Sunday, October 28, 2018

Boot Sale Blakmere

Slim pickings this morning at the boot sale in Blakemere. Very cold so difficult to take hands out of warm pockets to rummage in boxes of junk, CD's and DVD's etc. I did find some films to watch again - Ghostbusters 1 & 2 which were fun on VHS watching with Archie in the 90's but probably have aged quite badly. Seemed good Halloween fodder at only 3 for a quid! Hazel got a lot of knick-knackery including a candle holder with "Good Night" pressed into the glass, a weird meixan looking ceramic and small plastic guardsman for our collection. Glad to get home into the warm. Hazel is busy washing the windows and making a xmas cake ( not at the same time! ).

Monday, October 22, 2018

Carving Out Tokens

Back in 1972 it would have been "toe cans" I expect or something equally excruiating! These ATC's were a quick response for Hazel's call for "tokens" for her pop up exhibition at MMU - part of the Interactive Arts project which stemmed from her recent enamelling course in Sussex ( or was it Hampshire? )anyway, she's been making metal tokens and enamelling them at home and decided to share her recently aquired knowledge with a few students who seemed interested. She had a few cabinets booked in a corridor somewhere to put on a small show. She has rather more cabinets than she expected hence the invite. I also made some collaged ATC's which are elsewhere.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Rubber Stamp Carving

Doing a bit of rubber stamp carving from erasers found cheaply at Pound Stretcher. I haven't done any for a few years and the old peepers ain't wot they used to be! Still, happy with the results so far. There's a nice project on Instagram initiated by Angelica Paez - a new theme every two weeks - this week it's "Bones" , hence the skulls and skeletons. #stampingroomonly

Rose Croft, Brentwood - 22nd November 1972

Dear C. Your'e too quick for me! Keeping me on my toes eh? Very good ! Here we go! One, two, three, jump! No, I didn't see the silly picture of Charlie Chester marrying an 81 year old chinaman. No you haven't told me about heem, did he pong when he should have pinged? Ed seems to have called off his dragnet of the area in search of his disc, but better safe than sorry, that's what I always say! I don't want him to saw my ears off and poke a dead hedgehog down my throat now do I? Have you heard anything from Museli Brittania yet? Fancy going for a drink with Bob to cheer your friend up! Now that is silly! I've written a letter to Dave ( though against my better judgement ) and included the sentnce as requested. Please send my cut from eventual sale to the usual address. I like the drawing of the families! Ho Ho! here's one of the Crofters.
I've just got the new Captain Bee Fart LP, it's ever so good. He even does an impression of Percy Sludge on it! Did I tell you I also have an old LP of Elvis the Pelvis called "Golden Hits Vol. 2" from a charity shop in Romford for only 15p! It's got a great photo of him on the front in a gold lame zoot suit, gold shoes and a pink silk bow tie! Bill found some kippers in a dustbin whilst on a "swill hunt" with the evanjellicle pig man and so we are having kippers for tea everyday now! No kiddin' ! I'd better send this quick before you reply again! Yawn incredible, Flossie, Bossy and Bros ( Moth removers and pea circus owners )

Friday, October 19, 2018

Rose Croft, Brentwood - 24th Oct. 1972

Hellow Sailor, Seems as if we are crossing our moorings matey, ahaaargh! Lyne and Dinah's job doesn't involve typing at all or any kind of paper work as far as I can make out. All they do is look for books in a huge library, but they must be blind folded and with a ball and chain, so it does make it a bit tricky! It's pretty boring they tell me, and most of the people only work there a few weeks then vanish! (made into mummy's most likely !) Mind you, the job does have it's perks, like postcards are only 2p instead of 3p! ( They sent me one of a nice Japanese landscape today )and you occasionally get a glimpse of some nice old books. Yes, I saw that new hardback edition of the Monty P's B.R.B. today in the crummy little book shop in Brentwood.I didn't have any money to buy it though as I'd just spent my last pennies on food and the "Roxy Music" LP and new needle for my wind up gramaphone. There's a book of Goon Show Scipts out soon I think. No I haven't sold my Singing Dogs. It's the best record of singing dogs I have so it's quite precious to me. I'm trying to get hold of a record of tap dancing pygmy shrews - don't know anybody who's got one do you? A record I mean , not a pygmy shrew! Your little excursion up the Limpopo does sound rather fun, it reminds me of the Eric Sykes Show a couple of weeks ago, or Carry On Up The Grand Union! I hate supermarket, I always try and shop at the little back street grocers - you know "Sainsburys" and "Woolworths". At least they don't have somebody impersonating the New Seekers or Middle Of The Road concealed behind the frozen peas! Our milk lady is revoltin' too! There's about 20 empty bottles on the doorstep and she refuses to take them away! Perhaps she doesn't like the smell of stale beer? I like velly much de fish an chip an de vunny improbable monkey. Yours. Looie Canvas


