Sunday, 8 April 2012

The Tower of Babble

sea wall square tower and round tower portsmouth port defencesWe were out of the house by 11am, a personal best. Parking up at the sprawling car park in front of Pirate Pete's, we walked through Clarence Pier towards the Square Tower, which was our objective. Right at the end of the last building on the pier (yet another amusement arcade with the flashing machines) there was a picture of the pier, sitting on the exact spot from where the picture was taken.
square tower portsmouth wedding venueStrange? Well, no. For we immediately knew who had done it. Speaking Rock Man (Los Dave) and his band of heroic intrepid free artists regularly leave bits of free art all over Southsea and say if you like it, take it home. We did.
passageway and steps to roof of square tower portsmouth
 We continued along the massive sea wall, built to keep out the Frenchies. I particularly liked climbing on it just where there was a big sign saying don't climb on it. We reached the Square Tower which was open, as they have a Tea shoppe and stalls of arty stuff. I nipped under the go-no-further rope and climbed up to the roof but it was locked. We investigated all the nooks and crannies in the very very thick walls of the tower, which is where Bud and Jof had their wedding reception party. They were obviously preparing for another one.
los dave kirby southsea artistportsmouth free art exhibitionFrom there we continued along the sea wall to the end by the Round Tower where we saw a big old crowd of people looking at paintings and things. It was labelled Portsmouth Free Art Exhibition, and I saw a number of things I recognised - or at least, the style. Well griddle me with a spokeshaver's coracle, I said to myself, I bet Speaking Rock Man is here. And he was.
pmes miniature railway bransbury park portsmouth
After we'd met him and looked at the excellent selection of art, a man called Mydogsighs (yes) made a speech about how nice it was that so many people had turned up, and then he said we could all have one bit of art each. Then it was readysteadygo and there was a mass scrimmage as we all rushed forward to claim our coveted item. I got a signed picture of one of Los Dave's speaking rocks and that was truly what I wanted the most. It will go up in my bedroom alongside the picture of the pier we got from the pier.
On the way back via Nelson's Bridge, we found another bit of free art, but left it for someone else as that would have been greedy. Well, that was the morning. What could we do for the rest of the day?
OK, so Jof had spent the intervening period making us an Easter roast. We ate as much as we could once Bud had got back from his run (only 7 miles today, wuss). Then it was pub time.
OK, that's a lie. I was given 30p and told to spend it on the trains - nobody else was in the queue so I got the whole train to myself (royal train so I waved accordingly). Then we hot-footed it to the pub where many Puddlers had gathered to watch the football. They did their stuff while we did ours.
playing on pirate ship in royal artillery pub garden
 chocolate octopi at easter

The Landlord had prepared an Easter Bunny hunt (sadly BensDad was not here) and when the time was called we all ran outside and porged ourselves senseless on free chocolate. 3 1/2 pints of beer later, the choctopi were served and we went choco-mad all over again.
Then it all descended into chaos as we played football (3 of us against Ginger Lenny who is destined for a premier league space) and pool (Elizabeth knows where the magic ball-dispensing button is) and the PuddleParents carried on with their Bar duties as we carried on with our refusal-to-do-what-we-were-told duties. At least we're honest and won't even pretend to do as we're told. Sooner or later it had to end when the JBs left and we all exeunted severally.
After supper 2 I was too tired for bath fizzer night, it shall be carried over.
If I didn't have to breathe, I'd be laughing all day.

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