33 – The Battle of Tankerton Castle MMXVI

 

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Dear Lucy,

By the time I arrived at Tommy’s I half expected the battle for the castle to be all but over, however it seems that I hadn’t missed too much action and events were still in full swing.

With both sides seemingly equally matched this year the battle had been raging for two days, pretty much to the pattern of boring predictability of the past two decades.  Cannons packed with dried horse dung were constantly firing over the rat encampment within the far reaches of the grounds, buckets of banana skins and soapy water were, as always, being poured from the gatehouse roof in an attempt to slip up any attempt to cross the broken draw bridge and Tommy was down in the cellar organizing a constant supply of refreshments.

Things, however, took a turn in the rat’s favour when an air of noiselessness fell over the castle some half an hour after I had heard a strange rumbling noise late Friday afternoon.   Initially I assumed the rats had begun to admit defeat and were quietly packing up their arsenal, but Rastius (leader of the rat revolt) showed no sign of waning as he and I battled back and forth on the stairs of the central keep.  That was until Barty rather politely, and somewhat bizarrely, enquired as to whether either of us would care for a creamed asparagus vol-au-vent.

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Continuing our battle aloft, all was not revealed until Rastius and I burst out onto the roof of the keep and Rastius let out a blood-curdling, although somewhat pantomime in character, laugh.  Over on the castle parapets every archer mouse had given up his or her longbow in favour of busying through what appeared to be an impromptu buffet.

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Seems the rats had finally managed to outwit us this year by taking delivery of a skillfully engineered trebuchet from Medieval Weaponries R Us, which had arrived via courier van at half past four.  As hampers brimming with do-it-yourself fondue sets, cheese and pineapple hedgehogs, mini party pies, vegetable crudités and mango syllabubs winged their way towards the curtain walls, every available mouse downed tools to go in search of trestle tables and freshly laundered linens, thus leaving way for the rats to scale the battlements and fly their flag of victory to signify the end of the battle.

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As losers of this year’s campaign the mice are duty bound to cook a roast dinner for the rats on the first Sunday of every month for the next year.   It’s a forfeit they’ll undertake without complaint as all rodents enjoy a good get together.

The Battle of Tankerton Castle 2016

RATS 1 – MICE 0

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We hope you enjoyed the Battle of Tankerton Castle.  Morris would love to hear from you, so please feel free to hit the comments box.

Morris will get back to you mouse style.

© All images and story content copyright of lynncf

32 – Henry, the Church and Wellington’s Boots

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Dear Lucy,

Have been visiting the south coast of England circa 1850, primarily to explore its fabulous castles built originally by King Henry VIII between 1539 and 1540 when he became a tad paranoid of European invasion after pissing off the Roman Catholic Church.  If I’ve got this right and I think I have, Henry wanted to divorce his wife Catherine of Arogan, but Rome wasn’t having any of it, so Henry decided to start his own church and make up his own rules.  He got a new wife!   With mainland Europe being only 25 miles away by sea Henry built a chain of gun forts in preparation for an invasion that never happened.

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Back to 1850 I’m spending some time at Walmer Castle in the company of the Duke of Wellington who, was not only one of the leading military and political figures of the 19th century, gaining ultimate fame after defeating Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo, but also something of a fashion pioneer designing a pair of innovative boots to fit comfortably with the newly fashionable pantaloons. We remain forever in his debt for bringing to the nation the much loved Wellington boot. The defeated Napoleon however brought very little to the world of fashionable attire other than wearing his hat around the wrong way, placing the then popular bicorn across his head rather than facing it’s pointy ends fore-and-aft as was the style of the day.

Wellington’s room at Walmer Castle is most comfy, with a nice old desk for writing letters and a sturdy campaign bed from his military days.  The sound of the sea is most soothing and beneficial to getting a good night’s sleep.  I leave with a pair of new boots, a fantastic hat and a shiny sword which will come in handy very soon, as on my last night I received a call to arms from my good mate Tommy who’s castle is yet again being invaded by the local rats.

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Do you own a pair of Wellington boots, are yours the regular variety or do they have fancy patterns on them?  Have you ever visited Walmer Castle?  If not, you really should if you get the chance, it’s fabulous!  Morris would love to hear from you, so please feel free to hit the comments box.

© All images and story content copyright of lynncf