Sunday 30 October 2022

Iranians knock turbans off clerics' heads

I'm not normally someone who would support uprisings or revolution, but this is an interesting development, the Iranian citizens are at last fighting back against their evil rulers. So many ordinary Iranians against so few Mullahs; numbers are certainly on their side, and it looks as if a regime change is on the books.

A regime run by clerics (who represent a religion which says it's OK to kill women who don't wear their hijabs correctly) deserves everything coming to them. 

I see revolution in the air. Bring back the Shah!

Saturday 29 October 2022

Everything comes in tins.

I would never normally buy such a thing as tinned Houmous, but in these times of austerity, and threats of power loss, etc, I thought it might be a good idea to see if this was any good. It is Turkish made, so my expectations were high.

In fact it was quite a revelation. The texture was perfect, and the flavour excellent. It had a very slight nutty taste which I expect was the greater sesame content. All in all it was excellent; and I really wasn't expecting to say that.

Once extracted from its can, I bathed it slightly in Olive Oil, and sprinkled it with Sumac; it needed nothing more. 

I don't know if I could recommend all canned varieties, but if you can find this one (Sofra), I would happily suggest a few for the store cupboard.

Friday 28 October 2022

Life with Billy.

When you own a dog, he or she becomes an integral part of your life; not unlike children.

They force you to live a structured life, to go for walks at regular times, to feed them at the same time each day (or they become ratty), and to go through all sorts of quirky rituals that they insist upon. Dogs like an organised life, it makes them feel secure.

Billy is a popular boy. People shout "Hello Billy" as they pass by, school children shout it in unison, and he can hardly walk 20 yards without being stroked by friends and strangers alike.

Border Collies are both instantly recognisable, and well loved. They are a breed that brings a smile to people's faces. It must be the 'One man and his dog' effect.

Billy certainly has 'character'. He has rituals that have to be honoured every day. At lunch and dinner he comes to me and gently touches his cold nose on my arm, just to say "I need to be fed now". It's not that I'd forgotten, it's just a way of allowing him to take a certain amount of control over his life.

Just look at that face, who couldn't love a boy like Billy!

Thursday 27 October 2022

Almost my Favourite Church.

This (below) is the belltower belonging to the church at the end of my road in Brighton. It's a lovely old flint-and-stone-built church with a few very nice features.

Every Sunday morning at 10am they ring the bells. The door at the bottom is left open, and I sit on that sloping gravestone on the right with Billy, and we listen to the changes. They usually continue for about 20 mins.

I believe there are 8 bells; the huge tenor bell having the inscription 'Pray for our children, pray for our sailors, pray for our town'.

At the opposite end of the church is this 'corner' (below) which appeals to me as an ex-stone-cutter. It is the sort of work I used to do myself. Nothing fancy, just jobbing work.

I note that some of the stones have been replaced, and very nicely done too. Stone cutting is very satisfying work. I've only done basic openings, lintels for fireplaces, faux medieval windows, etc, but seeing one's work in situ after many years is always a pleasure. In this case both the Flushwork and Proudwork are beautifully done. One can still see the repairs, but they'll soon mellow.

p.s. Flushwork are the cut stones that sit flush with the flint, and Proudwork is that which projects in front of the flint. Both are illustrated above.

Wednesday 26 October 2022

Autumn on a small scale.

This, sadly, is not chez nous, but at Kimbo's house. The Virginia Creeper that tumbles down in front of his back wall has been spectacular this year, and in its autumn colours is even better. 

Like most patios behind Brighton's Victorian terraces, it is very small; just big enough for a BBQ and about 6 diners. It has a lovely jungle atmosphere, and is home to a large colony of Sparrows, as well as a few Pigeons. 

Cats, of course, come and go as they please, and possibly the occasional Fox as well.

Soon will come the worst season of the year, when the temperature drops and there are no leaves on the trees. People will take to drink and beat their wives and children, whilst others will end up in Bedlam.

