Monday, June 6, 2016

Moving Day

We're off this morning to catch the train to Bristol to catch the plane to Dublin to rent our car to drive to Baltimore in West County Cork! I'll post again when we get settled in this evening and try to find an internet connection. TTFN!!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Another day dawns in Wiltshire County....

...and sees us on the train to visit the city of Bath again - for a more leisurely trip this time. BTW - Bath is not in Wiltshire County, it's in Somerset. Bradford-on-Avon is in Wiltshire County - just next door.

We slept in late this morning - it felt so wonderful! Then, after a good breakfast we rode into Bath for a "walk-about". We popped into a few shops here and there but mostly we had come to see the Abbey and the Roman Baths which, of course, Bath is named for.

On our way to the train I did take this picture of The Three Gables in Bradford-on-Avon. It's the best picture I've gotten of it. I'd love to try my hand at this in mini but it would have to be half scale or I'd not have a place to put it when it was finished!

Two doors away is an impossibly wonky little building. It actually operates as a tea room but I think I would be scared it would fall down around me. However, I guess if it has stood for a few hundred years it's probably good for a little while longer!

On entering the Abbey in Bath I, of course, had to take pictures of doors on the outside and ceilings inside. I'm a sucker for these architectural features because I'm always trying to imagine how I can recreate them in miniature for just that special little project. As intricate as the doors and exterior details were, the ceilings and interior trim were astounding!

I also took pictures of the gorgeous baptismal font - hundreds of years old and still in use today, and one of the pulpits whose form I thought was beautiful.

The ceilings in sections of the Roman Baths were also incredible - yes, I know - I have this thing for ceilings!! I told you but would you believe me??? Noooo! Now you do!

Now for the last pictures of the day. Guess what I found inside the Roman Baths??? A diorama of what the Baths were like in their prime. You knew I'd find some minis somewhere, didn't you?

So that's it for today. I have no idea what tomorrow might bring - maybe nothing at all! Who knows. TTFN!

Friday, June 3, 2016

England Day 3

Today we took the trip to Chippenham to the History Research Centre there. I did find some information on my ancestors but I feel like there's lots more there that I didn't have time to delve into. I guess that means we'll have to make another trip to England next year!

Since I'm sure there's nothing in my family history you're interested in seeing or hearing about on this blog (okay - that wouldn't normally stop me but hey - I didn't take a single picture today! Not a single one!), let's go back to yesterday's side trip to Lacock. Alayne (Scrapbooking Butterfly), these are particularly for you since you said you really wanted to see them.

As I said yesterday - this little village is truly inspiring to any miniaturist. The architecture was amazing - like stepping back in time. If you ignored the cars and the small items of modernity (mostly road signage), you could certainly imagine yourself back in the 16th century.

The first picture shows the house that was used, in the Harry Potter films, as James and Lily Potter's house when Voldemort murdered them. The second is the one that was used as the sweet shop in Hogsmeade.

As I mentioned yesterday, the village of Lacock has been used in a number of period films because it can so easily be transported back in time by removing signs of modern life and covering the streets with dirt. Several scenes in the movie Pride and Prejudice were filmed in Lacock. Another interesting tidbit -- remember the scenes in the first two Harry Potter films when the whole school was gathered in the dining hall? The bulk of the children in those scenes were children from Lacock and the surrounding area who filled in as "extras". They must be thrilled every time they see the movies and see themselves in them. They'll certainly have something to tell their children!

Here are some other great buildings and scenes in Lacock. Remember you can click on any picture to get a larger size to check out the details.

I hope this isn't too many pictures for blogger to handle but I loved them all! Also in Lacock is a great example of a little lock-up that would have been used to lock in a person who was "drunk and disorderly" for 24 hours to sober them up. There were no windows in these little "jails" - just a platform to sleep on and a grate-covered hole to ...well, you know what they did with that. As a result, when the door was shut they were locked into complete darkness. When they were let out the next day it would take a little while for their eyes to adjust to the light - hence the term "blind drunk". There's another little lock-up right in the middle of the bridge in Bradford-on-Avon that looks very much like this one. Apparently the Bradford one was originally intended as a little chapel for solitary prayer and meditation before it began to be used to house the inebriated! Anyway - I think these little buildings are kind of cute and would perhaps add something to a little medieval or Tudor village scene in mini. What do you think?

I also had to take pictures of the way dirt and moss accumulate on the roof slates and then flowering plants spring up. What a great addition to any old weathered mini roof something like this would make!

I will leave you tonight with one final picture - the oldest house in Lacock. Surprisingly, for me, this house didn't look as old as some we saw here but apparently it dates back to the mid 1500s. All in all, the buildings have left me with so many ideas for design and finishing of future projects -- just what I needed - more ideas!!!

Anyway - off to bed here but will try to keep up the posts from jolly old England - then from Ireland starting next week. TTFN!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Day 4 (2 really)...

Okay - as of right now I'm going to stop including the two days it took us to get here so - Welcome to Day 2 - Yes, Alanna - that means you too *smile*. Just so others know, Alanna is a friend of my daughter who says I'm her adopted Mom so, of course, that gives her the right to moan at me if I haven't posted anything for her to read! Well, at least she keeps me on my toes!

