Another year and we are starting off on January 3rd at the GRANARY near BROMSGROVE. We are hiding as it is a special surprise party for Mavis. She is one of the Broadwater Ladies whose Christmas party we have done for a couple of years.
Spent about 3 hours skulking in the back and then Allan went in pretending to be a waiter. We had a lovely time with them and met some smashing people. Many thanks to the Llandudno 2 for their kind invitation and the lovely email and for husband Rob for inviting us.
Saturday 10th and we are back with our friends at SNITTERFIELD BOWLS CLUB at the kind invitation of Pat. Good wishes to her hubby who has not been well. Great night again. Thanks so much for turning out and supporting us and thanks for the fish and chips, Pat.
15th January we are back at WORFIELD GOLF CLUB for the 3rd year for the Senior Golfers. They kindly invite us for the meal which was, as usual, delicious. I struggled a bit with the onslaught of the dreaded lurgy in the second part of the night and was given iced water and a packet of tissues to get me through.
Thanks again to Alan and Jenny and Rod and his wife and our good wishes to Neville Lace for a speedy recovery.
17th January and we are due to perform at WOLGARSTON HIGH SCHOOL at STAFFORD. It’s Saturday afternoon and I am a bit worried about tonight as I’ve been in bed for the past few days. Al has been in charge of shopping and cooking which is a fair indication of how ill I feel. Apparently he thought mushrooms were meant to be black and spotted and curling up and that an out of date chicken was a good buy. I felt too ill to give him a proper b*********!
Glad I dragged myself to the gig. Fabulous audience and it was a great success for the organisers who were Freemasons and raising money for charities. A remarkable £3,300 was raised on the night at Wolgarston High School. Many thanks to Mike and everyone for their kindness.
Friday 23rd January and I still have the achy- breaky body and am shoring up the duvet because it is too heavy, Al swears he isn’t kicking me in the night so it must still be this strange flu.
Tonight we are out at WOLVERHAMPTON CRICKET CLUB for their January Cabaret Super at the request of Chris and Liz. Lovely venue near to S. Staffs Golf Club. Recently refurbed to very high standard. Two of the guests cannot make it so Al ‘drops in’ for a yummy salmon meal with champagne pate. I still have no appetite and have had a really bad headache all day which I can’t clear so the evening is hard for me to get through.
The people were fantastic. Loads of them knew us from other venues down the years and they all came up for a chat before and after the meal.
26th is a Saturday night and Al is calling this the CRICKET CLUB TOUR. Tonight we are down the road at BREWOOD. We have been here before for Will Morgan at his Folk Club which he hosts on Thursday evenings .
Small room and they are packed in tight. Will is ‘doing his bit ’ as he calls it, before we go on and also compering the evening. He has a great C.D. out of him doing Jake Thackeray songs. He is so good at doing them. Although Jake’s songs were wonderful it is hard to do them credit – but Will most certainly does.
Nice to see Gina and Liz and Gina’s mum and Auntie. Lovely surprise in the arrival of some of my family…..my cousin Delphine and daughter, Sue, and partner Graham.
Had a great night. Many thanks to Tony Bourne for booking us and for the other kind invitations we have had to appear in the village.
Wednesday 28th and we are back again at WORFIELD GOLF CLUB for John Langham and the Federation of local Hairdressers. They are a small gathering and we are to entertain them after their meal. It can be hard and uncomfortable to perform before a small number in a small space for the audience and for us. You are really ‘in their face’ …. particularily Allan…but they were great and made us really welcome. Al asked if they could make any suggestions for his hair and was told to get a better wig.
I felt guilty as we played in front of a mirror and I was having a bad hair day. My curling tongs had died in the middle of styling and trapped a big chunk of hair which I’d finally released a hair at a time pulling most of it out in the process. Desperate to get my hair done. It looks so bad that birds have started weaving twigs into it.
Many thanks to John for his phone call the next day. Glad to hear we proved a success.
Thursday 29th. This is a last minute gig and we have been booked by the owner of THE TALBOT, BELBROUGHTON. Steve has invited us to perform for a group of ladies who call themselves “Ladies Fighting Breast Cancer”. Their aim is to bring about breast cancer awareness, promote checks etc. and to raise money for equipment for scans and equipment. They are a big hardworking fundraising group and I was not sure what to expect.
Luckily we were working with a great guy called Antony Lee. Antony does Swing and Rat Pack Stuff and he does it very well. He very kindly let us use his P.A. as the room would not have taken 2 rigs in the restaurant area. He looked and sounded really cool or should I say hot these days.
I must confess it has been a while since I have been this nervous. I expected sensible, mature ladies. When they started to arrive they were glamorous, exotic creatures and were uber confident. They looked, as we say in the Black Country, not short of a bob or two. I think I may have curtsied a couple of times. I started to stress and feel very Friar Park and began to think of ways I could punish Al for taking the booking.
I was soooo wrong to judge them. They were great. Gave us good attention and really seemed to enjoy it. Al was kissed and stroked many times at the end which as you can imagine was a great hardship for him to bear.
It ended up a wonderful night with lots of money raised for a good cause.
Thanks to the ladies, Chris, Vanessa and all those who helped organise such a worthwhile event and said such kind things.
Last gig of the month and it is January 31st and Al’s birthday.
We are on our way to BROADWAY GOLF CLUB AT WALSALL to entertain some people from the golf club and who also have connections with Garrington’s Works at Darlaston.
We are kindly offered a meal and then spend the rest of the evening with such lovely people. Great way to spend your birthday. Good food, wonderful company and get paid for the privilege. Thanks so much for all the kindness and hospitality and for so many people taking the time and trouble to come up and talk to us. Nice one Gwyn!
January seems to have come and gone very quickly. Then I remembered I’d spent most of it lounging round in my tartan jimjams feeling sorry for myself. Al prepared his piece de resistance…… in true Gordon Ramsey style…the F word…..fishfingers. They can lose their appeal after a few days.
Other than gigs…which I must say have been excellent this month my only other outings have been far from pleasant. We started the month with a funeral and finished it with a funeral.
At the beginning of the month we went to give GRAHAM GREEN a good send off. Graham was, along with Brian Langtry, one of the founder members of the long running Black Country band, Giggetty who we have worked alongside for almost 30 years.
He had a fitting New Orleans Jazz Style service and we followed ‘Graham’ and the Jazz Band up the hill in the snow on foot to the little Church of St John at Swindon.
Graham was a fine frontman, singer songwriter, musician and his warm, jokey manner won him many friends…as his son said quite a few of them ladies. He was a great character and another big loss to the ailing Black Country Entertainment scene.
The day of Graham’s funeral I had a call from my friend, Jenny to say her mum had died. Although it was expected it was very sad news as Rene had been like a second Mum to me and I had spent weekends at her home and gone on family holidays with them. She had a long and happy life and her and her husband, Jim were two of the kindest, sweetest people I have ever met. It made me feel like an orphan all over again. It also makes you realise what a long time ago all the happy teenage memories were. As they say in America “Being growed up really sucks!”
My other outings included a breast cancer check which I have on a regular basis. Allan came in with me once and said he felt like part of a Swedish sex show. After watching another man fondle my breasts he had to pay him for the privilege. Surreal!
The other highlights were a trip to the Doctors and a trip to the bank !!!!
It seems the criminal who somehow managed to get my card no. in July had managed to access my account again even though the card had been withdrawn in July. The card had only ever been used once over the internet to order some Glucosamine tabs. Other than that it has never left my hot little hand.
Last time they spent my money on dating agencies and porn sites this time they went on a shopping spree. Fatherless children!
I let Al subscribe to two magazines…..the National Geographic and Playboy. Both let him see places he’s never going to visit.
A dyslexic pervert goes into an S & M shop and comes out with sox.
I have now become totally paranoid and cast furtive looks at everyone I walk past. Al says I am far too nosey and suspicious … well that’s what he wrote in his diary.
I am convinced someone is trying to steal my identity. Al says nobody would want to be me.I have always been unlucky. I had a rocking horse once…..and it died!
Someone told me that the way to inner peace is to finish all the things you started. It really works. Yesterday I finished off my bottle of red wine. The chocolate log at the back of the pantry from Christmas, the bottle of sherry for trifles and maiden aunts and Al’s birthday choccies.
If we were not meant to eat late night snacks why is there a light in the fridge?
It is really hard to lose weight when you get older ‘cause by that time your skeleton and the body fat are really good friends.
Just a few little silly ones:
Why do Elephants drink so much…..to try to forget.
How many Spaniards does it take to change a light bulb? Just Juan!
How many amoebas does it take to change a light bulb?
One..no, two, no, eight, no 16, no 32……..
If a Rhino horn is such an aphrodisiac how come the Rhino is almost extinct?
And lastly……..Remember Tranquilisers only work if you follow the advice on the bottle……Keep Away From Children!!!
Tatty Bye a Bit and a Happy New Year!
Friday 6th February and snow is causing havoc in various places. The stiff upper lip has been replaced by a wobbling chin and we are getting as worked up as if it were an alien invasion .
Luckily we can get to our gig at STONE MANOR with no problems. We are working for Wyre District Forest Council for Councillor Stephen Williams. It is the Charity Dinner and a very grand affair with lots of councillors from neighbouring towns. It is a beautiful venue and we know quite a few of the people there so it is a good evening and there is much fund raising achieved which is great. Thank you for the food.
Saturday 7th and we are on or way to FORETON CRICKET CLUB.
Jim has invited us and we have not been there before. We immediately felt at home as they had gone to the trouble of putting up some great Black Country sayings around the room and pages of translations on the tables. Many thanks to the 2 retired teachers who were responsible.
They were a great crowd. Some old friends turned up from Gnosall and we met some lovely new people and stayed a while chatting afterwards. Looking forward to going back again next year. Thank you for the fish and chips.
Tuesday 10th and we are working at ASTON WOOD GOLF CLUB for Sutton Coldfield Vesey Rotary Club. This is a gig we have done before and it is good to come back and see everyone. Malcolm and Nesta have invited us and we have worked for them many times over the years. A lovely lady named Vitu was in charge of the proceedings.
Rotary are working very hard to raise money to match the amount pledged by Bill Gates. It is to raise money to try to eradicate polio in the world so they are having a big fundraising drive at the moment. Many thanks for the meal and the great company.
Friday 13th and we have been booked to work at MARSTON GREEN CLUB..
We are on with our old mate, Aynuk and Ian Sludge Lees. Derek meets and greets and is very helpful. Chris and Alan also make us welcome and help sort out lights etc. for us. Hope you are okay now Alan.
Great crowd. Aynuk opens the show and we follow him. Sludgie does a great spot in the second half which is hard to follow but the audience are still with us as we wrap the evening up.
Saturday 14th is Valentine’s Day. And we are back at SHIRLEY GOLF CLUB.
Liz and team are in charge of the organising and they look after us very well. Fabulous crowd as usual and it’s great to see John and Sue again. Many thanks for the beautiful meal. It was much appreciated.
Sunday 15th is “Lunch and a Laugh” at WHITTINGTON VILAGE HALL. This is our third year for this event and a lot of the audience come straight over to the Hall after Church. The money has been raised, the extension built and now the next task is to refurbish the hall itself. Margo and Alistair have organised and hosted the event again. Margo and her team of helpers have prepared another 3 course meal which as usual looks effortless and tastes wonderful.
Good wishes to the new lady vicar and her family. We must have been a culture shock as I believe she hails from Kent. Great to see you all again. Keep on laughing.
Wednesday 18th and we are back at ELMDON HEATH to entertain Solihull Friends R Us. Ralph and his wife have kindly provided us with drinks and food. Again a lovely evening. Thanks for all of you for coming back to see us.
Friday 20th we are at COLESHILL TOWN HALL for the local Rotary and this is one of our favourite gigs ……not just for the people but for the food which is a bit special. Real comfort food. The best sausage and mash I’ve ever had. I could never become a veggie after tasting those sausages. I wax lyrical after one bite. The food is catered byJKB Catering 01675 463181 or 01675 437390. Check the photo on last year’s page. Enough of sausages …. people will think I have a fetish.
