Tuesday 26 February 2019

A Chipshop Tale.

When I was in the Algarve.  Sid the seagull and I talked about chips (see last blog post!) and he told me tell you the following anecdote:


I once walked into a Chinese takeaway one pleasant evening.  The shop staff was out the back preparing some dishes.  A rather drunk man was sat at the counter eating his chips.  He had decided to make his self at home for the evening, like you do!  The man recognized my friend who was with me:
“Hello lad, your one of me son's mates aren’t you?”  I’ve been watching telly (same programmes as other Chinese takeaway) for last half an hour.  They always show the same foreign shit.”
We laughed and nodded in agreement (just to pacify) him.
Suddenly, he gets up and bolts straight over the food counter.
“Let’s see if that Charlie Angels is on telly (good foreign American television).  I wouldn’t mind getting them three in my bed.” 
Two angry looking Chinese men rush out from the back.  One shouts to our chip shop entertainer:
 “What do you think your doing?  You trying to steal money out of till, me call the police.” 
“No I’m not; I’m only seeing what’s on the other side.  You have got it all wrong.”  He then decided to attempt to run away (one foot on the road, one on the pavement) with two irate martial arts experts chasing after him.   It was very funny!
 Have you got any chip-shop or takeaway tales?

Sunday 24 February 2019

A Prime Location, Street Art And A Seagull.

We noticed this house and garden for sale.  A kind taxi lady phoned the seller for us and texted us back with the price.  Are you sitting down?  They wanted 440000 Euros for it!  No doubt its in a prime location and one day there will be a concrete block of holiday apartments on the site?  So called progress I suppose?

We noticed that the utilities boxes are painted by some very talented artists and they cover up any graffiti.

 A friendly seagull called Sid.  He waited patiently every day for any tit bits.  I think he originated in Blighty because chips were part of his diet.

Friday 22 February 2019

Algarve Litter Bins.

We are always amazed how clean and litter free it is in the Algarve.  There are bins everywhere.  Be it the beach or in the busy town streets:

 The green bin is clothes and shoes.  The round bin is for house hold domestic rubbish.  They are double the depth of the bin you see on the right hand size of the picture.
 The blue bin is for paper and cardboard.  The yellow bin is for plastic.  Gwil (Zen my ass blog) told me once that they have plastic recycling bins in Austria.   The green bin is for glass bottles.  I think its time we had plastic recycling bins in Ireland.  Or even some bottle banks on the north side of our peninsula.  Or even litter bins in the countryside?
This amusing picture says it all doesn't it?

Even on the Algarve beaches there are litter bins everywhere.  I never saw any litter or plastic on any of them.  Fair play Portugal.  You raise the bar when it comes to litter!

Thursday 21 February 2019

Algarve Gardens In February.

I always like to see what plants and vegetables are growing when I am visiting somewhere.  Do you?

 This garden was outside an apartment.  It just goes to show you don't need a massive area for a garden.  All you need is some plants and pots and somewhere to sit.  Hmm...?  
 We saw a lot of Broad beans growing in Portugal.  They were at least 30 Centimetres high.  That's about one foot in old electricity meters?  The yellow weed looks like Oxalis.  It's good to see organic or natural ways of cutivation and no evidence of chemical weed killers.

In the photo below you can see potatoes pushing through in the middle of the veg plot.  I haven't bought my seed potatoes yet.  Have you?  Time to get chitting me thinks? 

Modern apartments overlooking the olive trees and productive vegetable garden.  The photos look more impressive when you click on them.

I mowed my lawns for the first time today.  I always start the season by mowing on the highest cut and taking it down over the next few weeks.

The lawn clippings have been used for a mulch on my Japanese Winter onions.  Hopefully it will suppress any weeds and also work to feed the onions.  Anybody else experimented with grass clippings for a mulch?  I usually put it straight on the old compost heap or in a trench in the veg plot.

What are you up to in the garden or allotment?

Tuesday 19 February 2019

A Bus Trip In The Algarve,

We went to the Algarve last week.  The flight was only 150 Euros return for the both of us with Ryan Air.  Of course we were blessed with amazing sunshine and we didn't want to come back to rainy Ireland.

Last Wednesday afternoon we decided to take an half day bus trip to Lagos, Sagres and St Vincent.  It involved the usual pick up and drive round some Algarve villages, towns and a city and wait for people  some who never even turned up.  The little bus had far too many seats in it and I could not even get my knees in between the seats.  Honest!

