Tuesday, 6 November 2012

LIKE A DUCK ! ( read in Jim Carrey voice )

I was about to get out of bed, this a.m., when - still lying flat on my back - I decided to break wind . Whilst this was happening, I lifted my right leg and moved it across my body . . . in order to exit on the left side of the bed. This strange contortion caused my ass to 'quack like a duck' - a 'first', even for me :)

Friday, 29 June 2012


Today we received a letter from the local Council, addressed to Ms S.Fretwell. We assumed it was for our daughter, who shares the same initial. When she came home from College & opened it, she discovered that it was an invite to a Memorial Service, in September. It didn't say whom it was for. It had the Crem's Tel No. , so I gave them a ring. Turns out it is a 'general' memorial service that they hold once a year. Anyone who has arranged a funeral in the last 12 months gets an invite. Wife, Sandra's, name was on file, cos we arranged her Aunt's funeral, on behalf of her absent Oz cousin', in March. They don't send to 'Mrs', so that's why it was just to 'Ms' I said that it was a nice idea, but I expressed the thought that maybe it should say on the invite, just 'who' the memorial was for - to avoid confusion. " We can't do that ! " replied the Crem' guy, quite impatiently, " It's not for ANYONE, in particular " Is it just me?

Thursday, 7 June 2012


I don't know about you, but I reflect on my life a lot nowadays and I just think: " Wasn't that interesting " So many surprising and unusual things happen to all of us as we live-out our allotted term. When I was 10 or 11. . . we made friends with an A.A.F. family from Alconbury. Just 'that' was completely intriguing. The difference in the way they lived was extraordinary ! They took us on-base from time to time. The N.C.O.s club was like something from Vegas! Some crooner sang - " I left My Heart In San Fransisco", there were people playing on 'slots', mum drank 'sloe-gin fizz' in a tall glass. We had baked potato, steaks cooked over charcoal and corn on the cob. I'd never eaten corn-on-the-cob before. I burnt my mouth. There was also a gun-club . .with another bar . . and a huge PX stuffed-full of strange American food-stuffs. It was as if I'd walked into the world inhabited by Superman and the other weird characters in the comics I read. Unlike my experience of life up-until that point, it seemed that Americans were actually allowed to ENJOY themselves - NOT something which seemed to be allowed in the U.K. until the mid 60's ! Back home, they had microwave ovens . . way back then . . . and cars with fins on, like spaceships, with RED upholstery ! Wow! Heady days, indeed :]

Friday, 1 June 2012


As I get older, I sometimes think of the newly qualified female French teacher I had when I was 17/18. There was a history of eye-cancer in her family and she seemed to me ( as a callow youth) to be totally obsessed by doom & gloom! I remember her saying to us, " You all see life as a long road, who's end is not even in sight. I see it as a tightrope, from which I could fall to my death at any time " Happily, so far as I know, she had no serious eye problems . . . she had a long and successful teaching career . . . and is now happily retired. For our own peace of mind, we all choose to forget that life IS a 'tightrope' and that any one of us might lose our footing, at any moment. As we get older we may sometimes experience this, first hand, when we are challenged by unexpected health problems. I'm confident and hopeful that - like my teacher - most of us will 'live long & prosper '. When we're ill, it's not a time to 'give-up' . . . but just to take a breather & regain our strength. Our interests, passions and beliefs, our partners, friends and contacts will, I'm sure, give us the focus we all need to quickly regain our 'balance' if we should occasionally lose our footing.

Monday, 14 May 2012


Do you have days like this? I had to go shopping, drawing-out cash and paying bills with wife, Sandra, in the p*ssing rain, this a.m. !! We started at Asda. When Sandra was just 3 items into her shop she turned to me with a baleful face and said, " This is RIDICULOUS . .everything's SO expensive. Let's go to Aldi ! " We replaced our three items and off we went. Sure enough . . . everything we'd had in our basket was 50% of the price, at Aldi. However . .and this is a BIG HOWEVER . . . . for some reason best known to themselves, Aldi had stopped selling de-caff instant coffee. Madness! I also wanted some pp3 batts for the smoke alarms . Went to the 99p shop expecting to get 3 or 4 for that money. NO . . bloody 'NO' ! They wanted 99p EACH ! So . . now even 'Pound Shop' is too expensive for me ( although I was amazed by a jar of large hot-dog saussies for 99p . . that ain't bad =p ) Back home, I checked the E-bay price. Just as I expected, I can buy Duracell PP3s for 80p a pop on there ( Unlike Boots The Chemist's £4.20 each !!! ) The High Street deserves to die. They are just taking the mickey. To cap it all off, we went to the town's main Post Office - they have a euthenasia booth for customers who just can't take it. Un-manned positions, snail's-pace queue, depressing ambience, you get the picture . . . And then . . . . the cost of posting an A4 card-backed envelope, u.k. address, 2nd class ? £1.10 !!!! How appallingly useless the whole British High Street experience is :( Reminds me of the Monty Python 'Cheese Shop' sketch ;/

