Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Crusty Rides with the Rowing Team.

After a dreadful bout of rain, the morning was bright and sunny and one felt the need to get out into the open air. One looked down from one’s bedroom window and saw the horses in the stable. One’s favourite stood proud with the sunshine on his face, as he looked across the Gusset estate. A morning ride! A splendid idea!

One mounted Dribble in one’s riding finery and raced off across the grounds towards the River Pees Burn. The feeling of the fresh air whooshing past one’s face as one went was exquisite and Dribble was in his element.

Approaching the cinder track by the side of the river, one came across the village rowing team. They were out on a team practice and looked magnificent suspended in their Lycra bodysuits. Rowing has been a blessing for the entire team, the majority of who used to pass their time on the village green drinking bottles of peach Schnapps and being generally disagreeable. That is, all apart from one; Robin Gett.

Robin was notorious in the surrounding area for petty theft. One night, one stumbled across him trying to grab one’s jugs in the hallway . It was this incident that prompted one to suggest rehabilitation on the rowing team and since joining, he has become a changed character and a totally delightful young man.

“Morning, Dame Crusty!” They all shouted.

“Good morning, boys!” one replied as Dribble nodded his head and stamped his right front hoof.

“We’re going to try for a personal best, but Sammy was on the hoy last night, so we’re not hopeful.”

“It’s all a matter of focus, poppets! If you think you can achieve it, then so shall it be.”

Robin shouted from the middle of the boat, “Will you time us Dame Crusty?”

“Of course, poppet!” One shouted back.

To start them off one took the whip from the side of the saddle, drew it back and flicked it forward quickly; one’s crack pierced the air. At the very same moment, one pressed the start button on the chronograph one has on one’s Bvlgari watch. They huffed, puffed and heaved as they put all their strength into the acceleration of their canoe. The bow of the craft sliced through the glistening ripples of the Pees Burn; each stroke of the oars leaving a trail of tiny whirlpools of power in their wake.

Once up to speed, one squeezed Dribble between one’s thighs and we, too, were off. Galloping along side them on the cinder track, one could see they were putting everything they had into it; their faces contorting with the effort and the pain running through their muscles. Dribble and I raced past the finish marker and when one turned to see the crew cross it too, the button on the stopwatch was pressed once more.

Each of them let out an enormous puff to allow their lungs to draw in a gulp of fresh air to fill and rejuvenate them.

Dribble turned and cantered to the side of the river, by the old moss covered jetty. The boys pulled up alongside and lifted themselves out.

“How did we do, Dame Crusty?” asked Robin.

While they lifted their vessel from the water, one looked down to consult one’s timepiece.

“And what’s your fastest time for that distance so far, poppets?” One enquired.

“Four and a half minutes” said Robin.

One left a dramatic pause, as is befitting on such occasions (though not quite as long as the pause taken on American Idol to give a result or goodness knows, one could still be there now) then revealed the answer.

“Four minutes … and five seconds!! Bravísimo!”

Well, they were of course thrilled. They jumped up and down, joyously clapping their blistered hands before grabbing their cox and heading into the boathouse to express their joy by getting a couple down their necks.

Closing the boathouse door behind them, one patted the neck of one’s trusty steed; “Do you know, Dribble, I think we may have potential Olympians there.”

With that, we trotted off back to the Crusty Hall estate.

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