The Ambler

Amble's Community Newspaper: News & events from Amble in Northumberland – The Kindliest Port.

Whither And Why: A Jubilee and Olympics double feature!

From the desk of Gerald Honk, Esq.

The news was good! We had received confirmation only that morning that my wife Lillian, due to her various good works for the community at large, was to be an Olympic torch-bearer for a short stretch through our village. Lillian took the news with typical nonchalance, but I knew that the moment I hopped, skipped and jumped out of the house, she would adjourn immediately to the armoire to retrieve her long-forgotten legwarmers and start getting in shape. Meanwhile, I hurdled my way across the roads to relay the news to my friend, the egomaniacal enthusiast and discrete decathlete, Sir Hilary Harrison-Nairn.

Illustration of HH and Honk by John Weddell

Before I reached his abode, however, I was obstructed by a table of extreme length, sitting calmly in the street. At one end was my friend; at the other, buried under a mountain of Union Jack bunting, was presumably his timorous housekeeper, Mrs Clutterbutt.

“God save the Queen, Honk!” said H.H., a sentiment echoed from somewhere in the depths of the bunting.

“What is going on, H.H.?”

“Street party! Diamond Jubilee, Honk! God save the Queen!” came the reply. (“-savethequeen,” said the bunting.)

“But H.H., the Jubilee is not for weeks yet!”

“Getting in before the rush! Stocking up on bunting before panic-buying sets in, what!”
I moved straight on to the reason for my visit. “H.H., I have Olympian news! You know-“

“Ah, the Olympics! I wished to speak to you on the same subject, Honk. I have created a new sport for consideration for the Games!”

“All well and good, H.H., but my news –”

“It’s a new form of Morris Dancing that blends fencing, judo and synchronised swimming! The aim is, through wit, guile and the odd blow to the oppo’s head, to emerge as last man flouncing, and it’s all set to music! Permit me to demonstrate. Bismarck!”

From under the table emerged H.H.’s gargantuan dog, Bismarck, cannily dressed in full canine Morris regalia, a whiffling stick between his teeth. My friend arose, also brandishing a stick, and they began to duel, H.H.’s feet tapping in rhythm, Bismarck’s paws less so.

“I plan – have at you, you dog! – to premiere it on Jubilee weekend – godsavethequeen! (“-the queen,” said the bunting) – to the strains of our dear national anthem! Now – a hit! A fine hit! – what were you saying?”

“H.H., Lillian has been selected as an Olympic torchbearer!”

“Capital news! I don’t suppose Bismarck could take her place? I’m sure the flame would pose no problems – ”

“No, H.H. Lillian has earned the right, as have all her fellow runners, from Alnwick down to Newcastle and all over the land.”

“True enough, true enough. Smashing lady, your Lillian. Care for a bun? They’ve all got Her Maj’s face on ‘em…”

“I’ll leave you to it this time, H.H.”

As I made my way back home, I overheard my friend exclaim, “wonderful match, Bismarck! Your turn, Mrs Clutterbutt! Mrs Clutterbutt? I don’t suppose I might have slightly overspent on bunting, have I…”

Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee weekend is the first weekend in June. God save the Queen! H.H. and Honk encourage you to celebrate it in some way.
The 2012 Olympic Torch will wind its way through Northumberland in mid-June. Catch it before it’s gone!

Tagged as: ,

1 Comment

  1. Are Sir Hilary Harrison – Nairn and Mr Gerald Honk ‘Care in the Community’ ?
    My great, great, grandfather Ivor Theodolite was assistant engineer to Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
    In 1832, they had just started work on Mr Brunel’s iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge, when disaster struck.
    The HSE suspended Mr Brunel indefinitely, for not wearing a hard hat, high viz jacket and smoking in the work place.
    Ivor was now senior engineer in charge of the project. Work continued until the Rioters, protesting at Mr Brunel being suspended from his suspension bridge, brought the work to a halt.
    Ivor, never forgot Mr Brunel’s golden rule: measure twice, cut once and Beware the HSE.

Leave a Response