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Pendennis Castle Medieval Joust

Every year in August Pendennis Castle has a Medieval Joust.

This year the weather was perfect, warm, overcast with a slight breeze. I couldent have wished for better.

It’s a wonderful day out with falconry, jousting, jesters and gruesome tales from the hangman.

This year I got to see a gyrfalcon in flight, it was amazingly fast and fun to watch. They had to leave the eagle on a tether, as the castle is on a peninsula and they were worried about it getting lost so close to the sea, but the size of it would have me worried with that beak so close to the falconers face.

As usual the Jousting took pride of place with the jousting area getting more developed every year. Sadly none of my pictures worked out as my viewing position wasn’t the best so I have included a good one from last year.

Photos Embedded by Flickr

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Dunster Castle

We visited Dunster castle while away for the weekend.

It’s a beautiful castle, you can see it from the road as you travel to Minehead.

The gardens leading up to the castle are beautiful and the rooms inside are furnished.

The sun was shining and it was a beautiful day.

Sometimes when I am wondering around places like this I wonder why we feel the need to look for beauty in other countries when we have places like this on our own doorsteps.

While there we saw statues of Blacamores holding lamps, and it made me realise how one person’s normality and expected behaviour can become another’s appalling behaviour.

And also while I didn’t take a picture of it there was a portrait of a lady of the house with her breast on view. That did make me laugh, covered from head to toe and yet able to have a semi naked portrait on display, again times change and so do customs and behavioural values.

Photos Embedded using Flickr

 

Polperro

As the weather was sunny we decided to go to Polperro. Polperro is one of those places the word “quaint” was invented for. Tiny white washed cottages, flowers everywhere, and it’s now mainly holiday lets.

It’s a small seaside village which surprisingly still has a working harbour. It only has a tiny beach that is covered in water at high tide but you can catch a water taxi to other beaches close by.

The main harbour area is car free, not because that is how the locals like it, but because the streets are too narrow to allow cars to travel through them.

It’s a beautiful place to visit and sit having a drink on a hot day as you watch the world stroll past.

Photos Embedded using Flickr

Plymouth Hoe

This weekend it was father’s day, so we all went out for a meal.

I don’t think I can ever remember Plymouth being so hot, and later the news said that this week was the hottest since 1976. I have been checking our outdoor thermometer which is in permanent shade and the hottest that has said was 34 degrees Centigrade.

Anyway although it was too hot to go walking around Plymouth Hoe afterward as there is no shade there I have bought out some photos of the Hoe during the summer. When the weather is like this I can see why people come here to visit.

Photos Embedded from Flickr

 

 

Chateau De Pierrefords

While we were in France we decided to visit Chateau De Pierrefords. It is where they filmed the BBC series Merlin. The Chateau looks lovely but inside it is a shell, perfect for filming but I am used to castles and historical houses being filled with many beautiful items for visitors to look at.

I suppose instead I should be glad that the Chateau survived fire, looting and destruction and was rebuilt, but it seems to me to be a shame.

It’s made me wonder if this is the case in all French historical buildings open to the public as Versailles was the same, only a few pieces of furniture the rest empty rooms. On a more practical note this means at least items wont get stolen and visitors can wonder around to their hearts content.

However they did have one interesting item, a suit of armour that was man sized. Usually the only armour you see is child sized, and I don’t believe that adult men who wielded great big swords and rode on large horses had shoulders and thighs that small. So it was nice to see a suit of armour that could fit a man. Up until now the only old armour I have seen that can fit a man is Henry 8ths. (As opposed to modern reproductions for Tourneys and exhibitions).

 

Disneyland Paris

At the end of May I went to Disney Paris. Its not somewhere I have visited before as I thought it was mainly for kids and I get bad motion sickness so don’t do thrill rides.
We had planned to go when the weather was supposedly about 18-20 degrees centigrade instead we had a mini heat wave and it turned out to be 27-30 degrees. So instead of a quiet mid week warm experience we had blazing hot sunshine and packed with people. (Why anyone would want to go in July and August amazes me).

I soon realized that Disney is not what I expected, it’s all about the rides, the characters are mainly locked away from the public, you could be at any ride based park without them. The toilets were disgusting and the ques were huge. Fast food HA! The ques for food were as long as for the rides, again at least an hour.

Disney is not for children, 40 minutes to have your photo with Minnie Mouse and 80 minutes for Belle? That’s just not suitable for kids especially not small ones. And queuing in hot sun for over an hour to go on rides is appalling for children. The Disney Princesses are locked away forcing you to que to see them, everything requires you to que.

I did enjoy it but it’s an adults playground in spite of the cookie cake type of buildings and look of the place.

If you’re expecting to see Disney characters walking around and easy interaction then you will be disappointed.

However the Illuminations and fireworks over the castle are amazing and well worth staying up for. Sadly my camera died just before they started so I was unable to take any photos.

Photos embedded using Flickr

Hat Pin Tutorial

Trying to find a decent hat pin these days is an impossible task. Often new ones are too frail to do the job or too short, and with vintage ones there is the worry of damaging them.

This is my way of making my own.


Start with a baiting needle.

 

Baiting needles are thin  hollow steel tubes with a point on one end. They can be between 9 and 12 inches long and can easily be cut to size with wire cutters. You can buy them at fishing supply shops.

 

First make an End Cap as the last thing you need is someone coming in close and getting hurt by this extremely sharp pointed end.

You can also do this if you have a vintage hat pin that has lost its end cap.

I did this by twirling copper wire around the needle to make a hollow tube the exact size of the needle. I then added a Swarovski element to the end of the tube and finished it off. You can use any type of thin beading wire.

Then I dipped the blunt end into jewellers glue and pushed on my beads. Again I used Swarovski elements but you can use any type you wish. Make sure the beads hole is large enough to go onto the needle before you dip it in the glue. I added extra glue to the end of the first bead to secure it.

 

 

As you can see its very easy and it should now look like this

 

Photos embedded fron Flickr