21 July 2019

Warwick Castle

I can highly recommend a visit to Warwick Castle
It's a fine medieval castle developed from a wooden fort, originally built by William the Conqueror in 1068. From there it has had many owners.

 Don't ask me why but I decided to start my trip with a visit to the engine and pump rooms,
all the way down and then back up these steps

On the way to the engine house and pump room.
I don't know if this is part of the Castle grounds, but what a lovely place to live.

It was interesting though.
For nearly 600 years the mill used the power of the river to grind the grain. 
And 100 years ago the same power was harnessed to generate electricity for the castle.

An excellent exhibition in the medieval undercroft depicts life in the court of Richard Neville, commonly known as Warwick the Kingmaker. In 1471 he was preparing his army for battle. 



Archers practising

The canon was transported to the battle site in many pieces

The Alchemist mixing the gunpowder. 

It wasn't just the men who prepared for battle,
the women played an essential role ensuring the soldiers were fully clothed and robed.

The Master of the wardrobe consulting with the Scribe over his duties,
which on the eve of battle included equipping soldiers and issuing kit.

The Cordwainer (a highly skilled cobbler) making shoes.  

The Treasurer taking stock.

Courtesy of Befunky.com
Welcome distractions from the forthcoming battle. 
Life expectancy in those days was late 20's so everyone made the most of every free moment.

The final duties.
The Earl of Warwick rallying his elite guard.
The preparation for battle is now complete
 and come morning light his 15,000 strong army will begin their march to Barnet. 
All men must have put their personal affairs in order, made a will, 
said goodbye to their loved ones and pray to God.

The Time Tower has this wall of talking pictures telling the history of the owners of the castle.

Stay tuned for more history about Warwick Castle

Be well ~
Polly x

19 July 2019

Dollshouse No. 3

Me to my daughter: Darling if I buy another dolls house would you come with me to collect is as you know I'm not confident travelling long distances and finding destinations (even with sat nav!!)
Daughter to me, in the nicest possible way and with my best interests at heart: Mother don't you think it would be  a good idea to finish number 2 dolls house before buying a third one.

She was right of course but ......... this was the second time I had seen this particular style of house on ebay, within the right price range - £100 and within a reasonable driving distance to collect - 90 miles. So I didn't want to leave it in case nothing came round again. I have loved this house from the first time I saw it on the Dolls House Emporium site years ago but just couldn't afford even the kit price, and I do not want to build one!  So last Friday (why did we choose a Friday?) we spent a lot of time on the M25 travelling from Chelmsford to Aldershot to collect it. The return journey was slightly better as we avoided the M25.

The house is the Lake View by Dolls House Emporium, seen here in all its glory, smart and clean. 

 Mine isn't smart and clean

It's sturdy and stable, but badly glued in a couple of places, it's dirty, dusty, slightly broken in places, has a few marks all over it,  and smells musty. It has been neglected for some time.  But I have grand designs for it. Check back in about 4 years!! :-)

Be well ~
Polly x

14 July 2019

A Good Read

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy 
This is a heart-rending story of a family whose choices lead to some terrible consequences, a family saga, a forbidden love story, and a political drama, beautifully written, slightly elaborate and disjointed which distracts somewhat from the plot. Normally I’m ok with switching timelines, but I did get confused at times and had to refer back, I forgot what it was the characters were talking about. 

The year is 1969. In the state of Kerala, India, 7 year old fraternal twins Esthappen and Rahel fashion a childhood for themselves in the shade of the wreck that is their family. Their lonely, lovely mother, Aammu fled an abusive marriage to live with their blind grandmother, Mammachi, their beloved uncle Chacko, and their enemy, Baby Kochamma (ex-nun and incumbent grand aunt). When Chacko's English ex-wife brings their daughter for a Christmas visit, the twins learn that “Things can change in a day”, a phrase that is repeated several times. It soon becomes clear that bad things are going to happen, the reader senses the foreboding.

As I was approaching the end of the book I kept thinking “it can’t end yet", I was expecting more explanation of what happened to Estha and Rahel. But then it clicked into place and although it wasn’t an ending with all the loose ends neatly tied up I did understand where their lives were going.

Although there is a lot of sadness it is nevertheless a beautiful well written story with immensely likeable characters. I thoroughly recommend it.

~Happy Reading ~
Polly x

23 June 2019

Cambridge Take 2

In Feb 2018 my friend M and I had a lovely day in Cambridge. We wanted to visit Kings College but we ran out of time. No problem I thought we can always go again. So back in April this year M wasn't keen to go but my friend G was. The weather was glorious, we were all set for a good day - but ..................................... Kings College was closed for filming, noooooooooo, my second trip and still I wasn't going to get to see Kings College, I was almost inconsolable. I had checked their website, but there was no mention about it being closed on that day. There was nothing we could do about it. And we had a lovely day, starting with the Botanic Garden. 

April saw the end of the Spring flowers but too soon for the summer ones.
Nevertheless it was all still very pretty.  

Courtesy of Befunky.com
Courtesy of Befunky.com
Flowers in the Glasshouses were putting on a beautiful display.

As were the trees
And the lake

Pembroke College

 Gifts For Interesting People ..... mmm amusing.

I think this was the Sedgwick museum, it was excellent

Emmanuel College

The Chapel, small but very pretty

Dining Hall

The grounds are very pretty

So that just leaves a third trip to plan and hopefully I will finally get to visit Kings College!

Be well ~
Polly x

18 June 2019

A Good Read

Coffin Road by Peter May follows three perilous journeys.

A man is washed up on a deserted beach on the Hebridean Isle of Harris, barely alive and borderline hypothermic. He has no idea who he is or how he got there. The only clue to his identity is a map tracing a track called the Coffin Road. He doesn't know where it will lead him, but filled with trepidation he knows he must follow it.

A detective crosses rough Atlantic seas to a remote rock twenty miles west of the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. With a sense of foreboding he steps ashore where three lighthouse keepers disappeared more than a century before - a mystery that remains unsolved. But now there is a new mystery - a man found bludgeoned to death on that same rock, and DS George Gunn must find out who did it and why.

A teenage girl lies in her Edinburgh bedroom, desperate to discover the truth about her father's death. Two years after the discovery of the pioneering scientist's suicide note, Karen Fleming still cannot accept that he would wilfully abandon her. And the more she discovers about the nature of his research, the more she suspects that someone was responsible for his disappearance.

The novel deals with the question of identity, and corporate greed. Research into the decline of bees may not be to the liking of certain corporations with much to lose. Does this have anything to do with our protagonist? 

It is well written and an absorbing read, I enjoyed it. I became very confused with two of the characters with the same name. My book group explained it, but I can’t remember what it was!

~Happy Reading ~
Polly x

9 June 2019

Rufus' Diary

It's ages since one of us posted - 5 months to be exact. So what have we been up to? well, not very much really, our lives are quite simple, walks, sleep, food and play. 
Polly has been out on various day trips, she will probably tell you about them soon. 

Here we are a few weeks ago, the rape is almost ready for harvesting now.

Waiting for Buster to catch up with us

The wheat is greening up
which means it will soon be time for Polly to spray Buster against the horrible, nasty harvest mites. 

Grass has been cut for winter feed.

Sunbathing a week ago - we look like melted ice-creams or squashed!!

Dear Buster. Polly was going to put the re-cycling things away but left them here to answer the phone. When she returned this was Buster wanting to come into the house but the bin and bags spooked him so he just stood there until Polly moved them!  Bless him.

The village Churchyard has an area planted with poppies.
It's a lovely place for people to visit for quiet contemplation. Polly stopped by on D-Day .

~Keep well ~

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