Sunday, April 24, 2011

More from Framlingham

I have a bunch more pictures from Framlingham to share, but first I'm going to share a story from yesterday evening. It's just me and the doggaroonies at the house right now because Lee is in Italy (*jealous*) so I've been working on uploading China photos to Winkflash so I can print them out in the near future. Last night, after a very long and grueling uploading session, I went into the bathroom to brush my teeth and there was a MONSTER SPIDER ON THE FLOOR in my bathroom.

Ok, so I saw bigger spiders than this one in Okinawa, but I never saw a banana spider in my house so I think my severe case of the heeby-jeebies is justifiable. And of course there's no big brawny MAN here to take care of it, but I simply can't leave that spider in my house alive so he can crawl across my face in the middle of the night (shudder!). First I tried to throw a shoe at it, but the spider just laughed at me and moved like three steps out of the way. However, he was on the tile floor in between two bath mats, so I figured maybe I could squish him with a book, and grabbed my wonderful Great Britain guidebook (pretty compact but ridiculously heavy for its size). Took me a few minutes to screw my courage to the sticking place (ooh, a Shakespeare reference!) but finally I threw the book at the spider and then quickly stepped on top of the book to squish it good.

Then I ran back out of the bathroom and did the "OMG I am so freaked out" dance, to the consternation of my dogs. In fact, I was a little too creeped out to pick up the book and scrape the spider off it last night, so I decided to wait for daylight to do that and I went to bed. Got up this morning and with the sunlight streaming in the bathroom window, I bravely picked up the Great Britain guide book to deal with squished spider guts.

No spider guts.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACCCCKKK!!!!! This means the killer monster spider of East Anglia ESCAPED and probably spent the night under my bathmat PLOTTING REVENGE! *hyperventilating* You know that part in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets when Harry, Ron and Fang end up in Aragog's lair in the Forbidden Forest? Yeah, that's what I'm imagining. Lee better get here quick before Spiderpocalypse commences. I'm so freaked out I just tried to spell "lair" as "layer". Hmph. And my computer's Spellcheck thinks that "Spiderpocalypse" is a word but "Spellcheck" isn't.

Anyway, you probably didn't come here to read about my hysterical non-killing of the monster spider, so let's go back to the pictures from Framlingham while I try not to think about spiders.

Ok, so Lee and I climbed up to the top of the castle wall and circumnavigated it, enjoying fine views of the countryside that is probably teeming with evil spiders (after dark, at least). There are thirteen towers so apparently triskaidekaphobia wasn't so widespread in the 12th century (don't know about arachnophobia, though it's alive and well in my house today).

One of the most striking features of Framlingham Castle is the collection of Tudor chimneys adorning its towers. Only three of the chimneys was actually functional; the rest were strictly ornamental and were put in place during Tudor times as a way for the castle owners to show off their wealth and fashion sense. Each of the chimneys is a different design, but we liked the twisted chimney best. Wonder how many spiders live in it.

Here's a shot of the tree that Lee liked so much, but taken from up on the curtain wall. Orford Castle is somewhere off this direction from Framlingham, but we couldn't see it since we didn't have binoculars. Not 100% sure you could see it in any case.

The castle wall walk...originally of course there weren't any guard rails, so people strolling along the castle wall had to be careful not to fall off the wall.

This one kind of gives you a sense of how large the area encircled by the castle wall is; the only buildings still in existence inside the wall were once used as a poorhouse. In 1635, the castle was purchased by a lawyer, Sir Robert Hitcham, who specified in his will that the castle be turned into a poorhouse upon his death. Took quite a bit of legal wrangling for his wish to come to pass, but in the 1700s it did indeed become a poorhouse which was then used for more than 100 years. The inhabitants were given some basic clothing and jobs (men worked at farming and cobbled shoes in the winter; women did things like spin thread and seamstress work). Sir Hitcham had been born into a poor family and made his fortune through hard work and with the help of an education, so that's why he wanted to provide an opportunity for other poor people to make their way.

'Nother chimney.

