Thursday, July 31, 2008


Archie's animation for Big Al Davies' "Landlubber" song from his Feztastic CD. He had to make a DVD to send to Cornerhouse in Manchester and deadline is today so it will be a bit late. Fingers crossed. Shiver me timbers!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Norbury Junction

Nice trip out with our friend Tom Tom to Norbury Junction near Stafford to see my old chum Trevor who lives in a delightful spot by the Trent & Mersey canal. We found him painting a narrow boat not far from his mooring with his mate Chris. They did not need a lot of encouraging to go for a pub lunch with us. It was boiling hot but shadey and cool under the trees.
We sat on his poop deck to admire the view and say hello and shiver yer timbers to all the narrow boats that chugged by - quite few now its the height of the holiday season and rented boats are ever more popular.

Trevor drove us in style to the pub in this ancient Daimler he uses for special occasions. I think he rents it out for weddings, bar mitzfas and other functions. It has a lovely Chitty Chitty Bang Bang feel to it as it trundles and shakes down the bumpy narrow lanes- the brambles and thistles flapping your face. The bakelite knobs on the walnut dashboard look like they came off an old wireless radio. Turning them makes the window tune into Uncle Mac's Childrens Favourites and ITMA.

After a pleasant chat and pub lunch in the canal side pub garden we trundled back and had a look round his Steptoe's yard and answered a call of nature in the badger infested wood nearby. "Mind that poop dumping hole!" came the cry as I narrowly missed a wobbly board over some bottomless pit overgrown with ferns and moss.
We let Trevor go back to his painting and baked at gas mark number eight all the way home.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Happy BBQ Day

It was Hazel's birthday today so Granma & Audrey came over in the afternoon for a BBQ in the garden. They bought the birthday cake that Granma made and we ate a chunk of that after Hazel and Audrey (it was her birthday yesterday ) blew out the candles.
I made some haloumi kebabs and marinated them with olive oil, lemon juice and herbs from the garden. Very nice they were too. The veg. burgers however were a bit overdone! Nevermind - disguised inside a big bap they tasted fine with lashings of tomato ketchup and burnt onions.
It was very pleasant in the shadey garden. Hazel had put some candles around and a cloth on the table. Archie climbed up into the tree house to take several aerial shots of us all. I expect they will appear at some point.
Audrey spent ages looking for kniting patternson the internet and then we had a couple of games of Tumbleblocks.
Hazel opened some more presents. A tin signal from a toy train set from me. A bunch of carnations from the Co-op. Boxes of chocs and more candles. A nice old Hazelnut Dainties tin. Clothes from Morgan and weird blinking eye and Marmite rings.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Just back from an afternoon in Chester , traipsing round the shops and cobbled streets. It was very humid and hot so we didn't wander long. Did the park and ride option and found a few bargains including Shaolin Soccer on DVD in a charity shop that I'd been looking out for. Also Yellowbeard with Graham Chapman, Michael Palin and other scurvy shwabs on video for 50p. It's supposed to be awful but I've never seen it. Hazel bought some birthday clothes from Morgan and other trinkets I will have to wrap up for Saturday.
Archie also got some bargains including some Manga DVD's, book and Pocky from the Japanese shop. He also got some holiday clothes from Gap.
Had a picnic under a shadey tree in the cathedral grounds which was quite pleasant with guitarist plying his trade nearby on the roman wall- close to where this photo was taken. I think the wall has collapsed further along so we didn't go that way for a change.
Nice to get home after the noise and heat to our lovely cool house. Had tea and cake in the garden now the bench and table have been oiled and painted. Hazel has done a good job with re-arranging the furniture and the stove etc. You really appreciate the garden when the weather is like this.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sunshine At Last

The sun has come out at last ( except when I took these photos!) and so Hazel has ventured into the garden to splosh paint about on the furnituire, tree house and shed and anything else that doesn't move. Very attractive she is too in her stained boiler suit. I still have a cold but managed to walk to town and back this morning. I found a double tape of Humphrey Littleton talking about his life and playing some trumpet in the Hospice Shop. The tape was, not Humphrey!
Also found a present for Hazel as it's her birthday next weekend, but can't say as she reads this and it would spoil the surprise.
Hazel and Archie went to Morrisons with Audrey this morning to get trolley loads of goodies.
Nothing much happened over the weekend as I felt awful and it rained mostly. Watched tons of TV and videos including The Shining and the rest of Flight Of The Conchords.
John Hegley phoned to thank me for the poster/artwork I collaged for him using the cover of Beyond Our Kennel. He's doing the Pleasence at the Edinburgh Fringe again in August.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Cold In De Nobes

