Monday 27 May 2024

Nature in aspic...

Scrobs was wandering about his local churchyard with Little Big Dog the other day.

The small walk, (the afternoon one, after the prandials and a couple of tilts at the Elderberry), often takes me through this delightful area of tranquility, reverence and death...

But this year, the Vicar has lost his mowing man, who'd do the whole lot in a day, and moan, grumble  and curse all the time he was doing it, and also the lady who deals with the newer graves for burnt people has retired, so the whole shebang is a riot of beautiful wild flowers and grasses!

The picture above shows the proliference of the Virgin's Daisies - a common flower from Victorian times - and maybe not so prevalent now!

One can spot - with some difficulty no less, the Nargwort, which protudes from the cracks in the several grave chests, and creates a rather unpleasant, musty smell when touched, or weed on by said dog, which causes a long leg-cocking and a small woof.

If one looks closely, the casual observer can spot a rare specimen of the Bishop's Fingernail, an insignificant purple flower, prone to decay within minutes of a BBC 'naturewatch' broadcast, and nearby, there will certainly be a Shepherdess Cornwallage - which was a flower associated with the  girls in the fields during the mating season, and is a pretty sight, as long as one doesn't look at the teeth of the iridescent blooms!

One must, however, avoid the spectacle of the Blackened Scumblinge! This hovers around the shady areas of the plague-pit in the corner of the churchyard. It's recognised that anyone who even touches these leaves will contract the bubonics, and die before reaching the Ford Kuga parked outside!

Once one has negotiated the slippery brick paths, and avoided the lawyers gasping for compensation on account of your fall, you'll emerge from the churchyard, refreshed, but seemingly afloat from the smell coming from the compost heap, where everyone chucks the poo bags from previous doggy elements of canine bodily extraction...

Other than that, the walk is exquisite, and on meeting other visitors, one can easily discuss the weather, Leeds United, The Common Market and why the Daily Mail publishes eighty-seven articles about two lost and rather boring ex-royals in every edition of their rag!


Wednesday 22 May 2024

Big bangers and a large pint...

Continuing the musical 'bent' of the last post, another track from the past keeps filtering into the ol' grey matter...

Back in the sixties, Scrobs was working in Old Queen Street, just off Birdcage Walk, in Westminster. It was a strange place to have an office, and it was rumoured that the Fabian Society began their shenanigans in the top floor, and the actual room was listed!

But further down the stairs, we all worked quite hard, and several friends were made in the process. One of the schemes we had on was surveying 'The Feathers' pub in Westminster.

Many an undisturbed and friendly pint and several of those long sausages were taken in this place, and a good time was had by all on many occasions! It was also one of the first pubs to have a new innovation, a 'plasma screen' on the wall, which seemed to vibrate and fizz in time with the music! The song above figured on every occasion, and the psychedelic colours bightened up the big bar with quite some intensity!

The whole experience was marvellous, and we didn't even know that half of Scotland Yard's finest, from just a few yards away, would also be sitting among us, with ears and eyes a-kimbo...

Wednesday 15 May 2024

Rim shots...


Just recently, this track has been featuring on my Spotify account, as I still think it is one of the best drum solos I've ever heard!

Tony Meehan opened up all sorts of new drum rhythms, and I well remember the bass line, by Jet Harris, (and not all that complicated), thundering through the floorboards of the rooms downstairs at school!

One of my school chums was a pretty good drummer, and he explained to me how rim-shots were made. In basic terms, the stick is allowed to hit both the rim of the drum, and the drum-skin at the same time, giving a sharp staccato sound which adds variability to the general output of the operation.

It seems to me, that Meehan was doing an awful lot of these here, and I just love it all!

Some years ago, I was working in the garage with the radio on, listening to Invicta Radio, and the presenter had a competition going about identifying short sections of records. This piece came on and I half-hearted ly muttered the title I knew so well. He kept on playing it as nobody was ringing in with the answer, so in desperation, I ran indoors and rang him up!

The upshot was, that I immediately went on air with the answer, and had a few seconds friendly discussion with the chap, who promised me a prize and a request next time he was on!

Now wasn't that a nice little story! The prize was a decent LP of the Three Tenors, and lots of publicity stuff for the station! My request was 'All around my hat' by Steeleye Span, as back then it was on daily, and I just thought it was the right track which I liked too!

Friday 3 May 2024

Goosnargh, Guernsey and High Offley...

Some time ago, Scrobs wrote a short piece about this hilarious book.

I still read bits when I spot it on the shelves, and only recently bought an updated copy with some new entries!

The three place names in the title here, relate to food left in the fridge...
  • Goosnargh - Something left over from preparing or eating a meal, which you store in the fridge despite the fact that you know full well that you will never use it.
  • Guernsey - Queasy but unbowed. The kind of feeling one gets when discovering a plastic compartment in a fridge in which things are growing, usually fertilized by copious quantities of goosnargh.
  • High Offley - Goosnargh three weeks later.
Just recently, I bought an air fryer, as my daughter showed me her machine, and I was immediately hooked on all the possibilities! The opportunities for speedy cooking and fabulous chips etc., are outstanding, and I've been experimenting daily with all sorts of recipes!

The trouble is, that Senora O'Blene eats like a bird these days, so the leftover food piles up in the fridge, and I have to take a serious inventory of the flans, sausages etc., which are crowding the shelves!

The three place names above are beginning to make sense, but of course, I have absolutely no wish to denigrate their presence in our Sainted Isles...

But the whole volume is utterly hilarious, and well worth a place on any book shelf!