Archive for the London Category

QUEEN OF IRON YEARS BY LYN McCONCHIE AND SHARMAN HORWOOD

Posted in dark fiction writer, Great Britain, London, Lyn McConchie's friend, mythology, Romance, Sex, United Kingdom, Writer with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 17, 2013 by ROD MARSDEN

QUEEN OF IRON YEARS BY LYN McCONCHIE AND SHARMAN HORWOOD

QUEEN OF IRON YEARS…A NOVEL BY LYN McCONCHIE AND SHARMAN HORWOOD

Queen of Iron Years is a bold move on the part of writers Lyn McConchie and Sharman Horwood. It is reminiscent of Ursula Le Guin’s 1969 masterpiece The Left Hand of Darkness.

In 2035 a new STD is claiming lives. It is Tensen’s virus. Transsexuals can get it and then pass it on to members of the general public. When non-transsexuals get it they die. There is panic. Plans are launched to put all transsexuals, whether they have Tensen’s or not, into camps supposedly for their own protection. Things aren’t looking good for thirty-year-old pre-op transsexual Cean Rowan and his transsexual friends. But what can be done about this situation?

A cure for Tensen’s might be years, even decades away. In the meantime transsexuals are having their jobs taken away from them, they are being bashed in the streets, and will soon be relieved of their liberty.

A plan is hatched for Cean to go back into the past and change history. But where was he to go and what was he to do when he got there?

Cean has always wanted to meet Boadicea, the iron age queen of the Iceni. She had fought against the Romans in her native Britain quite successfully for a while but was eventually defeated. The Iceni, for rebelling against Rome, were virtually wiped out. Cean is determined to stop Boadicea’s final fall at the hands of her enemies from happening and also save the Iceni from their fate.

After some difficulties in the England of his own day, Cean does go back in time and he does change the life of Boadicea and also the lives of the Iceni people. How he does this I will leave you, dear reader, to discover. Suffice to say both Boadicia and the Iceni are not quite what Cean expected to find. And Cean is not quite what Boadicia and the Iceni expected to come across in their day and age. Equipped with knowledge about the Romans, can Cean succeed in his mission and, if he does succeed, will his success have any bearing on how history will play itself out?

Much good historic research has gone into the making of Queen of Iron Years. But it is not bogged down in detail. In fact, once you pick it up its hard to put down.

Some of the subject matter may be controversial hence the boldness of it. Some readers will no doubt take this as being a dangerous book. If it is to be thus taken then it would have to fall in line with other books also considered dangerous in their day such as Robert Graves’ I, Claudius, Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, and of course Ursula Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness.

If you want a fast paced gallop into fresh, new concepts this one’s for you.

Queen of Iron Years by Lyn McConchie and Sharman Horwood

Kit Hill Publishing 2011

http://www.kitehillpublishing.com

A COOK’S TOUR OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE by Rod Marsden

Posted in Australia, France, Great Britain, London, United Kingdom, USA with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 12, 2012 by ROD MARSDEN
THE PEN MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD!

THE PEN IS MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD!

 

The earliest known example of English literature is the epic poem Beowulf. We can tell by its complexity and execution that it’s not written by a beginner. We know by its structure that it harks back to a long oral tradition of tale spinning. Strangely enough, there is much in common with Beowulf and the tall tales produced in the USA in the 18th and 19th Centuries. The stories associated with Davy Crockett are a great example of this sort of thing. Certainly poems and stories produced by Australian author Banjo Paterson in the 19th Century have a powerful Beowulf like feel to them.

It was through Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th Century that English as a written language made its first big step. Even at this stage it was far from being a pure language. In Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales he used words that had their origins in Ancient Greek, Latin, Anglo-Saxon, Norman French and what was then regarded as Modern French. If he wanted to say something in a blunt, straightforward way most Englishmen would understand he would use Anglo-Saxon. If he wanted to be eloquent then he would use either Norman French or Modern French.  French in those days was very much a language of nobility and the European courts. Latin was a more universal language and was tied in with English grammar. Ancient Greek had a lot to do with the natural sciences as well as its connections to great writers of a past age.