Luckily those who can avoid such catastrophe will be rewarded next Spring with re-growth and warmth.

It's worth waiting for.


Tuesday 25 October 2022

Mushy Peas

I was buying a few tinned vegs recently when I saw the item below. A can of Sainsbury's 'British chip-shop-style Mushy Peas'.

I had never before eaten 'Mushy Peas'. I was always told that they were illegal south of Watford; so I was intrigued. What is this northern delicacy, I wondered? 

Fridays are the one day of the week when I take a rest from gourmet cooking. We usually eat from the freezer. Fish (usually fingers), chips, and peas. It's easy, cheap, and we both pretend to enjoy it. 

So, taking the example from the can illustration (above), last Friday we ate fish-n-chips, but with Mushy Peas.

Actually they were quite nice; in fact very nice. We were both somewhat surprised. They did have a rather strange luminous colour, but it didn't seem to affect the flavour. I simply re-heated them with a splash of white wine, and S & P.

I shall definitely buy these again, I have an idea that they might also make an interesting Dhal. I shall experiment. 

I'm always prepared to try something once, and often once is enough; but not in this case. I have already added 2 tins to my next week's shopping list. 

Have you eaten Mushy Peas?

Monday 24 October 2022

The West Wing.

We are about to embark on a total restoration project of the West Wing. The work is long overdue, and we have searched-out and engaged a team of specialist workers to complete the task.

The building, although vernacular, is not 'listed' so no complicated permissions were required, nor have we consulted the authorities on the use of classic colours, or choice of materials.

The roof will come off, and a new sympathetic one installed. Regarding the interior, the original surface of the walls will be carefully preserved and restored to the original 1960's splendour if deemed necessary. The delightful 60-year-old patina of the oil-stained floor will of course remain untouched. Any endangered wildlife living within, or on, the building will remain undisturbed.

N.B. Throughout the project, if any 'Just Stop Oil' protesters should glue themselves to anywhere near where work is in progress, they will respectfully be left in situ and covered with a heavy tarpaulin. In their own best interests no Police will be called-in, and their right to peaceful protest will be respected (for up to one month).

Sunday 23 October 2022

What a shame!

I pass by this classic K6 phone box at least four times a day; it sits outside the 'Peace Garden' where I take Billy for his walks.

It's no longer been an active phone box for quite some while, but its beauty has been retained.

It very recently underwent a total exterior restoration, it was properly rubbed-down, the cracked panes of glass replaced, and finished with the standard letter box red with gold crown. It looked splendid. The interior now has some electrical gubbins inside, but no phone. The door is locked. I don't know what purpose it now offers, but it does something or other.

Sadly some Squiggle-merchants have just made a total mess of it. After only a few days of being beautiful, it now looks like something you'd find in parts of Brighton where I would never venture.

What a terrible shame. Totally pointless vandalism. These effing people need a bloody good punch in the mouth. Honestly, WHAT IS THE POINT?

When the police do their night-time 'Stop and Searches', anyone found with spray cans in their rucksacks should face instant prosecution; no matter what their excuses.


Saturday 22 October 2022

Enraged motorists drag Just Stop Oil demonstrators from roads.

If you are going out in your car, either just shopping or rushing to a hospital, you can no longer expect to use the roads. These little darlings don't want you to have a car, to drive, or even go anywhere if it involves the use of fossil fuels.

They want you to walk everywhere, to eat tofu, and to call them 'they'. They also want a tiny minority to decide what statues are in our streets, who teaches or studies in our universities and colleges, and what restaurants are allowed to offer their clients. They also think they have the right to demand that we all do exactly what they want us to do.

It's interesting that Just Stop Oil vandals have targeted a top end car showroom in Park Lane, and a well-known store in Knightsbridge, amongst others. Could this be a political 'class war' rather than anything to do with oil products? Are these little darlings simply showing their hatred of anything they see as 'privileged'? Are they all (heaven forbid) Socialists?

