Apart from moving a few boxes from one pile to another, yesterday was a rest day loft-wise. Time instead to catch up with writing tasks and finish the Christmas cards. In the evening, I was to lead a Hangout-on-air for the Society for One-Place Studies. This was to launch our joint project for 2017, which is to be about faith in the communities that we are studying. Just as I finished my introduction and the general discussion was beginning, something dire happened to my internet connection, basically there wasn’t one. After attempts to reconnect failed, in desperation, I restarted the computer, watching the minutes tick by and realising with sinking heart that I also needed to restart the router. This is no small task as it involves crawling on my stomach and encountering the wasteland that is ‘under the spare bed’. During loftgate this would have been impossible as the entire spare bedroom was packed to the gunnels with boxes but fortunately I had cleared sufficient space to enable me to drag myself forward on my elbows and reach the plug. I managed to rejoin the discussion after the slight hiatus and later repaired to my neighbours’ house where mulled cider was being served to chilly carol singers. Despite my slightly flustered under the bed crawling appearance, I managed to pose as a carol singer with conviction. Any rumours to the effect that my absence from the hangout was due to imbibing mulled cider have been grossly exaggerated.
Another Devonian author for today’s offering and this time we are in the first century BC as history and fantasy combine in Children of the Wise Oak, a tale of Celts and Romans by Oliver Tooley. Although the history is well researched, you do need to be prepared for dragons rubbing shoulder with druids and Romans but that is all part of the fun. This is to be the first of a series and I am sure that many readers are eagerly awaiting volume 2. Tooley is also the author of the Time Tunnel series, in the first two of which ten year old David finds himself in Roman London. In Time Tunnel at the Seaside the background moves to a Devon location during World War II. Time Tunnel to West Leighton combines an Anglo-Saxon backdrop with an exploration of Autistic Spectrum Disorders and bullying. In theory, these books are for children and young adults but don’t let that put you off. They are also a great gift idea for any young people in your family who you would like to lead gently into the realms of the past.