. A number of rooms had walls and ceilings in Michelangelo style with gods and goddesses of Roman and Greek mythology. Sometimes these were in bedrooms with portraits of royal family members interposed. Rather startling to wake up to, one would think. It appears that monarchs often liked to be depicted as some Greek hero or other and tableau were constructed in which royals took a role. Had a wander around the gardens when we had exhausted the Palace. Very formal parkland and foundations, trimmed hedge and shrub bordered flower beds and sunken gardens. Very colourful. Of particular interest was the ancient vine (world's oldest it is claimed) still cultivated and fruit producing.
Arrived at Chelwood Gate on dusk. The B&B is delightful and our hosts very friendly and welcoming. Dee and Keith (our hosts) have a lovely garden with three separate levels, gradually purchased over time. Bird feeders attract robins, chaffinch, great tits and long-tailed tits, blackbirds and sparrows. They have two large black tom cats that rule the house and guests.
Their names are Hector - fat and diabetic, and Mischief - thinner and mischievous.
A mild but overcast day. Off to Chelwood Gate via Hampton Court. Spent about 5 hours at this historic Royal Palace. originally the home of Cardinal wolsey, Henry VIII took it over when Wolsey fell from favour. A very extensive array of rooms comprising of Henry's State Apartments, Tudor Kitchens, The Wolsey Rooms, King William III's Apartments, Queen's State Apartments, The Georgian Rooms and other exhibits. No photos allowed inside except for the kitchens. Lots of paintings and tapestries. Most impressive to Austin was the King's Guard Chamber with its wall displays of weapons (muskets, rifles, spears, pikes, knives etc - 3000 pieces in all) arranged in geometric shapes and patterns. Many of the paintings were of famous people (nobility and royals); one series of women looking very similar in face and feature, we wondered how true to life they really were or whether they were all modelled on an 'ideal' woman of the time. Other paintings were large scenes of biblical stories and some of these also appeared as tapestries (always in reverse) covering the full height and length of various walls throughout the apartment rooms