walking in the footsteps of Jane

So, I’m a bit of a Jane Austen nerd and, therefore, I go all funny whenever I find myself in a place that she once roamed. I was lucky enough to go to Bath this week and I got to see some of the places that were mentioned in Northanger Abbey.

My heart skipped a beat when I first spotted the beautiful Pump House where the Bath socialites did their schmoozing back in the day. It still looks incredibly grand, with silver service waiting staff gliding around and a giant chandelier dominating the room.

We also went into the Roman Baths which was the most amazing experience. You can’t actually swim in there anymore, but you can drink the water. The people of Austen’s time would travel to Bath specifically to ‘take the water’ to cure them of all kinds of ailments.

I feel like I’ll have to go to Bath again to search out all the independent bookstores. And then I need to return to Bristol so that I can sample to arty nightlife. The city is famous for its open mic poetry nights and I’d love to go and meet some of the talented people that hang around there.

Much Love

Rachel xx

Steeped in history

We wander through the cobbled streets,

Echoing with aging cries from kings and queens

That ruled, and loved and cried right here

Where we stand by swords in stones and great round tables.

Did they think of me, as I of them?

In their turrets, writing history as they lived

And that is when I feel so small, a speck

In time and space, falling from the pages that are read

In fragrant gardens in five hundred years.

We went to Winchester today and had a lovely walk around the city centre. It’s such a beautiful city and so full of history, it’s hard not to think about King Alfred, the Knights of the Round Table and all of the men drinking in the old taverns. It was also nice to take some photos on such a beautiful day.

Much Love

Rachel xx


The writing’s on the wall

In purple marker, scrawled in messy writing

By a girl who drank before she wrote her words

‘David is a dick’, in a sloping line.

She maybe cried as she perched upon the seat,

Feeling like a tragic maid in her party clothes.

Those words, they sing to me, in my sober haze,

That hurt that burnt the edges of her heart

May well have soothed by now, by another man,

But she has left her permanent mark,

Her anger poured out through the ink,

Her girlfriend speaking words of wisdom through

The gap within the door. She knows it hurts,

We all know that, but it will pass I think

As I add my own words to the chipboard wall.

I love reading graffiti that has been left behind before me. Most people see it as vandalism but I see it as people adding layers of stories to something that would otherwise remain pristine and bland.

When we visit Thorpe Park I see so many people who have left behind their Instagram and Twitter handles on the walls where we queue. I’m always tempted to look them up and see what they are like. I find it kind of cool that we can actually see people who have been in the places that we have been.

And then there is the old school scrawl on bathroom doors that claim Becky and David are going to be together 4eva. I sit and read them and wonder if these people are still together. For all I know they may not even be alive anymore. Our lives have just intersected in that one bathroom and then they carry on.

It’s probably a bit of a weird thing that I find so interesting but it’s a bit of modern day history going on right before our eyes. That bathroom door may end up in a museum one day and people will marvel at the scrawlings of us primitive humans that lived in 2021.

Much Love

Rachel xx

a real love of freakin’ words

flat lay photography of an open book beside coffee mug
Photo by fotografierende on Pexels.com

They’re carved so beautifully

That eyes cannot be moved,

Some have a love of paint and hue

While I

I am all about the words.

Does anyone else have a bit of a geeky love of words and phrases? I can’t get enough of finding out where these things come from, to the point where I think it’s a bit nerdy.

I love the history behind it all. I love those quirky stories.

For example, did you know where the phrase ‘fell off the wagon’ comes from? When people were still being executed they were driven to the execution site on a wagon. On the journey, the executioner would allow the prisoner to stop at an inn and he would buy him a drink. Invariably, someone would ask if they could buy the prisoner another drink. The executioner would then say ‘sorry, you can’t because he’s on the wagon.’

Or, carrying on the drinking theme, ‘painting the town red’ probably comes from a legendary night of drinking where the Marquis of Waterford went a bit crazy. A whole mob of his friends got drunk and vandalised Melton Mowbray. They pulled off door knocker and then set about painting statues in the town red.

I could go on and on. I find these little stories fascinating and I always find myself telling people these stories when they say a word or phrase. I’m either a fountain of interesting knowledge to them….or I’m just really annoying.

Much Love

Rachel xx