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I've been awol for a while, but thats because i've been very busy! To start with, I found out I passed my first year of History (with the OU), in October, then the boy and I tied the knot in November! We had a very quiet ceremony as both of us hate being the centre of attention (haha). Twas good though. We went out for a meal afterwards, then on the following day we went to the Tower of London (I was desperate to go to the Agincourt exhibition which was being held in the White Tower). However I didn't learn anything new... so was a tad disappointed. I'd recommend going if your knowledge of the Hundred Years War is poor.



We dashed off to Forbidden Planet and the pub afterwards, and as it was raining, we didn't do everything we would've liked. But no matter. I just wish the prices of darned tickets wouldn't keep going up! Makes going to London so expensive.


Childhood

Maldon and Lake Meadows (in Billericay), were places I visited often as a child.

Back in July (when the weather was wonderful), myself and the boy had a picnic in Maldon, strolled along the highstreet, and generally had a nice relax.



Now, the last picture, is of Ealdorman Byrthnoth of Essex (led the English against the Vikings at the battle of Maldon) - I had never noticed this statue before, so was very happy when we stumbled across it! I think on past visits we've been more interested in their two museums and the lovely highstreet!

Like Maldon, we managed to visit Lake Meadows when it was sunny.



Lake Meadows is a huge park, with a lake plonked in the middle of it (duh - haha), and as the boy had never been there before I thought it would make a nice walk. Its also good to reminisce :)

Outfit:

t-shirt - topshop (£8 in the sale)
skirt - topshop (£20 - bought last week)
jacket - topshop (£5ish via a charity shop)

I also have new wine-red primark shoes on but you can't see them in …

Hever Castle

Back in July myself and the boy drove down to Kent to Anne Boleyn's childhood home. The castle/stately home first came to my attentions whilst watching The Tudors back in 2009, and since then i've always wanted to go.

The grounds are beautiful, and the gardens are very Roman-esque - very peaceful. I can understand why this site receives hundreds of visitors everyday!



The estate began life as a country house, built by the "Bullen" (Boleyn) family in the late 13th century, and wasn't converted into a manor house till around 1462.
Thomas Boleyn, Anne Boleyn's father, eventually inherited the manor, and it is possible that Anne was actually born there (her birth date remains unknown).
Upon Thomas's death in 1539 (Anne was already dead by then - 19th May 1536), the estate fell into Henry VIII's hands and he bestowed it upon Anne of Cleves after their marriage was declared null and void.
What a pleasant fellow.

Click to find out more

Photography was not perm…

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.



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!



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)

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)



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



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.

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…

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).



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).



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 signin…

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.



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;



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…

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!



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)

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 were 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.



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…

Long time, no see

Apologies for not posting sooner, has just been a very busy month - working on Uni stuff, novel, various other bits and pieces... we haven't even gone on any days out!

We took a stroll to Writtle last week, the boy's grandparents are buried there - chose a lovely day for it :)



We are planning to visit Colchester again soon, London in May (Magna Carta exhibition), and hopefully Hampton Court.

coat - topshop via ebay (around £14)
skirt - h&m (£3.99)
t-shirt - topshop via a charity shop (£1.99)
shoes - primark (£3)
gloves - primark (£2)
bag - h&m via a charity shop (£1.99)

Eventually i'll get around to continuing my posts about Edward III... got good news though, Alice Perrers novel is currently being edited :D

Clink Prison Museum

We'd been planning this day out for months, and what does it go and do, it rains! Typical English weather. It was sunny yesterday, and then the heavens open on the day in which we wish to venture out.

After stumbling across this museum last year when we were on our way to QI, we made a decision to visit the infamous medieval/tudor/stewart/georgian prison when he found the time.



It opened in the year of the Lord 1144, and was attached to the bishop of Winchester's household (otherwise known as Henry of Blois; brother to King Stephen of England).


It housed vagrants, vagabonds, debtors and various petty criminals, and was in use until 1780 until it burnt down. 



The torture devices that were on display, were fascinating, and I think one of the most vile, is the heretics fork - used for sleep deprivation.

`The heretic's fork was a torture device, consisting of a length of metal with two opposed bi-pronged "forks" as well as an attached belt or strap.
The device was pl…