Thursday 8 July 2021

Skunkmoggets make good hats.

 I have absolutely no idea where I am writing from this month, as a whirlwind trail follows me around the country. I know I saw a road sign saying Norfolk, a while back. Or was that Newark? Or Nantwich? Anyway, as you can tell, these last few weeks have been even more hectic than the usual turmoil that surrounds my existence on this planet. All I can recall is we left France a few weeks ago, I have had at least four negative tests for Covid, and some vaccine, and am now healthier that most athletes, although one test did suggest that I was three months pregnant!

For the last couple of days I have been talking, non-stop, mainly about sheep and things associated with them, as I provided TV commentary for the Royal Highland Show. I have to say it was great fun, if not a little tiring, and I hope the 60,000 folks who tuned in enjoyed my offerings, although I must apologise for a slip of profanities when my laptop blew off the table, as did my sandwiches, as the wind raged through our commentary box! I now know much more about Shetland sheep than most folks in Shetland, and am schooled in the differences between two variants of Blue Leicesters, and the spectrum between Blue Texels and Coloured Ryelands. For instance, a Katmogget is a shade of Shetland wool that may or may not be knitted into a cardy, whereas a Skunkmogget is more suited to making a rather fetching hat such as, but not exclusively, a Tam-o-shanter. I can also report that most people who breed Shetland sheep are rather eccentric, verging on mad, and many of them appeared to have got dressed in the dark, but I won’t be too harsh on them, as they generally seemed to have a sense of humour.

Unlike the man in the Camper parked next to me who has just asked me to move over by exactly one point two metres, as I was not quite in the centre of our pitch. He, whose name is Mike, is the very reason we never use caravan parks if we can help, as his beard and his self-important hi-viz vest are the epitome of everything that I detest in society. Always have, always will. The only reason we have had to divert into such a shared space is that the gas fridge has packed up on our camper, and most of the food in it is now growing with mould. With an overnight electric hook-up I may well be able to salvage the few Aldi steaks that we bought last week before they are fed to the dog who, unlike me, has the constitution to tolerate green meat. Not only that, but I do prefer my Chardonnay below room temperature and am not going to be denied by his milk-monitor attitude.

Now I have had a chance to look around, I have suddenly remembered where we are headed, as we need yet another test for Covid in case I have developed it since yesterday, before we are allowed back into France at the weekend. And the only place we can get one, for some bizarre reason, is in Kings Lynn! So, we are parked at none other than Sandringham estate. I am not sure if Her Majesty is in residence although I am assured she was listening to me on TV yesterday, and gave us the thumbs up. Perhaps when my patience runs out with meddling Mike next door, and I go round and stove his caravan lights in, I may get removed from said estate and any hopes of the ‘By Royal Appointment’ I was working towards will disappear with the fenland tide, so I will need maintain as much restraint as possible.

In an attempt to catch up with my eldest son, tomorrow we are off to Crystal Palace soccer ground where, for reasons I am unsure, they not only have a massive stadium but yet another camper park around the back, which one assumes is normally reserved for home supporters. I have yet to Google what colours I should adopt to fit into that category but assume my Katmogget cardigan should sit somewhere in the neutral ground of premiership strips. Unless, by pure chance, Shetland United happen to be playing in the away end.

See you on the other side, when I intend to be back home in France with gin in hand. Toodlepip.