Thursday, December 31, 2009

End Of Another Decade

Another year almost gone and the "noughties" too - it's amazing how quickly it's flown by! Seems only yesterday we were worrying about the Millenium Bug and watching the thousands of rockets explode overhead back in 1999 at midnight.
We have started our celebrations early with a nutroast and sprouts. The poles from next door have given us some carva and a tuppaware of strange looking mysterious foodstuffs that looks vaguely suerkruatish. Despite having lived here for a couple of years they barely talk any english so finding out what they are up too is difficult. They are off to Manchester it seems and not having a party as they did last year. We gave them a bottle of carva too.
The 90's seems to be the theme tonight Michael Jackson on the ipodplayer and now some There's A Guy Who Works Down The Chip Shop Thinks He's Elvis. A little clouds formed round the light bulb - the candles are blown out . The carva has gone to Hazel's head she says - how we shall get to midnight is anyones guess!
Party streamers are dangling from the paper chains. The crackers have been pulled. I got a tiny jigsaw puzzle of a parrot. Hazel got a three card trick. The smell of burning wax and oranges. Thinking of the days - believe me. Days we remember all our lives.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Santa Snowman Race

Here we are at Granma's and the special crackers this years contain either a racing Santa or a racing Snowman which definately was one of the highlights of Xmas Day - the exploding pudding and the renegade parsnip coming a close joint second.
I feel about three stone heavier now and my brain is turned to mush. The game of Monotony didn't help. I fell asleep during Dr, Who so missed most of that. Not many jokes from the Queen this year - she really should get Adam and Joe to write her scripts.
Hopefully going for a Boxing Day walk after a nice light salad today although we a have a ton of leftovers to get through. We seem to have bought enough stuff for a longish seige.
Now where is that extra thick pair of Xmas socks?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

At Last! Some Snow!

Everyone else seemed to get the snow days before us but a little arrived today to give a nice frosted look to the garden and environs (whatever they are?).
Full of festive spirit we are embarking on a morning of breadmaking using the breadmaker gadget borrowed from Hazel's Mom. It's whirring away now sounding abit like a cement mixer. Hopefully the results will be more edible than cement!
Hazel's Mom and her sister had a brief breadmaking binge when they first bought it a couple of years ago but after the initial novelty had worn off they consigned the breadmaker to the cupbaod under the stairs.
Hazel is considering making a cake for her Mom as it's her birthday tomorrow. We are are all sledging over there to watch her blow out the candles on the cake etc.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Nice walk around Shackerly Mere this morning while the sun was shining. We saw several robins or maybe the same one flitting about just in front of us - from branch to branch and turning over dead leaves to find bugs. He very kindly posed for this photo by the water's edge. part of the lake was frozen over and seagulls were skidding along looking most comical. The ducks too seemed to be in good spirits despite the cold and diving and splashing around as if they were at the beach at Brighton in July!
No boot sales today sadly but yesterday I walked into town and got a few "stocking fillers" and two scratchy records - one by a child progeny who plays the piano and sings Inka Dinka Do, the old Shnozzle Durante song- the worst version I have ever heard! The piano playing is Grade Two level and quite acceptable - her only claim to fame is that she starred in the film Girls Girls Girls with Elvis back in the 60's. The other record is a sleeveless copy of an old 50's Brunswick label 10" LP called Country Favourites Vol. 1" and it has a couple of real gems on it including Goldie Hill's "I Let The Stars Get In My Eyes".
Hear them at my Boot Sale Sounds audio blog.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Peter Quinnell

We are the proud owners of a Peter Quinnell assemblage that arrived today by courier. Sadly the glass had shattered into lots of tiny bits but we quite like it without the glass - you dont get those annoying reflections distracting you!
Peter was game enough to suggest a swap for one of my collages so I was very happy. We have several of Peter's boxes he made with Magda Archer ( Magda is now married to comedian Harry Hill but still a working illustrator with books coming out for Harper Collins and cards at Polite ) when they were working together - the graduated from the RCA at the same time that Hazel did ( or was it the year after?). We have always enjoyed the humour in their work and Peter has carried on that tradition with his "solo" work. Peter lives with his illustrator wife - another RCA graduate Claire Fletcher and his daughter in sunny Hastings by the sea. His recent exhibition was hung on the side of a very wind blown and surf sprayed beach hut on the pebbly beach.
Hazel and I used to enjoy trips to Hastings when we lived in London as it was within easy reach of Waterloo station. The wonderful tall wooden net drying sheds there were an inspiration for Hazel's "Currant Drying Sheds" - one of which is now in the collection of the Crafts Council of GB.
Back in the 90's when we still lived in Lambeth Walk we exhibited with Peter and Magda and some other artists at the Roupell Gallery just behind Waterloo Station. The show did very well and even got 2 minutes on a late night arts programme on Thames TV. Peter now does illustrations for book covers , magazines and shop window displays in Oxford Street as well as teaching at Hastings School Of Art.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Crinklemess Is Coming

I have 15 minutes before penultimate piano lesson of the year to write something sensible. I have neglected this blog for a while. Well, all of them really. I must try and catch up.
Today, which is fresh in my mind , was fraught with all kinds of misfortune like the huge Q's in most shops, the post office and the bank. I could not face any of them so consequently didnt get the xmas stamps or post the parcels and cards I had taken along. Luckily WH Smiths had a small supply of 2nd class stamps which I bought - the whole lot! So anybody else asking for stamps will be miffed.
I'd taken my prescription into the chemists earlier and told them I would collect it in 20 minutes or so but it completely went out of my brain and I only rememebers on the bus home. I phoned up and told the bewildered girl on the other end of the phone what had occured and she said I could pick them up tomorrow. So another trip into town due. Another library sale was on but mostly the same books and CD's I had looked at last time.
No other bargains. No sign of Treena or Betty in Age Concern. It was very busy - more like a Saturday. The Crinklemess Rush has begun in Ernest.
Enjoying the repeats of many Alan Bennett films and documentaries on BBC 2 and 4. Great to see again some from the 70's that I missed the first time round.
Time to tickle the ivories.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

