Thursday, 19 July 2018

Interesting hotel in Weybridge in Surrey.

Just found a really interesting hotel in Weybridge in Surrey, it's called Hand and sword, it was originally built by Lord King who when the railway arrived realised the potential of the building and converted it into a hotel.

Later when Hugh Locke King, the man who built Brooklands inherited the hotel it was used by the Bentley Boys when they were racing at the circuit.

Really quirky look to the rooms and has got very good reviews, I'm staying there in September when I'm going to a Concours event at Hampton Court Palace.

Monday, 16 July 2018

Thorpe Park.

I had the misfortune to go to Thorpe Park yesterday, it was I hasten to add not my choice of venue but was selected by our children and grandchildren.

I had purchased a considerable amount of food, drink and other goodies as we were told that we would be able to have a picnic which would pass some of the time whilst the wife and I were waiting for the younger members of our party to finish their rides and could then spend the rest of the day reading a book until it was time to come home.

Upon arrival we had to queue for what seemed like an eternity in the baking hot sun, to then arrive at security where my bottle of Champagne was confiscated which was not a very good start to the day to say the least.

Moving inside we endeavoured to find the picnic area but it seems they don't have one, so after initially sitting on the first benches we came across which were unfortunately in the baking hot sun again, the youngsters left us to enjoy the rides.

Some time later they came back to inform us they had found somewhere better and out of the sun, much to our relief, unfortunately the seating arrangement left something to be desired as it was in fact, a rock on the main thoroughfare but at least there was a modicum of shade from a small tree.

This was the venue for our picnic which turned out not to be the sophisticated soiree I had originally intended and some seven hours later we finally left the park.

Now I don't know how many of my readers will have spent seven hours sitting on a very uncomfortable rock on a baking hot day, but I can tell you this was not the best day of my life by a very large margin.

I didn't take any photographs of our day but have managed to find an image on the internet which I think portrays my day at Thorpe Parke.

 Image result for images of hell

Wednesday, 11 July 2018


Just recently there was some fuss made because a primary school was having a pride march and the parents were a little concerned, but it turned out they had made it a pride march into the differences between all the pupils at the school, some with two mums, some with two dads, some with a single parent and different races and creeds etc, which seemed like quite a good idea.

I was surprised when the television presenters were referring to the LGBTQ community as they seem to keep adding letters to what I remember as the Lesbian and Gay community. It now encompasses Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Q, which I have seen described as Questioning and Queer.

I'm led to believe the choice of the word queer is because it can be applied to any of the groups in LGBT and in all fairness, it is a rather splendid word in the English language.

I am very supportive of any of the aforementioned group, but unfortunately I have a sense of humour, so please forgive the following slightly tongue in cheek comment.

They already have LGBT, to which they have added Q, which is no use here on "Countdown" as there are no vowels at all, and the search for useful ones is not an easy task, but I am not one to give in easily. I therefore suggest the addition of the following, E for Effeminate, S for Shirt lifter, O for Oklahomo and B for Bum bandit. I'm not sure these are politically correct but I found them on a list of words to describe Gay on Wikipedia.

Those of you who do anagrams may see where this is going. So we already have LGBT to which they have added Q and I have suggested the addition of the letters ESO and B, we can then end up with an organisation which may have a slightly easier name to remember and still encapsulate all the groups of the original, I have put the original letters in bold type.


I know nowadays you have to be so careful not to offend anyone so I do apologise in advance, however I was triggered in the direction I took from another rather foolish acronym QUANGO which stands for Quasi- Autonomous Non-Governmental Organisation.

The English language, such fun to play around with!

Friday, 6 July 2018

I don't want to grow old.

I do not want to grow old, I do not want to wear beige and grey clothing and wear cornish pasty shoes and arrive at the hospital blood test waiting room an hour before it opens.

I was reminded of this, when I arrived for my fasting blood test this morning, which is something I hate doing, especially in this baking hot weather for you are allowed nothing to eat or drink, except water for ten hours before the test. Gagging as I was last night for a lager I had to stiffen my resolve, bite the bullet and settle for water, not one of my favourite beverages, for as W C Fields used to say, "I don't drink water, fish have sex in it."