The gig itself was great the people really seem to have relaxed with us now and made us feel very welcome. Best wishes to Dennis and his wife and all concerned.
Saturday 21st and we are back at BELBROUGHTON VILLAGE HALL. We always look forward to these gigs. We are with Bev Pegg. He is such a great guy and we love him to bits. Nice to work with Tommy again he was looking well and was on top form. It’s especially good when all the acts go well. Bob “Central News” Warman was in the audience. He seemed like a good bloke and looked much younger than he does on the T.V.
My Drama tutor from College was sitting right at the front so I was glad it went well. Lovely to see you Carol and Spen.
Tuesday 24th we are working at NETHERSTOWE VILLAGE HALL.
This is a new venture by Annette and various voluntary helpers to provide a service to people who are unable in some cases to get out and about. Primarily they provide a hot meals service to the villages in the area.
People were bussed in and given a 2 course meal and tea or coffee and as an afternoon’s entertainment for a very reasonable charge. This is to be known as the Hot Lunch Club. Anyone needing info. Ring Annette on 01675 482966
Friday 27th and we are at the COUNTY SHOWGROUND at STAFFORD for the South Staffs branch of the Agricultural Society There were lots of shields for best flocks, best crops etc. It was really interesting. Again we knew quite a few of the people which was nice. They invited us for a beautiful meal and they only wanted 30 minutes entertainment so we had a really lazy evening. Thanks to Simon for keeping me company during the meal.
Saturday 28th and we have a gig out at FRANCHE near Kidderminster for a charity called Mentor that provides help and funds to improve facilities for children.
This is another night with Bev Pegg who’s a bit under the weather with a cold but still does a great set. The audience loved him.
The audience were wonderful. Many thanks to all the people who had come especially to see us and brought other friends.
It is great to see people come back who have enjoyed themselves. Also a big thank you toDel and Vicky for looking after us so well. A special thanks to our old friend Ivy Stone who was married to the late Derek Stonewho played fiddle for Giggetty. Ivy’s connections with the Black Country Nightsgo back a long, long way and we have remained friends.
It was a magical night and to put it in football terminology …..the icing on the cake was when Robert “Led Zeppelin” Plant turned up. We have met him before but Bev knows him from way back. I’ve got to be fair when I say he is so unstarry and normal. He fits in and chats to anyone and there he is….. an absolute Rock God. It was hard to believe watching him with his raffle tickets and his bag of fish and chips. Great to see he still gets back to his roots. Al behaved as one would expect and went tourist… camera clicking like a man possessed. The only time we ever worked with Robert before Al had forgotten his camera and he has never gotten over it. You’re a credit, Robert and as they say in Tipton….You’re the Dogs……!
Great way to finish a month of gigs.
After the flu that was January, cabin fever and Al’s cooking we decided to try to see a few friends this month which was great. Downside is this has involved too many carveries, too many visits to the Two For One and too many cappuchinos and bacon butties. You can see I lead the high life. Back to Weight Watchers very soon. Even Al is doing sit ups.
Snow caused a few hiccups at the beginning of the month so we couldn’t manage our usual night at the Old Sils watching Vivo. I’m sure everyone who goes there will be shocked and saddened by the death of Kelly Grocutt ex E.L.O. who was the singer with the Orchestra. He often jammed at the Sils. He was a very talented, funny, friendly guy and he will be badly missed by anyone who ever met him and saw him play.
Also more sad news from our friends in the Cotswolds. Iris was a lovely bubbly lady who was much loved and who worked very hard within the village community. With her husband and friends she came to lots of our gigs and kept in touch with cards and email. I am sure she will be a great loss to all who knew her. It is sad to lose a new friend because you think of all the things you still wanted to learn and share with them.
I find it hard to understand the grief fest that seems to become a way of life in this country. While I realise where genuine grief is concerned it is better to accept and express feelings. I am at a loss to understand the mass hysteria that surrounds manufactured celebrities. It seems that a good percentage of the people in this country are living their lives through television or magazines as part of the celebrity cult . It is a second hand existence but they seem more in touch with that than reality. I am starting to feel really old!
For anyone who likes Country/Folk they have a great evening lined up at the Robin, Bilston. 28th May they have a scoop with an evening called Wine, Women and Song featuring Gretchen Peters, Matraca Berg and Suzie Boggus. These are 3 of the top singer songwriters in Country Rock. I am so excited already.
Just a note about the Black Country Tour for 2009. Many of you have been to see the show for the past few years and for that we would like to offer our sincere thanks. A lot of people have taken an interest and supported us. It has given us the opportunity to appear in some lovely theatres including Birmingham Town Hall and to take our brand of humour to a good many people.
We have met a number of people recently who have asked about the show for 2009. This year there has been a change in the line up and we have not been invited to take part. The promotion team remains the same and I am sure you can find out any info. by clicking on their website … Brian Yeates Associates.
We will however still be appearing round and about in village halls etc. and have a good number of gigs in for this year…check out the gig guide part of our website and get in touch by email or phone if you need any details.
Like most months, events have prompted me to think about youth and immortality ….which makes a change from thinking about food.
Then I realised it’s all in the way you look at things….
Being my age and having a bad memory means I can hide my own Easter egg this year.
I noticed lately that most of the stuff in my shopping trolley says “For fast relief”.
One of the advantages of being 60 is you only need 4 hours sleep a day …..the trouble is you need it 4 times a day.
Now Allan Is 61 I think I may get him a car window sticker that reads “I stop for no particular reason”.
At the other end of the spectrum my friend has an 11 year old daughter who mopes round the house all day waiting for her breasts to grow. She said that one day you look at your phone bill and realise your child has become a teenager.
I know I’m getting old when young people keep saying things like…”The Beatles,…the Beatles. Before my time, right! I wasn’t born then, man!”
Like it’s your fault that they missed out on one of the biggest teen phenomena of our generation.
It’s ..”Pre-me is like sooooo boring, yeah!”
Blessed are the Young For they Shall Inherit the National Debt.
Finally a nice little thought:
Dance as if no one was watching…. Sing as if no one were listening and live every day as if it were your last….
I’ve certainly achieved the second part of that…no worries!
Have a great March. Toodle Pip!
Thursday 5th March and we are at ST. MARTIN’S CHURCH in WALSALL. This is a new venue for us and they are a nice crowd. Some have seen us before at different venues. Bit of confusion when we start. After about 15 minutes a lady at the front gets up to leave. It turned out that she had to come to hear the vicar who was in the next room giving a talk about Lent. This caused much mirth and we wondered if we looked like a new breed of clergy.
DODFORD VILLAGE HALL this evening. Another new venue and a great night. Caught up with some friends from the old Hop Pole Folk Club days in Bromsgrove. There were more people in that we knew from Wednesbury….Peter, and his father and their family who have always owned and run the famousDanckerts Fruit and Flower Business in the Village.
There was also a party of people in who had last seen us at the restaurant in Kidderminster. This was the night we performed with the interactive drunken, scary, lady. It must have been strange for them to see us as a duo and not a trio. Thanks for the lovely food and for the great welcome. Look forward to coming back next year.
Saturday evening and we are back at STAFFORD Constitutional Club which is very close to the prison. Back here for another night at the request of Sheila. They are working very hard at getting the club refurbished and back on it’s feet. It is looking smart. Thanks to you all again for a good night ad thanks for helping us in and out with the gear.
Back again at KING’S NORTON GOLF CLUB for the Buddy Holly Tribute Evening organised each year by Dave and Eve Slater. Dave is a great fan of Buddy Holly and is a keen Rock and Roller. He always gets up with the main act of the evening Mike Berry and the Outlaws and performs a few numbers. Boy, does he know how to sell it! He has now done some recordings himself and worked with some top people. Sadly Mike Berry couldn’t do the gig this year due to last minute illness but the Outlaws turned up and did us proud. Wonderful crowd as usual and we had a great night on and off stage with friends….Graham and Pam, Polly and Howard and Dave and Lyn. Good to see so many people that we have worked for and got to know over the years. They really are one of the best crowds. It is such a happy night.
Friday 20th and we are back at SOLIHULL TENNIS CLUB.
It has been a while since we have been here so it was good to know they had not forgotten us. Great group of people.
Roger and Ann we have known for many years. Zack and Lee welcomed us and several people came up to chat. Relaxing, cosy evening. Thanks for the fish and chips and your kindness.
AYMESTRY VILLAGE HALL tonight. We are back after a break of a few years…. although, we have seen some of the crowd at gigs around and about organised by our friends, Janet and Don. It is a packed house which is great and it is lovely to see them all again. Welcome to the people from Eardisland and from the couple from Willenall. As John Plant (Ayli) might have said: “Ow many buzzes did yow atta cum on?” The weather was excellent so we had a great ride there and back. It takes a couple of hours as they are all narrow, twisty lanes. Great night, folks!
Monday 23rd of March and we are at SUTTON COLDFIELD TOWN HALL for the North Warwickshire Women’s Guild. Lesley has booked us and our friends, Giggetty, some time ago. There are about 200 women and a sprinkling of men. Allan loves it and at one point when he took his jacket off they all screamed. This led me to believe they had less than perfect eyesight or they were humouring the sad old git. Wonderful night and lovely to be working with Giggetty.
Thursday 26th and we are at our Church which is HOLY CROSS on STONE CROSS . This is to raise money for Mrs. McCoy’s Fund which enables disabled children to go on holidays and to go to Lourdes. We have done it a few times now and it is once again a good turnout and we have a smashing night. At one point the clock which has never gone and is a standing joke actually starts up and so Al claims it as a blessed miracle and wants to get Father Burke over with the holy water. They are a really kind and caring group of people and are always very supportive of us. Nice to see all our friends from the Choir. Get well soon Mary.
Friday 27th and we return to the GOLDERSLIE CLUB in SUTTON COLDFIELD. This is a familiar venue for us and we have been coming here for several years. Another good night with so many friendly faces. Many thanks to Peter and is wife for the kind invitation and for the jokes he sends to Allan.
IRONBRIDGE ROWING CLUB is a new venture for us and Bill and Shirley Scott have invited us. Al asked for directions…..I said it will probably be near the River! Doh!! It is a beautiful place. I expected somewhere a bit more spit and sawdust as they were outdoorsy…but it was just the opposite.
I had put on far too many clothes as it was near water and I anticipated no heating. Wrong! It was like a sauna! I did some very inelegant sweating. We met some great people to chat to. I was scared they would all be very fit and young and make fun of the boring old farts….wrong again. Al really enjoys it when I get things wrong so he was gloating. The younger people were great especially the ones at the front. Brill night and lovely food.
I’m late getting this into print this month. March has seemed like a very busy month. I try to take one day at a time but sometimes several days attack me at once. I can type 100 words a minute …but it’s all in my own language.
It is this time of year when you realise you have a house and garden that no longer can be claimed to be an asset. Little jobs loom large and Allan goes into hiding at the merest suggestion of activity. He is okay once he gets started but it’s one helluva job to get him cranked up.
We spent a couple of weeks in Wales. The first week the weather was bad so we managed to get the van sorted and the second week the weather was great so we walked and visited places.
Al had a “lambing” experience when a new born lamb (who he imaginatively called Larry) mistook him for his Mum and followed him everywhere bleating pathetically. I think it was the hair. It’s hard to reason with a lamb. “Go back and find your birth mother” seemed to have little effect and no one would adopt him. We were stuck on the rocks above Black Rock sands for over an hour trying to return him to one who looked similar. I chastised the entire flock by shouting” One of you b******** must own him!! In the end we ran off and hid and then worried all night that he would fall over the cliff or freeze to death.
Next day we went back and he had found his real Mum and Al sulked all the way back as he had been ignored. He’s talking about dressing up Joey, the budgie, to replace him. Plonker!
