"Dandy … the funniest thing on four legs"

tel: 01543 278692

Back to the Garden

Allan and I both very sad this week to hear of the death of an old friend.  Dave Cartwright was a popular performer on the Folk Circuit when we first started in 1978.  We had watched Dave for many years and gone to see him at various folk club including the Rock at Tettenhall which was run by John Raven’s wife, Kate.  Dave was the resident artist there.  Dave was very talented and accomplished many different projects during his life. Dave had written over 700 songs, many poems and was the author of the book called Bittersweet – The Clifford T. Ward Story. He still had so many things he wanted to do.

 

 

Although he should have made it big…he never fitted into the pattern.  In 1972 the Transatlantic Label signed him to be a big star…but Dave had to lose too much of himself in the process.  His songs were his big escape clause. He was never a realist.  He was a fantasist in the best possible way. His imagination, his dreams…… his storytelling were his real treasure. By that I mean he never allowed himself to become stereotyped and to churn out  populist rubbish to satisfy the greed of the men in control. He became very disillusioned with the music industry and dropped out for quite some time.

004

We were so pleased when a few years ago we heard he was playing at Bromsgrove. We went along and  got back in touch with him.  The last few years he spent  some time in Holland where he had family. He was very excited and thrilled at the birth of his grandaughter and went over to see her as often as possible.

dave c .and dandy (3)

DAVE AND DANDY BACK IN THE DAY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dave was a man of contradictions.  He had been so beautiful as a boy but like all of us he found getting old a problem. Many times through the years we lost touch, then got back together. I have so many memories of watching him and hearing him sing. I wrote a poem and a song to him when I was younger …..but I never told him.  We collected all his L.P.s and then bought them again as a C.D. quite recently.  Dave could witter for England and sometimes his introduction for a song went on far longer than the song. Much loved by women of all ages he came across as the perennial Little Boy Lost.  We all wanted to fight his battles. He always seemed so fragile. He had a great sense of humour and people liked him…… yet he always seemed a loner.

So Goodbye and God Bless, Dave, My Dark Eyed Sailor…….you have finally found your way back to the Garden. We shall miss you much.

 

We’re All Going on a Summer Holiday……..

After a very wet May Bank Holiday in Wales we were looking forward to a week hopefully in sun in Puerto Pollensa.  Allan is desperately slapping on his fake tan in an attempt to look healthy and I am making sure I have enough medication for a week in my world which is a year in any normal person’s world. Allan always insists he will have to pay excess luggage on all my first aid kit….but so far I’ve got away with it.  After the disaster of the Italian holiday last year where I had to go out and buy yet another walking stick and back support belt I have made sure I am fully prepared.  I carry enough Tramadol for everyone on the plane.  If I am searched they will never believe it is all for me.   I still managed to get my little toe stuck down the plughole, wrenched it free and limped for a couple of days.  Good record thought for me.

VIEW FROM OUR WINDOW

VIEW FROM OUR WINDOW

DAINA POOL

DAINA POOL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One time, my friend, Chris, had to pay a hefty excess baggage en route to Cyprus.  As the suitcase only contained Kev’s snorkel and flippers and wet suit they were bemused until they unpacked in Cyprus. and found the stones  she had taken from the beach the previous year for her garden…now back in Cyprus.  A costly and very blonde moment…..but not unusual for Chris.

CHRIS  & ALLAN

CHRIS & ALLAN

As usual I set off all the alarms at the airport and had to have the x-ray thingy.  The people never look very happy in their job. It’s as Allan says…most men of his age would pay money to be frisked and patted down .  Whatever floats your boat!

We had a great holiday in Puerto Pollensa at the Hotel Daina.  I got up at 7.00a.m. every day and did a 40 minute fast walk around the beautiful bay along the Pine Walk. Felt great but I still put 4lb on.

GLYN ON PINE WALK

GLYN ON PINE WALK

 

Only back a couple of days or so and we were back in Criccieth. Our friends, Celia and Richard were coming to spend some time with us.  We were very pleased it was such a good week.  We had a great day out with them on the Ffestiniog Railway and we celebrated Richard’s birthday with a meal and a lovely walk around Beddgelert.  We really enjoyed having them with us.

RICHARD THE BIRTHDAY BOY

RICHARD THE BIRTHDAY BOY

GLYN AND AL WITH THE FAITHFUL HOUND, GELERT

GLYN AND AL WITH THE FAITHFUL HOUND, GELERT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are used to North Wales in all it’s good and bad and frankly scary moods but it’s nice when the sun comes out and shows it off in all it’s glory.  We are very lucky to be able to go away and to have our van. We love the fact that we don’t know what they are saying.  The scenery can look very bleak, sometimes depressing…all that grey slate on a wet day and the soggy sheep sheltering under stone walls.  Sometimes the sea and the sky become like one grey curtain closing in on you.  It’s never boring….always dramatic and the people are real. No pretence.  On a sunny day there is nowhere better for us.  There were only 2 other people on our site.  There are only 28 caravans….nothing else.  So it is a great bolt hole.  It helps us remember what life should be about.

I like the beauty of the Lake District.  I wrote a song about it once…..chorus….

Lakeland, lovely Lakeland, I’ll return to you. ..when ugliness and sadness bruise my soul…

I’ll come to you and even in my darkest hour…. you’ll make me whole…. you’ll make me whole!

This was back in my intense, meaningful Folk club days when it was about stretching your talent and not paying the bills.  Sadly the parking costs and the whole “I am a Professional Middle Class Walker” get right up my nose….what with their Kendal Mint Cake and their pointy sticks and their ability to remember all the weird names and their maps in plastic hanging round their necks etc. etc.  Don’t get me started.

We love the Cotswolds with it’s warm, gold stone and it’s perfect houses and perfect people.  It’s like stepping into a storybook.  We do a few gigs around there and the people generally are great but it’s not for us.  We would never feel comfortable in that set up.

Re- folk references we went back to our roots a few weeks back with  visit to Martin Ryan’s Folk Club at the British Legion in Alrewas.  We were working when it was Martin’s 80th Birthday recently so we wanted to go along and catch up with him.

MARTIN RYAN

MARTIN RYAN

Great to see Martin and Stefan and Martin’s wife, Pam and daughter, Katie.  We had such a lovely time there.  It is closed for the summer but re opens in Sept. They are great people and it is a really good club.  It took me back o when I was 18 again and used to go to folk clubs every Tuesday.  Good to know I could still remember a lot of the words.

Looking forward to our folky type gig at the JUBILEE HALL, BREWOOD on 30TH OCTOBER.  It promises to be a great line up…STEVE ASHCROFT, JOHN HENDLEY AND JOHN RICHARDS, WILLIE MORGAN AND DANDY.

Have been to see a couple of shows at the Symphony Hall over the past few months.  We went with Michelle and Charles to see Bryan Ferry.  Must be honest I didn’t enjoy it as much as some of his other shows. Not very keen on the new C.D.  He’s let his lads produce it and I found it a bit bland. Trying to hard to sound “Now” instead of “Himself”. Nothing stood out except the dreadful cover of the sublime Johnny and Mary hit by Robert Palmer. As my Grannie would have said..”He deserved to be hoss whipped for what he did to that!”

To balance things we went to see one of Allan’s heroes….Elvis Costello.  One man and seven guitars …piano….banjo  etc. etc.  Very likeable and very talented.  Excellent show.

The Old Silhilians Music Club is now permanently at the British Legion in Knowle.  We have all settled there now.  Drinks are cheaper…seating is better…John Berry the Landlord is great and the lads have more room.  Lacks a bit of that sweaty atmosphere that the Sils had.  Us girls keep moaning about the Air Con and draughts.  Vivo get better and better and are doing an amazing version of the Bruno Mars Uptown Funk. Still go whenever we can….there is nothing like live music.

Quite excited to have in our possession some tickets to see the legend that is Ronnie Spector in December. Checked her out and she can still really sing.  Can’t wait!!!

