Friday, 30 May 2014


Ah, QI; the perfect programme.
When i put myself on the reserve list via Applause Store way back in 2011, never did i think that i'd bag tickets!
On Tuesday, myself and the boy (with smiling faces), ignored the drizzle and jumped on a train to the glorious capital. The show didn't start till 7 in the evening but we wanted to have a little explore around the banks of the Thames.

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It really was dismal, but fortunately whilst on our travels, we stumbled across the Clink Prison (1144-1780) and we certainly know where we will be going next time we're in London. We would've gone in when we found it but time was cracking on.
After having a little walk around Westminster, we headed back to the ITV tower and waited patiently in the queue!

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As pictures were strictly forbidden, I couldn't take any of the fabulous Mr Fry or of the set, but believe me, he truly is wonderful and the set is bigger than you'd think.

Unfortunately you can't really see what i'm wearing (silly rain) but the wool parka coat is topshop (very old ;)

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Ingatestone Hall

I noticed the other day that I had not posted for a couple of weeks... this is due to saving money and enjoying a free house. It is not very often that myself and the boy have this luxury so we took full advantage (using the large tv for GTA V and using the home computer to type up novel ;))

As it's been a Tudor-packed weekend (George Boleyn among others who were executed on 17th May 1536, Anne Boleyn's execution on the 19th May of the same year),we decided to pay Ingatestone Hall a visit. It is in a village about 5 miles down the road from us, has a picnic area and you can have a tour of the manor for £6; a winner all round.
It was built by Sir William Petre c. 1541. Sir William was secretary of state to 4 Tudor monarchs; Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary & Elizabeth I and rose under Henry.
in the 1530s, when William was a lawyer, he was sent to visit all the monasteries in Southern England and fell in love with the estate in Ingatestone. He then purchased this and after being granted a Bull of Confirmation exempting him from excommunication by the Pope, he erected almshouses for the poor. This was to prevent him from being accused of stealing church property. 
It was a time full of suspicion and under Mary, of course, all known protestants were burnt and with the Petre family being Roman Catholic, they were happy under the imposing Queen's rule.
It is interesting to note that there are 2 catholic hiding places in the manor, this was to hide the instruments of mass in case any protestant came snooping ;)

The Lord Petre and his family still live in the grounds to this day and various parts of the manor are open to the public on certain days of the week (click here)

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The grounds are beautiful. The boy and I certainly chose a good day to travel down!

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The blouse I am wearing is topshop, purchased from ebay at around £12... my wardrobe is turning very Victorian ;)

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Witchfinder General

I am a big fan of the Witchfinder General film staring Vincent Price. The boy and I watched it over Christmas and were astounded at some of the scenes. It received an 18 rating in the 1960s so that kind of gives you an idea of the content.
Matthew Hopkins is the name of the General and he was born around 1619 in the small village of Mistley Heath in the North-East of Essex. Now if you know your history, you will know that at this moment in time, King James I ruled over Britain and had in 1605, avoided being blown up by the infamous Guy Fawkes.

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When, in the 1640s, Civil War was ravaging much of England (thanks to James's son, King Charles I), the elder Hopkins used this to his advantage and set about exploiting people's anxiety and fear. And guess what? He became known, as the Witchfinder General. Most of his victims were poor, old defenseless hags who in previous centuries would have been known as "wise women", and quite probably their hovels would have been located outside the main village.

In the first instance, he would have his victims thrown into a isolated prison cell, stripped naked, beaten, starved and kept from sleep, while using the pain and humiliation psychologically against them.  If this didn’t work he would use his more brutal and favoured methods of torture, starting with “Pricking”.  Pricking was an excruciatingly painful ordeal to endure and involved the use of evil looking pins, needles and bodkins to pierce the skin looking for insensitive spots that didn’t bleed.  If any were found they would then be interpreted as a mark of the Devil .  If none were found the victim was made to sit cross-legged on a table or stool, then bound in the posture with cords and left alone for up to 24 hours or until such time as the cramps and pain set in.  Naked and bare foot they would then be forced to walk up and down the cold stone floor of the cell without respite until their feet began to blister and bleed.
He, was not a man to cross and by the end of 1646, he had drifted off whence he had came.

If you have not seen the film and this sort of subject does interest you, i'd advise that you do watch it, Vincent Price is completely unrecognisable ;) 

The boy and I therefore decided to pay the main village of Mistley a visit. It was a breezy day so my coat did not leave my shoulders once!

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We stumbled upon Mistley Towers (a Georgian mausoleum) and then grabbed a hot drink in a small cafe that had chickens and geese roaming around :)

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We traveled by train and the station was so small, we had to walk across the tracks, twas pretty awesome and I did have a Bobbie Waterbury moment ;)

Just to add, my coat is from topshop and after purchasing it via a blogsale, it is now a new favourite.

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