Tuesday 29 December 2015

Rigger walk...

Some time ago, there was some general discussion about rigger boots here, and even the venerable Tuscan Tony joined in, so you can see how long ago the post was!

It's only recently, that I have discovered that these items of protective footwear have a mind of their own! I have two pairs, one of which is deemed waterproof, but isn't, the other is just bloody heavy, but warm. The non-waterproof ones are good for such deeds as dog-walking or light gardening, while the others are for heavy-duty work such as slab-laying, brickwork etc, because they both have steel toecaps capable of withstanding the whole weight of the EU's books on elfunsafteee, thrown from a tower the height of Babel...

But as Scrobs' legs get older, and less manipulative, it has been a bit of a revelation to learn a new way of walking in these containers!

You need to use the weight of each boot to swing your (my) enfeebled legs forward at each step. This entails walking at a much slower pace, and is the sole reason why some building contracts over-run, because if every tradesman or labourer on site has to reduce his or her walking speed, then a ten percent extra is to be expected on all labour rates, so builders have to beware the manufacturers of these boots, who are clearly on the case for other builder's claims etc!

You just cannot run in these contraptions; you need to get a rhythm of forward motion, with your sights on another couple of feet of ground, onto which the next boot clumps its weight, and this action continues, rather like Gromit does in one of those old flicks! It takes several seconds to stop walking when wearing these chaps, which may even account for some industrial accidents, especially if you are on scaffolding a mile high, and cannot stop before the rail at the end!

So all in all, doing the Rigger Walk is a phenomenon which is secretly with us, and possibly the most misunderstood reason why it costs so much more to build anything these days!

Sunday 20 December 2015

1st Class act...

Nice to see Mary on keyboards and Joseph on vocals...

Tuesday 15 December 2015


The bad news that Raedwald is moving away, and may not be on the side of the screen so often, is bad enough, but the really bad news is that Scrobs is set to continue until there is a need to shuffle off this mortal coil...

I'll really miss the daily dose of his real writing, most of which I agreed with, or perhaps I learned something, because it was either that, or the daily press, which I'll never pay for, and usually contained such rubbish.

I suppose his future posts will be more in line with - say Thud's, because he's going to do up an old farmhouse, which was an ambition of mine for some years until we realised that we were not really ever going to do such a dream...

Good luck Raeders, I hope you'll reappear, perhaps when you're on holiday!

Sunday 13 December 2015

Easy riser...

I've always thought that these feats of engineering were a real boon for anyone to get from one floor to another. The Stannah Lift allows people to stay in their own homes, and not resort to downsizing etc, and also will give the grandchildren something to play on when they visit...

Some years ago, I became so enamoured with the concept, that I wrote to the company asking if I could sell these things for them. They sent me a pleasant reply, but no, I couldn't, and my hopes of bringing good cheer to late middle-aged citizens - like myself, were dashed!

A good chum reminds me that Barry Cryer once said that he wanted to install a Stannah Lift, so that he could get upstairs in enough time for him not to forget why he wanted to go up there in the first place, and amen to that!

Saturday 5 December 2015

Noisy neighbours...

The Doily Moil has this interesting article...


...and Mrs Scroblene and I have issues with this, as we agree that some places are just too noisy to enjoy a quiet plate of pasta or maybe a sandwich and a glass or seven of a nice Chardonnay!

There's one place in town which has a sort of sunken area in the seating area, where it's well understood, that if one is seated at a particular spot in this place, the sound of their voices is replicated elsewhere on the perimeter! I think it's the Spaghetti House off Cavendish Square or thereabouts, (depending on how many sherberts one has imbibed in the client's office before departing for the rest of the afternoon, or maybe the rest of the week, but I may be wrong...)!

Some respondents reported that they learned of several deals from whispered discussions, as they turned up on the cheaper tables with an amplification rather like that of an an elephant, or at least a mountain lion!

It's a long, long time ago, that I experienced this phenomenon, and also probably the last time I had lunch with a proper worked-for millionaire, so times have really changed!


Can you hear me; me, me, me ...?

Thursday 3 December 2015


Scrobs and Mrs Scroblene were walking round the village with JRT yesterday morning. We went past the pond and the church, and outside there were three chaps discussing some work they were about to do locally, so we all said 'Good morning', and carried on.

JRT took some interest in their big utility vehicle, which was a Toyota Hilux.

It only too a few seconds to recall one of the funniest adverts ever, so while I remember, here it is...

Saturday 21 November 2015

Storm Toniatelline...

Last Friday, Scrobs was meandering close to the welcoming door of 'The Bells', with a firm intention to pass by on the other side, and get some work done on the allotment.

Of course, meanders can take many courses (they're meant to), so somehow, the polished brass handle of the bar door leapt out from the frame, appeared in the right hand, and with a final twist, the magnetic rays of a four-pump bar somehow swam into view, together with the trilby of a well-known local business man and the glittering accoutrements of his lady...

Yup, Scrobs was back in the crucible, with his old chums!

'So where have you been all these months', breathed Gloriette?

