Archive | August 2016

Elizabeth de Burgh, the Captive Queen

Loads here that I had no idea about. Very interesting indeed.

History... the interesting bits!

edb1 King Robert I and Queen Elizabeth

Certain periods and people in history hold a particular fascination for me. Robert the Bruce is one such. The grandfather of the Stewart dynasty and hero of Scotland, he started his career with some very divided loyalties. Initially a supporter of Edward I, it was only the arrival of William Wallace that started Bruce on his journey to becoming the saviour of Scottish independence.

Through the murder of his greatest rival and the Battle of Bannockburn, Bruce proved himself determined and resourceful, overcoming defeat to emerge victorious and master of his realm.

Bruce suffered greatly for the crown, but his family and friends suffered equally.

Robert the Bruce’s wife suffered a no less punishing life in support of her husband.

Elizabeth de Burgh was born around 1289. The daughter of Richard de Burgh, Earl of Ulster and Connaught, and his wife, Margaret, she was…

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Second and Late August Blog.

Second and Late August Blog.

Thin Skies.

And in August,
The sky changes
From a deep blue
Above my head.
It thins, fades,
Becomes a paler hue.
And as the month
Creeps on,
A very slight green
Favours the distant

Thin skies.
Thin cloud, thin year.

But fat budding fruits,
Plumptious nuts,
Ripe for the gather,
Harvest for mice
And squirrels, appear.

Ripeness of pumpkins,
Corn ears full and whiskery.

Apples a’plenty, pears
Juicing, madly keeping
Pace with the fast
Descending warmth,
Using the last of
Nature’s embonpoint,
Squeezing her utmost
Before autumn sets in.

Leaves starting to turn
From green to yellow/brown.

Horse Chestnuts,
All prickly,
Waiting to burst seams,
Showing a glistening
Brown nut. Conkers for games.

Rustlings on forest floors.
Bounty stored for later.

Before mellowness
Oozes away in
The blink of each eyelid.
To wither, grow brown,
Recede under the chill
Blanket of winter.

Copyright Evelyn J. Steward. August, 2016.

Yes, my friends, all too soon the days have sped by, on a race to take advantage of each wonderful day that passes. And we forget most goneb before, whilst wishing for the sun to shine more and more, somehow forgetting that we should try to enjoy each hour of every day, perhaps marking how we have filled those hours. Perhaps many were filled with meaningful things and maybe some were just frittered away, forgotten in Time’s proverbial race to get things done. Telephone calls, necessary evils that eat up precious minutes, or possibly en bloc, hours that have disappeared,and you wonder where all that time went to.

Then there are those who need to fill their days, fritter them away because that is all they can do to stay alive on this earthly realm?
Time used, travelling to work, used up by doctor visits, hospital appointments ( most of us have had those consumers of our precious time), dentists, hospital waiting rooms, train stations and so on.

One time waster, in particular, illness, of one kind or another. Time you knew you should be doing something productive and yet, cannot move on because, whatever sickness is holding you back, does not abate. Often, the body takes over, knows what it needs, like extra sleep. Sleep is a healer, or at least, can help with healing those sicknesses that come upon a person, totally unwittingly. It is here that sleep takes over in larger doses than one would normally expect. But all the same, it is that winged chariot you would never, under normal circumstances, give creedence to. And this, more often than not, happens to those of us getting sick in our older years.

And so August crawls along, this year, towards a warm end, somewhat making reparation for the coolness of spring.

Be careful out in this strange world of ours.


This entry was posted on August 23, 2016. 2 Comments

The Future without a License.

Slightly technical for me, but, interesting how we got from there … here.


It has been a long journey from the Stone Age till now;  through the  Iron age to Bronze and Steel and Steam and Electricity and we have most certainly arrived at the Information Age.

It’s who we are now.  It’s what we do.  Everywhere people carry their news, information and musical entertainment in pocket devices through which we also make telephone calls.  Electronics has made Gods of us all!   We are nowhere in time and everywhere in space.  One can be talking with someone and their phone will ring (static or mobile) and suddenly physical presence is demoted in favour a of spiritual presence.  We accept it without complaint.   It’s how things are now.

Before these devices that can carry a thousand music albums in a match box, and which we now  take completely for granted, we had tape recorders.  Anyone remember those?

The first recorder was a wire recorder…

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Elizabeth of Rhuddlan, Daddy’s Girl

More added to my history knowledge, all things come to pass.

History... the interesting bits!

Membrane with genealogy of the kings of England. Elizabeth of Rhuddlan

In July 1282 King Edward I was in the middle of subduing Wales when his wife, Eleanor of Castile, was reaching her final month of pregnancy. Unlike most royal wives, who would have stayed at home in one of their sumptuous, cosy palaces, Eleanor was in Wales with her husband. After all, Eleanor had been on Crusade with her husband and had even given birth to her daughter, Joan of Acre, in the Holy Land. Wales was no more of a difficulty.

