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2010

Back on the road again for Dandy and we are doing our second of 2 shows at KINGSWINFORD BRITISH LEGION.  We are working with the same 2 acts as we were in November.  Not such a big audience tonight but a very respectable number, nevertheless.  This is the first one back for us after a few weeks break and it is a bit nerve wracking.
Turned out fine but I didn’t feel in complete control which I don’t like.
Bit more difficult set up on the dance floor if I need to refer to any notes.
It feels more obvious and after a break I really don’t trust my memory.

BroadwaySaturday 23rd of January and this evening we are back at the BROADWAY GOLF CLUB, WALSALL.  We know a fair number of the people here and I have to say that, along with Whittington, Heath, Lichfield , this is one of the friendliest golf clubs that we come to.

We were not expecting to see Clever Trevor and his lovely wife, Allysa.  Trevor last saw me sans clothes but I hasten to add it was in his medical capacity.  Party people.! He is always good for some new jokes.
Great to catch up with them again.
Met a wonderful gentle and elegant lady named Mary who said some very kind things.  Also enjoyed my chat with Sandy Dallas.  What a great name!
We found we had several teaching friends in common.
Thanks to Neil aka Flatpack ,who,needless to say, worked at Ikea and was such a good sport. Happy Birthday, Neil.
Many thanks to you all for making it such another enjoyable night at Broadway for us.

Friday 29th and we are back at the lovely village hall at LEEK WOTTON.This is a fundraiser for Cancer Research.  They are a great audience and are always very friendly and so polite. Allan ate enough to last him for the week.  It was a wonderful 3 course meal while I sat by and sucked an ice cube..I’d forgotten how evil dieting makes me feel. Thank you for all your kindness and hospitality.

Newport This is our first time at NEWPORT BOWLS CLUB IN SALOP.  There was no car park so we spent a very stressful time while Allan attempted to park in a gap. To use his words “I cor goo backards!” I had to stand in front of a big posh looking car in case he backed into it. After about 20 nail biting manoeuvres in Arctic temperatures he realised the car belonged to our good mate Graham Leddington who had driven over to bring Al his card and pressie.  How kind was that! .
The club was one of the most friendly places we have been in a long time.  Usually people have to get used to us but this audience were very friendly from the off. The proceeds for the evening were divided between Alzheimers Research and Cancer Research and a sum in the region of £600 was made. Great night and a re booking for next year.

HOME FRONT NEWS

hotel1There is not much by way of gigs but we have had a busy few weeks socially.   We had a holiday booked in Masspalomas in the Canary Isles. This was the first time we had gone abroad in January and it was looking a bit hit and miss with the snow and the flight delays etc.  The end result was probably the best holiday either of us could remember.
It was a perfect temperature and very relaxing.  We met up with some good friends out there Mick and Mike and also some new and unexpected ones.
What a great surprise to meet again with Roger (who I had not seen since I was 15) and his lovely wife Barbara.  We all got on really well and spent some time together which made the holiday more special. Thanks to you both.

Roger and BarbaraWe came back home feeling much more refreshed despite the snow.
Al had his birthday this month and lots of lovely presents and cards.  He had a bit of a psycho wobble and blamed me for his increased age, the bad weather, the price of fish….you name it.  He has rallied again now and people have sung Happy Birthday to him 4 times so he’s feeling more treasured!
He spent most of his birthday week meeting up, eating, and coming away with gifts.  What a life, eh?

            We were especially pleased to meet up with another old friend….Dave Cartwright.  Dave was performing at Bromsgrove Folk Club and we hadn’t seen him for a number of years.  Dave has always been an excellent singer/songwriter and musician. I have to Dave Cartwrightsay he is legend on harmonica! Being a big Dylan fan I love the harmonica.
He has produced some great work over the years so it was good to hear that his new stuff is still as poignant and relevant.  Check out his website and go and see him if you get the chance. www.davecartwright.net. Great night.

            It is always so good to catch up with friends from folk club days and so sad to hear of their passing.  We heard in the New Year that the beautiful Trisha Dowie is no longer with us.  Trisha sang with her (later to be) husband James as Winterwood and afterwards as lead vocalist with Back Street Slide.
We shared a residency with them at the Crown in Lichfield.  Trish was one of those hugely talented people who had no conceit and was a pleasure to be in her company. I will treasure my memories and the photographs Jim sent to me.

            Got together at the beginning of the month with the Gang of 10. for a meal and a catch up. All the girls talking diets and the lads being stupid. Things looking good for Chris and Deb with Eagles tribute band Desperadowww.desperadolive.co.uk
Great to see Steve doing some stuff with them.  Such a magic night and we always say we should do it more often…
Check out photo of Al and Al Powell.  That is what friendship is all about.
Being there for a good laugh or for a good cry.

            What with it being Al’s Birthday there has been a lot said about ageing and trying to hold on to youth…..they can get away lot faster than I can chase them these days.

I love some of these observations from friends and the like some are real some are not…..

 A girlfriends of mine getting ready to go out and the dress not meeting with the husband’s approval. ……. “You’re not going out in that? …… No. this is what I am wearing for your funeral…I was just practising!”

“No, I don’t have to buy him shampoo or conditioner anymore at his age……I just give him a squirt of Pledge and a duster.”

One crying into her red wine  “I wanted a Heathcliffe to my Kathy and I got a Ken Barlowe to my Deidre!  Ain’t life a bitch!”

Sometimes it’s best to get a sort of pattern going so that everyone knows where they stand.  Husband comes home from work…”I’m sorry”
His wife says “What for?”  ….”I don’t know yet!”
As he walked into the kitchen..
“What really p***** him off is that I always know where things are when he can’t find them.

DandyWent up to a friend’s bathroom the other day after she had just given it a good clean.  She had put up a big notice saying “Wet Floor….and for the men in the house this is NOT an instruction.”

Isuppose we all want to stay looking young but it is painful for the body and the pocket.
My friend in London had just had some botox injections and when he told her the cost at £600 she said I was so angry and I couldn’t even register my shock .

Dolly Parton always says if it’s sagging, dragging or bagging….get it sucked, tucked or plucked. Love her!

Someone I know has had breast implants and now whichever way she turns they are still facing you.

One thing that men and women do agree on …we both distrust women.

I’ve just found out that the historical St. Valentine was clubbed to death. Says it all really!


February gigs begin tonight at WALTON VILLAGE HALL for the STONE ROTARY.  We have been lucky enough to do this gig for the past few years as a mini tour.  These have been Friday and Saturday nights and it has worked very well for all concerned. Rotary have been working along with Bill Gates to raise money with the aim of finding a cure to try to eradicate polio worldwide.
At the moment they are doing all they can to raise funds to help the people of Haiti after the terrible disaster there.  They are saving money to supply the homeless with a Water Survival Box,an AquaBox and a much needed Shelterbox which provides them with a roof over their heads. Although they obviously help out local charities the 954 Rotary Clubs in the country work towards one common aim for the year. Both nights went well and we were well looked after by Les.
Thanks to the audiences both nights who came along to support such  good causes and also for supporting us.

Catshill12th February and we are back at Catshill, Bromsgrove.  This is the second time we have done this gig to raise money for the upkeep of the CATSHILL VILLAGE MEADOW which is lovingly described as “a little green oasis for your pleasure”.  Don and Maureen had invited us over there again. What a fantastic night it was!  It was great to see so many of our friends turn up to support us.  Thanks to Chris, Pat, Rose and the gang and Bob and Cyn and the Bromsgrove Folk Club crowd.  Many thanks to all of you and especially  Max and Dave and everyone who had travelled all the way from Mickleton in the Cotswolds. The evening couldn’t have been better from our point of view. Allan had such fun doing the raffle especially when he found the out of date bottle of wine. Great laugh.

whittingtonBack again at WHITTINGTON CHURCH HALL for Lunch and a Laugh.  This is the event that we have done for the past few years which is organised by Alistair and Margo to raise money for the Church and Church Hall.  It is a Valentine Special and a fantastic 3 course meal has again been prepared by Margo and friends.  As usual the audience were brilliant and made us feel like old friends.  Thanks to you all again for continuing to support the event.

Friday 19th and this is a new venue for us.  We are at BARTON UNDER NEEDWOOD BOWLS CLUB.  Steve and the management committee have worked very hard to promote the night and have put big posters of us up all round the village. Nice to meet up with the people who used to book us at Foseco which we did many times.  The crowd were a friendly lot and hopefully we will be going back to entertain them again next year.

FortonThis is a return visit to FORTON CRICKET CLUB.  We are so well looked after here.  Lovely to go into the changing room and see the heater already on, tablecloth and tea and coffee making facilities and a big jug of fresh milk. They had put Black County sayings on the walls and on the tables to give the audience a fighting chance. They provided us with Fish and Chips and friendly audience.  What more could you ask for? Brilliant.

Thursday 25th February and this is our first time over at RUSHALL LABOUR CLUB.  This is a private venture run by Sid for the local people who prefer to go out for a special lunchtime concert than risk the dark streets at night.  They were certainly keen.  They arrived in droves very, very early and the local council provided a free buffet. There must have been about 300 in the room.  We got blocked in so had to stay till the end but we were all well entertained  by the singer, Darren D. Davidson, who followed our spot. Great crowd we had a really good gig and look forward to going back there.

LichfieldTonight we are working for LICHFIELD LIONS at the invitation of John May .  We are working at the Friary School which has a wonderful Theatre Seating Area and big stage. The event had been organised to raise money for Saxon Hill Special School. The amount raised on the night was £800 thanks to the generosity of the people who attended.
The audience were a great crowd.  Lovely to see Anne and the Catholics.  They sound like a band. We know a lot of them from fundraisers at Holy Cross in Lichfield .  They are such good sports. We all had a great time.  Many thanks to Ben, our wonderful sound and lighting tech.  We hope to do it again next year.

Kings NortonKINGS NORTON GOLF CLUB.  This is our yearly get together to celebrate the life and music of the great Buddy Holly.  Dave and Eve Slater have organised the show for the past 7 years.  We support Mike Berry and the Outlaws.  It was great to see Mike looking fit and well again.  He couldn’t do last year’s gig because of illness.  We watched him at Wednesbury Youth Centre in the sixties and he doesn’t look much different.  I don’t know what he’s on but I wish he would pass on the secret.  His voice still sounds great. The audience is just fantastic and have always treated us so well.  Lovely to get together with Graham and Pam.  Thanks for coming and being such good mates.


HOME FRONT

Childhood friendsIt has been a busy month for us socially….which we love!
Great evening at the beginning of the month round at Chris and Kev’s house.
Chris and I have one of the most enduring friendships and she is so special to me.  We have been like sisters since we were 3 and 5 when we lived next door to each other.  Our joy and pain we have always shared and I hope we always will.

February 10th we went to see the show at the Grand called Dreamboats and Petticoats.  We went with Graham and Pam so we spent the evening re living our teenage past. Brilliant …. but it was bittersweet looking at young, attractive people wearing our clothes, saying our lines and singing our songs from that special time when we were neither children nor adults. If we closed our eyes we were back there living in black and white with no aches or pains.  That’s it, Glynnis….move on…..

Thursday of that week we went over to the Robin in Bilston to see  one of my favourite singers…Colin Blunstone and his band.  He will be back again soon with the Zombies which is also great because Rod Argent adds another dimension to the night.  I must admit Colin does tend to attract a few anoraks that look as if they have just sampled a magic mushroom and are caught in a hippie time warp but they are harmless…and they probably think the same about me.
Nice to meet Chris and Brian from Bromsgrove who always come to these gigs. Great Blokes.  Met up with Graham, Ann and Jack and Busby.  Excellent gig as usual from Colin Blunstone.

Saturday of that week we had been cancelled so we met Graham again at the Robin to see the Counterfeit Stones.  They  have a big following and we were lucky to get in.  There must have been about 700 of us crammed in there.  It was a bit sweaty and in your face but they did a great night and it was a real party atmosphere.

