Wednesday, October 29, 2008

a step into the past

Current work: various fiction and nonfic
Listening to: David Coverdale
Reading: next on my TBR (some of which is buried on my desk - I really MUST make time to tidy it, today)

Have been busy over the last couple of days doing location research. DH has been incredibly patient about this – because when he’s with us we go to the more obscure places on my list (I’m navigating - the kids aren’t quite up to map-reading, or at least not to the standard I need for the really out-of-the-way places). The kids have also been pretty patient, especially as they’ve realised that the ‘stop at a café every couple of hours’ rule applies only when they’re with me and not when they’re with both parents.

First stop yesterday was at Beachamwell.
Partly I wanted to see the famous graffiti, but mainly I thought we should all go because this is where son’s 5x-great-grandfather, who shares his name, married Frances Rudd in 1791. (I haven’t been able to trace DH’s paternal family tree any further back – yet – but am working on it.)

The tower is particularly unusual; the top bit (octagonal) is mid to late 14th century (Perpendicular), but the lower part of the tower is Saxon, as you can see by the balusters in the window just above the thatch. (The ones on the other side have triangular heads, making it even more obvious that they’re Saxon.)

And after that it was for pics for the book. So in our travels yesterday we looked at an ossuary (Madam was most disgusted when son explained it to her), a Peter’s Pence lectern, a gorgeous Easter Sepulchre carved in chalk, and a set of royal arms for James I (a little naïve in form, but utterly charming).

Something else that caught my eye yesterday was a detail from the memorial window to the poet William Cowper, in St Nicholas (East Dereham). These are Cowper’s three favourite things: his two hares and his dog. I adored the dog.

Plans for today: depends on the weather. If the s-word is involved, I’m going nowhere. Otherwise, I’ve promised to take Madam to get her birthday pressie. And as I had an unexpected royalty cheque yesterday, I think I can justify one teensy thing for me. (It involves Murano glass.)

Have treated DH to the new Peter Green anthology; he more than deserves it for his patience this week. Actually, he enjoys churchcrawling, and I think it amuses him when I get a bit squeakily excited about something. (And, hey, it’s not every day you get to see the keyboard removed from a church organ during restoration. So he does get to see… um… unusual things when he joins me on research trips.)

Am planning to take my best friend churchcrawling next weekend, as I’ve been promising to take her to see some wallpaintings for ages. If the weather’s good, we’ll go see some really early ones; but if the s-word cometh, we’re staying in with good coffee and home-made cake. Lots of.


Jan Jones said...

Cowper's dog is GORGEOUS!

I'm hoping the s-word stays away too...

Lori x said...

Cowper's dog is lovely, the hare's are pretty cute too.

I'm hoping to see some of the s word - but it often tends to miss us here, even if the rest of Norfolk/Suffolk is covered. I love it (probably explains why I got married in the month of January, in Austria!)

Lori x said...

Sorry meant to say I loved the books, I'd finished them by mid-morning Saturday. I thought the Norfolk connections were wonderful in STTHB and HBCW, well I've said before I adore the best friends to lovers scenario (and Alex is my favourite 'hero's' name!) So thanks for a great morning's reading!


rayannelutenerblog said...

Brilliant photos as usual!
That stained glass is wonderful.
It must be a huge relief that your family are willing to go with you on your research trips.
I can only imagine the response from my family if I suggested going to a location which was even vaguely historical or more than walking distance from a retail experience involving hi-tech!

And yes, the s-stuff arrived in hampshire overnight, but it is a lovely sunny morning here, so hopefully it will not re-freeze tonight.

Hope you manage to get out today!
All the best.

Kate Hardy said...

Jan - I thought you'd like that glass.

We've escaped the s-word today (though there was a sharp frost). Hope it was OK your way, too.

Kate Hardy said...

Lori - lovely details, aren't they? (I have a very soft spot for Victorian art.)

Snow misses your part of the county? Oooh. I could be tempted to move :o)

Snow's OK if you don't have to drive in it. But I had a nasty experience a couple of years back (Noel Coward and his "very flat, Norfolk" - the road next to mine is a hill, and the snow melted and refroze and turned into a skid pan. I did use it in a book, but it's why I never, EVER drive in snow now).

Am sure Austria in January was utterly gorgeous. (And my cousin's wedding earlier this year was lovely - we had snow instead of confetti!)

Glad you enjoyed the books.

Kate Hardy said...

Ray-Anne - not sure "willing" is quite the right word *g* - but they do go with me... (Chocolate cake works very well!)

We did indeed get out. One of those bright, cold autumn days where the trees have turned to ruby and copper and gold.

Hope the horrible stuff melted so you don't get a re-freeze.