As promised, Cadfael. Cadfael is a twelfth century Benedictine Monk in Shrewsbury, England near the Welsh border. Created by Edith Pargeter under the pen name Ellis Peters, Cadfael is one of the most delightful characters I've ever read.
He came late to the monastic life, after a career as a Crusader and soldier. He spends his time in the Abbey Gardens growing herbs for medicinal purposes. On the side, he solves mysteries.
One of the most intriguing things about Cadfael is the setting and era. It is set during the Civil War of England between King Stephen and his cousin Empress Maude, a little known or written about time in fictional circles at least.
There are twenty Cadfael mysteries, thirteen of which have been made into television shows by the BBC for their Mystery! series. Derek Jacobi plays the role of Brother Cadfael to perfection. This past week, through the wonders of inter-library loan, I was able to borrow the "Cadfael Collection" of DVD's. The only problem was, I could only keep them for one week. Thirteen episodes (75 mins each) to watch in a week. This seriously cut into the old writing time.
Fortunately, Cadfael proved to be a favorite with the kids. They love any and all things medieval, thanks to The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle Earth, and Age of Empires. We were also able to discuss the rights and wrongs of the Benedictine's interpretations of Scripture and piety and eternal life.
If you get the chance, read the books, and/or watch the programs. They're really fantastic.
As an aside...I took the kids to the "Y" for their homeschool swim club today. We were forced to evacuate the building due to a gas line being cut in the excavation outside for the new aquatic center. What a day.