Cleavies Fish Counter #25
Yo, fishy-dudes. This is the newly anointed ‘By Royal Appointment’ fishcounter. Did you watch the telly the other Sunday afternoon, or go on up to that there London? We made a rare trip up there, and delivered some fish at the same time to boot.
Typical Cornish boys abroad though; got a bit lost and confused just after Lanson and were told to keep going until we got to Exeter, then go on up the motorway. Same thing happened at Bristol, where one of the local punters told us ‘Turn right me old babee and keep on driving that old fish van on past Reading.’
We did, and when we got there we were told yes, keep going straight on for London, you can’t miss it. There’s lots of tall buildings and aeroplanes flying low and black taxis and stuff. And when it looked like we’d got there, we pulled over and asked a bloke on the pavement ‘Is this London?’ and he said ‘Yes’, and we said ‘Where do you want your fish then?’ do you know what, he didn’t have a clue. Typical.
Anyway, if you missed the big event, there were ten national treasures floating on the Thames for the pageant, dressed up in all their finery and waving regally to the cheering, adoring masses that lined the banks, the Tower of London directly [not dreckly] behind them, and Tower Bridge opening right up, all framing a most iconic picture.
Coincidentally, the Queen and royal family were there too….
What a fab day, all helped along by the lovely Fearne Cotton who was a delight, and all the veterans of HMS Belfast to whom Lefty sang ‘A Sailor ain’t a Sailor’, and all the local Sea Cadets who soon picked up ‘The Drunken Sailor’. I don’t suppose we’ll ever do or see anything quite like it again. It really was one of those ‘what are we doing here?’ moments.
Boldly we laughed and sang and quaffed with the nation, as the flotilla passed by right in front of us. My, what merry, merry making we buoys had, and what deep joy we tasted…
We eventually got home at 2.30 Monday morning, FFs, fwags and all. It would have been earlier, but Pete [he’s 78, have I ever mentioned that?] decided to engage in a little attention seeking behaviour and did a swallow dive, a la Tom Dalley, out of the fish van onto his head in Fore Street, and we had to hang on for half an hour for the ambulance to whisk him off to hospital.
You’ll be relieved that the antique granite pavement edging appears undamaged, but it was a close run thing. It is, after all, a grade one conservation area, and he more than most should have more respect for that fact.
As he lay prostrate and semi-conscious on the cold, wet road, I actually had to say to him, [in a supportive way, you understand] ‘You know, it’s not all about you today, Pete’.
But what can you do when the old Duke pulls exactly the same stunt a few hours later, apparently blaming a dodgy doner kebab for his upset tummy.
And the Queen? She just sails gloriously and graciously onwards….
‘Here’s a health unto her majesty,
Long may she reign.
She’s the queen of the seven seas,
And the pride of the Spanish Main.
For ’tis he that will not merry, merry be,
Shall never taste of joy.
Sing! Sing! The Cape’s in view!
And forward my brave boys!’
Pass Around the Grog [trad]
Dreckly dears xx