Monthly Archives: June 2015

Norman. Usted Es Un Mojado Propenso a Accidente Tonto


Previously on iplonker:

My mate Norm had been asked by one of our canoeing friends to install a new central heating system in his house. Ralph was filthy rich and lived in a huge house in an expensive area of London. As I recall, the house was one of those big Victorian houses that was three or four storeys high. It also had a basement converted into a self-contained two bed flat that Ralph rented out to a Spanish guy and his wife. It was a lovely house with beautiful gardens. Ralph lived there with his wife and children although his kids spent most of the time away at boarding school.

Norm was most of the way through his plumbing apprenticeship and did know how to do this kind of thing. The plan was that after finishing work each day he would go to Ralph’s gaff and spend a few hours each evening putting the new system in place. Ralph would buy the kit and pay cash to Norm each week for all his work.north-hollywood-plumbing-service

Norm carried out a site survey, sorted out what size boiler was needed as well as the amount of pipes, pumps and sundry other stuff required to complete the task. Norm duly arrived to start work.

Ooooooo. Anyone home?

Ooooooo. Anyone home?

Ralph was impressed. He told Omar and I that Norm was always on time, the new boiler looked like something from the Starship Enterprise, the pipe work was all straight, the new radiators hung level and Norm cleared up any mess every evening when he had finished.

Norman hard at it

Norman hard at it

After a few weeks, the job was basically finished. All Norm had to do was charge the system and he was finished. As Norm wandered around the house he couldn’t help thinking that he’d forgotten something and that worried him. Suddenly, out of the corner of his eye he noticed that the thermostat cover wasn’t on properly. “Ah.” He thought. “That’s it.” So he sorted that out and strolled upstairs to the attic to start charging the system.

walking down stairs

He wanted to let Ralph know but he’d disappeared somewhere. Ralph’s wife, Cindy, was away visiting her mother, the kids were all at school and Manuel was in his flat entertaining friends.

So off he trundled on his lonesome up to the attic and turned the water on to fill all the radiators. After opening the stop cock tap thingy, he ambled back downstairs to wait until the rads had filled and then start bleeding air out of the radiators. When he got to the hall by the front door, Manuel suddenly appeared:

Aspersion de agua hay en todas partes!” he shouted at a somewhat startled Norman.


Que idiota. Mi piso esta arruinado!” Manuel continued.

Mis amigos son totalmente empapado, asi!

“Whoa. Hold on Manuel old son. You’re not in Rome now you silly frog. Speak bloody English” replied Norm. “And why are you soaking wet?”


Then the penny dropped and Norm remembered what he’d forgotten. All the connection nuts where the pipes went into the radiators were only finger tight! He’d forgotten to tighten them up!

With a rising sense of panic and doom Norm legged it back to the attic to turn the water off again. On reaching the attic he ran along the rafter to get to the stop cock tap thingy.


CRASH as he slipped and put one leg either side of the rafter and his feet suddenly appeared in the master bedroom.

SQUELCH went his testicles as they met the rafter.

SPLAT went his nose as it hit a supporting beam, spraying snot and claret all over the attic.

BANG went his arms as they too appeared in the master bedroom.


OH DEAR!” thought Norman as, despite his injuries and excruciating pain, he struggled to turn the water off. As he turned the tap off he happened to glance down into the bedroom and noticed that despite all the commotion, Ralph was busily boffing Maria the au pair! She could see what had happened and was struggling to escape from under Ralphs heaving body. Ralph, totally oblivious to what was going on, was entirely convinced that Marias moans and writhing were entirely as a result of his performance. Until, that is, a large lump of plaster fell off the ceiling and landed on his arse!

“Cindy! Darling! It’s not what it seems….oh” Ralph shouted before looking up and seeing Norms destroyed face covered in blood and snot looking down at him.

“Uh. Hello Ralph. Hello Maria.” said Norm innocently. “Sorry mate, I seem to have had a bit of an accident.”


“I hope you don’t mind me saying mate, but I couldn’t help noticing. Did you know you have an enormous zit on your arse?” said Norm while a steady flow of his blood dripped onto the bed several feet below him.

