Portrait of Edward I With a Touch of Regency

Longtime readers may remember I bought an original watercolour of Eleanor some years ago.  I’ve just come across a comission the same artist has completed of her husband Edward I!

I do like it – just wish it wasn’t modelled on the Braveheart image of him.  Obviously it was a comission though.   I hope that Mark manages to do his own version!

Whilst I’m on the subject of art, and was on Mark Satchwill’s site it reminded me he also recently completed a gorgeous picture of Elizabeth and Darcy from the 1995 version of Pride and Prejudice.

This leads me to the final piece of news today…a great Austen site, which recently wrote about the recycling of Regency costumes.  Check it out for yourselves…

The Seven Ages of Britain

Hands up who’s seen this new programme presented by David Dimbleby?  I watched it on BBC1 last Sunday, second episode tonight.  You can also catch it on the iPlayer…

I really enjoyed it – not so much the speeding through history, and starting with the Romans – which always annoys me intensely.  No, it was Dimbleby’s obvious enthusiasm, and the fact we get to see treasures of Britain which we normally don’t for various reasons.

Tonight, I’m hopeful that there will be a section about Eleanor, as in the preview they have shown my favourite cross at Geddington.  Exciting!

If you’ve seen it, let me know what you think of the programme so far.

Bat For Lashes

Hello everyone – good grief it’s 2010!  I hope you are all ok, especially in the UK with the current exceptional Winter weather.  We have had at least 4ft of snow here, and there isn’t much in the way of gritting happening on paths and roads, so it is quite hazardous at times, and quite arduous getting anywhere.

I am back at work at the day job, have passed (thankfully) all my coursework at Uni, but am now coming up to my exams, so times are a bit busy and frantic here, apologies for the lack of posting.  I have some castle news to share shortly, but this will come after my exams and busyness at work.

I was very sad to see David Tennant go at the tenth Doctor in Doctor Who, only Christmas viewing I really watched, really enjoyed his performance.  I’ve also been experimenting with some new reading and music (relaxation time has officially left the building now).

Here is the music I’m really liking, Bat For Lashes, and Daniel.  Any suggestions for other people/bands appreciated.  Speak soon!

Doctor Who The End of Time

Bat For Lashes: Daniel

A Victorian Christmas to You and Yours

The castle looked lovely for the Christmas weekend, with its’ natural decoration from the estate and other Victorian inspired decorations.  We had a peaceful, but steady weekend along with Father Christmas, and the week of Carol concerts also went well.

We here, have been enjoying the return of the Victorian Farm for Christmas, and a special two part episode of Cranford.

I’d like to wish all of my readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year specially decorated with two of my Victorian Christmas cards from my collection.



Also, why not add a bit of Wizzard and stir, eh?!  Have a good one!

Mr Darcy Does Freestyle Disco

I’ve seen the following clip on a number of sites and have shared this with friends, but it’s just too hilarious not to post here as well.

It is Mr Darcy as you’ve never seen (or heard) him before by Mitchell and Webb.

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Also fantastic, but slightly more risque is ‘You’ll see more action…’ by Armstrong and Miller.  It’s a bit saucy for the more fainthearted among you.  There are a series of these sketches, so try and see the others too.  Enjoy!

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A Few Loose Ends

Here’s the part where I finally get to update on lots of things that I’ve been either doing or attempting to do this year.

With reference to castle visits.  I managed to visit Delgatie Castle again, and it was sunny too.  I think it could end up being a favourite of mine.  Apart from the usual suspects, I haven’t managed any other ones this year sadly.

Plus, the  history books I got my hands on?

The lovely people at Country Life Magazine sent me a copy of Adams Houses, I bought myself Jane Austen: the World of Her Novels by Deidre Le Faye and I’ve managed to borrow Sir Thomas Lawrence (which I love) and Treasures From the Trust.

I should also update the historic film and TV list.  I’m ashamed to say I originally missed off accidentally: Excalibur, Daniel Deronda, Dangerous Liasons, Howard’s End.  There are lots more I love that I will add eventually.

