A Final Defeat For The Yorkists – The Burial of Richard III

Following on from my earlier posts here, tomorrow March 22nd will see Richard III of England, Last Plantagenet monarch of England and last English monarch of the middle ages setting off on his final journey. Where that journey comes to an end has, of course, been the subject of much controversy.

Amidst all the arguments about whether or not he should be reinterred in Leicester or moved to York there sprang up the Plantagenet Alliance, a group of people who claim descent from the Plantagenets (although, not from Richard himself who has no known descendants, his only legitimate child dying in childhood and his illegitimate children aren’t know to have had any children). The Plantagenet Alliance challenged Leicester’s right to the King’s remains and argued that he should be reinterred in York because he was after all Richard of York. Their legal appeals ultimately failed. Leicester University were the ones who conducted the archaeological dig and the subsequent investigation and as such they had the right to choose what happened to him.

So, legal wranglings over all that was left to do was make the arrangements. Tomorrow morning he will be taken from the university of Leicester in his newly made coffin. Apparently the coffin was made by one of the plantagenant descendants whose DNA was used to identify the King; a nice touch. From there the procession will travel to Fen Lane the spot believed to be closest to the scene of his unfortunate demise (which has itself been the cause of much controversy and debate see this BBC news report for details).  They will also stop at the Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre. In the evening the remains will be given into the care of the cathedral. The cathedral will be open for the public to view the coffin at various times from Monday 23rd to Wednesday 25th March before the interment ceremony takes place on Thursday 26th.

For the full reburial timetable is available online here 

This has been an interesting saga to watch unfold and it has brought to light more information about the royal family than was perhaps expected, like for example finding out that Richard may have been blonde haired and blue eyed or this story revealing that the Beaufort line’s male line DNA doesn’t match Richard III’s meaning whoops someone has been naughty and either Richard III or Henry VII may not have had a genetic claim to the throne.

Now if we could just find out exactly what happened to the princes in the tower…I suspect nothing short of the invention of time travel will solve that one, but never say never.


Meet the author -That’s me

Hey just a quick post to let you know I’m making my début over at The Story Reading Ape ‘s blog as a guest author. So scary, especially as I don’t like pictures of me. Why not click on the link and check it out.

Not Another Happy Ending – DVD Review

Today I thought I’d introduce you to my current go to feel good movie of choice ‘Not Another Happy Ending’ :

Feisty first time novelist Jane Lockhart (Dr Who’s Karen Gillan)  is on the quest for publication, but so far all she’s got is rejections, lots of them. Each new rejection joins the others on what she fondly refers to as her “wall of pain” that is, until she meets independent publisher, and Frenchman turned patriotic Scot, Tom Duval (Stanley Weber). He offers Jane a two book deal and for a while it looks like everything is finally falling into place. But things are never that simple. When Tom’s actions drive a wedge between author and publisher things get complicated.

With Tom’s company on the brink of collapse all his hopes are riding on Jane’s next book. There’s just one small problem; Jane has come down with a serious case of writer’s block! (I wonder why I love this film; I can’t imagine).Convinced that her new found happiness is to blame he does what any logical person would do; he tries to make her miserable. With friend Roddy as his unwilling accomplice he sets out on a secret mission to sabotage Jane’s life. But has he missed the true reason behind Jane’s problem. Well it’s hardly surprising; it’s something she’s only just beginning to see, with a little help from an unexpected source.

I’m loving this film. Karen Gillan plays Jane Lockhart brilliantly. She’s funny, quirky and looks fabulous in a bowler hat! Yet she also handles the more emotional scenes beautifully. Jane as a character has a vulnerability but she also has the kind of strength that comes with that vulnerability. There’s great chemistry between the  two leads and whether they’re editing a manuscript or having a blazing row they seem to bounce well off each  other. There are some great comic moments from the other characters too in the form of some questionable English lessons from Roddy, no nonsense pep talks from Darsie and Jane’s new self obsessed boyfriend. For anyone who’s ever suffered from writers block this a fun film to make you feel better about it. An enjoyable British movie.

There is also a novelisation of this film which expands on some areas of the plot. Personally I preferred the film but both are enjoyable.


Ideas Tap To Close – Another Blow For The Arts

First of all, before I discuss the pending closure of ideas tap and what it means for its members, let me introduce the you to the concept of Ideas Tap for those of you who aren’t familiar with the site. Ideas Tap is a website and organisation devoted to helping promote and encourage the arts in the UK. They are set up to help people in, or just entering, the creative industries get on in their chosen careers. Although mainly aimed at young people who are just starting out, (at 31 I’m a positive dinosaur ;)), many of their opportunities are actually open to a much broader age range. Here are some of the services they currently provide:

  1. A jobs board – how many jobs sites have you visited where every single job out of the thousands on there are ALL in the arts or arts related industries?
  2. A crowd funding platform as well as their own fund that creatives can apply to, and a list they have put together of external prizes and funds.
  3. Creative competitions including free to enter editor’s briefs and competitions to win cash prizes or  fully funded places on specialist workshops and courses
  4. The Ideas Tap Spa offers access to training and events
  5. A Community where members can find, interact and collaborate with each other
  6. IdeasMag, the online magazine, contains articles from industry professional offering insights and advice on issues and opportunities in your chosen field
  7. Every member has their own portfolio where they can upload sample of work for potential collaborators to see. The portfolio also gives people the chance to see all the briefs you’ve been shortlisted for or have won. This is my portfolio.

As you can see Ideas Tap has been providing much needed support for the arts. So you can imagine what a blow it was to its members to log on yesterday to the news that this wonderful resource is closing down as of June 2015. As you might have guessed, it all comes down to money. Ideas Tap is funded mostly by a charitable trust which is quite simply running on empty. The full explanation for the closure given by Peter De Haan the principle founder of Ideas Tap can be found here.

But Ideas Tap has some determined followers. Within hours of the announcement Save Idea Tap had launched on Facebook and has already gathered 2264 signatures on it’s petition to save the charity since yesterday! It seems that those in the arts aren’t prepared to let the closure of this beloved go through without a fight. There is now an effort to get #loveideastap trending on social networking to raise awareness of the campaign.save ideas tap

As a student of performing arts at college , a self published writer, and a student of the humanities with the Open University the arts have played an important role in my life; they have shaped my experiences my life choices, the person I am and the person I hope to be. Anyone who has ever written a blog post, guess what? You are an artist too. The expression of human emotion through the written word no matter how simply done is art. We are each of us artists in our own way. The arts are fundamental to what it is to be human.

That said, money is, for many people and organisations in our society today, in short supply. Inevitably something has to give. It does lead to the question of where our limited resources should be going. Is it inevitable that in times of austerity artistic industries will be seen as less of an immediate or necessary concern. Is this right? or do we have a responsibility to look beyond art and look at how it effects the lives of those involved in its production as well as those who see the end results? I suspect there are no easy answers to these questions. I know that I have my own conflicted feelings on this, but then conflict is what drives as story forward.

If you would like to help Ideas Tap then check out Save Ideas Tap on Facebook  or to donate directly to Ideas Tap click here.

What is your take on arts funding? How essential are the arts in times of austerity? Feel free to share your thought in the comments section below.