Tuesday, 29 December 2020

And she never had a Grace...




Senora O'Blene and I were mulling over what Christmas presents we were given during our childhood the other day.

I started the 'mull' with a description of a No 4 Meccano set, which was in fact a gift from a business friend of the family, and received a few days before the big day. Senora O'Blene has heard this story around eighty-five times - every year, and always counters with her collection of toy farm animals and people like farmers, milkmaids etc.

It's a recall of much joy, when we realise that all these gifts were in fact 'educational', or perhaps interactive, whereby a child-like imagination was set free, and anything could be made from these items, like a whole village, or that strange strung-up model in Meccano, a 'Telfer Span'!

But this year, I heard something else in the discussion about the various characters on the farms my dear wife made. She admitted that 'She never had a Grace', which was a reference to Grace Archer, from that epic programme which depicted the awful fire in the stables, and the poor girl never got out!

Now there's a revelation! Of course, nobody in their right mind would have such a tragic figure in any game, and I still believe the conspiracy theory that the Beeb did that on purpose, to get the headlines away from the new ITV channel, which was starting that night!

And they didn't even play the closing music at the end either!

Saturday, 19 December 2020

Christmas is cancelled...

 


It's out of the question that this year is going to be anything but a disaster!

I've only managed to get hold of ONE DRUM of these superb comestibles, and they're nearly gone now!

I really don't know what could be worse this year, a run of useless BBC repeats, some awful 'specials', a final listen to 'A fairy tale in Sodden Prickney', or a complete disassociation from one of life's delicacies!

Scrobs is totally distraught...


Saturday, 12 December 2020

Definite substantialability...



Senora O'Blene made these yesterday!

If any stupid politician ever thinks that a Scotch Egg isn't substantial, then they've clearly never had a proper one, with hard-boiled eggs, proper sausage meat (not the squirty stuff in plastic tubes, but the result of unpacking a real locally-made snag), and a good deep-fry in the same oil as used the previous time!

Crisps are the main accompaniment, mayonnaise is the correct condiment, and some seasoning is allowed, but not too much!

Associated drinks are a beer first, then a few tinctures of  'ChateauBlene', which is made from an elderberry recipe given to me in 1973 by a pleasant gentleman at one of the farms where I worked, and we've made it ever since!

One assumes that the said politicians, aided and abetted by the snooty BBC elite in London, just think that the dried up walnut-lookalikes sold in supermarkets are the real thing, but there again, what can you expect when the taxpayer is there to be conned!



 

Saturday, 5 December 2020

Post post...

 


The cost of stamps is going up yet again in January!

A recent report by The Post Office claims that this hike is necessary, as they have made huge losses throughout the year, and have had staff laid off, etc.!

I just don't understand this, as 2020 has been the year of isolation, unwillingness to venture out and a preference for delivered items from food to books, but somehow the Post Office has still made a big loss! Surely the other delivery companies have been lapping up the business; you can't turn a corner without seeing a Hermes or Yodel van parked in the road, and yes, the post office do have their own parcels group, so where's the problem?

I know they do a bit of local resourcing with good banking and bill-paying, but our post office closed for good, and only reappeared begrudgingly, as a sideline in a local supermarket, but why do home postal deliveries have to cost so much now?

Answers on a postage stamp please!

Saturday, 28 November 2020

Total miscarriage of democracy, sanity and due diligence...

 

Cynthia Molestranger's drying units, used for voting with matching enormous Janet Regers!


With the recent election  results still in dispute, Basil Kalashnikov had decided that the votes discovered in Edwina Bagage's saddle bag must be included, whatever state they are in!

A meeting via a Zoom sort of collection of people who actually knew how to connect Windows 3.1 to the interwebster thingy, was proposed, but the entire cabinet of the Sodden Prickney Parish Council decided to say 'Bugger it, we'll all meet in the village hall like we used to, and just shout at each other from all four corners'!

 

A vote was taken, and Norman Wibble took notes, well, wrote some sort of gibberish down and kept it to himself, as he didn't have Cynthia Molestrangler breathing down his neck like he used to have, so was a free man! Cynthia has blossomed considerably, since the Kent Themerama episode, where she managed several discreet meetings in one week, to ensure that something happened, (it did, twice)! So our feisty lady (you only become feisty after eight G&Ts and a quick fumble behind the Vauxhall Vectra), decided that Amelia Newt and Ron Groat had seriously tried to undermine the election, by employing a small computing firm known locally as Mousefart Ltd. The directors of Mousefart had insisted that they had done nothing wrong, except pressed 'Esc', when they should have pressed Ctrl-Alt'! This resulted in Cynthia getting 453 votes and Basil Kalashnikov only 7!