Nice sunny morning in Chester with Hazel. Shopping and wandering the quaint old cobbled streets. Hazel went off to clothes shops etc. and found some wool for a new jumper that Granma and Audrey have promised to knit. I did the charity shops and the market. Didn't find anything. Enjoyed being out in the sunshine and listening to buskers. They were a bit thin on the ground today - a dreary trio of old geezers playing Dylan type dirges and a lady bag piper! You have to admire their fortitude when it's still quite nippy and in these tough pre-brexshit times people are reluctant to put their hands in their pockets for small change. Had a cheap vege sausage roll from the Pound Bakery for lunch and sat by the buskers trying filter out the worst of the bum notes and crumbs. The to the coffee shop nearby for a de-caff capacino and sneaky sweet. Home via the Park and Ride. Back by 2 pm.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Rose Croft, Brentwood - Jan. 26th 1972

Dear Silly you's, fancy thinkin' that drawing was of you and Sealegs when really it was a pigment of my imagination, a slight resemblence I grant yoVen ish yourn ( yawn ) boppin' day o huge one? Ven wilt thou hast baty don le jollie maison due Cleverclogs Claire? Yes, the film was quite goot. It was James ( legend in his own time ) Dean and Lizzie taylor and Hud Rockson in GIANT. James Dean's little methods acting bits were good and the rest was real turdy. Good cartoon on wiv it, with Speedy Gonzales, the fastest mouse in all Mehico! Yaribaa! Yareeba!u but above (*) is a real artist's impression! Thank you for yo' letter o most prolific one. I cannot tell you how it duth delighteth me! My beamish face a lighteth with just one sleepy glipse of suth a lether, thorly ith it a vork ov ein enthantresh? A spock smock? I do nut undershdand?! I like the enclosures velly mush. Shpeshly de strangsh animalsh on de ballanshin head! Is dish de sausage cow? Riding in Bill's van is quite an experience as it's all empty and freezin' cold in the back. You have to sit on the bits that the wheels go in, and there's a metal grill between you and the driver so it's like a "Paddy Wagon" also. Corse i won't have to teach silly! Who'd give a scruffy 'erbert like me a job?! Get the kiddies into bad habits! I'm applying for this part time job at Ingatestone Secondary School at the moment. It keeps the Social Security people happy that's all. What horrid Beverly Sisters song could it be I wonder? Not "Sisters" ? or "Got to have money in the bank Frank"? "Mary's Boy Child"? Your dad has better luck than me gutter sniping. I wish I could find half peas. (1) I had no exclaimation to give. Confused, without pluss (2) A light with high vocabulary. Arking light. Light acting? It's poetry appreciation time - Yesterday I did my washing..... And hung it on the line... The sun was shining brightly....But will it dry in time? I had no money for a filled the bath with water.....And soaked my bigs and smalls,,, Just Like a good boy oughta. ( marked one out of ten ) I like the envelope with primitive type, trees floating as if suspended by sellotape in the air! It was nice to see you all on Sunday - you should get Dave to come over more often and stay longer! I put up another shelf to accomodate my increasing library. It took 2 hours! I'm not very good at carpenting, especially things as awkward as shelves. But now it's given me much more space , things were beginning to pile up around me, choking me to death! Aaarrrrgh! I come over all funny! I re-hung some of the pictures too. Taking down some old ones and putting new ones up. Makes a change. Lynne is making a pair of jeans but she thinks they are going to be flared like looners, she wants drainpipes! She's a bit set in her ways , poor girl. Ed beat up another kitchen porter who threw a cup of tea over him, he leaves Fords at the end of the month. Bill is once again working in his stew dew next door to popsters. He said he p---ed in Steve Marriot's head as he passed his window. he also said that the bloke who is buried outside ( his church hall) comes to haunt him in the shape of a dulux Emulsion can! Bill says all kinds of things. Bill is my friend. Lynne has just sewn her legs togther! I made a cheese flan last night. Unfortunately I baked the pastry "blind" as suggested. But put it out the window instead of in the oven! Enclosed are some examples of my great skill as a photographer. Don't keep them in the daylight for too long! Blessings and peace. Johnny Maestro and His Shuffling Hungarians.

Rose Croft, Brentwood - 25th may 1971

D &C, Dears, It's raining here - split splat! and the weathers not too good either. I'm listening to a nature programme now on the radio with noises supplied by kestrels, falcon and owls. They all sound like chickens to me! Talking of kestrels , we went to se "Kes" at Basildon Arts Centre last night - a really nice film. Went for a FREE Itaiano Comoncheroa Spaghettio Expensivo last night under the wing of Lynne's rich playboy brother in Brentwood ( no not Naples!) Very boring is all this pasta and stuff and filling! Lynne's brother's girlfriend was being rather rude to waiter, shouting out orders in French and Spanish. Luckily he was bio-logical and understood and gave us grins that could kill. This is how I write a letter R.S.V.P. I got a letter from Philip today who I thought had wasted away and living in West Indies or summat. But he is apparently living in a disused tin mine in Bingle-Bangle. Wingle wangled a day off today so I can study the rain and make lightening thumbnail sketches as they come down. Anyhoo I must be toodling off now and do some work, mein kanf! vot is dat? Bonus knockers mon enfants, Michael


Treated ourselves to the cinema yesterday to see "First Man" which is excellent despite all the shakey camera work. Archie saw it recently and and gave it the thumbs up. Had to go all the way to Knutsford though as Hazel had a dental app. and we missed the matinee in Northwich. The Curson is being re-furbished with two smaller screens being added so the smell of paint and plaster added to the weird multi-media experience. Found this free badge in the foyer for Mike Leigh's new film which Hazel thinks is called "Portaloo" . Now that's a different film altogether!

