Tales From the Riverbank!

Posted on July 29, 2016

When I am not feeling inspired enough to go somewhere original with the dog, I take a short trip down to Chilbolton Common which has a lovely walk, the river, and enough rabbit scent to send the daft mutt into an hour long frenzy.

The problem with Chilbolton is that it can be exceptionally popular, well at least sometimes. Last week it was like Bournemouth beach but with subdued temperatures and the threat of rain this week, it was pretty much desolate apart from a few stoical families here and there.


What a Difference a Week Makes: Chilbolton today (left) and last  week (right)

The problem with busier places is that you do get inclined to talk to people and it is generally something I am loathe to do these days, especially when all the conversations revolved around the referendum a couple of months ago.

However, on occasions you do get more memorable conversations such as the one I had with a sailor about the weather last week that went on for about half an hour as we walked along with our dogs flushing out pigeons nearby.

This resulted in the dear chap convincing me to use a weather forecasting site that was far more accurate than the BBC webpage that, in his opinion, always erred on the side of pessimism due to the average brain capacity of the general public. I thought this too, so I instantly liked my new buddy.

There is a common consensus that I don’t like posh people, with even the posh people I know making that judgement about me. However, I don’t dislike any creed really, and this guy was a great case in point as he was incredibly well to do. That said, as a weather tragic, I can talk about the Azores High and the Jet Stream for weeks on end given half the opportunity.

What I can’t stand is when I meet posh people who, despite their incredible advantages, still contrive to be spectacularly stupid, today being a fine example.

As I was walking by the river there was a young boy in wellingtons with a little fishing net, excitedly wading about with his eyes glued to the flowing waters of The Test.

“MUMMY, MUMMY, I JUST SAW A HUGE TROUT!” he squealed in a voice that suggested a £50k per annum school of vintage buggery.

“Stop being so silly Rupert, there isn’t trout in there!” she said, before giving me a look that said, “Boys hey, little fibbers”.

Despite carrying a name that should be reserved for cartoon bears and undoubtedly possessing a bigger bank balance than me at the tender age of five, I felt some pity for Rupert, the rosy cheeked young scallywag.

“Actually he probably did see a trout, there are plenty of them in there” I piped up.

“Really, are you sure?” She said.

“It’s The River Test you know, people don’t travel from across the globe and pay £500 a day to catch tadpoles?”

“No I suppose not, so he may have seen one then?”

“Yes, probably.”

“Gosh…good boy Rupert, it was a trout!”

“I told you it was a trout you condescending bitch” said Rupert. He didn’t of course, but I tend to fantasise classic scenarios in these situations.

How could she be so dense? She had the accent of someone who went to ‘Her Lady of Penelope’s Posh School for the Preposterously Posh’ and she didn’t know that the River Test, just minutes from her home, had trout in it?!

I waited for Tim ‘Nice but Dim’ to turn up and say, “Come on Silly Tilly, we’ve got champers and hampers to quaff down our necks” but alas, he did not arrive.

What do they actually teach at these independent girls schools?

“Good morning children, today we are going to talk about wildlife…daddy kills it, you loathe it…that’s all for today, now on your way, your butlers are in the car park.”

To be fair to the lady, she wasn’t impolite, just stupid, but you know what gets me?

Her husband is probably someone in the Tory cabinet who is in charge of a little bit more than a Hampshire trout stream.


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