Had another great evening at the Old Sils. There are so many talented people appear there. The guest list for March was amazing. People of such calibre wouldn’t turn up to jam if they didn’t rate the resident band or the club.
Keith and the lads in Vivo …along with Keith’s partner, Sara, and his Mum and Dad, have worked so hard and it is really attracting the crowds. Love it.
Lots of our friends are coming up to big birthdays. Here are some suggestions for party games for the Wrinklies.
Sag! You’re it!
Pin the toupee on the Baldy!
Postman’s Knock..but you don’t hear him!
Hide and pee!
Spin the bottle of Glucosamine!
Simple Simon says ….Something Incoherent!
Ageing is not for sissies!
Everyone seems out to take your money these days and while we all give what we can it can get too much sometimes. Last week I found Allan trying to squash 5 loaves and 2 pilchards into the Christian Aid envelope.
This one is for all long suffering mothers –in- law
:Husband home late from work one evening and the wife says to her mother ”I’m sure he must be having an affair” Her Mother says “Why do you always think the worst……..perhaps he’s had an accident!”
Men tend to get their own back in sneaky ways. Allan sometimes leaves the toilet seat up so that when I grope my way through the dark in the middle of the night he knows there’s a chance I will fall in!
Just a few to finish!
Remember home is where you can say anything you want…’cause no one listens anyway!
Wording on a Condom Packet: Buy me and stop one!
The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard.
Definition of a minor operation…one performed on somebody else.
A girlfriend said of an ex husband : I gave him the best years of my thighs.
Finally…the return of the BBC programme The Apprentice has convinced me of one thing…….There are too many freaks and not enough circuses.
Next day we are en route to LEAMINGTON SPA for the Operatic Group.
Marianne who we have worked for a couple of times before has booked us to entertain the group. It is with some trepidation when we discover they are an operatic group but we needn’t have worried because they all like a laugh and make us very welcome. Thank you for our fish and chip supper and for the good company we shared it with. It was a lovely evening.
Friday 3rd and we are back at WALTON for STONE ROTARY at the request of Neil and the committee. This is a regular gig for us and it is good to see so many friendly faces. Many thanks for the warm welcome and the hospitality we always reveive. We look forward to seeing them all again for a two night stint next year.
4th April. This is our second visit to a little village called MYDDLE. I would like to live in a little village because if you don’t know what you are doing the chance is someone else will. This evening is to celebrate the opening of the new kitchen. It is officially opened by a local councillor who is a very funny speakerand he and John get a bit of a double act going. They are all working hard to get the village hall a real centre for village activities. They are a friendly bunchand it is good to talk to them in the break. Thanks again folks. If any of you readthis…… I will be getting in touch to bring some books over for you.
This evening we are back with the lovely ladies of WATER ORTON and tonight they have let some of the men in as well. They have even prepared a lovely supper for us in the back room. Really enjoyable evening. Good to see you are all still thriving and getting together for your social events.
HEIGHTINGTON Village Hall this evening with our friend Bev Pegg. Today is our 38th Wedding Anniversary and we are happy to be spending it here with such lovely people. This is a great gig and we have been here for the last few years. Bob has booked us and tonight he actually gets up and performs some songs with Bev which was great fun. They love a bit of rock and roll here. The evening always flies by which is always a good yardstick. Nice to see Pat and the gang. Thanks for coming to see us again.
Bev is a prolific songwriter and has just produced another new c.d. This is a country/bluegrass style recording with lots of familiar songs. Excellent. He always works with top musicians and gets a very professional sound. Also congrats. on his brilliant reviews for two prior recordings in one of the top music papers.
18TH April and we are at a very unusual venue called the HARBORNE Club. This is probably the smallest venue we perform at. It is a private club in what was once a private house in one of the side streets in Harborne. Nightmare parking but lovely people who run the club. Allan drives up and down the street about 10 times saying in a very stressed voice…”I’ll never be able to park in that little gap!” I finally get out because I can’t bear to watch but luckily somebody leaves so he squeezes in. The crowd are very close so it’s lucky they are so friendly. We had a great night. Nice to meet the Slitting Mills Two. Thanks guys.
CLIFFORD CHAMBERS is a beautiful little Cotswold village just outside Stratford on Avon and it is our second visit. The people are so well mannered but very warm and friendly. It is great to spend time with people like this. They are so appreciative and make us feel very special. Thak you so much for our fish and chips and for my flowers. Lovely to see our friends from, Mickleton…… Ann and Barry. Many congratulations to Val and family on the birth, during the evening, of their grand daughter. Allan kept getting phantom labour pains in sympathy. Big thanks from Al to Val for his special “The Bill” mug. He loves it.
This is a lovely day and we are lucky to be entertaining the ladies of SUTTON FLOWER CLUB who are celebrating their Sapphire Anniversary which I believe is 40 years. The room at Aston Wood Golf Club looks beautiful and the ladies all arrive looking very smart. They kindly treat us to some lunch we have out on the terrace overlooking the golf course. We spend a lovely couple of hours sitting in the sun before the gig. The ladies were most appreciative and the afternoon a success. Many thanks for choosing us to share it with you.
24TH April and we are at Spring Meadow at OLD HILL working for the Scouts. This is a gig with our good friends Nicky and Cliffwho are husband and wife and go out as individual acts but now also sing together as Eternity.
Between them they can supply three different types of music….all great!
We are over in the Black Country and the bad news for my diet is that it is more fish and chips and I cannot refuse as they look so scrummy. Al is excited as the club is a stone’s throw from the Old Hill Plaza where the Beatles played.
Tonight we are performing at SUTTON ARTS CENTRE for the President’s Evening. It is a very smart setting and the theatre itself is lovely and such a pleasure to work. We had a truly wonderful evening and met some lovely people. Thank you so much for my flowers and for all the kind words. You made us very happy.
Last gig of the month and we are at the Kingfisher Club in KINGSWINFORD for Sedgley and Wombourne Rotary. We arrive in plenty of time and set up and do sound checks etc. When we are due to start the show the amplifier has given up the ghost and no amount of coaxing will revive it. Many thanks to the kind gentleman who unlike us, looked as if he knew what he was doing.
Eventually we had to concede defeat and bring in the old spare amp we carry to get us through
I would like to say a very big thank you to the audience who were more than forgiving. Despite having to sit around and wait while we ran round like headless chickens they seemed to enjoy the show when we finally got going.
Thanks for being so understanding and for staying.
Red Wine Rambling
Suitable for Women and New Age Men.
I’m very late getting the diary up to date again. I can’t seem to catch up with myself. My emails have got completely out of control along with my weight, the garden and my wardrobes. The “to do” list is now taking up 5 sheets of paper….and growing.
Al is a workaholic……when I mention work he has a drink. I love red wine…tried the old “Say No to Drink” ….but it didn’t listen. Al says if he gives up sex, drink and loose women how is he meant to celebrate his birthday.
We’ve spent a few days here and there in Wales in the hope that the jobs would look less when we returned. You know it’s summer in Wales when the rain gets warm. Instead of the hoped for exercise I end up eating more to console myself. I’m on a diet at the moment but it’s easy to distract me….in fact…it’s a piece of cake!
I’d thought of joining an exercise class. They said bring some loose fitting clothes. I said “If I’d got any loose fitting clothes……………!”
Had a few social nights out this month. We went to the Garrick to see Barry Cryer. I had been lucky enough to work with him on a tv. scriptwriting team for Jasper a few years back. Barry was a really nice man. It was easy to see why his theatre shows sell out. Although much of his work is radio now he is still a very warm and charismatic live performer. Lichfield loved him
Also great to see old friends Jane and Dave Hill and more of the lovely Elford mob. Look forward to appearing at the new village hall next year.
We went to see a great production of a play called Rent at the Artrix theatre. The storyline involves a certain amount of death and destruction and on paper should have been a bit depressing. It is a modern take on “La Boheme”. The contrary was true. The songs and the cast were stunning and the play was really uplifting. Best night’s entertainment we had enjoyed for a long time.
Andy Brownlee from Mad Jocks was performing in it. Andy, since retiring from his “proper job” has done a fair amount of acting for “Struts and Frets Co” and also a good number of walk ons for television. Jocks are still up and running but I’m sure Andy would always be able to find work in the theatre. He is a very good natural actor.
Very busy night at the Old Sills this month. Incredible cast of musicians and singers turned up to do their stuff. Great to be with all of our old friends from Boggery days. There was 11 of us round the table eventually. Just like the old days……less the cigarettes.
I recently found one of those old mood rings that changes colour depending on how you feel. Allan says it would be useful to gauge my mood for the day. It goes green when I’m happy and when I’m angry Allan’s forhead goes red where I punch him with it. So either way it’s useful.
People ask if Al is always so cheerful and generally he is. I’m the one that gets depressed and suffers with panic attacks. He’s very good at dealing with it.
Women never seem to be on much of an even keel throughout their lives. It reminded me of a sign on a Doctor’s Office in Rome: Specialists in women and other Diseases!!!
When you think as girls we get pre-pubescent angst ( and this gets earlier with each generation) then as teenagers and young women the hormones go haywire and we get P.M.T. Then we get all the “Difference between a woman with PMT and a Rottweiler…the lipstick” jokes.
Then we get pre natal and post natal “baby blues” stuff.
We hit the very scary middle years where we get menopausal. Allan spent most of the time tip toeing round the house trying to look invisible. I have never had a temper but I found myself turning into the incredible hulk..with steam coming out of my ears….the whole bit.
Him and his mate send jokes backwards and forwards saying “what is the difference between Osama Bin Laden and a Menopausal woman… you could reason with Osama” That is how they deal with the fear of living with us.
Now with collagen a thing of the past and everything either turning blue or heading down south I just get plain grumpy. I thought I’d found a new appealing little freckle the other day and it turned out to be a bloody age spot. Al sees it as “Going off on one!” and keeps a low profile. I shall turn into one of those old ladies who trip you up with their walking sticks.
I suppose we should give the men a break really. It’s nice to keep them on their toes though, isn’t it? He said the other day people who live together just don’t listen enough to each other. Well……something like that…I think..
He always tries to lighten situations. He needed a new password the other day for something on the computer. Being a prat he typed in “Penis” and the answer came back. “Rejected. It is too short!!”
The credit crunch is still hitting people. A friend of mine went on a flight the other day and the Stewardess said “Fasten your Velcro before take off”.
I always find it strange at airports when the first piece of luggage that come round on the carousel never seems to belong to anyone.
You know it’s bad when M. and S are selling Jam sandwiches.
That was part of our staple diet in the Black Country along with bread and drippin’ (bread and scrairp) or a piece of liquor (slice of bread dipped in bacon liquor). If we was really lucky a basin of broth or for a sweet treat bread soaked in warm, sweet milk. Happy Days! Now we’ve got so much choice and we look in the fridge and say “There’s nothing I fancy”!
Enough of my wittering and twittering. – Just a few silly ones to finish.
Two snowmen in a field. One turns to the other and says “Can you smell carrots?” …. …This is the reason I’m not allowed to tell jokes on stage.
Two elderly bats hanging upside down on a branch and the one says to the other “You know what I’m dreading most about getting old……incontinence!”
Some things people have sent me:
From Leslie: Winter Exercise regime:
Take one weetabix and one chocolate aero bar.
Crumble the aero over the Weetabix….. Voila!…AEROBIX…I shall be trying that one very soon.
Some signs from Brian:
Persons are prohibited from collecting flowers from any grave unless it’s their own!
Are you an adult that cannot read…If so we can help!
Airline ticket office in Sweden…We take your bags and send them in all directions!
Jordan aka Katie Price and Peter Andre have split up. It’s just a storm in a D. Cup. I wonder who will get custody of the camera crew?
On a final note …… Gordon Brown says an independent body should investigate the claims of M.P.s…….. I think it’s called the Fraud Squad.
The last person to enter parliament with honest intentions was Guy Fawkes!
