Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Day 7 Wailing Wall Woes

Day 7 finds us steeped in Roman History.
In particular Hadrian's Wall. One of three such structures built by the Romans to keep out the raiding Picts (our, well my, ancestors) they couldn't or wouldn't conquer us so decided to build some walls to keep us the hell out...kinda cute huh?
Let's face it the poor buggers had come from sunny Italia to the damp,dank, sodden, Pict infested land of "Caledonia" which served no economic use and really was only fit for sheep as the English, (Booooo) realised centuries later. I hate having to give credit to the sassenachs.
Early start as the wall is in England, huh, well it would be wouldn't it given that "they" moved the border! More of that tirade to be discussed at another time.
Off we jolly well go!
Scoot in charge of the map, he's amazing with directions, daughter 2 ( now to be referred to as the "wee thespian" I'll use WT for short) WT high as a kite about the whole trip having watched "King Arthur" a couple of weeks prior. The Child Iseult however was not a happy day tripper, at all, as follows:-
"Whadda ya mean we're going to see a wall?"
"Sweetie it's a Roman Wall"
"Well it's famous"
"How long are we going to be in the car?"
Sex bomb and I glance nervously at each other.
"Oh, only about 4 or five hours"
"WHAT? Five hours in the car to go look at some dumb BRICKS" shrieking now.
"But they're bricks laid by the Romans darling"
Not a good start to the day, sulked all the way to the border. The border (the one the "you know who's" moved) turned out to be quite a laugh (which even Miss Grumpy AKA The Child Iseult) joined in with. We parked the car in England and ran back 10 feet to have our photos taken in Scotland then reversed the car back to Scotland to have our pics taken in England this went on for some time (in the pouring rain) until we were all so wet we had to load back up and continue our now perilous journey into foreign parts.
Sheep everywhere. I had a notion to "set them free" it's the Willy Wallace in my blood! I had it all planned, wait until dusk... kids not impressed with my terrorist sheep freeing plan AT ALL.
Sex bomb quite happy to go along with it though! Dat's ma boy!
Another 45 mis or so and we start seeing signs for "The Wall". The Child Iseult starts up again, whining in her best Californian high pitched, nasal and infuriating voice.
"Oh look! there it is " say I pointing at a field with a somewhat irregular, undulating landscape.
"Wow, so it is " agrees the sex bomb.
"Where where?" The Child Iseult.
"Look at the landscape sweetie and imagine a wall"
Now she's totally loosing it while we start busting up. We are SUCH bad parents! It was funny though I don't care who you are. She eventually saw the funny side just as we arrived at the Fort.
Took our time investigating the baths and the barracks along with the beautiful setting, lot to be said for Roman aesthetics.
Back in the car and heading along the Wall on our homeward journey. WT hungry as usual with Scoot and The Child Iseult making noises about not having eaten since breakfast. Hell with the lot of them after ridiculing my "picnic"!
The sex bomb and I both adamant that we will not encourage the English economy by spending money there, so they will have to wait until we are over the border before we buy food. This stand met with much complaint.
We stuck to our guns and stopped for tea ( that would be dinner) at a really good Chinese Restaurant in Gallashiels NORTH of the border.
Observation :- Quite clear to us for the first time that the children, The Child Iseult in particular, really had no idea how much "tension?" still exists between Scotland and England. Got their eyes opened to the seriousness of the situation when we refused to fill their bellies though. lol
Arrived at the cottage around 10p.m. Long day, worth it? For us yes, the kids? wouldn't recommend it for early pubescent teens, no way, no how.

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