Now I don’t want you folks to think that staying at Free Market Towers is all Wadworth 6X, Full English Breakfasts and flogging of servants. Oh no. There are several downsides to all of this which burden the soul of your Humble Narrator. Here’s one.

Lying carelessly scattered upon a coffee table is the John Rigby gun catalogue, which features many a fine piece of weaponry. Now Rigby & Co. are not known for shoddy workmanship and never have been, and their prices reflect this. Here’s one such product that made my trigger-finger itch, and a low moan escaped my mouth. It’s the Rigby Rising Bite Double Rifle, chambered in the famous .416 Rigby caliber, and the Nitro Express (magnum) .450/400, .470, .500, .577, and .600:

…and here’s a close-up of the breech:

That was the cause of the itch.

Now here’s the cause of the moan: the reason there’s the word “Bite” in the description is because of what the purchase thereof will do to your wallet. You see, this gorgeous piece will set you back around $110,000.

Worse yet, there’s a three-year waiting list.

And next to the Rigby catalogue is the one from James Purdey & Sons, which I have not yet had the strength to open.

I don’t know if I can endure such hardship.

Not Since 1971

Last night was the cricket match between the local team (for which Mr. FM’s Son&Heir plays) and a team from one of the neighboring villages.

The previous night had seen the rain bucketing down and more was forecast for the evening, so I quite expected the match to be called off. Not so; these lads from Hardy Country are, well, hardy, and the match started promptly at 6:15pm — shortened because the light was terrible (low, ominous black clouds), and they only expected to get a couple of hours’ play in, even without any rain.

I expected to find a dodgy little field with bumps and lumps all over the place; instead was a pitch I’d have happily played on myself, on the outskirts of the town — and in fact, it had won a prize for “Best in County”. Here’s the clubhouse (complete with advertising hoardings, alas, but someone has to pay the bills, I suppose):

The visitors took the field, clad in traditional white

…and the game began:

I’m not going to go into a ball-by-ball account of the game, because it will be largely incomprehensible to the majority of my Loyal Readers and in any event, I need to get that second cup of coffee into me. One incident, however, had me in stitches of laughter.

One of our lads, a strapping fellow named Stan, hit a towering six (home run equivalent) clear over the road and over one of the neighboring houses, as marked:

Someone among the spectators wasn’t watching, and when the cry of “Six! Six!” went up, he asked, “Where did it go?”

“Over the house where the Angry People live!” came the response, and I fell over laughing, because I knew exactly what they were referring to.

You see, the people living in said house were among those tools who move into a place where some activity is going on, and then proceed to complain about said activity (e.g. people who move into a house in an airport’s flight landing path, and then complain about the jet noise). And thus it was with this bunch. They’d bought a house next to a cricket pitch, and then were somehow surprised when cricket balls began raining into their front lawn during a cricket match. (To be honest, it’s a hell of a distance — the pic has foreshortened the distance between pitch and house — so it’s never actually raining cricket balls, but over the years, I guess it does add up.)

The irate home owners had once even called the police to complain. (The rozzers showed up, looked at the pitch and the cricketers, said, “Nice shot,” and left, no doubt after telling the Angry People to stop being dickheads, very politely of course.)

Anyway, our lads won in a nail-biter — the match was decided on the very last ball — and so the inevitable celebration followed at the local pub (both visitors and home team drinking their pints together in utterly convivial fashion). Here was my contribution, one of several:

Mr. Free Market himself was unable to attend — some capitalist stuff about making money and grinding the working classes underfoot — but I kept him abreast of the match via text. So I sent him the final score (along with his Son&Heir’s contribution, a doughty 27 not out — i.e. he was still batting when play was called), and then after telling him that our lads had won, I sent an afterthought:

Actually, cricket won.”

Complete sportsmanship, applause for good play regardless of which team performed them, and only one fielding error in nearly three hours’ cricket.

As the somewhat cryptic title of this post states, I hadn’t watched a live cricket match since 1971 — a Test match between South Africa and Australia — but I’ll be at the next village match on Wednesday evening, and two days later I’ll be at Lord’s to watch South Africa play England.

“Happiness” does not begin to describe how I feel.

Don’t Think So

The Free Markets get the Daily Telegraph (Dead Tree version) delivered each day, so I comb it for items of general (i.e. not just for Brits) interest.

Apparently some Labour dickhead politician [some overlap] said that the Grenfell Tower fire was a direct action of the Tory Government, which should be held responsible for the “murder” of the unfortunate people who were turned into kebabs. Lest we forget (and he apparently did so): council housing was a Labour invention and institution, and the local council responsible for  said tower block is controlled by the Labour Party.

