Friday, 30 July 2021
Tuesday, 27 July 2021
Tuesday, 20 July 2021
There was upraor at the Sodden Prickney Sports and Leisure club extravaganza a week or so ago, when the players extended the game beyond extra time and sort of flopped into a penalty shoot-out.
The game had been dead boring anyway, with several of the Wibble kids playing at various positions, and Ron Groat's stepson doing something or other out on the wing, but the few spectators became aghast - some say enigmatic, when Ms Edwina Baggage suddenly stripped down to her Janet Regers and ran onto the pitch! The football was immediately forgotten when P.C.Lumbersnatch immediately divested himself of his uniform, either in sympathy, or to relieve himself of the weight of the accoutrements of the law, and, to the baying of the crowd, gave chase.
The roar from the several men in the crowd, as well as Ms Cynthia Molestrangler, who for some reason was almost sober that afternoon, reached a crescendo when our intrepid policeman executed a superb diving rugby tackle, and brought the lady to the ground, close to another nephew of Mr Norman Wibble. As the Wibble family are known to be of a nervous disposition, the small nephew (Gilbert Wibble), began to go very red and seemed to suffer an embolism or something similar, as the said Janet Regers had ridden high up the almond curves of an interesting leg!
Of course, while this was going on, the football became even more boring and eventually forgotten, as Ms Molestrangler decided in a stentorian voice that "She was going to have some of that", and began to unbutton her voluminous Dior blouse. The match referee, Cllr Basil Kalashnikov, who has watched that particular spectacle on many occasions, began to feel weak at the knees, but managed the almost impossible act of blowing his whistle and yelling "Sod everyone", which is his normal mode of disrespect to everyone he dislikes, or even likes for that matter!
The crowd reformed with certain Members of the Council, (Mr Norbert Iodine, Ms Hillary Billary, Miss Agatha Newt, Cllr Ron Groat and Cllr Sid Trumpet), all stamping their feet, booing or cheering, and demanding a replay as a passing pikey had pinched the goasl posts, and left a couple of anoraks in their place!
The F.A. are going to be consulted, but as nobody has a clue where their office is, the issue is in abeyance as we go to press. In fact three members of the committee thought the letters 'FA' meant something else, but this was discounted by a rather manic referee as he urgently sought yet another consultation with Ms Molestrangler, before she got her kit back on!
Tuesday, 13 July 2021
Friday, 9 July 2021
Our local Tesco, with the gorgeous Shirley, Anita and Mary getting my corpuscles up to break-neck speed, had these on offer a few weeks ago...
I bought the lot and JRT has just started on the last packet!
They're a Polish smoked sausage, and actually taste quite nice, so why cannot our best chum have a treat as well?
Sunday, 4 July 2021
Monday, 28 June 2021
There was uproar at the start of the Sodden Prickney Parish Council meeting held in the spacious, but empty, new sports emporium, just along from Aldi, on Thursday last week. To maintain social distancing, all members sat on chairs 6'0" apart, around the outside of the half-acre £3.5million Splenderama, shouting at each other continuously, or using tin cans and string to communicate.
The Member for Drains and Waste, Cllr Basil Kalshnikov, surprised the meeting with a sudden shriek of pain, followed by a whimper of agony as a bonus, as it had emerged during the day, that he had received a serious cranial contusion from his squeeze, Ms Edwina Baggage. It emerged that while he had been grasping Ms Baggage in the broom cupboard - a regular occurence, a small urchin from the local orphanage had popped his head round the door, and taken several pictures of the amorous embrace with an iPhone the size of a television set! Ms Baggage has been an exponent of Bicyclism for many years, and has made her religion well known to just about every red-blooded gentleman in the village, and nearby townships,who earns more that £30,000.
The Chairman, Cllr Ron Groat, decided to hold an enquiry into the incident, and called for a vote. The commotion began to reach a crescendo, when all twenty-seven members demanded copies of the photographs, and without consulting the Chairman, the Secretary, Miss Amelia Newt, forwarded the said pictures to everyone's mobile phone. She hadn't realised, in her disturbed state of eight vodka-tonics, that the list of members included a member of the press, Gina Lollalollers, who also had a second cousin who 'worked' an autocue-reader on the local BBC radio.
The commotion decibel count increased as Cllr Norman Wibble screamed that he thought he was the only member allowed to use the broom cupboard for such purposes, and demanded an adjunct to the enquiry. Matters were made worse when thirteen more councillors also began to express dismay, as they also thought that Ms Baggage had confined her lust to their sole presence! One councillor was in fact Ms Cynthia Molestrangler, who had been forced to use an even smaller broom cupboard in the old council offices near Tesco, which were pulled down for the 564,000 s.f. retail extravaganza all those years ago. But she maintained that she had never realised that both of them had been in there at the same time as someone had pinched the light bulb!
