Musings From The Padded Cell

Only The Lonely

“No road is long with good company.”
Turkish Proverb

Several stories have been published recently regarding the subject of loneliness. Here in the Yorkshire Post and also here on the BBC website.

Whilst loneliness amongst the elderly, especially the bereaved, has always been a great concern, the alarming issues raised by these articles is the rise of this amongst the young.

As I wrote this, turning fifty-five and now a Barclays Pensioner, I could not help but feel that we have badly let down our young. For regular readers here you won’t be surprised what I consider some root causes.

As the proverb states, good company is paramount but look around and you will see the results of a selfish, greedy, money-obsessed society peeking over gated walls.

Decades of stop-start politics designed merely to secure power for the elite whilst ensuring that those at the bottom struggle along no matter what party is in power have created great divides.

Our young are also largely denied much of what we had including a decent physical education, unless they enjoy a private education or can pay for it.

So what chance to embrace all that the clubs and organisations my generation were nurtured by? This is not about sport, more engagement with others enabled by institutions like sporting teams, youth clubs, amateur dramatics and the rest.

It is about the chance to be part of something, to get out from your bedroom, put down the X-Box and saviour the human spirit. Above all, this is why loneliness exists in young people today.

There is no doubt in my mind that attitudes to “social media” will be revised in years to come placing this alongside other threats to society such as tobacco, alcohol and obesity.

Are these the moans and groans of someone who still keeps his old football boots polished in the garage, ten years after hanging them up, still yearning for one more cold, muddy Sunday morning with a bunch of guys just as crap?

The best of times.

Or just a reflection on how sad that many of today’s young will not have a chance of savouring that camaraderie and the life-long friendships we did?

Last Of The Summer Wine?

A last green oasis.

Having made a living from the unfathomable if obscenely rewarded world of IT, my now retired old mate JB – aka Captain Chaos – has kindly offered his services on the ground this summer.

One more to the group and good company all.

Known to those who know him best as one of the most disorganised men on the planet, we accepted gratefully; beggars cannot be choosers.

For his induction we explained the rudiments of a forty year-old road roller confident that a man who has enjoyed a string of high-end cars would easily grasp this. In truth he’s had more Audis that the local drug barons.

The irony of his Irish roots was not lost on the little man as he violently struggled to crank start the aged machine.

Once in gear he was off, bronco-bucking like a giddy stallion, content to roll the grass as his ancestors had the black stuff. All he needed was a flat-cap and overalls.

Soon he was rolling the black stuff as water seeped from below, encouraged by his selection of the vibrate option to pound the soggy turf.

Three old pals muse retirement.

Brent The Curator sped across the turf as fast as his two wonky knees would allow, cursing the degenerative effects of several thousand overs up the hill, desperate to curb the speeding runaway mad man.

The old roller was looking as if it would shake itself into a multitude of pieces. We could feel groundsmen of old looking down with weary eyes mouthing “Nay lad tha’s no idea!”

Finally apprehended and given a ticket, Chaos heaved the old machine around and headed in disconsolate manner back to the paddock, his first morning’s lesson abruptly at an end, smoke pouring out of the roller like the Flying Scotsman.

We stood together and looked across a field we’d shared so many days, so many dreams. Here we were again, playing it for laughs if not for keeps, savouring every moment.

Tales From The Scruffy

I’m A Celebrity

Unable to resist the lure of my second home after a day’s labours, I was seduced for a quiet couple.

Aware of the upcoming launch of The Trumpit and it’s new regular Tales From The Scruffy feature, local celebrity barmaid, Our Jackie, has recruited an agent.

She pointed to the docile looking Homeless, propping the bar up as usual in his stained, reeking anorak.

“Homeless as said ‘e will get me a deal!” she said “So no more tekkin’ piss unless I get a cut!”

With that she launched herself off her seat, deeming that my custom was of some value, waddling across to pump me some ale. I gently enquired as to how the diet was going though my eyes could not lie.

“I’m allright as those Maltesers only ‘ave 180 calories a packet” she said breathing in enough to allow landlord, Il Padrino, to squeeze past, no slim lad himself.

Safe in ‘Nob ‘Ed Korna a local wag observed:“There’s not 180 calories in a full a box though!”

“Don’t worry Jackie” groaned Homeless “There’ll be no swimwear shots unless I say so!”

A low murmur of “hear, hear” emanated from the inhabitants, heads bowed as she sought the culprits.

“I’ll show you lot, I bloody will!” she said seeking the comfort of her seat again, confident the Tuesday night trade would not engage her too severely.

Sensing this would be no route to instant riches, nor even a new anorak, Homeless shuffled out to seek a friendlier face and some decent service across the road at the New Inn.

“Yes you can slope off!” yelled Our Jackie “Get me Simon Cowell someone!”


One Hundred Years Ago

Every man should have a dibber – see here.

A prize of ‘Garden Work for Every Day’ is awarded to Mr Smith for the following note and illustration descriptive of an improved dibber.

One of the chief objections to using a dibber is that unless one is very careful, the seed does not go to the bottom of the hole, more especially if the end of the dibber is pointed

This objection may be overcome by placing a small woodscrew or nail in the side of the dibber allowing it to project about three-quarters of an inch.The result is that on placing the dibber in the ground and giving a slight turn, the screw or nail causes soil to fall in and fill the bottom of the hole.


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