Monday, 14 January 2013

80 Years!

 On the 13th January 1961 my parents started 'courting'.  On the 12th January 1985 Mark and I started 'going out'.  When I was little Mum always cooked a special meal for their 'Going-Out-iversary'.  Nowadays the four of us have got into the habit of going away for a city break on the nearest weekend.  We've been to little pubs in the West Country (when Mum found walking easier) and in recent years we've had good deals in city centre hotels in Bath and Bristol.  This year we got a really good deal to stay in Cardiff for a couple of nights.  Here's Mark at one end of our room...
The weather was pretty cold and grim on Saturday so we decided to explore Cardiff Castle.  Mum takes her time - and it gives us all the chance to read displays properly and absorb a little more of the atmosphere.  The visit starts with a short video then you enter the WW2 Air raid Shelters.  These run under one side of the castle as far as the north gate.
This is the view from the north gate back towards the Norman keep, Victorian buildings (with the modern stadium in the background.)

Mark climbed to the top of the keep, leaving me with my parents at a more sensible level.  He took this photo from the top of the tower - Mum and Dad huddled up against the cold, listening to their audio guides.

Eventually we headed for the warmth of the Victorian castle buildings.  We went to Castle Coch a few years ago so we knew that we were going to be in for a serious 'Gothic' design experience..

I absolutely loved it!  Here's the ceiling in the Great Hall..

and another incredible ceiling in a small ante-room.

This musical monkey caught my eye near one of the windows..

..and here's a detail from the library..

The entry fee was pretty steep - but we spent five hours in the castle once we'd read our way through all the information in the Military Museum too.  I also discovered that we could convert our day entry tickets to season tickets for no extra charge.  Now we can pop in again for free for the rest of 2013!

On Saturday night we worked out that we'd been dating for 80 years between us..!

Hope that you are all having a good week.  Jx


  1. What a beautiful post about two love stories! I also enjoyed the photos of the castle...a chance for me to see your part of the world.

  2. What a lovely tradition for the four of you to go away together to celebrate, and I'm pleased to see that your mum is still getting about. My mum has really slowed down over the past year, she's suffering with her heart and finds it difficult to walk. Cardiff Castle sounds interesting, and what good value to be able to convert your tickets. That's a great excuse for a return visit.

  3. I am so glad you visited my blog so I could find out about yours. I have totally enjoyed reading your blog. It is such a treat to see some of the places I've only heard about and seeing how people live in other parts of the world. If I can remember how to follow, I'm your newest follower.

  4. How lovely that you can have an annual weekend away to celebrate both of the dating anniversaries :)

    Sounds like a really nice weekend for you all.

  5. I would have loved to do that tour. Thank you for the photos of your day. I toured several British castles in the past and enjoyed it so much. They are so unique and beautiful.

  6. What a wonderful celebrate each other with your parents.That castle is something much to see.

  7. Cardiff is a city I've never visited but it looks as though it's worth seeing. Lovely way for you and your parents to celebrate.

  8. What a wonderful celebratory tradition. J and I were married on our Going-Out-iversary( 32 years together, 29 years married in May) and my parents and maternal grandparents shared the same wedding anniversary.I love your photographs - I get to see places I'm unlikely to get to visit.

  9. That sounds like a great family tradition to keep going. It's ages since we visited Cardiff Castle and I think when we did parts of it were closed so it was interesting to see your photos; those ceilings look amazing:)

  10. Looks like you had a lovely day out and so nice to keep up old traditions, Jan. By the way ... how old is your mum? Sue

  11. Wonderful! A lovely story of romance and tradition. The photographs of Castle Coch are spectacular.