Full of cold so don't feel like writing much. Went round town this morning but didn't find any bargains. Hazel bought a short weatherproof coat from a charity shop, bread and nuts for the birds. The bread is for us.
Making spaghetti vege-boll. Big ships in Liverpool on telly. Sailors hanging of the yard arms.
Archie only did half a day as it s the last- hooray! Six weeks off.
Hazel is doing some nice drawings of her discoveries in the workshop.
Time to stir the spaghetti.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Eye Test

Another photo from the steam fair yesterday. Hazel and Archie going round and round and up and down on the ferris wheel. I stayed with the bags and took the photo. I went on it last year so know what it's like. Great view from the top.
Today I had to go and have my annual or two yearly sight test at Specsavers. They are usually pretty good but a bit pushy considering my eyes hadn't altered atall from last time. The woman doing the testing was quite humourless and didnt smile once. Maybe she was having a tough day but it was only 10a.m.! I might try Boots or Holland and Aitchenson next time.
Then a quick look round the charity shops but didn't find any bargains.
Archie didnt feel very well today so had the day off school. Hazel bought him some cough mixture that seems to be made from molasses and paint stripper.

Tabley Steam Fair

We went to two boot sales yesterday. One in Weaverham at the High School which was pretty busy and sprawling. I didn't get anything though except some cheap bananas and mushrooms. Hazel got a tray of plants the slugs don't like. The sort with rubbery leaves.
The next at Hartford High School was less busy but a couple of dozen stalls. I found a cheap PS game . Hazel got a few metal things including a nail file in the shape of a woman's leg and a tiny pocket screwdriver.
In the afternoon we drove over to Tabley which isn't that far from us to the annual steam fair and traction engine rally. A bit like deja-vu as we got every year and all the same people turn up. Sadly the wall of death wasn't there this year. Nice to wander around the stalls and fairground listening to street organs and the noise of the steam engines chugging along. Also a display of old motorbikes, cycles, cars, lorries, buses, etc. We had a picnic in a field away frpm the noise and then walked over to the stationary engines to see them pump water into buckets and turn cranks. The owners sat proudly behind in folding chairs drinking flasks of tea or snoozing in the sunshine. It was very hot so we didn't stay long. Ate an ice cream in the shade of the fairground awning. Archie and Hazel went on the big wheel. I held the bags - Ive been on it before. Great view from the top. You could go up in a helicopter for 30 quid a 5 minute flight but that seemed a bit steep - especially the way it just missed the trees when landing!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Radio Fun

Walked to town and back this morning. Found this old 1941 Radio Fun annual on the cheap book stall in the undercover market. It has lots of old stars of BBC radio in comic strip form- some I've never heard of like Duggie Wakefield and a double act Ethel Revnell & Gracie West. I shall have to do some searching on the internet and see what I can find.

Duggie Wakefiled was in a film called The Penny Pool. Here's a review from a BBC website-

"Duggie Wakefield was a music-hall comedian who made his living playing dolts who, against all the odds, eventually came good. Released by Mancunian Films, which specialised in broad comedies with a distinctly regional feel, this hopelessly dated picture has our gormless hero getting mixed up with factory worker Luanne Shaw just as her winning pools coupon goes missing. Directed by George Black, the film was produced by John E Blakeley, who would go on to work with comedian Frank Randle on a series of vulgar farces in the 1940s and 1950s."

