Sunday, 29 June 2014

Only 5 Pence!

Back in the seventies, five pence would have bought you a delicious bar of Galaxy full cream, milk chocolate and a Twix would have set you back three pence.

Yes, this was a time when life was just GREAT, this was a time before the internet and a time before mobile telephones. British TV was probably at its peak - series like The Sweeney, The Two Ronnies and Morecambe & Wise poured from our box-shaped sets - and the music which came from the radio was REAL music, and nothing like the crap we have to tolerate today.

Peter Sutcliffe (aka The Yorkshire Ripper) had started his campaign of hate against prostitutes, the labour party was in the throes of fucking up Great Britain and British Leyland was churning out their shit cars.

1976 was a summer to remember, as glorious days of sun seemed to go on forever. British Rail was in need of life support and power cuts were all the rage. Rubbish piled up in the streets and package holidays to Spain were an alternative to a weekend in Margate.

Blasting a ball through a multi-coloured wall was what Atari offered us in the way of video games and drunken yobbos were happily vandelising telephone kiosks. Football hooligans had a hell of a time and Christmases seemed to last an eternity...

...until midnight, the thirty-first of December, 1979.

Callaghan was out and Thatcher was in. Arthur Scargill was rearing his ugly head and the Falklands war was about to hit the headlines. Maggie wanted victories on all fronts, she drove down unemployment and gave simple folk the chance to buy their council houses. Saturday nights out seemed much better and holidays in the sun were a must. Pot Noodles and boil-in-the-bag curries were an alternative to fish and chips and British TV seemed to be getting better. New video games popped up like wild flowers and Marks & Spencer was queen of the High Street. There was a feel-good factor sweeping through our land, and if a bar of Galaxy full cream, milk chocolate was more expensive, who cared!

Were they the good old days? I dunno, but a blast of nostalgia never did anyone any harm, and neither did a bar of Pink Panther chocolate or a go at space invaders.

Long live the future, for the past is dead. Long live Poundland, for Woolworths is dead. Long live Snickers, for Marathon is dead.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Utter Crap!

Some will blame it on the heat, some will say the pitch was bloody awful and others will say that we did our best. But as another glorious defeat is delivered by the England football team, why don't we just admit that, as a nation, we are not capable of playing football at the highest standard.

As usual, the pre-match hype had England as victors in their difficult, first-round match, against those pizza-loving, pasta-stuffing Italians, who clearly need to be brought down a peg or two. Thousands of England fans had made the trip from Blighty to Brazil, and millions of supporters throughout our green and pleasant land were either in the pub, or at home, rubbing their hands in anticipation of the good hiding we were going to give to Italy's finest.

And so, ninety minutes later, Roy Hodgson's young lions bowed their heads in shame, after another inept and useless performance of the highest standard.

Next Thursday, when England face Uruguay in their second match, I won't even watch the game. Why bother? Instead, I'll read a book, surf the net, dig up a few weeds from the garden, tidy the shed or clean the barbecue.

Geriatric manager, Roy Hodgson, is ready for retirement, and has no hope whatsoever of bringing the World Cup back to England. During the match, when the camera zoomed in on Hodgson's face, he looked like a man who wished that he was back at home, far away from the shambles which he was orchestrating. Then, at times, he appeared to be talking to himself or gazing wide-eyed into the air, looking for inspiration and wondering why his team was in the process of fucking-up another World Cup campaign.

Everyone knows that aggression and an attacking mentality will reap its rewards. The only way to win a game of Monopoly is by attacking the other players from the outset, by buying all of the property, and selling it on at ludicrous prices, thus crippling, financially, your opponents. The only way to win a boxing match is to thrash the other guy to near-death. The only way to win a war is by bombing the enemy and then rolling over them with tanks. So, naturally, the only way to win a football match is...

Thank God that England is still up there with the best, when it comes to being a great nation, and that our display in Brazil will do nothing to take the edge off some of our finest non-football related victories. We've won wars, we've ruled empires and we gave the world delightful country pubs, fish and chips and Phil Taylor - the world's GREATEST darts player!


Sunday, 1 June 2014

A Holiday From Hell

“Bloody hell, what’s that smell?” grunted Phil, as a bitter odour filled his nostrils.

“Jesus Christ!” exclaimed Clare, as she turned around and raced out of the house. “It smells like something’s died in there!”

“That’s authentic Normandy dust,” laughed Deano, as he finally found the light switch. He then pushed at the button, illuminating the hallway with a flickering and dim light. By now Clare had rejoined the others, and covering her nose, she looked at the sight before her.

“What the hell have you brought us to, Deano?” she asked her boyfriend. Deano looked ahead and smiled.

“It’s just dust, Baby,” he replied, trying hard to resist the overpowering smell of rotten meat. “Once we’ve got the windows open, and a few drinks inside of us, you’ll see things differently.”

“ERRR!!!” shrieked Sarah. “You don’t want to go in the kitchen. It’s disgusting in there.” Clare brushed past Sarah to take a look for herself. She then reappeared a few seconds later.

“I can confirm what Sarah has said,” she said. “The kitchen is a cesspit – like the rest of the bloody house, I suppose.”

“Eh! Deano,” said Phil. “Where’s the pool meant to be?”

“At the back of the house,” replied Deano.

“Well, I’ve just been round the back, and all I could see was a pit of leaves and rainwater,” said Phil, as he scratched his neck.

Welcome to Normandy : "Clare's Holiday" - an amusing ebook for Kindle, by Luke Ryman.
The fun starts in France and finishes in Margate, via too much Chardonnay, love and self-discovery.
Happy holidays!!!