Said to have inspired the likes J R R Tolkien and J K Rowling, Puzzlewood is an ancient woodland in The Forest of Dean, Gloucester. In the 19th century a mile of winding pathways leading over wooden bridges, and through deep and narrow gaps in the rocks, were laid and have remained mostly unchanged ever since. There is evidence of cast iron ore mining dating back to Roman times and in 1848 two workers discovered, in a hole in a rock, three earthenware jars filled with 3000 Roman coins.
And that’s a wrap.
This absurd thing was started in March. I was stitching the first tank when my mother came into the office with her diagnosis. I sat on her hospital bed while I laid down 72 poppies. This is dedicated to her — cancer-free, five months later, and still asking me strange questions about the First World War at 1am.
I’d like to thank everyone who reblogged my work-in-progress photos, and everyone who said such kind words about the project. All of you kept me going when I was exhausted from nursing and household-running and interpersonal drama. If this is any good, it’s because of the unfailing encouragement of my readers. Big sloppy grandma kisses for the lot of you.
I’d particularly like to thank Dan Carlin of Horrible Histories for his podcast. The three Blueprint for Armageddon episodes (x, x, and x) were an invaluable source of information — and entertainment, during the process. In addition to HH, I listened to the BBC’s inimitable series, The Great War, as well as BBC’s The First World War, BBC’s 1914-1918, Roy McMillan’s narration of Seven Pillars of Wisdom, Robin Sach’s narration of A World Undone, and my own WWI playlist compiled from contemporary songs, Dear Old Blighty (also available on Firedrive).
Last but not least, and as always, you can see all of the previous work-in-progress photographs right here.
The weirdest difference is the sound of the trains. British train horns have a surging sound. It’s the sound of a hundred and eighty five tons of metal hurling itself towards the future. It’s a lie, but it’s a bright one. Here we come. We’re good at this. We leap into the future at a hundred and twenty five miles an hour.
American train horns are so different. I’d lay in bed at night and…