Monthly Archives: March 2016

Britons buying six weeks of supplies for single day shops are shut

25-03-16

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THE UK is buying in six weeks’ worth of groceries to get them through Easter Sunday when all supermarkets are closed. 

Supermarkets are expecting record business as families fill at least two trolleys to fend off the grim spectre of starvation over the coming three days.

Stephen Malley of Harrogate said: “The supermarkets are closed on Sunday. Not just reduced hours. Fully closed.

“And Monday’s a bank holiday too. It’s going to be like The Road, where only the ruthless survive and the living envy the dead.

“Better get another six three-litre bottles of milk. I don’t want to be without a cup of tea when it happens.”

An Atlantic low came through today and at last got rid of the persisitent and irritating Northerlies that have dogged activities outside in ‘brookers. Hooray, damp and breezy it may well be but preferable none the less.

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Mummy allatsea has been brighter of late and very nearly coherent at times. Wether that’s due to a lack of access to wine or  an ample supply I have no idea, frightened to investigate for fear of disappointment. Drunkynunky has been losing weight noticeably and has been to the doctors. ‘Eat more’ he was told and reports, does nunky that he has indeed made efforts to comply as directed. However, two cuppa soups a bit of toast and some cornflakes can’t be described as sufficient. It’s worrying. His larder cupboards, fridge and freezer are well stocked with good stuff (we at the Towers make it so) but the old lad doesn’t seem interested.

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Following a down at mouth start to the week things have bucked up. Rotterdam next week for some ship and boaty stuff followed by offshore attendances on Thialf in April and May. Good, bring it on, I miss that sort of thing. Feel at home there to some extent. Strange but true.

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Friday friends coming over from Canterbury and staying overnight at the Towers, Saturday, Planet Thanet’s beer festival to visit and drink vast quantities of Porter and Stout. Yum Tum. Sunday, clay stuff at Greenfields followed by an afternoon on the harbour wall or similar and on Monday (or ‘Munndee’ in Thanet parlance) mummy allatsea round for tea and gin. It’s a social whirl and no mistake.

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Happy Easter to you.

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Just remember, Ashford in Kent, according to Premier Foods, is ‘Home to the Cuppasoup!!

Sunday Morning at Ramsgate Harbour

Sunday dawned damp drizzly and chilly but that didn’t deter the dynamic  ‘photo team’ here at the Towers from venturing forth, Lumix in hand, hell bent on digitising trivia and tosh for all and sundry. Well, truth be told it did, a bit. The initial intention was to go to Greenfields shooting ground at Sturry and capture the delights of Rottweil Super Traps rendering  spinning clay discs into dust and fragments (on the 50/50 chance of a hit) …….. along with dozens of other folk. However, though the thought of a 100 ESP before lunch was appealing, the prospect of wading through mud and sodden grass to do it, was not. We’ll leave that then for another day.

Ramsgate Harbour is always worth a visit especially when the crowds are thin. See the pics below wott we gathered this very morning. Very few folk about at this time on a Sunday (0800 ish).

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Low water at Margate Harbour

A beautiful though still a tadge chilly morning here in Margitt. As part of a 10,000 steps a day malarkey a walk  was called for. The weather and the gentle breeze, alongside a fortuitous  time for low water made Margate Harbour the number one choice. Taking the trusty Lumix out of it’s bag for an outing also shaped the walk.

A nice place to be.

No more talkshite, just pics.

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Non italicised words by Kent Online, words it italics and pics by allatsea:

A Thanet town has been named as one of the hippest places to live in the country (named by a bung taking trash journo working for a freesheet).

The Times newspaper has crowned Margate the fourth coolest town because of attractions such as Turner Contemporary and Dreamland. Both of which can be ‘done’ in a few short hours and then……forgotten.

It also says that Margate had the hottest housing market outside London in 2015 (bollox).

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The article said: “Margate, with its Turner Contemporary gallery and revamped amusement park, Dreamland, has started something on the east Kent and East Sussex coast.

