|Even younger pirates looked a bit puzzled|
Hastings has more days in the year than anywhere else when the populace is encouraged to dress up and cavort in the streets of the Old Town. At the end of July we have Pirates' Day - this year billed as "Unofficial" since nobody wanted to take on the burden of all the health and safety regulations that apply when you have street food, processions etc. We're not talking about Somali pirates with submachine guns, here, it's Johnny Depp and his swashbuckling comrades that provide the role model.
|Molls in the Dragon Bar|
The thing about Pirates in the Caribbean, though, is - well, the Caribbean. Sunlight and palmtrees and rum. Yesterday it was more like the north of Scotland on the front: rain swept across the tarmac, and dripped off the shopfronts. There was a distinct lack of swashbucklers in the streets.
For a brief period at the end of the morning, however, the rain stopped and the pirates promptly emerged, in a crowd of three-cornered hats, motheaten greatcoats and topboots. Men who would normally sneer at make-up as girly appeared in full disguise, with scars, patches and wigs. And the women - it was as if the full female cast of Poldark had come in on a coach to audition for Moulin Rouge, with bosoms squeezed and pushed out, froths of lace and of course cascades of glittering skulls and crossbones.
|Our pirate companions|
The Dragon Bar, normally awash with drinkers, was an empty cavern to begin with, but when a band of pirate drummers appeared things picked up a bit and the regulars of the Anchor Inn in George Street in particular were a sight to behold, with a one-legged gent coming into his own.
We left as the rain came back, but others stayed on, as I realised when I walked the dogs at 10 pm and saw a number of bedraggled pirates and their molls tottering back through the wet streets to their home cabins. A triumph of fantasy over adversity - which is probably what Pirates of the Caribbean is all about anyway.