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  1. #1
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    somtamslap's Avatar
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    Godfrey and me: A day out in the South Downs

    My friend Godfrey phoned me last week. This surprised me. Anything of any worth - mobile phones included - that comes into contact with Godfrey is usually bartered in exchange for alcohol before you can say Tennents Super. Godfrey was, and still is, the last of the big time drinkers. He can make gin disappear just by looking at it. I once knew him, during a more monied era, to order a pint of Barcadi and coke, oh, and hold the coke. Yet here he was, clear as a bell, prattling away nineteen to the dozen into my Samsung. He'd had enough of the booze, he told me. Was cleaning up his act. Wanted to get in shape. Meet a girl. Go the 2.4 kids and mortgage route.

    A graduate of the University of Warwick with first class honours in the field of Biological Sciences, we were all a little perplexed when Godfrey had developed an alarming affinity for the top shelf at his local pub. And of course one thing led to another. The pub was soon replaced with the off license. The off license swapped with low-brow supermarket chains. And the supermarkets eventually leading him into the seductive arms of a crack dealer.

    He spent the subsequent decade teetering on the verge of oblivion - living in squalor, existing by the grace of the almighty, going through motions which would surely see him shuffle prematurely off this mortal coil.

    But now, exuding that erstwhile joie de vivre, Godfrey inquired into whether or not I'd like to go for a bike ride. He'd heard I was back in town and that I now spent most of my weekends pottering around the countryside on my bicycle, and he was keen to follow suit.

    I tentatively agreed. This had the potential to end messily in a ditch somewhere. But there was real resolve in Godfrey's tone. This appeared to be do or die for him.

    I asked him if he had a bike. He responded in the positive. 'An old off-road vessel' as he described it.

    I decided that we should cycle a stretch of the South Downs Way, from Petersfield to Brighton. About 40 miles of hard pack tracks and field paths. A perfect opportunity for the rotting Godfrey to rejuvenate - the bracing late autumnal air being enough to revitalise the most tattered of souls.

    We met at Petersfield train station. Godfrey turned up on a fucking BMX.

    He went on to inform me that both tyres were flat and asked if I'd be able to fix them. I began to prize one of them off the rim with my thumbs but it disintegrated; the tyre literally perished in my hands. How old was this fucking bike?

    Godfrey said that he'd liberated it from a skip. Godfrey was starting to annoy me.

    We found a bike shop and bought two new tyres and inner-tubes before making a beeline for the Downs Way. Godfrey didn't look comfortable. He was totally out of his comfort zone. The poor bastard looked like a fat slug clinging to a skinny twig.

    Locating the start of the route I thought it wise to stock up on essentials. My ordnance survey map suggested that we had at least 15 miles of fairly rugged terrain to traverse before the next village.

    I bought some water from a pub. Still for me, sparkling for Godfrey...



    During first mile or so we were afforded the luxury of smooth tarmac - the gradient was even and Godfrey was chipper. He spoke of his new life in sanguine sentences and even cracked wise about his previous world of shame and self-indulgence...



    We entered the first heavily wooded section, the sun's rays intermittently piercing the ebbing canopy cover. Godfrey's BMX, although fresh from a rubbish bin, was tackling the early stages of the ride fairly efficiently. My cyclo-crosser, on the other hand, was proving a little cumbersome and clunky...



    Unfortunately, after being eased into the ride with some pleasant easy rolling, the route soon developed an arduous trend. It was muddy and climbing was plentiful as we pushed hard on the pedals up the Downs. Godfrey had now started to mutter expletives under his breath. He was covered with a thick layer of sweat which stank of stale alcohol...





    After a particularly testing ascent, Godfrey finally snapped. He looked like a rabid animal. He barked at me for choosing such a 'complete bastard of a fucking road'. He was visibly shaking and often totally incoherent. I was able to surmise that Godfrey was in the throes of severe beer withdrawal - the ride had served to rid his body of every single cubic millimetre of booze. I considered this and opted for the tough love approach. Onwards Godfrey!



