Friday, 25 June 2010

No.333 Of Beer n Pasty

I was in Devon about three weeks ago and experienced a flashback to more or less the same place some thirty years before. I was just off the beautiful Devon coast by a village strangley called "Beer" in a fishing boat.

About 3 decades before I had put to see in a similar fishing boat in the hope of catching some dinner. There were 12 of us. Me and 11 mates on day 5 of 7 day school camping trip. I was desparate to catch some mackeral not only to impress my peers but because I was so hungry. All of us had run out of money by then. We'd each taken about £3 for the week for extra snacks and of course blown it on the slot machines in Branscombe cafe pretty much by day 1. All except, that is, for Simon Vanstone. He had taken £12.50 and by day 4 fallen out with pretty much everyone by sitting outside the same cafe eating a huge cornish pasty in front of some very hungry eyes. Vanstone was hard to get on with at the best of times. But by stuffing his face for all to see he had become insufferable.

Our schooltrip leader Mr King had promised a prize of a cornish pasty to the person with the heaviest catch as we set sail in 5 boats for the 30 minute expedition. Each of us had one line with 6 hooks and feathers to fool the unwary passing fish. However, within 10 minutes my boat was on its way back to the shore. I had caught the line in the outboard motor and oar power was all that was between us and a distress call to the local lifeboat. Needless to say I was not popular with my chums.

Duly all the boats returned and no-one had caught anything at all. When Mr King was asked who was going to get the prize Vanstone chirped up "Shouldn't it be Phillips Sir? He had the biggest catch : A Suzuki outboard motor!" We all laughed.

That afternoon Vanstone and I sat outside the cafe eating pasty. Not such a bad bloke afterall.

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