L.L. Diamond

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One of the most interesting parts of traveling Europe is seeing the actual spellings of some towns. I’ve always heard Cologne and never seen the true spelling until we traveled there for the Christmas market. It’s actually Köln and pronounced kœln

My daughter, who takes German, thinks I’m hopeless when I try to pronounce it so I found a video to help 🙂

The trip between Copenhagen (København) and Cologne was about 9 hours but we didn’t let it stop us from exploring. We had a difficult time finding the parking garage next to where we were staying but it was in a tricky, though convenient, spot since it was right beside part of the Christmas market.

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The Cologne Christmas market is spread around the town center and has some of the biggest sections around the amazing Cathedral and was the first that didn’t require admission (Yay!). We also lucked out in that our flat was right across the street from the parking garage as well as the market.

We started with the section closest to us, and let me tell you, it was crowded! We squeezed through revellers and had to push our way through the people standing at the gluhwein stalls for drinks.

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Once you get to Germany, they have a great system for the gluhwein cups. Instead of disposable paper, plastic, or styrofoam, they have commemorative cups. You pay 2 euro for a mug. When you finish your drink, you can either trade it in for another full cup, you can keep it, or you can turn it in to get your 2 euros back. The mugs are also collectible and each featured a different carnival character and a description of them.

While we walked around, we looked at all of the crafts and wares spread out around that section before we caved and went to dinner at Hard Rock Cafe up the road. With 3 of us requiring gluten-free, we didn’t see anything at that moment we could eat. Fairs are difficult for us anyway so we went with the safe bet but that always means we spend a fortune on t-shirts, too.

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My purchase from Cologne – A lotus flower candle holder

After dinner, we returned to the Christmas market and explored a bit further toward the cathedral until the market closed down. That was when we found skewered meat that was awesome. I’ll be honest that we didn’t take the time to learn what it was really called because it was so nice to be able to eat something at a street vendor. Our favorite was schwein or pork, though little did we know we were supposed to take bread with it.

The next morning, we explored the cathedral, which began construction in 1248 but wasn’t completed until 1880.  The gothic cathedral is another UNESCO World Heritage Site and was the world’s tallest building until 1884.

After touring the amazing cathedral, we found the Christmas market stalls opening for the day and had more “meat on a stick” and explored until we needed to hit the road for our next town and Christmas market.

 

Up next . . . Heidelberg!

 

The drive to Denmark had been rainy and sometimes had a little snow but we made it in the early evening to our hostel. This hostel was a good bit different from the first. The rooms were considerably smaller and my children described our beds as eggs. It wasn’t uncomfortable, but I did like having the extra room of the first hostel but we were only there one night.

The hostel staff informed us that there were three Christmas markets within walking distance. We found the closest, which like Gothenberg, appeared to be in another amusement park, and also charged an admission. Unfortunately, the entry was once again rather costly and didn’t include any rides. img_5915

The Santas I’d so loved in Sweden changed in Denmark, having more of their faces showing than Sweden. I wasn’t as big of a fan of them as the ones in Sweden, but I did love some of the Christmas ornaments I found along the way and purchased a few of those instead of Santas. The toadstools were a common ornament we found and I thought they were really cute. My husband wasn’t too sure, but I bought them anyway 😉

We walked the stalls and enjoyed Gluhwein and Grog, which was still lovely, though contained alcohol since we were no longer in Sweden. The atmosphere was beautiful with the flocked trees and Christmas lights. I think we walked the entire market just to see everything. The only drawback was somehow one of my daughters got flocking all in her coat. When we returned to the hostel, it ended up all over the floor and my bed since she had the bunk over mine.

We did go to bed a bit early since our longest drive of the trip was the next day and we needed to get an early start. Nine hours and one ferry ride between Denmark and Germany would get us to Cologne and an entirely different Christmas Market Experience.

 

Next . . . Cologne, Germany

 

 

When most people think of Sweden, they probably think of Oslo, but we took the opportunity to travel to Gothenberg for the start of our Christmas market road trip. Honestly, we didn’t see much of the town center since we flew in, traveled to our hostel, went to the Christmas market, picked up a car, and started our drive to Copenhagen for the next Christmas market—all in 24 hours.

We stayed at the Spoton Sports Bar and Hostel, which was my first hostel experience, but a good one. Our room was a generous size, clean, and comfortable. We ate lunch at the sports bar downstairs, which had great gluten free pizza. The best part of the hostel’s location was the proximity to the Christmas market. It was practically across the street!

