In honour of Halloween, I’ve been delving into some local history and unearthed reference to a local ghost. Black Tom of Bedford was a highwayman in the Bedford area in the late eighteenth century. According to various sources, he was either generally well liked apart from his penchant of relieving people of some excess wealth, or alternatively he was a scourge on the local population, damaging trade and frightening locals. He was named ‘Black Tom’ due to his black hair, and possibly due to his unethical conduct, and was eventually arrested and thrown into prison for his misdeeds. He was sentenced to death, and was hanged on the junction of Tavistock Street, Union Street and Clapham Road in Bedford and buried nearby.
black tom bedford ghost story a nesting nomad blogger bblogger

And here’s where the history lesson turns into a ghost story; Black Tom was apparently buried with a stake driven through his heart to prevent him returning again. It may not have had the desired effect, because he has been reportedly seen around the area where he was buried, with his head either bowed pensively or lolling due to the effects of being hanged, depending on the account. Those who saw him thought it was just a drunk in fancy dress, until the figure vanished. 
On a more positive note, it’s said that the hanging of Black Tom was one of the many events that inspired the famous prison reformer John Howard to campaign for (amongst many things) the abolition of the jailer’s fee, paid by prisoners to the jailer for ‘upkeep’ and release. It is said that Black Tom was hanged because he couldn’t afford a sufficient bribe such that the jailer would put his petition before the judge, which was likely to have led to the reduction of his sentence. 
The area is now a roundabout, which I sometimes drive over on my way back from the supermarket. They did some roadworks there recently, which looked quite extensive. I wonder if they dug up anything interesting? Surely a gallows and related burials must have left some traces. Still, this new found knowledge will certainly liven up my drive home from the shops, and I’ll try not to crash the car whilst peering around for a figure who looks like a drunk wearing fancy dress.
For me, learning the history of where I live is important; it makes me feel more connected with my surroundings. Whether or not I believe that long dead criminals sometimes rise from the dead to roam the land once again, I know a bit more about the things that happened around the places where I go about my daily life, and why they happened. I’ve also learned a little about prison reform, and life in Britain in the 1700s. History repeats itself so they say, and even if it doesn’t, its effects can nonetheless be felt around me every day.
Happy Halloween everyone! Do you have any local ghost stories?
-Rachel

Hi fellow nomads,
You may have caught wind of my recent trip to Jersey if you follow me on my Instagram. Just in case you don’t, I will recap briefly for you. Last weekend I went for a long weekend on this lovely little island with my husband, my bestie and her husband. We had a jolly old time, food poisoning not withstanding (long story), and saw as much of this gorgeous island as we could.
We nearly got swept away by waves which dashed against the rocky shore.

We wandered around amongst ruined castles on clifftops.

We spied France across the sparkling water.
And we learned some important lessons about Jersey. They are as follows.
Look twice // It turns out that the entrances to roads, private driveways, car parks and slipways straight into the sea look surprisingly similar from the road. Check twice before you head down it.
Durrell // A visit to Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust is always a pleasure, regardless of the weather. We visited in the pouring rain and I loved every second, and I loved it even more when the sun came out. I can’t recommend this place enough.
Weather // We Brits love to talk about the weather, but even in my whole life of talking about and experiencing weather, I’ve never enjoyed fog in quite the same way as I have on Jersey. Actually, all the weather was pretty spectacular come to think of it.

When is £10 not £10 // The tennerfest is a festival during October in which lots of fabulous restaurants on Jersey put on special fixed price menus. It’s a fantastic idea, but since its inception a decade ago, inflation has taken its toll. Menus are rarely £10 any more, and even if they are, it’s sometimes best to just order one course you really, really want from the menu rather than three you don’t quite.

Roads // If you like driving large cars, don’t come to Jersey. If you like driving down large, straight roads with plenty of space and preferably multiple lanes on each side, don’t come to Jersey. Or be prepared to take public transport or taxis everywhere, because oh my the lanes get narrow. They’re absolutely beautiful and charming, of course, but a menace for hire car wing mirrors.
The hills are alive // Actually there are just a lot of them and they seem to move into your path, depending on where you want to go. If you want to walk on Jersey, which I’d recommend, bring good shoes, good knees and lots of enthusiasm.
G&T Time // If you’re flying from London, your flight time will barely be long enough for you to throw down the necessary inflight cocktail before the harassed looking flight attendants whisk it away from you, ready for landing. You have been warned.
Have you been to Jersey? What did you learn?
-Rachel


It’s definitely Autumn around here, and my work wardrobe could do with a very small overhaul. I’m all about translating fashion trends into something I can actually see myself wearing, particularly in my somewhat conservative office environment. This isn’t high fashion here folks, it’s just a normal person trying to clothe themselves on a daily basis. If that sounds like you too, then you might like some of the things on my list.

Autumn Workwear

1. // A beautiful leather strap watch in Autumnal hues.

2. // A tartan dress. One that doesn’t make you look like you’re just heading off to Erinsborough High.

3. // Seasonal shades for the eyes. I have this and – spoiler alert – it’s fantastic.

4. // A biker-style blazer to give your tartan a hint of grunge.

5. // The perfect berry nails.

6. // To match your floaty berry top.

7. // Oh look. Some more tartan.

8. // A warm jumper for overly air-conditioned offices.

9. // More berry shades. Avoid looking like cabin crew by wearing with large jewellery and some…

10. // Distressed brogues to get you round trains, planes, and/or automobiles.

11. // A dainty rose gold ring for simple glamour.

12. // A basic top to play nicely with your tartan.

13. // Berry boots which are smart enough for the office but stand a chance in the weather.

14. // Seasonally appropriate note taking.

Can you tell I’m big into tartan and berry shades at the moment?!

What are you dreaming about this season?

-Rachel

Hi fellow nomads,
Etsy is a veritable gold mine* of fantastic, on trend jewellery at very reasonable prices. I also like the opportunity to support individuals, small businesses and charities. Therefore, if I can go Etsy rather than highstreet, I much prefer to.

I’ve been dreaming about revamping my wardrobe and embracing the minimalist look. However, seeing I don’t have the money for a complete wardrobe overhaul I thought I’d just fake it til I make it with some beautiful accessories instead.

Minimalist Jewellery Wishlist


1 // This hammered silver ear cuff is to die for. Also, it doesn’t require pierced ears.
2 // A simple rose gold bracelet with a bar. This would add a luxe look to a simple outfit, or could be layered with other pieces.
3 // Arm candy gives maximum impact, and I’m crushing on this herringbone patterned bangle. It’s better than parquet, that’s for sure.
4 // A dainty ear cuff, in case hammered isn’t your style. You can put this anywhere on your ear and it gives a subtle edge to your look. Again, no piercings required.
5 // For an updated take on the infamous “Carrie” necklace, this bar necklace can be embossed with your initials. 
6 // A simple rose gold eternity band. This is set with tiny sparkles to sit happily alone, or stack with some friends.
7 // Have these gone out of fashion yet? Here’s some simple hammered rose gold midi rings to ride out the tails of the bandwagon.
8 // Beautiful, botanic, Arwen-esque gold hair slides that grown ups can wear and still look classy. Perfect for weddings or garden parties.
Has anything on Etsy caught your eye recently?
-Rachel


*Pun very much intended