Given that the Shotover is a pretty remote and relatively small place, it was impressive that it had made it into the national newspapers.
'Huzzar!' I thought to myself, 'the residents of deepest, darkest Oxfordshire have finally made it, and are now firmly on the map!'
Unfortunately, I hadn't properly read the title of the article, or I wouldn't have been celebrating in such a premature fashion. It was: 'The doughty baronet and the doggers: Sir Beville's polite war on al fresco liaisons on his estate'.
As the title suggests, it was an article about people partaking in an activity called 'dogging' in a layby just off the the A40 road. And because I am like Mother Theresa except not as dead, I have included this link to explain dogging, for all those people who don't yet experience this phenomena in their country (it seems to be a predominantly British pastime). Please be warned, it describes acts of a rude nature, and you don't want to be caught looking at it by your co-workers because they will instantaneously assume that you partake in it. And if you tried to explain that you didn't, you would end up looking even more guilty.
Anyway, as if the rampant 'dogging' activity wasn't scandal enough, it transpired that it wasn't just the layby that the doggers were using.
Their, ermmm.... "activity".... had spilled into the nearby Shotover Park which borders onto it. Just to put it into context, Shotover Park is home to the extremely posh Shotover House; a stately home that has been visited by both Queen Elizabeth I in 1592, and Queen Elizabeth II in 1991. That is, it's the kind of place that you visit to have afternoon tea with your pinky finger sticking out, as opposed to open-air shenanigans.
So, it transpired that I lived less than a mile away from the lurid underbelly of polite Oxfordshire society. How bally exciting!
The owner of Shotover Park and House is Sir Beville Stainer, and he has apparently started to get rather pissed off having to drive past copulating couples on the way into his estate, and step over used condoms to enter the house. Quite understandable really.
Pic.No.1 Sir Beville outside Shotover House which is located in Shotover Park
Pic.No.2 A map showing the dogging area
So that is the latest scandal to hit Forest Hill and the surrounding area.
Dogging is a funny hobby really, quite different to knitting or stamp collecting. And what is really weird is that it only seems to be very prevalent in the UK. What's that all about then?
P.S. I was researching 'dogging' to find out what it was all about, and there are some eyebrow-raising sites out there.
Update 7th December
Because I am kind, and because Candice suggested it, I nipped out today and took some pictures of the dogging layby for you to look at.
Pic.No.1.The layby is off to the left of the road but it isn't that clear
Pic.No.2. A lorry parked up in the A40 layby. That doesn't mean he was dogging though