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.


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.


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...