Friday, 24 July 2015

Wind in the Willows

A few weeks ago, the boy and I decided to pay our local reservoir a visit. It was a beautiful day, and to our delight, we discovered that a Wind in the Willows trail had been constructed.

I read the book aged 8, and absolutely loved Mr Toad.

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I lost my copy long ago, and this trail encouraged me to buy another copy on ebay (£2.81). I bought a children's copy, and it has amazing illustrations. It definitely is a classic!

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We're off to Hever Castle on Tuesday, very excited :)

Outfit;

cardigan - h&m (£19.99, 6 years ago)
dress - topshop via a charity shop (£4.99)
boots - primark (£12)
bag - topshop (25)

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Long time no see (again!)

It feels like i've not posted for an age!

The only excuse i have is that i have been up to nothing remotely interesting (save for writing and uni work)

We took a walk around Sandford Lock last sunday before getting soaked in the rain (luckily we'd already scoffed our picnic)

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And we got a lot of money back from E-on so i treated myself to a few bits (and books - not pictured)

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We both have a week off work soon so we're hoping to have a few trips out! Fingers crossed, anyway.

Outfit;

dress - topshop via a charity shop (around £4.99)
bag - h&m via a charity shop (£1.99)
shoes - topshop in the sale (£15) - a recent puchase.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Magna Carta Exhibition

On the 21st May, myself and the boy travelled to The British Library for the Magna Carta exhibition. I'd booked the tickets well in advance (in Feb!), so all we had to do was pay the extortionate train fare.
We had a packed lunch in the sunshine before going inside, and I had my bottle of water promptly taken away from me upon entering the exhibition! This has happened to me many times (most notably at Reading Festival when my bodyspray was snatched).

The exhibition itself was wonderful - lots of Anglo-Norman and Latin texts, videos and images, and one of the Magna Cartas itself at the very end.
I skipped past a lot of of the American Bill of Rights stuff as it was quite tedious. I am aware of the importance of the document, its just that I don't care for it (like a lot of WW1 and WW2 history).

As a History student and budding novelist, this was very useful for me.
But even if you're not a History lover, it is interesting. Its the most important piece of legislation in the world - and its from England *smug face*.

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Magna Carta prevented Kings of England from tyranny, and from bestowing illegal tax on the people of England.
By the reign of King Henry III (John's son), Magna Carta was largely ignored and The Provisions of Oxford were introduced by Henry's brother in law, Simon de Montfort at the "Mad Parliament". A council of 15 were chosen to have authority over Henry, but within a few years it was rendered useless when Henry again refused to abide by it.

Henry regained power!

Anyway, I have gone on a tangent. I might pick up on this point in another blog post.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Pleshey Castle

Last Sunday, myself and the boy visited the earthworks of the motte and bailey castle that is Pleshey. The land itself has not been interfered with much since its construction after duke William's victory at the battle of Hastings, so there were many knolls and steep slopes. The castle does not exist today (as to be expected).

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The land is now private, so we were actually very lucky to be able to go and visit. I had not understood exactly why it is not open to the public, but I soon found out. A bridge exists over the fosse which has the potential to cause many an accident. This bridge conjoins the man-made motte (hill), with what we see today as a green hilly clearing (the boy called it a sun-trap - it was very hot on Sunday).

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The event we attended, was a medieval fayre. There were market stalls, a jester, and a kind of fashion show, which focused on what folk wore in the 12/13 century.
The reason this fayre focused on this period, is because of the 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta. Geoffrey de Mandeville was one of the barons who forced King John into signing the great charter at Runnymede in 1215, and was residing at Pleshey Castle at this point.

If you wish to find out more, click here - pleshey castle

The dress I am wearing is from Topshop, and was purchased last year in a sale (about £20).

Monday, 27 April 2015

Now the last poppy has fallen

Our local museum is running a temporary exhibition at the moment (until May 31st), about the shire of Essex's part to play in the Great War.

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It is interesting to read about how many men were called to arms (420 from the town of Witham) and how the women coped with their loved ones abroad, fighting.
These days when soldiers are away from home, phone calls and skype messaging are possible. Imagine being a young pregnant woman of 20 whose husband has been called to arms, and is unsure if he will ever return to her... I have to admit, it is quite difficult.

Unfortunately, this is the boy's favoured historic era and not mine, but then, that might be because of GCSE History. Almost two years were spent covering this war, and WW2, and I eventually left school feeling rather drained!

Outfit;

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coat - primark via a blog sale (£12.99)
skirt - h&m (£3.99)
cat-print t-shirt - topshop via a charity shop (£2.99)
bag - h&m via a charity shop (£1.99)
brogues - topshop in a sale about 3 years ago (£25)

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Danbury Country Park

The sun was out today, so myself and the boy decided to check out Danbury Country Park. It is only a few miles down the road from where we live, and we'd never been there as a couple before!

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It has fantastic lakes, a woodland area, and many a year ago, a palace stood presiding over the space, the grounds then being a medieval deer park.
The mansion was built in the 16th century, and by the 19th, was the home of the bishop of Rochester. It quickly fell into disrepair, and is now is a building site, the constructions works to be modern-day housing.

:(

Staying upon a historical note, myself and the boy will be attending the medieval festival at Pleshey Castle on the 10th May, too excited!

Outfit

t-shirt - george kids & asda (£5)
skirt - topshop in a sale (£7) - recent purchase
cardigan - topshop via a charity shop (£3)
coat - vintage (£6.99)

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Hadleigh Castle

This is one of my favourite castles in Essex (not difficult seeing as there are hardly any!).
The reason I love these ruins so much, is because they was fortified by King Edward III during the 1360s (during the hundred years war).
I have had doubts in my head, in regards to believing the common reason of the King's "restablishment" of the citadel. The first part of the hundred years war had waned after the Treaty of Bretigny (1360), therefore I do not think Edward rebuilt most of the castle (royal lodgings, a portculis, a drawbridge, the `High Tower` etc), because he feared a French invasion.

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Stratgeically yes, Hadleigh is the perfect spot for a fortress. It overlooks a green clearing, and the River Thames winds straight past; access to the castle proving easy. The fortress would also protect the estuary from an attack.
However, it is more sound, that his reasons were more on a personal level - he craved privacy.
His Queen, Philippa, had died in 1369 and he was not in a good way, it is possible that he wished to stay off the radar, and most likely, court Alice Perrers in peace.

outfit;

coat - topshop in a sale (£40)
blouse - miss selfridge via a charity shop (£2.99)
skirt - topshop via a charity shop (£3.99)
wellies - primark (£12)