I’m on holiday in south-west France at the moment.  Today I visited a village called Oradour-sur-Glane.  I was going to use this blogposting to tell you all about my visit.  That will have to wait for next time, though.  I think that the most important story to tell you is the story of the village itself.


By the summer of 1944, Germany was already beginning to lose the war.  It had begun to retreat on many fronts: in Scandinavia, the Low Countries, on the Russian Front and in France, too, where the Army of occupation was steadily moving eastwards towards the German border.

In June, a German battalion of the Das Reich Division reached the little village of Oradour-sur-Glane, nestling deep in the sleepy French countryside west of Limoges.  And on June 10, they committed a massacre of unimaginable savagery there.

Firstly, they surrounded the village with artillery, armoured cars and troops.

Then they advanced into the village in about a dozen lorries.  Detachments of soldiers were placed in various positions around the village.

The next step was to sound the village drum - a signal for the inhabitants to gather on the village green.

Everyone obeyed, naturally.  The whole place was, after all, surrounded - and in any case, they had no obvious reason to try to escape.  They didn’t know what the Germans had in mind.

Except for a little 8-year-old boy called Roger Godfrin.  He was a refugee from Lorraine, over in eastern France.  Already orphaned, he knew what ‘they’ were capable of.  He escaped through a garden and ran away into the forest.

On the village green, the Germans divided the inhabitants into two large groups - women and children on one side, menfolk on the other.

The women and children were led away to the parish church - to what they thought was sanctuary.

The men were divided into several small groups and led away to three barns, two garages, a warehouse and a hangar.

The whole village fell silent for over two hours until a single explosion signalled the beginning of the slaughter.

The menfolk at each of the holding points were machine-gunned.  The Germans aimed at their legs and then walked amongst them, killing each one in turn.

Having decided that this work was complete, they piled up the bodies, covered them with anything that would burn and set fire to them.

Many of the victims, though, had not died.  They were burned alive.

The women and children of the village had, meanwhile, been locked inside the church.  A barrel of poison gas was exploded in front of the high altar and in the ensuing panic and terror, German soldiers opened fire through the church windows.  They kept firing until they ran out of ammunition and could see that the church floor was strewn with dead bodies.

Two women, and the baby of one of them, escaped from the church.  Mme Rouffanche hid behind the high altar then jumped through a stained-glass window.  The other woman followed suit but she and her baby were seen and mown down on the street outside the church.

Later that night, when the acrid poison smoke had cleared, the Germans returned to the church, built up a pile of pews and chairs and ignited it.  The church, and everyone in it, was consumed by fire.

Before they left Oradour-sur-Glane next day, the Germans set fire to every building in the village.

Mme Rouffanche and little Roger Godfrin were the only survivors of the slaughter.

642 people were murdered - 197 men, 240 women and 205 children.  They included 5 cyclists who happened to be passing through Oradour-sur-Glane that morning and two children whose bullet-ridden bodies were found huddled together in the church’s confessional.


The man in charge that day was Lieutenant Barth, who, after the war, lived undisturbed and under his own name in East Germany until 1981.

At a tribunal in 1983, he admitted everything.  He said he had simply been following orders given to him by his CO, Commandant Dickmann.  He said he knew of no reason why Oradour-sur-Glane had been chosen for this treatment.

He also said he had no regrets.  ‘In wartime, one acts harshly, and with any means available.’

Commandant Dickmann was killed in Normandy shortly after the events at Oradour-sur-Glane.


In 1945, General de Gaulle decreed that Oradour-sur-Glane was the ‘Martyred Village’ and that it should be preserved exactly as it was on the day the Germans left and after the last human remains had been removed.

And that’s how it is.  As you walk around the ruins, the massacre coud have happened yesterday.

As you enter the village, there’s a large sign that says simply


It isn’t necessary.

Leave a Comment in the box below or email me:  truckshunters@googlemail.com
In this blogposting…
* Shakespeare and Me
Once more unto the breach, dear friends…


Our latest AGM took place as planned last Wednesday at one of our more traditional haunts - the Pret a Manger opposite Grey’s Monument.

And, as usual, it was a splendid affair, thanks to the truckshunters who braved the sunshine and the late summer cool.  Namely, Hildie, Brenda, Vivienne, Neville and Stephen - all of whom God preserve.

