Scotland in October

North Berwick

Bass rock


The third Forth Bridge


Hampton Court is worth a visit

The Thames at Hampton Court

The Palace

On the whole I'd rather be in the Mute Swan

 Huge fire, good beer, lovely staff, busy but not too busy, great food. 

The Thames at Kingston

The biggest lock on the Thames. Beyond the bottom gates is tidal; the coast begins here.


We had to come home.

Pauline's 70th birthday breakfast at Victoria Springs, Holmfirth

Well it is a bit unusual isn't it? But hey, let's not get stuck in stereotype. We didn't have any fizz either.  Nor did we drink it later in the day when our boys got knocked out of the RWC.

We watched Ireland in the Stumble Inn. It was empty - where was everyone? There was more atmosphere in our kitchen.

Uncle four stripes and me

We were just catching up on a few things. Like the appalling sporting weekend I had just endured. Wins for Wigan, Leeds, Wolves and Australia. I don't really mind Leeds winning. Chris said 'Should have gone to the betting shop. You'd've got 15/1 for all those. Earned yourself £100.' He didn't learn this from me, though the thought was mildly attractive. But you can't bet against your own side simply for a few pieces of silver. Can you? I'll wager Jeremy wouldn't.
  Thoughts then turned to haircuts. We both use the same guy in Holmfirth. Decent lad, just getting going, lives in Holmbridge. Just about to employ an apprentice. How brilliant is that? I've just been to see him and Chris was about to. 'Costs me £5', I said. 'Costs me £8', Chris replied. 'How come' I wondered. 'I've got more hair than you'. B-bum, quick as a flash. Obviously; price based on hair volume, not age.

ps. I always pout and grimace without my teeth in
pps. We are supporting Ireland - apologies to A.&R. Carrick

That nice lady on the phone

I felt a bit bored today, so I rang the lady on the phone. She said that my number was not recognised, could I hang up and please try again. So nice.

Brian Close

Brian Close was and still is my hero. He and Fred Trueman kept me going. They were aggressive cricketers and not frightened to say what they thought. Even when they finished up in the soup. They somehow gave me permission to be socially inept, say the wrong things or not say anything at all in a sulk. Years later, I met Brian on a campsite next to Ulleswater in the Lake District. At the bar I thought, I recognise that voice. It reverberated round the whole room. He was sat with a bloke who played the penny whistle. Even more years later he opened the cricket archive at the University of Huddersfield. He told me he used to go to the lakes regularly with Ian Botham's parents. Play a bit of golf at Penrith. He was losing his memory for names a bit, but still a colossus. His brushes with authority, England and Yorkshire, beggar belief.