Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Ellen Jane called me a bastard this morning, so I came back with;
"The best thing about being a bastard is that I don't have to buy anyone a present on Father's Day

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Any man who hates kids and dogs can't be all bad. When I came home last night I had the dog more or less trying my clothes on, she was shoving herself right into me, and she is a big, strong dog, it's not funny. Okay, so she missed me, I accept that, but there is no call for what practically amounts to assault. I told her, I can still hear her sniggering.
Still, at least somebody missed me, but as I say, any man who hates kids and dogs, etcetera.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Enough is enough

I don't think I am unreasonable, not in the grand scheme of things. In fact, by comparison with the poxy government I am positively benevolent! My dog Tara on the other hand is utterly unreasonable.
I took her out this morning, the sun was out, it was nice!
We went over to East Boldon to see the horses, just to make sure that they are okay after the dodgy weather we had yesterday. Got over there and saw the nags, they are fine, gave them half a bag of carrots between them, everybody happy. Then we went for a walk around the tracks of what used to be Boldon Colliery. Of course I told Tara, "Keep out of the water! I don't want my car ruined again."
Did she listen? Did she bollocks.
She must have went through every puddle she could find, she is long-haired, she was filthy.
Well, got her back in the car after a great deal of barking and antisocial behaviour and I was less than delighted at the mess she was making of my back seats.
Back home and it started to rain.
What did my very own grizzly bear do?
She went outside onto the decking and decided to lie down in the rain. She only came in again after being bullied into it. She's got the dining room like a tip!
I'm not kidding, if she's not careful I will get rid of her and get a gerbil. I mean to say, it's not as if I am an unreasonable man, but enough is enough.

Sleeping with myself.

This morning it was Yvonne who woke me up. Well, you know how their minds work, I'm awake, everybody has to be awake. So, went back to snoozing again and the door crashed open, Ellen Jane.
"You awake?"
"I am now," I replied, not unreasonably, I thought.
"Are we going to see the horses this morning then?" she asked. Well, not asked exactly, more a demand really.
"Yes. Now bugger off," said I, as politely as I could under the circumstances.
"Get yourself up then," was her parting shot.
I like my bedroom, it's full of horsey things, computer, stuff like that.
It's my little place.
Actually it's quite a big place but it's still full of stuff.
I retire here at night and sleep the sleep of the hard-done-by, quite comfortable in my own bed. Leave me alone and I'll sleep the day away quite happily, but this morning it was Yvonne who woke me up.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

So there I was, sitting in the weak sunshine in Roker Park, gracing a bench with my illustrious presence. Tara, the miniature Grizzly Bear was sitting next to me, giving me the eye and sort of saying under her teeth, "Go, I dare you. Try to grab my stick!"
She had a stick between her paws, mind, when I say stick, branch would have been a better description.
So I am sitting there, nice and comfy, polluting the air with my fag, and Tara decides to start growling.
"What's wrong with you? Moron," I asked, diplomatically.
Then along came some sort of mongrel dog followed by it's (I presume) owner. A nice enough female, grey in her hair but not too old and shapeless under a nice thick winter coat and of course jeans and those eskimo boot things everyone is wearing these days.
"Shut up," I told Tara and the woman got her dog on a leash and sauntered up.
"What a lovely dog!" says she.
At this point a gentleman would have repaid the compliment by being nice about her dog, unfortunately I am no gentleman.
"Oh," says I. "She's alright when she is quiet.
"Big, innit?" says she and I wondered if my fly was open.
"Not really," says I. "She's just got a lot of fur. Seven stone weakling under all that hair, daft as a brush, nothing to worry about. Of course Tara called me a liar by roaring at the other dog.
"Geddown!" I told her but the damage had been done, my new-found friend was already leaving the vicinity.
I watched her go.
"Oh well," said I to the mutt. "That's her convinced you should have a muzzle on then."
Oh yes, nothing quite like a quiet sunday morning, sitting on a park bench.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

