Callooh! Callay! A frabjous day! Yesterday was the occasion of the annual Banovallum MCC Enduro race around and about our village. A day of motorbikes and three hours of solid racing, all on my doorstep. No driving, no parking – just step outside and wander a few steps into a major sporting event.
There are of course whingers and whiners in the village (oh, the noise, oh, the disconvenience and dust) to whom I say (and I quote) ‘Oh shut up, you miserable twerps, tis but once a year and it helps fund the running of the village hall. You have three hundred and sixty-four other days of the year in which to mooch about in your trackie bottoms and slippers, moaning and fixating on doggie-poo. Bog off back to your Homer-dent on your sofa, and watch Big Brother Reality Come Whining or something.’
I have no idea who won. I have no idea who took part. I spent the day like Toad standing at the side of Spaghetti Junction during rush hour, occasionally ceasing my grinning long enough to mutter “Parp-parp”. Oh, I performed the odd grand jeté, and once I think I accidentally entrechat my pants but what’s a chap to do? Other than wave his camera around, that is, and fall over on his arse just the once? They don’t let me out very often, but when they do you can forget loving to be beside the seaside and give me thumping engines and unburned hydrocarbons and a fog of testosterone instead.
Boing, boing, boing, wibble moo fribble de-clomp.
The Met Office co-operated nicely (I sent them my usual bomb threats, just in case they should consider otherwise) and presented a perfect day of half-summer, half-autumn, with a breeze, blue sky and no rain. Splendid. Ticketty-boo in fact.
Instead of lugging my usual pre-historic SLRs around I have, of late, taken quite a shine to my rinky-dinky Panasonic Lumix FT5 pocket-rocket. Weatherproof, sealed against dust, reportedly droppable from human-height and a damned sight lighter and easier to carry around. We are learning each other’s ways. I miss the ability of the SLRs to zoom as I frame, and the FT5 cannot be rushed, but we’re reaching an agreement. It’s nice to be able to take HD video too, although yesterday I was too busy with a raging case of the clicketty-clicks.
My thanks for the day go out to the Traves family, who kindly donate the use of their fields and rush each year to get the harvest in before race day, to the Banovallum MCC and their marshals for the hard work in running the event, and to me for just being me. Oh – and to the inventors, developers and manufacturers of that most insane and ecologically nonsensical of devices, the two and four-stroke engine. Fossil fuels are a ridiculous way to travel, but my goodness me, they do make for a spot of a fun Sunday.