Can’t blow the candles out – Awesome – For Joan

Thanks to Joan who commented on my post “Smile! or Gern anyway!”, I was prompted to find the lyrics to what has to be one of the funniest kids songs/ditties I know.

Elodie sang this to us while we were stuck in a traffic jam and had been travelling for days. Weary, bored and very tired she came out with this classic quite out of the blue:

Two Little Girls dressed in Red

Went upstairs to bed.

One had a mouth like this (pull face to right)

One had a mouth like this (pull face to left).

The one with a face like this (pull face to right) said, to the one with the face like this (pull face to left and say), “Can’t blow the candle out, Can’t blow the candle out”.

(Change face to other side).

“Let me try, let me try” (try to blow with face pulled).

“Can’t blow the candle out, can’t blow the candle out” (both girls in turn).

“Let’s call mum” (pulled to right)

“Let’s call mum” (pulled to left)

Up came mum with a mouth like this (both lips inwards)

“What’s all the fuss about, what’s all the fuss about”

(Girls say)

“Can’t blow the candle out, can’t blow the candle out”

(mum with lips in)

“Let me try” (try to blow with lips in).

(All say in turn, Let’s call Dad with faces pulled).

Repeat same with Dad (Dad has both lips turned out and makes a loud raspberry sound when he blows).

(all say in turn)

“Let’s call sis” x 4

Up came sis with eyes like this (eyes wide open)

“What’s all the fuss about?”

(for the last  time “Can’t blow the candles out” by all the others with faces pulled).

“Let me try, Let me try” (Sis blows the candle out).

The candle went out and they all went to bed.

– Huge thanks to the fantastic Mrs Rodwell who will never know just how much joy that has given me!

Thanks for waiting and for asking…..

Thanks everyone. No really, thank you. I’ve had lots of people asking where I’ve been, what I’ve been up to and when the next story is coming out. I really appreciate it. I’ve been busy. We’ve been busy making some big and dramatic changes. It’s been cathartic. And now I’m ready to go again. Plenty to tell you about. Plenty to make you smile. It’s good to be back.

All the best


TI Swimming – Can you REALLY Swim?

Can you swim?

No, I mean can you really swim? I don’t mean could you make it up to one end of the pool and back if you really had to?

I wanted to tell you about a recent epiphany of mine. Not because I think you’ll really care about my little glories, but because I want you to know about it, so that it won’t necessarily take you as long as it took me to find out about it.

In October of last year, I met a man called Keith Lewis. He is a Total Immersion (TI) instructor. I also think secretly he might be a genius. I say this because since last October, over the course of 5 – 6 meetings, Keith has managed to take me from a middle aged fat bloke who had resigned himself to the fact that an “old lady breaststroke” would have to “do” as far as swimming was concerned, to a strangely dedicated devotee of pools, front crawl and the TI method.

Just last night, after completing two, two hour sessions (of my own choosing) in one day in the local pool, my lovely and hugely tolerant wife declared, “this is the most bizarre thing you have ever done”. I will allow you to ponder that for a while.

So just what is this ramble all about?

Last year, while on holiday, I decided I’d had enough of watching people swim really well, while I “made my way” like an amateur up and down the pool. I also decided that most people I watched, swam front crawl like their arms and legs weren’t connected and like every breath was their last.

So I decided that the next year I would return having invested in some “proper” swimming lessons. While still on holiday I browsed my Blackberry and on various swimming forums I found references to “TI” and explanations about a new way to swim faster and easier. Strangely, I recalled something I’d seen on the “TED” website (look it up it’s fab) about a man who’d discovered that if we just learnt from fish we’d all swim a lot better.

So, when I got home to England I Googled TI and found this:

It shows a man ( I later found out had only learnt to swim three months earlier) swimming beautifully….guess what technique he’s using…TI.

A few clicks later and I am introduced to Keith Lewis, a local TI trainer. Keith didn’t take my name and number and slot me in for a lesson. He made a 20+ mile journey to meet me to explain the process and convince me of his methods. When you meet him for yourself, you’ll see there’s not a great deal of convincing needed. Not only does he look like he could swim the channel and run all the way back, but he’s so passionate about the process of learning TI he leaves you almost desperate to get in the pool and get on with training.

So lesson one. I have to tell you I was as anxious as you’d expect to be. I hadn’t even attempted to swim the crawl for what we’d worked out was over 30 years. I am standing next to a man who looks like an athlete and he asks me to swim a few strokes. I did. It was OK. Yes it looked terrible. Yes it looked like I was having a fit, but within 5 minutes Keith saw I was likely to be his greatest challenge and had me working on one or two of the first exercises TI teaches.