New Rope String Band

Really fun evening out at the Great Budworth Village Hall to see the New Rope String Band. I already had the Old Rope String Band CD that Jim in Basingstoke sent me and he told me they were very good live. After one of their number died in a hit and run accident a few years back I never thought I'd get to see them but thanks to the Cheshire Rural Touring Network they played a couple of village halls near us and I managed to book tickets. We have been to a few RTN functions and they are always terrific. You see top class acts, theatre groups etc. in the intimate surroundings of the village hall with lots of nice village folk who always seem glad to welcome strangers and pull out all the stops to make the visiting artistes feel appreciated.
Great Budworth is no exception - great care was taken in the decoratiosn of the hall - being a "string and rope" theme they managed to borrow the tug of war rope from the young farmers and wind it round the rafters like a big snake! On the tables were vermicelli and sweet pink stringy shoelaces. Also nibbles and hot mince pies in the interval. Some tasty bottled beers in the bar too.
The band itself were excellent musicians and very funny and inventive as this YouTube video shows. Hazel bought me the DVD of their Old Rope String Band days to wrap up for Crimble.
Everyone we spoke to were very friendly and on our table were some very chatty people who new someone that travels on the train with Hazel - a small world eh?
A kind lady let us park on her drive when we found ourselves stuck down a narrow private road when the car park for the village hall was full.
Instead of the usual raffle they had a themed competition to guess the name of the knots on a tray handed around. We got one out of five needless to say as our knot recognition wasnt up to scratch.

The New Rope String Band Promo from Tom Dalling on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Karma Komedian

Another week has nearly flown. The rain has been pretty relentless as is the the wind that whistles down the chimneys. At least we dont live near a river ( the nearest is the Dane and over a mile away ) like those poor folk in Cumbria who have had to leave their homes and worldly goods and stay with neighbours and family until the worst is over. Today wasn.t so bad here - the sun shone and the wind died away to a light breeze. I walked into town on Monday and got soaked to the skin.
Today was quite balmy by comparison. I even found a few stocking fillers on my usual rounds. Also some boots which are a size too large but will suffice with thick socks during the winter months. A fiver from the Oxfam shop and hardly worn. They seem very heavy so I suspect steel toecaps! Great for charity shop stampedes and careless dropped tins of tomatoes in Aldi.
Archie made the collage above some time ago at his last school. he has collected most of his artwork and flung the most of it into the recycling bag. He's put the lovely boxed assemblages he made on his bedroom wall. I will try and get a photo as they are really quite exceptional. A chip off the old blocks.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


An eventful day starting with Hazel feeling ill and then to compound her stress a stupid woman parked her car on out white line so that we couldnt get out. Our train was due at 9:12am and it was now 8:35 and Hazel was seething and wandering the street wringing her hands. Eventually the dozy woman emerged and got an earful from Hazel who by this time was at boiling point. I've never seen her so angry. What made it worse is the fact the woman was totally un-repentent and laughed it off, which made Hazel even more angry. Archie and I hid indoors at this point.
Anyway, eventually we got to the station and got our train. Archie had to walk to college as no time to give him a lift.
The journey was pretty uneventful and didn't take too long. Seemed quite fast infact - the new train probably helped. Hazel was very envious of the comfortable carriages and accoutrements , so unlike the cattle wagons she has to travel in on the Manchester to Chester line.
Thankfully she had calmed down by this time. We had a late breakfast ( slice of toast and tea ) in the Bluecoat cafe. The gallery has been re-furbished but seemed strangley empty and lifeless - the once comfortable and human sized spaces replaced by large,cold and austere spaces that made you want to leave straight away! The nicest rooms were given up to the shop and studios at the back beyond the peaceful courtyard. The latest exhibition didn't help either- some rather depressing paintings and prints by local artists like Adrian Henri etc. based on the novel "Under The Volcano" by the troubled writer Malcolm Lowry.
Time to be cheered up by some Jean Tinguely sculpture at the Tate!

Slightly underwhelming - the show curated by Michael Landy was very thin and contained hardly any large works and very few that were working. Indeed many looked so fragile that they would probably self destruct if plugged into the mains!
Even so it was light relief after the Bluecoat and I enjoyed very much seeing the short film of the "Homage To New York" and the documentary of Michael Landy talking to people who knew Tinguely and witnessed the "Homage To New York" event some 49 years ago.
Hazel was pleased that so many of her students had turned up despite the weather.
Hada nice lunch of soup and roll in the Tate cafe with Nick who teaches on the Interactive Arts course. Expensive but we were hungry and need to rest our weary feet.
Considered walking further to other galleries but we decided two was enough for one day and Hazel was still feeling under the weather.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Social Whirl

Quite a busy weekend for a change with a trip out to Yorkshire with Tony and Penny on Friday to meet up with Dave,Nick and Joan at a posh pub , high up on the moors near Rochdale or was it Huddersfield? Anyway, it was a very nice meal and good drop of Black Sheep bitter. We had a quick walk to take some photos waiting for everyone to turn up. Most can be found at Flickr.
Afterwards went to a garden centre to look at the Xmas lights ( see Flip video above ). I was tempted to buy some LED candles but decided I prefer the real thing.
Yesterday it was an invite to Adela and Will's lovely old house the other side of Northwich for a house warming. More lovely food and home made cider. Met all the family and got a tour of the rambling house on the side of a steep hill. The back garden looks more like a cliff. Adela and Will have plans for terraces and chickens etc. One can imagine the chickens all roped together and wearing crampons hanging on for dear life. Maybe mountain goats would be a better option?
Had to leave early to get Archie who was having dinner at a friends house.

The social whirl continues today with a trip over to Alsager and Sunday Lunch with Tony and Penny. Archie took two ukulele's so he could show Tony some chords and they played Tiptoe Through The Tulips etc.
Nice nut roast and all the trimmings, soup and ice cream. Pineapple upside down cake. Yum!
Went for a walk along the Salt Line afterwards to burn off some calories. The Salt Line is an old railway track that was closed down in the 60's and eventually changed into a path for ramblers. From it's highest point you can see Mow Cop and the Alsager Tip.

