Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Time Travel Bank Holiday Weekend

We've been back in time this weekend spending time with the Normans and Saxons and the Victorians.

On Friday, Mr Bogert had to work. He was photographing another wedding, so while he was hard at work, the small people and I took a trip to Kenilworth Castle. We're English Heritage members, so we get in for free (free is my favourite price!).

We solved 2 of Godric's riddles so that he would tell us all  a story about a Lord and a Gong Farmer (person who's job it was to clear out the toilets - yuk!).

So tell me the answer to this: "There was a king who had 7 daughters, each of the daughters had a brother. How many children did the King have?"

and what about: "2 fathers and 2 sons went fishing together. They each caught a fish and brought it home. When they got home, they cooked the 3 fish. How can this be?"

Not too difficult, they were aimed at children, answers in the next post. We were also shown how to light fire the old way so that the master's food could be cooked.

We had to do a little school shopping too. The return to school is creeping up on us fast and we're not at all ready! That also meant plenty of homework on Saturday.

Sunday family Wishes visited Blists Hill Victorian Town, part of the Ironbridge Museum group. There were special activites related to Alice in Wonderland taking place for the bank holiday and children were invited to dress up for the day. I had decided it wasn't that important to dress up, but had a pang of guilt late on Saturday that resulted in me searching the house for possibilities. We settled on Alice and The White Rabbit.

Alice wore a blue dress that was bought by Auntie 'Potato Salad' Heather and Uncle Andy, with an apron from her dressing up box. This apron was actually mine when I was younger, made by Nana for a Victorian day at school when I was 7 (all things handmade get treasured in our home). I found a black head band and used a scrap of black felt to make a bow. And there we have it - instant Alice.

The White Rabbit wore a pair of blue trousers, a white shirt and a beige waistcoat which are his own. I found a scrap of marabou trim which I knotted up and tacked to the trousers for a tail. I used one of my crochet bows for the bow tie, tacked onto the shirt. We had the bunny bonnet left over from the May Fair fancy dress. The red jacket was part of Alexandra's ringmaster costume (that she's out grown). I took the black trim of the collar and cuffs, and folded up the tails to the inside and tacked it in place (I can return it to its original state if I want to). The only thing missing was a pocket watch, so I made this one from felt, stuffed with cotton wool (my stuffing is way way waaaaaay back in the loft), with a chain made from a length of crochet. He got lots of "Awwwww..." as we were going around.

We almost didn't make it after all of that. There we were sitting in the car, the kids dressed up. already late, and the car would not start. We couldn't even jump start it. The battery had completely had it. Mr Bogert saved the day though, running off to buy a new (pricey) battery and fitting it to the car.

First we had to visit the bank to exchange some of our modern money for old. (farthings, ha'pennies, pennies, thrupenny bits and sixpences).

We visited the Grocers...

..The pharmacy...

...The drapers (oh, the lovliness!)...

...The doctors (I could live in this sweet little house. I would redecorate though!)...

...The Fair...

...and plenty of other places. We also saw the King and Queen of Hearts at the Mad Hatter's Tea Party with Alice and the White Rabbit. The small people got prizes for dressing up, but didn't win first prize (well, what can you expect for a thrown together outfit) but the were quite happy.

Our last stop was to the Photographers to have our family portrait taken. We were shattered when we got home!

Today we went further back in time to watch the seige unfold at Kenilworth Castle. Several reenactment groups set up camp over the bank holiday weekend. We saw archers, trebuchets, ladders to scale the castle walls, knights on horses and the way the people were living in the camps.

This last photograph is a display of natural fibres dyed with natural dyes. Aren't the colours yummy? They've used combinations of things like madder, alum, copper and iron. I remember having to try different natural dyes back at school in A-level textiles, but I openly admit, I remember none of it, which is a shame.

A lovely way to spend a weekend, just sad Mr Bogert is returning to work tomorrow. How did you spend your weekend?

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