Writing Exercise – Playing With Narrator’s Voice


This is a passage of fiction I wrote today as part of an exercise for my course. We were supposed to explore how unreliable the narrator can be, and we were asked to write a short piece where the narrator can contradict themselves with something that they say. What do you think? Did I manage to convey the contradiction in my narrator with her approach to a colleague? Any comments will be gratefully received.

I was in a bit of a daydream earlier today and I found I was staring at Janet’s hair again. The sun was streaming in through the office blinds and it lit up her hair like a halo. Running my fingers through my own frizzy tresses I realised it needed a good cut and could probably do with a bit of a deep conditioning too. Only half hearing the ringing phone on my desk, I wondered if Janet coloured hers. I decided to give mine a go over the weekend to see if it would give it some life to give me a halo like Janet’s crowning glory.

My friend Ruth mimed tipping a cup of coffee towards her mouth behind Janet’s back to me and pointed to the kitchen. Guessing she wanted a bit of a gossip I eagerly jumped up out of my seat and followed her in.

Look at that top she’s wearing today,’ she whispered insistently. I giggled and looked back out towards the office where Janet was busy with her audio typing.

‘I know! She looks like she’s been dragged through a hedge backwards and then dipped in paint!!’ I said. Janet’s horrifically clashing purple and orange top was giving me a migraine and it looked like Ruth had noticed it too.

We looked at each other and couldn’t help ourselves. ‘TRAMP!’ we chorused together.

 

Daybook Entry – 20th November


021114_2314_DaybookEntr1.jpgFOR TODAY
Outside my window… Oh boy, Winter is giving is a warning call! The temperature has literally halved overnight from last night and tonight we are looking at freezing fog out there. I am not complaining though and my thoughts are very much on the tonnes and tonnes of snow which is falling in the USA at the moment and the people who are suffering because of it.

I am thinking… about how even when you are side by side with someone and spilling out your guts to them about your innermost fears and worries they just don’t get it.

I am thankful… for the fellowship of my church friends tonight.

In the kitchen… Ethan made our tea tonight! Chicken, chips, tomatoes and corn. Lovely.

I am wearing… my heart on my sleeve. It’s not a good look.

I am creating… lots and lots of passages of writing from my course, and I have begun to write a song this week. Yup, a song. That’s something new for the Pamster to do!

I am going… to be cutting out the component parts for 60 Advent Wreaths tomorrow for Messy Church on Saturday. Like ya do…

I am wondering… how I’m going to get through the next couple of weeks. The family calendar is absolutely jam-packed with commitments right up to and including Christmas Day. You’ll know from previous years that we do actually cope quite well with pre-Christmas engagements, but this year is different because of our tight circumstances, which is affecting our ability to be cheerful about it. On top of that, I’m very worried – genuinely – that I am going to forget something. I have to keep reminding myself what day it is at the minute, which is not something that inspires confidence for the coming weeks.

I am reading… “Adam and Eve and Pinch Me” by Ruth Rendell. It’s a dark psychological thriller and is turning out to be a really good read. Look out for the book review in a few days!

I am hoping… my son’s chesty cough starts shifting soon. He has asthma and when his chest gets congested it really affects his breathing, which is worrying in its own right, but he has got his GSCE Mocks next week, and is sitting his Grade 5 Bass Trombone on Monday too. He obviously needs to be able to breathe properly for that.

I am praying for… Barbara who is on the verge of needed full time care after a series of falls in her home; Paula who is in hospital tonight; my mother-in-law who is very, very weak and still in hospital; my cousin Laura who is having a tough time at the minute; my daughter Emma who has had some disappointing news today.

I am looking forward to… Boxing Day. Seriously.

I am learning… lots about music, and lots about my ability to write fiction.

Around the house… ah, the house. Bless it’s little cotton socks. The house is looking a little bit unloved at the minute. Between them, my husband and my Dad are getting the hall and stairs ready for decorating and there have been some repairs needed before they can move the project along. There is no paper on the walls and there is bare plaster showing. My Dad had a lovely afternoon with a bucketful of filler making good all the little holes in the walls that were made by the previous owners and their numerous pictures, shelves, hooks and screws etc. It actually looked like there had been a gunfight in there when they got the old paper off – shotgun holes all over the place! Because of all the bare plaster there is dust, dust, dust and more dust over EVERYTHING, and all the bits and pieces from the hall have been moved elsewhere in the house, making it all unusable and cluttered as well dusty. Deep joy.

