Monday, 16 October 2017


One of the loveliest ladies I have never met is Goosegirl!

She writes gorgeously funny posts on another site here, and we converse in a non-tactile way, but by Jimminy, she's a real chum and that's a fact!

Goosey and I would have an enormous meet-up if we ever did,  but there's a lot of miles between Lancaster and Kent, so we just chat as normal people do, and have a lot of fun doodling on whatever subject comes up.

I was so pleased when we started messageing, and while Mrs O'Blene is in on the act, it's a different world out there, and so much the better for having this little electric computer thing to make life a more interesting place.

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Pound coin deadline...

Sodden Prickney Parish Council

Minutes of Emergency Meeting held on 4th October, 2017.

"To discuss the withdrawal of the old pound coins from the parking meter close to 'The Newt Foundation'  carpark"

Present: -

Ms Cynthia Molestrangler (Chairman)
Count Basil Kalashnikov
PC Lumbersnatch
The Hon Sidney Trumpet, OBE and Bar
Miss Amelia Newt
Alderman Ron Groat
Mistress Edwina Baggage

The decision has been made for Mr Kalashnikov, accompanied by Mr Groat, to visit the premises of Mr Elias Sagtrouser, Purveyor of large lumps of concrete, knobs and ferret cages, to purchase a large hammer.

The said hammer, at a cost of no more than ten shillings, including SET, will be transported back to the carpark, where, under the supervision of  PC Lumbersnatch, the said parking meter will be dealt a crushing blow to try and open it to extract the old pound coins within.

Once these coins have eventually been counted and purveyed to the bank, a receipt will be issued to the council accountant, and the money credited to the Ways and Means Committee. 

Sodden Prickney Parish Council

Emergency Meeting to be held on 10th October, 2017.

'To discuss why absolutely no money was found in the parking meter, and why three buttons, a Belgian franc, two washers and a token from an old fruit machine were the only contents of the machine'.

All Members are requested to attend, with the possible exception of Alderman Groat, who will soon be out of hospital with a broken thumb.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Reasons to be cheerful...

Aided and abetted by the fabulous Ian Dury, there's a good feeling in 'The Turrets'!

It's all to do with going at least a month, probably longer, without watching anything on the BBC!

Last evening was the first foray into the living room for months, and a warm log fire and a DVD was the true way to welcome Autumn, but the TV button hasn't strayed to any biased 'news'. or any 'sleb' trashy stuff for ages! We both feel just great for the easy life without the awful groaning biased leftie rubbish churned out from W1A!

I have to admit, that if I just can't sleep, I'll don the earphones and try a few stations, and Radio 5 Live still does the same dreary old rubbish, and I get to sleep soon afterwards, as - except for Dotun Adebayo - the others are just dull, uninteresting and plain boring, especially Rhod Sharpe!

I know I shouldn't pay for all this, but being an upstanding citizen, (and the television can easily be seen from a window), I'll grin and bear it...

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Sad uni story...

Lovely lady chum in our village was chatting with Scrobs a few days ago.

As she is a super chum, we can talk about anything, but her latest words made me fill up just a little bit...

Her Daught has just started at University, and is in Plymouth for the next three years or so. We've chatted on numerous occasions on how she would get there, etc, and now the deed is done. Presumably, my lovely lady chum is feeling several bits down, and so would I, having done that a couple of times myself, luckily with Mrs O'Blene by my side.

The door bell  rang at Chum's abode last week, and there, standing bereft, was daught's boyfriend, in tears.

Lovely lady chum had to walk him round the village to calm him down, and explain that Plymouth is only four hours away, and that she may well write and, email, and, and, and...

Thursday, 21 September 2017

What's in a gnome...

Apparently the most important survey of kids' names has just been published at great expense.

Top of the list is Olivia and Oliver.

So that's settled then...

I'd like to suggest some more enlightened names: -

  1. Helium Balloon
  2. Moisture
  3. Garment
  4. Venezuela (for chavs)
  5. De Frag
  6. Plunger
  7. Pisspot
  8. Dimbleby
  9. Belfast-Cinq
  10. Molestrangler
So there you have it folks; please add your preferred names to the list, but no too many rock-ape, chav names please, they're all different/stupid anyway...

Wednesday, 13 September 2017


Just collected about four dozen while walking JRT through the churchyard...

Spiders beware!

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Lansdown(e) what's in a name...

Mrs O'Blene and I were chatting over a tincture recently, and discovered that the name 'Lansdowne' appears so many times in our short lives, we wondered why!

As well as the original park in Canada, (above) there's a hotel in Brecon, a road in both Bedford and Bury St Edmunds, both in which Mrs O'Blene in her tender years, melted the younger male establishment, and the list goes on...

We have a myriad of Lansdownes in the UK, and undoubtedly abroad as well, but it makes me wonder, if the original old boy just might have had a bicycle to get around...

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Cherokee Trail of Tears...

A chum sent me some seeds of ‘Cherokee Trail of Tears’ beans. She’s a great gardener, with lots of skill and clearly the right temperament for a shared passion. Looking up the origin of the name, I uncovered a large piece of American history attached to the Cherokee Nation, and it makes for uncomfortable reading.

