Wednesday 26 December 2018

Original Guinness.

Just a very quick post today concerning the trades description act and some Original Guinness I purchased for the Christmas festivities which says on the tin; if you were in a pub sometime between 1821 and 1970, chances are this is the Guinness you would have been drinking. Originally brewed as the XX version of our Porter, it’s hoppy, roasty and crisp with a bittersweet finish.

Whilst I have no knowledge of pubs in 1821 I can comment on pubs in the 1970’s and the standard of Guinness offered in those years and I can safely say that unless you were to frequent an Irish pub where the turnover of the beer was fairly frequent, generally speaking the standard of Guinness in British pubs was rubbish.

I can speak with some authority on the subject as at that time I was married to a girl whose parents were Irish and every Friday my wife and I went to visit my in laws for bacon and cabbage, Guinness and a decent selection of Irish folk music.

The quality of the Guinness in their house was superb as it came in bottles directly from Ireland and was fresh as a daisy and far superior to that which you might get in a British pub, it was smooth, creamy and with a proper Irish Guinness head, rather like I was expecting when I purchased the Original Guinness.

I was originally thinking that it might not comply with the trades description act but then as it says, if you were in a pub in 1970 this is the Guinness you would be drinking and indeed it is, for in 1970 no British pub could produce a decent pint of Guinness to save it’s life. This flat rather bitter drink is exactly the awful pint that would have been available in a 1970’s pub, however it was Christmas and the theme for our festivities was Irish Christmas so I persisted and eventually managed to neck quite a few.

Here’s to New Year when I think our theme for the event will be called decent champagne night!

Sunday 23 December 2018

Bah humbug!

I was feeling the urge to write as I don’t seem to have written much of late except the occasional plug for my latest children’s book but at this time of year, I find myself obsessed with Christmas. Actually, to be more precise I would say my wife is obsessed with Christmas and I am doing my best to assist her in the process.

I have mentioned before that I have objections to Christmas, not you understand the actual holiday itself but the enormous waste of money spent on food, drink and worst of all vastly expensive presents for all and sundry.

My ideal Christmas celebration would consist of one of my wife’s rather splendid chicken dinners with all the trimmings, some wine, some spirits and a few beers or lagers and no presents whatsoever.

We obviously have quite a few people over for Christmas which may explain why I am having trouble getting by the mountainous pile of presents which have accumulated round the Christmas tree.

This post has been interrupted at least two times as we have had to visit the supermarket on numerous occasions to stock up with vast amounts of food sufficient to survive a nuclear holocaust.

We have as I write just returned from such a trip and I noticed as I went around quite a number of strong men standing by their trolleys with sunken eyes, staring into the middle distance, for I too know that look. They had lost the will to live and some like me were close to tears.

When we finally unloaded everything and I had finished painting the banister rail for the hall, stairs and landing which we had to redecorate, although quite why it was so important it had to be done at Christmas, I have no idea but the priorities of a woman are far different from those of a man. Personally, I would have thought that finishing the head gasket on my Morris Minor which I started some months ago was far more important, but who’s to say.

All I have to do tomorrow is put up the Irish flag bunting and the orange, white and green balloons and the rest of the paraphernalia which will enable us to have our Irish themed Christmas and I can settle down on Christmas day and enjoy a few Guinness whilst listening to The Dubliners and The Wolfe Tones and others for a few jigs and reels.

Well that’s my post for today, all that is left for me to do is to apologise to everyone who is still waiting for their Christmas cards to arrive, as we have been very busy this year and to wish all my friends and readers a Happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

Tuesday 11 December 2018

Nobby strikes again.

I am delighted to announce that the latest Nobby Brasso book is available on Amazon continuing the story of the popular boy footballer Nobby Brasso.

Available on Amazon

Wednesday 5 December 2018

Police driver faces criminal charges after ramming moped.

The following is an excerpt from an article in the Guardian newspaper concerning the new police tactic of knocking fleeing criminals off their mopeds.

A Metropolitan police driver is under criminal investigation after using a special tactic to deliberately knock a fleeing suspect off a moped.

The teenager, aged 17 at the time, suffered head injuries and a broken foot as he fled from police, he was not wearing a helmet and later pleaded guilty to several offences.

The officer is believed to be the only one so far to face criminal investigation after using the controversial “tactical contact” measure, whereby police in cars knock a suspect off their moped or scooter, so they can be arrested.

The Met adopted the tactic in October 2017 as it tried to quell a wave of robberies carried out by suspects on mopeds. The incident subject to criminal investigation happened a month later and is one of two where suspects suffered serious injury.

The prime minister and home secretary have supported the tactic, but others such as the shadow home secretary, Diane Abbott, have expressed concern.

The police officer has been interviewed under caution as part of an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IPOC). The watchdog said it would decide within weeks whether the officer should be referred to the Crown Prosecution Service to face criminal charges, for an offence such as actual bodily harm.

As well as a criminal investigation, the officer has been told he faces a disciplinary investigation for potential gross misconduct.

