Category: Retro

I Apologise

traction engine 1912

A dead traction engine. This has nothing to do with the post, just to take your mind off… you know who

To all those who have spent a lifetime trying to forget Shari Lewis and Lamb Chop, or at least pushing them far back into cerebrum so as to not have instant recall. It was truly a mean trick on my part… I promise I will never mention them again.

I’m late today because after I had finished most of my blogging, the net went down. So I watered my plants, I did the dishes, I cooked a quick late breakfast, put on my shorts and went to the botequim for a beer; it was the only sensible thing to do.

When I returned, the net was back on. See, beer does fix everything.

Wonderful old beasts of burden. I decided that a traction engine could be featured, such steam-powered glamour has gone the way of many things in our lives.


I remember these behemoths way back in my childhood; belching smoke as they sped along at all of 8mph. Now you maybe lucky to see one in a transport museum, and probably static at that. Theoretically, I could have driven one; my drivers license was valid for solid rubber tyres. But I would have had no more idea about the ‘steam’ stuff than fly to the moon.

The latest fad; neknominate. Apparently it is taking a selfie video, while downing an alcoholic beverage, then nominating/challenging someone to do the same idiotic trick. I’m not sure of the ins and outs, but it has led to some deaths, so it is dangerous. If you are challenged, or have the urge, please don’t. Alcoholic beverages are for civilised people, not intended for the  foolhardiness of youth to show off their prowess, however dubious that might be.

I found this that might help explain: People record themselves chugging or “necking” — usually beer — often doing something else extreme at the same time. Then they nominate others to out-drink them.” – CBCNews

Mind you, I can remember some of the silly drinking games of my youth; Colonel Huff (sometimes referred to as Cardinal Puff), is one that springs to mind. Guaranteed to get you trunker than you dink you are. I can remember yodelling out the barracks window at some ungodly hour after one session. Oh, I was as drook as a cog. The most embarrassing part was being made to wash down the barracks wall by the duty corporal in front of the rest of the flight.

In fact, if I remember rightly, that was the last time I ever played Colonel Huff…

On that note I will say…




When I was younger, that was many moons ago, I had many adventures.

Today I was brought face to face with one of them.


An ignoble end to a noble bird

That was the caption: “The remains of the Pegasus in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica”

The plane shown is a C-121, in fact it was this plane.


In her better days.

I had flown in this plane.

As a kid, I was fascinated by planes. We lived within biking distance from the airport and that was where Kenny and I spent a lot of time on weekends watching planes, sometimes getting up to mischief, sometimes not as 12 year olds would do.

On one of these excursions we met the pilot of this plane, a Lieutenant Commander of the USN AirDevRon 6 which supplied the base in Antarctica. Through this meeting Phil Griffiths became a visitor to our home and my parents invited him several times to dinner.

After Phil went back Stateside, we eventually lost contact and I never knew what happened to him or his plane Pegasus, nor its sister, Phoenix.

This was a part of the adventure that lead me to school air cadets, and on to the air force, an association that lasted 21 years.

A nostalgic trip today.


Am I, in fact, my Father’s Son?

earlyBeatlesI believe I could be. I share too many of his traits right down to the wonky big toenail on my left big toe not to be.

Do you remember these guys in the picture on the right?

If you don’t, maybe you shouldn’t be reading this blog, you’re too young.

Of course, they are the Beatles about the time I first remember them.

Apart from my father’s love of Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce, treacle and gardening, I share my father’s prejudice.

In yesterday’s post I likened rap music and passinho dancing to crap; I haven’t changed my mind.

But, I did reflect on the matter. My opinion was a reflection, an absolute mirror reflection, of my father’s opinion the first time he heard the Beatles.

New record player with the long spiky thing that heald the records aloft before playing them

New record player with the long spiky thing that held the records aloft before playing them

I was 12 at the time. During an after school visit to my friend’s place, Richard put a 45rpm record on one of those new modern record players.

The record was the Beatles. This was my introduction to the ‘fab four’.

I got home and turned on the old valve radio in the livingroom; you know the ones that took a week to warm up.

That was where my father found me, lying on the floor listening to the Beatles…

“What’s that rubbish on the radio?” My cue to turn it off. “The radio is for listening to the news and cricket!”

I was duly chastised.

Yes, I am my father’s son.

The Mind Plays Tricks

Nostalgia Trip!

When I was a kid, I had a favourite pudding.

Three Quarter Hour Pudding

Something happened the other day and took me back years. My mother died two weeks ago, and I suddenly thought, OMG, the world will never see this pudding again. Even though I haven’t had it in well more than 30 years, I suddenly missed it, and Googled it.

