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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.




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 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



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!

Caravan Capers

Just back from almost a week in Wales.  We had gone to open the van for the season and see what bits had dropped off during  our absence and the bad storms. We always have to strip it down and take everything back in the Spring.  Why is it men can never understand the duvet situation?  Al insists that we have a duvet and pillow for everyone in our street.  I just like to call it options.  Men have no concept of the tog relevance.  I could set fire to Allan in bed and I’ve often felt like when he snores but he wouldn’t notice. The glass neck which is badly attached to the glass back requires a minimum of 3 different pillows to alternate during the night. They are lined up alongside the bed which makes a visit to the toilet a bit of an adventure. The floor is littered with memory foam pillows, wheat bags , cast off bed socks and bottles of water.  Negotiating this minefield in the dark without my glasses is as exciting as it gets in our bedroom.  No longer the passion prompted frenzy of cast off garments , rose petals and a vapour trail of French perfume. These days we follow the heady scent of Ralgex and the sound of snoring. Cries of passion are now replaced by “For Christ’s sake, shut up!”We finally set off with mattress toppers, duvets, bedlinen and curtains, heaters and optimism.  For once it was well placed and the weather was brilliant.  Storms had smashed the garden table but the van was still in the same place. Some had not fared so well.  The television kept saying “No signal” so each night we sat like escapees from the Techno Revolution reading, eating and making crafty things with beads. It was all very Little House on the Prarie.

We now have two lovely pigs over the road.  Allan , perhaps recognised some genetic link and bonded instantly with the smaller one which appeared to be quite, clean and friendly.  In fact , both pigs seemed to be cleaner,and better behaved than most men I know when left to their own devices. Hence the old joke….when a woman returns the house plants are all dead but there are things growing in the fridge. There used to be some spiteful cows in that field who would check which caravans were occupied and then set up camp directly opposite.  As soon as the van lights went out they would engage in very noisy bovine lovemaking to keep us awake.  This made sleep impossible and Allan very jealous.




Had a great day in Portmeirion.  The storms had brought down 90 trees in the forest .  The maintenance staff were all busy painting the buildings and trying to get everywhere ready for the visitors. Feel so at home there.  Clough Williams-Ellis created such a magical place for so many people to enjoy his vision.  Our own little bit of Italy and this week we even got the sunny skies.

Wales, as Rhod Gilbert enthuses is being done up. We have a Costa in Pwllheli and Porth and now to make Al’s life complete a Wetherspoons.  His cup or in his case is glass runneth over.  Usual mix of clientele.  Our waitress remarked on the diversity of the customers and said it was great  for the gang of serious drinkers in the corner who before it opened had been forced to sit in the bus shelter and drink all day! There’s lovely, innit! I like Wales! There’s no pretence.  The Lakes have wonderful scenery but I find the shops a bit twee.  If you don’t want something waterproof or some of those poncey Nordic walking sticks or a plastic bag to hang a map round your neck then it’ s not your thing, obviously.  I find it hard to get orgasmic about Kendal mint cakes and an overpriced fleece. I find them a bit sniffy in the shops.  Just because I made my hat out of the arm of an old woollen sweater. Their toasted teacakes are an extortionate price! Us pensioners are very choosy about our teacakes.  It’s like when you see a couple sharing one and you feel like saying “Are you waiting for your turn with the teeth?”

As  you can see from the sneaky pic. Allan took I managed to catch some rays on Cricc. beach. As I had gone unprepared I had improvised and created my own look  Allan move his chair further down the beach and said “You can take the girl out of Friar Park but not Friar Park out of the girl!” This is a man who once wore my underskirt on his head to keep of the sun on a very hot mountain in Bavaria.



People complain that the Welsh people speak Welsh in the shops etc.  How bizzare is that? It’s their language.  We don’t go to Italy and expect the Italians to talk to each other in English. Coming to the Black Country for the first time must be a similar experience. “Ar bist, cock?” “Fair to middlin’!”Gooin’ aht!” “I bay…it’s lookin’ black the back o’ Bill’s Muthers!” And my all time Wednesbury  favourite…. “Ah’m gooin’ wum wen oi’ve got the ode mon’s cowin’ pork chaps!” Black Country loike she is spoken!

As you can see I’ve managed to clear the beach! This also works on trains and buses if you want two seats.  When someone asks “Is anyone sitting there?”Just say…”Only the Lord!” I can guarantee they won’t take it!








Spring Rambling.

Finally starting to feel like Spring.  I shall have to check with a friend of mine to see if her vest has come off yet.  That is truly the first sign of Spring. Well, that and the first Cuckoo.  I wouldn’t recognise a cuckoo if Milo ( our time shared cat) brought one in as a present.



Though to be fair…more difficult as most of them are without heads.







