Welcome to my Home Page!

My Diary

17/01/2018 5:00pm

Hope Everybody had a good weekend. This Saturday my friend Alice and I visited the Medieval Skipton Castle in Yorkshire and it was amazing! The castle is over 900 years old and is in such good condition. The views from the top of the castle are stunning. I would definitely recommend a visit if you are ever in the area. My favourite part was the Duchy part of the castle (I am after all named after a famous Victorian Duchess). This is the Room that the 6th Duchess of Buccleuch and Queensbury lived in and it is still beautifully decorated with original furniture and artefacts.

This year, Skipton have introduced 2 Family Discovery Trails around the castle. You can go at your own pace and won’t be restricted by time as you can spend as long as you like on each activity. The first activity involves finding items in the Interactive Museum which are then marked on a sheet. Alice and I had to identify different parts of a castle on the sheet whilst finding the items in the museum. This was a great way of introducing what the little kids would learn at the castle. After the first task, was a more creative task where we had to design the ‘pennon’ on our own shields. This was something I found very creative and being a creative myself, I love creative projects. Alice and I would definitely recommend the Discovery Trails. They are great fun and you will learn a lot! I think they are suitable for ages 8 and above as we found it challenging.

The castle has an excellent Interactive Museum where there are hands on activities throughout. At the beginning of the tour is a Longbow activity where I was surprised at how strong the bow really is. I struggled to get it higher than half-way up to pull the string back. The tour guides were very friendly and offered to help us get the bow back to its beginning position. The whole experience was so exciting as I found out that I could actually make fire with a bow and arrow. Our next task was to nail 2D objects onto a target using real metal nails. This wasn’t as easy as it looked. At first we could not even get it near the target because of the nails falling off constantly. We used a magnet to set the nails on to hold them on the bow.

After this activity, we went upstairs and learnt how a Medieval castle is made of. We tried to guess what materials were used to construct a castle. The museum himself went around and asked everyone to guess what materials are used to actually construct a castle. He asked us question such as if we would you use the following materials, ‘stone or teabags?’. After lots of discussion, he then asked why we decided that material. He then justified why we were wrong and explained what material was used and turned out it was mostly stone. All the activities inside the castle were really brilliant and I would definitely recommend them to everyone.

Me and Alice went around the rest of the castle to see the original castle fireplaces and many other interesting things mainly to do with fire. We also went outside to look at the medieval Archer’s Tees. All the archers would practice on the same spot with their longbows. The longbows they used back in the Medieval days were amazing, they were really long and really heavy even my mum couldn’t get the bow up. They used the Minstrel’s Gallery. Minstrels played instruments and sang songs to entertain people at the castle. The view from the top of the Minstrel’s Gallery was stunning. You could see for miles around! I would definitely recommend a visit to the Minstrel’s Gallery.

As a feast is so important in Medieval times, the kitchen is really important, especially in the castle. Heat has to be distributed equally around the castle, so that cooking and other duties are completed. If it were not for the iron kettle and copper pots the meat, liquid and coal would not warm up and would be cold. The heat would be spread throughout the castle by opening the iron grill and closing the hollow, air-filled tin damper. The next thing was to put some coal or straw in the square iron grate and leave it for the night so the fire would be hot to cook in the morning. I would make sure I manage to get some coal for the fire in the morning to start cooking in.

After we had finished exploring the castle we had a lovely lunch in a little tearoom in the town centre and tried, unsuccessfully to find a place to have Afternoon Tea (but it was extremely busy). We did however see some fantastic Tudor, Elizabethan and Georgian architecture in the form of public houses and at the top of the hill we could see the top of a Norman church spire.

But my absolute favourite part of Skipton was St. Stephen's Church, in the centre of town. I spotted a huge stained glass window on the south side of the church and after staring at it for a few minutes I realised that it wasn't actually a stained glass window at all, but a huge painting! It was incredible how realistic it appeared from a distance.

I am now at my parents house in Wales, its lovely being able to speak Welsh every day again. Today I am visiting some Roman ruins in the area with my Dad, before I head back to Manchester tomorrow.

Hope you all have a good week.


11/01/2018 2:00pm

I hope everyone had a great start to 2018. I’ve already started planning my travel for the year and this weekend I am in Manchester visiting my Girlfriend and on Saturday we are going on Safari to Knowsley Hall and Park, I am so excited to see all the animals. I will take some nice photos to share with everyone hopefully.

4/01/2018 5:00pm

hai friends, I am thanking you for all your wonderful and amazing comments. I got lots of messages from your side asking about the next blog posts. However, the time I happened to spend in Japan, updated the blog with all my new adventures in Japan. It was really a fantastic and fantastic experience. My friends were very helpful and it was really needed/helpful. I liked Japan very much than any other countries. my best wishes to all of you, thank you.