We are certainly having a musical month.  We love going to see other people work.  Tonight we went to the Garrick, Lichfield to see The Fortunes and the Ivy League. We met up with Roger and Barb and Alan and Carol for drinks first.  Bit disappointed with the Fortunes.  The original singer who was Rod Allen died a couple of years ago.  He had a fabulous voice and was a great front man.  The new guy was competent enough but it just didn’t work for me or Al.  Always hard to replace somebody. The Ivy League were brilliant.  Musically great but so funny as well.  The drummer David is silly beyond words.  Love him.

Had another smashing night round at Nick and Cliff’s.  It was great to swap holiday stories and photos and tales of who had had the worst gig recently.

We had a visit from an old friend who we had not seen for 12 years.  It was great to see Rob Brown who was one of our friends when we used to do the Boggery Folk Club at Solihull.  He also serviced our long succession of Citroen 2CV cars which we had in the 70s and 80s.   Wonderful to see him again we had such a lot of catching up to do.

So pleased to be back in touch with Steve Bayes who ran the Grimstocks Folk Club and who was a gifted singer songwriter and a lovely guy. Pleased to put him in touch with Jim Dowie who I mentioned last month.

Lovely to hear from our old friend, Lizzie Wiggins, the Duchess of Dudley. Lots of love to you and Rich.  Stay well and stay in touch.

So far this year has brought back lots of old friends into our lives and we feel so much richer for that.
Our friends are part of the human race with which one can be human….George Santayana.

There has been much talk of infidelities this month.
I am half expecting to hear that Tiger Woods had an affair with John Terry.
I don’t see that they deserve anonymity.  They court publicity and celebrity status when it suits them.  Being famous is a double edged sword.
Ashley Cole escaped punishment for doing 104mph in a 50mph zone when he explained to the judge that he’d heard John Terry was parked outside his house.
Apparently John Terry scored at the Bridge and at the Bridges.
Poor Wayne wasn’t even first choice with his missus.

Radio 1 proved once again that it has really dumbed down.  Ferne Cotton interviewing Morgan Freeman ,the wonderful actor. Morgan queried her name and she said: “Ferne Cotton ….as in cotton picking.”  Morgan Freeman came back with….”And mine is Freeman. As in ‘no longer cotton picking” That’s my man!

A friend of ours has just bought one of the new flat widescreen televisions.
I said “Are you going to mount it!”  “He said I’m not that excited!”

One for the intellectual out there.  A truck carrying copies of Roget’s Thesaurus overturned on the highway.   The local newspaper reported that onlookers were “stunned, overwhelmed, astonished, bewildered and dumbfounded.”

My friend was moaning last week about marriage:  You know your marriage was a waste of time when you look back and realise that the best thing you got out of marriage was a set of fitted sheets from your Auntie Beryl!

My friend’s son has just failed his theory driving test. “ I answered one of the questions wrong.   Apparently female drivers aren’t a hazard!”

Grrrrr! ……………………….


Aston WoodFriday 4th March and we are back at ASTON WOOD GOLF CLUB

This is a Black Country Night organised by  Brian Yeates Assoc.  It is good to be working with some of the Black Country artistes again.  It is especially good that our friends GIggetty are providing the p.a.  We are in the words of Cliff…Travelling Light…which is a nice change for us. We haven’t seen Aynuk in quite a while so it’s good to catch up.  Anne and Jack (Giggo) are celebrating the birth of their first grandchild, Isobelle….born to their son, David and wife, Sara.  Great news so we all had a drink to wish them well. It was lovely to see so many familiar faces in the audience.
They were fabulous and gave all the acts wonderful support staying on a high right up until the end.  Great night. Big thanks to all.

ElfordSaturday night and we are back at one of our favourite villages. …ELFORD.  It has been quite a few years since we were here last.  The village hall has undergone major refurbishments and extensions.  The stage is now at the other end of the hall which was a bit weird at first after we had faced one way for about 8 or 9 years.
Great to see so many familiar faces and such a good turnout from some of the newer people to the village.  Friends Roger and Barb and Carole and Alan came to offer some support….as did old friends Jane and Dave.
Greg was M.C. and along with his wife, Sue, worked very hard to keep the evening running smoothly.
I must confess after a brilliant first half an excess of good wine and good food left everyone a bit tired but like true party people they rallied again at the end and gave us a rousing send off.  Many thanks to all.

Up again fairly early the next day to get ready for a gig over at WALTON.  This is an afternoon gig for some of the local senior citizens.  They are treated to a Sunday lunch and entertainment by the local council. Keen Stoke fans we had to bring the start time forward so they could go home and watch the match. They are a jolly lot and treat Allan kindly even after they learn he’s a Wolves fan.  Nice to meet and chat with them.

WroxhallFriday 12th and this is our first time at EDGBASTON PRIORY TENNIS CLUB.  I am a bit concerned that they may be younger than our regular age group.  Charlotte has liased with Al about the evening and he is smitten before we arrive.  She turns out to be every bit as lovely as her telephone voice. Great surprise for me to meet up with old friends from when I worked at Wodensborough High School.  Janet and Ian McGuff both taught sport at Wodo. And both still look fit and fabulous.  Had a good catch up. The night went well despite my misgivings and I hope they all enjoyed it as much as we did.  Thanks again to Charlotte.

WroxhallNext night we are at a little village at the back of Knowle called WROXHALL.
I’d noticed the Hall many times as we had driven past.  There was a fine mix of people. Some of them we knew from Hatton which is just down the road.  We got changed in a lovely little nursery so at least Al was kept amused with al the toys.  The night went well and we all enjoyed the food and friendship.  Thanks to Chris and all concerned for making us so welcome.

Tonight we are at the Heart of MeridenEngland…MERIDEN.  This is the dead centre of England and it is a repeat venue for us.  We are working for old friends, Mary, Don and John who all work very hard raising money for Cancer Research..
We are especially pleased to be working with our friend Cliff Thomas and Nicky, his wife who is with us but not working so she can put her feet up.  They work as solo acts and together as Eternity .  We were a very happy little group backstage.
Many thanks to the organisers for providing us with an excellent fish and chip supper.
Thanks to Cliff who had also brought bread and butter, sauces, etc. etc.  He is so well organised it’s scary.    They also ferried us there and provided the p.a.  Great mates and a great evening.  The amount raised for Cancer Research was £1,300 on the night.  Well done to all concerned.

Saturday 20th and we are at BROSELEY Village across the river from Ironbridge. Arthur has asked us back here to perform at the club for the R.A.O.B.  The audience are great.  I think they were more used to us as this is the second visit. We didn’t get lost this time either.  Luckily I woke up in time to prevent Allan from taking the HGV route again!

Our first visit to HIMLEY CRICKET CLUB.  This is a special event organised by a group of friends…T.O.T.S.
Terry started the club a few years back with about 10 couples and they now they have about 50 who get together for various social events, sports and hobbies.  What a brilliant idea!
This evening was their version of the Pudding Club . The P.C. is the swanky restaurant in Mickleton which serves only puddings.
All the ladies turned up and provided a different pudding each and spread them out on the table in the back room.
They were wonderful.  Al had 3 different helpings, then a glass of coke and then felt sick.  They never learn, do they? He didn’t jig about quite so much in the second half. They were all about our age and had a great sense of humour.  Many thanks for letting us share the food and the evening.  It was a pleasure.

26th March and we are back at WALSALL RUGBY CLUB on the Broadway.
Nice to be so close to home.  Paul’s sister has been working really hard to provide the wonderful homemade faggotts,, proper jacket pots. and mushy peas.  They really go down a treat. Once again they were a lovely crowd.  It was especially good to meet Brian, ex S.Wales miner.  We had a good chat.  Lovely guy! Thanks for coming to see us at the theatres.
Also a great surprise to meet Andrew King, who is the son of another Wodensborough colleague.  Had a good gossip about the old days. Great night.  Thanks to all

HopwasSaturday night and we are back at HOPWAS club for our 4th visit.  They are always a very friendly crowd here so we always look forward to it.  We are with a group called Three’s Company.  They are good longstanding musicians and have a wide selection of songs. .
Good venues and good nights don’t just happen.  They need excellent organising skills and sympathetic people skills.  Bob who organises the events has all of these.  He knows everyone. He greets, jokes and encourages…making sure everyone has a good time.  That makes our job so much easier. Thanks for feeding Allan.
Great to see you all again..including Tasha..the very, very big dog who was very discerning and liked me but not Allan.

DudleyMarch 29th and it is the last gig of the month for us.   We are back at DUDLEY Road Rooms which are used by the Lions, Rotary and Masonic Groups.  It is also open as a Restaurant and is ably run by Noel and his wife.
We have played here many times but tonight it is very hard to park and the rain is persisting down.  Allan gets very soggy carrying the gear in. John Rowan who we have known for years from Pattingham Rotary has invited us to entertain Dudley Rotary and several guests from other Rotary Clubs round and about.  It is a special social evening and we have been invited for the meal.  Although it is tempting we have to refuse because we get too settled and don’t want to get up and work after.
Nice to see our friends from Tipton Rotary again.  Rotary people are, by and large,  a very friendly group.  The President of Dudley Rotary, Jamie is lovely and I’m sure a very popular choice .
Thanks to everyone for making us so welcome and thanks to.Barry for emailing us the photo to include.

HOME NEWS

I was just starting to feel a bit more motivated after the dreadful winter and now the weather has turned again and I have hurt my back. I had started to become half woman /half sofa.  There has been so little incentive to get out and walk over the last few months.

We did go up to Wales for a few days a couple of weeks ago to air the van.  We got to Welshpool and realised we had forgotten the oil heaters.  Not good.  Going to the toilet in the night was not the best experience.
We take so much for granted now

Until I was six we lived at my Gran’s and had an outside toilet so consequently you didn’t drink much at night.
Living in the early nineteen fifties we all experienced the shock of putting your tiny frozen foot into a full chamberpot of something warm. Yeugh!

Luckily the weather was kind for a few days so we managed to walk the beach and buy plastic things from Wilkos in Porthmadoc. They’ve already gone digi up there so we had to buy a box to get a bigger variety of crap.

We went to a couple of gigs at the Robin in Bilston….where, incidentally, we will be performing very soon.

On May 4th we are doing a show to raise money for people suffering from MS.  We are sharing the bill with Giggetty and David Bartley, the Tipton Wordsmith.  Anybody interested in coming along please contact the club…Tel. 01902 401211 or buy online at their website www.therobin.co.uk.  The show will be all seated and the cost of the tickets is £10.00. Hopefully it will be a great night and it is a worthwhile cause. Al is so excited to be playing at a proper rock venue he will probably wear his shades and fall off stage.  Worth the entrance money alone.

Early in the month we went there to see American Blues Guitarist… Coco Montoya.  He used to play with John Mayall’s BluesBreakers.  Excellent.
…..
Exciting night which had started with a Hostage Situation on the bus parked outside the Robin.  Guy with knife wouldn’t let anybody on or off the bus and the driver had locked himself in his cab. A little old lady in a woolly hat was banging the window and shouting at the youth in question.. “Open this duwa I’m bloody froze out here and I’ve got to get to Willenhall for the Bingo. It was like something from Dad’s Army.  This is outside the Robin and opposite the Police Station…..which is apparently empty!  Rapid response eventually turned up from Wednesfield , confiscated the knife and left them all to it including the alleged knifeman.  Bilston ay it!!  Wor arf a loff!

Went to a great show there last week to see the Searchers featuring John McNally. We met up with our friends Graham and Pam and had a wonderful night.  The Searchers  are still as enthusiastic as they were all those years ago which really shows. Pam and I  were both suffering with backs and necks  but still managed to get up and have a bit of a jig for old time’s sake.

Had a few good social nights.  We went to the Horns at Slitting Mills with our friends Roger and Barbara and had a lovely steak meal and some laughs.
Night out at the Sills at Knowle with Anne and Jack and our old friend Rob Brown who is now back in our life which is great.

