It’s Friday, a.k.a. ‘Pizza and Movie Night’ at our house. After enjoying several 89-pence pizzas from Morrisons, the undisputed winner of the seemingly never-ending quest to replace the Red Baron, we stacked ourselves up on the sofas and piled on the fleecy blankets.
The boys usually trade off deciding what to watch, but tonight it was a unanimous decision–Monty Python and the Holy Grail. This unprecedented agreement was likely brought on by the current study of Vikings by year 5 and year 6 (4th & 5th grade) students at their school. The hallways are lined with Viking paraphernalia including helmets with nose guards fashioned out of silver construction paper, framed stories complete with sketches about the plight of the poor English villagers at the hands of invading Viking warriors over a thousand years ago and cardboard replicas of genuine Viking artifacts.
I realize that many Americans do not find this film funny at all, but I’m not one of them. I classify it as pure comic genius and will even go so far as to admit that it was on my personal “pro” list and quite possibly tipped the scales in favor of moving here. But don’t tell my husband that. Although he enjoys the film as much as I do, he should be spared the knowledge that his career and the home of the killer bunny were equally weighted in my book.
We bought the Monty Python boxed set when we first arrived in England, right after we found out there was an 8 week waiting period for them to come and hook up our cable. I had heard that customer service just wasn’t the same here, but I now have profound respect for the word dumbstruck. After I confirmed that I had heard the lad correctly, I was struck motionless with my mouth agape, my thoughts pondering the possibility that we had gotten off the plane at the wrong stop. Surely there must be some mistake, but no, that was the standard wait. Something could possibly open up sooner, he said. It better, I thought, or you can come over in your skinny black jeans and personally entertain my presently friendless children until school starts. The look on my face must have kept the young man up at night because miraculously, a spot opened up in just over two weeks.
Between adventures to castles and following the sat nav (Garmin) to various grocery stores, we enjoyed rolling around laughing and randomly reenacting scenes such as the Black Knight and Killer Bunny, but when the endless episodes of Top Gear finally graced our flat screen, the classics were relegated to the book shelf…until tonight.
I was minding my own bowl of popcorn when suddenly, as Lancelot went charging into the castle to save the wimpy prince, I recognized the entrance to the castle as one of the places we’ve visited in our travels. I always assumed that only star-struck loonies got all excited about going places just because they were in a movie, like those annoying tourists with binoculars looking for the houseboat from Sleepless in Seattle or the throngs of teenagers traipsing out to the soggy old logging town of Forks for a glimpse of Twilight country, but I suddenly found myself screaming like a little girl, “Did you see that? OMG–we’ve been there! Remember that castle? Can you believe it?!?!”
I was wrong, of course. Apparently, my castle identification skills are not exactly up to par. I’ll just have to add that to the list of things to work on, right after properly signalling in roundabouts.
But the really sad part is that thanks to the internet, I now know that the infamous castle is located in a small village near Edinburgh, a mere 5 hours and 14 minutes away, and wait for it…I might just have to change my destination of choice for my fortieth birthday from Dublin to Doune Castle.
Cue the loonie music.