Tuesday, 19 March 2013

New Location

Having moved from London to Devon I have opened a new Blog
LEANING ON THE GATE my Devon Diary.

As most images now go there, this blog is now closed - but I'll not be deleting it.
do browse down the pages though


Thursday, 15 November 2012

14th November 2012

A rare and special treat.

We (the Hollick Family) were invited to lunch at Drummonds Bank, 49 Charing Cross, London.

Drummonds Bank

The Bank is situated on the corner of Whitehall and Admiralty Arch, Trafalgar Square, London and was originally founded by Andrew Drummond in 1717 (though it was in a slightly different location then) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drummonds_Bank


Admiralty Arch
(with Drummonds on the left hand side)
We reached the old board room where lunches are now served via a special lift that had been installed for Her Majesty the Queen Mother (so I've been in a royal lift!) and I had the dubious pleasure of being seated at the dining table in the place most favoured by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. (Not sure if that is anything to crow about LOL - still, its all a part of history!)

Our host gave us an informative tour of the historical rooms - some of the original ledgers are in the book cases, but most have now been removed to safe keeping in the British Library (I think that's where they've been put.)

Some beautiful paintings and items... the Adam Fireplace, a gorgeous silver statue of a stag, Meissan Porcelain http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meissen_porcelain ... wonderful old furniture. The place echoed with the shadows of the past!

The view from the first floor windows is fabulous. One way - out across Trafalgar Square, another view is of Admiralty Arch. Twice we saw escorted cars come through, don't know who was in the first cavalcade (possibly the Prime Minister old what's'sname himself) The second time it was the Queen - just caught a glimpse of her wearing a cream outfit.

You know when someone important is coming because whistles are blown and the everyday traffic has to move to the side and stop, then a squad of police motorbikes with lights flashing, followed by security cars escorting A Big Black Car sweep past. Loads of people were running to the side of the road when the Queen came past, all waving and cheering.


I'm reading Suzanne McLeod's latest Urban Fantasy Novel The Shifting  Price of Prey at the moment. Lovers of vampires, fantasy and magic will like this murder and mayhem  Spellcrackers.Com series!  (warning: very adult content.)

Set in London this latest book has several scenes set in Trafalgar Square .... hence me mentioning it. I did have a look for the heroine, part Sidhe, part Vampire Genny Taylor who spends a fair bit of time in the book trying to round up some pesky Pixies who are causing trouble - couldn't see her, or the Pixies though.
Guess she'd caught them all and gone home. LOL.
I wonder if Genny, or any of her co-workers (various naiads, dryads, vampires, witches and kelpies) bank at Drummonds? Everyone I saw looked pretty normal....



Lunch itself, by the way, was scrummy!


Sunday, 4 November 2012

Bristol October 2012

I was in Bristol recently for the Bristol Literary Festival and for the launch of Debbie Young's book - helpful tips for how to get your book selling (published by SilverWood Books



Sell Your Books - Bok Launch
I had a fabulous time - thanks for the invite Debbie


Debbie's Blog

Monday, 29 October 2012

October 17th 2012

Members of my Australian Fan Club come to Waltham Abbey, Essex




Paula and Barbara from Australia, Lisa from Texas, Emilie and Diane from Canada and John from Essex, England.... and me
showing off our Australian Fan Club Tee Shirts


(photo taken by the King Harold Memorial Stone)


close-up of the logo


it was fantastic to meet such lovely people - and I am thrilled with the tee-shirt!


Thursday, 4 October 2012

HNS London 2012

Historical Novel Society Conference

Richard Denning, Ray Helms, me, Shana Drehs, Andrea Connell 
Helen Hart, Jules Frusher


(more photos to come!)

Ron and Helen


Ron, Helen and Rum the dog
Waltham Abbey
September 2012
photo by Cathy Helms

Ron and I feeding the horses


Late September 2012
(photos by Cathy Helms)










Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Little Red Riding Hood - Side saddle!

National Side Saddle Show (Addington Manor)
The Caro Cripps
dressage to music but in fancy dress.

The "show" must be entertaining as well as showing the obedience of the horse via dressage movements - and all done to music. Kathy went as Little Red Riding Hood - with Lexie playing the part of the wolf. The music was from the movie "Little Red Riding Hood"

This was the description as given to the commentator and judges:

"Apologies in advance if Kathy’s horse, Lexie, behaves like a fruit-loop; she is only four years old and has just recovered from a broken pedal bone so the wide, wide, world is somewhat different to box rest – 
especially when you are expected to dress up and do daft things!
We all have to start somewhere though.
Please feel free to join in where appropriate …. Assuming Kathy hasn’t been bucked off before she gets into the arena…
In a dark, dark wood, on a dark and stormy evening, after a hard day bunking off  school…. a sweet little girl is on her way to grandma's for tea…
But Grandma is not quite herself today…."
 cue music

Kathy enters the arena at a walk wearing a long red cloak. 
She walks down the centre line, salutes the judges then goes into trot,
half way along the arena she halts, removes her cloak... 
and starts her routine:
"Are you afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?"
that's my best fur blanket that Lexie is wearing....
"Little Red Riding Hood - in the Woody Wood..."
Note the toy wolf hanging from the saddle! 
"But Grandma - what big ears you have..."
Lauren played the Woodcutter - Kathy was placed 10th (out of 14 entries) 
so we were very pleased - considering we hadn't even expected Lexie 
to go into the arena!

Good Fun

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Household Cavalry Weekend - Thetford, Norfolk

July 14th/15th 2012

Kathy was invited to join the Side Saddle Display Team at the annual Household Cavalry Weekend - which is the finale of the Cavalry's "Summer Camp", basically a training exercise for the young troopers.


Several of these young men had only been riding a matter of a couple of months - height of bravery in my opinion to then enter a jumping competition and perform the famous Household Cavalry Musical Ride!

We had a great time - including Kathy & Lauren (who came along as our "groom") dancing with an officer on the Saturday evening!
I also ticked an officer off for a slight "emergency relief" indiscretion LOL
 (details on request :-D )

The troopers and officers made us most welcome - what a wonderful regiment of young men!
Anyway, here are some pictures. 









Kathy on Lexie



Watch out Lexie - you have a 
Cavalryman following you...

... too late, confined to barracks -
you're in the army now! LOL

Kathy and Lauren

more photos on Kathy's


Friday, 25 May 2012

The Wisteria - the cat - and the pond

Photos taken Friday 25th May
This is outside my office window - and taken on a lovely May Day




Sybil





The fish pond 
(photo taken from inside my office)


You can see the two large Koi here
'Goldie' is the one at the top
(next to the shebunkin with the red head)
'Spot' is the big one at the bottom
(at  this \ sort of angle)