So, Your Uterus Didn’t Drop Out?

She ran and she ran, her heart was beating too fast, she knew this but kept going. She made the 200m line, 400 meters, 800 meters, shattering the mile record, still she ran, and then it happened. Her uterus fell out! But still, she ran and cried but as her top lip quivered it felt heavier, so she slowed in order to catch a glimpse of herself. The shop window reflected her image and she saw the huge mustache that had appeared.  But in her heart she knew the medical experts were wrong about one thing, she didn’t want to be a man!

You’re right it’s not true but women weren’t allowed to run more than 200m in an Olympic event until 1960! It was 1984 before the women’s marathon finally became a sanctioned Olympic event. In 1928 they were allowed to run 800 meters. The report states that 5 of them collapsed and failed to finish at the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics so it was reduced to 200 meters; 800 meters was just too much for such frail creatures! Except that the report was fabricated, there were nine runners and they all finished!

Distance running by women was thought to be unladylike, it was a violation of natural law, they were not physiologically capable of running mile after mile, they wouldn’t be able to bear children and of course we all knew that her uterus would fall out. Don’t forget the added fact that she might grow a mustache, chest hair and big legs. There were even some people at the IOC who were suspicious that they were really men, or wanted to be one.

None of these things actually happened (in case you were wondering) which, as a huge Paula Radcliffe fan, I am very glad it didn’t. In the 1900 Paris Olympics 19 women competed overall. In Tokyo this coming summer there will be 11,000 athletes and nearly 50% will be female. As I once said to Jo Pavey, “You’ve brought so much joy into my house.”

Not sure which way she took that, but my running partner, Jo Burgoyne said it sounded a little creepy. But thank you for persevering ladies, your country is proud of you. I shall probably disturb the entire street and rupture my vocal cords when these particular young ladies grace us with their  phenomenal power.

Posted in Athletics, Blog, Blogging, Freedom, History, Humour, Life, Opinion, Running | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 42 Comments

The Morning Sun

A thin sabre of light pierces the shade, and my heart beats a little faster at the thought of a sunshine day. My eyes are awake but my mind is still in that world of never land that we call drowsy. Slowly the old brain begins to reflect the real world and I realize that it’s still dark and my heart beating sabre of light is in actual fact Alec’s Land-rover headlights, he’s the geezer that lives across the road and it’s still pissing with rain! Oh well it was good while it lasted.

When I was a nipper my mum (remember her?) she used to let me stay home from school to keep her company. I look at the Princess and wonder if it’s worth asking. Then I realise that it isn’t, so I head for the shower because I can’t be bothered doing my Pilates exercises this morning. In the shower my brain becomes a little more alert and I remember that today I’m taking my aged sister and brother-in-law to a funeral. In Stockport, that’s in Cheshire and about 100 miles away.

He wanted to drive, well he’s only 85 so why not, except he doesn’t like the Sat Nav. We ignore the aforementioned device and add 20 miles to our journey, but they’re old and we’d set off an hour before we had to, so plenty of time. The rest of the day unfolded in much the same way. She dropped a glove on the way out of the Crematorium, I quickly picked it only to find the other one was missing when we got outside. She’d left that one on the pew. Have you ever tried to fight your way back into a horde of people departing a Crematorium? Only then to fight your way back out again? They hadn’t remembered my entrance and so (by the look on their faces) assumed I was trying to dodge the collection. As we careered our way to the funeral tea, dear sis realised that she’d left her handbag behind. Luckily he hadn’t heard her cry of exclamation, so a 3-point turn upon the dual carriageway  was avoided as I heard the second exclamation stating that she had found said handbag in the footwell.

The meal was lovely but surrounded by two deaf people, who don’t like hearing aids, it was a little repetitious. My auntie joined us (also deaf) and not really an auntie. Her mother was a friend of my grandmother and they all got intertwined somehow. To give you a little taste of my  afternoon, here is one of the conversations:

Auntie to brother-in-law, “I hope you have a good run back to Yorkshire.”

Me to Auntie, “I hope he’s not running back, I was hoping for a lift in the car, haha”

Auntie to me. ” No, thank you, Charles (they all call me that) I’m getting a lift with David.”

These were very astute people a few years ago. They could party all night and still be compos mentis (that’s Latin, who needs Eton when you have Google), so I think I might just carry on smoking and possibly even drink more to save me from old age! 😂😂


Posted in Blogging, Family, Humour, Life, Opinion, Relationships | Tagged , , , , | 28 Comments

New Book: When Stars Will Shine

You know I’m not a great one for re-blogging it’s something I should probably do more often. Anyway, I bought this book primarily because I like short stories and also the money goes to the Military Charity and as Johnny Cash said, “You can support the soldier without supporting the war.” It’s got some great tales in it and definitely worth the money.


I met fellow editor, Emma Mitchell at Harrogate Crime Festivalthis year and we had a good chat about all sorts of things to do with editing, especially our thoughts on the use of the Oxford comma! Emma’s recently brought out a wonderful book of short stories with all the proceeds going to charity. Please support this fantastic cause.

