Thursday 30 September 2010


At last. Last week I was eventually unthwarted! Something that I had been trying to do and hoping for for a long long time came to fruition. It was.....actually let me tell you about Seal first.

Dark Lady and I went to the BBC to watch Seal perform his hits and tracks from his new album for a Radio 2 In Concert introduced by Jo Whiley. I have seen her many times over the last few months. Always on the stage of the BBC Radio Theatre though. So if I was a marginally stupider person than I am naturally I would assume that she lives behind the stage and from our vantage point is only 3 feet tall.

Seal however is far taller. He was enjoyable despite some rather rambling song introductions that made you wish he would get on it and a fantabulous clunker of a start to a song in which he was singing in a totally different key to the band. He sprung a nice surprise though with an amazing version of "Vienna" which I filched to play on my show a couple of mornings later.

If there was one thing I wish he had thought about was the lighting. I have grumbled about excessive volume produced by pub bands on this blog in the past. You don't need to mic up the drumkit in front of a crowd in a boozer. I checked with the pro's; the BBC sound engineers who told me it wasn't necessary. It was just bands living their "stadium" dreams in front of a crowd of 25 drunks in the Red Lion on a weekend as they fumble their way through some lacklustre AC/DC covers.

Seal as you would expect had a terrific band including a horn section consisting of four blonde women in skimpy black outfits. They could play but it immediately put us in mind of Robert Palmer's "Addicted to Love" video. Bet they thought it too. The sound courtesy of the BBC was perfect but the lights aaauuuggggh the lights!!!!!!!

Time was when going to a gig meant there were a few thunderflashes a bit of smoke, the odd strobe and spotlights. All of which were on stage and illuminated the band. Who had the bright idea of whirling rotating brilliant spots constantly changing colour and shining out into the audience? It was blinding and meant that we were unable to see him half the time as he was in silhouette. I had my eyes jammed shut for much of the performance as did the DL. (I have seen that face before but that is a different story). Alan "Barrowlands" Boyd producer of the Terry Wogan show was sitting next to me and it was annoying him too.

So to the main news.

A couple of years ago you may remember I blogged about a guy called Nick Marley of the Yeoman Light Aircraft Company (to visit the website click here) who had after some badgering got me to fly in his Dynamic microlight. He was insistent that I could learn to fly one despite being a rather poor student and not understanding sums and stuff as I had never passed my Maths 'O' Level.

I flew with him. Quite enjoyed it but went away and thought little more about it. However we are all susceptible to a seed being planted in our minds. I am a bloke as we know that means the answer is always a big fat NO! until somehow it becomes our idea.

Maybe this is why the DL begins every conversation with the words "Diamond encrusted Lamborghini". No idea what she is on about......hmm wonder if that car of hers needs an upgrade?

Months went by and suddenly I began to wonder if at 53 I was too long in the tooth to learn a new skill.

A quick look on the internet and up popped HADAIR run by a bloke called Steve Wilkes (click here to visit the website). He seemed pretty friendly on the phone and was quite reassuring when I voiced that my overriding concern was not to make a smoking crater in the earth and what happens when the engine stops as you can't get out and push it to the side of the road like you can with a car.

I also had to check the bank balance to find out if it was financially beyond me. Whilst not as cheap as sitting on a park bench with a couple of cans of Stella it is not beyond the realms of us mere mortals. As I got into it I noticed that my fellow students and qualified pilots were all normal folk from self employed painter and decorators to salesmen and a lady who worked in a pharmacy.

So at the beginning of February 2009 I took my first tentative steps towards becoming a microlight pilot. Another revelation was that it was all very friendly and totally free from snobbery as I thought aviation was riddled with chaps in crisp short sleeved shirts talking about "the deck"and "fillies". There were quite a number of women flyer's too which was a comfort.

So with some trepidation I drove to Halfpenny Green Airport near Wolverhampton to begin my "training". My first instructor was Les Richardson a tall bloke with glasses who seems to be able to fly anything from Microlights to the bigger stuff when he is not on a huge motorcycle riding around in Tibet. I think he looks at everything with a view "hmm will it fly" be it something with wings or even a cupboard.

Training progressed slowly and at times I got discouraged as I didn't seem to be making any progress. The plane I was learning on a three axis fixed wing with the unfortunate name of an "Ikarus" C42. Manufactured in Germany. (Who said the Germans had no sense of humour)? Was proving a bit of a beast to tame. The C42 is one of the most forgiving and benign aircraft ideal for beginners who are prone to mistakes i.e me!