There was a lovely, mellow, end of summer, feel about it.  All of us enjoying the sunshine, the coffee and the crack, which ranged across the usual diverse and unexpected topics.  With his lurid tales of life as a trucker, Stephen gave the assemblage a not unwelcome edge of nudge-nudge sauciness which left me, for one, wanting to hear a lot more! 

My thanks to everyone who was there; it was, as always, good to see you!

Finally, please remember the upcoming birthday of our Honorary President, Ada, on October 1!

               Shakespeare....              and me                     

Anyone who gets to the age of 60 having seen only one of Shakespeare’s plays - as I did - is culturally fraudulent.

You can just about get by in the world of High Art even if you haven’t read a word of Thackeray or Goldsmith or Jonson - or even if the likes of Jane Austen and Charles Dickens are closed books to you.  But you are in two-short-planks territory if you are as ignorant as I was of the works of the great and noble Bard.

After all, if the whole world - English-speaking or not - recognises him as the greatest writer who ever lived (and it does), then surely it behoves his fellow-countrymen to know a little more than a few well-remembered lines from O-level Macbeth.

With this gaping cultural abyss in mind, I decided that, after I retired, I would buy the entire DVD collection of the BBC Shakespeare tv productions and watch them all - every single one of them.

That was over 3 years ago and so far I’ve managed just eleven.  I’ve resolved to pick up the pace a little, which I will need to do if I am to complete the marathon before I’m taken to meet Shakespeare himself face-to-face.

For what they’re worth - admittedly not much - here are my impressions of the plays I’ve seen so far.
Some of these opinions might seem a little pompous, declamatory or conceited.  So no change there, then.

If your opinions differ from mine, I’d love to hear from you….


I'm watching them in alphabetical order, so...

Needlessly convoluted claptrap about a dying king, his ‘ward‘ and a woman called Helen.  There are naturally several other people involved as well, but if you want to know the plot’s twists and have nothing better to do, Google it.

Normally, it’s quite good fun to be led up various garden paths and through plot-mazes.  But not this time.  The constant - and highly unconvincing - ‘disguises’ and the obvious and peculiarly humourless ‘jokes’, make this a tedious and unsatisfying waste of time.

A book I have describes this as ‘one of the surging triumphs of Shakespeare’s late career’, which is like describing Middlesbrough as ‘a must-see scenic and monumental highlight of any visit to north-east England’.

The only thing that Antony and Cleopatra manage to do is talk in impenetrable Elizabethan adjectival phrases that seem to last for hours.  It goes on and on and on and it’s awful.

Badly-named.  I didn’t.

Wafer-thin plotting, typically Shakespearean ‘disguises’ and interminable plot twists which only the Bard himself could have cared about.

It’s as if he wrote it to be instantly forgotten, which it ought to have been.


They say that humour has trouble crossing national boundaries.  The Comedy of Errors is proof that it also has problems crossing the great divide of time.  Heavy-handed and obvious ‘jokes’ worked to death amongst the inevitable and dreary puns that Shakespeare liked so much…

So not only ludicrous.  Trivial and forgettable as well.

To describe this as ‘comparatively quite good’ depends, of course, on what you’re comparing it with - in this case, the plays above.

It’s all about how fickle fortune is and how easily greatness can be snatched away; and, for once, Shakespeare teaches us the lesson in a thoughtful and genuinely dramatic way.

It’s a bit wordy - but it’s watchable.

Even more ludicrous than The Comedy of Errors.

After I watched it, I got quite angry because I’d wasted a whole evening on it.  If there’s one play I would ask Shakespeare’s apologists to explain the deep significance and beautiful language of, it’s this one.

It was at about this point in my Bardic marathon that I realised that, so far, I hadn’t come across a single character that I cared about.

George Bernard Shaw once famously described any Wagner opera thus:  It starts at 7 o’clock and, four hours later, you look at your watch and it’s twenty past seven.

He could have been describing Hamlet.

It’s long.  Very, very, very long.  Much, much longer than any experience you’ve ever had - even the dreariest Wagner opera.  Hamlet is as long as death, which is oddly appropriate because, in the final scene, everyone is dead.

Including whoever’s left in the audience.

I’ve seen worse - see above.

Although it doesn’t exactly carry you along with the excitement of it all, you do feel involved and interested in what happens next - even though Shakespeare tries to kill your enthusiasm stone-dead by constantly stopping the plot and reverting to ‘an inn in Cheapside’ so that he can start making silly and painful puns again.

