Sunday, November 29, 2009

School Stories 5 - After the Kopf

After I left PRS, aged 17, I went to West Hartlepool Grammar School for Boys (even more up north than 'Ull). The headmaster was Mr Ernest Houlton. We boys were prone to cough a lot (on purpose) during assembly. One day the head lost his patience, stopped the singing and demanded that the coughing should stop immediately.
Later, during the reading of the lesson by a prefect, there was a solitary cough.
The reading was stopped and the head looked all round the hall for the culprit.
"Who was that?" he asked, glowering. "Who was that who coughed?" No one made a move, except the deputy head, Mr Max Leeson, who meekly raised his hand!

The head had a spacious, beautifully appointed office with wood panelling and a large, almost inglenook, fireplace. There was a lovely carpet on the floor with a narrow surround of wood. Pupils were not allowed to put a toe, let alone a foot, on that carpet, so after many years it was still in very good condition. If by mistake a toe touched the carpet, nothing was said, but a wagging finger motioned the offending shoe to move back onto the wood.

Do fellow bloggers have any stories to tell about the heads/teachers of their previous, or subsequent, schools or even whilst at PRS?


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Joie de Vivre du Quebec (de?)

It's official, the Montreal F-1 Grand Prix is back on for June 13th' 10. I have been to many and varied sporting events around the Western World over the years but this soiree in Montreal tops them all. There is an attitude amongst the Quebecers which I wish we could all adopt, they welcome all to their big party and believe me they DO come from all over the world. It is like Monte Carlo on a budget. The food is excellent (If you have never tasted a Montreal Smoked Meat Sandwich on Light Rye Bread with Mustard and a sliced Dill Pickle, you avent' lived) The whole of the downtown area is turned over to the International drivers, teams, mechanics and entourage and, unlike other venues the public intermingles, the party starts a week before the event. We three friends do at as ecomomically as possible, we stay at a Dutch owned KOA campground (Full with 'Foreigners' from all the world over) We take the 'rubber tyred' underground railway to the 'Isle' (site of the '67 worlds fair) and line up along the fence at our favourite corner. The tickets are the cheapest in the world. If any of you are in the Country during this time let me know. This do will really be topped off if the French Canadian J.Villeneuve returns in the seat of a resurrected 'LOTUS' the PQers will literally go Bonkers - Vive la Quebec.

Some photos that may amuse

Another delve into the photo archive

The first picture is , I think, Jimmy Mellor at the back with ? Tom Hetherington in front. I have no memory of Tom other than his name, so can any of you Drake boys from the late fifties early sixties help with further info?
The second shot was taken ,as far as I recall, prior to a CCF exercise, probably taking place at RAF Jever. Left to right is Bob Innes ( RAF section), Brian Arthur, Ian Stewart, David Howells & unknown .(Who is he )?
If proof were needed that friendships forged at PRS endure, I should tell you that Bob Innes is coming to stay this weekend so we can attend the M4 lunch on Sunday organised by Melodie Beevers. I also see Ron Preedy on a regular basis for a Chinese in Croydon, ( we were both 'old China hands' in Hong Kong prior to PRS.
I will dig out some more photos & post them shortly.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Herr Mandelson

Could not resist publishing this on the blog!

Pompey Saved

I know many of you mocked my boys in blue-POMPEY.
Today we have been awarded a GRANT!!
So hopefully no more money worries.
I can't believe Gordon Brown arranged this one for me.:):)

Former PRS member of staff dies

We have sadly been notified that John Strickland, former Drake house master 51 - 53 and general subjects/games teacher, passed away at the weekend. Apparently he loved reading out newsletters and often sent in notes saying how some folk had not changed and were still rascals etc.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Chez moi and the mansion

My olive trees are those ten little dots to the left of the Plane tree alley going up the middle of the property. Snapshot is from the French google earth "GeoPortail"

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Village - The Prisoner

We had visitors from Thunder Bay. On. (Head of Lake Superior) they are considering moving to our area, which they say reminds them of the set of the 'Village'- Patrick McGoohan style -everything is too perfect. However, they own a Yorkie dog which weighs no more than 4 lbs and rules their roost! eg: They own a cabin cruiser which they take on extended trips around the North. If the dog has to' tiddle', as she calls it, they have to stop the boat, launch the dingy and row to shore, as it will not ' tiddle' while afloat!!!. More dedication than I could muster..

the sailing club...

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Anyone fancying the Gamston do - pre Christmas celebration on Monday 7th December - we would love to see them.. Eileen and I will be there to get our Christmas kiss off the lovely Jack.. same place as usual - the Bridge at Gamston - more details on TWA website if you need them - or ask me or Eileen

Friday, November 20, 2009

New prefix

I offer this without prejudice and because I think it's quite clever.

