18 September 2012.

It's still such a long time from now, but I can't wait. The Hooded Man Convention 2014!

For all the people who really don't know what that means, it's a Robin of Sherwood Convention.

And not just á Convention. It is the 30th Anniversary.
More info about this Con you can find on: http://www.thehoodedman.co.uk/

It will be my very first Convention.

Most of you know that Robert attended some Con's in the past. I can't tell you how sorry I am that I'll never meet him there. And I know I'm not alone in that.:-)

For me, one of the absolute highlights will be to meet our dear Sheriff: Nickolas Grace.
I just feel that he worked closest to Robert on the ROS- set. They were such a great team in the series.
And all that I have learned about mr. Grace is that he is very nice and has a wonderful sense of humor. So I joined his Fanpage on FB as well.
I think he also is a fenomenal actor and I am looking forward to seeing him in real life a lot!!!

I'm slowly starting to plan and piece somethings together.
On this page I will keep you up to date.

23 September 2012

I'm planning on going to the Con a few days early because I really want to visit some 'Robert- sights' and Ros locations.

Of course Cirencester, Gloucestershire is an absolute must!

And with the help of the great website: http://www.trailofrobinofsherwood.co.uk/ , I know now which Ros locations I'd really like to visit. There were two locations that are (no longer) open for the public so I had to let that fantasy go. And I excluded Chepstow Castle because I thought I read somewhere that we visit that during the Con. Hope i'm right.

Ofcourse my absolute number 1 of my 'Really want to visit -list' is the Tithe Barn. (The main hall of Nottingham Castle.)

Followed by:

- Farleigh Hungerford Castle ( inter alia: Children of Israel in front of de Talmonts house.)

- Wells Cathedral (i.a.: The stairs from Robin Hood and the Sorcerer.)

- Castle Coombe ( i.a. The bridge of Rutterkin.)

- Wookey Hole Caves. (Herne's place;-) ) No Guy of Gisburne sight but I think it will be beautiful.

I have to googlemap the lot.:-) Because I have no idea how far from the Hotel it is and how in the world I'm going to get there. ;-)

But hey, we still have 1,5 years.                                                                                                            
24 September 2012

Yesss!!! I have decided what costume to wear!

I already knew that I wanted to do that. It's completely me. :P
And if I can finally attend a Con, I think I should go for it completely!

I don't recall pictures seeing anyone with this costume. But I'm sure someone will already have thought of this.

Of course I wanted something that has more or less to do with my hero, although I cannot tell you what it will be yet. :-) I Know, highly annoying. I'm sorry. :-D

But I can tell you that it's not: a Guy-, Sheriff-, Queen Hadwisa-, Mildred the Bracy bridal-, Sarah de Talmont-, or Herne the Hunter costume. :P Which I have all considered. :-D

Now I'm in search for some things and buy stuff. And some parts I will make myself.
I think I have a lot of work in front of me. But fun work I will most definitely going to enjoy!
28 September 2012

I am so happy that during the Con we will indeed visit Chepstow Castle AND Hinton Priory.

Hinton was second on my Really-want-to-visit List but I read that it's now a privat residence and that you have to ask permission first to visit. So I crossed that of the list. But now it's back on!! *CheerCheer*

I Googled them (except for the sights we are going to with the Con group) and I think the journey's are not to long.

I had to plan a route but that's just random. I didn't care about this right now. I just wanted to see where everything was located. Later I'll plan a real route.

Just have to think about if I'm going to take two or three days time before the con. I think maybe we will stay in different a B&B in the neighbourhood. For instance: Day 1: B&B near E &F. Day 2: B&B near CDI. If you know what I mean. Have to find out if that is cheaper than the stay in the Con Venue and the daily travel to the sights.

23 October 2012

Oh no!!!!!
I've seen pictures of a convention with someone wearing the costume I'm planning to wear!!!   Aaaaahhhhh!!!!!!!
But I got over the first shock and looked at them better. And there a lot of Marion's and Robin's as well so it won't stop me. :-)
I hope I can get it to look half as good as his.

Don't think that my costume will be a hundred % accurate and perfect. hahaha But I'll give it my best!
Some things I have ordered on Ebay or webstores. Like the shoes. I think they are perfect! But yet to arrive.

Oh yes, I just got the call of a store in my neighbourhood I just visited last week.
I saw the perfect (curtain) fabric! hahahah For the most important part of the costume but they had to order it for me. :-D
It's come in today so I hope by the end of the week more parts will arrive and I can start making it! :-D I'll keep you posted!

13 Januari 2013

Watching a show on TLC called 'My Crazy obsession.' Turns out, I'm not so bad. whahaha
Anyway. I thought it was time to give you a short update. Although there is not a whole lot to tell.

This afternoon I donated to the Con- organisers to contribute to 'Kip's -Wood' For Richard (Kip) Carpenter. (Screenwriter of Ros) That will be planted within the ancient boundaries of Sherwood Forest on Februari 15 th 2013.

It's a lovely initiative in memory of a great man.

We, meaning the Robert Addie Fanbase, are still busy planning such a tribute for Robert. Planting a tree in Cirencester.
But when you have to deal with authorities you know how it goes, very slowly. :-D

Still we hope we'll succeed in 2013, since it will be 10 years since his passing this year.
What a great way to commemorate.

And I finally know who is going to join me to the Con! My husband.
My friends all have families and don't really want to be parted from their children for so long so I had my mother in mind.

But she wasn't really thrilled about the idea. She would have come but I would feel the need to keep her entertained the whole time and don't think I could enjoy the Convention.

My husband was assigned to takecare of Spikey, our doggie, because he was our baby and I didn't trust anyone else to take care of him. Let's say he had a users manual.
But this summer he passed away from liver cancer. :(

We have another dog from the shelter now called Chuckie. (His name is very fitting.) And while Spikey was our scared and spoiled little baby, Chuckie is more the independed puberty child type. :-D So we feel totally at easy with letting him stay with my mother while we go to the Convention.

Now that I know who is definitely coming with me, it will be easier to start planning some stuff.
I don't have to worry about an extra costume. My hubby is sooo not in to that. whahaha
14 March 2013

As you've probably already read on the 'News' page, I have another big reveal.
Okay, not as big as the Tattoo. :-D

I decided to share my costume choice. I thought about it for a while and suddenly I don't understand anymore why I didn't tell.

I mean, It won't be very spectaculair. And if there are more of us it will be good! Like in the series...:D
And if you know I can post pics of the progress I'm making. I think that would be more fun. :-)

So what do you think? Shall I tell?

Alright then! Spoiler Alert!:

I will go as ....

One of Gisburne's soldiers!!!!

There!! It's out in the open. whahaha The Sheriff will be pleased! :-D

It hasn't been easy. There are several different versions. If you pay attention you can see a lot of different uniforms. They vary per soldier and you can see distinct differences in the costumes from the start of the show, til the later series.

So I guess I'm making kind of a mix. Like, I could resist getting a bright blue Gisburne cloak. And my helmet will be different. They are hard to find. :-D

I'll post some pics in the coming weeks, so you can see what I mean. I hope in the end it will look a bit like Gizzy's 'The King's Fool' outfit. :-)

17 June 2013

Can't wait til my vacation! 
Finally I can get some more work done on my costume.

So here's what I have so far. :-) 

This is a  pic of my beautiful sword and scabbard.

I have to adjust some things on the sword because you can see the cross on the top and a few on the blade. Making it a Templar's sword. :-)
But maybe in those days the equipment was expensive and soldiers took swords from their enemies after they had killed them. :-P
It's plastic but very firm and I got it months ago from Ebay.
The scabbard I made myself by hand because I don't have a sewing machine,  from an old (fake) leather jacket. And then put it on normal black belt.

Moving on to the shoes: 
 I was very exited when I found those shoes. (on the first pic) I thought they look like a nice mix of the shoes our precious leader wears. :-D My shoes are a few sized to big because they were meant for a men but I think they are lovely! :-D 

Of course there will be a helmet:  That doesn't fit at all!! Whaha

The fake chainmail came from another knight costume.
The helmet (did you guess it already) of course, Ebay.
It is sooo difficult to find one who remotely looks like 'our' soldiers helmets. And you can see the nose piece is way to big so I have to adjust that.
I will put some foam in the helmet so it doen't fall off.

I had a different helmet before as you can see on the next pic. But that was even bigger!
With no protection inside what so ever. And it looked more like Bertrand de Nevilles' helmet. whahah because the piece of chainmail in the back. And might I add, it makes the helmet very very heavy! :

My husband wasn't very happy when I told him I needed a different helmet. whahaha
'Cause those things are expensive!!  
Tried to resell this one but, very strangely, most people don't really need these kind of a helmets in daily life. :-P

And then we have the part which should hold the Nottingham colours.
Unfortunally, the colours are not on there yet. But I finished the 'sewing it all together by hand' bit. ;-)
Yay me! whaha :
The first pic is not really clear, I'm sorry.
The second one is better and I put on the belt so you can see how it's supposed to look like.
Can't wait to paint the colours on there. I'll try it first on a loose piece of the fabric I have left so I'll be sure the colours are right and it'll actually work like I want it to. :-D
In the third pic I just put on my Gizzy cloak and chainmail when I thought I saw those horrible outlaws. whaha

The chainmail-bits of the dress are from that other knight costume I mentioned before. Unfortunally I haven't got enough to make something for the legs, so for now I have a pair of tights for that. In grey, like you see on the Guy pic for the shoes. He wore his 'Robin Hood and the Sorcerer' outfit underneath there, so I figured I'd buy something that resembles that. 
I haven't had it on yet so I'm not sure how I like them but I still have time.
 Here they look a little lighter than in real life. :-) 
This pretty much sums up what I have done so far. :-D

A big thing I still miss are the gloves. But I'm on that. :-D
I have considered making a shield too. But I'm not sure if I'm doing that. I would probably make it a bit smaller because I have to carry it around all day. And of course lug it with me to England and back. whaha
But as always, I'll keep you informed! :-)

2 October 2013

As you maybe have read on the 'Memorial-Tree-Planting' page I'm trying to keep myself busy while wating for the planting date. :-D
I thought working on my costume would be a good plan. :-D
There are a few things I still need to take care of. For instance, I still have to paint the Nottingham colours on it. 
So I took a piece of fabric I had left to try a few things. Make the colours right. :-D

I must say on the pic it looks brighter than in real life but that probably because it was made upclose and with flash. :-D 
Tomorrow I have some more time so then I'll start painting the real deal. :-) Wish me luck! :-D

Jolanda (15:20, 23 okt 2013)
Hi Shir!

Sorry, zie je berichtje nu pas.
Dank je! Ik doe mn best. :-)
Shirley (21:29, 12 okt 2013)
Te gek hoor Jo! Dat ziet er erg mooi uit! Het is net een soort larping he? Ben blij dat je er veel plezier aan beleeft!
Jolanda (18:27, 6 okt 2013)
I choose the paint because I'm afraid that fabric would come across to bright. It has to look like it's been worn a lot and in fights.
Also on the pic of Gisburne's costume it looks like the white/silver part is the basic and over that they painted it red. I hope that that will prevent the paint from going into the material. The silver paint I have looks like I can paint clair line with. :-) I'll try. :-D
Tanja (22:10, 5 okt 2013)
Hi Jolanda,

wouldn´t it be easier, to take fabric in the right colour and sew? I´m only thinking, that if you paint on fabric, the coulour may go in the material around and don´t have clear lines.
But of course, I dom´t know the kind of fabric, that you use for the costume.

