The Castle Camping Club

Hello and hope you are having a lovely time enjoying the sun! Isn’t it wonderful to be warm.

We have a little group on Facebook for posting pics of our medieval encampments in castle grounds called The Castle Camping Club and there are some fab pics there of people’s camps in the most beautiful settings.

This weekend I was at Ashby de la Zouche Castle  in Leicestershire with my group, Swords of Mercia, and we had a fantastic time.This is Kerry and I – as usual with our group I was being Sister Margaret and Kerry was playing a peasant rather than a lady.

Ashby - Me and Kerry

And here is Mark and one of our new members Trevor early on Saturday morning.

Ashby - boys

We were joined by some friends from other groups as well, this is Malcolm and Jean, Malcolm was our King (Edward Hammer of Scots) in our last group and this weekend he came with his box of religious relics.

Ashby - Malcolm and Jean

This was my view on the Saturday evening, a beautifully sunny end to the day, we had takeaway as is traditional at Ashby and sat around the campfire – bliss!

Ashby - view

I couldn’t take my medieval tent this time so I took my lovely little ‘just for me’ tent , doesn’t it look pretty in the sunshine!

Ashby - tent

The weather was really lovely (a little damp on Sunday but it dried up in time for us to pack up!) and we had lots of people come to see was lovely.It was the first show we have done just with the new group, the other events have all involved being at larger events where we are doing slots as part of a bigger show and it was brilliant to be doing a successful show with the new format.

Thank you to everyone who came to see us, I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.

I now have a busy few days at work before heading off again, next weekend is the Midlands Living History Festival  – do come along if you are in the area as it will be great fun, I am looking forward to seeing the Vikings – love those axes!”

Thank you for visiting. See you soon.

Family History

Regular readers may know that my grandmother Evelyn Alice celebrated her 100 th birthday this week so we all gathered for a family celebration last night. My Nana has not been very well and had travelled over from Spain to be here but was determined to make her party to see everyone and get her telegram from the Queen.

Here she is at the start of the party and my cousin Neil (along with Ellie in the background) presenting her with the framed telegram. Apologies that the pic of the actual telegram is not good but you get the gist of it.

Nana - 100

Nana - telegram 1

Nana - telegram 2

My Mum and Aunt had organised a little display of family pictures and mementos so I just thought I would share some of these with you. Ellie absolutely loved this, being a history buff and it was amazing to think of all that Nana has lived through.

She was born 3 months after the sinking of the Titanic in a small Welsh mining village.Her mother, my Nana Polly, was born in the late 1880s and there were some lovely pics of Nana Polly as a young girl in Edwardian dress and Nana as a baby in smocks sitting on her mother’s knee.

She has lived through two World Wars, getting married at the start of the Second World War and had two babies during that war, my Mum and Auntie.This is her wedding picture.

Nana - wedding

My grandfather, Arthur Percival George (who you can see looking very like Eroll Flynn in one of the pics at the top of this poster below)  served in North Africa during the war. On this poster are also her ration books and ID card. Grandad died 28 years ago after a long illness caused by his time as a miner.

I have been reading some very good books recently by Maureen Lee  set in wartime Liverpool and it really makes you think about life for Nana and her friends during those times. Have also just read an amazing book called White Dove by Rosie Thomas , a brilliant love story about family history set between the wars.

Nana - history

They were a very adventurous couple – early pioneers of travel abroad (must be where I get it from), going to Spain twice a year from the late 1950s even though they were a very ordinary couple, he a factory worker and she a housewife. They never owned a car and I remember my Grandad cycling to work every day in his blue overalls.

She has 5 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren , ranging in ages from 21 (Ellie) to 1 month old (Alice Evelyn my cousin’s daughter) and who knows may even see her great-great grandchildren.

It is so amazing to think of all the things that our parents and grandparents have seen change and to wonder what life will be like for us in 25 or 50 years.

Happy 100th birthday Nana with all our love xxxx

Thank you for visiting and see you soon!

Pretty things from Tewkesbury

As well as the lovely battles there is also the market at Tewkesbury which is always the biggest and best re-enactors’ market of the season. My lovely friend Kerry bought me this new bag as a birthday present.It will hang from my belt.

