Liverpool born poet and writer Michael Walsh traces his Liverpool roots back to 1865. This was the year his Irish great-grandmother arrived in the Second City of Empire. His parents were born at the turn of what was to become the most tumultuous century in history. Michael's father, Patrick, fought in three major conflicts before reaching his fortieth birthday. His mother, Kathleen, was a former nun turned gun-running renegade.
On leaving school at 15 years of age, Michael spent 12 weeks at the Merchant Navy School for Sailors in Sharpness, Gloucestershire. During his years at sea, he was to visit and work in over 60 countries.
The journalist and broadcaster since provided articles and columns for numerous magazines and international news media. In 2011 he was awarded Writer of the Year by the publishers of Euro Weekly News, Europe's highest-circulation newspaper of its kind. He has authored, edited and ghosted over 70 book titles.
At Rome Termini train station, it’s a hot pre-Christmas time. Italians are trying to hop on the last train in order to have time to leave for the holidays. These are the last days of more or less free movement around the country.
In the middle ages, many Russian communities, especially in the Novgorod and Pskov regions, believed in building churches as response to calamities raging at that time, most often epidemics. The tradition known as obydennye khramy requires that the church be completed within the course of a single day. These one-day votive churches were built by communal labor and were simple in design and small in size. Construction usually began at night and ended before sunset of the following day. By nightfall, the church had to be consecrated. Made of wood, they stood no more than 40-50 years.
Taking the Covid-19 vaccination appears to be the modern form of Russian roulette, a lethal game played by bored army officers of Imperial Russia. Two days after the first COVID-19 vaccine was to a healthcare worker in Long Island, New York, two healthcare workers in Alaska who received Pfizer’s COVID vaccine experienced allergic reactions. One of those, a woman with no prior history of allergies, suffered an anaphylactic reaction and spent at least two nights in the hospital.
Ships aren’t meant to sink, but sometimes you have to wonder what miraculous forces kept a vessel afloat. The SS Baychimo was such a ship. For nearly four decades after it was abandoned, this 1,300-ton cargo ship sailed the Arctic without fuel or crew, until it disappeared just over fifty years ago, but some believe she is still out there drifting among the frozen icebergs.
Christmas Eve was traditionally the time to tell scary stories round the hearth. And 19th-century writers were fearsomely adept at exploiting a world of creaking floorboards, creepy servants … and gas lamps that caused hallucinations.
During the Irish famine (1845 – 1849), an estimated 500,000 people were dispossessed of their cottages. Unscrupulous landlords used two methods to remove destitute tenants. The first involved applying for a legal judgment against the male head of a family owing back-rent. After the local barrister pronounced judgment, the man would be thrown in jail and his wife and children evicted. A ‘notice to appear’ was usually enough to cause most pauper families to flee and they were handed out by the hundreds.
Through taxation the peoples of each country pay through the noses for vaccinations they wish not to take. The Covid Coven f the Corrupt, the political caste who make the rules again draw on taxpayers largesse to personally invest in the Covid related industries. Where is the transparency, what have the Covid Coven got to hide from the electorate?
The Candle in the Window otherwise in Gaelic Coinneal Mór na Nollag. On Christmas Eve a big candle was left to burn in the window, often lit by the youngest member of the family. The idea was to light the way of the Holy Family who was travelling the road. It was also lit as a welcome to visitors.
The Conservatives have announced that they have officially cancelled Christmas pantomimes, the switching on of Christmas lights and even the traditional Nativity school play. These are just a few of the festivities cancelled. They are even mandating how many of our friends and family members can share Christmas dinner in our own homes, even who we can and cannot hug.
While we observe the winter solstice around the world, Germanic cultures of northern and western Europe primarily celebrated Yule. At the midpoint of winter, they celebrated the rebirth of the sun and the light it would bring to the Earth.