The Salt Line

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Charity Market

It was the yearly charity market today. Sadly it seems to have been taken over by charities that insist on a tombola stall. Hardly any books or records etc. There's just so many packets of bath salts and tins of prunes you are able to accomodate. I'm never lucky at such things and despite plunging my hand into the numbered cork drum many a time Ive always seem to walk away with the knitted loo roll cosy!
The charity shops proved just as fruitless. We had to make do with our bargains from Aldi. It was jam packed today and old codgers were getting their trolleys in a twist and blogging the isles. One appeared to be in the pay of Aldi and was exclaiming very loudly to all in earshot about the wonderful savings on marmalade and sliced loaves. I know - that's why we come here I felt like saying but just smiled approvingly.
Archie is off today for some reason and so bored he is actually doing some piano practice!
In the news this morning a scientific survey suggesting that teenagers do need a lie in until noon and its not because they are lazy but need 12 hours sleep.
Latest set of collages at Scrapiteria on the theme of Dinner Guests of which the collage above is just one. The new theme is Unnatural Phenomenon ( or something similar ) so that should be fun. I'm off now to find my clippings of three toed sloths.Or three humped camels-

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Fireworks In The Park

Went to the annual Round Table firwork and bonfie extravaganza in Verdin Park which was well up to the usual high standard. Grand finale was impressive when sparks and bits of debris rained down on the essembled throng! A pall of smoke drifted over us and hung in the air above the infirmary. Squelched back through the soggy leaves to the car parked several miles away breathing in the toxic fumes and smell of damp duffle coats. Oh, it was me.
Short film as my Flip camera was low on batteries.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Beer Feeding and Ferdie The Fly Day

Yes, it's 26 years since Hazel and I first went out together and we've been together more or less ever since. We choose the 5th November for our Anniversary as it's quite easy to remember and the evening that sparks flew at the bonfire party in Alsager. I think we did meet up a couple of times before that with friends tagging along - at the Postal Museum in London and in an Alsager pub. I can't remember where Ferdie made an appearance but he seemed much larger then and wore a handy rucksack with a tin bottle of what flies like to drink best. He seems to have lost some weight and aquired a handy embroidered bag with his name on. On the reverse it says "For Mickle xxx"
The Bear Feeding is also an "in joke" of sorts that only very good friends can possibly understand. Come to the Beer Feeding and bring some sparklers. There will be toffee and cakes. Ferdie is welcome too as long as he doesn't sit all over the jelly!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

Roger and Jilly Visit

Nice to see our old chums Roger and Jilly from way down in Sussex drop by for a quick overnight visit. They came via Scotland and some other old friends of their's en route.
Had a nice meal with champagne last night and watched some fireworks to celebrate. Hazel lit loads of candles in the garden (or did she? )
Lovely musical improvisation later after the dippy chocolate thingy? Archie lent Roger a ukulele and he also brought his guitar along as he did a gig with the blues band up in the North somewhere. ( The award winning author Ken Follett plays in the band too )

Took some film which is on YouTube.
Today Hazel had to go to college to do her lecture on Creative Methodology but we had a leisurely breakfast and went to town to wander round the charity shops and the market.
Jilly and Roger bought all kinds of stuff including tons of books ( some from library sale) and a china chicken to put eggs in. Jilly found the ellusive plastic funnel she'd always wanted!
I got a book about 60's beat groups from UK for 75p in library sale and one about country living and how to wattle your daubs etc.
Home for lunch of various exotic cheeses, bread, crackers and salad.
They have gone home now and should be almost there.

Roger contemplates buying a special Dinky.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

House Warming

Nice to get invited over to our new neighbour for a kind of house warming party last night. Rob had invited a few of his old neighbours who included artists Will and Adela who sound like they do some very amusing performances and installations in the North West area. You can see Adela's blog HERE.
Always good to meet up with like minded people as this rarely happens in this area.
The two boot sales today were very sparse but we did manage to get a few odd bargains including a Fats Waller homage LP by Neville Dickie and some 20p CD's of King Crimson and Ian McNab to name but a few.
Hazel bought a cloche clamp ( in its original box!) and some scratchy 78's including George Formby and a nice hawaiian guitar duet by Ferera & Franchini who sound more like an Italian firm of solicitors.
Also a convex lens, smaller lenses, sewing sets and travelling clothes hangers in their own fabric case.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Marbury Walk

Nice autumnal walk yesterday to see the leaves in all their glory. No boot sales so nice to get out for some fresh air and take a few photos. Most are on Flickr ( see right ).
Surprisingly few walkers in the woods despite the pleasant weather. Hazel and Archie kicked up the leaves and made mounds on the paths for small boys to ride their bikes in.
Amused at antics of diving moorhen and the seagull that was surprised when he re-surfaced allmost underneath him!

Mostly a quiet weekend of internal reflection and reading the papers- doing a bit of collage and watching a strange Norwegian film that Esther sent us.
Found an excellent bit of freeware that transforms YouTube clips into files for DVD. I made a compilation of old Spike Jones clips which is great albeit rather low-fi.
You can find it at

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Rory McLeod

Fabulous evening at Northwich Folk Club last night being entertained by Rory McLeod - travelling troubadour from London and now resident of the Orkneys. We saw him a couple of years ago there and he was still wearing the same T-shirt! Some of the same songs too but all our favourites so that didn't matter. Not only a gifted guitar player he can play the mouth organ , spoons and the percussive board he stands on. He mentioned a trombone too but that was left in the van. Goaded by Hazel I had a quick word afterwards and told him we lived in Lambeth Walk for a while - trying to up my cockney credentials. He didn't seem all that impressed - mind you, he was trying to roll up some microphone cable and get off to the next gig at the time. He did pose for this photo though with his old collaged guitar case. Sorry my snap doesnt really do either justice!

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Back in the old time machine to 1987 when life seemed a lot simpler - no double chins to be seen and we won things like a Weekend In Bognor with daft collaged postcards sent to City Limits ( now defunkt ) magazine. Hada lovely time by the sea watchimg the bathers in their zimmer frames waddle down the beach and stayed in a very posh B&B on the seafront. I cant remeber much about it except making a sand castle and sending a postcard back to City Limits to say we were having a "wonderful time - wish you were here". On the train home we made friends with a friendly pigeon ( see above) We later wrapped it in brown paper ( no vinegar ) and sent it to Tony as he liked pigeons and often made his own from plywood and chicken wire.
Beano T-shirts were also all the rage. I have seaid too much already!

