Rest Well, Mr Mandela

Strange how events ‘trigger’ the mind.

In 1990 Cindy and I had a trade stand at a show at a National Trust property. We sat for two days and did no sales, we barely even talked to anybody. Which was obviously very disappointing.
The following day there was a phone call from a gent who requested to have a dovecote and doves delivered & set up on a specific day. Explaining he was abroad on that day, it was to be a surprise birthday present for is wife who had seen us at the show and wanted a cote and doves, but he persuaded her otherwise.
Subsequently, on the agreed day, we were part of the ladies birthday surprise (nice). As always I engaged the customer in banter to discover she was a radio journalist working for Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour. Not being backwards in coming forwards, I suggested that we would be good material for a ‘piece’.
Some weeks later, lady with microphone was in our yard interviewing Cindy and I for a ‘bit’ to be broadcast as part of their Woman’s Hour Valentine issue (lovey doves). The day of the broadcast arrived …….. Nelson Mandela was let out of prison, Woman’s hour was cancelled because all the TV & Radio could talk of nought else.

The item did go out a few days later and we sold eleven cotes on the strength of that broadcast, apparently folks phoned the BBC to get our contact details.

………. Rest Well, Mr Mandela ..


Thought of this just now while taking ‘orse out.

Several years ago Cindy and I got home from a Sunday delivery to find our neighbour meandering around our garden, trying to find us. When I say neighbour I mean half a mile up the lane. The lady (who I won’t name) was a wee bit Chardonnay fatigued. After a few attempts we deciphered she was in need of Cindy’s horse whisperer skills because her pony and its mate the donkey had taken advantage of her ‘situation’ barging past her and doing a runner. The pair could now be seen as two dots on the far side of a fifty acre field, heads down feasting on whatever it was trying to grow over there.

Cindy gathered her horse catching gear consisting of a bucket of nuts (which sounds funnier than it is) and lead ropes. She sent the neighbour home and WE set-off to catch the renegades.  With all the guile of a horse thief Cindy stalked the two, getting  close by soft words and the promise of food (works for me every time) Having secured the donkey she gave him/her/it  to me to mind while she then got the pony ‘in hand’.

Then began the long(ish) walk back across the field and up the lane to Chardonnay-Villa.  Cindy leading, with me and donkey taking up the rear (so to speak). On getting to Chardonnay-Villa neighbour was there with a packet of their favourite digestive biscuits as a treat for coming home. The pony made a lung for the biscuit’s and was immediately brought to heel by Cindy who tugged it back with the effect that it could examine its own piles. This had the effect of scaring my donkey who took off through the gate. Now during the long(ish) track back, I, with the advanced knowing of a novice knob-head, had wrapped the lead rope around my hand, so as donkey ran, he had me running at his shoulder, inviting him/her to *ucking stop. For a full five minutes me and donkey ran around the garden, over flower boarders (rose bushes) with me making ground contact about once every eight foot, scared that if I fell me arm would come adrift. The progress of donkey was now being somewhat enhanced by my donkey whispering technique of the promise of a *ucking good thumping.

Part slumped on the gate with her back towards the unfolding comedic scene of me and donkey circumnavigating her (posh) garden at speed, with no sign of any chequered flag, our neighbour was getting a crash course in horse management from Cindy, who was also watching me as I practiced synchronised hop, skip and jump with a sodding donkey attached.  Cindy crossed legged, holding herself and crying. Me about to expire with exhaustion as my arm was being eased from its socket and my legs (wearing shorts) were being eroded by repeated passages through assorted bushes.

Granddad Rob’s Cat House

My answer to ……what to do with the cat while you’re at work.
Customer asked me to make a house for a stray cat that had set up home in her stables
I needed one of these one night in 1983…
Please read AFTER you’ve had breakfast.


If you would like one of these come and have a look at my website or Contact me

Granddad Rob's Cat House

Granddad Rob’s Cat House

Thursday was RECTUM TV day

When I had a bit of a problem with my ‘doings’ Cindy, said I was to go see the doc, Doctor had the unenviable task of poking about with my ‘warehouse door’ said he could find nothing, but in his words “it’s a no brainer I’ll send you to have it checked out”. In about a week I had an appointment at a little cottage hospital in the back streets of Dover. My bestest mate came with me to help keep my end up (so to speak) It didn’t at first sight look like Holby City more like a Hobo City in that it consisted of a collection of prefabs that looked like the overspill classrooms of my old school (I hated school) circa 1964.

