This is the first post on my blog as a self-publishing author. Thanks for visiting (apologies for the photo, unfortunately I’ve never been very photogenic).
My name is Denis Scott although I publish under the name of E.D. Robson. I have chosen to do this as I am currently writing fantasy novels but may choose to add other forms of fiction or even non-fiction in the future under my real, or another name.
I will be using this site to include information about my writing, such as ideas, progress and giveaways plus anything else that catches my attention. I welcome your questions and responses (although talking to myself is not a new experience to me).
I have recently decided to hopefully improve my overall health by aiming to walk 10,000 steps a day. I realize that this is a fairly arbitrary figure, but it does make a target to aim for. I have been striving for this for about two months and by my standards, have been fairly successful so far.
As a daily endeavour, time and cost restrictions mean that I cannot travel to areas of outstanding beauty every day. Although the Derbyshire Peak District National Park, and the National Forest are within driving distance. The views from my own home certainly cannot be described as scenic, as it faces the M1 motorway fence only yards away. However, there are a number of attractive walks within a five mile radius. In addition, living on the edges of an urban area, and having the time available, I have discovered that I can often leave my car in the garage and walk to most of the services I require (pubs, shops, etc.). An added bonus is that being on foot restricts impulse buying. It’s just not the same, snapping up those bargain priced bottles of wine when you have to carry them home on foot.
Below are pictures of one of my recent walks, Elvaston Castle (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elvaston_Castle for information of the location) on the outskirts of the City of Derby. A short drive for me, although in the summer I may attempt to walk to it if my stamina and speed increase sufficiently.
Victoria & Albert Museum – Hallyu! The Korean Wave Exhibition – Christmas Tree by designer Miss Sohee
Victoria & Albert Museum – Hallyu! The Korean Wave Exhibition
The Design Museum – Surrealism and Design Exhibition
Swarkestone Bridge, Swarkestone, South Derbyshire
Swarkestone is a small village a short distance south of the city of Derby in the English East Midlands. Its main feature is the bridge which crosses the River Trent and adjoining wetlands to link the village with its neighbour, Stanton by Bridge.
From Swarkestone, the structure firstly comprises a proper stone bridge over the River Trent, which then continues as a causeway for a distance of almost three quarters of a mile to Stanton where the road climbs out of the flood plain.
Records of the bridge date back to 1204, when it was probably a mainly wooden structure. This was the year when the crusaders on their way to the Holy Land, supposedly to free it from Muslim domination stopped off to loot, rape and pillage Constantinople, the world’s largest Christian city at the time (wrong race/type of Christians?). Some historians claim this act sufficiently weakened the remains of the Christian Byzantium Empire to ensure its eventual fall to the Turks in later years.
At that time, King John, of Magna Carta fame, which established the principal of everyone being equal under the law, was on the English throne.
The causeway dates to the fourteenth century and parts of the original structure still exist although it has been repaired and widened many times over the years. The bridge section was replaced at the end of the eighteenth century following it destruction by floods.
The bridge is mentioned in my latest fantasy book in the light-hearted ‘Irrelevant One Saga,’ when the leading characters, stuck at home due to the covid lockdown take a vacation back into time. They come across the Bellamont sisters, whom legend claims had the bridge built after their sweethearts, two local knights, drowned in floods at that location. There are stories of the sisters haunting the bridge to this day.
The book also mentions Bonny Prince Charlie’s Scottish army and their march south to recover the English crown for the Stuart family from the German Hanoverians. Legend has it that the Scots turned back to Scotland having marched onto the bridge, disappointed at the lack of English support for them.
On a personal note, as a child I often used to cycle with friends to Swarkestone from my then home village to swim in the Trent under the bridge. My mother put a stop to this after one of the occasional drownings at that location (plus the Trent was not the cleanest of rivers in those days). The location also has a reputation as a road traffic accident black spot.
On the supernatural front. Many years ago, a friend of my father, who used to visit him occasionally and had to travel over the bridge on a small moped in order to do so, didn’t appear for some months. When he finally returned he explained that on his previous visit he was driving onto the bridge from the Stanton end, on his way home (after a couple of beers), when a woman dressed in white suddenly jumped out of the darkness straight in front of him. Causing him to fall off his bike. When he got up there was no sign of her. It frightened him so much that it was several months before he dared cross the bridge in the dark again.
‘Are you sure she’s the Tour Guide: Book 4 of the Irrelevant One Saga’ is out now. $1.99 on Kindle and also available on Kindle Unlimited.
References and further information from:
Having posted last week about the Village of Eyam in Derbyshire, cancelling its commemorative annual church service this year because of the corvid 19 virus I discovered another effect of the virus on traditional events which normally occur at this time.
Well Dressing is a tradition centred on the communities of the Derbyshire Peak District which usually takes place between May and the end of September. Different towns and villages decorate their wells at varying dates within that time period. Its origins are unsure, some suggest that it has Christian origins and began as a thanks for salvation during the period of the black death plague during the 1300s. There is evidence of the village of Tissington’s taking place during that period. However, most believe that the ceremony has a pagan origin, connected to worship of gods of springs and wells. Some people believe that the origins are Celtic and predate the Roman occupation of Britain, surviving the subsequent Anglo-Saxon, Viking and Norman influxes Since at least the middle-ages decorations usually follow Christian themes, sometimes linked to local or national events. The displays are made out of flowers and other natural materials.