Why do these folk not demonstrate at night? Are they afraid of being given a good old-fashioned thumping away from the prying eyes of the police who they all hate so much?

Oh, and by the way; that orange spray oil paint that you used contains OIL. Naughty naughty!

N.B. I noticed recently that a group of German 'Stop Oil protesters' glued themselves to the floor of the VW factory. The factory's response was to turn off the lights and heating and leave them where they were in the dark. The little darlings complained that they didn't have any form of 'lavatory', nor could they order any food. I believe they were told to "Fu*k off"; well done VW. 

I wonder if they're still there?

Friday 21 October 2022

Hi Di Hi.

It's been a tad blustery today, and at least one 'happy camper' will return to find his home gone. I just saw it tumbling down the hill towards Dover. 

No-one really minds if people pitch their tents somewhere discrete. They tend to be reasonably well behaved and are not the usual aggressive druggies that one sees wandering the streets at night and fighting.

I wonder if he ever got his tent back? After I took this photo it was already down by that white car.

Spreading the word.

Spreading the global 'Get yourself vaccinated' message takes many forms. Here is one such from down-under. 

We go for our second Booster shots on Sunday, and frankly the NHS's handling of the vaccination programme hasn't been that different from this nice lady's translation. It's been a nightmare. 

Stay proper strong one!

Thursday 20 October 2022

4 Favourite contemporary painters


During the second year of my degree course I started to paint very 'loose' pictures. Most were based on conflict or tragedy, and contained very little recognisable composition, or signs of skill.

I suppose they were partly influenced by Hockney's and Kitai's early RCA paintings, but not in a sense of imagery. It was the fluidity and unhindered approach to image that appealed; those who know DH's Typhoo Tea paintings will understand what I mean. After years of restriction being stuck in front of life figures, the freedom that they offered was intoxicating.  

One major exponent of this attitude towards work is Peter Saul (above). When I first saw his work I was completely enthralled. We're talking of late 60's or early 70's, before the internet had been invented, and before instant reference to artist's work was possible. One saw bits and pieces of his work only rarely. 

Joyce Pensato (above) is another painter who follows the same ideals. She paints what she wants, how she wants, and probably when she wants. The joyful liberty in her work is very refreshing.

Then we come to the wonderful Rose Wylie (above). Wylie takes the concept to even higher levels, and her often very large childish images slap you in the face with their outrageous spontaneity, and apparent lack of skill or study. I would love to own some.

Lastly we come to Cply (William N Copley) who's often disturbing work is difficult to ignore. 

There will always be those who say 'My 4 year old child could have done that', and now that they've been shown how to, maybe they could. But it always takes someone to lead the way.

I don't expect many to like these works, but personally I find them as important as Impressionism or Expressionism. And they all make me feel HAPPY.   

Wednesday 19 October 2022

Where have all the Foxes gone?


Last year I saw Foxes all the time. I found one sleeping on the doorstep, Billy met one behind the house and they just stood looking at each other for a while, and I saw another wandering about on the roof of the nearby Primary School. Otherwise, if I looked out of the front window at night, more often than not I'd see one or two sauntering about. They were as common as Seagulls or Pigeons.

However, this year it's very different. I've seen a couple, but nothing like last year, and I'm wondering if the Green/Labour Council haven't been carrying out some surreptitious poisoning programme. I'm sure they wouldn't voluntarily have left Brighton en masse, to try their luck elsewhere.

I don't really have a view about urban Foxes. Towns and cities have become as much their homes as ours. I wasn't so keen on them in France when one killed all my 15 Hens during a night of carnage, but here they just tidy-up left-over McBurgers or Kebabs that even the local drunks wouldn't eat.