The police who had been giving chase had to take him to hospital because the London ambulance service did not have a vehicle available

The teenager was not wearing a helmet and the IOPC said he suffered serious head injuries and fractures but was discharged from hospital a few days later.

The IOPC said its investigation was “looking at the circumstances around the authorisation and use of the tactical contact”.

The teenager was charged and later appeared at a youth court where he pleaded guilty to attempted theft, interference with a vehicle, driving with no licence, driving with no insurance, and dangerous driving. Because of his age he cannot be named.

When the Met released footage a fortnight ago of its drivers knocking suspects off mopeds, it said it had used tactical contact 63 times. It also said the tactic would only be used by specialist officers called “scorpion” drivers.

It is the second tactical contact incident being investigated by the IOPC. Another took place on 27 March this year in Ealing, west London, where a suspect in his 20s suffered a broken leg after a police car knocked him off his moped. The IOPC said the investigation was continuing, with no warning notices served, meaning officers are being treated as witnesses.

The IOPC said it had a duty to investigate cases where suspects were injured after being knocked off their mopeds by police. “Ultimately no police tactic can ever be used with impunity in a country where we police by consent – be that tactical contact, the use of firearms or the use of restraint. It is always a matter of whether it’s reasonable and proportionate in the circumstances,” it said.

So, to sum up a young person can commit a violent robbery armed with a machete and escape on a moped swerving through the traffic and on the pavement endangering the lives of members of the public but the Shadow Home Secretary has expressed concerns over the police tactic of knocking the escaping suspect off their mopeds.

The IOPC said it had a duty to investigate cases where suspects were injured after being knocked off their mopeds by police. “Ultimately no police tactic can ever be used with impunity in a country where we police by consent.

I don’t know about consent, would they prefer the police walked in front of the fleeing felon and asked them nicely, “would you mind stopping young man, if it’s not too much trouble?”

Unfortunately, we no longer live in the age of Dixon of Dock Green who could tackle an armed intruder with a small wooden truncheon by uttering the phrase, “come on lad hand it over.” Whereupon the young thug would respond, “okay guv, it’s a fair cop.”

One doesn’t wish to be too controversial but if I had just been threatened and robbed by a youth wielding a machete, I would have no problem with the police knocking them off their moped to stop them fleeing the scene and I rather suspect that if Diane Abbot had actually experienced a similar violent attack she might also change her views on the matter.

Monday 3 December 2018

Vegans ban, bring home the bacon.

Here is the latest piece of news that proves the snowflake generation are trying to take over again and adds yet more credence to my belief that the whole world is going stark staring raving mad, although it wouldn't surprise me if I were inundated with complaints from various mental health organisations complaining at the use of the phrase "stark staring raving mad."

Allegedly the following is a list of phrases which it has been suggested will be phased out as they have become politically incorrect and the suggested new versions, starting with bringing home the bacon which may offend vegans.

Out: Bring home the bacon
In: Bring home the bagels
Out: Let the cat out of the bag
In: Spill the beans
Out: All your eggs in one basket
In: All your berries in one bowl
Out: Open a can of worms
In: Open Pandora’s box
Out: Flog a dead horse
In: Feed a fed horse
Out: Hold your horses
In: Hold the phone
Out: Killing two birds with one stone
In: Feeding two birds with one scone
Out: Taking the bull by the horns
In: Taking the flower by the thorns
Out: More than one way to skin a cat
In: More than one way to peel a potato
Out: Be the guinea pig
In: Be the test tube
I have never heard such a load of nonsense, what I wonder would they do with the joke of the fellow who tried, flagellation, necrophilia and bestiality but had to give it up as he felt he was flogging a dead horse.
As usual with modern life I am frequently lost for words to describe suggestions like banning the expression "bringing home the bacon"  but on this occasion I have come up with some that I think sums up the stupidity of this suggestion.
"WHAT A LOAD OF BOLLOCKS."  Whether this expression will offend anyone, I have no idea but there's always someone ready to take offence, especially in this day and age.

Tuesday 20 November 2018

Crowd Fund Christmas.

I recently saw a chap who had gone to GoFundMe and asked for £2000 which he was going to use for Christmas for his five children and amazingly enough by the end of the day he had reached his total.

It seems he had to cut his working hours due to the arrival of his fifth child which left him short of funds to pay for the sort of lavish Christmas he wanted provide, now call me a sceptical old bugger if you like but I'm rather wondering if perhaps he might have been able to produce a lavish Christmas had he not been burdened with the expense of quite so many children.

Bravo to the man though, for if you don't ask you don't get, as they say, which leads me nicely on to the real topic of this post, I rather fancy following this fellows example and asking on GoFundMe for a Christmas present for myself.

I have tried not to be greedy and have chosen a 1926 Bentley 3/4.5 which has been fully restored to Le Mans race specification and is currently for sale at Vintage and Prestige in Grays, Essex at the asking price of £540,000.

Should you wish to view the full specification the following link will take you to their website

I realise there may be some of you who may think that I am being a tad greedy in asking for £540,000 but as I said I haven't chosen an expensive Bentley, I could have looked for one with genuine racing history, once raced by Woolf Barnato or Tim Birkin which would have been several million pounds.

