Just back from the fantastic Dolaucothi Gold Mines in mid-Wales - the only Roman gold mines known in Britannia. This tunnel looks fine in the floodlights, but the original miners would never have seen it like that - they'd have had to manage with little oil lamps. Things hadn't improved much by Victorian times, when … Continue reading Gold rush, AD75-style
Some years ago I worked for a small company where, on 23 December, the boss changed the answerphone message to explain that we'd all left early to go to the office Christmas party. Sometime in mid-February, one of us phoned in from outside and discovered that we were STILL at the office Christmas party. Which … Continue reading We are (not) at a party…
...from Downie Towers, and many thanks to everyone who's spent time with Ruso and Tilla this year. None of it would be possible without you! Here's one of the ways the modern residents of Aquae Sulis are celebrating the season: Best wishes for 2019!
People have been asking whether there will be more adventures for Ruso and Tilla, and the answer is... yes! I've had a break from writing over the summer but a short novel/long story is about to go to the editor. It'll be a return visit to the sunny vineyards of southern Gaul, where Ruso finds … Continue reading Book News (yes, there is some!) – a new story on the way, and a bargain for new readers
It’s hard to believe that we used to expect to capture a whole holiday with one roll of film that might hold 36 shots. I've had several trips away this summer and now even my computer is groaning at the prospect of downloading all the photos. (Who knew there were SO MANY Greek statues?) So … Continue reading Back in the Trenches Again
UPDATE - WE HAVE A WINNER! Thanks so much to everyone who entered the "Win a signed copy" draw. It was great fun reading your messages and especially the entertaining offers of bribery (which of course I resisted)! Congratulations to G Goldschmeid, whose name was first out of the hat - please check your … Continue reading Kindle bargains for UK readers, and a free book draw for everyone else
I've always thought of Parracombe as a peaceful and picturesque little Exmoor village, but when William of Falaise (relation of the more famous William the Conqueror) moved in sometime after 1066, he decided he needed a massive wooden castle to keep the natives in order. The site is now called Holwell Castle and there's a … Continue reading Queen of the Castle
To begin at the beginning...
Nobody could accuse us of being stuck in the past here at Downie Towers. Well... not in the very distant past, anyway. Today we're venturing into the daringly modern times of the eighteenth century, where events turn out to have some even more up-to-date parallels. I'm delighted to welcome Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie, authors … Continue reading My Dear Hamilton
The launch of a new book is always a grand excuse for wandering around the internet pontificating on things, and I'm grateful to the hosts who've kindly let me loose on their websites. It's been a delight writing the articles, and here's the current publication schedule. 6 March - opening chapter of MEMENTO MORI previewed … Continue reading Curses, Miracles and ‘Tilla Speaks’.