I am pondering… whether or not to flog a kidney and swan off to the Caribbean for six months on the proceeds.

A favourite quote for today: 

friends

One of my favourite things… is watching squirrels eating nuts on my bird feeder in the garden.

A few plans for the rest of the week: band tomorrow, Messy Church on Saturday, Sunday Church on Sunday where we will be baptising Rufus, Stay and Play on Monday.

A peek into my day… These two photos tell a little bit of the story of my hallway. The first is my husband trying to sort out some wiring, and the second is my Dad trying to sort out my husband’s “sorting out” of the same said wiring.

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Come and join us at  http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/ and join in!!

 

Book Review – Lamentation by C J Sansom


lamentationBackground/plot:

Trusted Serjeant at Law Matthew Shardlake is summoned by the Queen, Henry VIII’s sixth and final wife, Catherine Parr and is given the task of finding something that has been stolen from her. The official cover story is that a precious jewel has been stolen because if the truth got out and reached the King then not only her life would be in danger, but those around her who had been helping her. The stolen item is a book she had written about her past “sins”, called Lamentations of a Sinner, hence the title of this book, and the novel follows Matthew’s hunt to retrieve it to save her life. There are a couple of subplots to this too, but I won’t spoil it for readers who haven’t yet read the earlier books in the series.

My overall impression?

I absolutely loved this book, as I have the others previously written in this series. The amount of detail about Tudor England is stunning, and you can tell that C J Sansom has spent a lot of time doing his research. The use of people who actually existed brings the story to life, and it is easy to fall into the machinations and daily lives of Henry’s London. 

Who are the main characters?

There is quite an extensive cast-list in this book, which could become confusing but as they are introduced slowly it is easy to keep up with who’s who. The central character is Matthew Shardlake, the main protagonist in previous books, and he has a small band of assistants who help him including Jack Barak and Nicholas Overton. They both play an important role in several scenes and without them, Matthew would certainly be up the proverbial creek without the proverbial paddle. The royal court has a whole host of other characters, but the main ones are Queen Catherine and her loyal uncle, Lord Parr. Other characters (who really existed) include Sir Richard Rich and Lord Paget, and of course, King Henry VIII himself.

Where is it set?

It is set in Tudor London and the action mostly centres on a couple of the royal palaces (Whitehall and Hampton Court) but Shardlake’s rooms at Lincoln’s Inn and his house also play a prominent role.

Will I read the next in the series?

Absolutely YES. As I said earlier, I have loved all of these books and as they progress they are getting better and better. Not only are the characters becoming more established but the detail is getting clearer too. They don’t read like history books at all, although it is impossible not to receive a history lesson from them!

Would I recommend it to my friends?

This book would suit readers who like historical fiction and those who enjoy crime fiction. The historical setting doesn’t prevent it being an excellent who-dunnit so it would suit a wide range of reading appetites.

 

 

 

 

Ye Golden Fleece


This is a piece of fiction I composed as part of an exercise for my writing course. The location is based on a pub in Middleton and is accurate in respect of its function, but the dates and the characters are completely fictional. I know I’ve missed the brief on what the exercise is about so I don’t think I will be using it for anything related to my course, but I think it stands a short-story in its own right regardless of that, and I would appreciate any feedback you kind people can offer me if you don’t mind.

Joe is the landlord of Ye Golden Fleece pub, a historic building that has been stood since around 1273. The building was originally an inn and has been added on to a couple of times over the years, the last addition coming in 1684 with the addition of the “Sessions Room” at the end of the building. Used initially as a circuit court session room, it now served as a function room for the local community. Original panelling remained on the walls and a slightly modified fireplace gave the room a cosy feeling. Although it is a little dark, it is one of Joe’s favourite rooms in the pub. He loves going in there when everyone else has gone home and the pub is all his own again. He occasionally sits at the large table at the end of the room where he imagined the judge used to sit, and sometimes played out that role with petitioners before him asking him to forgive their petty thefts or to solve their disputes over cattle and sheep that have strayed onto each other’s fields. Joe also like to sometimes sit with a peaty Scotch before the dying fire when all had gone quiet after the customers and other bar staff had left, to ponder his own problems in the peaceful room steeped in historic memory.

That all changed one Christmas Eve, when Joe sat enjoying his customary nightcap before the dying embers, and he heard a voice whisper his name.

‘Joe……’

Thinking it was the wind outside or the fire settling in the grate, he ignored it at first.

