Country Pastimes 2: Bale surfing Written by Simon Mitchell
Since demise of foxhunting and 'hunting with dogs' in countryside, there are thousands of dispossessed toffs wandering around with nothing to do. To compensate we offer here new shape of extreme and dangerous landsports.
2. Bale surfing The new shape of hay bales has created little known country sport of 'bale surfing'. Please note that this is a dangerous countryside activity that should not be undertaken without proper training. Square bales have all but disappeared from countryside, giving way to much larger cylindrical bales that are stacked using machinery, rather than tossed into hay loft with a pitchfork. The loss of machismo activity associated with this tossing has been replaced, in hillier regions of UK with new sport of bale surfing.
For this activity you will require a strong assistant, known locally as a 'bale spring'. Firstly, choose your field carefully for 'roll'. A good initial slope or hill will help get bale moving. A field that then gives way to a gentler slope is a safety requirement. On no account practice this sport in fields at edge of cliffs, roads or dangerous rivers. Ponds are at your own discretion. With your assistant, push bale to get it rolling and at appropriate moment, mount bale and start running on spot, backwards, staying on top of bale. Some contestants like to face backwards and run on spot forwards but this is regarded as un-sportsmanlike. Its also pretty stupid as you can't see where you're going. Your assistant should continue to apply force to hay bale to gain required momentum.
Country Pastimes 3: Impromptu farm concertsWritten by Simon Mitchell
Since demise of foxhunting and hunting with dogs in countryside, there are thousands of dispossessed toffs wandering around with nothing to do. To compensate we offer here new shape of country activities.
I was in garden playing a guitar that attracted attention of a small bird. It positioned itself overhead in willow tree and proceeded to drop caterpillars from leaves onto my head - feeding me as a reward for music. It made me wonder how much wild or farm animals might like music.
The photographs here evidence an impromptu harmonica concert given to a field of bullocks. I played No Place Like Hometo lead bullock, who warmed up gradually and called his mates over for a gander. I positioned myself safely in hedgerow, well out of reach in case they should mob me in their fervour for music. Slowly moshing pit formed as they edged in to listen.
They nodded along to Frere Jacques keeping surprisingly accurate tempo with their tails. It was not until I played Going to Alabama with a Banjo on my Knee that a couple of them started dancing, doing a little shimmy with their front hooves that was very similar to dance Hank Marvin and Shadows used to do.