Saturday, 29 December 2012

Thoughts from a graveyard...

Bill Bryson, in his excellent book 'At home', mentions that an archaeological colleague said that in the churchyard near his house, there were about 20,000 bodies buried, which meant that the area around the church had risen by several feet, and also that it looked as though the church had sunk into the ground. The graveyard has had to accommodate all those material bodies over all these the years!

'The Turrets' has the local churchyard on two boundaries, and also the east thoroughfare which used to have a shop, a bank, and much more interesting, a pub. All these have gone now (thanks to one of Mr Hitler's 'V' rockets), but we strive to continue the tradition of the Market Cross, which adorned our immediate locality.

But looking out at the graveyard from our house, I now wonder at how on earth (or beyond), so many families in our immediate district, now lay quiet and undisturbed, and how so many of the names have vanished without trace. To my reckoning  there may well be up to 100,000 bodies buried close to us here, and all of these people have a connection to me and my family.

I walk JRT through the churchyard most days, and reckon I can look at the stones and the graves with some experience, but now, understanding that there are probably several thousand more buried there, I'll really have to wonder why we're all here, and for such a short time...

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Christmas spirit...

A Happy Christmas to my three-hundred and sixty-seven thousand readers, and also the several friends and relations who responded this year.

Next year really will be the one where we all bounce back, and with a following wind, BPs and I will be able to buy a new hat each, and maybe use some expenses for those long lunches we've missed for so long since the last sorry lot consigned us all to recession.

Right, that's enough politics for this year, the week is young, and bottles need to be polished, cheeses need to be gloated over, peanuts hurled over the shoulder for JRT, presents for two (soon to be three) grand-children, and lovely family, Mrs S in demand mode for an early tincture, I'm in de-mob alert, and before I can say "'Bye for now", I've just realised that it is totally pitch dark, and I was supposed to go down to 'The Patch', and dig a few leeks and a parsnip for supper...

Oh, bugger...;0)

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Dave Brubeck R.I.P.

My dad bought the record for my mum, and I spotted it in a cupboard only a few days ago...

It went on a bit didn't it!

I can remember hearing it for the first time ever, and wondering what it was all about - perhaps I was a late arrival!

Sunday, 2 December 2012

New Tricks - new broom, 'Kent Themerama' romps on to a thrilling finale, part 7(1:5)...

The story so far...

The New Tricks team have been bolstered (some say inspired) by the arrival of two new members, Raedney Trolliter and Trigger, and there is a rumour that more new members are to follow as the BBC cuts bite deep, and Cassandra has been inspired several times already...

Cynthia Molestrangler is dancing the twist in Tenerife with Elvis Willy, and the team are trying to find out why the 'Kent Themerama', with the modest 145,000 sq.ft. shopping mall has begun construction without planning permission. They believe Miss Molestrangler was inspired by person or persons unknown and there was general de-briefing going on in the background, and maybe the foreground as well.

The Eoinker Starborgling consortium is building the sports arena, together with the modest 255,000 sq.ft. retail extravaganza and their clients, Scroblene Enterprise Pictures, couldn't really give a toss about who complains, or what the council says. As Brian usually admits, his attitude is "Fook off"!


Gerry :-"So let's get this straight, Elias Sagtrouser used to employ Elvis Willy as a humper, and now he's freelance; is that right Cassandra?"

Sandra :-"Don't call me Cassandra, I'm a Superintendent, Gerry, and yes, he is freelance. He's also working for Senator O'Blene as a fixer of sorts, you know, gets things done an' that!"

Gerry :-"Yeah, nice one - and also the other, Saaaaaandra...!"

Brian :-"That O'Blene character is a shifty one, Sandra.

Sandra :-"Oh I know that, Brian, Gloriette Sagtrouser and I go back a long way..."

Gerry :-"You know Gloriette, do you Saaaaaandra...? Phwoar! So you didn't get all that way back - did you?"

Sandra :-"Shaddup Gerry! Strickland's on his way down here, chaps; dunno why...!"

Trigger :-"Dave, is there anything I can do...?"

Sandra :-"There's quite a lot of fag-ash under Gerry's chair, Brian's desk is a total mess, and Jack's chair needs a new Stannah Lift. Can you do that?"

(door opens)

Strickland :-"There's going to be some changes round here chaps. Some of the posters here haven't a clue what's going on, because they didn't see the original programmes! I've had a complaint from a lady in Somerset. This has got to stop!"

Gerry :-"What sort of changes, Guvnor?"

Strickland :-"You're on the right track, calling me 'Guvnor', Gerry! The show's taking on several new faces, to mop up all those crimes that were never solved, starting with 'The Sweeney'!"

Jack :-"But they're all dead!"

Strickland :-"Hasn't stopped this programme for the last five years...!"

Brian :-"But what about justice! That O'Blene character and his crowd of crooked mates will just get away with it!"

Strickland :-"He's only doing what MPs and banks have been doing for ages, Brian!"

Raedney :-"I've only just joined, what's my role in all this!"

Sandra :-"Don't tell me, he's going to be given Jack's job!"

Strickland :-"OK, Cassandra, I won't tell you he's being given Jack's job! Raedney's being given your job!"

Sandra :-"But I've only been here for seven series, I should be able to do at least another fifteen or so!"

Strickland :-"NO! You're coming with me, Cassandra!"

Jack :-"Wait till I tell Mary that I'm going to be put out to grass!"

Brian :-"Neigh Lad! So we let the bloody Themerama go ahead as though nothing had ever happened? I'm not having that, I'm calling Esther!"

Strickland :-"You can't, she's left us for 'Last of the summer wine!"

Gerry :- "So who else is joining us then, Guv?"

Strickland :-"Helen Mirren!"

Gerry :-"Phwoar!"

Strickland :-"Prunella Scales!"

(Senator O'Blene :-"Phwoar!")

Strickland :-"Miss Marple!"

Jack :-"Phwoar!"

