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The Jam Sheet

1st December, 2017. 9:35 pm. Every Christmas is Last Christmas


For the first time in nearly 20 years, last years Christmas was one I spent not at work. Not that I object to working Christmas Day, I actually have found it beneficial to celebration at home if honest as it breaks the day up.

So having Christmas Day off meant that for the first time I went out for Christmas Dinner with what is left of my immediate family here in Blighty, namely Dad, Mum and Nan. Due to last minute problems the only place we got for was at my former place of employment: the Kynnersley Arms in Leighton. It was £50 pounds per head which is a reasonable rate for Christmas Day, my meal consisted of Scallops, a traditional Turkey dinner and a dessert called a Chocolate Bomb which was supposed to be a Semifreddo but hadn’t had enough time to defrost. Oh well… I also discovered I have an allergy to Scallops, nothing overly dramatic just a bit of a dodgy stomach.

Because of the late nature of the booking we had dinner spot on midday, so the rest of the day kind of fizzled out. We exchanged gifts  around 3pm and I walked the dogs, then we all crashed in front of the television watching The Wizard of Oz and Singing in the Rain. About 5:15 I noticed the time and watched the Doctor Who Christmas Special which was a homage to the Christopher Reeve Superman movies, it was fun but overly Christmassy.

In the evening I wrote my weekly blog update and listened to the Joe Pass album Virtuoso which is a solo guitar album of Jazz Standards.

Christmas Prompt 1

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29th November, 2017. 2:45 pm. Share Your World 27th November 2017

Would you prefer a reading nook or an art, craft, photography studio?

Well since I have a nice chair and comfy bed to read in I don’t require a Nook. Not really an arts and crafts man, but a writing study cum music room would be welcome where I could get lost in my thoughts.


Tell how you are feeling today in the form of a weather report. (For example, partly cloudy, sunny with a chance for showers, etc.)

Sunny with a chance of rain

If you could witness or physically attend any event past, present or future, what would it be?

Good question. My first thought would be to go to Dallas in November 1963, stand on the grassy Knoll and shout “duck!”

tikka to ride 1.png

Perhaps the Gettysburg address….

The execution of Charles I, just to witness the reaction .

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?

Early days so I shan’t jinx it

Share your World


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29th November, 2017. 2:40 pm. The Summer Wino Tour Part One

Sunday the 12th of November marked the getaway part of my ten day break from work and my destination was the small Yorkshire town of Holmfirth, which is just on the outskirts of the Yorkshire Pennines and it an interesting mix of old brickwork buildings and more modern redevelopments.

Knowing that I was going to be walking about and a bit and that it was November, I of course dug out my waterproof jackets and trousers, plus a fleece, a Dalek scarf and my awesome Hataclava for the walking, and off course a good sturdy pair of walking boots. I set off about half past four after a few false starts and ended up stuck in traffic on the M54 for 30 minutes... because as is the usual practice no traffic information is given until you've passed the last detour point. However once past the jam it was relatively plain sailing all the way up to Yorkshire and the Sat-Nav then gave me some interesting directions to where I was heading, lots of country lanes which no doubt would look impressive in daylight, but not some much at night. I was staying in a small pub called The White Horse Inn in the small village of Jackson Bridge and is a lovely little pub and was used as a location in a certain long running sitcom.

   I was checked in by a delightful blonde young lady and I quickly dropped my stuff off in my room and I made my way to the bar, of course, there was a selection of four real ales: Leeds Pale Ale, Tetley's, Black Sheep Best Bitter and Farmer's Blonde. I started off with a pint of the Farmer's Blonde which was about 4% abv and was a very nice ale and would become a semi-staple of my stay. I a quick chat with the few locals who were out for Sunday night drinks before trying both the Leeds Pale ale, followed by the Tetley's. Black Sheep Best is a beer I am very familiar with as it was the resident ale at the Horseshoe's at Uckington when Daron and Dawn took it over way back in 2007, so I did not indulge in that one but I did have a Tetley's as I haven't had the cask variation for years, most places who do it Shropshire do the 'orrible smoothflow variation (seriously, what idiot gets a nice bitter and thinks "What this needs is some Nitrogen in it"????). I decided to retire around 9 o'clock and was vary surprised to discover that unlike in Telford, there are Public Buses in the evening on a Sunday in the area.

My room was pretty nice, it was a twin room with a nice chest of drawers and a good bedside table to put my book on. In a rather unusual touch my room had two sets of golf clubs propped up against the window, I'm not sure if they were fully functional or not, but I suspect it was a nod to The Kink in Foggy's Niblick as adorned on the bedroom wall were a number of photos of Cleggy, Foggy and Compo and one of Wally Batty and Sid.


This tied in with the décor of the rest of the Pub, which was adorned with props and photos evenly spread around the bar area which included Cleggy's Clock, Marina's Jewellery and Nora's Clock.

Breakfast was between 8:30 and 9 and I indulged in a full English breakfast complete with Black Pudding and Fried Egg and a nice pot of tea. Breakfast was served by a delightful dark haired young lady who somehow managed to be chipper that time in the morning. I don't knock how these people do it, I'm not even vaguely human until around 10am and a third cup of tea and even then I would wager that some people would say the Jury is out on that one. After breakfast I set up my plans for the day which was to have a wonder around Holmfirth itself. I did toy with walking up to Holmfirth which was would be a 50 odd minute walk which while not a problem in itself did limit my scope for the rest of the day so I drove up to town.

The Town is a nice little place and is full of lots of nooks and crannies to gander in and a huge amount of cafes and bars. I made a brief visit to the Maythorne Cross which was just next to the carpark by the Co-Op. The Cross itself dates back to the 15th century and it seems it has a bit of a history of being moved about a bit and is believed to have been a directional marker on an old salt route, the majority of the cross is a replica as only the base remains of the original.

I had a quick walk around and called in on a small bookshop a little off the main road and not too far from Sid's Café. It was a nice little second had store with most of the books in very good condition and I purchased a Miss Marple collection for the sum of £1.50. I then went and located Nora Batty's apartment and Compo's apartment which are a part of the a Summer Wine museum which, as of often is the case this time of year, is only open at weekends. Oh well, part of the location is also the Wrinkled Stockings café but I went with my gut and retreated up town for a coffee in Sid's Café.

Sid's Café is again a famous location used in the sitcom and the interior is a fairly faithful recreation though the kitchen part is in a different location to the original (which was original shot in a studio). Various bits of memorabilia are available for purchase though I did not indulge, I settled for a nice Latte and made plans for the afternoon.

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25th November, 2017. 12:22 am. Christmas Thoughts

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22nd November, 2017. 9:54 am. Soundscape

Daily Prompt: Atmospheric

One of the most successful elements of classic Doctor Who was the atmospheric sound effects which were provided by the BBC’s Radiophonic Workshop, which was a very experimental unit for electronic music and special sounds. Mostly the sound effects on the show were done by Brian Hodgeson during the sixties and early seventies, later they were done by Dick Mills.

One of the classic and most alien scores was the one composed for the first Dalek story, which while it might not be accurate, I will call The Daleks. It was composed by Tristan Cary and has a real unearthly sound to it and gives a real sense of alien to the scortched planet of   Skaro.

However I think it goes without saying, that the hero of the Radiophonic Workshop, or rather heroine, was Delia Derbyshire. It was her who created the distinctive sound of the original Doctor Who theme. Ron Grainer may have composed the tune, but it was Delia who created the theme.

Delia’s pioneering work has finally been recognised as she was recently awarded a posthumous PhD.