Geoffrey, in his writing, brought new words into the English language and revived words that had been around for some time but had fallen into disuse. He was playful with language but also a great craftsman with it. He had his cast of characters on a holy pilgrimage to Canterbury. They were a good social mix of high and low. Possibly the most famous or infamous was the wife of Bath.  Sometime after Geoffrey’s death this feisty fictional female was still alive in song. There’s a ballad in which she goes to the pearly gates and St. Peter refuses to let her in. She of course kicks up such a stir that he has to eventually open the gates for her just to keep the peace. Did Geoffrey in his life time actually know someone like the wife of Bath? I would say so but we’ll never know for sure.

Understandably, Geoffrey feared that his writing, being in English, would not survive the test of time. He knew that the pronunciation of English differed greatly throughout the kingdom as did the spelling.  To this day there are still variants in dialect but perhaps not as pronounced as in his day. For example, a place of worship near the Scottish border was known as a Kirk. In London, however, the same place of worship went by the more French influenced name of Church. Chances were good that a person living on the border would not know what a Church was and a person living in London wouldn’t have a clue about a Kirk. So there wasn’t really a common English language in Geoffrey’s day and, as far as The Canterbury Tales were concerned, he could only hope that it would be understood by enough people throughout the land for it to keep on keeping on.

Before The Canterbury Tales there was The Decameron. It was written by Giovanni Boccaccio. This was the first great epic poem written in the growing language of Italian rather than in the then more conventional Latin. It dealt with a group of well off young people who had gone into the country to escape the plague. To pass the time until they could return to their city they told each other stories. Like The Canterbury Tales, these stories were not confined to the author’s place of origin.  They roamed with the writer’s imagination which makes them quite readable even in translation today. By the end of the 14th Century, between The Canterbury Tales and The Decameron, literature was flourishing in England and Italy in ways it had never flourished before. For a start, it was doing so in the common languages of the people and not just the languages of scholarship such as Latin and Ancient Greek.

The next great step forward for the English language took place during the reign of Elizabeth the first. She was, among other things, the first really good ruling queen the English had ever had. What’s more, England had a fleet of war ships capable of excellent defense against aggressive neighbors. The queen also understood good P.R. She commissioned playwrights such as William Shakespeare to not only entertain and inform but also to create excellent propaganda for her.  When Britain was threatened by the Spanish Armada, she spoke personally to some of those tasked with defending her realm. What comes down to us as her speech on this occasion may not be verbatim but it is still quite stirring. She understood how we can be moved by words, especially words in our own language.

At the time William Shakespeare was writing, the world was in transition. Old superstitions were beginning to die away to be replaced by a new emphasis on the various sciences.  This was made clear in his play, The Tempest. In his writing, Shakespeare sometimes turned what were traditional nouns into adverbs. He also invented new words and put old words to new use with new meanings.

(On a side note, there is a wonderful moment or two in an episode of Star Trek: The next Generation between the android Data and Captain Picard over lines from Shakespeare’s The Tempest.)

England, in becoming more a seafaring nation than ever before, was taking a great many words into its own  language. The French, in doing business with Arab people, adopted Arab words for the new spices such as pepper coming into common use in Europe. They of course gave the Arab words a French slant. The English, in doing business with the French, also came to adopt both these new words and goods. With new, improved commercial vessels able to travel further than ever before the language expanded greatly. It was also becoming more international though it would be a long while before it could compete successfully with French and Latin.

  There still wasn’t a dictionary for English that everyone could agree on. Even the name Shakespeare wasn’t always spelt the same way so spelling was also problematical.  Even with the printing press coming into use in England in the 15th Century, the issue of how to spell the most common of English words had not been resolved and was still to be resolved centuries later in Shakespeare’s day. From the 15th Century to well into the 17th Century a word in print might be spelt several ways in the same document and retain the same meaning. This, of course, was confusing to anyone attempting to read English.

When Englishmen first set sail to colonize parts of America there wasn’t a dictionary that encompassed the entire English speaking population so the style of English that went with the colonizers was the style the colonizers had grown up with. By the time there was a definitive English dictionary celebrated in England, time and distance meant that it could no longer be definitive for the people of English descent living in America. Then there was the War of Independence and the United States of America became a separate entity from the British Empire. Even so, the Constitution of the United States is written in concise and precise English that every Englishman and American to this day can understand. In this regard, it is a testimony to the strengths of the language and its general robust nature.

     In places like Boston there were attempts to keep the emerging American version of the English language pure. As in England, such attempts were doomed to failure.

