Tuesday, 27 April 2021

Used all my options, worked off my dues...


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...

31 comments:

Doonhamer said...

Mk IV Zephyr. I drove them as taxis. There was more room under the bonnet than in the boot. First time I looked I wondered where the engine was. A compact V4 tucked away back nearly under the dash. Even without jettisoning the spare you could have got a fair bit in there.

MrMC said...

I went on one of these jaunts in February last year to Belgium, just before lockdown when the news was full on the virus being prevalent in Italy.
On the return ferry the whole ship was full of kids runniing about who had just been on a school trip to Italy for 2 weeks. They were asked by some if anyone had been tested, and of course we all know the answer to that.

Scrobs. said...

Did you ever see that car in the series, driven by Oz, Doon?

Halfway through the episode, he told Dennis that he had cancelled the insurance after taxing it, so they could have some beer money!

Makes sense...

Scrobs. said...

Blimey, that was tight MC!

I'd fofgotten about Italy being so bad!

Apparently, London is filling up again, so Mare Khan may get a couple more votes - but not from me...

Corin Piper said...

While we are reminiscing... 14 year ago today-

HOMOSEXUAL HORSE
Farmer, Mr. Ketley Cockerill has accused Mr. Ted Hedmeister of deliberately selling him a homosexual Cleveland Bay Horse. Mr. Cockerill bought the horse in March of this year for show and stud purposes, however Mr. Cockerill (a keen fancier of horse flesh) soon began to notice that all was not quite right with “Cpt. Hornblower” a two year old, bay colt with the smallest of white stars.
Mr. Ketley Cockerill said that when he bought “Cpt. Hornblower,” the horse was described as having a good temperament, excellent conformation and straight action, good at opening up his shoulder and using his hocks to produce good extension and suspension within his paces. Mr. Hedmeister, he said, went on to describe “Cpt. Hornblower” as showing undoubted potential as a quality riding or competition horse. No mention was made at any time, that the horse was a well known homosexual. Mr. Cockerill is now considering reporting Mr. Hedmeister to the Cleveland Bay Society.
In his defence Mr. Hedmeister said that he knew that the horse was bi-sexual, but had no inkling that he was a full-blown homosexual.
Mr. Hedmeister, was quick to remind Mr. Ketley Cockerill of caveat emptor, and he further went on to say that Mr. Cockerill was a discriminating bigot. The important thing of course was that the horse was happy and its sexuality was irrelevant.
Mr. Ketley Cockerill denies the accusation of bigotry, and in his own defence has pointed out how his elder brother Lyndon and his life partner Zalán visit every Christmas from Littlehampton without fail. Discrimination aside he did not pay a raft of money for a horse that he can not use at stud.
Mr. Hedmeister then informed Mr Cockerill that unles his intention was to watch the horse have sex - perhaps he could try AI as most horse breeders do. He merely had to manually stimulate the horse into a special receptacle, then inject the mare with the seminal fluid. Not his own - the horses.
Mr. Ketley Cockerill's reply was that as a Jehovah's Witness he believed in the restoration of first-century Christianity. He also believed that he was not going to be one of the 144, 000 if he started wanking off his horse into a bean can.
Mr. Hedmeister suggested that God might not disapprove if Mrs Cockerill performed the honours.
Mrs Cockerill later refused the suggestion and said her only acquaintance with 'bare-backing' was limited to her Gotland Pony, Hector. And would have it no other way. Hector you might recall was sold to Mr. Ketley Cockerill by Mr. Headmeister in 2018 mistakenly as a Welsh Cob foal. In the ensuing recriminations Mr. Headmeister accused Mr. Ketley Cockerill of being transphobic, claiming Hector had every right to be treated as a Welsh Cob despite being born as a Gotland Pony.

Corin Piper said...

You will have noticed that I changed the date in the last paragraph to a more up to date... date. Also the last paragraph is indeed an addition to the original piece to allow for more current prejudices.

Doonhamer said...

C Piper. Wot? No red bearded dwarves?
I do miss Beachcomber. And his World.

Corin Piper said...

Mrs Doonhamer, maybe you will be refreshed by - http://oldcaravan.blogspot.com/

Sen. C.R.O'Blene said...

Corin! My dear fellow, Howthedevilareyouthesedays!

You recall of course, that during the years on Mannerings' farm, the Grannex which was the converted artificial insemination unit next to the milkmaids' harem, close to the garage of three long-wheelbases, was the only place to discuss these matters!