Rhuddlan Castle had been ‘civilised’ for the queen’s use; with the addition of gardens, decorative seating and a fish pond to aid Eleanor’s comfort. However, it was still Edward’s headquarters, where troops were mustering and messengers were coming and going at all hours – hardly the most comfortable and peaceful place for a queen to give birth.

Elizabeth of Rhuddlan was born around the…

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First August Blog

First August Blog.

So named for Emperor Augustus,
Great Roman leader was he,
Or so we are told, down the Ages,
His Legions roamed far and free.
But under his name, they conquered
Us Brits, among others you see.

The Gauls, the Spaniards, Jerusalem too,
And brought lots of tricks, just for me.
OK, they’re for everyone, Like concrete,
A dormouse, wll maybe two or three,

Underfloor heating in villas,
Took two thousand years, you will see.
The Romans brought engineers over,
For trebouches and war, o’er the sea,
His Legions were bold, though forceful,kj
Stood firm as heroes can be,
We did not appreciate being conquered,
But gained knowledge through our history.

Copyright Evelyn J. Steward. August, 2016

Picture a sunny August in 1964! No? Well, it is a long time ago, and some of you might not have been born then. So, perhaps, picture lif you will, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on a sunny Friday, at that time. Long before the Internet. Long before computers held sway! I am old, I can remember because I was there.

Now this is not about Toronto. It isn’t even about Canada. THIS, my friends is about. NEW YORK, NEW YORK,…….IT’S A WINDERFUL TOWN, or so the song goes.

My dear friend Patricia, the friend she was sharing a place with at the time, amd myself packing the car to driven approx. 600 miles on a Friday night, through the night, down to New York. My friends took food too.. Cheaper than eating out.

So, we set off, dropping my friend’s dog at her parent’s house. Then beginning the long journey to Niagara, our Border Crossing point. It is quite a way. Pat and I occupied the back seat of the car., piled with all kinds of necessary things, and comfortable cushioning. At the border, there was banter with the guards when they realised (by checking my passport) it was close to my birth date. But, all was well, we were allowed in. I had already had my passport stamped with a visa before I left England (queuing up at the American Embassy in London for a couple of hours).

The sky grew dark as night fell, my friend’s friend dtove alll the way, through The Catskill Mountains, and this is where it began to rain. And rain. And rain. Being so dark and with pelting rain, no chance to ibserve any scenary, which was a pity, in my estimation.

The thing with Interstates over there is, there seemed to be be no stops for personal hygene. We had such a laugh when a paper cup was used to collect liquid, the contents thrown through an open windiw at speed: then again, refilled. I never learned how to stop and start ( until pregnancy occured at some future time) and have that kind of control on my bladder. So holding my liquer was imperative until finally, we pulled up at a bustling stopping place, where it appeared that everyone driving this road paid a visit at the same time. Chock full, I might add, confirming my thoughts on how few conveniences that Interstate featured.

We drove on a short way further, then turned to what we in England would call a. Lay-by so that the driver could have an hour of sleep. It was about six a.m. We had left the rain behind, though there was light cloud around, but it was about 6 a.m. Or so.

Finally we moved on, driving across one of the long bridges over into outer New York. I suppose we traversed places like Queens or Brooklin until, we arrived in Manhattan.

Our first thought was an overnight hotel. We had chosen a time when New York was hosting the Worlds Fair. Everywhere was packed. So many people visiting thus great city. However, we managed to get a suite on the 12th floor of one hotel. The air was humid and very hot. Vafter settling ourselves, we were off to see a few sights. Shopping, and that was in Maces. Bought a swimming costume, i cannot remember what else. We wandered around then went back to the hotel to sleep. I found that hard as, at this time, I was suffering from a very bad chest infection. So, I sat by an open window, gazing at New York, seeing in the distance, the tallest building of the time, The Empire State.

The girls slept until around seven thirty. They went swimming in the hotel’s underground pool. I did not feel well enough to go with them so stayed watching the city slowly go into night mode.

Refreshed, my friends came back,we ate some food then off we went to the subway and to Greenage Village. Lots of bars, cops with guns and the odd police dog on each corner. We found a German bar where there were trestle tables and great steins of beer and a Germam Umpah band. Everyone sang along to the music, raising their steins in rhythm. Great fun!

I think we hit almist daylight just before four a.m. Sunday morning, making our way back to the hotel, picking up milk from a small bar nearby. Tired, we fell aslerp until around ten a.m., packing the car and heading for Broadway, and breakfast in one if the bars where we were waited on by, of all people, a Scots woman. Broadway wa totally littered with paper from all the theaters around, breezes blowing paper down and in the air.

Something was wring with the car so we had to find a garage. This done, we started the homeward drive. I do remember all these dars around us. On the Interstate, and all going at 90 MPH. Somewhat frightening,when changing lanes at that speed. The sun was getting lower in the sky, it shine in our faces as we were travelling west, up to our borde crossing, not Niagara this time. I guess it was around ten p.m. when we arrived back in Toronto. A longer visit had bern planned but the girls could not get the time off work.

It was a great time, a comical journey in parts, wonderful sights. Certainly very memorable.

Thank you fobr reading my memoir. Be safe out there.