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What happens if you give your Birdlip?

November 9, 2013

England, November, rain. Get the picture? There are bits about living in England that I love but I did not love it yesterday as we drove down to Cheltenham to stay with Nigel “Medina Palms” Rowley and his beautiful and far better half Leslie. Apart from owning a huge chunk of Africa, Nigel also owns most of Gloucestershire and has a splendid house atop the Iron Age ridge near Birdlip with splendid views, or it would have had, if the weather had not been so foul.

Birdlip reminds me curiously of That Nice Lady Decorator but for safety reasons (my safety that is) I will not break this down further, for fear that the expression “breaking down” might be applied rather too literally to myself. For the first time in a fortnight, I did not complete my customary 4 miles of power walking, due almost entirely to he weather and the mud. Stopping just short of our destination in a brief dryer interlude, we set out across the fields of Gloucestershire from a pub called The Good Heart, hoping that we would work up a decent thirst, but mud and swamp combined to send us back to the pub for a pint instead with under a mile covered.

England is fine for a few days. Log fires, cozy pubs, proper beer and even some decent food nowadays are things to be savoured, but when I see pictures of friends down in Valbonne in bikinis and by their pools (and that’s just the men) I know where I would rather be. Not in England in November. In fact my picture today is of Durdle Door on the Jurrasic coast, when we visited last week in exactly the same weather. My case rests.

jurassic coast

We thought it would be a doddle to walk to Durdle Door. This is just for you limericists

Last night then, still feeling the effects of that lunch with Colin The Pirate the day before, we were at a private dinner party in Cheltenham. It was enlivened even before it had started as That Nice Lady Decorator had omitted to pack the sandals that she had expected to wear and was left with some black 4 inch heels as her only footwear. That would have been fine had she chosen anything other than white cut off jeans. I was asked if I thought she could get away with it, and, as she had no other choice of clothing, I lied and told her she would be fine.

Over dinner, and at our age, with 30 years of shared experiences upon which to draw, conversation tended to veer towards reminiscing. Nigel and I used to play cricket for various teams, one of which was the Hampshire Mercenaries, whose season highlight was a cricket tour to Jersey, which provided a great deal of material for those discussions. I shall never forget Nigel, putting on his wet suit, then donning cricket pads, bat and gloves and doing a dying dolphin dive across the cricket ground when a downpour had spoiled the match.

There was also talk about an old friend, whom I cannot name, with a dental problem, having buck teeth, which one person claimed looked like he had hung his teeth out to dry. That reminds me, we need some new clothes pegs.

This morning we shall return to Arundel after a big breakfast and a walk in the sodden Gloucestershire countryside, during which I shall be pondering just how best to collect up some more clients for Currencies Direct. Surely people must be considering moving abroad given the typical November weather?

Chris France

8 Comments leave one →
  1. howzaaat permalink
    November 10, 2013 9:13 am

    When for brisk country walks he’s the model,
    Chris laughs and declares it’s a doddle.
    To lose weight, don’tchya know,
    To Durdle Door he’ll go
    Or, to be more precise, he will waddle.


  2. Winnie l'Ourson permalink
    November 10, 2013 12:53 pm

    You’ll be sorry if you give your wife lip !
    Big mistake if your tongue is too flip !
    Best curb all rude remarks,
    Otherwise you’ll cause sparks –
    That Nice Lady might just lose her grip !


  3. Rev. Jeff permalink
    November 10, 2013 8:08 pm

    Been away to Northern France for the weekend and the weather sucked !! Great company and lots of fun though.
    Patrick, really liked yesterday’s limerick and good ones today from H and WL. Liked the picture of Durdle Dor but it poses a bit of a problem foe we limericsts. Here goes…

    Durdle Dor spans a coast that’s Jurrasic
    Geologists tell me it’s classic.
    Spring, winter or fall,
    It’s open to all
    To the rich or like me the boracic !!

    Ouch !!!


    • November 10, 2013 9:46 pm

      Boracic! Classic!


    • howzaaat permalink
      November 11, 2013 8:54 am

      Great limerick, Rev. I kinda thought you might have been away – it gets awfully quiet when thirty per cent of this column’s readership is absent !


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