Here we are on our way to one of our favourite venues. PEOPLETON in Worcestershire is a beautiful village and the people here have always treated us with kindness. Tonight is no exception. The turnout is fantastic and they have a big waiting list.
John and June, our friends who book us for the gig are working hard as ever to ensure the evening is a success. The ladies of the village prepare the wonderful food and the audience are one of the best you could ever hope for. The magnificent sum of £1,600 was raised on the night and the money will be going as a donation to St. Richard’s Hospice.
Tonight we are at HOLT HEATH for the Worcestershire Centre Caravan Club and it is a special rally to celebrate their 40th Anniversary. What a great crowd they are. Some of them have seen us before and there are all age groups present. The children are wonderful and so well behaved. As the night grows cold some of the audience fetch blankets and fleeces. I wore some very glam long velvet gloves I‘d bought in the TJ Hughes sale. Loved the night. Thanks again to Diane and all of you who made us feel so welcome .Didn’t we all have a great time?
8th May and we are at WISHAW Golf Club at Sutton Coldfield. Wow! What a major transformation. We know the club from way back and have always had a good time here. They have done a major refurbishment and conservatory extension. It looks wonderful and they are now putting on some top “tribute” shows. Thanks to Sue and everyone here for another smashing night.
Tonight we are at TANWORTH IN ARDEN. This is such a beautiful village. It is the place where the late and much lamented iconic Nick Drake lived and died. He was laid to rest in the village churchyard and died when he was barely 26 years old. He has since been hailed as one of the major singer / songwriter / musicians of the 60’s and was signed by Island records. His fragility and emotion shine through and strangely his saddest songs bring me the most comfort when I am feeling down.
No sadness tonight though so I decide not to visit his grave or it may spoil the gig. It is hard to imagine that a lot of the filming for the dreaded Crossroads Motel was done around this village and surrounding countryside. I can’t imagine Benny in his woolly hat striding round the village. It is clear that the people who live in Tanworth have money, class and breeding….the three don’t always go together. These are the genuine article and I suddenly go very “ Land of Hope and Glory” and want to wave a union jack. I fear that the culture shock may be too much but they take it in their stride and are such a warm and welcoming audience. Our thanks to Roger for inviting us and to Caroline and Jack for our prawn sandwiches. Al was well impressed.
Another very special Anniversary this evening. We are very pleased to have been invited to perform at ALVECHURCH Women’s Institute’s 80th Birthday Celebrations. Their first meeting took place on the 6th May 1929 at 3p.m. in the Committee Room at Alvechurch Village Hall. The setting for tonight is Alvechurch’s new exciting venue…The Ark. It adjoins the Grade 2 Butterfield Chuch of St. Laurence and although such a modern building should not work against an old traditional one it really does work. The architecture is absolutely stunning. There were ladies from many local W.I.’s who had come to help celebrate and there were some very glamorous outfits. The meal which the ladies had kindly invited us to was delicious and we shared the meal with some very interesting table companions. Many thanks to Pam, Christine and all of the others who made it such a special night for all concerned.
We are working tonight at the Quinney Hall at CANWELL which is not far for us to go. We are working this evening with Ian “Sludge” Lees. “Sludgie” is a great act and easy to get along with. Canwell is the base for the Brian Yeates Agency. Brian and Ash are responsible for many shows in local theatres, including A Black Country Night Out and the Burntwood Wakes.
Lovely to be back here in Canwell after a gap of about 4 or 5 years. Still a lot of familiar faces. Thanks to George for his kind comments in our book and thank you to the people who sent us the email saying how much they had enjoyed the show. It is always good to get feedback especially when it is so positive. Thanks to you all for a great time.
The Grange Hall at SOUTHAM is a lovely venue and Carol and John work so hard to promote the events. Carol runs the front of house and her husband John is the Technical Wiz and Compere from side stage. The people who come to see us here are always a smashing crowd and we have got to know quite a few of them by now. Many thanks to all of you including the bar and the kitchen staff. Nice to see the lady who has our photo up on her wall and good to meet the lady who had emigrated to Oz and was trying to give her husband a taste of Pommie humour. Glad you enjoyed it so much…well glad you could understand the accent for a start. All the best.
23rd of May and we are at a familiar venue….. SOLIHULL British Legion. We are a bit concerned as it is lovely weather this evening. They never get a very big crowd here but the people that turn up are great. Sometimes it works that way. The smaller and more intimate the crowd then the more relaxed and comfortable the evening. We hope you all enjoyed it as much as we did.
30th May and we are heading out to the village of LAPWORTH. This is a venue we haven’t been to for a while. Our friends, Rick, and Doreen have arranged for us to do a show at the Village Hall. It is beautiful weather and the last place I can imagine anyone wanting to be is stuck in a hall listening to us wittering. Great turnout. A group of about 18 friends from Boggery days turned up to offer support. It was fab to have all the old gang together again…older, greyer, a bit less agile but still as “mental”. Still crazy after all these years. They know how to enjoy themselves … them ex-boggers! It was a great pleasure to see June and Derek, Sheila and all the folks who regularly support us at Hatton, Snitterfield and Lowsonford. For us it was a truly rewarding and wonderful experience and we would like to thank you all for such a special night.
Today is Sunday and it is another 40th Anniversary. This one is for Geoff and Irene who are entertaining friends and family at STONEBRIDGE Golf Club. They have kindly invited us to go along and share the evening. Yummy bar meal. Just love their chicken and bacon sandwiches. We passed on the chips this time. Last time they brought us what looked like a ceramic coal scuttle full of them as well as the enormous sandwiches. Couldn’t move after to do the gig.
What great family and friends they have. Great to meet the people who had seen us many years ago at Lightwod School. Ye Gods! You probably had to suffer Al’s guitar playing way back then.
Again quite a few children of differing ages but they were so good while we did our bit. It is so reassuring to see children with good manners. It sadly, isn’t always the case. People don’t realise sometimes how difficult it can be to work well with major distractions ….. especially at our age with the grey cells dying off at a million a minute.
I know I haven’t got any of the little ankle biters but I did work in a school for 10 years with the terrible teens. When I tell you the area was Friar Park, Wednesbury, I think you will understand I gleaned a little knowledge of the “kinder”. Friar Park kids take no prisoners. It was a great night and Geoff and Irene were great people but it all got even better for us when we realised one of ourheroes was in the audience.
Mark Gattis was one of the 3 multi talented character performers in the cult series “The League of Gentlemen”. This black comedy was for me one of the big T.V. moments in my life. Some of the others were “That was the Week That Was” , “Twin Peaks” and “Green Wing” . So different…so new…so groundbreaking! Al and I were such fans.
Mark is hugely talented and has had many radio, T.V., film and writing successes including writing Dr. Who books and episodes. His list of achievements is stunning and he is soooo young and soooo approachable. It really gave us an incredible buzz. Mark if you ever read this thanks for being so tolerant of Al telling you all about audiences before he realised it was really you. A very big thanks for letting us pose with you. I almost wish I’d got some grandchildren I could bore with it.
May has been a good month for us. The weather hasn’t been brilliant though. We had a few days in Wales but we spent the time listening to the rain with one of my closest friends, Jenny. Rain shared is never quite as bad. It was so nice to have some time together. Again Al has managed to escape cleaning the caravan! Most of my friends still laugh at his jokes so he welcomes them with open arms. I, in comparison, merely roll my eyes and point out that I told him the joke 6 months ago and he didn’t find it funny then. It’s a man thing!
Great social nights this month. Lots of getting together with friends.
We went to the Robin 2 to see Matraca Berg,Gretchen Peters and Suzie Boggus who were excellent. Surprisingly big turnout as they are not so well known over here. We were all seated like a giant folk club. Total audience attention and respect. A good number of the Solihull / Boggery crowd came over . They entered Bilston with some trepidation but loved the Robin .
Next evening we were all together again at Coleshill Country Hotel for Alan and Anita’s Birthday Celebrations. Wonderful night. So good to meet up with Ray and Colin again from Boggery days. Had bit of a bop and some lovely food.
The following evening we were all together again at Lapworth. It’s like I’ve said before we made some really great friends when we played in folk clubs and the friendships have stood the test of time. Most of us are getting together again at the Old Sils in Knowle once a month with Vivo and friends.
Been a very rich source of topical news this month. I mentioned Jordan aka Katie Price last month. All seems to have gone quiet although it was reported that Peter Andre went ballistic when he read that the Pope had visited Jordan.
Big fuss over the D.Day celebrations. The French premier is such a jumped up little git. Obama could wear him as a cuff link. They seem to forget that the French were the first to put a reversing light on a tank! There goes the European Brotherhood again. Not much cordial intent or otherwise as Al would say.
The Sleaze row rumbles on and it must be desperate if the Government have brought in Sir Alan as a Czar. I don’t think he can do joined up writing. He certainly can’t speak it.
Gordon Brown had rung the Priory after Susan Boyles’ mental stress and collapse and this week she rung No.10 to ask Gordon about his.
Modern life can be perplexing. These days when you glance across at a car in the next lane of traffic it’s hard to know if they are mad or hands free!
I know things are bad because the Listening Bank has gone deaf and the Bank That Likes To Say Yes is saying “Bugger off!”
Allan says he is doing his bit for energy conservation. This consists of not getting off his backside unless threatened. We are old enough to remember when there was no such thing as environment.
Al had a very senior moment a couple of weeks ago. We had been out all morning shopping in various places when he looked down and realised he was wearing odd shoes. Granted …both of them were white but one was a pump and one was a baseball boot. He must have been walking like Jake the Peg. How could he not notice? Then he asked me why I hadn’t noticed and I explained that I only look at him when I need to shout at him! It’s a woman thing!
I said I shall be getting him a t. shirt with “Been there, Done that, Can’t Remember it!” on the front. I sometimes think that equality with men would be a step down for most of us. Men only seem to embrace maturity when they have exhausted all other possibilities.
I know we are getting old … we wanted to take out some new Life Insurance. They took one look at us and would only offer us Fire and Theft.
I think I may have developed Catholic Alzheimer’s because I have forgotten everything except the guilt.
Visited a very posh Catholic Church recently. You know you are in a nice area when the wine list is passed round before communion. (This one is for youuuuu Mike Twyford)
After a recent confidence culling comment from a lippy teenage girl just before going on stage……
I shall leave you with a great thought from Margaret Deland who said:
“I’m not to blame for an old body, but I would be to blame for an old soul. An old soul is a shameful thing.” My soul is still in good nick…I hope she can say the same at my age.
Love to all. Glyn and, as my friend’s kids call him, …Alien.
Friday 5th June and we are back after a gap of several years to play at the Jubilee Hall in BREWOOD. We came here many years ago before we trod the boards to watch Yorkshire Folk Comedian Tony Capstick who was then supported by a very young Jasper Carrott. That makes me feel really ancient.
The Hall Is a lovely big venue and it is a fundraiser organised by Chris and friends with lots of help from husbands i.e. fetching and carrying and getting shouted at! The money raised is to be split between 2 different causes…the Compton Hospice and Deansley Centre at New Cross Hospital. Chris had hoped to raise £600 but actually raised £1,200 on the night. It was a sell out show with a waiting list and well organised with tombola, raffle and food. The success is always in the planning.
Such a lot of people turned up that we knew including our friend Graham Leddington who came all the way from Wellington (the posh end).
It was good to see my cousin, Delphine, and Sue and Graham. There were lots of people from the local Am. Dram. they are a great crowd and always come and support us when we are local. There were friends from up t’North…Moulton way and some from folk club days and from Will’s club in the village.
We shared the stage with the talented and funny Will Morgan who we have known for donkey’s ears. Great to see our old friend from the Bridge ….Jonathan…who still believes in being inappropriate. What a great night it was! Came away in a bit of a rush and got home to discover missing bag…my girly bag…so there was much consternation. So we had to drive back at 12.30 in case it was still on the car park…..roof of car etc. Finally retrieved ….still backstage…… the following morning.
