April 29th, 2017

The young man was sixteen years old and owned a rather aged Royal Enfield Ensign motorcycle. It was 1963 and the bike, which had been manufactured ten or maybe fifteen years earlier, was a 150 cc two stroke.

One evening he was sitting on the rather unimpressive machine, outside a pub called the Elm Park Hotel. Three other young men started chatting and asking questions about his bike. He started the engine and generously allowed one of them to rev it. Sadly one of the other gentlemen placed his foot on the decompression valve and pressed it. The resulting noise, reminiscent of a machine gun, and the orange flames encouraged his to stop the engine.
After a few minutes of pointless conversation he decided to take his bike to the cafe across the road. He kick started the machine, engaged first gear and attempted to ride away. Unfortunately the three young men were holding tightly to the luggage rack. He stalled and gave up. The other three laughed and laughed.
They would probably laughed a lot more if another motorcycle had not roared into life. The trio stared at their next victim and rushed across the road to seize his luggage rack. The rider slowly peered over his shoulder at the three clowns. Then he revved his 500 cc B.S.A. and pulled away. As he accelerated first one and then two clowns let go before he was going too fast. The third and largest clown hung on. The half dozen bikers, who were watching, were all impressed by the shower of sparks issuing from his hobnail boots as he was dragged five or six metres. At fifteen or perhaps twenty mph he, at last, let go and broke into a speedy run which terminated when he tripped over the curb and rolled to a stop against a garden wall. The young man on the Ensign grinned and wondered why, said clowns, had been unable to tell the difference between a 150 and a 500 cc motorcycle.


April 22nd, 2017

The young woman was duo for an interview at U.C.L. so she asked her father if he would go with her, at least as far as the university gates. He agreed and, as it was during the school holidays, he decided to take her fourteen year old brother. The three intrepid travellers arrived at the aforementioned university and went their separate ways. The eighteen year old girl went into the impressive building and the other two wandered off to the museum.

Man and boy browsed their way around the exhibits paying a great deal of attention to all types of weaponry. However when they reached the Sutton Hoo exhibition the man began studying a replica sword. He would have continued to do so had he not heard the voice of a female security guard saying, “please don’t swing the cauldron.” He looked around to find the said cauldron swaying back and forth and his son looking very guilty. He apologised to the guard and ushered the boy away from those particular exhibits. They continued browsing and eventually reached the Elgin Marbles and entered the enclosed area. They were greeted by the splendour of the wonderful carvings. The man slowly moved along, he was studying the carvings. He was very impressed even though he was not yet halfway along the beautiful pieces.

This reverie was however interrupted by the strident clamour of an alarm. He spun around just in time to see two security men starting to lurch forward and his son withdrawing his hand from the forbidden zone in front of the marbles. He apologised to the guards an escorted the boy away from the priceless panels. Many years later he looked back on that event filled day and decided, “all’s well that ends well.” Sadly he recalled that at the time he had been a little miffed with his son.


April 15th, 2017

The young boy was on holiday with his parents. They were camping. A popular pastimes in the nineteen fifties. This year they were at Durdle Door, in an, apparently, endless field on top of the cliffs, just above the Door itself.

The weather was quite good, for a British summer, and the child was having a great time. He played on the beach, sometimes with other children, toured the shops with his parents, looked at places of interest and watched, with baited breath, the teenagers crawling along the narrow top of the Door.

Yes, as far as the boy was concerned, this was a really good holiday. That is it was good until the last day of their two week stay. The rain started falling early in the day and continued to fall all day and into the night. The wind began blowing a little before dusk and gained speed and ferocity as the sky darkened. The later it got the harder it blew.

The ex army tent shuddered and flapped with a noise like the crack of a whip. The child watched as his parents clung desperately to both wooden tent poles in an attempt to prevent breakage.

The boy tried to help, in these traumatic times, by pointing to a small leak in the roof and declaring, “there’s water coming in dad.” His father decided to check and abandoned his tent pole. As things turned out this proved to be a catastrophic error.