 

So, after all the yelling and shouting, it was decided to do a recount. Edwina was summoned to the committee, and a thorough search of her saddle bag was conducted under the scrutiny of PC Lumbersnatch, who recognised several of the other items as belonging to him, and also at least eight other gentlemen from the village. Edwina immediately went into a sulk, and also the ladies WC where a quick snifter of the local gin was consumed under stressful circumstances. When she emerged, she was faced with the reddening features of Councillor Sidney Trumpet, who bore down on her from a great height (he often did that), and she became more than flustered - more like hysterical! The commotion was heard in all corners of the shouting room, and everyone converged on the small passage to the ladies WC, where Edwina and Sidney had decided to make amends, and anything else they could in the short time available...

 

Basil Kalashnikov began one of his panic episodes, and ran off shrieking obscenities to the empty room, and Norman Wibble had a sudden bowel movement, much to the distaste of the rest of the committee in such unsocially-distanced surroundings! A spare pair of pants was discovered in the dressing-up box, Norman was dispatched to the men's WC to change and the entire committee returned to their shouting corners to resume the yelling.

 

By eleven o' clock, there was still no firm result. Edwina had gone home, leaving her bicycle on its chain and padlock, and accepting a lift in Ron Groat's Wolsley 1500, and getting a quick feel at the traffic lights for the privilege. Basil Kalshnikov had returned with mud all over his trousers where he had slipped in the mud near the car park after a large rant at nobody, but had gone to sleep in the corner. Cynthia Molestrangler and PC Lumbersnatch had decided to get back to her place and watch 'Question Time' for some obscure reason, but they didn't get any answers, so finished the Jack Daniels and collapsed on the hearthrug for a heavy-breather!

 

The only remaining counter of the votes in the village hall was Amelia Newt, so she proclaimed that she was the winner, and took the oath of office in front of the large mirror, just below the painting of the royal visit of 1953!

 

Democracy had been preserved!


Saturday, 21 November 2020

Tree scam...



When we first started walking JRT in the Bedgebury Pinetum, it cost a few quid a year for parking, I think it was around £30.00. There was no entry fee for seeing the trees, and taking very pleasant walks.

We became very keen on the place, and liked to watch the various developments taking shape, and even got to know several of the managers, who are an informative lot, and very knowledgeable, in fact, we would go over most days as the scenery can be stunning, especially in the autumn.

Now JRT is more circumspect about walking too far, we let our membership lapse, but looking at their website recently, an annual membership now costs £72.00, and while parking varies from £3.00 to £10.00, one wonders why all this cost is involved, when the whole lot of Forestry England is part of the Department of the Environment, and presumably paid for by citizens' taxes anyway!

It's a shame that a short visit costs so much, and while there are some facilities on site, it puts a lot of people off, so that's why you'll always see a couple of laybys on the A21, full or cars, all with empty bike racks. There is a back way in...



Saturday, 14 November 2020

Joint effort...

Over the last week or so, Scrobs has been making a wooden stand for holding an iPad to scan photographs etc. It's been a labour of love, and the sort of 'challenge' which is achievable with some offcuts of plywood, a few wingnuts and a modicum of sandpaper...



We have hundreds of photos taken before digital cameras came on the scene, and the old albums take up a lot of space, and while they are really family treasures, we could use the space for other things like red wine bottles...

While working on the design, I mused at all the sorts of ways I could join the various parts, and decided that pure fasteners would be the most effective way, and also the easiest, hence the screws etc.!

Many years ago, the old school hall was a fifties design, and while OK for PE, films and concerts, when these became boring, I would sit staring up at the way the roof was supported and spent ages gazing at one particular joint, which I learned, much later, was in fact a 'squinted scarfed joint' such as this one here...


It seems to be a bit of a bugger to make, but the end result joins two pieces of wood, forming an even longer piece, which is exactly what I used to stare at!

But hey, just check out this beautiful piece of work!


Now that must be nearly impossible, and hardly the sort of  design an ageing Scrobs could even dream about, let alone make!






Saturday, 7 November 2020

Cock-up on the catering front...

 



Geoffrey Palmer RIP!

The post here says it all! As the redoubtable Jimmy in 'Reggie Perrin', he always made such a fabulous diversion from the daily life of Reggie and his sister, Elizabeth! We still use the phrase almost daily, when things go wrong here!

One of his best ever lines came from the man: -




Again, I try and remember all the names in the subject matter, but can never meet the same number us Jimmy!

'Bye old chap...






Friday, 30 October 2020

New services, more cash for family O'Blene...




Scrobs has bored most chums here for ages about switching, much of which was learned from E-K, who is a genius in such matters!

So we switched electricity, saving £20.00 a month, and while doing so, an ad came up about the broadband, and so we've now saved in total about a quid a day for the next year! Can't be bad, considering that all they do is click a switch, press a key, and that's the job done!

I'm no clever-clogs in high finance, but when there are quite a few regulations around these days, where you can get a better deal online, then a few keystrokes does the business, and we're now planning a decent Christmas lunch, as Tesco have some good deals on offer!

And just to prove that keyboards are fantastic, here's the best player in the world!

