Monday, 18 May 2020

Fun with Virtual Travelling


By Marilyn Forsyth


Image courtesy of giphy

Image courtesy of giphy


In the first months of this year, our country was in the grip of the worst bushfires in our written history, soon to be followed by massive floods, and right now we’re caught up in the craziness that is COVID-19. In the midst of all the angst that 2020 has brought, I’ve been looking to find positives.

Mostly I’ve been losing myself in researching and writing about the past. I’m in the middle of writing a timeslip series about Rebel Daughters of Wales, and next week I would have been winging my way to England on yet another research trip. Sadly, that’s now postponed until next year.

But rather than dwell on the disappointment, I’ve spent time looking back at mementos bought during my previous trips and recalling when and why I bought them. It’s been lovely to reminisce so I thought I’d share some of my favourites...

 


Not only do I love this watercolour of the village of Aberffraw on Anglesey for its sheer colour-filled beauty, but it’s a wonderful reminder of my visit to the birthplace of Gwenllian, the heroine of one of my stories. Precious little remains of the one-time princely Welsh court, but my writer’s brain supplied a fantastic re-creation (helped along by this drawing in the café-come-visitors’-centre). 


This bronze ring, certified as fifteenth century from an antique shop in London, has become integral to my writing routine. As well as listening to medieval music, I wear the ring when I write to help me maintain a ‘feel’ for the past (maybe it’s more to do with my imagination, but whatever works, right?).



I found this in one of the many eye-poppingly fabulous bookshops in Hay-on-Wye. Together with The Chronicles of the Welsh Princes it’s my go-to book for authentic information about the Norman Age. I adore Hay – such atmosphere! The castle was written about in Lady of Hay by Barbara Erskine (the timeslip queen IMO) who I was fortunate enough to meet a couple of years back at the Hay Literary Festival.

 

An ancient gold cross plays a major role in one of my timeslips, and when I saw this one in Dublin I just had to have it. It may not be ancient, but it’s a reminder of the fascinating old city in which it was bought.




At an antiques auction in Aberystwyth I came away with this treasure. This little Welsh lady (only 2 inches tall) is going to play a role in one of my future books. Not sure how yet, but she definitely called to me (or maybe she tolled, she is a bell, after all). When she was sold as part of a ‘job lot’ I was so disappointed. Thankfully, my lovely hubby persuaded the buyer to re-sell it to him.

 

These gorgeous little initial stamps came from the Portobello Road Market in Notting Hill – a must-visit whenever I get to London, not only for the atmosphere and the antiques and the live music but also because there’s a Pylones shop there. (If you don’t know about Pylones, just click on the link.) I have no idea what I’ll use these cuties for, but I love them ’cause they’re so pretty. 



I’ve had the loveliest time revisiting some of special possessions. Thank you for indulging me in my quest for positivity.

Apart from photos, what are your favourite mementos from your travels? I’d love to hear about them.

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Love to Love being able to view Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre productions from home. Of course, there’s nothing like a live production, but watching the video of Romeo and Juliet (which we had bought tickets for 😢) was the next best thing.

Image courtesy of giphy


Love to Laugh at the funny memes of life in iso.








I’d Love to Learn how to speak Welsh, but the closest I’ve come is getting a basic understanding of how to pronounce Welsh words and names.

15 comments:

  1. Marilyn, this was a fabulous post! I love your little collectibles. They're gorgeous and I can easily see how you use them for inspiration.

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  2. Aww! Thanks Cathryn! I really enjoyed putting this post together. I'm pretty picky with mementos to bring back (apart from photos, of which I have thousands!). So glad you enjoyed it.

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  3. I think this year has been a wash-out for many, but at least you are trying to find the positives. I've got lots of little treasures that I've bought or that have been given to me from all over the world. Love them.

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    1. I've seen some of your lovely collection of historical 'things'. You are a lucky girl!

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  4. Hi Marilyn, thanks for sharing your beautiful mementos with us. I especially liked the Welsh lady and your initial stamps. I must visit Portobello Road Market next time I'm in the UK. We also planned a UK trip for this year. We would have been leaving for London in a few short weeks.
    My favourite memory from our 2019 travels is a Unicorn tapestry we bought in the Tower of London shop. We'd seen the reproductions of the original "Lady and the Unicorn" tapestry set in the Queen's rooms in Stirling Castle. There was also an exhibition explaining the significance of the story, and how the tapestries were made. It's really special to have a memento that evokes wonderful memories of a great holiday.

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    1. Ooh! That tapestry must be a gorgeous reminder of your trip! I remember seeing the reproduction at Stirling Castle and being mesmerised by it. Portobello Road markets are a must-see, not only for the fabulous antique stalls but also for the interesting people. Hope you get there!

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  5. Hi Marilyn. I love collecting mementos from my trips. Prints and paintings from Paris, Provence, Venice, Heidelberg, Irish towns. A painted tile from Istanbul. A cushion cover that is a mediaeval tapestry from the Abbey at Whitby in England. All remind me of my trips.

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  6. A great post, Marilyn and I can relate to all your collectibles. My husband has told me no more though as I have several tapestries depicting medieval scenes (from Brugge in Belgium and Carlisle in the UK) and even a suit of armour from Rothenberg in Germany. I have to say they do inspire me to write more medieval romances!
    The cover of my next medieval was shot on our property with my niece and her friend and a horse in the background, and her friend, the knight, wore the suit of armour. Can't wait for that cover to be revealed! Anyway, the props have come in very handy!

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    1. I remember seeing that suit of armour at your place and being very jealous ;). That cover sounds fantastic! Look forward to seeing it.

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  7. Great memories and even more so given I have read Maril's great story which was given context by visiting the many locations where her story unfolds.

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    1. Aww, thanks huge fan. Much appreciate your kind words.

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  8. Marilyn, I adore your memories from overseas visits, and mourn with you the loss of your next holiday there. Hopefully another day. I must say I'm not a huge collector of objects from overseas (room in my suitcase), but I do love bringing home some of the books by authors I've discovered in my travels. I've also managed to bring a few mugs home - and broken some en route, so it is risky! Photos are the main thing to jog my memories. But golly, I do love your cross in particular and your other mementoes. They are beautiful.

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    1. Thanks Miranda. The suitcase thing is always a hassle, isn't it?

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