Here we go Again (I’m running out of titles)

A big hello to all my growing army of fans – it’s true – I have one more…

… so this guy is an old school-friend and as one of my neighbours said (the one with two kids – well a kid and a monster) he must be really old.  He’s nearly fifty as it happens.

To digress slightly: –

“The monster” is a lovely kid for 99% of the time and he just goes off on one.  Last time me and MLW babysat for him and his sister, MLW had to hit me with the frying pan to make me take my hands off his throat.  Mind you he had passed through that purple colour stage and was turning navy blue.  Only kidding LS – wishful thinking really.

Anyway this little six-year-old fecker has just been across to my house with a plate-full of paella.  His speech was obviously well-rehearsed and went along the lines of – my Mummy says we had some paella left from our tea and she wanted you to have it so you can eat it later.  (MLW is away for two weeks).  The little speech was absolutely fabulous and touched my heart.

As he ran back home across the street he looked back and shouted – And don’t forget to bring the plate back!  Bless him.

Where was I?  Oh yeah.  My latest fan.  The one with twenty-two siblings.  Who I haven’t seen or heard from in decades.

My mate was always much more worldly-wise than I was – I suppose because I lived in a little farming village where the streetlights went out at midnight and he was from a “Town & Port” in East Yorkshire.  He was the first person I knew with a CV – he even knew the full Latin term and what it meant.  I didn’t even know what a CV was and he bloody had one.  The smart arse.

There are many entertaining stories from our childhood/adolescence and I will relate one now.

My big sister lived in Scarborough after she got married – whoo hoo – free holidays.  They never complained but the string of visitors must have been a right pain in the arse.  Anyway me and my mate were staying with my sister-by-the-sea.  Both of us were big lads for our age and had reached the stage when we wanted to start going in to pubs and start our drinking career.

My mate knew that if two of you walked into the pub together, one of you asked for both drinks.  Apparently asking for your own drink and then your mate asking for his is a dead give away that you’re underage.  Oh – and you ask for two pints of bitter – not two pints of beer.  That’s another faux pas for the newly-fledged young drinker.  All you lady readers don’t know half the problems young men have to put up with.  Compared to your “curse” we had a myriad of problems…

Tying a Windsor knot/how much brylcream to use/which barber wouldn’t knacker your quiff/trying to look cool wearing a school cap/… I could go on.

Right – we’re in a Yorkshire seaside town in the mid-1960’s.  We’re gagging to start drinking.  We’re shit-scared to walk into a pub – or at least I was.

Whoops – run out of time – I’m invited out to tea.  The paella’s in the fridge and will be my Sunday lunch.  I’ll endeavour to finish this tale tomorrow.

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Some Saturday Night Ramblings

I have two siblings and as children we weren’t particularly buddies as there were four and eight years between us with me being the baby.  The other pair were both war babies and I was born in 1949.  I suppose Hitler was the cause of most family planning from 1939 – 1945.

As my father had missed the early years of my brother and sister’s upbringing, when I came along my mother said”this one’s yours”.  I didn’t find out this information ’til I was in my forties and another bombshell was that told me she didn’t like me when I was a kid.  She made up for it when I grew up.  Bless her.

I don’t remember our house being a very very very fine house when I was young.  We were poor but then so was everybody else so I wasn’t really aware of any poverty – apart from the fact that “no” was said a lot but I just put that down to “parents”.

I have recently got in touch with an old friend of mine.  Thank you Face Book.  We were great pals at school and it was said that we looked alike.  Losing touch is the easiest thing in the world.  All you have to do is nothing.

My pal came from a huge family – there was about twenty of them.  Ah no – I can remember six but here might be one I’ve forgotten.  My mate was the penultimate one and his little brother was extremely quiet compared to the rest of them.  I used to love going to their house as it seemed so happy compared to mine.  His Dad was a small, quiet man (but obviously a tiger where it mattered) and his mother was one of these non-stop work-horses of a woman.  T’was a very happy home.  Despite being a crowded house, I was always made to feel very welcome.

Ho hum.

Anyway – what triggered this piece of nostalgia – apart from the renewed friendship – is that I needed to right a terrible wrong.  I borrowed a book (John Lennon – In His Own Write) and omitted to return it.  A dreadful thing to do to a friend and I am ashamed of myself.  No – I have not returned the book – I’ve bought him a new one.  The original is probably worth ten million pounds now but hey, what the heck!