Wednesday, 21 October 2020

48th Wedding Anniversary theatre visit...

 



Saw this for the first time recently, so decided to take Senora O'Blene along as a celebration treat!

Hilarious!

Monday, 12 October 2020

Up and down like a tom cat's trousers...

 


A few years ago, the Family Scrobs were on hols in The West Country, and having a very pleasant time.

One of the trips away from the holiday home, was to Lynton and Lynmouth, where the catastrophic flooding happened in the nineteen-fifties.  There's plenty about that on old Pathe News bulletins (also see Scrobs passim http://scroblene-webley-bullock.blogspot.com/2011/03/act-of-kindness.html). It is a great place to visit, and one of the stars of the show is the funicular railway between the town at the top of the cliff, and the harbour below.

A trip on this railway is a must for all visitors as well. The workings are so basic, it's amazing that more isn't made of such a simple engineering solution! Water is pumped into  a tank in the car at the top, which descends to pull up the car from the bottom, which has no water in its reservoir. They almost meet half-way, then proceed to each of their 'stations', and the whole procedure restarts.

There's a similar arrangement in Hastings Old Town up East Cliff, and several others dotted around the country, so the nerd in me asks why don't I visit every one of then, and do a Panorama Special on the subject?

I'm sure the awful BBC could use some decent prorammes instead of the dross they plonk out now!



Monday, 5 October 2020

F**k off Sainsbury...

 I can't understand why Sainsbury's have decided to become such soft, leftie plonkers.

They're market traders, for God's sake! They take your money, cheat you any way they can, stuff you with unwanted rubbish, but then claim to support a criminal crowd of ne'er-do wells!

Forget it! No more shopping in that great, ugly smelly 'citadel' in Hastings!

(Sources say they got planning permission after years of chucking money around - it was ever thus)!

Done for!

Tuesday, 29 September 2020

For Sergeant Matiu Ratana...


Many years ago, in a universe not actually too far from here, Scrobs was an ardent player of the real man's game, Rugby Union, and enjoyed several years of strain, beer, Gold Leaf and the occasional injury, often from stupid occurrences like tripping up in the only hole on Lewes 1st XV's pitch, which was deceptively flat...

One of our serious opponents was East Grinstead, and we used to take them on, at their old ground just down from the High Street. They've moved their club further away now, and in fact, a few years ago, I went to that superb place to watch my old club win the Group Final, which meant more beer, definitely no play, but no fags, sadly...

As you may know from Scrobs passim, our Second XV captain was a concert pianist, and knew every song ever written from 'Poor little Angeline' (disgusting but hilarious), to 'The Engineer's song', (crude but effective)! Singing after a match was mandatory, beer flowed from jugs, and a good time was had by all!

It may have been East Grinstead, I can't remember, (they were always a tough team to beat), but one club would make a fabulous rendition of 'Green grow the rushes-o'.

When the line 'Three, three the rivals' came on, the whole lot of them would charge us, beer in hand, and the result was usually mayhem, with trousers drenched etc. It became a bit tiresome after the eighth verse, so we put our mugs down and returned the compliment with even larger shoulders! It quietened everyone down after that and we reverted to hymns and arias...

This post is dedicated to Sergeant Matiu Ratana, the policeman who was shot by that scumbag asshole in Croydon. Sergeant Ratana was two months off retirement, and one of his leisure pursuits was rugby coach at East Grinstead RFC. They miss him terribly already.

https://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/croydon-police-officer-death-east-19002023

And I never knew the man - I wish I had.

Tuesday, 22 September 2020

The fourth hole at Brecon...




While I'm not all that interested in golf any more, having given up one summer, around 1969, after an air-shot on the ninth hole at Tenterden Golf Course, occasionally a quick peek at the results of some of the big matches stirs an inert soul...

Just this morning, a piece in the press caught my eye! It was about the huge shots that Bryson DeChambeau manages from the tee - many of which reach a spot 325 yards away!

Now that is one heck of a drive and from here, would almost reach Will's Mother's (a colloquial term which requires no interest from anyone).

When I was about seventeen, I played a several rounds on the course at Brecon. As I was a bit slighter than I am now, I still used several clubs which were my dear Mother's, and the four iron was a delight on the first hole, up the slope, as I could make the green in one, usually four-putting to bugger the score, but I digress...

The second, back down the hill, and was a bit tricky, and the third was a tiny hole which you could do with a seven iron, but the fourth was a bastard! It went dead straight up around 300 yards, with no rough, just a bloody great field, the next hole came back the same way! Nobody liked these holes. (They're totally different nowadays, I just recall the sixties layout, so the pic is actually irrelevant).

A good chum had somehow acquired some clubs from somewhere, and had a driver with a wooden head the size of a small saucepan, but three times as heavy, The shaft was ultra-thin and whipped about four inches each way. He lent it to me on one day I was there, and I took off from the tee on the fourth with the sweetest drive I'd ever done. It went just over two hundred yards, and straight down the middle! (Even then, they had markers written in just English - this is Wales we're talking about).

