Thursday, 29 November 2012

Music, Birds, And Sadly Unfulfilled Memory Foam.

Last nights Open Mic with Sedge and Jon was fantastic. The pub was packed. So nice to see that. A packed out pub is quite a rare thing these days what with the massive taxes on alcohol and the ban on smoking in pubs. Personally I think the smoking ban has sounded the death knell for the pub business. I am sure it could have been better handled, and I am a non smoker.
The blonde woman keeps getting in my photos

There she is again. Hiding behind my glass of cider

Live music in pubs might be one way to stop the decline, and lowering the price of drinks. It's not the publicans fault, more the brewers who own the pubs, cutting off their noses to spite their faces. And the government of course wanting there ounce of flesh from everything that might give the public a bit of pleasure. Good job they don't tax sex! Mind you they are probably thinking about it. Taxing it I mean, not doing it. Actually they are doing it, just not with their own spouses. Politicians do that a lot. Sometimes, if I didn't know better, I would almost think they are human. Of course if they did tax sex, it wouldn't make a hole in my wallet sadly.

There you are. I start off talking about Open Mic nights and it turns into talking about sex. Maybe if I was getting some, these diversions wouldn't happen so often?

But anyway it was a smashing, friendly, fun filled musical evening. Which as is usual with me these days, failed to halt my run of celibacy. I shall not give up yet in my quest for the holy grail. Hey! I think I just invented a euphemism!

Changing the subject completely, it was a beautiful day and Samantha (maybe I haven't changed the subject completely) and me and the dogs spent a happy few hours walking on the beach. I think Sam is getting used to me suddenly stopping our conversations to point out a flock of birds. We watched a Kestrel hovering motionless for a while. She thought it was a child's kite up there in the sky. We saw flocks of Oyster Catchers and Lapwings, and Sanderlings. I don't think I'm boring her. She did mention that she is learning things.

Sadie and Ned are becoming good pals.

Sadie in our 'new' campervan.

Sam's proper campervan.

I reckon we must have walked about five miles today. Now if I had listened to the Consultant when I had tests at the hospital for circulation problems in my legs I probably would have given up walking altogether. But in fact I have not had any pain at all since I increased the distances. The Consultant told me it would gradually get worse. He was wrong! They don't know it all. A couple of years ago I was thinking I might not be able to walk on the hills anymore. But last week I walked the hills with no trouble at all. Maybe next summer I will fulfill my ambition to walk the whole of The South Downs Way. A distance of 120 miles.

After such a nice day I am pleasantly tired. I shall now take myself off to bed, and my new memory foam mattress. Hopefully it won't be too long before the new memory foam mattress has something exciting to remember. Yes I know. I am bad!

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Sadie The German Shepherd Gets Her Revenge.

So lover boy John is thinking of relegating me to the kennel is he? Huh! There is not a cats chance in hell of that happening. He talks the talk but when it comes down to it, he can't walk the walk.

I'll tell you something for nothing. Most of the mess in this wagon is caused by him, and that's the truth. Yesterday he was sitting in my favourite chair having a cup of tea with his muddy wellington boots on. Can you believe it! So please do not be concerned for me. It ain't gonna happen.

A few weeks ago he was complaining about Bonnie the ginger cat's pawprints. He told her he was going to lock the cat flap so she couldn't just go in and out when she feels like it. That resolution lasted all of five minutes. "Come on in Bon Bon, it's cold out there" I heard him say, "Come and snuggle in bed with me." Yeah, he's a tough guy all right.

I am beginning to extract little bits of revenge on him for what he said in yesterdays blog. This morning while he was lying snoring in his new memory foam bed, I put my smelly marrowbone on the pillow next to his head, and then I stuck my cold nose in his ear. He sat up right sharpish and when he lay down again he cracked his head on the bone! So funny! It really is the little things that make life so pleasant.

I waited until we got to the park today, before I did my number twos. He hates it when that happens. To make it even worse I waited until we were well past the poo bin before I did it. He had to walk all the way back to deposit my offering. You should have heard the language he used. Disgraceful.

He is feeling guilty about what he said. I can read him like a book. This afternoon for instance he keeps on wanting to play ball. I think he sees it as a rebonding thing. I go along with it. He does need the exercise after all.

He is getting ready to go out tonight. He has got a date! Yes I know, wonders will never cease. I suspect the lady in question might be partially sighted!

I shall see how I feel before he goes out. If I feel in the need for a bit more revenge, I shall wait until he is all dressed up and tidy, and I might jump up at him with my muddy paws and give him a goodbye lick!

Me. Back in the kennel? No way!

Lots of love to you.

Sadie Bain. xxx

Tuesday, 27 November 2012


Some of you are not going to be happy with me, but I am afraid it has to be done. Sadie the German Shepherd has to go back to sleeping in her kennel.

As you may recall I am not the tidiest of people, and I can think of better ways to pass my time than cleaning this place all the time, but I do have some standards, and I am fed up with the mess that Sadie makes every time she comes in. It's not her fault. The problem is caused by all the rain we have been having. Wet German Shepherds and small space living just do not mix. She is constantly wanting to go out, and once she has been out, of course she wants back in. It continues at night too. She will hear a fox outside and makes me get up to let her chase it away, and then in she comes, often soaking wet and shakes herself dry. Mud spatters everywhere.

Enough is enough! I shall build her a new kennel, and insulate it. I shall make it snug with lots of straw. Straw helps to keep her clean anyway, so it's a good thing. What? Oh please! Don't give me that look. I want to make it nice in here. She farts a lot too you know. She will be much happier. Remember she has been used to it. She has been on probation for a few months and it hasn't worked out. These things happen! She knows it was a trial period. No! Don't do that. Giving me that look. You are as bad as she is with your soulful eyes. No that's it. I have made up my mind. She is an outside dog. That is it and all about it!

Now listen. I am going to build the kennel right outside the door. She will be able to see me through the window. What more do you want of me? Stop it! I feel bad enough as it is. She's only a dog for heaven's sake! NOOOO! Sorry! I didn't mean to say that! Forgive me! I love that dog. I truly do!

Oh yes, and don't forget that outdoor dogs get extra food rations. It has it's perks. Her new kennel is going to be so snug. I might move in with her!