I lost count of the times I nearly steered us off the runway. Or when we took off we went off sideways. It is a mite disconcerting to hear your instructor shout "whooooaaaaaaaa!!!!" as you leave the ground at a drunken angle and then proceed to fly sideways one wing permanently low as you wrestle with the controls whilst trying to remember to look out of the window, look at the instruments fiddle with the stick and press the rudder pedals with some sort of coordination.

Les rather relieved I think went off on one of his extended Himalayan motorcycle jaunts to recuperate so my training then fell to Steve or "Wilksee" as he likes to be known.

Progress had been slow. All those things to remember and after about half an hour my brain would be waving a flag of surrender from my ear. It continued to be slow as the voice of my new instructor yelled "Whhoooaaaaaaaa!!!!!" as we took off sideways for the umpteenth time.

Then there was the ground school and the exams. Would I be able to do the Meteorology, the Navigation, the Human limitations the Air Law? To my surprise yes. Not always easily. The Navigation I found the hardest. Plotting the "Triangle of Velocity" In other words if you are flying along how to stay on course when the wind is blowing you in a different direction.

Everyone pitched in to help the flying Dunce. Jim, Debs, Steve, John, Alan Voyce as well as Roy and in the control Tower Clive who was effortlessly good humoured and kept his calm as a stammering radio call would come in "India Yankee inbound from the North West" no the South....well I can see the airfield".

Gradually progress began to be made. My brain didn't seize up and I learned what happens when the engine stops. It seemed to stop a lot too as 90% of the syllabus is geared to safety.

One day in September last year. Having sputtered to a halt outside the Hadair hut and switched the engine off. Wilksee turned to me and said:

"Off you go"




"That is what we usually mean by solo...yes"

So heart in mouth I taxied to the holding point where I radioed the tower.

"Golf India Yankee holding at Alpha 5 ready for departure."

"Line up on the runway" came the reply from Clive.

My mind went blank. What on earth did he mean? I had not heard that expression used before.

We had been chatting the day before and he had said to me. "If you ever have a problem and you don't understand something just ask us in plain English. That is what we are there for".

So in my best Douglas Bader I stammered: "ER Clive I am sorry but I have no idea what you mean"

"Drive your little plane out onto the runway. point it in the right direction with the nose lined up with the white line. Wait there and DON'T TAKE OFF UNTIL I TELL YOU"!

I did I was bidden and then I was off. With only one on board we went off down the runway like a rocket and with 100 metres or so we were in the air climbing fast (and sideways of course). I was up to 600 feet in seemingly seconds turned left. Looked to my left to see the airfield disappearing fast and then my right to check everything was clear and then I noticed something.......


It was a long way down and it was up to me to go once round the block and land back at the starting point. Somehow this happened without mishap despite the words from the tower echoing around the airfield and in my headphones:

"If the gentleman who has just landed would like to taxi the remains of his aircraft to the apron"

I felt like Lindbergh as people crowded round me shaking my hand and congratulating me.

That was a milestone. Once that hurdle has been overcome the training quickens. Including two trips off to other airfields by yourself as a navigation exercise. First one was off down to Shobden in Herefordshire which has a fabulous cafe in a nissen hut. So down I went landed strode confidently into the reception area to pay my landing fee and sign in. They could tell I was a fresh faced novice . Why else would his hands be shaking so much he could hardly hold the pen.

The following day it was off down to Great Malvern and a farm strip. Never landed on grass before.....I did it and when I switched the engine off there was a deathly hush. There was not a soul about. I was surrounded by fields. It occurred to me had I made a smoking crater in the ground no one would have known.

Took off for the return leg brimming with confidence until I opened my mouth to speak to the Airfield to announce my impending arrival.

"Halfpenny Green Information this is erm er this is er a er plane thing er from golf foxtrot sort of yankee thingy erm coming in from the er north east or somewhere". My brain was completely frazzled. No one laughed (that much anyway) as they had all been in the same position themselves so knew how I was feeling.

Progress had slowed somewhat earlier in the year due to sciatica, bad weather and American Adventure 3. So it was a bit of a surprise when Wilksee announced that he was putting me in for the test the other week when I was on holiday.

Hence last weeks blog about being thwarted. The weather didn't play ball.

