Sunday 21 April 2024

Patricia Preece.


Lady M went to Lewes recently to see an exhibition, which included works by Patricia Preece.

Most of us will know of Preece as the second wife of Stanley Spencer. She was his 'muse', and he painted several pictures of her (one below). They married in 1937.

As with many members of the Bloomsbury Group, her love-life was complicated. Preece was what used to be called 'a shirt and tie job'; but what we would now call a member of the LGBTQ community.


After her marriage to Spencer, Preece and her lover Dorothy Hepworth went on 'honeymoon' together, to St Ives, whist Spencer himself stayed at home; bizarre. During their time away, Spencer's first wife, Hilda Carline, visited him, and he attempted to establish a three way marriage. When Preece returned home she learned of his infidelity, and refused to have anything more to do with him; other than to fleece him of all his money. Just another everyday story of life amongst Bloomsbury folk.

I have always known about the family's strange arrangements, but what I didn't know was that most of the paintings attributed to Preece were in fact painted by Hepworth, onto which Preece would put her signature.

This photo (above) shows Dorothy Hepworth with Patricia Preece and Stanley Spencer on their wedding day; Preece in an Ascot style hat, and Spencer with what looks like a sodden dish-cloth on his head. I also note that he didn't bother to polish his shoes for the wedding.

A strange bunch.


Saturday 20 April 2024

Some nearby sights


Brighton isn't just The Royal Pavilion, The Lanes, and The Pier, just outside of Brighton, on the other side of The Downs, are all sorts of treasures, including The Long Man of Wilmington, a beautiful chalk carved image of a man with two long poles (below). 

There is the lovely small town of Lewes (our county town) famous for its annual Nov 5th bonfire, there is Charleston Farmhouse (the country home of Bloomsbury), and Glorious Goodwood (motor and horse racing, etc).


All Brits want to believe that they live in the very best corner of the UK, but here we make no such claims. Even our Sussex made cheeses (as Belloc tells us) are simply called 'Cheese'.

For Horse lovers we have Brighton racecourse, and Hickstead the world-wide home of Jumping, etc. For other sports fans we have Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club, Sussex County Cricket Club, and even a Greyhound racing arena in Hove.

Antiques aficionados will know of The Repair Shop which is filmed here, and we have the biggest Roman villa in Europe at Fishbourne.

There are castles galore, plenty of stately homes to visit, and some really spectacular landscapes. 

And I mustn't forget all those wonderful little pubs hidden away in tiny villages. Try The Shepherd and Dog at Fulking. Perfect.

So, I can hear you asking, is there any down side to living in Sussex? Well, yes, I'm afraid there is! We have a pair of numpties who claim to be the Duke and Duchess of this lovely county of ours. They don't live here, they weren't born here, and, I'm not certain, but I don't think they've even visited here. They were simply given their titles as a gift, without any consultation of the genuine citizens of Sussex. Lady M and I are more worthy of the titles than they are, and even we aren't worthy of them!

 

Friday 19 April 2024

Demos.



Weekends in Brighton means the obligatory demonstration or two. They're usually pretty poorly attended, with lot of repetitive shouting and drumming, with the little darlings standing on the corner of some main street, to an audience of zero.

What do we want?

Free money!

When do we want it?

NOW!

Of course at the moment there are pro-Hamas demos, train drivers demos, pro-soup and anti-paintings demos, anarchy demo's, and good old lets lie down in the road demos.  

What do we want?

Anarchy!

When do we want it?

When we can no longer vote for it!

I've only attended one demo in my life and that was when I was a student; I can't even remember what we were demonstrating about. We all went up to town by coach, then when we arrived close to Westminster Abbey, a Communist Party member was handing out irrelevant political placards to everybody as they left the bus. Some fellow students took hold of them without even looking; I told the Commie to get lost. We decided at once that the demonstration had been hijacked, so we went to The Tate instead.

What do we want?

Can't remember!

When do we want it? 

Gawd only knows!

 

Thursday 18 April 2024

A Male Identifying As Female Dominates Girls In A 200 m race.


Don't bother watching this video for more than 30 seconds. Those first 30 seconds tells you everything about how ridiculous the current 'trans' sports regulations have become.

OK, many sports are taking action against congenital males taking part in female sports, but it still happens, and this trans-woman is a perfect example.

His/her name is Aayden Gallagher, and he/she has the cheek to enter into female athletics sports. It doesn't take a sports expert to see that this is just plain stupid.

I know I've been going-on about this for years, but it really should have been stopped by now.

Simply get a trans-male (i.e. female to male) to enter into an all-male athletic race, and you'll soon see how silly it is! 



Wednesday 17 April 2024

Duffy - Warwick Avenue


Whatever happened to Duffy? I haven't heard her name mentioned for years.