Well, that's it for today, I'm off to look at the GoFundMe website and I leave you with the wish that you all have a very happy Christmas and let's hope we all receive the presents we wish for.

Monday 12 November 2018

Armistice day.

I was very surprised by the number of tributes to the fallen both on Facebook and the internet generally but the fact that it's 100 years since the end of World War One seems to have brought with it a greater interest in the subject.

To this end I am posting details of my radio play which is available on The Wireless Theatre Company which is a touching glimpse of the experiences of soldiers of World War One.

Saturday 3 November 2018

The news, at last.

Trying to find subjects to blog about is not the easiest thing in the world especially just lately where the only subject on the news is Brexit and I have to admit I'm getting a little bored with the subject and will be very glad when they have finally sorted things and we can leave, without either side shooting each other in the foot.

News, it seems is like buses there are no subjects for days and then all of a sudden three come along at once and we are spoilt for choice as to where to start.

I have decided to start purely randomly with the American mid term elections and why not for we can't get enough news about the delightful Mr Donald Trump, the man who took bullshit to a level never thought of before.

The thing I find most peculiar about any American election is the way black people seem unwilling to take part even when they are encouraged by the likes of Oprah Winfrey and the ex President Obama. How can any race who fought so hard for their freedom and the right to vote, not take up the chance at every opportunity, it leaves me lost for words.

I'm not sure of the nationality of the person in the next item of news but I have to say I thought he had the unfortunate twang of American about his accent when I heard him on the television, although further research suggests he is from North London. The man in question was a paraplegic who had landed at Luton airport only to find that his wheelchair had been lost in transit.

One is never certain whether one has the full facts of the news but as I was watching Her Majesty's BBC I think I can trust the story presented. It seems the fellow was offered a wheeled chair as they didn't have a self propelled wheelchair but he refused on the grounds that he would have lost his dignity by being pushed and was in danger of getting pressure sores from the chair.

He chose instead to drag himself through the airport to the exit where he used a luggage trolley as a wheelchair, leaving one to think with his actions that perhaps he doth protest too much.

I would have thought that dragging oneself on the floor was loosing ones dignity somewhat more than being pushed in a chair for a few hundred yards and can one get pressure sores in such a short space of time. If it is possible to get pressure sores so quickly why would you risk hoisting yourself on to a hard luggage trolley to complete the journey to the waiting taxi.

It was indeed unfortunate that there wasn't a self propelled wheelchair available at the time but one has to think his actions to emphasise the lack of a wheelchair were a tad over the top.

My next sentence was going to be; I'm just waiting for the next news item concerning this fellow suing the airport for a vast sum for compensation, but more research suggests he is already at it!

And finally, as they used to say on the news when they got to the final story of a fluffy kitten being rescued from a tree by the fire brigade, unfortunately this is not one of those stories.

A young Christian woman in Pakistan who was charged with blasphemy following an alleged argument with her Muslim neighbours has finally been found not guilty having been in custody for the last eight years.

Had she been found guilty she would have faced the death penalty which seems grossly unfair as it seems fairly obvious that her neighbours bore false witness against her, I wonder if they will face any charges?

She has also been told that she will not be able to leave the country even though her life is in danger as there are mobs of Muslim men out in the streets baying for her blood at this moment.

To sum up, this poor woman was falsely accused, served eight years in prison before being found not guilty and now is not allowed to leave a country where her life is severely in danger.

One can only hope that the new Prime Minister and ex professional cricketer Imran Khan can do something to save this woman's life before it's too late, because the way this poor woman has been treated is definitely not cricket.

That is the end of the news.

Monday 29 October 2018

My latest children's book.

I am delighted to announce that my latest children’s book is now available on Amazon and I have to say I think it is rather splendid. I have been working with the same illustrator for the last four books and she is producing better and better illustrations with each new production. Her name, should any of you reading this be looking for an illustrator is Oksana Basarab and she can be found on the Fiverr website.

I do hope some of my readers will purchase the book and enjoy reading it, I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

Thursday 25 October 2018

Brussel sprouts.

I saw on Facebook someone requesting articles on vegetables so was inspired to write the following.

Brussel sprouts.
I am not remotely what you might call a foodie and am probably so far away from being a gourmet as you can ever get, sadly I blame my mother.

She was of the generation of women who would boil the living daylights out of everything she cooked, to the point where you would probably get more nutrition from the water that was thrown away after the cooking process that from actually eating the item cooked.

My mother was without doubt one of the worst cooks I have every come across who almost had the ability to burn water, which explains my lack of interest in the subject to this day.

I am, I think what might be described as a lazy eater, preferring something I can eat with a straw than any foodstuff which requires too much mastication, this may also have come about due to my mother’s ability in the kitchen.

Brussel sprouts, you may be surprised to hear were one of my favourite vegetables, indeed one of my favourite foods altogether, along with Farley’s Rusks although obviously not both at the same time.

I was however somewhat surprised to find on leaving home and getting married that brussel sprouts were not an item one was supposed to eat with a straw due to it being cooked almost to a pulp and in fact should be cooked al dente.

