After feeling a bit crap again last night and this morning (see my previous post), I decided to do something today that I’ve been wanting to do for the last few months. This wasn’t as spontaneous as it may sound. I had been thinking about it for a while and was looking forward to this day as the weather forecast was brighter than what it has been for previous weekends. One of the real reasons I hadn’t done this before today (on days where the sun has shone) was because I do honestly spend a lot of time (too much) waiting, holding out and hoping for ‘May’.
But, as you know from my previous post, I do feel as though I get mixed messages from her and, well, it hasn’t happened yet. So, instead of just ‘wasting’ so much time at home, ‘waiting’ for things to happen; I drove myself to the Blaise Castle Estate and spent a few hours there, taking photographs and exploring the grounds.
I’m sure that the sheer mention of ‘photos’ suggests that I have an album-worth of images to share with you – and, yes, I do! However, this will require you to head on over to my Flickr set, as I feel it’s more convenient than dumping sixty-odd photos in to one long post here.
Walking around on my own was quite awkward at first, I must admit. Passing matched-up couples and small families with kids didn’t seem to help my anxieties either. But, when I got my camera out and started snapping, it helped. Again, it was difficult at first and I would at first keep my camera hidden when anyone came within my eyeline. But then, I realised that these passers by were patient. I may have been the only ‘loner‘ visiting the estate but I wasn’t the only man (or woman) with a camera in hand, that’s for sure! 🙂
I feel as though I dealt with my arrival quite well. I noticed the map beside the car park and headed there first, to get a sense of my bearings. A man was there before me and, as fate would have it, I ended up following him, with his partner, to the museum for my first stop. They both dithered as to whether or not to open the door and go in. I told myself that ‘the sign says OPEN‘; walking in with a sense of pride and confidence, while holding the door for the two of them. This did make me feel good, as it was my own effort.
Being there again bought back positive memories of a childhood school trip. We were set up in a Victorian-style (I think?) classroom. My teacher was strict, with the threat of the cane for any misbehaving individuals and I remember writing on some kind of chalkboard (instead of paper) with sticks of charcoal. We were only given a limited supply of charcoal and, when one of mine rolled off the desk and snapped, I was terrified of asking the ‘new’ teacher for assistance! A highly memorable experience that actually makes me smile. 🙂
Passing the ice cream van, I could also recall how this was the first place that I had ever tried a frozen Mars bar! Seriously, if you haven’t done this before, stick one in your freezer right now! 😀
I spent a lot of time walking around and I was there for a good three-hours in all. I packed my own lunch and saw most of what the site and many of the tracks had to offer. It was still a bit of a challenge to find the castle itself and, when I did reconsult the map, I realised that its peak was actually visible from the museum path! A real D’oh! moment! I got home with my legs aching; wishing that I had instead worn my sturdy walking boots for all this trekking. There were moments (near the end; frantically looking but finding myself further and further from the castle and moving on to another estate) where I would run up hills and slopes, across the grass, in bursts. Quite like the guy in 127 Hours, if you’ve seen that film. I’m sure there’s a term for that…
If it wasn’t for a couple of ‘chavs’ heading in to one cave ahead of me and a pair of male twats smoking weed in the other, I’d have photographs of both caves for you as well. Maybe on my next visit though, when I have a friend to share it with.
Sunday’s weather forecast is more uncertain. Or else, I could’ve considering doing this tomorrow instead. I don’t know what I would’ve done to keep myself occupied today (probably sit here, if I’m honest) but, I read somewhere that the castle doors will be open. I’ve always wanted to go inside and used to fantasise about what the ‘King’ would’ve been like… (In a non-sexual way!!!) 🙂
There is a long list of other places I would like to visit in and around the Bristol area. As long as the weather holds up at weekends, I’m aiming to see as much as I can before winter hits. Provided that nothing else interferes. With or without a friend, I’ll have more positive posts and photographs to share in the coming weeks. 🙂
Thank you for reading. I do hope you’re having a good weekend.