In fact I think there's something quite healthy about wild Foxes roaming the streets at night; no doubt people in Alaska think much the same about Polar Bears.

p.s. The other thing I've noticed that's missing this year are Milkmen on their electric floats. I fear they may now be a thing of the past.

Tuesday 18 October 2022

Where do you eat?

In a recent Waitrose magazine, they published the results of a survey of people's eating habits. To me some of the results were quite worrying.

Since having children (and before) I have always insisted on two things, firstly we ALWAYS eat together around a table, and secondly that when the children were smaller they always had a bedtime story.

In the article it claimed that 31% of Brits never sit at a chair around either a kitchen or dining table.

59% said they always, or often, eat in front of a 'screen'.

39% said their room of preference for eating was the living room, or home office.

Londoners, it seems, love to eat their breakfast in bed. Over half of those questioned said they did this up to four times a week.

And finally, the over 55's are twice as likely to eat at a dining table every day than 18–34-year-olds.

I am pleased to say that I eat three meals each day at a dining table. The table is correctly laid with the right glasses, pukka cloth serviettes, and decent cutlery. We don't watch TV; we converse. All meals are made from scratch.

Above, Kimbo (always at my right hand) was hot-foot back from Agadir, so we had lots to catch-up on. I offered a simple roast Sunday Lunch. Champagne (2), Montepulciano (2), and a bought M & S Tiramisu for dessert. Just as it should be.

I cannot imagine eating with a plate on my lap whilst watching Coronation Street. No, that's not for me!


Monday 17 October 2022

Soupe de Laitue.


Lettuce has a bad press. It is often described as Rabbit food, and possibly rightly so. It's not surprising that people don't really care for it, as it generally arrives limp and swamped in some ghastly acidic dressing. It doesn't make itself loved.  

Back in France, Lettuce is often used in soup, and takes on an enticing flavour once cooked; not unlike Apricots, certain Tomatoes, and Mushrooms that all improve with cooking. These days I see that double packs of freshly cut Romaine Lettuces are sold in almost every store.

It's these Romaine Lettuces that work best in soup. Cut in half lengthways and simmered in a good broth, they take on not only a pleasant texture, but also a haunting flavour that lingers. A splash of Soy Sauce goes well if required.

As Autumn digs-in its heels, we have abandoned our lunchtime salads, and soup has become our lunch of preference. It will remain so until Spring. 

So, if you've got a Lettuce hanging around at the back of your cupboard or fridge, try it in your soup. You might be surprised. I now buy mine exclusively for soups.

Sunday 16 October 2022

Getting old, and Looking old.


In the past I have refused to believe that I look old, but I suppose I now have to admit that I do. At nearer to 80 than to 70 it isn't surprising that I stumble around, and that bits occasionally fall off.

However, yesterday I experienced two age-related 'firsts'.

I was in a 'queue of two' waiting to pay for some Lamb I'd bought at my favourite Brighton shop 'Taj'.

When the woman in front of me had paid for her few purchases, she turned to me and asked if she could also pay for mine. I was quite shocked, and in my best cut-glass voice I thanked her, but declined her kind offer. Maybe she had just won the lottery and was feeling bountiful, but I suspect she thought I was some penniless elderly tramp.

After I had done a little more shopping over the road at Waitrose, I mounted the homeward bus. On entering the jam-packed double decker, a nice young lady offered me her seat, which I tried to decline, but she insisted. Just as I was about to sit down I noticed two 'elderly' women coming down the bus towards me, so I offered my as yet unoccupied seat to them. They refused, so I was the one who eventually travelled in comfort.

Maybe I have to accept that such things will now happen on a regular basis; my Sciatica won't complain. But I hope it'll still be me who gives up a seat on the bus, and if necessary pays someone else's supermarket tab.

Saturday 15 October 2022

Soup and Sackings

This is what England has become. Angry brainwashed children causing chaos wherever they go, and with no discernible legal system to 'punish' them.

