Saturday, 27 February 2010

Old Lady

Sometimes people I meet make the day at work either fun or more bearable, take your pick. I called an elderly lady to my counter position today, and she was (I'm Guessing) 80 years + of age.
Immediately she started moaning about how long she had been waiting to be served. Now today was the last working day of the month, and traditionally each last day of the month we are hammered with people wanting road tax disc's - fact.
So when I said to her "When you came in today you were just a teenager" she left with a big smile on her face, after posting her letter to the U.S.A. ,and me too. It was priceless.


Sunday, 21 February 2010


This first one took place at 5:20pm Friday, with a well known person who used to sleep rough in Bury St.Edmunds.

Note the time
Customer "Morning"
Me "Just got up have we" ?
Customer "What are the mugs on the counter for"
Me "they are free if you have a life insurance quote"
Me "its from as little as £5-7 a month"
Customer "where am I going to get that money from"
Me "do you have anyone you'd like to leave something to"
Customer "No"
Me "if you believe in re-incarnation you could make your will out, and leave it to yourself" !

Lots of chuckling breaks out.
I don't think I'm going to sell many life insurance policies with that line.

This second one was Saturday morning, with an elderly gentleman (possibly a bit bonkers), with some letters to post.

Me "Morning"
Customer "Morning, I can't get used to this" "I've been away for 40 years" (meaning abroad)
Me "That is a long stretch" (meaning in jail)

He either didn't hear me, or chose to ignore my comment.


Saturday, 13 February 2010

Working Saturday

Had to start work at 08:30 today. Met with a colleague in the car park and gave her back some plant seed trays, that she have given me with plants last year, for my garden. This is so hopefully she can grow some more this year, and hopefully gain a few more freebies ;-)
The morning went quite quickly, and come closing time, at 12:30, I called in Billy Hill for a football betting slip and popped in "The Grapes" for a pint, to ponder over my bet.
Coupon filled out and bet placed, back across St.Andrews street, I once again head to Sainsbury's to see if I can get parked and to my weekly grocery shopping.
Shopping done. £44 lighter, and home to pack it away. I changed out of work clothes, and go to my local for a pint. Feeling peckish I ordered a Chicken Korma to eat. A couple of other friends arrive and had a very pleasant chat with them, before walking back home for the evening.


Thursday, 11 February 2010

Phone Calls

My home phone number has three zero's in it. I like my number, and wouldn't want to change it, and would go as far as taking it with me, if I was moving house within the area.
But occasionally I get calls from people who have miss dialled. This used to happen more frequently in the past, from people trying to call "The Butterfly hotel" in Bury St.Edmunds. They would turn two digits round and get me, and I would inform them politely of their mistake, after I realised the similarity in the numbers. This has not happened recently, I don't know if the number has changed since it was taken over as "The Ramada".

About a month ago, at 5:15 on a Sunday morning, my phone rings waking me up in bed. I ignored it as caller ID said withheld. Just over an hour later the phone rings again, again waking me, and this time half asleep I answer.
Me "Hello" nobody speaks on the other end.
Me "Hello, Hello, is anyone there"
Woman"Hello, is that the Samaritans ?"
Me "No sorry, you've got a wrong number, this is just a private residence" I say, trying to put her off ringing, and waking me up again, and I put the phone down.
Then I lay back down and the guilt kicked in. What if she was suicidal ? could I have been able to talk to her and help ? Some would joke here, that know me, that I'd of made her worse ! But again the number was withheld, so I couldn't call her back. I haven't had any more calls for them, to date.

Then yesterday, while I'm at work, I get a message left on my BT 1571 answering service, for someone in the NHS from a district nurse.
Nurse "Hello Phillipa, I'm Trying to arrange a walking frame and possibly a chair raiser, for a Mrs XXXX of XXXX address. Please can you contact the ladies daughter Mrs XXXXXXX on XXXXXX phone number, so as not to concern or worry, Mrs XXXX. Thanks"
The strange thing about this message is about the people the nurse mentions. Mrs XXXX, an elderly lady,lives about 30 yards from my parents house, and I've known her since I was about 5 years old. Her daughter and son-in-law live about 100 yards away, and I've known them about 10 years. All a bit bizarre.