SandwellWent for a day out to Sandwell Park Farm with Nicky and Cliff to see the baby lambs and the baby pigs. Great to see John Stokes who I went to Tameside Junior School with.  He lectures and guides the educational visits. He has been a mainstay there for about 22 years. Allan found Black Country Badges and bought 9!
Sadly this was the morning after I had pulled my back getting some equipment out of the car so I struggled a bit.  Lovely day though and when the weather turned bad we moved on and finished up at the Carvery in Cannock.

Still struggling a bit vocally so I have been back for further help from Speech Therapist Penny Anne O’Donnell at Little Aston.
I fear my biggest problem is a lack of confidence………which is something that the young people today don’t seem to have a problem with.

I hate to admit it but I feel I am turning into one of the Grumpy Old Women who we see on T.V.  I’m sure some young people and I mean “some” “not all” think if you are over 50 you should stay in the house and not sully their vision. Or if we do go out at least be considerate enough to wear a bag over our wrinkly old faces. This outburst is not without cause.  I’ve had a few run ins this month with the ageist generation.
Then I read an essay in the papers about how we baby boomers were to blame for everything going wrong and are going to cost younger people a fortune as we got older.  Bloody Hell!  Just push us down a mine shaft and be done with it.!
We should not have spent our youth wearing leather trousers and going to Pop Concerts…. I quote!  I don’t think they made leather trousers big enough to get my fat backside in back then.
Sanctimonious little Toad. Dominic Something or Other. I bet he had an underprivileged upbringing with a name like Dominic.!! Shades of Solent Green.

Moving swiftly on before I explode.  Our friend Brian Langtry, who was one of the founder members of Giggetty has started a website which covers the history of the group up until 1997.

Giggetty started as a Black Country Folk Group who wrote most of their own material with strong Black Country links.  This site traces their origins and work up until Brian left the group. Brian is now a successful songwriter and playwright and who still performs in various guises.   See Links for website

Giggetty in their present format continue to play and entertain audiences on the Black Country Tour, on shows and at dinner dances.

I was in our local Library the other day and heard somebody ask  “Do you have any books on shelving?”  Young assistant replied……  “Well, yeah, like……actually….they’re all on shelving!”
It reminded me of some more…”Have you got any books on self deliverance…suicide.?”
“Yes…but I’m not telling you where …..you won’t bring it back.!”

It reminds me of when I worked in Wood Green College of Commerce Library in Wednesbury.  One day  myself and the other two assistants, Bev and Jan were stumped by a request from one of our West African students.  He had just come over and was having a few problems with pronunciation.  Wednesbury isn’t the best place to learn good English.  He got more and more angry when we couldn’t find what he wanted ….a book on the Birtish Hissells !  We finally twigged and led him to the British Isles section.  It was like the blind leading the blind.

Heard a nice one from Alan Carr the other day who said  “If I was invisible for the day I’d go over to Bob Geldofs’ and slap Peaches. “
I would slap Piers Morgan, Jonathan Ross, Russell Brand, Michael Winner, Tony Blair and Amanda Holden…..just for starters.

Two nuns driving along a country lane and a vampire jumps out onto the bonnet of their car.  Sister Mary who is driving says “Quick Sister…show him your cross!  The other nun leans out of the car window and shouts……..Get off my fecking car you zombie!”

What do you call a 100 nuns in a shop…the Virgin Megastore.

A three year old lad in the bath examining his testicles.  He points to them and says to his Mum…are these my brains?”  His mother says “No, not yet!”

Liked this one from the U.S. T.V. Channel  ABC.  And this is the most famous football player in the world….Michael Beckham.

Did Tony Blair really say “I’d kill for a Nobel Peace Prize!”……or is that just a rumour I’m spreading!

They did a survey to find out what kind of male face a woman finds attractive when she is suffering from PMT or Menopausal..  The answer was :
One with a pair of scissors sticking out of the forehead!

So much crap on television.  Most of the time they seem to use the unemployable to make programmes to be watched by the unemployed.

A little silly one to leave you with.

Why does an elephant drink……to forget!

See you soon.



fanNow officially into Springtime but the weather seems unaware.  Our first gig is Friday 2nd of April.  We have already been over here to check the venue and to show the management our pat testing cert and our public liability insurance cert.

The Old Schoolhouse at WEEFORD  is renowned for it’s good food.  We were in the permanent marquee at the back overlooking the beautiful countryside.  We had got there in the afternoon and got the gear set up because we had to arrive late as a surprise. This was Adrian’s birthday party.  They were a good crowd to work for and the tiny baby at the front managed to sleep through Allan’s shouting.  They even helped us to carry the gear out to the car when it started to rain.  Many thanks.

Saturday 10th and we have an afternoon gig over at STAFFORD COUNTY SHOWGROUND for retired policemen.  Today we arrived to find the Bowman’s Antique Fair in the Pavillion next door.  They kindly offered us the meal but we had had eaten a big breakfast so we declined.  Well….I did….for both of us. So we went over to the Antique fair and marvelled at how many supposed antiques we had at home.  There seems to be a fine line between junk and antiques these days.  Nice people to work for and good to see so many familiar faces from the last time.  Had a good natter with a lady from Wednesbury. Lovely afternoon and a free Saturday evening.

WoodseavesFriday 16th and we have been invited over to the village of WOODSEAVES again to entertain them.  Great to see some people we knew from Eccleshall.  They came and sat at the front which was great  cuz they’m gud loffers! Allan was put to the test by a young man at the front named Leon who was very savvy and asked him some searching questions:  Which of the 3 was the real colour of his hair?  What kind of hair dye did he use and where did he get his friendship bangles from? I loved it.  Later Leon  came up on stage and told a couple of jokes.  A young man destined for great things. I think Al had met his match. Good lad!

HatSaturday 17th April and we are at a special Birthday celebration for Brian at WISHAW GOLF CLUB.  This has coincided with our 39th Wedding Anniversary. Brian has kindly asked us along toshare his birthday meal as his treat and so Allan realises he will not have to take me out for a meal if he accepts the gig.  LeonCheapskate! Brian has requested that all his guests wear Spring Hats and surprisingly everyone does. What wonderful designs they have come up with.  One lady is completely dressed as a Daffodil.  The men amazed me most of all.  One was dressed as the Mad Hatter.  One was wearing an actual spring tied on to his head with a chicken on a swing inside. We had to judge the designs and it was very hard. We chose the lovely Angie who had come as Spring Cleaning and her husband Nev who wore a bird house and light up ducks on a platform.  They were incredible. Allan had a specially good night because he met up with an old friend from childhood days…Carol Lloyd.  Their houses backed on to each other so they had grown up together. All the people were very friendly.  Thanks to all of you for making our celebration so special.

CarolWednesday 21st and it is a last minute gig for us up at the Terrace Restaurant.  A call from Kathy Norman who organises the events for the retired schoolteachers of Walsall to ask for our help.  We did their Christmas party a while back so we know they are a good bunch of people.  Their speaker for the afternoon was stuck in America because of the ash cloud so we stood in for him.  The man in question dresses as Henry VIII and then speaks about his life and answers questions in character. It was a bit of a difference but thankfully they were very pleased to see us and we made sure we did different material for them.  Really enjoyed our time with them again.

            The same evening after we got in and managed to grab a bite to eat and a wash and change we are back at ASTON WOOD GOLF CLUB to entertain the Over 20’sClub. We chatted to quite a few of the regular golfers in the lounge while we were waiting to go on.  Aston Wood is a very smart golf club but the people who use it and the staff are all very friendly. We had a lovely relaxing evening after a busy day.  The audience were very well mannered and appreciative.

Rose and CrownFriday 23rd and we are back again at HEIGHTINGTON VILLAGE HALL with our friend Bev Pegg.  We love him to bits.  He is always such good fun to be with. The crowd there know us really well by now so it is a pleasure to work for them.  We always do our best to change the material and I think it pays off. Great to have Bob join the team to do some rock and roll with Bev in the second half.  Nice to see how smart the Hall is looking with the new chairs and the stage.  We had a great night as we always do.  Many thanks for the lad’s fish and chips.

Saturday 24th and it is a St. George’s Night over at RUBERY at the OLD ROSE AND CROWN and we are working for Rubery Forty One Club. Lovely venue it backs right onto the Lickey Hills.  We got there early and Marie who was in charge was very nice and helpful so we soon got set up.  I wandered off and found a big pool and tennis courts and ducks and dogs so I was missing quite a while.  In the meantime, the people had been arriving and Allan was chatting to them.  I can honestly say that everyone I met was friendly and charming.  John and Val who had organised the event sat us on their table to share the meal.  We also shared the company of their friends …Linda and Norman and M. and B.  They could have been Molly and Bernie but were quite happy to be called M. and B.  I sometimes get a bit tense in these situations because I am not so outgoing as Al.  I needn’t have worried they all put me at my ease..  Lovely Roast Dinner.  We then did our spot after the meal and the audience were wonderful. They had all dressed in red and white and all joined in the proceedings. Fabulous night.  I really enjoyed it.

Thursday 29th and we are doing the 40th Anniversary for the lovely BANNERS GATE TOWNSWOMENS GUILD. We are at the Sutton Coldfield Golf Club.  Terrible night ….weather wise.  It is absolutely throwing it down.  We finally found the Mixed Lounge where we were to perform and got the equipment set up in plenty of time only to find three hours later that the power in the lounge trips all the time and it has to be plugged into the kitchen.  It might have been nice to be told that by the staff at the beginning of the evening. Still the problem  was soon solved and the Ladies were lovely to work for and were all very complimentary. May we wish them many more years together.  There were obviously very strong bonds of friendship and support for each other.

 HOME NEWS

Not a lot to report this month it has been relatively quiet.  Had a lovely evening with Chris and Kev.  They came over for a meal.  Thank God we are all past the first flush of marriage and entertaining triumphs. There’s nobody I want to impress anymore.  I think my signature dish is probably fishfingers and chips. No I lie… my chilli is highly praised….as is my apple pie.  But that’s about it.  After that I start to struggle.

The truth is if they are real friends like Chris and Kev they are just pleased to come over to get drunk with you, discuss various aliments and play ‘remember when’ and ‘can anybody remember the name of……..?’

Had a few breakfast ‘get togethers’ with Brian, Ann and Jack and Louise. That is something I never take for granted when I see people racing off to work in some soul destroying job with people they can’t stand.  We are so lucky do be able to work when we decide and for whom we decide.

Both of us went for a Well Man and Well Woman Clinic.  Al’s blood pressure is up and so is my cholesterol so he’s been using the old …. “You can’t shout at me in case I get stressed” excuse.  Like that is going to wash!
My friend found out that she had high blood pressure and water retention. She said so what I have got….. is boiling water!

 Had a few more days in Wales but we could all use some sun about now

.Friend has just got back from a skiing holiday.  “Did you have a good time….noting  a few bruises etc?” “Yeah, skiing combines outdoor fun with knocking down trees with your face!”

Had some fun with the election run up.  It writes itself these days.
Gordon goes to the Doctors and says ‘Doctor, everybody keeps ignoring me.. Doctor: ‘Next please!”

 How many politicians does it take to change a light bulb?
Gordon Brown. To point out that the light bulb has been smashed and destroyed by 18 years of Conservative Govt.

Gordon, like his predecessor, the Smarmy Teflon Tony, underestimated women.  Tony did it at the W.I Conference in London. And Gordon did it with the very Northern Gillian Duffy who dared to question him.  He made matters worse by pretending he had misheard when she had mentioned the Flocking Asylum Seekers. What a buffoon! We don’t like being patronised!

I read in the paper that during the Ash Cloud it was reminiscent of 1906 when the Libs. were in the lead and there were no planes in the sky.

Everytime they say Clegg I keep thinking of Norman Clegg, as was, out of Last of the Summer Wine.  I can’t get used to this oily little charmer who is a Pretender to the Throne.

Green, ‘Call me Dave’ David Cameron is a bit of a wimp but I feel he is well intentioned.  At least he is biking to work even if the big car behind him is carrying his briefcase!

