Victoria rang me and insisted that, since I was now mentally "well", I should join her for a weekend house party down by the sea in Devonshire. The Quattroporte eased smoothly ahead of the traffic escaping London and we made good time until Stonehenge, when we were first slowed and then halted by a crowd of what Victoria said were "travellers". To me they looked more like extras from some idiotic Kevin Costner movie. They were all dreadlocked and scraggly bearded, "travelling" in a convoy of dilapidated minibuses, caravans and, in one case, an old ambulance. When we eventually managed to overtake, I slowed right down next to the leader of the pack and told him that he should get a job and stop clogging up the road for people with a purpose in life. The guy went frickin' mental. I could barely understand him but I could immediately see that he was one of these middle-class assholes who hadn't been able to live up to his parents' expectations and so had totally done the opposite and dropped out of society. A lot of his anger was clearly to do with the fact that, deep down, he actually longed for a car and a life like mine. I waved my Richard James wallet at him and pressed the pedal to the metal. It's moments such as these that make life worth living.
We got to Victoria's friends' estate in about an hour and I cruised up the drive and parked right near the marquee that stood on the front lawn by the lake. This was a serious pad and I wanted the local hob-nobs to know that I was a Player. As I opened Victoria's door I saw a couple of envious looks. Good old Quattroporte, she never fails to impress. Our hosts were both very big in the City and had no kids, so were leading a hedonistic, extravagant, DINKY lifestyle. It was heaven. The place was packed with boys' toys and we were soon zooming around on quad-bikes and firing paintball guns at each other like we were 12 years old. The grounds were enormous, if I got a place like this, I could actually consider living in the country for a while. I told Victoria this as we were dressing for the big dinner. It was somebody's birthday. I wasn't sure whose. She was over the moon and gave me a big hug. This quickly led to us getting undressed again. There's something about the country air and the Coop in boxers...
So we get down to the marquee and have this bacchanalian evening, and I mean serious big-style. It was like an evening at Freddy Mercury's, without the gay stuff - trays of wonderfully illegal matters and weird darkened sections of the marquee where some extreme strangeness went on. This was a good party... a really good party, like Blair never happened. At midnight, the guy who owned the place announced that he was reforming the estate's fox-hunt. It had been defunct for about 30 years and anyone who was interested could come and help kick it off the next morning. Hunting is now seriously cool since Blair banned it and everyone cheered and then turned their attentions back to the debauchery. I'd never really ridden a horse before, let alone hunted, but I was determined to have a go. The next morning, probably a little later than planned, about 30 of us assembled by the stables where two "lads" were getting us all mounted and ready for action.
"Everyone ridden before?" they asked. Everyone nodded including me. There's no way that The Coop was owning up to horse virginity. I got on board and managed to sit quite comfortably on a big beautiful grey horse. I was loving this and felt like a god. We followed a large pack of hounds out past some barns and into the fields. The trotting I could manage, but my ass was really starting to hurt and then some gates were coming up and everyone was starting to ride faster and faster. It was becoming something of a blur but I clung on, horns blaring as the guy next to me shouted: "Sabs, fucking hunt saboteurs, ride right through 'em."
My horse got pulled into the undertow of the others and went off like a rocket. I was holding on for dear life and totally out of control. Ahead of me loomed an enormous hedge and I could see the saboteurs running towards me on the other side. My horse took off over it as I clung to her neck like a drowning man. I must have blacked out. When I woke up I was lying in the mud at the bottom of the hedge with my back in total agony. I could see three figures looking down at me.
"Well, wot' 'ave we 'ere then. If it's not the bald git with the big mouth and the flash car." I couldn't believe it, it was the leader of the hippy road train I'd passed the day before. He looked like some gypsy king from a terrible West End musical and he had me just where he wanted me. I knew that I was fucked. I did what any sensible man would do and started to weep and beg for forgiveness. I could see the look of disgust in his eyes but I didn't care. My tactics worked as he started to lose interest as other horses approached but, just as I thought I'd got away with it, he turned around and gave me a huge kick to the groin that has put me out of pre-marital action for at least three weeks. I should have learnt my lesson in Oxford. I am never leaving London again without a handgun. Come the Tory revolution these fuckers are the first up against the wall. Cooper Out.