I can’t believe I’m starting with a diversion, but writing that title has just reminded me of one of my favourite Trev and Simon jokes. It comes from a never-screened pilot we made. Me and Trev are at home (Morecambe and Wise style) when the post arrives. Trev has received a Readers Digest type winning envelope (remember, this was last century). He is overjoyed, ecstatic. The letter tells him; “Congratulations! You have won a car”. Trev celebrates, unfolds the letter, and reads the remaining print; “digan”.

Well, I like it!

But to the point. It’s not often (at my time of life) that something can come along and knock you off your feet, but last night, on Twitter, Clayton Hickman (@claytonhickman) sent me a tweet that took my breath away. (Yes! I know! Knocked off my feet! Breathless! It’s a heady combo!) Clayton had stumbled across something so mind-blowing it might, possibly, just have ripped a hole wide open in my Atkinson-Shiffrin Memory Model (don’t worry- I don’t know what I’m on about either. it’s just a bit of fun. Try and keep up, it’s early days yet).

This is the story of a cardigan. We can trace the cardigan back as far as The Crimean War if we want to, but let’s not. For this story we need only trace the history of a singular and particular cardigan. A cardigan that goes back to the 80′s.

This cardigan, to the best of our knowledge, was first worn by Joseph Marcell in the serial Remembrance of the Daleks (the first serial of the 25th season of Dr Who) in 1988.

Joseph Marcell cardigan

Joseph, Sylvester McCoy, and the cardigan

In time this cardigan would come into my hands. In the meantime Joseph Marcell would go on to become Geoffrey the butler in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Back to the cardigan. What happened to it? In the late 80′s, going into the 90′s, I worked on two Saturday morning live TV shows, Going Live! and Live and Kicking along with Trev Neal. We did comedy sketches and such, and we were also responsible for finding other comedy acts willing to appear on the show. One act  we discovered wasn’t a comedy act but a musical act. We, perhaps foolishly, thought they might appeal to the Saturday morning audience.

The act was called The Singing Corner. We first saw them perform at The Velvet Percush’n in Amsterdam’s Kliegersstaffhen District. We assumed they were a spoof act, there was something so quaint and naive about them; but after talking to the club’s owner, Hansstraff Munck, it became clear they were for real, and so we asked for an introduction.

We met Don and Bob in the dressing room of The Velvet Percush’n. The two of them, in their psychedelic threads, blended neatly into the narcolepsy-inducing grasswhort curtains and hanging fabrics of the Percush’n’s inner sanctum and, what with the floating fog of jazz mist swirling around our curlicues, the two of us spent the first two hours of our meeting smiling not talking.

Eventually one of us spoke. Don was the first. All he said was ‘Hello’, and yet it took him seven minutes to say it.

11 minutes later and you couldn’t get any of us to shut up.

We assumed they were called The Singing Corner because each night they would sing in a different corner of The Velvet Percush’n’s 28 corners (the club was as famous for its many corners as it was for the calibre of musical acts that performed there; 28 acts every night, a different act in every corner). But no! It was a coincidence. They were called The Singing Corner after their names; Don Singing and Bob Corner.

(A little diversion: on Saturday 17th April 1965, the opening night of The Velvet Percush’n, the line up of acts was truly amazing. Take a deep breath: Bob Coats Trio, Melaniecholy, Dave Suave and his flute, Pancho, Bob Dillon, The Troublers, Sweet Toast, Brother and his Sisters, Carparque, Leslie Cousins, Donna Van Dyke, Long Jack Hankie, Melting Pot, Dizzy Dennis Dickens, EarthenWhere?, KFJ, Leo Sayer, Mustang Alley, David Singing (Don’s father), The Clark Fife Four, The Burds, The Beatles, Turtleneck Beach, Feather Conspiracy, The Simon Sisters, Waferbaby, Mardy Wah!, Big Clint McFlintlock, and (headlining) Art Garfunkel.

What a night that must have been. And, for the eagle-eyed, amongst you, I know that’s 29 acts! Don told me that his father wasn’t supposed to sing. He was there, ostensibly, as Long John Hankie’s whisperer (Long John Hankie could never remember the words to any of his songs ever since being diagnosed as forgetful by a recently qualified doctor and so always had a whisperer on stage to help out). Unfortunately LJH was also partially deaf and so David had to whisper louder and louder until, in effect, he was singing. The story goes his voice was sweet enough to make statues weep.)

So… back to wherever we were. Ah yes! Don and Bob and me and Trev in the dressing room of The Velvet Percush’n. A friendship started that night; a friendship that would last until it finished.

We persuaded Don and Bob to come along and perform on Going Live! They were keen from the start and (once we’d found our way out of The Velvet Percush’n’s dressing room) nothing was going to stop us from introducing The Singing Corner to the UK. (The 28 corners meant that the dressing room was a very unusual shape, and it was not uncommon for it to take an hour or two to find the door: rumour has it that Sixto Rodriquez spent 17 years in there.)

