Friday, February 23, 2007

Mardi Gras (continued)

And here we have a smiley face in the sky - undoubtedly created by a benevolent UFO pilot, Jen and friends of ours in from Houston for the event and a float in one of the night parades.


Mardi Gras, New Orleans Feb 2007

Some random snaps taken during Mardi Gras. Jen + beads, a float and a mini steam engine. A good time was had by all!



okay then, Paul!...


...seeing as you drop hints so wonderfully well...'twas marked on me kitchen diary anyway! :)

...HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!...

...SQUASHED TOMATOES AND STEW...

...EGG AND BACON FOR BREAKFAST...

...HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!!...

...have a good one, Paul...

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Dmitri's Stand In


Sorry ,working hat only.Saves the other for special occasions.Kommrad Alshansky.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Future Thugs




Will try and send a card………….




Having just been appointed Entertainments Officer for the day by Paul who is busy, your sometime country affairs reporter unfortunately finds himself packing, having just received marching orders from Mrs D. to the effect he is going to Scarborough for a week. Currently trying to find my bucket, spade, (am I allowed to say that?) thermals, overcoat, Russian hat and of course camera so that I can file a report. My marching orders post Scarborough are still on a 'need to know basis', all Mrs D. will say is that our destination which begins with an ‘S’ is a surprise. I haven’t the heart to tell her I’ve been to Saltburn.

If time allows I will send card. In the meanwhile pictures of some of my favourite ladies – anyone know where these ladies hang out?

For Barathea….


….. to assuage her innocence.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Magnificent Mildred


There you go Mr P. Big Becky’s grandmother. This belonged to my employer back in 1965. However they were also driven by Presbyterian thrift so we used the hand method.

The New Boys II




Our story of men risking life and limb beneath the streets of London continues. The second photo is a rare insight of life immediately under Oxford Circus

……A far off rumbling, growling noise growing louder, stops further conversation. Seconds later, a sinister hiss of steam reduces visibility to two or three feet. Like a macabre, ethereal spirit Caesar melts into the fog and Scotty and I begin our rendition of the Anvil Chorus. In the metal-ringed tunnel, the noise is horrendous and my brain soon rattles in steady unison. Scotty has now vanished leaving me marooned in the swirling steam and stifling heat. Sweat now streams down my face and back. I find it difficult to believe the Swedes do this for pleasure. Within minutes, my shirt goes and soon I’m left in boots and underpants. The lunatic clanging, accompanied by the surging, sucking noise of the concrete coursing through its steel umbilical cord, makes me wonder if like Dante, here deep in the bowels of the earth, we have recreated our own inferno of abandoned hope. Ripping pieces from my handkerchief, I plug my ears hoping the onset of deafness will make things better. The pipe too has now vanished and I have to rely on the noise to guide me. To take my mind off premature sterility, I concentrate on what I will do with the money - assuming I remain sane enough to spend it.
Suddenly - an explosion fills the tunnel. Like a runaway truck, it slams into me, knocking me sideways. Briefly, everything goes crimson. Choking, I stagger backwards, clutching at the side of the tunnel, my eyes full of grit. The pressure in my head is unbearable and I swallow hard to relieve it. A salt-sweet taste on my lips suggests my nose is bleeding. It’s one those unconditional trouser-filling moments that you read about in the Exchange & Mart. Almost immediately, a distant babble of confused shouting. Moments later, the steam is shut off. A freshly pebble-dashed Caesar re-emerges, blood oozing down his arm. Gesturing us to follow, I grab my clothes and we make our way back up the shaft, the dust billowing past us in vast clouds. We’re almost at the top before my choked lungs find any relief. Leaving us to prop up the wall surrounding the shaft, Caesar disappears towards the rear of the site. Stuffing a roll-up in my face I light up, trying to control my shaking hands. Scotty is busy rubbing his eyes looking every inch like a landslide victim. Behind us, the dust continues to spiral upwards. Shortly, Caesar reappears carrying a metal elbow the same size as the pipe. His eyes are now a crazy network of burst blood vessels. I realise with a jolt, Scotty has also been auditioning for Frankenstein. Unless François from the Ace Café is into Hammer Films it seems my prospects have just taken a serious turn for the worse.
With a digit the size of a banana Caesar traces a line across the pipe.
‘If de concrete wear de bend away, you get big ‘plosion. When dat happen, you go down in de brown. If de hardcore hit you, you in big choble. Wuss than that - you Babylon bound! Understand.’
Scotty looks at me. It’s an unspoken thought, but we’re beginning to understand why the money is so good.
Producing an old spliff from behind his ear and pausing to scratch his arse Caesar adds: ‘Dis tek time. But as you white boys is lookin’ so winjy, you better stay up here and catch a few rays. ‘Time is longer than rope, but don’t fret, dis is de boss’s time. Are you sure you don’t want de Lamb’s Breath?’
At that he lowers himself into the shaft, the pipe over his shoulder and Scotty and I wander over to the wall overlooking Drayton Park road. The dust is now beginning to settle on the commuters spilling out the Arsenal station.
‘I don’t know about you Scotty, but I think I’ve found Jesus.’
‘I’m not so sure,’ he replies. ‘I think we’ve just found the most beautiful of his Archangels.’

