Saturday 31 July 2010


Having just found out that I'm the 12,113,475th person to see that all Europe will be Muslim in a few years, (courtesy of an old and trusted friend who lives safely in retirement on the edge of the seventeenth fairway on a golf course somewhere near the west coast of Ireland, - thanks a bunch Roger...), we had an interesting experience today.

Doorbell bonging - JRT going berserk - me in sandals (which JRT secretly likes, because when I'm wearing them, she knows that ten various tasty digits are close enough for a quick nip in between barks, yelps and snarls if anyone comes within thirty yards of the front door) - all a recipe for a remake of 'Reservoir dogs' - or maybe 'The Long Good Friday'; I dunno...

After some confusion, I went back and round the side way to see who it was, and Mrs S (wearing sensible shoes no soubt), had already opened said portcullis to see who it was daring to ask the time of day.

And there were two Jehovas Witnesses! As large as life, friendly earnest faces asking politely of Mrs S would like a magazine, to which she turned on 'Charm profile Number 9', (reserved for such people), and suggested that they might like to give their publication to others - any others in fact...

But when they'd gone, I remembered that they represented the very people that we should encourage in the UK! They're a nice group of people, occasionally irritating, maybe misguided, but basicly sound. So I thought carefully, weighed up the pros and cons, considered the options, listened to Mrs S gently closing the door......and carried on gardening and whistling a happy tune, which is what I do at this time of day.

Can't get caught up in too much religion at my time of life; I learned the basic rules years ago, and they're fine by me.

But if I'm ever on a bus with a bomber, I'll hand him or her, their head.

Thursday 29 July 2010

Fur story 2...

How to Give a Cat a Pill

1. Pick up cat and cradle it in the crook of your left arm as if holding a baby.

Position right forefinger and thumb on either side of cat's mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill in right hand. As cat opens mouth, pop pill into mouth.

Allow cat to close mouth and swallow.

2. Retrieve pill from floor and cat from behind sofa.

Cradle cat in left arm and repeat process.

3. Retrieve cat from bedroom, and throw soggy pill away.

4. Take new pill from foil wrap, cradle cat in left arm, holding rear paws tightly with left hand.

Force jaws open and push pill to back of mouth with right forefinger. Hold mouth shut for a count of ten.

5. Retrieve pill from goldfish bowl and cat from top of wardrobe.

Call spouse in from the garden.

6. Kneel on floor with cat wedged firmly between knees, hold front and rear paws.

Ignore low growls emitted by cat. Get spouse to hold head firmly with one hand while forcing wooden ruler into mouth. Drop pill down ruler and rub cat's throat vigorously.

7. Retrieve cat from curtain rail.

Get another pill from foil wrap. Make note to buy new ruler and repair curtains. Carefully sweep shattered figurines and vases from hearth and set to one side for gluing later.

8. Wrap cat in large towel and get spouse to lie on cat with head just visible from below armpit.

Put pill in end of drinking straw, force mouth open with pencil and blow down drinking straw

9. Check label to make sure pill not harmful to humans and drink one beer to take taste away. Apply band-aid to spouse's forearm and remove blood from carpet with cold water and soap.

10. Retrieve cat from neighbour's shed.

Get another pill. Open another beer. Place cat in cupboard, and close door onto neck, to leave head showing. Force mouth open with dessert spoon. Flick pill down throat with elastic band.

11. Fetch screwdriver from garage and put cupboard door back on hinges. Drink beer. Fetch bottle of scotch. Pour shot, drink.

Apply cold compress to cheek and check records for date of last tetanus shot. Apply whiskey compress to cheek to disinfect. Toss back another shot. Throw tee-shirt away and fetch new one from bedroom.

12. Call fire department to retrieve the damn cat from the top of the tree across the road. Apologize to neighbour who crashed into fence while swerving to avoid cat.

Take last pill from foil wrap.

13. Using heavy-duty pruning gloves from shed, tie the little *&#%^'s front paws to rear paws with garden twine and bind tightly to leg of dining table. Push pill into mouth followed by large piece of filet steak. Be rough about it. Hold head vertically and pour two pints of water down throat to wash pill down.

14. Consume remainder of scotch. Get spouse to drive you to the emergency room. Sit quietly while doctor stitches fingers and forearm and removes pill remnants from right eye. Call furniture shop on way home to order new table.

15. Arrange for RSPCA to collect mutant cat from hell and call local pet shop to see if they have any hamsters.

How To Give A Dog A Pill

1. Wrap it in bacon.

2. Toss it in the air.

Friday 23 July 2010

Smart Timber Frame men...

I've been a supporter of timber frame building for years, and although it doesn't always suit what we're doing, I rate the way the work is designed, and produced.

So let's hear it for Vince Champion!

Vince who - you ask?

Well Vince Champion was the only bloke who bothered to stop and speak to Mark Wheeldon!

Mark who - you ask?

Well, Mark was so desperate for a job, he stood at a roundabout in the pouring rain for five hours, holding a home-made placard which shouted out the fact that he wanted to work and needed a job so badly, he would have done anything. It's all here!

And these are the guys with whom Vince works, and it was he who made the effort to get Mark in out of the rain, and into what looks like a damn good job.

This news has made my week, and what's more, I hope The Smart Timber Company thrives as it deserves to!