I liked her voice, and most of her songs were good. I particularly like this one because it reminds me of my time spent in London, regularly moving from flat to flat; not a care in the world. It obviously meant a lot to her too as she actually begins to cry as she sings.

In case you don't know where Warwick Ave is, it's in a part of London known for bed-sits, and an ever changing young-ish population. It's also affordable. You'll find it between Maida Vale and Paddington; central, but not too up-market.


p.s. I have now looked on Wiki to see what happened to Duffy. It was all pretty horrendous, involving a nasty kidnapping, and other strange events. I believe she has since become something of a recluse. Poor girl.
 

Tuesday 16 April 2024

Mr. Natural Does The Dishes


Sometimes, no always, I feel just like Mr Natural. In this house I like to wash dishes by hand, whereas Lady M uses the washing-up machine (which I have no idea how to operate).

Here is my favourite cartoonist of all time, Robert Crumb, illustrating perfectly how both Mr Natural and I go about things.

Monday 15 April 2024

Restorative Breakfast.



As regular readers may already know, I have a strange relationship with 'breakfast'. I eat alone at 5 am, and my choice of dishes goes from Squid in ink, to fried egg and haggis, to Octopus in garlic flavoured oil. It is the one meal of the day where my choice seems endless, often strange, but always very personal.

I have two favourite 'morning-after' breakfasts, if I'm in France it's a litre bottle of ice cold Orangina, and if in the UK it's anchovies on toast.

I haven't really had a serious 'morning-after' feeling for decades, but I do occasionally wake feeling in need of a pick-me-up, and both the Orangina and the anchovies do the job for that too.

Yesterday morning I felt a bit listless; a bit tired, and there was only one thing for it; a couple of slices of buttered wholemeal toast with a mini jar of anchovies. You can instantly feel them lifting the spirits.


Anchovies are interesting little fish. As with most of what we eat, quality goes from bog-standard to heavenly. I always think it's worth having a variety of tins or jars of anchovies in the cupboard. I usually have a few of those tiny long tins in olive oil, they are pleasant enough, and are perfect for pasta dishes that require a little oomph. I also buy medium quality of jars of anchovies either in oil (as I consumed yesterday, above) or in salt. Occasionally I buy the very best cans of perfectly prepared anchovies; Ortiz is a favourite.

Anchovies are a bit like Marmite; you either love or hate them. As you might imagine, I am a big fan.

Sunday 14 April 2024

Crusade.

 

It's Sunday, and I'm heading off up into the loft.

I need to buff-up and sharpen my metre-long sabre, polish the buttons on my be-meddled Cavalry Officer's tunic, and fill my campaign trunk with a few Western essentials. I'm off to Tehran to have a word with Ali Khamemei.

I shall arrange an interview, and give him a jolly good talking-to. The man is a menace, and for someone who claims to be 'religious', he is a disgrace. I may even quote the Koran to him, if I can find any passages that talk of Islam being peaceful.

When I have him by himself, I shall grab one of his ears and twist it until he promises not to be so bellicose. If he squeals I'll grab his beard, and threaten to cut it off with my sabre. That should calm him and get him to abide by my demands. 

Once I've dealt with Ali, I shall head for Moscow. I shall invite Putin to Tea somewhere nice; and show him how people behave in the democratic West. I have a feeling that after a scone or two, thickly spread with Raspberry jam and Devon clotted cream, and a cup of Lapsang, he will apologise for his recent actions, and promise to make repairs. I shall of course give him a time-table, and if all is not repaired before a certain date; I SHALL RETURN, and I will not be responsible for my actions.. 

Hopefully I'll be home again before nightfall, and shall reward myself with a slice of Pork Pie, and a glass of Harvey's rejuvenating Sussex ale, before heading off to Bedfordshire! 

A job well done.

p.s. The above photo shows Ali enjoying 'blissful ecstasy' with his 72 virgins; but here on earth rather than waiting to ascend to heaven.

Saturday 13 April 2024

More flars


The Daffs, Narcissi, and Tulips are still just about hanging-on, but they are being quickly replaced by Bluebells, flowering Cherry, and Daisies.


I really do find a thick swathe of Daisies a wonderful sight. One day there is nothing, and the next there is a carpet of white dots. 

I wonder if anyone remembers the photo I once posted of a perfect circle of Daisies? I must have mowed a couple of days before, then the plant flowered again from its perimeter, leaving a perfect circle of white flowers.


These Daisies are 'mine'; they live on our small communal lawn beside the house. No doubt the executioner (gardener) will come along before long, and take their heads off.

And I'm very pleased to see that the newly planted Fig tree, in the dog-walking garden, has survived and is sprouting leaves. 