Our week in Wales was not without incident.  Allan seems to have some strange affinity with sheep.  They must see him as a surrogate mother because of his hair.  En route downhill to Criccieth we encountered a young ram with his head stuck in  fence quite distressed.  Allan full of human kindness said..”If he’s still there when we come back up I’ll go over to shut you up!” On the way back up he was still stuck so I made Al climb over into the field which had a sign that said Trespassers will be sent down the mine etc.   I explained he’d have to sneak up on the little fellow from behind…straddle him , grab his head and twist to free his horns  and pull the ram backwards towards him!  Allan was not keen …..especially as a little group of people had gathered opposite and were shouting encouragement. Cars were starting to show down….not much happens in Criccieth. Before the grabbing moment the ram had panicked so much he managed to free himself bleating furiously and ran back to his mother who , in her panic weeeed all over him .  All the time both of them casting accusing glances at Allan.  Can’t help feeling he may soon be mentioned in the Yewtree despatches for interfering with livestock. He still keeps checking YouTube for footage. He said..”Not only have you made me look a Perv.  ………… you have made me look a gay Perv.! I keep threatening to send the photos to the R.SP.CA.

 

********************************

In the light of Yewtree   …….Can’t help thinking there will be some tough competition for lead parts in the Prison Panto this year

How many teenage girls does it take to change a Lightbulb?  Eleven! One to change the lightbulb and 10 to take 200 photos of it for Facebook.

Black Country lad answering a maths question  “If you have 2 apples and when you get home your father give you one…what have you got?” Reply….”2 apples and a sore arse!”

Devil of a job to transport all my currency for my Greek Holiday.  It’s hard to get 100 goats on a Thomsons Flight!

The Greek Government are so desperate they have even started to respond to emails from Nigerian Millionaires.

***********************************

 

More Catching up….!

The back treatment I had earlier in the year seems to have helped.  I had a week of Magnetic Resonance Treatment at the Nicky Snazell’s Pain Clinic.  I had an hour each day in a modified version of an M.R.I Scanner.  This is is just a wraparound ……….so no claustrophobic tunnel problems.You feel a bit like the sausage in a sausage roll.  Very relaxing and painless…except on the Bank Balance. It could take up to 6 months to see the full effect but I am feeling more confident. In the meantime I had several deep muscle acapuncture sessions.  When Allan saw the length of the needles he went wobble and he nearly passed out.  What a Wuss!

Great to be catching up with my friend Jenny on a more regular basis.  Also good to see Anne for a Wetherspoons every couple of weeks.  Friends are very important to us and our only regret is that being so busy we can’t always get together and we miss out on special days working at weekends and the dates being fixed so far in advance.  Big thanks to all of them for being so understanding and supportive.

The ensuing pain and depression after losing so many friends over the last few months led to an inevitable “taking stock”. This led to an unscheduled last minute holiday in March.  Instead of a chilling week in Wales we opted for a week in Gran Canaria at the Riu Palace, Meloneras.  Our friends, Roger and Barb use them a lot and recommended them to us.  This was our first visit to a Riu and we were very impressed.  We were the only riff raff there.  I couldn’t get used to the waiter helping me to sit down  Coming from Friar Park I thought he was trying to pull my chair from under me.

THIS AY ONE OF THEM 'OSSES OFF THE CUT

THIS AY ONE OF THEM ‘OSSES OFF THE CU

 

GOT THE LEGS OUT AN' EVERYTHING

GOT THE LEGS OUT AN’ EVERYTHING

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RIU PALACE , MELONERAS

RIU PALACE , MELONERAS

 

 

Coming more or less up to date the Black Country Tour has been a real Blast.  Must admit we had reservations.  Along with our elegant compere, Mr. Peter Lee we were the oldest on the bill.  Would we be able to keep up….would we have anything in common……… would the Red Bull and the extra strong “Bum and Tum” tights get Allan through without too much ridicule?  We needn’t have worried because the rest of the cast were great and we all got along really well.  The audience reaction was really positive. I have covered the tour in my Diary 2015

BACKSTAGE ON THE B.C. TOUR

BACKSTAGE ON THE B.C. TOUR

ONSTAGE AT LICHFIELD GARRICK

ONSTAGE AT LICHFIELD GARRICK

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

***********************************

“A lorry on it’s way to the Glasgow Depot has overturned on the M8 and spilled it’s entire cargo or pre-packed salad bags onto the carriageway.  A policeman has warned drivers to expect delays of 4 minutes while the driver picks both bags up!”

Listening to two guys in the pub.  “Yes, I’ve realised I have an alcohol related problem…the wife!

And if Les Dawson were alive today he would be saying “I’m not saying my wife is big but she has just took a Selfie in Panoramic mode.”

**************************************

Just got back from a  torrential, wind swept Wales .  Bank Holiday Monday was fine but  it didn’t last long. Welsh National Dress should be the Kagoul and wellies. The sea and the sky are one and the mountains have disappeared in the thick Welsh mist.  It has 2 types of rain  “chucking it down” and that soft drizzle that really wets you.  Just us left on the site…says it all!

Back home to do some more gigs and to cast our vote.  Still not had the boiler replaced and summer still feels a long way off.  Been a very busy few weeks and lots of power naps to get us through.  The house looks like we’ve been robbed so we keep going out so we can’t see it.

News broke this week of a lady who had killed herself because of aggressive marketing from different charity groups.  This seems more and more the trend.  Bombarded by the robotic people manning call centres who have no idea if or how much we donate to any given charity.  We are accosted on the high streets in every town by over confident failed actors and bullied by begging letters and guilt inducing photographs.  This, along with the constant barrage of film footage between programmes.We can all only give so much.

In depth studies have proved many of these charities to be ineffectual and badly run with a huge percentage of the funds creamed off to “pay management,”  re-brand, new logos and shop refits all take money away from the real cause  Some of these people who work for these charities have little understanding of the human condition.  I speak from personal experience. They are so busy team building, event’s organising and being politically correct but sometimes they just need a refresher course on people skills.  After saying all this we did a charity gig for St. Mary’s Hospice in memory of Tommy Mundon and the lady from there who organised it was brilliant. We do a lot of Charity work and work for some lovely people and have helped to raise a lot of money since we started in 1978. Most of the “ordinary” people who do fund raisers know how to treat people and know how to treat performers who have been entertaining as long as we have. Let us hope that our recent brush with “charity officialdom” will be a one off.

 

 

The Memory Test!

The website has suffered a series of problems over the past few months. Somebody must have got the Techno Gizmo wet and he has played havoc.  The result being that both of us ended up hating the website, the computer and each other.  Pictures have come and gone…bits of print seem to have disappeared overnight etc.  Suffice it to say I have learned lots of new swear words.  We have come to view it as the Devil’s Own Work and have given it a very wide berth for a while. We may have taught it a valuable lesson i.e. ” Machines are not the boss of me and they are no substitute for real life.”

Now we are going to give it another chance. I haven’t “blogged” for months so all those months are mostly a blur.  I can only briefly dwell on events and they will certainly not be in any chronological order.  Confused witterings would probably be a more apt description.

Running alongside all this technical backlash there has been my ever present neck problem…which…along with the glass back has given me the full set of Reasons to be Grumpy…Part 1. Computer work means pinched nerves, pins and needles, headaches and Allan taking the blame for everything.  New Doctor, who looks about 10 years old but is very sweet gave me some Amitriptyline to deaden nerve endings and presumably cheer me up.  Nerve ending so dead I bit inside my mouth  and had to talk with a lisp for a week.  Although Allan said if it hurt that much I didn’t need to talk at all! Al has took over the Gigs Diary for a few but I am back!! See below my picture of my nocturnal pain…Scary!!

Nightmare!

Nightmare!

 

The last year has been depressing when I think of all of the friends we have lost.  From now on I have decided not to dwell overmuch on these events lest I obsess and start attracting suicides to this page.  Allan’s Uncle Albert and 4 friends since January make for sad reading.  On the plus side at his Uncle’s funeral Allan discovered 5 cousins he didn’t know he had. The funerals brought us together with a lot of old friends we had lost touch with. Terrible that this is the only time so many of us get together.

The most recent funeral was one for our friend Geoff Bodenham.  Anyone who used Folk Clubs in the area will have known Geoff.

YOUNG GEOFF BODENHAM

YOUNG GEOFF BODENHAM

I had known him since I was 18.  Lovely funny, talented guy who ran the Red Lion O’Morfe Folk Club for years and then moved to Bridgnorth and made his mark there by running a pub and then becoming a local Councillor.  His wife Joan is pretty and friendly and has supported him in all he has done for many years. He will be greatly missed.  Thanks for so many happy times, Geoff.

 

 

We have had 2 short breaks in Chester since I spoke last.  We had one before Christmas which was wonderful.  Everywhere looked so magical.