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“Trendy Londoners are pervading Folkestone, Ramsgate, Rye, Hastings, St Leonards and Hythe, not far from Dungeness and the film-maker Derek Jarman’s former cottage.

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“Margate was the hot market outside London in 2015, says Rightmove, with a 24 per cent rise.”

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Margate’s housing market has been called the hottest outside London

Top of the list was Finnieston in Glasgow.

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London.

News

Being drunk in a pub

You might think this is what pubs are for, but the Licensing Act of 1872 is having none of it. “Every person found drunk … on any licensed premises, shall be liable to a penalty,” it says. Furthermore, the Licensing Act of 2003 reaffirms that it is an offence to sell alcohol to a drunk person, and to buy alcohol for a drunk person. You can see what these laws are getting at, even if they are broken in more or less every pub in Britain more or less every day.

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There are madmen out there. Even in the quietest, nicest of places. Seemingly the proportion in a given community or geographical area is pretty uniform. So whether you’re in Kensington or Tower Hamlets, Margate or Truro, you’ve got the same chance of being exposed to the actions of a ‘madman’. They say.

I was speaking to a contact in Ghana yesterday, a 28 year old teacher, very erudite and charming. She said to me, by way of opening our conversation ‘Wassup’. I’m not sure if it was interrogative or otherwise. Possibly a statement of intent.? She then wanted to know how old I was and if I was single. Hmm. I’m after business opportunities in the Gold Coast and I end up talking to an opportunistic match seeker. So much for using Skype in the early hours. Especially after several bottles of Masterbrew at the Aqua followed by a glass or three of London Porter (absolutley lishhh). Lesson learned, be clear headed and a bit more cynical when seeking openings in the marine services sector within West African oil nations.

Talking of ‘clear headed’ or rather the lack of such a beast, mummy was round last night for dindins, it was her 81st birthday and eldest son was trying to be a nice sunny wunny for once. All went well until it came time to drive her home. She wanted to stop at the local grog shop to load up with wine. Not good, mummy is a non-recovering alcoholic who is in denial. It does not a pretty site make. We’ve been through these situations before. I say tosh along the lines of ‘choose between having a family and the bottle’. Last night she chose the bottle, clearly and emphatically so. Not nice. So be it then mummy, chosse you bed and lay in it. Night night.

Night night to drunky mummy and Georgina Tuffour, whoever you are.

It’s half past two and I need a sh#t

Wonderful news

Isn’t it

 

Meanwhile in Ambridge, Titchenor must die? Surely? Courtesy of the those lovely peeps at The Ha Archers

“Helen goes for another in what seems to be an unending series of scans, driven by Ursula. When they are at home, Ursula makes it plain that she thinks a hospital birth is not a good idea – she had a bad experience with Rob’s brother, Miles, who could have suffered brain damage, plus she “was cut to pieces”. Consequently, with Rob, Ursula opted for a home birth; an experience that she described (rather unlikely) as ‘joyous’. Helen points out that she had a bad time with Henry and, had she not been in hospital, she and he might not have survived.

Ursula tells Helen that she mustn’t let herself be pressured into doing something that isn’t right for her (as if!) and she knows that Rob would be happier with a home birth. When Rob returns home, Helen confesses that she’s confused about where to have the birth and she doesn’t know what to do. Rob says that he knows Ursula’s feelings and he trusts her judgement “but I’m not going to interfere in any way – it’s your decision; you must do what you think is best.”

The following day is Tom’s 35th birthday and also the 18th anniversary of brother John’s fatal accident. To celebrate (presumably the former, rather than the latter), a supper party is held at Bridge Farm. There was further cause for celebration, as Johnny passed his level 2 agricultural apprenticeship exam and is looking forward to level 3. Rob asks Helen if she’s told her mum what she (Helen) has decided? Helen is confused, so Rob announces that Helen has decided that she will have the baby at home. Pat is stunned – all the advice has been for a hospital birth, to which Rob replies that Ursula is something of an expert when it comes to childbirth and Helen shares her anxieties. He also gives the reasons that Helen arrived at her decision; she seemingly being incapable of speaking for herself.