We are family

Funny things, families, and let's face it, they come no funnier than mine. Put it this way, if I was to say that my family is dysfunction I could be accused of making the understatement of the year. It's like saying a hurricane is a bit of a wind.
The main trouble with my little lot is that they all have to know everyone else's business. The plain truth is, they can't keep their noses to themselves.
I've got a girlfriend. Now most folk would say, "Fair play, hope it all goes well for you both, we'd like to meet her when you feel the time is right."
Not my mob.
"Right, what's her name?"
"Mind your own business."
"Where is she from?"
"Mind your own business."
"What are you hiding her for?"
"Mind your own business."
At first I did it for privacy and diplomacy, but it has now become entertaining, so I am telling them nothing, it's great fun. Of course this attitude is simply making them worse.
"He is up to no good!"
"I bet she's young enough to be his daughter."
"I bet she's one of them foreigners!"
And so on.
I have spoken to her about them and she is quite right, she will meet them naturally in the normal course of events, no need to rush anything. But you know what families are like, they will go on asking silly questions and I'll go on enjoying refusing to tell anyone anything, it's funny! Mind, families are funny things anyway.

Friday, November 15, 2013

There are two things which should never be given any sort of freedom or influence in a car, a sat-nav and a woman. Both will lead you to the same place, lost. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't be without either, but they can cause problems.
Type in, "Sheffield" say and before you know where you are you are driving down a busy motorway and the sat-nav is saying, "You have reached your destination."
Imagine getting out of the car there and then, setting up the picnic gear and settling down for a watercress sandwich with juggernauts zooming by just feet away. How long before a denizen of the law turns up and says, "Hello, hello, hello. What's going on 'ere then? You can't stop here!."
Try saying, "The sat-nav said I could."
In no time at all you'll find yourself explaining things to a magistrate's court.
So take the advice of a feller who has been mislead by both, sat-nav and a female, gag both, you'll get where you are going much quicker.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

My Little Sister

My little sister thinks that my only purpose on this god forsaken rock we call our home planet is to do things for her. The latest, unreasonable request is, "Can you fix my boots for me?"
She then opened a disreputable carrier bag and produced a pair of knee-high brown boots that looked as though they hadn't been cleaned since Chairman Mao had them on when he led his people on the Long March.
"They just need cleaning!" I pointed out.
"Will you sort them out for me then?" said she, not listening as usual.
I gave up. "Put them down then, I'll see what I can do."
I did them for her last nighty with Cherry Blossom, took all of five minutes, an idiot in a hurry could have done it as a side-task.
She came back this morning.
"Oooo," says she, stamping her nasty little pasties and pulling the zippers up, "They look brand new."
"That," said I. "Is because they are brand new, try cleaning them in future, it's not difficult."
"You do it better than me," said she and sashayed off.
I watched her go, hoping the dog would bite her but as usual even the dog let me down. I don't know why I keep that dog, it never bites the people I recommend, rat-bag. I don't know which is the biggest waste of oxygen, the dog or my little sister.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A happy dog

At least the dog was pleased to see me. Well, I went out for the day yesterday, Monday, just to see a couple of people, the way you do. The trouble with that is visits seem to go on a lot longer than expected. What with cups of tea, sandwiches, somebody unexpected arriving and so dragging out the visit, before we know where we are it's late and time to go home. However, by late at night it's too late if you know what I mean and besides, why go home when there is a warmer fire where we are?
So, I put my feet up and stayed the night, and a very pleasant night it was too. People we haven't seen for a long time have an enormous attraction, a lot of water under the bridge, it all needs talking about, especially when a little drink is involved too. Not a lot, just a taster really.
Then, before we know we are it is the early hours of the morning and it's not worth disturbing the comfortable equilibrium we find ourselves in, so we just stay the night.
Of course the people at home are a bit worried, texts come asking where you are but we are so comfortable we don't even bother to answer them. This in turn just annoys those who care about us and who are wondering where we are.
Well, when we finally get home, in this case about lunch time today we get, "Where have you been? Why didn't you answer your bloody phone?"
We are very off-hand about it all and our reception turns frosty. :)
Still, at least the dog was pleased to see me.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