Last Wednesday it did.

I had done the show gone back to bed. Not slept a wink and then caught the train up to the Midlands. Out to the airfield and a rendezvous with Gordon Faulkner. He is a softly spoken calm man who arrived for the test in his own plane and quickly put me at ease. We went through all the checks and he asked me a few questions and then we taxi'd out to the runway.

"Golf India Yankee holding at zero four ready for departure." I said calmly and confidently.

"Take off at your discretion" came the reply.

"You ready, Gordon?"

"Yes when you are ready, no rush"

"Whhhhooooooaaaaaaaaaa" we chorused as I charged down the runway and took off sideways as I had not allowed for the wind.blowing across the runway. Grate start Alex!

"Halfpenny Green Information this is Golf Charlie Foxtrot India Yankee inbound from the south requesting overhead joining instructions"

"North" sighed Gordon. "You are inbound from the North but don't worry we are nearly there and they can see us.

So an hour and half later we were back on the ground and Gordon was very generously filling the forms out to say that I had passed. There had been some mistakes but most importantly I was deemed safe to fly and to carry a passenger.

I was/am a pilot.

It has taken some time and has been frightening, frustrating, worrying, infuriating and exhilarating. However it has most definitely been worth it.

Not only because I have learned the basics of a new skill but also I have made many new friends along the way.

So thank you Instructors Steve and Les for your endless patience and gritted teeth.

Thank you to everyone at Halfpenny Green who have watched me develop over the last 18 months.

Mitch, Ruth, Jo, Rachel, Lisa, Saad, Tom, loads of people called Steve and Dan. In fact too many to name so apologies if I have missed you out. Without exception everyone has been unfailingly good humoured and encouraging. They have egged me on when I began to have doubts that I was making any progress. They have commiserated when things didn't go according to plan. They have cheered when things did.

The Dark Lady has agreed to be my first passenger. However I am going to take some time to fly around before I risk such a valuable cargo.

So if you are thinking about it, why not go take a trial flight and see if it suits. If I can do it you most certainly can.


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Thursday 23 September 2010


Staycation time and, with Tim Smith ably holding the fort, it was off to do something that I have been planning since February 2009. I have been working towards this for a very long time it would seem. There have been setbacks and disappointments along the way, as well as great leaps forward at times. Now the moment was nigh. The moment when all my hopes and dreams would become a reality. When all those people who looked at me when I told them of my hopes desires and dreams had smiled sadly and shaken their heads. I had been waiting for years for this and at last it was about to happen.....

First, however, to the Conquest Hospital in Hastings to draw a raffle and present some well-deserved long service certificates to members of the Hospital Radio station who do such sterling work, providing entertainment to the patients.

You may have noticed that Hastings hospital is called the "Conquest". This is not quite the law but I would think there would be little disagreement if it was passed that all municipal buildings, taxi firms and guest houses have to be named after something to do with the Battle of Hastings and William the Conqueror.

Hey, if you have the history flaunt it!

I still recall visiting Howarth, home of the Bronte sisters, where everything had their literary stamp on it. Even down the gift shop that sold "Bronte Biscuits".

So being Hastings, as you would expect, my home town boasts any number of '1066 this', ' Harold that' and 'Senlac' the others. With this in mind I have been trying to put together a portmanteau title that would encapsulate pretty much everything that the history of the town reflects.

So if I was a musician and had my own band, I would bestride the stage as the leader of:

"Harold '1066' Senlac and the Battling Conquerors"

The next day it was off to go and get my dream sorted.


So back home to wait for another opportunity.


Wednesday came around and the frustration grew. However, a pleasing diversion came in the shape of seeing Barenaked Ladies in concert at the Apollo in London's Hammersmith. I have been going to this venue fairly regularly since it was the Odeon and saw B.B King there in about 1975. Not sure it has had a lick of paint in all that time but it does the job.

The DL wasn't all that aware of BNL'S (they are called this by uberfans, I am informed) work until they launched into "One week" with its tongue twisting lyrics and also the fabulous "If I had a Million Dollars".

A senior BBC executive once said to me: "Alex" (for that is my name). "Women like lyrics"!

DL certainly did. Especially a couple of wonderfully-observed middle-aged raps.

The next day it was back to reality and the pursuit of my long held dream.


So near and yet so far!!!!!

