Ela: Heiress, Wife and Abbess

Thank you, most interesting, a petiod I have found fascinating and equallinf that of Henry Eighth, though in different ways. It seems surprising that many Families of the times have sons and daughters so inter married andare still traceable now.

History... the interesting bits!

Model of Salisbury Castle

Ela of Salisbury was intended to be one of my Heroines of the Medieval World; however I ran out of words before I could tell her story – I had a word limit of 110,000 and poor Ela was one of the victims of this. So, I decide I would turn her into a blog post instead.

Ela was born at Amesbury in Wiltshire in 1187. She was the only surviving child – and sole heir – of William FitzPatrick, earl of Salisbury, and his wife, Eleanor de Vitré. Her father was a descendant of Walter, an ally of William the Conqueror, who had rewarded his support at Hastings with great estates which eventually passed to Ela. When her father died in 1196, Ela became Countess of Salisbury in her own right, and the most prized heiress in England.

There is a story that little…

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The Cat Crept In The Crypt – Crapped And Crept Out Again!

Longevity lost.

jennie orbell

‘The cat crept in the crypt, crapped and crept out again,’ is something that a friend and I used to say back in the dark ages – when I was married. My husband was a vet and therefore we lived in a house provided by the practice. It was a rambling old thing, no heating to talk of, damp mites living in the cupboards (but that’s another story) and a mish-mash of old furniture. Did any of that matter? Not really. Except the damp mites of course –  but as I said that’s another story

I was a vet’s wife. I loved animals. I loved him – at the time. And life was hunky dory, I guess.

In this ‘rambling old thing,’ there was a pantry. It lead off the hallway and you had to take a step down to a quarry-tiled floor. It had a cold slab with wooden shelves…

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Pretty Average – But Apparently Good At One Thing!

Great post Gail.

jennie orbell

As most of you know I’m not the kind of person to blow my own trumpet. Never have been. Never will be. And why should I? What’s so great about me? Nothing. I’m pretty average at most things, slightly better at some than others, and before you go thinking that I’m expecting you to rush in with, ‘Of course you are special’ and ‘look at all the things you’ve achieved in your long time on the planet,’ that is NOT where this is leading. This is leading to actually being surprised at learning, straight from the horse’s mouth, Richard, that I AM really good at something.

So, this is how it went – I was in the garden busily minding my own business and watching the garden coming to life before my eyes when, he stomped up the garden and shattered the moment.

‘Can you come and look at this?’…

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Those Weeds Fight Back . . . And How!

Poor you. Gail. Getying old is a b+***++er. Easy does it now.
Hugs Evelyn

jennie orbell

There was I – full of the joys of spring and, fuelled by my over enthusiasm, I declared to my newly formed gardening group, ‘I’m off to weed a border!’ No harm there. Nothing at all ominous about that. Just off to weed a border at the side of the path.

Two hours later and after tugging, pulling, swearing and sweating I stood up, stood back, and admired my work. Brilliant! Nothing short of brilliant. Gone was the awful couch grass invading from my neighbour’s garden and tangling itself around willow roots and under the path. Gone were the thick, stubbornly rooted spring-flowering creeper thingy’s. Just lovely rich soil smiled back at me. Happy with my work I toddled back into the house. This was Saturday.

At 3 a.m. Sunday I woke thinking someone had dropped a house brick on my head. The pain was excruciating – I kid you not…

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First March Blog

First March Blog.


Marching in
Like a damp mackintosh,
Occasional sunshine
And the Mac steams.
Or wind blows fierce,
Knocking down trees,
Blowing fences flat,
Lifting fur on the dog,
Tail of the cat.
Mud everywhere,
Even when rain ceases,
Mud below the surface,
Clinging to shoes
The toddlers wear,
Climbing the high boots
Fashion concscious
Dog walkers sport
Down the lanes,
Over the fields.
Billowing cloud
Scudding across
A grey sky.
These are March days.
How long will they last?

Copyright Evelyn J. Steward. March, 2017.

This month is again crawling along, one day fine and warming a little more, the next day grey, windy and much cooler. Some plants seem to be pushing ahead, sprouting leaves, giving hope for the future. Others not moving at all.

