Major Greetings:Hill Walk.

"What ho everyone. Memsahib asked me to do an end of year report and pass on festive greetings.

The log-fire is burning strongly. My man Baxter has furnished me with a pot of darjeeling and has managed to 'smuggle' in two crumpets, lashed with butter and blueberry jam. I shouldn't really; but if you don't tell, neither shall I.

i shall write down my thoughts with the old Parker and then give it to Baxter who will later type it up on his new toy, an iPaddy; (which I had always thought was a dodgy Irishman.)

He keeps wittering on about good  'my fly' or something and having full reception. He further tells me that, when he has finished editing on the iPaddy., he will be able to send my message straight to the tinternet, using the wireless. Well, in my day your wireless was an instrument for listening to the Light Programme and the Shipping forecast. It's all changed now hasn't it , dear me!

Right where was I? Ah yes--- first off, if you'll forgive the expression it's been a piss-poor year.

Cold,  hardly ever warm, and generally very wet. I blame those water board chaps complaining about a drought situation in the early part of the year; well they got their answer by the bucketful.
My Gardener  ' Moldy ' Muldoon, become more and more desolate as the year rolled on. He was not amused, when I mentioned rice and  paddy-fields.

Our parish church " St. Needfuls " had a terrible summer fete. Being public spirited and needing more space on my walls,  I pulled some old canvasses down and auctioned them,  with the proceeds going to the church. Our Vicar Rev. Ed Harris; known to us all as 'Harrised' was very grateful indeed.

The other day, the Memsahib, mentioned we were going to ' town' to see and hear about some rolling stones. Well, I have always been interested in ancient monuments; stonehenge, avebury etc, so I was quite keen to go. I was directed to dress in  a casual manner, so I accordingly I put on my two piece tweeds and number three brogues. Baxter drove us down in the Jaguar. We eventually landed up by the Thames-side at a building which resembled a large mushroom, with strange spikes protruding from it.

Editor note:
picture placed to support the Major's description. DB

 I was told that it was  the ' O2 ' arena; looked more like the O5 or O6 to me!

Inside and sat down in our seats, I was  aghast  to notice that the audience, many my own age were dressed, in what can be only be called charity shop clothes, complete with black leather jackets, covering often lewd T shirts and showing strange inked marks on parts of their skin.
My goodness, has decency escaped?  Standards were certainly plummeting to the basement level.
 That said our seats were comfortable enough and with large TV screens above the stage, it was clear we would be able to see and hear the lecture.

After a rather longish wait, some elderly gentlemen came onto the stage carrying musical instruments.
They were met with huge and sustained applause. Puzzled, I asked the Memsahib what they were doing.
She replied that they were the group we were going to see ' The Rolling Stones. "

 " Good heavens' " I said, " I hope they have medical facilities handy. "
Just then the big screens showed  a close-up of the thin looking singer, with jaunty grey hat.

" I don't believe it, " I remarked " What's Sir Michael doing there ? "

" He's the leader of the group, you fool  ! " retorted the Memsahib.

Slowly, it began to click into place, for the last time I had  seen Sir Michael, was back in the summer in The Long Room at Lords Cricket Ground .
We had been talking about the dearth of  finger spinners in the England side and other important matters. Michael mentioned he was planning some sort of reunion at the end of the year and would I be interested in tickets. Naturally I replied in the affirmative and here we were, but singing with a musical group, surely not.

Well goodness, when the band launched into their first number, I thought a jet was taking off; the noise was stupendous, but when I slowly got used to the sounds, I began to remember some of the tunes from way back and began  to stamp my feet and occasionally odd the old head. I have to admit that it did get very warm in the arena and I found it necessary to loosen the regimental tie.

 Whatever Sir Michael takes, I want a double dose! he was on his feet moving for over two hours. Amazing.
But all in all, a fearfully pleasant time.