It was remarkably engaging and interestingly not the slightest bit embarrassing. What was interesting was that I never once felt uncomfortable nor did I take in huge mouthful or nosefuls of water. Over the course of 5 lessons (which would have equated to about 8-10 weeks had it not been for Xmas) I progressed from understanding really how water works to being able to make it work for me. In fact to being able to swim brilliantly.

It’s really amazing how over time you gain a completely different relationship with and understanding of the water. It sort of moves from “survival” to “harmony”.

The whole process of TI swimming is about understanding how to make the water work for you and Keith is fantastic at making that easy for you to grasp and progress.

During the course of my lessons Keith was setting up his own swimming Studio, . It was really exciting to see the plans come together and hear about the “endless pool” (a bit like a running machine for swimmers). Also to hear about all the lessons Keith is giving to tri-athletes and “proper swimmers” who really want to hone their technique.

A few weeks ago I had my first lesson at Keith’s new studio. It’s fantastic. Not only could I swim almost on the spot and have a lesson in what was in reality was a lovely warm bath…but using the AV set up, Keith and I could review what I was doing….from every angle….make the necessary changes and move on. At the end of the lesson Keith gave me a DVD of my lesson so that I could go and study it and do the necessary practice.

Tomorrow I am going for my last lesson with Keith. It’s very sad because it’s been a fantastic experience but on the other hand it’s brilliant because he has genuinely taught me to swim as well if not considerably better than most people I see swimming in any of the pools I visit. Beyond that he’s given me a new skill and a new passion I truly never believed would be possible.

I genuinely can’t wait to get to the pool every night and will swim until it closes. I can’t wait until this year’s holiday when I will be joining those I’d previously envied and will doubtless impress/annoy them.

Sure I’ll still get out of the pool looking like a bleached walrus, but I’ll trade that any day for the total delight of swimming like a god!

Trust me, no matter how well or not you think you can swim, whether you’re a total beginner or already an accomplished athlete, I guarantee you any time you get to spend with Keith Lewis at Swim Shed, learning TI will be the best investment you’ve made in years.

Here are his contact details:

07795 022560

And…if you’re a long way from him, he’ll put you in touch with another TI instructor, who’ll be nearly as good!

All the best


A Whole lotta Rosie

Last year we started keeping chickens. It is easy, as much fun and just as rewarding (at least on the egg front) as all the adverts in “Lifestyle” publications promise.  Also, if like me, you secretly always wanted to be a farmer, drive a battered old Landrover, look like you know what you’re doing with a shotgun and chainsaw, be able to smile wryly at those who fear a herd of cows and from time to time, legitimately wear the same clothes for a long, long time..then in all honesty, while two chickens in a posh green “eglu” won’t deliver that for you, it does give you some sense of detachment from the increasingly frenetic commercial world and a glimpse of what life could be like if you didn’t take all that “money stuff” quite so seriously.

There’s something bucolic about chickens. No matter how modern your setting, having a chicken wandering (they don’t really saunter) past your kitchen window does give you a sense of rural calm.  In fact there’s something reasonably pre-historic about them. They’re pretty simple creatures. They’ve got one hole at the front and one at the back. Food goes in the front….everything else comes out the back…including of course the real prize of the egg.

The egg bit is really fascinating. Once the chickens are old enough and settled and happy in their home, they become egg producing machines. You give them food and water and every day (pretty much) they will produce you an egg. Seems like a reasonable deal to me.  In fact, if you were looking at it commercially the ROI is pretty good. A bag of feed costs about £8 and lasts me about 2 months….and in return I get around £50 worth of eggs over the same period. Of course I don’t sell them. We eat them and give them to friends and increasingly more tolerant neighbours (funny that!).

I make it sound like we have a huge flock. We have four. Elsie, Lola, Lilly and just last weekend, we introduced Rosie.

Introducing new chickens is a real experience. None of this “mother hen” nonsense. Pecking order is what it’s all about and it’s not for the faint hearted. Apparently, chickens are drawn by the sight and scent of blood (even on humans) and once they’ve found it, or drawn it will continue to peck it. I told you they were pre-historic! This is the second introduction we’ve made since we started and this time has been more stressful all round. Rosie is a lot smaller and younger than all the others. She (apparently) lays lovely coloured eggs….she can also fly quite well. Flying well is a great and useful skill for a new chicken seeking some respite from the ceaseless pecking, pulling and chasing that establishing a pecking order requires. It is however, extremely annoying for the “would-be farmer” who has to rescue and recover it from all manner of exciting new places. I’ve also learned a lot about the physics of flight during our latest settling in period. It would appear that wing clipping on a determined bird is of seemingly no value at all. In fact Rosie is quite adept at reaching increasingly more challenging heights and distances despite having remarkably well pruned and unbalanced wing feathers.