I Aint Got a Danny

I've got to be honest, especially with this internet stuff, half the time I don't know what I am doing and the rest of the time I haven't got a clue! It's not as though I am particularly dense or something, although Ellen Jane might argue that one, but I simply don't know!
Look, it's okay for those who sort of grew with the internet, blogging, facebook and all the rest of it, but you did it over a lot of years, right from the inception in fact. As each new thing came out you naturally added it to your computer and skills, you grew with it.
Me! Well, I came to it all at once. Until a few short months ago I had never seen the internet. All of the things people take for granted were all brand new to me. So much to learn.
I'll make mistakes, I will press buttons I shouldn't press and say or do things that quite simply, I shouldn't.

Well, if that should be the case, try to remember that I am new to this internet stuff and most of the time I haven't got a clue what I am doing, or as the man said, "I aint got a Danny La Rue!"

Saturday, November 09, 2013

The Black Hole of Manchester

Everybody needs a little time away, I heard her say, from each other. That's probably true too.
This morning my little Blonde went off to Manchester with her friend from work, another nurse. Apparently they go down there from time to time for some sort of convention or other to do with being members of the caring profession, and a great job they do too, for insufficient pay in my opinion. Still, nobody is asking my opinion so forget I mentioned it.
Where was I?
Oh yes, they went to Manchester.
The plan was to stay at a hotel overnight and travel back tomorrow.
Round about tea time she phoned and told me that the hotel was a shit-hole, damp, only one shower between four rooms, black mould in the shower so she was coming back tonight. I shall have to listen to the story of the black hole of Manchester tomorrow I expect. I feel quite sorry for her really, all that way on a coach, not a small sum of dosh expended on a hotel room that turned out to be unfit for rabid dogs and a four hour journey back again. I hope she gets her money back okay.
Still, it will give her something to tell everyone at work all about, and as for me, well, everybody needs a little time away.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Idle moments.

Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day, you fritter and waste the hours in an off-hand way. It's a strange thing but when we are waiting for something and looking forward to it, we seem to spend a lot of time doing very little. That's the position I find myself in at the minute, waiting for something.
Actually, I am waiting for several things, some more important than others but probably only to me. Nobody else knows I am waiting really, well, not what I am waiting for.
I suppose it's a bit like Becket's play, "Waiting for Godot," and as we all know, Godot never actually arrives. However, that isn't the case in this instance because I know that Godot will arrive, at least my Godot will.
There is someone I haven't seen for a long time and the only memories I carry of that person are good ones. I wasn't particularly good to them, I admit it, but I am older now, wiser and appreciate the finer things in life more. Well, not so much finer but better. I was going to say simple but that wouldn't earn me any brownie points so I ain't saying that!
Oh yes, I am looking forward to it, just passing away my time as best I can. Tomorrow I better clean my car if the weather is fine, between dogs and horsey people with muddy boots, my car is a disgrace both inside and out. So that will have to be cleaned.
When that is done, I shall continue to idle away my time, ticking away the moments that make up a dull day.