Chester Christmas

Chester Christmas

Magical Chester

Magical Chester

Then we went again in February for a couple of nights.  The second visit was not so good.  I had been left to my own devices for 20 minutes in Primark.  Whilst trying to read a price tag on a very heavy platform shoe on a very high shelf I met with misfortune… The shoes were held together (I later found out) by elastic. They suddenly catapulted down and hit me (as we say in Wednesbury) right in the gob! Smacker!! I thought me front tooth had gone. I had a cut, swollen lip and was spitting blood and very wobbly.  I had to be taken to the park with a bottle of water and salt to try to cauterise it.  There I was gargling and spitting on the squirrels.  What a pretty picture I made! I then discovered I had lost my fur scarf and went tearing off to look for it…..and got lost.  No money and no phone!…….I wandered round for ages grizzling quietly to myself.  Eventually found Allan and then couldn’t find the return bus tickets…….until the bus had gone and grizzled a lot louder.  I will no longer be allowed to look after bus tickets or anything of any value and Allan is going to buy a set of reins so that I cannot wander off. and be a problem to others!!

Allan Walking City Walls

Allan Walking City Walls

Gigs and Things

We’ve been to see a few bands over the past few months. Just before Christmas after a night at the Pub we came home and booked tickets to see the Who at the Barclay Card Arena in Brum.  Couldn’t believe it the next morning when we realised we had bought tickets £75.00 each! We would have been able to see them just as well if we had watched from our house. They were so far away!  These arena gigs are no fun.  The crowd is in a total state of flux.  Up and down for toilets, drinks etc. playing with phones, holding up bloody selfie sticks and filming on their bloody ipads. It does not make for a relaxing night. Allan  had took to legging people up so I was expecting it to kick off all night. The Who looked and sounded great but I didn’t enjoy the show because of all the distractions.

In January we went to see The First Aid Kit who are two sisters who are very talented and very young.  They write their own material. They are Scandi/American and were a total delight.  We have also been to see the lovely Ivy League a couple of times.

Helen and Me at the Village for the Ivys

Helen and Me at the Village for the Ivy’s Gig

We went to the Beacon Village in Lichfield with our friend, Helen, just before Christmas and then with Helen and Anne we saw them at  to Walmley Club.  Allan was very excited because Helen managed to get them to sign a Birthday card to him.  He will not take it down!

We’ve had several great nights at the Sils which is now being held at Knowle British Legion.  It is a bigger venue and the drinks are cheaper. Glad to see it is doing so well.  John Berry who runs the club is a good guy. Keith Slater, Ian and Martin aka Vivo are brilliant and there is always someone interesting turn up on the night.  Very impressed with Andy Bennett who used to be with Ocean Colour Scene and is now fronting his own band.  He has been up a couple of times. Everyone is always pleased to see Danny King.  Great performer and a lovely man. Meet up with lots of people we  know at this Club which is great.  An old friend of mine from my very early folk club days has just had a big back operation.  It is so good to see you again at the club and so good to know that the operation was a success. I had to include this picture from those folk days when Tony Shew was in the folk group the Harvesters.  I used to go and watch them at the Royal in Walsall when I was about18. Great to see you on the mend, tony.

TONY SHEW TOP LEFT HAND SIDE...BANJO BOY

TONY SHEW TOP LEFT HAND SIDE…BANJO BOY

Any Music lovers out there….its the second Sunday of each month

VIVO AND DANNY KING

VIVO AND DANNY KING

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Had good night at the Robin with our friend Graham. We went to see Roy Wood and his band.  Allan has always been a big fan. Full house and a great atmosphere.

We didn’t manage to get up to Wales to close the van until the ed of November.  Both of us struggled with the flu.  I passed it on to Allan who obviously had Manflu and made much of it.  I had to cancel my course of back treatment in case I infected everyone at the Pain Clinic.

Christmas Eve we went to the service at Lichfield Cathedral.  At the end pf the service we all walked around the Cathedral in a candelight procession.  I came close to giving the child next to me an unChristmassy slap as he was waving his candle dangerously close to my hair.  Once around the Cathedral and then out into the dark streets with our candles bringing light to the world.  Allan spoiled the moment by shouting I wonder if this will still be alight when we get to Wetherspoons.

It was lovely to have Anne Webb, daughter Cathy, Grace and Rose and son, David and Isabelle to come over and see my Christmas Grotto.  Glad to know they enjoyed it.

Santa and the White Queen

Santa and the White Queen

Glyn's Nativity Dolls in the Grotto

Glyn’s Nativity Dolls in the Grotto

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoyed a Christmas get together with friends, Maggie and Andy for a meal and to swap presents at the Cock Inn  at Wishaw.  Allan’s chips were arranged like a game of Jenga.  Much excitement for him!

Our big event in January was Allan and Helen’s Birthdays.  Helen had invited us to her party which was a brilliant night and, as luck would have it, coincided with Allan’s birthday.  What a great party it was!  She had organised a full night’s entertainment with a stilt walker, Little Miss Sixties(who I loved) and 45 R.P.M …great band who were later joined by Alan Mosca from the Dreamers. Although Helen is a lot younger than us she loves sixties music and knows a lot of the groups from that era who are still performing. Good to see our Ivy League friends, Keith and Sue whose company we enjoyed for the evening. Helen and here nieces did a very professional 4 song spot.  Helen’s first time on stage….she was really cool! All the groups from the Solid Silver Sixties Tour had clubbed together and bought Helen (and all signed) a fabulous guitar.  She was so thrilled.  Great night, Helen.  Big thanks for including us.

Helen with Special Pressie

Helen with Special Pressie

 

*****************************************

They’ve opened a new Restaurant in Birmingham called Peace and Quiet.  Kids meals start at £250.00

You know you are really drunk when you get home, put food in the microwave and enter your pin no.

Man in Pub….”Life was so simple before I got married.  I had no idea there was a wrong way to put milk back in the fridge!”

If you ever feel useless remember it’s somebody’s job to fit indicators on B.M.W’s

****************************************

 

In which I may appear even grumpier than normal……!

This is the 3rd attempt to write something coherent.  I have started and lost my notes relating to “Life…..but not as we know it, Jim”! ….since the end of August.  Now I can’t remember the good things that have happened only the bad.

I know I had a wonderful summer in Wales and I was looking forward to my birthday in Riva Del Garda. Still hadn’t lost the extra pounds but they look marginally better brown so…what the hell!  The Italians like their women big and as you will see from the photo below why they are.  So many scrummy things!

FESTIVAL  WEEKEND  ITALY

FESTIVAL WEEKEND ITALY

GLYN  ABOUT TO SPEND  MORE  MONEY

GLYN ABOUT TO SPEND MORE MONEY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now – anyone with back problems knows that sinking feeling when the smallest twinge heralds what the professionals call “an episode” and I myself call “a bloody nightmare”.  Long- story- short On the first day I had to go out and buy a walking stick and a back belt and by the last 3 nights I was sitting up all night on a plastic chair from the balcony wrapped in a very unbecoming blanket. I looked like an extra from Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb.

By this time I was getting spasms, Tramadol and meltdown.  I’ve had better birthdays.  It was like my body was saying “Okay you’re 66 this is just a taster of things to come. Did you Baby Boomers really think you could always be young? Yes!! That’s why we didn’t exercise.

The mosquitoes took full advantage of my less than vigilant state (8  miles high) and feasted on my pain racked body with spectacular results creating a pattern of 8 bites which, when I joined the dots with a pen, resembled a small dog. The spasms caught me and my fellow diners offguard.  Each unexpected spasm causing me to let out a startled scream resulting in many knives and forks  clattering onto plates. Got our own back on a lot of Germans during those mealtimes. Did I do a lot of grizzling and whimpering…you betcha!

On return I crawled along to the Doctors and he gave me more Tramadol.  Al had called the Pain Relief Clinic from Italy so 4 lots of Intra Muscular Stimulation.  This involves very long needles being drive a very long way into the muscle which then grabs them and won’t let go..while a electric current is passed through and I hang onto the side of the bed promising  God  I will change my ways..  After one of these treatment where I blubbed all the way home in pain I had to go straight to the Grand Theatre for a photoshoot for the tour. So if you see any posters that is the reason  for the strange face I am wearing.  Good to see Jasper at the Grand getting ready for his Stand up and Rock.  Hadn’t seen him since Les Ward’s funeral.

PAN STICK  POSTER

PAN STICK POSTER

PHOTO  SHOOT  GRAND THEATRE  WOLVERHAMPTON

PHOTO SHOOT GRAND THEATRE WOLVERHAMPTON

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robin at TapeThat managed to get our new C.D. ready for us on return from Italy.  As I write this today Nov. 14 we have almost sold out of the first batch and are awaiting a second batch.  They have sold really well and we are very thrilled. Details at end of post.