Some many years later, brussel sprouts are still my favourite vegetable, however thanks to my delightful wife who is an excellent chef I now eat them properly cooked al dente, it is though some many years since I had a Farley’s Rusk although I still love them.

Saturday 20 October 2018

Saudi's completely innocent of Jamal Khashoggi death.

Saudi Arabia admits dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi died in its Istanbul consulate apparently after a fight broke out.

Now it’s all beginning to make sense, I thought he had the look of a trouble maker about him, the sort of chap who would pull a weapon at the drop of a hat, I expect he was armed to the teeth when he entered the consulate and probably went there looking for trouble.

Imagine the scene, upon entering the consulate the violent dissident journalist is shown into a room to face fifteen mild mannered assassins and immediately pulls out a loaded fountain pen ready to attack.

I may have got the wrong end of the stick with this story but the Saudi’s seem more than adequately convinced that something along these lines must have taken place, what a nasty aggressive little man he must have been.

Surely, he must have been some sort of psychopath to have gone to the consulate with the clear intention of starting a fight with fifteen innocent assassins.

The only other conclusion we could come to of course, is that the Saudi’s are evil lying cheating bastards who would trick someone into entering their consulate having arranged for fifteen assassins to torture, kill and then dismember and dispose of the body.

How could this be, for if this were true we would have to believe the stories of women being stoned to death for having sex when they quite clearly encouraged the rapist in his actions by being female.

This can’t be the actions of the Saudi’s who present themselves as such pleasant broadminded, religious and indeed teetotal individuals.

I expect it’s only a matter of time before the Saudi’s come up with a perfectly feasible explanation as to how Jamal Khashoggi started this fight with the fifteen innocent assassins who had absolutely nothing to do with his death.

I imagine that will be the same day that I view a flying pig.

Wednesday 10 October 2018

Sky News.

This will be a very short post today as I'm a little busy and I don't feel there is much I can expand upon with this story, although you never know.

My wife and I have a tendency to go to bed to watch the news on television prior to going to sleep but the last two nights they have broken away from the British presenters who are half way through a review of the papers to go live to America to show Mr Donald Trump wittering on about something not at all of any great relevance to a British audience.

My Lord, that man can witter, the first night concerned the successful appointment of a new judge after some controversy which seemed not to be proven where it was alleged he took part in a teenage fondle which the woman alleged it was attempted rape.

Now I haven't followed the story in any depth as I can barely understand American unless it is written form but one assumes that by American standards there was not sufficient evidence which cleared the way for this chap to become a judge.

Everyone in America seems to present themselves as devout Christians who would never do anything wrong, like attempted rape or bearing false witness for example, so I have no idea what the truth of the matter is, suffice to say from what little I saw I didn't think either of them were creditable witnesses. Perhaps it's just the rather odd way the Americans have of putting themselves across.

The American judicial system seems most peculiar to us Brits as these fellows who become members of some upper chamber of judges, (forgive me for not knowing the correct name as I wasn't taking notes) all have political affiliation, I would have thought a better system would be where they have no affiliation and are therefore impartial.

However we broke away from the British news to see Mr Trump give a rather long winded speech, pointing to various people in the audience, being not at all complimentary about the woman who accused the judge and then handing over to judge for him to have his two pennyworth, all very boring.

Then, the second night we broke away to watch what was effectively Mr Trump giving a party political speech in either Iowa, Nebraska or Illinois, I was a little unsure where they were and I felt Mr Trump was also confused. The usual wittering on at great length ensued, together with the pointing to the crowd to announce they had the presence of two Senators and the repetition of the phrase, "Make America Great Again."

So for two nights running we have broken away from the British news to go live to America to see Mr Trump wittering on about nothing of any great importance and I am wondering why is this happening. At this rate it won't be long before we break away to see Mr Trump having breakfast, or even worse, "Now live from America, Mr Trump is having a shit!"

I have written to Sky News to point out my dislike of this continual pandering to the Americas, it's bad enough our television drama is awash with American imports, so please stop this ludicrous breaking away to see a non event in America. I'm not holding my breath that my email will make them change their policy, but you never know! 

Thursday 4 October 2018

POP Connect presentation.

This week I did a ten minute presentation at the Bishop Stortford POP Connect meeting, here is the script which you may find amusing, I hope so.