Of course, after that, the approach shots were stupid, and the putting was even worse, but that drive will live with me forever, and if I ever get to play against Bryson DeChambeau, I'll remind him of this little fact, just as he's getting ready to belt that little ball...

Wednesday, 16 September 2020

60,000 TV taxes for 33 people...

 



Well, well, well!

Who'd have thought it!

Well, everyone I read about who doesn't get paid by the TV tax!

So it's pensioners' money paying all that dosh for autocue-readers, weak reporting, hardly any journalism, and an awful lot of zero talent!

It's about time to call time!


Tuesday, 8 September 2020

One for the pros...

Hell on Earth | Bethesda.net


An engineer dies and reports to the Pearly Gates. Saint Peter checks his dossier and, not seeing his name there, accidentally sends him to Hell.


It doesn't take long before the engineer becomes rather dissatisfied with the low level of comfort in Hell. He soon begins to design and build improvements,

and shortly thereafter, Hell has air conditioning, flush toilets and escalators. Needless to say, the engineer is a pretty popular chap.


One day, God calls Satan and says: "So, how are things in Hell?"


Satan replies: "Hey, things are going great. We've got air conditioning, flush toilets, and escalators, and there's no telling what our engineer is going to come up with next."


"What!" God exclaims. "You've got an engineer? That's a mistake - he should never have been sent to Hell. Send him up to me."


"Not a chance," Satan replies: "I like having an engineer on the staff, and I'm keeping him!"


God insists: "Send him back or I'll sue!"


Satan laughs uproariously and answers: "Yeah, right, and where are you going to get a lawyer?”



Tuesday, 1 September 2020

Hop picking...

Hop Garden Stock Photo, Picture And Royalty Free Image. Image 20920582.


Hop picking usually starts about now.

http://www.bygonebodiam.co.uk/Introduction.html

My dad was seriously into the business with Arthur Guinness, and we lived the life of aromatic clothes, early, and non-existent nights when things went awry. We never really saw my dad, we just smelt him!

In later life, I was involved in a lot of design work for new gardens, machinery, oasts and other buildings, and I just loved it all. The government farming 'quota' system ruined the industry back in the early seventies, and Guinness packed up and left, leaving a whole traditional industry to fend for itself.

There's just one hop farm around here now, and someone told me that they bought some of the redundant machinery from our old farms!

I wonder if they have the special oast drying mats I designed...

I might jump on my bike and go and ask them...

Wednesday, 26 August 2020

When does one use a capital letter...

Sometimes, I just cannot believe what I'm reading!

Apparently, 'full stops' are a sign of 'aggression' in a written message, and snowflakes are feeling hurt when they see one!

https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1326712/full-stop-punctuation-snowflakes

I suppose the antidote is to bawl all the words to 'Rule Britannia', including as many full stops as possible, and think of England!

(A 'full stop' is nothing to do with a 'glottal stop', so beloved by wokes and sjws on the awful BBC)...



Wednesday, 19 August 2020

Rock prog for Raedwald...

I don't know if this will work, but this morning, and still feeling a bit lonely without the usual post from our friend, a clicker came up on my PC screen to tell me that the Prog Rock Stream was playing.

It was my favourite album by Peter Gabriel - the soundtrack from the film 'Birdy'. There's a track on the album which has a secret which I will divulge one day - and I'm being serious for once - but as it was playing, (couldn't sleep, and it was 4:00am), I mused that while already missing our old mate, the music fitted the feeling. So I clicked the live chat, and away we went! While I'm used to blogging as you've found out with tiresome expectation over the years, I don't Tweet or Bookface, so live chat isn't really my way to communicate, but somehow, our old chum, up there, said just 'goferit Scrobs'!

So, for better or worse, here's the music which the site-owner has put together for Raeders, and I hope that it'll be taken in the spirit of trying to reclaim a loss which we never can do, but may just settle a few sad minds.

If it all works, just click the button and see - if it doesn't, then I'm sorry, but I tried...




Saturday, 15 August 2020

VJ Day, but the woke BBC, failing again...

Today is VJ Day, when we will all be celebrating the hard-fought victory in the East. But the weedy BBC have failed yet again, in their 'mission' to try and be whatever is the woke term these days. 

Rudyard Kipling was an inspiration to so many people, and his stories have given so much pleasure to schoolchildren and their parents all over the world. 

His home, https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/batemans isn't that far from here and thousands of visitors revel in such an important place where history was made and is still revered.

A gentleman on another website showed this magnificent rendition of 'The Road to Mandalay', by the great Charles Dance, and I can assure you, that you'll weep at the end of it all. The awful BBC's wet under-managers, or whatever they're called, have rolled over at the whim of some singer, who thinks that 'The Road to Mandalay' has 'racist' undertones.