Tewks - new bag

It is from Phil Fraser’s stall  – Phil also sells pewter badges and I bought some with my initials on.

tewks - badges 1

I also treated myself to some more pilgrim badges from Lionheart Replicas – these are the Virgin and Child and St Albans badges.

tewks - badges 2

The thing I love about buying things for re-enactment is that you almost always know who has actually made what you have bought. Some things are imported but most of the time you know the person that has made your boots, your sword  and your drinking mug etc. In today’s mass market economy that is very special.

Thanks for visiting – see you soon.

Tewkesbury 2012 – mud, flood and so much fun!

Hello there

Have had a brilliant weekend at our biggest event of the year which went ahead thankfully despite some initial uncertainty about whether the site would be ok , a great deal of mud, a very near escape for friends who were on the encampment nearest the river and the sterling efforts of all involved in organising the event. Thank you so much to everyone for what was possibly my best Tewkesbury ever.

I have always wanted to go to one of those festivals where mud is a central feature like Glastonbury and wear festival wellies so this weekend I got my chance. I bought a new pair of wellies on Thurs having only tried one on at the shop and it was not until Friday when we got there that I put both of them on to discover that I had two right feet lol! Had to just go with it as I did not have time to buy any others and managed ok.

Despite some rain most of the weekend was bright and sunny and we had an excellent time. This was my very good friend Kerry’s first time as a water carrier on the battlefield which she loved (despite the very loud cannon!) and it was great to catch up with lots of friends I had not seen since last year.

We went to the Abbey service on Sunday morning which was beautiful, it is a very wonderful place anyway but the service is ‘high church’ with incense and sung gospels, a fab choir and very moving.

Here is me outside the Abbey – I was in peasant dress all this weekend.

Tewks - me

The slideshow is of various parts of the Abbey.

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Hope where you are is not affected by floods – will be back later in the week to share some more Tewkesbury with you and to update you on Ellie’s progress at Powis Castle.

Take care and thanks for visiting.

Summer is here!

Well no not in terms of the weather – though it has been very nice this weekend which is a welcome respite from two days of torrential rain, thankfully we have not been flooded!

I have just had this lovely piece sent to me as a Summer Exchange from Lisa through the Seasonal Exchange blog. It is a JBW design  which as Lisa knows is one of my favourite designers and she has used the same sparkly evenweave that I love to stitch my designs on, it is beautiful Lisa thank you.

Summer Exchange - front

Summer Exchange - back

I have been spending the weekend mainly stitching and watch disaster movies on TV – there is an extreme weather disaster movie weekend on Movies 24 which is very appropriate give all the strange weather we have been having lately. I am currently working on my Summer Exchange plus a baby gift so nothing I can show yet.

I have some additional links to share with you for lovely pics of re-enactment events, Red Zebra Photography  were taking pics all last weekend at Harewood and there are some great shots including some of Swords of Mercia walking in the parade amongst the hundreds of pictures.

I met the photographer, Nigel,  from Wallace-Iles Photography  at the Tatton event – he takes some lovely shots of single re-eanactors and the effects he puts on them make the really artistic.

Next weekend we are off to our biggest re-enactment event of the year, Tewkesbury Medieval Festival – please pray for fine weather for us!

Thanks for visiting and see you all soon.

Harewood House Medieval Faire

As promised here are some pics from our weekend away. This was a new show for us as it was the first time that the event had been staged and we had an excellent time. We did some activities for kids – knight’s training and joust and a short tournament. It was my first event with our new group Swords of Mercia and it went very well.

Here is a slideshow of some of the best bits.Thanks for visiting and see you soon.

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Happy birthday to me – my new tent

Hello there, hope you are all well and happy.

I have just returned from an excellent birthday weekend at Harewood House. We had a really brilliant time with our new group Swords of Mercia and I have lots more pics to show you of the event which I will post about later.

I took my new tent with me this weekend, I have had this tent for about 9 months but have not used it yet.This is my little ‘just for me without the kids’ tent and it passed with flying colours. It has lots of room for me and all my re-enactment kit, room to cook inside in case it rains (which it did on Sat night!) and is lovely and warm and waterproof!

New tent

Here we are on Friday evening enjoying catching up in the camp – I so,  so love camping and thanks to all my re-enactment friends for making this such a brilliant birthday!

Evening at Harewood 1

Take care and will post again soon. Thanks for visiting.