It was down to Dorking for a weekend in the country - hiking, laser pigeon shooting, and loads of eating.... Because there were so many people who did not know each other, the organiser, Alex, asked everyone to introduce themselves and tell everyone an interesting fact about themselves as we had lunch.
We soon discovered someone had once procured page 3 girls for the Daily Star and someone else who had driven a car across one of Heathrow's runways (in the days before airport security was tighter than my Basque last week) and cut up a Jumbo Jet - that would have been an interesting insurance claim if the jumbo had managed hit them...Then Mrs B came up with a cracker:
"I'm Mrs B and I'm married to a cross dresser" - I almost choked on my Lunch as she pointed across the table to me. The statement was met with a deafening silence - apart from last week and 14 years ago, when I can't deny that I got married in a skirt - what can I say? I fell back on my Scottish heritage - I have not been rummaging through Mrs B's wardrobe. So I can hardly be classed as a serial cross dresser.
I appear to have unleashed a monster and it's not as if I can complain as it is the sort of thing that I would have said. The phrase 'live by the sword, die by the sword' springs to mind. On one level and after the initial shock, I'm actually quite proud of Mrs B for coming out with it. She had hoped that it would prove a bit of a conversation starter but it was never mentioned again. In fact I would go as far as to say that people actively avoided the subject. So it was either a lucky let off for me and no one took on board what was said or they had and I have been marked down as someone best avoided in the future..... It's been a similar story at work where I know a number of people read or to be more precise looked at in horror, last week's BlackLOG. You can tell the ones that have, they have a very distinct blank far away look in their eyes. If you look very closely you can almost see the tears of regret that they had opened up Pandora's box. Being typically British they say nothing, but I know deep inside they are suffering in their silence.
I noticed my Boss had 'The Look', this surprised me as he does not normally read the BlackLOG, always claiming that he does not approve of my maltreatment of the English language. When I quizzed him he denied all but eventually, when pressed, he admitted that he had, for the first time in about two years, ventured in. He assured me that he would never happen again and he intends to give the BlackLOG a very wide birth from now on. This was said with a 'what you do in your own time is your own business' type of expression, mixed with a dose of "you can get help for that sort of thing".
Saturday was an 11k hike, which was good fun but conducted at a break neck pace, in order to avoid losing the daylight. We were fortunate that the weather held but I fear my photography suffered, as to stop even briefly to take a few pictures, risked being left behind for good. We were evidently on a mission with a tight schedule and a few casualties along the way were not going stop us.
For those of you who were there but missed the beautiful countryside I managed to take a few snaps as I sprinted to keep up. This is what you might have seen if time had allowed….
On the Sunday it was laser clay pigeon shooting which was great fun, although at times a harpoon would have been more appropriate choice of weapon. The organiser was a real character and had the ladies eating out of his hand with his Sean Bean accent and easy manner. The normally competitive Mrs B proved for once completely inept and while shooting left handed, her normal inclination, she would have struggled to hit an elephant from 2 inches. It was so bad that the Sean Bean looky likey, held one of the reflective clays across the front of Mrs B's gun with the instructions to fire when he said pull. Mrs B even failed to hit it then as she could not understand his broad Sheffield accent and so missed the instruction. To give Mrs B her due, the rain caused her glasses to steam up so badly that she would not have been able to see an elephant if it had stood in front of her. Later when it stopped raining and she had a go shooting right handed she actually scored a respectable 27 - a far cry from the 2 she scored in the actual competition.
Some great comments that I heard during the weekend:-
"The Vikings fought a battle close by in 1846" - 1846?
There is probably a reasonable explanation for this statement which is either :-
We misheard Alex and she actually said 846
Since Alex is American and everyone knows you Americans have a short history span, I think she has just attempted to condense the world's history into the last 232 years...A bit like when people squash the history of earth into just one day, you know where they claim that man does not actually make an appearance until just before midnight. Lets face it, the way we have treated the joint, it is just as well we did not make an appearance earlier in the day, the planet would probably have never made it passed lunchtime and if by some miricale it had, it would have been toast by dinner time....
"You shouldn't eat fish in the country - it's never going to be fresh."
Putting it into context, we were less than 26 miles from the sea, just how fresh did they want their fish to be?
"Does Princess need a hand to get over the style?" - I thought for a minute they were talking to me but this was addressed to the lady who was six months pregnant - Quite an impressive feat to undertake an 11K hike in that condition, although I still think "The Beast" possibly weighed more than the girl and her six month bump combined. Oh yes, as always the camera came with me.
