So, yesterday's visit to Lord Carnarvon's house was great -- the man himself reminded me a bit of Dunsany's father, and who cd resist the dragons carved everywhere. Though we were a bit puzzled by two matching carvings on our way out, each of a little curled dragon munching a severed human hand in its jaws. Never did get to see what bird was calling in the huge old pines: we overheard someone saying the crows had fought it out with the ravens, and the ravens won, but we never saw anything bigger than purple martins.
Today was another trip out to another castle, this time Windsor. Staggeringly huge, with a proper moat (now dry but still daunting), arrow slits, multiple wards, et al. Much impressed with the books. In the queen's doll house, and picked up a(n enlarged) replica of one, a witty little fairy story from the 1920s. Among the many impressive things we saw were the tombs of King George V &Queen Mary, of Edward IV and Henry Vi (whom he deposed and vice-versa), of Edwards VII and Q. Alexandra (and their son, one of the least likely 'Jack the Ripper' suspects ever put forward), and a vault said to include H.VIII and Charles I
As if these were not enough, we toured the State Apartments, which were quite nice, but what really blew me away was seeing the famous portraits of Henry VIII and Richard III (whose gravesite some historians say they are close to locating), Henry V and his father, James I and his son Charles I and the latter's family. Not to mention Rembrant's Self Portrait. Wow. They'd had a bad fire in this area a few years ago, but you'd never know that now. The only disappointment was not seeing the old, old trees -