Despite the leaden lines he is given to say, Falstaff was the first person in the entire cycle so far that I actually quite liked.

This is a strange one.  There’s a ‘grown-up’, almost gloomy, feel about it that really got to me. 

The contrast between the warlike main plot and the slow downfall of Falstaff - who is made to look both foolish and perfidious here - are particularly striking, mainly because Shakespeare isn’t too hamfisted about them and leaves us to draw our own conclusions (rather then telling us what our conclusions are, which is what he does so often).

I started to wonder, though, whether my interest in history was colouring my not unfriendly reaction to these last two plays.

Laurence Olivier’s overcooked and jingoistic film portrayal of Henry V - necessary because of the wartime morale-boosting it had to do - has almost killed any other kind of interpretation.  This is not Shakespeare’s fault but it’s an unignorable effect.

This was the first play I’d seen that I’d like to see again - not because I enjoyed it so much but because of the subtleties within it, many of which I’m sure were lost on me.  Unusually, I understood most of what the actors were saying, which is by no means always the case with Shakespeare, and there was a pleasing dearth of weak and obvious puns, to which the Bard of Avon was notoriously prone.

This is a cracker.

For a start, it’s written in the kind of English anyone can understand.  Secondly - and vitally - lots of things actually happen.  There’s action onstage.  People fight and fence and argue.  The jokes are good jokes and the word-play doesn’t interrupt the plot but seems to add to it.

Reputations get lifted up and laid low right there in front of us.  Love, pride, vengeance, redemption and sorrow - Henry VI Part One has it all.

I’ll be watching this one again.


So there you have it, as far as it goes.  Which is admittedly not very far.  I still have the joys of Julius Caesar, Timon of Athens, Romeo and Juliet and Titus Andronicus - amongst many others - to wade through.

I was going to say that watching Shakespeare's plays 'at least keeps me off the streets' except that it doesn't even do that.


Post comments on this blog or email me:  truckshunters@googlemail.com
 Mentioned in posting 364...the statue of Edith Cavell
In this blogposting…
* London and Me


...will take place at 1100 tomorrow morning (Wednesday 19 September) at Pret a Manger, by Grey’s Monument in Newcastle.

Interestingly, the Met Office predicts that, although the temperature in Newcastle tomorrow will be 14C, it will ‘feel like 12C or even less’.  So I reckon I’ll be wearing my longjohns, my woolly vest, my Doctor Who scarf and a knitted dut.

And nothing else.

See you tomorrow….



I lived in London for 15 years and have visited it often ever since.  And that’s because I like it so much.  I’ve always thought that it’s a great place to be.  It’s exciting, smart and friendly.  There’s always a lot to see and always a lot going on, as you would expect in one of the greatest cities on Earth.  And didn’t the Olympic Games make it look stupendous!

I reckon we’re very lucky indeed to have a capital city that we can be genuinely proud of and take pleasure in.

But my recent travels - my Grand Tour and my German Journey - have taught me to look at great cities in a new way.  I’ve found that there’s even more to places like Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Hamburg, Barcelona and Lyon then meets the eye.  (Wow - what a list!  I’m such a lucky man!)

I’ve developed a taste for ambling, wandering and exploring places; for turning uncharted corners just to see what I can find.  Yes, I visit the great museums and galleries and walk along famous streets and see celebrated sights.  But I also love to dig up the unexpected, the surprising and the wayward - in typical truckshunter style.

(You can do this anywhere, of course.  Newcastle throws up some splendid little nuggets of curiosity.  One of the first I came across was the Vampire Rabbit, of which I knew nothing until a listener to Paul’s Saturday show called us about it almost 13 years ago.  Another is my wonderful Lit and Phil - the first place in the world to see an electric light.  Nearby Mosley Street was the first street on Earth to be lit by electric lamps.  And there’s more - much more - in our beautiful city.)

