I'd like to thank Carla Nayland for giving me a Kreativ Blog Award recently. Much appreciated, Carla! I was also lucky enough to receive an Outstanding Historical Fiction Blog Peer award from Gemini Sasson recently on Nan Hawthorne's blog. Thank you, ladies!
For the Kreativ award, I have to list: seven of my favourite things, seven of my favourite activities and seven things no-one knows about me. As this is a blog about Edward II, I'll let the lord king himself answer the questions...
Seven of my favourite things:
Can I just say 'Piers Gaveston' seven times? No? 'Piers Gaveston' four times and 'Hugh Despenser' three times, then? No? *Sighs* Well, OK, here goes.
- Seafood, especially oysters.
- Precious jewels on my fingers, my clothes, my hats and my Piers, the more the merrier. (Ostentatious? Moi?)
- Horses and dogs, especially greyhound puppies.
- Carpenters, cowherds, sailors, fishermen and anyone else of much lower birth than me.
- Music of all varieties.
- Naked dancers.
- The great outdoors, even when it's pouring down.
Seven of my favourite activities:
- Watching Piers Gaveston joust.
- Digging ditches and/or watching men dig ditches.
- Giving lands to Hugh Despenser.
- Laughing, joking around and shooting the breeze with said people of lower birth.
- Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol and spilling state secrets to all and sundry when I'm in my cups.
- Giving money and other gifts to my niece Eleanor Despenser.
- Imagining what I'm going to do with Roger Mortimer once I get hold of the treacherous git.
List seven things no-one knows about you:
- I bought two salmon, with my own hands, at the postern gate of the Tower of London on 24 September 1326 from a passing fisherman called Richard. You know what was happening that day, don't you? My wife and Mortimer's invasion force was landing in Suffolk. Was I completely oblivious? You bet.
- Every Good Friday I made an offering of five shillings before the Cross, which money was melted down and made into cramp-rings. I also offered three shillings on the same day to the thorn from the Crown of Thorns, which my clerk described as "a thorn from our Lord's crown in a gold box ornamented with diverse precious stones, together with a gold chain." Among many other precious relics, I owned a tooth of Grandad Henry's favourite saint Edward the Confessor, a bone of St George held in a "vessel of silver," and the blood and hair of St Stephen.
- In May 1326, I had a crimson hat decorated with bells made for myself. I also owned a black hat lined with red velvet powdered with butterflies and other animals, and a white one of beaver lined with black velvet and powdered with gold trefoils.
- I spent £130 in 1323 on a ship called La Nostre Dame de Seint Johan, which I immediately renamed La Despensere after you know who. A much better name, don't you think? I also owned a ship named after my niece, La Alianore la Despensere, and a barge called La Petite Mariot. The La Despensere turned out to have been stolen in Brittany before I bought it, and the crew killed! Would you credit it??
- In 1324, I flew into such a violent rage with my friend the archbishop of Canterbury that he pretended he had to make an urgent visitation to the cathedral in order to escape from me.
- I often asked the Dominicans of various cities around Europe - Paris, Vienna, Barcelona, Florence, Venice, Toulouse, Pamplona, Rouen, Marseilles, Citeaux - for their prayers on behalf of myself, my queen, my children, and my realm. To thank the Dominicans of Pamplona for praying for me in the spring of 1316, I gave them twenty pounds to put on entertainments for themselves for three days - one day in my name, one day in Isabella's and one in our son Edward's.
- I carried on the most amazing vendettas against some of my bishops in the 1320s because of their support (real or only in my fevered paranoid brain) of my Marcher enemies, and asked the pope to translate the bishops of Hereford and Lincoln to sees outside England on the grounds that they were "the worst poison" and "descended from the race of traitors."
I'm meant to pass the Kreativ award on to seven other bloggers, but unfortunately I hate choosing and always end up feeling bad for people I don't give the award to, so I'll take a leaf out of Gabriele's book and pass it on to anyone who's reading this and has their own blog. :-)