If you're sailing

Weather in Clymping

We have been blessed with a glorious and lengthy summer at the cottage this year and aside from one regular visitor who ordered his “usual glorious weather” only to be hit by the first rain for months; it has generally been a delight to holiday in Clymping this year.

As well as being in the South East, which is generally warmer and drier than most parts of the UK, in Clymping, we have the added advantage of our micro climate.

Although it is not particularly unusual to find the sky clearer anywhere on the coast due to sea breezes, in Clymping we have a few more topographical advantages which help to keep the rain at bay.

If you're sailing

Just behind us are the magnificent South Downs attracting showers away from us. This works in a similar way to the way in which rain falls around mountains where the changes in temperature affect precipitation around them and create rain shadows.

Also, the prevailing direction of incoming weather in the UK is from the South West and we are fortunate to have the land masses of Selsey and the Isle of Wight just off to the West and South of us. So, if the showers do come in from that direction and do not get pulled up into the South Downs, they are likely to work themselves out over these prominent land masses just ahead of us. Again, this leaves us in a rain shadow in all but the most persistent of conditions.

All of these factors together mean we have above average sunshine compared to the rest of the country and the nearby resort of Bognor Regis, where records are taken, is officially the sunniest place in the UK.

If you are not one of our guests, but live locally, it is also worth noting how different it can be down on the beach as opposed to up in the Downs. This can be as extreme as clear blue skies over Clymping Beach whilst it is grey and rainy just North of us. We frequently enjoy a sunny day on an empty beach as most condemn the day due to the showers and clouds where they live. They are not alone though, I remember one very embarrassing day when I made the mistake of looking out of one of the cottage windows looking over the beach and sea to gauge the weather and then set off to wave a few golfing bats about donning a short sleeve shirt and shorts only to spend the entire round playing in the rain!

Here’s to wonderful rain free holidays and golf!

m_Chichester Cathedral

Guys and Dolls

Whatever you think about electronic cigarettes, they were certainly a boon for the recent Guys and Dolls production at Chichester Festival Theatre. Taking us back to the smoke filled gambling dens of New York, they were well employed, along with the excellent costumes and a really clever set for the small”in-the-round” stage.
Yet again, we were treated to an excellent show from our regional theatre. The show was generally well cast, with the show stolen completely by Sophie Thompson as Adelaide who you really felt for. She made you laugh and smile by throwing her all into the performance & totally bringing Adelaide to life.
In the past I have been to performances of Guys & Dolls in the West End and own a video of the Frank Sinatra film (yes, I am that old), so it is fair to say that I am a bit of a connoisseur of the musical and I was prepared to find this show a little lacking compared to Hollywood and West End versions, but I have to report that this was my favourite production of the tale to date.
The whole experience at Chichester Festival Theatre is really very civilised. It is only half an hour from the cottage, you can park right next to the theatre. There is a restaurant & cafe and, as the theatre is set in a park, you can either enjoy a delightful view from your restaurant table or even take a picnic to the park. We picknicked ahead of Amadeus in the Summer and it was most enjoyable, apart from feeling a tad guilty about drinking wine and eating delicious food whilst people trained around us for the up-coming rugby season… we soon got over that though!
It was a little more Autumnal this time, however. after the delights of the first half of Guys and Dolls, we nipped out to stretch our legs and decided to try the local sparkling wine Nyetimber. This was seriously impressive and if you have not yet tried it, I would really recommend it and would suggest that it could easily be mistaken for fine champagne in a blind test. We will certainly be looking to add it to the cellar at Climping cottage.
Suitably fueled we returned for the second half of the show which did not disappoint. At one stage, I realised that I was sitting forward on the edge of my seat and simply grinning!
It was clear that the audience had enjoyed the performance just as much, as there was a very swift and lengthy standing ovation at the end of the show. In my experience a standing ovation is not a given here and was a definite a testament to the superb production, direction and entertainment on the night. There was a particularly warm reception for Sophie’s bow and, if I am not mistaken, I think that she may have shed a tear of happiness. Happy people all round then!
As it turned out, most of Climping must have gone home happy that night as we were not alone. Our neighbours and guests had also chosen to attend the show that night.
Having had some wonderful experiences at Chichester Festival Theatre over the summer we decided that it was about time that we became friends of the theatre and have since done this. With Guys & Dolls the theatre continued to punch way beyond its weight and we look forward to that continuing into the Winter Season and will let you know how we get on.