Anyway...I spent a few days with my friend Brian in London last week and decided to apply my new approach to tourism while I was there.  I would ferret around a small area of the West End to see what I could find…

Within minutes I’d found the Church of Notre Dame de France, London’s gift to its French inhabitants.  It’s just yards from the sometimes overwhelming tourist bustle of Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus and Soho.  And it’s a perfect little gem of tranquillity and repose amidst the throngs.
The original church was bombed out in 1940; the present building dates from 1955.  Its lovely - and, for England, very rare - circular nave is breathtaking but its the building’s embellishments which catch the eye.
Above the doorway outside is a grand, angular sculpture of the Virgin of Mercy by the same man who designed the statues on the Palais de Trocadéro in Paris.

And inside there are some really striking murals and mosaics by French film-maker and artist Jean Cocteau.  It’s amongst some of the most exciting and unusual religious art I’ve ever seen.

When we visited the church, there were a few tramps and ‘down-and-outs‘ resting inside.  Nobody moved them on.  Christianity in action, for a change.

If you walk across Leicester Square you come to the National Gallery, the front of which faces Trafalgar Square.  If you walk down the front steps, you’ll find - studded into the bottom step - the official British Imperial Measures spaced out on brass plaques below your feet.  One foot, then two then three - and one link.
 Tourists trying to ignore yours truly

I’ve had to do some research to find out what a 'link' is - or was.  Here goes…

A link is precisely 7.92 inches.  There are 25 links in a rod, 100 in a chain, 1,000 in a furlong and 8,000 in an Imperial Statute Mile.  So now you know.
And trying to find out how many links long I am

The measures were installed in the step in 1876 but I don’t know why.  And no-one seems to know they’re there.  The tourists sitting in the sunshine were naturally curious when we took these photographs.  I’m sure our activities confirmed in many of their minds the stereotypical English tendency for eccentricity and oddness…

On the other side of Trafalgar Square there’s a statue of Charles I on a traffic island.  Behind it, there’s a plaque in the pavement marking the exact centre of London.  All distances to and from the capital are measured precisely to this spot, unnoticed by ‘the foot that passeth by’.  Until someone stands and points at it…..

A few yards away, at 42 Craven Street - an otherwise ordinarily pretty Georgian house - we discovered the private museum of the British Optical Association.  A museum of eyes and eye-stuff!

The two glass cases in the lobby - all you are allowed to see without an appointment - were enough to whet the truckshunter appetite.  On show were some of the world’s most famous spectacles.  From Dr Johnson, Harold Lloyd, C P Snow, Dr Crippen, Arthur Conan Doyle, Ronnie Corbett and Deirdre Barlow to Harry Potter.

It was great fun - the only museum, it boasts, where the exhibits look back at you.  I’ve already made my appointment to be shown around properly…

We ended our tour of London’s special, secret places just a few doors down the street, at number 36.  Incredible though it may seem, this is the house where Benjamin Franklin, no less, invented bifocal glasses in 1790.
How I love London!


Post comments on this blog or email me:  truckshunters@googlemail.com        
In this blogposting…
* Coldplay
Tread softly…


Our next AGM will take place at 1100 this upcoming Wednesday 19 September at Pret a Manger, by Grey’s Monument.

Those who refuse to plank or tango should come prepared to make a fool of themselves in some other way.

Only joking.  Not.

A splendid time is guaranteed for all.


At last I have someone to blame.  And his name is - or was - William Willett.

William Willett.  It sounds innocuous enough; almost playfully imaginary, like the name of the lovable, tousle-haired rascal in a Billy Bunter story - Willy Willett.  Or perhaps a pre-war Music Hall star who sang songs like Whoops! She Slipped Upon The Grass! or All I Had Was Me Knick-Knacks In Me Hand.

Willy Willett.  It could almost be the name of one of those ineptly accident-prone story-book characters from Listen With Mother - like Tolly Titpuddle or Willerby Wobble.

But don’t be fooled.  If you think like me - and you do - you will reserve your most vicious and bile-laden invective for William Willett.  People who are normally the focus of our contempt and loathing - Napoleon, Adolf Hitler, Jeremy Kyle - are models of praiseworthy conventionality compared to Mr Willett.

If there was a list of the people who have ruined people’s lives the most, then William would be up there at number two, almost - but not quite - matching the achievements of Thomas Midgley, who (according to Bill Bryson and Stephen Fry, amongst others) has had a greater catastrophic impact on the Earth’s environment than any other single organism in the entire history of the planet.
The redoubtable Thomas Midgley

It was the unfortunate Mr Midgley who - in his role as a chemical engineer in the 30s - decided it would be a pretty good idea to add lead to petrol, thus killing and maiming countless millions of people and poisoning the atmosphere, probably for ever.

