Monday, 20 August 2012

Stand and Deliver

The kids and I had a great day out with friends at Bolsover Castle yesterday.

I know, I look a bit shit, but the castle doesn't disappoint!

Nothing like a bright blue sky to act as the perfect backdrop for a bit of English history!

The older parts of the castle are ruined, having been damaged by the Parlimentarian forces in the Civil War, and subsequently allowed to fall into disrepair.
The English Civil War is one of my favourite periods of British history; the radicalism and passion and daring were astonishing. Yet it seems largely ignored. I wonder why?

This part of the castle (the Little Castle) is intact, with lots of rooms to explore.
Beautiful painted ceilings and decorative panelling.
The kids loved all the nudity. And truthfully - so did I!

My dear bessie mate Joanne and I pondered whether our figures were better suited to these 18th century images of big bottoms and sturdy thighs...

Those kick-ass little cherabim really make me smile!

The Venus Fountain.

Joanne, being an organised kind of person, had discovered that there were themed kids' activities happening, based around Heroes and Villains.

Now I have to say I didn't expect much, maybe a few half-arsed craft activities with most of the supplies used up, or the odd dressing up box.

But hush my cynical mouth, there was a day-long schedule of interactive sessions with 2 actors, who were completely brilliant, and managed that clever trick of entertaining and involving the kids while amusing the parents. 
No mean feat.

They loaded and fired muskets.

They were dastardly highwaymen.

They learned about crime and punishment back in the day.

Eldest had been adding unsavoury ingredients to her bread and cakes, so was pinned to a stake by her ear, which was then cut off. Seems fair, if you're going to put rabbit droppings in the "chocolate chip" cookies.

I think I may have a little crush...

... on Mr Hottie McHighwayman. 

Stand and deliver, baby.
I think we should get back to the architecture, don't you?

And the view.

That's better.

There was a little bit of dressing up.

Let Mama join in, darlings.

Too cool for school...

Ooh, big old hips! 

If I was naked, and on a ceiling, around 300 years ago, I'd be considered a goddess.

We had a fabulous day.

The End.



WendyB said...

I love a good castle -- though I prefer ruins to the preserved parts!

Anonymous said...

Haha! This is so entertaining. If you were naked on a ceiling you'd be one sexy artistically architectured phenomenon and mystery of history! Think of the fame!

Fun to see you enjoying yourself with your kidlins. I miss these years. Now my kids in their 20's don't even come around anymore. Unless they want something. ;)

Lucy Nation said...

"The end" ha ha. I love your prose style Curtise. You have such a natural sense of comic timing. I really enjoyed this post. Your children are jolly beautiful if I may say so. I think I could join you on that 300 year old ceiling, I definitely fit the description!;) I love castle ruins. Exploring them is one of my favourite things to do. My husband was delighted to find a book about the history of the English Civil War a few years ago. He is a history nut and also bemoaned the fact that there has been so little written about it xxx

Misfits Vintage said...

I agree with Lucy - your timing is fabulous!

The castle (IT'S AN ACTUAL CASTLE!!! It's older than my COUNTRY!) is magnificent - I especially love the spiky red doors. You look gorgeous - and your kiddos are so lucky to have such a fun Mum who takes them to CASTLES and is awesome. I hope someone nicked that fab jacket.

Love you more than castles! Sarah xxx

Misfits Vintage said...

I agree with Lucy - your timing is fabulous!

The castle (IT'S AN ACTUAL CASTLE!!! It's older than my COUNTRY!) is magnificent - I especially love the spiky red doors. You look gorgeous - and your kiddos are so lucky to have such a fun Mum who takes them to CASTLES and is awesome. I hope someone nicked that fab jacket.

Love you more than castles! Sarah xxx

Gracie O'Tripp said...

What fun, and I agree about the handsome highwayman. Great photos.

Melanie said...

Well, you are still a goddess. And, okay, yeah, yeah, yeah, castle, castle, castle, but I'm with you - who's that highwayman?

Anonymous said...

I have never seen a real live castle, much less a handsome highwayman. Hmm, surely someone in the blogosphere could paint you and you could mount the painting on the ceiling...

Natalie said...

looks like a lot of fun!!

Rob said...

So much to see, i really should have a trip out there.

Vix said...

When the kids are back at school I think we should have a girls' day out at Bolsover Castle and do some play acting with that gorgeous highwayman. Goodness me, I bet the place is constantly packed out with women.
We've often driven past the signs but never stopped and isn't it fabulous. I love the view out of the window over the rolling Derbyshire hills and the ruins are always my favourite bit, too.
You are a fabulous Mum giving your gorgeous tribe such quality days out but cut out the "I look a bit shit" and "child bearing hip" bit out or I'll have to come over and bitch slap you!!! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Rob said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fiona said...