My Mum never used a recipe book for this one, as a kid I guessed it was her receipe, even though we never discussed the origin.

treacleYes, on Google, there it was…

On the Chelsea sugar company site.

I can’t find an image that looked like Mum’s. But I remember that she served it at the table in the steaming bowl and dolloped it out onto our plates with a spoonful of Golden Syrup. My father preferred Treacle, and I followed in that preference; they say like father, like son.

This was also posted on Things that Fizz & Stuff today, but it’s a part of me, so it belongs here too.

Yesterda’y crumbed hake and Roquey Cheese sauce was wonderful; and the good news is, I have some left over for today. Waste not, want not.

I really should go and water my plants outside, they are doing a serious wilt and making me feel guilty of neglect.

I washed the dishes this morning. *Round of applause* I actually washed my coffee mug, which is unusual because it never stays empty long enough to wash.

Heating up lunch.


I Opened the New Post Page

This has nothing to do with the post. It is merely a distraction so you don't notice my procrastination.

This has nothing to do with the post. It is merely a distraction so you don’t notice my procrastination.

Okay, now what?

I have had my two pre-Coffees and am half way through the fresh thermos flask, but I still found myself in the middle of the kitchen wondering what I came in there for. I also nearly poured the fresh coffee on top of the pre-heating water in the thermos.

They say coffee makes you do silly things faster…

My super post is still attracting ‘Likes’, up to 58 now and yesterday had 34 visitors, unbelievable.

Tuesday, no classes, day off.

My fridge has been delayed until Thursday, confirmed.

Found this on the web the other day.


I had one. Mine was the 7x57mm version used by Venezuela. Best damn semi-auto I have ever used. Heavy as anything, but shooting-wise better than anything on today’s market; and when was it made? 1949 by Fabrique Nacional (FN) more than 60 years ago. I got ‘possibles’ many times at 600 yards; I had trouble doing that with its successor the SLR or FAL 7.62 NATO.

Rain, yes, it’s still raining. Just had a downpour, but the frequency is lessening.

Blogging right along.

Damn, the animation on the top image doesn’t appear to want to animate.

Black Sludge on Toast

Yesterday, I wrote about bliss.

Today, something similar, close to bliss, nostalgia, the taste of one’s childhood.

Black sludge on toast… Marmite

Marmite was a strange stuff, it came from a jar and was spread thinly on toast for breakfast, and if you were really unlucky and your mother had run the gamut of her imagination, you got it in your sandwiches for school lunch too.

On enquiry as to the origins of Marmite, one discovered that while mother knew a lot, she couldn’t really define Marmite.

She bought Vegemite once, and once only. It tasted funny, it came from Australia, but it wasn’t Marmite.

I only really found out the whole story from a post I included on Things that Fizz & Stuff. Interesting, it took me sixty years to discover the mystery of Marmite.

“The story really begins in the late 19th Century, when an edible by-product was first extracted from the yeast used by brewers to make beer. In 1902, Britain’s Marmite Extract Food Company came into being, taking its name from the French word “marmite”, for large pot.” – BBC News

Life moves at a leisurely pace.

Another day and no net & Stuff

At least it wasn’t like Sunday, only a short break. No great harm done, but I did drink a lot of coffee…

Saw this photo recently…

Bren LMG & Lee Enfield No. 4

The two bestest!

As a 14 year old air force cadet I was trained initially on the .22 version of the Lee Enfield, then graduated to the big brother, the .303, the real McCoy. I learned what a thump in the shoulder was. The surprising thing was that shooting was the first real activity that I excelled at, apart from academics (not school subjects, that was another of life’s disasters). I was no good with anything that involved a ball, still aren’t. But shooting gave me the confidence that I could do something, and do it well. I was still 14, when because of my proficiency with the Lee Enfield, I was selected to be in the first group in our squadron that used the .303 Bren LMG (Light Machine Gun, despite the fact that it weighed 28lbs).

It was from that moment that my life revolved around firearms. After high school I enlisted in the air force as an armourer. That career was short, the electronics beat me, and they still do. But I was to continue in the cadets involved in training. I also took up shooting as a sport, both militarily and civvy street. I had my own workshop at home and repaired, made and took care of my firearms. I reloaded my own ammo, in many calibres (some that you never heard of), caste my own projectiles and had a ball. For 21 years my life revolved around weapons.

I gave all that up many years ago. But it was fun seeing the photo of my two favourite weapons together like that.

For anyone who is interested, a YouTube clip on the Bren. Probably bore the pants off most of you. There is some music in the last third of the clip.


So, just a touch of nostalgia today.

Technology Harlots

I was born in the age of pen friends and stamp collecting.

Today, 60 years on, you can do neither. The thrill of arriving home from school to find one, two or more letters in the mailbox and the disappointment if there was none is something that kids today can never know.

