Interview with Storm Bennett-Clark!


Look who it is, guys!

Well, you can’t see her, but trust me, she’s here, at least virtually.

Storm Bennett-Clark, who, as I mentioned before, will be running a personal blog to be launched on TUESDAY MARCH 11, has stopped in for a little visit and an interview. We’re loving this whole promotional aspect of her online presence. Can you tell?

All right. Here we go.

What will your blog be called?

Storm: Probably just “Storm’s Blog,” because I’m original like that, but the URL address will be something like ‘beaniehatsandtea.’ It depends on what’s available, but as soon as I find out, you’ll be the first to know!

What made you want to join us lovely people here in Blogland?

Storm: Hahaha, a lot of things. I really enjoy reading blogs and watching vlogs, which is something I only started doing recently. I enjoy the community aspects that can grow up around them, and the social interactions that people all over the world have with each other really fascinate me. And, as I hope to become a journalist someday in the not-so-far future, I thought it would be a good chance to hone my writing skills.

And your life is pretty fascinating.

Storm: Haha, yes, some people think so.

Are you going to incorporate your personal life in your blog?

Storm: Definitely. All 4 of my grandparents lived in the States in the 1960s, and were avid members of the social movement involving hippies. That’s how my parents met. Today, the Bennett-Clarks are what we like to call “eco-hippies” — this basically means we try to live as environmentally friendly as possible; instead of being commercial consumers we try to focus on other things, like family, literature, learning, arts, yoga, organic eating, and self-expression. We don’t think of ourselves as hipsters (hipsters never think of themselves as hipsters, anyway), and I’ll talk more about this in the blog.

What else can we expect from you?

Storm: I would say to expect nothing too unexpected. I like schedules and outlines, but being spontaneous is something I enjoy as well. I’m going to talk about things like my family (twin brother Mica, two younger sisters Sepia and Moonflower, best friend Hanna, awesome parents), my hobbies (reading, music, crafting, drinking tea, movies…eating), and opinions (feminism, hipsterism, conformity), and how I generally live my day to day life. 

Will you tell us a little about Pedro?

Storm: Ah, yes. Pedro. He’s an interesting little guy. He’s a wanted fugitive by the Global Garden Gnome  (GGGG), for reasons which will be explained on the blog. When Hanna was in England a few years ago for vacation, he crawled into her backpack and smuggled himself into Canada. She and Pedro didn’t exactly get along, so he came to live with me. Hanna calls him my souvenir, but he’s decided to be my “sidekick.”

I’m intrigued. Okay, just a few quick questions. Favourite band?

Storm: Bon Iver. Or Daughter.

Favourite food?

Storm: Peach yogurt.

Favourite colour?

Storm: Orange.

Favourite book?

Storm: I personally don’t think that’s a question. It’s unanswerable. I like Harry Potter, Pride and Prejudice, The Hobbit, The Inheritance Cycle, Little Women, The Picture of Dorian Gray…just to name a few of my very favourites.

Anything else you’d like to say?

Storm: I’m excited to finally join Blogland and hopefully start building relationships with readers and sharing my story! I know Pedro is, too. If anyone has any questions, they can leave them here for you to answer or stop by my Facebook or Twitter! See you all on Tuesday!

Reminder that the launch of Storm’s blog will be on Tuesday! She’s really looking for help promoting, so feel free to share the links or any of the little promo pics we made (see this post).

Copyright Storm Rose Bennett-Clark.

Copyright Storm Rose Bennett-Clark.




Hi guys.

Did the title get your attention?

I hope so. I love chocolate chip cookies. They’re beautiful.

However, I attempted to use a misleading title to get you to read this.

I’m sorry if I insulted you, but I thought it was clever. *cough* cheap *cough*

I’m really just doing some more promoting for my friend Storm. In case you haven’t read my last post, Storm and I, with the help of a few friends, have been working hard the last few weeks on creating a blog detailing events in her life, hobbies, opinions, tutorials, and whatnot. She’s a truly amazing person and her blog is going to be fantastic!

She now has Facebook (you can like the box over on the right side of your screen) and Twitter! She’ll gladly follow anyone back and is eager to chat with you all! @StormRoseBlog or

I’ll be promoting heavily for Storm and she’ll take a visit here over the next day or so for an interview.

Stay tuned!

…and here’s a chocolate chip cookies recipe, claiming to be the best. I haven’t tried them, but faith is key here. They look delightful.





While I am a sorry excuse for a blogger, this time I have at least an excuse! …sort of.

An idea has been formulating in my mind since about October, and the last several weeks I’ve been preparing it for public consumption.

No, it’s not a cook book, fortunately for you all.

