Archives for: October 2007


Permalink 01:25:41 pm, by Email , 58 words   English (CA)
Categories: Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday - "Happy Halloween"

I saw the photo above, and not only did I think it would be fitting for this blog, and this week's WW entry, but it made me smile as well. I hope it made you smile too! :D

Happy Wordless Wednesday! And Thank You For Stopping By!

For a list of other Wordless Wednesday participants please click here.

Permalink 01:23:42 pm, by Email , 131 words   English (CA)
Categories: Website Reviews

Online Mortgage Resource

Dear reader, if you are in need of a Mortgage Broker then please do read on as I would like to draw your attention to a really good online resource for mortgages, and home loans that has just been revamped, and unveiled to the public.

The money magic website is well designed, and easy to navigate through. However, more importantly I have found it to be a terrific resource, and jam-packed with good information particularly through its mortgage guides. These guide are free to the public to read through, and are helpful in giving a better understanding to various types of mortgages.

They also provide quotes that you can use to compare. Have a look at this online mortgage resource by clicking on the link above.

Thank you to the sponsor.



Too Much Elizabeth?

You have got to be kidding! Personally I adore Her Majesty Elizabeth I ...however according to a BBC news item some of us may be suffering from Elizabeth fatigue or Tudor burn-out. Here is a snippet from the article:

Cate Blanchett has donned her red wig for a second time to play Elizabeth I. But do we really need another version of this well-worn tale of virginity and power?

A sweeping view of the Spanish Armada, sumptuous pearls, dashing cloaked lovers and, of course, the flaming red hair. It can only be another dramatisation about Elizabeth I.

The Virgin Queen has been portrayed in books and on stage since her rule in the 16th Century and on film since 1912 with a regularity that outnumbers every other historical ruler.

Surely we know everything there is to know about her. But Hollywood has poured millions into yet another depiction.

Full BBC Article Here

The article further goes on to question, "What is it about this woman who ruled unelected nearly 500 years ago that is so alluring in the 21st Century?"

And my answer to this question is simple. Despite 500 years having passed Elizabeth's personal struggles, and triumphs are still relevant to women around the globe today. This is what makes her story so popular, and in ways inspiring.



Medieval Cranes And Their Operators

Ever wonder how the great medieval cathedrals were built? If so, you have got to watch the following video clip.

The clip is part of Tony Robinson's wonderful documentary series entitled Worst Jobs In History. I think you will agree that once you see what a medieval crane operators job entailed it is definitely worthy of being considered a "worst job" .... eeek!!! Have a look, and see for yourself what these treadmill operators went through. Kudos to Tony for actually trying it out!!!



Permalink 08:58:32 am, by Email , 209 words   English (CA)
Categories: Arts And Culture, History In The News, British History

Outsider Art Inspired By HIstory

I was so inspired myself earlier this morning while reading through a BBC Online Magazine article about Kevin Duffy's Tudor village I just had to blog about it.

Here is a snippet from the article. Do read on:

To some who are weary of the increasing commercialisation of art, outsider works are unpolished jewels, and the people who make them are the purest artists of all.

And hidden away on an old allotment near Wigan, a vast new creation has recently come to light. Former Lancashire cotton mill worker Kevin Duffy, 62, has poured his life's energy into creating a magical alternative reality.

For over three decades he has used reclaimed building materials to transform his allotment-turned-garden centre into a labyrinth of three-quarter-size Tudor-style cottages, rendered pillars and curved walls.

On Boxing Day 13 years ago, his wife fell dead beneath the Christmas tree, and Duffy's work took on a dramatic new urgency. Since then the site has erupted with more than 80 buildings and sculptures.

Full BBC Article Including Additional Photos Here

What an absolutely fabulous dream come to life! Again, I absolutely love this, and would love to visit one day. Three cheers for people like Kevin Duffy who make are world that much more interesting to live in! :D



Permalink 07:15:02 pm, by Email , 206 words   English (CA)
Categories: History In The News, Prehistoric

Science Makes History More Interesting

"Some Neanderthals were probably redheads, a DNA study has shown."

I love little gems such as the one in the BBC article published earlier today on Neanderthal genetics. According to the study it quotes Neanderthals were red heads or "flame-haired" ....

