I awoke with a gasp about three, stiff all over and quivering from cold. The air was now still and clear, and the sky was bright with stars.
A beacon from the lighthouse at the far end of the breakwater swept endlessly over the sea.
�It was all most fetching, but I was far too cold to appreciate it.
I dug shiveringly through my backpack and extracted every potentially warming item I could find a flannel shirt, two sweaters, an extra pair of jeans.
Noone in the whole of Dover would have any particular reason to remember 21 March 1973, except for me and a handful of children born that day and possibly one old guy with a dog who had encountered a young fellow with underpants on his head.No, honestly well, if you're quite sure it's no trouble, then perhaps just a roast beef sandwich and a large dill pickle with perhaps some potato salad and a bottle of beer.' The front path was pitch dark and in my eagerness and unfamiliarity with British doorways, I tripped on a step, crashing facefirst into the door and sending half a dozen empty milk bottles clattering. Only the previous day, I had handed over an exceptionally plump wad of colourful francs to a beadyeyed Picardy hotelier in payment for one night in a lumpy bed and a plate of mysterious chasseur containing the bones of assorted small animals, much of which had to be secreted away in a large napkin in order not to appear impolite, and had determined thenceforth to be more cautious with expenditures.So I turned reluctantly from the Churchill's beckoning warmth and trudged off into the darkness.�The cafe was outstanding lively and steamy and deliciously warm.I had a platter of eggs, beans, fried bread, bacon and sausage, witha side plate of bread and marge, and two cups of tea, all for 22p.I was standing wondering what to do when I noticed a grey light of television filling an upstairs window of a guesthouse across the road. I stepped back, rubbing my nose, and peered up at a silhouette with hair curlers. I hesitated in the shadows, feeling like a street urchin.Hooray, I thought, someone awake, and hastened across, planning humble apologies to the kindly owner for the lateness of my arrival and imagining a cheery conversation which included the line, 'Oh, but I couldn't possibly ask you to feed me at this hour. I was socially and sartorially illsuited for such an establishment and anyway it was clearly beyond my meagre budget.�Further along Marine Parade stood a shelter, open to the elements but roofed, and I decided that this was as good as I was going to get.With my backpack for a pillow, I lay down and drew my jacket tight around me.If you do damage the counterpane, I will have to charge you. My muscles ached, I was dented all over from sleeping on boltheads, and my skin was lightly oiled with the dirt and grit of two nations.I had sustained myself to this point with the thought that soon I would be immersed in a hot, soothing bath, followed by about fourteen hours of deep, peaceful, wallowing sleep, on plump pillows under a downy comforter.