Tony proposes a toast to “the birthday boy” and then another to Johnny for passing his exam, saying that he hopes that Johnny goes all the way and that there is a job for him at Bridge Farm at the end of it. For his part, Johnny proposes a toast to his late father (who would have been 40 on New Year’s Eve, in case you are interested. Helen bursts into tears and rushes from the room. Tom tells Rob to stay there and he’ll comfort Helen. He asks her if everything is OK at home with Rob and, when she says that she misses John so much, as she could always talk to him, Tom says that “you can always talk to me – I’m here if you ever need to talk about anything; anything at all.”

Speaking the following day, Rob shows that it’s not just Tom that he’s against, as he mentions that “we’re stuck with Johnny for another year” and describes Tony’s talking about a full time job at the end of his apprenticeship as “grossly irresponsible – this is a business, not a charity.” Helen exhibit’s a spark of rebellion, as she reminds Rob that “this is a family business, and Johnny is family.” “So are we – we have responsibilities” her husband replies. Helen then asks whether or not they should think of getting more help in the shop, as it seems to be doing well. Rob (no doubt scandalised by this show of independence) says that he doesn’t think the extra cost can be justified. He says that “Johnny is a free agent – he could get a job anywhere.” Helen, who has obviously been taking the Brave Pills, retorts “so could you.” “I’m doing this for you, Helen”, Rob says, adding that, when the baby is born, he will need his mother and Rob needs to be close by to support her.

It’s encouraging that Tom seems to be suspicious that all is not well between his sister and her husband and, towards the end of the week, Kirsty manages to get a one-to-one with Helen, despite Ursula not passing on to Helen Kirsty’s request for a talk. Kirsty says that Helen doesn’t seem relaxed and is everything OK? Helen blames the pregnancy, but Kirsty pushes her luck and asks if everything is OK with Rob? Helen replies “of course” and Kirsty asks is he mistreating her in any way, and would she like to talk to a counsellor? Helen has mild hysterics, saying “Stop it, stop it! You shouldn’t interfere Kirsty – I just need to be left alone – just go away, please.” Rob chooses this moment to turn up and demands to know what’s going on. He is furious and tells Kirsty to “get out and never come round again.” He tells Helen not to worry, as “I’m here and I’ll look after you.” Well Kirsty, well spotted for recognising Rob’s baleful influence, but I really think that you could have handled it better.

Sorry to have spent so much time on the Helen/Rob/Ursula story and I tend to agree with the many readers who have begged for a swift conclusion – preferably one which involves Rob going over a waterfall in a spiked barrel, full of rattlesnakes – but it is a major theme and, as such, needs to be covered. Pray for a swift nemesis.

Moving on, we wonder if there might be room in that barrel for Toby. He turns up at the caravan, late for a meeting with Josh after another night on the lash. He is less than impressed when Rex tells him that he has persuaded Lilian to let them move her furniture out of the Dower House. Toby says he needs shower and a coffee, and dismisses Josh as “a schoolboy”. Rex points out that Josh has been running his own business for a number of years and “We are the amateurs here, Toby.” When the brothers go to Brookfield, Toby goes to see Bert, who is making the Eggmobile, and who he annoys by asking stupid questions. An exasperated Bert finally snaps, saying “Have you ever heard the expression ‘teaching your grandmother to suck eggs’ Toby?” The answer to that is probably ‘no’, but Toby asks why isn’t there a provision for the doors to the henhouse to open automatically in the morning, to save him getting up at the crack of sparrows? Bert says that this wasn’t part of the brief, but a day later, Josh has come up with a solution. I don’t know what sort of percentage Josh has in this joint venture, but, going on what’s happened so far, it isn’t enough.

