World Diabetes Day – Happy 129th Birthday Frederick Banting

November 14th marks World Diabetes Day, a day that is very close to my heart as I have lived with Type 1 diabetes since 1996. It is a day of raising global awareness of diabetes, and bringing both those who suffer with it and their families together. You may have seen certain landmarks lit up in blue on this day over the years and that is for one reason alone – world diabetes day.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, caused when the immune system attacks the insulin producing cells in the pancreas. Without insulin, the body cannot process the glucose in the blood – when many type 1’s are diagnosed they are in something called diabetic ketoacidosis. This is when the body starts burning fat instead of glucose to get its energy, and it ends up turning the blood very acidic. Sadly this can be fatal.

I remember when I was diagnosed I had been unwell for a very long time. It all culminated with me projectile vomiting over my classmates while we were watching Oliver Twist, and being rushed to the hospital where I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Now here I am almost 25 years later – I’ve seen so many changes in diabetes technology and treatment. But the one thing that has stayed the same is…


And it was Frederick Banting who, along with his colleague, who discovered insulin and in 1922, they managed to sucessfully treat a number of patients with their new discovery. Because of them, people with type 1 diabetes no longer had to think of the condition as a death sentence. And I’m forever grateful to them.

So why is World Diabetes Day on February 14th? Because it’s Frederick Banting’s birthday!

Happy Birthday, Mr Banting. And thank you, from all of us insulin dependent diabetics!


My goodness, I feel like I haven’t stopped these past few months. Lockdown due to covid has certainly kept me busy – what with finishing off the Savonarola book and starting my next project, working the day job and all the over bits and bobs in between. Things have been a bit…well, manic I guess. And because of that I’ve not been paying attention to the blog.

Hashtag worst blogger ever.

Just a bit of an update:

Cesare and Lucrezia Borgia: Brother & Sister of History’s Most Vilified Family is out on SEPTEMBER 30TH. That’s just over a month away, folks. You can get your pre-orders in directly through Pen & Sword, or via Amazon. On launch day I’m planning on having a bottle of champagne and PERHAPS doing a little Facebook Live launch party. Please do keep an eye on facebook and twitter for news on that one.

As mentioned, the Savonarola manuscript is complete and the editing process has begun. I’ve a feeling this is going to be a very long process this time and in all honesty I’m not looking forward to it. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done on it still before it can be released on the world.

My next project is an absolute MOUNTAIN of a topic. And whilst at the moment I can’t go into a huge amount of detail about it – it’s going to be one of the only pieces of work in English on a certain Templar. I’m scared. I’m honestly scared as hell. But at the same time I am very very excited. I’ll be talking a lot about my research and how things are going over on the facebook page and twitter so please do swing on by.

Speaking of Templars, I received a book in the post today. Book post is always awesome. But the thing is…I didn’t order this mystery book. There are no orders made by me on Amazon or anywhere, no confirmation emails and I am so so confused. Still, it’s a gorgeous hardback book and will be of great help in my upcoming research so….thank you to whoever sent me this mystery book!

On that happy little note, I’ll sign off. Keep an eye out for news on a potential virtual launch party for the Borgia book!