Sunday, 20 July 2014

Chelmsford Museum

Woooop, two blog posts in a week, i'm on a role!

My local museum, changes around its exhibits a lot. The last time the boy and I visited, was when the Dukes Nightclub one was running (twas brilliant).
The one we went to see today, was the changing of Chelmsford highstreet from Roman times, to the present day.

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It was interesting to see how little the actual layout has changed (from around the Georgian era). The shire hall which was built in 1791, is still here today (although rather dilapidated) and served as the county court until 2012.
The old county gaol is now a hairdressers, the old Inn "The Black Boy" is now a Next and until the late 20th century, it wasn't even pedestrianised!

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What I found most interesting, was when King Henry VIII was desperately trying to get an annulment from the Pope from his marriage to Catherine of Aragon, he separated Catherine from their daughter Mary, and apparently Mary spent much of her time in Chelmsford.
Also, a lady named Agnes Waterhouse, was from Chelmsford and she was the first woman to be executed for Witchcraft in England (1566 - before Mr Hopkin's time ;)).

All in all, it was a very enjoyable visit and I think when i next walk down the highstreet to work, i'll take my time and think about what it looked like to people 20, 50, 100, even 200 years ago :)

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Colchester Castle

Colchester, as you may know, is Britain's oldest recorded town (Camulodunum to the Romans and Cunobelin to the Celts).
After the Roman occupation (AD 43), it became the capital, but only until the Queen of the Iceni Tribe (Boadicea) rebelled against the forces of the Roman empire. In AD 61, she destroyed the town and soon after that, London became the capital of Britannia.

In regards to Colchester Castle which has recently been through some heavy refurbishment, it opened again to the public in the spring (yay) and as the boy and I woke up to sunshine, we decided to head down to the Norman keep (it opened about 1100).

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I first visited the castle as a young child and loved it then, but i think you appreciate History more as an adult because you understand it.

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There were a lot of school children hanging around but we still had a great time. You could dress up, try on helmets (my particular favourite was the Norman one ;)) and watch interactive videos of what the castle looked like in 1120, through to the dilapidated state in 1800.

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What interested me most about the castle, was that the Witchfinder General; Matthew Hopkins, used the castle as a gaol in the 17th century.
I will have to write a book about him one day after I am finished with the 14th century......

Dress - vintage (£4.99)
Necklace - topshop (£7)


Sunday, 6 July 2014

The Knights Templar and Cressing Temple

The Knights Templar, were a Christian Order and were founded in the 12th Century (1119) by two French Knights during the Crusades. They swore to aid Christian pilgrims that were visiting the Holy Land and received papal recognition in 1129. Obviously after this they grew and were a very popular military order in the 12th and 13th centuries as they swore the usual chastity and poverty... however, they also swore to protect the Holy Land from all infidels.

By the 14th century, however, they were facing problems as the Christians were driven out of Palestine and were expected to continue their war in Cyprus. The Templars, were not happy with this situation as their functions relied on being close to Christ's life, death and resurrection.
In 1307, the grand master of the order traveled to the West to seek support from the papacy and from Christendom after a request was sent by the Pope.

And what was waiting for him.....

King Philip IV of France.

He ordered the arrest of the Templars for denying Christ, sodomy, defiling crucifixes and various other offenses that were highly unlikely committed by them.

By 1312, King Edward II had followed France's lead.

Anyway, apologies for the History lesson.

The boy and I traveled to Braintree in Essex this afternoon to visit an old site which was founded in 1137 by Matilda of Boulogne (wife of King Stephen r.1135-1154) . The barns that surround the monumnet, were erected by the Knights Templar sometime in the 13th Century.
There is also a Tudor garden and a granary c 17th Century ;)
Its free and tours are available ;)

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Outfit;
Dress - topshop (via a charity shop - £5.99)
Cardigan - hobbs (via a charity shop - £2.99)


Sunday, 29 June 2014

Maldon and moving house!!!

The reason why I have not blogged for a little while, is because my boy and I moved into our first flat together last week (eeeeeeeeek).
I still have not sorted out my clothes and books so the bedroom is a bit of a state at the moment (heh).

We decided to drive down to Maldon today for a little break (a break from writing, tidying and buying flowers) because one was duly needed.
The Museum in the park, is £2 to get in and mainly consists of a lot of Maldon's local history (the Battle of Maldon, the overweight Edward Bright, the Roman occupation etc.).
Photos were not allowed unfortunately but if you fancy seeing a Victorian washroom, a WWII living room and a penny farthing.... then head down ;) its run by volunteers and boy do they do an ace job.

This afternoon i will crack on with both my adult Historical novel and my new children's story set in WWII.
My adult novel is coming along nicely and started the 3rd edit on Friday... still hasn't got a title yet though!

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dress - topshop (£15, 3 years ago)
necklace - olive + frank (£4 in the sale)



Monday, 9 June 2014

#Bookaday - June 8th - More than one copy & June 9th - Film or TV Tie in



 I have three copies of my favourite HP book :) my original copy (bought aged 9 with my birthday money) is falling to bits.... can't remember how and where I got the other copies but I have them and they are sitting pretty in my bookcase ^_^

In regards to the film/tv tie, it has to be the fantastic masterpiece that is Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen. I read the book for the first time age 16 and watched the tv series when suffering with swine flu aged 18. The movie is fantastic as well but there is no Colin Firth ;)




Sunday, 8 June 2014

Maldon Military Museum

This little gem is tucked away in Maldon and myself and the boy had no idea it existed until about a month or so ago. Whilst in Mistley, we picked up a leaflet about it and as the weather has been so beautiful recently, we decided to drive down.
Of course Maldon is associated with the Battle of Maldon in 991 A.D but with that aside, its a beautiful place to explore, grab an ice-cream and watch the world go by.

Hige sceal þe heardra, heorte the cenre,
mod sceal þe mare, þe ure mægen lytlað

"Thought must be the harder, heart be the keener,
mind must be the greater, while our strength lessens”

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Anyway, back to the museum.
It had weaponry from the 10th century right to the 1980s. Of course I was in my element with the medieval/English Civil War armour, polearms, axes, war hammers etc.
The boy is more interested in WW2, so we both left very happy.

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I was fascinated with this peasant axe (c. 15th century)
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It looks like it could certainly do a bit of damage.
In regards to the early weaponry, I feel as if this has helped me to understand just how strong medieval Knights/men-at-arms would have to have been in order to have worn the armour/carry their lances. If men these days think they are strong then I would like to see them cope in heavy, thick chain mail!

Outfit;
 t-shirt - topshop (£14)
grey skirt - topshop via ebay (about £7)

Saturday, 7 June 2014

#Bookaday - June 7th - Forgot I owned it

Bonjour Tristesse (Hello Sadness) by Francoise Sagan. This was discovered the other day when i was looking for an unrelated novel.

This was given to me (to keep) by my grandmother when i was 17 (same age as Cecile in the novel).I could not relate at all to the character when i read it as i did not think of myself as attractive or seductive (still don't ;)).

Perhaps it will get read again at some point...