Tag Archives: Rolling Stones

The Day I Lost My Hat.

I have this slightly bonkers theory that Western Civilisation starting going down the toilet when men stopped wearing hats. Not baseball caps and such like but proper “Foyle’s War” type trilbys and fedoras.

foyles war2

A long time ago, I had the most fantastic fedora. It was such a dark grey that it looked almost black. It was beautiful. I loved that hat. It was a Christmas present from my girlfriend at the time. Lynn. Smashing girl. I remember one evening we were in her flat in Vauxhall when I suggested that we should go and watch the sun come up. She sighed one of those sighs that women sigh when you suggest something they consider so romantic you just know you’re going to get laid! Anyway, we jumped into my MGB GT sports car


and drove to Ramsgate on the Kent coast which was the most easterly point I could think of, bearing in mind that my thought processes were under the complete control of my penis at the time! We arrived in Ramsgate in the early hours, just before dawn. We parked up on the sea front and saw absolutely nothing. It was foggy and we couldn’t see a bloody thing! Still, it was the thought that counts and we had a lovely time although I do still have a bad back. A MGB GT is not a large car. Unfortunately we broke up soon after but I kept the hat.

Back to the hat.

I wore that hat a lot. I wore it to work. I wore it nearly every day and every night. I cared for it.  I may have slept with it on from time to time. I certainly bonked a girl or two while I was wearing it. It was the smartest piece of clothing I owned. My default dress code is called “scruffy”. Still is to this day. If I was to wear an expensive Hugo Boss suit I wouldn’t look like Gerard Butler.


More like his Irish mate, Sac O’Shit. Within half an hour of donning any smart clothing I would look like I’d been in several brawls. My hat though just looked the dogs danglies all the time. At weekends I would don my 501s, my Rolling Stones tee shirt (or the Led Zep one or the Frank Zappa one cos he had a moustache just like mine), put the coolest ever black leather jacket on, put my hat on my head and I thought I looked the bollocks. Probably most people on the planet thought I looked like a right whelk but I didn’t care. I was wearing my hat! Girls loved it. I would approach a young lady at whatever club I was in, doff my hat to them and say,

“May I have this dance?”



“Can I buy you a drink?”

Couple of friends having a round of drinks


“Fancy a shag?”12222107-censored-stamp

Worked every time.You know what they say; ‘You need a head to wear a hat’ or something like that.

One day I went to visit my brother. I put my hat upon my head and left my place to go to his. (I was wearing other clothes!) My brother lived in Brixton which is in South West London. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Brixton was a very expensive area in the suburbs. The houses were huge. The first road in London to get electricity was in Brixton and it was renamed Electric Avenue and that’s where my brother lived. Eddy Whatshisface wrote a song about it. As time went on though, Brixton started to fall on hard times, the houses were split up into flats and the whole area became a bit shabby. A lot of Irish families moved there and during the 1960s and 70s, a large proportion of the population were from the West Indies. My brother loved living there and I admit I loved to visit. It was always alive, the market was great, the pubs were brilliant and we had a good time whenever I visited.  The hostility between the police and the local population didn’t really register with us although the presence of large numbers of police officers was always a topic of conversation. On this particular visit, unknown to both of us, the SPG (Special Patrol Group) were present and Operation Swamp was in full swing with the police stopping a multitude of young people, mainly black, under the “Sus” laws. The atmosphere was tense and you could feel it so we decided to go back to my brothers flat which he shared with 2 Irish lads. Shortly after we returned, we noticed black smoke rising from nearby Railton Road known as “The Front Line” to the locals. Rioting had broken out and the rioters had set fire to a pub.