Monday, 19 March 2012

Bouncing Is Good For The Sole

I put some unwanted Dr. Martens Air-Wair sandals up for sale on e-bay, recently. It reminded me of the first pair of d.m.'s I ever had, way back in'71.

I was to spend the summer vac's hitch-hiking for 6 weeks in Spain & Morocco with a pal from Spanish class. His mum could get us some boots cheap, so I was up for it. They turned-out to be the 'dubbined' greasy finish, so it took an age to convert them to the fashionable 'cherry reds', with ox-blood boot polish :/

Six weeks of pounding the roads of the continent with heavy packs on our backs, was followed by a gap year for me when I still wore them. On to Art college and, when my Adidas 3-stripe trainers gave up the ghost, it was back to the d.m.'s for the last two years. After college, I would think that I got at least another year out of then.

Those remarkable Air-Wair soles made walking a real pleasure.

That's all I have to say on d.m.'s. Sometime I'll tell you of the wonders of Timberland hand-stitched moccasins. Mmmmm . . .so comfy and never too hot :]

Sunday, 26 February 2012


I once discovered the meaning of existence, lying in bed after some excellent Tibetan dope. I couldn't find paper or writing implement so the secret was lost - although I think it was, basically, " I am the carpet, the stone, the bird . .we're all ONE ! " You try telling that to the d.h.s.s., to get extra benefits, and you soon realise the limits of enlightenment ;/

Tuesday, 14 February 2012


I once tried to blag my way into the V.I.P lounge at Heathrow airport.
The guy on the door said " But you're not a V.I.P."

Without a moments hesitation, I replied, " We're all V.I.P.'s . . No-one is more important than anyone else in this world ".

That made him chuckle. He let me down gently by saying,

" You wouldn't like it in there - it's dull and the people aren't very nice "

Sunday, 12 February 2012


My wife's elderly Aunt Betty & Whitney Houston both died this weekend. If it's busy in Heaven, do you think they'll share a room?

Aunt Betty had the same first-name & birth date as Her Majesty the Queen. Things generally turn out better, if you ARE the Queen.

Somebody's deceased dog could, maybe, be their Heaven-pet? It'd be nice to have a dog in Heaven. You wouldn't have to buy any dog-biscuits . . but you could still go for walks.

R.I.P. Nan, Whitney and dog ;]

Friday, 6 January 2012


I tell you this story because I think you might be able to empathise.

Last night, the my wife and daughter had gone upstairs to get ready for bed
(very long job in teenage daughter's case). It was about 11.30 p.m.

For some unfathomable reason ( possibly to amuse myself, whilst I waited for the bathroom to become free) I decided to sharpen a large chef's knife, on which I've been trying to get an edge.

I decided to try the 'butcher's steel' for this purpose. Somehow, I must've misjudged distances, because on the 5 or 6th downstroke I managed to pass the knife - with a firm slicing motion - across the top of my thumb.

Much blood and mopping with kitchen-towel. Quite deep, getting near half a cm; I pondered whether it needed stitches. It eventually stopped bleeding, I found some kiddie plasters with cartoon characters on ;] and watched t.v. for an hour to make sure that the wound had stopped bleeding.

My wife was first up this morning and was greeted by something resembling a war-zone, with blood-soaked tissues and plasters, scattered thither and yon'.

As I said to her, " I'm definitely getting an edge on that knife. I could have done that a week ago and it wouldn't even have cut me! " =D

Trouble is . . I can't bend my thumb for the next few day while the wound closes up. Can't play guitar ( world heaves sigh of relief ) and it may adversely affect my D.I.Y. productivity :(

Wife says, " What productivity? "

I say, " Ne'er mind. There's always a silver lining. I think I may finally have proven Einstein's theory of relativity - that, in certain circumstances, Time can actually go backwards!! "

C'est la vie :/