Tuesday 10 February 2009

Not an assault landing

Many years ago, when I was a wee tacker, my parents took the family to the UK so that we could discover why our ancestors emigrated - the visit was timed for winter, since it is easier and cheaper to get around, and that suited my folks down to the ground.

I was having a look at the photos at 1.618 tonight and noticed one that reminded me a lot of St Michael's Mount in Cornwall. The fortress is linked to the mainland by a causeway that is only accesible at low tide.

The reason I remember this place so well is that Dad had somehow organised a private visit with the owner (although the place is now owned by the National Trust, the St Aubyn family still lives there), and the head of the St Aubyn clan picked us up in his DUKW (scroll right down to see a great photo of a pack of DUKWs).

It was very cool to make the crossing in a DUKW - especially since it was December, and the wind there howls straight in off the Atlantic. I think the owner loved showing off his favourite toy, and it was a blast to cross the swells and land on the rocky shore of the Mount. That was nearly 30 years ago, and I still remember viewing the fantastic collection of arms and instruments of torture that the family had collected.

I'm not sure if it is very PC these days to display instruments of torture, but when people rave on about the evils of Guantanamo, I think back to the thumb screws and iron maidens and other nasty bits of kit that they had on display.

I wonder if that old duck and his old DUKW are still running, whether his kids have the same interest in it that he did, and whether my kids will ever get the opportunity to do something like that.

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