1 June 2010

Posted by DMC on 1 June 2010 in Diary |

Good old Graham sent to me, last evening, the Mugs Guide, for entering the text of this blog. It was a brilliant piece of work and I found the process extremely  simple. I only wish I’d had this instruction before and could have saved Richard a great deal of aggravation.

Having now mastered the text entries the next challenge will be the add-on – Anecdotes, Jokes, Photos and Videos. With this in mind I’m listing a number of these in this entry. However, I warn the reader that they will not go live until they are highlighted in red. In other words as I am further instructed by Graham on each of these they will hopefully get added. So here goes:


‘ How to tell a joke’ Very amusing.

‘ Great shots from space 1 – for you  Outer space geeks this PowerPoint presentation is a must.


‘ To good not to share’ Some amusing cartoons

‘ Cinderella is now 95 years old’ –a clever punchline

‘ Golf story’ Golfers never tire of them

‘ Irish college entrance exam questions’ politically non-correct and why always the irish?


‘ The joys of ageing’ Some amusing cartoons at our expense (the elderly). We can take it.

‘ Dog, cat or man’ who was the man’s best friend?

‘ Honey I fixed it’ A new one.

‘JK -beautiful pictures’ A great PowerPoint slide presentation


‘iThe Flea’’ Dustin Hoffman tries his hand at being a comic.

‘ Global village 2’ Staggering statistics to put YOU into perspective.

‘ ‘Instructional video’1 A chauvanistc view of the ladies – tongue in cheek, I might quickly add! ’

Sarah Moss, are lovely OT, came this afternoon to check out the wet room and see how we were coping. As we are knows to look forward with the ramps had to go through each of the places where they will require and in particular change the specification for the leading into the office. The original idea of the people wanted to put something permanent and concrete which would require a great deal of ground cost £500. All we wanted was a removable wooden piece of decking..


2 June 2010

Posted by DMC on 2 June 2010 in Diary |

A wheelchair day. Holly’s, who provide NHS wheelchairs, bought a splendid aluminium wheelchair which conveniently folds up and will fit neatly into the boot of a car. This will be particularly useful, in a couple of weeks or so, when we go to Cornwall, for example. Then, believe it or not, two of Holly’s assessors, Mark and Alison, arrived with a wonderful electric wheelchair which I will be able to use outside. They were both really nice and helpful and gave me a great confidence in being able to use this wheelchair once they have made one or two little adjustments to it to personalise it for my particular disability. A brilliant service. Whilst I am currently able to operate the chair with my right hand, if it weakens the point where this is not possible then apparently I will be able to have something attached to my chin to achieve the same objective. The great thing about this particular wheelchair is that it tilts up high enough for me to step straight into my pulpit frame. It’s going to give me a far greater degree of independence and will mean, for example. that I will be able to go out to take the air on a warm summer’s afternoon totally unaccompanied. Of course, much depends upon how much walking I can do, with or without the pulpit frame, once the cast comes off but, whatever the situation, I now have a series of alternatives to leading a more independent life

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3 June 2010

Posted by DMC on 3 June 2010 in Diary |

Sarah Moss, our lovely OT, came this afternoon to check out the wet room and see how we were coping. In particular, I was anxious to sort out  the ramp situation.

Until this is resolved and they are in position I cannot resume working in the office, either with the frame or wheelchair.. We looked at  each of the places where ramps will be required and, in particular, changed the specification for that leading into the office from an ugly permanent concrete ramp, penetrating halfway across the lawn, to a removable triangular hardwood decking one. Even if I am still able to walk, after the cast is removed, I would have difficulty in managing the steps, deckinging will still be necessary.

Our good and faithful plumber Derek (Pallett) popped in today to give a second opinion on the remedial work required in the wet room, in particular, to the raised Biobidet which is leaking. We were delighted to see that Derek was looking very sprightly now that his ankle has finally healed  and we are extremely fortunate to have the benefit of his services. He knows every pipe, valve and joint in this ancient house with all their peculiarities.




Golf Poem

Posted by DMC on 4 June 2010 in Jokes |
In My Hand I Hold A Ball,
White And Dimpled, Rather Small.
Oh, How Bland It Does Appear,
This Harmless Looking Little Sphere.

By Its Size I Could Not Guess,
The Awesome Strength It Does Possess.
But Since I Fell Beneath Its Spell,
I’ve Wandered Through The Fires Of Hell.

