Teds Chez Le Pres, Aug-Sept 2017
A ‘Teds on Holiday’ Tale … Part One, Ferry Crossing.
Ripple and Tiger drove to Portsmouth under a wide, patterned sky, through tunnels and past tall bridges. They sat on the car dashboard all the way, sometimes joined by Carter Ted, whilst their companions, Racoon and Jazz were tucked up in Anne’s bag, looking after little Tiggy Ted, and dozing. Eventually, they saw the Sails towering over the roadside that heralded the approach to Portsmouth Docks. Soon their car was creeping up to the Brittany Ferries Ticket Office Cabin where they would have to present their passports and tickets in order to join the long line of traffic waiting to board the Ferry.
“Look! Someone is taking their bicycles abroad!” laughed Ripple.
“I guess they’ll be camping and cycling around the French countryside,” observed Tiger.
Slowly they edged forward into the cavernous inside car deck of the ferry.
Whenever the Teds travelled across to the Continent on a ferry boat they always enjoyed the hustle and bustle of port-side daily work. At first, they looked out of a window at the front of the boat whilst their companions had a cup of tea, but when their place fore was obscured by other passengers who showed no interest in avidly viewing, they decided to go out on deck and hang over the side to see everything in the fresh air.
Up on deck they enjoyed all the familiar views from past voyages ….. there was the Solent Cat, a catamaran that acted as a pleasure boat and taxi around the Solent Waterway.
As they rounded a corner, they saw the newest ship in the Royal Navy; a gigantic Aircraft Carrier named after the Queen, HMS Elizabeth. It was very long!
They watched as tiny craft went close by but were kept at a distance from the Carrier by Police Boats, busily fussing about in the water at either end of the big ship.
“The Police Boats are making the little pleasure cruisers take a ‘wide berth’ so that they don’t see anything they shouldn’t or get a chance to sabotage it in any way!” said Ripple.
“Hedgeley Ted told me to look out for all this when he realised which way we were coming. He knows these things”
“And did you know,” said Tiger, “That it arrived here in Portsmouth from Scotland, on the 16th August, only four days ago? We must be amongst the first Teds to see it here.”
“Well yes, except for the Teddies hanging about in the Ferry shop, ” said Ripple, “But I think they are probably stuck there anyway, until somebody buys them and takes them away: … poor things!” he added sadly. “I’m glad that we rescued four of the tiny ones on this trip so that we can take them back to the Pads to join our Family of Teds.”
.”After they had glided smoothly by the HMS Elizabeth, they passed other historic ships that were moored around the historic docks.
“Look, there’s Nelson’s Flagship!” pointed out Ripple excitedly. “It’s called the HMS Victory, and it’s probably the most famous British ship ever!”
“Yes, and then there’s the HMS Warrior from 1860, Britain’s first iron hulled, armoured battleship, next” ” breathed Tiger, with a rapt smile; “It’s now a museum ship. You can actually visit it!” The two Teds liked and knew their ships!
They saw a small, green ferry boat, loaded to the gunwales with people. It looked like another catamaran, with its pointing up fins aft, and it rapidly shot out of the docks heading for Gosport: it’s the Gosport ferry!
Both Teds recognised The Spinnaker Tower …..
“That’s the big ferry to the Isle of Wight!” remarked Tiger Ted, as a floating tower block slipped out from the docks heading for the island.
The swiftly passing dockside was fascinating. People watched or waved as their ferry boat slipped by.
Over in the distance the Teds saw a Funfair on the shore, and by using the camera like a telescope they managed to see all the festive colours and patterns.
A noisily-skirted Hovercraft had just bustled in from … yes, the Isle of Wight … and it sat resting in its skirts as yet another ferry, a smaller Wight Link, floated by, laden with passengers.
Ripple and Tiger, decided, after they had passed the beautiful old Pier at Southsea, and exited the Solent to the sea, that it was time to go indoors to their cabin and relax as the ferry took them across The Channel … “we call it La Manche,” said Tiger, revelling in his ability to speak French as well as English J “Okay, La Manche it is today,” smiled Ripple. The Teds went down and relaxed with their friends, old and new, in the cosy cabin.
They played games on the furniture in the cabin until it was time for a nap …
… then they were ready for ‘lights out’ and a march back to Anne’s bag to sleep the long trip across La Manche’.
Teds dreamed of ferry patterns and when they woke, the coast of France near Le Havre, was slipping by in the misty distance.
It was time to vacate the cabin, so they went back on deck, passing by the bigger shop teddies to wish them ‘bon voyage’.
Tiger Ted watched from the ship’s rail as the ferry boat glided into the port of Ouistreham.
Little fishing boats steered away from the ferry as it turned to back in, churning up the shallow water into a frothing mass of swirly water patterns.
“More patterns …” mused Tiger to himself.
They joined the familiar queue on the stairs down to the car deck. Where he and Ripple ensconced themselves in their favourite corner to watch as Dom converted the car lights.
Then it was off down the ramp … ooer! …into the rain-spattered night.
“Au revoir Normandie!” whispered the Teds, as they drove away from the port and into the land of Normandy, France, passing interesting lorries en route until they both dozed off .
They lost interest in the patterned fencing, and pretty lights of the fair kiosks as they fell asleep, dreaming of days in the grass to come, at the Pres, and who knows, maybe fish and chips too? zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Anne ….. from 20.08.2017.