Saturday 25 February 2012


This week I will be asking why? :
I understand the changes that occur to the unborn foetus during the 40 week pregnancy, body changes and development of an infant through puberty during teenage years and into adulthood. But where was I during the biology lesson that covered a further change that occurs during early to mid forties? 
 Why do a few hairs from my eyebrows want to move from the uniformed and neat position of the others and dwell standing tall on their own, resembling rogue rose suckers and stick up and outwards, thicker and healthier than the ones that reside there already. Also, as if this wasn't enough to get them noticed, prefer to be a different colour from my own!
 Whilst on the subject of facial hair, why have I got so much  hair in my ears that it looks like 2 moths have decided to burrow in and reside there? And if I ever decided to grow a mustache, why would I need it to start growing so far up my nose its practically level with my sinuses? 
Why do I make noises not dissimilar to a power lifter whilst partaking of relatively menial tasks such as tying my shoelaces or putting on socks?
After a recent bath I decided to take a bi monthly pilgrimage to visit my feet with the view of cutting my toenails (more grunting!). My toes resemble a Swiss army knife, each toe having a different attachment. Honestly if my feet were as dexterous as my hands I would no longer need to spend time searching for screwdrivers (slotted and phillips head), tin openers and wallpaper strippers. If my dexterity matched that of a playful kitten, I too would be able to scale walls and curtains with ease!
Why don't manicure sets come with a junior hacksaw and some tin snips to tackle the big toenails? Or socks come with a leather toe insert to eliminate toenails making a hole in sock?
Why when I cough or sneeze do I pass wind? I know that coughing and sneezing is the bodies way of clearing the air passageway but why the rectum simultaneously? Is it in case of an emergency whereas in the event of not clearing the nose or throat the body inhales air from the back passage? If I didn't have hair resembling a thicket growing up my nose it would eliminate such drastic action surely or have I unlocked the secret breathing techniques of pearl fishers and inverted ducks?
Why does modern machinery and gadgets have a built in system that repairs faults by simply turning them off and then on again?
Why did I used to cringe at Victor Meldrew  encumbering his misdemeanors upon his poor wife but having  watched reruns recently, not only do I sympathize with the old boy but share his logic and thought. I have to draw the line somewhere tho in familiarization with Victor and  my wife has my full permission to plunge the scissors deep into my solar plexus if I ask her for them with a view to saving a few pence cutting out coupons. If I need her scissors, I may just have a toe for that!
If she does do the deed and I end up on a life support machine and a light starts blinking or the machine starts making a funny noise, just turn it off and ...leave it off!
Anyway must dash, feel a sneeze coming on...I best crack open a window!


Monday 20 February 2012


a poem by Richard Cleaver

The old man's shed is a haven, for jam jars and junk you would say,
But nothing the old man would part with, he wouldn't throw nothing away.

A big rusty bike and a mower, a dartboard on the back of the door,
Some pots and some pans, an old watering can and shavings all over the floor.

An old chopping block that had seen plenty of work,some old tins of paint and some bags,
Some jars with goodness knows what inside and a cupboard stuffed brimful with rags.

Rusty old nails and a pot full of screws, some bulbs that were 'well on the way',
A smelly old hat and an old cricket bat and a pushchair that had seen better days.

A swap and a scythe with dull blades well worn, a crook that was crafted by hand,
A lumberjacks saw with no handle and granite hard bags of old sand.

Inflammable liquids, poison for rats and a smell that was best not to mention,
A pile of machines, some the likes never seen, awaiting the masters invention.

Plenty of string and some wire, a bag full of well rotted dung,
A demi john full of ancient white wine, sealed with an old rubber bung.

If the shed by chance you would visit, in darkness you'd stumble and fall,
No light bulb was ever present, it was nicked for use in the hall.

Thursday 16 February 2012


Hello there little fella 

Driving through a village lane in my bus this week I came upon a rather large lorry coming from the other direction. As is normally the case I had to shift over into the green stuff in order for our large vehicles to pass. The lane is walled by dense woodland and as the double decker is 14 feet in height had to be wary of overhanging trees. Once I opened the doors and brought in my inside mirror to get snugly nestled in I applied parking brake and was happy that I had done all I could to assist the other driver in allowing him to pass. With nothing to do but sit and wait I was startled by a rather loud CHIT CHIT CHIT (we've all had them days little fella).
 Giving me a dressing down to dare encroach into his habitat with my dirty great beast, this Nuthatch was an absolute delight to behold.
 I have not seen one for many years and rekindled memories of hide and seek in the woods as a kid where being quiet and still I saw my first buff bellied beauty. Not knowing what bird it was back then I had to scan a book to find out. Once seen never forgotten tho and this sighting made my day. By the time matey in lorry had passed me and tooted as way of thanking me, I glanced back to tree and the nuthatch had gone. 
I continued on my journey and joined traffic going about its business and definitely not "seeing the woods for the trees".  

Wednesday 15 February 2012


Bring me my gun!

I had a hard job last week, working in severe cold, frosts both first thing in the morning and late into the evening. Most of the estate had been left to its own devices yet another year without sign of a gritter lorry.
I guess the local council presumes we all sit in the warm waiting for our giro's and don't need to get out to earn a crust.
I decided to park directly outside our house at the front Thursday night to lessen the risk of not being able to get car safely down road at the back which is on a steep gradient.
On venture outside to car at 4.30 am Friday I discovered that someone had scratched and dented the 2 offside doors and left no note with details,apologies or indeed diddly squat apart from a large collection of white paint. I guess that the culprit slid into my car and buggered off as he/she didn't have insurance details to leave anyway. I did pointlessly ask if neighbour's saw or heard anything and have driven around since investigating but to no avail. I have to pay excess on insurance but its more about taking the time to arrange and sort everything out that disgruntles me more. If per chance you are the culprit and happen to read this, I have a message for you, coined from my late grandfather.......

Thursday 9 February 2012


Confessions of a Bus Driver  (part one)   
           On arrival at the bus stop in the town centre on a busy saturday afternoon, I observed around 30 passengers awaiting my arrival to drive them to their destinations. Each of them flustered and eagerly wanting to get home. 
 The first passenger to board was an elderly woman easily 80 years old. She looked worn out, bless her, and I noticed tears in her eyes. I wasn't sure if she was upset, suffered from an eye problem or it was due to the brisk south westerly wind but judging by her expression I surmised it to be the former. 
"What's the matter, sweetheart"? I asked, "Are you alright"?
"No love, not really, I can't remember where I live"! she exclaimed.
Baring witness to my grandfathers suffering I recognized the early signs of alzheimer's disease and immediately felt deep compassion towards the old dear.
"Take a seat behind my cab love and I will sort you in a moment" I said.
The people behind her in the queue and the added stress coupled with her not wanting to burden anybody or hold them up was not easing the situation, so I took her out of harms way and duly loaded the rest of the passengers. Only when they were seated I got out of the cab and strolled down the bus to find her.
She was as I had advised seated behind my cab and staring forlorn out the window. She looked up at me.
Due to the unusual sight of a driver leaving his post, the passengers stopped talking as I asked her, "Can you remember where you live now sweetheart"?
"I did have it just now" she said " but the names gone again"!
"Can you make a steak and kidney pie"? I asked.
She looked at me, probably thinking I had worse mental problems than her current predicament  but answered "Yes, of course"!
"What, a really good one"? I persisted.
"Yeah, bloody sure I can" she laughed.
"That's alright then love" I said "You can come home with me"!
Several passengers laughed and the old dear roared and suddenly stopped laughing and exclaimed "Pennine Way"! "I live in Pennine Way".
Being a "full grown" chap, I am unsure whether the thought of having to feed me shocked her brain into desperation and kick started the old grey cells into working again or what but think perhaps that a little careful thought, kindness and giving her time to think was enough to help ease her trauma.
Sadly, I did see this old lady again several months later and asked her if she remembered me, reminding her of the steak and kidney pie but alas alzheimers had taken hold of her frail mind and she gave me that same expression from months before when I first questioned her culinary expertise. So I just smiled and apologized, blaming myself for confusing her with somebody else. I never made a mistake, not only do I not forget a face, I knew where she would be getting off.


Saturday 4 February 2012


 Yet another 4am alarm stirs this bus driver from his peaceful (for me anyway,sorry dear!) slumber.
 He trudges zombie-like to the bathroom, stubbing toe on bed on way out, and attempts to expose a face suitable for the most wary of passengers. After a customary peer out the window at yet another crisp frost he adorns layers of clothes more suited to Scott of the Antarctic than a humble PCV driver.
Whilst the heaters does its magic on the windscreen of the car, he tries to trigger the locking mechanism of a smile in the rear view mirror which he shall attempt to adorn all day....
Typical start to working day in Winter. However, given that he had day off ....
A 4am alarm is cancelled at 3:50 by excited angler who grabbing his drab array of clothing slips quickly and quietly to bathroom. In a time matched only by a superhero in a phone box appears ninja-like at top of stairs dressed, pauses briefly to listen and recap if he has everything and silently glides down stairs to kitchen.
During the next 15 minutes he will perform a rare unseen act of multitasking. He is a blur, flickering from toaster to fridge to kettle. Tubs of butter, maggots and pellets fly to their desired locations and in the time it takes for kettle to boil he is ready. Grabbing keys, flask and bait he slips outside  into a beautiful crisp frost patterned car. In 2 minutes he's gone. His head full of dreams, excitement and adventures.
 Back inside the kitchen, 2 pieces of toast pop up from toaster where they will sit abandoned and alone.