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Wyatt Earp spotted in Arundel

January 6, 2013

After a day of unforecast driving drizzle had taken sufficient toll on my ability to endure a typical English winters day, that Nice Lady Decorators suggestion that we go out for an early evening pint to the newly refurbished Swan Hotel for a pint of London Pride was accepted with alacrity. Just the one she said, which became two, but stopping at that became a (peace) pipe dream as soon as spotted the Wyatt Earp of Arundel, the lovely Kathryn smoking in the garden of The White Hart. Wyatt tends to smoke a peace pipe with the local Indians from the takeaway. No, I made that bit up, but as soon as I though of a peace pipe it was the only way I could work Indians into my prose.

Anyway, after a drink there, we all decided to go to The Kings Head in Arundel, which meant walking past her mythical Indian friends (she may Sioux me for that) and also to walk past the Chinese takeaway, The Millenium Dragon, It was at that stage that once again that Nice Lady Decorator became disinclined to cook, so a decision was made to get a takeaway and eat in the pub, which has that wonderful policy of encouraging just that. I was despatched to order a myriad of dishes, but forgot the spring rolls she had specifically requested, so I had to go back and order some to stop my own personal matrimonial dragon event from blossoming spectacularly. When she is hungry, beware.

At present my kennel, laughingly called the office, my shed at the bottom of the garden, is in the hands of our Decorator in chief, who has been plastering it. I made some joke about it only needing a band-aid rather than a full plastering job but was quickly reminded that I was not very funny, except in my own mind. She was talking about painting it in 50 shades of grey, which I was informed would be funny. She is referring to HQ, the nerve centre of the British music industry, the centre of excellence for the writing of this column, for guiding the career of many a dead or dead pop star, and of course for spreading the word about the benefits of opening an account with Currencies Direct. I must say though, it is looking rather splendid for a shed. Once all those gold records, that remind me of when I used to work hard for a living, are festooned on the ceiling (her idea), I think she hopes I may be inspired to work a little harder.

Earlier, we had fled to the beach for customary pre-drinking exercise designed to build up a few drinking credits along the beach at Clymping, pictured below. It looked nothing like this yesterday of course, but the picture taken then was so depressing, and the standard of this blog equally so, that I thought you deserved something less sombre.


An English coastline at dusk

Talking of sombre, I have just looked out of the window at the morning sky and I am in mourning for some sunshine. All I can see is one of those perishing 50 shades of grey that comprise an English winter, an event and a time of year I will never plan lightly to experience again. Plans for spending much of next winter somewhere else are forming in my mind and will grow with every new grey morning with which I am confronted.. I feel that this greyness and it being a Sunday may combine to propel me into a quintessentially English pub for lunch before a roaring log fire. I just don’t know which pub yet.

Chris France

2 Comments leave one →
  1. howzaaat permalink
    January 6, 2013 2:20 pm

    Dear Chris,

    Apropos your recent queries (no, that’s queries) about pixies, may I offer you the following by way of illustration, which will either clarify or further obfuscate their role :-


    I am not aware of any fairies at the bottom of our garden, French ones or otherwise, but we do keep bees and the queen is a particular favourite – I don’t mean HM, nor the pop group, but the queen bee, see ?

    Anyway, for Christmas I was given a giant jigsaw puzzle of 25,000 pieces which, for the sake of preserving space in the house, I have begun assembling on a large board on the floor of my workshop, down at the bottom of the garden next to the bees.

    Pixie, for that is my queen bee’s name, likes to see what I’m doing from time to time and will fly in periodically to check on how I’m getting on. She’s more like a nosey child than a queen bee, except that she looks more like a bee than a child, which is one of the ways I can tell the difference.

    One evening I had been toiling late in my workshop, messing about with some liquid or other from a local wine-press, when on leaving I tripped over a cork which someone had stupidly left lying on the floor and fell against the board containing my jigsaw puzzle. Sadly, the pieces flew in every direction and all my painstaking work was for nought.

    I felt too fed up to stay and pick them up that night and went into the house for supper. However, as I was locking up, I noticed my queen bee flying around in circles over the scattered puzzle pieces. “Maybe Pixie will pick them up,” I said jokingly to myself, never dreaming for one moment that such would be the case.

    When I opened up the next morning, Pixie was fast asleep on the board on the floor, evidently totally exhausted. And well she might have been, for there on the board was the completed puzzle, which the night before had been scattered all about the workshop. My faithful little Pixie had buzzed about all night picking them up and arranging them into the completed picture of a Sussex v. Surrey cricket match at Arundel Castle.

    And so you see, in today’s quite magical digital world, Pixies are a vital element that helps to bring the big picture together. Without them, we’d have disconnected bits and pieces everywhere.


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