Strickland :-"Simon Templar!"

Sandra :-"Phwoar!"

Strickland :-"And we're flying off to Texas this evening!"

Brian :-"Why Texas, are you going on holiday"?

Strickland :-"Got it in one, Brian, Sandra and I are joining 'Dallas'! And I'm being replaced immediately!"

(sound of slow, heavy, squeaking boots approaching the door, which creaks open to reveal...)

All :-"Oh no! Not bloody George Dixon!"


Dixon of Dock Green :-"Evening all! Well, the Kent Themerama all went ahead as though nothing had happened! Elvis Willy and Cynthia Molestrangler eloped to Thailand and opened a small quantity surveying practice! Norman Wibble was inspired by Edwina Baggage, and joined 'Strictly Bicyclism'! Trigger went back to his old job, running repeats of 'Only Fools and Vicars of Dibley'! Senator O'Blene, Elias Sagtrouser, and Quentin ffoxley-Cabbage all went down to 'The Bells', and had several pints of 'Old Kent Crumpet', a light, hoppy ale (6.7 ABV). They were joined by their respective wives, and one by one, continually toasted the stupidity of the council, the local paper, and the BBC, until the early hours...!

Good night all, and watch out for even more TV repeats coming your way these cold evenings!"

(Dah, da da, da da, da da, da da, da da daaaah, dah daaah, daaah daaah...)

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Nicholas Lyndhurst joins New Tricks team's enquiry into Kent Themerama - part 3 (a)...

The story so far; Sandra has been getting Gerry to tell her a few things, and Strickland has a visit from a surly BBC apparatchik, to tell him that there is going to be a cast change, and Raedney Trolliter is joining the team...

Sandra: - "Thanks Gerry, nice one, hit the spot! Now chaps, there's a new name joining us!"

Jack: - "Bah goom, Sandra, they'll be pensioning me off soon!"

Sandra: - "They have pensioned you off, Jack, several episodes ago!"

Brian: - "I'm still here though!"

Sandra: - "Er, no, Brian, you're next; Strickland's orders!"

Brian: - "Raedney Trolliter - computer expert from Peckham, brother of Delbert Trolliter-Larkin, a scrap metal dealer from Pluckley!"

Gerry: - "Have I still got a job then Sandra?"

Sandra: - "You'll always have a job, Gerry, but we do need to get some work done before the new bloke arrives!"

(door opens)...

Raedney: - "Cooeeee, anyone at home?"

Sandra: - "Over here, Raedney, introduce yourself!"

Raedney: - "Sandra, you must be Sandra! I'll call you Cassandra, after a lady I once knew, and loved...! Come here my petal, take my hand, ohhh, you're so delicate, like a tiny bird, waiting for sunset, and laying her soft feathers against a small wing...!"

Sandra: - "Right, that's enough of that! Into my office, I'm going to de-brief you!"

Brian: - "Blimey! So that's how it's bloody well done! (picks up phone). 'Esther? Come here my peta..., what?...why should I fook off...'!"

Gerry: - "Silly old git!"

(five minutes later)

Sandra: - "Right, I've got it all now chaps! Raedney has just given me the griff!"

Jack: - "So that's what they call it now is it Cassandra...?"

Sandra: - "You still here, Jack, I've got one last job for you! Check out Cynthia Molestrangler's reasons for flying off to Tenerife with a lad called Elvis Willy, immediately after Eoinker Starborgling got planning permission for the modest 95,000 sq. ft. supermarket on the Kent Themerama site, and why there are now seventeen buildings instead of three being built!"

Jack: - "That's a tall order Cassandra!"

Sandra: - "You'll manage, and don't call me Cassandra, I'm a Detective Inspector!"

Gerry: - "ELVIS WILLY! That little creep! I banged him up three times a few years ago for nicking sweets from Arkwright's corner shop!"

Brian: - "Elvis Willy, the first person to be fined during the hosepipe ban! Aaaah! Used to work as a yard man at Elias Sagtrouser's Sand and Spanner Emporium! Had a job humping sacks of cement and sand! Blimey, that's not all he humped...blimey, no, no; noooo...! Well, I'll go to the foot of our stairs!"

Gerry: - "Here, can I have a copy of that list!"

Brian: - "Printing page seventeen as we speak, Gerry!"

Raedney: - "Cassandra just whispered that we're going to have a few changes round here, Gerald!"

Gerry: - "She won't get it all her own way!"

Brian: - "Here you are Gerry, look at page eight, and ten, then twice on page fifteen!"

Gerry: - "Blimey, that Cynthia Molestrangler's a bit of a goer, isn't she?"

Brian: - "Naaaaw, look at the other name right at the bottom...!"

Gerry: - "Whaaaaat! 'Cassandra Poolmon'! Surely not! Is that right Brian?"

Jack: - "Heh heh heh, what a bit of luck! Our Sandra's been 'inspired' by Elvis Willy! Wait till I tell Mary!"

Sandra: - "That's enough of that chaps, Strickland's ordered a new broom round here. We're getting new men in, and you know who has owned the same broom for twenty years don't you, with three new brushes, and four new handles...!"

Jack, Gerry, Brian: - "Not Trigger!"

Raedney: - "The very same person chaps, he's starting next week!"

Sandra: - "Thank you Dave, time for another 'inspiration', I think! My office now!" be continued, if anyone is really bothered about what happens next...

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

About this time of year, when the doors are bolted and the windows are shut...

There are several pieces of music which fit this time of year, and, just for the lovely run-off at the end (which goes on for quite some time), I think this song is up there with the best ones I can recall...

Friday, 16 November 2012

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha....

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, oh, ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, oh, ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, oh, a ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, oh, ha bloody haaaaah...

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, oh, ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, oh, ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, oh, a ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, oh, ha bloody haaaaah...

Friday, 9 November 2012

Porcupine Tree...

Perfect rock track - started in this ol' grey head by ED some time ago, and just discovered!

