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Gourdy or gaudy?

October 24, 2013

Apart from proper beer, there is another aspect to being back in England that I have missed; the eccentricity, and on some occasions the madness of the English. Arundel pays its respects to this trait with the Bath Tub challenge during the Arundel Festival, where people race up and down the River Arun on the tide (well, not always down as they have mostly sunk). The night before last on the local BBC TV news, there was a piece about a chap who was trying to, and had managed to set the record for canoeing 200 yards in a vegetable. It was a giant gourd that he had hollowed out and amazingly he was successful and completed the water course in just over two minutes. Now I am not sure what he would say to his children if they ever asked what he did when he was young. I mean a vegetable grower is fine, but if you drop the g, a vegetable rower does not have the same resonance, not for sane people.

But the lunacy does not stop there. Yesterday he went one step further by attempting, and succeeding, to motor across the Solent on another giant gourd, this time fitted with an outboard motor. I say step, but that would imply walking in water, which the Reverend Jeff thinks is possible but all grounded people know is not, although I get the same exalted feeling when I have moved some foreign exchange via Currencies Direct.

If one were a fan of poor puns, and this column was of a much lower standard than you have not come to expect, the writer may have been tempted to make a joke about what the madman was wearing during these attempts. The word gaudy springs to mind.

It was on the way back from a walk on the beach at West Wittering that I spotted this farm, celebrating the gourd. I can almost hear today’s limericks wittering on in the comments section. Pumpkin soup anybody?

pumpkin alert

A Gaudy display?

My new policy is to try to walk 4 miles a day at 4 miles an hour in any weather. Yesterday was very pleasant on the beach, and it was even sunny for most of the time, but with my body shape still a little more rotund that I would like, we decided to skip the plan for lunch out and have a second day off the juice. Well, not the tomato juice, as that, with a decent serving of celery salt, Tabasco and Worcester Sauce at least make you think you are having a drink.

Instead of going for lunch, we went shopping. How depressing is that? There was one bright spot though. At the Dry Cleaners, That Nice Lady Decorator decided to go through the pockets of Sprog 1’s only smart jacket, which was no longer smart because of a nasty sick stain down the front. It was a mistake because in one of the pockets she found a condom, but as I said after we left the shop, at least it had not been used. Strangely It did not seem to placate her.

On Saturday, weather permitting, we have half a plan to walk over to the George at Burpham. It seems that they have now dispensed with the Dragon since the recent refurbishment, but I never knew her anyway. However the forecast is terrible for the morning, better in the afternoon but the same weather pattern that brought the hurricane when Michel Fish was in denial in 1987 is shaping up overnight for Sunday night. It is so nice that England has saved this up, just for me, after leaving the benign Provençal autumn for winter in the home country.

Chris France

5 Comments leave one →
  1. howzaaat permalink
    October 25, 2013 10:56 am

    Pumpkin soup for the Soul ! It’s complete:
    A diet, sentimentally sweet.
    Could ANY advisor
    Teach you to be wiser
    And make you more fit to compete ?


  2. Rev. Jeff permalink
    October 25, 2013 2:01 pm

    Your picture today….what a hoard !!
    I’ve always been fond of the gourd.
    But although they are nice,
    They cost quite a price,
    Far more than this Rev. can afford !!

    Yes I’m going for the sympathy vote today.

    Nice limerick H.


    • howzaaat permalink
      October 25, 2013 2:41 pm

      Thanks, Rev. Ditto I may say …

      France seems to have an abundance of pumpkins this year — they’re everywhere — scenes just like in today’s photograph ! Extraordinary !

      In such quantity, one imagines they’re quite a bit cheaper here than in the UK perhaps (like a lot of other things too !). Maybe you ought to make that threatened trip over and see …

      Anyway, the signs all point to a massive Halloween …


  3. Rev. Jeff permalink
    October 25, 2013 3:00 pm

    Thanks H. although I’ve just been reliably informed that gourd doesn’t rhyme with hoard or
    afford so I am suitably admonished. Actually we seem to have an abundance over here as well so I was using a bit of poetic (or not in this case) license ! I’m coming over at the end of May and really looking forward to it.


  4. Rev. Jeff permalink
    October 25, 2013 3:16 pm

    Oh dear..pardon me…what a clot !!
    The first rhyming rule I forgot !!
    You must check several times
    To ensure that it rhymes
    Or your whole reputation is shot !!


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