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Saturday, 25 March 2017

Huge Silent Majority of Europeans Don't Like EU Policies.

I think there is a realisation among many pro-EU supporters that something must change within the EU government concerning policies that are implemented upon people that have no say in how they get such fundamental rights imposed upon them.

The EU should have political parties of all structures trying to go out and win the support from the combined EU over who rules them. The EU must be elected by the citizens of Europe and not a boardroom committee.

This will be the next step if the EU is to survive. I think it will come about. Once it does, then the EU will become better integrated. Many people see the logic in the EU, but they are becoming disillusioned with the type of EU on offer.  People of Europe want a better circumstance concerning the selection of government officials they have.

I voted Brexit and can see no place in the EU that exists. I sincerely hope it gets by, but not the way it is.

Friday, 24 March 2017

Ely Cathedral and the Chinoock Helicopter.

Nothing much was happening over the bird hides. It was a clear blue day and rather warm. A taste of spring in the air. Our little dog, Dotty just wanted to run along the bridal path and was not too patient with our bird watching. There were a few buzzards and kestrels and a lot of various waterfowl.

I was looking across the Fen towards Ely Cathedral. Suddenly I heard the whirring of helicopter blades and spied a military Chinoock helicopter flying across the front of the old Cathedral.  It seemed like a good idea at the time so I took a couple of photo shots as it passed the grand old cathedral. 

My Ducks get Spooked by the Birds of Prey?

Taken on the 70 - 300mm Nikon zoom lens at 300mm 

We humans have to learn about dangers. Sometimes we are warned of certain animals that a dangerous. Many of us may never have seen a tiger or a wolf, but we would know that these animals can cause harm.

I have ducks in my garden. They wander around and seem generally content. We get eggs from them as we do the chickens. We live out in the Fenlands of eastern England and there are a variety of raptors. It has always amazed me how the ducks instinctively know that raptors or birds of prey can be harmful to them. Yet not one of my ducks has ever experienced an attack from a raptor. They seem to know automatically when they are in the sky too. Sometimes the bird of prey is so high up, it can hardly be made out. It baffles me how the ducks know.

Today, my wife Carole was digging up worms and the ducks were excitedly quaking the way ducks do. For a time the ducks were incredibly noisy as the foraged about the dug up garden patch. Carole came back and sat with me on the garden decking. Then suddenly she said, “The ducks have gone quite.”

I looked to the ducks and they were silent and standing still. Their heads seemingly to the side but only slightly. Then Carole said, “There must be a buzzard or something.”

She peered up into the clear blue sky with her hand over her brow to block out the sun’s glare. I did the same but could only see blue sky. I thought it may have been an old wives tale, but then Carole pointed up. I peered along her line of pointing. To my surprise, there was this minute dot circling very high up.

“Blimey,” I exclaimed. “How can the ducks see that?”

“They have some sort of instinct,” replied Carole.

I reached for my camera and homed in with the telescopic sight. As the raptor circled over the lens sensor, I was able to get off a few good photo shots. It was a grand sight. After a time the bird of prey caught the wind and flew off at speed over the houses of March town.

The ducks resumed their noisy banter and we sat down and discussed how ducks must pass on some sort of gene or memory from an ancestor that allows them to know about high-flying raptors. 

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Louis Napoleon Bonaparte was Killed as a British Soldier. (A True Story)

Louis Napoleon Faced the Enemy Fighting for Britain

Prince Imperial
Louis Napoleon Bonaparte
 Another disaster to fall upon Britain during the Zulu War was the death of France's Louis Napoleon Bonaparte - Prince Imperial - Head of the House of Bonaparte. He was a dashing young man of 23 years and was rumoured to be a possible match for Princess Beatrice - Queen Victoria's youngest daughter.

Prince Louis had been living in Britain with his mother and father (Napoleon III) after the Franco-Prussian war. He had joined the British army and been commissioned as an officer. His mother had been able to pull some strings for him.

Once commissioned and after his father's death, Prince Louis wanted to see active service. He believed it would be a good political move and enhance his career, for he hoped that one day; France would elect him to rule, as other Bonapartes had done. Had he lived; it is almost certain he would have led his nation one day.

