Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Dreaming of Castles

Homesickness is a funny thing, these days, after living here for over six years, it isn't an all consuming need to be at home. Feeling homesick just makes itself known, every now and again, without interrupting my day to day life, without getting in the way of what I'm doing. Every so often, I get a sudden flash that brings up somewhere from home so vividly, just for a second. There's no real reason for it, nothing that seems to have triggered it, but for just a second I'm walking down the street in Uttoxeter, or shopping in Derby, or walking down a street in Swad. It doesn't even have to be somewhere that I know that well, in fact the place I know the best, home home, very rarely makes an appearance in this way. Other times, I find myself missing a thing, rather than a place from home. Admittedly, usually these things are usually edible, which is why the Christmas gift full of Swizzles sweets from my Brother this year, was so fantastic.

My favourite sweets from home


Then there's a different kind of homesickness, a non-specific homesickness that makes me just want to be there. I find myself missing something random, that you just don't get over here. Like castles. I really miss castles. That makes it sound a bit like I spent most of my time in one (sadly not), but even so, back home, I did spent a fair amount of time in or near them. Of course there are lots of lovely things to do over here, just the other day the kids and I had a great time on the beach, but right now, I really want to visit a castle.

Beaches are fun, but they're not castles.


Part of this castle love comes down to the fact that I am a historian, at least that's what my degree was in, and I still love history in all it's many forms. I've always been a medievalist at heart, and just love the middle ages, which is of course serious castle time. Of course, sadly, most castles now are in ruins, but the chance to wander around them and dream about what was once there, what happened there, and the way life was...... Actually, if I'm honest, I find castle ruins far more interesting than ones that are more complete.

I grew up to a number of different castles, the one a Tutbury being hugely important at one time or another for various reasons, was one that I have visited many many times, and always been a favourite. Then of course, other than the local ones, were the many that we visited when on holidays, all around England, a bit of Scotland and of course Wales, which has heaps of castles. In fact I actually started making a board on pinterest of some of my favourite castles. (As you do.)

I do miss them though, I'd love to go and spend an hour or so with the kids exploring the ruins of a castle, climbing the tower and seeing the view, imagining the people who lived there. Looking for secret tunnels and passage ways, pepping out through the cross-shaped windows that are cut deep in to the walls. It's not going to happen though, at least at the moment, because I live in a country that doesn't have castles (and before anyone says Larnach, it might call itself a castle, but it isn't, at all, although it's a nice place to visit). So in the mean time I'll have to keep dreaming of castles and maybe building my own on the beach out of sand.

Dreaming of castles