‘Jo-o-o-o-e….’ came the whisper again, this time with more urgency.

Joe felt a shiver down the back of his neck and he thought he felt the presence of someone or something behind him as the voice whispered for a third time.

‘Joooooe…help meee…’

‘Pack it in Les, you daft thing. You can’t scare me like that!’ said Joe to the darkened room. He turned slightly in his seat expecting to see his head pot-man Les having a festive joke at his expense, but Les was not there and the room was empty. The sound of metal on wood brought Joe’s attention to the end of the room near the judge’s chair. He suddenly found his mouth dry and his heart had begun to pound. Eyes straining in the dimness and ears tuning into the silence, Joe felt his legs turn rubbery and he doubted they would support him even if he found the courage to try to stand up. The darkness began to take on an oppressive quality; expectant yet threatening at the same time.

A shuffle sounded behind him and Joe caught his breath, afraid to let it out in case it disturbed whatever was behind him, or drew its attention closer to him. He dared not turn round in case he saw something he didn’t want to see, and he became frozen in his terror.

Just as he thought he could bear the tension no longer, he heard the sound of two- three-four footsteps leading towards the door and then nothing. The atmosphere immediately began to lighten and the darkness because just dim again. The embers glowed cheerfully again and the silence was comforting once more. Joe felt his heart rate slow until it was normal, and it was only a moment or two before he was confident enough to move his arm.

He tipped back his glass to drain it, and in the refracted firelight through the bottom saw the outline of a man dressed richly in a gown and long curly wig standing with a black cap in his hand. He nodded and smiled towards Joe before fading away completely.

Joe tipped the chair over in his panic to run away, and ever since that day he was careful to leave the lights on whenever he had his nightcap in the Sessions Room.

 

Wednesday Hodgepodge – 12th November


1. We celebrate Veteran’s Day in the US of A on November 11th. When did you last interact with a member of the armed forces (either currently serving or retired)? Have you ever written a letter to a soldier, bought a meal or coffee for a soldier, said an unprompted thank you to a soldier you encountered out and about somewhere? If you’re not in the US, comment on a similar holiday in your own country.

The last time I interacted with a member of the armed forces was my daughter this afternoon! She is in the University Royal Naval Unit (URNU for short) while she is studying for her degree, and we were chatting about all sorts of stuff. I have quite a few friends in the forces too, and we are in contact quite regularly on Facebook etc, and the last time I interacted with retired service personnel was on Sunday, which was our Remembrance Sunday here in the UK.

I haven’t ever written a letter to a soldier or bought a meal or anything like that (apart from my daughter), mainly because our service personnel don’t go around in uniform because of security concerns so it’s difficult to spot them in public. To be honest it’s not something I would do anyway.

2. You can have fifty pounds of anything at all (except money)…what would you choose?

I would love 50lbs of wool to crochet with. I’d make hats and blankets for the special care baby unit at the local hospital, and hats and scarves for a homeless charity. I can’t think of anything I’d like 50lbs of for myself.

3. When did you last receive an invitation in the ‘real’ mail? What was it for and did you attend? When it comes to RSVP-ing, are you an ‘early responder’ or a ‘last minute, barely-under-the-wire’ kind of guest?

I received an invitation a few weeks ago for my cousin Stephen’s wedding at the end of this month. I haven’t responded yet…I’m kind of a “last minute meets almost forget to reply” guest.

4. What’s something you really don’t like to waste?

Time.

5. Cheers, Friends, MASH, Seinfeld…of the ones listed, your favourite long-running sitcom?
Of the ones listed I only watched MASH, so I would go with that. However, my favourite long term sitcom is Frasier.

6. What decision are you glad you made?

Oh so many to choose from!! There are a couple of personal decisions that I made that would be top of the list but as I don’t particularly want to discuss them here, I am going to say the most recent decision that I am glad I made was the decision to continue with my degree. It has been difficult and stressful at times, but I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel and I feel a different person because of it.

7. In this month of ‘Thanksgiving’ what is one thing that’s different today than it was a year ago that you’re grateful for?

This is quite a difficult thing to answer because the past twelve months have been particularly rough and lots of aspects of my life are worse now than they were this time last year. However, I am grateful that I have a study space now even though it means that Emma doesn’t quite have a bedroom she can instantly move back to if ever she needs to. We can convert it back again quite quickly, but for now I am enjoying the space where I can organise myself and study in peace.