My husband had experience with the Christmas markets in Germany, but Gothenberg’s was totally different from those. Instead of being spread around in the town center, this Christmas market was held in an amusement park that’s normally shut down for the winter, but reopens for the Christmas markets every year. Unfortunately, that meant an entrance fee on top of paying for rides, ice skating, food, and whatever fun goodies we found while wandering around.

 

Sweden wasn’t as cold as I expected that evening, but we didn’t do the rides since it would only make the cold weather colder. The temperature also dropped during the evening and the rides would have only become more unpleasant. Instead, we drank hot chocolate, coffee, and glog (In Sweden, it was a warm mulled berry juice) while we browsed the different shops and stalls and the children ice skated (tried to ice skate really).

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One of my favorite parts of Gothenberg’s Christmas market was what we originally thought were gnomes. They were so cute everywhere and no one bothered to correct me until I bought this little candle holder and the shop owner told us those were Santas. Oops! I’m not sure why there would be a circle of Santas around a candle, but I still couldn’t resist buying one!

 

Overall, the Gothenberg Christmas market is beautiful and amazing to walk around, though quite expensive because of the entrance. My husband estimated that we spent almost $100 just to go in. It’s not terribly crowded though and was a lovely experience.

The next morning, we ate breakfast downstairs at the hostel before we picked up our car and started the rainy and sometimes snowy drive to Copenhagen. I wish the weather had been better. We drove through a good bit of rain and snow along the drive, but the scenery was beautiful.

From Gothenberg, the trip to Copenhagen took about 4 hours and included a short ferry ride. There is a bridge to Denmark, but we would’ve had to drive another hour south to Malmo before crossing and would’ve been a much longer trip.

 

Next up: Copenhagen!

This year, we decided to explore the European Christmas markets. We started Thanksgiving weekend in Brugge. We traveled to Brugge for a swim event, but in the days leading up to the meet, we had a great time wandering around Brugge. We’d only been once before for an hour or two and really hadn’t been able to do much exploring.

We stayed just outside of the town center, so it was an easy walk to everything we planned to see. The Christmas market was spread out over several squares filled with stalls that housed everything from wares, to food, to gluwhein, seasonal mulled wine, and other alcohol. Unfortunately, they used styrofoam cups for the gluwhein and didn’t have collectible mugs like the Christmas markets in Germany, but it was still good stuff!

We browsed the stalls for two days as well as walked the streets and visited the Basilica of the Holy Blood, which is said to hold the blood of Jesus that was gathered at his crucifixion. The tour is free and you can go through the chapel downstairs as well as the upstairs church and view the Holy Blood that is under glass.

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Basilica of the Holy Blood

 

Unwrapping-Mr.-Darcy-640x1024Hi everyone! Since JustJane1813 is still down, I thought I’d share the post I wrote for Claudine here. I hope everyone enjoys it! If you haven’t read Unwrapping Mr. Darcy, then run to Amazon and pick up your copy!

 

I’ve never written anything from a cat’s point of view, so I hope it’s at least a little funny!

 


 

The evening wasn’t quite normal, if you ask me. First, my human usually took her favorite place on the sofa and read after I ate my dinner. She’d lounge across the sofa with a blanket over her legs, and I’d settle in that cozy nook between her thigh and the side of the sofa, stretched out so she could scratch behind my ears back. I’d nap until it was time for her to go to bed, I’d play with my mousie, then I’d curl up next to her and fall asleep.

The first hint tonight was different was while I waited for her to dish out my food. Normally, she fixed herself something and hold out bits for me to sniff. I love the different smells—except that one thing she held out! It made me want to hack up a hairball!

The oddity didn’t stop then. When I finished eating, she wasn’t sitting on the sofa. Instead, I found her laying out her clothes on the bed. Was she going somewhere? Well, I could put a stop to that! I jumped up to the bed and dropped onto the nearest dress, but she moved me and wagged her finger in my face. Of all the nerve! I only wanted to spend a cozy evening with her, and if she had to leave, she could’ve left me where I was. That spot would’ve made a perfect place for my after-dinner bath.

While she changed into one of the dresses, I sat and stared. She had been acting so strangely lately. She also smelled different when she came home, so she was going somewhere different than she used to. I just didn’t know where. Then, she began bringing home those boxes. That was when things really changed.

