Monday, August 13, 2012

Hever Castle

I have finally arrived safe and sound in London, my final resting place for the duration of my stay in England. I am living in a little village called Edenbridge just south of London, but I will be spending most of my days shuttling children around in nearby Oxted. Pictures of those locations to follow.

Last Thursday, my host grandma took my and one of her other American friends to Hever Castle, Ann Bolyn's family home. It was a beautiful day and we had a very pleasant time walking through the house and grounds. The castle had been purchased by the wealthy American family, the Astors, and they invested a great deal of money refurbishing. The best part of the castle was the torture room way up at the top. There were thumb screws and hands presses and skull crushers and all manner of dastardly devices of death. There was also a beheading axe, which I thought was a bit ironic.

The grounds of Hever were absolutely beautiful. The Astors had built a whole series of Grecian gardens to showcase their statue collection. There was a nice lake with lots of rowers out on it. Of course, we had lovely weather. I saw a swan. The roses and lavender were wonderfully fragrant on the light summer breeze. The coolest part of the gardens was the water maze. The point was to get to the centre of the maze without getting caught in the hidden water traps that squirted you if you stepped wrong. But I don't think the children, clad in their bathing costumes, understood the point of the game. They were trying their absolute darndest to get as wet as possible! Looked like fun, but I wasn't dressed for it.

It's nice to be near London again and I look forward to spending some time in town before school starts for the kids. If you would like to see more pictures of my adventures in England, check out my Flickr page:

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