Yesterday I had the pleasure of going on a little business trip to the World Black Pudding Throwing Championship, in Ramsbottom, just up the road from where I live. I later had the good fortune to interview (a friend) who’s Dad won the championship in the past!
The Harold and Edith Adventures (Curmudgeon Avenue Book Two) will be out soon, below is the Black Pudding chapter to give everyone a free taste, so to speak!
Feel free to buy and read book one here
Chapter 4: Pauline stole Harold’s Thunder
Today, when the sun was noticeably lower and brighter in the sky, was the ‘World Black Pudding Throwing Championship’ in the village of Ramsbottom. Obviously, Harold was already imagining how the day was going to pan out. With all that practice that had been going on, Harold arrived in Ramsbottom with a winner’s confidence. Here I come, this year’s champion he thought. Harold of course noticed the local reporter and photographer for the Bury Times. They would obviously want to take a photograph, and interview Harold when he won. A three page spread on how he managed to get so good at throwing black puddings. Had Edith brought their secret bit of black rubber in her handbag? Harold was busy imagining having his picture taken when something reminded him that he shouldn’t ‘Hello, my names Deirdre, and I’m collecting the entrance fees this year’ that stopped Harold in his tracks alright. Deirdre, well that was the name of the elephant that caused the freak elephant incident buried in Harold’s past. ‘Hello!’ said Ramsbottom Deirdre, ‘Could I have your entrance fee, sir? Only there’s a bit of a queue behind you!’ Harold took his glasses off and stroked his moustache, trying to remember if he had facial hair back in the days of his driving job. ‘Harold!’ Edith nudged him out of his daydream that was it, of course, his name! Harold! He had given a fake name hadn’t he? He was free to win the Black pudding throwing contest and have as many pictures in the Bury Times as he liked! Just then, someone nudged Harold out of the way to get to Deirdre. Some force was required of course, due to Harold’s height and confident, winning stance. Eventually, Harold and all the other black pudding competitors paid their entrance fee and formed an orderly queue on Bridge street, which has a narrow enough pavement as it was.
‘Did you see the state of that old man, Edith?’ Harold’s head wobbled ‘You know the one, walked with a stick, long hair, a moustache…’
Edith did know ‘the one’ … It was not an old man… It was big bully Pauline Foote. In a few short weeks, she had transformed herself into a semi-professional black pudding hurler. Pauline took her turn first, and very seriously, holding her walking stick in-between her legs, and hurling those breakfast goods with such skill, that people were gasping and pointing. On her effort a noise could be heard. It was the sound of Pauline letting out a grunt. A grunt to disguise the sound of her farts. It was not her fault… it was the free samples of black pudding, and all the squatting involved in hurling. After a few other people from around and about took their turn, it was Harold who now took centre stage, his turn to show his mettle. Legs parted, goggle eyes squinting at the sun, he wiped his forehead on the back of his shirt sleeve. On his effort, a sound could be heard. It was the sound of Harold’s knees cracking, disguising the sound of Edith’s nearby whimper. He had been recognised by the Radcliffe lot, who vaguely knew him from the Bridge Tavern.
‘COME ON HAROLD!’ one of them shouted, just at a crucial moment. This put Harold off. The Radcliffe lot meant no harm, they only intended things in jest after a bit of daytime drinking. This unintentional distraction caught Pauline’s eye. She was stood behind the Radcliffe lot, peeping between their legs. Edith saw her hiding and had to find a new hiding place herself. Pauline, who could ‘do’ a man’s voice really easily cupped her hand around her mouth and repeated the cry ‘COME ON HAROLD!’ Harold’s go was nearly over. Harold was surprisingly content with fifth place, in his mind the crowd were going mad for him. He heard at least two men shout out his name. Harold imagined that if he had been Gemma Hollands, the reporter from the Bury Times, he would have included the name shouting in the article. Pauline won the competition hands down. The scores were judged by how many Yorkshire puddings had been knocked off ledges positioned on special scaffolding. Pauline deserved to win because she obliterated those puddings as if she had a personal vendetta against them. Edith had clung very tightly to Harold, hidden behind him, she did not want Pauline or ‘man with stick and moustache’ to notice her, not after she had been so rude in Mrs Ali’s shop.
The photo in the local paper was of Pauline, holding two black puddings in the air, with two matching sweat patches in each arm-pit. Blocking Harold’s way and stealing his thunder.
copyright Samantha Henthorn 2018. Happy reading everyone xx