I said you wouldn't be happy with me. I was right wasn't I?
And I need to have a word with Bonnie about wet paw prints everywhere.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Thanks For The Memory Foam.

What shall I write about tonight? Shall I even Bother? I can't make my mind up. Why did I put a capital B on bother? Dunno.

What time is it? 9.37. I might go to bed. Broadband keeps disappearing tonight it really is annoying, I'm just about to do something and sud.... Oh boll... Oh sh... oh for fu..

It's back again. I don't know how long for. I shall have to write fast it could go off again any se...

Sorry about that. It's the blue light in the middle. It won't stay on. Hold on I shall take a picture and show you while it is still on. Stay on. Stay on. Oh b.....

My home hub. It stayed on long enough.

Today I have been converting my car into a campervan. It is a big car, a people carrier, so it has enough room to convert. I took all the back seats out. Now it has a bench seat. I made it out of some old wooden pallets. My mate Samantha gave me two foam mattresses she didn't need, and I have made a bench seat/bed with them. I have also put a little gas cooker in there. Now I need some curtains. I already have a lot of camping equipment from the last campervan I had. The one I sold for next to nothing. Now you have to pay a fortune for one. I am talking about the Volkwagen. Fantastic little things. I sold it because it was collapsing with rust. I should have kept it and repaired it. You can still get all the bits for them. One day I shall get another. In the meantime this will do for me and Sadie the German Shepherd to go further afield.

Also I shall be able to have more than one drink in the pub if I wish, and be able to sleep it off. Not that I would do that. Have too much to drink I mean! Sadie might though.

I need to make that cupboard, which is actually an old wooden toolbox, look a bit nicer, and fix a curtain across the front seats and the side windows, and there it is, a home from home. What with the house down the garden, my wagon, the Tipi and now this I have more homes than Paul McCartney/ David Beckham/ The Queen/ Donald Trump, and whoever else you can think of that is rich as Croesus, whoever he is.

Amazing isn't it? I have been rushing to write this before Broadband went again, and it has stayed on. Typical!

I am going to bed now. If Broadband stays on I shall watch a film on my laptop. Not that kind of film! Really some people! I like watching old black and white films. Particularly fond of the Ealing comedies.

Bed! That reminds me. I have a new mattress. Memory foam. I hope it remembers me. We haven't been properly introduced yet. It might not even like me! I shall wear pajamas tonight, so it gets a good impression of me. Ha ha impression of me. Memory foam. D'you get it?

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Sad Dave.

I met a bloke in the local shop, an old acquaintance. I hadn't seen him for ages. He is my age and like me, recently retired, "How's things Dave?" I asked him cheerfully.

He gives me a weary look. He has one of those hangdog faces. He looks as though he carries the troubles of all mankind on his shoulders. He turns and looks at the chest freezer behind him, decides it can bear his weight and leans against it, beckoning me to follow his example. I suddenly remember that he is one of those types who can curdle milk with his misery, and I reluctantly, although trying not to show it, lean on the freezer too, alongside him. Oh blimey I think to myself, I only popped in for a newspaper.

"Me prostates cured but I'm still on the steroids," he tells me. "Of course once it's in you mate, it never goes away. Have you had yours checked?" Before I can answer he goes on, "She ain't too good the wife either. Got all sorts wrong with her. Liver mostly. She's under the doctor, and her legs come up again. The right leg it is, no hold on, the left." He looks down at his own legs as if deciding, "I was right first time. Yes it's her right leg. Thick veins on it, with red blotches. She's got them support stockings, but she can't get them on. I tried to help but I can't bend." He looks at me sadly, and I nod knowingly and try to adopt a look of genuine concern. He has a monotone voice that has a sort of slump at the end of each dreary statement, it sounds a bit like wet sand in a cement mixer.

"Well Dave," I say. "I had best get on. Nice to see you. Give my regards to..."

"Have you had that bowel test?" He says.

"What bowel test?" I ask.

"It comes in the post. In a white envelope. You and me are the same age. I got my envelope last week. You should have got yours. Government screening for bowel cancer. Didn't you get one?"


"Get onto them. It's important. There's a little tube and some cardboard strips. You smear a bit of shit on each strip, put them in the tube and send it off to them in a prepaid envelope. I done mine last week. I'm not too hopeful about the results to tell the truth. I have had a lot of problems down there." He turns his head and nods in the direction of his backside, and again looks at me sadly. This time I have to bite my bottom lip and kind of twist my face to look concerned, because if I don't I might start laughing.

"Well, I must get on Dave. Things to do, places to go. Nice talking to you."

"Yes see you around, and don't forget to have yourself checked out. Prostrate and bowel. Very important mate."

I am waiting in the queue to pay for my newspaper. Dave is just leaving. He turns and sees me standing there, and giving me a look of utter sadness, he holds up his middle finger. For a moment I thought he was being rude and giving me the finger, then I realised he was just demonstrating what the prostate test involved, and possibly the bowel one! I think I might leave it for a while.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

What Is This Thing, Called Love? What Is This Thing Called, Love?

Today's article will be asking the question; what is love? Oh blimey! I don't flipping know. The question just came into my head and I thought I would go with it. I don't know what it is. I'm just a bloke. How the heck, I mean hell would I know?

Oi! You just said heck. You recently claimed that you never use the word. Make your mind up John Boy.

It slipped out Mr Flipping Perfect. These things happen, and my mind is on a serious subject of which I know very little so perhaps I wasn't concentrating and allowed my American readers to subconsciously influence my choice of word. I have crossed it out. Happy now?

I was in the supermarket the other day, checking out some of the women who shop there prices of goods, when I heard a married couple talking to each other. They had obviously been married a long time, because they spoke in disrespectful tones, a bickering way. Not so much a conversation, more a series of tuts and groans. You probably know what I mean, even though I am not describing it too well. Let's just say they had the resigned air of a too long married pair.

As I wandered the aisles I saw the same couple many times. Except it wasn't the same couple. It was simply that I was observing the same type of behaviour patterns time and again in different people. People who by the very nature of their relationship had almost evolved into one person. I might be wrong, but I think it is what happens in a long relationship or marriage. Two becomes one. They know each other so well.
And yet they bicker constantly. It is almost as though they are arguing with themselves.

