Early this morning, milk was needed for breakfast. So Dad and I walked into Waltham Abbey town. I read the sign on the way in: Waltham Abbey, Last resting place of Harold II.
Harold was first called Harold Godwinson, but then he became King Of England and so became Harold II. He fought against William the conqueror in the battle of Hastings in 1066. Tragically, he was slain in battle and is buried at Waltham Abbey.
My Dad knows Waltham Abbey well, he lived there, his brother lived there. So I learnt about my Dad’s history too, not just Harold the Second’s. I suppose my Dad’s history is my history as well. I found it all very interesting. Dad showed me the village hall where he and mum first met, all the pubs he used to go in, the Pie and Mash shop where he used to get stewed eels and all the different streets.
Dad told me about when he used to build sets for the amateur dramatics group and how, on the Saturday shows, it was the tradition to play silly jokes on the other members of the group. Dad played a really funny prank on his friend. Well, they were doing the show of Oklahoma! and Dad’s friend was the main character, Curly. The guy had to climb over this fence whilst singing a song, but Dad raised the fence so he couldn’t get over. He had to scramble over this fence, still singing and not let the audience realise what was happening.
Dad also played another trick. In this scene, the man walked into this house singing a very dramatic, sad song. Then he was supposed to look at this photo on the wall, but Dad swapped it for a picture of his friend’s first girlfriend.
When Dad told me these funny memories, we both exploded into laughter.
We also met a man and his wife on the boat next to ours. They lived on this really nice boat, that I particularly liked. It was built in 1920, so it’s nearly 100 years old. It’s called a Westlander Dutch Barge and was used to transport cows to different places. I was surprised at its age because it looked quite modern. It was very unusual.
At 2 o’clock our cousins came to see us and we watched he white water rafting. It was funny because all of us wanted people to fall out of the boats and be saved. If they did fall out we cheered.
At the end of the day the Bognor Hillbillies, as we call them, had a go at pedaling our boat. Dad was so surprised that Dot could pedal, Freddy and Flossie could steer. Us kids cheered because we wanted to stay together for longer.
When I was sitting with Dot she said to me we should buy a boat and sail together round the canals.
Just before dinner a man called Barry, who was moored next to us, showed me and Dad some old wood that he got for free at a timber yard. He was going to use it for the floor of his wheelhouse.
He also showed us his split cane fishing rod and his three-piece fishing rod. Barry said that he prefers the gear instead of fishing.