In a nutshell, the Cherokee Indians were hounded around on their settlements, and eventually kicked out of their promised land when gold was found on their new territories. They were transported from their homes by boats in the summer of 1838, and about 4,000 souls died from disease, exposure and famine. The journey has long been chronicled as ‘The Trail of Tears’.

President Andrew Jackson, a Democrat no less, authorised The Indian Removal Act, not long after a force of 500 Cherokee fighters had saved his life, and what remained of his army at The Battle of Horseshoe Bend, in 1814. Nice guys these Democrats.

Back to the beans.

They were just a small part of the allowance for the Indians’ enforced travel, and some of the original black beans were taken by the refugees and planted as soon as they had enough ground to make a sowing.

They are a fabulous crop, the green early growth is a sweet, tender version of a runner bean, and has a texture unlike any other vegetable. When the beans mature on the pole, they turn black, and can then be harvested for use later on. Like all pulses, they are a rich source of protein and fibre, so are really a superveg in their own right, with a long useful growing season, and a great addition to any further menus in the winter.

We’ve grown enough to use during the summer, and also just finished podding about two pounds of the little black beans which will go in the various soups and casseroles which Mrs O’Blene creates at every opportunity! And all this from just fourteen plants!

I suppose I’ll never stop learning about growing things, and this little piece of history makes for much research and interest, with perhaps more than a little bitterness at why after all these years, a tiny black bean builds into a big and rather unpleasant record of bad times for some great people.

Friday, 25 August 2017

04:15 puttering lights...

The other day, Scrobs needed to go out and get some bread for lunch, as Mrs O'Blene was planning kippers, and that elegant, delicious comestible requires the stuff of life straight out of the oven!

Now Waitrose here don't have on-site ovens, but the bread they pop out on the shelves - at least at our branch, is pretty damn good, and while we would love to remain loyal to a local bakery, there are times when even a small loaf from there doesn't get used up, sometimes goes hard quite quickly and we just hate waste.

So Scrobs enters the door to be greeted by an immediate 'Cooeeee' from a super-elegant Gloriette, who has just arrived in a fragrant cloud, as well as her white Audi TT and is studying a shopping list about three pages long!

Now as many people know, Gloriette is one of the most gorgeous visions one can ever dream of, and indeed, her ever-loving spouse, Elias Sagtrouser insists that it is only a dream. He makes exceptions to old mates like Scrobs, who is allowed one more grasp and a few pecks, but no more, and who am I to try and overstep the mark!

'Gloriette, love of my life, you look stunning'!

'Oh same old, same old, how are you Sweetheart', she murmured after the first obligatory squeeze and peck. Eyes by the carrots turned to the skin-tight jeans, casual top and perfect turnout.

'Oh fine thank you - er - Is Elias with you'? Scrobs muttered more in hope than enquiry.

'No it's a BBB day, so he's out and about. Meccano and Toniatteline are here somewhere, but I'm having a few hours off to have my hair done'!

There was a lot in that statement.

'First, Light of my Life', Scrobs started, 'you need go no further with the hair business, as you're already looking stunning, second, why is the shop at Sagtrouser and co, Suppliers of bricks, paint and electric angle grinders, left unattended then, and what, finally, on earth is a BBB day'!

(This was going to be a long shopping escapade, and a quick check on the Fitbit watch confirmed that there was ninety minutes only, which would probably be enough.)

'Ha ha ha, but thanks for the comment about the 'Barnet', Scrobs (Gloriette never forgets her London upbringing), secondly, we always leave Jeremiah on the tills when we're out. He sells more Rawlplugs and screws than anything when he's on duty'!

This was indeed a trading experience which I'd never heard of before, so enquired further.

'Rawlplugs and screws - why those'?

'Well every builder always wants a stock for that odd job, and Jeremiah always assumes that they'll need some more each time the customer comes in the shop and adds them to the account, so we get through cases of the things! It's a great money spinner' The customers love it, especially as Jeremiah is six foot seven inches tall!

Scrobs peered absentmindedly at the heaving shelf of French cheese and wondered whether he was in the right business after all...

'OK, but what does Elias mean by a BBB day then'?

We cruised past the chicken portions and sliced ham.

'Simples! It's the end of the month, and a time when in the old days, he'd have to go out and collect overdue payments, cheques and cash! The baseball bat was always left on the dashboard as a 'persuader', and never failed! That's why he now drives a Range Rover, I have my Audi TT and that's all because somehow the money arrived when we needed it, not when customers decided to pay it'!

'Our thick politicians could learn a thing or two there', I absently said, allowing a slight brush against a tanned bejewelled forearm and adding yet another expensive piece of smoked salmon to the trolley, which was filling up at an alarming rate.

I noticed Gloriette peering at me more than somewhat  in the reflection of the frozen fish, and she suddenly turned and enquired, 'You're looking a bit peaky Scrobs, If you don't mind me saying so'!

Twelve fish fingers and a lemon cheesecake tipped into the trolley.

'Oh I'm absolutely fine you lovely lady, it's - er - just the '4:15 puttering lights' have started again!

'WHAT ON EARTH DO YOU MEAN'? She yelped, grabbing my arm, and several heads turned in our direction, so I reopened a freezer door for some more French fries to avert the gathering interest.

'Well, the nights are drawing in aren't they. It's still twilight at 4:14 am, and cars need lights to get around'!