Still compensation came 24 hours later in the shape of Beth Nielson Chapman with the BBC Concert Orchestra and Aled Jones for Friday Night is Music Night.

We weren't entirely sure if the show was live or pre-recorded as that hadn't been explained too well. The interval came and we heard the interval talk start, some people seemed to be getting their coats to leave. Then they changed their minds and sat back down again.

I bow to no man (other genders are available and most welcome) in my admiration for Beth. Not just the purity of her voice but also her songwriting and performing ability.

She was fabulous and Aled came up trumps when he showed what a good singer he is as he did a duet with her. I just wish I could get the choirboy image out of my head. Aled is a top bloke with a bone-crushing handshake. His treble days long behind him.


The gig was also a hit with Sally (Traffic) Boazeman who was sitting next to us. She too is a huge fan and the songs tugged at her heartstrings as she unashamedly wept all the way through.

I can tell when the DL is particularly taken by a tune as she rests her right hand on the base of her neck and her eyes dampen. First saw this when we went to see Willie Nelson a few months back and he dropped effortlessly into "Georgia on my Mind". I have always found music intensely moving and - being a big old softy - I too can find myself wiping away a tear at times too.

Saturday dawned and we were back on track for the big event.


Sunday then!!!


All was not lost as it was the Hastings Seafood and Wine festival in the Old town. Local businesses had turned out in force to show their wares and their recipes. Local produce being mainly fish but some Ciders ,beers and wines from the area as well as well as cakes also.

Fat boy paradise and one of the many advantages of living by the sea. The fish is fresh.

When I arrived, the guy running the P.A. announced to all and sundry:

"Alex Lester from BBC Radio 2 will be doing the rounds and trying everything!"

Everything?? I know I am greedy but I am not Mr Creosote!

As an (un)healthy compromise I wandered round looking and sniffing and in the end tried the dishes offered by "The Bridge", a local community project. Delicious and all cooked by the fair hand of the vegetarian chef. Not sure how he decided when the Prawns and the grilled Sardines were ready, but they were perfect. Perhaps he did it by intuition like The Who's Tommy:

"That vegetarian kid sure cooks a mean grilled prawn"!

So that was the staycation. Restful, enjoyable. Yes. Fruitful......well no.

Would the following seven days unthwart me? Would they unfoil me? Would I eventually be unstymied or even Unstumped and Uncancelled???

Will we get to the bottom of this conundrum? Check out next weeks blog for the answer and hopefully better grammar.

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Thursday 9 September 2010


(Thought the title may be a little obscure without the bit in brackets.)

Last week on the blog I mentioned winkles and we supplied you with a picture of winkles, which probably did one of three things:

1) Made your mouth water at the thought of their salty chewiness

2) Made your stomach turn over at the thought of their salty chewiness

3) Made you wonder why on earth I am writing about winkles in the first place.

Well, I was so wrapped up in my blog about shirts last week I didn't have room to tell you about winkles and what they mean to me.

As a blogger, rather than a literary figure, I wonder how the great works would have handled it?

"Alas, poor Yorick…look at that shirt"!

"Gawd bless us everyone…including our winkles"!

"In the beginning there were…shirts"!


The reason behind the winkle reference was to explain a curious and diabolical happening that occurred recently.

The Smashey and Nicey Fast Show cliché (which parodied Radio 1 DJ's in the 90's where they talked about doing a lot of work for "Charidee" but "didn't want to talk about it.") has meant that a lot of people tend to steer clear of telling people about any organisations that they are involved with. There is also the danger of appearing smug and self-serving. I hope this doesn't appear so as that is not the purpose.

I don't do a lot and the bit I do do has been the result of invitation in the hope that it may do their charity some good. Not entirely sure this has worked for them but hopefully a little.

Mainly, I turn up at events and give a short but cheerful speech and exhort you to dig deep in your pockets.

As a firm believer in "Charity begins at home", there are a number of charities in Hastings that have enlisted my support. Notably St Michaels Hospice in St Leonards-on-Sea which does terrific work with the terminally ill. My job is to go along from time to time and draw the raffle.

This is always great fun, though not without mishap. My biggest fear is getting a ticket caught up my sleeve, as happened many years ago in a very rough pub in Hull where I was doing something similar. Unfortunately, the ticket belonged to the radio station chief engineer. So immediately there were rumblings of disquiet!

