I was going to write this week’s column all about Gosport and Queen Victoria. But as I sat down to do just that while watching the Tour de France and the men’s final at Wimbledon, I received a phone call from my son.
It was the kind of call you dread. The ‘er, something’s happened’ call.
The creek in Alverstoke is a bone of contention among adults and children in the area. Some families, like mine, have swum in it for years, holding on to the belief that the twice-daily tidal happenings clear out the worst of the muck.
But other people won’t go near it, believing it to be full of sewage and other disgusting elements.
Some even think that an ancient giant eel lurks in the creek’s depths, waiting to pounce on an unsuspecting child, slither it off to its lair and then consume it with a tasty wrapping of seaweed.
I think we should be embracing this and seeing if we can build some tourist pennies from the story, a bit like a certain loch community in Scotland.
Anyway, I don’t think it was the eel that got my boy on Sunday afternoon. No, it was more likely a piece of broken glass.
Whatever it was, it sliced up through his water boot and into his foot with the force of an Olympic javelin.
I found myself in Gosport’s minor injury unit, re-assuring my son that his foot was not half as bad as that of the lady in front of him which was angrily spurting the red stuff – hers was also hurt in the creek.
Yep, it’s a tricky spot all right. The bonus of calm, contained waters compared to the sea comes with the danger of detritus.
Which brings me neatly back to Gosport and Queen Victoria (the black bridge of danger across the creek was built for her train line, I believe).
Gosport schoolchildren were involved in an epic song and dance presentation last week, celebrating the fact that Queen Vic was once stuck in Gosport for a few hours because the weather was terrible.
The children were all excellent. But what a theme. Gosport gets a royal visit in bad weather.
Surely we have more going for us than that?
A creek monster, for example.