Lord Mandelson recovering from a minor operation awakes to find the curtains drawn and asks the nurse if it is evening. The nurse replies:
‘Oh No! but there is a big fire over the road and we didn’t want you to wake up and fear the worst when you saw the flames.’

 Late at night in London.  Well dressed man is stopped by a masked mugger who sticks a gun in his ribs and says: Robin“Give me your money and credit cards and you won’t get hurt!”
The guy says “I’m sorry I can’t do that.  Don’t you know I’m a Senior Politician!”
The mugger says “In that case, give me my money!”

Somebody once described politics as Show Business for Ugly People!

Just typing up this page as the results have come through and it looks as if this boring Political fiasco will run and run.  Couldn’t organise a booze up in a brewery!

The only trouble with political jokes is that one of them gets elected! …………………… Have a good month.


OmbersleySaturday 1st May and this is a gig we are approaching with some trepidation.  We found out today that it is going to be a much younger audience than we are used to working for.  It is in fact a 40th Birthday Bash.  This suggests to us that the guests will be expecting a cross between Michael Macintyre and Eddie Izzard who can also do party type hits.
Crown and Sandys in OMBERSLEY is the venue and Ombersley itself proves to be a very pretty village with fairly upmarket residents. Sheila the events organiser is a lovely lady and looks after us very well.  We were due to work with Tommy Mundon who has had to cancel and is replaced by Lee Wilson. We are also working with a mind reader who is American, lives in Halesowen and does his act as a Russian. All quite bizarre.  We are also working with the resident disco and a 3 course meal.  The guests are in fancy dress and all the tables sport, tiaras, rabbit ears, farty balloons etc. etc. A terrifying prospect!  Nicky who is the Birthday girl is absolutely wonderful, as is her husband, Chris and their son. Nicky is dressed as Patsy from Ab Fab and the gig turns out far better than expected.  All our best wishes to Nicky and Chris ….it is rare to meet such a smashing couple.  Their friends are lucky to have them in their life.

RobinTuesday 4th and this is a very exciting gig for us.  We are working for the lovely Anna at the Robin in BILSTON Anna Mitchell Martin has organised this event to raise awareness and to raise funds for M.S.  This is Anna’s first project and an ambitious one but she seems to have the knack and does a first rate job.  We were proud to be part of it.
We were sharing the stage with friends Giggettty and David Bartley.We go to watch lots of bands at the Robin so Allan was beside himself with excitement.
The night was magical and everything we had all hoped for.  Anna had a big group of friends and family helping her ….and the event raised  £900.36The audience were a big mix of people and were wonderful to all of us.Big thanks from us to Graham Leddington who is a friend and supporter of all we do.  Great to meet the ladies he brought with him from Wednesbury…Margaret and Jenny.  Also a big thanks to Alan and Paula for coming along.
Allan was especially thrilled when he was asked to pose for a photograph with two very young and pretty girls.  They sent him the photograph and an email….so if you haven’t had a copy of it I’m sure you will!!

DarlastonTonight we are off to DARLASTON. This is a gig for Rotary and we have been contacted by an old College friend of mine….Mag..Alan Davies. It is a bequest from a Rotary Member who left the Senior Citizens of Darlaston enough money to have a night out with an evening’s entertainment and refreshments. They have been ferried to Garrington’s old Social Club down Darlaston Green.
We are working with Damian who is a singer, Keyboard and accordion Player.  We have worked with him before and he is a really nice guy. At the end f the evening I was very pleased to find a second cousin of mine in the audience.  I had never met her before.  I had a lovely chat with Josie and her friends when we had finished.

Thursday 6th and we are at the Holiday Inn in KENILWORTH for the 41 Club. This is something we never do.  It is a gentlemen only audience.  The gentlemen arrive looking very smart in their evening suits with their medals.  One or two of them we have already met at other events.  They were very well behaved and had charming manners but it is quite hard  to find suitable material. Nobody shouted “Get ‘em off!” or as would be more appropriate at my great age…”Keep em on!”  Nice to meet you all.  Big Hello to my special new friend…John from Coventry.  He kept Allan on his toes!

Saturday 8th and  it is a terrible night tonight and I hope it does not deter the audience.  We are over at Mere Green SUTTON COLDFIELD for Hill Club.  This is a Gardening and Allotments Social Club that we visited once many years ago.After a bit of a hectic week it was lovely to work somewhere like this.  Great crowd.  Quite a few people we knew from different venues and at different times in our career.  We really appreciate it when people make a special effort to come and see us.  Many thanks to all of you.

HOME NEWS

Looking back it has been  a very busy month.  First week we were busy with bookings and the rest of the month with friends.  Had a lovely meal out at Sorrento’s in Lichfield with our friends, Barb and Rog.  Nice and relaxing until Al flung his arms out and knocked over the red wine.  Luckily it was his wine and it was him it landed on.  Spent most of the next morning trying to get red wine out of his favourite white t. shirt.

Had a lovely Sunday night at the Sills with Anne and Jack and Janet, Rick and Keith Donnelly

LlandudnoTuesday we went off to Criccieth and met up with Pam and Graham for a couple of meals.  It’s great having friends in the van opposite.  We have some good laughs. We had another couple of days there with our friends Nicky and Cliff and went to Portmeirion and Barmouth.  Then just before we came back we drove up to Llandudno to celebrate Phil and Brian’s Golden Wedding.  They treated us to a lovely meal at the St.Tudno.

We came back home for Sunday because we had tickets to go and see The Ivy League at the Old Sils. We’ve seen the Ivy League several times but it was great to watch them do a full set as they are usually on the bill with the Fortunes.  I would urge anybody to go and see them.  Full recommendation.  Musically excellent and so funny.  Vivo and Tony Les WardKelsey did an excellent acoustic set.  Big gang of us went and got front row seats.  Brilliant night.

Later that week we went to the Robin with Graham to see the Zombies.  Crowd had almost doubled from their last visit.  They have got to be one of the best live bands going.  Lovely to see Debbie and Chris there.

Bank Holiday Monday we were invited to a Barbeque by old friends Anita and Alan.  Woke up on the day with a trapped nerve in my neck/shoulder but still went and managed to enjoy the day.  Good to catch up with Les Ward, safely back from Thailand, Maggie and Andy, Sandy, Dee, Jane and Pete.  I love it that we have stayed friends with the old Boggery crowd.  It was all a long time ago but we still all keep in touch.

ChaseI am late getting this typed up because I m still suffering a lot of pain and  am taking a lot of painkillers.  So I am tripping and sleeping and very grumpy.

Al is almost as grumpy because he has been watching the football .I heard somebody say they had just been watching the new Shrek film where Shrek plays football with 10 donkeys. Oh dear! Al said the constant high pitched whining noise in the background of all the matches was spoiling his enjoyment so he banished me to the back room. I had to smile at one of the pre match programmes where a gaggle of WAGS all bling and botox went into one of the South African Brothels to try to make the young impoverished girls see the error of their ways…..selling their bodies to rich men for money!!!  Talk about pots and kettles!!

I have been very miserable with the pain and told the consultant it was making me feel suicidal.  He said could he have the money upfront in that case !Went to see Keith my old Physio… but like most people I am are lazy little toads and do no exercise at all and expect somebody to wave a magic wand and make it go away. I find the idea of exercise very scary but I do more damage by not doing it. I really envy people who can self motivate. My philosophy is no pain, no pain. I keep threatening to get a t shirt that says Eat Right, Exercise, Die Anyway. Sod’s Law :

Have you ever noticed that wrong numbers are never engaged. Do they think that deaf people only watch T.V. in the Night  When I’m on a plane why is it I can never get my seat to recline but the fat man in front gets his seat so far back I could do dental work on him.

The easiest way to find something you have lost is to buy a replacement.
At the end of every party there is always some girl crying and somebody having sex under your best coat. Though these days it’s more likely to be asleep under your best coat.
I’ve just bought a self help tape called “How to handle disappointment” I got it home and the box was empty. Ain’t life a bitch! Or as my friend Mr. Cartwright would say “Love and Peace!”


ellesmereToday is Saturday 4th June and it finally looks as if summer has arrived. Tonight we are playing at MOOR HALL GOLF CLUB and it is a lovely warm evening.
Bad start  when Allan wrenches his arm lifting the amp. I ‘m still out of action with the trapped nerve in my left arm so now we have one good arm each.  Not ideal. Allan lowers the tone of the evening by telling me it is the left arm so it will not hamper his sex life.  He can be very coarse under duress. We do couple of longish spots to an absolutely wonderful audience.
They were great fun and made us feel really welcome.  Many thanks to Ken and all concerned.

Friday 11th and we are off to Ellesmere Port to the Boat Museum at RUNCORN for the Russel Newbery Register Annual Meet.
ellesmereIt was a much shorter journey that we had anticipated so we got there late afternoon and ate our picnic on the car park. Great venue.  Lots of things to see.  Bob met us and led us around the back to get the gear in.  We knew quite a lot of the audience from previous gigs and they are a smashing crowd to work for. Al tried not to look like a girl because they all drink real ale which is very strong with names like Badger’s Bum.  He was very excitedto be near the birth place of his heroes the Beatles. Lots of big ships to see on the Manchester Ship Canal.The room emptied every time a big one went past. Many thanks to everyone and a special one to the Knot Man who made me my dragonfly brooch.  Happy memories.

CovenSaturday 19TH and Marie who is getting very good at organising these things has invited us to perform at COVEN for the local school to raise funds. Great to be working with Willy Morgan again and to have all the usual crowd from Brewood sitting at the front.  They are such great fun and have really supported us well over the years.  Lovely to see my cousin Delph, husband, Tony and daughter Sue.  We have so few family left. Really enjoyed the night and actually did three new songs which is a real test of how relaxed and supportive an audience is. Thanks to Marie and family and friends for organising the night  and making it so enjoyable for all concerned.

Jozef HOME FRONT

Allan has been charged with a special task. He is to be a sponsor for our friend Louise’s son, Jozef ,at his Confirmation.  They both looked very smart for the event and then arrived home and both got stuck into the chocolate cake and had to be wiped down.  Boys never really grow up.
Garda

We had another brilliant holiday in Lake Garda  at the beautiful town of Riva.  We made a special trip out to see the Dolomites.  Stunning.  Al loved it and got over excited.
We were there the same time as the world cup but there are never any scenes like the ones in England when football is on the agenda. Everyone is really cool and relaxed watching….no big screens blaring out and no yobby behaviour. Also great to see people well dressed  and the teens out there all look happy…….not bored.  Perhaps it’s the sun.

EardislandAlready we are in JULY and we are setting off to a lovely part of the world…..Eardisland is one of the villages on the Black and White Heritage Trail in between Hereford and Ludlow. We are off to celebrate David’s 60th birthday although it won’t be for some months yet. David and Susan are  a wonderful couple and make us so welcome in their home.  They are brave to have planned an outdoor event in our climate but I think they might get away with it. The garden is too beautiful  not to spend time in. It is probably one of the prettiest I have ever seen. Everyone was great and it was a magic night.  We wish them both all good wishes for the future.

EardislandFriday 16th and we are close to home tonight at the Old Vesyan’s Rugby Club where we are working for LONGWOOD BOAT CLUB who are celebrating being in existence for 40 years. This is the oldest boat club within the Birmingham Canal Navigations. Thank you for allowing us to share in the celebrations.  Brenda and family and friends have organised a lovely evening with loads of lovely food.  Again quite a few people we had met before so it was nice to have a chat with them.  Congratulations to you  all . A  £250 profit from the evening will be donated to the Air Ambulance Service.

EardislandSaturday 17th and it is another Boat Club Meet.   Again this is a 40th Anniversary year for ASH TREE BOAT CLUB who keep their narrow boats on the Trent and Mersey Canal off Armitage Road, Rugeley. We are working at Lea Hall Colliery and Welfare Miners Club in the Restaurant and it is  lovely room. Lovely to see our old friend Ray from Rugeley Red Rose Theatre who is now managing this venue. Most of the Ash Tree Boat Club are old friends who we have worked for many times so we know quite a few of them very well. They are great to work for and we always feel totally part of the evening. We were working with a lovely guy called Rich Parsons www.richparsonsmusic.co.uk.  He was very talented and versatile and soon had them up and bopping away in a frenzy. I must say they’ve got more energy than I expected. Good luck to Rich and his wife who are expecting a baby in August. Great to see Mary and friends and Jessica and Dave. Sad to read at a later date that some of their boats had been broken in and possessions stolen.  Love and good wished to you all.