Once Ralph had put his clothes back on, Maria had rushed off to her room, Norm had rearranged his testicles and stemmed the flow of blood from his busted nose they surveyed the damage. The basement was under 3 or 4 inches of water, the walls were dripping and 4 bedraggled Spaniards sat miserably in the kitchen area.


Ralph and Norman came to an arrangement. Ralphs wife was away for a few more days so a plasterer was organised, Norm was sworn to secrecy regarding what he had witnessed and everyone continued as if nothing had ever happened.

Norm told us this story a few days later in our local pub. He had a big plaster on his hooter, two black eyes and his testicles were the size and colour of a couple of cricket balls. Yes, he got them out and showed us. It was that kind of pub! He estimated the water was travelling at about 70 mph when it hit that first joint. Not surprising really that it had sprayed gallons of water everywhere.

Ralph continued coming to our classes. He knew we knew but nothing was ever said. Maria continued as the au pair for another year or so but there was apparently no more hanky panky. Manuel and his wife eventually went back to Spain and Ralphs wife Cindy remained completely unaware. Obviously, names have been changed in this story to protect the innocent and not quite so innocent.

My thanks to Shutterstock and the Intertube for the images

Have a smashing day.

More Dick soon.


Sex and Drugs and Eskimo Rolls

Back in the day when I was young, dinosaurs roamed the planet and Mars was inhabited by Donald Trump, Robert Mugabe, The Artist Formerly Known As Prince, Simon Cowell, Elmer Fudd and other strange, vaguely humanoid life forms I used to teach people how to paddle a kayak. My mates Omar and Norman were also instructors.

Possibly a visiting Martian but believed to be the dinosaur Ihateus Mexicanus (subsp. Iama Totalwanker)

Possibly a visiting Martian but believed to be the dinosaur Ihateus Mexicanus (subsp. Iama Totalwanker)

A couple of evenings each week we would teach people how to do an eskimo roll. This is a technique used to get yourself upright again if you capsize. Very useful. We used a school swimming pool for our classes – a nice, warm, controlled environment.eskimo_roll

All of our pupils were proficient kayakers. They could paddle in a straight line, use steering and support strokes and had capsized many, many times. They were of all ages and some were women which was splendid as there is no better sight than a woman in a wet tee-shirt! The terminology was great too although it may have changed since my day.

“Ok Janet. The Screw roll. Lean forward, grip the shaft firmly with both hands. Not too hard, you’re not trying to kill it! Tip over, sweep the shaft around, flick your hips et voila, up you come.”


The Reverse Screw.  Lean back, hold the shaft firmly……Carol, your tee-shirt is awfully thin……”

God I loved that job.

For our pupils it was an essential skill to have as most weekends they would load up their cars and go off to tour rivers or paddle along the coast and there is nothing quite so embarrassing as capsizing and watching your dry kit float off into the sunset. I wish everyone was as sensible.eskimoroll1

I remember Omar and I were preparing for our Advanced certificate. Mostly this was a practical exam carried out on a river with rapids graded at III or more. However, there was also a Leadership and Organisation element to the test as well. So we planned a trip to the River Wye. We were leading a group of 15 from a touring club and they were a bunch of old fogies. Some of them were in their thirties but worse, most of them were in their forties and fifties. Positively decrepit in our eyes. None of them had seen a rapid let alone paddled down one so we decided to forgo the pleasures of the Upper Wye around Builth where there were some honky-tonk Grade IIIs until the second day. Day one was spent further downstream but it did have a dinky rapid called The Hell Hole. Smashing. It was summer, water levels were not too high so it shouldn’t be a problem.

So we set off. There were a few bumpy bits and some rocks that got them excited. We got them trying out various types of support and steering strokes. We rafted up and got them to take it in turns to get out of their kayaks, run along the front decks, run across the stern decks and get back in without falling in the river. Some did but they all had a hoot. It has also got to be said that the Wye Valley is one of the most beautiful places on Earth and taking a slow paddle down it is far and away the best way to see it.

The Wye Valley

The Wye Valley

Eventually we arrived at The Hell Hole. Omar and I got everyone out onto the bank for a look-see and to explain what to do.

Once all the

“It looks jolly rough.”



