This weekend I decided boyfriend Jake and I would have some cultural fun visiting Kenilworth castle. It was the Sunday before the May bank holiday and the castle was packed with grandparents and under 11s. It happened to not be raining and sunny infact so we complained about being too hot.
Jake followed me round like a sulking child and kicked at the stones while I read out the fascinating facts on the information board. We got an ice-cream and curiously watched a woman give cider to a horse.
There is a little staircase up to the highest remaining point. I lead the way and waited for herds of Jack Wills clad nine-year-olds to finish climbing down. Jake doesn't like things which are exciting, or dangerous, or high, and made a pathetic excuse that there were too many people and there wasn't anything up there anyway so we went and walked round a medieval village. Jake wanted to hold the swords but then got embarrassed, as he isn't seven, and so we just had fun watching people more of the target age having fun.
A medieval village is the perfect opportunity to make "and then I took an arrow to the knee" jokes. A small boy of about 6 climbed up a hill and shouted to his mum, "Mum, look I'm an adventurer!" and Jake turned to me and mumbled, "I used to be an adventurer, and then I took an arrow to the knee. . ." A female stranger nearby then found this whole episode hilarious and let out a rather unusual laugh.
We went to watch a mock battle but we couldn't hear the man on the Tannoy so had to have a complete shift of perspective half way through when we found out the team we thought were the baddies were the goodies. A child next to us had to leave because of the loud guns and cannons and the general barbaric carnage of the skirmish. Rubber tipped arrows were taking to everyone's knees and the was some vigorous poking of spears, in a manner similar to how you poke someone's hand with your fork when they're stealing your chips! Suddenly, after a precise five minutes, all the baddies fell to the floor, apart from on man who must have had a bad back because he just knelt down and kept still. A triumphant victory.
Lastly we went back to the highest point and, inspired by all the testosterone of the battle, Jake had no problem with climbing to the top. We tried to spot houses of people we knew, a classic game from any high vantage point, and then decided it was probably time to go home as we were getting hungry.
The next day in the pub I became aware of two upsetting nuggets of information; firstly, Jake could have got free entry to the castle for being a Kenilworth resident, and, secondly, that I am infact a member of English Heritage and could also have got free entry. I had paid the full £22.