Fortescue Towers

Random ramblings from the life and times of Col. Fortescue Featherstonehaugh Fortescue.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Row, row, row your boat

One knew it was a rather large mistake to agree to go off on a fishing trip with ones somewhat deranged cousin Arthur but one did believe that the poor chap had recovered from his little obsession about German naval power.

It was a sunny day in early February when one had Blenkinsop load ones tackle into a small boat and one along with ones batman, Perkins and cousin Arthur set off down the river for a quiet afternoons fishing. No sooner had our small party set off than Arthur began to mutter about searching for 'the Kaisers battleship' and took over the engine mumbling like a madman, which in the circumstances is an apt description, about ironclads and the dastardly hun. Before we knew it we were some miles out to sea pootling up and down the channel. Now this in itself would not have been too bad if Arthurs obsession had not led him to decide that 'jerry' was hiding in one of his ports and that the only way to stop his expansionist plans was to take the battle to him, cold British steel, grit, pluck and up the jolly old empire. The fog bank probably did not help either.

One can honestly say that getting lost somewhere in the Atlantic with a raving madman and a chap who one is most definitely convinced bats from the opposite end of the pavilion is not ones idea of a jolly jaunt especially when all one has to eat is a packet of cooks ham sandwiches which had curled into something that resembled sausage rolls. Of course being an ex-military chap one took the hardships with some fortitude and a stiff upper lip but one did rather wish that Arthur had not taken to firing potshots at any passing oil tanker in the mistaken belief it was a heavily disguised battleship out to take over the dominions of her Brittanic majesty.

Two damned months of floating around the North Atlantic until Arthur runs out of ammunition and we wash up in Africa, Tangiers to be exact. Thought the nightmare was over when one reached the consulate but then Arthur was spotted riding off into the desert on a camel followed by a pack of the local fellahs chanting something about "El Orrance!" and one has heard rather disturbing rumours about the local trains vanishing out in the desert. Probably nothing to do with Arthur but a party of German tourists did return somewhat traumatised after apparently being captured by a deranged madman in a djellaba ranting on about the Kaisers colonial aggression.

As you might guess, after all this one is rather glad to be back home in ones stately pile. Even the mems' little foibles and Blenkinsops constant complaining about the wet rot in his wooden leg cannot spoil ones relief at being back...although one is vaguely perturbed at Perkins wandering around the place offering to show anyone and everyone the 'artistic' postcards he got from the 'rather nice chap' he met in the souk.