Bollocks!

Just listen to this and see where, as usual nowadays, the blasted tax-payer-funded bunch in W1A are just not getting it...





Sunday, 9 August 2020

'Bye Sue, from Campton...

Scrobs had to go to yet another funeral last week.

It was for a dear cousin, who'd ended her life with an awful stroke, and left her family in total distress.

Not that Scrobs ever believes that life is interminable, but the trip to the Crem, was also part of a 'visit' to say hello to uncles, aunts and the rest, and as it was probably going to be the last time I ever went there, I had to take some Sweet Peas for Uncle Ken and Auntie Nip, as they were such a fabulous Aunt and Uncle. I tried to find my grandparents' grave in Campton, but to no avail!

This week has been a bit of a bugger, I haven't felt like this for many years, but to lose such a close relative, is becoming more apparent, and upsetting these days.


Bollocks - life moves on I suppose...

Wednesday, 5 August 2020

Professional quandary...

Modern cities and the data dividend: Three key principles ...



An engineer dies and reports to the Pearly Gates. Saint Peter checks his dossier and, not seeing his name there, accidentally sends him to Hell.


It doesn't take long before the engineer becomes rather dissatisfied with the level of comfort in Hell. He soon begins to design and build improvements.


Shortly thereafter, Hell has air conditioning, flush toilets and escalators. Needless to say, the engineer is a pretty popular guy.


One day, God calls Satan and says: "So, how are things in Hell?"


Satan replies: "Hey, things are going great.


We've got air conditioning, flush toilets, and escalators.


And there's no telling what this engineer is going to come up with next."


"What!" God exclaims. "You've got an engineer? That's a mistake - he should never have been sent to Hell. Send him to me."


"Not a chance," Satan replies: "I like having an engineer on the staff, and I'm keeping him!"


God insists: "Send him back or I'll sue."


Satan laughs uproariously and answers: "Yeah, right.


And where are you going to get a lawyer?”

Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Didn't she realise...

Whenever Scrobs does a little retail therapy in Waitrose, which is a rather pleasant small grocer nearby, there is an added benefit attached to the commercial exchange of money for comestibles - a free newspaper.

Now, we gave up reading the Daily Telegraph years ago, as it cost more than the output was worth, and we rather like trees to be alive and waving their branches, rather than being squashed and sent to people with some sort of writing on them as pulp, so we cancelled that and spend the money on important things like a leg of lamb, or some nice bread.

But the deal in Waitrose is that if you spend more than ten splonders, you get a free paper, and so I get one for all to see at home. I hardly ever read it, but yesterday, while the fragrant Senora O'Blene was fussing about in the kitchen, waiting for several things to place on the plates, I skimmed the pages - tincture at hand! (You are a gross sexist brute, Scrobs, and deserve to have your nuts taken off with a blunt sickle)...

After near terminal boredom at the woke tittle-tattle about two ex-royals now living in a 75million pound drum in Los Angeles, and some idiot kneeling down for some stupid reason, I came across a full spread of saddening stories about saddish people going on sad holidays in a rather sad place - Andalusia...

I've only ever been there once; on business, and found it just about OK, but - 'sad'.

So here was this large girl, shrieking about very little on 'holiday', and suddenly realising that she would have to go into quarantine for two weeks when she returned. This has been advertised millions of times, even by the awful BBC, which gets its news from the third form of a small junior school in The Appalachian Mountains, where they prepare stuff for the Democrat Party.

Now, is it beyond the mentality of the stupidest person in the universe to just maybe consider that there may be consequences to dashing off for a couple of weeks of sangria, shags and sin, in a place where she might just get an awful disease after 'dancing' the night away with some oik from a sink estate somewhere unholy?

But the headline was 'Who's going to pay my £2,000 mortgage now'!

I despair, I really do.

Friday, 17 July 2020

Penalty shoot-out...

As anyone here knows, I don't follow football, preferring rugby, but this little clip is just so good, it needs an airing here...



He's a trier, isn't he...

Thursday, 9 July 2020

PLM - Pensioners Lives Matter...

In another place, not far from here, on Biased BBC, certain stalwarts of Great British standing, and supporters of standards long-forgotten by virtue of a dire, increasingly irrelevant BBC, which is undermining all the edicts and values which were fought for by our parents and grandparents (and also in my case, a Bantam Soldier in WW1 as well), have decided enough is enough!

Pensioners Lives Matter, and the proposed taxing of such people, who have paid the 'licence fee' (tax) for all these years, will put even more of a strain on budgets from pensions - again, paid for and 'costed' by various - often useless governments, and it has to stop NOW!

Over the years, (nearly seventy-three golden ones, especially nearly forty-eight of those with the fragrant Senora O'Blene in my case), there have been various Pensioners Revolts, and as MPs eventually understand the plight of the great and good like us, who have funded the profligate lifestyle in Westminster for so long, and these MPs agree that these good people really need some financial respite from propaganda from such a failing broadcasting crowd -funded on pain of jail, it is a good time to start hammering a few nails in the coffin of a once great organisation, and send it second-class post to whatever subscription bunch will want to bother to pay for it.

