Happy May Day! Luckily for us Great Brits, this year May 1st fell on a Monday, which meant another Glorious and Great British Bank Holiday for us all to enjoy. But today wasn’t going to be about BBQ’s, queues and booze. Today was to be about fun and frolics at the village fete, fairies, faun, flowers and phallic looking poles for us to prance around. Today was to be Pimms and lemonade on the lawn, followed by a raunchy summer romp in the miscanthus giganteus (that’s a large grass, just in case you were mistaken), finished off with the crowning glory of a beautiful May Queen. Happy May Day indeed. Could it possibly get any more pleasurable than this?
And what better way to experience this simply marvellous day than in the heart of rural Britain, surrounded by some good old proper English heritage. A hidden gem of a fine Tudor house, black, white and made entirely of timber. A 500 year old, chocolate-box mini-mansion, complete with working chapel, orchard, Knot garden and moat. A place of literally breath-taking beauty, steeped in a history and culture that came alive at you, in the form of real Tudor people, in real Tudor clothes, jingling their bells and making merry music as they danced around their pole. National Curriculum eat your heart out. This family May Day out was taking education to the next level.
Or so you would hope. But this is real life folks. This is real Britain. And these, unfortunately, are real sodding kids. Instead of silencing them into a stupendous awe-struck state, the serenity of this place passed them by, and the three Terror Tots managed to work their way in between people’s feet, goofing in and out of hallowed halls and bouncing over and under ancient heritage four-poster beds. (Cringe.) Instead of admiring the well-manicured gardens and the gentle lapping moat from AFAR, my three delightful cherubs had to pick the perennials, trample on the topiary and sail too close to the sodding wind, when it came to the long and winding water-feature that fortified this National Treasure. And finally, rather than join hands with the real Tudor jingle-bell ladies to partake in the real fun and frolics of a traditional pole dance (I did say traditional), my girl-boys located the only hill in the ornamental gardens to roll up and down, gathering grass and digging in the mud, for the remainder of this most stimulating and informative day out.
What is it about children and culture that just don’t mix? Forget Queens and castles, Tudors and Vikings. All kids want is some grass and hills to roll around on, acquiring a few dirty grass stains in the process. And who can blame them? I may have snapped up a little bit of culture this time, but there were no pissed-up grass stains in the bushes for me. Oh well, there’s always next year for my May Day romp.