Friday 12 April 2024

The Death of a Magpie


Often wild, and/or domestic, animals seem indifferent to the death of a fellow species family member. I do remember being shocked at the total indifference by our dog Bok to the death of his best friend Monty. Even though Bok had attended Monty's funeral, he showed no emotion whatsoever.

So, to see these Magpies obviously mourning the death of (I imagine) a family member is very heartening. They are upset, and occasionally try to revive him/her, without success.


I like Magpies; I see them as exotic, Parrot-like, creatures. And, of course, if I encounter a lone bird I always salute, and say 'Bonjour Monsieur Pie'. 

Doesn't everyone?


Name that man!


AI is a wonderful thing, but it can also be a tad worrisome.

This photo is of someone who doesn't exist. It has been regenerated from how he looks now, but has given him a good head of hair, unbleached his beard, and taken away a thousand wrinkles. He looks about 30 years younger than he actually is, and almost looks human.

He is of course ME! Although I would hardly have recognised myself looking quite so youthful.

Oh to have that hair again!


If only AI could actually change me, rather than just my photo.

 

Thursday 11 April 2024

Flyers.


Probably like most households, we receive an inordinate number of 'flyers' through the letter box.

Mostly they are for pizzas, Chinese take-aways, house cleaning services, and mobility scooters. Rarely do we receive 'occult' material, so I was fascinated to see the below come through the letter box yesterday.

Frankly, I was amazed to see that 'god' has returned to earth under a 'New Name', and to see that he is here 'to rule, to unite, heal, and renew'.


On the reverse we read that the 'New Name' is in fact one Olumba Olumba Obu, who is the founder and 'sustainer' of this new 'Brotherhood'. He informs us that the whole world has been waiting for him! I'm sure they have!

His aims are all very laudable, no sin, and plenty of love and peace. He also promises that he will answer all your problems. So hallelujah, praise be Mr 'god' Obu.


Olumba doesn't really look like my idea of an omnipotent god, and what are those 3 suspicious looking dots on his photo?

I have nothing against anyone starting a new business venture, but being a suspicious kind of person, I suspect that any new convert to the 'Brotherhood of the Cross and Star' might well be asked to contribute to Mr Obu's lifestyle and huge property portfolio prior to their problems being answered or solved. 

I have never really approved of private 'god businesses'. They always appear cynical, and have but one financial aim. Occasionally they also involve sex with either multiple wives or children, which is despicable. Why am I not surprised to see that Mr Obu comes from Nigeria?

We have enough gods already, so we really don't need another one. Anyway, I would require some proof that Olumba really is god before I hand over all my money. Turn some water into Merlot, walk across Loch Ness, and heal all cancer sufferers; that'll do for a start.

May I suggest otherwise that he boards his own 'ark of salvation', and sails away into that perfect sunrise.

 

Wednesday 10 April 2024

Hamas supporters spray Labour HQ with red paint


When I was much younger, if some adolescent misbehaved, the local PC Plod would take him/her behind a shed and give him/her a good talking to (ahem). Not quite as seriously spoken-to as those Islamists in Russia recently received; but one they would certainly remember.

We have become so bloody soft in this country these days, that people have all the time in the world to film these children spraying everywhere, whereas it takes Plod half an hour to arrive, then probably take them away for a cup of tea.


So, what action should be taken against these dungaree-wearing-woke-hooligans?

Well the first obvious thing is that they must be made to clean-up their mess 'perfectly'. A cattle-prod would encourage their standard of cleaning (I wish to volunteer as 'cattle-prodder'). Then they must be taken to court and (regardless of if they'd had a deprived childhood) be given a serious prison sentence. On release they should be subjected to a minimum two year house arrest, with absolutely no benefit payments.  

At present these folk are taken to court, given a cup of tea, and with a horrid 'suspended sentence' allowed back on the streets again. 

Where on earth is the deterrent in that? It's almost an encouragement.

Tuesday 9 April 2024

Wealth


Frankly, there's never a lot of interest in the Sunday papers, but I buy one anyway.

In this last weekend's 'Sunday Times' there was one article that probably shocked everyone who read it.

Tucked away at the bottom of Page 3 was an article entitled 'Forty and Filthy Rich'. An exposé of who are buying London's multi-£Million properties.

Apparently 54 homes were sold last year at prices over £15 Million. The biggest purchaser, who paid £138 Million for a house in Mayfair, was just 42 years old.

There's a lot of money out there and a lot of it is in the hands of young entrepreneurs in their early 40's. Making the average age of 'Mansion-buyers' drop by 12 years in one decade.

How many of these people get hold of their huge wealth is often questionable. Possibly not illegally as such, but often through nepotism or political favours.

Their wealth and property portfolios don't bother me at all, I have never been jealous of other people's wealth, and the distribution of wealth is always a good thing, but so many of these spectacular homes are left empty until such time as no-one is any longer asking questions. It would be nicer to see them lived-in.

