Friday was my birthday and it went really well considering it fell on Friday 13th this year. Nothing weird or unlucky happened apart from taking a detour home from Guildford due to a humongous traffic pile up which piled up for MILES.

So MrT and I had an adventure. A very long adventure. BUT we did get home eventually and we got to see some countryside we wouldn’t normally see because we live in totally the opposite direction.

What should take us a 2.5 hour round trip took us 4.5. Then it was a rush to get baby fed, ready for bed and then dinner for us.

On our massive detour we kept passing quaint pub after quaint pub offering home cooked food. MrT kept dropping hints but sometimes unless you are blatantly direct- i.e. I want to go to the pub – it goes right over my head. Hence we didn’t stop and we got pizza in.

What made my birthday one of the best I’ve ever had (even though most of it was sitting in the car getting a numb backside) was this:

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Flowers AND chocolates AND a balloon.

I was totally surprised.

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Tabitha was fascinated by the balloon as you can see!

Yesterday was more car sitting and driving. The petrol garages are loving me this weekend but the environment not so much. After spending what has seemed like an eternity, due to sickness and just too much darned work, we went out for the day.

And this is where we went:

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This is Farleigh Hungerford castle in Somerset. The home to the powerful Hungerford family in the Middle Ages. There’s not much left of it now (like so many castles) but it does have one of the most preserved 14th century chapels in the country.

Inside the chapel there is a painting of St. George and the dragon (but you can’t see the dragon) which is 600 years old. It was plastered over when Henry VIII decided to abandon Catholicism. It was deemed too risky to have painting of Saints in the church! It wasn’t until several hundreds of years later when a chunk of plaster fell from the wall that this wonderful piece of Medieval art was revealed.

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The castle, like all good castles, has a dark and murky past. One Lady Hungerford was kept captive in the tower for 4 years whilst her husband tried to poison her. His plan failed because villagers smuggled food into the tower under the cover of darkness.

Another Lady Hungerford only married into the family after she’s arranged to have her current husband murdered then his body burnt in the castle oven. Her crimes caught up with her and she was hung and Tyburn.

The crypt was a fascinating little place with 8 lead coffins. No one knows who lies there – just there’s 6 adults and 2 infants. There’s an iron gate in front of the crypt to keep the public out. There was a time when you could get into the crypt but it had to be stopped because some of the public were using straws to poke through wholes in the lead and drink the embalming fluid! Gross!

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If you look really closely to the left you’ll see an orb. Here it is a bit bigger!

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Before we set off again we let Tabitha loose on the grass. She isn’t walking yet. She bunny hops. She will do lap after lap of hopping. This is her before I realised the grass was damp and her dress was now covered in grass stains.

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We went onto Trowbridge before we went home. Here are some gratuitous gargoyle from St. James Church.

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And a scary one…

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