Monday 28 February 2011

Does anyone know what this bit does...

One of my business partners has given me a printer. It is a good printer, and because he is a photographer par excellence in his spare time, he makes sure that his pictures are top quality. So when a new printer is put on the market, he is generous to a fault about what to do with the one he is replacing, which is an honourable state of affairs, and one for which I am eternally grateful, because our printer packed up recently, and I'm using a pencil.

So today, all three of us in Scrobs Inc. had one of our regular get-togethers, with another old chum who seems to know where the money is, and from whom we have had some spiriting advice and assistance as well as a lot of friendly banter.

BP brought the previous printer with him to pass on to me and I was drooling at the switches, lights, etc, which these state-of-the-art machines seem to sport these days, and I was commencing to dream of being able to write pompous letters to 'The Times' and do other pursuits like scan old pics etc.

That was right up to the moment that the said printer was being tranferred from the boot of his car to the clutches of your very own Scrobs. We'd covered the printer with a plastic bin bag because it was raining, and BP was busily collecting the various items for me, while I said 'cheerio' to our guest and friend.

There was suddenly a resounding crash, and pieces of Epson were heard hitting the tarmac with quite a lot of anguish, and plenty of noise.

There was a deathly hush; I eventually regained the skin out of which I had jumped in terror, and BP was understandably very upset that the rain had made the plastic very slippery, and the printer had gone extremely south.

There was no need to remonstrate, you just don't need to do that because we are friends, and so I took the bag containing the bits of printer home and Mrs S and I examined the damage.

The lid was broken off, and several pieces of important plastic were rattling around in the bag, but, after several false starts, it all seems to be back in one piece, after a little glue here and there, and a choice version of various curse words everywhere, such that JRT has vanished clutching her ears with her front paws.

So tomorrow, when all has dried, I'll see if it works, but I'm puzzled by just one item (above) which doesn't seem to have a home, and I'd be delighted if anyone can recognise it and tell me where it goes!

I thank you!

Saturday 26 February 2011

Reevers' reminder of Scrobs' Big Idiot Card...

When Scrobs was a younger bloke, and just finding out a few things, he joined several friends and went on a couple of holidays in Spain and Italy, for a little water skiing, several drinks each lunchtime and evening and a multitude of Three Castles tipped...

It was a grand couple of weeks on each occasion, and among all the general festivities being enjoyed by our throng (about fifteen of us), there was community singing in the bar each evening, with Scrobs on a very basic, but much loved guitar.

As Reevers has prompted me to reminisce, we used to have several party pieces which crept into the repertoire after certain levels of tinctured jollity, and 'The Three Bells' was a late entry into the finales of each evening, much to the chagrin of most of the other residents, and sometimes a few of the hangers-on as well...

It's been mentioned here that this particular song has a great history with the Scrobs dynasty, and so it seems, with the Clan Reevers as well!

So, at the risk of repeating myself, saying everything for a second time, and reiterating past posts and comments, I can safely say that when we used to sing this song, we could always forget the order of the verses, and also the order of each of the lines - even the words in each line or verse as well! After much happiness and laughter, the song would echo into the rafters with a giggle and a chuckle and a "where are my my smokes", or "who's shout is it..."! Yates would always say 'What key are we in' and he was tone deaf!

One year, we all went to a party which was intended to be a post-holiday re-enactment of all the fun we'd had at these various gatherings. When the evening was going full swing, our host (an osteopath of some renown) called the meeting to order, handed Scrobs his concert guitar, and ordered everyone to sit up and listen. He the proceeded to unfurl a huge roll of paper on which he'd written the correct words to the song for us all to sing - probably for the first time ever, and it worked like a dream!

Magical moments like this last a lifetime.

Friday 25 February 2011

That lucky old sun...

I have a sneaky suspicion that the Scrobs frame and brain has been interspersed with a teragram of Vitamin D!

Why, yesterday, the sleeves of the 'Twickenham/Hard Winter/stop being a prat and light the bloody fire' jersey were nearly rolled up, and today, I forgot to take a scarf when we walked JRT!

This must be a sign of 'Globule Worming', and I claim my five splonders...

Saturday 19 February 2011

R.I.P. Ron Hickman - Workmate inventor...

Ron Hickman was a proper inventor.

This obit says far too little about all the work which has been spawned by such an amazing piece of kit. I inherited two Workmates, and always use the original one, (I gave the later one to my BIL). Mine is made of the distinctive blue painted alloy struts, and is one of the very first ever made in the sixties. I love it, because it has made work at home so much easier! They really were a godsend when they first came out.

Mine (in fact technically ours, as it once belonged to Mrs S's dad), has had all sorts of things done on it, and before anyone asks, the answer is 'no' as it's the wrong height...

We've used it as scaffolding (plastering and painting ceilings), a vice of course, in every position imaginable (again - 'NO'), very recently as a frame to hold the 'Scrobs White-Finger Saw', a BBQ table (it comes out every year), and it probably gets a run out every week of the year on some job or other! It really has emerged as an iconic piece of machinery, and has endured all sorts of abuse for over forty years!