'That's true I suppose, but why does it cause you grief then'?

We spotted Toniatteline staring at a lurid row of magazines which all seemed to display hugely developed girls and boys in various stages of undress, while Meccano was rummaging around in a shelf of pictures of shiny cars and lorries with fat wheels, and they both were lost to the world.

'Oh it's not grief really, my love, it's just that every morning, my elderly friend next door has a newspaper delivered. Years ago, I'd occasionally hear a car coming out of the lane opposite, and stop, with its engine running. If I was awake, I'd wonder why this happened at the same time every day of the week, and always thought it might be someone rolling a fag, or checking a mobile'.

'After a few years of this, one early morning, I was up letting JRT out as she'd heard something in the garden, and the car arrived as normal. JRT started to bark, which annoys Mrs O'Blene, so I rushed out to get her back in, and saw a shape trotting from the car to my neighbour's house. The engine was left on and ticking over, but he didn't make a sound either'! It had never occurred to me that this was the newspaper delivery man, doing what he does best...'!

'Hmm, so it's JRT's fault then is it'?

'Aw no, but during the summer, the van doesn't need lights, and they don't shine in our bedroom window and wake me up! They're just starting to do that again now, as I'll never get back to sleep after that'!

'Scrobs, you are impossible'! Purred my perfumed chum with a huge smile, and we headed off for the tills.

Scrobs stared down at the basket, now full of bags.

'That will be £112.45 please Mr O'Blene! Would you like a coffee? Have a nice day'!

And I only wanted a small bag of mixed bread rolls...

Friday, 18 August 2017


My dear neighbours went up to town to see 42nd St recently.

He's getting on a bit, and has trouble hearing lines in plays, but this one didn't present any problems!

Marvellous stuff...

Monday, 14 August 2017

That catch...

Many years ago, your old idiot chum, Scrobs, played a few games of cricket with two clubs - one was the village, and the other was the Summer version of the Rugby Club, as they had a lot of serious drinkers, and at five-bob a head, the kitty wasn't that onerous!

To be fair, I was never actually going to get beyond Number Eleven in the batting (some suggested perhaps twelve, or even thirteen), but my fielding (apart from dropping a doddle at mid-off once) wasn't that bad, and when I was allowed to come closer to the bat than about four miles away, I'd shine like a beacon in a dull Sussex sky!

In the RFC Cricket section, we had a superb chap, who knew everything about the game, and was one of the best bowlers I'd ever seen. If I say his name (David Vale), someone might sue me, but who cares, I was only number eleven, so that's enough!

David always poked fun at me in a friendly way, and I usually told him to sod off, so that was that. In one particular game, however, he went all serious.

'Scrobs', he shouted, 'Get close to the bat at silly mid off'!

Bugger this, I thought! It was their number three at the crease, and he'd been clonking fours and sixes everywhere on the park!

David re-made the order.


'Over by the far canal'! I was within about three inches of the batsman's glove and still being told to get even closer! A mild repost to David was met with disdain, a smirk, and complete bollocks.

So, down came the first ball.

Tap.  Wimp.

Vale sneered.

Next ball, a tentative prod to leg.

Vale snorted.

Next ball; a superb off-spin which turned almost ninety degrees, and left the batsman in a real mess, so he tried to belt it, missed the meat of the bat, popped up an edge which went about three feet away from his pads, then turned away.

Scrobs did the unfathomable. Being right-footed, and still in diarrheic fear of a smack right in the chops from either bat or ball, (or perhaps both), the ball hovered about a yard above the batting crease like a full moon does on - er - a batting crease..

Scrobs' full length of five foot seven and three-quarters leapt straight out and left-handedly grasped the ball an inch above the grass. It was the catch of a lifetime, and while I sit here, thinking about how great life is an' all that, I'll still remember the look on the bowler's face as he notched another wicket...

Bloody man, that David...

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Is that all there is...

Last week, I was tinkering about here, reading something on the PC, when Mrs Scrobs called through to say that she'd just read that Robert Hardy had died. We're great fans of his TV stuff, and although I knew he was getting on, it was still a saddening event to record.

Just a few seconds later, she added that ''someone" Bennett had also died. I didn't hear who, and I thought she'd said 'Jill Bennett', so I Googled the lady, only to find that she died by her own hand ages ago.

So, reading the Wiki entry even further, it mentioned that Alan Price (a favourite musician here), sang a special song 'Is that all there is', while the assembled friends cast her ashes on The River Thames, together with those of Rachel Roberts, another lovely lady from the same time. Lindsay Anderson made his last film here.

The video is here. (it may need a rewind to the beginning).

It's a poignant piece, and so very thoughtful.  The slow brass piece at just over half-way (3:14) with the flowers floating on the water is heart-breaking and I fill up everytime I see it.

Bessie Smith recorded the first version, and of course, she was 'The Mistress' of such fabulous music. Her rendition is here. She was just magnificent!

A few weeks ago, I met an old friend whom I hadn't seen for forty or so years. We swapped all the old yarns, laughed a lot, had several beers, and agreed that we'd do the same again soon. I had been saddened though, to learn of one particular lovely friend from the seventies, who was losing a battle against a terminal condition. We'd been good friends, and she'd been to our wedding, and we went to hers years ago.

