Saturday, 16 April 2011

Metal Mickey fights back...

WOW! Who would have thought that anyone would bother to read my inane scribblings...? And I've even got some followers, thank you all very,very much for that, I really do appreciate it. I'll try to keep my rants short and sweet in the future.
Today, my Victor Meldrew moment was in Tesco's car park. Did my shopping, no problem but when I got back to the car... some lovely considerate person had decided to park so close to me that I couldn't get into the drivers seat without going on a very fast diet! I know I need to lose a few pounds but this was ridiculous. I had to climb across the passenger seat in the end. I did check the top of the car to make sure that there wasn't a giant arrow pointing down at it with a big sign above saying 'this one.' There wasn't. I just don't believe it.
Have you ever woken up in the middle of a dream to find that you've not really been dreaming? It seems to give an odd feeling of deja-vu.
I recently had this experience when I was pulled from my slumbers by Lyn. I sub-consciously believed she was talking to a machine called 'Mickey'.
'C'mon Mickey', she shouted: 'Work properly'. In a sleep hazed state I stumbled into the kitchen to find her holding this conversation with the washing machine which had casually been named 'Metal Mickey'.
In our household this is not unusual (those of you who follow her blog will know what I mean! You can check it out here.) !
I suppose I should have realised there was something amiss when we started dating. The streaks of insanity were blossoming even at that early stage.
Lyn quickly named our first car, a Morris (jelly mould) Minor, Alfred. Ever since then our vehicles have received their very own personalised names.
Lyn's motorcycles were called fantastic names such as Benjamin (Benjy for short) - an aging Honda 50 and then Rory - a slightly faster Honda 175.
My bikes always seemed to receive rather more bland names like 'Bill' - not much inspiration there - and of course 'Ben'. An old Austin we once owned was promptly named 'Bertsie', when I asked the reason for this name she simply told me: 'Because it looks like a Bertsie'!
Lyn's particular brand of logic- what logic? - Has eluded me ever since....
From Lyn's point of view and after many years of naming vehicles it was a totally logical step to take - I am referring to her latest craze of naming domestic appliances.
There are probably many other people out there with a similar affliction. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be any cure so my advice is simple - humour them - if you dare?
'What's the matter with Mickey'? I enquired sleepily.
' The silly old thing won't spin', she replied. 'I think he's been talking to Tommy the tumble dryer'.
It transpired that Lyn believed Mickey was taking industrial action because of fears he may be made redundant. What we have here in laymans terms is a strike!
It was certainly true that we had contemplated putting Mickey 'out to grass' after many years of useful service and rust was starting to slow him down.
My beloved continued her grovelling conversation with Mickey. 'Don't you worry we'll find you a nice new home'.
I had already decided on Mickeys fate. It was the jealous streak in me that decided on a short trip down to the tip! There must be many machines who have found a happy home down there !
I was certainly not going to let this heap of tin and bolts drag my dearest away from me... especially at 2am in the morning!
It was at this point that Mickey attacked me without any provocation. He flung his door wide open which hit me hard in the shin and then spewed his remaining water all over my foot.
I retaliated immediately and kicked the door shut again. At this point Lyn took umbrage, 'If you two are going to fight then I'm going back to bed', and off she went.
As I dried my foot I felt a little peckish, I opened Freddie the fridge and attacked a small piece of cheese, I took a seat in front of Mickey and tried to out stare the one-eyed monster.
It felt like an hour or more before they built up enough courage for the assault. Tommy crept up slowly behind me and Mickey came head on.
Freddie rammed into my side whilst Tommy pushed me into Mickey's doorway..
I panicked and kicked to try and free my head from Mickey's mouth but I was stuck firm....
'Wake up.....John..... wake up'! Screamed Lyn.
'What? What's happening...?' I queried. Lyn just burst into a fit of laughter at my question.
'For goodness sake', I shouted: 'Get this bedside cabinet off my head - will you'?
'Hey, what was that under the bed that I put my foot in......?'

