Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Creeping Kate's Kitchens

Muncaster Castle's stables are converted into an Extremely Precious Restaurant, where we ate breakfast every day. I realize that Many, if not All, Castles in the UK do this, and it's Old Hat to people who live there or who travel there frequently. But it's a novelty to me. Charmed, precious, adorable, and subdivided to allow for intrigues!

On the morning after our first Muncaster sleep (full of quiet gentle hootlings from the owlery beneath our window, which I will mention again, yes), we slogged down to the stable for breakfast and met some more fools. Maynard Flip-Flap (whose "real name" I have taken pains not to learn) and the Family Flip-Flap dined at that table just to the left there, and I was terrified to meet them, as Maynard was the 2006 reigning Fool of Muncaster Castle, and his Career is Impressive, and I know what it is to be Kept from Eating by the Stares of Well-Meaning Fans. So we just tucked in and tried to make toast and ate black pudding and so forth.

When we'd finished, Becky Allen introduced us to Family Flip-Flap, and I don't remember a thing about it, so I'm certain I must have arsed the encounter with some bungled attempt at cleverness and then wiped the event from my memory. Be consoled to know we became better acquainted later in the journey -- particularly Jane the Phoole and the youngest generation of Flip-Flaps. But Mrs. Flip-Flap was Perfectly Kind, and a Bold and Intelligent and Funny and Lovely Woman. And Maynard is an hilarious genius.

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