'Oh, Sweetheart, I've been pulling leeks, and cropping tomatoes, as well as digging and cultivating and mowing and painting and making things', I replied, gratefully taking a firm grasp on a huge foaming pint of Sheps 'Old Hedgehopper' (7.9% ABV).

'Not what I've heard', said Elias, executing a skywards glance which in fact made the trilby a vertical structure, in danger of tipping back to the carpet.

'So, may I ask, my old chum, what makes you say that', I requested, when his head reappeared at the horizontal status, normally associated with conversation and maybe other closer activities in the privacy of one's own home.

'Well, Meccano tells me that you;ve been doing so much stuff at home, you've not been communicating with your confederates, and we have to think of other people to cohabit at beer o'clock'!

Now this is actually true, and since I retired, the good offices, shelves and yards of Elias Sagtrouser and Co. have received many a call to provide such items as screws, paint and plumbing accessories, but these visits do not always coincide with the presence of either Elias or Gloriette, as they're maybe collecting money, or maybe in the nail bar (for ladies' nails, not the metal sort for banging pieces of wood together)!

'Well, I will rectify these absences from now on', I rejoined, 'and please say what you're drinking before I forget what I wanted to say'!

After the new round of Sheps for him and me, a large gin and It for Gloriette, a bottle of some obscure Bratislavian lager-top for Meccano, and a purple non-alcoholic sugary concoction for Toniateline, (phew), had been partaken of, and coins reversed from the pocket to the bar-till, Scrobs started the agenda for the discussion.

'I'm just fed up with the current weather'! I started.

'Aren't we all', replied Gloriette, patting her polished hair where a gust of wind had dislodged her normal composure.

'It's really the stupid way we give the slightest whiff of wind a name now', I continued, ' we're up to the 'B' already, and it's still only November'! 'The weather girls are told to dumb it all down, and assume that in the past, we've never had to associate all this nonsense with the bloody global warming debacle, and I'm sick and tired of having all this climate change crap being stuck down my throat'!

There was silence.

'Well said', called a voice from the other bar, 'Hear, Hear', said another. For once, Gloriette and Elias just stood and stared at a Scrobs with a pint outside his nose while drinking deeply.

'Well, that said, we can always make up our own names, can't we', said Elias. Gloriette nodded as well, and of course, when Gloriette nods, several other parts of her body nod as well, so there is quite a lot of fleshly movement going on when agreement, or I suppose, disagreement arrives at any point in a discussion.

'So let's start the list from 'C' then', suggested Gloriette!

'It's got to be 'Corbyn', hasn't it' I replied. 'All wind and dripping'!

'Then the next one has to be 'Dumbo', to stand for all the cretins who think that 'Horrible' preacher on the BBC is right! Chimed Elias'!

'You're definitely not having my name', said Elias, with the look he gives late-payers. 'I'll go for Emmanuelle, because...'!

'No you bloody well won't', interrupted Gloriette, beginning to show bodily signs of an earthquake, and shaking her head this time!

'Alright, alright', winked Elias, 'we'll agree on Elsa, after the film...'.

'That's too close to the subject, old fruit', I replied, you've got to think of a silly name, for a silly purpose'!

There was a pause.

'Oh bugger it, I'm fed up with all this, so what's everyone having'? grumbled Elias, and Gloriette reduced her shaking to a mere tremor, and all world peace was restored.

There were several drinks being arranged on the bar, and several notes handed to the baman, when a voice piped up from the corner, where the two younger members of the family were eating pork scratchings, and sharing an Ipod which was playing their latest band 'Snotlip' apparently yelling something like 'Roadkill'.

'When you get to 'T', I'd like my name put forward please'!

Eyebrows raised in desperation all round.

Thursday 12 November 2015

'Bye cooker...

After several weeks of soul-searching, we've chucked out our cooker.

It was still working - just, but as there's only us two here these days, there really is no need to have a huge metal lump in the kitchen, taking up space, looking ugly, and needing much more cleaning than the Forth Bridge! Some flames from the grill had started to attack the dashboard a while back, and while manhandling it into the boot for the recycle guy in the village, I noticed what damage had really happened, so I'm glad it's gone!

So, we're investing in a whole new layout, with a small double freestanding hob, and just a counter-top oven, and life does seem so much easier already! Mrs O'Blene doesn't have to get down on the floor to rescue the heavy casserole, and we've discovered that the microwave does great grilled items for a fraction of the time!

I used to sneer at properties in tight urban areas, where they only had a microwave for company, but again, why heat up a cubic metre of metal just to have a slice of chicken!

Smug? Me?

Thursday 5 November 2015

Aaaargh naaaaahhh waaaaaaagh...

Here we go again...


So why don't you just fuck off over there and worry about the next fortnight with your coloured drinks and stupid clothes, thinking you might get slaughtered in your beds!

Mongs grabbed away from school, idiots whingeing about their flights, stupid faces staring at the cameras, hoping they'll get 'paid'.

Great place this time of year innit...

Sunday 1 November 2015

For Reevers...


I used to have a 78 rpm of this piece, and thought Reevers might like to hear it again!

Why did the clarinet have so much influence as a solo instrument? Benny Goodman is a great answer, but hey, there were others weren't there!

