One of our recent wins was a family ticket to Beaulieu, and as we had a bigger family than usual today (looking after 2 extra kids, age 9 and 6) we bit the bullet and went. Despite the lashing rain and wailing winds, the children had a good time. We went on the monorail, twice, before they shut it due to the high winds. We went on the 'Wheels' 'Hi tec' ride, twice, it was inside and warm. We sat by the fire in the palace dining room. It was inside and warm. The palace bit of it was nice, it is lived in by some aristocrats and seemed like a home, and the 'butler' didn't mind the children all lying on the floor in front of the log fire, drying out bits of their wet and soggy clothing and skin. He asked the children if they would like jobs as maids, and told them it was 12p a week wages and they could only go home once a year. He was so convincing that H wanted to apply for the job, and when he told her to write in the visitors book she thought that was how you applied. I kept telling her she would not be able to go to school, see us, go to Fuertaventura again, etc etc, but she adamant she going for it. We sat on a old double decker bus and it was dry, if not warm. We mooched around looking at old cars and motorbikes. Oh I am so glad it was free, there is no way I would have paid to go in and look at some old machines. There was even a bit about the spark plug. The whole place is awful. R kept telling me I would have seen it differently if the sun had been shining, which I agree, would have helped, but no, it was still a ghastly place full of cars which I find unappealing. Women don't watch Top Gear for the cars. They watch it to see Hammond being the cheeky chappy who is cute and still alive despite the odds winning over the two old frumpy long haired guys. Anyhow, the staff were friendly, and the gardens would have been good on a sunny day, but really, how did Lord Montagu get away with building that concrete gargoyle in the middle of the New Forest? The architecture of the place is breathtakingly awful. It is like a university refectory, but worse. Think Coventry Catherdral meets Tescos. Prince Charles opened the 'cutting edge' Wheels ride 20 years ago, and they must have blindfolded him to get him past the concrete without imploding.
The pictures of the various Montagues all show the same inbred weird look that only the aristocracy can pull off in their offspring. Give them a helpful name like Ralph - thanks dad - can you imagine that in the school register. Ralph Montagu. What were they thinking? They don't swim at Bitterne. Anyhow, all the Montagu males seem to marry models, thus giving their offspring half a chance of eyes that point in the same direction and a forehead with less of the slope. I am guessing they are related to Prince Charles, hence his unswerving gaze on opening the futuristic ride, avoiding having to comment on the overzealous use of concrete in the building works going on around it.
OK,OK while I am here this I do not get. Lord Montagu in the New Forest, owns most of it, can put up concrete carbuncles all over his back garden and make a pile out of it. My friends Keith ahd Gillian move up to another serfdom, Northumbria, where their house is built on estate land, owned by the Duke, and they have to ask for his permission - and pay him a fee - to tack a conservatory on the back of their home. Right now, I am going to look into becoming a republic. Forget the Queen and her patronage (of Whitworths tapioca btw) and lets get this country going somewhere. We will never make any progress in the world while we have Dukes and Lords and so on ruling us. Keith and Gillian, rise up and build a conservatory without telling him. Everyone, boycott the dreadful Beaulieu motor museum in every way you can.... people, we can overcome!
Have you heard enough? Don't go there. If you have little boys in tow, or probably big ones, let them go on their own. Go into the village and have a cream tea instead. Probably served by a village wench whose son is the actual heir of the estate. Why oh why, when the royal family let the female offspring inherit the title, do the Montagues have to keep going til they get a boy? What is that all about? Just don't go there.
Last night we went into the city centre where we pootled about the German market, which is staffed by genuine Germans. We then watched the carnival, which included some of H's friends, so we waved wildly at the right moments. It was quite fun, a good atmosphere, and we went down to the park where the new boat the Queen Victoria is waiting to have a bottle of Pomagne smashed across her bow by someone who looks like a horse. When we got home we had macaroni cheese in front of the fire, and I rang my mum, who announced that she has already booked a cruise on the new Queen Victoria boat. Look! More of these royals! I can't get rid of them! Even potatoes are named after them - Jersey Royals, King Edwards - Maris Piper was probably a duke or something - sandwiches - named after an Earl. Damn you all. From now on I will eat pasties only. But, argh! they come from Cornwall which is a Duchy itself. There is no escape.