Category Archives: history

Self Portrait: ‘Antoinette’

I took this self portrait  on the roof of the Rondo Theatre in between scenes where I was not on stage during one of our matinee performances.  I cannot express in words how much fun I had playing an 18th century princess in the Cinderella Panto and getting to dance around stage in pink and my hair piled high in curls. I honestly try to wear denim trousers as little as possible because of the fact that I love dressing up so much. Perhaps I was born in the wrong era.

Self Portrait by Bonnie Rose

Self Portrait: ‘Antoinette’ by Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2014 All Rights Reserved |

Mayor’s Parlour – Bath, England

This week my kids have off of school and the city of Bath have Heritage Open Week going on for all the families that live here.  One of my favourite things about living in Bath is being able to have my Discovery card, which can get me into many places free or with a nice discount.  The Heritage Open Week is tied into the Discovery card and twenty two different locations within Bath.  Despite the heavy rainfall on Monday we hopped into a taxi and headed into town to explore.  
Our first stop was the Mayor’s Parlour at the GuildHall in the city of Bath.  I have been to the Guildhall Market before (an indoor shopping area) but have never step foot within the building that often will have a blushing bride and groom outside its doors.  When we finally found the Maylor’s Parlour we were greeted by two different individuals who gave as a great tour of the room.  They were both amazing at giving out information about the Mayor and history of the Mayor’s Parlour to a children’s level.  We got to see the book where all the royal families sign when they visit the city, Peppercorns that were once used by the city as payment, and the robes that the Mayor wears. They even had a neat smaller size one that the kids could dress up and wear.
The only thing we did not get to see was Mayor’s chains as he was wearing them that moment for a meeting in the Guildhall.  Perhaps we will pop in later this week and see if we can meet the Mayor! 

Q: Does the Mayor of your city get to wear historical dress like ours in England?

*photography belongs to Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reserved | 

My Expat Life: The WWII Evacuee | DIY Gas Mask

This month my son had a field trip to the museum in Swindon where they would be learning more about the children in WWII.  They had been studying in school about the evacuees from London who were sent to the countryside for safety.  The parents were asked to dress our kids up as WWII evacuees and to prepare a lunch that would be appropriate for that time.  With my theatre background I jumped right on this to help my son look the part.  
HIS WARDROBE: The folded up the trouser legs of his school trousers so that they came right below his knees and put on a blue button up shirt.  My mum had knitted his brother this lovely yellow vest and since ‘smaller sized clothes’ would go with the whole ‘they wore what they had’ criteria it worked out just perfectly.  He then wore a black blazer over it to keep warm and his father leant him his hat.  

HIS LUNCH: After doing a little research we settled on a corn beef sandwich, an apple, a few biscuits, and some chocolate as a special treat (well…i am sending him away!) I had originally bought him some come evaporated milk after reading it somewhere online but it seemed inconvenient and heavy. I ended up filing an empty honey jar with water for his drink.  His whole lunch went into a little box that I wrapped up in brown mailing paper to look like a parcel, which he wore around his neck.  
HIS ACCESSORIES: I also made him a placard which was basically a name tag with all his details.  It was fully filled out though I took those off for sharing online.  He also had a ration card book that I made him which he kept in his lunch box.  He chose a teddy bear to carry and I attached the note to the bear like a placard.  The note was to the ‘sir or madam’ who would be taking care of my child while I stayed in London. 
HIS GAS MASK: Ideally this would fit in the parcel he carried, but it was too big and way cooler to wear anyways as part of his costume.  I have decided to include a DIY on how I made it for future parents who will be doing this with their kids at schools here in England.  I did not do this when I was in primary school in England and as an expat now I had to do some digging to find ideas online. So I hope this blog post is very helpful.  
 Gather Your Supplies.  I found a file, some kid science goggles, a cadbury tin, a shower head, and other items just from what we had in the house.  I did not spend any extra money to make this cosplay item.
 I glued the inside of the file to make the gas mask extra sturdy. I drew out the shape of it from hand and used the cadbury can to make three circles for the eyes and mouth.  All three will need to be cut out but I recommend cutting the mouth as show with ‘teeth’ so that it can attach well to the can. 
 I  covered the can with black scrapbooking paper and left the gold metal rim that came on the cadbury tin.  Seemed like a perfect detail for an accent piece. 
 The shower head I realized would fit nicely in the lid of the cadbury tin since the lid has portion of space that indents.  All I needed to do was put a little bit of duct tape between the lid and the shower head for it to stick nicely in place.  
I used some extra black fabric from an old  cape to ver it up and then replaced the lid on the tin.  It showed just enough of the shower head to give me the look I was going for with the gas mask.  
This is what it looked like when I finished this part. Now I am ready to attach it to the gas mask. 

See how the teeth can now be bent over on the can?  

I used super clue around the can first and then pushed the gas mask in place.  

I folded down each teeth and then secured with super glue and duct tape.  I let it sit to dry for a bit to make sure it was secure. 

I realised my son would be huffing on super glue because the smell was strong. So I found a scent disc for the car and cut it to the right size. I covered it up in the same black material.

Here you can see how I used duct tape again and then attached it on top of the space.

As seen in this photo. So now he can smell ‘new car smell’ and not super glue. 

The last part was cutting out the plastic circles for the eyes. and taping them well on the back side.  I attached cord on each side of the mask so that we could tie it around his head or to wear around his neck.   This is the finished back side. 
This is the finished gas mask from the front. It was really easy to make and very fun. Plus there are so many different ways you can customize it just by using what you have from around the house. 
Q: Are you aware about the children who were evacuated during WWII in England? How about the children who were rescued out of mainland Europe to England?

*Photography belongs to Bonnie Rose of Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All rights reserved | 

Field Trip Pt. I: Cuckfield Museum

Today was a field trip for Maddox with his class from school. Since this was his first field trip for me to attend with him, it was quite a special trip.  We were a little early arriving to school, so we played a game of chutes and ladders while waiting for his classmates to arrive.  We took the mini bus to Cuckfield (pronounced ‘cook-field’) and went to the Cuckfield Museum.  The boys were very eager to see the actual dinosaur bones and fossils found right here in this area of England.  Afterwards they got to see the collection of historical items which include a lot of vintage toys.  The boys had been learning about toys from various parts of the world in class.  They got to take a turn playing with some of the old fashion toys.  We did a walk through where the boys got to learn information about different pieces in the museum and what they were once used for many years ago.  
Maddox reading a Biff & Chip book before leaving on the field trip.
Maddox beating me at Snakes & Ladders before class begun.
An old riding bridle and chest.
Fossils and Bones.
A bell that run the bell at the church. 
An old vintage Noah’s Ark toy set
A finding from Cuckfield
A key that was for the chapel that I thought looked very cool.
A vintage board game, much like monopoly
A vintage bear, sheep, and doll dated 100 years old. 
A dinosaur collection of findings from Cuckfield.
Maddox having a go at an old European lawn game of Skittles.
Bed warmer for the fireplace. 
The Dinosaur collection at the Museum.
The boys with the curator of the Museum. 
Vintage shoes and clothes.
Maddox learning how to play a game. 
Doing the tour of the Museum. 
Checking out a dinosaur egg shell under the glass.
An old clock face. 
The boys looking at the old toys.
Magnifying glass.
Lawn game of Skittles