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Daily Journal

June 24 – The Birds and the B's
Brougham Castle (Continued)

Through several grassy areas we meander. These used to be the Hall and Great Chamber, signs inform us. There are benches here; it's a nice place to sit and rest our weary feet for a moment. We've found another family: mother, father, two wild and unruly sons and another very sweet-faced little girl of about two years old.

Robin speaks to the little girl, whose name is Claire, and suddenly has a friend for life. While her brothers and father are climbing about the four stories of the Keep, Claire attempts to keep Robin in sight and coos, "Halloo" whenever she spies her. She's a very cute little girl, and I smile, thinking of my own children, as cherub-faced as Claire, when they were her age.

Robin and I do a bit of climbing around the Keep ourselves. The spiral staircase is very steep and dark, but there are landings with things to explore on each story and windows that look back out on the grassy area below. It's looking out of one of these windows on the third story that I experience an attack of vertigo that has me immediately sitting down. Confused, I look back out of the window, only to see the world spinning again. I shake it off and look around me.

Nearby there's a sign pointing out a stone panel set into the roof of one of the passages. Like Brough, Brougham was built on the site of a Roman fort and this stone panel is part of a Roman tombstone. Translated, the inscription reads:

"To the spirits of the departed. Titus M... lived 32 years more or less. M... his brother set up this inscription".

I satisfy myself with taking a picture of the sign which gives this translation, while Robin lies on her back in the passageway to get a photograph of the panel itself. Now, that's dedication.

I take another peek out the window and after watching the world spin around again decide that this might be a good time to go join Dana on the bench for a nicotine fix (cough). Robin climbs her way to the top of the Keep while Dana and I sit and admire our surroundings – mosses and ferns that grow out of the stones in the ruined walls and walks, and way up high, two decorative corbels whose faces are almost completely worn away.

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