The Back To Paradise edition

We made it !

Giulietta and I

Alone and on the road for 1500 kilometres

Calais to Bassano in 14 hours including stops

Giulietta is resting in the shade in the garage but she 

can’t stop purring

Bless her

It was such fun with Reuben Gonzalez, Billie Holiday,

Chet baker and Melody Gardot singing to us all the way

Now the fun really begins

As the French say ‘plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose’

The old busker is still here…

…he still can’t sing

…he still can’t played that damned guitar

…he still rolls his trouser bottoms up to expose his manky 

legs (it’s a sympathy thing !)

BUT…

…there is a change !

…a new tactic !

…..usually his ‘collection hat’ is completely empty…

…he sweeps any coins away the moment the donor drops

them in (the ultimate sympathy ploy, no donations ! ! !)

This year it’s different…

…the hat is loaded with one and two euro pieces

…even a five and ten euro note ! ! ! ! !

The message is clear……

…..everyone loves me, everyone donates

…..so get on board and join the fun

Privately I admit to the possibility these are bribes from

the Bassanese………..

We’ll give you all this if you would just retire and go away

FOREVER

The shops continue to close at an alarming rate…..

…..and surprise, surprise !

…the first electronic cigarette shop has gone bust

That leaves just nine in the historic centre to slug it out

for the business

You have to admire their optimism

The Tribunale (the law courts) opposite Casa Groover is nearly

finished…..

September, they say

Quest’ anno ? I quipped

That elicited some wry laughs

But after 8 years

Yes, 8, eight, otto, years ! ! !

And 14 million euros ! ! !

They don’t actually know if they have a use for it

This could only happen in Italy

I wonder what the Italian for ‘white elephant’ is ?

Anyway El Groover is home

Acclimatised (it takes ten minutes, the record is seven !)

The shorts are on, so are the 1950s Ray-Bans

Viva Paradiso 

G.

 

 

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The Notes From A Small Town edition

The title is borrowed liberally from Bill Bryson’s 1995 book

called ‘Notes From A Small Island’

The economy is on the mend…..

Really ?

Apparently it grew by a mouth-watering 0.3% in the

last six months

Blimey !

If you earned £100,000 pounds a year a corresponding

pay rise would leave you with £96 after tax…..

…..enough to fill an average family car with petrol and

buy some snacks at a motorway filling station

If the economy is about to boom nobody has told the small

country towns

Yesterday evening I noticed a charity shop had closed down

in the high street in Herne Bay…..

…..it can’t get any worse than that !

The Groover strayed into town looking for a spot to refuel

Being a serious issue he decided to consider this carefully

with a Moondance !

No, he didn’t jig manically along the pavements…..

…..Anyway, Groovers shimmy…..

…..that’s just what they do ! ! !

No, Moondance is an ale brewed by the Triple fff

Brewing Company from Hampshire (www.triplefff.com)

They also make a beer called Pressed Rat and another

called Warthog

No surprise then why the G-man went for a pint of Moondance

Having decided something Asian might hit the spot he asked

the beer-pullerette for a suggestion in that area

This in turn was immediately put to the fellow imbibers…..

…..a serious issue then ? ? ?

…..a fellow ‘supper’ in need of help with his supper selection !

Three bold fellows rose to the challenge with three completely

different suggestions

There are only three sit down Asian eateries in Herne bay…..

…..and they succeeded in putting up all three

I chose the nearest

But The Coconut Tree turned out to be pretty good

One Singapore Spicy Noodles later and the G-man was restored

The waitress came over and rather than asking me whether or

not I would like to see the dessert menu simply said……….

Would I like a complementary pudding ?

Why not ? I replied

It’s not very big, she added

I wonder if she noticed I flinched

Anyway, my banana fritter was delicious…..

…..and gone in one bite

She wasn’t kidding !

When I paid I asked if I could leave a tip (on the card)

What’s that ?, the charming (foreign) waitress inquired

Perhaps they don’t tip in the country ?

But it had been a lot of fun watching the local wildlife

drifting by…..

…..or scooting by in the case of the mobility hells angel

…..who careened around the corner (topless and tattooed)

with one hand on the handle bar and the other grasping a

can of super-strength lager

Bless him

It can’t be much of a pick-up line…….