I’ve been working closely with a remarkable young lady for the last month or so, and with her help — and the help of a few close friends — we’ve decided to create a blog.

Whoop-dee-doo, you might say. You already have a blog. So what?

The what, my dear sceptic, is that this isn’t going to be my blog. This blog is going to belong to Storm Rose Bennett-Clark, a seventeen-year-old future journalist, yogurt-fanatic, and heavy tea-drinker. And it’s going to be awesome. Storm is writing all the content, but I’ll be helping her out with web designs, tech support, and promoting. Really, it’s her blog, but it is my deepest wish that you all join her on her blogging journey as you have joined me this last year.

I can’t give too much away just yet, but Storm will blog about personal aspects of her life, what it’s like to be the granddaughter of four 1960s hippies, and things she’s interested in (i.e., tea, writing, crafting, garden gnomes, witty musings, old books, and societal issues). She will be sharing some of her favourite recipes, organic versions, and debating with her twin brother Mica and best friend Hanna. Mica and Hanna don’t really know about this yet, but Storm has all confidence that they’ll be on board once she brings them in on the know.

Storm, aside from having the blog, will have a Facebook page and, eventually, a Twitter account. We agreed that it would be amazing and fantastic if we managed to get a vlog (video blog) up and running for her, but right now we’re trying to focus just on the blog.

We’re just trying to nail a few things down before we launch the blog on Tuesday, March 11. Until then, enjoy and share these cute little promo pics we cooked up! Feel free to post them on your own blog, Facebook page, Twitter, whatnot. Storm wants as many people, especially young women, to be a part of this experience as possible, so spread the word! Of course, she’ll gladly do a ‘promo for promo!’ Your support will be paid in kind. 🙂

Her Facebook is already up and running SO MAKE SURE YOU LIKE IT.

Shameless promotion. I won’t apologize. 🙂

By the way, Happy International Women’s Day!





Mary I, Birthdays, and New Faces


Today in 1516, Henry VIII’s wife Catherine of Aragon gave birth to a girl who would become Mary I, Queen of England. This was while Henry and Catherine’s marriage was still young and relatively fruitful; Mary was their first child — and would be their last — to survive infancy and grow into adulthood.

Whenever I mention Mary to a group of non-history addicted persons, they always light up a bit, pleased they know something, and say, “That’s Bloody Mary, isn’t it?” They proceed to ask me about the curse and the mirror and the alcoholic drink while I try not to pull a Henry VIII and hit the executioner’s emergency number on my speed dial.

I always felt sympathetic towards Mary, especially the Mary I encounter most often, in my reading of the 1520s-1530s, during which time she was declared a bastard, separated from her mother, ignored by her father, and servant for her infant half-sister.

Most of the portraits I’ve seen of Mary are after this time, during her time as Queen or shortly before, and few captured the image I had of the daughter of the beautiful Catherine of Aragon and the (once) handsome Henry VIII. It never made sense, and I feel that in our vain, shallow society, modern perceptions of Mary remain negative in part because of the sour middle-aged woman they see in the well-known portraits that are plastered across book covers and websites.

Admittedly, I know little enough about Mary to properly defend her in conversation, but she’s suffered from misconceptions and generalizations just as dozens and dozens of other controversial women in history.

In my copy of Francis Hackett’s Henry The Eighth — which, from what I can tell, is a 1929 first edition — an apparently rare portrait of Mary stares coyly out at the reader on page 130. I had never seen Mary portrayed in such a youthful, flattering light. Bedecked in beautiful jewels and in the same French fashion as her loathed stepmother, Anne Boleyn, Mary smiles intelligently and piously, an open book on her lap beneath her folded hands.

The caption beneath the portrait reads “Princess Mary, About 1537, From the Painting in the University Galleries, Oxford, London.” This makes her about 21 at the time, a beautiful young women a year after her mother’s death, Anne Boleyn’s execution, and the bastardization of her half-sister, the toddler Elizabeth. In 1537 Mary was enjoying her relationship with her father’s new wife, Jane Seymour, who shared Mary’s religious beliefs and began the reconciliation process between the king and his eldest daughter, a process completed years later by Henry’s sixth wife Katherine Parr.

Still young, still beautiful, after the trauma of her teen years and before the drama of her adult life, this image provides us with an image of Mary that I, at least, haven’t seen until last year when I first opened Francis Hackett’s book.

The twenty-one-year-old Lady Mary as noted in Francis Hackett's 'Henry VIII.' Have you seen this portrait before?

The twenty-one-year-old Lady Mary as noted in Francis Hackett’s ‘Henry the Eighth.’ Have you seen this portrait before?

