I have not been idle during the Covid lock down for I have spent my time constructively writing a detective novel and to quote my own publicity blurb.

The Case of the Grease Monkey’s Uncle is set in 1947 and tells the story of James Arbuthnott and Arcibald Cluff, two recently demobbed soldiers and the first case for their Detective Agency, Arbuthnott and Cluff.

James was the taller of the two, with wavy fair hair and a moustache to match, very much the Officer and Gentleman and although of Scottish decent he had no trace of an accent, educated at Eton he had that distinguished confident air that immediately says, good breeding whilst his colleague was shorter and an altogether rougher diamond with ginger hair, from the East End of London, it would be true to say that one was tall and good looking whilst the other was not so lucky in the looks department and was built like a brick out house.

The mystery of the disappearance of the Uncle of William Trubshaw, involves criminality, murder, glamour, intrigue and occasionally down right stupidity.

It is available now on and very reasonably priced I might add.

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I have just seen the news concerning the grave of Nigger, the dog belonging to the famous 617 Squadron Leader Guy Gibson at RAF Scampton; it seems the powers that be have seen fit to remove the original gravestone and replace it with a new one omitting the dogs name.

Here is the original.

Having been there and seen the original grave stone with Niggers name on it I am lost for words as to why it should be removed, you can’t change history and anyone interested enough in the history of the story of the brave men of 617 Squadron, who goes to RAF Scampton and sees the grave will know the dog’s name was Nigger, removing it from the stone will not change history.

Here is the replacement gravestone with no mention of the dogs name; it seems sad enough to me that this very famous dog died on the night of the raid but to now desecrate his grave in this fashion is appalling, surely the dog should be allowed the dignity of his name on his grave.

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This is the sorry tale of how not to run a telephone company and one that has caused me enormous stress; indeed, at one point I was close to losing the will to live.

The whole sorry saga started in April, I believe the 11th when we first contacted Vodafone to inform them of a fault on our line, whereupon they asked us to perform various tasks, including the semi dismantling of our box which the router and phone line are plugged into.

vintage call exchange bakelite telephone

After much fuffing about we found that our Broadband was slow and we had no telephone dialling tone whatsoever but as this was in the middle of the Covid 19 crisis, there was no chance of getting anyone to repair it, so we left it, feeling lucky that at least we had the internet working albeit slowly.

We left the box in its semi dismantled state as we had children working from home and didn’t dare touch the box for fear of losing the internet altogether but finally when the Covid situation seemed to be getting better I decided to contact the supplier to try to sort out the faulty telephone line.

I was unable to find a telephone number with which to contact them so had to resort to contact through their messaging service, little did I know how long and arduous this process would be.

Unfortunately, the transcript is far too long to put on this post as it took in total some 2 hours 39 minutes, however if you’re feeling masochistic or want a good laugh, along the lines of Victor Meldrew I can email it to you should you send your email address; I might have had an easier time had I taken on the task of pushing water uphill.

I was rather hoping that at the end of this marathon session, someone would rush round and fix the telephone with some degree of speed but this was not to be; I received two telephone calls from what I assume was the maintenance side of things which bizarrely seemed to ring of each time I tried to answer.

This may have been my fault as my old mobile had chosen to disintegrate and I was not yet used to the new one I had purchased to replace it; however, I phoned them back expecting to book an appointment for someone to come and fix the phone; little did I know that this would entail another 1 hour conversation to manage to persuade them to send someone to fix it.

A day or so later a very pleasant chap from BT (or whoever is responsible for the line) came round and having assessed the problem set about changing the box which the telephone and the router plug into as it was faulty.

One of the problems of getting older is looking back on the golden era when thing used to make sense, when you could phone up to inform your supplier that your telephone was faulty and they would send a man round to repair it. When written down like this, it all seems so obvious, what a shame that it doesn’t seem that obvious to my supplier.

As a small post script, some of you may have noticed I haven’t posted for a few days, this is because I have spent the time uploading my new book which I wrote during the Corvid lockdown to Amazon; when I’m happy that I have it uploaded correctly I shall put up the details so you can all rush out and buy a copy!

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I was hoping to get my haircut yesterday but there was a mix up with the appointment, however I am delighted to report I am now sporting a brand new short back and sides and can barely contain my excitement.

It seems a little odd that barbers are allowed to work and yet my wife who has a beauty salon specialising in hair, mole, skin tag and cysts removal is not yet allowed to open, except to do pedicures.

Apparently the removal of some of the more yucky, (this being the technical term for the procedure) treatments, omits moisture into the air which can be breathed in, which is why my wife is dressed up with so much PPE she looks more like she is about to undertake open heart surgery.