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

New Forest Grockle Hunting

Sorry I haven't posted for some time but I've been a little busy building Lyn's new craft room, check out her blog for details. That's left her old craft room free so I thought I'd use it as my little den, well somewhere to write really (I've been working off the coffee table). Just writing these blogs has re-ignited my passion, I scribbled many years ago for a local paper and the county mag of the time and I did a few pieces for the classic motorcycles magazine (yes, I was a long hairy biker at one stage!) and I just stopped, don't really know why but I do vividly remember writing about a character that I just couldn't get right and I became really involved with him, I guess I took the easy route and walked away but now with the passing of time I feel more confident about starting again (at the time of course, I also had a couple of lovely children demanding attention and they were always going to win), so I'm going to have another go before I really do turn into my Nemesis, Victor Meldrew....... Have a look at my den building efforts so far, I've made the desk and shelves from an old wardrobe that eldest daughter left behind ( waste not, want not in these hard economic times) and I'm quite happy with the result. The desk top is actually the two doors, shortened. The front is the back of the wardrobe turned round, the end support is one of the sides, the L shelf adjoining the desk top is the floor of the wardrobe and on the left wall (you may not see it all) are two wall shelves, the smaller one is the remains of the doors and the higher one is the whole of one side cut down to shelf size. Enough of my excuses, on with the business of the day.
With the Easter holidays looming on the horizon, it would seem to be an ideal opportunity to educate everyone on the ancient art of 'Grockling'. This ritual certainly dates back to the Victorian times or even earlier. An ancient song titled 'A Grockling we will go...', gives some indication about the duration of the annual migratory habit. Those who are unfamiliar with this ancient practice may need some guidance on 'Grockling'. Well look no further, here it is!
In the west country they are lovingly referred to as 'Emmets', an Emmet being the Cornish word for a large ant. They received this title because of their amazing technique for marching into holiday resorts in armies and completely infesting all of the local shops and streets. Further east, theses same creatures have a different name, here they are called 'Piles'. Why 'Piles'? Good question and from what I have gathered through a local yokel of the vicinity, a rough translation would be; 'because they come out in bunches and they're a pain in the ........nether regions!
Here in the New Forest and surrounding areas we call them 'Grockles', - or 'Grocks' for short. Nobody is quite sure how this term entered our local dialect although I have discovered that it first originated on the Isle of Wight. In recent years the term 'Grockle' has been understood, by a great many people, to refer to particular section or group of people. They are, of course, our much welcomed holiday maker or visitor and as Easter approaches I've already spotted a few (saw a tall lad with tats and no shirt on wandering in our mecca, Lyndhurst, about a week ago).
'Grockle' hunting can be quite a rewarding hobby. Some of their habits can be irritating but easily spotted. When in the Forest they like to drive at 20 - 25 mph (the New Forest pretty much has a max speed of 40mph everywhere these days, except in built up areas where it's usually 30mph) , each of the cars occupants likes to maintain a glassy stare out of the windows and the driver tends to swerve erratically to maintain his illusion of reality. When the first pony is spotted (the ponies wander all over the forest including the roads and always have right of way over vehicles) the driver will automatically hit the brakes, regardless of the traffic backed up behind him/her and all of the occupants will jump out of the car, cameras in hand, to worry the life out of the poor thing (parents seem to like their kids to touch and feed them which is against forest bylaws because it teaches the ponies that unknown people will feed them and when they don't get fed they will kick. Many visitors are injured each season by ponies)
Real 'Grockles', as opposed to weekenders, have many distinctive features which will help the initiate 'Grockler' to identify them. True 'Grocks' have their own uniform; flip-flops or sandals, shorts that they wouldn't dream of wearing if they were at home and a short sleeved shirt with some obnoxious comment emblazoned across it.To complete the uniform they like to wear sunglasses (even when it's raining) and a peculiar naff hat. The finishing touch is done with hands, they are happily occupied carrying either ice cream or fish and chips and frequently both!
The female attire is often more practical, perhaps new high heeled shoes (ideal for forest walks), new striped dress, new white cardigan and, of course, an enormous new handbag. The handbag is essential for carrying the 'Grockling' kit; sun tan lotion, after sun lotion and artificial sun tan lotion (in case the first two don't work)!
The like and dislikes of the 'Grockle' are worth pondering. They do seem to like queueing, it doesn't matter what for? It's the actual queueing that excites them most. As a word of warning, never stop and talk to a friend in the high street because you may find 'Grocks' queueing behind you! They also like to talk aloud, especially about their dislikes. They dislike our 'heavy air' (whatever that is?), they dislike our property prices but worst of all they dislike our ale. This is indeed sacriledge in my view!
On the other hand I have to admit that I do have a small amout of admiration for 'Grockling' . I believe that it is now a traditional British way of life. I, for one, am always pleased to meet 'grockles' because we have so much in common. What do we have in common? Well for two or three weeks of the year, I am also a 'Grockle, Emmet or Pile'! How about you ? Now........where are my Bermuda shorts and loud Hawaiian shirt?