Thursday, December 29, 2005

Gold for Britain

This is a picture by Alan Mcfaden who I haven’t seen for 40 years and who became and is aphotographer. We are now in regular contact electronically.
Thats me back right aged about 15.On the left standing is Rodney Hugh Lesley Brangwyn who I was astonished to discover recently had won a gold medal for Britain when in his 50's. It turned out to be for single sex dancing in the 1998 Gay Olympics and so the shock was not quite so great. An enduring memory of mine is watching cricket practice at the school ground.On the right the first and second elevens played each other. In the centre pitch the less talented cricketers played and on the far left an extraordinary sight as the fat the unfit and the otherwise no hopers appeared to be moving in a convoluted way for cricketers as Rodney led them in a military two step which culminated in a mass salute.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Only half a cup of team for me.

Spent Christmas with son and girlfriend. The first Christmas Ann has not had to do and she was ecstatic. I feel a lot better than I usually do 3 days after Christmas too as I did eat so much. Not because of lack of opportunity but because I didn't want to appear too much of a pig in someone elses house. Sometimes this unatural restraint backfires badly on me. I still have nightmares about an event which occured 15 years or so ago while staying with friends. "Would you like some bacon and eggs?" they enquired.
"No thanks a piece of toast is fine", I said, feeling that I must not put them to any trouble. They duly produced the toast but then went on to cook themselves a full english! I was devasted, this was an appalling lack of judgement on my part.
Anns mother, back of head in picture, has a nice little ploy that she frequently uses. " Just half a cup of tea for me please" as if this request saved the host either time or fortune. If we eat in a café the obligatory roast its "Just a small meal for me you always give us far too much". I feel like throttling her on such occassions as it is cardinal rule in my book that you never ever, ever, ever, tell a restaurant their meals are too big.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Bacon sandwich fails to impress

Soon I am going to have to have to turn somebody in.
There is not much more I can say without involving either somebody I work with or live near and that ultimately means trouble.
The urge to blog is strong. Like walking along the Pembrokeshire coast path and being pulled towards the edge I feel drawn towards two subjects. Together they could keep me going for at least a couple of weeks. It is very tempting. I shall resist for the time being.

Meanwhile here is a picture taken in April when we hosted a very nice French English teacher called Geraldine from our twinned town of Gouesnou in Brittany. She has just discovered a Harry Potter book in Hay on Wye, the ‘Town of Books’ . I didn’t know she was an English teacher when she arrived and had carefully rehearsed in French a complete Tommy Cooper joke which I was going to perform at a small dinner party in the week arranged for us and a couple of other hosts and their guests.
As she was so good with English I asked her if I could try it out on her first in English to see if she thought it was funny in case the French translation of mine was wildly off.
You know the one - a chap says to the waiter, “Have you got frogs legs”. The waiter replies, “Oui monsieur” and the punchline line is “Well hop over the counter and fetch us a bacon sandwich”. It took me ages working out how to say that in French.
Any way I run through it all in English and having delivered the punchline I ask;
“Well is it funny” to which she replies without much pause and in French “Non”. So that was a couple of hours work down the drain.

Monday, December 19, 2005

A couple of Vicars

This year Canon Ivor Davies died. An ‘AliceinWonderland’ expert,chess fanatic and a philosophy buff,he and Tom Weston, a retired dentist and fellow chess fanatic who seemed to be possessed with the spirit of Paul Morphy , played each other for 24 hours in a shop window in Hay on Wye where Ivor was the vicar. Ivor smoked a pipe and Tom chain smoked cigarettes ; at 3 O’clock in the morning it would have been an eerie sight for some late returning town dweller to meet these two faces illuminated through the smoke . Clergymen have their own postal chess club to which Ivor belonged its magazine was/is called ‘Chess Minister”.
Then there was the late vicar of Llyswen Martin Jones. He was a good chap. Ann would drag me to Church once a year on Christmas Eve and Martin would give the same sermon every time from an old exercise book except that he would alter it by omitting different parts so that only once did I hear the full unexpurgated version. This full version was very good and I have heard nothing since from anybody else that interested me as much as Martin’s full monty Christmas Eve sermon. I wish I had told him at the time.
I went to Church on Christmas Eve but Ann went every week . One year I was doing an OU Science course and an experiment was to observe the swing of a pendulum.
I tied an old horse brass to a piece of string and swung it backwards and forwards.
The experiment called for me to hold the swinging pendulum and to walk round in a circle . This was to show that the pendulum would continue to swing in the original plane. I didn’t know what I was supposed to see and so as I circled the swinging horse brass on the end of a piece of string in the garage I began to chant in boredom.
I heard the gate go and took it that my son had come back for lunch and just continued in the garage holding the swinging pendulum and walking in a circle chanting.
It turned out to be the Vicar bringing back a plate for Ann. I didn’t try to explain because I didn’t know where to start but I think he might well have had me down as a Satanist after that.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Conspiracy Theory