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Rose Croft, Brentwood - 29th Jan. 1973

Dear Keeper of manuscripts and fellow bookbinders anonymous, I shall be up the metrollops on Thursday to the R.A. exhibition of Rossetti Bolognese the famous pasta impersonator and anything' else interestin'. Barry will probably let Dave know about our lunch time rendezvous. I don't think I'll have time to visit the B.M. though, drat! I've just lent Ed a quid - fooled again! Lynne and Dinah are playing truant from work . Tired of London, Ed has stayed here a couple of days amongst the squalor of his past. He, Bill and I collected huge rotted logs from a nice wood near Doddinghurst. An old woman told us off for trespassing on Forestry Commission land , but after Bill and Ed did their "ever so 'umble" act she went away with obvious astonishment at the ruffians courteous apollyloggies. Last night we played a strenuous football game ( like you see in pubs, or slot machine places ) at Lynne's brothers. I lost every match. Not surprising really , with their puppy Pooch doing rude things to my leg! Ah sure am hungry. My tummy's beating out a navel tattoo! Think I'll got to Ken's now and get me some black eyed peas an' chittlins! Bill's had a crew cut again and left most of his wig spread out on my exotic eastern carpet. Ed did the honours. I meant to bring dose racks de Clogs last weekend but one came unstuck. I'll give dem next time, perhaps if you come here? See you Dave, I mean Michael.

Rose Croft, Brentwood - 14th Feb. 1972

dear C. What a lovely day it is, likes the first day of Springe - Boinnng! Did you see "Up Sunday" last night? It was quite funny with some Woman's Institute choir singing Wordsworth's "Daffodils"! and zany Kenny Everett being zany as usual. I came back to Pilgrim's Hatch today and found some wood in my room! I think somebody wants me to make something maybe? Enclosed is a carte le malade pour le Clare de looner. I hope she is back to edam squatting and hand jiving like the best of 'em soon. Your double act would have livened up that dull pardy no end I think. Ed had gone off on his motorbike never to return, we couldn't be that lucky! He'll probably be back for tea with his head all dented in. A method of bringing a disobedient spirit into subjection. Make a fire of drye cowturds and such like stinking stuffe, and write the spirits name in virgine parchment - then burne it, saying the curse following ( After a conjuration ) Izzy wizzy - let's get busy! I had some of Bill's "Butterbean Surprise" for dinner.Wow! was I! I've got a sore froat from sleeping in dave's air conditioned sittin' room. No wonder I keep missing my last bus. The last bus is at 9.20 ! Ridicklemus! I remember now, I haven't read the "Tin Drum" at all, just the first few pages. I found it hard to get into, because it's so small I suppose - they really should make these paperbacks bigger! Then I could use it as a tent when I go hiking and reading tour of South Benfleet. I shall try and read it again. "Look George!" I said, "I really can't help it if your blessed fire goes out, after all you are burning wire and nails on it!" Must dash to catch the postman and wallop his glateus maximus. Ooooh! Yourn, Littel Anthony and the Mint Imperials.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Lambeth Walk - Jan 1975

Rose Croft, Brentwood - 20th May 1972

Rose Croft, Brentwood - 30th Nov. 1971

Dear C. of the Upper Sixth, I have de flu or just maybe a cold. I sneezed thrice on waking this morning I am told. The pills my Mum gave me I gulped down with water. I later had a tingling sensation in my armpit ( doesn't rhyme ). Ed said I would soon have a heart attack. I think he was telling me fibs. Lynne says you can get drunk on hot potatoes. Ed is bringing the home made wine in from the cold to warm by the fire. The friendly pig farming religious maniac from next door is nailing in our garden. Lynne admits to liking tortoises. Ed recieved one in a parcel this morning. Later we discovered it wasa crash helmet. "If in doubt cut it off". What is the freindly pig farming religious maniac the killer doing now? Ed will not wear the gaunlets on his feet, so to RUN the gaunlet. He has not very sense of humour. Ho ho! This morning the flu it seems to have gone. I'm very glad it didn't last long. Did you see "The Strange World Of Planet X" last night? It had me in stitches, it gave me a fright. Alas and alack it is too late for the post. Looks like we'll be walking the streets in the frost.? Who wants the sack every day anyway. Wearing silly arm bands and not getting much pay. I cold never write like Tennison! I was gonna write a chain letter but it weighed too much so here's a paper one. I can't stay locked up in here much longer, I'll have to brave the telly room again and endure Max Bygraves film ! As long as he doesn't sing "I'm a Pink Toothbrush!" ( picture a manure heap ) Wellie tanks for you letter just received, delivered by a strange bandy legged gentleman who jumped into my room and tossed it on my waking head. Chortle chortle! I made some real Scotch porridge dis mornin' , ach's mon! Lynne is still trying to scrape it from the ceiling. Commune life sure is fun! Edwin is pouring coffee over people again- he's never been the same since he shaved his beard off! I Spy books are back! So L. says anyway we were saying they'll probably be horrid modern ones with things like I Spy Pollution and I Spy Travelling Disco's and I Spy 10 Lane Motorway! What is woad? Is it a woadside herb? Answers please on a postcard to Daniel Woad, 33 Wode Woad, Woadshire, Bucks. What is a yarrow? Bloody stoopid questions! Questions ! Questions"! Who's Nigel? Tonbridge was a bit too posh, like, for our family. "No Spittin' " signs everywhere annat, so we comes to Basildon to start a new life, in a new pure land. Where men can be men, need I go on? P. T. O.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Livers Cazelles, Tarn - 10th Jan. 1974

