Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Norwich Castle


Thanks for popping in.

We're back from our jaunt, what a good job we went when we did as the snow has now descended where once there was a spot of drizzle and some sunny days for mooching about.  No we didn't go to Goa or some other such destination, we went to Norwich, just because we hadn't been there before.  Norwich is in Norfolk in the East of England.

It turns out that there is a castle, two cathedrals, numerous churches, the River Wensum and the Norwich Lanes, all cobbly with wibbly wobbly buildings.  Who knew?  

We're starting with the castle, up there on the hill, an enormous cube caught in the golden sunlight as the sun was setting.  Completed in 1121 by King Henry I, it was more of a palace than fortification.  It's made of limestone, shipped in from France, although in the 1830's it was faced with Bath stone, keeping its original style of decoration.  From the 14th Century it was used as a gaol and was converted to a museum in 1894.  It looks quite different to any other castle I've seen.

Inside, the first thing I noticed were the enormous cheese scones in the cafe.  Entering the Keep, made our eyebrows rise (a bit like the scones).  What a huge, spectacular space.  You can visit the garderobes (Norman toilets) - beware there are a couple of replica people inside, which made me jump.

Up the stairs on the gallery there are great views over the keep and displays and there is an animation showing how it might have been decorated back in the day.  A study by Norman Connections is being carried out on the other Norman castles in South East Britain and France to explore common history and traditions and cultures, have a look at the link for more information. 

Another great idea was the colourful light projection over the Bigod Arch showing what it might have looked like when new. 

Away from the Keep, there is an excellent Museum with a myriad of different sections.  You can learn about Boudica Queen of the Iceni Tribe in the late Iron Age with an animation plus wonder at the artefacts from that era.  The Snettisham treasure hoard found in the late 1900s is particularly amazing with over 150 gold torcs, some of which are complete, from 70 BC.  Not all of them are there as some are in the British Museum in London.

There are exhibits from Roman, Anglo Saxons, Vikings and Egyptian times - including some Mummies and then on to natural history, fine and decorative arts, in fact, there's lots to see.

I marvelled at these beautiful samplers and embroidery with their microscopic stitches.

Rene Magritte's work was also on display next to x rays of the paintings, revealing what was underneath.

Conveniently, the Castle Mall, a glasshouse shopping arcade with cafes, is tucked inconspicuously under the Castle's motte, linking the Castle under the road to the main shopping streets.

Cheerio - for now!

Monday, 26 February 2018

Photographic Competition


Thanks for popping in.

Have you had a good week?  I hope so.  We've been away for the week just for a bit of a change.  Once I get my act together, I'll have a few things to share.  I've caught up with all your blogs today, it's amazing what you have all been doing and I've a few book recommendations to add to my list for future reading, many thanks for that. 😊

Apart from blog reading, this morning I've also been to an exhibition preview at my beloved South Hill Park.

Last September I noticed that our local Council had launched a Photographic Competition - all you had to do was send in up to 10 photos of your favourite green spaces within the Borough and give them a short title, which was the hardest bit. I thought I'd have a go.

91 entries were received and I was lucky enough to come third with a second shot also being displayed in the exhibition. How exciting!

Third place - Waiting

Also selected for the exhibition - Sunrise.

Here's the winning shot by Ian Harvey-Brown, a brilliant photo, I'm sure you'll agree.

So after viewing all the other exhibitions over the years, now it was my turn to have something on display!


Friday, 23 February 2018

Another Week at the Park


Thanks for calling in.

As you can see from the photos, this week the Park's all icy.  The seagull, we're miles from the sea, is looking a bit perplexed.

At least a few circuses are beginning to open in the sun.

The colours are definitely changing.


Wednesday, 21 February 2018

A Local Walk


Thanks for visiting.

We're off for a walk in the woods as the sun's out.  

It's all a bit on the boggy side, good job I had my mended boots on!


Monday, 19 February 2018

A Tumultuous Tale


Thanks for popping in.

It's a long time since I've shared a book with you but today I'm sharing Elizabeth's Rival - The Tumultuous Tale of Lettice Knollys - Countess of Leicester by Nicola Tallis.

It's about time Lettice had her own book amid all those Tudor histories, as she was married to Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, Queen Elizabeth I's favourite and was Mother to Robert Devereux, Second Earl of Essex, also a favourite of the Queen.  Her mother was the daughter of Mary Boleyn, sister of Anne who was King Henry VIII's second wife.

I first came across her on my first trip to Greys Court near Henley, where she was born.  In fact, one of my very first blogposts was about her, here's a link.  I think what surprised me most was that fact that she lived until she was 91, no mean feat during those dicey times.

Nicola Tallis' book takes us through her life, carefully making sure not to take account of too much gossip that abounded at the time unless there was contemporary corroboration of the facts.  Lettice emerges as a family-loving woman having to deal with many difficulties and tragedies throughout her life and if you are interested in the Tudor period, it is well worth a read.

Luckily, I came across the book in the National Trust shop at Greys Court but you can buy it from Amazon, it's probably too new to be in the library yet, but you never know.


Friday, 16 February 2018

The Savill Garden


Thanks for popping in.

The Savill Garden, part of The Crown Estate in Windsor Great Park, is a delightful 35 acre garden that we've visited before.  Last time we called in, for a cup of tea before walking to the Copper Horse overlooking Windsor Castle, there was a marquee with refreshments instead of their beautiful building with the wavy roof, as it was undergoing alterations.

We were rather surprised to find that these were still going on, due to finish in March. Never mind, at least there was no entrance fee during January and February like many other gardens.

Let's have a wander.

Lovely Winter colours in the sun, punctuated by a few flowers in the form of hellebores and snowdrops.

Inside the glass house, it's a lot warmer.

Heading for the famous rose garden, roses all pruned and ready for the off, the grasses too had been clipped, some forming transitory sculptures reminiscent of witches.

Such a pretty water tank.

The star of the show was this huge Daphne, the scent was exquisite. Go on, breathe in that heady perfume. Gorgeous

No sign of work on the main building from the outside. Plenty of new paths under construction though.

Even though there's not a lot of plant action at this time of year, this was a brilliant afternoon walk with the plants ready to burst into life given a bit more warmth.