Monday, 24 September 2018


Tesco, one of the leading UK supermarkets, has just opened the first of a new chain of discount stores called Jack's.

The idea, I believe, is to compete with Aldi and Lidl.

I am pleased to see that 80% of all products sold at Jack's will be 'British', and I have a feeling that this will prove extremely popular with their shoppers.

In a post-Brexit Britain we will need a lot more Jack's, and a lot less Aldi and Lidl.

Well done Tesco (OK, I'm a shareholder).

Tree trunks.

Along with my regular wood piles I also had a few hefty Oak tree trunks lying around, that have been awaiting some enthusiasm.

The one in the foreground that I'd just cut in two, weighed almost as much as a Mini, and I was obliged to use various winching methods just to release it from the ground where it'd been lying for the past few years.

This one (above) weighed more like a London bus, and took a lot of shifting. 

So, as the weather was perfect, and most other outdoor work has drawn to a halt, I decided that now was the moment to tackle the beasts.

There were three very heavy tree-trunks in all, that when processed will provide logs for at least a couple of weeks.

Not to be sniffed at; although lugging sawing and splitting in 31 C heat was possibly a bit foolish. Thank goodness for the pool.

Sunday, 23 September 2018

C of E (Labour Party; Canterbury Branch). A Sunday Special.

Much has been written about this man in recent times, but he warrants more.

Justin Welby is a bit of a fire-brand. The Eton and Trinity educated, ex-oil executive cleric, has recently become quite self-righteously outspoken.

He has become an open critic of the tax affairs of Amazon; forgetting that his own business (of which he's the boss) invests very heavily in the on-line company.

In my short Stock Exchange career, the company for whom I worked (as a blue button, trainee broker) was one of about four who held accounts for The Church of England Commissioners. They held HUGE portfolios, and traded vast amounts almost daily. We, as their minions, were sworn to secrecy about their trading. No mention was allowed of any deals; upon pain of death. It was taken very seriously. They were, and are, very astute investors!

The church itself pays no tax, employs people on 'zero hours contracts', and places its vast wealth where they hope it will bring the greatest returns; they are classic Capitalists. I have nothing against all that, but to then spout Socialist nonsense about others who do the same is just plain hypocrisy.

Addressing a Trades Union meeting about how nasty the system is, may bring you applause from a gathering of Marxists, but for the rest of us it simply makes him look like just another cleric who should concentrate more on his 'gods and devils' rather than economics.

Of course we should ALL criticise those huge international companies who avoid paying their fair-share of tax, but we should make sure that our own house is in order first!

p.s. The Arch-hypocrite of Canterbury has also just evicted some Syrian refugees from his palace. The family of two adults and their four small school-age children have been 'discretely moved' to another, less fashionable, part of London. Hmmmm.

Saturday, 22 September 2018


Lady M: "Cro, can you give me a hand setting the combination lock on my new flight case?"

Cro: "OK, but you know what I'm like with hi-tech wizardry".

Lady M: "In which case you'd better look at the instructions".

Cro: "Looks easy enough".

At this point Cro sets required secret number, fiddles with small plastic bits, turns keys, and sits back, satisfied with a job well done. 

Then, of course, the bloody thing won't re-open. We try everything, but it's locked solid, and the new combination numbers refuse to accept that they have any relationship to the wretched suitcase whatsoever. It's a bloody disaster. We stare at it in disbelief.

Cro: "I think I've got the answer. The Irish screwdriver".

Lady M: "If you must!".

A hefty blow to the lock with a heavy bolster, and it flies open. We both cheer. I saw off the locking device, paint any scuffed bits with black paint, and return it to Lady M who is perfectly satisfied that it now locks simply with a key; and no stupid combination number to worry about.

It's what any experienced airport baggage handler would have done whilst no-one was looking!

Friday, 21 September 2018

Lamb & Potatoes with Lemon.

This is my own version of Rick Stein's very typical Mediterranean dish (as in title). Some might call it a poor man's Greek Kleftiko.

Ingredients: Red/green Peppers, Potatoes, Breast of Lamb, preserved Lemon, Oregano, Rosemary, Garlic, Olive oil, and salt. One hour in oven 200C. Cost, about €5/£5; feeds 4.

OK, the food stylist was absent when I took the second photo, but it's the taste that counts. This was simply delicious. And people say they can't cook!!! Child's play.

I shall be eating the leftovers for my breakfast!

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Shock; horror!

I never imagined for one moment that I would ever agree with anything proposed by Labour's Shadow Chancellor John Mcdonnell (above), but I have been proved wrong. On this occasion his wisdom is unparalleled.

He's declared that when (if) Corbyn is replaced as leader of The Labour Party, it should be by a woman.

Of course it should Johnny, and I have just the person. Yes; the fragrant, and highly capable, Diane Abbott; of course!

This would make a seamless transfer of roles, from Shadow Home Secretary to Leader of her party.

She's PERFECT for the job. She has my vote!

Wednesday, 19 September 2018


We're losing a well-loved nearby neighbour.

He's sold his kennel, packed his Pedigree biscuits and chews, and is heading for foreign fields.

Ever since he started travelling, he's had itchy paws. Now he's decided to take his bed, his tennis ball, his brush, and his two pets (Sue and Paul), and is heading for England, and pastures new.

I know he'll miss his native S W France, the weather, and the Chestnut woods, but he's exchanging all that for an exciting new life in Lincolnshire (that's just above the roundish sticking-out bit on the right hand side of England).

So, goodbye Rick. It was good knowing you; if all too briefly.

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