Tuesday 27 October 2015

Crabs is beef...

Some years ago, after several pints, a couple of good chums in The Fleet Air Arm used to launch into a hearty rendering of a song, which had the line and/or title of 'Crabs is beef'!

I'm pretty sure that it was something to do with the normal rivalry between the forces, but even after all this time, (forty-five years), I've never heard of, or seen written, anything about this song!

It was clean enough to be sung in public - well they did in father-in-law's pub several times, but the whole issue still remains a mystery to me!

I don't know if Idle still reads this blog, but he may be able to shed some light on the subject...

Monday 19 October 2015

Did he or didn't he...

As Mrs Scroblene and I have now given up watching anything on the TV these days, except maybe the news on occasions. we've gone to Mr and Mrs Amazon - or Major Ebay, and bought copies of all our old favorite programmes from the distant past.

So we're into the whole series of 'Brass', 'Minder' , and, 'Lovejoy'!

And seeing these marvellous programmes all over again, make one wonder why the sad old Beeb tries to do anything these days, but we're in our fantasy world, seeing old chums act their hearts out and entertain us, not just screech and yell like the recent rubbish on TV!

But one concerns worrying us...

Did Lovejoy get his leg over Lady Jane Felsham?

I know he was bonking Gimbert's sister, as was most of the Bury St Edmunds crowd, but, Lady Jane - phew...

Lessons must be learned here!

Tuesday 13 October 2015

Monday 5 October 2015

Knock-on effect...

With England's quick exit from the Whorl Karp, the effect on the economy is reckoned to be huge...

Someone will hondootedly work out exactly how much income will be lost from all the trinkets, bars, foreign visitors, merchandise etc, but the biggest upset to me is the feeling that I'll have to support someone like Wales now, or check out Japan occasionally!

Oh well, The Six Nations will be around in a few months...

Monday 28 September 2015


I haven't done any research of late but, it seems that now is the time to get hold of one of these cars!

Recently, I took our Peugeot for an MOT, which it passed with flying colours, but while I was there, paying the bill and letting go a little gasp (it was cheaper than I thought it might be, so we now have a new shower in the bathroom, but that's another story), I asked the chap who does our car work, if the VW 'Up' had an auto version! He wasn't sure, but as is his wont, he then manhandled me over to an auto Polo, with the words, 'Just shut the do...!

I couldn't hear a thing, and the strength of that bodywork is a telling design which means much more to me and Mrs Scroblene than ever these days! Gone are the rorty pocket-rockets, we really don't do long drives these days, and my clutch leg hurts like hell if I don't plan ahead, so I want a small auto and that's that!

My esteemed and famous neighbour, who is a good friend, told me that the main reason why he bought a VW, was that he'd once seen a 20 ton lorry lose control in high wind and topple over onto a VW Golf in the West Country, and the whole of the car remained the same shape, as did the occupants, so that's another reason for wanting one! Also, his Golf has about forty-eight gears in an automatic gearbox, and it goes extremely well on motorways, so that's a big plus too!

My garage has a reputation second to none, and when our boat comes in (and I'm not at the station of course), we'll toddle off down to see him, listen to the twaddle, and walk out a bit poorer, but ready for anything a lorry can throw at us!

Luckily, the bit of news on the back of page four of the 'Kent Bugle and Reporter' about 'emissions', doesn't make me worry one little bit, as it's only a made-up figure dreamed up by the silly Prescott-fumed Kyoto 'agreement', (agreement? bollocks), which was a farce in itself, and of course the wasters in Brussels, who have so little to do which is useful!

Any 'bad' news is good advertising, and I just can't wait for that ship to come sailing into the station...

Saturday 19 September 2015

Toe caps...

When Scrobs was an enthusiastic rugby player, one of his jobs was doing the kicking.

Back in the dirty old nineteen sixties and seventies, rugby balls were best described my that marvellous commentator and writer, Michael Green, where he mentioned a rugby ball used in Coarse Rugby would be nearly round, underinflated and soggy in the extreme!

Scrobs was expected to kick goals and conversions with this bit of kit, and sometimes they did in fact scrape over the crossbar... But back then, there was a king among kickers, and he was Bob Hiller, of Harlequins and England.

Hiller kicked properly, by using the toecap of  his boot, and sighting up directly in line with the centre of the posts, and belting the ball through on numerous occasions. He was also a good drop-goal kicker too, but that was another action.

So this method became de-rigeur for Scrobs, and some success was achieved, even with the dreadful ball Michael Green described. But then there was a sort of earth-movement, and kickers started to kick with their insteps, and even worse, round the corner!

Disgraceful behaviour! Some players even placed the ball on a mound of dirt, in a torpedo fashion, and kicked the end!

I've never understood how accuracy could be maintained by this method, and even watching the best kicker ever, Johnny Wilkinson, I could never see how he could line up with the sort of accuracy that one can maintain when one kicks in line with the posts!

Now the glorious World Cup is upon us, I hope to see at least one player kicking properly, using the best piece of footwear he can buy - with a proper, solid toe-cap!

