History Lessons

May 16, 2012  •  1 Comment

People are a country’s greatest asset…somebody famous has to have said that at some point in time because it is true. Yet, individually, unless we have something about us that gets the attention of the general population, a person’s value as an asset goes unnoticed and undervalued. Paula Catchpole is one of England’s unsung assets and she is probably content to be so.

We picked up our rental car and moved on to Windsor Castle in the rain. I am nervous and constantly reminding myself to stay to the left as Cindy navigates and helps me figure out the way makes for an adventure in itself. My brain felt as crooked as the “Crooked Tea House” where we had lunch.

Impressive in size, location, and furnishings Windsor Castle is still a working castle. The Queen is there regularly; in fact she had left just an hour or two before we got there. We missed her again and her horses too. At least this time we didn’t suffer from the “knocked on” effect. That’s when you go to see something or someplace that you get turned away from because of something that is happening in connection with someone in the royal family. It has happened to us twice so far, three times if you count not being able to see the horses and glass carriage at the Royal Mews.

In my last blog posting I talked about the Queen, we learned another detail about her at Windsor. In the 90’s there was a fire in one of the state areas of the castle and the Queen happened to be in residence that night. She was evacuated but chose to stand and watch her staff, the castle staff, and firemen running into the burning building rescuing as many of the paintings, pieces of art, pottery, furniture and anything that they could carry out of the building. She was upset for the country’s lose not her own.

Don’t worry I’m getting to Paula…

Brighton is our next base for two nights and to find our lodgings was very convoluted but we did it. We are so close to the beach that Cindy and Judy had a seagull tapping at their window in the morning. Our agenda has us making a loop tour of the area outside of Brighton to see the chalk cliffs at Beachy Head, a quaint village town of Alfriston then back into Brighton to meet up with Paula.

Paula, Judy, and Cindy are friends and Paula wanted to show us a few highlights around town. She is a retired school teacher as is her husband, who wasn’t able to join us this time. We picked her up and began our tour. She delighted us by showing us “quirky shops”, historic buildings, a wonderful bookshop including its “shed” stacked to the ceiling with more books, and local “graffiti” - beautiful murals done on the backs or sides of buildings. All this she did at a quick march then she pointed us in the direction of the magnificent Royal Pavilion while she race back home to fix a meal for visiting students. When her duties were completed she met us back in town for an Italian dinner.

Paula and her husband give international students and their teachers lots of time, energy, and even food or housing while they are in England to learn more about English history or practice their English. And being around Paula and her husband is always a learning experience. They love their country and love sharing it even more. She has a way of sharing these lessons that draw you in and cause you to want more and with history that is a rare talent. They are natural goodwill ambassadors that help others get a better understanding of Great Britton. I suggest you read up on a little town called Lewes, England, and a certain lad that changed the corse of history for the entire world...Thomas Payne. I wish I could show her Washington State sometime but I had better study up on my state history first.


Comments

strait from the Vine(non-registered)
Hey there... I am still waiting on some sheep photos.. I do like the photos you put up with your last blog, and this one too. I can't wait to see more when you get home.
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