It was with great surprise I heard the word ‘lion’ and ‘St Osyth’ mentioned in the same sentence at a wedding breakfast I attended recently in Stratford. My ears pricked up because it is a place where I tutor on a regular basis at the Watershed Studio. It seems that a large cat had been spotted in a field on the outskirts of this sleepy little town. A brave farmer approached it but it ran away.. The Essex police reacted with their usual restraint, especially when one eye-witness reported that it appeared to be smoking an electronic cigarette and was heading in the general direction of the M6. Police sirens wailed and loudspeakers pleaded with the local residents to lock and bolt their doors. I assume the police had a suspicion that it had escaped from the local zoo as these lions would be the only ones with the necessary skills required to turn a door handle, necessitating the locking and bolting etc..
One description was a perma-tanned scrawny creature with a huge mane.. a quick call to Penny Lancaster quickly eliminated Rod from their enquiries.
For the residents I think this had been one of the most exciting episodes since a villager found a hole in the middle of St Cleres Road…
Strangely enough, there had been some mysterious disappearances in the village starting with the loss of Rev’d Flowerdew. This was swiftly followed by the demise of Bubby, the irritating little terrier that wrote a regular intensely boring diatribe in the parish magazine. Some say that this is a ploy to scare off the huge affordable housing development threatened by the owners of the Priory and rumour has it that one villager has been out at night walking a great Dane with a hearthrug tied around its neck…
What has happened to this mysterious creature now is anyone’s guess, some say it strayed into Jaywick and was devoured by a pride of ravenous drug addicts, others say it is hiding in a wardrobe in the Ecuadorian Embassy, Julian Assange says ‘its Narnia business’.
What I do know is that Allisons splendid farmhouse lunches at the Watershed studio probably won’t be supplemented with lion burgers and there are no plans to run art safaris in St Osyth.
To find out more about painting holidays with me in St Osyth at the Watershed studio, follow the link; http://www.timfisherartist.co.uk/essex.html