Monday, September 29, 2008

a weekend off

Current work: revisions
Listening to: Bach
Reading: Fall From Grace, Kristi Gold – enjoyed this hugely. Very warm, very realistic, great characterisation. Recommended to anyone who enjoys Medical romances (it isn’t a Med – it’s longer than that, but it has a similar tone and feel).

Had a weekend off. Sort of. It was actually thinking time for me to absorb my editor’s thoughts on the second Modern Heat duo – some of which I agree with, and some I clearly didn’t get my point across strongly enough so I’m going to tweak rather than change completely.

Saturday, the weather was fabulous, so we had some family time – aka a field trip for pics for the Suffolk ruins book. At half the sites, my lot were quizzing me. ‘I thought you said there was a castle here?’ Yup. There was. Operative word being ‘was’. ‘Er, where?’ Go look behind the church tower, but BE CAREFUL because there’s a huge ditch and I don’ t want to have to fish you out. ‘That’s the castle?’ The earthworks. ‘And why are you taking pictures of the village pond?’ It used to be the moat. There’s a wet ditch on the church boundary, and this is where it ends up.

They could, however, see ruins at Bury. This is the 14th-century gatehouse, built just after the citizens kidnapped the abbot (if you want to know more about that, buy the book next year *g*).

These are the abbey ruins with a view of the cathedral. The park was lovely - full of flowers and people really enjoying themselves - the site was probably as busy as it would have been in medieval times. This was the richest abbey of the kingdom, at one point.

Now, I don’t work on just one book at a time on location visits, because I try to minimise travelling; it's pointless going somewhere this week, then to the next village a couple of weeks later. I group places together, where I can - Lidgate is on the way to Bury, and Haughley, Woolpit and Ixworth are all close by. (However, although Clare is near, I need to do a lot at Clare and more at Sudbury, so they're grouped together for the next trip. It's also a matter of not putting in too many locations to one trip, or I end up with pics in poor light and have to revisit anyway.) I also found something that would do nicely for the churches book - this is graffiti of a windmill at Lidgate church (the one which has a huge ditch behind the tower).

Suffolk churches are pretty... but I think in Norfolk we’re really spoiled. Not that surprising, as we had a thousand churches, at one point. Anyway, I wanted to go to Breckles on the way home to check out something for the Little Book of Norfolk; there's an unusual ledger stone by the altar because Ursula Hewytt was buried standing up. I'd forgotten that there were two other things I wanted to see there, as my Norfolk notes were at home: one was some Anglo-Saxon carving... and one is this utterly stunning Norman font. It's enormous. And just look at the fabulous carving.

So in all it was a lovely, nerdy day. Finished up with dinner at the Elsing Mermaid with DH's best friend and his wife, so it was an excellent end to the day, too.

Yesterday was mainly thinking time. And I also messed about a bit with family tree stuff. On DH's paternal side, I've managed to get back to a marriage in 1791 - DH's great-great-great-great-grandfather. Interestingly, his name is the same as my son's. Most of the parish records I need to check now aren't online, so this means library time... so it'll have to wait until this book is done.

Plan for today: more damp readings (fingers crossed for improvements there); sort out the pics for my school talk on Wednesday; work on my revisions. And I'd better spend ten minutes on the Dowland, too...

Oh, and almost forgot! Winner of the book from the caption comp is Lori. (Please email me with your snailmail addy - kate dot hardy at btinternet dot com - and I'll get it in the post this week.)


Lori x said...

I won? Wow...address is on the way!
Great pictures Kate, East Anglia is full of beautiful places.

Lori x

Nell said...

Interesting font. I went round Peterborough cathedral on Friday while waiting for my passport - that was very cool, didn't know about it's connection with Katherine of Aragon and some blissful fan vaulting.

Shirley said...

Wonderful pictures, Kate. Thanks for sharing. I just love the graffiti of the windmill at Lidgate church.

Jan Jones said...

Er, excuse me, you were within 15 miles of me and didn't call???

Anonymous said...

Great photos!
Did you manage to catch the BBC prog about the building of cathedral? They visited Norwich cathedral which you know all about!

Fascinating = especially about the geometry.

Kate Hardy said...

Lori - thanks, book will be in post later this week. Agreed, East Anglia is a gorgeous, gorgeous place to live.

Kate Hardy said...

Nell - there's some lovely fan vaulting at the church in Framlingham, too. (And it's wooden. Unusual.)

Kate Hardy said...

Shirley - the graffiti in churches is fascinating. Some of the choir benches in Blythburgh were used for lessons, years ago, so the graffiti there is interesting. And in Wiveton there are galleons scratched onto the pillars (from the days when Wiveton was a port).

Kate Hardy said...

Jan - big apologies - we were originally going to Ipswich, but changed tack at the last minute and opted for Bury instead. Next time we're out your way (Clare) I'll be more organised and call you in advance so we can synch diaries...

Kate Hardy said...

Ray-Anne - no, missed that one - thanks for the link. I do know there's something about the plans for cathedrals being drawn in concrete (not sure if that's Norwich or a different one - am having a senior/blonde day today).