Sweetbriar Dreams

So where shall we go on our journey today?

Friday, 27 June 2014

Another Parenting Milestone

When you become a parent there are milestones to be reached and recorded, the first word, the first step, the first day at school - the list goes on.  Each one fills your heart with pride to the point of bursting.  It is as though nobody else's child has done it in the grand scheme of life.

As your child grows, the patience and understanding grows too as this little baby turns into a person with their own opinions and ideas.  You notice yourself smiling as their little traits come out, who do they take after?  and, where did they get that idea from?  Their interests begin to materialise and then the nurturing begins.  Clubs and trips along with the obvious 'Mum and Dad's Taxi Service' on constant standby.

The trials and tribulations start as they get older and their ideas start to clash with others that they have grown up with and friends change.  A parent's job now involves the empathy and guidance to see them through to keep their individuality and not do things that make them feel uncomfortable with themselves.

Then the teenage years start.  Oh yes, the hard times where everything is 'so unfair'.  Hormones kick in, spots appear, hair sprouting everywhere and mood swings - oh boy, mood swings!  To top it all, exams, exams and more exams.  The parent's job becomes the counsellor, police sergeant, public enemy number one, peacemaker and never, ever to embarrass!  Trying to keep your cool, trying to entertain, trying to support. 'Trying' being the buzz word.

And so, this week the milestone for Mr Teen was the end of his GCSE's and the final signing off on his last day at School!  Yes, my baby boy has turned into a school leaver.  I desperately wanted to be there when he walked through the school gates for the last time but due to a huge event I couldn't.  This 'difficult' teen who has spent the last few weeks thinking I am some sort of prison warden while he studied and fought through his GCSE's decided to make sure I didn't miss this milestone and called me from his mobile as he walked through the gates and walked down the road.

His voice was happy, relieved and euphoric!  Something that a parent just couldn't miss.  Another milestone achieved.

The next milestone?  College boy in September!

Being a parent feels so hard sometimes but moments such as a simple phone call made on the spur of the moment to keep their parents involved in their lives is priceless.  All the hard work has been rewarded by that brief conversation and I am so incredibly proud.

The photos this week are a continuation of last week's Heritage Weekend.  This is the Dean's garden at the Cathedral on and around Tout Hill which is within the garden.  It is on the site of a medieval Motte and Bailey Castle.  The mound was called the Motte.  On top of the motte was a wooden tower which would provide a stronghold.  There would be a large courtyard alongside the motte and this was called the bailey and would have a strong gateway often with a drawbridge.  

And now, it is time for a little bonfire with my son and a ceremonial burning of uniform!

Have a wonderful weekend and week.

Take care.

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Sunday, 22 June 2014

Time To Go Back Through The Ages

It's hard to believe that it is TWO YEARS since I bravely clicked on 'Publish' and Sweetbriar Dreams was 'born'.  It has been such a learning curve since then with different designs, templates and even cameras!  But one thing that has been consistent is the variety of people I have 'met' along the way - my virtual penpals.  It was slow at first as I learned the blogging protocol for myself, but in the end followers began to show their presence, my constant check on statistics became a thing of the past, and then some comments began to appear.  I started my blog mainly for the love of crafts but my blogging voice just had to be the every day goings on in my little life, my love of capturing a moment in time and incorporating it into a post to look back on and remember.  Unfortunately, I can't be a blogger that writes every other day, there really is not enough hours for me, so have kept pretty consistent to one blog per week with a little bit of 'Wordless' occasionally in the middle of the week.  In between, I love catching up with what is going on in everybody's lives and admiring the photography.  You all are such amazing, talented and have made this little corner of blogland very humble and happy indeed.

Two years ago I went to the Peterborough Heritage Weekend for the first time and my first full blog post was created here.  Then last year another visit took place here.  So, are you ready for a trip down memory lane?  The usual requirements are needed i.e. your cup of tea and an indulgent biscuit, while I take you on the third trip to this amazing event set in the Cathedral Precincts and various other venues in the area.  Look, Queen Katharine of Aragon is waiting for you...
Henry VIII was inside the Cathedral, flirting with his audience!
This fabulous weekend is partly set within the walls of the Cathedral.  The green is totally taken over by tents full of various centuries of crafts, wares and history.
The Bishop and the Dean's gardens were opened too to set the scenes for various encampments.  The Knights Chamber archway is one that is private but today it could be walked through and into the Bishop's garden for the Viking encampment (even the Morris Dancers trotted and rang their way through to take a look!)
The encampment was nearly empty when we visited which is such a shame as there is one particular Viking that I like to photograph but he was no where to be seen!
Such a setting, and obviously one that I know very well.  The scaffolding in the background which I have previously shown in posts just shows the sheer scale of this meccanno set, and one that I have been told that I have permission to go on shortly... what a post that one will be!!  In the shade, there were Viking children enjoying the old walnut tree.
We were drawn to the sound of drums out in the City Centre and were delighted to catch a few groups of Morris Dancers.  The jangling bells and clapping of hands, so colourful.
I had some favourites though!  This man's hat was amazing!
And this lot were ones that I really wouldn't want to meet alone!
I could have watched them all day!!
As D Day has now reached its 70th year, the event had World War I as its main theme. Here's a group of photos of these wonderful men and women who were totally in character.