When I was married many years ago, we were together for seventeen years and during the whole of that time we argued. Nothing serious, just little things, but it was bickering all the time. In the end it was this that destroyed the marriage. I couldn't bear the thought of carrying on like it for the rest of my days. And yet I loved her, and I am sure she loved me. Just like the long married couples I was observing in the supermarket. Who I am sure loved each other.

Now here comes the question again; what is love? Well I have just told you that I loved my ex wife. So I must know what love is. I'm afraid not. I described the feeling as love because that is what I think the feeling is. But I don't know for sure. Maybe it is simply an hormonal surge of feeling, the excitement of first meeting someone. Maybe love is like an adrenalin rush. Maybe it is an adrenalin rush? That is why it cools. It does cool doesn't it? Then becomes a familiarity. And what does familiarity breed?

This is a dreadful essay. I don't know where it is going. The subject is too vast. Who am I, a failure in the subject, to attempt to expound knowledgeably? Me, who has been hurt so many times, and let me be honest, has hurt in return. Who am I to tackle this subject? I shall tell you. I am a cynic.

There was a time when I would fall in love at the drop of a hat. What does that say about love? Looking back now I believe I was looking for approbation. Someone to show me I meant something, was someone. I could go into this more deeply but I don't want to bore you.

Anyway if love does exist, I'm talking now about being 'in love' I shall not be letting it into my life again. I am too old now to deal with the inevitable heartbreak that has always followed in it's path.

I shall, as I have always done, love with all my heart, but I shall not again be what is known as 'being in love'. It sounds a bit sad doesn't it? But truth to tell I feel better for the decision, especially now I know I can keep to it.

To conclude this mish mash. I would just tell you, that I do know a few people who have been married for years, and their love, if that it what it is, has grown stronger and stronger as the years go by. But sadly I know of many couples who are stuck in a rut, and are too weak to get out of it.

Naturally, I love you. You mean the world to me. I am a lover, but that has a whole different meaning.

Hallo again. I have come back to edit. What a miserable old git I am being. Please ignore me. Get out there and get loving! Love is a splendid thing. We need more of it in the world. Yes I have changed my mind. This is my blog! I love you. Men and women. Obviously not the men in the same way. Not that there is anything wrong with that, he adds hastily. xxx

Friday, 23 November 2012

Home Cooking With John

Today for a change I thought I would try something different on the blog, and so I have decided to teach you how to cook something. Please feel free to print this post and keep it handy in your kitchen.

This classic recipe is called 'toad in the hole'. and this is how you prepare and cook it.

Get a clean dish thing out of the cupboard. Actually forget that bit it isn't a dish it's a tin tray thing. It looks like a metal square or rectangular thing. Like you would cook a chicken in or other meat.

Next you need to clean off the bits of stuff that were left over from the last time you used it. In my case it was used for roast potatoes and there were some crusty bits still left in the thing. I shall call it a tin to save time.

Use a knife to scrape the old stuff out. Get your Mum to help you with this, as it can be dangerous. If it won't scrape clean, let the dog have it to lick, while you prepare the potatoes ready for boiling. You can buy potatoes at any good shop that sells them. Not sweet shops, tobacconists, or bakers. You will be wasting your time looking there. Get an onion as well while you are buying potatoes, it will save you a trip later. Do not worry about the onion if you don't like onions in your gravy, I find they improve the flavour though. But add to taste. Or not. You might even find you have an onion in the cupboard or behind the fridge. That's where I found one. It must have rolled there last time I used onions, Crikey that was a while ago.

Go down to the bottom of the garden. You will find the dog there. Retrieve the tin from the dog. Don't worry about the growling. That is natural behaviour. Lots of people growl when trying to get things out of a dog's mouth. I do it all the time.

I forgot to tell you to turn the oven on to heat up. Try gas mark highish or Fahrenheit something or other. Or even Celsius. My oven doesn't have fancy numbers, just high or low. I always go for high. It gets stuff cooked quicker.

When the oven is hot put the tin in it. The heat will kill any dog germs eventually. Or you could wash it. The tin, not the dog. Wash the dog tomorrow when you are not cooking.

When the tin is really hot take it out of the oven. Use the cuffs of your sleeves to hold it, because it will definitely be hot if you remembered to light the oven. You can use gloves for this purpose if you wish, but please use something otherwise you will burn your fingers and say rude words. Remember cooking should be a joyful thing to do.

Splash oil in the tin. Cooking oil is best, but any natural oil will do. Don't use the new synthetic car oil. It contains chemicals. Unless you have been inoculated. You should be all right then. I had to look up how to spell inoculated, it didn't look right. I could have said vaccinated instead. Actually I had to look that up too.

Get some sausages. Sorry I could have saved you a journey. You could have got them when you got the potatoes. Possibly in the same shop. Some butchers sell potatoes. I find a lot of shops are diversifying these days. What with times being so hard financially. If you do have to go to the shop, please remember to turn the oven off. Thank you.

picture number one
Put the sausages in the tin with the oil and burn them for a few minutes or longer at gas mark whatever, or Fahrenheit or Celsius something. While waiting for the smell of burning, mix up some batter out of a packet, with eggy water. Mix it in an empty dog food can if you haven't got a mixing bowl. Let the dog lick the can clean first though. Let us not be unhygienic here. Cleanliness. Let that be your mantra.

As soon as you smell burning and see black smoke emanating from the oven, pour the batter onto the sausages  (see  picture number one). Put tin back in oven and leave for approximately a good while.

Quickly peel potatoes and put them in a pan with water and boil on the hob until the lid rattles and the water spills over and puts out the gas. Or blows the fuse if you use electric. Take some of the potatoes out, and try again. It should be all right  this time. If you chop the potatoes really small they will cook quicker. I should have told you that sooner. If you didn't already chop them, you can still do it while they are boiling. Just stab a knife about in there. Get your Mum to help when using sharp implements. Safety first in the kitchen is my mantra, and cleanliness of course. I have a lot of mantras. I'm not even sure that mantra is the right word, but it sounds all right.

