Colne Engaine

A perfect day with the great Julia King, fastest woman in British off-road when I was here in 1985.

Back then she had a bike-shop owner boyfriend, Greg Oxenham who lived up to his name, as does my husband, Mr. Cleverbacon) and was freshly hatched from Cambridge University, a scholar of Anglo-Saxon studies or something.

All I remember is how good a conversationalist she was…quick with the repartee, and no topic un-delvable.

So now she’s got three little Kings (Orbells technically, she married a man named Nick Orbell, of plant taxonomy reonown) at the dinner table, and they all play musical instruments and take part in the family entertainment, which is Repartee on the Half Shell. Today we’d ridden a couple dozen miles in the lovely Essex hills, on frighteningly skinny roads bordered with wheatfield and hedgrow. Houses were painted yogurt pink and chamois yellow, with fantastically tidy rush roofs (is that the right word?)…thatched roofs. With little lacy decoration along the roofline.


Their youngest, Emily, is already an author. I’ll include her story “Never cross a crocodile’s path” when I can dig it up on this computer…I’m trying to use a Dell PC but it’s a chore. A bore, as these guys put it.

~ by jacquiephelan on August 20, 2011.

One Response to “Colne Engaine”

  1. We’re missing your banjo tonight. Skype in, it’s only 3am your time!
    Best to you Ms Toeclips,
    Your Monday Night Irregular Players

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