I still have no clue what hid inside those boxes, though I’d like to hide inside them. Every day she came home with one, and every day, she’d put them in the room with those huge bookshelves I liked to climb. That room was now always closed. My human had never closed off rooms to me before. Okay, sure, maybe if I knocked something off a table, but that never lasted long. But how was I supposed to know what was inside them if I never got to sniff or bite on them to see what they smelled and tasted like. She always lets me smell things. What was so special about those boxes?

“Don’t sulk. You’re a cat. You aren’t supposed to give me the stink eye if I leave. Besides, I know that once the door closes behind me, you’ll drink the water from the Christmas tree, play with the ornaments, and fall asleep on top of your kitty tower. You won’t miss me yelling at you to stop misbehaving.”

Misbehave? Me?

I yawned and my human laughed, turned to face me, and held out her arms. “Do you approve?”

Approve? What was there to approve of? The dress would be much nicer on the bed where I could roll all over it, but if she wanted to wear it, who was I to stop her?

Back to that closed room and the boxes! Why was I so worried about those?  All the stressing over it was exhausting! I hadn’t taken my after-dinner bath either. I took a long lick down my foot and dragged it over my ear.

“You could’ve said something. A hiss would’ve at least been a little helpful. A chirp even? Perhaps a meow?”

I glanced up to see my human staring at me with her arms at her sides. What did I do? I was just laying here taking my bath.

At that ringing sound from the door to the outside, I made a chirp and looked up as my human hurried out the door. Normally, I’d follow behind, but I had a long overdue bath to finish. Not long after, the front door closed loudly, and I sighed and lay my head on the bed. It might not be the sofa, but it was the best spot for a nap when she wasn’t home.

 

~ * ~

 

When my eyes slowly blinked open, the room was darker and no light came from the hallway. She still wasn’t home. I stood and stretched out. That delicious pull in my back and legs felt like heaven after waking up! I hopped down from the bed and wandered around the house. She definitely hadn’t come home, so what was I supposed to do? I scanned the living room before I remembered that my favorite mousie was under the sofa. I dug him out and batted him around until it landed near the sofa. That was when I saw it. When I caught a glimpse of something out of the corner of my eye.

I looked in that direction and a tiny glimmer came from one of those balls on the tree my human brought home a couple of weeks ago. I crept closer and stood on my hind legs, lightly putting my front legs on the lower branches for balance, but I couldn’t reach. What was it? Could I play with it? Would it roll or move so I could chase it?

Maybe if I climbed up from the inside, I could reach? Carefully, I crept under the lowest hanging branches and between gifts. When I reached the middle, I reached up, digging my claws into the trunk. Climbing the bottom half was easy, but I couldn’t see the flash of light I saw from the floor. Where had it gone? Maybe if I went to the top, I could find it?

I scurried up further until something brushed my face. When I looked up, the dress on the angel at the top was in my way so I pushed the rest of the way. The angel fell as I cleared the needles at the top bouncing off the coffee table and landing somewhere off where I couldn’t see.

The tree shifted under me and I moved to the opposite side. It swayed in that direction, and I frantically grasped at the tip so I didn’t fall. I stayed on top but the tree fell out from underneath me and landed across the coffee table with a thump. A few small tinkling sounds came from below while I scrambled off and ran into the bedroom as fast as I could, my hair standing on end.

I hid under the bed until I was sure nothing chased me, creeping out and taking one step at a time as I made my way back out to the tree. When I approached, I saw that little glimmer on a red ball on the floor. I got it! I crouched low, watched it intently, and wiggled my butt as I honed in on my prey. When I pounced, it rolled across the floor and the chase was on!

I don’t remember how long I played, but I heard the jingle that always comes right before my human opens the door. I couldn’t wait to show her my new toy! I hurried through the hall and when I jumped on the table she put there just for me, I slid to a stop, poking my head around to greet her as the door opened. She picked me up and cuddled me, which I always love when she comes home. She carried me into the living room, but I hurdled from her arms to the back of the sofa when she yelled.

I found a new toy. What possibly could be wrong with that?

 

For the giveaway!!!

Click here to enter! 

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In my new book Unwrapping Mr. Darcy, Lizzy has a fluffy black cat named Grunt. I thought everyone might like to meet the inspiration behind Grunt, who is a little more mischievous than his real-life counterpart but was a lot of fun to write.