I'm not saying that she was obsessed with babies or anything but during the evening meal when they were taking the orders ----
Waitress - "What are you having?"
Pregnant girl - "A girl!"
Me - "Will you be wanting vegetables with that?"
I don't know if anyone has been watching the latest David Attenborough nature program - Life
One of the episodes featured a Darwin Beetle - a resident of Patagonia in Chile (who says you don't get an education via the BlackLOG). In order to get his end away the little wee beastie had to climb 25 metres up a tree, as his beloved was waiting at the top (in echoes of Rapunzel I think). There never was an explanation as to why she was up there (her hair was certainly not long enough). This seems fairly straight forward except he had to fight his way past every other frisky male Darwin Beetle in the Patagonia high trees district. In order to progress our little hero had to wrestle each male he came across and the winner was the one that literally through his opponents off the tree. When he gets to the top he's forgotten the flowers and the chocolates (probably dropped them during one of his many encounters) and I guess the six pints he drank before starting out, to give him Dutch courage, aren't doing his cause a great deal either. The long and the short of it is that Miss Darwin Beetle is not impressed and starts playing hard to get. He flips out and forces himself upon her. He gets so carried away that the "throws of passion" take on a whole new meaning and after smoking the post-coital cigarette he chucks her off the tree as well. Can't say I really see much of a future in this relationship.
I'm figuring the program is called Life because that's what he should get for the umpteen unprovoked GBH attacks culminating in as many attempted murders. This is then followed up by a rape and attempted murder of the mother of his offspring. This little beast is a menace to society and should be locked away for a very long time.....I shall be giving his description to Crime watch and expect an arrest soon.
I can just imagine Miss Darwin Beetle talking to her best friend about her
first date -
Miss Darwin Beetle's best friend - "How did it go?"
Miss Darwin Beetle - "Not great..."
Miss Darwin Beetle's best friend - "Oh no, what went wrong?"
Miss Darwin Beetle - "He didn't bring chocolates.... "
Miss Darwin Beetle's best friend - "Ouch!"
Miss Darwin Beetle - "or flowers."
Miss Darwin Beetle's best friend - "The bastard."
Miss Darwin Beetle - "From the first moment he pestered me for sex."
Miss Darwin Beetle's best friend - "Tell me more, tell me more."
Miss Darwin Beetle - "So I said , No."
Miss Darwin Beetle's best friend - "Good on you girl."
Miss Darwin Beetle - "but he kept on and on"
Miss Darwin Beetle's best friend - "I hope you held out"
Miss Darwin Beetle - "I did"
Miss Darwin Beetle's best friend - "Good for you"
Miss Darwin Beetle - "Till he held me down"
Miss Darwin Beetle's best friend - "Oh, he's the old fashioned type...."
Miss Darwin Beetle - "I guess so"
Miss Darwin Beetle's best friend - "So when's the next date?"
Miss Darwin Beetle - "There won't be one"
Miss Darwin Beetle's best friend - "Why not?"
Miss Darwin Beetle - "He chucked me, when he found out that I might be pregnant"
Miss Darwin Beetle's best friend - "Oh, the REALLY old fashioned type."
This conversation took place in the beetle hospital while her legs and hip were being reset - 25 metres is a long drop for a small pregnant beetle....
And his conversation
Male Darwin Beetle's best friend - "How did it go?"
Male Darwin Beetle - "I so nailed her, she was almost a virgin."
Male Darwin Beetle's best friend "Cool."
Congratulations to our good friend Mitch for finally getting his Canadian citizenship - I think the only entitlement you get is you now have the right to be tazered legitimately at Vancouver airport. Joyce - you are now stuck with him and can't send him back.
We have a Christmas present for you as well but I decided not to post it as they were going to charge us £45 to post some English chocolate (i.e the edible stuff not the rubbish they sell over there) and dog biscuits. So I can report that the chocolate was very nice, you would have really enjoyed it. McG says thanks for the Dog biscuits, but don't tell anyone as he has a reputation to maintain in the cat world....
McG & Mischief get some cousins
We dropped into see JL, Mrs B's sister and were introduced to Wilson and it was going to be Cuddy - I guess we know who the "House" fans are.. but her name got changed to Amber at the last minute - fans of the show will realise that this is still a "House" orientated name just not as obvious as Cuddy. Personally I would have gone with Thirteen as a name, Amber is only a few months old and she has already dislocated her hip and one of her knees, that's not just bad luck, that's size 13 bad luck.