    Some 10 miles in we located a farm shop, where the farmer happily had snacks for sale. Godfrey asked him if he had any cider. The farmer said that the best he could do was a full-fat can of Coke. Godfrey just about wept but took it anyway...

    The farm in question is visible in this shot...



    The can of coke is visible in this one...



    Just after lunch Godfrey attacked me. Actually physically attacked me. I was admiring the view from the crest of yet another summit, when from the corner of my eye I saw the struggling gait of Godfrey moving towards me with his fists up. He struck my arm with as much strength as he could muster and called me a kunt. I said to Godfrey that if we get to our designated station, some 15 more miles up the road, for our train home, I would buy him a pint. Godfrey perked up at once.





    Reaching the brow of yet another hill, I turned about face to inspect my handiwork and was greeted with an amazing sight. A bevy of deer sweeping majestically across the plains...
    Godfrey, as expected, was unmoved, and simply made noises about 'cracking on'.



    At 4pm, the sun, as it does at this time of year, began to set. Godfrey wasn't the only one panicking now. We still had five miles to cover...

    But there's always time for a gratuitous jumping shot...





    Finally. A train station. And a delightful one at that.

    Godfrey! To the pub, dear boy!

    Last edited by somtamslap; 30-11-2014 at 08:04 PM.

  2. #2
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    Lovely countryside pics to be expected from you, Slap - to accompany to decently versed true-life tale.

    Cheers, mate!


  3. #3
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    Is Godfrey a figment of Mad Slaps imagination? Perhams Mr A. l'ter E.Go Slaps?

  4. #4
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    Nice pics slapper. The story sounds familiar. It ends back at the pub.
    Thanks for the read. I must say I'm more of an R is for rocket reader. Mabey even some Edgar Rice Burroughs.
    Thats it man!!! The Chessmen of Thailand.
    Last edited by fishlocker; 30-11-2014 at 08:28 PM.

  5. #5
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    Where did you get your beer? The Bridge or The George and Dragon?

  6. #6
    Gohills flip-flops wearer
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    Nice thread mate.

    Godfrey.

  7. #7
    Molecular Mixup
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    I reckon Godfrey only got this far

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by somtamslap
    He was visibly shaking and often totally incoherent. I was able to surmise that Godfrey was in the throes of severe beer withdrawal
    Quote Originally Posted by somtamslap
    He struck my arm with as much strength as he could muster and called me a kunt. I said to Godfrey that if we get to our designated station, some 15 more miles up the road, for our train home, I would buy him a pint. Godfrey perked up at once.

    Quality Slap.

  9. #9
    splendid and tremendous
    somtamslap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bettyboo
    Is Godfrey a figment of Mad Slaps imagination?
    What?! Are you suggesting Godders isn't real? I'll tell him that.



    Quote Originally Posted by fishlocker
    The story sounds familiar. It ends back at the pub.
    All roads lead there...



    Quote Originally Posted by toslti
    The Bridge or The George and Dragon?
    Neither. Did you recognise the station??

  10. #10
    splendid and tremendous
    somtamslap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by withnallstoke
    Godfrey.
    Quote Originally Posted by blue
    I reckon Godfrey only got this far
    Godders to his mates. And he faired suprisingly well out on those punishing parcours.

  11. #11
    splendid and tremendous
    somtamslap's Avatar
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    During one of Godfrey's myriad vomit breaks, I took some time to inspect the local flora.

    Here, in leafy Hampshire, was a plant I'd seen many times in the jungles of Southeast Asia.

    I think.


  12. #12
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    toslti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toslti
    The Bridge or The George and Dragon?
    Neither. Did you recognise the station??[/QUOTE]

    Yup.... Amberley..... Old stamping ground. Also walked the South Downs Way back in 1981, all the way from East to West, stopping off in B&Bs every night. Loved it.

