After last weekend’s looting and pillaging I’ve spent much of this week quietly, in a darkened room, applying a dot of lavender water to my throbbing temples – such was the impact of a tribe of Britons at play in the sunshine. But I don’t mean to whinge. You can read last Tuesday’s post for the whinge. All I will say is that I’m thankful that I’m the shy, retiring type who doesn’t get out much.
However, it was a profitable weekend. I was able to track down numerous sites of places that have been lost to the sea. How the hell can she do that if they’ve disappeared into the sea? I hear you ask. I will try to express myself more clearly. I found their traces in street, field and house names; in remains on beaches or hanging off a cliff edge; in the memories of natives who wistfully recalled (prompted by a pint or two)the days when they could walk cliffside, from village to village instead of trekking two miles inland; who remembered blissful childhood holidays staying in a cliff top chalet that each summer shifted nearer the tipping point until…Get the picture?
I found the last vestiges of WWII defences against invasion – concrete pillboxes, one of which I’ve earmarked as a bijou home should I default on my vertiginous mortgage payments. Others I found sprawled across the beaches where they’d fallen.
Talking of bijou residences I also found local landmark Drogo’s Castle or the earthworks thereof. Smart cookie Drogo, he marries William the Conqueror’s favourite niece, builds a snug little hideaway in the middle of nowhere, rushes his new bride up there to live but not happily ever after. Presumably the guy got bored with her or, as they say, found another interest. He did her in – poisoned her, then rode like the clappers to uncle William to borrow vast sums of dosh from him before disappearing overseas never to be heard of again…all this before ever his crime was discovered. What a guy!
Walking back across the fields from the castle I ran into a band of hooligans. At first they were curious and just a little wary, shadowing me across the field. Then, egged on by the ring leader who had glossy golden hair and bold blue eyes, they grew confident, crowding me, tugging at the back of my jacket. I started to walk faster, they broke into a trot. I threw dignity to the winds and legged it over the nearest fence. The wild bunch,snorting derisively skidded to a stop on the other side.
“Ya, shoo you buggers” I wheezed. With a jeering “Moo-oooo” they turned away to graze.
I did enjoy my steak in the restaurant that evening.