Wednesday 9 January 2013

We’ve Moved!

After much debate, we decided to move the blog to a separate server where we can back it up properly.
I’m leaving this original Blogger site up, as there are links out there still pointing to it. (And because I LOVE the theme on this blog. Isn’t the background image gorgeous?)

All new posts, however, will be from the new blog at:

Come on over and check it out. Still the same blogs about life in England, just a new look, and a new home.


Tuesday 3 January 2012

Hot Dwarves (Who knew?)

I was 14 years old the first time I read THE HOBBIT. In my mind, dwarves were short, stocky, hairy, full of grumbles, sometimes funny, and indisputably unattractive.

The idea of a dwarf being "hot" wasn't ludicrous, it simply could not exist in my tiny little brain.

Had someone tried to put the idea there, my head would have probably popped off.
When Peter Jackson put THE LORD OF THE RINGS on film, there, on the screen, were the dwarves of my childhood. They were short, stocky, hairy, funny and still pretty unattractive. Though, not in a bad way, they were dwarves, they couldn't help it.
Now it is 2012, and THE HOBBIT is coming to a theatre near you next Christmas. As you may already know, THE HOBBIT is filled to the brim with dwarves.

Most of the travelling party is made up of what I consider common, ordinary, deep-in-the-earth dwarves.

They come in various shapes and sizes, but they are all stocky and hairy.
However, this time, they are also distinct. Not cookie-cutter dwarves, but individuals with personalities.

Their faces, if not exactly attractive, are interesting and pleasing.

Good thing, too, since THE HOBBIT will be shown in two parts--two full length (probably over 2 hours each) movies.
That's a lot of screen time void of eye candy.

Not to worry.

Luckily there are three dwarves, royalty as it were, who do not fit the preconceived dwarven mold.

If you've stayed with me this far, you are in for a real treat.

Warning: Hot dwarves ahead.
Thorin Oakenshield is a dwarf king in exile. 

With him, travel his two nephews, Kili and Fili.

Suddenly the term "hot dwarves" makes complete sense.

Okay, so maybe the fact that I'm not 14 anymore means I think beards are sexy.

(At 14 I thought beards were gross.)
Yes, there will be wood elves and high elves and humans and hobbits in the film.

All with faces prettier than an average dwarf.

But I'm sticking by my assessment.

It's a new age, and some of the dwarves are definitely HOT.

Who knew?

IMPORTANT NOTE: All images in this post are from The Hobbit trailer available at:

If you want to learn more about The Hobbit movie, the best places for information can be found at: and and and



Friday 30 September 2011

Henry II & his good friend Thomas. Dover Castle:Pt 2

It is a rare treat, indeed, to be greeted by the king himself when visiting Dover Castle. This summer, Henry II was in residence and on the day we arrived at court he seemed in a jovial mood. He sat on his throne and received guests and gifts.

It wasn't until we adjourned to the shrine of Thomas Becket, the king's private chapel located to the east of his personal chambers, that Henry became thoughtful, sad, angry, and in the end, resigned.

You see, Thomas and Henry were friends once. Henry II made Thomas his Lord Chancellor, with the duty of enforcing the king's sources of revenue, from both landowners and the church. Henry's son, Henry the Younger even lived in Becket's household as a youth, as it was common for noble children to be fostered outside their home.

The problem came when the Archbishop of Canterbury died. The church and the king were often at odds. In an attempt to solve this problem, Henry II appointed Thomas as the Archbishop. Since Thomas had always served him faithfully, Henry thought the problem settled.

What Henry did not expect, was Becket's sudden devotion to the church. Whether Thomas had a true revelation, or simply let the position go to his head, the king wasn't happy - and the conversation as we conversed in the chapel turned quite colourful!

Thomas excommunicated several of the king's knights, and chaos erupted. At one point, Henry II complained to four of his closest knights. Saying either:

"Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?" or "What miserable drones and traitors have I nourished and brought up in my household, who let their lord be treated with such shameful contempt by a low-born cleric?"

Henry couldn't remember exactly what he said, but either way, his knights interpreted his frustration as a royal command.

The knights went straightway to Canterbury Cathedral. There they found Thomas on his way to vespers. At the entrance to the crypt they killed him.

King Henry II bemoaned the fallout from that single act. It would become the defining moment in his entire reign.

We felt it best to leave the king to his ramblings and went to find a meal.

Cheers! x