However, I'm pleased to see they used Heinz Tomato Soup, and not some cheap brand from Aldi or Lidl. It's good to see that they can afford a better-quality product!

Meanwhile elsewhere, The Post Office are to sack 10,000 workers by next Summer as a result of their continued industrial action, which has caused an overall loss of £350 Million. Sounds like the Coal Miners all over again, keep on striking until there's nothing left.

In politics we have recently lost three of our 'big-hitters'. Boris, Rishi, and Kwasi. We are now left with Truss and Hunt; not the greatest prospect, even if they are both very able. Proof I suppose that yet again we should all listen to Hilaire Belloc's wise advice "Always keep a-hold of Nurse, for fear of finding something worse".

Friday 14 October 2022

Things seen yesterday, whilst walking with Billy in the park.

Autumn is beginning to show itself. I shall soon have to think about catching a falling leaf, which I do every year for good luck (?).

These are the berries from the tree above.

I placed this small round stone on top of the gravestone about this time last year. I'm amazed to see that it's still there. It's right beside where people walk too!

Fallen leaves, they're just the start.

This rather nice central flower planter always has a few colourful blooms. It is a simple focal point, and serves an important role in the garden. 

Someone has been camping at the far end of the park for several weeks. The two bits of paper on the 'door' inform the occupant that he is camping illegally, and that his tent will be taken down and destroyed if he doesn't move it sharpish! He doesn't seem to be taking much notice.


Thursday 13 October 2022

Invisible mending.

You may remember that some while ago I posted this picture below. The roots of the huge Elm tree behind the wall had dislodged a number of bricks and the coping.

At the time I was worried that it wouldn't be mended as quickly as one would have liked, allowing some ne'er-do-wells to use the fallen bricks to break car or house windows. Luckily this didn't happen. 

Well, I'm very happy to report that the wall has now been mended, and looks as good as new (old).

Well done those brickies, and well done to the church big-wigs who ordered the repair.

The wall is still wonky, it respects the tree's wishes, and it looks right grand (Yorkshire accent)!

Doppelganger No 47¾


Italy's hairy-armed Mussolini (above).

And England's fun-loving fashion icon Mick Lynch.

They could almost be identical twins!

Wednesday 12 October 2022

Animal Rebellion protesters pour milk over Selfridges floor.

These little darlings get more and more ridiculous, pathetic, and out of hand, by the day.

The staff in the major London stores, where such acts of vandalism are taking place, are instructed NOT to intervene. They simply have to stand-by and watch until internal store security, or the police, arrive.

The 'darlings' aim is to convince the government to promote plant-based food, and force UK citizens to follow a vegan way of life.

This type of violence only makes people turn against them. Like the silly girl tipping liquid excrement over the recently erected statue of a 100 year old, fund-raiser, military hero. Certain protests are guaranteed to have the opposite effect to that which was desired.

If you wish to promote a vegan life-style, open a restaurant, start a shop, offer free vegan soup to the needy. Don't pour milk all over the floor at Harrods, Fortnum's, or Selfridges. 

It is childish, and wasteful. I do wish they'd grow up!

p.s. The little darling with the beard, Stephen Bone, is now facing prosecution for causing £100,000 worth of damage at Fortnum's. Will he pay-up? Of course not. Will he receive a prison sentence? Of course not. This is England after all.

Tuesday 11 October 2022

Old Boy Dinners.


Every year I receive an invitation to the Autumn Old Boys Dinner. They are quite fancy affairs, reasonably expensive, but with first-class catering and always a distinguished speaker; often an Old Boy. Their location changes from year to year.

For many years I haven't been able to attend because I've been abroad. Now that I tend to be in the UK at the time of the Autumn Dinner, I don't really have the inclination to attend. There are fewer and fewer OE's of my era and I probably wouldn't know anyone.

This one (above) was dated 1909, and was held at a swanky London Hotel. Note no women present, and they all look pretty well turned-out.