Not content with that, he then headed up the team that developed CFCs for use in refrigeration equipment - chemicals which, within a few decades, had thinned the ozone layer that stops us all from being fried where we stand.

Only two good things can be said about Thomas Midgley.  Firstly, he did what he did in ignorance; he had no way of knowing what the long-term effects of his inventions would be.  And secondly, he died before he could invent anything else.

By now, you must be wondering what William Willett did that was awful enough to merit all this opprobrium.

Well, legend has it that he was out riding at nine o’clock one winter’s morning and noticed that, because it was still dark, people had lamps burning and curtains drawn.  He deduced that it would be a whacko! idea if the whole country put its collective clock back an hour so that, by the new nine o’clock, it would be light and people could switch their lights out and open their curtains an hour ‘earlier’.

It didn’t seem to occur to him that what you gain on the swings, you lose on the roundabouts.  That is, instead of getting dark at, say, five o’clock in the afternoon, it would now get dark at four - and people would have to switch their lights on and draw their curtains an hour earlier.

Sensibly, this ludicrous idea gained no support at all in parliament - at first.  But slowly, more and more MPs decided that ‘Daylight Saving’ (as it was quite wrongly called) would be a Good Thing.  Inexplicably, it passed into law in 1916.

And now the whole world does it.  It has infected virtually every country on the planet, to no known benefit to anyone and to everyone’s irritation and confusion.  Daylight Saving has thus joined the other innovations of doubtful value that the English have given to an adoring world - like concentration camps and cricket.

And although it’s true that Thomas Midgley did a lot more physical harm to the Earth than our Mr Willett, he at least had the excuse that he didn’t know what he was doing.  William, on the other hand, inflicted Daylight Saving on us on purpose, with all the maddening inconvenience and potential loss of sobriety and even sanity that has ensued.

So, after all these years of pointless whingeing twice a year, I now know the identity of this, the second-most loathesome man in history and will henceforth direct all manner of colourful curses on his head each October and March.


There is a curious footnote to Willy Willett’s story.  He is the great-great-grandfather of Chris Martin, the lead singer with Coldplay, who has children called Apple and Moses.  There’s a defective gene there somewhere.


I hereby undertake and promise that I will never, ever go on about Daylight Saving again.


Post comments on this blog or email me:  truckshunters@googlemail.com
In this blogposting…
* Illiterate Britain
* A Word Puzzle
* The Wonders of English
* A Sobering Thought
Make of it what you will…


I’ve peppered this posting with some more photos composed by the orthographically challenged.  I hope you like them.


Here’s an intriguing little word puzzle from Dave.  I’d be interested to know if any of you can work it out.

The question is...what do these words have in common?


The answer is NOT that they all have at least two doubled letters.  Try again…

It defeated me completely.  Which is why I am going to withhold the answer until the next blogposting (unless you know better).

Our next AGM will take place at 1100 on Wednesday 19 September at or near Grey’s Monument in Newcastle.  In other words, at one of our favoured haunts - Pret a Manger.

I’m not sure how we are going to top the Tanfield AGM but we can have a damned good try….

Despite the short notice, please try and make it.

I received this masterpiece of English composition from Kev.  Whoever wrote it deserves an honorary degree in ingenuity and word-play…

It had been a rough day, so when I walked into the party I was very chalant, despite my efforts to appear gruntled and consolate.

I was furling my wieldy umbrella for the cloakroom attendant when I saw her standing alone in a corner.  She was a descript person, a woman in a state of total array.  Her hair was kempt, her clothing shevelled, and she moved in a gainly way.

I wanted desperately to meet her, but I knew I'd have to make bones about it since I was travelling cognito.

Beknownst to me, the hostess, whom I could see both hide and hair of, was very proper, so it would be skin off my nose if anything bad happened. And even though I had only swerving loyalty to her, my manners couldn't be peccable.  Only toward and heard-of behaviour would do.

Fortunately, the embarrassment that my maculate appearance might cause was evitable.

There were two ways about it, but the chances that someone as flappable as me would be ept enough to become persona grata or a sung hero were slim.

I was, after all, something to sneeze at, someone you could easily hold a candle to, someone who usually aroused bridled passion.

So I decided not to risk it.

