May 30, 2005

And now . . . this - May 30/05

What is a British pastime sillier than Morris dancing, Alex?

It did, at least, make a change from the traditional bank holiday pastimes of DIY and garden centre visiting. But there was also more danger inherent in chasing a cheese down a hill than you might at first suspect.

Following a patently ridiculous but 200-year-old tradition, dozens of people put their safety at risk yesterday in Gloucestershire to chase cheese down a 1-in-2 incline.

Watched by at least 4,000 spectators, contestants gathered on Cooper's Hill, in Brockworth, to chase cheeses downhill for 200m, hoping to emerge victorious and win an 8lb double Gloucester as their reward.

[Full Story]

Well, at least it does get style points for silly fun. I think I'll go out and buy a wedge of Double Gloucester in its honour, especially after reading the last part of the story:

But not everyone was happy with proceedings. Vegans branded the event "unethical" and said the cheese should be replaced with a non-dairy alternative.

Yvonne Taylor, chair of the animal rights campaign group Peta, said: "It's just not fair that vegans cannot enjoy the fun of the cheese rolling contest."

Not fair? Ha! Have some cheese with that whine.

Meanwhile, in another part of England

A woman who is wheelchair-bound and "virtually blind" drove her boyfriend home after an evening drinking because he was so drunk, a court heard.

After crashing into two parked cars, Sheree Smith told police that she was not doing too badly until her legs seized up and her eyes "went blank".

She told officers: "I am virtually blind. I used to have a provisional licence years ago but I did not take my test as I'm scared of the road.

"The person who drives the car was drunk. As I turned into my road, my eyes went blank and my leg seized up. I could not move the brake and the clutch. I could not see. I had my hands over my eyes."

[Full Story]

Now you know why drive-through ATMs have braille on them.