Here is a snippet from the article:

Writing in Science journal, a team of researchers extracted DNA from remains of two Neanderthals and retrieved part of an important gene called MC1R.

In modern people, a change - or mutation - in this gene causes red hair, but, until now, no one knew what hair colour our extinct relatives had.

By analysing a version of the gene in Neanderthals, scientists found that they also have sported fiery locks.

"We found a variant of MC1R in Neanderthals which is not present in modern humans, but which causes an effect on the hair similar to that seen in modern redheads," said lead author Carles Lalueza-Fox, assistant professor in genetics at the University of Barcelona.

Though once thought to have been our ancestors, the Neanderthals are now considered by many to be an evolutionary dead end.

Full BBC Article Here

Personally I believe there is much more that can be learned through Neanderthal genetics, and hope that this study continues ....



Permalink 10:48:44 am, by Email , 20 words   English (CA)
Categories: Canadiana, Arts And Culture, Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday - "Native Canadian Art"

Happy Wordless Wednesday! And Thank You For Stopping By!

For a list of other Wordless Wednesday participants please click here.

Permalink 10:41:19 am, by Email , 216 words   English (CA)
Categories: Travel & Tourism

Roman Holiday

The Roman Colosseum at dusk

No, today's blog entry will not be about "Roman Holiday" the wonderful 1953 film starring the legendary Gregory Peck, and the gorgeous Audrey Hepburn that will be for another day. :D Today, I will be writing about an actual vacation to Rome to see the historic sites such as the breathtaking Coliseum as pictured above, the largest ever built in the Roman Empire. Here is another daylight view:

Along with the Coliseum, other must sees in Italy for the history buff would be the trevi fountain, and duomo, the latter being the second largest Gothic cathedral in the world! You can book your hotels in Italy to coincide with the sites that are of most interest to you.

Rome is an obvious choice destination for its historical significance. Every year tourists flock to the Parthenon, the Vatican, and of course the Sistine Chapel itself. Many of the hotels in Rome have an interesting history or are of historical importance themselves.

The Canals in Venice

Personally when I think of Venice I think of the world famous canals, palazzo grassi, an of course the Fenice. And while there are many Venice hotels to choose from should I visit I would love to stay at Abbazia Hotel Venice, which was once an ancient abbey!



Permalink 01:28:32 am, by Email , 195 words   English (CA)
Categories: Murder & Mayhem

Unreformed Or So They Say.....

In 1728 Maggie Dickson of Musselburgh, in Scotland was accused of murdering a child. Although she claimed to be innocent the fact that she had been having an affair while her husband was at sea was used against her. Apparently it was her character that counted against her as opposed to any hard evidence, and that was not really unusual in that time period.

Maggie was tried in Edinburgh, and hanged in Leith. However that is not where her story, nor life ends.

Friends of Maggie cut her down, and were taking her back to Musselburgh to be buried when she awoke! Needless to say her friends were in a bit of a shock. They took her to a nearby inn in Pepper Mill, and she was able to walk home the following day.

It was decided that since she did not die, God must have thought she was innocent so they did not try to hang her again. However, a contemporary account reads that the hanging had not reformed her: "She became mistress of an alehouse, and lived, and died again in profligacy."

Source: The Strange Laws Of Old England by Nigel Cawthorne

Image Credit



Permalink 10:09:15 am, by Email , 92 words   English (CA)
Categories: Who Am I

Who Am I

Although I eventually killed myself in 183 BC to avoid being captured by the Romans I will always be considered one of the greatest military leaders of all time.

At the age of 26 I became the Carthaginian commander in chief in Spain, where, during the second Punic War I set out to invadeItaly by crossing the Pyrenees with a small force of hand picked troops, and 38 fine war elephants!

At Cannae in 216 BC I won one of the most brilliant victories in history.

Who am I?

Check the comments section for the answer.



Permalink 10:34:19 am, by Email , 132 words   English (CA)
Categories: History In Film & Television

The French Lieutenants Woman

The French Lieutenant's Woman is a 1981 film directed by Karel Reisz and adapted by playwright Harold Pinter. It is based on the novel of the same title by John Fowles. The novel/film is set in Victorian era, and this posed a bit of an issue in the location where it was filmed.