True, there are spring blooms adorning gardens and those roadway triangles just before roundabouts. Yellow daffodil heads blowing in the breeze stirred by lorries, cars and buses as they traverse the circular roadway. A sign that spring is close, even though the weather is undecided right now.

My trugs are full of blooms, raked about by that squirrel but decidedly giving me a run for my money. Lots of differently shaped dwarf daffs, hyacinths in three colours, white, blue and purple. The odd late-blooming crocus that was possibly planted deeper than it should have been when that squirrel reorgnised my planting arrangement.

I have also spotted one of the Freesias with the odd bud lurking for a little later. There were quite a few of those and I can see more leaves of that kind, so there may be more flowers, at some point. I was told that they should have been planted indoors. Too late. I hcad already planted them at that point of findung out, week later.

Just wait, this month will fly by and soon April will be here and summer will rush towards us at the speed of bullets. Then, it will be gone.

Do you remember how slowly a year moved when you were at school? Young and fresh with a long summer holiday ahead! Those were the days. Or were they?

As always, be safe in the world out there.


Under the weather

I am always attentive to weather but cannot read many if the signs, though maybe the few, red sky at night eyc. Good post Sue.

The Silent Eye

It is spring and here, that can mean anything. For many it means being ‘under the weather’ with colds, viruses and the other miseries that attend the change of season. Yesterday was as warm as a summer’s day… the day before was wintry cold and rainy. Tomorrow…who knows?  The forecast suggests it will be archetypically English and grey but it is entirely possible that it could snow. Or we may be wandering round in shirt sleeves complaining at the sudden ‘heatwave’. We seldom believe the forecast.

Like most countries, Britain has a rich weather lore and we are probably more likely to believe that it will rain if the cows are laying down than whatever the official forecast tells us. And if it rains on St Swithun’s day, 15th July, well, it will continue for a good while to come. The story goes that the Saxon bishop of Winchester chose…

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This entry was posted on March 14, 2017. 2 Comments

Fourth February Blog

Fourth February Blog.

Seasons Turn.

Catkins budding, sticky,
Awaiting the sun’s return.
She is low on the horizon,
Gradually rising
Higher each day.
First tiny leaf buds
Threaten to appear
Whilst you were
Not looking.
Early chirping
Denotes spring eclipse.
They seek a mate,
The old story,
Played out every spring.
New life, fresh dreams,
A wobble in Earth’s eratic pulse.
The Northern Hemisphere
Seeks the light,
Awaits the suns arising
From its southerly sojourn.
Such is the way,
Back and forth,
Like a pendulum,

– [ ] Copyright Evelyn J. Steward. February, 2017.
– [ ]

Another murky day. A Saturday. Woke with the alarm, intending to pop out with daughter to get a couple of bits and pieces. Put glasses on, held my phone and feeling a tad chill, promptly fell back asleep for about half an hour, knowing that daughter was ‘in the arms of Morpheus’ still. So, after half an hour, she wakes. Our planned trip, now a mere memory.

So, strange things happen! Something occurred on my Notepad. How! I have no idea! But I got an almost blank page except that, at the lower part of the page were some coloured dots, i touched the page with my finger, trying to decide how to get back to my normal Notepad page, and I was DRAWING.
Here is the result:-

This is what I came up with……..
So, no great work of art, but strange!  Ps.  It may nit cone through.  Tch! Tch!

Also my keyboard freezes, then unfreezes! To get numbers, question marks etc., I have to press a certain key, sometimes now, this does not work. So what gets typed can be totally different to what I intended. Very frustrating!
Technology and my brain quite often do not meet at the same ‘cafe’! We lurch past each other like drunken persons, our fingers barely touching, seeking that connection, that spark of lightning thst almost never happens. I have obviously, at some point recently, touched some key unawares, that had changed things. But which key? How do I get back to what I call my normal keyboard, easily?

Oh, the quality of youth, the speed of the young brain. I had it once, long before the electrical impulses of the Internet soared over the horizon.

It is now Monday and the weather is darker, yet again. Where us thus soring sunshine we all long for in my neck of the woods? I have just been informed that it is raining! Poo!

Be safe out there, dear people. It is a hard old world, and getting harder each day.


This entry was posted on February 27, 2017. 4 Comments