But then, all at once, for some apparent reason, she looked in my direction and smiled in a way that I could make head or tail of.

I was plussed.

It was concerting to see that she was communicado, and it nerved me that she was interested in a pareil like me, sight seen.

Normally, I had a domitable spirit, but, being corrigible, I felt capacitated - as if this were something I was great shakes at - and forgot that I had succeeded in situations like this only a told number of times.

So, after a terminable delay, I acted with mitigated gall and made my way through the ruly crowd with strong givings.

Nevertheless, since this was all new hat to me and I had no time to prepare a promptu speech, I was petuous.  Wanting to make only called-for remarks, I started talking about the hors d'oeuvres, trying to abuse her of the notion that I was sipid, and perhaps even bunk a few myths about myself.

She responded well, and I was mayed that she considered me a savoury character who was up to some good. 

She told me who she was.  ‘What a perfect nomer’, I said, advertently.  The conversation become more and more choate, and we spoke at length to much avail.

But I was defatigable, so I had to leave at a godly hour.  I asked if she wanted to come with me.  To my delight, she was committal.  We left the party together and have been together ever since.  I have given her my love, and she has requited it.

Brilliant.  Absolutely brilliant.

Thanks Kev.

Back to Dave for a sobering exhortation...

Your car is German.  Your vodka is Russian.  Your pizza is Italian.  Your kebab is Turkish. Your democracy is Greek.  Your coffee is Brazilian (mine is Italian).  Your movies are American or French or Indian.  Your tea is Tamil.  Your shirt is Indian.  Your oil is Saudi Arabian.  Your electronics are Chinese.  Your numbers Arabic, your letters Latin.  And you complain that your neighbour is an immigrant?

Pull yourself together...

Post comments on this blog or email me:  truckshunters@googlemail.com
 The wonderful Flanders and Swann
In this blogposting…
* A Song of the Weather
* Kev’s Stand-Up Routine
* Viv’s Weird Notices
* Typical of a Man
* The Typewriter
Cry ‘Havoc!’ and let slip the dogs of war...

It’s been a dull, wet and cold Spring and Summer.  Autumn starts the week after next (even though the last few months have all been November).  Christmas decorations are appearing in the shops and Winter’s already pulling on its socks and woolly vest.

The words of Flanders and Swann’s heartfelt and sardonic Song of the Weather just about say it all.

January brings the snow,
Makes your feet and fingers glow.

February's ice and sleet,
Freeze the toes right off your feet.

Welcome, March, with wint'ry wind,
Would thou weren't not so unkind.

April brings the sweet spring showers,
On and on for hours and hours.

Farmers fear unkindly May,
Frost by night and hail by day.

June just rains and never stops,
Thirty days and spoils the crops.

In July the sun is hot,
Is it shining? No, it's not.

August, cold and dank and wet,
Brings more rain than any yet.

Bleak September's mist and mud,
It’s enough to chill the blood.

Then October adds a gale,
Wind and slush and rain and hail.

Dark November brings the fog,
Should not do it to a dog.

Freezing wet December, then...
Bloody January again!

January brings the snow,
Makes your feet and fingers glow….

So I reckon it’s time to raise an even broader smile, if not exactly a glass - courtesy of Kev and Viv...


* An invisible man marries an invisible woman. The kids were nothing to look at either.

* A man takes his Rottweiler to the vet and says ‘My dog's cross-eyed.  Is there anything you can do for him?’ ‘Well’, says the vet, ‘let's have a look at him’.  So he picks the dog up and examines his eyes, then checks his teeth.  Finally, he says ‘I'm going to have to put him down.’ ‘What?  Just because he's cross-eyed?’ ‘No - because he's really heavy.’

* I went to buy some camouflage trousers the other day but I couldn't find any.

* I went to the butcher's the other day and I bet him £50 that he couldn't reach the meat off the top shelf. He said ‘No, the steaks are too high’.

* A man woke up in hospital after a serious accident.  He shouted ‘Doctor, doctor!  I can't feel my legs!’  The doctor replied ‘I know you can't - I've cut off your arms’.

* Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly; but when they lit a fire in it, it sank  -thus proving that you can't have your kayak and heat it too.

* What do you call a fish with no eyes?  A fsh.

* A sandwich walks into a bar.  The bartender says ‘Sorry - we don't serve food in here’.