Saturday 6th and we are only up the road from us at CHASETOWN at a special double celebration for Angela and Anthony. What a splendid affair it was! Al had to take me back home to get changed when I say the posh frocks. I had expected a tent and a barbeque. This was a wonderful marquee, chandeliers, carpets etc. There was a man to help you park car and a man to open door. It was very swish. We had kindly been invited to the sit down meal before we performed which was great because we were with friends MikeTwyford, Chris and John and all the gang from the Chase Club.
There were lots of people who knew us from Masonic gigs and it was good to see our old friends from the Bromsrove Folk Club days Bob and wife from Fairfield Folk. Thanks to all concerned. Many thanks to Angela and Antony…we hope you enjoyed your special night.
Saturday 13th and we are back at the LAYCA CENTRE IN SHIRLEY. This is the last gig before our holiday so we are pleased it is here because we know they are a nice, friendly crowd. They are a great team of organisers and Al has done especially well because he has been given pressies. Namely a Wolfie ….who is the Wolves mascot and a Black Country Joke Book. People can be so kind.
He also gets fish and chips so he has done very well for himself. As usual they are a smashing audience. Thanks to you all for another good night at the Layca.
26th June we are at the Goldthorn Hotel in WOLVERHAMPTON for Pauline Gregory and the TIPTON ROTARY CLUB. It is good to see them all again. The manager there is always pleasant and comes and has a chat with us whenever we are there. Pauline has kindly offered us a meal but I am on my après holiday diet which so far has not got up and running….along with me. I am still in the reading diet sheets and contemplating it sort of mood.
Saturday 27th June and we have driven to BRIDGNORTH and the weather there is wonderful. The first view of Bridgnorth reminds me what a beautiful place it is. I suddenly realise that we haven’t been there for a long time and I wonder why. The people at the Bowls cub are so friendly and welcoming. It is our first visit here and I hope it will not be our last. Barry and Jenny look after us very well. It is a small place and they have gone to a lot of trouble to get the room right and to get everyone in. Some nights just seem to shine out in the memory as special and this was certainly one of them. They are one of the most appreciative audiences we have had for a long time. Many thanks to all of you.
Here we are in JULY and the weather is still crap. Tonight is looking good though and we are only up the road at our favourite place LICHFIELD.
We are going back to see our old friends at the VILLAGE. It is a very umarket retirement village overlooking Beacon Park. I am always surprised how receptive the audience are here because they usually have shows that are mostly singing. They are great and so easy to talk to. It is a pleasure not to have to do joke after joke.. We enjoyed it so much we finished the show at 9.45 and stayed until about 12.00 in the bar chatting with people and having a drink. Thanks again for a lovely evening.
Saturday 11th July and we are back at the DOG AND DOUBLET at BODYMOOR HEATH. We did this last year and it is a charity fundraiser for Cancer relief. It is a lovely spot at the side of the canal out by Kingsbury Water Park. It is very adventurous as it is an outside gig…which worked perfectly last year. This evening is not looking so promising…shades of Glastonbury from the look of the sky. We perform in a wooden structure with no front and half one side missing.
The heavens opened before we started so most of the audience retired to the beer tent where they couldn’t see or hear us….not a bad idea. A few British stalwarts had the gung ho spirit and sat in the garden in pacamacs with giant umbrellas.
Giggetty started off followed by Tommy Mundon who stood in the rain and shouted to two tables at the side. It was hard to know where to work from given the conditions and the fact that the audience were in 2 places.
Ken, the Hoss, Woods followed and gave it his all even running into the Beer tent with the Chimpanzee and causing a few to choke on their lager.
Giggo held the night together working hard and we did about 50 minutes but by that time there were only about 18 people left in the garden looking very soggy. Lovely to see our old friends Dave and the beautiful Jessica. She is going to be such a stunner.
Many thanks to the people who turned up and supported us all.
Tonight however it has brightened. Saturday 18th July we are back at WHEATON ASTON for CYSTIC FIBROSIS. This is an event organised by some of the nurses from New Cross. Gill and Paul and there many helpers have organised this for the past 2 years. Last year was good but this year has been even better. What a fantastic crowd they are. It is a sell out with a waiting list so again the organisers have got it right.
We all had such a good laugh with the raffle (this is always Allan’s piece de resistance) The act may be rubbish but he does a great raffle. Also the Guess the Weight of the Cake was a giggle.
John Stokes, an old friend of mine from Tameside Junior School turned up along with his wife, Jan. John was another of Billy Rotton’s Babbies….as we were called. Billy Rotton was an excellent Headmaster and worked for many years trying to knock us Friar Park kids into shape. Tameside always produced the best football teams….even Allan acknowledges that.
We all got nostalgic remembering when John had dipped my plait in the inkwell and had to come home and apologise to my Mum. How old are we? Plaits and inkwells. Realised both Al and myself also knew the people they were with…Mick Cooper and wife.
It was especially good to meet one of the girls I had gone to senior school with. Couple of girls in from Wednesfield Grammar and Jill Jones and I had both fancied Paul Hackner. Al was doing a lot of groaning at that point.
Great night. Great success money wise and we all had a laugh.
25th July and we are driving to BLAKEDOWN GOLF CLUB on a wonderful evening. In fact we sat outside taking in the views when we arrived. This was a private party for a friend of ours, Steve who along with his wife, has supported us at many gigs over the years (including the lady drunk gig which everyone found hilarious). So it was great to have the opportunity to share in the celebrations for his 60th party.
We were on with the Bev Pegg Band who do great 50s, 60s dance stuff. Haven’t seen them all for ages so it was great to be able to catch up. They are all seasoned musicians. Bev plays loads of different music and is well known on the local music scene. We love the chance to get to spend the night with him he is always such god fun to be with.
Good to see so many of the Belbroughton crowd and to chat with them. Especially good to see Stu Courier and his wife who we haven’t seen for years. Stu used to book us at his Rugby Club when we did folk music and were all a lot younger.
Hope you enjoyed your special night, Steve, we all did.
In June we had set a side some time for a holiday. We had always wanted to go to Madeira but never have been able to afford it. We still couldn’t afford it but decided to go anyway. I think it is one of those we have to put down to experience and then blame each other for choosing it as a destination. Travel is quite stressful. Why…if flying is so safe do they call the airport the Terminal!!!
Madeira is not an easy landing. The pilot heads for the side of a mountain then pulls the plane round at the last minute. Allan asked the stewardess if we had landed or been shot down.
We stayed in Funchal but it really didn’t do it for either of us. It has neither the style or vibrancy of Italy which I adore.
It was a beautiful hotel but Funchal itself is big and noisy and busy. We had decided on the old town instead of the new hotel complex part further up the hill.
The old part of the town had a fair number of people sleeping rough and though they didn’t bother us they weren’t exactly an aesthetic delight.
We had 3 days rain and mad dogs outside the hotel. Although I must admit I rather liked the mad dogs and kept trying to feed the one who chased the buses.
As we had only gone bed and breakfast I pigged out at breakfast and crammed croissants and sticky buns in my handbag for lunch. Result….back to Weight Watchers…..…jeans and sausage skins come to mind. Our only holiday purchase was 2 grey pacamacs.
Got back and had a night out with our old friend, Alan Vurlan. We had a few days in Wales and it felt like Madeira had never happened which from my point of view was a blessing. We had a great week in Wales and for once the weather was great and we had a really relaxing time.
While we were in Wales Allan was in dire need of a haircut and was mistaken for a local celebrity. Unfortunately it was the transgender author Jan Morris. He drove straight back to the van and made me hack his hair down to small bush size and then spoke in a much lower register for the rest of the week. I have told as many people as possible.
Met up with quite a few friends for meals and birthdays and the like ..which is what it should all be about.
I was very excited about the Pre Raphaelite Brotherhood getting some air time in the form of the new series Desperate Romantics. They have been a big obsession with me since I was about 18. Dante Gabriel Rossetti has always been my hero (along with Darcy). Rossetti is slippery, fickle and certainly not the best artist but being mad, bad and dangerous always made him the most attractive. I’m sure the series will inspire new fans.
Also very thrilled that Ray Davies is coming to the Symphony Hall again. I already have my ticket Can’t wait.
Meanwhile we are all trying to cope with swine flu, corrupt politicians and the summer from hell. I can predict the weather better than the weather men by the noise my joints make. .I also find it disturbing that the Doctors call it their Practice. I was hoping they were past that.
Another thought ….after spending so much time in Wales ……why don’t sheep shrink but a lambswool sweater does?
How do you confuse a Daily Mail reader? Tell them that asylum seekers are the natural predators of pedophiles.
A man goes into a chemist and asks for a bottle of Viagra. The assistant says: “Have you got a prescription?”
“No, but here’s a photo of my wife!”
Every morning I realise my face has slipped a little bit more. Since I turned 60 I have to put a daily limit on facial expression. I only ever smile at very attractive men so I can justify the extra wrinkles.
I have also noticed that our age group (particularly me) have started to indulge in Ailment Duelling. This was something my Mum did all the time….and now I hear myself doing it.
Films and shows for that certain age:
Four Funerals and Another Funeral
Retirement Home Alone
A Black Country man passed away. At the funeral the preacher talked at length about the fine qualities of the deceased…honest man….loving husband…how kind…how generous and hardworking. He was indeed a pillar of the community. The man’s widow was sitting in the front row with her neighbour becoming more and more agitated. Finally she leans over to her friend and says… .”Gert…..goo up theya on tek a luk in thet coffin an’ see if it’s my owd mon ‘e’s a talkin’ about or sum otha poowa bugga!”
Enjoy what’s left of what we laughingly call summer. The kids have broke up for their hols. Now so there will be lots of stressed mothers in Tesco and Sainsburys screaming for the 60th time.”.I’m not going to tell you again.”
Parents spend the first twelve months of a child’s life trying to teach them to walk and talk and the next twelve years telling them to sit down and shut up.
And don’t forget when everything seems to be going against you….you’re driving on the wrong side of the road!
It is the start of our Autumn/Winter season and we are kicking off at the beautiful village of LEEK WOOTON. We are performing for a party of people from the Leamington Spa 41 club. This the first time I have sung for a long time so I am quite nervous but the audience are great and I am relieved that all has gone well.
It is Saturday 5th and we are playing at another lovely village. This time we are at HENLEY IN ARDEN. This is an event which has been planned to celebrate the 100 years of the family coach firm of Johnsons whose slogan is “Travel with friends”. Jack George Johnson started his one man horse delivery service back in 1909 and the enterprise is one of the leading independent coach and bus operators in the West Midlands and Warwickshire areas . They are still very much a family business and the company is now owned and run by brothers Pete and John Johnson.
Their lovely mother, Joan was there on the night helping out with party preparations. She was one of the first ladies to drive a coach.
Friends from Earlswood village Hall…Nadine and Patrick and Michelle and Charles worked very hard , along with many willing helpers to organise the event.
The amazing figure of £1,000 was made on the night for Air Ambulance.
Thanks to the generosity and hard work of all involved. The Johnsons were such warm and friendly people. I can understand why there is such a loyalty among the staff.
Thanks to the audience who gave us such a good night and were with us from the word go.
Bit of a gap here while we jet off looking for (and not finding) the sun.!!!
We return this evening to entertain the ladies of RYTON ON DUNSMORE W.I. who are out on the outskirts of Coventry.
They had explained thatthey were a young group and they certainly were. They gave Al a good run for his money.
Nice to see a man intimidated…particularly when it is your husband and you no longer have that capacity to strike fear.
Al said “Do you think they looked on me as just a sex object?” He should be so lucky! I think Calendar Girls has added a whole new meaning to W.I. Nice to have Mary and her backing group get up and sing. I think the X Factor beckons.
September 25th and we are back at WALMLEY GOLF CLUB in Sutton Coldfield with our old friends Giggetty. Again they are a very lively crowd tonight. Giggo had them doing A and B teams singing Streets of London and it was near riot. It certainly dispelled all those old ideas about golf clubs being very staid and stuffy.