When the potatoes have nearly boiled dry they will be almost ready. This is the time to open a tin of peas. Oh blast! I should have told you to get peas when you went to the shop. Sorry about that. Maybe your neighbour has a spare tin. Anyway wherever you get them always pierce the tin before you put it in the oven, and remove the label because they catch fire in the heat. WARNING: NEVER PUT AN UNPIERCED TIN OF PEAS IN THE OVEN. ALWAYS PIERCE TIN FIRST.

The best way to pierce the tin of peas is to stab violently with the point of a sharp knife. Get your Mum to do this for you. Remember, safety first in the kitchen. Remember also: That tin will be hot.  Cuffs, sleeves!

picture number two
Mash the potatoes. If you have a potato masher use that. I don't have one. Well I do have one but I have lost it. I remember using it to change a puncture on my bike, but where it is now I just don't know. But that doesn't matter because I prefer my potatoes fluffy, so I use a fork. Add a knob of butter. Actually add as much butter as you like. Forget about cholesterol. Doctors! What do they know. I bet they have butter in their mash potatoes!

Make the gravy. Use another dog food tin. Leave some of the dog food in it for added flavour. Put an onion in there too. Chop it if you like. Add a what d'you call it? One of them little cubes. Beef cubes. Oxo that's it! Make it with hot water, otherwise the Oxo will go all lumpy. If you can't get Oxo... Well I don't know what you can do. I always use Oxo. I never have any trouble finding them in my local shop. Maybe your neighbour who gave you the peas will have a spare Oxo cube. You do need one. If you can't find an Oxo cube, you may as well stop reading this. It won't taste the same without Oxo. Everyone has Oxo cubes in their cupboard. Have another look. I can't believe this!

The 'toad in the hole' should be ready now (see picture number two). Carefully take it out of the oven. Remember, use your sleeve cuffs. Do not put the tin on a plastic surface, That would be silly. It is hot remember.

picture number three

Find a quite clean plate from the pile of washing up and serve up a delicious dinner (see picture number three). Enjoy with a pint or three of best British beer.

For a vegetarian option, leave out the sausages. Oh and the gravy! Look I will be honest with you. This meal is unsuitable for vegetarians. Sorry. Unless you don't mind batter and potatoes and peas. That might be quite nice. Possibly.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

A Lovely Day For A Walk.

What is that light I thought to myself? I haven't seen that before? But it was only the sun shining through the mollicroft windows this morning when I woke up. It has been so long since I saw it that I had forgotten what it looked like.

It got me out of bed early for a change, but there was something not quite right. What is it? As I was waiting for the toast to burn it suddenly struck me. I was feeling better! The man flu that has plagued me for the last fortnight, and that I had borne with such fortitude and let's not mess about here, real bravery, had gone. How wonderful! I had got through it! I had defeated a determined enemy! The sun was shining to congratulate me on a battle well fought, and it was saying to me, "It's a beautiful day for a long walk with Sadie the German Shepherd. It was going to be fantastic day. The sun was shining on me! I began preparing for the day ahead. Then it got even better! Yes I know. I couldn't believe it either.

The phone rang. I was going to ignore it, because as much as I love talking to my friends in India, I didn't really feel like buying anything and sometimes they can go on a bit. But hold on a minute! That isn't the landline phone ringing, that is my mobile. So I answered it.

"Hi John," said the sexiest voice I have ever heard ever, in my entire long life, "It's Samantha. Isn't it a beautiful day?"

Unfortunately I had just bitten off a slice of toast, and I was so excited to hear her lovely voice that I started choking on it. Then I dropped the toast and it landed in the cat's water bowl, as I bent to pick it up I bashed my head on the open fridge door, and as I was getting up again I hit the back of my head on the worktop, dropped the toast again and then had to quickly cover it with my foot because Sadie the German Shepherd tried to eat it, but instead she bit my toe, and then I skidded on the buttery toast and accidentally did the splits! Which was quite painful, and I think something in the lower region got stretched a bit!

"Oh hi Sam," I squeaked, as Sadie licked the remnants of toast from my foot.

"Are you feeling better John? Has that nasty man flu gone? You sound a bit breathless."

"Yes it has gone Sam," I told her proudly, " I have defeated it."

"Oh you clever handsome boy," she purred. "Well done. I was wondering if you would like to go for a walk, as it is such a lovely day?"

So that's what we did. Me and Sam and Sadie the German Shepherd and Ned the Border Collie, we all went for a walk in the woods and on the South downs. It was great! We walked for hours, and you would not have thought for one moment that I had spent the last fortnight in the grip of man flu.

Of course Samantha is absolutely besotted with me. Which I can understand. I mean I am extremely attractive to women. It is something I have had to live with all my life. We all have our crosses to bear, and being blessed with good looks and a perfectly proportioned physique is mine. I have had to tell her to be patient and not to rush me.

 Oh and by the way. She said that if I say anything in this blog that isn't the absolute truth, then I must make it absolutely clear that I am joking. I wonder what she meant by that?

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

A Proud Moment In History, And The School Playground.

Not being the type of bloke who blows his own trumpet, it might surprise you to learn that in the year of our Lord 1954 I was appointed to the position of milk monitor at my school. I say appointed, what I should say is elected. Yes it's true. I was actually voted into this esteemed position by my peers.

There were three candidates, but one of them was swiftly ruled out because she was a girl. This was nothing to do with sexism however. Believe it or not sexism didn't even exist in those days. No she was ruled out when it was discovered that she did not have the strength to lift the milk crates onto the trolley to transport said crates from the main school gate to the door beside the gymnasium.

It wasn't a gymnasium really. I don't know why I said that. It was the main assembly hall. Although we did do PE lessons in there. In fact we never used the word gymnasium. It was a word I never heard until I went up to the big school some years later. Where we had three gymnasiums. Amazing. Actually everybody called them gyms. I thought for a long time that the word was Jims. Life can be very confusing for a youngster. I remember using the term brown new, instead of brand new. Did it for years til one day someone pointed out to me that I was wrong. This was a bit of a relief to be honest. I had up until then been terribly confused that my black school shoes could be brown new. Kids eh!

