The Tudor period is one of the most interesting and evocative periods. It was a time when women ruled the country through the turbulence of the Reformation, Mary's attempt to return the country to the Roman Catholic religion, and then the remarkable age of Elizabeth I. An age when England changed more that it had in the previous 500 years, and an age which must have challenged all those who lived through it and the religious upheaval. To remain catholic? Become Protestant? A Puritan? Extremes of views that Elizabeth tried to pick her way through to maintain peace. Two remarkable women with the same name during the same age.
Finding a path to follow for yourself is never easy, and for me it has been a constant challenge to be able to find a direction to go in. The last few years have forced me to really focus on the way I want to go. It is not something that anyone would ask for, but it can also be very instructive to have to focus on the here and how; to have to make decisions; to have to let go of many things in order to be able to get a grip on the reality of the present. I can no longer just drift through life. There are things I want to do and I now have to just get on and do them. Visiting Hardwick Hall was one of those things that I can now mark off my 'bucket list' and I think the memory of it will stay with me for a long time.