Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Muncaster's Stableyard Foode Courte!

Muncaster's Stableyard, originally uploaded by Phoole.

Muncaster Castle is the headquarters of the National Owl Trust and is the epicenter of Many Significant and Cool Things. Just thought I'd say. When Peter Frost-Pennington finally carted us to the castle (after our five-minute tour of Ravenglass, wherein I *think* we met *everyone* in town), he escorted us (dragging all of our luggages behind him, which made us implacably anxious, for his health's sake) through this stableyard, which has been converted into a Completely Precious Outdoor Chomping Ground. Though I was not yet in Phoole Drag, I could not resist waving to everyone. Then again, I always wave at everyone. You just never know.

We checked in at the office, and while we were entangled in keys and forms and things, Peter called from the hallway, "I'll just take your bags up to your room," and he was off, deaf to our strenuous protests. We were certain he'd be lugging our trunks up narrow staircases and Imperilling His Very Life.

When we arrived at our room -- second floor, all the way at the end, by the stairs that lead out directly to the entrance to the coachyard -- we were assaulted by some Very Startling Things:

(1) Our trunks were arranged Perfectly at the foots of our beds, like at Hogwarts, for Crying Out Loud.

(2) Our room had another of those Extremely Precious Tea Services.

(3) Our room had a very large window LOOKING OUT OVER THE OWLERY. Just. Like. Freaaaaccking. Hogwarts.

Yes, owlery. Owls. Hundreds, all sizes, hooting gently at all times. I Could Not Stand Myself. Jenny and I were crying little shiny tears of glee. I believe fangirls use the word "squee!" to connote this type of response.

We were Too Excited About Everything, but we were also Too Late For Supper -- Creeping Kate's Kitchens, the restaurant built into the converted stables downstairs, was closed for the evening. So, having eaten properly on the train anyway but still being famished, we ordered two bottles of Tom Fool Ale and two gigantic dense hunks of gingerbread, and we made a meal of dessert and booze, staring around us in disbelief -- we had made it, we were here at Muncaster for the Festival of Fools. And it felt so good.

In my next installment, prepare to hear about the family from Liverpool who Entertained Us Mightily until the wee hours that night.

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