Saturday, 18 February 2017

Four quid...


Last evening, I met up with a friendly bunch of good friends for a beer and a chat.

Earlier in the day, I'd been writing to a lady about reminiscences from the nineteen-sixties, and explained how my first proper salary was £4.0.0 per week.

My pint(s) cost exactly that...

Gulp!

Friday, 10 February 2017

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play...

Well tomorrow actually...

But as Oscar Wilde once said, when being pronounced late/early for an event, 'What does that giant orb in the sky know of what happens down here on Earth'! (or something like that...)

O'Blene Enterprises Inc. Ltd. VAT and Bar, had opened an account with Sagtrouser and Wife, and started to manage a building job at The Turrets just on twenty years ago!

We had a superb local builder, who is still remembered as one of the best, and the pic below shows what happens when you eventually clear out the garage...


The freezer had packed up a day or so before, (as they do) and you can just see the danger light showing an ominous red blink!

It was possibly one of the three ugliest garages in the village, and luckily only one remains at the other end of the High Street, but this cold, leaking brute just had to go, and be replaced with a decent extension.

When I got home from work that evening, the first job our builder had done was take it all down, and here is the sad old disconnected, leaking, empty freezer, getting ready to leave this mortal coil, or whatever freezers did in those days.



This was the first really serious work we could afford to do at The Turrets, and we plunged every penny we had into the place, but never regretted a thing, except losing the huge grapevine at the back, which we usually left to grow over the garage to hide as much of it as we could! The grapes made fabulous wine too!

Blimey, I was only forty-nine back then...

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

A new dawn...



After Mr Sid Trumpet absolutely trounced Ms Billary last year, the Sodden Prickney Parish Council has been in turmoil, as previously reported in minute detail by your erstwhile correspondent on several occ (just get on with it - Ed) asions!

It is now understood that Chairman Basil Kalashnikov has sold his Wayfarer De Luxe camper van and purchased a Velocette motorcycle and sidecar for his weekly visits to the Parish offices and also Lidl. This has caused outrage amongst Globule Worming agitators as everyone with a single ounce of interest in ancient motorcycles knows that the Velocette still uses a mixture of 4* petrol and a squirt of Castrol R, and this is only available from Miss Newt's Retail Emporium in pint bottles, priced several pounds a pop, and can emit that delightful odour at the tweak of a throttle!

Ron Groat, (Miss Newt's confidant and intimate companion) manages the stores of the 645,000 retail extravaganza, and categorically denies any wrongdoing. As nobody really understands or actually cares about the issue, it is difficult to understand what the fuss is all about, but when PC Lumbersnatch, a part-time walk-on actor in the local little theatre (closed for repairs after the unpleasantness in the musical production of 'Ten Rillington Place'), arrived with a stub of pencil and an old exercise book, to take notes, there was nobody around!

But to get to the point of this essay (about time - Ed), Sid Trumpet is now Councillor Sidney Aloysius Trumpet, Chairman of the Woys and Mange Committee on the council, and has a huge mandate, even bigger than the previous incumbent! He is planning a new fence around the village carpark, to keep out the riff-raff, and also a new factory on the estate, for the sausage manufacturer, 'Bangers-r-Us'. This is to stop any imports of snags from elsewhere in the country, and has been met with acclaim by all right-minded citizens. especially the Sodden Prickney Snorkers Appreciation Society.

While Ms Billary's cohort, 'Willy' Clinchton is no stranger to 'sausage' issues, it is clear that this is a snub to the former Councillor and silly old man. Ms Billary was seen in the audience at the celebrations, clutching a Kleenex, and rolling her eyes.

Mr Kalashnikov now has to work day and night to convince the council that even a single vote for a minor party in the area, The Literal Deniercrats, would mean so much for their candidate, Ms Emily D'Artagnan-Minge who loves children and wants to see the world. He is also having to deal with the press for being as pissed as a fart on most occasions.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Notes from the North of a small island...



This is ready for printing, the moment Scotland decides to break away from England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and joins the EU on its own!

The Euro will come later...

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Footwork...

Back when I was a teenager, my music master was a dab-hand at the organ, and had risen to some pretty dizzy heights when he'd been younger. I think he got to 'Young Organist of The Year' back in the fifties, so he knew his stuff. On a rare occasion, I'd do the page turning for him.

One Sunday, mum and dad attended school chapel and he put on a real show at the end with Widor's Toccata, which is a real show-off piece demanding great skill and temperament. The music pages just flew by and he was playing his heart out!

Dad of course, immediately went out and bought the record, and played it incessantly. But on the flip side, there was this piece, which I love just as much.


But watching this version, the pedals just fly, and I'm always amazed that such accuracy can be maintained with such a challenging piece of work!



Tuesday, 3 January 2017

January beep beep beep...

Whoopee! We're already 10% through the 'nasty' month, and things are looking up already!

About this time of year, the gardening catalogues plonk through the letter box, well, into the outside box, as everything that gets posted the normal way gets shredded by JRT and growled at for several minutes!

So in the sunshine of a warm post-lunch tincture, Mrs O'Blene and your friend and mine, me, sat down to choose what we'll grow this year.

It's a bewildering task, as while I'm still a late middle-aged teenager, there will come a time when perhaps 'The Patch' might become a little too arduous, and I will cut back just a little. Mind you, what with a great new mower, and super tiller, and a decent electric bike to get down there, I have no real need to contemplate such things for many years, but these items below have been around some time, and we're going to try them.


As anyone knows, the first new spuds in the shops can cost a fortune, and we try and keep to 'seasonality', by using stuff when it's growing normally. We've grown first early potatoes in buckets on and off for several years, and always kid ourselves that we're saving cash etc etc, but these larger bags could well tip the balance, so the Jersey Royals (International Kidney doesn't sound so glamorous does it), could be within just a few yards of the kitchen, and plentiful at that!

Last year was not a good one for potatoes on 'The Patch'. Spring was a rotten couple of months, then everywhere dried out, and pests descended in their droves. We lost nearly all our first sowings, they just disappeared, and the second earlies got so big they developed an unusual condition, known as 'Hollow Heart' here. 


So this year, we'll change things around a bit, using both the Marshalls Gro-sacks at home in the greenhouse, and also sow some more in just a few of the beds on 'The Patch' under cloches, for more first earlies, and leave it at that!

A good chum has also given me some seeds of two unusual bean varieties, 'Greek Gigantes', which are pure white, and also the gorgeously named 'Cherokee Trail of Tears', and we'll be growing these up poles in all directions!

And the title of the post?


We always find ourselves singing it round now, can't think why...