Saturday, 7 December 2013

In the Dell of the Arun

arundel castle sussex 2 or 3 years ago we tried to go to Arundel Castle, but they close during the winter so we ended up hiding in a world war 2 pillbox (concrete lookout post) on Hayling Island.
Amazingly, the lazy castle owners still close for the entire winter and won't reopen until April. So we said poo to you, we'll go to Arundel anyway and check out the charity shops, for they must be of a higher calibre what with the moneyed population and everything.
On the first train we sat next to a load of blokes in fancy dress (Disney animal theme) with their funny songs and funny language and beercans (1020 am) who were having a "Why not" party. We changed trains at Havant, which was required, and again at Chichester, which wasn't. Of course, we should have changed at international transport mega-hub "Barnham" which is a metroplex of 3 houses and a flock of sheep. The fourth train got us to Arundel.
arundel castle outer wallsIt is a hilly place with a rodding great castle which has many turrets and arrow-windows etc, but just looks suspiciously new and clean, like it's never been shot at with cannons. The Roman Catholic cathedral along a bit from the old monastery is really big on spikes and pinnacles but low on tunnels and crevices because it only opened in 1873, I've got relatives that old, FFS.
arundel roman catholic cathedral west sussexFortuitously, the town was holding a candlelight street market event in my honour. There were buskers and carol singers and some more carol singers and diverse stalls, purveyors of beery solace, hog roasts, pointless knitted towel things and so forth.
The £3 Santa was out to lunch. The houses tend to be small, highly overpriced and have no gardens. But many of them have their original build date over the door as a mark of quality and historical value for American tourists, so expect to see things like "c 1500" and "Gwendoline's 16th Century Tea Shoppe" as you catch a breather from staggering up the many steep inclines.
prize every time game at village fayre arundel street marketI did the Clang-the-bell game and got up to 90/100 on the strength-ometer but for your £2 you get a 40p toy whatever score you get, so I won a plastic plane. He bought 2 complicated beers from the Hammerpot brewery for the New Year's eve party and we got 11 funny foreign coins for £1 in one of the many antique curio-type shops.
We could have had a Henry the 8th gold coin for £2,200 or a Celtic silver one from an unspecified year in the BCs for £40, but in the end the most expensive thing we bought was lunch.
There was a great place down by the river but I opted for Pizza Express as usual. I tried and loved doughballs dipped in garlic butter. I tried and totally hated anchovies. Dr Zoidberg can keep them. Serving wench 'Ashley' was the prettiest of them all and totally loved me. I also loved the chocolate brownie that needs a pneumatic drill to cut into, but said the cup of foamed cream it came with was "gross".
oasis summer fruits from barnham station platform shopThroughout the day I played with my Toy of the Week (blue plastic folding hairbrush out of a Xmas cracker). I am hoping to develop an actual hairstyle other than "Tennis ball" to be even cooler, look out Antarctic ice shelf, you have a competitor.
On the way home we tried to get a photo by the castle walls but there was a moat with added ducks. There are a couple of derelict buildings by the bridge, possibly ruins of previous castles. However on Mill Lane we found a swingpark and broadened my swinging experience, and I'm broadminded already. We caught the correct train home into the setting sun with tired feet. And you know how many charity shops we'd found? One. It didn't have any Lego. Panticles. Next week: Winchester.

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