There were times during my childhood when we holidayed during the new school term, in September. It seemed to me, as an eight-year-old, that we were indulging in some kind of secret activity. In those days the holiday was in Wales, which still remains my favourite country.
Moon Day on 20 July commemorates the Moon Landings in 1969. But the moon has always been a special thing, especially to our ancestors.
Sometimes I sit and wonder at how amazing and advanced our medicine is. At other times, when I have a cold and it seems that nothing can cure me, I conclude that nothing has changed since the Dark Ages.
The great thing about half-truths is working out which half is the truth and which is the embroidered part. Of course, the fancy bits take a run-of-the-mill story and make it a legend. And Dark Ages England was full of them.
Toothache is the worst pain ever.
One of the things I discovered when I was doing research into people from history is that they are just that - people. Like us, they had their own personalities and emotions. Given the shockingly sad statistics on infant mortality, I used to think that people in the past did not grieve and did not laugh. Life was far too hard and brutal to find fun.
Justinian. He was the last great Roman emperor and the first Byzantine emperor. This is why he should be remembered.
We are all well aware that the Egyptians thought of cats as gods while the late Medievalists thought of them as witches' familiars. But what about the Early Medieval period - Anglo-Saxon England? What side did they take then?
There is a farm in the valley where I live. When I first moved here in 1996, there was also a dairy farm but now there are only sheep and crops. I like the rural flavour that farms bring. The seasons are portrayed through the jobs: sowing, harvesting, hay stacks, golden fields of wheat and vibrant yellow rapeseed. And where would any of us be without farmers?
At school I remember learning about the Anglo-Saxons and Jutes but as I grew up I forgot about the Jutes and where they lived. Well into adulthood and research, they came back to me. They were the folk who inhabited the first 'Anglo-Saxon' kingdom (although they were not from the Angle nor Saxon tribes!)