Speaking of things coming off.  Had some strange happenings a while back.  I go for a breast examination every 4 months as a precautionary measure to a Private Specialist at his house.  Years ago I went to a Physio for a massages in his garage…all above board….but that’s another story.  The breast check guy I have gone to for years.  One time Allan actually came in the room with me for the appointment and had to sit and watch somebody else manually checking every inch of my breasts and then pay him for the privilege.  We both felt like part of a Swedish Sex Show…Al now stays in the car as he finds it too weird. Last time I went there Allan parked round the corner for once, as the house is on a busy main road.On his way to collect me from the appointment he glanced from the pavement through the bushes in time to see me sitting in full view with all my bits and pieces out. The blinds (unknown to me) had been left open and the light was on.

He’s probably getting a retainer from the guy across the road and all the homeward commuters stuck in the traffic with nothing to do. I felt like one of the Amsterdam Ladies of Horizontal Refreshment. Whether this was a one off I have no idea.  My girls could have been on public display to the public at large for many years without my knowledge.  Allan laughed like a drain!!


Don’t know how people find the time to blog.  I need to get into a pattern.  I used to keep a thing called Dear Diary in the 60’s which had a lock and key and a girl with a ponytail sitting on the front cover.   I’ve still got it.  I spent most of my teenage years stalking various lads that I had a “crush ” on.  I even paid somebody at school to take secret photographs of the boys that I fancied.  How Machiavellian was that!  I sound a bit like a “Bunny Boiler” …I’ve still got the photos.  Anybody who went to Wednesfield Grammar in 60-65 you could still be in my files in black and white! Amazing how the self confidence disappears.  I suppose when we are young we feel irresistible, immortal and unstoppable.  Short lived misconceptions! I still feel young in my head but the guarantee on most of my body parts has expired. I still think I will soon be a proper adult and ready to cope with life’s trials and tribulations.  I get easily intimidated.

Been good this month to go for some meals out with friends.  Mike has been over and done magic things with the computer, Ipad and new printer and then him and Allan have ate their body weight in Kickass Chicken, Rice, Garlic bread, Wedges and Onion rings.  Thanks for Al’s Birthday treat meals from Mike and from Steve and Gloria.  Great to see them after so long.  All good wishes to Steve and Chris with their upcoming Desperado Tour.

Managed a meal with Anne and Jack in the new 2 for 1 at Lichfield…..The Saxon Something or Other near Waitrose. A couple of trips over the see Web Wizard Paul Shotan.  It’s been fun getting to know him a bit better and nice to know him more as a friend now.  He has helped us such a lot.  Also big thanks to Nicky and Cliff for coming to the Friary to film our show there.  It was primarily to see what we are doing wrong when we are on stage.  Apart from the fact that Allan constantly interrupts me….although he says he doesn’t!  It seems that I spend most of the time looking on the floor.  I must confess when I am out I am always looking on the floor for money (Allan says this is pure Friar Park).  Last year I found 2 ten pound notes and yesterday I found a 5 pound note in the forest at Portmeirion. Can’t be bad.

Had a good night at the Symphony Hall when we went to see the Ultimate Rhythm and Blues Night.  Spencer Davis couldn’t make it as he was ill but he had been replaced by Dave Berry..who I love.  Other acts were the Animals, fabulous Scottish Blues Shouter Maggie Bell, the Yardbirds and the Zombies. Bit disappointed in the Zombies who I usually love .  They topped the Bill but Rod Argent spent more time talking than singing and  was really starting to irritate people.  We have seen Colin every year for the past 8 years at the Robin and each time he has been brilliant. Those songs are so hard though.  My lovely Tom Toon hardly got chance to shine on his guitar for all Rod Argent’s self indulgent organ solos.

I went into a Public Toilet yesterday and noticed a handwritten note nest to the hand dyer which read “Press Button for a short speech by David Cameron!”

Was wondering today if my 2 slices of Carrot Cake count as a vegetable?






Baby Boomer Blues

Like everyone else we are feeling fed up with the weather.  Tragic loss of life and property is partly down to the useless chinless wonders who make the decisions.  Why could they not listen to the concerns  and advice of the people who live and work on the land and who have a lifetime of experience in these matters.  Instead, irresponsible cost cutting resulted in the failure to dredge the rivers and the decision to divert water away from the more “important area and homes ” along the Thames at the cost of many other properties.  Many of the comments from the Environment Agency have been ill conceived and inflammatory in many cases. It’s hard to understand how these people who have lost everything can remain so good natured and so stoic in such shocking conditions. I haven’t noticed any other countries sending us any offers of help. A friend in Somerset said a British Red Cross Boat went past his bedroom window and asked if he wanted to give a donation to Syria.  Not really….but perfectly believable!

