Friday, 30 May 2014


I wrote a little history of Chicago. From being a tiny settlement in 1830 it has grown to be one of North America's largest cities. 

Monday, 26 May 2014

Saturday, 24 May 2014


On 24 May 1543 the Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus died. He is famous for his revolutionary theory that the Earth orbits the Sun and not the other way round.  

Friday, 23 May 2014

World Turtle Day

Today (23 May) is World Turtle Day. It was begun by American Tortoise Rescue in 2000. I don't know anything about turtles or tortoises except that their shell was used for decoration.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Toilets in the Middle Ages

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD sophisticated plumbing disappeared from Europe for centuries. In Saxon times toilets were simply pits in the ground with wooden seats over them. (For ordinary people that remained the case for centuries afterwards).

However in the Middle Ages monks built stone or wooden lavatories over rivers. At Portchester Castle in the 12th century monks built stone chutes leading to the sea. When the tide went in and out it would flush away the sewage.

In castles the toilet was called a garderobe and it was simply a vertical shaft with a stone seat at the top. Some garderobes emptied into the moat.

In the Middle Ages wealthy people might use rags to wipe their behinds. Ordinary people often used a plant called common mullein or woolly mullein. 

Tuesday, 13 May 2014


On this day in 1607 the first permanent English colony was founded in North America at Jamestown. 

Friday, 9 May 2014

Crown Jewels

On 9 May 1671 Colonel Thomas Blood stole the English crown jewels. He is (so far) the only person to steal them. However he didn't get far before he was arrested. Yet King Charles II pardoned him. 

Monday, 5 May 2014

Youtube Channel

This is my Youtube channel 

Saturday, 3 May 2014