Jump on the back, Love, I’ll take you for a spin

Anyway, in his case he had his girlfriend in his left hand…

…all 16 fluid ounces of her !

Life on the Costa del Kent is different…

…but never dull

Excelsior ! ! !

G.

 

 

 

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The Undefeated edition

The title of this post is borrowed directly from a short story

written in 1927 by Ernest Hemingway which appears in a

collection entitled ‘Men Without Women’………..

…which is very curious because our Ernie could never exist

for five minutes without one

Bless the old bull !

Back to Blighty….

Every now and again we are privileged to witness acts

of heroism and bravery that explain why this tiny nation

once ruled the waves (definitely) and the world (mostly)

That is, the spirit that made…..

BRITAIN GREAT ! ! ! ! !

On June 4th, 1940 Winston Churchill delivered one of his

most famous speeches to the British Parliament that is now

commonly referred to as the…..

‘We will fight them on the beaches’ speech

…it goes on ‘we shall fight in the streets, we shall fight

in the hills, we will never surrender’

Stirring stuff ? ? ?

Well it bloody well worked !

Fast forward to the present day…..

…..and stand up granny Dina Wilson

This 71 years young grandmother is cast straight out

of that great Churchillian mould

‘Granny Wilson, the battling gran’

Mrs wilson has been doing her washing every Thursday

for the last 52 years in the leafy suburbs of Herne Bay

When she went to put her washing out on the line last

week she was attacked by a very large herring gull

Now these birds can mean business and their business

can be mean  ! ! ! ! !

Who wasn’t scared witless when they first watched the 1963

horror by Hitchcock called ‘The Birds’ ? ? ? ? ?

Was Mrs Wilson afraid ?

Probably

But she hadn’t missed a wash day in 52 years and she was going

to start now

In the same way that Willy’s boys fixed bayonets in WW2……

So Mrs Wilson took a metal colander from her cupboard

and clapped it on top of her head

Then fearlessly, with the gull in full attack mode, carried on regardless

Of course this act of courage under pressure didn’t pass unnoticed

Mrs Wilson got a full page colour spread in the Herne Bay Gazette

…..on the front page !

Entitled “The Gulls” (Town’s terror from above)…..

…..and featuring a very flattering photograph of old

Granny Wilson in full battle regalia (the colander on her head)

God bless her

God bless that Dunkirk spirit

and God bless small town country life in which a seagull can

take over the front page

G.

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The If Music Be The Food Of Love edition

groovers offside

Big Willy wrote that…

…and Duke Orsino said it (Twelfth Night, Act 1, Scene 1)

But more on that later

Back in London town for the return of the No. 2 G-ette

I was enjoying a muggy turn along the Embankment this

morning when I spied him…

…up ahead

…walking

…clad in a blue track suit

…with the word written boldly across the back

HAYEMAKER

Now you can only do this if you are the one…

And if you’re not then you are a world class CHUMP

This particular specimen was pretty big so discretion

being the better part of valour the G.-man kept his counsel

…..and stayed stumm as he steamed past

GOOD CALL

It was indeed the former world heavyweight champ

A CHAMP and not a CHUMP after all

Anyway, on the second circuit there was music to the Groover’s

ears

LITERALLY

A vintage (1960s) ambulance cruised along…

View original post 140 more words

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The If Music Be The Food Of Love edition

Big Willy wrote that…

…and Duke Orsino said it (Twelfth Night, Act 1, Scene 1)

But more on that later

Back in London town for the return of the No. 2 G-ette

I was enjoying a muggy turn along the Embankment this

morning when I spied him…

…up ahead

…walking

…clad in a blue track suit

…with the word written boldly across the back

HAYEMAKER

Now you can only do this if you are the one…

And if you’re not then you are a world class CHUMP

This particular specimen was pretty big so discretion

being the better part of valour the G.-man kept his counsel

…..and stayed stumm as he steamed past

GOOD CALL

It was indeed the former world heavyweight champ

A CHAMP and not a CHUMP after all

Anyway, on the second circuit there was music to the Groover’s

ears

LITERALLY

A vintage (1960s) ambulance cruised along Millbank playing

music from two speakers fixed to the front…

…only it didn’t say AMBULANCE above the windscreen but

FUNBALANCE

If I ever get sick I’m calling these fellas…

…I’ll slip them a CD of my top ten tunes and go to hospital in style

(apparently ‘Funbalance’ is some kind of physio training)

Nearly there now…

Dinner will be tea for two this evening…

Per primo: Jenny Lo’s Tea House (the best casual Chinese food in London)

http://www.jennylo.co.uk

Per Secondo: Tea and Jam

Confused ?

