And so to Didcot, near Oxford, for a traditional Easter holiday; chocolate, wine, friends, and Rammstein!
Left to right, Carla, Tara the hostess inspects a pringle, John, and Louise
Actually, the music was mostly by Corvus Corax what you might classify as a German Industrial Mediaeval Metal band. Goodness knows what the neighbours thought. At one point they started to do their hoovering, which strangely melded quite nicely with Corvus' bagpipes. We had a most enjoyable afternoon spent in the sun being incredibly rude to one another in only the way that good friends can.
Left to right, Suzy, John again, Karl and Alasdair
Despite stuffing ourselves with sangria and pringles all afternoon, we somehow made it to an Italian restaurant in Didcot in the evening. The other patrons gave us some funny looks as a troupe of Rammsteiners, mostly dressed in black, occupied a quarter of the restaurant.
Dressed for dinner; Louise gets all My Chemical Romance on us.
Tesna is not so sure about Louise's Emo look.
The evening was spent until well gone eleven o'clock drinking mugs of tea. Are we ROCK and ROLL or what? Before we wended our way to our various beds, retribution time for John and Karl for being disrespectful to Rammstein frontman Till Lindemann. John chickened out, but Karl became the Bad Boy Easter Bunny in good sport.
Karl. Easter Bunny. Be Afraid. Be very Afraid.
Pity the poor taxi driver who drove Karl and his wife (and Alasdair and Carla) back to the Travel Inn.
James meanwhile didn't even have to dress up, but . . .
The next day (Easter Sunday) we hit Blenheim Palace. I'd never been before but I'd heard it was an architectural marvel in the neo-classicist / baroque style. Hmm. Well, it was o-k. Probably not really worth the price of admission (nearly £15 for house and garden), but then I didn't go on the train to the 'Pleasure Gardens'. Chatsworth House in Derbyshire is much more magnificent, the rooms more interesting, and the gardens larger and more splendiferous.
The main exhibition in the house was in a narrow corridor of a room and detailed the (yawn) life of Sir Winston Spencer Churchill. It's not surprising that the focus should be on the war-time Prime Minister (even though he never owned the house) rather than the ignominous history of the Dukes and Duchesses of Marlborough for whom the house was built as a gift from a grateful nation.
Read more here on Wikipedia and make your own judgement.
Anyway, it was a very pleasent day out, and the Secret Garden (ironically well-signposted) was very peaceful and scented.
Julie and Karl relax in Blenheim Palace gardens. Note the body language - what a match :)