Grymm Tooms Travelling Museum
Waltham Abbey 10th November 2013



Sunday: This was to be our first Remembrance Day Service as Grymm Tooms having been invited some time ago by Paul and Debby. It was to be a morning service in two parts, the first being at the war memorial on Farm Hill Rd, opposite The Green Man pub. We were supposed to have met in the pub car park but, like a bad blind date, the pub no longer matched the Google Maps photo; it was a boarded up, empty shell and about a third of it had been demolished; only a battered satellite dish on the side of the building indicated that the damage was recent.

There was a very good turnout; Paul was in the uniform of Chasseur Alpin complete with Bela Lugosi cloak and a beret the size of a wombat perched at a jaunty angle. Debby was in an Imperial Russian uniform while Milo and several others, including the Fahnlein chaps, were in 1914 French uniforms. We were also introduced to Debby’s cousin Elizabeth from Seattle and Catherine from Fredericksburg, Texas.

Once everyone was gathered there was some marching about before we joined the citizens of Waltham at the memorial. We were facing the low winter sun during the service and my attention was drawn to what I thought was a bit of gold foil on one of the plants in the border but when I tilted my head I could see that it was a water droplet hanging onto the tip of a leaf; I am sure that there is a haiku in the making there.

After this ceremony we headed for Waltham Abbey Church for the main service. This is one of those places you hear about and often not get to so it was a pleasure to finally get inside the abbey which is a beautiful building, there was a banner being displayed to commemorate King Harold Godwinson’s foundation of the church in 1060, to think that his world turned upside down just six years later. After the church service we headed for the town hall where we had tea, biscuits and a photo session for those in uniform. While it was a sunny day it was by no means warm and I couldn’t help noticing that Ian was wearing a thin summer tunic so he was probably grateful to get inside for a hot drink.

It was soon time for lunch so we set off on the next episode of the day - The Abbey Taverna for a buffet lunch. As usual we must have made quite a sight for the few regulars who were already there. I discovered that I had quite a lot of common interests with Elizabeth including a mutual dislike for the poo movieTroy, I bet the shade of Homer regrets that he never penned the line “The Achaeans gibbered hysterically at the sight of Llama Taming Hector”. Elizabeth was also impressed that I had heard ofThe Explorer’s Clubwhose annual dinner has some pretty funky items on the menu. I’m sure that it has been noticed in my reports that I not only enjoy my food but will also try some of the more ‘interesting’ items around. Sadly I doubt if I qualify for a dinner invite. However, back to the present menu - The food at the buffet was excellent and I went up three times and must have eaten a reasonable sized sheep by the time I had finished. For some reason unknown this is the only Greek restaurant that I have ever been in that played Dean Martin’s greatest hits, perhaps the answer is in the, as yet undiscovered, other book by Homer.

Paul has hinted that Grymm Tooms not only have weather magic but that we also attract weird events, well we have disproved the former and I shall now show that we don’t attract wierdosity but simply witness it. There was a surreal and random moment during which Milo got out of his chair, moved briskly to stand behind Dom and then elegantly threw his cravat over Dom’s head in a garrotting sort of action! Rather than being a demonstration of Thuggee, or a dispute over the souvlaki Milo was simply assisting Dom in getting his neck tie right! I have come to the conclusion that Milo is a catalyst for weirdness – if you don’t believe me check out the Zonnebekke events!

Just as we were leaving the manager approached Paul with a lot of interest in future appearances at the restaurant…should be interesting.

This is Prof Grymm…in search of fried crickets…which taste like those little brown shrimps