When I accepted the challenge of speaking for ten minutes at this meeting I hadn’t realised how life was going to get in the way of my preparations.
With there being barely sufficient time to write a ten minute speech let alone memorise it too, so I have come up with a cunning plan.
I have managed to find time to write my speech but not sufficient time to memories it, so as an author and blogger the solution is to read you the story.
Are you sitting comfortably, then I’ll begin?
Once upon a time in a land far far away I was born and my name was Michael Nolan and when I was one year old I was adopted and became Joe Wells.
My father was a baker as was my grandfather and it was expected that as the eldest son I too would enter the family business. I can remember asking my father, “dad, dad draw me a picture?” He drew me a picture of a bread delivery van full of cottage loaves.
I was a cosseted and sheltered child and I think a little immature for my age which may have had some bearing on the fact that I wasted the benefit of my education at Haberdashers Askes School for Boys.
Times were different in those days, corporal punishment was the norm. I can remember many a happy time in lessons staring daydreaming out of the window when a piece of chalk would crack you on the head to regain your attention to the lesson. The teachers had remarkable accuracy, even with objects as heavy as a board rubber.
It may seem harsh today but the teachers had carte blanc to inflict injury on us with any number of objects, from rulers across the knuckles to large plimsolls and finally six of the best with a cane.
By today’s standards it may seem a little over the top, but I’m certain it did instil in us a sense of discipline lacking in the youth of today.
Strangely enough when I was at school I wanted to be a script writer but this was in the days when one was conditioned with a sense of responsibility and so I did what was expected of me and became a baker.
Even if I had continued with my desire to be a script writer one wouldn’t have had the faintest idea how to become one, I suspect today one might be able to go to University and do a degree in script writing.
I have no recollection of ever seeing a careers master, I suspect that all the boys with family businesses were never called to see them and even if one did I can imagine their response when asking for advice to become a script writer. “A script writer, have you lost your mind boy!” “Cut along now and forget all this silly nonsense, you have an obligation to your father, do close the door on the way out.”
I later became involved with The Variety Club of Great Britain which had an amateur theatre group who would put on shows to raise money for charity.
Starting backstage I soon graduated to the stage itself. “We need someone to do a line in act four, you’ll do!” By this time the bug had bitten, adrenaline is such a wonderful drug!
Eventually my father retired and asked me if I wanted to carry on the family business, to which I replied, “I think I’ll take the money and run, if that’s okay with you.”
Having sold the business and being financially secure I set about obtaining my Equity card, for in those days you were not allowed to perform without one.
I worked hard and progressed from the bottom to just above the bottom, which may not sound that impressive but earning a living in the performing arts is a result in itself.
Sadly, as the years progressed my mother’s health gradually deteriorated to the point where due to her dementia I became her full time carer.
Unfortunately, this had a detrimental effect on my acting career and I eventually received a “Dear John” letter from my agent.
One of the few useful things I learnt from school was the fun of writing so I have always written things and continued to do so to satisfy my creative side.
I’m fairly certain my children’s book character Nobby Brasso, from up North where they don’t wear coats even when it’s freezing cold was originally dreamt up one freezing winters day whilst waiting for school to open. He’s come a long way over the years!
Most of my children’s stories were written for the daughter of a girlfriend who later became my wife and were shorter and never thought of as something to put in a book. It was many years later thanks to being able to publish relatively easily on Amazon that the idea of turning the stories into books became a reality.
I have written a collection of plays, called The Plays Wot I Wrote, the title of which was a small homage to Eric Morecambe, although I wonder now if anyone gets the joke or merely thinks I just can’t spell.
One of the plays therein, Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Patria Mori which is based on letters sent and received by soldiers in the First World War has been produced by the Wireless Theatre Company and is available as an audio download on their website.
Another of my plays, also available on Amazon is The Battle of Barking Creek which tells the fascinating true story of a friendly fire incident on the third day of World War Two which resulted in the death of one of our airmen. One day someone will find the story and make a full length feature film about the event.
It may sound strange that as an author of children’s books I know very little about children but have been informed by a children’s teacher who knows about such things, that the books are suitable for children of a reading age of 5 to 7.
My first children’s book, Nobby Brasso Football Star tells the story of Nobby a young boy who graduated from the school football team to playing in the Cup Final. There are little gags in the book for the grownups who may be reading to a child as I believe the object of a bedtime story is to assist the child to sleep but to keep the adult awake.

The second Nobby book, Nobby Brasso and the big bash birthday will soon be available for the children who enjoyed the first story.
As you can tell, I had a fairly old fashioned education and this is reflected in the books which all have lessons about morals, ethics and aspirations and rewards hidden in the stories.
They say the best way to write anything is from truth, which leads me to Oliver the cat who went to the top of the world. The opening of the story concerns a friend giving a kitten called Oliver as a Christmas present and is based on the kitten given to me one year by my friend Collette. In the story Oliver goes to the top of Mount Everest and saves the lives of his companions on the way and is rewarded with a medal from The Queen on their return.

Once again Samantha’s fantastic space journey has elements of achievement and reward when Samantha goes into space and saves the life of one of the other astronauts, this time receiving a medal from President Obama. All of the books have black characters so hopefully can appeal to a wide audience.

Finally, The Cows Yacht Race is the amusing story of a group of cows who learn to sail and take part in The Cowes Yacht Race.

Coming soon, The Animal Olympics is jam packed with morals and tells of Mole who won the 100 meters proving even with poor eyesight he could beat far superior animals.
Also coming soon is Norman the pirate who didn’t want to be a pirate but would rather be a florist like his friend Dorothy, with gags yet again to keep the adults amused, all of the books are available on Amazon.
Lastly, I write two sometimes serious, but mostly amusing blogs. The Diary of a Country Bumpkin, is one and the other is Joe Wells, of whom it has been said.

You can find links to all the books, plays and blogs on my website

Wednesday 26 September 2018

Bicycle number plates.