Set list:

"I Wanna Be Your Man"
"Get Off of My Cloud"
"It's All Over Now"
"Paint It, Black"
"Gimme Shelter"
"Wild Horses"
"All Down the Line"
"I'm Going Down"
"Out of Control"
"One More Shot"
"Doom and Gloom"
"It's Only Rock and Roll"
"Honky Tonk Women"
"Before They Make Me Run"
"Midnight Rambler"
"Miss You"
"Start Me Up"
"Tumbling Dice"
"Brown Sugar"
"Sympathy for the Devil"
"You Can't Always Get What You Want"
"Jumpin' Jack Flash"

Placed for those interested in the concert material. DB

Ran into my old chum  Charles 'Mothballs ' Oliver- Norton, the other day. He earned his nickname, by keeping his wallet locked away from our view, but having said that he did treat me to a sniffter ( taken with plenty of water theses days ) at the club.

He tells me that the 'Chipping Norton ' Set , the real seat of power, have announced that we have to distance ourselves from Europe and begin to 'cosy up ' to Uncle Sam again. There was  a minor worry when that ' Walter Mitty ' was up for the top job, but with Barrack back in the post, all was well and hamburgers were back on the Downing Street menu. The staff are practising such phrases as: ' Have a good day; ' ' Good to Go' and  ' That's a wrap. '

Charles told me I should get a piece of the U.S. action by having a 'bluegrass ' festival, next summer in my grounds. "Sort out your licences and restrict seating, to up the ticket price and  you'll clean up " he said

       "bluegrass ? Is it a legal smoke ? " I asked.

 " No it's  a type of American country music ." he informed me " all very laid back and reasonably relaxed, you should look into it."

" Thanks Charles, you given me something to think about and raised the prospect of possible revenues, something we Wyford-Clarkes take very seriously indeed. " I replied.

"I thought it was to be a quiet Christmas this year, with just the Memsahib, myself and a few servants to spend the time together. But alas it was not to be, for our two boys Winston and Gordon with their respective spouses have announced their intended arrival over the holiday period.

Furthermore Gordon and wife  Melody will be bringing their terrible  eight year old twins, Theodore and Jade. We call them  ' The green doors, ' because  anything that  is shut will be opened and conversely anything opened will be  shut.

So all my treasures will have to be locked away, in high places. Oh dear ! and what, you may say are my predictions for the new year ahead?

Well I had a tip from my local weather man Jerome ( Windie Blow) who said he was certain it would be a white Christmas this year, so I have made a modest investment in this eventuality ( to allay Christmas expenses and breakages ) and have been heartened as the price has considerably shortened.

Frankly I expect it to be a polar like snap  well into 2013 ( unlucky for some? ), so we'll all end up cold, but appallingly healthy as the bugs all die off.

The summer will be be a cracker. My reasoning is twofold: (1 ) the 'Aussies ' are coming, bringing sun and firm wickets and (2)  the birth of the Royal Sprog will surely raise the spirits and temperatures.
 My money by the way, is upon Albert for a boy and Caroline for a girl.

So, in summary, next year will be as 'Young George 'says, one of checks and balances, hot and  cold; warm and mild, but with a proper winter and summer.  I think I will be right in these assumptions

So all it remains, is for me, the Memsahib, Baxter and all staff  to wish you all:

 a Happy Christmas and bright New Year. May your singles be doubles and your troubles tax-exempt.,

Goodbye from,


Cheltenham Town ( The Robins ) drew with Hereford Town 1-1 in the FA Cup last  Monday ( 3/ '12 ). Incredibly they have not beaten Hereford at home since the days when Harold Wilson was Prime Minister and Marmalade were top of the pops. Next Tuesday (11/'12 ) the replay at Hereford's Edgar Street ground takes place. The winner will be home to Everton from the Premier League.  This match will also be televised live on Monday January 7th 2013.
This raises the stakes of the replay; because the tetevised match against Everton will yield the winning club many thousands of pounds indeed. C'mon you Robins !

Newcastle have got back on their winning ways by beating Wigan 3-0, also last Monday. They next play Fulham away, would you believe, next Monday (10/ '12).  A point please lads.
Stop press- Lost to Fulham 2-1. now need to regroup for the next round of matches and get the checque book out in the January transfer window.


Finally to finish this posting, some views from Cleeve Hill, overlooking Cheltenham.

I hope you all survive this icy blast coming this week; which the press have already dubbed " The Beast From The East." Wrap up warm and mind the pavements. Remember Rum is the best way to take sugar in your coffee!
Cheerio for now,


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