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It’s been over a year ago that my husband decided my oldest daughter needed her own cat. We already had a dog and my second daughter had a cat so I was reluctant to take the leap. Due to my husband’s work, we move a good bit and moving a dog overseas was expensive. I didn’t like the idea of having to do that with a dog and two cats this time. In the end, he won out and the search began. Normally, I go to rescues for pets, but because of my husband’s job and how much we move, rescues don’t see us as reliable candidates to adopt in England. So, even though it wasn’t really the time of year for kittens, we started searching online.

About a week later, my husband drove my daughter a ridiculous distance to bring home this little black fur ball with grey eyes and a crazy whining meow she named Shadow. My oldest played with him and pampered him and as he became a part of the family, he turned the house upside down.

Layla, our dog, was afraid of him. She’d walk around him, but she doesn’t try to play with the cats at all. Flora, our other cat, decided he was an interloper and growled whenever he came near. We never let them be alone together until we were certain she wouldn’t attack him. She still growls at him from time to time but has never tried to hurt him.

As Shadow grew up, we discovered his adorable personality. He is the most loyal of cats. He likes me and the rest of the family, but he follows his girl all over the house. If she’s in her room, he’s in her room—unless someone opens a can of tuna in the kitchen (Even a cat has certain priorities!). If she leaves and walks to the living room, he follows—and I mean follows!

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I have to smell!

He’s insanely curious and likes to sniff everything. When I’m in the kitchen, he’ll sit on the island and lean in for a sniff so I’ll hold out items for him to smell. He’ll sniff whatever you offer, too. What’s funny is when he doesn’t like it and he jerks back and crinkles his little nose. What smell has he hated the most? That’s easy! Mr. Etch black licorice markers.

So, what made me call him Grunt and add him into the book? Well, his quirks were so much fun, I couldn’t resist adding them into the story. I call him Grunt because sometimes when you pick him up, he groans. He’ll also make little grunting noises when you pet him, too.

Some of his quirks are a bit different than other cats, but in some ways the same. He is terrible about knocking over water glasses. We can’t leave any glass out or water will be everywhere. On several occasions, I’ve caught him trying to stick his head inside a glass, but he will also stick his paw in to lick the water off. He adores the kitty fountain we have. We also have a little fancy liquer glass my husband got in a gift set. That now sits on the kitchen counter, especially for Shadow. He’s the only one who drinks out of it and he will sit in front of it asking for a refill.

What other characteristics does he share with Grunt? He will definitely meet us at the door just like Grunt. I don’t know how Shadow does it, but when we come in at night from swimming, he’s on the stairs by the door, sticking his little head through the bannister. If he’s in a willing mood, he’ll give us a nose kiss before we put down our kit. He also knows what time my daughter gets home from school. About 40 minutes before, he will wake up from his nap (usually in the dog’s bed) come downstairs, and sit with me. He’ll ask for pets and snooze while he cuddles until his girl walks through the door, then he races to meet her.

Unlike Grunt, he showed very little interest in the Christmas tree this year. We put plastic and wooden ornaments around the bottom because Flora will bat them off but we didn’t have any more than usual this year. I admit to being frightened when the tree went up. Shadow was fascinated by the lights and made me wonder if he might try to bite the electrical wire.

As much as Flora pretends to hate him, we find them playing together a good bit these days. They sometimes take turns chasing each other around the house, making a rumbling along the floor when they are upstairs. I suppose no one can resist Shadow, which is why I created Grunt! I hope you love him as much as I do when you read Unwrapping Mr. Darcy!

Now on Preorder at Amazon, iBooks, and Barnes and Noble for $3.99!

 

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Release day comes closer all the time! If you haven’t seen my new book cover, please take a look! I’m so thrilled with how it came out and I hope everyone loves it as much as I do.

Speaking of the cover! I couldn’t resist featuring Grunt. I found some illustrations on a stock image site and altered them to fit the story. I love that I have those little elements in there to personalize it a bit. If you’ve read the story, you’ll see them off the bat. If you haven’t, you’ll recognize them once you do read it.

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Unfortunately, I can’t put the paperback up for preorder, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a cover! The blurb has changed a bit since I made this one, but I’ll post the latest version underneath for you to read.

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Now, for the important questions!

  1. How many words?  74,141
  2.  How many chapters? 20
  3.  How many pages? 6×9 paperback with245 pages, including acknowledgments, author bio, etc.
  4.  What formats? Kindle, Nook, Kobo, paperback, Oyster, Scribd, and iBooks
  5. Who is it dedicated to?

