Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Nanter Part Deux - the return

Started Nanters with a Pikeman's kiss - a friend forgot he had his morion on when he tried to give me a kiss and dug me in the head - no damage done - I have a thick skull!!  A real Pikeman's kiss is when the pike go against each other and the sharp point of the morion helmet slips up and splits your opponents lip in close combat.  Met up with some of the KG ladies took their permission and their photos for my book.

Me? did you ask what I wore?  Urmm after 3 weeks of being snowed in and depressed and making most excellent cakes I found my kit had shrunk in the wardrobe while I wasn't looking.  So I wore my new arran sweater, nice black mini skirt, warm tights a big black coat and my new leather flat soled boots. I took my new camera and was a photographer for a day. 

I have never "cross dressed" in the Knot, that's wearing a mix of civvies and authentic kit, so if I'd have dressed up I couldn't have used my camera. I took photos of the march down, very slippy as the pavements hadn't been gritted, got some nice close ups of the army and the ladies, took photos of the Rosebowl drill,
KG came second, and when they all went to fight in the mud, I repaired to the Crown Hotel for a nice hot filter coffee and listened to the gentle sound of the piano player.

I then went shopping in the town and got a new pair of purple trousers (yeah I know but I like purple,must have been royal in a previous life!) then back to the 4x4 at the school to make tea and get some cake and sarnies on the go for my soldier returning from the wars.  I do LIKE a man in uniform!

Went back to the hotel and crashed out in the nice warm room then got ready for the evening went to the Indian Ocean - think it must have been under new management. It was being refurbished and I didn't recognise any of the guys serving. We waited an hour for our food to arrive and one of our party stormed out cursing(he must have had low blood sugar) as soon as he left his food arrived.(Sods law). There was a bit of discussion about not touching the food so we wouldn't have to pay but generally SK people are gannets so it disappeared.

I was starving, but had to eat light because I have a gastric ulcer (stress - don't get stressed not worth it) and it had been playing up recently and I am not supposed to eat after 9pm.  So not wanting to wake up with a mouth full of blood the next day I had a couple of spoonfuls of everything we ordered and left it at at that.

I was the only woman in the group and was fed up with man talk and needed to talk lace and dresses so we trawled the pubs trying to find the ladies as we were going in one they were coming out to go get their curry
the pubs were so crowded you couldn't get in unless someone left!

So a good night's carousing followed by a nice warm bed and the following morning a lot of very stiff Knotters limping to get their breakfast  Bacon Eggs Mushrooms Sausages Hash Browns Beans yeah and can you make that double? With double toast!   Good brekkie for me of Bacon Mushrooms Beans Tomato and toast. (Allergic to eggs - not keen on sausages unless I know what's in them and hash browns lovely as they are are too full of fat.)  Well anyway - quick drive home  pile the laundry in the utility room crash out
and recover!

It was the best Nantwich ever!

Thursday, 24 January 2013


Tomorrow we are off to Nantwich in Cheshire with our mates the Kings Guard, the town will be alive with 17c folk and tourists.The Millfield where the battle takes place will be a muddy freezing cold swamp. As I am known for getting injured at the drop of a hat I'll give it a miss. My hubby will go on and I'll go a watch for a bit, we normally all get together at the school at the top of the town, a chance to meet old comrades and chat about the winter, make arrangements to get together for a drink, choose which pub we are going to monopolise - The Black Lion is a favourite crammed to the gills with merrymakers in 17c costume in a 17c pub, the fire is roaring and the drinks expensive. The Black Lion is a code name for venereal disease - usually syphilis - most of the soldiers would have had this at one time or another if they used the facilities at
Love Lane!

I love the march through the town, I usually dress as a woman and drop out just as they go on the field., then I meet up with a friend and walk round the town, we went to the Church last year and saw the mouseman pews and the poor knight laid to rest with no feet as the stone of his feet had healing properties for sheep so the local farmers chipped bits off to help their flock !

I watch the musket firing and the Rosebowl competition - a drill competition that locals think it's ok to walk their dogs and shopping through while it's going on. It's only one day a year - and we bring loads of our cash into the town, so you'd think they'd walk round us. But no.

My authentic shoes really hurt by the end of the day, not being cut for left and right feet they take a while to wear in. So cold and painful feet and being stopped to have your photo taken every five minutes is usually the order of the day. At six o clock we repair to our hotels and have a shower and a lie down and a big cup of tea and get poshed up for the evening do, banqueting dresses and suits are applied to our now mud-less bodies and we're back to the town for a Curry and an evening of carousing.

The less brave of us leave at 1am before the rowdy nightclubbers come, go back snuggle down and talk about the days events. Morning a big hot english brekkie and back home.

Every Nantwich is different, this year one of the mainstays of the event will not be there, he died last year but last Nanters he was in the town square at the age of 90 dressed in his finery, and this year we will remember him as a fine old Cavalier.   There was the food posioning year, the ripped off year, the lock in year, the year I slept in the school hall, the year a sister turned against me, the year my hubby sang Swords of a Thousand Men" with a group in the pub. But all of them, and we say it every time when we turn the lock in our door when we get to our home "That was the Best Nantwich Ever!"

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Garlic Arrows

Trying to order Garlic this morning from the Isle of Wight Garlic farm and they have sold out already!
Yet another one of my multitudinous hobbies. Being a typical Saggitarian I shoot my  arrows all over the place and I wonder what it would be like sometimes to be really good at one thing again.