Goodwood Revival Weekend

Well, it’s time for our first blog on the Climping Cottage website.  Please do bear with me as I am a newb! Although I am sure that there will be times when it will be a question of racking my brain for an idea on what to write about, Lord March has made this choice an easy one, for just ahead of writing this we visited the wonderful Goodwood Revival.

If you have not heard of it before, the Goodwood Revival is a vintage motorsport and aviation event. This year, the aviation aspect of the celebration was quite spectacular and even managed to turn most heads away from the cars. As the cars are rare and beautiful, that is quite a feat.

The most awe inspiring aviation event was the reuniting of the last two remaining airworthy Lancasters. They were flying together for the first time since 1964, creating a spectacular site and sound overhead. In fact we were a little late arriving and it was the first sight we were greeted by. Already excited from dressing up to the nines in 50’s gear and wearing more make up than I had for years; this sent the level of excitement into overload. They were swiftly followed in the air by a Canberra and two hunters and a gaggle of Spitfires and Hurricane fighters. All this and we were still in the car park!

m_Revival-Fighters m_Revival-Canberra & Hunters

 

m_Revival-Banking

Along with the air show there was plenty to see and before we even entered the event proper. There is now a Revival car park and if your car fits the given criteria, you may park in this inner sanctum. You also then become part of the event in a similar way to the regular Breakfast Club events. You could quite easily spend all day just looking around the spectacle that is the car park. There is also a fun fair, car vendors, restorers and purveyors of vintage goods and food.

m_Revival-Fun Fair

I asked my father, who restores old cars, what he would most like to see a picture of and he asked for a Jaguar SS100. This was my mission. No doubt the real thing was there somewhere, but I at least found this beautiful replica for his album. I can see why he likes it, as it is like his car on steroids. Definitely his cup of Darjeeling. I keep trying to persuade him to come along and he nearly made it this year, although I really don’t think I will ever get him out of the car park.

m_Revival-SS100

If time allows, you could even enter the event itself, where it seems that the further you walk, the more interesting it becomes. This is where I fell foul. In the interests of completing my outfit, I donned heels to go with my swing dress and there is a serious amount of walking to get around the track and generally the attractions are spread out over a vast area. By the time my poor toes were starting to protest, I was miles away from the car and reluctant to turn back for the pumps. I found myself looking enviously at those who had decided to go for the land girl look in dungarees and brogues or, the sensible girls who had worn a swing dress but with plimsolls and ankle socks. I was not alone and noticed plenty of others starting to carry their shoes or sitting on the banks shoeless and taking a well earned break.There were even a few men complaining of weary feet at the end of the day!

We also found the parking shuttle was unclear and not as helpful as it could be. There seemed to be one offering from the car park company and another from Goodwood. For those with limited mobility, but not quite at the stage where they require a mobility scooter, the event could be a lot more user friendly. Perhaps a mini vintage steam railway, of the type at Chessington zoo when I was a child, made to be able to ferry weary adults when they need a break.  Somehow, in the weird vintage World that is created at the Revival, I don’t think this would look odd at all.

Also, at times it did feel like we were walking from one bank of food stalls to another and I was starting to wonder where the cars were! Whilst American diners, with swing bands playing alongside seemed totally in keeping and were great fun, I think a little more thought could go into the deployment of other refreshment venues. They had tried, but it just ended up seeming messy, smelly, over-powering and detracted from the event.

All in all though, we had a ball. Surrendering to the sore feet, we finally headed back to the car and stayed for a further hour or two enjoying a picnic on the grass and watching the planes go overhead one more time. Frankly, I would go just for that!

The enduring images were of folk dressed in vintage 50’s clothing of all ages swing dancing in front of total strangers at 11am; an elegantly dressed lady in 40’s wear sitting side saddle on the fairground horse and a little lad of about two sitting on the ground in tweed strides, flat cap and braces with a deliberately grubby face and ice cream all round his mouth (a wonderfully vintage urchin). These should keep me going until next year.

For those even remotely interested in classic cars, motor sport or vintage style and entertainment, this event is a must. In fact, I would suggest you steel yourselves and go for the weekend. The tickets do book up early and always sell out, so decide and book. The dates are expected to be announced before the end of this year. We will announce them also on Twitter @climpingcottage.

In the meantime, “chapeau” Lord March.