Police arrived in my brothers road and all the shops shut, the street market closed and the whole road very quickly became deserted. All four of us were hanging out the windows of the top floor flat trying to see what was going on when, quite suddenly, a mass of people appeared around the corner like a huge tidal wave. They filled the road completely. There were thousands of them. The jewellers across the road had pulled their shutters down over the windows but within 15 seconds the rioters were in and looting the place. Every shop was broken into and looted. We looked on in total amazement.riot

Just down the road was a Curry’s electrical store. The rioters went through the plate-glass windows and stripped the place bare. Some of them hid their loot under the market rubbish but someone set fire to it. Others took their stuff to what appeared to be a wedding reception a bit further down the road. The newly weds had more fridges, freezers, washing machines and microwaves than they could shake a stick at. We heard people coming up the stairs so we went out into the hall to see what was going.

“We’re taking stuff up to the roof.” they said. This “stuff” was a bloody great washing machine and a fridge.

“No you’re not.” said my brother.

“Oh yes we are.” they replied.

“Not happening mate.” I said

Then they looked again and saw four burly blokes blocking their way. My brother and his flat mates played rugby and were built like outhouses. I’d been a canoeist for donkeys years and had very broad shoulders and a narrow waist. (Sadly, these have now swapped places). So they struggled back down stairs again and shortly afterwards one of them came back with an Easter egg for each of us. How nice!on-this-day-brixton-riots-136397487029803901-150410143414

We went back to watching the scenes below us. Gradually, the crowd moved away and the road was deserted again. Devastated but deserted. We saw an old guy on a moped riding past and picking up pieces of jewellery discarded by the mob. Then, in a scene that could have been from Shaun of the Dead we saw a guy walking down the road. He was looking around in total amazement. I think he lived nearby and after a heavy session the previous night had just woken up and gone out to the shops to be met with the most incredible scenes of destruction. His mouth was wide open and he was looking around trying to compute what on earth had happened and what had he missed. He stepped into the now empty Curry’s store and with unbelievable speed a police meat wagon screeched up, four huge coppers jumped out, grabbed the guy, threw (and I mean THREW) him in the back of the meat wagon and screeched off again. Been and Gone in 60 Seconds!Brixton-Riots-In-London-I-015

It started getting dark. From the roof we could see little groups of people sitting on all the roof tops with their loot, waiting for the whole thing to ease off so they could take it home or sell it. There were more people in the road again and as we hung out the windows, my hat fell from my head and floated ever so gently to the ground below. Some random bloke picked it up. I shouted out to him;

“Thanks mate. That’s my hat. I’ll be straight down to get it.”

Whereupon he stuck MY hat on HIS head and called out;

“Cheers mate.”

and he walked off!


With my hat!


On his head.


What an absolute bastard!


I have been traumatised ever since. I never got a replacement. It just wouldn’t be the same. I miss my hat and I often wonder what happened to it. I guess I’ll never know. I do hope though that the bastard who took it suffered a terrible fate. How could anyone take another mans hat?

Have an amazing week.

More Dick soon.





Wow. Tessa over at Nothing Was Said has very kindly nominated me for the Liebster Award. I must admit that it was a few hours before the penny dropped and I realised what was going on. I was (still am) chuffed to be nominated. I looked it up on the interweb thingy to see what it was all about. There seems to be an awful lot of different rules with this award but I kind of get the idea. It did mean that I finally had to figure out how to put links onto this here blog. Remember, I have trouble understanding the concept of clock work so this kind of stuff involved quite a few cock ups on my part.

Anyway, the RULES.

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you: Thank you Tessa at Nothing Was Said. You are a sweetheart.

2. Answer 11 questions they set.

3. Nominate other blogs with less than 200 followers.

4. Let them know about the nomination and the questions.

Other rules I’ve read have said to list 11 things about yourself and the number of followers for a blog seems to vary an awful lot. Some say 200, others say 2000 while others say other numbers. One of the blogs I intend nominating has more than 200 but less than 1000, while another one gives absolutely no indication that I can see of the number of followers – it may be 6, it may be 1,000,000. I have no idea. Rules are there to be broken so if I break them, I’m sure the World won’t end.

The Questions.