Nearing the end of the month and today, Friday 24th we are at a familiar venue…ASTON WOOD GOLF CLUB. Lovely Shirley Goulding is celebrating her birthday and has invited loads of friends and family to share it with her. Shirley is a beautiful, bubbly lady and is very popular. Great to have our friends Alan and Paula there to share some of the evening with. We were on with a disco and they were quite a young and lively crowd but we just about got away with it.  Bit daunting but I think the guests enjoyed the night and I know Shirley did.

One night on and we are sharing the 40th anniversary of June and Stewart Bissel at HOLY NAME at GREAT BARR.  This is quite a contrast to last night and I must say it is a bit of a relief.  Two nights quite that lively would have seen me off. This is more our age group and much slower paced for us.  After saying that Stewart had organised some music and most of the audience got up to dance strict tempo.  They were very graceful. We enjoyed sitting and watching them. We both have two left feet and can only jig about like pigs on stilts. Lots of lovely food and nice to sit and have a chat to Brendan and his wife in the break. All good wishes and congratulations to June and Stewart. Our 40th is next year.  Fingers crossed.

HOME FRONT

On the Home Front further damage to the ageing body inflicted by running into the French Windows.  Amazing enough that I can still run at my great age. Brain and body hadn’t connected and Milo fat cat was chasing a bird.  All sensible thought left me as I hurtled towards the glass at top speed thinking it was open.  I imagined that I could no longer bounce….but I did….off the glass onto a wooden chair knob and table before hitting the floor with a thud.  Split lip, lumps bruises and damaged ribs. Inexplicably most people on hearing this laughed….Nice friends!

Had a lovely evening over at Elford with Jane and Dave Hill who had asked us over for a meal.  Great meal…cooked by Dave and then we all had a slow saunter round the village to take Rica , their lab. for a walk. We had never seen Elford properly before although we have played there many times.  It is a wonderful village.  The houses are very varied in design and the general atmosphere is so English.

ElfordCouple of days later we went down with a viral infection which seems to have been rampant in Lichfield. Many and strange were the symptoms and everybody seems to have had different versions though they all agreed that lack of enthusiasm, tiredness and aching were the norm.  I ended up having blood tests and an ECG.

Sadly we couldn’t get to Ivy Stone’s party which we had really looked forward to.  Ivy was married to Derek Stone who played fiddle for Giggetty a few years back.  Lovely guy who died very young.

August was a complete write off so we were lucky we had no gigs. At least I managed to do something being stuck at home.  Jane had mentioned that Elford was organising a scarecrow weekend to raise money for the church and asked if I still did my soft sculpture dolls.  Cervical spondylosis has made that difficult but I had a go and managed to get some done for the LouiseBridal party in the church.   I did the bride, bridesmaid and bride’s dad and mum and really enjoyed doing them again. The event itself was absolutely brilliant.  There were about 80 scarecrows and some of them were really awesome.   So much humour and imagination had gone into making them and everybody had joined in and given it a go.  So glad we went over to have a look. The people of Elford are so friendly and have always been so kind to us it was a pleasure to participate We had a couple of great outings with Louise to celebrate her birthday. We took her to the Sils for a night out which she really enjoyed  and then she organised a party for her birthday in the green room at Lichfield Garrick.
get together
Also had a great night out with Alan, Paula, Dave and Diane.
We went for a meal to the Bell and had a really good laugh.  Al, Dave and Alan Vurlan all played football together in their young and foolish years. Sorry Chris and Kev couldn’t make it.  We missed you.
Get well soon, Chris.

Llandudno

Managed a few days in Criccieth with a day in Llandudno but overall the weather has been  totally unsuitable.

At the time of writing this I have been reading about all the adulterous liaisons of high profile sportsmen.  Perhaps it’s all that testosterone.  Tiger Woods, John Terry, Ashley Cole, and now Wayne Rooney. I asked  Al what he thought they had in common and he said…Women who need to make a bit more of an effort. I gave him a good slap. The 2 “Escorts” Wayne Rooney had hooked up with publicly apologised to Coleen and said if it made her feel any better the whole thing only took 10 minutes. Allan was very jealous. Wayne has been dropped as the face of Coca Cola.  Perhaps they are going to use a genuine coke loving sportsman like Ricky Hatton. I realised how bad things have become when I went in a card shop the other day and saw “Congratulations on your First Marriage”. I was talking to a friend of ours who shall remain nameless who said “Yes, I’ve had 2 failed marriages…My first wife left me and my second wife won’t!”

Paris Hilton, after her last drugs skirmish, has been denied entry to Japan.  Shame…… Paris has never denied entry to anyone.

Major catastrophe struck this week when Facebook crashed.  Facebook users had to roam round the streets shoving photos of themselves into people’s faces saying  “Do you like this, do you, do you?”

A friend of mine had to phone 247 other friends to say “I hate work, I’m having a glass of wine….I’m sooooo tired….I’m going to bed…lol.  It  took her all night.

Some silly ones…

Edward Scissorhands probably had the most sexually frustrating puberty ever.

It was the best of times…it was the worst of times……the day I discovered I was Bipolar.   Al didn’t understand this one.


Heading for Autumn or as the Americans romantically refer to it…Fall. Killjoys have already started removing conkers for health and safety reasons.
Claims will be going in all over Liverpool about slippery leaves on uneven pavements causing accidents. It’s life, Jim…but not as we know it.!
Meanwhile….it is Saturday 11th September and we are off to ASTLEY VILLAGE HALL and we always look forward to it. The audience are wonderful and Mike and his wife look after us so well. There are many familiar faces and it is good to see Pat and the gang again. We have a full show tonight with Debbie Hodgson who is a singer and her guitarist, Simon. We also have a fellow Blackcountryman …..Ron Popple….who is a comedy magician and Children’s Entertainer known as Crackers the Clown www.ronniecrackers.co.uk. 
Debbie has a lovely voice and sings several Eva Cassidy songs. Ron has instant rapport with the audience and goes down really well. Easy night for us as the spots are shorter than normal and the audience, to use an old Black Country term……would loff if their Grannie’s nightie was afire. Great Gig. Many thanks to all.

Sunday 12th and it is a special day today for Brian and Margaret who are celebrating their Golden Wedding. They bravely booked us before seeing us. Altough they have seen us since. The OAT BARN at WHITTINGTON is spectacular and a wonderful place to spend a special day. We arrive early 11.30a.m. after a detour because of a sponsored run and are met by our friend, Julie. Julie is also responsible for the Briscoe hair. As you can imagine Allan’s hair is quite a challenge.
Today she is overseeing the food and smooth running of the event. After setting up we went over to the farm shop for lunch. I have never seen so much tempting food. The Oat Barn is just outside Lichfield opposite the Packington Porkers. After the meal there was a lovely musical interlude from the younger members of the family. We did our stuff and it went really well. Nice people.
Congratulations to Brian and Margaret.

This is a return to CHURCH LENCH. It is a beautiful village out near Hereford and the people there are fighting the proposed invasion of the wind machines which will surely blight their scenic landscape. Once again the people made us very welcome and we sat and had a wonderful selection of cheese and biscuits during the break . Well, actually I sat and watched as the Doc. has warned me about my cholesterol levels. I chewed the celery and the odd grape. The people seemed much more used to us now and we had a good laugh with them especially with the raffle. Thanks to all for a lovely evening.

PertonSaturday 18th and this is a first visit to PERTON. Margaret saw us at the Ladies “do” at Coven and has invited us to entertain the members of the Church for a proper Black Country evening. This is confirmed by the pork scratchings, Black Country Bugles and a “lid of tea”. They were a jolly crowd and even the lady who came in and said “I hate Black Country accents” seemed to get over her aversion and was laughing. Great surprise when our friend, Graham turned up with my Birthday pressie. Graham and Pam are so supportive and having no family of our own it is brilliant to have somebody who is interested in what we do.
Allan was looked after a bevvy of lovely ladies….Margaret, Hilary, Ann, Vivienne and many more. Nice to have a chat with Christine at the end. She was a good “loffa” and a very bubbly lady. Thanks for making us so welcome. Award for bravery to Steve who came along in great pain with a trapped nerve and still managed to laugh.

CurdworthFriday 24th and we are at CURDWORTH VILLAGE HALL. Liz has organised for us to come over and entertain. We had a great night with them and it lovely to see an old friend, Ray, from Boggery days and to meet his friends. The night went really well and Allan had great fun with the raffle and got very excited when he knew it was our favourite jacket spuds. Liz and the ladies of the W.I. worked really hard and raised some cash for their W.I.funds ….and managed to send a hefty donation of £300 to a new charity North Warwickshire ASD Friendship Club. This charity helps families who have children with Aspergers Syndrome or Autism. Many thanks for a great night and congratulations on your achievement.

DotSaturday 25th and it is great to be back at LILLESHALL VILLAGE HALL. The evening always seems to go so fast. We are always greeted with a hot drink while we get set up. Dot and Trev work very hard getting the hall decorated and the food ready. As usual they had done a marvellous spread. Our friends, Graham and Pam Leddington are ready good and early with wonderful raffle prizes. An event like this doesn’t just happen people have to work very hard behind the scenes to make it work. As a team they all play their part and work very well. The Graham and Pamproceeds of this event go to Hope House and it is well worth the effort. It is very important work and every bit counts. The hall is packed and it is good to see Marie and the gang from Brewood sharing the table with our friends from Horsehay. We really appreciate these people coming to see us time and time again. We know lots of others scattered around the room. Great to meet up with Dodie Clarke who is also from Wednesbury. Al and I both know her sister, Kate, from way back. Get well soon, Katy. Nice to chat to Rob, Graham’s brother. We don’t see him very often. Dot always gets the kettle on again at the end of the night so we can hve a hot drink before the journey. Everyone’s hard work raised a whopping £1,408 for Hope House Children’s Hospice www.hopehouse.org.uk A big well done to all concerned.

P.S. Don’t forget Dot’s ELVIS night.

HOME FRONT

Beginning of September and we are setting off for the Algarve.
Great fun. We are on the same flight as our friends, Norma and Alan so we got to meet up in the departure lounge for a Costa coffee and share the journey. We managed to wake up on time thankfully. Last holiday which was also departing at an ungodly hour we both dozed off and nearly missed the taxi and the flight. We stayed in Cliff Richard’s old villa in Albufeira which was lovely. It was very relaxing despite the big hill we had to climb up twice a day in incredible heat.
Albufeira is very busy with lots of good restaurants. Norma and Alan were a way out of town but old friends, Tony (Giggetty) and his wife ,Sue, were very central. We had a few nights out with them and had a really good time. Good to be able to relax with them as we usually only see each other at shows .
Got back and had a few days in Wales and a lovely day out in Stratford with a boat trip down the river. Wonderful.

I see X Factor is still making a mockery of entertainment and fair play. They always have some terrible heart wrenching stories of untold misery and personal deprivation. This year it is somebody who was born in Brazil and has been forced to move to a council bungalow in Dudley. Poor Bugger.

I told Allan I wanted a Friends Boxed Set for Christmas. He said: Oh, good…that will save me having to buy one.!

Big Albion Fan died last week and in his will he had asked to be cremated and for his ashes to be scattered over a Wolves Fan.

I’m supposed to adopt a low fat diet now my cholesterol is high but it is so hard to lose weight when you are getting old. It’s like your skeleton and the fat have become firm friends….well, not so much, firm as wobbly.

My friend says children are constantly threatening to run away from home. She says it’s the only thing that keeps her going.

Couple of silly ones:

A rock from Mars landed in my garden yesterday. Proof of Alien Presents

A Native American married a Scottish lady and they named their first baby….wait for it……Hawkeye the Noo!

