A Day To Remember…

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November 26, 2012 by Whispering Smith

Published in the Littlehampton Gazette November 15th .2012

AN OCCASION TO REMEMBER:As sombre as the occasion is, the Remembrance Sunday Service at LA’s war memorial was one of the finest ever. The autumn morning was warm and sunny for one of the largest such gatherings I have attended. The young men and women smart in their uniforms and the marching band in fine form. Even the usually noisy seagulls stilled their screeching for the length of the service. I met and chatted with many old friends, watched a little boy named Finlay, sporting a lovely homemade poppy, chatting to a tall, decorated serving soldier and the older warriors as they delivered their wreaths with a timeless dignity. Somehow it felt that all was as it should be, that this was the kind of peaceful Sunday that those young men and women had fought and died for. I was left with a good feeling and a niggle. Why no bugler present to play The Last Post, surely LA can produce such a musician? And why was the RAF not represented by a cadet at the honour guard and, lastly and most curiously, why were the guard not issued with rifles to perform the traditional ceremonial presenting of arms?

BIRDS OF A FEATHER:One late sunny afternoon last week whilst walking along the river on Pier Road, I saw a gathering of nine cormorants five of which were waving their wings and sunning their tummies on the pontoon on the eastern side of the river just opposite Oscars. I don’t think I have seen that many in such close proximity to each other, and rarely any on the eastern side, in a good many years. They are truly beautifully plumed when you get close enough to see the intricate scale pattern on their back and wing feathers. I asked Simon at the Riverside Fish Stall if he had any idea why they had suddenly adopted the east side of the river, he smiled and told that they were his best customers and pigged out on filleted off cuts and mackerel heads. Oh well, that solves that one, wonder if he gives them a discount?

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