“I say Dorothy, you DID pack toilet tissue didn’t you?”

had died down we explained what they had to do:

“Right. Dicks going down first ok? Watch what he does. Then I will send you all down one at a time and I’ll come down last.” said Omar

“Yeah guys, you see that ‘V’ shaped tongue of smooth water leading into the rapid? Yes Tarquin?… Your bag’s full?… What again?… Ok mate but be quick please. Just paddle down that ‘V’ into the rapid and keep paddling hard, especially when you get to the little waves at the bottom.”

“Did he say ‘little’? They look awfully big to me.”

“I think he’s on drugs. I’m sure I could smell margarinewana earlier!”

“Oh! Now you mention it, I’m sure I saw them sharing a reefer before we set orf.”

“Yes. I thought I saw them rolling some hay or straw or whatever it is these beatniks do.”

“You know, I DID say they looked a bit rough but I must say I’ve had a jolly marvellous time.”

“Yes but those waves are NOT little I tell you!”

I will say now that Omar and I NEVER smoked grass when we were instructing or leading expeditions. We smoked hashish as it’s much easier to light if it gets wet.

“Pay attention please people. Once you have paddled through those little standing waves….

“He said ‘LITTLE’ again!’

“Giles! Hush please. Once you get to the end , raft up over there on the right hand bank. Clear?”

“Yes” they all said.

“I’m just saying they are NOT little waves.” muttered Giles.

They were probably 2-3 feet high which, thinking about it, made them about head high when you’re sitting in a kayak, Little then!

The Hell Hole. A dinky little rapid on the River Wye

The Hell Hole. A dinky little rapid on the River Wye

“Just remember, keep paddling and don’t lift your paddles up into the air. That raises your centre of gravity and you may capsize.”

With that, we set off. I shot the rapid, burst through the LITTLE waves at the bottom and broke out to watch the next one down.

“That’s it Tarquin! Keep paddling, well don….NO, don’t lift your…Aw Shit.”

A swimmer! I went over, emptied his kayak and was putting him back in when the next one came down.

“Brilliant Giles. Keep going. Paddle hard. NO! Don’t…..Aw Shit.” Another swimmer. Same procedure.

“Well done Dorothy. Power in your strokes girl. NO. Don’t raise….Aw Shit.”

There were 15 “Aw Shits” as everyone one of them raised their paddles above their heads and capsized. Not one knew how to do an eskimo roll. So we made them do it all over again and again and again and soon they all were managing to say upright. Once they realised they were unlikely to die, they had a bloody good time.

I’ve wandered slightly off topic again.

Meanwhile back at the swimming pool. Once they had become proficient at the eskimo roll some left the class although we would often bump into them at various rivers around the country. For some however, it was also a social thing and they attended week after week, developing their skills so that eventually they could do a roll using one hand and no paddle (it’s all in the hips) followed by a trip to the pub. One of these regulars was a guy called Ralph. Ralph was very well off, (In fact he was disgustingly rich) and lived in a huge house in a very expensive, leafy suburb in London.

Now Omar, Norm and I were only part-time instructors. We had day jobs. I worked in the print industry, Norm had just finished the second year of his plumbing apprenticeship and Omar was a gigolo I think.plumber_plunger

Knowing this, Ralph asked Norman to install a brand new central heating system in his house. He would pay for the equipment and give Norm a great many tax-free pounds. Norm readily agreed. Omar and I looked at each other then shrugged. Norm knew what he was doing didn’t he? He knew his onions (or olives) from his elbow. What could possibly go wrong?

Find out soon.

Have a lovely day.


Where Did The Time Go?

I think as you get older, time passes by quicker. As a child I recall summer lasting forever. Now, it’s gone almost before it arrives. It has been a busy couple of weeks though. Ed got back from University having taken his finals and then taken some time to get up to mischief on the Norfolk Broads. He took Business Management at the University of East Anglia and he had the time of his life. He now awaits his results.

Greg finished his A levels on Monday. He took Geography, Geology and Classical Civilisation. He intends taking Geography with Economics at Uni. He also awaits his results. One result he isn’t waiting for is his driving test. He passed on Thursday! Good for him. Then on Saturday he became an adult! I think thats only a physical thing as he still has the most incredibly immature sense of humour. We all went out together and had a splendid meal in a very nice restaurant in Canterbury to celebrate his 18th birthday. Earlier in the day, he and PIL went shopping in Bluewater where he purchased, at PILs expense, a great many clothes, shoes and possibly even a hat. Now he just needs to decide on what car he would like, we say “No” and eventually a decision is made. We will see.