  13. #13
    POTUS HOCUS
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    Splendido amigo lenses and bicycle wheels you seem to be moving in more refined circles.

    Next time find time for Hooks Way

  14. #14
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    Royal Oak
    Royal Oak
    The Royal Oak Hooksway is a haunted XVth Century Inn on the South Downs, popular with walkers, horse riders and tourists. Selling real ales and good food.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by david44 View Post
    Royal Oak
    Royal Oak
    The Royal Oak Hooksway is a haunted XVth Century Inn on the South Downs, popular with walkers, horse riders and tourists. Selling real ales and good food.

    Lovely pub... Remember going there in about 1979 and asking the landlord where the loo was... He pointed out back and said " there's about 20 acres of it out there"

  16. #16
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    Cracking tale, brilliant pics. Cheers somtam

  17. #17
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    Thanks for the read.

    Tod will be along, shortly!

  18. #18
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    Nice one Slap. What happened to the forests in England? Same as Thailand? Poachers?

  19. #19
    Gohills flip-flops wearer
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    Quote Originally Posted by ltnt
    What happened to the forests in England? Same as Thailand? Poachers?
    The Navy.

  20. #20
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    those paths and tracks are just crying out for some land rover 4wd action.

  21. #21
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    That's your best work yet Slap, I was honestly in tears reading that, hoping you were gonna be sodomised by Godfrey at some point

    Quote Originally Posted by somtamslap
    Godfrey
    Quote Originally Posted by somtamslap
    crack
    Quote Originally Posted by somtamslap
    Godfrey inquired into whether or not I'd like to go for a bike ride. He'd heard I was back in town and that I now spent most of my weekends pottering around the countryside on my bicycle,
    he had you down as a cottager?
    Quote Originally Posted by somtamslap
    I asked him if he had a bike. He responded in the positive. 'An old off-road vessel' as he described it.
    vessel ?
    Quote Originally Posted by somtamslap
    We met at Petersfield train station. Godfrey turned up on a fucking BMX
    That was when my tears came
    Quote Originally Posted by somtamslap
    He went on to inform me that both tyres were flat and asked if I'd be able to fix them
    That was Godfrey's chance to pounce
    Quote Originally Posted by somtamslap
    Still for me, sparkling for Godfrey
    wtf
    Quote Originally Posted by somtamslap
    He was covered with a thick layer of sweat which stank of stale alcohol.
    This really is Brokeback Mountainbiking

  22. #22
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    Great pics. I cycled from Folkestone to Winchester, then up to N Downs and back from start in Wrotham in September this year, via Eastbourne along the S D Way. Really bike friendly path, much better than the N Downs which is more a walkers' path.

    Stops at Hastings, Alfriston, Brighton, Cocking and Winchester. They really do have a village called Cocking. But you and Godfrey probably knew that already.

    A few pics - September was a great time to do it - just shorts, t shirt and a day pack. Most places still had rooms so no need to book and even if full, just a 2-10 mile ride to a bigger town and use booking.com (Brighton)













    Alfriston - restaurant "with rooms"





    National Cycle Trail N2 runs along the entire coast from Portsmouth to Folkeston. Most of it is flat. Well worth doing from Eastbourne heading E after S Downs Way.

    This pic is somewhere near Bexhill/Eastbourne. Camber was nice for a quick swim after lunch. Very enjoyable ride through Romney Marsh and Royal Military Canal

    Last edited by Lostandfound; 01-12-2014 at 12:08 PM.

  23. #23
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    L&F, please stop upstaging Secondrate Slaps!

    Love the last photo and the scones (much better than Slap's pics; your gay undertones were equal to Slap's too - excellent work).

  24. #24
    TD Fat Club VP Dillinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lostandfound
    They really do have a village called Cocking. But you and Godfrey probably knew that already

  25. #25
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    Y.M.C.A Y.M.C.A

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