Saturday, 5 May 2012

A ferry long walk

cockleshell lake gosport feeding ducks boating lakegosport to portsmouth harbour ferryWay back in February, the PuddleDaddies invaded Gosport (Beirut-on-sea) for the beer festival. On the way the taxi drove past a particularly inviting swingpark and lake so today I decided to see it for myself. It's a shame that the weather rained on our parade a bit, but that's England for you.
cannon ramparts gosport moatThe Gosport ferry is a splendid green gestalt entity whose 2 parts shuttle back and forth across the harbour, joining Gosport to civilisation every 7½ minutes. The low-rent inner-city high street is ideal for charity shops and we went in about 8 on the hunt for bath fizzers and so forth: I discovered a pile of jigsaws and bought a 1000-bit jigsaw for the princely sum of £1.
model yacht race gosport boating lakeFrom there we headed south to the boating lake, on which we saw a genuine boat race with model yachts tacking and reefing and whatever else it is they do. We'd brought half a loaf of Tesco finest oatgrain for the numerous swans - too good for them, you'd think, but this bread has a distressing tendency to collapse which makes it no good for toasting, and you get foreshortened sandwiches.
hms warrior 1860 moored at portsmouth historic ships Now, look you, swans and I have this disagreement, you see, I think I'm doling out the goodies at a reasonable rate, but they don't. So I'm distributing my doughy largesse as quick as my little fingers will allow and they hop out of the water, advance upon me, crowd me, frighten me, so I sound the retreat, and they follow their disappearing food source in increasingly eager manner. Bud had to rescue me again. I don't like swans, and they're bigger than me with their beady eyes and there's lots of them etc.
portsmouth navy ships destroyer in portThe boating lake does have a groovy turret-style cafe, though, so we warmed up in there.
 The swingpark isn't that big, it's got a few climby things, a zipline, swinging basket and a small skate park. Unfortunately it also had lots of mud and rain and not enough degrees celsius.
On the way back to the ferry we spotted Bastion #1 which was erected to defend the harbour against enemy ships. It was open so we scaled its grassy mound and pretended to fire cannons at the burgeoning council blocks, which would have been merciful, actually.
kids making den under bedThe ferry took us back to the real world past some destroyers in port and I bought some plimsolls, as you do. In the shoe shop we met Sheena from Buds' work, I said Dad says hello and chatted amiably at length to her. It turned out that she thought I was a pickup ruse (she is blonde) and didn't discover my true identity until Wednesday. Then Jof helped me start the Jigsaw.
Just as we were watching the cup final Pops parked outside our house. She'd been to see the heavy horses on Southsea seafront, and it wasn't very good, apparently, all the horses were in their sleeping-boxes. Pops smelt faintly of horsepoo and even her little hobnailed booties were wet. She stripped off and we went off to play in secret under my bed.
Later I played Jof at Totopoly. She didn't even have enough money to enter the race, let alone bet on it. Honestly, a 6 year-old could do better. Oh look..... (insert superior Tory chortle at this point)

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