To make up for not being able to have a seaside cottage for the summer holidays, the Habsburgs built lovely gardens round their holiday shack which stretch way into the distance. We were there in May and the flowers, despite me not knowing a dandelion from a tulip, were delightful. I was rather surprised I didn’t see a single gardener as we walked around – they don’t mow the lawns and tend the gardens at night do they?


There was also another surprise attraction I’ll share with you next week.


Last week I left poor little princess Isabella growing up lonely in a huge, dark, empty, dank castle in the middle of nowhere. (You may get the tissues out here).

Henry IV 3

Her father John II had arranged in his will for his children to be financially well cared for, but half-brother Henry doesn’t comply – either from a desire to keep his half siblings restricted or simply through ineptitude. Like his father before him, he is a totally incompetent king.

He just likes playing all day long and letting his advisors run the country (as you do when you’re king). Come on, be honest. Would you be bothered by your insane sister in law and her brats miles away when you could hunt, sit for your portrait, whore and play with your crown jewels all day long? Of course, you wouldn’t. So, he didn’t either.



There is a pharmaceutical company in Germany (I suspect there are several) who have discovered the benefits of a root growing in Africa that helps control arthritis. It’s called the Devil’s Claw. We were sent to make a programme about this which led to one of my most embarrassing moments.

The moment we stepped out of the car, we were greeted as we often were, with a group singing and dancing in national costume. I was then led into the village hall and to my horror up onto a stage and a paper thrust into my hands. It read “REASON FOR DAY MRS (REAL NAME)”

I was then asked to make a speech and I had no idea what to say. What I knew about their work digging up the Devil’s Claw roots you could write on a pin. This often happened to us, budget and time were so tight there was no chance of researching beforehand and no internet to take a quick peep.

This is what the root looks like and I’ll tell you more next time.

devils claw


WRS 13 FEB 2018

Till next time, take care.




  1. I’ve often wondered that about formal gardens too, Lucinda/ They are always so immaculate and yet you never see anyone at work on them. Must be the fairies. Poor you about giving the talk. How embarrassing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah yes, the real fairies at the bottom of the garden 🙂 I had no idea what to say to these hundreds of people sitting waiting for words of wisdom – after all, I had come to film them. I’ll continue what happened next time 🙂


  3. So what DID you say? Did you talk about the weather, or the price of cheese? (Or availability thereof – bet they didn’t even know what it was!) You have to be a bit more lucid than that Lucinda!
    And as for young Henry playing with his crown jewels – in a public place… words fail me.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I just waffled on for a few minutes about how nice it was to be there and how I know nothing about the Devil’s Claw and how I was looking forward to finding out about it and how well they had done to be one of the finalists in the awards that year blah, blah blah.
    As for young Henry, Ann, what are you thinking? I expect he played marbles with saphires and diamonds and used rubies to knock down skittles, or paraded around wearing crowns. What else would I mean?

    Liked by 2 people

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