8. Random thought:

I got my first assignment mark back this week for my music course and I scored 95%. I am totally gobsmacked!! A lot to live up to for the rest of the course, but it’s a cracking start and I am so pleased. I haven’t received my mark for my creative writing assignment yet and I can’t publish the piece I submitted for it until I do. Watch this space! 95% is a high benchmark but it will be interesting to see how my words match my music ability. #doingthehappydance

 

 

Overwhelmed With Silly Season


I don’t know about you, but this time of the year is the start of the “silly season” for me. With my commitments at band, and church, and with family and work, the run-up to Christmas can be a torture for me and I can sometimes feel extremely overwhelmed by it all. To be completely honest, the worst time is right about now because I can see a full calendar for the next 8 weeks or so, but it hasn’t started yet and I am in a bit of no-man’s land. I can see it, but I can’t deal with it because it isn’t here yet. I get anxious thinking about how anxious I am going to be because I am too anxious to get through everything I need to get through, and I’m anxious about fitting it all in.

so much to do

I have come up with a list of 10 things that have helped me in the past to get through silly season, which I hope will be of use to you too. Please feel free to add any of your own tips to mine and let’s see if we can get through to Boxing Day together in one piece.

1. Prepare – I have a tendency to leave things to the last minute, which I know is a strategy that only adds to my feelings of being overwhelmed. I have learned that when things are getting extremely busy and I feel that things are piling up one of the best ways to get a grip on things is to prepare as early as I can. We have a lot of engagements with church and band leading up to Christmas and it’s easy to lose sight of things like the necessity to eat, so to combat that I will take a day out to cook and freeze meals so that we can still eat “proper” food whilst not having to worry about the time to shop, prepare and cook them. Same goes for uniforms – making sure the laundry is done and IRONED ahead of time saves that pressure of getting ready to leave the house to do a concert.

pad and pen2. Write Things Down – I think most people are the same as me in that we try so hard to keep track of every single detail about every single thing we have to remember that we wear ourselves out trying not to forget. The answer is very simple – write things down! Appointments, commitments, promises you’ve made to friends, arrangements you’ve made to take your children to things, gifts you need to buy etc. Write things down in a notebook or in your calendar so you can mentally let go of them until the time is right to take action.

3. Visualize – I went on a training course many moons ago about how to get the best out of yourself in the workplace, which I admit went straight over my head for the most part, but one of the most valuable things I learned from it was to visualise yourself carrying out certain tasks. The thinking behind it was that if you can mentally “rehearse” doing something before you actually come to do it, the chances are it will be successful first time off because you have already “seen” yourself doing it already. In terms of the workplace I think it was meaning things like visualising yourself giving a talk to a room full of colleagues, but it works for family things too. Visualising yourself getting through a particularly busy day before you actually have to go through it does actually help. Trust me.

keep calm4. Say No to Commitments and Comparisons – One of the hardest words in the English language is the word “no”. Everybody likes to be needed, and it does something to our ego when we are asked to do something or take part in something especially if it is going to help someone else. But we can let ourselves get overwhelmed with commitments, especially leading up to Christmas, simply because we can’t say “no” to requests for our time and energy. One of the reasons why it is hard to say no, is because we compare ourselves to those Supermums who can say “yes” to everything, and seemingly with a big smile on their impeccably made up faces and with apparently little effort at all. “Oh these little fairy costumes for the whole of class 3? Yes, I whipped them up on the sewing machine last night while helping Jimmy with his Maths homework and cooking a fabulous five course meal for our anniversary and giving my bedridden mother in law a bed-bath and reading her favourite Bible stories haha!” Don’t be tempted to compare yourself to them. Those women have got different lives and priorities to you and they will be equally stressing about things in their own way, and they probably look at you and marvel at your capabilities and your qualities.

5. Remember the Big Things – When it’s all getting too much for us, we tend to get bogged down in the detail of things and we lose sight of the Big Things. Does it really matter that you haven’t hand-made a dozen greetings cards for your nearest and dearest rather than buying them? Does it really matter that your child didn’t go to Jessica’s party in a new dress? Does it really matter that your turkey isn’t self-basting? Or the potatoes don’t get cooked in goose fat? Or you can’t track down any chestnuts to cook with your sprouts? Surely, what matters is that your child has a friend who thinks enough of them to invite them to her party, that your family and friends get to see you and spend some time with you rather than you spending all your time and energy in handmaking cards and gifts. And surely, SURELY, the fact that you can enjoy a Christmas dinner with your loved ones outweighs the fact that the small details might not all drop into place?? Think of the big picture and don’t worry about the small things. As the song says, let it go!!