My Life Has Not Been Quite The Same,
Since I Chose To Play This Stupid Game.
It Rules My Mind For Hours On End,
A Fortune It Has Made Me Spend.

It Has Made Me Yell, Curse And Cry,
I Hate Myself And Want To Die.
It Promises A Thing Called Par,
If I Can Hit It Straight And Far.

To Master Such A Tiny Ball,
Should Not Be Very Hard At All.
But My Desires The Ball Refuses,
And Does Exactly As It Chooses.

It Hooks And Slices, Dribbles And Dies,
And Even Disappears Before My Eyes.
Often It Will Have A Whim,
To Hit A Tree Or Take A Swim.

With Miles Of Grass On Which To Land,
It Finds A Tiny Patch Of Sand.
Then Has Me Offering Up My Soul,
If Only It Would Find  The Hole.

It’s Made Me Whimper Like A Pup,
And Swear That I Will Give It Up.
And Take To Drink To Ease My Sorrow,
But The Ball Knows … I’ll Be Back Tomorrow.

Stand proud you noble swingers of clubs
and losers of balls…..
A recent study found the average golfer walks
about 900 miles a year.
Another study found golfers drink,
on average,
22 gallons of alcohol a year.
That means, on average,
golfers get about  41 miles to the gallon.
Kind of makes you proud.
Almost feel like a hybrid.


4 JUNE 2010

Posted by DMC on 4 June 2010 in Diary |

Our nice district nurse, Ellen, came today, on my bidding, with a colleague (whose name, to my shame, I have forgotten) a general check-up on how things were going. No great alarms about any of my minor ailments but she is going to chase up the mobile NHS dentist for whom we have been waiting for some weeks and also to see if the fingernail/toenail  home service is really working, as I have been assured by Essex County Council.

Barry (Prichard) from Springboard Housing Association, who has kindly been keeping an eye on the wet room contract,  called in today to list the snagging  works – leakss and odd bits of painting etc – which need to be attended to by the builder who carried out the work.. I must say Barry has been extremely helpful over this job and nothing seems to be too much trouble to him. We are extremely grateful to Springboard for his services.

This was the first day of the second and last test for England against Bangladesh. It was again an absolutely beautiful summer’s day so I could not resist the temptation, in the afternoon, of sitting out, stripped off, in the wheelchair listening to the cricket. England won toss and decided to bat first  believing the wicket would deteriorate as the game progressed. However, they put up a lack lustre performance finishing the day at 275 – 5.  think the most disappointing performance was that Peterson who batted magnificently for a dazzling 64 until he experience one of those, now all too typical, rushes of blood to the head until when Al Hasan and lured him down the pitch with a slower ball, tempting him to go for the big hit only to be in the ignominiously stumped.

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5 June 2010

Posted by DMC on 5 June 2010 in Diary |

My darling daughter Chloe came down just before lunch today to spend the night to give her mother, a break and to spend a little time helping me with my business affairs. The dear girl even brought her own food with her, a delicious fish pie and a scrummy summer pudding .We spent a very pleasant sunny afternoon, me on the sun  lounge,  listening to the cricket and Chloe working on some job application papers.

England managed to knock up 419 all out, in the end, a fairly lacklustre performance which was salvaged by a taking a flurry of wickets towards the end of the day, getting Bangladesh all for 216, after a very solid start from their openers.


6 June 2010

Posted by DMC on 6 June 2010 in Diary |

Chloe wais an absolute star and helped me this morning with some very fiddly paperwork. She left after lunch but had a dreadful journey home taking almost 3 ½. hours instead of the normal 1 ½.. Something to do with the Blackwell Tunnel in which, the day before, one of the Derby runners had got stuck for half an hour. I never did discover whether that horse ever got to the starting line in time. I worked this afternoon keeping one ear to the radio listening  to the disappointing demise of the Bangladesh team who were all out for 216. England enforced the follow-on annihilating Bangladesh — all out for.123, a win by 80 runs and an innings.


7 June 2010

Posted by DMC on 7 June 2010 in Diary |

A mid-morning visit from my brother-in-law, John Garton Jones and wife, on the way down to the West Country to visit son William. John very generously bought me a good bottle of Glen Livet, single malt whisky a welcome gift — so much more acceptable than flowers and chocs! Interestingly, later that day, we had a lunch guest, Nick Bristol (Nicholas Maclean Bristol) who had been in Aden, with his regiment, at the same time as John, although I don’t believe they met, unless it was at  one of our very frequent parties.

