This weekend is England's Medieval Festival at Herstmonceux Castle. We couldn't make it last year as we'd just welcomed Alice into our family and she was too tiny for such excitement, so I was very keen that we attended this year.
For reasons too dull to go into, for the first time we couldn't park in the disabled car park and had to park in the general car park. While this meant seeing the Herstmonceux observatory buildings for the first time, this also meant an awful lot of walking, and a lot of undulating terrain, which resulted in me tiring a lot quicker than usual.
Nevertheless, since we'd last been, the venue had squeezed in some more stages for displays and there were some new events that we hadn't seen before.
As with War & Peace the other week, if you'd asked me before hand if dogs were allowed at the Medieval Festival I'd have told you that I'd never seen one there - but then turning up with Alice you suddenly realise that loads of people bring their canine companions to the show.
Alice had a great time, plenty of new smells to sniff, a variety of other dogs to meet and near-endless cuddles and affection from strangers entranced by her cuteness. Ever the flirt, she even managed to find a couple of random welcoming laps to sit in while Rachel and I were watching events!
I kept a sneaky eye out for any stalls selling puppy-sized barding - or even costumes - but to no avail.
However we did get to give Alice's new harness a test run and she seems to get on with it okay.
Before the festival, we'd had an appointment at the vets' for Alice's annual health check (she passed with flying colours). We'd pointed out a scab on her neck to the vet, who cleaned it up, and said it might have been aggravated by her collar rubbing on it. So, Rachel invested in a new day-glo harness for our pup.
Will we come back to the Medieval Festival next year? I'm not sure. Hever Castle - which is on our doorstep - has a Tudor-themed event over the bank holiday weekend, along with its usual August weekend jousting, so if they stick to same calendar next year I suspect I might want to check that out... just to mix things up a bit.
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