Thursday, 16 August 2018

Me and Monsieur B.

Yesterday I visited my mechanic.

I was bloody angry, I'd managed to hit a lump of concrete with the underneath of the Compact Royce, and she was making a very nasty growling noise.

Monsieur B told me to come at 9.30 am; I arrived at 9.00. With his Heath-Robinson ageing contraption he lifted her into the air, and together we looked at the spot which was causing the trouble. Where the manifold meets the exhaust system, it had been severely bashed and come slightly apart.

He dismantled the two pipes, and made his prognosis. He would have to heat it, and bash it. We pulled the oxy/acetylene kit into position beneath the engine, and lit up. Once the piece of bent metal was red hot, I held the flaming torch as he bashed the offending joint with a hammer until it was roughly back to its original shape, put it all back together again, and Voila; the growl had gone.

Mechanics like Monsieur B are fast disappearing, in fact he is officially retired. He still does bits for me because we are old friends. Had I gone to a pukka Peugeot garage, they would have sold me a whole new expensive manifold system, at a very hefty price. As it was I crossed Monsieur B's palm with €30, and stayed-on for an extra half hour's chat.

Whilst there he told me that he had bought a Peugeot like mine, and was converting it to run on Ethanol (I think). With a cheap (€250) adaptor, he would then run the car for half the price of petrol. I said I'd pop in to see him in a month's time to see how it was going.

Young car owners of the future will never know the likes of Monsieur B; a dying breed.

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Happy Holidays.

Come and spend your summer holidays in beautiful Périgord!

The jewel in the crown of French holiday destinations, with its stunning countryside, envious gastronomy, and exquisite vernacular architecture.

Explore ancient caves, and magnificent chateaux, or go wine tasting in the numerous world-famous vineyards. 

Stay in a tiny hamlet where the centuries old houses are gathered together in cosy communities. Experience the calm and beauty of life in the slow lane. Visit the magnificent medieval towns of Monpazier, Sarlat, and St Cirq Lapopie.

Book your Shipping Container Holiday NOW!

go to: 

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Me, Boris, them.

I know this post will be received with shouts of "Racist", but I couldn't give a Monkey's.

Boris recently defended those Muslim women who wish to wear clothing that he claimed made them look like Letter boxes or Bank robbers. I would not have been so kind.

Forget the Letter boxes nonsense, etc, it's the covering of one's face in public that worries most of us. It makes people anxious, frightens children, and whatever they say, it looks to me like the worst type of third-world female repression.

Whilst at it, I would also ban the wearing of hoodies and all types of face masks, and I would ban those ugly white smiling masks that Anarchists wear when rioting; as well as the Niqab of course.

I have nothing against people wearing such clothing in the privacy of their own homes, but NOT when in public. If Niqab wearers wish to demonstrate devotion to their faith; do it at home or in a mosque, but keep the garb packed away whilst in the bank, at the airport, or on the High Street.

We need to see people's faces, it's an important part of being 'human'; even motorcyclists are asked to remove their helmets when buying petrol, and do so willingly.

The left tried to make Boris's outburst into a party-political matter, but I believe that these concerns cover all political colours. Personally I cannot see this as being anything more than social concern.

If these Niqab wearing women really think of themselves as being so desirable that men would die in the rush for even a glance, then they are mistaken. Of course men like to see a pretty face (I certainly do), but we are mostly blessed with self control. If on the other hand they think it's just Muslim men who cannot control themselves; then their problem is 'internal'.

Monday, 13 August 2018

Character in précis form.


I was amused recently when someone was describing a friend of hers as 'a bitter, and sour-faced old hag'.

"I think I know exactly who you're talking about" I said; and I was spot-on!

It doesn't take many words to describe some of our better known 'celebs'. I'm sure you'll know instantly who I'm talking about below.

Etonian, Bullingdon, buffoon.

Gilded, combover, clown.

Marxist, anti semitic, windbag.

Wee Kranky; the Caledonian.

Fat boy.

The Russian Rambo. I could go on....

We live in an age of such celebrity, when certain people are also simply known by their given names. Donald, Boris, OJ, Amy, Jools, Oprah, etc. There must be thousands of Donalds in the world, but we only think of one (other than the Duck).

As for me, I'm that 'balding, bearded, hermit'.

And you.......?

Saturday, 11 August 2018

What All Girls (9-13ish) Need.

Following on from my similar posting about Boys, here are my recommendations for Girls.


Firstly Girls need a good education. Preferably in a convent.

Where they need to learn the folly of covering themselves with tattoos (the girl above obviously didn't attend a convent).

They need to stand in front of a mirror, and shout 'NO' until they can say it with real authority. This will prove essential in later life.

Having personally been seduced by a pretty girl who could cook a wonderful Estofat de Boeuf and a Tarte Tatin, I will be a tad sexist and suggest that they also need to learn how to cook (as do boys)! 

Otherwise they need to learn a second (minimum) language, to ride a horse, to pluck a chicken, give orders to a maid, to avoid learning shorthand, to draw, to speak without using the word 'like', to look elegant in gumboots, to use make-up invisibly, and be kind to animals.

They also need a caring father, preferably several big strong brothers, and a 'best friend'.

I think that's about it.

I despair.

I was quite surprised to find these two plastic wrapped packs of three sponges, inside an outer plastic wrapper for six; but more than anything, I was very disappointed.

These six sponges needn't have anything more around them other than a small strip of paper, just to hold them together. To wrap them in so much plastic, especially in these more aware times, is frankly irresponsible.