Monday, 5 November 2012

For Pips, who's having a pretty crap time...

I'm so new to Florence and The Machine, that I've got a lot of catching up to do.

But what a singer, what a Lady too!

Marvellous productions, and with real musicians on stream too!

This is for you, Pips, and I hope all begins to shape out better for you very soon!

Special song for Pips!

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Sandy's Spirit...

I suppose all those people who went to NY for the marathon, can at least go out tonight and have a few pints instead...

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Tactics - what men live by...

Jack Matthews

He and Bleddyn Williams, who was regarded as the prince of Welsh centres, were lifelong friends, and Williams (who died in 2009) said of his partner: “Everybody knows how tough he was, but I played countless games with him and he was a beautiful passer, bloody quick, and a magnificent captain. As a player he was selfless".

“We used to run a lot of scissor moves — I always started with the ball and he always cut the angle. The first time I would feed Jack and he would get smashed. The second time I would feed him and he would get roughed up again. He would wink at me as he got up: 'You know what to do now, Bledd.’ And the third time I would throw the dummy. He would get hit by two or three hard cases and I would saunter off to score under the posts and get all the glory and headlines – but they were Jack’s tries really”. 


ht DT...

Friday, 26 October 2012

New tricks - 'The Record Player'...

Sandra: "Listen chaps, we have been told to investigate Norman Wibble, who apparently touched up Cynthia Molestrangler last week"!

Jack: "Not 'Norman the Doorman', surely not Sandra"?

Sandra: "The very same bloke, Jack, he's been thinking about doing it for years, according to Miss Molestrangler, and also he once whistled at Miss Newt, when she went up a ladder in her shop to get a packet of cornflakes"!

Jack: "Well bugger me, I didn't know he had it in him"!

Brian: "Norman Wibble, 69, lives with his mother. Known to everyone as 'The Doorman', as he collects doors. At last count, he had 546 stacked up on his allotment"!

Gerry: "Silly old git"!

Sandra: "Gerry, you can't call Brian a silly old git, that's out of order"!

Gerry: "Naaah, I don't mean Brian is a silly old git, I mean Norman is! He used to be in charge of the local Scout Pack"!

Sandra: "Now we're getting somewhere, Jack, get on the phone to every boy scout you've ever heard of, and take statements from them. I need to report to Strickland in half an hour"!

Jack: "Bah Goom, that's not giving me much time"!

Sandra: "Just do it Jack! Brian, I want details of every record Wibble has ever played, every time he's collected doors, and the names of the people he bought them from! Gerry, I feel like a quickie, so get into my office"!


(Three minutes later...)

Sandra: "God, Gerry, you know how to give a woman a good time! I need handwritten statements from everyone in every radio station in the country on anything which may or may not cast some light on this case! I need these by half past ten, it's nine-thirty now, so we've just got time for an action replay"!

Brian: "Silly old git"!

Jack: "Brian, just because Sandra's pulled down the blinds again, there's no need to be jealous - you would, wouldn't you"?

Brian: (wistfully) "Pullman by name, Pullman by nature, Jack"! They're all the same, these UCOS investigators, but you know, it'll all end in tears"!

Jack: (wistfully) "Yes, I know the feeling..."!

Strickland: "I need those reports by yesterday, Jack, and when Sandra's finished with Gerry, could you ask her to come to my office, I need a quickie"!

Jack: "Silly old git"!

Sandra: "Listen chaps, I've just heard that Wibble was seen enjoying a light ale and a beef sandwich in 'The Nag's Head', only seventeen years ago! We all know what that means don't we"!

Brian: "Not Agatha Molestrangler's pub! It all fits doesn't it"!

Gerry: "Agatha Molestrangler; Phwooooar"!

Jack: "Not our Agatha, surely not"!

Sandra: "The very same! Agatha Molestrangler had absolutely no connection with Cynthia Molestrangler! They were in no way related! I think we're on to something. Jack, take Gerry and go and visit her, she lives in Tenerife. I need a report by this afternoon! Brian, get in my office, I need a qui... cup of coffee!"!

Strickland: "You know it'll all end in tears"!

Sandra: "Silly old git"! be continued.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Themerama Kent - Phase three...

There was uproar at the Inaugural Meeting of Sodden Prickney's Liaison Committee, for the 'Kent Themerama', on Thursday.

What should have been a gathering of great celebration, was turned into a major unpleasant incident, so reports Mrs Edwina Baggage, Bicycling Correspondent on The Sodden Prickney Bugle.

With the failure of the local broadcasting company to curb the affections of some of their staff, the recent 'inspiration', of Miss Cynthia Molestrangler was enhanced when at some stage in the evening, Mr Norman Wibble, a Veteran of several world wars, and also the village fete's disastrous production of 'Ben Hur', was asked to put some music on the record player, to create a jubilant atmosphere.

Miss Molestrangler was sitting next to the box of records, and Mr Wibble accidently brushed against her nylon encrusted knee, with the result, that she began shrieking hysterically, and claimed to be a victim of abuse by this rampant lothario!

Of course, Mr Wibble was astounded by this accusement, and became hypothetical, to which Miss Molestrangler advanced her posture to 'Aggressive', thereby thrusting her rather large accoutrements towards the explainant, which tended to excite some of the younger members of the community.

This became untenable to a bachelor such as Mr Wibble, and while Miss Molestrangler was no stranger to various interference in intimate terms with anyone who might wish to avail themselves, it was a serious position in which Mr Wibble became incarcerated.

It appears that Mrs Edwina Baggage, who has long espoused the term 'bicyclism', and which has shady connotations not unconnected with similar versions of compatibility with energetic discussions about Uganda, decided to nail Miss Molestrangler once and for all, and egged Mr Wibble to start a gropefest in (or on), her honour.

