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Sell your soul for a bowl of porridge?

November 15, 2013

That Nice Lady Decorator was researching the Cissbury Ring, where we had walked the day before, and came across a similar but smaller Roman settlement called the Chanctonbury Ring, a few miles to he north, near a village called Washington in West Sussex. Her research also revealed that there is an old legend that if you run around the Ring seven times, then the devil will exchange a bowl of porridge for your soul. She expressed distaste at the proposed reward, describing porridge as phlegm and grit in equal measure, but countered that by saying if the reward was something like a bowl of spare ribs, then she could see the temptation.

Many of you will know that the Reverend Jeff is a regular reader of this column, and usually finds out what us going in the world by reading it as he takes breakfast around noon as is his habit (!). I do hope that he did not choke on his ecclesiastical cornflakes as he reads this today. He claims that my soul has already been sold to the devil, but I consider it is merely heavily mortgaged. But then I think a lack of a soul is something that any decent cobbler could fix.

pond in sussex

The dew pond at Chanctonbury Ring

Anyway, after an abortive attempt from the north, we climbed into the ring in the late morning, in order to create a pre lunch thirst. That thirst was first slaked, as I has hoped, by the finest beer in the land, London Pride. We were on our way to lunch at Butlers and found The Swan Hotel, a Fullers house, selling my favourite beer was directly in our path, so what was a man to do?

And so to the long-awaited Arundel Luncheon Club for, err…lunch. Apologies were received in advance from Colin The Pirate who had some poor excuse such as having his eye patch changed of something equally pathetic, and then we were 4. Charlie “Pistorius” Malcolmson, landlord of The Kings Arms had not yet attended to his squeaky prosthetic leg, to which he had promised to administer some WD 40 yesterday, on the spurious grounds that “you always know where the landlord is when you want a drink”.

He was accompanied by his beautiful wife, the angelic Alison Griffin, who, apart from guiding the careers of Amanda Holden and Russ Abbott, (both of whom could no doubt benefit from opening an account with Currencies Direct) has looked after Ben Fogle for some years. She is lovely and gorgeous on every way except for the fact that she is a vegetarian. I am always suspicious of vegetarians because it is so, so….wrong. However, she did not complain when both Pistorius and I ordered bloody steaks. Anyway, Ben Fogle was the chap who was filmed being marooned on an island for a year to fend for himself. I can’t quite recall how it emerged that he had sustained himself in part on road kill, but it seemed a paradox that a man living in such a way should be represented by a vegetarian, but I let it pass.

As the luncheon degenerated over more than several bottles of a cheeky Rioja, discussions turned to the James Bond themed night being staged at The Kings Arms this Saturday evening, and to which we are seemingly due to go. It is rumoured that several of the locals are likely to be there in the guise of arch Bond villain Blofeld, however one of them, clearly with cross dressing tendencies, also wants to be a villain but has hired a golden catsuit. If he does appear dressed like this, might he be called Blondfeld?

Chris France

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Patrick permalink
    November 15, 2013 10:39 am

    The iniquitous Blofeld was fond
    Of his Spectre attacks on James Bond.
    In print and on screen
    He has frequently been
    Believed dead, but perhaps we’ve been conned (?).


  2. Rev. Jeff permalink
    November 15, 2013 3:15 pm

    Very good Patrick. I hope my effort leaves Chris shaken but not stirred !!

    Even in Satan’s Abyss
    They’d never accept poor old Chris,
    Oats in a bowl,
    For his coal black soul ?
    That’s a deal they’d be happy to miss !!


    • Betty Boop permalink
      November 15, 2013 5:15 pm

      ZOWEE !! He’s not THAT bad, is he ?


  3. Rev. Jeff permalink
    November 15, 2013 5:59 pm

    Worse. And I like him !!


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