Monday, February 19, 2007

It’s important to begin each day….


….with light stretching exercises. Medical research has shown that this is proven to help ward off dyspepsia, sciatica and flatulence in the over forties.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

...and speaking of red faces!...



...just wondering if this all singing, all dancing newer version of ye olde bloggie is all it's cracked up to be...if 'tis, then this should appear in a delightful shade of pink and accompany the pictures of two folk with whom I had the great pleasure to spend some time recently: Sydney and Terry...There would be a record of a certain Barathea 'midst all this too, however, seems she has omitted to send me any pictures of herself...hmmm! :)

Thursday, February 15, 2007

This Sceptered Isle – In search of silence III










In season literally tens of thousands of people will arrive on a bank holiday to walk along the banks of the Dove. Fields are requisitioned as overspill car parks and ice cream vans arrive, people lurk under trees selling doubtful pharmaceuticals and people in new, black BMW off-road vehicles complain that they’re not being given access to the footpaths. Thankfully, that’s all further south and frankly few people would recognise the stream here as the Dove. Nevertheless, as your countryside correspondent it was important for me to investigate on your behalf, so I hoist myself up off my now damp backside and went to investigate. We’re still about two miles from the source of the Dove up on Axe Edge and here the river is now jumpable – well it would be if I was fit. Having duly recorded the waterway for the Blog, I followed instead one of the minor side streams. This flows out of a narrow valley, which rapidly widens out into a spectacular plain, at the head of which sits a lone farm. By now my feet were aching, so I removed my boots and thrust them into the freezing torrent. It’s almost certain that New Labour will have a law against this, but the thermal shock worked and my feet now a size smaller felt a lot more comfortable. At the head of the valley was another narrow, limestone gorge which eventually led up onto the bleak, but very beautiful ‘tops’ as we call them in Yorkshire. From here the views are spectacular and the sight of Earl Sterndale in the valley reminded me that I still hadn’t had a drink.
The pub in Earl Sterndale is a shrine for all men who seek solace and silence. The message on the sign seemed clear; namely that there is only one way to obtain silence. I contemplated shunning the place on the grounds of political correctness, but in the end my duty as your countryside correspondent overcame my angst and I pushed open the door. Inside, I learnt that the pub is over 400 years old. Traditional and unspoilt, it is a basic village pub with hard seats and plain tables. There is limited food, no lasagne or scampi, but there are sandwiches and home made pork pies and a good range of well kept real ales. You can also buy local produce such as cheese and eggs here. Allegedly the pub got its name from a nagging wife known as Chattering Charteris. The story goes that her husband lost control one day (seems a bit far-fetched) and cut her head off, to the approval of the villagers. All in all, it seemed like a pub where a man could find peace. There was only one other customer sat by the roaring fire. He pulled a chair across with his foot so I could share the warmth. Years ago we would have offered each other a Capstan Full Strength, but today we simply enjoyed the benefits of real ale. I found that he had just left the army, but will be returning to Iraq soon in a private capacity. I needed no further explanation and I asked him how things were in the shadow of Creoda’s Hill, what was happening at the Traveller’s Rest and was The Tree still there. He smiled and ordered another round. In the end it seems men’s needs are very simple.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

G'Day from Helga

Just got this postcard from Helga this morning - and a slurred text message yesterday evening saying she had met up with Babs and they had had a drink or two - seeing as it seems to have taken me all moring to scan and log in - there is probably a load of pics from Babs ahead of me - but am I bovvered?? Posted by Picasa

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Schools Out 2


Further to the earlier post, this version of the pic is a little sharper and may help in identifying folk.

Bored!


Mo MacKenzie let me have a
copy of this. The bewildered
looking guy at the back and
wandering what the hell is
going on, is me. Mo is the lass
in the grey sweater.

(What on earth we are doing
looking at a poster of Australia's
wild life, I just do not know).

Mo says this was taken in the
summer of '65. If that's the case,
I'd have been 18 and me thinks
I look a little too young to be that
age - So maybe this was taken
during '63/'64 time.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Schools Out


End of lessons! ( A view of the school
we all remember so well).
Problem is, I Don't know the year.
So, does anyone recognise anyone?

Friday, February 02, 2007

Better Put One Up For The Boys


For the lads I know, but me thinks you'll recognise
some of these lasses Di. (Being a Drake girl that
is, and all that was good about the school).

Here's One For Di


Sorry about the shadows on the photo. For
those interested - Here's their names:
Back Row: Geoff Heath - Thomas Goodier
Mike Jones - Alan Jones - Ray Chapman
R. Goodfellow.
Front Row: Alan gibson - Ray Stevens -
David Drake - Barry Horstead - Alan Domeison

Runners, jumpers and throwers


First attempt - and a pretty poor photo of a pretty crumpled photo taken at Plymouth Reunion! School athletics team 1965. Let's see if it works! It can only get better.