Posted on 12:50pm Friday 19th September 2014
Several little milestones in my life seemed to point in one direction and after many years I have finally booked the flights, the hotel and the trip and Ellie and I will head for Prague, dropping in at Budapest and Vienna en route.
Posted on 8:05am Friday 19th September 2014
Yaaaaaay! Well, unless the king has lip curled or hip thrust his way into the building since I last blogged here in 2010.. uh huh! Then I have indeed been true to my word…..I’m back, & before Elvis. Back with a Pfff, Fizz, Plop. I know that makes me sound like an Alka-Seltzer but it comes with less expectation than a Bang and I don’t want to disappoint....
Posted on 1:00pm Friday 12th September 2014
Short-term memory is not at its peak as you get older but we have pooled our observations and now we can say that we have an extra, unseen resident in tour house in France. Did "something" move in when it was uninhabited for 40 years?
Posted on 1:30pm Friday 5th September 2014
It was also touching to see her renew her acquaintance with Cheryl Cole (neé Tweedy, formerly of Girls Aloud), now Mrs Fernandez-Versini.
Posted on 6:22am Friday 5th September 2014
A local author wrote a book combining realism and surrealism about Oxhey Estate.I stumbled across the book in my motor home and was puzzled as to how it got there.
Posted on 3:11pm Friday 29th August 2014
Our friends were in trouble but why did they write to us?
Posted on 12:10pm Friday 29th August 2014
Not just for quality of food, but for atmosphere, value for money, for that intangible sense of excellence. Which eatery provides the biggest hmmm for your buck?
Posted on 11:47am Friday 22nd August 2014
We collect books on our travels and this summer we raided the "not read yet" bookcase with some gratifying results.
Posted on 10:36am Friday 15th August 2014
Kim Kardashian, Katie Price and all those botoxed, cosmetically enhanced "celebs" with limited talent grab the attention but this week a woman with real class, style, talent and acumen hit the headlines because she died.
Posted on 3:20pm Friday 8th August 2014
Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you. Back in the 1970s when I used the subway under the Watford ring road to get to the girls’ grammar school every day, the graffiti always tickled me.
Posted on 2:10pm Friday 8th August 2014
Watford’s Lib Dems must be glad that an end to the bruising "will-she-won’t-she" saga is on the horizon.
Posted on 6:14pm Friday 1st August 2014
Tumbling beach umbrellas cause numerous injuries every year, largely because their owners do not fix them deep in the sand. In Tamariu, on the Costa Brava, my life seemed in danger.
Posted on 2:20pm Friday 1st August 2014
If a week is a long time in politics it may go some way to explaining why politicians have such short memories. It was only a few years ago that Hertfordshire County Council ruling councillors was piously telling resident’s they needed to switch off streetlights at night (coincidentally when they are most effective) to save cash and lower carbon emissions.
Posted on 3:10pm Friday 25th July 2014
Have you ever noticed how people with really big things to contend with - a desperately sick child or bankruptcy - say very little about their misfortunes, while those with relatively few things to complain about are often the most grumpy and least grateful for what they do have? I know any parent of healthy, loved and well-fed teenagers will back me up here.
Posted on 2:50pm Friday 25th July 2014
What is the likelihood of a new hospital being built in Watford? This will be one of the main questions being examined today as the Farm Terrace Allotment holders take their fight to the High Court.
Posted on 9:32am Friday 25th July 2014
London Bridge is tumbling down the glib headline writers claim. In fact it would probably have lasted another 150 years had the USA not got their hands on it and carted it to Arizona.
Posted on 3:00pm Friday 18th July 2014
On A sunny day, Cassiobury Park really is gorgeous. We walked through it last weekend, watching the world go by, enjoying a Cha-Cha-Cha coffee and just about resisting the ice-cream temptation.
Posted on 1:00pm Friday 18th July 2014
The NHS is a closed shop. We pay for it. We depend on it to save our lives. Yet when it fails, it’s apparently not a matter for our concern. The people who run the service can just carry on as normal – business as usual.
Posted on 2:50pm Friday 11th July 2014
How children’s parties have changed. When I was little, you put on your best frock, took a small gift (something eminently sensible like a book or an educational toy) and played musical chairs and pass the parcel in the birthday girl’s front room.
Posted on 5:38pm Monday 7th July 2014
In the unlikely event of anyone being distressed or even mildly disconcerted by the lack of a fresh column, I thought it best, if belatedly, to point out that I am taking a three-week holiday with my wife Ellie and our two dogs and will return in late July.