The wooden tent pole snapped like a gunshot and the tent collapse on all three of them. His father got them into the nineteen fifty Ford anglia then and went back for their bedding and whatever food he could find.

They settled into the car and barely ten minutes later two men with torches and large raincoats appeared and offered them hot cups of tea. When they had imbibed the most welcome beverage and devoured a biscuit or two, dad and the boy set off to return the cups. They walked through rows of devastated tents and wet people climbing into cars, vans and motorcycle sidecars not to mention those without vehicles hiding in their wrecked tents.

They found the large van with the men’s wives in the back with a small gas hob, a kettle and a huge teapot. The tired women were grateful for the return of the cups and waved goodbye to the man and boy when they returned to their car. As the three settled down, for what was left of the night, his father asked his mother if she was alright. She treated him to a hard stare and replied sharply, “yes I’m fine, but this is the last time I’m ever going camping.”

The Fossil

April 8th, 2017

The man, his wife, daughter and son were on holiday in Wales. That is South Wales, Merthyr Tydfil to be precise, they were visiting the mans cousin and discussing fossils.

“Fossils? The cousins husband asked, “there’s plenty of those near here.” The family exchanged looks of extreme interest and after a rather short and excited conversation they all decided to go fossil hunting. Immediately. It took barely five minutes to reach the farm gate, behind which lay a large number of interesting and freely available fossils. They were in the process of climbing over the aforementioned gate when to every ones surprise the landowner rode up on a horse. John, the cousins husband smiled and nodded at the man on horseback. “We’re just after a few of your fossils, if that’s alright,” he said in a friendly fashion.

The landowner smiled. “Of course, enjoy yourselves.” He waved his hand and rode on. The family finished climbing the gate and with a certain amount of relief began searching for fossils. It took ten or perhaps fifteen minutes of serious seekingĀ for the seven year old girl to find two pieces of stone with beautiful fossil leaves on them. Her three year old brother was not quite as successful, but he wasn’t really trying.
The mans daughter was very happy indeed and when she took them to school for show and tell she was ecstatic. At the end of the day all was good.
And so the story might have ended at that point, if, they had not returned two years later and dad had not made the mistake of saying, “yes you can have any fossil you want.” The girl wandered among the fossils for some time, searching diligently for something really interesting in the fossil department. At last the girl walked up to her father and announced, “dad. I’ve found the fossil I want.” He smiled and followed the nine year old to her prize.
The mans heart sank like a stone as he gazed at the fossil chosen by his daughter. After all, he thought, it wasn’t there two years ago. He stood in front of the rock and scratched his head. It was a metre high and almost as wide. He estimated it weighed a tonne or more.
It took him an awfully long time to explain to his daughter why this particular fossil would not fit in the boot of a mark tree cortina.


April 1st, 2017

The family had been chatting happily when it occurred to the young lady to ask a question vaguely related to the conversation. She looked at her father, smiled, in a very mischevious fashion. “Dad?” she asked, “have you ever been kissed by a man?” He raised his eyebrows and stared at the ceiling for a brief moment while he thought about the question. He turned to his daughter and, with a look of total innocence, replied. “As a matter of fact I have been kissed by four men.” the mans family treated him to a, collective, dubious gaze. He ignored them and continued his explanation with a rather blank expression. “First there was my father and secondly your brother,” he said, looking at his daughter. “Then of course there was your husband who kissed me on the forehead for a laugh.” At this point his expression changed to one of resignation. “And of course I was kissed on the cheek by a docker.” There was a short pause while everyone absorbed this snippet of information. They laughed and paused again waiting for him to continue his explanation. The man held his hands palms up and said, “I agreed to pay him for a job that both of us knew he hadn’t really done.” He smiled. “I believe it made him very happy.” The family laughed, the man grinned and his daughter patted him on his bald head.