Apparently a school has brought in a new system whereby the pupils will be compelled to have number plates on their bicycles so they can be identified should they be riding badly or offensively.

There has been some suggestion that a number plate scheme for all bicycles would be a good idea and I for one have to say I would thoroughly endorse the idea.

I would even go so far as to suggest that all bicycle owners should have number plates, insurance and pay road tax to use the road, which would keep them in line with all the other road users in this country.

On a recent trip through London I was astounded how much of the available road space is given over to cyclists and yet none of them pay a single penny for the privilege.

In certain parts of London as much as half the road is given over to cyclists, great swathes of the available road are painted blue and yet not one penny is collected from these people who command a disproportionately large area of the road.

Without putting to fine a point on it, I think it's about time to ban all bicycles from the road until they  are properly insured, have licence plates and pay road tax equivalent to the amount of road they are allotted, it seems only fair. 

Sunday 23 September 2018

Duxford Battle of Britain Airshow.

I have been to this event before and it was my intention to go this year with my wife and our grandchildren but sadly it was not to be.

On the previous occasion when we went we purchased tickets to the Gold Enclosure which included a parking permit which they said was exclusive for the Gold Enclosure, as we were going in the 1947 Bentley. I was going to end the sentence with; going in the 1947 Bentley of which I am a little precious, but I am concerned as to the well-being of all my cars and I thought I should clarify the sentence as it is relevant later in the story.

This year we became Premium Family Members, two adults and two children at a cost of £115.00 which we thought might be useful as we wanted to have access to the Premium Members Enclosure which had it's own cafe and seemed to offer a more exclusive way to attend the event.

We still however had to purchase entry tickets at £29.50 each although the kids went free as they were under 15 and a parking permit at £5.00, so a total outlay of  £179.00 in total for the day.

The weather had been awful on the morning of the event so we left later in the hope of it clearing, unfortunately we weren't the only ones with this idea as upon arriving we were stuck in a traffic jam for 1 hour before getting near the entrance. Finally we arrived at the usual Duxford entrance and having seen no signs for the Members Car Park I followed the signs to VIP and enclosure where I enquired where the Members Car Park might be. I was instructed to follow the normal car park signs to where they alleged I would find the Members Car Park, but still no signs. Finally we followed the parking sign into a muddy field where I asked again where the Members Car Park might be.

Now you can call me a sceptical old bugger if you like but by now I was beginning to think that there was no such thing as a Members Car Park, however I was informed by the man on the gate that the Members Car Park was full and to follow everyone else into the muddy field, I declined his offer, turned round and left.

I have severe doubts as to the existence of a Members Car Park due to the lack of signage, but even if there were one, surely it should have been on hard standing and large enough to accommodate all the Members who might attend.

Luckily as the weather was inclement I chose to go in my Jaguar which is more modern and better suited to the weather but still not a car I want to get caked in mud in a field. (See above explaining my concern for all my cars.) Obviously my mistake was to assume that like the Gold Enclosure with it's designated car park, the Members Enclosure would also have a suitable car park.

I know I leave myself open to being called a frightful snob and that we should have roughed it and thought no more of the matter but I feel this is a typical example of the British ability to spoil a ship for a ha'peth of tar. Had there been a proper Members car park we would have entered and braved the weather and no doubt had a very enjoyable time but we didn't get the chance.

The worst thing is that my grandchildren missed out on an event that they may not get the opportunity to see again, unless someone else takes them, for at the moment it is very unlikely I shall endeavour to go again. Such a shame, it could have been such a splendid ship!

Tuesday 18 September 2018

Thoughts for the day.

I haven't posted anything for a couple of days as I've been busy at home catching up on jobs which were not done as we have been away for the last couple of weekends. What we are missing at home is hoards of staff who could continue the running of the house in our absence, something along the lines of Downton Abbey would seem appropriate as we are always behind with the household jobs.

Having had a busy day yesterday repairing one of the legs on the carport outside of the garage in anticipation of the arrival of the remnants of the latest hurricane to hit America which is on its way across the Atlantic as we speak. Today some lawn mowing and the arrival of a new large wheelbarrow which required assembling, so we now have something to move the grass cuttings to the compost heap in fewer journeys than before.

Now, on to the subject of my post for today, which involves our grandchildren and the modern habit of playing games on the television with the aid of a Playstation or some other device.

When I was young we only had the one television in the house which was in the sitting room which was presided over by my father who upon entering the room whilst we children were watching television would utter the phrase, "turn that rubbish off, I'm watching the news" or whatever other programme he desired. Bearing in mind that in those days there were only two or three channels from which to pick and television would stop at 11 o'clock or before preceded by the playing of the National Anthem and a dinner jacketed presenter wishing you a good night.

My, how times have changed, we have two televisions in adjoining rooms, the second of which was acquired so the grandchildren might watch television or play their games without interfering with our television. However with the aid of one of our daughters they have set up a system where each television is coupled to a Playstation which enables them both to play games at the same time whilst communicating with each other and the other gamers playing.

