Welcome to Part II of Memoirs of a History Blogger. In these posts I share what I’ve been up to behind the blog. This includes updates about recent blog posts, podcasts that I’ve been listening to, books I’ve been reading and other history related matters.
History Related Matters
Last month I experienced my first trip to Melbourne. I went away feeling that, in terms of architecture and town planning, ‘Sydney did it first so Melbourne tried to do it better’. Melbournians? Sydneyites? Your thoughts on that?! The colourful skyscrapers surprised and delighted me and I lapped up the sight of the lovely historic buildings.
While I was there, I saw a musical new to Australia called Come from Away. The musical is a retelling of the events that occurred in Gander, Newfoundland when 38 planes and thousands of passengers were stuck during the closure of American airspace in the wake of September 11. It is funny, it makes you tear up, and is incredibly moving. One of the people presented in the musical is a pilot. She had a fascinating perspective on the events of September 11. You can hear it from her own lips on Conversations (ABC Radio); ‘This is your Captain Speaking’ recorded on the 7th May 2019.
In other news, I have a new desk set-up with a mint coloured chair and I feel instantly more productive as soon as I sit down to it. When I do, I can watch the trees dance in the breeze. In order to get more done, I’m also trying what I call a productivity journal. Basically, I’ve been writing down new ideas as they come to me and recording in dot points what tasks that I’ve completed in a day. It’s the small things that often make us the most happy, don’t you think?
History Podcasts Update
This month I listened to a podcast by The Medievalist Podcast on coconuts and whether they could be found in medieval England. It turns out they could! Apparently they were made into cups and if the coconut broke, the metal cup casing that was made for it, allowed you to replace the coconut with another one. Now I have never seen one of these, but as it happens I was just watching an episode of antiques roadshow the other day, and there one was! The coconut half had been intricately carved with biblical scenes and was mounted in a metal frame with a stem handle. Here’s one from the Victoria and Albert Museum.
My favourite new history podcast is Talking Tudors with Natalie Greuninger. I remember watching a Tudor documentary when I was in primary school and lapped it up, but I haven’t really been exposed to Tudor history since. Natalie interviews historians, archaeologists, museum professionals and book writers on various topics relating to the Tudors. Check it out!
- St Anne’s Church, Ryde: Reflections on my visit of this historic church including some of its history that dates back to the early years of the colony of NSW.
- Roman Domus 3D Animation Lesson Ideas: For the secondary school history teachers! This post includes links to two visual reconstructions of ancient Roman houses and some of my ideas on how to use them in your history lessons.
- Melbourne Walks: Elegant Enclave: My experience of a self guided heritage walk called ‘Elegant Enclave’ produced by City of Melbourne. It explores the suburb of beautiful East Melbourne.
Off the Shelf: Books I’m Reading
Currently I’m reading Britain After Rome by Robin Flemming. Although I studied an ancient history degree, I’ve always nursed a love for the early medieval period. This book presents a detailed overview of the culture changes and continuity of the people of Britain in the decades leading up to the official withdrawal of Roman support in Britain up until 1066.
I have also started The Anglo Saxon World by Nicholas J. Highman and Martin J. Ryan. I progressed through it to almost halfway, when the book I’m currently reading, arrived in the post. Covering a similar period as the above book, this one has the added bonus of beautiful colour images. Love it. I will finish reading this one too, I promise.
Everyone knows that fictional books are easier to read….right? So in the time between starting The Anglo-Saxon World and now, I began and finished The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Wow, what a well conceived story! It is magical and quite original. The story follows characters across the years, back and forth and interweaving, from the late 1800’s into the early 20th century. If you love a bit of historical fantasy fiction, borrow this one next.
On Instagram, Memoirs of a Teapot now has 80 Followers which I am incredibly pleased about. Thank you for your support, likes and comments!
That’s it from this history blogger….time for tea!