Just more recently, there was a big funeral for a famous old local chap, whom everyone knew and admired, because he'd overcome all sorts of physical indignities all his life, and had beaten them all. It was a huge wake, with several hundred people in a marquee the size of a small village. The drinks flowed like water, and the chat was outstanding. I'd only heard about the funeral that morning, and was determined to go - even making a collar-button extension for the only shirt that fits me at the moment...

My friend was too ill to attend, but I learned that her battle was getting harder and that made me feel a bit mortal to be honest. Her husband - another old chum from the past - was there, and must have been feeling pretty rotten too.

Getting back to the Jill Bennett story, Mrs Scrobs explained that it was indeed 'Hywel' Bennett who'd joined the 'Virgin Soldiers' on high, and that was also a sobering thought, as 'The Family Way' came out at the same time as I was wondering what to do if or when I eventually got a girlfriend...

So, as the title says, 'Is that all there is'?

Thursday, 3 August 2017


Image result for fitbit charge 2

No, not a new bird, just a postage stamp sized gadget given to me by Daught and Sil for my birthday!

Even my doctor was impressed, especially as my blood pressure is normal for the first time in ages!

And I reached the target once last week, so all those onions and spuds will just fly out of the ground!

Thursday, 27 July 2017


After a celebratory week of forensic bottle-interior investigation, Scrobs has uncovered a serious mistake in the 'requirement' to publish how many alcoholic units does it take to get noticed by some sort of watchdog...

F'rinstance, our local Tesco was flogging Southern Comfort for £15.00 a bottle, which we thought was a billy-bargain, as a 'Soco and lemonade' on a hot day is a welcome tincture, and we availed ourselves of this generous offer on several occasions, as the cheap deal seemed to go on forever!

On the posher end of the scale, the very same grocers was knocking out Glenmorangie (bog standard single malt) at around £20.00 a pop, and as our birthdays are close together, we said to each other, 'Well, why not'?

While idly peering at the labels during a lull in the conversation recently, I noticed an unusual anomaly in the gibberish these suppliers have to print all over the back of their bottles these days.

Southern Comfort - 70cl - ABV 35% - UK units per bottle: 24.5
Glenmorangie - 70cl - ABV 40% - UK units per bottle: 28.0

Now I've never claimed to be a mathematician, but isn't there something wrong here?

Shurely the malt should have fewer units than the Soco, as it has a higher ABV!

This called for further investigation and resulted in another exercise in comparison, all conducted under laboratory conditions: -

Anno Gin - 70cl - ABV 43% - UK units per bottle: 30.0

Gordons Gin - 100cl - ABV 37.5% - UK units per bottle: 37.5
(this is from a litre bottle, therefore redushed to 70cl, it becomesh 7/10 which equalsh 26.25 units).

Bells Scloostch - 100gals - ABoVe the cloudds 400% - UK Brexit units per bottle: 40.00009.76 messures
(thish is f0rm a metre bottler, therefore redacted to 70 pints it becomesh 7 bastards of something or other which equalsh 280 million of the sodss.0 units).

Finoished allllll the Sherrry now an' theres not alot lefft on the shelfd....


Wednesday, 19 July 2017

A silver sixpence...

Brian May from 'Queen' is one of my favourite guitarists.

I always liked the solo from 'Killer Queen', back in the seventies, and indeed, since then, he has made some astonishing riffs, including one standing on the parapet of Buckingham Palace!

It's common knowledge that his guitar of choice is one he and his dad made some years ago - the 'Red Devil'. It is a unique instrument, and his plectrum of choice is an old sixpence. I know there are many good guitarists who grace these columns, Thud, Elecs to name but seven of them, and they will probably know what I mean when a guitar string is plucked, and the thumb or forefinger just touches the string at the same time, an amazing sound can be produced. It's almost impossible to do it twice, which may mean that a slightly different version happens if the technique is tried a second or third time, but these repeat notes create a huge vocabulary of rich guitar sounds.

So Brian, today is your seventieth birthday, and by coincidence, it is also mine, so Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Only in America...

DUI Texas style:

          Only a person in Texas could think of this...
          From the county where drunk driving is considered a sport, comes this true story.

          Recently a routine police patrol parked outside a bar in Austin, Texas. After last call the officer noticed a man leaving the bar so apparently intoxicated that he could barely walk.

          The man stumbled around the parking lot for a few minutes, with the officer quietly observing.

          After what seemed an eternity in which he tried his keys on five different vehicles, the man managed to find his car and fall into it.

          He sat there for a few minutes as a number of other patrons left the bar and drove off.

          Finally he started the car, switched the wipers on and off; (it was a fine, dry summer night), flicked the blinkers on and off a couple of times, honked the horn and then switched on the lights.

          He moved the vehicle forward a few inches, reversed a little and then remained still for a few more minutes as some more of the other patrons' vehicles left.

          At last, when his was the only car left in the parking lot, he pulled out and drove slowly down the road.

          The police officer, having waited patiently all this time, now started up his patrol car, put on the flashing lights, promptly pulled the man over and administered a breathalyzer test.

          To his amazement, the breathalyzer indicated no evidence that the man had consumed any alcohol at all!

