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.


Wednesday 13 June 2018

Another new children's book.

I am delighted to report that I have completed yet another childrens book which is now available for purchase on, I shall put the link should any of my delightful readers be inclined to purchase a copy.

Sorry, because I live in the UK I forgot all those people in other parts of the world, I should have mentioned the book is also available on other Amazon sites, just enter Sanantha's fantastic space journey and it will come up.

The book is called Samantha's fantastic space journey and tells the story of a young schoolgirl going on a space journey, it is written as are all my books in a slightly old fashioned way, in that it has good manners, morals and aspirational elements to educate the younger person in the correct manner.

Do please purchase a copy I'm certain your young children and grandchildren will enjoy it and may I say it is also very reasonably priced, just click on the illustration. Thanking you in anticipation.

Saturday 9 June 2018

Trooping the colour, celebrating The Queen's official 92 Birthday.

Have just watched the Queen's birthday celebration trooping the colour and what a splendid spectacle it was, as usual.

It may for some seem somewhat old fashioned to see troops marching about proudly celebrating their previous battle victories watched by a reigning monarch which some may think is also old fashioned and outdated.

I rather wonder how many other countries in the world could put on a similar show, both from the point of actually having a reigning monarch to display and a splendid army of men with a proud heritage to boast about.

Tourists come from all round the world to witness the spectacle and I for one am only too happy to admit I absolutely love it and am proud to be considered old fashioned.

Friday 8 June 2018

Just testing.

Here is a link to a watch on Amazon, or it might be a link for colonic irrigation, I'm hoping it's the former, but as I'm just testing how to join stuff up, (that will be the technical term) will you please forgive me if this link disappears up it's own colon.

The link seems to work but I have no idea if it does the other clever jiggery-pokery which it is supposed to do, or for that matter if I have the right piece of code for it to work. I frequently wonder why on earth I bother trying to understand computer stuff!

Thursday 7 June 2018

Just a quick one.

As the title for this blog suggests, this is just a quick one as I've been busy all day and have run out of time, so should you be desperate for a slightly longer blog you can go to my other site and read that!

During the course of writing my other blog I have been listening to Harry and Edna on the Wireless which is an on line radio station and this particular show plays forties music I can thoroughly recommend it.

Lastly I moved on to listening to Swingtime Radio by Hoxton Radio which is hosted by Sizzlin Jim and was playing some wonderful old blues tunes, excellent stuff.

So there we are, just a quick one, but plenty there to keep you amused if you want to follow the links, I'm off to watch a new DVD which I have recently purchased which is a brand new restoration of The Dam Busters, should be very good, I hope.

Monday 4 June 2018

Historic (classic) vehicles: MOT and vehicle tax.

Forgive the rather long title for this blog and the rather crude copy pasting of forms from the DVLA, but I'm a classic car enthusiast not a computer nerd.

A small minority of my readers may be aware that there have been changes to the tax and MOT requirements for classic cars which came into effect this month, which mean that any car now over 40 years old will not have to pay for road tax and will not be required to have an MOT.

This may come as a surprise to some, but to put it in perspective most classic cars do ridiculously small annual mileages frequently in the low hundreds.

The MOT for a modern car is far too tough for something built in the thirties or forties and now the government has changed the rules to reflect this, although one still has to keep the vehicle in a roadworthy condition or one can be fined £2500.00 and get three penalty points for using a vehicle in a dangerous condition. More than enough incentive for us to look after our vehicles.

You do not have to apply to stop getting an MOT for your vehicle each year. However, you must still keep it in a roadworthy condition.
You can be fined up to £2,500 and get 3 penalty points for using a vehicle in a dangerous condition.

Personally I am delighted at the government seeing sense with regard to classic cars as the combined mileage of four of mine last year was under 1000 miles (one thousand) and to expect a car built over forty years ago to pass the same MOT as a modern car is like expecting a horse and cart to do likewise.

So far so good, however when trying to put these changes into practice I was somewhat discombobulated with conflicting information from classic car magazines, the DVLA, both in written form and verbal during my phone conversation and lastly with two different people in the relevant Post Office.

 I have just attempted to copy the salient points from the following forms, the gist of the first form being that should you own a vehicle over 40 years old, you must apply for a vehicle tax exemption to stop paying vehicle tax. This is sometimes called putting a vehicle into the "historic tax class." All well and good so far.

What you have to do
You must apply for a vehicle tax exemption to stop paying vehicle tax. This is sometimes called putting a vehicle into the ‘historic tax class’.

Now moving on to the second form which explains how one should apply for the vehicle tax exemption which I was surprised to see one had to do at a post office as there seemed to be no online facility, I duly proceeded to the Post Office together with all the required documentation just to be on the safe side.

Apply at a Post Office that deals with vehicle tax.
You need to take:
·         the log book (V5C) in your name
·         your vehicle tax reminder letter (V11), if you have one
·         an MOT certificate that’s valid when the tax starts, or evidence if your vehicle’s exempt from an MOT (V112)
·         an insurance certificate or cover note (only in Northern Ireland)

Upon producing the relevant paperwork I was informed by the counter clerk that all I had to do was fill in the box on my registration document as Historic Vehicle, sign and date and post it off to the DVLA, which left me somewhat surprised as this conflicted with all the information I had received as to how to complete this task properly.

I was taught at school to question things, especially something which does not seem right so I returned home and phoned the DVLA who confirmed everything which was on the form, including the information as to what happens next.

1.   The Post Office sends your log book to DVLA.

2.   You’ll get a confirmation from DVLA within 10 working days that the change has been made.

3.   DVLA will send you an updated log book.

By now I was convinced that the information on the form and confirmation from DVLA was indeed the correct way of doing things, so returned yet again to the post office.

Those of you with a sense of irony may well see what is coming next. Yes indeed, the Post Office stuck to its guns and insisted that all I had to do was fill in the log book myself and send it back, I attempted to point out the phrase, "The Post Office sends your log book to DVLA" all to no avail.

By this time, I was beginning to lose the will to live so gave in and purchased an envelope and posted the allegedly required portion of my log book to the DVLA, I await the return of my new log book with nothing short of excitement.