Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Is that a pension book in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me?

The recent demise of David Carradine , in mysterious circumstances, leaves a huge question mark as to what occurred in that hotel closet in Thailand. I thought the BlackLOG should go interactive this week and provide you an exciting opportunity to use your skill and judgment to decide what occurred. Was it :-

- A) David and his aging scrawny neck, were attempting to do turtle impressions. While pushing his head through a crack in the closet door he over stretched, Touched Cloth which all proved too much for him....

- B) David got gender confused and once in the closet had second thoughts and refused to come out....

- C) In an attempt to re-live his Kung Fu days David overshot with his Chinese impression and ended up ‘Turning Japanese’.

- D) His legendary love of Blue Smarties ended up in a fatal mix up with an Internet order for pills and he was only hiding in the closet till its effects wore off. Unfortunately there was yet another mix up in the dark and he managed to get his belt tangled around his neck. This would also explain why his trousers were around his ankles.....

- E) He affectionately named his one-eyed trouser snake, Bill - A row with Bill worked its way to a massive falling out, the subsequent deterioration in relations led to David attempting to "Kill Bill". Both parties ended up choked to death in the closet......

- F) None of the above. Please supply your own version of what happened in the closet......

Feel free to use the ‘Have your say’ section below or send an Email BlackLOG, especially if you are going down the F) route.

The one thing that is known for certain is that Sharon, my Spin instructress, reported that her aging father got very excited about the thought of a 72 year old getting some 'action'. Sharon refused to elaborate on how this excitement manifested itself. I have my suspicions but they are just too horrific to print.....

More gigs update
Florence and the Machine and Golden Silvers at the Bloomsbury Ballroom
The venue was part Art Deco and part village hall with its tattered bunting. It was a strange audience, despite the energetic nature of the music there was just a gentle bobbing from the crowd rather than the frantic mosh pit action that this type of music generally attracts. I think they were mesmerised by Florence who not only has a powerful voice but an impressive stage presence. If transported into the audience you get the feeling that Florence would instantly become a one person mosh pit. The only question is will Florence and the Machine make it as big as the critics anticipate or will she shine brightly but briefly before burning out quickly? She has such a great voice I really hope it does not turn out to be the latter….

Florence a one woman mosh pit

The pounding music was too much for my Brazilian friend Eddian and her Italian Husband Costas, who retreated towards the back of the hall. My friend, and cat sitter, Kirsty braved it out with me, although she has threatened to sue me if she gets tinnitus .

On the way home I threatened to have the roof down but even I was reluctant as it started to spit just as we made it back to the car. Kirsty looked so disappointed I decided to risk it. With all the talk about suing I should have got Kirsty to sign a disclaimer in case she got a cold or even drowned. As it was, the only time we got wet was when I used the windscreen washer while we were travelling too slowly……

Starsailor & Bombay Bicycle Club Union Chapel

The Bombay Bicycle Club

Another day, another interesting venue. This time an active church in Islington. This was another Crisis gig in aid of the homeless. Same scenario as the Bluetones/Dodgy gig a few weeks ago i.e. a text message 24 hours before the gig takes place, giving details of where to go. It was also a first for me - sitting in pews at a gig and not one person dared swear, although the Starsailor drummer risked the wrath of the Almighty by sneaking a beer on stage.... I must admit sitting at gigs is not generally my thing but as this was an acoustic gig, it actually worked and was the perfect setting.

The one downer for the evening (It's the BlackLOG, so there was always going to be something). I had checked out the web site for the venue. It mentioned that there was a full cafe service, brilliant. Mrs B likes to eat proper food i.e not fast food, so won’t touch McDonald's etc. with a barge pole. This makes life particularly difficult when combined with the fact that she is often struggling for time, so looking for a restaurant and then waiting half the night for the bill means you don’t get to see much of the concert, play, film or whatever you came out to see. I’m sure the waiters can sense when you are in a hurry and manage to vanish for long periods of time. However, my delight was short lived. The ‘full cafĂ©’ service turned out to be an open door which served:
- Crisps
- Nuts
- Ice-cream
- Kit kat
- Teas & Coffees
and, and well nothing really, that was it.

