Thursday, 2 January 2014


If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride.  On the other hand, we are told to be careful what we wish for as it might come true.

Many people in England, especially here in the south, have been wishing that the rain would stop and the wind die down.  And today their wishes have come true!  The day dawned with scarcely a cloud in the sky.  It actually felt almost warm when I walked the dog as there was no wind to contend with.  Mind you, sunny Sussex is now soggy Sussex as it is noticeable that when one presses one's foot on the grass, water oozes up.  And that's half way up a hill!  Of course, it's not just here in Sussex.  There were quite a number of professional football matches called off yesterday due to waterlogged pitches, as far north as Northampton, although that was really an exception as the rest were in the southern third of the country.

I did have a wish come true last night: a good night's sleep.  The previous night had been somewhat disturbed.  I had been asleep for only about half an hour when I was woken by World War III.  In reality, it was only fireworks to welcome the New Year but the noise seemed louder than I would have expected.  Some time later, I was woken again - by the sound of heavy rain, or maybe it was hail, being lashed against the window by the gale-force wind.  It seemed that I had only just drifted off again when the Old Bat started twitching in her sleep and then kicking me!  I asked her in the morning what I had done to upset her, presumably in a dream, but she had no idea.  But last night I was dead to the world - kicking wives, fireworks, howling foxes, barking dogs and hurricane winds would not have disturbed me.  Mind you, I could have done with another hour or two - but i still feel much better for a good night's sleep.


Drive half a mile from the lodge gates of Stanmer Park and we come to the house.  As is proclaimed on the plaque we saw yesterday, this was built almost 300 years ago by (or for) Henry Pelham.  It and the park was acquired by the then Brighton Borough Council in 1947.  The house became rather dilapidated and stood empty for some years until the nearby Sussex University took it over to use as its first administrative centre.  After standing empty again for several years, a local businessman was given a long lease and he spent some £2 or £3 million renovating the place, which is now sublet for use as a restaurant and bar.

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