Originating in the Derbyshire hills and a few communities in neighbouring Staffordshire the tradition has spread over the years and nowadays, some other areas of the county including the City of Derby itself also decorate a well.
Unfortunately, this year, many of the well dressing dedication ceremonies have been cancelled.
Suzanne from ’Lets go Peak District’ (Youtube)
Peak District Videos (Youtube)
Copyright – Alan Fleming / Eyam Church
I have decided to write this post after watching the local B.B.C. news programme for the English East Midlands this evening during which they mentioned that the picturesque village of Eyam in the Peak District National Park in Derbyshire had cancelled this year’s commemoration service at the village church.
The reason that this struck a cord with me is that I am currently working on a short novel in my ‘Saga of the Irrelevant One’ series in which the heroes take a holiday back in time around the Nottingham area in order to escape the current/recent/pending pandemic lockdown. I did consider including Eyam as one of the locations they could visit (not in the immediate Nottingham area, but could still count as it is located in a neighbouring county). However, I decided against it.
The issue is that Eyam is famous because in 1655, during the reign of Charles II, there was an outbreak of plague in England, centred on London. It is believed that this outbreak reached Eyam in particular by being transferred via an order of material from London delivered to a local tailor.
As soon as the local villagers became aware of the outbreak, the story is that they agreed, led by their local vicar, to self- isolate in their village in order to spare their neighbours the risk of plague. This idea of self-sacrifice has been challenged in recent times. I have seen a claim that the isolation may have been imposed by the authorities as a recent public health measure but the original story is still the most accepted. The village was cut off for over a year. Supplies were left at the parish boundary and payment was made in coins left in jars of vinegar. Approximately three quarters of the population died (260 people) and a tradition has grown in the village to commemorate this sacrifice in a special service in the last week in August.
My writing to date has tended to be of a very light-hearted nature, although I do hope to widen my scope in due course; so at a time when there are so many modern comparisons that can be made with the plagues of old, including high mortality rates, I have decided to leave the subject of Eyam out of my book.
Eyam Museum https://www.eyam-museum.org.uk/
Today we travel to the English East Midlands in the UK to chat with E.D. Robson about how having no practical skills, being a merchant navy cadet, swimming, pessimism, teaching, London, and Peak National Park come together as part of E.D.’s past and present life. Tell us a bit about yourself. I am 64 years…Meet the Author: Monica With A ‘K’ Saves the World by E.D. Robson — Meet The Authors
Had to cut short my wanders due to the health scare so I stayed in all day Tuesday before driving home from London back to the Midlands that night (everywhere was closing down anyway so it’s not as if I made any sacrifice). However, before self-isolating I did manage to visit the Victoria and Albert Museum on Sunday where they had an exhibition on cars and one on Tim Walker, a leading photographer. It was on a visit to the V & A that I first discovered sculpture as they have some works by the French sculptor, Rodin. This visit, I found two sculptures of early Saxon gods, Thuner and Sunna
Visited London for London and South O.U.P.S. Day Conference at the London School of Economics and made a short five day break of it
O.U.P.S. stands for the Open University Psychological Society. It’s main purpose is to provide academic resources for O.U undergraduate students although it also includes members who have graduated (including myself). This year’s conference went ahead despite the current health situation although numbers attending were down on previous years and two of the speakers delivered their presentations through video conferencing. The theme of the conference was Technology, Psychology and Artificial Intelligence.
Also been visiting a few exhibitions and films. no worry about contagion, there were so few people about. This is a picture of China Town in Soho on Saturday night, normally it would be teeming with tourists.
The Wallace Collection
Visited an art exhibition at the Wallace Collection called ‘Forgotten Masters: Indian Painting for the East India Company’. Not that impressed with the exhibition but I like the venue (Hertford House, Manchester Square, London) and the permanent free exhibits including Dutch Masters and others, plus a collection of weapons and armour (not as famous as some other venues but well worth a visit).
Denis Scott is an indie author currently writing under the name of E. D. Robson. He is in his sixties lives in the U.K. and is retired (on and off) having left school to work for a few years as a merchant seaman on cargo… The post 7 Questions With Author Denis Scott appeared first…7 Questions With Author Denis Scott — Esther Rabbit
Found this blog through clicking to follow the author on Twitter. It has rekindled an old passing interest I had from school days in what I would term non mainstream Myth. I often wondered why Germanic never had the same attention as Norse and Greek tales in the Anglo-Saxon world, although I understand there is a lot of overlap between the northern beliefs.
Anyway, the author had me with the ‘beer drinker’ description (although not so much nowadays, age and responsibility comes to us all).
Toward the end of my college years, it came time to select a topic for capstone research. Despite my university’s focus on relatively recent works, I found myself gravitating toward medieval epics outside of the English canon. This was likely informed by a lifelong love for fantasy—when I’m really passionate about something, I want to get to the root of it.
It was the famous Sigemund passage in Beowulf that led me to two other epics: the Icelandic Völsunga Saga and the German Das Nibelungenlied. Both stories revolve around the same hero, and tell more or less the same tale. They’re not alone, either—the legendary Siegfried is attested to in Þiðrekssaga, the Poetic Edda, Biterolf und Dietleib . . . the list goes on.
Whether or not Siegfried was based on a real person is debated. Some have suggested he was based on a sixth century Frankish ruler…
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