Knowing that I had ever seen this before, which I thought was strange as Hackett implied this portrait was contemporary, or near-contemporary, I did some digging. The University Galleries Museum was renamed the Ashmolean Museum (you can read more about the museum and its origins here) and on their website they provide a description for this mysterious portrait of Mary Tudor. After an intensive cleaning in 1976, it was discovered that this portrait that it was, in fact, not a contemporary portrait, but a 19th-century piece perhaps painted over a 17th-century portrait.

At first I was disappointed by my discovery, but looking at the colour image on the website, the image I had been struggling with settled. This is the Mary I imagined, the tragic auburn-haired princess on the cusp of adulthood before her heart was broken and her reputation stained in the centuries to come. While it may or may not be an accurate representation, it’s nice to see that something of the intellectual young woman remains for the public eye, as opposed to the traditional portrayal of an infamous, quickly aging queen.

Ironically, she’s painted in a great deal of red… I suppose we can make of that what we will, but I’m going to enjoy it for what is it: a gorgeous piece of art depicting a beautiful young woman before she was labelled and misunderstood by the world.

The Princess Mary Tudor at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. What do you think? Does she look like either of her parents?

The Princess Mary Tudor at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. What do you think? Does she look like either of her parents?

Have any of you seen this portrait of Mary before? Does anyone have any more information about where it came from and who painted it? What do you see in Mary when you look at this image?

-For more information about Mary on the Anne Boleyn Files.
-Francis Hackett’s Henry the Eighth on Amazon.
Princess Mary Tudor at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford


It’s our birthday here at Let Them Grumble — the ripe old age of, yes, ONE. What better way to celebrate than with the discovery of a lost king! I’ve been following the Greyfriars dig since September, and was enthralled with the release of Monday’s results! Let them gumble, because that’s how it’s always going to be! 🙂

Don’t look! Don’t do it! Don’t tell me! Shh!


The Internet is a dangerous place.Aside from the obvious psycho-stalking and obsessions with cats, the Internet is an especially dangerous place for an avid reader, specifically readers who are trying to avoid finding spoilers about the book series they’re reading.

I was just minding my own business, cruising a blog I haven’t particularly been reading up on lately. And BAM.

Right in the throat.

I mentioned earlier that I received the first four books in George R.R. Martin’s highly acclaimed Song of Fire and Ice series as a Christmas present. I’m about 3/4 through the second one, A Clash of Kings.

Now, ordinarily, I’m a cheater and read the last few pages of a book just to see what happens. I read a marvelous quote by Nora Ephron the other day, “When I buy a new book, I always read the last page first, that way in case I die before I finish, I know how it ends. That, my friend, is a dark side.”

But no, this is different. I have not touched the last pages of Clash of Kings, nor did I touch the last pages of Game of Thrones before I reached there by the natural order of the world. I’m also simultaneously watching the HBO series Game of Thrones, based on the series, and I’m taking special care to only watch the episodes that the books have already covered up to the point where I am. You know why?

Of course you do. You’re a bunch of clever readers.


Especially in a series where there’s three, four, five, six, seven books. In the middle of Book Two one never wants to know what happens at the end of Book Four.

But the Internet has violated that fresh, innocent concept. The story is corrupted, told in a way it was not meant to be told. Now when I finally reach Book Four all the zeal and zest in this massive event will be diminished by the revelation discovered in an online book review that revealed a little too much.


Zen. Be zen.

So, in a plea on behalf of readers who’ve been deprived of beautiful, heartbreaking, and ground-shattering moments because of online spoilers that were not first addressed with SPOILER ALERT, I beg you, as both readers, reviewers, and bloggers, to refrain from ruining the golden and magical experience that comes with reading.

Has your reading experience ever been violated by an improperly declared spoiler, either by a friend or online? Tell me your spoiled woes, but without spoilers, of course. 😉

A Clash of Kings by George RR Martin

A Clash of Kings by George RR Martin

I have a question


I have a question.

You don’t have to answer it, or you may.

It’s the process of asking the question that really matters,

For when you hear your own question asked aloud

It gives a whole new sound to your query.

Here I go,

Asking questions.

Are you ready?

Yes? Or no?

Yes? No?



What decisions flaunt themselves before me,
Begging to be taken.

I don’t know. Do you?

Can you help me?




Or no?



Yes. Definitely yes.


Yes? No? Yes? No? No? Yes?

See the question marks hang in the air like kite tails?


Yes, no, yes, no, yes, no, yes, no?


Hear the lilt to the uncertain voice,
The unmade choice that needs answering?





Feel the tremble in unsteady hands,
Nervous with the idea of the future looming ahead?




Can’t see through the fog that dancing with
Slow, rolling limbs to unsung melody,
Blocking view of the next five minutes of time.


Decisions need to be made.



Answer me!


That’s what I thought.