This Saturday (5th March 2016) , I ventured to do something a little different than worrying about all the jobs in the house that are slowly growing on my to do list. Plus, it was Mother’s day the following day and Kate awoke with a mission to go visit Ludlow.
I’ve never been and didn’t mind as it was only one hour away by car. My eldest daughter Lucy was away for the weekend so my usual ranking for bathroom usage had moved up a notch. I even had time when I came downstairs to have a breakfast. Usually, I just have time for a cup of Tea but today was a porridge and syrup day (nom,nom,nom).
Now Ludlow is not a big town. It looks dare I say rather antiquated but this is a town with a castle at its heart and history to-boot. I guess that is what I should expect. First port of call was The Blue Boar. A nice old pub with matching character. Open fire places warmed the little nooks in this pub and odd items for sale randomly dotted on shelves. One picture hung on the wall depicting a swan eating a stag….yes you heard right. I was also a little uncomfortable. A feeling of dread, a feeling of being constantly watched. I turned my head to see a stuffed duck with a voyeuristic look in its eye, not much different from what I imagine a psychopathic killer would look like, planning to kill his next victim or it could have been the look of vengeance as it was stuffed unnaturally by an amateur taxidermist. I looked at Kate and reminded her in my best Sommerset impression that “Folks from round ‘ere ain’t from round ‘ere!”. But my fears were put to rest as the friendly staff brought our food and drinks. Although roughly £10 per head for food is fairly expensive it was a tasty and filling meal and the Guinness was pretty good. I did like the pub and there aren’t many old pubs left that haven’t been mutilated into characterless shells.
So we ate and left and as the castle wasn’t far we headed not for a history lesson, I couldn’t be bothered after the beer and grub but just for a roam around the castle grounds and a climb up the ramparts to see the views. My son Reece told me to follow him up the spiral stairs as it lead to the top of the highest rampart. My daughter Ellie-Mae and Kate close behind. We nearly made it to the top but as we emerged I had a very unnerving attack of vertigo. This is something I had once before in York when I went to the top of another ancient building.
I don’t know why I’m suddenly getting it as I used to fly in small two seater planes doing aerobatics and climb down 30 foot shafts when I worked in civil engineering on the most untrustworthy of ladders. But the last few years this has started to happen. Now, I’m not one to stop over fear but I do slow down and take time to centre myself. Reece sensing my slight imposition began to panic and demanded on going back down. It was as if I’d transferred the vertigo to him as he gripped onto the wooden balustrade for dear life. Looking like a couple of wimps as the girls waved at us from the top, we bowed our heads in shame and headed back down. (well, I went down because Reece was panicking……really!). On a serious note, I need to get over the vertigo as I’m planning on going up a few mountains in the lake district this year. Height is sort of a big part of it. Maybe I just don’t trust ancient monuments from crumbling under my feet?
So, with a day of beer, food, castle romping and a little shopping for wine, flowers and chocolate (for Kate and our parents) we headed home. Topping the night off with spaghetti and meatballs made by yours truly and settled in to watch the new James Bond movie “Spectre”. (See it, it’s a good one!).