I must admit, the appeal of a family that is growing up is great. I love being able to get out and do things that interest us all without having to worry about the claptrap of a very small fmaily. Josie doesn’t seem to make much impact really, in another year though, i guess she’ll be a tired-at-times-toddler and it will feel harder again.
Another thing i am very proud of is the level of understanding that Fran, and increasingly Maddy, have of History. Today we visited Hatfield House and i really enjoyed taking interested and interesting children around its grounds. It fits in well with lots of what Fran knows; Henry VIII visited, it was a nursery to all his children, home and virtually prison to Elizabeth I, the home of Elizabeth and James I’s (or VI for Joyce and Hannah) advisor Robert Cecil, son of William Cecil who lived at Burghley House which is a regular haunt of ours. So it all fits together very nicely. As well as being the place Elizabeth heard the news she was to be Queen (a la the beginning of the film “Elizabeth) it has a fabulous Tudor Hall in the Palace part, where Henry often visited and where Elizabeth chose William to be her First Advisor and beautiful gardens which were originally designed by (and to some extent being restored to the style of) the Tradescant’s who were the subject of a couple of books i read a year or so ago. Which just goes to show you how important a concept “Living Books” is to me because i would never have believed this period of history could enthrall me after the horror of A Level, much less a book about the fortunes of a gardener. The Tradescants were tricked out of their collection of curiosities by the founder of the Ashmolean; i must find time to visit that sometime.
Stone Picture of Elizabeth asnd her Advisors.
The “New” Hatfield House, built by Robert Cecil after James I commandeered his house Theobalds.
A Queen and some Princesses.
Hatfield Palace; mostly pulled down to build the “House” this bit survives.
After that we went to spend the afternoon with J and her boys which was very enjoyable. Girls mucked in well and aside from a few tussles, all the kids had a great time.
I’ve been for my walk and now i MUST answer all the emails that are piling up!!!!