March 17th, 2017

“I think we shall go to Sevenoaks today,” the dad said.The boy, whom this tale is about, grinned happily,for he knew he would walk in the forest and around the lake. If he could find a stick he would poke ferns and behead stinging nettles. Mum, dad and small boy packed drinks and sandwiches in a bag and climbed in to the car. After an uneventful journey they arrived at the forest. Dad parked in the car park, which was a patch of dirt with no bushes, grass or trees. The family wandered happily among the trees, gazed in awe at the gleaming surface of the lake, decapitated the odd stinging nettle and returned to their horseless carriage for sandwiches and tea. When he had finished his lunch the young boy looked about him and discovered a dead tree barely two metres, or in the parlance of the day a bit over six feet, distant. In it’s day the tree had grown a metre, that is a tad over three feet or yard, above the car park. This was at the edge of the forest and verily he desired to scale the dizzy heights of this example of fauna. He informed his parents of his intention and slipped off to find a path up to the tree of destiny. It took him only a minute to reach his goal. He gazed at the uppermost branches of the deceased tree. He was entranced and looked for footholds. He found some and immediately clambered up the trunk and onto a large branch. From the dizzying height of about a metre he looked at his parents, two metres below in the car park. As usual his father took a photograph and the boy rapidly became bored. He grinned at mum and dad and began bouncing up and down. Sadly, at this point, the fickle finger of fate struck and the ancient branch snapped dropping the boy two metres onto the gravelly car park. He cried his way to his mum with a grazed knee and a piece of forest rubbish which felt like a log stuck beneath his eyelid. However, with log removed, magic cream on his knee and a sweetie in his mouth he calmed down and they made their way home. Apparently the photograph still exists. Somewhere.


March 8th, 2017

The old man was invited to the launch of Terry Pratchett’s last book The Shepherd’s Crown. He, his daughter, granddaughter and his daughters friend were going to spend the night in a small hotel after they had been to the launch. So naturally they met at the hotel and changed into the clothes they would wear on this interesting evening. They left the hotel and headed for the tube. The daughter dressed as the elf queen, the granddaughter as a Feegle which are small fiery pixies, the friend as Angua the werewolf guard and the old man as a priest of Om, He had considered being a vampire but he found that when he put the teeth in he could no longer speak. He wondered if his daughter might have preferred it.
As they crossed the road, near a coffee house, a female American patron sitting at a table commented, in a loud voice which could be heard at the far end of the road. “What a strange child.”
The man was tempted to reply that at least the child had manners. He refrained because they were out to enjoy their selves and his granddaughter was, indeed, wearing blue face paint, a red wig and a kilt.
They traveled on the underground where they met a man who was also going to the launch When they left the station they found the Waterstones easily. This was because there was a queue of people dressed as characters from the discworld novels. They joined the queue.
While they waited to go in, the spectacle of a large number of people dressed as witches, wizards, Igors, guards and of course Death, attracted interested tourists who wanted to know what was happening. Sadly most of them asked the old man. This was probably because he was wearing a fancy black coat and a top hat. Angua was interviewed by a Polish Radio reporter. This may have been because she was a good looking woman, dressed in a miniskirt, had yellow contact lenses and some beautiful tattoos.
They finally entered the building, obtained drinks and mingled. They took photographs and talked to the other guests. There were snacks and some very interesting conversations. the man had his photograph taken with Rincewind and guardsman fifteen.
At one point his daughter was interviewed by a reporter from the Evening Standard and the three of them had their photographs taken in front of a large copy of The Shepherd’s Crown.
Imagine, if you will, the mans surprise when the picture appeared the next day in the Evening Standard. Sadly he was unable to obtain a copy.
Unfortunately it was very, very hot and he needed to sit down but there weren’t many chairs for the two hundred people. His daughter confronted a man and insisted he get a chair for her aged father. He protested, she glared and he got a chair. Shortly afterwards the helpful man climbed onto the stage and delivered his speech. Later, when the books had been purchased, the mans daughter was still too embarrassed to ask the chair supplying celeb to sign their books.

Yes, it seems, every cloud has a lightening bolt to finish you off.


