Mel and the French Army

Mel/Mélisende is a sergent-chef in the French Armée de Terre (land forces), equivalent to junior warrant officer in the UK forces. She chose to join as a direct entrant at the non-commissioned officer (NCO) level at 18. She could have gone to the officer training school at Saint-Cyr, but she had itchy feet after leaving […]

Poitou – Mélisende's ancient homeland

Poitou – the grain bowl of Europe (Author photo)

In Double Identity, Mel’s surname – des Pittones – is based on the Pictones, a Celtic tribe in ancient Gaul, a tribe that gave its name to Poitou in western France. And her family has been settled in the area for hundreds and hundreds […]

On the road to Rome

I do love a good Roman road.

In ‘The Idealist’ my contribution to the recent Betrayal anthology, Statia Mitela could not have fulfilled her mission in 1849 Rome without these roads built by her ancestors and which have endured as routes and often the only properly paved road in the area through the millennia.

You […]