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12th November, 2017. 7:48 pm. Letting the Summer Wine Breathe

Well I am not too sure how much I will- if at all- be posting this week as I have booked myself a short break in god’s own country, otherwise known as Yorkshire, to do some walking and other odds and sods. A change of plan has meant I arrived later then I expected so am just relaxing in the bar of the pub I am staying at. The room is very good, nice and spacious. Bathroom is a bit tight but I am used to that. What I am not used to is arriving in a room with two, yes two, sets of golf clubs in it! I have a feeling this may be a nod to “the Kink in Foggy’s Niblick” but I am not 100% sure. The wall is adorned by a photo of Wally Batty and Sid alongside a trio shot of Clegg, Foggy and Compo. Anyways, the Summer Wino tour will be documented.

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11th November, 2017. 11:28 am. It's Armistice Day

....so naturally. Comedy

Blackadder Goes Fourth

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9th November, 2017. 4:26 pm. The Dancing Men (fiction)

The sun beat down on village green where a group of children from the Village School were dancing around the Maypole. Families were dotted around the area enjoying picnics while others were in the pub beer garden enjoying the bank holiday. If the scene didn't look like a picture postcard at the moment, it was to very shortly as a Burgundy vintage car rolled up to the pub car park and an immaculately dressed middle aged man got out the driver's side, walked round to the passenger door and assisted a dark hair young lady out the car. She smiled her gratitude and the two them disappeared into the pub.
"Any idea who they are?" Bill asked his drinking partner James.
"No idea," he answered. "Probably the local gentry taking his daughter out to see how the other half live."
Bill collected the empty tankards from the bench, "same again?" He queried. James nodded and went to have a nose at the new arrivals motor.

"What will it be?" Asked the Landlord with a polite smile. He wasn't use to having such a dapper gentleman in his pub.
"Oh what would you recommend?" Asked the gent.
"Well I would recommend the Inheritance Mild. it is a rare example of a Pennine Light Mild. Brewed by the good people at the Last Drop Brewery."
"Sounds perfect," said the man. "Oh and Zinfandel spritzer with soda.'
"Can I see some ID for the lady?"asked the Landlord.
"Certainly," replied the girl and showed him her driving license. The landlord studied it. MISS JULIA SEVENPENNY, the birth date checked out, twenty at the end of the month and he served the pair their drinks.
"Cheers," she smiled and picked up the pint of Mild, much to the landlord's amusement. The gent escorted her to a table in the corner and they sat down and went into conversation.
Bill approached the bar, "two more Bests please." He said, quickly checking the new arrivals. "Hey Pete, any idea on his lordship over there?"
"No idea, the girl's called Sevenpenny though." Answered the landlord as pulled the two pints.
"Odd name," said Bill.
"Says a man who named his son Reynolds."
"Fair point," conceded Bill. He collected his beers and popped across to the arrivals.
"Hey there," he said. "That's a very impressive motor you have."
"Thank you," replied the man. "It's a very charming village you have here." He reached out his hand. *Arthur Fransure and this is my ward, Julia."
"Bill Evans, local handyman."
"Bill Evans?" Said Arthur, "You'll be popular with Julia, her favourite musician is called Bill Evans."
"Was-" corrected Miss Sevenpenny, "he died long before I was born."
"Never heard of him I'm afraid," said Bill.
"That's ok," smiled the girl with a smile that made her eyes light up. "We can't all be music dorks."
"Would you like to see the car?" Asked Arthur.
"Yes please." Replied Bill.