March 1st, 2017

The man, his wife and daughter were on holiday and part of it was at Clacton. They They met a few more members of their family and set off for the beach.

His brother-in-law had, thoughtfully, brought an inflatable dinghy and a rather large outboard motor with him. They conveyed the water transport, lunch, wet suits, life jackets and people to the beach and put the boat together. This was necessary because the vessel was equipped with a wooden floor.

When the inflatable was fully assembled and seaworthy the brother-in-law took it for a test run, at a very impressive turn of speed. He was after all the only one who knew anything about boats. He returned just as rapidly and, generously, invited the man for a ride. The man clambered into the boat and his broth-in-law told him to “hang on,” he looked around and seized the only thing available. The available thing was a piece of rope, less than a metre in length, attached to the bow. In reality it was more like a very thick piece of string. The boat and crew roared away from the beach and into the waves. The first dozen or so weren’t too bad but as they accelerated they hit a rather larger one with somewhat interesting results.

The man who, while desperately clinging to the rope, had unfortunately neglected to brace himself in any fashion at all. So when they hit the wave the boat rose very rapidly and just as quickly dropped of the end of the wave. This left the man floating in the air on the end of a piece of string, reminiscent of a helium balloon.

Sadly, as he weighed a million times more than a balloon filled with helium gas, he descended. Rapidly. He connected with the wooden floor just as it commenced rising on the next wave. After the unpleasant thud his brother-in-law slowed down and returned him to the arms of his wife and daughter. That evening, as they stood around the barbecue drinking beer, his brother-in-law told him just how funny he had looked flying above the dinghy clinging to a bit of string. The man nodded, “I bet I did,” he said. “Mind you I didn’t laugh too much when I hit that deck.” He rubbed his back carefully, sipped his beer and said “at least I didn’t fall overboard.” They all laughed, even the man.


February 1st, 2017

I was watching breakfast television this morning when I heard a woman say that some children have more taste buds on their tongues than others. Apparently this causes some children to not like certain vegetables, they demonstrated this by feeding the victims kale. The pained expressions on their little faces said it all. Then the EVIL woman said, and I quote, “if your child doesn’t like certain vegetables, keep feeding it to them and they will get to like it.” Sounds like child abuse to me, I mean to say kale is bad enough but the sadist said we should feed them Brussels sprouts. MY GOD, SPROUTS, Who in the entire universe could be that CRUEL.


November 1st, 2016

The boy was about ten years old and he was looking forward to Guy Fawks night. In nineteen fifty seven Britain fireworks were only enjoyed once a year, along with a bonfire. Two weeks and a few odd days before fireworks night he accompanied his father to the tiny shop in Horchurch which normally sold toys but at this time of year it stocked an interesting selection of pyrotechnic supplies. They made their choice, which included some large rockets, roman candles, aeroplanes, jumping jacks, bangers and of course some pretty ones which sprayed coloured sparks into the air. The young chappies favourites were bangers, jumping jacks and aeroplanes. The aeroplanes had wings with opposite corners turned up and when lit went spinning into the air. However, before the fifth of November arrived he had dreamed up a fascinating idea for one of the large rockets. Some weeks earlier he had made a pair of wings from balsa wood and newspaper and he even persuaded his dad that attaching them to said rocket would prove interesting.
On the Saturday night nearest to the fifth the fire was lit beneath the Guy and when it was blazing brightly his father commenced lighting the fireworks.

Mum dad and urchin watched their display, and those of many neighbours, and then it was time to launch the “winged rocket.”

The boy slipped the rocket stick into the steel pipe embedded in the lawn. He looked at his father, who grinned, lit the blue touch paper and retired immediately. They both watched from a safe distance. The rocket fizzed and a jet of sparks rushed out, and continued to do so. They waited a short time and then the rocket slowly crept into the air. It rose to the height of three metres, tipped over, performed three, two metre diameter circles and exploded sending coloured sparks all over the garden.
The father looked at the boy and said, “I don’t think we’ll try that again,” and he grinned.