City Limits were very good to us in the 80's as they seemed to enjoy my cards and we used to win stuff on a regular basis. It didn't seem like a week went by without cinema and theatre tickets dropping onto our doormat, handy if you were struggling on a student grant and part time wage in a health food shop. Also won videos and books and once a minute shopping trolley dash around a record store ( but without the trolley ) where I got 40 plus african LP's and a hernia.

P.S. Good news on the medical front. Just got letter from hospital saying all is pretty normal for someone of my age so nice to know at last that my aches were due to diverticula and should be fine if I continue my diet of muesli and grit.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Birthday Boy

Our boy is a big long lanky 17 year old now and refuses to have his photo on the internet ( on this blog anyway ) Friends of Archie can find him elsewhere. Hazel doesnt like to be on here either so I'm a bit limited to just me and what I've been up to so sorry for any lack of great detail.
We went to Granma's for tea on Sunday and Archie blew out his candles ( photo here ) and I ate far too much cake after carefully picking off the melted wax!
I have probably said too much already. This was NOT granma's cake but a fruit cake with icing that Hazel had piped ARCHIE on in sickly bogey green icing. The candles burned like sodium flares and smelled rather similar. I have probably said too much.......etc.

Today the peace and tranquility is broken only by the men from Northwich Glass laughing at our nick-nacks and filling the holes under the window sills left by the other blokes two weeks ago. It didnt take them long thankfully. They only needed one cup of coffee and they were off to the next repair job. One put a tender in for the "over cladding" as I happened to mention all the other jobs that need doing. ( They don't miss a trick do they? )

What did I expect for the 13th. A magpie reflected in the mirror at the bottom of the garden? Does that count as lucky or does the 13th cancell that out? Anyway it all seems to be going to plan - the kettle leaking all over the kitchen table ( luckliy still under guarentee ) no sign of that letter from the doctor - door catch falling off at regular intevals etc.

Nearly time to go and burn the dinner so better leave it here. Shhhh! Mum's the word.
You don't know me right?

Friday, October 09, 2009

Barb and Des Visit

We dont get that many visitors but always nice to see friends and family and have some treats. My sister Barb and her other half, Des, drove up from basildon to see us for a couple of days and we took them to see the gardens at Tatton Park(see above) and have a butcher's round Knutsford. Popped in a few charity shops but didnt get much - Hazel found an embroidered tablecloth. Had a light lunch of leek and potato soup and crusy bread at the Penny Farthing Cafe or whatever it's called. It has tons of old boneshaker's and bikes and penny farthings hung up in the rafters. A little toy train chugs round the pelmet at the top to distract diners from their puddings. We had some pecan pie and barb and Des had lemon drizzle cake - yum!

The gardens behind the gift shop at Tatton were a best kept secret. We had no idea they were so big and contained things like a maze, a chinese pagoda, wonderful topiary, a kitchen garden full of pumpkins, lakes, bridges, ponds, follies, huge old trees and miles of footpaths.
Also a giant fern house full of giant ferns of every shape and size. Designed by the chap who did the Crystal Palace apparently.
Lots of gardeners at work pruning the fruit trees and sweeping up the dead leaves.
An italina garden with fountains and lots of statues. I was snapping away for ages with my camera. Most of photos are on my Flickr stream.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Looking Through Windows

This old photo takes me back. To the Isle Of Wight to be exact and the small steam line from Sandown to Somewhere Else? It might not be Sandown but definately somewhere else. Archie looks about 4 or 5 and enjoyed the ride I think . It was a very nice holiday although our B&B was up a very steep hill pushing the buggy up there every evening was very exhausting after a hard day on the beach!
Having yet more windows put in so a loud racket of hammering and splintered wood being wrenched from the wall as I write this. An alarming number of bricks were loose upstairs above the larger window so he's using a prop downstairs just in case. Fingers crossed!
I've had to stay in today to make tea and keep an eye on things though I'm sure are reliable and could work without tea (only one wanted tea ) or supervision but they did ask to borrow a dustpan and brush and the hoover so good job I was here!
Hopefully it will be worth all the disruption. I was up early putting the dust sheets around and moving electrical gadgets- the TV, DVD player etc. so they did not trip over them or cover them in a layer of dust.
I have washed the curtains and luckily a sunny day - ideal for drying.

Thump! thump! thud! crud! etc.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Another Week - More Boots

Another week has flown by. Two boot sales today- one at Weaverham and the other at Verdin Park. They were just queuing up to go into the High School as we arrived so I guesss they were a bit late starting. By the time we found a parking space the Q had trickled down and lots of the stalls had set up. I found a couple of DVD's one of which was Chumps At Oxford with Laurel & Hardy plus a few other shorts. Nice cleaned up copy - digitally enhanced with colour if you want it - I don't!
Hazel found a few old tatty packets of fuses, bulbs and nick-nacks for her blog.
Then to Verdin which was very quiet and no bargains atall. Hazel took Audrey later when she had woken up.
This is a collage for Scrapiteria - the latest theme being "Found". Most of my collage material is "found" in some way or other so quite an easy challenge. This old packaging from a bird feeder has been knocking around on my work table for a while now and so nice to be able to use it at long last.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Anderton Boot

I seem to have missed a whole week again.
Went to Anderton boot sale today which is a dozen or so stalls , some inside a community hall. Got some frames for Audrey who has given me some ofher watercolours to mount and put under glass for the church art and craft exhibition soon. Also two DVD's including The Seige with Bruce Willis which looks awful but was only 50p.
Hazel bought some old tools including calipers, a automatic centre punch and some dividers. They were a bit rusted up but a soaking in oil freed them up again.
We tried to find the boot at Cuddington but got a bit lost and came home again as I had an appointment at the hospital - another scan. I had to drink a pint of water before leaving so was bursting by the time we got there! Thankfully the scan only took 10 minutes.
Yesterday I walked to town and back as it was such a nice day - the whole weekend has been great, a real indian summer.
The Age Concern shop had it's annual "All You CAn Stuff In A Bag For A Pound" days and so I did just that like all the other vultures who descended on the place! I got a few bargains but mostly rubbish like some terrible japanese anime cartoons on DVD - from the 70's I should think. Also a big pile of birthday and xmas cards to collage over. Plus a book about Beachcomber - the humourous writer from the 30's and 40's.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Willow Pool

Hazel and I drove over to the Willow Pool Garden Centre near Lymm yesterday which was a treasure trove of old junk and rusty stuff as well as duck ponds, pots, fountains and topiary. Quite a maze to wander through and all seemd housed in once was an old fairground. Booths full of antiques and reproductions of antiques, flower pots, gargoyles and fallen angels. There was a cafe too with lots of individual huts and gazebos to sit in. A fascinating place to wander and take photos, of which I took many. (Go to Flickr to see them.)

