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Weekend Britain

This weekend Britain is what everybody expects Britain to be – cold and damp, the drizzle dripping off every tree and blade of grass and a cold that seeps right into the bones. We have deserted our London nest to visit East Sussex where my mother normally lives although at present she will be striding the decks of a luxury cruise ship on its final approach to Rio de Janeiro.

We took the train down from London yesterday evening after work and the bus from Wadhurst station. It was a cold and rainy evening, so arriving in the dark meant a struggle to read the station bus timetable to work out whether the bus turned round at the station or went on somewhere else. It turns out the station is a terminus so all we had to do was wait but even the driver seemed a bit perplexed when he did finally arrive. Instead of opening the doors we could see him struggling with some sort of control panel inside as he attempted to get the display at the front of the bus to change from ‘Wadhurst’ to ‘Ticehurst’. Clearly he wasn’t going to succeed and finally he gave up so we could climb on board. Barely had the doors closed when the bus shot off like a rocket, blasting long dark roads we could see nothing of from our brightly lit interior.

Somewhere along the way we figured out that the driver was foreign, Polish maybe, and it was his first day on the route. Maybe this was also his first time driving in this country, maybe he had high-jacked the bus, we thought, as he blasted down the winding country lanes.

We escaped at Tickhurst, as he pronounced it (which we rather thought was a better name for this place), beside The Bell pub in the village centre. Sadly, however, this was guarded by a wooden hoarding, as if being refurbished, so our hopes for a warming drink and a meal were thwarted. Not knowing about other pubs nearby we trudged off in the dark towards mum’s cottage until Kate spotted an Indian take-away. All was not lost and the food turned out to be well cooked and tasty, if rather lacking in ‘edge’. Once again my theory on Indian food is proven – the smaller the town, the less spicy is the food.

Finally, the Cruising Association’s home beside Limehouse basin (and Cirrus Cat) is featured in December’s Yachting monthly magazine, in case anyone is interested.

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