Of Castles, Hats, Dentists and My Summertime Cat

The weather gods have been slacking. I was wearing socks yesterday. In June, a whole week before Wimbledon which generally heralds dark grey skies, icy rain and bitter winds. Sunday wasn’t much better. There was a moment at lunchtime when I thought a pair of gloves would be welcome.

So today, although I heard the sun was expected, I still pulled a warm jumper on over my blouse before heading down to Guildford to meet my new dentist. It wasn’t a social occasion, we weren’t going to chat over canapés and Prosecco, but I was one of the few women at Waterloo Station not wearing either a hat, or that misleadingly named hairband with knobs on, a fascinator. There were so many men in top hats, it was like an edition of the Beano minus Dennis and Gnasher. Ascot. To be honest, I prefer the horses.

I had the day off and my dental check up was overdue, so off I went. By the time I reached GU1, I realised the forecast had not lied, and I spent the rest of my time with my jumper slung around my shoulders. It’s quite a Surrey look, so I have had plenty of observational practice. Lunch was a sandwich in the Castle Grounds, a place I walked so many times as a child that my DNA is embedded in its paths and stones. The castle was swathed in scaffolding and green netting. Men walked along walkways made from planks but I couldn’t see any notices to say what they were doing. Maybe, I mused, the castle keep is being converted into luxury flats. It has an enviable position, a long history, and is set in lovely gardens. An Englishman’s House is his castle after all. I am sure if castles went out of use today there would be an immediate move to convert them rather than leave them as historical piles in prime locations.

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