Just as well this was not our first date, although if memory serves me, I forgot to feed Mrs B on that occasion as well, with almost fatal consequences for our relationship....A hungry Mrs B is not a happy Mrs B and I could tell that she was not impressed and in truth I can't really blame her. To make matters worse, one of the support groups appeared to be rubbing the lack of food in our faces by playing upside-down woks, now that's just cruel.

Wok Rock, it might feed my music addiction but does very little for a hungery Mrs B

Late breaking news: - apparently the open door cafe was just an alternative cafe, the main cafe being upstairs next to the bar. Doh! In my defence when I asked the man who was serving through the open door, whether this was the only food available he failed to mention the main cafe.....No doubt, in addition to the selection I have listed above, the main cafe probably included a comprehensive selection of Pork Scratchings, the Body of Christ served on a bed of couscous and pepper plus the ever popular Mary Magdalene's toenails on toast.
Fun in the country
It was off to see our friends Hugh and Cathryn (Teach, to regular readers of the BlackLOG). Mrs B decided that as she does not get to drive ElleGee very much she would drive the 130 or so miles to Wainfleet in Lincolnshire. I plugged the details into the TOM-TOM (which up to now has had a much better record than our previous in-car navigation system, Nafman). While Mrs B drove, I spent the time reading the newspaper and snoozing. I was disturbed by Mrs B chuntering at TOM-TOM and looked up to find us driving along what I can only describe as a farm track. The strip of long grass growing down the middle, with two tracks for the tyres, was the giveaway. On a positive note, at least the underside of the car was going to get a good cleaning. I was a bit concerned when I discovered that we were only halfway to our destination but told Mrs B to have faith. When we reached Wainfleet, Mrs B complained that the journey seemed to take much longer than usual. I had to point out that as she is normally a passenger and spends most of the time zzzzzz other than the 10 minutes or so at the start of each journey, no wonder it appear to have taken much longer. Still, 130 miles in just over 2 hours, most of which appeared to be on farm tracks is, in my opinion, quite good going. So well done to TOM-TOM and Mrs B.
We always have an interesting time in Wainfleet. From the early days when it was a working dairy farm and we got to help milk the cows (typical town folks, we used to get over-excited, would get up early and become the source of free farm labour. To be honest, we were probably more of a hindrance than a help and should have paid for the privilege). Mrs B waited about 5 years before she got to see the birth of a calf. It had always happened either the day before we arrived or about an hour after we left. With the cows now gone we had to find new sources of entertainment and what could be better than seeing wild life? The old cow barns now house lots of interesting variations of it, including owls.
When Mrs B found this out she got very excited and was determined to see an owl in the wild. A quick search around the barn showed that they were out hunting. Hugh thought he could spy them across one of the fields and so we jumped in the car and drove around the lanes until we reached where he thought they were. Sadly, they turned out to be Seagulls. Mrs B and Hugh decided to make their way back across the fields on foot, still hopeful of seeing an owl, which left me to drive the car back. As I got back before them, I made my way back to the barn and ran inside as it was starting to rain heavily. I then saw a movement out of the corner of my eye. Fortunately, I had the camera out ready and managed to take a couple of shots. A few minutes later a drenched Mrs B and Hugh arrived. Mrs B was not impressed, that once again, she had missed the owl. Only another four years and I’m sure she will see one.
The Magic world of wainfleet

The Wainfleet Flasher is caught on camera.

Mrs B and Hugh searching for the legendary underwater owl....

Ooops, Sorry Mrs B, I seem to
have found the Owl

Baby Swifts, a bit like Mrs B, not
happy until they have been fed.

Mrs B riding Skipper. One of them has thier own
Blog and it's not Mrs B.

The embarrassment when you turn up at a
function in the same dress.

There is currently an on going investigation into
rumours of magic taking place in Wainfleet? Teach
that pose is really not helping the rumours....

Nor is that, the old levitating boy trick.....

More proof, isn't that Headwig?

Our L2B Experience 2006
June always reminds me of the London to Brighton charity bike ride. What follows is one of the blogs that got sent to friends via email at the time - It is split in a number of parts which will unfold over the next few weeks, where it will be tagged on the end of more up to date material.
The bike ride from hell (part 1)
So it came to this, after 40 years of successfully avoiding something called exercise, I accidentally sign up for a 56 mile charity event (I thought the London to Brighton was a classic car race, all ladies in big hats, large picnic baskets strapped to the rear of open top cars, and mechanics for getting dirty when the blasted thing breaks down every 5 miles).

