Port De Soller Mallorca

Port De Soller Mallorca

Saturday, 19 April 2014

I had to share - A Dream

"I just woke up from a nap about being lost in South Ockendon. You lived at a house at the top of an enormous hill which required traipsing up a bajillion steps to reach you. After being lost for hours, I'd finally reached these steps and knew I was close. I then had to battle an intricate arrangement by one of your psychotic neighbours:
In order to pass their house, you had to squeeze between a wall and a cemented-down wire fence, behind which their 2 enormous rabid hounds prowled. To make your way through the dogs you had to delicately reach (without losing your arm to aforementioned mutts) and trip a system which automatically shot hedgehog prickles at them, dropping them instantly like elephant tranquillisers. I was in the middle of manoeuvring this last task when I woke up"

One of our beautiful gorgeous nieces had this dream,  Iv'e no idea why she was finding it so hard to get to our house for gods sake ever since my impending death was announced EVERY BLOODY PERSON ON THE PLANET WE KNOW HAS BEEN VISITING AND I'M NOT BEING ALLOWED TO DIE IN GOD-DAMN PEACE ......... ;))))

And doesn't she have a fine turn of prose? In fact this was her latest Face book entry and all I will say is, if you are tempted to comment on this post, beware of the warning .....

Please. Everyone. Just...learn to fucking spell.

Friday, 18 April 2014

TGI Fridays - it was pretty average

Having already had our 'main' anniversary present to ourselves, dinner and the ballet we decided to just pop into TGI Fridays for a meal on our 'special day' but only because we couldn't get across the Dartford Bridge as we were heading to a French restaurant at Blue Water, best laid plans and all that...

It's been a while since we were in this restaurant, 11 years, as our eldest grandchild Mollie, hadn't arrived, so we thought not getting where we wanted to go, it was time to re-visit.

As it was just pre evening getting a table was easy enough and we had a very attentive waitress, apologies as her name has slipped my mind! After 11 years I had forgotten just how loud the music is in a TGI's!  I do like my music and I do like it loud, but really in a bar/ restaurant it really does need to be turned down a tad.  Again, after 11 years it looks as if the restaurant hasn't seen a deep clean or a paintbrush since our last visit, possibly since it was built, very tired and shabby looking as were the gent's toilets with the walls full of holes where the hand drier had been moved around on what looked like at least 4 or 5 occasions!

The food:  We had mozzarella sticks with a chilli dip and strips of chicken with a sour cream dip, both delicious although Ishbel wasn't to keen on the sour cream dip.

For mains: Ishbel had salmon fillet, couscous and vegetables and was impressed, the salmon looked a bit dry to me.

I had the 7 oz fillet steak, medium rare with Jack Daniels glaze, crispy fries and an apple coleslaw.

The steak was cooked to perfection tasted delicious and it melted in the mouth.  The fries were limp and the apple coleslaw was absolutely rank and should not even be fed to the the inhabitants of the local piggery, it really was the quality of the steak that saved it for me.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

It's only been 38 years .......

38 years ago today, it was a Saturday and it was a sunny warm day in Aldershot and I was sitting somewhere, but for the life of me I cant think where, contemplating the next few hours and what they would mean to me.

It was Christmas two years earlier in Berlin. I was having xmas dinner with a wee bird called Ishbel Scott, her parents Alex and Margaret, her brother David and Robert Mcallister the family's best friend. They lived in a top flat, top flat Ishbel, not ground, not middle, TOP, on Schmidt Knoblesdorf Strasse a two minute walk from the barracks.

We were in West Berlin, Ishbel's dad Alex, Robert and I all served in the same regiment of the British Army posted to Berlin.  I got to know the family as Ishbel's Mum Margaret worked in the NAAFI (PX) shop in barracks and me being the cheeky (read gobby) little git that I was, used to attend regularly to get me fags, cans of tango and chocolate digestive biscuits.  Anyways, one day while I was in there I happened to notice a photo pinned to the wall behind the till register of two kids, a lovely wee bird and a plooky wee guy, only kidding David, you didn't have plooks in the photo, they came later - and being the aforementioned gobby git I said to the wuman ahin the coonter, "Who's the bird in the photo?" "That's no bird" says she, "That's my daughter".

"Fine" says I, "If she's free on Friday, she can take me out!"

Well that's how it started, me an ma big gob!

Of course Ishbel was still a wee schoolgirl at the time so you can imagine the response my attention elicited from her mother and I didn't even know her father, remember a Regiment has about four companies of men and can number up to 500 hundred souls, so you tended to know everyone in the company you served in and at most were on nodding terms with the rest until you had been in for a few years and moved around a bit......