In all honesty I suppose I would quite liked to have been hugely wealthy in my 40's, but I chose a different, more relaxing, route.

Monday 8 April 2024

Diddums.

 

It's an over-used idiom that 'The lunatics are now running the asylum', but the whole of the UK seems, at times, to follow the notion precisely.

Our wonderful 'Ministry of Justice' has recently decided that criminals who feel that they have been 'deprived' in some way or other, should be given lesser sentences. They should be treated kindly; wrapped in comfy cotton-wool and sent home to Mummy!

It is suggested that criminals who have lower educational attainment, lived in so-called poverty, and/or have experienced discrimination, should have these factors considered in mitigation. 

In fact they have drawn-up a list of a dozen circumstances in which Barry Burglar, or Stanley Stabber should be given more lenient punishment. These include having family members who are also criminals, excessive use of drugs or alcohol, and negative influence from peers.

So, to round-up the Ministry of Justice's recommendations, if an aspiring criminal makes a nuisance of himself at school, spends all his dole money on drugs, alcohol, and tattoos, and chooses fellow criminals as his mates, then he can do whatever he likes and probably only get a slap on the wrist.

Well, it's an interesting idea. Our prisons will then only house the very worst mass-murderers, and all others will be allowed home to roam the streets with impunity. 

Frankly, if the Ministry of Justice think this is a good idea, then they must be bloody nuts. We all want criminals OFF the streets and locked away, and the only way to achieve this is to build more prisons, and increase sentences. NOT the opposite.

Conclusion: Should you find yourself in the dock (in the UK), don't forget to tell the judge that you had a horrible childhood, you can't read or write, and you are on fentanyl. You should be home in no time!

This is an insult not only to the victims of crime, but also to all those from 'deprived' backgrounds who have NOT turned to crime, but have worked hard all their lives to achieve their goals.

Who are these bloody people at the Ministry of Justice? How did they get their jobs? How much are they being paid to utter such nonsense? I think we should be told.


Sunday 7 April 2024

Last Supper?


It is very doubtful that I will end my life on 'death row', but it's fun to imagine what that last meal might be; should I be offered the luxury of choice.


Well, having given it some considerable thought, I've plumped for Scallops.

I have become a big fan of seafood over the past few years, and my absolute favourite must be Scallops (when I can afford them).

So, before they take me to the scaffold, I would enjoy a large plate of perfectly cooked Scallops with a tiny hint of Lemon juice. 

I might even meet my end with a smile on my face!

 

Saturday 6 April 2024

Honey


It's not often I select 'honey' to accompany my 5 am toast, in fact I cannot remember when last I did.

As present we have three different honeys in the cupboard. One cheap squeezy bottle for cooking, one that has recently been brought back from Egypt by Kimbo (as yet unopened), and another one of organic Honey from M & S.

I would liked to have been a Bee-keeper. As a child I was fascinated by the idea. In my native Surrey village our neighbour (a Mr Prideaux) kept bees. I once asked him if he would show me his bees, and he declined; he didn't have any protective kit I could wear and he feared I would be stung all over.

I'd heard that Prideaux injected himself every day on account of all the daily stings he received, so maybe refusing my request had been wise. My Bee-keeping ambitions became instantly shelved.


So, for my breakfast I chose the M & S jar. Not because it was organic, but because it was already open. It really is a little too sweet for my taste, but delicious; so for my second slice of toast I reverted to Peanut Butter.

I did notice this rather silly label on the lid. It 'educated me' about the habits of the Bees. It seems that from their hives 'nestled in meadows', they fly around collecting nectar from 'a wealth of flowers and plants'. In particular from Sunflowers and Rapeseed.... I was amazed!

I have never been involved with agriculture in the UK, but back in France these two crops are probably more intensely sprayed with chemicals than any others. So to claim that the honey is 'organic' seems a bit far-fetched. Unless, of course, the Bees have been told not to visit flowers that smell of chemicals. Am I perhaps being a tad cynical?



Friday 5 April 2024

Fly me to the moon 王OK


I'm not sure what's going on here. I think this may be part of some 'trend'.

This is an interesting version of the well known song. I imagine the young lady is Japanese, and she makes a mesmerising job of it.

I leave it to you to make your mind up about her.

Thursday 4 April 2024

Sprung.


Spring now really has sprung. Trees everywhere are sprouting their leaves, everything that should be in flower, is in flower, and the sun is shining more than not.


As you can see by the photo above, the grass has not yet grown back over the barest of Winter areas, so I shall stick to the paths for a while yet. I took these photos a couple of days ago, so the leaves are now much more apparent.


And here are some Tulips in our communal garden, at the bottom of the steps that lead to our house. Somehow, for me, they are more evocative of Spring than Daffs. We did have some recently in a vase, but they didn't last. I prefer to see then in situ.


