Thursday, June 29, 2006

For Whom The Bell Trolls

I feel sorry for that chappie who runs the Thanet Life blog. It seems he's had to turn off his comments because of something called trolls.

As you know, I'm not really up with this internet lark, but it sounds nasty. Something to do with unpleasant comments of a leftish nature, from what I can gather. But then he left a pretty off-colour comment himself on Eastcliff Richard's blog the other day, so does that make him a troll too?

I don't know, this blogging game seems very complicated, perhaps it's best to stick to gardening. I'm off to stare nostalgically at my hosepipe.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Turf's Up

I've had to dig up the turf that I put down in the spots where the lawn went brown in the Great Weedol Disaster. When the rest of the lawn went brown from the drought, they looked too green. At least now, overall, it's just different shades of brown.

Perhaps I should get that Diarmuid fellow in.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Ecuador - The Facts

As I once spent some time in Ecuador 'on business', and they're playing our plucky footballers this afternoon, I thought I'd share ten little-known facts about the country with you:

1. Ecuador is the world's largest producer of liquorice.
2. The President of Ecuador is traditionally referred to as 'El Cabeza del Cerdo', which means 'Pig's Head'.
3. Some Ecuadorians believe Prince Philip to be descended from Xylbytlpop, the Inca goddess of knitting.
4. In Ecuador, if you find some fluff in your pocket, it is considered lucky.
5. Women have had the vote in Ecuador since 1756.
6. Graeme Garden, of TV's 'The Goodies' fame, is originally from Ecuador.
7. If you travel west from the capital, Quito, the first country you come to is Wales.
8. Ecuador is divided into 22 provinces, one of which is called Fellacio.
9. If nine Ecuadorians find they are occupying a lift designed for 8 people, one will get out.
10. 95% of the world's drawing pins are made in Ecuador.

Jazzed Up

What a marvellous spectacle they put on for us Ramsgate residents at the Eastcliff bandstand last night. Reminded me of the 70s when I used to go to all the charity 'cop bops'.

Although I spent most of the evening drinking free beer on my own in a quiet corner, I did manage to grab a granny at the last moment. And this being Thanet, she was only 36!

There's life in the old duffer yet.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

He's Coming Home

I see that Eastcliff Richard, by far the wittiest, most humorous, and yet self-effacing and mild mannered millionaire on the Isle of Thanet, is heading back from his sojourn in the West Indies to resume his blogging activities in Ramsgate once again.

I had the pleasure of meeting him once, and can tell you that I have never met a funnier, more entertaining and yet generous and kind hearted soul. He deserves the freedom of the island, if not a knighthood.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Flock Of Seagulls

It's Thursday, it's bin day, so the seagulls are out in force. Bin bags go out, seagulls come in. Why bother collecting the rubbish and taking it to a landfill? The place looks like a landfill already, with all the bin bags that have been pecked open.

I used to enjoy that Eastcliff Richard blog, when he used to go on about seagulls the size of poodles. Quite the funniest thing, and I found it again the other day, thanks to a link on Mr Nethercourt's blog. It seems he's emigrated to the West Indies, which is a shame.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Flock Of Pigs

I saw a uniformed officer on foot patrol in our street this morning. Maybe he'd confused Ramsgate with Forest Gate.

Such mistakes are easily made. I once arrested a bunch of Italians under the PTA the morning after a heavy day, and night, with some of my journalist contacts. Turned out they were actually wanted for shoplifting. They took it well, though.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Talking About My Sanatogeneration

Well that's picked me up a treat, that Sanatogen. Thanks for the tip, Mr Nethercourt.

Not only that, but it's a lot cooler today, so my truss is no longer disintegrating, although it does appear to have deformed into a rather unusual, and, I have to say, uncomfortable shape.

