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Castled by rat poison?

May 28, 2013

Regular readers will know that I entertain a massive antipathy for a dog called Banjo, who has infested our house since That Nice Lady Decorator foisted this cantankerous, catastrophic, calamitous, kleptomaniac Klingon of a hound upon us, at my expense I might add, some years earlier. The bane of my life (and generally I love dogs) he has an innate ability to ruin my day.

So rat poison. I love rat poison because it is brilliant at destroying vermin. Thus to walk back into the garden to find that most unpleasant dog in the whole world chewing a cube of the stuff, seemed to me to be him getting his err… just desserts. Employing the ingenuity of a cat burglar, he had managed to dig his way into an outside cupboard and steal the poison . We had arrived back from an indifferent lunch at the Black Horse at Clymping and discovered the horror dog chewing a a cube of rat poison and looking very pleased with himself. My cup runneth over. Surely I cannot be so lucky as to wake up thus morning to the demise of the worst spaniel ever to grace this earth? I live in hope, but as I write this in the White Hart at race night I have a horrible feeling that he will be able to survive such a poisonous episode and when I go down to the kitchen this morning, he still be there, his inane malevolent self.

the gardens at Arundel Castle

Arundel Castle gardens

Earlier, we had been been into the beautiful grounds of Arundel Castle, pictured above, to witness a controlled and advertised siege, which means we were charged £8 to watch a couple of medieval cannons being discharged. Having thus discharged ourselves from proceedings as quickly as possible, we headed for the Black Horse at Clymping, under new management, to see if they could do justice to a fantastic old pub, which needs some TLC on order for it to be somewhere decent to go. Whilst better than under previous ownership, there is still a great distance to travel before his fine old establishment can be considered a worthwhile luncheon venue. A limited menu, more aimed at a winter audience, such was its concentration on pies and sausages, meant that for me, fish and chips was the only option, which is simply too limited a choice to compete with the plethora of gastro pubs that exist within 10 miles of Arundel. I want it to work, but a decent fish dish, which does not involve deep frying in batter, is a necessity, and if you are going to serve mushy peas they must come in something bigger than an eggcup.

There, I have had my say as the self-appointed food critic of Arundel and surrounds. So, after a slightly disappointing lunch we returned to our garden in very pleasant sunshine and then it all started to unravel after the excitement surrounding the dog. It was the sunshine, together with the promise of a return to rain today, that was to blame, that and a thirst which always happens to coincide with a bank holiday and sunshine.

By evening I found myself alone at the White Hart race night, that Nice Lady Decorator having at first taken me down to see the lovely old house belonging to Low Fidelity Fi. I baled out to go to the pub to see if I could rustle up some new Currencies Direct customers and hey presto, success! Jez, I shall want to see that complete application back this week.

An invasion of both Sprogs today for the rest of the week means extra pressure on my wallet and waistline. One can hardly expect to do a diet day when locusts are devouring everything in sight…

Chris France

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