Monday, 8 February 2010


So much for an early finish today. Worked overtime from 14:50 until 17:35. Tomorrow is my day off but I am going on an Express mails seminar, about Royal Mail and Parcelforce worldwide products, at the Holiday Inn in Colchester. This will be overtime too, including my journey time, plus travel at 40p a mile.
I've been wondering, if it snowed all day tomorrow, whether I can claim expenses if I got "snowed in" there.


Sunday, 7 February 2010

Back to Work Tomorrow

Started out today calling in at my Brothers house. He's back home tomorrow but I just checked everything was ok, and I needed to put out a wheelie bin (hope I got the right colour one) for collection tomorrow.
I had been asked by Mum if I wanted lunch with her and Dad, which I accepted, roast rib of Beef sounded too good to pass up on. So I called into Tesco Express for a newspaper, and headed to Horringer.
While Mum cooked lunch, my father and I walked up to the Six Bells in Horringer, and I had a Pint and a half of Greene King IPA (all I had time for) before the lunch was going to be ready, and I was driving.
Nice meal with cheesecake to follow had me feeling full up, before I took the car home and popped to my local for another pint in there, before a neighbour gave me a lift home, thanks Donna.
Watching the Chelsea V Arsenal game, and thoughts turning to returning to work tomorrow after my week off, though luckily I have an early finish about 14:50


Friday, 5 February 2010

Childrens Car Seats

As I mentioned yesterday, I took my brothers family to Stansted Airport yesterday. This involved putting my four and a half year old Nephews car seat into my car, for safety and Law. Well have you ever tried fitting the seatbelt around one of these car seats ? The diagram on this one is none to clear.
First you find out that the child seat won't fit under your cars headrest and have to remove it. Then as your wrapping your seatbelt around certain parts of the child seat, putting it into clips, then round the back, you find that your seatbelt has locked and won't pull out any further. This forces you to let it retracked back a bit, where it goes back through one of the holes you've threaded it through, and has now fallen down the back between the car seat and the child seat.
When you finally get the seatbelt round and plugged in, looking a bit like how the diagram looks, you feel that you need to jerk the child seat forward, and check that the car seatbelt is gonna lock the child seat in place, where it doesn't. So you undo it, and repeat the whole process again, and realise it was correct the first time.

Now with this child seat in place in the back of my car, and my weekly groceries requiring purchasing, I've been wondering ? Can I get away with parking in the Parent/Toddler section of Sainsbury's car park ? (my preferred choice of Supermarket).
Their car park is usually full when I go, and as a hetrosexual male with no children, and thankfully no disablity, it is a nightmare to find an empty parking space, because half of them are set aside for black welsh lesbians with one leg, and I have to park near the Petrol station.
Then when you find the last free space in the car park, as you go to swing in, you find some lazy person has left a trolley in it !


Thursday, 4 February 2010

Poached Egg

I got up this morning, at 3am, to take my brother, sister-in-law and nephew, to Stansted airport. They were going to Salzburg in Austria for a few days. Got back home at 6am and went back to bed until 10:30.
When I got back up again, I decided to have my second attempt at a poached egg, as my first the previous day didn't go to well, as the yoke broke.
So I've seen it done, you boil the water, stir the pan and make a vortex in the middle, and pour the egg in. This time I've cracked the egg into a small glass, and poured it in... Perfect.
Once cooked, being an uncouth male, I put it on the top of a... Cornish Pastie. It was gorgeous !
Damn car is filthy again after the mornings journey though.


Wednesday, 3 February 2010

New Tyres

Went down to Bury Tyre Centre on Station hill at about 10am today and had 2 new Tyres at £74 each put on the back wheels of my car. While it was being done I took a stroll down to Tesco to get a paper and lotto ticket.
Left the Tyre centre, and called in at my brothers to pick up my nephews car seat, as I'm running them to Stansted airport in the morning at 03:30. Unfortunately, when I knocked at the door, my brother jumped up out of an armchair and put his back out, throwing the whole trip into jeopardy. Osteopath appointment quickly made !
Went home and done some chores, before going to my parents house for an evening meal with them of pork loin, followed by apple crumble, and watched a bit of tv. Bed now as I'm up early.


Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Rainy Tuesday

Got up and saw it was raining, so I phoned the tyre centre and told them I wouldn't be bringing my car in until tomorrow (Wednesday) for the them to be fitted. Rather felt I wanted to leave my shiny polished car in the garage one more day, and hope its dry tomorrow (fat chance).
Knowing my luck I locked somebodies cat in the garage when I put the car away, and its crapped on it.
Went the pub at 12:30 and have to say, it being wet, sat and read my newspaper and didn't leave until a rather naughty 7pm, whilst chatting with a few friends, who called in and out during that time.
Now waiting for Shameless to start on channel 4.


Monday, 1 February 2010

I have this week off work on holiday

I had got a bit lost with the blog, for a while, mainly because of Facebook and most of my friends knowing what I've been up to through that site, and hadn't written for ages.

I've got this week off work, through annual leave, not swine flu ! I was offered the jab and thought prevention is better than cure, I might as well have it.

So having had a fairly boozy weekend, I decided my car needed some attention, particularly after the recent bad weather and all the grit put on the road (until they run out of it) and decided to vacuum, wash and polish it today. Popped down to Motorspares on the industrial estate about 10ish to get some Polish. Then on returning home I rang around some Tyre fitters to get some quotes for a couple of new boots for it too, before setting about the vacuuming.

Not the hottest of days to be outside working, but a couple of sweatshirts had me warm enough.

This picture wasn't taken today, as you can tell be the trees behind, but the car looked as good as this afterwards, and duly parked in the garage after, to avoid any frost or snow tonight. Took a shower and the wandered off to the local for a rewarding pint of lager.
So in the morning I'm off to Bury Tyre Centre on Station hill for the new tyres to be fitted.


Sunday, 18 October 2009

Champions Day

Yesterday I had kindly been invited to go to Newmarket Horse racing, by a friend who works for the "Darley" racing yard, for Champions day. It was a bit of a mad rush to finish work that morning and get home and change, before hopefully getting there before the 1st race at 1:50pm but we made it. It could have been a bit warmer and a lighter wind, but it could have been a lot worse too, as there was a couple of spots of rain, but it was mid October.
A look at the horses in the paddock/parade ring and I still had no better idea which one to put my money on, and generally opted to put £5 on one and £2 on another to win. I had planned on backing 2 particular horses in 2 different races, but neither of them won.
In fact I didn't have a winner all day, although I came very close in one race that generated a little bit of excitement, before it got caught on the finish line. My friend only had a place in 1 race that didn't return much.
It was the 1st time I had gone this year, and was a thoroughly enjoyable day." Thanks" to my friend for the ticket, same time next year, or the guineas ? ;-)


Sunday, 4 October 2009

How Funny

I was in my local this lunch time "chewin over the fat" and we were havin' a laugh at the Landlords expence with Arsenal losing. So he says if Arsenal win 6-2 I'll buy everyone at the regulars table a drink. Final score 6-2. He should of had a bet to offset his comment.


Wednesday, 30 September 2009


On Sunday I had lunch at my parents, along with my brother, sister-in-law and nephew. During this time my brother was telling me about a work colleague of his, who had been fishing all week and hadn't caught a single fish.
My brother went on to say that he had come up with a new term for this "Extreme deck chairing". I used to fish a lot, but this tickled me.


Monday, 28 September 2009

Sir Bobby Robson

On Saturday 26th September it was Ipswich Town V Newcastle United at Portman Road, (Now know as the Sir Bobby Robson derby) and a work colleague had offered me a spare ticket for the match, which i gratefully accepted. Deciding to go by train with another chap from work, we arranged to meet up in the Grapes pub in Bury St.Edmunds after they had finished work. As usual a certain regular, and one of Bury's best known characters was in the pub too, and I couldn't resist taking a photo. (Thanks Corky).