But as is correctly said ‘don’t judge a book with milk spilt on the cover’ ‘The staff were friendly and efficient they knew without being told why I was there as was the case with the succession of other blokes that shuffled in. Thursday was RECTUM TV day.

Having been relieved of my clothes and supplied with the mandatory white shroud with the ventilated rear exit. Cindy & I sat in the ward while a steady stream of blokes and partners where ushered to various beds, curtains drawn, mumble mumble, curtains open, bloke with silly grin, nurse taking off condom gloves.

Opposite our observation post was bedded an elderly gent of ninety years who was a bit deaf and accompanied by his seventy year old daughter. This background info was gleaned by me eaves dropping on a conversation twixt daughter and nurse, (we ALL do it).

Curtains drawn, mumble mumble.

“WHAT SHE SAY” the gent boomed.



“Exactly” said nice nurse.


RECTUM TV’S entire green room now knew what was going to happen, everybody that is except the old gent.



Curtains drawn back, this time the nurse wore the silly grin while taking off her condom gloves. The old lady was mouthing sorry. The old gent with befuddle look on is face that said, if they want me to poo how’s blocking me jacksee with a humbug gunner help.

Then it came to my turn, we were ushered by the humbug dispenser to a bed the curtains drawn. I have to admit to a degree of embarrassment not helped by the nurse being pretty and the need to have Cindy hold my hand. The humbug was embedded, that wasn’t so bad I thought suppressing a grin, “In about twenty minutes you will want the toilet” said the humbug girl, “come and get me, I  have to take you to bath room”. About five minutes later I was aware of a ‘goings on’ thinking I still had fifteen minutes till blast off I assumed this was the contractions, but a couple of minutes later I said to Cindy “its happening quick fetch the middenwife”

The walk to the toilet was fraught I had to waddle with my bum clenched, a violent reaction reacting in my nether regions, plus I had to try to maintain a modicum of dignity by keeping my back window curtains drawn. My Miss Nightingale being button holed at every stage of the way by other staff, patients, the coast guard, Dover tourist board and the man from Delmonty, compounded my discomfort. “Nurse, if I don’t get to the bog a bit quick, I will literally lose it” I said through clenched buttocks. I was having visions of me standing in the middle of the ward my back curtains flapping and surrounded by a moat of my own body waste and a humbug!

Nurse marshalled me into the bathroom, asked if I’d be OK and to my relief shut the door behind me. Too much info now could put you off oxtail soup for life especially when put in the bowl with all the panache of a fire hose. There is no way I had eaten enough to produce that lot. I found myself laughing out loud both with relief of having made base camp and at the magnitude, on ALL the poo scales, that was the granddaddy of ‘movements’.

I was barely back in the ward when the call came. Pretty nurse walked with me through double door into a place where folks had on their out door coats and the draught up my frock indicated we were the in some kind of covered walkway. In through the double doors opposite, on through another set into a brightly lit room with a Saddam Hussein look-a-like ensconced at mission control.

Arranged at the back of room was a posse of young’ns, the combined age of the lot being thirty seven, they had on green frocks and sported clip boards, one had crayon with a teddy bear ‘sitting’ on the end, which seemed a bit inappropriate. Nurse seeing me ‘eyeing’ the youth club, explained “medical students, is it all right if they observe”. My thoughts were they were work experience students, it was this or Kwik Fit. What the heck when you’re up to your neck in the poo pond one more bucket of water won’t make you any the wetter, why would a dozen ‘A’ level students looking up my bum make it any the more embarrassing. After all, we all have to start from the bottom up!

The Bugger from Baghdad (no slight intended to the gent) then showed me his prod which bore no resemblance to any camera I had ever seen. There was a quip on my lips about a clapper board but I suppressed the urge and said nought. As instructed, I laid over and waited to be skewered. For the first ten seconds every muscle that had a role to play in my daily doings was trying to eject Mr Hussein’s pole mounted Polaroid. I have to be honest the worst you could call the whole experience was uncomfortable and from my vantage point as I watched the monitor I became enthralled to see the inner workings of a Pellett, and in colour! I don’t know how far Mr Hussein’s prod went in, but I can report, that not surprisingly, I was empty. I spied something yellow which was either the back of my gold crown or a Christmas cracker whistle I swallowed in about 1959, but I’m not sure if that was yellow!

I got the all clear which goes to prove I was right all-along, there was nothing wrong with me, and everybody was being over cautious.

Cindy said I should stop talking out of my ARSE…………