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At Home With The Falcons part 1


By Monkey1
February 8 2005

The long lazy summer days are beginning to tell on the Falcons as they pass their pointless days between seasons in their new home, Snitterton Manor.

Rob Andrew saw a great opportunity to bring the team even closer together when the council closed down the retirement home for the sadly bewildered that was housed in this rambling old country pile. The spare cash he had left over from his team account was enough to take out a lease and to turn the lawns into a parody of a training ground.

We join the Falcons in the kitchen where Epi, who quickly established himself as the cook, is preparing breakfast. Old Grimble, who once served for Sir Stanley Snitterton before the war, and stayed on as caretaker when the old man finally passed away, was as usual drinking a cup of tea at the kitchen table.

Epi gave the spit roast ox another turn in front of the fire. Dave Walder was finishing the washing up at the old stone sink, smiling as always, lost in his own little world of happy thoughts.

The time was 8.45 precisely. We know this because Jonny came in from his morning kicking practise which starts at 6.00 precisely, and ends at 8.30 precisely. He then runs exactly 20 circuits of the grounds before appearing in the kitchen for exactly 1.37 litres of mineral water at 8.45 precisely.

The rough and creaky kitchen door which normally moves only slowly on its creaky hinges was banged open as Jonny burst in.

“Morning boys, is my 1.37 litres of still mineral water measured out?”

“All ready for you”, Epi replied as he stirred the huge vat of broth.  “Blackie double checked it as usual.”

Walder beamed contentedly at the happy domestic scene as he lovingly washed another plate. Jonny downed the mineral water and passed the special beaker to Walder.

“Right then, I have 13 minutes and 22 seconds to get cleaned up before weight training starts”

“You’re a driven lad, you should slow down a bit”, commented old Grimble who had slowed down in 1938.

Jonny headed for the door leading to the cavernous gothic hallway.

“Could you give this LemSip to Britzy in the drawing room if you're passing?” asked Epi as he cleared away the 16 egg boxes from his morning omelette.

“Of course I will”, replied Jonny. He picked up the steaming mug of cold relief medicine and headed through the echoing hallway and into the drawing room.

In the drawing room was Warren Britz, all wrapped up in several jumpers, only his thermal socks peeping out from under a quilt wrapped twice around him. Outside the sun was punishing the gardens with a third consecutive week of relentless sunshine.

“Ah it is a saynt yu er Junny” he spluttered out as he sniffed and wheezed his way out from the quilt to hold the mug in shaking hands. “These unglish wither wull be thu duth uv me ef eet gits iny colda”

Jonny raced off upstairs to shower and change, having lost precious seconds from his morning routine because of this mercy mission. Britz was left alone in the drawing room except for Hugh who was sitting in a chair in the corner with his heavy ball and chain resting on the once polished wooden floor beside him.

The old clock ticked away as the sunshine streamed through the open windows. Britz sniffed a few times before taking his first sip from the steaming mug, Hugh just sighed and stared out of the window.

The peace was shattered as Joe Shaw burst through the door, carrying the morning papers in one hand as he dived into the air before landing the bundle on the dusty old rug in the centre of the room in a superbly extravagant try.

“Do you have to do that every morning?” sighed Hugh as he clanked across the floor to find the Telegraph sports section.

“Cud yu pess me thu mayne but uv thu tiligruf Hu” spluttered Britz from his insulated haven.  “I nid tu chick thu withu bick howm tu rimaynd me wut simmer us lik”

Joe, realising that his audience had lost interest picked through the pile of papers to find the Daily Mail, farted loudly, and found himself a chair to spend the rest of the dull and pointless day. From upstairs came the daily thump clank thump of Jonny on his morning weight training.

Walder entered the room, drawn by the sound of the papers arriving. He smiled at everyone as he made his way to the pile and found his comic. He sat down on the old rug and contented himself with the Beano. Stretch was also roused from his torpor by the sound of the papers, it was the highlight of the day at Snitterton manor, and he entered the room, just managing not to bang his head on the door frame as always.

“A fear day ootside agin laddies” he muttered as he picked through the remaining papers and settled for the Sun. He ambled back out through the door, again just managing to duck expertly below the high frame, and wandered back through the echoing hall.