This morning it's raining. I haven't yet been outside (it's still dark), but I can hear it.

 

Wednesday 3 April 2024

Men's naughty bits.


The thorny old subject of gender-swapping is rarely out of the headlines these days, and on 'April Fool's Day' Scotland introduced a law that demonstrates how we now live in an era where nomenclature supersedes criminality, and where the thoughts and feelings of the offender are prioritised above those of female victims.

The trans-gender militants were horrified, some while back, to hear PM Rishi Sunak tell the 'heinous lie' that women don't have penises, and they went berserk; demanding his resignation and his instant exile to St Helena (well almost). Had he made this statement on April 2nd in Scotland he would have been hanged, drawn, and quartered.

OF COURSE women don't have penises; that's what makes them women. A man who wishes to 'transition', can have his men's bits cut off, and he can have other bits added-on, but that still doesn't make him into a biological woman; it makes him a 'trans-woman' at most.

I'm a 'live and let live' person. I have no qualms whatsoever if a man wishes to live as a woman, or if a woman wishes to live as a man, but lets not have them claiming to have physically changed sex; that simply DOES NOT HAPPEN. If I wasn't liberal thinking, I wouldn't be living in Brighton.

I think the militant trans-gender folk do a great dis-service to their own cause. They should be more generous and welcoming in their attitude, and leave people to live however they wish. And all this pronoun nonsense of 'they' and 'them' really gets on people's nerves. Sunak knows what's what, and dared say so.

I do wish they'd all settle down and accept the TRUTH of the matter. Too many people who've told the obvious truth have been hounded, 'cancelled', and persecuted. It's about time all this silliness stopped.

In case you didn't know, the person in the photo (above) is April Ashley. A trans-woman who became a cause celebre in the early 1960's as a high-profile example of 'transition'. She was one of the first people to be operated on in Morocco by pioneer surgeon Dr Georges Burou. She (not they) died in London in 2021 at the age of 86. 

Ashley was a one-time very good friend of Dali's muse, Amanda Lear, who has always refused to say if she was once male...... Frankly, if no-one knows, no-one cares!


Tuesday 2 April 2024

Flars


We have daffs on our dining table all through Spring. But are these daffs?

Unknowingly, Lady M bought these whilst they were still closed, and was quite surprised to see what colour they eventually became when opened.

The trumpet parts are a very attractive pink/apricot colour surrounded by white. I don't know if they are daffs or narcissi, maybe they are something in between.


They make a very pleasant change to the all yellow daffs that we've had until now. Lady M isn't as keen as I am. 

Having done a tiny amount of research, I think they could be a variety called 'Pink Pride', but I'm not sure.


They are perfect in one of our Chippendale jugs. 

Just in case you are unaware of Chippendale glassware, these two jugs are part of my collection. They are very distinctive, are not expensive to buy, and I think are worthy of 'collecting'. When the daff season is over, they are perfect for your evening Pimms or Sangria.

 

Monday 1 April 2024

Ramadan.


This may be a bit of a thorny subject in the UK at the moment, but I don't remember Ramadan decorations ever being installed in London; they certainly weren't when I lived there, nor were they during the 50 year interim until very recently. I believe that London is not alone in Europe, and such decorations are now being seen in all major European towns and cities.

Of course we never previously had a Muslim Mayor of London either.

I have nothing against any religion celebrating their most important festival days, but I understand that the Christian festival of Easter is NOT being celebrated, with preference being given to Islam. London even has a Muslim flag flying over Westminster Abbey, whereas many Town Halls have stopped flying England's national flag for fear of upsetting.

We do, of course, have wonderful lights at Christmas, but one has to wonder for how much longer? Someone may soon decide that any mention of Christmas may upset other non-Christian religions. Nothing is impossible in these 'woke' days.


Here (above) in London's Mayor, Sadiq Khan, clearly showing pride in his city's décor. I believe the above was in Oxford Street.

One has to wonder how many Muslim countries have Christian decorations in their cities at Easter or Christmas. May I suggest not one; and they never will!

I think we need a bit more 'give and take' in the world, and maybe a bit more teaching about peace.

So to all Muslims who celebrate Ramadan peacefully, may I wish you RAMADAN MUBARAK.

Sunday 31 March 2024

The Two Ronnies - Crossword


The Two Ronnies were a national treasure. Their weekly TV show was essential viewing. Their humour was somewhat predictable, and it was that predictability that was so funny. This video below is a good example.

An Easter Day Special.

Saturday 30 March 2024

Why does Rap and Hip Hop prompt so many murders?


Someone called Diddy or Puffy has been in the news recently. The Cops entered his homes in Los Angeles and Miami to search for evidence of unsavoury practices. Diddy or Puffy was out when they called, so I believe they arrested his sons instead.