I even tried to make my own version when we were first married, and couldn't get to the price, which was - I think, about £36.00 back then...

And, to cap it all, this man designed the Lotus Elan, a car which has always been a fantasy buy for Scrobs, which must be a whole story in itself!

'Bye Ron! I'll be out in the shed using that special bit of kit today and will think of you for a while. I'll also raise a tincture in your memory, just a nano-second before I walk round one of the extended lower legs, and trip headlong, as I've done on over three million occasions...

Sunday 13 February 2011

Couch potato...

As the search for more of 'The Good Life' continues unabated, the new plot we've taken on in the village (actually, by pure coincidence, the very same one we gave up 22 years ago, when we moved to 'The Turrets') has handed us a huge restoration job and this bleeding piece of earth is getting a right blasted 'seeing to'.

Because it is in dire need of some TLC, we're giving the plot some institutional reformation, because we're digging out the couch grass by hand.

The diggable area is about 30' by 30' - 100 square yards, and it's taken us way over 45 hours of hard slog to clean it properly. There are about 12 square yards left to dig and clean, and the couch grass will be a thing of the past, but it has been a right sod so far...

That 45 hours has yielded about forty wheelbarrows of the dreaded weed, and somehow, I find the work very therapeutic, being able to dig a few spits with the sod flicker and from there on in, by applying a flurry of clops with a clod breaker, (fashioned from a WW2 Land Army cultivator, and a piece of yew from the tree behind 'The Turrets'), which makes the poor old soil sit up and await some TLC from the gentle hands of Mrs S...

Update - Just found this, which explains why Scrobs walks tall and without a hump...

Friday 11 February 2011

Still makes oi larf...

Dear Mr Addison,

I am writing to you to express our thanks for your more than prompt reply to our latest communication, and also to answer some of the points you raise. I will address them, as ever, in order.

Firstly, I must take issue with your description of our last as a "begging letter". It might perhaps more properly be referred to as a "tax demand". This is how we at the Inland Revenue have always, for reasons of accuracy, traditionally referred to such documents.

Secondly, your frustration at our adding to the "endless stream of crapulent whining and panhandling vomited daily through the letterbox on to the doormat" has been noted. However, whilst I have naturally not seen the other letters to which you refer I would cautiously suggest that their being from "pauper councils, Lombardy pirate banking houses and pissant gas-mongerers" might indicate that your decision to "file them next to the toilet in case of emergencies" is at best a little ill-advised. In common with my own organisation, it is unlikely that the senders of these letters do see you as a "lackwit bumpkin" or, come to that, a "sodding charity". More likely they see you as a citizen of Great Britain, with a responsibility to contribute to the upkeep of the nation as a whole.

Which brings me to my next point. Whilst there may be some spirit of truth in your assertion that the taxes you pay "go to shore up the canker-blighted, toppling folly that is the Public Services", a moment's rudimentary calculation ought to disabuse you of the notion that the government in any way expects you to "stump up for the whole damned party" yourself. The estimates you provide for the Chancellor's disbursement of the funds levied by taxation, whilst colourful, are, in fairness, a little off the mark. Less than you seem to imagine is spent on "junkets for Bunterish lickspittles" and "dancing whores" whilst far more than you have accounted for is allocated to, for example, "that box-ticking facade of a university system."

A couple of technical points arising from direct queries:

1. The reason we don't simply write "Muggins" on the envelope has to do with the vagaries of the postal system;

2. You can rest assured that "sucking the very marrow of those with nothing else to give" has never been considered as a practice because even if the Personal Allowance didn't render it irrelevant, the sheer medical logistics involved would make it financially unviable.

I trust this has helped. In the meantime, whilst I would not in any way wish to influence your decision one way or the other, I ought to point out that even if you did choose to "give the whole foul jamboree up and go and live in India" you would still owe us the money.

Please send it to us by Friday..

Yours sincerely,
H J Lee
Customer Relations
Inland Revenue

Friday 4 February 2011

Electronical unsodditment...

This week, the electricity company ravaged us...

Not in the biblical sense of course, but they caused severe things to happen, and where elctricity is concerned, these events always occur in threes.

1) Mrs S's computer decided to sigh and die last Saturday. It went with a little warning, i.e., strange shapes on the screen, grumbling from the disk, and eventual terminal sulk.

2) The electric kettle stopped (IN SYMPATHY NO DOUBT) on the second boil of the regimental two cups of tea before any communication with the outside world is achievable.

3) The old Hoover we keep in the shed to scoop up JRT's fur, crumbs, dirt and rubbish etc from the Punto Lagonda Supercharged Bastard suddenly decided to stop during a wild clean-up.

So, the Scrobs input into the sphlogobeer has been limited for the last few days, and I'm having much fun playing the new gadget, which has grown Windows 7, and also some interesting, but tedious new programmes.

And, all this happened just a few days after Lakes and his team solved a huge problem for Scrobs Inc!

There is life in the old dog yet...