While all this was going on with Fred, Freda, and Frank and Fiona, another version was beginning to leak from the River Loddon!! So what has this to do with Bramley you may ask? Well read on and you will find out!
It was a hot summer’s day. Us Party Animals as we are collectively known have been trapped on our trolley for a couple of weeks. There was no chance for social distancing so we have formed a bubble but we were getting on each other’s nerves. To start with the smell from the bakery was taunting us as we posed at the level crossing. It never seemed to occur to anyone that we might like a snack or ten and it is well difficult to walk when you have concrete legs and being tethered together. Party Pig was trying out his dance moves which was always going to be difficult with concrete trotters. Silly Sheep was miffed as she had been baa’d from taking part in the Knit Bramley project and as for Rave Cow, well she just mooed about the cancellation of the Green Man Festival. If only I could use my wings for what they were meant. What idiot thought concrete wings were a good idea? Didn’t they know anything about aerodynamics? Tension was building. Then there was an endless stream of little kids going “Ah, they are SOO cute” as they passed and kept touching us. Gross! No one uses gloves or hand sanitiser. Why there isn’t a hand cleansing station here I just don’t understand. Doesn’t anyone listen to Boris round here??” And it’s made worse by the barrier always being down so we are a constant distraction while people wait!
I was just getting to the end of my rein when who should get off the train but Grumpy Teenager. He had obviously popped into Basingstoke to get some new clothes as he was carrying a GAP bag. He stopped to say Hi, as it was clear that I was needed cheering up. He wasn’t wrong there!
He offered me a swig of his cola but I don’t touch sugar! Not with my BMI! But I was so hot. Grumpy gave me a pat on my horn (no sign of hand sanitiser again! I really need a bath!) and told me not to worry and that he had an idea!
Well, I was vaguely interested but knowing what teenagers were like I wasn’t holding out much hope of seeing him again. We were all dressed up in our party gear in the hope that the 2020 Clift Green Man Meadow Festival was going to happen, but it had been cancelled.
Now as luck would have it, someone had forgotten to take us indoors for the night! As the light began to fade as did the number of passers-by it was obvious nothing was happening anywhere in Bramley, or was it? In the distance, we heard the tinny beat of music coming nearer. It was still really warm and the smell of BO wasn’t too pleasant. Then we heard some voices and a yapping pup but I couldn’t turn round as I have a stiff neck! “Hey dudes”, called out Teenager. “Ready for some fun?? We are going to Sherfield! I have a mate who can get us in to the four Horseshoes!” Pig snorted, with delight, obviously! Sheep wasn’t too keen as she had her knitting to keep her busy but Rave Cow was well up for it.
I wasn’t opposed to the idea. It would make a nice change from looking at the station, but how could we go anywhere as a bubble? We were too heavy and our legs too stiff too get off our trailer.
“No sweat man!” Grumpy had noticed the less than appealing aroma. “But actually you are a bit smelly. You all are! We can go for a dip in the river when we get there. That will sort you out.”
“Well you could do with a dip too,” I thought, but it seemed a bit uncharitable considering he was trying to cheer us up.
The next thing we knew Grumpy, and his mates Builder, Robot and little Sunflower lady were gathering around us. Builder had bought rope and tied it onto our trolley. The next thing Scary Quad Biker arrived and they attached the rope to his bike. With a shove, heave and cloud of exhaust we were off!
We couldn’t get up much speed due to the size of the quad bike and the weight of the cart. We looked like a carnival parade as the scarecrows marched down the road by our side. I told Marshall to stop yapping, as he was giving me a headache but he didn’t take any notice, him being a straw dog.
It took about half an hour to get to Sherfield. We passed Fred who was sitting in the bus shelter. He waved and I did wonder if he was waiting for someone. He cheered us on and Marshall Puppy got very excited and weed on his feet. Lucky he was wearing wellies!
We must have looked a right bunch of idiots as we made our way to the A33. Crossing the road was a bit of a gamble but once over it we headed to the river. Quad Bike Man kept watch in case there was any trouble.
Grumpy jumped straight in, followed by Marshall. Sunflower lady just sat on the bank and dabbled her feet in the water. Builder climbed in too but not Robot as he was a bit worried about getting rusty. By this time, we just wanted to join in the fun, but we couldn’t get near the water due to our concrete legs.
“Hang on,” said Builder and he climbed out and gave us a shove. The splash must have reverberated as far as Bramley Green. The water was lovely and cool and the minnows were pretty friendly.
Then the problems started! Grumpy had had enough. He had got his new white clothes muddy and they weren’t looking new any more. Builder was keen to get to the pub and Sunflower lady was feeling tired and wanting her cocoa. But us Party Animals were well and truly stuck! It was easy enough to push us into the river but how to get out? To cut a very long and uncomfortable story short, Sunflower lady had remembered to bring her mobile phone and she got hold of Spiderman and Captain America and the Fairy and using their superpowers they lifted us out.
After all that, we found the pub had closed and there was nothing to drink except the water from the dog’s bowl, which was pretty disgusting. We were a sorry sight as we dripped our way back. Tractor man and Bramley Duck wished us good night and I am sure they were laughing at us. But what I really fancied was a take away. Yummy Nosh would have closed ages ago.
The sight we were met with when we got to Bramley Green was a car crash! The bus stop had crumbled like a game of Jenga. And sticking out from the bottom was Fred! Or at least his legs were! Poor old Fred. We called him but he was a gonna! Us Party Animals looked at each other, tummies rumbling!
“I’ll have those boots,” said Builder and he pulled them off the legs. “No point in wasting them.”
“In that case, pass us over the straw, Builder. We’re feeling faint with hunger and you lot aren’t into cannibalism”. So Builder brought the straw over to our trolley and we had a great feast.
Back at base, outside the station we fell asleep, dreaming of our little adventure with full bellies and clean smelling ready for the next day of sticky fingers, loud trains and after last night’s adventures we will be booking in with the yogis tomorrow for some stretching.