Had to have a little smirk when one of our friends had gone to the loo and heard two blokes discussing Allan’s perm. Thanks to you all for giving us such a great night.
Saturday 26th and we have been invited for the first time by Paul to entertain the residents of a little village called STOWE BY CHARTLEY out by Walton. The village is very pretty and it is a lovely evening to be working in the country. The beautiful village hall is very old and although it looks great it is in need of structural repairs to safeguard it for future use.
The audience are a pleasure to work for and we are well looked after. Hope to see you all again.
The summer break is well and truly over and so it the non existent summer. Time to pack away all those flimsy summer dresses that I never got to wear. There is no longer an excuse for Allan to buy any more fake tan and sunglasses. These are two of his obsessions. The orange look has gone until next year.
It has been an anxious time for both of us as I lost a big part of my singing voice back in the beginning of June. My mother, who had Motor Neurone started her illness with the same problem so I was naturally very worried.
Luckily I was diagnosed by an ENT Specialist quite quickly. My vocal chords had developed a gap where they should come together and the air and sound were escaping. He suggested it could have been caused by my cervical spondylitis or by something viral.
One thing I have noticed is that whenever a woman says “I have lost my voice” for whatever reason….all the men in the room start to laugh and wink and go into a male bonding routine.
I have spent most of the summer having speech therapy at Little Aston.
I was fortunate to have the help of an excellent speech therapist named Penny Anne O’Donnell who worked hard with me to get it back. I had total faith in her and would recommend her to anyone. Her website is……….www.relaxationdirect.com
I limped through the last of the summer bookings having to mime and leaving Allan to do the bulk of the work. I couldn’t even join in our normal banter.
I was so upset. I hope I shall never take it for granted again. I am so happy to be able to sing again.
We had a great uplifting theatre visit on a very rainy mid week afternoon when we went to see “ We Will Rock You” in Birmingham. I have so much respect and admiration for people who work in these shows…. they work so hard. I’m not a big Queen fan but it was brilliant and I would thoroughly recommend it to anybody.
I mentioned last month that we are going to see Ray Davies at the end of the year. We have also got tickets for The Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton where he will be appearing for almost a week in February in his new musical called “Come Dancing”. The story is written around the late 50s early 60s when dance halls were very popular. He wrote the song originally when the local Palais was closed….. much to the distress of his sister. It has got rave reviews in London so we are really looking forward to that.
There is also a great season at the local theatre in Lichfield…very varied programme. Live performance can give you such a buzz. So many places are closing down and it makes everywhere look sad and neglected. Support live entertainment; there is still plenty of it around.
Spent most of July and August going backwards and forwards to our van in Wales. I think I had one quick paddle in Barmouth and that was it. Thought we would get some sun before the winter in Puerto Pollensa but it rained 5 days out of 7. People in arid countries could employ us. We now have a full collection of “Macs of the World”.
We had some other disturbing news last month. When we arrived at a booking the organisers were relieved to see us because they had heard that one of us had died. It was nothing to do with my vocal problem as I had kept that a secret for exactly this reason. People are prone to exaggeration. These reports have been as far afield as Birmingham and Telford. I think we may have to have something put in the paper. Apparently people have been frightened to ring us after they had heard the rumour. Scary stuff! Don’t know how or why it started.
It may be some confusion over the Black Country Tour. Some of the promotional literature has been confusing. Some theatres have used the old photograph including us, Marlene, and John Plant aka Ayli.
The official flyers and posters are accurate and do not include us in the line up. We are not doing it this year and Lee Wilson is replacing us. The only thing I can think is that someone must have seen the flyer or theatre poster and seen we were missing and remembered that someone on the show had died.
For all the people that have stopped us to ask about the show, particularly in Lichfield, we have not been asked to do it this year and the line up is Tommy Mundon, Giggetty, Lee Wilson, Lizzie Wigins and Aynuk.
Many thanks to you all for the interest and we hope we get to see you round and about at our other venues. There is a gig guide on this site. We are always happy to pass on information if you want to give us a call.
Just a few funnies to finish off. One of my old favourites…..
Infant School outing to a Farm. “And what noises did you hear today on the farm, children?
“Oink! Oink!”…..”Baa! Baa!” Moo! Moo!”..
Little Johnny: “Get off that bleedin’ tractor!”
I see Kevin Keegan has been awarded damages after winning his case against Newcastle United. It just proves that they can’t win at anything at the minute, can they?
Could crop circles be the work of a cereal killer?
A friend of ours is getting a bit sensitive about losing his hair. He said I’m not bald I am simply taller than my hair. Nice one.
L’Oreal are making a shampoo especially for Yorkshire. It’s made with Eyup ArVera……”.Cuz tha’s wuth it!”
Is it a coincidence that a road sign has just been placed at the bottom of the drive of Katie Price aka Jordan . It reads: “Park and Ride”. Naughty!
Don’t forget to pass on the word that we are still going strong and looking forward to meeting a great number of you before Christmas.
All the best., Glyn and Al
The 1st of October and we are at another Women’s Institute Meeting and this is a special 75th birthday celebration for the WYTHALL W.I.
Sheila the Vice President has invited us along to share their celebrations. They are a smashing group of ladies and kindly ask us to share their meal. Lots of preparation has gone into the evening. There are 75 amazing cupcakes that have been baked and decorated to mark the 75 years. Allan has been asked to judge the “Nosegay Competition. “
He looked quite alarmed until somebody explained what it was. Many thanks to you all for your hospitality. All good wishes for the future.
Friday 2nd and we have been invited to WALMLEY by Pat and Peter Robinson. We have met before and Peter is good enough to email us jokes and funnies. The event was to raise money for a young ballerina named Sian who has extraordinary talent. A Trust has been set up by friends and admirers to help fund her fees at the Royal National Ballet School. They only take a small number of pupils from all over the world. Great to see such talent being encouraged and nurtured.
Saturday 3rd October and we are working for the ALCESTER ROTARY. Nick and Cham have invited us back and it is great to meet up with them all again. Last time we were at a beautiful Hall round the corner and this time we are at the wonderful old and atmospheric Town Hall right in the middle of the town. The crowd is fabulous and couldn’t have been more responsive. Many thanks for the food and the kindness. We had a wonderful time.
Sunday 4th and it is a fine day as we head towards WOLVERHAMPTON. It is a double celebration. It is Tony Wyer’s birthday and it is 50 years in business for his company Fletcher Boats. Tony, who is the M.D. purchased the business in 2003. What a splendid “do” it is. It was hard to imagine performing in a boat showrooms but it had been magically transformed and looked fantastic. Allan felt he might be developing a nautical bent but I think it was just his underpants were too tight. He definitely fancied himself and turned quite Johnny Depp when he saw how cool the boats were.
We had a wonderful meal and sat with our old friends from the Red Lion o’ Morph at Bridgnorth. Also good to see friends from Wolverhampton Cricket Club, South Staffs Golf Club and one or two other places. Great to start when you have some friendly faces in the audience. Good luck for the future, Tony.
This evening we are at St. Martin’s Church Hall in WALSALL opposite the Long Horn. This is for the local Resident’s group and although a good number of them have left the area they still get together and have nights out and go on outings. Great stuff. This was a very relaxed and comfortable gig and we all had a good time. Thanks for Al’s fish and chips. Hope you have got over your bout of flu, Graham. Pity we had to get up at the crack of dawn the next day to retrieve the camera “somebody” had left behind.
Friday 16th and we have a journey to LILLESHALL. It is a lovely evening and we watch the sunset on the way. A group of people organise this event which we have done before. It is a great cause. It is to raise money for Hope House Hospice in Oswestry. Hope House provides practical and emotional support for the families facing the possibility of losing a child.
Graham and Pam Leddington organise the evening along with Dot and Trevor who do the wonderful buffet and room sorting and decorating. This was another great night and the audience was fantastic . Great to see Paul and Gill who are our neighbours in Wales. Lovely surprise to see the gang from Brewood and Horsehay. Thanks again for all your generosity and for such a memorable night. You generous people raised the magnificent sum of £1,400 on the night. Very well done, everyone.
This is our second year at GNOSALL for Lyn and the Village Hall Committee. They raise money for the upkeep of the village hall itself. This is.a task which often gets overlooked and then the halls fall into disrepair and the whole village misses out on a useful bonding amenity. Good to see so many familiar faces from the last visit. Congratulations to Sam who has a role in Bugsy Malone and is appearing at Stafford Gatehouse.
Big thanks to the brave people who decided to drag all their family to celebrate their Wedding Anniversary watching us. Good night, guys.
Starting the week off on Monday evening at KNOWLE for the Local History Society. It is a cold night but a full house and the half time promise of fish and chips. This is our second time performing for this group and it is good to see people we know from the area. Lovely surprise to meet up with our old friend Iris who, along with her late husband, John, has always supported us. Many thanks to you all for being so kind and appreciative.
This afternoon we are at BREWOOD Royal British Legion for Val.
This must be my week for meeting up with people from my past. It was truly wonderful to look up and see Brian and Phyllis Jones.
Phil was my Guardian Angel when I left school and went to my first job at the Patent Shaft Steel Works in Wednesbury. I was only sixteen when I went to work in the Drawing Office as a Tracer. Phil took care of me and we have always kept in touch.
It was so good to see her. The gig went well although we did have accompaniment from some roofers who were working above us. Some of the songs had a bit more baseline than was strictly necessary.
Friday 23rd of October and we are here to help celebrate Maureen’s Birthday. Many thanks to Christine and the staff at DRUID’S HEATH GOLF CLUB who were so helpful. Also many thanks to Maureen and Family and friends for being such a great audience.
Friday 30th and we are heading for KING’S HEATH CRICKET CLUB. Nightmare journey through the centre of Birmingham everything is gridlocked. The last time we played here was many years ago when we were the support act for one of my all time heroes…the late, great Jake Thackeray. We were lucky enough to work with him on several occasions and his death was a great loss not only to the entertainment industry but to humanity itself. Our great friend from Boggery days, Rose Waters met us and welcomed us in. Lovely to see her after such a long time. We made so may good friends from those folk club days and some of them turned up to see us on the night. Chris and Pat, Maggie and Dee, Loz and his wife, Thank you so much all of you for coming and supporting us. It means so much. Thanks also to the gang from Shirley Golf Club and the people who had been to theatres to see us. What a fab. Night! Lovely to meet Peter and his wife who runs the club. They were all very kind and helpful.
Haloween. All Hallows Eve. And we are out at a pretty little village called WESTON for the Lunar Caravan Club. They meet here from all over the country and use the village hall to have a meal and a get together. Surprisingly they all seem to understand the Black Country Accent. They love a sing song and readily join in which makes a great change. Before long we are all getting along like old friends. Many thanks for feeding us and to Linda and Mike for asking us along.
At last we get some decent weather. We’ve had some great walks over Cannock Chase this month and around Stowe Pool in Lichfield. Pity we went to 3 different countries including Wales and got nothing but rain.
We have had some good times with friends this month. We had a lovely Sunday afternoon high tea in Knowle courtesy of Carole and Mike. We had strawberry jam, enormous scones, fresh cream and tea in bone china cups. I thought Al was going to faint when he saw the delicacy of the cups. He’s not used to the niceties.
Thanks to Norma and Alan for our lunch in Beatties…. it was good to get together. We had carvery nights with Mike and also Steve and Glo where I ate far too much food at Cannock Hockey Club.
We had a couple of giggly nights round at Chez Louise with her and the kinder putting the world to rights and drinking red wine.
We managed two visits to the Robin at Bilston . At the beginning of the month we met up with our mate Graham Leddington to watch the Blues Band. Fantastic night! Dave Kelly is an amazing slide guitarist and it was pure blues not commercial stuff. Later in the month we met up again with Graham and Anne and Jack from Giggetty to watch the Zombies. I think it is fair to say that Anne and I were smitten with the passionate life force that is Rod Argent. He is a perfect contrast to the purity and calm that seems to surround Colin Blunstone.This is about our 4th or 5th time and they seem to get better each time. Wonderful to see bands from the sixties doing new and imaginative music as well as the old favourites.