Posted on 12:10pm Friday 4th July 2014
A few weeks back I lauded the West Herts hospital trust for the way it engages with patients on social media sites such as Twitter.
Posted on 1:10pm Friday 27th June 2014
You know you’re getting old when your teenage children go out on a Saturday night and you stay in - but you don’t mind because you’ve got a garden visit to look forward to on Sunday and you want to be up early to pack the pork pies, hard boil the eggs and fill the Thermos.
Posted on 12:40pm Friday 27th June 2014
I have outed myself in the past as something of a bridge-sceptic. When it comes to Watford pond anyway. For the sake of clarity, I should state I have no objection to bridges in general; in fact I find them an efficient and inoffensive method of traversing aquatic obstacles.
Posted on 10:00am Saturday 21st June 2014
England are football also-rans and when two of the supposedly best strikers in the league put in powder-puff shots straight at the keeper, and central defenders leave one of the most dangerous strikers in the world with a free header and shot, it is the manager's fault. If you believe that, I have a bridge in Cassiobury Park you might want to buy.
Posted on 12:49pm Friday 20th June 2014
The Watford’s Liberal Democrats are a broad church. Among its ranks the ruling party can currently count three former Conservatives leaders and at least one ex-Labour councillor.
Posted on 12:20pm Friday 20th June 2014
Every child will, at some point, ask their parent where money comes from. And every parent will think it comes from hard graft and there used to be a lot more of it until it got used up on nappies, massive supermarket shops and family holidays.
Posted on 12:40pm Wednesday 18th June 2014
Anyone with the wherewithal to set up a Twitter or Facebook account has the capacity to broadcast their views. This makes the individual a far more powerful figure than previously.
Posted on 2:40pm Tuesday 10th June 2014
It’s comforting to know Hertfordshire’s roads are in such rude health that highways bosses can now turn their attention to problems that don’t exist.
Posted on 1:30pm Friday 6th June 2014
We live in a rural conurbation of two villages, with an aggregate population of 2,400, perched in a valley either side of a river. Each of the villages has returned Marine Le Pen candidates in the Europe vote.
Posted on 4:30pm Friday 30th May 2014
I hope all you women out there made it to the polling station last week. Even if you found the number of names on the ballot papers bewildering (for parish council, district council and European parliamentary candidates), what matters is you voted.
Posted on 1:40pm Friday 30th May 2014
Watford Labour emerged from last week’s election count in a triumphant mood.
Posted on 1:30pm Friday 30th May 2014
Voting for UKIP is not a protest against the policies of Tory, Labour or Liberal politicians. It is because in certain respects they do not have policies, whereas UKIP does.
Posted on 3:40pm Friday 23rd May 2014
It is perhaps understandable why Hertfordshire’s police commissioner, who once relished in the extra press coverage his new job brought, has become more media shy of late.
Posted on 1:30pm Monday 19th May 2014
A chill reminder not only to be careful when around the garden pond but also that, as I grow older, the short-term memory is not what it used to be.
Posted on 4:00pm Friday 16th May 2014
I should confess before I start, I am not a regular viewer of scripted reality shows (clearly an oxymoron?) such as The Only Way is Essex and Made in Chelsea. So I approached the news this week that Watford may become the setting for a new such programme from a position of ignorance.
Posted on 9:46am Friday 9th May 2014
THE Pond and the surrounding area has been face-lifted at least three times since the 1960s. Will this latest incarnation be pleasing and sufficiently sound not only to last the test of time but enable future funds to be spent elsewhere.
Posted on 1:30pm Friday 2nd May 2014
A visit from friends, former Watford cult hero Ross Jenkins and his wife Eve, has triggered a spate of literary discussion as we wrestle with the books we are in the process of writing and finishing.
Posted on 1:30pm Friday 2nd May 2014
After an extremely self-indulgent Easter break, a week of which I spent entertaining French friends, trying to prove to them that English cooking is every bit as good as theirs, I am now back to taking skimmed milk in my tea and walking to the supermarket with my tartan shopping trolley.
Posted on 1:10pm Friday 2nd May 2014
The Prime Minister and Chancellor were unconvincing last week. When pressed over why Hertfordshire’s taxpayers were being saddled with a £500,000 bill for policing the exclusive Bilderberg Conference last year, their response was essentially "lump it".
Posted on 1:30pm Friday 25th April 2014
A three-legged dog taught me how to gain the maximum from a 12-metre pond with Koi carp