The season of partying has begun! Io Saturnalia! ...although to be honest I’ve never been terribly confident about social occasions. Nothing illustrates my lack of prowess so well as the time I turned up to a party to find the hostess still in her dressing-gown with a towel around her hair. And that was in … Continue reading Coping with the party season, Roman-style
Never mind the pumpkins and the witches’ hats: here’s a timely tale borrowed from our Irish neighbours. It wasn’t written down until about 900 years ago but may be much older. Unless a miracle happens, this sort of thing is the nearest we’re ever likely to get to the kind of story Tilla’s people might … Continue reading Things that go slop in the night: a Samain warning before bedtime.
One of the challenges of writing a crime novel is to slip in enough clues to keep the reader - and the sleuth - guessing, while not giving away so much that there are no surprises at the end. I never really know whether I've got the balance right until someone else reads it. Husband, … Continue reading How not to give the game away – in Czech
Some months ago various kind people helped me put together some sources for finding out about Roman Britain. Here's one that got away. I'm still wondering how. "Roman Britain - A Sourcebook" (it's hard to say it more clearly than that, isn't it?!) edited by Stanley Ireland, published by Routledge and updated to a third … Continue reading A source for Roman Britain
Thanks to several readers from (I'm guessing) the US, who have got in touch to express surprise about the appearance of sweetcorn in the fields of Roman Britain. They're right, of course - maize wasn't grown here until many centuries later, and is still somewhat temperamental, as our vegetable patch will testify. The problem's arisen … Continue reading Divided by a common language