Friday, 29 August 2014

World Empires

Over the millennia the World has been dominated by many empires, some bigger than others. While certain areas of the globe have been fought over and claimed many times by different people, other regions have known only a few occupants. So I wondered how it would have looked if some of the biggest empires had happened at the same time, and this is what I came up with.

I cannot claim complete accuracy, largely because of the various overlaps, but also because I have drawn this from other individual maps, which is not altogether easy. However, it does show the extent of these eight empires and the obvious impact they made upon the world. Sadly, of course, most of these empires came about through war and bloodshed, and it is good that we now live in a time where countries and people are happy with the land they have, mostly. It is also interesting, though, that those areas most fought over throughout history are the ones still most hotly contested today.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

It doesn't take a genius...

When we think of the great engineering and industrial countries of the past 50 years, Germany and Japan both come high on the list.
     There is another connection between these two nations: they both lost in World War 2, and in fact, were hugely decimated. After the war neither were allowed to rearm, or use their engineering knowledge and expertise (that had dragged out the war) for anything remotely military. Consequently they built cars and (seemingly) toys, among other things, which helped both their industry and their economy.
     Meanwhile, France and Britain had been rearming, for no apparent purpose, while America and Russia (who had taken over as the World super-powers) put all their expertise into reaching the moon first. Something that was very expensive and not particularly useful to the common man (or woman).

I wonder what the world would be like if everyone had put their energies (and economies) into improving the quality of life?

Monday, 11 August 2014

Sketching - Part 4

Attempts of a few interesting flowers that maybe I'll try to grow some day.

Monday, 4 August 2014

WW1 Centenary

100 years since the beginning of World War 1. We can barely imagine the horrors of that time and pray that nothing like it will ever happen to us.

This is a mini saga concerning my Great-Grandfather's brother, Captain Peter Ligertwood.
Three years of distant war, three days in brutal Passchendaele, three hours the Captain of A Company, 2nd Marines.

He tied the men together with yarn and led them from the front as they crossed the Paddebeek. His company took the target, but four times wounded Ligertwood marched no more.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Captain Tory

The Mysteries of Harris Burdick (Chris Van Allsburg) is a collection of fascinating sketches with each one having a title and 'caption'. They provide great inspiration for writing. Here is one I have attempted.

Captain Tory

He swung his lantern three times and slowly the schooner appeared.
August 5th was one of those quiet summer days when no one's around and there's nothing to do. Hadley Cuirc had spent the morning kicking stones along the quay and watching the boats coming and going and was set on doing the same after lunch. However, as he trudged slowly beside the river in the general direction of home, he saw a man in a long, dark coat and sailor's cap, standing and staring out over the water. Hadley stopped and, being of an inquisitive nature, called out, "What are you looking at?"
     He expected the man to jump in surprise or to ignore him, being so preoccupied. Instead, and without turning around, the man gave a quiet reply.
     "My schooner, young man. My beautiful schooner."
     Hadley was perplexed. Not by the sailor, nor by his manner: there were often odd men around the town. What confused Hadley was the lack of any such vessel, there was not so much as a dingy on this section of the river at that moment. Carefully he stepped across the grass to where the man was stood, in case he was missing something, but the water was clearly deserted.
     "What schooner?"
     "You don't see it," replied the man. It was not really a question, more a statement, but Hadley felt that he aught to clarify.
     "No, I don't see any boats."
     The man turned towards him and Hadley noticed for the first time that he held a lantern that glimmered faintly in the noonday sun.
     "Then you'll be thinking I'm mad," said the man in a low, gruff voice, "but Ol' Captain Tory ain't mad, he's not even half mad. Young man, you come back here at midnight tonight, and I'll show you I'm not mad."
     By this point Hadley had decided he didn't want to hear any more, being quite sure the old man was perfectly mad, and he began to edge away.
     "Midnight, remember," said Captain Tory.
     "Yes, Sir," said Hadley, to show that he'd heard, before he turned and skipped into a run that took him all the way home.