Henry watched from the shoreline at Portsmouth as the pride of his fleet turned to go into battle.
It was early in the morning on July 19th, 1545 when Henry VIII's flagship, the Mary Rose went in to battle against the French Fleet, just off the shores of Portsmouth.
Then, as she turned, there was a sudden gust of wind or perhaps she turned too sharply taking on water through her port holes. Whatever the cause, as she turned, she capsized and sank!
With her almost the entire compliment of sailors, gunners and soldiers perished.
Nothing was ever seen of her again until ....
It was another quiet morning. It was October 11th, 1982. There was a large crowd gathered along the shore at Portsmouth and, as they looked out over the Solent, just like Henry VIII had done so many years ago, they were the first to see the Mary Rose rise from her watery grave where she had lain for almost 437 years!
Today she lies in a large hall, behind glass walls, at the historic dockyard in Portsmouth, constantly being sprayed with a solution that, it is hoped, will preserve her for ever.
That is where I saw her a couple of weeks ago.
Now, I am sure that most of us have heard about the Mary Rose. Some of us may remember the day she was brought back to the surface from the waters just of the shores of Portsmouth, that October day back in 1982.
But, nothing prepares one for the breathtaking and eerie beauty of what is left of her when you walk into that hall.
There is a deathly silence all around.
She is so delicate that, even though she is behind glass you cannot take flash photographs for fear of doing harm to her.
Looking at her lying there you are transported back to that day, almost 437 years ago, when she sunk. You can almost hear the gasps of the crowds on the shore and see the look of shock and credulity on the face of Henry VIII.
Whenever you have a chance you should go and see her. It is certainly worth the trip.
In the mean time, click here
to read her story and see all the pictures!
Now, after this (to me at least) fascinating bit of history let's get back to the present.
To me there is nothing better than the smell of a braai! I can just hang over the fire and inhale those incredible fumes and smells of wood burning and meat cooking.
When June and I are on our own we now use one of these "throwaway" little braais. They work like a charm for just two people and you don't have the hassle of cleaning up afterwards!
The big advantage is that you can have a braai every single day providing you have a bit of good weather of course. And that is something we have not seen much of in Belgium this year so far.
Mind you, last weekend was great. Blazing sun with absolutely no wind and temperatures at the back of the house went up as high as 36C!!
We hope to get away towards the end of September for a couple of weeks. Apart from it being too busy at Biltongmakers.Com at the moment it will also be nice and quiet then in most holiday places because the schools will have started again.
I can't stand full beaches.
I suppose that no-one who has experienced the solitude and pure joy of stretches of white beaches going on for miles and miles with only the occasional people around will never get used to being packed like sardines in a can like I have seen at some of the holiday resorts in Spain, France and Italy.
Anyway, until such time we'll just have the occasional weekend away.
Next week Paris and the weekend after that the yearly Mussels fest at Yerseke in Holland. We went there last year and that was good fun.
Scores of people out on the mussels boats, loads of beer flowing and eat as many mussels as you can!
But more about that the next time.
Till then, take care,