We didnt buy anything as most of the stuff was expensive or else the price label had rotted away.
Drove back via Lymm and got a bit lost. Ended up at another garden centre at High Legh. This was a duller place though large. We used there fascilities and bought a drink and some biscuits. Hazel bought some bulbs for the Spring.
Last night we watched a second rate Hitchcock film called "Torn Curtain"- an unlikely tale about spies in East Berlin with Paul Newman and Julie Andrews who I couldnt take seriously in a role like that. It was two hours long too!
This morning we were up early for the boot sale at Hartford. Got there as they were all queued up to go in at 8. Had to wait for them to set up their tables and unload their wares. Hazel bought a big ol' tin trunk , a cast iron stool and a long framed mirror. Also a fez for Archie but he'll probably not wear it. The man on the stall did a belly dance for us which was a little alarming first thing in the morning!
I got a DVD by Dylan Moran who made me laugh when he was in Black Books. Not seen much of his stand-up show so this should be interesting.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Catching Up

I seem to have neglected my blog what with one thing and another - so heres a brief catch up of all thats been going on.
Firstly these are images of some of the amazing match box labels we bought at the annual matchbox labellists ( there's a special name but can't think what it is? ) fair at the Memorial Hall in Northwich. We missed it last year so made sure I wrote it down on the calendar for this year.
Very friendly folk on the tables who were happy to sell labels for a few pence .We could have stayed there all day , rooting among the piles of smoking related ephemera but our arms and fingers began to ache with all the sifting and flipping you have to do!
Hazel bought some great metal lucifer cases too - with ingenius lids that and drawers that opened out. I found her three for only a pound each. Also a nice tin A.1. Tobacco holder.

Archie did well with his GCSE's and secured his place at 6th form college. He's been to the signing in day and starts soon. He's been doing lots of cycling to built up his leg muscles for the ride everyday. It's nice to see him become more independent and go off on his own and to visit friends in the next village etc.
The promised bar-b-q summer never really arrived and the weather has been pretty awful. Lots of rain and clouds. But we have managed a few trips out. To Wrexham and Wales to deliver some collages to a obscure gallery in a converted barn in the middle of nowhere. Needless to say it was a bad choice and I ended up going back to get them after a few weeks. We did go to Wrexham again though so not completely wasted trip. Wrexham is a pleasant enough town with lots of markets - indoor and out and loads of charity shops to keep us busy.

Rick Cox dropped in recently for some lunch on is way to Cumbria where he was putting up his exhibition at the Kendal Arts Centre. Had a nice chat about what he was doing. He gave me a nice home made book of workplaces and studiosn which I appear - or rather one corner of my untidy workroom appears with its teetering piles of CD's and cassettes!
Have had a bit of worrying lower back/pelvic region pain so been to Infirmary for some tests. Nothing conclusive so have to go for more soon. Not looking forward to that much, especially those embarressing backless gowns you have to wear and you shuffle round holding your clothes in a wire basket!
Had a nice meal and drink in Middlewhich recently with Tony and Penny - on a pub by the Trent & Mersey canal. Walked round the town afterwards and popped in some charity shops,
Have been to Chester and Frodsham and lots of boot sales. Bargains include some tin badges including Roberts Bakery ( just down the road from us ) and Rolo ( I'd give you my last ROLO anytime!) Hazel has bought tons of old tins and gadgets ( see her blog for details ) and plants. Doing lots of gardening butonly managed tow bar-b-q's.
We have new front windows coming soon so that should be fun. More tea for the workers and house full of dust.
Did I mention we went to Yorkshire and to the Peak District? I think I probably did.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain

They sounded great at the proms the other night which you can still hear on the Radio 3 "listen again" service. This was one of the highlights for me- a great version of the old grunge song by Wheatus.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


What gadabouts we are - one day it's Wrexham and the next day it's Lostock Gralam and today it's Chester. We split up after arriving on the bus and I went round on my own to all the charity shops as Hazel and Archie wanted to buy clothes. The very idea! I found no bargains probably because it is the dreaded 13th today. Anyway we had a nice lunch on the bench under the cathedral walls , surrounded by gargoyles and pigeons. Delicious vege sausage rolls from the pastie shop which we had just discovered. Hazel also bought some green T-shirt material for her latest rag rug.

Lots of buskers including many young boys who obviously thought it a good idea to make some money in the school holidays. One young lad was playing the accordion whilst an old man lent over him and shouted "My names Graham - what's your name?!" The young lad looked terrified.

Monday, August 10, 2009


I forgot my camera today so no photos of Wrexham or the bits in between. Fist we dropped some collages off at the converted barn gallery at Stretton some six miles from Wrexham. Luckily the sat nav guided us there - we would have had a hard time finding it otherwise. It's a mixed show of local artists - some 60 or so. The barn space is quite large but can't see how they will fit everyones work in!
Wrexham has some interesting indoor markets that look as if they date back to Victorian times - nice stone reliefs on the outide of bulls head etc. Also a bustling outside market where Hazel bought some plants quite cheaply to brighten up the garden. Popped into several charity shops and had a good rummage. Found a scratchy record of "naval shanties" called UP THE FOC-SLE which will appear soon on my audio blog I'm pretty sure.
We got some vege sausage rolls from Sayers to eat in the small park by the market place.
We needed to get back home for the surveyor- who was coming to measure our windows so had to leave Wrexham at 12-30pm. We shall have to go back and explore further as there seemed to be other shopping streets we did not venture into.
Maybe next time.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Chocolate Production