Every three months, Senora O'Blene and I pay the TV tax - around £40.00, at about half a minute past midnight on the first of the month. They make sure the dosh gets into their grubby hands, very quickly, even before our pensions and poll tax is paid, and then they can spend it just as they like, with toothless Ofcom servants farting around in the background, and flunkies kow-towing to every 'politician', blue or red, (or even orange, if there are any), and the result isn't good.

Lots of people are leaving the BBC in droves, we haven't watched a single thing on the box since the Covid break-out, and we wanted to know more, rather than read the dead-tree press, but all they did was edit 'Gotcha' questions, and sneer at whatever realities Boris was facing. Since then, Senora O'Blene has read more books than in The British Library, and I have watched DVDs (now on Minder - sorry BBC, but that was when it was half-decent)...

PLM!

You know it makes sense!

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Ears being lowered at 12.00 noon...





Today's the day!

Seventeen and a half weeks ago was my last trip to get a haircut, so, even after a couple of self-administered trims, I'll be so glad to be able to get back to some sort of normality...

I spent a happy half-hour trimming Senora O'Blene's flowing locks a few weeks ago, and funnily enough, she was so delighted, that she has forgone her appointment at the same hairdressers for the time being!

I also learned all about her garden, her family, what she was having for supper and where she went for her holidays!

Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Jimmy's Old Kentucky aire...

The building is one of 126 barrel warehouses that Jim Beam operates in Kentucky.

Last year, in a warehouse on The Kentucky River, the Jim Beam distillery lost about 45,000 barrels of young whiskey in a fire!

A standard US barrel contains approximately 175 bottles, which retail at around $18 each, so a hefty total of around $145m went up in rather pleasant smoke! The decision was made to allow the fire to burn itself out naturally, and not use hoses or dampening chemicals, which would eventually cause a run-off into the nearby water courses, and damage wildlife; which was nice!

Mr Drew Chandler, a Chief Firefighter explained that it was probably a lightning strike which started the damage, but he added that 'It was the best-smelling fire he'd ever been at', which is not a bad way to take a tincture I suppose...

Friday, 26 June 2020

Bit of truth...

I know this has been doing the rounds, but a local chum said he hadn't seen it, so here it is in full view for the world to see...