Townsfolk in the English town of Lyme Regis where the movie was shot objected to the idea of their TV antennas being removed from their roofs in order to make the town's skyline appear Victorian again.

The film's producer did finally get his way though. He rented portable TV sets for everyone living in the town until filming was completed.

Source: They Did What? By Bob Fenster

Image Source: Wiki Images

Further Reading: Wiki - The French Lieutenant's Woman (film)



Permalink 01:05:19 pm, by Email , 65 words   English (CA)
Categories: Wordless Wednesday, Religion and Spirituality, Asian History

Wordless Wednesday - Guide to the Afterlife

Taken August 2007 at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Canada. Scary-looking dude in my opinion. I'm not certain that I would want to be guided by him into the afterlife. However, I would love to have a replica of this statuette on my desk! B)

Happy Wordless Wednesday! And Thank You For Stopping By!

For a list of other Wordless Wednesday participants please click here.



Permalink 01:09:30 pm, by Email , 114 words   English (CA)
Categories: Canadiana, Sports & Sports Entertainment

Louis Cyr - Canada's Strong Man

Louis Cyr - October 10th, 1863 – November 10th, 1912

In his day Louis Cyr was considered the strongest man in the world. He was born, in 1863 in Montreal, Canada, and was a police officer.

Cyr defended his strongman title in many contests, several of these events being held in Europe.

His accomplishments included being able to lift a platform with four full grown horses on it. He was also noted for being able to place a barrel of cement on is shoulder with only one hand, or pick up over 225 kg with one finger! 88|

He once even held two horses to a standstill that were heading in opposite directions.

Source: It Happened In Canada, By Gordon Johnston



Permalink 09:46:59 pm, by Email , 85 words   English (CA)
Categories: Arts And Culture

Sarah Bernhardt

Over 100 years ago the bishop of Chicago denounced actress Sarah Bernhardt as a "whore of Babylon." And what do you suppose her response was?

She sent the bishop $200 bux in a check, along with a thank you note. I'm not kidding!

"I am accustomed when I bring an attraction to your town to pay $400.00 on advertising," the actress explained.

"As you have done half of the advertising for me, I herewith enclose $200.00 for your parish."

Source: They Did What By Bob Fenster

Image Source: Wiki



Permalink 07:42:50 pm, by Email , 181 words   English (CA)
Categories: History In The News, Prehistoric

One Big Footprint

I love when the scientists make finds like these, makes me wish I had become a palaeontologist. :D

What you are looking at is believed to be quite possibly the track of a T-Rex or more formally a Tyrannosaurus Rex. It was discovered in Montana in an area known for interesting dinosaur finds. Here is a snippet from the BBC:

A British palaeontologist has found what he thinks is a preserved Tyrannosaurus rex footprint.

The metre-square, three-toed track was discovered in the Badlands of Montana, US, an arid landscape that has yielded many of the finest dinosaur specimens.

Dr Phil Manning, from the Manchester Museum, University of Manchester, first saw the impression last year.

He returned to the US in July to study the print further, and now plans to publish details in a science journal.

Dr Manning said that finding dinosaur trackways was an important addition to our understanding of how the great beasts lived more than 65 million years ago.

Full BBC Article Here

Very cool indeed! B) The BBC article contains additional photos for your viewing pleasure as well.



Permalink 05:37:46 pm, by Email , 66 words   English (CA)
Categories: Canadiana, Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday - Historic Plaque

I always stop to have a look when I come across a historic plaque. And this past weekend's afternoon stroll was no different. Often I learn some tid bit or factoid I may have never known otherwise, and for me that is a good thing! :D

Happy Wordless Wednesday! And Thank You For Stopping By!

For a list of other Wordless Wednesday participants please click here.



Permalink 06:02:49 pm, by Email , 271 words   English (CA)
Categories: Website Reviews


Good afternoon dear gentle readers! This weekend here in Canada is a long three day one as it is our Thanksgiving Day celebration on Monday. I have been spending this first day catching up on my web surfing, and reading as it has been rather dull, and rainy outside.

As Matthew spent time sailing the dreaded virtual seven seas in a robust game of PC Pirates, I have been checking out Questia, which for those of you who may need an introduction to this service is the leading online academic library for both students, and educators in my own humble opinion.

