Avebury Henge and Manor

Desperate to try out my new, second hand camera my boyfriend and I laced up our walking boots, pulled on our thermals and drove to our nearest henge to take photos. And yes, we do genuinely have a local Henge. Welcome to the English countryside.

Avebury henge was built 6000 years ago, making the Collesium seem almost modern. The Henge consists of large stones in a circular fashion, made by Pagans and largely left untouched for all these years (with the exception of when someone rudely toppled them over and buried them, luckily still in their original positions). Although the Henge might not have the curving arches or dome shaped walls of the Collesium and may not look quite as impressive, these stone are still a magestic sight.

Although weaving between the old stones and snapping pictures of pretty landscapes and unsuspecting sheep was fun, my real highlight of the trip would be the manor and I’d definitely recommend the visit.

I didn’t manage to snap a picture of the manor, sadly, although it looked very impressive, because at this point in the trip I accidentally switched the camera into a mode that doesn’t take photos. I’m not wholly convinced it’s the most useful mode my new camera has, but oh well. After much playing and googling we did manage to fix the camera in the manor’s garden and snapped some pictures of the back of the house.

The house itself had been recently refurbished in a project to show its history. You could wonder through a different age in every room: the dinning room was Tudor, the sitting room was set in World War Two, the kitchen was 1912, complete with genuine newspapers showing the Titanic sinking. Each room described the manor’s occupants at that time and told the tales of their lives.

My favourite manor occupant was Deborah Moody (originally Dunch). Outliving her husband she moved to the states because of her religious beliefs to start a community where religious freedom would be allowed providing it wasn’t breaking any laws. Having been described as a ‘dangerous woman’ back in the UK she became the first female land owner in the New World. She built a small community called Gravesend which is now apart of Brooklyn, New York. It was very cool reading her story in the bedroom where she grew up, furnished to look like her home.

My second favourite room in the manor would be the kitchen, set in the time of 1912. Here the story of the six ‘live in’ servants was described based on the information provided by a census. At this time their was a tax of 15 shillings on male servants but not women so female servants were preferable. Alongside the couple who owned the manor these six women would live in house and the using the census data and other information gleaned from their jobs, their story was told. It was a lot of fun peering into their lives and really brought the scene to life.

Lets Compare Notes

So there you have it. A small break from books to share with you a small adventure I had this weekend. What did you do this weekend? Have you ever been to a Henge? Did you enjoy my post? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section.

My Favourite YALC 2k18 Moments!

Hellloooo. So to not overload you too much (I’ve posted quite a lot last week) I pushed this post to this week. But only slightly. And it’s still a lot of posting in a row. Ooops.

But anyway, with the excitement of YALC last weekend and everyone settling in to enjoy their new books I though I’d share a few of my favourite memories of the day.

If this post is extremely confusing, I have another friend called Hannah who I went to YALC with, I’m not just talking about myself in third person…

I got to practice my French

Not something I’d really expected at book con, but my friends and I attempted to answer a quiz whereby famous bookish phrases were translated into French and we had to work out which books they were from.

Alwyn Hamilton Recognised Us

Having seen her every year for four years, me and my friend were a little excited when she said she remembered us as she signed my copy of Hero at the Fall, completing my signed collection of the Rebel of the Sands trilogy.

My Friends can Pitch Impossible Pitches

My friend Hannah read her elevator book pitch at an agents arena talk and got a round of applause and high praise from the agents! Meanwhile I discovered that pitching a book in a sentence was near impossible 😛

On a similar vein, my friend Jo pitched her YA fantasy to an agent and got told it was very marketable! And she promised that if she’s ever signing at YALC I can tag along, defo not going to forget that one in a few years time 😉

We got Tonnes of Cute pics

I refer you to the image below:

yalc

Also in the pic with Alwyn Hamilton in I am wearing clothes! I’m wearing a strapless dress 😛

I ate Italian Food

Because all good days end with pizza, so we headed to Pizza Express and then a Pizza shop the next day. I may have an actual addiction.

Laura Stevens is just as Happy to see Us

I got to nearly the front of Laura Stevens, author of The Exact Opposite of Okay, signing line and saw her giddy excitement and enthusiastic crowd photo-ing as the attendant told her how long her signing queue was. It’s so nice how excited she was!