Mr Wibble now has to take copious amounts of beta blockers after suffering from the effects of such an occasion, and as Mrs Baggage points out in her column, (she likes that word), there's nothing wrong with espousing 'bicyclism', as long as it only happens in private, and not in places like the Sodden Prickney Village Hall. There was once a case of a record playing gentleman noticing a small piece of purple lace on the fragrant knee of Mrs Baggage, and while she protested that the elastic on her favourite Janet Reger had broken, the matter was not by silenced by the gentleman, (to be named one day by Mrs Baggage when she has little to write about), who exclaimed in a loud whisper 'Charlie's Dead', and received a few clops around his ears for the privilege!

Mr Sagtrouser was unavailable for comment, and Senor O'Blene declined to say anything other than a terse 'Sod off, it wasn't me'.

Meanwhile, the 'Kent Themerama' saga continues to struggle forward, despite opposition from just about everybody.


Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Kent's new theme park - updated Phase 2...

Senor Carluccio Ricardo O'Blene, and his illustrious wife, have secretly published the latest design of the inspired new theme park, to be built in an unknown destination, now defined as Sodden Prickney, which was subject to a recent unpleasantness, (later resolved that evening over several alcopops and a shared Bath bun).

The new design shows an exciting departure from buildings such as were designed, (and thankfully demolished) at The Olympic Park, and on close inspection, the inspired architectural significance of the Sodden Prickney Leisure and Athletic Themery (SPLAT), appears to be well on the way to completion, despite not having planning permission, but that is a minor abberation. (All correspondence with the council should be addressed to Miss Agatha Tiddles-Nightly, who unfortunately ruined the environmentalist's case for delay, by treading on the only newt spotted during a site visit)!

The Recycling department at Mr Elias Sagtrouser's Brass, Spanners and Timber Emporium, has designated this a priority site, and on close inspection, a recent delivery of building materials can actually be seen, carefully stacked in the middle of the site. His account has already been settled, and Mrs Sagtrouser was spotted entering the Sodden Prickney 'Nailorama' only last Wednesday.

The new soaring, inspired red cathedral-like structure, which dominates the adjoining International Size Swimming Pewl, will clearly be available for public functions for years to come, and indeed already has seen some private ones as well, if anyone believes the minutes of the various meetings!

Behind the inspired, lofty building, there is another much lower, 'brutalist' structure, but the use of this has not been identified by Mr O'Blene, although he has hinted at the potential relocation of Miss Newt's retail establishment into a modest inspired eighty-five thousand sq.ft. supermarket complex,

Starborgling Inc, the Swedish branch of the international Eoinker conglomerate, is the main contractor on the site. Mr Eoinker Starborgling, the company's Chairman, said during an energetic interview with Mrs Baggage, the sports columnist on the 'Sodden Prickney Bugle', that he had no compunction. Senor O'Blene also agreed that he had no compunction as well, and in fact, Mr Sagtrouser doesn't have any either!

Miss Cynthia Molestrangler admitted that she has only recently been inspired.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Dances with wolf whistles...

Being a leg man, this is just too much, and I need do go and lie down in a darkened room after each viewing...

Aaaawwww, gorgeous.....

Nearly as good as Mrs S's...

Tuesday, 25 September 2012


Sodden Prickney Parish Council Offices.

Incident at side door, at last week’s Council Meeting.

  Dramatis Personae:

  Cynthia Molestrangler (Parish Clerk)
  Sid Nobbage: (Office cleaner)

Cynthia Molestrangler : - ”Good evening Sid, can I leave my shopping trolley here please?”

Sid Nobbage : - “Sorry to say, Miss Molestrangler, that there’s no room for it here, I’ll put it round in the kitchen for you, it’ll be nice and dry there! I’ll keep an eye on it for you, and bring it round for you after the meeting!”

Cynthia Molestrangler : - “P**s off, you f*****g jumped up b****y b*****d, s**tbag, uneducated little bald-headed c**t! I want to f*****g leave it here, and I’m f*****g well going to f*****g leave the f***er here, whether you f*****g well like it or f*****g not!”


Sid Nobbage : - “D’you want to come back to my place later, I love it when you talk dirty”!


Cynthia Molestrangler : - “Yeah, alright”!

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Total rubbish story...

So the Groily Moil has an article, which says that if you live in the country, you're more likely to get Alzheimers!

Which part of 'Planet' don't they understand!

Just because we don't have regular muggings outside our door, we don't have screaming yobs pissing in our garden, we don't have endless crowds of chavs bellowing obscenities at each other, and anyone else within earshot, we don't have ridiculous cars with red stripes and stupid fins and black wheels tearing past every five minutes, we don't get any shot policemen and policewomen, we don't get too many motorbikes without silencers tearing down the road, we don't get asked for a pound for a cup of tea, we don't have to watch the failing kids too often, even though they spend most of their time round at the worst pub in Kent, we don't have to worry if we get bitten by the yobs' idiot dogs, because JRT would slaughter them at the touch of a retractable lead button, we don't have to listen to their inane conversations on their mobiles, as the traffic drowns everything but the loudest 'Carrrrn eeear yaahs' when you have to get near enough to it!

We have several rods of allotments, we make loads of our own wine, we have great communication with all our neighbours when it's necessary, we buy cheaply, we drink a lot when we want, we talk quickly after a few tinctures, we have an excitable dog, which needs several walks a day, we have gorgeous countryside to walk in and admire, we have each other to bounce ideas off, we have more chats per hour than some idiotic mobile phone programme, we eat magnificently, we can be as smug as we want, but to claim that Alzheimers affects people like us, just because we live in the country, is just too stupid for words!

And we're supposed to be liable for Alzheimers...?

Just get out of my way, you inane, ridiculous writer of crap! You really are out of your depth on this one.

(To both subscribers, please just Google the story, I really can't be arsed to do a link here!)

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Expensive faggery...

Just today, Mrs Scrobs and I attended a subjective buy-in at Twongos, as we can get double points, and I get a two hour pass from BPs into the bargain.

