A soaking day out!

12Feb2014This post is by Nancy Jardine

Writing styles vary a lot and some authors gravitate towards what they feel most comfortable with. I guess as an ex-teacher, the most standard form I expected my class to become accomplished in was 3rd person, past tense. Sometimes the actual past tenses varied quite a bit and there would be a mish-mash of – past perfect, imperfect, past historic… No, I won’t go on any more about the past, suffice to say it wasn’t always simple to correct the ‘had hads’. We then moved on to present tense, 1st person writing which seemed easier but actually is generally harder to sustain over a long piece of work by 12 year olds. And sometimes, me.

I personally feel comfortable writing 3rd person, with a smattering of present past, future and conditional and rarely write in 1st person- blog posts forming the bulk of those rare times.

Today is different. I want the readers of this post to experience what I’ve seen today. So, here’s how it goes:

I’m rolling out of bed at seven o’clock- early for me, yet late for the organisers of the event I’m attending. The spectacle is ‘Roman Chariot Racing’ plus other exciting displays of Roman vs Medieval Battle tactics, Archery, Fire Performances, Costume Parades, Birds of Prey display and much much more at my local National Trust for Scotland castle – Castle Fraser. Castle Fraser side

Castle Fraser is only 4 miles from my home. It’s a fabulous little castle built in the Scottish baronial style and I visit it often to just walk in the grounds. I want to see all of the exciting activities planned for today. My family has decided to make it a day out – 3 generations – granddad, my daughter and husband and my 2 grandkids. So why am I not joining them?

BOOKS! I’m going to sell my novels which are about Celtic warriors who are upended when the Ancient Roman Empire sends its forces to conquer all of Britannia- including my own part of Aberdeenshire, Scotland. I’ve been beavering away these last days making sure my Gazebo will look beautiful- my promotional materials self printed and ready. The problem now is not being unprepared – it’s that Scottish weather thingy! Rain is predicted. On. Off. Light. Heavy.

As I leave my house, it’s cloudy, reasonably warm and dry. Stay positive. Maybe it’ll not be too bad.

Oh, oh. I’m arriving at the field where the stalls are being set up. I’m trying not to believe it but that insidious kind of moist low cloud – we call it haar in Aberdeenshire- is gravitating into fine misting rain. 15 minutes is all we need to get the ‘Summer Gazebo’ up and another 20 minutes to set up my signs and table. Will the rain stay off? We’re all mucking in and a very nice brawny steward, Logan, is helping my husband and son-in-law to set up the gazebo. Hurray! It’s up.Dsc02554

Wait! I was wrong. The event attendees are milling about now but those thundery downpours they were predicting- they’ve arrived good style. Out comes the plastic cover to go over the books because – guess what? My gazebo being shower proof does NOT mean real Scottish pouring proof.

The planned events are carrying on regardless but the expected turnout isn’t here. The Roman Gladiators are doing their bit out in the rain and aren’t bothering a hoot! The period costume through the ages display is wonderful and they’re getting wet but sadly are only seen by a few hundred people, not thousands. The display of horsemanship is being cheered by the spectators and I’m really glad the field isn’t too wet under-hoof.

Castle Fraser 2014 3
The eagles are flying beautifully and the handler is really pleased with his birds but I’m watching the fire eating duo, who are amazingly talented and funny. The rain is off again and it seems more people have appeared.

I don’t want to miss the Roman Chariots so my husband is manning my stall. It’s a great display from a professional company who are currently being filmed for ‘Game of Thrones’ series and other exciting films soon to hit the silver screen. I’m really enjoying the chariot racing which is skilled and hilariously entertaining.20140719_153721


The day seemed quite short, but that was because my family stayed all day to spell me at the stall so that I could see some of the action. Sadly, no matter how much I try to be positive books do tend to get damp and wet and even worse is that people who are damp and wet are less inclined to linger to view the material sold at the stalls. My sale of novels wasn’t as great as might have been on a warm and sunny day. Will I go back tomorrow? The weather prediction is for heavy rain all morning till around 2 pm.

Since the event runs from 11a.m. till 4 p.m. I’ll leave you to decide what I may do.

Enjoy your weekend!

Celtic Fervour Series of historical adventures

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Celtic Fervour


12 thoughts on “A soaking day out!

  1. Dng the rain. Still it sounds like a stupendous event.

    Thank you for sharing your day…wish I had been there. May you have better ‘book sellling’ days, but glad you had this one. Doris


  2. Sometimes what will be will be. Right? But sound like you made the best of it, and you got to enjoy the chariots (minus Charlton Heston) and the demonstrations of Roman battle tactics and gladiator bouts. Like Doris, I would have liked to have seen this festival and re-enactment.


    1. I’d love to see it again on a good day- Mike. I’ll be looking out for it if it returns. (I’ll now be looking for Charlton since you’ve pasted that image right in the forefront of my thoughts. I think I might have seen that film. 🙂


  3. I would love to ha e seen it too. I sometimes miss out because of book signings, but glad you got to see part of it. Thanks foe sharing, so interesting. Cher’ley


    1. Thank you, Cherley. I’m now looking forward to 2nd August when there is another reenactment at the Castle but its the mid-17th Century the next time. The Fraser Dragoons will be fighting a ‘musket’ battle. I think that will be a very noisy affair. I’m not sure if there are stalls selling goods (like my books) but I’d like to go to the re-enactment anyway. 🙂


  4. I’d have to think about that ideas thing, Kate. People looked at my gazebo as they scurried past so maybe there was some positive publicity from it. A couple from my home village bought all 3 books in the series. If they like them- and both claimed to want to read them- that will maybe be really good local exposure. I hoped to get some more photos of Roman soldiers but they must have been indoors polishing their armour since I didn’t see them. 😉


  5. What an exciting day it must have been! Rain sometimes spoils it for sales, but I’ll brave the rain to watch something like this any day. Thank you for sharing your adventure. Wish I had been there too! I hope your books sold better on day two, but there’s always the next event.


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