Talking of TV, after the glut of interesting stuff, there hasn’t been much on that I’ve liked lately.  Series 3 of The Tudors was pretty boring stuff, and I even missed the end.  Caught up with the predecessor of Victorian Farm – Tales From the Green Valley – which I didn’t like nearly as much, haven’t seen the new Wuthering Heights (not bothered either, I HATE the story and characters) and am currently watching the new version of Emma, which I’m not liking much either, sigh.

I hope to get out to the cinema over the Winter to see at least a couple of new films, and to get some fresh books to read as I’m getting a bit low on material.  Maybe someone will take pity on me for my birthday…

Haven’t managed any exhibitions either, though I do lust over paintings at every available opportunity.  I can dream about making an exhibition some time soon.

Last, but not least, I’ve done a little tinkering with this site, and gathered a lot of Eleanor material together.  I’m much more happy with the site now than I ever was, so I will put a proper front page up.  Not in any rush though (why rush now!) it will come when time and creativity permits.

This Ad Is Insane, But I Like It

Though, sadly not what it is advertising.

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I takes a while to get going, but you’ll see what I mean.  I think it’s the triangle at the end that always really makes me laugh.

There’s some brilliant adverts out there at the moment, and some that you wish they’d play forever.  Oh, and some that you really, really wish they wouldn’t.

Supersizing With Desperate Romantics? Who Do You Think You Are?

TV joy, that’s who.

After the recent barren wasteland of historical TV, (or maybe that’s just my perception, lol) I have lately been treated to no less than 3 historical TV programmes a week.  Albeit, they haven’t all been about technical accuracy – but fun all the same.

For the past several weeks (finished tonight, boo) there has been the Supersizers Go…  For the uninitiated that’s a food critic (Giles Coren) and broadcaster/I don’t know what (Sue Perkins) try out food and lifestyles in different eras.  This is the second series.  They tried:

  • The Eighties (a bit dull this one)
  • Medieval (Cockantrice anyone?)
  • The French Revolution (For the outfits alone!)
  • The Twenties (Laxatives)
  • The Fifties (Horse meat, ack)
  • Ancient Rome (What’s worse rotten fish or duck tongues?)

It’s also worth seeing if you can find the episodes from the first series and the Edwardian programme.  Hilarious stuff, plus you might even learn a thing or two.  Just don’t watch Giles eat, and watch out for retching.

Hmm, what loveliness next?  The genealogical kind of course.  Who Do You Think You Are?  is back tracing the family trees of the famous.  Episode one with presenter Davina McCall was quite interesting, but episode two with DJ Chris Moyles was a tiny bit dull, but hopefully it will be back on form this week with presenter Kate Humble.  Always a quality show, even if they do make genealogy look super-fast and easy.

Last, and by no means least is Desperate Romantics.  Most of you will be aware that I love the work of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, namely Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Edward Holman Hunt and John Millais.  This is a drama with a funky, humourous feel based on their lives.  The first episode was excellent, and I’m looking forward to the next one tomorrow.  Will it stick completely to the facts?  Perhaps not, but then I’m ok with that.

Enjoy, everyone.  I will be!

Escape In Time, Or Return to Victorian Farm If You Will

As a blogger you never know what might turn up in your comments or email inbox!

I’ve been asked nicely (should have asked for cash, lol) if I will pass on an ad to you from the makers of Victorian Farm, and as I have enormous respect for the original programme – I am posting it here.

It’s a chance for regular families to take part in a new programme called ‘Escape In Time’, who will be living and working on the same farm from the original series.

Not only am I glad the farm is coming back on TV, I’d love a go at this myself!  Let me know if any of you are going to try out for it :smile:




We are looking for people for a unique opportunity to escape the modern world and spend a week on the farm featured in the BBC2 series ‘Victorian Farm’.

The team behind the original series are now looking for everyday families to take part in a new BBC2 series called ‘Escape in Time’.  The families will have the chance to live on the original Victorian Farm estate for one week, rediscovering the practical skills and self-sufficiency that our grandparents had, but which we have lost, whilst competing against each other mastering tasks and crafts from the Victorian age.

It’s an unparalleled opportunity to work together as a family and enjoy the pleasure of learning to plough fields, weave baskets, make bread, sheer sheep, brew beer and many other skills.

If you think you might be interested, and you and your family (minimum of two people) can be available for one week’s filming in September 2009, please email escape@liontv.co.uk with your contact telephone number, for more information.