I was saying to Bunty only the other day, that we must get together and compare our consciences after all these years, but the covids have taken care of all that for a few months more! We had just a mild reaction, (well you do in the AI unit don't you, it's never the same really), but rather more than poor Hector methinks...

Talking of cobblers, did you ever achieve that degree in horse-shoeing you desperately coveted? I didn't, sadly, but then those trousers were expensive, and the government were intent on ruining the country at the time, so I made an excuse and left!

I saw a Wayfarer Deluxe for sale on Ebay last week! It wasn't yours by any chance, was it?

Mr Hedmeister owes me a sum of eight pound and threepence for some hay I sold him in 1953. He never settled the debt. So much for a Grammar School education I say!

Sen. C.R.O'Blene said...

Doonhamer, it is right and proper that you ask Mr Piper about these issues!

I used to, but he often went travelling soon after sending me a postcard, so after a while, I just decided that life without such valuable banter had to go on - and on - and on...

I wish we'd had that final pint of Old Bastard (7.9% ABV)!

A K Haart said...

Couldn't happen today. French customs would have to rummage through all that compost checking for illicit vaccine doses.

MrMC said...

A pity the compost in your boot did not comprise a more fragrant manure Scrobs, the streets of London may or may nor be paved with gold but the streets in Paris definitely have more than their fair share of dog manure, which they probably jelously guard. If you declared it on the way out it would probably have been confiscated as a national asset, hey presto more room for your wine and cheese.

Corin Piper said...

No Scrobs the Blacksmithing is still but a dream. I was hoping that Radio Pinkney might take up my suggestions for a program similar to 'The Voice' et al, but with more down to earth ambitions. Namely, 'Tonight Mr. Tom Jones I want to be a hedging and ditching man...' or a chick sexer (which for all the metrosexuals that read this, has nothing to do with young ladies). However the evening classes at Upper Lytton Strachey Methodist Hall in composting was money well spent. I have a Facebook page now just about my heaps!

Scrobs. said...

They'd like that, MrH, it certainly looked like a stash of some sort of home-grown wonder drug!

I'm still thinking of how much I enjoyed seeing Senora O'Blene's knees so tight up in the seat...

Scrobs. said...

We wouldn't have got as far as Paris, thankfully, and I didn't have a Gilet Jeune back then either...

As for cheese, the French stuff has nothing on two Kent-grown brands, 'Ashmore' and 'Kentish Blue'!

Both are magnificent, and far better than the smelly, expensive slop over the channel!

Scrobs. said...

I will look for your heaps, Corin - we have a family of mice living in our heap, and I haven't the heart to evict them!

Radio Pinkney went off the air soon after starting, as they kept putting up adverts for naughty people doing naughty things to other naughty people! I know, I wrote some of them!

MrMC said...

I was a big fan of heaps of manure after reading somewhere, "where there's muck there's brass".
After a rather fragrant few months of collecting and searching, and neighbour complaints, I can report this seems to be another of those fake news items, and have reported this to the BBC fact checker yet she has not yet responded, I will keep you updated.
Am now spending a fortune on flypaper.
There seems to be a lot of this fake news around, such as "one in the hand is worth two in Kate Bush" or something like that, which seems equally unlikely in my opinion, I will not investigate that one, it seems a quck way to an injunction.

Corin Piper said...

