My brother Ian will shortly arrive for a two day hiatus at my West Yorkshire apartment. News of my habitually clumsy siblings return to the area of his birth no doubt leading to the flat’s ornaments quaking in their boots.

Of course, the ornamental trinkets don’t literally quake in the boots. For one thing they’re inanimate objects without sensory wherewithal, consequently, they’re oblivious to the vast jeopardy which arrives whenever he visits.

And even if they did have feelings they don’t own a pair of boots. As a man whose trousers have collars and epaulets, it is fair to say I’m not averse to embracing the quirky. That being said, I’d suggest the act of buying room decorations footwear would be a step too far in the eccentricity stakes.

I’d also posit, if you felt the need to place these trappings inside footwear you’d not choose boots. Galoshes which’d hide all, or part, of the ornament; subsequently detracting from the trinkets beauty… Or, whatever you thought it’d bring to enhance the overall room aesthetic at time of purchase.

No, if the utterly ludicrous decision to adorn ornaments in footwear was employed, to maximise the pieces visibility, their base would have to be a flip-flop. I’d suggest the thin souled sandal very much favoured by Mahatma Gandhi.

Anyhow, after spending an absurd hundred words or so debating the merits of dressing ornaments in footwear, it’s probably for the best I move on to the original topic of the day; that of my brother’s forty eight hour stay at his elder sibling’s (my) apartment.

Unlike my ornaments, the return of the younger Strac an event I always look forward to. Yeah, the arrival of my best friend for over half a decade occasionally brings vase destruction in it wake. Not to mention too many late evening conversations where we both seem to start speaking in tongues… Although it has to be said, our venture into glossolalia is not borne from Pentecostal theism, moreover excessive nighttime vino imbibition.

Like my late father, our kid is a wise fellow. One who can relied upon to guide his capricious older brother with sage-like advice… Well until we crack own a third bottle of Pinot Grigio, at which point our exchanges become incomprehensible burbling.

As I write, I have no idea what our itinerary for the next two days includes. However, bearing in mind his cloddishness in the company of valuable artefacts, I can confidently relay it won’t include a visit to the nearby Hepworth museum.

Maybe we could wander a mile or so down Barnsley Road to visit Sandal Castle. With this medieval casa already being a ruin he couldn’t make the damage much worse… Could he?… The answer to that query is “Of course he could!”

Following extensive research (well, three minutes on Google) I’ve learned this Scheduled Monument is classed as a “nationally important” historic building. Consequently, it’s protected against unauthorised change. Edicts which I’ve no doubt include tripping and inflicting further damaging to the ruin when attempting to break your fall.

On reflection, it’s probably best we avoid “nationally important” historic buildings. It’s perhaps safer if we go for a walk into Wakefield for a coffee!

Sandal Castle – Somewhere I’ll not be visiting with my brother!

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