If blondes and bimbos were the same thing, the prefix 'bim' could be used to create new words that describe them:

Bimbabble - noises coming from a group of blondes
Bimbaffled - constant mental state of blondes
Bimbait - short skirts, sheer blouses, string bikinis or other clothing worn by blondes in an attempt to attract the attention of males
Bimbar - a bar where blondes hang out wearing bimbait
Bimbag - a blonde's purse
Bimbrushes - essential equipment in a bimbag
Bimbastic surgeon - specialist in breast enhancements for blondes
Bimbeeper - special instrument used as a homing device for lost blondes
Bimbellow - sound emanating from a blonde after she finally got the most recent blonde joke she heard
Bimbillion? - a blonde giving an estimate of anything
Bimblaze - the result of a blonde trying to cook
Bimblues - a blonde's state of mind after her latest boyfriend ditched her
Bimboette - a young blonde
Bimbonese - language spoken by blondes, largely unintelligible to anyone else
Bimbonique behavior - airhead behavior, unique to blondes
Bimboozle - to fool a blonde
Bimbore - a blonde who uses "like" more than 10 times in a sentence
Bimbozo - another name for a blonde
Bimboron - a blonde even less intelligent than most other blondes
Bimbrownie - a well-tanned blonde
Bimbrunette - a blonde who dyes her hair brunette, usually to appear smarter than she actually is
Bimburden - blonde carrying too many bags at the mall

10 Husbands, Still a Virgin

A lawyer married a woman who had previously divorced ten husbands.

On their wedding night, she told her new husband, "Please be gentle, I'm still a virgin."

"What?" said the puzzled groom.

"How can that be if you've been married ten times?"

"Well, Husband #1 was a sales representative: he kept telling me how great it was going to be.

Husband #2 was in software services: he was never really sure how it was supposed to function, but he said he'd look into it and get back to me.

Husband #3 was from field services: he said everything checked out diagnostically but he just couldn't get the system up.

Husband #4 was in telemarketing: even though he knew he had the order, he didn't know when he would be able to deliver.

Husband #5 was an engineer: he understood the basic process but wanted three years to research, implement, and design a new state-of-the-art method.

Husband #6 was from finance and administration: he thought he knew how, but he wasn't sure whether it was his job or not.

Husband #7 was in marketing: although he had a nice product, he was never sure how to position it.

Husband #8 was a psychologist: all he ever did was talk about it.

Husband #9 was a gynecologist: all he did was look at it.

Husband #10 was a stamp collector: all he ever did was... God! I miss him! But now that I've married you, I'm really excited!"

"Good," said the new husband, "but, why?"

"You're a lawyer. This time I know I'm gonna get screwed!"

What coffee can do!

An old Pilot sat down at the Starbucks and ordered a cup of
coffee. As he sat sipping his coffee, a young woman sat down next to
him. She turned to the pilot and asked, 'Are you a real pilot?' He replied, 'Well, I've spent my whole life flying biplanes, Cubs, Aeronca's, Neiuports, flew in WWII in a B-29, and later in the Korean conflict, taught 50 people to fly and gave rides to hundreds, so I guess I am a pilot.' She said, 'I'm a lesbian. I spend my whole day thinking about naked women. As soon as I get up in the morning, I think about naked women. When I shower, I think about naked women. When I watch TV, I think about
naked women. It seems everything makes me think of naked women.' The two sat sipping in silence. A little while later, a young man sat down on the other side
of the old pilot and asked, 'Are you a real pilot?' He replied, 'I always thought I was, but I just found out I'm a lesbian.'

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

All for a good cause

Senior washroom frolics!

I can't remember if I've shown this before, but it always makes me chuckle and so I thought I 'd share it with you . Anyway, Jimmy Mellor won't have seen it , and although he's not present, I wonder if he can name any of the clowns playing up for the camera ? This shot must be 50 years old ! If that didn't make me feel old, then I can tell you that I have just become a grandfather for the first time! My daughter in law kindly arranged for my granddaughter to be born on my birthday- how thoughtful.

Is this the real boat

Not sure if this is the one.... nearly the same, cannot find the actual one yet!

PRS pupils competing!

A certain Howe boy trying to compete with my van - Julian and his mate Joe wheeling his new boat on a trolley and then trying out the new motor with new boat and hitting the jetty - boys and their toys!!! He does have a big boat which I will upload shortly!!! :)

Yes Eileen was there

As you can see Eileen was there, note the TWA mugs, never realised the Heineken beer mat was there - my children acquired that during their teenage years and I do like to utilise everything!

