Mistaken identity

“A photo a day (not) in June.

I suppose you are wondering what a red “Poundstretcher” shopping basket is doing on my doorstep? Well, listen in and let me explain.

Thursday or Friday is shopping day for us, either we go together as a pair of whinging pensioners bickering all the time or as a single whirling dervish trying to beat the week previous’ time.

Morrison’s bags in hand and car key at the ready, I start my stopwatch, it reads 10:36, by my reckoning I should be returned, unpacked and eating lunch wraps by 2pm.

This particular day is busy, seems the national speed limits have been declassified to a lower number and there is no way Brabinger can be let loose. Eventually pulling into the car park I find a space, a bit further away than the normally unreserved reserved space nearer to exit, but, what’s a bit more exercise going to do? Kill me?

Bingo, I spy an unleashed shopping trolley and with my folded A4 shopping list I aim it toward Lidl, noticing the lovely plants outside the next shop. I think to myself that a few of those lovely French lavender’s would be great in my garden, ‘got to love the bees haven’t you!

Anyway, a trolley nearly full, approximately seventy-five percent worth,  it is checked out in superb time, twenty-five minutes, that’s one for the records. Not really a trick, but far easier to bag your goods at car than be pressurised at checkout. So, all bags now filled and lined up neatly in the boot, now for those lavender plants.

I trundle the trolley back and kindly give it to a lady searching desperately for her pound coin. We exchange pleasantries and continue our set tasks, I head to “Pound-stretcher”, grab a red shopping basket, staring at the amount of customers I assume that they must be busy, I huff at the length of the queue, but I was determined, I placed three plants in the basket ensuring the fold up handles did not damage the flowering heads and with my left hand grabbed a fourth and joined the wavy line of eager shoppers wishing to exchange cash for goods.

What seemed like an eternity and getting claw fingers from holding on tight to the loose planter I saw an empty cashier, I plonked the items on to the counter, to which the red tee shirted assistant informed me that they were in fact not their items but ones sold by Lidl. Embarrassed I had wasted time in that queue I slipped out and joined yet another heaving line of cash only shoppers in the correct establishment. Eventually, and with a strange look from the lad with a blonde Mohican I placed the alien shopping basket on the conveyor, showed him the solitary bar code and said that there were four in total. Whilst I handed him my ‘purple-back’ he pointed at the red basket and gave me yet another funny look.

I got back to the car, no more Morrison’s bags to transfer the plants into …….. what shall I do? ‘thinks thinks’

Et voila …….

I will take it back, honestly.

Fire the Editor

Only been at the helm of the local Mission Community A4 WeeklyZine for seven editions and guess what?

Correct, I got it wrong yet again, swore that black was blue that I was correct, turns out I wasn’t, have put my hand up and accepted blame.

I bet George Osbourne has a lackey or bitch to take his mistakes.

Over and out until the next edition.

Signed …….. ‘dumbo’

P.S. at least I’m consistent.

WTaF !

A photo a day in June, well not quite actually.

Yet another period of fending for oneself plus three terrierists, that such word is normally associated with bad people doing bad things, but if you read carefully it’s doesn’t state that, there is a difference between terrorist or terrierist, the latter would just kill you with kindness or lick you to death, the other, well, they’re not worth mentioning.

Chris has disappeared to the county of Essex on family business, yet here on the gloomy isthmus it’s raining, again! The central heating is on and believe this, it’s almost July. It’s funny that I always seem to have inspiration or my creative juices start flowing when the weather is dire.

So, unlike Dylan Thomas who in his garden had a writing shed which gave him isolation to come up with many great poems and plays, all I have is a temporary desk. Well, if you can call a laptop iPad on my knee just that, then yes. However, I’ve just fired it up and the bloody thing has frozen, probably in protest toward me for not stretching my imagination often enough or exercising my thoughts daily. It’s almost as if it’s alive, I mean, the message says reboot …… is that a personal message to get my act together? 

Hence the reason I’m writing this on my iPhone, squinting through one eye and just using one thumb on the keyboard …… oh such decadence!

Scratch & Sniff … 

Feeling rather guilty of breaking a challenge (a photo a day in June) recently. Suddenly I had the opportunity to try to make amends. So I took this picture this lunchtime whilst walking to my neighbour who lives next door. I was confronted with a childhood memory which always makes me smile.

The smell of fresh rain on tarmac ! ….. Can you see the dampness on the street? Trust me, if youre not sure, place your thumb nail on the picture, close your eyes and scratch as if it were a winning lottery ticket. 

Now can you smell it? 

Air Guitar extraordinaire.

Today, Sunday 18th June 2017 in the United Kingdom is Father’s Day, a day to celebrate the unsung hero’s who always take second place to Mums. There is no denying that fact, on the very odd occurance,  some Dads come first.