This more recent one (below) was held just a couple of days ago in the school's own Dining hall, which was created from a huge medieval Tythe Barn.  Plenty of women in this one, some maybe Alumni, others possibly wives.


It's always a Black Tie event, and I believe they are very 'jolly' affairs. It would be fun to go, but I think I shall resist. These days I'd rather stay at home and dine with a few close friends and be nearer to my cosy bed. 

Anyway, I no longer own a dinner jacket.

Monday 10 October 2022

Lost and Found.

Those squeezed nozzle bits for the Dyson (other makes are available) are always getting lost. I can't tell you how much time I've spent looking for them, often getting quite excited when one is discovered, only to find that it's from a different model, and doesn't fit.

Back in France we have about 5 Vacuum cleaners, different styles for different uses, etc. So the possibility of losing the bits is always present. Here in England, we only have 2 machines (I think), and with the house being so small, they cannot hide quite so easily. 

However, I'm pleased to say that I'm not alone is losing these bits and pieces. The super-efficient Kimbo also has the same problems. The whereabouts of the flattened nozzle for his Dyson (other makes are available), has been causing concern for some while. But I'm very pleased to see that he has now found it.

It was in CASABLANCA, at the bottom of his suitcase. He's currently touring Maroc.

Sunday 9 October 2022

Our Bijou Home.

A little guided tour around our tiny home. It's small but has everything we require (other than a decent sized garden), I would like a mini veg' patch. By the way, I didn't tidy-up.

Looking out from our sitting room window.

The very basic kitchen.

Dining area and handkerchief sized patio. Billy lives under the table.

Lady M's sofa.

My sofa.

Upstairs are two bedrooms and a bathroom. That's it, you don't get much more bijou than that!


Saturday 8 October 2022

Cold and Famine?

I'm beginning to take all the 'doom and gloom' merchants reasonably seriously! Lady M keeps asking me to buy candles, and talks of buying a high value '10.5 tog' duvet. I think 'austerity' is on its way.

We've both now had our Flu' jabs, and are thinking of our more basic material comforts. Food, warmth, light, water supply, etc, for the upcoming 'Winter of discontent'.

I always keep a reasonable supply of food in the cupboards (there's another storage cupboard outside), and the freezer is usually quite well stocked.

I suppose I really ought to start buying all those things that people usually 'hoard', loo rolls, bottled water, wine, etc. It wouldn't hurt to have 10 cans of baby Tomatoes, plenty of Sardines, Beans, Pasta, Rice, Pickles, Ketchup, etc. We usually have plenty of bread in the freezer, as well as Beef mince, Pork chops, Chickens, and my favourite breast of Lamb. 

I think I might also buy an industrial pack of Maynards Wine Gums.

Talk of turning off our electricity supply for several hours a day is worrying, but not enough for us to throw ourselves off Beachy Head. More worrying would be a lack of water or gas. 

To save money on expensive warmth we could always do what many OAP's already do; travel around all day on a warm bus using our free bus-pass, or sit in the cosy library pretending to read a book. Back at home a bowl of hot gruel before bed, and a thick duvet would complete the day.

I haven't yet seen supermarket trollies piled high with loo rolls, but I quite expect I soon will. Maybe I will even join them! Today is my shopping day, so perhaps I'll begin my panic buying very soon.


Friday 7 October 2022

A la Soupe!

I'm sure I've mentioned previously that in France 'lunch' is generally known as 'La Soupe'; basically, because that's what it is.

In my neck of the French woods, soup means one of two types, one with bread and the other with Vermicelli. Both start life much the same.

A decent amount of crushed or sliced Garlic is sauteed in duck fat, Chicken stock added, and the seasoning adjusted to taste. If making the bread version, thick slices of good stale country bread are laid on top and cooked for a short while. The soup is then left until required, when it would be reheated. The bread becomes gelatinous and delicious, don't try it with Mother's Pride!