As it was going to involve actual physical effort, eeekkk, we thought it would be advisable to put in some training. So we invited our team leader for the event, Ash (Aside 1), as well as rounding up Sophie (Aside 2) from my firms company car scheme, who has also entered. Sophie had a far more reasonable start time of 8.30am (Ash has signed us up for the 6am start, which means getting into London about 4 hours earlier than most sensible people would normally be going to bed on a Saturday night).

I may have mentioned in a previous blog that my legs seem to have a 20 mile cycling range, before the muscles above both knees lock up. What I did not know before the weekend was my bike has a similar range, before it, too, starts falling apart (What can I say? We're both British made). The front brakes failed before I had left the driveway and the left pedal broke at about the 20 mile marker (Aside 3)(leaving me with an entertaining 5 miles to wobble home). I was having to make two pedal rotations followed by a quick side kick, with my left foot, to stop the pedal falling off the crank shaft. It must have looked like something out of a Monty Python sketch. I would have asked one of the others what I looked like but they were far too busy cracking up to reply.

My bike eventually came out of intensive care and headed for full recovery (i.e. wouldn't break down until the next time I tried and use it for any great distance). I had a quick release mechanism added to the wheels and just need to find the same for my knees. Mrs B and I went for a test run to check out some new road tyres (replacing the cross country ones that were evidently holding us back on the roads. I'm sure it improved our performance by 0.00000001%, so well worth the money), we took the back route into Bishops Stortford town centre and discovered the whole of the towns ASBO population were hanging around castle park. Mrs B did her best to antagonise them by riding straight through groups of them, but failed to get any reaction, other then the odd grunt (it was about 4pm so they were not properly awake yet). This was a relief to me, as I was in Mrs B's wake and in prime position to pick up any flack that might have been going.

As we got home, our friend Paul cycled up and we swapped stories of teenage goading. Paul won easily, getting verbally abused when he asked a girl to stop vandalising a flower display in Bishops Stortford town centre (Aside 4) - he was called an old pervert for his troubles. He also seemed to attract abuse just cycling through the town, I think it was his luminous yellow day-glow cycle clips that might have been responsible. Bright colours, loud noise and movement are about the only things that seem to get through to the average muddled ASBOs brain cells these days. This theory also accounts for the recent success of some of the most horrible music outside of a country and western gig and the rise in reality TV programs. All that bling that pop stars wear today is not just for show, it serves to hypnotise the ASBOs into purchasing any old crud that can put out accompanied by a bright and noisy video.

Tune in next week for the next instalment of the road to the L2B


  1. I seen Florence and the Machine a couple of months ago, I thought she was quite good. Not convinced she'll have staying power though.
    What were Bombay Bicycle Club like? I keep seeing rave reviews about them, but I can't get into them at all.

    You don't drink and a 56 mile bike ride...it's official, you're mental!

  2. unkind with the photo (I'll put a spell on you for that) and, as always, owls all returned to the roost now Mrs B safely out of the way. John's last Aevel exam 2moro - its a tense evening....

  3. CS B-B-C were ok - I fear I like the name more then the product (It also happens to be the name of an incredible restaurant in South London (what a hypocrite I am)). It's unfair to judge over just a few songs, the lead singer is a bit intense. If you look above I have added a video I took of them.

    I think I only managed to make the 56 miles because I don't drink. What I can't work out is how I signed up to do it sober?

  4. Skipper I think I was restrained with the photo - there is always the other one.....

    Thanks for a great weekend and good luck with the bid, if you are looking for investors....

    Also fingers crossed for John

  5. I bet David had one of those falling dreams and he didn't wake up before he hit the ground. Urban legends come from somewhere...

  6. Lilu Thank you for entering into the spirit of this weeks BlackLOG interaction. As the only entrant you get to win the prize or at least would have if a prize had been on offer.

    I cast my eyes with envy on not only the quantity but also the quality of the comments that you receive on Live it, Love it .

  7. I was brought up on a farm in Wainfleet, I love going back to my Dads and spending time there.


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