The USA expanded and, with every new territory and then state added to the union, came new ideas and new words. How, for example, can you keep Spanish out of the language when California and New Mexico are part of the USA? How can you lock the door on further French influence when cities such as New Orleans are in the country and you have some French influence floating down the Hudson from Canada, your northern neighbour? Was the adoption of foreign words into the language democracy in action? There were those who would make this argument. It was certainly made in England in the 19th Century when English scholars were examining their language.

Some of the words that came from Spanish into English from the cattle trade are rodeo, lasso and hacienda. I believe Mustang is also Spanish. The guitar has its origins in Spain. San Francisco is a city named after a Spanish saint. Los Angeles is Spanish and has the meaning of city of Angels. Did the Spanish language add a certain type of richness to the American version of English? I would say so.

There had to be a definitive dictionary for the USA. It came out of a small blue book written by Webster in the 19th Century that could be purchased cheaply by anyone in the USA. Earlier attempts had been made but it was Webster who had the right handle on what the USA was about and what would work best in the USA. As the work expanded, certain areas of English were modernized to make the written language more palatable for everyone. Colour, for example, became color. Defence became defense. Centre became center. Gaol became jail. It was very much a case of making the written language more phonetic. This of course was not always easy or even possible. For example, in Davy Crockett’s part of the USA, thanks to Scottish and perhaps German influence, the word bear is actually pronounced bar. Compromises then had to be made.

Also words used by Americans could have a different meaning to the way they were used in England. Store, for example, was similar in meaning to warehouse to the English. In the USA store came to mean shop. Today, in Australia, you can use either the word shop or store to mean basically the same thing.

The gold rush and the push west in the 19th Century added lots of words to American English. Red-neck, for example, originally meant the migrants who could not afford passage on riverboats and so traveled by raft. They got red necks because they didn’t have much protection from the sun and, when they turned to farming, they got red necks in the fields they ploughed as well. ‘Slap leather’ was a call to fight a duel with guns. ‘Honest Injun’ as well as ‘you speak with forked tongue’ either came directly out of the west or the eastern chap books connected with the west. ‘Get along little doggie’ came from the cattle trade. Cowboys were once nothing more than common workers but all that was changed with eastern publications and then Hollywood cinematography. Stories about gunfighters like Billie the Kid and Wyatt Earp also had their influence on the language. Slowly but surely Native American words also made it into American English. There were words such as wampum and wigwam.

By the end of the 19th Century, new ways of working with steel were developed in the USA. This led to buildings being constructed. first in Chicago and then in New York. that could literally scrape the sky. Yes, the skyscraper (an American term) was born. From the mid-19th Century onwards there was a great influx of migrants from Europe into the USA. There was the Irish escaping famine. There were European Jews fleeing persecution from countries such as Russia. There were also the Italians and the Chinese.

  During the American Civil War (1861-1865) there were Irish migrants in American army uniforms. Some fought for the north and others for the south. At times a regiment made up of Irish in blue would be lined up against a regiment of Irish in gray. Regardless, the Irish whether protestant or Catholic (both came to the USA) have had a great influence on American life, on the American belief in liberty and justice and on the language.

In 1917 an American writer of Irish Catholic descent by the name of George M. Cohan wrote a song called ‘Over There’. It is an inspirational piece known the world over. It was sung in both World Wars and is why many people throughout the world still prefer to refer to Americans as Yanks.

The words:

Over there, over there,

Send the word, send the word over there

That the Yanks are coming, the Yanks are coming

The drums rum-tumming everywhere.

So prepare, say a prayer,

Send the word, send the word to beware –

We’ll be over, we’re coming over,

And we won’t come back till it’s over, over there.

As for the Jewish migrants that settled in the USA, their influence on the language and those of their descendants has been most profound. Entertainers such as the Marx Brothers brought a form of craziness and also a form of sophistication in comedy to first the stage and then the screen. The actor who first played Spock in Star Trek, Leonard Nimoy, is of a Jewish American background. The Vulcan salute that comes with the words ‘Live long and prosper’ comes out of his Jewish this background. When people think of peace they often think of that Vulcan salute with the thought that it is only logical to do so. Other Jewish Americas include Jerry Lewis, Barbara Streisand and Jack Benny (In his career he pretended to be a skinflint but in real life he was a very kind and generous fellow). Here perhaps I should note that skinflint is a purely American term.