I suppose I'm about the same age as many of those old rebels like The Who and The Rolling Stones. I once had the dubious pleasure of being assigned to The Stones, back in the 80s, for reasons I'd rather not go into here. In fact Mr Jagger told me to "f*ck off" at one point, and ever since he's been known in our household as 'Mr (now Sir) F*ck Off'. They all look a lot younger on the telly than they do in real life. But then you only get 625 lines on the average telly screen, don't you?

Monday, June 12, 2006

It's Too Hot To Blog

The glue in my surgical truss is melting.

Sunday, June 11, 2006


Bit of an update - the grass has now died completely. The weeds, on the other hand, seem to be doing fine.

Circus Act

Now that we know the Turnip Centre is going to be built by the Chipperfield's Circus people, I thought I'd nip over to Margate and take a look at the site.

Plenty of room in the car park there for two or maybe even three rings. The visitor centre already sets the circular tone. And most of the lobster coloured lardbuckets milling around seemed to be exactly the sort of people who would appreciate the spectacle of an elephant balancing on one leg.

Three cheers for our local council. It seems they're onto something at last.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Crushing Victory

So, a one nil victory via an own goal. I think I got it about right.

World Cup Fever

I'm not really a football fan, but it's difficult to avoid noticing that there's some sort of soccer tournament on at the moment. Plus there's been a lot of guff in the papers about Rooney's foot. Poor lad, it's not really his foot that needs attention, is it? You'd think he'd invest in a bit of plastic surgery, with all his millions.

So I suppose I'll settle down in front of the telly this afternoon with a glass of something to watch our brave lads doing battle with Paraguay. I predict a heroic draw/defeat. After all, Latin Americans usually have the hand of god on their side. All we've got is feet of clay.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Margate Exodus Actually A Film Or Something

I think I must have got my wires crossed, it turns out this Margate Exodus thing is actually an event, or film, or some kind of bunfight, rather than a plan to help traders escape the High Street. There's an item about it in the Gazette today. Apparently anyone will be able to join in the filming, so I might toddle along myself. There could well be a meaty role for a Methuselah type like me.

Apparently songwriters including Brian Eno and Scott Walker have composed music for the film, 'each one inspired by one of the plagues in the book of Exodus'. How appropriate. And I had a look at the Margate Exodus website, it appears to be sponsored by the Gazette and Waterbridge, among others. Aren't Waterbridge the people who are making such a terrific success of Dreamland?

Have I laid the irony on a bit thick there?

Bearded Lady Shortlisted For Turner Centre

I see the shortlist of six architects chosen as possibles for Margate's new Turnip Centre includes circus company David Chipperfield.

Quite how they qualify to get their snouts in the trough is beyond me. I mean, putting up a tent is one thing. Designing a £12m gallery demands entirely different skills, surely?

Exit Strategy

I see from my free copy of 'Thanet Matters', the council's self publicity rag, that an 'Exodus HQ' has been opened in Margate High Street.

As if there weren't enough shops leaving Margate High Street as it is. Do we really need the council encouraging them?

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Tannoying Behaviour

Just popped out the back door to deposit the detritus from tonight's ready meal in the bin, and there appears to be a man touring the streets of Ramsgate shouting obscenities through a megaphone.

There's not an election on, is there?

Missing Links

Thanks once again to Charlotte (Ted's daughter), who's filled in some links to my favourite blogs, plus one or two others she thought I might find interesting. I hope she hasn't missed anyone out.

I worry sometimes about all the hours she spends on the internet at work. On the other hand, it is a media company, so everyone probably spends all day making paper darts anyway.

Spot Prize

What glorious sunshine. It's bringing on the brown patches in the lawn a treat.

Broadstairs: The Future's Orange

Never hear much about Broadstairs, do we? Are they all asleep?

Mind you, properties prices are far from moribund over there. I've just come back from a walk around the place, and my usual snoop in all the estate agents' windows. I see the Victoria guest house, on the front, is on the market for £999,995. A cool million (bar a fiver)! That said, I stayed there a few years ago, and I must say it's been beautifully restored, and is quite a substantial edifice, with terrific sea views.

