Saturday, 26 July 2014

Kings and Queens - Henry I

Henry I is all finished on my project. Must admit that I groaned when I noticed this monarch had gold as I'm not a fan of metallic threads but the thread in this project stitched up beautifully...hurray!
Bothy Threads - Kings and Queens

Henry was born in England in 1068 or 1069, the fourth son of William the Conqueror. When Henry's elder brother became king another elder brother had died and left only Robert and Henry as the heirs. When William was killed in a hunting accident in August 1100 Henry had himself crowned a few days later, taking advantage of Robert's absence on crusade.

Robert invaded England in 1101 but relinquished his claim in return for Henry's territories in Normandy.  This peace didn't last long and Henry invaded Normandy and in 1106 he captured Robert and held him prisoner for life.

Henry's only legitimate son, William, died in a shipwreck in November 1120. This left Henry without another legitimate male heir despite remarrying in order to have another son. He eventually named his legitimate daughter Matilda his heir after summoning her back to England. He married her to Geoffrey Plantagenet, another member of the Angevin family.  Henry died in December 1135, there was a succession crisis which led to civil war as English barons did not want to be ruled by a woman and an Angevin.  Eventually his nephew Stephen succeeded to the throne.

Monday, 7 July 2014

The Left Hand of God - review

I've seen this book on and off for months now and when I saw it again in our local library decided to give it a go....I'm so glad I did!  It's not quite in the same league as Brandon Sanderson, Brent Weeks or Robert Jordan as this feels like its aimed more for late teens or early 20's but it's still a wonderful read.

This is what the blub says on the back - The Sanctuary of the Redeemers is a place where children endure brutal cruelty and violence in the name of the One True Faith. Lost in the Sanctuary's huge maze of corridors is a boy. He is strange witty and charming, and violent. But when he opens the wrong door at the wrong time he witnesses an act so horrible he must flee, or die.

What it doesn't say is that the book is a joy to read with adventures on nearly every page. I felt for the boy Cale from the first, who wouldn't reading about a young boy who goes through so much abuse. We follow Cale growing not only in body but in experiences and I found this was written well. I loved how his relationships with those around him stayed the same on one hand but changed as he matured.  I cheered and groaned throughout, really getting into the story.

Hated the ending of the book, not because it was bad but because I hadn't got book 2 (The Last Four Things) all ready beside me to continue!!  Now I've book 2 and book 3 (The Beating of His Wings) all set to go :-)

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Joyful June

Why is June so joyful?  Because not only has the rain stopped but the sun has finally arrived in the UK..yippee LOL!

Here in Sheffield we've has a pretty packed month with the kids going from strength to strength not only in their activities but at school as well, obviously we have lots of photos ;-)

Peter (aka Boo) went on his school residential trip to Robin Hoods Bay from Monday to Friday, came home for 2 hours on Friday then went straight out again for his Scouts District Camp at Walesby.  Also in June Boo competed in a BTA (British Taekwondo Association) competition at Twin Tigers in Scunthorpe as part of the Dragons Academy Team. He entered into the patterns and sparring categories. Got Bronze in patterns and 1st in Sparring...I didn't watch as I don't like seeing my baby fighting LOL! More photos HERE! He's also moved onto his last level in swimming..yay! He seems to be doing well academically as well, came home last night with a certificate for his maths. Apparently he took a Y6 Maths SATs test a while ago and did well so hopefully that bodes well for when he's in Y6 next year.

Then in June the boys had their school sports day, bit nervous about this as it was Lukie's first sports day in Junior school and he was pretty nervous up to the day as there would be lots of people there. The weather was glorious and the event went off wonderfully, Lukie really enjoyed himself and both boys had lots of fun doing the different activities.

Luke is in Yellow for his house which is Clumber (his favourite place to visit)

Peter is in Green for his house Welbeck.

Luke is doing wonderfully at his piano lessons and from September will be having them 1 to 1 rather than shared as he is at the minute. I can actually tell what tune he's playing when he practises at home now!!  Academically Lukie seems to be doing amazing considering what he started off at in September last year. We can't praise and thank his school (Brook House Junior School) enough as his confidence in sitting to do his reading/writing and maths at home has grown so much.

While Boo was enjoying himself at Walesby we took Lukie and Darcy to Bolsover Castle in Derbyshire. They adored it and loved watching the horses (no photos of the horses as the show is in a small building and the horses are very sensitive to noise) It's a fantastic place to visit, very child friendly, Lukie loved the castle itself.

Darcy has her sports day in July but during June has been practising really hard for her ballet exam which is on 11th July. She's also been doing 2 swimming lessons for the past couple of weeks, her own level and the one above . Her teacher Claire says she's ready to move up and in the next week that will happen, she's over the moon as she loves swimming and wants to do synchronised swimming when she's passed all her levels.

Stitching Time...inbetween kids activities I have had time to put in the odd stitch here and there. Here's where I'm at with my projects including a new one I started...

page 8 is finished on my HAED :-)
Cruising The Information Highway
25ct 1 over 1
I've started a new project based on the Game of Thrones books, just click the book title to go to where I bought it from. I'm stitching it on 32ct Ink from Sparklies.

Anyone who follows regularly will have seen the 2 monarchs I've stitched so far on my Kings and Queens project. I've started Henry I so fingers crossed it won't be too long before he's up. I'm enjoying learning the history of each monarch as much as stitching them.

I've also started knitting myself an aran jumper for next winter. Not done much on it yet but here's the back so far...

Let's now see how much I can get completed in July as the kids all finish school on the 18th for the summer. Peter Boo is in summer school at Westfield School for a week where he'll have fun doing science experiments, art & sports. We've still got a sports day, review, dance exam and (fingers crossed) taekwondo grading to get through before I can put my feet up and relax for a month...whew!