After a lapse in attention to the blog here I usually feel some nagging obligation to provide an erudite bloat of an apologetic catch-up post. Well, sod that:
After four days nestled in a village in the Wiltshire countryside in which I did nothing but gorge, swill, and lie python-like upon the rugged hearth in an attempt to sleep off the previous few months' caffeine habit, the roundabout trip home saw me and a few travelling companions stopped in the Oxfordshire townling of Wantage
(population 9,564 and a horse). World reknown as the birthplace of Alfred the Great
, it's a travesty that the Wantage pub The Bell Inn isn't known and loved more widely, since it's the only place in semi-rural England you can obtain hot food after 3pm on a Bank Holiday. (It's the one on the right. Please form an orderly queue.)
Now it's hard to believe, but even better than the statue of His Alfredress through the window, better even than cream of tomato soup-tin, after arriving ruddy-cheeked and gasping for a pint in The Bell you can also peruse the promotional literature for the Royal Green Jackets
, the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire regiment of the Territorial Army
. I tell you, such loin-stirring prose hasn't been seen in a pamphlet since Thomas Paine put quill to printing press.
For along with the usual guff slipped in by PR types and recruiters the world over about pretty uniforms, bonuses and defending the Kingdom from the rampant Danes like your mighty forebears, you'll find the most wonderfully honest statement I've ever had the pleasure of coming across in any military recruitment propaganda.
"We traditionally search for men who display intelligence and intitiative, and turn them into men who are proud to be Riflemen."
It made my day.