Monday, July 30, 2007

No idea what this bike is

Well this bike was pretty new in early 50's - some of us started
on grander things than a tricycle.... can't read the make - but bet someone will know what it is!

Saturday, July 28, 2007


...there be a certain blogger among us who shall soon become a great grandma!...I have been given full permission to leak da news here first...Congratulations and love to...Eileen!...

Thursday, July 26, 2007


Inspired by recent blog entries concerning the mini-ark and flooding approaching biblical proportions in parts of UK, I emailed a mate of mine to see how he was coping. His response:

Last night, with torrential rain falling on Oxford and water levels surging to new highs, I was driving through the deep water and suddenly saw a man’s head sticking out of a large puddle in the middle of the road. I stopped the car and asked him if he needed a lift. ‘No thanks’, he said ‘I’m on my bike’.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Hawk Conservancy

A few pics taken on our visit.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Day trip

Finally got a trip to Bucklers Hard, after wanting to go there for years. It was lovely, beautiful day, interesting museum. The thatched building was Lord Montagues bath house way back when. The poster is interesting to me because Bucklers Hard was once called Montagu Town, and the 3rd earl of Montagu was George Brudenell. I live in Montague, and the community next to it is Brudenell. Incidentally the drive through the New Forest was breathtaking.

Aaaah, cognac!

Pour vous, Dmitri, the building is part of Hennesseys cognac empire. The "black" building is actually a covering of the "angels share" of cognac that you mentioned in a previous posting.

One more...

This is our Eileen and Wendy Bury, whose twin sister Muriel was in the same class as me.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Stoke revisited

For those who weren't present (left to right): Dimmy, Stormin, Ex DD and Drake 27.
Our Eileen of York looking as radiant as ever.
No mistaking the identity of these two lovelies though.
Who was this having his nose tweaked by Babs?
Well I recognise Diane at least.
Some men have all the luck. I hope you didn't let the prefect's tie fool you Eileen? He was only a monitor when I was at school.
And some women just can't keep out of trouble. What was is this time Diane, not loitering again?

Sunday, July 22, 2007

More stuff!

Hoping not to bore you all, but thought you might like to see a pic of the highest sand dune in Europe. It is the Dune de Pyla at Pyla-sur-mer, 117 metres high and over 3 km long,It advances on the forest over a metre a year. It truly is awesome.

This wonderful river...

We had a wonderful time in France, including a 4 day boat trip on the Charente River, starting in Cognac up to Chateauneuf and back, not very far but wonderful none the less. Why I mention this river is because it is famous for the escape of the "Cockleshell Heroes" after they mined warships in Bordeaux harbour, they then canoed hundreds of miles until the Resistance helped them. There is a plaque to commemorate this. It is a beautiful river and we had a great time.

Monday, July 16, 2007




At Dawn the telephone rings.

"Hello, Senor Rod? This is Ernesto the caretaker at your country house."

"Ah yes, Ernesto. What can I do for you? Is there a problem?"

"Um, I am just calling to advise you, Senior Rod, that your parrot died."

"My parrot? Dead? The one that won the International competition?"

"Si Senor, that's the one."

"Darn--that's a pity! I spent a small fortune on that bird. What did he

Die from?"

"From eating rotten meat, Senior Rod."

"Rotten meat? Who the heck fed him rotten meat?!"

"Nobody, senor. He ate the meat of the dead horse."

"Dead horse? What dead horse?"

"The thoroughbred, Senor Rod."

"My prize thoroughbred is dead?"

"Yes, Senor Rod, he died from all that work pulling the water cart."

"Are you insane? What water cart?"

"The one we used to put out the fire, Senor"

"Good Lord! What are you talking about, Man?"

"The one at your house, Senor! A candle fell and the curtains caught on fire."

"What the heck? Are you saying that my mansion is destroyed because of a

candle??!!!" Yes, Senor Rod."

"But there's electricity at the house!!! What was the candle for?"

"For the funeral, Senor Rod."


"Your wife;s, Senor Rod...she showed up one night out of the blue and I

thought she was a thief, so I hit her with your new Tiger Woods Nike





"Ernest, if you broke that driver, you are in deep doodoo!!!"

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Murphy’s amazing facts.

During the First World War psychologists applied intelligence tests to 1.7 million recruits to the American army.
From this they concluded that about half the American population were morons ( a technical term indicating a mental age of 8-12 years, whereas imbeciles have a mental age of 3-7 and idiots of 2 or less).
A mental age of 8 was considered adequate for military service.
There are two amazing facts here. First, the Americans are a lot smarter than we’ve been led to believe and secondly, the hierarchy of labels is perhaps not what we would have expected - apparently it’s a lot better to be a moron or an imbecile than an idiot!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Day two.

