Monday, March 14, 2016

Having a Ball

After a long week of driving around the UK, I decided to remain in Richmond this weekend. All those orange cones were getting me down. It's been pretty misty of late, probably due to the weak spring sun warming the cold air. When I set out with Roxy early on Saturday morning, we took our usual morning route through the copse towards the river. As I walked down past the bin, I saw a nice brightly colored tennis ball and stooped to pick it up. It's the archaeologist in me - I cannot walk by anything interesting and not stop to examine it and to see its origins and purpose. Hmm, I noticed a few more balls on the path to the little green which on further inspection in the dim morning light was littered with hundreds of tennis balls (see above, this was after many of the balls had been removed by passers by). Roxy ran around picking one up then dropping it to pick up another obviously better one which she would drop at my feet, then run off to pick up another. It was all rather mysterious. I mentally build a hypothesis, I reckoned it's the kids who had found a batch of balls in one of the school yards around and decided it would be fun to launch them all over the field. I once found hundred's of golf balls, obviously pilfered from somewhere, strewn across St.Gorges Field near Ham house. At this point in the story (let's call him) Fred appeared.

Now Fred is not the most popular on the copse. He has two dogs, nice dogs (there are no bad dogs, only bad owners, you know) if a little boisterous. We chat about the weather for a moment (this is England after all) and I gesture to the balls with a shrug. He tells me it he who put them out. "Why?" I ask. "Oh they don't bounce so good any more, and people seem to like em" he answers and strides off shouting at his two dogs (as usual). This is Interesting. I picked a few shiny yellow ones, put them in my pockets and walked on, much to Roxy's disgust.

Some background on Fred. I think he's a postman or something. At least that was what (let's call her) Mary, who has a giant black dog, tells me. She hates him. He shouted at her once and she feels he treats her and her huge (gobby) black dog without respect. Bwo and I met her on our way back from my second walk later in the morning. Many of the balls had indeed been removed, but there was still a decent number on the field. Mary seemed quite OK with the balls littering the field until she found out just who had put them out there. Then she was livid. This is not the first time it has happened it seems. As you can see above, Roxy finds the politics of the copse less than interesting. All she wants is someone, anyone to throw the damn ball.   

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