One really would think that manufacturers would make some effort to keep up with public opinion, but alas.....

The one exterior wrapper I might have accepted as necessary. How loud does one have to shout?

Friday, 10 August 2018


It is well known that there is a close genetic similarity (DNA) between Yeast and Human beings, albeit from a common ancestry that dates back over a billion years.

Therefore, I'm wondering how Marmite can claim to be 100% Vegetarian.

Aren't we eating a product made from our own distant ancestors?

What could be LESS Veggie than that!

Thursday, 9 August 2018

More space needed.

We've had several minor mishaps this summer, one of which was having Rory (our ride-on mower) throwing off his drive belt.

We can't risk being without a mower, we have plenty to mow, and different grass areas require different mowers.

We have an ordinary motor-mower for the lawn in front of the house, and (now) 2 ride-ons for the other areas.

Rory had started to show his age and had been complaining by throwing off his main drive belt. He's now had a total service, and is back to A1 condition, but we thought it time to find him a younger brother.

So here is 'The Red One' (as yet unnamed) who we hope will cope with the job. He has a big rear bag for collecting all the cuttings; Rory just chucks it out at the side. 

They seem to be getting on OK. Only time will tell.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Klaus Nomi - Lightning Strikes

Nomi always reminds me of Oskar Schlemmer's 'Ballet Triadique' designs; which is where I expect he got his inspiration. He doesn't make me think of much else.

Enjoy; if you can. I shall.

Tuesday, 7 August 2018


Lady Magnon is very partial to ice cold Cranberry juice; especially at this time of year.

We are told that Cranberry is a 'Superfruit', and this particular Company (Pressade) also claims that their product contains no added sugars (a bonus).

But being an inveterate reader of 'ingredients', I had a butchers at the back of her recent purchase, and found the following...

Apple juice 52.1%
Cranberry juice 16.4%
White grape juice 15.6%
Water and Elderberry juice 1.2%
plus some natural aromas, and Vitamin C.

Now, I don't know about you (or even the EC Trades description folk), but to me that is APPLE JUICE; not Cranberry juice. Surely if a product contains more than 50% of a certain product, then it should be named after that product. Otherwise the law is an ass.

This is APPLE JUICE with a small amount of Cranberry flavouring!

If a sausage contains over 50% Pork, and just 15% Poodle, could you honestly call it a 'Poodle Sausage'?


Sunday, 5 August 2018

Birthday boy.


August 5th is my late father's birthday. He would have been 113 today.

He was a good man, and he deserves to be remembered. Many, many, people benefited from his generosity.

So, Happy Birthday Papa. x

Saturday, 4 August 2018

Compost Fry-up.

August is not only my bottling month, it's also the month when we return to eating 'Compost Fry-up'.

Last night's (not the above; my last night's photo was rubbish) comprised of Potatoes, Beans, Long Peppers, Aubergines, Peppers, and a few baby Tomatoes.

I cook the Potatoes and Beans beforehand, then the rest is chopped and fried in Olive Oil and Garlic Butter, with the Potatoes and Beans added later. Just before it looks well cooked I add a teaspoon or so of ground Cumin; and that's it.

I'm no saintly Vegetarian, but I could eat this several times a week. It was so good!

Friday, 3 August 2018

Summer Croquet.

We don't play Croquet as much as we used to. Maybe we're not as good at cheating as we were.

Back in the day, we'd have serious Summer competitions with medals, prizes, and championship titles.

Above in 1993, the teams comprised of two boys (The Wimpos), two mothers (The Mumblers), and two fathers (The Grand Cru). The Grand Cru won The Cup; of course.

It's a frustrating game (especially here), with tantrums, outrageous cheating, and losers who do nothing but complain.

The Croquet Lawn is ready, but whether or not it'll get any use this year is still being debated. I don't know how we'd get the hoops in the rock-hard ground anyway.

Thursday, 2 August 2018

Trelawnyd Male Voice Choir-Bring Him Home

Someone says he's going to leave all this. I don't believe him.

If you wish to sing along, the lyrics are below. You might also hear JG in the background. Tissues at the ready.

God on high
Hear my prayer
In my need
You have always been there

He is young
He's afraid
Let him rest
Heaven blessed.
Bring him home
Bring him home
Bring him home.

He's like the son I might have known
If God had granted me a son.
The summers die
One by one
How soon they fly
On and on
And I am old
And will be gone.

Bring him peace
Bring him joy
He is young
He is only a boy

You can take
You can give
Let him be
Let him live
If I die, let me die
Let him live
Bring him home
Bring him home
Bring him home.

Wednesday, 1 August 2018


Happy Lammas!

It's that time of year again. There's a surfeit of vegetables at Haddock's, and it all needs attention. The first thing to make is Ratatouille.

Now, this is NOT the classic way of making 'Rat', but let me assure you that you really wouldn't know the difference.

I chop-up all my Toms, Peppers, Aubergines, and Courgettes, into 1-2 cm pieces, season a bit, and cook down until all is softened. 

I fill 500 gm jars, fix the capsules and lids, then sterilise for an hour.

Take out, tighten lids, and leave to cool. The following morning I take off the lids, clean and dry the capsules, and write on them what is inside (checking that the capsules are firmly sealed).

It's a simple process; one that I shall be repeating several times over the next few weeks.

Life without home-bottled 'Rat' in the winter would be unthinkable. These were simply the first six jars; plenty more to do!

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