While we bought several items of necessity, like corned beef, and also some 'three-for-ten notes' meat, we realised that we would also want to get some petrol for the journey home, and the lady on the till kindly obliged with a 5p discount per litre ticket, which was a generous gift from Mr Cohen's family, and much appreciated...

So, into the petrol station we went, and while proffering the dosh for a paltry mortgageable gallonage of motion-lotion, I vaguely scanned the cigarette shelves behind the tills.

Bloody Hellfire! Fags at £7.80 for twenty!

When I was a learning to be something or other back in the nineteen-sixties, they cost nothing like that, and the sum of four shillings and seven pence (23p) springs to mind for twenty Gold Leaf, or Embassy! Mrs Scrobs smoked Piccadilly, and they cost a penny more. I graduated onto Three Castles Tipped, and they were a couple of pennies more as well, but then, we were quids in as we were getting married, and the tax-man was going to see us right, wasn't he...?

£7.80 works out at about 39p per fag, which seems quite a lot to an ageing old ex-smoker like Scrobs, who used to ruin the various alcoholic places of iniquity by smoking a Falcon pipe for ages! Blimey, it was a huge stoppage when I gave up, it hurt like hell, and Mrs S supported me and gave up as well, and we immediately (well nearly), bought an early computer and paid for a holiday! Nowadays, just four packets of fags would pay for our entire food bill, and more!

On the way home this evening, we saw a schoolgirl gawping at a mobile phone, and sporting a very long and expensive cigarette. Jail bait I'm afraid. We carried on, and just crossing the road, we both felt particularly old, until I saw a 20p piece on the pavement outside the pub, and being a generous-hearted sort of bloke, picked it up and pocketed it.

It only took a few seconds to realise that back in the olden days, that 20p coin would have bought 20 Number 6 plain ciggies, in the familiar small brown packet...

They cost 4 shillings (20p) back then...

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Don't fly, there's too much to do yet...

I've slurped loads of tinctures in this place and even marvelled at the greenery there, and the ambiance, and the glass etc etc. I've tripped over the odd door frame, and listened to lots of the sort of tosh which architects get rich and sexy on, spoken to gorgeous women about nothing in particular, but enjoyed the process immensely and also fiddled about with a funny tapas creation, but I don't understand why people jump from the edge and upset the people several storeys below, who are wandering about on the street seeing to their own business, or want to get home to their loved ones. 

There is a well-marked lift to reach the cafe after all, and yes, it is a pretty good place to celebrate a huge deal, or a big wedding, or just to get smashed, but jumping off the garden wall at seven storeys is not what I feel is correct - or is it...?

One of my chums had therapy to stop him throwing himself off escalators! Funny? Maybe, but he was in Guangzhou airport once, and had this uncontrollable urge to fling himself over the edge of a huge escalator! I suppose, if I was a money man, making huge bucks for all and sundry, and that if I'd made made a cobblers/horlicks of a deal, I may feel pretty bad, but, I'd go and talk it through with my boss, or my chums, so that he/she/they could share the blame or otherwise.

No 1, Poultry is a reasonably pretty building, not entirely attractive, but definitely a place to see and wonder (in my case), how much the fee was to design the place, and how much the stone cost, because it is incredibly well put together, thanks to a damn good builder.

I shelter from the winter cold there sometimes, occasionally wander down to Cannon Street Station therefrom, but, I still wonder if a roof garden, in this volatile section of The City, is not the platform from hell.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Bath yarn...

It's been all of several hours since he last spent some time and a few pounds discussing the state of play with his good friend Elias Sagtrouser, but, Scrobs was returning home after a hard day's graft, and had to pass 'The Bells' (it is a village pub after all). Elias has a hermit crab existence there, although he does the opposite to that noble crustacean and he jumps out on unsuspecting passers-by like the shambling Scrobs, and lures them into a haven of rest to partake of several pints of  'Old Standfast' - ABV 5.5%, (and that is a misnomer in any red-blooded male's books, I can tell you)!

So, Elias is in his usual station closest to the bar, and his ever-loving-wife, Gloriette, is sitting on a bar stool next to him, and showing a  huge acreage of stunning legs. To make matters worse, Meccano (their stupid son), and Toniatteliene, (Meccano's squeeze), are playing bar billiards, and every time the rather gorgeous lady leans over the table, there are several embolisms in waiting with some of the assembled older men, and the same number of similar-sounding experiences from some of the younger ones!

"Scrobs, I want to tell you a story"! says Elias, adjusting his hat.

Now this is a sign that I will be in the same location for at least three pints more, as Elias has a habit of being very generous with his hard-earned (occasionally-tax-free) notes at the best of times, and while I always try to intervene and pay my corner, Elias pronounces the values of Trilbyism, and has a tenner outstretched towards Sharonetta behind the bar, at every twitch of the said Trilby. He really is a generous man to a fault, and I really like him tremendously - even without the beer ticket!

"Scrobs, I want to tell you about my recent visit to Ashford!" He intones gravely.

"Elias, I know Ashford extremely well, having started my career there a squillion light-years ago, when I fancied a girl who was clearly still at school, another girl who clearly had graduated in the bloke section, and another whom I clearly loved eternally, until I met Mrs Scrobs!"

"Scrobs, Scrobs! I need to know that you are not intending to give me your historical love-life story, before I continue"! says Elias.

So it came to pass that the following story unfolded.

"I was born in that town, and grew up there", starts my good friend.

"I recently had to go back there to retrieve some money owed by a customer who lived near a certain address on Beaver Lane"!

Now I know Beaver Lane particularly well, because when I was a squalid, jumped-up spotty little junior rent collector in 1965, I had two cottages to collect from there, and they paid fourteen shillings a week (70p)!

"Elias, that place has changed from the good old railway days now, and business is difficult isn't it"?

"Scrobs, this is so, and I try and help anyone who is even approaching their 'uppers', but my new bank manager says I must do such things; so I do; and while I want to beat him to pulp with one of Meccano's largest spanners, I will retain some decorum on my financial position!"