Greetings, Tanja

23 October 2013

Because of the upcoming planting of the Memorial Tree for Robert, the Con has moved to the background a bit.
But the costume comes together slowly but surely. :-)

I ordered gloves from a party store but was a bit disappointed when I got them because they were complete transparent and that made it look unreal.
But I still had some fake leather gloves here from my grandmother and when I wear them underneath it looks much better. 

I was thinking about how to paint the castle colours on my costume and thought it would be smart to test it out on something else first.
That something else became a trolley I want to take to Cirencester next month. You can find a pic of the end result on the 'Memorial-Tree-Planting' page.

I'm glad I did that because it gave me some new and useful insights about how to make it look the best.
Don't know when I will paint the costume. But it probably will be after the planting. :-)         

Jolanda (16:27, 15 mrt 2014)
Hi Tanja,

Yes, it's really unbelievable how fast it goes. I will update this page this weekend. I tried to do it earlier this week but there was an error on the site of the host and it didn't work for a few days. But now it seems to be fine and I'll update soon.
Yes, I'll put the travelplan online.
Still haven't figured out everything. And times are hard to plan because sometimes it takes shorter time or a lot longer (as we have seen in Cirencester)to get somewhere. But we'll get there. :-)
Tanja (20:35, 13 mrt 2014)
Hello Jolanda, I was looking for updates today and it was astonishing to realize again, how long the con planning is going now. With costume ideas(I remember it wasn´t clear from the beginning, that wou´ll wear a costume), delays in discount code(the neverending strory) and many more. And now time flies. How soon it will be....hard to believe. Will you make some travel plan as you had it for the planting journey too, that we can follow the trip, with times, stops a.s.o.?

21 March 2014

Sorry it took me so long to update. I wanted to do it last weekend but than I couldn't safe the piece I wrote because the host had an error. Very annoying. And Sunday I had the jumble sale, to try and get some money for the Con. :-)
Of course you can't wait to see the pics, can you? :-D Well, here they are:

As you can see in the top pictures, we had a lot of crrr.... eh.. merchandise again. :-P whaha
At first we were afraid we wouldn't sell a lot because it wasn't busy at all. So we had lots of time to capture this special day on camera. whaha
Here's my mother is petting a Furby in the upper right picture. :-D
My grandfather donated a lamp for us to sell so I took a goodbye picture with it and we sold it for 2 euro's. Yay! 

Unfortunately I lost 7,50 euro because I bought this decorative plate because I thought it resembled our Chuckie. Could be his girlfriend. whahaha But you decide.
Here's a pic of Chuckie:
But in the end we didn't do to bad and we made 63,20 euro's.
Next Sunday we'll be there for the last time. :-)

In the meantime I also worked on my costume and on planning the trip.
Rooms are booked, flights are booked and car is hired. 

Yes, you read correctly, I will fly this time.
If you know me a little bit you'll be surprised because I have a fear of flying.
If you know me a little better you know that I suffer from an anxiety Disorder and basically have a fear for everything in real life, but got medication for that since december and I feel a lot braver and more relaxed and I actually have fun in life now instead of waiting for it all to end. :-) I will even jump out of a plain this summer!! Something I never ever would have thought I'd do. But this has nothing to do with Robert (maybe I'll find a way to connect it somehow but it has to wait) so let's get back to the story. :-P

There are a few reasons why we chose the plain this time.
It's about the same price as the ferry and I got a bit sick on that as you could read on the 'Memorial Tree Planting' page.
My husband is joining me this time and thinks that a English car will be easier to drive there than our own because the steering wheel will be on the good side so he can see better. (We hope. whahah) And it has a automatic gearbox so no difficulties there. (We hope. Again. whahah)
And we won't be so tired I think because the travel time will be a lot shorter.
By ferry it's about 6,5 hours and by plane it's about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Although the travel time by car will be about the same. :-)
And with my new found courage, what can go wrong? whahaha.
More about the travel later.

Now to the part you've all been waiting for. :-) The costume.
It's still not finished. Because I have to paint, carefully and let it dry inbetween it takes a while.
Here's what happened so far.


I have a new methode to paint the costume.
On the trolley (see 'Memorial Tree History' page for pics) I just used a paintbrush and now I'm using a sponge to carefully imprint the color. 
This way I could minimize the leaking of the paint underneath the masking tape. I was very happy it worked so well.
On the first pic you can see the red lines ready.

The second pic shows the white on it.
I did pull the tape off to early so when I adjusted it some of the paint did leak a bit so I have to fix some places again but overall I'm happy with the results so far. :-)

I didn't want the color to be all equal so it doesn't look all new. It looks a bit more 'stained' in real life.

Also on the second pic you can see the sword.
I tried to get rid of the crosses because it's more a Templar's sword now. But I have the idea that I destroy it more than make it nice so I'm not sure if I will continue with that.

As you may remember I had a grey legging/ pantyhose thing I was not completely happy with. 
Finally I was able to find a chainmail-print legging in an American webshop. Yay!!!
It does look real when you put it on and I was very happy! :-)

And I worked on my helmet.

My husband had the task to flex the nose piece so that I could see something and make it shorter.
He made the underside a bit rounder like the real one. :-)
The helmet itself is waaaayyy to big so I wear my beautiful pink winter hat underneath it and maybe even some foam to make it a little more fitting.

I have removed the blue lines you still see on the first picture (part of the outline for the flex) with nail polish remover like a real girl and even used my woman's tools to vile and polish the edges. Whahaha
I didn't have a good vile so I used the engraving machine my grandfather gave me years ago and my grandmother's old beauty kit which I kept but never used. But this thing isn't really a power tool so when it get's to hot it's stops and I have to wait til it cools down again. whahah
Typically girl power. :-P

 Upperside: Chuckie is sceptical when I vile the helmet with grandmother's electric vile. :-)
On the right pic you can see the whole set.
On the third pic it's grandpa's engraving machine and the last picture shows Chuckie checking out the new chainmail legging. And is again sceptical. This time about the slippers I'm wearing. :-D

I think that would be the most important news I have for you right now. :-) I'll update soon!

Jolanda (14:52, 25 mrt 2014)
Hi Jane!

Hahah You do? Bring them to the con, we can be twins. whahah
Yes, it's almost done now. Only 6 more weeks! Yay!!
Jane (15:58, 22 mrt 2014)
Hi Jolanda

I love those chainmail-print leggings. And the pink hat! All going well by the looks of things whoohoo won't be long now!

25 March 2014

I'm almost done with the costume.
I finished colouring it and it's hanging to dry now. Tomorrow I will wash it. 
Hope all will be right and nothing will be destroyed but I have to wash it. It's all paint- and turpentine scented. whaha Ieeuw!
But I used regular house paint so I think it will hold. I did that because I wanted to make sure it would take on the fabric and stay in place whatever would happen. :-) We shall see. Little excited. :-)

Still busy filing the helmet and I couldn't get the sword go so still working on that as well. hahaha

I think I have the tripped completely planned too. More details will follow later. :-)

Sunday we had the last Jumble Sale. I really wanted to beat the 63 euro's of last week but unfortunately I failed at that. :-) We had 50,80 euro's. It was more crowded than last week but most things we sold were just a few cents we sold a lot but just cheap things. But it's a nice amount anyway. :-)
Here are some lovely pics whaha:

My mother is showing a beautiful little piggy statue, which we didn't sell, so you can still get it. whahah
My brother and his girlfriend came by again for support and to provide our lunch.
Then I got my beauty treatment, as Pat called it. whahah
A woman on the opposite of our stand had this mask for sale. I asked her if we could take a picture with it and she laughed while she nodded. Whaha
Then my brother thought we had had enough fun and put it back in it's place. :-P
You can see, it was a real productive day again. whahaha

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3 April 2014

Whaaaaaa!!!! Gisburne moved in!!!!
Oh no, it's just my con-costume. whahah

Or at least part of it. I'm still not completely finished. :-)
Still need to finish the helmet and sword. But my lady tools are all used up so I'm stuck.
My husband brought some viles from work but they were just to big.
Now my mother is bringing so stuff Sunday. I hope I can finally finish everything in the coming week. :-D

I'm also almost finished planning the trip. Just have to write the time scedule down. And writing a users manual for my mother. How our crazy dogs tick. whaha She's going to babysit them. :-) She also has my brother's dog for a few days and another guestdog so she won't be bored. whahaha And neither will the doggies.

The presents are waiting to be given away. :-D

I have two for Alison for lending me her precious dvd's. Which are safely packed on the left side so nothing can happen to them. :-) And a present for Jackie. 

And the white box in the middle is holds a little angel for Robert:

Of course I'm going to visit his grave again and I can't show up empty handed again, now can I. :-) I really wish he was still alive and in good health at the con so I could give him a nice present personally.
But unfortunately I don't have the power to turn back time. :( 

Tanja (21:12, 30 apr 2014)
Oh, yes, the Sheriff....I totally forgot. :-D And you are one of his servabts. A soldier of Guy. :-D
Jolanda (19:07, 29 apr 2014)
Hahah Thank you Tanja.
No, I won't be the star. :-P I think the Sheriff will take that role. whaha
Tanja Reetz (21:27, 27 apr 2014)
one thing is clear....with your costume, with all that work, that fantasy, you´ll be the star of the convention. :-) It´s always a joy coming to this page.
Jolanda (18:12, 11 apr 2014)
Thanks Jane. :-)
Tanja- Yes, very brave. whahah Yes, I know. There are some really respectless people in the world but I think the chance is slim they'll take it away because of the location of the church and I had the impression that people in the UK value these things a bit more than here for example. Although I can't say that for everyone of course. :-)
Tanja (21:56, 10 apr 2014)
Four doggies.....your mum is a. brave woman. And then she cares for all your other friends too. No, I think too, that she won´t be bored. :-)
I really hope, that nobody will ever take the angel away. There are so many stupid people around, that destroy, what they can and what others build up.
Jane (13:53, 3 apr 2014)
Wow you've done well with the costume.
Lovely angel for Roberts Grave :)

25 April 2014

My costume is finished! :-)
Just in time I might add. We leave for the UK on Thursday. I'm very excited!
Still not completely satisfied with how the sword turned out. Even with my mother's tools the sword wouldn't give up. Unbelievable. It's just hard plastic but it behaves like diamond. whaha
When I finshed the golden painting I just couldn't resist and make a silver 'G' on both sides. :-P 

To be sure I called KLM to make sure I wouldn't get arrested for bringing the sword and helmet. whaha 
But they said that if it's in a closed suitcase and not in my hand luggage, all will be fine. :-) But just so you know, if I'm late, it's just because I got arrested. whahaha
So now I just dragging stuff over to the suitcases and than come to the conclusion I still need it and drag it back to were it came from.
My sword didn't fit any of my suitcases/ small trolley's so I asked my mother if I could borrow her's. 
Sunday she's coming over for the last instructions. :-D And brings it over then.
My doggies will stay with her while we're away, but she will come to my house to care for the axolotl's, snails, fishes and turtle as well. The rest of the time my dear neighbours will be in charge of the house. :-D

And because one of the con organisers, Barnaby, has been so nice to me and helped me with something Robert related which I can show you after the con to not ruin the surprise, I couldn't resist buying him and his family something nice as well. At least, I hope he likes it. :-) I can easily say that here. He's way to busy to check my site. ;-) whahaha

Tomorrow we'll buy the last stuff we need for the trip and I have to clean my house because my mother will be check it coming Sunday. whahah

I'm so glad my 'crazy pills' doing there job because I don't have to much anxiety for the trip and I think I actually will be able to enjoy the whole experience for once! Yay!

The last thing I have to do is make a travel schedule and I will put it up on Monday if everything goes as planned. 

Jolanda (19:06, 29 apr 2014)
Thanks Ladies!!

