Out castled by a Seven-Year-Old

DSCF1298 DSCF1309We’ve been away for a week to the Isle of Wight thanks to the kindness of Kaitlin and Bernie who thought we might like to join them and the twins – forthwith named Venus and Jupiter- as well as The Mater who actually asked, “Is there any of the original cottage left?” It was jolly nice not to camp in dust and even better the weather was glorious as was the cottage courtyard – it was so lovely in fact that on the first morning I woke firmly believing that I was in France. As it happens so did Bernie’s phone, which is probably better than my Ipod which decided that it was in 1970 for some strange reason.

HWIOO and I have probably established a growing reputation for being very, very, slow and taking lots of photographs –there was Osbourne House and Victoria’s bathing machine; Carisbrooke Castle with a fine statue of the real World War One war horse Warrior and a dinky donkey who lifts water from the well not to mention oodles of history and the window where Charles I managed to get himself stuck in a bid to make an undignified exit; Yarmouth Castle – more a Tudor house with a fort attached; Cowes and all those pretty yachts as well as a spot of beach combing; Roman mosaics at Brading; Bembridge windmill which provided flour for the navy at the Battle of Trafalgar; garlic farms, pearl dipping and glass blowing as well as the opportunity to hunt for drift wood, heart shaped stones and fossils –   oh yes and stopping frequently for a nice cup of tea. My favourite one of those was at the Ventnor Botanical Gardens on the veranda looking out over the gardens that were rather splendid with their soaring firework plants.

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My only disappointment on the red squirrel island was that I saw not a solitary sign of Squirrel Nutkin. They may have been cavorting in a squirrel waltz behind me but they certainly weren’t in front of me despite the numerous signs telling me to watch out for their well-being. Though it probably was a tad warm for them. Not so warm though that I didn’t go dinosaur hunting and find a beautiful set of footprints as well as a bit of fossilised wood.

“Isn’t that coal?” HWIOO enquired.

“Well yes, now you come to mention it.”

All in all an excellent break from DIY finished off by an event described by the Right Little Madam as ‘the best birthday weekend ever.” I am of course referring to a trip to Harry Potter world in Watford. The child resplendent in her birthday badge and full Hogwarts regalia  including owl walked around in a daze of happiness while we filled the memory cards of our cameras.

A stop at Warwick Castle on the way home the following day finished the week off. Kaitlin and Bernie will be amused to know that HWIOO and I were out castled by a seven-year-old who was still going strong after six hours of castles, history and men and women wandering around in medieval costume. We, on the other hand, decided that actually we really didn’t want to walk around the battlements or the final tower exhibition – we may have to return, if only to placate her and so that her sister can watch another edition of the Horrible Histories which was absolutely brilliant.

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Right hand me the paint brush I have a ceiling to paint.  Vinyl is being fitted in the bathroom and the kitchen tomorrow.  I also appear to have rather a lot of photographs to sort out.


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