A Dodgy Week and a Quick Visit to Berkeley Castle

Oh, what a week!

Apologies for a late early-week post but it has been one small crisis after another.

First, my daughter’s hamster died, then she managed to lose her mobile phone and keys – all of which were quite a big deal to a 13 year old.

Then my boiler broke down, leaving me without heating and hot water on the coldest day of the year (so far), and unable to do anything on my computer as it was in the sun-lounge (how ironic) – the coldest room in the house!

Then yesterday I went into town to have my hair coloured and cut as usual: my stylist was ill, so I could only have it coloured. And then, because they were so short staffed, I ended up having the longest blow-dry ever (about an hour), because the girl was also doing someone else’s colour. So the colour’s great – I just can’t see out through my fringe!

Then this morning when I got up my dog couldn’t walk properly and also was sick on my bed. I managed to get her an emergency appointment at the vets by which time (wouldn’t you just know it) she seemed OK. Thankfully it looks like she’s just pulled a muscle or trapped a nerve in her back – which means no walkies for the next few days and then only gentle exercise for the next couple of weeks. But, of course, it does mean that I now have to take the duvet to the dry-cleaners!

Nevertheless, I’m still smiling. At least Poppy’s OK and nothing else was a matter of life or death – so I can’t really complain.

I went to a superbly nice event the other night: a tour of Berkeley Castle by candlelight (well, mostly) and big open fires. Those who know me know that I have a really really big thing about candle-light and wood-fires (along with the accompanying wood-smoke. It really brings out the romantic in me.

However, I really don’t think that the organisers were expecting so many people. When we got there the car-park was full and we had to park in the town and walk up the (unlit) drive to the castle. And then we had to queue in the perishing cold for about 15 minutes to get in. But it was all worth it. Even with the crush of people, the place had tremendous atmosphere. Some rooms, especially the morning room (which used to be the old Norman chapel) were really something special to behold – I would have loved to have stayed in there all night on my own.

There were a few things I had to raise my eyebrows at though. One was a room full of deep sinks, a boiler, scrubbing boards and a mangle – obviously a laundry. Why, oh why then was it labelled the buttery?! See this post for an explanation of household divisions. The other downer was not being allowed to take photos, although my mum managed to smuggle a few and I’ll put them together with this post as soon as I get them. Some of the staff were also very overly-officious and you almost felt that they’d have preferred if if no-one had turned up at all.

But they were only small grumbles. The whole thing was rounded off really nicely by school-children singing carols in the Great Hall. All in all, a lovely event, but it will need better organisation in the future if it continues growing in popularity. Perhaps they could do with the organisation skills of a Despenser! 😉

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About Jules Frusher

With an MA in Creative and Critical Writing, I am passionate about the written word. The other great loves of my life are all things Medieval (especially Hugh le Despenser the Younger) and animal behaviour (especially canids and corvids). Give me a castle in the wilderness (with Broadband!) and I'll be happy!
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