If anyone reads this they must think we always have great gigs and happy days.
Obviously I don’t write…..”We drove to upper Snodsbury and got heckled by a gang of Neanderthals.” Occasionally we get some flack but fortunately it is not very often. We vet our gigs as much as we can to avoid this happening. Younger people in the audience sometimes, well, usually, fall into a texting frenzy when they realise we’re ancient and are not going to include them in our act.
Drunks can be more worrying. You pray that you will get a happy drunk and not an aggressive drunk.
The other problem is varying ideas of “live”. It seems a P.A. can strike fear in some timid souls. As it took most of the summer and almost £1,000 to get my voice back I am not about to strain it by not using adequate amplification.
All of the above happened in October but it is usually one person in an entire audience…so we slap on a happy face and concentrate on the good guys.
When I get home I make a wax effigy and stick pins it it….Seemples!
My therapist says I’m pre occupied with vengeance…..we’ll see about that!
Just coming up to Bonfire night..celebrations in honour of a man who tried to blow up Parliament. Now that’s a public celebration I can go along with! Bonfire night ! That’s the only time we are happy to see a Pyromaniac.
Round at my friend’s house the other night and her young son, who was doing his homework asked what was the closest thing to silver was. I said I wasn’t sure. He said I know…….”The Lone Ranger’s Balls”
Kids are always telling Chav jokes:
What sign are Chavs usually born under? Service Station 1 mile.
New variation on Monopoly. Chav Monopoly. Not much fun…you always end up in jail.
Both of us have felt really tired this month. I feel like the guarantee on some of my body parts has just expired.
I realised the other day that old age is when you buy a see through blouse then realise you no longer know anyone with good enough eyesight to see through it anyway.
Al gets worried sometimes as both of his parents had Alzheimers. He said “Still if I look on the bright side I get to meet new people everyday.”
I think the only way to deal with serious concerns is to try to take the fear out of the equation as much as possible. If we sat down and worried about it every day we’d never do anything.
As I often say …. in the words of the American comic Steve Wright …..I’m having amnesia and déjà vu ….I’ve forgotten this before.
The final word on the X Factor Fiasco as I type this is that the dastardly duo, the Twin Freaks etc. etc are still hanging on in there.
I just found a posting on a website which read;
To Mr. and Mrs, Grime a.k.a. Parents of John and Edward…….
Please accept our sincere apologies and best wishes for the future.
Signed: Durex. Naughty! But I had to have a smirk.
I will finish on a wonderful description from a friend who is going through a relationship breakdown.
She said “We now have hallway sex” I said that sounds a bit steamy. She said “Not really we pass each other going in and out the front door and shout “Screw You”!
Speak soon, my lovelies!
NOVEMBER already and It is a nice, easy journey for us today as we are appearing at the TERRACE RESTAURANT near Brownhills. Kathy has asked us along to entertain a croup of retired teachers from the Walsall district.
It is great to catch up with an old friend of ours……Mel Pope.
I worked with Mel at Wodensborough High School for 10 years and Al knows him from Mel’s first teaching job at Holyhead Road Boys School. It could only have got easier after having Allan in his first batch of pupils. Enjoyed the gig. Some good comments.
6th November and we are appearing at DENNIS POTTER COURT in WYTHALL. Sheila Amos has invited us over there to perform for friends and relations. She is a lovely lady. They all made us very welcome. We knew one or two like Bunny and the Tena Ladies from other gigs. Can honestly say we really enjoyed the evening and hope we get to visit again. Happy Christmas to you all!
Saturday 7th and we are back at WHITTINGTON HEATH GOLF CLUB.
Peter and the staff are great and look after us so well. Thanks for the meal for Al and our co -performer Tipton Wordsmith Dave Bartley. Great night. A fair few of the crowd come over to see us when we do the Buddy Holly night in Feb, with Mike Berry and the Outlaws. It was good to see Alan and Paula there. Alan is an old friend of both of us and Paula is now a new one. Thanks again to a great crowd for making our friends welcome and for giving us such a great night.
Wednesday 10th and we are back at SUTTON CONSERVATIVE CLUB at the request of Alan Gosling for the PROBUS group. A full house …which was great to see. We know quite a few of them from the Golderslie Club. This is about our third year now and they are a very receptive crowd. Very friendly. Many thanks for the lovely food. It is always a good spread and the staff there are great and well used to us by now.
11th November . This is our first visit to a trio of beautiful villages called the LENCHES. They are situated in lovely countryside at the back of Alcester. This was a fundraiser to fight the proposed wind turbines. I can understand the concern. The villages are so special and it would spoil the rural landscape. It was a very civilised cheese and wine affair. Again we were asked to join them to eat and chat. One man in the audience who originally came from Dudley and still retained the accent informed me he had moved out there to improve the gene pool. Them Black Country lads dow arf mek yow loff, dow they?
This was an exciting night for us as we don’t often get to work with new acts.
We are appearing at KINGSWINFORD BRITISH LEGION and were working with a vocalist and an Abba tribute. It is a filthy night…weather wise. Absolutely persisting down. Derek, the singer was great. Lovely guy and he picked perfect songs for the audience. Wish I had got his surname because I would thoroughly recommend him. He was a real crowd pleaser.
We did our spot which was great then stayed to watch a bit of the Abba trib……. Abba Now. Great show. They really worked the audience well… though they were a wee bit loud for the gents in the backroom. I must admit one or two of them could give Victor Meldrew a run for his money. Nobody does grumpy like Black Country men. Well….maybe Yorkshire men do. We’re back there with the same show on Friday 22nd January.
Saturday 14th and we are back here at GREAT HAYWOOD. This is a real feel good gig for us. We have been here for a couple of years running but feel so much at home with the crowd. The people are great and we all work together to make it a good night. This is one of the gigs that make performing really worthwhile. Bit of a panic when the chips were late as you can see form the kitchen line up. See you all next year. Happy Christmas!
Friday night at EARLSWOOD VILLAGE HALL. Bad start to the evening as there was a crash on the motorway. Stressed before we got there. The night before I had developed Laryngitis so I had to abandon all my new songs then when we arrived I realised I had left the backing tracks in the house.
We managed to find a few old discs in the car but they were far from perfect. Poor old Al had to do his best with what there was. I explained to the audience and they rose to the challenge. They were just so brilliant. They encouraged Allan doing his songs and sang twice as loud to help us out. Many thanks to the lovely Jenny and to husband Mike, to Philip and his good lady who made our hot drinks. Thanks to sisters Nadine and Michelle who offered to share their picnic. We, as usual, had been well catered for with food and drink by Jenny. Big thanks for my beautiful bouquet. Love you all.
Saturday 21st and we have a long drive tonight. The weather is unkind and although it is not a long distance they are narrow twisty roads and there is no easy way. We are out at the back of Ludlow at EYE VILLAGE HALL.
This is a return visit and friends from Yarpole and from Aymestry come along to support us. Great to see you all again.
Loved the sausage and mash and fruit crumble and many thanks to the lovely people who we shared the meal with. We could hardly move for the second half of the gig. Thanks to you all for another great night.
Wednesday 24th November and we are working for Staffordshire Federation of Women’s Institutes.at COVEN VILLAGE HALL. They have allowed a few of the men to come as it is a special occasion. It is the 90th Anniversary so we are very proud and honoured to share the celebrations with them. Allan does well for himself….a fish and chip supper and a special present from Val at Brewood British Legion ….a jar of her homemade jam. Lovely to see our friend Mary Cope. Thanks to you all for being a super audience.
We are at SUMMERHILL SCHOOL tonight in Kingswinford. Tommy has had to cancel as he is poorly but Ken Woods and Galloping Claude and Chimpanzee have stood in at the last minute. This is gig we have done for several years with Giggetty and former member Dave Whalley who helps to organise the evening and teaches at Summmerhill. Always a great crowd and well attended. Good to work with Dave again.
Last gig of the month and it is lovely to be back here in the Cotswolds.
Barry and Ann have contacted us to return to MICKLETON for the third time. Sorry to say one of our friends from this village is no longer with us and it was hard to come back and not see her. She was a very vibrant and special person. Love and good wishes to Max. It was great to see you.
Maureen, the chairperson, introduced us and the audience were as warm ad friendly as ever. We had a lovely country Ploughman’s lunch in the break with tasty locally sourced fresh food. Great to see Lynn and Lisa from the local playgroup had gone to so much time and trouble for the evening. After our joke the last time about the Nun they had risen to the challenge and turned up dressed as two very naughty nuns. Wonderful night. Many thanks to all of you.
This has been a sad month for us. At the beginning of the month we heard of the sudden death of one of our oldest friends.
Mick Moseley was Allan’s schoolboy friend…they grew up and played football together through the years. Mick married my oldest and closest friend. He was Best Man at our wedding. We went through all the highs and lows of our early lives……..marriage, children, loss of parents.
Circumstances changed and became a bit difficult. We lost touch with Mick but it was a terrible shock for us and for his family. We all had some great times together and it feels like another part of our past has just disappeared. The funeral was most distressing. Our love and thoughts go out to his family. God Bless, Mick.
“When we recall the past we usually find that it is the simplest things – not the great occasions – that in retrospect give of the greatest glory or happiness.” Bob Hope
We have both struggled to get through the later bookings this month as we have both been suffering from Laryngitis, the dreaded cough, etc. Nightmare! First time in 31 years that we have both been ill at the same time. I have had it for 3 weeks and I am just finishing a course of antibiotics ….Al is just starting his course. We have both been really depressed. It has been strange in the house with both of us saving our voices for the gigs. Even the Budgie, Joey, has gone mute because he couldn’t hear us chatting.
Had a couple of great social nights. We got together for a bite to eat with Dave and Diane, Alan and Paula and Chris and Kev. Allan had to sit at the end in case he was contagious and worse still for him….keep quiet.
We all really enjoyed it and have planned to do it again. Happy Big Birthday to Diane.
We had a great night out with Anne and Jack at Bromsgrove Folk Club. www.bromsgrovefolkclub.co.uk
We had gone along to support our old friends John McGowan and Chris Laverty…..Malfunction. Met up there with Smurf, Pat and Rosemary and friends and had a great time. BROMSGROVE FOLK CLUB has always been a good club, well run, with a friendly atmosphere. …………. Good to see residents, Bob, Mac and John who are Fairfield Folk. They do a smashing job. Lots of people we knew from the old days. Malfunction did an excellent night and should be getting lots of work. Great songs and great performers.
www.malfunction.co.uk and www,myspace.com/malfunctionfolk.
Any of you old Folkers remember Dave Cartwright? He is there on January 28th 2010. Be still my beating heart!
I always think it’s hard to look good when you feel rough. My face seems to permanently look as if I have fallen asleep on a candlewick bedspread and transferred the pattern. I tried to sign up for an aerobics class…the instructor said “How flexible are you?” I said : “I can’t do Wednesdays”.
When I looked in the mirror this morning I thought “I know the face …but I can’t put a name to it.”
Ireland is having a rough time of it. Jedward have been voted off the X factor.
Talk of them going into the jungle now that Katie Price has come out. That would just be replacing one pair of ***s with another pair of ***s.
News broke about the scores of Irish abuse victims seeking counselling.
Thierry Henri was at the front of the queue.
I’ve noticed they have got a new sponsor for the London Marathon. Mars sponsored it and gave all the runners a Mars Bar . at the tape, Flora……gave them all a tub of Butter. They’ve got their work cut out this year….the sponsor is Virgin!!
It’s certainly true what they say about Man Flu. I’m sitting across from the indisputable evidence right now. Holy Moley! Give me strength.
Dandy would like to thank all of you for your kindness and support this year. We would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Very Happy Christmas and a Healthy and Happy New Year. We would love to see you all in 2010. Make it a good one.
Remember don’t save things for a special occasion…..this is it.