Good things to compost include vegetable peelings, fruit waste, intruders, teabags, plant prunings and grass cuttings. These are fast to break down and provide important nitrogen as well as moisture. It’s also good to include things such as old shoes, egg boxes, scrunched up paper and fallen leaves. These are slower to rot but provide vital fibre and carbon and also allow important air pockets to form in the mixture. Crushed eggshells can be included to add useful minerals.
Certain things should never be placed in your bin. No body parts unless you’ve opted for a digester. No diseased limbs, and definitely no poo from that bedbound aged relative, or their nappies either. Putting any of these in your compost will lead to unwanted pests and smells. If composting tramps or cold callers, remember to fillet the bodies of bones, these can be incinerated and the ash added later. Also remember that their cheap man made clothing are not suitable for composting and should be recycled separately.
The key to good compost lies in getting the mix right. You need to keep your ‘greens’ and ‘browns’ properly balanced. If your compost is too wet, add more ‘browns’. If it’s too dry, add some ‘greens’. Making sure there is enough air in the mixture is also important. Adding an annoying neighbour’s dog is a simple way to create air pockets that will help keep your compost healthy. Air can also be added by mixing the contents.
A well-cared-for compost heap requires regular turning, which can be a tricky job without the right tools. Turning your compost helps to aerate and mix up the waste and cuttings, which leads to faster composting. If the Bobbies get wind of your tendency to shoot trespassers onto your property, they might do this for you. If you have not shot any trespassers recently, then have your wife hide in the attic until those nosey neighbours report her missing.
You can encourage the correct enzymes in your compost by using a compost activator. I would suggest getting the girl guides to come round, fill them up with fizzy drinks and have them micturate onto your heaps. It helps to turn your grass, leaves and garden waste into dark, rich, crumbly compost in less than half the time. You mix a small amount into water, pour it onto your compost and after 10 weeks of rotting your compost is ready to use. It can also be used to revive partially composted or dead heaps.
As autumn seems to have come early to many of us you can use fallen leaves as a good source of compost. It’s fine to add these to your compost bin but if you have large amounts of leaves, you might prefer to stuff a body with them in the same way as you would stuff a chicken. Once you’ve gathered up your fallen leaves they can be left to turn into a brilliant source of moisture-rich soil improver that’s great to use for potting mixes as an alternative to peat. The leaves will be kept neatly in one place and the sack will biodegrade, leaving you with a rich pile of wonderful compost.
When your compost is ready you’ll have a dark brown, almost black soil-like layer at the bottom of your bin. It should have a spongy texture and will be rich in nutrients. Spreading the finished compost into your flowerbeds greatly improves soil quality by helping it retain moisture and suppressing weeds. It also reduces the need to use chemical fertilisers and pesticides.

Goosegirl said...

Back to the mention of booze cruises, have you seen the BBC film called The Booze Cruise starring Brian Murphy? It's well worth watching especially the bit where Brian with his knotted hanky on his head falls asleep in the sun and one of the other guys writes TIT on his forehead with suncream - ha! Having just googled it there's another two more following films so that's a must for the shopping list.
BTW, you can't call a horse a homosexual as it's not human so it must be an equus unisexual which has nothing whatsoever to do with unicorns unless you know otherwise.

MrMC said...

I'm confused, homogeneous liquids do not contain humans as far as I know.

Scrobs. said...

Thank you Corin...

I always chuck any old compost from last year's pots back on the heap, and around now, till it with a machine. It's a very fine result, which, after all, is only a growing medium, so a few squirts of food granules, and we're away again!

Scrobs. said...

I haven't seen that one, GG, but well worth a peek! He was just great with the sexy Yootha Joyce too!

I have a copy of 'Last orders' here, but that's not the same of course!

Scrobs. said...

That's enough liquid stories, MC...

Actually, you're right!

MrMC said...

Just sorting out my Latin, homo from my Greek homos, they mean two different things, sticking to the terms chutney ferret or fudge packer would of course avoid confusion

MrMC said...

Although one means the same so it is different, I am confused again

Scrobs. said...

Best leave that sort if thing for the BBC to unravel, MC!

Saves time, as you needn't watch it happening!

Goosegirl said...

MrMC, who knows what's really in homogenous liquids bought off the shelf, but those made at home should be relatively safe unless you stick your digit into the piece of apparatus whilst still operating, in which case put a plaster on it immediately and tell your immediate kin it's a new way of making hummus with a bit of added red food colourant for good measure. BTW, your comment of "one means the same so it is different" makes me wonder somewhat about your alcohol consumption especially at 07:51 in the morning.

MrMC said...

Really ? sigh, here you go:

Homos-: Prefix meaning same, often shortened as in homology (similarity in DNA or protein sequences between individuals or between species) and homosexual (a person who is sexually attracted to persons of the same sex). The opposite of homo- is hetero-
it comes from the Greek word homos, meaning the same.


Which is different from


Homo is a Latin word that means man, or human.

The genus that includes modern humans is called Homo. "Homo sapiens" are modern humans. Our ancestors had names like "Homo neanderthalensis" and "Homo erectus."


So one means the same so it is different....



Goosegirl said...

Ah, I understand what you meant so I'm now totally sapiens. Thanks MrMC, I feel a lot better. All I need now is to understand the gyrobus principle as I have only got as far as it's nowt to do with transporting people on the dole to their local post office.

MrMC said...

I can't help you with that one I'm afraid, but he may be starting up a kebab van..

A gyro or gyros is a Greek dish made from meat cooked on a vertical rotisserie

MrMC said...

Stavros Poppodopolis O'Blene, has a ring to it....