We wandered down to the Railway station with a plan to catch the 15:23 train to Ipswich, but as we passed The Last Day of Raj, Indian restaurant, on station hill, we could see the train pulling out of the station...ooopps. So a quick look at the timetable and the next train is at 16:23 and will get into Ipswich at 17:05 giving us just enough time for the short walk to the football ground for the 17:30 kick off, also live on BBC2. So to help pass the hour a pint in the Linden Tree was had.

Once situated on the train, I got chatting to Ant and Dec (above). They disappeared off to the on-board toilet one at a time to gel their hair !

Arriving at the ground and I noticed that they had already changed the signage above the turnstiles ahead of the renaming ceremony due to take place at half-time of the North stand to the Sir Bobby Robson stand (following his death on July 31st).

Before the game started 40 Ipswich legends paraded around the pitch with the F.A.Cup and the Uefa Cup won in 1978 and 1981 respectively under the guidance of Sir Bobby.
I don't have to much to say about the match as we lost 0-4.
Returning on the 20:16 from Ipswich we got back to Bury at 21:00 and I decided to go and see the band (DirtyTrix) playing in the Grapes that evening. After chatting with one or two people I knew in there, I went and had a Kebab then wobbled home on my Bicycle.


Thursday, 24 September 2009

Sloe Gin

Last year I made some Sloe Gin for the first time. I created it the same weekend of the year as I have this year. This will then be ready in time for Christmas. I've used one 70cl bottle and one 1litre bottle, both half filled with Sloe berries, 100 grams and 150 grams of sugar, added respectively, and 1litre of Gin fills up both bottles perfectly. So it should produce 1litre of Sloe Gin.

Just 24 hours after bottling, and the Gin is turning the crimson colour that it should, and will get much darker over the next few days. The bottles need turning on a daily basis for the first two weeks, to dissolve the sugar, then on a weekly basis, to mix up the berries and release flavour. Whilst keeping the bottles stored in a cool (not cold) temperature.
Last years batch produced comments like "that's the best I've ever had" and "spot on". So hopefully this years will to.
If you want to give it a go, this year seems to be a bumper crop/harvest of Sloe's for some reason, and its not to late to get some Sloe's in the next 3-4 weeks, before the berries start to shrivel.
Oh, and to strain it off, I use a coffee machine filter, for the clearest result.


Monday, 21 September 2009

Keith Floyd - Patrick Swayze

Whilst on holiday, in Greece, on the Monday, I was saddened when I had a text, from my brother, informing me of Keith Floyd's death. He was aware that my Ex and I had gone to see Keith, at Bury St.Edmunds Theatre Royal.
It was "an audience with..." style show, and as we took our seats, all that there was on the stage, was a chair and table. On the table though was a bottle of wine and a packet of cigarettes, typical of Floyd.
He had been given special dispensation to smoke, in the smoke free Theatre,before the smoking ban had come in, but doubt he would have been allowed to after.
During the first half he talked about his life, growing up, being in the army, and of course cooking. During the interval Keith had laid on a complimentary glass of wine for every audience member. The Ex being a non-drinker let me have hers.
Second half and Keith opened up to questions from the audience, "what would you choose for your last meal" ironic, "do you regret cooking a puffin".
Anyway, we had been inspired by watching his TV programs to go and see this charismatic man. I actually surprised the Ex (wife at the time) with the tickets, for her birthday. I'm so pleased we went to see him.
Also the same day sad to hear about Patrick Swayze's death on the news. He was my sister-in-laws favourite, and unfortunately her father also died of Pancreatic cancer, so I felt for her that day too.


Friday, 18 September 2009

Nikiti, Sept 9th - Sept 16th 2009

We departed from Gatwick Airport at 6am, having been picked up from the Moreton Hall Pub at closing time, by a Taxi for six of us. A seventh person who booked independently was also driving down and meeting us there.

No delays and we arrived at Thessaloniki Airport, in Greece, and found our transfer to our hotel (for all Seven of us) a bright Green Volkswagen van, driven by Roberto. Interesting piece of driving us having been up all night, I kept one eye on the road. Anyway the journey took about an hour for the 60 odd kilometers to get to our Hotel/Taverna.

On arrival we crash at a table that will seat seven of us, and order the same number of beers to quench our thirst, before worrying and our rooms. Having drunk our drinks we get our rooms allocated and get rid of our holdall's, change clothes, and head back out to explore the area.