Jingle Bells to you as we start the run down to Christmas. We start our December bookings with a gig for BROMSGROVE PROBUS. We have worked this gig a couple of years back for Ron Lisk.
John Webb, who is now in the chair has asked us back to Holt Fleet for their Christmas party
This is a lunchtime/afternoon gig so we have a mid morning start. The Holt Fleet is a very big pub at the side of the river so, given the amount of rain, we were a bit concerned. The pub on the opposite bank had been closed and boarded whether from flood or recession we were not sure.
We didn’t have a long wait and the audience were great. We chatted to a lovely couple who had seen us at Huntington Hall. Got back home in the rush hour traffic at about 6.30. Long day.
December 3rd and we are back at WALLHEATH. This is another afternoon event. Jeanette had asked us over to entertain the ladies of the Thursday Club for their Christmas party. It was good to see them again we hadn’t visited for a few years but there were many familiar faces.
I love to watch the ladies preparing food for these events. There is such a buzz of activity. There is lots of last minute piping of cream on trifles, swapping cards and clatter of teacups. It is sad to see, like everywhere else, since our last visit the security around the building has been tightened. The ladies were fine and Allan managed to talk his way into a big bowl of trifle.
Thanks to you all for a lovely afternoon.
This evening we are at a village called LOPPINGTON which is a new venue for us and is out near Wem and Myddle which are villages we play, It is a lovely little village but it is a very cold and icy night. Jean had warned us that the hall itself would be full to capacity so after we set up we went down the road to the pub to wait until they had finished their meal.
By this time it had started snowing so I arrived at the pub with my hair turned poodle and quite grumpy.
The quiet hour I had anticipated didn’t quite happen for we entered the room mid animated stag evening and the groom- to -be was just having his kilt lifted from behind. After a large glass of red wine I saw the funny side and the gig itself turned out fine
Saturday 5th and we are back here at Brooke St. in TIPTON and it is especially good to be working with our friends Mike Plested ..stage name Michael Brookes and another local lad, Dave Bartley. This is Mike’s home territory and a great number of his family and friends are here to support him. Mike is an amazing vocalist and performer and is our lifesaver when it comes to dealing with anything with a plug on the end. He works as a solo artist and as lead singer with a fantastic band www.motownmagic.com.
This is a fund raiser for Compton Hospice and Keith and his team do excellent work with £1,400 raised on the night.
The night itself is magical. Many thanks to the crowd who were wonderful.
8th December and tonight we are entertaining WALMLEY Conservatives Supper Club at King Norton Golf Club at the kind invitation of John Smith.
We are quite at home here as we do the golf club each year on the Buddy Holly night with Mike Berry and the Outlaws.
The members of the supper club are very polite and well mannered and make us realise all we have lost as a nation. They are warm and responsive and quite a few come up for a chat at the end.
9th December and we are at WHITTINGTON. Christine and Gary have invited us to entertain some lovely people. We are thrilled to share their Christmas Meal and to sit with old friends Sue and Alan Parsons from Wednesbury.
Al has known Sue and Alan since they were kids and I have known them since teens so it is good to catch up. We also share the meal with newer friends Colleen and Terry. We did Terry’s 60th Birthday so it was god to see them again. My only regret is still being unable to talk without my voice going or coughing. Wonderful afternoon . Gary dressed up as Father Christmas and, Mal, Chris’s sister is his helpful Elf. Great to see friendly clubs like this being so well attended. They go on loads of outings and all seem very supportive of each other.
10th December and we are pleased to be going to see Audrey and the ARLEY Ladies again. We are back at the Hundred House near GREAT WITLEY. Lovely to see them all.
The weather is holding and Al has treated himself to a bowl of chips so he is happy. I could barely talk tonight never mind trying to sing. Audrey was much the same so we had a good moan. Thanks for a smashing night .
Friday evening and we are on our way to Coventry to see the Catenians for our old friend Martin Daley. Sadly, Mrs. Daley can’t be with us tonight as she has just been in hospital. All our good wishes for her speedy recovery.
Martin has kindly offered to treat us to a meal while they are eating so we are settled in a room at the back with a big plate of scampi and chips which is wonderful. Many thanks for your hospitality.It is a busy day for us today. I am still barely able to talk so I am quite depressed having to keep struggling through the bookings.
We are back at the beautiful village of LAPWORTH which we did a few months back. Today we are entertaining a different audience. It is the Christmas meal and party for the Evergreens who are the older inhabitants of the village.
Lovely people and quite a few we knew from Snitterfield etc.
This is an afternoon gig and we have to pack up quickly as we are due to go and see Ray Davies at the Symphony Hall tonight.
Al did his Lewis Hamilton Driving on the way back…”Drive it like you stole it!” This is a concept which is well established in our home town of Wednesbury.
Dashed in, dropped off the gear and rushed back to the Symphony Hall to meet our friend Louise. Nice surprise for us when our mate, Graham turned up as well.
Monday 14th and we are on our way to Stirling Road. BIRMINGHAM for a Masonic Lodge Christmas party. We were very sorry to hear of the death of Pat Wright who had booked us on previous occasions. I had a long chat with his wife.
Steve and Kath had taken over the event and were very nice people.
Always a bit nervous about negotiating Broad Street late at night but as it was a Monday it wasn’t too bad. No breasts pressed up the windows from passing slappers. I think they would have frozen to it had they tried.
It is always a bit of a drag getting the gear to the rooms at Stirling Road via the sack truck and various stairs but the audience were great so it was worth the scramble.
Last few of the Christmas gigs now and we are out at BLAKEDOWN Golf Club where we are due to entertain the ladies of WYCHBURY W.I. for their Christmas party. We have been here a few times and the Stewards and family always look after us well. The ladies were great and we really enjoyed entertaining them.
Thursday night 17th December and it is lovely to be back here at BREWOOD Folk Club. Willie and Chris Morgan are off on their jolly hollies so we are ably taken care of by Chris, Tony and Colin and Linda. It was especially good to see John Henley arrive and to hear him play and sing again. He is always far too modest. It has been quite a while since we saw him last so it was a lovely surprise.
Wonderful Christmas spread in the interval and great to talk to Steff and Gina again. Many thanks to you all for a smashing night. Hope we can get over and see you in the new year.
Last gig before Christmas and we are returning to WARWICK to the Lodge there. David, who looks after things there, is a great host and we always sit and chat to him.
The lodge is situated behind Warwick Castle and halfway through the night the Christmas Carol Concert started at the Castle and it started to snow. What a wonderful atmospheric event it proved to be.
The audience, as this was our third year, know us well by now. Thanks to Steve ad Ann Price for asking us back again.
It was a lovely one to finish on.
Final gig for 2009 is at HAMPTON BISHOP near Hereford for the Caravan Club Meet. It is a bit of a worry tonight as the weather is pretty bad and a lot of snow has been forecast. The village isn’t too difficult to negotiate although they are very narrow lanes…. but a few miles away the villages are cut off by snow.
The people we met with here are very friendly and always join in and enjoy the night. Only one of the two Welsh brothers here tonight. One is getting over a health problem and they thought too much laughing might not be good for him. Get well soon. We missed you. They are all always up for a bit of mickey takin. We were so glad we could manage to get here but were equally glad when we got home through the snow.
December has been a hard month for us. The gigs have been great and the people fine to work for. Only one was a bit of an uphill struggle.
Like everyone else at this time of the year we have both been suffering from the Coughing/Voice loss virus which seems to have hit hard in this area.
I worked so hard all summer to get my voice back with speech therapy only to lose it again at the end of November with this virus. Working almost every day didn’t give me a chance to rest it. Allan lost his as well but only for 2 days. We spent most of December barking in separate beds. After 6 weeks and 2 lots of antibiotics it finally cleared enough to sing just after Christmas. We are cutting down next year on December gigs. I am too old and too grumpy for this again next year..
We managed a couple of social events in December. One of them was the Ray Davies concert ant the Symphony Hall. He gets better and better…he is a true Renaissance man. He adapts, re arranges and writes new stuff all the time. He did some songs acoustically, some with his band and then in the second half brought in the Crouch End Choir with their Conductor and they did the Kinks Choral Works.
Brilliant.! Great cross section of age groups there. Louise and I reverted to teenage adulation and were quite taken with looking at his tight trousers instead of his amazing contribution to popular music.
We spent the next hour trying to get off the car park. Louise was fascinated by the captivating scenes of Birmingham after dark….half clad, screaming, inebriated floosies walking like pigs on stilts backwards and forwards across the front of the car. She kept shouting. “Look at her…she’ll catch her death of cold.”
Had a good day with Louise trying to erect her daughter’s Classic Dolls House. It had been delivered to ours as a surprise so she came over to do it as a joint effort. This is one big house. Allan and I considered moving into it at one point. It was great fun for me trying to watch Allan trying to work on a project with another woman while following diagrams and instructions without shouting.
The last Friday before Christmas we had a great night out with Nick and Cliff…Nicky Moran and Cliff Thomas who are married and work separately as singers and together as Eternity www.eternityduo.co.uk
Hard for us all to get time off together to do anything. They had worked in the afternoon but still had the stamina to go out…unlike us.
Bitterly cold night but bright and crisp and perfect for the German Market in Birmingham. We had a wonderful time and joined in the big Food Fest. After we had ate enough to make ourselves feel suitably sick we ended the evening by a ride on the big Wheel outside the Symphony Hall. Thanks to both for a lovely time.
No Christmas would be complete without a trip back to our roots so we took wreaths to Mum’s and Dad’s in Wednesbury cemetery and Great Barr Crem. and one to John Plant (Ayli) over at Lower Gornal
Wednesday we went back over to Wednesbury and met up with Mike (see Tipton) and had lunch in Morrisons and caught up with gossip. Mike works non stop especially in December so it is always hard to get together. Allan treated himself to Ian Bott’s new book on Wednesbury. All of Ian’s books are excellent. He has a real love of local history and his collection of Black Country photographs must be extensive by now. So pleased we can all share them.
Standing behind a lady at the checkout the other day the assistant and I were both surprised to see her take a remote control out of her handbag while looking for here money. She said: “Oh, this! He wouldn’t come out to get the shopping with me so this was the most evil thing I could think of to do to him!” Love it.
I have realised over Christmas that I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.
Some random thoughts;
We won’t be able to “Spend a Penny” soon when we become Single currency. Will we be Euronating?
I think a best friend’s job should be to immediately clear your computer history when you die.
Can we all agree to ignore whatever comes after DVD.’s. I am far too old to start another collection.
Why do we keep old junk and boxes in the garage and our most expensive possession…the car out on the front drive in the snow. Doh!
Why don’t they create mouse flavoured cat food?
Had a new iron for Christmas with a label which read “Do not iron clothes whilst on body!”
I noticed on my Herbal sleep aid Nytol…..May cause drowsiness.
Allan’s favourite was on a box of Sunmaid Raisins “Why not try tossing over your breakfast cereal”. Indeed!
Said to Allan the other day
“I have just read an article which says that women use twice as many words a day as men.
Women use 30.000 and men use only 15,000
The reason being that we have to repeat everything”…
We had a quiet Christmas and were sorry we didn’t get to meet up with quite as many friends as we would have liked but we will see them in the New Year I am sure.
Your life, like mine has been hi-jacked by the money men,
The manipulators, the media.
Take it back from them and make it your own.
The faceless few who decide how we should dress, eat,
Style our homes and our hearts…..
they are nothing to us.
We are individuals.
Look to yourself and find your own true path.
Find the simple things that make you smile, that make you laugh.
Find the things that cause your heart to lift
and to lighten any shadow on your soul.
Our expectations are hyped and raised
And the reality of the not so perfect attainment rankles.
It leaves us feeling guilty… cheated…
Imperfect in our failure
Be kind to yourself and those around you
Learn to accept life’s boundaries.
Strive for your goals but be sure they are your own.
We thank you all for your friendship and support. All good wishes from Glyn and Al for 2010
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