Dear C. Thank you for the p. card that came today ( "Dinah" eh! that girl gets around!) Sorry to hear that your Noel was dull - mine was too, but "different" I must admit. I must look into my Boots "Scrobblers" Diary for 1973 to see what I last wrote to you. Must keep track of what I say. I can't find anything recently so it must have been well before Christmas. That gives me plenty of scope. Bill and I have been to Albi a couple of times to the market and the cinema. Neither are much good really. The market building is octagonal like a large engine shed or roundhouse ( where engines go on roundabouts, swings annd coconut shys etc. ) inside are all the grub stalls - pates, cheeses, fruit and veg, fish, sharks and squid! One doesn't stay long in there - mainly because it stinks! Then we move on outside past the old ladies selling ragwort and bullrushes, down the cobbled streets to the square outside - the large ugly cathedral where crowds of colourful French peasants are gaily bantering and strangling chickens and geese etc. One doesn't stay too long there either! Thru' more cobbled streets, past old weather beaten houses, churches and a rubber goods shop until we come to the more colourful stalls that line a large street that stretches a quarter of a mile or more. Large sunshades cover each one and it's rather like Blackpool beach during the roaring 40's! (You must remember them?) On these stalls are plastic knickers, cakes, 'orrible French clothes, cloth, shoes and bottles etc. A load of old tat! Then after quite a walk we find a few junk stalls stuck round a corner by the toilets. But they prove to be expensive and nothing but rusty gate hinges and chipped vases anyway. There's one book stall full of French detective paperbacks and dirty books - also an army/police surplus stall with a nice line in truncheons and berets! So much for the market. The cinema we went to was called the VOX , an English style flea pit of the 50's ( it still had faded framed photos of Tony Curtis and Doris Day in the foyer!) There were about ten usherettes who kept tearing your ticket in half until there was nothing left! No roccoco cherubs inside - modernised in early 60's by the local bus company. The films included - in order of appearance were as follows - first a delightful film about French trawler fishermen - slicing up live fish etc. Lovely! Next a grey cloured public service film about ladies with dubbed high pitched voices ( This brought titters of laughter from the audience of 14 - mostly Bill and me!) Then there was an agonising long interval when an old lady of 103 came round with a tray of what looked like frozen cod fillets, but it turns out it was the equivelent of ice cream over here. Then, the advertising curtain, which had slowly decended during this jolly break, slowly rose up and the main feature started! The classic all-time-great award winning western starring Henry Fonda - "A Man Called Nobody" ( whadyermean you've never 'eard of it?!) Produced by Italians, made in Spain with a cast of International stars and dubbed in poxy French! What? Not even sub titles? Sacre plonk! Fortunately it was a visual epic and one could follow the subtle plot quite easily although some of the finer witticisms were lost to us. I don't think we'll be going to the flicks for a while! I'm glad to hear you are leaving the VAT splatt! What are you gonna do now, eh? I thought that nobody would be gathering Xmas Eve as everybody seems to be somewhere else this year. ( or so I thought ) I went for a moped rise today over the hills and far away to borrow some discs and livres from the scottish girls jollie maison. It was jolly cold coming back- I'd forgotten to put on my thermal vest on ! Tut tut! Mummy will be cross! Do you like this butch lavender papier? My sister sent me The Goon Show Scripts for Xmas - it's very funny Ho Ho! I go. I bought myself Tim Buchteeth's "Safronia" album - check it out - it's a real groove! Hot cha cha! Bill and Lynne bought me two pairs of topless peek-a-boo socks and book mark. Dick and Cheryl sent me a Mrs. Peakes Xmas Pudding and packette de custard! What did you get? Write soon. Happy thingies and whatnots. Michele Kurtwangler.

Rose Croft, Brentwood - 16th July 1973

Dear Little W. Have I written lately ? I can't recamember. All this dustbining is going to my head ( side of my neck specifically !) I'm waiting for my water to get hot. Not so painful as it sounds really, just that the emersion was on the blink and now I've mended a fuse so keeping my fingers crossed. Is D. married yet or still on tenderhooks? All my friendships seem to be on the wane, as it were, just lately. I think it must be my fault. The "novelty" of the bins has soon worn off. It rained today so I didn't do much work - just sat in the lorry and listened to vile dustman's stories - stories about their wives operations and injections ( we have a medical student in our lorry who likes to diagnose such things)? Dirty beast! I found a radio that worked ( I didn't know it at the time ) and foolishly gave it to Harry the dwarf. Now we'll have Jimmy Young during the tea break! Aaarrrgh! Anything but that! Time for my bath now - must wash this batch of used tea bags out of my hair! Byee! Roving Mike.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Rose Croft, Brentwood - 29th Nov. 1972

