That’s right, I’ve just coined a new term: rarking, as in rural parking. I thought it was in the British spirit of things, like the way they call walking in the countryside “rambling.” I noticed this British phenomenon — rarking, not giving things that already have names new special names — again today when we were out riding our bikes around the ‘Wolds. On a little country lane near Yanworth we passed a couple staring into the middle distance from inside their parked car. I like to think they were faking this zen poise having been wildly necking moments before they noticed someone was coming, but somehow I doubt it.
Such rarking seems to be a bona fide hobby of a certain demographic of Brits, mostly nearly-but-not-quite-elderly drivers of Ford Mondeos. Sometimes the rarkers are eating a sandwich or even an ice cream, but mostly they just sit. They could easily leave the car and go for a walk or even, gasp, lay a blanket outside and enjoy the fresh air. But no, they prefer sitting in the car, as if the steel is some sort of protective shield between them and the possibility of a little too much stimulation brought on by the sheer beauty of the countryside. I want to stop and tell them that stiff upper lip works best when tolerating pain rather than experiencing pleasure, but I just ride on by.