Lord it was hard work, but eventually they relented. But, instead of letting me take Ishbel out and of course Ishbel's mother also knew from my buying habits (other than the tango and biscuits) that I was a bit of a drinker back then and of course a smoker, so eventually I was allowed to visit at home for meals and whatnot.

I don't think that Ishbel was too impressed to begin with but I soon discovered the way to win her affections was to buy her every Osmond Album , see this post (particularly the last four paragraphs), and knock me down with a feather, it worked, and she is still so easily bought ;)

And then of course there was that fateful xmas dinner, 1973 if memory serves, and we pulled a cracker and a little glass ring fell out, I got down on one knee and proposed I WAS DRUNK  what can I say .........

I don't recall too much more of that day and I don't think we set a date but eventually one was set for 1976.  In between Ishbel returned to stay with her Gran in Edinburgh to attend school (but I think it was her parents trying to put some distance between us.... ) and I got on with being a drunk and volunteering for all sorts of things, canoeing down the length of the not so blue Danube , that is one BIG river and having my canoe sink on me, crashing an Army 3 tonne lorry into a tree , oh! and making a drunken phone call to Ishbel in Edinburgh, from a call box in the middle of a bridge when in the middle of the call I fell backwards and disappeared into the river , true story Ishbel will confirm, but as usual I survived and then of course there was the wee parachuting incident in the middle of 74 when it was thought I may not walk again, but hey, I survived that too....

This is a photo of the Waldhaus restaurant on the Heerstrasse.  It was the first restaurant I took Ishbel to for a meal and we revisited it and had another celebratory meal in 2004, 30 years after our first visit.  Ishbel was still under age and so I blame myself for her addiction to red wine as I ordered a bottle of Spanish Torres Red, the bottles came with a little black plastic bull hanging from the bottle, I wonder if she still has it somewhere........

And then in 75 Ishbel's parents had organised an engagement party in Berlin.  Only problem was I was on posting away from the regiment and true to form spent most of my time in a drunken stupor as a fully paid up member of the Boozy Army on The Rhine.  The party was scheduled for the Friday night and I turned into work on the Friday morning when I should have been heading North to Berlin.  My bosses were more than a little bemused but fully understood my confusion as this was a normal state of affairs for me back then.  As luck, for me maybe not for Ishbel there was a visiting detachment from Berlin scouting out the area I was working in ahead of a major planned exercise, and they agreed to take me with them. To cut a long story short, I travelled the 11 hours in the back of a soft top land rover in a snow storm and made the party, frozen and shivering, with a sorry looking bunch of flowers in hand.

Fast forward to 1976 and we eventually got married in the Garrison church at Aldershot, had three brilliant kids, I stopped drinking when Marie was born in 1978, and THAT WAS AFTER I WAS SHOT AND SURVIVED and then Brian came along in 1980 followed by Jennifer in 1984.

Fast forward to 2014 and we have now been together, 38 years married and every day ISHBEL DRIVES ME NUTS, there is a proper way to load the dishwasher you know, I don't need your jim jams in the ironing basket THEY DON'T NEED TO BE IRONED NOR DO YOUR JEANS, PLASTIC DOES NOT GO IN THE BLUE BIN EEEEEVVVVVVEEEEERRRRR..... and the list goes on, Socks, don't get me started on my socks me I never do anything that annoys, cos I'm perfect anyway (apart from continually and regularly locking us both out of the house ....)

And then of course, there was last year when the doctors gave me a year to live but out of spite and because of all HER annoying habits, I refuse to die and I am going to hang around for years getting my own back on her and  to make sure she starts to get things right, even if it kills me doing it.

Hey, Ishbel thanks for 40 years of friendship and love I know I can be a right pain in the **** at times but at least I'm still cuddly........


Oh and by the way HAPPY ANNIVERSARY ALSO to Jules and Oscar our Besties in California who also married on 17th April and have 2 gorgeous girls and a son just like us, Hope you two are having a great day too.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Guest Post: Sir Charlie Stinky Socks .... by Charlie Kennedy (aged 8 &2 days)

Sir Charlie stinky socks
And the really spooky    adventure

One cold day at the tall tall tower with a pointy roof sir Charlie decided to go on an adventure. He brought his sword, his trusty grey mare and his cat called bow. So he set of then Charlie stepped in some quick mud so he yelled to his grey mare “ quick grab that vine so I can get out” so his grey mare ran to the vine grabbed it and threw it at sir Charlie but it was not a vine it was a poisonous snake they were really in trouble Charlie tried to get out and grab his sword. Then Charlie was free and grabbed his sword and sliced it in half and they ran. But he could not go anywhere because there was a  deep lake. So he built a raft rowed it to the other side of the lake on the other side of the lake was home. So he went home and had a very very long sleep.

 the end