Wednesday 21 July 2010

Terry and June...

I suppose I've grown up with June Whitfield. Not in the Biblical sense you understand, but she's always been on the radio, TV, or films and I've always loved her, which now makes her a treasure as far as I'm concerned.

Who can ever forget the "Ooooooh Ron...", from 'Take it from here', which was the first radio show I ever laughed at without understanding most of the jokes, or the glint in her eye in 'Ab Fab'"!

A lady Chum, who used to teach arts and stage at the girls' school told me that in her younger days, she'd worked on the series 'Terry and June', and we all pumped her unmercifully for information on steamy scenes, tantrums, and that sort of thing.

We didn't get a bean - absolutely nothing! She kept her silence on all the rumours, and so we only have the song below to remind us about what really went on...

Saturday 17 July 2010

Bloody golf...

So there we were, looking forward to watching another episode of Dad's Army, and what happens...

Bloody golf's still on!

We don't pay the sodding licence fee to see overpaid twats wearing stupid trousers knock a ball around a field with holes in it. We pay the sods to give us just a little added value for the electricity we use to see or hear them entertain us something which they said they would.


Friday 16 July 2010

Roadside flowers...

On the A21, a few miles from here, is a particularly nasty bit of road which was turned into a dual carriageway back in the sixties. The main reason for this was mired up in the usual blundering bureaucracy concerning arterial routes to seaside towns - and in the case of dear old Hastings, the political strangling of a once-pleasant place.

This piece of road was originally designed to sort out the traffic which had built up in the other bottle-necks from both north and south, but has now been reduced back to single tracks both ways to stop drivers hurtling along, overtaking late, cutting in, listening to rubbishy music on noisy speakers, etc etc.

Just recently, the Highways Agency installed an electronic warning sign on one side, which quotes things like 'Keep your distance', 'Slow down', and also, when the Hastings Bike Festival is on, 'Think bike'.

This last one is always going to cause an argument, isn't it, so for the benefit of both sides, the picture above puts it in perspective. Who's to blame?

The Honda rider was traveling at approximately 85 mph. (not on the A21 I can add). The VW driver was talking on a cell phone when she pulled out from a side street, apparently not seeing the motorcycle. The rider's reaction time was not sufficient enough to avoid this accident.

The car had two passengers and the bike rider was found INSIDE the car with them. The Volkswagen actually flipped over from the force of impact and landed 20 feet from where the collision took place.

All three involved (two in the car and the bike rider) were killed instantly.

Thursday 8 July 2010

Car Sales of Tunbridge Wells...

Raedwald has just mentioned that Speaker Bercow is an annoying little chap, and I tend to agree, but there again, anyone would have been an improvement on the last one.

As usual a story goes with it...

From Cannon Street Station, there used to be some particularly good trains in the seventies, which shot southwards at a rate of knots and sometimes took off near Tonbridge, and scared the living daylights out of everyone.

The trains arrive so well lined up in rush hour, that short queues used to form where every door would stop, and each compartment would have it's own little commuterati of bankers, lawyers, insurance brokers etc.

I was always late arriving at Cannon Street, having to get away from St James's Park at the end of the day, and scamper across to the City to get one of these fast trains home at the end of the week, so that I could enjoy a passionate weekend with the future Mrs S, and have a few pints, as one does.

But one little cult used to bug me considerably, for no other reason than there was a dapper little man who was always there first, and he'd get pole position at the track side, and wait, standing all of 5'3", with his back to the track, waiting for his mates. As all his chums arrived, one by one, there'd be the usual squeaky banter of 'deals' done, things happened etc.

And they all had coded names for other commuters, just like the fifth form would, so there was 'Car Sales from Tunbridge Wells', or 'Paint Brush from High Brooms'. Most of these were derogatory, and although I couldn't really care very much as I'd often crash out to sleep soon after boarding, woe betide you if you were caught up in a seat which interfered with this normal course of conversation for the next hour or so, because you were almost certainly an outsider, and made to feel unwelcome, (unless you were a pretty lady, when they'd all giggle, fidget, blush and go very quiet...)

The funny days were when there was a different number on the train engine, and it meant that the doors would all line up differently. But Little Man rumbled this and as quick as a flash, would execute a 'passe doble' and arrive at a new spot about three feet to the left, with a smug expression on his prematurely wizened face.

I'm now utterly convinced that this little chap is an offshoot of the Speaker's family, and the only reason why my anger was assuaged back then, is that he turned up as a member of the oppostion at a rugby match, and I gave him an extra hard time when he happened to be playing hooker right opposite me in the front row...

Sunday 4 July 2010

Kids music...

All the Girls' bits and pieces have been getting the once over recently, because YD's daught, YDED, will definitely want several things to play with when she's a bit older, so Mrs S had an enormous rummage, and subsequent washing of all the old soft toys which I'd stored in the roof; precisely for this sort of moment...

And when they visit again, I'll be making sure that at some stage, this piece of music is nearby, closely followed by this piece.

I grew up on these lyrics and tunes, and while working in the garden this morning, found I was whistling the whole theme from start to finish, including the frog bits! I absolutely love it! It can easily produce a moisturising effect to the aging eyes after just a few seconds! My lovely sister has all the old 78s from when we were young, and they are treasures.