Life in the Briscoe Mansion tootles along at the usual pace…slow and dead stop. We get up in the morning and say “Don’t feel as if I have been to sleep, do you? Is this what getting old feels like?” Allan has just had to face the emotional turmoil of turning 66 at the end of January. New Year and Big Birthday is Bad Karma! It’s a long hard look in the mirror and not liking what you see.  To quote a song written by the Ivy League “What’s making me sad, the face of my Dad where I used to be!” Sonia and the girls at the Lounge in Lichfield all kissed him and Sonia had bought him some chocs.  All my girlfriends know him well….chocolates and alcohol.  With his Birthday money he decided to upgrade his image.  He went for the “Rebel Without A Clue” look and with Chris and Kev’s money bought a flat cap from Michaels…..the posh shop in Lich.  He thinks it makes him look like an extra from Peaky Blinders hard and dangerous.  I was thinking more Used Car Salesman Circa ’55……….but I’ve not said.



I also have had an age related moment.  I start every new year with an expensive jar of face cream. This has promised to lift my jawline (now skimming the floor….not so much dropped as plummeted). It is set to blur or erase wrinkles and age spots (think over ripe banana), illuminate the sallow skin and clean the toilet.  This has been advertised by a flawless, airbrushed, 14 year old model with alabaster skin who has never known a day’s stress in her life.  Obviously she also never made the mistake of plucking her eyebrows so they will never grow back. She will never have to spend each morning with a crayon trying to draw them in level after too much red wine the night before! Bitter!  OF COURSE I’M BITTER!  I find the hardly used cream the following year at the back of the cupboard! A “girlfriend” said about 10 years ago “What are you going to do about going on a Stage now you are looking old?”I said if it gets too bad I shall have to wear a bag over my head! Thank you for your concern!” I think that day is fast approaching.

The joints (and I don’t mean spliffs) are responding to the slight damp we are experiencing.  Everything seems on the point of collapse.  I had to do Saturday’s gig wearing Allan’s old football support on my knee.  The smell of embrocation overpowered the 2 front rows. Very glam.  Speaking of airbrushing you may have noticed on some of our photos on the Welcome page and the Gallery that our Web Wizard, Paul has touched us up in certain places.  Ooo’er, Missus! New faces….we love it.



Our resolution to embrace the new technology has resulted in the purchase of an Ipad.  So Allan keeps telling people we are “Down with the Kids!” As we are now learning to maintain our new website with more than a little help from our friend, Paul , we feel we are becoming techno-friendly.  To celebrate this Paul has doctored one of or photos and produced a new look for u.  Doncha just love it!

Went to see a Comedy Show at the Theatre last night and left at half time saying “Yes, you can fool all of the people all of the time!” Comedy is so divisive but new technology can a double edged sword.  A five minute clip on You Tube doesn’t necessarily tell the whole story.  People are very taken in by hype. “Celebrities” usually end up believing their publicity…so even Bono (U2) has started to think he is an arse! I’ve had my fill of the celebrity comedians on T.V.  There is so much puerile, posturing and point scoring. The panel games are the worst.  None of it is spontaneous, every ad lib  is rehearsed over and over.  Most of them have sold their soul and hard edge to do tacky game show hosting. Saw a programme advertised last week “My life with an 8stone testicle.  I thought it would be Katy Perry having a moan about Russell Brand but it turned out to be Embarrassing Bodies. I only watch Charlie Brooker. He is so mean he hates everybody. Love him!

Reading the other day that a few years ago parents had an average of 4 children and that now children have an average of 4 parents!  Says it all!

Allan gets his love of music from his grandad …he always had a song in his heart….his dodgy pacemaker used to pick up Radio W.M.

It seems that suspected war criminals will be able to stay in Britain.  In fairness, Tony Blair was P.M.  It might be difficult to kick him out.

Listening to 2 blokes in the pub the other night…Structural damage, flying debris, massive depression, icy blasts, communication difficulties, untold misery and suffering……………. Yes, I forgot our Anniversary again!!

I  hear Colorado legalised the smoking of cannabis, so , like John Denver, they can all get Rocky Mountain High!

Justin Beiber goes to jail and writes on his cell wall Free JB.  Then he finds out his cell mate is dyslexic.

You will notice mi spellin and grammer is gettin much gooder since I bin usin Facebook.



Few Funnies

Thought I’d just put in a few jokes to cheer us up.  The weather gets no better and we are all walking round feeling so grumpy. My tolerance level is at an all time low at the minute.

I hate it when people invade my space.  I was in Costa this morning.  We had bagged the window seat so we were feeling pretty smug when a couple of suits came in…obviously wanting our  seats so trying to bully us to leave. Space invasion . The bigger of the two was almost sitting on my lap and leaning right into my space. This was 8.30 a.m and the place was practically empty. So they do the “talk loudly into their smart phones” to supposedly let us all know how important they are and to drown out any conversation we were trying to have. Pathetic! I could have punched him. There was a scruffy bugger in there the other day in a grubby tracksuit on his phone and I heard him say….”Sorry, old son, my Secretary’s just called through I’ve got a board meeting.” Loser!!

