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  • Writer's pictureLimetree

Kidnapped by Pirates

Tony's Travels

The invitation arrived "Tortuga" – a pirate party. In England. On a farm in Sussex, at the home of my dearly departed younger brother, Steve, and wife Alex and grownup kids Josie, Jake and Tom.

Alex of the Satin family, famous for their elaborate parties, my last was Paint Your Wagon theme, all types of Wild West characters; I missed Lord of the Rings. Pirates? I'm in was my gut reaction. But the date was problematic – August 26th.


Good because I was already headed to Europe. Bad because that was the date our Belgian Tour Group was booked to fly to Europe. Maybe there's a way to make this work...

I had done it the year before leaving a day early from an Easter family reunion in Somerset, England, two trains to an overnight ferry from Portsmouth to Saint Malo, France to join our tour group, missing only the first day of that trip – both events, reunion and tour delayed 2 years due to covid.


Okay, leave early – for London instead of Brussels, arrive the day before the party – the challenging part would be the morning after, getting back to Heathrow airport for the hop over to Brussels to join the group.

Landing in England

The green fields leap up to meet me

Drifting out of London to familiar Sussex

Patchwork of memories near and far

Roads shrink from 3 lanes to one country lane

Watermill farm, pirate preparations are well underway

Dogs scamper around, tents and camps sprouting

5 kegs of Harveys Best Bitter wait expectantly, one to be tapped on the eve

A pirate ship to be torched for the bonfire

Cast iron pots for supper around the campfire

Rain comes blessing the site

Everyone into the big tent where the stage is quiet

Smaller tent with hookahs and cushions

Jetlagged me into the farmhouse to sleep for the morrow


Well garbed pirates and piratesses abound

Cutlasses, daggers and muskets, most not real

Aaaaaargh, mateys, shiver me timbers

Family and friends weave the web, do the necessary

Large pots of stew to transport, massive cheese table

Infinite bottles of wine, a staunch rum punch to start aaaaargh

The thai chefs deftly add to giant noodle soup cauldron

Faces appear, some I know, most I don't

Extended family and new grown generation of friends

We remember the fallen – Brother Steve, he is here

Another shower, atmospherically muddy, scattering hay bales helps

The band starts up, some sea shantys

I join the next one on Josie's borrowed flute

Dance floor fills up, evening falls

The third band and everyone's rocking

An epic slice of humanity!

Fireworks! Classically choreographed over the lake

The pirate ship is torched, time is gone, phones are dead

Accordion plays on, I must go, to make my morning deadline


Shiiiiit! I overslept, having blown my curfew. I'll never make my flight to Brussels...

Or will I? Find out in the next installment of Tony's travels...











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