You should be !

Tonight (and every second Friday) at the Tea House Theatre

http://www.teahousetheatre.co.uk

…there is a jam session featuring soul, funk and jazz musicians

Really looking forward to this little adventure in the old Vauxhall

Pleasure Gardens

Ready to get my Groove on…

…Groover by name

…and Groover by nature

Ha !

G.

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The I Love You, Herney edition

groovers offside

(alternative title ‘How I Got My Mojo Back edition’)

I never thought I would be making that proclamation

But it’s true although it certainly wasn’t love at first sight

The G.-man has been charmed by a town that has the

audacity to claim Marcel Duchamp as one of its sons…

…and to have been the (potentially) progenitor of

Modern Art

In reality Marcie spent a month here 100 years ago

whilst chaperoning his sister and wrestling with a

tennis racket !

Now we are currently in the middle of the 1 month long

Duchamp centenary celebrations……..

…and one can only marvel at the imagination and gusto

with which the Hernites have embraced this

A giant urinal on the stump of the pier (a take on ‘Fountain’, 1917)

A wooden painting in which 3 people can put their face through

cut-out holes and be photographed (based on ‘Nude Descending

a Staircase…

View original post 275 more words

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The I Love You, Herney edition

(alternative title ‘How I Got My Mojo Back edition’)

I never thought I would be making that proclamation

But it’s true although it certainly wasn’t love at first sight

The G.-man has been charmed by a town that has the

audacity to claim Marcel Duchamp as one of its sons…

…and to have been the (potentially) progenitor of

Modern Art

In reality Marcie spent a month here 100 years ago

whilst chaperoning his sister and wrestling with a

tennis racket !

Now we are currently in the middle of the 1 month long

Duchamp centenary celebrations……..

…and one can only marvel at the imagination and gusto

with which the Hernites have embraced this

A giant urinal on the stump of the pier (a take on ‘Fountain’, 1917)

A wooden painting in which 3 people can put their face through

cut-out holes and be photographed (based on ‘Nude Descending

a Staircase No.2’, 1912) situated on the promenade

Groover’s favourite is the sculpture in someone’s front garden

near the sea front called ‘Junior Duchampion’ by Jenny

Samuels (again based on ‘Fountain, 1917)

There are numerous activities and events and exhibitions

The town has gone Duchamp-mad ! ! !

I was wrong to mock the super-sized Hernites

They are comfortable in their own skins and when their

bodies can’t cope anymore there are mobility scooters !

There are 2 micro-pubs, for heaven’s sake ! !

Sure if you want to see beach-babes you are looking

in the wrong place…..it’s another costa you’ll be wanting

BUT it has some special quality, some secret ingredient

Because it has returned (or been responsible for returning)

his MOJO to him

I have no idea where MOJOs go when you lose them BUT…

…when they return everything shifts gear ! ! !

The G.-man shaved (hacked would be a better term) 3 minutes

of his best ever time for the constitutional morning pant (3 miles)

My (new) friends, the locals, were jumping out of the way as

if the ‘Kent Flyer’ was thundering towards them ! ! !

I was shooting ‘hoops’ yesterday evening and I couldn’t miss

WHOOSH after WHOOSH after WHOOSH (that’s the sound the

ball makes when it drops into the basket without touching the

ring or the backboard)

In short, the Groover has got his groove back…..

…and Herney can take the credit

At least that’s the official story and he’s sticking to it

G.

ps, Hurry down to Herney and buy an “I am not dead, I am

in Herne Bay’ T-shirt while stocks last ( Duchamp, 1913)

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