Bodiam Castle – Wednesday 1st November

It’s been a while since I written a blog, but I’ve not been able to do any more in my garden, as I’m still waiting for the trees to come down….more about them later. Also living out in the middle of nowhere, the internet connection is a little ….crap, shit…and several more, slightly firmer swear words, have been said by the whole family recently. Sometimes the internet disappears completely, where it goes is anyones guess. But last week our communications company connected us to “fibre”. The amount of times we had to turn the little black box off, leave for 30 minutes, and then turn it back on again was ridiculous. But after numerous phone calls from Mark (who got quite cross with them). Well, we were paying for a service we weren’t getting. It seems to be better now. Not excellent, but much better than it was. We’re all hoping that it lasts.

The kids have been on half term for the last 2 weeks. Yes I was surprised as well when they told me. Seems like they’ve blocked all the 5 INSET days together. Still not a problem, I don’t mind. The kids have been busy revising and doing their homework. Every time they needed to use the internet for their homework, I had to take them to our nearest Sainsbury’s (7 miles away) so they could sit in the stores cafe and use the wifi. I bought them a drink and snack, so that’s ok. I’d leave them in the cafe for a couple of hours while I ran my errands, and then came back and pick them up. Hopefully now our internet is sorted (fingers crossed) I won’t have to do that anymore.

So, as they’ve been working very hard, on Wednesday we went out to have some fun. We went to Bodiam Castle, which we’ve been to before, but it’s always good to go back to. There weren’t many people wandering about, as most kids were back to school. The weather was overcast, but dry, and there was a chill in the air. Well it is November after all, so we should expect that. We arrived about 11.30am. It takes just over an hour to drive from our house, and we weren’t in any major rush. We took a packed lunch with us, and wandered round the grounds for a bit first, and then found a bench under a tree to sit and have our lunch. If you’ve not been here before the castle is surrounded by a moat, which is an excellent form of protection, and set in some amazing grounds and woodlands.

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We had tickets for 1pm for a guided tour of the inside of the castle, so after our lunch we had a little more time to spare before our tour, so wandered around a bit more. In the moat there masses of huge carp fish, and loads of ducks. The ducks are very noisy, and the fish know to congregate by the bridge for any food that is thrown in the water by the visitors. We didn’t feed the fish, we’re good visitors.

Then it was time for us to go in the castle. Even though there’s not much of the inside left, we were given a map, and were allowed to explore. Some of the walls were still partially intact so you could figure out very easily which rooms were which. They all must have been very short back then, as the door frames were very low, and I could only just fit through them. I’m 5 foot 9. George, being the tall lanky thing he is had to duck, where as Emily, at 5 foot 5 was the perfect height to go through without any problems. We climbed some very steep stairs to go up to a couple of the towers, and were able to look down from the top of one tower into the castle below. If you’re afraid of heights, I wouldn’t recommend you do this.IMG_4282

We were exploring in the castle for a hour, and just as we left, the next tour was coming in. We then walked round a little more of the grounds, then popped to the shop to get Mark a little pressie, as he was stuck in his office at work all day in London. Poor little love, he usually misses all the fun. We then went into the cafe, where the kids had an ice cream (of course they did), and I had a cup of tea (much more sensible). Then it was time to come home. A good easy drive, with a few twisty turny roads, but no M25 and therefore no traffic jams. Bliss! We left about 3pm, and arrived home a little after 4pm.

Now, going back to the trees. Please keep your fingers, toes, legs, and anything else you can crossed that the trees at the bottom of our garden are coming out over the weekend (4th and 5th November). The farmer Paul and his mate are doing them. They’re also taking the trees out for our neighbour John, and they’ve nearly cut down most of his trees over the last couple of days. I’m really hoping that they’ll just continue all along the line of trees.

I will of course keep you updated on “tree-gate”, and make a little video, so you can see.  I’m looking forward to seeing how much larger and more open the garden is going to look. They’re putting all the trees, and the fencing in the field at the back and setting them on fire. I’ve bought some marshmallows and chocolate biscuits so we can all make s’mores. I may then dance naked round the trees singing “Ding dong, the trees are dead. Which old trees? The wicked trees!” But it depends on the weather. If it’s cold, raining and windy, I don’t think it’ll be a good thing to do. Just incase you’re wondering, that if I do dance round the fire naked, it WON’T be in the video. Sorry to disappoint.

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6 Responses to Bodiam Castle – Wednesday 1st November

  1. NebraskaDave says:

    Claire, you are in rare form with this post. Ding dong the wicked trees are dead? I’m still bellying laughing about that one. I can see where crappy Internet would make a person grumpy. I just bumped up my Internet speed to the tune of $75 a month more for the fastest available and really can’t see a whole lot of difference. I’m not sure where the bottle neck is. Probably my seven year old computer. (Big sigh) Now I’ll have to upgrade that. I’m about done with technology except for the basic service. After working in technology for 41 years, I have no interest in having the latest and greatest techno gadget.

    We don’t have castles here in the States but I did see many when I was in Germany for one and a half years. Almost every town has one there. I marvel at just how much work it must have been to build a castle. Many years I expect. It takes me a long time just to build a small retaining wall with pre made blocks. I’m glad you had a good time away from thinking about the wicked trees.

    Have a great weekend watching the trees come tumbling down. 🙂

    • All the trees are down, it was great to see them fall. The farmer and his buddy were brilliant, health and safety went right out the window. Still they knew what they were doing. I’ve got a man coming round to hopefully sort out where the problem is with out internet today, apparently sometime between 1-6pm! Mark said not to let him leave until it’s sorted. Castles are amazing, and come in all sorts of sizes. They are beautiful, I wonder what their internet connection was like?

  2. Jim Norlem says:

    I know you have a few problems… internet, trees and such but most happy it was not a health problem in the family. Hope the trees are down by now… stay well ad happy… Blessings

  3. mferland1 says:

    I wish we had castles here, of course I’m sure my ancestors are glad they didn’t have to help build or maintain them. I think we’re all getting older Claire, as a long time follower, I seem to recall an amusing video of yours from years ago with strategically placed produce….. Hope the trees have come down, looking forward to seeing how you progress in your back garden. My wife and I were finally able to burn some of our tree trimmings early yesterday evening, we’ve had to wait as we’ve been going through a long dry spell.

    • Older and slightly more wobblier in places. Yes, the video you are talking about I did about 4 or 5 years ago. Today has been very exciting with the trees coming down. I had a digger in my garden a one point. The chickens were not amused.

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