‘When We Only Had Radio Luxembourg and Buying a Bulb Was Men’s Work’

Recently, I felt compelled to add some variety to the sounds escaping the windows and boot of my car when either of these is opened. The neighbours at least will have observed that I’ve had the same cd in the deck for several months and so, clearly, something has to be done about it. Time then to burn a special edition so I crank up the media player, load a blank and start dragging and dropping tracks onto the slate.  But what’s this? No drive?  How can that be?  It was there yesterday, it ripped yesterday, it was acknowledged as … Continue reading ‘When We Only Had Radio Luxembourg and Buying a Bulb Was Men’s Work’

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‘Glastonbury, Meteorology, and Shouting at Swans’

Saturday and I’d spent most of the morning keeping an eye on the weather as we had been promised our seasonal blend of sun, showers and thunder storms and, finally judging it safe to head for the fields without a wetsuit, I strapped the dogs into their harnesses and hit the road. Naturally, as soon as we arrived at a wide open space devoid of any cover, the sky assumed the quality of the inside of a biscuit tin and the rain came down in stair rods, thereby putting paid to any chance of a future career as either a … Continue reading ‘Glastonbury, Meteorology, and Shouting at Swans’

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‘Aliens on Your sofa’

Today, we’re off to the Vet’s and it’s the turn of Ms Muppet and General Montgomery.  If you’ve seen that three page treatise on how to give a cat a pill, you may be wondering why there isn’t one about getting cats into carriers.  Well that’s because the process is so deeply traumatic that it can’t be reported without reopening deep psychological wounds.  And we’re not talking about the cats here you understand. Anyway, today is the day and, aiming for nonchalance, I set out the two carriers in a separate room.  These are minutely explored, inspected and then inhabited … Continue reading ‘Aliens on Your sofa’

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‘Lawn Dogs and Budgerigars in the Cress’

Do you remember when mowing was something your dad did on Sundays while your mother got tea ready?  A gentle click click click up and down, and the result looking like a cricket pitch but without the silly mid-off or blokes hammered on real ale and expecting to intercept a small leather missile travelling at light speed. Of course this was a less relaxed activity when, instead of tea, something called High Tea was scheduled.  This was generally a tuna or spam salad which comprised a precise number of lettuce leaves and slices of radish, a couple of large semi-indestructible … Continue reading ‘Lawn Dogs and Budgerigars in the Cress’

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‘The T Word’

T is for Terrorist and I’d hoped to avoid this but matters have rather intruded into my personal space. You know how large events of national and international significance can be jaw droppingly horrific but somehow not quite intimate enough to catch you full on, and then something trivial happens that wallops it home?  Well this week my tumble dryer ground to a halt – lots of hot air and hum but no drum action and containing two piles of cold, wet rugs. I call in the troops. After replacing the drive belt and removing enough fluff to keep the … Continue reading ‘The T Word’

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‘Ye Gods’

Okay, you win, I APOLOGISE you pestiferous, pea-brained, gnat-witted, god of Excessive Precipitation.  Clearly I have upset this cloven-hoofed repository of extreme grandiosity by suggesting that the British weather really didn’t do anything terribly exciting, just got damp a lot so that we’re always obliged to carry raincoats.  By way of vengeance, he, she or it has taken it upon themselves to dump somebody else’s monsoon on us so that parts of the country got a month’s worth of rain in twenty four hours. Now you’d think that, this being an island, the excess would just run off the edge … Continue reading ‘Ye Gods’

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‘Fundamentals’

I’m in M&S today and I am bewildered.  When you went to the old Marks and Sparks to replace your underwear – once every three or four years, generally – because it no longer achieved its primary purpose i.e. staying up (knickers) and holding up (bras), it was an uncomplicated business.  You made your way through the serried ranks of safe sweaters, sensible skirts and, at the far end, way out of range of the casual gaze, you circled the two counters displaying under garments. Bras came in three sizes; small, medium and large, and colours were either white, (thoughtfully … Continue reading ‘Fundamentals’

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