    For Cindy Hinkle and Erika Hoemke,
    Thank you so much for your amazing donations
    for hurricane relief!
    It was a wonderful gift to those who needed it.

  6.  Is there adult content? Yes, there is some swearing and two love scenes when these two stubborn people finally get together.
  7.  What was your inspiration?  I wrote a short story inspired by the Advent Calendar theme we had last Christmas and even describe the banner Abigail Reynolds made for the theme in the story. See if you can find where I used it!
  8.  Who is more stubborn Elizabeth or Darcy? Definitely Elizabeth! Without a doubt!
  9.  Are all the usual characters in the story? Yes and no. Mr. and Mrs. Bennet and Lydia live in another state and there’s no Mary or Kitty. I’ve also changed around a few characters since it’s a modern. The main suspects are all there. Darcy, Elizabeth, Bingley, Jane, Charlotte, Wickham, etc.
  10. Is it angsty? No, it’s a big ball of fluff 🙂
  11.  Where is it set? New York City! Fortunately, one of my fab betas is from New York and worked for a big company so she helped me with some of the smaller details. Thank you, Lisa!
  12. Are there any pets other than the little black furball? No, Grunt stole the limelight. He refused to share. It’s in his contract.
  13.  Are there really 25 days of gifts? Yes! On release day, I’ll give the URL for my Pinterest page for the story so you can look them up as you read. Nearly all of them are on there.
  14. Was it difficult lengthening a short story to a full length? Yes! I did have to make some changes and had to be really careful with some aspects of the story. Hopefully, I managed okay. You’ll have to let me know.
  15.  Is it a Happy Ever After Ending? Definitely! I always write a happy ending and I can’t write one that’s not and call the story fluff 😉
  16. Will you post chapters at Austen Variations leading up to the release? Yes, I will post once a week starting next week and ending on release day.
  17. When is release day? October 31st! Because everyone wants to read a Christmas story on Halloween, don’t they?
  18.  Will you have a blog tour? Yes! I’ve scheduled a number of reviews too (bites fingernails!). I hope you’ll join me for the fun. There will definitely be a giveaway!

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19.  Why all of the pink? Read the story and find out 🙂
20. Is Grunt as naughty in real life as he is in the story? Depends on the day 😉 

 

 

Latest version of the blurb on the back cover!

Elizabeth Bennet’s first day at Darcy Holdings was turning out to be everything she’d imagined—that is until she met her new boss William Darcy. True, he’s hotter than Hades but he’s also rude, abrupt, and stares at her as though she’s committed some grievous sin. If only she could avoid him, but her friends’ not so brilliant ideas keep throwing them together.

William Darcy put his foot in his mouth when he met Elizabeth Bennet! Now, he’s head over heels for her and needs to apologize, but how? The dreaded office Secret Santa draw is a possibility, but would that help or would it only make things worse?

Twenty-five days of gifts? It’s creepy and overzealous if you ask Elizabeth. And what’s with this weird reaction she has to Mr. Darcy? He’s an ogre, isn’t he? But what if her friends are correct and he isn’t? Could there be more to him than she assumes? What if she were to take a stab at unwrapping Mr. Darcy?

 

Don’t forget to preorder Unwrapping Mr. Darcy! It’s priced at $3.99 for now but will go up on release day!

Just click here to preorder your copy!

 

 

Audley_End_Morris_editedAudley End house is a Jacobean manor just outside Saffron Walden in Essex. Once an abbey, it was given to Lord Chancellor Sir Thomas Audley in 1537 by Henry VIII and was renovated to a home. Over time, parts of it have been demolished until all that’s left is what remains, which is approximately 1/3 the original size. It’s now in the hands of  English Heritage.

After we left Hitchin Lavender, we had a devil of a time trying to eat lunch. England was playing in a World Cup game that day and let me tell you, it’s hard to find a pub serving food on those days! They all looked at us like we were growing a third head when we asked, too!

We were headed for Audley End anyway, so we stopped into the cafe and found food we could all eat or snack on before we looked at the house and continued on home for the evening. We arrived fairly close to closing time so we didn’t have a huge amount of time.

I wish I could say that they allowed interior photography but they don’t so the best I can do is suggest you do a search for the interior shots because English Heritage does have them online since I can’t legally post them here.

The inside is ornate, particularly the ceilings like most Jacobean homes, and several famous names can be found on the artwork (Canaletto for one). The nursery was great with the toys and the dollhouse still remaining for viewers to see. The gardens were dry, but with the lack of rain we’d had to that point, everything was dry.