          Dumbfounded, the officer said, I'll have to ask you to accompany me to the police station. This breathalyzer equipment must be broken.
         "I doubt it", said the truly proud Redneck.  'Tonight I'm the designated decoy.'

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Whooping cough...

Apparently, when I was a tiny little chap, I had whooping cough, and my pram and my cot took a bit of a battering...

A lovely chum told me yesterday that there seems to be an underlying increase in cases of whooping cough. She had an awful time with it a year or so ago. She's much younger than me - at least a generation, and as we're a group of mates meeting regularly, we'd noticed how 'down' she was for much of the time, but being a real fighter, she dealt with the problem in her own way.

Several other pals are now showing similar symptoms, and it's been recognised as a local 'Hack', but an implicit discussion is emerging which may prove that the immunisation we kids got some years ago, is wearing off, and symptoms are returning in a few other ways.

My chum eventually got over it, but claimed that a couple of teachers at her children's' school had been coughing for weeks, and one went to get checked out properly. She was diagnosed as having the whole damn lot, and put up for a cure a.s.a.p.

While 'conspiracy theories' will always be around for just about everything, this issue is a bit worrying, because once the politicians get hold of it, the NHS will get bashed even further, and undoubtedly another layer of expensive management will be created, just to deal with the condition.

On a happier note, my chum was cured by the technique of altitude conditioning. Her dad had a PPL, and hired a plane to take her up 10,000 ft for a spell, and from then on she recovered! I'd never heard of this before, and checking it all out, back in the seventies, there were regular forays into the phenomenon, and they had a lot of success!

Monday, 26 June 2017

Plain Australian speak - what else...

The importance of accuracy in your tax return:
The Australian Tax Office has returned the Tax Return to a man in Townsville after he apparently answered one of the questions.
In response to the question, “Do you have anyone dependent on you?”
The man wrote:
2.1 million illegal immigrants,
1.1 million crackheads,
4.4 million unemployable scroungers,
80,000 criminals in over 85 prisons,
450 idiots in Parliament,
thousands of ‘retired politicians’
and an entire group that call themselves ‘Senators’!
The ATO stated that the response he gave was “unacceptable”.
The man’s response back to ATO was, “Who did I leave out?”
Aussie rules - yup!

Monday, 19 June 2017

Tower of Babel...

I can't think of any commercial enterprise more regulated than the building industry. There are so many hurdles to jump with just about every item of a contract, so why on earth is it so difficult to point the finger at the sequence of events which eventually lets a builder on site to do the work.

The Client briefs the design team, they follow the rules, and the builder tenders for the work.

Eventually, it's job done, so it's not beyond the wit of man to realise that probably the architect and maybe the engineer needs good talking to.

Forget silly old berks like Corbyn and that idiot Lammy, trying to blame it all on someone in government and poke political fingers at all and sundry, it's the 'professionals' who are at fault.

I hope there are building inspectors and council officials having uncontrolled bowel movements everywhere, especially up in London.

Friday, 9 June 2017

On feeling let down by politicians...

Not good for me, nearing seventy.

No recognition of the terrorist upsurge, no relief from taxes paid to foreign despots, no chance of getting away from Kinnock inspired Brussels.

Crap time really, and I need intensive gardening to lift my soul.

Maybe I'll fel better in a few days time, but until then, sod everything.

Monday, 5 June 2017

London Bridge...

My little girl travels to London Bridge every day, and I'll be thinking of her all the time.

Thank you for nothing Blair. You let all these bastards fester among true Brits with your smarmy welcome and handouts and ignorance of the future of our beloved country.

Thankfully, Corbyn won't be allowed to do any more of the damage after Thursday, and with Brexit firing on all cylinders, we'll get some revenge against more Blair/Brown failures as well.

And you can fuck off too Campbell, you toxic poisonous little shit.

Monday, 29 May 2017

Useful arrogant lefty Yank...

Why cannot real people try to better themselves?

Friday, 26 May 2017

Second Lieutenant Election...

I know I couldn't give a flying feck for our pathetic politicians these days, they'll all thick, manipulative liars, so just as this 'election' is looming, I'll stick in my two-pennorth for good time's sake.

Just for the record, I'll put my cross against Greg Clark, as I have actually met him, and although Tunbridge Wells will turn Labour when hell freezes over, he does seem a nice enough bloke. The others don't seem to be anywhere, so I'll conveniently forget them.

I've got so many more important things to do! The leeks need re-potting, and a chum down the road needs some tomato plants. I need some more exercise on my electric bike, and we need some more wine soon (that's my day  job)!

I'm glad we don't live in Manchester, or Oldham. I've been there on occasions, but it's a different world, so I'll stay safely here thanks.

Friday, 19 May 2017

I know what I like...

I know what I like...


As just a few chums here know, I'm still a big fan of  Genesis, and when I can't be arsed to read a book, or anything, I grab the Ipad, clunk in a few digits, and revel in a few of my favourite songs!

This song was regularly on the radio in the early seventies, and we were living in Hastings at the time. There was, back then, a super record shop called 'The Disc Jockey Plus Two', near The Memorial (older inhabitants will remember that), and as I'd heard this fabulous song on the wireless, I went to enquire as to whether I could afford to purchase the said song...

Too late, it was on an album 'Selling England by the pound', and £3.40 was way above what Mrs Scroblene would have allowed, so I didn't buy it and left.

