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Sunset in Arundel

February 3, 2013

At least we have a clean house. As we had heard yesterday, there was a possibility of my playmate Slash and Burn Thornton Allan not arriving yesterday due to man flu, and so it came to pass. We were at the tip when we got the message. One of the refuse collection operatives (as we used to call ourselves when John Otway and I were dustmen) saw Banjo in the back of the car and asked it was our dog. What a stupid question. I was tempted to say that he was not and that we had just stolen him, but that would have been really ridiculous because I did not want him in the first place. I was also tempted to ask in which section we should place unwanted pets, but as that Nice Lady Decorator was keeping an eye on me I decided to remain quiet.

So with the day’s plans abandoned we decided that, as it was the only nice day of the winter, we would have a drive around and see what we could find to amuse ourselves.  We had been told that Bosham, just the other side of Chichester, was pretty so went to take a look. A charming estuary surrounded by some pretty houses in reasonable although rather cold conditions provided a nice walk and it would have been churlish not to go into the only pub, the Anchor Bleu, curiously a French name for a quintessentially English pub.

The trouble started at the next stop, The Black Rabbit. If I tell you that my car is still there and we staggered home you may get an inkling that things progressed rather differently to expectations.

River Arun at sunset

A rare sunset in Arundel

The problem was that they had run out of proper beers as they were closing that very evening for a 7 week refurbishment. They warned us as we arrived but before we could cancel our reservation mentioned that they had some of “that wine you like that we got in specially”. There was little choice but to continue with the planned lunch. Some months before, I had remonstrated with the excellent management about the lack if a decent wine in their offering and had been urged by them to write to owners, Hall and Woodhouse, as their hands were tied. In the letter I had drawn myself up to my true literary height; author, writer of articles for The Daily Telegraph etc. and lo and behold there was an excellent Grand Cru St Emilion waiting for us on our next visit. So you see our conundrum; as this wine had been specially ordered in for us, we had to eschew the one pint of beer I had planned and proceed to drink it.

With the refurbishment will come a new wine list, so they had a couple of other bottles left over which they generously gave us, so you can see that it would have been churlish not to have drink at least one of them. That concludes the case for the defence.

Walking back to Arundel, I took a right turn to the Kings Arms to watch the rugby, whilst that Nice Lady Copout went home. At least that was what I was told she said she had planned, but I got a text saying she was watching it at the White Hart, having been intercepted by Terribly Tall Timothy Taylor. It was on the way back for the second half that I took this photo of an Arundel sunset. It seemed to capture the moment when coherence left me for the day. Again, that is the case for the defence.

Chris France

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