May 27th 2019

Today we went down to South Cerney for the annual “Second Bank Holiday Monday In May Duck Race” in my grandparent’s village. We’ve been going to it every year for as long as I can remember. This year we did less of the wandering-around/fetey stuff and just went down for the actual duck race because a lot of it is just the same old stuff year on year.

Much like every other year, we bought a load of duck race tickets but won a grant total of zero prizes. You all know what a duck race is, right? I’m kind of working on the assumption that you do, even though like 25% of the people who will read this are American.

Basically, you put a couple thousand rubber ducks in a river and let them float through an obstacle course. Everyone buys raffle tickets with duck numbers on them (My useless duck was number 990), and then this mad lad wades through the river commentating on the progress of the ducks:

The first duck to the finish line is the winner, and the grand prize for the person who has the winning ticket is fifty quid. I complained about this in the equivalent blog post from last year, but it’s mental that they sell about 3000 tickets for the duck race at a quid each and the prize money is fifty bucks.

Anyway, we didn’t win. And we saw less of the actual street fair stuff than we usually do. Nevertheless, it’s family tradition that we all go to Grandma’s for the Duck Race. We had a barbecue, sat and chatted, and held the third annual final of the “Don’t Let The Ball Touch The Ground Game” championships, wherein two teams of two cousins (and Steve) stand on either side of the path that perfectly dissects my grandparents front lawn into an imaginary tennis court and header and/or volley a football back and forth over the imaginary net.

The aim of the “Don’t Let The Ball Touch The Ground Game” is simple: Don’t let the ball touch the ground. But every year we get super into it. Steve was undefeated this year, which I’m sure he’s thrilled about. I was the weak link, and whoever was paired with me generally lost (other than when I was with Steve and he carried me) and I also aggravated a groin injury that I sustained by literally falling down a rabbit hole last week. It was intense.

Phoebe Dog (named as such because there’s also a child called Phoebe (Phoebe Child) in the family now) also likes to get involved, and the rules dictate that if she headers the ball then the ball is still in play until it bounces twice. You just have to try to make sure you kick the ball instead of kicking the dog.

Until tomorrow, I’m fairly sure that ball is older than I am.


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