I am a retired librarian, having spent most of my career in academic and industrial libraries.
I write on a number of subjects and also write stories as a member of the "Hinckley Scribblers".
The Kensington Runestone hoax
During the early 20th century much excitement was caused by the “discovery” of an ancient stone that seemed to prove that Scandinavians had colonised part of what is now the United States in the 14th century.
St Charles Borromeo
4th November is the official saint’s day for Charles Borromeo, a noted reformer of the Catholic Church in the late 16th century.
Southern Scotland: some natural wonders
Scotland abounds with natural wonders. Here are brief introductions to some of those to be found south of the highlands. Loch Lomond
The Adventure of the Empty House, by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Adventure of the Empty House was first published in the Strand Magazine in October 1903 and later collected in The Return of Sherlock Holmes, published in 1905. Arthur Conan Doyle had “killed off” his famous detective Sherlock Holmes in The Final Problem, published in 1893, and finally gave way to public pressure to bring him back from the dead, which he did in this story.
An Unreturnable Gift
I really thought my luck was in when this gorgeous woman strode along the beach one sunny afternoon and made a beeline for me. If only I had known then what I know now.
Claude Lorrain and his classical landscapes
Claude Gelée (c. 1604/5 to 1682) acquired the name Lorrain from his birthplace in eastern France, although he spent virtually all his life after 1627 in Rome. He specialised in landscape painting, being fascinated by the scenery and ruins in the countryside surrounding Rome and also being inspired by the quality of light in that part of Italy. He developed a means of including the sun as the direct source of light in his paintings, thus sending foreground and middle-distance objects into sharp relief. His method of composition was to use sketchbooks on his many trips into the countryside and to build his studio paintings around these sketches, many of which were highly detailed.
Siegfried, by Richard Wagner
This is a less than completely reverent summary of the plot of Siegfried, the third of the four operas that comprise Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycle.
Mr Overcoat Has a Few Suggestions
William Shakespeare recognized the knock on his office door. This heralded a visit from Cameron Overcoat, his agent and also the impresario in charge of what happened at the Globe Theatre. Will put down his quill and waited for whatever nonsense was bound to be about to come his way.