The Italians that settled in the USA certainly did their bit to transform the language. They possibly began with the American diet. The introduced the word pizza and also the food. I don’t know why but New Yorkers have this tendency to call a piazza a piazza pie. Throughout Australia, where there has also been Italian influence, we just call a piazza a piazza. Where does pie come into the equation? I have no idea. In any event, there were forms of Italian coffee such as espresso and cappuccino that became popular and whose names were added to the American dictionary.  Famous Italian Americans include Liza Minnelli and Jimmy Durante who is better known as Shnozzles Durante because of his big shnozzola (nose).  Possibly his most famous line was: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

It was the Chinese migrants that often did the dirty and dangerous jobs in the building of the American railway system in the 19th Century. Chinese style food came with the Chinese and so did Chinese names such as Chow Mein for it.  Chinese fireworks came to be used for America’s Fourth of July celebrations.

In the 20th Century, thanks to radio and movies then television, both American and British style English have expanded their influence and, as a consequence, been influenced by the rest of the world. New technical terms have also arisen for new technical devices. Meanwhile, old terms have been put to new use. The term computer was around before the 20th Century but our ideas of what a computer is and what it is capable of doing have grown enormously. Laptop is very much a late 20th Century and early 21st Century term referring to something that didn’t exist in previous centuries. The space race with the Russians in the 20th Century brought about a revolution is thought and in word usage. Many people use aluminium or what the Americans call aluminum cookware. Non-stick pans came out of NASA experimentation.

In Australia there has been continual influence, both English and American, upon the Australian version of the English language. As with the USA, the separation in time and space from England also meant that Australians would and, indeed, did develop their own style of English.

Back in the late 19th Century and early 20th Century, London cockney could be heard in the streets of Sydney along with the rhyming slang familiar to Londoners.  Example: Apple and pears, stairs, trouble and strife, wife. A man might say that he’s going up the apples and pears and those in the know would take it he was about to go up the stairs. A man might say I’m having lunch with my trouble and strife and those in the know would take it he was going to have lunch with his wife. By the 1920s, however, cockney and rhyming slang was considered old fashioned and was on the way out. Hence when you have an American playing the role of an Australian in a show like MASH, which is set in the 1950s,it is somewhat laughable when the fellow comes out with this very English but no longer very Australian cockney accent.

Terms common in Australia but perhaps not common elsewhere are Bloke (man), Sheila (woman), Mate (friend), Cobber (friend you work with) and Bludger (someone who relies on other people to do the work ). Words that had to be added to describe animals not found elsewhere in the world include emu, koala and platypus. These words come from the Aborigines, the Native Australians. In Australia a ranch is a station and a cowboy is a jackaroo. A cowgirl, incidentally, is a jillaroo. Someone from England is still often referred to as a Pommy. Australia has its own dictionary, the Macquarie dictionary.

My grandfather was born in England and as a young man came to Queensland, Australia. He got a job on a cattle station as a jackaroo. He may in fact have been the Pommy Jackaroo of legend. In any event, when the First World War broke out, he had the choice of going back home to join up or going with his mates. He ended up joining the Australian light horse. It should be noted that the only successful cavalry charge I know of during the First World War was made by the Australian light horse at Bathsheba.

The term Pommy I believe is an old cricket term and in my mind has always been connected with the Ashes. The Ashes has quite a history. It was once theorized by an English critic that if ever an Australian team of cricketers beat a British team it would spell the death of cricket. When this did happen there was an obituary for Cricket in an English newspaper and the leader of the British team burnt part of the equipment used in the game  and put the ashes in a little funeral urn. We’re been playing against the British ever since for these ashes.

The idea of fair play is very much entrenched in the game of cricket to the extent where one can say ‘it’s not cricket’ to mean that something is unfair.

There is the theory that, because of television and computers, English throughout the world will become more and more standardized. This may happen and indeed it could be happening but I can’t see such a thing being completed in the near future.

The term Cook’s tour came about in the 19th Century but works today in referring to travel that is somewhat short and limited. Obviously, I could go into a lot more detail about the English language and how it has developed and is developing in various countries. I could write several books and not tell the complete story because, truth to tell, such a project will never be complete until the language dies and I can’t see that happening in the near future. No doubt there will be future efforts to purify to language which will inevitably fail.  I hope you have enjoyed the read.