James was studying the car with great interest when Arthur and Bill emerged from the Pub. Bill made the introductions and James promptly went into a series of classic car related questions.
"I am afraid I can't give you the answers," said Arthur. "The car and restoration were indulges if Miss Sevenpenny."
"Miss Sevenpenny?" Queried James before catching up with himself. "Oh the young lady, your daughter."
Arthur smiled, "not quite. She's my ward."
"I see..." Replied James a little unsure.
"Why don't I take you both for a quick spin?" Suggested Arthur.
Miss Sevenpenny watched from the pub window, Arthur was certainly in his element there. When she was assigned they said he tended to be very dour with people... But she had seldom seen that side of him. She strolled across to the bar and started to chat to the landlord.
"Why is the pub called the Dancing Men?" She queried.
"Ah," chuckled the Landlord. "Apparently in the 17th century, the owner of the tavern fell out with the lord of the manor who was a nasty piece of work and upon learning that he had been barred from the Tavern, raised it to the ground. As an act of revenge, the owner kidnapped the lord's sons put them in iron boots and made them dance on red hot coals."
"Sounds as if he was an equally charming man," said Sevenpenny. She smiled and returned to her seat. Ok Arthur, why are we in a little village on May Day? Why are you befriending the first guy who has spoken to you? She saw the car pull up again.... And more importantly why was he letting a total stranger driver her car? She got out of her chair and marched out the pub.
In response to the Daily Prompt: Dancing

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7th November, 2017. 4:24 pm. Sandman's Q and A

What is your favourite thing about November?
Open Fires or Log Burners?
What is your favourite Winter Warmer?
4. What is your favourite Black and White movie?

For me it is the downtime you get before the business that is the festive season, I always book time off this time of year.
While there is something magical about an open fire at first, the reality soon kicks in as eventually you end up with the smell of lingering smoke of your clothes and the constant need to poke the fire. Log Burners pack out more heat for longer once going, plus you can moderate and control the fire.
A nice Plum Porter.
Well I'll give you three and you can work out which is my favourite: Strangers on a Train, Citizen Kane, Carry on Constable

Over to you guys.

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7th November, 2017. 3:12 pm. The Glory That Was Rome (fiction)

“It is a very elaborate set up,” said Arthur taking in the set up.

“Well one of the instructions was to bring the area some of the grandeur that was Rome.” Answered Wilson. Arthur examined a vase on the stand and tapped it a pen and then looked at the mosiac on the wall.

“The attention to detail is next to none,” he smiled.

“It may be Shrewsbury but Caeser wouldn’t let that change his Imperial Roman outlook.” Wilson indicated a seat, “we even have installed true Roman eating set ups.”

“Would Caesar take wine here?” Asked Arthur.

“No I think he would have half a Mild and a bag of crisps.”

Arthur laughed and tried the seat out. “I don’t think I could take to the eating style.”

“I imagine you would get use to it,” said a soft female voice from behind him. Arthur turned and saw a short, slightly chubby woman dressed in a Toga standing in the door to what looked like a bedroom.

“Lady Caesar herself,” muttered Arthur under his breath. He smiled and extended a hand out in greeting. “Pleased to meet you, my name is Arthur Fransure and I am a representative of Historical Breaks Incorporated.”

The woman remain silent and rolled her eyes to Wilson.

“Hail Caesar,” he began. “A messenger requests an audience.”

“I permit his request,” the woman said. “Please be seated.”

So she’s going to be in character, he told himself, oh well- they a madman must be humoured. “Caesar, I bare a proposal from senate of the people of Britannia. I have people who in exchange for coin would like temporary visitation upon your palace.”

The lady looked up, “You wish to trade coin for residence.” She clicked her fingers and a young girl in a serving girl’s outfit emerged from behind a curtain carrying a tray with two goblets on it. “You will take wine?”

“I think so,” answered Arthur taking a goblet and watched the girl retreat into the curtain.

“This is private council,” Caesar announced. Wilson nodded and left the room.

“Ok Mr Fransure, you are talking business. What are your proposals.”


“Call me Hannah.’
“-Hannah. You might have noticed an increase in popularity of living in past weekends over the past few years. Mostly Victorian or Tudor style, so I put it to you to host Roman weekends.”

“That certainly sounds interesting Mr Fransure.. perhaps you could divulge more…”

Arthur got into his car and smiled. Was she just eccentric or was she a total barnpot? ‘His nibs’ must have a reason for sending him but what? He started the car and drove off, unaware that Hannah was watching from the doorway.

“Funny how Mr Fransure should turn up right now,” she said out loud to nobody in particular. Perhaps she should send a messenger to follow him.

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