…to pinch a recent thread title from The Ship (thank you, Chorister!) I never did add my contribution “Guinea pigs die in house fire;” article ending on an upbeat note: “Nobody was harmed during the blaze.” (Except the poor guinea pigs, presumably).
Unfortunately, our little section of the SE has hit the national headlines over the weekend, as you’ll no doubt have seen. Greenham Common, Swampy, Vodaphone, the bypass, Jimi Hendrix (yes, really, he did once play here), and now, we’ll be known as the place where two horses were electrocuted on the racecourse. Shudders.
I can’t claim to be a fan of horseracing myself. Whilst it’s not quite on the same plane as performing animals in circuses in my book, there’s something about it that to me doesn’t seem natural. Nevertheless, apart from feeling sorry for the poor horses who died and the others ‘spooked’ by the incident, I can appreciate that the racing fraternity itself is facing a major loss, financially and I guess in many other ways.
There is a certain macabre humour about it, mind you. We were at Mark Steel’s local leg of his ‘Towns’ tour a few hours after the news had broken. A while before he’d tweeted asking for any interesting info on upcoming venues Newbury and Swindon. I bet you he’d not anticipated all this! It certainly added a whole new nuance to the backdrop pic of him posing in front of the town’s butchers shop, home of the ‘New ury Sausage; ‘ the missing letter having been knocked out by a roundhead pike, according to Mr S. (Another claim to fame I’d forgotten, our Civil War connections).
Changing the subject slightly, Mark’s thoughts on the miserable so and sos you find posting on on internet forums were one of the best parts of the evening, IMO. I swear he must have been reading some of our local places. Is being a miserable git* peculiar to our neck of the woods, or is it a disease of all small town community fora?
Sniping (mine) apart, we had a great evening, (as proven by the large bag of minstrels that I managed to munch my way through.) We really are lucky here. Small the town might be , but for arts, theatre and other entertainment, we’re really not too badly off at all. Even if the acts aren’t quite in the Jimi Hendrix league.
In other news, there’ve been not a few frissons of excitement up at what I must stop referring to as ‘Newchurch’ as our renewable energy project really begins to get underway. Read all about it here.. Great news.
*He put it rather more graphically than that, of course, but this is A Family Blog. 🙂