Today is Fathers Day. So I washed cars, walked the dog and have mown the grass. We then all shot off to the cinema where we watched Jurassic World in 3D. I paid. I don’t think it’s supposed to be like that but hey, I don’t mind, we all went out and had a lovely time together.

My original intention with todays post was to write about the thoughts I’d thought a couple of weeks ago about how my life had turned out so far.winnie the pooh1

When I sat down to write I had second thoughts, mainly because I don’t feel brave enough to reveal some of my innermost thoughts and emotions. Some of the things I experienced decades ago are still upsetting. Do I want to write about the deaths of some of my friends? They have an influence on me as a person and how I behave so I would need to write about that kind of thing if I want to talk about my life experiences. More particularly, do I want to write about the slightly (actually, very,) odd situation that exists between the woman I started to love from the moment I saw the fire in her eyes, the fact that I still love her, that she is now my ex wife and that PIL and I live in the same house?

Right now the answer is “No”. Maybe next week. So on that note, I hope you all had a bloody lovely weekend.

More Dick soon.


Just Looked, Sat, Thought and Did a Bit of Gardening.

When I took Dexter for a walk the other day I found myself looking around at all the wonderful countryside we have in England and thought to myself,

“This really is a green and pleasant land.”

I was astounded by the colours. Mostly it was green but so many different shades. There was dark green, not so dark green, mid green, light green, creamy green, bluey green, reddish green, golden green and silvery green. Perhaps it was the light on this particular day as it was very sunny and bright. In amongst all the greens were splashes of other colours. There was the blue from the last of the bluebells.20150506_173052

White from the flowers of wild garlic and ox eye daisies (a particular favourite of mine).20150522_125122

Mauves, pinks and purples from wild flowers I couldn’t identify. We reached the top of a gentle slope and I turned and looked around me. The view that I saw was just achingly beautiful. In a moment of eloquence that I’m not often capable of I said;

“Fuck me!”


I felt a sense of complete contentment, peace and well being. So much so that I had to sit a while and have a jolly good think. I thought a great many thoughts which you are prone to do when thinking. Mostly they were to do with my life and how it had turned out so far. I thought of the appalling bad times I’d had and still have from time to time. I thought about the fabulous days and times I’d had and how I still have lots of those. One day soon I may pluck up the courage and write about those thoughts I’d thought. However, one of the thoughts I did have at that time was how wonderfully well nature created such stunning combinations of plants and colours and shapes. I try to bring that into my garden. I recently read a post by Steve Morris over at blogbloggerbloggest about a dogwood he has in his garden. Earlier this year he had pruned it really hard and now it’s in full growth mode with many superb young red stems. In addition, Steve planted a number of his cuttings and now has a great many more dogwoods to plant (and prune haha). This is a man after my own heart. Free plants! Can’t beat them. I’ve done a similar thing with foxgloves.

Some of the foxgloves in my back garden

Some of the foxgloves in my back garden

I got a couple of purple foxgloves from our local garden centre two years ago and after they finished flowering I left them to set seed, which they do in huge quantities. Generally, I let them grow wherever they happen to grow, but if they really are in completely the wrong place or you want some in a different area  they don’t mind being dug up and replanted. I probably have 20+ foxgloves flowering in my back garden now plus a dozen or so more in the front garden. All from two plants! I love ’em. So do the bees. The best thing though is that you can never be absolutely sure what you get. A bit like Mrs Gumps box of chocolates. The foxgloves I planted a couple of years ago were all purple.

In my garden earlier today

In my garden earlier today

This year, I have purple foxgloves but I have also got WHITE foxgloves!

In my garden this morning. Beautiful flowers.

In my garden this morning. Beautiful flowers.