After several hours of constant yelling, cries of 'sod everybody', mainly from Cllr Kalashnikov, who was Polish once, the lights all went out in the normal 10.00pm power cut, and only the ocasional grunt from any councillor who had missed out on the opportunity for more action with Ms Baggage, was heard in the gloom of the dull, wet, June evening.
Tuesday, 22 June 2021
Elder Daught (ED), came up with an interesting theory over the weekend.
I asked her why I keep hearing - in my head - the seminal song from 'The Lamb lies down on Broadway', 'The Supernatural Anaesthetist'!
Now ED knows a fair bit about this fabulous album; she actually made a professional study/programme about the story, while at college, and that was from a copy of a copy of a tired old cassette tape I had given her! I still love the introduction chords, and still can't play them like Steve Hackett...
But she suggested that the 'earworm' I am getting constantly, is because of Summer birdsong! Now this is interesting, because around here at any rate, the birdsong about now is terrific, with young birds and exhausted parents (feathered), rushing about everywhere, and she may well be right! But I've yet to identify which bird it it's coming from, so may have to ask Bill Oddie!
An interesting take on all this, is that from December onwards, the earworm is in fact a short guitar riff by Sparks, around 60 seconds in...
Monday, 14 June 2021
When so many citizens in Great Britain are just fed up with most of the dross the BBC is churning out - paid for by the iniquitous TV tax, it was bound to happen that a proper alternative would arrive sooner or later, and here it is!
The website is on 'favourites' chez Scrobs, and will be the normal spot for unfaked news from now on!
Go Brillo et al!
Wednesday, 9 June 2021
The other night, somewhat sleepless but looking forward to the day ahead, Scrobs turned on a small wireless and caught one of the most enlightening snippets heard in a long time!
It was Colin Murray having a chat with one of the team at Strawberry Field, where John Lennon used to visit sometimes, and become involved with the place. Sadly, I can't remember the lady in question, but to listen to her kindness, dedication and general humility was moving and enlightening. The site is here.
Back in the 1960s, when I was a surveyor in London, one of our clients was the Salvation Army - or 'Sally-Anne' as we called them, and they really did do some fabulous buildings. Their professional teams were superb, and we all rather liked the normality and quiet business-like manner of the work. Of course they paid well and promptly too!
Although I've never visited Liverpool, I reckon that the first visit I might make would be to this lovely place - then I'd drive over and buy Thud a huge drink!
Tuesday, 1 June 2021
I think for the first time in many years, Senora O'Blene and I have caught the lurgy associated with a dodgy bottle of wine...
We were given a case of a decent Cotes de Rhone about 18 months ago, and just one bottle remained until yesterday. It seems to have really upset the whole system, and the coincidence is too clear!
Question, do bottles still deteriorate when stood up, and are not left on their sides? This bottle had a real cork, not a screwtop!
Tuesday, 25 May 2021
Does anyone know what happened to Tuscan Tony, who used to blog in the UK for a few years? I occasionally emailed him back and forth, but never actually met the chap, which was a shame as there was a chance we could have got him interested in an investment deal we had going at the time!
Some good chums here have just up-sticked and gone to live in Tuscany, and while I've never been that far down there, Senora O'Blene and I love Northern Italy more than any other place we've been to on the continent,
So Tuscs, if you're listening, I hope all is well with you, and I still remember that little bottle of olive oil you sent me as a prize for something or other!
Tuesday, 18 May 2021
Tuesday, 11 May 2021
Scrobs is reading the book about 'Dad's Army', by Graham McCann, as we've been watching the whole series - again, recently.One of the passages discussed in the book, is where Capt. Mainwaring gets riled at Sergeant Wilson being a member of the golf club, where he had some smoked salmon for lunch, and Mainwaring shrieks that he's been trying to get membership there for years and that he only had a snoek fishcake at 'The British Restaurant' in Walmington-on-sea!
Now, being somewhat inquisitive (even at 10.00pm), I realised I hadn't a clue what 'snoek' was, and imagined it to be some sort of mishmash of plankton, whelks and some sort of vegan slop, so looked it up!
What a great fish it is! It's a delicacy in South Africa, and I hope you won't mind me posting a link to a fabulous culinary website from a lady who really knows these things! She also gets a lot of the history of the fish into her post, which seems to ring true with our way of life these days!