Diddy or Puffy has since been warned by someone called Suge Knight (from inside prison) that his life is in danger. Quite possibly the inevitable will happen.

This encouraged me to see how many Rap/Hip Hop 'artists' have lost their lives in recent times. Almost every time I open my paper another has been shot or stabbed. Some of them are illustrated above. It seems almost part of rap culture.

I looked at the Wiki page entitled 'List of murdered hip hop musicians'. There were so many (none of whom was known to me) that I decided to ignore it. If the subject interests you, do have a look; it's a long list, and rather baffling.

So why do they kill each other? UK bands don't go around murdering members of other bands, so why should these mostly US Afro/Caribbean performers have such hatred for each other. Does it involve something other than 'singing'? 

I am truly baffled!

Friday 29 March 2024

Craftsmanship (a thing of the past?)


I walk past these church corner stones at least twice every day; and I always throw them an admiring smile.

The reason being that I too was a stone-cutter in France for a while, until my bad back told me to quit.

Getting that perfect join between two cut stones is very satisfying. It is laborious (as is all stone-cutting) but not difficult. It is simply a matter of following certain criteria. A scribed line on a lump of stone is not difficult to follow and cut away. It is all a question of measuring, inscribing, chiseling, and planing correctly.

In order to get your stone to then sit correctly, the underneath must be slightly concave in order that only the extreme edges touch the stone beneath. After that it's the 'credit card test'; if you CAN'T insert a credit card between the two stones, you know you've done a good job.  


People often say that 'craftsmanship' is a thing of the past. This is not true. What probably is a thing of the past is the money to pay for it. Craftsmanship costs money.

Below is a new building in The (famous) Lanes here in Brighton; someone suddenly discovered an area that could be further developed, so The Lanes have now slightly expanded.

The building below is brand new, and the flint and brick work is staggeringly good. It is one of those buildings that everyone stops to admire. The whole area will mellow beautifully in the years to come; everything has been done to the best traditional Sussex methods. 


Thursday 28 March 2024

Petticoat 5, computer for women.


When people say that women don't invent things, they are wrong. Take this example of a computer specially designed for women by women. What a wonderful invention.

I shall try to find one for Lady Magnon. She's been looking for something similar for ages; she'll be over the moon!

Wednesday 27 March 2024

Spring.



This is a rather tricky and embarrassing subject, but it needs to be told in all its grisly detail.

Billy had the snip when he was still quite young; Lady M thought it was best to strike whilst he was still childless.

But the operation doesn't seem to have dampened his ardour, in fact he has recently shown more 'fathering ambitions' than any other dog I've known.


He really doesn't seem to have any preferences either. The recipients of his ardour can be male, female, large, small, or medium.  He can attack from the back or the front; he doesn't seem to mind. 

I can be walking along, humming some Abba favourite, when I look back to find him hard at it, usually with a group of giggling lady dog-owners all applauding his efforts. None of them ever seem to mind.

So, in fear of Billy one day being accused of sexual assault, I wonder what I should be doing about his desires. Should I keep him permanently on a lead? Should I carry a loudspeaker in order to worn fellow dog owners that Billy is on his way? Or should I just shout "Get off, you randy pervert"? 

Usually it's a rather limp-wristed "Billy, stop that at once".

Any suggestions would be welcome.


1

 

Tuesday 26 March 2024

Time was...


I come from an era of Elvis, of Yuri Gagarin, of cups and saucers, of when we still polished our shoes, of the Morris Minor, Vesta curries, of Teddy boys, and 'bouffant' hair.

We stood still and removed our hats as a hearse went by, we had a shilling pocket money each week for sweets (if we were lucky), and we had a dressing-up box. 

We had gloves on strings that were threaded through our sleeves, we had fathers who went to work with a folded newspaper an umbrella and a neatly folded mackintosh over his left arm, we went for long tedious walks on Sundays.

Aeroplanes still had propellers, some cars still had starting handles, and there were no yellow lines on the roads.

We had teachers who would thrash us for not being able to translate 'Cotta's army advanced from the South' into Latin, we would be thrown into the deep end of a pool to teach us how to swim, and we were made to write 'I must not ask to be excused' 500 times if we needed to have a pee during lessons.

We ate spotted dick, rice pudding with jam, and frogspawn.

We all knew the difference between a man and a woman, we didn't use the F word every few seconds, and we didn't eat 'take-away' meals every night.

We didn't have allergies, we didn't spend all day on the phone, and we didn't grunt when spoken to.

We also had to visit a shop to buy things, buy stamps to send letters, and use a road map to find directions. We had no TV's, no CD players, no GPS, and no Laptops.

Life was hard.


Monday 25 March 2024

Be careful who advises you!