No matter how new, the safest thing in your car, is you.
This morning, just after I had sent a couple of texts to my little blonde, I also sent several rude ones to my little brother, but that's another story. Well, who can blame me, he is an idiot! Having said that, he didn't get run over by an electric milk float when he was a kid, not like an even younger brother did, and it was in reverse! Nitwit. Anyway, I sent him, our Jimmy, a couple of rude texts.
Where was I? Oh yes, this morning.
So, I got the car out and I was at the end of the street ready to turn left. Some idiot comes along with his indicator on to turn left away from me, that makes it safe for me to go and I was just going to do that when the clown turned right, straight across me!
I would have thought that when he was examined for his licence the least they could have done was to check that he knew left from right.  No wonder that people have accidents with Fraggles like him driving cars. Still, he missed me so no harm done, but it's true, the safest device in your car, is you, as Broderick Crawford would have said.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Here's me, sitting minding my own business, bothering nobody but that's not good enough for Tara. She is barking and generally being antisocial. Personally I think she needs some sort of canine counselling, preferably by a vet with vallium on the menu. I mean to say, there is no need for it!
I told her, "Shut up, stupid dog." So she lay down and started to bite my foot.
That was it, I'd had enough of her so I took her out the back and locked her out. Now she is growling at my brother-in-law's car. She better not start biting the tyres because I'm not paying for new ones.
I've got a couple of films to watch, three in fact. I've got the new Wolverine film and two Clint Eastwood cowboy films, seen them both before but a good film is a good film, right?
My brother-in-law is going to a Billy Fury tribute concert tonight at the Sunderland Empire but Ellen Jane can't go with him, she is working.
As for me, I'm going to continue sitting here minding my own business, I wish Tara would do the same.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Days Like These

I've had one of those days today. I am sure everyone has them from time to time. Come to think on it there are probably some people who have them every day. I woke up late, completely rested, relaxed and comfortable, so comfortable in fact that I didn't want to move a muscle, so I didn't!
What happened next was I fell asleep again and didn't wake up until a few minutes to four this afternoon and I still felt comfy, relaxed and rested. So I had a conversation with myself, well, it's the only way to get an interesting chat around here.
Well, I told myself, I am retired, I can have a lazy day if I want one. Nobody is chasing me up for anything, nowhere to go with any urgency, nobody to please or satisfy apart from myself, in fact the only thing I need to do I suppose is take the dog out before bedtime!
She is barking at the back gate at the minute, somebody is messing about with fireworks nearby, she doesn't like them. Last night she was a bit loud as well, bonfire night.
Bonfire Night, November the 5th, Guido Fookes or Guy Fawkes, depends which school you went to.
It's a bit strange to have a national celebration of burning someone to death, it's a bit goulish really.
So, I suppose I better stir my comfortable self, put my clothing on, have a wash and take the dog out before it gets too late. I better have something to eat as well but I can't be bothered. Let's face it, I won't die of the starvation and besides, I've had one of those days today.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

It's Funny the way things turn out.

It's funny the way things turn out. I don't mean funny Ha Ha Ha, just a bit strange. The oddest part is that most things turn out for the better too. The other day I was sitting sorting out my address book, Sunday it was, Sunday evening. Anyway, I came across an address of an old girlfriend of mine, I won't use her name, she may not want me to. Anyway, all I had was the address so on the off-chance I decided to write her a little note including my phone number and see what happened.
I wrote a quick note and posted it on Monday morning, yesterday.
Well, slap my vitals with a rag-man's trumpet if she didn't give me a ring this morning.
I remember her well. She's isn't very tall and slim built, pretty and wears glasses. Now, I expect she has changed a little bit in the twenty seven years since I last saw her but she will still be wearing her glasses, I would gamble on her still being slim and still not very tall, and I bet she is still attractive, she will just be older, that's all. Let's face it, we are all a bit older now.
I expect to see her again soon and I am quite looking forward to it.
Isn't it funny the way things turn out?

Monday, November 04, 2013


All I was trying to do was to compose a decent introductory letter/email to several literary agents hoping that I could find one who will take me on.I admit it, it's doing my head in! So I wrote a decent enough piece and then got my sister's laptop so that I could search out agencies and then type in their address above the letter/email and send it off to them. I mean to say, sending the same letter made sense, I wouldn't have to keep on writing it in full, would I?
However, no matter what I tried it just kept coming up that the addresses were not properly formatted. Yes, of course, I know I am doing something wrong, that's axiomatic where I am concerned, I don't get much right when it comes to these infernal computer machines, but I try.
Well, I finally gave up out of pure frustration and did what I always do when technology defeats me, I asked Andrew. Well, it's doing my head in.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

That's Blackmail!

