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Wednesday, September 21, 2005


Coming out of the closet

Despite the irony that my job involves giving out Penalty Charge Notices to cars, I must confess to being a bit of a petrolhead. When I say a bit, I mean quite a lot really. For example; I really like watching BBCTV’s ‘Top Gear’, which is a welcome respite from the anodyne nature of a lot of it’s other programming. It’s ‘Star in a reasonably priced car’ section where a well-known public figure is filmed bombing round a racetrack in a bog standard commutermobile is an absolute hoot. For non-British TV watchers, this is a very eccentric and purely British thing, like bathtub racing – don’t ask.

On the flip side of that last sentence, there used to be regular local TV news features on footballing grannies or summer speed skating on Lake Windermere. Maybe it’s a comment on my rare TV viewing that I haven’t noticed many of these local news items, or is the great British Eccentric in terminal decline?

Well I’d like to make a declaration; I am a British eccentric. There, I’ve done it. I feel so much better now. My idea of paradise is to have a life where I can go hunting with a high powered rifle or bow and my dogs at the crack of dawn to bring back some venison for the freezer. To go white water canoeing down to the shops occasionally in a Canadian canoe (This have I done – had to walk back though.). To have my own summerhouse to write in where the domestic cares of the house are forbidden entry. To be found wearing a black Kaftan and cooking stuffed sheeps’ hearts for my dogs’ supper when the annoying relatives / religious maniacs come to call unexpectedly. To ride my motorcycle (Once a biker, always a biker) across wide open countries just to watch spectacular sunrises and sunsets. Oh yes, and to wear a hat like this to keep my one remaining brain cell warm and dry.

Okay; I haven’t hunted with a rifle since I was nineteen, my current dog is a gunshy housepet (Blame the kids). You can’t go rough shooting on a whim in England unless you have your own farm / estate (And I don’t). The garden is way too small for a separate shed to write in, since our current garden shed is full of household junk. My motorcycle needs money that I haven’t got spent on it, but I have ridden it across Europe. Yes, and some of the sunrises and sunsets were superb, as were those I have seen in the US and Canada. The annoying relatives and religious fanatics rarely call because my family are not rich or gullible, but the hat is worn on a daily basis. The white water canoeing desire is sublimated and restricted to a local boating lake.

Hey, who cares? I’m British and an eccentric - and you know what? I think I’m happy about it.


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Location: British Columbia, Canada

Exasperated expatriate expostulations all the way from British Columbia, Canada. As if anyone really cared. Oh, I also watch Icelandic Volcanoes and seismic activity. Don't ask me why.

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