Our daughter ordered some groceries from ASDA last week which were supposed to arrive late on Friday night but which did not arrive.

As the next day was a Bank Holiday she left it to contact the supermarket on the Tuesday whereupon they cancelled the order and said she would have to reorder and go to the back of the queue with regard to booking a delivery slot.

This particular piece of idiotic modern life caused me to cast my mind back to “the good old days” where a shopkeeper who had made the same faux pas as Asda would have responded differently to a valued customer; assuming of course that ASDA consider their customers as valued.

I imagine in days gone by the response may have been a little different, something along the lines of, “Good Lord, Madam/Sir, I am so frightfully sorry we have failed to deliver your order, I will see to it that I send a man out with a fresh order straight away and please accept my sincere apologies, you will of course not be charged for this delivery.” Had this been in writing they would have ended with the phrase, “We are your obedient servants, ASDA supermarket.”

Remember when staff knew your name, had never heard of loyalty cards and  said 'much obliged' not 'have a nice day'? How shopping lost its soul... |  Small business saturday, Shopping, Lovely

I was further reminded of how much better customer service used to be when I took my car to be washed and having decided to have it waxed as well I went into the nearby TESCO supermarket with the intention of purchasing a magazine to read whilst I was waiting.

Having found a suitable magazine I took it to the checkout where the lady on the till informed me “this isn’t on the system, we can’t sell it to you.”

As I was wearing a mask which I thought might suffice as a disguise I was tempted, for a brief moment in time, to do what is colloquially known as “doing a runner” but thought better of it.

It’s hard to hear when wearing a mask though Lord knows why, however the checkout lady summoned assistance from an employee of higher standing who came to the till to repeat exactly what had been said to me previously.

I suggested perhaps I might just give them the £4.80 in cash but this was not available as an as an option when the “computer says no.”

Upon returning home I was regaling the story to our other daughter who when young worked in customer service for a supermarket and would you believe it, had these ladies been bothered to put themselves out they could through the means of computer whizzkiddery have put the magazine onto the system and thereby sold the item to me.

Yet another example of the abysmal customer service we put up with nowadays and just in case people should imagine that I am not telling the truth about the old days, I have included a rather faded letter sent to my father in 1959 apologising that the Banquet photographs were not shown on Saturday and ending in the proper fashion; “We are, Your obedient servants.”

Ah, how I long for the good old days!

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The Sunday Times initially reported the BBC had discussed dropping several traditional songs as Finnish conductor Dalia Stasevska was “keen to modernise the evening’s repertoire and reduce the patriotic elements”.

I would have thought that the last thing the Last Night of the Proms needed was modernising, surely the whole point of the evening is to fill it with traditional songs that have been sung at the event for years, that’s what it says on the tin!

I was going to comment further on the farce that the BBC are making of the Last Night of the Proms and choosing not to allow the singing of the words to Land of Hope and Glory and Rule Britannia but I have just seen our Prime Minister, Boris Johnson who has commented on behalf of the Nation and I think summed up the situation extremely well.

His comment on not allowing the singing is as follows; “If it is correct… I think it’s time we stopped our cringing embarrassment about our history, about our traditions and about our culture, and we stop this general bout of self-recrimination and wetness,”

I have to say bravo to you Boris, you have said all that needs to be said and in the meantime we can leave the BBC to organise this years farce, I am expecting no singing and the entry of Mr Brian Rix through the French windows, upstage left uttering the phrase, “anyone for tennis!”

General view of the Royal Albert Hall in London during the Last Night of The Proms.

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There is currently an advertisement on British television which actually says; become an accountant, you don’t have to be good at maths.

I’m rather wondering whether the applicants for this scheme when fully trained will notice when finishing the accounts for the local corner shop that £2,000,000 might be a tad high for the turnover of a comparatively modest business but submit the figures to the Inland Revenue without going back to double check their figures, after all you don’t have to be good at Maths.

I am constantly amazed by things I see in modern life and whilst the idea of accountants who can’t do maths is not life threatening, I will certainly be considerably more concerned when I see the advertisement; become a brain surgeon, you don’t have to be good at surgery!

Malawi hospital carries out its first successful brain surgery ...
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it seems Millennials do not like using full stops when they text as they consider it to be rude or aggressive to do so personally I found this quite hard to understand as I have never felt threatened by a full stop in my life there are plenty of really scary things in life that I would attempt to avoid but I have to admit a full stop is not one of them I know it’s a long time ago when I was at school but I seem to remember we were taught how to formulate a letter one assumes as it might have come in handy when writing a job application but this sort of thing seems to matter not a jot in our modern society one can write text messages without the slightest thought to spelling grammar or punctuation in any way shape or form and it will be deemed as correct by our modern generation now I find myself with the dilemma as to how to end this missive as I find myself naturally drawn to the old tried and tested way of ending a sentence with a full stop but I don’t want to upset any of the younger members of the community who may have happened upon my blog and will feel frightened or upset at the use of a full stop at the end of this post I therefore find myself unable to end this post and may have to spend the rest of my life devoted to writing it some of the more observant readers of my blog may have also noticed the complete lack of punctuation during the whole of this piece once again I am pandering to the younger generation although I have fallen into the trap of using capital letters for if I had really tried to make this post friendly to the youth of today the entire piece would have been written in lower case and for that I apologise bizarrely whilst writing this I have suddenly been presented with the option to insert an emoji I have absolutely no idea why the computer thought I might wish to insert an emoji but perhaps as this is written in the style of a young person it must have recognised that and realised that an alternative for young people to end a sentence is an emoji a smiley face being not remotely threatening well that’s it the end of my post and I cannot tell you how strong the temptation is to end with a full stop but I have decided to stick to my original plan and write in a manner which the young folk will find comforting and therefore will just end the sentence and let you the reader decide if I have finished

Important Punctuation Marks in English Grammar Everyone Should ...

