A ‘propah’ castle, weapon proficiency, and a little spat.

The Wandering Nerd August 22nd, 2007

The choice was to go to either Bath - the city, you smart asses - or Warwick Castle today. I cast my fate to the winds…or the sun in this case. I figured if I didn’t see the sun before I made it to the train station, I would go to Bath as it was more internal and subsequently wouldn’t require a nice day.

As I was walking to the station - in the cold wind and rain, might I add - a ray of sunshine popped through the steel grey sky. Decision made. So fortune favors the foolish, and it actually turned into quite the nice day for my outing to Warwick. Which is good, I needed the sun. It’s hard being this garrulous, derisive, and scandalously cynical if I’ve nothing to contrast it with. I need bright…bright…bright sunshiny days like Cheney needs to consume fresh human baby hearts. I can go a few days without them, but my powers weaken in proportion. I really like Ireland and the UK, to a point, I find, I could reside here, but I’m thinking this grand adventure needs a really good tan, or at least one or two good sunburns. Have no doubt that I’ll complain bitterly about those as well. All things in time.

I’ve got this mighty affection for medieval…well anything medieval. Yeah, I’ve played Dungeons and Dragons. I’ve done the reenactment thing with the SCA, and I’ve seen numerous ‘ren fairs.’ I was expecting a certain tourist bent to this place. While there is one - they had the faux jousting and some guy carrying a dragon puppet around - there were exhibitions where they made a firm distinction between the movies and the history.

Quick background, or more convenient lies: Western vs. Eastern Martial Arts. The Eastern Arts have been integral to the religious and the political development of the regions. Whether Karate developing from the mandate of peasants not being allowed to bear arms, or the more classical Bushido being tightly threaded with the political classes, the east has been historically, and culturally associated with anything labeled ‘martial arts.’ The church - surprisingly - decided that the tournaments of the 16th Century were becoming too uppity so Pope Jelly the Fish outlawed them. Subsequently hamstringing the development as a martial art - well that and the advent of gunpowder and canons. A 15 kilo stone has approximately the same effect on a human in armor as a 9mm slug would have on a tin of tuna. - Italian texts of the time give descriptions of training motions not unsimilar to their Japanese counterparts when it comes to sword play.

Richard Neville, the Earl of Warwick, earned the title ‘Kingmaker’ by providing support to the appropriate king at the appropriate time. Think of him as the “Lifeline,” to put it into pop culture terms.

You’ll see a number of wax figures in the pics. They seemed to love them. Sometimes the dirty bastards made them move, or blink. I’ve got this thing, let’s call it a sort of phobia, about inanimate objects, cars, corpses, pop singers, etc. moving without external impetus. Some of them were terrifying on their own, others blinking at me unexpectantly left me wanting to grab a nearby sword - one of dozens, they are thick on the ground here in England - and make with the chopping.

In and of itself, the castle is fascinating, and overall, the players they have in place are seemingly interested in sharing some history with the customers/tourists. There was that one guy that kept knocking down little kids, but I think he was a fluke.

The highlights were, the bowman, the falconer, the weapons guys, and the big assed trebuchet. So if you like archer, birds, swords, or big ass trebuchets, you’re set.

It is a kid’s paradise. I gave in a bit and just had a good time with it. I think I was probably the only person there alone, but I did have a little tantrum with my self, threaten myself that I would go directly home, and then made up with myself by buying myself an ice cream. So I had the whole experience. I even fell asleep and had to carry myself back to the train, drooling on my own shoulder.



you can stand under my umbrella
you can stand under my umbrella
-rihanna

4 Responses to “A ‘propah’ castle, weapon proficiency, and a little spat.”

  1. Picidaeon 23 Aug 2007 at 9:08 pm

    Castles are such neat places. This one seems to be alot more elaborate (with the jousting and falconery, etc.) than the few I have visited. Speaking of falconery, do you happen to recall the species of the bird in the picture posted after the “Birds of Prey Experiences” sign? Unless it happens to be a juvie (which I find hard, if not nearly impossible, to identify anyway), I have no idea what type of BoP it can be.

    Happy travels! /hug

  2. Hoshion 24 Aug 2007 at 10:43 am

    What? You couldn’t bring yourself to ‘godzirra’ the miniature model of the castle or at least carve an impromptu “3:16″ into the side of one of the buildings? Yer slippin’! :p
    .
    I’m with ya on the wax figures. Those things were creeping me out and I was only looking at photos. I think at least one of them needed killin’.
    .
    Good shots of some of the gardens too. When you get to Bath, I’d like to request some photos of the gardens there. I’ve heard and read a lot about them.
    .
    Have fun, be safe and leave a permanent mark on society wherever you go, bro…
    .
    Hoshi

  3. The Wandering Nerdon 24 Aug 2007 at 7:09 pm

    Pic: he was a Bateleur Eagle, and very very young so he didn’t even look like what an adult would look like here. It was funny, Batty (his name) didn’t like flying around so much so he’d waddle around on the ground chasing the falconer for his food. There are more action pics of him in later in the series, he’s the one coming in hot for food once.

  4. The Wandering Nerdon 24 Aug 2007 at 7:11 pm

    Hosh-man: not making it to Bath this trip, I’ll get it the next pass, or whenever you make it over we can hop a Ryan Air jet back to the UK to check Bath out.

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