Friday, 23 August 2019

Dartford mare...

(The booths are gone, but the traffic remains the same...)

Scrobs had to go to Chelmsford earlier in the week. The journey used to be quite a short and pleasant trip back in the eighties, when I had a lot of work in East Anglia, but this time - whoooooa - what an absolute mare!

Of course, the Scrobmobile is the sort of car that seventy-somethings like driving, and if they brought out a VW Rugby, I’d probably buy two, but anyway, the doddle up to North Kent was the usual slow meander, until the Dartford Tunnel approach tail-back started eight miles before the actual crossing! It took me half an hour to cross, and about the same on the way back.

I can easily remember visiting a favourite aunt and uncle near Shefford back in 1964, riding a 125cc Lambretta. I can’t remember the fee to get under the Thames, but it must have been just a few pence even in old money. Nowadays, the charge for a return trip is a whopping £5.00! About a million vehicles cross over every week.

The government promised that the tunnel and bridge would be toll-free twenty years ago, but that idea has been kicked down the road over the years, and the crossing is still a huge cash cow for the Ministry of Transport, which offers a ludicrous statement that ‘the bridge needs continuing maintenance because of - wait for it - increased traffic’! The ‘costs’ are entirely justified! 

The chief engineer on the bridge is a personal friend, and I’ll have to ask him what he thinks the next time we’re testing the quality of Shep’s Old Bridge Stanchion - 8.7abv...

Monday, 12 August 2019


Just the other day, driving through the village and thinking of not much, this track appeared on the little television screen which shows the driver what to listen to, on the wireless set in the motor car.

Considering Bernie Taupin wrote this in 1974, it seems to me that he was more of a visionary than given credit for.

Songfacts explain a lot more about the song here: - . I'd forgotten about the Columbine High massacre, and hearing it all again rather took the shine off a pleasant trip to a chum's house - such that I actually missed the turning to his road!

Sunday, 28 July 2019

My first cousin...

I've just lost my first cousin.

There are (were) five of us, and we rarely chatted.

At my age, (72), I love family more than I ever did. I can remember times, regret times, recall times, but that won't bring back Mo.

I wish I'd met her more, laughed with her more, watched and heard her fabulous humour more...

Bye, Little Mo.

Saturday, 27 July 2019

The people who will stuff you...

Corribin (Tax-paid, for quite a long 'career'), Lady Nugee (millionairess, sneeringly useless as well), McDonnell (Union beauty).

Luckily, this motley crew will be devastated soon, and we'll be spared their stuff, as by then, hopefully, the BBC will be toast as well.

Monday, 15 July 2019

Cox at me (6,3,6).

For some time now, as most chumly posters here know, Senora O'Blene and I are somewhat addicted to Sudoku. As another test of Scrobs' rapidly declining intelligence and awareness of anything much, other than pokes at remoaners and spongers, I've returned to the Daily Telgraph Crossword compilation for light (heavy) contentment and a way to alleviate insomnia!

We used to take the old rag daily, but found that it took several trees to satisfy our yearning to read about politicians, failures by them, disgrace by them and utter exasperation with them, so we now get all our news online, and pay not one jot!

But the old crossword habit, while dormant for a while has resurfaced with a vengeance, and I even look forward to each one in the book when I have a few moments to spare.

In the old days, I'd try the DT cryptic every day, but after losing the daily paper, I lost the habit, and it takes some considerable time to get back into the swing of things!

Writing in answers is a special pleasure, and we both want to have a suitable writing implement nearby, for numbers in Sudoku, and three down in the DT challenge! So we've reverted to the gorgeous feel of a damn good 4B pencil for these tasks! It seems strange today, what with biros, sharp clutch pencils, felt nibs, roller balls etc, the one item which remains sacrosant is a decent lead pencil, and we have several dozen dotted around The Turrets!

Just doodling through some YouTube, I found the above clip, and it is utterly fascinating! The manufacturer is Faber, but our collection is Staedtler and I buy them online for a tiny amount compared with the retail price!

(Goosey, I think you know the answer to the title, so can I ask you (as nicely as I can when you're all those miles away), to keep it to yourself until the others have a go please? There's a tincture in it for you too)!

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

About this time of year, Scrobs occasionally (usually), has recall of a time back in the sixties, when a fourteen-year old boy was whisked away to the valleys in Wales, to undertake education in various pursuits, such as rugby, Latin, chemistry etc. It meant that I rarely saw my family for about ten weeks each term, which wasn't easy at first!

On the rare occasions that my dad could come up on a Leave Sunday, he was usually shattered about now, because the hop-picking season was just beginning to start, what with all the machinery servicing being finalised, the oasts having a last check-over and all the hops in the gardens in Kent and Worcestershire had to be checked for disease etc.

So, if a trip to the middle of England to one of the farms was on the cards, then dad would pop over and we'd go out for lunch somewhere.

On one occasion, he was so tired, that after lunch, he parked up in a leafy glade, grabbed a blanket and went for forty winks on a mossy bank a few yards from the car. Back then, a radio in a car was quite rare, and he even had to 'make a case' for one as he often drove for eight hours in a day, to visit farms everywhere, and a bit of light entertainment would help more than somewhat!

The powers-that-be eventually let him have an early Motorola installed. This was the wireless which he said I could listen to while he had a kip, and so I did.

It's funny really, but I still remember two of the songs which were played that afternoon. Up to recently, I never really bothered to get copies, and in the case of one of them, nobody had ever heard of it!



It was these two songs which eventually turned up on YouTube, and they just take Scrobs back all those years to a Vauxhall VX490 and a mono radio, in the dappled shade...

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Infiltration - an expose...

Scrobs has spent the best part of several days recently, getting to change his anti-virus prog.

For some time now, AVG have come up with the goods, and for better or worse, a few money notes via electronic diversion seemed to be appropriate, when these items are considered!

But let's face it, when another bill of sixty splonders plonks onto the email stuff, one wonders whether this is the right way to stop getting Russian beauties grasping my tentacles! They can try all they like, but they'll never ever be as good as Her Fragrancy, so that's it!

And so, as we're with Talk Talk, a company with an odd name, but useful because they seem to do what we want, and in a pleasant way - so far, we decided to change... They do a version of anti-virus, and for a couple of quid a month, that beats the AVG stuff, so I decided to get in there are change over to them.

Our home PC has now undergone eighteen restarts, forty-five scans, three-hundred new curse-words, a glass of red, three punches, a shriek which set off the alarm in the house next door (while she was on the nest and 'at it' I believe), and I still can't get rid of the Russion lovely who is desperate to see me as soon as possible for the rubles I promised her in 1986!

I reckon all this virus stuff is a bugger, to bugger up any bugger who wants to bugger your system, and do bugger all to help in the end.

Ergo, buggeration is the answer!

...or sod is... (what's the difference, I may arse)!