Dalkeith Auctions
 

Philips Jottings

Philip's Jottings

These are jottings that appear in the monthly catalogue, These are my personal views and thoughts. I'm sorry if they do cause offence, but if they do please re-read them and look to see if there might be some humour lurking.
The latest jottings will be at the top of the page.
Complaints to P.O. Box 4. Bournemouth, BH1 1YL
Thanks
Philip.

THE MONTHLY JOTTINGS

June 2017

Again only a small sale, but this month there are going to be a few pictures.

I've got a couple of new medical matters to add to the list.

Pre-proliferative retionpathy

and

Cerebrovascular disease, but no epileptogenic lesions.

Must book another holiday for the end of the year.

March 2017
Sorry for the delay in the catalogue, took on a bad cough when on holiday and only just starting to get rid of it.
I will be in most mornings 8am - 10am, but best give a ring if you are going to make a special journey.

SEPTEMBER 2016

HEALTH I’m still on my feet, please note new opening hours of 8 am – 10 am unless otherwise arranged.

TYPING OF CATALOGUE New typist this month, philatelic dictionary almost fully loaded.

June - July 2016

SORRY FOR THE DELAY IN THE CATALOGUE

Due to ill health and several hospital appointments, the sale now looks to be around the end of June.

Please look on the main catalogue page for more info.

If I am open then I am on 01202 292905

-------------------------------

I'M RARE

The Statistics say I’m 1 in 50,000 to 1 in 100,000 for the new medical problem I have, my Sarcoidosis was rated as Uncommon with a rate of 1 in 5,000 to 1 in 20,000 if you take into account my ethnic type.

I have been diagnosed with Penile Cancer, now not many will have heard of that one, it is not your regular testicular cancer or similar things, this one takes matters to a new level.

Pretty picture are availsble at Google images

 

Even the main Bournemouth Hospital in the cancer dept, have not had much dealings with this one, so I’m going to have to go up to London for this treatment.

 

It is not as bad as it sounds, there is an 80% rate that once the matter has been dealt with there should be no more problems for at least five years, the matter will be sorted out under local anaesthetic is quite a quick matter.

However they then want to completely put me out and delve about in my lymph nodes to make sure nothing has spread at 20% rate of this problem, they just want to make sure.

THE NEXT SALE

Will now be around August, so goods in from early to mid July please.

March 2016

A small space rather than adding four extra pages to the catalogue. We should be all in the small side room. Open most morning, best ring on the day to make sure we will be here.
The Bids, the lower amount is the price you can start to bid from, please get these bids in by first thing on Saturday 2nd April.
The higher amount is the price you can buy it now for, plus the buyers premium.
If you are buying it now, it will be best to phone us in the morning as soon you decide you want it, the first one to call will get it, if you want to email the request, please make sure your name and address is in the email, without it we will not be reserving the lot, if you wish to collect it, please make it clear in the email.

Feb 2016

THE AUCTIONS

The auctions will now become more postal and internet based, this month we will still probably have the full use of the Dalkeith Hall for viewing during the mornings, before the decorators and refurbishment workers move in, after 40 years it is time for a good redecoration. When that happens, the auction lots will move into a very small room at the side.

The former lavatory block measures five feet by twelve feet, this gives us 60 sq feet, it is possible to fit 800 sq feet of goods from the Dalkeith Hall into this small area (use a diminishing glass rather than a magnifying glass), the urinals and toilets have been removed. Thus there are no toilet facilities for viewers.

The photocopier takes up 10 sq feet, the sink and coffee machine 2 sq ft, Paper 6 sq ft, the other equipment & myself 10sq feet, that leaves about 30 sq ft for stock & viewers.

If there are more than two viewers, additional viewers will need to hang inverted from the ceiling or stay outside.

 

BID OR BUY

There are two prices by the lots, the lower one is the starting price, get your bids in before the closing date.

The higher price is the price you can buy it for, plus the buyers premium and postage.

For mail order customers it might be best to ring in the morning to see if it still available, waiting for the post to return the form to us might take too long.

MY HEALTH

This is the main reason for cutting down the size of the auctions, most mornings we will be open.

Ted has found a spot in the new location, so if I’m not available, I think he will be able to cope, please note he does not have my sense of humour and he does not take bribes of Best Malt Whisky (try an iced bun).

December 2015

THE LAST PUBLIC SALE

This is the last sale where you can gather and bid live, from 2016 the sales will become postal and internet based, there will be some viewing on a Thursday and Friday, more details of the dates in the next posted catalogue or on line.

The other change will be that the lots will become both bid and buy sales.

The lots will have two prices; the lower price is the figure you can start the bidding from, as with current bids, the item will be sold at one bid higher than the second highest underbid. A date when the bids are to be in by will be shown on the catalogue, all very similar to the present system.

The higher figure will be the price you can by it for now, be quick - the first person to make this offer will be the one that gets it. If you are visiting, please remember to bring money or a credit card, there might be something you want to by then and there.

As with the present sales, these lots will not covered by the Distance Selling Regulations on postal sales, you do not have any automatic right to return the goods and cancel the sale. The main reason for this is that as many of the lots are mixed items, it would be unfair on both the vendor and other buyers as to the amount of stamps or postcards returned.

For regular postal customers, most already know that if any lot is not to their liking due to the description, a quick phone call to us will normally solve any problems. For new customers, should you wish to be covered by the Distance Selling Regulations, please do not bid with us, but go and find a retail dealer.

We still need stamps and postcards for future sale, together with coins, medals and other small collectables prior to 1970. Due to limited space we will not be taking the bulkier lots of post 1970 ephemera.

 

OUR NEW LOCATION

We are moving, due to the high cost of the Dalkeith Hall, where the cost of renting a large area that is really only used for one day a month, is not really viable now I have had to cut down the sale size due to ill health.

The viewing will now take place in the room at the far side of the Dalkeith Hall, visitors to the Dalkeith Hall might have noticed a small black door at the side of the building, this is where you will enter the viewing area from.

Other than the Thursday and Friday, you will probably find this door locked. On these other days please ring me on 01202 292905 or 0777 5599 821 during the mornings to see if I am in.

The viewing area is small, there is room for about two viewers at any one time, persons who wish to come in and look at a large number of items without bidding or buying lots will be discouraged.

Please read the catalogue and make a list of lots you want to view before coming in as there is not the room if you are not actually viewing.

The other matter is that there are no toilet facilities at our new location, there are toilets on the first floor of the multi storey car park or in one of the many coffee shops close to us.

November

COMING SOON THE LAST PUBLIC SALE

December will be the last public sale, from 2016 the sales will become mainly internet and postal based.

There will be some viewing, possibly on a Thursday and Friday.

The lots on offer will be scaled down bulk wise, our boxed stamps & postcards will still be there, but the general mixed boxes of low value ephemera and collectables that are made after 1970 will be discontinued.

We still want items for auction, so please keep bringing the items in for both the December and February sale.

 

THIS MONTHS PICTURES

A bit difficult to make a decision as to what should be on the front of this months catalogue as I have 900 images to choose from.

The back page was easy to find. For those persons who visit and find me rather tatty looking, this image proves I can look smart, possibly only on about two days per year, but here is the evidence.

A more interesting photo than that stood by a fake ship’s wheel, or posed next to a long suffering ship’s captain.

Rather an interesting caption, when we arrived on board there was a letter telling us that a short time earlier, that a passenger had developed Legionaries Disease, also a letter from the Board of Health telling us what to do if we felt ill after were had arrived back in England.

For ten points – What was the name of the ship?

 

THE PILE

In the corner of the viewing room there is a pile of stuff.

You may buy it now.

Each item is £1,

Each item that you take out of a box is £1

You pay for the items before you take them away.

You take them away when you have paid for them, we do not have the room to store them for you.

Or

You can take the entire pile away for £50, but it could be the following day if you want to park your car, van, lorry etc in the pedestrian area.

You carry it away yourself – no help given.

September 2015

OUT OF BOXES

We have now used up our supply of boxes, from the November sale there will be a mixed assortment of sizes.

If you have any of our Whittard boxes, please return them so we can re-use them, if possible please bring them in full of your surplus items so that we have more items to sell.

SEPTEMBER HOLIDAYS

Closed during mid September, we will not be open from Thursday 17th September until Saturday 26th September.

Back for Monday 28th September when we will be taking in good for the November sale, as there is no sale in October.

AN EXPERIMENT FOR THIS MONTH

As from 2016 the sales will be more internet based for viewing (there will be some physical viewing available). The number of images per lot will be increased to give a better idea of the content of the lot for the internet side of sales.

When viewing images if there are several images with the same number, this will normally be different parts of the lot. Please let me know what you think of the new images.

From 2016 the numbers of the lots will change slightly, instead of generally having a run of numbers 1 – 300 with odd gaps in between, there will be groups of numbers for each section e.g. stamps 1 – 500, postcards 500 – 1000 etc.

NO VIEWING ON THURSDAY

I plan to take the day off and visit the Great Dorset Mudfest, it will either be hard dry uneven mud or very soft mud, no in between styles of mud are allowed.

Admit 2 for £20 if you get your tickets by post. So I will take someone that can pick me up off the ground when I fall over.

 

July-August 2015

Holidays 2015

Due to various illnesses I was not able to have my regular day off in July, however I do plan to have a holiday 18th – 24th September, if you can put those dates in your diary, to avoid leaving or delivering goods to the auction around that time.

There will be a small sale at the start of September, no sale in October and then a sale in November.

My Health

Due to Sarcoidosis (pretty pictures available on Google images) and other matters, I am not able to put the hours needed to run the auction full time. In the New Year I will have to cut down my hours.

The Solutions that I can think of.

1. Someone takes over the business; I would be able to work part time if wanted.

2. Someone wants to come into the business as a partner and puts in the hours that are needed to bring the number of lots up to past sales.

3. The auction will become smaller in size and mainly be as a postal and internet based auction and sale.

If you have any thoughts on the Auction please let me know.

 

My Teeth

For those that have known me for many years, will have noticed that I have been slowly loosing odd teeth. Over the years I have tried dentures, but each time a more teeth have been lost, I have needed a new pair of dentures, one of my best sets were a non NHS chrome build, but after a few years when it came to a replacement, all that was fundable was the plastic NCH lumps.

For comfort I went without the teeth, so new customers that have not known me wondered why I never smile, if I did they would have run away, (see photo back page of catalogue).

Now I have a new chrome set thanks to the government allowing people to get at their pension pots, a private appointment with the dentist was able to be made.

I have an unusual mouth, as well as an undeveloped lower jaw, by trying to bite through a car at around eight, my upper teeth were pushed back and sideways, the two front teeth that you have always seen were caps along time ago.

For a fee I will now smile when you come in, either £1 per visit or 1% added to the commission.

Internet Images

For those viewing the images of lots on the internet. Sorry if the images of the smaller lots look a bit odd, I forgot to change the setting on the camera, to the anti shake mode.

June 2015

JULY HOLIDAYS

As normal I will be having a few days off in July, so there will not be a sale that month.

We still will be open most mornings for the taking in of goods, so before making a special trip around the start of the month, give us a ring to make sure we will be open.

The sale after this June sale will be Saturday 1st August.

 

IS THERE A GLAZIER IN THE HOUSE

A question that might be asked in a theatre. If I have not managed to replace of glass by the time viewing starts, I might be in need of a man that repairs windows. The glass in the inner door is now broken at about head height.

No, I did not put the head of one of my customers through the glass. A vendor came in asking about a payment he should have received, slightly ranting about that each time he came to the door he found it locked. The simple answer to that is, come before noon, or give us a phone call.

Asking the name and looking at unclaimed payments for 2015, I find there is not a sheet for him, meaning that I have already sent a cheque out.

Asking if he had his receipt on him, that way I can see by the number if a cheque has either been cashed or returned (some of our customers move). I now find out that it is over a year ago, possibly two years ago. In this case I will need the receipt, this I am told he has but it is at home. My reply is either bring the receipt in, or phone us.

Customer is adamant that he is not leaving until I find his payment. Explaining that due to the amount of paper we generate each month, I am unable to find his account unless I have a more or less correct date. Customer does not want to leave; I explain that I will soon be leaving, so he will have to go. I get the reply that he will not leave. I get on with my work, there is little more I can do with out his receipt. Customer rambles on that he left some very rare and valuable stamps with me.

Customer leaves and closes the door, a smash of glass, I go to see what has happened, the customer is crouching behind the door preventing me pushing the door open.

I have a very special door, it opens BOTH ways, I pull the door open, the customer scurries off, faster than I can grab him. He stops at the top of Dalkeith Steps managing to get an audience by shouting I have his stamps. I tell him I’m calling the police and go back inside to make a phone call.

A short time later the police come, after a short statement they go and find the customer, it seems he has a cut hand, and is accusing me of throwing him down The Dalkeith Steps, for those that know the locality, anyone been thrown down the steps would have been either completely out or badly injured. When the ambulance personnel look him over they find no bruises or damage other than a small cut to his hand. Apparently he is in a confused state of mind and is taken off to the hospital. Police return and remove a small piece of his skin from the broken window.

The following day after a couple of stitches, he is still in hospital, with little memory of what had happened.

After several hours of hunting through the paperwork, I find a docket showing a cheque was sent to a flat in Bournemouth for an item that was sold in July 2011.

The value was £10, so unless a receipt can be produced showing, that he brought in other rare and valuable stamps, I take it they made £10. If I issue receipts to new customers, I normally will put on an estimate of the value of the goods if it is above £50, if anything happened to the goods or my set of paperwork, there is proof for the insurance.

So in this case I need a new window. The thought of the day – The customer is not always right.

May 2015

ELECTRICAL GOODS

When purchasing electrical goods over the internet, if it works; everything is fine, when they break down, problems start.

If it is a big company, a phone call might solve you problems, sometimes if you explain the fault, can give them the date of purchase and the serial number, they will just send you a new product and just ask you to dispose of the old item.

The costs they will have to fork out if they get you to send the old item back might easily be £10 - £30, if it is a known fault in a batch of products, as long as you have provided the info, it is far cheaper for them to just send a new product out.

It is some of the high street retailers that are more of the problem; mainly it is lack of training of the staff over the customers (consumers) rights. No you do not need all the packaging if you are returning a faulty item. Within a few days you might still have the box and some of the foam packaging, but don’t expect me to have kept the small little wires that were wrapped around the mains cable, the vast number of small plastic bags that all the little extra bits came in, and the additional EU mains plug that was of no use to me etc.

After nine months, an annoying little fault that has stopped the item working means that the item can be returned for either a refund or replacement or if practical a minor repair, but don’t expect me to have saved all the packaging etc. No I did not take out the additional paid for warranty at the time I purchased the item, the item is not working, you sort it out, I do not have to contact the manufacture over the matter.

It just happens that the manager is on their lunch break and their deputy is away today, and that they don’t have the authority to give a refund. At this point after have been polite having given them my original receipt showing when I purchased the item from them I tend to get a little cross.

I want the matter sorted, blocking a till sometimes gets a member of staff that is authorised to replace the item or give a refund out from some deep location in the store.

April

Richmond Hill Ice Rink

The revamp of Richmond Hill is almost at an end, parts of other roads will be closed off over the next few weeks, so going down Richmond Hill you might find the out of town driver of a large lorry in tears as he is unable to fathom the odd types of crescents that do not show up on his Sat Nav. How to get from the lower part of Richmond Hill to the rear of M&S in under 25 instructions by local people will be fun.
The new smooth surface is very smooth, I think it is made in a type of porous black stuff to cut down the traffic noise, unlike the original surface that was more of a mix of chips on tar in places that did have a good stopping surface. The new stuff has very small holes in its surface to drain off surface water, ideal for use between March and November, but in Bournemouth we have very unusual rain due to the effects of the numerous pine trees, rain has seen to be in horizontal formation.
When the weather reaches freezing point, I expect the water that would have run away through the black stuff, just to settle in the small holes, then slowly grow, giving the surface that of a few thousand ice cubes under a vehicle. I might be wrong, but when the weather gets bad at the end of the year, just check your insurance to make sure it is valid for “The wrong type of rain”.

March

HELPING THE DISABLED

In the flats where I live, they have recently finished off the lifts, the floor numbering system with its system of both numbers and letters still makes little sense. Ground is zero and the sixth floor is still G.

To help the disabled, Braille floor letters have now been added to the walls outside the lift, I don’t know if Blind Lift Users are normally used to finding their symbols almost six feet up the wall, but that is where they have been put.

 

RICHMOND HILL

For those customers who used to find car parking spaces on the hill, most of those have now gone. The local council have found another method of keeping shoppers out of the town, unless they use one of the councils pay for car parks (prices just increased), remember to carry a few extra 10p coins, you will be  paying £1.10 now for a quick visit.

As part of a revamp, the hill has been reduced in width, at the very top two neatly painted dark green metal bollards have been placed at the point where the left hand part of the road used to start, with all the other features in the road layout, I don’t think if will be long before they get hit. Where is the fluorescent yellow paint when you need it.

 

HORSESHOE COMMON

Just don’t go there; it will only end in tears. What was a simple to understand layout where a road went round a roundabout and was black (dark grey with chewing gum additions), and the pavement was a contrasting colour, showing where to cross and where the vehicles should stop, everything has now been replaced with a mix of heights and a mix of coloured bricks, the large roundabout has been removed, so vehicles do not know how they should pass, all the road markings have also been removed. The only people that seem to think they have priority are the cyclists, both pedestrians and motorists just pray and hope when venturing there.

The nightclubs had a taxi rank outside so punters could come out, get in a taxi and go home. The nearest taxi rank is a half mile walk away. The unlicensed mini cabs should do a good trade this summer.

Jan - Feb 2015

Pre Christmas Holiday
Several months ago, two of us booked for a short taster trip to Europe and back over 4 - 5 days.
Southampton - Le Havre - Zeebrugge - Southampton, with day trips to Rouen and Bruges, and a whole day on board.
We had originally booked a Stateroom (posh word for cabin) on a upper deck, the price was at a lower rate than some of the other cabins on Deck 8 as the balcony was partly obstructed by a lifeboat, but in Late November not much time would be spent sunbathing, a nice bit of air from the English Channel would be far better than an inner Stateroom.
The other reason for selecting this location, easy to get on and off the ship, near the lifts etc, and it was quite high up. At the last minute we were given what they call an "Upgrade", true we were now getting a Stateroom that would have cost more than the original charge, but this was on one of the lower decks, and at the rear part of deck 5.
A long walk on to the ship to the room, quite far from the lifts, but we were opposite the passenger laundry room, and now did not have a lifeboat in front of our balcony (Semi enclosed deck area with hole cut in to side of ship) rather than a designed balcony.
At night I found the room a little noisy, I have to admit although I am not totally deaf, my hearing is not that good, but I do still feel vibration and deep sounds. We were almost opposite a locked door the read UPS, now I personally don't think it has anything to do with The United Parcels Service, my guess from the low hum was that it was the Backup Power Supply from the room as I passed it.
At around 2am the rather large rumble of the mechanical equipment a short distance below us grew much louder for a couple of hours.
I can only guess that the must be testing the power system, I don't know if it is 1,000 hamsters running in 1,000 cages or 1,000 hamsters in a single cage, however with the vibration and the din, I did not get much of a sleep that night.

Due to an early start to a trip to Rouen, we were not able to use the normal comfortable restaurant, but had to use Kings Court which runs an almost 24 hours a day cafeteria food selection. I selected eggs, bacon and a couple of sausages, with two trays of sausages I chose one from each, the darker smaller type I took to be a spicier type possibly a Cumberland, the other a light brown succulent large sausage - I took to be the standard British style banger.
On sitting down I was half was half way through my smaller sausage, when my companion mentioned the sausage seemed uncooked, after politely spitting a bit out.. I cut open my other sausage, the meat was red, not the light pink of a standard pork banger, but was a deeper red shade. I decided to leave the sausages alone and finished the rest of my breakfast.
I drew the attention of the problem to one of the restaurant managers, who I now think was more on to managing the staff and restaurant than the actual food part.
I was fine that day, but in the night I was not feeling too good, I put it down to the lack of sleep, and a combination of a gallstone and a reoccurring kidney stone that occasionally via for best positions on my illness list.
I realise now it might have been best to abandon my breakfast and cutlery , and start afresh. Using the knife I had cut the uncooked sausage open with for the rest of my food, might not have been the best idea.
The next day (Day on ship - no tours - out at sea)
Before today's breakfast I took my normal medication for such matters with Oramorph and Stemetil.
By the start of breakfast of scrambled eggs and bacon, I was not feeling too good.
I retired to bed and slept through the entire day, apart from one visit to the lav to bring any food up, my system only wanted to offer bile, guessing now it was the gallstone rather than a kidney stone as there was no major pain. I then slept through into the the evening missing out on the Formal Dinner, having come prepared with a dinner jacket and bow tie.
Late in the evening I was taken upstairs to have a little food in the all day & night restaurant, and slowly felt a bit better. The hamsters in their cage did not seem to bother me that night.
Seems I missed out on the lobster and other luxuries on that night, I was not in my companions best books, not wanting to dine alone on the Formal Night, missed out on lobster as well.

We did put in a complaint - we have each been offered $50 spending money next time we travel by Cunard - No way.

Next Month the trip to Antwerp on a car ferry.

December 2014

DECEMBER VIEWING

There will be no viewing on Saturday 29th November or Monday 1st December. I should be back from the Belgium riots for Tuesday morning.

 

THE FOLLOWING SALE

Due to Christmas and a short holiday, there will not be a sale in January; the first sale in 2015 will be in February.

Christmas closing will be from 21st December to 5th January, but there will be a few of these days I will be in for odd hours, best ring on the day to see if I will be in before making a special journey.

If you hear a few bangs on Christmas Eve it will be due to the local supermarket selling out of Reindeer meat; I will be out shooting my own when they fly overhead late at night on the 24th.

 

THERE ARE 57 VARIETIES

Normally I don’t buy famous name brands, mostly down to the cost, but on occasions the main brands seem to cater mainly for the sugar loving person.

With supermarket own brands they are both better value and in my opinion often taste better.

Having a little time on my hands I popped into one of those shops that have everything at a single price, with the £1 shops life is easy, but the 99p versions, I need an abacus to work out the final amount I need to pay, if it is over 20 items my fingers and toes are useless.

One product on offer was a bottle of tomato sauce, which seemed to be made by a famous company at around half the normal price.

Looking at the front of the label all seemed standard, but on the back was all the information in German & French, with a small sticky label in English. The ingredients seemed about what I would normally expect.

On getting it home, I tried a little, it was nothing like the British stuff, this was wonderful it had some taste and did not have the sweet style I expected from this brand.

It appeared this might be similar to the Lidl and Aldi products I normally purchase. Sending an email to the UK headquarters of the famous brand, and asking if other countries had a different recipe for such products. I received their reply back saying that they do. It now seems that I will have to go to Europe if I want more of this nice stuff, or I could do as the newspaper adverts say, “Just go to Lidl.

FRIDAY AFTER SALE

We will be closed on Friday 12th, I’m going to have my brain checked, as coming back from holiday, I need to make sure it is still there.

November 2014

DECEMBER SALE

NO VIEWING SATURDAY OR MONDAY

Due to the NO vote in Scotland, it has been decided to support St Andrews Day, we will be closed on the Bank Holiday Monday 1st December. We will be also closed on the first Viewing Saturday in December, as time is needed to get ready for the celebrations.

The large Tesco lorry may cause delays in Old Christchurch Rd as it tries to negotiate the Water Board Gofers that are planning a new large set of burrows in the nearby Yelverton Rd, when it brings my delivery early that week.

I prefer the Tesco Special Reserve when it comes to whisky (Hint, hint), however I’ve founded the Grants Blended Special Reserve equally pleasant to my pallet.

 

STAR TREK HAS COME HOME

Parts of the old USS Enterprise or NC1701 to give it the list name, have been recently installed in the building where I live. The Lifts have undergone a complete refurbishment.

For my enjoyment on my floor only, the lift doors have been set to mimic the swishing sound of those on The USS Enterprise (a mechanical noise rather than anything electrical based). As yet we do not have the hand or voice controls, but a funny array of buttons.

Our original buttons and layout of the floors were designed to help the mentally incapable or those suffering from dyslexia, or just totally pissed.

The floors each have a totally different colour scheme on each floor to help those with colour blindness, Red, Green, etc.

The buttons in the lift were designed to help those who would have problems with letters: Ground was B, First floor was C, then going up the building until the fifth floor at the top with the letter G.

There is an floor A, but that is the basement and lifts do not go to that floor, use the stairs instead. It is believed that people do live down there, but most residents have never ventured to that lower level.

Due to our building having these unusual qualities, the new lift was fitted with standard buttons, with a bit of tape scrawled with a letter as to which floor you might want.

The cheapest and easiest idea would have been to fit a standard set of buttons G and then 1- 5, and at the same time repainting the letters on the floors 1- 5, thus solving all the problems.

A replacement set of buttons 0-5 have now been fitted and the service use buttons fitted with the correct symbols. The lift indicator shows the letters when you get to that floor, but there is no way of knowing what button you should have pressed to get to that floor if you only know the floor letter.

To make it even more difficult on one of the lifts the two rows of numbers go 0, 2, 4 and 1, 3, 5. In the second lift they go 1, 3, 5, and 0, 2, 4. So memorising that you need to push the middle left floor button to get you home, will not work if you get into the other lift which is next to the other lift.

The large sign at the front of the building that shows what floor any given flat was at is painted upside down, the painter working off site possibly thought that floor G would be the lowest floor, so showed that at the bottom of the list with the flat numbers, then listing the flats in the reverse order until he listed those on the ground floor at the top of the list.

For some reason delivery men don’t like coming to our building, with furniture they leave it in the main hall on the ground floor, and whatever size it is they say it won’t fit in the lift, and do a runner.

On one of the lifts, there is a small lock with a key slot at the rear of the lift, with an extra door that can make the lift longer in length, to be used when you have longer objects that should be kept flat. During the week coffins are the most favoured item. At weekends when there are no staff about with keys, coffins have to be stood upright; the best solution for those in our block is not to die at weekends or public holidays if you want to leave the building in a dignified way.

 

COUNCIL INSTALL STREET LIGHTING TO HELP PROSTITUTES

Due to complaints from the local prostitutes that they are finding it difficult to see their punters, the local Council are replacing the orange street lighting with a new high powered white lighting in certain roads.

The lit area covers about the length of the car, the exact colour of the car can now be easily identified, and both parties can easily be viewed for selection.

The one benefit to the local neighbours is that not only does the uprated lighting means a lower amount of power, all uploads to Youtube of the events in the road outside are much clearer and the punters and their vehicles are much more identifiable.

October 2014

Car tax disc abolished

The DVLA will from 1 October, 2014 abolish the paper tax disc, and it will no longer be issued and required to be displayed on a vehicle windscreen.
I have just purchased a tax disc with an expiry date of 1966, to put in place of my new missing disc. I think that was a famous year for England for some reason or another.

SHORT TIME BEFORE NEXT SALE

As the next sale is in the 1st November, please get your goods in as soon as possible. You can always bring the items in on sale day.

 

September 2014

BOXES

For those customers who come to the auction and purchase items in our standard boxes. If possible we would like them to be left with us. Please bring carrier bags etc, to take away your smaller & lighter lots.

Due to the closure of Whittard who supplied our boxes, we only have a limited number left.  Leaving the boxes will help keep our costs down.

August 2014

COOKIES

Apparently by EU law, I now have to put a disclaimer that my internet site uses cookies.  I give the assurance that I do not record or use any details of what potential customers have looked at in the catalogue by either words or images. This is another expense in having to implement another EU regulation that has no relevance in my business.

However what Google want to do with the search terms you have used is between yourselves and Google, all I’m interested in is if you want to bid on any lots I have listed.

As to cookies that are of interested to me, then perhaps viewers could bring in full packets of Marks & Spencer or Waitrose cookies for me rather than the more basic ASDA & Iceland versions, however I’m very pleased to receive those from Lidl or Aldi.  Dark chock chip or fruit if possible.

 

MY SUMMER HOLIDAY

The annual summer holiday was taken on 5th July, so for anyone that came to the Dalkeith Hall on that day and found it closed, you know the reason.

The official reunion of ex National Children’s Home kids went off fine, a natter, a lunch and a strawberry tea was the main order of the day.

Staying in Watford (near the Junction) I found a hotel above a meat eating place, not far to walk for my dinner. Good size single room for £42 with tea & coffee, also a spider on the wall and a pigeon on the roof were all included.

It was clean, but soon it will need refurbishment, the room had a shower, there was a bathroom with a bath, but no plug.

Headed off to Harpenden to the site of the former children’s home I was in, I left in 1968 and the home closed down in 1985. A new religious group took it over at that point. It is almost the same as when I left, former inmates, who now visit for the first time since leaving, find it strange that nothing has changed.

I met up with the girl who in 1965 told me that she wanted to marry me. I haven’t seen her since 1968. She is now married, so I’ve spent the last forty plus years as single man, in vain.

We had a BBQ in the main field next to the cricket pavilion, everything went fine, and we even left it standing. When I first went there, it sort of burnt down (nothing to do with me). The governor in the daily log book entered the event as: Pavilion went up in flames, put out by fire brigade.

For several weeks the remains gave a few of us an endless supply of charcoal, I received the slipper when spotted selecting a piece, I wasn’t doing any harm, but that was how life went on.
I'll go back to my paints.

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May 2014

HOLIDAYS

April and May seem to have several Bank and other holidays. I feel I must go with the majority and have these days off, they are really tiring, can’t wait to get back to work for a sleep.

 

THE JULY SALE

Due to the month of June having too few days when an auction catalogue could be made ready for a sale at the end of that month, this year there will not be a sale at the end of June nor the start of July.

Once the sale on Saturday 7th June is over, the sale after that will be on Saturday 2nd August.

Start collecting all your items to bring in NOW if you want them sold in June.

April 2014

THE DECORATING

There has been progress. The lavatory and washroom area has now been retiled on the walls and floor and the walls repainted.

To help comply with the disabled regulations where members of the public are admitted, we have made improvements as to the lavatory door that prevented our customers in wheelchairs and Zimmer frames from easy access.

We could have installed an electronic door that opened at a touch of a button; this however was rather an expensive option. We have solved the solution by removing the toilet door and not fitting a replacement, easy access is now available to the lavatory.

March 2014

CAR TAX DISC TO BE ABOLISHED

The DVLA have announced that from 1 October, 2014, the paper tax disc will no longer be issued and required to be displayed on a vehicle windscreen.

I can see a slight problem. Until now it had been difficult to run two cars at one time by just paying one road tax, you can apply for a duplicate tax disc, but the original is flagged as stolen or missing.

All you will need to do is purchase a second vehicle in the same model, same colour and a similar age, insure it for anyone to drive, buy one tax disc and a new set of number plates, and let a friend drive it. It would be better if it was used in a different area to the main car.

With no tax disc in the window, unless one of the spy cameras has enough guts to work out that there are two cars on the road at the same time at different places, there should not be any reason for it to be flagged up. If you are, just claim that you are the Doctor and you have the ability to be in two different places at the same time.

 

QUEEN MARY 2  FUND

As yet there have only been a few coppers put in the tin at the Dalkeith, to fund  a holiday for me on The Queen Mary 2  at the end of the year.

Several hundred pounds are needed to send me on this ship to keep it in business.

This is the last great liner, we can’t have her sent to the breakers yard or used as a hotel in the USA if she does not pay her way in future years.

Do the right thing, help fund me on a short cruise, I promise to be back for the sale afterwards if all goes well. As this is a joint venture between two countries, we will be able to accept Euros.

 

THE JULY AUCTION

Due to a Saturday off at the start of July, the sale in July will probably be on Saturday 28th June. The August sale will be on 2nd August.

Feb 2014

THE CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY

I managed to get four days away from Bournemouth, to visit Weston Super Mare, Three nights including breakfast & evening meal, a day trip to Bath and coach travel there and back all for £99.

Donations welcome for my next four day holiday at the end of this year, I fancy a trip on The Queen Mary.

 

THE REVAMP OF DALKEITH HALL

Some work has been done and there is more to do, seems some if the Imps and Fairies did not have enough time after Christmas to do much work, Father Christmas still had them booked, even the Seven Dwarfs and the Tooth Fairy were too busy to lend a hand.

Two Transit vans of rubbish left the building, so there must have been some progress.

 

December 2013

WHO IS GOING TO TURN UP ON SUNDAY

In last month’s catalogue I printed the date as the 1st, this was due to looking at one of those odd calendars that put Sat & Sun at the end of the week. The correct day of course is the 7th.

 

JANUARY SALE

There will not be one, I’m having a few days off, and it would be unkind to expect the Royal Mail to deliver the mail from 20th Dec to 6th Jan.

We will be open most of December after the sale, but at odd times, please ring the day before or on the day to make sure we are open.

The next sale will be in February.

 

THE SUBSCRIPTION

As more of our customers are using the internet, where they can also find the pictures of all the lots and then email in the bids, we are receiving fewer bids via the post.

If you would like to still receive the catalogues by post, no charge in 2014 for regular buyers. Please return the form (it’s on the back of the bid form).

In 2014 I will be revising the mailing list, if you have not returned the form, you will not receive any catalogues.

 

THERE IS NO SALE

IN JANUARY

-------------------------

GOODS ARE NOW WANTED FOR THE FEBRUARY SALE

HAPPY CHRISTMAS

.

November 2013

AN EVENING OUT

I was let out for an evening of entertainment this week; a trip to the theatre and an ice cream. With a lady that had seen the stage play several times and dressed up fot the event.

The evening show on stage at the Pavilion Bournemouth was The Rocky Horror Picture Show, having seen the film several times. You all know my taste in weird things; the live show should be interesting.

 

Perhaps the Pavilion was not the best Bournemouth theatre, but possibly the best location if the audience might sort of make a mess.

Going with a person who had already been to several live performances around the country, I was promised an interesting evening.

This year celebrates 40 years of the live performances with the film version not far behind.

For Bournemouth, perhaps it is a bit strange when the audience is encouraged to have dialog with the actors, there was more silence than participation, but that is what I expected from a Bournemouth audience. I attended a mid week evening performance which apparently was a bit mild according to the person I went with, the Friday and Saturday shows might have seen more action.

Other performances have included activities from the audiences using newspapers, rice, water pistols and rubber gloves, apart from a few torches been waved about, little additional activities went on.

For the audience, most stood up from their seats at the appropriate moments (nothing to do with the National Anthem), and generally moved and waved etc.

There were only a few virgins in the audience, so the events could have been a bit more active, I was told by the person I went with, that this was the first performance she had gone to a performance where her handbag had not been searched for contraband as she entered the theatre. It appears that Bournemouth audiences do not have to be told not bring in water pistols, rice and do other strange things that would give the Shakespeare type audiences several heart attacks.

Due to the rather poor audience in a very full theatre, at times there had to be several minor actors doing more of the heckling to the main actors, making it look like general audience participation.

With the odd layout of the Pavilion Theatre, there is no area for the musicians at the front of the stage; a similar problem is often encounters when the stage version tours around the country.

When the set was built, it could have easily been made so that the musicians were not visible, but in the humour of the show, they were placed in quite a good position over the main stage set, not very visible from the back of the stalls or the circle, but giving the front part of the stalls, of the view of musicians actually playing, and not as most modern performances, pre recorded music etc. It is not a play for anyone that easily takes offence, but a worthwhile event, if it comes to your area.

As to the upright bed scene – disgusting………

.

October 2013

Sorry for those who called at the Hall and found it closed for a few days. I was having a jaundice attack.

At the hospital when a doctor was checking over my diabetic problems, there was a comment that I had a rather olive skin. For those that know me, a sort of reddish light brown shade is my normal colour. On checking my eyes she told me the whites were rather yellow, it might be best to contact my own GP. Having been sick and rather unwell for a few previous few days I knew this was one of my annual attacks, as a child I often seemed to get it the second week into the new school year.

Why I should get it most years around this time I don't know. I think they made a film of it in the late 1960s "The boy who turned yellow".

Abandoning all forms of diet and low sugar intake, I have spent the last few days with several bottles of a well known glucose drink, times have changed, they now come in flavours that are nice to drink, even the "original" flavour seems to have been improved, as well as the taste the nasty orange-yellow cellophane wrapper that was on the bottle has gone.

More or less back to normal now.

SEPTEMBER 2013

250 AUCTION SALES

It is now just over 20 years since I took over the auction. With the thanks to vendors and buyers we are now on the 250th sale.

Over the next few months viewers will start to notice a few changes to the auction room.

Enough clutter and bits have taken root over the last 20 years to fill a few skips, so slowly there will be a bit of a clearout, with the new space there will be room to get to the floor, so the carpet tiles that have been in a pile for the last two years will go down onto the floor.

Due to a clearout and redecoration there will not be a sale in January, once the December sale is over, we will be open at various times, but it will be best to give us a call if you are making a special journey down during Christmas and the New Year. The first sale in 2014 will be on 1st February 2014, which we hope will be larger than normal.

 

There will be some changes to vendors and buyers terms.

As most payments by buyers is by Paypal, Card or cash, rather than cheques which takes a long time to clear, for the majority of vendors the payment will be ready about 31 days after the sale, or on the day of the next sale. It is requested that buyers settle their accounts if possible by return.

 

Cash for your goods.

There will be a new service where we might be able to buy your items for cash at the point you bring them in. We will not be operating the various methods in Pawn Stars TV series where five or so minutes are spent haggling once the seller has asked for a very high amount.

If possible tell me what you are looking for, if it is reasonable, you will get it. If you don’t know what the item is worth, I can always make an offer.

I will not spend time haggling, if it is too high I will tell you there and then, the auction might then be the best solution, where it will make its current value.

 

Slight changes to vendor charges.

The charge once the item is sold will be £5 per lot up to the hammer price of £50, items over £50 will be 15% of the hammer price.

There will still be a discount rate for any funds you are using to purchase goods in any sale.

 

August 2013

SWIMMING 2013

It was a nice warm summer day so I decided to go swimming. As a Bournemouth resident, the last place I would want to go would be to the main area of the Bournemouth seafront, it is too crowded, there is a lack of parking and the cost of any ice cream is very high.

The Highcliffe area seemed a nice location, I aimed at Mill Lane and found a very nice road to park on, it was a Sunday so there were only a few other cars about. A rather longer walk than expected down through a wooded path to a grass area where a number of bunny rabbits had been earlier in the day.

The beach was only a short distance away; an ice cream vendor with very reasonable prices was encountered before the beach. Unlike Bournemouth with its miles of golden sand, the beach consists partly of small pebbles in a slope, but nothing I thought might cause a problem.

I’m getting old, the knee and ankle joints have now gone past their Best Before Date, I should now realise why I have a blue badge.

Wearing boots all day even when I’m not riding, allows my ankle and lower leg to be well supported at all times. Stripping off and attempting to walk down this pebbled area, I realise that perhaps this was not the best idea, with the pain from the pebbles digging into my feet; there was a balanced problem with my ankle unable to support the nineteen plus stone of what was above it.
A friend that had gone down to the beach with me, said later that it looked as if I was swimming in air, in an effort to keep upright.

Eventually I reached the sea, although it was not all sand, I slowly walked out into the cool English sea, by moving slowly it meant I was not totally shocked by the coldness of the water. Once up to by chest I was able to go completely under and start to swim.

Many years ago, I achieved my 500 yards swimming cert, now all I could manage was three strokes in the crawl, the breaststroke was no better with an equal three strokes. It might be best to give up now.

Knowing that if I went back to the beach, it was going to be agony going up the shingle, I headed over to a groyne of flattish rocks, I should be able to climb on to the top and walk along. I did manage to get to the top area; I now found out that although they had reasonably flat even surfaces, my ability to get across them was rather difficult.

After loosing my balance a few times, I slipped back and sent my ankle into a gap between two of the boulders. It could have been serious, I could have either have fallen completely back and hit my head or either broken or sprained my ankle, by luck it was only a graze.

 An elderly lady reading a book nearby came to my rescue and helped me up and then walked me back to where there was a short run of pebbles before the path, I thought rather than try to balance by walking across the pebbles I would just crawl the last ten feet or so. I have to admit, I am past it for such activity. It was just by luck that her husband returned and I was lead back to the path each supporting me by the arm.

The person I had gone with now brought my clothing to where I was recovering. Apparently I was making such a comical site with my arms flapping; they could not leave the seat for laughter.

Soon I was fully dressed, my boots giving enough support to my ankle to limp off back in search of the ice cream van.

I must give my thanks to the couple that helped me so much.

As well as the graze to my foot, I also ended up with sunburn across my shoulders, something I have never encountered before, turning from light brown to a lobster pinkish fawn shade is totally new to me, I normally just go a deeper shade of brown. I must be growing old.

I must pick an easier beach next time, Frias Cliff looks to be a possibility, so if you see someone flapping their arms whilst walking on the beach, it’s only me.

 

OFFICIAL ATTITUDE

Over the years, people that serve the public have changed their attitude to how the public are to be treated.

Rather than listen to a member of the public (the people who pay their wages) they decide that they should take control, and enforce their thoughts without even listening to what a member of the public has to say, and demanding all sorts of instructions should be followed.

If only these Public Servants realised that their main role is to serve the public, rather than devise their own agenda, it would all be for the better.

 

July 2013

THE JULY SALE

Please remember that this July is held in June.

29th of June is the date for this sale.

My annual day of holiday is 6th July, so we will be closed, please do not come that day either for the sale, or the lots you won in the sale that has just gone.

 

Due the catalogue appearing a few days before the sale, please email your bids in or phone during the mornings.

 

GARNET

It is with regret that we have to announce the death of Garnet on 21.06.13.

Mr Langton for several years described the postcard section of the catalogue, as well as originally starting the auction side of the business in 1980 which he ran until his retirement, then working part time as a describer for Dalkeith Auctions.

 

June 2013

THE JULY SALE
This will be on 29th June, it will only be a small sale due the short time after the June sale to get things ready, but their should be enough items to keep you collecting and spending the housekeeping money.
The sale after that will be on 3rd August.

TRIP INTO SPACE
An interesting way of making money. Charge people that would like to go to Mars, a £20 fee to go on a short list for the trip. This trip will be free, but there are no refunds for those who have paid to go on the list that are not selected and no return ticket for those that are selected.
For those that pay for going on the list and give £20, does it not occur to them that this might be one great con. There is no rocket yet that will take them to Mars, there is no hope of living accommodation been built on Mars to keep them alive until either radiation or lack of air and food kills them.
To me it seems a good way of parting with £20. So far about 4,000 people from Britain have sent their money in, plus the additional people from Europe, making around 100,000 sending the money in.
Should it be decided by various regulations that the money has to be refunded, then 100,000 x £20 is £2,000,000. Even on deposit in a bank for six months to a couple of years, even at the current rate low of interest, it should bring in a nice little profit.
I am currently offering Trips to Jupiter.
Please send £25 to me, uncrossed cheques payable to CASH.
Sorry about the higher cost, but it is a further distance.
This will put you on the list I am starting, no actual guarantee of any return journey, or actually lifting off.
The Russian Space Agency (Del Boy Moscow Division) will be able to provide a rocket that has a six month guarantee for the trip.
Due to the high cost of fuel increases in the near or distant future, there may be a fuel surcharge for any person selected to go on the trip. Please pay by cash on the day.

FAXES
Due to the high cost of running a phone line and the few faxes that are received, the fax line will be closed down very soon.
Please email, post or phone during the morning with any bids.

May 2013

THE DOOR

Where I live we still have the hole with the exposed cable, as yet no sign of any progress. The lawn was sprayed with red paint to show where the new cable should go.

The man who cuts the grass paid a visit; there are now no red marks on the lawn. We are waiting for a man to come and mark the lawn in red to show where the electric cables should go.

The garage door is now broken, small cars can just about to get out, normal size larger gars are stuck for most of the day. We are waiting for a man to come and look at the door.

 

THE IMAX

Almost all gone now, offers to the council for the rights for the hole for the autumn onwards, should be sent to the Town Hall.

The Surf Reef, the rumours that resident of Brighton have been arriving at night and stealing our sand from the large leaking bag are completely untrue, the new culprits are believed to be those at Chisil Beach at Portland, in retaliation for all the Bournemouth visitors who have been removing pebbles for their gardens. Soon that beach at Portland will be 12 miles of golden sand, beating the once famous holiday resort of Bournemouth over its miles of golden sand.

 

MONEY TO BE SPENT FOR CYCLISTS

Recently the top of Richmond Hill was repainted to make it easier for motorists to get around the traffic island.

A grant has now been obtained so that the council can remove the new painted markings and add ones that are more cyclist friendly.

It is hoped that they will show several cyclists what the plan to mark out the roads are.

For visitors that come off the Richmond Hill roundabout in a car and are in the left hand lane to go into the car park, please ignore the white dotted markings at the top of the hill, as these will push you into the fast traffic on your right that wants to go down the hill.

 

BOURNEMOUTH TO REMAIN OPEN

During the summer it is hoped that Bournemouth will remain open during the snow and torrential rain that has been forecast for the months of June to August.

 

THE NEXT SALE IS JUNE

The next sale will be on 2nd June, there will also be one on 29th June, there will not be a sale in July.

April 2013

SNOW IN BOURNEMOUTH
To keep parity with the snow in other parts of the country, we did get a little snow at the start of March when other areas were finding their train and bus services cancelled. There was possibly enough snow in the entire Bournemouth area to make one snowman, but it appeared that everyone was more interested in watching £6,000,000 of their money been reduced to dust at the seafront.

THE IMAX
Bournemouth residents are pleased to announce that they have more or less got rid of The Imax Cinema from the seafront. It is taking a little longer than planned to demolish the building; apparently it is made of concrete.
We are possibly the only place in the world where residents cheered when this brand of cinema was removed from the landscape.
With the site cleared, it is hoped that a hole will be dug to allow the few councillors that caused the problem to be put.  (Don’t mention the Surf Reef).
The next little matter should be our future of the Camera Obscura in Bournemouth; this is taking up valuable space where cyclists, barrow sellers of tacky imported goods and drinkers of alcohol could be sited.
The Camera Obscura was going to be a tourist attraction. I would have questioned its location at one of the lowest points in Bournemouth.
Due to poor design and quality of workmanship, it briefly worked, but for the last few years it has remained a storage site on top of a café.

SPRING IS HERE
Rather than rely on the thermometer to predict when Spring is here, the daffodils and other flowers on the bank at the Dalkeith Hall should be consulted. At the moment we have quite a good show of flowers in the afternoon.
MYSTERY LOT
In an effort to stop having to lug bins of rubbish for the local council to collect. I have decided to make it into Auction Lots. This month Lot 378 is available with a starting price of £1. It will remain sealed until you have paid for it. Please note it is sold on the condition that you don’t dispose of it within 100 yards of us.
BUILDING WORKS
Continued from last month:
One of the workmen has managed to cause a major power problem when he went through a power cable for communal parts of the building where I live. The major concern was that the power went off to the fridge that we keep the milk for our tea & coffee group. 
A hole has been dug in the ground.
There are also rumours of a flood in one of the flats from a pipe leak, but so far the water has been confined.

March 2013

THE FEBRUARY EVENTS

A few postal buyers found their good arriving a few days late last month, sorry but I was occupied with having a bathroom fitted where I live, thus taking up my time during part of each day, and it also meant there was not much time to do March sale goods.
As part of the service charges, every few years various internal fittings are replaced in our flats without additional charge to us, this year was the bathroom, in 2020 it will possibly be the kitchen units and in 2030 the windows.
The start date of the project was 16th Jan, but due to snow in Somerset, the workers were not able to come every day, they needed to make sure they were able to get back to their own warrens without getting stranded in Dorset.
Completely gutting my bathroom would make the ideal opportunity to fit a longer bath, the model they were removing was 1500mm or in imperial measurements, very short.
With an empty room it should have been quite east to fit a 1700mm bath if it was turned round, they had these in their stock. Either it was to difficult to change the WC soil pipe to a right hand fitting, or some rule that it should not face Mecca. A new version of the small size bath was now fitted in the original place.
Next came the WC, what the logic of the ordering department is I don’t know, everyone in the building is over 55, many are in their 70s, so ordering about 50 low height WC’s in my mind was not the best idea. I went out and purchased my own high height WC which was then fitted. It came with its new tank and good quality handle, the plumber fitted an ordinary handle, suggesting that it might hit the sink (not if you fit it correctly).
The supervisor had requested on and off valves to be fitted where the hot and cold pipes enter the bathroom, this would make it easy to turn of everything and it would not mean turning off the entire flat, this is impossible anyway as one of the valves on the main pipes that enter the flat is busted, to turn of my water you need to turn off the water to two floors, which affects a dozen flats.
Had this simple set of valves been fitted it would mean that two new copper pipes with correctly spaced pipe work to the new basin and WC would be a neat and easy fit as they were in slightly different designs to the original pipes.
To make an quick and easy job, the WC cold pipe was put on the right hand side by a right handed plumber, putting on the original left side in the corner might be too difficult. This was now left a rather horrible view of a pipe between the basin and WC. They did manage to transfer my old shower tap to the new bath rather than just adding two new ordinary taps.
Instead of using a new pipe to the sink (money for pipes was not an object) the old pipe with a 45 degree curve jutting out was used, another crap bit of English workmanship, where is a Polish plumber when you need one.
The supervisor, when cornered by another resident having seen my bathroom and was yet to have their bathroom fitted out, queried the plumbers’ workmanship, the supervisor made a request for some remedial work.
New pipes to the WC and cold tap were now fitted, (who missed the right hand hot pipe?). The water to two floors was now turned off again. While it is off, why not fit a new main valve, not done (too difficult).
The plumber now finished, departs to the next flat on his list, and an electrician appears. Two tasks, fit a new fan in the bathroom and a new main consumer unit (new style fuses) in the main cupboard.
As most of the flats need new fans and units, fifty or so of the same design were ordered. Problem one, the new consumer unit will not fit, due to a plumber many years ago fitting two metal (iron) water pipes in front of the old consumer unit, also fitting a drain valve above the electricity meter and fuse box, not the brightest of ideas if there was ever to be a leak.
Electrician goes away to get a different size consumer unit and fits it without killing himself or cutting through a mains water pipe, disconnects the main SEB fuse, but fails to re-seal the tamper seal when he puts the fuse back.
Next the fan, it would have been easier to have fitted it when the bathroom was empty not as now there is a WC where the ladder needs to go.
Solution is to stand on the WC; the new seat falls apart. After a complaint, the plumber fits two larger screws that come through the lid of the seat. It is not worth complaining again, I go out and buy a new toilet seat that looks both electrician and plumber proof, this one has a soft easy close lid, I fit it myself.
While this saga is going on a third man comes to fit a bath panel. Who did it I don’t know and none of them are admitting it, but there is now a chunk out of the new bath, possibly caused by a lump of pipe or a tool getting dropped. The plumber now uses up part of a day, smoothing down and repainting the bath.
A fourth man is now going to come to lay the floor, had this been done first, he could have had an empty bathroom it would have saved the extra time needed to cut around the WC, the basin and bath.
Originally looking at the samples of lino, light blue with light blue dots had been provisionally suggested, this was until I saw a full roll of the blue, which was nothing like the sample, the roll was blue with many dark blue dots, there are plenty of other bathrooms it can be used in, and plenty of other rolls in various colours to now choose from. My choice was now changed to beige. A couple of days later while I was out, the new floor was put down. The floor is now blue, if I complained; I would never get rid of them, at some later time I might fit a piece in a different colour.
The tiles on the wall, as part of the deal, you get three rows of plain white tiles above the sink and bath. Not a very good offer as my bathroom had tiles half way up the wall. Don’t bother with the tiles; I will get my own tiles and my own person to fix them.
I now have a good range of slightly off white tiles and a nice coloured border to go most of the way up on three walls. The tile affixer does not like mosaic borders; they take too long, but will do them under duress and cups of coffee. He has now done most of the three walls and will be returning this week to finish off, providing I keep giving him very expensive fresh coffee, but the work is good.
The paint for the fourth wall, I should have purchased more tiles and got him to do the forth wall in tiles, getting the correct shade to go with the off white tiles is difficult, the wall to be painted now resembles a patch work of trial colours, I could always leave it as a feature.
So the bathroom is nearly finished.
Finding out from a flat near to me that there are problems in that flat too, there is a pipe leaking under that bath. The floor is sodden with water all under the lino which is now parting company from the floor. In an adjoining cupboard there is rampant black mould, the temperature in most of the building is over 70 degrees Fahrenheit (too hot for the tile man) the mould has a field day. He is soon to have a plumber and floor person. Hint, check there are no leaks before you fit a bath panel (not the panel mans job).
I wonder if I will still be around when they come to fit the windows, I’m on the fifth floor, that should be fun.

PS.
I can recommend a good tile fixing person, if you need one, for other trades use Yellow Pages.

Anyone singing the song: “It was on A Monday morning when the gas man came to call……..”  
Will be thumped.
 

Feb 2013

SNOW
Bournemouth did get a little snow, not enough to bring the town to a complete standstill, but just enough to cause havoc where it had not been gritted by the local council; roads, pavements, pedestrian areas etc.
With several days warning of snow, there could have been a little bit more salt and grit spread around before the snow actually fell. Those that came in first thing in the morning found slight problem when certain big heavy buses could not make their way through the snow, the local taxi firms did well from the Square area.
The main pedestrian area has not yet been sorted out over previous years problems, the polished marble in the Square is fine during the summer months, add a little rain ice or snow and it becomes a free to use skating rink. The drains that should take any excess water away soon get blocked with snow and ice, only human intervention and the odd dog peeing in the correct location seems to solve the problem.

VIEWING TIMES
These are 8am to noon on each of the viewing days before the sale, this allows me an afternoon snooze, seems the will soon be an EU rule forcing all businesses in the UK to adopt these continental hours. Viva la Siesta, now that would make a good name for a car – The Siesta. I don’t think there is a car currently in production with a similar name.

TIME FOR A CLEAROUT
Bring your stuff in for the March sale; say the correct password (last word in the last lot in the Feb catalogue) and you can have a total charge of £3 for any lot that sells in the March sale.

Jan 2013


THE GRINCH IS HAVING CHRISTMAS THIS YEAR
If things go to plan I have been invited for a Christmas Day meal, so I will not be on my own that day. It will be an unusual day, I will actually have to speak, normally I can get through the day without having to talk to people, it will also be a day when for once I’m not at work, normally if I don’t manage the day without words, I can get away with the odd grunt as I pass people in the street. Having to be polite and have manners at the table of food will be a first for a long time.

COMPUTERISED TILLS AND PRICES
Twice in one week I have been overcharged by computerised tills, it is not the operators fault; it is someone on the computer side not loading the correct prices into the computer or a member of staff not changing the shelf ticket.
The first was on buying a Christmas decoration, yes I do buy such things, but they have to be in my line of humour. It was a squirrel (made in China) clutching a pine cone, reduced down to £1.99, the checkout price was £4.99. It appears that a member of staff put the wrong batch of squirrels in the wrong place; I was allowed the squirrel at £1.99. It will go on the inner window sill with the teddy bear (5 foot tall) to stare at the neighbours.
The next was purchasing a bottle of clear liquid (not gin or vodka) shelf price £9 till price £10.70, after having a word with St Michael, I was charged £9, and the ticket on the shelf was removed, I notice now that it now shows £9 again, someone must have had a polite word with the computer.

VIEWING FOR THE JANUARY SALE
Please note that all viewing days will end at Noon, it’s cold and the majority of viewers have had been told of chores that need doing during their afternoons.


 

December 2012

NEWS FROM THE DAILY MAIL
Looking at a copy of the Daily Mail for Saturday Jan 1, 2000. It appears that they got a few matters wrong in that edition. I think they printed it a bit early.
The Germans will have drunk 1,000,000 bottles of Synthetic Champagne. The French went on strike preventing aerial traffic on the great trunk lines to Egypt & India. Rain has been ordered over Norfolk & Suffolk until noon. The Board of Education has ordered that arithmetic shall not be taught in schools from February onwards. BDV Cigarettes have lowered the number of coupons you need to fly to Australia and back. Teddy Tail will undo the knot in his tail. London Zoo to have a Heavy Horse on display.   (Ex lot 356 in Dec Sale).

PHONE NUMBERS
Visitors to Bournemouth & Poole might find difficulty in using local telephones when they need to make a local call. Unlike all other parts of the country, we now have to dial 01202 before any local number we need. It seems that due to the low cost of installing a phone, we have used up all our numbers for this area.

NEW MARS BARS
In an effort to relive the days when a Mars bar was covered in thick milk chocolate and had a good topping of caramel. Mars have issued a limited edition bar that mimics this earlier traditional style. The only problem is the cost which is far higher than the ordinary Mars bar; the other little matter is that the nougat filling is also missing. Perhaps they want us to go out and buy a Milky Way and stick it to the new style bar.

LEFT IN TESCO
I do not normally use the automated tills in Tesco, I have high blood pressure and I am often without a hammer to belt the thing into submission when it utters one of its stupid phrases.
With six person operated tills in the store
(three open and queues at each), I joined one and waited for a few minutes for my turn, I was eventually the next but one, I was now told by the operator that the lady in front would be the last person he would be serving. I queried this and it was confirmed that I would not be served. With only two other tills now working and the queues at those now even longer, it looked as if I was going to have a longer wait.
With my hourly bus due very soon, there was an easy solution, I left the basket in the middle of the floor and went for my bus. I hope they can find some use for some un-chilled food and a tub of melted ice cream, when there is a spare member of staff to remove it.
 

November 2012

No jottings for the internet catalogue, but a plea in the printed catalogue for subscriptions.

October 2012

AUTUMN IS HERE
The time of the year when the schools reopen and the wandering creatures that are up to no good are removed from the streets for a few hours of daylight. The sound of the leaf blowers in the gardens and paths start their daily chorus. The people that operate these devices need to wear ear protectors due to health and safety, have they not thought about the rest of the population that have not been provided with any ear protection.
Even in the parks and gardens the leaf blowers are even used to blow the litter about, I don’t know if it ever gets picked up or it is just blown into a pile for the wind to later redistribute.
Bring back the Park Keeper in his uniform, which in days gone by sent all small boys into hiding. Even if it goes against health safety, give him the stick with the metal pointed end, as well as stabbing litter, he could do a few cycle tyres at the same time.

THE COUNCIL TAX
From next year, the amount of money given by Central Government to councils to help fund council spending will be reduced. Local councils across the country are now starting to think up ways of making up the shortfall.
I have a solution that should fund the entire amount and possibly bring in extra revenue. It could probably be done with little extra expenses been involved. At the moment Bournemouth Council employ a group of wardens to issue fines to motorists found parking and unloading where the council have decided they shouldn’t. It should be quit easy to add preventing Cycling on the Pavement to their list of duties.
A fine of £20 for cycling on the pavement or path, where cycling is not permitted if paid instantly by credit card or debit card. £30 if it is paid within 14 days if it has to be by another method or £50 if a gentle reminder has to be sent. With a discount of 25% for any Bournemouth Council Tax payer.
Any cyclist that does not have any form to verify their name and address if an instant payment can not be taken will have their cycle immobilised, until the fine is paid.
If one of these wardens stood in the Square, I think an income of around £500 to £1000 per hour should be achieved at peak periods. Offer an incentive for each ticked issued, and I’m sure the government shortfall could soon be sorted.

September 2012

YOU WILL SMILE AND ENJOY YOURSELF
If we had read in the paper a few years ago that a country demanded that people smile and enjoy themselves during public events, you would probably have guessed that either East Germany or The Peoples Republic of China were behind the demands.
Welcome to Britain in the 21st century. It appears that the State run police force have a legal right to arrest anyone who is not smiling or enjoying themselves during public events, citing a possible Breach of the Peace as the reason for the arrest.
A man who was on his own was physically arrested and locked up for several hours for not apparently enjoying the events of the Games; eventually released, it appears that no further action is going to be taken against him.
His reason for not smiling was due to a medical condition rather than any dislike of the events. Had the gentleman been black, the police might have found a slightly different ending to matter; an Olympic Stadium on fire, might have made them realise that some of their actions might be thought to have been a little heavy handed.
It might be wise for persons that have had their faces filled with Botox, not to be on public display during major events or they might find themselves been carted off to the cells.
The final results for Britain:
Cyclists arrested 182, Ticket Touts detained 139, Impersonating a Police Officer 1, Parachuting with a Royal Pardon 1, Stringing up the next Prime Minister 1, A few gold medals, and a load of stamps.

THE GAMES
Now the ordinary games are over businesses can reflect on how trade has gone for them during the duration. Most retail shops saw a fall in general trade due to the public been warned to stay away from affected areas.
One glimmer of light was the easing of restrictions on Sunday Trading. To stop the country looking utter fools during the games with overseas visitors been told that the larger venues would not be able to serve them on a Sunday except for a few hours in the day, the Government managed to relax the rules over Sunday opening hours.
It appears that The Church of England were upset that their potential customers would now have a choice of either attending church or to go shopping, if numbers of their congregation fell, it was not because they were out shopping, it was because they were either asleep after watching the late night events the day before, or sat in front of the TV watching the games during Sunday morning.
Possibly Union high-ups that represent shop workers might have been upset that their members were been exploited by the capitalist shop owners by been asked to work a few extra hours on a Sunday, but for most shop workers the extra pay possibly came in handy.
My view on the Church of England is that they should stay out of the business and lives of people who have little interest in their activities.
For the shop workers, most would possibly vote to work for the hours they wanted to work, and not just for six hours on a Sunday.
England is now a Secular Society, although in law, the Church of England does have some control over Britain, but now we are in the 21st century perhaps a good clear out of all the religious controls that this minority group has over this country is about due.
Personally the group I support is the “Church of the Invisible Pink Unicorn” they do not have restrictions on our Sunday life, and as I’m not a member of the Shop Workers Union their rule don’t apply to me either.

August 2012

IT’S HERE
The event you have all been waiting for…. The excuse to go out and buy that 50” 3D Plasma television set, and upgrade your Sky box.
Send the children off to summer camp, or if you cant afford that, one of their aunts. Stock up on the booze, keep the old tv set tuned to one of the other 26 stations that will be showing the event at the same time.
Remember to post or email your auction bid and then settle down with enough food for the duration so that you don’t have to visit the local supermarket.
Other than that happy holidays.

NEW ELECTRICITY METERS
It might seem a good idea that the new series of meters will be able to read themselves and an accurate rather than estimated bill can be sent to you. 5,000 meter readers will now go on the dole.
The lurking problem is that the electricity company can turn your electricity off without having to visit you. It might be that you loose your power and the contents of your freezer due to someone putting in the wrong meter number, the government might decide that non essential people at peak times could loose their power for a short period, it would save having to buy electricity from the French and it might be turned off if a rival political party had one of their tv broadcasts.
Upset a neighbour and they will be able to find a hacker to turn off your power, if they can get into secure bank accounts, an electricity meter should be quite easy. If there are terrorists, then a complete area could be closed down, the country could be held to ransom over a wide range of matters, as it will be an electronic crime rather than a physical one, it will be difficult to trace.
The old mechanical meter is a much better idea, if you have one then hold onto it as long as you can. Remember with the modern system there will be no way of putting your electricity payment off until next month, it will be gone out of your bank account tomorrow.

SUMMER HAS STARTED
The British rainy season will be on strike for a few days, having come out in sympathy with various government departments. Sales of factor 76 will be high whilst many roast for a few days, then it will be over, August will return to be a washout.
Only when the children go back to school in September will it decide to be fine for several weeks. Did I see an unauthorised holiday on the cards?

07:00-07.07.

JULY SALE

The July sale will be on Saturday 7th July.

It will be an early start

Viewing from 7am

Sale sarts at 9.00

We will finish early.

I’M GOING TO HAVE A HALF DAY OFF
It is on Auction day, So the Stamps will start at 9.00am, Postcards 9.30am and Cigarette Cards and Ephemera 10.00am
Please make sure you collect your invoice and pay for the items and then take them away, as I will not be staying longer on the auction day once the sale has finished.

GAMES SPONSORSHIP
Please note we are not sponsoring the Games in 2012.
We can recommend to our customers the following products Pepsi, Burger King, Mastercard, Barclays, Sony, Southern Water, Gatwick Airport, and Nestle.
During the run up to the Games if there is a major company promoting that they are official sponsors of the Games, I will go out of my way to purchase items from any rival company that is not a sponsor.
The games should be about sport and not used as a vehicle to promote companies who seem to have acquired a vast amount of tickets for various events, that members of the public should have been entitled to purchase.
Had the games been fully funded by these companies, with no money coming from the public in the form of taxes and other surcharges on their lives, then these firms should be allowed to dictate how and what people can buy during the games on the private premises.
That firms outside the Games area will be restricted to what they display, if it is from a non sponsoring company is heavy handed.

PLEASE DONATE AN OLD BICYCLE
I would like to see all those bicycles that are painted white and chained to railings that are near the site of a fatal cycle accidents removed during the games, They should be left in the middle of Zil lanes on the roads in London (and Weymouth) that have been reserved for games vehicles.
Positioning them in these lanes will not affect the ordinary motorist, but will possibly give them some pleasure to see that a range of new BMW vehicles are getting delayed.
The chances of an ordinary driver allowing one of these vehicles to divert or cut into an ordinary lane will be fairly remote.
After the games expect to see a large number of ex games vehicles in the repair shops for minor scratches or dents.
Please note throwing bicycles in front of vehicles using the Zil lanes is not sportsman like.
Del Boy Motors will have a range of low mileage vehicles for sale, all have one careful owner.
Please note: I have not used the “O” word in the above items for fear of been taken to court for using something I have not paid a licence for.
Thankfully the whole mess will soon be over; we will just have to pay for it for many years to come.

June 2012

OPEN DURING THE HOLIDAYS
We will be open during the holidays, so for all those taking a very long weekend off followed by the Monday and Tuesday. Perhaps you will be allowed in to view on the Friday and leave your bids, then take the family out over the weekend, and then allowed in on the Monday or Tuesday to collect your goods, after finding a quiet moment to sneak the lots indoors whilst the family are still relaxed on their holidays.

CHARGES FOR SELLING
Remember if you are selling goods in the auctions and using the funds to buy something, the total you pay in charges for selling each lot is just £3.
Why not bring something in when you come to view, it will then go into the next sale, if it is sold you will then have funds to spend the month after that. If you can keep up bringing something to sell each month, you will then have funds to spend, and pay only £3 per lot.

FLAG WAVING
If you are going to be on the TV waving your Union Flag over the next few months; please remember which way up it should be. If you look at the side of the flag that in next to the pole or stick, the broad white part of the design should be above the narrow part. The Chinese and the Americans do not seem to know how to make or display OUR flag, please correct any flag you find, even if you have to saw down a flag pole to get at the flag.
YOU READ IT FIRST HERE
In recent newspapers there are reports of a new ‘Club’ drug that is to go on sale next month at about £2 per go, available from newsagents etc. It is a small container that will give a shot of caffeine into ones mouth.
Now a short time ago I was offering something very similar as a prize.

WHERE I GET MY CAFFEINE FIX
I have taken possession of a ‘broken customer return’ Krups Nespresso machine. That’s the wonderful thing about modern internet shopping, people can order items over the internet, when it arrives they can then return it for a full refund. It does not matter that they don’t have the original box, they have taken it out of the packaging and possibly even tried it out, the retailer has to give them a full refund including the original postage costs to get it to the customer. The retailer now has an item that can not be sold as new, many big retailers sell these items off in bulk to dealers who flog them on eBay as either used or broken.
My coffee machine came with the fault noted as ‘Does not work’. Normal cost about £125, price including postage under £25. On plugging it in, there was a small button on the front, pressing this, “it turns the machine on”. It now works. To all people out there who buy modern electrical items – Read the instructions.
Possibly read the accurate German instructions and translate into English, or look at the end of the instruction booklet for the instructions in Pidgin English. “Open de bigger box to fall onto ground thing inside, push the metal prongs into de holes in de vertical wall gives powerful feeling, put de water in the inside of the invisible box, push the button of fire to go green waiting……….”
I can now make a cup of coffee.

May 2012

ROYAL MAIL TO LOWER PRICES
Great news, Royal Mail has announced that they are to reduce some of their prices from the end of April 2012.
If you are sending a Small packet of 700g the cost will go down from £3.05 to £2.70 for first class, and from £2.61 to £2.20 for second class.

WINNER OF LAST MONTHS COFFEE COMPETITION
There was only one entry, so we have to take it that their answer is correct.
The workings out to show the cost of 100g of coffee.
22% of 0.3g = 0.066g pure coffee.
0.066 costs £3. ie 0.3 x 22 (over) 100.
There are 100 (over) 0.066 shots of pure coffee in 100g.
At £3 per shot of Le Whif the cost of 100g of pure coffee is £100 x 3 (over) 0.066 which equals £4,545.45 for 100g of instant coffee.
The winner will soon get their pack of Le Whif in the post.

CIVET CATS TO DEMAND A WAGE INCREASE
Following their ousting from the top of the league for producing the most expensive coffee. The Asian Palm Civets (small rodent looking mammal) have decided to give up production of coffee unless they get a pay increase, and will go into television advertising, where they believe there is an opening for selling various forms of insurance.
Their distant cousins the meerkats, told them how much money they are now raking in from such work, it also means that instead of having to eat the whole raw coffee bean they will be able to go into their local high street coffee shop and have a leisurely cup of coffee between the TV adverts.

SUMMER HOLIDAYS
Due to the Olympics, the Royal Event and the various public holidays this year. It does not look as if I will get any holidays during the summer months. So unless events change it looks like for this summer, all the auction sales will be on the first Saturday of Each month.
Please remember as well as stocking up on second class postage stamps, it might be best to put away a good supply of food.
It is believed that Britain is due to shut down during the Olympic period and at the end of August, there will also be a long weekend at the start of June.

 

April 2012

ROYAL MAIL
Everything is going up, as yet we don’t know what the first and second class rates are, but for business customers, not only are the rates going up but they will add VAT to our invoices, the proposed rate for a first class packet of 60g, if its a small padded jiffy bag will be £2.36 plus vat, and don’t forget the cost of the bag.
To get around this, small businesses will start to visit the local Post Office to get a cheaper rate. Expect to see long queues, but it will mean we can get rid of more decimal postage.
THE ISLE OF WIGHT
Parcelforce have decided that this far flung part of the British Empire is really too distant to be of interest, so that they don’t have to visit there more than once every few months, Parcelforce will now surcharge all their parcels with £5 plus vat.
To get around this, customers will now start to send their parcels (uninsured) with Royal Mail Letters, so expect to see a few worn out postmen if you are on the island.
In parity with Parcel force, we will now charge all buyers from the island £5 if they leave the auction with goods, but to be fair to them, we will let them off the £1 vat.

HONEST PASTE
Normally when I buy Salmon paste I find the main ingredient is anything but salmon, and in the chicken, it has a quantity of ham.
I have to say that Sainsbury’s are playing very fair with their “Basics” brand of spreads, the Meat Paste has as its main ingredient chicken 42%, beef 26%. Why can’t all makers go back to simply honest labels.

HOW MUCH IS 100g of COFFEE POWDER
The £9 prize. A new boxed coffee unit of three hits. (BB 01.2012) for the first customer that can work out the sum and show their workings.
A LeWhif coffee dispenser gives a single shot of coffee direct into your mouth.
A single unit contains 0.3g of product at a cost of £3. Of this 22% is coffee powder.
How much would 100g of coffee powder cost?
Please show your workings.

HOW LONG IS A MONTH?
Another Parcelforce way of making money from small business is to charge for an invoice.
There is one rate for the service if you pay by direct debit, and a higher rate if you would like them to send you a paper copy of the invoice, and an even higher rate if you would like to send them a cheque to pay the invoice.
Also another scam is on how often invoices are issued, normally a business would take an invoice / account to be made up on the last day of each month.
Parcelforce have come up with a more cunning idea of every four weeks. Now most don’t actually know when a monthly invoice is due, but we have to pay an extra monthly charge for the 13th month in any year.
For those business that have directors that go out and howl at a full moon, they are used to four weekly months, it is easy for them to work out when a Parcelforce invoice is due.
These directors are normally howling at the latest bit of red tape the government have just issued to them, now where did I put my P9D and P11D tax forms.

March 2012

A NEW TOY
I think perpetual motion has been rediscovered, I have just brought a Low Temperature Differential Stirling Engine, this one is only about 8 inches tall, but if a larger engine was built, and a belt added to the flywheel, it might be possible to power something.
In effect it is not actually perpetual motion, but as
near as you are going to get it. The engine works
through plus and minus heat, if it is placed on
something warm, a cup of coffee or even heat from
the palm of your hand will do (Humans only), there
is enough difference in heat from the base and the
top of the unit for the gismo to start to rotate.
A similar model with an inverted design is available
for use by solar power.
I wonder how long it is before the Orientals can
think up a way of using a larger version to power a
house. This model was built in England.

ARE YOU SHORT OF CASH?
I can think of two methods for you to economise on the house keeping so that you can continue to buy stamps, postcards and other collectables.
If you are in Bournemouth, it is possible to eat for free. We have put up the list of places in Bournemouth where you can get a free lunch or supper.
If you do not feel you can get the entire family to go with you to our local soup kitchens, perhaps having food delivered to your door at low cost.
The food is stored in Leeds, but the cost of having up to 25kg for £5.25, or in some case a special offer of free delivery is possible. The food is either near its Best Before Date or slightly past it. For most things it matters little. There are about 1000 items on stock.
This weeks offers include Catering cans of tinned tomatoes £3.69 reduced to 99p, Asparagus in tins £3.59 reduced to 99p, Diet snacks by the box £28.00 reduce to £1.49, 48 quality AA batteries £1.50 and many other offers across the board, and for the non diabetic amongst you, 5kg of Thornton’s chocolates at a very special price.
You need a computer as the items are to be ordered on the net, but the delivery is usually a couple of days and direct to your door.
http://www.approvedfood.co.uk
 

Feb 2012

THE CHRISTMAS DINNER
Last month I thought I would be having either Faggots or Veal liver for my Christmas meal. Things however became better shortly before the event. I was in the same brand of grocers that a famous cook used to frequent.
I tend not to use the automated tills, but prefer the use of a human, although some of them have become a bit automated, when you open up your previously used carrier bag, you get asked “Would like a bag”, also when handing over the payment and your store reward card you get asked “Do you have a……”, the other famous one is if you have four or so items “Would you like help with packing”.
My Christmas food was a leg of lamb reduced from £20 down to £5, and a chunk of beef again reduced from £20 to £5, doesn’t seem worth the bother of stealing it.

DID YOU GET ANY CHOCOLATE COINS FOR CHRISTMAS
Normally I get brought a few chocolate coins for Christmas and my birthday, often these have been purchased in the German supermarkets and are of the Euro variety, but this year even the ones from the German supermarkets were in the English currency (I have no idea on what forms of coinage are used north of the border). Have the German chocolate makers already deserted the euro?
THE GERMAN EURO
I have found an unusual 10 euro, it has the country marked as Deutschland, although it was only a test piece of 1998, I wonder if they kept minting them and have a hoard ready to use when the European Euro fails, there will not be the need to change any signs, automated machines will have to be revised to take the new style coins, this is so that they will reject any European Euros, but it should be quite an easy method of dumping the old coinage, it might be the right time for Britain to have its own British Euro, worth around 1 German Euro, or the equivalent exchange rate of $5 US to 1 British Euro.

JAN 2012

THE POSTAL SERVICE
Depending on how the British Postal Service is working at the moment due to the slush, snow, hail, rain, winds, drought, sunshine etc, affecting the delivery service you might be reading this before Christmas (Happy Christmas), or just before the New Year (Happy New Year), or after the New Year (Happy Hangover).
I’m saving up enough money to get the postman jailed for taking bribes, hope he enjoys his extra holiday. I wonder how many postal workers actually did get offered more than £30 last Christmas?, there might be the odd Pools winner (do they still have those?) or is it just Premium Bond winners that get an envelope with a cheque inside, or perhaps a few big corporations did tip over £30 in years past.
One easy way of seeing their tips vanish, is to deliver one of those little Royal Mail cards with the notice to report to their local Sorting Office (often miles away) and hand over around £1.22 due to an item of mail having a thickness of 6mm rather than 5mm.
I bet some of those cards get delayed until after the tipping time is over, there is the option of putting the stamps on the card and sending it back to the sorting office, but you have to find a post box to post it in.
Happy Christmas from Royal Mail.

CHRISTMAS MEAL
It looks like the choice of my Christmas meal is between Veal Liver or Fish Fingers, both are in my freezer, and both are near the front, there are some faggots, but I think they are half way back on the shelf. Unless there is hunger or a lack of funds, that area of the freezer does not normally get explored.

OPEN HOLIDAY MONDAY
The Auction will be open on Holiday Monday for viewing, it will also be open on Holiday Tuesday, Holiday Wednesday, Holiday Thursday, and Holiday Friday for those employed in the public sector or are throwing a two week sickie over the Christmas and New Year period.

CHRISTMAS CARDS
The Grinch at Dalkeith Auctions thanks all the auction customers who sent him a Christmas card.

 

DEC 2011

Wasser Stoppt Dehydration
The EU are now offering all their members a free holiday of up to 2 years if you utter this phrase or the english equivilent: Water stops dehydration.
It has been ruled after three years of delibration that we are now not allowed to make a claim that water is an aid to stopping dehydration.
So here is my advert for water.
Drink Dalkeith Auctions Tap Water
An Aid To Stopping Dehydration
A glass a day will help you go deaf, put you in hospital
and send you round the bend

If I’m not here next week, I’m possibly in Stalag 17b, along with the other prisoners who thought water would stop dehydration.
Please remind me again, why did we join the EEC?

Google and Reindeer
It appears that one of the most common words looked up on Google at the moment is Reindeer, it was originally thought it was used by parents who were looking for live reindeer, so that they could outsmart the neighbours by having something extra special at their party.
Possibly I might give a better reason, it is people on the net trying to track down their Christmas dinner, last year I had Reindeer Steak for my Christmas meal, it does not seem to be available from my local supermarket this year, having decided on other more exotic meats in their frozen food department. The 1,000s of Google searches were possibly to see which supermarkets were dealing with reindeer this year.

Happy Christmas
Now I hope for a copy of the book The Grinch by Dr Seuss in ITA english, as this years stocking filler.

PS. Please Father Christmas
- No walnuts this year - I don’t have enough teeth to chew them up.
 

Nov 2011

IT’S SUBSCRIPTION TIME
For those customers who like a printed catalogue rather than the internet version, the time has come around for paying for the postal subscription.
If you pay by return, there is the special offer of £22, against the 2012 cost of £25
Please return the sub form or phone us with your credit or debit card number.

POSTCARD COLLECTORS WITH MONEY LEFT
After last months large selection of military and rural cards, a few of our bidders were left with unspent money after a few prices went rather high and they were out bid, we have postcards in this sale for you to purchase, but last months lots were really a one off collection. We hope you did not allow that unspent money to be used for family treats like food and heat.
FOUND PHOTOGRAPHS
From a relatives collection a few photographs of me have been found, the Christmas store photo with a chimp, a school photograph at the age of seven where I have more second teeth than I do now, plus a few others, all in better condition than my copies that have moved around the country several time and were getting a little worse fore wear. For your past history it might be worth asking relatives, what family photograph they have.
As well as my family photographs, I was sent a couple of photos from a friend of a group of schoolboys, names now lost he thought I might be amongst them on the far right hand side in the front row. It could have easily been me, but the slight happy look was not something I normally managed in a photograph at around the age of eight. The boy at the far right was more like me. A good scowl was normally my trademark.
I will have to put the photo back to the group for naming those in the photo.

.

October 2011

LAST MONTHS VIEWING
For those that came to view during the week, you might have found I was not at the Dalkeith Hall, I was taking a week off in Bournemouth Hospital with what was first thought to be appendicitis after been rushed from my doctor in an ambulance in extreme pain. Although the doctors that looked at me in the hospital on the Friday were on a 50/50 to appendicitis or a blockage somewhere in my stomach.
On a diet of water, saline drip and regular doses of liquid morphine, a couple of X rays and a CT scan, by Thursday it was found out it was a kidney stone, this should take a natural course as it was now on the move.
I gained my freedom late Friday afternoon with a supply of pain killers and other tablets, ready to work on Auction Saturday, possibly the staff thought I was going to take the following week off work, but there were the auction items to send out and other paperwork.
The two members of staff seemed to cope with the week of viewing and other events of a viewing week, and were able to be fully awake during the actual auction.

POSTCARDS THIS MONTH
If you are interested in farming, hunting, sheep, cattle, horses and the military, there are several lots, if you need to see pictures of the lots they are on our web site at www.dalkeithcatalogue.com together with the other lots in the sale.

TYRES FOR THE CAR
Last October during the MOT on the car I had an advisory note that the tyres were on the low side, this September I decided that perhaps it might be best to get a new set, rather than risk a failure.
At the same time I decided to change the wheels, the car came with some very flash 17” wheels that had low profile tyres, ideal for nice smooth roads, which are rumoured to be in certain parts of the country, but not to be found in Dorset, or on the Spur Road leaving Bournemouth. Looking at the original spec for the car it lists 13”, 14” or 15” as standard fittings. As some UK Nissans use a standard 14” wheel, I settled for a rather solid alloy set.
There were almost tears from the wheel fitter when I asked him to replace the luxury 17” wheels with a more standard looking set. The car might look a little odd with smaller wheels, but there is now a more standard amount of rubber on the sidewalls of the tyre, so a more comfortable ride. I’ve kept the old wheels and tyres, seems there is about another 1,000 miles of tread left, just in case the government shell out some money for the roads in Britain to be given a smooth coat of tarmac, but I think for the next twenty years or so, we better get used to driving on cart tracks.

WINTER OPENING HOURS
From 10th October, we will be opening at 8am and closing at noon on non viewing days, should you only be able to come in the afternoon on non viewing days, please phone the day before to see if it will be possible to stay open later.

September 2011

SORRY
I’m sorry to a few of our customers who had to pay extra to Royal Mail to retrieve their catalogue last month. Some of the envelopes had 32p or 34p on them instead of 36p, this was due to using up a batch of envelopes that already had stamps on them, they had been done before the last increase.
If you had to pay, either deduct the amount charged from the next invoice, or take £2 off when you pay your sub.
For those who did not get their catalogue, this is possibly due to the postman failing to deliver one of the cards to pay up for an item.

PLANET OF THE APES
For those adults that are going to be taken to the cinema to see the new Planet of the Apes film, we have an early related item in this month’s sale. Due to it having a 12A film cert. “No one younger than 12 may see a ‘12A’ film in a cinema unless accompanied by an adult”. It’s back to the good old days, when young boys under 12 had to hang around cinema entrances to wait for a lonely old man to take them into the cinema, pretending that he was your grandfather, for safety you would think the government would just put advisory certificates on films, kids will get in to the cinema whatever their age, or just go out and but a counterfeit DVD.
One of the auction lots this month is a Victorian scrap book, including a few trade cards with apes in costume and at work, seems that the apes got to hold guns and clothing before the film came along.
Try to get your children to collect the original cards, rather than buy the new cards which should be on sale in a shop near you today. They might increase in value quicker.

HUMAN RIOTS
Many people are now facing court over the arson and looting of a short time ago. I wonder how long it will be before someone announces that it is their ‘Human Rights’ to go out and pillage and riot in England.
Precedence was set several years ago when The Vikings arrived around 800AD, and persuaded many British country folk that their Viking way of life was the correct one.

BOURNEMOUTH ON SEA
It was difficult to know a few days ago if Bournemouth was going to float away. A few hours of rain and the town centre was turned into Venice, even a kayak was used in parts of the lower garden.
The floods were not just limited to the low levels of the town, half way up hills, various banks and shops had to close due to the amount of water flowing down the streets, one of the local buses had a manhole cover try to board the bus from underneath, and drains in roads simply exploded with the amount of rain in them.
On a good publicity note, the town made the national TV and newspapers, but had no apparent mention of the nine miles of golden sand. The odd ton of sand did get washed into the sea with the amount of rainwater running in the direction of the beach.

August 2011

THE HOLIDAYS
The two days holidays for 2011 are now over, on the first Saturday off nothing much happened during the days events, on the way back by train a man was removed from the train by the police for causing a disturbance, and smoke in Hampshire meant the train had to go at a very slow rate for several miles, although we never saw any actual smoke, so it was about fifteen minutes late getting into Bournemouth.
The free lunch and free strawberry tea meant I did not have to spend much that day, 80p for a newspaper, and a few other things and apart from the train tickets purchased a few weeks before, there was plenty of change from a fiver that day.

THE POSTAL BID AUCTION
Many of our regular postal and email bidders were quite happy with the July sale, for most it meant they did get something in the sale, finding that they were not beaten at the last moment by a room bidder.

CLOSED SATURDAY 23rd JULY
For anyone that did turn up on that Saturday and found the Dalkeith Hall closed, I did mention that I was having another day of my holiday.
All went well, the car made it to Hertfordshire and back in a day. The reunion for grown up children who were in a children’s home went without any problems, not even any fights.
The BBQ did not produce too much smoke, and the wedding that was going on at the same time in the chapel in the grounds did not have to be evacuated due to our smoke. One of the Sisters who used to look after us managed to get around; now in her 90s she still had good memories of what we got up to.

2012 CULTURAL OLYMPIAD
For those that don’t yet understand the cultural part of the above title, it’s the part that has so far cost the nation £16,000,000 of National Lottery Money and will be funded by many more millions of other money. It has only a vague reference to the actual games; this is more about giving the country a cultural theme. Various objects will be on display in the various regions, some will then be sent down (or up) to London for further display if the transport can be arranged (money no object).
I wonder if Dorset or Bournemouth has anything in mind for the event which is in about a year’s time and will last just over two weeks.
At little cost, other than an open top skip lorry, we could send our pride of heavy cast lions to London, they are all ready to go having been painted in all forms of colours, not one that I have seen looks anything a real lion design, so even Clarence out of Daktari has already done a runner before things get too mad.
Should sending them our Pride of about 50 Lions at the end of the season not thought to be enough, we can always provide an enclosure to go with them, the old Imax building should be about the right size to house them, and if they need a slightly African habitat, then gathering some of the escaping sand from our Bournemouth (Boscombe) reef, might make a nice footing for them to stand on.
Total cost about £500, for which I would happily chip in my share as a Bournemouth resident, if we could get rid of the three useless holiday attractions.

 

July 2011

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT
Instead of moving the July sale date to either end June or later in July due to my holiday on 2nd July. I’m also having a holiday on 23rd July, so please don’t turn up on either of those dates.
The 2nd July sale will be a bid form sale only, this will not make any difference to the majority of the bidders who send their bids in by post or who or fax them in, but for those that like to physically view the sale, it will be now until July 1st (closed Sundays). Bid forms to be in by Saturday 2nd July.
We will be closed on Saturday 2nd July.

ALL LOTS ARE ILLUSTRATED
This month if you go onto our web site at www.dalkeithcatalogue.com our catalogue on the net has all the lots illustrated.
The second button on the main page menu will take you to the illustrations. Depending on your internet speed, the illustrations may take a couple of minutes to load.
If you use Firefox it should allow a left click on an image to enlarge the picture, certain versions of IE might not allow this.

PAYING FOR MY HOLIDAY
If I get my way it should be quite a cheap holiday to London for the day, if the trains are running and if there are no major hold-ups that detain me once I get up there.
Standard class in a quiet coach on the train to London £10, and the First class return journey if I catch the correct train £17.
I am promised a free lunch and strawberry tea if I’m good.

TIE BIDS
During the bids we receive, we sometimes get two equal bids of the same amount; we normally give the lot to the first bid received.
If you have a tie bid, please mark your form or email if you would like us to go one bid more so that you get it.

LIMIT OF BIDS
If you would like to bid for more lots than you can really afford, you can set a total limit for your bids, when we get to that limit of your bids we will stop at that point, it might get you a better chance of getting some more lots.
Please mark you form with the maximum of the total bids if you wish to set an overall limit on the amounts of bids.

BIDDER NUMBERS
A few bid numbers have changed, if you are phoning in bids, please check to see that you are giving us a recent bidder number.

June 2011

ANOTHER BANK HOLIDAY
At the end of May there will be another Bank Holiday, we will be open on the Monday for any of our viewers to come in that want to avoid taking the family out for the day.

ILLUSTRATIONS IN THE CATALOGUE
Slowly it should be possible to get numbers on the illustrations, due to the way the catalogue has been produced, the colour illustrations had to be set up before the numbers were known due to the length of the time it took to print the colour part of the catalogue, slowly it should be possible to get numbers on most illustrations without delaying the printing of the actual catalogue by a large amount.

THE JULY SALE
Due to wanting a holiday on 2nd July, there will not be a sale on that Saturday. In the past the sale was moved a week early. Due to the way the days fall it will not be possible this year.
There will be a sale, but it will be by bid form only, there will be no live auction. The prior week of viewing will still be the same Saturday 25th June, then Monday 27th June to Friday 1st July.
Please send in, leave, or phone your bids by 3pm on Friday 1st July. The letter box will be open on the Saturday to put bid forms in for those who do turn up on that day.
From Monday 4th July the results should be known, so you can phone or call as normal for the results. For postal customers the sale will be without any change.

STRIKE DAY 30th JUNE
Viewers for the July sale should note that there might be a strike by public workers, if you are heading for viewing, certain local items of transport, car parking, litter removal, parking tickets etc, may not be operating as normal.

THE THINGS WE SELL
As well as stamps, postcards, cigarette cards and general ephemera, we will try other types of collectables.
As long as you can get it into us, and it does not take up too much room (e.g. wooden furniture etc) we will give it a go.
The cost is a total of £3 if you are going to use the funds to buy other goods in a future sale.
This month for variety we have a German wireless from the 1930s, rather a basic model, but designed in mind that the population would only be listening to the main or local broadcasts from a single country, it did in its time what it was meant to do.
Now more of a talking point than a usable object, it is one of the more odd items that we will offer for sale, if you can get it to us.

 

MAY 2011

DO YOU HAVE A HOLIDAY OR TWO FREE?
For those that want to be indoors on Friday 29th, we are open for viewing, so come along and have a quiet day away from the general family chaos of street parties that might be around for a few hours that day. We do have a television, but it will be turned off, I can’t afford the licence fee.

OLYMPIC GAMES 1948
This month we have a very nicely designed poster that was for the 1948 Olympic Games, when Britain had good taste and could design something that was recognisable as the Olympic Games in London. No heavy advertising logos splattered everywhere; the games were for the public and not for corporate groups. I should think people attending the games in 1948 where many items of food and all luxury goods were either unobtainable or still on ration, would have had a much better experience on the day, and possibly found obtaining tickets for the event a much easier way of life, than those who are giving up their credit card numbers to the mythical draw for the 2012 event.
Persons potentially paying high prices for tickets to the events to be held in the Weymouth area, who are not local or have not studied the layout of the proposed viewing areas, might do best to consult Google Earth for better viewing sites.

GEORGE V £1 POSTAGE STAMP
In 1929 £1 to buy a postage stamp would have been impossible for most people, the true stamp collector might have been able to obtain a rather heavily used one for a half-crown or so, but most would have always had an annoying gap in their collection. This month we have a quite respectable mint copy for a couple of hundred pounds, the light hinge mark where it has been someone’s pride and joy in their collection for over half a century has taken some of the value off compared with an unmounted mint specimen, but once in your collection who’s to know unless you let them look at the back of it.

VIEWING THE GROT BOX
For those who wish to view lot 14 this month, there is a charge of one Easter egg viewing fee on this lot, the size of the egg is not important, but it will encourage only our true “Grot Box” viewers to examine this lot.

IF YOU VISIT US EARLY
For those viewers that turn up at 8am and for those that camp out just after 7am, the bluebells on the grass bank next to us are in full bloom, the scent first thing in the morning is quite strong, but is gone by around 9am, having been overpowered by the smell from the fresh batch of real Cornish pasties from the baker next door to us. Those on a diet should not enter from the bottom of the Dalkeith Steps, so as not to be tempted by the dozen or so varieties of the Cornish pasties. Viewers who wish to see lot 14, may substitute a small steak pasty instead of the Easter egg.

HOW IS YOUR SPRING CLEAN GOING?
We are now starting to take goods for the June sale, now is a good idea to please your partner and clear out one of those cluttered corners, where items from your hobby seem to have been causing a mess for the last few months.
If you are selling item in one of the sales and are using the funds to purchase slightly smaller items to clutter up the other corners of the house. You pay a total of £3 for each lot sold.

April 2011

IT’S SPRING CLEAN TIME
Where most families have a spring clean and throw out all the accumulated junk around this time of year, risking fines by putting old electrical items in their rubbish bins or the wrong type of paper in the recycled bin. We have the solution.
Forget about throwing things out. Just sort out your surplus stamps, postcards, cigarette cards and other collectables into a pile, put it all in a box and bring it to us. Then you can put the rubbish back into the space that was made with the things you are bringing in, you never know when that little thing you thought might be rubbish will come in handy.
If you are going to buy items in one of our sales with the funds from the lots you are selling, remember the amount you pay for selling a lot is a total of £3, either purchase items in that sale or save the funds to spend in a later sale. Please keep the environment Clean & Tidy, do not throw out your rubbish – collectors will want it in 50 years time.

THE TIME TRAVEL LOTS OF LAST MONTH.
The few items of postcards and other items that had been put away from a 1981 sale originally cost £195. The vendor is going to receive almost £500 for the items. So it looks as if time travel does pay off. There are a few new items in this sale from another sale of 1981 offered this month, so read the catalogue carefully; some of the estimates might be a little low again.
YOUR 2011 CENSUS
This year it might be the last paper census issued in the United Kingdom, the main reason is cost. The translation booklets to help understand the census, have been printed in over 50 different languages in a effort to give help to those people who do not have English as their first language, possibly at around a million pounds per booklet type and with a free dedicated phone helpline with translators at the ready, the 2011 census should get the majority of the population counted.
There are those who decide to try and muck up the system by giving totally incorrect answers, the census should be just about age, and similar matters. How you get to work and what religion you are will possibly never help the government plan anything.
On the question how you get to work, you might answer car or foot, the question I would like to see would be ‘If there was public transport – would you use it instead’ the answer in my case would be ‘yes’, there was a local bus service where I live, but its route was removed a short time ago. That is how the census could help - if we were given options of what we would like, not what it’s only possible to do. The way I plan to answer this question is by ticking ‘Other’ with the answer Feet, if I had ticked Foot, it might have suggested that I hopped all the way to work, last time I think I put Pogo stick.
On the religion question, the paper census format lists about five main beliefs and a space to add something extra if your group is not in one of the listed groups, if you turn to the electronic census version, the British government recognise around 200 other religious groups that are acceptable for the census, however Jedi, or Jedi Knight are not allowed. This year I have a choice of two interesting groups, either ‘The Invisible Pink Unicorn’ or ‘The Flying Spaghetti Monster’ will get my selection.
Should you wish to obtain a more or less complete set of translation booklets for the 2011 census, one of the lots in this month’s sale might fill the bill. We might be the only auction in the country to offer such a rare item on historical census matters.
Finally, the dreaded question 17.
‘A allwch ddeall, siarad, darllen neu ysgrifennu Cymraeg?’
Set answers for you to tick are (translated into English for Dalkeith catalogue readers).
Understand Welsh□; Speak Welsh□; Read Welsh□; Write Welsh□;
or None of the above□.
If your form has question 17 missing, ring them up (Free), and tell them you feel cheated.

March 2011

POSSIBLE TIME TRAVEL
One of our vendors has possibly conquered time travel. If you were able to go back in time and attend our sales, make a purchase and then put them into a current sale, there is a good chance that you could make a good profit, especially if it was on postcards.
In this month’s sale we have a selection of postcards and ephemera that were purchased in the Jan 1981 sale, in those days everything was lugged up to the Embassy Hotel at the Lansdowne for display on the viewing and sale day.
Thirty years on, we are going to offer a selection of these items, they appear to have been untouched since purchase, and even in the mixed lots the original better items are still there.
As an experiment the original descriptions and prices will be used in the current catalogue without any revision. It will be interesting to work out what they finally make. The original hammer price for the 20 or so lots was around £195 with an estimate of £165.
For added sport you will have to work out exactly which lots they are, but possibly the estimated price and slightly different phrases in the descriptions it might give a clue to which they are. Happy Hunting.

THE CATALOGUE
Looking back at a catalogue, the sales were larger, but they were only every two months or so, often buyers were turning up on days when it was not a sale day but only a viewing day, so now keeping roughly now to the first Saturday of the month (except for July), does make thing easier.
In those bygone days, the catalogue was typed up using a heavy old electric typewriter, any spelling errors had to be corrected by either white marker fluid or the newer white plastic coated film. For major errors it was cutting pages together. When eventually typed up, the heap of masters would be given to a printer and two or three weeks later a few boxes of catalogues would be delivered to us.
Eventually we moved into the 20th century and purchased an Amstrad Word Processor PCW8256, using a non standard size disk, and a WP programme not related to any computer known to man or any office secretary.
It was the machine that launched Britain into the business computer age, which was fine if you wanted to do something electronic with words and sheets of paper. In time it evolved to something that could send words over the telephone lines with a series of bleeps, an A4 page of text took about 5 minutes if all went well, a picture (in B&W) about half an hour.
Then Alan (Apprentice) Sugar, decided to change the rules and make his machine compatible with IBM, the non standard disks vanished, and from then on it was all downhill, the 2086 was a fair machine, but the latter 2386 had many users deciding that life on a different planet was preferable, and vowed never to buy another of his machines again. For those that did manage to get to another planet, they found that a version of Clive Sinclair had launched the word processor and computer.

PLEASE REMEMBER TO LOOK AT THE IMAGES

Some of the lots are illustrated on the Images page.

Feb 2011

TIME FOR A NEW PHOTOCOPIER
On New Years Eve the copier that I have had since January 2008 decided to give up, there was the sound similar to a squirrel getting chewed up somewhere deep inside the machine. After checking that there was not a squirrel inside, which would have been an easy problem to sort out after a few blood soaked copies, I could only put the noise down to a cog deciding to fail.
All the modern photocopies today, have a pre determined life built in, the one I had was set at 1,000,000 copies, which was a figure I had almost reached. From this point on the machine could be repaired, but the costs of labour and parts needed, would push up the cost of copies.
The recommended solution from the photocopier sales persons are to buy a new machine, did I want another that will do 1,000,000 copies, or would I like one that will do 2,500,000. The cost of a double life machine is a bit less that wearing out two individual machines over two three year periods. To get the 2,500,000 machine, it would mean me giving them £500 every month for the next 5 to 6 years, the machine might last that long, but health wise, would I?
The alternative that was put by a different sales person was that I buy a machine with 1,700,000 copies on it and run it for a couple of years until it reaches 2,500,000 copies. To the environmentalist this sounds a good idea, saving a copier from a landfill site; to me it sounded a good idea, because it was a little less in commitment, but around the same cost. So a replacement second hand copier is now installed, it will take a month or so for it to get used to what I would like, so the catalogue format might be a little different this time, but that is down to a newer version of one of Microsoft’s programmes, if only they could leave things alone, I was happy with Word 2002.
The next question, would anyone like a non working colour copier? Original cost about £6,000. Free. Buyer collects.

IT’S THE LAW OF THE LAND
This was the comment made by the manager at my local Aldi store when I returned a deep fat fryer a couple months after I had purchased it, as it was quite a cheap item (under £20), I had never bothered to save my original till receipt as it had many other grocery items purchased at the same time. My reason for taking it back to the store rather than getting the helpline to supply me with a replacement was down to the poor fault on the off switch, that although you might turn the machine off and the power light went out, it remained secretly on, and continued to boil the oil to a very high temperature.
He eventually offered to give me a refund, but his statement was that “It was the law of the land” that I have to have my receipt with me if I was returning any goods to them. Until this point I was going to use the refund to spend in the store plus some additional money as well.
They might have wanted to make sure that the item came from them, but as it was an own brand product with their information all over the box, this proved it came from them.
My money that day went off to Mr Tesco.
On writing to the head office, asking them can they show me where this law exists, they said nothing about this matter, but it was their policy to request the original receipt if goods were returned. I have again requested that they reply to my original request of clarifying what law they are talking about. Or as Jeremy Paxman would say “Answer The Question”.

JAN 2011

DUE TO BAD WEATHER
Due to the sudden fall of snow at the time we were taking goods in for our January sale, several of our vendors were unable to get their goods into us, thus the catalogue is a little thin this month, hopefully for the Feb sale the path to our door will be a little easier.
Please remember if you are a vendor selling goods and using the funds to purchase items, the total charge for selling an item is £3 per lot, even if you are selling an item that makes £100.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS or Something along those lines
By the time most of you read this in the catalogue, Christmas will be over (thankfully), there will be a few that actually enjoyed the festive period, a few might have utter the word Humbug, and many more will have utters a slightly more offensive word about Christmas 2010, or whatever festival, event, or matter that started in earnest about 1st December and with the various national holiday travel hold-ups etc will be ending around 10th January 2011, if we are lucky.

DO I HATE CHRISTMAS
Over the years it’s a bit of an undecided time, I think I enjoyed it at the age of three and four, simply for the reason that there were presents, more presents, a birthday and more presents. After this point I think the whole event started to go downhill.
At the age of 5 Christmas was now in a very cold house, a few minor presents, lack of heating, lack of lighting (remember it was 1962-63).
Age 6, a new location, few presents, an isolated house, no one to play with, left alone in the flat for most of Christmas Day whilst my mother worked, lack of presents, my main present that year was a toy typewriter with a dried up ink ribbon, lack of food, no TV, and our Christmas cake that year was a chocolate covered Swiss roll.
Age 7 things are looking up, I’ve been put in a naughty boy’s home, now with 20 other boys over Christmas who have similar ideas as myself, plenty of toys, plenty of food and plenty of fun, things are fine until I’m told to leave a short time later, seems I’ve not been naughty enough to stay there.
Age 8 and now in a children’s home, our group of eight is part of 200 other children there, few of whom seem to have interests like mine, however plenty of food toys and parties, and the cane from the deputy gov., the same man who a week later dressed up as Father Christmas and asked us had we all been good this year  (please (real) Father Christmas – can I go back to the Naughty Boys Home).
Age 9 similar to age 8 only the main event on Christmas morning on getting up was receiving the slipper from the Houseparent, still plenty of food, toys and presents (please Father Christmas can I …………..).
Age 10 still in the children’s home, things are starting to get worse, still plenty of toys, food and parties, perhaps was a good idea not to give my the long commando dagger, I still don’t see eye to eye with the Houseparent. They are making plans over me. I get a late Christmas present in February, my freedom.
The following Christmases are also nothing very special, so nothing much to report except for Christmas 1971when I move down to Bournemouth, the television breaks down on the 19th, so there was no TV over Christmas.
Christmas 2010 due to the poor weather, the stores and delivery firms tell everyone that they are finding it difficult due to the snow to get peoples orders delivered; even Santa will seem to find it a problem with his deliveries on Christmas Eve.
I’m getting even for all those earlier Christmas times. My Christmas Day meal is Reindeer Steaks, I’m not telling you which one it was, as it came in an unnamed box, but let us say; thanks to the nice people at Geti Wilba of Germany, Blitzen has one less friend.
Is there a grown up child in Germany, that also had Christmases like mine.


Christmas 1961

  

 

FOUND PHOTOS
For all those that had happy photographs as children taken with Father Christmas and for various reasons have lost them, there is hope.
There has been an archive of over 1,000 photos of a Father Christmas and children loaded onto the internet, these were taken 1957 - 1967 at a store and various schools, but sorry to say only relate to Ireland, however a few were taken of children in Children’s Homes, so there is a plus point to those in care that left without any souvenirs.
Quality prints can be ordered direct from the archive at around £20 each, or a rough copy with the company name over the photo, can be downloaded free. http://www.kennellyarchive.com/
For those children in care at the time, Santa could be for some a happy person to meet, for others a really scary person. It was never known if a few of the embarrassing photos of us with Santa was down to excitement of fear.

kennellyarchive

kennellyarchive

kennellyarchive

Dec 2010

THEM BANANAS AGAIN
We all knew the jokes about the EU regulations over straight bananas and how they wanted to determine how much curve, the shade of yellow, the number of seeds and if they should be hung up by retailers pointing down or pointing up.
Well there is a new regulation.
http://www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/bananas/100920-bananas-condoc.pdf
This one relates to only to green bananas, so possession of a yellow banana will possibly mean imprisonment. The document is only at the planning stage, so you have about a week to enter your protest at the address provided in the document.
Don’t blame me if in 2011 you get arrested after the Fruit Bowl Police have inspected your larder.

YOUR NEW YEAR PRESENT FROM THE GOVERNMENT
VAT will be going up to 20%. Or put in other ways, up by 2.5%. This means that the service charge parts in our auction from January will also have to rise.
Buyers Premium will be 25%, but there is a discount for buyers on the day of the auction of 2.5% who are paying invoices over £50 in cash.
For vendors who are also buyers, the selling charge is just £3 per lot (any value lot) if you are using the credits to buy more items, any remaining credits paid out are charged at 10%.
Postage is also changing, the normal Royal Mail services of letters and small packets will remain the same, but as we have a contract with Parcelforce, it appears that we will now have to pay VAT on these deliveries.

PANASONIC MICROWAVE
I have just replaced a rather old microwave with a new one, the previous one although working fine, was staring to rust in places, so it was thought best to get it replaced.
The new microwave is the simplest model I could find, a rotary clock work dial for the length of cooking time, and another dial with four settings for the amount of heat. What could be easier?
NN-E205 in white, did not have any other buttons other than the door open push button, so no modern bits to confuse or go wrong.
It has a mind of its own, it does not like working in the kitchen, it either feels lonely or cold, but as it is a model without the speech processor, only a bell that goes ding when it’s finished cooking, I am unable to find out what the matter is.
Due to its low cost and a mail order purchase, I just can’t be bothered to box it up and send it back; the return cost would be almost the same amount as the actual part of its original cost, even though I might get this refunded at some later date.
On contacting Panasonic, I was told that I could take it to my local repair shop (in the next town), but as it was not purchased there, although it is under guarantee, there might be a small fee to pay. The time of bringing my car here, parking fees, petrol and time driving into the next town and back, it just would not be worth it, and I would have to return on another day to collect it, even if there was no fee to pay.
It is now in the auction viewing room, so it has company and is slightly warmer, it is now more willing to work. Some days it will run its full cycle and heat the item, at other times it will start, work for a short while, just turn itself off, then a minute or two later, will work again without any intervention from me (did it have a nice nap?), it might complete the task it started, or it might go through it’s stop start routine for a few more cycles.
Does anyone want to purchase a lightly used, reasonably clean microwave? £15, buyer collects, no box, no guarantee.

Nov 2010

THE £3 FEE FOR SELLING LOTS
For vendors that are selling lots and using the funds to pay for lots in the auction, the total vendor charge is £3 per lot.
If you sell a lot for £100 you will have £97 to spend in future auctions, any funds not spent can either be held over for a future auction, or paid out with a remaining commission fee of 10% in total, on the amount not spent.
So it will be worth digging out those bits you don’t really need and put them in the auction, to spend on something you do want at a later date.

It’s Getting Near To Subscription Time
To help the Christmas funding, the sub forms are going out nice and early, for families that need something to buy you, rather than the DIY Voucher or Book Token, you could always give them the Sub Form to send in.
For those that are not going to get any Christmas presents, we take cheques, cash, credit and debit cards and also payments from that secret Paypal account that the rest of the family don’t know about. For those that are sending their subs in now, the cost is £22.

PENNY FOR THE GUY
Due to the latest cuts in public spending, expect to see parents cutting the weekly pocket money for their children, giving the excuse that there have to be cuts everywhere.
This year there will be more children out with home made guys, shouting “Penny For The Guy”, I don’t expect any adult to be as mean to just give a penny, with inflation I expect to see a more generous rate of £1. (please remember you don’t get the guy, even at £1).
In most cases the children will not be using the money to fund fireworks, now that bangers have been taken off the market, possibly the odd 50 shot, “Grand Explosion” firework purchased by a responsible adult (or older brother) might be acquired.
Most of the funds will probably go on computer games or the like; few children above eight have much interest in attending organised bonfire and firework parties, now that adults seem to frown on children doing their own thing on patches of waste ground, the interest in 5th November is slowly fading, the hyped up Halloween seems more the craze now.
However all is not lost, I will have my guy out (an oversize teddy in disguise), all I need is the mask and the can for collecting the money in, and I will be ready to beg for funds from any person venturing into Old Christchurch Road.
So please be generous, keep a £1 handy in change, I promise not to waste it on Fireworks.

October 2010

PASSED FIT
It has now been over two and a half years since I was diagnosed with Sarcoidosis, nothing you can catch, so I fine for you to give me auction lots and food, the most recent donation is some French Bugles Gout Paprika (flavoured crisp things).
I’ve had my sixth monthly x-ray check up, and my lungs still show the swollen lymph nodes; but as nothing has got any worse than my original x-rays, I have now been discharged. Seems the specialists tend to loose interest in patients that neither get better nor get worse. So it’s a come back when your more ill type of parting.
My cough still sounds like a dog that had a fur ball or bone stuck in their throat that will not dislodge, but as its mainly the neighbours that suffer from that sound early in the morning and late at night, I think I will keep the cough. Damp conditions tend to help my breathing, so the Dalkeith Hall is ideal for my health.
The heart appears to have passed the tests, and the high blood pressure I can keep in check with a selection of pills, and the diabetes with a second selection of pills, making five different types if you ignore the aspirin and other painkillers for the aches. As for my weight if you believe the Body Mass Index chart, it shows 36.1, which puts me in the ‘Obese’ section or cuddly grade II.

JANUARY SALE THE 8th
It might be a little early, but best let you know when the January sale will be. It will not be on the first Saturday, which would have made it 1st Jan, but on 8th Jan.
Although I would be quite happy to work on what will be a holiday, a few of our customers and possibly staff members might not be all that clear in the head as to bidding and deciphering lot numbers. The other reason would be that it might cause a few family rifts for those that want to come in on their regular Saturday before the auction to do their viewing. There might be family arguments over visiting us on Christmas Day.
So viewing will start on the 1st for those with a clear head, and then work its way through the week ignoring any public holidays etc during Monday to Friday, with the sale itself on Saturday 8th January.

ENGLAND TO CLOSE DOWN DUE TO LACK OF INTEREST
Due to the way the holidays occur this year, most of England will close down part way through December and wake itself up part way into January. The major unions will be on strike anyway, apart from the days when double and triple pay apply.
This year Christmas Eve falls on a Friday, a day of the week when the day finishes early for most people, so some folk will start to wind down the day before on Thursday 23rd December. Christmas Day falls on a Saturday and Boxing day on a Sunday, with Monday and Tuesday as Public Holidays, not really worth going in for Wednesday and Thursday, as Friday is New Year’s Eve when little work is done either as the build up for the evening or because it’s a Friday, Saturday is New Year’s Day, Sunday is Sunday and possibly mostly closed, Monday will be a Public Holiday, and Tuesday will be taken as a holiday in solidarity with other parts of the Kingdom, is it worth working on Wednesday and Thursday?, as Friday most knock off early, with Saturday and Sunday taken off as normal.

September 2010

ROYAL MAIL DON’T LIKE ME
In the normal way the envelopes that the catalogue are sent out in, are given their stamps or the PPI mark after the bid form with the address printed on has been inserted.
This month however, the stamps were put on the envelopes first, enough for this month and most of next month. With only two standard positions to put the stamps, there is a 50% chance of getting it right and a 50% chance of getting it wrong.
To upset the machines in the Royal Mail, the stamps by accident were put in the wrong position, this means when ALF (you haven’t heard his name in years) cancels the stamps, which he/it will do after using the phosphor on the stamps to position the envelope for postmarking, the addresses will all be the wrong way up for the human/computer to read it. Sorry Royal Mail if it means a little bit of extra work, but that is for all the nice high value commemorative (special) stamps that you failed to correctly postmark, and now have Post Office ball point pen across them.

BOURNEMOUTH AIR SHOW
The green environmentalists have all taken a long weekend away from Bournemouth this month. The Air Show was around for four days; enough CO2 and other pollutants should have been dumped in the skies above Bournemouth to run 20,000 low emission cars for a whole year. But isn’t watching the Vulcan Bomber fly across Bournemouth worth it. Apparently the best view this year was when it came in a few days before the weekend washout, and did an early fly past before nesting at Hurn near Christchurch, during its short stay.

BOURNEMOUTH WEATHER DEPARTMENT
Would like to apologise to all those holiday makers that have had rain during August, instead of this period been classed as mid summer and providing sunshine, it will from next year labelled “The Rainy Season”, this of course will make all the foreign students from the Far East etc, that have a rainy season, feel more at home.
If it is raining and you are down at the beach, you can always visit the IMAX cinema by the pier, nothing is showing but you can look at the wonderful building.

NAUGHTY PEOPLE
Prior to the removal (hopefully) of the Speed Cameras in Dorset, although Bournemouth & Poole might want to keep their cameras, some people have been putting tyres around the posts and setting fire to them. This is very naughty; it disturbs the habitat of the hibernating sand lizards that are half a mile away from the cameras.

RINGWOOD TO BOURNEMOUTH
The road (grade II cart track) that links the two towns, is suffering from wear and tear. (Try the journey in the left lane of the road), it was hoped to start fully relaying of the surface this autumn, but due to lack of money (it was spent on putting up fences for the length of the road to stop the wildlife from breeding/hibernating on the verges), there is not enough money to pay for the road signs, equipment and the several tons of tarmac.
It is believed that the cones that have been there for the last six months will be in too poor a condition for use when the money is eventually found (2011-2013), so there will be a delay when the old cones are removed and new ones put down, the money will have then run out again, having been spent it on new cones.
Let’s build a railway line linking the two towns, it seems easier, it could even go via Hurn & Christchurch and solve the problems on those two stretches of roads.

Aug 2010

The Holidays Are Over
You can all breathe a sigh of relief; I have taken my Holidays for 2010. The two Saturdays when you wanted to come to the auction, are now over.
The two reunions I went to went quite well. The first was At Westminster Central Hall. ‘Action For Children’ (Formally The National Children’s Home), decided to hold their meeting at this new location, as they are currently in the process of moving from their 1920’s home at Highbury, and going to non London locations for their administrative work.
The second reunion the following Saturday was a less a formal affair, held at the Home in Harpenden that I was at during the 1960s. It started off with a raiding party to the local shops to obtain some of the food items we would need for our BBQ. On this raiding party it was believed that all the food was paid for before it left the shops, unlike our raiding parties of the 1960s, when the more daring older children pillaged Woolworths and similar stores when their pocket money was exhausted. If caught, although the hang, drawn and quartering had been abolished at the Home a few years earlier, the canings of the time did leave their mark.
Our main object this year, was to get the chapel organ up and running again, a few years ago, someone decided to put a rod in the ground when building a marquee, they apparently lived to tell the tale after damaging the underground three phase electricity supply to the organ. As the organ was not used by ‘Youth With A Mission’, who now own the Home for their services, the supply was not restored.
To start the musical event off, I was allowed to choose the first item. Rather than select something from the Methodist Hymn book that had been the organ’s main fare since the 1920s, I requested Chopsticks, having been totally fed up with the original contents of that hymn book on most Sundays when an hour or so was spent sitting on very hard wooden pews, and praying for the service to end.
Once the first item was over, several more items were chosen more to prove the organ’s capability, rather than to offer thanks to God. The seating was now more comfortable, so for the hour or so it was bearable.
The other main event of the day took place next to the recently refurbished sports pavilion, YWAM were very trusting allowing us to have our BBQ there, having learnt that we had previously witnessed the previous pavilion burst into flames in the mid 1960s, although I did not get blamed or punished for that event, the governor of the Home did decided to slipper me when I was caught drawing with some charcoal (the remains of the pavilion).
A final wander around the grounds reliving the memories of our time in care and we ended up at the small private cemetery at the far end of our woods, where each time we visit, we pay our respects to our friends that never did leave the Home. Most of us hoping that next year we will be able to meet up again, even a couple of our friends that came from Australia and America for our reunion, were trying to work out if they could return next year.

June/July 2010

It’s Holiday Time
Remember, we are not open on Saturday 3rd July, We are not open on 10th July, and some of us are asleep on 11th July.
The July sale is 26th June; the August sale is 7th August, confusing isn’t it.
The reasons for these dates, I want a holiday, or rather I want two days holiday (both Saturdays), the typist also wants a holiday.
So other than the two days when we are closed, please start bringing in the goodies for the August sale.
The current sale is a bit different to our normal selection, this month we have more things for the boys, model boats, model aircraft engines, model trains, so there is something for the non football fans amongst you.

TOP SECRET
To most military people a WWII document dated April 1944 entitled “Overlord”, might bring on a heart attack if it was on open display at the time of issue, well it might be a little late but in this months sale we have an original file marked Overlord and Top Secret, copy No 80 issued at Longford Castle Salisbury April 1944.
This document deals with the amount of fuel stored in the area, tyre rations, and how much fruit was in a dried fruit pudding, and runs to about a hundred pages, it was believed that many spies and enemy agents were after this top secret document.
To put them of the sent of this document a lesser document entitled ‘Operation Overlord’ was also circulated at the time, concerning the holiday movements of some soldiers. To have WWII secrets of how much fruit went into soldiers’ puddings would have been a disaster had the Germans learnt how reliant we were on dried fruit in this area.

June 2010
IT NEARLY ENDED IN A FIGHT
During the month I needed to take a day off during the middle of the week to attend a family funeral. That is the reason if you kept ringing on Thursday and I did not answer, I was away all that day. The funeral was in Hertfordshire, so rather than go by car, I took the train, it seemed easier.
I chose a seat in the quiet zone on a South West Train. Signs spell out and show pictures that mobile phones and music making devices should not be used.
In the next seat away was the standard show off business person in its pin striped suit, for most of the time it spent loudly gobbing off to the person opposite about various business matters, at other times it was talking to others on its mobile phone.
Must stay calm, “Its only an Advert” as one elderly gentleman likes to tell us on the TV. I resisted saying anything, I resisted taking the phone off him, and I resisted giving him a mouthful of my mind when I left the train at Clapham Junction. Next time I’m going First Class, you get a better class of moron there.
The next part of the journey went without incident on a ‘Southern’ train to Watford Junction with a very odd route. I can recommend ‘The Junction Cafe’ just outside the station for its English breakfast, not skimped in anyway and a reasonable cost.
The actual funeral service went quite well, met a couple close cousins that I had not seen in years, plus a selection of cousins from the other half of the family. Not a dreary event, although most of the others were of an older age group.
On the way back via Euston, I needed to get a ticket to travel on one of those funny red boxes on wheels, it seems you have to get a ticket before you get on the bus as the drivers don’t take any money. The machines by the bus stop will not take banknotes and do not give change. I was with an older relative who popped in the £2, which was the standard price for a single fare.
The ticket machine was reasonably easy to use, once the £2 was in; you had three choices with one of three buttons to push. 1. Get the ticket, 2. Do something else, 3 Get a Refund.
Not instantly pushing the button brought a cry form a lady (with a foreign accent) from close to the machine ‘Let me help’. It wants to help the wrong person, I’m not a tourist, I’m a Londoner.
I know these helpful creatures that lurk near to wear tourist gather, I was not having any of it. The small youngish lady of Southern European extraction, would not in the normal way volunteer to help a couple of older strange men unless there was something in it for her.
With a waving of her hands near my body and the ticket machine, my first thought was for the contents of my pockets. With an upward gentle thrust let us say, her face and hands left my person. There was a cry from her in what must be a well-run set of phrases. “I am only trying to help, I am deaf, I have poor sight.” If it were not the contents my pockets she wanted, then quickly pressing the refund button to gain some cash would have been an easy way of making some money.
I almost said, I suffer from the same problems ‘Now **** ***’. But before we got any further, up steps a small male creature that was of similar origins, I take this to be her minder, slightly questioning my motifs after a little struggle with my arm and his neck, he tried a different method. For some reason he now started on the person I was with, possibly thinking that an older gentleman might make a better target, sorry, but this gentleman, has spent 50 years or thereabouts in London, and knows very well how life goes on, and not just the gentile life around Euston Station.
Using the case he was carrying for protection, we now find refuge on the bus, with this snarling and snivelling male creature trying to pick a fight after following us on. It was just luck that another local person decides to drag the creature off the bus. Possibly not wanting his pitch ruined, for whatever he was up to in his normal line of work with the tourists. Well that’s the marvels of public transport.
The final train journey went without incident and I arrive back in Bournemouth at 9pm.
 

May 2010

DRAGGED INTO THE 21st CENTURY
After complaints over how slow one of the office computers was, aren’t they satisfied with 512k of memory, I’m sure our first one managed with about 16k of memory and did everything with a 10 Meg hard drive. It now seems memory is measured in Gb’s and hard disks come in hundreds of Gb’s if not the odd Tb’s.
They are not parting me with my twenty year old DOS machine that runs happily in the background and churns out the vendor informing and payment sheets, no one has managed to show me a Windows system that is as quick as the old dos programme that we run. It won’t let you do anything with a mouse, possibly that’s why the programme runs so fast, fancy allowing vermin into computers.

Looking on the internet for the best deal on something with Windows 7, yes I resisted Vista, realising what a pain it would be. Found a reasonable deal with Tesco Direct. So I popped into one of the larger stores to see if they actually had one, the model I wanted had to be ordered at a desk.
Asking if it was available, the answer was yes, and I could have it the next day if I came in at 4pm. Knowing what a pain of getting to the further reaches of our beautiful town around school chucking out time was, I asked if it could be delivered and I would need it delivered between 8am and 3pm. The answer was I could have it delivered the next day, but I would have to stay in all day.
I didn’t get to ask as to why I would have to stay in all day, if the delivery came early in the day - I don’t think my type of humour works with the type of staff that work behind desks at supermarkets.
I was however told that for a small extra, I could have it in a two-hour slot. Ideal, so I offered to purchase it, debit card at the ready my order was processed. Having found the address of 81 Old Christchurch Rd from the postcode, and narrowing the location of where the computer would have to be delivered. I was now told that as I did not live there, I could not have a two-hour slot, but I could have an all day delivery.
My next question. Could I have it delivered between 8am and 3pm please? The answer was of course NO; I would have to stay in all day. It could not be explained as to why I could not have a two-hour slot if I did not live there, but could have an all day delivery if I did not. A supervisor was not available.
I left the department without causing a scene, although my blood was at boiling point, the pills I take for High-Blood pressure were still working from a few hours before.
On going home, I picked up the phone dialled Tesco Direct and asked (a human) if the computer was in stock, and that as I was a small business, could I have it delivered between 8am and 3pm, the answer was that I could have it delivered in a two hour slot for a small additional payment. The order was started, they could deliver in the two-hour slot even if I didn’t live there, it did not seem to make any difference, and I was even given an additional discount.
The computer arrived within the two hour slot, it was in good shape, it glows green at the front when on, has slots in the front for cards, and tells me that it has a 320Gb disc, 3Gb of memory and it for everyday computing - blast, looks like I’m going to have to come in on Sundays.
Now I wonder if it likes Dos……..

M.P.’s TO GENERATE GREEN ELECTRICITY
I predict the next fiddle will be found will relate to the generation of electricity by our MPs rather than their normal hot air.
The government have been very willing to promote clean renewable energy, and provide very generous grants and funding for anyone generating electricity.
New grants and raised amounts for the generation of electricity have just been finalised. While for most, plonking a wind turbine on the top of their house might not be very easy, adding a couple of solar panels on the roof would be feasible.
For the average person spending on average £12,000 on solar panels for the roof will be unaffordable, our beloved MPs will be able to claim this amount back instantly if they fit it to their main residence, possibly trying to add a second or third unit to their other homes.
However for an outlay of a couple of a couple of hundred quid, I’m sure the average man will be able to find a DIY solar kit to fit themselves. This is not really where the fiddle takes place.
Where most people will be happy to have almost free electricity from their roofs, the government through the generating companies have introduced a possible massive fraud in the making.
According to a local newspaper. For each kwh of electricity you generate, you will be paid 36.5p, this is just for generating it, if you send it to the national grid you will be paid an additional 5p.
The systems fitted will soon be claimed by their owners to be generating massive amounts of electricity even on dull days. I’m not saying how it will be done, but I’m sure some bright spark will soon work out how to get the reading of the amount generated to read more than it really does.
The next point, is if you are getting paid 41.5p for each kwh that you send to the grid, how much will you be able to buy non green power from your electricity company for your normal daily use, I take it you are paying 15p-25p per kwh for your non green power. Can you spot the possible fiddle?
Keep a watch on the MPs and see if their homes soon get solar panels on their roofs.

PLEASE ADMIRE OUR SPRING FLOWERS
For visitors to the auction this month, please take a few moments to admire the spring flowers on the bank.
Our Saturday Jeff spent about two hours removing the tins, bottles and other coverings that were stopping the flowers appearing (you must not blame the cold weather as it might damage Bournemouth’s tourist industry). The rubbish filled three large bins, so you have a few days of a nice clean bank before the rubbish from the local nightlife again start to fill the grass and bushes with their litter.

THE JULY SALE IS IN JUNE
Just a reminder for those booking their cheap train and flights to Bournemouth (providing they are not on strike), our July sale will be on the last Saturday in June and will be called the July sale, this is to stop the confusion over our June sale which is on the first Saturday June, or 36th May if you are using calendars printed by an unnamed printer.

USE BICYCLES TO VISIT BOURNEMOUTH HOSPITAL
The original reason for Bournemouth Hospital moving from its convenient position in the centre of Boscombe, to a green field site on the edge of Bournemouth, was to allow those with cars to be able to park, and it would allow ambulances quick entry to the site.
At first it was all very good, slowly extensions were made and apart from using the wrong shade of blue on the roof tiles, there were no major problems.
Since then more building were added and more people now visit by car, as the bus service from many parts of Bournemouth are very poor, with almost no direct services, unless you have several different bus time tables to hand and can work out the various permutations of services and which tickets are valid.
To help parking at Bournemouth Hospital, where it is not unknown to have to wait 15 minutes or more for a parking place and then find you have to shell out a massive payment. They have just built a new multi storey car park; this is because they are going to build on one of the existing car parks. The top floor may not be used until the other car park is built on due to silly planning regulations.
Eventually when the new building is made, there will still be problems; extra people and staff will make the need for more car spaces.
If Bournemouth Council could arrange a quality bus service to and from the hospital, it would help the problem as some people can then come buy bus.
However the Bournemouth Council will probably solve this problem by suggestion that we all cycle. Now the next problem, gaining planning permission to install cycle racks.

IMAX TO REOPEN
The pie in the sky thought from the leaseholder of the IMAX cinema, is that they could soon reopen the cinema.
A few problems here, there is no projector. The Imax Corporation who supply the projectors, might not be too pleased with of the idea that a projector will have to be put back on the site, after all the original problems they had getting the first one in and then removing it after it had very short use. I would like to see the offer and contract if a projector is offered, I wonder if a hefty deposit will be required or if it might be a cash deal.
If a projector is put back inside the cinema (I bet a two year delay), the idea that people will want to go and see the latest 3D film on a giant screen will possibly be over, something new will be needed. Bournemouth Council still will have a White Elephant on their hands, the only problem this time is that The Bournemouth Council will actually own it. Watch this space.

I CAN EAT THIS MONTH
I’ve found a couple of web sites this month. foodbargains.co.uk and approvedfood.co.uk
Both firms sell food that is past its Best Before Date. The items can be posted, a 28kg parcel of food, costs around £8 to send, so far the Herb & Onion Crackers Weight 200g Best Before:- 10/2008 at 6 packs for £1 can’t be beaten, also the 48 Snickers bars for £5 was an item I could not resist.
Food parcels are great, I must see what’s on next months list of slightly out of date food, but bloom on chocolate is nothing to put me off the odd nibble.

Feb 2010

THE CINEMA IS TO GO
Major celebrations are to be held in Bournemouth if the local council get their way and are allowed to demolish the most hated cinema in Bournemouth.
Even if the Bournemouth residents are faced with a bill of £7,000,000, and in the end costing possibly £12,000,000. The majority of Bournemouth residents will be happy to see the cinema demolished. The demolition will be a major event in the “200 Years of Bournemouth Celebrations”
It is not that the cinema was a fleapit; it was actually a white elephant from the start. The only films it managed to show were documentaries and a few short films, although some of the films were about beautiful scenery; the cinema was plonked on the sea front and spoilt all the views of Bournemouth Bay. Its design unless you were off shore was that of a metal and brick shed.
Less than 1% of the Bournemouth residents actually went and saw a film. So for the majority of the town removing the lump will be most welcome, even if its costs everyone £10 - £20 each, a small price to pay to get our view back.
The IMAX cinema when first planned was it seemed a good idea, had it been built in the town centre, possibly on the site of the former ice rink, it might have done better business, but it was aimed at holiday makers who might want to get out of the cold rain on a summer holiday and off the beach. However the cost for a family was often over £20 for a film show lasting less than an hour.
Once visited it was seldom visited again, the thrill of the extra large screen or viewing a film in 3D, soon made most people vow, never to return.
The only problem if the council get the right to take it down will be what to put in its place, the best way of making money would be to put a car park on the site, this would bring tourists right down to the beach and pier so they would not have far to walk to spend their money and thus bring a guaranteed income into Bournemouth.
A triple deck bar and nightclub would equally bring in revenue, if it was managed by the council and not sold off to private enterprise.
The plans are to retain the basement of the complex, so a few cells and drying out rooms for the sea front dunks and loud teenage yobs could be installed at low cost.

Personally, I would fill the building up with straw, waste paper and a few fireworks and see how big a bonfire we could have to celebrate 200 years of Bournemouth.

Note to the residents of Christchurch, if when the building is demolished you come down to see the view of our coastline, please note you will be charged for this privilege.

If you have any other solutions for the site, please send your suggestions on a postcard to:
How To Spend Our Money
Ex-Imax Project,
Town Hall, Bournemouth
BH2 6EB

PS.
If you don’t have a postcard, we can supply unused view cards in our monthly auctions, which would be ideal for this use.

Jan 2010

JANUARY 2010

MORE SCHOOLS NEEDED IN BOURNEMOUTH
The local council have realised that there might be a shortage of school places for those children starting school in 2010.
If they had read my jottings in 2005, they would have seen I gave them fair warning that extra places would be needed for 2010.
It is not as some might think, that I have caused this population explosion. This was due to a massive power cut in Bournemouth that lasted for several days in Nov 2005. Office workers scared of darkened offices took shelter in the nearest stationary cupboard, this coupled with the early bedtimes for half the population of the town, now means we have a lot of little kiddies that will need school places.

HAPPY NEW YEAR
This catalogue could get to you well before the New Year, so I think greetings are in order.
OPEN BOXING DAY
On the Saturday we should be open on the Real Boxing Day (Saturday 26th Dec), that is if a few things of the previous week have gone to plan.
Monday: print catalogue.
Tuesday: stuff catalogue into envelopes.
Wednesday: post catalogues.
Thursday: lot up auction goods, go and have MRI scan (they want to see if I have a brain – they have seen my photo on the back of the catalogue), in the evening deliver presents to 29,000 million children.
Friday: clean up hall ready for viewing, kill the turkey and eat it raw – there was no time to cook it.
Saturday: start viewing…………………
And YES, we are open on the Boxing Day Holidays.

CHRISTMAS PHOTOS
One of the ex members of the children’s home I was in, finds a photo of me from my time in care and seems to send me it as a Christmas present. The previous one was from when I was aged 9, this one is from the age of 8 (printed on the back of the catalogue), no prizes for finding me, but I have not changed much.
These odd things of the past are treasured memories that I had long forgotten were ever taken. The one I hope that can be found is from 1967, where there is a photo of me with a very sullen face sat on top of a rocking horse, surrounded by several other children that are happily enjoying Christmas.

 

December 2009

HAPPY CHRISTMAS
Yes, I know it’s a little early, but everyone else has got in on the act, I’ve had my first Christmas card (from Royal Mail) do they know something about a future delay in the mail that we don’t know about. I’ve had my first Christmas present from a vendor, this was a hat with the words ‘Bah Humbug’ on, wonder if he hated his childhood Christmases as much as I did. My first food parcel has arrived from France, looking at the labels, garlic does not seem to be the main ingredient, merely the second, it seems a few unusual non British ideas have been done to ducks and geese.
One is quite honest over its ingredients, in the jar of Canard Aux Cepes (I’ve missed out one of the funny bits above the ‘e’, don’t know if it matters or not). The ingredients include Onion, Curry, & Persil. I don’t know if its to take away the taste of the curry (it might be a bit too strong for those garlic dwellers 30 miles away) or if the Persil will help clean the clothes from the curry stains. As with all the French goods there is no English translation, and unlike the goods brought from Lidl, its not even in German which is easier to understand than the French, when they talk about ‘un plat typeique du Sud Ouste de La France. Le Gout subtil….’ I’m trying to work it out, all I can think of is that a goat from the south of France has trodden on the duck that is in the jar. Possibly I should have done more than one year of French at senior school, but how was I to know that we would be actually allowed to join ‘their’ Common Market. Mr Heath, you have a lot to answer for, and yes I have started to sample the jars, tins, and the bottle.
With this time of year, we mustn’t call it Christmas, we have to use words like Winterval, or things that agedly mighty not upset minority groups, from what I’ve seen those corner shopkeepers that come from Asia, East Africa and places south of Watford seem to be selling as much Christmas goods as they do for their own festivals, so I don’t think they are an upset minority group. Even the Royal Mail pander to these people that think groups might be offended if Christian symbols appear on stamps and have issued a second range of Christmas stamps with a non religious theme.
Lets go back to 1966 and let the children design the stamps, Christmas is for them, if they get the ideas a little mixed up what does it matter. Christmas is for them not the political groups.
As to how I celebrate Christmas, Christmas Day is a normal day of work, there are those catalogues to stuff into envelopes and the bits of food left over from the staff Christmas Party to eat up, not the food from the 2009 party, but the bits from 2008, I found a tin of soup last week in one of the filing cabinets that was marked best before June 2008, tasted all right, must dig a little deeper, I think we lost a Christmas cake in 2005, that should be somewhere.

STILL TIME TO GIVE ME MONEY
For those that have not paid their catalogue subscriptions, there is still time to get them paid at the special price of £22. If you don’t have the original form, just use the bid form with this months catalogue, if you have lost the bid form, then a piece of paper with your name and address will do, not forgetting to put your cheque in the envelope or listing all the numbers on your credit card.

November 2009

POSTAL DISPUTE
As we will have postal problems during this auction, if possible will you please Phone, Fax or Email your bids in rather than rely on it arriving by post.
It will also help if you could let us have your credit/debit card number or if you are going to pay by Paypal, as sending invoices out by post might result in a delay.
If you are going to send by post and are paying by cheque, if possible send us a blank cheque with you bid form and making it payable to Dalkeith Auctions Ltd, adding in the phrase “Not Over” the amount should be a rough idea of you max spend (cost of goods plus premium and postage). Any bidder that does not have any wining bids, can either have their cheque returned or destroyed.

LAST MONTH’S JOTTINGS
Due to trying to get the number of pages down, so that the catalogue made letter rate, the page of my jottings was left out.
Again I hope to get the catalogue into the sub 5mm grade again. Although when the catalogue leaves here it is less than 5m thick, due to the careful handling by Royal Mail, it can get bent and no longer fits through the 5mm postal gap.
If your catalogue gets surcharged, please return the envelope to me with your address written onto it, and I will take it up with whatever is running the postal service.

IT’S SUBSCRIPTION TIME
Please fill in the form and return it to us, the sooner we can update the files, the sooner we can start the Christmas Party, only joking customers & staff, there is no Christmas Party, unless you bring in boxes of mince pies and drinks on the December Sale Day.

 

September 2009

I CAN’T HEAR MUCH
The Bournemouth 2009 Air Show is now over. This year the Vulcan Bomber was in good enough condition to fly, and thrilled the Bournemouth seafront invaders (visitors). Similar aircraft were last used a few years ago in the Falklands to thrill their visitors.
I can’t really blame the Air Show for my lack of hearing, although it might be worth putting in a compensation claim after the noisy fireworks. Bournemouth are trying to claim the record for setting off 114,000 rockets in one go; the previous record was 56,405 in one go. The actual setting off of the rockets took just 7 seconds.
As the display was over so quickly, many thought it did not give much of a show, as the view was simply one enormous white glow out in Bournemouth Bay, and over in seconds, the spent rockets headed out to sea to avoid decimating the 100,000 visitors that night.
Next year it is hoped that The Vulcan Bomber will be used to drop one large firework; its display will be in the shape of a mushroom cloud in Bournemouth Bay.
Leaving the event either by car or bus took up to three hours, due to the lack of proper thought as to how the visitors were to disperse. Getting them into the event had been spread over several hours, but everyone once the event was over wanted to leave in one go. Had a major accident occurred, it could have been total chaos, but they could have always parachuted the Medics in.
NOW YOUR HOLIDAY IS OVER
Could you please bring some of that clutter that has been in your lounge, sitting room and bedroom since before the summer started.
All those items that you were either going to sort or put neatly away, only to find that there was no space left in any of your cupboards. Either take the items that are in your cupboards out and bring them into us, or just bring in the items you can’t put away. Most partners willing to lend a hand, when they realise what you are trying to achieve.
If you don’t think the item will make very much, we do have a special offer, sell any item without reserve for a total £2.50. If it turns out to be really worthless and only makes £2, don’t worry we won’t ask you for the extra 50p, but if it makes £50, you get £47.50, which I think must be the best auction deal around at the moment.
The only conditions are, that you need to tell us you want the £2.50 rate when you bring the item in, and if it is unsold, it will be disposed of after one week if you fail to collect it.

WHAT’S IN MY LUNCH
Unlike most office workers that have to rely on sandwiches, now we are in a recession sandwiches are brought from home. In the office I have full use of a microwave. We originally had two, one for me, and one for everyone else who wanted to re-heat their cup of coffee or snack, without it been contaminated with the remains of what I had cooked, bits of new potato after it had exploded several weeks previously and had now only managed to leak back through the vents, were not the best item to find floating in the coffee. I kept my hands off the second microwave for a whole year, only taking control of it when there were no other staff that could afforded any coffee to re-heat and my own microwave had decided to belch its last remnant of food through its only remaining vent, yes I could cover the food, but I sort of forget, its called laziness or hunger, just heat it so I can eat it.
My latest thought is on half a can of steak & kidney provided by the firm “that selects only the best”. Beef 57%, kidneys 12%, that leaves the other 31% to take care of the water and wheat, how do they get water to look solid when it first comes out of the can, I take it must be about 10% water, 9% wheat and the other things not taking up much.
Whatever the ingredients, it tastes fine, and seems to have kept fresh in my fridge that only gets power for 8 hours a day, due to the current shortage of electricity that the methane producing digester makes, (you didn’t think I was daft enough to rely on a wind turbine).

August 2009

No jottings this month, I''ve had two days holiday, so there was not time to write anything.
I went two reunions, so if you''ve read the book, you know where I was, and can guess the things we talked about.
If you have not read the book, then visit
www.theirhistory.co.uk

 

JULY 2009

PLEASE DON’T COME SATURDAY 4th JULY
We will be closed and the door should be shut. I’m taking one of my two days annual holidays.
The rail fare has been paid and the seats booked to London and back. Going up costs £19 and coming back costs £9, only fair its down hill isn’t it, or is it £10 cheaper because on the way back, I get of at Winchester and catch the train that arrives five minutes later No I don’t know the reason, possibly there is some form of subsidy for sending people from Winchester to Bournemouth. (Normal cheap day return prices from £41.20, anytime day return £81.70).

THE SALE IS ON SATURDAY 11th JULY 2009
Please don’t come on Saturday 18th July, We will be closed; I’m taking the second of my two days annual holiday, after that business as usual.

JUNE 2009
D DAY 6th JUNE
For those of you that are not invading Europe on the 6th of June, just a reminder that you are welcome to invade Dalkeith Auctions on that day, where we will be able to offer all sorts of items for you to take home as spoils of war.
Please remember that as we are short of food, to bring your own K Rations. Please leave you mortars and other heavy artillery at the front desk as you enter.

THE VIEWING COUNTER
Please note that the surface has been lowered by 1 inch to cater for those customers that seem to have difficulty in reaching the top, we must apologise to all our tall customers that will now suffer from back ache through having to bend over and view on a lower surface. The counter was lowered at great expense by removing the numerous layers of cardboard, we replace the surface each month to keep it clean be fixing a clean layer of thin cardboard on top each month. It took three dustbins to take the old surface.

THE JULY SALE
This will not be on the first Saturday in July, but probably on the second Saturday in July, I will know nearer the date. The first Saturday has been reserved for my annual pilgrimage to London (just to make sure it is still there, and that Gordon has not sold it off).

THE CAR
Having purchased a modern car (13 years old) I find that it needs servicing at different periods to older cars. Where I was used to having oil changes when the remaining oil became too low or too thick, I find that an oil change is once a year. On this modern car there appears to be a rubber band that powers the cars engine, this is shown as having to be changed every 8-10 years. As the car is now 13 years old and it is still on its original cam belt, perhaps it needs doing.
I found a tame mechanic, or rather a starving mechanic who needs money not to buy food but for a payment on a new motor bike to do the six hours labour at changing the rubber band for less than main dealer rate. With the normal version of the Nissan Crew it has a listed time of about three hours, when a Nissan Crew has been personally re-built by Mr Mitsuoka, it appears you have to take most of his handiwork off before you can get to the Nissan underneath. Well it should not need doing again until 2017. I wonder if I should tell the mechanic that there is an identical car running around the Manchester area, and that will also need its rubber band doing. Bring back the metal timing chain, they lasted the life of the car about 40-50 years.

 

MAY 2009
PRESENT FROM PARCELFORCE
A new leaflet has just arrived from Parcelforce, seems they felt a little left out when I mentioned the Increase in charges from Royal Mail last month. They have just sent in their new charges for me to send parcels, it’s going to be £15 per parcel from this month. But it is actually a discount off their normal price, so it must be a good deal. For this you get a parcel that might be delivered in 24 – 48 hours, dependent on the weather, holidays etc. Last month’s delay was by two events, there was a power cut at the Poole Depot of Parcelforce on the Thursday, so their computers could not tell the drivers where to go to pick up, Friday was a Holiday, Saturday they don’t collect, Sunday don’t even think about a service, Monday a holiday, Tuesday the parcels were collected. But they do get a signature, so at least I know you do get them and they are not left hidden at the bottom of your garden for your later return.

SPRING IS HERE
It is easy to tell when spring comes, the bluebells and primroses are out on the bank by Dalkeith Hall, and there is a more adventurous selection of empty drink bottles littering the path and garden.

APRIL 
A PRESENT FROM THE ROYAL MAIL
In the post this week was a poster showing the new postal rates, I think everything is going up. One bit of good news is that they have decided to make the rates the same for Printed Paper and Small Packets, rather than have two slightly different rates.
One thing that they have never explained is why they are willing to give you about 50% off your item if you write Small Packet on items going overseas, and in the loony Royal Mail rules a small packet, can actually be quite a big box.


VENDOR TERMS
As from the May sale there will be some minor changes to the commission rates, this is mainly down to the way VAT & Insurance has to be worked out, a slight increase on that department.
A new Nil commission rate is now available on goods that are put up for sale on condition that they are sold on the day at any price, even if the bid is £3. The only charge is the Lotting Fee etc. If you ever want items entered on this rate, you will need to tell us at the point they are left with us. This service might be more of use to the trade, but it will be open to all.


Disposal Rate
This is for goods offered for sale in an auction where there is no reserve and bids will start at £3.
0% Commission Plus the £2 lotting charge

Stamps, Postal History, Postcards & Paper Goods–
Total in one sale under £100 15%. Total in one sale over £100 12%. Total in one sale over £500 10%
Plus a lotting charge of £2

Unreserved lots of Stamps and other Paper Items
Lots valued at £10 and over will not normally sold at less than 66% of the estimated figure.
This applies to items made prior to 1980.
Any unsold item is not collected within 7 days will be offered in a later sale at a reduced estimate.

Other Collectors Items Glass, China, Metal etc.
Each item under £100 20%. Each item over £100 12%.
Plus a lotting charge of £2
Collectors Items valued less than £25 are normally sold without any reserve.
Reserves on Collectors Items are charged at 10% of the estimate.
Any unsold item is not collected within 7 days will be offered in a later sale at a reduced estimate.

Unsold goods if returned charged at £2. plus all other charges and any postage.

TRADE RATE Available on request.

VALUE ADDED TAX this is not charged on any goods in the sale as vendors are taken to be either non registered for vat or operating the global vat scheme.

VAT. A fee of 15% will be added to the commission and lotting charges to offset non-recoverable vat.
INSURANCE. A fee of 10 % will be added to the commission and lotting charges all items will be insured against loss unless otherwise agreed at the reserve price.
If you are a VAT registered trader or a vendor that does not require insurance please let us know before the sale.

APRIL 
A PRESENT FROM THE ROYAL MAIL
In the post this week was a poster showing the new postal rates, I think everything is going up. One bit of good news is that they have decided to make the rates the same for Printed Paper and Small Packets, rather than have two slightly different rates.
One thing that they have never explained is why they are willing to give you about 50% off your item if you write Small Packet on items going overseas, and in the loony Royal Mail rules a small packet, can actually be quite a big box.


VENDOR TERMS
As from the May sale there will be some minor changes to the commission rates, this is mainly down to the way VAT & Insurance has to be worked out, a slight increase on that department.
A new Nil commission rate is now available on goods that are put up for sale on condition that they are sold on the day at any price, even if the bid is £3. The only charge is the Lotting Fee etc. If you ever want items entered on this rate, you will need to tell us at the point they are left with us. This service might be more of use to the trade, but it will be open to all.


Disposal Rate
This is for goods offered for sale in an auction where there is no reserve and bids will start at £3.
0% Commission Plus the £2 lotting charge

Stamps, Postal History, Postcards & Paper Goods–
Total in one sale under £100 15%. Total in one sale over £100 12%. Total in one sale over £500 10%
Plus a lotting charge of £2

Unreserved lots of Stamps and other Paper Items
Lots valued at £10 and over will not normally sold at less than 66% of the estimated figure.
This applies to items made prior to 1980.
Any unsold item is not collected within 7 days will be offered in a later sale at a reduced estimate.

Other Collectors Items Glass, China, Metal etc.
Each item under £100 20%. Each item over £100 12%.
Plus a lotting charge of £2
Collectors Items valued less than £25 are normally sold without any reserve.
Reserves on Collectors Items are charged at 10% of the estimate.
Any unsold item is not collected within 7 days will be offered in a later sale at a reduced estimate.

Unsold goods if returned charged at £2. plus all other charges and any postage.

TRADE RATE Available on request.

VALUE ADDED TAX this is not charged on any goods in the sale as vendors are taken to be either non registered for vat or operating the global vat scheme.

VAT. A fee of 15% will be added to the commission and lotting charges to offset non-recoverable vat.
INSURANCE. A fee of 10 % will be added to the commission and lotting charges all items will be insured against loss unless otherwise agreed at the reserve price.
If you are a VAT registered trader or a vendor that does not require insurance please let us know before the sale.

NEW POSTAL CHARGES
From next month Royal Mail are putting up their postal charges, it is not just the physical cost of the value of the actual stamp, but the background charges over insurance and mail collection are also rising.
For business customers, to have a sack of mail collected, works out at £10, plus the cost of the actual mail.
On the insurance side, as many items of mail that are not sent by recorded or special delivery seem to disappear into a black hole, we tend to use a sign for service that gets 99% of our recorded and almost 100% of special delivery items delivered.
The only problem is that Royal mail will only pay out about £36 for a missing recorded package, it is even less if you are not able to prove the value of the item.
In Royal Mails mad rules, if you purchased an item for £25 and sold it to another person who had paid you £35 for it, Royal Mail will not pay you the £35 (that you now have to give back to the buyer) but only the £25 you paid for it, they reason that you should not make a profit out of their loss. If you sent something worth £75, they will only pay the maximum of the £36 if you were very lucky. This figure might rise to around £40 soon; it will depend on the value of the new 1st class rate.
So I’m afraid that from next month, the average bundle of 100 or so postcards with a value of £75 is going to cost around £5 to send by recorded delivery which allows a little to be put into the fund for missing items.

THIS STAMP WILL SELF DESTRUCT IN TEN SECONDS
The Royal Mail have bought the rights for a gadget from the Mission Impossible TV programme, it is not a tape recording, but the new method of producing postage stamps.
At the start it will be used on the normal everyday stamps rather than commemoratives, but it is not guaranteed by them that it will not be used on them at a later date.
As a way of preventing uncancelled stamps from been reused, they have decided to put very small slits into each stamp, if any attempt is made to peel off a stamp from a package it will self destruct, even soaking it in water will reduce the paper fibre strength, so that it will self destruct.
However not to worry, we have a team of experts working on a new chemical that will not destruct the stamp and allow the reuse of all those postage stamps that the Royal Mail could not be bothered to postmark and the postmen missed with their ball point pens. The group in India are the same group that perfected the chemical wash that removed the postmarks from all the £1 Castle stamps a few years ago, that was the main reason the Royal Mail had to change the design.
The rest of Europe seem to be able to cancel 99.9% of their mail with neat cancellations, it is always a wonder why the country that invented the gummed postage stamp were not able to find a method of cancelling it properly.

FEB 2009
HAVE YOU GOT TO PAY A BIG BILL IN MAY?
If so, we might be able to help. If you bring something in for sale during the next viewing, we should be able to sell it in the March or April Sale, that means you will have some money to pay the bills that should be just about arriving after your Christmas and New Years do.
If you don’t have any bills to pay, what about a deposit on that holiday or emigration to Australia, there is a new travel shop that had opened a few doors away from us, and they look to have a few nice deals, sorry they are all out of £10 Pom tickets, you now need some real cash behind you if you are going to that country to live.

GOVERNMENT TO PRINT MORE MONEY
There is a worry about the difficulty the government will have in distributing extra money into the national purse; there fear is that it will take months to filter through into the community.
I think there is a very easy way, and it will help the government over the problem of getting to accept ID cards.
All they need to announce is that there is £500 for every adult over the age of 18 and £300 for all under the age of 18. All you need to do is go to your town hall or driving test centre with some identity, that you have a right to live and work in this country (if you don’t have this – as Mr Howard in Australia would say “then **** off”), and arrange to have your eye and another part of your anatomy photographed, for a fee of £100 we will give you an ID card, when you come to collect it you will get the £400. That should be enough of an incentive to have an ID card and let some money into the economy.
The money is yours as a gift, it will not affect any benefits you get, and it will be easy to explain to the wife when she goes through you wallet that night.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT OVERSPENDS
The Reef at Boscombe – who could have guessed.
Future overspends due this year, The Pavilion, The area around the old bus station, the light bulbs in the town hall, storage of recycled paper, the councillors visits to China, The Netherlands and Hawaii. Should be a few more but I will leave you guessing.

RATE OF INFLATION FOR PENSIONERS YEARLY INCREASE
This will be settled when the Bank Rate is officially 0%, it means a nil increase in the pension for 2009, all the pensioners will do is just mumble a protest and thank Gordon for not cutting the pension.

 

CHRISTMAS JOTTINGS
BECOME A TERRORIST IN 2009
Apparently even reading or thinking about terrorist acts is now a criminal offence in this country. So by reading this page, you all could be locked away without charge for a couple of months by our beloved government and then given a lengthy prison sentence.
My terrorist suggestion for 2009 involves clocks, not the ones that you attach to bombs, that’s a little old fashioned. These are the clocks that are used to time trains, traffic signals, lifts and a host of other important matters, such as you getting up.
Now that we are so lazy that we can’t be bothered to either wind up clocks or even change the hour’s time at winter and summer changes, we rely on electronic clocks that are governed by a radio signal. As well as the hour changes, the signals also correct clocks on a daily basis for small errors in settings.
Now remember that you have possibly read the following item here – I would not get another terrorist getting the credit when you are arrested. The suggestion is to infiltrate where the signal is despatched from and just put in odd five minute errors or the like, just enough to throw all bus, train and other services into confusion. Although with the railways errors of timing might not be noticed. If they want to get railways running on time, just bring back the Victorian idea of local time and not something based on London time, all the trains in those days arrived on time.
As part of your defence, you can always have an alibi for where you were at any time of day, as you control all the clocks, it will be up to you to decide the correct time.

CHRISTMAS PARTY
As a member of a group of Ex Children Home kids, we meet up once a year and have a Christmas Party. It’s done on the cheap at a restaurant, run by one of the ex kids. Other than covering the meal & drinks at cost, all we have to do is tip the staff that look after us on the night, this works out at around £25 in tips. We have devised a novel way of paying this amount, instead of all putting in an equal amount; we con one sucker into paying the lot. Everyone in the group has to bring a teddy bear, the one with the pathetic smallest bear, pays the tip.
Three years ago they started with ten to twelve inch bears positioned on the table, now the average height is 36 to 48 inches, the bears now have their own table. The rules are simple, no live bears, no dressing personally up as bears and no nude bears, after all we are in a public place.
The reason why we act in such an odd way is that soft cuddly toys were something that was lacking in older childhood for most of us. If you did have a teddy or the like, when you got to the age of about six or seven and wanted to show you were a big boy in front of the older boys, whose gang you wanted to join, you had to show that you were not a little kid anymore and didn’t need such childish things. There was the ritual of going over to the waste ground and allowing an older boy to set fire to the toy. If you could stand and watch without bursting into tears you became a member in the older boys gang.
This year the winner was 60 inches in height, mine measured 46 inches I cheated and put a pair of boots on mine and gained an extra 6 inches, the loser who paid the bill, only managed 30 inches. Next year we will possibly see an eight-foot Chewbacca (ex Star Wars), well he is a type of bear.

 

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THE PARTY BEAR

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BONFIRE FOR THE BEAR

Happy Nightmares Tonight

SPECIAL OFFER JANUARY SALE
If you can find enough goodies to make at least £50 in total for everything you sell that month, there will be a special commission rate of 0%, all you will pay will be the £2.36 lotting charge for each lot.
Please remember we need the items as soon as possible if they are to get in the catalogue, while I’m quite happy to work Christmas Day, the Royal Mail are not, unlike in years past they will not be making any deliveries that day, and you are too old now to believe in Father Christmas.

THE CAR
Several customers have requested an image of the car that has replaced my 1960s Rovers. As you know my replacement car is a 1996 Nissan. So it is pictured on the back of the catalogue. I have to be different, so I selected a Nissan Crew, the company don’t bother marketing that style of car in Europe, and leave it more for taxi fleets and local police cars. The version I have starts life as a standard car, then a company called Mitsuoka take the cutters to it and dispose of the front and rear, then build something more resembling a car found on British roads in the early 1960’s. If you look at the pictures you can see the slight changes to the lines that can completely change the looks.
It’s just a shame that Nissan/Rover did not make something like that in Britain. The car is starting to find a friend in the local car park, but I think its more to beg the number plate (PJH 3), seems odd but the value of my entire car is about the same value as the number plate on the car next to it, but one benefit, mine does about twice as many miles to the gallon.

HAPPY AT CHRISTMAS
On the back of the catalogue is a photo of me from Christmas 1966, the photo proves that I was actually happy that Christmas. I’m the one in the red hat. Malcolm an ex member of the children’s home I was in found it. He’s the one with the grin on his face and his head to one side, it was not as first thought that he did not have enough energy to keep his head upright, but occurred when the boy behind him starting to tickle or pull his ear. In a group photo it could be a time for fun, it was up to us to spoil them in some way. The other photos all feature Father Christmas, mostly out of shot, in most cases discussing our behaviour during the year, and if we deserved a present.
The deputy Gov often dressed up as Father Christmas.  He looks in his Naughty book to see if we are there, then its a light tap if our name is in it, that clears our wrong doings for the year - then we get a present. He always asks if we have been good, seemed he didn''t remember giving me two hits with his cane a few days earlier. 

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Happy Christmas 1966

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1966 Contents of Flat 1

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It was only a light tap

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It is for real

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The girl is showing the boy''s what is going to happen to their hands

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Have we been good this year?

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I know it''s comming

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It''s not the cold that makes my hands sting

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In the normal way Father Christmas would sit you on his knee and ask you if you have been good this year, in a children''s home it is slightly different.
Due to fear, if he allowed us to sit on his lap, his cloak might have the odd wet patch. Some of the older and wiser Sisters in the Home provided waterproof pants for the younger boys to wear under their trousers for events like visiting Father Christmas, they must have known the results of us meeting him over the years,

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A Nissan Crew - Taxi

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A Nissan Crew - Thats been Mitsuokered

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The car next to a Bentley. If these two mate the result should be interesting.

NOV 2008
TIME FOR A CHANGE
After 25 odd years with Rover cars, I’ve decided to make a change. It was not that I was getting tired of the style of car; it was that I was finding it more difficult to keep the cars going. First it was the lack of leaded petrol, or rather the difficulty in getting it. Until two months ago it was still available, there had never been a ban on it, it was just under EU rules, it was only allowed to be a small percentage of the total petrol sold in this country. My nearest filling station was Ringwood, this supply has now ended due to storage problems where it was refined, apparently the last tanker load left the yard last month under guard.
The main problem of keeping the car going was that it was difficult to find a mechanic with the knowledge or rather the will power to tackle jobs on it. Most of the service personnel have now reached retirement, the younger ones don’t want to take an item apart, they just want to screw in a new unit, fine but there are not new units for cars over 50 years old unless you count the oil filter, that even that had to be ordered a month in advance.
Out of the two cars, one wore out its engine; the other is stuck in third gear. It’s time to make a change.
I’m now an owner of a Nissan. To be patriotic it’s not one made up north, but a real Japanese one imported directly from Japan. O.K. it’s 12 years old, so escapes EU regulations and import duty. To 99.9% of the British population a Nissan Crew Saloon is not a car they will have come across, however in Japan they have been very common, as local police forces and taxi owners used them. Yes, I have to be different.
In my main search for a car, was that it had to be one with metal bumpers, that cuts down the possibilities of choice a bit, I would have liked leather seats, but that apparently was an extra along with the brown wood dash (made of plastic wood). So my car has a standard grey plastic interior and velour type covered seating.
It was a case of purchased unseen, or rather I did see a picture on eBay, and went by the vendor’s description, very honest these eBay sellers in Wales, the car was delivered a few days later. Seems OK, except for the low profile tyres, which give a rough ride on Dorset roads.
One slight problem, the owners manual is written in Japanese, as there were no versions of the car exported to English speaking countries, there was never a non Japanese version made, and not even Haynes have done a manual, and probably never will.
The car started off as a Taxi type saloon, then it was sort of got at by a company called Mitsuoka, they take a perfectly fully built new car and chop the front and back off and put their own style body on, the most popular ones look like a 1960’s Jag (Inspector Morse type) but two-thirds the size, I’ve got the one that looks a bit like a Bentley at the front and an Alvis at the back. Yes, its totally mad, but it is fun to see the looks in the street, its a bit bling, but without the gold chains.
Now where do I find a local mechanic that understands Japanese?

ITS SUBSCRIPTION TIME
Yep, time to pay that annual subscription, please either fill in the form or phone with your credit card, we can take payment by Paypal, but please remember to give your bidders reference as well as your name and address.
Please note we do not except Icelandic Krona, unless it is delivered in a wheelbarrow.

OCT 2008

LONG FORGOTTEN PRODUCT
In a rash moment, I was still under the anaesthetic from a very large filling at the dentist, and having a little money left after paying the £44 for a filling on the NHS. I wandered into one of the famous named supermarkets that cater for the more up market and retired customers, personally I think having the name “Wait” in your brand name is not the best idea. The store stocks all those products that don’t seem to be available in the more common end of the supermarket chains.
Products like small tins of spaghetti, at twice the price I normally pay for a full size tin, it seems these are for those people on their own and only need a single portion, my advice buy a full size tin, eat half put the remains in the fridge then throw it away in a weeks time when a blue mould starts to form.
As well as modern products, items that one seldom hear of nowadays are to be found on the shelf. I couldn’t resist a packet of Symington’s Maple and Walnut Table Cream, a posh name for an instant type desert where you have to add a pint of milk. I wondered about the expiry date on the pack of Jan 10 8015, will we still have cows that give milk or will those methane producing beasts have been banned, I take it they mean Jan 2010 and the 8015 is just a code.
As well as this strange desert, odd items of bloater paste, celery soup, mulligatawny soup (yes it’s in the spell checker) vanilla pods and a box of brown sugar cubes went to the checkout, its so strange been served by someone that has English as their first language. I won’t admit to the other items that also went through the scanner, but the total came to more than the tooth filling, I do blame this moment of weakness on the stuff the dentist injected.

AUTUMN IS HERE
I know it’s this season as the leaves are starting to fall off the conker tree, although due to tree blight and the odd summer there were no conkers this year. I think the tree is joining sympathy with the adjoining conker tree that died a couple of years ago. The way they are positioned one is over the local electric sub station and the other is poised above the Dalkeith Hall. If one day you ring and there is no answer, one of the two trees will have fallen down. As to the summer we did have it, but you were all asleep when it came.

RIOT IN BOURNEMOUTH
It was a near thing down at the seafront last month when it was announced that the Vulcan Bomber that was due to fly over could not come, as it was stuck at Hurn Airport awaiting a flight inspection after a little repair had been done on its undercarriage. It seems the safety inspectors don’t work Friday afternoons, so two air show appearances had to be cancelled. Many visitors had come down especially for the flying of the Vulcan. In protest I boycotted the rest of the show due to disappointment. I think had the aviation inspectors put in appearance the least we would have witnessed would have been a lynching. Many would have been happy to see the Vulcan go over whatever state it was in. Possibly next year……
Note when things are fine, the local airport is to be referred to as Bournemouth International Airport, if things are bad then it is to be referred to as Hurn airport which is in Christchurch, which is just outside the Bournemouth Borough boundary, like the stinking sewage works which is also just outside the boundary.

AUGUST 2008
Not much room for my jottings this month.
For all those holidaymakers who have arrived in August hoping to find miles of golden sand and sun in Bournemouth, sorry but due to the economic down turn, we have not been able to purchase these items this year.
We have however been able to purchase some previously used sunshine, this we will have delivered in mid September.

JULY HOLIDAYS
I’ve got it out of my system, I’ve had my two days holiday for the year, so the Dalkeith Hall is back to its Mon – Sat opening.
This second days holiday, was spent at a reunion at a children’s home I was at in Hertfordshire in the mid 1960s. It was just a small gathering, just 40 or so adults, who had spent time there 30 or more years ago.
There was a BBQ so we did not go hungry. Time was spent looking over the site, it closed down as a children’s home in 1985, but it is still as we left it. Youth With A Mission now looks over the 100-acre site.
A wander around and the memories came flooding back. The small cemetery that as some of the boys we shared rooms with, and played with and several members of the staff we knew are remembered in a well-tended site.
The wood with the trees we used to climb, some have fallen down, some have grown bigger. The railway line with the trains we all avoided, there was always some doubt in our minds as to which would hurt the most, being hit by a train or caught by the governor, where the normal punishment whatever age you were, was six strokes of the cane. I was only caught once. He never actually saw me out of the grounds or on the lines, but he just saw me the moment he had done his check, I admitted my guilt and the sentence was commuted to the slipper instead.
A little time was spent by those who have acquired their files of their time in care, and announcing the gory details of within, mostly of which is from the punishment pages. Our chatter soon turned to every possible method we had found of reducing the pain from the slipper or cane. Stupid ideas of shoving a book down the seat of your trousers had absolutely no chance of succeeding. Part of the punishment was a long wait, sitting on a hard chair waiting for the governor to see to you.
The crimes that we could be punished for were endless. I think during our sessions we worked out that we had committed everything that was imaginable, most of which we got caught for, but there was the few that we could claim as winning.
The Admin Block still had its foreboding influence for many, had its famous large clock still in working order. For me the highlight was to find the hatch to the boiler room underneath the front office unlocked. In my time this was a place of refuge, it was abandoned in the 1960s as a heating plant and had been flooded to a few inches with water thought the year. If I was ever needing to hide from older enemies, it provided refuge for an eight year old boy, who wearing wellingtons was prepared for the rather stagnant and dirty water that was encountered. My foe who normally had games like football or cricket on their mind were never dressed for the exploration of the cellar. It became my refuge and my hiding place for my ill-gotten gains that might not have been welcome by Sister.
The cellar has recently been cleaned out and a new thick concrete floor added, all my treasures that had probably lain untouched for the last forty years have also gone. Returning to my underground hideaway where I had spent many quiet hours was such a restful experience.
All we can do is wait for the reunions for next year to come around.
Please note, there will not be a sale on the first Saturday of July 2009.

JUNE 2008
ON HOLIDAY – PLEASE DO NOT TURN UP ON 5th JULY
We will be closed on Saturday 5th July, I am having a holiday, we will also be closed on Saturday 19th July, I am having another holiday.
Any customer complaining about me having two days holiday this year is invited to come in on 25th December and help me get the January catalogue ready.

HOW TO CATCH A TRAIN
I have booked my ticket, here are the instructions provided.
Outward Journey
departs BOURNEMOUTH at 06:42 travel by Train service provider SOUTH WEST TRAINS to station LONDON WATERLOO arrives 08:49,
departs LONDON WATERLOO at 08:49 travel by Foot service provider to station LONDON WATERLOO (EAST) arrives 09:13
departs LONDON WATERLOO (EAST) at 09:13 travel by Train service provider SOUTHERN to station LONDON BRIDGE arrives 09:17
departs LONDON BRIDGE at 09:30 travel by Train service provider FIRST CAPITAL CONNECT to station X arrives 10:14

Only question, do they not speak English at Waterloo - Foot service provider?
I go North by South West to East then North by Southern.
What hope do visitors to England have in getting on the right train.

June 2008
ANOTHER SALE IN JUNE
Please remember there will not be a sale in July, but there will be a sale on 28th June to allow you to get your auction fix.
It’s time for me to have my annual days holiday, so I plan to take it on the day there will be a train strike, road works across the country, terrorist alerts, major flood, hurricane and other disasters. I’m heading up to London again, so most of those calamities should quite easily accompany me.
It’s the Annual reunion for those who were in the National Children’s Home, just a time to meet old friends and remember the happy and daft times of our childhood. For those that might be interested visit www.theirhistory.co.uk or for those without a computer, send your name and address to me and I will send it in a printed format.

THE GARDEN NEEDS CUTTING
It was only a few months ago that the garden at the side of the Dalkeith Hall was cut short, now it resembles a jungle. It will either be go out and buy a new strimmer or throw a few buns to a gardener that likes to cheat death and fight his way through all the cans and bottles in the course of professionally cutting the undergrowth. I think he likes the garden, he sent us a postcard from Spain, he must be saving up his strength to work on it.

ENGINE WANTED
The dreaded unleaded petrol has finally eaten the engine. The good old Rover 2000 was never designed to use the rat’s piss that is now sold as petrol. Even with additives added in the tank, at a little over 200,000 miles the engine has finally lost its compression through the valves wearing down due to the lack of lead.
Lead in petrol does not cause brain damage, this has been proved over the last few years with lead removed from petrol. There are now more brain dead teenagers wandering the streets today, than there ever was when lead was freely put into petrol, personally I blame bottled water for all the problems in today’s teenagers. Bring back……………..

NOTE IN YOUR DIARY - JULY 2008
Please remember not to turn up on the first Saturday of the month.

MAY 2008
IT’S EASTER EGG TIME
I’m one of those who celebrate festivities shortly after most of the population. For me Easter Egg Time happens a couple of weeks after the event, or to be more precise, when they reduce Easter Eggs down to half price or less. This means I can make myself twice as ill for the same cost.
Personally I blame Woolworth’s for my reduced cost Easter Egg hunt. In the good old days when there were counters at Woolworths, after Easter there was always part of the sweet counter that devoted to selling broken Easter egg pieces by weight. What more can a child want!

BRING BACK THE ‘B’ MOVIE
Long, long ago people went to the cinema for a few hours entertainment, they now apparently go to the cinema to eat, talk on their mobiles and generally chat. There used to be a film supporting the main feature commonly referred to as a ‘B’ movie. Many of these were made in England at the smaller film studios and made ideal employment for the lesser British actors.
A few years ago many of these films used to be shown on the television during unpopular slots on regional television. Each region often selecting the type of subject. The good old Edgar Lustgarten crime films, often appeared at 11pm at night. Southern TV also went in for a selection on European films that no other region ever did dare show.
I managed to get a 16mm film print of one of these long forgotten films. ‘Black Memory’ made in the 1950s it had Sid James in a small part as a café owner and Michael Medwin as a rather thuggish character. Made in black & white of course and at one of the smaller English studios, there was a good plot, good dialogue – where all the words could be heard, and a host of other favourite items, it’s just a shame that the ‘B’ picture has vanished.
Another bucket of popcorn please……..

April 2008
I’VE BEEN TOSHED
Yes, I’m one of the few thousand who believed Toshiba when they told us they had the High Quality DVD player of the future. High quality sound and vision etc. It is possible to buy a DVD player for around £20. The Toshiba versions cost hundreds of pounds. Once we have them in out homes, the firm announce that they are abandoning the system, so other than playing ordinary DVD’s that a £20 player would do with far more ease, there are a few thousand disgruntled Toshiba customers around the country and a few million more around the world. I expect to see a court action starting in the USA, where there customers will not put up with spending good money and get told after two months you have a worthless player. For those of us in England, its probably just bad luck. Now if there is a Toshiba showroom in this country, I might pay a visit, but I don’t think the firm will be doing much publicity in the next few months about their wonderful new products.

SPRING IS HERE
The flowers are out and the snow is falling in the more remote parts of the country, so what else is expected?

THE END OF CONFUSION
It has been a puzzle for many years, which sock goes on which foot. Men’s socks seem to take on a life of their own after a few washes. There always seems to be a shape that the sock takes on from its previous use. To end this confusion, I have just been able to buy a pair of socks with small letters of L & R built into the toe design. A problem ended at a stroke, as an added bonus also engraved is the shoe size of 43-46. What will they think of next.

March 2008

LOSS OF TANSY
As you will have now read the sad news about Tansy at the front of the catalogue. She will be greatly missed.
THEY KNOW WHAT I’VE GOT
The two local hospital specialists have settled their differences, and possibly with a flip of the coin they have diagnosed me as having Sarcoidosis. From a leaflet I picked up at the hospital about the problem, I have learnt the following facts.
The cause is not known. It may be a very unusual type of infection, but not the type you can catch from someone that has it. Can affect any part of the body, sometimes in many parts at the same time. There is much research going on at the moment.
So it looks as if I’m O.K., and I thought Sarcoidosis was caught from being Sarcastic to potential vendors who have the 1981 Royal Wedding Commonwealth stamp collection and think they are going to get their money back and even a profit if they sell it by auction.
FERAL YOUTHS
There is talk of finding some way of controlling this type of pest. One solution in England has been to bombard this type of vermin with a high-pitched sound that appears to send them scurrying to other areas where it is quiet. We now have an interfering lady from a children’s unit in Scotland that wants England to ban these devices and allow the feral youths the freedom to congregate where they please. Would the lady please mind her own business and stick to laws in her own country, or preferably tell us her address so we can provide her with her very own group of yobs to amuse her in the evenings and nights.
I DON’T MIND THEM DRINKING
The yard and path next to the Dalkeith Hall is a magnet for under age drinking, it is chosen as an area out of public gaze, where it is unlikely that the local persons that wear yellow jackets and might be related to the police force, would venture to stop their illegal use of alcohol in the designated alcohol free zone.
If the under 18’s drink, that’s fine by me as long as they don’t start causing a nuisance in any way. If a 14 year old wants a beer, as long as it’s only one or two and that he is quiet in his drinking, I cannot see any real problem. I started with Guinness at about the age of four and then moved onto spirits at around the age of five, a little did not do me any harm and I never wanted me to wish for the age of 18 to come when I could legally go out to buy the stuff and get blindingly drunk with friends at every free moment.
At 5pm in the yard there were three youths, aged around 14-18 they had managed to buy a box of 24 European beers. Why bother with this weak stuff, buy a couple of bottles of decent stout instead.
Within a short time they had consumed the lot. There was a dustbin a few feet away, if they could only have put the rubbish in the bin everything would have been fine, the box was left on the ground and the bottles strewn around. It’s not a sonic deterrent they need it’s a lump of 4 x 2, sorry I should have used the metric 100mm x 50mm.
MORE SH*T ON TV
A local broadband company are experimenting with a new high-speed broadband cable that will allow us to have ultra fast TV and Broadband computer access. Unlike every other company, they do not intend to dig up the road to lay their cables, they have the intention to lay them in the sewers. Once done there will be no excuse for us to complain about the utter sh*t that is on the TV, we know exactly where it came from.

ON THE 29th
Would all ladies who wish to propose marriage to me, please form an orderly queue outside the door from 8am. I will make my selection at 12 NOON.
I am willing to take on additional wives providing they pay the air fare (Business or First class) for both of us, to any country providing the (extra wives) service for marriage.
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Feb 2008

STARVATION
The instructions were nothing to eat from 2am in the morning, and no breakfast. If I don’t watch out I’ll starve away to nothing. Seems it was best to obey the hospital rules.
In at 7.30 am, it’s nice to get in at this time as I’m told as their scalpels are still sharp at this time of day. There was this lump they had found in my armpit. They had already taken some samples with a large needle, but those tests were inconclusive, they had decided they want the lump itself to see what it is.
I think I went sleepy bye byes around 9am after the paperwork had been completed.
Just over an hour later I was coming around; my brain seemed to lag slightly behind the rest of my body. If you could only buy small bottles of this wonderful stuff they had injected into me, what interesting fun you could have, slumber party anyone?
After a while I was plied with marmite and toast, once the rules of my release had been confirmed, I was allowed out of the hospital. I had to provide a responsible person to look after me, a taxi driver would not do, but apparently an auctioneer was all right.
Must have been about 1pm by the time I was back at work. Had I been in the Government PAYE scheme, I think that there would have been signed off with a possible two-week sick pay allowance, but as a member of that underclass ‘the self-employed’ then half a day was my lot.
For the rest of the day I might have appeared to be a half crazed zombie, but to all that know me, there was little difference.
Soon the painkiller wore off, some nice bruises and a scar just over three inches long is the result. I’ll know their findings in a couple of weeks, but for now alligator wrestling and fascist salutes (including Black-Power) are off the menu.
I’ve been invited back next month to the hospital – apparently they want to look at a lump under my other arm – something to do with my Lymph-Glands.
THE NEW PHOTOCOPIER
Last month’s catalogue came out of my new toy without too may problems. I was able to sit down, have a couple of cups of coffee whilst the copier got on with is work. About every two minutes there was a thud of a freshly produced catalogue being spewed out and hitting the previously produced one.
A little Howard modification has been done to the machine – seems the Howard’s are always modifying something, a distant relation was at one time playing about with a garden hoe and an engine – the rest is history.
The photocopier is designed to produce twenty catalogues then stop and waits for you to come and remove the pile, before it starts again. I had already voiced my opinion of this clever idea to the sales person and the engineer. Their reply was that there was a cut-out switch to stop more than twenty copies being produced. They already had the idea that I might take a saw to the stacker part of the machine.
Once they had left (after confiscating my saw) I looked at the odd failsafe switches – stupid design, if I take away the stacker, the micro switch will never be able to count more than one catalogues as they now simply fall onto the floor. This is not lateral thinking – this is vertical thinking (homage to M&S advert), a 10p cardboard box now replaces that stacking shelf that cost a lot of money.
I can now go back to my coffee and doze off to sleep listening to the steady thump of falling catalogues, 459, 460, 461, 462…….. and to think some people need to count sheep to go to sleep.
Question 1. How long does it take to produce 550 catalogues?
Question 2. How many cups of coffee will I drink?
Question 3. Do you want to buy the old copier, only 1,000,000 on the clock?

Jan 2008

THIS MONTH’S CATALOGUE
Other than inserting the catalogue into the envelope, this month’s catalogue should reach you untouched by human hands.
It’s not that I am employing a group of out of work TV chimps who are currently ‘resting’ as the profession would say. This time it’s down to a new copier, that other than loading the paper into the machine, it will apparently print it, collate it, staple it and even fold it.
As with all modern things, this should make things quicker, but the reality is that it will be slower, it takes longer than doing it by hand.
Should it fail, then as normal I will be stapling in the trusted way with the old automatic stapler and folder, this machine is in theory is well past its use by date, the cover fell off years before I bought it, I had to modify it by sticking the safety cut out switch down, which meant it will work without its cover. The micro switch that detects when a catalogue has been inserted fell off last month. It was only a very small switch, so its disappearance was not missed: a pen now jammed into a hole seems to solve the problem. The rollers are not picking up the catalogue due to being worn out. Two reams of paper now jammed in at the bottom seems to send the freshly stapled catalogue at enough of an angle for the rollers now to pick up, only 1 in 40 catalogues seem to get mangled.
So it was now judged time to replace the machine. A year or so ago, I was promised up an upgrade, but that machine is still in use by its current owner, thus the final decision to purchase new equipment had now to be taken. The copier part has done a couple of thousand short of a million copies; it’s surprising that it only took 3 years to do that number of copies.
So I’ve put my autograph on the purchase contract, and officially I now own a new machine, provided that is I keep up the monthly payments. If I seem to be missing a finger one month, you will know that I missed a payment: very persuasive these copier salesmen are. It took three to come as a group to tell me to buy one of their machines; a rival firm only sent two men in suits.
Possibly the catalogue could look extra special this month, but I’m going to use that once or twice used photocopier paper, so any spots in the catalogue are not down to me or the new machine, the paper was like that when I bought it – honest guv.
NEW BOOK
The History of the Cayman Islands Post Offices by Ivan Burgess. A5 booklet in full colour with illustrations and photographs. Plenty of historical detail. 64 pages price £15 UK, including registered airmail postage from the Cayman Islands. Ivan Burgess, PO Box 1543 GT, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands. Fax number 001 345 947 1117


CHRISTMAS 2007
If you are reading this before the event – well Happy Christmas, if you are reading this after the event – did you know there are only 360 days before it comes round again. May I be the first to announce only 350 shopping days until Christmas (this of course includes Sundays, but not some public holidays and Easter Sunday when most shops seem to shut for odd reasons – strange custom).
For those who are not coming to viewing or the sale, now might be the time to get your position in the Marks & Spencer refund queue, if you go now there will only be 243 in front of you, leave it another 10 minutes and there will be 267 in front, please remember to put enough money in the car park machine, it might take longer than you think.
What did I get for Christmas, there was a set of DVD’s of the first series of Star Trek, an electric keep the flab off machine – well designed, all you have to do is sit on it and apparently the pounds will fall off. Yes, I know now, that
the pounds they are referring to are the pounds that have been taken off the price tag now we are in the January sales. One instruction – do not use the machine when asleep.
This month’s competition for auction buyers on the day, will be to guess which member of the auction team will be sitting on it – the answer will be revealed when I throw the switch to the on position. Please note we are not licensed to take bets. The other present was a pile of out of date mince pies and chocolate Santas, yes I know I’m a diabetic and must not eat sugar, but looking at these sweet items and caressing them is allowed, isn’t it.
Please note, I can predict these presents. As I’m a sad ‘Grumpy old’ man, of course I had to buy them for myself. Anyone want to adopt me for Christmas 2008, only 355 days to get your offer in you know…..
FREE WHITE PAPER
It’s still on offer if you can come and collect it, A4 and A3 white paper; there is still a quantity of it available free. I don’t mind what you do with it as long as it does not cause a nuisance or get me into trouble, so making 300,000 paper aeroplanes and throwing them of the top of the car park is out of the question. Filling your recycling bin at home with 5000 sheets might be fun, just watch the face of the bin man when he tries to move it, you might get in trouble though, they might say that amount of paper was not really domestic waste.
THE SHILLINGSTONE STATION PROJECT
There are plans to return the area to its former glory; this of course will take money. If you would like more information of the North Dorset Railway Trust’s project please write to The Membership Sec. TNDRT, PO Box 88, Shaftsbury, SP7 8TF. If however you would like to speed up the progress, then send them £17, you will become a full member and start straight away to receive the groups newsletter. How you help them after that is then up to you.
Registered charity (No. 1087161).

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PAY UP YE VARMINTS
Yes it’s the 2007 Christmas good will message from Dalkeith Auctions. It is time for subscriptions again, a nice little form is enclosed with this months catalogue, I hope many of you will return it with your payment, for anyone that does not want catalogues for 2008, would they please return the form so that we can remove your address from the mailing list.
A stamp is enclosed with this catalogue for you to return the sub form, if you have already paid the sub, the stamp can be used for your bid form or even to send a Christmas card to someone.
SMALL SPLODGES IN THE CATALOGUE
As an experiment, I’m printing this months catalogue on a form of recycled paper. It is not recycled paper in the normal sense, where paper is collected in the recycling scheme and then turned into fresh white paper. The paper that is used this month is paper that has previously been through a copier.
Please don’t try to read the previous writing by holding the paper up to the heat, dipping it in an acidic solution etc to detect a hidden message. I can’t tell you where the paper came from, but I can reveal that it is from a location in Dorset not too far from Wareham.
CUT DOWN A TREE AND GET MORE TV
Now winter is upon us, I trimmed down a tree, so the satellite dish could get a better view of the sky. Not the SKY satellite but a couple of ASTRA satellites that broadcast most of the European programmes.
With the view clear a second group of satellites ‘Hotbird” now came into view. If you thought Freeview with its choice of 100 channels was enough to watch, I’ve now got a selection of 500 channels that are all free, I can even pick up SKY News with out paying for it, (I’ve been told that the man might soon ask for some money to watch his channel). Everything is on 24 hours a day with no need for any pin number or to observe any watershed of time. My new mix as well as the German and French lot, include American Religious programmes, Arabic news and general programmes, Italian, Eastern Europe, Half a ton of other programmes which I’ve no idea what language they are gibbering in, and about twenty porn channels that show tantalising snippets of their fare and give a phone number for you to ring so you can buy a decoder card, also if it takes your fancy a couple of channels aimed at men, let us say not channels that would be allowed to be broadcast or owned by a British company, but one where the programmes would scare the horses. Mixed in with the bunch are a whole range of children’s channels, parents that can receive these satellites better keep control of the handset, we wouldn’t want the little darlings learning to see what the rest of the world knows.
FOR THOSE NOT ATTENDING THE NEXT SALE
HAPPY CHRISTMAS
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IT’S SPRING CLEAN TIME
The back room & auction room is getting a spring clean, yes I know it’s not spring time but calling it a winter clean now we have global warming don’t make sense.
Years of old paper work and bits of junk are slowly making their way to the bin, it would be quicker, but I’m only allowed five big bins of rubbish a week. To help the environment none will be recycled using up high volumes of energy, but will go to fill an environmentally unfriendly hole where gravel was extracted last year. The gravel was of course used to build motorways and bypasses so lorries carrying rubbish to landfill sites could do their work faster. So I have really helped the environment.
The next way of helping the planet in its quest for the carbon emission quota (my quota has been exchanged with a jungle dwelling person in South America), is to turn on the night storage heater so you will all keep warm during bidding.
Will have to leave the environment to its own problems for the moment as I’m trying to arrange swapping a TV, changing an environmentally high powered tube model for the newer LCD type.
FREE TO THE FIRST PERSON TO ASK
For free collection from our premises, A Wide screen TV, not apparently working, but who knows with a bit of care and the odd hit, it might work again. Please collect it soon, or it will have to go in the bin, if I can find room. I can’t take it to the recycling centre as this is a closed pedestrian area during the times I could get a car in, and in any case, why should I have to take a whole pile of paperwork to the site just to prove I’m a citizen of Bournemouth. It can go to landfill and not cause my generation any more problems. In 3007 when a future generation digs its remains up, they will be able to wonder, why we kept such thing in our rooms.
THE GREAT TV SWITCH OFF
The government tell us that our analogue TV signals will be all turned off by 2012, but our old TV’s will keep working if we plug in a ‘Freeview’ box or the like. That is fine for all the TV’s that sit indoors, but try plugging one of those boxes into your small portable 3 inch TV, it dunna work, thousands of small TV’s will soon be dumped, best get rid of them now – sell them on eBay, if you don’t know how, we can do it for you (for a very reasonable fee of course). Then you can go out and buy that environmental friendly wind up radio.

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THE DOCTORS DIET
Some time ago it was suggested what I should eat by the doctor, at first I stuck to the instructions, but after a time the odd biscuit, chocolate biscuit, biscuit, bar of chocolate, biscuit etc started to sneak in.
My last blood test had a blood glucose level of 20.7mmol/L, (off the scale in normal terms). I had a phone call to attend the doctor in a week’s time. Looks like the riot act will be read to me again.
I’ve tried the diet, with no products containing added sugar being eaten. Levels are now down to 14 – 16, still too high, looks like a diet of water and the 500 kcals diet again.
The only problem with that diet is that I get really bad tempered and can almost go for the jugular if I get angry, my blood pressure at the moment is quite good, seems a shame to spoil it. Will have to see what the doctor says.
OATS
As part of my diet, it has been suggested that instead of my morning toast, I have some porridge.
I don’t have to boil up that traditional mix, but am allowed one of the instant mixes. I have bought two different makes. The one intended for the UK market comes as sachets each of 27g and has 98kcal, the one intended for the USA and Canada market is 37g and has 150kcal. The UK one does not seem enough when made up, so two sachets are needed or 196kcal. I think I’m heading off to Canada - Doctor’s orders.
MADE IN THE EU
I purchased a tin of sweets from a shop in Boscombe, it was one of those shops that sells everything for low cost, often ends of lines, foreign imports etc.
Ford Racing sweets, normally the type of sweet you would pay around £2 if purchased at a filling station.
The printing on the front was in English, but it had an extra label stuck on the reverse, stating the ingredients, the importer and the product, and that it was produced in the EU.
I love removing these labels, just to see where the product was intended to be sold.
On removing the label, underneath printed in English were the words ‘Made in Argentina’, now those who affixed the new label are either telling porkies on the paper label, or the tins were surplus and now contain EU sweets, or the most lightly explanation is that the sweets were made in the Falklands which is British, and possibly part of the EU under some odd ruling, and as Argentina has a claim of possession of the Falklands, they can now claim the sweets were made in Argentina. Unless you can think of another solution.
YOUR LOCAL COUNCIL IS PROUD TO ANNOUNCE
FOOD SAFETY MATTERS - Nos. 167 & 168
Bakery Char in bakery products
Bakery goods such as bread and cakes sometimes contain small bits of overcooked dough which could resemble rodent dropping, these are black and a regular torpedo shape, while bakery char can be hard or soft, is blackish and comes in uneven shapes. This gets into bakery goods by falling off previously used baking tins. They are not harmful.
Carbonised grease in bakery products
Some bakery products may have areas which appear dark and greasy. This is carbonised grease which comes from machinery used in the production of bakery goods. The grease is a non-toxic vegetable oil and is not harmful.


Nope I’m not put off my food.  

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THE COMPUTER
Why should  a simple system of updating a programme take hours? There is a new update for Internet explorer. On one of the computers there was no problem on the other it loaded but then refused to allow the scanner to load. Updating and reloading the scanner software did little good, stupid little error messages came up.
The solution I have found to this problem is so easy. If you use XP rather than Windows 98, Windows 95, Windows 3.1, DOS or even CPM, there is a little trick in Windows XP that allows you to go back in time, to a time when the computer worked without a problem.
I have gone back to yesterday, Saturday morning did not exist. I’m now back to Friday, the computer works fine. Tomorrow is Sunday. Problem solved.
LAST MONTH’S BIDS
Some of last month’s bidders found it was taking more than 7 days for their bids to get to us. If they get to us after the sale there is little we can do. Might be worth either faxing your bids or phoning them through.
On your bid form, a phone number is always a help, if there is anything not clear, it does make it easier to sort out any problems.
PROBLEMS ON MARS
The Vegetarian Society have refused to let Mars to put their ‘V’ sign on Mars bars as they do not fully meet the standards of the Vegetarian Society. Their reason is that Mars bars do not contain free range eggs, but eggs from battery hens.
Mars, a short time ago, had a row with the society over the use of an animal products in their bars. If Mars did go over to using free-range eggs, the number they needed would mean a shortage for the public of free-range eggs in supermarkets. As the Mars bar is a world product, most other countries don’t give a hoot if a Mars bar contains an animal product or not. Personally I would not pander to groups and even offer to put their logo on products or even make any attempt to follow the wishes of a minority. I think even if the Vegetarian Society members never bought another Mars bar it would not harm Mars in the slightest. The only wording I would prefer to see on the ingredients would be ‘contains vegetarians’.
As to the products I supply, I would never get the Vegetarian Society logo, I have my own V sign, learnt around 1969 when the film Kes came out, and in any case many of our products contain meat products, blood from viewers from paper cuts, the odd half eaten beef sandwich in mixed lots, the odd pork sausage in the world accumulations, our aim is to give good value, so mixed lots are always worth sorting.

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I’M BACK FROM THE SMOKE
Sorry I must not say that now, under the new No Smoking regulations, Ken (I’m not mad) Livingstone would possibly take me to court, if I referred his city as the Smoke. They’ve stopped smoking cigarettes in public, but down the Tube, there is a certain aroma of burning weed, even without me needing to go to the southern parts of the Victoria line.
My day’s holiday was great, managed to meet up with some fellow ex-inmates, even a couple of the staff took a little time to talk to us, seems they were fascinated with our memories of life in the 1950’s and 1960’s, and can quite see why they needed to close down the large Children’s Homes, under current regulations of being unable to physically punish children for their wrong deeds, how could they keep 200 children in the grounds without the majority walking out of the ground during their free time, and as to asking the children to spend a couple of hours each day doing chores, the reply they would receive today would be unthinkable.
The book of my childhood went down well at the event, so did the strawberries and cream.
NO SMOKING
I have put up the official no smoking sign on the door, useless bit of junk that it is. Our customers know not to smoke, I’ve got a long heavy piece of wood that was used to deter any person who even dared bring in even an unlit cigarette, anyway there was a perfectly good Ex British Railways no smoking sign on the door. I might have to take it down, possible possession like green fire extinguishers would mean months in prison.
As the majority of the Bournemouth retail staff are unable to read English, I have also used the official wording on the sign in Polish, Arabic and the other local dialects that one hears whist being served in Bournemouth shops. As yet I have been unable to find the wording in ITA English, or Dorset Speak.
COMPENSATION
That is a bigger lottery in this country than the National Lottery. Get called a F*****g N** N** by your work mates, or fall over a flower petal and you could expect to receive £500,000 to £1,000,000. Get put in a psychiatric hospital as a child by the Bournemouth council, and after five years they find there was no need for a child to be there as it was simply down to their poor quality of service and receive £7,500 for your loss of freedom. Now that’s where the £500,000 should be going.
FREE WATER
There is a surplus of water in Bournemouth, please collect from Bournemouth Lower gardens within the next week, before it runs into the sea and pollutes it.
IT WAS FORETOLD
Open Microsoft Word and do the following:
1. Type in capitals Q33 NY. This is the flight number of the first plane to hit one of the Twin Towers.
2. Highlight the Q33 NY.
3. Change the font size to 48.
4. Change the actual font to the WINGDINGS

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REMEMBER WHEN THE NEXT
SALE IS
The sale is Saturday 30th June. There is NO sale in July, if you come on 7th July you will find the door closed.
MY HOLIDAY
This is on 7th July, I plan a trip to London, the ticket is purchased, the seat is reserved and the police will be ready waiting for me when I arrive at Waterloo station. For anyone in London, if you see a larger white van with a police escort back and front that holds up all the traffic, there is a good bet that I will be inside, it’s a cheaper way of crossing London in the direction of Paddington than taking the tube or bus.
I HAVE BEEN PROMISED MY BOOK
After wearing out two editors and proof-readers, the book of my time in The National Children’s Home “Philip A Strange Child” is now at the printers. After going through several proofs and grammatical corrections, the first edition has been judged ready to print. Looking at the final proofs for the umpteenth time I can see a few niggling little things that need correcting, but they will have to wait until a second printing.
The printer has promised to bring it down ready for this sale, but possibly floods, crinkly paper and several other things will delay it.
I did get a test printing done in April 2005, but realised the book needed thinning down and many corrections needed doing. The new version has been cut down to 230 pages.
Should you see blood stains in the area outside the door, one of two things will have happened, either it is not ready and the printer coming down do offer his humble apologies did not bow down low enough, or something really horrible has happened to the print run.
TO GET A COPY OF THE BOOK
Simple, send us some money. Normal price £9.95. But to auction customers a special price of £5.99 if you collect, or £6.99 if you want it posted.
Philip A Strange Child. by Philip J. Howard. ISBN 978 0 9555878 0 1 Published June 2007.

VISIT TO LONDON
I did get my bargain break, £18 to London and back by train, I think the current price today is around £70 if you want to get up for 9am.
The train was a few minutes late leaving Bournemouth, but I was told by the guard, not to bother getting off at Winchester, but to get off at Basingstoke as they were have an extra stop there. Nice train, I like the new rolling stock that has been given to our line.
Got off at Basingstoke and asked the customer service department which platform I should go to for my train to London, they told me not to bother catching that train I should just get on the next London train that came in, so instead of getting into London at 09.17, I actually got in at 09.00, not bad for £18 and there was even a reserved seat for me on the 19.05 train back to Bournemouth.
THE NEXT SALE AFTER THIS
Due to the Omens from the God of money, I have been told that 07.07.07 is not a day to have financial transactions occurring. As this was originally a sale date, I have moved the sale a week forward. The sale will not take place on the first Saturday of July, but will take place on the last Saturday of June. This date of 07.07.07 however also coincides with one of the days I want off. I’m going up to London again. I’ve been told to avoid parts of the Northern Line, seems there might be delays.
NO NUTS IN MY CHOCOLATE
I was very disappointed in one of the Easter Eggs I got this year. Made by Cadbury’s, it had a sticker on the box “Contains Nuts”, very disappointed, there were no nuts inside.
I wrote a letter of complaint, their reply was that they had to withdraw a large amount of their Easter Eggs as they were made on production lines that use nuts so they affixed stickers to warn of possibly allergies.
To me this does not answer my complaint – There were No Nuts, must write a letter of complaint.
The Isle of Wight to be Destroyed.
The Isle of White issue of stamps are going to face destruction after the Post Office printed them with the wrong spelling, It appears that a new version with the words ‘Isle of Wight’ are now in production.
The other Isle of Wight news is that Amoy Noodles don’t want their customers on the Isle of Wight to ring their care line. Clearly they print that “Customer Care Line Call free (UK Mainland Only) 0800 072 4090.
I think a few of our customers who struggle from this offshore island, should voice their opinions about their treatment as foreign persons, after all the noodles were made in China, don’t they know where the Isle of Wight is, or were they thinking of Kowloon?
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I MIGHT BE TAKING A HOLIDAY
I’ve thought up a cunning plan. Last year I took a day’s holiday, this year if I take a day off early in the year, I might be able to sneak another one later in the year without anyone noticing. Next year I could add another day, and then go on each year adding an extra days. By the time I reach official retirement date of 65, I would then be getting seventeen days holiday each year, or if I took Stamp Dealers Retirement date a whopping 32 days holiday a year.
Where to go, O.K. it’s not really a holiday, but a conference in London. Having mastered the train last year, I thought I would have another bash at this mode of transport. The main problem is that the conference starts at 10.30am, so the Cheap-Day Return ticket is not available. Over £67 for a Day Return is not on. So I start looking at the South West Trains web site more closely. The phrase “There may be alternative, slower routes with cheaper tickets” caught my eye.
There used to be a dodge where if you purchased tickets for different parts of a journey you could cut the cost a little, what used to be frowned upon by the railways is now openly encouraged, not only will they tell you the costs, but to save you the bother of going to the stations and buying the tickets, they will even send them to you (from Scotland).
The trains that I would like to take, and have the fare of £67 from Bournemouth, are 06.56, or the 07.26 and 07.30 that get into London at 09.25.
However if I take the 06.56 from Bournemouth and get off at Winchester at 07.47 and get and onto the 08.04 from Winchester, then I get off at Basingstoke at 8.21 and then catch the 08.29 from Basingstoke it will take me into London at 09.17, coupled with this there is also a return ticket (direct) thrown into the deal, all for £18.30 and that includes reserved seats for most of the journeys - please tell me what planet I’m on.
However there might be a better deal, a link on the South West Trains site takes you to Megatrain and Megabus. Seems there is a cheap fare up to London first thing in the morning by coach, but I do have to get up to Bournemouth University - from the town center (cost about £1.10), Single up to London £1, and take the train back for £6.
It’s going to be a difficult decision £18.30 or go for the cut-price option of £8.10.
Will let you know next month.

KEN
It is with regret that we have to announce the death of Ken.
Known to all simply as Ken, with an interesting sense of humor, he was often encountered on a Wednesday during viewing week moving the waste cardboard to the bin, any viewer who had not taken the advice of removing themselves from one side of the viewing counter when the cardboard was making its journey, suffered a painful injury.
Ken had been with us for 15 years, and provided the descriptions and valuations for the furniture and glassware in the catalogue; the other service he offered was tidying the auction room the day before the sale. He was always amazed at the amount of rubbish we could provide for his entertainment.
As many of our customers knew, Ken had not been in the best of health for many years, but even if it meant crawling in, he tried to complete the tasks set.
Ken died at the age of 48; he leaves a five-year-old vacuum cleaner named Henry.
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IT’LL NEVER CATCH ON
In the supermarkets there is a new form of coffee from Douwe Egberts, it comes in a similar pack to an egg box. Inside the box are six sachets of liquid coffee.
The idea of this product is that you squeeze the sachet and mix to a froth. On the box the instruction it’s called pump and froth.
I can’t really imagine the person who came up with the idea, but each sachet one can only describe as similar to Linford Christie’s lunch box, and I’m not talking about the box he carries his sandwiches in.
Most men will actually wince when making this coffee up, possibly the packs are aimed at the ladies, but we will see if in a years time they are still on the supermarket shelves in the coffee area, or have been moved to a more private area.
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WE NEED YOUR NUMBER

If you are paying by credit or debit card, it is now important that we have the last three digits that are printed on the back of your card.

As an incentive, the company that processes my payments is now going to charge extra for payments that are supplied without this number, that cost would have to be passed onto you, so let’s have the three digits.

 

SNOW

I must apologise to all our customers that were caught in the snow drifts when visiting us in the last week or so. It was your own fault for living in places where snow fell. If you had lived in Bournemouth with its nine miles of sandy beaches and its sub tropical climate with palm trees you would not have experienced the snow. (Sorry seven miles of sandy beaches – we’ve just imported two miles of pebbles from Brighton or Branscombe).

 

PURCHASED THE T-SHIRT

On eBay, there was a t-shirt offered promoting the antics of the folk that visited Branscombe Bay, themed on the idea from the film Whisky Galore, it depicted a local person making off with some salvage from the wreck.

eBay have decided to remove any item of salvage that appears on the site, this t-shirt was also removed (not before I had put my order in though). Although it was not salvage but a modern souvenir. It appears they took offence to the words on the front of the shirt of ‘Skanky Pikey Ba**ards’. Come on eBay, them folk that went down to the beach were doing quite legal collecting, as long as they informed the authorities on what the had removed.

 

JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT IT WAS SAFE TO GO TO THE POST OFFICE

As everyone has almost become use to the prices for Letters, Large Letters and Packets in the Post Office’s Pricing in Preponderance, they have just published the new rates.

Guess what, the price of sending things through the post is going up in April.

Just when you had reconfigured all your eBay rate tabs, you’re going to have to change them again.

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DON’T GO TO THE POST OFFICE
The government is doing its best to encourage people not to go to the post office. Now you are not able to buy your television licence there (those that buy a television licence that is). I won’t go into my purchase of the licence, sufficient to say that I get a reminder at least twice a year and the threat of a visit by an enforcement officer. No sign of one yet. Seems I’m required to go into my local store to buy a licence, or possibly do it over the Internet, post etc.
My renewal documents for one of my cars came in the post, this too can be ordered over the net, so no arguing with a Post Office clerk.
The Internet application does not need to see your mot or insurance documents; the great computer at Swansea has all that. So I pressed the button and said yes - please give me a tax disc. They didn’t even ask for my credit or debit card, seems they believe me when I tell them the car was built in 1968 so I get a free disc. A few days later the tax disc arrived by post, well I’m keeping Royal Mail going, if not the Post Office.
SCHOOL REPORTS
For those of you who remember the traditional school reports, it was often a time of dread. You returned home with that sealed envelope. Some pupils had replacement envelopes ready, so that they could read the report before the adults and try and work out what rewards or punishments would come in their direction when the report was read. For most it was the latter that was the main thought. The wise schools of course sent reports by post.
A teacher could reduce all your hard work for the past term into a sentence of around six words, or often less, as there could be up to 40 children in that class, and often ten classes to do reports for.
A child might try and give the excuse that the comment was about another child in the class and the teacher had made a mistake over the name. The parent was usually too wise to believe the child. The regular reports of: Does not listen, Must try harder. Some teachers could get their comments down to one or two words: Lazy, Idle, Bone idle etc. But in most cases struck the nail on the head.
Today a parent would be able to sue the school in later years if a child had received such comments. Reports from schools are now masterworks of art. Gone are the five or six word thoughts from the teachers. A parent will now find that a report contains 50 – 100 words per subject. It might be thought that these long paragraphs would take teacher hours to complete, but it is far easier for the teacher to write a modern report, than a traditional one thanks to the computer.
A teacher is now armed with 50 stock paragraphs for each subject, very bland in content so as never to cause offence. Contents such as: Johnny is a lazy little sod and deserves everything that is coming to him - is not however included. The need for the variety of paragraphs is so that if two parents from the same class compared their children’s reports, they would not find items that were similar and would hold the report to be a real insight into their child – who apparently has no faults.
Teachers apparently can get carried away with their new power. A parent of a child received a report from the school, partly glowing but reporting that the child might be having problems settling in. The parent however found one glaring fault. Her child did not go to that school, but had chosen an alternative school after first viewing the school. Could the school be gaining money for phantom pupils or did the teachers really mix up the names of pupils.
When the school and its teachers get their report, perhaps we might see the words ‘Must try harder’, but in reality it will be made into a 200 word paragraph of modern techno speak.
Bring back the traditional hand written school report.

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SORRY THAT THE TEXT HAS ALL RUN TOGETHER, The HOSTING COMPANY HAVE LOST ALL MY PARAGRAPH SPACING

CHRISTMAS & THE NEW YEAR If you are reading this from 26th onwards, it means I have had a very happy Christmas. The plans for Christmas Day, start work at 8am (half an hour later than normal) making sure most of the phones are turned to silent. I will leave one line on, for those who know my secret number, to ring me and wish me a happy Christmas. Other than going to the top floor of the local car park and shouting my views about Christmas etc., I think I will have a quiet time.

The catalogue needs to be printed, the envelopes stuffed, if anyone finds some Paxo in the centre of the catalogue, it’s because I was stuffing two things at once, then it’s stamp them all up and bag them ready for when Royal Mail wake up again. It’s not that I’m a real Grinch, it’s that I like a quiet time. I’ve a few toys to play with and I don’t have to share with anyone. There’s a Spirograph for making designs, a Bayko building set - much better than Lego, a Give a Show projector, and best of all, a real amusement machine with almost 500 tokens. Also the 50,000 sheets of plain white paper, the 5kg of chocolate and enough chocolate milkshake mix to make up at least 100 gallons. Yes I’m greedy they’re all mine, that is until sale day when I have to part with some of them, by letting others buy them and take them away. It’s daft but I have more fun now that I’ve grown up to play with toys than I did as a child. Christmas forty years ago. Waking up at the age of nine and realising that perhaps Christmas this year might be better than my last four Christmas times. Aged 5: moved with my mother from London to the West Country, Freezing snow, power cuts and my mother working all day. Aged 6: Mother working all day, a useless toy typewriter that ran out of ink after about ten minutes, and our Christmas cake – a chocolate Swiss roll.

Aged 7: Now I find myself placed in a Naughty Boy’s Home (I didn’t do it honest), with the thought I know where I will be spending the next four years and all my Christmas Holidays. Christmas was fun and there were plenty of toys – I got chucked out a couple of weeks later, it seemed I wasn’t naughty enough after all. Aged 8: Now in a Children’s Home. Estimated number of future years and Christmas times here – seven. The main event of that year was getting the cane by the man who a few days later, dressed up as Father Christmas and asked us “had we all been good”? Forty years ago at the age of 9: I had fun on waking up, of opening my stocking and eating the foodstuff that was inside, the only day of the year when we were allowed to have food in the bedroom. Got slippered by the Houseparent on getting up, whilst I did early morning chores, the others started on their presents. When I did get to my presents the best one was a Spirograph, the joy doesn’t last for long, the coloured pens were borrowed by the others, never to be seen again. The two long plastic pieces in the set are snapped by one of the boys whilst flicking something at one of the others, and the Houseparent spotted the pins that are needed to hold the parts onto the paper, allowing a shape to be made accurately, and then confiscated them. That’s the end of that toy. The two other items I hoped to have amongst my other toys: The hangman’s noose, I wanted to have fun in the woods (alone) with that toy, or the set of six sharp daggers, which I wanted to share with the six other children in my flat, which were also missing from my wish list. No I don’t believe in Father Christmas. There’s always next year. ARE THE AUSSIES STILL TAKING THE PISS Purchased as a luxury treat for myself a few bottles of Ginger Beer, imported all the way from Australia. This brew from Bundaberg at least tastes better than some of the British stuff that is found in the supermarkets. I wonder if the Aussies are trying to make fun of us. The printed instruction on the bottle: “INVERT BOTTLE BEFORE OPENING”. Yes that might work in Australia, a country that is upside-down, but in England the ginger beer just runs out onto the floor. I have written to the company asking that an extra instruction to be added to the bottles that are sent over to us. On the bottom of the bottle, could they print the instruction: “NOW TURN UPRIGHT”. IS YOUR £10 STAMP ALL RIGHT? Stamp collectors who have a 1993 £10 FDC, might like to check the condition of their cover. If it is housed in a quality FDC album made prior to 1995 they may find that the heavy duty plastic is affecting this particular stamp. As security features the Post Office used ink, that whilst not affected by water is affected by chemicals found in certain types of plastic. Some of the ink starts to discolour and change shade. The only remedy is to take the cover out of the album, and use it to light the Christmas pudding; it will have no value to stamp collectors in the future. CHILDREN TOLD THAT THERE IS NO FATHER CHRISTMAS To the school children aged nine, who were told that Father Christmas was not real, and was only for little children. I have only a couple of bits of advice. Either sue you school for this upsetting event, or act your age and arson the school. WHERE CAN I BUY MY CRYSTALS. It has been announced that Dixons have now stopped selling analogue radios. The type that have Medium and long wave bands and possible even F.M. I bet this will mean that they have also stopped selling the crystals that I need to use when I tune into 2LO.

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AT LAST I’VE DONE IT
I found the solution on the internet, I’ve been puzzling the problem since the age of eight. (> = to). Horizontal rows A-G. and Vertical rows 1-7.
B4>D4, C6>C4, D4>B4, C2>C4, A3>C3, C4>C2, A5>A3, B5>B3, A3>C3, D3>B3, C1>C3, B3>D3, E1>C1, E2>C2, C1>C3, E4>E2, C3>E3, E2>E4, G3>E3, E4>E2, G5>G3, F5>F3, G3>E3, E2>E4, D5>F5, E7>E5, C7>E7, E4>E6, E7>E5, F5>D5, D6>D4.
Finished.
I WANT ONE OF THOSE
Our local council are finding a large number of people are ringing them up and swearing down the phone.
The problem is Bournemouth’s Bins. The bin men are now searching the bins residents have been placing out for recycling, if the find an item that Bournemouth Council do not recycle, they do not empty the bin, but place a sticker asking the resident to phone the council.
The council will then explain to the resident that they don’t want all the items that can be recycled, they just want certain items. What the really are doing is picking and choosing the recyclable goods that will get them nearer to the government target, rather than helping the environment in fully recycling all recyclable material. Once the resident has accepted that they are in the wrong, are very naughty and promise not to do it again, the council will arrange to have their bin emptied on this occasion. Next time it happens they will be taken to Bournemouth Square, tied to the Eternal Flame (currently turned off to save energy) and beaten with the mayoral chain.
What I want is one of these stickers, I reckon I could make some money if I offered it on ebay.
On ringing the council for one. The conversation went like this:
Me: It’s about the stickers that you are sticking on Bournemouth bins,
Jobsworth: Yes,
Me: Could I have one please,
Jobsworth: Why do you want one?,
Me: So that I can put it on ebay,
Jobsworth: Why do you want to put it on ebay?,
Me: So that I can make some money,
Jobsworth: We don’t give them out.
Me: So the only way I can get one is to mix some ordinary rubbish with the items for recycling.
End of conversation.
THE CLOCKS WENT BACK AGAIN
As a few Scots are opposed to us adopting Central European Time, as they would have to milk their cows in the dark. Why don’t they just buy themselves a watch and milk the cows an hour later. I think I’ve found the solution.
Currently the Greenwich Meridian is at 0 degrees longitude, that’s fine I will leave it where it is. What I want to do is move the International Date Line to the same position.
So, West of 0 degrees will be yesterday, or going East to 0 degrees it will be tomorrow.
The main advantage I can see is on Speeding tickets - Speed in the East, then go back West, which will be yesterday, park somewhere where you will be monitored on video all day (tomorrow), which shouldn’t be very difficult. When the ticket comes through, you have proof, on the day in question, your car didn’t move from the spot.

POWER – HEAT & LIGHT
The electricity billing problems with Powergen at the Dalkeith Hall have almost been solved.
The computer at the power supply company has finally accepted that the business has two meters and that I do not have ‘Economy 7’ heating. However it still will be very difficult to send me a bill for the meter that uses electricity on an obsolete tariff that they no longer quote for.
I have just accepted a new contract for the next three years, subject to written conformation from someone high up in the organisation. I’m told that the computer has agreed it, but I have asked for a written reply from a human, as I know their computer has a mind of its own.
The computers solution is to charge me for one meter instead of two, but with double the cost, seems it keeps things simple. At last a computer with a bit of common sense, as I now in theory do not have a second meter, they are not able to put in a price for electricity on the second meter that does not exist in theory but only in space. The computers solution to get over the problem, to charge me a nil rate for electricity used between 11pm – 8am.
Thanks power company, if you are willing to that contract for three years, I’ll say yes.
A minor problem that might arise as I’m a business, there is the little matter about the government charge that goes on the bill as ‘Climate Charge Levy’ at approx 0.43p per unit. Am I going to be charged that on the nil electricity I use?
NO EXTRA PAYMENTS FOR WORKING UNSOCIAL HOURS
During the winter months when our viewers want to be kept warm when viewing, I might have to change viewing hours from 11pm to 8 am as that’s when the heating comes on. I’ll have to negotiate with the staff over the new hours. When they learn that due to new regulations, there are to be no extra payments for working unsocial hours there’s going to be a riot.
Under the new loony working hours directive, staff who choose to work normal hours in the day of their own choice, can now demand and receive the extra payments that staff the work at night or at other unsocial periods get as a bonus.
ANOTHER HOWARD EXPELLED FROM SCHOOL
I must congratulate Tamara Howard of Manchester at been expelled from her school. Tamara aged five has been expelled for physically and verbally attacking teachers and other pupils. With about six months of lessons, the teachers have decided that they are unable to cope, so have called in a psychologist and then expelled the child.
For me it was at the age of six and a half, before my first school decided that we should part company, but in a way I wish to claim equal status to Tamara, I only started school at six. It was a few more years before they called in the psychologist for me.
DO NOT SEND ME A BIRTHDAY CARD
In a few months time it will be my birthday. I’m just giving you this information so you can start saving for my present.
What it appears you must not do is send me a birthday card with the age shown on it. Apparently it will now fall foul of the new government regulation on ageism, and any staff member receiving such a card at work, will now be able to sue, for a high damage award.

UNILEVER CAPITULATES
After a period of complaints from die-hard beef eaters. Unilever have put the beef back into Bovril. Many former Bovril eaters had given up purchasing the product when the company removed the meat content from the product in the wake of the BSE crisis, although the meat that had gone into their product was never suspect, it was thought that putting beef into Bovril might scare the customers.
Many former Bovril customers happily found their beef fix in rival own brand products. Unilever will now have the problem of trying to get their customers back, many of whom are quite happy with the replacement products that are actually a third cheaper.
AGE DISCRIMINATION
With the new act that is just about to come into force, it makes it illegal to discriminate on age grounds. Whilst this is ideal in employment terms, it may cause other problems. It is hoped that the government have worded this act correctly. Unless they have, I can see a few arguments that might erupt. The older generation have become used to discount on fares, admission to cinemas, events, and pensions.
Unless the act is correctly worded can non-pensioners ask for discounts. Will a thirty year old, now be able to complain that he has been discriminated against, due to age.
Where do I go to put in my claim for a pension, now that I can’t be discriminated against due to age?
THE POWER
The company that sends my electricity bill has got itself in a bit of a mess with my account. It all goes back to the good old days when your local Electricity Company supplied your electricity, read your meter then sent you a bill. What could be simpler? Then came privatisation, I could understand if other companies started making their own power, put down their own cables and plied for custom. That the local electricity company still supply the power and do the meter reading, and then someone else sends the bill, is something I can just about understand.
How I have caused the problem is by having two meters. This goes back to the late 1960’s when the country had a surplus of electricity at night. Everyone was encouraged to put in night storage heaters, to use up the excess night electricity. To encourage this, the price you paid was cut to about a third of the normal cost. To be fair the company set the hours you could get the power by installing a second meter that worked by a tamperproof timer.
Later it was decided that a single meter with two dials could be installed. There was still an advantage in price, but it was trimmed down a little. Those customers who had the old second meter have fought tooth and claw to keep them due to the cheapest electric on this planet. To control these old format meters, the timers were removed and they are now controlled by a radio signal. The companies can choose when they give you the power, this makes the system only suitable for night storage heaters and emersion tanks.
Apparently over a year ago, my bill supply company, when they were changing over computers forgot to tell the big beastie, that I have a great deal on a ‘restrictive tariff’. My rate went up from just over 2p per unit to almost 10p per unit. I sort of voiced my opinion, later in full ‘Anglo Saxon’. After not getting anywhere after six months, they said they would look into it. Seems it’s difficult to get a computer to process an obsolete tariff. I do not have ‘Economy Seven’ I have a ‘Restrictive Tariff’. Most staff have never heard of it.
If there is a bonus, I’ve found a way of annoying all these telephone sales persons who ask you to change to their company. All I ask is can they quote me a rate for a ‘Restrictive Tariff’. Normally after ten minutes they apologise and say they don’t offer that rate. I’ve done my good deed for the day, in the time they have spent trying to sell me something, they have not been annoying anyone else. Only one company did offer to give me a quote – the original electricity supplier who reads the meter. I might change – soon.

FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHS
Most families during the 20th century kept a family photograph album, the ones of the early 1900’s were elaborate albums, with fixed spaces for either cabinet or carte de viste size photos. In the 1920’s with photographs ranging in size, albums were often of heavy weight black paper and the photographs affixed in with small gummed corners, hopefully the information about the photo was either written on the back of the photo or in the actual album. Nothing much changed until the early 1980’s when the self adhesive album with its clear plastic leaf consigned the photo corner to almost oblivion, the selling part of this new style album would be that you could move your photos around at will. In reality, the glue holding the photograph seeped through the photo and welded the photo to the album. As an added good measure the plastic film covering the photograph had enough chemicals to change the colour of the photo or as an alternative fused itself to the surface. Many photographs of the 1970’s to 1990’s will not survive another 50 years.
For the 21st century, the traditional photograph album has gone for good. Photographs are now stored on computer hard drives, shiny round miniature record like objects or chips. Very few of the current photographs will be around in 50 years. For many, what does it matter what their great grandparents looked like or did on holiday. When they inherit the family photograph album there are three main recipients, the bin, the local auction or eBay. At least with the last two recipients there is a chance that the photographs will survive.
It might be an idea to get a promise from your grandchildren that they will look after the family possessions. If you don’t get a promise, get rid of them now, it does not really matter which, the photos could be sold off to those that collect such treasures, or the grandchildren sold into slavery. In either case you will have some money to spend on yourself.
SAVED FOR POSTERITY
I was recently given a photograph album to display for posterity. The internet, might seem an odd way of preserving photographs, but once out there, they can be viewed and copied by anyone that cares to look at them.
To many the album would be of little interest, even the family that had the album found there was little family history there, but the great niece of the lady that started the album, thought it worth saving.
The album started in the 1920s and ended in 1965 with the ladies retirement photograph. The unusual subject was life in a Children’s Home. Run by the same organisation of the Home that I stayed in, this album featured one Home that looked after disabled children. Few of the photos were posed in any way, they were just fleeting moments on life in care. Some of the children seemed to keep in touch as there was a group of her boys that she had looked after in the 1930’s and 1940’s who came to her retirement, and also entries as late as 1991 of an old boy who was still enjoying life.
In the normal way, most of the staff in the Children’s Homes kept photograph albums. It was a memento to treasure and relive memories on retirement. Sadly on their death, most families threw these away, as they had little family connection. But one album out of a thousand has been saved.
In today’s society, a care worker or teacher collecting photographs of ‘their’ children might be viewed with suspicion, the minimum they could expect would be loss of their job, a prison term and banned from contact with children forever.
As to the staff that looked after me, and others of my time, in the album there was one group photo of all the happy staff. The Sisters did look smart when they wore their uniforms. Plain blue coat, dark blue tunic and skirt, blue or grey scarf, hats should be of the uniform type, gloves should be worn with the uniform, these should be grey, navy or white.

As to the photo it is the Sister that looked after me. Sister Pearl started her training at an NCH Junior Boy’s Approved School at Congleton in 1943 and moved in 1945 to the Harpenden NCH. By 1965 when she started looking after me at the age of 8, she had gained plenty of experience in looking after naughty little boys.

STOLEN AND RECOVERED
At one of the NCH branches, there was a heavy brass sign ‘Ryalls Court National Childrens Home’. I wonder who removed the sign? Weighing 1kg, it must have given hours of pleasure to the children that had to polish it. Something more for the collection.
POSTAGE
The postage costs on large thick items will go up in price from the September sale. We will not be following the Post Office suggestion of folding the item to fit into a smaller lower cost package; it would only end in tears.

MY HOLIDAYS
My holiday was on 1st July. That was why last month’s sale was on the 8th. . You had good warning, but a few turned up on the 1st and found the building locked up. The reason I was on my holidays. This was the first one since 2002, that is excluding some Sundays, and yes I do work Christmas Day as there is a catalogue to get ready.
London was the destination. For luxury I travelled by rail in what is now called Standard Class, personally I would get rid of the affluent First Class and let the M.P.’s, Police Officials, High Court Judges see what the real world is like.
Air conditioned luxury, well almost, it was hot and there was some cool air coming into the carriage, but there was a rattling sound from somewhere behind the plastic panelling – first annoying item of the day. Why not design a little lever that can direct the cool air to where you want it, better still give us back windows that open.
The part of the carriage I picked was of the restricted type, which are to be found on many South West Trains and have about 5% of the seating restricted. Ideally they are for the class of passenger that falls into the grumpy old fogy group.
A couple of little items are banned in these restricted carriages and notices showing the items that are not permitted are on the windows and walls through the small area of the carriage. Mobile phones and headphones are allowed in the other 95% of the train. There is also a request for SILENCE.
Why does the average young person under the age of thirty, not understand this simple sign. Made especially for these morons and the odd foreigner, as well as spelling it out in easy to understand words, the banned items are shown in pictures.
Within half an hour a young lady started gabbling on her mobile phone. I went over and politely asked her to stop using it. For the rest of the journey, it kept being played with and the odd yakking period was made. Had I not been on my way up to London and not wanted to be detained by the Railway Police over harassing this poor defenceless young female, the least I would have liked to do was place the phone outside the compartment door. I now know why they don’t have windows that open, oh, it would be so tempting.
Arrived in London and found the area around Waterloo still a building site. They have had since 1952 to get it sorted and it still is a mess. I want my nice concrete Festival playground back, they took it away from me in the early 1960’s. I still regard myself as a Londoner even having spent the last 34 years down in deepest Dorset. It’s the growing up years that count in my mind.
There were several activities I could take part in. The hunt for the pub with the biggest TV set and the cheapest beer, many thousands were on this hunt, the most crucial match in the World cup was being played today. I could have gone and joined the Gay Pride march and organised events. I think if I’d worn my breeches and riding boots I would have been accepted. There was the odd anti-establishment event also on, but even that did not suit me. Instead I went to a reunion of ex-inmates from NCH Children’s Homes that was organised at their main headquarters. The average age of the attendees was about sixty, but a few were clearly in their eighties.
Most of the topics were on the youth of today and how out of control they were, many it seemed would like to punish the youth of today as they were as young children whilst in care. Seems thumping, slipperings and canings are not permitted today. Happy and unhappy memories were discussed by all, and time was spent working out which was the coldest and bleakest Home to be placed in.It appeared that Edgworth on the Lancashire Moors was voted top in that league. Treated to a buffet lunch and later an afternoon strawberry cream tea, everyone enjoyed themselves apart from the very hot weather.
At the end of the event I went in search of an old pal, due to him working today I arranged to meet him near his work.

Parts of the Northern Line were never my stomping ground as a child, I was more the Bakerloo child. Why my friend is never able to give precise directions I never will understand. Like meeting up with him after swimming forty years ago, again we missed each other, and I wasted over an hour traipsing the area of Camden Lock to Kentish Town and back in the direction of Camden Town.
Eventually I met up with him, just as he was about to start his evening shift in the restaurant where he works, I bet forty years ago he could never have dreamt that he would spend his time cooking goat. Almost the same as forty years ago, I never thought I might have the intelligence to work a computer let alone afford one.
Soon it was heading back to Waterloo, why on this day did they have to close half the Northern line for repairs. The Saturday shoppers were added to by the end of the Gay Pride March and a number of young males in total shock. Had one thrown themselves onto the live rail, it would have been copied by every other young male in the vicinity, who were just about to work out how they could get paralytic, so they would not remember the last hour of football for over a week.
Insults were made to every person wearing normal clothes, but the joke was really on those wearing tight PVC and other suggestive garb, that resulted in them taking on the appearance and features of a boil-in-the-bag ready meal. I even resorted to putting a pound in a machine on the underground for a cold bottle of sugar free coke, to guzzle in front of these creatures.
A snack before catching the train back at Waterloo, should have been an easy event. I went to the fast food outlet of the Burger King, what I ordered apparently had to be hand killed and cooked especially for me. After ten minutes I was given a complementary bottle of orange squash. I did miss the train, but there was another in a few minutes. I think the sign above the take away was misspelled there should have been a ‘g’ rather than an ‘r’ in the first word.
It was luck that I managed to sit again in the anti-moron carriage. However two elderly people decided to have a word guessing and spelling game, one of the pair was a bit Mutt & Jeff, so most things had to be said either twice or extra loud. They might have been poorly sighted and illiterate as well as within a few inches of them was the sign ‘Sushhh’. The journey was completed by a foreigner yakking in his own language into his mobile so I cold not understand how pathetic his conversation was. A young girl further up the carriage telling everyone and the person on her mobile that she was failing all her exams. Two drunken young men that now realised that they could have done better than the entire English team, and a railway (ticket collector-conductor-guard) that had just about enough of today, was almost dreaming of bed.
The luxury of returning to sleepy old Dorset, where there are more muggings, drunks and anti-social acts within half a mile where I live, than anywhere else on the South coast, bliss. Oh well that’s another holiday over, perhaps in four years time I might have another, but on the other hand, perhaps I won’t.

REMEMBER THE SALE IS ON THE 8th JULY
Please do not turn up on the first Saturday, as there is not a sale on that day, nor will there be any viewing.
I am going to have a day’s holiday, the last one was in 2002, so I think I deserve another.
SPECIAL OFFER FOR AUGUST
Any item that you offer in the August sale that makes over £100 will be at nil % commission, all you will pay is the £2.36 lotting fee. So now will be the time to drag out that extra special diamond encrusted ring, the original manuscript to Midsummer’s Night’s Dream, the wheel off the Graf Spee, or even a nice album of topo postcards.
RECALL NOTICE
Often in daily newspapers one finds a manufactures recall notice, often phrased in only a slightly terrifying way as not to scare the punters, mentioning that one of its products does not really come up to its high standards, and could any goods from that batch be returned. Often the actual reason will not be mentioned. Telling customers that a cow was minced up in the rice pudding vat or that we put beef in the vegetable burgers, they think will lose them customers.
This might be changing, at last one business has been honest over the product it is recalling and the reason.
ASDA Carbon Steel Hand Axe
“Our ASDA brand carbon steel hand axe would be fantastic apart from the fact that the head can come detached from the handle. Quite clearly this is not on, so we’ve decided that you kneed to know. Thankfully no one has been hurt. If you’ve bought one, then could you please bring it back. In return we will of course give you your money back – you don’t even need your receipt. We’ve had a word with the buyer to make sure this doesn’t happen again. It goes without saying, we’re very sorry indeed.”
The honest truth, so wonderful from a big organisation, the only real complaint might be from the local axe murderer, who has had to go further a field for his supplies.
PACKETS OF ILLEGAL SUBSTANCES FROM HOLLAND
It appears that some of our customers are purchasing packets of items over the internet and having them sent to England.
The Royal Mail have asked them to stop as they are losing many thousands of pounds each week. In the past these packets were despatched in this country for English customers, the Royal Mail objected and the trade moved to Holland.
The highly damaging substance - English postage stamps that have not been cancelled and that have been washed off the envelopes so that they can be used again. Available from Holland at half normal price. So for every tenner you send to Holland the Royal Mail lose £20. The solution is the Royal Mail should employ people to properly cancel the stamps in the first place.
THE SONY TV ADVERT
This originally showed a large number of coloured balls running down a hill to promote a new Sony TV set. A later rip off advert was made to promote a fruit product, using fruit rolling down a hill.
Our local idiots have copied this; they seem to have acquired two cases of limes, from a nearby supermarket or its skip, they don’t normally bother nicking cases of fruit, they normally walk away with full boxes of Whisky.
For a short while the Dalkeith Lane was rolling with limes, these went into Old Christchurch Rd. and amazed local shoppers, a few were lobbed at my building, it makes a difference than the normal stoning I get. Ok I kept some of the good ones, seems a shame to waste good fruit. If the supermarket threw them out, it was that they were not hard and bright green, the ones I got were just at their best.
WHY COULDN’T THEY LOSE THE MATCH.
I was disappointed in the result of the England v Sweden match. A draw meant there were no special offers at IKEA. If Sweden won the match, IKEA were going to offer 10 Meatballs for 1p at all its English stores. I was quite looking forward to supper. If England had won the game, IKEA were offering a booby prize of six of their metal folding chairs at 1p each.
If England were to play Germany, I wonder what Aldi and Lidl would offer? If Germany won, Ten bottles of schnapps for 1p, or if England won, up to six toilet rolls at 1p each.

THE JULY SALE
Next month’s sale will be on 8th July, this is the second Saturday of the month and not our usual first Saturday.
DELAYED MAIL
Due to a misunderstanding at Royal Mail a bunch of keys was mislaid. These were keys used to open the local pillar boxes, for a few days there were no collections until the matter was sorted out.
I WAS NOT GIVEN AN ASBO
It should be noted that the ASBO issued to Philip Howard to keep him quiet, was not given to me. The Philip Howard the ASBO was issued to is two years older than me and spends his time harassing passers by with religious matters. The main complainants were not members of the public that have to compete with space on the pavement, but local residents in the area in Westminster, who found his amplified Christian preaching a nuisance.
Like a true Howard, this ASBO issued by Westminster Council has not put him off, , it only covers a small area. The thoughts of Mr Howard are “They can’t ban me from the whole of London”. So coming to an area of London near you between 8am until 9pm will be a man with a powerful megaphone.
If he had not wanted a ban, had he promoted any other religious views other than Christianity, there would never have been a ban. The local police would have bent over backwards and allowed him to have streets closed to traffic and given him protection from interfering councils.
He estimates in the 14 years he has been giving his views 45 million people have passed him. He can’t be that offensive having lasted that long.
OUR MISSING STAFF MEMBER
It is with regret that we announce that we no longer have an office cat. Rhythm had been with us for over 12 years.
Old age at around 14 or so brought an end to a happy life. He first came in as a morning visitor looking for a bit of peace and quiet from a local flat he shared with five other cats and a young child. Settling down on top of the warm laser printer or on top of the cage of budgies he rested until it was time to go home for tea.
At some later point he decided to take up permanent residence and allow his owner full visiting rights. When his owner left the area, he decided on full adoption.
Most of our customers will have fought him at some point for an auction lot that had become a snoozing box. When asked to leave he would give up the box for a few minutes, but on the termination of the viewing, he required the box to be returned to its comfy state.

A NEW SERVICE
With a large number of our buyers and sellers using ebay to buy collectables, we will now be offering a service where we can place your goods on ebay for you.
It has been worked out that out of 100 people that use ebay, only about 20 of these will ever sell goods on ebay, many of these will be full or part time sellers, so the actual number of private sellers on ebay is perhaps only 2%.
The main reason for the low numbers of ebay sellers is the often tedious lengths a seller of a few items has to go through to get the item listed, then deal with the buyer and the sending out of the goods after the sale.
We will now do the entire system for you. Just bring the items into us, or if you live out of the area send them by post. We will do all the descriptions in the same way we handle items in our monthly auctions.
The only difference is that we will now need to know a minimum price you want the item to sell for on ebay. This will be both the starting price and the reserve.
From that point on we will take photographs of the item and add it to the description on ebay. Normally we will offer the item for either 7 or 10 days, but if the item is unsold, we will offer it for a second time.
The cost of our basic service works out around the same price as the total overall cost of our monthly auction sales.
Once the sale is over we will collect the payment from the buyer, despatch the goods and once the buyer has accepted the goods, payment will be made.
With our service we will pay all the listing fees, additional photograph fees, the selling fees and the final Paypal fee.
With the minimum charges that occur with ebay, goods valued under £10 per lot would be best entered in our monthly sales.
To see what we are currently offering please visit ebay.
Our selling name is we-bay-it-com
or for our web page go to http://www.we-bay-it.com
BOY’S SHOULD NOT BE SENT TO SCHOOL UNTIL THEY ARE SIX
At last, something I can agree with over the new education ideas. An educational psychologist has recommended that boys should start school lessons when they reach six, and that any schooling they receive before this age should only be based on play activities.
Authorities are now finding that many boys, who start formal lessons in reading and writing from the age of four at school, are now starting to either fall behind or give up on lessons in later years.
I started school at six in the early 1960’s, I was a little behind those that had started a year earlier, but I think if I had been forced to sit at a desk from the age of four, I too would have wanted to give up on school work completely. I was lucky in having two extra years of playing at home between the ages of four and six.
The psychologist thinks however, that girls should be given formal lessons at school before the age of six. With boys, putting them in a seat and asking them to sit all day is incompatible with their brains.
DUST AND DIRT STOPS ASTHMA
Parents and doctors over the last five years have become concerned over the number of children who have asthma. Britain is the highest in the league in Europe with cases of childhood asthma.
Scientists have now concluded that it is the lack of dirt and germs that a child comes into contact with in the first few years of life that is the cause in the increased asthma rate.
Britain has become obsessed with the likes of Aggie and her sidekick, over the state of our homes. Families have been coerced into blitzing their houses in a cleaning spree to remove every possible bug that has settled. We are also bombarded with adverts that encourage our young mothers to sterilise every surface a baby or child comes into contact with.
However if they followed the methods developed by Mr Trevius the Polish gentleman who allowed his home and garden to become a well developed plague pit, and enjoyed a very long and happy life. Even the council cleaning team were sorry when he died at a very ripe old age.
Perhaps he did go a bit extreme, but a little bit of dirt and the odd item of food that has gone past its best before date, will not do any real harm.
If we look across the channel, there is a country that has around the same range of people, buildings and lifestyles as we have, but although it is only 30-50 miles away, they have a far lower rate of asthma in children and use far fewer inhalers, could it be the dirt that is protecting them?
I was taught the simply rule that a little bit of mould on bread will not do you much harm, but when the item concerned is crawling faster than you can, then perhaps it has reached its eat by time.
My early years were in the centre of London. Streets were polluted with lead from vehicle emissions, lead was in the paint I chewed on the windows, rain came through the roof, there was no central heating, hot water in the bathroom came from a geyser and any hot water in the kitchen came from the kettle. Heat was not provided by central heating but by either an electric bar heater in the living room or paraffin heaters around the house. Ventilation was either by opening a window or by natural means through the gaps in the floorboards or gaps in the doors and windows. The house was kept clean with polish and soap, with no modern manmade chemicals other than bleach and strong soap.
If I needed further protection, then the amount of strong unfiltered cigarettes that were smoked indoors by the three adults each day, cured any breathing problems I might develop. They went through about 50 – 80 between them, and not even an inch was left at the end. Although a pin to hold the final bit was not resorted to. The number of ends need to make a small remainder cigarette would have been about 100. My grandfather who could quite happily go through 40 Senior Service each day, lasted until almost his 90th birthday. He might have lasted longer had he made the change from Capstan Extra Strength a little earlier in his life.
One reason for the many illnesses and problems we have in hospitals and the like are down to bugs becoming resistant to the modern methods of cleanliness, a good mix of bleach and soap and most harmful bugs can be kept under control, as to the odd bit of chlorine gas, well open the window.

WHAT IS IN YOUR FOOD
Still with the spreads, Chicken & Liver Pate is 47% liver, next main ingredient Pork Fat (approx 45%). In the Trout and lemon Pate 10% Cod how can they afford to put that much cod in a trout pate? (have you seen the price of cod!). In the tinned pie. Stake & Kidney Pie – main ingredient Water.
LONGER VIEWING HOURS
By the request of certain viewers, we will open a little earlier on auction day as an experiment, please see revised viewing times on the front of the catalogue.
WHY WE JOINED THE EEC
There were two reasons back in 1973. The first was to put the cost of stamp collecting up, an ideal way of showing how your investment had grown. Until then the hobby had been more or less tax free unless you purchased luxury stamp albums. The cost of stamp collecting went up by 10% overnight.
The second was that it would make it easier to exchange and sell goods between the member states, without having to bother with customs declarations and the like.
What we did not join the EEC for was to allow a group of goose liver eating, garlic chomping irriots to change our laws.
Meekly over the last thirty odd years, the British government have allowed this group to change our way of life. We joined to exchange goods not to comply with all their meddlesome regulations.
We should now start to change some of their rules.
1. All vehicles will drive on the left (The Romans and Swedes use to do it, so it should not be to difficult for it to be learnt by the rest of Europe.
2. Money, as it appears that most countries that changed to the Euro feel it was a bad move, we will allow them all to change again, but to £.S.D. That should make more jobs in the calculator and adding machine industries.
3. It will be compulsory to eat Black pudding, Spotted dick and Sago on alternate Thursdays.
4. The plant known as Garlic will be banned in any form across Europe.
5. Tony Blair to be made President of Europe for eternity and to be moved to the island of Elba.
Whilst the European governments decide how to implement those five simple rules, they will not have time to bring in other regulations.
NO IT’S NOT ME
A few days ago an item in the national press quoted Philip Howard as saying “We are going to be criminalized if we try to save a patient, I will risk prison”. This was uttered by the leading consultant Philip Howard, rather than me.
TONY’S I.D. CARD
A good idea in theory, but useless in practice. Each time a new design is mentioned, more information seems to be added into its content.
We now have biometric readings. To use this information on the card, where all your eye and facial recognition together with your finger prints are stored, you will first have had to have this information taken from you and loaded into a computer.
To check this information, you and your card will have to be scanned; this will then be checked against the data in the computer. If all matches, you will be released as a good citizen of the United Kingdom. If however it fails on one point, and especially if you is black and in a car in Bournemouth, expect to be roughly handled and sprayed with CS gas.
If you took the ID card out of the system, all the same checks could be made without the need to carry any of Tony’s expensive tat.
At one stroke, I’ve saved the nation £2,000,000,000 or by the time it would come in €750,000,000,000,000. Can I have a Peerage please?

WHAT IS IN YOUR SANDWICH TODAY?
Since an early age one of my favourite foods is fish paste sandwiches. It doesn’t take much to please me.
As we did not have a fridge, any jars of spread had to be finished up rather quickly before it went off. Whilst other adults in the family were happy with a bowl of Kellogg’s corn flakes in the morning, I often finished the content of the white glass paste jar. Funny now they come in clear glass jars there is less paste.
In those days if you purchased crab spread the most lightly main ingredient was crab, the same went for Anchovy paste and Bloater paste the title of the flavour would be the main ingredient. The only paste I am unable to find nowadays is Mackerel paste.
In today’s mad world the title on the jar means little to the main ingredient. For Anchovy Paste its Mackerel 45% and Anchovy 25%, for Bloater Paste its 49% Mackerel and Bloater 22%. Possibly this is due to the shortage of raw bloaters in the Birmingham Bloater fields.
As for crab, well the one thing I did not expect was to find was Full Fat Soft Cheese. These were all by a main leading brand and not one of the cut price brands, I just hate to think what’s in those. But I’ve found out why there is no Mackerel Paste in the shops, as all the mackerel has been put in the other jars.
Turning to the sweeter things. One brand of jam has the title “No Bits” on the raspberry it carries the warning “This product contains fruit seeds”, it better not.
Playing on the Railway
No, not in this area, we have the third rail system in this area. There is no better way in keeping children off railway lines than putting a high voltage through the track. Once one child is killed or badly injured, it’s quite a time before other local children walk on the railway. In the rest of Europe and the USA they don’t seem to mind children, so don’t put high voltages in their lines.
As a child at exploring age 8-11 years I was living in Hertfordshire. There was an almost unique railway that we use to visit. Normally it had about two or three trains during the day, by the mid 1960’s it had been down graded as a shunting line with most of the work been done at night, only 200 yards from my bedroom, but it was down a cutting and there was not too much noise from the long ash carrying trains.
The Nickey Line or to give it its proper name The Harpenden to Hemel Hempstead Line, should have been closed under Dr Beeching in the 1960’s, but as a quirk of fate, it survived. The main reason for this was during a coal shortage in the late 1940’s British Railways suspended all passengers services on the line. Some days only half a dozen children were travelling on the morning train, so its suspension was hardly missed. When the coal shortage ended, the service was simply forgotten about.
Until 1968 the main use of the line was taking ash from a power station to the local brickworks, then it became a line with only the ash trains. With few trains and only ordinary lines it became a magnet for children who were normally confined to forty acres of grassland next to the line, the railway was simply an extension to our play area.
In a report in a book on the railway - The book The Harpenden to Hemel Hempstead Railway – The Nickey Line by Sue an Geoff Woodward possibly gives the best history of Our Railway line.
“Problems arose in this area during the latter days of BR working, when children often tampered with the fireman's call plunger, leaving the signalman in doubt as to the arrival of a train. To overcome this, train crews would telephone the signalman from Redbourn, giving an expected arrival time at the junction, but this was sometimes thwarted by the theft of small lengths of the telephone wires. The only solution was for the train to stop at the signal next to the Children’s Home, whistle loudly and hope to be heard. If the signal went up the driver would proceed, but if not, the fireman had to walk to the junction to inform the signalman of their presence. To avoid this walk trains sometimes crept round the corner against the signal”.
Children who were caught on the railway line were caned, this was another method of encouraging children not to play on the railways, but was not as effective as electrocution. Today the rails have been taken up and it has become a public walkway – The adults spoil all our fun.

BEST TELEVISION PROGRAMME OVER CHRISTMAS
My personal favourite was ‘James May’s Top Toys’. Normally to be found around fast motor cars, James decided to look at toys of the past, and were they all cracked up to be. The answer in the main was NO, those of us in the 1960’s seemed to be fobbed off with all sort of junk. The only decent toys were always out of our price range.
James decided he wanted one of these nice toys. On finding that adults who buy these toys of the 1960’s just to look at and never to play with them, he wanted to right these wrongs.
Going to a specialised toy auction, he decided to buy a mint & boxed locomotive and tender. He threw away all the original instructions, boxes and all the other packing that these toys come with. Then he set about playing with the toy train on a railway layout.
Good one James, you’ve done what a lot of auctioneers would love to do with that mint & boxed stuff that passes through their salerooms, play with the toys in the manner they were made for. Coming soon to an auction near you. One model train, blue in colour with a few scratches.
WHAT’S IN A TIN OF QUALITY STREET
To most people looking at the outside of the tin at Christmas, will show the twelve types of chocolates that are to be found inside. I have tried without success the give away three types that normally lurk in the bottom of the tin, until they are finally thrown away around mid June. I did manage to give away all the ‘Toffee Pennies’, but the Toffee Fingers, the Coconut Éclairs and the Malt Toffees still lurk. If you are visiting the auction, please take them away.
What I did not expect to find, were lumps of Yorkie Bar. It appears that Nestlay (phonenetick pronunciation of what we use to call Nestlé ), (seems that splodge above the final e makes it sound like an English ‘ay’ - bloody foreigners) are adding this chocolate piece to the tin, as it was thought that customers would like a solid chocolate piece in their tin of sweets
No, we don’t. If we’re buying a tin of luxury sweets, we don’t want to find them weighed down with lumps of chocolate. The firm gave a phone number for you to ring to tell them which your favourite sweet was. Most I think will be phoning about the Sexist lump in the tins.
P.S. The é is ‘alt 130’ on the keyboard for lower case and ‘alt 144’ for upper case, should you ever need it.
SPY IN THE SKY
What were you doing last summer? Chance was, that if you were in a city or major town, you will have been spied on by Google and his friends.
If you go onto the Google home page on your computer, and then visit the Google Earth page. You will be able to view the satellite image of where you live and work and have fun! Some Northern parts of the land and small villages are not covered yet, but in time, they will.
The quality of the images is up to the military standard of a few years ago. If the council want to spy on you and your home, they can now do so from the comfort of their chair. The quality of the images is so good, that the number of bags of rubbish that are by your dustbin can be counted. Coming next week to your home – the bill for your excess rubbish.
Next year it is hoped that the X-Ray version will be released, then they will be able to see inside your home.
Stop that Mr Rivlit, of No. 642 Acacia Avenue, Putney. Didn’t you know it was against the law to hit your child with a wet lettuce leaf?
ROYAL MAIL MAKE ANOTHER BALLS UP
Next August our mail is going to be priced by the thickness if the item. The Royal Mail sent out width devices to all business that have a high turn over of mail. (It was a lump of card with two slits cut in it).
If the piece of mail is 5mm or less in thickness and can fit through the thin slot easily, it will be classed as a letter, if it does not go through the slot, but would go through the 25mm slot it is a large letter and will cost more, if it does not go through the 25mm slot, its called a packet (or expensive to you and me).
A couple of weeks later, the Royal Mail sent out new versions, it appeared that many of the slots were cut with 6mm gaps allowing a 5mm letter to go through easily. Now the slot is 5mm exactly, a letter that is 5mm in thickness will not easily go through a 5mm slot, more money for the Post Office.
If you want to add more chaos in August, then the size of the Letter, Large Letter or Packet, will also come into the costing of sending the item of mail.
By Christmas, the system might work, but imaging queuing behind the odd granny trying to send the oversize thick Christmas card to her grandson in Scotland. It’s going to end in tears.

FATHER CHRISTMAS IS COMING TO FRIGHTEN THE CHILDREN
As part of Nanny State Britain, it has just been announced to teachers that they need to protect their children from Father Christmas. It is not as you might first think a warning about men dressing up as Father Christmas that might have paedophilic ideas, but the Father Christmas that might be visiting the school to see the children.
The new rules that have been advised. No competitive games, so pass the parcel is out, it might upset any child that does not get a prize, half the fun with this game was finding ways to cheat, if you had the parcel and could not feel an object under the first layer of paper, pass it on quickly, it would soon come round again. If you could feel a present, then drop or fumble with the parcel allowing you to get the prize. Now as to musical chairs, well this was a non starter under Health and Safety rules, a child moving a chair, no none of that could be permitted. So no Christmas party games this year at school.
The main let down for the children however is the thought that, young children might be frightened of Father Christmas, they should be place near to exits on his arrival. Also trips to the pantomime need similar planning as children might be afraid of certain characters that are on the stage.
If ever there was a group to cause trouble then these teachers are simply trying to make everything so bland and safe, that the only activity that children will be able to do will be to sit in front of a television watching cartoons and play video games.
One question do they still make “Johnny Seven Guns”? with all those multiple objects that can be fired, and then lost around the house and garden about half an hour after opening the wondrous box. No I did not get one for Christmas, but I know two friends that did.

I WAS AFRAID OF FATHER CHRISTMAS
To be honest, I was not really afraid, it was more hatred for the Father Christmas that handed me some toys at the age of eight.
From the age of six, I think I had twigged on that perhaps Father Christmas was not as real as I had imagined from the previous year. Having moved to a remote location, although there was plenty of room for Father Christmas to land his sleigh, my thoughts were that perhaps he did not know my new address. It was my mother putting out mince pies and a glass of sherry out that gave the game away. I was up early the presents were there but the food and drink was untouched. The excuse I was given was that perhaps Father Christmas had already eaten too many.
At the age of seven I was at a boarding school for boys that need to be controlled. We all knew that Father Christmas did not visit naughty boys. The school provided our presents. I left that school after about a month, apparently I had not been naughty enough to stay.
At the age of eight, I was again away from my mother for Christmas and the holidays, this was the year that I lost all faith in that gentleman in the red cloak.
An incident when a few of us were caught misbehaving ended with us been given the cane. A few days later the person who had given us all the cane was dressed up as Father Christmas and giving us all presents. He even asked us had we all been good this year.
I would love to have had one of the photos from the party that year, all I can find is one from a different date, showing Father Christmas and the device he uses to keep Rudolph and his friends on schedule and to frighten small boys in to being good.

EUROPEAN HUT DWELLERS CONQUER BOURNEMOUTH
As part of our entente cordiale with Europe, Bournemouth Council has once again invited a group of foreigners to set up their wares in the centre of Bournemouth. Known as a ‘German Market’ or to the local shopkeepers as the ‘Hut Dwellers’, these unfortunate people from Germany and other parts of Europe were under the impression that Bournemouth was a thriving market place. It is but only between 10pm & 2am, when our drunken nightlife are too pissed to realise the prices they are being charged for purchases.
During the cold light of day when ordinary members of the public decide it is reasonably safe to venture out into the town centre, things can look a little different.
The huts contain offerings that the European folk think we might be interested in, a little bit of market research and the European products the average Brit want, normally come in plain wrappers and are sent either by post from Denmark or are supplied from under the counter. Personally I have my eye on ‘Samantha’, the blurb goes a luxury playmate who is 5ft 6in and will give hours of pleasure. Father Christmas are you listening? I bet that daft old coot will give me some colouring books.
When I went to visit him, (see illustration top of page) he gave me a small set of coloured pencils and told me I had to wait until Christmas morning to see what he brings. I’m not that daft if he gives me coloured pencils now, I know its going to be a colouring book. O.K. next year for ‘Samantha’ please Father Christmas.
The European folk are selling all manner of Christmas ornaments and other Christmassy things, not as tasteless as some American ideas, but a few are what the average English person will want to display in their house (for cultural fairness I must not insult those person in Wales and Scotland who wish to display such items).
The local Bournemouth residents merely politely gaze at the items on offer without comment to the vendors in the little wooden huts that stretch from one side of town to another. In the square they do stop, after all the beer chalet and its security guards do seem a little familiar.
A few stop to see what is cooking. There are sausages, but to us they are not real sausages, these things cost £2 -£3 each. The most off putting matter is that they are made almost entirely of meat. Not something that is a favourite taste to the English, our sausages have to be made with almost 60% of bread and other filling material and the 32% which is the meat content, is not meat as one would know it but the remains of the pig once the good meat has been sold off. If only the Germans would realise that all we want is sh** in our sausages, not their high real meat content.
If the European Hut Dwellers find it is difficult to sell items to us, it is not the language barrier, a grunt between customer and seller is more or less the same in any language. It is the way things are priced, instead of the pound sign followed by a figure eg £2, these folk seem to put commas and other strange symbols onto the price card, the other matter is their 1, 4, and 7, the figures on their cards do seem to be of different values to our numbers, but its fine to argue when they give us the change. For most, the money in the town centre will go into Mc Donalds and Argos.
See you next year Hut Dwellers!
MY CHRISTMAS PRESENTS ON EBAY
I thought about purchasing a couple of items for myself from ebay. Two simple things that would not cost very much.
No.1. 1972 Christmas Radio Times, with all the repeats, I thought it would be up to date for this Christmas, Those persons who have a copy of this edition, might be able to work out my desire for this particular edition. Now I know a few things do make daft money on ebay, but £23.96 for a 1972 Radio Times, get a life.
No.2. Pair of rubber riding boots, I simply wanted something to walk across a muddy field to catch the horse, when the creature decides to have a longer playtime. Nothing very special, no gold braid or anything like that. They were not even new and according to the description on ebay ‘some cracking of the rubber around the creases but fine around the foot’ I put in what I thought was a fair price, final price to the winner £32 plus postage. I would hope for a new pair for that price, but as we know ebay is a mad idea, fancy bidding at an auction when you have not seen the goods, now I wonder if there is a business idea in there somewhere.
WHEN BOURNEMOUTH WENT QUIET
Bournemouth town centre celebrated two minutes of silence on Remembrance Day. 11 am on the 11th day of the 11th month to commemorate the fallen in the two wars,
The parades and other groups started to form around 10am, perhaps it was not the best time for the contractors to start to erect the German Market in the town centre. Two minutes of silence was however observed, before the hammering started again.
Bournemouth’s quiet time was the following Tuesday morning, when a scrap man in a neighbouring town decided to have a bonfire under the main electricity pylon that carries the entire power supply into Bournemouth and the surrounding area.
It was not just a few lights that went out, but the entire power system to the town. For the first half hour, there was the usual chaos as the burglar alarms and the lift alarms sounded, when their batteries ran down, the town started to become silent. The hum of the air conditioning units were silent, the bleeps of the scanning units of the tills had gone quiet, life as we knew it stopped. Due to health and safety regulations most shops closed, there was none of the service by candle light that we experienced in the good old 1970’s.
Today most shops are not able to do business without power, how can you read a bar code by candle light or torch power, a couple of large town centre shops now have their own generators so some normal life could continue.
For us it was one day less of describing lots, the reason that the sale is shorter than last month.
When the electricity helpline announced that there would be no hope of any power for several hours, most workers went home. The normal daily traffic jam at Cemetery Junction ran very smoothly without traffic lights, and Bournemouth returned to its quiet sedate life of the early 1900’s.
Rotating power cuts occurred during the day and into the evening, as the local power company rushed emergency generators to supplement the trickle of power entering from other lines. Within two days, Bournemouth was back to normal and the noise and hubbub of this once quiet town rules once more.
Monday morning, another short power cut. Local traders are eying the large generator that the Hut Dwellers have, could a few more leads be attached to the beastie?
MORE SCHOOLS NEEDED IN BOURNEMOUTH
At an emergency meeting on Friday, it was announced that many extra places will be needed in Bournemouth schools in 2010.This was due to a power cut in Bournemouth in November 2005, which caused a large number of Bournemouth residents to return home and go to bed early, or for the few that found shelter in the office stationery cupboard.
The following days also saw an increased turnover in certain medical detection products, followed by increased sales of congratulation cards and shotgun cartridges.

SPOILSPORTS FOR 5th NOVEMBER
One Hampshire council are trying to end the 5th November celebration, by recommending that wood and other material that would normally go onto bonfires on that day, be turned into garden mulch.
Officers from Test Valley Council have even gone as far as printing a leaflet on the matter. Personally, I think the burning of an effigy of Guy Fawkes should end. The burning of council leaders who make stupid rules and the odd social worker would make a far better display on the 5th of November.
I WANNA SEE THE FILM
This might soon be shouted by ten and eleven year old boys, who wish to see the new Harry Potter film. Our British censor department have decided that the film should be given a ‘12A’ certificate. Whilst it might be desirable for young children to be protected from films featuring sex scenes and bad language (more than they normally see at school), to give the new film a ‘12A’ certificate, means that children under 12 will only be able to see the film if they take an adult in with them. The main worry from Nanny Britain is that someone dies, ah what a shame. (Harry?)
PARENTS OF SUSPENDED CHILDREN TO BE MADE TO STAY AT HOME
Our beloved government once again is out to cause misery in families that suffer from badly behaved children. Their latest idea is that if a child is suspended from school, one of the parents should stay at home and look after the child during the suspension.
Often the parent is on their own, having to take time off work to look after the child, will mean that no money will come into the home – result financial problems and even more upset in the home. It the kid leaves the house, the parent is fined, result even less money.
The schools and the government are solely to blame for the matter. If they are not able to control the child in school, the matter should not fall back to the parent, who often has little method of controlling her thirteen to seventeen hulking great son.
The solutions for the parent: take the child back to the school and handcuff one of his arms to the school fence, the child would then be suspended at school, not from school.
Tell the child if he is naughty, he will be taken to the local council education office and given to them. Bring out the Social Workers as you have now upset the child through fear, they will now take your child away – problem solved, the parent can stay at work.
The solution for the schools and the government, bring back the cane in schools.
On Sunday on ebay, a genuine ILEA (Inner London Education Authority) Senior School Cane of 1970 (34”) went for £72 to a stamp collector. Now had it been a genuine ILEA junior school cane from 1965 (28”-30”), I might have been in with a bid. Like the buyer, he probably wanted a souvenir from childhood.
SUNDAY CATALOGUE
Went in on Sunday to get the catalogue ready, and found four persons waiting on the doorstep. Not regular customers eager to be first to get the catalogue, but our local alcoholics sheltering on my doorstep from the light drizzle.
Already half cut, trying to make them understand that I wanted to get inside the door was difficult, eventually I got inside. Soon three of Bournemouth’s finest boys in blue arrived to break up the party, and I could once again leave the building.

DOES CHEESE GIVE YOU NIGHTMARES?
Another of those studies on matters we have all thought about, has now been completed,
200 people were given 20g of cheese before going to bed, to see if it caused nightmares.
The result of the test was that no nightmares were reported.
I’m not surprised 20g of cheese, it’s not even enough to bait a mouse trap. Now 100g of best farmhouse cheddar, and you might be talking bad dreams, 150g should give a reasonable nightmare.
The testers tried different types of cheese. Stilton caused Crazy dreams, but it appears that Red Leicester caused the victims to have nostalgic dreams of their childhood.
As I believed all along, eating cheese does give you nightmares, so Red Leicester is off the night menu for me. Most of my childhood was one long nightmare.
For those who were my friends, go on, have some cheese. Dream about your childhood, if it’s a nightmare, I should be in there somewhere.
WHAT GOES ON WHEN WE ARE CLOSED.
Although I close the door at 3pm, often I am still working. It is interesting to see what exactly goes on outside our door and in the surrounding yard. The wonder of modern surveillance cameras and a video recorder, can bring a whole new eye on the world.
Between three and five it’s often the odd office worker from the local building sheltering from the elements, while they have their final fag break of the day.
Mothers often bring their young children up to pee against the wall. The mother and baby unit just up the steps in the car park, is of course too far to go. The training of their child in this way does help them in later life when they are out at nightclubs, fond memories must remain in their minds, as they now return when grown up and now pee higher up the wall.
Around 6pm, the local dossers and other riff raff turn up. All the local bags of rubbish are now searched for food that has been thrown out by the local take-a-ways. A few are very clean and put all the rubbish away after selecting their juicy finds, others just leave the rubbish to blow around until I pick it up the following morning.
At 7pm, we get the youngsters who have managed to find one of their group that passes for eighteen, to buy a few cans of larger and a few Alco-pops, these are consumed for the next hour, until it is possible for them to enter the night clubs and other events in a half-cut, but happy mood.
At 10pm we start an hour of fornication and drug taking. To be fair, the groups do tend to have their own private periods and seldom clash over quiet areas to practice their fun.
From 11pm to 3am we have a selection of the lost, who think somewhere around here is a car park, but for some reason their car does not seem to be here. Then we get they now grown up children that need to empty their bladders. Bournemouth Council having demolished most of the public lavatories or have closed any remaining in use at 7pm, now we often have the fun of watching them actually falling over in surprise, when the nearby security light, from a few nearby flats turns its self on without warning.
The 3am to 7am crowd are the ones with nowhere to sleep, a quiet alley, two bottles of cheap sherry or cider and they are happy.
The police occasionally visit, but as there are often not too many illegal matters going on, all are left to their own devices, after all, what would they do with any of our visitors if the did arrest them.
At 7.10 am I start to clear up the mess from the night before.

THE EXAM RESULTS ARE OUT
At the moment the A Level and GCSE results are starting to get pulled out of their envelopes. Each year the comments are made that as more students are getting better grades, the examinations must be getting easier. This year’s excuse for the better grades is that the teaching methods are improving.
For those of us who fall into the category of ‘Grumpy Old Men’ I will not give the reply one would get. My only comment would be is that if you took away the course work that some of the grade marks s are based on, dispose of the calculators and the computers. Let us see the results, or to make it fair give all those who have top GCSE grades and all the ‘A’ level group, a copy of the 11 Plus exam paper for 1965 and see how many would be fit for a grammar school education.
To find the square root of 42 there is a very easy way. You pick up your log book, turn to the page for square roots, follow the column down to the number 42, read across the result and you get 6.481. That is if you are using four figure logs, now you don’t want to boast that you like five figure logs do you. Should you want the square root of 42.7 then it gets a little more complicated your finger has to move across to the next column where you get 6.535. For those of you with an electronic calculator that shows a different result, my final question is - Do you really need to know the square root of 42.7?
Oh how nice it must be to get a good exam result in Sociology, Computer Studies and some of the more exotic title. Unless you are going into those specialist fields, don’t be surprised if when you finally leave university with that nice debt hanging round your neck, the potential employer just bins your C.V. Due to the fact that he needs someone with a reasonable English and Maths result who is willing to start at the lower end of the company and work their way up steadily through the company.
The potential school leaver for working at this auction, would not need to have an ‘ology’ as an ‘A’ level, they would not need a high grade result in Media Studies nor would they have needed to have done and Arts and Antique course, all the C.V.’s in that form go straight in the bin or are used to mop up the spilt coffee.
What I am waiting for is the C.V. that admits that the person left school as soon as they reached school leaving age, have a couple of average GCSE results in English and Maths, admit to have been excluded from school as they were bored with the place and the teachers, and know the Eleven Times table up to twelve, also to have some interest in collecting.
The rubbish on the floor awaits, once you have mastered that task, we can then see if the auction line of work is really for you. It’s a case of start at the bottom and work up, and no the starting salary is not £15,000.
BRIGHTON IS CLOSED
Our sympathy goes out to all those businesses and residents of Brighton due to the undesirable visitors that they are getting for their holiday. If you do get close enough to any of them, please tell them that the people of Bournemouth don’t want them next year, go find a safe spot in the middle of Salisbury Plain for your conference.
THE DRUG BARON
Going into my local chemist last week, I received the third degree questioning over the product I wanted to buy. All I wanted was a packet of pills that can be purchased over the counter without a prescription for the sum of 75p (slightly cheaper if you go to a supermarket etc).
In the past you could buy 100 tablets for around 40p. Nanny Blair now thinks the 99.9% of people buying this product might want to injure themselves. Tony, if we want to kill ourselves we will visit London and Brighton and allow some of your trigger happy louts do it for us rather than spend out 40p.
The questions from the counter staff. Are they for me? Have I used them before? My reply might have been: No, I hope those pills are new. That might get me thought of as a bit of a nutter. I no longer wish to be thought of as a bit of a nutter, I’ve gone all the way. Next question, are they for anyone under sixteen? My reply to that should have been: I was taking four at the time and sixteen a day when I was eleven, and I’m still standing. Final question: Has your doctor told you they are all right to take with any medicine you are taking? Now I know if you are taking Warferin and similar products, you should not take this item, all those instructions are printed on the packet.
Come on, all I want is a packet of ******** Aspirin.

LISTS, LISTS and LISTS
At the moment there seems to be a fascination on the television and in the newspapers on lists.
The 100 best films, the 100 best records, the 100 best children’s programmes. In a way, it has been an easy and cheap method of filling the screen. The only costs it seems are the royalties on a batch of old programmes, an out of work actor who will now work for peanuts, and a small studio where the public will almost pay to get in.
The lists are easy to make up, who is going to prove that you did not survey a million people to get your results. All you need is to pick about ten very different films that had once been popular and to put them near the top of the list. With this 90% of the viewing audience will be able to agree that other people have the same tastes as they do. Fill the other 90 slots with anything you can get your hands on. This is an easy way to make programme or fill pages in a national newspaper.
Recently children seem to have been targeted as the quarry of the list makers. One of the most recent lists was on films children should see before they reach fourteen years of age. Some of the list was rather elitist and highbrow, but I had to agree many were my choice of film.
If I was different as a child, I would much prefer to pay to go to a cinema that might be showing a black & white subtitled French film, to all my friends, who were in a main cinema watching the latest cowboy film, but I was odd.
The choice of films on the list that I think a child should see were (in alphabetical order) Bicycle Thieves, Kes, Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday, My Life as a Dog, Night of the Hunter, Playtime, Red Balloon, Whistle Down the Wind.
The odd few films I thought I could be added to the list on an uncle theme would be: Mon Uncle, Let’s Uncle Kill Uncle, The Uncle, and finally Man From Uncle, none of which have any connection other than having the word uncle in the title. Most of the films in the original list could be seen by children of today, but the bribes to get them into the cinema would have to be high.
AN OTHER LIST
This time children were again targeted, it was suggested on things children should do before they reached the age of ten, at both play and at school. Many seemed a bit too homogenised, so that they might cater for both boys and girls; there seemed no things that were aimed at one particular sex.
I have a feeling that it might have been copied from an American List as one of the main things to do was to make a snow angle. This seems to be a totally American idea, other than our children copying it from a film they might have seen, I can’t see many British parents having passed this idea down to a younger generation. If you don’t know what a snow angel is, well its when a child lies down in the snow on their back, and moves their arms and legs in the snow as far as they can. When they vacate the area, apparently it leaves the image of an angel. I can see two problems in this been applied to England, the first is that due to global warming there is not enough snow and the second is that leaving images of an angel might upset some minority religion, allowing the parent to be arrested for racial hatred and the child placed in care. As a child the only way of leaving a mark in the snow for us boys, was to see who could complete the most letters of their name in the snow by peeing.
I would now like to list my twelve things that I think a boy should have done by the age of ten.
At Play: (1) Have climbed a tree to the height of at least thirty feet. (2) Have stolen a bar of chocolate from a sweet shop. (3) Have put a coin on the railway line and allowed a train to squash it. (4) Have put your ear to the railway line shortly before the express train comes, to see if you can hear it coming (note the two previous items should not have been attempted if you live in an area where the third rail applies). (5) Have walked along the parapet of a bridge or viaduct where the drop is at least a hundred feet.
At school: (6) Have caused someone’s nose to bleed. (7) Have pulled a girl’s pigtails. (8) Have placed a thumb tack on a seat before someone sits down, (9) Have walked across a polished floor with muddy wellingtons. (10) Have thrown up during lunch. (11) Be capable of the most evil thoughts about putting the teacher on a bonfire – normally due to the teachers act of refusing you permission to visit the lavatory or the like. (12) Have found a reusable excuse for not handing in homework, and possibly the final one that might not be currently applicable (13) When waiting in line to be caned, not to flinch when the boy next to you is receiving his dose.
There might have been a good reason why I attended twelve different schools between the ages of six and sixteen, but I can’t put my finger on it.
THE WRONG TYPE OF GLOBAL WARMING
A local railway company are finding that all air conditioning units in the trains, do not appear to be working very well, and that as a result the carriages are becoming too hot.
The train company blame this on two matters. When the trains stop at the stations, the doors open allowing warm air to enter the carriages, the other is that hot passengers are getting onto the trains. It appears that the air conditioning units fitted to the carriages were never intended to cater for such matters. Several million pounds will now have to be spent, up rating the air conditioning units.
Personally, I could solve the problem once and for all, and get all future expense of air conditioning costs down to zero. (1) Rip out the air conditioning units, (2) Put in new windows that open.
Problem solved.

WHAT TO DO ON 2nd JULY
For a few that will read this page, the main event will be to come to the auction. Others will have either viewed the lots on previous days or have made a guess at an amount near to our estimate and have sent in their bids. On that day, either cutting the grass or simply watching it grow will be the main event of the day.
Personally, I could have found better things to do on that day than come to the auction, but as it seems that no one else knows how to use the credit card machine, I suppose I had better turn up. There is a school reunion I could have gone to on this day. Who knows, there might be others from almost forty years ago.
Just think, those of us who were fast quick children are now reduced to merely thinking about speed if it involves our two legs. Some of course will still be fit and very active, but a stuffy reunion, where everyone will be on their best behaviour, will not be events they would turn up to.
One friend of my age, who lives near to where the reunion will take place, will not be going. Events like that are not in anyway of interest, why relive the past seems to be his motto, live for tomorrow seems to be his main interest in life.
When we left school, I never dreamt that I would be working in an auction; he possibly never thought that cooking goat, would be what his main point in life would turn out to be. Others from our time will probably have had a very different style of life to how we originally envisaged.
It would be nice if we could get together at some time to find out how we all got on, a reunion at some point might be a good idea.
CHINA STILL WANTS ROVER
This apparently is still an on going matter, not as most expect, the company that made the Rover and MG cars, but the actual cars themselves.
What the Chinese have in mind, are our old worn out Rovers. There is plenty of good quality steel in these cars, when melted down; one of our old cars can make at least two modern cars.
In the past when you wanted to get rid of an old car, you had to plead with a scrap man to take it away, now in some cases they will actually pay you for an old scrap car.
I believe in recycling cars, not in the normal way of melting them down to make a new car, but by starting with a sound base unit, when a part wears off through rust or damage, to find another car to use as a donor to provide the part. With older Rovers, every part unbolts, other than the main base unit there are no welded parts.
It came the time to get rid of another shell of a car that I had used for spare parts. The scrap man was so eager to come for the beast, that I could choose the time it was most convenient for me to have the shell collected.
If there was a bonus for him, the bonnet and boot are made out of aluminium, when that gets to China, not only will they be able to make two new cars, but also a thousand cans for soft drink. Which shows Rover is still a viable proposition for the Chinese.
THE FROG
If you are a parent, and are worried about your children downloading ‘The Frog’ ring tone. Just tell them that instead of it sounding like a moped engine, it sounds like a Lada car, and they will not think it as a cool thing to have.
If you missed the original adverts on the television, where the frog still had a small dangly thing, coming down from his lower middle. The uncensored advertisements are still running on the German television stations. He has nothing to boast about.

CASH IN THE ATTIC
The episode featuring Dalkeith Auctions has now been aired. The programme was shown on Thursday 19th May, so if you were not watching at 11.45am, you missed it. There will be future repeats at some point on BBC1 plus showings in the following years 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2030 on the various Free and Satellite channels.
An assortment of our buyers, were shown bidding during the sale. We will provide written excuses to those male stamp collectors who were shown in the programme bidding on pictures of females. This was done as an editing technique, and no way should imply that those collectors regularly attend to purchase such items. Even the cat was in on the act, how many other auctions have a cat in the viewing room?
FORGED BANKNOTES
Often on the television, there are news reports of the police seizing large quantities of forged banknotes that are currently in circulation in certain areas. This is often followed by the phrase that the notes were very good copies and it would take a trained individual to spot that they were actual forgeries.
What is never explained, is how the forgeries differ to the real ones so that members of the public could spot a forged banknote. Possibly this is a ploy so that Police officers and banks can unload their forged notes leaving the public with the worthless forgeries.
To the British government it seems that it should be kept a total secret as to all the specialist anti forgery devices that are to be found in English banknotes. It may be a cunning ploy so that when there are enough forged English banknotes in circulation and the British public are sick of losing their hard earned money, they will accept the change over to the Euro without a murmur, but sort of don’t mention that there are a large number of forged high value Euro notes in circulation. As several different countries print Euro banknotes there are minor difference to each country’s issue, it might get to the stage when a certain countries Euros are not accepted by most people, one good reason for refusing French Euros.
Certain countries however are very open about forged banknotes. On Romanian television, it’s a channel I pick up to give an alternative to the rubbish put out by the BBC and ITV at peak times. The Romanian State showed a long documentary on their new banknotes and showed the public that almost every anti forgery device known to man, is incorporated in their notes.
Watermarks, holograms, micro perforation, fluorescence, threads, latent images, micro printing and a host of other little matters, will give even the best forgers something to puzzle over, then give up on and turn their attention to the Euro.
The Romanian public now know what to look for on their banknotes, so few forged notes will be accepted by the public. In England we have many of these devices incorporated in our high value banknotes, but the Bank of England will not admit they have them or what we should look for to detect a forged note. Its no good simply looking for the metal thread, the watermark and the hologram. The forger of our banknotes has long ago conquered these little devices the public know to look for.
I’ve Got a GCSE Grade One
I’ve just had my old CSE exam results upgraded after providing the Central Marking Group (in India) reasons why I deserve higher marks.
Now that extra marks will be awarded to students if they give the excuse that their exam results on the day might not be as good as they wanted. Officially extra marks will be awarded if a member of your family dies on the exam day or in the preceding days, or if your pet dies on the morning of the exam, or if you witness some unpleasant act on the way to the exam, and a number of other matters that might upset the poor student and cause grief on the day.
Get a life, go to the exam, if you have witnessed some event or had a tragedy, bad luck, you’ve got an exam to do, get on with it.
The officials are undecided on what marks should be awarded for certain unpleasant events on exam day whilst at school. You had your mobile phone stolen, you were assaulted in the bogs, there was no paper in the cubicles, there was no hot water, the teacher looked at you in an unpleasant way, there was a pile of sick in the school corridor, or you still have a hangover from the booze last night. The decision will be on the percentage of extra marks awarded for each of the events.
What has almost been agreed upon is that each death you notify the exam board of, will give an extra 5%. My application was that on the exam day, I was de-fleed, precise numbers not known or proved, but my CSE grade Three is now worth a GCSE grade One.

LET’S PLAY A COUNTING GAME
This is something you can all join in this month. The auction catalogue has been put together on a new collating machine. When I mention the word new it is not new in the sense that it is physically new, it’s just new to me.
The machine was probably built in the mid 1970’s by a bunch of disgruntled Swedes, but not as disgruntled as the group that built the previous collating machine, that had 30 (to the power of 30) ways of getting pages in the wrong order, the new one only has 12 (to the power of 12). Some mathematician out there must be able to tell me the total combinations I could have with a 48 page catalogue (12 double sided A4 sheets). Also add in the possibility that any one or more of the 48 pages could be inverted.
In case you did not know, the collating machine is the device that puts the catalogue in the correct order. I say correct order, that will be seen with this month’s catalogue. If you find missing pages to your catalogue, have a quick check to see if they are not somewhere else in the catalogue. People in Sweden, seem to use a different numbering system to the rest of Europe, but that was the country that decided over one weekend several years ago to change the side of the road the country drove on, I bet there were a few ‘No Claims Bonuses’ lost the following Monday.
The reason I purchased the machine was that it seemed to be a reasonable price, it will even put a staple in the paper if I flick a switch, but that will only be placed in one corner, so to make use of that option I would have to change the format of the catalogue.
If a page is totally missing, either phone for a new catalogue or look on the web.
THE ELECTIONS
Until a few years ago it was a more or less certainty that Bournemouth would vote in a party that is currently run by a leader whose family might have been illegal immigrants to this country, but that’s only a rumour. It is also not true that on His battle bus there is a wooden box containing earth, that box contains compost. He stopped at the local garden centre and purchased a few bags of compost, seems he wants a few flowerboxes at the front of his new home.
One of his thoughts are that Britain welcomes new ‘workers’, it’s just the work shy as Mr Prescott would say can B****r Off. Both parties seem to have some good points, as for the third contender, Bournemouth is slowly turning yellow. Personally I think its something to do with the drink culture, in the streets of Bournemouth. In the morning there are plenty of yellow deposits, shame we can’t lose those.
If Labour really wanted to have helped the ailing lame duck Rover, that should have been put down in 1975 when they came up with that new rust bucket of a car, (how many Rover SD1’s do you see on the roads today?), was to give Mr Two Jags Prescott a couple of Rover 75’s to use as his official vehicles. No doubt he will wait until that design is made in China before purchasing a pair. At the moment it appears that the overseas company have not yet bought the rights to the word Rover, but what does that matter, if the cars are purchased by the locals they would have difficulty in any name that begins with an R.

NICE STAMPS
Occasionally the Royal Mail do issue some very nice stamps. The only people to really know they exist are stamp collectors who have a direct service with the Philatelic Bureau and get sent all the issues automatically. Most of these will end up in the stamp dealers postage box having been purchased at well under face from the collector that suddenly realises that a direct debit order with the Philatelic Bureau is actually costing them more than they first thought.
On rare occasions something nice does come out. A set of ten British Animals popped their head over the Post Office counter, had a quick look round found that no members of the public wanted to purchase them and were relegated to the troublesome section of the Post Office stamp stock never to be seen again, except on the back cover of our catalogue this month.
The high quality colour printing is just wonderful. All we can hope is that from next year the firms that will be able to offer cheap postal deliveries will be able to give the public something to cherish and stick on their envelopes.
If you now decide that you want them too late, they have gone off sale. However if you go to your local stamp dealer and you promise to purchase two full sets of the 1981 Royal Wedding stamps issued by the Commonwealth countries he should let you have the animals set for about £3.
PUPILS MADE INTO RACISTS
As an experiment a class of eight year olds were reduced into tears when their teacher divided the class into two groups, the smaller group who wore yellow tee shirts were awarded privileges, whilst the larger group wearing white tee shirts were not given any privileges.
The children wearing white tee shirts burst into tears at being discriminated against. The lesson was originally set up to show all the children what it was like if a group were subject to discrimination.
Apparently the school in North Wales has had to apologise to the parents and there is the possibility that some of the children who wore white tee shirts might need counselling.
Some older people might realise that this was merely a repeat of an experiment carried out in the USA in the mid 1960’s, again the children who were all white suddenly found that discrimination makes people unhappy.
After a bit of a furore between staff and parents it was found that although the children had become upset, no lasting damage had been done, in fact those pupils who took part in the experiment in adult life managed to realise that a persons skin matters little, it is the person inside that is where the difference can be found.
I only wish that at some of the schools I went to such a lesson had been tried. As one headmaster put on my report. “Philip has not shown any unusual behaviour although he is the only coloured boy in the school”. I think the headmaster thought that at the age of eleven as I was the only non white looking child in a school of 300 pupils I should be swinging from the banisters or praying to one of many Gods when assembly was on.
It was racist and bigoted ideas like that that has held back many pupils in periods up to the 1980’s, now things are starting to change, but very slowly.

FEBRUARY A QUIET SALE
(Unless you know otherwise).
Bidders attending last month’s sale might have been a little cramped for space, which was due to the television company who produce ‘Cash In The Attic’ for the BBC descending on us to make a five minute filler for one of their programmes that should be seen on BBC One either late Feb or early March.
This format of a programme for those that are not fans of the half dozen or so programmes that feature auctions, is where the vendor decides to try and raise a certain amount of money for a set cause. This could be anything to buying a puppy to breed to re-turfing the back lawn to bowling green standards, creating a Berlin Wall in the back garden or a host of other projects that in the normal way one could not afford. The cost of these ideas can be anything from a couple of hundred pounds to several thousands.
The vendor who was selling autographs, postcards and cigarette cards through us, is intending to follow in the foot steps of St Paul or something along those lines.
So last month it was rather cramped with four television staff, two cameras and other objects that seem to lurk in our auction room.
For buyers who have not been with us for many months might wonder at a few of the odd items they see lurking around the place and have little to do with the actual sale. Personally I class these as ornaments, they may be used in the future but at the moment let us say they are resting. Four laser printers, three Betamax video recorders, two studio television cameras, (one BBC & one Thames), last apparently used on the Royal Wedding in the early 1980’s, a 35mm film editor (equipment), a 35mm cinema projector and an equally large 16mm cinema projector, four normal size 16mm projectors, plus a selection of other items that one day will be put into full working order. Hidden out of sight is half a Rover car and enough wood to build an ark. If all these things were cleared out we could get more buyers in, but you don’t want more competition do you?
ebay Rules O.K.
If ever the question was asked, there are possibly more people that pray to ebay on a regular basis than attend churches belonging to The Church of England. Unless you are an ebay buyer you will not understand the last two minutes of an ebay auction is a time when prayers are said, when it is hoped that computers belonging to rival bidders crash.
My resolution for the New Year is not to kill any auction snipers until February.
It was interesting on Christmas Day to see how quickly the unwanted presents appeared for sale. Yes I am a miserable selfish git and have nothing better to do on Christmas day than look at the ebay site and print the next auction catalogue.
Several items were offered as unwanted Christmas presents by vendors on ebay, at 17 minutes past midnight a Sony phone appeared, 9am the ladies watch, 10am the Spa Jet set, 11am Musical jewellery case, 1pm Aftershave. Possibly around eight in the evening the musical cuddly toy also appeared.
These items seemed to be genuine unwanted presents. Personally I would have liked my two front teeth as my Christmas present. I started to ask Father Christmas for these from the age of twelve, but I must have been a bad boy as he keeps giving me the address for a dentist.
Auctioneers originally thought that if ebay became big, it might harm the general auction trade, but exactly the opposite has happened. There are now many small dealers starting up and buying from ordinary auctions and then selling on ebay. This is helping the vendors who place goods in traditional auctions and keeps many people in gainful work.

HEALTH AND SAFETY AUDIT
An audit has been completed on our Christmas tree of 1904 that was shown on the cover of last monthÆs catalogue.
The following changes will need to be made before the tree can be put on household display.
1. The fruit under the tree will need to be taken away and destroyed as there will have been contamination from falling pine needles.
2. The candles will need to be removed from the tree to prevent the possibility of them been lit.
3. The oil lamp will have to be removed and officially scraped, as oil lamps that have stands longer than 250mm are illegal in the home.
4. The string that is holding the presents does not conform to child safety standards, as there is a chance a child may injure themselves on it.
5. The presents need to be taken back to the supplier as there are no CE markings on them, and a warning that they are unsuitable for children under 36 months of age is not shown.
6. The boots may cause injury when they are first tried on as there may be a residue of pine needles that have fallen inside, even if a visual inspection has been made. There would have to be a certified inspection by an operative with a flexible optical unit. These units are not permitted to be used by unauthorised persons due to possible misuse under the data protection act.
7. The tree will have to be taken down from the table as there is the possibility of it been knocked from its display position.
It should be noted that even if the above items are conformed with, the tree will not be able to be viewed in public as there is no documentation as to the country of origin on the tree; it is not possible to take the word of the local supplier who stated the tree had come from a local forest.
For public display the tree should have been supplied with its own individual passport, giving the details of the original location of the tree, the person who planted it, the animals that were in the vicinity during its growth, the name of the person that cut it down, the transport document documents during its entire journey and finally the risk assessment documents for its display period followed by the documentation from the authorised disposal agent.
P.S. DonÆt even think of having any New YearÆs Celebration.
Signed Nanny Blair.

COUNCIL TAKE MY ADVICE
It appears that someone at Poole Council had a copy of the December catalogue which showed the Christmas tree for 2004.
It was not long before similar barriers that were depicted on the cover of the catalogue were placed around the Christmas tree at Poole Civic Centre.
It appears that such trees are very dangerous indeed and it is important that members of the public are not allowed anywhere near a Christmas tree that is decorated with lights.
It is categorically denied that Poole council plan to erect metal barriers around the 169,756 trees in the borough, but it has not been ruled out that the 86,453 pine trees that are similar in style to Christmas trees will not have barriers erected around them as a permanent feature to stop possible injuries from falling pine needles.
THE ORIGINAL COST $9,000,000
In the late 1990Æs The United States Government placed an order for a single portable satellite receiving dish. To keep the product a secret the drawings had a code word æcabbageÆ.
The specification was that it was to be made of stainless steel, when open it should have the diameter of 9 inches, and when closed a diameter of 6 inches. The dish part is to have eighteen petals, the entire design is to be perforated with 3mm diameter holes to aid wind resistance.
Following successful trials at a cost of $9,000,000 the idea was abandoned when it became clear that American companies could not guarantee the specification if a further dish was required at this cost.
It should be noted that a product with the above specification is now made at an undisclosed foreign location; this product is not now guaranteed for spy satellite reception.
The current price for a single unit is ú2.49 and is available at your local Wilko store; just give the code words that you need a Vegetable Steamer (item no. 0061 3866) and the product you need will be provided.

WHEREÆS THE BEEF
This is currently the cry from lovers of Bovril. For 120 years
Britons have found the meaty drink a wonderful source of energy.
Now the makers have pandered to requests of a few foreigners and removed all traces of beef from the drink.
Rather than make a separate vegetarian batch for the cowards that live across the water, Britons now have to make do with a vegetable drink.
The only difference that the British person will notice other than the flavour is that the item will not be reduced in price. In past years Bovril was always more expensive than their yeast based rival of Marmite. Now they are both to be made with yeast we should see a price reduction, but donÆt bank on it, just boycott it.
BOSCOMBE TO TWIN WITH DHAMI
Local residents are currently exploring possibility of twinning the two towns. It is revealed that the small village in India hold a very interesting festival.
The villagers divide themselves into two groups and for over an hour each group throws stones and rocks at the opposing group. After this years festival several makeshift medical camps had to be set up to tend to the bleeding victims. Boscombe will hold their festival every weekend.
CHRISTMAS IS COMING
So itÆs a Happy Christmas and New Year to all our customers. We offer our regular of greeting of ôPlease donÆt forget the catalogue subscription paymentö.
All we need is your name address and ú22, your bidders reference number will speed things up. For those that still have not given enough exercise to their credit cards yet, we are pleased to announce we take those as well. Our Christmas card to you all is featured on the front of this monthÆs catalogue.
REMEMBER THE DATE OF THE JANUARY SALE
In 2005 this will be held on 8th January or if you live on the other side of the pond January 8th.
In England we used to write our dates this way until about 1900 then we apparently saw sense and put in a more logical manner. The only variation that has occurred in recent years is when a computer starts with the year, month, day, hour, and seconds in descending order. ItÆs only logical Captain.
VIEWING JANUARY
I will probably be offering viewing on the first of the month, this will depend more on how the rest of the staff have got on with lotting up the sale over the Christmas period. Christmas Day has been reluctantly given as a holiday to those people with children; other members of staff that do not have young children to look after will be required to work as normal. At a normal rate of pay and no such days off in lieu will be their reward, they will of course be required to do the work of anyone that is not here.
Signed Ebenezer Howard

ED U CATION
One of the many schools I attended in my childhood has recently been in the news. It must have been one of the schools I was reasonably well behaved at, I lasted four and a half years, the other eleven schools were for slightly lesser periods.
The Warneford school in Highworth Wilts has been in the news due to the current headmaster bringing in a rule that boys and girls must not touch.
Some of the little darlings went on strike for a short period; it seems that they do not agree with this rule.
Whilst I was there the headmaster of the time did tend to have an outburst if he caught a boy and girl smooching amongst the coats, this I think was due to the untidy area that was left when they departed.
It seems the school has now become a beacon of excellence. In my time the only reference to a beacon was when a few boys might be threatening to arson the school.
MATHS
I make no apology for nicking the maths questions. These are questions set in mathematics examinations over a few decades in C.S.E. and G.C.S.E.
1950Æs Question: A logger sells a lorry of timber for ú100. His cost of production is four-fifths of the price. What is his profit?
1960Æs Question: A logger sells a load of timber for ú100. His cost of production is ú80. What is his profit?
1970Æs Question: A logger exchanges a set æLÆ of timber for set æMÆ of money. The cardinality of set æMÆ is 100. Each element is worth ú1. Make 100 dots representing the elements of set æMÆ. Represent set æCÆ the cost of production as a sub set of set. æMÆ = 80 plus set æPÆ as profit. What is the cardinality of the set æPÆ?
Due to the poor results in school maths tests of my period at school in the 1970Æs it was thought best to make the questions easier in future years.
1980Æs Question: A logger sells a load of timber for ú100. His cost of production is ú80 and his profit is ú20. Your assignment is to underline the number 20.
1990Æs Question: A logger sells a lorry of trees for ú100. His cost of production is ú120. How did his accountant show a profit margin of ú60?
2000Æs Question: By cutting down a beautiful forest, the logger makes ú20. Discuss the matter as to how the birds and squirrels feel as the logger cut down the trees.
And a question of the future:
2010Æs Question: Ein waldman sells ein wagen vol of timber fur Ç100. Das kost of production ist Ç120. How much tax is due? Und show the amount of subsidy required.
O.K. They were not the real questions; it was just a bit of humour.
THE STAFF ARE REVOLTING
To fend off a threatened strike by certain staff, it has been found necessary to delay the January 2005 sale by one week, this sale will now take place on Saturday 8th January.
There had been complaints by the staff that they did not want to work on the first Saturday of viewing on the original sale date, i.e. Christmas Day.
Personally I find their action disturbing. Why should they have Christmas Day off, and they better not tell me they want the 1st January or the following Monday as holidays.
FIRST CLASS MAIL
This months prize goes to a customer in Salisbury, He posted his bid form by 1st class mail. This was delivered to me postmarked Southampton 29/9/04 on 7/10/04, of course the sale was over.
IÆM GOING TO NUKE KOREA
Our computer has an æalways onÆ connection to the internet. With some modern software that is installed, it is possible to see the location of hackers that are trying to get in. Many it seems come from the Far East. At the moment Korea Telecom at 206 Jungja-dong, Bundang-gu, Korea, Is allowing one of their customers near Glmhwa to abuse the internet. If they do not soon stop him, that Korean War that merely has been on hold for the last few years will be restarted. The other person that is starting to annoy lives at Shilipu in China. You have been warned.
EMBARRASSED AT SCHOOL
A reaction of a mother to remover her child from school when a teacher made a six year old child attend assembly dressed only in her pants and shirt was a little over the top.
The reason for the teachers severe punishment was that the child had refused to put on her trousers after a PE lesson. The child was warned that if she did not get dressed she would go into assembly dressed as she was.
The child apparently is having nightmares at been humiliated in such away.
What a shame, if only the mother had told the girl at the end of the day that she was a silly little ***, the girl would have soon got over the event.
Oh bring back the good old days when infant and junior school, PE lessons were done by both boys & girls just in pants, and we even changed in the same room.
DIRTY BOMB
Police have foiled a plot by a potential terrorist to make a Dirty bomb using radioactive material from a large number of smoke detectors.
To would be terrorists, there is a much easier way, just go and steal a medical X-Ray machine. Clue many doctors and dentists have these.
If you do want to actually purchase an X-Ray machine I have one going cheap, it was used last month to irradiate all persons who attended a conference in Bournemouth, their hair should start to fall out around Xmas time. All that I am unable to supply is the control lead, funny how odd little items go missing. Price of unit as found ú200 plus ú25 UK delivery or slightly more to certain overseas countries, I might be able to get a friend in the Black Watch to deliver it to you on his next visit, all he will need is a drink as a reward.

LETÆS MAKE SUNDAY SPECIAL
Before you ignore this item, I have to mention that this is not in any form a religious preaching from The Shop Workers Union or the Keep Sunday Special Group.
Mine is a thought over all the Rules, Laws and Regulations that have been foisted on us over the last twenty years from both our Government and E.U. Meddlers Incorporated. All I would like to see added to the end of each regulation would be three words æOn A SundayÆ.
This to me would free us during our six days of work and play to have this country as it used to be with almost no interference from officialdom. As all the petty rules that we are now having to follow would simply not apply for most of the week.
THE BAN ON FOX HUNTING
This has given a few people sore heads. Everyone who had their head in the way whilst the police were demonstrating their baton waving skills can expect to find themselves taken to court over the next few months.
There is a little known law that makes it an offence to contaminate the police or officials with blood or human products. This law was originally brought in to stop drug addicts from using their syringes in a threatening manner by squirting possibly contaminated blood over person who wish to arrest them.
The police will now use this law to prosecute all those people who contaminated their nice clean shiny batons and steel rods with blood from their heads.
As for the actual law, looking at it closely it appears it is a ban on using hounds to hunt foxes, there appears to be no rule that you are not allowed to use other animals, I can expect to see an increase in Lamas and Pumas to be found in the countryside.
For my own view, the current form of fox hunting is not something I support, where foxes now have to be almost nurtured to provide a sport. If the hunters do want to keep their hounds that I can fully support a Drag Hunt, this would even give employment to a new group of workers that make sacks, our unemployment figures would instantly go down by thousands if we had to make more sacks for drag hunting. If you need to know why a sack is needed, itÆs to lay the scent for the hounds to follow, as to what is in the sack, well thatÆs a closely guarded secret, if the public and officials want to know they get told aniseed, it keeps them happy. Did you know that when an animal rights protester is cut up they make enough bits for ten drag hunts, no, only joking, they use the Colonels secret formula.
WHATÆS ON THE T.V.?
During the slight problem with the unannounced visitors at Westminster, it was surprising to see how many M.P.Æs crawled out of the woodwork after the event had happened. Before the event the chamber was almost empty for what was a major parliamentary event. It was just by an odd chance that I was watching the event live and did actually see the original event followed by the long view of the clock to try and cover the event from the public gaze.
When the sitting resumed it seemed as if by a miracle all the seats suddenly filled up. If you ever watch the ordinary parliamentary events on the T.V. for most of the time there are so few of our over paid M.P.Æs actually taking any interest in the important matters we have elected to make their business.
The answer to where they were all hiding was found out later in the subsidised bar and restaurant that late in the afternoon found it had fewer than normal customers.
IÆm just pleased that Bournemouth Council did not bribe a certain group to have their conference here this year, but allowed the next to be elected party to visit instead.
To all our customers in Brighton, we hope your town soon recovers and that the police did not delay your lives too much with their over the top control. As we say æCome to Sunny BournemouthÆ (unless you need police protection).

SHOPLIFTERS WILL BE EATEN
This is possibly going to be a new slogan for the group of stores made famous by Mr Cohen. It has taken the management some time to realise that in this country there is very little deterrent or penalty for the serial thief. The poor pensioner who has been confused with all the glaring sign and loud music and has innocently popped a 23p tin of sardines into her own shopping bag of course will always be prosecuted to the severest penalty the law allows.
It has taken rumours reaching HQ in London that some of their stores in China are using more local traditional methods of deterring the shoplifters; one thief was drowned at one store and at another was simply beaten to death. As the only complaints seem to be from Amnesty International little notice will be taken to correct the local customs.
It has been suggested that possibly these quaint customs could be brought into this country. If the level of shop lifting goes down, who knows prices might fall.
POLICE TAKE CHILDREN TO SCHOOL
Following my last monthÆs comment that parents are finding it difficult to get their children to school. It appears that children in Braintree in Essex who dislike going to school and would not attend unless their parents physically dragged them there (illegal under their human rights), are now been taken to school in the morning in a police car rather than allow the children to miss their fifteen minute school walk to school.
And a message to all those supply teachers, yes the term is about to start and your services are needed, remember to wear something padded as we donÆt want the little darlings to hurt you.
DO YOU WANT TO BECOME A FILM MOGUL
In this monthÆs sale we offer an unusual lot. It consists of about twenty cans of film. This has all been professionally shot on 35mm film. It consists of Negatives and rushes. Shot by Jim Mulkerns (1927-2003). As it came from the estate of cameraman Walter Lassally famous for such films as Beat Girl, Saturday Night Sunday Morning and Zorba the Greek. This hoard simply entitled Week-End might be one of his unfinished projects unless anyone knows its release title. Shot in 1967 it will be of interest to some budding editor. In case you comment that you donÆt have the equipment to run it on, we can also solve that problem. We can offer one of his Moviola Film Editing machines for you to work on. Instead of shutting yourself away with that computer, shut yourself away with this lot.

LETÆS UPSET SOMEONE
In todayÆs politically correct climate, even opening oneÆs mouth appears to offend some minority group or group that appears to have the thoughts of minorities in their mind.
The latest Royal to fall foul of this politically correct brigade is Princess Michael of Kent. It appears that possibly the word æhalf-castÆ has been uttered rather than the correct term of æmixed raceÆ. In the words of Prince Philip I could possibly utter the same the same thoughts of æ**** ***Æ Please note this is an Anglo Saxon term. That group of mixed race persons has been causing trouble in this country ever since the original settlers in the kingdom headed off to Wales and the West Country to get out of the way of the Flaxen Haired lot that was invading.

THAT FOUNTAIN
Yes, you know the one in London thatÆs made out of a highly polished stone. Any parent would have told the designer and builder that if you add water and children you are going to have an accident when they start to paddle.
The ideal solution will be to pour a layer of rough concrete in the bottom to make a safer foot hold, or why not do what Bournemouth did in the early 1900Æs, put gravel and stones in the bottom of their ditch to allow the children to paddle in safety.
As for maintenance, the Bournemouth stream needs only little cost each year. The main expense is removing the larger cans and food wrappers.
We do have to put up a sign saying that the water does not meet the E.U. Water Quality, but who cares, us children canÆt read. Best wear your wellingtons you donÆt want to cut your feet on the broken beer bottles.
BEAT YOUR CHILD (You Know It Makes Sense)
Under the new laws that may soon be introduced it will be a crime to beat your child. Unknown to many beating your child has been against the law for many years. What has been allowed since Victorian times is the right of parents to punish their children with pain. The main idea was not to leave physical injuries. The child might be turned into as gibbering wreck after such punishment, but that is possibly better than the mindless little thugs that are on the streets of today.
Careful punishment by a parent or heaven forbid a teacher may soon not be allowed in this country. It might be a light smack is allowed by a parent, but if any sign of bruising is ever found the parent will soon find themselves taken to court, the child put in care and the family permanently broken up. This of course will take the resources of the police, social services and the courts, where of course they could be dealing with the troublemakers where no restrictions of any kind have been given during the childÆs up bringing.
If one has been watching a television programme where a group of young men who have had slight problems with discipline have been given a very short course in the style of National Service life, it is easy to see how a group of foul mouth yobs can soon be reduced to tears by a strong military presence. In the modern climate no physical punishment is allowed, I canÆt think but wonder if someone of the rank of corporal or above in the 1950Æs was sworn at, the odd boot or stick would sort of be falling on the culprit.
In todayÆs schools if a child wants to mouth off to a teacher the only punishment is detention or possibly some extra work, if the child does not want to do this a short suspension is given followed by expulsion if this fails. What more can a child who does not show any interest in school ask for except that he is told he does not have to go to school.
Parents who fail to send their children to school currently end up in prison. Until now possibly a smack got the little darlings out of the door and in the direction of the school, if a parent is not allowed to smack a child, how do you get your child off to school? The only way would be to physically tie them up and deliver them personally to school, but I have the idea this might violate their human rights. Bring on the social workers and police.
From the age I could walk I slowly went through a range of punishments. These started with very light slaps on my legs or bottom from my mother or grandmother. The order they were given to me might have seemed odd, but the methods worked At the age of four my grandmother started to use her hand on my rear with a little more force, this generally kept me reasonably well behaved, once a punishment was over and I had recovered there was always a treat of a few sweets to make everything better. I was quite happy.
Shortly before my sixth birthday I excelled myself over my bad behaviour, two light strokes were put on my rear with the cane by my grandmother, I was still rewarded after the punishment.
At the age of seven I think I set the record at school for been the youngest boy to be given the cane, as it was a mixed infant and primary school, I was mistakenly thought to be in the primary section due to my height and was punished accordingly with one stroke of the cane. I was more afraid of what my mother was going to say when she learnt I had been given the cane, than the minor pain from the original punishment.
Slowly as I grew up and became more objectionable, the punishments increased in severity. I was kept reasonably tame by these methods. Had I been told that I could not be physically punished I would have really become one of the Bad Boys. Sounds like a title for a television programme.
Oh yes, under new politically correct rules we must not use the words æCommon senseÆ.

LETÆS RUIN SOME STAMPS
If there is one way of annoying a stamp collector other than a heavy postmark on some stamps, it is the use of a ball point pen. In the normal way until now it has mainly been the odd letter that has slipped through the automatic franking machines that has suffered.
On my incoming mail I now notice this is appearing more on packets and parcels.
Many of the items we receive have these nice white labels attached, I æm sorry but on occasions due to a heavy amount of mail to go out late in the afternoon, there is not really the time to always use postage stamps on the mail.
Until now I thought it was at the sorting office where the damage to the stamps was done, I now find out that often it is on the Post Office Counters where the ball point pen is wielded. As often the parcel date stamp is seldom to be easily found due to lack of use. A ball point pen seems so much easier.
I HATE FOOTBALL
Along with a small minority of the population of England, I find the current fervour over a group of grown men who are paid a vast wage to kick a ball about rather irritating. It is not that I object to their vast wages other than through slight jealousy, it is that the programmes I want to watch on the television have all been cancelled, so that for the most of the events we can watch a group of foreigners play football. By all means show the matches England are in, but to put all the other matches on the main channels is a little bit of a nuisance.
If all the matches had been put on BBC3 the up take of digital set top boxes, cable and satellite units would have been tremendous. The amount of extra manufacturing and installation work that would have been done shortly before the matches would have made a few engineers very happy.
It was similar in 1966, there were endless days of football, and the only game my friends wanted to play was football.
In the end England won and a large number of stamp collectors became very greedy, a few made some money for a few days, the rest became stuck with a load of 4d stamps that they never knew what to do with.
In reality for several years after the event they were only worth 4d each, due to Stanley Gibbons putting a high catalogue price of several shillings on each stamp. Stamp collectors thought they were rich, until they worked out that there was over a hundred stamps per collector in the country, and their investments would not ever see an actual profit in real terms.
WE USE 1953 STAMPS ON OUR MAIL
To a few of our customers it might have seemed odd that we appeared to be using stamps that were first issued in 1953 on our mail.
These Wildings went obsolete and invalid to use many years ago. What was not realised by the vast majority of the population and many postal workers, was the Post Office had re issued the design with decimal values, but had not actually used the word æPÆ on some of the stamps to show its new value just spelling out the value.
As the stamps were only issued to a few demanding stamp collectors and in theory 95% of the revenue of the stamps would never be used for postal purposes the Post Office are very happy to bend almost all the rules they have invented on design and colour of stamps, over such an issue.
These stamps even had the word revenue on them, from a period when the government decided that all receipts should have a 2d stamp attached as a money making scheme, and slightly more on some legal agreements.
I can remember thinking what a waste of 6d it was when my mother had to
stick a stamp on my school contract, the bar of chocolate I could have bought
with that 6d in 1965.


BECOME A POSTCARD COLLECTOR (The easy way).
Instead of paying for postcards, why not get people to send you cards as a gift.
A few years ago, there was a boy who made an attempt to get into The Guinness Book of Records by seeing if he could get the most number of postcards sent to him.
The boy originally was suffering from cancer, so people were more than happy to send a postcard to him. This might sound to be quite an easy matter, a person would send a postcard to this poor sick boy, and he would get into the record book.
This was more or less as it happened, the local town Post Office where the boy lived was rather inundated with postcards and anyone in the vicinity that was receiving postcards possibly had their cards mixed in with his daily thousands, but all went to plan, he got in the record books and if one wanted a happy ending he recovered from cancer.
That was in the late 1980Æs. His tons of postcards are still doing the round. Ask any modern Postcard dealer who deals with modern used postcards if they would like to buy any of Craig ShergoldÆs cards and wait for their reaction.
The story is so nice that it had to be made into a film; a British Documentary giving the correct details would make a very interesting film. However the AmericanÆs got hold of the story and from that point onward there was only a slight version of the truth.
There has been a delay in producing the film as the American film studios were still winning World War II, and starting WWIII which it has been proved they will win.
The American film resembles more of a soppy story. Shot mainly in America, it tries to recreate England. Most of the details are wrong, even an attempt to show an address in a small English village has a house number running into the thousands.
Most of the story is about the boy on his death bed. It seems the English doctors have given up hope and are unable to save him. Along comes an American doctor and if by a miracle, Craig is saved. He returns home to a welcome with the house decked out in American and British flags. If there is another change to the story it is not postcards the boy wants but greeting cards.
If only the Americans could understand one thing about us Brits (racial unacceptable term). In England we do not deck our homes out with Union flags everywhere. The biggest insult the Yanks made was to fly our flag upside down (due to ignorance). How would they like it if we hung their flag upside down.

BOURNEMOUTH MAYOR BANNED
Our civic leader had been banned from attending an event at our conference centre. In the normal way major events would be opened by our mayor. Due to security it was required that everyone supplied a passport style photo for their pass.
As our mayor was simply going to be opening the event and not continually coming and going throughout the event, it was suggested by the mayor that a pass should not be necessary. The attendance would be in full mayoral regalia, and as our first citizen of the town, should be well enough known to be able to go into council owned property without having to have a passport photo struck her attire. The mayor it seems will not be attending.
The comment from ex Winton schoolboy - Clive Chamberlain (now chairman of Dorset Police Federation). ôI consider the attitude of the mayor absolutely disgracefulö, seems a little strong though.
It appears that even David Blunket will be made to wear his security badge.
My only questions are will David know what photo has been affixed to his badge and will his guide dog be made to wear a security badge at all times?
The population of Bournemouth are more worried that this black Labrador might really be a terrorist in disguise; after all, certain foreign powers have trained dolphins to carry explosives to a target then detonate themselves. I hope the Bournemouth Council will send the redecorating bill after a labrador has exploded in our conference hall to Tony Blair.
LOCAL STORE
A new all day and all night shop has opened near to us. Due to the problem of trying to get staff to work unsocial hours, the only people that the store can get to work are persons who have come from overseas and are in need of work as they are not able to claim benefits.
The level of their English language and English way of life are often lacking. I went in on a Bank Holiday Monday morning, other than this shop and us there were few things open. I purchased a bread roll and a Daily mail. The amount rung up was over three pounds, I queried the price of the bread roll, I have to say it was a nice size, but at over ú2.50 it was a little on the expensive side even for a 24hr store.
They went to check the price of the bread roll, and came back. Again I was asked for over ú3 I now requested a piece of paper and a pen, this was to show how manually adding up two items under a pound each do not come up to ú3 odd.
I wrote down 40p for the paper, I was now corrected the newspaper was ú2.60.
It appears that this new visitor to this country has little idea on the cost of newspapers. The price was clearly shown on the front ú2.60.

FREE GIFT
Amongst my mail this week was a very nice application from a charity to donate money to them, to help speed up my application a pen was enclosed. This now seems to be a regular gift from charities. Rather than as normally throwing such literature away, the charity providing you with a pen really obliges you to offer the contents of your bank account on regular occasions to them in exchange for their often cheap and almost useless pen.
The current free pen was from The Woodland Trust, who want to plant more trees. Not something I really want to support, in Bournemouth they get in the way of our nice costal views and in Christchurch they seem to be preventing the local endangered lizards from surviving.
The pen was slightly unusual. Rather than the normal bookies type offering that is not really made for my large paws this pen was of normal size, however rather than the cheap plastic this pen was made with a brown paper surround. Now if they did not make pens with paper there would not be the need for more trees. It mentioned that the pen was made of a recyclable material. For curiosity I took the pen apart, underneath the brown wrapping there was some newspaper. Not been very literate I found it difficult to read, then I realised that I might be holding it up the wrong way, nope, it appears that the newspaper comes from East of Bradford, Hong Kong might be a good bet, all I can do is wonder if there is a sweat shop somewhere up North, is demanding that the Economic Migrants illegally working in this country bring in their own materials or that the firm has been environmentally friendly and shipped millions of pens from the Far East. There was however one environmental feature the pen was only half full of ink. Someone must have been reading that ink costs more than the most expensive Champagne when sold by volume, the ecological thought is that the pen will need to be recycled earlier, for this pen it was now, having taken it apart it was now useless. Coming to a Landfill near you springs to mind.
The only decent pens that seem to come free are the ones supplied by insurance firms who inform you that their car Insurance is cheaper and better value than anyone elseÆs. I have had several nice pens as I cannot resist the challenge by calling their freephone number and asking them for a quote.
It appears that no one other than the company I am with wish to insure a car on a compressive policy for under ú150. When they do start working out how much it would cost, even the firm that threatens to æQuote me happyÆ, fails to live up to the mark. We start with a figure of around ú350 when I tell them it is a yellow car, this increases to ú450, when I tell them that the steering wheel is on the passenger side, itÆs much easier to drive a car if you donÆt have this clutter in front of you, when I ask them to guarantee a write off value of ú4,500, the premium edges around the ú700 figure, and when I mention that I wish to insure two cars at the same time the rate hits the ú1,000. And when I ask for both pleasure and Business use and do not wish to restrict the amount of miles I do and that I do not believe in the idea of a No Claim Bonus, their computer seems to give up on me. The pen arrives in the post a short time later.
The odd matter though is even when I go to the same group company who actually insures my car, if I contact them directly the cheapest seems to be a little over ú500, rather odd.


I COULD MAKE MONEY FROM YOU
Most of the use of the telephone in our building is phone calls coming into us. I discourage the staff from making out going calls by keeping the phone in an exposed position preventing private non-business use.
My phone bills however have been going up over the last few months. Trawling through the dialled numbers hunting to see who is dialling the premium 09 numbers I find no activity in this area.
ItÆs the 0870 and 0845 numbers that are clocking up the money. The modern idea of their use, is that firms that have these numbers gain a few pence each time you phone them. As a business I have been offered these numbers as a method of making money. As yet I have always turned the idea down, much as I would like to make money from you each time you call me, I think that I should not penalise you for talking to me.
The biggest culprit is The Post Office. Each time I want to organise a collection of mail I have to dial this number that costs a few pence per minute than a normal inland number.
I would not mind paying this premium if I got straight through to a human, but there is always a thirty seconds to a minute automated menu that has to be worked through before you get the correct extension, they appear to offer every possible useless service before the number you want comes up. Remembering the number does little good, the system will only let you dial once it has finished its menu, the trick of not letting them know you have a touch tone phone does not work, people who are not able to use the star system are put in a queue with a minimum wait of three minutes.
The other time I need to ring them is to complain about their overcharging me, this call is never less than five minutes. They donÆt seem to realise that I think it unfair that if they fail to deliver a correctly addressed parcel and return it to me, then to ask for me paying for its return cost, itÆs actually rubbing salt into the wound. Big business seem to ignore such double charging, but to me it is the difference between eating that day and going without food. Since signing up for Parcelforce to deliver the parcels IÆve lost four stone in weight. A good way to diet, however since IÆve started complaining IÆve put on half a stone with the money I had refunded being spent on food.
REMEMBER THE GUARDIAN
This once famous newspaper was remembered by many as the best piece of literature for would be proof readers, rather than having to pay for an expensive course as one does today to learn about grammatical errors in the printed word. Half an hour in a quiet spot and you would qualify as a proof reader having found every type of error that it was possible to find in the printed word.
Today times have changed, there are few errors, however this might be due to the content of news diminishing. On certain days of the week this paper is taken over by all the local authorities of this land who seem to find the need to take half page advertisement to offer jobs to Multicultural persons that have disabilities to organise pie throwing contests.
I purchase this newspaper once a year, in the hope that they will once again have an April Fools joke that they made in 1977 when they made spoof editions of all the other major newspapers and had many printers in fits of laughter with all the printing æinÆ jokes imaginable.
Have you heard the one about the printer in Chippenham whoààà

HOW TO SPEND ú10,000 ON CARDBOARD
Back in the early 1960Æs when the family had breakfast, the main object on the table in importance after the teapot was the box of corn flakes. If life in our household was austere it was that seldom we saw any other box than the corn flake packet with its cockerel design.
For economy and due to everyone eating corn flakes, the giant box was always purchased. Fresh corn flakes out of a newly opened box are wonderful, leave the packet unclosed for a few days and what remains is rather unappetising. I donÆt think our family had a patent design for closing the box to keep the contents fresh, if it did, we might be in for some royalties. The method was to fold the inner wax paper first, then to fold over the box top to resemble a roof of a house design, as the contents of the box went down, the roof could become lower and lower.
Apparently the family of today are not capable of such design, I blame the lack of activity on TV. In those days Val Singlton always showed what you could do with a cardboard tube and a piece of sticky back plastic.
It seems that Kelloggs has spent ú10,000 in introducing a foil inner and a folding top to the box in the shape of a roof of a house.
If only they had come to me, I could have saved them a few quid. I must get into the redesign of products. Our family were always known for their improvement of objects and since the early 1800Æs the redesign of many products earned the family various patents on improvements on agricultural machinery. The Howard Rotary Hoe was one final product from the Australian branch of the family; they even came back after the last war to set up a factory and tried to rope in some of their relatives from this country.
CUSTOMERÆS NAME
There was an email sent to me, mentioning the programme I could use to stop some junk mail. MAILWASHER (link http://www.mailwasher.net/download.php ) is a good programme. All my customers, who use the word Viagra and other similar words, get their emails deleted before I read them.
He asks that I put his name in my jottings. O.K. Nick Carlin of Poole, your wish is granted, if only the rest of the customers were that easy to please. The other claim to fame that Nick can mention other than the mention in the jottings is when his foot was stepped on by a police horse at the England v Scotland match at Wembley in 1977.
I bet the police later arrested him for saying nasty words to the horse a few seconds later. He would also like a programme for that match, so if anyone has one that they no longer need, I will be happy to forward it on.
One other matter, could the Scottish fans give the pieces of wood back that they found lying on the pitch.
ARE OUR FEMALE CUSTOMERS MARRIED?
I wish to complain again that as this year was a leap year, not one female proposed to me. Ladies IÆm Free.
Please ask in another four years time û I might say yes.
At one time there was a law that male person refusing the offer of marriage in a leap year could be fined. I bet our chancellor has forgotten this money making idea.

SHARE FISHERMEN
Our local newspaper featured a rather expensive advertisement encouraging Share fishermen to save for their National Insurance contributions. Unlike the PAYE Employed persons this small group have their own tax classifications.
The advert on behalf of the Inland Revenue was probably inserted into many newspapers, at what cost I hate to think. Personally I would have put one advert in Commercial  Fisherman & Dogfish News, which would have probably caught as many as the local newspapers did.
I rang the special dedicated hlep line that has been set up, to ask one simple question. How many Share Fishermen are there?
The help line could not tell me, I was put through to another department. This information was only available to journalists. I asked to be put through to a section that answered questions to non journalists û none it seemed existed. In Britain we still live in a secret society, it appears that if the number of Share Fishermen were divulged to the public it would affect the nation.

TIMES DONÆT CHANGE
The West Country is possibly an area of Britain where there is not a large amount of racial problems. Not having much heavy industry it has never attracted many newcomers from foreign parts to that area. This possibly has allowed more of a problem for any person with non European looks who venture down to that part of the country.
It is reported that in the town of Burnham on Sea, a racial problem is rife. At an infantÆs school, the only pupil that has a slight tan to his completion has suffered torments from teachers and fellow pupils.
In the school play where all his class mates are allowed to dress up as white clouds he is given the part as the only black cloud. Fellow pupils not used to having anyone other than a white child amongst them, make the childÆs live a misery by calling him names like æMud-faceÆ.
In time this six year old boy may grow up with problems, unless these racial ideas are nipped in the bud. In a London or Birmingham school there would not be a problem, a selection of the boyÆs fellow group would show their displeasure to any white group uttering such remarks.
I would have hoped that the racist town of Burnham on Sea had changed its attitude to a single small child with slightly non white looks.
It was this town that forty years ago I moved to from London. For my first six years of life I had never thought I was different in any way, until that point I had never known any form of racism. Coming to this town however gave me my first insight how isolated groups challenge anything that was different.
While the boy of today was called æMud-FaceÆ, my name at the age of six was æChoc-DropÆ. At first my mother possibly took such name calling to be simply fun, in the way a child might get called Skinny or Fatty.
It was only realised by her that perhaps I was been singled out when a fellow classmate brought her older sister who attended a different school to the small private school I was at and announced to my mother that æher sister wanted to see the Brown BoyÆ.
Apparently things in the area have not changed much, the only plus point is that in todayÆs modern thinking the word æCompensationÆ appears, the mother of the boy is seeking damages from the private school. All I ever got was an apple crate to sit at when my school desk fell apart; the teachers had to make me feel different.
If I have a word of wisdom for the current child in Burnham on Sea, for the next part in a play, choose the role of Darth Vader, you will be able to dress in black and be allowed to kill any persons you do not agree with. Problem solved.
IÆVE LEARNT A NEW WORD
The following item should be ignored by persons under the age of forty or from the Midlands or Northern parts of Britain. We Southerners lead such sheltered lives.
It appeared that a shopkeeper in Northampton, was arrested by the police and locked up in the cells for several hours and has been told that he faces charges under the Public Order Act. His crime was to use the word TWAT in a shop notice on his premises.
Until this moment in time all I thought was that the word was simply slang for an idiot or the like. All the older dictionaries we use, give this as the meaning; apparently in the modern works it has a different meaning. So use this word with care unless you wish to reap the wrath of the local police.

YOU VILL DO VHAT VE SAY
It seems another shopper has found that a leading German supermarket has a different way of customer care compared with every British Supermarket. A pensioner in South Wales has been rewarded with a ban for failing to turn her trolley the wrong way round when going through the till area in the supermarket.
The store has come up with the lame excuse that if the trolley is turned the wrong way round the cashier will be able to see if there is any item left in the bottom. In reality the till staff would never have the time to look in the base of a trolley, they are under so much pressure to scan the goods and take your money, that even if you went in starkers it would never be noticed.
The real reason you are required to turn your trolley the wrong way round and take hold of it by the metal ends, these are quite sharp and minor cuts can occur û the look on the cashiers face when I handed over a slightly bloodied banknote was well worth the pain, is down to the odd design of the till area, unlike an English supermarket it is not intended that you pack your bags at the till, the goods area at the till is cut at an angle to take a trolley that faces the wrong way. So once the item is scanned you are meant to put the goods directly into the trolley and go find somewhere else to pack your bags.
Failure to place your goods in the trolley as soon as they have been scanned might get them shoved into your trolley by the cashier. As yet I have not seen this done in our local supermarket, as this is a deprived area and few customers could even half fill a trolley with goods, even though the food is the best value in the area.
A simple solution would have been to build the till area with the angle cut in the opposite direction, customers could then have the luxury of the nice plastic handle to take hold of.
I expect my ban of entering the store to come any day now.
DOG PARALYSED BY LEAFLET
The printing world has breathed a sigh of relief that there has been no ban on the printing and distribution of leaflets. Postal workers will be please that their never ending chore of leaflet delivery will not come to an abrupt end.
A major court case has just ended when an owner of a dog attempted to claim ú2,906 from a supermarket when the dog became paralysed after jumping up at a leaflet that had been poked through the door resulting in the dog landing badly.
It was a claim for negligence that the owner of the dog made, however the judge found that æa suspended leaflet does not equates to negligenceÆ.
Perhaps the verdict would have gone the other way had the dog sued the firm for the nasty taste of the leaflet, due to the fingers that originally held the leaflet at one point. We could not have a dog suffering due to a person who smoked having handled the leaflet.
ú2,500 IF YOU BECOME A STAMP COLLECTOR
There is so little interest in stamp collecting, that even an offer of ú2,500 for schools to get their children to take part in a competition had no takers. It was not that this was prize money; it was simply an offer of money by The North-Western Federation of Philatelic Services to take part in a competition. The grant was funded by National Lottery money.
If you ever wondered why you hear stories of money from the National Lottery having to be given to groups of minorities who wish to paint themselves purple and save the lesser-spotted Auk in the Hibernian Isles, or a porn film, it is due to the failure of using the money when it has been granted to Philatelic Groups.

THE EMAIL ADDRESS
Please note there will be a change to the address if you email bids and for other matters. The new address will be
dalkeithauctions@ntlworld.com
Please update your records. If possible please use the word BIDS in the subject line for any matters.
The change has been needed due to the amount of pork luncheon meat that is appearing in my inbox. A daily dump of over 500 items of junk mail is hiding any real mail. So a new address is now to be used, I will keep the old address as a backup but only emails with the word BIDS in the subject line will be read. As a new mail programme called Mailwasher will deal with everything else.
LIDL and the Five Pound Note
Long, long ago I had a problem when I went into a Lidl supermarket and they refused to take a then legal tender ú5, the manager on duty at the time came up with an excuse that it was company policy not to take them.
A reply to my complaint was promised within a few days. At the end of December I finally had a reply. They admit that the note was legal tender and it should have been accepted. Apparently the person concerned has been spoken to. I must remember to watch for falling pallets of goods when I go in next time.
XMAS CARDS
There may have been a few disappointed customers who wondered why I did not send out any Christmas cards. Humbug. The main reason is down to cost, although a business can put such expenses down to business use, in the end it will be the customer who pays for the card.
The most luxury Christmas card that must have cost over ú1 came from the accountant, their bill for their services followed shortly after.
VAT and The Chocolate Biscuit
It has finally been agreed between Customs and United Biscuits over the matter of VAT and the chocolate on the top of a biscuit. Was biscuit that was filled with chocolate the same as a biscuit that had a covering of chocolate.
After debating the matter for several months and no doubt munching through a few packets of biscuits, the answer has been finally arrived at. The result is that a chocolate filled biscuit is a standard rate item, in other words for each one you eat you pay the government 17.5% of its value.
For their next trick it will to be worked out if the gum on the back of the postage stamp is a taxable item.
BOOK DEALERS ARE REJOICING
Book dealers are currently very happy with the new M6 Toll motorway. It appears that many tons of unsold Mills and Boon novels (approx 2.5 million novels) have been used to make a firm surface to lay the road covering on, in future it is hoped that the entire output from the Mills & Boon printing press will be taken directly to the motorway construction site rather than allowed to rot on second hand book dealersÆ shelves.
The only problem with using Mills & Boon books is that if they have not been properly shredded, when they start to rebuild the road in a couple of years time due to wear and tear (sorry now currently under reconstruction) the road menders will be sitting down on the job and reading the works.

HAPPY NEW YEAR
Other than London where it appears it is illegal to have any form of gathering to celebrate the New Year, I hope the arrival of 2004 will bring a happy party mood to all.
A general thank you to all who sent the staff and myself Christmas cards, Chanukah cards and New Year cards. The illustrations are a far cry from the 1900Æs to 1930Æs types that we offer for sale in the auctions. This year I was trying to find cards that celebrate the meaning of Christmas. That was the difficult part. After almost having the cards seized by the politically correct lobby, I canÆt see anything wrong in purchasing Christmas cards with angels flying in the sky, I will have to wonder if a few will have actually arrived before Christmas Day, the others may arrive early in the New Year after been diverted via Rangoon and Orkney.
IT IS NOW ILLEGAL TO SET OFF YOUR GREEN FIRE EXTINGUISHER
There are a few exceptions that cover the military and the aviation industry, but other than these few locations Businesses and the Public in general will find that they are breaking the law if they use a Halon type fire extinguisher. This chemical gas type extinguisher was stopped from production a few years ago, due to the effect they have on the ozone layer when the gas escapes into the atmosphere.
Possibly it is the most clean and easy to use product when it comes to fighting electrical fires, it appears that it will be illegal to set one of these units off from the end of 2003.
Offices and homes will be scoured by the Extinguisher Police in the New Year, in the search for these green objects. Just make sure you have either fought your fire before the end of 2003 or have planned your journey to take the extinguisher to your local Halon Fire Extinguisher Disposal Plant.
If in doubt ring your local council, they have a duty of care to dispose of all domestic fire extinguishers free of charge, or in other words you are going to pay an awful lot in next yearÆs council tax for the privilege, best take them over the border into a rival borough and let them foot the bill.
If you do discover an electrical or flammable liquid fire that you feel capable of fighting, make sure you can read the small print on the new extinguishers. Now that they are all to be coloured red, some are only for use on paper type fires.
DO NOT STOP IN BOURNEMOUTH
The local council have just decided to bring in meter type charging to park on certain roads in Bournemouth, coupled with this are the instructions to the local traffic wardens (Now employed by Bournemouth Council) to get tough on any motorist that infringes the many rules that govern stopping on roads in Bournemouth. (It is illegal to stop on a Wednesday afternoon on a Bournemouth street in a motor vehicle unless you are carrying a bale of hay).
More money needs to be made to pay for the new parking services that Bournemouth Council has brought in.
If the town centre was not looking a little bare after several shops have deserted the area and gone to a new shopping mall on the outskirts of Bournemouth, this latest idea on parking will drive most of the remaining shoppers away. As from the end of March the new electric signs that you see on the major roads into Bournemouth will change their current message of DonÆt use a hand held mobile phone whilst driving, to a similar stark message ôShop in Poole - its easierö.
IT IS ONLY A RUMOUR
The auctions will be open for viewing on the 1st. That an admission charge will be made is completely fictitious, as with normal public holidays a mere bribe of food and drink is all that is needed to keep any staff that turn up for work on that day happy.

Dec 2003
THEY SAY MY MONEY IS NO GOOD
I went into my local foreign owned supermarket. If one shops at Lidl, one has to get used to the non British way of doing business. One of the major differences is that there are no baskets to put ones shopping. You either have to unlock a trolley with a coin or struggle around the supermarket balancing your load. The other difference is that there is often only one checkout open, which often results in long queues, five waiting to be served is not strange, often queues of ten can form, the record number in a queue I have been in has been twenty eight.
On my last visit at the beginning of November I eventually arrived at the head of the queue. My purchases were few, the total cost was around ú8, I handed over two ú5 notes. One was handed back to me with the comment that they were not accepting that type. I knew full well that the earlier series of banknote was to be phased out later in the month, but they remained full legal tender until the 21st of November, which was over two weeks away.
I now had the embarrassing situation of having no other money to pay for the odd ú3 worth of goods.
I asked to speak to the manager. After a long wait, the young manager came out. He now told me that It was a Lidl decision not to accept these banknotes from the start of November. There was now the embarrassing time when goods that I had purchased were taken back. The queue of shoppers was getting longer and longer.
To the other shoppers it looked as if I was trying to pass dud currency. I left the store, one of the products that had been taken back was a bag of cat litter. I went next door to the Wilkinson store, who quite happily took my legal tender ú5 and gave me change.
Complaining to Lidl is almost an impossible task. No telephone number for any store or their head office are published anywhere. The only way of contacting them is via a help desk. They are unable to put you through to a manager or anyone else. They told me that my complaint would be looked at and I would receive a reply within a couple of weeks.
I rang again a few days later to try and get some answers, again I only got as far as the help desk. My main question was why did they not take the ú5?, as it is a store dealing mainly in cash. Try paying by Credit card or cheque and you will soon be shown the door.
The banks will take the old series banknote for many months to come. A reason I was given is that they donÆt have the staff to take money to the bank. My next question was then what do they do with the money? This was not answered. My only thought was that as this some foreign enterprise, do they have the need for large sums of banknotes. I asked if money laundering was one of the reasons why they might not want banknotes that would soon become obsolete. I was told that they were not into money laundering. I now asked if they could put into writing that they were not into money laundering. It appeared that this was not possible; however I would receive a written reply within two weeks.
It is now the 21st of November, the only thing I have had from them is a note saying they will look into my complaint. Its too late now, the ú5 have been withdrawn from being legal tender.
On the note heading there was their direct line phone number.
Complaints to Lidl should go to 01934 523100
As for shopping in that store I have not been back since. If I get a satisfactory reply, I may go back. There is the Marks & Spencer store half a mile away, IÆm using that.

MY DIET.
Customers who have known me from the mid 1970Æs will know that I have put on a little weight over the years. A short time ago it reached 20 stone. When diabetes set in I had to tackle the problem.
Trying to cut down food resulted in my weight dropping down to 19 stone. For the last year or so the doctor and hospital have followed my progress. A more drastic diet has been arranged.
On the television there was a programme about the Atkins Diet, which is a diet high in fatty food, but has nil or very low carbohydrate content and recommends a kcal intake of around 2000 per day. The main things that can be eaten is red meat, fish, cheese and all the normal things one might cut down a little on if one went on a diet.
The hospital have put me on a diet called The Cambridge Diet. Devised by the sadist Alan Howard. Its similar to The Atkins diet, but as well as avoiding carbohydrates, you also avoid all forms of meat products, fish, cheese etc. The dayÆs food comes as four sachets of a milk shake like mix. You only add water. Each days kcal intake is down to 548 kcal.
Yes I have lost weight IÆm down to 17 stone.
My temper is a little frayed walking around the town, if anyone annoys me I will have difficulty of not going for their jugular.
If I have cheated a little itÆs the odd morsel of food that sort of falls off the catÆs plate. It is not as bad as it seems. The cat has breast of chicken, cod fillets, tuna and all manner of food that is classed by our government as zero rated human food, if he was going to eat cat food the government in their wisdom would charge him 17.5 % VAT.
Next week IÆm aiming at getting under 17 stone.
Catherine Zeta-Jones would like it known that she is not on the Atkins Diet and that anyone publishing articles linking her to the diet, will be taken to court. Probably in the USA, it appears that out courts have little sympathy over rich people going to court over silly matters.
In my personal opinion the reason that Catherine Zeta-Jones is able to stay slim is that she is now not tucking into any of Ma LarkinÆs steak and kidney pies.
SENDING OUT THE GOODS
For the past ten years we have used Securicor to deliver our parcels, which has worked reasonably well, with a final charge of around ú12 for most parcels. The only two major problems is that if a customer is away when they go to deliver it, I have to pay a second time even if the parcel is delivered the following day. The other problem is on charging for out of the way places. The Isle of Wight is one of these locations, the charge is then the same as a Scottish off shore island.
The firm has now merged with DHL, new systems are now being brought in. The paperwork for each parcel now seems endless.
Parcelforce have now offered me a service, with a signed for fast delivery, with no additional charges or vast amounts of paperwork.
This I am going to give a go with. Most parcels will remain at ú12 each. Please write on your bid form if you need a certain carrier, otherwise I will use my judgement over which service to use.
DESPATCH COSTS
Small lightweight items ú3.
500g to 2kg ú3 - ú8
plus cost of signature or special delivery fee.
Above 2kg up to 10kg ú12
Above 10kg and up to 20kg ú15

MISSING PRESUMED WIPED
Those of you who are over forty might remember a television programme from the late 1960Æs entitled White Horses, more familiar will be the tune White Horses that accompanied the programme.
The original programme was made by Yugoslav / German Companies in German. The BBC had a London company dub the programmes into English and add the theme tune White Horses.
The series was repeated several times; until the British Public gave the opinion that they did not want to see any more Black & White television shows if they were paying a colour television licence fee.
The BBC do show an odd excerpt of the programme at times in various nostalgia slots. It now appears that although they still have a record of some of the episodes still existing in their vaults, they are missing. As it was in black & white the chances are that they have just been junked, unless a collector has an odd VHS or Betamax tape from when the series was last shown.
What still exists however, are the episodes in German, which are available on VHS at Ç50 per episode. IÆve purchased one, the quality is very good. However it is still in German and the music is the original and missing our White Horses theme tune.
What might exist are audio recordings taken from the television in the 1970Æs. One audio recording of a single episode has been found, this will soon be married up to a German tape. I myself have to admit that years ago I did have a full collection of audio reel tapes of the episodes, but when I purchased my first video recorder in 1979 (cost wise around the price of a good second hand car), I got rid of the audio tapes, my thoughts were that the series would be repeated again on the TV soon and I could get a video recording.
Please have a look and try and find some more audio recordings.
MINEÆS THE JAG
IÆve just been sent the latest brochure and price list for the latest Jaguar S Type. Someone must think that they are dealing with a rich lord.
Some of the interesting extras one can add as single items. Rain sensing wipers ú125, foot mats ú80, front cup holders ú35, rear cup holders ú85, Power wash ú250.
Now for ú250 for the powerwash I expect the whole car to be cleaned, I hope itÆs not just the head lamps.
COMING NEXT MONTH
Lots for the Jan sale are now starting appear, so far an interesting batch of WWI ChildrenÆs comics are piling up. Looks like a run of Gem, Magnet, Scout etc. Watch out for the Jan Sale catalogue. Start Saving Now.

COME TO BOURNEMOUTH
Nice clean empty beaches, well that was how they looked like during the Labour Visit last month. With the delegates all behind the barriers and razor wire, the beaches were nice and empty.
Come to Bournemouth during November and have a holiday. Much better than having to lug your suitcases round the airport. As for language problems, there is no need to bring a phrase book with you as many of the staff in cafes and eating establishments do speak some English.
As for money, most places will take credit cards, but cash is also accepted. When changing foreign currency, the local exchange rate for currency on the streets is $5 to ú1 or Ç8 to ú1, other rates are available at banks or bureau de change, but they may request to see your passport.
Bournemouth is proud to announce the following information. The driving time from Manchester is 3hrs 51min (should your plane land their instead of Hurn), the population is 163,400, there are 57,686 males of working age, the average price for a detached house is ú247,928, the wage for a senior accounts clerk has gone down to ú16,500 pa, last year the airport that serves the local community had 368,204 passengers, Bournemouth has 90 firms employing more than 100 workers, the target during third month of the second year of the twelve year plan was exceeded by 65% in the production of beer bottle stoppers, and by 85% in re-sharpened razor blades.
Bournemouth has many interesting sights and activities; we hope you will enjoy your visit.
CHILDREN NOT ALLOWED TO PLAY FOOTBALL AT SCHOOL
This would have been something I would have loved to hear when I was at school, having to kick a sodden leather football around the field for an hour or so was the last thing I would want to do.
Now in modern times teachers are advised, that due to the change in climate due to global warming, children should not be allowed to play football, as the ground is too hard. There is a fear that the children might fall over and hurt themselves, the local councils do not want to be sued by parents (have I not heard this before somewhere). My advice would be to tell the school caretaker to go and run water from the hose on the pitch for a couple of hours the day before.
Note: This last action is not possible as the local councils have abolished school caretakers and put the maintenance of schools out to private contractors. There will now be a six month period whilst the contract and tender documents are drawn up.
Go forward to December; a new contract for the drying out of the pitch will now have to be issued. When the original contract was drawn up, it was put on a monthly basis for the watering of the pitch. Someone forgot to mention that school playing fields do not need to be watered between November and June.
The local council is now been taken to court by the local water company for excessive use of water, this is above the agreed amount that was in the contract signed at the start of the year.

COMPENSATION
Great Britain is currently enjoying a wonderful period on compensation claims, first it was injury claims, now Royal Mail have jumped on the bandwagon, or perhaps one should say have fallen off their trolley.
If your first class mail is late by three days or more, simply phoning them and making a complaint will gain you twelve first class stamps. They will need to know verbally when the item was delivered, where it was sent from and on what date, other than that there will be no forms to fill in. Seems a very easy system, until you realise that all you need to do is leave your envelope a few days then ring up, the letter is now late. From January there will be the offer of a higher level of compensation if you return your envelope.
The ability for the Royal Mail to lose more than ú1,000,000 per day will possibly increase.
An easy way to stop fraudulent claims will be to issue each postal delivery person their own date stamp, as they get to your door postmarking each item with the delivery date would solve all suspect claims.
Some Americans are now starting to get a little tired of the compensation culture; they find their lives are affected when they need help.
I found a very interesting book entitled The Lost Art of Drawing the Line ISBN 0-375-50422-2 published in 2001.
It gives examples of where people have been injured and medical staff will not treat them if the person is not actually in their own medical establishment. It gives the case of where a person collapsed outside an emergency hospital. The staff knew the person was injured, but would not venture out to attend to the person for fear of getting sued if there were any complications.
Children injured at school are finding a full medical emergency is requested even for the most minor injury or bruise, the parents of the child are then faced with the bill for this excessive treatment and are forced to sue the school for allowing the original injury to take place, this might be to gain extra funds for the actual injury, but in many cases it is to cover the cost of treatment, where if common sense had been used a small sticking plaster costing a few cents would have solved all the problems.
The book goes into many other matters of the compensation culture. In the USA many managers in office departments are black, had they been white they would find later on they would be promoted higher up the company. In an effort to try and show that there is no colour discrimination in American companies, many lesser staff who are black are given manager positions, this proves that there is no discrimination.
Certain leaders of Great Britain might find this book worth reading. It could show where we will be in ten years time. If I can give one ray of hope, this period will be down to five years if we allow the E.U. to get at any more of our regulations.
As to the author of this work itÆs Philip K. Howard, must be a fine chap.
NEW UNION RULES
One of the rules introduced by Labour that the unions want to see changed is the right of employers to dismiss workers who refuse to return to work after eight weeks on strike. Sir Bill Morris branded the eight week rule ædisgracefulÆ. I think he is right, eight weeks is far too long, employers should be able to dismiss workers after one week on strike.

PHILIPÆS JOTTINGS
BOURNEMOUTH TAXI JOURNEY CUT BY CENSOR
An episode of Till Death Us Do Part was shown on one of the satellite channels a short while ago, Alf and family were going on holiday to Bournemouth.
There was originally part of the story where Alf gets into a taxi at the railway station and is taken on a rather over long journey by the taxi driver.
During the journey the taxi driver, who is of a certain faith, mentions to Alf about Bournemouth been run by Jews for Jews, this is in humour as it is taken in the story that Alf and the taxi driver are of this faith.
In the episode recently screened this section was completely removed. The episode has only the part where the taxi driver slightly apologies to Alf over the Jewish matter, pretending that during the journey that he did not recognise Alf as Jewish.
After a very poor tip, Alf soon finds that he has really been taken for a ride by the taxi driver, over the short actual distance between the railway station and the hotel.
The question I have to ask: was the scene removed by the demands of the Local Bournemouth taxi drivers, or were other very influential groups of Bournemouth residents from the East Cliff area the deciding factor.
Did cutting this scene allow a few more adverts to be shown?
A hotel board of a very famous hotel in Bournemouth starting with the letters Comà. Was shown as where Alf was staying, the hotel may be still reeling; the hotel is not run on the same lines as shown on the old episode.
NOISE IN BOURNEMOUTH
We are sorry if you encounter extra noise during the viewing, this is due to the helicopter gunships in the sky above us, our small chine acts as funnel for the noise. The head of Dorset Police tell us ôWith many of the sea front car parks closed, this will not affect trade or holiday makersö û too right nobody in their right mind would want to come anywhere the party that the Dorset Police are throwing.
The local police will arrest any person found eating their cheese sandwiches.
If you see a hungry policeman on the streets of Bournemouth, give them a sandwich,  (but don't mention the cheese), IÆm sure it will be appreciated.
However the few well fed police will probably arrest you though.
Sent in by a customer
POST CODE POLICE
A collector in Livingston, West Lothian owes some money to a dealer. He is leaving for his holiday, and in a hurry writes a cheque, sticks it in an envelope but cannot remember the dealer's postcode, which he omits. In every other aspect the address is correct. Two weeks later the envelope and cheque are returned to him with a message from the Post Office that the letter cannot be delivered as it does not have a postcode.
"From scenes like these Auld Scotia's grandeur springs".

PHILIPÆS JOTTINGS
CHRISTCHURCH RESIDENTS WILL BE MADE TO PAY FOR LOOKING AT BOURNEMOUTHÆS BEACHES
Following the decision by Bournemouth Council to Declare UDI and remove themselves a short while ago from the authority of Dorset Council. A few problems have occurred over the funding of amenities, as Bournemouth is now a borough once again entirely on its own.
There have been questions asked by Bournemouth & Poole residents of why they have to pay to visit a museum in Christchurch, that currently has a display of advertising items many of which relate to Bournemouth.
They could understand if everyone other than local Christchurch residents were made to pay, but it is only Bournemouth & Poole residents that are charged. All other persons living in any part of Hampshire or Dorset are allowed in free.
Persons living in Bridport and Emsworth who have as their only contribution to this area is buying stuff in a local Bournemouth auction, can see the treasures of Christchurch entirely free, persons from Bournemouth who have helped Christchurch in times of need are been forced to pay.
It is believed that to claim free entry to the Red House Museum in Christchurch it is necessary to take along several forms of proof that you do not live in Bournemouth or Poole.
In retaliation it has been suggested that the Council of Bournemouth now charge Christchurch residents for the pleasure of looking at either the miles of golden sand on BournemouthÆs Beaches or looking at the clean swimming water that resides off the beaches. There will of course be a charge made if a Christchurch resident even places one toe in the water, having now used three amenities.
Persons living in Christchurch that either travel into Bournemouth or through it on their way to work will be also charged by the head.
One of the reasons for the need to raise money is that some of the departments in Bournemouth are almost broke. Are there are now severe shortages in some of the Service departments in Bournemouth Council.
The local aviary will possibly have to close as the council can no longer afford the seven packets of bird seed that it takes to feed the small birds in the lower garden each week.
The rubbish collections on Bournemouth beach will also be cut back, the solution for saving money will be to let the rubbish accumulate into larger heaps before it is collected. There is a discount it seems, if a larger one off collections of rubbish is made.
This cutback will be noticed in October after the Labour Party have left town, or whatÆs left of the Labour Party when the Scud missile has finished with the BIC (Bournemouth Internment Camp), where the Party will have their conference at the end of September. All persons coming into Bournemouth will be stripped searched if they venture within one mile of the BIC during the Party Conference, which for security reasons will start from 8th September and go on to 3rd October. Both these dates avoid our sale dates, which was a demand I made before Tony and his gang were allowed to book the BIC venue.
Bournemouth residents would like it be known to all terrorist groups that the big shed like building near the pier on the seafront, which masquerades as a cinema, is really the headquarters of the entire British Government and is full of very expensive security equipment and security information that would be impossible to replace. Could they please give enough time for it to be evacuated of members of the public.

CODE WORDS
Code words that are to be used during the period are as follows.
Rodney, Langham, Hampstead, Clissold, Avenue, Ambassador, Royal, Sloane, North.
Only one customer living in Edgware was correct last month when he correctly answered the question of the puzzle. That they had previously been used as names of London Telephone Exchanges.
It seems the government have limited ideas when it comes to thinking up new code words in security matters.
HELPING THE AMERICANS WITH ENGLISH WAY OF LIFE
This item was found on the net.
ROUNDABOUT
A British version of billiards played with automobiles. This is an attempt by the British to avoid the dilemma Americans have when four cars come simultaneously to a four-way stop.
The British solve this by allowing everyone to continue into the intersection without stopping.
Americans should before they attempt to use a roundabout for the first time in England, make sure they have visited the toilet beforehand.
LOCAL POLICE WANT TO CLOSE NIGHT CLUBS
Following a comment by The Chief Superintendent of Bournemouth Police of ôNot too far offö when comparing the night life in Bournemouth to that of the Greek resort Faliraki where it is reported there are problems over alleged drunken behaviour.
There have been complaints by the owners of nightclubs that he is interfering in the economy of Bournemouth. Why should our customers not be allowed to drink all they want when we make them value offers over multiple drinks. Large amounts of money come into Bournemouth over the weekend evenings; the majority of this is spent in the Clubs and Pubs in Bournemouth, now there are 30,000 drinking spaces.
Some of this money will go to pay local bar staff, the majority will go to the government in the form of tax that is levied on alcohol and to pay for our yachts in Poole Harbour.
The local nightclubs and pubs also help boost the local crime rate. More than 60% of violent crime in Bournemouth is linked to alcohol. There has also been an increase of 123% in the numbers of Rapes and assaults compared to last year, Unconsciousness up by 193% and Haemorrhages & lacerations up by 104%. Bournemouth it seems has met its targets set by the government over increasing crime detection.
It follows if there are more crimes, then more can be detected. Q.E.D.
DIAL 118
ThatÆs the first part of the number if you need a firm to look up a telephone number. Oftel think that allowing other companies to offer directory enquiries will give the public a choice of providers. This would work if all companies played by the rules.
NTL who provide a telephone service to a large number of the country, have decided to block the number of any rival company who can offer a better or cheaper service.
Gay-Lo Pages on 118453 are hardly much competition they run their main site from a ramshackle hut in a Windsor wood with a barking dog next door, their price is 20p to connect plus 40p per minute. NTL are possibly Homophobic and have the fear that the staff of four that offer a æPinkÆ directory service aimed at a select group of people might make a profit and do well.
As I could not get directly through to Gay-Lo, I rang NTL directory enquiries. Failure they donÆt even seem to be able to find the number for their main rivals.

 

 

Free Train Ride for Beggars
It appears that there are certain official groups that have the funds to pay for beggars to leave town. A free one way train ticket is now available for any beggar to leave Bournemouth, all that is required is a promise not to return.
What an ideal way of visiting Swanage, when the British Rail line (or what ever they are calling themselves at the moment) connects with the Swanage Preserved Railway, the local beggars will be able to go to an interesting seaside place to ply their trade. I can even recommend a shop where the kind owner might give them an apple.
Get Rich Scheme No. 34865
Had a fax come through telling me I had won an award in the El Gordo Spanish Sweepstake Lottery, all I had to do was to phone a man in Spain, (possibly having a credit card to hand when I phoned might help a little). The offer seemed to be so genuine; I might have been tempted The date they sent the fax was 19/6/03. It was just a shame that you needed to telephone by 27/5/03.
What a shame they canÆt get their schemes to make money a little more up to date. I wonder why as it is a Spanish lottery the prizes are given in US $ amounts. Must be really aimed at fleecing the Americans. Not really a problem then.
A Puzzle Near Oxford Circus
Mr Rodney Langham left his Hampstead home in Clissold Avenue. The Ambassador he worked for had a Royal connection and was often to be seen in Sloane Square, although most thought Primrose Hill was as far North as he had ever been.
(the first person to solve the puzzle gets a years free subscription.)
If you need a clue 580, 435, 730, 607, 709.

A Quarter of Boiled Sweets
Those of you who are over thirty will possible remember going into your local sweet shop and been allowed to purchase a quarter of unwrapped sweets.
These would be taken from a large jar and the amount you requested would be weighed out in front of you. Depending on the mood of the person serving you it might have been that you got the exact quarter, or occasionally the odd extra sweet might fall from the jar into the weighing pan. If there were other people to serve often the extra bit of weight was left in the pan and the whole pan full would be tipped into a bag and your money taken from you. To annoy a member of staff it was best to ask for two ounces of two different sweets if money was scarce.
The quality of the sweets varied; if you were purchasing sweets from a nearly full jar then all were loose and fresh. When the jar was half full on occasions some of the sweets might stick together, it was opportunities like these that allowed the extra sweet or two to get into your bag. Often when there was only an inch or so of sweets left in the jar, the shop keeper would transfer the lot into the mixture jar.
Every child and shop had a different name for the contents of this jar, some shops might possess two jars, one for the luxury wrapped sweets and another for the questionable unwrapped boiled type. The price of this mixture was often at the rate of the very cheapest boiled sweet that was on offer.
It took a keen eye to watch the jar and predict when something really nice would appear in the next quarter.
Due to modern methods of sale the loose unwrapped boiled sweet has more or less disappeared except from the few die hard sweetshops. It is possible to buy boiled sweets but these are normally a more bland type sealed up in polythene bags that are almost impossible to open.
The tongue rasping bitter lemon drop and the yellow and red cubes of hard boiled sweet is something that most children of today will never experience.
However we can relive those memories as a company is selling boiled sweets on the net and by mail order.
If I was strange as a child it was my assortment of favourites. If the mixture jar did not seem to be worth exploring then the odd choice I made would be something from the following list.
Aniseed Tablets, Army & Navy, Acid Drops (note this was different to the other type of acid used by the older boys in the 1960Æs), Aniseed Rock, Sarsaparilla Tablets, JakemanÆs Throat Lozenges etc.
I did also go for the more normal teeth rotting assortment that most of my friends chose, but there was always the risk the bullies would be more interested in these more normal sweets, I was generally left alone if I was armed with my normal assortment together with a few Victory VÆs for good measure.
All these wonderful things I can remember are available from æA quarter ofÆ, Chiltern House, Waterside, Chesham, Bucks, HP5 1PS. 01494 776870 or if you are on the net then go to www.aquarterof.co.uk
One nice touch, although the sweets are wrapped in a plastic bag to keep them fresh during transport, the bag is inside a traditional white paper bag, a very nice idea.
In case you think that the firm and yourself might be arrested by the Metric Police for wanting to deal in such an illegal substance as æA QuarterÆ all sweets are supplied in units of a quarter of a Kilogram, or to put it another way, a bigger bag of sweets.
As to the selection I purchased, IÆm starting to like Poor Bens. For those that have come South from across the border, many Scottish lines are stocked. Also for other foreigners they sell Bassetti, (ok itÆs a joke).

ON THE SATELITE
Hunting through the foreign channels, one often finds English and American programmes that are dubbed into the native tongue. This month I found the American film æMusic for MillionsÆ on a German station. Where Margaret OÆBrien had a fairly light sounding voice the dubbed version sounded like she came from a member of the East German Young Girls Wrestling Team. On the Polish channel there was the English programme of æHale and PaceÆ, Due to economic reasons few things are fully dubbed on this channel. As the programme or film progresses, what seems to be a continuity announcer in a rather basic tone gives a full translation, often the original language together with the English laughter track can still be heard. ItÆs a good bet that if Hale doesnÆt get all his money he will be sending the boys round to the Polish T.V. station as in effect they used both his image and his voice. FAKE RUBBISH BAGS
As well as fake watches and designer clothing, Westminster Council in London are currently on the search for persons who are producing fake rubbish bags. Westminster Council grab ú5.8 million pounds from local traders through the sale of their bags. It appears that some naughty people have been manufacturing bags and selling them to traders to put their rubbish in at less than the current price of 84p.
The council have found an easy way to tell the fake bags from the genuine article, the fake bags are made of a slightly stronger plastic and do not split when a reasonable amount of rubbish is put inside. A hit squad of officials is touring the borough and questioning any trader whose bag of rubbish is in good order.
LEGAL RIGHTS FOR GAY COUPLES
The new act that will give full rights similar to married couples to gay couples, has deeply insulted one group of citizens. Currently those persons who are leading double lives either as cross dressers or as schizophreniacs, who believe that they are two people, feel insulted that they will not be officially recognised as couples.
However Local Council Officials that were refusing the reduced rate of Council Tax of the single person discount, having staked out several homes where a cross dresser was in occupation, having seen both a male and a female person entering and leaving the premises will be made to apologise if the person affected is able to come to the offices and prove that they are really two people. For any person not able to prove this, it will be legal if they are refused the single person discount to claim any benefit available for two persons.
THANKS FROM A CUSTOMER
One buyer from last month who managed to spend possibly more than his regular treat, sent the following words. ôThanks Phil, Skint, but delightedö. ItÆs nice to know that we have customers who appreciate the goodies we offer.
IS IT THE CHEAPEST IN BOURNEMOUTH ?
We would like to compete with the Trotter Empire that can sell the latest Harry Potter hard back at ú6.45, but unfortunately we do not have space to store that lorry load of books that sort of fell off the M25. However we do possibly have the cheapest offer in Bournemouth of a copy of ôHarry Potter and the order of the Phoenixö.
Book seems kosher, but as yet this has not been confirmed. Reserve price ú7. Might even one day become a collectors item.

June2003
Last MonthÆs Translation
We had two correctly identified captions of the French words that were in the postcards on the cover of the May catalogue.
The gist of the text was the small boy saying to the little girl that using their fatherÆs boots would get him more presents. It appears that the French have a strange custom of putting gifts in shoes. In this country we use either stockings or the greedy children use pillow cases.
The second illustration has the caption ôNo, I am not lost; I am looking for a log for Christmas.ö
First prize of six months of PhillipÆs Jottings to Mr Emmerson. Second prize of twelve months of PhilipÆs Jottings to Mr Carter.
To the other people that sent in translations for the picture that showed the small boy with his hand down the front of his trousers. The word ælogÆ was badly translated by most. He is not saying that he wishes to show off his stick to the lady, or other versions of the same theme.
A Concorde for Branson
British Airways have missed a great opportunity of forcing Richard out of the aviation industry. Instead of refusing to sell the two Concordes to Branson they should have given him those white elephants and watched his empire crumble under the upkeep and insurance of the beasts.
The aeroplanes might be in good order and have only done a minute amount of hours by aviation standards, but they cost too much to run and maintain to be economic.
If he was given the whole fleet with all the spares, it would not be long before only one Concorde was left running; the cost of retooling for many of the parts that would need replacing within a few years would be massive, cannibalising the rest of the fleet for spares would leave only one Concorde and you canÆt run a full service with just one aircraft. Unless it is just for odd flight experience trips for people to see what supersonic flight is like.
Might be worth asking the Americans if they are interested in the fleet as a job lot. There was some interest in getting Condcordski up and running a short while ago.
The cost of insurance if he could get it, over terrorist matters would be far too much to fund; possibly having the pride of oneÆs fleet destroyed by a rocket was one of the reasons why BA chose this moment to give up on the service.
There is a place for Concorde and that is in a museum, and there is a jet museum up at Hurn, better asks them if there is a shed free.
Now if someone does want to get an aircraft back in the sky, I would like to see the Vulcans flying again, they really did put the **** up you if they flew over at low altitude. Just sending a fleet of Vulcans to fly over the soldiers in Iraq would have brought an end to the conflict within days, and made the Americans surrender as well.
Pink Bus for Pupils
Our local Yellow Buses had for a short while banned every pupil of one local school from using their buses due to the poor behaviour of a few pupils.
On the Isle of Wight a firm had similar problems, their solution instead of banning the children, was to give them a bus painted pink. Apparently travelling on a pink bus is the worst thing that can happen to a child.
The company has also removed the heaters from the bus to make it a little uncomfortable for the brats, what use this will do in the summer I do not know, I would have left them in and turned them fully up during the summer and only removed them during the winter.
TodayÆs children are street wise though, during the summer a few extra windows would get smashed for better ventilation and in the winter months as most children have lighters, a small bonfire of an odd seat could soon be arranged. Bringing a can of blue paint to make round blobs on the outside might also improve the appearance of the bus. It would be æCOOLÆ to go to school on a pink bus with blue spots.
As for school transport whilst I was at school, we did not have to bother damaging or causing a nuisance, the drivers could quite happily wreck the coaches on their own without any help from us, There seemed to be a competition between the drivers to wreck the speedometers by forcing the coaches to go at over 60mph downhill (it was a ôBö road). We only crashed once; the coach was repaired within a few days and returned for more torture.
Italian Children to Speak Good English
On the European Astra satellite as opposed to the Sky satellite, there is an educational Italian channel broadcasting English language programmes aimed at the five to eight year olds.
Unlike foreign language programmes that we might be used to, the Italians have made learning a second language fun.
Parts of the programme use what I would call rather repetitive verses, but it does sink in. Some of the tunes are even slightly hypnotic. It might be worth the BBC having a look at these programmes, to see if the schoolÆs programmes could be made more interesting. IÆve even managed to get some of the staff to sing along with the programme, else they donÆt get paid.
Out of the archives IÆve just obtained an old BBC science programme of the early 1970Æs on a new method of teaching science. It appeared that teaching science in a more practical format was the way ahead; I wonder what happened to the idea of Nuffield Science.
Caution Snails at Work
Last monthÆs record of slowness of post went to the sender of a bid form in a correctly addressed envelope with a single first class stamp and posted in England that took 17 days, runner up was 10 days in the post.
Congratulations have been passed to the Royal Mail by the senders of the mail who missed out on several lots.

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