The Weather Boys edition


The Weather Report edition

The prize for the most inane comment of the week must

go to the American who climbed up out of his tornado

shelter to find his home gone and casually remarked…

‘The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away’

Try saying that within earshot of one of the mothers who

lost a child at the school in Moore, Oklahoma !

Our weather issues seem minor by comparison

Nevertheless we have had snow, sleet, rain and

frost this week around merry England…….

It’s nearly June

We are less than a month away from the longest

day of the year

In the West End today it began to tip down and even

with an umbrella it was hopeless so I dived into a

bookshop in Cecil Court

The owner knows the Groover and wondered whether

Italy was making any claims on him…..



So as soon as I got home it was straight onto the


Bassano del Grappa’s home page (comune)

Straight down to the webcam and……

click on Piazza Liberta…….

Where the Groover spends his summers

Mama Mia !

I don’t believe it !!

My eyes were deceiving me !!!

There were UMBRELLAS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OMBRELLI (in Italian)

Then the penny dropped !

(I will never say the ‘euro cent’ dropped)

(or worse still ‘centessimo’)

The ombrelli were out and up to keep the sun of folk

Era soleggiato (it was sunny)

What the hell am I doing here ? ! ?

I’m the Groover, get me out of here !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, the reality is ‘Heaven can wait’ (1978, Beatty)…………

………………..will have to wait

One more exam on the 13th June (2 down, 1 to go)

Then the No 2 G-ette has her graduation on the 11th July



‘O Sole Mio’ (1898, Capurro e Capua)

‘La Dolce Vita’ (1960, Fellini)

Pace (peace)

Giulietta knows, she’s already purring a little in anticipation



Non vedo l’ora (I can’t wait)




The Dangerous Dog edition

In order to inject a little variety into life I switched

from an early morning pant to an evening puff…..

As I set off I was joined on the other side of the road by

a fellow panter and his best friend…

He was blasting along

Then I noticed the best friend was attached to a lead

…..and the lead stretched from the panter’s hand to the straining

head of said large, brown and hairy best friend

He was being towed !!!

This was like having a tail-wind !!!!!

or a tail-gale !!!

No wonder I couldn’t keep up

Anyway, I eventually lost sight of the cheat and

ended up running happily along the sea shore

When suddenly………………………………

a small, very noisy terrier decided to pick a fight

With me !

He looked like he meant business and…

I stopped

He was circling me like red indians used to circle wagon trains

Meanwhile his owner was shouting

Chester ! Chester ! Chesterrrrrrr !

Maybe this is dingo lingo for ‘attack’ because Chester redoubled

his efforts

Man, this dog was pissed at something

And when you are standing there in shorts with bare ankles and

calves you tend to feel a little vulnerable

Then Chester’s owner had a brain-wave……………

‘Look’, she cried, ‘I’m leaving, I’m going home’

…..and off she set up the path away from the beach

Chester was not bothered

Eventually the owner returned

Chester was still circling me like a rabid ‘injun’

All the owner had to say was ‘Don’t worry, he won’t bite’

Instead I just heard, Chester, Chester, Chester !!!

Finally it occurred to her to move in and grab the little bastard

and leash him up…..

Which she did with some difficulty

Finally with the skin on both legs still intact I wobbled off

home to tackle an even more dangerous canine called

Griselda Pollock (google her)…….

Woof, bloody woof



The Where’s My country Gone edition

This morning I ran down to the sea for my constitutional pant…

…and as I puffed along the shore I reflected on why we live here

Like the Venetians who pitched up in a bog to keep the invaders

at bay we settled on an island………

However, in our case it didn’t work……

We have been successively invaded, raped, pillaged and plundered by…..





Germans (they tried…….two world wars and one world cup)

Which probably explains our odd appearance and some of our foibles

Anyway, we are the sum of our parts (ancestors)

or something like that !!!

But we love our country, complete with quirks

‘This sceptred isle’ (William Shakespeare, Richard 11)

Willy was a big fan, funny how he never mentioned

the weather

‘This other Eden, this demi-paradise’ (Willy again)

Well it’s certainly very green but if it rains for 360 days of the

year…’s hardly surprising

On the plus side it gives the girls the classic ‘English rose’ complexion

That’s it, I’ve run out of pluses (from a weather point of view)

Back to the point………………………

We’re still here, and the country still looks the same but there the similarity


I like Europeans but on the whole I like them more in situ……

There is a big difference between a cultural mix creating a cosmopolitan

melting pot and………

…and what we have presently…

Look !!

It’s not cool when someone somewhere else stops my local trattoria putting

a bowl of olive oil on my table

It’s not cool when local councils ban the flying of the George’s Cross flag

because of the 8, yes, that is eight, muslims living in the town (do you

think they conducted a comprehensive survey and interviewed the entire (muslim)

population of Radstock using council tax payers money ?)

What next ?????

It would not be cool to ban singing ‘God save the Queen’ because of someone’s

delicate or different sensibilities

Perhaps the gay community will ask for the word sovereign to be substituted for


God help us !

This is England

We speak English

Once upon a time we were in charge of the world (well, most of it)

Now we just want to live peaceably on our little green island with our dogs

And when we want to see johnny foreigner (and the sun) we’ll buy a package

holiday to Spain or Greece or almost anywhere else

Give me back my country




The Brain Food edition

I was brought up steeped in ‘Old Wives Tales’…

You know the form…..

Eat your carrots, they will help you see in the dark…

Useful, I agree, but I’m not a cat !

Eat your crusts, they will make your hair curl…

Now we’re talking………..

I always wanted curly, let’s say wavy hair…..

It didn’t work !!!

But I gave it a bloody good go

Eat your fish, it feeds the brain…

I gave that a bloody good go too

Ditto the results

I suppose anyone that half-hoped these simple devices to

get one to eat might possibly work is probably just that…..


Guilty as charged

However, there is a place in Westminster that makes……..

make-believe very pleasurable

Stand up and step forward ‘The Laughing Halibut’

This London chippy (I can’t write English as it’s run by Turks)

is in a class of its own


Patronised by the great and the good

and the Groover

Friendly, eat in or take out and

The best haddock and chips I have ever had

Nike !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Just do it)

Large haddock and chips all for £8 (eat in)

The Regency Cafe that I have written about is only 200 yards away

It must be something about the postcode, SW1

The Halibut can be found in Strutton Ground, 300 yards from Westminster

Now I had an email from the Master today…..

The Master of Birkbeck, University of london

Apparently, and hardly surprisingly, admissions to non-traditional higher

education are down by 40% across the country

I bet that figure will be bigger next year

And this segment of learning represents 30% of the entire student body

At £9000 a year and most courses being spread over four year terms…..

…it is simply unaffordable

…or simply not worth the sacrifice



This particular form of brain food is too costly in this day and age…..

What were they thinking when they changed the charging structure ?

The full ramifications were never thought through…..

…or perhaps political expediency was a bigger priority !!!!!!!!!!!!

My old Mum might have been deploying dubious traditional devices but…

The UK government has simply let down the same people that gave

them their job