Monday 21 September 2009

What happens in South Mimms...

At one of the churches on the Norfolk weekend, we were greeted, shown around and generally charmed by a man with floppy hair, a cultivated drawl, a wry, extremely subtle sense of humour - and the classic drooping, S-shaped posture that marks out certain members of the posh classes. Think Lord Emsworth... Bryan snappily diagnosed a case of 'old money scoliosis' - a major contribution, I think, to medical science, or at least to comedy.
I must also pass on this bon mot, uttered as, on the journey up, we neared South Mimms services: 'What happens in South Mimms stays in South Mimms.' As I said, he was in sparkling form.


  1. Aha! Welcome back Nige.

    This is an interesting new turn for Nigeness, playing Boswell to the Yard's Johnson, is it? But that's quite enough about the Yard's Johnson for now, hem hem....

    (Sorry still got Sam Johnson on the brain, no book has ever taken me so long to read. That's insomniac babies for you...)

  2. Ridge is less than a mile away from South Mimms and, strolling the lanes at around 9.00am on Sunday, I couldn't help reflecting upon the gulf between what I remember of the famous Service Station, and the wall-to-wall splendour of the countryside I was walking through - very Norfolk. Nothing much seems to 'happen' in Ridge, but I'm sure that when it does burst into life, they keep it very much to themselves.

  3. Nice having you back from the Franco-Norfolkian grand tour Nige, do they still remember Brian Sewell down in Chartres?, well, who wouldn't.
    The AI through South Mimms used to be single carriageway and had what must have been the only set of traffic lights between Newcastle and Hendon, often sitting at the lights I used to ponder the trees lining the road and wonder if they had been put there by the French, as in their own country, so enabling the Germans to march without getting sunburn.

  4. In the far off days of my North Riding childhood, father would drive out of an autumn Sunday morning to the A1 and we would pick mushrooms together on the central reservation. Little chance in those days of being mown down by a speeding Hillman Minx!

  5. Certainly sounds like you've found something worth visiting in that church and its custodian. A portrait of the last Lord Emsworth sounds a much more interesting subject than the aye-aye which preoccupied Stephen Fry in Sunday's "Last Chance to See". Besides, I don't imagine Lord Emsworth likes hanging upside down from palm trees and poking out coconut eyes with an elongated middle finger.

    Welcome home. I guess one could spend a whole life investigating the churches of France (or of over here) and never be bored run out of new things to see. But it would be pretty hard not to choose France.

    I don't even know what or where South Mimms is. It could be a fizzy drink?

  6. It ended up as hardcore in the M25, Mark.