Monday, 10 October 2011

The Golden Spurtle

Fantasy Bob begins to wonder whether there is just too much international sport these days?  It is never ending - it alsways seems to be the world cup of something or the masters of something else.  Every day is semi finals day - unless it is finals day.

The Golden Spurtle
Today is no exception.  Today is the World Porridge Championship which falls conveniently enough on International Porridge Day.  The world's greatest batsmen will descend on the Inverness-shire town of Carrbridge to test their spurtle skills against all comers.   For those of his 3 readers bemused already, it may be helpful to know that a spurtle is a specially designed cricket bat used for stirring porridge.  The world Porridge Trophy is a golden spurtle and very handsome it is too.  Ah Caledonia, wha's like us?

The holder of the Golden Spurtle is Neal Robertson from the Tannochbrae Tearoom, Auchtermuchty.  But Neal does not use a spurtle.  Instead he uses a Spon – a bat he designed himself which is basically a wooden, double backed spoon that gives twice the power to mixing and beating.  Power and porridge - FB is not making this up this is what the competition reports say.  Cricketers could look on Robertson's implement as the Mongoose of the spurtle world.  Spurtle authorities have no doubt been under pressure to declare it illegal for competition purposes but it has so far survived.

FB is a devoted porridge maker and eater. However he is not able to play in this competition since it is still pre-season for him.  A local byelaw in his kitchen does not allow the making of porridge before the end of British Summer Time.  It is then compulsory until the start of BST in the spring.  So FB is still in pre-season nets as far as porridge making goes and not up to international competition levels of fitness.

You might be forgiven for thinking that there cannot be much to a porridge making competition - a bit of water, a bit of oatmeal, a pinch of salt, light the gas, stir it up and off you go.  But championship porridge making apparently tests a wide range of athletic skills.  It is wide open to innovation with a freestyle section.  There a speciality round in which the competitors attempt to induce nausea in the judges - there have been seafood porridges, curried porridge and various other delights.  A cricketing enthusiast once presented porridge dressed with linseed oil to the judges, which only narrowly lost in its class.  On fact it might well have won had the judges been able to stay on the pitch following the tasting.

With all this sporting potential it is disappointing that the Olympics next year will not feature any porridge based events.   

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