Saturday, 25 September 2021

Collis Browne's is no more...

 


The most efficacious Chlorodyne is no more!

It has been a staple in the Scrobs household since we spliced the mainbrace, or nipped over the sticks, or did whatever marriage was called in 1972...

We are heartbroken, and now, every stomachial twinge will have to be dealt with by a darkened room and three Ibuprophen...

Friday, 24 September 2021

The Singer not the song...


Our dear elderly neighbour has moved away, and we're helping clear her home.

Among her bits and pieces is a gorgeous old Singer sewing machine, which is in perfect working order! She told me that her father had given it to her for her 18th birthday, which would have been around January 1953. She used it for lots of her clothes, and such items were commonplace in most homes too! My mum had one just like it, and so did Senora O'Blene - a Christmas present soon after we were married!

But trying to move it on is just about impossible now! Nobody wants one! I had to give the Senora's away to an actual Singer shop in Canterbury, getting a small battery powered stitcher instead, which turned out to be useless - it's still in the roof...

These machines were beautifully made, some had gorgeous metal effects on the panels and of course, the gold print was unmistakeable!

If anyone wants it, just call out!

 

Friday, 17 September 2021

Sir Clive Sinclair - R.I.P...


Some years ago, Scrobs decided to do something with two items which had been lurking in the shed for many years!

Senora O'Blene and Scrobs had been given a generous present by her beloved mum, and as we had a couple of decent mountain bikes on which we would scoot around various forests and lanes, some of the hills were getting a bit steeper, so we invested in a couple of Sinclair Zeta 3 motors...


They took a bit of time to fit and were heavy and ungainly, but on the level, riding on a perfectly dry road, you could achieve some sort of momentum, and get along without pedalling! The eventual demise started on a trip to a pub a few miles away on a very, very hot day, and the long hill we were both relishing turned out to be a total failure for the motors, and we both arrived, utterly exhausted, having pushed the bloody bikes for miles!

After that, I used mine on several occasions, but eventually gave up, and we sold the Senora's bike! The motors stayed somewhere at the back of the shed for years afterwards, and while they rejoiced in a new venture a long time later - as seen in the pic at the top - they really didn't do much more than screech a bit and make for a very heavy ride so I eventually chucked them about a year ago!

(Editor's note...)

Those very motors became the subject of one of the funniest Dad's Army scripts ever written, and I'm proud to say that my grateful letter (and large cheque) from Sir Clive, appreciating the fabulous story of Sergaeant Wilson's motorbike became the touchstone for further innovative, hilarious and inspiring writing for television! Sir Clive and Scrobs met on several occasions after that, but on most opportunities to discuss their future inventions, the great man's attention was usually averted by his love for his latest squeeze, and soon-to-be-wife - the Bicycling Correspondent of The Sodden Prickney Bugle, Ms. Edwina Baggage...



Sunday, 12 September 2021

Autostereograms and the USD Index...


A few years ago, these were all the rage, and I was even bought a book of them as a present, and 'saw' them all! They were great fun, harmless, and I had a sneaking, smug feeling that my eyesight was pretty damn good for that!

Nowadays, wearing glasses with all sorts of lens strengths in odd places, and a price tag of £400 a pop every couple of years, I've lost all that - until now...


(With grateful thanks to Theo Spark)

Now I really can 'see' something here, I suppose it's a basic primary colour refraction element (what on earth are you on about Scrobs - Ed)? But the blue background with the red lines are definitely in 3D...

Or are they... 


Monday, 6 September 2021

Small hole in trousers...

 


A few years ago, this weekend in 1965, I crashed one of these by running into the back of a parked van in nasty wet weather...

I was only a few yards from home, and my goggles were very misty from the rain, and I just didn't see the van until it was too late! I got chucked over the handlebars, and finished up on the other side of the road, very much unconscious, and as a chum who lived opposite exclaimed later, looked a bit 'deadish'!

In fact, it was only a spell of concussion, plus bashed up knees, which funnily enough only tore a tiny bit of trouser on one side, but it turned out that the kneecap had chipped, and a few stitches later in St Helen's Hospital in Hastings, I settled in for the statutory ten days recovery!

What was odd, was that with a chum we had been right across Belgium only a few weeks before, and the only mishap then, was going over a pothole near Brussels, and the handlebar cover shot up in the air, breaking the screw which held it all together!

The scooter was a write off, but dad persuaded the engineers at the farms where he worked to straighten it all up, and with a new frame (£5.0.0), I rebuilt the whole thing, and used it for ages! It used to go like the clappers, and was a great little scooter, but like all things, it had to go, and was last seen dumped in a hedge not far away...



Saturday, 28 August 2021

The Otter...

 


We knew David Sharp well - he's mentioned here... When Senora O'Blene's parents eventually retired from the pub where we usually met David, they bought several of his creations, some of which we still have, and treasure!

When her parents left us all alone, The Otter stayed with us, and has pride of place on a central shelf, as he really is a masterpiece, and we love him! Various other items in that genre followed over the years, and only recently, we've bought several more, and have now run out of shelf-room...

They don't have huge value, just enough to make their lovely faces and shapes a comforting recall of a pretty good bloke, and we even saw his wife Dot a few years ago, and had a lovely chat!

Our own otter has much bigger eyes than the pic, and therefore is even more appealing, but you can see that David was pretty damn good with his kilns and painting!

Sunday, 22 August 2021

'Bye Don...

And one of my favourite singers has just popped off…

https://www.dailystar.co.uk/showbiz/breaking-don-everly-dead-everly-24812127#source=breaking-news

I bought a whole album by The Everly Brothers, just because of five fabulous guitar chords at the start of ‘So sad’


RIP great man.