What a great post Curtise, spectacular pics espesh the one of LLB dressing up. Loved seeing inside the castle, aren't the ceilings magnificent? We are so lucky to have all this wonderful history on our doorsteps. Dick Turpin's a bit of alright, PHWOAR!

The Small Fabric Of My Life said...

I miss taking my kids to places like this. One of our favourites was The Armouries in Leeds. Whatever century you still look like a Goddess.

Anonymous said...

I'm in love with English Castles and all the beautiful paintings and rooms to visit and explore..and it's even better that they entertain children with educative activities and funny games..I really enjoy this tour, your extremely smart writing and I really love to see you and the kids having fun on a nice sunny day!
You are so beautiful in that floral maxi dress and the necklace is lovely!
Love xxxx

Rose&Bird said...

Looks like a great day out - I haven't been to a castle in years. I really like it when you get people doing things like that, it really brings it all to life and you learn so much.
You look fab anyway, you can be a goddess, ceiling or not!

CityScape Skybaby said...

Looks like you all had a really good time Curtise, what a beautiful place, I love visiting old buildings and castles. And you look really glam in your maxi dress, I don't know how you do it with three kids! xx

thorne garnet said...

America only has fake castles,built by rich people in the 19th/early 20th century. Looks like a really cool place.

Diane said...

We've got Bolsover on our list of places to visit before the end of Summer. I am so going to bump into you one day! The kids faces are a picture, and the Highway Man does look a bit tasty! x

Miss Simmonds Says said...

Stand and Deliver indeed! Hello Mr Highwayman! Looks like a great place to visit, you look lovely - should've nicked that hat, it looks rather snazzy. The end made me smile too! xxx

Dawn said...

Stand and deliver...right on. He was foxy. Did you slip him your blog address? This was completely enjoyable. I belong on the ceiling with my big bottom. Love the photo of you relaxing on the grassy front. Dawn suitcase vignettes xo laughed when you said about the droppings in the cookies.

Tamera @ the Stone Fence Cottage said...

What a wonderful outing!! The castle is GORGEOUS!!! It looks like they littles had a wonderful time!
You are a goddess on the ground--no need to be painted on some old ceiling!!
I think you should trick yourself out in your circus wear and Vix in a festval outfit and you two go back and see how "bad" that highwayman REALLY is!!!! HEHEHEHE

Tamera @ the Stone Fence Cottage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

What a spectacular castle!!! The views., the ruins!! ah we have nothing like that here!!
The programme for the kiddies looked aweome!!
You do not need to be painted on a ceiling nekkid to be a goddess!!!
I think you should dress up in your circus attire and Vix in her festival attire and you two should go up and see how "bad" that divine highwayman REALLY is!!! HEHEHEHEHE

Krista said...

I love this castle! I wanna see tons of them when I'm there! The murals inside are beautiful and the big red door and all the cute Highlanders oh yes I am digging this. I too think we could learn a lot about how women looked back in the day, curves need to be in!!!! This really looks like a great day out for the kids, they seem to be pretty into it!

delia hornbook said...

What a great day out i love the painted ceilings it always takes my breath away the amount of time and the talent of those artists back then. Your children have a great mummy, dee xx

Vintage Coconut said...

That looks like so much fun! The castle is absolutely gorgeous.
The kids look as though they were having a blast and I was really giggling over your photos of the hotty highway man. *ehehhe*

silvergirl said...

thanks so much for popping by my blog and commenting
love these pictures. i am a big ole sucker for anything english, especially a castle
love the dressed up characters and that the kids got to try their hand at wearing the outfits!

Thrift Bee said...

Defo a great day out and a great post. You are already a goddess of funny and interesting blog posts.

Count me in for another vote for Mr. hottie mc highwayman.

Hope his wife is not one of your followers.

Helga! said...

How frigging glorious!!!
I most certainyl have a figure suited for that period...or maybe I'm more Botticelli?!
I'm quite interested in the English civil war period,must do some reading on the subject.I loved historical novels set in that period when I was a youngun.I just love histoical shit.Wish we had a few castles.We have a faux one in Dunedin (larnach's castle), but it's just a folly, really.
You looked most decidely glam,and I bet Mr Hottie McHighwayman was ogling you something rotten!Phwoar!

Debberoo said...

What a lovely day out! Beautiful castle, love the statue of Venus and the view that window frames is just stunning. I think the swashbuckler chappie is most pleasing on the eye too. If only there was a way to let him know he has an online fan club I bet it would make his day.

So English Civil War, that would be what we studied right? My favorites were The Levellers and The Diggers. See and you thought I didn't pay any attention! ;) I think I still have half a dozen essays I'm supposed to hand in, d'ya think its too late now?