October itself was obviously greatly overshadowed by the death of our friend, Jack Webb from Giggetty.  We should all take the time to treasure our friends and loved ones but we all get so caught up in the daily nonsense.  We have so little control our entrances and exits in this life yet still we fail to realise this until it is too late. Had a lovely night out with Anne and Jack a few days before it happened.  So glad that we had chance to say a small goodbye.

We did a bit of a Nostalgia thing on a trip to Ikea.  It is awful to think Wednesbury is now simply known as Ikea by so many young people.  At least  in the sixties everybody knew it was where Janice Nicholls…Thank Your Lucky Stars…”O’ill Give it Foive!” came from. Smashing girl. I was in the same class as Pat, her younger sister and went to the house  a few times.  We lived just up the road. Saw Janice in Dunelm a couple of days ago.  She still looks good.

Wednesbury is always a bitter/sweet experience.  All our family gone and so much changed  Hard not to get sad.  Allan went to Teddy Gray’s Suck Shap and got a bag of Jelly Babbies. He shed a tear at the demise of the old British Legion where his Football team Werder Bremen used to meet on a Sunday morning.

SATURDAY  MORNING PICTURES .

SATURDAY MORNING PICTURES .WHAT WENT WRONG ?

WERDER BREMEN .BACK IN THE DAY ALLANS HAIR TOOK UP THE FRONT ROW AND SCORED GOALS ON ITS OWN

WERDER BREMEN .BACK IN THE DAY ALLANS HAIR TOOK UP THE FRONT ROW AND SCORED GOALS ON ITS OWN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We did the tour of the Town Hall where we we went for School Choir Festivals and then later the Dances.  Sorry to see that the the old Gaumont/Odeon is gone. That was where we went to our Saturday Morning Pictures and then later when we woz “Cootin!” We stood outside our old coffee bar which was called “Packies” back then but couldn’t be called that now. We sat all night hugging one bottle of coke and spending all our money on the juke box.  It is now a Bike Shop. Across the road Coopers brilliant Record Shop is all boarded up.  I bought my first 3 singles from there…Little White Bull by Tommy Steele….Strawberry Fair by Antony Newley (who I had a tremendous crush on)…and Smokestack Lightnin’ by Howlin Wolf.  I had very varied tastes…looking at that list they bordered on the bizzare!

SUGAR  ( JELLY  BABIES ) LOVE

SUGAR ( JELLY BABIES ) LOVE

WEDNESBURY  TOWN HALL

WEDNESBURY TOWN HALL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I went to the old Household Stores which didn’t look too different.  An Asian family keep it now and look to be doing a good job. I worked there one summer in my teens.  My Mum was so fed up of me sitting in Packies Coffee Bar all day she went and got me a job.  I was not happy.  The other girls in there hated me because I was at Grammar School. so if any body came in and wanted a dustbin or anything equally big or heavy they used to send me.  For some reason everything in this category was kept on the 3rd floor up 3 lots of very twisty narrow steps. As I suffer from Discalcula…a fear of numbers….I spent a lot of time bent beneath the counter scribbling numbers on bits of paper and counting  on my fingers. It was not a happy experience. This coupled with having to wear a very unattractive nylon overall and having to sell loose rolls of toilet paper was humiliating. If anyone came in who knew me, particularly boys, I used to run in the back my face aflame.  We had to test the soundness of the china cups and saucer etc. by banging them together to check that they sounded clear and bell like.  It took a while for me to get the hang of the amount of force to use.  My paypacket was often light due to me banging too hard.

PACKIES   COFFEE  BAR . YES I KNOW BUT IT WAS 1965 .

PACKIES COFFEE BAR . YES I KNOW BUT IT WAS 1965 .

SCENE  OF  TEENAGE  ANGST AND HUMILIATION . YES  A SATURDAY JOB

SCENE OF TEENAGE ANGST AND HUMILIATION . YES A SATURDAY JOB .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Italy seems like a long way off now.   I have booked back in at the Pain Clinic for a new treatment called Magnetic Resonance which is similar to an MRI scan. One hour each day for 7 days. Al insists I try it.  He’s fed up of hearing me moan.  I am having to drink at least 2 litres of water a day in preparation so I am wearing out a path in the carpet en route to the toilet. Since I wrote this I have had to cancel all the sessions because of the prolonged flu problems.

The bad back and the now well chronicled and spectacular allergic results from the flu jab have run parallel. I am seriously convinced that the flu jab is a new government measure to see off us miserable old gits before we cost the N.H.S. any more money. Does anyone remember a very scary Sci -Fi  film called Solent Green where the old people were given a Euthanasia trip and then  processed and turned into food to feed the growing population……… Ooo…er!

DONT MISS YOUR FLU INJECTION . LOOK NO SIDE AFFECTS .

DONT MISS YOUR FLU INJECTION . LOOK NO SIDE AFFECTS .

They have really pushed this flu/swine flu/pneumonia  jab.  I have been  really ill since I had it at the end of September and now I have passed this viral chemical cosh on to Allan…and as any woman knows Manflu is so much worse than the ordinary. Allan has bought every medication known to man and then some. Our house is echoing from a choral coughing and we are evil beyond measure. I think we would probably kill each other if we had the strength. We have taken to wearing a sign declaring ourselves “Viral”.  Only good thing is it guarantees a seat in Costa well away from any children. Why do young, upwardly mobile fathers come in Costa trailing their offspring and calling them “Dude”.  “What yu gettin’, Dude”? Obviously exposed to too many American Romcoms. I feel like saying…”You’re in Lichfield…get a grip!”

Had a great day out with Norma and Alan in Birmingham. We went in my one flu less week. We went to the new library and the newly refurbed Art Gallery tearooms. Lovely weather and we had a coffee outside the New Rep sitting in the sunshine. Fab.  Nice meal at the Boathouse in Sutton Park with our friends Chris and Kev.  Good to get together with friends Anita and Alan  from Boggery days. Had to turn down so any lovely invitations because we didn’t want to pass  on flu

ALLAN  ACTING  VERY SILLY IN THE NEW BIRMINGHAM  LIBRARY

ALLAN ACTING VERY SILLY IN THE NEW BIRMINGHAM LIBRARY

BIRMINGHAM  ART  GALLERY . - NO PRE  PLANNED DRESS CODE . WHATS THE CHANCES ?

BIRMINGHAM ART GALLERY . – NO PRE PLANNED DRESS CODE . WHATS THE CHANCES ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We haven’t been able to get to the caravan to close it for the winter and it will be too cold now to actually stay in it so we have to book into a Travelodge for the night while we pack everything up to bring back for the winter.

There must have been some fun things in the past 2 and something months but I can’t recall them.  Lots of enforced T.V. watching has addled my brain but as yet I have not succumbed to any of the Soaps, Strictly, X Factor or Celebrity anything.   Nothing which has required me to watch orange people speaking in new and strange tongues or anything which required a frontal lobotomy.

Can’t wait to feel a bit better and be up and at ’em.  Hoping to put a couple of tracks from the new C.D. on Youtube. with some funny footage but need some help to get the technical side done.  For someone who still can’t operate the T.V. or the phone this is a big step.

READ ALL ABOUT IT…

DANDY FINALLY EMBRACE THE WORLD OF RECORDING!  NOT SINCE YOUR GRANNIE CRANKED UP THE OLD WIND UP GRAMAPHONE HAS THERE BEEN SO MUCH EXCITEMENT.

THIS IS YOUR CHANCE TO DRIVE AWAY VISITORS, BORE THE GRAND CHILDREN RIGID AND REALISE THAT THERE ARE WORSE THINGS THAN TELEVISION AFTER ALL……

TAKE DANDY HOME WITH YOU TONIGHT.  CLEAN. GOOD WITH ANIMALS AND HOUSE TRAINED!

FIFTY SHADES OF SAFT

DANDY  .C.D  FIFTY SHADES OF SAFT

DANDY .C.D FIFTY SHADES OF SAFT

DANDY  C.D  ON SALE  SEPTEMBER  2014

DANDY C.D ON SALE SEPTEMBER 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THIS IS OUR NEW COMEDY C.D. AND IS SELLING SO WELL WE HAVE HAD TO RE-ORDER. WOW! YOU CAN FOOL ALL OF THE PEOPLE ALL OF THE TIME…….. THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS PRESENT AT £5.00.   SONGS TO MEK’ YOW LOFF!