1. Who is your favourite band/artist and why?

I listen to and enjoy a wide range of music from Miles Davis to John Lee Hooker, early Springsteen, Dre and Eminem, George Michael, John Legend, Led Zepp’ and Jimi Hendrix. I work out to Linkin Park. I have been a fan of Neil Young since forever but my favourite of all time is the Rolling Stones. As a band they never fail to produce excellent music that I can listen to all day every day.

2. Who is your biggest inspiration?

This is difficult. I cannot put it down to one individual as I have been inspired by many people during my lifetime. I think that if it came down to one individual I would have to say Nelson Mandela. That bloke was just unbelievable. I never met him but I wish I had. I met a guy who worked for him and he told me he was the nicest, most humble man you could ever meet.

3. What is your favourite food?

Curry. Chicken Dansak with rice (of course), onion bhajis with sundry bits and pieces. Apple pie and custard for dessert or maybe bread pudding. Stella to drink or if it’s sitting down with PIL drinking wine, its white zinfandel.

4. Where do you want to travel to most in the world?

There are many places. I want to go back to Kenya (PIL and I got married there), North America (both the U.S. and Canada) and despite it only being a 2 hour flight away, I’ve never been to Barcelona. I’m told it’s a beautiful city and the Cathedral has to be seen to be believed.

5. If you were the creator of your own planet, what would it be called and what would it look like?

It would be called “Bob”. I have never been to another planet so I have nothing to compare it to but I think Planet Bob would look very much like our planet. Earth is a beautiful place. However, on Planet Bob there would be no poverty, everyone would have enough to eat and have clean drinking water. I would take away the pollution. Sir David Attenborough would be the President of Planet Bob and he would live as long as he wanted. There would be no place for Robert Mugabe, Kim Jong-un or any others of their ilk.

6. Are you more like your mother or your father?

Apparently, physically I look incredibly like my dad. Temperament wise I think I’m like my mum. She had a very long fuse (she needed it being married to my dad!). No doubt my sister Boo will have something to say on this!

7. What do you see yourself doing in 5 years time?

I hope that I will be sitting in my garden gazing at the fruits of my labour there before my kids demolish it again playing football, basketball, cricket or rugby. I will continue to write my blog, take the pooch for a walk every day and no longer have to worry about work or money. I will have a permanent smile on my face not of smugness but of satisfaction at what I have done and achieved during my lifetime and what I will continue to achieve and do for the rest of my life.

8. At school, were you a rebel or a teacher’s pet?

A rebel. Always in trouble. Always missing lessons.

9. Who is your favourite author and why?

I read for relaxation so I like books that don’t involve a lot of effort. I read both fiction and non fiction. Currently, I’m into Lee Childs and his Jack Reacher series of novels. A certain amount of brain cells get involved trying to work out “whodunnit” and they are an easy read. I like John le Carre, particularly the Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy series. That involved paying attention. Both authors construct the characters well, the story lines are plausible and both lead the reader up the wrong path before you finally get it. I read Charles Dickens “A Tale of Two Cities” before Christmas. It was a struggle to begin with because the language and sentence construction is so different to modern novels. The first two or three chapters were hard going but it clicked into place then and it was worth the perseverance.

10. What is your least favourite animal?

Easy. Slugs. The slimy bastards keep eating my garden!

11. What advice would you give to your younger self?

Work hard, play hard, party hard. Never let the bastards grind you down. Be yourself.

Well, that little lot will now mean that people will think “What a berk” but never mind. I’m now supposed to make my own nominations but before I do, on some of the rules I read about the Liebster, it was said you should list 11 things about yourself. I may not list 11, but here are some things about me.

1. I’m right-handed, left footed and a left-handed kayaker.

2. In my late teens/early 20s, I was a kayaking instructor and raced white water racing C2s with my best mate at the time.