I'll keep you posted. :-D
Jane (9:24, 29 apr 2014)
Safe journey and see you there!x
Tanja Reetz (21:29, 27 apr 2014)
the silver "G" will be the deciding detail in winning the fight. Believe me. :-D Oh boy....I envy you for that journey and all that fun and great moments.

29 April 2014 

Only two nights away!!!! :-D
So I think this will be the last update until the Con.

Almost everything is taken care of. And it must, it's almost time. :-)
I have difficulties sleeping cause I'm so excited. But I'm looking forward to it very much.
My suitcase(s) are lying on my livingroom table, so I can put stuff in it whenever I can. For instance a few pieces of clothing I washed and some last minute stuff like a toothbrush that I still need Thursday morning. :-D

A few guests couldn't attend the Con after all, like Phil Rose and Clive Mantle and a few guests have been added. It's kind of cool to have both Jason Connery and Michael Praed there and I like the thought of 'Cousin Sparrow' stopping by. :-P
But I must say, I look most forward to Nickolas Grace. :-) I think he's a great actor, a very funny man (which of course appeals to a crazy gal like me. :-P) And because I think he worked closest to Robert during ROS.
MUST-HAVE-PICTURE-WITH-SHERIFF!! whahahaha I think I'll make that the head mission of the Con. ;-)

Tanja thought it would be fun for you to be able to follow my trip on a map.
I send her a map of my last visit for the Planting but for all you who may be interested as well, I'll share my route.:-)

On the first of May we leave at 15.20 pm. After waving at the neighbours, who are so kind to take care of the house while we're gone and a short pitstop at my mother, we'll race to Schiphol Airport.

 We hope to arrive at the Parking between 18.30 and 19.00 pm.
The parking is close to the Airport and we will be taken to the Airport itself by a shuttle bus after we hand over the car.

We fly at 21.10 pm. Funny fact is that we'll arrive on Bristol Airport at 21.20 pm. :-)
That's because it's always an hour earlier in the Uk than here in Holland.

We've rented a car at Bristol Airport because we think that having a car with the steering wheel on the good side and using an automatic transmission will be a bit easier than bringing our own car.
That and because KLM wasn't to excited about the thought of flying with our car strapped onto the roof of the plain.:-P

We hope to arrive at our first B&B of the trip, Fresh Fields, near Bath, at about 22.15 pm.

On Friday morning 2 May we will head to Bradford on Avon to see the Tithe Barn and playing the tourist. :-)
It's just a 10 minute drive.

We'll be heading for Chepstow at 18.00 and hope to arrive at 19.00 pm in Willowbrook Guesthouse, about 5 minutes from the Con Venue.

On Saturday 3 May the registration for the Con at the St. Pierre Hotel will begin at 9.30 am. So we'll be there bight and early. 
(map is not 100% correct because of the addresses and a Dutch Route planner. :-) )

After annoying the Con guests, the con will end at 17.00 pm Sunday 4 May. (Or sooner if I get myself kicked of the property. :-P)
I think we'll have a quick bite somewhere and then head to Cirencester!
It's an hour drive and we'll be expected there at 20.30 pm at The Old Brewhouse.
Because at the time I booked, it wasn't clear yet how late the Con would end. But yet I had to be there before 22.00 pm I think to check in.

We'll terrorize Cirencester and surrounding areas for a few days before we go back to Bristol Airport at Wednesday 7 May. :-)
We leave around 9.30 am so we'll be in time to give back the rental car, in one piece we hope. :-) At 11.15 pm.

Our flight back to Schiphol, Holland leaves at 13.25 and because of the hour time difference we'll land at 15.45pm Dutch time.:-)
We'll call the shuttle bus to take us back to the Parking and if everything goes smooth we'll be on our way to my mother to tell a lot of stories, pick up the doggies and go to the lavatory. :-D We hope to arrive at 19.00 pm.

And then.. Finally.. Home Sweet Home! :-D Here we come!
I think by that time I will be tired and cranky. :-P

It will be around 20.00 pm when we get home. I hope. whahaha 

Jolanda (14:03, 1 mei 2014)
Hahaha you're not the only one! whaha x
Jane (21:21, 30 apr 2014)
Phew! think I'd be tired and cranky after that lot .lol x

1 May 2014

Just a quick update because it's something I'm very happy about. :-D

About three weeks ago I heard that we we're not visiting Chepstow Castle and Hinton Priory during the Con like planned in the beginning.
I was a bit dissapointed. Especially about Hinton, as you know if you read one of the first entries. :-)
Chepstow Castle is not far from the venue and is open to the public so that wouldn't be a big problem. But to visit Hinton you need permission up front.
Because Duncan and Lisa from the great Trail of Sherwood site: http://www.trailofrobinofsherwood.co.uk/ I knew that it was possible to visit if you have that permission.

Of course I couldn't let it go. (typically me whaha)
So I contacted the estate manager and he told me the best thing to do was to write. Aaaarrgh! Write? Could I pull this of within 2 weeks?
I immediately typed the letter with my address, phone number and email address so they could quickly contact me, digged up stamps somewhere in a draw and drove to the mailbox as fast as I could.
It could be done.. It would be tricky, but it could be done. Technically.

Before, the lovely Jane, who will be attending the con also asked me if I would like to come along with her to visit Chepstow Castle if we had a bit of free time during the Con. I told her I'd love that!
So when I decided to write to Hinton Priory, I asked her if she would come along with me this time,  if I could pull of it off and she said: Yes. No, more like: YYYYEEESSSSSS!!!! :-D So I wrote them that we would come with another couple. :-)

I wanted to visit May second, because we're staying close to the estate than but I did mention in the letter that I was longer in the UK for the Convention, told about Robert and added that if May 2nd would be to short notice if they would please consider 5,6 or 7 May.

I waited and waited but heard nothing. I bassically gave up. But my heart said: "You still have 2 days left, miracles do happen."
So yesterday, exactly two weeks after I put the letter in the mail.. Still nothing.

"Shall I just call again? Can't hurt to ask, can it? Maybe they didn't even receive the letter. Maybe they just decided and he can tell me something new?"

Let's do it!!!!

I called the friendly estate manager who remembered me and said: "I did send you an email to the address in your letter. Didn't you get it?"
I didn't of course. Otherwise I wouldn't be bothering him right now. :-)

And then he gave me the news:
We were permitted but not on the 2nd because nobody would be there, but on the 6th if we liked!
Hell yes, we liked!!!!! We loved!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! whahahahahaha
He told me to just come to the house and ring the bell.

As soon as I put down the phone I emailed Jane and then I had to run to get to work.
I was so happy and it really helped me to get trough the day!

When I got home I put on the computer before I took off my jacket to see if there was news from Jane.
And there was. She was verrrry happy also and could join on the 6th too! Yay!

So now we will go to Hinton Priory on 6 May, 2.00pm!!!!!!
I'll probably kiss the ground whahah Or do that tomorrow already, at the Tithe Barn. :-P

Anyway, Pics will be made and uploaded. That's for sure.
Whether my husband is on the background with a shameful look on his face, covering his eyes or not. whahahahah

Jolanda (18:06, 29 mei 2014)
You're very welcome!!
Sorry I saw your message so late.
I had a blast!!!
Jane (14:05, 2 mei 2014)
So looking forward to the Hinton visit (and Chepstow)

Thanks for inviting me along Jo :) I dare say my hubby will be looking sheepish in the background too :D x


29 May 2014        

UK Trip And Con Report

Thursday 1 May.
The day started out calm.
I didn't have to go to work and could sleep in. That is, technically I could, but it was difficult to sleep and stay in bed because of what was coming.

I think it was like 5 am when I went on-line.
Smart-phones are nice, but also very tempting to use at the most inconvenient times.
I talked to one of my best friends on-line who lives in America and was very much awake because of the time difference of about 6 hours. And very surprised that I was up as well.
I did get a little bit of sleep after that but not to much.

The time went by slowly.
I couldn't wait to leave. But because we were flying at 21.10 pm I had to wait.

Slowly I started to pack everything I thought I needed and of course my costume couldn't miss. I had called the airline to make sure that carrying a sword and helmet would be okay so we wouldn't have to stay in jail instead of the Con- venue.
They said it would be fine as long if it fitted in the bag completely and nothing would stick out. And I had to check it in, instead of taking it with me as hand luggage. Apparently it's forbidden to clobber people with plastic swords in airplanes. I know, right?! Those rules...

In between I checked my messages and saw Lutine, who was going to the Con too, had already left on the plane.
Lutine is a very nice girl I met on Facebook and also a Dutchy. :-) Although she lives a few hundred kilometers away from me.
A few hours later she already posted pics of Chepstow Castle! I envied her and couldn't wait to get the car started. And told her that of course.

Suddenly time past by very quickly.
I fed the animals and put the last things in the suitcases and bags.
We had a big suitcase with my costume in it, two trolley's (one of them being the trolley I painted in the Nottingham colors. The other a similar one but in black and unpainted.)
A large handbag with the route, important papers and tickets, something to drink, navigation system and money a.s.o and the bag I packed for Chuckie and Kaylo with their food, blankets, toys, bowls, passports and everything else they might need for their stay at my mother's.
I was surprised we, the luggage and the doggies fitted in the car. And there we went.

To the first stop! My mother's house.
After 500 meters I already was fed up because Chuckie does nothing but bark the whole way and with 2 minutes in the car, we had still a ride of half an hour before us. Unfortunately he doesn't have a volume button. It's either all in or nothing. And when you know how loud it is when you're outside, you can imagine what it sounds like in a small car.

We had already given my mother kind of a users manual for the dogs. :-) Their sweet, but very.. eh.. special as well.
So we handed over our precious babies, the numbers where she could reach us, the numbers of all the vets in the neighborhood, in case they would lose an eye to her cat or something like that and went on our way to the airport. Which was another drive of 2,5 hours. But nice and quiet compared to the first part.

We had some time to eat something and I made my Ronald take a pic with a plastic Ronald McDonald, which he really likes, you can see that.

I was a bit nervous to go on the flight but because of my medication it wasn't so bad and I was glad we choose the plain and not the ferry like last time, which made me seasick.

A real new experience was the rental car. It was an English car with the steering wheel on the left side (naturally) and automatic so we didn't have to worry about shifting.

It was often during the coming week that I wanted to get in on the left side. Normally my place when I don't drive myself. :-P
At first we had even a hard time opening the back. :-) Nobody told us we had to lift the VW emblem to open the trunk.
The next challenge was to find the lights. Because it was already dark when we landed.
Finally we could go. It was another task to even get out of the parking lot. When my husband hit the brakes we stopped abruptly, the car shut the engine off and hadn't we worn seat belts our faces would have looked a lot different after the vacation, as this was another recurring event.

I told the owner of our first B&B Fresh Fields in Limpley Stoke we would arrive at about 10.15 pm but I called on the way over to let him know we were on our way but it would take us some time to get over there.
'Some time' turned out to be 11.30 pm! I was tired.
The man was very nice and we could leave the car on the spot where we parked it.
We couldn't see anything as it was so dark, just that it was very steep in front of the B&B and prayed that the handbrake would hold the car in it's place.

The next morning we woke up to a very nice view. How could you be in a bad mood when you see this on the Friday morning.

I could also see that we had to do our best to not drive the car in his neatly groomed garden.

When we had to leave after breakfast, the owner was standing outside to wave at us. But it took us forever to get of his property.
Ronald was trying to get the car to move to the point where it got embarrassing.
A lot of smoke came out of the exhaust pipe and probably the tires too.
I laughed so hard tears started to fall  from my eyes and I carefully turned around to see if the man was still watching. He was.

