Sunday, July 30, 2006

Oh, deer…

One of my fondest childhood memories was our sunday afternoon family walks. Writing it out like that makes it sound dull, but it wasn't. Every sunday, we'd pull on our wellies and head off to one of West London's finest parks, where quite often Simon and I would recreate the lightsabre fights from Star Wars with big sticks, but as he was older and his sticks were invariably bigger, it often ended in tears.


Sometimes it was Windsor Great Park where Simon and I would race ahead of Mum and Dad upto the monument at the hill overlooking Windsor Castle. Then everyone would laugh at me because I couldn't say 'monument' properly; monlement? Monnement? Moonlement?

Screw it.

Anyway, other times we'd go to Virginia Gardens where we'd marvel at the totem poll. One time we saw Prince Charles on the outskirts of the polo field. We passed so close to him that Simon pondered whether he could get away with slapping him on the arse and running away. I reckon the security guys might've popped a cap in him, but it might've been worth it just for laffs. Maybe if he'd used his lightsabre?

And then there was the time - the one and only time - that we went to Richmond Park. Richmond Park is, for those who don't know, the largest Royal Park in London, and home to 650 deer. Which has always been a little troubling to me, because in rutting season those deer can get bloody viscious. Seriously, if you get yo' ass anywhere near a man-deer when it's rutting season, prepare to be on the receiving end of a pointy antler. And if you're really unlucky it might even turkey slap you.

Where was I?

Oh yes, the one and only family expedition to Richmond Park. I was, I think, about four. We parked up (I wasn't driving, mind), and Dad opened the car door. I hopped out, and as Mum got her coat out of the boot, I bent over and scooped something off the ground. I turned towards Mum and Dad, held out my hand, and opened it to reveal a handful of what appeared to be raisins, but what I expertly identified as "deer poo!"

One minute later I was sitting in the back seat of the car watching the scenary go by and left to wonder why we were going home so soon, and why my hand smelled so funky?

Coming up to date, Sweatband and I are re-teaming for some more sporty-related, erm, things in the next few months. First up in September is the annual Richmond to Windsor bike ride. This'll be my fourth, and Sweatband's first. Despite her hardcore extreme sports exterior, she's let me know that she's shitting it, but I reckon she'll be fine. We're planning on a few training rides, and Sweatband is eager to do one in Richmond Park for some reason.

Then, in October, we're doing another 10k run - this time round the grounds of Hampton Court Palace (Ooo - la-dee-da!) and the adjoining Home Park.

Now... Richmond Park and Home Park - what do they have in common? Hmmm… Oh! Deer!

Yes, they're both full of deer. And I've got a horrible feeling that October is rutting season. Me - sweaty and red-faced, and hundreds of randy deer.

I think Sweatband is trying to kill me.


Mr Chunt said...

Mr Chunt has registered for the ride!

Tim said...

About time! Team Sparky's numbers are swelling!