Mistletoe, Mont St Michel and a Norman Castle

It is the edge of Winter, a liminal time and the trees in Normandy have great balls of mistletoe growing amongst bared branches. In Norman towns people are preparing for Advent, hanging municiple decorations and holding Christmas craft markets. So, last week, we set out from our borrowed farmhouse in the Norman Bocage to visit places we had not seen … Read More

Boots, a pilgrim staff and Santiago de Compostella

On a chilly November day last year I purchased a pair of Ecco walking boots and thick socks. Walking from Ferrol to Santiago de Compostella would be demanding so I prepared. Each weekend I broke in those boots, walking locally. At the end of May five of us flew from Heathrow by Vueling Airlines to A Coruna in Gallicia where … Read More

Divining a Witch

It is All Hallows Eve; a time for witches, dressing up and apple bobbing. The Historich Openlucht Museum(open air History Park) is on the outskirts of the Company town of Eindhoven, originally built to house the workers employed in the Phillips Electrical business. The park is a medieval time slip. As you enter you approach the Bronte Os (Multicoloured Ox) … Read More

Sutton Hoo and Handfastings

On Sunday I made the trip to Sutton Hoo for the first time. This is the site of a 7th century burial, a spectacular Saxon ship and mound graves containing grave goods which tells us much about life in East Anglia during the seventh century. The National Trust Museum on the site brings to life the treasure that was unearthed … Read More

Edith Swan-neck

Shortly after The Battle of Hastings Eadgifu Swanneshals, known as Edith Swan-neck was brought to the field at Senlac by two priests of Waltham Abbey, Osgod Cnoppe and Elthelric Childemaister, to identify King Harold’s body. Amongst the slain, she discovered his corpse, almost unrecognisable, stripped of all regal insignia. The Waltham Chronicler writes: ‘She had at one time been the … Read More


The journey to my current “oeuvre” was sparked to literary life during a stay in the Medieval town of Villedieu les Poeles (literally City of God of the Pans – it’s the centre of the trade in copper cooking pots in Normandy). On a wind-blown and overcast Autumn day we had visited Bayeux’s Museum where the famous Tapestry spools around … Read More