Monday 14 September 2015

C'mon Popeye...

No, not the guy in the French Connection, but  the chap who went down to the allotment to gather several handfuls of spinach for a lunch to die for...

Shredded spinach, toms and carrots from the garden, grilled bacon, lots of croutons, and a couple of flasks of the old home-made elderberry wine!

Why on earth do people go away for their hols?

Monday 7 September 2015

Fifty years ago last Friday, Scrobs learned a lot about diesel...

Scrobs crashed his Lambretta into the back of a parked van, in bad weather...

By now, the stitches would be beginning to tug, and they'd stopped poking my eyes out with a torch! A chum had visited me with a big bunch of grapes and twenty Senior Service... (I still had some duty- free Peter Stuyvesant then, but the Seniors were pretty damn welcome...) I would be in St Helen's Hospital, Hastings for another seven days.

Slowly walking past our local pub a few days later, I saw the owner of the van though the open door! Although it was never his fault, he had been distraught and very concerned about the accident, and he pulled me inside for a drink.

It was Whitbread Tankard, and I had three or five pints! The locals - and the landlord - always referred the fizzy bear as 'Diesel', and Scrobs spent the rest of the afternoon investigating the insides of his eyelids..

So I learned a lot about diesel that week...

Thursday 27 August 2015

Chips with everything...

Very shortly it will become compulsory for senior citizens to carry not only their ID,
but also their insurance documents, their prescription list, a compact version of their
medical file, the statement declaring if they want to be resuscitated after a heart attack, or stroke etc!
Consequently, a lot of paperwork will have to be carried when a senior citizen goes out the front door, or when they travel anywhere!
Specifically for this purpose, a special "Senior USB Stick" has been developed.

Wednesday 19 August 2015

The joys of new paint...

Mrs Scroblene and I have restarted our quest to paint the whole of The Turrets.

For quite a few years, we've let the task hang in there, and not kept up with the job, and of course, this means that it's twice as hard to do, the longer you leave it all...

But now, there's much more time, even with the allotment gushing vegetables and the greenhouse bulging with tomatoes, and it took a gargantuan effort even now to realise that YD's room was really in need of a damn good shake-up, so this started yesterday.

Years ago, we borrowed millions of shillings to pay for proper windows, and they're hardwood, with a permanent coating, which looks rather like ordinary undercoat, but which is in fact a great wood sealer. But they get dirty, and no amount of washing will help them, so a splunge of new sealer is needed, especially on the inside, funnily enough. (The dreaded condensation causes a lot of the problem, but with plenty of ventilation now, that has gone, just leaving the scars...)!

So, back to the paint job...

Emulsion painting is dead easy, and we can knock that off in an hour or so, but I - sadly - actually like painting windows. There's a job which needs quite a lot of concentration, grunting and squinting, and while Thud and I may differ on painting acres of weatherboarding, I reckon we would both agree that a well-painted window is up there with the Sistine Chapel!

So a quick trip to a reputable paint grocers, makes us realise that things have moved on from the old lead paint and Magicote, and the new genre of water-based paints is such a revelation, that the job of tackling a few square metres of windows and doors is much, much easier! The stuff just goes exactly where you want it to, and with some decent brushes, and maybe a flitch for the corners, the job is a breeze!

So after a couple of days of this, I'll be making a carpet stretcher, and starting yet another whole new trade...

Thursday 13 August 2015

Exeat days...

Many, many years ago, Scrobs was a long way from home at school.

Dad would sometimes be able to get there on the exeat Sundays, but not very often, but when he did, he was usually very tired, and needed a rest like anyone does after driving three hundred miles after work!

One Sunday, he'd arrived on time, and we went to some place for lunch, but later, he succumbed to the requirement for a nap, and let me stay in the car, while he unrolled a blanket and took forty winks under the trees.

These two songs were on the car wireless, and they're as memorable today as they were back in the sixties....



Thursday 6 August 2015

Paint your wagon...

Just round the corner from The Turrets, there are two painting projects going on.

Kent seems to have more than its fair share of white weatherboarded houses, which may be down to the fact that The Weald was all forest many years ago, and timber was plentiful, but anyway, we're surrounded by white weatherboard in all directions, and it all has to be painted! Regularly! The local planners even demanded that we had to use white painted woodwork, when we did up the house twenty years ago, and although we grumbled a bit, it was in fact a correct decision.

Scrobs has had varying discussions with the chaps doing the work (two separate firms), and it's interesting to hear their views on what they're up to. Personally, I would think that preparing and painting weatherboard would be one of the most boring decorating jobs in the world, but these guys seem to thrive on the pastime...

Just think what a Monday morning would be like, when you have a ladder, a couple of sheets of sandpaper, and a whole week of manually rubbing down  about fifty square yards of dodgy timber, before you even start to slap on the undercoat!

Anyway, they're making a great fist of the work, and the local environment will look all the better for their efforts...

Wednesday 29 July 2015

Local bubble...

Mrs Scroblene and Scrobs were invited to a chum's house recently, for a few sherberts and prawn things It was a delightful evening, with several friends chatting in the lovely garden, and refills occurring at regular intervals.