The blood test centre opens at 8.30 in the morning and I had rushed to get there at 8.15 but even though it wasn't open there was a large crowd of older people already there, in fact when I took my ticket from the machine it was already at number 33. I know when you get older you don't need so much sleep, but these people must have been up all last night.

What is it that attracts older people to beige and grey, it seems that it is almost compulsory, along with the cornish pasty shoes. I imagine these people must have been at the cutting edge of fashion when they were young, beatnicks, teddyboys and the swinging sixties, Carnaby Street and all that goes with it and yet they must all enter an older persons clothing emporium and say to themselves, "That beige jacket would go lovely with my grey trousers," I wonder why? It seemed to take forever but eventually my number was called and I dashed in and gave my blood and having done the arithmetic was very impressed to see they averaged one person every one and a half minutes.

They could have got their average up a tad had the older folk moved a little quicker, for even armed with the cornish pasty shoes which must have given tremendous traction I felt they were not making best use of it and dawdled in as if they had all the time in the world, which I suppose they actually did have as they were retired and had nothing better to do with their time.

I'm always reminded of the great Tony Handcock and his brilliant sketch, "The blood donor," who asks when donating blood at the blood bank, "well, how much do you want?" The reply being, "a pint." To which Tony Hancock replies, "a pint, that's very nearly an armful."

Image result for Tony Hancock, the blood donor

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

POP Connect Networking.

Yesterday I went to a meeting of POP Connect which is a networking organisation for local business people and contrary to what I had thought, I am a local business, at least I have the potential to be one.

I have two blogs, this one and The Diary of a Country Bumpkin, which I write on fairly regularly, which have the potential to attract advertising revenue, I have a play on The Wireless Theatre Company, Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Patria Mori, and I have, at the moment five books available on Amazon  with three more in production.

The reason for joining POP Connect is to join up the products with the potential customers, which I have no idea how to do but am hoping that in the future someone will assist me in that regard.

My aversion to networking and any form of corporate goings on stems from the fact that I have never in my life taken part in any form of corporate event and never networked as far as I know, as all too much of it quite frankly looks like bullshit, the following which I came across on Arsebook being a prime example.

First opened in 1865, The Railway Arms is something of a Saffron Walden institution and a pub close to the hearts of many in the local area. Situated in a high footfall location on the edge of the town centre, the site is ideally positioned to appeal to commuters and affluent local residents alike. Following the extensive planned refurbishment, there will be a real opportunity to attract the affluent local population by introducing a premium drinks range and a distinctive, targeted food offer.
This is an ideal opportunity for retailers who have the skillset to drive a premium, community, drinks led business. The ability to introduce a relevant food offer and create engaging reasons to visit is essential. Applicants must also have a strong understanding of marketing to drive awareness of the improvements to the property and retail offer.

I'm rather guessing that all this corporate talk actually means, they are looking for someone to run the pub.

I can do this networking lark, I'm not going to let the sort of nonsense above put me off, for as the motto of the RAF says, Per Ardua Ad Astra, through adversity to the stars.

Thursday, 28 June 2018

Term time holidays.

A school in Essex has offered parents the opportunity to take their children out of school for one week in July, as long as they take part in enriching activities.

Apparently parents who opt to go on holiday for the week must complete a form explaining how their child's leave will be enriching. The form asks parents to circle whether the trip will be cultural,spiritual, moral or social. They are also asked to share which enrichment activities they intend to complete during the holiday. While they are away, children are expected to complete an educational booklet.

In the booklet there will be sections to fill in about topics such as English, maths, science, history and geography and the children will be expected to fill in information and facts about the place they are going to and what they will be doing. There will be a show and tell to other pupils when they get back to school the following week.

Blow me down, that seems like an awful lot to have to complete just for a week off. We were rather hoping to get our grandchildren released from school for a day to come to The Goodwood Revival with us. I was rather hoping my informative letter would be sufficient to have them released, but if the above is the precedent being set, I'm wondering if my letter will be sufficient.

I believe there is the option just to pay a fine to have them released, or it may be, should that not work that the boys will both mysteriously come down with a bout of dysentery or dengue fever on the day in question, lets hope not.