praying_hands6. Prayer/Meditation – This might sound a bit daft, especially if you are strapped for time, but it really does help. Whether you are religious or not, making time to take time out from things really does help. Personally, I pray every day and I sometimes find it hard to make time out of my day to do it properly, but when I do I find that the 15 minutes or so invested in prayer help me focus on what is important and what the big picture is. It also calms me down and allows my thoughts to stop racing around my head, which helps with things like planning and preparation. It also helps me realise and focus on the things I appreciate in my life rather than worrying about things I don’t have, or the things that are going wrong.

help7. Communicate – I don’t know about you, but when I get overwhelmed and stressed with life, I stop talking. Some might say that’s a good thing (!) but seriously, this is not a good strategy. If I don’t talk to my husband or my children, or my parents or my friends, about the things that I have got on my plate, how can I expect them to guess?? If I don’t share my worries with them, how can they help? If I don’t share my plans and arrangements with them, how are they expected to be on board with me when I need them to move? I have learned over time that the best way to deal with being overwhelmed is to talk about it. Let people know you are stressed; tell them what you need help with; tell them what’s on your plate; let them help you. Best of all, by speaking things out loud they suddenly become less daunting and less stressful.

back-to-the-future-delorean8. Give Yourself Extra Time – My husband drives a time machine. Seriously. We have a 45 minute journey to get to band, rehearsal starts at 8pm and there are roadworks on the motorway that can add up to another 15 minutes to our journey. He expects to leave the house at 7.30pm and we will get there in time. Errrrr no. It’s not going to happen is it?! I hate the gut-wrenching feeling of being late, or on the last minute. I hate the thought of letting people down by being late, and it makes me feel physically ill when we are running behind time. To combat my husband’s time-machine style driving, I tell him we are expected to be places at least half an hour earlier than we actually are. That way, he still thinks he’s driving a DeLorean, and I don’t have the tortuous journey whenever we have be places at a certain time, and I don’t have to worry about finding enough plutonium to fire up the flux capacitor. Even if you don’t have a time traveller for a husband as I do, make life easier for yourself and give yourself a bit of wriggle room when it comes timings. An extra 5 minutes ahead can make the world of difference.

9. Reduce External Stimulation – Nothing causes more stress when we’re already feeling overwhelmed than does clutter, mess and noise. Not only do we waste time hunting for things in a cluttered house, mess impacts on our ability to relax when we do get time off. TVs and radios blaring out noise doesn’t help us when we are trying to juggle our thoughts – ever noticed how much more stressful supermarket shopping is leading up to Christmas when they start blaring out pop songs and carols? Take the chance to clear out things from your house and embrace the quiet times and quiet zones when you can. It ties in with the piece of advice about prayer and meditation too.

10. Patience with Yourself and Others – Everyone at this time of the year is feeling stressed and pushed for time. The chances are that they are feeling just as overwhelmed as you but they might not be showing it. Give them a break! And more importantly, give yourself a break too. Be patient with people and be patient with yourself. Take another breath before you speak, especially if you are feeling tense. Give people another chance if they don’t jump to it straight away and don’t go off at the deep end if they get things wrong. Remember the advice about thinking about the Big Things. Is the thing you are getting impatient for really that important? Or can you wait for it? Is it really a matter of life or death, or is it simply not worth worrying about? Patience is a skill that will help when you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed.

patience

Bonfire Night


Oh I love Bonfire Night! The sounds of the rockets and explosions in the sky; the colours; the smells of bonfires and gunpowder from exploded fireworks; the treacle toffee; the sparklers; the hands wrapped in gloves and layers of clothes and scarves and hats and wellies that make it impossible to move; the fog the next day… I just love it!!

There are a couple of things I don’t like though. Idiots throwing fireworks at public displays; the annual call that “fireworks should be banned because x, y and z get scared/burnt/don’t understand”; the new argument that we shouldn’t be celebrating the death of a religious radical and so on.

When you look at Bonfire Night in its entirety, it’s a pretty unusual event isn’t it? It comes at a time in the year where the clocks have just gone back, Autumn is starting to bite, Halloween has just gone, and very soon we will be marking Remembrance Sunday. Not long after that we hit Advent and then Christmas is upon us once again, and Bonfire Night sits in the middle of all that, a peculiar British event where perhaps its significance is not understood by many people around the world.