In the words of a telegram that Harry Secombe once sent (I think it was to Spike Milligan after a particularly grim appearance at a theatre in the dying days of variety):

"Audience with me all the way.....managed to shake them off at the station".

On one occasion a few years back, whilst drawing the raffle, one of the generously donated prizes hadn't really been thought through. So with a flourish I congratulated one of the patients on winning a..."5 year diary".

Luckily they saw the funny side.

Recently I went to the Annual General Meeting of a related organisation called S.A.F.E.; they are involved in providing respite care beds so that relatives of the dying can have a couple of weeks off the 24-hour care they are providing at home, in order to recharge their batteries.

I am very proud to be the President of this organisation. Although I feel a bit of a fraud as a band of dedicated volunteers do all the fundraising and, if necessary, I will turn up to give a short but cheerful speech exhorting people to dig deep etc. (I know my place).

This is only the second time I have been President of anything. The first was as a small boy when I would follow my sister and her two friends around like a puppy and generally annoy them…

It is tough sometimes being three years younger. My sister still refers to me as her "little brother" even now at the tender age of 54. (That number looks awful written down).

However. turning the clock back getting on for half a century, tired and fed up with this kid following them around the three of them started the "Anti-Alex Club" with its rather witty logo of an....yes you ant.

Not to be thwarted and proving that with a skin that thick I could have made a career in politics, I immediately joined and worked my way up through the ranks until I was voted President of the organisation, dedicated to making my life a misery. Just as I basked in the glory of attaining this heady position, my empire crumbled as my sister and her two friends resigned!

Meanwhile back at the S.A.F.E. AGM as we all sat down and made ourselves comfortable, I chatted with the new Chairman, Brion Purdey. A distinguished gentleman who does a lot of good work locally and he wondered if I was related to any of the other Lester's around town.

I told him that my late Grandfather Norman Lester had been town clerk until he retired in 1966; he could see a picture of him and my late Grandmother taking part in a parade to welcome Lord Montgomery to town in the Fishermans Museum, as part of their Winkle Club exhibit.

He had been invited to become a member. He was in illustrious company along with Sir Winston Churchill and the Duke of Windsor among many others including local people who have dedicated themselves, as Brion has, to putting something back into the community.

In case you had never heard of it, the Hastings Winkle Club is a venerable Fishermans Charity that was created in 1900 to help underprivileged local families. Each member is given a winkle filled with sealing wax and upon meeting any other member is challenged to "Winkle up"! If that person is unable to produce their winkle they have to pay a fine.

I explained to Brion that my Grandad had been a very proud member of the organisation and that some years ago, I too had had the immense privilege of being invited to join.....The words had barely left my mouth when with a draw faster than Billy the Kid, Brion produced his winkle and challenged me to "Winkle up".

The club are now due some money. So terrified am I of losing my "badge" of membership that I never carry it with me.

So there you have it. My shaggy Winkle story.

Also if you are involved in any charitable work I salute you. Where would we be without you?

If you need anyone to deliver a short but cheerful speech.....

I am away next week so Tim Smith will be keeping you entertained. There will be a "Best of…" Oddcast on the website from Friday the 17th September (Oddcasts are available here) although I hope to get round to doing a "what I did on my holidays" composition for you.

Alex Lester, Form 4B

Thursday 2 September 2010


We started the week with a bank holiday (not Scotland). This had the two-pronged effect of being a quiet morning on the show, whilst the majority of the UK decided to have a lie in before setting off to find the nearest traffic jam, where they remained for the rest of the day.

One of the many bonuses of being on at this time of the day and always being on the radio on Bank Holidays is that I never have to worry about traffic jams or huge crowds. It probably gives me a false impression of how crowded this island of ours is, and an abiding hatred of crowded places. I have lost count of the times when, faced with a long queue, have decided to go somewhere else. When I read of people waiting overnight for tickets to an event, or being in a line for hours for a white knuckle ride at an amusement park, I wonder where the attraction lies.

Understandably, if it is your only day off you have no option. When the show came from Birmingham at bank holidays, the traffic would back a mile up to Junction 9 of the M6 in order for people to visit a well known Scandinavian furniture store. What it must have been like inside the shop is anybody’s guess.

People fighting over the last "Glupmph" or "Snookit". (I think these may be a style of bathmat that matches the "Hkvoot" toothbrush holder and the "Cqweitu" woollen bathroom stationary holder in the form of a woman in a big dress that hides the roll. I think it may be an impressionistic representation of Pippy Longstockin although I wouldn't swear to it.)

The other secondary effect of the bank holiday was producer Dr Strangelove decided to take the day off to do exciting things; this mainly involved catching up on his sleep. For a man who spends approximately 19 hours per day in the land of nod, he was in dire need of a refresh.

His place was taken for the morning by old mate - and now Simon Mayo producer - Andy Warrell. Andy originally worked on the programme before fleeing to catch up on his sleep. What is it with these youngsters?

"Fred Slippage" occurred as soon as the programme started when it transpired that he had spent the previous two days trying to find an appropriate costume; he and his wife were soon to be guests at a friend’s wedding which had a 50's theme. Obviously this was a serious occasion and they didn't want to go as Teds as that would be a bit of a cliche. So increasingly bizarre suggestions came flooding in. In case you missed the show you can hear some of them on this weeks Audio boo (get it here)

Whilst on the subject of dress fancy or otherwise, looking at my rather depleted and shabby wardrobe the other day, I realised that due to wear, tear and pilfering, I was down to the last of my favourite shirts. Indian cotton. 5 button Grandads to be precise.

I had been hunting for them for some time. The market stall in London's Soho where I bought 7 of them (hey, organised!) back in 1992 seemed to have vanished. So, and internet search for said garments suggested a shop down the East End. I phoned in advance to make sure that they were not just mail order:

"Erm, is that the shop that sells…er…shirts?"

"Yes, among other things"

"Can I visit and buy the aforementioned shirts or do I have to do so by mail order?"

"You can although we are a wholesaler"

"Does this mean I have to buy hundreds of shirts?"

"No," said the man slowly and patiently.

Obviously, thinking that idiots like this had died out during the last days of the Raj.

"I will be down tomorrow to view shirts, thank you," I said in the curious kind of English that aliens use in Sci-Fi movies:-

The language that doesn't seem to phase the dumb Redneck they have encountered in the Mid-West of the U.S in a wood in the middle of the night, as he is out "'coon huntin'" and has followed what he thinks is a meteorite as it plummets to earth leaving a smoking crater with a glowing, throbbing rock in the bottom of it which is really the spaceship. Shortly after that, the man - driven half mad by the anal probe - staggers into town frothing about little green men. Of course, nobody believes him until their pets start disappearing and the couple necking in the moonlight in their convertible up at Council Bluff notice their radio going funny....

Incidentally I have written about Aliens in part to shock Dr Strangelove as he could double as the frothing yokel due to a firm belief he holds that extra terrestrials are trying to communicate with him using his nasal hair as little aerials.

So back to the shirts. Off I trudged until I found the address. It was a shop bearing a totally different name to that on their website. In I went. It was packed to the rafters with boxes of...shirts. And other clothing related items.

"Erm, hello, I..."

That was as far as I got before the beaming Sikh, sporting a spectacular blue turban interrupted:

"You phoned yesterday"

I suppose he rarely had such a daft phone call so it was easy to identify me.

I was wearing the last of my original batch so that I could show him exactly what I wanted.

"Yes plenty of those. We also have full button as well as 5 button and short sleeve and they come in a variety of colours"

He regarded me for a moment and pointed me in the direction of a rack.

"Extra large"

"Excuse me...the one I am wearing is a Small!"

This was swept aside:

"You are going to be at least a large"




"Try a medium"

I grabbed a shirt and ducked behind a pile of boxes and slipped comfortably into it. With room to spare I may add!


He muttered something which, as only being a speaker of the world’s two most important and understood languages: English and "Louder English", I didn't catch but took to mean something like:

"Well I'll go to the foot of our stairs. In all me years in the schmutter business I have never been wrong before and there he is, an Adonis in that medium shirt, make no mistyke to be sure!

I am taking a wild stab here; it may have meant something else.

I bought ten. He threw in a very pretty blue silk scarf. For the Dark Lady I hasten to add.

Reckon I am all shirted up for another 15 years now.

On the programme this week I mentioned that the blog would contain a winkle reference. Having run out of space for this week I shall include it next. As a teaser it has something to do with my home town of Hastings and St Michael's Hospice in St Leonards on sea.

If you are around this Saturday the 4th September it is their Summer Fayre which starts at 10.30. Yours truly will be modelling one of the shirts most likely and drawing the tombola at 1pm. Hope to see you there.