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Saturday, 30 April 2011

Wing and a prayer

Early yesterday morning while Kate and Wills legal team were knocking about the finer details of a pre nuptial agreement of just who will get custody of the swans should it all go Pete Tong in the coming years we were braving the incredibly straight roller coaster roads of the fens on our way to Chatteris airfield near March. The glossy website didn’t really prepare you for the retro style cafe facilities, but I am sure that was due to the fact that they had spent all their money on the bunting and the aircraft!  

Despite it being a warm dry day some slightly hazy cloud kept everyone out of the skies until about 12.30 and glued to the telly looking for Wills fashionable bald spot and Martin Fidler the bearded butcher of Kate Middleton’s home villages at the abbey. After a brief bacon roll and some tea the call went up to start the engines and the first troop of chute-ist’s jumped on board the De Havilland twin otter. Despite its less than glamorous exterior (the plane and the club) it did seem well run and there were virtually no fatalities on the day although it was really hard to tell because like the Grand National, upon impact the bodies were covered over with a large sheet almost immediately. One little gem of information we did pick though was apart from death, brain damage and broken limbs all the instructors’ worst personal nightmares were tandem jumpers vomit. If you are falling really fast and you are sick apparently it will almost always make hasty tracks directly into the instructors face. Nice! Kirsty was one of the last two to jump and leapt from the twin ottered tub at about 4.30 and drifted down to terra firma with all her ankles intact and a sizable cheque for Athony Nolans trust grasped in a shaky hand.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

A Dungeness Wardrobe! Things that make you go Hmmm

At the B & B we stayed in, my wardrobe was so small that the only way you could get anything in it was to take the coat hangers out!

Masterchef 2011

Yesterday evening when Steph got in from her undercover Census work she announced that she had got me a present of a chef’s hat. Not any old chef’s hat, but a speciality BBQ chef’s hat! The fantastic thing about this wonderful cookery headpiece is that if you trap a bit of air in it and pull it on it will virtually give you an extra foot in height. Some simple people may think you have an unbelievably high forehead and call you Lurch, but to be honest I really feel it must be worth taking the chance to be the Alpha male for the day and strut your stuff, tongs in hand.  I am not really sure if this was just ‘chance’ or a higher force at work showing me the way forward (hat wise) with the barbequing season just round the corner and the final of Masterchef 2011 on telly. In fact I only had about an hour to wear my hat in between the Masterchef final and one of the best Come dine with me (trailer trash) specials at 8 o clock. With regards to the Masterchef final I had backed the winner Tim Anderson from a bit earlier in the competition due to the fact that he always seemed to have an ample supply of dry ice, machinery that looks like it could have been stolen from a tyre fitting place and a ingredients list that Heston Blumenthal on acid would be proud of. The only real let down about Tim Anderson is his name. It would have been nice, due to his American upbringing for his parents to have done the right thing and christened him something like Spike, Dweezil or Ace.    

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Mr Cheshire goes to town

There are a few absolutes in this world. One is that the DFS sale will never end and Kate Humble doesn’t interfere with sheep in real life, while here in Milton Keynes Enormodome you can always get a good late night fight at KFC. Statistically that is correct but I really think that it is just a numbers game because the place is always so bloody busy. Having said all that, on Good Friday evening I went up for some bowling and the place was virtually empty.  I was the final member of our 3 man team who boasted being at the very peak of 40 something, relaxed muscle physical fitness and even looked good wearing temporary clown’s shoes. Our opponents were Pats 20 year old daughter and her 2 friends who had been drafted in prior to going clubbing who were drinking hard. For the casual observer or a private detective viewing our group this may have had the appearance of a Silvio Berlusconi grooming party but like Mr Berlusconi nothing could be further from the truth! Luckily Graham was wearing his elbow support bandage and I had brought some ralgex and soon our a plan of getting the sympathy vote was well under way. The bowling was desperate due to the fact that no one had only three fingers and one eye, which I believe to be the absolute prerequisite of a good bowler or mountain man, but the girls were also not very good and soon we edged into the lead in both the bowling and toilet breaks. After the girls left we had a nice sit down and a few more drinks and then I wished Pat and Graham goodbye and made my way out into the central area to hear an acoustic set by MK’s Without Reason who has their single release at First Base next Saturday. Unfortunately as I arrived they were experiencing some fine Spinal Tap moments, firstly playing to basically only the security staff and then one of their guitars giving up! It was still too earlier for a fight at KFC so I was left with no other option than to make my excuses and leave.     

Friday, 22 April 2011

We've got a jumper!