The red building to the left in the above photo was the first poorhouse, but wasn't big enough so the longer building on the right was constructed. The red part on the left is now a private residence, how cool would it be to live inside a 12th century castle wall?

I thought this chimney pattern was kinda cool too.

Once we completed our circuit of the castle walls, we decided to walk all around the walls on the outside.

This wide flat area was once a garden; behind us is a small lake or "mere" which was used for fishing and also reflects the castle most prettily. Of course you have to be on the far side of the mere looking towards the castle to see the reflection, and we didn't know how to get out there, so I just bought a postcard with a picture of it instead.

Our attempt at a self-portrait :)

We handed the camera off to a lady who was sitting in the grass and enjoying the sunshine with her kids, so she took this picture for us. Not too shabby. A lot of times if we give our big Nikon camera to someone to take photos, they turn out blurry; this nice lady got us framed up pretty nicely even after expressing trepidation about handling our camera, and we don't look Godzilla-sized compared to the castle (see Castle Rising Castle).

Lee went up close to check out this part of the castle, which I think was used as a prison under either Bloody Mary or Elizabeth I. Mary tried to convert England back to Catholicism and so persecuted Protestants; Elizabeth switched the country right back and persecuted Catholic priests. And that's part of the reason why so many people emigrated to America where they could persecute the Native Americans.

I took a photo of the bridge here from the other side when we first arrived, I like it from this side too.

And just because I think the tree shadow looks cool!

Anyway, I wish you all a happy Easter; I'm off to get cleaned up and then I'm going over to Liz's friend Dana's house for lunch. Liz wanted to make sure I didn't have to spend Easter by myself; of course, between the dogs and the army of spiders plotting my destruction, I'm not really alone am I?

ETA: Upon further examination of the scene of last night's spider stand-off, I discovered that I severed one of the spider's legs, so now it definitely has a motive to plot revenge. I may have to find a hotel.


Amber Hight said...

Well was nice knowing are one of my favorite peeps ever...BWAHAHA! I think you scared the bejeezes out of that spider, he ain't coming back! He's going to the jungle or whatever you have in England to spread rumors of the terrifying human he encountered. Word of your viciousness will spread far and wide, no spider will ever dare threaten you again!!! Long live Queen Christy!!
I misses you, and can totally see you doing your dance, lol!!!

CCsMom said...

Lee is in that last picture, isn't he? You can barely see him in the tree shadow.

I totally understand the spider freak-out. (Remember my Okinawa story about us riding in our car and the HUGE spider came down from under the dash on the passenger side? I ended up in your dad's lap as he was DRIVING down the street.) Hmmm, maybe you get it from me. No, I think your case is worse than mine. Sorry.

Great pictures, by the way.

Haskins House said...

Absolutely amazing. Those castles are very cool. Now, I suggest you buy yourself a few cans of spider killer and spray doorways and such to avoid another MONSTER spider attack. I do not like spiders either. My children found a wolf spider in our house a couple weeks ago and flipped their litttle lids. It was hilarious. I was glad it was them and not me HAHAHA.

Thoughts by B and M said...

Phew! I would be SO freaked out about a spider! In the meantime, I LOVE the twisted chimneys! They have those in Poland too and they were my favorite detail!!!!!

Giffysk8s said...

I want to be an empathetic friend, but I simply cannot stop laughing as I try to conjure up the mental pic of you doing your dance! And if you want to imagine yourself in a scene from HP, I think that playing quidditch or flying on the vestrals or shopping in Diagon Alley would be preferable to running from Aragog! And just FYI, hair spray works great on spiders! No joke. Just douse them with hair spray. It takes a few minutes, but it basically suffocates them. No spider guts smeared on your otherwise nice guidebook. :)

LOVE the twisted chimneys! Way cool!

Christy Lynn said...

I don't even own hairspray :) I'm a ponytail kinda girl!

Not So Granny said...

Beautiful pictures of one of my favourite towns. I was hoping to have permission to use one of your pictures (credited and linked of course) on my blog. I am a knitware designer and the twisted chimney at Framlingham castle inspired one of my designs but I don't have my own photo.
With kind wishes