07/12/2017 5:00pm

I am not usually one for compiling a "favourites" list of anything (I deeply enjoyed my entire childhood thanks very much), but when it comes to history there are always some things that stand out more than others; and this past year there have definitely been some highlights for me.

So in no particular order... OK fine, listed but not ranked, here are some of the highlights of my year, in the history realm.

1. Making it up to Edinburgh Castle

I have wanted to visit Edinburgh and Edinburgh Castle for a very long time; I love Scotland and I was fascinated by the history of Edinburgh, not just the history of Scotland in general. Edinburgh Castle is incredible and even those who don’t really like history will be left awestruck by the ancient fortifications, defences and views. My favourite part definitely has to be St. Margaret’s Chapel (which, incidentally, is the oldest building in Edinburgh: probably because it is hidden away in a little corner of the castle!) and the Scottish Crown Jewels, but I could have spent all day in the Great Hall, imagining all the supremely important events that have happened there since King Malcolm III started creating it in the 11th century.

1. Turning 22.

This was a big one in my calendar and I really wanted to have a great birthday and a year that I would remember. Even though I can never foresee my future (shocker), I still have some goals: long term, short term and mid term, I’ve always got something to keep me motivated. This year I wanted to start organising trips around my company’s schedule and show my colleagues the things I love doing the most. When my boss asked if there was anything I would like to do for my birthday I immediately said “a trip to Warwick Castle”. And I am so glad I did. I have been to many castles in my time, but as soon as I entered the central courtyard of Warwick and saw three canons, my heart started racing. It was incredible! My birthday was also my 4 month anniversary of starting at The National Archives so we all had a lovely meal and went for some cocktails in the evening.

1. (Re)visiting Pembroke Castle

Pembroke (or Pembrokeshire) is one of my favourite places in Wales. I grew up and went to school not far from Pembroke and as a child I had the most amazing holidays whenever we stayed in any of the wonderful cottages that line the coast. I remember one time we were out on the beach and spotted a beautiful but veryvery small starfish ― I was maybe 5 or 6 ― and I was so excited that I scooped it up in my hands and ran all the way back to our cottage to show my parents, completely forgetting my bucket and spade as well as my anorak and gumboots! So of course by the time I got back nobody could see my little starfish and I trotted back out (in just shorts, T-shirt and sandals) to try and find it again. There was no joy, but I always remember the happy emotions of simply just seeing the rocks with tiny tidal pools on the beach. And before that I remember one time when my Dad had to stop suddenly while we were driving while a small lamb that had somehow strayed off his field bounded across the road in front of us. On another occasion we had a really rainy day and just outside our cottage was a telephone box that was apparently the only way of getting a phone signal (remember those times?) To get to the box you had to walk under a bridge beneath the railway. You walked up the stairs, across the bridge and on the other side was a beautiful stagnant pond with an old rubber tyre floating near the bank. That must have been my first memory of model-making!

This May I was reunited with my favourite place when I went to Pembroke with my Mum, Dad my brother and his fiancée to visit Pembroke Castle. I went back to the lighthouse, the waterfalls, the boardwalk and the beach, and the memories just flooded back. Pembroke is also where I saw my first procession of whales; or at least scores of dolphins because my Dad misguidedly insisted it was a whale. We were standing on one of the hills in the afternoon sun, enjoying the peaceful quiet surroundings, when all of a sudden Dad said “look at that whale, over there” ― I looked over to the same spot and had to blink a few times because it really looked just like one. Then I had that wonderful “a-ha” moment when I realised he was point at the very flagstaff in the middle of the castle moat! We walked over to the coffee shop in the castle grounds to have some tea, among other things, and saw a large number of swans swimming around the moat. As somebody who loves ducks but not swans, I used to always be a bit confused when my dad said my sister loved “ducks and swans” until one day he told me that a group of swans was called a “wrack” ― what? How come I didn’t know this? ― and that it is the male swan that was actually called a cob. Well anyway, I had a lovely day out in one of my favourite places, memories were made and I had the most wonderful birthday for a 22 year old.

This is just a tiny snippet of my favourite moments this year but I am really excited to write more blog posts in the future, so I hope you continue to check in.


07/12/2017 4:00pm

This afternoon I hope to do a bit of “heavy hardcore historical research” (or perhaps I mean “heavy hardcore deep historical research”) in the form of written sources. This could be any form of writing either aimed at a specific audience (e.g. an official report, a specific biography, a statement written for international politics, a list of names recorded by a war veteran, etc) or a more general audience to allow the author to share their findings with a wider range of people (e.g. a University paper, an elderly friend’s memoirs, a newspaper article, an online blog, etc). This will include retrieving primary sources ― books, official documents or artefacts ― or secondary sources ― published academic literature, newspaper articles, blogs or websites, etc ― which will help me to figure out what people might have known in their day-to-day lives in the 15th century and consequently discover any gaps in that knowledge.