A few years later, I saw a forty-five version in a cheapo sale and snapped it up (more money in those days), and it's still a favourite!

Elder Daught and I have watched Phil Collins cavorting around the stage live on several occasions, and this version still reverberates...

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Drains: and floats and rains...

Hot water tank seriously on the blink - new one coming tomorrow...

Septic tank outlet pump on the blink - next week for a repair sometime...

Shower started to leak into the kitchen again two days ago...

And we're short of rain???

Saturday, 6 May 2017

HIGNFY - never; prats...

That twisted little git Andy Hamilton and twerps Hislop and Merton used to be funny, well on occasions, well very RARE occasions, well almost never...

Calling pathetic 'jokes' about dementia just isn't even the slightest bit amusing, so why doesn't the dire BBC get rid of this toxic mix of lefty crap?

Oh, sorry, this is the BBC we're talking about, and there's an election looming.

(And I didn't even waste electricity watching the prog, just read the bits afterwards for a few seconds)!

Friday, 21 April 2017

The number crunching begins...

Sodden Prickney Parish Council

Notice of Election

The following candidates will be standing for erection (shouldn't that be Election - Ed) around dinner time on June 8th 2017: -

Kalashnikov - Basil Islington Aloysius - Local Lobster Party

Molestrangler - Cynthia Snythiea Janetreger - Sodden’s Suffragettes

Newt - Amelia Celia Ophelia - Justice for Newts party

Groat - Ronald Bumhole - Justice for Ron Party

Trumpet - Sidney Charles Larkin - The winner by a long chalk party

Wibble - Norman Herbert Albert Norbert Gilbert - Generosity for old farts party

Baggage - Edwina Maserati Bicyclette Golikeatrain - Allow sex on trains party

Billary - Florrie Doris Mavis - Swivellers anonymous party

Clinchton - Willy Endaway Table-ender - Alwaysinthekitchenwiththerestofthem party


I, Simcox Corbyn Reichstaffenbendercrimplene O’Blene hereby announce the results of the election of Sodden Prickney Parish council as follows: -

Molestra...(don’t be so bloody stupid man, we haven’t even had the election yet - Ed)

Friday, 14 April 2017

Easter Greetings...

Here's to a happy and enjoyable Easter holiday!

By coincidence, it's exactly twenty-eight years to the day that we moved to the current 'Turrets', and the reminiscences of that day will naturally surface amid a moderate sea of suitable tinctures!

Back then, the place was in a very sorry state, having been built in the early fifties, when materials weren't easily available, and most designs had been kept to a fair minimum of style to accommodate the limited supply of timber etc.

The place hadn't even been decorated since that date so there was thirty-five years of original battleship grey paint in some rooms, hideous pink in the sitting room, and the kitchen was the same colour as the pic above! There were home-made friezes everywhere too, and all the ceilings were coated with distemper, which needed to be washed off completely before being emulsioned...

But it was a labour of love - still is really - and I still have some shelves to put up...

So I wish everyone here a pleasant and happy holiday, and also ask you to join me and Mrs Scroblene in a glass or three of Prosecco!

Friday, 7 April 2017

Nine decades of two fingers to failure...

A good friend of mine is nearly ninety-one years old.

He lives with his lovely wife very close to The Turrets, and he is one of the nicest, and most articulate and knowledgeable people I have ever met. It is always an honour and a pleasure to hear him recall incidents from many years ago, about his travels and work abroad, his brushes with famous names, how he handles his formidable Bridge passion and, then finally, he'll bring about his inevitable sparkling humour in finishing almost every breath of banter and serious discussion with a chuckle and a joyous hoot.

Just recently, I was chatting with his wife over the garden gate, and she mentioned that in a routine appointment at the doc's, they thought he ought to go for some 'tests'. They were made some way away from here, and a subsequent appointment was made for a specialist to tell him a few days afterwards, that the tests were 'inconclusive', and that they needed to repeat them all. So my dear friend has to go though the mental and physical turmoil a second time, and that has made him more worried than ever, which is not his nature. He doesn't 'do' worry!

I don't know what's happened in the last few days, but I soon will, and again, I'll agree with his dear wife, that there seems to be a cruel antipathy to letting a ninety-year-old living his last few years in harmony with all he has achieved in his honest and varied life so far, to spending hours with needles and drips and scans and pokes and earnest talks with medics and rush-hour drives to hospital and no food for twenty-four hours and the sad sight of less fortunate patients and the dread of something going on which he knows little about and used to fear less... and now the endless worry...

The list goes on, and they still can't find out if there is any reason to suspect that he may have something wrong!

It's wrong.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Ten years after...

This week, Scrobs can celebrate ten years in the amazing blogosphere!

Yup, it was ten years ago that the first trembling keystrokes hit the net, and a new wandering soul joined a great crowd of lovely people!

I suppose the immortal started it all off for me, with some hilarious moments and many happy hours trying to keep up! By coincidence, the site has returned only recently, and of course, retains its original stature!

We've lost several good people along the way, The Beast, or Peter Hitchens as he was back then and dear old Mutley the dog, who is sorely missed! Lots of other names have moved on, like The Lakelander, Tuscan Tony, Idle, Ed, E-K and many more, which is a pity, but so many other ways to mix in have developed since then like Twatter and Bookface, and the lethal Linkedin, which is like a rash only worse! I just feel safer knowing that at least I can edit my own mistakes before sending a dubious message while outside a few tinctures...