BIO ROD MARSDEN VAMPIREBIRDIE

Posted in Australia, dark fiction writer, desk job, horror writer, Lewis Carroll enthusiast, London, Lyn McConchie's friend, mythology, New York, Night to Dawn, Night to Dawn author, Published in the USA, pulp fiction writer, Romance, set in Australia, USA, Vampire author, Writer with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 25, 2009 by ROD MARSDEN
art by Rod Marsden

A fanciful medieval style set of glass panels in an ancient church

Bio: Rod Marsden

Rod Marsden was born in Sydney, Australia. His very early influences were his father, Charles, who taught him how to fish and how to appreciate nature and his mother, May, who helped him to value the written word. Other early influences include writer Stan Lee and artists Jack Kirby and Gene Colan. He has three degrees; all related to writing and to his other passion, history. His stories have been published in Australia, England, Russia and the USA. His written work includes short stories in Cats Do it Better. Undead Reb Down Under and Other Vampire Stories is a collection of his stories on vampirism. His novel Disco Evil: Dead Man’s Stand is his first venture into the vampire novel. His  Ghost Dance is his first go at a dark quest style novel. His Desk Job is a salute to Lewis Carroll and some indication of how insane life got in the office in the mid-1990s.

Back in the 1970s, Rod took a trip to the USA and still has fond memories of his time in New York and San Francisco. He also visited Bali way back in the 1970s.  He would love to visit Britain and this desire does appear in his work.

Rod Lives on the South Coast of NSW, Australia and still occasionally puts a line in the water. He has a fondness for the Wollongong area but an abiding love for the more northern Clarence River region of his home state.

http://bloodredshadow.com/about/night-to-dawn-magazine-and-books/rod-marsden-supernatural-thriller-vampire-lore/

WALKING LIKE AN EGYPTIAN IN SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, ENGLAND, FRANCE, AND EGYPT

Posted in art, Art Deco, Australia, Cleopatra's needle, dark fiction writer, Egypt, France, Lewis Carroll enthusiast, London, Lyn McConchie's friend, mythology, New York, Night to Dawn author, Published in the USA, set in Australia, Set in italy, USA, Writer with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 14, 2009 by ROD MARSDEN
Evil in the night...

THE MYSTERIES OF ANCIENT EGYPT

When artifacts from Ancient Egypt turn up at at major city in Australia, such as Melbourne, Sydney or Canberra there is always great excitement. It seems as if there has always been a lot of interest in things ancient and Egyptian.

Ancient Greek travelers made a fuss about Egypt describing it as a place of wonders. They were right on the mark. Then, some time later, the Romans came along and were impressed by what they saw. They also took home with them artifacts they felt said something about power and majesty.

For a while Egypt was the bread basket of the Roman Empire. This was so to the extent that if there was a famine in Egypt or the grain ships from Egypt would not sail, then there would be starvation in Rome.

Today, in Rome, there are still ancient Egyptian artifacts on display that are left over from the Roman Empire days.

Ancient Egypt appears in the Bible and hence has that connection with at least the Christians of the western world. Then there is the alchemy connection and also what Hollywood studios and British studios have made, since the 1930’s, of the possibilities of walking mummies. The notion of ancient evil rising to attack the present world has been the bread and butter of many a writer including American pulp genius of the haunting,  H. P. Lovecraft.

Everyone loves a good mystery and fiction writers adore a great locale for their fiction. Agatha Christie, for example, made much of Egypt as a backdrop for her murder mystery, Death on the Nile (1937).

The present day fascination with Ancient Egypt really began with Napoleon and his scholars wandering through what was then modern Egypt in the 18th and early 19th Century (1788-1801). British warships made the complete conquest of Egypt by the French impossible. In face Napoleon was lucky to get out of Egypt without getting captured by the British. Even so, some spin had to be put on the Egyptian campaign in order to save face but how to go about doing so was the big question. What the campaign lacked in military value it could, to some extent, make up for in scientific and historic value. Hence the craze to know and understand Ancient Egypt swept France in a way it had never done before.

Note here that Napoleon adopted the symbol of the bee, thinking it was an Egyptian symbol for power. Later it was discovered that it was actually a symbol for one of the two Egyptian kingdoms.

The main treasure of the French Egyptian campaign, the Rosetta stone, fell into the hands of the British and still rests in a museum in London. Even so, this clue as to how to read Egyptian  Hieroglyphics first came into French possession after many centuries of  either being buried or ignored by the locals, and it was the French who first took the necessary 19th Century steps in figuring out the ancient writings that had puzzled visitors to Egypt for centuries. The British, Germans and Italians took their best shots at working out the meaning of Egyptian Hieroglyphics but it was a Frenchman by the name of Jean-Francois Champollion who eventually succeeded. Also thanks to Champollion and his predecessors, the Louvre in Paris has a fantastic Egyptian wing.