We have not seen  Nick the for the best part 50 years and he looked very much the same to me. I remembered him as a young soldier in his mid 20’s who was always banging  on about restoring some ancient derelict castle on the island of  Coll, in the Hebrides.. A pipe dream it seemed for someone so young with no money. However, he did it and, as if proof was needed, presented us with a magnificent book, that he had written, entitled From Clan to  Regiment covering ‘ Six Hundred Years in the Hebrides 1400 – 2000’. A truly heavyweight Magnus Opus which, if I can find some way of propping  it up — it weighs about 2 kg! — I shall certainly enjoy reading it.

Since retiring from the Army after 20 years service, Nick not only restored Breacachadh Castle where he raises highland cattle and Blackface sheep but more important in 1967 founded the Project Trust. This was the original ‘ Gap Year’ organisation which has now sent more than 5000 young volunteers overseas which, of course, not only provides much needed services to the poor of the countries to which they are sent, but also offers wonderful developmental opportunities for the youngsters themselves. It goes without being said that wife Lavinia – who, it seems, together with her sister Annabel, might even have been at school with ‘my lovely’ – had a very big part in both the restoration and the establishment of The Project. Indeed, I understand she ran it for a number of years whilst Nick was concentrating on writing. Anyone who would like to learn more about this wonderful charity can do so through www.projecttrust.org.uk.

We had a delicious lunch in the garden, as always seamlessly organised by ‘my lovely’, braving the rather unpredictable weather, before Nick returned to London to pick up wife Lavinia who had spent the afternoon at the Stella Artois  tennis to tournament.


9 June 2010

Posted by DMC on 9 June 2010 in Diary |

A quiet day. ‘My lovely’ out and about doing her Wednesday things. whilst I was overseen by Jane ( ‘the sheep’) my carer (there are so many Janes in our life we have to differentiate one from the other -in any event it is very Welsh to tag people by their occupation. ‘William the road’, for example). Our friendly plumber Derek  (‘Derek the plumber’!) came to replace a faulty immersion heater and a very old friend, Brian Osborne, called in for coffee on the way to Royal  Worlington for a Golf Match.

Reasonably good news on the inventions front with confirmation from Coventry University that interested parties are still being pursued to whom to make a presentation once the intermediate pattern is in place.


10 June 2010

Posted by DMC on 10 June 2010 in Diary |

My oldest friend – in both senses of the word – 92-year-old Geoffrey Hanscomb and wife Jessica, came to lunch today. Thank heavens they are both in amazingly good form. Geoffrey gave me my first job, when I was 15, in my summer holidays, and we have been friends ever since. It was Geoffrey, through a contact with his, who was responsible for getting me my first job as a trainee architect with Sir John Browne, A E Henson & Partners in Lower Sloane Street in 1950, from whence I was ultimately transferred to the surveying department which started me on the road for my Chartered Surveying career.  It was Geoffrey who offered me the partnership to run the Canadian branch of GAH International, which I graciously declined. It was Geoffrey who, in the late 60’s, when I started my own property company, Nationwide Property Holdings and Nationwide Property Homes, gave me working space in his Bolton Street office in Mayfair, just behind the Mirabelle  – all successful property developers seem to congregated in Mayfair in those days just as most successful tailors do in Saville Row A few years later, in the early 70’s, when my bankers went broke and my property companies were put into receivership, it was Geoffrey who was responsible for me becoming chief executive of WPHT Housing Association (now Sanctuary Housing Association). I only intended to use this as a stopgap but in the end  I stayed for 8 ½. years. That was all before my change of direction into arbitration in the early 80’s. It was Geoffrey who very generously hosted my 70th birthday, black-tie, dinner party in the Arthur Conan Doyle room at Rules Restaurant in 2001.

In essence, Geoffrey has stood as locus parenti, for the father I never had. He has sat unobtrusively, quietly in the shadows, in the back of my ship of life, occasionally giving a slight nudge on the rudder, often unseen and unobserved by me. I am eternally grateful to him.

On the other hand I have had the privilege of being the guest speaker at  Geoffrey’s 70th, 80th and 90th birthday parties as well as his 60th wedding anniversary. He and the lovely Jessica have been married now for 68 years. I pray they will reach their 70th. and well beyond but can’t help wondering whether I will be there?

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