I've never had snoek - has anyone here?
(I recommend the book too - it's well written, and very informative)!
Tuesday, 4 May 2021
Some years ago, Scrobs had an idea...
Skate boards were in their infancy, and while I'd grown up with 'go-carts', (not the powered ones, just the set of pram wheels nailed onto a wooden frame), and had enjoyed hours of immense fun racing down the hills near our home, I'd seen an article about a 'Gyrobus' in a magazine, which sparked something in the Meccano-riddled brain which inhabits this ol' head!
The concept is explained here
I wondered if the principle could be applied to a much smaller piece of equipment, and started to put together some ideas on paper, with absolutely no knowledge of what I was doing at all! Like many young boys, I'd had several of those toys which had a tiny flywheel driving the wheels, so you pushed the car along the floor, let go, and it would travel onwards for a few yards. I loved these models, and cherished their simplicity, as wind-up toys invariably broke when the spring got too tired!
The flywheel concept developed into these sketches...
Tuesday, 27 April 2021
In line with our normal viewing on TV, our total avoidance of the tiresome dross the BBC churns out continues.
Just the other day, Senora O'Blene suggested that we should watch 'Auf Wiedersehen Pet' again, as we easily remember it all starting back in the early eighties - and it was ever thus! The first two programmes of the first series are still classics, and hugely enjoyable!
But at some stage, the ferry bits took me back to all those booze-cruises we used to do, and it seems amazing now, that back then, if you joined the Dover Travel Club for a subscription of a few splonders, you could get a return car ticket plus four passengers to Calais for £6.00, with no questions asked!
We used to go over around every six/eight weeks, and our favourite beer at the time was the strong version of Kronenberg 1664 (the white label), as it really did pack a punch! (The modern English version is only OK, but that's neither here or there really, we just don't need the quantity like back then...)! Another joy was buying those plastic 'cubis', which held half a gallon of a 'draught' claret or similar, and we'd get the back wheels down quite easily with a few dozen of those little chaps plonked on the rear shelf!
But one trip was a hoot! Scrobs and Co. love gardening, and we're always buying stuff at our favourite garden centre up the road! So we booked the car on the P&O ferry, arrived in good time at the port, and as is the habit of the ferry boys, you join a queue and they get you aboard with hardly any concern about your time slot ! We'd usually buy a Club Class ticket to go up top, as you got a couple of glasses of bubbly, coffee and a free paper, plus a few bits and pieces, and it kept you away from the cattle class below! For another £6.00 a head it was a good deal!
There used to be some terrible French outlets back then, some even flogging stuff from road containers, and for tobacco addicts, a further trip into Belgium saved a lot more duty as well, but as we'd shed that habit long before, it was the 'Call of Le Caves', and we had one particular favourite...
Staggering out with two trollies, fully topped up with about £150.00 a load, Scrobs opened the boot! There nestling inside, as clean as a whistle, was the whole summer supply of compost, neatly arranged in plastic bags, and taking up all the space!
With a long prayer to the Goddess of Axles and Differentials, we still managed to get the whole lot stashed away, but I do remember Senora O'Blene having to sit with her knees up at dashboard level and that driving over that small eigth-inch lip on the ferry ramp needed a nervous double-de-clutch into first gear - just to be on the safe side...
Tuesday, 20 April 2021
A dear, close neighbour will be moving away from here in a month or so. She is getting on in years, and has struggled a bit since her husband died a couple of years ago. She had to get over a disgraceful burglary last year, and now has a distinct fear for her future in her delightful cottage, as her diagnosis of dementia (over the bloody phone, for God's sake), has made her need more help than she would ordinarily wish for.
Her three sons all live in other parts of the country, all in the South, so she is looking at a retirement village complex where she will have security, friendship from close neighbours, a church and above all, someone to keep a closer eye on her. She'll be near one of the sons, who lives roughly in the middle of the three, so she'll see her grandchildren more often as well.
Just yesterday, Senora O'Blene and Scrobs were partaking of a post-prandial tincture, and discussing what they'd do under the circumstances. The upshot is that we are firmly in the 'remain' camp here, as we have lived here for thirty-two years, and in the village for another twelve before that, so at last, we think we're accepted!
When we were first married, we lived in a flat in Hastings, as we both worked of course. When the children came along, we moved to a farm cottage way out in the countryside, and then finished up here, so that wasn't very adventurous, but it suited us well. My company actually wanted me to move nearer to London, but that was never on the cards, and they backed down immediately after a serious telephone call!