If making the Vermicelli version, the soup is prepared as above, then left until lunchtime when the Vermicelli is added about 5 mins before serving. Both soups are delicious and are standard fare chez Cro. The amount of Vermicelli added is a matter of taste.

As with most things I like to have a good selection of pastas, so my Vermicelli comes from France, Turkey, and (thanks to Kimbo) Pakistan (above). All is good, and all is used for roughly the same purpose, although the Pakistani version does have a sweet recipe on the pack, which I wouldn't try!

I remember in Shropshire back in the 80's, my mother was off to visit our local deli, so I asked her to buy some Vermicelli; she returned with a bag of thin chocolate worms. Not what I was after.


Thursday 6 October 2022

Nothing's new.

The young militant woke LGBT brigade seem to think they are avant-garde trendsetters, and that the rest of the world needs to wake up to their radical new, never seen before, life-styles.

Well let me point them to April Ashley (below). Ms Ashley was born in 1935, and had reassignment surgery in Morocco in 1960. She soon became a much sought-after model but after having been maliciously 'outed' as having had a sex change, much of her work stopped. She had been photographed by David Bailey amongst others.

She was a good friend of Dali's muse Amanda Lear, and claims that they worked together in drag bars in Paris during the late 50's. Ms Lear has always claimed (and still does) that she was born female, but evidence proves otherwise.

April became big news in the early 60's. Her story was new, such 'things' were not common knowledge back in those dark days. I do remember the headlines, but I don't remember any criticism or anti sex-change banter. It simply was what it was.

She later received an MBE for 'services to transgender equality'. Good for her!


Wednesday 5 October 2022



On Monday morning at around 7.30 am, I heard an ENORMOUS crash/explosion whilst walking with Billy. I asked a fellow dog-walker what she thought it was, but we were as baffled as each other.

Later in the day I learned that it was a dustcart that had overturned just down from the park, about 50 yards away, but out of our sight. It had been travelling downhill and turned right just where the camber of the road was against him. The inevitable happened; I imagine he was going a tad too quickly. The dustcart landed on its side and was eventually righted by a huge crane. Below is the slightly crumpled result. It looks considerably less damaged than I would have imagined.

Later that day I had a short chat with a dustman who empties the (dog poo) bins in the park. He's such a nice guy, and is very conscientious. He assured me that the driver of the dustcart was OK.

On the way to the park on Tuesday morning (the next day) I noticed a lot of rubbish in the twitten behind our garages, and made a mental note that if I could find a plastic bag I would tidy it on my way home.  Luckily I did find an escapee bag and filled it with several beer bottles and cans as well as some clear plastic containers and a few small gas canisters. Some bin men with a machine not unlike the one above had been watching what I'd been doing, and applauded me. 

How nice of them; it made my day!   

Tuesday 4 October 2022

What makes you mad?

This is the night-time view from the balcony outside the large window in our Brighton bedroom. All very dark, and quiet, other than one building.

I'm not sure who owns the building, but it's been lit-up like this EVERY SINGLE NIGHT since we first moved here, at least 20 years ago. The building is unoccupied at night.

In these days of austerity, we try to use as little electricity as possible, as I'm sure do most people.

So, I can only imagine that this building is Council owned, as they are the only people that I can think of who couldn't give a shit care less how much of other people's money they waste. I think I mentioned previously that we have a 'Green Minority Control' Council, with a heavy presence of Labour. A classic case of 'Tax-n-Spend'.

We don't get much for our very high Brighton house taxes, but we do get plenty of weeds growing on our pavements, as well as lots of totally useless lighting.

I'm not 100% certain that it's Council owned, but I shall certainly be making enquiries. If I'm proved right I shall be having words with our so-called 'GREEN' Council; who act more like a murky brown sludge coloured council. Hypocrites.


Monday 3 October 2022

A Brief Encounter.

"Are you from North of the Border?" he asked.

