Ricky Tomlinson is a scouser! Yes you read that right, the Liverpool Legend is in fact ... scouse! As they say in this part of the world - 'Who'd of thowt!'

So there I was, out in the mad world of Christmas shopping, elbows sharpened, stout boots on feet and a steely look in my eyes, when I found myself in front of the splendour and colour of rows and rows of Christmas Crackers.  Laden with bags and not a hand free, I could only look with the objective of selecting and remembering my choice for later collection when I had put this particular batch of goodies in the car boot.  Then it happened!  Loss of focus!  Mission Christmas shopping was in jeopardy!  My mind had done its usual meander off down History Lane!  I tried in vane to resist but to no avail, the surrounding throng of determined shoppers became nothing more than a blur.  I was detached from the moment and only half noticed their irritation at my apparent lack of urgency to get out of the way.

The TV programme 'Who Do You Think You Are' was back with a huge hit last Thursday night. EastEnders actor Danny Dyer was the subject of the popular ancestry show and what a show to start the new series with. The programme unfolded in usual fashion, giving us the subject's background and where he comes from; chats with family elders threw in the family myths for later scrutiny and then ... bam!! we were off on a roller coaster ride through English history.

Zac is busy at work on his latest commission, he's just had a conversation with the family concerned and he's already hard at it mining an archive. Sounds like any family historian, but the year is 2216 and Zac is not just a genealogist, he's a specialist Web-archaeologist. The holo-link blinks back into life and a slightly flickering image of an individual who passed away 100 years earlier is talking about their life and times as if they were in the room. It hadn't taken him long to find the lost file, after all he's an expert.

On this day in 1938 Britain's then Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain returned from a Munich crisis conference with Adolf Hitler. Waving a fluttering piece of paper in his hand, he would claim, as he stood at the microphone outside his recently landed aircraft, bore Herr Hitler's name and his own. This he said he believed would give us "peace for our time". History of course went on to show that he and the rest of the appeasers got it very wrong regarding Hitler and that far from delivering any sort of peace, the conference was just a prelude to a war on a scale of which the world had never seen before.

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