June 1st, 2011


What weird stuff happens in your home town?

Apparently in Tetbury, they have a race in which competitors carry sacks of wool up and down their village hill*. The sacks weigh 60lb (about 27 kilos) for men and 35 lb (about 16 kilos) for women. This used to be some kind of 'impress the girls' thing in Ye Olden Tymes, and in true English style it was turned into a contest. Other weird British contests include:

Gloucester cheese rolling.
Bog snorkelling in Wales.
World gurning championships in Cumbria.
Pea shooting championships in Cambridgeshire. (Happy you should look at this guy's laser-sighted pea shooter).
Stinging nettle eating in Dorset.

Yes, the British are strange. They've had a long time to get that way.

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So, flist, please tell me what weird thing is your hometown's claim to fame. And even better if it has some bizarre competition that is unique to there. Trout-tickling? Wife-carrying? Nose-flute playing**? Enquiring minds want to know, for the purpose of wiping the Kumara King and Queen from my brain.

* Woolpacks in NZ weigh 180 kilos when full. We used to have stacking competitions but nobody could carry one.

** Reference to the longest place name in New Zealand, Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateapokaiwhenuakitanatahu, which translated means "The summit where Tamatea, the man with the big knees, the climber of mountains, the land-swallower who travelled about, played his nose flute to his loved one."

I've always wondered about the big knees thing - big enough to be worthy of comment is quite big.

And in other news

That I've been keeping a lid on in fear of jinxing it -

I just got word that the sale of Mum's house has been signed and is now unconditional. Which means that as of 1 July I won't be paying a mortgage on that any more and will have the first ever real amount of money in my life.

Almost exactly a year later, that chapter closes.

I plan to get my eyes lasered, and buy plane tickets.