Dear Fowled Propeller, Most humble appolyloggies, but you see It wasn't all my fault. More a case of goose crying fox ( as in button ) ? I was going to Basildump on Friday night to return the following day, but naughty Bill persuaded me ( with a meat cleaver and pole axe ) that I should go out for a drink with him as he was ill and in need of jovial companionship. And I did phone Dave up at 4.00 to advise him not to contemplate a journey in my direction., but unfortunatley you had already left on your ill -fated mission.Woe is a me bop! I do hope old P. has forgiven me, he did sound rather "put out" on the blower! Why didn't you call into Lunkies Road on the way back ? Too angry? Le chenil est la maison du chien. Non! The Dogs from next door, Sally the red setter and George the terrier have been sleeping in our green house every night this week and start howling about 1pm every morning! I think they have run away from home 'cos he only feeds them swill the pigs don't eat! We had three cats stay here the other night. Quite a little Y.C.D.C.A. ( Young Cats and Dogs Christian Association ) we have here! Our grey cat is very well thank you, just gave her some kipper ends to be going along with ( she gets lonely ) and she sat by the fire and licked herself and ate the porridge I'd left in the bowl. She's gone out to kill a couple of vermin I expect, the little rascal. I've got my Christmas decorations up now, one yellow balloon. Our fridge is not very well I'm afraid, he's hardly eaten anything these last few months, just a few old kippers without their ends. That's what the Labour Exchange said I was - "Unemployable"! I've been making my Xmas cards and presents etc. this week, but I didn't seem to have got very far with them. Ed had the cheek to ask me to make him a clock face for Christmas! Like asking Michael Angelo to do another Sistine Chapel ! Thanks for offering to buy me a silver bracelet for Christmas but a book would be very nice. Some poems perhaps? W.H. Davies or Stevie Smith? What else have they got? Did you see that Norman Wisdom film last night on after Laurel and Hardy? He's really great - one of my favourites! (Really?) Whatever happened to him? While I was waiting for a bus to Romford market last Friday I watched a rat in an old orchard nearby roll apples down a hole ( a relation to the North American Golpher?) so entranced was I by his activities I nearly missed the bus! At Romford market I bought two old Rupert books, one of which I remember having as a child. It gave me quite a buzz to flick through the pages again. Le crabe est beau. Un crapand mange le grand. My mind is a blanche! Must finish these carte noel. A bonus knockers mon ami- Michele Casse Noisette.

Rose Croft. Brentwood - 11th December 1972

Dear Pallywals, Ta for the lettres bon, sorry I've been so long in replying but I've been up North to see T & J in Cheshire. Last night Bill and I got drunk and nostalgic about people and decided to hitch to Trevor's the next day, and like an idiot I said "yes"! Anyway it wasn't too bad hitching in the cold miserable drizzly motorways but terribly boring and sickmaking by the time we got to Stoke. I hate making polite conversation to the most boring people who give lifts ( ingrate!) Having to explain what an artist is and what the "dole" is etc. I'm going by coach next time - half the price! Why don't you go to Brighton by coach? Beeston on the canal and the railway line is a lovely place. Nestling amongst the green Cheshire bumps and rabbits, herons, sheep and cows. Trevor & jenny have a lovely cottage all spick and span with a gurgling water tank and express train at 1p.m. to wake you up! I expect Barry wrote you about it so won't bore you with the details. We went to Chester too, which is a nice old walled town with beautiful old buildings and quaint shops everywhere. I only saw the last half of the Ponty Mython Lee Jackson. 'cos we'd been to the pub and chinese take-away and looking daggers at some loud mouth who wanted £50 for his car that got damaged ( Jenny's sister's husband crashed earlier in the week, he was hiding upstairs!) It was ever so cold up there in the cottage, they only have a parafin stove and all the downstairs floors are tiled. Also Jenny is terribly tidy ( always hoovering and dustin' , polishin' and sweepin' ) and we weren't allowed to enter the scared portal without first taking off our muddy boots and booties. We spent a lot of time boozing of course and pushing Jennifers "new" car on the muddy ( Trevor had to keep screwing the silencer back on, as it got knocked off on the bumps and ruts every time we crossed the ) field to the road. Coming home we hitched as far as Coventry ( an awful place from what i saw of it! ) and couldn't get a lift for 2 hours! Well, Bill didn't, 'cos I left him after ten minutes and got a train back, getting home two hours before he did. Thus winning the bet I made and getting 2 shillings out of the tight sod! Bill and the Religious Pig mania are removing engines and playing about with hammers and lumps of greasy metal outside making a nuisance of themselves. The wood is rapidly running out as are my thought of what to write. So see you seen , or soon you soo. Tattybogle, Mister Grip Dimple

