Month: June 2012

THE OLD MANOR HOUSE – by Charlotte Turner Smith (1749 – 1806) eBook

The Old Manor House was first published in 1793.

A young man, who is to inherit the local Manor House from a childless old lady risks losing everything when he falls in love with one of the servants.

England, 1776n

A young man Orlando (21) has been brought up all his life to expect that he will one day inherit the local Manor House. Mrs. Rayland, the owner of the house, has made a ‘will’ which she hides inside the family chapel.

Orlando falls in love with Monimia (18) one of the servants at Rayland Hall. However he has to keep his relationship secret from Mrs. Rayland otherwise she will cut him out of the ‘will’ and throw Monimia out onto the street.

Orlando’s father also fears that Mrs. Rayland will take away the inheritance and risk the future of his family if she learns of the relationship. He decides to get Orlando away from Monimia and arranges for an army commission to be bought for his son.

Orlando’s father is told his son will be assigned to a recruiting party and only serve in England. Unfortunately, the Revolutionary War in America turns against the British and Orlando is sent overseas.

The Old Manor House by Charlotte Turner Smith – iBookstore


Video interview with Professor Jacqueline Labbe about Charlotte Turner Smith:

Part One

Part Two and Part Three – can be viewed inside the eBook.

The Old Manor House by Charlotte Turner Smith – iBookstore



Alan Green, BBC Radio Five ~ ‘606’

Alan Green, what can one say about him that is positive? Not much.
Last night on his BBC Radio Five phone in show ‘606’ a listener called in to criticise Green’s style of commentary and his negativity towards the national side. Green didn’t allow the caller much time on air before cutting him off with words to the effect of, ‘I’m not having any personal abuse against me’. Yet Green is not slow in coming forward to abuse whoever he likes in the game of football (soccer).

Last night during the game between England and Ukraine he didn’t hold back on abusing the linesman behind the goal for not giving a decision. He was also bordering on being obnoxious when he took up his familiar refrain of having a go at the crowd for their penchant of starting a ‘Mexican Wave’. Green forgets that, unlike himself, the crowd have paid for their tickets. As paying customers they are entitled to do anything they want. When was the last time Alan Green paid to see a match?

All right,  so Green does not like people enjoying themselves but the BBC audience is probably getting tired of Green going into a Lady Macbeth tantrum. It was fine the first time we heard it but now it is getting tiresome. It is a monologue he has been spitting out for well over a year.

Why do I listen? Well, the other commentators who work for the channel do a very good job.

Green doesn’t seem to understand the game or have any knowledge of what it is like to play in a game (at any level). If he had spent a few years when he was younger and played in a Sunday League side he would have a different view about what is going through a player’s mind. Perhaps he did play football as a teenager and was a member of a team? If so, I suspect that he didn’t get picked to play for the team too often.

Whist he was throwing the caller off ‘606’ Green should have paused for a moment and reflected upon the notion that the caller is helping to pay for his salary. After all, the caller was probably a license payer.

It is time the BBC considered asking Green to call it a day. I don’t think it helps that ‘606’ is produced by an independent company and not the BBC. Maybe the producers are afraid of criticising Green? When I worked in current affairs at the BBC there was a time when many thought Sir Robin Day was becoming too arrogant with his guests rather than concentrating on being a good interviewer. I recall a BBC producer saying to me that it would take a brave person to fire Sir Robin Day. I think we have reached a situation where producers in BBC Radio Sport think Green is too big to fire.

At the very least, Green needs to be taken aside by a senior BBC producer and reminded about his responsibilities as a presenter. He needs to show his audience respect, even if he continues to abuse certain managers and players.

Sir Elton John at the Headlands, Blackpool

The weather was overcast but stable as the open air concert kicked off. Not a night for the casual fan or someone on their first ever outside concert.

The audience had wisely dressed for temperatures more associated with November not June. It is cold, very cold. Dark clouds and damp air pervades the venue. This is as far as you can get from the warm Florida air Elton normally performs in.

The large stage perched on the edge of the Promenade looks like a galleon which had beached.

Half a mile from the venue a rock band plays in the Blue Room pub; no doubt annoyed that sound from Elton’s gig is floating through the windows of their venue.

