Saturday 21 April 2012

S is for Shin-Kicking

One of the great things about being English is pride in some of our quaint little customs. At the milder end is Morris Dancing, but then we go on to things like shin-kicking, an old custom, exceedingly painful, in which two men (though no doubt one day women will insist on joining in) kick each other's shins in the name of sport.

And then there's cheese-rolling (below), where crowds of people and a very large cheese hurtle down a hillside. I've never been entirely sure whether the people are chasing the cheese, or trying to escape from it (I could find out, but perfer to leave the question unanwered), but that too can apparently be dangerous, and one year the event was concelled because of "safety issues" (now there's a surprise).

There's another one, too, in which barrels of flaming tar are carried by people wearing cotton gloves. I bet Health and Safety have something to say about that. And then there's....

But you get my drift. I have no particular desire to partake in any of these activities, but I'm so very glad I'm English!


  1. I saw the shin-kickers on telly a while back.

    Long live the odd customs - but I'm with you, I wouldn't want to join in (except perhaps with the shin kicking if someone upsets me!) :-) x

  2. Shin kicking? For sport? That hurts like hell. You English!

  3. I like many of the old customs - but shin-kicking and flaming tar? No thanks!

  4. I think I'll stick to pancake tossing!

  5. Isn't it wonderful to be British! Conker championships, pancake tossing, celebrating Guy Fawkes useless attempt at blowing up Parliament...

  6. The only one of those three I have heard about before was the cheese rolling. The picture is very tiny, but I can imagine what it looks like.
    We have some funny old customs, too, but of course I can't think of any right now at the top of my head...

  7. Thought I'd stumbled across a review of The Hunger Games here! Hadn't heard of the flaming tar one... bet they'd need to fill out a few Health & Safety forms to do that these days!

  8. Teresa, I think shin kicking is perhaps the maddest of all. Just.

    Yvonne, you're right. But you love us, don't you?

    Rosemary, I enjoy them from a distance. A very long distance.

    Maggie, I don't find pancake tossing that easy!

    Lynne, I'm so glad you agree!

    Librarian, I'm sure the Germans have more sense, don't they? By the way, i could understand about half of your German poem. Most frustrating!

    Broken Biro, I'm sure you're right. Bloody H and S.....

  9. It is old-fashioned, poetic German in that poem, Frances, nothing like what anyone would use speaking or writing as everyday language today. Some native speakers of German, I dare say, wouldn't understand more than half of it, either.

  10. Librarian, I['m afraid old- fashioned German is out of my league. What a shame...

  11. Francis, I think you are pulling our legs with the shin kicking! Even the English aren't that mad.

    On the subject of poetic German and poetic English I suspect that most people in England don't understand half of poetic English either.

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