After my Wii Fit workout on Thursday morning, I mopped the kitchen floor and swept the downstairs rugs. One of the festivals we regularly trade is planning to go ahead in September so I paid the, thankfully, refundable deposit and joined Jon in the kitchen for breakfast.
With rain forecast for later, we cracked on with our tasks in the garden. I potted on my dahlias while Jon continued in his quest to remove the enormous holly tree. Our friend Kev popped round with some vintage incinerator tiles someone had dumped in his neighbourhood, he'd brought one round the other day and Jon knew he'd be able to make use of them.
By lunchtime Jon had felled the tree and, after our noodles, he cut it down into smaller pieces and I shredded them.
Richard the postman had called earlier with a package containing some plugs of Mind Your Own Business (Soleirolia soleirolii) Jon had bought from eBay - always a brilliant source of plants and seeds. Some people consider it a weed but, if it's good enough for Monty Don then it's good enough for us. When the sun made a fleeting appearance we squeezed it in cracks and crevices around the pond and rockery, hoping that in a few months time we'll have a carpet of green.
I was awake at 5.30am on Friday. Before I did my Wii Fit workout I'd already deep conditioned my hair, booked next week's National Trust adventure, done a load of washing, bought something amazing on eBay and caught up with Blogland. By the time Jon was up, I'd washed my hair and repotted a plant. I love productive mornings like these!
Stephen was due his thyroid check-up so he and Jon went to the vets whilst I wrapped my eBay sales ready for the Post office run and chatted to Richard who'd delivered my &keep order - a replacement for my usual Lush deodorant (which I've used before and love), dental floss refills, my regular facial soap as I'd opened the last one and some bamboo plasters to try.
Jon came back with the news that Stephen's blood pressure was slightly raised, apparently a common side-effect from his medication, so he's on more tablets for a fortnight - hooray for pet insurance! It's also a good job Jon's a cat whisperer and can administer pills like a pro.
With appalling weather forecast for the bank holiday weekend, we needed to get as many jobs outside done as we could. Some Nepeta we'd been rooting on the windowsill was potted up, radishes & rocket moved to the raised bed and a tree I'd found growing in the patio bed eased out with the roots intact and stuck in a pot until we'd determined what it is.
Any ideas, gardening fans?
|Vintage Dollyrockers printed cotton maxi worn with Indian block printed quilted waistcoat (Xmas present from Liz & Al) and Lotta from Stockholm highwood aubergine clogs (eBay)|
Anyway, time to share more of Lord Jon's family tree. If my recent discoveries weren't exciting enough it turns out that his 29 x great-grandfather on his Dad's side (the same branch of the tree as Blessed Adrian) only happened to be William the Conqueror!
|William the Conqueror (King William I) C. 1028 – 9 September 1087|
Also known as William the Bastard, William was born in 1028, the illegitimate son of Robert, Duke of Normandy but, when his father died in 1035, William inherited the title. In 1064 Harold Godwineson was shipwrecked off the coast of Normandy, he was rescued by William and offered to support his claim to the throne of England however when the monarch, Edward the Confessor died in 1066, Harold declared the throne for himself. Outraged, William gathered his Norman army and set sail for England, facing Harold's Saxon army at the Battle of Hastings on 14th October, 1066. The fighting lasted all day but towards the end and, as legend has it, Harold took an arrow in the eye and William won. He then marched to London to crush English resistance which was gathering around Edgar Atheling, grandson of Edmund II and the Saxon heir to the English throne. William mounted a campaign of devastation eventually forcing Edgar to surrender and for William to be crowned King of England on 25th December, 1066.
|Henry I, King of England C. 1068 – 1 December 1135|
William died from wounds received in the Battle of Nantes on 9th September, 1087 and was succeeded to the throne by his third son, William II. Following his death thirteen years later, Jon's 28 x great-grandfather, Henry Beauclerc, William's youngest son, was crowned King Henry I and ruled from 1100 until his death in 1135.
Of course, two kings in the family weren't enough for Lord Jon, there's a third! Henry I's first wife, Matilda (1080-1118) was the daughter of Malcolm III, who was King of Scotland from 1058 -1093. Malcolm's father, Duncan, was the king killed by Macbeth, immortalised by Shakespeare.
|Saint Margaret of Scotland c. 1045 – 16 November 1093|
Malcolm's second wife, the mother of Mathilda, was Saint Margaret of Scotland and yes, there's another saint in the family! Born in the Kingdom of Hungary to the expatriate English prince Edward the Exile, Margaret and her family returned to England in 1057. Following the death of King Harold at the Battle of Hastings, along with her brother Edgar Ætheling, she and her family fled north where she married Malcolm towards the end of 1070.
|Saint Margaret at Queensferry, William Fergusson Hole RSA (1846 – 1917)|
Margaret was a very pious Christian, and among many charitable works, she established a ferry across the Firth of Forth for pilgrims travelling to St Andrews in Fife, giving the towns of South Queensferry and North Queensferry their names. In 1250, she was canonised by Pope Innocent IV and her remains were reinterred in a shrine in Dunfermline Abbey in Fife. Her relics were dispersed after the Scottish Reformation and subsequently lost. Mary, Queen of Scots, at one time owned her head, which was subsequently preserved by Jesuits but lost during the French Revolution. You'd think three kings and three saints would be enough for anyone but I've managed to go back another eight centuries! More to follow - if you can bear the suspense.
Tea was posh pasta with broccoli and mushrooms in Jon's homemade tomato sauce topped with lashings of cheese. There will be more Waking the Dead later and, of course, our Friday highlight, rum and Gardeners' World.