These are old educational slide rolls in tins and plastic cannisters I bought today from the boot sale at Chervil or is it Chevron? The biggest in the North West they reckon. Huge queue of traffic trying to get in- we waited 20 minutes to reach the cowboy with the money bucket.
Very hot and sunny. Quite pleasant first of all down the far end withmthe bouncy castles and bouncy toilets. Room to walk and browse in the wider avenues of cars and stalls but later - further up it got very packed and the rows were narrower causing congestion and feelings of confinement and aggro. Glad to elave then as it was so warm and needed a drink badly.
I did get a couple of DVD's too- the first series of Spaced which i have on video but can now get rid of. Also old creaky sci-fi film coincidentally called "It Came From Outer Space" but not about 30 somethings living in flat in London, more like green slimey somethings plummeting to earth and taking over the minds of the inhabitants of a small USA town.
Hazel bought some rusty hair curlers and two large metal cash/document boxes.
Archie has been out all day but is now back and strumming his ukulele.
We are thinkingof having a bar-b-q as the weather is warm and we havent had one for a while. I have de-thawed the salmon steaks.
Hazel has been tidying the wood shed. She found evidence of mouse activity - chewed plastic bags- droppings etc.
Nice to sit outside and drink lemonade and have our lunch.
Time to go and skewer some veg and haloumi for the kebabs.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Tidy Mode

Found some old collaged birthday, valentine and anniversary cards whilst sorting through our boxes and cupboards. One such above from 1997.
The boot sale today was pretty muddy over at Chelford. They had changed the field as we assumed the other was more like a swamp! This was bad enough - the car had muddy spray all up the sides and Hazel only waxed and polished it yesterday.
I got a Freeview box for the small TV in the back room but it needs a scart plug and we dont have one so that was a bit annoying. We could look out for a small telly with a scart but probably simpler to just buy a cheap one with built in Freeview and save all that messing around with plugs, cables and sockets.
The PC doc is coming back tomorrow to put a new CD/DVD burner on our ailing computer. The broadband signla is still faltering but not as bad as it was. He said it was BT's fault and nothing he could do. Hopefully I won't be forced to phone up Calcutta to find out!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Trevor/ West Midlands

Nice two day excursion to Shropshire, Staffordshire and the West Midlands. Popped into see my old chum Trevor on his narrow boat in Norbury Junction where he paints boats for a living. He was just off to paint a boat so we didnt stay long- just enough to have some of the sandwiches we'd made on his boat with the wine he had bought back from a recent trip to Spain and Portugal. Then to a pub at Norbury for a quick pint and chat in the windy garden. Too windy infact and we went into the bar where this was taken - that's Trevor's mural on the pub wall.
Then off to Walsall as it didn't seem all that far - needlesss to say all the roads and roundabouts were a nightmare but Hazel did very well to get through them all despite being very stressed. The Tom Tom helped a lot.

Met up with Hazel's old friends Leslie and Karl who live by another canal on the outskirts of Walsall. Had a nice chat and meal in Pizza Hut.
Stayed in a strange little hotel in the middle of Walsall which seemed empty except for us and some asian men watching the cricket in the lounge area. It was a bit noisy at night with the main road outside but otherwise quite clean and comfortable for one night.
The next day we got some flowers from Morrisons and found Hazel's friend Dorothy who lives in Pelsall? and then to see her Uncle Frank and Auntie Jill who hasn't seen Archie since he was a baby- so a big surprise when we turned up with our tall lanky son!
They live in Bloxwhich I think. The roads in Walsall had all changed so much in ten years , Hazel hardly knew any of it! Thankfully the sat nav. found them.
Uncle Frank showed us how to find the M6 by driving in front until the first junction and then they veered off home.

One the way home we stooped by Ironbridge ( see photos) for lunch - mozarella /cheese pasties. Sitting looking at the tourists photographing the bridge and the qauint houses on the valley sides.
Home by 3pm via Whitchurch. Phew - felt like we'd been away for a week!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Mary Greg Collection

Went into Manchester with Hazel today to see the Mary Greg collection at the Manchester Art Gallery. Got the early train and met all the regulars that Hazel chats too - grumbling about the latenesss of the trains etc.
Hazel had to go into college first to print off a doo-dah for a student applying for a job on some headed paper.
We got a taxi to the annexe in some park in the North of Manchester.
Amazing inside - peeling grandeur of bygone days. Piles of old paintings and bubble wrapped frames. Lots of conservation goes on here now as well as housing the Mary Greg collection in the gloomy shuttered gallery.
The staff there are very friendly and showed us some of the restoration they were doing to some amazing old Burne Jones canvases which had been preserved with beeswax and some other stuff and they were laid out on a plank over it , picking off the wax with tweezers and a cotton bud! It would take months to do - just patience and such tedium but they seemed very happy in their work.

Looked through tons of drawers and cabintets full of the oddest collection - old spoons, keys and watch winders. Fragile books and wooden animals from ancient farmyards and zoos. Took loads of photos- just a few here and on Flickr.
With every drawer that was opened it was met by a "Oooh" or an "Aaaah" and the ocassional "Wow!"
Had a sandwich and tea in the staff room for lunch and then another taxi back to town. Hazel went off to learn about Wordpress from the IT bloke at the gallery and I wended my way home through the drizzle to the station and the next train.

Hazel has driven over to Lostok to get Archie who has been at a chums house all day. She didn't feel much like going with a broken tooth and a sore throat. O dear hope it's not the dreaded swine flu' !

Monday, July 20, 2009

Whatfest Weekend

So much rain ove the last few days one feels like building an ark! Or getting on a bus to go somewhere sunny!
Poor Archie got very damp and soggy at Whatfest but seemed to enjoy it from all accounts. He had to truncate his first music festival experience though yesterday as the rain just didn't stop and the only band he wanted to see was on at 10pm.
The cheap tent seemed to survive very well and is now drying off in Hazel's workshop.

Firstly we went to a boot sale in Weaverham which amazingly was well attended and the sun shone briefly to lull us into a belief that the weather would improve. It was short lived however and soon the heavens opened. I didn't find any bargains but Hazel found a big sack full of clothes which she was pleased with.
We drove to Frodsham and the antique centre for a quick rummage bt had to come home when Archie phoned to say he'd had enough and was packing up his tent and wringing out his sleeping bag.