Since I left the business networking circuits to their own devices, I sort of approach meeting people differently now. There is no pressure for a 'result', (i.e. a chance to get some business), I can be at ease with whatever subject crops up, and, better still, I have Mrs Scroblene to bounce discussions off at will, whereas in the past, I had to think for myself, which is unnerving after three bottles in Finos!

On this occasion, the glasses were full, the smoked salmon flying around, and all was well. But Mrs Scroblene, later on, told me that she had experienced what I occasionally had to put up with back in the smoky wine bars. (No not a groper...)!

It was the 'person who stands too close'! (A lady chum this time).

We've known - let's call her Dagmar - for years, but whenever we've seen her, she is wrestling with unruly dogs, which always cause JRT to raise her hackles and show various teeth, so all our discussions have been at a distance of several yards. We like Dagmar, she's very articulate and good looking - even across a busy road at dog-lead-length, with a gorgeous daughter who recently got married, so she seems to play by the rules as well.

But Dagmar wanted to talk at length to Mrs Scroblene and others, and every time she did, she stepped closer for some reason, and Mrs Scroblene had to step back. Her space had been invaded, I nearly had to rescue her from a flower bed next door, and it was unusual to realise that this sort of thing still happens! One's 'bubble' is endangered, and even if the invader is an old chum, it's still not a social grace is it!

There used to be a bloke on the circuit in London, who got so close - with everyone - that he was feared in case he actually managed to get behind you by sort of morphing through you, so you'd have to carry on the conversation through the back of your head!

Anyway, all was well after the bubble was restored and Dagmar went off to stand on someone else's toes and bellow instructions...

Saturday 18 July 2015

Birthday musings...

It's my birthday tomorrow, and I will be sixty-eight!

It's a funny decade, the sixties; you really wonder at some stages how you got this far, and if you'd carried on smoking, might you still be here? Possibly not after a dreadful pipe-smoking habit!

Is an active retirement going well (yes), but if we'd moved to a smaller place, would we still have the same interests without a garden and an allotment which demand constant attention? Definitely no!

Is smugness setting in? Not really, but then maybe we've been lucky - I definitely have!

Do I miss getting out on the circuit to meet business chums? Only after considering the first bottle, from then on, it became a bit of a lottery on what was achieved...

I suppose most posters here are younger, so will have all these questions to face themselves, but I think even getting to sixty-eight is some sort of achievement, so thank you, someone...

Friday 10 July 2015

Tunisia yarn...

Well, there we was, 'aving a great toime wiv some mates, an' then some bloke from the Embassy said we should pack our bags an' go 'ome!


We've only juss' go'  ere' and nobody told us that vere wos a problem!

Whoy weren't we towld...!

Oi mean, know what oi mean, whaaa......

Sunday 5 July 2015

R.I.P. Chris Squire...


What a great bass player, and only 67 - my age...

Yes pushed so many boundaries, and his method of chunking great waves of large bass notes - even trills - into the other bits they all made up, was/is a revelation for proper prog-rock.

What a shame to pop off so young, and I'll listen to all his stuff again now, for just a great memory of a fabulous musician.

Going for the one 

Still an absolute favourite song.

Saturday 4 July 2015

Monumental decision...

Scrobs, after much soul-searching for at least seven seconds, has decided not to go to Syria, because Russell Brand says he would go there if he could fly first class!

What an arsehole!

Wednesday 24 June 2015


When Scrobs was a lad, a favourite uncle and also dad of course, would occasionally dip his hand into his trouser pocket, and extract a huge handful of half-crowns, florins, pennies, shillings, sixpences and even other coins like farthings, and say something like 'Would you like an icecream', or similar..!

Of course, an ever hungry Scrobs would say 'Yes please', and the necessary coins reduced the weight in the parental - or unceral pocket by several ounces!

Just considering the weight of the change they carried, I reckon that all those half-crowns, florins, shillings and old pennies must have weighed a couple of ponds, so what were trousers made for!

Wednesday 17 June 2015


While considering whether to get up early, or not, Scrobs went back to sleep to encounter a long dream about an old chum and all sorts of recall became apparent while asleep.

The guy had served with distinction in The Falklands as a Naval Commander, and every detail about him was part of the dream, which was one of those which you can remember in full when you wake up.

And when I did wake up, I thought immediately about the chap, and how it would be nice to email him or contact him in some way...

That was until a few seconds later, when I remembered that he'd died a couple of years ago.

Hmmm - not a good way to start the day...

Tuesday 9 June 2015


As a nod - even a bow - maybe a genuflect, to my co-conspirator, Mr A.K Haart, I've just remembered that I managed to get a letter published in The Daily Telegraph, some many years ago.

As a normal sort of gentleman, I have to remember that there are days when there are considerations for the qualities of  'CB', or 'DB'!

'OK, Scrobs', you say, 'what on earth are you on about now you silly old sod'!

Well, here's the answer!

An old chum told me that when he was at a large boarding school, a master used to say to him, with regular enthusiasm - and to everyone else who bothered to listen - that today was 'Bit CB today', (Chum)', or he might say 'Bit DB today', (Chum)'!