Now this is the financial realism being experienced by most experienced businessmen, so I immediately cotton on to my friend's new analysis, and also his new story.

"I parked my new car in a public bay there, and locked it securely"! Said Elias. "There is no knowing who might want to enter the car and take whatever they can, but I don't believe anyone really wants an AA map book from 1967, and a bit of old carpet for the dog"! He nods sagely, and so do I, at the same time as Gloriette picks up her Iphone, and calls her manicurist, nodding at some conversation, so there is a certain amount of nodding going on at that particular moment.

(Just as an aside, one needs to focus one's eyes carefully when one looks at Gloriette, as so many parts require short-sight, because they're much closer than you think, others require long-sight, because they're so long and I suppose, there's always the lingering wish of the blessing of hindsight in that one might have got there before Elias, but I digress.)

"Scrobs, will you please pay attention!" says Elias, proffering another large denomination note in a circular motion to indicate refills all round. I take my gaze from Gloriette's amazing fingernails, and focus again, slightly mistily I might add, on my be-trilbyed chum.

"I'm all ears old chap!" I replied, and he continued his story.

"Just as I'd locked up the motor, and checked that there were no small nearby urchins who might attempt to clean it with a wire brush, I glanced across the road, and there was my brother, just standing there staring at me and the car, and looking decidedly down at heel!"

Now it has never occurred to me that Elias had a brother, or a sister, or in fact, any previous family at all. I suppose I've always thought that when Elias was created, there had been some sort of flash of light from the heavens and a 'whoosh', then, after a sullen clunk and a whistle a trilby hat suddenly appeared from the ether, and then, after a short wait, the grey suited body of Elias just metamorphosed from the brim downwards to his shoes, and the resulting body immediately sold three tons of bricks and a pipe wrench to a man walking his dog nearby.

"Your brother, eh!" was all I could say.

"Yes, my brother Stanley! He is not a great person to have around, as he was apprehended several times by Sergeant Shepherd and his mates with bits of metal he'd taken from somewhere or other, and which he hoped to sell to the merchants down the road. In fact there were also periods in his life when he was unable to undertake this pastime, as he was sewing mail bags in Brixton, and became quite good at it after several more terms in that academy! So we never really got on at all, and frankly, I'd forgotten all about him!"

"This must have been a bit of a shock to your system then?" I asked him.

"Oh, I know how to deal with people like him, but he did look pretty lost, and I took a certain amount of pity on him!" said Elias, swirling his beer around in his glass, and beginning to look thoughtful.

"So what happened next then?" I asked him.

"Well, he looked across at me, then at the car, then back a me again, and said "Blimey, you've come up in the world Bro, this is a surprise, but then you always did know how to succeed, you had the best chances too!"

"Now that wasn't true actually," Elias said. "Sid Bucket, my old partner, and I grafted for years to get going, but I still felt sorry for him standing there in a grubby old coat and three day's shaving adrift". He swirled his beer again thoughtfully.

"So presumably, you dropped him a few quid did you?" I said.

"Well, after he had walked across the road, looking like he was going to ask for some help, he said "Elias, I'm a bit short at the moment, I'm also a bit down on my luck, could you give me a couple of quid for a bath?"

"Oh, that's nice Elias, he was probably grateful for some cash to get cleaned up and presentable again! So did you drop him a few notes then?" I said.

"Naaah, I just told him to bring it round to the yard the next day, and I'd have a look at it!"

Monday, 20 August 2012

Let's stick it to the banks...

While carrying out some unimportant strimming yesterday, and not thinking of very much, some recalcitrant weeds needed some extra clopping, and in doing so, I felt the need to apply some renewed hatred for the banks, to assist the said clopping, and provide the extra energy. 

So the proverbial fag-packet arrived with a stub of pencil, and I jotted down a few notes, which of course became forgotten until this morning, when I realised what I'd written...

Why on earth did the financial wizards*, Balls and Brown, give all that money to the banks? These are the gits who are denying real businesses the lifeblood of opportunism, while smugly wallowing in tax-payer's money. These are the gits who are bullying the individuals, while putting their flaccid arms around piles of cash to boost their share prices. These are the gits who are chucking great handouts to their failed bosses - again like the wizards*!

Why did the last awful government not just admit that, like the Dome fiasco, the Olympics were a way to filter money into the system, through the people who actually understand how to use it properly? Oh yeah, the banks may be 'sponsors', but everyone knows that every time you meet someone with RBS or HSBC on a badge at a function, they're just wasting everybody's time, because they will do bugger-all about helping UK Inc get out of the wizards'* mess.

(At this point, the fag-packet becomes somewhat indecipherable, and I can't really understand what's written down...)!

So, to summarise the invective, why on earth cannot the money that Osborne apparently has up his sleeve, be handed to the big national contractors, who will develop and build wisely, pull in all sorts of trades and professions, pay hard-working labourers, keep engineers and designers in a job, assist the trade counters selling paint and spanners, and make the best business in the world work again, without the hindrance of the wizards'* poisonous legacy?

Why can't the money be put into a struggling IT company, which is desperate to take on some bright sparks who think that a £9,000 a year degree is not really much of a bargain, so immediate, paid work beckons - if you can get it?

Why aren't British car companies allowed have all that money to develop the small engines which will undoubtedly be needed as the roads fill up even more? A local guy who was once very senior in sports car design, had a fantastic design which just cried out for funding, but of course, he was never going to get it, if the likes of Mr bloody Diamond had anything to do with it.

Even dare I rant it, why not say to some councils, "Here's some dosh, flatten Margate and start again properly"! Or, "Take out Hastings, get rid of the grot, rebuild the pier and bloody do it right for a change! And also, here's some money to stick the crested newts and build that sodding by-pass by next Thursday!" 

Of course, you'd get the Beeb squealing against all this. You'll get Epiphany Flanders, (surely tainted somewhat from her personal experiences with some of the wizard* opposition), trying to put a commercial idea down at every chance. (Goferit IDS, I heard all that rubbish and thought exactly the same).

