Steamy Weather and naughty Turks

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Just got back from KL.  Pretty hot and humid there.  Oh and yes, a spot of rain as well!  And boy when it rains, does it rain!


Standing at Baku Caves

Having walked to the top of the steps in searing heat – hundreds of them as well, and avoided the rabid ( literary) monkeys, I was glad to get back to terre firma.  And boy, was it hot and this was only about 0930hrs….

Anyway back to the grey and murky Blighty.  Love it and just in time for Christmas.  Having a few days away from the Office is not really to be recommended.  I like to get away but I like to stay in control.  Oh Irma, where are you when I need you  ( as a point of fact she is currently in Manhattan.  Her ex husband works for the Trump Organisation.  How that will fare she doesn’t quite know, as her husband, like Irma is from Havana…)  But he has invited her there for Christmas and she is having a super time, staying just near the Lincoln Centre.  Of course its very cold there, but Irma, being Irma, can always create a bit of a diversion and currently is sporting something rather fetching in fur hats.

irma-hat         irmans                                                                                                                                                                She said she is enjoying her husband spoiling her again and maybe she will see where he lands when the Trump Organisation is in place.  She said Manhattan is in her blood…. so maybe she wont come back!!

I had previously fallen off the horse ( again) and needed a break which was why we went to KL.  I don’t know why these horses spook but I have fallen off more times lately than in my entire life.



I aim to be careful now but after a fall and being concussed and time in the Hospital, we decided that it was time to have some sunshine and meet our Malaysian Agents before the season kicks off.  I have to tell you 11 hours on an Air Malaysian flight is not the best experience, especially when they only had seats available in coach..  ( They don’t even have fresh milk for the tea, F F S)

Okay, back to work.   The first thing we ran into was an irate Mrs Wimble.  Now Mrs Wimble has been a host family of mine for about twenty years and does a fine line in leopardskin leggings.  She usually teams these with matching boots and, get this, her car seats match her bottom half.    You can see its an interesting impression, she gives, when  first meeting a student.    Please add to this that she is probably 4 stone overweight; has lost 3 of her front teeth and her hair is in the tightest of corkscrew perms.   But, we love her anyway.


Her car is also a talking point.  Its a Robin Reliant.  Do you remember those?  And yes, I am sure you wonder if they are still on the road.  Well, this one is ….. and its driven with great care and attention by Mr Wimble.  ( Mrs Wimble sits neatly in the front seat with her bag on her lap)  I think however she has a contrasting bag, usually fuscia pink, so that she doesn’t morph into the car seats which, as I said before, resemble her leggings. It would be a tragedy if she got lost between seat covers…  I do not jest……

However the cause of angst this morning was the fact that Mr Wimble had come out to the front of the house to take his first early morning Fag and saw something wrong with his beloved Robin Reliant.  In fact he stood there for a moment ( so he tells me ) neither inhaling or exhaling, merely sucking.  Somewhere in the night between locking up the car and coming out this morning, someone had dragged his Robin Reliant to the wall and upended it so that it rested, very gently against it.  One tremble; one puff of wind and I daresay the thing would topple over and what would the result be then?    Mr Wimble wasn’t sure what to do but one thing he was sure about, was who the perpetrators were !

Yes, last night he had got into a bit of a ruck with the two Turkish boys staying there.  He had told them they had to be in by 10pm and they wanted midnight.  Mrs Wimble entered the fray saying that she had treated them very well and given them tinned strawberries and evaporated milk that night for ” tea!” and so they should be thankful for that and respect the curfew.  They sulked off but did, so she tells me, appear just before 10pm

The Turkish boys however, not one to be blamed for any injustice whether perceived or not, flatly refused to admit it was them but said they would help right it.  Mr Wimble had tried earlier to lift it down without damage but was worried he wouldn’t be able to hold it and it would bounce down and the front snap off.  Well come on Guys, it is only fibreglass after all.  So the Turkish boys after their mandatory cigarettes, this time shared with Mr Wimble,  huddled around the Robin Reliant and hatched a mean plan with him.  They tried to manoeuvre it around and away from the wall but it would appear that the Robin had other ideas and once it had swivelled around they all lost control and it crashed down.

