Take a Look at the 5 and 10…..

December’s here. The wait is finally over for me to find out which word of profanity is behind the first door on my Gordon Ramsey advent calendar. Amongst today’s itinerary I intend to scour the Radio Times to plan my festive viewing, while I listen to timeless Christmas tunes on an Apple Music playlist. This day will also no doubt witness my perennial yule-time pondering at…

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Worse Things Happen At Sea!

Today marks the 150th Birthday of the shipping forecast on BBC radio. The broadcast, introduced in 1867, a consequence of sea-farers concluding it’s predecessor of harbour-masters exclaiming “I bet it’s chuffing choppy out there today, marra!”, was no longer fit for purpose as an aid to safe shipping navigation. In the days when it was frowned upon to calm boisterous children…

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An Unforeseen Storage Conundrum

Yesterday afternoon, I had a journey into Morley to pick up my dad’s ashes. I’m unsure why, but my inaugural viewing of his urn was one I found even more distressing than delivering the eulogy at his funeral. The sign of the finality ashes bring with them maybe triggered this increased level of sorrow. Alternatively, or maybe in tandem to…

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Tea For Twenty Two

As a part of cricket playing recollections in my teens/early twenties at Gateshead Fell, today I’m moved to pen vague memories from club cricket tearooms. A domain that for generations has been predominantly the domicile of cricketer’s wives, mums and girlfriends. Warm-hearted volunteers giving up their summer Saturday afternoons, ensuring the teams/crowd are provided with sustenance, a warm smile and the occasional rollocking for the unhygienic…

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Sshh, Be Vewy, Vewy Quiet….

For the first time in twenty eight years, Christmas Day in the Strachan home will be bereft of voices other than mine and that of my spouse, Karen. This situation not a consequence of a planned 24-hour sponsored family yuletide silence; an event which the missus and me had stubbornly refuse to participate in. Moreover, the fact that neither of our…

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Small Battalion, Big Hearts

Yesterday afternoon, I was in Leeds city centre with a team of volunteers collecting donations for the city’s St Gemma’s Hospice. Wrapped in several layers of clothing to counter the biting West Yorkshire cold, I spent three hours standing in various densely populated city streets with a collection bucket, witnessing the magnanimousness of our metropolis’ citizens. Undertaking this type…

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Definitely Not Dead Yet!

Yesterday evening, while perched in my seat on row 9 of the Sheffield Arena, thoughts manifested themselves of Phil Collins’ first major acting role as the Artful Dodger in the London stage production of Oliver! The epiphany of Collins’ fledgling acting career in the early 60’s made an unexpected visit whilst my wife Karen and I witnessed the ex-Genesis drummer/singer’s…

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