Lost in the Lavender at Haughley

Lost in the Lavender at Haughley

It’s fortunate for some, perhaps, that my role as a Portacabin Loo Inspector is just a sideline. In reality, I’m here at Haughley Park Farm’s Sheepdog Trials, to inspect the comedians. It’s a difficult job, especially when one has shrivelled-up soaking wet (no, not that – I’m female – I think) feet, courtesy of canvas plimsolls from New Look. No-one warned me about the weather! Thought I was out for a toasty-summer-evening jolly!

Still, Carl Denham’s here. He’s an up and coming piece of fresh lamb, and he’s ready to be minted. From first impressions (Actually, this is about the hundredth? time he’s performed for Suffolk Punch Comedy Club! Are you paying him, PJ?), he appears to be vaguely intelligent. He’s kitted himself out in khaki-green wellington boots and, whilst the rest of us are shivering, cocky Carl’s having a lark. He’s laughing and joking (laughing at his own jokes) and he hasn’t even been on stage yet. What is he on? Where did he buy those wellies?

Chris Norton-Walker’s not quite such a wise cracker, though! The silly b*****’s just abandoned our holding table, complete with his notebook of jokes; his last parting words being: ‘Don’t steal my jokes while I’m gone!’ What an invitation! So, here I am; I’ve stolen Chris’ coat, ‘cos it’s freezing cold in Haughley’s O2, and I’m plagiarising as many jokes as I can before his comeback. Check this one out:

‘It must take balls to do stand up!’
‘No, you’re thinking of juggling!’

Ha, reckon I can use that one for my next set (the next being my first)! And,what about this one?

‘Why did the baker have smelly hands?’
‘Because he kneaded a poo!’

No, hang on, that’s not a Chris joke – I’m having flashbacks about Suffolk Punch Comedy‘s Leestock emcee, Pauline Eyre! See, Pauline, you really got to me with that hamster wheel, the smelly old baker on repeat play! Cheers, thanks for that – thanks a lot! Sorry, Chris – back to you now!

Seems, that Chris ‘finds the choreography of Dirty Dancing really uplifting!‘ No, there’s no way anyone rendezvousing with Chris, in a Pas de Deux, could ever give him a push up! It’d be like Phil the Minion, lifting up his master, Felonius Gru! IMPOSSIBLE! You should see this guy – the O2’s too small to contain him. Oops, he’s looking this way – think Chris is on to me – and he’s on his way back! Time for a second Portaloo inspection …

I trudge back through the wet grass – it’s a real shame Carl wouldn’t lend me his wellies – only to find that some yokelling farmer’s wife is standing in the doorway of the only available loo having a chat, with another Barbour-coated farmer’s wife. A long chat. A very, very long chat. I’m standing here hopping around from wet foot to wet foot, clearly in need, and they are carrying on – wittering and yokelling! I need to think on my sodden feet; immediate action is required. I sludge up to the second Portaloo cabin and, ignoring the red ‘engaged’ symbol, attempt a break-in! The door won’t budge and there’s an angry sound erupting from within. What to do? There must be more than two loos, mustn’t there? I slosh purposefully towards a clump of trees  to check out the view beyond. YES, YES, YES! There are two more Portaloo cabins hiding out on the other side. I go for it!

As I let loose, my favourite Adele song pops into my head and I linger a little longer, for the sensory experience of a sing song in a mist of lavender (Surely, the trees will form an effective sound barrier?).

So hello from the other side
I must’ve cr***** a thousand times
I tell you I’m sorry
For making a mess
But when I call you …

And I’m back. I’m back in the O2 at Haughley Park Farm and the I-didn’t-quite-catch-his-name Paul(?) headline act is on stage. Seems he’s already very famous, due to a series of appearances on Embarrassing Bodies – involving various explorations of his piles! And that’s not all – our Pile-Man Paul can do magic! He’s persuaded one of the only three farmer’s wives (sorry for being sexist – I do of course mean to refer to lady farmer’s)  remaining on site (the other two are still nattering across the Portaloo) to join him on stage. And he’s reading her mind. He knows exactly what she’s thinking about and she’s even confessing that she does it five times a day! Five times! Wow! What a life these farming folk have. That’s why most of them go home early, and that’s why the Portaloo is permanently occupied by the remainder. Gee, thanks Pile-Man Paul – I’m really getting an insight into the energising effects of a rural lifestyle. What I don’t quite get, though, is why Suffolk’s population density is the lowest in the UK. Just what exactly is going on here?

Janet Garner. Janet’s going on! Pile-Man’s off and Janet’s on. And she’s a classic example of a rural Suffolk lady. She’s telling us all how she was rudely awoken, at the crack of dawn, by the bin, or more precisely by the bin-man; a bin-man, who didn’t even take his gloves off! Not only does Janet have a penchant for bin-men, she also has a thing about younger men – keeps them chained up to her cooker and kitchen sink! But, sadly, her accent turns out to be a bit of a giveaway. Janet’s a fake. She’s not from Suffolk at all! She’s an Essex girl from Southend. What a let down!

But it’s no matter, because Paul Merrick‘s up – and he’s Suffolk born and bred. Born during a dark, stormy night in Suffolk hospital, he caused quite a stir! Why? Because when the nurse dangled him upside down and slapped him on the bum (yes, he’s that old), he refused to respond in the appropriate manner. He didn’t cry – he ‘farted’! And even worse than that, he gave the nurse ‘a series of cheeky winks’! That proves my first point – Paul’s a true Suffolk man – seems he was born ‘without a moral compass’! He realised his future was orange and moved across the border to Essex! TRAITOR! WHAT A TRAITOR! All these ready and willing farm ladies in Suffolk, and he moves to Essex! Still, I suppose he does have a point. What sane man, or woman, would want to wade through a bogmire to have it away in a Portacabin, that’s been scented up, not with cinnamon (for desirability and creativity) and not with ginger (for opening the heart) – but with lavender (for minor burns and bug bites). Still, moving on, I suppose the lavender might be of some use, for punters who get into a tangle with the blood-sucking Carl Denham.

Because it does seem that our young Carl enjoys a challenge. Not only is he excited by a booking in a field potentially full of sheep, he is also a victim of the New Right test-your-kids-to-death-in-British-schools culture. As the youngest of this evening’s comedian’s, he’s had a harder life to bear than most, and the constant testing’s really got to him. He’s in his twenties and he’s still in full swing, going along to testing centres, and offering himself up for further experimentation. He’s not fooling me though, with his claims of thriving on accomplishment-by-test-results. It’s no excuse for his frequent visitations to the STI clinic. Visitation being the appropriate word, because there’s nothing mortal about Carl; he’s a self-confessed-own-scab eater. How desperate for a feed does a comedian need to be?

Well, I’ll leave Carl gnawing away at his knees, because Ali Warwoods’ on! She’s on, and she’s charging head on into another flap, and she needs assistance.

I can still recall, with horror, the debacle Ali created with her tent antics at the Leestock Festival. But, even though she’s tried to repress her inclinations since then (keeping herself busy birthing babies with her trophy wife), she’s still not content!

Ali’s back – she’s here – and she is, at this very moment, scrambling into a sheep pen.

It’s okay, Ali, I’m here to rescue you. Blood runs thicker than water, and we’re both from Wolverhampton, which must mean we’re connected by our genes (and if not, when I’ve done a little further work on my Ancestry.com family tree, we soon will be!), so I’ll get you out of this particular flap. But – it’s the last time! I’m a Blogger – not a soothing piece of lavender, not a cure for all ills – and I’ve had it up to here today, already! Take that incident earlier this evening, when I had to dive in and save our emcee, PJ, from the scrum of comedians. After this rescue, Ali, this one last rescue, I’m done with it all!

Even Bloggers need a break!

But, before then, with Ali all sorted – the closing act is on. It’s the one and only …

CHRIS NORTON-WALKER! And the great thing is, that this means I can take my leave – early. I don’t need to blog about Chris; I nicked all of his jokes earlier. I’m almost done. It’s time for the Blogger to depart, but Chris isn’t letting up – he’s still banging them out …

‘When I was a kid, I used to knock on people’s doors and run away,’ he’s boasting. ‘I still do, but now I work for Amazon!’

What a nasty b***** Chris is! He’s the one responsible for …

Well, Chris, here‘s a taste of your own medicine. I’m gonna give you a wave, make you think I’m listening, make you think I’m all ears and all pen, sitting here writing about you, blogging about you, about to make you famous – immortal even … and then?

Then, …. I’m going to run away ……………………………………

Copyright owned by Jay Cool, July 2017

If you hated this blog, and would like to see the aforementioned comedians in action, rather than plough through any more of the Blogger’s self-agrandiosing rants, please visit The Suffolk Punch Comedy Club, first Wednesday of every month  – at The Brewery Tap in Sudbury. And, whilst there, drop a generous donation into our charity pot in aid of Prostate Cancer Research.

NEWSFLASH! Chris Norton-Walker is performing at The Brewer Tap, Weds 2nd August – bet not to miss it! (But, if you do, don’t worry – I’ve already stolen some of his best jokes! Make a small payment into the Prostate Cancer Research charity pot, and we’ll see what we can do!)

BIG NEWS EVENT! I have just been reliably informed that Pile-Man Paul’s real name is El Baldinho (but PJ tells me I can carry on using his alias, Pile-Man Paul – if I really want to!)


The following websites were used for reference during my extensive research into aromatherapy!




Published by The Silly-Savvy Salopian

Freelance writer and descendant of the cave dweller and outlaw, Humphrey Kynaston. Banished from Shropshire for my eccentricity, I have made my home in Suffolk. I write poetry, short stories, travel journals, comedy gig reviews and non-fiction articles. My wish is to write my way back into the heart of my birth land. All writing commissions (and free holidays in Shropshire!) considered.

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