The Castle And The Pageant

We're just back from a long weekend away down south. Not just because it was the first properly sunny weekend of the year (although given that it's now June, that would have counted as reason enough to celebrate with a holiday), but also due to my birthday which fell yesterday. Holidays around this time of year have proved slightly problematic in the past, but things went very well on this occasion.

The first half of the weekend had a medieval theme. Not by design you understand, but it seems that whenever you try to have a day out in rural Britain, medieval sites of vaguely historical interest somehow seem more appealing than when you were forced to go them at school.

And so on Thursday we went to Goodrich Castle. It's near where Mrs J grew up, and she confidently eschewed the audio tour when offered it at the visitor centre. I thought this might be so she could fill me in with various historical facts about the place herself as we walked around, but in reality she spent most of the time catching up with an old friend of hers, who had brought her two children along (one a little older than G). This meant that it was down to me to do actual catching up, of G and her friend as they chased each other around the moat:
I'm still not much the wiser about Goodrich Castle itself. But given that it dates from the 11th century, I'm still it'll still be there next time we're in the area.

G learned more about this period of history on Saturday, as we ended up at a medieval pageant in Somerset. Staying in a holiday cottage in the village of Templecombe for the weekend, I spotted a wooden sign advertising the pageant as a weekend-long event.

I thought it might be a few people dressed up in a field. We decided to go on Saturday lunchtime, and quickly discovered that it was quite a lot of people dressed up in a field, doing various things from jousting to playing the harp. Clearly, and rather like brass banding, medieval re-enactment is another huge British subculture I had never previously known about.

G got into the spirit of things quickly, and painted her own shield:
She then pestered us until we got her a sword as well. Normally I'm loathe to give in to this sort of thing, but she had been very well-behaved despite the surprisingly hot sun. And it meant Mrs J could take this picture of her, so it was well worth it:
As if this wasn't thrilling enough, the following day we were planning to take G to Peppa Pig World. But that proved to be so exciting, it'll really need a separate post of its own.