Today we took the train from Bradford-on-Avon to Bath and picked up a half day tour to Stonehenge and the Village of Lacock. Before leaving the B&B we are staying at I took a few pictures I wanted to share with you. First, the bed we were sleeping in is white-painted metal and I loved the design of it. Of course I'm trying to think if I can make it in 1/12th scale! I'm showing you the footboard here. I think I've seen one like it in mini somewhere - maybe on Kris Compass's site - I'll have to check when I get a chance.

Then, before we left the house, knowing that we were moving into the connected studio apartment for the rest of our stay, I took the time to snap a few of the minis in the old house. The owner had made a few minis for her three girls when they were children. She now has seven grandsons and they don't seem interested in the minis. These are obviously very old but were much loved at the time. I can meet new mini-friends anywhere!!

I have some great pictures of Stonehenge but, to be honest, no better than you would get if you went online and checked it out. So, since the download/upload speed here where I am connected is soooooo slow, I'm going to skip those. The Village of Lacock though ---it was the stuff a miniaturist's dreams are made of!!!!

This tiny village, about a 20 minute drive outside Bath, is about 450 years old. It looks today almost as it would have been originally. The National Heritage Trust in England, recognizing this little gem for what it is, has put a moratorium on any new buildings, satellite dishes, overhead wires, television antennas - the whole works. Yes the village is full of cars and modern road signs and other little things like that but they can, on very short notice, remove all of these and the village is virtually returned to its bygone era with the addition of dirt on the streets, market stalls, etc. Because of this it has been used for filming several period pieces such as Pride and Prejudice. It also features in the first two Harry Potter films. The house in the film where James and Lily Potter lived and were murdered by "He Who Shall Not Be Named!" is in this little town. Also, the building used for the sweets shop in Hogsmeade is there as well.

I really, really want to show you the pictures I took of this village. I can so easily imagine several new mini projects coming out of this! Unfortunately the download speed to add the pictures is killing me because it's late here and I am exhausted. I will try to start posting a little earlier tomorrow and do a feature on this village. I'll try to make it worth the wait. So - until tomorrow - TTFN! I'm going to bed!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Day Three

Sorry, sorry, sorry - - this post has been a long time coming. May was a crazy month for us but, we reached the end of it and left for England on Monday, May 30th. Monday and Tuesday pretty much consisted of travelling. However, while I was packing on Sunday I came across a loose piece of paper and said "What's this?" Answer?? My driver's license renewal reminder! My license had expired on May 15th and, after our week here in England we will be going to Ireland for our annual visit there for three weeks. I do almost all the driving in Ireland and I had no license! First thing on Monday I was at the door of the government office, waiting for it to open. So were 15 other people ahead of me. Yikes! Panicking, I politely asked if anyone else was in a real hurry. I explained my predicament and they were all kind enough to let me go first. Thank you, thank you, thank you to all those wonderful people!!!

We had to fly to Toronto first - I hate flying west to turn around and fly back over our home province to get to Europe!!! It's the only time I regret living in the Maritimes! We ended up with a 9 hour stop-over in Toronto, then another 4 hour wait in Dublin, where we stopped to drop our main luggage off with friends for the week. Then we grabbed our backpacks and flew to Bristol where we took a bus from the airport to the train station, and finally a train to Bradford-on-Avon, where my great-great-grandfather was born.

So, just so she'll stop whinging and whining, this post is for Alanna - okay????? *smile*

Day 3 - or day 1 of our actual visit once you discount the two days of travel.

Very tired, very sore from the travel but, after a hardy breakfast at our B&B we hit the streets and headed for the library to see if I could get additional information on my ancestors. I spent a half hour on the computer there and was able to download a copy of the marriage licence for my g-g-g grandparents - the parents of the ancestor I was originally looking for. Then I started a conversation with one of the librarians which served to remind me to be careful how I worded my genealogy related questions in order to get correct responses. I asked her if she knew of any Gay families living in the area. She said none came to mind. I suggested I should take a look at the local telephone directory and perhaps I could find some there. She said that wouldn't be something listed in the directory. I was really confused and asked why they wouldn't be listed. Equally confused, she said she didn't think that was a piece of information that was really anyone's business. It actually dawned on both of us at the same time that the question had been misinterpreted. When I then rephrased the question and asked if she knew of any families with the surname of Gay, she dug out the phone book and we had a look through - not too many but I did find a few. She also gave me information on the central records office in Chippenham so we'll go there later in the week.

We then took a look through this very old town. There's some beautiful old architecture here - lots to inspire my future mini-making.

I especially liked this sign. I wonder if they put it up just for us??

We visited the old Saxon church, built somewhere in the 10th century but, over the centuries, it had changed use and in between long periods of abandonment, had been used for various things totally unrelated until its history had virtually been forgotten. It was not until the mid 1800s, during some renovations, that the underlying architecture was uncovered and it was recognized for what it was. Restorations have taken place that honour its original structure instead of trying to "modernize" it.

I have other pictures from today but it's very late here and I'm very tired -- and very whiny, can't you tell??? So - I'll say good night and try to post again tomorrow. TTFN!