The book was brought out in time for Christmas, as you’ll see from the blurb, but it’s still a great read regardless of the time of year:

When Stars Will Shine is a collection of short stories from your favourite authors who have come together to deliver you a Christmas read with a twist.

With true war tales that will break your heart, gritty Christmas crimes that will shake you to your core, and heart-warming tales of love lost and found, this anthology has something for everyone. And, with every penny…

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The Trilby and the ‘Mod’

Construction offices are strange places, all those drawings, plans and schedules. So, there I am waiting to review an apprentice with the Site manager, Trevor, and he asks me about the book I am working on. I explain it’s set in the 70’s and basically about Skinheads and Rockers. (I tailor the synopsis to the audience, having not actually written a synopsis yet.) Trevor tells he was a Mod in the late 70’s early 80’s. We have a long discussion about how kids today don’t have an identity. The Rockers and the Teds had their motor bikes and Rock’n’Roll.  The Mods had their scooters and the Who. The skinheadshad their Ska and Reggae. The Punks had Johnny Rotten.  The New Romantics had their Duran Duran. The Goths had their Cure. There was a fashion that went with it all and of course the Mods and Rockers had their battles. Today their music is beep, beep boom, boom and eee, eee, trust me, my students played me some, try the link if you don’t believe me. 😂 Their fashion? Well, it’s is a pair of joggers and a hoodie. I think there is certain lack of imagination going on there.

“Do you know how I became a Mod?,” asks Trevor. So he tells me. In the late 70’s, he was 12 years old, he was clearing a house with the local boy Scout group when he found an old man’s Trilby, he put it on and liked it, it was different. He liked it so much he went to school in it and some other lads said, “Ooh! you’re a Mod!” Trevor had no idea what a ‘Mod’ was and unable to Google it he had to ask some other boys who explained this phenomenon to him. He decided to ask around and discovered where Mods hung out. Trevor liked this movement, he liked the fashion and the music. He was a Mod! When he was 16 he went to London with his mates, he’d saved £87. Yes folks we were allowed to travel in those days. He’d been working for one and half years and we were older than our years. So there’s Trevor in Carnaby Street when he sees this blue Mod suit for £80, hmm;  £7 was enough for a weekend in London, thinks Trevor. Now Trevor is sixteen years-old walking down Carnaby Street in his Small Faces shiny blue suit and his John Lennon sunglasses when four years earlier he’d been a boy scout. Were you something in your youth and what turned you on to it I wonder? Oh! I missed the Hippies. 😘

Posted in 1970'S, Blogging, Fashion, History, Humour, Life, Lifestyle, Music, Opinion | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Will You Always Be What You Set Out to Be?

The smell of oil, I do love that smell. It portrays a man who mends things and we all love a man who mends things don’t we? Of course today it could be a woman but I love them too so I’ll be forgiven for my lack of Diversity because I’m talking memories here and until Kylie (Charlene)appeared as a mechanic in Neighbours there weren’t any women mechanics, well apart from the War, but the Princess said I wasn’t to mention that! 😂

When I was four years old I chose to be a different tradesman everyday. I could be an Electrician, Plumber, Carpenter whatever took my fancy. There was a system on the farm, I would knock at the door and my mother would answer it. She must have been quite adaptable because she never knew what disaster had befallen her until I announced which particular tradesman I was that day. Then she would take me to the electric or gas meter or show me a door that needed repairing and explain the aforementioned ‘disaster.’ I had a clip board (made from cardboard) and forms for her to sign (cut from the Grattan catalogue) and upon completion of my task she had to pay me, this was always pretend money, I suspect the same money Dad paid into the bank, as poor farmers money was a commodity in very short supply.

I sometimes wonder why I write a Blog. I always digress and now I can’t remember what the original theme was. Oh! yes…. Isn’t it wonderful how we rarely ‘be’ what we set out to ‘be’. I always wanted to be a Motor Mechanic; of course this was after I had fused the electrics, flooded the farm and blown up the house fixing the non-existent gas leak. (metaphorically speaking) I was only a mechanic for about five years but that smell is still so comforting. I’d gamble not many of you are still doing the job you set out to do but there is a smell or sound from a previous life that makes you feel all yummy. Just a thought. 😘

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Becoming Fifty

The moon has a strange way of placing me in a reflective mood. Apart from the itchy teeth and nails and of course that kooky feeling of hair growing down my spine, the past frequently haunts my thoughts.

The moon_Moment

So there I was the other night, gazing up at the clouds as they flew past our aforementioned sphere when my 50th year entered my head. When you turn 50 things change (apparently). People and companies you have never heard of materialize. The first was a company called the Canadian Pharmacy who offered me half price Viagra. I block these emails on a weekly basis and have done for 12 years now. I’m not promoting my virility here, I just think Viagra would probably give me indigestion.  The second materialization was a plethora of young ladies who, via email, want to have sex with me. I don’t mean over email, they actually want to meet me and have sex. Some of them live close by (apparently) I’ve never spotted any but I guess they are busy entertaining all the other 50+ year-old men in my neighborhood.