Earlier this morning a scheduled programme on SkyHD featured “The Shadows, Final Tour”

Now, some of you who follow my strange unchronological blog with fictional content will probably have read that my father was a closet musician, once he started dating my dear Mum he gave up his physical music activities, he locked his saxophone away and quietly placed his sheet music at the bottom of his piano stool.

One of the greatest gifts along with the love we shared was music, as a child our house was always filled with music, dancing and laughter. But, our tastes were varied, something I wasn’t aware of until after he passed away. How would you feel if someone told you that on the day of his funeral he was a classically trained pianist along with being an accomplished saxophonist, now that is some big information to take in, however, I always knew he was a Rolling Stone fan, his impression of the lead man was far better than Rob Brydon or Steve Coogans, he had Mick Jaggers actions off to a tee and without notice he would strut his stuff without shame. Oh how we laughed.

Coming back to the storyline, he was also a great fan of Hank Marvin and Bruce Welch, front line men of ‘The Shadows’ he absolutely adored their music, so today’s ‘concert’ was a happy boost on a remembered Sunday.

Tears fall with great joy down my cheeks as I watch Hank play guitar and his foot work reminds me of my Dads impression, if anyone was deserved of  ‘Lifetime Air Guitar performer’ then my dear Dad was there, right up front clutching his Oscar and grinning from ear to ear like the proverbial Cheshire Cat.

At just, only just for one second, he was there.

Happy Father’s Day Dad …….

Thank you for the memories. X

No, you shut up!

Today I had a ‘window’ booked in my diary for 2pm, quite ironic that the person coming was a representative for a window dressing company. Thomas Sanderson to be precise, well, not him personally, one of his many well scripted and ready to get me to sign on the dot straight away kind of individuals.

When I moved into my flat over ten years ago I invested heavily in wooden Venetian blinds and swag and tail drapes, very over the top in gold silk effect with emerald green piping. My Dad would have gone apoplectic if he knew how much of his legacy I had spent on one window alone, never mind it being five plus one door.

He wouldn’t have actually said much, just his silence would be enough to show his dissatisfaction. Probably tallied the cost against the purchase of his new bungalow in 1961, and then he would just say “could have bought two for that price” and never said another word, which meant that the subject would never be discussed again but every time he looked at the window space, one couldn’t not think anything else.

So, Mr representative still hadn’t turned up thirty minutes after allocated time, and being a stickler for punctuality I decided that enough was enough. Off to the Co-Op for vitals and aged grape juice pressed into a cork topped bottle that would fart like a duchess when popped open were purchased.

Upon return from my shopping spree, there at the top of my steps stood Thomas, rather miffed, his chin was pouty and as I approached and kindly chastised him for being late, he got quite cocky in attitude, the red mist descended and I politely informed him that his need to sell the product at this particular moment in time was a greater priority than mine to buy it.

I invited him in and to be honest I liked his style, he didn’t push and talked to me like I was a sixty year old who knew exactly what he wanted.

Now, here comes the problem, it’s commonplace, it’s implications I detest and that is the word named simply “options”!

Far too many of them as a matter of fact, so, I led him slowly through my choiced minefield, which he understood. Three windows, one of which pushed his specifications to the max, each of twelve separate shutters and two of four, no add ons, just complete systems, flush and simple. Not in wood, but PVCu construction which would also give great thermal advantages. Eventually we got there in the end.

All the time I had a ball park figure in my head for the complete and final installation. He pulled up photographs of my bay window with a machination of end product. I must admit that the actual sample had swung the process, so far thus.

Wow! So much for my ball park figure, obviously I’m out of touch with household improvements, but a total of £5800 certainly blew my socks off, which, thankfully included that tax which is valued as extra AND a twenty percent discount as this month did not have an ‘M’ in it. After picking myself up and slowly calming down just like a pinball machine had been played vorciferously, I though this is not affordable as my figure was less than £2K, I proceeded to tell him I couldn’t run to that, he then offered payment plans, which to be fair were fair indeed, but, a one hundred and twenty month payment option was not for me, for fecks sake, I’d be seventy three before I could even look at them without thinking of my dad thinking about the curtains. We agreed that I’d be happy for quote by email and there was no obligation to purchase, he packed his kit up and bade me farewell.

Two hours later, still no email with a price quote, so I contacted him, he replied that he was still with a client, and would email as soon as free.

One hour later, price quote arrived, eight hundred pounds cheaper ……..

Here we go I thought …….

Going to take a while to get him down to my ball park and play game with me, after all, I’ve had these curtains one hundred and twenty months already, a few more won’t hurt.

Salesmen huh! ….. “Do I look stupid?

Surgeons view

Appointment 11:45, internal view of bladder procedure.

You have to join in on this post, it’s easy to do, don’t be shy! Now, assume the voice and position of a zombie and sing to the soundtrack of  Michael Jacksons “Thriller”

“The noonday hour is now close to hand

The surgeons digit has terrorised your gland

With scope pointed hard right deep and down 

To see just how your pee sloshes around and round

From bladders deep and with bowel unleashed

The air it too begins to creep

And whoever now is to decide

From Mr Mason deep inside ….. ”

Hahahahahaha !

First sense 

A quick one second description as I leave the house this morning.

Cold invisible drops of moisture smother my face and neck as I walk toward the North view of Torbay situated at the top of the steps. The breeze from the west nips my side elevation and the surface of my roman nose breaks the direction of flow, bright sunlight spatters itself on my good side, I breathe deep and sharply intake the fresh air. Today appears to be starting slow with sudden bursts of energy, how long the latter will last, heaven knows.

Our manor

Here is a screenshot from a TV programme presented by former MP Michael Portillo called Great British Railway Journeys, this evenings episode is called Exploring Albertopolis, rail track between High Street Kensington & London Bridge, if you look at the area from top right quarter you will see a rooftop that is both triangular convex and concave and all the way down, underneath that is Borough Market, yes, the place where the terrorist attack took place recently. Midway top left is where Chris and I use to live, ‘igh above the streets and ‘ouses, all part of our manor, in fact the stories I could tell you about the whole district would either make you laugh or cry. 

As a Londoner, and proud to admit, we will NOT be shaken or stirred by the atrocities that idiots and extremists get up to …. to coin a phrase, …. bring it on sunshine, we ain’t going nowhere.

A picture a day in June … June 1st. So long farewell …

IMG_4199The debris you can see here on my garden and front steps  was originally constructed by my fair hands twelve years ago. It took me hours of virtual planning, nothing drawn up on paper, all measurements settled securely in my head and then actually building a wonderful recreational area in my back yard. You may also remember me telling you a while back about the incident of ‘purchasing’ a showroom ex-display hot-tub?

Out on one of my many adventure days with my dear Dad we ended up in Newton Abbot in an outdoor leisure establishment. Goodness knows why, well, truth is, we got lost looking for a new DIY outlet and had to turn the car around in a scrubby industrial unit area, at the entrance a sign said “cheap swimming pools”, well, we had to go and see this for sure, and my Dad whose humour was very dry and cheeky entered the unit with his usual glow of enthusiasm.

In his broad accent, he asked where the cheap swimming pools were, the sales person said they didn’t have any as such, the sign was just a hook with bait on, which obviously worked as we were pulled in. There were big hot-tubs, small hot-tubs and a tiny eight sided wooden tub which was bubbling away for demonstration purposes in the corner. After swashing his hands about in the warm bubbly water he asked how much it was, it was boldly labelled ‘ex-display’ with the sum of ‘two thousand pounds’ to clear. The salesperson told him it was an old model and had been superseded, Dad puffed his cheeks out and said, tell you what, if it’s still here when I return I will give you a grand for it , (knowing he wouldn’t be back) but, you will have to deliver it free of charge and he headed off towards the door, “a thousand pounds you say” replied the salesman, tell you what, you can have it for seven hundred and fifty pounds, right here and NOW.

‘What the actual fcuk’ I thought to myself, ‘what is he going to do now, got himself in a bit of trouble here, where on earth has he got that kind of money from’  I pulled him to one side, he just smiled…..

So, a few days later, here we are, this huge lorry pulls up outside MY house, “hot-tub” shouts the driver. Yup I reply, (honestly, I mean, what was he thinking?) Looking about and over my shoulders up and down the road hoping the neighbours would see what was going on we watched as this massive crane hooks the tub up on slings and dumps it right on the pavement, he hands me an envelope with loads of paperwork and drives off to his next scheduled stop.

Now this thing is massive, weighs a ton, and it was empty. Checking the instruction manual I managed to work out how to disassemble it backwards, and believe me, it was a nightmare, but the saving grace was, that as it was built like an interlocking log cabin, we were able to carry it piece by piece, and believe me, there were many pieces, we carried them through the house and into my tiny rear courtyard which was a sun-trap. Working late into the eve and all next day we assembled it back to its former original glory, building a lovely decking area around it in the process and made it into an oasis of calm. Dad only used it once, it was on all the time, and with friends and family we had lovely evenings, even sat in it whilst it snowed one New Years eve.

So, whats this got to do with the attached picture I hear you ask?

After twelve years of use and being in a damp humid area, over time nature eventually takes its natural course, rot sets in, suddenly leaks develop and with spiralling maintenance costs disposal was imminent.

This pile of rubble and wood is the rotting detritus of happy times and just going to waste, and although you can throw away material things, the memories that were made and such fun and laughter created that are associated with it are unforgettable and will always remain.