Causeway for concern
Sporting Shooter|December 2020
Alan Jarrett’s renewed interest in reading takes him down memory lane to an offshore island duck flight that very nearly ended in disaster
WITH ALAN JARRETT

If coronavirus did anything for me at all, it was to rekindle my love of reading. Not that I had any extra time to do so, but time was reallocated to better effect. And even if daily sallies into the world of another were not always as extensive as I would have liked, at least the effort was being made.

My bookshelves are packed with volumes of this and that, and although many of my books are either nature reference books or an ever-growing collection of shooting books, there is plenty more besides. Political biographies and novels from the likes of Hemingway and Wilbur Smith abound, all of which are enjoyable in their own way.

Having devoured the two volumes of the biography of a former prime minster, totalling 1,200 pages, my next attempt was a more homely walk around north Kent. Many of the places described were known to me intimately; I also knew some of the people mentioned — and even liked some of them!

But, in particular, my attention fastened on an evening when the author decided to make his way off an offshore island using a long causeway. Trapped by the tide, the only answer was the coastguard — and the inevitable embarrassment associated with that.

The description of ‘causeway’ is technically correct. However, it is better described as a broken meandering pathway across the mudflats; in places, the tide has washed through, leaving foot-sucking muddy gutters, while, in others, the silt has almost completely buried the path. It is not a place for the faint-hearted in the dark of a winter’s night.

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