Tuesday, 16 October 2018


Back in the sixties, Scrobs used to listen to Radio London, and hear some of the best music around.

One track, first played - I think - by John Peel, was 'America', by The Nice, and Scrobs was blown away - well, he would have been, had he not been tucked up in bed with the wireless about six inches from his left ear, and smoking a Players Gold Leaf...

This was something fabulous! Great music for a twenty-year old, and a cert for 6s/6d down at the record shop in Hastings!

Wind back a few years. My lovely sister was given a lot of 33rpm records for her twenty-first birthday, and one of them was West Side Story. We played the lot on our new 'steeeerio', and I just loved Berstein and Kostal's music. It was magical, and unbelievably vibrant.

Backward a few years and more, now at school, there was always an annual House Music competition. There was a set song, where everyone (about seventy of us blokes), would bawl some awful song planted on us by the Director of Music, (or occasionally known as the choirmaster), and then there would be a podium for anyone to add to the points for each house, to get the 'prize'.

Scrobs was the first to take a rather cheap guitar, in front of three-hundred other boys, and play a tune. I'd asked a chum (who was tone deaf), if he'd accompany me, but eventually, he realised that he was hopeless, so, a bereft Scrobs decided to do the whole shebang as a solo piece.

Bugger me, I had to combine all sorts of notes to make 'Tonight' sound anything like a recognisable song, but luckily, it worked, and I beat some Welsh Junior Assembalist youth viola player to the prize - much to his annoyance, but he was a bit of a prat so who cares!

So now, as President Trump is bringing so much value in the USA, with profound hard work, dismissal of the awful bbc and cnn etc, the great ol' country is alive and kicking, and I put it all down to the fact that I won a 7s/6d Boots voucher for winning the strings section in the house music!

Thursday, 11 October 2018

The day we went to Bangor...

Senora O'Blene and I often chortle this gorgeous song, usually tinctures in hand before supper, as out of the pair of us, a certain person (not me), makes up outrageous lines and words, which need to be kept under wraps as far as the tender ears of youngsters, small animals and various spinsters of the parish are concerned!

I was interested to see that others have had the same idea, but being a fine upstanding Scrobs, with no need to listen to other versions, here is the best one - the original!

Sorry about the ad at the beginning - they're just blasted irritating aren't they!

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

As cold as charity, and charity's chilly...

Image result for ode to a road a272

In Pieter and Rita Boogaart's superb travel book about the A272, which is a famous East/West route from East Sussex to Winchester, there are so many unheard facts, that it's difficult to keep up, and it all needs reading again!

I used to travel that route regularly from about 1975, as I had a lot of work in Hampshire, and much of the motorway network hadn't been built. It would always take me three hours to get to Winchester, however fast I drove, because all the traffic would meet up again in the lovely towns like Petworth and Midhurst, so an average of 40 mph was the order of the day, and it hardly ever changed.

Of the snippets which pepper every page, there's a couple which I was interested to learn about. One is that the origin of a lychgate on a church wall, was originally to accept a dead body at a funeral, and hopefully the vicar stayed in the dry! The funeral service started at that point.

I told this to a good friend who hails from the North, and she told me that the particular ritual also applied to weddings - mostly in Yorkshire! I always thought they were a sort of folly or just a plain architectural addition, but the idea originally was that once at the church gates, one either went on to be spliced, with no escape, or finished up 6ft under, ditto...

But another item caught my imagination. The author covers some detail on The Cokelers.


Reading between the lines, it seems that they were a slighly odd sect, and didn't really seem to want to enjoy themselves either, but they did a lot for charity, and I suppose their pious intent never did anyone any harm, apart from discouraging marriage, which may well have turned out a bit tiresome at the local dance hall...

I've started several chums on ths book, and we all compare notes - it's well worth a read...

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Bring back the real 'Summer Game'...

As the cricket season squeaks and bangs to a halt, and 'stumps' is called all over the UK, I have to reflect on how little I watched this past season.

Back when I was a boy, my dad would always have the TV on for the cricket while he worked in the garden. He'd pop back in to watch an over or two, open a can of light ale, then carry on with whatever he was doing, content in the knowledge of Cowdrey's century becoming a possibility, or Boycott starting to get runs after three hours.

Now the awful BBC hardly ever shows any cricket, I miss all that, but there are rumours that the terrestrial TV services may take some of the viewing back, which could be interesting. I hope so.

Skipping through some earlier cricket Youtube clips recently (it was rumoured that Don Bradman's family came from around here, and I wanted to find out more), I found some great footage of the 1981 Ashes, when Ian Botham scored a memorable 149 not out, but the other star was Bob Willis taking 8 for 43 in an incredible spell of great bowling!

And watching these clips again, made me feel rejuvenated and even elated, to see such a great game, well played, and without the snarling, spitting, sledging which infests such great events these days.

Perhaps the 'Summer Game' has gone too far towards money, advertising and 'sleb' status now, I hope not, but when I can next switch on the TV, open a can of gardening beer, and enjoy a few overs before I cut the grass, I'll be a happier Scrobs than I am now!

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Tinker Dill - R.I.P...

So sad to see that Dudley Sutton died yesterday. Of course, he was getting on a bit, and amazingly still working up to the end, but he was a treasure in our eyes, and we remember so much about him!

His character in Lovejoy was just marvellous, especially when he was with Chris Jury, but of course, when Ian McShane was in the scene, almost anything could happen, and invariably did!

Mrs O'Blene and I still say to this day, an immortal line from an advert for some long-forgotten product, where he meets his mates in a pub, with a wry smile, exclaiming 'She wants her bath oil', in that inimitable rounded voice which was unique to him!

We bought the whole set of all the Lovejoys a couple of years ago, and it is going to be such a pleasure seeing his antics again, when we start watching the screen in October.

While you're up there Tink, could you have a look at that fake angel please...

Friday, 7 September 2018

Golden nectar...

The gorgeous tipple is almost unavailable around here now. Even Tesco doesn't stock it any more!

What is so strange is that here we are, in The Garden of England, with apple trees everywhere (yes, still), and there are hardly any craft distillers making it.

I've found one, Greensand, but their apple brandy is still in cask, so we'll need to wait awhile, but come on, we're only a few miles from Normandy as well, and they make the stuff everywhere!

Anyway, the pic shows one of our favourites, and when the apple season really starts to motor, I'll be on the lookout up to fifty miles in any direction...

Saturday, 25 August 2018


Scrobs has just saved nearly £110.00 on insuring our VW Golf. (See Scrobs passim re EU nasties/wasters and all that crap about pollution).

It's well known that anyone hanging in with their old insurer pays well over the odds for them to make it cheaper for newcomers, but this is really taking the proverbial!

A 30% reduction for exactly the same 'service' is much better in our pocket than Churchill's! And the new insurer is a big four bank!

Senora O'Blene and I can now dine out on several occasions, where we may not have been able to do in future months...