I make 17c clothes, I write,I paint, I draw, I read, I garden, I have rescue cats, I photograph, I design, I cook, not just the latest recipes from Hairy Bikers and Jamie but 17th Century food. I love my museum work and I love re-enacting, I love crafts and home-making, and birds and dogs. I love my husband.

Yesterday on what was supposed to be Blue Monday (the day when people are supposed to be at their lowest ebb and miserable) we both woke up laughing and joking. There was the usual thing about who stole all the bedclothes overnight (it was me.) and my hubby told me about a time at college where he'd gone to a party and was staying over and sharing a kingsize bed with three mates.  When he woke up he was lying star shaped having had a good night's sleep and all his mates were downstairs on the sofas. Apparently in the middle of the night he stood up in the bed starkers with a growl on his face and making fists shouting - "you want some of this? Do you? Do you?" growling and wanting a fight!  So his mates all left.  He was having a dream - and woke up and couldn't remember it.  Funny in itself because he is usually a gentle sort of guy!

So I told him about the time I went to a friends housewarming party and was sleeping in the spare room upstairs in my sleeping bag when - lets face it - I was plastered - I needed to get to the bathroom urgently to throw up, and I couldn't undo my sleeping bag, as I didn't want to throw up in their newly decorated and carpeted empty spare room, so I crawled like a caterpillar in my sleeping bag along the top hallway went to the bathroom threw up crawled back to the spare room the same way and fell asleep again.

See what did I tell you?  What started off about Garlic and being a Saggitarius ended up as something else as is always the way with me now. Grasshopper mind!

Thursday, 17 January 2013


Hate it. Makes me feel claustrophobic. For someone with Viking in their DNA I can totally relate to why they left Norway. I always feel the need to get out and do stuff make the most of my time.  Sometimes that means just getting away from the computer and from remembering facts and dates.  I look at the blank whiteness and I feel miserable, my hubby snowboards, but sold his snowboard years ago when we went to Cornwall where it never used to snow - how things have changed. When we lived in Cornwall, the locals not really known for travelling very far from home drove up to Bodmin Moor to see the snow taking children who have never seen it in their lives.

I have been in a car covered by a snowdrift and it was horrible, I have been trapped in my house by 6ft of snow outside it for 3 weeks and by the end of that time I was chewing the wallpaper out of boredom.

I hate living in my current house - no real fire - that was some compensation in Cornwall feeling cosy and hot - but rented houses with magnolia walls no fireplaces don't do it for me.

Well like every Vike before me and as it's Thor's Day I'm going out to explore. I'm going to pull on my boots wear my furry hat (unforunately no horns) and get out of my magnolia box.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Margaret Cooper-Evans

Having looked at so many Margaret Evans' on the web I'm going to have to change my name to stand out!
I thought about using my previous name Buxton, as I had a fair amount of success with that when I worked in tv but I was born Cooper. All the names in my English family are work names, Cooper, Turner, Smith, all the careers of my 17c forebears borne across the centuries by the work they did.

As a woman any plaudits earned are secondary given to the name of the man you have married. I love taking my husbands' (yes more than one) name I felt it made us family, one, a jointure.  But it was me who did the work, my first husband was quiet, not wanting to be noticed, hiding away from life. My current husband is famous by default, the man who gave a million little boys world-wide the famous Robot Wars title sequence
that marked an exciting night of smash and bash! Now copied by so many other designers for so many other things, he also designed the Who Wants to be a Millionaire, gave life to Mr Bean and Fred Flintstone and Wilma as computer games. Terrorised the gamesworld with Alien vs Predator and Judge Dredd.

Me, I had an altogether quieter famousity (I've just invented a new word, it's allowed I'm an author.)
Writing for magazines and newspapers, the odd tv appearance and they were, one thing I was asked to do and refused was to breast feed my new baby on camera.  No way!  Private! (you have to say that word with the Essex emphasis and wave your hand!)

Appeared on a programme about Barbie as I had and still have one of the original 1968 Bubble Cut Barbies,
appeared in Pepys with Steve Cooghan barging him out of the way in a theatre shot.  Lying dead in a field at Naseby for the History programme.  I also got many camera credits for my camerawork but now I want to be known for my writing.

Wow! I have had a fabulous life since I sat next to a 15 year old Dennis Waterman in a mock prize giving assembly in a film to encourge adoption that was made at my school.   To Famiousity and beyond!

Friday, 4 January 2013


The sticky smoke like grasping fingers of the old year are trying to reach into the new before it even starts.
I'm not going to let it.  This is a sparkly New Year with opportunities and adventures just waiting to be had.

I am going to write a screenplay for television, something I used to do long ago, and have had refused on many occasions. There was also one time one of my scripts had been plagurised by the TV company that I sent it to, and it was turned into a series sitcom. It was strange to see the little adventures I had written from my life being played out in front of my eyes with the credit given to someone else who didn't know me and wasn't there when these funny things happened to me.

Working for the BBC had it's downside, "STAFF NO FEE" was one of them. Anything you wrote, discovered, appeared in was upaid. You just got a little docket that said "Staff - no fee".

So the New Year awaits and I am going to grasp the hand of fate and give it a good shake and ask it to be kind to me this year.