Easter Sunday is the time of year for our village's Annual Egg Throwing Competition, when people come from miles around - or at least from the next village, to try their hand at throwing and catching an egg (uncooked) over the greatest distance.
I'd like to say it has its origins in the dark annals of country lore, but in fact it arose out of a beer-fuelled conversation at the local pub about 10 years ago which resulted in a rather novel and entertaining way to get rid unwanted eggs, while raising money for charity.,
Our village is part of a 5,000 acre shooting estate, where pheasant and partridge are bred for sport. Every year, a large number of eggs are left over, leaving something of a logistical problem which was solved by the inauguration of the Annual Egg Throwing Contest.
At 3pm, we gathered outside our local pub, where the road had been marked out with a three lines equidistant apart. The idea of the competition is to work in pairs, with each one starting off at the outside marker. If each one throws and catches the egg successfully, they take three paces backwards.
|On the oche!|
Various styles of throwing and catching were egghibited but in the end, as long as you caught your egg intact it didn't much matter. Eggs were caught one-handed, behind the head and even by someone who was just standing and watching, pint of beer in hand. When a wayward egg headed his way, in a speggtacular display of dexterity, he managed to catch the egg without breaking it and, more importantly, not spill a drop of his beer.
Overarm throwing was proven to be unwise with the speed of the egg proving eggstremely difficult to catch and resulting in a thorough egging of the unfortunate catcher.
With the pride of the village at stake, Mr M and Mr T took to the 'arena', confident in their egg throwing and catching abilities. The crowd wasn't disappointed as the distance between them got ever greater. With lots of oohing and aaahing, the little blue egg rocketed back and forth between them.
|Take a bow, Mr T - oh sorry, it's just your egg|
catching technique is it?
The distance growing ever greater....
|Now, where IS that egg?|
Until an undetected crack in the egg opened up and we all discovered that eggs soon lose their aerodynamic properties with the yolk oozing out. But surely this had to be the winning pairing.
Others stood up to the plate with varying degrees of success...
The Husband, not one to miss out on a bit of local competition (let's not forget that he was one of the only foreigners to ever enter the Agen Prune Stone Spitting Contest when we lived in France...... on second thoughts, maybe we will forget it), paired up with The Boy both dressed in unsuitable clothing as we had been out for lunch but the bar, it seemed, had been set eggstremely high.
|The Boy and The Husband - jacket removed!|
Mr N, from No 4, showed good throwing and catching skills with his partner, Ms B but with the road becoming more and more slimy it was getting difficult
|The bells.... the bells.....|
And, after a hard fought battle with some competitors from the neighbouring village, Mr N (above) was the eventual Champion, having ditched his poor partner for someone who he clearly thought was a better bet, the other Mr N. But she got the last laugh when the prize was a romantic dinner for two. We shall all look forward to seeing the two men staring lovingly into each other's eyes over a candlelit supper.
Because I can, I'm also making my own awards, although they don't come with any prizes.
The Best Catch Behind The Head Award - Ms B for her eggsellent effort after a bum throw from Mr N
The 'I nearly caught it in my cleavage' Award - the lady from t'other village who's name I don't know but who nearly did
The Egg Throwing in Unsuitable Footwear Award - The Boy who chose to enter wearing a pair of suede desert boots, now slightly crispy round the edges
The Egg Throwing in Unsuitable Clothing - The Husband, who entered wearing an Armani jacket
The SPLAT Award for the best (and only) Direct Hit on a Parked Car - Miss L from t'big 'ouse
The INCOMING! Award for the Most Wayward Throw - Miss L again, who demonstrated perfectly why you can't throw eggs overarm
The Best Throw in Heels - The Girl whose shoes may never be the same
The 'The Bells, The Bells' Award for the Best Quasimodo Impression - Mr N
The Egg on yer face, yer shirt, yer jeans Award - to all those valiant souls who entered and gave us all a jolly good laugh.
All in all, an eggsellent afternoon of amusing entertainment - and money raised for charity too.