One day, after several years of this, my Chum churningly asked him what he meant by 'DB' and 'CB'!.

"My dear chap', replied the (happily married) master! 'CB' equals 'crinkle balls', and 'DB' equals 'dangle balls'! It depends on the weather, and the temperature, dear boy"!

And the point of my reference to Mr Haart?

Well, I bought some underpants from Marks and Spencers some years ago, and during a 'natural session', when such labels are arrayed, I noticed, over several days, that some of them were manufactured in Israel, and some were made in Egypt!

I thought this was the magnificent lead to world peace! Nope..., but at least I got a phone call from a gorgeous old lady chum, requesting details of which pair I was wearing that particular day...

Sometimes, pants are for World Peace!

Tuesday 2 June 2015

Anti-litter campaign...

Mrs Scroblene has found a website where there is a petition to start attacking litter louts, and making good where we're being let down so much by local authorities, who seem to spend cash on their senior people but not on litter collection.

I Scrobs' humble opinion, this is one petition worth signing!


Sunday 24 May 2015

Hatton Garden turned Turtle...

So history - such as it is - repeats itself when old Scrobs does a story...

The Hatton Garden 'heist', or robbery if you speak English, was foreseen years ago, in one of the funniest TV programmes ever produced!

Turtle's Progress came out in the late seventies, and now you can now buy the full series on DVD! Here's the link...

There are so many rich and vibrant characters written into each episode that it's rather like reading a Damon Runyon book! You'll love Aunt Ethel, and Inspector Rafferty, but the rogues are just marvellous as well!

(And also, Scrobs foretold that Rodney Trotter would join New Tricks, and the programme would fold soon afterwards, but that's another story...)!

Thursday 14 May 2015


So we're nearly a week on from the election result, and the lead story on the BBC tonight is about UKIP having a hard time! Nothing about all the plans to make the UK great, nothing about layabouts in the Labour party pissing off to the sun! Even nothing about the LibDems crisis!

Nothing to see here folks, move on please...

And the main story is...?

We nearly had a frost a couple of nights ago, and my spuds and beans don't like being cold...

Far more important in my field of vision!

Thursday 7 May 2015

Carborundum Day...

Scrobs has been looking forward to today for some time now.

We've deliberately missed every BBC News bulletin, because of their dire bias towards Labour, and we're feeling pretty good about that with blood pressure near normal as a consequence! The silly Suzannah Reid show never gets a look-in either, because she is so awful at interviewing, anyway, 'slebs for sleb's sake' is a definite turn-off for us here at 'The Turrets'.I'm going to be sixty-eight in July, and whoever forms the next government isn't going to make a scrap of difference to me or Mrs Scroblene, so my heart will vote today, just to see something new on the TV tomorrow!

We haven't had a holiday since 2002, we don't thrash around in expensive cars, we make most of our own wine, we garden enthusiastically, even with a passion, we love our village and do a few things around the place, we know most of our neighbours, we get pissed off with the lorries charging past our house, or morons in cars belting away in every direction, and of course we all hate the County Council, who are utterly useless at everything they do! So if taxes rise by 0.009%, then who gives a monkeys? We'll have one less slice of bacon every other month, and if pensions rise by a similar amount, then Mrs Scroblene will have an egg for breakfast in September; it's as simple as that!

I've never even considered voting for Labour, but I did vote for a Lib Dem once, (by mistake apparently) about twenty years ago, because the Tory local councillor was a prat, (they all are actually), but I was pained to learn that a close friend once voted for Gordon Brown, for 'continuity', so he cocked that one up didn't he! The grand-children will grow up in happy circumstances, despite the local politicians helping to bugger everything up, and anyway, who am I to ask my daughters who they want at the helm?

So Scrobs is entering the time of life when frankly, he doesn't give a damn!

I don't like so many things that successive governments have done to us, especially pinching my own pension, to pay for some cretin in Tunbridge Wells, and also some of the people involved, like that Balls bloke are utterly odious, but the only thing that Lord Sir Anthony Wedgwood Benn said with a ring of common sense, was that you have to take the personalities out of politics, and look at the end game! So he got that wrong as well didn't he!

We're in a safe seat with Tunbridge Wells. Hell is destined to freeze over if the Labour candidate ever gets a look in, and most of the others are pretty bad as well, so tomorrow's TV will be interesting, even though I have paid for the licence this month...

Saturday 25 April 2015

Tim Satchell's handwriting...

Many years ago, when I was at school, our collective handwriting ranged from the reasonably neat to the absolutely unreadable and appalling scrawl! Mine was a cross between Jennings and Molesworth after several tinctures...

Our Headmaster tried to encourage us to learn the Italic method, and we all bought those square nib dip pens, and the inkwell monitor worked overtime before prep, but it was never to be, and I reverted to my spidery, wiggly writing! One day, a few years later, I had some sort of St Paul moment, and grabbing a green biro, immediately and totally changed my writing style to the one which I still use, sloping forward, and slightly above the line! It was during a history lesson, and to this day, I don't understand why it happened, but it did!