3. I started going grey at the age of 16.

4. I am short-sighted and wear contact lenses.

5. I don’t like Marmite.

6. I have no superpowers.

7. I am a Chelsea supporter, always have been, always will be. My dad was and my children and PIL are.

8. I am slightly red/green colour blind.

9. My favourite colour is green. Or is it blue?

10. Despite what my so-called friends claim, I did not fight at the Battle of Crecy in 1346!

11. I am now a non smoker.

Now for my nominations.

totaltimewaste Has more than 200 followers but there you go. written by a 17-year-old who seems to be obsessed with girls. Worth a look as it’s very funny

thecrumpettfiles I only found this blog a short while ago and I think it’s brilliant. The posts are quite short but without trying to be poncy, it’s like drinking elderflower cordial over ice on a hot summers day – totalling refreshing.

sunfartsandvagrainbows Should be approached with caution. Susie Sunfarts hates everything and everyone and isn’t scared to let you know! Profane,anarchic this blog is the antithesis of all others. While every other blogger on the planet was wishing everyone a Happy New Year, Susie was giving everyone the finger! She hates everyone from the guy who comes out every morning, starts his car and leaves it running to the “cheer up, look on the bright side” brigade. I think it’s great. The observations are very sharp and it’s all tongue in cheek. Or you think it is until you get to the last sentence or two and think, “Oh wow! I hope she doesn’t have access to firearms.”

My questions for my nominees:

1. What does your dream house look like?

2. What is your drink of choice?

3. If you could meet anyone in the world, who would it be?

4. If you had a superpower, what would it be?

5. What is your favourite food?

6.Who is your biggest inspiration?

7. Would you prefer to live in a big city, the suburbs or the countryside?

8. When you were 11 what did you want to be when you grew up?

9. What is your favourite colour?

10. How old am I?

11. What was the first record you ever bought?

Have a great day.

More Dick soon.



Every now and again, despite following 2HelpfulGuys, I get a bit down in the dumps. I’m rarely miserable for long as I tend towards looking on the bright side. In fact, one of the songs I want played at my funeral is Eric Idles version of “Always look on the bright side of life” along with “Gimme Shelter” by the Rolling Stones which I think is the best song ever, “Racing in the Street” by Bruce Springsteen and “Call Me the Breeze” by Lynyrd Skynyrd . Mostly I chose them as a) I like the songs and b) I think they tend to sum me up. Strangely, my favourites, Neil Young and Linkin Park (who I work out to) don’t feature. I hope they don’t get played together any time soon!

I’m going off at a tangent again aren’t I?


I was feeling a bit miserable because I was stuck. I was at a loss as to what to write about. So then I read through some of the blogs I follow and got depressed! They were so well written. Tessa at ‘Nothing was Said‘ expressed her excitement over her upcoming interview with the Peace Corps brilliantly. John at ‘Storytime with John’ described his first time skiing with such wit that I nearly wet myself laughing. Steve at BlogBloggerBloggest posted a letter to an 11-year-old that was so immense I actually applauded when I finished reading it. The ‘Chatty Rachel‘ produces prolific amounts of witty one liners and “helpful” suggestions to us blokes on how to increase our desirability to women that crack me up every time I read them. I felt my own writing attempts were crap in comparison. Then I think the sun came out and I realised my writing isn’t crap. It’s different to the blogs I’ve mentioned. I write about different things in a different way and that’s as it should be. I’ve only been blogging since November so I’m still new to it and while my first efforts are somewhat bloated in comparison to my later efforts, I can see an improvement in the way I write and what I write about. My blog is evolving and I’m pleased about that. So now I’m a happy bunny and I see I have many things to write about. If just one person smiles at something I’ve written, says “Too true bud” or even “Thats a load of rubbish you moron” then I’ve achieved what I set out to achieve. I got people to react to what I’m writing. Still have an issue with when and where to use commas and apostrophes though but I’m sure it will get better and hopefully I’ll be forgiven if I mess it up now and again.


My thanks to the people I’ve mentioned in this post. They are totally unaware of it but they have inspired me to continue and helped me past my block. I appreciate it.



More Dick soon.

Have a truly inspirational day