I’ve just finished reading a book about the Plantagenets. For a couple of hundred years they ruled, more or less, over most of western France and England (occasionally Scotland, Wales and Ireland) You’ve heard of Richard the Lionheart no doubt, well he was mortally wounded from a tower he was besieging here in Chalûs and his entrails buried there. The rest of him was spread around a bit – his actual body taken to Poitiers apparently. He was Duke of Poitiers first and King of England somewhere down the list – he only spent 6 months in England and didn’t speak English. Its was his mother, Eleanor (of Aquitaine) who brought the bulk of western France under Plantagenet rule when she married Henry II. The rest of the Plantagenets spent much of their time trying to regain the parts of France lost by Richard’s successor – John. By the way, Richard the Lion Heart was not the Richard recently found under a car park in Leicester – that was Richard III. Following John was another Henry and three Edwards then another Richard and it gets messy after that ending with Richard III – he of the Car Park. Even though Richard of the Car Park is called the Last Plantagenet (after the Leicester Pub of that name) as far as I can see Richard II (grandson of Edward III) – was the last uncontested Plantagenet king (my book ends when Henry IV deposes Richard II and takes the crown). The next 85 years got a bit confusing and I haven’t got a book about that bit yet. One interesting aside is the Black Prince – hero of battles like Crécy and father of Richard II but never King himself _- he went a bit barmy and in a weakened state after not recovering fully from wounds apparently besieged and massacred many citizens of Limoges (our nearest airport – though Ryanair didn’t fly from there at the time). If all this seems confusing you want to try filling out a French tax return.
Its been a busy few weeks with a visit from Stephanie and Rob from Aus immediately followed by us travelling to the UK for a niece’s wedding (Suzannah and Eamon) and a visit to Phil, Becca and Dexter.
Before we went to the wedding we stayed at our friends’ Mike and Sandra who took us out to a wonderful burger place in Nottingham where we ate in very non-french style. I had a Johnny Vegas burger which included a Guinness doughnut. That day we had shopped for Susannah and Eamon’s wedding present – as Delia says in her blog, what she doesn’t say is that we bought the present at the furthest extent of our walk and I had to carry the 12 piece dinner set a mile and a bit back to the car! (me… complain?).
The wedding was a fantasy with an RAF uniformed “guard of honour” equipped with swords and the reception in a stately home.
Phil and Becca are getting married on 4 Sept and we got a chance to eat lunch at the reception venue. Dexter wowed in his high rise jeans!
We got home to our house-sitter Kate who had walked Siena so efficiently she was tired for days after! We had warned Kate about Siena’s habit of stealing things and true to form she (Siena that is) ate Kate’s credit card. Any “I told you so moment” was lost for me when Sienna finished off my mobile, even to the extent of splitting the battery. She’s half whippet, half labrador and half monkey!