Toby also was disappointed when he asks Josh how is Pip (or ’love’s young dream’ as he calls it) is coping with Matthew’s absence? Josh says that she spends all day texting him. “Makes you sick” Josh adds. “Doesn’t it just” Toby adds, with feeling. Sadly, it wasn’t all bad news for Toby, as, at the meeting, the brothers and Josh realise that their plans for robust packaging and marketing are going to be more expensive than they thought. “What we need is a sponsor” Toby says, but where to find one?

Fast forward to the furniture moving at the Dower House, where we had some riveting radio, describing how a wardrobe comes apart so that it can be carried downstairs. Toby quickly discovers that Lilian is working as Justin Eliot’s social secretary and that he is keen to get involved with local projects and enterprises. “Interesting” Toby says. I can’t think where the Fairbrothers are going to find their sponsor, can you?

When all the furniture has been removed, Lilian and Jennifer stand in the empty house and Lilian is in maudlin mood – she had always thought that she and Matt would end their days there, but here she is, living with her sister. Jen, who doesn’t take offence, says that, surely, that’s not so terrible? Jen also is affected by her sister’s despondency, asking what has she actually achieved in her life? Well, you’ve got a kitchen that cost a few grand, if nothing else. Jen reminds Lilian that she has a new job, her health and strength, and, rashly, says that Lil also has her family, including James and young Muppet. Fortunately, Jen manages to stop Lil throwing herself out of the first floor window when she digests this information, but Lilian’s mood is not improved and she says, despondently “I’ll be 70 next year. “ “70 is the new 50” says Jen, cheerfully, but Lilian says wistfully: “It seems awfully late to be making a fresh start.”

We cannot let the week pass without mentioning the momentous events at Brookfield. The herd has been sold and 200 new, crossbred, cows have been purchased to replace them. These cows arrived in batches and we had more wonderful radio moments as various members of the Archer family described the cows’ varying colours, how they were frisky when being walked out to pasture and the difficulties of getting 200+ cows to go through the (to them) unfamiliar milking parlour. Rooooth seemed to voice doubts about whether they could do it, to which David, quite rightly pointed out that it’s a bit late now. Mind you, he too has reservations, as, over the next few weeks, half the cows will be calving. Still, he looks on the bright side, calling the new enterprise “A whole new chapter in the history of Brookfield.” Let’s hope so, or else Rooooth might get a good kicking from the family.

There was one encouraging theme to emerge from the arrival of the new cows – Lynda took the opportunity to visit Brookfield and to try and persuade David and Rooooth to take part in her Easter pageant (‘England’s Pleasant Land’). She points out that David wouldn’t even have to learn any lines, as it would involve reading from the page. Lynda bangs on about what it’s all about, but David points out that they have 200 unfamiliar cows to look after and he, Rooooth and Pip will be a tad busy over the next few weeks. What about Josh? He’s got exams to study for, says Rooooth. Ben then? Rooooth implies that, if she knows her youngest son, he’d rather stick pins in his eyes, so bye, bye Lynda, there’s work to be done.

Poor Lynda (I don’t mean that, obviously) as she is frustrated because she cannot get Eddie to show her the progress on her shepherd’s hut (described by Ed as ‘wonky’ and by Clarrie as ‘not like any shepherd’s hut I’ve ever seen’; both of which comments bode ill for when it is finally unveiled). Not only that, but Lynda approaches Kirsty about the pageant and the ‘Clean for the Queen’ litter pick – or so Kirsty thinks, but Lynda only wants to put a poster up in the Health Club. Nevertheless, Kirsty makes it plain that she has better things to do (washing her hair, watching TV) and is not interested in Lynda’s plans. Now this is an encouraging development and let’s hope that it is (a) contagious and (b) long-lasting. Let’s start a ‘Do one Lynda’ campaign – or how about everyone giving up participation in her extravaganzas for Lent? Or, better still, for the 21st century?”

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