Further on, there were more soldiers from a totally different era.  The crimson in their jackets was so striking.

Then the Romans!  

 The Middle Ages were in the Dean's garden.  I just loved this character with these amazing glasses.
And, of course, a posing Knight!
 Phew!  A busy and incredibly interesting day.  My camera was working over time and so was everyone else's!  I have never seen such gigantic cameras as those that surrounded me and all the people in costume were more than happy to pose for the cameras.  A very happy day!
But at the end of the day I felt as wiped out as this soldier!  Information overload and so many photos to put together for today's post.  
I do hope you enjoyed this rather long Bloganniversary post and have enjoyed going back through the ages.

Here's to another year!!

Take care.

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Saturday, 14 June 2014

A Trip to Bishopsthorpe Palace, York

This week it was lovely to just turn up at a place and not have the logistics to worry about. Yes, work was going to be a touch easier, if only for a day!  Last year we were asked to go to Lambeth Palace for a meeting (the Archbishop of Canterbury's London residence), but this year we decided to opt for Bishopsthorpe Palace, York (the Archbishop of York's residence).  As we headed out of York Station and were taxi'd through the streets, I could only look at the walls, the gorgeous buildings and the scenery.  Another private trip would need to be made to capture the things I wanted to show you but for now, I can only give you a glimpse of the Palace but I am sure you will like to see it (if only from the outside!).  Little Pixie camera came with me on this trip as I didn't want to look too conspicuous with a huge telephoto lens!!  So, have you got your cucumber sandwiches ready and a nice cup of tea by your side?  Let's visit the Archbishop of York...
In typical fashion I like to capture the carvings and the little touches such as lights, and above the entrance the lamp, columns, vaulted ceiling... etc etc  took my eye.
The hints of stained glass were so beautifully set in the stone windows.
We were going to go through the doors and start networking with our colleagues, I'll let you have a glimpse of just through the door and the pink walls with white edging.  This is the hallway that would lead us to our meeting - work was waiting.
The meeting went well and as were leaving a little later than the others, we were lucky enough to be given a little tour of the garden.  Do you want to see?...
The back of the Palace was immaculate with the well tended lawns.
But through a gate was the conservation area of the gardens.  We walked through wildflowers and listened to the deer that were walking to the side of us.
Then as we walked I could see some stonework in the distance...
A little closer and we were looking at a folly surrounded by rhododendrons!
To the side of this the lake was beautifully calm with its green edging from the trees.
And of course you must have a life belt nearby!
It was a beautiful place and to see the Palace was such a treat!
The drive was sweeping with a wonderful clock tower.  Here is a link to show the Archbishop setting the clock when it was restored.

But the day was nearly over and we still had a little journey to go, which meant visiting this wonderful station...
I haven't set foot on this station platform since I was at school and with my late paternal grandparents, so this was a nice trip down memory lane.  The iron above our heads was amazing to look at along with the little details.
So, not a lot of photos to show you this week I'm afraid but it was for work which meant I wasn't to look too excited!!!  Next week I will be making up for it though, it's the Peterborough Heritage Weekend and if you have read my little blog since the beginning, yes, it will be two years next week!  You will remember how much fun this event is.  If you are in the area don't miss it!  The Vikings, Tudors, Romans, Victorians, Soldiers... you name it, they have it, in the precincts, Cathedral Square, Museum, the Bishop's garden and the Dean's garden.  It's free and such a day!  Who knows, we might even meet up!!  This is on the 22nd and 23rd June - it really is a great trip for all the family.  If you want some more information my previous posts on this great event are here and here and the link from the organisers is here.  If you can't make it though, don't worry, I'll be faithfully clicking away to share with you next week.

Have a wonderful weekend and week everyone!

Take care.

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