Now I’m not sure how this Corona virus works and was rather worried for the well-being of my wife should she breathe any of this virus and on that basis I’m rather hoping that when she is doing one of her pedicures that none of her clients should fart too violently, although I have no idea if you can catch Covid 19 from a fart.

On a brighter note here is a photo of my new haircut, I know I should have dressed up a little before having it taken but I was overcome with excitement having just returned from the barber.

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Mr Trump finally says he will wear a face mask, he said he has found one that makes him look like the Lone Ranger.

I have two questions concerning this, firstly if he wears a mask that will in any way attempt to block Covid 19, how will he see where he’s going and secondly will he plump for the full blown outfit like most children do and have two holsters and two guns.

Lone Ranger | fictional character | Britannica

Mr Trump, the gift that keeps on giving, you couldn’t make this stuff up, which leaves me with very little to add, except.


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My wife has a fitbit, I believe this is her second, although I know of people who have had quite a few, some through fashion and some due to malfunction, this being the case with my wife, although to be fair she has had it for five years.

As a collector of classic cars, my current oldest is 70 years old and still in perfect working order, I’m thinking a product made with modern production methods and precision engineering ought to last longer than five years, especially as the latest top of the range costs £199.00.

Fitbit Versa 2 Review - Why it's Worth £199

My wife though was adamant, she must have a replacement fitbit, for how else will she be able to tell how much exercise she has had in the day or how well she has slept at night?

I had a suggestion for her which may help to save the cost of a new fitbit and one which I use myself; when you go to bed at night if you are feeling exhausted, then it is safe to assume you have been very busy and taken a lot of exercise in some form or other, conversely when you waken in the morning if you are also feeling exceedingly tired, it is fairly safe to assume you haven’t had a good nights sleep, it’s not rocket science!

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I was watching a news item this morning concerning the effects of Covid 19 on the poor and underprivileged which I thought rather stated the bleeding obvious, that poor and underprivileged people were suffering more in the current situation.

Without putting too fine a point on it, I would have thought it safe to say that the poor and underprivileged suffer more whatever the situation, however I believe the news went on to suggest the poor would be suffering in the current heat wave we are experiencing in the UK today, when they are queuing outside the shops; I have a feeling I may have conflated the news and the weather forecast but I couldn’t be certain.

Whilst I am not poor, I am certainly not rich, but to my great joy I do have sufficient funds to be the proud owner of two Sola Topee, or Pith Helmets as they are more commonly known.

I have a British Army Foreign Service Tropical Pith Helmet the type worn in the 19th century.

British Army Foreign Service Tropical Pith Helmet in Khaki: Amazon ...

I also have an Indian style Sola Topee also know as a Bombay Bowler, both of which are very stylish and most suitable for the current weather conditions, which leads me back to the original point of this post; for whilst I am lucky enough to have the choice of two Pith Helmets, the poor and underprivileged will have to resort to the old tried and tested knotted handkerchief on the head should they wish to protect themselves from the harsh rays of the Sun.

Indian Pith Helmet - Khaki from Village Hats.
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I was sent this advertisement by a friend, I thought it was fabulous and well worth sharing.

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I saw this story on social media but have seen no mention of it on UK news but I believe it to be true, in this day and age, who knows what is true and what is not?

It appears that “individuals on foot” started shooting in southwest Minneapolis on 21st June 12.37am American time, which to me in the UK is yesterday.

I imagine this must have been a random attack as there are reports of twelve people with gunshot wounds one of which has died, the Police believe there was more than one shooter.

The incident took place near Landmark’s Uptown Theatre where there are several bars and restaurants, although one report said, there were lots of shots and it sounded like groups of people shooting at each other.

Minneapolis' Uptown Theatre celebrates 100th birthday

The report was a little vague as to exactly where this neighbourhood is but as someone who lives in the UK, I imagine this is not the part of town that has been damaged and looted.

There were no specific details of the ethnicity of those shooting or of those who were shot and there was no mention as to whether it might have been gang or drug related, so I’m none the wiser as to the cause of this shooting.

I have no more information that I can add to this, except to perhaps add the comment; Isn’t it nice to be getting back to normal.

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Not long after I posted my previous “getting back to normal” post we have tragically had yet another example of what is considered to be normal life in this modern age.

It is alleged that a Libyan refugee killed three people in a Park in Reading and injured three others in what has been described as a terrorist related knife rampage.

Khairi Saadallah allegedly approached a group of middle aged men who were sitting drinking in the Forbury Gardens Park before going on to another group of people and attacking them too.

The Police and Air Ambulance were on the scene at the park and Police have declared the knife rampage that killed three as a terror incident.

Three feared dead in 'terror incident' as cops arrest man ...

In the meantime Mr Trump has had an election rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma and is spouting his usual nonsense!

So nice to be getting back to normal!!

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