Having barely recovered from our adventures in Belgium we
set off for Eastbourne on a sunny afternoon, it should have
been a straightforward journey but Sibyl and the Fair
Folk pixie led us first through Tonbridge and then
down lots of quaint country lanes hardly wide enough for the car.
I sometimes wonder about the motives of the Sat-Nav.
We had planned to eat at the little restaurant with the hot rocks
that we visited last year but, sadly, this was gone to be replaced
by a Chinese buffet munch ‘til you drop sort of place. Instead we
headed for ‘Zara’
for another excellent curry.
It rained during the night but as we left Eastbourne, via
several diversions the sun came out and we dragged it all the way
to Newhaven Fort with us! We were met by Paul and
Debby who informed us that there were three other events
going on in the area that day: Bangkok
Cyclist event and The
Ladies Open, I did not catch what this bizarre combination
of events actually entailed but I’m sure it was ‘interesting’.
Around mid morning we went up onto the battlements to see the
last sea voyage of a little boat that had been designed by T
E Lawrence. The view was stunning on such a fine day but
we could not find the boat…ah, there it is, it really was little
and dwarfed by the tug it was tethered to. A fulmar
did wheelies in honour of this final trip, while a jackdaw
looked curiously at us with its head tilted in such a way that gave
me the impression that it had some doubts about our sanity.
Lunch was served by Debby and consisted of a delicious
chasseur. One thing that was thankfully missing from the
day was recorded re-runs of WWI songs, I am not sure if we
could have taken another bout of ‘Tipperary’, which, I might
add, happens to be one of my favourites.
I talked to a gentleman who owns a real mummified
cat; he was doubtful about my one, but I explained that
it is based on several photos and specimens. Mummified cats ranged
from large, elaborately wrapped specimens to small bundles that
look like little more than a toilet roll wrapped in a cheap first
aid kit. Just for the record no animals were harmed in the mummification
of my Tibbles.
What had started as something of a slow day turned into a busy
afternoon and we managed to keep our visitors entertained. During
my telling of the Piltdown story I found that several people
I talked to lived in the little village made famous by Charles
Dawson and his cricket playing ancestor.
We met a gentleman of some 90 years who loved the stereoscopes
and other ‘scopes in our collection. One young lad had seen the
ghost that lives down one of the tunnels in the fort, his description
had matched that of a known ghost of the fort.
Chris of the ‘Heilbron Commando’ had a chat with
us about the ‘Ryedale
Folk Museum’, I later talked to one of his members who had
been a game guide in South Africa and told me a story about
a close encounter with a cape buffalo, possibly the meanest, vilest,
most short tempered species of cattle on earth and accounting for
far more deaths than deep fried Mars Bars! The horror…the horror!
There were also some very nice ladies from the local library who
tried to get me to join, they seemed assured when I told them that
I was not a local and that I owned rather more books than most people,
although the days when I read 50 odd books a year have faded like
a daguerreotype in the sun.
And so on to the saying of the event; I usually quote the ridiculous
or just plain silly but today’s prize goes to a young lad who, at
some opportune moment during a Dr Tooms Talk suddenly asked,
rather randomly, “are you going to watch ‘Britain’s Got Talent?’’,
there is not a lot to say to that!
As the day came to a finish we packed, thanked Paul n Debby
and set off for home, racing the rain that seemed to follow in our
wake…nothing to do with us folks!
This is Prof. Grymm…off to check out those ‘other events’!