The Police

bobbyIt’s just over a year go today that a friend was raided by the police in the early hours of the morning. There was nobody in because the couple had gone away on holiday. The police were wearing full body armour and banging on the door shouting “Police! Open up!” There was no response, so they smashed the door down and ran in searching for God knows what and ransacked the place, then jumped back in the armoured vehicles and drove off. Next morning the neighbours tried to shore up the door as best they could.

I never did find out what the owners did when they returned, but I shouldn’t imagine the elderly couple were very happy!

It transpired that the police had the right street and right house number, but the wrong town! Doh!

Whatever happened to the friendly local bobby who would have called at a decent time and politely asked if he could come in for a look round, and probably stayed for a cup of tea and a biscuit? Like the nice bobby in the picture above telling those kids just where to go. . . .

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Earl Shilton care home
I decided to have a holiday, a break away from the computer if you like.

I usually go to France, but with all the atrocities going on, seemingly on a weekly basis, I thought about staying in this country. I searched the Net for a likely looking place and found this interesting looking hotel which seems to be ideal, and it is only five hundred yards away from my house!

This means I don’t have to put the cat into a cattery. I can just walk home every day to feed her. That alone will save quite a bit of money. I checked with the Manageress of the hotel and she said it was OK providing I was back before the street lights came on. Her name is Matron she told me. Such a lovely lady, although the pointy hat she wears is slightly disturbing.

She told me to avoid the other guests as much as possible because some of them are a bit eccentric and do strange things, but I should be fine. There’s no need to take any medication with me as they have an excellent pharmacy there, next to the treatment room (whatever that is) who would provide me with all medication I need to make me sleep. I must admit, I do have trouble getting to sleep just lately.

It sounds ideal, so I should have a great time. Matron even organises bus trips out to visit Hospitals, Doctors Surgeries and other fascinating places.

What do you think? Clic the pic to embiggen.

Posted in Holiday time, Wishful thinking | 4 Comments

I hate self service checkouts!

Being old I find that I just cannot cope with the bloody things, so I have given up on them. All the buttons and flashing lights are very confusing, as is the robotic disembodied voice constantly giving the same instructions repeatedly. “Please scan an item”, “Place item in bag”, “Unidentified item in bagging area” etc.

When I have struggled through that endurance test I am then faced with trying to pay. Put your card in. Card not recognised, please try again. Please wait. Type in your PIN number. Whirrr, whirrr. Out comes your receipt connected to a longer banner with so much off your next order, school vouchers (?), Nectar card points earned, special deal points off your next purchase at the petrol pumps, and 20p off a drink in the cafe. The final bit just says “Have a nice rest of the day.” I think “Too late mate, you just effing ruined it!”.

I like to think that I am computer literate because I have been using computers since Noah chucked all the animals out of the Ark. Well, it feels that long anyway. My first computer was a ZX80! (Google it, you’ll be shocked). Now as my brain is in ‘run-down’ mode I cannot cope with the speed that technology is moving at.

So I go to an ordinary checkout (remember them?) where there is a nice amicable girl to chat to while she is checking me out. . . .

I Thank the Gods that Morrisons have seen the light and they are removing the ‘mind altering self service checkouts’.


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Minimum living wage

Today the minimum living wage has gone up by 50p a hour (an hour?) to £7.20. At first I laughed, not because it is such a low amount, but because I thought it was an April Fool’s Day Joke on the part of the those who rules us. Then it dawned on me that it was no joke, this is for real. This massive rise for low paid workers was orchestrated by people, the members of Parliament, who recently awarded themselves a 10% rise and now earn up to £74,000 per year + expenses.

It’s decisions like this that will certainly guarantee the loss of thousands of votes for the Tories in the next General Election! At least some good will come out of it. ‘Warms the cockles of my heart it does’ as they say oop t’North, and makes up for the fact that I almost believed that Virgin Trains, who now own the Flying Scotsman, say they have re-painted it in the company colours of RED. Then I realised what the date was.

Richard Branson: “Yeah, that’s a spiffing idea, I might just do that for real”.

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I’ve always said that Wales is the prettiest part of England . . .


Clic on the pic to activate.

