Thursday, June 25, 2009

Kenilworth Castle I

First stop, Kenilworth Castle. Anna and Rob try to sneak in the back way. Kidding, kidding. [Shown is Lunn's Tower, part of the outer fortifications.] Kenilworth is one of the largest ruined castles in the UK, and was a royal castle for most of it's history. It's considered one of the great historical sites of the UK.

Another view of Lunn's Tower. Love the textures.

View of the ruins from the main entrance. The castle--actually composed of three buildings--sits atop a sandstone hill. This allowed King John in the 13th century to build a dam creating a great lake that became part of the castle's defenses [good enough to withstand a major seige in 1266]. The low lying area to the left was all once water. In the fore right is part of Mortimer's Tower, one of the gatehouses and part of the stone defenses of the castle. Orignally, it would have stood two stories tall.

A painting of the castle as it would have appeared in 1620 [from a copy of a 17th century painting.] Notice the large lake, which was called a mere.

The main approach to the castle across the dam. Which was widened in the 1500s some time to become a 'tiltyard' or where they would have held jousting tournaments.

Close up of Mortimer's Tower.

Anna and Rob ponder adding a new stone feature to their garden.

The main castle grounds. On the left is the first building--The Keep--built in the 1120s [although the hill had long been used as a fortified high ground] by Geoffrey de Clinton. In the center back is The Great Hall built around 1373 by John of Guant. On the right is the most recent structure Leicester's Building, biult in 1571 for Elizabeth I and her servants to use as accommodations on her visits.

Rob & Anna & Tamworth

In London primarily for the Online Bingo Summit [whoohoo!] I was invited by my lovely friends and crack exhibition stand designers and builders Anna and Rob Laight to visit them and tour the Midlands. We left London Wed eve. after the stand broke down. Tamworth is a little over 2 hours [barring traffic] from London.

The morning started with a delicious breakfast of porridge looking out at Anna and Rob's lovely and immaculate garden. [Anna and Rob pictured.] The weather was absolutely smashing. Periodically sunny, 68 or so, breezy.

More of the lovely garden....

They have a really charming summer house, which I failed to get a good picture of. You'll see in this picture and the next blurry spots. I dropped my lens on the ground and didn't realize it wasn't completely dry. I was also operating under some sleep deprivation, having stayed up talking to Anna until 2am, then up at 7am. Some photographer I am.

I had problems adjusting to the length of day in England. England is approximately the same latitude as northern Canada--approaching 20 hour long days in June. The first morning in London I thought, oh, I'll just leave the curtains open and get up with the sun. The sun rises. I get up. I shower. I feel like HELL. I look at the clock. It's bloody 4am. Aggghhh! And then in the evenings I'd be working or reading and look at the clock and it's freakin' 10pm and still light out and I've not had dinner and I'm nowhere near ready to sleep. So...not so much sleep this trip. But like I said earlier, weather: flat out gorgeous and such a relief after Florida's steamy summer.

Front of the house with two blurry people. Sigh.

First stop Kenilworth Castle approx 45 mins away.

Spawn of Sparky

I don't know if he's actually related to Sparky or not, of course. But I like the alliteration. [The cats bring in a lot of anoles and I'm always catching them and taking them back outside.]

Monday, June 22, 2009

View of a generous world

It's finally rained

the rich air vibrates with life
each breath tastes of green