I got Cake, obvs

Feeling a bit bummed about missing out on meeting Tomi Adeyomi since her queue was so long, my friend and I got to fangirl about Children of Blood and Bone in the relaxing area and then got to scoff some very tasty cake. Not quite as good as meeting the author, but the cake was pretty great.

I got Books and Met some Fab Authors

My full list of purchases can be found here.

Despite the tricky signing lines and clashes I met Samantha Shannon, Alwyn Hamilton (twice because she was wondering round the convection and we bumped into her!), Laura Steven, Sally Nicolls, Louise O’Neil and Matt Kileen! And they were all fab!

comparenotesSo those are my YALC highlights! Did you go? Whats a cool Book con memory you have? Would love to hear from you in the comments!

Book Haul!

YALC finished exactly one week ago, which is apparently how long it takes me to get a blog post up! But surrounded by some shiny new great reads I have to take to the internet and vent my excitement.

Faced with the impossible challenge of summarising a weekends worth of fangirling, queuing and eating cake I am going to keep these posts brief, uninformative and will probably be really hungry by the end (I’m not joking when I say this post will feature cake).

But something I like even more than cake (yes, yes it possible) is signed books. Especially when accompanied by a happy fangirl moment with the author, a slight bit of gushing on my part and potentially some screaming if they have killed off any characters I really liked recently. I joke, I try and keep screaming to a minimum when in polite company.

So here is a picture of my YALC haul:

yalcbookhaul

(Missing a signed copy of Orphan, Monster Spy because it was only after I’d taken the picture that I spotted that signed gem on my bed discarded and I was not going to try force Ace of Shades to stand up again, that book had a flopping problem.)

And because I like to keep my posts informative I will detail the books I’ve gained, starting with my signed favourites:

  • The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven, all about the horrors of men in our day and age. Also the author was so excited about her signing line and snapped a few pictures of it proudly which was so sweet ❤
  • Hero at the Fall by Alywn Hamiliton, the last in the Rebel of the Sands series, all about magic, rebellions and tyrannical govenements. My friend Jo and I were just a little excited when the author recognised us.
  • Asking For It by Louise O’Neil– After reading The Exact Opposite of Okay I’ve wanted to try some of Louise O’Neil’s stuff since she writes feminist YA too. Having been told to have the Kleenex at the ready, I’m excited to start this novel.
  • The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon– third in the seven part Bone Season series (where I’m only one part in, oops) I’m excited to read this book when I finally get there!
  • Things a Bright Girl can Do– All about woman’s suffrage back in the war time and how different women reacted to the fight for the vote.
  • Author, Monster, Spy– forgot to include this on in the shot above (oops) but this novel is all about Nazi Germany and the perils of being a spy.

And now a quick recap of the £5 books I really shouldn’t have bought… but they were only £5! And it’s only once a year soooo

  • Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire, Queen of Shadows– I haven’t even finished the second one yet but went ahead and grabbed the next two in a 3 for £10 deal. Maybe a leap of faith but I want to know more about everyone’s favourite assassin fighting off tyranny.
  • To Kill a Kingdom- evil siren, heroic prince, and a fight to the death. Oooh I’ve wanted to read this gem for so long.
  • Ace of Shades– Casinos, gangs and a prim and proper protagonists, sounds like a great combo and one I’ve wanted to read for ages.
  • Caravel– After loving The Night Circus magical circus’s are sort of my jam. And sinister games and challenges? How have I not read this yet??!
  • Alex and Eliza– Ok, mostly because Hamilton (I have tickets for the show in February!!!)
  • The Raven King– Because I need to know if Gansey and his magical gang find their Welsh King and who is getting that wish!!
  • You Only Live Once– Me and my weary friend sat under a stall and I won a proof all about a girl ticking off her bucket list. Not sure what to expect but hey, might as well try it.

comparenotes

So there you have it! My YALC book haul!! I’m pretty pleased with my new collection! Have you read any of these? Any on your TBR? Any idea which one I should read first? Pick up any of these at YALC, if you went? Feel free to chat in the comments!