“And another thing…….” by Vince Nolan


   The Carpark King and “Strange Folk”                 

Last month I briefly mentioned the finding and reburial of King Richard III.  It’s the kind of bloke I am, forever topical.  I then heard on the radio that the lady who found him in the car park in Leicester knew he was there all along, as she “was drawn to the letter K in Parking” which is how she determined where he was located.  Presumably the word King in Parking wasn’t enough of a clue in itself?


Before we start, I quite like folk music and do not wish to alienate any readers of this feeble attempt at literature who may conclude that I do not.  Let me tell you a story.  A good friend of ours is a very accomplished folk singer and she has appeared all over the country, largely on wanted posters.  She had a big birthday recently and our local hostelry, The Xylophone and Zimmer Frame, staged a surprise party.  All her folk singing friends were invited and an al fresco evening of unrehearsed musical merriment beckoned.  The current Mrs Nolan and I arrived early in order to claim ring-side seats and so the evening commenced.  Well, we were then subjected to some of the saddest and repetitive song themes ever heard at a birthday party.  How many shipwrecks, mining disasters, deportations to Australia and potato famine victims can be crammed into one evening and one small pub?  I was so down I toyed with phoning a Helpline at one point.  It made the old Country and Western favourite: “You picked a fine time to leave me Lucille with four hungry children and a crop in the fields” seem like a lighthearted ditty.  Laugh, we didn’t even nearly start.  Accomplished musicians all, but the material was dire.  Now I can neither read nor play a note but it is very easy to write this stuff.  For example:


“We were never the same after Ma had died

And Da was sent to Australia.

With twelve brothers and sisters, I tried and I tried

But I was always going to grow up a failure.


It wasn’t the hunger of being so poor.

It wasn’t the looks of the toffs.

It was the endless bloody folk songs that made me so sore

I wish they’d all go and ……………..scoot off” (Down a mine possibly).


There you have it.  Another classic, which took all of 30 seconds to write.  Just need some music now to go with it.  Any ideas?  Oh, and don’t even start me on the individual lidded drinking tankards that all the musicians had and too many lapel badges and…………


On a lighter note, The Leader of the Opposition and I were invited to a corporate hostility event at Chepstow Racecourse recently.  Since we do not normally bet, we devised our own system.  Doomed!  Some of our horses are still running.  I say running, walking or limping would be more accurate.  There is nothing worse when you are losing and somebody alongside you is winning and they let you know about it, regularly.  The patronising tones they adopted were stomach turning.  “You weren’t on that one were you?” “Oh bad luck”.  “You’re bound to pick a winner sooner or later”.  I felt like shouting out “I am an eccentric millionaire bookmaker and I don’t give a stuff”.  However, our luck changed and our nag romped home in the last race at 6-1 with £10 on the nose.  I let it be known that we had won and swaggered downstairs to the bookies to claim our winnings.  Alas, they had closed for the day.  No doubt they had gone on an expensive and unexpected holiday with our money.  The moral of this story is do not gamble my friends unless you know the outcome beforehand.


Talking of horses, I now have an ambition to buy three race horses and call them “First” “Second” and “Third” and then enter them all in the same race.  They might not win but the commentary would be brilliant.


I don’t know about you but I have been following the twists and turns of recent events at the BBC and Top Gear.  Now I have long since stopped watching the programme to learn anything about the latest luxury cars that I can’t afford.  However, I have been rather fascinated with the schoolboy antics of three middle-aged hippies who are being paid for having a good time in various exotic hotspots around the World.  Jealous is the word I am struggling for.  Ignoring the facts surrounding the latest off-screen shenanigans, I have been much more focused on the political fall-out that has gone with it.  Again, as we approach the Election we see Prime Minister “Two-Terms” saying to the BBC:  “I don’t know exactly what happened. He’s a constituent of mine, a friend of mine. He’s a huge talent.”  Two weeks later he said (via a spokesperson this time): “Jeremy Clarkson should face the consequences”.  Two days after that and without a spokesperson he said that the BBC’s decision to fire the Top Gear star was “Right for them”.  Confused? That’s the idea my friends so don’t ask any difficult questions about the economy or anything like that because it depends what answer is available at the time, who is available to give it and which way the wind is blowing.  Oh, and this is not a party-political rant by the way.  I support the “All As Bad As Each Other Party”.  As far as I am concerned they are all a bit calendar-like……….their days are numbered.


Foreign news just in:  The French Government announced yesterday that it had raised its terror alert level from “Run” to “Hide.” The only two higher levels in France are “Surrender” and “Collaborate.” The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France’s white flag factory, effectively paralysing the country’s military capability.


So a man says to his Coach at the gym: “I want to impress that beautiful girl over there.  Which machine should I use?”  The Coach says: “An ATM usually works mate”.


I read this the other day which I thought was very clever and quite poignant particularly as son and heir lives overseas:  “You’ll never discover new islands unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore”.


Bye for now.