Rose Croft, Brentwood - 23rd April 1973

Dear C. Did you have a jolly Easter? Eh? I certainly hope it was better than the one I had. How awful it was. Change the subject quick - what a delightful smell of paint and pussy poop perpatrates my nostrils - John and Christine have been painting everything white and laying lino, washing and scrubbing goodness knows what! I'm sure they want to paint me white too but I'm too quick fer dem, sure nuff! The kittens are driving me to distration with their ceaseless antics, frolicking and rugby tackles, but I feel sorry for them in the dark cold living room and let them into my room ( what a fool!) and after 10 minutes I can stand it no longer and chuck 'em out! Thanks for your last letter, did I reply to it? I can't remember now! What a memory! I've just finished painting some pegs and spoon for my herbalist friends in North Weald. They're kindly folk and put me on the payroll- well, maybe. If "Rackam's of Piccadilly " approve. If not I shall become a dustman again! Boo hoo! Not a pleasing prospect! I went for a job as a swimming pool attendant last week but this 85 year old with one leg got the job! ( Thinks - perhaps I should wear a suit and tie?) Underneath my diving apparatus of course! What awful weather - I don't feel like painting in my "studio" when it's raining and the door rattles in the wind. Captain B Fart at the Rainbow was good - better than the time we all saw him last year. I stayed at Barry's place and the next day, when Evonne was safely packed off to work we went around the market and visited Barry's landlord - a kindly old soul called Peter who potters about his properties with the air of a cheerful Uncle Charlie. What's that 'sposed to mean? Here's the crucipig - I hope it does the trick! ( keeping those werewolves at bay is a tricky business!) Has he tried a bunch of radishes? All for the moment, yours Micky Chucklebright and His performing legs.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Rose Croft, Brentwood - 2nd October 1972

Dear Stalker Hat, Thank you for the amuisin' p. card with Winifred Atwell in a sea mist. I'm glad you came on Saturday, it makes a nice change when friends visit me on this lonely outpost, where the last dregs of humanity huddle around someone sucking a peppermint in a vain effort to keep warm. I sent H. a "rough" of the proposed burpday cart but she hasn't replied yet, is she still in a state of shock? O yes, before I forget again, would you ask Dave if the car he offered for £5 is in working order and has tax, M.O.T. and all that stuff? Lynne wants to know. Apparette? Apparantly "The Goons", Tony Hancock and I.T.M.A. was on the radio this morning before I got up. Also the fireman's entrance exam consists of questions like "Who did Sinbad The Sailor fight?" and "What is the name of the dog in Peter Pan?" I went down the mighty dump again yesterday with Bill and his van. We took a dustbin full of grot to pretend we were there to make use of the councils grorious amentities. We were though in a slightly different way to what they imagine! I got quite a lot of gear - a small bookcase ( which came in very handy ) two Rupert books, some door handles ( which I fitted on Dinah's and my doors as they were broken - you maye have noticed?) pon and pats, a painting on glass by someone called Lyn Mouth? a carved wooden letter rack of a little house among trees and lots of other stuff to numerous to mention. Bill found a small printing press and a big box of type and lots of tools, clamps and strange implements. Ed got a sewing machine ( the dumpman sold it to him for a £1 )and another sink.I'd better stop there before I do? Here's some things to keep you amused whilst Dave is sawing up his dad's bike. Felicitations, Micky Icky. P.S. Have you seen hat Michael Bentine Timeon Fridays? I don't think it's as good as I remember The Bumblies being.

Home Again

Nice to have Hazel home again after her three day enamelling course at West Dean college near Chichester. An amazing place by all accounts - once owned by the mad eccentric millionaire Edward James who built fantastic towers in the jungles of Mexico and was friends and patron of the Surrealists. The house is filled with surreal paintings and artifacts says Hazel and enjoyed her oppulent surroundings - she didn't really want to come home! Glad she did though , I missed her! We are not often seperated , in fact I can't think of any time over the last 20 years when we were! She went away to do an artist placement in Norway for a week when Archie was a baby and again to New York with students when he was a toddler - those were the only two times. Mind you, I had Archie to keep me company then. I was able to catch up with all those duff films from the charity shops I keep buying! The best was a Brazilian film " The Last Station" , a very sad but life affirming film about an orphan that goes to seek his relatives.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Rose Croft, Brentwood - 2nd Novemer 1972