Great trip, 805 miles in 10 days is racking up some mileage....

Collingwood Girls having fun

Carol and I are featured in these photographs prior to our cycle ride around Holme Pierrepoint (is that the right spelling Carol). We rode back into a head wind but never got off our bikes.... you will see my campervan as per when I met up with Eileen... roll on the good weather when I will be out and about a lot more! Not quite the size of the one posted recently but size really does not matter!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Olivia with big sister Mia

At two years old, Mia's life has been turned upside down by the arrival of baby Olivia. Hopefully time will help - she certainly is behaving in this piccie!

Introducing Olivia

Grand daughter number 2 - born on 1st November 2009. It's taken until now for Mum and Dad, in Germany, to email piccies! Life is kinda busy for them.

The people you meet in Washington ...

I'm playing tourist before work tomorrow.
Arlington Cemetary is bigger than you think, but its amazing who you bump in to ...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

'tis Carol's birthday!...

...have a good one, girl!...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Re: Mauer memorabilia

Bob will recognise these bits and pieces when they were in-situ as part of "der Mauer." My son and I collected them after it was hacked to bits by "wallpeckers" 20 years ago, post 9/11/'89. The 50 DDR Ostmark note was found in a jacket pocket a long time afterwards and too late to exchange for real money when the two halves of Germany re-united.


As one who was a frequent visitor to Soviet satellite states pre-Glasnost and Perestroika, I hope that Gordon Brown's prophetic comments on this, the twentieth anniversary of the falling of 'Der Mauer', come to pass. ENGAGE THE PEOPLE!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

One for Alex

Just got hold of a 2009 season signed ball thought you might like to view it Alex. It looks god with the shirt, scarf and hat, don't ya think?

Knowing SFA on just about nothing..

Hi Diane - Welcome back to the Island - JIT for the 'white stuff''. The purple pici is an outdoor Hibiscus, known in Canada as 'Rose of Sharon' very hardy but slow grower, growing in our London.ON. garden. The red one is a Tropical Hibiscus, it wilts if you even whisper snow... This one resides here in Lagoon City window..

Friday, November 06, 2009


Just to prove we really were in Spain! Taken in front of the Castile in Fuerengirola, pre sun tan!
Bikini Beach restaurant and bar, about 10.30am.

Lots of these gorgeous shrubs at the resort, anyone know if they are hibiscus?

Our condo, 4th from the left.

Flying into Malaga, the plane went way out over the Meditteraneum, it was early so had to hang around. Incidentally, this pic should have been posted first, I forgot that the ones selected first get posted last.

Thanks from Down Under

Thanks to everyone for your birthday wishes earlier this week.
I'm now in Townsville after a couple of weeks of travelling all across Oz with a few Americans - long days followed by long nights. And next week I go to the States and do it all again.
I thought the pace was supposed to slow down about now .....

When boats were made of wood.........

Back in chapter 5 of my life we lived on the shores of Lake Nipissing. I owned a cedar strip 'French River' wooden boat with a 35 hp.Evinrude motor for which I paid $750.00 new (same design and specs as the one shown). In the fall one would disconnect the gas line, burn off any fuel in the carb. stand the motor in the corner of the shed, bring the battery into the basement and turn the boat upside down. In the spring you would reverse the process and touch up any varnish that had lifted, faded or peeled -I now own a 'maintenance free' fibreglass boat ! (granted 3 ft. longer) I have just had it 'laid up' for winter - Sequence: Lift from water, steam clean the hull, drain the gas tank (gasoline now has 10% ethanol which is murder on marine engines) add sta-bill to the empty tank, flush cooling lines with anti-freeze, change oil and filters (separate filter for water in gas) remove canopies and supports and have the whole thing encapsulated in plastic film- for which I paid, in total $750.00! In the spring I will change 6 spark plugs and two drive belts, put on an 'anti fouling' bottom paint etc. etc. Progress... Not really complaining just pointing out how things have improved.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Remember remember

Memory Lane - Still making Errors!

November 1952 'Ampshire boy goes on a trip with his Mum and Sister to meet up with Dad.
From 'Ampshire to Celle. 5th Nov travelled and missed the big bonfire night.
Crossed the North Sea on the MV Vienna very rough crossing.Then on the longest train journey ever experienced at this time.
Arrived at Celle in the early evening and opened the BOOT of Dad's VW, SURPRISE,SURPRISE no luggage space here only the engine. What sort of car is this?
First error and only been in the new town 5 minutes.
January '53 the PRS Adventure began.
Today 56 years on still in touch with PRS. Nothing changes as then and now today I still get no marks for English as I say - There , Their, They're.
But in my world I am more than pleased Iwas lucky enough to be a PRS person.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009