I have been a bit quiet of late and that is because I have been busy. I’ve been in training to keep the squirrels out of the Olympic Stadium, practising in my local park, sitting, still, like a sentry and then, when I spot one, GO! But Lord Sebastian Coe has not called me to hire me and now I am not a happy hound. When Mr Coe’s stadium is over-run by squirrels he will only have himself to blame.
Anyway, as my Olympic services are obviously not required, I am back on my paws, travelling Britain with my newshound Egon Bone-ay hat on. And I have been to Amersham, in Buckinghamshire, where Jane’s friend Elisa lives.
Phileas Phact Phans: Amersham is the third richest town in the whole of England. This is according to the Telegraph newspaper in 2008. (My researcher – that is Jane – did try to find some more up to date statistics but after about a second she gave up and went to feed the cat. There is me, squirrel hunting and typing away – important – and there is she, feeding the cat – irrelevant. Division of labour issue.)
The same article (lazy research again from Jane) says that Richard Hammond (The Hamster – chomp!) moved to Amersham and left after three days because he thought the town was too posh.
Here are the pluses and minuses for Amersham being posh.
Evidence For Amersham Being Posh:
- There are no chicken bones on the street. A giveaway!
- The station to catch the train to Amersham is Mary-le-BONE! The excitement! But there are no chicken bones at Mary-le-BONE either so the name is a total con and only raises a little dog’s hopes. Mary-le-NO-BONE would me more appropriate.
- Buildings in the Old Town are half-timbered and very old and only lottery winners can afford to live in them. The man in the paper shop told us this.
- Jaeger and other-such shops are in the Old Town. I know they are posh as Jane grows quite excited if she finds a Jaeger item in a charity shop.
- The Crown, in the Old Town, is a lovely pub with cobbled beer gardens and a gastro menu and white-washed walls and big oak tables and dogs allowed – overnight too. What makes The Crown posh is that some scenes from Four Weddings and a Funeral were filmed in it and everyone knows Hugh Grant is super-posh. If Jane was having a posh, romantic weekend, say, with persons unknown, and I were to be invited, to chaperone, as would be only correct, then I would say The Crown would be the place. The Crown, 16 High Street, Old Amersham, Bucks, HP7 ODH Tel: 01494 721541; www.thecrownamersham.com Prices start at £188 per room per night, including dinner.
- The Swan, another dog-friendly pub in the Old Town, does not serve Red Bull for commoners like Jane and Elisa and Julie to put in their vodka. This can only mean The Swan is posh. The Swan, 122 High Street, Amersham, Bucks, HP7 OED Tel: 01494 727079; www.theswanamersham.co.uk
Evidence Against Amersham Being Posh:
- Elisa is not posh, in the slightest, and she has lived in Amersham for a year. Elisa once fed me an olive and made me sick and that is not the sign of someone with good breeding.
- Jane, Elisa and Julie do not have posh nights out in Amersham. Some of the behaviour I have witnessed in the Old Town’s hostelries on a Saturday night would make a Golden Retriever blush.
Jane’s favourite pub in Amersham is The Eagle and in there, on Saturday nights, a man called Sid – a senior citizen, if you will – croons old Frank Sinatra tunes and people in the pub sing along raucously and raise their arms in the air. This is not posh behaviour. The Eagle, 145 High Street, Amersham, Bucks, HP7 ODY Tel: 01494 725262; www.theeagleamersham.co.uk
- The dogs in Amersham lift their legs against lampposts, just like the rest of us.
- Horses and cows in the countryside – horses and cows are not posh. I have tried to converse with these creatures and concluded that, far from being upper class, they are half-witted. Not like us dogs!
Anyway, these horses and cows can be posh-tested on the amaze-bones walks around Amersham. It is on a walking route called The Chiltern Way and we have walked all the way from Amersham to Chalfont St Giles, the next place along, which is three miles away through hills and fields of corn and wooded woodland woods.
So, I have done my research and my maths and all that makes 26 points for Amersham being posh and 259 against. There – is not posh at all. Richard Hammond need not have worried. And it gives a warm welcome to us dogs so, even if it is posh, it is not too posh to pooch.