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The Bog Standard Tour

Updated: Aug 6, 2022

"Britain's going down the toilet," exclaimed not a single one of my friends in light of the resignation of BJ; the rampant inflation and subsequent cost of living crisis, and the not insignificant detail of England's football men failing to win a single international tournament of note since they promised, back in 1996,"It's Coming Home!" in lyrical distress (And that was after thirty years of hurt.)

So, in the optimistic hope that @Lionesses winning Euro 2022 is a sign that not all is as bleak as my friends don't remark, I have purchased a large white long-wheel based vehicle, pre-converted into a glampervan, to escape the ensuing insanity for a while. With it, I intend to seek out the toilet that England may, or may not, be flushed down in the hope that I can at least do my patriotic bit to avert some of the impending disaster.

I'm also taking the cat, Nelson, and therefore his litter tray.

Oh, and mine: a composting toilet. I was sold on one when I was told they tend not to smell, and if they do, it's usually the aroma of decomposing wood chips. It's safely tucked away behind the driver's seat, bang opposite the side window of the recently-purchased van. Given the vehicle is a Citroen Relay, it was quickly dubbed #TheShitRon. Apologies to Rons everywhere.

First stop: #Shitterton.

Shitterton is a thousand year old hamlet adjacent to the village of Bere Regis. I thought it was in Somerset, and told my friends as much when they demanded "Where's that?" Turns out it's in Dorset.

There are no street signs for it - largely because they've all been stolen over the years, nearly bankrupting the local council, or so they claim. The relentless crime spree was eradicated once and for all in 2010 when the place name for "Shitterton" was engraved into a ton and a half of Purbeck Limestone and then dumped roadside.

In 2012, Bere Regis, not to be usurped by its smaller bedfellow, or rather to keep up with the stoneses, purchased its own near-identical lump of sedimentary rock and plonked it on western boundary in commemoration of Her Majesty's diamond jubilee. There was fanfare, and letters to the Queen and much reverie. At least, I supposed.

In 2022, whilst the rest of the country celebrated the Queen's platinum jubilee, #Shitterton could simply rejoice in not having had its bedrock nabbed for over a decade.

You could say it's a tale of two hamlets, but alas, Bere Regis has a church, so it's a village. A very, very small village trying its best to outdo the significantly more famous hamlet of Shitterton. And alas, it fails miserably, lovely though it is.

The man's missing bits

I went off in search of a penis that I had heard about at #CerneAbbey, and found it in a round about way. The round about way meant staggering up a hill. It's been quite some time since I walked uphill, in fact, so long I had forgotten just how miserable exercise is. As I neared what I hoped would be the top, I was greeted by this sign:

And so I lumbered back down the hill. I haven't improved at that either and re-entered the town to use the free local toilets. A sign boasted: “these toilets are cleaned three times a day”. They didn’t stipulate exactly which day though, and today was not that day. I then headed off to the lay-by.

What was promised....

...And what was got...

“It’s really hard to make out his ribs,” one of the two women beside me observed. I hadn't noticed either.

Still, I ended the days in one of England's finest nature reserves. Unfortunately, it had no interweb. And, true to every single expedition I have ever done: my SatNav failed. My brand new, super dooper Dodgee is kaput. I suppose the clue was in the name. Happy I was not.

In the hunt for a good butt.

Dorset has the highest ratio of bottoms per hectare in England. Delightful #Dorset. I hurtled off towards the tourism vortex that is #DurdleDoor. There one can disembark, traipse across dry chalky farmland to the valley known as #ScratchyBottom. The location selected to shoot Far From The Madding Crowd. The irony is that if I wanted to join the throngs of holiday-makers in the itchy pilgrimage, I would be obliged to spend £15 for van parking, and it was very clear that no overnights were permissible. At that price, I'd at least expect #TheShitRon to be given a wash, set and blow-dry.

Hurtling away from there, I reviewed a vast array of bottoms on my paper map for Dorset and the New Forest: There is Knights In the Bottom, Fishpond Bottom, Burnt Bottom, Broad Bottom, Bramble Bottom, Quarry Bottom, Boar's Bottom, Little Puddle Bottom, Bramble Bottom, Charity Bottom, Rake Bottom, Littlecombe Bottom, Lankham Bottom, Long Bottom, Chicken Grove Bottom, Gould's Bottom, Broad Bottom, Well Bottom, Slap Bottom and my all time favourite: #PicketBottom.

Alas, not one of these are actual towns or villages, and most are merely names on a carte of yonderyear, rather than etched into a modern day signpost. If Britain is heading for the loo, it would surely require a decent signpost and so I have ruled out inspecting these. Instead I comforted myself by heading off see what #SandyBalls might offer. It was just a tad unfortunate that en route, I was distracted by some #FightingCocks and several asses.

The remains of a good bottom

It's not often that Google is wrong, especially on all matters medical, scientific and factual, but if one is looking for a good bottom, one should search on the Internet for Buttsash. And not "Butts Ash", which is its correct name - as depicted by its sign:

Facts I have ascertained about Butts Ash are: that it's a suburb of #Hythe, which means a hard, landing place and, #Dibden, which means deep valley. Accordingly, it claims to be twinned with #Mauves-sur-Loire, a French commune, who claim quite emphatically to be twinned with #Hythe, with no mention of the unfortunate #ButtsAsh. Aside from that, if there's anything to be learnt about Butts Ash, it is any and all information has seemingly been incinerated.

#ButtsAsh is predominantly a 1970s housing estate of identikit homes, can still claim to be one of the few actual towns of Bottom in Dorset in existence, albeit one that even the internet has disassociated itself from.

Other elements of human anatomy

The route from #Buckler'sHard to #ClenchCommon to #NetherWallop is a glorious traverse across the New Forest. Alas, the New Forest seems to have gone for a more Brazilian look: it was so devoid of saplings, let alone mature wood, that it should seriously consider reporting itself to Trading Standards. A smidgen of gorse and other bushes does not a forest make. Besides, modern women have photoshop for that.

I was also disappointed to learn that #Panters is now obsolete bar for a few residual road names so I was delighted when I happened upon #Cuckoo'sKnob still being in existence. It's a row of fairly modern bungalows, all coming with ample floral gardens and lawns. Oh, and banisters for the hard of walking.

Additional peace and tranquillity can be found via a very pleasant walk to nearby #Ram'sAlley'.

What I have discovered by my forensic exploration of Britain's nether regions thus far is that if one can rise past the astonishingly indecent pornography there's undoubted beauty to behold.

#Faccombe, Faccombe Hall.

I started off on the hunt for #HellCorner, discovered a farm and got out of there as fast as a bat. It turns out ten miles an hour was about right in order to safely navigate #TheShitRon down the incredibly windy, narrow country lanes, with very few passing places, and incredibly expansive road foliage.

It was on more than a wing and a prayer that I arrived to admire the Church of #Faccombe. Admired briefly, I idled away from #Faccombe, towards #BallEnd, which amused me greatly by having, very aptly, a Veterinary Clinic. Only I was crushed to discover it was, in fact, called #BallHill: somewhat pissing on my chips.

"FaccIt" I muttered and went off to console myself by shacking up a top a mound and surveying the very stunningly brilliant country that is #England.

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