Saturday, September 17, 2011

Wok Hard

So, I'm in agony. I'd almost forgotten how much pain my back could meter out; it being almost a year since I had my prolapsed disc (and therefore almost a year since I packed up the fags). I am dosed up to the eyeballs with several kinds of painkiller and anti-inflammatory drugs, but it's barely touching it. I could do with a big bag of illegal drugs, but unfortunately I no longer have any money, so I'll suffer in silence (or not, as the case may be).

I'm not quite sure what acted as the catalyst for this first serious bad back for a year. It could have been yomping around Salcey Forest in anything but sensible shoes yesterday, or it could have been a combination of lifting; dismantling or bending over to inspect fungus. Who can say for sure, except that at some point yesterday afternoon, as I was about to walk down the stairs, a twang and a yelp occurred and the rest they say is history (or something like that).

Anyhow, it wasn't my poxy back I wanted to talk about. As we were driving back from Salcey Forest yesterday afternoon, I saw something I'd never seen before. In the distance, midway between Horton and Ravenstone, I saw this well-funky house. It was sitting up on the highest point you could see and looked a bit like the Arc de Triomphe; well, from a couple of miles away it did. So, when we got home I went onto Google maps to try and find the place. However, I couldn't find anything that resembled it (from an aerial view), but what I did find was even weirder...

Take a look at this picture on the left. In the middle of the woods are a number structures (if you go to Google Maps, type in Horton, Northants, and then scroll to the right, so that Horton just disappears off the left hand of the map, you will see them. Zoom in and you'll get a better view of them); all of these structures are surrounded by little moats and there isn't really any way of determining what they are. I puzzled over this for ages; got the wife to look at them. She thought they might be holiday chalets; I thought they might be fishing huts, for private anglers. The truth turns out to be crazier than a bucket of frogs on acid.

North of these woods is Yardley Chase; which is Forestry Commission land, formerly owned by the MOD. In these woods there are also these strange structures; except this time instead of being surrounded by moats, they're surrounded by what appears to be elevated land; they sit in little basins. Curiouser and curiouser...

Several minutes of Googling and the mystery was solved. These buildings were built in the early 1940s, by the MOD, to store bombs and this is what they did until the late 1950s when the MOD felt that they had become obsolete due to the proliferation of nuclear arms. These constructs were essentially 'bomb shelters' for bombs, not people! Quite remarkable...

***

While searching for the answer to the above mystery, I found a place called Howcut Lane, which is just down the road from Yardley Hastings. Nothing spectacular about this, apart from the fact that Howcut Lane has some of the most amazing houses you have ever seen. It's like Mansion Street and all the years I've lived in the county, I discovered two things yesterday about Secret Northants that I never knew or expected.

I've often fantasised about owning a big fuck off house in the middle of nowhere; but the problem with that is the one rarely comes with the most important thing about living in an isolated community - a decent pub. Now you could argue that if you had enough money to afford a mock castle in the middle of nowhere, you could afford a taxi to and from your favourite pub; but, I don't know, there's something about living near a pub that is in staggering distance that appeals far more to me than giving some twat who drives a taxi my money...

***

Quick TV bit:
Haven has been so bad it hasn't warranted mentioning.
Vampire Diaries is back and I still think this is one of the best things on TV.
Secret Circle, which is a sort of VD spin-off, started and didn't really impress me that much. What did impress me though was the length of the lead actress's (Britt Robertson) skirt. If it had been any shorter you would have seen her belly button! However, the series is full of utterly dislikeable characters and unless it does a VD and changes course pretty quickly then it can disappear off my radar pretty quickly.
Torchwood stank like rancid fish.
The award for the best thing on TV at the moment is The Killing or Forbrydelsen. Not the utterly crap US remake, but the original Danish series, which we've been watching over the last couple of weeks. It is quite brilliant, is a damned sight better produced and complete than the US version and confirms my suspicions that Scandinavians are producing the best big and small screen stuff at the moment!

Now fuck off and do something practical and leave me to whinge about my poxy back...

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