temporary re-Anglicisation

Wokingham Travel Blog

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the broom waits impatiently for its turn in the loo.

Ok, I know its been a while since my last posting, but I had a lot on. My life currently consists of small raisins of amusement spread throughout a thick eggnog of work, cycling to work and freewheeling home again. Here is a quick catch-up:


The luggage arrived a few days after I flew in, so my dad gave me a lift down to Wokingham to my friends T & S. They would very sportingly be giving me a room for a month while I worked back at my old job. In return I would be setting up booby traps and practical jokes to keep them on their toes. One of my favourites is a simple trap using a broom.

horse gurning. this one isn't T's mum's though.
The victim enters a room and unbeknownst to them a broom or similar prop (don’t use a fish) is placed quietly against the door. Time passes and eventually the victim opens the door to the startling surprise of an inanimate object trying to get in. I learnt this one from my brother, who would give me a good cardiovascular workout on a regular basis using this and several other gags.


I took T & S up to Maple Durham (a small village on the banks of the Thames) for a walk. Actually they drove me there and brought me home again, but I did the important bit of reading the map. The importance of map reading should not be underestimated, for instance how would Hannibal have crossed the alps without Mrs Hannibal barking orders at his elephant over the top of her trusty 1:50,000 scale Ordnance survey land ranger? Working for a mapping firm has brought this notion home to me, normally via Maidenhead and then left at the lights, over the level crossing…


S has a dad called ‘I’, but for the purposes increasing confusion of this next paragraph we’ll call him I, because I wouldn’t want to make it easy for you.

I and L's zippy boat
I has a very cool 1950s Italian speed boat. Its all shiny varnish and chrome, and shifts like duck in a bread winning contest. I’ve had the pleasure of taking it out on the river earlier in the year, but this time we took the whole day and had a barbeque lunch. We had to get up early and we were on the river by 9:30am ish. The mist hadn’t burnt through, so we made our way tentatively into the murk, with strange shapes leering out at us on occasion. My ability to steer inside the locks came into question by T, but he later revoked his slating when he managed to park the boat sideways in a lock on the way back. I and his wife L then took us back for a slap-up roast dinner, thanks I and L!


T’s mum, meanwhile, has a horse.
the boating party taking luncheon
Last weekend we went to feed it and clear the poop. I adopted the role of horse feeder, leaving the only other openings: poop barrow operator (S swiped that one sharpish) and T with Poop collector. Bad luck T. I thought this was a fine game, but the horse remained steadfastly indifferent until I ran out of carrot, at which point it produced a variety of strange contorted expressions. Here I must introduce you to the concept of gurning. Originally invented in the north of England, To gurn means to 'snarl like a dog, look savage, distort the countenance'. Allegedly this was a favourite pastime to earn tobacco or a pint from on-lookers. I don’t know quite what the horse was trying to achieve.
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the broom waits impatiently for it…
the broom waits impatiently for i…
horse gurning. this one isnt Ts …
horse gurning. this one isn't T's…
I and Ls zippy boat
I and L's zippy boat
the boating party taking luncheon
the boating party taking luncheon
a swan on the thames
a swan on the thames
a broom waits impatiently for its…
photo by: X_Drive