Dear sir/madam,

The Goodwood Revival, grandchildren trip, 7th September 2018.

It is our intention to take our grandchildren to this years Goodwood Revival, which is a classic motor racing event which takes place at the Goodwood Motor Racing Circuit in West Sussex.

Goodwood was originally a World War Two airfield called RAF Westhampnett which was named after the village bordering Goodwood and served as a Battle of Britain base during the war and was the station from which RAF legend Sir Douglas Bader flew his last sortie.

As with many ex airfields, Silverstone also being one, after the war the perimeter road was turned into a race track and so in September 1948 Goodwood opened to host Britain’s first post war motor racing meeting at a permanent venue.

The opening of the circuit was met with rapturous response as the British public had been deprived of motor racing from 1939 when Brooklands closed at the start of the war.

In August 1966 after 18 years of memorable competition, including the fateful crash which caused Sir Stirling Moss to retire from racing, Goodwood closed its gates to contemporary motor racing, due to the enormous cost of bringing the circuit up to modern safety standards.

The circuit was in continuous use as a test track but remained in the same time warp condition as when it closed in 1966, however the story does not end there.

On 18th September 1998, exactly 50 years to the day since Goodwood first opened, Lord March, now the Duke of Richmond re-enacted the opening of the track at the very first Goodwood Revival meeting, which this year is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

The Goodwood Revival is like stepping back in time as the cars racing are from a bygone era, the circuit has remained in its time warp state and most of the people attending adhere to the policy of dressing appropriately, fine frocks for the ladies and tweed for the gentlemen, for example.

We have been attending this event for 20 years and will be going in our 1947 Bentley, dressing in the correct outfits and have purchased some splendid tweed for Christian and Lewis, so we should all look and act the part, for I have found that if you dress a child as a gentleman and treat him as a gentleman, he will act like a gentleman.

I feel this trip will be both entertaining and educational for the boys and I know they are greatly looking forward to it.

Kind regards,

Joe Wells.

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

ISIS terrorist attack.

Some time within the last couple of days I think I heard on the radio that there had been a minutes silence in memory of the Finsbury Park terrorist attack, which was an event of which I have no recollection. The fact of the matter is I have very little recollection of any of the attacks on this country and I was wondering if I am alone in thinking like this.

As my recollection of terrorist attacks was so sketchy I thought I should do some research and was somewhat surprised when I searched initially for ISIS terrorist attacks and was not specific about which country, so the list was rather large to say the least. It was also at this point I realised how little attention I have paid to this lark.

Quoting from Wiki do dah, the terrorist group inspired by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or Daesh has "conducted or inspired" over 70 terrorist attacks in 20 countries, whether this includes Al Qaeda, I have no idea.

Probably the reason I have lost track of the number of attacks is because we have been under attack from terrorists since 1605 and the Gunpowder plot, most of my youth the IRA were bombing the living daylights out of us starting in 1939, although previous to this the Irish Republican Brotherhood started the bombing campaign in 1867, and going on right up until at least 2001, although I missed a considerable amount of these as I wasn't born until 1951.

When scrolling down the list of attacks I came across one for 19th June 2017 where Darren Osborne drove a van into worshippers outside the Finsbury Park Mosque, killing one of them. On 23rd June he was charged with terrorism-related murder and attempted murder and in February 2018 at Woolwich Crown Court he was found guilty on both counts and was sentenced to life imprisonment.

This was obviously the attack where a couple of days ago they held a minutes silence, so that's one of the attacks that I had completely forgotten about, but it wasn't forgotten because it was not an ISIS attack, it was just an event that my brain chose as not being of sufficient interest to retain, along with all the others I have completely forgotten.

One has to assume therefore that unless you were actually caught up in an attack or knew someone who was injured or killed, that the vast majority of people take very little notice of these events, once the initial shock of the moment has passed.

It would seem, as the IRA discovered after a campaign of bombing lasting 134 years, that the only way to resolve your differences is through negotiation, although how many years it will take for a foe who wishes to take everyone back to the dark ages to realise this is anyone's guess.