"No, I'm very much a Southern boy" I replied.

"I only ask because I see you've bought Haggis and Black pudding" he continued. 

He was about my age, white haired and had a big pleasant smile.

"It was the last Haggis on the shelf, so I thought I'd better buy it whilst the going was good" I said laughing. 

"There'll be plenty more" said the check-out lady. "The shelf might already be filled again" she said optimistically.

"How do you eat it?" asked the old gentleman.

"I expect the Scots would have me hanged for it, but I cut 1cm slices (it comes in a thick tube) and fry for a short while" I replied. "None of the neaps-n-tatties for me I'm afraid, I'm a rebel"

"Is it good?" he asked.

"For a commercial product it's OK. There are other ones that I prefer, but M & S is my nearest supplier, so when the urge is there I buy wherever I can".

I paid my bill, wished him a good day, and returned home for my Sunday breakfast (above). What a very pleasant couple of minutes at a check-out desk.


Sunday 2 October 2022

Here we go again.

In these financially difficult times, what the country needs LEAST is being brought to a standstill by a bunch of junior layabout anarchists (The Corbyn brothers et al).

Ill-advised groups such as 'Just Stop Oil', CND, and 'Insulate Britain', have joined forces with the usual rabble, including ASLEF RMT and the Corbyn Bros, to attempt to bring central London to a standstill (as one does).

They were moaning about low wages, the cost of living, and the climate crisis, and this was how they hoped to solve it.

However, I'm not sure how disrupting life in London will help with the cost of living, nor am I sure how it would tackle the climate crisis. Perhaps they know something that the great majority of the world's population don't. Also, how pouring a bucket of mixed human faeces/urine over Sir Tom Moore's new memorial will help their cause is anyone's guess!

What I do know however, is that if either Jeremy or his conspiracy theorist brother Piers Corbyn are leading some silly march, then it's bound to be nonsensical and/or illogical. 

N.B. Just as a matter of interest, the marching lovies might like to know that a standard 42 Gallon barrel of crude oil creates not only about 20 Gallons of petrol, but a 22 Gallon residue that goes towards products as diverse as car tyres, deodorant, paint, insect repellent, guitar strings, telephones, golf balls, and even heart valves. Let them tell me that they never use any of these. The hypocrites!

Oh, and by the way Jeremy; that big plastic banner you're holding is an oil by-product. Tut tut!

It kinda makes their silly marching look rather uninformed and irresponsible.


Saturday 1 October 2022

The new car.


She has finally been delivered. The new 'Compact Royce' has landed, and I've never seen a car as spotlessly clean.

I've stuck with my old favourite manufacturer, as (for me) having a French made car is the wise option. Our previous car was described by Jeremy Clarkson as 'An OAP's shopping car'; which is exactly what I wanted. This one is simply a newer model. As an 'Estate' she has plenty of room, and as we always have the back seats permanently down, it leaves an even bigger usable space. 


She does about 50 MPG, and will reach 120 MPH if encouraged. She also has gangster-tinted windows and a sliding roof. She even beeps if I'm about to hit someone whilst travelling at speed in reverse. At the same time she does NOT have too many confusing buttons, knobs, etc; although it'll take me a while to discover exactly what's what. 


She has travelled very few miles, the annual insurance costs just under £270, and Road Tax is £165. We don't have Road Tax in France, but with the combined costs it isn't much above what I was paying overall in France per annum. Of course, here in the UK we have an MOT test every year, whereas in France it was once every two years.

I will have to get used to right-hand-drive again. I haven't driven one for about 50 years.  I've also noticed that the petrol filler cap is now on the other side.

Aesthetically she is very pleasing, she is comfortable, and drives perfectly. All in all I'm very happy, and I just pray that I'll stay that way. I really don't want to have to buy another one.

Lady M has given me a good talking-to about keeping the inside clean; the last one was like a farmyard.

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