Well I was late with my last post, and according to KayAnna, I am now supposed to write about castles! Ahem
“An overall theme of castles”….. But you all should know me. I don’t always play by the rules; I find loopholes. So this post is going to be about…. Sandcastles!
Now there is not a lot known about the history of sandcastles. I mean what is a sandcastle?
a model of a castle built out of sand
Basically that could be anything!
Anyway, because if the lack of limitation for a quote sandcastle unquote there is no real documentation of the “first” sandcastle. From what I could dig up on the interwebz, the Egyptians made some sort of “sand castles” to mark out the base of the pyramids before they were built but who knows how accurate that is. There is another story I heard of a dude in India in the 14th century who built sand castles or rather “devotional sculptures”. The first people to find profit in making sand castles sprang up in New Jersey in the 1900s. Nowadays they have sand castle contests every year in New Jersey for different categories and prizes.
Not everyone is a sandcastle lover however. There are quite a few places that have a strict “No Sandcastle policy” which could have you ending up with huge fines or even jail time!
“What’d you do?”
“I shot my landlord for being a dick. What’d you do?”
“I dared what no man had dared do in my neighborhood… I took the law into my own hands. I decided that I would not be oppressed by men who did not agree with me. I decided to act out and make a stand for freedom and the human right! I threw away the bonds which held back my creative needs and constructed a symbol made of mineral and liquid!”
“And…. That means….”
“I built a sand castle in Florida.”
Yep, I am not even kidding. Apparently, the use of metal sand toys, such as shovels and buckets, is forbidden on Panama City Beach, Florida. Its also illegal to dig a hole that is deeper than two feet and/or longer than two feet. In Eraclea, near Venice, it is illegal because they “obstruct passage”.
In 2012, a ten-year-old boy was killed at the coastal resort of Amrum when a meter and a half deep hole he had dug on a beach collapsed, burying him alive. But if you think about it, a meter and a half deep is damn near 5 feet. The average height of a 10 year old male is 4 foot 10 inches. Soooooo long story short (and after getting distracted and doing a lot of reading about quick sand) watch your kids folks!
Whelp… That’s about it. Sandcastles are actually very boring. NOW ONTO REAL CASTLES! (Bet you were upset about not learning cool things about real castles, huh Nan?)
Turns out real castles are boring too! Haha Joking. But cramming to find info about castles in a general sense is one thing, cramming to find info about specific castles is another. Some of the castles I was reading about got real dry.
Anywhossits, as you saw before, I am supposed to mention: Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany, Castillo De Coca in Spain, and Oberhofen Castle in Switzerland.
Well there you go! I included them in my log!
No, but really. I tried to do some reading on Oberhofen Castle, because I have a friend in Danmark and I thought it would be funny to write about that first. It was like reading a math textbook. I was so bored. Maybe it was just the sites I visited but I was quickly discouraged.
Next castle I checked, was Castillo De Coca and the sites I found were in Spanish! So I quickly gave up on that. (Please dont hate me, Nan!)
The Neuschwanstein Castle translated in English is the Swanstone Castle. (Awesome right?!) You have likely seen this castle before and not known it! Well depending on the year you grew up in. For anyone who has seen Chity Chitty Bang Bang, you have seen inside part of that castle! This castle is also the one that inspired the design of Sleeping Beauty’s castle.
But as I said, reading about castles can get real dry. It is a lot of. “Well so and so got this place and then they died. Then so and so got this place and tore down a wall and made the kitchen slightly bigger on the left side.” (Not actual events) Maybe I am just reading bout the boring castles. Someday, I will revisit this topic and find a really bitching castle to tell you about. Now I am going to move onto more general castle information vs specific castles.
The first castles were made of wood and thrown up on hills to prevent invaders. The main purpose for castles is defense. Obviously, people strayed away from the wood because you know. Castles can burn to the ground when they are made of wood. Another defense of castles are the moats. I don’t know if you know this, I sure didn’t, but moats are not just made of water…. I mean I knew that body waste had to go somewhere but I guess I really never wanted to think about it. Moats highly consisted of sewage. Being in an old medieval castle, there were no toilets. You had a hole in a little closet and there ya go. If you were high up in a tower for example, imagine when you go to the bathroom the toilet is like…. A laundry chute for your poo. Its goes all the way down. Back then, people were not as concerned with privacy so sometimes there would be a long bench and you just pick your hole and go. These bathrooms were called “garderobes”. The name comes from the fact that people in that era would keep there clothes in the rooms. The smell of the room would keep out bugs so moths and other such things would not get in their clothes…
ANYWAY. A lot of the staircases, especially in the ramparts (the towers that connect to the outer wall that protects the castle), are spiral staircases. The staircases all go clockwise. Remember earlier how I said that castles are for the defensive? So you have an army of dudes coming to steal your stuff, or wreck your castle, and they are running up the staircase to come and get you. Most often then not, that person will be right handed. If this dude is coming to invade you, and swings his right arm coming up that staircase, they are going to have a hard time slinging a weapon in your direction while trying to avoid the stairs at the same time. For the home team, they have the whole fanned out area of the staircase to swing with all their strength and knock that jerk on their butts down the stairwell. I mean, unless you have an army of all KayAnna’s coming to steal your princess. (You’d still win. She doesn’t have a sword.)
Living in a castle seems like it would have been a drag. Sure you have stories where it doesn’t seem so bad. But it was likely very boring. Food was a huge sort of entertainment. Name any castle movie ever, and when they mention a feast, everyone starts losing their flippin minds. Not because the food was good… (For those of you about to go on the defensive about how their food probably wasn’t that bad, go back and reread the poo chute part… It was not a clean time..) Eating and feasts were a form of entertainment. They didn’t have games really, I mean they DID have chess but how many games of chess can you play before you flip a desk and walk out? Feasts were like their version of TV; they had jesters, singers, and dancers perform; it was a whole ordeal. Creature comforts didn’t come into castles until much later in time. But when rich people start throwing money around for large homes with creature comforts you kinda start transitioning into a “palace” vs a “castle”.
I’m gonna wrap this up. Thanks for the topic. It has sparked a few later writing ideas.
Last few random castle facts:
*One of the world’s oldest condoms was found in Dudley Castle. It was made of animal and fish intestine.
*The Lord and Lady of a medieval castle lived in quarters call, “solar chambers”.
*The world’s oldest football was found at Stirling Castle. The ball is made from Cow leather and a pigs bladder.
Until next time.