 

Groucho Marx famously said that "A Stockbroker is someone who invests your money until it's all gone". I tend to think something similar about 'Financial Advisers'.

If financial advisers knew so much they would be investing in their own recommendations. Instead of which they charge a client good money, and also take commission on securities purchased. Their remit is to make money from the punters rather than investing themselves in the recommended punts. 

I have never had dealings with a financial adviser, but I do know someone who did. Admittedly she was a tad naïve and knew nothing of investing, whilst having a large amount of money to invest. When she mentioned to me that she had arranged a meeting with her financial adviser I nearly fell over backwards.

I knew the sum she had to invest, so I immediately got to finding her something that would have offered good rewards. I found a small period freehold terraced house in S London. It was very attractive, had recently been restored, and was well within her budget. She rejected the idea at once, then some while later visited her advisor.

I'm sure you know what's coming next, and you'd be right. The house would now be worth about £2.5 Million, the monthly rental income would be around £2,500, yet her own choice of investments performed miserably.

By chance I noticed the above article in this week's Sunday Times. In this case the adviser recommended Goldmines and other Offshore Investments all of which failed. 

Presumably the person who lost all his money (an ex-footballer) failed to ask his adviser how much money he himself had in the shares he was recommending; something I would advise everyone to do in the future.


Sunday 24 March 2024

One of life's mysteries!



Dog owners/walkers are usually very conscientious about picking-up their dog's-poo. We have our pockets full of poo-bags at all times, and in case of emergencies are always ready to give some to those who may have run out.

In fact I would say that most dog owners take great pride in their public-spirited cleanliness, and treat their 'filled bags' as some form of decency trophy. Walking to an allotted dustbin with your little black or green bag is a sign of being a worthy member of society. 


So, occasionally seeing sights such as the above really confuses me. Why on earth would anyone go to the lengths of picking up their dog's poo, then leave the bag on a wall, on a gravestone, or even under a bench. It makes no sense. 

I need to catch an offender actually leaving a bag somewhere, then ask them what on earth they think they're doing. I need to know the thinking behind the action. Similarly, I have always wondered why people leave litter on the ground right by the side of a dustbin.

I have to presume that these offenders have a slightly different type of brain to the rest of us, something must have gone wrong with that tiny part of the brain that says 'Put your rubbish/dog poo in the correct receptacle'. 

For the moment it remains a mystery.

Saturday 23 March 2024

MONTY PYTHON • SALAD DAYS


The very first 'musical' I went to see was Salad Days. I must have been about 10, and went around singing a few of the songs for ages after. I also have a feeling that it was the occasion of my wearing long trousers for the first time too.

Anyway, here is a very short Monty Python version. Enjoy!



Friday 22 March 2024

Kimbo's snaps.


My son Kimbo and his wife Suzie and now back from Egypt; they had a wonderful time.

They stayed in some sensational hotels, ate sensational food, and spent a few sensational hours ballooning.


I have been up in a hot air balloon myself in France, so I know what it's all about. However, flying over ancient Egyptian sites is something else.

Anyway, here are a couple of photos from his trip. They landed safely, but apparently there was no Champagne awaiting them. For those who haven't flown, Champagne is traditionally offered after landing. Maybe their religion doesn't allow alcohol.


So, welcome home. He brought me a newspaper, a pack of Dates, as well as a few other delights..... There wasn't a lot in the paper!



Thursday 21 March 2024

Recipe Book.


I've just found my mother's old recipe book (Lady M found it). Until she discovered Elizabeth David, this was her only cookery book.

As with all her other books, her driving licence, and address book, etc, the pages are filled with dried four-leafed clovers. The book also contains dozens of hand written or printed recipes that she had gathered over the years.


The poor book is falling to bits, and really needs some serious repair. I shall attempt to do this myself, as I don't think it's worth having it done professionally.

The book dates from 1936 and was issued to users of the Radiation 'New World' Regulo-Controlled Gas Cookers. (very modern)
 

It's actually a very good book, filled with very good standard recipes. When we were first married, my mother even gave a modern copy to Lady M, which she has used ever since.

I shall now be going through the book trying to work-out who wrote all the loose recipes.


And this (above) is what the 'New World' cooker looked like. I'm sure I can remember it in our kitchen in our Surrey village of Lingfield where I was born.

Having leafed through the book a bit, I seem to be finding lots of recipes for Flapjacks; it's almost obsessive! Hmmm.....





Wednesday 20 March 2024

Life in 2024.

 

Gert: My bloomin' knee's playing up again Daisy, pass me that lotion would you.

Daisy: I don't think the lotion will help dear, you've probably caught PTSD or ADHD; they're both very fashionable at the moment.

Gert: If anything it's my Mental Health that's causing the pain; not PDTS, or whatever.

