Just in case I’ve not said it enough (and my kids ever want to know), my Ultimate Dream is to build a large Norman castle (read: fortress) in the mountains which is the higher-ground centerpiece of an entire medieval town below. The town’s houses would be of half-timber construction, but the entire thing would be surrounded by a large, wide (two-person wide, not Great Wall of China wide) stone wall.
I’ve seriously thought about this a lot. The castle itself would first consist of an inner Keep (containing a Throne Room, Royal Kitchen, and Clothes-washing Quarters on the first floor, Royal Guard barracks on the second floor, 6 Concubine Rooms on the third floor, 3 Royalty Great-Rooms on the fourth floor [for my kids], and one Grandiose King’s Quarters on the fifth floor, which would include a war room, small personal armory, entertainment section, and ginormous open bedroom). A limited, secret treasury would be maintained underground for gold and castle treasures not prominently displayed.
The Keep would be connected to a Royal Dining Hall, large enough to house a 300-person banquet, with a raised dais for Royalty and other honored guests (7 maximum).
Separate from the Keep/Dining Hall, but still within the castle walls would be: a stone Theatre (modeled on the famous Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre), a Royal stable, a smithy, a tannery, a bowyer/fletcher’s, a seamstress/weaver’s, a Castle Guard barracks, a woodworker’s, a masonry, a butchery/smokehouse, a granary, a storehouse, an armory, a public treasury, a valet’s (who fetches perishables from town daily), and a Royal Court’s quarters.
The town would have pretty much all of that as well (for the townsfolk) as well as shops for farmers, livestock breeders, furniture makers, artists, and such. The outer fields would be the practice grounds for archery, medieval fighting of every type, horsemanship, and the like.
Before the dream were truly complete, I’d also have (outside the town) my own mint, minting gold, silver, and copper coins that were legal tender because of the precious metals they contained, not because of some print on some worthless paper. I’d probably own a Hungry Howie’s franchise and the rights to Crystal Pepsi before I was done as well.
Of course, the sheer millions (if not billions) it would take to pull off such an awesome dream often depresses me – especially now that I approach my own “middle ages”, and without any notable assets. (Who gets depressed by dreams, right?) It’s like Solomon said: “For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.” – Ecclesiastes 1:18
I’m sure I’d be fine to just imagine my dream, build it a hundred different ways in Minecraft, and draw pictures of all the different rooms and such… as long as I didn’t fully comprehend the ridiculous odds against me ever accomplishing such a lofty goal. I mean, I’m starting from absolute zero (well, brains, but who counts that??) and have to make it to a billion or more in half a lifetime – and then actually build it while I’m still lucid enough to remember the plans and young enough to enjoy it.
Unless I either come into an absurd inheritance from some unknown relative or make it ludicrously big in the entertainment or literary industries, I really don’t see how I’ll ever accomplish this life’s goal.
Mind you, I haven’t given up… but sometimes just thinking about the sheer expense and impossibility of it makes me want to put a hollow-point in my cerebellum.