Christmas is a-fast approaching, and if I don't get my act together soon, it may well wind up passing the Cassa-Shrinky household by altogether this year. Sadly, being on Santa's naughty list, he's turning a deaf ear on my pleas to put everything forward by a month. Sooooooooooo. I'm outta' here (nah, just joking), but I'm gonna' have to be far less in here for a wee bit. Still I've come up with a crafty plan to distract you from the coming neglectful desert of my callous abandonment (well okay, for some of you then. Not so much so for my long-standing, faithful long-suffering friends, but well, tough. You are friends right? Get over it.)
The beauty of having put my old blog out to graze, is I now have the lazy option of filching the odd old post or two to strut out and claim as new again. What? Oh, c'mon, it's hardly plagiarism, after all I did once write these bloomin' things y'know.
So apologies to all the old crew - feel free to skip the comments section if you please, I'm a toughie, I can take it. Anyone else, plough on and forget all of the above, this is a new post, crafted only today, okay? (Wink, wink).
We have an alternative to the Cambridge v Oxford boat race over here, it was held yesterday in Castletown, which is about about a 15 min drive from our house. It's called the Tin-Bath Race, and is held in the harbour. I thought I'd take the camera in tow with me, so I could let you join in with us this year.
As you can see, we have beautifully wide, open roads.. it's really great for two-way traffic. Now, let me make it perfectly clear from the outset, I'm a pretty lousy guide as tour guides go, but if you follow me around for a bit and try not to nag, I'll give it my best.
Let me introduce you to a member of our our state-of-the-art police force. As you can probably see, he's regularly put through rigorous exercise regimes in order to ensure this peak of fitness. (Sorry Goddess, I think this one's already taken). The station behind is a veritable fortress. Oh, wait a minute, it really is one. It's situated in part of the original castle.
There are many smugglers coves around the island, and we are a regular stop-off point between Ireland and the the mainland of Britain. During the troubles, the island was a favourite route for smuggling explosives and guns through to the IRA. These days, drugs seem to be the main cargo, smuggled through to the thousands of caves which dot along our coastline, eventually ending up either dispatched or confiscated.
It's a pity it was so dull and overcast on Saturday, the rain didn't do much to enhance my photographic efforts, but I'm sure you can still get the gist of it. This is the nautical museum, but as I haven't been in there yet, I can't tell you much about it. There are many, many museums on this island, and I have yet to work my way around to all of them. Yeah, I know, a bit of a let down, but face it, as I am all you've got, you might as well quit sniping.
Moving swiftly on, the town clock still works fine, so there's no need for any upgrade yet. It sits on the wall of Castle Rushen (which is why the town is called "Castle" town). The Tin Bath World Championship Race (yes, your read right, it is a WORLD championship race) kicks off at 3pm, which in order to get us all in the right mood, first begins with a little spot of child abuse.
This involves hurling little kids from the top of a bridge, down in to the freezing waters below. Being Manx kids, wet suits are unnecessary, as we all know most of them were already born with ice-cubes up their bum. .. Some of these little darlings could win an Oscar for the amount of reluctance they fake, but luckily we had a sturdy adult posted by to stop them wasting our time.
We then slowly progress on to the Snake Race, where teams of nuns, amongst others, cling on to some rubber tubing, and try to reach a cluster of balloons in advance of any rivals. I did think it a tad un-nun-like for the bearded nun to slash the young boy scouts tubing with her crucifix, but then, to be charitable, she probably doesn't get out that much. Eventually, time moves ever so snail-like round to the much awaited main event itself, the Tin Bath Race.
As you will note, our athletes are every bit as finely toned and ruggedly muscular as any of our Putney oarsmen from across the water. They endure strenuous training involving lots of Manx kippers and a steady supply of Okells ale. Their sports kit adheres to the strictest of Manx safety standards, and have all been tested on various animals several times over.
Sadly, all these precautions still didn't prevent this poor chappie from swallowing half of the Irish Sea when his tub overturned. It was rather unfortunate that the life-boat crew had only called their tea-break a couple of minutes before hand, and as everyone knows you can't interrupt a working lads tea-break, he was kept bobbing around for a bit until they were finally able to rescue him. Still, a fine time was had by almost all, and this year the casualty rate was disappointingly low, all things considered.