I remember my first camping experience well - back in the 60's and going to Ireland with some friends. It was Five go mad in the land of the little people, mad horses and the rain. So much rain! But it didnt seem to matter too much when you are young and away from your family for the first time ever. Seemed very magical looking back with rose coloured glasses or should they be emerald green?
My second experience under canvas was several years later in France. The tent had partially rotted by then, having been packed away damp. It was covered in patches and war wounds. Camping outside in France is a totally different experiance. The noise of those crickets and grasshoppers etc. was enough to drive you mad. It felt like someone was scraping a bit of corrogated tin with a spanner next to your head!

I think I gave up camping after this and decided that it wasn't for me. I need my home comforts too much. Archie will decide eventually if life under canvas is for him. In the meantime he seems keen to repeat the experience. Ah, the impetuiousness? of youth!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Nutty Room

A very funny video by Adam Buxton.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Just back from a few days in Wales. We stayed at our favourite B&B in Llandudno with a nice sea view and a short walk to the shopping streets. We did a bit of shopping as the weather wasn't all that good and shops are good places to dive into when a rain shower comes along.
Our first day though was pretty nice and we got the old victorian tram to the top of the Great Orme for the wonderful views of the welsh hills and bays and Llandudno laid out far below. We considered the wirey dangler back but it was far too expensive so we followed some people down the hill in the direction of Happy Valley. We thought they knew the way but they were just as lost as we were! Eventually we found the right cliff track passed the leaping bunny rabbits and the smugglers caves ( old copper mine digs ) and found our way down to the bottom and the gardens of HP and the long slide, ice creams and standing stones etc. Great views of the pier in the distance. We walked along it later for game of air hockey and penny slots.
Had fish and chips on the prom in the evening surrounded by squawking seagulls.
The next day it was a short car ride to Conway and the castle and the smallest house in Breat Britain as seen in the short Flip film above.
The poor harrassed lady in welsh costume who took the money for souvenirs and entry fee was surrounded by a party of school kids. She asked "Have you any valium in your handbag?"
Looked round the towns shops and when the rain came we got back to the car and had lunch in Llandudno - spinach and cheese pasties. Sat on the beach and threw stones at the sea.
In the evening went for very nice Italian meal in a resturant weve been too before because they make lovely pizzas. I had a vegetarian pasta dish and Hazel had salmon and prawns in a very rich tomato sauce. She had so much she gave me some. Archie stuck with pizza.
More shopping today and more stone throwing and crab hunting on the beach. Home in time for lunch.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Tabley Steam Fair

We went to the annual Tabley Hall Steam Fair today which wasnt at Tabley but a few miles north on the Cheshire Show Ground near Pikemere. It seemed a bit smaller and quieter than usual but with the usual range of traction engines, old vehicles, steam organs, fairground rides and craft tent etc. Hazel was really keen to go despite the weather looking a bit iffy. It turned out quite nice in the end - not too hot and overcaste but no rain thankfully. No Wall Of Death this year but plenty to see and do. Archie tried his hand on the rifle range and Hazel bought some metal gizmos for her blog so she was happy. Even happier when they announced over the tannoy that they required lovely young ladies to steer the traction engines. Hazel jumped at the chance as you can see!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Flying Visit

Nice surprise vist from our old babysitter Deborah today who was on her way to her Mum's in the West Country with her friend.
We had a nice chat and some strawberries and cake and we showed them round the house and garden. She hasn't seen Archie since he was about 5 so amazed at the difference a few years can make!
This morning we went to a boot sale in Hartford and got a few bargains including a stack of DVD's for 20p each which includes Shaft ( a nemake ) 28 Weeks Later, The Unforgiven and The Bicycle Thieves. An eclectic bunch if ever there was one.

Hazel got some home made stitch measurers? some cotton swatches and some plants.
Yesterday we went to Chester to get my collage from the art gallery now the Open exhibition had finished. The nice lady that handed it over said how much she liked my work which was appreciated.
We had our usual sausage roll and coke in the garden of the cathedral which was empty accept for a few pigens and squirrel.
The town was packed with shoppers and tourists though. The buskers were out in force including some christians with a banjo, guitar and tambourine.
Hazel bought a scarf in her favourite clothes shop Morgans.
The drizzle held off for most of the day thankfully. It was slightly cooler and fresher. Archie stayed at home.
I made some salmon fish cakes in the evening which were delicious with new poatoes and salad ( or was that Friday?)
I had a dream about ferrest in sunglasses which inspired this graffiti at Facebook.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Too Hot To Blog

Bluggy bloggy bloogy. Its HOT! Too hot to blog! Hence the lack of blogmess this week. I can't remeber much about it. Spendled to weekend mostly watching Glastonbury on the TV and saying "Phew! It's HOT!" etc.
Not much else on worth watching. Glasto was pretty dull for the most part with only highlights being some old codgers from the 60's and 70's who managed to struggle up onto the stage and show those whipper snappers a thing or three. So a weekend of nostalgia and endless greatest hits.
The boot sale was at Cuddington in the school field. A few bargains including the first three series of Peep Show on DVD a quid each. Misery and Nacho Libre. Hazel bought a pile of old rusty keys and some other metal thingies for her blog.
Archie dragged himself out of bed to come too but didn't get anything.
Yesterday I walked to town and got some groceries. The library sale had a few cheap CD's including Ry Cooder, Modest Mouse and Phil Spectors Greatest Hits. All 50p each.
Time to make the dinner. Something nice and cool methinks , that does not entail much cookery or heat. De frosted kipper or hand wafted salad?
Decisions decisions!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Fathering Sunday

Popped up the co-op to get Sunday papers and bread. Hazel and Archie eventually got up - tired after yesterdays expedition. Archie made me a nice pop-up card and gave me a T-shirt I picked out on Friday.
We went to Granma's and Audrey's for fish and chips for lunch. A late birthday treat- trifle, cake and playing with the knitted puppets she had made fro the church fair. She sold none which was very sad as they were very cheap and took her ages to do. Archie offered to buy this policeman off her be was given it as a present. Audrey seemed most upset that we found its knitted contortions most hilarious!
Puppets are supposed to be funny aren't they?
Watched a flock of mad starlings descended on the remains of the fish and chips and hoovered them up in a twinkling.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Interactive Arts

