Saturday, 23 July 2011

Knight on a Treadmill...

Well, not this knight!   We saw this armour at Bonaguil in France.   Recent research by the University of Leeds looks into the effects of wearing heavy armour in battle.   Some of the armour was so heavy (between 30kg and 50 kg in weight), it really affected the efficiency of the fighters.    Outcomes of battles such as the Battle of Agincourt might have been different if the French had worn less armour. To see the knight on a treadmill and read the full BBC report, click here: BBC Report

Below is a picture of Bonaguil Chateau in Lot-et-Garonne.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

The Romantic Novelists' Conference in Caerleon

This was a wonderful week-end.   There were so many great talks at times it was hard to choose which ones to attend.   Fiona Harper generously gave us gold-dust; Liz Fielding's was so emotive it had me in tears...I could go on, but I'm not going to.  The Conference has inspired me and I'm on fire to get back to my WIP.  Many thanks to Jan Jones and Roger Sanderson for organising everything.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Knights and Ladies of the Garter...

This is a version of a blog first posted on the Harlequin Historicals Author Blog about my visit to see the procession of the Knights (and Ladies) of the Garter in Windsor Castle last month.  Sadly the pictures prove I am marginally better at research shots when my subject is static (like a castle) then when it is moving (like a horse and carriage).

For anyone interested in learning more about this most ancient order of English chivalry (founded in 1348 by Edward the Third) check out the British Monarchy website

A few weeks ago some friends said they had tickets to watch the Order of the Garter procession in Windsor Castle and would we care to join them...

The Order of the Garter is the oldest order of chivalry, founded in 1348. It honours those who have served the public in some way and it is the only honour which remains entirely in the Queen's gift.
You can see by my photo (above) that we went. It was a sunny day and there was enough wind to set the Royal Standard fluttering.

The following pictures show why I am NOT a photographer. I am OK when my subject is static, I can do the odd research shot, but I am not so good when my subject is moving.   These Welsh Guards were lining the route the procession took from the dining room to St George's Chapel where the service took place.

You can tell they are Welsh Guards because of the leeks embroidered on their collars and on their shoulders. They also have white and green plumes in their bearskins and the buttons on their uniforms are in groups of five. The green screening behind the Guards seems to be concealing some renovation work being done at the Castle. 

After the ceremony, the dignitaries left the Chapel in horse and carriage. I did see the Queen and quite a few other members of the Royal family (including Prince William and his new Duchess), but I was so excited about seeing them, most of the pictures are terrible! It turns out I wanted to see what was happening more than I wanted to take pictures...however, I got one reasonable horse and carriage shot in, it is of Countess Sophie of Wessex. Someone got in the way a little, sorry!

All this has left me with a great admiration of photographers who can take good shots of moving subjects.

Next time, I will stick to using my camera for research, taking pictures of castles is MUCH easier...