Wednesday 24 October 2018

Horn or hump...

As the whole of the universe knows, Scrobs and Her Senoraship Madame O'Blene bought a VW Golf last year, and we're mighty pleased with it.

As we mainly stay local, we often see chums going about their daily routine, walking dogs, buying stuff etc, and if we can, we pop a happy wave, hoping they'll see us. The 'problem' is that on the steering wheel, the actual horn-press needs the strength of an industrial crane to get it to hoot.

In the old Minis, the horn was a tiny button on the end of the indicator stalk, and a feeble beep was emitted as easy as pie. In the Golf, by the time one has spotted the unwary chum, and the thumbs are in place somewhere in the middle of the steering wheel, its too late to do anything, and anyway, the noise may just cause said chum to jump out of her/his skin! And we feel much aggrieved at missing the connection with friends!

What Scrobs really needs is a 'retro' Mini stalk, sellotaped to the dashboard, so the quick flip of the forefinger could emit the old style 'beep' or perhaps a birdsong, or a bark, so that the chum immediately knows who is calling out, and can take evasive action, or wave back, or make some sort of gesture normally associated with Harvey Smith!

I thought they were illegal, these Colonel Bogey horns, but watching Del Boy the other night, reminded me of a good chum who could wake up the whole of Chelsea by pressing every button at the same time...

Tuesday 16 October 2018


Back in the sixties, Scrobs used to listen to Radio London, and hear some of the best music around.

One track, first played - I think - by John Peel, was 'America', by The Nice, and Scrobs was blown away - well, he would have been, had he not been tucked up in bed with the wireless about six inches from his left ear, and smoking a Players Gold Leaf...

This was something fabulous! Great music for a twenty-year old, and a cert for 6s/6d down at the record shop in Hastings!

Wind back a few years. My lovely sister was given a lot of 33rpm records for her twenty-first birthday, and one of them was West Side Story. We played the lot on our new 'steeeerio', and I just loved Bernstein and Kostal's music. It was magical, and unbelievably vibrant.

Backward a few years and more, now at school, there was always an annual House Music competition. There was a set song, where everyone (about seventy of us blokes), would bawl some awful song planted on us by the Director of Music, (or occasionally known as the choirmaster), and then there would be a podium for anyone to add to the points for each house, to get the 'prize'.

Scrobs was the first to take a rather cheap guitar, in front of three-hundred other boys, and play a tune. I'd asked a chum (who was tone deaf), if he'd accompany me, but eventually, he realised that he was hopeless, so, a bereft Scrobs decided to do the whole shebang as a solo piece.

Bugger me, I had to combine all sorts of notes to make 'Tonight' sound anything like a recognisable song, but luckily, it worked, and I beat some Welsh Junior Assembalist youth viola player to the prize - much to his annoyance, but he was a bit of a prat so who cares!

So now, as President Trump is bringing so much value in the USA, with profound hard work, dismissal of the awful bbc and cnn etc, the great ol' country is alive and kicking, and I put it all down to the fact that I won a 7s/6d Boots voucher for winning the strings section in the house music!

Thursday 11 October 2018

The day we went to Bangor...

Senora O'Blene and I often chortle this gorgeous song, usually tinctures in hand before supper, as out of the pair of us, a certain person (not me), makes up outrageous lines and words, which need to be kept under wraps as far as the tender ears of youngsters, small animals and various spinsters of the parish are concerned!

I was interested to see that others have had the same idea, but being a fine upstanding Scrobs, with no need to listen to other versions, here is the best one - the original!

Sorry about the ad at the beginning - they're just blasted irritating aren't they!

Tuesday 2 October 2018

As cold as charity, and charity's chilly...

Image result for ode to a road a272

In Pieter and Rita Boogaart's superb travel book about the A272, which is a famous East/West route from East Sussex to Winchester, there are so many unheard facts, that it's difficult to keep up, and it all needs reading again!

I used to travel that route regularly from about 1975, as I had a lot of work in Hampshire, and much of the motorway network hadn't been built. It would always take me three hours to get to Winchester, however fast I drove, because all the traffic would meet up again in the lovely towns like Petworth and Midhurst, so an average of 40 mph was the order of the day, and it hardly ever changed.

Of the snippets which pepper every page, there's a couple which I was interested to learn about. One is that the origin of a lychgate on a church wall, was originally to accept a dead body at a funeral, and hopefully the vicar stayed in the dry! The funeral service started at that point.

I told this to a good friend who hails from the North, and she told me that the particular ritual also applied to weddings - mostly in Yorkshire! I always thought they were a sort of folly or just a plain architectural addition, but the idea originally was that once at the church gates, one either went on to be spliced, with no escape, or finished up 6ft under, ditto...

But another item caught my imagination. The author covers some detail on The Cokelers.

Reading between the lines, it seems that they were a slighly odd sect, and didn't really seem to want to enjoy themselves either, but they did a lot for charity, and I suppose their pious intent never did anyone any harm, apart from discouraging marriage, which may well have turned out a bit tiresome at the local dance hall...

I've started several chums on ths book, and we all compare notes - it's well worth a read...