I have just posted the following to a news group and will be interested to see what they say.
Would any of you know what this is?
On my computer randomly there will occur at no particular time of day what sounds like a signal.
The opening is _ .. _.. _.. then it goes into a little jumble of sounds which I am too slow to translate into dots and dashes. The whole thing lasts about 7 seconds.I thought it might be something within the house switching itself on but for the first time last week I was approximately 1 mile from the house in the car and listening to the radio when the same intereference sequence occured - exactly the same.

I think I am being bugged by Tony Blair for going to the No 10 website and making rude remarks about him so if I should suddenly - its starting againnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn

Friday, December 16, 2005

Faith, Hope and a bloody good salary

Odd how Charities are politically correct and yet charity isnt.
Notice how even some Christians change the phrase ‘Faith Hope & Charity’ to ‘Faith, Hope & Love’.
I am politically incorrect I like the idea of charity but I dislike charities.
To illustrate what I mean, yesterday I received a ‘marketing’ device from a charity called ‘Feed my people’,I notice it has various other names including the much less emotive DSPMM LIMITED.
Accompanying it was a letter saying how most of the children in Africa didn’t even have the shelter provided by an umbrella.
And what was the ‘marketing’ device accompanying the letter – you have guessed it an umbrella. I was tempted to say ‘Don’t you think on the whole it would have been better to send the umbrella to Africa?’
But I told them instead that I would not support an organisation that wastes the donations entrusted to it in this way. I said I ‘d keep the umbrella but that they will be pleased to know that I will make a donation directly to a local Mothers Union branch in Africa and so Africa will receive back at least that which they have squandered.
I see plenty of Charities where I work. Most of the admin staff get salaries equal to mine or better and I inhabit in the grubby world of commerce.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

A Rose by any other name

I typed in
anagram genius Financial Services Authority and got Hairy, evil, cretinous fanatics.
I must say that in all my dealings with The FSA I havnt found them particularly hairy.

Monday, December 12, 2005

What is the Wold Coming to?

Stow in the Wold 11th December 2005. England is just about full now.
I'd be all in favour of a cull but for the fact that I would probably qualify for the list.

Vous n’avez pas la prioritée

If you have roundabout with 4 roads joining it and 4 vehicles arrive along each road at the same instant in time then given the rule ‘give way to traffic on your right’ (or left if you are a Jonnie foreigner) , nobody would move at all ,but at least Immanuel Kant would approve of the morality of the situation. It takes a wilful disregard for the law on the part of somebody in order to keep traffic moving.
What is needed then at roundabouts and at life in general is a moderate dose of enlightened anarchy.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Here is a postcard of Llyswen. This particular scene hasn’t changed except that the traffic has increased. Even 20 years ago I remember next door's West Highland terrier regularly strolling down the centre of this road like some kind of canine Gary Cooper approaching high noon. If it hasn’t been remade yet starring Tom Cruise you probably won’t get that reference.
Wouldn’t it be good if the world ran out of oil once and for all? People would be too bone idle to stray from the cities and the roads would sprout weeds. Excellent indeed.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Llandrindod Wells again - yesterday.
The sign outside the news agents reads, 'Proud to be local'
There is something deeply wrong philosophicaly with that.
How can you be proud to be local? Everybody is local, except God and since he is everywhere even He is local.
How can you be proud of something you share with everybody else? Its like saying "I am proud to be human" - meaningless unless you a trying to make your dog feel inferior about his genetic code.

Haddock fairy shy knee

Today I looked at the stats for this blog on sitemeter and I found that somebody had been referred to it by the MSN Search Engine. They had searched for ‘Rood Off the red nose’. MSN found rood in my address boughrood and it found red in the Cocky Ollie birds bit and it found the nose of the geriatric pole dancer who wasn’t. It therefore concluded that my site was the number one possibility for the poor chap who had typed it in.
I bet he was disappointed when he got here!