Both the French and the British went wild  for things Egyptian in the 19th Century much the way the Romans had gone wild for things Egyptian in earlier centuries. The British moved the obelisk known to them as Cleopatra’s needle from Egypt to London. Not to be out done by the British, the French also moved an obelisk they thought of as Cleopatra’s needle from Egypt to Paris. Then there is the obelisk known as Cleopatra’s needle which was moved from Egypt to New York also in the 19th Century.

Incidentally,  the London obelisk was falsely named Cleopatra’s needle but still stands as an incredibly old and powerful symbol of what the Ancient Egyptians were capable of doing. Moving these giant obelisks without smashing them up was and is considered some feat by the engineers who did so in the 19th Century.

Meanwhile Australia wasn’t to be completely left out when it came to obelisks. At the entrance to Hyde Park in Sydney (intersection of Elizabeth St and Bathurst Street) there stands a most unusual but still impressive obelisk. It was modeled on the obelisk the British took to London but the materials used in construction are very much 19th Century and of the country where it was made rather than of ancient Egypt. It is primarily made of sandstone with a bronze pyramid on top.  It is also adorned by sphinxes and serpents. It was meant to serve as a sewage vent to eliminate noxious gases from the sewer underneath though it has never fulfilled this function very well.  It was first unveiled to the public in 1857 and today it is in need of some maintenance. Even so, it is still a magnificent sight and well worth checking out if you are visiting Sydney.

In 1922 the discovery of the burial place of Pharaoh Tutankhamun in Egypt caused a great stir of excitement and new interest in Ancient Egypt. Among the treasures found there was a magnificent golden mask.  The discovery coincided with the art deco movement which began in Paris in the 1920s and spread out from there. Ancient Egyptian symbolism and hieroglyphics tended to go well with this new art form. Pyramid designs became popular everywhere as did the ankh which appears in Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics but also on its own as the symbol of life. It remains today a popular symbol worn by many people throughout the world.

Today, outside the Louvre in Paris, there is a rather strange and controversial glass pyramid.  It was completed in 1989 proving that even toward the end of  the 20th Century interest in Ancient Egypt remained solid at least with the French. In Dan Brown’s 2003 novel, The Da Vinci Code,  you will find more than passing mention of this glass edifice.

Every now and then the subject of pyramid power arises. Does the very shape of the pyramid evoke forces we have yet to fully understand? Can even sitting under a makeshift pyramid meditating lead to better health? In A Country Practice, an Australian television soap set in a country town in the 1980s, a doctor’s receptionist, Shirley Gilroy (as played by Lorrae Desmond), believed in the healing powers of the pyramid. It was a sort of running joke with always the possibility that it might indeed be true. Mind you, as far as I am concerned, the major benefit, if the is one, to sitting under a makeshift pyramid is the belief factor that it will do you some good.

In 1986, just to prove that there was still some excitement to be generated by anything even remotely to do with Ancient Egypt, the band The Bangles had a hit with the song, Walk like an Egyptian. It was a silly, fun bit of business with none of the American girl members of the band coming anywhere close to looking and, for that matter, actually dancing like what an egyptologist might envision how ancient Egyptians dance. Here, of course, the operative word is fun and it is obvious there was no desire to even attempt to get it, let along keep it, real. Sometimes you need to let people have their fantasies and their fun.

In 2011 one of my nieces came back from Egypt and presented me with a small glass pyramid from Egypt. It doesn’t date back to ancient times but I do feel good when I look at it. I think this has more to it being a treasured gift than anything else. Mind you it would really be something if it did, in fact, have mystical powers of healing and promoting good health. Well, this particular niece used to walk like an Egyptian before visiting Egypt and, at times, she still walks like an Egyptian.

Among present day Australians with an interest in ancient Egypt there is television personality Molly Meldrum.  In recent times Molly has shown enthusiasm for Pharaoh Tutankhamun’s story plus the golden age of Pharaohs.

As for ancient evil, this is really something that belongs in western fiction beginning in the 1920s and continuing to this day. It started with the belief in the mummy’s curse attributed to disturbing Tutankhamun’s resting place and went from there. Mind you, the old gods of Egypt are rather fierce and not to be casually mucked about with.

The symbol of Life – Egyptian style!