However, this was not to be, and much to the embarrassment of Great Britain - a nation that many French people thought was anti-Bonaparte because of the Napoleonic wars. There was even talk among some of the Bonaparte fanatics that Queen Victoria might have engineered the situation. Nothing could have been further from the truth. Young Louis Napoleon Bonaparte was favoured by the Queen and she took a keen interest in the young man and his widowed mother.

When the Zulu War broke out Prince Louis saw this as a grand opportunity to gain experience. The nation of the Zulus was far away and he could not offend any European nations by fighting in such a war. Much against the British Prime Minister's advice, the young Bonaparte was assigned to go out to South Africa and blood himself with war experience.

He took with him his great relative's sword - the very sword worn by Napoleon Bonaparte during the Battle of Austerlitz. When he arrived in South Africa he made his way to Natal and from here he eventually went out to Lord Chelmsford's camp. The Zulu War had been going on for some 5 months by May.

Jahleel Brenton Carey
He was pleased to meet some men from his officer training school and another officer by the name of Jahleel Brenton Carey. Jahleel Carey was a man that Prince Louis quickly developed a friendship with because he spoke very good French having been educated at Lycee Imperial - a famous French university. The man had also been in a British First Aid unit during the Franco-Prussian War and had seen service during the siege of Paris.

During patrols from the base, there had been a couple of incidents when the young Prince had unsheathed his sword and wanted to pursue distant sightings of Zulu warriors. On two occasions he was sternly ordered to stand down and remain with the troop.

He became involved in mapping the surrounding areas and was a little restless with the chore because he wanted to gain some fighting experience. Then on 1st of June, he was allowed to take a small party of horsemen out to reconnoitre the land - a task to do with mapping.

The patrol had his friend and fellow officer Jahleel Brenton Carey and a few other troopers - plus a renegade Zulu who was a scout. They were about their duties for a number of hours when they came upon a small deserted Zulu camp consisting of some abandoned beehive shaped huts.

They dismounted and let the horses graze for a while. The troops made tea and it was a lazy affair allowing the men to lounge around and take a break. One of the men returning with water reported a distant sighting of a Zulu watching them and it was then decided to gather the horses. As the men were about to mount, waiting for the young Prince Imperial to give the order; shots rang out and a large group of Zulus charged out of some scrub screaming their war cry. One of the troopers was slain, while others mounted and panicked - riding away from the attacking Zulus.
Sudden Zulu attack catches Prince Louis Napoleon by surprise.
Prince Louis had acquired a temperamental grey horse, which bolted. He was caught out trying to mount while the horse began to gallop off. A young Guernsey man was among the troop and he was having difficulty amid the panic too. He called to the Prince in French but could offer no further assistance as he desperately struggled to get upon his own mount which was also galloping away.

Prince Louis slipped from his horse and was left on foot as chasing Zulus came after him. He ran for a short distance then turned to face his attackers. He managed to fire two shots, but it is reported that none of the Zulus was hit. 

The young Prince met his death bravely as the group of about six Zulus fell upon him. The rest of his troop looked on in the distance and when they returned to the camp and reported what happened Lieutenant Jahleel Brenton Carey was charged with cowardice in the face of the enemy. His fellow officers were furious with him. He was court marshalled and found guilty, but this was later overturned because the people on the court marshal had not been sworn in.

The next day, British soldiers went out and found the naked and mutilated corpse of Prince Louis Napoleon Bonaparte - Prince Imperial and head of the House of Bonaparte. He had been ritually disembowelled as was the Zulu custom to stop his ghost from haunting his slayers.

When the Zulus learnt of who they had killed, they said he would not have been slain if they had known him to be a prince. One of his assailants was called Zabanga and he was killed at the Battle of Ulundi.

Even though the charge of cowardice did not carry; Lieutenant Jahleel Brenton Carey would have the harsh stigma of inappropriate conduct in the face of the enemy, for it was generally believed, by his fellow officers, he should have tried to rally his fleeing men and save the young Prince Imperial. Jahleel Carey died in Karachi India during 1883, just four years later. In his obituary, this incident earned him his unwanted celebrity and place in history - perhaps unfairly.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

An Adaptation Retro Science Fiction Adventure Tailor Made For You.

