Down at the bottom of the hill, on the road that takes us on a short walk to the next village, is the beck. Or the burn if we were in Scotland, or the stream, or the brook, or insert-your-local-name-here. Like so many things in life, what it’s called is actually not important. What matters is how it behaves and what it does. In our case it runs from east-ish to west-ish and in doing so, it runs through a bridge and under the road.
The all important bridge is just before the corner as you go and just after the corner if you’re coming back. This proximity to the corner is important because it means that from a position close enough to the bridge to be able to join in the game there is a clear view for three or four hundred yards in both directions along the road. This all adds up to – the opportunity for a game of pooh sticks – good solid iron railings on both sides, a good view for some considerable distance along the road in both directions and very little traffic on the road in any case – who could ask for anything more.
When Fin and Jen were here a couple of weeks ago we played several times. In the last game, my stick got stuck on a rock and failed to finish the game (within a five-year-old’s attention span anyway). This was most unsatisfactory. Seeking closure, I suggested to The Dog that we should play a game or two – just to get in some practice, so to speak.
She participated eagerly in the hunt for, and selection of, suitable sticks, but at the last minute she refused to drop her stick in the water and brought it home with her instead.
She doesn’t seem to have a good grasp of the rules – I must remember to read her the story.