I know this wasn’t a very detailed blog post (and I apologise for that!!!), but without the interior pictures, it’s difficult to describe everything to you as a reader. Because of closing time, we didn’t walk many of the walks and it was a hot day. By the time we finished the tour of the house, we were ready to go home for the evening. I will say that if you’re in the area, I definitely recommend stopping by Audley End.

 

Next up . . .

One thing I’d heard about and hadn’t done was the Hitchin Lavender fields, so we packed up one Saturday in late June and headed out to Hertfordshire to pick some lavender. The farm is open 10-5 almost all summer and I thought the cost was pretty reasonable for a day of picking. Adults cost £6 and under 14 cost £3 and under 5’s are free. For that price, you get a small shopping bag and the loan of a pair of scissors to cut as much lavender as you can fit into the bag.

Armed with our scissors, we started into the rows. They ask you go a certain distance in before you start cutting, so we walked in and started filling. It takes longer than you might think to fill that little bag, but of course, that depends on how picky you are about which pieces of lavender you take.

My advice is to wear trousers/pants–even if it’s hot! One thing is that bees are everywhere! My husband and I both wore shorts and both of us ended up stung because we missed the bee hiding on the underside of a stalk as we made our way through the lavender.

Hitchin Lavender also has a gift shop, a place to buy lavender to grow, as well as a cafe where you can sit on a patio and eat lavender flavoured ice cream. It’s not a full day, but it’s definitely a fun couple of hours. We didn’t stay too long because it was a really hot day and we wanted to cool off and eat some lunch, which was easier said than done in England when England is playing on that day in the World Cup.

 

 

For more info on Hitchin Lavender

 

Next up… Audley End House

The last few days of Regency Week went fairly quickly! Caroline Jane Knight gave another talk–this time in the great hall of Chawton House, which was interesting. She spoke of her memories of the house and had fun stories to share of her family.

Tuesday, my daughter and I didn’t have much planned so we decided to drive out a little and check out some things around the area. Our first stop was The Vyne, which looks to be an amazing house. The Vyne is a 16th century manor home in Hampshire near Basingstoke and still has the original Tudor style chapel that was the cornerstone of the tour when we went as it’s said Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn used the chapel during their visit.

They were staggering people through the house so we wandered the gardens until we were supposed to be at the door for our turn inside the house. They have a formal garden and a Summerhouse that was meant for having tea with a scenic view. We went and took pictures of the duck by the river that flowed in front and by the time we’d done that, it was nearly time for us to go in the house.

Jane Austen is said to have gone to The Vyne. Could this painting have been inspiration?

Unfortunately, due to recent replacement of the roof, the tour is very abbreviated. Everything from upstairs had been boxed up and moved. Parts of the house that were likely a part of the tour were roped off with crates behind the ropes. We basically circled a portion of the downstairs before we ended up back outside in the gardens. Disappointed, we decided to walk back to the car a different way and let the sat nav/GPS take us this crazy roundabout way to Steventon.

Driving through Steventon was like walking back in time. There isn’t much in the way that looks new and you could almost imagine it looking the same when Jane Austen walked about as a young woman. The roads are all one lane carriageways so it’s not the fastest drive since you never know when someone will round a corner, but it’s a beautiful area!

Our first stop was the Church of St. Nicholas where George Austen was rector and later her brother James. We wandered through the inside and read the plaques and inscriptions all pertaining to the Austens and then wandered in the graveyard and looked for James’ grave. We weren’t looking for a flat marker and my daughter ended up finding it on the Find a Grave website, which helped us track it down.

Afterwards, we drove around Steventon a good bit in the hopes of finding where the original Steventon Rectory once stood. A friend had given me a map but another friend claimed it was in an entirely different place than the map. I think we found the field, but I won’t swear to it whatsoever. It was still a fun day!

That evening was the open house at Jane Austen House Museum. I do enjoy going to the museum whenever I can so we joined Cass Grafton and walked down and sat in the garden for a while. Eventually, we walked over to the Greyfriar for a glass of wine!

Wednesday was sad because it was our last morning and we had to pack our belongings and drive home. I always love going to Regency Week and this year was no different. I have to thank Joan and St. Mary’s Hall for the amazing room and breakfasts while we were there!

 

 

Next up . . . Hitchin Lavender farm and Audley End

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