Today was a day of sourcing materials:
Three years ago I decided to move house. The plan was to move to a much larger house, near the seaside, on what I later realised was the most inefficient railway line in the country. I somehow assumed that a 2+ hour commute would leave me with more time than my present thirty-five minute bike ride. Luckily the whole thing fell through but, in order to try to sell the house, I had to clear away a lot of the clutter. 54 boxes of books went into the attic. When I decided to stay put I cleared the attic and recluttered the house but kept the cardboard boxes – on the assumption that ‘one day they’d come in handy’. And they have. There are enough boxes to make a ……..
Shockingly there doesn’t seem to be a collective noun for castles. I sent a ‘please help’ email to Chris, who is more inspired in these matters than I am. First he considered castles in their historic role of claiming and holding territory – to form and defend borders and shores, as part of a communications and logistics network, and a means to control and suppress population – often of recently conquered peoples or rebellious citizenry. Amongst others, he came up with a threat, an overlooking, a watchfulness, a menace, a terror and a fearfulness. Looking at my planned castle, with its friendly rose clambering up one wall and windows affording glimpses of a warmly-lit interior I realised I probably wasn’t building it for a display of power.
His second collection of words, looking at the symbolic role of castles seemed much more suitable. Here an antiquity, a romance and an imagination were all possibilities but in the end I decided on a pageantry. So here, for the first time, we can disclose a new collective noun: a pageantry of castles. I suppose I shall now have to make more than one.