At first I think the older, established birds just resented her arrival and wanted to get on with the ranking. Now I think they’re actually quite admiring of her ability to reach and explore new places. Experts tell me that new chickens will be forced to take the lowest, coldest perch or spot in the hen-house at night. Last night I checked them to find Rosie actually taking top spot on the nest all nice and warm in the corner. I wonder if her power of flight has earned her some respect from the old birds who seem contented to wander the same ground day in, day out.

So we’ll have to see. Rosie’s certainly made an impression, on us all. I’d like to think that one day we can stop pretending to live on a farm and actually do it. Meantime as long as I get to put my wellies on once a week (for the 20 minute job it is to clean them out) I can walk around carrying a chicken and can nonchalantly hand out free range eggs to all and sundry, I’ll consiShe's the one at the front. der myself a lucky chap.



A better perspective

It’s horrible, knowing stuff. Wasn’t it better when everything seemed like a surprise?

I remember finding out that no matter how old I got, I’d never manage to be older than my brother. He’d always beat me. He still does. At the time, while I remember being quite annoyed about it, it was a huge intellectual stretch to get my head round it.

Yesterday, my eldest daughter Elodie, went on a train for the first time. The whole school walked to the railway station jumped on a train went about two stops from Milton Keynes to Bletchley and came back. 

I use the train into London a lot. Words like, “packed”, “expensive”, “smelly”, “noisy”, “annoying”, “late” and “knackard” are all words I’d use to describe my experience. 

Elodie described the ticket hall (of Milton Keynes station) as “Wonderful” and “Beautiful”. She described the ticket inspector as “a lovely boy”. She thought the seats were “posh”. She thought the journey was “fast and fun” and “exciting”. She loved Bletchley. She found an old apple core and banana skin under the seat, which she thought was “naughty”.

Later she told us she’d been reading a book about China and how sad it was that there are no trees or bushes in China and that the people have to eat straw.

She’s struggling with concepts of life, and death and how people are related and how many dads or mums you’re “allowed”, but she doesn’t know anything really and it’s lovely.

She’s nearly five. Interesting then that the same applies to my 17 year old son, who has still not yet grasped the relatively simple concept of ” time of day”.

It’s all relative. He’s only just getting sight of concepts like, money, tax, insurance, risk, mortgage and responsibility. Helping him understand actually what it costs to have and drive a car has been a painful revelation for him and a disturbing reminder for me.

We’ve all spent the last 6 -12 months being force-fed lessons in global and domestic economics. We all now understand how the world really works and it’s bloody horrible isn’t it.

Running a business teaches you more about what people are really like than you could possibly ever want to know. You also learn what the government and civil servants and solicitors and accountants are really there to do.

I remember my brother waking me up one December morning and having to tell me it was something called Christmas and what Christmas meant and what I could expect when we got downstairs and looked under the tree.   What a fantastic discovery that was.  

It was probably also the beginning of the end of innocence.

Thank God we at least get some time to think trains are fun and ticket halls are beautiful and that money really does magic itself into existence and that “tax, insurance and petrol” are all loose concepts for others to concern themselves with.

All too soon we “gain clarity” and that, as Elodie will tell you is very annoyatating!


I will suffer for your sins

Listen, if bloody flared trousers (of which I admit to being slightly scared) can come back into fashion, then I can assure you that suffering for other people’s sins can make a comeback too.  

I reckon I’d be great at it. Not because I have a messiah complex. (Far from it, I’m far too lazy to do all that walking around, persuading people and turning over of tables and things).  Simply because just recently a large volume of painful and calamitous stuff seems to have happened.   

Either someone is trying to kill me or I am becoming a proxy for other people’s sins. I say that with some confidence because I haven’t got time to do enough sinning on my own to warrant such levels of  retribution. For now I will rule out the “someone trying to kill me” because that would be too galmourus…although not entirely implausible.  

There are then two common assumptions I have been living up to/checking out just recently.  

The first – “Bad luck always comes in threes”: Actually no. So far I am up to about 8.  