Toodle Pip!


October…probably my favourite month. If the weather is dry and the leaves haven’t all dropped then the colours are wonderful. I usually come back from a walk with coloured leaves and conkers in and out of shells. Nature creates far more beauty than man ever could.

We start the month off at DROITWICH at the SACRED HEART HALL where Sylvia and Arthur have invited us to help them raise funds for St. Richard’s Hospice….. www.strichards.org.uk We had been on the website for the church and it looks very impressive inside. Sadly no one has the key but I’m sure we will come back and see it sometime.
We are new to most of the audience but they are immediately warm and wonderful and we have some great fun with them…particularly Eunice and Ron who are husband and wife and really good sports. Good to see Eunice organising the men with furniture arranging at the start of the night. Fish and chip supper was the best I can remember. I “stole “ quite a few of Al’s chips. We were booked back at the end of the night so hopefully they enjoyed as much as we did.

Saturday 2nd and we are back again at DODFORD VILLAGE HALL. There are so many people we know in the audience and they are all from different venues. There are some long time supporters and friends from way back…..Harry and Margaret and Derek and Hazel. They must know our act better than we do. Also old friends from Wednesbury , Mr. and Mrs. Danckert who supplied flowers for every wedding and funeral we have ever been involved with.
On the front table were Eric and Margaret and Dean and Sandra who had seen the debacle at the Brasserie when the intoxicated amorous fan had trapped Allan in the kitchen. We all laughed at the memory…Allan had a panic attack.
Wonderful to see the faces from Bromsgrove Folk Club…Steve, Mac Yvonne and the gang. Thanks so much to all of you. Big thank you to Sheryl and Ian, Alan and Phil who all looked after us so well and gave us the best faggots in the world. We even took some home for Sunday. Special love to Sheryl’s Mum who is such a brave and lovely lady. Thanks to you all for such a great night.

Friday 8th. This is a very exciting gig for use at SOUTHPORT. This is A Rotary Conference at the beautiful FLORAL HALL and we have sound techs., radio mikes and a massive stage etc. Most of the Rotary members are from around here up to Stoke way and there are quite a few that we know from working for their area. My old college chum, Alan Davies has put our name forward for the gig and it is quite a big show. We are on with our old friend Doug Parker. We rarely work with Doug as we tend to pick the same comedy subjects which makes it a bit hard to choose material when we are on the same bill. We obviously both laugh at the same things. The good news is we are on first tonight so Doug has drawn the short straw and has to listen in case we do anything similar. It all works out fine and we spend the second half of the show all talking in the dressing room instead of starting the drive home then we had a walk along the from to take in the sea air before we all set off back to the Midlands. Great night….lovely memories.

Another gig back at GNOSALL VILLAGE HALL to raise some money for the upkeep of the hall. This is one of the things that can so easily get overlooked. Not everyone realises the importance of maintaining a facility for use all the different village groups. They are a lovely crowd and are all well used to us by now. Tonight we have pushed the boat out and are having fish and chips and bread and butter in the break. Everyone enjoyed the raffle and gave prizes away. Allan came home with one so he was happy. Many thanks to Lyn and the gang for their hard work and for their invitation.

October 14th and we are setting off for a village out near Kenilworth called STONELEIGH. It looks a beautiful village and it is there first taste of a Black Country Night. They don’t know what to expect. They all make us very welcome and we share a lovely meal the ladies have prepared. They are very kind and hospitable people. Steve and Pat and Sally and Brian sat near us at the table. Thank you to all of you for your company. Nice to meet the man and his wife from Southport. The people were genuinely interested in the Black Country and several came up for a chat in the break and at the end.
We had a very enjoyable night and the proceeds of the evening will be going to a Breast Cancer Charity.

Friday 15th and we are out neat Redditch at MAPPLEBOROUGH GREEN working for S.P.E.A.R. This is the Sue Pike Equine and Animal Rescue Centre. www.spearcharity.org.uk
It is £12 a year to adopt one of the animals and apparently all of the animals love digestive or ginger biscuits or polo mints….a bit like Allan’s diet, really. There were lots of people who work in various ways for the Centre and the work they do is hard, often dirty, emotionally disturbing but very worthwhile. They must be very kind people. Some of the animal stories are so very sad but the love and care they receive often ensures a happy ending. Karen has asked us over there to entertain and hopefully raise some funds which are much needed. The weather and the financial climate can greatly affect the need for their rescue work. Good to meet up with people from Folk Club days and one or two that we knew from different venues. It always helps to see a friendly face at the beginning of a gig. All our good wishes to Sue and Karen and all the kind people involved.

Tonight we are in an unusual venue. We are on an island in the middle of the river at BRIDGNORTH at the BYLET BOWLS CLUB.
Tom has invited us and Allan has a tricky time getting up the clubhouse. He has to do a mega reverse and reversing is not his strongpoint. It is a long drive and alongside is the bowling green which is obviously the Holy of Holies so I am very nervous in case Allan lands on it. It is a lovely new clubhouse that has risen from the ashes after a big fire. The people were absolutely wonderful and all clearly pull together to make the club a happy, thriving venture.
Tom and his wife, Andrea, were very welcoming. Great to see Bob and his wife from the folk club where we first took to the stage….The Barrels at Heath Hayes. Also some people from the Red Lion O’Morph which we loved. There was a man and his wife who had booked us at Bobbington and also somebody form my old street near F.H.Lloyds. Thanks to all of you for a fabulous night.

October 20th and it is a lovely day for a drive out to SHREWSBURY where we will be appearing at the new Theatre Severn on the Welsh Bridge. We have played at the old Shrewsbury Music Hall but this is a new supa dupa building overlooking the river. Some of the aspects of the outer design I liked some I was not so keen on but inside it was beautiful, very modern but very comfortable. The Green Room was amazing. We got there early to avoid traffic chaos and checked our stuff into the dressing rooms and went of to eat. We were working o the last night of the current A Black Country Night Out Tour and we were standing in for Lizzie Wiggins. Good to see the old crowd. Thanks again to Graham and Pam for supporting the show over the years. They are old friends of most of the cast. Not a full house but a very friendly one. Thanks to Kathy and Bob for sound, lighting and backstage help.

Tonight we are appearing at MAEVYSAN RIDWARE for the W.I. This is our first time working in the village here at Hill Ridware. It is a nice hall and the ladies have invited several neighbouring W.I Groups to share the evening. ……but no men. They do have one man, however who is helping with the car parking and keeping an eye on things outside. Big thanks to him as it is quite a cold night. Penny has invited us and Allan looks a bit nervous but they are very gentle with him. After our spot which was very well received there was a wonderful W.I food display in the back room. Allan sat with his plates of food ad chatted to the ladies and I packed the gear away. It didn’t go unnoticed by the assembled ladies! Great to meet you all. Big thanks to Penny, Karen, Ann and all the other ladies who were so kind to us and made us feel so welcome. Special thanks for the doggy bag of chocolate cake to keep him quiet most of the next day.

22nd October and we are standing in for Lizzie at SHENSTONE Village Hall on a Black Country Night. I gather it is a fund raiser for the Conservative Party. We are on the bill with Aynuk and Giggetty so there is a nice merry little band of us backstage. John Brown has organised the event and there are quite a few people in that we know. Great to see the Quinney Hall crowd in from Canwell. All or love and best wishes go out to Bill and Sheila who are due to be married the next day. They spent their last night of freedom listening to us wittering on. Marriage should be easy peasy after that experience. Thanks to all for giving us such a good welcome. We all had a fab. Night.

This is a visit to WHITTINGTON but not to the Church Hall…this one is to the Village Hall. This is for Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust www.lhcrt.org.uk . Rob who we worked for at Ellesmere Port has invited us along to join in and entertain all the members and friends. They have also enlisted the help and support of David Suchet as a patron who has been a keen user of inland waterways for many years and strongly supports the determined efforts to fully restore the Lichfield and Hatherton Canals. We are well fed with Cottage Pie and Apple Pie…Al had both. Greedy Pig! It was lovely to sit and talk to the people. We met and sat with Harry Arnold MBE who is well known for his Photography, writing and publicity for the Inland Waterways and Marine Industries. Again several people we knew from other events and from theatre work. Big thanks to Rob and his wife and to everyone who made us feel so much part of the group.

Today is Sunday and this is another gig we are standing in for. Lizzie is in the midst of a very stressful and worrying time with close family illness.
We are working at her request and recommendation for Georgina Gwynne at TAMWOTH ASSEMBLY ROOMS on a Variety Show. It is great to see Ron and Jem again…..they are or favourite sound and lighting men. They do a brilliant job and are so helpful. This is a big change for us as we work mostly on our own. The cast of the show are much younger than us and the dancers look very fit. They are all very professional and work very hard. It feels like a proper show with dancers, singers and a magician. Everyone is kind to us and make us feel so welcome. Proceeds from the raffle were donated to The Sharon Fox Cancer Centre at Tamworth. Thanks and good wishes to all.

28th and we are en route to ASTON WOOD GOLF CLUB. We appear there quite a lot so it is good to catch up with Simon and the staff who are all most helpful. This is another Black Country Line up with Tommy Mundon, Aynuk and Lee Wilson. It is a good crowd in for posh faggots and peas. Great to see old friends Graham and Cara. Sorry to hear about your fall, Cara. Hope it is much better. Good to chat with Brian Yeates who dropped in to check all was running smoothly and also to have a natter to top man, Roger and his wife at the end.

29th October and we have quite a journey tonight. The motorway is very busy so although we have set off early we are still a bit concerned that we might be late. We are working in LOWER QUINTON in the Cotswolds a the request of Rosie. Luckily we arrive with ample time and soon get set up. It is a lively village hall an it is great to see Max and Dave from Mickleton and our friends from Catshill and also the lovely Val and Pauline from Clifford Chambers.
It was a great night with lovely people. We had some fun with the raffle and the many pairs of flipflops which had been donated as prizes. Many thanks for Allan’s chips.

Saturday night and we are out at the back of Lichfield at a village called HARLASTON. We have been here before and David has kindly asked us to return and put on another show. It is not a very big room but we have a full house and they are a lovely audience. Allan wolfs down sausage and mash in the break while I hid away with my diet and hunger pangs ……plotting his downfall. Thanks to all for your hospitality and warmth.

Sunday 31st. Today is Halloween but this is a 65th birthday party for David and he has had to be persuaded that he wanted it. There is a wonderful hot and cold buffet which they kindly share with us. We were surprised how many young people there were and although it probably wasn’t there thing they were very well mannered. We are out at a beautiful village hall at BENTLEY near Redditch. David seems a very interesting man and he has obviously led a full and colourful life. It is clear from the comments of his friends that he is a much loved and a very special person. Second half I think everyone was a bit more relaxed and we had a good time. Many thanks and good wishes to all concerned.

HOME NEWS

October has been a very busy month for us. We have had some wonderful gigs and met some great people. We’ve been to Churches, Village Halls, Theatres and Sports clubs.

We’ve found lots of time for friends to meet up for coffee and meals out. I suddenly realised I used to spend all my teenage years sitting in coffee bars, namely Packies, (no Ethnic connotations… simply the guy’s name) in Wednesbury, and now I’m in the Autumn of my years I am doing exactly the same. Idling my time in giggle and gossip in coffee bars. The only difference being I don’t put sugar in my coke to fizz it up anymore and I don’t spend all my pocket money on the juke box and ogle boys. Those were the days! More interested in the food!