Well Paul, in case you think of dropping in to check up on me, it’s been a very quiet day here on the Marie Celeste. Apart from the sound of the anchor dragging and the slow creaking of the masts, it’s been as quiet as the grave. I just hope I haven’t killed off business. It’s just that I seem to have an indefinable touch when it comes to these sort of things. You’ll remember it well from Drake Boys. Perhaps it wasn’t a good idea leaving me in charge. Either way, we’ll all be pleased when you get back.
The cat went over the side sometime last night, all the chocolate biscuits have gone and even the hammock’s got a hole in it…………..

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Have a good holiday Blogmaster

In case curiosity gets the better of you and you feel the urge to look in. I’m dispatching my accountant, cook, physiotherapist and sommelier to ensure you have a good rest.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Knobs and knockers

A slate-grey humid morning here, suffused with an impenetrable grimness that is a constant reminder that we are under the dead hand of Gordon Brown and New Labour. To brighten the day, a few colours and textures from sunnier climes where the sky is blue. Many thanks to Callista.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Murphy’s musings

I’ve watched Madonna on Live Earth, bless her – and she was good and now all it seems that remains is to re-equip our house with low energy light bulbs and perhaps take fewer holidays. I’m willing to do all these things so that my children’s future is not jeopardised, but what really bugs me is the thought of being sucked into the great conspiracy.

If each new light bulb consumes half the energy and yet costs me ten times more to replace then there’s no real saving – even if the light bulb lasts twice as long. The key word of course is ‘lasts’. Way back in the last century they invented a cheap light bulb that would last forever. The light bulb industry quickly realised that once each house had bought the requisite number of bulbs their invention would put them out of business. Since then, they and every other industry have been busy investing billions in 'built in obsolescence', so that we continue to buy and consume. This is what is slowly raping the planet. Back in 1963 Vance Packard detailed all this in his book The Waste Makers, in it he explains how in a free market economy, manufacturers have make rubbish to survive. What he has to say is even more valid today.

As I write, I have an electric lawn mower. The switch works via a dead man’s handle. Inside, it is actuated by a flimsy piece of plastic carefully designed in such a way, so that it only survives a limited number of operations and furthermore so that it cannot be repaired. Now, a lawn mower with a perfectly functioning electric motor is being consigned to the bin, all the copper windings to be lost in some landfill site. Meanwhile somewhere in Africa they will be digging the hole deeper for more copper for my next lawn mower. I have a wrap around shower curtain that glides on nylon runners which have also failed. The kind of nylon that fatigues and perishes with use. New runners of course cannot be obtained. I need a new shower curtain which requires also removing the floor pan – cost £1200! Luckily, I know an engineer who can make me aluminium runners. Cost -pence. If they had been fitted originally the shower would have lasted years. Two months ago the electric motor in my tumble drier failed, the new motor costs as almost as much as a new drier – it’s uneconomic to repair! Of course the new motor doesn’t really cost that much, but it’s all part of the great conspiracy. I’ll buy my light bulbs and cut back on my holidays, but the real villains will continue to rape our planet making rubbish so that they and we can wallow in money.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

For those who missed it.

The Teddy Boys who emerged about 1953 were the pioneers of what later became the first unique youth culture, which although it has constantly evolved, is now taken as normal. Prior to the Teds, young people dressed the same as their parents, listened to the same music and largely held the same opinions. The Teddy Boys marked the first youth revolution, where young people actively sought a separate identity. Even though less than 10% of young people became Teds, Society reacted very strongly against their attempt to break away from the accepted norms. They automatically became labelled degenerates and were seen as criminals. (On my arrival at PRS in 1958 my poor mother was asked to see the housemaster, who asked if I’d ever been to Borstal!). The fashion began in London and spread rapidly across the country and became strongly associated with emergent American Rock and Roll music. It was typified by clothes inspired by the Edwardian period, which Savile Row tailors had tried to re-introduce after World War II. ‘Edward’ being shortened to Ted after a newspaper headline in 1953 first coined the term 'Teddy Boy', which stuck. Clothing consisted of drape jackets, usually in dark shades, with velvet collars and pocket flaps, 'drainpipe' trousers, chunky brogues and later crepe-soled shoes known as brothel creepers. A high-necked loose 'Mr B' collar on a white shirt (as worn by jazz musician Billy Eckstine) was set off with a narrow 'Slim Jim' tie and a brocade waistcoat. Such clothes couldn’t be bought off the peg and had to be tailor-made at great expense and paid for through weekly instalments. (In 1957 my first trousers with 16 inch bottoms cost £4-15 shillings and were made at Burtons.)
Preferred hairstyles included long, Brylcreemed hair with a quiff at the front, and the sides combed back to form a 'DA' (duck's arse) at the rear .
The fashion was largely over by 1960, corresponding with the death of the first phase of Rock n’ Roll (The Day the Music Died). Most young people still weren’t ready to break with their parents and/or were put off by the strictures Society heaped on the Teds. A later generation returned to the fray; those more wedded to fashion became Mods and those who remained loyal to Rock n’ Roll became Rockers. The Teds were later resurrected in the 1970’s and the fashion became exaggerated and grossly caricatured by groups such as Showaddywaddy.

Monday, July 02, 2007