The second – “Hard as a dog’s head” (a personal favourite of mine): Actually, yes I think I might be.  

Right here goes:  

A week or so ago a very large and very heavy lorry, with a crane on it hit me at about 40MPH on the M25. It hurt a great deal and still does. It damaged (not permanently, thankfully) a good friend and colleague of mine. It also shunted me, with some force into another car in front. They too were OK. My wife’s big 4×4 (which she really, really loved) was completely wrecked. I broke some ribs, knackered my hands, “obviously” got massive whiplash. Car written off. At the side of the M25 with a seemingly never-ending stream of white van chaps enjoying the site of Paul with blood pouring down his face, my mobile was ringing continuously with 25,000 people trying to recover my car, sell me more insurance, offer to sue the lorry driver, rent me another hire car and interestingly, sell me water coolers. It took 4 hours to get home.  

This was all very annoying but compounded by the fact that in the subsequent two days we were due to drive to France for a weeks holiday with our young daughters, so here’s what needed re-organising:  

Hire Car, Hire Car Insurance, Green Card, “French policeman’s list of  impossible things he might require you to have in your car when he stops you”, ferry booking, roof box hire/roof box cross bars, roof box shipping and fixing.  

  • Hire car delivered – Vauxhall Zafira -OMG a whole new story (it smells of old lady).
  • Painful drive to France.
  • It rains for 4 of the 5 days we are there.
  • On the 5th day – brilliant sunshine. I get burned.
  • Having trained since November 09 to Swim TI – see previous post – I cannot swim now – Ribs.
  • Andrea and I have food poisoning and spend 1 day hurling and another day thinking we might.
  • We pay for broadband while we’re there to deal with the now 100,1056 calls and emails relating to the crash. It doesn’t work. Blackberrys both stop working.
  • We find a lovely beach. It isn’t raining. We drive into car park. We forget hired roofbox on top. It is buggered
    See what I mean?!


  • I sprain my ankle packing the car.
  • I nearly fall asleep on French motorway on way back because they are so empty.
  • Elodie is sick.
  • We arrive in England to find it is “National take your car out day” and we move at sub 20MPH from Portsmouth to Milton Keynes.
  • Alexa is sick.
  • So, broken ribs, sprained ankle. Pack Roof box up with smiley note for rental company. Ship 6ft box back to Bristol.
  • They send bill for £250 (+£178 hire charge).
  • Back into training. Swim. It really, really hurts. GP tells me to carry on. So I do. It really hurts.

Have you ever seen a dog bash its head? I have. In fact I actually shut a garage door on my poor dog’s head once. It’s interesting how no matter how hard they hit it, they just look at you, shake their head and carry on.  

I therefore conclude that bad luck is clearly suffering from the same inflationary pressures as the European economy and 3 is clearly not the right number for “it”. I will let you know when something good happens and I can consider its run to have ended.  

Evidently, if with a sprained ankle and broken ribs, I can still drive across France and swim despite the pain, I must be hard as a dog’s head.  

Then I guess there’s the third “common phrase or saying” I can let you know about – “It was like being hit by a truck”.  

This one’s interesting. It does in fact live upto its reputation. It really bloody hurts….it also makes things quite flat. See the car….  

Bon chance mes amis!  


Smile! Or gern anyway

 Elodie in more innocent days


An gurning man exampleSorry. My last post was a bit depressing. 

So, here are some things that made me smile and I hope they’ll make you smile too. 

Elodie (a constant source of unwitting humour) asked me on holiday if I’d like a “Burp Cat” for my birthday. There was no lead into this discussion and she’s refused to discuss it since. I have no idea what a “Burp Cat” is…nor has she……but I think I would like one…Sept 27th…… I’ll give you the address. 

On the “National Take Your Car Out” day we discovered recently (see previous post), Elodie was starting to lose the plot. Not surprising, some 8 hours in a hired car which smelled of Parma Violets. 

