Historical Meanderings and Musings

Ok, so chronologically I may be 22, but maturity wise I’m around 4 3/4… Yes, I may still watch ’90’s cartoons on Netflix… And yes, I’m still a Disney girl… And yes, I may still giggle at toilet jokes…

My imagination is rich, I’m a ridiculous romantic, and an indefatigable optimist. (May have pinched that from Dean Koontz’s book – Life Expectancy. Read it! Quirky humour, gripping plot with twists and turns at every corner.) This means visits to historic places (Castles, mansions, cathedrals, markets, etc.) are super fun for me. As I meander through these sites, I study them intently and let my imagination run wild as I try to picture what these places were like in their hay-day.

On my first trip to a castle, I was very lucky to have been presented with a blank canvas, as the castle was in semi-ruin. I got to see the bones of the place, how it was all held together, where staircases would’ve emerged from walls, where fireplaces were situated in relation to one another on different floors. A wonderful time was had as I investigated each room with the keen eye of Sherlock Holmes, seeing the floor plan and deciding how each room would be arranged, had I been the Lady of the castle – which I would’ve been! Now bow to me and you shall live! Muahahaha!

Stepping into the kitchen was just incredible! To think about how many people crammed in there, cooking course after course for banquets that would’ve been attended by nobility from all corners of the country. The air would’ve been hot, as the two magnificent fires roared, occasionally spitting at workers when broths and soups boiled over. Deafening bangs and crashes from pots and cleavers. Shouts from the chef to the cooks. Delicious aromas of herbs, spices, and all kinds of goodies!

The king overseeing the grand banquet in the enormous grand hall – filled to overflowing with people, food and drink. Soft, warm light illuminating the room from the vast crackling fireplaces, high candelabras, and hundreds of spitting candles. Hollow whistling and pitched twanging fill the air from flutes and lutes, accompanied by melodic singing.

Tables sag under the immense weight of jellies, stews, roasted meat, pies, and breads.
Echoes of chatter and laughter almost drown out the music, as people eat and drink their fill on mead, foaming beer, juicy meats, wholesome (organic) veg, and devilishly sweet desserts.
Framing extravagant murals and carvings would be richly coloured banners and flags hanging limp in the hot, steamy air.
Servants dart in and out the hall, constantly clearing and replenishing food and drink.

Walking through mansions that have changed very little in hundreds of years, I imagine…
The lord and lady of the manor holding a fine dinner party. Ladies adorned in their finest silks and pearls, their hair delicately arranged and pinned in place. Gentlemen standing tall and proud in sophisticated tuxedos, chains from pocket watches gleaming in the candle light.
A small band plays in the corner as guests laugh, gossip and dance late into the evening. Soon guests are escorted to the dining hall where crockery, cutlery and glasses have been polished until they gleam. Candelabras adorn the table illuminating the room in a rich golden light. Napkins are intricately folded and presented in silver napkin ring.
Wine is poured, food is served – silver service, no less! The hours pass as one, two, three, four, five courses are consumed (And people wished for more accommodating clothing, such as elasticated sweatpants). Plates are whisked out of the room, the men stand as the women adjourn to a leisurely drawing room where tea/port/coffee and chocolate is served. Meanwhile, the men remain in the dining hall sipping port, smoking cigars, boosting egos and enjoying political discussions.

Even walking along old streets, or through ancient markets, I listen out for faint the ‘clip-clop’ of hooves on cobbled streets, creaking and rattling of carriages, shouting of Town Criers, and, and… Well you get the picture!

It certainly is a fun way to see places, imagining time as it once was. Oh, if walls could talk!!

Now, in which room should I place the crystal chandelier? The grand entrance hall, the dining room, or the ball room? And do I have a library room…. Or a separate building to house my library?


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