Saturday, August 11, 2007

Warwick Castle

Mary, Michael, Peter and Clara on top of Guy's Tower at Warwick Castle, with St. Mary's church in the background. Peter is holding ice on his head, since he didn't heed the sign warning him of a low stone doorway.

Last night, Clara and I joined Mary and Steve for Henry IV, Part I at the Royal Shakespeare Company. Another brilliant production (with David Warner as Falstaff). Unfortunately, during the first act I started to feel a sore throat and congestion coming on, and I am now in the midst of my record-breaking fifth cold of the year. These aggressive British cold germs really like me.

The exterior of Warwick Castle.

Today, despite a slight fever, I joined Clara, Mary, Michael and Peter for a morning at Warwick Castle—our last tourist experience of the year. Warwick Castle, billed as "Britain's Greatest Medieval Experience," is astonishingly expensive, but we paid for our admission entirely with "Nectar points" earned each time we've shopped at Sainsbury's this year. The castle was begun in 1068 under orders from William the Conqueror, and became for centuries the home of the Earls of Warwick, including Richard Neville, "The Kingmaker," who played a crucial role in the Wars of the Roses.

The castle was heaving with people on a fine July Saturday morning (perhaps, according to the forecast, our last sunny day in England this time around). Highlights of the visit were the firing of the world's largest trebuchet, and a medieval tournament—complete with jousting. Below are some pictures: Guy's Tower with the tower of St. Mary's church in the background; the trebuchet; two pictures from the tournament; and the crowds leaving the tournament grounds.

Tonight, we go back to Stratford for Henry IV, Part II—our last play at the Royal Shakespeare Company for the year. Meanwhile, here's a new thing for me to worry about: the Met Office has issued a severe weather warning for the West Midlands for Wednesday, when we are due to fly out of Birmingham. Gale force winds are expected for parts of the UK.

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