Something for the weekend….

A little extra blog today in celebration of the sunshine actually lasting into the weekend…

I’ve reclaimed my garden today – well, the bits of it I laughingly refer to as ‘lawn’ at least. The rockery (pile of discarded bricks, paving slabs and angle iron) and shrubbery (nettles, brambles and royal hogweed) will have to wait for another day, but not a bad start, all things considered. I’ve probably mentioned it before, but the problem is, you see, that the garden lays a bit damp. Well when I say ‘bit’… Let’s put it this way: my garden makes Sir Ralph Mayhew’s bottom field look like the Gobi dessert… And when I say ‘lawn’ I’m actually referring to a couple of patches of moss, dandelions, watercress, bindweed and – in a very wet year – seaweed that separate the top of the garden, where all the local cats shit and my son keeps his trampoline, from the bottom of the garden, where my own cat shits and we keep the patio furniture and washing line. So not so much mowing the lawn as redistributing it, and bloody hard work it is too.

Having said that, after months of rain followed by days of sunshine even the watercress and dandelions had bolted and the garden had, to coin a horticultural term I originally picked up from Charlie ‘two lumps’ Dimmock, “Gone F*****g Mental.” Even the cat turds had sprouted, which is a first – though to be honest ‘sprouted’ is probably not the right word. It’s more of a fungal style life-cycle, truth be told, where they puff up to about three times their original size then burst with a gentle ‘pooff’, casting spores the entire length of the garden. I think I’ll take her off that hi-fibre ‘sensitive’ dry mix and put her back onto the wet stuff, actually. It may give her the squitts, but at least it seems biodegradable.
Continue reading “Something for the weekend….”

Oh wouldn’t it be Luvverly? (Yes, it was, thank you…)

Have you ever been compared to an abusive, alcoholic, prostitute murdering villain with a penchant for housebreaking and kidnapping? No? Gotta say, it was a first for me too!

Of course, it was all done in the best possible taste (uncrosses legs in the manner of Kenny Everett playing Cupid Stunt flashing suspenders and crimson gusset at camera) and arose during a very impromptu but totally wonderful drinking-to-excess-and-partying-to-the-wee-hours session that evolved last night from what was a very staid inaugural meeting of a very nice group of people known (to me at least) as The Tunbridge Wells Village Green Preservation Society.

More of the TWVGPS some other time, as they don’t really feature in this bit other than as the launch pad for what followed – viz the drinking to excess, partying to the wee hours stuff – when myself and a certain Dr of my acquaintance decided after the meeting to rendezvous with some friends who had been enjoying a polyopticon presentation of ‘Withnail and I’ at a local pub and eatery. When the film finished they came downstairs to join us at the bar and it was then that the young lady in question (“that was no young lady, that was…”.) leapt at me in a most melodramatic fashion, pointing a sinister finger and shouting ‘Lawks a mercy, guvnor, it’s Bill bleedin’ Sykes’!

I noticed her eyes were rolling like those of a startled colt and that she seemed a bit ‘twitchy’, so initially wondered if she’d taken the film to heart and partaken of a ‘Camberwell Carrot’, but then realised the eye-rolling was dramatic license and that the ‘twitching’ was in fact the effects of gravity working on her unfettered upper ladybits, which had been liberated for the evening from the constrictions of undergarments. While the influence of ‘PG’ (not the tea) was very much in evidence, it was actually the effects of mine own dulcet tones stirring her to these peaks of thespian extreme and her detection of the light cockney inflection that vies for dominance with the Sussex burr in my regular speaking voice.
Continue reading “Oh wouldn’t it be Luvverly? (Yes, it was, thank you…)”


Oh dear. Oh dear, oh dear. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Writer’s block, dear, and a bad bout too. Well when I say ‘writer’s block’ it’s more a case of essayist’s encumbrance or scholar’s stoppage, because it’s not writing per se that’s the problem but writing this final bloody assignment for my OU course. When people write about writer’s block (an oxymoron, surely, Shirley?) they tend to write about staring at a blank page and not knowing where to start or not having an ideas to start with, and neither of those things – as evidenced by this very writing wot you are reading at this very moment (or possibly thinking about, having read earlier, which is ever so flattering, thank you very much, but probably not the case in any case) – are precisely the problem. To be honest, I’d never let a silly little thing like not having any ideas stop me from writing anyway; I’d just tap out a load of old waffle like this and bung it up as a ‘blog’ or something. Yerse…



So it’s not that kind of writer’s block I’m talking about. It’s the other kind – where I’ve got a specific ‘thing’ to write and have been given specific instructions on how to write it and tons of background material to consult while writing and heaps of quotable quotes by people who seem to know what they’re talking about to quote from and I still can’t get the bloody thing written. Insane, isn’t it? To paraphrase Buzz Lightyear; “That’s not writing, it’s summarising with style.” And I tend to agree with him (well not ‘him’, but the paraphrased ‘him’. And I’m not ‘Woody’ either, though I have on occasion had to struggle with a snake in my boot ;)), which may be part of the problem. So it’s not ‘writer’s block’ or ‘essayists encumbrance’ or ‘scholar’s stoppage’ or any other nicely alliterative allusion to some sort of mental or physical barrier – it is good, old fashioned FEAR, plain and simple. I am a coward. Probably a custardy one, with pockets full of mustard to boot, if the old playground chant offers anything to go by (I’ve just looked; it doesn’t. No mustard, just some lint, two elastic bands and a dead mouse the cat brought in which I’m going to scare Julie Harris with later). Continue reading “SHOUTING ONE OUT…”


With gratitude to Mssrs Flanders & Swann

Drought! Drought! Glorious Drought!

Nothing quite like it for splashing about

So turn off your tellies

Grab raincoats and brollies

And pull on your wellies

For Glorious DROUGHT!




* NB: Posted during one of the wettest May’s on record when Tunbridge Wells was experiencing widespread flooding, with the local council still enforcing a hosepipe ban and drought warning.