Monday, 9 December 2013

If I Won the Lottery....

Everyone has these daydreams about what they would do if they had squillions of pounds in the bank. New house, world cruise, that sort of thing.

I want to buy a castle.

When I was a kid, we used to holiday in North Wales, at Pensarn near Abergele. Looking down on us from the hillside was a Victorian mock castle, a huge affair, called Gwrych Castle. At the time it was a sort of medieval theme park. There was jousting every afternoon in the summer, a miniature railway, pony rides, a potter, and I'm sure there were lots of other things that I don't clearly remember.
We went to a Sealed Knot battle re-enactment there, which was very exciting, and the first time I'd seen a full scale Civil War battle. That's one of the influences that got me to join Gilbert de Houghton's Regiment of Foote at college, and started me off as a re-enactor.
In the eighties, though, the castle was sold, and quickly became derelict. The Gwrych Castle Preservation Trust has been trying to renovate it and turn it into a 90 bedroom 5 star hotel (I said it was big!), but they're not there yet.

So my daydream would be to renovate the castle, using alternative energy and incorporating geodesic domes and rooms that had huge maps on the floor and Narnian wardrobes and beds that look like Viking longships, and I'd have craftspeople working there, like that potter in the seventies, and a brewery, and a huge library, and artists and writers, and re-enactment weekends.
It's all completely impractical, and I never even buy a lottery ticket, but it's great fun to daydream sometimes.

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