Where was I? Oh yes the girl candidate wasn't strong enough. So it was just me and Guts Braithwaite left in the running. Guts was the school bully. As far as I can recall we only had one bully for the whole school. You have to realise that this was just after the second world war, and school bullies were in short supply.
His chosen method of getting kids to vote for him was to threaten to punch their heads in if they didn't vote for him. This method was very effective when it came to the boys, but unfortunately for Guts, and as you can imagine, I was already a bit of a heart throb amongst the girls, due to my smouldering good looks, and after bestowing a lot of kisses I was well ahead in the polls.

Guts Braithwaite knew that he didn't stand a chance against an opponent as handsome and charismatic as me, and so he did the only thing he could do. He threatened to punch my head in if I didn't let him win.
As bullies often do, Guts had developed a legitimate way of bullying just prior to his threat towards me. He thought it was very clever, but because as well as being very attractive to look at I was also extremely intelligent, I soon saw a way to deal with him.

What Guts had started doing, was to challenge the smaller kids to punch him. Now little kids are not good punchers and they always did the same thing. They would always throw a left or right hook, and Guts would just duck his head to avoid it. Whereupon he was perfectly within his rights to punch the hapless kid back.
When he stood in front of me threatening to punch my head in, he made the mistake of offering me the opportunity to punch him. The chance was too good to miss. I swung a left hook, and as he ducked to avoid it I caught him a fantastic uppercut right on his nose. It made him sit down a bit sharpish and he was still holding his bloody nose and crying when Miss Miles the teacher came over to see what all the cheering was about.

I had to write out five hundred times, 'I must not fight in the playground'. Mr King tried to get me to join the boxing club that he ran in town. I declined his offer though, because I remembered the pain in my hand when I hit Guts's nose. Excruciating!

I won the election by a landslide victory. Guts Braithwaite got a few votes, but only from his hangers on.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

No Sympathy.

Come on John boy, buck yourself up! It's just a cold for heavens sake! Yes you feel bad, I realise that. But to lie about all day feeling sorry for yourself is doing you no good at all. Get a grip man! NO! Not there! That's half the trouble. You will never get your strength back doing that!

All you have done for the last week is bemoan your lot. Oh I'm so poorly. You are pathetic John. You really are. Oh I can't take the dog for a walk. It's raining. It might make my man flu worse. I might get wet.
You are wet! You pathetic wimp! It isn't man flu. Man flu doesn't exist. You have got a slight cold! Get over it.

All I could manage was a couple of spoonfuls of chicken soup. I have lost so much weight this week because of this terrible flu. You bloody liar Bain! What about that roast dinner you had on Sunday? What about that steak you had on Saturday. You were strong enough to eat that! You haven't lost weight, you have put weight on, you fat lardy layabout.

You wretched excuse for a man! Get out there and do some work instead of feeling sorry for yourself. Just thank God you don't have a real illness to contend with you big girls blouse. Get up now before I give your arse a bloody good kicking!

Oh hi everyone. Sorry about that. I was just giving myself a good talking to.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Skype And Things.

Tomorrow I am going out to buy a webcam and a microphone, because I am now signed up to Skype. I would like to talk to you if you have Skype. I don't know what I want to talk about really. Just general stuff about what you are up too and what I'm doing. If you fancy having a go at it please let me know.

Sometimes it can be difficult knowing what to say, or talk about. I realise this fact, so I think it would be a good idea to keep conversations quite short. That way there shouldn't be too many awkward silences. It might be a good idea to put a 15 minute limit on it. Unless of course we are chatting away like old friends.

I have had one go at it, but I didn't have a camera. We had a nice conversation though. It was interesting being able to see the other person. I am still at the stage of being amazed by the internet.

This flu is still hanging on. I go to bed hoping it will be gone in the morning but it doesn't want to leave yet. I have got a date soon. It had better be gone by then!

Catherine (Tricia's daughter) is back from Rwanda, The car crash was far worse than we imagined, The vehicle a minibus actually rolled over at speed. They couldn't get out and had to be rescued by people from a nearby village. Fuel leaking all over the place. Thank God they were near a village.

Miraculously no one was badly hurt in the crash. Maybe if you are on the Lord's work he takes care of you. Although why He would let the accident happen in the first place, is a mystery to me!

Catherine kept the fact that she had a near brush with death, a secret. Just as well. Tricia would have been even more of a nervous wreck, than she already was. It wouldn't have done my nerves much good either.

Another early night for me tonight. Hope this flu is gone tomorrow.

Good night, God bless.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Sex Education In The 1950's.

Me and Alan Deacon are walking to school one day in 1958. We are eleven years old and have just started at the 'big' school. Blimey it is big too! Two thousand pupils. All boys. I don't like it. The junior school I was at last, only had a hundred or so kids.

Alan and me walk up the long hill to the school backwards. We walk backwards because we like to look at the girls who go past on their bikes. On a good day, with a strong wind in the right direction, we get to see lots of stocking tops. Sometimes one or the other of us will say that we saw a bit more than that. But it is mostly wishful thinking.

In the 50's kids never had sex education at school. Most of what us boys knew, or thought we knew about sex was garnered from playground conversations with boys who didn't know anything either. Or if we were lucky we might somehow get hold of what we called dirty magazines. These were heavily censored. Pornography, and having pornography was a serious offence, and carried heavy penalties, so we very rarely got to see anything really horrible. What we would see were the so called art photos of nude women. You could see tits and bottoms, but the bit we really wanted to see, what we called the hairy bit, or the fanny,  was always hidden or erased so that it was just a smudge. This was really annoying and only served to make us even more curious about what it looked like.

Of course there were always some boys who liked to make out that they knew all about sex. I'm naming no names here. But I always tried my best to answer Alan's questions. He was very naive about the subject.

"Ere Bain?"


"You know when you do it to a girl?"

"Yeah course I do."

"Ow d'you get it in?"

"Easy. You just push it in."

"Yeah but 'ow d'you get it in before the spunk comes out?"


"Before the spunk comes out? Ow'd you get it in? I mean you'd 'ave to be really quick wouldn't you?"

"Deacon! You 'ave to put it in first, and then spunk."

"Yeah but 'ow can you rub your nob when it's inside?"

