WELCOME!

This is Buzzy's Country Store blog designed to keep you apprised of what's going on at the Store. Buzzy's is a general store located in St. Mary's County, Southern Maryland near Pt. Lookout State Park. Buzzy and Jean Ridgell purchased the Store from Jean's father Harry Raley in 1953. Buzzy operated it until his passing in 2009. His son J. Scott Ridgell is the current owner.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Castles


If you go to Scotland there are two main items on the itinerary - castles and sheep.  Our tour guide relayed a story of how she once saw a daily journal that one of her tourists had been keeping. She noted that in the margin of the daily entries, the tourist had annotated "ABC" and "MDS."  Curious about these notations she asked the tourist what they meant.  The tourist informed her "Another Bloody Castle" and "More Damn Sheep."      

When on a tour I usually ascribe to the Buzzy take of "Seen-one-seen-'em-all."  However, this time around I got to admit that each of the several castles that we visited in Scotland were different and kinda cool in their own way.  For example, two of the castles (Blair and Inveraray (photo above) are still occupied by some Duke or Earl and his family.  Tourism and special events such as weddings are used as a way to help pay for the upkeep of the castle and its grounds.   (See, we have barns and fire halls for special events while over there they use castles.)   The family lives in a private part of the castle while the rest of it is open for the many busloads of tourists to make their way through the sections open to the public.

Other castles we visited were not occupied but have been very well preserved such that you can tour them and get a feel for what it was like to hang out there back in the day.  I'll give you a hint - cold and gloomy as there is very little light nor heat in these places.  A good example of an old medieval castle was the Eilean Donan castle (photo below) which made it onto this list of the world's most famous castle (click here)  (Note this was not my photo but one I nicked off the Famous Castle website.)
Of course the most famous castle in Scotland and maybe even the world is the one at Edinburgh.  We visited it on the last day of our tour and whomever planned the tour did save the best for last.  The Edinburgh Castle is as advertised - spectacular.  Here is a photo of us posing in front of the castle before touring it.
L-R Kathy Tennison, Norma Jones, Pam and some knight behind her, Iris Willey, Karen Garner, Sandy Sweikart, Joann Gough and Cathy Wright in back row, Bryan Siebert (partially hidden behind his wife Carolyn,) Eddie and Phyllis Greer, Robert Willey, Carol and Gary Kurtz.  In front are Mindy Fuller and Maria DeRosa.  Not in photo - Karen Moore and Nancy Duke
Just a quick Ridge boy observation here - as spectacular as all of these castles were, my take away was "what a huge waste of time, money and effort they were in the name of defending one's territory."  For example, at a couple of the castles that we visited the guides pointed out how the spiral staircases were constructed such that the attacker coming up the stairs with his sword in his right hand was at a disadvantage because the guy defending the castle backing up the stairs was able to freely attack downward.  I'm thinking "What difference did it make?  If you got some dude in your castle with a sword chasing your butt up the stairs you're already good as gone."  Ultimately castles became useless (click here.)  

And speaking of obsolete armaments, here is a photo I took in the Armory Room of the Inveraray Castle.  As the tour guide explained the many old weapons hanging on the walls, Eddie, Gary and Robert were checking things out.  

All of which makes me wonder what, if any, of our current defense apparatus will someday ultimately be considered totally useless.  Our own version of castles in the air.

Tough to top American Pie but Don came close with this tune:


No comments: