Close family

Now regular readers will know we’re a close family. I have 3 beautiful grown up daughters, 2 fine sons-in-law, 4 wonderful grandsons and, of course,  my wife Caz who I love more than anything. I’m biased and this must sound cheesily gushing I know, but they really are decent and fun people and I like to be near them as much as possible. So this lockdown has been tough on us, emotionally.

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a brucie bonus

Well C’s on her way to Rimini airport taking her delightful cousin P to catch her flight back to the UK. It’s been lovely to have P here this week – on her first visit to Italy. I hope it’s been a nice break for her. We haven’t done a lot – mostly the girls have been happy to catch some rays and just chat and chill, do a little bit of retail therapy and have some nice meals and a bit of wine. But the builders turned up unannounced 3 days ago and have been working non-stop on reinforcing the foundations to the extension (more later) and it’s kind of cramped the girls’ sunbathing style. So they’ve been heading down to the beach and yesterday I went with them, leaving the builders to it. And it turned out to be a good game, good game. Continue reading

hi ho silvio-o

Well we have a new PM over here – not that we were involved in any way – the old silver fox himself, Silvio Berlusconi. I think that makes it his third time at 71 years young, as Hughie Green used to say. I use the word ‘young’  deliberately because here’s a guy who’s looking younger than ever. Honestly Silvio’s been on the box non-stop over the last month or so – which isn’t terribly surprising given that he controls most of the media over here – and it’s been hard not to recognise a certain re-crafting of the ageing features of Italy’s favourite political seducer, viz:-

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sit down dare

I’m worried that some of the postings might be getting a little gloomy so I thought I’d cheer it up a bit with a recommendation for a beach game perfected by my brother D and I. Lots of folks are trying to get away to the sun for a short winter break and if you’re lucky enough to escape the fog and land somewhere balmy over the next few days, good on yer. If you’re going with some friends or family I’d recommend the game of sit down dare once you’ve been baking on the beach for a few hours and need some cooling down.

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figure this (in-car ent. 6)

Well it’s kinda nice to know that we’ve just had the 3000th visitor to the blog site. I’ve not had Rupert Murdoch itching to buy the site from me (nor perhaps more importantly from KG!) as yet but traffic’s developing which is great – thank you folks. Keep telling the odd mate about the site and I’ll keep writing about you in my memories. I’ve got a thing about numbers as it happens: I like big ones (Tate Online access figures used to give me the horn every month). I guess being a man that’s a given right? But I really, really like quirky numbers/arithmetic. Odd ball Paul, I know. Can’t help it. I was never great at maths at school but I’ve always been numerate and I love the preciseness, symmetry and the sheer serendipity in number occurrence, balance and sequencing.

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shop names

During a car trip with top guy C today (better known by some of you as the commentator Charlie Cranium) to visit Birmingham City FC, we passed through the Shirley/Solihull area of Birmingham. C pointed out one of his favourite names for a small business, a Chinese restaurant known as The Shirley Temple. It’s true – go google if you don’t believe me. Bear in mind this is close to the former fish and chip shop known as Mustapha Fish. This got me thinking about all the amusing and often cringeworthy punning shop names I’ve noticed over the years and kinda forgotten. I know there’s another fish and chip shop in Aylesbury known as The Codfather, which I think is excellent, though probably not unique. An old friend of ours, Dennis, who set up his own pest control business had ‘Dennis the Menace…killer’ printed on his business cards. Top stuff. Hairdressing salons can’t resist the punny name A Cut Above, Hair Today, From Hair to Eternity, Sizzers and so on. But you guys must know some belters too? Come on indulge me.


in-car entertainment (4): room 101

Right, well absolutely no-one was interested in my lorry-spotting musings in in-car ent 3 so I’ve gone for a more popular way for several adults to kill an hour whilst stuck in traffic; your pet items to consign to room 101. It actually works really well with 3 or more folk involved, as I was last week travelling back to Brighton with my lovely daughter and son-in-law, E and S. Grandson S was happily focused on the tracks from the CD, Happy Songs (some classics, some dogs but I’m proud to say that at 5 he knows all the words to James Brown’s I Feel Good). Grandson G was fast asleep – probably dreaming about what it’ll be like to be all grown-up and to have so many things to hate.

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in-car entertainment (3): lorry-spotting

Conscious of the fact I’ve been doing a lot of footie and tv posts recently I thought I’d better add fill up the more specialised sections. Hopefully a few more of you will be enjoying the delights of car 3rd name collecting (or at least spotting). No? I bet you do – it gets to you. Here’s another pastime which I thought was my personal property. Actually as I’ve been validating some of my findings, I discover there are armies of people doing it – I’m talking lorry-spotting. Sounds dull as hell I know but as I’ve said before, I needed something to keep my mind active whilst commuting. But I didn’t just collect haulier names, there had to be a point to it….


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