We Captured the Castle

‘I really don’t understand why more people aren’t in the sea!’ I exclaim happily after an exhilarating leap about in crashing waves. ‘Because,’ says Si, who with my daughter, Rose is staying with us for the holiday weekend, ‘you’d have to be NUTS to go in! It’s FREEZING!’ Ah, that would explain it then. It’s true it’s not exactly toasty on the beach or in the sea, but at least it isn’t raining… at the moment.

We’ve had lots of visitors over the last few weeks, but as the weather doesn’t seem to know that it’s the summer holidays, we’ve learned to adapt to whatever it’s throwing at us that day. For me and Tom that means a trip to the beach whenever there’s a sniff of sunshine. I’ve been trying out some daily disposable contact lenses just for swimming, rather than risk losing one of my gas permeables. Now I can brave bigger waves, which is great fun – well, I think so. My girls swam in the sea from an early age and despite a horrible incident of near-drowning in Greece, they still get on with it. I watch with pride as Rose wades in and strikes out without a girly fuss. It is a bit nippy-noodles, I admit, but it’s wonderful once you’re in!


On the day when the weather really doesn’t want to play, we head for Pembroke Castle. Lovely Rachel, from Choc Lit, has recommended it to me. It’s one of those attractions I’ve been meaning to see but have taken a bit for granted because it’s on the doorstep (ish!). Anyway, if you’re in this part of the world, Pembroke Castle makes a brilliant day out and it’s excellent value for money; the entrance fee will buy you as many turrets and battlements as you’d care to climb and you can make it as much of an educational experience as you wish. There’s a good café too!

Bride on the battlements - on a windy, grey day! Brave girl!

Comments

Sarah Tranter said…
Definitely nuts re the sea LOL. My two were in it a couple weeks back - but they are nuts too so there's confirmation for you :) We adore Pembroke Castle too - love it! Great pictures Sx
Chris Stovell said…
Thanks Sarah - it's the first time we've been to Pembroke, I'm ashamed to say - what a great place!
Jane Lovering said…
We've been swimming in the river..it's warmer, and the dogs can come in too, but still regard your sea-outing as...well...insane. Pembroke Castle looks fabulous, maybe I'll get the other half to agree to a holiday in Wales sometime soon, so we can visit it! Glad you've survived the soggy season - now, when's Christmas?
Chris Stovell said…
Yes, come to Wales, Jane, think of all those lovely Welsh male voices... although that might not be such a great sell for the other half! In fact, if you time it right and Sarah's here on holiday we could have a Choc Lit Christmas Swim!
Fran said…
There was a programme on Radio 4 recently (Amanda Vickery on 'Men') based at Pembroke, talking about its knights and what they were like. My parents live in Pembroke Dock, so they've taken us to the castle.
Chris Stovell said…
I heard that, Fran, but most of the knights at Pembroke Castle that day were aged about, oh, nine and not very chivalrous as they stormed past on the narrow stone stairs!
Fennie said…
I totally agree about the sea. I have never enjoyed water that isn't at least 30 degrees and transparently blue. Swimming is even more of a terror for me than sailing. Having said that I swim on my side with a stroke I invented myself. I believe Michael Phelps could swim quite quickly if he adopted this stroke. I also invented something for the little children called 'plod-walking' which is like a dog paddle except you do it in shallow water and so walk with your hands. But otherwise give me Pembroke Castle in which I have struck a coin with a great big sledge hammer. How it used to be done, apparently, in the time of Hank Seven who was born here.
Pondside said…
I can't resist swimming in ocean water - it's in my blood.
One of the greatest pleasures, since undergoing laser surgery on my eyes in 2008, was swimming in big waves and being able to see!
Chris Stovell said…
Fennie, that's a lovely tale - really you should tell Mr Phelps's people, it would be a kindness. And how did you come to be striking a coin in Pembroke Castle?(Gosh, I really am the last person to go there - everyone's got their own story about it! Excellent!)

Ooh, now that IS brave, Pondside - I'm way down in the minus numbers (-7) and I'm not sure I'd be suitable for surgery even if I was brave enough, so I'm sticking with the lenses. Great to hear the difference it's made to you though. I'd love not to have to worry about lenses at all.
Liane Spicer said…
Lovely pics! That brides photographer must be someone like my son. :)
Frances said…
Chris, it's fun to catch your enthusiasm for those nipple noodles!

I admit to being in the minority who've yet to visit Pembroke Castle...it surely does look exactly like what I would expect a proper castle to look like.

Perhaps some day....

xo
Chris Stovell said…
Liane, we were just wondering how that poor bride even climbed up there in her gown - those winding stone stairs are difficult enough to manage in jeans!


Frances, I've been laughing at your comment - we say 'nippy' but the cold sea certainly did noodle a few bits and pieces too! Maybe we can do Pembroke Castle together one day... it's not quite the same as the Met Museum but it's good on scary heights!

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