Shackleton's blog

Artistic Display

An artistic display in Canterbury cathedral. It’s made up of clothes and shoes discarded by refugees on the Greek island of Lesbos and in the camps in northern France. The child’s top with the logo, ‘Mummy’s super cool dude’ obviously catches the eye. I hope the little dude was lucky enough to find a safe sanctuary where he can grow up in a nurturing environment which will hopefully help him to live a fulfilled life.

Sophie

Introducing Sophie Walls, our 6 th grandchild. Born to daughter Karen and her partner Kev on 23 March 2018. Weighing in at 4lbs 2ozs, she was only a little tiddler, though long for a newborn of that weight. She didn’t appear to be putting on much weight over the last couple of months due to complications, so Karen’s pregnancy was closely monitored over this period with twice-weekly scans and suchlike. Sophie arrived a month early after an...

Swan Paddle Boating

My understanding is that Swan Paddle Boating will be an event at the next Olympics. My wife and I harbour a dream to represent our nation in the mixed doubles at this event. Unfortunately, we suffered a setback during our first training session, when we couldn't get both our bums in the boat at the same time. We are determined though and are now on the lookout for a swan paddle boat with a broader berth. We aim to feature on the rostrum. Watch...

Jacob and James

The photo is of Jacob (almost 4) and James (just turned 2) in Warley Woods. Not sure which one is Pooh Bear. Jacob is the youngest child of my daughter, Karen. James is the youngest child of my daughter, Claire. Mrs. Treaclechops and I normally look after them on Fridays. It helps their parents keep childcare costs down… as well as keeping us young(ish) and fit(ish). Warley Woods is on the western edge of Birmingham. The lads were very wary...

That Beast from the East

Well our central heating broke down early Thursday morning after two days of temperatures about -5 degrees C. The temperature in the house was about 13 degrees... reminded me of the olden days when we had no central heating. The condensate pipe had frozen. It's a pipe from the boiler which is routed outside the house. It takes the excess water from the boiler in a slow trickle. It's easy to thaw out with a couple of kettles of boiling water...

Finding Jesus

A drunken man is stumbling along a river bank, when he comes upon a fiery preacher baptising people in the water. The preacher points to the drunk and shouts, “Are you ready to find Jesus?” The man raises his arms high and exclaims, “Yes, I am!” So the preacher grabs hold of him, dunks him in the water, pulls him straight out and asks, “Brother, have you found Jesus?” The drunk splutters and replies, “No, I haven't found Jesus.” The preacher...

Great Audition

I had a great audition on ‘The Voice UK’ tonight when my reggae interpretation of, ‘The Wheels On The Bus’, caused all 4 judges to turn amidst rapturous applause from the audience. Will.i.am, in reflective mode, said, “It was like when aliens land in your back garden and they ask you to take them to your leader and you think, ‘now that’s dope’.” Jennifer Hudson, hand on hip, ordered with attitood, “You come to Momma now, boy!” Tom Jones...

St. Nicholas Church

St. Nicholas’ Church, Kings Norton, Birmingham. There’s been a church on this site since the Normans first built a small chapel in the 11th century. The existing church has been built, demolished, rebuilt, expanded, improved and restored many times over the last 1,000 years. Only one dignitary of note over that time: Rev. W. V. Audry… creator of the Thomas the Tank Engine stories. He was the curate from 1940 to 1946. to 1946. The bells were...

So Long Marianne

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZI6EdnvH-8 This song takes me back to 1973... a village called Oberjoch (over the hill) in the Bavarian Alps in December. Six feet of snow! I was learning to ski with 49 Field Regiment, Her Majesty's Royal Artillery. Just six of us squaddies plus instructor. We went to a local gasthaus one night and bumped into some young ladies from a German finishing school. They were strictly supervised by a formidable matron...

Polly and Dolly

A middle-class lady bought two female parrots, Polly and Dolly, but was shocked to discover that they kept shouting out rude and inappropriate remarks. She sought advice from her parish priest about curing them of this embarrassing situation. The priest was mortified at the things the parrots were shouting. Polly squawked provocatively, “Do you fancy some hanky-panky?” Dolly screeched rudely, “Would you risk it for a biscuit?” The priest then...

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