Best of the Wheatsheet Number 3
November 1997

Accolades and Au Revoirs

Have you ever noticed hoe the most bizarre things often are true? I think this was what Tertullian meant by "Quia impossible est ". To me it is a bit like the mountaineers who claim to climb Everest "because itís there" . Well, in retrospect, the reason I came south in the first place was probably to experience the charms of warmer latitudes, away from the moors, fogs and pies, so to speak.

Could it really be true that there are rainless days between November and April in the Southern Counties? Well, in that respect I was not disappointed, having moved to Southend. Some early editions of the Guinness Book of Records quoted Great Wakering as the driest place in England, a definite accolade. I remember I never wore a raincoat during my first six months there and I arrived in January!

The final accolade must go to the head brewer at Die Zwingel Brewery at Harelbeke, Belgium who modestly commented that although his beers had not won any prizes during their first two years of production he had been rewarded for his efforts by being named as the provider of "the most informative beer bottle label"!
My own personal accolade would go to St Domitian (800 A.D) who was responsible for the naming of the lake the Millsfuttersee ( thousand statue lake) in Carinthia. The legend goes like this, on arriving by the shore he found the lake overlooked by innumerable " heathen " statues and promptly set about hurling one thousand of them into the waters, thus giving rise to the name "Hail and farewell", one might say! The quaintly amusing point (see picture) is that the sculptor commissioned to immortalise this incident depicts "heathen statue as the half naked torso of a woman! Au Revoir section: Thursday night drinkers will note the absence of one antipodean customer, you canít get much further South than Australia. Alan and Noeleen Andrews flew back to "Oz" on 21st October with their family Mitch and Harry and I attended their farewell Bar-b-Que on your behalf!. Good luck to a lovely family, a credit to their hemisphere. I suppose if keep flying round the globe you could come back one day as Northerners and why not?

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