Jail Time

On the way home from work on Friday, on the spur of the moment, I decided to visit Colchester Castle and make the most of my resident’s pass. It was dark, the gates to the park were barely open, and the Castle itself was about to close to the public for the night. Randomly, I thought I would shop local! in the museum shop. Specifically, I was looking for a Christmas tree topper with a difference and hoping for a Boudicca (ideally with chariot), but I would have settled for a centurion or Saint Helena (Colchester’s patron saint). Sadly, there were no such decorations, and nothing which could be adapted to suit.

As I was the only visitor, members of staff were eager to tell me what I was looking at; to act as my personal guides. I declined their help, I wanted to be alone with my ancestry, and I escaped to the Castle gaol. It ceased to be used for that purpose in 1835; but in its 600-year history, the gaol had held prisoners of war, convicted criminals, and suspected witches. A sound and light show is activated when visitors enter and reflects this latter part of the story – when Matthew Hopkins, the ‘Witchfinder General’ came to Colchester in the 1640s. He was busy here; more witches were executed in Essex than in any other county in the UK. But we Colcestrians persist, as we must.

(Happily, dear reader, I headed home to make my own Christmas tree topper and – naturally – there is now a decorated dog topping my tree, to add to the two live ones ‘decorating’ its base).

Light Relief

For a final Saturday-swim that day, the salty-feisty sea-dog and her fine-warm human took me to the Light House beach at Kiotari. Earlier, we’d ventured into the blue and then relaxed cheek to cheek. The freddo cappuccino, the laid-back soundtrack, the soothing shade and the cooling sea provided the ultimate chill on a hot afternoon.

Into the Blue

One September Saturday, together with a good friend and her salty-feisty sea-dog, we went swimming here.

At Lachania, on the island of Rhodes, Greece, the beach is close enough to the village to take its name and distant enough to keep its integrity.