Dear Fluff, I've completely forgotten what I wanted to say, um, er! Oh yes! I am chief counciller for the Hatch Road Youth Emporium and would like to tell you about some of the things that go on here, besides the usual things, we have lynchings every Friday night and a disco, witch burning, drag night ( when we drag old ladies along behind motor bikes ) and pussy barbeque. ( pause for a terrible poem ) Bill's chapati's make a cheery blaze! Ed bought a space heater at the auction today for £19. This, I am told, is cheap! For a souped up parafin stove it seems quite a lot to me! he hasn't even made it work properly yet, just stands there making a weird rattling noise and sparks shoot out the front end! Captain Video would be envious of such a weapon I'm sure! Oota! for your letter just received. Please thank H for the money. I take back what I said about her. There's a series starting on BBC2 on Sunday about ghosts and an interestin' article in the Radio Times. Did you get my card from London? What a tiring day that was, dragging my poor old feet all over the seething capital ( my laces were tied together ) Saw nothing really exciting - like the good old days, when you could have a night out at the pictures for a shilling and still have some left for a 3 course meal and bottle of vin de plonk. The BBC 50th anniverary thing at Portland Place is the best with little domestic scenes of different periods 30's, 40's. 50's etc. depicted in tableau form ( like waxworks really ) with buttons to press to get radio programmes of that era. Very crowded though 'cos it's FREE! Very distracting, Best to go very late when it's closed and bang on the commissionaire to let you in. "Open this door in your trousers or I'll break every bone in my fist!" Did you see that amazing creepy movie on the box last night called "The Night Of The Demon"? I had a curious spine tingling sensation whilst over the dump tonight. It's those damned seagulls again! No really, it was spooky in the dark and mist closing in - I thought the invisible demon with the big foot prints was after me! Anybody who opens a deposit account without any money is certainly a fraud. I'm a fraud you can't do that miss! She's good ain't she, old Evelyn Waugh. The only transvestite novelist I like. Old Merve's is pretty good too., especially the first two. I went to two jumble sales today but didn't get much, a tin with ducks on, a rubber car, 2 Rupert annuals and a couple of cut-up books. It seems like everyone is letting off their bangers tonight instead of tomorrow. Because it's the Sabbath I suppose. Or, as Bill says, there's probably something good on the telly tomorrow. I wouldn't be surprised. I've got a book that tells you how to make fireworks. I might make some next year. That bit about the "Master's Boots" is funny- like something out of Thomas Hardy! Or Laurel & Hardy?! I made some delicious apple jam the other day, and there's a jar for you and Dave. When I was at the Slade on Friday I chatted to an old friend who was at Southend School of Tarts and Dafts when I was, called Tony Eve. Dave knows him. He did his diploma at Falmouth and lived in an old watch tower by the sea! He's such a nice bloke, just the same as he always was. He makes good things too. At the moment working on a motor racing track made out of fibre glass, an "cars" ( some are logs and smoothing irons ) are powered by live mice inside! Well, that's what he said. He gave me a lead station master eating his flag and clock face. I gave him a tin cricket that looks like a crocodile. What a damp miserable day! Looks like we are watching the Queens performance tonight as well. Bill and Lynne couldn't get any fireworks anywhere today ( not surprising really ) or yesterday, all the big stores in London had sold out. There's always those indoor one's you gave me of course! MONDAY MORNING. Of course! Sorry about last night - there being no festive throng throwing faggots on a blazing bonfire I mean! Still, Dave seemed to be having a good yap and enjoying himself, the big blabbermouth! I forgot to give you some jam last night, nevermind. I'll save it for Christmas. Gosh, it's not far away is it! I must start lookin' for a place to live soon, some nice hollow tree somewhere for 2p a week. Must start making Xmas presents too ( tinks?) what shall I burden people with this year? Thanks for coming anyway. See you soon. Mickey "Big Boy" Bullrush.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Rose Croft, Brentwood, - 13th March 1972

Dear Celiah-ha-ha! It wus so cold Saturday I did not venture out, but sat coddled on the furniture and sung "Beat out the rhythm on the drum" ( expergated ) We went to see "Rosemary's Baby" last night at the Arts Centre (Basildon), it was really weak, no nightmarish hideous monsters, only in the audience! The shelves have started off a Do-It-Yourself bug in the Croft. Ed's making a second story to his cupboard/room ( he's invited all Brentwood's dwarves in for a room warming ) He reckons he'll have space to hang his rags, called clothes! Well, it keeps him off the streets. Bill made the board to paint the sign on for Lynne and D's shop. I've started painting on it now, the usual old stuff- hilly landscape with a banana moon. Just heard on the radio that a lorry has shed it's load in Vange! 24 HOURS LATER, Yerk! Enough to put you off yer mince pies aint it?! I made some today , 'cos that's all there was to eat. They were delicious! Even if I say so myself. What's dis? Another month from last year's art calender. My breeze blocks! How many more?! Good ol' Barry Bendybeard has got the tickets for the Captain Marvel? er Video? umm Kirk? urm Carrotnose? Anyway, the hip swinging rock-boogie shuffler from accross the big sea water. Captain Sealegs! POW! ED's just taken the mouse from the front of your envelope, he want's to copy it. Is nothing sacred? Yes, Viv Stanshall used to go to Southend School of Artful Craftiness also, but left before I got there, so he must be at leat 46! Pie-face Pete is a friend of his. When the Bonzo's came to Manchester once ( only time ) Pie face went to see them and afterwards had a drink with "Viv baby" as he was called by his nearest and dearest so he told us, mind you, he was a devout liar! What's an andy? Oh an essay! I see! Bill is sitting on the floor altering photos in the Radio Times with a red felt tip pen. I think he's bored. He's chuckling to himself, tee - hee! as he draws on another scar on Sandie Shaw's 'orrible mush. I've nearly finished the sign, just the name and spots to do. I think L&D like it, everytime they enter the room they go "Oooh!" "Ahhh!" and hissing noises! They sold a jock strap holder today. What fun it is to sit in the sun, phew it's hot! Like Summer. Ed is applying the kiss of life to two concussed motorbikes, or perhaps he's performing a transplant operation. He's driving a stake through one's heart, or just trying to prize the cleaver out?! Spring fever here at the Croft - Lynne is sorting out her books, selling all the "twinky" ones. Beds and wet sheets are hanging about in trees and from gutterings - so picturesque! A LITTLE LATER THAT SAME DAY. Well! there's the sign finished ! Ummm! very eye catchin'! Just needs a couple of coats of varnish to protect it from the Southend weather. I've painted the Rose Croft sign too with the excess paint. Ed cleaned up the garden of his rubbish and "prunes" ( branches pruned from the apple trees ) Now it looks quite tidy again, for a few days anyway! He nearly chopped Dinah's head off whilst she was ironing with a tin bakin' dish we was playing "frisbee" with! She rain indoors screaming and threatened to make us a cup of coffee, the swine! Must go and search out a crust to eat now. Are you going to Linda's farty? I'm not! Best George's , Hajduk Split , but held together with safety pin etc.

