The Stour Valley needs its railway back News from the Angel: Special International Edition - Twice the Price, Half the News - Édition InternationaleThe Stour Valley needs its railway back

As everyone well knows, these pages are an unofficial record of the goings on at The Angel, from the partisan point of view of a paying customer. All views expressed are those of the author. So up yours, Greene King.

21 August 2002

Special Edition: International Section

In the true spirit of investigative journalism, but also because I get jealous of describing the foreign wanderings of others more fortunate than I, we decided this year to forego, briefly, the pleasures of the Misty Isle and head for more exotic parts to see if it is really true that they drive on the other side of the road.

What we actually discovered baffles description.

First of all, Switzerland has a lot of trains. Most of them run exactly on time, and the great majority are spotlessly clean.

Secondly some of them are multi-coloured:
Arosa to Chur

They climb what seem to be impossible gradients and sweep across magnificent pieces of engineering:
Langwiess Viaduct

They run virtually an hourly interval service everywhere, and you can visit all sorts of exotic places, such as a Peter Sarstedt-free St Moritz: Where do you go to my lovely?

Secret Altitude Lakeside Training Camp Revealed

However, the most profitable outcome of our visit was the uncovering of a devious plan on the part of the IGIRLS team to walk (or row) away with all the prizes in this year's Sudbury raft race.

This cunning plot to out-wit the egg-throwing hooligans of Sudbury has been hatched by none other than international (easy)Jetsetter and mastermind Colin "Old Salty" Phillips. In collusion with shipmate Fran, Salty has established a secret training base high in the Swiss Alps above Martigny.
The benefits of altitude training will be remembered by all old enough to recall the Mexico Olympics and by members of the Mile High Club.

The following covertly-obtained photos reveal the extent of the plot.

Acclimatisation is a vital part of the process:
Pass me another Pims
and it is important to stick to a strict dietary regime, with frequent intake of fluids.

Mountain gully walking is also a key aspect of the training programme. One of the less-savoury features, however, is the regimented "Baring of the Knees While Sitting on Sharp Rocks" Ceremony.
Sherpa Ten Sing, I presume
The wearing of purple athletic chest support is compulsory.

Our exhaustive research is also able to bring you firm proof of the purpose of all this Spartan rigour. In a secluded lake near the treeline, recruits are subjected to the Ultimate Test, mockingly known as

the Pedalo Race.

This seemingly innocent piece of fun is nothing less than the pitting of finely-honed human near-machines against the worst elements that nature can bring to bear. Only the fittest survive.
Who Dares, Wins

Can anyone doubt, in the face of this daringly-acquired evidence, the ruthless determination of The Team to stuff all the opposition?

Our safe return from this mountain retreat enables us to report that Fran and Salty are on excellent form.
In future International Specials we shall reveal more details behind Hannah's Bali exploits, with photos, and, we hope, the Townsend Trip to Kernow.

I've decided to keep each addition to these pages separate, rather than simply add length. I hope regular readers will not get too confused.
To see earlier editions, follow thses links:

July 2002 - Newcomer at the Sign of the Flower Fairy; Transatlantic Oddities; Peregrinations

June 2002 - The Flower Fairy, World Cup and the Jubilee

Kevin and Paula's Early Days at The Angel The Flower Fairy

The end of The Thorogood Era

Life under The Tyranny of Spaniels

The first part of 2002

News from Christmas 2001 and January 2002

News from - December 2001

Back into October and November 2001

Page maintained by Steve Clarke, 09 November 2005 Copyright(c) Steve Clarke. Created: 10/11/99 Updated: 21/08/2002