There was a moment silence, so Mrs W told me. No one moved.  No one spoke.  I don’t know if that was shock or a horror but when they all pulled themselves together, this was what was left…


The car had crashed down on its side and the wheel had been driven in, by sheer force, into the engine.  Apparently that was the time to light more cigarettes.  Mr Wimble was silent.  Mrs Wimble, however, was not pleased and made it her sole mission that morning to let me know.  What to do?  Oh, what to do?

Meanwhile, Irma is sending me more pictures of her Manhattan skyline.  Folks, I fear, we will soon be ” one man down!”  


 EDIT and UPDATERegarding a couple of comments below, please can I clarify that ” a fag” is a term used to refer to a cigarette…. and although can also be used in a Boys Public School it is not relevant to this Blog.  Additionally, Robin is ” not a Fag from a British Public School ” but a type of 3 wheeler car, which surprisingly is not in production now…..Many thanks to Mick and Hariod for pointing out my social faux pas! 



Under the influence

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Have you noticed that when the SH1T hits the fan, people run.  I haven’t seen hide nor hair of Beryl since she got Pete the Llama drunk on the Boardwalk and left him half comatose and unable to make his way home.  I guess she is feeling pretty sheepish about the whole deal( sorry about the animal pun) .  Additionally she has got a puncture on her front offside tyre ( Americans, please notice the correct spelling of you are not weary so it isn’t tire!) and continues to drive it.  When LM went over to tell her, she tossed her hair and said ” she knew” but as she was only using it on an very occasional basis and then only to go down to the Lurvies at the end of the road, she couldn’t see what difference it made.  So LM rescinded his offer of changing her tyre and left.  Beryl, being Beryl, ignored the warning and careered off up the road towards The Lurvies, convinced that if she only travelled .05 of a mile, she would be fine and would never need to change her tyre again.

I have also spent a lot of today down the A & E.  Having got rather good at riding the Pony, I started to do some tricks ( sadly not that kind and not for money) and enjoyed showing off in the School.  As the applause came for this old Tusher riding without stirrups and getting the horse to do a circle by only leaning the way I wanted him to go rather than with the reins, I got more and more flushed with success and the circle indeed got tighter and tighter. As we spiralled out of control, both pony and rider, I had felt myself start to slip off the saddle. I know it was going to be too late to do anything that could save my pride.  I don’t know why I didn’t grab the reins but I did grab the horses neck.  The situation only became worse…. because as I slid down his neck in the wasted hope of clinging on, he turned to face me.  His eyes locked with mine.  Whatever he was thinking was conveyed into ” Opps, are you slipping off after behaving like an absolute idiot. Well I am surprised!  Shall I stop?”  and as I slipped nearer the ground he gave a little shake to complete my downfall and off I went and hit the ground with quite a thump.

” She’s ok… she’s just banged her head” but the bang was quite hard and along with that knock was the knock to my pride. Additionally I have torn my rather splendid Napoleonic blue jodphurs… so they will need a stich or four! 

Who was it who said ” vanity be thy downfall…” and as I negotiate very gingerly my way home, I vow to take more care of my tender age and not show off in public again.

More Gin anyone? 


Bat Shit Crazy


Having returned to the saddle after an absence of, let me see, about forty years, you can imagine that I would want to herald said return with only a small amount of fanfare.  I hadn’t wanted to look like a Happy Hacker but more one of the Labrador and Volvo Set and throw my leg over a very trust steed without much ado.  A certain coolness and confidence needed to be maintained.    It would appear I had now lost the slightly sniffy look of the Bloomsbury Set and become, once again, a member of the Bunty Club….  and whilst I don’t have a musket or fancy hat, I do seem to have adopted a sort of military swagger when I wear my jodhpurs very similar to those of a republican guard in Napoleons time.  Oh, if only!

The riding, however, especially without stirrups, is doing wonders for my core muscles, or so my riding buddy tells me.  She has had a bad back and several knee operations and swears by the jolting up and down in the saddle without stirrups.  She even rode close to me conspiratorially this afternoon and mentioned that it was also superb for pelvic floor muscles, should I have any problems ” down below”….and she coughed knowingly.   I didn’t know if the cough was to show she could still do that without wetting the saddle or because she now deemed me part of the Inner Circle.  I daresay, I shall have to wait and see.  However when I asked her how long she had been riding for, she told me, with a certain air of defiance that it was about three years and she was hoping to be able to gallop soon.  Yes, as I said, a load of Happy Hackers….