This C.D is our way of bowing to Public Demand….that is…3 people…one deaf, one daft and one who could possibly pass as normal under special circumstances…

En masse they have asked, nay, pleaded for the Dandy Comedy Songs to resurface.  Digging them up from the Vaults we have tweaked and updated to come up with a new almost P.C. version of the parodies we performed in our youth.  These were back in the days when good taste was not over rated…especially in the Black Country.

I offer sincere apologies  to anyone who holds dear any of the original songs.  There is no excuse for the havoc wreaked ad the total lack of respect shown to some of these once beautiful  “Cries De Coeur”>

WE ‘OPE YOW LOIKE EM! WE ‘AD A LOFF RECORDIN ‘EM!!

1.     BRENDA AND TRACEY.    This was originally recorded many years ago with Giggetty.  It escaped as a 45rpm and is apparently a collector’s item.  Well, we certainly collected enough according to the boxful we still have in our wardrobe.

2.     ACHING ALL OVER.    The original Johnny Kidd and the Pirates was one of my favourite records.  It is such a sexy sound.  Now it’s Ralgex, Rugs and Sausage Rolls.

3.     BILSTON MARKET.   Sheer sacrilege!  Sorry Scott Mackenzie.  Some hard lads in the Black Country.  Kaftans and flowers were never going to be a “Happening!”

4.     THESE FOOLISH THINGS.   Originally sung by Hutch in 1936.  So he’s probably not around any more to be offended.

5.     DOW YOU WANT MAR BABBY     First time we did this on stage a relation of one of the Human League wa in the audience.  I was mortified! She laughed like a drain and asked for a copy!

6.     UNFAVOURITE THINGS.   This list is updated almost daily as I get older and grumpier.

7.     STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT.   How things have changed in the Wenchin’ and Chappin’ stakes!  In Wednesbury back i the day, young lads would try to attract one’s attention with a subtle yet provocative entreaty: “Hey, Shortarse, me mate fancies yow!” Now the soul less Sexting is all the rage!

8.     CHEEK TO CHEEK.   This was my favourite era.  I adored Fred Astaire.  He sang this in Top Hat.

9.     24 HOURS FROM TIPTON   One of the first songs I ever parodied.  I loved Gene Pitney and tried to imagine his Black Country version of his biggest hit.

10.     STAND BEHIND YOUR MAN.   This is for all the long suffering women who have made a lifetime’s work of apologising for “their man”! “Y’all know what I”m talkin’ bout!”

11.     OI’VE GOT YOW, BABB!   Legends.  We all wanted to be Hippies, growing long hair and smoking dope.  I worked at the Patent Shaft Steel Works back then and that sort of thing was in short supply…except for the Dope and I married him!

12.     DELILAH.   Hopefully Sir Tom won’t mind.  He seems like one of the good guys.

 Our first C.D. A LONG, LONG TIME is also on sale and is selling well.  Featuring  SONGS TO MEK YOW BLART

Classics old and new like:  Dreamboats and Petticoats….A Long, Long, Time…..He Thinks He’ll Keep Her….The Dance…Walk Away Joe….Like I’ve Never Been Gone….A Bus To St. Cloud…Let Me Down Easy…Mr. Rock and Roll…To Make You Feel My Love… There Goes My First Love….When You Are Old….Smile

The songs we have chosen for this…our first venture….are not typical of our stage act.  Although we do sing one or two of them on stage.  They are the songs we love….but as we aspire to do comedy….they are seldom suitable.  Death, disease and destruction are not always the best choice if you want  a crowd to leave happy.  So we limit ourselves.  A Long, Long Time is how long we have been together…..the length of our ‘career’ and the time it has taken to actually get round to doing it. We hope you like it.

Both of these C.D.s are available at shows or we can post them to you. £5.00 EACH Plus postage and packing.

002-2-300x235[1]

DANDY  . C.D  A LONG LONG TIME

DANDY . C.D      A LONG LONG TIME

All Sorts of Stuff!

Before I start I would like to direct any of you interested to “GLYN’S DIARY14″where I have included a piece about TOMMY MUNDON and also about JIM MCPHEE.  Both of them died last month and both of them are being laid to rest tomorrow 6th August. As they were both people we had worked with in entertainment I thought it only right to put them in the Entertainment Diary.

 

Checking back….my blogging came to an abrupt halt a while back. My Muse seems to have buggered off and left me with nothing of any interest to say.  Nothing new there I hear you all whispering.  I use the word “All” with with poetic licence as it would suggest more than one person reads this. Ha!  The possibility of remembering what I have done for the last 6 weeks is remote.  As I can barely recall what I did yesterday of how to tie my shoelace I fear it is a complete mystery.  Probably if you read what I had written at this time for the past few years it wold be the same. Check…Older, Fatter,Grumpier,Greyer, Guarantee on more of my body parts expired!!

When we examine the minutiae of each others’ lives with sites like Twitter, Facebook etc. I am sure none of us are really interested in what the other person’s doing. I can remember somebody saying…”Okay….now let’s talk about something really interesting…Me!”  It could have been  me that said it or possibly Stephen Fry.  The art of conversation has not exactly died but the art of listening bit the dust long ago.  Allan,God Bless Him!, often has to be kicked by me when I can see someone he is talking to starting to glaze over.  We had a couple of friends round for the evening recently.  We had had a few drinks, it was a warm room and it was late and I felt myself sliding into a doze.  I could hear Allan’s voice still talking in the distance.  So embarrassed!   After they had gone I said “God, I couldn’t keep my eyes open!  Did anybody notice? ” He said….” No! Fortunately they had gone to sleep as well. I looked up mid sentence and realised I was talking to myself”! Again….nothing new there!

Many of us these days have the concentration span of a gnat. Who can blame us?  Total mind numbing, mind dumbing crap on T.V. encourages it. Stops us thinking…stops us questioning. A  new programme has appeared on our screens presented by the ever present “Ooooooooh! I’m welling up!” Alan Carr. When he squeals which is only continually…….dogs all over the neighbourhood react by putting their paws over their ears! This prog. allows somebody to sing while going down a huge conveyor belt. There’s a bit more to it but not much.  It lasts about 2 minutes which is 2 minutes too long. All of this against a backdrop of epileptic fit inducing lights, a lardy looking Blackpool audience baying for blood and Alan Carr screaming like  a Justin Beiber fan.

So I shall recount “my doings” for my own benefit as a blurred record of how much time I waste. Frankly I don’t know how people have the energy to set off to do exciting things every day.  I find it exhausting thinking about it.  I only ever wanted to work in a Library.  I had my own stamp, pad and trolley by the time I was 6. This lethargy isn’t something that has evolved with advancing years.  I have always been a boring, lazy little toad! I can remember standing on a toilet seat for what seemed like hours trying to avoid Hockey or Netball.  Our Games Mistress used to check under the doors for slackers.  I did have an unfortunate and ill fitting P.E. kit which was purchased at great cost and 2 sizes too big in my first year and not replaced.  Although by 13 I had developed a 38 inch bust I had to carry on regardless. It was the equivalent of wearing a strait jacket. I couldn’t lift my arms for 3 years. There was no stretch in in my top or shorts. Maybe I could have been an athlete had it not been for my unyeilding Aertex.  Thank God for Lycra I say!

GLYN AND  JEN  AT BUTLINS   AGED  15

GLYN AND JEN AT BUTLINS AGED 15

GLYN  WITH  THE HELEN SHAPIRO  LOOK .

GLYN WITH THE HELEN SHAPIRO LOOK .

GLYN  AND  JEN . THE  JOY OF BEING YOUNG

GLYN AND JEN . THE JOY OF BEING YOUNG

 

Grammar School had been a big expense for my parents who hadn’t got much money. Dad was a Steel Erector at Rubery Owens and Mum worked on the Cooked Meats at George Masons. Money was always short though.   We didn’t have a phone until I left home and we never had a car. Grammar school was always more money with School uniforms and books and the like.  Hockey sticks don’t grow on trees, you know!.  Oh! Well! ….bits of them do. I was in with the Avias and Sylvias and Grenvilles and Brindleys with posh Mummies and Daddies and they owned their own houses. Mum used to say in a hushed voice “Do they own their own house?  Oh, they must be posh, our Glynnis!” Don’t start me on the lack of my leather satchel. The mockery I suffered because of my canvas satchel won by my Dad at Bingo on our summer holiday in Blackpool.  Christ!  These people who go on X factor and say they have suffered trauma and stress…….they haven’t got a clue!! It left me mentally scarred!……….Got to rest there…..I’m welling up!