But there was one chap at school, who changed all this! Tim Satchell was slightly older than me, and he was a lovely guy back then, being artistic and sporting as well as friendly to everyone. He decided to reinvent his handwriting, by taking samples of everyone he could ask, and choosing the best bits of each style! He was meticulous in his method of choosing each letter, and adapting it to his own requirements.

And he actually succeeded, handsomely, and his handwriting became something of a wonder, because it was neat, even, and of course, easily read! I hope he kept it up, as he became a journalist, and did columns occasionally for the London press, and a few years ago did an article about getting MS, so I hope he has the slow one, not the quick and nasty one...

I found his signature in my old autograph book (remember them), the other day! He said he'd be famous one day!

Well he is in my book!

Saturday 18 April 2015

With no apologies - 'Chinese Ovens'...

The other day, while queueing to pay for some petrol, I stood alongside the retail shelves with all manner of items, like chocolate and spanners. The stuff above just made me start to giggle, and by the time I went to pay, I was nearly a gibbering wreck!

Years ago, a very old chum used to tell me of his escapades in Australia. One of these was to go out on the town to sink a minimum of eight pints of Guinness, then go on for a Chinese or an Indian. The best part of the evening was for everyone to cram into one car, and drive home WITH ALL THE WINDOWS CLOSED!

Now that sounds like a game and a half to me...

Thursday 9 April 2015

Down on The Farm...

Posting has been sparse recently, because there's so much to do down on 'The Patch', and also round the village, where a newly retired Scrobs is required to do this and that!

So here's a pic of 'The Patch', to show that at least the spades, forks and tillers have been doing their jobs, aided and abetted by Mrs Scroblene, who is a dab hand at couch-removal, and also catching a chum's stray chickens (not ours), and inserting them back through the hole in their netting...

Life is just too good...

Thursday 26 March 2015

Melon and ginger...

Many years ago, when Scrobs was a miniature Scrobs, Dad would be driving from Sussex to Worcestershire on a regular, weekly basis, and if he left Bodiam late, he'd be arriving at a pub near Kingsclere around lunchtime!

So during the school holidays, a younger Scrobs would be seated next to the main man, who was driving his column-change Vauxhall Cresta at a rate of knots, and arriving at the pub around beer-o-clock!

And we'd have a fruity starter, then a mains of their famous chicken and ham pie, with several side dishes of salad and the rest, with, of course, a couple of pints of local ale. Dad enjoyed a pipe afterwards, so I would pop up a Gold Leaf, and we'd be ready for the next couple of hours on the road.

So even today, as a smouldering Scrobs spoons his way through the rest of an over-ripe melon, smothered with ginger, the days roll back, and England can be thought of just as if it was only yesterday...

Friday 20 March 2015

Erratic driving...

A.K.Haart's post on erratic driving HERE reminds me of an incident several years ago, on the M2 near Faversham.

I used to turn off onto the road down into Canterbury on most mornings, and one particular journey was a nightmare! I was going up the slip road, to the roundabout which straddles the M2, and the car in front, a big Volvo, seemed to veer from side to side, and much more than appeared normal. I noticed him get round the roundabout, almost - and he clipped the kerb losing a bit of bodywork in the process. He then drove back down the opposite slip road onto the M2 towards Thanet onto the same road he'd just left!

I had a single chance to follow him, and consider, just as Mr Haart did, what to do next. He got back on the dual carriage-way, and sped off, sometimes in one lane or the next one. I tried to stop people overtaking me, as he was really a serious threat, and I was getting pretty worried as well, so I rang the police (corded car-phone, no hands free), and got through to tell them what was happening, as there was the makings of a nasty pile-up and I was the only witness! We were all travelling at about sixty mph, and I was driving one handed, because of the phone.

After a couple of miles, he went right off the road, hit a lamp post, which fell into the road, luckily missing everyone, and then ran the car into the hedge! The door opened, and he ran off, then RAN BACK! I gave the police the last bit of info and went off to see what was up, as he was seriously in some sort of trouble.

It wasn't drink or drugs, as after seeing him in a pool of perspiration and smelling his breath there sure signs of diabetes everywhere on the poor chap! Some other drivers had stopped, and we got him under some sort of control, and found some sugary sweets to get down his throat, but he then had a fit, so we really had to hold him down. I couldn't find any special ID which diabetics carry, and got someone to run to the nearby Little Chef for some sugary tea, which we tried to get him to take, with not much success. The ambulance arrived, and they got him in the back, while the police sorted out the car.

But the final twist was this...

I went up to the ambulance, for a final thank you to the guys there, and asked how the poor chap was. One of the crew just said, "Oh, he'll be fine, WE'RE GIVING HIM SOME INSULIN"!

Scrobs exploded! "YOU WHAT? It's the LAST thing he needs right now you just can't do that"!

Luckily, the other crew member came back and realised the error his mate had uttered, and confirmed that they wouldn't be doing that of course, he needed the opposite, but it really was a bit of a nightmare scenario to finish up an already dodgy morning...

(Hope you don't mind me interfering with your post Mr H!)

Sunday 1 March 2015

White Rabbits...