I have no comment to make about that statement, because we all know that the Left is a bunch of evil bastards who never fail to lower all standards of decency in their pursuit for power and control over people’s lives.

Apparently, this lack of decency has come as a complete surprise to one of the Telegraph’s writers, who asks plaintively, “Has The Left Lost All Decency?” followed by 500 words of justification for said question when, as any fule kno, the Left never had any decency to start off with.

Of course, when the Labour/Communist leader Jeremy Corbyn [spit] has already said in public that he wishes the IRA had won their struggle against Great Britain and that he pretty much sympathizes with their modern-day counterparts, radical Muslim splodeys, one would imagine that the latest Labour pronouncements should come as no surprise. However, it appears that the Conservatives meed to have their heads beaten with the Clue Bat on an hourly basis as to the Left’s inherent indecency, much as is required for the gentry Republicans of the GOPe persuasion.

Feel free to add your own suggestions as to who should occupy the Hanging Tree first, Leftists or squishy conservatives.


Adventures in Britishland 1

Went into the local town (Devizes) today to get stuff, e.g. a local burner phone so I can call friends etc. Over Here without getting bent over the Roaming Desk and raped by the phone company while having my wallet emptied. Here’s where I was forced to go:

Wait a minute… what was that espied by my little eye?

Looks like I’ll be buying dinner tonight…

Surrendering To Criminals

So here’s something to get you in a cheerful mood before the long weekend:

Police warn it is no longer safe to walk and talk on your mobile as scooter gangs pocket £2,000 an hour from drive-by phone snatches

As officers battle an epidemic of moped muggings, police are now warning the public not to stand on a curb or street corner with their phone in their hand or risk having it torn from their grasp by thugs who can sell on a single handset for £100.
Up to 50,000 offences a year are being committed by thieves on scooters and mopeds in the capital, while some teenage thieves are being arrested up to 80 times but not sent to jail.

Well, that last sentence is yer problem right there, innit? You stupid idiots. Especially when you have a situation such as seen in the pic below:

Somebody explain to me how this doesn’t constitute armed robbery, and why this little thug and his buddy do not qualify for at least ten years in jail? (Somebody from Britain, I mean. My US Readers are baying like a pack of hounds at this travesty.)

But it gets better.

Over the last 12 months a total of 15,100 mopeds and motorbikes were stolen in London compared to 10,704 the previous year.
Gangs of mainly teenage boys can steal scooters by simply breaking their steering locks.
Detectives are targeting at least 500 known offenders behind the spree.
Yesterday Superintendent Payne compared the desirability of mopeds to thieves as the ubiquitous Ford Cortina in the 1980s, saying: ‘This is the Ford Cortina of the 21st century, they are easy to steal and when we spoke to the manufacturer they said they can fix the problem but it’s going to be three or four years away. They are in the Ford Cortina bracket, you do not need any skill to ride them, you don’t even have to change gear.
‘The theft is all done on a stolen bike. Thieves can steal these bikes in less than 60 seconds, it’s really quick. [They] take hold of the handlebars and break the steering wheel lock by pulling it, it’s like a lump of metal. Most bikes are then stolen by just walking it round the corner and they either sell it on or use it to commit crime.’
The warning come after a spate of muggings in central London, with riders using weapons such as machetes and hammers to intimidate and injure their victims as they try and snatch their mobile phones.

I would probably end up in jail after intervening in one of these little romps.

How, you ask? Imagine having just nicked some fool’s phone out of his hand, and you’re driving off on your stolen moped feeling proud of yourself, when some old geezer (that would be me) steps into the street in front of you and smashes his thick wooden cane* across your face, causing you and your thieving buddy to crash and spill into the road like a broken bag of vegetables. Then said geezer runs over to you while you’re lying there stunned, and starts to put the boot into your ribs, and when he’s done with you, tries to rip your little hammer-wielding friend’s head off his body by pulling his helmet violently around in a full circle. And then things start to get seriously violent.

It’s probably a Good Thing that I’m spending only a little time in London, because otherwise I’d be spending a lot of time in London, if you get my drift. Because while these little shits are obviously part of a “catch and release” program, I have no doubt that I would qualify for a very stiff sentence.

Can’t be endangering the lives of violent criminals, after all. That’s against the law.

*Yes, I walk with a cane when I’m Over There, because my gouty toes start to ache after I’ve walked more than half a mile on city sidewalks, and I need the support.