Posted in From my Journal archives, Holiday time | Leave a comment

From the Archives – 1

Recently there were several Blogs taking part in Manu’s RAK (Random Act of Kindness) month. The idea was to give help, and kindness to a stranger, or to a friend who was in need of a helping hand and then to write about the experience on their respective blogs.

Reading about the involvement in the Random Acts of Kindness of other Bloggers reminded me of an similar experience I once had many years ago. It brought home to me just how uncaring and selfish some members of the public can be.

amateur-radio-rallyLet me first give you some background information. At the time I was 30, a Radio Amateur, callsign G6AFY/T, and I had a shack in the garden with my own Amateur TV station. I only transmitted in monochrome then, but I was keen to get my hands on the special components needed to build a colour camera so I visited every Amateur Radio and Electronics show I could get to. It was at one of these ‘Radio Rallies’, as they were called, that I had the experience I’m going to tell you about.

In my paper journal of 1967, I wrote the following:

Sunday 21 May 1967. Weather – Cool, showery.

Today was the day of the Drayton Rally. I went round to Robin’s place and picked him along with John. When we arrived at the entrance to the park there was a long queue of cars backing up down the drive all the way to the main road. It took us about three quarters of an hour to get past the ticket booth and into the main park.

Rob and John decided to visit the Bring and Buy sale by the lake, but I decided to go directly to the main hall where I would most likely find the three vidicon tubes and the dichroic mirror I needed.

As I walked along the path to the main doors I noticed a man on crutches who was struggling to walk about 50 yards in front of me. As I watched he suddenly fell over. He lay on the ground and it was obvious that he couldn’t get up unaided. I walked briskly towards him fully expecting the 10 people or so in front of me to stop and help him up, but surprisingly no-one stopped or even looked down at him. One person actually stepped over him in his haste to get into the hall! Bastard.

When I reached him I noticed that one leg was broken to the extent that it was folded forward of his knee joint, and his foot was facing backwards! I thought “Oh my God! this is an ambulance job. Yet he was smiling up at me and saying “It’s OK mate, I’m alright, this has happened to me before, help me up please.” I tried to lift him up without doing any more damage to his leg. Finally another man stopped and we got him upright and sat him on the low wall. Someone else ran off to fetch the St Johns Ambulance men.

By this time quite a crowd had gathered, one women was heard to snort “Drunk at this time of day! He should be ashamed of himself!” and walked away. Cow! Michael, that was his name, was laughing as he rolled up his trouser leg and showed us his prosthetic leg, broke into two pieces which were held together at the knee joint by one loose bolt, which was the reason why the lower part had twisted round to face the wrong way. “Bloody Hell! I have lost the other nut and bolt, has anybody got one on them like this other by any chance?”

At this point I volunteered to go into the main hall and see if anyone was selling nuts, bolts and other hardware. Luckily I found a stall that did, so I explained the situation to the owner, and leaving his missus in charge, he grabbed his toolbox and a handful of assorted nuts, washers and bolts and followed me out. Micheal was still sitting there, explaining to the First Aid man that his services were not needed, because the AA were on their way!

The stall holder looked at the damaged joint and managed to straighten it out and put two new bolts in with lock nuts this time. “That joint will see you out.” he said and went back into the hall. Michael got up, thanked us, and walked into the hall as if nothing had happened to him.

I saw him later returning to his car with a “goodie bag” full of components, switches, packs of resistors and capacitors. “Thanks again pal, for your help. I thought my day was ruined, but you saved it”. I felt a glow inside me knowing that I had helped someone out of a mess. He tried to give me a £5 note, but I refused it even though he insisted. I said if you are so keen to part with it, then put it into a charity box.

I continued round the stalls, then to a the marquees that contained the overflow stalls. I managed to find the three vidicon tubes and I bought an extra two as spares, but I didn’t find the dichroic mirrors I needed. One stall holder told me that they were “as rare as hen’s teeth”.

Later I met up with Robin and John to go for. . . . .

No need to read anymore, it’s not relevant, but we did have some fun in the Fun Fair later; on the Big Dipper and the Water Splash. We behaved like big kids! Disgusting!

“That’s all folks”.

Posted in Amateur Radio, From my Journal archives, Good Old days | 5 Comments

For the boys. . . .