As a Piscean I obviously will never be able to dance, however in keeping with my double fishy sign I am really really good at drinking, so I assume this dubious skill and my reputation goes before me and this is the real reason why I have not been invited to the big Royal Rumble next week. I am virtually a friend of the family after passing by the gates of Althorpe at least twice this week and standing all the way through Brian May’s & the fireplace's rendition of God Save the Queen at the Bowl in 1982.  So I am thinking that due to this rather standoffish stance I won’t be attending nor shuffling in the street to celebrate the Middleton / Wales wedding, but giving a little back ‘for charity, great mate’ and cheering on Kirsty’s 13,000 feet, bowel refreshing tandem parachute jump in aid of Anthony Nolan. Of course under normal circumstances I would be right up with the best of them jumping like a depressed lemming but the idea of strapping on a human rucksack is just morally wrong however I may consider one of these!    

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

George 'Is it time for my holiday yet' Thompson

Today I visited my old friend, graphic designer and artist George Thompson. Having arrived back from a holiday in Greece at the weekend George was hard at it and busying himself looking out of the window while his nephew Colin frantically ran around producing Tee shirts and mugs for Bletchley Park. As we relaxed in the starving artist chic of his first floor studio he spoke of his worries about steering his empire through these choppy times and wondered where the next holiday would come from.  He said the bottom had virtually fallen out of ink & charcoal naked ladies and his 80.s black and white images of Docklands were all but a vague memory in his bank manager’s balance sheet. I knew things must be bad as he thrust a money box in front of me as I headed for the door, but luckily before I had time to pull some high value lira out of my wallet (which I keep for such a emergency) he explained that it was the new code breaker product.      

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

"Hello, with a hat like this, who needs goodluck?"

Not being a big fan of African politics and possibly only having heard of Nelson Mandela, Idi Amin and Desmond Tutu, the father of modern dancewear, I was strangely drawn to a story about recent Nigerian elections that were won by a chap called Goodluck Jonathan. Somewhere deep in the recesses of my mind I feel sure that I may have received one of his greeting cards around the time of my driving test. I assume very soon after that he became disillusioned, realising the limited potential of the ‘Goodluck Jonathan’ range and sold out to Clintons?

I can’t say that it is a name that I’ve come across before and so pondered just how someone gets christened Goodluck? I wonder if his mother’s name was Lucky Heather and father Jack Pot and maybe he was conceived under a giant horseshoe owned by a crossed fingered leprechaun. By the same token did he have a brother named Badluck Brian who unfortunately never made into adulthood and political greatness, due to being run over by Mother Teresa driving a tractor carrying 4 leaf clover and some rabbit’s feet?

Footnote to above post

It’s ALL in the name. Having just blogged the above I decided to have a comfort break and while standing in front of the loo my trouser button shot off and down the toilet. I bet Goodluck’s never had his hand down the U bend, or had to fit his own shower. If only my mother and father had named me 'Prince Charles Cheshire' I wouldn't need to worry about these things!

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Lovely. Not!

There is a mosque on the horizon..... Well there would be if it wasn’t for the big tree in our neighbours garden, and if I was to take the dust covers off my binoculars, because this week the local council gave the go ahead for the change of usage for The Plough despite locals praying for the opposite. The real nub of the debate for me is the parking issues and increases in traffic which can only impact on the local residential area. When we moved here, possibly the very top thing on our list was parking and due to having two off road spaces and being a corner plot there still is enough room to park our three cars and my van outside without the use of a long handled shoe horn. Of course I am not so rose tinted and misty eyed to forget that there was some spillage when it was a pub with noise pollution and the occasional rowdy late night punter but generally it was pretty much contained to the immediate vicinity. The back story here is that the Muslim community has outgrown its place of worship and intends to operate this additional mosque however there have been some independent counts of cars and it well exceeds 100, so IF only half were to attend the Plough mosque, car parking would have to spill over into our streets. Whilst I don’t have a racist bone in my body I do have the eye of a traffic warden and know once the mosque is in full flow there won’t be enough room for even Nick Clegg to do a U turn outside our house.

On a lighter note Britain’s got Talent is back and last night ‘in a packed programme’ we saw a bloke that must possibly be Cee lo Green’s hair double, rolling his eyes OUTWARDS. (Yes, that was the act) and a Fred and Rose West lookalike with cowbells, who rung to Titanic’s ‘My heart will go on, however the rest of me may only be found by dyno-rod.’ The very first act was an afro Caribbean lady with a tea cosy hat who spun like a top whilst expelling wind through a stuck mouth organ. Whilst I love it, I feel sure that the Queen will be looking for more spangly Iams type advert quality, with Corgis!

