-It makes more sense than a couple of other things.

Mad Aunt Bernards Tortoise Poetry

"The page to come and visit for a fabulously sensible intake of poetry straight from the divinest of inspiration - and it's only a bit tortoisy. A cracking good read if you're under anaesthetic."
Lord Elpus - The Guardian

Tuesday, October 6

Unofficial Cheese Rolling

Great times! I have not posted for over a week, but I've had the best time! My cousin, Inga-Wilhelm has visited me from Schubel, in Germany.
I haven't seen her since we used to throw wellington boots at passers-by from our treehouse eleventy-two years ago. The fun we used to have.
I like Inga-Wilhelm immensely, she never minds sitting down to watch telly with the spiders, who now have their own clothes and sit with their children perched on their eight knees. She's a friendly, affable woman, and even likes Aunt Vom.
On Tuesday, we set of for Coopers Hill in Gloucestershire, for the St Vitus Clan Unofficial Cheese Roll. You can watch the official ones here, but we're much better.
With us came Aunt Vom, Aunt Turgid, Folly and Mary Jaffa. Mary Jaffa got nervous and wobbled most of the time, but I think it was because we'd driven past Tortworth Court Orangery, and her fear of satsumas reared it's ugly head. But we had a lovely surprise when Great Uncle Mandy (pictured right) turned up and agreed to be the CheeseMaster. He sat at the top in his top hat, beside all our chosen cheeses, and held his ceremonial staff with the mad cockerel on the top.
Aunt Vom went first, and we rolled a 2lb Sage Derby for her to chase. She tumbled down the hill wearing a traditional gown of violet taffeta and lace with a bustle and front apron. She'd left her jewellery and reticule at the top, for safety reasons. On reaching the bottom (at the same time as the cheese), she ploughed through the neighbouring garden fence and into someone's conservatory only to interrupt a coffee morning. There are no rugby-playing marshals to catch you at the bottom when we roll cheese - that is for lightweights.
Next up was Folly, who didn't wait for the cheese but skipped/tumbled arse over tit down the hill only to be hit by a 3lb Stinking Bishop. She wore a day dress of blue gingham with a bonnet to match. Bless - where Folly is around, disaster will follow. The broken nose was splinted by Vom, and badly because she was laughing so much and Folly was bawling so much. Bench will go spare.
Then it was me - I flew down after Great Uncle Mandy flung a German Weisslacker (a present from Inga-Wilhelm) in my path. Dressed in my best hessian dress, and favourite wooden shoes, I didn't get to the bottom before the cheese, but I was close, and my weight and rotund shape helped me bounce my way to the bottom. No-one clears stones or thistles from the path of the runners, and I couldn't help thinking of the man who'd gone down the hill last year in only a thong. Ouch! His little botty was covered in scratches.
Aunt Turgid flew down the hill on a moped, chasing a 2lb Halloumi, and almost won the match, but sadly took a swerve into some woodland and had to have a spoke removed by the ambulance people. She wore a cotton chemise, corset, and matching bloomers, with striped stockings and lace up boots.
Mary-Jaffa took a turn and cautiously went down the hill on her heels and bottom, chasing only a BabyBel. It took fifteen minutes, and the cheese was so small, a dog ran off with it before it hit the base of the hill. She wore a white cotton nightie, with over gown and lace cap. It's now green with grass stains down the back.
Inga-Wilhelm decided that she'd be different and summoned the throwing of a Farmhouse Llanboidy (I had some in the fridge and hate it so I donated it to the cause). Well, she flew. She wore a tweed suit with smart jacket and coulottes. Very smart. She has special shoes with spikes in to grip the turf, and her short, tubby, stature helped her methodically negotiate a quick path down the hill. And since the the Farmhouse Llanboidy got stuck on a tuft of grass, bounced, then fell down a small hole, she was the overall winner!
It was marvellouse. We had a picnic back up at the top of the hill and pointed at things in the distance while eating cheese and ham sarnies. Folly had a huge bruise and an egg shaped thing above her nose, I was covered in little cuts and bruises, Aunt Turgid showed her scrapes and grass burns to her lizards, and Aunt Vom just stood there and looked hard. Mary-Jaffa's wobbling stopped, until Vom wanted pudding and pulled a satsuma out of the hamper, at which point she fainted. You may remember that this is a problem, as the only thing that brings her out of a fainting spell is the smell of oranges or satsumas. But, the second she's awake, and realised the identity of the fruit, she faints again. This goes on for months sometimes. Great Uncle Mandy suggested putting a handkerchief soaked in citrus over her face, but we didn't think this would help. He is a bugger.
Inga-Wilhelm took photos and wrote in her little journal, so she could show it to her friends back in Schubel. They would be most pleased to read it, as it ties in nicely with the advent of the 'Sausage Flinging' on her return, which takes place on top of the matterhorn in Switzerland. It is a little more ambitious than our thingy. And a mite more dangerous, as most competitors die of exposure and frozen beards before they get to the starting point.
It was a wonderful visit, despite the earbashing from Bench about Folly's nose. We also went to the Staines Shrieking Festival and got drunk on WKD. We shouted obscenities at a march past parliament concerning the rights of toads in modern British households. We put cat poo in paper bags and placed it on my nasty neighbours doorstep, then set light to the bag, rang the bell, and ran away. Old proverb: He who stamps out burning cat poo will never get it off expensive shoe.
I will miss Inga-Wilhelm, and her tolerance of all things dreadful, she has been a breath of fresh air, I will visit Schubel one day, having been invited. I would like to see what they make of toad rubbing, and my new hobby of Weasel Stretching. One never knows how such things will be received....


