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It was love at first sight. The moment I set eyes on Cordelia I wanted her with a passion my wife neither understood nor forgave for years. Cordelia was resting on the mud, her distress obvious to me, yet her lines were classically beautiful. She had aged well, but neglect has taken its toll. She looked like a proud old lady who had fallen on hard times. She was, in fact, stronger than she appeared and cradled gently, she made the journey by road to her new home on the banks of the Thames.

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“When it is peace, then we may view again
With new won eyes each other’s truer form
And wonder. Grown more loving kind and warm
We’ll grasp firm hands and laugh at the old pain,
When it is peace. But until peace, the storm,
The darkness and the thunder and the rain.”

C Hamilton Sorley

 

Charles arrived at last as the soup was served. He brought the chill of the night with him and appeared travel weary and near the limit of endurance. He crossed the room towards her and stopped. Lavinia stood, rooted to the spot, as he apologised to her and the guests and requested her immediate presence in the library.

At the Grange, just down the road, Christmas was different this year – it was the War! Mary shook out her curls in front of the mirror and waited for Jenny her maid to arrange then in a glossy pile on top of her head, as she frantically rubbed cream onto her chapped hands. She spent most of the time in the stables these days looking after the few remaining horses. It broke her heart to see the empty stalls and she’d wept for days after most of the horses were taken away. Then her brother went to the front: the war again – she was heartily tired of it all, and sick with worry. Where was Jenny? She rang the bell again, and remembered that Jenny was helping her mother dress. She picked up the brush and hairpins and made a start. A this rate she would be late for her first grown up dinner at the Hall. She wandered downstairs having done her best. Her mother stood in the hall with an officer in uniform. (more…)

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Our handsome lady proudly struts and pats her curls in place;
Clad in frills and furbelowed, a smile upon her face.
Her small, soft hands are clad in kid, her shoes are made of silk,
Her eyes a sparkling cornflower blue, her skin as pale as milk.

She sheds her tippet, grasps her fan, and holds her head up high.
Her heart beats fast, her cheeks flush pink; a well-bred butterfly.
The staircase loomed and down below the “ton” all gazed enrapt.
The music faltered, dancers stood, the whole assembly clapped.

Our debutante, quite nervous now, commences her descent.
She trips and falls headlong, I fear, and nothing can prevent
A precipitous arrival, on the ballroom floor below –
She landed at the Prince’s feet, pantaloons on show!

Entry to poetry competition.

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A Modest Proposal, with profuse apologies to Jonathan Swift

“A modest proposal for preventing the children of poor people in Ireland from being a burden to their parents or country, and for making them beneficial to the public”

The Irish problem could be solved, there’s quite a simple cure,
By dining on the offspring of the nation’s poor.
Oven-ready babies could be sold when weaned,
They’d fetch a fortune so I‘m told; ten shillings maybe more.

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Bloomers and Bodices: November Short Story

Ambrose had the feeling that the Extraordinary General Meeting of the Board of Grace Emporium was spiralling out of control. In all his years as Chairman, this was a first. Must be getting old, he thought as he listened to the increasingly angry exchanges between his two sons. Miss Phelps had abandoned her scribbles and looked hot and ill at ease as she gazed helplessly in his direction. He mimed raising a cup of tea, and was relieved when she slammed her shorthand pad on the boardroom table and fled the room.

They were still in full flow when Gladys, pushing a trolley through the heavy oak door, shouted “Tea’s up gentlemen, and by the way, Miss Phelps sends ‘er apologies. She’s gone ‘ome, she came over all poorly again.”

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Ewelme

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Sunday afternoon and a beautiful day, so we called into Ewelme and had a wander. Very pretty village in the Chilterns, with lots of interesting history, and watercress beds!

We visited the Church, the School and almshouses and then adjourned to the pub for a cooling ale or two.

To give you some idea of the place, do follow the links above. They are all extracts from a book,

Ewelme – A Romantic Village, its Past and Present, its People and its History by Mrs M Prister-Crutwell.

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Where to start? Firstly in writing this, my intention is not to try to write a biography of either of my two main characters, Oliver Cromwell or Charles I. Neither will I try to condense the events of the English Civil War into a few paragraphs. Rather my aim is to give you an idea of the causes, economic, political and religious, which led to Revolution and Regicide, and try to explain, not excuse, the actions and motivations of the two main characters, each representative of his background and interests. Most of my readers will no doubt have some knowledge of the period, but for a very easy guide to timelines, battles and short biographies this site may prove useful.

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