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Someday My Prints Will Come

I don't know about you (well, obviously I don't, I'm not even sure who you are) but Amazon and their associates have the happy ...

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Another Modest Proposal

It seems to me that we've got this holiday thing all wrong in the U.K.

For example, just at the moment we are in one of those rare situations where the whole of the country is bathed in beautiful sunshine (cue complaining comment from someone in MidLothian with his own personal black cloud).  Right now, we're all beavering away and looking out of the window thinking "I really hope this lasts until Easter, when I can really enjoy it".  This is the triumph of hope over experience.  We know that it will remain gorgeous right up to the moment the kids break up from school, at which point the weather will go downhill big time, culminating in floods, fog, snow, ice and possibly tornadoes by the Easter weekend.

My proposal is this.  The UK weather is clearly too unpredictable for fixed holidays (or, alternatively, absolutely predictable in the sense that it will always do the reverse of what everyone wants).  Therefore, we should be able to call a holiday at a moment's notice, whenever the weather suits the holiday concerned.  I know the Tanker Drivers are ahead of me on this (oops, a little bit of politics there).

This would mean that we could have Easter right now.  Found a red hot summer's day? Great, let's have the Late Summer Bank Holiday.  Snow up to your armpits?  Clearly time for Christmas.  Planning for a family barbecue?  Don't plan, do it now!  Come on Britain, Carpe Diem!

Who's with me on this?

Find the original Modest Proposal, here A Modest Proposal

The first collection of stories - "Steady Past Your Granny's" is now available in Kindle e-book format at Amazon UK and Amazon USA and now read the new bumper collection of stories, Crutches For Ducks  also at and

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Swanning Around

In case you're interested, these were the photos taken at Stapenhill Gardens last week that didn't make the cut:

Monday, 19 March 2012

Take cover - Duck!

I would be interested to know what you think about this as a possible replacement cover - all comments gratefully received ;-)

To see the current cover, in all its glory, pop over to Crutches for Ducks at

Saturday, 10 March 2012

They also wait, who only stand and serve

Recently, a small party of us went for an evening meal at a local pub.  Quite why we went to this particular pub is beyond me, as it has a proud reputation for appallingly slow service.  This isn't just down to the current management.  In fact, in the decades that I've been dragged there for sporadic meals, I don't think there has ever been an occasion when we haven't had to go and make futile enquiries about our order, and when it might possibly be delivered.  I don't know why this should be.  In those years the place has been extensively refurbished and extended, and yet orders, once given, seem to be sucked into some sort of culinary black hole.

To give you some idea of what I'm talking about, we met at 6.30, decided to skip the starter and concentrate on a main and dessert.  We finally left at 11.00 having only just finished our meal.  You could just about understand this if the pub took advantage of the serried ranks of patient diners and used their enforced captivity to sell extra drinks, but this didn't happen either.  Having taken our order, the waiting staff simply vanished off the face of the earth.  Our main course turned up about 8.00 and, in a rare flush of optimism, we thought about ordering our dessert, when we'd finished at about 9.00.  After a fair amount of time staring at our empty main course plates, my wife suggested that she might go in search of our waiter.  I pointed out that it was unlikely that she would recognise him, as he would clearly be a lot older by now.  She didn't find the waiter, but she did come back clutching the dessert board and we amused ourselves for a while, selecting dishes we would like to try if ever we saw a waiter again.  Amazingly, on a trip to the toilet, one of our number found our waiter lurking in the shadows and hauled him back to our table.

I quickly scanned the menu to find something I fancied before he grew impatient and drifted off again.  As I'm a big fan of all thing chocolate, my attention was caught by something that called itself 'Chocolate Nemesis', and I decided to plump (probably an unfortunate turn of phrase) for this.  The waiter, following his set pattern, asked me if I would like cream, squirty cream, ice cream or custard with this.  I pointed out that it was a bit difficult to make a decision as I had no idea what a 'Chocolate Nemesis' was.

This didn't provoke an outpouring of information.  In fact, all it did provoke was the sort of half-smile you might muster for the mumblings of a congenital idiot.  As it was clear that I wasn't going to be helped in any way with my decision, I decided on ice cream on the logical basis that, even if the 'Chocolate Nemesis' turned out to be a disaster, at least I would have some ice cream to eat.  The average life span of a few small mammals came and went before we saw him again, but this time he came bearing dishes for my three companions.  Having served them, he said to me, with great seriousness, "Your nemesis will be coming shortly, sir"

It's still haunting me.

The first collection of stories - "Steady Past Your Granny's" is now available in Kindle e-book format for just £0.89 at Amazon UK and Amazon USA and now read the new bumper collection of stories, Crutches For Ducks  also at and , at the special price of just £1.49.