Over 5,000 FREE Books are currently available through the Questia website, and all you have to do to check them out is click on one of the links I've added into this entry or on the logo above. I was truly impressed with the diversity, and quality of titles available, again at zero cost!

A subscription to this service, which is available either monthly or annually will give you access to over 70,000 digital books and 1.7 million articles that are easily searchable. I have found the website to be over all very user friendly, and well laid out. Questia is a pleasure to surf through, and conduct research from!

For you history geeks out there they are also offering a free subscription to a trial set of books including early American history.

Questia would have definitely been a huge benefit to myself as a student, and I intend to utilise it within my own research pursuits both for this blog, and for my other writing assignments. :D

My thanks to our sponsor.



Permalink 10:48:02 am, by Email , 125 words   English (CA)
Categories: Arts And Culture, Going From Here To There, Adventurers, Travel & Tourism

Robert Louis Stevenson - Travel Writer

Robert Louis Stevenson - November 13, 1850 – December 3, 1894

Robert Louis Stevenson is best known for his novels Treasure Island, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, and The Black Arrow: A Tale of the Two Roses to name just a few. However, did you know that he was also a very accomplished travel writer? He was!

In 1878 he set off across the remote Cévennes mountain range in France with only one small donkey, Modestine for company. His classic account of this eventful journey is entitled: Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes. This is one of the first books to present hiking and camping as recreational activities. It also tells of commissioning one of the first sleeping bags.

Further Reading:

Robert Louis Stevenson - Wiki Entry

Permalink 10:43:15 am, by Email , 83 words   English (CA)
Categories: Arts And Culture

A Historic Kiss

Often it is daytime television that pushes the envelope, and created history within that media. And that dear readers is exactly what As The World Turns did with their Noah and Luke storyline. If you are prude I'll warn you that the kiss in the vid clip above is definitely hot, hot hot!!! And I am very happy to see this soap further breaking down sexual barriers within pop culture.

Definitely a historic kiss!

Our thanks to our sponsor.



Wordless Wednesday - Anubis

A statue of the ancient Egyptian god of the dead, Anubis, passes under London's Tower Bridge to herald the opening of an exhibition of artefacts from the tomb of Tutankhamun.

I would have loved to see this exhibit! B)

Image credit: BBC

Happy Wordless Wednesday! And Thank You For Stopping By!

For a list of other Wordless Wednesday participants please click here.

Permalink 10:31:05 am, by Email , 143 words   English (CA)
Categories: Website Reviews

Knowledge is Power

Now days with the internet the way we obtain knowledge on any given subject has become very easy in comparison to the past. There really is very little in the way of excuses to being ill informed on any given topic in today's world.

Bad Credit is a subject that affects a growing number of us at various points within our lives, and this in part is because of being ill informed in the first place.
is an online resource that provides information on credit counselling, and other subjects related to poor financial choices, and ways to help get out of debt, and repair poor credit.

Knowledge is definitely power especially when it comes to financial matters, and as you can see through the links I've provided there is good info on the net in regards.

Our thanks to our sponsor.


Pastime with Good Company

Pastyme With Good Companye

Welcome to the blog of amateur historians Matthew James Didier and Sue Darroch. Partners in life and in crime, we endeavor to entertain you with snippets from our combined historical research. Past time with good company indeed, as we shall introduce you to Kings and Knaves, Queens and Mistresses, Cons and Heroes, from our collective past......from events well known to those perhaps all but forgotten, we will do our best to bring you interesting historical factoids from around the globe. It is our belief that through understanding our past we will all gain a better perspective on our future.

Related Links

Disclosure Policy

Meet The History Buff

Ask The History Buff

Sticky Note For Historians

The History Nook - History Themed Items & Books At Great Prices

The Paranormal Blog

Nuttin' But Pimp

Life in the Urban Zoo

One Old Green Bus

Demeter SRC - My Genealogy Website

Friends and Acquaintances

Life At The Edge

The Spicy Cauldron

Eileens Free Tips

Pointless Directives

Musings of Khlari

What Will I Know Tomorrow?

Robin's Blog Blather


The Educational Tour Marm

Grokodile Blog Directory - Add Your Blog

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