Health problems continue for me with peripheral neuropathy. It feels as if someone is touching my legs all the time. Al says I should be so lucky. Unseen hands are playing havoc with my nerve endings so I still can’t use the computer much. Doc. has given me some anti depressants which work on the brain to mask pain but the side effects were tooth decay weight gain and suicidal thoughts. I should think the first two would cause the third. He’s sending me to see a Neurologist which is a bit scary.
On the plus side my vocal problems are much improved. I’ve been working very hard on my blowing. This involves singing through a straw into a domed cup of water. Strange stuff but it seems to build the strength in the voice. We have been doing some recording with our great mate Mike so hopefully we can manage to get a C.D. together to sell I the New Year.
Al is singing more these days and getting more confident. We’ve both had the flu jab to try to get us through the busy December gigs without the usual flu misery.
Blitzing the garage at the moment to try to make space upstairs. My clothes addiction is out of control. O.C.D. takes over when I see a Charity Shop. I can’t walk past one. To reach the back of my wardrobe is a bit like a potholing expedition. I ever know what I will find.

Great news that COSMOTHEKA have returned to the scene. We supported brothers Al and Dave Sealey for many years in schools and folk club when we first started. Sadly, Al died a few years back and although Dave has been doing extremely well in Panto, Back to Back etc. and in his own show as it is great to see him teamed up with his son to create the days of Cosmotheka and their brilliant Music Hall shows. Congratulations and all the best for future work. Check them out at www.cosmotheka.co.uk

Al and I continue to be amazed and bewildered by life around us.
Keith Macdonald the feckless Geordie who has fathered at least 13 children with 12 women (3 more babies on the way) has just enrolled on a dating website looking for a relationship. He seems hellbent on repopulating the country with his offspring. If he was a cat somebody would have neutered him by now.

Speaking of McDonalds…they have just been given a licence to perform marriage ceremonies on their premises. I can just imagine it. Fat Chav in a new hoodie and a Slapper wearing hoops that a small dog could jump through with a Croyden face lift…….”.With this onion ring I thee wed, innit!”

Well blessed with our Allies. The French have taken over our S.A.S.
They have left the English to work out plans for Attack while they work out the plans for Retreat. What do the French say to the commander of an invading army arriving in Paris…Table for 100.000, sir?
They say….. What is the most contradictory phrase in the English language?…British Cuisine. Jamie Oliver has been over there touring with his Cookery Roadshow and the French have dubbed him Le Coq au Van. Watched him prepare a sea bass with lemon and parsley sauce. I was so inspired I went into the kitchen and prepared a fish finger butty with tomato sauce. We were in a Restaurant the other day and next to us was a table of elderly ladies. The waiter went over to them and asked “Is anything okay”?

The obsession with look-alikes, clones and tributes continues. People rarely look anything like the artist they are supposed to look like. This year in Cannock the lights are going to be switched on by J.L.S. not the original boy band but somebody called Just Looks Similar.

I am happy to escape into the Sunday evening pure nostalgia that is Downton Abbey. Just love the clothes. I’m going to have massive withdrawal symptoms now that Spooks has finished. Is Lucas/Richard Armitage really dead.? Fans all over the country are praying he will still be alive.

Some saftness……..
English as she should not be spoken:

A Budapest Zoo: Please do not feed the animals. If you have suitable food…Give it to the Guard on duty.

On a tap in a Finnish washroom…To stop drip turn cock to the right.

Office of an Italian Doctor…Specialist in Women and other diseases.

Advert in Hong Kong…Teeth extracted by latest Methodist.

Two from the Black Country…Staff wanted to wash dishes and two waitresses…I had to hold Allan back when he saw that one.
And a Pub/Restaurant in Wednesbury…Special Today…We ay got no ice cream!

Aynuk rings the Doctor and says: “ My wife is giving birth to a babby and the contractions am onny 2 minutes apart….!”
Doctor ”Is this her first child?”
“No, ya silly bugga…Oime her husband, ay I!”

Just off to find my thicker knickers and my vests it’s getting chilly now!


Accelerating towards Christmas at a great pace and tonight we are out at a little village called RODDINGTON. This is a gig that had to re scheduled because of the snow last year. Glad we didn’t attempt any of those lanes in snow. It was quite hard to find. Signposts seem to have been sabotaged…..one covered with mud and one that had dropped from the post into the grass and bushes. We stopped to ask directions in 3 pubs and a service station. In fact this journey has prompted Allan to finally buy a Satnav. This will replace his usual course of action which involves shouting at me and me throwing the map at him. The Hall was beautiful and new and we had our own lighting technician. The night went really well. Good to see some folks who had only seen us a couple of weeks prior at Lilleshall. Many thanks to everyone and we loved the little après performance get together in the kitchen for a nightcap. At some gigs we have about 10 minutes to vacate the hall so this was a refreshing change.

Friday evening and Birmingham are not a good mix. We had a truly horrendous journey through the centre of Birmingham on our way to KINGS HEATH CRICKET CLUB. It took us a full hour to get through and out the other side. We had been looking forward to the gig as we have a lot of old friends from Boggery days coming along to support us. Rosemary who had booked us is a long time friend from the Boggery and the Bell and Pump and the Hare and Hounds. Fabulous night and a big, big thank you to all of you who came along and made it such a special night for us.

This is a double edged sword tonight. We are very pleased to be back here at KNOWLE VILLAGE HALL but very sad that this will probably be our last gig for this fund raising team. These events have been organised for many years to provide funds for Heartlands Hospital Leukaemia Ward. Our friends Carole and Mike Powell, their son and daughter and an amazing team of friends have worked incredibly hard over many years to combine entertainment, emotional support and financial support with tremendous success. This has been a big commitment which has taken a big chunk out of their lives. Carol, reluctantly, feels that the time is right for her to retire from this and take a well earned break. We have been privileged to work for Carole and this cause for the past 10 years and have thoroughly enjoyed the experience We have made friends with some wonderful people over this period and will be sad to see it end. The best thing to come out of it for us has been our friendship with Carole and Mike who we love dearly. The last night was a brilliant one to finish on. Again friends from the Boggery, Lynne and Tony, Cindy and Paul turned up along with all the usual friendly faces to make it perfect.
A special thanks to all of you for making the last 10 years a great experience for us and through you compassion and hard work making the lives of staff and patients more bearable.

Friday 12th November and we are back at SOUTH STAFFS GOLF CLUB. We are here to entertain the Wolverhampton Magistrates. We spent an enjoyable evening with them a couple of years ago.
Our friends, Norma and Alan are here as guests. Alan has worked on the bench at West Bromwich for many years. Good to see Sue and the staff here again they are a friendly lot. We got nice and settled in the backroom while the audience were having their meal. Mixed reviews for all of us, I think, on the actual gig. Thank you to the people who said they had enjoyed it.

Tonight we are outside Bridgnorth at the MILL at ALVELEY. The Mill is a special place to us because we used to come out here when we were courting….. to be ‘posh’. It is a lovely building and it looks even better now. The Mill Wheel itself is no longer accessible to the general public but Allan managed to sweet talk his way into seeing it. Very relaxing couple of hours before we had to work. No flashing lights….no muzak. Just understated comfort and elegance The audience, who we had not worked for before, were very good and we really enjoyed our time with them. This was one place from our past that really lived up to our youthful memories of it.

We are lucky to be doing some of our favourite gigs this month. Tonight we are back at EARLSWOOD VILLAGE HALL for my friend Jenny. She always provides us with home comforts…well, if I’m honest, better than home comforts. Wine, lager, nibbles, hot drinks. They always look after us like royalty. The crowd, as usual, were wonderful. These gigs are so much fun because we all know each other so well by now. Sorry to hear Philip has had a bad year, health wise. Good to see him there in his usual seat at the front. And we wish him all the best for a speedy recovery. We truly look forward to seeing you all fit and well with your loffing gear in fine fettle for the same time next year. Special big thank you for my beautiful bouquet.

Tonight we are at GREAT HEYWOOD which is another gig we always look forward to doing. These special gigs are the ones where we regret we only see them once a year. These nights are like a blueprint for the perfect gig for us. The audience is made up of all ages, all walks of life, who come together as a proper community to eat, drink, sing and have a laugh together. It was another bostin’ night with a lovely fish and chip supper. See you all next year.

This is a repeat gig at KIDDERMINSTER TOWN HALL with the New Dimension Experience Choir under the guidance of John Quelch. There was also the Crown Phoenix Jazz Band and the Enigma Brass on the bill. It was great to be part of a big show and in such a beautiful building. Nice to see people we know from Dodford and from Astley. We enjoyed all singing together at the end. Great fun!

Friday 26th and we are back at Summerhill School, WALLHEATH with Tommy Mundon and Giggetty. This is a gig we have all done together for many years. Dave, who organises the event, played for many years with Giggetty. He and his wife still teach at the school. Good to see Tommy looking a bit better. He has been a bit rough, health wise lately but he has still delivered the laughs. Hope he wil soon be feeling on top form. Judging by the audience reaction he is till the King of Black Country Comedy. They love him here. Giggo did a good music mix reprising some of their earlier folk set with Dave in the second half. Dave is much loved at the school. Thanks to Dave for organising all the refreshments. Bad weather condiditons for a long journey. We are out at the back of Stourport at GREAT WITLEY VILLAGE HALL. We arrived safely and the audience were very welcoming on such a cold night. Thanks for a good warming supper of faggots and peas and spotted dick or as the P.C. Brigade will probably be calling it Cosmetically challenged Richard. We ate with a very interesting guy and his partner. He had been a photographer for some of the top bands in the late 60s and early 70s. Many interesting stories to tell. Our friends, Pat and the gang turned up to see us. They are brilliant they always come to see us if we are out that way. There was a good mix of ages and the audience were very responsive. Loved it. Many thanks to the people who came up at the end from the Norwell Lapley Agency. They said some very kind things. Your words were much appreciated.

Sunday 28th and we are at SHIRLEY INSTITUTE this afternoon at the request of Ann and Malcolm to entertain them at their Christmas party. What wonderful people they all were. They lined up to help us in with the gear and gave us hot drinks,and a buffet lunch. (Allan scoffed 2). The audience were great and we really enjoyed the afternoon with them. Also good to see Geoff and Irene again. We did their 4oth Anniversary last year. As it is our 4oth next year we’ve asked them to come and entertain us. Many thanks and a very happy Christmas to all of you we met at Shirley.

 

HOME NEWS

We’ve had some great gigs this month with many repeaters. This means a bit more hard work in coming up with new or different material but it is great to see familiar faces.
Al and I have had a good time doing some recording work with our bud, Mike. He has been brilliant and works so hard to encourage us and give us both confidence in our singing. He has recorded about 14 songs with us in the hope of getting together a C.D. for sale sometime in the New Year. We have been out with him and Mick for meals for the past 3 weeks which been great fun.

Also managed a few Lounges with Lou in Lichfield for breakfast. This usually lasts from 10 until 12 . Met up with Anne and Jack for some. Great meal over at a pub in Armitage called the Old Peculiar with our friends Roger and Barb. Really relaxing night.

Beginning of the month we went to Birmingham Town Hall to see one of my favourite artistes the very talented Mary Chapin Carpenter. I didn’t enjoy the choice of set songs too much but I suppose when you have written as many beautiful songs as she has it is hard to pick people’s favourites. I like a good cry but not everyone does.

Had another fabulous night at the Sils. Wonderful array of guests. It is by far my most favourite night out. Great people and great music. Magic.

Legs/Back problems no better so I am to see a Neurologist in January but I shall not speak of it any longer. We all have our probs…. .but as my dear Mother used to say…”that may be the case but I’m not interested in theirs…just mine.!”

It could be worse. I could be Gillian McKeith. If she sticks by her philosophy ….“You are what you eat!” then it makes you wonder what her diet consists of. Might be pregnant…do me a favour. The woman is completely unhinged and probably on par with Liz Jones who writes in the Daily Mail. I find myself reading her column and saying “If I could just give her a good slapping”

So many delusional people.! Does Simply Ginger…. Mick Hucknall…. really expect me to believe he has had sex with 3 women a day? Is there really that many desperate, short sighted women in this country!

Wahgner…the Brazilian X factor nutter from Dudley who is claiming benefit for a frozen shoulder and has been lepping round like a lunatic on National Televison. He’s in for some explaining at Dudley DHSS. He’ll probably be cleaning the elephants out for the next few years as punishment.

Students have been living up to their reputation by revolting again carrying banner like Save our Education, Save our Futre.
Bad Spellers of the World Untie!