Senora O'Blene had spent much of her childhood in various forces accommodation, and is always of the opinion that she will damn well stay in one place from now on, and I feel the same! There was an uncomfortable time several years ago when Brown and Blair were bankrupting the country and also my company, which meant we might have to move, but we got over that, and the latest idea is that we're thinking we'll use what space we have at 'The Turrets', which is a decent space for a state of the art shower, and possibly a stair lift! (We don't need either - yet...)!
We know so many people who have decided to up-sticks every few years, gone to far-off places, sometimes hated it and returned, or became distant Christmas card addresses. A good chum is caught up in an immoveable property chain where he is desperate to move back to his roots area, and cannot, while another mate just decided to move the family two-hundred miles away, almost on a whim! My dear sister moved away some years ago, but at least we can chat over the phone occasionally!
So it's another thirty odd years of these tulips and bluebells, which have come out every year we have been here, they're persistent little chaps, and possibly about my age...
Tuesday, 13 April 2021
One abiding memory of David was his habit slapping his huge knife down on the joint while he called to his wife, Margaret, who sat in a glass cupboard nearby and took the money, 'That'll eat well'! We knew he always gave us a discount, as the price list above the chopping blocks was totally incoherent!
We miss him dreadfully...
Tuesday, 6 April 2021
Scrobs is interested to read that Vaughan Williams' 'The Lark Ascending', has been voted by Classic FM, as the most popular piece of music played here.
I'm not surprised, as it is indeed a beautiful masterpiece, and such a lovely way to use a few spare minutes to hear the joy of aliveness and country.
Ralph Vaughan Williams has for most of my life, been a favourite composer because one day, I was in the car with my dad, and a bit of 'The Sea Symphony' came on, and we were both lost for words! We talked about the music for ages afterwards, and I bought him the record at the following Christmas. I just love the whole lot of it, from start to finish, and because the record he had was this version, I always preferred the soloists' ways of putting the music across!
Thursday, 1 April 2021
Man gets sent to prison, come the first meal break some one says "142" and everybody laughs. Soon after, another bloke says "19" and everybody laughs again.This goes on for a while and the new inmate turns to the man beside him and says "What's going on? Why is everybody laughing at numbers?"
His fellow inmate says "Oh that? They're jokes. It's just that we've all been her so long that we numbered them instead of telling the whole thing to save time."
"Oh, right. Would anybody mind if I joined in?"
"No not all. Go right ahead".
So our friend takes a deep breath and says "259". To his great surprise, the whole table falls about laughing harder than ever.
So he says "Well, that went down well".
"Yes" came the reply. "We hadn't heard that one before..."
Wednesday, 24 March 2021
Over the recent years, Scrobs has hankered after a three-wheel car!
The interest started in the 1990s when I went to an OB's event and a chum had renovated a Morgan 3 wheeler to immaculate condition. I'd often researched the mechanical attributes of a chain-driven rear wheel, which was an appreciation of all the power from the for'ard engine going straight to one source of traction on the road surface, and making such a direct and forceful connection for a relatively small engine.
Some years ago, The Daily Telegraph ran an article on a gentleman by the name of Bob Curl. Bob had been a 'driving force' in car design and manufacture in his earlier years. and if you have a subscription, it's here!
One small line jumped out, as I realised I knew exactly where he was making these cars, as it was my home village a few miles from here! After little thought, I sent off an email to the DT, expecting very little, but a short while after, the phone rang, and there was the great man chatting away to a very bewildered Scrobs!The car was still in its early stages, and a recent fall-out with Piaggio meant that he wouldn't be able to acquire the 200cc engines he wanted for his design! Of course, I didn't have the wherewithal to help fund anything like this, as...
- I didn't have any spare cash, and
- An old friend had told me a story of a chap who'd sold a lucrative estate agency business for squillions and wasted the lot on a failed Formula Three ownership disaster.
Andrew G. of Newcastle Upon Tyne sent me notice of this interesting trike, along with the text of an article from the February 2000 edition of CAR Magazine introducing it. (See below.) Google doesn't find anything on it anymore. Woe.
Title: STUDLY DUCKING [Nope, I don't understand that either]
Sub-title: You'll raise smiles rather than scowls with the Dolphin, a
105mpg car that won't hold up traffic.
>From the front it looks like something you'd find chocolate buttons inside
on Easter Sunday (that eye-searing yellow, incidentally, is the same paint
code used for Ferraris and TVRs). But take a look at that profile. It's
streamlined, like a Spitfire canopy grafted onto a Fiat Barchetta, or even
a Porsche that someone left on an element.