But I won't hold my breath while government-subsidised naivety is immured with the banks. They'll continue to leech from the public purse in a similar fashion to most politicians, and stick two fingers up at the actual people who work for a living.

And as I exhale in the comfort of my chair, I notice that it wasn't a fag-packet, it was an old Christmas card...


Sunday, 12 August 2012

Story of a simple man...

It's fair to say that since the 'News of the World' went south, there has been no better place to search for and eventually find 'all human life', than at the esteemed, uncluttered premises of Elias Sagtrouser. The characters which form the steady line of customers come from so many walks of life, that Gloriette has at her fingertips, the intimate details of more unpleasant charlatans than the House of Commons, more rogues than the list of bankers on over 250 grand, more philanderers than the pages of those tatty sleb mags, more f...(That's enough 'more thans', Scrobs - Ed)!

But she also knows much more about the nicer people in the building business, and again, the intimate details of these people are nestled in her laptop (not her personal one, I mean the one made by Dell, but lets stop this avenue of discussion NOW)! 

In fact of course, the majority of all these customers would also be very keen to experience a bit more than just the fingertips, but Elias maintains a steady gaze on anyone who even considers thinking about the possibility of an encounter, and several leering well-wishers have been requested to look behind them to find one of the large dogs which roams the yard, is within biting distance of the well-wisher's now diminishing and shriveling accoutrements!

Now, all this changes when a certain customer enters the shop. The world stands still. You can even hear Meccano's Ipod blaring out some awful noise by his latest band, 'Crackplunger'.

Bessie Breakspear is an old school contemporary of Gloriette's, and indeed they are still reasonably good friends. What Bessie doesn't have in Gloriette's good figure and looks, she makes up with sheer personal, physical presence, and she can dominate the assembled throng at the bat of an eyelid. More unkind persons mention, that she is Breakspear by name, and Breakspear by nature, but this is not actually as true as weaker mortals have only themselves to blame for getting it wrong...!

Invariably she is accompanied by a man named 'Mossie', who is her labourer, because Bess works as a lorry driver for various firms, and she sometimes needs some muscle to help unload the various heavy items from her truck.

The main problem is that Bessie has always had a crush on, and holds the torch for, and still lusts after, Elias Sagtrouser. Her dominant attitude towards him can be broadcast in just one wink, which signifies that she wishes to gently lower him onto a few of the soft, bouncy rolls of fibreglass insulation, or even a pile of dust-sheets, or even let's face it, stand him up against the paint shelves for a passionate embrace and more besides.

But Elias stands firm, as he and his ever-loving wife made certain vows which they've maintained for over thirty years, and anyway, Gloriette is watching the proceedings like a hawk, or whatever the female word for a hawk is. Elias usually keeps his distance simply by standing at his till, and making sure that the money he collects is counted, and signed for. Most customers have accounts, but he is not averse to counting a wedge of tenners, and fitting these in the drawer in the till, and maybe, if nobody is looking, into his jacket pocket to count later...

Nobody knows why 'Mossie' is called 'Mossie'. Some say that his real name is Amos, some say that it's because he has the last Zapata moustache in Kent, or some say that he's just a thick twonk, but he is totally harmless. He also has a problem with his eyesight, in that his eyes flit very quickly from side to side when he is looking at you.

Now this flitting affliction is usually a nervous condition, but like Simon Templar describing his accomplice Hoppy Uniatz's brain as a loose collection of stray nerve endings which arrive somewhere inside his small head, it is more likely that Mossie is a few screws short of a kitchen cabinet, (or in Ikea's case, 'doink plurgs flit erf un krokleblenkenderbrilsoder'!) So, when he is looking at - say - Toniatteline, he is actually doing the flitting subconsciously, whereas most of the blokes who come in to the shop, are doing it for an entirely different reason, and when Gloriette is standing next to Toniatteline there is a positive blur of lots of eyes just whizzing from side to side in the presence of such enchanting accoutrements!

Anyway, Bessie walks to the till, Mossie is continuously flitting, and Gloriette starts to arch her back, (which is a full-fat, multi-flitting experience in itself).

"Morning Elias, you dirty, great, sexy man you", she starts, and Gloriette arches a little more, although she waves half a welcome to her old chum.

"Bess, it is indeed a pleasure to see you again", says Elias, firmly rooted to his till, and pretending to study an invoice. Mossie wanders over to the electrical goods, and picks up a big yellow electric drill.

"Mossie, put it back", says Bessie, without even looking over her shoulder, as she knows what he's up to by the small, irritating nasal sounds he emits when he's inspecting any new toys.

"Elias, I wonder if you could help he with finding some grommets for the flange on the Long Wheelbase please? The garage people are useless, and I know the ones you keep RIGHT OVER THERE, BY THE INSULATION, are a reasonable match"! says Bessie.  Mossie goes to another shelf, and takes down an electric saw. "Put it back Mossie", repeats Bessie.

"Bessie, I can't leave the till at the moment"' replies Elias. "There's a glitch on the account switch! Meccano knows all about them, so he'll help you"! Gloriette lessens her arch, and most of her acreage returns to amber alert.

"Meccano. Meccano?, MECCANO!", yells Elias, "Take those flippin' plugs out of your ears and show Bess the grommets will you!" Meccano meekly obliges, and to be fair to him, he does a certain amount of flitting at Bess, as she is a well-constructed lady in her own right. He lifts the flap on the counter and walks through to assist Bessie in her search for flange accessories. Of course, Toniatteline is watching all this, and as she always fears that Meccano could possibly get some of Bessie's attention as an after-thought, she arches a bit too, so both girls are at amber alert, and the small queue at the counter is starting to flit more than somewhat.

