Saturday, May 23, 2009

My little (BIG) brother

My brother came to visit last week. He has now decided that Suffolk is NOT entirely composed of fields full of sheep. There are some fields with pigs in them.

Here we are with the Bury St Edmunds Cathedral tower:

Me (note: fully airborne) in front of the Norman Tower (12 bells, baby!):

Future beer...mmm. We took the tour at Greene King (yes, beer purists, it's not the best beer, but it's pretty tasty). There were four rules, according to our tour guide: stay with the tour (it's a working factory), don't step in puddles, turn off your phones, and don't touch anything.

We'd all been up to the roof (great view) and back down again, and were standing near the mash tuns when one of the women on the tour (who had been an insufferable know-it-all) started turning a valve on one of the huge pots. Edward and I yelped and ran to the other side of the room, and our tour guide caught her before she caused the whole thing to explode. EEK!

Here's Ed, with some actual beer, at lunch (note, beer AND cider):

We also stopped in at Ickworth, where Ed was treated to the full experience. We arrived at 4:30, knowing that the house was already closed. We were told that the gardens were still open, so paid our £4 each to go see them. When we got to the gardens, there was a sign on the gate saying that last admission had been at 4:30, with the gardens closing at 5. We tried to find a staff member to get our money back, but there were none. Finally, we found someone, who let us out into the garden, where we were then yelled at by the gardener who told us we shouldn't have been there. It was truly mind-boggling. I'm toying with the idea of issuing a proper complaint to the National Trust, but I don't think I have the energy.

We did a running tour of the garden, then walked down to the falling-down church. Don't worry, we didn't go in...

In stark contrast, we went to Framlingham Castle on our way back from Aldeburgh the next day. Competent staff, clear signs, and a very English "if you fall off the 50-foot wall it's your own damn fault" set of fences. We gave it a shot to reenact all of the various potential amusements, listed below:

We had a blast (and I got to visit a whole bunch of things that I only really think to do when I'm playing "tour guide")!

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