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Summer Daze

It’s been too hot to do much hobby related activity but you forget that there remain five days of my wife’s Birthday Month! I did try and show an interest in matters non-military but it is difficult. The article that follows is not my usual fayre so if ‘visits’ come to a sudden stop , I won’t be too disappointed. The destination of day one was Highclere Castle, the ancestral home of the Carnarvon family. You may recognise it from Downton Abbey. Of course, I only recognise the theme tune. Once those opening bars sounded, I had an hour of me- time. It is an impressive building though, designed Sir Charles Barry in 1842, he also was the architect of the Houses of Parliament. No photos are allowed to be taken inside the building itself so you shall have to make do with exterior shots. The last time I was banned from taking photos, I ended up in a heated exchange with a Swiss security guard in Geneva as my camera kept going off “by mistake”. My camera actually went off when the guard was shouting at me, he didn’t see the funny side….These ladies in Highclere were far more scary, so my wife took clandestine photos….


Jackdaw palace above, so named because the folly is assembled from masonry from a burnt ruin in London. And below, who’d of thought it? Charlemagne amongst the ivy. I mean, who hasn’t got their own bust of the defender of Western civilisation on their lawn?



As we wandered toward the wild flower meadow, we stumbled on a delightful  classical temple. After some crude remarks from Mrs. Ferres about what happened amongst the colonnades, my attention was drawn to the reliefs inside.


Without wanting to sound ignorant, I would love to see these painted. Ever since the Pope’s art curator declared that statues and reliefs should be in brilliant white, the sheep have followed suit. Let’s start a movement to get them painted? There is indeed a lot of evidence to say that were once brightly painted. Mr Wedgewood and other such Enlightenment worthies may well have got it all wrong.


We stayed over night in the excellent White Hart in Overton. Mentioned in the Doomsday Book and rebuilt largely in the early sixteenth century, the inn is a delight. Service was very good and the food a definate plus.


The town itself holds many attractions for the visitor, including a well- stocked gun shop and a fine Anglo- Saxon church , St. Mary’s.




So, apologies if this post is not what you might be expecting from the Despertaferres Movement. Please let me know if such travelogues are of interest , more usual insults and sarcasm next post I promise.

Filed under: Ancients wargaming, Cardiff wargames club, Hobbies, Hobbies and crafts, military hobby, Pike and shotte, Wargaming

About the Author

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The wild ramblings of an infamous wit and wargames guru. One of nature's true gentlemen who devotes his time to the care of his two sons, i.e. giving realistic tactical advice in Fortnite games, and recreating great moments of military history using inch high toy soldiers. Currently a leading light in the Cardiff Dice Studz who meet regularly at Firestorm Games ( formerly Ali Baba's Carpet Warehouse), Trade Street, Cardiff, sunny Wales, U.K.

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