* Two antennas meet on a roof, fall in love and get married.  The ceremony wasn't much, but the reception was excellent.

* Two hydrogen atoms walk into a bar.  One says ‘I've lost my electron’.  The other says, ‘Are you sure?’  The first replies ‘Yes, I'm positive…’

* A jump cable walks into a bar.  The bartender says ‘I'll serve you, but don't start anything’.

* A dyslexic man walks into a bra...

* A man walks into a bar with a slab of asphalt under his arm and says ‘A beer please - and one for the road’.

Thanks, Kev.


Viv sent me this email a few days ago.  It’s all about signs and notices which people claim to have seen out there in the big wide world, where people often don’t notice verbal banana skins - even after they’ve already slipped up on them.

In a toilet of a London office:

In a Laundromat:

In a London department store:

In an office:

In an office:

Outside a second-hand shop:

In a health food shop window:

Spotted in a safari park:

Seen during a conference:

Notice in a field:

Message on a leaflet:

On a repair shop door:

Thanks, Viv!


Back to Kev again now for a story that many women will identify with…

A wife asks her husband to stop off at the supermarket on the way home from work and buy a litre of milk and, if there are any eggs, buy six.

He duly returns home with the six litres of milk.  ‘What possessed you to buy six litres of milk?’ demands the wife.  ‘They had eggs’ he replies.


...Serge has sent me this video link to a performance of The Typewriter, one of the many hugely popular - and instantly recognisable - pieces written by American light music composer Leroy Anderson.
Leroy Anderson
This picture was taken from the website of ozTypewriter - 
the Australian National Typewriter Museum in Canberra.
Who'd have thought it?

I’ve never seen The Typewriter actually performed live by an orchestra - and a typist, of course.

If the link below doesn’t work, copy and paste it into the Search box of your internet browser.

And enjoy!


Post comments on this blog or email me:  truckshunters@googlemail.com
The lighthouse at East Prawle, Devon

In this blogposting…
* A Remedy for the Blues
* Pictures of England


Kev recently sent me an email….

‘Ian - I have just come across an excellent remedy for being ‘down in the dumps’ – be really childish!

- Give yourself a gold star for everything you do today.
- Grow a milk moustache.  (Difficult and messy if you already have a real one)
- Have a staring contest with your cat.
- Kiss a frog just in case.
- Make a face the next time somebody tells you ‘no’.
- Ask ‘Why?’ a lot.
- Believe in fairy tales.
- Ask someone to read you a story.
- Wear your favourite shirt with your favourite trousers even if they don't match.
- Do a cartwheel.
- Hide your vegetables under your napkin.
- Make a ‘slurpy’ sound with your straw when you get to the bottom of a milkshake.
- Sit really still for as long as the dog (or cat) is asleep in your lap.
- Find some pretty stones and save them.
- Stick your head out of the car window and moo if you see a cow.
- Walk barefoot in wet grass.
- Giggle at nude statues in a museum.
- Make clever screeching noises every time you turn.
- Count the colours in a rainbow.
- Fuss a little, then take a nap.
- Take a running jump over a big puddle.
- Giggle a lot for no real reason.
- Do that tap-someone-on-the-shoulder-while-you-stand-on-their-opposite-side-and-they-turn-around-and-no-one's-there thing.
- Enjoy your all-time favourite sweets. (Forget you've heard of calories!)
- Throw something and when it lands make a cool exploding bomb noise.
- Squish some mud between your toes.
- Buy yourself a helium balloon.
- Put an orange slice in your mouth, peel side out, and smile at people.

Be a kid again…’

You don’t have to try them all; just a few of them.  If you do, you’ll find they work.

Thanks Kev.


Hildie sent me these lovely aerial photographs of England the other day. 

It does no harm to remind ourselves, once in a while, that we live in a beautiful country.  Throughout its long and fiery history - and despite despoliation through the industrial revolution, motorways, globalisation and urban blight - England has remained a staggeringly verdant and scenic country in all its many guises.
 The pier and seafront at Brighton

 A field of flax in Buckinghamshire

Elegant suburbia:  South London

 Longleat maze - the largest in Britain


 Buckingham Palace

 Trafalgar Square

 The Angel of the North

The big dipper at Southend-on-Sea

 Glastonbury Tor

 And a picture from Scotland - the viaduct at Glenfinnan


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