Are you a science fiction fan? 

Do you love those old comics and the glorious pulp sci-fi reads of times gone by?

Ironic, isn’t it? 

Why do we love the retro science fiction stories of the past about our future?

Were you a fan of H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, or Edgar Rice Burroughs? 

Of course, there are so many more authors, who delightfully tweaked our varied imaginations.

Do you remember the first time a story ever gripped your fancy?

Can you re-live the wow factor again?

Did you ever imagine yourself inside the adventure and veering off at a tangent and going somewhere else inside the story? 

Do you want an adventure tailor-made for you?

As an impressionable young lad, I always found myself pondering such things.

I would walk about in my dream thinking, “If I was in that story, I would do this or that.” I found myself wishing for all sorts of adventures.

When I read H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds, I remember getting a tremendous lift out of the short excerpt when an ironclad called H.M.S. Thunder Child attacked three Martian tripods in the River Blackwater to save a paddle steamer full of refugees. 

It was not more than half a page and the uplifting and brave event was short lived. Yet it achieved great admiration from me as a young and impressionable avid reader. Anyone who has read War of the Worlds or listened to Jeff Wayne's musical adaptation will know. 

In my mind's eye, I wanted to know more of the crew and the bold ironclad. I found myself re-inventing a small section of the story from a whole new perspective. I wondered what it would have been like to be on such a ship that cruised into legend, blazing away at the Martian abominations in defence of mankind.

The Dynamic new cover

Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

I don't how many times I've read "The War of the Worlds" over the years. Certainly more than a dozen and that does not include the various editions abridged for younger readers, the Classics Illustrated comic (a reproduction cover of which I have framed in my office), or the various derivative works, both literary and illustrated. And I've seen all the various film adaptations of the novel--the updated George Pal 1953 opus, the ridiculous and intellectually insulting Steven Spielberg epic, the SyFy Channel's efforts (yes, all of them), and the exquisitely faithful and horribly under funded Pendragon production (the director later redeemed himself with a wonderful mockumentary). And we should not forget Jeff Wayne's musical version, which has formed the foundation of his career. In all of those works, only four--the original novel, the Classics Illustrated comic, the Pendragon film, and the Wayne musical version--included what I consider the pivotal scene within the tableau of the War of the Worlds, the conflict between three Martian war machines and the HMS Thunder Child, an old coastal defense vessel, a torpedo ram. Why do I think it so important? Because it shows the difference between us and the Martians, our innate human decency and the Martian rapaciousness, our ability to counter alien ruthlessness with self-sacrifice. The incident is briefly addressed in Wells' novel, necessarily limited because of the narrative form Wells chose to tell his tale and to keep the story moving, but I've always wished we could know more about brave men of HMS Thunder Child, who knew they were going to their deaths in an effort to save a boatload of refugees but went anyway. Evidently I was not the only one who wanted to know about those stalwart British tars, for C.A. Powell has given us a splendidly well-written book in "The Last Days of Thunder Child," one which not only tells us the story behind the story, but also peoples that doomed ship with characters we can care about and affords insights into the British navy at the close of the Nineteenth Century. If you are a fan of Wells' novel, Powell's book is required reading. Unlike other works derived from the original, it takes nothing from Wells' story and adds so much more. You will enjoy it immensely, and might even shed a tear at the fates of those who sailed into hell, not because they were following orders but because their humanity demanded it

A Plan of action began to develop in my mind.

The whole endeavour of this written work was inspired during an evening school writing class and it developed from there. It was a wonderful project that I found most absorbing.

So I decided to Something About it.

It was a labour of love and a project that I thoroughly enjoyed. I would come home of an evening and sit down to add to my re-invented story set in H.G.Wells' Victorian Britain. Of a day I would ponder each step of my story. I had a dramatic ending, but there was to be a journey to that ending with characters showing the reader the way. Everything began to fall in line and each day I became more excited with my creation.

