Transatlantic Antics – Part III – Tea at the Castle

Ten days into our UK road trip,
H was gaining confidence
behind the wheel.

The Valley Below

Everyone seemed more relaxed,

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Relatively speaking

Road Warrior

*     *     *

Since London,
we’d done very
little backpedaling.

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Other than that phallic
loop-de-loop.  Crikey!

*    *    *

With Sir Richard’s
sometimes questionable
satellite assistance,
we headed north.

Our destination,

Cumbria Glory

the hauntingly lovely
Lake District in
Cumbria County,

where our next
self-catering cottage lay.

Hopefully, for S’s sake,
with less ectoplasmic activity.

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Back in the Cotswolds,
400-year old Hoo House had
tinkered with her sensitive mind.

*    *    *

With each quiet premonition
Sari visibly would stiffen
things were eerie to be clear
she was battling all her fears
I thought all her nervous antics
were just funny bits of pranking.

Even when she jumped in terror
it seemed comic and hilarious.

While enduring all my ribbing
seems the kid was never kidding.

*    *    *

She confirmed,
“I wasn’t kidding.”

*    *    *

On the way to Cumbria,
we rolled through..

Kenilworth with Cattle
Kenilworth Castle of the most
celebrated medieval
fortresses in England.

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Photo by Sari

Like many castles that
began as a defensive work,
Kenilworth evolved into
a royal homestead

Fit for a…

Elizabeth I of England in her coronation robes...
Elizabeth I at her coronation

Ye know

Interestingly, Elizabeth the 1st
is known as the Virgin Queen.

She who fiddled with
medieval men and marriage.

*  *  *

One smooth gent
who made Liz bubbly
was her consort
Robert Dudley.

To this favored
handsome rascal
she bequeathed
Kenilworth Castle.

Which was technically
a fixer-upper by then

But still

*    *    *

When Liz dubbed Bob
Earl of Leicester
some court members
seethed and festered.



Spurred by such grand real estate
Dudley in his lovelorn haste
slavishly rehabbed the place.

Best of all a queenly garden
was installed for royal hard-on.


Kenilworth Garden

All in all he spent a fortune.

Wooing Liz was not cheap.

There was a stumbling block
or two.

Robert Dudley Earl of Leicester
Ambitious much

One being the earl
was already married.

Two being when his
wife Amy was found
dead of a broken neck
at the foot of their stairs.

*   *   *

Rumors were swirling
to no one’s surprise
whispers inferring
tragic suicide.

Cause everyone knew Liz
loved Dudley fo’ reals

An inquest was called
and witnesses came
a verdict was reached
an accident blamed.

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Yet still

Suspicion hovered ’round the palace.
Was Liz involved in any malice?

If others did suspect the Queen
they kept it to themselves indeed
for any role in Amy’s death
was scandalous to royal health.

None forgot the heartless ruler
with a taste for execution,

Henry the VIII

 the notorious head hacker,
Liz’s murderous own Papa.

If he taught his offspring anything
it was how to deal with
marriage obstacles.

*    *    *

Recently, while researching
accidental deaths in medieval England,
a professor ran across Amy’s name.

On the long-lost coroner’s report!

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Along with a broken neck,
Amy had sustained two
“massive head wounds.”

Odd that…

*    *    *

Cruelly going up in smoke were
Liz and Dudley’s marriage hopes
but Dudley had another plan
inviting Liz to tricked-out pad.

 The earl unfurled a bash royale
a lavish party for morale.

Where fireworks were on display
and bears and such wrestled all day.

Nearly bankrupting the earl.

Kenilworth gardenbear
No plebes please

Inspired by his Lizzie’s visit,
Dudley’s garden was the shizzit.

Rare exotic fragrant plants
culled from distant foreign lands
filled the air with sweet perfume
cherries pears and apples too
thrilling Queen with heady blooms.

Such a thoughtful, loving gesture
from Bob Dudley, Earl of Leicester.

*   *   *

Lizbeth I
I feel pretty, oh so pretty… pretty confined actually

Gossipers were in fine fettle
as for Liz she never settled
without Dudley as a hubby
she turned into virgin buddy.

Racked in corset taut and heavy
like a chassis on a Chevy
Liz was trussed in painful skivvies
as she cursed the fashion bidness.

All the binding and composing
took the fun out of disrobing.

Throwing major royal crimps
in any joyous sneaky trysts.

*   *   *

Possibly assisting
in virginal career too.

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Gate House and Stables Cafe

Ravenous, we stopped
at the former stables
for a bite to eat.

sugar and white flour
are on my hit list,
I get weak in the knees
at the sight of an
English cream tea.

A combo of scone, jam
clotted cream and tea.

It may be clotted,
but it’s sinfully awesome.

Why not keep your
arteries on their toes
now and then?

Sari enjoyed a bowl
of savory squash soup
while H and me went for
the divine.

Cream Tea
A religious experience

After refueling, we headed
to Dudley’s gatehouse.

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We soaked up the
rich history of the castle

and read
harrowing tales of
the Black Plague.

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Courageous Eyam Village

Oh the stories untold


We dillied, we dallied,
we’d pranced
through the past.

Absorbing history with
bladders full mast.

In England,
even looking for a loo
can be an adventure.

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Photo by Sari

*  *  *

As for the Elizabethan garden,

Four hundred years later
keen researchers labored
to reconstruct landscape
to authentic flavor.

The only complete recreation
of a 16th Century garden
in the world.

Other than the workers weedin’
few could view this garden eden.

Now the hoi polloi may tarry
in once-private sanctuary
free to wander royal love nest
as upgraded loyal subjects.

In the Garden with Liz and Earl
Do not look behind us, your Majesty

Evidence of love forbidden
Liz and Dudley’s never dimming.

*   *   *

Upon hearing of Amy’s death
the earl was said to be bereft.

“Oh the gossipers,” he cried,
“They’re sharpening their wicked knives!”

Death of Amy
Death of Amy

Or words to that effect.

*   *   *

Next up:

The famed Lake District.

We were primed for
breathless scenery
and northern sensibility.

We hadn’t counted on a
senseless lack of towels…

*    *    *

Till next time,

A few tips
on the pitfalls of
English cuisine.

Firstly, when faced with
cream tea option,
just do it.

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So civilized

Otherwise, tread

Happy Larders

Lardy lardy

a/k/a Happy Cake

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Lumpy Bumpy

What’s causing the
Lumpy Bumpies could
be anything.

Fat Rascal by Tony Worrall
Yorkshire Fat Rascal

Betty’s Cafe in Yorkshire
has made this whimsical
scone a local favorite.

For eye-opening
non-dessert options,
get a load of these.

Dr. Brain's Faggots
With even more sauce!
Black pud
Black pudding – Don’t ask.

Ok, it has pig’s blood in it.
and according to H, it’s

This is the same woman
known for her “cast iron stomach”
and love of “studenech” – pickled pig’s feet

If you don’t mind
food staring back at you
take a moment to gaze
at the Stargazy Pie.

Stargazy treat

Where one word comes to mind

Stargazy Pie why
Sorry fishies


*    *   *

And from the
it’s-not-what-you-think-it-is file:

Heinz goodness

The above curiosity is a
steamed or boiled pudding
“spotted” with dried fruit
and made from suet.

The origins are spotty too
but it’s said that dick is a
shortcut of “pudding.”

Imagine it uttered by
Tiny Tim in Dickens’ day.

Can the English get any more
twee with its naming habits?

Actually, yes,
oh, yes they can…

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Good day.


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