With one last sorry look of thanks at Elias, and no doubt despairing about yet another passionate opportunity thwarted, Bessie follows Meccano to the back of the shop, and as they vanish behind the nail shelves, the amber light raises to red alert on Toniatteline's arch, and Gloriette's returns to green. There is even a small squeak from out the back, and Toniatteline utters a yelp of dismay, but it is in fact only Mossie picking up and fiddling about with a petrol strimmer.

"Put it back Mossie", calls Bess, just as she reappears with Meccano, who has a box of grommets in his hand, which they sort out on the counter.

Just as they find the bits they want, Mossie appears pushing a huge wheelbarrow, and Bess just sighs heavily, turns round and loses her rag and shouts at him in desperation, "Mossie, take that bloody wheelbarrow back where you found it, you know bugger all about machinery...!"

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Too true...

I am passing this on to you because it definitely worked for me today, and we all could probably use more calm in our lives.
A doctor on tv this morning said the way to achieve inner peace is to finish all the things you have started.
So I looked around our house to see things that I had started and hadn't finished.
So far, I have managed to finish off a bottle of Merlot, a bottle of Chardonnay, a bodle of Baileys, a butle of wum, a pockage of Prungles, tha mainder of bot Prozic and Valiuminun scriptins, the res of the chesescke an a box a chocletz.
Yu haf no idr how bludy fablus I feel rite now.
Plaese sned dhis orn to dem yu fee ar in ned ov iennr pisss.
An telum, u blody luvum !

Sunday, 29 July 2012


Jim Davidson once said that he could never understand the fact that when you burp, you apologise, but when you fart, you laugh...

So you can understand why Rowan Atkinson is top of the list  here, at 4.20...

Update - it will be interesting if all those empty seats were paid for by local authorities, county councils, parliament flunkeys, failed banks etc...

Naturally Sebbiebaby will be expected to sort it out and beat these spongers into the ground, give them a few clops - not...

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Bye Fi...

I used to love Fiona Bruce, with her fly chest, enigmatic smile, gorgeous voice; but no more. Awwww no!

I have no problem with people making money, it's what we do in my business, but, when the stupid tax I pay to the BBC pays for her enormous salary,  pension and lifestyle which I dream about, and then she does the 'service company bit',  - well sod it.

We (in the real world)  have no recompense regarding the way these parasites leech money from us. They're 'above the law', like stupid politicians like Prescott and Bliar.

Yeah, yeah yeah, I know I shouldn't pay the TV tax, but Britishers usually do! Sad Isn't it!

So, bye Fi! You used to be a watchable friend, but you aren't any more.

So I have to ask you to **** off.

Sorry, an' that being you're a lady, but money counts...

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Senior Service...

Today, Scrobs joins the Senior Service!

Noooh, not going to sea, not that one, but the one where I've reached the day when by all accounts, I could retire and say to Mrs Scrobs that I was taking up growing roses, and buying a new pipe and slippers! It's not really like that, because as everyone knows, I will stop work when I'm 103, but I'd like to put in a good word for the Pension Service.

It took one phone call of about ten minutes to arrange everything,  They were splendid! They had everything they needed on a screen to unravel a lifetime of my work, gave reasons why my pension would be smaller, or larger at sixty-five, and it was all confirmed in writing in seven days!

So, here's a new one - kick the banks into touch, and give the money wasted on their balance sheets to the guys and gals Up North!

You'd get to talk to people on normal salaries, not eye-watering bonuses, they'd understand the public, not rip them off, they'd abide by strict rules, not flout them, they'd have a code of conduct far superior to those in big shiny Canary Wharf offices, and they'd be out of the tainted reach of meddling politicians!

That would solve the nation's woes at a stroke, and even maybe, I'd be able to retire a few days before that 103rd birthday...

Seeing the Grandchildren today, loads of cards to open, and a few tinctures as well!


Talking to BP just now, he told me that he'd experienced exactly the same courtesy and friendly professional attitude, when he had to go through his affairs with The Pension Service in Motherwell! He said that he'd also heard similar stories from others as well, so perhaps I'm getting nearer to solving the woes of UK Inc than I thought...

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Life's like a butterfly...

Mrs Scroblene had delightful ears, and likes to wear small delicate studs as a final embellishment, and who am I to wish it any other way!

These invariably get forgotten in the day-to-day hullabaloo of rushing around here and there, (the studs, not the ears - she hears EVERYTHING,), but the little metal butterflies which hold the things in usually end up on the carpet, or inside a pullover, or anywhere in fact! They're tiny, just a bit of metal which folds round a stem, and probably cost about .01 pence to make per dozen.

So while we had a few spare minutes in Hastings last week (seeing opticians for ages and ages, and eventually glasses), we popped into F. Hinds to get a dozen or so butterflies for spares.

It went something like this...

Mrs S. - "Hello, do you sell the butterflies which go on ear studs please"?

Miss Crone - "Can you be more precise on the type of studs, do you have them with you"?

Mrs S. - "Well, they go on the back of the stud, and keep them from falling out, I've lost one or two, and need some replacements, and no they're not here, they're at home"!

Miss Crone - "Oh Nooo, NOOO, we don't do anything like that, you have to bring them for us to evaluate them and provide a perfect match"!

Mrs S. - "But surely you sell them by the packet, I only want them to go on the b....., oh don't bother, thank you"!

Exit swiftly...

Into H. Samuel...

Mrs S. - "Hello, do you sell the butterflies which go on ear studs please"?

Young lady - "Yes we do madam"!

Mrs S - "Oh good, I'd like to buy some please, how much are they"?

Young lady - "They're £15.00 a pair, and you need to bring them in for us to fit them for you madam"!

Mrs S. - "What! They're only tiny little butte...oh forget it, we'll get them on the internet"!


So that is why the High Street just dies away, leaving second-hand shops, crusties on Tennants, nasty smelly junk food pads, empty buildings, and ugly old bank buildings (which used to have ugly bankers within - couldn't resist that one)!

Post script...

Ebay - £1.50, plus .40p postage, for three pairs...