1239 days ago
It is only a few days ago that I was bemoaning how the true meaning and heritage of All Soul’s Night or Hop-tu-Naa had been lost into another alcohol fuelled consumer-fest that is Halloween. Now the Mrs thinks that I am turning into Peter Hitchens as we approach Guy Fawkes Night, or as it is known these day Bonfire Night. My thoughts turn to my childhood, forty five or more years ago and a different world.
1288 days ago
Boy, I did not realise that Ric was just six years younger than my Dad. How on earth can he have been so cool when I was 18? Anyhow, aged 75 he heads to a better place. The front man of “The Cars” is dead.
2015 days ago
St Nicholas' park lies next to the river in Warwick. A small and rather run-down cafe in its heart lies about half way between my alma mater Warwick School (then) for Boys and Kings High School for Girls up in the centre of the old town. On Monday I had an hour to kill as my father suffered a routine check up at the Hospital and so I enjoyed a coffee and tapped out an article in a place I last visited more than thirty years ago. It has not changed much although a charming and rather pretty oriental waitress brightened it up a bit.
2135 days ago
I was trying to find an article I had written on how Greek kids torture cats but instead came upon a piece about Western study of the Vlachs, the Nomads of the Pindus Mountains. I have written (in Greeks Lesbians & Vlachs, HERE) about how this is one of my father's specialist subjects and who the vlachs are. Anyhow, I stumbled upon this lengthy article "Aromanian Vlachs - The Vanishing Tribes" which included a section on my father which he will enjoy as it is very supportive of his work. This is the sort of thing to make a son very proud. It also, rightly, makes him seem a touch eccentric:
2190 days ago
My father spent the night in hospital awaiting his operation later today. I head to Warwick later this morning to have a chat before he goes into surgery. Last night he kept himself amused reading a biography of Ted Heath that he had discovered on the ward. Poor Dad: has he not suffered enough? That left me alone in his house here in Shipston with only his cat Obe for company.
2190 days ago
My father is being charmed and buttered up by the quacks at Warwick Hospital and I am off there shortly for a pre operation chat. Ahead of that I look at Tesco (TSCO) and its fines today - we really have got white collar crime all wrong in this country. Then I look at Genel (GENL), Tasty (TAST) which is really not very tasty at all, Advanced Oncotherapy (AVO) which is is utterly inedible and Sound Energy (SOU) where the issue is valuation. Surely the good news is in the price already?
2192 days ago
Next week may be disrupted by events in Warwick as I discuss at the end of this podcast but I shall be at UK Investor Show come what may and really hope you join me and 3,000 others there - book now for tickets to be sent on Monday HERE. In this podcast I look at Management Resource Solutions (MRS), why its RNS statements just do not add up at all and why I hope for bankruptcy. I also look at the latest news from FastForward (FFWD) which - if you do a bit of digging is a 100% rum and coke. Finally five years after certain folks turned down cash offers for Rivington assets preferring to asset strip them I bring you photos of a Master Investor show hall promising 5,000 attendees but in fact almost empty. Photo one show c500 folks in the main hall, the stands at the same time are almost empty! Ouzo time for me, a cup of cold sick for the asset strippers. It is hard to resist the temptation to gloat and indeed I found it just too hard. It is ouzo O'clock.
2413 days ago
The physios are due later today and my father must report to them on his progress since his return from Warwick hospital. E, the delightfully right wing lady who comes twice a day to care for him and I told him firmly that he needed to truthfully demonstrate that he was on the mend. That was the stick. The carrot is the idea that he could walk to the White Bear again...that would be about 400 yards down Sheet Street and across the main square in Shipston.
And so he is in training.
2421 days ago
And thus I have found myself in Warwickshire again. As I headed up to Warwick hospital on Friday my route to my father's was not the normal Cotswold spin but a more Westerley trek. New road signs, new memories. It was thirty years ago today...
2421 days ago
I came back from Greece on July 2nd and then spent barely five days away from Shipston in that month. My step mother died on the 14th and was buried nine days later. My father, in his old world way, did not "emote" as all around him wept. He said almost nothing. I have no idea what he was thinking or is thinking. One big question was how, when he was finally left alone, would he cope? I worried.
2456 days ago
The first big shock was when our car pulled up outside my father's house in Shipston. Up ambled by step brother T who greeted us warmly and then up strode a rather sexy looking woman who I did not recognise at all. Had T found a new wife and not told us? The old rogue. These teachers: we know what they get up to in all their vast amounts of spare time and holidays. Reading weeks my arse. So who was this stranger?
It was only when she started speaking that I realised it was my step sister L. Shockingly she has not only cut her long hair but also stopped dying it brown and is now - like her mother and brother completely grey. It is odd how that change of hair colour and style acts as a total disguise. I must remember that, the next time the FCA tries to stitch me up and forces me to go on the run.
The was not the real shock though.
3478 days ago
Please complete your education profile shouts the latest command: “Where is Warwick School, Warwick, England located?” I am asked to enter the City name in a box to make my education profile complete.
Er, um, let me think is it:
a) Tirana, Albania,
b) Ulan Bator
c) Downtown Damascus, Syria
d) Warwick, England.
Does anyone out there need to go 50/50 or phone a friend on that one?
3778 days ago
I am staying with my father for a few days looking after him as my step mother is off in London to see wicked Uncle George. As I have noted before my family (little step sister Flea excluded) are a bunch of deluded lefties and so the paper delivered here every day is The Guardian. Imagine my horror at seeing Polly Toynbee’s face staring at me across the breakfast table in the morning.
3945 days ago
On the run into Warwick School in the late 1970s and 1980s I used to share a car in the mornings with Mark and Justin Adams from Bascote Heath. Their Dad would pick me up in Harbury and off we would shoot to the UK’s third oldest school. That was except when it snowed very heavily – Harbury being on top of a hill meant that we might get the day off and head over to Ufton to sled. That was rare. The big debate every day was what to listen to on the radio. Phil Adams, a kindly man, liked smoking and Radio 2 (Terry Wogan). We boys wanted fresh air and “Mike Read, Mike Read on the radio!” – Radio 1. The younger generation swore collectively that when we were adults we could be taken out and shot if we ever chose to listen to Radio 2.