History states that one utters the words 'White Rabbits', as soon as possible on the first day of March...

Or at least, that's what my dear sister has always said, and she should know!

It's also St David's Day, so after yesterday's success, it's a pretty good moment for Wales!

Wednesday 18 February 2015

Reel to reel...

Just recently, blogging has been light because we've been reorganising 'The Turrets', and doing things like painting, mending etc, which are exhausting, as all the furniture and effects finish up elsewhere and life gets tedious trying to remember where...

But now, normality is returning!

One of the benefits of upheaval is finding odd treasures, and this is one of them. I found a box of old tapes, and one had YD's name on it so I put it on the machine, hoping to hear her piano playing from long ago!

But it wasn't to be! It was a tape of a record Mrs Scroblene bought me years ago, and I have to say, I melted when I heard this, it is so lovely!

Judy Collins - The moon is a harsh mistress.

Sunday 8 February 2015

Eclectic guitars...

Kevin is just tugging at a new post about the famous EK Bass!

I wish I knew where it was, as we have been redecorating, and have new carpets, and everything is just not where it should be...

So, Scrobs (as usual), is in disarray, has a nasty cold (the third this winter), and with tincture at hand, is unable to respond properly!

Forgiveness is the watchword under these circumstances.

Thursday 29 January 2015

Comfortably numb...

It's been several months since I persuaded myself that I had to get hold of an iPad! Mrs Scroblene had bought one, and now uses it constantly for all sorts of things, especially reading, and the odd mind game, but I had other plans!

People here, who have known Scrobs for the last seven or so years, have often been subjected to several sorts of musical taste, wishes, manufacture even, and also how he dealt with the innovation of computer generated music during the days when money was no object.

There are several iPad apps for music generation, and some are pretty weedy, but others are terrific, and can unleash all sorts of fantasy at the touch of a screen! My favourite is Music Studio, here...

... and I won't bore you with what it does, other than it costs a few quid, but is marvellous for writing and playing virtually any instrument you care to pick up - but on a keyboard. However, the top pic shows a similar app, Garage Band, which is very common now as it's free, and that has so much to offer as well, but in a different way.

One of the great advantages of the app, is that you can lay down a backing track, with drums, bass rock organ, etc, and then get onto the smart guitar page, and play like you've never played before! I have a certain amount of difficulty holding down a chord on a twelve-string guitar these days, and I don't have an amplifier for the electric ones, so for some time I was bereft of a favoured pastime, although Mrs Scroblene was delighted not to have to listen to a muted strumming while I was oblivious because of my earphones!

The other day, a chum on another blog reminded me that one of the most hallowed guitar solos ever, is David Gilmour's Comfortably numb from 'Pulse - live' which has always been a firm favourite, and it has been played under a myriad of circumstances, so it was no small challenge to write the backing tracks, and try my luck at the solo!

I just have to say, it works, and the big smile just won't go away!

Sunday 18 January 2015

Sunday music...

My father was trying to get Dylan Thomas to finish writing Under Milk Wood and he decided the only thing to do was to lock him in the BBC library overnight, pay him by the line and give him an enamel bucket for obvious use
Dame Julia Cleverdon

This was on today, and what a gorgeous lady being taken to task by Kirsty Young!

I was somewhat surprised that the choice of music was unexpected/limited, but what a woman!

Friday 9 January 2015

Lance Percival - RIP


He was a great entertainer when a younger Scrobs was building a career, and I always liked him, as did my mum and dad, and his attitude. was just so different..

So sorry to see another gem falling from the crown of British comedy.

Monday 5 January 2015

On dismantling a desk...

As of last week, when Scrobs retired, there was a small upheaval in The Turrets, as Mrs Scroblene had long yearned to have the old bedroom back as a proper place for grandchildren to sleep in, and also to see the back of all the stuff I've accumulated over the last dozen years or so.

And she has got her way, as my instructions are to reorganise the various beds and chairs, and this also entailed getting rid of some really derelict stuff. It only took one phone call to realise that some new furniture would be arriving by the end of this week, and that meant that my treasured desk would have to go, or better still be made into something else!

It's amazing what sort of detritus appears if you really look in all the drawers and box files! I've found an old Blackberry sort of phone, which may still work, about three miles of cables and chargers for long-forgotten items, and also about five wallets (one was a 21st present from the folk who lived next door back then), loads of cards from the girls, the cats and the dog, and of course, Mrs Scroblene, as you kinda don't want to lose them do you!

I've found my dad's old army records and medals, some pictures of my mum digging the garden in 1953, and the leather passport case I gave dad when he was globe-trotting! There's a painting YD did about twenty years ago, and she still remembers it too!  And as for photographs, well, my target for scanning everything by Easter has just been threatened as there are all the old black and white ones from years gone by, and they just have to be preserved for future generations - but on disc...

Why on earth I still have my old school reports, I'll never know, but they may well go, as I don't want my great, great grandchildren thinking I was such a pillock all those years ago! But I discovered only recently that one of my school masters back then, was on The Long March from a German prison camp at the end of WW2, and he never even mentioned it. That's what clearing out a desk is all about I guess...