Blogging ten years ago was also a serious antidote to the dreadful recession brought on by the Blair/Brown experiment in screwing the country, and every opportunity to escape the concern of a dreadful economic situation helped an anxious Scrobs through trying times. Things were not great back then, but now, with new opportunities through Brexit and a final good riddance to those awful Labour years, and of course the magic retirement kicking in with gusto, the future is so much brighter and more positive!

Thinking of the blogs that are still around, It's always a pleasure reading Blue Eyes, Bill Quango and of course Nick Drew, who still calls by here occasionally! I'd have loved to join them for their Christmas bash, but as I keep away from London as much as possible now, I always miss out! I even missed Old Holborn's visit to the Clarence, by several hours too, so that's another hero worship episode I missed! A.K.Haart always brings a smile, even when he's being serious! Looking back at comments from that time also brings so many more old chums out into the air! I actually spoke to Daisy when she was about to fly home! Of course, Reevers is a stalwart here, and always good for a reply, for which I'm eternally grateful, especially as there aren't as many of us around to comment!

Other bright spots like meeting Lilith and Elby, having chats with Pips and getting serious computer help from The Lakelander has made all this online stuff an honour and a pleasure, and I hope in another ten years I'll still be able to plonk a few more posts around, with whatever a computer will look like then! Mine will probably still look like the kit above anyway...

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Family fortunes...

There was yet another chaotic disturbance at Sodden Prickney's monthly meeting last Thursday, when it was announced that after the next local election, no members would be able to charge expenses and wages for family members. The decision had been taken by an overpaid crowd called IPSA, presumably funded from an island in Greece.

Sid Trumpet, who more or less runs the whole council these days, on account of Basil Kalashnikov sectioning himself, (not a pretty sight - Ed), announced that he couldn't give a damn, as he had enough money of his own, and also owned a string of garages. and as the mandatory uniform of a full length sheepskin coat and tweed cap was classed as a business expense, he charged no more to the hard-pressed general public.

Basil Kalashnikov, in a rare lucid moment (are there any - Ed), complained that the salary list of his family, plus two 'partners', a parrot for the answer phone, his eight children of assorted hues and nationalities and an aged aunt as a receptionist in his shed was a necessity to keep the wheels of local governance moving smoothly, and refused to come out and discuss the matter further without his bent solicitor, Herr Wilhelm Nargh taking notes and gabbling into an old Nokia.

Ms Cynthia Molestrangler went even further, and stripped off in protest, much to the annoyance of Norman Wibble, who's been trying to get her to do that for several years, but in the safety of her own home, but nobody else took much notice, so she had to stand there in the draught until someone put an old raincoat round her and ushered her to the geezerbird toilets to calm down.

The local press, under the influential Bicycling column headed up by Ms Edwina Baggage thought it was a good idea as Mr Kalashnikov's seven bedroom sheltered gated community home was not to the taste of most people, who seemed to be paying for all of it, but she was pointed at by Mr Nargh's ring-finger, and decided to say nothing further.

So there you have it, little local councils have to pay for their own stuff, and real business people carry on doing what they do best - earn their dosh!

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

How do you hate...

When I was at boarding school, back in the fifties and sixties, I made many good friends; and also, sadly a few serious enemies.

I suppose that now I am in my late sixties, I should be constantly thinking of Daughts, grandchildren, gardening, pensions and lunch with old farts like me and Mrs Scroblene! And I do all of these things, very easily, without concern for anyone else (except for the said Mrs Scroblene, who is my pride and joy and definitely not an old fart - sorry Mrs S - slip of the keyboard)!

But it is a funny (not funny) recall that comes to me on occasions, on how I dealt with people who were unkind to me, back when I was at school.

I was never physically bullied as I could swing a punch as good as the next lad, but there were some chaps who were the type who just made a life nasty because of 'teasing'. It got to me seriously, as being an emergent Scrobs, with all the world at his feet, and despite wanting to like people first, some little-minded git would try and knock me down for reasons only known to himself, and think he was better than me.

I've never really bothered about anyone claiming to be 'better', if that's what they believe, then good luck to them, but just don't knock a more normal sort of bloke, eh?

I learned only yesterday, that the person who caused me such grief back when I was a simple teenager, died from a heart attack last year. He'd been a journalist of sorts, and was something high up in the Daily Mail, but as a lovely family member recalls (as she used to work for him') he hadn't changed, and was still a nasty little shit back then.

So 'bye then asshole. You caused me much pain and turned good friends against me, and you also hurt many others when you became a 'senior' at school. You're dead now, and I feel great about that.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

So,'ere we go...

President Trump is all over the slimy gits trying to nail him for various 'ingenuities', and the MSM (sods who chafe), are getting absolutely nowhere.

Lovely times, for people like Scrobs. I'm fed up with the biased BBC, the Groanead, the Telegraph and the lefty US press like the Washington howsyourfather,...

I'm so old, that I can remember when the BBC were an organisation to be admired!

Not any more.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Trumpet cocks snook at the press...

Basil Kalashnikov's current residence...