Well, here's me, sitting here, bothering nobody, tapping away when the door opened and in came Ellen Jane.
"I've got a plan," says she.
"So have I," Said I. "Bugger off."
"No, listen," said she. "I am going shopping but I am only getting the stuff for today's dinner, I'll do a big shop tomorrow."
I said, "What you telling me for?"
She replied, "Because I want you to take me and Alyssa (grand daughter) down to the field later to see the horses."
I said, "Walk, it will do you good."
Her unreasonable response was, "You'll make your own bloody dinner, any more shite out of you!"
I've got to be honest, she does make a great Sunday lunch.
Oh well, there's nothing else for it, I'll have to give her and the Pest a lift, cheap at the price I suppose. It's either give her a lift or starve. I'm sure that I read somewhere once that that is called blackmail.

This Place Is Coming Up A Ghost Town

It was 8.30 this morning when I went down The Green, (Southwick Green, the piss-head's paradise) to post a letter. Oh yes, make no mistake about it, I am still old-fashioned enough to write letters. So off I toddled and when I got there I was struck by the fact that there was no traffic, no shops open and the only movement to be seen was one feller walking away from me and a dog sniffing something. Oh!, and several pigeons scratching about. There is more action on a police station blanket.
Having said all that, it is Sunday and as stated earlier, the shops were not open. Well, the corner shop was, I won't call it 'The Paki's' because that might cause offence.
So, as I wandered unmolested across the normally busy road, the wind letting me know it was there, blowing strongly, it occurred to me that it may liven up after ten when Iceland and B&M's opens along with the rest of the shops.
I perambulated along The Green to the post box at the far end, deposited my missive and wandered back. A woman came round the corner from Shakespeare street and smiled at me. It was a good job she didn't get a good look, she'd have pissed herself laughing.
The only cars parked in our street, usually lined both sides, were a couple of the neighbour's cars and mine. It's like the old song by The Specials, Ghost Town. Well, this place is coming up a ghost town.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Ellen Jane says that she will go to the chinkies at half nine and get some supper for us. That'll be nice, I've had nothing all day apart from a sandwich when I got up just after two this afternoon. Mind, some unkind people will say, "You don't deserve anything, lying in your pit until that time of day!" However, what I didn't tell you was that the supper is going to cost me yet another tenner. I don't even have to give her my account number anymore, she knows it! She will go down my bank on the Green, get the money and bring supper in, THEN she will say that she got the supper for us. The dog will get half of mine, she always does! I eat a chip, she gets one. No the wonder I look anorexic, the dog gets half of my feed and then has the front to be depressed!
I'm depressed!
I've got a good right to be!
Here's me, sitting here, tapping away like a demented woodpecker and it's costing me money!
Still, look on the bright side, Ellen Jane says she will get some supper for me.
It's Saturday the 2nd of November and for some reason I simply haven't been able to get started today. Didn't wake up until after two this afternoon and even then I didn't want to get out of bed, so I didn't. Watched a bit of telly while I was waiting for the football, I like to see how Sunderland, Newcastle United, Hartlepool and the Boro get on. I want Sunderland to win, I want Newcastle to win, I want the Pool to win and I want the Boro to get shagged very severely, it's traditional, not to mention tribal.
Tara is alright today, she's back to her normal self so she must have been tired. In fact, she is asleep now, oh it's a dog's life alright. All she has to do is bark now and then and that's it. My sister Ellen Jane has just mugged me for a tenner to buy herself a night sitting watching the telly, having a drink. Good luck to her, wait till I tell her I want it back.
Years ago in about 1984 her little son Joseph wanted an ice cream. We were all sitting in my mother's home at the time. I gave Ellen Jane a quid to buy him an ice cream and I am still waiting for my change. I asked her about it the other day, she is still sniggering. One of these days I'll stop her taking the piss, if I can be bothered.
Sunderland lost and had two men sent off, Newcastle beat Chelsea 2-0, Hartlepool won and the Boro got stuffed again, not bad really, just another normal Saturday, this one is Saturday the 2nd of November.

