Wednesday, 5 November 2008


The Deal Boatman was spending yesterday evening in Hastings with Mrs and Miss Deal Boatman (don’t ask why, but it was expensive). We went to the White Rock Hotel, on the seafront and next to Hastings Pier. As we had booked two rooms, and one had been upgraded to a seafront view, it was agreed that Mr and Mrs DB should have this room (or the diminishing inheritance of Miss DB’s would no longer be viable and could end up in a cats home). We moved to the Hotel’s restaurant and bar where three bottles of house wine and dinner was served (those who know me, know that I’m TT, or just call me Pinocchio). On retiring I looked out of the third floor window at the beach; all was calm and high tide was up against the promenade. I suggested to Mrs DB that perhaps if we left the window slightly ajar it would bring some romance back to our ageing souls with the gentle sound of the sea lapping against the shore. As I climbed into bed humming ‘I’m in the mood for love’, snores greeted me from the duvet (well I recon she did at least 2½ bottles of that wine. Although thinking about it she always has her eyes tightly shut when I sing that song).

However, after a good nights sleep I awoke early with severe dehydration; must have been something I ate (Pinocchio’s nose has just lengthened). As an early riser (another foot on Pinocchio’s nose) I decided to make a cup of tea and look out of the window from our upgraded room. First thing I did was to close it, as the calm seas had turned into a mass of white and a very cold easterly wind sent shivers through the old Deal Boatman. As my eyes tried to focused on the incoming tide and beach (again must have been something I ate; the nose is over balancing me now) I noticed a lone angler.

Mesmerised I watched him as he cast into the surf and reclaimed beach as the tide rose. For two hours I watched in my PJ’s, slightly jealous that I was not that man (hang on, the nose is so big now it’s almost in the next room). By this time the window had misted up and vision was impaired. I considered the appeal of going back to bed, however, Mrs DB’s snores told me it was not worth trying to listen or watch ‘Morning TV’ from the set that was mounted on the opposite wall of our king-size bed – that she had now claimed the full length and breadth.

My attention was once more drawn to this lone angler who defiantly was on a mission as he waded, cast and then walked up the beach as the tide flowed up over the sand (low tide up at Hastings has a range of around three hundred yards). By this time I had turned up the Hotel’s radiator, therefore I had some consolation glued to the window in my PJ’s (possibly becoming a new tourist attraction for Hastings)

My vigil was not unrewarded, as at two hours before high tide he caught a bass. Initially it looked like a ten pounder, but perhaps it was a 6 pounder, my bloodshot eyes were still trying to evacuate my face. Either way, by now this man had got my respect as I doubt if I have ever caught a bass that large from the beach. He packed up five minutes later and left the foreshore.

Eventually I managed to persuade Mrs DB to get up as the Filipino cleaners wanted to reclaim the room for the next guests. On leaving the Hotel at 11 A.M., I noticed two more anglers converge on the very same spot. Not wanting to discourage them by saying that the fish of the week had already been caught, I considered: … has news travelled that fast, or have I accidentally discovered Hastings’s beach hotspot?

The sights you see when you have not got your rod in your hand!!!!!!!!!!!