Wait, What Just Happened?

First of all, hello everyone, I am glad to be back. The COVID CONSPIRACIES book is with the publisher and I have a respite before the medical professionals anthology from rural COVID experiences goes off in October.

So I come up for air and realize my house is a tip and the garden doesn’t so much look like we planted things as tripped with a tray of seeds. There’s a cat in here I don’t recognize and two days ago my husband (at least, he said he was; I hadn’t seen him in awhile and wasn’t sure) came in holding up a bleeding hand.

“A turtle bit me,” he said.


It turns out, he was sitting in his front porch man-cave where he hangs out to watch the world pass by and talk to the neighbors, and, well, a turtle crossed the road. Slowly. Too slowly for my animal-loving husband, who went out to help the little creature along his or her way.

In gratitude for which, the turtle turned its long neck around over its shell and took a triangular chunk out of the fleshy part of Jack’s palm. The police sketch artist who worked with Jack after the incident suggests it mighta been a snapper.

My husband did not let go and neither did the turtle, until both were safely across the street. When Jack came in bleeding, I did what any good wife would do: took a photo for Facebook, and then spread the wound with peroxide followed by antibiotic cream. Then I got on the horn to a doctor friend. Once she stopped laughing, she said, yes, maybe Jack should get a tetanus shot as turtles, ehm, carry things.

Our good Dr. Ashley Blevins called in a shot, and after a wee bit of fankle with the pharmacy –“No, really a turtle, yes, today, sure we can come down there after supper”–we both got tetanus shots. It was a couples thing, like a pandemic date.

This eased my mind, because of all that I wasn’t prepared to deal with, trying to get the book in, my husband dying of a turtle bite during a global health crisis wasn’t on the list. Can you imagine trying to write that obituary? People would try so hard to be respectful of my loss, but end up giggling. “A turtle? Really? Did anyone see the rabbit?” “Why did the turtle cross the road, anyway?” Etc.

Thanks to a couple of doctor pals and our friendly neighborhood pharmacist (who did snort behind his mask but kept the laughter in) all is well at Chez JacknWendy. For the next ten years, because that’s how long tetanus shots last. Come at us, turtles.

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The Monday Book – Wales – A History

Wales – A History (Gwynfor Evans 1996)

Jack gets to write the book review this week –

I was taught hardly anything about Welsh history at school, so this was a real eye opener for me. All I knew was that Wales has a strong indigenous culture and language and that its influence extended once to southern Scotland, Cumbria, Cornwall and even to Brittany.

What Evans explains is that while it was never a ‘kingdom’ with a centralized ruler, it was a loose federation of ‘cantons’ rather like modern Switzerland. It was held together by its shared culture, language and values. Sometimes the various local leaders fought each other but often they banded together to resist incursions by, in turn, Romans, Danes, Normans and English. In effect Wales, including all its territories where Welsh was the common language, was the land of the Brythonic Celts.

He also points out that despite attempts to anglicize Wales over many centuries, the sense of Welshness in a large part of the population remains strong.

The book ends just before the Welsh assembly was established which introduced a limited amount of devolved responsibilities and democratic accountability. The UK government now frequently refers to a United Kingdom of four nations – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. There’s also strong evidence that support is increasing for Welsh independence, for which Evans argues powerfully.

I suppose all historians write from their own perspective, prejudices and world view and sometimes this can be rather hidden and subtle. I prefer when the author makes no secret of their point of view and so I was able to keep Evans’ obvious enthusiasm for independence to the side and concentrate on his well researched factual narrative.

I must admit that at various points I had to concentrate hard to distinguish between the many Llewellyns and Daffyds that appear, but I also have difficulty with the many Scottish kings called James!

This is a very readable book and highly recommended for anyone with Welsh roots, interested in Wales or how it fits into the wider Celtic picture.

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