A page from the Book of Kells

This page from the Book of Kells (ca. 800 AD) shows the text that opens the Gospel of John.

When I saw this book in Ireland, I was the only person there. It was a miserable, rainy day heading towards winter and wherever the tourists who flock to Dublin are, they weren’t there! It’s silly, but it felt pretty special to be in there by myself, to view such a famous book!

450px-KellsFol292rIncipJohnThe Book of Kells, (folio 292r), circa 800, showing the lavishly decorated text that opens the Gospel of John

On this day: Russia invades Azerbaijan

27th April, 1920, and Russia was in the process of building up their egos and their empire (sorry, their Socialist Republic).

 Красная_армия_в_Баку,_май_1920_гRussia invading Baku May 1920

According to the Russian historian A.B. Shirokorad, the Soviet invasion of Azerbaijan was carried out using a standard Bolshevik template: a local revolutionary committee starts real or “virtual” worker riots and requests support from the Red Army.

 800px-The Red Army in Baku 1920

That’s pretty much what they did in Ukraine THIS YEAR. Russian tactics are scary because #1 they don’t change and #2 they WORK.

Remember this?: Russians rioting over Estonia


April 2007: Russians riot after Estonians relocated a Soviet statue in Tallinn, their own capital city, what came to be known as Bronze Night. The worst of it was on the night of the 26th and 27th of April.


I was in Tallinn a few days after this happened – and in Russia a week after that. The destruction in Estonia’s capital was disgraceful. To go around smashing every shop window because the Estonian people didn’t want blatant reminders of Soviet oppression in their city centre? I’ll never understand the mentality that causes the Russian propaganda machine to encourage behaviour like this.

When I Met My Duchess by Caroline Linden

Sonya's Stuff

When I Met My Duchess by Caroline Linden

As society gathers at Kingstag Castle for the wedding of the year, matrimony is in the air…

Gareth Cavendish, Duke of Wessex, believes he’s chosen the perfect bride… until he meets her sister and lightning strikes—literally! Now he’s the only member of society dreading the wedding of the season. Or is he? Cleo Barrows can’t fathom why her knees weaken every time the handsome duke approaches, or why her sister isn’t in the clouds at the prospect of marrying him. But the more the wedding plans throw Cleo and Gareth intimately together, the faster time is running out to turn the celebration of the summer into the scandal of the year…

When I Met My Duchess by Caroline Linden

He saw Cleo Barrows first, sending his heart leaping. She was speaking to another lady… whom he recognised a moment later as his betrothed bride. Not a promising beginning.

I went on…

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