Tag Archives: England

Castles in the Air?

 

I really am a frustrated Real Estate Agent who loves to find different buildings for sale around the world.

Several months ago while browsing, or as my sister calls it noodling, around the internet I came across a water tower for sale in the village of Burton Green some 8 miles from Coventry.  I wrote a blog about it and remembered it today when I came across the British Water Tower Appreciation Society’s blog giving notice of the AGM to be held on Monday 24th September 2012 at 7.30 pm.

British Water Tower Appreciation Society Logo

According to the notice the formal business was to be followed by “virtual tour around North Norfolk’s water towers, including photographs of several that are no longer standing. Many that you will not have seen and that will not be published due to security or copyright.”

And again today, I had some time to  spare and I browsed around the internet for any other properties of interest, for sale or otherwise.  And I came across Caerlaverock Castle.

Our friends at Wikipedia tell us:

Caerlaverock Castle is a moated triangular castle, built in the 13th century, in the Caerlaverock National Nature Reserve area at the Solway Firth, south of Dumfries in the southwest of Scotland.
In the Middle Ages it was owned by the Maxwell family. Today, the castle is in the care of Historic Scotland and is a tourist attraction and popular wedding venue. It is protected as a scheduled monument and as a category A listed building.

So then I wondered whether there were other triangular castles or buildings around the world and I found

  • Butrint’s Triangular Fortress on the bank of the Vivari Channel. Built sometime after 1490, the fort principally served to protect Butrint’s valuable fisheries; however, the fort’s defences span the technologies of arrows and gunpowder. Based on an uncommon design, with only few equivalents throughout medieval Europe, its form may in part have been dictated by the shape of the island upon which it was constructed.
  • Wewelsburg  is  located in the northeast of Westphalia, Germany, in the village of Wewelsburg  in the Alme Valley. The castle has the outline of a triangle (aerial photo). After 1934 it was used by the SS under Heinrich Himmler and was to be expanded to the central SS-cult-site.   After 1941 plans were developed to enlarge it to the so-called “Center of the World”.  Legend suggests that during the 17th century the castle held thousands of accused witches who were tortured and executed within its walls.
  • Longford Castle is located on the banks of the River Avon south of Salisbury, Wiltshire, England and dates back to the 16th century.  The main building had several floors and was triangular with a round tower in each corner; the three towers representing the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. There was a chapel, kitchen area, several lounge and sitting rooms, as well as bedrooms. Fresh cold water was pumped to various floors and there were water closets operated with rainwater. And in the grounds were a park, fruit garden and kitchen garden.

And this set me off on another tangent that of the remains of the many and varied castles around the UK, and particularly Scotland, but that will have to wait for another day.

“I’ve got the key to my castle in the air, but whether I
can unlock the door remains to be seen.”
From Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, 1832-1888

 

You’ve Got Mail

Here is today’s email.

To             The Citizens of the United States of America
From      Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,
Subject  Greetings.

In light of your immediate failure to financially manage yourselves and also in recent years your tendency to elect incompetent Presidents of the USA and therefore not able to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately. (You should look up ‘revocation’ in the Oxford English Dictionary.)

Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except Kansas, which she does not fancy).

Your new Prime Minister, David Cameron, will appoint a Governor for America without the need for further elections.

Congress and the Senate will be disbanded.  A questionnaire may be circulated sometime next year to determine whether any of you noticed.

To aid in the transition to a British Crown dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

  1. The letter ‘U’ will be reinstated in words such as ‘colour,’ ‘favour,’ ‘labour’ and ‘neighbour.’  Likewise, you will learn to spell ‘doughnut’ without skipping half the letters,  and the suffix ‘-ize’ will be replaced by the suffix ‘-ise.’  Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels (look up ‘vocabulary’
  2. Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as ‘like’ and ‘you know’ is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. There is no such thing as U.S.English. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take into account the reinstated letter ‘u” and the elimination of  ‘-ize.’
  3. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.
  4.  You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you’re not quite ready to be independent. Guns should only be used for shooting grouse. If you can’t sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist, then you’re not ready to shoot grouse.
  5. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. Although a permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.
  6. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left side with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.
  7.  The former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline) of roughly $10/US gallon. Get used to it.
  8. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.
  9. The cold, tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of  known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager. New Zealand beer is also acceptable, as New Zealand is pound for pound the greatest sporting nation on earth and it can only be due to the beer. They are also part of the British Commonwealth – see what it did for them. American brands will be referred to as Near-Frozen Gnat’s Urine, so that all can be sold without risk of further confusion.
  10. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys.  Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters. Watching Andie Macdowell attempt English dialogue in Four Weddings and a Funeral was an experience akin to having one’s ears removed with a cheese grater.
  11. You will cease playing American football. There are only two kinds of proper football; one you call soccer, and rugby (dominated by the New Zealanders). Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full Kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies).
  12. Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 2.1% of you are aware there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable. You will learn cricket, and we will let you face the Australians (World dominators) first to take the sting out of their deliveries.
  13. You must tell us who killed JFK. It’s been driving us mad.
  14.  An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty’s Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due (backdated to 1776).
  15. Daily Tea Time begins promptly at 4 p.m. with proper cups, with saucers, and never mugs, with high quality biscuits (cookies) and cakes; plus strawberries (with cream) when in season.

GOD SAVE THE QUEEN!

Queen Elizabeth

More on the Riots

The rioting in London and other parts of the UK is still dominating my thoughts today.  I read this insightful blog and wish that more people and particularly those in power in the United  Kingdom would read it.

This woman, a deputy headmistress in a State school in London, is not afraid to say what the politicians fear to.  She is black and proudly proclaims the fact.  She comments on the fact that many of the rioters are young, uneducated black men.  And she decries the practice of making excuses for this behaviour.

There can be no excuse for this mindless vandalism.

I make no apology for a second blog on the subject and for sounding off about it.  I feel very strongly and grieve for my homeland as it goes through this terrible time.

“IF I should die, think only this of me;
That there’s some corner of a foreign field 
That is for ever England.
There shall be in that rich earth a richer dust concealed; 

A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,        
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England’s breathing English air,   
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.   
And think, this heart, all evil shed away,   
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less      
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given; 
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;   And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,     
In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.”
Rupert Brooke 1887-1915.