My life, despite being in it’s Autumnal phase still feels as if it is in the Planning Stages.  Wen the final “Zoned Out” appears I shall still be writing “What I want to be when I grow up!”

As I write this I am in North Wales  Wiffi-less.  A storm has always brought the line down or the sheep have ate it.  The signal is only existent between 7 and 8 on the Sabbath.  So….good excuse to spend some time in Costa scoffing Paninis and getting in training for our Italian holiday. I know I’ve been very busy which means I’ve started one task and created 10 more in the process.

We had a few days in Suffolk near Southwold in June.  We spent the 3 days previous searching for our overnight bag.  We ransacked every nook and cranny endlessly and then remembered we had thrown it away because the mice had used it as their winter holiday resort in the garage.  We went back to the lovely Belle-Grove Farm where the Dragon House is like something from a fairytale. Good to catch up with Al Powell and Margaret en route.

Allan's idea of a new shower a bit of a disappointment.

Allan’s idea of a new shower a bit of a disappointment.

 

 

the stable, belle grove

the stable, belle grove

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had a brilliant night at Lichfield Garrick.  We went to see BARRY STEELE in his ROY ORBISON TRIBUTE SHOW…..Barry Steele and Friends.  We worked with Barry a few years ago and were knocked out by his incredible talent.  He is a really nice guy and everybody loves him who has met him or seen the show.

The show itself is professional in every way.  Everything has been considered, balanced, rehearsed for maximum pleasure and impact;  He retains that down to earth charm that an audience really warms to.  He makes them a big part of a very real experience.  We have been to two of his theatre shows..unfortunately we are usually working when he is local. Barry changes the acts and the shows around to keep the show fresh.    All of the other artists he uses are top class.  This time he was working with a Buddy Holly, a  Jerry Lee Lewis and an Elvis tribute.  The number of sellout theatre shows they do are testament to their popularity and high standard.  There could not be a better or more respectful tribute to Roy Orbison and his work.

BARRY  STEELE   . BEST  EVER ROY ORBISON  AND A BOSTIN  BLOKE . WE  LOVE YA  BARRY .

BARRY STEELE . BEST EVER ROY ORBISON AND A BOSTIN BLOKE . WE LOVE YA BARRY .

Well done to his wife, Lynne who is responsible for direction, production and all the other things that go on back stage to knock the whole thing into such tremendous shape. It is a real family concern.  They have worked really hard and it shows.  Good luck to them all they deserve it!

Catch Barry on his tour.  Check the websites.

www.royorbisontribute.com

www.royorbisonandfriendswithbarrysteele.com.

I promise you will not be disappointed.  Support this Black Country Lad and is family.  They have took on the Big Boys and are Winning!

 

 

 

 

Seen lots of friends over the past few weeks.  Two Sunday afternoons were spent attending surprise Birthday Parties. Our friend Maggie had one in a Teepee at Stoke Pound and then the following week we went over to Monkspath to one for our friend Richard.  They were both beautiful afternoons.  We had good food and good company.  Sad not to have Les Ward with us anymore.  He would have been at both and loved them.  Allan and I have been keeping the profits up at the Two for One  near us for the last  few weeks.  I think I know the menu backwards. We also braved the Peri Peri Nando experience at Wednesfield under the supervision of Nick and Cliff.  Loved it.

ALLAN   DEE    GLYN   AT  MAGGIES   BIRTHDAY  PARTY

ALLAN DEE GLYN AT MAGGIES BIRTHDAY PARTY

0072-224x300[1]

JOHN MAGGIE AT MAGGIES TEEPEE PARTY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GLYN  RICK   AT  RICKS  BIRTHDAY PARTY

GLYN RICK AT RICKS BIRTHDAY PARTY

 

 

CELIA  AND  RICK

CELIA AND RICK

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the throes of getting a new C.D. produced ready for sale in the new season.  Our friend, Mike, has given up his very scarce free time to come over and record 12 of our comedy songs for us.  These are songs I have written over the years – some when we first started in folk clubs and some  very recent.  Mike is intuitive.  He knows what we want, and what suits us.  It is him we have to thank for the C.D. recording, production, title, photography, and artwork and as always the encouragement and inspiration.  We are so lucky to have him as a friend.  The whole thing has given us a tremendous boost and re- charged our batteries.  We are looking forward to the new season of work with excitement.  We have lots of new songs to learn and I am working on new material.

Had some lovely times in Criccieth over the last few weeks. Good to see Pam and Graham and actually have a night sitting on their balcony overlooking the sea eating and drinking and making to much noise.  Wednesbury, Dudley and Tipton….what more can you expect. Rough will out. Nice to catch up with our friends Janet , Stuart and Bronte. Long run of about 10 days with no rain and then another 6 with very little. Very excited to have a new carpet at the caravan.  It has finally come to this.  The pleasures of being ALMOST 66.  Not rolling on a carpet in gay abandon but checking it’s hard wearing properties.  Sad! Now are the Flighty well and truly Fallen!

 

GLYN  AND   ALLAN  LLANDUDNO

GLYN AND ALLAN LLANDUDNO

Jokes to follow. Off to bed. Up the wooden hill to Bedfordshire! Nighty night!

 

Watched a programme on George Bush’s personal Art Gallery the other day.  He has a very good likeness of Tony Blair. It’s as if it’s alive… The lies follow you all round the room…

If it wasn’t for the War we’d all be speaking German I thought…as I loaded my Aldi and Lidl  shopping bags into my Audi car!

I’ve just finished watching Dawn of the Planet of the Apes…or as some people call it Facebook!

My friend’s had a bit of a drink problem..”So said his AA Sponsor what have you learned from your drinking?” He thought about it and said “Well, Skips are very hard to get out of!”

Big thanks to Orlando Bloom for giving the world a Beiber hit we can all enjoy.

Some terrible things going on in the world right now hard to find anything to laugh about.

I must admit I had a smirk when after the Rolf Harris Revelations Vanessa Feltz or should that be Felt  disclosed her anguish.  The headlines read Vanessa Feltz  jumps on the Bandwagon!  I thought… I bet her’s bost it!!

I noticed a sign in the Black Country the other day .  It read “If you leave your child in the car during this hot weather please ensure the window is open so at least they can have a fag.”

As somebody handed Allan their camera the other day…He said you know you’re an ugly bugger when it’s a group photo and they hand you the camera.

Did I read it right?  Has Bernie Ecclestone just bribed his way out of a Bribery charge!!!

Apparently not wishing to fund Paedophilia at the B.B.C. was not a valid excuse for not paying my T.V. Licence.

 

All for now. The write up on TOMMY’S FUNERAL is in DIARY 2014

 

 

Emotion Overload

Trying to remember to write more.  Today has been such a full day. We went into Lichfield this morning for breakfast at the Lounge.  We love Lichfield because we know so many people there now and its great to stop and have a chat.  That’s what being retired or in our case semi retired is all about.  No real timetable. It is amazing how many things happen on a day to day basis to make us re assess our own lives.  Some things happened this week that really put in perspective the way we live and I think made us appreciate it more.  I think we all get tired of routine or think maybe we are missing out on something….on some other fabulous lifestyle that is just out of reach. There is so much in the world, especially at our age, to irritate, to frustrate, to confuse and anger.

Today was one of those days that adjusted the balance and re affirmed that life with all it’s shades of dark and light it something to be unequivocally grateful for.  We hadn’t stayed in Lichfield the day before to see Stephen Sutton brought into the Cathedral so we felt it only right to go and pay our respects today.

It has all been said.  Special doesn’t anywhere near cover it. He summed it up in his own words:” I don’t see the point in measuring the worthiness of your life in terms of time, but rather you should measure life in terms of what you achieve”  Stephen Sutton (1994-2014)

The response from people everywhere has been incredible. The scenes at the Cathedral were stunning………… sad yet uplifting and infinitely humbling. The whole event, for such it was, had been organised by everyone concerned with the utmost respect yet without the formal, dispiriting manner so often prevalent at this type of occasion.

Everyone, volunteers, Cathedral Staff, Clergy involved, everyone made the people, who came in vast numbers, welcome and part of the celebration of Stephen’s life.  The queue on Thursday continued from 5.00 p.m. right around the Cathedral until they closed the doors at 11.30pm and it was 1.30 a.m. before the Stewards could finally get away.  We waited an hour in a very long queue on Friday afternoon to pay our respects  before the last special service and before the private burial. Very emotional and uplifting scenes.

In a world where we often despair the lack of humanity Stephen and his incredible joy and tenacity for life has shone out like a beacon to inspire everyone and to make us all realise what “ordinary” people are capable of achieving.

SADNESS  AND   JOY

SADNESS AND JOY

Stephen-Sutton-Vigil1-300x199[1]

STEPHEN SUTTON

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Later in the day we headed over to Woods End in Tamworth to see the Ivy League.  We haven’t seen them this year and we get withdrawal symptoms if we go too long.  Our friend, Helen was already there and had saved us a seat. As I said in my last blog. It is great to make new friends at our age.  We haven’t known Helen long but we get on really well and she is good fun. Helen knows the lads well as she travels round to their gigs selling their merchandise for them and checking all is okay….a bit like a tour manager.

As usual they were on cracking form.  They never take anything for granted.  They work as hard and put as much into the performance whether the are in a  theatre or a small club.  They are on a big tour this year with several other 60s bands.  Look out for them at your local theatres. Great to see them do two spots. We got up and had a jig about for the second half after a great deal of persuading to get Allan up.

Lovely to see the other local Ivy League groupies….Keith and Sue.  We all meet up and sit together and then storm the dressing room at the end.  They are the greatest bunch of guys you could meet.  Even their Roadies are friendly. It makes It such a special night that they take time to meet and greet people. Keep on rocking, lads…we love ya!

THE IVY LEAGUE

THE IVY LEAGUE

GLYN   AND   HELEN

GLYN AND HELEN

Tears n’ Fears n’ Rock n’ Roll

Long time since the Blog has been visited.  We have had a very busy few weeks.  Lots of meals with friends, loads of gigs , two more funerals and some tears and palpitations.

Strikes me that life is like a big  jigsaw.  As we grow and go through life it’s like more and more of the pieces are slotting into place to complete the picture.  Each friendship , each family link, the patterns, the routines that we adopt all create our big picture, our security.  Then the older we get …..the changes the loss of friends and family erode our stability and parts of the jigsaw seem to break away.  The picture starts to feel incomplete and our own safety and security feels threatened. We have been to 6 funerals over the past few months. It starts to bring you down which is not good when you do comedy for a living.

My oldest friends Chris and Sue lost their Mother recently.  Val who had been a Nanny and  a Nurse had fled her home and homeland just ahead of invading Russian troops  in Neumunster, Germany She arrived in England at the end of the 2nd World War settled in Wednesbury and met Chris and Sues’ Dad, Cyril.  They were our next door neighbours for over 20 years .  We all grew up together.  Chris and I are still the best of friends. I’d been to see Val a few weeks before she died. She still had her lovely German accent and was still bright and interested at 89.  So many dreadful diseases come with age.  Parkinsons’ was responsible for inability to swallow without choking and ultimately her death. This was the same sort of problem my own Mother had suffered with Motor Neurone. Awful to witness.

I made a pretty butterfly wreath for her. It was terrible to see  Chris and Sue and all the family so distressed. They are all like my family.  The funeral went well and I was pleased to see Adrian Chiles take time out to come.  He had been in Manchester all day but still found the time.  He had featured Val in his book about the Albion.  All of them were lifelong Albion fans and Val herself had gone for many years until she was too ill. The end of an era.  Another big link with my childhood has gone.

VAL  BALL

VAL BAL

 

VAL'S FLOWERS

VAL’S FLOWERS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Yewtree allegations and trials rumble on.  Rolf Harris is up at the moment and actually sang Jake the Peg to the Jury!!!!! Going down, going down, going down!!  Don’t like to be flip about it all but groping was all part of life in the sixties.  Not saying it was right but it was the norm. I can remember being goosed by one of the now defunct Soaps stars behind scenery during a T.V. walk on I was doing.

 

I’m doing quite well with my CRAFTYDANDY JEWELLRY.  This comprises at the moment mostly of drop earrings and whatever else I can assemble without too much swearing and neck strain. I am selling it at gigs, except where they are fund raising, and after material costs am sending off profits as donations to various charities.  So far I have sent to Alzheimers, Chernobyl Cancer Children, Parkinsons Disease and some for Macmillan Nurses. I might take orders for my Butterfly wreaths.  I like having a creative outlet. Allan can now be found most days hanging around outside the Spellbound Beads Shop in Lichfield  looking martyred and saying “Not more bloody beads!”

Had a great night out at the Robin in Bilston.  Went to see Dr. Feelgood ….the band from Canvey Island and Eddie and the Hotrods.  Eddie was by far the best front man I have ever seen.  Dr. Feelgood was a lot darker but perfect.  Love all the music  but found it a bit tiring standing all night. Glad there was no crowd surfing.  There was some very big lads in front of me.

EDDIE AND THE HOTRODS

EDDIE AND THE HOTRODS

DR. FEELGOOD...PRINCE OF DARKNESS

DR. FEELGOOD…PRINCE OF DARKNESS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Both had our M.O.T’s this month. Breast check, Dentist, Well Man and Well Woman.  Can’t give it much credence as they said Allan was normal!  Told him he drinks to much beer so he suggested he drink cider instead.  I’ve been very stressed this last month and have been to the Docs twice with Palpitations convinced I was on the verge of a heart attack.  Hypertension. Doc said try to avoid stress.  I said “Have you met my husband?” Then I thought I’ve damaged my liver with Nurofen Plus.  Bad month with the neck . Doc says get up early to avoid the Pain.  I said he’s sleeping next to me.

Made at least one new friend though.  Met someone I’d only known through his MySpace page.  Got to work with Marc Andrews at Oakengates Theatre.  Lovely guy.  So pleased to meet him after so long. More info about him and his singing partner, Sarah in my Diary for May.  String of Pearls is their name. Loads of lovely stuff on You Tube and some brilliant photos on their Facebook. If you know of any Vintage events…get them booked!

STRING  OF   PEARLS

STRING OF PEARLS

STRING  OF  PEARLS  A CLASS  ACT

STRING OF PEARLS A CLASS ACT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just to prove we have some happy events to go to.  Picture of Rob Brown our long time friend from Boggery days and his lovely new bride, Lisa who got wed at the beautiful Wroxall Hall.

ROB  AND  LISA  .

ROB AND LISA .

Looking forward to some time off to work on new songs and do some writing and hopefully put some stuff on You Tube. Songs for the new C.D almost all recorded now.  They are the funny songs which we have been doing over the years.  Some going back to our folk club days. People have requested that we do them again so quite a lot of them have to be re- learned,……..Allan!!  Hoping to get some new publicity .  Just trying for a day when we both manage to look almost normal and just under 90.  Not easy.

I heard this the other day it could be the new UKIP soundbite…. “Bloody Romanians….coming over here and taking our Polish immigrant’s jobs!”

Standing in the Library the other day the man in front of me asked for a book on Erectile Dysfunction.  The Librarian tapped her computer keyboard and, peered at the screen and said…”it’s not coming up!”  He said “That’s the one”!”

Leave Gary Barlow alone…..Whatever he said….whatever he’s done….he didn’t mean it!!

Things looking bad for the Lib Dems…….I mean the Lib Dem.

They’ve discovered that 25% of Britons fail to get C or higher in G.C.S.E. Maths!  That”s more than half!

Katie Price pregnant again ad her husband has exited with her best friend.  New legislation means any men under 30 may now get their papers to be called up for Katie Price Husband Duty.

And just a thought in this new world we have created…this Big Society…….do people smoke e.cigarettes after sexting?

 

 

In which Allan picks up a paintbrush and we all get scared!

Busy few weeks.   Had some fun doing some recording with our friend, Mike.  Most of the comedy songs are recorded now and we had a great laugh doing them. Allan was beginning to sound like Howard from Last of the Summer Wine.  Big thanks, as ever to Mike.

Had a day out in Lichfield with Norma and Alan.  We have been friends since Junior School. Good to be relaxed in people’s company.  It was perfect weather for strolling, eating and talking.  These are things we are very good at.  We have considerable experience in all three.

Had a meal at the Twofer Saxon’s Thingy near Waitrose at Lichfield. Have finally given up on Wetherspoons at Lichfield for our Sunday treat because the breakfast was always cold.  How basic is a hot breakfast.  Cold baked beans and congealed egg can become tedious after a while. Come on Wetherspoons….get your finger out!

