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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Cheese Rolling 

If you ever wanted proof that British country folk are missing an important survival gene, take a look at the Cheese Rolling races at Cooper's Hill, Gloucestershire in the UK.

The basic idea of a cheese rolling race is to join with several hundred like minded competitors and hurl yourself off the top of a very steep hill after a large cheese. An event has been running at Cooper's Hill since the 1800s and it appears that it has enjoyed greater popularity than other country pursuits such as shin-kicking which seem to have died out as competitive sports.

Organizers keep bureaucracy to a minimum and you do not need any type of application to enter; all costs are met from car-parking receipts - £5 per car

As they say on the official web site, "all you have to do is arrive at the top of the hill, decide that it really is something that you want to do (possibly check that your Last Will and Testament is up-to-date!), make sure that you won't need that pair of jeans ever again and simply launch yourself".

Cooper's Hill is near Brockworth in the Cotswolds and it stands between Gloucester, Cheltenham and Stroud. The Cooper's Hill Cheese Rolling races take place each Spring Public Holiday, which this year will be on Monday 29th May, 2006, at mid-day.

There are thousands of non-competitors and if, like them, you prefer to watch from a safe distance while others risk life and limb, a perfect picnick would be Double Gloucester cheese with chives, a pickled onion and a glass of beer.

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