It's the Dolphin and it does 105mpg and 65mpg. Okay, it's often hard to
know how seriously to take these enviro-hero cars. Usually it's quite safe
to deposit them in the wicker rare-groove file. Aside from its quite sporty
looks, however, the Dolphin has a real design pedigree. It's the work of
Bob Curl, who - together with McLaren F1 mastermind and CAR columnist
Gordon Murray - was responsible for the 1992 Rocket (150mph and 35mpg).
Curl has also designed F3 and Le Mans cars - the 1982 Dome car and 1978 I
Bec entrant - and all Lord Hesketh's Formula One cars between 1973 and
Nine years ago, Curl started thinking about what advantages the streamlined
technology used for racing cars could bring to a fuel-efficient personal
transport vehicle, and how to pitch it so it would sell. 'The secret of
these sorts of cars is that you have to want to get into them to have a
go,' Curl says. 'And, once you're in and driving it, you shouldn't feel
like you're holding people up.'
The former was the reason behind the striking blue interior. It actually
seats two, with the rear passenger's legs going either side of the driver's
seat. It IS attractive and, weighing 215kg, quite quick enough with its
200cc two-stroke Piaggio scooter engine. The steering is pin-sharp and even
the four-speed manual gearbox is enjoyable slotty. There's no reverse, but
Curl says that would be corrected for production versions.
It's a lot of fun to drive, and the one-wheeled rear end is surprisingly
stable, although it'll entertain with a bit of speed up and some lock on.
Ready for the road, Curl says it would sell for between GBP 3000 and 5000
[USD 4800 and 8000] and cost about GBP 1000 [USD 1600] per year to run.
(For more information, call Bob Curl on +44 1424 882 358)
(Copied with thanks to Maxmatic https://www.maxmatic.com/threes/rtw_index.htm).
(...and apologies for the formatting, there's only so much an ageing Scrobs can do to get the colours right - it's bad enough working in the dark in black and white...)!
Thursday, 18 March 2021
As chums here know, Senora O'Blene and I very rarely watch any live television, especially the awful BBC, and we haven't been 'swayed' by any adverts on the other channels either!
Comedy seems just about dead nowadays, with reliance on government-bashing, 'wet' ideas, weak, unfunny, rude delivery and general acceptance of bad manners and needless violence, so our shelves of DVDs have doubled in the last year!
The latest collection is the whole set of 'Dad's Army', with the original cast of course, and we started at the beginning, which is in black and white! The humour is still as fresh today as it was all those years ago! Last evening's showing was 'The armoured might of Lance Corporal Jones', and the scene of Jonesy with Private Walker, in the butcher's freezer discussing petrol coupons, caused total loss of vision and aching sides from absolute joy at the hugely funny excerpt, which is at around 10.50 on this clip!
Most citizens here will have watched this at some stage, but the short piece is still as hilarious now as it always was!
(Many thanks to Daily Motion for this clip - may more people subscribe)!
Thursday, 11 March 2021
Tuesday, 2 March 2021
Tuesday, 23 February 2021
It's no real big thing, but the smallest jobs take a lot more thinking don't they, so as it's on the mend, I'll start again!
I was going to make some reference to the real Massacre at Wounded Knee, but reading the Wikipedia section has further affected my dislike for the way that so many Indians were treated back then, (see Scrobs Passim - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wounded_Knee_Massacre the illustration seems to have gone, but it's just a stock pic so not important), and my fat joint is not worthy of a comparison!
But anyway, the dog's been walked, the fire cleared and all is on the mend as expected!
Thursday, 11 February 2021
Back in 1965, a teenaged Scrobs was on a short holiday with his family in Wales, and we stayed in a converted chapel miles away from anywhere! It really was very bleak, and why such a fervent place of worship should be so far from the flock it was meant to administer, I've never understood! But anyway, I remember it clearly as quite a pleasant place, and incredibly quiet and peaceful.
My dad took a few photos, and when we cleared out their house back in the nineties, I kept them, as one does!
Wednesday, 3 February 2021
I really must put up a new post, as the fabulous Enid one has gathered so many comments (smarm), I feel it is time I did something more!
As lots of chums here know, I'm still stuck in the 'pomp rock' years, and just to make some waves with several afficianados, I want to post a link to one of my favourite albums...
Saturday, 23 January 2021
Tuesday, 12 January 2021
I have a decent selection of all my old cassettes in a box in our shed The old double-player is tied to the roof, over the door, with pencilled instructions on FF, Play etc!
This week's preferred tape is this one...