Find more videos like this on OPEN Fluxus

Just back from Manchester and MMU's Final Year degree shows. The usual curates egg of oddities and eccentricities. Took the train with Hazel yesterday and arrived in time for the exciting stick the name labels on the wall treat. Nice to see Tony and a few others briefly amid the noisy throng.Tony gave me a card and a nice book about a taxidermists that burnt down and every page is a cabinet full of charred butterflies and beetles etc.It gave me a headache - all that art and interactivity!
had a nice pizza in Pizza Hut nearby and then to the hotel for showers and dozing off in front of the telly.
Slept very badly - too hot! Had an egg Mcmuffin breakfast which wasn't too bad considering. Hazel had to look after the show today and turn everything on as the students hadn't bothered to come in and do it - nursing hangovers I expect.
Archie and I went round the other shows like animation, graphics, illustration, 3-D and sculpture before lunch of Sainsburys sandwich as birthday treat.
Left Hazel to continue her duties and walked back to station to get the train. More cards waiting when I got home including one from my sister Barb and old chum Barry.
Might have a take-away curry later when Hazel gets home. Yum!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Weakly Digest

Seven days since my last bloggage. I have forgetten most of what happened so must delve into the few notes made in my diary.
Wednesday seems pretty uneventful. Archie had two more exams. Lots of rain. Finger on the mend.
Thursday I went to town to get Archie an electric razor. I had to borrow my Dad's awful Gillette safety razor I seem to remember for my first shave and ended up covered in bits of bloody tissue.Very attractive. At least Archie is spared that.
Friday I stayed in to do some collaging and washing. Archie went to the prom in the evening. He looked very smart in his new suit. He managed to cadge a lift to the venue with two girls in a huge american black truck with chrome trim. It sounded like a tank pulling up outside.
Went to town on Saturday to get the car serviced and MOT'd. Walked round the shops for a while and got the bus home with Hazel.
Sunday. went to Chelford boot with Hazel and Archie who decided he wanted to go at the last minute. Didnt find a thing . It was far too crowded and hot. Boot Sale Challenge or Car Booty was there filming. Hazel was asked if she wanted to be in the show but she declined. We will have to watch them all now to see if we are glimpsed briefly in the background sorting through old records and junk.
Hazel got a couple of things including an inflatbel bus pillow(?) and a tiny set of scales for weighing letters perhaps. Archie bought a T-shirt with a target on it.
It was so warm we had a bar-b-q for lunch with nice salmon in lime and parsley marinate- vege hot dogs and salad. It was pretty noisy in the garden what with the polish neighbours having a disco and the other noisy lot putting a roof on a new extension we didnt stay outside long. Hazel told the poles off and they turned it down.
Archie did his last exam yesterday and was glad to have finished high school at last. To celebrate he went over to see some friends in the next village.
More blogging and washing. It was so hot it dried outside in no time. The threat of thunderstorms didn't materialise.
I made a pizza and made a rocket salad. Yum!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Sinister Dexter

Just back from a walk round Chester listening to parties of schoolkids shouting the above and similar, being led by a centurion in all the roman gear - looking very serious.
Got some scratchy DVD's of old Hitchcock films like Rear Window, The Birds, etc. for 25p each from the pound shop. If only one of them is viewable it will be worth it.
Archie got some new clobber- pumps.jeans etc. Hazel popped into Morgans but didnt get anything. the jacket she tried on didnt look all that good having strange bulges and creases. Perhaps that is the new style but paying all that money you expect something to be better tailored.
Had our veg sausage rolls and coke in the roman gardens surrounded by kids and harrassed looking teachers.
It was quite warm so glad to get bus back to the park and drive carpark and home again.

My cut finger is a bit better. I changed the bandage and made it bleed again. Still, it looks a bit less grubby now.
A tailess cat was wandering up and down the garden this morning mewling pitifully. He sat in the tree house and bared his teeth at Archie so he kept his distance the mouse was seen soon afterwards flitting backwards and forwards from the shed after some bird leavings.
Plenty of bird leavings on the car too which is parked right under the telephone wires where the sparrows perch!

Friday, June 05, 2009

Mighty Pens

Some nice pens with moving things inside that hazel found at a boot sale recently. She finds all the interesting stuff. These are for Mersey ferries, Brittany Ferries and IOW Ferries all with little boats inside that slide along on the waves as you tip the pen up. The Blackpool Tower pen has a lift that goes up and down. I think we have several others somewhere with similar delights inc. one with a lady in a swimsuit that vanishes when you tip it up. Smut! Filth!
Its raining now after a good week of sun. Another Bar-B-Q and lovely warm buzzing bird chirping and mouse scamperings sitting by the back door in the sun trap- smelling the snap-dragons.
Walked to town today for some brown choc biscuits- the sort that fall of the conveyor belt and get sold cheaper as the chocolate is a bit chipped. Also some amber tea and some pink lentils. Managed to find two DVD's in the hospice shop- a Spanish film called Y'Tu Mama and Le Souffle. They had Amelie too which I was tempted to get as a present but most people must surely own this fabulous film by now. We watched it again last week and it looked even more beautiful on our new wide screen telly.
The river of rain is rushing down the street - swirling in the gutters and drains. The garden needed a good soak and this will be a welcome drink. Cheers!

Monday, June 01, 2009

Big Al 's New Video

Great new catchy song and video from Big Al Davies.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Bar-B-Q Weather

It's bar-b-q time again and the smell of burning haloumi is wafting through the trees. Thankfully quieter this week except for the kids bouncing on what sounds like a rusty pile of springs a few doors down. The Polish reggae has ceased and the birds are chirruping in the apple trees.
The Cloudy Lemonade from Aldi is very nice despite it's name , made the french way with real lemons.
The Linda MacCartney sausages are smoking slightly and the kebabs dripping with herbs and olive oil. Yum!
This morning we went to the boot sale at Verdin park. That's where I got the bernard Miles EP seen here. Uploaded to my audio blog.
Hazel found a few interesting things for her blog including a bunch of novely biros and some badges for Archie. Also a dustcart ( missing its doors ) and some plants.
Betty's stall yielded up a hand held scales- in it's packaging - the sort rag and bone men used to have for weighing the bundles of rags.
I actually saw a rag and bone man the other day - going past in his lorry - shouting through a megaphone thingy - "Any old rags!" as in days of old. The back of the truck was full of old bedsteads, cycles, oil drums, washing machines etc. Good to see he is making a living one presumes in these recycling conscious times.