Musings From The Padded Cell

I Feel A Heatwave Coming!

“Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.”
Mark Twain

As groundsmen up and down the land try desperately to get sodden cricket fields ready, an exclusive look behind the scenes.

Boys and their toys.

The reliable Jones The Mower is out of action at the moment after a recent shoulder operation so the creative patterns woven into the lush green turf at the Villas may be more sober unless we can get him power steering.

And should the rain ever stop, equipment needs titivating, jobs only the special few have the skills to perform. With The Mower incapacitated, I volunteered to learn the task of adjusting the blades on our big mower.

Not possessing one shred of my father’s engineering skills, my tutorial did not get off to a good start when I found opening the toolbox sadly beyond me.

Having opened every compartment bar that with the tools in, with his arm in a sling, The Mower could only watch and weep. Even Noodles his dog looked on in bewilderment.

As the box finally opened, I half-expected a Genie but was greeted with an array of spanners and screwdrivers more complex than a surgeon’s table.

“You need a nine sixteenths round end” offered The Mower in some rapid-fire strange native tongue.

Sensing that this could drag on well past Noodle’s lunch, he kindly located and inserted a shiny implement into my hand, pushed me towards the menacing machine and so the lesson began.

It took me back to my first car and the unfortunate timing of the annual MOT/patch up of a 13 year-old rust heap that pre-dated BMW’s association with the Mini car.

This occurred in the deepest winter months and generally ended up with my Dad and me almost killing each other as metal frayed as fast as tempers, oil smeared fingers freezing with our wounded spirits.

It was then I realised company cars were the way forward and a cheap suit rather than overalls were my destination.

Our mower would cost more than an executive car now if bought new so, like most clubs, we rely on blind faith, a little bit of luck and people like The Mower to get ancient machines up and running after hibernation.

A bit like cricketers, they don’t get any younger and take far longer to complete the warm up lap.

One day?

I looked at the mass of rusty pins and bolts like a giant jigsaw puzzle, feeling the cool metal, grateful that there was at least a hint of sun in the sky and the concrete floor was dry.

Noodles peered over me as I lay down wondering why I had been “promoted” from hurling her tennis ball.

The Mower passed the tool to me as if I was in theatre. Generously, he told me which way to hold the implement and how to unscrew each bolt, clearly having seen me before. A bit of WD40 and I felt like a masseur coaxing the old lady back to life.

To my surprise, it really was a relatively simple task even if I think I have completely forgotten how to do it again – including opening the tool box – already.

Off I went full throttle ahead, all of 5mph, waved off by The Mower looking despondent, envious that I was on his machine and without a hint of artistry as I cut a swathe through dew laden grass.

Get well soon The Mower.

Only In Bradford

Another belter from the local rag here as the cops nick another uninsured car.

Officers came across the vehicle, a white Rolls-Royce, being driven without insurance.

There was no comment as to whether it was being driven to collect a sick auntie or had just been borrowed for the day from a kind uncle.

One Hundred Years Ago

J J Booth of Idle

Words from a century ago by the Bradford Cricket League President, Mr J J Booth of Idle.

“To keep fit we must play as well as work. We must relax. We must recreate. We must take the recuperative medicine of sunshine, fresh air, pleasant surroundings and genial company.

How can we better do this in the glorious summer time than by attending a cricket match where to all things are added the spice of interesting sport and the tonic of a wholesome enthusiasm?”

Postman Pat Gets Busy

It’s local election time soon and for a full list of candidates wherever you might be see here.

Standing in my ward are The Yorkshire Party whose manifesto can be found here. It might sound appealing at face value but such is trust in politics these days that coughing up for another bunch of nonentities has all the attraction of smallpox.

Good luck to Terry Pearson – Independent – and instrumental in keeping open for the local community the Eccleshill Mechanics Institute as he stands in Eccleshill.

The Trumpit – Update

Rupert Murdoch considers bidding for the The Trumpit

A little update on the relaunch planned for the June edition. Editor-in-Chief Bill is to continue the monthly edition rather than bi-monthly but we will still be going full colour and in an A5 format.

If you want to advertise and support a true community magazine please contact me via this blog.

When You Know You Are Old

Somehow I found myself on the “allotment” the other day listening to Radio 1; surprisingly the music really was quite good and there was no Steve Wright tempting me to smash the radio to pieces with his patronising drivel.


So I found this piece of some interest if only to confirm that a true sign of ageing is when you don’t recognise even one presenter on the BBC’s flagship station.

Still, at least there was no mention of Brexit so up with the kids!


My new lodger Tim arrived from Hamilton, New Zealand this week. The early signs are good; he’s washed the dishes, survived a Bradford City game, hates canned tuna and is up for Pensioners’ Pilates on Monday with the Iron Lady.

I have had to field my first awkward question of the summer.

“How do you get your washing dry in England?” he asked. I pointed to the washing line outside but sensed disbelief.

Welcome to mad old Bradford.

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