Wednesday Wander – Graffiti in the Beauchamp Tower

Wednesday Wander is back! I had a little bit of a break due to work and health turmoil, but it’s a new year, all is well, and it’s time to wander again. This week I’m taking a closer look at a part of the Tower Of London. I’ve written about the Tower before, and looked at some of the many doors, but it is a place so rich in history and significant buildings that I could probably write another half dozen posts and not cover it.

This week I’m wandering into the Beauchamp Tower. It looks and sounds rather a romantic place, but its history, as with many of the Tower buildings, is a sad one. From the 1300s it was used to hold high-ranking prisoners, including the Earl of Warwick (after whom the tower is named), the Dudley brothers, and Lady Jane Grey. Many of the prisoners, being wealthy and well-educated, left their mark upon the walls – this graffiti has been preserved and is now a popular attraction at the Tower.

The Beauchamp Tower overlooks the green where high-ranking prisoners, including Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, were executed. Lady Jane Grey watched from this window as her husband, Guildford Dudley, was beheaded, then was taken out and executed herself a short while later. The four Dudley brothers are commemorated within the tower in a piece of ornate carved graffiti, with roses for Ambrose, carnations for Guildford, oak leaves for Robert and honeysuckle for Henry.

Not all prisoners held in the tower were executed, but they must have seen their fair share of horrors through the leaded glass windows, and wondered whether they might be next. Despite the sunshine and the views, it was a cold place, not somewhere you would want to spend a lengthy amount of time. There are said to be ghosts in the Tower of London, and I wouldn’t be surprised if several of them were in the Beauchamp tower…

Thank you for coming on another Wednesday Wander with me – see you next time!


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A Sad Break-Up…

How is everyone this Monday?

We’ve just had a lovely warm weekend here in the UK, a real taste of summer (or perhaps all the summer we are going to get, according to some!). I’ve been out and about quite a bit lately, visiting some wonderful places, but have one small problem. My iPhone has decided, for some reason, to stop talking to my iMac (or maybe it’s the other way around). There’s no apparent reason for the break up – they were getting along just fine until one day, they weren’t. Now it’s all ‘Do you trust this computer?’ and ‘Enter your passcode’ requests, as though they’ve never met before, and I’m not sure how to bring them back together again.

It’s a bit annoying, as you can imagine. Not change-my-life annoying, but certainly frustrating. I use a lot of photography on my blog, and I take those photos on my phone. So the fact that these two erstwhile good friends are now on the outs puts me in a tricky position. I have to email and post and try to slide my images in through some sort of electronic back door, and frankly, I don’t want to do it anymore. I had a chat with a young man at the Apple Store, who felt it might be something to do with two-step authentication, but I’ve turned all that off and it has made no difference.

Whatever has happened between these two is serious indeed, so I’ll be spending some time over the coming days trying to make peace. If anyone else has ever had this problem, and knows any sort of negotiating tactics that might work, please let me know. I’d love to get them back talking again.

Oh, and I’ve just sent the manuscript for Under Stone, Ambeth Book Four, to my lovely editor, Esther! Huge sigh of relief…


If you enjoyed this post and want to read more, you can find me on Twitter @AuthorHelenJFacebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Plus my latest book release, A Thousand Rooms, is now available on Amazon. Visit my Amazon Author Page to see more.

 

Writespiration – 52 Weeks In 52 Words – The ‘Ex’ Factor

IMG_0715It’s Thursday, and I usually do a door post today. However, I’m not feeling any of my door photos this week, so I’ve decided to take on a short writing prompt instead.

Sacha Black has a great series running called 52 Words in 52 Weeks. Each week this year, she’ll be setting a writing prompt, giving us exactly 52 words to write a response – no more, no less. This week’s prompt is, in true Sacha-style, ‘That moment you see your ex with their hot new bit and you look like a turd’ LOL.

Here’s my response:

I hitched up my track pants, hugging the ice cream tubs closer, not caring about the cold.

A girl came down the aisle, giving me a pitying smirk. Bitch. All long legs and glossy brunette hair.

‘Babe.’

I turned, my heart lifting at the familiar endearment… to see her in his arms.

If you want to add a response of your own, you have until Sunday to enter – hop on over to Sacha’s blog to read last week’s responses.


If you enjoyed this post and want to read more, you can find me on Twitter @AuthorHelenJ,  Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Plus my latest book release, A Thousand Rooms, is now available on Amazon.

Writing Challenge – Life or Death

If you like participating in writing challenges, Esther Newton often posts them – they are always interesting, and can be as short as six words long (a lot harder than you might think!). Her Monday Motivation for this week was to write a story of no more than 150 words, including the phrase ‘It was a matter of life or death.’

Here’s my attempt:

IMG_2947Well Heeled

It was a matter of life or death.

Well, socially, at least. The shoes glittered as they turned on the little pedestal, faceted stones catching the light, smooth leather straps gleaming.

They were gorgeous. And far too expensive. But she could think of so many places to wear them, now that she was moving with a new crowd. And she really needed to keep up.

She bit her lip. So she’d have to eat baked beans for a month. She’d probably lose weight anyway, always a bonus. Binky had grabbed her round the hips the other day, squeezing and shrieking with laughter. ‘Oh darling, are you sure you want another profiterole?’ She had joined in with the laughter, blushing as chocolate oozed soft on her fingers, wishing she could throw it into their smirking faces.

Decision made, she picked up the shoes.

‘Do you have these in a size 6?’

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