Sorry old mate.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I went dog-walking this evening and saw a snake.  Its head was probably as thick as my thigh and without a word of a lie it was thirty feet long.  Wait a minute – oh yeah – its head was as thick as my thumb and it was about thirty inches long.  A real long, skinny little bugger.  However, I do have large thumbs.  It saw me before I saw it and it slithered off at great speed.  Thank fuck.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Some or most of you will know that I live on an estate, or urbanisation as it’s known over here.  The vast majority of the people who live on the estate are English and of course vary hugely in their friendliness.  All the houses have bells or buzzers on the gates – apparently you don’t enter a Spanish property until you’re invited in.

There lies the difference in people.  One group (let’s call them the Cummins) invite you in as soon as they see you.  Another group – let’s call them Friendlies – will lie in wait for any passing stranger to invite them in at the drop of a hat.  Yet another group will prowl the streets looking for a free beer – generally these people won’t invite you in through their gate.

There was one guy – he’s gone back to live in the UK now,  I won’t say who it was but his surname was that of a gnawing animal that builds dams and his dog was the name of a very fragrant flower.   He had a pint or two in my house but I never got through his gate.  Mind you – he was an ex-Scotland Yard Inspector.  I’ve digressed.

The last group – let’s call them the Miserable-Sods would not invite you on to their property if it was thundering and lightning.  I was going to call them the Miserable-Twats but My Lovely Wife said that was too rude.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

There you go then – a bit of nostalgia, a righted wrong, a serpent and a moan about neighbours.  MLW is watching a film with an all-female cast – bloody riveting.  It’s called The Women.  Now I’m no Film Critic, but if I was, my review would read something along these lines…

“If you are of the female persuasion and you have fuck all else to do – go see it – it has to be slightly more pleasant than having a dose of thrush.  If you have the old meat-and-two-veg swinging between your legs – do anything else rather than watch this film.  Have a vasectomy, have your chest-hairs waxed, have all your teeth filled without anaesthetic, kick yourself in the balls – all these will be happier experiences”.

‘Bye for now.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Another mower story

This one happened in the early ’80’s…

Whilst perusing the postcards in Snaith paper-shop window – amongst offers of massages etcetera there was one postcard that caught my eye.  A petrol, cylinder mower for sale.  It was a good one too – a Suffolk Colt or Punch or something equally spiffing.

I made a note of the accompanying telephone number and toddled off home.  I rang the number and a strong Irish accent answered.  The mower was in the next village and yes I could go round now.  He gave me the address in his lovely Irish brogue and I was round there like a shot.

I omitted to say that the mower was advertised at £35.  This was a tidy sum in the ’80’s.

I arrived at Chez Paddy and noted that the lawns were immaculate.  He managed to find a bit of uncut grass to demonstrate the mower’s abilities.  Great – stripes and everything.

Now the hard part – the negotiation.  Don’t forget it was £35.

I’ll give you £30 says I.

Give us £25 and it’s yours says he.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now I know that all Irish don’t negotiate this badly because my lovely wife is a demon….

Probably our favourite holiday of all time was when we went to Goa a few Xmasses ago.  Everything in goa is cheap but MLW thought that she had to haggle.

We were browsing one of the local markets one evening and there was this fabulous pair of ornate flip-flops which would have been £20 in Europe, for sale for about the equivalent of £1.20.  MLW offered the poor stall-holder £1.  I had to walk away in shame.

Good holiday though.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Twelve bloody weeks

Hello everybody.  As I sit here typing this, one of my neighbours is screaming his head off.  As he has just broken up from school today for twelve bloody fucking weeks I am uncertain which one of us will survive.  If you’re a betting person – have a bob on me.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I was using a Black & Decker electric saw earlier today and it fell to pieces.  Only two pieces mind but one of these was the blade which decided to part company from the rest of the saw.  You must agree that an electric saw without a blade is not much cop.  I’m fairly optimistic that the saw will repair but where do you buy spares these days?

Anyway this reminded me of a Black & Decker story from the 1970’s….