Eventually we met up with a bigger coach made up mainly of Germans.  The Portuguese lady interpreter/courier spoke in English for a few minutes and then said the same thing again in German.  Yes I know!

 Any road.  We went to Lagos and then stopped at the site of an old church and a lighthouse.  Then we moved on to Sagres, passed a Lidl and stopped at St Vincents.  This was a wind swept place with cliffs and somebody selling jumpers.  It was OK for half a day but I don't think coach trips are for us.

Hope you are all well?

Saturday 9 February 2019

Yet Another One Of My Bus Tales!

Donkey years ago I was upstairs on a completely EMPTY bus.  This bus entertainment creature plonks their self down next to me and says:
“Is there anybody sat next to you”? 
“Of course there is.”   
Thinks me:
“ I have just been talking to Saint Francis of Assisi about Margaret Thatcher’s first speech as prime-minister of Great Britain and Warrington?”  
The man was obviously a few butties short of a picnic.  I duly decided to vacate my seat and get off at the next stop.  But of course I didn’t. 
It  was probably my own fault, thinks I.   I had decided to go shopping in a neighbouring town.  I caught the early morning bus.  It was full of people dressed in factory and shop overalls.  Suddenly this gentleman bursts into song at the top of his voice:
 “Onward Christian Soldiers.  Marching as to war. With the cross of Jesus.  Going on before.” 
Some people laughed and applauded.  Most just sighed and tutted: 
“It’s the same every bloody Tuesday,”
Said this very unimpressed woman. 
We used to make our own bus entertainment when I went to school.  We didn’t have Nintendo’s and those MP3 players.   
We went to the local secondary modern school.   Sometimes we would go the local baths.  My friend (the lad who helped me feed the polar bear our butties at Belle Vue Zoo too, remember?) and I use to buy tubes of Bob Martins from the local pet shop for our consumption and of course we would always eat Robertons jelly cubes.  We didn't have designer sports bags either.  A Kwik Save or Asda plastic carrier bag would be used to carry ones swimming togs.  Some bright spark would make an hole in the carrier bag  with a cigarettet or their fingers and eventually you would be walking home with your wet towel and trunks in your arms.  Happy days!
On the way home we might board the bus.  This was always cram packed with schoolchildren from the local Grammar school.   They never brought their grandparents with them though!  Sorry. 
Every week one of us, the eleven plus failures.  Would stand up and give the gathered upstairs audience, a grammar school  take  the Michael concert.  Upper crust snobby voice: 
“Oh hello I’ve got lots of homework today.  We’re doing trigonometry, physics, hockey and algebra, really spiffing what?” 
The working class kids enjoyed the free concert and laughed at the show.  The grammar school kids just tutted and shrunk back into their books.

 A few years later most of the working class kids from my school were on the dole.  The grammar school kids were probably no doubt spending their university grants on subsidized student beer, and p.a systems called stereos or having years off in a kibbutz in Israel....?  Oh to be a swat or to be intelligent even!

Friday 8 February 2019

Thursday 7 February 2019

Bus Collectors.

Yes these are the lads and lasses who live in suburbia and way out west.  They are quite normal in every way except for one thing:

They collect buses!

I do not mean those little and quite small model Disney and Lesney die cast models.  Oh no!

I am talking about great big enormous ex public transport buses.  

These enthusiasts collect them for nostalgia and childhood memories and no doubt to be a bit different.  A cut from the rest.  You can just imagine it.  Can't you?

"Well if Mr Jones the next door neighbour collects clocks.  Why can't I collect buses?"

"Hey wait a minute, I've had a brilliant idea.  I wonder if anybody knows where I can purchase a second hand Polaris missile submarine?  It would look lovely over there in the canal besides the sunken coal barge and the Moorhens!"