The Chancellor of Oxford University, was on the Today Programme on BBC Radio 4 yesterday on the removal of statues of people linked to slavery.   Interesting statements. The Daily Telegraph headline yesterday was "Oxford will not rewrite history". 
Patten commented "“Education is not indoctrination. Our history is not a blank page on which we can write our own version of what it should have been according to our contemporary views and prejudice" 
Rhodes must fall ?
Dear students,
Cecil Rhodes’s generous bequest has contributed greatly to the comfort and well being of many generations of Oxford students – a good many of them, dare we say it, better, brighter and more deserving than you.
This does not necessarily mean we approve of everything Rhodes did in his lifetime – but then we don’t have to. Cecil Rhodes died over a century ago. 'Autres temps, autres moeurs' ! If you don’t understand what this means – and it would not remotely surprise us if that were the case – then we really think you should ask yourself the question: “Why am I at Oxford?” 
Oxford, let us remind you, is the world’s second oldest extant university. Scholars have been studying here since at least the 11th century. We’ve played a major part in the invention of Western civilisation, from the 12th century intellectual renaissance through the Enlightenment and beyond. Our alumni include William of Ockham, Roger Bacon, William Tyndale, John Donne, Sir Walter Raleigh, Erasmus, Sir Christopher Wren, William Penn, Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), Samuel Johnson, Robert Hooke, William Morris, Oscar Wilde, Emily Davison, Cardinal Newman. We’re a big deal. And most of the people privileged to come and study here are conscious of what a big deal we are. Oxford is their alma mater – their dear mother – and they respect and revere her accordingly. 
And what were your ancestors doing in that period? Living in mud huts, mainly. Sure we’ll concede you the short-lived Southern African civilisation of Great Zimbabwe. But let’s be brutally honest here. The contribution of the Bantu tribes to modern civilisation has been as near as damn it to zilch. 
You’ll probably say that’s “racist”. But it’s what we here at Oxford prefer to call “true.” Perhaps the rules are different at other universities. In fact, we know things are different at other universities. We’ve watched with horror at what has been happening across the pond from the University of Missouri to the University of Virginia and even to revered institutions like Harvard and Yale: the “safe spaces”; the #blacklivesmatter; the creeping cultural relativism; the stifling political correctness; what Allan Bloom rightly called “the closing of the American mind”. At Oxford however, we will always prefer facts and free, open debate to petty grievance-mongering, identity politics and empty sloganeering. The day we cease to do so is the day we lose the right to call ourselves the world’s greatest university. 
Of course, you are perfectly within your rights to squander your time at Oxford on silly, vexatious, single-issue political campaigns. (Though it does make us wonder how stringent the vetting procedure is these days for Rhodes scholarships and even more so, for Mandela Rhodes scholarships). We are well used to seeing undergraduates – or, in your case – postgraduates, making idiots of themselves. Just don’t expect us to indulge your idiocy, let alone genuflect before it. You may be black – “BME” as the grisly modern terminology has it – but we are colour blind. We have been educating gifted undergraduates from our former colonies, our Empire, our Commonwealth and beyond for many generations. We do not discriminate over sex, race, colour or creed. We do, however, discriminate according to intellect.   
That means, inter alia, that when our undergrads or postgrads come up with fatuous ideas, we don’t pat them on the back, give them a red rosette and say: “Ooh, you’re black and you come from South Africa. What a clever chap you are!”! No. We prefer to see the quality of those ideas tested in the crucible of public debate. That’s another key part of the Oxford intellectual tradition you see: you can argue any damn thing you like but you need to be able to justify it with facts and logic – otherwise your idea is worthless. 
This ludicrous notion you have that a bronze statue of Cecil Rhodes should be removed from Oriel College, because it’s symbolic of “institutional racism” and “white slavery”. Well even if it is – which we dispute – so bloody what? Any undergraduate so feeble-minded that they can’t pass a bronze statue without having their “safe space” violated really does not deserve to be here. And besides, if we were to remove Rhodes’s statue on the premise that his life wasn’t blemish-free, where would we stop? As one of our alumni Dan Hannan has pointed out, Oriel’s other benefactors include two kings so awful – Edward II and Charles I – that their subjects had them killed. The college opposite – Christ Church – was built by a murderous, thieving bully who bumped off two of his wives. Thomas Jefferson kept slaves: does that invalidate the US Constitution? Winston Churchill had unenlightened views about Muslims and India: was he then the wrong man to lead Britain in the war?”  
Actually, we’ll go further than that. Your 'Rhodes Must Fall' campaign is not merely fatuous but ugly, vandalistic and dangerous. We agree with Oxford historian RW Johnson that what you are trying to do here is no different from what ISIS and the Al-Qaeda have been doing to artifacts in places like Mali and Syria. You are murdering history. 
And who are you, anyway, to be lecturing Oxford University on how it should order its affairs? Your #rhodesmustfall campaign, we
understand, originates in South Africa and was initiated by a black activist who told one of his lecturers “whites have to be killed”. One of you – Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh – is the privileged son of a rich politician and a member of a party whose slogan is “Kill the Boer; Kill the Farmer”; another of you, Ntokozo Qwabe, who is only in Oxford as a beneficiary of a Rhodes scholarship, has boasted about the need for “socially conscious black students” to “dominate white universities, and do so ruthlessly and decisively!” 
Great. That’s just what Oxford University needs. Some cultural enrichment from the land of Winnie Mandela, burning tyre necklaces, an AIDS epidemic almost entirely the result of government indifference and ignorance, one of the world’s highest per capita murder rates, institutionalised corruption, tribal politics, anti-white racism and a collapsing economy. Please name which of the above items you think will enhance the lives of the 22,000 students studying here at Oxford.
And then please explain what it is that makes your attention grabbing campaign to remove a listed statue from an Oxford college more urgent, more deserving than the desire of probably at least 20,000 of those 22,000 students to enjoy their time here unencumbered by the irritation of spoilt, ungrateful little tossers on scholarships they clearly don’t merit using racial politics and cheap guilt-tripping to ruin the life and fabric of our beloved university. 
Understand us and understand this clearly: you have everything to learn from us; we have nothing to learn from you. 
Yours, 
Oriel College, Oxford 

Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Lophospermum...

The other day, Senora O'Blene and yours truly, vanished from 'The Turrets', for an escape.

We haven't been out to the village for ages now, and we needed some plants for a new growing area, so our local garden centre was the place to go.

As we know everyone there so well, the banter started, and Mrs O'Blene spotted a plant which had an unintelligible name, and one of the chums called it 'Brian's thing', because his wife had grown it, and as they've all been struggling a bit with this Chinese nasty onslaught, we bought it, even though we didn't have a clue what it really was...

It turns out to be one of these...

Lofos® Compact White Lophospermum Plant (Creeping Gloxinia) | Free ...

...so we're well pleased!

Sometimes, a couple of quid spent on a mystery brings huge amounts of goodwill, and a sense of great chums just being there...

Sunday, 7 June 2020

Gormless...

Whatever happened to the real old gormless sayings of yesteryear?

My dad used to explode whenever he heard some loudmouthed barrack-room lawyer saying 'It's a diabolical liberty'! Dad would unpick the whole statement with various references to the devil, and what a liberty really was!

At least you don't hear some ignorant git saying it much nowadays - 'know warr oi mean'...