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I was taking my car to the garage today and my wife was following in her car to give me a lift home, so far so good but it gets worse.

My wife is a very slow and careful driver and in the best tradition of convoy driving as the lead car it was my job to never lose sight of the car behind.


At no time during our journey did we exceed 40mph so as I approached a 30mph limit and had been slowing for some two hundred yards or so, I was extremely surprised to see a Policeman walk into the road and direct me into a side street on my right.

I was even more surprised when he came to the nearside window of my car and informed me I was being nicked for driving at 39mph in a 30mph limit and asked me to drive to the bottom of the road, turn round and park on the other side of the road.

Having turned round and stopped the Policeman came to the drivers side of my car where I opened the window on that side of the car to speak to him, or more to the point to listen.

The first thing he said was to ask why I was not wearing my seat belt, so I informed him I had undone it when he first spoke to me as I leaned forward to check I was pushing the right lever to open the window.

Moving on he requested my details which he put into his phone/device, taking two attempts to get my date of birth correct.

I was then asked if I would object if I had my photograph taken which I did not object to, although I did wonder what on earth they would need my photograph for but I decided no matter how angry you are with a Policeman it’s probably best not to argue unless one wants a knee on the neck.

We moved on to him telephoning someone to do another check which he then requested a check on someone with a completely different christian name than me, so I corrected him, although as it was only a matter of a minute or two since he had put my name into the machine you would have thought he had the concentration to be able to remember it.

I was rather wondering why the checks and wondered if it had anything to do with the fact that I was driving my Bentley Arnage and perhaps he had thought I had stolen it but as I am now 69 years old with grey hair and am exactly the sort of old codger who drives these cars, that didn’t seem to be why.

He blathered on for some time about receiving details in the post and showed me his machine with the read out of 39 mph and I happened to mention that I was amazed that I had been doing that speed, but you can’t argue with a copper.

Some time later when the steam had stopped coming out of my ears and I was reviewing what had happened more rationally I realised that there was in fact not the slightest chance that I had been doing 39 mph.

Putting it simply, at no time during our journey did my wife exceed 40 mph and as I was matching my speed to hers and as I had been slowing for at least two hundred yards from where I was stopped it would be impossible for me to have still been doing 39 mph.

I would have thought the Police should have been wearing hi vis luminous jackets as hiding behind a parked car dressed in black is not what I call playing the game but I suppose it depends on your intention, if you want to slow the traffic then make the Police as visible as possible, if on the other hand you are just trying to raise a lot of revenue from fines then hide in the bushes!

Judging by the incompetence of the Policeman, firstly not noticing when I took off my seat belt in full view of him, then being unable to input my date of birth correctly followed lastly by calling me by a completely different christian name, I would have to suggest that this officer was not competent enough to reset his speed gun properly from the time he used it before me.

At the least I will get a speed awareness course, spending a day with a lot of other angry motorists caught doing a few miles over the limit, or worse a speeding endorsement and the Policeman will be left with my photograph; which if a picture can tell a thousand words, he will be able to read, YOU LYING BASTARD.

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It seems like only yesterday but how quickly a year has gone by since we had to say goodbye to our dog Theo who was the most wonderful dog in the world and I loved him to death.

He was the daftest dog sometimes and yet the cleverest, he could tell you he wanted a biscuit or he wanted to go and do a tiddle, or it was time for dinner.

We took him to have his hair cut the day before and he seemed a bit reluctant to go but he usually comes back full of the joys of spring and walks about with his majestic walk as if to say, “look at me, how smart am I?”

This time however he didn’t have his usual spark and was having more trouble than usual walking, his arthritic back leg seemed a little worse and he was having trouble with his front leg.

We knew this time was coming but you hate to have to admit it, he lay on his chair and was very subdued and during the next day he became quieter and started showing signs that he was in pain.

Having phoned the vet and made the appointment we stayed with him talking to him and stroking him until it was time to go.

I thought he would be unable to walk into the vets but when we got there he did his best and walked in with dignity and piddled on the floor by the reception desk, well if you have style it’s always good to announce your arrival with flair.

We were with him all the time and he went very quickly and quietly and I burst into tears, I’m not very good at the stiff upper lip thing.

What a majestic dog he was, he had a good life and a long life amongst people who loved him and you can’t ask for much more than that.

Goodbye Theo, we love you. xx

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I came across this film which I did some many years ago about Lieutenant General Arthur Percival and the Battle of Singapore in World War Two and as it is VJ Day today I thought this was appropriate.

Here is the link.



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We’re having a heatwave, a tropical heatwave

The temperature’s rising, it isn’t surprising,

She certainly can can-can


Temperatures to rise in Southern California this week – The Signal ...
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I saw a photo of someone’s dog on Facebook which prompted me to find a photo of my dog when I was a child. He had a pedigree of Champion dogs going back to his Great Grand Parents but we just called him Chips.

In an instant I became a child again!

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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 descent 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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