He came over and told us to push the accelerator. But Ronald replied that he gave it all he had and still nothing happened but a lot of noise.
As much as he tried to get forward, he tried to not let the car dive backwards into the steep garden.
It seemed to take forever before the car gave in and we moved in the right direction. At least a little bit.
The tires pulled some nice burnouts and I was commenting: Well, there goes our caution money, because on day one we already lost all our rubber.

No matter how stressed out Ronald was, luckily he did laugh.
There was a lot of loose gravel on the driveway and although they had build a little edge of stones between the driveway and the garden, I suddenly painted a picture in my head of the poor owner getting all the gravel on his lawn and into his lawn mower the next time he had to cut the grass so that it would smoke and break down.

As we finally 'drove' off I waved at him as if it was the most normal exit ever and thought of his words: 'Please come again.' Before we got in the car and I was sure he was sorry he mentioned this.
It took me 10 minutes to get a hold of myself and stop crying from laughter.
I was afraid to really look back to see what kind of tracks we left but I was sure we left some pretty nice marks and the profile on our tires must have been gone.
But when we parked in Bradford on Avon it seemed to be less bad than I thought.

We went see the Tithe Barn. This was one of the places I wanted to see most during my stay.
I was so happy when we could see it from afar and I almost wanted to start running. But I knew my husband wouldn't keep up and be embarrassed and because we already had our portion of embarrassment for the day, I decided to stay calm.

It was really beautiful and surreal to see it in real life. It was hard to imagine Robert had walked here so many years ago. The inside was empty. What a work it must have been to make that beautiful set we see in ROS. The stairs, the platform where the Sheriff's chair was. Unbelievable. I especially loved the wooden ceiling. A spectacular sight.

We had a difficult time finding it because we parked the car way to far away because the road was closed, we did drive by it about three times when we tried to leave Bradford. whahaha It took the navigation a while to get back on track.

Although Ronald was completely ready with walking and driving around, I did get him to come to see Farleigh Hungerford Castle.
If he wouldn't have want to, my plan was to go see it Tuesday morning, before we would visit Hinton Priory.
But I preferred this day because my plan was to make the first day in Cirencester on Monday a car-less day and visit Minchinhampton Tuesday morning before we would leave for Hinton. So when I told him about Monday-No-Driving-Day, he was all for it.

At Farleigh Hungerford Castle we took the audio tour. You got headphones on and make your way around the castle and hear something about the history. By the time we go the way they used in ROS as the Nottingham main street I forgot all about the tour. :-D

I made a  lot of pics, of the door Guy appears through in King's Fool as well. I loved it.

In the chapel I saw names and other nonsense carved into wood and walls. Can't believe anyone would do that! Even seen it at the Tithe Barn. At some point, next to the chapel window I saw: 'Rob' carved in. And I smiled and thought: 'Our rebel, he wouldn't have, would he?' But I think Robert was smarter than that. whahahahah
We spend quite some time at Hungerford but I hoped, as long as we were at it, we would be on time to make one more visit to Caldicot Castle in Chepstow.

Jane, from AddiesFaction and Facebook and I had talked of going to visit Chepstow Castle together some time during the Con so Caldicot would be our last stop.
We barely made it to the castle because we were so tired and missed lunch so even thinking was getting harder.
We reached Caldicot but it seemed to be closed already. I did manage to make some pics of the door Guy pounded on in Time of the Wolf.
And the exterior not to mention. :-)

After we had finally ate something we went to our B&B. Completely exhausted.
On our way we passed the venue. I was happy because now I knew were it was so no searching in the morning.
It was on the same road as our B&B, Willowbrook Guest House and 3 minutes later we were there.
The woman who ran the B&B was very nice, bubbly and funny.
Everything was fine except for the lavatory. We couldn't seem to flush properly. When I told her in the morning she said the room above us had the same problem a short while ago and it seemed to be just a minor part that was broken and her husband could easily fix it. I was glad to hear that.
Why am I telling you this, you ask? Just read the story and it will become clear later on. :-)

The first night my husband had kept me awake a bit with his snoring, even though I wore earplugs, but this night I just was so tired I fell asleep pretty quick and kept him awake with my snoring. I said I didn't snore at all, that I just purred like a kitten but he didn't agree.
When I woke up that Saturday morning, first Con day, I put my arms up in the air and yelled at my husband: 'I'm ready to face the Sheriff!!!' While he was putting his hand in front of his eyes and shook his head. But I believe that's kinda of his thing. Cause he seemed to do that a lot during the trip. :-P

Breakfast was delicious and the owner asked if I was excited for the Con, which I'd told her about. She told me her son was a member of the St. Pierre Golf club and knew the venue.
I was excited and as before, time went by fast and we had to hurry.

It was about 9.30 am when we drove up to the venue.
A lot of big cars and old, posh, wealthy golfers were already there.
It was such a nice day and the sun was shining bright. From the parking lot we could see the impressive building that was the hotel. When we got out of the car, a small gray squirrel ran up a tree. :-) I never had seen one in the wild before.

I wasn't wearing my costume yet, thought it was only done at the evening banquet but I learned quickly that you could wear it from beginning to end if you'd choose to.
When I finally had my costume on, later that evening, I loved to walk around the venue and look at those golfers keeping their 'stiff upper lip' as they gave me and the others in their Herne-, Robin- or Belleme costumes a quick look walking by, like it was something they were used to see every day. I smiled all day doing that.

Because check in was from 3 pm, we just went inside to where the one and only Hooded Man Convention would be held.
We walked straight into a massive queue, which is to be expected with a big event like this. Soon I spotted Lindsay. (Which is her nickname on AddiesFaction.) already in costume and her friends also. I was a bit nervous to meet her because she was an actrice who seemed really clever as well on the list and seeing her in real life didn't make that feeling less because as it turned out, she's also a stunning girl! And when I say stunning, I mean Stunning!
I had seen some pics of her before but they don't do her justice enough.
And I wasn't the only one who felt that way, because when I told my husband later on, he said he thought the same thing.
I was very impressed and when I'm impressed I behave like an idiot and started nervously waving like a half retard. whahaha
The line was a nice place to make some new friends and we talked to the people around us. All in a happy ROS-mood, waiting on what would come and a lot of faces I recognized from Facebook. Although putting names on people proved to be more difficult. I even had a hard time recognizing Jackie. Who I saw only a few months ago during the planting in Cirencester. I wasn't sure if it really was her so at first I didn't say anything. Very rude of me. :-)

And again, when I saw the organiser: Barnaby, for the first time I got nervous again. We had talked a few times on Facebook. I could ask him all of my stupid questions and he always would respond very nice but still, he was also a real celebrity in my eyes and I was really excited when he took place behind a table to help register all the Con fans. I was the first in his line and I immediately gave him the gifts I bought him to thank him for all the help and nice messages he send regarding my Con questions and Robert Addie related stuff. Well, gave? Because of the nerves I think I just about threw them at him. Whahaha
I think I was tripping over my own words, heard a voice in my head saying: "Keep it short. There are 300 people behind you. Stop boring the man." :-D So I did.

We got an envelope with the time schedule of events, some tokens (for autographs and pictures) to get us started, a wristband to show you're part of the Con and a program.
I spotted Alison and Anita and Jackie and was happy to see some girls I knew.
Anita I met for the first time.
She made a real impression on me for the way she spoke English. It was close to perfect and you couldn't hear at all that English is not her first language.

I also saw Lutine, who shared a room with Susie.
A very fun girl who's favorite ROS actor unfortunately is Mark Ryan. :-P  But who helped me to get a Guy HTV card from Ebay because they only would send to the UK. So a real sweetheart!!! :-)

I was glad some people approached me because I think I looked over half of the people because there was so much going on, I didn't know where to look. Laura came up to me and another Anita, I met on Facebook. So nice to finally see those people in real life.

The lovely Jane (who asked me to come to Chepstow with her during the Con) stepped forward and introduced herself and her husband Nick.
They were a very lovely and fun couple. Later on she gave me a card she had made, with Gisburne on it, to thank me. She said she wouldn't have been at the Con if it wasn't for me.
I thought that was so sweet!!!! I think I blushed. Didn't really know what to say and thanked her. When we came home I put it in the living room and when I'm going to update my Treasure Chest it will get a spot in there. 

To calm us all down and in case we were tired from standing in line, they let us take place in the room where the opening ceremony and interviews were being held.

Up first were Jason Connery (Robert of Huntingdon) and Michael Craig (Earl of Huntingdon)
I liked that they kept a bit of speed in the event so you were just thrown in the middle of the Con to enjoy.
During the interviews, it was a real interview set up like on Oprah Winfrey.
Next to the stage they had set up an extra screen which was very handy if you just got to see the back of the heads sitting in front of you instead of one of the guests.
They provided a microphone for the questions and the sound system was very good so all could hear what was being said. 

It was a real busy schedule for guest and visitors.
Of course I hadn't been able to find an ATM on the way and now I had to find one to get some money for all the tokens and food and all the other crap I wanted to get.
Someone told me there was an ATM at the gas station we passed a few times going to Willowbrook B&B and just now when we were going to the venue so we actually knew were to find it and were back in a jiffy.

I don't know why, maybe because of the many guests that came to the event and to little time, or because they hadn't expected those huge queues, some things were planned at the same time in one hour so you couldn't help but miss one. Like during Jason Connery's photographs were being taken, Mark Ryan (Nasir), Valentine Pelka, (Sarak) Judi Trott (Lady Marion) and Michael Craig (Earl of Huntingdon) were signing in the next room.
And it wasn't just getting something signed real quick, but the guest made a real effort to talk to you a little.
But some people used that opportunity to immediately ask about their whole life story with 200 people waiting behind them. Instead of doing that during the question rounds after the interviews, were you're actually are supposed to do that..People!!!
That I thought was very unconsidered to the rest of us waiting our turns.
And the guests were all very open and told us to come up to them during the free times to talk to them so no reason at all!!! to do that during signing. But okay, let's move on. 

Because it was so busy and I was last in line and in the room!! To get an autograph from Mark Ryan, we missed lunch. Again. whahha So we were really whacked and weak by the time the Evening Banquet was served.
There were only 5 people in front of me left in the Mark Ryan line and the organizers told him twice before he really had to stop. He said, Okay, just these 3 people. When they urged him to end it. I though Oh no! But I kept in line. He saw there was just a handful of us left and he stayed very calm and even took the time to talk to us all. They tapped his shoulder again because they were so long over time but he said: I'm not often in the UK I will do all of these people. I was so happy. He asked where I was from and told me to come up to him later when he was walking around to have a little chat. But of course, I was a bit scared so I didn't talk to any of the guests outside the panels and such. Except a few words with Nickolas Grace.
Mark Ryan signed the picture for me in behalf of himself and his horse Pringle. I was very grateful! 

Jason in the photo room and the others in the signing room were getting enough attention but when they (for example) did the interview with Daniel Peacock (cousin Sparrow) and Claire Toeman (Meg of Wickham) they had the duo pictures taken of Jason Connery and Michael Pread in the photo room in the same hour! Although they kept the speed in that we could see most of the interview though I thought that was a bit awkward for those guests.
I remember standing in a long queue for one of the main cast members, Michael Craig was sitting with nothing to do for a while and I felt so sorry for him. The same for Claire and another guest, I don't remember who it was. See, it was that bad. whahaha

Because I really really really wanted an autograph of Nickolas Grace I missed the photo with Judi. But I was happy. :-D  
And I did manage to get her autograph as well. :-)

She asked were I was from and we had a small conversation about all the people from all the different countries that came to the Con. (And no, there was nobody left behind me waiting!) and she talked about someone being there from Canada, trying to remember the city. I mentioned Winnipeg, which wasn't it. Her assistant during the signings mentioned another city which wasn't the one she was looking for and then I said Toronto and that was it!
I was so happy, at last! I said something that made me look smart! I was very proud of myself. :-P 

Jason was the first who saw I was wearing my Guy shirt and said: 'That's my half brother!'
And there my idiot self was back because I just blurred out to the man: 'Yes, he's my favorite! ... Eh.. But I love you too!' While in my head I heard a sarcastic voice saying: Applause! Very well done! Nice safe! You turd!
But like Mark Ryan, he also said something about he would be around and I could come up to talk a bit when I wanted.

Claire Toeman saw the shirt too and said she knew Robert from theater school. It caught me a bit by surprise and I couldn't get my mind together in time to ask her how he was in these days maybe. But I did tell her I thought she looked very good and she was more pretty now than as Meg in ROS and I liked her hair. And I really meant it. She told me a lot of people didn't know that her Meg-hair was actually a wig. I didn't know that either, but hoped it, for her sake. Because I thought that hair was horrible. whahah
When I was in line for Valentine Pelka, Lutine poked me and whispered: "Tell him you're from Groningen!! He knows Groningen! haha" And so, when he asked me were I was from I said Holland, Groningen. He said he knew it very well and talked about different beers.


During the interview with Nickolas Grace I pushed myself to ask a question about Robert. If he had some nice stories about him. But as much as I had rehearsed the question in my head, making it a bit fun as well, it came out as a big pile of stutter and in the end he didn't even understand what the question was. whahahahahah God, I hope that's not going to be on the dvd! What a loser I am.
He started his answer out with a bit of a negative statement about Robert having problems which I will not tell here because I think some of you might not want to know. And I will respect that.
Immediately I regretted I asked and I feared all the other fans would be angry with me for provoking this answer. For some reason especially Anita, because she's been in the fandom for so long and although she was very nice, she has a strong appearance and is a bit taller than me so can easily kick my ass.

But he did share some fond memories like the fact that Robert came from a wealthy family and environment and was a bit used to being in charge so when Nickolas had to shout out: Gisburne!! And yell at him, what you see on screen is Robert genuinely getting angry. And when the writers so that , the more Robert reacted like that, the more they wrote it in.
And that there is an outtake (which I was lucky to see during the Banquet) which was a prank that was all Robert according to Nickolas. It was in The Sheriff of Nottingham that 2 dogs come down the stairs followed by Guy and Sheriff, and this time they were followed by those two, but they were acting like dogs themselves, coming down the stairs on all fours and panting like the dogs with their tongues out. Very funny.

It got even worse when at the end he almost started to cry. And I thought:' Oh great, I made the Sheriff cry. Now everyone will hate me.' Lutine sat next to me and looked at me and teared up and than I couldn't hold back either..
Nickolas stood up and left the stage thanking everyone for coming. We were not sure if he cried because of Robert or because he was overwhelmed that so many people still loved him and ROS.
After that Alison came up to me and said: 'See, he still cares.' While she hugged me and rubbed my back for a while. I really had to do my best not to cry.
We just stood there for a while and I didn't know what to do, where to look or where to go...

..We looked at the schedule and saw Bowlore, the medieval group was up. I followed the masses, still a little dazed.
I really wasn't looking forward to them at all but it would be a good distraction and a little break to clear the mind again.
When they announced Bowlore was coming to the Con, I didn't really look into them and for some reason I thought it just would be boring. Great. A group of people I don't know are going to shoot a few arrows and pretend their in the middle ages sitting around the campfire. I think I got that idea from back when I was in elementary school and went to a boring 'medieval market.' I don't really know.
But Boy was I wrong!!  It was great!!!!

The man who played the Sheriff was awesome and gained a fan!! He looked great, had a great voice, was a true leader, was funny and played his role very well.

So did the rest of the group and they really had some skills to show too. 

I know they would be there in the morning (that's when the pics were made) and because we had missed lunch and I was up early, we just went to our room after they were done.
We had checked in. Originally I wanted to change into costume before the last interviews but there was no time.

When we opened the door we saw a beautiful room with a very nice view. But I just kicked off my shoes, told my husband to get his ass off my side of the bed and I laid down.
We had about an hour before the Banquet but I wanted to be all cleaned up and dressed into my costume on time so I just had about 30 minutes. Sleeping wasn't really an option, although I could have slipped into a coma quite easily.
So I put on the computer to post something because I knew there were people out there who were waiting for news from me and the Con.

I felt very tough in my costume an hour later, when we walked back to our Con-Main Hall. :-D
The posh stiff upper lippers were still busy on the golf course, pretending we weren't there and with a bright smile we walked passed them, photobombing a happy couple that obviously got married and had a party in the hotel courtyard and we walked  into the Banquet room. :-D

Nobody was waving for us to come sit down and Jackie, Alison or Jane weren't there yet so we just found a nice spot in the back and hoped some people would dare to join us.
Jan and her husband Ralph were sitting on the beginning of the table but I didn't realized it was her!! I apologize to you Jan! Otherwise I would have talked to you more during the Con!
We were soon joined by people we didn't know yet, Angela and Derek. Another great couple.
And soon Jane and Nick and a few others came to sit at our table as well. Yay!
They didn't all hate me. Or, they didn't recognize me. whahaha 

When the soup arrived I took of my helmet, because I thought it would prove to be difficult eating my soup with a helmet on that also had a nose piece. :-P

In front of the Hall was the high table.
And next to that the extra screen that was also used during the interviews.
There they showed all the outtakes!! I was so happy I could finally see them all, including the one Nickolas Grace had talked about in the interview.
People were talking and walking around and so was the hotel staff with the food so I couldn't really see and hear everything but in the back of my head I thought it was okay because before the Con they said the material they showed during the Con would be available on dvd later.
I knew that the outtakes in a whole existed already and a really big wish was to own a copy. Would this come true? .. No, probably not. Jane told me she'd read somewhere that it most likely wasn't going to happen after all. :(  !#@^**&%#@*!!! But I was really thankful that I got to see them once at least. :-)

In between courses we were asked to step outside for the Flaming Arrow Ceremony.
We had to stay close to the building for safety but that made it a bit difficult to see and someone mentioned to me (I believe during the Closing Ceremony? Anyway, when Bowlore was fighting with burning swords right in front of us, that they didn't understand why we had to stay miles away from a burning arrow, yet two big men with large burning swords going at each other next to the building only a few feet from us seemed so safe.

A few arrows looked very good! And although they didn't really get the result they wanted, it still really was great and special to witness. 

After the Banquet we moved around the hall a bit.
At one point we stood close to the high table and I was a bit nervous because the guests spotted me in costume. I saw Nickolas speaking to someone and looking at me. He didn't laugh or anything and than just carried on with his conversation. Later on, Jason walked by and he gave me a smile.

Jackie and Lindsay invited us to a drink in the Trophy Lounge and I asked Angela and her husband to join if they wanted. I got to talk to Lindsay a bit more and not only was she very beautiful, she was very nice too and had a real great sense of humor and I had fun.

At some point Michael Praed, who was coming for the Sunday, walked into the bar.
We did our best not to freak out and he went to a separate part to sit down and play with his phone.
Couldn't help but look a lot but he didn't look back. And as sudden as he had walked in, he was gone again.

We talked about the costumes and I told Lindsay that I didn't know yet if I should wear my costume tomorrow during the pictures (especially with Nickolas Grace) or that I should wear something normal.
"Your costume of of course!! I'm going to wear it too.'' she said enthusiastic and then there was no doubt left.

I know the girls said, before the Con that no one ever sleeps at Cons, but I knew right from the start that I wouldn't stay up to late because otherwise I wouldn't have survived the Con Sunday.
I didn't want to suffer from migraines all day and end up in bed in a dark hotel room by noon. That was not what I came for. :-)
And I saw my husband almost falling asleep a few times, not giving the impression he really knew were he was anymore. And I was tired from all the excitement as well so we went to bed quiet early I think. Can't exactly remember but it must have been around midnight.

The next day I jumped out of bed, into my costume and annoyed some early golfers by walking to the breakfast room and distracting them from their play, although, completely staying in character, they didn´t respond. whahahah

In one straight line we crossed the breakfast room and chose a table.
Con visitors and Hotel guests were sitting together in one room and I looked around to see if there were people we knew.
I saw Jackie and Alison and walked over to say ´Hi´.
Lindsay was already there as well and I saw that shew didn´t wore her costume. I said: 'I thought you were wearing your costume today?' And she replied that she was going to, but after breakfast.
Apparently this was another rule nobody had told me about because I was the absolute only one in that room already dressed up. Even King John, who would become Herne that Sunday was still in his every day clothes.
I had to laugh and made my way to the buffet, took the helmet off at the table and shoved my breakfast into my mouth while my husband warned me up front: 'I'll be damned if I miss lunch again today!' And he was right. Just breakfast, waiting for the evening meal was just to long. Even for us fat people, who have enough reserves accumulated. whaha

The organization were quick learners. They obviously saw some things on Saturday that could be improved and you could clearly see they immediately did that on Sunday.

Again, the sky was blue and the sun was up and it promised to be another great day.

First stop was Andrew Orton's table to buy his book Hooded Man Volume 1, that was launched at the Con and he signed one for me and one for Tanja, who I promised to bring back one.

They had planned some things at the same time again but I knew what I wanted most of all. :-D
The picture with Nickolas Grace!!!!
And I was in costume! Would he say anything about it?

And so we were back in queue.
The previous night someone I knew had sat on a table with Mark and Jason and told them she found it a bit shocking what Nickolas had brought up during the interview and they told her.. She stopped, looked at me and said: "Do you really want to know?" Implying that it wouldn't be just good news and I said: " Of course! I want to know anything."
And than I got the news that shook my world. We didn't really got to deep into it and I decided I would write to her when we were back home to ask her again to tell me everything she knew in case I forgot some important details. Although I was a bit shocked, I was very grateful she told me but it didn't completely sink in and I pushed it aside to be able to enjoy the second Con day.

We were talking about all kind of things in the queue and suddenly I saw Lutine and knew who she reminded me off. Brigitte Kaandorp! It won't ring a bell with you if your not Dutch, but she's a Dutch comedian. The way she talked and could look at times, in a very funny way was Brigitte. Well, Okay, her very much better looking daughter. :-D

I smiled bright when it was my turn to walk up to Nickolas Grace.
Like later on with the duo picture with Jason and Michael Pread, I hoped they didn't recognize me today now I was wearing my costume as that idiot from yesterday.

Nickolas smiled and looked at the costume.
'This isn't one of my outfits, isn't it?'
'No, it's one of your soldiers. I'm your serf today.'
'Okay, than I'm going to do the Sheriff- face.'
'Than I'm going to do an afraid- face.'

But I couldn't really stop smiling and when I finally knew what to do and my face went:' Wooo, scary!' The photographer already clicked but when I saw it back I thought it was hilarious! 

I walked out and stood behind Lutine again for the line for the Michael Pread autographs.
It was fun and they seemed to be in charge of the crowd better and it went fast.
He was very nice as well and asked about my costume and where I got the helmet. I said 'Ebay' and he smiled and said he thought this was of better quality than the ones they had filming. He said: "I'm serious.'

Because we had to check out before noon we decided that now we had a little bit of time before the Mark Ryan Picture we would do that and throw our stuff in the car.
I would change after the Con in the ladiesroom and stuffed my guy shirt and flowerpower pants in my bag. 

After that we moved along to the Mark Ryan-picure-queue, who said he liked my costume too. :-)
Michael Praed was up for his photographs next but I wanted an autograph from Daniel Peacock. (cousin Sparrow) and figured I'd catch Michael and Jason both after lunch in the duo pic.

Daniel Peacock was very cool and he wanted me to spell out my name for him but because it was so busy and he still misspelled my name. Jane was standing behind me and we were looking at each other like: Oops. But I didn't say anything. I thought it would be a shame of the nice picture he signed, there was a line behind me and I didn't want to be a pest. I didn't think it was so bad.

Later on I thought this was just the best thing that could have happen because in the series cousin Sparrow couldn't get Gisburne's name right either. Yay!

It was great that I had gathered some autographs on Saturday so I didn't have to stand in every line again and yes, we made lunch!!!!! Delicious!!
Jane and Nick were on the table next to us. I didn't know if they wanted some time alone so that why we chose another table.
But we talked a bit once in a while and it was obvious we wouldn't have time enough to go see Chepstow Castle. On the one side it was disappointing but on the other side I was already so tired again with all the excitement going on, so many people to talk to and the lack of sleep that I was happy too we stayed on the venue.
And what better excuse could you have for coming to Chepstow again than to see the castles. 

But there was plenty of time left to sit in the garden and talk to people and I made pics with Lutine, Herne and got into a fight with that darn Robin Hood!

After lunch they figured the line for the duo pic with Jason and Michael would be crazy so they made sure the line kept moving fast, which was excellent!

I stepped in between both Robin's and said: 'The Sheriff will be pleased, I have you both!' And they laughed.
As soon as we could, we sneaked inside the interview room to catch the rest of Claire Toeman's and Daniel Peacock's interview.

Next Bowlore was up again and I really wanted to see my second favorite Sheriff again. :-D
They did the same act as the day before and still it was brilliant.
Lutine was called up to shoot some arrows and I ran across the field in costume with my blue cloak floating behind me like Guy's did when he was chasing Robin Hood through the forest and I found a nice spot to make some good pics of her and Bowlore-Sheriff.

Nickolas Grace was coming to watch them and I really wanted to talk to him but I was scared. And what useful stuff I could possibly say to this man without making myself look like a complete lunatic, which I am, of course, but he didn't have to know that. At least, not right away.
I tried to move a bit closer. Very tactful. :-P Although he was just a few steps away.

Than I had a brilliant idea! Although, that's what I thought. :-)
I whispered to Ronald to hand me the map in which I kept all the photo's and autographs and I thought I would show him the pic of the both of us and hoped he would find it brilliant as well.

But then he started talking to a man standing a bit closer to him. Nooooo!!!! 'Go away!' I thought. whahah And after he talked to the man he slowly made his way back to the hotel.
'Aaaaahhh!!!' The man turned around and started talking to me. It turned out he was only here for the Sunday and he was very nice. He introduces himself as Tony and his wife was called Della.

It was probably for the best I didn't get to talk to our lovely Sheriff. I'd already had making myself look like a fool down like an art so let's not make it even worse. :-D
Together with them we walked back also to get in queue for the picture with Daniel Peacock. It was really fun talking to them and soon Lutine joined us again too.

Once inside Daniel Peacock threw his arm around me and was ready for the photo. :-D
I laughed so hard when I saw the picture because I didn't see what he was doing next to me when the pic was taken. Just marvelous! :-D

I don't know what we were heading for but I was walking through the hall near the hotel lobby with Lutine when we encountered Nickolas Grace with a backpack and I knew he was leaving. He walked passed us and then saw Lutine and gave her a hug. Because I was standing next to her he hugged me too! Yay!!!!!
And than Lutine did something I'll be forever grateful for.
She asked Nickolas if he please wanted to take a last picture with me because I was such a fan. And he made gesture to me like :come on than, let's do it. And he put his arm around me.
Than Lutine said, as a true friend , "Do something horrible to her!" whahaha And he grabbed my helmet. :-D Which luckily wasn't to horrible and we said goodbye. I was ecstatic!
After he left she said to me that she had made a whole lot and she send them to me when we were home. :-D

We were in time for the last interviews with Michael and Jason and before we went in I walked up to Barnaby to thank him for a great weekend in case I wouldn't see him again because Lutine had mentioned he had to leave a bit earlier.

Than we sat next to Jackie and Lindsay and I showed them the pics with Nickolas and Daniel and they laughed out loud. whahahah
Suddenly I remember the question list from Tanja and that they said Kirsty was coming too. So I asked Jackie if she was here and she pointed at a girl next to Anita, sitting a few rows in front of us. Oh my, did I just look over her all that time?

I wanted to at least say 'Hi', but again, was a bit scared.
But I did know Anita and hadn't talked to her that much during the con so I just went up to her and showed her my pictures with Nickolas, Mark and Daniel. I probably just could have introduced myself to Kirtsy as a normal person but of course, I didn't and she didn't say anything either so I just said 'bye' in case I wouldn't see them again later (and I didn't) and with my tail between my legs, if I would have had a tail, I went back to my place.

It was very cool to see the two Robin's next to each other. :-)
They gave the Flaming Arrow Ceremony a second try and although it went better, it was a bit to light but it was still cool to see.
I must say I'm sorry if I mixed some events up but I don't recall the exact order anymore. I think I waited a bit to long to start writing the report. But luckily my personal highlights I remember like it was yesterday.

I finally had time and remembered to give Alison back the dvd's she so kindly lend me and I gave her and Jackie some presents too.

Because they hadn't had time enough on Saturday to do the Auction, they did it on Sunday. Which was fine too. Unfortunately no Robert- stuff. A big mistake I would say! :-P
But also maybe for the best. Banners with Michael and Jason went for I don't know? Close to 500 GBP? And just like on Ebay, I too, would have bid til the bitter end to get it and would have gotten into a fight over it with my, then, broke husband. Hahaha

I got to talk to Barnaby one last time and thanked him again.
He truly did an amazing job, can't say anything else.

The girls wanted to make an Addiesfaction group picture in the Trophy bar and at the same time Lutine asked me to join the group picture for the Mark Ryan Facebook page in 5 minutes too. Which I'm on as well, as a true ROS fan. I love it that most of the actors are still successful and I follow their careers with interest.

 I decided to follow the girls first to the Trophy Bar for the AF photo. How could I not make Robert's group a priority?:-D
And I was surprised and happy that we were in time for the Mark Ryan group too.
Mark Ryan himself joined and we made a lovely picture.

More pictures were made on the way to the lavatory to change clothes because from all corners came people I knew and people I didn't know who were asked for a picture with me in costume so I felt like a celebrity myself.
We said our goodbye's (for now) to Jane and Nick and were looking forward to see them again on Tuesday when we would visit Hinton Priory together. :-D

When we finally made it to the car I was so happy. I say 'finally' because we walked the wrong way two times.:-)

It was a great weekend and it had flown by so fast! We weren't bored for one minute but exhausted now. 

UPDATE: 31 May 2014

Today I put the link to this report in various ROS pages on Facebook.
Some of the cast and crew members are in those groups as well. I think it's so great that they too are still thinking of ROS and share their experiences of those days with us fans.

I just saw that one of the producers, Esta Charkham, commented on my post that it seemed like she wasn't at the convention at all.
Now I don't know how serious she meant the remark, but I have no hate mail yet so I think she's not really mad at me, but when I saw it, I thought she is absolutely right! I haven't said a word about the crew!! :-0

I felt a bit ashamed because I do feel like they deserve more. Without every single one of those people, the series wouldn't have been the fantastic show we still love today!

Because, like I mentioned before, some guest had some stiff competition, when they were placed in the same hour as one of the main cast guests, I missed most of the interview with the crew but didn't think to much of it because what I would have missed would surely be on the dvd after the Con.
The Crew-Guests that attended were Esta Charkham, (Producer), Beth Charkham, (Casting Director) And David Holloway. (Editor)

Because Esta Charkham is in a few ROS groups and I saw her name and profile pic come up a few times before, I knew who she was when I saw her at the Convention. :-)
And I once send her a message to ask if she maybe would like to share a good memory of Robert for this site but I think it landed in her Spam folder because we're not Facebook friends. I'm always bit cautious with inviting people. I don't want to be a bother. (Just to family and friends. hahaha)
Her sister Beth is also on Facebook I believe, but I don't think I'd seen her post a whole lot in ROS groups.  

She looked like a very classy lady and I knew I would like her because at some point she was wearing a Gisburne blue blazer. :-P
I loved how Esta and Beth resembled each other in looks, the way they talked and the way the moved. :-)

Someone in the panel was talking to (what I know now was) David Holloway but they looked a bit eh.. serious. :-P Scary!!

On Saturday I stood in line to get an autograph from the crew.
I almost reached the table were Esta was sitting closed to the entry. I was searching for my brown token but couldn't find it!! So I got out of the way for the people who did have their stuff together and I decided to get in line for Judi Trott because I did have the green tokens in my hand and I knew, because of the lines, I had to be quick. 
It wasn't long before the room was full and again I was last. whahah

Then I decided to get in line for the photographs with Mark Ryan and Valentine Pelka but my husband had stuck his head in the bag and found a brown token and because I thought I would be way to late for the pictures anyway, I went over to the line for Claire Toeman's autograph because she was seated closed to the door where the photo's were made coming out of the 'Judi-line.' And than I gave up for the day. :-)

I don't really remember during which interview it was but Esta was sitting a few chairs away from us and they needed to know something. Wow! It looks like she really remembers every detail and she is a great story teller. I really liked her voice as well. Again, I would never have dared to go up to her and talk to her. Like with the rest of the guests. Way to scary! But who knows, maybe on the nex Con, I'm a little more brave. :-)

I tried my luck again on Sunday but this time they were up against Michael Praed signing also and their biggest competition, when it comes to myself, the photo with our dear Sheriff, Nickolas Grace!! :-D

I really hope there will be a next Con and I'll be able to go!! (Barnaby!! Please!! ;-))
And than I will most definitely make it up to Esta and the rest of the crew.

Thank you so much!! All that worked on this great series!!
And forgive me for not mentioning you all before. 

I've often been to see my other (Dutch) hero (Paul de Leeuw). I think I mentioned that somewhere on the site once or twice. :-P
Backstage as a guest and in the audience.  
I know his show is a bit different but I thought it's truly unbelievable how many people work on a show everytime and the amount of work it takes!
These people were working long hours in the weekends, late at night, calling all their guests and making sure everything they need is there. They put up with nervous and cranky hosts and directors and work their butt of to make sure to give you the best show you've ever seen every single week again.
I really think working behind the scenes is a hard job, takes a lot of skill and time to make something you can be proud of in the end.
And for that you truly have my upmost respect!

Kind regards,
Jolanda. :-)

We made a last stop at the gas station to buy a healthy evening meal :P so we didn't have to get our knackered bodies out of the car before reaching the B&B and made our way to Cirencester!!!!

It felt so good to finally recognize streets and stores a.s.o. And Cirencester was just a beautiful as the last time I saw it. No, I think it was even nicer. In the spring, with the sun up and the warm temperatures.

We saw our B&B to late because I was not paying attention, looking around and we ended up on the Marketplace where we witnessed an accident and were glad it wasn't us.
We had to wait for oncoming traffic when two females stepped into a nice convertible parked on the long parking lot. They had to drive backwards to get on the road again. On the other side was a parked car (That's why we had to wait) with the owner walking on the sidewalk.
I don't know how they managed it but normally they never would have hit that car because it wasn't right behind them and the space they had was immense but the driver of the convertible just pushed in the gas pedal and they spurt backwards making such a strange angle that they do hit the parked car.
Luckily not very hard, but enough to do some damages to their own car and drive the bumper half off of the other vehicle and make a big dent above the front wheel.
The ladies who caused the accident parked again and came out of the car looking embarrassed.
The owner of the other car yelled at them when they had hit the car but I couldn't make out what exactly he was saying. But he seemed to have cooled down when he saw the two blond ladies getting out of the convertible.

We parked the car safe at the The Old Brewhouse B&B which was very nice.
The lady called Rose looked to be a tough woman who was used to hard work.

Although it was hard to wait to walk around town and to go visit the Tree, I just couldn't do anything anymore.
So I left all our stuff packed and just laid in bed.
Ronald was so sweet to hook up the laptop so I could send a few quick messages to people and load up some stuff and then I fell asleep.

The next morning, Monday 6 May, we had a nice and slow day ahead of us.
Something we really needed.

Before 7.45 am we were sitting at the breakfast table and ready for the day to begin.
Breakfast was lovely and we went upstairs to get our stuff sorted out a bit and get ready for a day around town.

Everything was great, except for... Can you guess? Do you remember what the problem was in Willowbrook B&B?
If no, than I'll just tell you and safe you the time of looking it up.
It was the lavatory. :-D
It didn't seem to flush properly and like in Willowbrook, we used the water cooker to flush as good as we could.

Oh my God, It's us!! We broke it! Again. It was a similar toilet than the other one.
But once in a while it did work. We didn't seem to able to get it to work like it should. My husband even lifted the top of the reservoir to look if it was something he could repair himself but all seemed to be okay.

We felt like a bunch of idiots. Not even able to flush a stupid toilet!
I didn't have that problem at all when I went with my mother in November. We must be doing something wrong.

Ronald decided to Google how to flush an English toilet. whahaha 'Flushing for dummies.'
But of course England had never encountered such dumb asses as we and naturally there were no UK-Toilet-User-Manuals. Hmm, how strange. whahaha
I told my husband we had to ask Rose but he didn't really want to. :-P  
Neither did I but I wasn't planning on flushing with a water cooker for the next 3 days so I told I would go ask her when we would come back from Cirencester Town center because right now she was busy with breakfast. The B&B was nearly full so she had enough to do.

And so I asked when we came back.
Rose came upstairs with me and flushed the lavatory and of course, had no problem at all!
She must have thought we were complete retards and I felt she wasn't far off. whahahaa

But luckily I saw by watching her what the problem had been. We were to cautious! :-)
With one hard and smooth motion she pushed the handle down and there it went.
So, monkey see, monkey do, and so we learned to flush the oh so difficult racket science-toilets of the UK. :-D

But that aside, after breakfast we went into town.
It felt so good to be back! The first time had been great and I had fond memories of that.

When we still lived at home as kids we always went to the same place in Austria for vacation and you didn't know any better than that this was your second house almost.
It kind of felt like that coming back here, except this was a meaningful place for me for different reasons and this was only the second time in my life I visited Cirencester. So I couldn't really claim it yet as mine. :-P :-D

When we drove into town the day before I saw a very big statue of a hare in a shop window.
It was colorful and I thought is was very cool.
This morning we saw a lot more of those hares, with all different themes. There even was one in the entrance of the Parish Church with a Egypt theme. It turned out to be part of the Cirencester Hare Festival to boost tourism and make the town known more.
Info to more of this you can find on: http://cirencesterharefestival.co.uk/

Our first stop, of course was the Tree.
It looked good. Small but still in bloom. Although not for much longer I think.
It looked like the Tree couldn't wait to grow some fruit. :-)
Probably because of the good temperatures so early in the year.

I pulled some weeds and cleaned the plaque as good as I could with just a tissue and we sat on the bench looking at it for awhile.
The Tree was moving on the soft breeze of wind and although it was still early, the weather was nice and the sun peeked out from behind the clouds.
The wind was blowing in the right directing because I didn't smell the cars driving by. Just the smell of forest, grass, and blooming blossoms. Although our Tree didn't gave much scent.

I kissed the Tree goodbye and walking back through Ground Abbey Park I saw another gray squirrel in the bushes. :-D
I tried to make a picture but he was to fast and clearly not happy with the paparazzi sneaking around his house.

What a great time of the year to be here. Apparently everything comes back to life this time of year. :-)

We walked towards Cirencester Home Park. You know of course why. And made a lot of pictures.
In November it wasn't to busy but now there were more people. It was a National Bank Holiday so many had the day off.

A lot of them were walking their dogs, working out or going for a stroll with their family. It looked beautiful looking up the small hill and it felt like summer. And what a wonderful sight walking back and see the town and Church from afar. 

We wandered around a bit through town and I saw a sign of a hairdresser. "Robert's Hair care for men."
And although it's not our Robert, I liked seeing it. :-)

Making our way to the Parish Church I thought of the guide from November. I hoped he was there.
I wanted to ask him how he and his grandson were doing.

But when we came in, I didn't see him.

There was another lovely guide, an older man too, who asked where we were from and pointed at a stand with leaflets about the Church in all kinds of different languages. From Chinese to German and from Russian to Swedish.
He pulled two for each one of us in Dutch. I looked at it and saw that it was a really good translated piece. Often you see with these things or manuals a.s.o that they just used something like Google translate and grammar and syntax are just all over the place.

The man said he loved Holland. Because of Dennis Bergkamp. whahahaha And something else what I don't remember.
He asked me if I wanted to sign the Church's Guestbook, of course I did, and told me to look at the book and see how many different nationalities visited the Church.
And indeed, Korea, Australia, Austria, Russia, Germany, Japan, France, Poland, almost every country you could think of was represented. A nice thing to see. :-)

The Church was just as impressive and beautiful  as the first time I visited it.
And I don't know if it is the place, or because I was still a bit tired from the Con, because I was still processing all the news and experiences from the last days, I felt the sadness I had felt in November when the guide told me about his grandson and his girlfriend.
Only this time it was because of Robert.
There was a smaller part of the Church were you could place a stone on the stairs and make a prayer and I almost started to cry. They had it decorated like a garden and on both sides were huge candlesticks were you could also light a tealight.

Ronald was walking in the back carrying my bag and making some pics with my phone because the photocamera was almost empty.

You know I'm not that religious but I sat on my haunches before the stairs and looked at my stone, and all the others and send my good thoughts and wishes to Robert and hoped he was happy now, where ever he is.
Than I heard Ronald coming up behind me and I quickly tried to swallow my tears away faked a smile while I was walking to to the right to take a candle and light it. But I could read from his face that he saw it anyway. Thankfully he didn't say anything because I would have broken down for sure and he knows I hate that. whahah
Pfff, stupid feelings! Who needs them?

We walked on and entered the corner where they sell all kinds of stuff about and for the Church. Cards, books, paintings, jewelry, buttons, small toys, a.s.o.
I didn't see the thimble's this time, like the one I bought in November.

I think I mentioned before that I like everything that's shiny. Doesn't matter if it's coming from the drugstore, free with an order at Yves Rocher or a plastic ring out of a gumball machine. It doesn't have to be expensive. I can't afford expensive. whahaha

There were two different sparkling guardian angel pins and I couldn't choose. My husband was getting impatient and said: 'Oh man! Their not that expensive, just take them both and let's go!' whahaha
Yay!! There was just one angel left I did like a bit better than the other one. But later on I saw that it had the birthstone from June in it instead of July, when my birthday is. So I thought maybe it would be fate and I decided to put a picture up on my Robert Addie Fan Page on Facebook and hoped the angel would find the person who needed him the most.
The first to react turned out to be Tony! Who I just met at the Con, you know, the one who stood between me and the Sheriff. He just had joined the group and his wife Della's birthday was June. So I send it to them and I'm glad he found a happy home with a happy Della now.

I also bought a little plastic button with the Church on it, and a medallion which seemed like a very good idea because it had St. Christopher on it, which I knew was the saint of travel and we could sure need that after a few close calls on the English roads. whahahah
And see, we survived! Thank you St. Christopher. :-) 

So basically I had already stuffed my pockets when I saw it!

A necklace. With a tree! Our Tree?
Needless to say my husband was not happy but he knew he would never get to leave this Church again if he didn't give me permission to buy it. :-P

So he gave in. :-D

I don't remember how we got on the subject, probably talking about tourism, but the guide mentioned that it was hard getting money together to support and maintain the Church.
The old members of the congregation eventually die and there are just a few young people that keep coming to church. But I sure did my part in supporting them. At least for this day. :-)

There were some people walking about in the church but it wasn't crazy busy. I just wanted to spend a bit longer in that beautiful church. Even for non- religious people, it is a very special place to be. Peaceful and quiet.
We took place in the benches and just sat there for a while, not saying anything.

When we were ready to go I couldn't help myself and went up to the guide. I had to ask about the guide from November. I explained the situation but sadly he didn't know who I meant and told me there were a few dozen volunteers helping in the church and he didn't know them all. A little disappointed we left the Church. But who knows? Maybe next time.. 

It was already passed noon and went to The Crown, which opens at 12.

The owners son stood behind the bar just like the very first time in November when I stepped inside.
Because the Crown Burger tasted sooo good last year I ordered it again, joined by my husband, obviously still not over the shock of my Church- shopping spree, because he said he was happy we brought a credit card because he was close to broke now.
Yeah, Men.. Get over it already! :-P

On Facebook we talked before about the house ghost they mentioned on their website so when we finished our delicious meal and drinks I decided just to ask.
We took the plates and glass to the bar and I asked if he had seen their ghost lately.
He looked as if he didn't know it was on the website and he just vaguely remembered it was mentioned to him once and then he said: " No, I've never noticed anything. And I've been here often enough late at night or very early in the morning. Must be more upstairs than." He shrugged and smiled. I said something like: 'Aaaahhhww, that's a shame.' Than we said goodbye and left.

Because of the bank holiday a lot was closed but we found that Poundland was open.
It's a store that sells everything for just one pound. And their assortment is big. From food to batteries, from hair dye to painkillers, from books to toys and everything in between.

Ronald spotted two plastic (toy) bows with three arrows and said: 'Here, you wanna have this?'
I laughed and said: 'Yeeeeeessss!!!!.' "
'Oh my God, you are serious, aren't you?'
'Of course! Duh!!'
'I was joking but I should have known it. I guess I forgot who I was married too.' He sighed. :-D

When we were done shopping it was time to get back to the B&B for a while.
We were walking around town since about 8.30 am so we thought we deserved some rest.

So when Rose had left our room after the lesson 'Flushing for Idiots' we just watched some tv, checked messages, laid around on the bed and checked again to see if we could really handle the toilet by ourselves, which luckily was the case until we, once again were hungry. :-P

We walked into town again.
I really wanted to eat some fish and chips this time but good old Friar Tuck was closed.

We ended up at the same Chinese restaurant as my mother and I dined with Jackie.
Even the same waiter was there! :-D You can't confuse him with someone else because of his hair. Shaved on one side of his head, the other side comed up into a small and neat mohawk like style and painted red. Maybe he's the owner? Who knows.

He didn't recognize me. I asked. whahaha I took it as a good thing. Looks like I behaved like a normal customer last time.
We rolled back to the B&B, watched some tv and fell asleep.

Tuesday 6 May had barely begun and we were up and about.
A busy, yet exciting day was waiting for us.
This afternoon we would meet up with Jane and Nick at Hinton Priory! :-D

But first I wanted to visit Robert's grave again to give him the angel.
Jackie had warned me that they had some new rules as to what you were aloud to put on graves because in some cases the maintenance team had some problems getting it in their lawn mowers. Who, when we arrived were just mowing on the last part of the cemetery.