Councillor Sid Trumpet, who now chairs all the meetings at Sodden Prickney Parish Council, on account of Basil Kalashnikov being temporarily deranged, has decided to ban from all the council meetings, the local Sod-Pri Bugle, a silly sort of freebie paper where people sell second-hand beds, and melamine tables.

This has enraged Ms Cynthia Molestrangler, who has a reputation for faking it on several occasions, (not what I've heard - Ed), and also, funnily enough, Miss Amelia Newt, who often confuses the council meetings with whist drives, and gets very upset if she can't cheat a little with Ron Groat, her life-long squeeze, who used to run the drug trafficking franchise for the local chemist, until he was sacked for chewing tobacco on duty.

Councillor Trumpet has also banned the local BBC reporter, Jim Soap-Oprah, who has developed a particularly nasal sneer whenever he talks to the cameras.

The car-park wall is well under way, and Sagtrousers have delivered several large reels of barbed wire to the site, where feverish activity to nail it to the telegraph poles is continuing in earnest!

All in all, it's been a pretty good start to the year, and Councillor Trumpet doesn't bother with the press any more, just emailing a few mates, and telling them what's going on and stuff, and they're all quite happy!

Ms Billary is hoping for an Oscar this evening, and so is Willy Clinchton. They're both favourites for a walk-on non-speaking part in a short TV advert for something or other, which has been completely forgotten already! (Oh yes, it's the Deniercrats bid for the Sodden Prickney Council Election - Ed)

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Four quid...

Last evening, I met up with a friendly bunch of good friends for a beer and a chat.

Earlier in the day, I'd been writing to a lady about reminiscences from the nineteen-sixties, and explained how my first proper salary was £4.0.0 per week.

My pint(s) cost exactly that...


Friday, 10 February 2017

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play...

Well tomorrow actually...

But as Oscar Wilde once said, when being pronounced late/early for an event, 'What does that giant orb in the sky know of what happens down here on Earth'! (or something like that...)

O'Blene Enterprises Inc. Ltd. VAT and Bar, had opened an account with Sagtrouser and Wife, and started to manage a building job at The Turrets just on twenty years ago!

We had a superb local builder, who is still remembered as one of the best, and the pic below shows what happens when you eventually clear out the garage...

The freezer had packed up a day or so before, (as they do) and you can just see the danger light showing an ominous red blink!

It was possibly one of the three ugliest garages in the village, and luckily only one remains at the other end of the High Street, but this cold, leaking brute just had to go, and be replaced with a decent extension.

When I got home from work that evening, the first job our builder had done was take it all down, and here is the sad old disconnected, leaking, empty freezer, getting ready to leave this mortal coil, or whatever freezers did in those days.

This was the first really serious work we could afford to do at The Turrets, and we plunged every penny we had into the place, but never regretted a thing, except losing the huge grapevine at the back, which we usually left to grow over the garage to hide as much of it as we could! The grapes made fabulous wine too!

Blimey, I was only forty-nine back then...

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

A new dawn...

After Mr Sid Trumpet absolutely trounced Ms Billary last year, the Sodden Prickney Parish Council has been in turmoil, as previously reported in minute detail by your erstwhile correspondent on several occ (just get on with it - Ed) asions!

It is now understood that Chairman Basil Kalashnikov has sold his Wayfarer De Luxe camper van and purchased a Velocette motorcycle and sidecar for his weekly visits to the Parish offices and also Lidl. This has caused outrage amongst Globule Worming agitators as everyone with a single ounce of interest in ancient motorcycles knows that the Velocette still uses a mixture of 4* petrol and a squirt of Castrol R, and this is only available from Miss Newt's Retail Emporium in pint bottles, priced several pounds a pop, and can emit that delightful odour at the tweak of a throttle!

Ron Groat, (Miss Newt's confidant and intimate companion) manages the stores of the 645,000 retail extravaganza, and categorically denies any wrongdoing. As nobody really understands or actually cares about the issue, it is difficult to understand what the fuss is all about, but when PC Lumbersnatch, a part-time walk-on actor in the local little theatre (closed for repairs after the unpleasantness in the musical production of 'Ten Rillington Place'), arrived with a stub of pencil and an old exercise book, to take notes, there was nobody around!

But to get to the point of this essay (about time - Ed), Sid Trumpet is now Councillor Sidney Aloysius Trumpet, Chairman of the Woys and Mange Committee on the council, and has a huge mandate, even bigger than the previous incumbent! He is planning a new fence around the village carpark, to keep out the riff-raff, and also a new factory on the estate, for the sausage manufacturer, 'Bangers-r-Us'. This is to stop any imports of snags from elsewhere in the country, and has been met with acclaim by all right-minded citizens. especially the Sodden Prickney Snorkers Appreciation Society.

While Ms Billary's cohort, 'Willy' Clinchton is no stranger to 'sausage' issues, it is clear that this is a snub to the former Councillor and silly old man. Ms Billary was seen in the audience at the celebrations, clutching a Kleenex, and rolling her eyes.

Mr Kalashnikov now has to work day and night to convince the council that even a single vote for a minor party in the area, The Literal Deniercrats, would mean so much for their candidate, Ms Emily D'Artagnan-Minge who loves children and wants to see the world. He is also having to deal with the press for being as pissed as a fart on most occasions.