So Prince William and Catherine are to be wed. Imagine the initials on the souvenirs ….W.C. It will be strange for Prince William if he goes out on his Stag “do” to one of the lap dancing type clubs. Imagine him at the Spearmint Rhino pushing money down the dancers thongs….pictures of his Grannie!. Weird…and a little bit yucky!

Weather has been the big topic. I got in the car the other night and it was minus 3 Degrees. Somebody had pinched my C.D.collection!
I heard my neighbour say “ Since its been snowing my mother in law has done nothing but look through the window….I might let her in if it gets any worse!”

An athlete has just tested positive for Viagra. He tripped while doing the 100 metre sprint and won Gold in the Pole Vault. I’m not allowed to tell that one on stage because it’s inappropriate.
Man’s joke: Why do women have orgasm…they just like to hear themselves moaning!!!

The diet still not going anywhere. I can’t get in the right mindset. I said to Al the other day…Perhaps I’m just big boned…He said: Bones don’t jiggle! Beast!!

If I don’t get time to update before Christmas then we would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who have come along to see us or who have got in touch or who read the website.
We wish all of you a Great Christmas. Be kind to each other and take time to appreciate the things that make you happy. Seek out the people that make you feel good and let them know they are important to you.

All the best from Glyn and Allan



Wednesday 1st December and luckily we don’t have far to go as the weather is so bad. We are in our village up at the new Library for the NORTON W.I. It is very icy and slippery underfoot but most of the ladies have had lifts. Unfortunately the heating has been left on night storage setting by mistake so we all have to sit there in scarves and jackets. Luckily the fish and chip supper went a long way to warming us all up. It was nice to see them all again.

Thursday 2nd and we are at ST. MARTIN;S CHURCH HALL IN WALSALL for the U3A. Allan feared that this was some sort of religious sect until I explained that it was the University of the 3rd Age.
The heating had broken down there so I kept my coat on and found extra tights and socks in my bag. We haven’t done too well on the warmth front for the last 2 gigs. We did have a nice hot glass of mulled wine and a mince pie as we watched the snow falling outside. Many thanks to you all, especially Marilyn and Ron, for your hospitality.

pauloTonight we are over at BROOKE ST. TIPTON for Compton Hospice.
We have done this a few times and it is organised by a dedicated band of people who have raised incredible amounts of money over a number of years. Our old mate, Keith, is M.C. and throwing in a bit of poetry. We are working with Alfie, the poet, who is a lovely, lovely man. Poetry has always been big in the Black Country and continues to be so. Top of the bill is the Latin Singer…Paulo Pinto who is Portuguese and making a big name for himself in the area www.latinweddingsinger.co.uk He is very charming, polite, genuine and was a pleasure to work with. Allan says I fluttered my eyelashes at him…Damned Lies! Unfortunately the snow came down very thickly so a lot of the audience left in the interval.

Saturday 4th and despite the bad weather we have managed to arrive at SNITTERFIELD without too many problems. Our friend, Pat, has invited us once again to entertain the Bowls Club there. Another strange Dandy rumour had been circulating. Last year some of the inhabitants of Earlswood were convinced that one of us had died, .. now the people of Snitterfield have been convinced that we had split up. We explained it was something we came close to several times during the course of a day but it had not happened as yet. What a great crowd they are to work for here at Snitterfield. It really is a pleasure to spend time with them. We both enjoyed it so much. Also a big thanks for the fish and chip supper. It went down a treat on such a cold night.

finshallMonday 6th and we are on our way to Bromsgrove to a W.I. Christmas Party. It is a lovely little old fashioned village hall and within minutes the ladies have made it warm and welcoming. It never fails to amaze Allan how quickly they work as a team and get everything in order. He admits this is something men can’t do. The ladies arrived with heavily laden baskets and spread the contents on the table in the backroom. The food by any standards was exceptional. Alan really made a pig of himself. I must admit I did succumb to the Baileys Trifle. Yummy! We spent a lovely afternoon in their company. Many thanks for your warmth and hospitality, ladies.

hammerwichWednesday and we are at another W.I. This is one where the men have been invited as well. It is a local gig for and it is in the Village Hall at HAMMERWICH. We almost bought a house in Hammmerwich once but we couldn’t sell ours in time to complete the sale. It is a lovely village. This is a big W.I. and they are celebrating their 90th Birthday this year. Our friend, Julie, is one of the catering staff working here to provide the food from Packington Moor Farm. The village hall looks absolutely wonderful and a lot of time and creativity has gone into making it look so special for the event. Wonderful night…… Many thanks to all of you. Al was excited as he met a lady who remembered him from the Saturday morning picture shows in Wednesbury. She said “You used to sit behind us and keep talking”!

leamingtonTonight is Friday night and we are off to ROYAL LEAMINGTON SPA to the Royal Naval Club. This is the venue for the last Christmas event and get together for a Coventry Firm…. Automative Motors. These are all ex employees of the firm and we have worked with them before. Sadly the funds have now run out and this the last venture.We are working with a husband and wife duo called Charisma who play drums and keyboard and provide the perfect mix of strict tempo dances like square Tangos, the Valletta and the St. Bernard’s Waltz. They are all great dancers and are on the dance floor like a shot. It was a smashing night and I think we all enjoyed every aspect of it. So nice to meet up with Binky, a lady we had worked for in the past. It was good to see her looking so well and happy in her new life.

lowsonfordLooking forward to visiting LOWSONFORD again. It has been a while since we have been there. It is all just as we remembered it. The welcoming glass of mulled wine and the familiar friendly faces. Gill and Phil, Carole and Bob, and the charming bar staff. The food, as usual, was beautiful and Allan became obsessed by the game pie and had to be dragged from the table kicking his legs. We had a fabulous night with them. Happy Birthday to Carole. I enjoyed my chat with Bob at the end. Good wishes to all of you.

Monday evening and we are performing at the Beverley Hotel in WALSALL. Again this is a place we have played several times. Easy to reach and the access is excellent. Paul has kindly invited us to share the Christmas meal with them. It is a gathering of 41 Club and Rotary and we seem to know most of the audience. Luckily they seem pleased to see us again. The meal was very good and it was very relaxing to sit and chat with Paul. Big thank you.

boney hayTonight we are at BONEY HAY for the W.I. It is very bad weather again but it doesn’t take us long to get there. Lovely to see our friend Mary Cope again. The ladies are very receptive and we enjoyed our time with them. Happy Christmas to you all.

15th December and we are spending the afternoon out at ALVECHURCH for a group of people called the Silver Threads. They are a retirement group who meet socially and organise events etc. Lovely village hall which we had played many years ago with our old friend the late Dave Goode aka Dicky Ticka. Despite the bad weather it was well attended and the audience seemed to enjoy the afternoon. Thank you so much for the food and hospitality. Look forward to seeing you again next year.

It is Thursday night and a very cold and snowy night. Lots of ice making the roads treacherous. Luckily we are only at the golf Club at DRUIDS HEATH. This is a Rotary Christmas Party. Lovely, relaxing evening. We sat in the lounge while they had their meal and then entertained them for about an hour. Seemples!

Friday and we are getting near the end of our Festive run now. Today we are over at GREAT WYRLEY COMMUNITY CENTRE for the afternoon and for the evening. The events are put on by the council for the senior citizens of the area. We have done it a few times before so we know most of the people who are working very hard to make it a great festive occasion. The lady in charge at the Centre is the daughter of an old friend of Allan. Lovely girl who is very smiley and kind and obviously well liked. Nice to see Carole and Melvin at the evening do.

chaseI am now starting to feel the first signs of an approaching cold but thankfully it is our last gig tonight so I should just manage it. We are performing at the CHASE GENTLEMEN’S CLUB at the request of the irrepressible Mike Twyford. This is one of our very favourite gigs and it is good to be back. This really is a home from home for us. They insult us like real friends do. So pleased to see George looking and sounding, dare I say, back to “normal”. This is always the closest gig to home and we always get back the latest because we stay talking to everyone. Thanks to all of you for making us so welcome. All the very best to all of you for Christmas and the coming year. The journey home although short was very cold….-12. Brrr!

HOME NEWS

As you can see December was a busy one and we are lucky and grateful that it was so. The gigs were great and we enjoyed them. The countdown to Christmas is fraught and stressful so I think the gigs allow us to focus on something else…… which is no bad thing.

For women the stress and expectation is relentless. From August onwards every magazine includes things like “A Countdown to Christmas” which suggests we should be pickling our onions and stirring our puddings or whatever women do when they have got time on their hands and still feel the need to impress. The endless list and the searches for suitable presents for people we don’t see for 11 months and who we don’t really like all that much…..the re-gifting of unsuitable presents we were given last year …and then the panic in case you are giving it back to the same person you received it from………

Having to listen to Cliff singing “Mistletoe and Wine” makes me want to throw up. Over heated, over crowded shops, aching feet, being trod on and pushed round in shops by red faced mothers searching for the must have toy of the year., listening to screaming babies and Paul McCartney singing “Simply having a Wonderful Christmas Time” Grrrr!

I like to see Allan open the Christmas cards and then go out shopping with glitter all over his face.
This year I got several cards from friends our age who had started to write the card and then obviously got bored o r sidetracked….Happy Christmas ..Blah! Blah! From……….? Nothing!!

Allan lost his cool in Morrisons when a woman grabbed his chosen Turkey from under his nose. Trolleys at dawn.!

Television was the usual re heated re runs or Death and Destruction on all the Soaps. I was waiting for “Christmas Celebs do Strictly come Dancing on Ice in the Jungle.” It’s just a matter of time..
The only things we enjoyed were the Dickens adaptations, Dr Who, the Morecambe and Wise life story and Toast…Nigel Slater. Luckily I had borrowed a P.G. Wodehouse Collection so I was okay.

Global Warming is starting to look like a bad joke. Really difficult trying to get to bookings. Going on stage in leg warmers and a bobble hat is not a good look. Thankfully we managed them all despite the snow. The only ones we had to re arrange or be replaced were 3 just after Christmas. We spent most of Christmas and after with flu. First time in over 30 years we have had to cry off. Neither of us could talk without coughing.

Been a strange year. Students revolting again. Having worked in a college for several years I can say from bitter experience…nothing new there then. One of the higher profile ringleaders Gilmore’s stepson..Pink Floyd….We don’t need no educashun. Apparently they do now!

Sportsmen generally and footballers in particular, as the Sun, testified “Played Away” whenever possible.

Miners got trapped and rescued and then more miners got trapped and sadly, lost the fight for survival
.
Mary Bale outraged Britain and cat lovers everywhere and probably got slightly more coverage than the Pope’s visit.
Ann Widdecombe made a new career for herself by being dragged round the floor in lurid coloured lycra by a man with a big chin.
Cheryl Cole, the Nation’s Sweetheart is hoping to make it big in America after elocution lessons, pet, and if they overlook the criminal record for assault.
Stacey Solomon from X Factor proved she was really a little star and Dr. (made up credentials) Gillian McKeith who is obsessed with bowel habits had people in hysterics with her faux fainting and screaming. Enough to make all Scots cringe and disown her.

Things can only get better.

They are holding a Psychic Evening at our local pub,, I wonder if I need to book or will they know I am going.
In the pub the other night and I heard 2 men talking…”I can honestly say I have never been to bed with an ugly women………I’ve woke up next to a few though!”

The English Cricket Team might still lose the Ashes…..they’re flying home with British Airways.

My friend has found the secret of safe driving….buying an expensive Chinese takeaway and putting it on the passenger seat of your new car

I hear Katie Price’s marriage is in trouble already. A cross dressing cage fighter and a topless model…it’s a match made in Heaven.

How do you know you are reading the paper upside down…Liverpool is in the top three of the Premier Division.

Note to Allan after a trip to Ikea…Scatter Cushions is what they are called….it is not an instruction.!!

Bad news at HMV. Sixty of their stores to close…It’s the Vinyl Countdown!

A Happy and Healthy New Year to all our readers. Hope we get to see you in 2011.

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