  1. So very funny. I laughed long and hard. Well done Aunt Bernard.


  3. Welcome back Auntie.What a fine time you had and there is as you mentioned surely no better hobby in this world than sitting on a hill and pointing.Poor Folly though, being hit by a stinking bishop, I hope she hit him back.I was at a pea rolling competition last week. It's lovely to be out in the countryside after several pints, then with a proud heart and a bursting bladder to breathe a sigh of relief as you let your pea go and watch it roll down the hill.

  4. There's no better cheeserolling than un-official cheese rolling in my opinion... All this health and safety nonsense governing particular days and times.... the general public would do well to take a leaf out of you and your familie's book; just find a cheese, lob it and run... The world would be a better place if we lived like this.
    Personally I'd have an aged Gruyerre.. and wear galoshes and a racoon hat... nothing else.. :-O

  5. Thankyou Watcher, nice to see you. It's good to laugh long and hard (unless you have particular health issues, then it's not such a good idea).
    King of Camels! Nice to see you too! A thousand conflabulations on inflicting it upon you - perhaps read it with eyes shut, and that will solve the issue.
    Fecker! I would love to attend the pea rolling, when is the next event? Uncle Colobus would be in his element, particularly with his age-related trouble.
    Watercats! I think you should post your own unofficial cheese roll, I'm giggling inanely at the thought of the galoshes and the racoon hat - it would make a hell of a mess if the Gruyerre hit you....:-)
    Hello Menopausal Musing - lovely to see you. Come and join us for the next one, I reckon you'd win the cheese!

  6. Hello Auntie,
    So glad the cheese rolling was such a hoot.I have been researching my cheese of choice for next year. (I am hoping to be let out especially). I am going for the orange (oops sorry Mary-Jaffa...) wrapped in tin foil and spiked with cocktail sticks holding all manner of rare breed organic cheeses garnered from the bottom of the fridge. Would this be elligable?
    Must dash as I am in the process of crocheting you a weasel for Christmas 2016, the ears are proving troublesome....

    Love Cousin Down the Lane x

  7. Welcome home darling MAB - you have been sorely missed. I laughed out loud as I read this latest post. I love the old proverb and would also love to meet Great Uncle Mandy. The stories of your family outings are like a breath of fresh air.

  8. Great Uncle Mandy looks like my mum when the train hit her ! i like your site lots !

  9. Definitely one of your best, MAB. I've often wondered what sort of ideas would pop into one's head after smoking dried otter bogies, and now I know. You're a treasure.

  10. Isn't that funny? TFE was just hurling some wellies at Willow's ball yesterday, and I was helping channel Bertie's Great-Great Grand-uncle, Ricketts!
    By the way, I have a poem from a few years back entitled, "The Cheesemonger". You might enjoy it.

    Sorry to have been away for so long; I've been trying to gather my wits about me.

  11. Ooh, I really enjoyed this, Aunt Bernard! We'll have to try cheese-rolling here too. We'll let you know and you can bring a team across.

  12. ah that fair tickled my doubries, thank you x;0)

  13. Ah, weasel-stretching - I'm so glad to have found someone proficient at last - My weasels will be ecstatic! x

  14. Welcome back Auntie! We've missed you SO much!! Nobody talks complete and utter bollocks quite like you do. Brilliant stuff! Now, PLEEEEEEASE - can we have some more? Go on go on go on go on go on go on go ON!!