Saturday 28 September 2019

The Park on the 28th ~ a recap, and why I started it.

My Park on the 28th series on this blog has been so popular over the last year (thank you if you've enjoyed looking at it!), and as I have now completed a year's worth of photos, I thought I'd do a recap of the 12 posts (links to all of them, further down), and have a word about why I started it.

Last year, on the 28th of September, I went for my usual walk and took some photos because it was such a beautiful day.  I'd gone out because it was the first anniversary of my father's death, and I wanted to think about him.  

September 28th, 2018
It was when I was posting the photos on my blog that I had the idea of taking similar pictures on the 28th of each month.

Dad loved walks amongst trees and green; in 1971, he and some friends started up a walking group called The Strollers, and he would stroll along country lanes and across fields with them most weeks, year in, year out; in fact he last went out with them two days before he died!  

Dad was the last surviving original member, and my Park on the 28th series is a kind of tribute to him, because he would have loved looking at it.... but this is not intended to be a sad post - it's been two years now, and we all go through it.

Dad (on left) with some of his Strollers chums, probably about 15 years ago

A tree is planted for each Stroller when he goes off to 
walk the great country lane in the sky :)

My brother helping to put the tree and its frame together ~ 
was pouring with rain that day!  Julia with umbrella, me with camera๐Ÿ˜‰

Six months ago, a few hours after I'd completed my 'Park' post for the 28th of March, I had a phone call from the nursing home where my mother had lived for the past 6 years, to say that she'd died.  

She'd had Alzheimer's for 10 years, and since a stroke early in the year she'd become unable to acknowledge anyone or feed herself.  We knew she was fading, but the end came quite suddenly.  We'd thought we might get a chance to see her again; my sister was actually just getting ready to make the journey when we got the call.  

March 28th, 2019
She died exactly 18 months after Dad, on a Thursday, too, so the 28th has, in a way, become my day to go for a walk and think about Mum and Dad.  Not in a morose way, necessarily; just to think about them.  I still don't believe they're dead - I hear that acceptance comes much later.

Mum with Julia and me in 1987
I loved doing this series—if you would like to look at any of them again, please click the month above the photo; looking down the changes in these single pictures over the months is a quick overview! Thank you for enjoying my walks with me over the past year. ๐Ÿ˜Ž






Thank you again, for your interest in this project :)

Friday 20 September 2019

A lovely couple of days visiting Hever Castle, Penshurst and Penshurst Place

This week I spent a couple of days staying at the Leicester Arms Hotel in Penshurst, in order to visit Hever Castle (childhood home of Anne Boleyn, later given to Anne of Cleves) and Penshurst Place (where Henry VIII used to stay when he was visiting Mary Boleyn, and possibly Anne, later). I've wanted to visit Hever Castle for years, and both places were so worth the long journey.  The surrounding countryside is so beautiful, and the weather was perfect.

I went with my sister, Julia, and writer friend Gemma Lawrence; if you haven't read her wonderful Tudor and other historical fiction, you really ought to. :)

Hever Castle

In the 'morning room'

Gemma knows more about the Tudor period than anyone I've ever met, so having her company around these places was such a treat, and made it all mean so much more—especially when she pointed out where such and such a scene in one of her books took place.

Probably the bedroom Anne and Mary slept in as children

Anne Boleyn's Book of Hours

The room in which Henry VIII would have stayed when he visited.  Not all of it dates back to this period, but the ceiling is the oldest part; I liked looking up at it and thinking, this is what he would have seen....

The Long Gallery, created in 1506 by Thomas Boleyn
Elizabeth Woodville

One of my favourite women of history, Margaret Beaufort

Henry before he ate all the pies

Henry VII

The Rose Garden


Where the term 'the dole' comes from. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Penshurst Place

The Baron's Hall, that dates back to 1341.  Totally amazing, none of these rather crappy photos even begin to do it justice.

 The Minstrels Gallery ~ imagine looking down from it, and seeing Anne dancing with Henry....

Anne Boleyn finally deigned to make an appearance :)