The ability to write a letter, to actually use a pen, to be able to spell and express ideas seems to be lost on the current generation.

The three or four week round trip, from posting to receiving a reply was sometimes agony. But pen friends wasn’t just about writing, it was about discovering relationships, ability to communicate, the handling of emotions, the organisation (I had many pen friends, I had to keep a log of letters received and sent) and  how to use the post office. There were so many peripheral aspects of life that were included with the responsibility of pen friendship.

E-mails, adhesive stickers (look like stamps, but don’t taste like stamps), franking machines (almost a dinosaur too), Skype, FaceBook, Twitter, Orkut have all been responsible for killing it.

Then there was the stamp collecting, carefully tearing the corner off an envelope, soaking the stamps in warm water, laying them on Mum’s table cloth to dry on the kitchen table, exploring the world with little pieces of perforated paper, mounting them correctly by country and year of issue in albums.

Today, it’s all Google, search and destroy, Earth, Wikipedia.

There’s no more going to the library, being a member of a library, borrowing books and the responsibility of caring and then returning them to avoid a fine.

The communications techniques of today are progress, I think not. While it may be faster and more wide reaching, we have lost so much of the human side of life. The destruction of languages, the banality of material, discussions about the puerile and the inane. It’s not progress, it’s a rot that is eating at the very core of society.

I go to a restaurant, and there are people on cellphones, I walk the streets there are people on cell phones, I ride in a bus and the driver is on his cell phone as are many of the drivers in cars.

I go to a restaurant to relax and eat a meal to enjoy the atmosphere and the air is punctuated with the obnoxious beeps and tweets of Nextel type phones; it’s horrid, it’s abhorrent, it’s bloody ignorant.

Technology has destroyed the respect people once had for one another. People are obsessed. “Oh God, I farted, must put that on FaceBook!” I use Twitter, not as a social device, but a way to publish new blog posts (some of which are banal, I have fallen into the trap). I get a tweet, “I am at XXX!” Who gives a damned? I ‘unfollow.’ The narcissism that technology has created is pathetic. I see pathetic people everyday and I shake my head, because I know it will only get worse.

Everybody has a PC, a laptop, a tablet, an iPhone that has more functions than I can fathom; and they use them for the paltry, petty and the piteous. Girls particularly have become slaves to the cell phone, they have become technology harlots, they have sold themselves to the idea, I must talk as though their very being depended on it. My God, I have known women who could do that without one.

Rant over…

It’s a nice sunny day out there, and my flu’ has gone.


I got up and had lunch

1956 De Soto the car I in which flexed my testosterone

Are you thinking what I think your are thinking?

I was up earlier, 5:30am, then I went back to bed about 9:30, so getting up to have lunch isn’t that bad. Actually, it was quite good. Two pieces of thin chicken breast quickly fried over lots of chopped garlic, the sauce was tomato extract straight into the same pan with liberal splashes of soya sauce, served with Parmesan cheese.

Last night, there was some sad news. Ronaldinho Gaucho, lately of Flamengo (my team) fame, but previously of international clubs and Brazil’s national team fame is not playing for Flamengo anymore. He started with the club with a hiss and a roar, but lately has sort of petered out. It is a sad day, because I consider that he, of all football (soccer) players, to iconic in the game. He started playing as a kid, always with a smile on his face, the smile never left.

My De Soto. In every boys’ life before he grows up he learns that cars are toys, that they no longer come in Matchbox size. I had many cars, but my love was the one above. That’s not mine, mine was all-cream coloured.

Just look at that ‘donk’ (motor), power at your finger tips. Not sure of the size of this one but the one in mine was a 380 cu in Dodge, it drank petrol (gasoline for our American cousins) for breakfast; but then in those days we could afford petrol.

But, what a toy to tinker with. In those days we had the luxury of space under the hood, not like today where it’s hard to even fit a hand inside there. I could sit on the fender and dangle my feet in the engine well while I worked in comfort.

The transmission was ‘Powerflite’ two stage auto. It was the first automatic I had driven, it was a dream.

Ah, the nostalgia…


Remember these guys?

…Boy are you old!

Yeah, I know, I am too.

Steppenwolf 7 was among the first albums that I ever bought; along with Deep Purple’s Hush.

I have just added some tracks to my Music & Stuff page (link at the top). I wrote an intro blurb too, something that was lacking.

It’s on this page that you will find my tastes in music; as I said in the blurb “from classical to the banal.”

The page opens with Axel F’s ‘Crazy Frog’ (an example of the banal) and works its way alphabetically to Vangelis. There’s a lot in between.

For some this page would be a stroll down memory lane, for others (younger) it would be more like “WTF?”

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