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I bought one of the very first B & D rotary mowers back in the early ’70’s.  This little mower had no grass-box but as I had only two tiny lawns, it wasn’t a huge chore to rake up the cuttings afterwards.

I mowed merrily away for several years without a problem until one day when the mower refused to start work.  The full extent of my electrical prowess is to change a fuse which is what I did to no avail.  My next step was to put it away in the garage hoping that the fairies would mend it.  This has been known to work but not on this occasion.

Luckily my Dad paid us a visit and asked me why I was so glum.  He worked in Leeds at the time and offered to take it to the B & D Repair Place/Shop located near his office.

Dad took the mower to this shop and when he went to collect it a couple of days later, the nice man said it wasn’t worth repairing but he would allow £10 against a new, improved model.  Dad told him to fu… Dad said it wasn’t his decision to make and he would let him know.

I wasn’t in a position to fork out for a new mower at the time so I waded through the long grass to return the bloody thing to the shed to give the fairies another chance.

During this period, a friend of mine from work called round to make a social call.  This guy was a fitter so his practical side was slightly better than mine (!).

Why so glum he asked.  Come to think of it, I must have looked permanently glum at that time!  I told him the story and he asked if I’d checked my brushes?  Brushes?  Come on, let’s have a look.

The mower was a simple affair – four wheels, a handle and a motor.  The cover to the motor was pop riveted on but I was amazed when my mate Andy (Gill) didn’t let this stop him and the rivets were removed in quick time using brute-force and ignorance.

Surprise, surprise.  Not an electric motor per se but a drill fastened to the chassis and poking through it where a blade was fitted instead of a chuck.  Seemples.  We swapped the brushes in the mower-drill with the brushes in my drill-drill and away went the mower – good as new.  It gave many more years of excellent service.

The black-cloud disappeared from above my head and I was no longer glum.  I was absolutely elated.  I couldn’t thank Andy enough.  The whole job had taken less than half an hour from start to finish.  The motor cover had been bolted on and everything looked as good as new.

Whoa whoa whoa there – elation?  Have you forgotten something?  Oh aye – that twat in the B & D store in Leeds.  Being a grumpy young man in those days, I wasn’t going to let this lie.  I hate, loathe and detest being blatantly ripped-off.  I did then and I do now.  It’s not big and it’s not clever.

I wrote to B & D and received a letter back saying could I describe the man.  I wanted to go to the place with my Dad and rip his throat out but instead I just lost interest.  I was much less tenacious in those days.

I don’t know if it’s coincidence but I don’t think I’ve bought a Black & Decker anything since then.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I have another lawn-mower tail.  If one or two of you “Like” this story I will tell it.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Mixed Bag

Sorry – but I have to mention Pointless again.  There was a pair on yesterday who seemed to be very cleverly matched by God.  The question was to name a member of the Labour Government between 1997 and 2010.  She said Boris Johnson and he said Kenneth Clark.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I would now like to welcome back to our local ants.  They’ve been away on their ant holidays listening to their ant music.  They suddenly returned last Sunday which coincidentally was the day the clocks went forward.

When I walk the dogs, my mind does tend to drift off in all sorts of strange ways so I started wondering where they’d been on holiday.  I came up with the following list: –

  • Antarctica
  • Argantina
  • Southanton
  • Northanton
  • Nantwich

I suppose there are loads more…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Tomorrow is April Fools Day.  It’s also my birthday.  I think it’s a great birthday.  When I was a kid, I hated it.  I now realise it’s a very easy one to remember.  When I was at school there were to other kids in my class with the same birthday.  Three kids out of thirty sharing the same birthday.  What are the odds of that?  Ian Wraith and Julia Rushworth.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Why?

Part of today’s ramblings is – why do stupid people go on TV Quiz Programmes?  As I’ve said before, I’m a big fan of Alexander Armstrong, Richard Osman and Pointless.

There have been some fantastic answers on this over the last few weeks – my favourite being the Geordie woman who thought Twickenham was a First-Class cricket playing county.

One young girl thought General de Gaulle was the leader of the armed forces during the French Revolution.  Another youngish woman when faced with the question of naming a best-selling author said “I don’t know any authors”.  Why show yourself up in front of millions of people?

Do these people have an extra chromosome?  Perhaps they are lacking the chromosome which gives normal people self-awareness.  As Rabbie burns said – “Oh w’u’d some pow’r the giftie gi’ us, to see ourselves as other see us”.