Flying Scotsman has arrived at York!

Posted by National Railway Museum on Thursday, 25 February 2016

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Vote Leave

This is important. Everybody in the UK should be aware of this. Please read carefully before voting in the referendum on whether we should stay in the EU, or leave.

‘Vote Leave’ has this morning published its initial analysis of the renegotiation. Click here for the analysis

Top lines

1. The agreement does not restore control of our borders and will not affect migration. It brings no powers back to the UK and reaffirms the supremacy of the European Courts over UK law. It breaks the key promises made in the Bloomberg Speech and the 2015 Conservative Manifesto. The only way to get a new UK/EU relationship based on free trade and friendly cooperation is to Vote Leave.

2. The new deal is not legally binding: it could be ripped up EU judges and politicians after the referendum in the same way as similar so-called ‘legally binding’ promises made to Denmark in 1992 were ignored by the European Court. Key sections need to be approved by the European Parliament after we vote. We are being asked to accept an unsigned contract.

3. The deal makes it harder for the UK to block harmful EU laws. It now needs to get the support of 55% of national parliaments rather than just a third. It also obliges the UK to support a future Treaty that will introduce further Eurozone integration.

4.The UK has not won the right to stop the Eurozone imposing laws on it, with the agreement specifically ruling out a ‘veto’.

5.The proposed changes to ‘ever closer union’ will have no impact and will not stop further European integration. The EU has already announced that it is planning to introduce a new Treaty which will transfer more powers to Brussels over ‘social security systems’, ‘company law’, ‘insolvency law’, ‘property rights’ and taxation. The safer choice is to Vote Leave. 

6. Only 3 of David Cameron’s 33 promises to change the EU have been met which actually change the EU (and these are not substantial). Most of the other claimed successes are just affirmations of the status quo, need Treaty change to be effective or have been unambiguously dropped.


Commenting on the deal, Matthew Elliott, Vote Leave Chief Executive said:

‘David Cameron always wanted to campaign to stay in the EU so he only ever asked for very minor changes. He will now declare victory but it is an entirely hollow one: the EU courts are still in control of our borders and our laws, we still send £350 million a week to the EU instead of spending it here on our priorities and we have not taken back any control.

Crucially, this deal is not legally binding and can be ripped up by EU politicians and unelected EU judges so it will have no more force than an unsigned contract. The only way to get real change is to Vote Leave and take back control – that is the safer choice.’

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Lunch today


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Is this Art?

Last night I went to my local pub and I noticed that over the bar were several small picture frames of various sizes with poems, quotations, wise thoughts etc, all typed on what was possibly the very first Remington trypewriter from the year nineteen hundred and frozen stiff, that has badly aligned, worn out letters that looked in need of a good scrubbing. I must admit the effect was very eye catching and the pictures had a certain charm about them. I asked who had made them, and it turned out it was the son of one of the other customers.

He had made a few when he was “between jobs” and sold them at the local church’s Easter Fair last year. “Went like hot cakes” she said.

After that he made some more and put them on eBay and managed to sell all of them. He then scoured all the local charity shops (thrift stores in the colonies?) and found lots of small framed pictures. After removing the prints he put his trypewriter art in, and some of these are for sale in the pub.

I tried to take photos with my cellphone, but it was too dim in the bar. The flash was no good, it just reflected of the glass, and frightened the little old lady who sits in the corner.

Dark-Garden copyI thought what a good scheme to make a quick buck to boost my ailing finances! The difference is that I would handwrite mine in various scripts and use brightly coloured inks. Every one would be an original and signed by me. Well you never know, it could work, and I might be a millionaire this time next year, so I’m off to sort out some pens and parchment. Oh no, I haven’t got any old frames… and I have a feeling there wont be any left in the local charity shops now.

I just photocopied a poem I wrote a while ago to show what one might look like. The more astute amongst you might notice that the frame isn’t real; I made it using Photoshop. The handwriting is original though, and in one of my semi-posh scripts.




Vicious dog.
“Hi, pleased to meet you.”

This picture has been hanging around in my “Might use it one day” folder, so I thought I would give it an airing.


Posted in Calligraphy & Lettering, DIY, Poetry Bit, Pubs | 8 Comments