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Sunday, 20 June 2010

Cotswold Crazy



This year, the world-famous cheeserolling has been cancelled due to health and safety concerns. Of course throwing yourself down a hill after a lump of cheese is neither healthy nor particularly safe, but surely that's the point? I have to confess I'm disappointed.

But fear not. The crazy people still have plenty of ideas to keep themselves occupied on a grey bank holiday afternoon.

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Take, for instance, the Tetbury Woolsack Races. Now in their 37th year, the goal of this particular event is to run a race while carrying a 60lb sack of wool (for men; it's 'only' 35lb for women).

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Who thinks of these things?!

I know, I know. The English are famous for their eccentricity. But honestly, I'd never seen anything like this before I moved to the Cotswolds - yet here, it seems that almost every village has its own bonkers tradition.

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Oh - and just in case the idea of running along a (rather hilly!) road with 60lb on your back doesn't sound quite mad enough yet, silly costumes are also par for the course. This year, there were two whole teams dressed as foxes.

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It was interesting to observe the different strategies for lifting and holding the giant sacks of wool.

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Some were more succcessful than others; one poor fox dropped his sack and struggled to get it back on his shoulders again, eventually resorting to walking the last few yards with the sack clutched in front of him.

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There's even a children's race (with lighter sacks, naturally) :

Girl in the children's relay

The whole town was dressed up for the festivities, with market stalls and fairground rides. After watching a few races and munching ice-cream, we stopped off for coffee and scones on our way home. There are some things the Cotswolds do really, really well. Cream teas, and crazy.

Bunting


16 comments:

yogurt said...

And the fox ran away with the wool. Isn't that a nursery rhyme? LOL

I am loving the last picture of the old buildings. What type of roof is that? It looks very old British, or at least what I imagine it to be.

Stephanie V said...

What would life be if there weren't some craziness? It's so easy - and common - to take ourselves seriously. These traditions remind us all to lighten up, take a risk and just enjoy a silly moment. Thanks, Rachel, I needed that.

Chad Zahara said...

I want to live there. Now.

Chad Zahara said...

I want to live there. Now.

Writing Without Periods! said...

I love the Cotswalds!! It's a magical area. Love your photos.
mary

smilla4blogs said...

I love the overburdened costumed foxes running off with the lambs wool...life following art!

Tabor said...

Crazy is much like charming in my book. I wish I could at last visit there.

Jumbleberry Orchard said...

This looks like a lot of fun! And a pretty setting, too!

We're also pretty crazy up here in Yorkshire:

http://www.knaresborough.co.uk/bedrace/

What a way to spend a Saturday in June!

ScoMan said...

I would only run down a hill with a bag of wool that big if I was chasing after a piece of cheese.

I do like cheese.

The Good Cook said...

My husband and I visited the Cotswalds about 10 years ago.. so beautiful, so charming.. we rode our bikes up Uley Hill... do you know it? We stopped by a pub after that and the lovely folks in the pub thought we were crazy when they found out we had ridden up that hill.. they said people don't even drive up it, let alone ride their bicycles up..

LOL.. we would love to come back.

Bells said...

Fantastic. I'd show up for that. What fun!

Bibliomama said...

...but no more cheeserolling? Sorry...I need a moment.

Debbie said...

Now that looks like a fun day! Sorry about the cheese:)

Mama Hen said...

That is so much fun! I love all of the pictures! I am sad that the cheeserolling was not going on this year! I would love to see pictures of that! I hope all is well! :)

Mama Hen

Dedene said...

Wonderful! There was a pig chasing festival near us but they stopped due to animal rights.
Hope you have a fantastic time in Greenland!

Chef E said...

Oh how you had me giggling with the beginning of this post- now I might dive after a good piece of cheese if it had money rolled around it!

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