Monday, 11 December 2017

Hate Crime?

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I hear that 'Wolf Whistling' is possibly to become a 'hate crime'. I believe it already is in one northern UK town.

I should say here that I have NEVER whistled at a passing girl, nor would I ever do so.

Whistling at attractive girls has been a part of life since Adam first whistled at Eve. It is simply an outward appreciation of feminine beauty.

Young, and older, women spend hours (and a fortune) making themselves beautiful. They paint their faces lips and nails, choose their clothes very carefully, and spray themselves with expensive 'come hither' perfumes. They do their utmost to make themselves look and smell as attractive as possible.

If all that work is then appreciated by a couple of builders leaning over their scaffolding, can that really be seen as 'hatred'?

I have just been listening to a Radio 'phone-in' programme about the subject, and I was pleased to hear that most women were flattered by the attention they provoked, even if they did think it was a bit 'common'.

I fear that the man-hating radical feminist movement have been lobbying again. They really should relax.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Here today, gone tomorrow!


Some time ago I mentioned about rescuing some discarded Blackberry cuttings from a nearby garden. They were of a particularly good thornless variety; but, although they started off well, sadly none of them survived.

The garden from which they came was quite large. The man who worked it comes from a village 7 kms away, and had generously been offered free use of the strip of land by my lovely neighbour L.

He grew a vast amount of produce; far too much for just he and his wife, so I imagine he was selling it.

The garden has now been stripped bare; hardly a single plant remains. The unpleasant man in question was a big supporter of the proposed 'holiday village' (even though he doesn't live in our tiny hamlet), and was exceptionally rude to L (how crazy is that!), to Lady Magnon, and a few others who were against the plan. He has always been a loud-mouthed old fool for whom rudeness and oafishness was a way of life. As a result, he has now been deprived of his free patch of land, and all that it offered. He's now taken out all his winter vegs and perennials, and has departed with his tail between his legs.

His was the second case of such rudeness that we have experienced in the past couple of years, and both perpetrators have lived to regret their silly outbursts; proving, I suppose, that it always pays to be courteous and well behaved.

Some simply have no idea how to behave, others do; boorishness does not distinguish. Good riddance to him.

Saturday, 9 December 2017



I am not totally convinced by the whole concept of SUPERFOODS; especially of the type 'Berries found only on the northern bank of some Tibetan mountain lake, that can only be reached by a tribe of Arab Pygmies, riding on the backs of female Yaks'. I'm sure you know the hype!

However I do believe in the healing qualities of Oats, Garlic, dark green vegetables, and Choucroute; plus a few others.

Choucroute's qualities rely on that fact that it is fermented; a process that increases its nutritional and health benefits.

It is known to aid digestion, improve the immune system, aid weight loss, and reduce stress.

It is also supposed to reduce the risk of cancer, invigorate the heart, and make stronger bones; but what 'superfood' doesn't? Who knows!

Regardless of all the above, I do love the taste of Choucroute. It is cheap, plentiful, and good for you. To me no winter would be the same without it. We tend to consume ours in the 'Alsace' way, but it's just as good with a pork chop.

The above half kilo of cooked Choucroute cost a mere €1.50. A bargain!

Friday, 8 December 2017


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I have always been fascinated by aesthetes. From Regency dandies, via Withnail, to certain present day Arabic squillionaires, their insistence on 'style', and accepting only the very finest or rarest is laudable. They also keep an awful lot of people in work.

Personally I have never been in a financial position to afford the title of 'aesthete', but I have had the pleasure of knowing one particular person who did.

M was at school with me, and he always stood apart from us other mere peasants as never ever accepting the 'norm'. I think it was he who insisted that we only smoked Sobranie cigarettes in our study rather than Woodbines or Player's Weights.

Whereas the rest of us furnished our study with tatty threadbare easy chairs, M purchased an ornately covered antique Chaise Longue. At one time he bought an early Silver Dollar which he sent off to Garrards in Bond Street to have made into a silver money clip. Very chic. On leaving school he bought himself a rather swish Lancia, whereas most of us made do with a bike or the tube.

His first flat was in a Georgian block by Oxford Circus with a uniformed Doorman and a Concierge; he also became a member of a prestigious Gentlemen's Club in St James. Both addresses looked very exclusive on his embossed note paper.

The strange thing is that even if I'd had the money to live such a lifestyle; I wouldn't have. To M it was normal. I think he was much influenced by his mother who drove a lovely old battered Royce, and wore hand-made Crocodile skin shoes. I was the type who just went along with the usual high street Hoi-Polloi; vest and pants from Marks, food from Sainsbury's, and all my aspirations aimed on next month's salary cheque.

M spent his life searching-out the best of everything. He was tall and slim, with longish silver blonde hair; he certainly looked the part. He wasn't at all 'dandyish', but one could tell that everything he wore was expensive. I don't think he was hugely wealthy; just discerning. He never married, nor did he ever have a 'job'. His life's aim was to live as well as he possibly could within his means.

I hadn't heard from M for ages, and I thought he may have died, but he's suddenly contacted me again, and I'm pleased to learn that nothing of his old life style has been sacrificed. These folk are few and far between, and should be preserved (possibly in a Museum!).

I don't know why he bothers with me, he must find me terribly dull.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Adieu Johnny.

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Johnny Hallyday has died aged 74. He was France's biggest 'rock star'; he was the self-styled 'French Elvis'.

His greatest dream was to break through into the US market, but it never happened. My favourite Johnny story was connected to this US dream of his; he booked a huge venue in Las Vegas, and sold all the tickets to his fans back home in France. He just wanted to be able to say that he'd held a sell-out concert in the USA; which he did, but to an all French audience.

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So, goodbye Johnny. You will be missed by millions of fans here in France, but sadly your fame always rested within her bounds .

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Cro's Banality Awards 2017.

What would you call an eye cleaning product for dogs? VISIOCANIS of course!

And, what would you call a kitchen disinfectant? DESINFEKTO of course!

I'm now waiting for someone to invent a new type of garden spade called a DIG-O-EARTH, or even a new household product amusingly called HOMESHINE.

My Banality award 2017 goes to V.I.Poo (dear oh dear!).

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Winter Warmth.

Much of my outdoor time is now spent sawing logs. They arrive in metre lengths, and need to be sawn into three pieces in order to fit either in the burner, or the cooker.

My trusty Husqvarna does all the hard work, but there is a certain amount of human effort also involved.

I actually enjoy this daily task. It makes me get outdoors in all but the very worst weather, and it's good exercise. If I had push-button heating, I would soon risk becoming a couch-potato.

I do keep a reasonable amount of ready-cut logs in supply, but it's only for emergencies!

It's the one bit about winter that I actually relish.

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