Friday, November 01, 2013

Still Depressed Part II

I even went so far as to let her destroy the newspaper, that always cheers her up. Mind, nobody reads the Sunderland Echo unless they are in dire need of Psychiatric Counselling and the sanctuary of a secure institution. Didn't help at all. Having said all that, she may just be tired. Maybe I will find a way to treat her, I'll kidnap the local tea-leaf and let her chew his arse for ten minutes, that should cheer her up a good deal.
I would get her a boyfriend, but she's had the snip. I wonder if that's the problem? It would certainly depress me.
I asked her. "What's wrong with you? Mutt!"
She didn't answer, just shoved her head harder into me while I tried to rip her ears off. She's a strange one indeed.
"I'll take her to the beach tomorrow, the Mackem Riviera, she likes going in the water. The only trouble with that is she wants to get back in the car, soaking wet. I've tried giving her the bus fare and telling her to get the bus but she just gives me a dirty look and gets in the car.
Oh well, the fact remains, my dog is STILL depressed, or maybe she's just tired.

Still Depressed

This is Tara, the baldy one is me.
Here she is, still depressed. I gave her a nice cuddle, told her that she was being silly and even took her out so she could bark and terrorise the local population. I let her sit in the front seat and even went so far as to put the stereo on for her, but she is still depressed. Either that or she might just be tired, you never know.
Tara, my German Shepherd, is depressed. I think she thinks nobody loves her anymore because the other day I went out without her, in fact I have been leaving her in quite a lot lately. I usually take her everywhere with me, she likes to jump in the back of the car, in fact she will get in the boot if you don't keep an eye on her. Anyway, she is depressed. She has taken to shoving herself into me and she is a big strong dog, she pushes me about.
So, later on today, when I go over to Boldon to see my horse, I will take Tara with me. She doesn't get out of the car, the horse, also called Tara, doesn't like her. Incidentally, don't blame me for horse and dog having the same name, blame my sister Ellen Jane, her of zero imagination and lousy navigational skills, she named them.
I shall take Tara with me and she will sleep in the back of the car while I am messing about with the horse and then I shall take her for a nice long walk, as long as it doesn't piss down. If it rains, and so far it doesn't seem likely, she can stay in the car and terrorise passers by. Can you get anti-depressants for dogs? My dog Tara is depressed.

Susan May Died

This morning as I was standing on Southwick Green waiting to cross the road, I had a text from Andrew to tell me that Susan May had died. Susan, for those who do not know was sent to prison for a crime she clearly didn't commit, and after her release she continued to protest her innocence and tried to get her original conviction overturned, but failed. The system does not like to admit when they have got something wrong, and they got it wrong in Susan's case. She was from Oldham and over the years, because of our cases and our similar circumstances we became great friends. The only reason Susan was ever convicted was because it was easy to convict her, the truth had nothing to do with it. In fact, the truth has little to do with any criminal case, all that matters is who tells the best and most convincing story in front of the jury. The police know this, the career criminals like myself know this, the legal profession knows this, the judiciary know this, even the fucking court house cat knows this. Will it ever change? No, is the simple answer, not while we have the current adversarial system. We need to lean more toward the inquisitorial system, much like that of the French where courts actively seek the truth and not just accept any old bollocks being put forward provided it is slightly believable. It was easy to convict Sue, she was an easy target. Come to that, it was easy to convict me because of the fact that I was a career criminal. I shall continue to protest my innocence as Sue did, bless her. But the sad fact is, Susan May died.