"You just have to wobble your bum up and down, and then it 'appens."

"'Ow long does it take?"

"If you are good at it it only takes a few seconds, but if you ain't done it much it takes a lot longer I think. Anyway you won't be able to get spunk til you're twelve"

"I know but I will be twelve in three months, so I need to practice a bit. Manley can spunk and 'es not twelve."

"Manley's a bleedin' liar. Boys can't spunk til they are twelve."

"What about the girl? What does she do if it takes ages?"

"I dunno really. I s'pose if they get bored they read a book or something."

"Ere Bain?"


"'Ave you ever seen a girl's regina?"

"Yeah, loads of times."

"Where d'you see 'em?"

"At Sunday school."

"'Ow many reginas have you seen?"

"About four, and they ain't called reginas."

"My bruvver told me that's what their proper name is, reginas."

"No they are called fannies. Reginas is something to do with the Queen I think."

"So the Queen is the only one who is allowed to call her fanny a regina?"

"I think so. And her servants and the Duke of Edinburgh."

Deacon puts on a posh voice and pretends to be the Duke of Edinburgh, "I say Your Majesty. May I 'ave a butchers at your regina?" We both start laughing fit to burst, and keep on walking backwards hoping for a glimpse of the elusive 'airy bit.

"Ere Bain?"


"What Sunday School d'you go to?"

butchers: butchers hook. Cockney rhyming slang. It means, look.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Warning! Do Not Read Tomorrow's Blogpost

Twenty three minutes past midnight. I spent a lot of the day in bed. This morning I did manage to get up, and drove to the shops for groceries. Mainly dog and cat food. Then I went back to bed. Then I got up. Then I went to bed. Then I got up. Then back to bed.

Once when I got up I went and kicked a football for Sadie the German Shepherd to chase, but I wasn't really up to it. Poor Sadie. Later I looked out of the window to see her lying down looking thoroughly miserable. I took this photo through the window. Look at her. I have never seen her looking so sad and heavy. I feel guilty. She hasn't had a walk for two days. But I just haven't been able to summon up the enthusiasm. I shall make it up to her tomorrow/today.
I know the window needs cleaning, but I don't have a wife!

I will go and do some work too. I am laying a patio. Heavy work, but it might do me good. And when it's done I shall be finally able to pay off my overdraft. Thank goodness!

Thank you all for your caring concern about my health. I am feeling much better now thank you. Not entirely well. I would still appreciate a bit more sympathy.

Because I have been in bed a lot I have been doing a lot of thinking about my life. Tomorrows blog post I should warn you is about sex. It is a discussion I had with my friend Alan, as we were walking to school one morning when we were eleven years old, and it is about how to do 'it' with a woman. I'm giving this warning just in case it becomes a bit graphic. I wouldn't want to offend anyone.

Actually now that I have warned you about it, I don't suppose anyone will read it. Oh well, you can't win them all. I might as well not bother!

Monday, 12 November 2012

Man Flu Has Me In It's Virulent Grip!

I am feeling poorly. Proper poorly. I have spent most of today in bed feeling sorry for myself. With good reason too. What this is, is man flu. The worst kind. It started off as a slight sore throat two days ago (I am such a martyr. It was actually a horribly painful sore throat, but I'm not one to complain) and rapidly developed into the killer man flu.

Too be honest, I don't know where I am getting the strength from to write this. But I take my responsibilities regarding you my loyal friends very seriously. So with the help of a walking frame, have forced myself out of bed and sat myself here.

Obviously not much has happened today. I have almost got through four rolls of kitchen paper due to a severe runny nose. I shall take a photograph of the piles of snotty tissue later, when I am not so weak. This has been an opportunity to test out something I heard about recently. Did you know that each nostril takes it in turn to be runny? I have proved this theory, and can now categorically state that each nostril runs separately for a period of four hours.Give or take a few minutes. The left pile of snotty tissues is exactly the same height as the right pile. Isn't that remarkable? So there you are, even when I am at death's door I am able to expand your knowledge!

I tried to read a book today, but it was too heavy for me to pick up. Tricia did buy me a newspaper but it was also too heavy. My arms are just not up to heavy lifting at the moment. So I just flipped gently through the pages, not really bothering to read. For all I know the world could have ended today.

The man from Sky TV came to fit the satellite dish down at the house. I haven't been down to see the new TV. My legs are far too weak to make those fifty yards. Usually when there is a strange man in the house I make sure I'm there too. Just in case he attempts to seduce Tricia and the two of them run away together. Not to worry though, I just phoned down to the house and Tricia is still there. Mind you it pays to be aware of what might happen.

Now then, what I don't want is all you lady readers rushing round here and taking care of me. I have beaten this man flu before, and I shall do so again. Heaven forbid that you ladies should contract this virulent and wicked contagion.

I must go now while I still have enough strength left to suck some thin gruel through a straw.

In the event that I am taken to glory by this: Please no flowers!

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Money For Old Rope.

"I wish I was a politician."

"No you don't John. That is silly talk. Why on earth would you want that?"

"So that I could get paid thousands for talking through my backside."

"That is very cynical John. Some politicians talk a lot of sense."

"Name one of them please."

"OK then. Challenge accepted. Number one, er.....erm... Oh"

"Come on. I haven't got all day. Just one that's all. Just one."

"Er...Er...I can't think at the moment. It's too short notice."

"So you cannot bring to mind one politician who talks sense.?"

"Not right now. Give me time."

"I think I have proved my point."

"You do talk a lot of nonsense John."


Friday, 9 November 2012

Mechanical Glitches.

What a week it has been. Thank God it's Friday. Maybe next week will not be so eventful.