More please?

Saturday, 30 May 2020

Big biscuits...

BathOliver OnSlateWCheese.jpg

Just recently, I've started - or revisited a passion for, these delicacies! They're not cheap, at around twenty pence a pop, but they have a fabulous flavour, texture etc, and do make cheese so much better than a normal cream cracker, or a digestive biscuit.

I did actually get a large store in just before panic-buying stopped any bread arriving, and together with some Ryvita, they are still on the shelf, but diminishing rapidly...

Many years ago, I was in the CCF at school, and we would go on annual camps to places like Sennybridge near Brecon or Inys Gaint, an island in The Menai Straits. It was all jolly fun, and the night exercise enabled twenty Gold Leaf and a few cans of cider to slip down without anyone noticing! The Duke of Edinburgh's Awards were the same, with nights out somewhere, and on all these occasions, we'd be issued with army rations like a tin of stew ('a nutritious and satisfying dinner', it said somewhere), and a tin of marge, with a tin of biscuits! They were as hard as nails, but strangely acceptable, especially with the tin of jam which was also in the pack! 

But I liked them, and as all this happened back in the early nineteen-sixties, I've forgotten the solidity of those tins of biscuits, and can now relive the pleasure with the delightful Bath Olivers! The chocolate ones are to die for too...


Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Foul press...

Newspapers: still the most important medium for understanding the ...

Why are the people in the press so nasty these days?

Is it because the dead-tree paper business will die out soon, and people will just get their news when and where they like, from their PCs, phones, Ipads etc?

Makes sense to me - I read the news online, I can easily ignore the dross about royalty and the unpleasant, ugly, tattooed slebs and foobollers. I rather like to see some 'journos' getting hot under the collar, but wonder if they're really up to their jobs, especially most of the BBC people, so all I have to do when I get disinterested, is go...


...click!

Monday, 18 May 2020

Musings from outside a bolted door...

Coronavirus: Pubs and restaurants could close across UK | Metro News

One issue Scrobs has with 'lockdown', is that meetings with good friends like Elias and Gloriette Sagtrouser have been suspended.

For two months, the normally open doors of 'The Bells' have been firmly shut and bolted, although the lovely people who run the place are doing takeaways of enormous proportions at weekends, and we try and support them on our meagre pensions (?), as much as we can, the various pints of Sheps' 'Spring Ale - 8.7abv' and the large Anno and Fevertrees are just not apparent at the moment!

So there's a sad dearth of seeing the trilby hat, sloping to the rear of the noble head, with a twenty pound note swaying in the breeze from a gnarled mitt, and the tiny feet, tiny hands, and huge - gins of the lovely lady, and things just don't seem right somehow.

Elias has been working hard though, keeping his business going, and I guess Gloriette has been working just as hard, doing the books, taking the orders over the phone etc, because I have been gladdened to notice, only last week, that after several weeks of the muck-away boys trundling past The Turrets with loads of subsoil, the Sagtrouser trucks are arriving with a variety of heavy building materials to a site down the road, where we believe another ornamental fishing lake is being constructed.

Life goes on I suppose, but discussions with hard-working chums still at it in the building industry have indicated that the good builders are getting to grips with the situation, and finding ways to keep working, which is what they always do, rather than be paid by the state to sit around and do very little.

These guys and gals are still the people who are providing the taxes to pay for the lockdown, and all the public services who are on full pay, pensions, soft hours and lots of excuses, especially from the 'management' end, but thankfully, the real money is going to the front line worker bees.

Friday, 15 May 2020

Sunday, 10 May 2020

Big front drive in North Kent...

Demand for new cars fell by around 97% last month amid the coronavirus lockdown, according to preliminary figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT)

Back in the seventies, Scrobs was flogging concrete drainage blocks to anyone who wanted to have a huge car-park.

Naturally, the supermarkets got excited as Tesco, Sainsbury, et al were just getting their buildings beyond a few thousand ft super, and wanted customers to load up their Ford Escorts and Skodas.

One of my best customers was a small firm, probably insignificant by today's standards, but run by a man who had the knack of getting into the car import business, and he started to build car-parks wherever he could. Sheerness, maybe a sorry little town at the time - possibly today, - I haven't been back for years, but worthy of being a flourishing port with plenty of good local labour, had loads of spare space, and my civils man really pulled out all the stops!

We carted literally thousands of the blocks to the sites, night and day, and the lines of cars he stored just grew and grew! It was a fabulous enterprise, and very lucrative for my company as well!

So, who would have thought, that after all this time, those very same car-parks would be a signal of a depression...

Hope it doesn't stay that way.

Wednesday, 6 May 2020

It wasn't the Northumbrian pipes, it was the Uilleann pipes...



We were talking about the pipes a day or so go, so here's the one I was thinking about, one and all!

I just love this and somehow, the sentiments of the words are pretty-well spot on at the moment!