I’m not a blogger. I’m not on Facebook. I’m only on Twitter because my work encouraged me, and I have the kind of mood swings that make Victor Meldrew appear chilled out. So when my wife, Chiltern Girl, told me she was going to start blogging I rolled my eyes and reached for the Nurofen. I’d spent most of the past couple of years knee-deep in excel spreadsheets planning for our wedding (last Sept) and was hoping for a bit of weekend time watching Antiques Roadshow (she hates it, I love it) and steering clear of web addresses.
I was reminded I’d made some vows at the wedding altar to the effect that “whatever the wife sayest, thou shalt support her and adhere to it.” If you can’t beat em, join em, I thought. So here I am, grumpy Chiltern Boy, with the weight of the world on my shoulders and going greyer by the minute.
But really it was all my fault. It was me who wanted a garden, me who asked for wellies and a wax jacket last Christmas, me who preaches that fresh air is worth its weight in gold, and me (I confess) who brought us to the Chilterns. And don’t tell a soul, but I love it here.
This first post will reflect on what Charyn has already written. She has waxed lyrical about the Sir Charles Napier. Now I wouldn’t be much of a boy if I didn’t issue the wealth warning: it ain’t cheap. A wise man once told me that things are only expensive if they’re not good enough, so I won’t say it’s expensive. It’s ace. But they know it’s ace and they charge accordingly. So I’ve agreed we can go every other Shrove Tuesday, and once a year when the mortgage is paid. True enough, the Cheeseman is worth the bill all by himself. I can never remember what the names of my favourite cheeses are. “Strong, smelly and soft” are my instructions wherever I go.
Earlier this week, Charyn posted a blog about our walk in Radnage. Truth is, I was nursing the mother of all hangovers, and any fool who tells you that a bracing walk will clear the head, is both a fool and doesn’t have a hangover. I felt guilty all the way round. Radnage is gorgeous as is the Three Horseshoes pub we started and finished at, but a headache is a headache so I wasn’t on form. And that hill she talks about, it’s much akin to the north face of the Eiger. My advice is to take ropes and protective headgear. She skipped up it in no time and I wheezed up it in my mustard corduroys. I normally love walking, honest I do, but sometimes only water and a bed will do. Sadly there were neither on the Radnage walk.
Looking ahead, I’ll generally take my lead from Chiltern Girl (like a good husband ought to) but from time to time I will cut free when she’s not watching. Stand by for moans about irregular pub opening times, rants about the lack of affordable car washes in the Chilterns, lyrical praise about an ale for all the ages (Chalfont St Giles, thatched pub on the green, Youngs something or other) and pleas of begging help for those issues that every boy and man of the Chilterns has but is afraid of flagging. Use a pseudonym, adopt a moniker, and start by telling me if I am committing a cardinal sin if I leave a roast chicken carcass (unstripped) in the garden for the Red Kites to swoop down for?