It started with Tricia losing her car keys on the beach. Never did find them. Had to get the car taken to a dealership twelve miles away to get a new key reprogrammed. What a carry on. We managed to get the car there on Wednesday (why is it spelled Wednesday? Surely it should be WedENSday? That's how I say it anyway). Doesn't matter. I am tired tonight. To be honest with you, I'm having a bit of a job keeping the impetus to write this going. The AA came back and took the car. The AA are wonderful. I have been a member for years. Mostly they are not needed, but when they are they don't let you down. I recommend them.
It's all the late nights and early mornings tiring me out. Early mornings because I have been getting extremely handsome son George off to the station. Normally Tricia deals with that but her car has been out of action because she lost the keys. Did I mention that?
Yes so the garage have had her car since WedNESday. But couldn't sort the key business out because, wait for it! It was booked in for Friday and they can't possibly change the time. What useless bl... Calm down John boy, calm down.
It is back now. Seventy five quid! For a key! Someone is taking the mickey! Seventy five bleedin' quid! Stone the crows! They're 'aving a laugh ain't they? Oh well, what can you do? Not a lot. They got us punters over a bleedin' barrel. How d'you spell barrel? It don't look right to me. S'pose I shall have to look it up. I can't be bothered. Too tired. Did it with the spell check thingy. I spelt it first with two l's.

The television in the house hasn't worked for three weeks. It's on a contract. Comes over the internet via a hub. I don't understand it. Nobody in the family does. But it doesn't work. They put a new box in. It worked long enough for the engineer to get out of the house then it stopped working again. A week later, after many phone calls to the service centre in India _ bleedin' INDIA! Can you Adam and Eve it? Another bloke came. He didn't look Indian. He said it needs a new aerial. Two hundred and fifty quid! Stone me! Do they think we are made of money? Tricia gets fed up and cancels the contract with them. Soon as she cancels it, the tele starts working again! Amazing. Turns out there is nothing wrong with the aerial. Nearly spent two hundred and fifty quid for no reason. Anyway the man from Sky television is coming on Monday. Fantastic! All those sports channels. Yeah!

The washing machine broke down today. That's on a contract too. A replacement coming on Tuesday (why don't they spell it Chewsday?) beats me. The washine machine bloke says that for an extra five quid a month they can also supply a widescreen TV. It's a special offer. Tricia went for it. I shall be getting the old TV for my wagon. I ain't had a TV for ages. It ain't really old only bought it a few months ago. But you know what I mean. I'm saying ain't. That shows how tired I am. I have been working hard this week, laying paving slabs. Making a patio.

Catherine has gone off to Rwanda. It's in Africa somewhere. Lots of genocide there some years ago. I wouldn't fancy it personally. I think I must have a phobia about people waving machetes about. Catherine? She is Tricia's daughter. EHS Georges half sister. Anyway we, me and Tricia didn't want her to go. Too bleedin' dangerous. Catherine is only little. She is twenty seven now but still little. It's a Christian thing. She is quite religious. Anyway she has gone with the church. I think her church sponsors a village over there. Take care we told her. Tricia was really concerned. Guess what happened? A text message from Catherine. "I have been in a car crash. Everybody is all right, Don't worry." Of course Tricia does worry. She is a bit of a nervous wreck, wondering what is going to go wrong next. We have since confirmed that everyone in the car crash is OK. But it is a worry Catherine being out there in Rwanda. She is only little. Did I tell you that?

Emma Springfield from Nature Center Magazine, left me a comment during the week. Mercury is in retrograde, she wrote. Means mechanical glitches of all sorts. Blimey Emma, you weren't kidding. Not that I believe in all that astrological nonsense. Typical Leo, that's me!

It is half past midnight. Time for bed. Goodnight, God bless.

Have a great weekend

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Interrupted By A Lady.

Maybe I should review my decision to do songs in one take. I think I could have done better. I did practice a bit first, but apart from the chorus I didn't know the rest of the words. I suppose what I'm doing is just sharing a few relaxing minutes with you, my friends.

But anyway I think it's fun to do it 'warts and all' as they say. At least that is what they say here in England. I don't know about elsewhere in the world. I shall practice it more and add it to my repertoire.

I apologise for the text message noise. It was only the woman from the shop. Do you remember? I told you I practiced my chatting up a woman technique? Well I asked her again. This time it worked. There is a knack to it. I obviously still have it. She sent me a text to say she would go on a date with me.

No seriously. She did. Honest. I will show you the message if you don't believe me. I'm not joking. Really it's true. I got a date! Yes I know. I find it difficult to believe myself. She said I was the most attractive and charismatic man she had ever met. OK she didn't say that exactly. In fact she didn't say it at all. I made that bit up. But she probably thinks that! She will be so excited right now thinking about me. I bet she is counting the days. Me? I just take it all in my stride. Although I might buy some new underwear, just in case! Come to think of it I expect she will be buying some too. Not for me! For herself. Just in case!

Oh, and I shall have to get rid of the dog smell in my car. Maybe shampoo the seats. Or better still we could go in her car. That way I shall be able to get drunk and make a complete fool of myself, for a change.

This song I'm singing, I first heard in the 60's. I was in the Shipping Federation office waiting to sign on to a new ship. Somewhere in the back of the office, out of sight, a man was singing this song. He sang it so beautifully. I have never forgotten that brief moment in my life. It is called Roses of Picardy. I believe it dates from the time of the first world war.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Life's A Beach.

It all began, as these things so often do, with a text message, and as usual with emergencies it came just as I was sitting down to eat. One word it was, 'help'. It was from Tricia, my extremely handsome son George's mother. I used to know her quite well.

Thinking she was in dire straights, and extremely concerned for her welfare, I immediately dashed straight round to her house after I had finished my late breakfast, bacon, scrambled eggs, sausages, black pudding tomatoes, baked beans, and fried bread, with two slices of thickly buttered toast and three mugs of tea.

After such a big breakfast I naturally had to have a bit of a lie down to recover. As I was lying there, my tummy full and feeling slightly gaseous, the phone rang. It was Tricia. "Did you get my text message?" She asked me.

"I am on my way," I said, "If you would stop bombarding me with text messages, I would have been there by now."

"I only sent one text," she said.

By this time I was at the back door of her house, and went in. "You are not here." I said.


"At the house."

"I am at the beach," she said. "I have been walking the dogs."

"Why didn't you say?"

"I am telling you now. That is why I rang."

"Why do you need help?"

"I lost my car keys."

So I drive down to the beach and there is Tricia looking unhappy and forlorn, with her three little terriers looking happy and lorn. Seeing her like that I of course went into caring and concerned mode. "Why can't you be more bleedin' careful, you silly cow?" This little entreaty cheered her up immensely, as I knew it would.

