Dover, The White Cliffs And Some Sketches

The ex and I walk along the cliff path on a 50 min trail to the lighthouse. A group of young Indians discuss rape as I trudge slowly behind them. (That constant and unrelenting topic of late.) The girl’s voice rise high-pitched and distinctly accented, the boys lower in tone, make tedious rationalisations. The subtext: women’s problems, tsk tsk not ours (but after all, given my bias I am aware that perhaps my stern inner critic does them an injustice.)

Later we stop for a well deserved respite at Mrs. Knott’s tea room in the lighthouse. It is jam-packed. (Pun intended.)

As I bend over to rummage through my bag I raise my head only to knock it against someone’s tea-tray in the corridor. The ex promptly hisses and the punter eyes me with distinct disfavour. Luckily the tray was returning instead of outgoing or that would have been rather a sticky pickle.

At the que by the counter one of the Indian girls’ orders scones and tea.

Does she want jam with her clotted cream? No jam.

Mistake I thought.

She pays and the next customer is up. 2 mins later she looks at the shelf behind me, neatly stocked with tiny pots of jam and asks if she can have any.

Mrs Knott looks annoyed in that typically passive English way and responds in repressed tones

“But you said you didn’t want jam. It’s 75 cents each”

“Oh No no I don’t want jam just checking!”

She leaves with her tray and returns promptly 30 seconds later.

“I didn’t open the clotted cream can I have jam instead?”

Mrs Knott resignedly agrees. Mistake I thought.

I order a cream tea with jam and cream. The tea was excellent but as soon as we sat down I was hounded by bees highly interested in the jam.

Tried moving tables but it turns out abruptly moving 3 feet isn’t enough to disguise your location. And unlike the English, bees are incapable of of taking a hint.

The ex at this point being the constant pillar of support in my life, abandons me to my fate. (At my annoyed request when too many suggestions were being made) As I struggle to manage the now growing Asbo bee group a girl from the tea room came out to try to wipe up some jam that another hapless customer placed on the picnic table edge to distract them.

She informs me that the bees I was casually swatting away are wasps – the villains of the insect world! They can sting you and not even have the decency to disembowel themselves in the process like the honourable Kamikaze bees.

The only solution was to hurriedly shut the jam pot, shove the remaining scone wildly into my mouth, move swiftly to the grassy area in front of the tea room (still pursued all the way by a trio of wasps), fling the knife a safe distance away and try to enjoy the rest of my tea.

Needless to say it went cold. Always a wasp in the ointment. Thus ends my tale of woe.

The view is nice though. Bright blue sea blazing sun and view. The ex is sitting some 6 feet away avoiding me and my wasps as I type this.




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