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Rose croft, Brentwood - 14th August 1973

Dearly Departed, Grr! The idiot pig and turkey salvationist has started his internal infernal combusty engine grass devourer! What a horrible noys it iz to! Pervading the peace and quiet I have assured myself this sunny restful butterfly on the page of the afternoon. Stream of conciousness old thing, wot ho! Ta for your bon letter. I've juts washed 2 pounds of waste products and lumps of coke from my hair! Now my luxurient auburn tresses are blowing in the wind, quick, I must chase after them! It seem to me you have a rather morbid interest in weddings, to name but one!? The sooner you snap out of it the better! That'll be 3 guineas please, thankyou, Ting! Where do you get all those halves of A. Rackham's cards from a? It seems to me that H. finishes with M. once a fortnight! The sooner she snaps out of it the better. That'll be another 3 guineas please, thanks, Tinngg"! Quite a profitable day today! I found some more lead animals and soldiers, also an old dinky tractor, some 78's which I left in the cab of the dust cart, so they'll surely be blobs of melted plastic by now! What Elsie? Oh , yes, a pair of brown suede, swade? cowboy boots with silly fringes I've cut off. I was certainly glad to finish today, in this heat it's no fun I can tell you! Amazingly we finished at 2 o'clock, almost as good as 1pm yesterday. It seems we work faster in the heat, which doesn't really make sense.?! Still, nothing much makes sense on our lorry! Never made a birthday card in my life! The very idea! I'll see what I can rustle up. You realise I don't have much time for "that sort of thing" these workadays. Yes, I hope to go to France at the end of September, as soon as I have enough Franks and Centipedes. My hair has soon dried in the sun. Nasty little crawlies everywhere - insects too. I also found a "spud gun". Apples are much in evidence here, useful ammo, to hurl at greedy tom cats who lust after little black mog, and her plate of morsels. That's all for the bean time. Au revoire, Michele le Bins dans le jollie maison du pong.

Monday, October 08, 2018

Rose Croft, Brentwood. - 1st/ 2nd July 1972

Rose Croft, Brentwood - 21st Feb. 1972

Dear Brenda and Brenda? S'funnie ! at Manchester in my class as a perculier girl called Brenda Balls who did paintings of men's parts. She used to go down to the hospital where they have things preserved in spirit bottles and did drawings, still lifes you could say! yerk! She also slept at dinner time in the box the nudes sat on! Thinking back she wasn't the only "weirdo" there, not counting me of course. Did you ever get that Scottish postcard I sent with the old stamp on it? That funny chap in disguise was Alan Ladd - your Mother wins this weeks star prize, a life size model of Nicholas Parsons! OooooH! Fascinatin' Yeah he was a gas man! When I seed him at Chelsea last year. I only saw a couple of episodes though as it was on so late ( after my beddy-bye time ) The woods smilin' at me with 'ez bubblin' sap eyes" Got a charred hairdo and a long sap nose! But he spat out a spark and set fire to my loon pants, the burnin' berk! Flamin' side burns too! I got a letter and tape of the latest Captain Carrot album from Barry Cheery today. He says he's got tickets for that I.S.B. concert next Monday, that's good. He's gonna get some for the Magic Captain Albert Higginbottom concert too. If yer wanna go and boogerloo you'd better tell him heap plenty quick! Savey? It was nice of you both to save me from the television and blackouts on Saturday. Too bad somebody didn't rescue me last night from the dreaded John wayne film! Urgh! Wot I need is a tripewriter to type on. I used to tripe in Manc. but now I haven't even a John Bull printing set or a Dan Dare ray gun! Woe is a me bop! Where did I go rong? ( Shlupp! Sound of self inflicted slap across face. Pull yourself together man!) "Bilge pump!" I said curly. The Department of Employment and productivity says "If you go in Eddies room and get his heater, you can bring it in here and we'll be alike a bake house in no time. But when people come home in dribs and drabs they come in to get warm and never go! So say Bill as he dresses up in his fighter pilot clobber to go scare the Hun down the Ongar Road on his tripod. The police stopped him last night and asked for his license etc. Of course he hadn't got it and the tripod is in Lynne's name. Bill was upset and threatened to do away with himself. MORE NEXT WEEK! Did you know that Engelbert Humperdink spelled backwards is Nicholas Parsons? A oes gennych chwi lyfrau newyddion? I am still reading Gunter Grasses intreegin' noville. A also have a book of "Outdoor Stories"! Yuckaboo! There is a power cut now so I can't play any moosic and see what I am writing of! So I'd better stop now before I go blind. JIMMY RIDDLE - Q. If you get up froma donkey, what is it that you get down from? A. A goose.