It was so much easier to find, now I knew where it was and the leaves were still on the trees and not on the ground covering everything.
We approached a bench with something on it, which resembled an urn!
Maybe some family put it there to honor someone who always had loved to sit there?
But no, when we were close we saw it was just a flower vase. whahaha 

Robert's stone still looked good and I cleaned some leaves and buds from the blooming plants and trees off.
In case you don't know, the family doesn't want anyone to put pics of his grave on the web so of course I'll respect that. That's why there aren't any pics of that.
Robert had a visitor, a black slug crossing his stone. So I told the slug this was very inappropriate and I lifted it up and put it in the grass. :-)

I had the angel with me and put it on there. Not to close to the edge.
But Magdalena made a nice border around it so I don't think it will be in the way of maintenance. I guess we have to wait and see. At least Robert could see it for a bit. :-)

I looked around.
It was really sad because Robert wasn't supposed to be here this early but truly a beautiful resting place. Such a nice view on the lovely church with the sun showing itself from time to time and with the nice smell of nature, green trees and wild flowers popping up everywhere.

We had time so we stayed quite a while.

When we finally walked back to the car following the outside stone wall, I was looking down at my camera and then half up so I wouldn't miss something and trip and at some point I was startled because I saw something coming towards me that was about the same color as the wall.
I quickly looked up again and saw it was a cute cat!

I laughed, stroked the cat and took some deep breaths to get my heart rate back to normal and we walked on.

I made some pics on the parking lot which had view over a large field.
A man was coming towards us and started talking about the place and how nice it was. That his wife passed away a few years ago and he was here practically every day. And he asked who we were coming to see. So I pointed at Robert's grave and told him.
He heard we we're not from the UK and asked where we were coming from. When I told him we had to laugh because we we're dealing with yet another soccer fan who started talking about the brilliant Dennis Bergkamp. whahahaha What are the odds? :-D

We still had plenty of time and found a very nice coffee/ tea shop called The Kitchen and had some coffee/tea and a lovely cupcake.

It was about 12 when we made our made to Hinton Priory. Normally pleeeenty of time but somehow we managed to be at least 5 minutes late. We drove by the Priory, looked for a place to turn around, drove into the wrong street and were completely lost. whahaha
I was glad that Nick and Jane were still waiting for us when we arrived and I apologized.
We told them about another close-to-death experience we had on the way involving a lorrie and a roundabout and then we went looking for mister Woodland, the estate manager.

I don't remember where we were going or coming from but we were driving through a village and Ronald paid attention to oncoming traffic and wanted to move aside a bit but there were roadworks and they had placed small red/ orange pawns with a concrete foot.
I wanted to warn him but was not even halfway through my sentence when he hit one of the things. It sounded like the plastic red sign snapped of the food, we hit it and it bounced up and hit us again underneath the car. But they were so small and placed so close next to each other that it can easily be that we destroyed more than one.

In my head I heard the lady from the Rental Service say: "Although you have insurance the first 1000 pounds are your own risk when you damage the car."
I think my face went red because I kept thinking: "I don't have a 1000 pounds!!" And after this vacation probably nothing at all.
Naturally we were in a spot where it was impossible to stop the car because the we would have blocked traffic completely. I felt ashamed and was glad there were no men at work at the time.
There was a white transport van behind us and in my head I saw him immediately calling the police because we did a 'hit and run.'
We had to make a turn and so did the van. It must be following us so the police knew exactly were to find us.

We saw a parking spot which we immediately took and the van went passed us and drove on.
I jumped out of the car to see how many extra jobs I would have to take in order to pay for the damages but to my relief the car looked fine!
Just when you looked close, the lath that almost is under the car there was a very tiny dent that was hardly noticeable.
And had so much mud on it (no idea how we managed that, I couldn't remember we went off-roading) that it was even harder to find if you weren't looking for it in that specific place. It could have been that the dent was there already when we took the car from the Car Rental.

But it's been 3 weeks now so they have probably cleaned and re-let it by now and we haven't received the dreadful call or email yet so we hope it will stay that way.

Any way, I was telling you about Hinton Priory.
Last time I spoke to mister Woodland on the phone, he told me to just walk up to the door and ring the bell.
So that's what we did.
He was very friendly and showed us around. Later on we got to wander around ourselves. 

I was impressed. It took a while before I dared to move around freely.

First we went into 'the Litchfield ale house'  but Will nor his brother where home. :-)

We saw Marion's bedroom and I think I made like a hundred pics of the Gate.
I thought a lot of the opening scene from The Sheriff of Nottingham. "Hay?" "Hay!" whahah And Gisburne sitting there on Fury. :-D

At one point Jane and I were photographing each other, Jane standing in the courtyard and myself just outside the arch. :-D
I made sure my camera had a full battery and I have no idea what went wrong, but after a few pics the battery seemed to be empty again. Aaarrggghhh!!! That's why I used my cell phone. I was glad it took good quality pics.

Mister Woodland had told Jane and Nick that it was about 5 years ago that they had visitors on the premises. Jane said that it most likely were Lisa and Duncan from the Trail of Sherwood website. And I think she's right. :-)
I felt very special. Like royalty. whahahaha
He did talk about people sometimes just stop by and walk around but that he then chases them away. So if you want to visit the priory yourself, do it like we did: Ask permission first!! It's much appreciated. You wouldn't want strange people hanging around in your garden and house without asking either. ;-)

I would want to live there. But we talked about how much money it would cost to maintain the property. I don't earn that kind of money as a cleaning lady. whahaha So another dream shattered.

We were roaming around, making pictures of every angle and Jane asked me if I could feel Robert around.
It was funny because I had hoped for that ever since I set foot in the Tithe Barn a few days before. And that she was thinking the same thing was nice.
But on none of the ROS locations I visited I had that same feeling I had in Cirencester.
It wasn't just the thrill of being in Cirencester for the first time, because this time I felt it again, which I was very happy about.
Although it was a real pity not 'feeling his presence around', that didn't take away from the fact that this was just an awesome experience, beautiful location and a very special place to be, which still could make my heart beat faster thinking of the Sheriff and Gisburne.

After we were back to Cirencester (without further accidents) I got my fish & chips because Friar Tuck was well rested and ready to see us.
I liked it but if I had to choose, I'd pick the Crown Burger any day.

With a lot of new cool things to process and knowing that tomorrow we would have to leave for home I slept not as good as I would have wanted.

Wednesday morning we left bright and early because we wanted to be on Bristol Airport at about 11, made sure we had some extra time for unforeseen things and we had time enough to return the car.

I managed to get the sword through border security again and hoped there wouldn't be any problems with the little rocks I collected from here and there as a keepsake.
But they got smuggled home safe too. :-D

The flight left at 13.25 and we were 10 minutes early according to the captain. Who also mentioned that we could experience some turbulence until we were on cruising altitude.
Oh joy! Because of the hard wind.
I tried to distract myself with a little 'Time of the Wolf' interpretation. :-P But lucky for me, it wasn't that bad.

This time it was light out side and we could see more than on the evening flight, which sometimes made it a bit scary because I could see how high we were.
But we made some beautiful pics.

The 10 minutes we'd won on the plain were lost taking the wrong exit immediately.
And that while driving in our own country, on our own side of the road, in our own car. whahahaha

My planning was spot on because we arrived at my mother's house exactly as I had written in our route.
I was glad they doggies were both walking around and happy and we counted all the eyes and concluded those were all still present and where they supposed to be  on their faces so we were happy. So were they. Yay! They still knew us!!
We brought my mother two mega boxes of English Licorice, which she loves. So when I saw that in the Tax-Free shop in Bristol I knew I couldn't leave without it. Now she had some real English, English Licorice.

We talked for a while but she knew of course I was tired and wanted to go home. But I didn't wanna be rude so I acted like I wasn't eager to get back into the car.
When we finally left I wasn't even that bothered by Chuckie barking the whole way back. I think I was to tired. :-)

Still pretty much in sync with my planning, we were home at 20.15 pm. It felt really good to be home!
We left the most stuff in the suitcases and I went to bed very early because unfortunately I had to get back to work the next day. Like nothing ever happened. Pfff.

Sorting out our stuff and pictures and memories kept me busy and thinking of the UK for a few weeks longer.
And now that most things are sorted and normal life's completely back again, I can just drift off sometimes and think of everything we experienced and the precious memories we've gathered. <3


Jolanda (16:04, 4 aug 2014)
Hi Claire!!

Thank you so much for your compliments! :-D Sorry I haven't seen it earlier. They are supposed to send me a notification whenever a new comment is posted anywhere but unfortunately they never do. :-P

I didn't really feel like Esta was dictating what I should write. She simply commented: "It's like I wasn't even there!"
I was pretty startled by her reaction. Because she's part of ROS and had never commented on anything posted by me before. :-)
I appologized and she replied that it was alright but that it was just something she had noticed. And I realised she was right. Not just about that nothing was written about her personally, but also about the other crew members. So I added that piece and of course made a few horrible mistakes so I doubt if I made it better. whahah

But she must understand, however blunt it is, that because this was my first Con and I'm kind of new in the ROS scene, my focus really was on the main cast. And especially Nick Grace. :-P
I'm about two years in the fandom, had never met any of the cast or other fans in real life so it was pretty overwhelming as it was. :-) It was not like all the 'older' fans who have met them a hundred times before and call them their friends like for instance Christine, who leads the ROS fanclub, knows them for 20 years and even organised several con's herself.

But I hope there will be a new change for me to visit a new con and do better than. :-D

Jo Xx
Claire (21:21, 4 jun 2014)
Sorry I didn't manage to finish reading this sooner! It certainly wasn't because I didn't want to! In fact, I can honestly say that this is the BEST con report I've ever read! It's EXCELLENT! :-D

I admire the incredible detail and love the way that you don't just cover the con itself, but the months leading up to the con (with your costume preparation), your RoS excursions outside the con, and your visit to Cirencester. I was discussing this with karen9, and we both agreed that this was report was both fascinating and funny. You really have a gift for humour. You're also an incredible storyteller with an amazing memory!

I think it was pretty rude of Esta Charkham to dictate what you should have included in your con report. However, saying that, I think she may have simply been trying to improve your report and thought that information on the crew (if available) would have made a welcome addition. From what I heard on "The Time of the Wolf" commentary (and just read in Andrew Orton's "Hooded Man"), I think she has a tendency to be rather blunt and outspoken.

If it isn't there already, I'll be sure to include a link to your con report from Addie's Faction. I'll also add one to Gisburne's NASTY Knight Page and give you a shout out from LiveJournal as I have a number of RoS fans on my flist.

Thanks for providing such a FANTASTIC report, Jolanda! It was a total joy to read! :-D
Jolanda (12:59, 2 jun 2014)
Thanks Nina!! :-D

Hahaha A,Dan moet je moeke wel mee of Madieke, ik ga eem vet niet alleen!! :-D
Nina (14:31, 1 jun 2014)
Wow, what a fantastic con report. And all the lovely photos! Thanks for sharing with us!
A (15:42, 31 mei 2014)
Mooi verslag!
Nu je gewent bent aan het vliegen, Next trip: USA :D
Jolanda (10:20, 31 mei 2014)
Hi Lutine!!
It's not that you look like her exactly, it's more some traits you have. A facial expression or when you drop your voice a bit when you say something funny. Don't worry, you're far more pretty than Brigitte is! :-D Sorry Brigitte. ;-)
Lutine (21:32, 30 mei 2014)
Lutine (21:31, 30 mei 2014)
Hi! It was absolutely great meeting you! Totally looking forward to the next Con! PS. you are not the first to tell me I look like Brigitte Kaandorp :). I do prefer remembling Nicolette Kluijver though :). xxxx Lutine
Jolanda (20:05, 30 mei 2014)
Hahaha Thanks Jane!
No, I guess nect time I'll take my own toilet with me.. Or a bucket! whahah
No! Me neither!! Hinton was great!!! xx
Jane (19:39, 30 mei 2014)
A fantastic write up. Really enjoyed reading that. I guess you and English toilets just don't get on! lol
I won't forget Hinton Priory or the con in a hurry that's for sure :) xx

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