Thursday, 3 June 2010

Pease Poodle

It’s been a glorious, glorious day. I spent the past 6 hours with Christopher and Meriel in Brighton. The sun shone endlessly and the sky was cloudless and deep blue. We ate chips on the beach, paddled in the sea, and played on the dolphin derby. We went to a Victorian penny arcade and wasted hundreds of ten pence pieces on various pinball machines and automata. We journeyed through a house of horrors on a ghost train at the end of the pier and rode a giant chicken on a merry-go-round whilst Keep The Home Fires Burning played on a pipe organ. I’ve laughed until my cheeks ached, sung Judy Garland songs, eaten doughnuts and had chocolate milkshakes. My teeth are ready to fall out and the back of my neck is burnt, but I don’t care. It’s been a glorious, glorious day.

My extraordinary companions

We’re now in Tunbridge Wells watching Hannah Waddingham performing a cabaret. She ended the evening with an extraordinary rendition of Send In the Clowns whilst the audience literally held its breath.

Christopher, who’s American, is having enormous problems remembering the names of the various quaint English town we’ve been passing through on our journey. He keeps referring to this place as Cotswold Minge and the already bizarrely named Pease Pottage was recently regurgitated as Pease Poodle, which I almost prefer!

Whilst passing through Lewes on our way here, I saw a dark-haired woman standing with her back to me in front of a news camera and immediately recognised her as my dear friend Claudia. I went back round the one-way system so that I could pull up alongside her and give her the fright of her life, just before she went live on the BBC regional news! It was wonderful to see her. The perfect end to a perfect day...
Claudia and her fluffy boom going live...

Not a great deal happened on board The Charles on Sunday 3rd June 1660; no games of nine pins or idle gossip or even news from London. Pepys returned to his personal accounts and discovered that he was actually worth the tidy sum of £100, which I’m told is about £9000 in today’s money. When you consider that he ended the diary worth something in the region of £10,000 pounds in 17th Century money, we begin to get an idea of quite how wealthy he became, and why he was able to leave such an impressive library of books to the world.

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