“Full fathom five thy father lies;
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes:
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell: Ding-dong
Hark! now I hear them,—Ding-dong, bell.”

William Shakespeare – The Tempest


Richard III

Just because I can, and because Windsor reminded me how beautiful this piece of writing is: here is Gloucester’s speech.
From Richard III, spoken by Gloucester 
Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York;
And all the clouds that lour’d upon our house
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths;
Our bruised arms hung up for monuments;
Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings,
Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.
Grim-visaged war hath smooth’d his wrinkled front;
And now, instead of mounting barded steeds
To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,
He capers nimbly in a lady’s chamber
To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.
But I, that am not shaped for sportive tricks,
Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass;
I, that am rudely stamp’d, and want love’s majesty
To strut before a wanton ambling nymph;
I, that am curtail’d of this fair proportion,
Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,
Deformed, unfinish’d, sent before my time
Into this breathing world, scarce half made up,
And that so lamely and unfashionable
That dogs bark at me as I halt by them;
Why, I, in this weak piping time of peace,
Have no delight to pass away the time,
Unless to spy my shadow in the sun
And descant on mine own deformity:
And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover,
To entertain these fair well-spoken days,
I am determined to prove a villain
And hate the idle pleasures of these days.
Plots have I laid, inductions dangerous,
By drunken prophecies, libels and dreams,
To set my brother Clarence and the king
In deadly hate the one against the other:
And if King Edward be as true and just
As I am subtle, false and treacherous,
This day should Clarence closely be mew’d up,
About a prophecy, which says that ‘G’
Of Edward’s heirs the murderer shall be.
Dive, thoughts, down to my soul: here
Clarence comes.

Royal Elf

Windsor, official residence of the Queen.  Home to one of the most recognizable schools in the UK.  Set in lovely countryside and old lanes and houses Windsor is where we’re spending our weekend…because well why not.

The train from London Waterloo take 55 minutes, costs £10 one way and the trains run every half an hour or so.  The station in Windsor is practically in the centre of the town which makes it a very easy weekend away from London.

We head down on a Friday evening and after checking in to our little hotel we take a wander and stop at Golden Curry for what turns out to be a delish curry!  Saturday morning, we head of early to beat the rain and tourists and make a dash for the castle.

The original castle was built in the 11th century and there has been a Royal residence here ever since.  We head in and grab our tickets before the security.  We opt not to get the audio guide, but they seem popular and there are lots of numbers throughout the grounds and buildings so there is obviously a lot of information available if you fancy it.  We take our time strolling into the complex, enjoying the beautiful gardens and backdrops.  First stop is St George’s Chapel which is beautiful and has a particular type of fan vaulted ceiling which is rare and stunning.  But, what is the most breath taking thing about this building is the absolutely huge amount of history is jam packed in to the chapel.  We wind our way though and walk amongst the graves of British monarchs, lords and ladys.  It’s a strange physicalization of history that I really enjoy…slightly macabre I know.

Next we make our way in to the state apartments.  Very glitzy and everything you imagine a King or Queen would live amongst.  There are suits of armour, spears, gold leaf, famous paintings, chandeliers and much much more.  But for me the current Shakespeare exhibition was the highlight of the trip.  It is beautifully laid out, and there is something spectacular about reading the opening lines of Act One Scene One of Richard III from the first folio…breath taking.

We stop for lunch in the Three Tuns pub, yum!  The Three Tuns was built in the 1500s and was originally called the Guildhall before the Guildhall was built.  The new Guildhall houses a museum for the area.

After lunch we’re off for a walk along the river and up to Eaton School.  The school is closed but we stroll through the area and the church graveyard and enjoy the beautiful buildings despite the rain that did eventually appear.

We round of our day with the most amazing burger and ribs at Flaming Cow.  Honestly, eat here!  I had the Redneck and everything about it was amazing, so tasty.  Will a burger ever come close again…possibly not.