Monday, September 28, 2009

good news, and castle hunting part 1

Current work: Modern Heat
Listening to: Def Leppard and Satie
Reading: A Trip with the Tycoon, Nicola Marsh (enjoyed this one; loved the food and the local colour – and it really inspired me to cook a proper curry from scratch!)

Great weekend. Friday, had the very welcome news that (once I’d done the really tiny tweaks, which were my idea of tweaks instead of the usual ones that have a knock-on effect and mean I rewrite 25-30% of the book) the medical has been accepted. So that’s M&B #41. Whoo-hoo! Not sure of release date or title yet, but will share when I know. And now I can relax into the new book.

Saturday, took the kids for their photo at son’s school and I think we’ll get some lovely ones from the session. From the side, son looks so much like my mum that it put a bit of a lump in my throat.

Sunday, off exploring for the book. Three castles in one day, yay. Stansted Mountfitchet is a reconstruction of the original Norman castle.

The kids loved it, especially as they had a chance to dress up.
And they got to make new friends.
I really liked the fact that the animals (there was a scary ram) and birds (including the white peacock, below, the kind of old-fashioned hens that have 'feathery trousers', ducks, geese, turkeys, quail and peacocks) were all roaming around the castle bailey, just as they would've done in the Norman period.

From there, we went to Clavering. Only the moat and a few earthworks are really visible, but it still counts, and the church was interesting, too. I particularly liked this 12th-century wooden effigy.
And thence to Saffron Walden – this was part of a planned town (like New Buckenham) so the castle is smack in the middle of town.

The church there was interesting, as it's not like your usual Essex church - it's much more like a Norfolk or Suffolk one. It's the largest one in Essex, and contains the tomb of Thomas Audeley (Henry VIII's chancellor) and has only one piece of pre-reformation glass: this medallion, which is thought to be based on Margaret D'Anjou.
And after that, we moseyed past Audley End... and I got a bit of a lump in my throat, because last time I went there was with my mum, many years back. (I was probably 18. So we're talking 25 years.)
Now, I thought this trip was going to take all day. But it didn't. And I had three more locations which weren't that far away... and, bearing in mind it takes us two hours to get to Essex, it made sense to add that trip to this one. DH was a sweetie and agreed - so if you want to know where we went next, come back tomorrow for more pics!


Jan Jones said...

We always used to go on the miniature railway at Audley End. Come to think of it - the last time was probably with my mum too.

Congrats on Med41 being accepted!

ninaharrington said...

41 books??
[ See Nina swoon with the very thought of it!]
Many congratulations.
You should be exhausted woman, not travelling back in time in the lovely sunshine! LOL
Brilliant pics as always and what fun!

Carol Townend said...

Congrats on the tweaks - and on them being tweaks, if you follow. An aside: I think I am not going to bother to think up travel itineraries any more, all I have to do is copy yours!! You seem to be having a wonderful time.

Shirley Wells said...

Many congrats on number 41!

Lovely, lovely pics. Thanks for sharing.

Kate Hardy said...

Jan - it's a lovely place, isn't it? And thanks :o)

Kate Hardy said...

Nina - thanks. And it was huge fun!

Kate Hardy said...

Carol - thanks! And we do always have a great time.

Actually, I'm contracted to write a travel guide... just for Norwich, but mine's going to be a bit different!

Kate Hardy said...

Shirley - thanks. And I have some pics of amazing places lined up for tomorrow, too...

Nicola Marsh said...

Congrats on no. 41! You're a marvel :)

And hope the curry was tasty :)
Glad you enjoyed the book.

Kate Hardy said...

Nic - thanks. And it was. And I did :o)