Daisy: OK, it could be your Mental Health, but that's probably been caused by the PTSD as well as some ADHD, and The Cost of Living Crisis.

Gert: Yes, I've probably got all of those. Hasn't everyone?

Daisy: Yes, of course they have dear, this is 2024. But at least you're not transitioning (are you?), not being racially abused, not visiting a food bank, not being twittered at, you're not autistic, you don't own slaves, you're not crossing the channel in a plastic paddling pool, or being sent rude photos by 12 year old schoolboys.

Gert: Gosh...... You make me sound almost 'normal'.  

Daisy: You are dear!


Tuesday 19 March 2024

DIY


There's a short flight of communal steps up to our row of four bijou town-houses, on either side of which are some metal rails. I've been threatening to tidy them up a bit over the past few years. I could wait no longer, they looked awful.

They were rusty, and really in need of a lick of paint, so I 'WhatsApp'ed' my neighbours and asked if they'd mind if I had a go at them. I don't know if you can see from my photo, but they really looked tired. Anyway, they were quite happy for me to do it.


So, yesterday morning I was out in the sunshine with my wire brush, a serious 'scraper', some heavy grade sandpaper, some special black metal paint, and the job was done in no time.

It may not be perfect, but it does look a lot better than before.


I hope everyone's happy with what I've done; I know I am. 

Next job; remove all those weeds. Lady M is out there already, trowel in hand!

 

Monday 18 March 2024

Stéphane Grappelli - Honeysuckle Rose - vers 1959


Who doesn't love Stéphane Grappelli!

Is that a young Sacha Distel playing guitar? It certainly looks like him. 

I always think of Grappelli playing with Django Reinhardt, but Distel (if it is him) does a reasonable job.


Sunday 17 March 2024

Seal of Approval.


It's official, Brighton is the best place to live in the UK for 'wellbeing'.


I don't really know everything that 'wellbeing' involves, but I presume it's another word for 'quality of life'.

It's certainly pleasant to be by the sea, within 50 mins of London, to have good shops at hand, plenty of excellent restaurants, an artistic community, drugs available on every street corner, and some really superb entertainment.


We have a good Football team, the County Cricket team plays here, and all water sports are catered for. And if you're a Petrol Head, the annual speed trials along Madeira Drive in September (?) is amazing.

France is nearby, Gatwick is handy, busses are plentiful, and the train to London runs several times an hour (I think).

Brighton is very multi-cultural, accepts all-comers, and is student-friendly. Sadly I did once witness a few left-wing dungaree wearing young 'ladies' painting Stars of David on the windows of M & S; but I must presume they were either of low IQ, or were just plain Nazi supporters. That form of extreme racism is not welcome here. They have not reappeared since.

So, yes. I have to agree with the article above, we are filled to the brim with 'wellbeing', and our 'free-spirit' is alive and well. 


Saturday 16 March 2024

Prince Buster, Enjoy Yourself


I only saw the late Prince Buster once, he was a guest singer with Gino Washington's Ram Jam Band here in Brighton, at The Metropole Hotel. On the same bill was Roy Wood's band The Move; a strange combination of musical tastes. 

If you should go to a Jools Holland gig, he always ends his show with this song; so make sure you learn the words. Everyone has to sing along!

Friday 15 March 2024

Guess the location.


Kimbo and Suzie are on holiday; but where could they be?

It's hot, there are camels, and there are big pointy things sticking out of the sand. 


The tourist shops sell Howard Carter's cast-offs.

The Bangles wanted us to walk like the natives.

And Sam the Sham had a line-up of ancient rulers as his backing band.

Just so that you don't have a shock if you should visit here, Kimbo's taxi from the airport to their 'luxury' hotel cost £1,000. In fact this was just over £16 in UK money, but they still needed smelling salts.

I'll give you are clue; they're not in Cleethorpes.
 

Thursday 14 March 2024

Fashion.



If you tell them that oversized trousers are really chic, and they should buy all their clothes ten sizes too big; they will follow your every word.

If you tell them that covering your arms, legs, neck, and hands with tattoos, is really cool; they'll do it. 

If you tell people that when they leave their house/flat they must have a rucksack, mobile phone, water bottle, cardboard cup of coffee, and earphones, they will do exactly as you say.

If your young son is told by his school mates that he has to wear £250 'trainers' or they'll never speak to him again, you buy them at once.

If you are told that puce is the new black, you wear puce.

Now this one will really make you laugh. Someone in Taiwan had this great idea. They will slash brand new jeans with a Stanley Knife, rough them up a bit in a concrete mixer filled with pebbles, and then charge you an extra £500 for the pleasure (as they now look like a tramp has been wearing them for a few years),  someone, somewhere, will buy them and actually wear them outdoors in the open. Yes, there's one born every minute.



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