Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Finding my kit for HQ...



After some considerable work in understanding the odds, I have worked out that I would be the two-hundred-and-nine thousandth player to receive a call from Eddie Jones, to join the England squad at Twickenham!

It's not an easy time, sitting by the telephone, waiting for the call, which would mean that I would have to rush out and buy some new boots, some thermal vests, a reinforced jock-strap, and, a new leather scrum cap with chin laces, to replace the one my dad used. I'd also have to get up in the roof, to see if indeed, Mrs Scroblene had sent my shorts to the dustman!

I'd have about three hours to dubbin the boots and file the nails in the studs, but pride of pride, I'd still have my own blue and white socks from my playing days at Hastings and Bexhill! They were used for years and never wore out, such that both Yd and ED had them for Father Christmas's numerous visits, and they still bear the loops stitching from being hung on their beds! I still wear them in my wellington boots, so Mrs Scroblene might have to do a power wash and perhaps an industrial bleach!



It's an exiting time, and while the call-up may be a little time away, I'll still wait near the landline (he hasn't got my mobile number for some reason), and wonder where I'll put my glasses when I pull that white shirt over my greying head...

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Delicatessen search...



What happened to these delightful places?

Mrs Scroblene and Scrobs can hardly be described as foodies, but we still enjoy non-junk food, especially as we've grown a lot of it ourselves.

Several years ago, there used to be a fabulous shop in Rye High Street, known as Millers. We vaguely knew the owners, who both worked hard behind the counter, and my dad would spend ages in there, drooling over the great displays of hams and cheeses. He once bought a half-stilton, and religiously fed it with port until the Christmas celebrations started, and most of it had gone by the New Year...

These days, you have to search hard to find a place where you can buy the real thing, rather than a pre-packed, tasteless object with some silly name. We now find that it's quality rather than quantity which is the norm. Gone are the days of a big steak or a fat burger, so we search high and low for the best we can afford, and buy just a little of that particular comestible, and it seems to work too!

There is a new genre of farm shop appearing in various places too. Locally sourced groceries and fresh bread and fish all come at a premium, but at least it looks good, and just a couple of slices of this, and a small piece of that is becoming a bit of a habit these days.

I often wondered what our shopping habits would have been like had we stayed in Rye. Millers has long gone, and the Budgens is dire, so it would mean a car journey to Jempsons in Peasmarsh for the next best thing!

Or a good country farm shop...

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Instructions for alcohol...



As Scrobs sips his way through a dismal January, he wonders why suddenly he is even more of a pariah than last year!

Why am I being told by a little white-coat from some backside like Oldham, that I need to stop the slurps for two days a week, and even then, cut the numbers of slurps! Why aren't I being told to do all this by some hugely-paid bureaucrat in Brussels? Something to do with the monks of Leffe maybe?

Surely, there is a large section of some glittering building somewhere in the EU, where huge payments are made to people to decide what to do with the results of an Excel spreadsheet, divided by the number of breweries and wine-lake administrators, and come up with a figure to scream at normal people like Scrobs and Mrs Scroblene.

Little politicians with huge salaries never realise that whatever they say creates a market, although they should understand, but hey, what the hell, they're paid by the state, so it doesn't matter does it! You only have to look at the globule worming scandal to see where they have got it so wrong, and lets all check the websites of fat companies who saw that one coming as soon as some creep with a few votes decided to try and make a difference, and failed...

So if you really want to be told how much wine you're allowed, start in December! Any takers? No, I thought not!

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Pole expedition...

Scrobs - and Mrs Scroblene - have decided not to be involved with any North or South Pole expeditions.

It has been a difficult decision, we were all ready with padded jackets, big boots, a warm coat for JRT, and all the trimmings like lemon juice and sugar sweeties, but it came home to us just today...

It's just too damn cold!

We passed the village pond which was iced over, and had the two resident ducks retired to a quiet corner under the trees, and there was the resident feeder, chucking bread all over the place for the ducks, and the rats, and the seagulls, all of which meant that we were not ready for cold weather!

I leaked from the eyes. the nose, the ears, and also dribbled because the temperature was 0 degrees...

Not good for future years, although JRT liked bouncing among the snow, until she realised it was so bloody cold and possibly affected the unmentioneables...

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

The previous network...

Last evening, I had to attend a local meeting to ask if something or other could be done by my local council.

When I arrived with a chum, we sat and listened to a presentation by a big builder, to get support for some houses a couple of miles away. I'd actually seen the drawings in the local offices, and thought they looked pretty good, but wasn't aware that the builder - a national name, would also be tugging his forelock to the council members, who were all arrayed in a big semi-circle.

When he was in full flow, I suddenly recognised him from way back, and after the meeting, we had a nice friendly chat and I wished him luck etc, and we went our separate ways!

But for the life of me, I couldn't remember his name...

In the old days, I'd have been, Tom this and Jack that, and Marie the other (watch it), but this time I was really stumped, and wandered out of the meeting in a bit of a daze!

It comes with retirement no doubt...

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Dynamo boy...



When Scrobs was a real squit about sixty years ago, he was given his first bike. It was a Hercules Jeep, and had been though several owners, but to a budding Scrobs it was a passport to travel anywhere within a ten mile radius of the Senior Scrobs Turrets!

It had those funny bar brakes, not cables, and a saddle which was so highly sprung that even then, I found I knew a lot about girls and children an' all that...

This dear old bike was eventually sold for £2.10s, and some time after, my parents surprised me with a brand new bike for my birthday, which was a Triumph Palm Beach - very like this one,


...and it had three gears too! I used to dream about going up hills on a whim, and those magical words 'Sturmey Archer' were imprinted on my brain with a fire brand! I'd dream of several hills being ridden at speed, and believe it or not, I can still recall a dream about one small stretch of hill, which I could show you to this day!

That Christmas, I was also mightily happy to receive a real dynamo light kit for this bike. It was the state of the art, and whirred for several years, until a 50cc moped became a requirement on a certain birthday. I have a dynamo light on my bike these days, and it isn't burnished aluminium, but it still works - until I stop, which is a bit of an insight into life really...

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Rigger walk...



Some time ago, there was some general discussion about rigger boots here, and even the venerable Tuscan Tony joined in, so you can see how long ago the post was!

It's only recently, that I have discovered that these items of protective footwear have a mind of their own! I have two pairs, one of which is deemed waterproof, but isn't, the other is just bloody heavy, but warm. The non-waterproof ones are good for such deeds as dog-walking or light gardening, while the others are for heavy-duty work such as slab-laying, brickwork etc, because they both have steel toecaps capable of withstanding the whole weight of the EU's books on elfunsafteee, thrown from a tower the height of Babel...

But as Scrobs' legs get older, and less manipulative, it has been a bit of a revelation to learn a new way of walking in these containers!

You need to use the weight of each boot to swing your (my) enfeebled legs forward at each step. This entails walking at a much slower pace, and is the sole reason why some building contracts over-run, because if every tradesman or labourer on site has to reduce his or her walking speed, then a ten percent extra is to be expected on all labour rates, so builders have to beware the manufacturers of these boots, who are clearly on the case for other builder's claims etc!

You just cannot run in these contraptions; you need to get a rhythm of forward motion, with your sights on another couple of feet of ground, onto which the next boot clumps its weight, and this action continues, rather like Gromit does in one of those old flicks! It takes several seconds to stop walking when wearing these chaps, which may even account for some industrial accidents, especially if you are on scaffolding a mile high, and cannot stop before the rail at the end!

So all in all, doing the Rigger Walk is a phenomenon which is secretly with us, and possibly the most misunderstood reason why it costs so much more to build anything these days!