Maplehurst Ramblings


1) Quiz night and AGM 12th November at Copsale Hall and later at The Bridge House next door.
I hope you'll all make the effort to turn out. If I am home in time, I will be there.

2) Conkers
Maplehurst has a champion conker player and its me. In late October I entered the All City conker championship with some colleagues of mine. After four hotly contested rounds and far too much alcohol our team was crowned uncontested Conker champions of the City of London (or something like that). I have only got hazy recollections of the interview we gave to the world's press shortly after winning, but I am pleased to say that I was able to get the word "Proctologist" into a piece for Spain's Channel Nine (Scorchio). 
It wasn't all fun, though. Our prizes included a crystal port decanter, a magnum of vintage port (courtesy of our sponsors Fonseca) and to cap it all off - a weekend away as guests of Fonseca in Oporto next June to watch a raft race and drink some of their excellent produce. Not a bad return on a 15 entry fee! (Simon: how about a local contest next year and you can provide a similar prize? DT)

3) Shooting & Police
In the last issue of Maplehurst Gibberings, I mentioned that shooters ought to take care when out in the field. Dave Toye questioned my line of reasoning so I should like to take this opportunity to set the record straight. If you are out on a driven shoot with several companions there is very little chance of encountering a Police Armed Response Unit. If, however you are out shooting alone, particularly at either extremity of the day then I must say that there is a possibility that someone might see you out, not like what they see and call HM Constabulary. Those who are interested can see the early October edition of Sporting Gun (amongst others) for an example of this. Whatever other precautions you take, make sure you have all the relevant certificates with you when you are out.
4) Auction of Promises
When was the last time there was an auction of promises held in the area? I am sure we could find a worthy cause that would benefit and it would be a rather amusing event. For those who haven't come across an auction of promises before, the process is quite simple. A series of "lots" are auctioned to the highest bidder. Instead of the lots being tangible goods, they are the promise of a service, e.g. car valetting, shoe cleaning, tree felling, house painting. Any volunteers to organise the event???

5) Investment Club
A short while ago, I mooted the idea of an investment club to speculate (and hopefully accumulate) in stocks and shares and the like. The events of September the 11th knocked the stuffing out of the stock markets but they have staged a small recovery since. If anyone is interested in joining the venture, contact me and we can take things further. (Duncan England suggests a joint venture with Copsale Hall but to also including port and cheese. Sounds a good combination to me! DT)

6) Investment advice from the all-time loser!
Below is an article that was posted in a City Newspaper ( the Financial News for those interested) - the article is written by a gentleman called Jonathan Compton. In his own words he has lost more money than ever. Its a great little piece and is well worth reading when you have the time.
One aspect of the events following September 11th is that Crude Oil prices have followed most other commodities and plummeted. Recently they were near $30 per barrel. At one point last week they had fallen to $18 per barrel. Petrol is already a fraction cheaper at the pumps (but as most of the price comprises tax we are unlikely to see much benefit from this fall) and it looks as if heating oil will be a fair bit cheaper than of late. Just in time for the cold weather. there seems to me to be a lot of people who use oil to heat their homes, I wonder if there is any mileage in trying some form of collective bargaining with the oil distributors? Does anyone have any thoughts on this subject?? Here is the article
7) Guy Fawkes night.
Many thanks to George Walker who kindly allowed the use of his field for the annual fireworks display on the 3rd of November. Thanks also to the ranks of helpers who cooked, served, bar tended and set off fireworks which ensured the evening was a roaring success. I certainly had my work cut out as deputy under fireworks lighter. I didn't actually get to set any pyrotechnics off - that was left to Paddy Bullen and he is an  engineer! I drove past the field the following afternoon and the bonfire was still smouldering - now that is some bonfire. Over the past week I have seen several enormous bonfire parties on the horizon. One at Hickstead was so bright it looked just like the Northern Lights, except that it was in the Southern Sky and it was accompanied by lots of loud bangs.
8) Nuthurst Society Newsletter - new editor. (Nuthurst Society Events Slip)
What's this? Apparently The Nuthurst Society Newsletter might have found a new "editor". Looks like it will be a local newsletter for local people. Watch this space for more details......

Simon  McClean 12th November 2001     last months MR's


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