Close to St John’s church a busker valiantly plays his set against the background sound of Elton’s gig which is only half a mile away. I smile at him in acknowledgment of his determination.

Many people outside of the venue are huddled in doorways, some take refuge from the wind in small sheds conveniently built by the construction workers but now occupied by Elton’s loyal following.

On the promenade in front of the Blackpool Tower, beyond the perimeter fence, a few tramps and drunks mingle with hundreds of people of all ages. There are men and women in their sixties who are decked out in storm weather gear listening to the gig. Alongside them are guys and girls in their twenties and thirties, small children, babies in prams, stag nights and hen parties all share a narrow space on the pavement; a few huddle into the makeshift wooden shelters which are there to stop people crashing into the scaffolding.

Elton rolls through the repertoire which his worldwide fans know.

‘Tiny Dancer’

‘Bennie and the Jets’

‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’

‘Grey Seal’

This is a small gig with many of the audience in prime positions for good sound. Those standing, only forty yards from the stage, are in the same position the sound engineer occupies at a stadium gig.

Rain starts to fall and the wind picks up. The covers on the stage start to rattle and give off noises which anyone on the Golden Hind or Mayflower would have been familiar with. The stage flaps which had a gentle rattle at the start now became ominous and threatening.

Elton continues to roll seamlessly through his and Bernie Taupin’s hits before a force six to seven wind blows up and the police abandon the gig after two hours for safety reasons.

The police were right to call a halt to the action. No doubt some of the public would have moaned but with the force of the wind hitting the back of the stage and blowing toward the crowd it was beginning to look dangerous. I suspect no one from security wanted the lighting gantry being blown toward fifteen thousand people.

The musicians and backing singers were a tight band and played well, ‘Funeral for a Friend’ and the seamless segue into ‘Love Lies Bleeding’ was exceptional; and unlike some of his contemporaries Elton’s voice is holding up well.

For the faint hearted it was not the best of weather to be sitting on the promenade. You needed determination and passion to attend this gig and for those who did they were rewarded with an excellent concert.

Other songs played (selection)

‘Rocket Man’

‘Honky Cat’

‘Sad Songs’

‘Philadelphia Freedom’



It was a night for Dunkirk spirits and people who like their music live and not played to them through a computer with a lip synching singer.



Upon My Lady Carlisle’s Walking in Hampton Court Garden

Didst thou not find the place inspired,
And flowers, as if they had desired
No other sun, start from their beds,
And for a sight steal out their heads?
Heard’st thou not music when she talked?
And didst not find that, as she walked,
She threw rare perfumes all about,
Such as bean-blossoms newly out,
Or chaféd spices give?—


I must confess those perfumes, Tom,
I did not smell; nor found that from
Her passing by, ought sprung up new;
The flowers had all their birth from you,
For I passed o’er the selfsame walk
And did not find one single stalk
Of anything that was to bring
This unknown after after-spring.


Dull and insensible, could’st see
A thing so near a deity
Move up and down, and feel no change?


None and so great were alike strange.
I had my thoughts, but not your way;
All are not born, sir, to the bay.
Alas! Tom, I am flesh and blood,
And was consulting how I could
In spite of masks and hoods descry
The parts denied unto the eye.
I was undoing all she wore;
And, had she walked but one turn more,
Eve in her first state had not been
More naked, or more plainly seen.


‘Twas well for thee she left the place,
There is great danger in that face;
But hadst thou viewed her leg and thigh
And, upon that discovery,
Searched after parts that are more dear
(As fancy seldom stops so near),
No time or age had ever seen
So lost a thing as thou hadst been.


‘Troth in her face I could descry
No danger, no divinity.
But since the pillars were so good
On which the lovely fountain stood,
Being once come so near, I think
I should have ventured hard to drink.
What ever fool like me had been
If I’d not done as well as seen?
There to be lost why should I doubt
When fools with ease go in and out?

Sir John Suckling (10 February 1609 – 1 June 1642) was an English poet and one prominent figure among those renowned for careless gaiety, wit, and all the accomplishments of a Cavalier poet; and also the inventor of the card game Cribbage.[1] He is best known for his poem “Ballad Upon a Wedding”.