Tuesday, 7 May 2013

A sunny day in Tudor England

Catch 22
I want to renew my driving licence - purely as a form of identity.  I can't drive any more but that is my view of my abilities, not the formal medical one which says I am OK to drive.  (But I know I would be too much of a hazard with feet slipping off pedals and double vision).

In order to renew my driving licence I need a Government log-in i/d.  I don't have one.  So the licence renewal site says I have to register for one.  I try registering and it says I can't (no explanation as to why).   So I go back to the start to see where I have gone wrong.  I try logging in without a Government i/d but it says I have to have either the e-mail address I used to create my i/d or the password.  But I don't have these because I have never had an i/d.  So I need to 're-register'.  But I can't...  Need I go on?

In the news
Just to show I am aware there is news outside of our house I should mention that here is to be a major change to the British monarchy.  In future the succession to the crown will depend upon who was born first and not upon the child’s sex.  In other words, an older sister will not be displaced by a younger brother as has always been the case in the past. I mention this specifically because Adrian’s friend, the Duchess of Cambridge, is pregnant and may have a girl.  In the past if she then subsequently had a boy he would have displaced the girl in the line of succession but from now on he won’t.

Also in the news, but a bit more local is the loss of what was believed to be the oldest oak in Britain.  The gales which we had a couple of weeks ago brought down the Pontfadog Oak, a 1200 year old tree near Chirk.   Some experts claim it could have been as old as 1600 years.  It was certainly already a major tree when Prince Owain Gwynedd rallied his troops beneath it before defeating Henry II at the Battle of Crogen in 1157.  Legend has it that it was spared by Henry when he had surrounding woods cut down in 1165.

A Tudor Day

It was sunny on Bank Holiday Monday and whereas Partner-who-loves-tea and I would normally stay at home away from the crowds we went along to Speke Hall in Liverpool because they were having a Tudor Day and I fancied photographing some of the outfits.  (The Tudor period in England and Wales is the period between 1485 and 1603).


 Could these two be Romeo and Juliet??

P-w-l-t was not particularly bothered about seeing the Tudor activities but there was compensation in the form of a silver jewellery stall that yielded a new pendant and a ring.

The new ring is the one on P-w-l-t's little finger.

On another day I shall blog more about Speke Hall and about the Morris Dancers who were there on Monday.

Who recommended the Curiosity Cabinet?

Someone recently recommended the book the Curiosity Cabinet by Catherine Czerkawska and I downloaded it onto my Kindle.  Nowadays it is a toss-up between downloading onto my tablet (which is what I did with all the David Gemmel books) or the Kindle which I have used for various other books.   I still haven’t decided which I prefer.  Czerkawska’s story is delightful so may I thank whoever recommended it and apologise that I can’t recall who it was.  It concerns a small Scottish island, the kidnaping of a woman in the late 17th or early 18th Century, and a potential love affair between an Edinburgh woman and an islander in the present day.  With three hundred years separating them, the two women are linked by the cabinet and its contents, by the tug of motherhood and by the magic of the island itself.

The Kindle / Tablet issue may be fairly irrelevant for the next few months.  I have decided not to add a single book, real or digital, to my collection until I have worked my way through some of the books which are piled high along the upstairs landing and in every room of the house (including the downstairs cloakroom /loo!). 

The sunshine continued today and I spent almost the whole day in the garden working my little socks off.  But that is a story for another day.


  1. Regarding your computer problems: we can relate!

    This morning Rob was trying to access one of his web sites. He had to change the password a couple of weeks ago. Today, the machine wouldn't accept the new password, so he tried the old. The machine didn't like that one either. He finally went back, and changed everything, yet again, and hopefully now it will work next time he needs to use it!

    The computer is a fabulous thing -- when it works!! xoxox

  2. This is a big post. It has lots of folk in funny clothes. I skipped most of that bit. Nice shots though.

    Get down to your MP's surgery and get your driving licence back. You maybe a crap driver but it doesn't matter until you are caught being naughty.

    Katie Kambridge.....I know. I have been somewhat cruel to the half witted girl in the past but now she is nearing full term I feel paternalistic towards her issue. I wish! Fit as a butchers dog she is but boring as fog.

  3. I thoroughly enjoyed looking at all the lovely photos of the period costumes....what a great way to bring history alive for the students who attended.
    Jo is a very smart lady....pre-Mother's Day gifts already received....very very smart. High five Jo!
    Sorry to hear about the old oak tree, but 1200 years old is quite a long time.
    Hope you get your drivers license renewal sorted out eventually.

    1. We had Mother's Day a few weeks ago in England. So I hope Jo doesn't read your comment and get any ideas about having an American Mother's Day as well!

  4. What a fun day! Sun and beautiful costumes...then toss in that fabulous ring..a real winner! The only thing that would make it complete would be a giant turkey leg to eat..they always have those at Renaissance fairs!

    1. I agree - I was expecting a hog roasting on a spit but I suppose Health and Safety regulations would have killed off that idea nowadays! There were curries and hotdogs but they didn't seem quite in keeping with the sixteenth century.

  5. You are forgiven this Ivy-free post because there are so many interesting pictures of the beautiful Tudor costumes. It looks as it was a perfect day, weather-wise, and I am glad none of those present were in danger of ruining their costumes in the rain. I think I'd love doing something like that myself, dressing up for a day.

  6. I'm not sure which browser you usually use but it might be worth trying an alternative with the government website. The site should be standards compliant but in the past I've found that simply swapping browsers does the trick (I keep having to use Chrome to order from one site I use as the final checkout button doesn't work in Firefox).

    1. I never thought of that, thanks. I usually use Firefox for normal browsing) and have each of the others 'keyed in' to separate identities (like Opera for the business) and have sometimes swapped to one of the others when I've had problems reading pages. Never thought of doing it for filling in forms.

  7. What a magnificent event, the Tudor Day... I'm not really a fan of crowds either, but I do like a colourful outdoors event with plenty of opportunities for photography!

    What a shame about the old oak tree. Old trees like that are awesome, no wonder they're often an essential part of old folklore and mythology.

    And it was me, by the way, who recommended the Curiosity Cabinet. Glad you liked it!

    1. Thanks for the recommendation - I had a feeling it might have been you but was too lazy to check. I thoroughly enjoyed it and am now on another one of hers having broken my 'I'm not buying any more books' resolution after just ten days!.

    2. You must tell me the title if you like it. I've not read anything else by her.

  8. Catch 22! Say no more - so frustrating. I knew you were at Speke Hall immediately. You certainly got a lot of photos of the event.

  9. I love reenactment festivals!!! Love, love, love. Fab photos of the garb! I was a member of a 5th century Irish reenactment group for a few years - lots more wool and fur, not so much velvet and embroidery, but we made our own clothing, camp housing, and food at every event. Glad you had such lovely weather for the day!

    I'm glad that equality is finally reaching the top rung of the ladder. Can't wait to see Kate and Will's baby!

    P.S. Hope you have more socks!

  10. Super outfits!
    We have had something similar to your bureaucratic tribulations with Camden's parking department. "You haven't registered an email" says the system (I am using my own words here). "This is why we didn't contact you when we towed your car away - we didnt have an email address."

    "Then I would like to give you my email address"

    "No you can't. The system won't accept it because we don't have an email address on file to send the confirmation of your email address to."

    1. Brilliant - don't you just love bureaucracy like that!


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