NORMA  AND  GLYN  STILL HANGING ABOUT ON  PARK BENCHES

NORMA AND GLYN STILL HANGING ABOUT ON PARK BENCHES

 

GLYN . A MOTHER AT LAST . A MOTHERS DAY CARD FROM MILO ! . NEXT  DOORS  CAT

GLYN . A MOTHER AT LAST . A  MOTHERS DAY CARD FROM MILO ! . NEXT DOORS CAT .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Big thank you to our lovely neighbours…. Gail, Alan and Kayleigh….. they are so kind to us.  Not only do they let me share Milo their Cat they also bought me a beautiful bouquet of Lilies and a Mother’s Day card on Milo’s behalf.

How sweet is that?  They put our bins out and fetch them back if we are away and do so many little acts of kindness.

Caught a bit of Britain’s Got Talent.  This has become a total parody of itself.  We see real talent each month at the Old Silhilians.  Rock Legend Robert Plant and Supercool Steve Gibbons both turned up this month and did a spot. We have met Robert a few times and worked with him a couple of times.  Whenever he talks to Allan I’ve noticed his Black Country accent soon resurfaces. First time we have ever seen Steve Gibbons play.  We have met him before but not heard him sing.  He was totally mesmerising. What an amazing showman although a little bit scary! So intense! Strange night. Met an old friend’s daughter.  Beth, who got up and sang a couple of songs….really, really well.  Robert Plant came over and said he’d enjoyed her spot. I think she stopped breathing for a couple of minutes until he moved away. She was so thrilled. Her Mother, Trish, started in folk clubs the same time as us and we became friends sharing the Residency at the Folk Club at the Crown in Lichfield. She sang in Winterwood and Back Street Slide.  She died very young so it was a very emotional shock to meet Beth again after so many years. Trish would have been so proud of her. Incredible night. Love the people there.  Live music gets no better than this.

steve gibbons

The uber cool Steve Gibbons

Next morning  we crawled out of bed and got on the road for Criccieth. Considering a caravan is supposed to be home from home we take  a car full of rubbish each time we go. Just got back home after 9 days in North Wales.Can’t believe we had such wonderful weather again.  Allan has a cunning plan to avoid work of any description. This has not gone unnoticed.  I always get someone come over at the end of a gig to say they have noticed Allan is standing round talking while I am packing all the gear away.

In Wales he has perfected this.  If it is raining he can’t go out and clean the windows, wash the van, cut any trees down etc. and if the weather is good he can’t waste it by hanging around the van. He did however, startle the neighbours by painting the steps…after I had rubbed them down!  Criccieth is still having no truck with the new technology.  The radio, the phone, the eye patch as Allan calls it, the laptop and the telly still won’t pick up a signal…or if they do it is spasmodic.  Half a Jonathan Creek is no good at all. “And the murder was committed”………..!!!!!!!  It got so bad we had to talk to each other and at one point Allan even thought he might get an early night. I soon put him straight on that one. I cut the trees down and lacerated my arm so badly it looked as if a small tiger had been chewing it.  Something Welsh bit me on the thigh.  Allan tried to convince me we had been involved in some passionate sex game but my Catholic radar would have woken me if anything untoward had occured in the downstairs department during the night.  The Welsh seem to have more exotic insects than we do.  Whatever it was  left a bite mark and a very big bruise on my thigh.  I nearly took a selfie of it but thought it might get confused with the colourful array of veins which you may remember Allan used to direct someone to the Motorway with when I was wearing cutoffs. I am a regular visitor to the Pharmacy in Porthmadog where they have a little counselling booth….I have my own chair.  I usually go in and present some part of my body with a bite or a rash and say “What do you think this is?”  The last time I went in there the Pharmacist told me he thought I could be allergic to Wales!!

Had some fun days out while we were there.  Went to Llandudno.  As someone said if the zimmers and Mobility scooters don’t get you along the seafront then the seagulls will. They have the most aggressive seagulls there.  They swoop down and fly off with whatever you are eating.  They had my Marks and Sparks Sandwich once. I tore a strip off some yobs last year for throwing bricks at them. I told a gang of them to “Grow up and stop acting like brain dead morons!” Allan slunk off in case they retaliated.  Love the place, though. Lots of wooden sculptures from Alice in Wonderland.  Had one took with Tweedledum and Tweedledee.  Very, very busy….we had to park a bit out of town. Allan bought another Big Bang T shirt the same as the one he has already got. I think it might be an age thing.  Woken each morning by the Magpies doing their clog dancing routines on the top of the van roof.  Had to settle back down when we get home. I have to keep reminding Allan that now we are back home and  the toilet is not at the bottom of the bed….that in fact, is the wardrobe!

WHO  ATE  ALL  THE  PIES

WHO ATE ALL THE PIES

 

Gay marriages in the news at the moment. There’s probably much more sex and far fewer arguments about leaving up the toilet seat.

There’s a rumour going round that there’s a well known T.V. personality who wasn’t a Paedophile.

Have you heard the new Coldplay single…it’s called Chris Martin.   They even managed to be pretentious when splitting up……calling it conscious uncoupling.

I asked Allan the other night “Am I wearing too much make up. He said “It depends if you are going out to try to kill Batman.”

Don’t forget….if you love something set it free.  If it returns it probably can’t pay off it’s Student Loans.

 

 

 

 

Old Friends

Very sad to hear of the death of a friend.  Derek and June have supported us over the past few years.   They have been a welcome sight at many gigs.  Derek, as well as being a friend,  was also the father of our good mate, Keith Slater (Vivo), who runs the Old Sils Music Club.  We have known Keith for many years.  June and Derek always came to do the door and sell the raffle tickets at the club.

 

 

Everyone there knew Derek and loved him.  We shall all miss him  The amazing turnout at the funeral last Monday made it evident how much hew was appreciated and respected. Lost some really good people from our lives over the past few month.

 

JUNE  DEREK  SARA  AT THE SILLS

JUNE DEREK SARA AT THE SILLS

Talking to an old friend from folk club days, TONY SHEW (ex Harvesters and Flagon), about old times.  He is very encouraging about a Folk Scrapbook I am compiling.  We both know a lot of the same people. Still in touch with loads of lovely people from those days.  Had to include a picture of GILLY DARBEY who was the singer with the incredible voice in WATERFALL.  Along with Keith Donnelly  and Martin Oram they produced some wonderful music.  Keith is still performing, as is Martin, though separately.  Keith can be found at most of the big Folk Festivals.  Gilly now lives in New Zealand on an organic farm with her partner, Lon and his young grandaughter.

 

GILLY  ON  CAVELCADE

GILLY ON CAVELCADE

Gilly has always loved riding and each year she joins the Cavalcade and spends about 10 days trekking through the wild mountains and valleys where Lord of the Rings was filmed.  They follow the very tough trails of the old cattle drivers and pioneers.  Stuff from the Bumper Book of Girl’s Adventure Stories.  So proud of her and miss her and her sweet voice so much.

 

Dave Sealey, one half of the brothers who performed as COSMOTHEKA has also uploaded some great film of the lads on You Tube and I think on his website also.  Great to see footage of those days.  They were brilliant.  We supported them many times.  Sad that Al Sealey’s life ended so early but good to see that Dave is still working and doing some Cosmo stuff with his son, Dan, and still performing in his own right.  www.cosmotheka.co.uk

MALFUNCTION . . .CHRIS  AND  JOHN

MALFUNCTION . . .CHRIS AND JOHN

Picked up the link on a website designed by our old friends MALFUNCTION.  John and Chris worked with us for many years. Wish they did more shows….they were so good.

Check out their websitewww.jmc223.webspace.virginmedia.com or just put in Malfunction Folk Group….it’s easier!

 

 

 

 

Found another good folkie site www.folkimages.com Dougie McClean still has lovely long hair!

Just a few jokes to round off my bit of witter.

Wondered if the man that invented the tie was really trying to hang himself but halfway through thought……actually….that looks quite nice!

Something I read last week  “My wife was trying to put a selfie on Facebook this week without make up to try to raise money for Cancer Awareness.  I had more than 10 offers from people bidding for what they thought was a bag of spanners!

And underneath it there was another one!……”Now I know why it takes all these mingers so long to get ready!”

Haven’t they got a nerve, girls!  At least we try!  Men don’t even bother.  Bald, beer gut, bad breath, brain dead and they still think they are wonderful!

Allan said “Thanks to the Budget if I buy 320 pints of beer I get a free one!”  Says it all I rest my case!

To Book Dandy
telephone Telephone - 01543 278692 mobile Mobile 07709 921 504 email e-mail

Next Dandy Show

  • 22/09/17 SUTTON COLDFIELD at WALMLEY CLUB