This isn’t an unusual colour but I never planted them. Some of the seeds that took just happened to have a white gene I guess but the combination really is tremendous.20150612_100349

Next year I hope I get many, many more growing. Most of them will be moved to the new beds I’m starting to prepare out in the front garden. I know what I want to do in my head and hopefully I’ll achieve it but suffice to say, scent will be an important part of the new beds. Roses however, will not feature. In the meantime, I am about to start my experiment with a sl*g deterrent.  Despite hating the slimy bastards for eating my plants, I don’t like to kill them just because they’re doing what they do and besides, who wants little piles of snot all over the place? Nah. I chuck them in next doors garden! I hope it works because then me and Mrs SD Gates are going into business selling our patented slug deterrent, get us a shed load of cash, retire and spend all our waking hours pottering around in our respective gardens and walking our respective dogs.1978841_686052051438740_1830563984_n

Plus getting new furniture of course.

Have a great day.

More Dick soonauto


Crikey. It’s been a while since I last published a post.

BWI-BLWS103891 - © - mm-images


I admit to a) being busy at work and b) being tired but primarily I needed some inspiration and courtesy of Tessa at Nothing Was Said, Monkey Boy at The Ranting Monkey and Steve at blogbloggerbloggest I have found some.

Thank you.

More Dick follows soon.


My Mate Norm and How Gross Can 17 Year Olds Be?

Back in December, I wrote a post about wasps and how they have got me in trouble with the law and with PIL. If I’ve done it correctly, you can read about that here.

On the occasion I was in Wales indulging in a bit of surf kayaking I was with a number of mates.surfkayak1

Norm was one of them.norman-wisdom-2-765x510

He wasn’t actually there at the time of the incident I described. He was nearby though. He was in a local hospital having soothing balms administered to his burnt buttocks by a 25 stone male Welsh nurse who wanted him to wear a sheep skin for some reason. Anyway, how did Norm end up there? As I’ve said before Norm was a tad accident prone and we were 17 or 18 years old at the time. At that age we were pretty much like 17 year olds everywhere. We were gross.fart-meme

We regularly had burping and farting competitions. We would gulp down vast quantities of coke and try to belch the longest sentence possible. I think I once managed “forty fousand feathers on a frushes froat” while belching.homer-simpson-and-fire-belching

To us, this was the funniest thing ever. We would try and outdo each other with the loudest or the longest or the most disgusting fart ever.  Le Petomane had nothing on us. So, did Norm end up in hospital from blow back when he tried to light one of his farts?lightingfarts1

Nope. Lighting farts is bloody dangerous and the grossest thing ever so as 17 year olds we had it down to a fine art.lightingfarts3

No. Norm managed it while playing volleyball! What a dipstick!

If the surf wasn’t too good then we would organise a game of beach volleyball. We would invite some of the young ladies sunbathing on the beach to join us. It didn’t matter that we didn’t have a volleyball net. We had imagination.fl-beach-volleyball-lauderdale-0525h

Admittedly 99.8753% of our imagination was devoted to picturing naked ladies in our smutty little minds but having girls playing meant that, with all those puppies bouncing about we were able, with the aid of a Tic Tac, to imagine the volleyball net more easily.1795705_654136671289369_726465714_n

During the course of one match, Norm jumped for a ball, fell over onto his arse and a huge plume of pale blue smoke erupted from his backside. Without exception we all thought,

“Oh no. Norms done a visible fart. We’ll never match that.”

Then, without exception, we rushed over to him, picked him up and threw him in the sea. He was on fire!lighting-farts

When Norm had fallen on his arse he had ignited a box of matches in his back pocket. He suffered 3rd degree burns to his right buttock and spent the rest of the week avoiding his new best friend the nurse and sitting on a rubber ring until the burns started to heal.

Norms new best friend

Norms new best friend

Finally, I’d just like to apologise. I follow a number of blogs and I often click on the “like” button if I like a post and I regularly make a comment. Sometimes, that comment will be “liked” by someone and, out of curiosity, I will click on it to find out who it was. Often, I do this using my phone. My phone screen is cracked. My phone has a tiddly little key pad. My fingers are like sausages. So I often accidentally “like” my own comment. It’s just I can’t always see where to prod so I just prod and end up feeling foolish. So don’t worry peeps I’m not so far up my own arse I’m inside out, I’m just a plonker.

Have a great day.

More Dick