Now that one can no longer romp around the countryside chasing foxes on horseback... One's self on horseback, not the foxes you understand. One is obliged to take up other open-air activities during the week-end.
Alongside shooting and seal-clubbing, one of the most invigorating pastimes that I've found is the riding of a motorcycle.
But what motorized bicycle to purchase?
For the beginner something practical without too much power is preferable. Something like a Honda C90 moped is easily mastered.
These are the sort of things that one sees on the television being ridden by the local populace when the BBC transmits a report from one of the colonies. You know the sort of thing; Large windscreen to stop the flies getting stuck in one's teeth, big boxes on the side and back to carry one's tiffin in, and a top speed that is so slow that it allows the servants to run along beside it.
It is however, quite difficult to jump a five-bar gate with a Honda C90. For something that would be able to get over the sticks it would be worthwhile investing in a more powerful steed. Something like a Yamaha WBR 250.
Mr Yamaha is an oriental gentleman who has his workshop in Japan where he puts together all of the nuts and bolts and things to produce his motorcycles. And the result is a sprightly machine that positively skips along the highways and byways.
As an aside; one can also utilise one's redundant jodhpurs as attire when motorcycling. I've found that they provide the same levels of comfort as before, with the added advantage of receiving admiring glances and calls from the local tradesmen with their white vans and sweat-stained singlets.
"Whoo-Hooo!" they cry. And "Gettum out darling" they say. It can be quite flattering if one only knew what they were shouting about.
As I was voted Debrett's 'Rear of the year' at the Dorchester thirty years ago, I do actually have some idea of what I'm talking about.
Or was it 'Arse of the Class?' I can't remember now.
So much for the lightweights. What about something hard and thrusting I hear you say.
Lucinda Flap-Gussett swears by her BMW F650. Although take care when sitting astride the big German. You have to take it firmly in the hand or it will give a quick spurt before rolling over and laying motionless at the side of the road, and no cajoling will get it back up.
Imagine that you're playing sardines at Clarence House and have found yourself in a cupboard under the stairs with the Duke of Northampton. Use the same wrist technique with the BMW as you would do there and you won't get any nasty surprises.
The Triumph Street Triple is really the only motorcycle to be seen on when being presented at court. It has a certain grace that is normally only found at Winchester or during a performance of Swan Lake at Covent Garden. Betty 2 at Buck House is thinking of getting one for the next Trooping of the Colour.
Apparently, her horse piddled over the Nigerian Ambassador last time, and the Boy Cameron said that we don't own the place any-more, and had to be nice to the Nigerians otherwise they would cut off our foreign aid money.
Dammed cheek if you ask me, but there you are.
But for sheer size and brute force, the American Harley Davidson 'Fat Boy' is hard to beat. The seat is so wide that one can ride the thing while wearing a full evening dress without anything getting caught in the machinery. It also makes a most satisfying deep bass rumble, a bit like a farting hippo. And the handlebars on the 'Chopper' version allow one to sit erect and proud as one trundles along Windsor High Street shattering the hearing of the common people as they scurry along the pavements on the way to their bingo halls and betting shops.
All of the above can be purchased at less than the cost of a week-end stay at one of the better hotels in the Bahamas, or the price of an average racehorse. And if you can get one of the staff to fill the thing with petrol you can use your motorcycle again and again.
Biking. An absolute boon.