And the agents, Terence Painter, are doing a good job of talking it up. The description of the property reads: 'The Victoria is situated directly on the sea front in the popular, picturesque and charming Dickinson seaside town of Broadstairs'.

I expect they're hoping people will think it's as cheap as chips.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Trouble With Wind

As I was cursing myself last night for not having taken my Bisodol, I remembered that Ted's mate had told me that there seems to be a lot of stuff going on to do with this new wind farm.

Apparently quite a few council bods have been taken on helicopter trips to survey the offshore location. Quite why they couldn't have saved a bit of money and suffered in a boat like normal people beats me.

I suppose it'll bring jobs if they do build this facility in the harbour to maintain the blasted eyesores, although to my way of thinking, with the East Cliff about to crumble into the sea, they've got their priorities a bit skewed.

Still, they're hardly likely to take any notice of an old gipper like me.

Keep Off The Grass

What in the name of everything that's holy was I thinking of? Using Weedol on those daisies in the front lawn? I've just read the instructions, and it says it kills grass too. But I knew that anyway.

Oh well, look on the bright side. At least visitors will know they've come to the right place. Just look for the two-tone lawn, green with brown spots.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Well fancy that. Just back from the club to find Charlotte's handiwork. Not a bad likeness, really.

Now that I'm getting on, I'm going a bit mutton, so I often watch the news and weather with the Ceefax Page 888 subtitles on.

Tonight I learnt that the Queen had spent Gordon Brown to deliver a telegram to Britain's oldest man, that it will be Chile in some parts of the south tonight, and tomorrow will have some clout, with a shot of rain in Aristide Close. Amazing how detailed they can get the forecasts these days.

Open All Hours

Dad said you were having trouble with your blog so I used the password you gave him to open up the comments and put a profile picture on for you. Hope you like it!

Charlotte (Ted's daughter)

The Gas Board

Have you tried to get through to the gas board recently with a query that's just a bit more complicated than 'I've moved house'?

Ten minutes now. Still listening to that infernal music.

Oh no, tell a lie, here's Darren.

No. Darren can't help.

More ersatz Travis music.

Hello, now I'm speaking to Craig. Oh, no, bit premature. Craig can't help either. He's told me to go and look at my meter.

Still, at my age it helps to pass the time.

Woolly Thinking

One of the joys of being beyond the age of caring is that you can let yourself go a bit. Maybe it's a reaction to 40 years of having to wear a suit and tie, but these days I don't bother much about my appearance.

Haircuts? Forget 'em. Long grey beard with bits of last night's dinner in? Bring it on.

It was brought home to me just how far I'd let things slip when I was going through immigration at Tullamarine last year, on the way to see the kids. The smart young Aussie behind the desk spent some considerabe time staring at the photo in my passport, which was almost ten years old. I suppose he was having trouble reconciling the dashing businessman it portrayed with the real life, shambolic old fool that was standing in front of him.

Eventually he eyed me up one last time, and said: 'Gone a bit feral since this was taken, haven't you mate?'

I do so like the Aussie sense of humour.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Second Floor: Carpets, Travel Goods And Bedding; Material, Soft Furnishings, Restaurant And Teas. Going Down!

So, I believe, went the rousing last verse of the theme tune to 'Are You Being Served?'.

The thing is, though, that Mrs Slocombe wouldn't have had a pussy in hell's chance of using any of the Edwardian cliff lifts here in Ramsgate. Not to put too fine a point on it, they're buggered.

Why are they buggered? Because Thanet Council has failed to maintain them properly.

Frankly, I've seen better run banana republics.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Away Day

Got the instructions off Ted about turning on comments. Might as well be in Greek.

All the talk up the club last night was of this blasted junket the council awarded itself. Trampolining, walks, herbalism, what's going on? Not only that, but Ted was told by a mate of his that it was all organised by the TDC Finance Department. Talk about trampolining while Rome burns.

