Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Catching up

I couldnt be bothered to unload my camera and so I have got behind on blogging. The photos are of the BBQ we had a week ago last Sunday to celebrate a joint Happy Birthday to Kelly, a congratulations to Kelly on passing 3 more of her accountancy exams, and a bit of a belated Happy Wedding Anniversary to us.

Kelly had invited a few of her friends - the ones who would never come to us for her parties as she was growing up as they were scared of me. This was because of an incident when she was fairly young and had dissappeared into the funfair with her friends instead of meeting back up with me as arranged. I thought I had lost her and after an hour and a half of searching was on the verge of phoning the police. So when I did finally spot her, I over-reacted and shouted at her very loudly in public. Since then though her friends have finally got to know me better and agreed to come over. That meant we were 13 adults and 2 small children. We had heaps and heaps of food, and a really good afternoon.

We only have 2 months left on our English Heritage membership before it runs out, so we decided to try Dover Castle one more time. The last two attempts at visiting had been only half successful and they had just finished refurbishing the main tower, so we were expecting the last attempt to finally get it right, we were expecting great things.

It was with trepidation that we arrived to discover the car park was shut then, and that we had to park further away and catch a minivan to the visitors centre. However since this went smoothly our hopes again were raised.

Sadly I was not impressed with the new tone of the castle tower. Before, the interior had been an atmospheric walk through darkened rooms lit at intervales by interactive videos explaining the history of the castle. With our free audio guides we had quite enjoyed it. This time, the whole tower has been given over to the medieval period, and the rooms have been lit with modern lighting to reveal Ikea type furniture painted in glaring medieval colours (and I am pretty sure medieval beds were not painted garish colours of red, yellow and blue, and were heavy peices not lightweight Ikea rip offs. I guess I will be paying more attention to the new series of Merlin to see what the BBC think.

They also supplied very little in the way of historical facts. One short vid and a wall display in a seperate part of the castle was it. The only other thing they did include were three second rate actors who took the part of Alys (Richard I betrothed) Richard's brother John and an obscure french poet. Part of the show was to drag two blokes out of the audience and subject them to stupid tests of love - with no prize other than to be allowed to kiss Alys' hem!! Of course Martin totally embarrassed me by being one to the two blokes on show. Thank goodness I had not taken my camera and so was not obliged to take photos!

The redeeming feature of the day was that on the way back we stopped at Elham for a lovely ploughman's lunch in a pub.

Kelly and Ollie had been off all week to do a final push on their house decorating before putting it on the market. On Friday Mum Dad and I went over for a cuppa and to see how they were doing.Really well we were impressed to see, so we carried on a little further up the road to visit my cousin and his wife. We sat chatting in the sunshine in his garden and before we knew it three hours had passed. I really must meet up with my cousins more often so we dont have so much catching up to do each time.

News on our hot tub - it has got held up for another two weeks so the company supplying are letting us have one of their hire tubs for free - it is arriving on Friday.

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