Wednesday 6 February 2019


Continuing with the bus theme:  BUS SPOTTERS!
The bus spotter is a strange creature.  Its habitat is normally the local bus station.  You often see this creature on a Sunday morning if you’re unlucky enough to have to wait for a bus.  You know what it’s like your sat waiting for a bus, feeling hung-over and trying to read the Sunday newspaper over some bodies shoulder.  Why is its always a tabloid?  Showing some big breasted scantily clad celebrity?  Suddenly somebody dressed in a lumbar jacket and a hairstyle modelled by Friar Tuck, shouts to somebody in a shell suit and a kagoule:
 “Did you get that one?  “It’s the L6973854.” 
“Yes I know.  It used to go past Withington hospital in 1995.  But now it stops at Halifax Argos every Saturday afternoon.  “It’s got a Perkins diesel engine and Pilkington’s glass constructed the windscreen. ”. 
“Are you sure?  I thought that was the Leyland L6973854?”   
There are even websites and magazines were you can look at your favourite bus.  Or buzz if you come from my part of  Lancashire.

 Get a life lads.  They are just BLOODY Buses! (“Buzzes”).
Another bus theme tomorrow!

Tuesday 5 February 2019

Late Night Bus Entertainers!

What about the dear old bus entertainers folks? I am not talking about the cheerful Shearing’s coach driver who takes you on your holidays and points out all the boring places at the side of the M5:
 “That’s the place where Concorde took its maiden flight.....” 
There is a late night Friday chat show host on the BBC who owns an house just a few miles from me.  He's from Bandon originally.  Yet another 'Blow In' like yours truly?  That's suppose to be a joke West Corkers!  I rarely if ever get comments from Ireland apart from Heron.  
Instead of interviewing Hollywood film stars he could interview drunks on buses in northern England and further a field?
One entertaining time on a bus was one night coming home from town.  A rather inebriated man (completely rat legged) sat down and started up a conversation with an acquaintance of mine.  Being northerners we were quite friendly, and often engaged with strangers about the weather, the state of the nation and of course football and cricket, Wonder Woman and Charlie’s Angels?  Yes it was a long, long time ago!
Tonight though we had a different topic of discussion on the top deck of the bus.  My acquaintance decided to ask the drunk about him and his wife’s sex life.  (Like one does).  The drunk was eager to inform us of his romantic encounters with his wife.  He even carried a Polaroid'instant' photo of “her indoors” topless. 
The photograph was duly passed around and everybody voiced their approval.  A few minutes later.  One of my friends asked the drunk  if he could see his wife’s photograph again?  
“Course you can lad?” 
How would one go about asking the wife if she would let you to take a photograph  of her topless?  So they could show it to the lads (complete strangers) on a bus on a Friday night?
You don’t get free entertainment when you’re travelling in your car.  Perhaps that is where the vaudeville artistes are plying their trades these days?  I am certain I once saw Shirley Bassey on a bus, on the Hebden Bridge to Haworth road.  Perhaps it wasn’t Shirley Bassey?  It might have been Shirley Williams?  I don’t remember I was probably drunk on a bus at the time!
We often lament the decline of the musical hall, Opportunity Knocks and New Faces.  But at least you can still get a good vaudeville concert on public transport!  “I mean that most sincerely folks!”

Monday 4 February 2019

A Butterfly Working In February.

Thanks for your comments and reading my last post.

I went over to my brothers house on Saturday,  I was busy planting up his new raised flower beds and plant pots.  We noticed this butterfly working hard.  Busily pollinating some heather flowers.  Anybody know what make/breed of butterfly it is?  I don't think its a Red Admiral.  Perhaps its a moth even?

Apparently butterflies don't have any real purpose except to pollinate and look beautiful and other creatures use their caterpillars for food.  Imagine being just a thing of beauty?

More bus stories tomorrow!  

Saturday 2 February 2019

Bus Stories!

One thing you won't see much in rural Ireland is a bus!  I like public transport when its not too packed like the Bristol to Dorchester train I went on last June.  It was good of Southwest trains to put on three carriages at rush hour!

I thought I would post some of my bus tales for you.  Hopefully you will join in and tell us some of your public transport tales too.

Here's the first one:

I once had a friend who went on a coach holiday on his own for a week.  He was sat opposite a fellow traveler.  So he decided to start a conversation or may be even friendship for a week?  So he said to the man:

"Hello.  Where are you from?"

The man across the aisle replied:

"What's it got to do with you?"

That was the one and only conversation they had ALL week!

Here's one of Birmingham's finest take on buses or some of the characters you meet.

"Eeeek!  As anyone seen my camel?"

Carboot Sale Plants Selling.

We drove over to nearby West Cork  town to a carboot sale on Sunday morning. The online info said we could set up from nine.  I am one of th...