Turning left outside the front of our Hotel we wandered along the sea front, and found this beach bar, run by a guy called Costas (apologises if that's not how you spell it). A few drinks here (and a few complimentary) and we head back to our Hotel to shower and change.

Recommended the Marina (name of Hotel) T-bone steak, I thought I'll have some of that, and so did some of the others, and it just melted in the mouth, well happy.

Next day and the sun is out, so off to get some Sun..she..ine. I've got some tunes on my phone and we're all enjoying them, and I'm reading Tony Adam's auto-biography. A walk along the jetty, and the picture has three of the lads sitting on their sun loungers on the beach. I've also brought along a snorkel and goggles to take into the sea to look at the fish.

Friday (flat out friday)*, and we wander up to "down town Nikiti " high street. There is also a market (not Meercat) going on. We stop off to change up some Sterling into Euros, before having a look around it, then head back to the sea front, about 10 minutes walk.

Now, before we left, it was obviously known that it was going to be someones birthday, while we were out in Greece. Since January it has been a feature of the Moreton Hall Pub regulars, that on they're birthday they must wear the "birthday hat". So it came along with us for Mr Mikey Z's on 9/11. Also the Usain Bolt "pose" appeared in quite a few of our pictures as well. Here we have birthday boy with 1. birthday hat 2. my snorkel 3. his fave team shirt 4. the sea 5. Usain bolt "pose". *(flat out friday) is everyone in football shirts boozing all day. I fall asleep on my bed and miss the lamb kleftico that I've ordered for dinner ! (But i was back out, and the last one home).

Next morning, and its raining, my friends still felt that they had to go and smoke outside, just like our legislation's here. So here is Steve (Meercat) having a ciggie under the phone box in the rain. Possibly in his Pyjama trousers and flip-flops, across the road from the Hotel.

This view looks back from the harbour to our Hotel (centre) just behind the trees.

The sun going down, around 7pm, from the terrace of our Hotel, across the Marina which is being newly built.

Everyone has gone to bed, and I just have a little wander around the front of the Hotel. On the road I spot a Cricket about 2-3 inches long. I've got my camera in my pocket, so I try and zoom in with it, to get a picture to show everyone. After I've Zoomed in, I realise I need to get a bit closer, and stoop down a bit, at which point the Cricket jumps up into my hair ! I scream like a girl and brush the Cricket out of my hair, and it drops back onto the road. At which point a "stray" cat, darts out of the bushes, grabs the Cricket in its teeth (with a crunch) and runs off ! And I never got a picture.

The last evening we are there, all seven of us spend it with friends relations and their friend's. From left to right, Paul, Julia, Craig, Mikey, Cliff, 2 ppl i don't know, Pat, Me (No.5), Stephen (Mini)and Stephen (Meercat).

Happy Days !


Friday, 4 September 2009

Nikiti - Halkidiki - Greece

I only have to work 4 hours tomorrow (Saturday) morning, then I have 2 weeks off work, and during this time I shall be spending 7 days with 6 friends in the above named place, on the Greek mainland.
Its just a small village located on the middle peninsular of the 3 in the Halkidiki region, and we have rooms at Hotel Marina, a small Taverna.
Hopefully it will be a great place to chill out and relax with friends, after my divorce 8 weeks ago, but during the week there we have an England world cup qualifier and 1 of my friends has a Birthday.


Wednesday, 26 August 2009


I left for work this morning, and joined compiegne way, near the railway bridge, to go into Bury St. Edmunds around the Sugar beet factory down to Northgate street.
I straight away became aware of a nasty smell, and thought "that isn't a sugar beet factory smell" and realized that the articulated Lorry in front of me had about 20+ tonnes of manure in the trailer.
So when I got to the dualled section of this road, I thought I'd pass the Lorry and get ahead of the Pong, and moved into the outside lane. Half way alongside the Lorry a stone hit my car windscreen and put a big chip in it. I now wish I'd stayed behind the muck and put up with the smell.
Got Auto glass coming to repair the screen, hopefully, next week. Under insurance policy with only a £10 excess and no loss to no claims bonus.