Traditionally, bonfires were lit to dispose of bones when charnal houses and graveyards were cleared of old bodies to make way for new ones. The name “bonfire” comes from the words “bone-fire” – the original cremations perhaps.

Bonfire Night on 5th November is slightly different. It is all about the story of Guy Fawkes, who in 1605 with a group of conspirators, attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament and assassinate the King at the State Opening of Parliament. The plot was uncovered before any damage could be done, and the gang of conspirators were eventually rounded up and put to death after torture. As early as 1606, Bonfire Night was established by an act of Parliament, and was intended to be an observance of the failed gunpowder plot. Whether it was to serve as a warning to others seeking to do the same or as a celebration that the King still lived, or even as a celebration that the Catholic/Protestant conflict was brought to a close is something that people who are far cleverer than I should argue about.

Gunpowder Plot Conspirators

Gunpowder Plot Conspirators

When the State Opening of Parliament happens today, a troupe of guards still “search” the vaults underneath the Houses of Parliament to make sure nobody is trying to recreate the gunpowder plot. They “ensure all is secure” by marching through the vaults with lanterns and swords before Parliament sits in session. It has become a tradition in its own right, and it is said that the equipment they carry to do this dates back to the days of the gunpowder plot, although modern security measures mean that it is extremely unlikely that the events of November 1605 would be repeated.

 

Effigies of the “guy” are still burned on top of bonfires today, more than 400 years later. I remember as a kid making up guys and asking adults “penny for the guy”. Some kids bought fireworks with their money but I only bought sweets with mine. I was never brave enough to touch fireworks as a kid and even sparklers used to bring me out in a cold sweat. I’m much the same now as an adult, although I can tolerate sparklers….just about. As much as I love to see them go off, the lessons of Blue Peter and “Charlie Says…” went deep with me and I am terrified of them if they are not in a tin box and away from matches. I wouldn’t dream of returning to a lit firework and I just wish my arms were twelve feet long so I would be brave enough to light my own.  Ah happy days!

Guy Fawkes November 5th Bonfire night Lewes Sussex England HOMER SYKES

Remember, remember the 5th of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason, why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot.

On This Day In History – Tutankhamun’s Tomb Discovered


tutankhamunNovember 4th, 1922 was the date in history that saw the breakthrough to the tomb of the as yet undiscovered Tutankhamun. After over 30 years of working and studying in Egypt, archaeologist Howard Carter finally found the steps leading down into what is arguably the most famous of the ancient tombs.

Howard Carter, along with his friend and sponsor Lord Carnarvon, had spent years and years of searching for the rumoured tomb of King Tut, suspending their research for the duration of World War I, and resuming it as soon as they were able after its conclusion. By the autumn of 1922 the hunt was most definitely on and they made their exciting breakthrough in the afternoon of November 4th. It was in the days afterwards that they made progress clearing the passageways and blocked stairs down into the tomb, but they still did not know for certain that the tomb they were excavating was the one for which they had been searching for so long.

It took a further month or so for the tomb to be fully investigated and excavated, and along the way Carter and his team discovered that a number of robberies had taken place in the 3000 years since it was sealed.

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Since Tutankhamun has been removed, along with all his grave goods, many many teams of investigators and researchers have examined his mummified remains. Theories about how the Ancient Egyptians treated their dead have changed over the years and there is still more to be learned from them.

This October saw the publication of the results of the latest round of examinations and investigations on Tutankhamun’s remains using CT scans and a “virtual autopsy”, Many outlets reported on the investigation, which concluded that the Boy King, as he is affectionately known, died at the age of around 15 years old, possibly from the result of a thigh injury and not from a chariot crash as had been previously thought. The report also concluded that he had a club-foot, “womanly hips”, protruding teeth, a cleft palate and a pronounced overbite. His parents were brother and sister, who in turn were probably born to a brother and sister union, which probably accounts for his physical defects.

virtual autopsyThis is recreation of how Tutankhamun would have looked before he died using CT scans, X-rays and computer reconstruction techniques. It just goes to show that even though his tomb was discovered 92 years ago, interest in who he was and how he came to die so young has never waned, and what was started by Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter in the late 18th Century is still as compelling to modern historians and archaeologists today.

If you would like to find out more about the latest round of investigation on Tutankhamun’s remains, please visit this article from the Telegraph, or if you live in the UK you can pick up the BBC’s programme on iPlayer.