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Jumpy Jim; prepare to be boarded

In a similar role to the United Nations Peace envoy I was yesterday vanned in to the sleepy Buckinghamshire hamlet of Gawcott. Trouble had been brewing for a while regarding an estimated bill and Mrs A and her dog named Jim were angrier than Wild Willy Barrett chewing a wasp. If I’m being really truthful I think that Jim, a rather overweight Staffordshire bull terrier was actually quite chilled about it all and apart from dragging around a large flat bone similar to that of a pelvis from an old or wounded postman his main aim in life was only to jump up and attempt to head butt / lick any intruders. It was quite difficult to concentrate however on Mrs A version of events with the constant threat Of Jims flying head butts to my nether regions, so I generally moved in a sideways crab like direction whilst Mrs A told me how she had lived through two world wars and didn’t really think it was fair to have to climb a 10 foot rickety old ladder at the age of 80 to read the meter. I said nothing but remember a time when they made pensioners tougher than that! It was during a rather long and drawn out story about happier times and homemade wine that Jim’s steely nose caught my attention and Steven and the Twins full on, and I was over. Mrs A in full flow and oblivious to the situation pointed towards the orchard and spoke of wonderful wartime hedgerows that had filled her demijohns in the past. With a slight shrill in my voice I promised to try to resolve the metering problem, then made my excuses and crawled off.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Blair Witch Twitch & tight lines

I was going to make a life size Wicker Man, then I heard Sting twatting on about the rainforest and some, and I really was finding it hard to lay my hands on enough old cane furniture to do it properly so I plumped for Blair Witch. It is to scale AND anatomically correct, so I am already thinking of selling it through a number of adverts in the back of TV Times on an easy payment scheme;-

Send NO money now, or you’re cursed!

This original specimen was made for the sea fishing / camping weekend in June 2010 where I intended to wreak psychological terror on my fellow sea fishing buddies to enable me to once again walk away with the Biggest Fish trophy like in 2009. I really don’t like to recollect all the details of my 22lb record breaking conger but it WAS record breaking huge, and a conger, record breaking..... Nuff said?

Last year was won (cos I forgot the above)  by the OMGMRGI (Oh my god my rods gone in) new boy Dodgy, who managed on a technicality, and a wild card ticket to squeeze in first.

Very soon I will start to plant the idea that this year’s campsite is haunted, and on the Friday night (prior to the big fish day) tell some ghostly stories around the campfire. That night when everyone is tucked up I will hang the cursed Witch sign outside the tents along with some Jenga twigs and other spooky shit and the 2011 trophy is as good as mine

OK, now its your turn to hide

Saturday, 9 April 2011

The Grand National Saturday 9th April

What I know about horses and horse racing could be written on a William Hill’s betting slip, and today was! I had refined my selection down to Two potential winners by my world acclaimed process of attaching all the names of the horses to a picture of a donkey and then spinning myself around, blindfolded until disorientation set in and a calculated thrust of the ‘It’s a winner’ tail into the picture could be managed. After today, I don’t really think I will recommend this to anyone (on health and safety grounds)

I contacted my good friend Peter with the disastrous news and he informed me that his Aunt had managed a third place, which we both agreed was incredible for a woman of her age and stature.

Last year (although not widely reported by the press) MY aunt fell at the chair!

Accident & Emergency in progress

The Company threw me a curve ball this week when going on a meter inspection at Princess Marina Hospital Northampton. What at first seemed like a pretty straightforward job slowly started to really try my patients. Firstly Mr Sat Nav took me to the entrance drive, only to be blocked by a permanent barrier. I then tried the famous; follow your nose, ask a woman walking a dog and consult a map book attempts, but still with no success. I was (to be honest) nearly on the verge of giving up until a local said about trying to get there through the new St Crispin Asylum estate which proved successful and gave me access to a whole host of desolate boarded up properties. The problem was that unfortunately Princess Marina had been retired due to ill health about a year ago and since then had a serious infection of Pikeys which has led to a lead reduction from her roof tops, and a copper deficiency from her internal wiring, removed in a rigorous daily operation similar to that of Varicose veins. So the upshot is that ALL the normal entrances have been sealed shut to ensure that No vehicular access (aka white transit vans towing caravans) could get on site. I learnt all this from the Estates guy that I chanced upon, who escorted me to the correct building along with the no nonsense advice to “sit in my van and lock the doors and avoid any eye contact” while he went back for his battery drill to remove the 18 or so screws that secure the doors to their frames. Once inside you had to marvel at the clinical accuracy of its cable removal, bathroom fitting removal, kitchen unit removal etc at the hands of these reclamation experts (here is a website that I found that shows a small example)

The best bit is though, that someone had actually cut the main cable in, LIVE and removed a good amount of the switchgear and cabling along with part of the meter. This must be what Mr Cameron’s Big Society is really all about, doing your bit in the community?

