July 31, 2003

Samson & Delilah

OK folks – I knew that I should not have written that last item. As soon as she saw it Laura said, “Go for it”. We arranged that I would go round to "Daughter Delilah" this afternoon and she would give me a No 2, not a No 1. She said it would be more befitting of a sophisticated gentleman of my mature years! Did she really mean “Old Bock” with mature ears? We thought it would be great to do it without Nina knowing so that I could surprise her when I got home. Would you believe it though, when I got to Laura’s house; there was Nina’s car outside. Laura always said she was psychic and could guess when some plan was afoot. Anyway – deed done, and here is the result.


Posted by jeff at 06:16 PM | Comments (2)

July 28, 2003


I have begun to think seriously about hair. Those of you who know me may think that I have woken up to the situation rather belatedly. Yes – I know that I already sport a wide centre parting, but certain events have occurred over the past weeks that have forced me into making a decision. It seems that I can no longer say, “Grass does not grow on a busy street”. My street, it would appear, is not that busy these days!

Nina and my daughter Laura have suggested that it is about time I considered having a “No 1”. This is, as I understand it, an almost shaved all over look. I am also reliably informed that it will bring me “up to date”. I am living in 2003; how much more up to date can I get?

Hair used to be the crowning glory for both men and women. I recall that all the girls I knew wanted a man who was tall dark and handsome. Tall and dark were obvious, and I suppose that dark referred to the fact that they would also have had a fine head of dark hair. By these standards I would have to describe myself as short bald and fat – not a pretty picture. How on earth did I manage to attract a beautiful woman like Nina? Today, however, it is possible to see both men and women sporting similar “No 1” styles and you begin to wonder where ‘crowning beauty’ has gone.

No man likes to admit that he is losing his hair, especially those where the loss begins on the crown of the head like a monk’s tonsure. They cannot see this in the mirror, so they refuse to admit that it exists, or that the hair doesn’t. Mine on the other hand is the type that recedes from the forehead making it difficult to know when to stop washing your face and start shampooing. I realise that this is also hereditary, as my father had this style in his wedding photographs that were taken three days before his 25th birthday. What chance did I stand? I do have to admit that over the last few years it has become more and more difficult to comb over the shiny bit and I will not allow my style to be referred to a “Bobbie Charlton Comb-Over”. I recall as a child I used to tell my father that his looked like tramlines across his head! I wonder how my granddaughters refer to mine?

So my friends, it would appear that I have no way to fight the situation. The next time you see me I could look like Steven Berkoff’s very much older and very much shorter brother. Yes – it would seem that I must move into the 21st century not just in fact, but also in fashion. What we men do to please our women!

Posted by jeff at 04:11 PM | Comments (1)

July 26, 2003


We have just returned from a four-day break in Suffolk, staying at our dear friend Molly’s house in Aldringham near Aldeburgh. How lucky can you get; going away after a week of continuous sunshine and it does not go away for the next five days?

They say that bad news travels fast, but it is even nicer when you are away and good news reaches you. We were in Aldeburgh and I was taking this photograph when Neil rang to say that he had got a new job.

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Moot House - Aldeburgh

Fantastic visits to Walberswick, which is on the opposite side of the river Blythe to Southwold where we went in June.

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Walberswick Church

Aldringham is near Thorpeness where you can see the ‘House in the Clouds’. This is a weird building, which hides what would otherwise be a very ugly water tower. It is now let as a holiday home. Don’t think we could cope with those stairs after living in a bungalow! It is opposite the working post-mill that pumps the water up into the tank which is at the lower level of the upper ‘house’.

'House in the Clouds' & The Post Mill

On a visit to the Snape Maltings we discovered this Barbara Hepworth sculpture. I cannot believe that something that is now obviously worth millions can just stand unprotected in the middle of a field.

Barbara Hepworth Group (Snape Concert Hall in background)

I still have some pictures in my camera but they will have to wait until I return from my visit to Dinard (France) next month.

Posted by jeff at 06:43 PM | Comments (0)

July 13, 2003

A Summer evening

We all look for something different to do on a summer evening and in doing so tend to want to go somewhere we have never been before. We really should stop and look right under our noses – because it is possible that we are missing golden opportunities much closer to home than we think.

Last night Nina, Gerry and I went to an open-air concert at Woodford County High School for Girls, the alma mater of Carly & Joëlle. Of course; it helped in that it was a warm summer’s day and the conditions were perfect. What a great setting the front lawn of the school is.

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View of the band from the lawn

Prior to the interval we were entertained by the New Redbridge Wind Orchestra, and the second half belonged to the Les Leader Jazz Band. A necessary perquisite of such an event is of course the picnic. Nina did us proud and the wine provided by Gerry was, of course, not to be sneezed at.

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Part of the audience

The music, ambience, wine and food all combined to make the evening literally go with a swing, and hopefully the school benefited by making a few pounds for their funds.

Posted by jeff at 01:26 PM | Comments (1)

July 01, 2003


I am a compulsive reader of the weekend glossy magazines circulated with newspapers, particularly the Saturday and Sunday Times. I am amazed and baffled by one particular aspect of the subject matter that appears in these articles. I consider myself to be a fairly observant person and am fully conscious of most that is going on around me, but why is my life so dull compared with those of the journalists who contribute to these magazines?

Every week they pen approximately 1000 words covering all that has transpired during the week. I find myself marvelling at the type of events that touch them but usually pass me by. I try walking around the corner into Queens Road, smiling at people and holding the door open at the supermarket to let old ladies in. Even that doesn’t really happen - the door is now automatic. I can’t even pretend that the age of chivalry is not dead!

However, occasionally things do happen to me, like receiving my present of the talking pedometer, or as I wrote last year about the swarm of bees that tried to occupy my garden. Sadly though these events do not happen with clockwork regularity. How do these bright young things stumble into situations that educate and entertain their readers?

Stupid me!!! I have just penned over 200 words before realising that there is a very simple explanation. THEY ARE PAID TO DO IT! Isn’t it amazing how much a financial carrot can elicit from the human brain? It goes to show just how far human beings will push themselves to make things happen and to convert events into word pictures.

I would, therefore, like to place myself on the open market and to advertise the fact that I will travel anywhere in the world, promising to tell the story of those travels in my own inimitable manner. All it will cost you will be the travelling expenses (fares, hotels, food etc) and a contribution on top to enable me to lubricate the wheels of knowledge that keep my brain active. Oh, and by the way, I would require payment for two people, as it is essential that Nina travel with me, for she is an excellent editor.

Please post any genuine offers on this page. I will be waiting with my suitcase packed and eager to go.

Posted by jeff at 11:40 PM | Comments (1)