Blog 49 - Hever Castle



I always get a little excited when I go on one of my coach outings as the journey itself can have its adventures. It was another U3A trip and inevitably we get the same coach driver and the ‘coach in the ditch’ story comes up each time. On this occasion, I am glad to say the journeys, both ways, was uneventful. It was a greyish day in September so a scarf was needed to keep my neck warm, just a practical item of clothing. No big name, not silk, and with machined edges.



The destination was the highlight, Hever Castle, home of Ann Boleyn, wife of Henry VIII and the former home of my most exciting car! But, let me take you there slowly. My photo shows Maureen and me standing by the drawbridge anticipating the pleasure of going back into history. What intrigue, plotting, courtship, betrayals have taken place within these walls. It was not my first visit, but one always finds something new to discover. On this occasion I found a very small portrait of Mary Queen of Scots, a rare find, as the title was in French and Mary was dressed in white, ‘en deuil blanc’ traditional mourning for three close family members. One could have easily missed it among all the large more imposing portraits. 



I told you I had been to Hever before, maybe forty years earlier. You will be surprised to know I played a game of squash within these castle walls. The Astor family had acquired the castle long before my visit and they had built a squash court. One of my husband’s friends had a Grace and Favour home there;  he was a keen squash player, as I was in these days, so we had a game in a rather tired looking court before having dinner. I drove my friend Maureen dotty by my relentless search for this court on our recent visit. Eventually, I tracked down an old employee who remembered it, but times change and it was now used as a stock room for the merchandise sold in their visitor shops. I was not tempted by any of their scarves on sale.



Maybe, I got over excited playing that game of squash all these years ago or had too much wine with dinner, but we ended up buying my most exciting car from our host. A Lotus Elan, a low slung beauty in shimmering iridescent gold with pop up headlights. Not in the least practical but what a home pedigree! Quite a leap forward from my Tin Lizzie from yesterday's blog.



By the way, did anybody see the Times yesterday? Apparently there was a photo of Prince Charles, aged four, in his pedal car at Balmoral. Another of these coincidences!



Busy Bee, Scarf Face!

Blog 49.

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