When complete, I knew I had to get professional editing done. This was achieved by requesting for applicants to edit the story. This was done via an agency for freelance editors with relevant qualifications. I offered a price and the interested parties would come back with their price offers and examples of what they could do. As the freelance editors began to bid for the work and sent me samples of what they could do, I was impressed by the skills. I was also shocked by the amount of correction I could see on the pages they sent back.

After about four or five applications, I settled for one person who did a wonderful editorial job for around the price I was asking. £10 per 1,000 words of a novel containing around 54,000 words. When I read the corrected text, I was overjoyed with the way my Sci-fi retro adaptation novel was flowing.

I got a wonderful cover from a professional book cover artist. Also, the word alignment with font size got done professionally. It all made for a dynamic presentation. I sat back and saw sales begin to come in from the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, France, Germany and Japan. I was delighted.

5.0 out of 5 stars A book that deservedly goes inside War Of The Worlds 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Last Days Of Thunder Child (Kindle Edition) 

Click written link below for Amazon report.
Length:: 2:48 MinsNovels like this are like a painting inside of a painting, or a painting inside someone else's painting. C A Powell does a great job in both stepping into Wells world and handling the sea battle, which is probably the most challenging kind of battle to write. For more detail watch the video I made. This book is definitely worth it. I got at least seven out of it.
Click writing above to see what Brian had to say.

Are you a science fiction fans who likes to read while travelling on a train or bus, to and from work? Would you like to read such a story? A tale where the reader escapes into Victorian Britain? It is a place where iron and steel was the mark of the day. It, therefore, has a steampunk flavour about it. 

To re-invent the bygone world of Victorian Britain in an alternative sci-fi reality was a splendid project. It took me on a wonderful journey of old British Ironclads. I enjoyed reading all sort of historical things and tried to weave them into my science fiction adaptation novel. 

It has received some good reviews in the USA and also the UK, where it has been available since January 2017.

The retro sci-fi reading fan of today still tends to like and compare best historical or sci-fi books to read from the past. The mind's eye conjures up rivets and steel girders of a fantasy steampunk age - an alternative reality. 

There are many fun Science fiction books to choose online and one can always see people on trains and buses engrossed in an e-reader or a paperback.

This Sci-Fi fantasy book set in Victorian Britain is an adaptation of a Martian Invasion from a top selling Sci-Fi story of all time. It is on sale throughout the world NOW! 

This pastiche SciFi story was inspired by H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds set in Victorian Britain in the year of 1898. 

It crosses a number of genres in this day and age. Obviously Science Fiction, but also Alternative Reality and even Steampunk.

I went on a journey of discovery trying to imagine what H.M.S. Thunder Child might have looked like and fell fancifully in love with the first revolving turret ship without sails. It was H.M.S. Devastation - blogs of which are featured here. She also had a sister ship called HMS Thunderer.

At first, these revolving ship's had muzzle loading guns with short stumpy barrels that barely protruded from the gun ports. I wanted to keep these on the ship of 1898. Even though they were obsolete by such times. I used poetic license to do such thing and used a credible excuse.

Enlarge image and get better view of internal ship

My Pastiche novel about H.G. Wells' fictional battleship H.M.S. Thunder Child (The Last Days of Thunder Child) was based on H.M.S. Devastation. In my imagination, I could see this design for Thunder Child going into battle against three Martian tripods on the River Blackwater in the county of Essex, England, the UK in 1898.

Muzzle loading guns went obsolete around 1889. All Royal navy ships, including Devastation, were converted to Breech loading. However, I invented a political excuse to keep Thunder Child antiquated and still retaining the short stubby muzzle loading guns inside revolving turrets. 

This was to give Thunder Child a feeling of being behind the times, but still plucky when the occasion demanded. The diagram above was found in a library book and then I was fortunate enough to find it online. This gives a great internal view of the working of H.M.S. Devastation and I used this plan for my vision of H.M.S. Thunder Child in The Last Days of Thunder Child by C.A. Powell.

Want to escape into the world of an alternative Victorian Britain?

Where Martian tripods did come and try to conquer? 

Look not further.