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Welldiggers, teddy bears and disks houses

May 12, 2013

I thought she was sober as we left the Welldiggers close to Petworth, but as soon as she drove over a banked corner of the lawn of the car park and dislodged two large boulders without apparently noticing, I formed a different opinion. It was on the way to that car park that we encountered a large, well spoken and opinionated lady of a certain age. By that I mean she was not as youthful as That Nice Lady Decorator by some distance, and was even older than I, who is of course, considerably older than my spouse, so she tells me. Rather surprisingly the large well spoken large lady was driving a Citroen rather than a Bentley, which every fibre of her being said she should. Had it been a Bentley then the damage would have been considerably more pronounced.

We had just had a very good lunch, in my case a magnificent Dover sole, and in the case of the Decorating operative, smoked haddock on a bed of spinach, and we followed her back as far as Bury, on the way to Arundel. I was giving her a very wide berth, following some 300 yards behind, because she was weaving all over the road in a spectacularly haphazard fashion. When she turned off, I was not certain it was intentional, maybe she just happened to swerve into a side road.

Arriving safely and comparatively soberly back in Arundel, it was time to dispel sobriety, so we went to the White Hart, where James Desperate Dan the Landlord and Terribly Tall Timothy Taylor (TTTT) were well ensconced, watching the horse racing as is their want on a Saturday afternoon . After calming down with a refreshing glass of Barossa valley Shiraz, a recent wine menu discovery, I mentioned that we has been to the Welldiggers and TTTT immediately regaled us with some stories, none of which I can relate here, about a previous landlord of that pub known as Testicle Ted. Whilst this was going on Desperate was across the road at the bookies, but as soon as he returned TTTT told him where we had been and he started on about Testical Ted. It seems that Ted and his testicles were well known in these parts.

I have never really been a fan of horse racing, but I do like a flutter, so when That Nice Lady Decorator decided that she wanted to bet on a horse, but could not be arsed to run across the road to place her bet, I offered myself as her own private bookie, taking a £10 bet on a no-hoper at 5 to 1. A tenner up, and acting on a tip from Desperate, I placed my entire winnings on a horse that came in at 8 to 1, and so a very good afternoon ensued. At that stage I had never lost a bet on a horse at the White Hart, having won the pub sweepstake on the Grand national, taken £10 off that Nice Lady Betting Person, and acted on the tip from Desperate. It was all to come to an inevitably conclusion when TTTT became involved in the next bet, and spoiled my karma. So, I retired from the pub £80 up in bets (about 94 euros at today’s exchange rates) and £30 down in drinks.

A quiet evening culminated in my opening a bottle of Chateau Musar, probably my most favourite wine in the world, in recognition of my services to the pub trade and horse racing, ahead of a big day today at lunch in West Chiltington. We shall be lunching with Barry the Teddy, as I have decided to call him, as a result of his conception and continuing publication of that most vital magazine, Teddy Bear World, together with his pretty and charming wife Ann. Barry has had almost as big an impact on the sphere of publishing as I, With titles such as Dolls House World and similar tributes to needlework and haberdashery no doubt making their mark amongst aficionados of those disciplines. In fact I feel he needs to be disciplined himself.

Chris France


2 Comments leave one →
  1. Rev. Jeff permalink
    May 13, 2013 11:19 am

    Hmmm. So TTTT regaled you with Tall Tales about Testicle Ted. Are you trying to T’s us ?


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