Saturday, 19 July 2014

Formative drinking and one heck of a thunderstorm...

Last night's storm was really an eye opener!

Back when Scrobs was around the magical age of eighteen, the family lived in a village, where Dad had built the house in 1952. (See Scrobs passim). The house was well up on a natural ridge, and the views to the south were incredible, with Fairlight to the left, Hastings in the middle, and Battle to the right. All of these are several miles distant.

Whenever there was a thunderstorm - like the one last night, Dad used to get up and watch it all happening, because you could see lightning for miles in all directions, and it was one of his abiding pleasures! In true form, I heard the first roll of thunder at around 2.30am, and went into YD's old room to see lightning flashing in all directions, including some superb forked strikes nearby! It really was spectacular, even though the views from The Turrets are more limited because of the churchyard trees!

And to complete the yarn, as it's my birthday today, Mrs Scroblene is taking me to lunch at the very pub a hundred yards away from the old house, where all my formative drinking became a pleasing pastime!

We used to know it as The Broad Oak Inn back then.

The Landlord was a funny old boy back then, and could either be grumpy or very kind, and you probably wouldn't really have noticed the difference on some days, and his beer came from barrels stacked behind the bar, and the only food he sold was crisps and arrowroot biscuits! It's changed  now, and there's a car park, a big room and a great garden for children, but the lure of the possibility of meeting an old formative drinking chum from the sixties is an additional aspiration...!

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Credits where credit's due...

With Dame Janet Smith's enquiry into sex scandals at the BBC being published later on this year. it struck me that this must be the easiest investigation ever, for one simple reason!

Everyone sits back at the end of a programme and ignores the screen, even if it is a dire 'celeb reality' waste of money, or a weedy modern play, but still the credits roll up the screen and every name of everyone involved in the production reels off. So we have the director, the producer, the gaffer (ha ha ha), the dogsbody etc, all emblazoned for the world to see!

So it must be the easiest job in the world for Inspector Knacker to come along and ask all these published witnesses in a serious voice, what they were up to on the day children and vulnerable youngsters were molested, and what they did about it! What did they see? Were they in the dressing rooms at the time that it was all a bit quiet? Who was the chap sidling along with a fake clip-board? What did the parents say? Were the parents even there?

I'm sure the BBC inquiry will be aware of this, and hopefully, we will not get the whitewash which is expected! It's bad enough expecting politicians to cough up when they're cornered, but there must be several names on the TV credits, who may be just more than a little worried by now!

But we have their names eh..?

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Country life...

Mrs Scroblene and I agreed a couple of weeks ago, that we would have to tackle the old raspberry bed, which has now been overrun with couch grass a yard high...

Why these tasks seem such a good idea around 8.00pm, I've no idea, (something to do with an embrocation or two I suspect), but we started on a patch of near derelict ground about seven yards by three, so that would be twenty-one man/lady hours of digging and sorting!

The raspberry plants are all very old, probably near fifteen years old, and last year they were pretty dour, so it wouldn't be too great a loss! Looking at older pictures of them, there's hardly any grass intertwined, as Mrs Scroblene spent a happy hour or three weeding them a couple of years ago! We need more room for spuds next year, and this will be an ideal way to get the three more beds we need, when we give up our half-plot (across the way) in October!

We finished on Saturday morning, and it took less time than we thought, as it wasn't couch grass, but just incredibly tight - er - ordinary grass, and the raspberry roots were just stifled! In some spots, I couldn't even get a fork in, and had to bash it until a crack appeared!

So we eventually got all the greenery and raspberry roots out, and I finally spent a happy couple of hours with the Terrex Fork, and got even more depth, then manured it all from our stash, formed the two paths and finally tilled it late on Saturday. We're trying mustard green manure on the three beds and will give them a chance to get back to normal by next year!

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Smoking, the new divorce...

The other day, I was at a village gathering and chatting with two ladies, who are good friends.

For some reason, there was an awful smell coming from some passing traffic, and one of my chums began to look queasy, and had to explain that she has some sort of allergy to petrol fumes.

The conversation veered towards smoking, and after a few nervous glances, we all 'outed', to admit that we all used to be ferocious smokers years ago, and then the 'guilt' began to emerge! One chum was always on forty Marlboroughs a day, or sixty when she was playing golf, the other chum mentioned how she was always stressed driving the kids to school, and chain-smoked on every trip! I for my part confessed that I was an inveterate pipe smoker, inhaling everything there was going for several years! We all knew the roundabout just out of London, where I'd stuff my Falcon pipe with Gold Block, and reach home in a grey fug an hour later...

And why the connection with divorce?

I don't know really, but smoking now gets the same attention as divorce did in the fifties and sixties, and that's about it!

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Shades of Mr Bangelstein...

A young monk arrived at the monastery. He is assigned to helping the other monks in copying the old Canons and Laws of the Church by hand.

He notices, however, that all of the monks are
copying from copies, not from the original manuscript.

So, the new monk goes to the Old Abbot to question this, pointing out that if someone made even a small error in the first copy, it would never be picked up!

In fact, that error would be continued in all of
the subsequent copies.

The head monk, says, "We have been copying
from the copies for centuries, but you make a
good point, my son." 

He goes down into the dark caves underneath the monastery where the original manuscripts are held
as archives, in a locked vault that hasn't
been opened for hundreds of years. Hours go by and nobody sees the Old Abbot.

So, the young monk gets worried and goes down to look for him. He sees him banging his head against the wall and wailing.

"We missed the 
R! We missed the R!
We missed the bloody R!"

His forehead is all bloody and bruised and he is crying uncontrollably. The young monk asks the old abbot, "What's wrong, father?"

With a choking voice, the old Abbot replies,

"The word was .....