Me, “Where are we off to today?”
Young Master J, “To see the Queen’s hot spot.”
Me, “Her what spot?”
My point exactly.
Nonetheless Small Boy has been upgraded to Young Master J as befitting his behaviour as a gentleman and a true travel companion.
Off we went in the April showers to Sandringham Estate. We were greeted on arrival by a large statue of a squirrel.
My daughter would have loved it.
Throughout the woods are dotted an eclectic bunch of statues one stumbles upon and then feels as if you have interrupted some ancient game you have no part of. In fact, the whole experience is somewhat voyeuristic.
Every now and again there is a reminder that the Queen’s guard are not just pretty men on pretty horses, but hardened soldiers who have faced the rigours of wars past and present.
The monument to the Norfolk Regiment, made up of the men who worked on the Sandringham Estate, stands at the entry to the gardens.
You can read more about the mystery on Listverse http://listverse.com/2007/10/06/top-10-bizarre-disappearances/.
The gardens of Sandringham are a wonder to behold. In early spring the blossoms are out and daffodils dot the grass.
The rules of English grass don’t seem to apply here and you are allowed to walk on it and little buds and flowers are deigned to allow to grow upon the green expanse of emerald.
The exhibition of the Royal dogs was made even more poignant by a walk past the Royal Pet Cemetary.
I don’t quite trust people who don’t have pets and the fact that these have been so loved and so part of this magnificent family warms my soul.
Also I like that they are allowed on the antique furniture as if it were any old family couch.
The house is beautiful.
Pictures of Queen Alexandra and her daughters abound.
The Queen was an avid collector it seems, of everything.
There are beautiful tiny silver tea sets and a selection of the czar’s personal effects.
There are also some monstrosities of sheer tastelessness given worth only by their age and their collector.
If they popped up in your Grandmother’s house you would howl with laughter.
One example is an enormous meter long ceramic fish in a basket. A precursor to those hideous singing fish you find in bars.
In each room a lady in waiting is available to share a little of the life of the Royal family with you.
It is quite surreal walking through the rooms that a family regularly lives in.
Small boys ran through these priceless treasures and I can easily imagine mine grabbing swords of the walls and having a duel.
All the seats are very very low and upon enquiring of the Lady in Waiting as to why, she looked askance at me and said:
“Well, they are German you know. All very short. The Queen’s only four-foot something and we can’t have her feet hanging off the floor. Not befitting a Queen that.”
Of great interest to the Young Master J was the weapons room filled with the detritus of knights past and a collection of the Royal Family‘s rifles and shotguns. But most importantly…
The Royal Garage
After all of that we went to Castle Acre for a bite to eat at a tiny teashop run by a very tall man.
Young Master J ordered a Welsh Rarebit and waited with intense interest to find out if he would be eating Bugs Bunny.
This is a picture of Cuckstool Lane. South Africans will have a laugh.