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It’s Sussex Day!

June 16 is Sussex Day, because it is the Feast of St Richard of Chichester, patron of Sussex. And of coachmen, of where there aren’t very many now.

Richard went to Dover in 1253, trying to recruit an army to fight another crusade and died there on April 3 at midnight. They scooped out his innards and buried them under the alter, an act so horrifying I can only assume it was for the practical purpose of helping preserve the rest of his body, which was buried in Chichester on – you guessed it – June 16.

The miracle that allowed him to be canonized (there has to be one): he once dropped a chalice of communion wine and not a drop spilled. That’s why he’s often pictured with a cup.

Let me tell you something: my mother once fell down a short flight of steps with a basket of laundry and a martini and didn’t spill a drop. And she also died on April 3. I’m thinking of having her canonized. She could be the patron of martinis and laundry.

But I digress. I asked what people do to celebrate Sussex Day and was told eating Sussex pond pudding would be a good start. This is a suet-y sponge cooked with a whole lemon in the middle. As I hate the combination of citrus and sweets, I don’t think this is for me.

So perhaps I’ll just wave the flag. I suppose I’d better buy one (I stole the picture from that flag shop; I owe them a plug). The flag is six martlets – a mythical bird in heraldry which doesn’t have any feet. This represents working continually until you fall out of the sky, I guess.

I wish they were rooks. We have lots of those and I like them. Also they have feet.

The one in the picture in red with a crown above is actually the flag of the East Sussex County Council, so no. Just no.

The six birds represent the six Rapes of Sussex. A rape is the ancient Sussex name for a large district. They need better PR.

Speaking of which, I thought about making a “You Ain’t the Duke of Me” t-shirt for Prince Hank, but I decided I should wait until I have citizenship. Nobody likes a mouthy immigrant.

In conclusion: Sussex by the Sea.


Comment from Rich Rostrom
Time: June 16, 2021, 10:13 pm

Martlets have no feet?

Hmm. Could that have something to with the RN designating the Grumman F4F carrier fighter as “Martlet” in British service?

Comment from gebrauschund
Time: June 17, 2021, 12:28 am

I have feet.

Which is good, ’cause I’m definitely not down with that whole “work till you drop” thing.

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: June 17, 2021, 2:02 am

Sussex – okay, is that one on the official list of 57 sexes?

I kid.

But after reading about your mother’s martini exploit, I admit at first I thought I read that the flag had 6 martinis on it instead of 6 martlets. Not kidding.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: June 17, 2021, 1:32 pm

A flag with six martini glasses on it sounds excellent! What a great welcome if you had company coming over for drinks.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: June 17, 2021, 2:01 pm

Hmmm I think Durned and Deborah have hit on something: Badger and Weasel need a flag for their castle (noting that every man’s home is his castle).

I propose tipped-at-an-angle six martini glasses with a Badger in the background (as is usually there case there) and a Marten running rampant (as she seems to be prone to do after six martini’s).

Note: I originally assumed that a Marlet was a female Marten.

Martens are a shy and very solitary member of the Weasel family and could be mistaken for mink since they are a similar size and colour, except that (a bunch of smattering details we don’t care about . They are mainly nocturnal but occasionally can be seen during the day, which is to be expected given the time-zone difference between Ol Blighty and the US.

Comment from Drew458
Time: June 17, 2021, 4:46 pm

I think a proper celebration would include a small musical group wearing armor playing violins and saxophones. Saxon violence is what they were known for, right?

Forward the Heptarchy!! Raedwald!!!

But given that you live around Kent, wouldn’t Cantiaci Day be more appropriate, or celebrating Taximagulus’ birthday? A day trip to Durovernum Cantiacorum, bringing home a “beded tail” as a souvenir?

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: June 17, 2021, 5:12 pm

Per pale a field sable semé of ermine-spots argent, sinister a badger passant guardant Or, dexter a weasel proper saltant.

mumbo jumbo

tipped martini glasses does sound like a marvelous idea.

Comment from BJM
Time: June 17, 2021, 5:22 pm

Didn’t the Pythons parody Sussex by the Sea? or maybe it was the Goons.

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