We all sang nursery rhymes to keep Elodie and Alexa from going totally nuts…despite no active rib cage, no ankle control and 8 hours driving, it was my turn to take the lead. After a stunning rendition of 4 Speckled Frogs…..(you either know it or you don’t), Elodie shouted that it was her turn and that she wanted to sing a song she’d learned at school. The song has some actions (well facial actions/gurning anyway)….and it went something like this, ” Two little sisters dressed in red, one with a face like this (lower lip over upper lip dressed to the right) and one with a face like this (lower lip over upper lip and dressed to the left), can’t blow the candles out (phew – useless blow at candles). In comes Mum with a face like this (lower lip over upper lip central “gurn”). What’s all the fuss about, what’s all the fuss about (two sisters ((with speech impediment))) Can’t blow the candles out, can’t blow the candles out…in comes siss with eyes like this (eyes pulled into big saucers), what’s all the fuss about, what’s all the fuss about, (two sisters  ((with speech impediment))) Can’t blow the candles out, can’t blow the candles out”….now I appreciate that takes a bit of reading and I’d love to show you one day, but I can tell you, after eight hours in a car that floored both Andrea and I. This came completely out of the blue with a four year old gurning left right and centre…I nearly crashed again….It did strike us as a little odd that this was something she was taught at school and in an area where Baa Baa Black sheep (Alexa’s very favourite) is considered non-PC, made it even funnier.  

Frustratingly, we’ve only found one reference to it on the internet, so if anyone knows all the words, I know a certain RSCA who would dine out on it for years to come!!! It could join his Dr Spice….a whole new experience…. 

Bon weekend. 


Teaching Elodie to ride a bike

 I love Elodie.

She is my third oldest child and my first daughter and she’s beautiful. More about the other lovely children later, but for the moment I want to tell you a bit more about Elodie.

She – of “burp cat” and “can’t blow the candles out” fame (see previous posts) – will be five years old on 8th July. She is extremely excited.

My lovely wife has, I fear, bitten off more than we can chew with 30 of Elodie’s friends coming to her party. Thank God it’s a village hall and someone else is doing the entertaining.

I had promised Elodie that before she was five years old, I would teach her to ride her bike without stabilizers. She does not forget such promises.  So, for all those who have been there before, let’s recall for one moment the exhaustion, the chronic back pain, the tears, the tantrums and bruised knees and shins and the view that, “actually we could leave it for a month more or so….”

I do empathise. I too have been there with both Jake and Billy and now, third time round, I’m not sure I dare tell Andrea what we’re in store for.

Let me set the scene. Elodie is an entertainer. She loves dancing, singing, performing etc (can’t think where she gets it from). She is a girl. A real girl. She DOES Pink. She DOESN’T do pain. So the idea of pushing her down a hill and hoping for the best – which incidentally is the very best way to teach boys – was just not going to fly.

We tried the traditional methods of raising the stabilizers, taking one of them off etc, but it wasn’t getting us very far and frankly we were entirely worn out with “fixed grin enthusiasm and praise”, for what was in all honesty, a painful run up and down the local sports field.

So (and here, my friends is the lesson) I jumped on the Internet. I tapped in “teach a child to ride a bike”. I found a number of sites. The site which made me smile most, wanted to charge $17.95 to download an “e-book” on their, “Three step method”. How I love America – Land of the “free” home of the “challenged” (an “oh so over” in my opinion – wait for later post)  On the front cover of this, clearly awesome, e-book was a big and very clear picture of a kid pushing a bike along down a hill with no pedals. Call me English, but I concluded that I now had all I needed from the front cover alone and that I didn’t now need to “invest” $17.95. 

A couple of less well sponsored links down was a YouTube link which I owe it to them to show you. So here it is.

It shows how to teach someone, anyone, how to ride a bike. Brace yourself, it is the commonest of sense.

And what’s more, it works…………brilliantly.

On Monday this week we took the pedals and stabilizers off Elodie’s bike and we lowered the seat. She spent 20 minutes that evening rolling down a hill.

On Tuesday this week she did the same…but with growing confidence.

On Wednesday this week I put the pedals on and she…..rode her bike.

In all, it’s taken no longer than an hour and she hasn’t fallen off once. She has no bruised knees and I’ve had no tantrums. She now can’t wait to ride to school and show her friends.  

Perhaps it is a reflection of the scale of our modern-day pressures that this tiny little miracle is a thing of total magnificence and wonder. Perhaps it’s a reflection of our current economic crisis and inflation that Elodie and I gave each other a series of  “high – eleventeen millions” until our hands hurt, but actually the best bit was when we showed mum. 

And she cried.

Bon weekend mes amis!    (Oh and thanks for all the lovely compliments. I’d be really grateful if you’d subscribe to my blog, here on the WordPress site. It means WordPress takes more seriously when people actually give a monkey’s – it’s easy and on the left Cheers! O)

Gerkin anyone?

See what I mean?


I am, to some extent at least a lucky chap. I get invited to visit posh people in posh companies and give them my view on where I think they’re going wrong and what they should do differently. Don’t get me wrong, I too find that hard to believe. The fact that they pay for it and lap it up is stranger still, given that in my view I am teaching them common sense and reminding them they are humans and the people they need to talk to are human too. However, don’t knock it….pays the bills (ish).    

Anyway today I was in the City of London and invited to a meet a very posh chap from a very big company in very posh office in The Gherkin (Yes it really is called that). Without a doubt it is a thing of architectural beauty that even HRH Prince Charles couldn’t object to. As you would imagine, the receptionist(s) – there are 467 – are all stunning. The security guards – there are 4,3235 are not. There is a protocol and procedure to get in and out etc. Not surprising really. The twin towers, let’s face it, where utilitarian by comparison.    

All of which leads me to my points.    

1. Given 9/11, isn’t building something undeniably like a massive Gherkin right in the heart of the (late) financial capital of Europe a bit of a tease for those who’d be keen to see the end of Capitalism?    

2. Why on earth do we need to build it so it is 10000000000 feet tall?    

I know for a fact that around 75% of people I speak to, don’t like heights. This was confirmed by the chap I met on the 19th floor (panoramic windows floor to ceiling – lovely)  reception who looked as white as I felt.  Given that MOST people feel really, really uncomfortable surrounded by floor to ceiling glass and being 10,000 feet up AND the most people who despise what it stands for are looking out for the next iconic target, couldn’t we build something more “low slung?”    

How about a massive slug? It would house the same sort of people, but be more accessible to 75% of the normal populous.    

Today’s meeting was fine and the posh, rich, white/ashen people I met were happy. It did remind me however, of the time I was asked to present at the top of the HSBC tower in Canary Wharf and, may relevant deities forgive me, but when someone jumped in front of my train and made the journey to the presentation impossible, I felt a huge sense of relief…    

Now I’ve told you that, I feel like a slug.    

Bonne nuit mes amis.

I am Louis Walsh…

You know you’re knocking on a bit when you’re filling in an online application form your date of birth takes more than a couple of clicks to find in the drop down list. It’s even more scary to think that you come from a different century. It won’t be too long before I’m looking at CV’s from people born post the turn of the millennium. Christ it makes me feel like Monty Burns.

Anyway here’s a perfect example of how, while working hard to keep myself aligned to the zeitgeist that is all things “connected” and instant I really end up reverting back to type and feel much more at home with “This is England 86” than the IPhone 4 GTI 4X4.

Did you see ABLISA, two girls from Coventry on XFactor who ended up having a punch up?   

Well, I met these two a week or so after this was screened. I was at Euston Station when I spotted these two staring, bewildered, up at the departures boards. Well, I’m not one to miss such an opportunitiy, so I went up to them, congratulated them on their performance and asked how they were getting on.

Do you know the first thing they said to me? ” Oh when you came up to us, we thought you were Louis Walsh”. Louis Walsh, Louis Bloody Walsh! They then went on to explain how short-sighted they were than that’s why they couldn’t read the screen. By this point however, the damage was done.

Do I really look like a 50+ year man of reasonably certain sexuality? This surprised them as they were under the impression that Louis was a much younger, straighter man (evidently).

It turns out they’d been with Heat Magazine for a “shoot” – awesome. I wonder if they were closely followed by Cheryl and Natalie and that went down.

Anyway, so we chatted for a bit and along came a colleague of mine – he thought to rescue me, but ended up joining in the banter. When, blow me if a friend passed by too and not believing his eyes he came and joined us. For the record, he WAS aware who they were and was not under the impression they were talking to Louis Walsh.

Abi and Lisa wanted confirmation that I wasn’t “press” oh the indignity. So I gave them my business card and all three of us chaps shook their hands and walked away laughing with a great story to tell on the way home.

Do know what? Not one of us thought to take our bloody phones out and take a photo for my blog! You know it just didn’t and would never have occurred to me. My camera on my phone usually comes on my mistake when I press the wrong button and then seems to take a picture of my feet and an eon to get back to the actual phone bit.

So, you’ll have to imagine the scene………..It was very funny. I’m sorry I can’t share it with you, we’re all way too 20th Century to have got a photo. What’s slightly more scary is that Abi and Lisa have got my card with all my details on…I wonder if they could introduce me to Natalie? What do you think?

BTW – For those of us for whom “This is England” is a “wicked bowl” down memory lane…I saw a Harrington Jacket in the Sunday Papers the other day for £300!!!. £300! I think I had about 6 all for £20 and they all lasted about 2 months, but that was the point wasn’t it!? Fashion is a truly twisted thing.