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Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Fun In The Garden!!!

First of all I think that I should mention the gorgeous weather we’re having. Sunshine is such a rare commodity in England and when those rays pierce the cloudy skies, it’s a big thing that we all love to talk about! Here in Devon we’ve had not just one lovely day but FIVE in a row!!!

My blog post today is directly influenced by the aforementioned weather.

After putting off the pruning of the rose garden for far too long, encouraged by the sunshine (Okay, okay….and even more strongly encouraged by my Nana brandishing a garden hoe!) I found myself some secateurs (or rather my mother did, my search and recover skills being somewhat lacking) and bravely entered the garden.

Now before you get the wrong idea I’d just like to mention that I planted this particular rose garden five years ago with the aid of my sister, Amy. It’s an L shaped garden and before we had the happy idea of filling it with rose bushes, it had a black plastic covering (not put in place by us!) and a few uninteresting bushes.

After taking the plastic covering off and a month or so passing, we became aware of why someone had resorted to putting it down in the first place:

I have never seen a patch of ground sprout so many weeds, most of which were dock with foot long tap roots!!! It has taken us five years to get rid of them!

Anyway, back to today!

I believe I was in the garden armed with secateurs……

My Nana was with me hoeing the weeds around the bushes, and my baby Cousin Jak Jak had also come to watch and was insisting upon wending her way through the thorny bushes.

Nana and I spent the whole time telling her to be careful or she would get scratched…..

Then it happened.

A thorn scratched, a yelp rang out, blood began to ooze and a plaster was sought.

However in was dear little Jak Jak running to fetch the plaster and me with the wounded hand!!!

The moral of this story??? I’m not sure, but I am fully cognisant of its irony!!!

Also for those of you who are green fingered here is a picture of the first rose bud of the year:

Friday, 16 March 2012

Joy(?) At The Cinema???

Okay it’s time for something random!!!

Me and my Mum and Sister decided to go to see ‘The Vow’ (weirdly enough this is the name of the 2nd book in my Lady Quill series!!! But I digress!) at the pictures. We decided to go to the earliest showing so that we would have the room to ourselves and armed with a TON of popcorn and a SEA of Coca Cola we took out seats (VIP) and settled down to watch.

Three quarters of an hour later we were still waiting (pretty patiently considering!!!) for the film to start. We had managed to restrain my sister from throwing popcorn at the two other people there to watch the film and sitting just in front of us (she has a short attention span!!!) and had surreptitiously been texting to keep from entering a catatonic state (a problem for me in the afternoon anyway, without adding a dimly lit room to the equation!!!)

Finally the film started......

About ten minutes in and I knew that this wasn’t going to be my kinda film!!!

Which is strange because it had ALL the right elements:

Eye candy?     Check
Pretty heroine?     Check
Romance?       Check
Did I mention eye candy?     CHECK!!!

But still I wanted to stick my head in an oven...I was soooo board!

I think it was because the hero was just sooooooooooooo NICE, he was adorable! He was absolutely lovely to the heroine and I felt so sorry for him.
But what of the heroine, I hear you ask.
That I think was the problem; I just didn’t like her. She gave the hero a hard time, she was pretty selfish and I didn’t feel sorry for her at all....

How is it possible to feel unsympathetic toward a girl who wakes up not remembering the last 5 years of her life? A woman that has forgotten who she is? Who has no memory of the man she is married to?

Well the answer is pretty simple: 

The man she is married to is Channing Tatum!!!

If you woke up one morning not knowing who you were or what you’d spent the last five years of your life doing I think that you’d be reassured once you saw that you’d married Channing Tatum!
Life couldn’t have gone so badly!

In conclusion I guess what I’m saying is that it just wasn’t my thing! Not enough adventure (hard to believe, right?) it needed a few Vikings to come along and liven things up!

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Dear Cristina.

Hi Cristina!
Thank you so much for getting in touch!
Is there anything in particular you are interested in knowing???
I’ll be honest and tell you that I have taken artistic licence with the facts, but I’ve attempted to stay true to the time....know what I mean???

The biggest deviation from fact is that in the story I state that Whitred of Kent died while Ine was still ruling...that is incorrect as King Ine abdicated to make a pilgrimage to Rome and Whitred didn’t die until the following year.
But it was necessary for the plot of my story. 
Also I’ve given Whitred a daughter although I can find no evidence that he had one and filled in the blanks: I know that he had three sons and three wives, but cannot be sure which son(s) belonged to which wife.

The time period is very fascinating, Ine was Christian and his laws reflected that fact. The time period was also very mindful of women and gave them a great deal of respect that was missing from later times (some point to the Norman invasion as the turning point).

It is suggested that well born women could be very powerful and well educated, and also that in some cases they could inherit.  It was also common for people to choose their own spouses rather than enter an arranged marriage and it is suggested that they did not marry so young as it became the custom to after the Norman’s arrived.
Women would also be given a ‘morning gift’ by their husbands, often money or land, and that was hers to do as she wanted with which gave her a certain amount of independence.
Also if they were mistreated Aethelburt’s laws stated that they could leave their husbands, taking their children with them and half of everything he had!!!
And Aethelraed’s law stated that they could not be forced into second marriages, Cnut later added that they could not be forced to become Nun’s either.
There were also laws that stated a wife could not be held responsible of her husband’s criminal activities.

Which is obviously not what you expect from ‘The Dark Ages’!!!?

But the Saxons did keep slaves: it was one of the reasons for war. The capture of booty and slaves was what brought wealth to a kingdom. Or they became slaves for crimes that they had committed.
Another reason for becoming a slave was selling yourself during famine.

If you owned a slave that committed wrongdoing, you were legally responsible for their actions; this might mean the paying of a fine depending on what crime they had committed.
But wills from the time show that it was not uncommon for slaves (along with their children and any children yet unborn) to be freed in the will of their owner.

There are also recorded incidents of men of the church buying slaves in order to set them free.
A master who killed his slave paid a fine to the church.

That got a bit involved, didn’t it!?!?!
I’m not too sure if I’ve answered your questions; if not just drop me a note!!!

DeeDee Chant.

(Also for those of you who I haven’t told yet: The Promise is now available on Amazon and smashwords!!!  Yay!!!)