Tuesday, 25 September 2012

My RNA Chapter 'Field Trip'

Shot from the back.
I promise I will get to my seven things post which is stuck in drafts, but after a wonderful afternoon at Ashdown House on Saturday, I felt it only fair that I share the experience here.

I meet my RNA Chapter group every four to six weeks. This time the group met at Ashdown House in Berkshire for a little field trip, and was given a tour by Nicola Cornick, one of our chapter members who also volunteers at the house.

Approaching the house.
Afterwards, we had tea (or coffee) and cake - kindly baked by Nicola's husband, Andrew - in her garden because the weather was brilliant. We were entertained - and chewed - by their trainee Labrador guide dog puppy, Rochester. We were so lucky with the weather - what a change Sunday morning!

If I was taking it all in, the house was built by William Craven for a queen he loved, Queen Elizabeth of Bohemia in 1662.

Unfortunately, you can not view the rooms, due to the tenancy agreement, so we only got to see the magnificent staircase which is a quarter of the house's floor space, and the roof. It was designed as a hunting lodge, but a house fit for a queen.

If you're a historical writer and need some inspiration, this is the house to visit. But check out the website. The house can only accommodate so many people, so it's not overly advertised.

All of the photos were taken by my phone, and they didn't come out half bad actually.

Because of the marvellous weather, up on the roof, the views were spectacular and we even were able to have a group photo... although I think a few members from our party are missing.

From left to right: Nicola Cornick, Sandra Jackson (Jane Lark), Jean Burnett, Alison Knight, Eileen Hathaway, Rachel Brimble, Jean Brushfield and Liz Fielding.

I had a wonderful day, and I get such great encouragement from this group. I'm so happy to be a part of it.


  1. You are so lucky to be part of a supportive writing group, T. I love the RNA ladies ( are there any men?) London Chapter are fun personified. It's important to be with people who share one's writing values, and know where we are coming from. Thanks for sharing this, and yeah- I am pea-green with envy.

    1. Yes, being with like-minded people in itself is inspirational. :D Had a good chat with Rachel Brimble who is also a SAHM - only her children are older, so she reassured me it will get easier, and I will find more time for my writing as the boys get older. Just got to look at this as practising time.

      I'm sure Nicola could book you on a tour for your group :D I think it was organised around Nicola actually providing us the tour, and she booked our group on it as they fill quite quickly, being only able to take 25 people around at a time.

  2. Looks like you caught the nice weather before it vanished! What a great field trip that looks like.

    1. We were incredibly lucky with the weather, considering what rolled in on Sunday. And yeah, it was a great way to all meet up. Some writing got discussed, but to be honest, like I find with my 'underground' group, it's just nice to talk to like-minded people. The subject usually comes on to writing.

      I'm also overwhelmed with joy that Liz Fielding is in MY chapter group! Can you believe it?


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