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Culture clash

3 years ago

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Henry Catchpole | Journalist


12 October 2021

You’d think that waking up feeling like a half-cooked boil-in-the-bag ready meal would be something to forget. A portion of meat soaked in alcohol. Coq au vin. Although I was rather more beer battered. But the memory of lying there in that hideously hot tent, a stone’s throw from a dual carriageway, has lived with me for the last decade and a half.

The mid-morning sun was beating down through the pale green waterproof skin of the dome above me, exacerbating the dehydration that the gallons of Kronenbourg had already been working away on. I couldn’t quite see the badger that had clearly been trying to nest in my mouth, but I felt sure it must be close by. Monster mosquitoes also seemed to be sporadically dive-bombing my ears.

Through this hungover haze, I wondered how the race was going. When I’d crawled into my sleeping bag as the sun rose an Audi had been leading. Obviously.

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