Archive | April, 2014

Penguins ride in by tandem

28 Apr
Alex Morgan and celebrity penguins at the launch of Tandem

Celebrity penguins: Alex with some very special guests at her book launch

My friend Alex, Wordsworth House and Garden’s interpretation and communications manager, has written a novel – and it’s won an award. How fabulous is that?

Tandem – which, she says, is about love, loss, a celebrity penguin and riding a bicycle built for two – won the annual Hookline Novel Competition judged by book groups from all around the UK.

We’ve just held not one but two very special launch events at the house. Alex read extracts from the book, and 80 guests drank wine and ate (what else?) Penguin biscuits. I love penguins – feathered and chocolate – so I was thrilled to be there.

The celebrity penguin in the book is real. He’s called Sir Nils Olav and he lives at Edinburgh Zoo. He was given his rank by the Norwegian army as he’s their mascot, and every few years they come over to Scotland and give him a promotion!

He couldn’t be at the launch himself, but he sent two of his representatives – there they are in the picture above.

I’m very much looking forward to reading Tandem and will be posting my review of it here shortly. Watch this space!

Fun for the whole family!

21 Apr

Fletch with Evie and Alex

On holiday: Me with Evie and Alex

I’d like you to meet Evie and Alex, my new friends who came to visit Wordsworth House and Garden while they were in the area on their Easter holidays.

After their visit, their mum and dad emailed to say: “We had a lovely day. The explorer bags were fantastic and got the children so involved. They also loved the trails around the house and finding the animals – and Daddy really enjoyed the alphabet quiz!

“We found everybody so welcoming and friendly, it really made the day so much more fun and relaxing for Mummy!”

I’m so glad you all enjoyed your visit and I really hope you’ll come and see me again soon!

Evie tries on one of our replica dresses

Going Georgian: Evie tries on one of our replica dresses

I’m back… and regenerated!

14 Apr

Fletch is back and looking better than ever

Better than ever: I hope you’ll agree I’m looking extremely well

Hello everyone… it’s so good to be back with you all after my kidnap ordeal. My therapy has been a great success and, like Dr Who, I have been regenerated, so I’m not just back to my old self, I’m feeling – and looking – better than ever.

Amanda, the Head Gardener, my chief assistant in this delicate process, says she’s given me a little extra padding as this is my sixth regeneration, so in Dr Who terms, I’m Colin Baker. (If that means nothing to you, she suggests you Google him!)

Fletch the Perchcrow's new flag

Perfect symbol: My new flag

I’m particularly proud of my new accessory – the Fletch flag. My name is symbolised by the arrow in the centre, as an arrow maker is known as a Fletcher. This is also a link to my namesake, Fletcher Christian, of Mutiny on the Bounty fame.

The arrow is hung with a blue bell, taken from the Wordsworth family coat of arms, and this symbolises my home, Wordsworth House and Garden, in Cockermouth. There’s a crow to denote my role as a scarecrow, but it’s perched on the arrow and bell to hint at my lack of scariness!

All of this is placed on a golden daffodil silhouette, which rests on a green field. These recall both the famous poetry of Wordsworth and the beautiful garden of his childhood home, where I now live.

My flag was a gift from one of my friends, Philip, who works as the Community Vexillologist for the Flag Institute – isn’t that the best job title you ever heard? Amanda took a while to get her mouth round it!

What it means is that Philip works with groups and communities who want to develop a flag and have it included in the UK Flag Registry. He provides resources and templates, does historical research and even draws up the artwork for many flags.

Philip is also an advisor to the Parliamentary Flags and Heraldry Committee, and – even more important – he’s a massive Whovian (that’s a Dr Who fan, to the uninitiated). Isn’t he talented!

To make your wedding day even more special…

1 Apr

The bearded bridesmaid

New offer: Our bearded bridesmaid is available for weddings and other special occasions

Hello everybody! Amanda and Alex, Fletch’s typists, here. We’re pleased to tell you that his counselling (after his traumatic kidnap ordeal) is going well and he’ll be back blogging very soon.

In the meantime, we have an announcement to make…

Wordsworth House and Garden is launching a fabulous addition to its wedding service. Brides can already choose to have our lovely costumed servants in attendance. Now we’re offering a costumed 18th-century bridesmaid too!

And, as the Georgians were keen on freak shows and we’ve very keen on being authentic, we’ve decided to make her a bearded lady, Brucilla.

Do get in touch if you’d like to book her for your special day.

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