We then spent the next couple of hours retracing her steps, fruitlessly searching three miles of sand and shingle for her keys. It was a task made even more hopeless by the fact that the tide was now coming in rapidly, and covering the areas she had walked.

There is a spare key but it is in the glove compartment inside the securely locked vehicle. Utilising all the skills garnered from my mispent youth, I then try to break into the car. All to no avail. I wasn't any good at it as a youth either. But I like to pretend I know these tricks.

The AA man was called. He opened the car in less than two minutes, and joy of joy, Tricia found the spare key, put it in the ignition and started the car. Hooray! At last. Success.

The engine cut out. The AA man looked at the key and informed us that it hadn't been programmed with the identity number of the car. So although it would start the car it would immobilise it if she tried to drive away. So the spare key was totally flipping useless. What is the point of a spare key that hasn't been programmed. Apparently it should have been done when the car was new. About fifteen years ago.

I am fed up with this tale now. Here is a short version: Car keys lost. Can't afford locksmith. Leave car at beach overnight. Look for keys again this morning. No luck. Arrange to get new key. Not available til Friday. Phone AA they will take car to garage on trailer. Get car back Friday afternoon. Sorted. The AA is a wonderful organisation. We have family membership, which works out very cheaply indeed. Good on you AA!

Of course there are lots of little dramas associated with lost car keys. Tricia has to get to work. Be places, do shopping etc. I offer her the use of my car, but she won't drive it 'cos it is too big. Women eh! So I have been driving her around and picking her up when needed. I am an absolute saint at times.

By the way I didn't really call her a silly cow, or tell her to be more bleedin' careful. I wouldn't talk to Tricia like that. It would be more than my life's worth. I only wrote that to make the story a bit livelier. I do tend to get carried away sometimes. I never spent ages having a huge breakfast either. I don't know why I say these things. Something to do with story telling perhaps?

Now the bleedin' TV aerial isn't working. No signal. I offered to get on the roof and install a new aerial, but luckily they are going to install Sky TV instead. It works off a satellite dish, and it's installed free!

Monday, 5 November 2012

All You Want To Know About Art And Artists.

My young friend and his lovely girlfriend called round. They wanted me to do one of my pen and ink portraits of them together. They were actually prepared to sit while I did it, which was nice. Unusual too these days. Most people nowadays want me to work from photographs. Nobody seems to have time to sit for an artist. It's all rush, rush , rush. I don't understand it, having never been one for rushing around. The strange thing is that if you ask someone why they are rushing, most of them don't know. Rushing is just something they do.

So it was nice, chatting away to the pair of them as I sketched away. It was going well. I was pleased with it and thought they would be too. This bloke I know came in while I was working, and started talking about art and artists. He kept on saying, "You probably won't know this artists work," or, "I don't suppose you know the painting by ...."

The thing is I knew every artist and every painting he mentioned. This is unusual for me. Normally when someone mentions an art fact I'm not familiar with, I usually pretend I am and tend to nod sagely, with an, of course I do smile, not wanting to admit to any lack of knowledge about my work. But this bloke, well I knew it all, and was even able to expound knowledgeably on each subject.

Eventually he took himself off. I expect he was thinking what a bloody know all I am. Or words to that effect!

The portrait of the young couple was almost completed, when I woke up! It had all been a dream. I had fallen asleep in the chair beside the fire.

This was so annoying. It was actually the best portrait I had ever done. And all that knowledge I came out with. I could have written a thesis. It was all just a lot of rubbish.

I shall put the picture here for you to see how good it is. OH...! Hang on a minute...!

Saturday, 3 November 2012

A German Officer.

I'm in bed. Alone. Apart from Bonnie the ginger cat. She purrs in her sleep you know.  I got into bed early tonight at about nine o'clock. I tried to write earlier at the other computer, but blimey it is cold tonight, and I couldn't hardly feel my hands.Then I remembered this laptop and so here I am in bed. Snug as a bug in a rug. I have got a hot water bottle in with me. It is marvellous. I have had it a while now. I bought it when I realised the dating agency were not going to supply me with a hot woman.

Apparently what these dating agencies expect you to do is go out with women. Wine 'em and dine 'em, and find out if you are compatible. I tried it a few times, but I can't be doing with all that, hence the hot water bottle. OK it's an expensive one, but at least I know it's coming to bed with me and won't want it's feet massaged!

I have been trying to put a picture on here for ages but I cannot work out how to do it, so you are just going to have to take my word for it that I was talking to a Gestapo soldier today. In full uniform he was too. I thought he was in fancy dress or on his way to or from an historical enactment. Naturally I had to find out, so I went and said hallo to him. It turns out that he thinks he is a genuine Gestapo officer, and the uniform is his everyday wear. I got the impression that he might be a bit deluded. He did allow me to take his photo but he maintained a very stern expression all the time. After I realised he thought he was a real soldier I thought it best not to ask too many questions just in case he thought I was an English spy. Those Gestapo had a habit of shooting spies on sight. Oh I wish I could put the photo on here. I am going to have another try. I'll be back.

Half an hour later. Sorry I can't do it. I shall have to ask Steve to come and show me tomorrow. It's a shame
I can't do it. All I want to do is transfer the photo from my camera to here but it won't *%$"* work!

Oh well, perhaps it's a good thing. Maybe he is a genuine Gestapo officer? Perhaps it's better if I don't show him. I expect you are all thinking I am a complete bleedin' idiot. What has he been taking? He has completely lost his marbles!

That's it for now then. Not much happened today. I did meet a Gestapo officer in town, but I don't suppose you will believe me.

Right I have had enough of this. Why didn't I think of this before? I am going to brave the cold and go back onto the other computer. Right don't look for a minute, I need to get out of bed, and I am naked from the waist down. Luckily Bonnie the ginger cat is still asleep. I wouldn't want her traumatised! Here I go. Back in a couple of minutes hopefully. Cor blimey it's cold. It's OK you can look now they have disappeared in this cold anyway.

Here he is. See I told you so. At least he is wearing a poppy!

That's it I'm going back to bed. The things I do for this blog!

G.g.g.g.g.goodnight all. G.g.g.g.god bless!