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An Eccentric English Day Out – Pooh Sticks!

We are proud of being English and proud of being typically eccentrically English too. We enjoy doing typical English activities like Afternoon Tea and walking in the park. Recently we enjoyed a three-generation family weekend taking part in an activity only the English could do. We took part in the World Pooh Sticks Championships 2017! Totally crazy! But great fun!

We traveled down to Oxfordshire in search of Langel’s Common on the outskirts of Witney and parked up near the village’s parish church. A short walk saw us arriving at the field that was home to the championships and we crossed a bridge over the River Windrush.

Fans of the famous Winnie the Pooh children’s books written by AA Milne will know what this is all about. Others might need to check it out on Google. The event is described as one of the country’s quirkiest sports. In reality it requires absolutely no skill whatsoever, the only requirements needed are a sense of fun, a desire to help charities and a big smile.

The championships are run by the Rotary Club of Oxford Spires and they aimed to raise funds for their worldwide Purple4Polio campaign. Each competitor has to drop a coloured stick into the river on the count of three and then rush to the other side of the bridge to see whose stick crosses the finishing line first. Simple really!

We formed a team of four, calling ourselves “The Magnificent Mollies”, we registered our team and waited to collect our sticks from the “Keeper of the Sticks”. We chose to use green sticks and moved on to join the queue of teams awaiting their turn. We had Jude the Undergardener to support us along with Granddaughter Arabella who looked really cool with pink shades on.

   

We stood waiting and concentrating for the word and in turn dropped our green sticks. We did not do very well at all but enjoyed the fun and laughter and banter with other teams.

 

We celebrated the adage, “it’s the taking part that counts” by a family high fives after coming close to last in the team event. Then we celebrated again by enjoying a summer picnic on the river bank. A sign highlighted where ducks could be fed, but there were absolutely no ducks there!

While enjoying out picnic we watched the individual event taking place and to illustrate how skillful the sport is, it was won by a 6 year old boy, Daniel.

The team who arrived in their vintage US police car certainly seemed to enjoy their day and left happy and smiling and waving to everyone as they drove off. However, one little person must have arrived home unhappily after discovering they had lost their orange coat.

   

We had a great time and decided unanimously that we would be back!

 

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Afternoon Tea for Two – how English we are!

Afternoon tea is such a quintessentially English thing to do isn’t it? We recently used our voucher for tea for two which was a present from our son Jamie and his wife Sam. We chose a sunny  but chilly day so we took advantage of being indoors enjoying our treat and looking at the bright weather outside.

We drove through the ancient town of Ludlow and a little way into the countryside to find our destination, Fishmore Hall. We knew we were looking for a grand white manor house surrounded by countryside and it was easy to find and it was everything we expected it to be. It certainly lived up to our expectations. Doesn’t that blue sky look great against the white stucco.

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We were shown the way to our table by a window so we had great views out into the garden.

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And we even had an typical English flower on our table, a red rose.

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After a pot of tea and a pot of coffee were delivered to our table, the food began to arrive. A plate of neatly cut sandwiches with a variety of fillings was delivered first closely followed by a cake stand loaded with a rich assortment of little cakes. We had been set a challenge! We had to get through them all but we had the luxury of 2 hours to do so and plenty of tea and coffee.

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Jude was tempted first by a freshly baked scone with home made jam and clotted cream.

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And of course once the aroma escaped from her freshly cut scone I had to follow suit.

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Well after two hours and plenty of tea and coffee we were proud to have risen to the challenge. The plate of little sandwiches was empty and the cake stand similarly empty. Jude’s expressions shows how we felt.

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Many thanks to Jamie and Sam for a great gift. So good in fact that we wondered if we should do this on one afternoon each month. Nice idea!