As well as this I get bombarded with life insurance offers but to be fair if I’m swallowing Viagra at an alarming rate and bonking a superabundance of voluptuous young damsels? I would probably need it. Finally there are the offers for online Bingo, to be honest that is probably the most attractive offer except I’m skint most of the time. So if you’re under 50 there’s a few things to look forward to. Have a lovely week my fellow bloggers X.

Posted in Blogging, Humour, Life, Opinion, Over 50's | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 41 Comments

Oh Well, too late now

I thought about doing the ‘Happy New Year’ thing but it’s a bit late now and I’m too early for Easter, so it’s just another post. Do you ever have an idea and get really excited? I don’t mean, you know, down there, although there’s nothing wrong with getting excited down there, I just meant…… okay putting the shovel down 😉. I mean excited in your chest. You think wow this is going to be monumental. So, I had this idea to cease working and write. I must admit I have had this idea many times before, but I thought if I don’t finish ‘the book’ I’ll be laid on my deathbed wishing I had. Here ly’th the big mistake. I told people!

Apparently, now I’m retiring and everyone says either: “What will you do?” Or – “Now you have all that time you’ll be able to go to the gym etc.” You see writing is not a job in my family, or if it is other people do it. So, after spending most of Christmas trying, in vain, to explain my decision, I decided to lie and announced that I’ve changed my mind and I’m staying at work. Much to everyone’s relief and joy 😂 Of course this means I might be posting more often, sorry guys x, now I’m secretly retired 😂

Posted in Blogging, Family, Freedom, Humour, Life, Opinion, Relationships | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 68 Comments

The OFSTED Visit

Do you want to know a secret? Our instructions are: “Do not tell anyone about the OFSTED visit on Social Media.” Sorry this is England not North Korea. If you’re not English, notice I don’t say British, that’s because the Scots and the Welsh are preparing to leave the Union and because we’re dumping Europe to be Mr Trump’s friend. I know, it’s like a Carry On Film, laugh if you want, the rest of the world is, so I’m preparing to be English. Anyway if you’re not English you might wonder who OFSTED are? We used to call them School Inspectors. They say that an OFSTED inspector is akin to a Eunuch, they know how it should be done, they see it done everyday but they can’t do it themselves. As former teachers they interpret Animal Farm as an instruction booklet rather than a novel.

It was entertaining to see the smoke and mirrors appear, even more entertaining to see the inspectors turn up with a fan and a hammer. The plan was that they visit for two days and if it looks like you may be Outstanding they stay for four days and bring in reinforcements. Our inspectors left after two days. When they got to our construction department they kept saying they didn’t understand how we linked one subject to another. Now if you’ve been following me for a while you know I’m not the cleverest fairy in the forest. I mean FFS I teach kids how to knock nails in wood, y’know? It isn’t advanced Maths. So now they have gone, we are officially a Good College, the chickens appear to have regained their heads and have stopped running around in circles, peace is returned and its nearly Christmas. Hurrah!!

Posted in Blogging, Carpentry, Education, Freedom, Humour, Life, Opinion, people | Tagged , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

The Darkness

No, not the band from the naughties with the caped screaming singer.

The darkness within your soul or whatever you choose to call it. The one that crawls out of the night, usually around 3:30 – 4:30 am. What’s that shit all about? And it’s starting to get more frequent. I remember when my biggest problem in the early hours was an erection (no pun intended 😂) And definitely no pic.

Anyway, back to the plot. I have these massive rows or I am fighting for survival at work, it generally gets nasty, then the alarm goes off and none of it matters anymore. I mean, honestly, most of it is fabrication, my head makes it up while I’m asleep? Maybe I should just buy some Viagra 😂

Posted in Humour, Life, Opinion | Tagged , , , , , | 38 Comments

Band of Brothers (and Sisters)

The sun rises over the plain as the band of volunteers trek resolutely to the gathering place. They have an hour to prepare before the invasion; at which time a horde of combatants will descend upon them, not quite as scary as the peasants outside Frankenstein’s castle but descend they surely will.

These volunteers who choose to awake from their slumber in the early hours of Saturday morning, after, in some cases, a decadent Friday night are all sizes, all ages (and I mean all ages), all genders and share a common goal – to prepare. They take what is basically a field with hills and convert it into a five kilometer, challenging arena for the horde. Two hundred to four hundred combatants  face the challenge every Saturday morning at 9 am.

This is the phenomenon known as Parkrun of which there are now 585 in the UK, each one set up and run by 12,527 volunteers every Saturday morning at 9am. I am one and love my Saturdays, be it a fast hard run or volunteering it’s just a feelgood factor that is now part of my life.

The recent rain has taken its toll but we still like a laugh and after all its just a 5k run round a field, isn’t it? 😂

Posted in Athletics, Blogging, Humour, Life, Lifestyle, Opinion, people, Running | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments