Organizers of the World Pooh Sticks Championships in Oxfordshire, UK are looking for a new place to hold their competition. That's north of where I live in Hertfordshire. I hadn't heard of this game, but it sounds a bit daft. However, dropping sticks into a running stream from a bridge doesn't need much physical prowess so it's open to all.
The game originates from author AA Milne's Winnie the Pooh novel, The House At Pooh Corner.
Select a stick, face upstream, side by side with fellow competitors
Choose either the oldest or the youngest competitor as a "starter"
Competitors must holds their stick at arms length over the stream, usually from a bridge, at the same height as the shortest competitor's stick
All competitors must drop, and not throw, their sticks into the water at the same time, on the starter's call
The players must then cross to the downstream side of the bridge and wait for the sticks to emerge
The owner of the first stick to float from under the bridge is the winner
Source:Rotary Club of Oxford Spires.
The sophisticated older gentleman he'd become laughed and a twinkle came from his eyes. He'd named me after Nanky-Poo in an opera.
Apparently, the story of The Mikado revolves around a young wandering minstrel named Nanki-Poo, who banished himself from the little Japanese town of Titipu.
Um. Well, no. How did that relate to me? He never told me, but I assumed he liked the twist of the name on the tongue. I hope he wasn't remembering the whiff of baby nappies. The only thing I knew about Mikado is the famous song Three Little Maids.
Perhaps he wasn't so wrong after all, because I went on to develop a passion for writing songs, poems and then novels. Maybe I am a minstrel, wandering around the world wide web.
The sound tickling my brain
Releasing remembered pain
With ungrasped melody there
At the back, under my hair.
Music made by nearby birds
Although by my ears it's heard
It strokes parts contained within
Tweaking inside with a pin.
Ecstasy for all to feel
Not through chemicals, but real
Pay attention and you'll hear
Every birdsong that is near.
So many different notes
All put forth from tiny throats
Composed in alien ways
Seem to burst forth in relays.
The birdsong lulls me to relax
Pushing out all thoughts that tax
Snatches of memory drift
Other patterns of time shift.