So we now find ourselves with what seems to me to be a ridiculous situation of being unable to view our own television because two 11 year olds have command of both television sets and are talking to each other through their headsets. The concept of talking to your brother in the next room through the internet rather than actually speaking to him seems strangely surreal to me, I must say.

Apparently the games that are played by the young people and indeed people who are old enough to know better last for 20 minutes so I'm told, which means one has to wait until they have finished their game or the lose points or something.

Oh, how I long to return to the olden days where one might enter the room and utter the phrase, "turn that rubbish off, I'm watching the Grand Prix" but it seems one must pander to the wishes of the youngsters as this is the modern way. My father would be turning in his grave if he could see such goings on.

Now briefly to my next topic and I should probably have to pay a fine for I am going to mention the dreaded "Brexit" word. There seems to be a slightly more conciliatory mood from the EU recently, perhaps they have realised that if we don't have a deal with them, they too don't have a deal and perhaps they could take a more active part in finding a solution to the problem.

I have another cunning plan to fix the problem and that is to employ the services of some modern young people who are more used to negotiating with mobile telephone companies than us older folk who just leave things the same for year after year.

However when a young person's contract is about to expire they contact their supplier and threaten to leave as they can get a better deal elsewhere, whether or not they can get a better deal seems not to matter, for immediately the current supplier will offer to match or better the offer.

This is a tactic employed by our daughter with success on many occasions and whilst she currently has a full time job, should the offer of gainful employment by the Government at the sort of money the European MP's are earning, I'm sure she would be only too happy to assist with the Brexit negotiations.


Wednesday 12 September 2018

School absence.

My wife and I went to The Goodwood Revival at the weekend and had arranged for our grandchildren and their father to join us on the Friday which is generally the quieter of the three days, which should have made for an easier day with two youngsters in tow.

It was the 20th anniversary of the event and there was a most splendid atmosphere all over the weekend seeing friends old and new, which unfortunately meant we were rushing about from pillar to post and not taking any photographs with which to liven up this post.

Prior to taking the grandchildren to Goodwood we had written to their school to inform them of the need for the children to be absent for a day but as it was only their second day at their new school we had assumed that as they are only 11 years old they wouldn't miss a great deal in such a short time away. Even if they had taken up studying the finer points of "War and peace" or started to learn Latin, or battled with the more complicated aspects of trigonometry, none of which in fact happened, I very much doubt if their fellow pupils would have managed to be greatly advanced on our grandchildren in such a short time.

We have now been informed by their father that we have contravened some sort of school protocol whereby one has to fill in a form should one wish to request a days absence for one's offspring, how indicative of modern life that a days absence should require the completion of reams of paperwork before permission is granted, a mere letter of explanation not being sufficient. 

The school has sent the relevant paperwork to their father but we have yet to see it so I am unsure whether our explanation that it made more sense to take the children on the quieter day, which unfortunately required a days absence from school may not cut the mustard and it appears that the boys are to be penalised by not being able to take part in any after school activities or school trips for a period of six months.

Call me old fashioned if you like but this seems to be a tad harsh especially as the children had no say in what day they would be absent, however we have devised a contingency plan should this draconian punishment be put into place. Whatever trip the boys may miss we shall arrange to take them on the exact outing at the first available opportunity and make sure they get every extra treat that may be available.

That should take the sting out of the punishment for the boys, although as grandparents we are unsure as to what sort of punishment may be inflicted upon my wife and I. We have though thought of a contingency yet again, for should we be called up to see the Headmaster we shall both go wearing our forties outfits from the Goodwood weekend. The reasoning behind what may seem to be a strange choice of clothing is, my suit trousers are very loose and my wife will be wearing a suspender belt which should give both of us the opportunity to secrete about our nether regions a copy of a substantial weekend newspaper, so should the headmaster wish to lay upon us with a large cane to administer six of the best we are adequately protected.

I'm led to believe that in modern schooling it is no longer possible to punish pupils or even grandparents with a sound thrashing but I'm not taking any chances should our form filling not result in a verdict of not guilty.

Tuesday 4 September 2018

Hampton Court Concours.

Todays blog will take the form of a photo blog due to lack of time as I'm preparing to get ready to go to The Goodwood Revival at the weekend where I may do another photo blog, let's see if I can do this one first!

 We went with friends from the Bentley Drivers Club and I have to say there were some very splendid Bentley's on display.

This is a special one off Rolls Royce commissioned by a chap who I think must have more money than sense for this is what he asked them to make. The craftsmanship is superb but in real life I think it looks more like something Lady Penelope from Thunderbirds would commission. Still each unto their own. 

Now this is what a proper car looks like a rather splendid Bentley Continental, fabulous!

                               There certainly wasn't a shortage of Bugattis, all very nice.

Another beautiful Bentley.

Some views of Hampton Court which we took while having a look round.


                                    Some rather splendid gardens of which there were plenty.

                                         And finally to finish off a beautiful trio of Bentleys.

Tuesday 28 August 2018

Something from the archives.