Just then there was a blur of black and white past the doorway followed by a thump and a very Scottish sounding groan. Nobody stirred in the Drawing Room as the event that had just taken place in the hall had become commonplace. The calm and measured tones of Rob Andrew could be heard from atop the vast staircase.

“Jamie that was an excellent tackle as always, but could you not just ask Craig for the paper?”

“Sorry gaffer, I mean Rob, It’s all this sitting around all summer, I need to get some rugby or I’ll go mad”

“Aach yer crowlin filthy, luke uts al rupped tae shreds noo. Can yae nae wet tull am done wae ut?”

All right then” soothed Rob as he walked elegantly down the crumbling staircase “I think everyone’s becoming a bit tetchy in this heat.”

A loud sneeze and spluttering erupted from the Drawing Room.

“It is Saturday today and…..”

“Is it only just Saturday? I was hoping it was at least Tuesday by now”, interrupted the Gollings as he drifted downstairs, scruffy as ever and faintly malodorous.

“Yes it is Saturday”, continued Rob in an even more soothing tone, “and I thought that some of you may like to go out for the day. A bit of team building, nothing too strenuous, I was thinking that you could take one of our excellent people carriers and go to the fair at Morpeth. It will be a very good bonding exercise.”

“Weer thu bludy hills Morpeth?” muttered Stretch as he examined the collection of bruises forming on his legs.

“Morpeth, way that’s a smashin little toon nyor ashuntun. Its got ducks an aal sorts wiv a park wi swings an aal sorts man”, chipped in Mickey Ward as he joined the little group.

“Is eet uny hottu thun this pless?” sniffed Britz.

“Way the lassus is hot”, chuckled Mickey as he slumped down in a chair, a plume of dust spewed through a worn patch where the chair was slowly giving up the last of it’s stuffing.

Anything has to be better than yet another day in this room”, sighed Hugh, moving his leg slightly so that the chain rattled.

“Well I’m afraid that you won’t be able to go Hugh”, Rob explained in his softest cooing voice.  “We can’t take the risk of you trying to escape to London can we?”

“If I have to stay in this room for one more day I will start demolishing this blasted house of yours” replied Hugh as he tested the weight of the ball on the end of the chain, swinging it in a menacing manner.  “One knock from this thing would probably bring most of it down anyway”

“It is a chance we just can’t take, I’m sorry Hugh” mellowed Rob, smiling and gazing in several directions at once.

“Well how on earth am I supposed to escape in a town on fair day when I am seven feet tall with bright ginger hair and with a ball and chain on my leg? Please let me go, oh please Rob, I promise to be good.”  Huge collapsed back into his chair and the ball crashed down demolishing an occasional table.

“We can all keep an eye on him Rob”, pleaded Walder, “and I would really like to see the ducks. He will be quite safe with us.”

“Way aye man, ner hassle”, added Mickey.

“Ahm taller then hum, ah cun sort hum oot uf hae sputs a wustle”, added Stretch.

“Is eet uny hottu thun this pless?” sniffed Britz again.

“Fair day sounds like a fair day to me” added the Gollings, “get it, eh?”

Nobody laughed.

“What’s going on in here then?” asked Epi as he wandered in from the kitchen, a trace of dripping still evident on his chin. He belched quietly in a satisfied sort of way.

“Everyone is going to Morpeth for the Fair day except me as I might escape”, explained Huge, not even bothering to open his eyes.

“If Huge stays we all stay”.  Epi had put his not inconsiderable foot down.

“Jeeesus, be careful, that hurt”, said Rob, rubbing his now scuffed but otherwise immaculate shoe.

“And I want to see the ducks” added Walder.

Another silence descended on the room. The old clock ticked away, a couple of flies buzzed around the Gollings, Britz sniffed, and Joe farted again. The thump clank thump continued above. In the far distance a sheep coughed.

Rob saw that the situation was hopeless.

“All right then boys you can all go but I will hold you all responsible for bringing Hugh back here.”

Everyone joined in the joyous celebrations; it was just like Twickenham all over again. Rob calmed the noise with a wave of his hand.

“Right then, you can take one of the people carriers but you must drive gently to save petrol, you must keep an eye on Mickey to keep him away from the pubs, and most important of all you will bring Hugh back here by seven o’clock.” 

The story continues with the hilarious capers of the boys let loose at a pretty mundane market town annual fair day.

 

 

 

 

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