Medway 350, Day 3

(With an affectionate nod toward Samuel Pepys, esquire, sometime Clerk of the Acts to the Navy Board, sometime Secretary to the Admiralty, sometime President of the Royal Society, sometime Master of Trinity House, sometime serial bonker)


Up betimes, and to ye dockyard at Chatham, where I enquired where I might find Pett.

‘No pets allowed,’ said ye churl manning ye incredibly sophisticated digital security system.

Thus discouraged, I moved on to discover ye dockyard full of ye Dutch, for some unfathomable reason. Many were adherents of ye fanatic religious sect, ye Yachties, and were thus best avoided. Hence to ye bookshoppe, to discover that there were no books about me – no Bryant, no Ollard, not even ye brazen wench Tomalin. But it had ye booke on de Ruyter, ye Dutch admiral, called (with ye ingenuity customary to ye publishing trade) De Ruyter: Dutch Admiral, which has a chapter on British perceptions of said valiant warrior by a gallant young Welchman of mine acquaintance; and ye new edition of ye esteemed and venerable book, Ye Dutch in Ye Medway, with a new introduction by ye same and definitely still young – well, relatively young – Welchman.

And so to ye quayside, to watch ye Dutch Marines row directly at ye chain! What a formidable obstacle! What an unbreachable barrier! Surely no impudent gaggle of Hollanders could break –


And lo, I didst feel ye most powerful sense of what ye French call ‘ye deja vu‘.

Discouraged by this spectacle, I took to ye water on a boat full of yet more Netherlandish Yachties, intending to inspect ye defences of ye Medway. But ye mighty batteries intended for St Mary’s Island and thereabouts seem to have been supplanted by things called an ‘M&S factory outlet’ and an ‘Odeon multiplex’, the latter claiming to show plays featuring flat actors, and bearing such titles as ‘Wonder Woman’ (is there no limit to My Lady Castlemaine’s self-worth?) and ‘Pirates of the Caribbean Five’ (personally, methinks Master Depp is no match for Betteridge).

Yet further discouraged by this shameful neglect of our national defences, and by ye news of ye debacle at court involving ye ministry of Sir Terence May, his wife Philippa, his mistress Arlene, and his pug Brexit, I retreated forthwith to a tavern, being minded to accost serving wenches, but found instead only a multiply tattooed serving Romanian called Dumitru.

Even further discouraged, I took to this, the pages of my diary, encrypted to a level that not even North Frieslander hackers –  or, worse, my wife – can decipher.

And so to bed.

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