It has been fun and I certainly do seem to have more toned muscles and if nothing else, what could be more invigorating than a hack across the Downs with a Force 9 blowing right at you from the Channel, or, if I am wearing my Napoleonic riding gear, blowing up from La Manche!!

Stumbling swiftly off the saddle and re booking for next week…. yes it is a hobby I intend to pursue, I rush off for a late lunch with Mary.  Now Mary needs careful handling for lots of reasons.  One is that she is currently, not only between husbands but between lovers which means that she is slightly short of attention. This in turn makes her demanding and petulant, so I didn’t want to be too late otherwise I fear she would have thrown down her napkin, rather like a gauntlet and stalked off back to her home without further ado.   Ado seems to be a lot of what Mary’s life is about.  Not having had children either, makes her, in my opinion, Bat Shit Crazy.  In fact when I met her originally at the Supper Club, she immediately starting hitting on lovely Clive, my dinner partner.  No social etiquette there, I thought!  Clive, however sat beside me with a very amused grin across his face and before we had even got through the beetroot cous cous, she had turned to him and asked if I was his wife.  Both Clive and I found this funny, not simply because she was looking for a single man at a Book Supper which was 85% female but because she hadnt clocked that Clive was gay and had not the slightest interest in her .  She wouldnt have it though and once they had formed a bond and squabbled over who would have the last chocolate praline ( naturally, she took it!) as well as established that they had both danced ( naked ??) in “HAIR” all those years ago on a London Stage, a friendship seemed to have been forged and he took pity on her status.  Clive however confirms that she is really only slightly bonkers and that was. He debated her virtues on the way home ( luckily, he doesn’t live far away so I didn’t need to listen to the monologue for long) and  felt her behaviour was due to her getting her own way far too often with previous loves and husbands, regardless of whether she has given birth or not.   Mary advocates everyone rising at 7am and running a bath of aromatherapy oils and then doing twenty minutes of “Mindfulness”.  When my  other slightly batty friend but ever so lovely and with children announced that she couldn’t do that in the mornings to calm her mind, Mary gave her a scornful glance and told her that was what she had a husband for and she only needed to ask him to look after the children; make the packed lunch and let the dog out before he pooped in the garden and so, ” what was the problem?”

All of this was when we were on a sojourn to Charleston  Farmhouse           with a couple of other girlies and I didn’t want it to get into a battle.  Mary is very opinionated and does rather squash opinions and views of others.  In fact I am wondering about the benefits of any friendship with her, because as well as the careful managing by Clive and I, she declares that she wont go anywhere now with us if The Peeps accompanying are boring or suburban.  Its rather difficult to define what she means exactly by ” boring” because obviously she is basing upon what she deems boring or exciting but if you are a person ( like Mary) who buys a proportion of her wardrobe from Phrase8, then I guess her idea of excitement would be an upgrade to LKBennett shift dress and matching coat.

Meanwhile just as I was getting involved in a rather good book, an email pinged in from The Pilot.  Said “undesirable” having removed himself from UK and building a life in darkest Africa wrote to say that he had met ” Annie” and having shared a bottle of water in the Airport Terminal at Malawi with her and agreed on what a wonderful job she was doing “feeding the world” decided to elope together.  Okay, its not really an elopement but he told me the wedding was on and if I could get a flight to Abracadabra ( Addis Ababa) I would be welcome in the rather select Wedding Party.  As The Pilot has always been rather oblique in his written references, I immediately knew that he would want me to believe Annie was one step short of being Mother Teresa when he said she ” fed the world” but if I really thought about it, it was probably a reference to her being a Hostie and pushing her beverage trolley up and down the gangway.  Yes ” feed the world” can mean such a variety of things……   He also would rather like the idea of being an Ex Pat somewhere hot and sticky and with a few dozen “staff” paying homage.  Indeed living anywhere north of the equator simply wouldn’t suit his personality, one little bit and if he could recreate anything like “Happy Valley”, somewhere in the world, I do believe he would!   As they say… “there must be something in the (purified) water.    I pressed the delete button on the email and went on with my day!   Tally Ho….