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1. ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
30th March 1282: The Sicilian Vespers
In 1268, Charles I of Anjou, in alliance with the pope Clement IV, had defeated Manfred, King of Sicily, in the Battle of Beneveto. Manfred was killed in the battle and Charles became king of Sicily.
Unrest in Sicily began to grow immediately because of its very subordinate role in Charles's empire — its nobles had no share in the government of their own island and were not compensated by lucrative posts abroad, as were Charles's French, Provençal and Neapolitan subjects; also Charles spent the heavy taxes he imposed on wars outside Sicily. The unrest was encouraged and stirred up further by Byzantine agents to thwart Charles's projected invasion of the Byzantine Empire, and by the Aragonese king Pedro III, Manfred's son-in-law, who saw his wife Constance as rightful heir to the Sicilian throne.
There are conflicting accounts of what started the rebellion, but it began at the start of Vespers, the sunset prayer marking the beginning of the night vigil on Easter Monday, March 30, 1282, at the Church of the Holy Spirit just outside Palermo. After leaders were elected in Palermo, messengers spread word across the island for the rebels to strike before the French had time to organize resistance.
In a fortnight, the rebels gained control over most of the island, and within six weeks thousands of French inhabitants had been massacred and Sicily was completely under rebel control, except for Messina which was well fortified, and whose leading family, the Riso, remained faithful to Charles. But on 28 April, it too broke into open revolt and, most significantly, the islanders' first act was to set fire to Charles's fleet in the harbour.
Knowing Charles would attempt to recapture the island, the rebels appealed for the aid of the king of Aragon, Pedro III. Pedro landed at Trapani on August 30, and promised the Sicilians the restoration of their former privileges under Norman king William The Good. Successfully winning over the population, Pedro was crowned king Peter I of Sicily on Sepember 4.
Charles sent a fleet to blockade the port of Messina and invade the island, but all attacks were repulsed. The War of The Sicillian Vespers then raged for 20 years until in 1302, unable to take the island, the French and papacy recognised Peter's successor, Frederick III as "King of Trinacria" which effectively meant rule over the island of Sicily.
2. TODAY IN MY LIFE
Client prep and session
Twitter Followers = 2,106 (up 4)
Never-followed unfollowers eliminated = 0
Followed unfollowers eliminated = 1
New Followers followed back = 2
Spammers not followed back = 3
@wxfitness1, @GetRenewEnergy, @xTYLERxHxfew
3. TODAY'S SELF-OBSERVATION
Well my quality day with Son turned out to be a quality afternoon with Son - at my expense! Nevertheless it was most enjoyable to have a blokey time. After that I got all the ironing done and had quality time with Missus, so a thoroughly pleasant time was had by all.
I was however taken by surprise by a bout of "semi-insomnia" - where I only sleep half the night. I felt ready for bed at 22:00, but by 23:15 I was wise awake again. I therefore made a start on this blog and browsed Tumblr until by 01:30 I felt sleepy enough to return to bed. But by 05:10 I was awake again, and horny! It's great to be horny without chemical assistance but at 05:10 after a broken night's sleep it's not particularly convenient.
All this is of course part of ageing - you lose those smooth circadian rhythms. Fortunately I feel no distress - I simply accept it and let my body do what it does. No doubt it will catch up on sleep in due course. At least while body is erratic, mind has never been better. A major breakthrough has been living intuitively, virtually eliminating internal conflict and greatly enhancing my ability to practice Acceptance.
Focus however is and always has been hard work to control. Whether I've had a good or bad day largely depends on how effectively I reined in focus. I need to work on keeping it on a very tight lead, to prepare for less benign circumstances. I want to make the best response in any situation, and that requires keeping focus firmly grounded, not "going off on one". There are plenty of dark memories and scenarios for focus to wander into, so it's crucial to wellbeing that I am tip-top at the Discipline of Grounding.
4. TODAY'S QUESTION FOR YOU
How do you protect yourself from your own vulnerabilities?
5. TODAY'S WEATHER IN BRADFORD
6. TODAY'S ONELINER
Of all the things life has given to me... I would like to return 20lbs :D
7. NOW THAT'S FUNNY!
Bill Burr on eternal judgement
Charles Darwin believed that emotions were beneficial for evolution because emotions improved chances of survival. For example, the brain uses emotion to keep us away from a dangerous animal (fear), away from rotting food and fecal matter (disgust), in control of our resources (anger), and in pursuit of a good meal or a good mate (pleasure and lust).
9. ZEN WISDOM
When we change, the world changes. The key to all change is in our inner transformation—a change of our hearts and minds. This is human revolution. We all have the power to change. When we realize this truth, we can bring forth that power anywhere, anytime, and in any situation.