That reminds me, Ted said something quite funny about somebody else fiddling once while Nero's burned. That's going back a bit.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Cec'll Do Yer

Ted phoned to say his daughter had been round, and had shown him my 'blog'. She's written down some instructions about how to turn on the comments, so I'll get those off him when I see him up the club later.

Ted also said I should write about some of the funny things that happened during my time in the force. I don't know about that. The index linked pension comes in handy, even though I don't have to rely on it.

I don't suppose it would be giving away any state secrets to mention that I was seconded to look after Slimy Cecil for a brief period in the Eighties. It was just after he was caught knocking up that Sarah woman. I remember him touring the Welsh valleys with the Iron Lady (nice legs). The usual SWP crowd were there (not a bad bunch really, mostly mummy's boys from Surbiton), doing their ritual chant of 'Maggie! Maggie! Maggie! Out! Out! Out!'. Occasionally they'd vary it a bit with 'Kinnock! Kinnock! Kinnock! In! In! In!'

As soon as they saw Cecil, they began alternating with a new variation: 'Cecil! Cecil! Cecil! In, Out! In, Out!' I don't know how I kept a straight face.


Well that was a very pleasant way of spending a Friday afternoon. Must splash out more often.

It's quite difficult to fill the days when you're retired. I play a bit of golf, and there are some great walks around here. Then there's the allotment. Bit of DIY. I tried the masonic thing, but it wasn't really my cup of tea. Too many cons.

Sometimes when I'm in the supermarket I try and slip an extra item into people's trolleys when they're not looking, and then make sure I'm close to them when they get to the checkout. You should see the puzzled looks. But you couldn't really call that a hobby, more of a diversion.

Friday, June 02, 2006

The Silver Pound

Hello. I'm back again. It's quite addictive, this blogging thing, isn't it? Especially as I'm on my tod. The wife passed on a few years back (to a former mate in the British Transport Police), and the kids all emigrated to Australia in the Eighties.

What I like about Thanet is that it caters for the silver pound. Where else would the personal services ads in the back of the local paper say: 'OAPs welcome'?

Now if only I could find that packet of blue pills...

A Bit More About Me

Well it turns out Ted knows nothing about computers, it was his daughter who put the commodes on eBay for him.

Still, at least it keeps the title appropriate. I mean, who's ever heard of the Vagina Dialogues? Sounds more like a gynaecological consultation than a cutting edge piece of theatre.

A bit more background, then. I retired from the force at a relatively young age, having attained the giddying rank of DCI Special Branch. I then started a pretty successful business supplying security consultation services to the rich and famous, which I subsequently flogged for a mind-bending amount of money to an American firm a few years ago. I suppose the wife and I could have had our choice of retirement locations - Florida, Spain, Australia. But we chose Thanet, I chose Thanet, as I had a soft spot for the place, having been this way on many occasions in the course of 'business'.

That's probably enough for now. This writing lark isn't as easy as it looks, is it?

Thursday, June 01, 2006

No Comments

I can't seem to turn the comments on. Would anyone be able to help? I suppose not, with the comments turned off. I'll ask Ted up the club. He's bound to know, he sold a couple of commodes on eBay once.


This is my first time on the internet, and I must say how easy it is to set up one of these 'blogs'.

First, a bit about me. I'm getting on, hence the title of my 'blog'. I don't actually suffer from angina, but quite a few of my friends do, and when I told them what I was going to call my 'blog', they all laughed until it hurt. One or two of them then even had to take their tablets.

So I don't think I'm being mean or offensive, but apologies to anyone in advance if they do find it objectionable.

I first got interested in setting up my own 'blog' from reading one of our local 'blogs' called Thanet Life. I then started reading something called 'Eastcliff Richard', which was hilarious, but the link to that seems to have disappeared, and as I'm not up with all the technical stuff, I can't seem to find it on my own. So I thought I'd have a go at writing something funny myself. After all, John up the allotments says I've got an evil sense of humour, so why not?

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Hopefully I'll think of something funny to write soon.