Turtles, alligators, floods, and Chinese whispers

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August 24, 2017 by Whispering Smith

Whispering Smith Column published in the Littlehampton Gazette August 17th 2017

One day last week there was a frothy white spume covering much of the surface of the Mewsbrook Park backwater. A man, allegedly from the water board, told a friend of mine that it had likely been blown in from the sea which was unlikely as, for starters, it was at the wrong end of the lake. In fact, is was reported to be a harmless and natural reaction caused by the motion of the Pedalos aerating the water much as the wind causes such a phenomenon on a windy beach. He also asked if she was aware of the presence of a snapping turtle in the lake and that the animal had eaten this year’s crop of cygnets and ducklings? I later had a phone call asking me if I knew of the presence of snapping turtles in the lake? Note the plural. Chinese whispers, everyone adds a bit. Now, ’tis true that walking home one late evening last year following a grog laden party with friends on the Beaumont Estate at which I may have read a couple of outrageous poems, I thought to see a large alligator at rest on the moonlit lakeside grass. An alligator possibly, but a huge snapping turtle? Never!

 OH DEAR, I note that after a very hefty rainfall last week the notorious ‘big puddle’ was back at the Littlehampton end of Sea Road. It only seems like yesterday the road was half closed for several days while the council ‘remedied’ the situation and, to be fair, it did hold back the water for couple of years and we thought that it had been forever dealt with. Seemingly not…

I SEE that the grass tennis courts at Maltravers Road have been rolled and cut. I have no idea as to what the exactly the future holds for these superb courts but it is good to know that for the moment at least, someone is taking care of them.

Photograph courtesy of Christine Elson

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