The Wealdstone Raider

This morning, whilst Jackie continued preparing the garden for the winter that only the calendar suggests is bound to come, I cut the grass, and lopped a dead branch.

View fro dressing room to rose garden

From above, the progress of the rose garden can now be clearly seen beyond the Pergola Path.

Four days ago, Ian reached a milestone birthday. Today we intended to celebrate it at his favourite restaurant. Unfortunately he is ill and that has been postponed.

When he and Becky were staying with us in August, a catchphrase between us was ‘D’you want some?’. This invariably had us collapsing with laughter, and our daughter loaded this video onto our television:

The YouTube piece is 13 minutes long, and, although I do urge you to watch it, you may be satisfied to learn that it tells the story of how Gordon Hill, following an encounter at a ninth division football match, became a celebrity; and earned thousands of pounds in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital, by making a recording of the song The Wealdstone Raider, which reached number 5 in the hit parade at Christmas 2013.
This is so much more than a music video. We see how Gordon took on rival fans who were fortunately amused; we see how he was encouraged to capitalise on this; how he was only interested if the proceeds could go to the children’s hospital where he spent the first fifteen years of his life; and how the fame, at first exciting, became a stressful burden. It is a remarkable, humorous, and touching tale.
I wanted to present Ian with a copy of the song for his birthday, but am not confident in making purchases on line, so I asked Becky to buy it for me. This wasn’t actually possible, but she downloaded the track and made this cover for the CD:
 She has skills far beyond mine. She sent me this copy of her work. I was to have given the CD to her fiancé, but, in the event, she gave it to him instead.
This afternoon, on TV, I watched Rugby World Cup matches between Italy and Canada, and between South Africa and Samoa.
The Royal China
The Royal China inside
Possibly because of its location, at 25a St Thomas Street on an awkward bend approaching the High Street in Lymington, The Royal China restaurant is not well known except for its steady takeaway service. Is, however, well worth seeking it out, as we did this evening. Its low-beamed dining room suggests the building is of considerable age. The ambience is cosy, and Dean Martin’s spectre croons mellifluously in the background. Seated near the kitchen, we could hear the homely, rhythmic, chopping of the food we were about to be served. Our delightful Roumanian born waitress was kind enough to warn us that the portions were large and we may be ordering too much. Taking her advice, we reduced the number of dishes by one, which was not nearly enough. Half of our main courses were bagged up for us to carry home for breakfast.
My choices were hot and sour soup, egg fried rice, and hot and spicy king prawns. We shared shredded duck. While we waited we drank Tsingtao beer and ate a plentiful supply of prawn crackers.
I am now about to watch a recording of the third of today’s rugby matches: that between England and Wales.



  1. I watched the video; it says so much about the best and worst of people.

    Much as I always enjoyed the close up of your flowers, I like the long views of your garden best.

    I would be happy to eat that dinner 🙂

  2. Isn’t popular culture the oddest thing? Gordon Hill had his fifteen minutes – and did good for the kids with it – and then it dragged on and on…….. I hope the football club returns the favour, he was looking pretty shattered at the end of the piece. ‘Be careful what you wish for!’ I had not heard of him before this, so the fame is maybe just within the UK, imagine if it was global!

    I know what happened in the Wales/England game ………….

      1. I know, I meant them for him, Derrick, (though we’ve never met). I get the impression every day is your birthday celebration time, DJK. I hope you’re having a good Sunday morning. x

  3. I agree with Mary Tang about the long range photos in your garden – great. It was a thoughtful idea for your friend’s birthday present – hope he likes it. (I’m sure he’ll get quite a charge out of it.)

  4. That was a well-made video and a compelling story. Thank you for sharing and recommending. Of course, over here I had never heard of him. I would LOVE to get my hands on one of those Gordon mugs in the documentary. I hope the merchandise sales are going to the kids too. What a great person. Well, luckily in these days, fame does fade somewhat quickly, so I hope he will have his peace to be able to watch his team soon. What a great guy, and a great example.

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