Homespun pleasures, towpath walks and a not so dead horse…

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September 6, 2013 by Whispering Smith

Whispering Smith published in the Littlehampton Gazette August 29th. 2013

WHO said homemade entertainment is dead? Last weekend I was invited to a party on Littlehampton’s Beaumont Estate, a gathering of old and new friends. Your usual Littlehampton mixed bunch, including a social worker, a lecturer, a therapist, a publicity guru, an ex-headmistress, a paediatrician, a teacher, a local councillor – yes a few of them still talk to me in public – some students and a few chirpy youngsters. After a great deal of wine, some excellent grub and a fun fairy treasure hunt, which sounds a bit twee but wasn’t, we sat around chatting and anyone who fancied it was invited to perform. No shortage of takers there. And the long evening was quickly filled with magic tricks, jokes, tall stories, some excellent guitar blues, flute and harp solos, a very funny short story, a beautiful Irish ballad sung by a young man with a perfect tremulous folksy voice, a young lady with a guitar, a sad poem to an absent friend and, from the host, a bass clarinet solo. Took me right back to the sixties and seventies type gatherings I used to so enjoy, only now much improved with the absence of Mateus Rose and the dreaded, ubiquitous, quiche…

THE WELL informed and helpful ‘Rights of Way’ officer at the WSCC has advised me that the towpath, known officially as footpath 206, to Arundel along the west bank of the River Arun will be cleared of long grass and other vegetation by the Environmental Agency, the authority responsible for its maintenance, sometime in September. That promises some excellent autumnal walks along the river followed by a stop for a pint at the Ship and Anchor and a super full English breakfast at Partners in Arundel. Then, if you are still fired up, just follow the river bank back to Littlehampton, the Arun will show you the way home.

RIDER ON A DEAD HORSE: A reader stopped me in the High Street last week and asked why I still banged on about the Windmill Cinema, he said it was akin to flogging a dead horse. I was happy to have told him that I get many letters and comments supporting my position. After all, I figure a horse isn’t dead until it’s in a pie on a supermarket shelf. 204 days closed and counting…


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