"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday Stroll

Not such a good Sunday for strolling. We woke to snow:

Well, they're calling it snow. To a New England resident...no big deal.

So this is Saturday's Stroll, posted on Sunday.

After a pleasant rail journey via the East Midlands service, we paid a visit to Nottingham Castle.

The Christmas Tree is resting. Or lying in state. Looks a bit sad, I do hope it goes up soon. Pretty decorations will make it look more cheerful--and seasonal.

The Castle's got a long, long history--William the Conqueror built a castle on the odd shaped-hill, and Charles I had an encampment here in the Civil War (Nottingham was a Royalist stronghold for a bit). In the late 17th Century, the Duke of Newcastle built a magnificent castle that towered above the city. It was burnt in 1831, by rioters, rebuilt, and eventually became city property. Now it's the Art Gallery.

The entrance.

There was a most wonderful special exhibition called "Coasting," with various views of the Channel coast (England and France) by Turner and by Bonington (a Nottingham native.)

Beneath and alongside the castle hill are rock caves. Our ticket to the Castle provided joint entry to the Museum of Nottingham Life nearby. And when you go downstairs in that museum--suddenly you're walking round the caves.

Certain chambers down in the caves were arranged the way bomb shelters looked in World War II, when the Luftwaffe blitzed Nottingham.

Warning posters of the period.

After re-living the hardships of war, we desperately needed a pint. How fortunate that right next door is Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, the England's Oldest Inn!

Popular spot, and rightly so. Not only is it so very old--dating from 1189--it's built right into the caves. We found a couple of available chairs in an upstairs room, where the walls and ceiling were rock.

It was dark when we emerged. We had a dinner reservation but time to kill, and went shopping: Debenhams, Marks & Sparks. I tried on numerous Per Una skirts...the actually purchasing can wait till I'm back in London. We headed into the Market Square, which is vast. Vast enough to house an outdoor ice skating rink and an entire German Christmas Market, with stalls of food, crafts--and of course, beer.

I certainly did not expect to find an animatromic moose during my UK travels:

Christmas lights...

...and more.

The most famous person associated with Nottingham and environs is, of course, Robin Hood of Sherwood Forest. There's plenty of tourism associated with him, nearly all of which I've ignored because he's not the reason I've come here.

Nonetheless, I couldn't resist buying a Robin Hood hat as a Christmas gift for a very young person I know.

Since acquiring it, I've thought of several adults of my acquaintance who might rejoice in owning such an object. So I might be getting a few more.

To partake of the usual nature strolls, please go here!

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