On the website about panto It's Behind You! under the double acts section it describes Ethel Revnell & Gracie West thus-

"Ethel Revnell and Gracie West were a popular female double act. Ethel was just over six feet tall, while Gracie was considerably shorter, at just under five feet. They began their career in Concert party. Their most popular variety characters were “Ethel & Gracie”, malevolent cockney schoolgirls. As a result of this they appeared as comic “Babes” in “Babes in The Wood”, and later as The Ugly Sisters in the Drury Lane pantomime, “Cinderella” in 1934. In this production the Baron’s name was changed to accommodate the “Long & The Short” ladies playing sisters. Instead of being Baron Hardup, he became Baron Mumm. That way his “Daughters” could be called Maxi and Mini!

Gracie retired in 1953, but Ethel continued in variety, and played female Dame in pantomime. Ethel died in 1978 and Gracie in 1989."

So now you know.

It's a horrible dull rain spattered day again and we are sick of it. Hopefully the weather will improve next week but looks like the rain has spoiled our trip to the annual Steam Fair - the ground will be far too soggy for those huge steam engines.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


Hazel and I went to Chester yesterday for a change. Did the Park & Ride thing and got there about 10:30. Hazel went off round the clothes shops to look for a jacket and I did the charity shops. I found a couple of videos- Harold lloyd's "Younger Brother" which I'd never seen and an old Dr. Who "Revenge Of The Cybermen" with Tom Baker. In the Oxfam found a nice EP of Ian Wallace of "Mud , mud, glorious mud!" fame singing more Flanders and Swann ditties including the great "Down Below" about working in the sewers of London. All now uploaded to Boot Sale Sounds audio blog.
We met up by the cross at the top of the High Street just as the Town Cryer was ringing his bell and posing for all the Japanese and American tourists. We'd seen him and heard his awful jokes before so went to get some lunch.
Hazel bought some Pocko sticks and a surprise present for Archie from the Japanese shop. Archie is doing his party peice on guitar and piano tonight at the music evening at school though not very keen.
Then back to the bus stop and home.
In the evening we watched the Coen Bros. "No Country For Old Men" which is a gripping thriller up to a point - the point is lost right at the end which was a shame as we usually like what they do - Fargo, Blood Simple, Raising Arizona etc. but this was pretty depressing. Amazed that it won four Academy Awards! Glad we didn't go to the cinema to see it though the desert scenes would have looked stunning I'm sure.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Rainy Boot

We didn't expect anyone to be at the boot sale today as the weather was awful. Much to our surprise the field at the top of Verdin Park was quite lively with cars, tents, hot dog stalls and punters. Hazel drove up the hill and parked on a muddy patch by a large marquee. Obviously something to do with the Northwich Carnival later on today - crowning of the Carnival Queen, Dog Show, Line dancing? Who knows.
The procession of floats and marching bands etc. was yesterday but it was raining so we didnt go.
The rain had stopped this morning and looked like it might brighten up. I didnt get much really but pleased with my purchases- a set of Readers Digest CD's for a few pence. Early rock 'n roll from the likes of Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino and Little Richard with a few poppy things by Pat Boone and The Crewcuts thrown in for good measure. Also a 5 DVD set of Phantasm series of horror films for a quid. Hazel bought some plants and Furbie for Archie which he has stripped down to a bare carcass. I think he is taking to the school for evil experiments.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Crewe Flea Market

We drove to Crewe today. Hazel drove and I just sat in the back admiring the view. Audrey came too but Granma stayed at home. Archie was at school learning how to programme games.
The flea market was pretty busy but I didn't find anything really. Tempted by a big pile of old 50's Practical Householder mags in folders but they wanted ten quid which seemed a lot and I only wanted them for the covers and I have some already.
Hazel bought some useful acetelene nozzle prodders. The man on the stall asked her what she thought they were and she said she didnt know and he said- why do you want them then? She explained that she was eccentric and liked collecting old rusty metal things. He told her what they were when she handed over her 50p.
Audrey got a big bag of googly eyes and other assorted stuff. I was supposed to buy cheap glue for her at the Pound Shop but it had closed sadly.
I found a cheap copy of The Flight Of The Conchords first series on double DVD disc- a late birthday present to myself. I missed it when it was on BBC 4 the first time. I expect they will repeat it now I've bought this. Sod's Law.
We watched the first two episodes tonight which was good. I liked the songs especially and this one (above) in particular.
Also found a video of The Gogs ( see Video Bar ) for 25p which Archie and I enjoyed back in the 90's.