Kendal castle is fucked. It sits ruined atop the imaginatively titled Castle Hill. No one is really sure when it was built, but local boffins reckon it was in the early 11oos. It was probably built by a fella named Ivo Taillebois, roughly translated as Ivor Woodcutter, which sounds for all the world like a porn pseudonym.
The castle was derelict by the late 16th Century as the Parr family who owned it fucked off to live in Northampton and London. This may have had something to do with Katherine Parr marrying Henry VIII, but I dunno. I’m just speculating here. But whatever. In its current state it’s fuck all use as anything other than a massive paperweight. As a castle it is fundamentally flawed.
Should a baying mob of North Cumbrian Separatists, or Scots, or any other army intent on occupying the scenic little town of Kendal decide to do just that, then it wouldn’t take much to defeat any Kendalonians who had taken refuge in the decrepid ramparts and battlements. Any sort of aerial bombardment would cause panic, destruction, and ultimately defeat.
We know how the fuck that feels.
I was meeting my mates in the Ring O’Bells in Kendal. I knew roughly the direction I was headed, but stopped to ask a guy in a hi-vis jacket who was smoking a roll-up outside a pub in the town centre. “Excuse me, mate.” I started, “Is this the right way to the Ring O’Bells?”
“Ring O’Bells, Ring O’Bells.” he mused. “No, no. You’re going completely the wrong way in fact. You want to be going up that way.” He pointed to the direction I’d just come from. The opposite direction to where I thought I knew where this pub was. This shook my already wavering confidence in my innate sense of direction.
“It’s opposite the Wheatsheaf…” I informed him. “I’m heading to the football ground, but meeting people in the Ring O’Bells first.”
The fella scratched his chin, took a drag on his dirty little cigarette, and muttered to himself. “Well the football ground is up there,” he pointed to where the football ground definitely wasn’t, “But I’m pretty certain the Ring O’Bells is over there.” His arms had all the consistency of a weather vane on top of Retford United’s clubhouse.
Still smoking his cigarette he walked in to the pub and asked the landlady where the Ring O’Bells is. The landlady said it was shut and had been for months. The fella said that was the Royal Victoria, and they’d built flats on it now. It couldn’t have been, said the landlady, as she’d been in there the other week. Maybe it had been the Wheatsheaf that had closed. Yeah, agreed the man, maybe it had been. Or maybe it was the Ring O’Bells after all. This went on for some time, with me stood speechless and distracted in the door. Fuck it, I thought, I’ll find it myself. It turned out to be about two hundred yards down the road in the direction I was going, and the opposite direction to where the man had told me. I vowed never to speak to another Cumbrian again.
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