This blog began in 1997 as a single news page called Nucelus. In 2005, during a long wait to move into a new house, I decided to learn some php and MySQL and write my own blogging system, which became inkyBlog and which now powers this, my own Webbledegook blog.
Thank you to my brother, Murray Ewing, for help with some of the more challenging aspects!
If you haven't had a chance to see any of the story yet then you can read the first three pages online - right here. If you like that, then you can buy back issues of The Phoenix to get the whole adventure - issues 75-78 for the complete thing.
I have also put up a character page for The Secret of the Samurai. With The Rainbow Orchid I think I only had one character who was also a real-life person (Mr Banerji), but in Samurai there are four or five.
Albert Koop was the Keeper of Metalwork at the Victoria and Albert Museum, a department that included Japanese armour (he was also editor of the Japan Society's Journal). I don't know what he looked like, so his appearance is from my own imagination.
Another real person was Major Lockett - Vivian Noverre Lockett, to be exact. As well as a Major (later Colonel) in the 17th Lancers he was a gold medal winner for the British polo team at the 1920 Olympics in Antwerp. Incidentally, although he doesn't appear, Charles Edward Hay was a real person as well, killed in France in 1918.
A minor character, but one I really like, is Mrs Whitley. To find out who she was, watch this short instructional video.
And lastly, Tanegashima Daizen was a real samurai general. He was the commander of the left vanguard of the Satsuma army during the Shimazu invasion of Okinawa in 1609. I couldn't find much about him, so plenty of artistic license used beyond that!
In the meantime, don't forget this fabulous competition in which you can win a copy of The Rainbow Orchid plus loads of excellent Phoenix goodies.