Darkest Essex

  Extract from the journal of Major Wyford Clarke dated 12th November 2011 AD: Vol. 111 "The Somnolent Years 1997 ......."


" Where was I? Oh yes; had to get some fresh  fountain pen ink supplies in.
 If you ask me quality gone to pot. I don't think they tread those black grapes properly: all the fault of those euro Fritz chaps,
Absolutely useless; can't even draw a bally pound sign correctly.


Bad as those Banker chappies; far too much  totty and bong weed, leading them to casino banking; which is fine, except they are playing with my money!
Wrote to the boy David; suggested they relieve the Bank of England of currency duties and give the job to Ladbrokes. Well they couldn't do worse could they? At least they like a gamble.


Anyway don't get me started.


The Memsahib, told me the other day that we were due to visit her late father's son and his wife in Essex. But when I checked my almanac, I found to my dismay that we were due that very weekend at the races with Roly and Joly, who had  secured a box for the day.


When I mentioned this to the Memsahib, she replied that she had  already sent a mobile telegram to R & and J.
I reached for the Speaking Instrument, fearful that the message had not got through.


" You need not do that, I have their reply here, " exclaimed the Memsahib.


" What did they say ? " I asked.


" With deepest sympathy, "  she replied.


The next  task was to take the three dogs, Macmillan, Eden, and the young pup Duncan ( good, but a little yappy at times) to Mary Wilson- Copp's Yak Farm in the Stroud Valley, which makes footwear for the world's poor; under the name 'Sock-it'; catchy I thought.


MWC likes to have the dogs to help her round up the Yaks; big brutes you know.
I like to visit the smallholding, to get some fresh air and see her parrot Augie.
Dumb name for a bird; until I found out it was short for Organic. It is of course the required green colour and greets visitors with either:
" Freedom for all "
or,
  " Fairtrade for all. '"
Naturally to further its linguistic skills, I am trying to encourage Augie to say " Freeloaders for all ," yet to no avail.


So with the Memsahib behind the wheel of the Jag, we set off for darkest  Essex. It was, dear readers, a deeply un-memorable journey, with vistas of concrete and crash bars. The ghastly vision of  Harold Wilkinson (1958)  Minister of Transport was with us. 
It was apparently to do with  traffic flows and exits; the meaning was lost on me, so I took a pull on the trusty hip-flask and tried to rest.


Unfortunately, the first of the autumnal fogs arrived and by M11, (whatever that means ) I was getting
a trifle agitated; so much so, that if it hadn't been for the scooped-out, silver inlaid, rhino's horn, relief would not  have been at hand.


But eventually shaken, but thankfully not stirred, we arrived at the Memsahib's late father's son residence. 
He is a very decent chap keeping a good cellar and while the Memsahib unloaded the portmanteau, a reviving spot of amontillado, soon hit the wicket.


After an excellent repast, served by his lady wife, combined with the crackling logs on the wood-burner, I was soon dreaming of those  winners steaming up the hill; whilst the Memsahib talked enthusiastically about vehicular matters.


I was woken up by the google-box and deciding, that I had more than enough reality for the day, I retired to bed with Lord John Major's spiky memoirs  " bastards, Bastards, BASTARDS,"
After only a few pages oblivion overcame me.


The next day dawned, and our hosts were good enough to take us on a motor tour of the Essex hinterland. We eventually arrived at Maldon, by the River Blackwater.
It is a fascinating spot, where sailing ships are built, maintained and refurbished.
It was, I realized the place where Estuary English was first discovered at the estuary.


We walked along the path until we came to the statue of the warrior pointing towards the open sea.
There had been a battle with the Vikings in AD991 ( should have been BC- before cricket).
Overcome with salty emotions, I charged the pipe with 'imperial shag' and sat watching for longboats; until the Memsahib ordered me to return to the transport facility.


It had been an interesting day's trip.


Just remembered the Memsahib  had taken the Kodak with her and supplied me with these two images.
She promised me that upon typing up my manuscript she would add in the pictures.
Anyway off for a snifter at "The Ball and Musket"  WC. "
















             
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Editor's note: if you would like to find out a little bit more, regarding the Battle of  Maldon.
Please click here: Maldon.


Enjoy the sun's rays before the night frosts.

Ck.

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