Whilst on the subject of the infamous Mr Burns, I think he is also associated with the saying – “If at first you don’t succeed, throw the bairstard o’er yer heed”.  My favourite poem of his though is – “Upon the hill there stood a coo,  it musta moved it’s no’ there noo”.

Going back to thick/stupid people – what on earth are they teaching kids at school these days?  Eeh – when I were a lad if you didn’t know your 29 times-tables you’d be thrashed within an inch of your life.  Kid’s today don’t even know what a bloody inch is!

That reminds me of an old joke – best told in a Yorkshire accent.

Yorkshireman’s wife of fifty-plus years dies.  He goes to the funeral home and the discuss what he wanted etching on her gravestone.  I would like “She was Thine” says the man “as she was very religious”.  This is agreed with all the other paraphernalia about her being a wonderful wife/mother/grand-mother etcetera.  The man goes back after a couple of days to examine the stonemason’s work.

The wording is perfect – except he’s put “She was Thin” instead what was requested.  The old man isn’t upset but says “You’ve missed out the ‘E'”.  “Go ‘ave a cuppa tea lad and I’ll put it right for thee”.  The old man goes back in  half an hour to discover the gravestone now reads – “Eeh she was thin”.

I wonder why you never read on a gravestone about the miserable, rotten, old fuckers of this world?  I think I’ll write my own before I pop my clogs.

Something along the lines of…

HE WERE A GRUMPY OLD SOD

HE NEVER ADMITTED WHEN HE WAS WRONG

MIND YOU IN FAIRNESS HE WAS USUALLY RIGHT

WE TOLD HIM NINETY-THREE WAS TOO OLD TO RIDE HIS MOTOR-BIKE

HE WAS A GRUMPY OLD SOD BUT HE WILL BE MISSED

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

So then and or but?

If you don’t like people (i.e. me) having a good-old moan then stop reading now.

When I were a lad many many moons ago, I went to Grammar School.  I once saw someone on F/B who said they’d been to Grammer School – the mind boggles!  I must have listened some of the time when I wasn’t gazing at Linda Brewins.  Ah, lovely Linda my first love and the first girl I ever snogged properly.  She finished with me, the rotten cow and went off with a Modern Schooler.

Back to the point Steve…

I don’t remember much about English apart from ignoble is the opposite of noble and don’t start a sentence with any of the words in the title of this blog.

I have just finished reading a book by a guy called Glenn Cooper.  He’s written a few books but this was the first I’d read and it was called The Tenth Chamber.  It was a readable enough tale but about six times a page, Glenn would start a sentence off with “and”.  The story must not have been compelling enough because I started noticing his grammar.  Don’t tell anybody this but I found myself with a pencil in my hand (no idea how it got there) and started crossing out the “ands”.  The sentences all made the same sense.

I became so bloody mad with this fucker that I looked him up on the T’interweb.  Sure enough – he had a website so I sent him a message.  In the message, I soft-soaped him a bit – saying how much I was enjoying his book but then I asked why he started so many sentences with “and” and did he know this was grammatically incorrect?

Amazingly, he wrote back.  He called it “Artistic Licence” and quoted a couple of other authors who also weren’t perfect.  I wrote back to him and said that Roddy Doyle was very difficult to read but four wrongs don’t make a right.

The reason I quoted the very funny Mr Doyle was to show this twat that I’d read other books too!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

They’re there their.  These poor little buggers also get misused a lot too.  As do two, too and to.  Many people use “to” when they mean “too”.

They say the English is a very difficult language to learn.  Tosh.

If foreigners don’t understand words like cough, enough, dough, bough, slough, Slough etcetera, then don’t fucking use them.  Use other words like throat noise, sufficient, raw bread, tree branch, thing what snakes do to get rid of their old skin, Reading etcetera.  There’s always a way round.

What is the point of knowing the plu-perfect or other complicated tense of a verb.  If my Spanish translates as “I go to pub” instead of “I am going to the pub” – so what?  At least they would know I’m not going fucking shopping!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I could go on but I think nearly five hundred words of pure grumpiness is enough for anyone.  Well done if you managed to reach the end.  You must be a fan.  It’s actually over five hundred words now.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment