Every Sunday morning I play football on the Convent Field: who turns up plays, jumpers for goals. Age range 13 to 55. But last Sunday we played 11 v 11 on the Astroturf hockey pitch in the Southdown Club against a team that had specially come down from London. When I arrived, most of the London players were already there, but none of my team. I overheard this conversation.
“I didn’t know you were playing.”
“Why else would I be down in bloody Lewes on a Sunday morning.”
I bristled. I was brought up here, and though I spent years living in larger cities, I always knew I’d come back one day, which I eventually did. This town means a lot to me. Not only its physical beauty. I love the anarchic bonfire spirit of the place, its sophistication, its sense of civic pride. Most of all I love its attitude. There’s something of Tom Paine in the wattle and daub of the town, something of the Protestant martyrs in its cement. Don’t mess with Lewes. And don’t whatever you do be sarky and city-slicker about the town. It was Gelsenkirchen hot out there, and, never having played as a team, our shape was pretty awful. With about ten minutes to go we were 2-1 down. I looked up at the castle, and summoned one last bit of energy. I can’t say I had a hand in the next two goals, but hey, it’s a team game. Final score: Lewes 3, London 2. I trudged home with a Ready-Brek-kid victory glow, glad I wasn’t catching a train to Victoria and a tube on to god knows where to spend the rest of my Sunday in an urban sprawl. Enjoy the week.

Cover: Caxton by John Marshall courtesy of
Two Kats and a Cow
and Artizan
Above: Nice drain: but where is it?
Last week: Lansdown Arms