Oh, my gosh. We have been enjoying ourselves in Sussex for almost a week and I am just now getting down to the business of reporting our adventures. This is an odd development and I’m not certain why it has happened but I’m not inclined to spend much time worrying about it. However, I can say without any fear of contradiction that my lapse is not due to any lack of wonderful things to write about.
We did arrive right on schedule and were in the first wave off of the plane on onto the busses that took us to the terminal. I didn’t remember that those in first and business classes were allowed off the airplane before all others. Yoiks, that was a bit uncomfortable; had to keep my eyes down so as not to meet the gaze of any of the bleary eyed hoi polloi on the other side of the galley barricade. But as is so often the case, one gets used to special treatment almost immediately and I had no qualms in using the “fast track” coupon we had been given to speed our way through immigration and customs and, before one could say “Bob’s your uncle,” we were out in arrivals being greeted by Heather, big smiles all around.
It is a tribute to the English that Heather didn’t blanch when she saw the vast amounts of luggage trailing behind us like so many overfed St. Bernard dogs. But her very petite Nissan Micra was up to the task and we had no trouble wedging all of our belongings into it. Down the road to Hove where Judy greeted us with welcoming hugs, reviving beakers* of tea and fortifying slices of courgette* cake.
The late afternoon being fine and Michael and I fading fast, it was decided that a walk down to and along the sea front was in order. As we were heading back, the four of us were approached by four school children (five to seven years old) who wanted to give us some conkers** that they had picked up somewhere. That turned into a rather delightful cultural exchange re. conker fights and how to prepare ones conkers for such competitions. The children had obviously never heard of such a thing, which seemed to surprise Heather and Judy, who proceeded to tell them how to pierce the conker with a large needle in order to put a string through it. This instruction was peppered with repetitions of “but you must have an adult do this for you as it could prove dangerous.” It was charming and I find myself wondering if the parents of these lovely children are blessing or cursing this lesson in childhood games of the past.
*That’s “mugs” and “zucchini” to us.
**That’s “horse chestnuts” to us.