The day got no better after this as I went to a property on very busy road junction in Northampton town. Unable to stop anywhere near due to double yellows I was forced to park three streets away. I finally got to the house and knocked the door a couple of times but with no response. I phoned the owner who informed me he would be about 15 minutes, so I trudged back to the van for my tools and then made my way back dicing with death across a number of substantial roads. 25 minutes later he turned up and we went in, only to be greeted by two girls in the kitchen making brunch. Through gritted teeth I asked where the meter actually was which turned out to be the cellar. As we stepped into the gloom the customer pointed to the left and I made my way over to the GAS meter.

I couldn’t make up my mind as I explained to the beardy bloke that I only do electrical work if it actually was Jeremy Beadle or that bloke from Rogue Traders disguised as Beadle that had just wasted about an hour of my life.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

The picture of my dream dentist

I believed in the Tooth Fairy for many years up until I found out that my father was a dental technician and heavily involved in making dentures. It soon became apparent that I had an unusually disproportionate amount of tooth loss in my formative years whilst his business bloomed? Well, as you can imagine with this kind of history, a visit to the dentist is a little traumatic these days.

Yesterday without the help of Jeremy Kyle I fought my demons and went for a check up in Woburn Sands. My 8-15 appointment didn’t start until 8.30 due to the dentist’s, Miss Andry’s traumatic (bed departure, drive in, relationship, social life, upbringing, general boy malaise) and quickly headed south, once in my mouth. All I know is that, what had been ‘General Check Up’ just before turned into ‘Colonel Gaddafi bloodbath’ very soon after.

Clearly with her knee on my chest and an orbital sander in my mouth’ I was’ responsible for ALL that was happening in her life and beyond, and slightly short of death it was ME that was going to pay.

I can, and do speak with a sort of authority on this treatment as both Steph and I book our checkups together (8-15 & 8-30) and when comparing notes later Steph said how pleasant it had been! All I can hope for as the day went on, is that her Male patients/victims were a hardy lot and not prone to bleeding or suing.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Peter Kay in the big Gazebo

“Today is a sad day cos my friend has lost his job on the dodgems. In fact he’s so angry about it; he is going to do them for fun fair dismissal”

Peter Kay: The tour that doesn’t tour, tour. O2 Arena

Whilst I’m no corn chewing yokel, who stands in wide eyed wonderment of the fancy ways of London’s flashing lights and very big gazebo. I did recognise yesterday that some things that you just take for granted are NOT a given down in the smoke. An example is when travelling on the tube at certain times (possibly all the time) that you can’t have any personal space or a fear of head lice or STD. Urinals are designed and built by the same people that do lidl car parks where they crow bar 4 spaces into 3 and despite having god knows how many restaurants you are forced to wait about 45 minutes in ‘their bar area’ just to be seated.

We chose TGI’s mainly due to the orthopaedic requirements of Steph and Kirsty who both needed extra ribs whilst I, in preparation of the 2012 Olympics decided to bulk up a little with a Jack Daniels Monterey Burger and crispy fries. The real bonus was we were seated in a corner next to Squire Bass and amp and served by a guy who was the dead ringer for Cat from Red Dwarf. Steph and Kirsty slowly worked their way through the cocktail menu while I as the day’s wheel man stayed low on orange juice, but only until we got into the arena and I mixed it up a bit with some overpriced water.

“20 minutes of material stretched over a 2 hour period”

Needless to say he was brilliant, and had a host of observational stuff that applies to everyone, like old peoples highlight of the week is putting the recycling bins out, and the hierarchy, pride of place of family Christmas cards on the fireplace.

What a great xmas present to get in April.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

urine off

I feel sure that the Tesco cashier knew something that I didn’t, while scanning my ‘limited edition’ Andrex twin pack yesterday when she mentioned “mind how you go” It played on my mind for a while but finally had to concede that should the toilet paper be faulty just how could you do a product recall? Messy business I’m thinking.
Due to seeing Peter Kay later today (He doesn’t know it though) I took my mum a mother’s day present and card over to Leighton last evening, which was cheery, NOT! In a very short amount of time she was able to tell me about my auntie’s potential intrusive bowel investigation, the walnut sized gallstone of her friend Chris and the ongoing dog cruelty case of a friend of a friend’s Gay globetrotting theatre Lover!
Anyway on the initial subject of toileting we have just started to be invaded by a particularly nasty black and white Tom (cat) who is currently breaking in to the lobby through our magnetic cat flap with impunity and no magnet. I am starting to think that maybe he has a metal plate in his head or possibly thumbs and a small tool kit. Once he is in he then sprays the walls of the lobby and then pisses off to wreak havoc and tag other walls in his hood. (Sorry I don’t know what happened there)
As you will see though help is on hand with the marvellous Urine Off which promises to remove feline wee and follow up ‘marking’ There is unfortunately a downside to this miracle product though which is you cannot spray it in your eyes, skin or open wounds, and it should never be used as a air freshener.