Lastly, hips, they are neither big nor old, they are beautiful and you ARE a Goddess.

Joyatri said...

Thank you for such a highly entertaining post. Being a history nerd and a admirer of painted ceilings and hot bearded men, it was right up my alley.
I see a "Blogger Girls" nudie calender in the future. Which month would you like to be?

kaffesoester said...

Fantastic post, I love every bit of it! When I show my daughter this, Bolsover Castle will certainly be on our wish list for our next UK trip!

The ceilings are incredible - I can see a copy of the aqua coloured one with gold stars i n my bedroom! The lady sitting on a piece of green fabric, silk?, is me! And the Venus Fountain is also me, only five years ago! The red door is my favorite though, I would just love to have a door like that! What a way to greet guest to your home!

Your dress is beautiful! I love the pattern mix, brilliant with the bag! You're not just a goddess, you're a bloggoddess!

Trees said...

What an awesome day out for you and the kids - we just don't have anything this "old" in New Zealand, so looking at your pictures make me want to travel to the UK and hang out with you and see old stuff. You're a goddess RIGHT NOW lady!!

Annie said...

Catching up!

I've never been to Bolsover Castle. It looks fantastic. I completely agree with you over the English Civil War. It's such an important part of British history. Let's do what Vix suggests and have a girls day out there. That would be so much fun!

You look lovely, and your kids look like they had a wonderful time. What a fab day out! xxx

Melanie said...

Speaking of hips, I was asked if I had padding under my skirt by Andy the other day .. I was appalled! It was my own fault apparently for padding my hip when hula hooping and not letting him know when I was and wasn't padded.
I love architectural ruins and this place looks lovely. My family lost their fortune in the civil war - booo!

Style Sud-Est said...

Hi Curtise!

Sorry i did not comment sooner!
I love Castles, this is something we do not have here in Canada - Old castles! I loved to visit them when i lived in Europe -
You look lovely by the way no matter what! Les kiddies sont genials!

Take care - see you soon

Ariane xxx


Love your blog - first time ever heard cherabim described as 'kick-ass'. My family originate from Bolsover and we did the castle when my kids were tots. xCathy

karensomethingorother said...

thank you for taking me on your virtual trip. I need a vacation so badly. I enjoyed all the pics so much Curtise!
Funny: I had just been thinking how fabulous you looked for a casual day out, and you thought you looked "a bit shit." Honestly. I'd better go burn my shorts now.

Amber of Butane Anvil said...

What a joyful mix of pattern and colour you have on! You and your body don't deserve those critical comments though. So many of us feel the urge to say things like that of ourselves.

Gorgeous interior shots of the castle!

Jean at said...

Okay, I'm jumping to the end of the comment form, so if I'm repeating other comments, I don't know it.

You ARE a goddess!!! You are one of the best versions I've seen. You are Athena-Goddess of war/wisdom/domestic crafts, you are Hestia-Goddess of hearth and home, and I suspect you are a Baubo Goddess in training- a lesser known deity described as "Bawdy crone Goddess who lifted her skirt in front of Demeter".

There are many Goddesses that we embody and you are definitely are summoning yours. Now mind you, I don't know a lot about this stuff (I googled Goddesses) but it just struck a chord!!

That being said, what a glorious day. Your children are so, so precious. I like hanging out with kids, more so than most of my peers. They will never forget this day, even if the details are hazy. They'll remember the fun they had and they'll laugh about it when they get together after they're grown.

I know this because my kids do it now, at 25 and 27.
I salute you, Goddess!!

trishie said...

Beautiful! I esp love the ceilings of the castle

The Style Crone said...

You're considered a goddess today, as far as I'm concerned. Extraordinary castle, I must say. And the fact that you have access to this beauty is a gift. You take your children on the most wonderful adventures.

Andrea said...

Lovely pics amazing castle I really wish I could visit it! COuld you please consider following each other? I started my blog 2 months ago and I need more feedback!

Stacey said...

These photos are amazing! And I don't think you look shit at all, gorgeous lady.

StreetChic by Eriel said...

i love your blog! this post is so cute
do u want to follow each other?

Lynne DeVenny said...

You ARE a Goddess. I didn't notice a thing about your hips but did drool a bit over the big ol' flouncy ruffle on your dress. Fabulous.

I'm not cyber-stalking you. The spotty WiFi in the hospital room has decided to give us access to the Internets for a bit - until it doesn't :P

Forest City Fashionista said...

You have got a hot bod on you Curtise, so stop with the "oh those hips". I wish I had some, so if they ever perfect a hips & butt sharing procedure, I will be in touch! The castle is rather cool, but I am also crushing on the the Hottie Highwayman (it may be the outfit). Looks like the kids had a ball - what a fun way to spend the day.