just walls, they were 3 layers thick consisting of; a rough stone inner shell, a thick solid filling of flint and rubble, and an outer layer of stone called ashlars. The wall would have a flat walkway which would allow guards to keep watch and to notify the other guards should an intruder be noticed. The archers if there were any would be able to use a embrasure, which would allow them to shoot whilst protected by the wall. And, don’t forget the medieval ages was brutal, so the openings in the wall allowed boiling water or stones or even waste at times to be thrown down onto any attacking enemy. Most castles had a moat too, which was an added level of protection, a stream of deep water that surrounded the castles. Castles built near lakes or rivers could use that water by digging or channeling water to the moat. A drawbridge would allow access across the moat and would be raised if an enemy approached.

Stokesay is the most well preserved castle sites in England. Worth a journey to spend a day looking around.

Inside a castle was a little different to outside. They did not have what we have today, but did have quite a lot of things that we might be surprised at. They didn’t have central heating of course, they had alternative more costs effective means of keeping warm (that is a joke, it didn’t cost anything to light a fire back then). Only the Lord and Lady of the castle had used a main fireplace, along with thick, heavy blankets, mattresses made of feathers, fur covers etc. So the Lord and the Lady (nobles) or the Monarch (I suspect a lot more than just blankets, including women for kings). The workers, or anyone not a noble had to sleep in the towers which were cold and damp, and you can imagine the winter. In summer though, the castle would still remain cold for the workers.

A castle hall was the biggest, grandest room in the entire fortress. The middle ages saw it common place to sleep in the hall. It was the place to dine and to drink and socialise. Lords of the castle would host social gatherings and people gathered in the hall for a massive feast and listened to music (yes, the played musical instruments, played by minstrels, or wandering singers). Occasionally the Lords might also host a jousting event in a field outside. There were laundry too, and bedding and clothes were washed, and everything was maintained. Everyone in the castle had a job, even if it was to provide entertainment and this resulted in castles being loud and busy.

Attackers could use moveable towers to climb over the walls, could tunnel under the walls, and of course use catapults, which were employed later on. Attackers could stop the supply of food and water and other resources and even kill assisting soldiers coming to the castle.

Waste disposal in castles was not as good as the personal hygiene. Castles did not have plumbing which means the waste would remain in one place until it was cleaned by chamber maids (they still did it, and for a pittance), although a poor sanitary waste system was a lot better than a lower class citizen. People in medieval ages had regard to personal hygiene and washed their hands, took baths and brushed their teeth! They brushed their teeth using something called a miswak, brushing or scrubbing the teeth until they ‘felt’ clean. Others could use a cloth or their fingers. Personal hygiene was advocated for as early as the Vikings, who encouraged use of combs and act of washing. People would get their hair cut by a barber, who also performed minor surgeries to the teeth and pulled out rotten teeth, talk about a worthwhile visit.


Thank you for reading episode 5 castles in the Medieval England History series. If you enjoyed this then stay tuned by liking, commenting, reblogging, following and more! The next in the series will be a little more about the life in castles, particularly focusing on the roles within it, starting with the cooks! Cooks are a very important roles in the castle of medieval times.

Viking

Days when the axe cost more than the bread

bread ate by fearful citizens

of a baron land

seas filled with ships of destruction

destroy settlement and lambs

murder innocent children

fill their hands with the flesh of their enemies

this is past

but we are the future.