I was approached in Tescos by an Animal Rights Liberator while I was looking at the eggs.  She held up a picture of a battery farm barn and said “Who could want to live in there?” I said “Probably a fox!”

Listening to 2 blokes in a Pub the other day and one was staring glumly into his drink…he said”I married my wife for her long legs and big breasts…….now she’s got long breast and big legs!!”

A new  Nursery Rhyme: “There was 5 in the bed and the little one said …”These N.H.S. cuts are getting a bit much!”

Tony Blair has stated that extreme religion is the root cause of wars in the 21st century.  Since when has worshipping the U.S. Oil Dollar been classed as a religion.

News this week that Hugh Grant is on a mission to single handedly (perhaps not the right word)  repopulate the U.K.  Scary to imagine an army of little Hugh Grant clones all flicking back their floppy hair in a charming and nonchalant way.

Simon Cowel seems to have gone one better.  Looking at his picture today I would say from the size of his man breasts he is planning to take care of the breast feeding.

After going to see “Twelve Years a Slave” at my local cinema I now know how it feels to be exploited by ruthless mercenary overseers……….£4.20 for  Pepsi Max!!

Allan says he is building a Time Machine so that he can travel 50 years into the future it see if Wagon Wheels are the size of a 10p piece.

In the words of the great Stephen King….We are all going to Hell in a Handcart.




We have just returned from a 1st time holiday in Fuerteventura.  The word itself means Windy Island.  Bit of a clue there already! We could be known as Dandy…the Rain Gods.  Wind was expected but cold and rain were a surprise.



We should have known the odds were stacked when, after paying for extra legroom and a comfortable flight,  Allan had to sit almost under a man who was the size of a small village. Allan fitted under his very meaty arm. They took it in turns to breathe.

Our balcony we had paid extra for ,with the sea view, was flooded.  The ever present pigeons had resorted to wearing wellies and tapping the window for hot drinks. I was partly prepared.  My mother was a born pessimist and would not let me leave the house without a vest and hat – ever!   Smothered was the word.  I was warned with the old Black Country threat:”Dow yow goo out theer me babby, it’s lookin’ black the Back of Bill’s Mothers….yow’ll ketch thee jeath.”  Wise words.  I wasn’t allowed to touch a plug until I got married (plug is not a euphumism, by the way).  “What is this strange thing called Electricity?” I cried. “Tis a blessed miracle!”

I had taken my trusty pac a mac which is now, I presume for some obscure P.C. reasons called a Kag in a Bag. Expecting heat I had taken my tangas or kangas or whatever these works of the Devil are called. Too small, uncomfortable and cold. Not thongs but still  a bit like sitting on a cheese wire  How I longed for the warmth of my Bridget Jones Big White Knickers.  Allan had taken his cut offs and a hoodie.  Grow old gracefully?  Not on your Nelly! Experience of what is laughingly termed the Welsh Summer are well within  our remit….we are developing the webbed feet as a result. We could almost take it.  Although when we got home my jeggings had to be surgically removed!

We stayed at the Corralejo Bay Barcelo Hotel which was excellent in every respect.  Without fault. The food was fabulous so we resorted to comfort eating and peoople watching which are my two favourite sports. There was a Wellness Centre in the Hotel grounds along with a Gymnasium and Fitness Classes.  Allan declared that it was luckily too far to walk so we watched it from a safe distance in case it got any closer.

The main street is a bit skanky  with every second shop selling hand carved Wooden Willie Bottle Openers. Now we were brought up with the Golden Mile at Blackpool…we love cheesy but this was one giant WillieFest.  I dreamed they were chasing me down the beach. The one sunny day we went to the Dunes where there is a lot of nude sunbathing……so more willies!   They were a bit like buses….you don’t see one for ages and then they all come along together.



At any rate either the over exposure to so much of the male anatomy or the sun on the white sand was too much and triggered a 3 day migraine. Allan was chuffed when he was mistaken for a celebrity…Malcolm McLaren.  He was not so chuffed when I explained he had been dead for 2 years.  Holidays and bad weather can create strange behaviour.  Allan was one more downpour away from a tattoo or African hair beading.  As it was he bought a Bandanna which he thought would make him look really cool.  In actuality it made him look like an oversize Bavarian girl, albeit an ugly one, or an escapee  from the Sound of Music.  I kept expecting him to break into the Hills are Alive.  It didn’t have the desired effect as his nose and ears looked enormous and seemed to enter the room 5 minutes before the rest of him.  It gave me tremendous fun and I laughed so much I had to change my underwear.

Back home now to a tax bill, caravan fees and a “bosted” phone and not even Keith Vaz at the Airport to welcome us back to Blighty.  So much for La Vida Loco!





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