I have been a little busy lately so I found something from the archives.
I’ve just come home, my best friend has just died, it’s hard not to cry, I loved her, I really loved her.
We’d been together for seventeen years, I don’t know what to say, seventeen years is a hell of a long time with anyone.
It’s funny, when we first met I thought she was far too aloof, too stand offish, I had no idea we’d become so close, so inseparable.
We shared everything together, the good times, the bad, I hadn’t realised how much she supported me, I feel so desperately alone.
Whenever I was depressed or fed up I would talk to her and she would listen in that knowing way of hers and somehow things would always seem better, God I miss her.
I took it for granted she’d always be there, silly really, I knew she was ill but you always hope for the best thinking it will be alright.
When I woke this morning and she wasn’t next to me I knew something wasn’t right, I hadn’t realised how ill she’d become, she always bore everything so bravely.
Instinctively I jumped out of bed calling to her but when I found her collapsed in the loo something told me this was the end, not that I wanted to admit it.
She was taken in straight away but I knew in my heart it was too late, I hated to see her in pain not knowing what was going on, there should be more dignity in death.
I suppose there is dignity in death at the final moment when you let go, it’s the bit before that hurts so much, especially when you’re a helpless onlooker.
All you can do is stroke their head, or reach out to them, not knowing if they know you’re there, but praying they do.
They did everything they could but in the end she just quietly went to sleep, I actually had to ask, ‘has she gone’.
I cried my eyes out all the way home, people must have thought I was mad, but who cares.
The house seems so empty, so strangely quiet, I hadn’t realised how someone’s physical presence could make so much noise, especially someone who used to meow so quietly.
I’m going to put her in the garden now, it’s still her home, always will be.
Goodbye Lionella, I love you, I always will sweetheart, sweet dreams.

Friday 17 August 2018

Ban the Burka.

The topic of my blog today may sound a little harsh but bear with me, it was prompted by an image I came across on Arsebook which I will post below.

 Image may contain: 2 people, text

Where do I start with this, firstly this is not a photograph of a nun, it is in fact the actress Audrey Hepburn and this is an image from the film A Nuns Story. Regardless of that I am willing to try to understand what this post is attempting to say.

The other young lady in the photo is wearing a hijab and is one assumes of the Muslim faith, although one can never be certain of anything, it may just be a fashion statement as I think it would be fair to say the lady in question is particularly attractive and wearing quite a lot of makeup.

Assuming that the lady is indeed Muslim, we then move on to the next part of the sentence where it is suggested that she may be oppressed, presumably for dressing in a manner similar to that of a nun. The definition of the word oppressed is; subject to harsh and authoritarian treatment, so I am wondering who would oppress this young lady for being dressed in this fashion? I have no idea.

I am wondering if the person who originally posted this meant to use a photograph of someone wearing a Burka, which is a completely different garment and one which seems to be worn mostly in countries like Afghanistan where in certain parts of the country where the Taliban have control the women are forced to wear the "letter box " type garment and are not allowed to go to school and are severely restricted, one might almost say oppressed. This is completely different from this country where women no matter how they are dressed have the right to do everything a man can do.

Tuesday 14 August 2018

My new website.

Just recently I have found myself dragged, kicking and screaming into the world of corporate business and the world of high finance, almost! To be slightly more honest I have merely updated my website which to many may seem like one small step for man but to me it feels more like a giant leap for mankind.

Obviously with the assistance of a computer wizzkid I have placed details of all the books and plays I have written which are currently available and have had SEO placed up my backside, which is nowhere as uncomfortable as it sounds. I'm led to believe that the judicious placing of certain words in the back of the website will drive traffic to the site with relentless ferocity, although at the moment it seems to have had an adverse effect on certain of my sites, placing them further down the page than previously.

Hopefully in the future when all the jiggery pokery has had time to take effect I shall be back at the top of the page should you search for Joe Wells, although one can tell there has been a difference by the adverts which are appearing on this site alone. Two of the phrases inserted were, children's books and adult plays, by which I meant plays for adults, however the algorithms seem to have picked up on the word "adult" and is placing adverts for adult dating sites. I may have to remove the word "adult." before I am inundated with advertisements for sleazy adult strip clubs and the like. 

Well, that's about it for now, all that remains is the grand unveiling which I shall attempt to do myself without the aid of a safety net as my computer wizzkid has now gone home.

I lied my computer wizzkid is still here and did a rather splendid job of inserting the above with the link to my new website, please make your way there with all haste and purchase as many books as you can possibly afford. Thanking you in anticipation.

Saturday 11 August 2018

An obituary printed in the Times.

I can take no credit for this blog today, for it was sent to me by a friend and is I think a sad indictment on so many things that are wrong with modern life. There is nothing more to add, goodbye old friend, we will certainly miss you.

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years.
No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:

- Knowing when to come in out of the rain;
- Why the early bird gets the worm;
- Life isn't always fair;
- And maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.

It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death,
-by his parents, Truth and Trust,
-by his wife, Discretion,
-by his daughter, Responsibility,
-and by his son, Reason.

He is survived by his 5 stepbrothers;
- I Know My Rights
- I Want It Now
- Someone Else Is To Blame
- I'm A Victim
- Pay me for Doing Nothing

Not many attended his funeral because so few realised he was gone.  If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing.