Of Castles, Weddings and Fairies…

Of Castles, Weddings and Fairies…

‘Tis time! ‘Tis time!
They gleefully cried
And the medieval muses 
rushed to my side…

Gather round my friends
and ye shall hear
Of Melissa’s adventures
Both far and near

Of enchanted castles
And storybook tales
of mystical fairies
And love that never fails…

I couldn’t resist the storybook poetic beginning. England just seems to bring it out of me. I think Shakespeare would have been proud, don’t you?  Ha!

I’m finally getting around to writing about some of my other adventures in my brief sojourn to Brockenhurst.  This time we visit a country manor (a castle in my opinion), stumble upon a fairy tale wedding, and I even captured a photo of a fairy!  (It looks like one to me anyway.)

20191108_122236_HDROn a cool, rainy November day, I visited nearby Rhinefield House. Driving up a one lane road, the stunning scenery was lined with ancient oak trees in their prime of autumn colors.  Then the car turned the corner and the castle came into view.  Catching my breath, I just uttered “Wow!” This old castle turned hotel was the epitome of elegance and refinement with years of history around every corner.

Though it was closed when I visited, the Alhambra Room is an artistic masterpiece and the story goes that a woman had it built for her husband as a smoking room.  She wanted him to be able to smoke in luxury.  I think she achieved her aim, don’t you?  (Ah the whims of the wildly wealthy…)RHI-Alhambra

Of course, such a place is a magnet for weddings and there was one in preparation the day I visited.  I peeked in the medieval banquet hall to take a photo and was stunned by the wedding cake in the opposite corner.  No that’s not a fake photo…the cake was about 10 feet tall.  I’m only in the picture so you can judge by my height ( a mere 5’4).  Complete with waterfall, I decided that it must have belonged to a fairytale princess.  It just seemed like it should belong to royalty.  In fact, the whole room seemed to have an enchanted glow about it as I gazed on it from above.  

The wedding cake 20191108_120940_HDR

From the grand interior, I exited to silently stroll around the considerable and beautiful grounds…fountains, ponds, autumn arbors and open vistas graced every turn.

20191108_122225_HDRFountainsArbor at Rhinefield

Even an old, hidden door beckoned one to secrets that lay beyond…

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But time was waning and the secrets of the old castle would have to wait for another day.  Perhaps someday I will return…only destiny knows, but with so much country left to explore, it will likely be just another memory tucked away into my love affair with England.

And what of fairies?  On a cold, early Sunday morning as I was making my way across the fields towards the train station, I stopped in awe as the sunrise seemed to catch the light of every dewdrop and turned the whole glittering scene into a magical panorama.  I had to take several pictures.

While going back through them, I found something I had not seen when I took the photo.  If you look on the path, you will notice a small blue light.  To me, it looked just like a blue fairy.  Had I just stumbled upon her as she was finishing her morning rounds of painting each blade of grass with dew?  Who knows?  Choose to believe what you will, but while visiting England, magic found me and with it, I found childlike wonder in the every day.

So closes this 2nd chapter of my adventures in Brockenhurst.  Will there be more?  Yes, for the muses tell me there must be.  The magic must be shared… 🙂

The Blue Fairy

 

‘Tis All Hallows Eve!

‘Tis All Hallows Eve!

For my next installment of adventures here in England, I of course had to make it Halloween themed!  With a couple of visits to the nearby old churches and graveyards, I found spooky gravestones and eerie feelings and yes…even a ghost story!

75252917_2620795168040893_3063494593350729728_oThis is the story of two old English churches and their graveyards.  On a quick tour provided by my lovely elfin innkeeper, Sue, I was shown two sites that weren’t normally frequented by visitors.  The first was a church which had been standing since approximately 1200 A.D.

Sue told me how spiritual it was to sit or stand with your back against the 1000 year old Yew tree and survey the area. She said there was some connection to the old Yew tree and the ancient roots (roots…get it? haha!) of the area.

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One of the interesting stories of this graveyard was a group of soldiers from New Zealand who came to this church and to Brockenhurst to recover from their wounds in WWI.  Oddly enough, they all died here…
mysteriously…
OOOOOOO!

 

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Onto the next graveyard…with it’s headstones all laid out nicely in a row.  Sue had told me that there was something about this graveyard that was different.  It had a different… feeling.  As I began to wander, I felt nothing, just the same fascination of history and mystery as before.

73413151_392697861616682_5251473409220542464_n Until I reached here…

Oddly enough, right in this spot, I felt a knot in my stomach.  I couldn’t explain it.  Everywhere else I had felt just fine and all of a sudden…something just not quite right.  Here’s the eerie part: Sue told me that she had brought someone else there to tour the church and graveyard and they had the same feeling in the exact same spot!!  Now that’s CREEPY!!  And here’s the weird thing…those two grave markers you see in the picture?  One of the former Reverends and his wife.  Ummmm…take from that what you will.  Hmmm….

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I close my creepy post with the following two gravestones:  now who would have a skeleton head with a raven on top carved into a gravestone?  (Edgar Allen Poe maybe?) That’s just…weird.  And the other one I thought was beautiful…in a creepy way.  haha!  And so my children…ghost story hour is now closed for another year…

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