I've decided to take my training a little more seriously, so intended to take Landy out on a 13 mile pull. We landed in Windsor Great Park and set off over a nice dirt track path towards the lake. The few people that were out there at that time of the morning either smiled or laughed at us and I was happy to be able to bring out so many smiles. There were a couple of stops to talk to inquisitive people.
One little girl who looked about 5 years old, saw me, put her hands on her hip and exclaimed "You must be tired!". I laughed and replied "not yet love, got another 11 miles to go"
Using Landy as a Carriage?
Being Sunday it was a sunny day and hotter than usual (over 20 degrees). I soon found myself diving into my second bottle of water and pulling up my t-shirt to expose my stomach to try to keep cooler. We got round the lake with a couple of walking breaks and then headed over to the polo fields as the route is normally quieter. However today was a special day and it was heaving with people dressed up in evening summer wear. And if they thought I was crazy, I thought there were so many mad women wearing 4 inch heels on uneven ground and grass!!! Of course the pointy heels sank into the ground. So I asked a man called Giles with his entourage of 4 women about the polo who was playing today. He exclaimed "Yes there is polo but it certainly is not for the polo that we are here - har har" and shook his Sainsbury carrier bag of booze. Keeping Landy very close to me, decided to check it all out and soon became enveloped with people all round. There were more smiles and curiousity about Landy. Thought I could easily set myself up as entertainment! Someone suggested that I take people for a ride and charge money!......If only I could drag a 60-80kg body on tarmac!!!
The road "Smith's lawn" had been blocked to cars and the fields had been set up for parking. One small area (0.5% of the entire field area) had been set up as a special picnic area that was completely covered in people. No blade of grass could be seen. I wondered why anyone would want to cram themselves in a tiny space when there was a fantastic park to spread themselves out over. Guess it's like a large car park. As soon as one person has parked themselves, all the other subsequent cars that enter the car park congregate around the immediate vicinity of the first car. I believe this must be human instinct to behave like a pack......of sheep, easily herded into one area. Although there were some who decided to picnic by their cars.
Head to Head with Prince Phillip
Passing the main polo field, a retail village had been set up. I was tempted by the distraction, but in my heart I really wanted to get back moving to complete 13 miles and so continued to the barricade at the other end of the road where I met Paul who was manning the barricade. Waiting for cars to pass, had a chat with him, and got him to write me a peace message. As he got back to work, and I got ready to go, there was a black car in front of me. Opps it was Prince Phillip. Of course I smiled, did a quick wave of apology and moved to one side so that Paul could remove the barricade to allow HRM through as well as move the crowd to one side to allow his car through.
Soon after I met a couple who came to find out what I was training for and thought I was still studying. I asked them what was the event all about. They cooly said that it was "Cartier Day".
"Cartier Day?" I enquired.
"Yes Cartier Day" they responded.
"Apologies I am an ignorant foreigner brought up on the shores of Singapore"
...and so they explained Cartier Day and followed up the conversation with their Singaporean experiences.
The Crown Estate
Heading out of Smith's Lawn I saw a big man with a baby girl sitting on the grass having a little picnic with her. It was strange to me as it was hot and the baby had no shade and he was a big guy trying to get this little baby to eat. As she stared at Landy, the man told her in a small voice that men do to kids "she's pulling a tyre". I wondered if he was undercover agent!
10 metres pass this man, I looked beyond the polo field entrance and saw a lot of cars queued up. I decided to call it a day at this point not wanting to be obstructive to traffic and turned off towards Saville Gardens. Saw some wardens and waved to them and a man approached me. He was the head warden of the park and respectfully told me to get an agreement with the Crown Estate to drag the tyre in the park. Naturally he was concerned about me being obstructive and I understood that today was not the day to be dragging a tyre in the park.
And so now I await a reply from the Crown Estate with fingers crossed for a positive reply.