However, once Don and Bob landed in the UK, they started to get edgy. It didn’t help that the first thing they saw upon entering the country was Big Fun with their Handful Of Promises.

It knocked their confidence for six. And what could we say? The competition was tough in those times and we fully understood Don and Bob’s reticence.

Annoyingly, we had already told our boss, Chris Bellinger, that we had a great new act lined up. The kind of act that would make Big Fun look like medium fun. What could we do? How could we persuade the boys to give it a go?

Chris suggested we tried snazzying their image up a little, take them down the Kings Road, do a bit of shopping. He even gave us an envelope stuffed with cash to make sure we got top notch clobber. “Maybe something with hoods”, he said.

Now! This next part! It wasn’t my idea ok? All of the following was Trev Neal’s work.

Trev said (and this is verbatim. I was there), Trev said; “ere, Simon. There’s a pretty penny or two in this John Paul*. What say you we take these two geezers down the old BBC costume store and deck ‘em out in some cheap duds? They don’t know the Kings Road from The King’s knackers. We get ‘em kitted out and, in the process, we make a Salamander each!”

I wasn’t in favour. I mean a Salamander (slang for £78.90) wasn’t to be sniffed at in those days. But even so, it felt low.

Hey, it’s in the past now, and I may well be testing your patience with this post. The be all and end all is that I took part in the fraud, Don and Bob were taken by us to the BBC’s wardrobe department out in Acton, and Bob, thinking the Kings Road was inside a concrete tower block, picked a certain cardigan to wear.

Bob corner cardiganIt’s an incredible story. And, despite the ups and downs, despite the fraud and almost indecent deception, something must have gone right, for Don and Bob had a no.61 hit with Jennifer Juniper.

The BBC costume collection no longer exists. Nor does its wig collection (not that Don or Bob ever needed wigs). In 2008 “the BBC management team concluded that the best option was to close the department and dispose of the stock”. Idiots.

Huge thanks to Clayton for making me aware of the cardigan connection.

two jumpers

Where is the cardigan now?

* Trev used to call envelopes ‘John Pauls’ after the current Pope. it was a short lived Cockney style he experimented with between March and April 1990.

Go Sober- Day Seven

October 7, 2013

Day Seven! That’s nearly a week! That’s almost a quarter! 25% there; ‘there’ being staying sober, throughout October, for Macmillan Cancer Support. And so far me and my wife, as Team Mr and Mrs Hickson, have raised £196 for the charity. Thank you to everyone who has donated.

It’s been a difficult weekend too. My mum visited from Manchester for her birthday. We visited Trev and his family. There was food, birthday cake, Prosecco! But we managed it. We had champagne glasses filled with fizzy water!

It was also Broadstairs Food Festival this weekend. We strolled around the stalls, with their home-brewed ales, foot-pressed ciders, and wind-dried wines. There was even a owl display. look!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

a owl

But, the best discovery by far was a drink that we can drink during Go Sober that, just about, at a pinch, if we seriously try and delude ourselves, can fool us into thinking that we are still drinking alcohol.

That drink is: Rochester ‘Dickensian recipe’ Non Alcoholic Ginger Wine. A drink with “the kick of two very angry mules!”

It’s good! It even looks the part (ignore the whisky hiding at the back).

rochester

Pic courtesy of Rochester Ginger Wines

Now isn’t the time to wonder what a “Dickensian Recipe” is. In fact, that time is never. Just try the drink. As far as non-alcoholic ginger drinks go it’s the best. I’ve never been kicked by a mule, or two, angry, or not: but this drink has that kick! My worry is, having bought one bottle, it will be gone by dawn. I’m also worrying about overdosing on ginger; tea, wine (fake), biscuits. but that’s the price we are paying.

Please help us. We have set ourselves an unreachable target of £1664. It’s early days though. If you can sponsor us one bottle of Rochester’s (£4), I am sure we will do it. You can sponsor me, or my wife, or both of us here, here, or here. Thank you for helping. Here’s a owl for you.

Go Sober- Day Two

October 2, 2013

Day Two of Go Sober. And today I have mostly been drinking ginger tea.

I should be able to go without alcohol for a month. Let’s face it, there was a time in my life when I didn’t drink for almost 16 years (please provide your own punchline). So a month is a doddle. Not even a month now. Just 29 days.

I’m doing it, along with my wife, to try to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.That’s all. It’s not a health kick or anything new wave. Oh, I know it won’t do us any harm but… Hang on! What if it does do us harm! In Sleeper (a documentary by Woody Allen) cigarettes are proven to be good for us. It’s just a matter of time; Woody made the documentary in the 22nd Century.

So, God willing!, alcohol will, in the long run, turn out to be good for us. We’ll all be dead by then, but it’s a comforting thought.

If you’d like to help us reach our target for Macmillan (an ambitious £1664) please sponsor me, or my wife, or both of us here, here, or here. You don’t have to give much; £2 can get us an imaginary half pint. Thank you.

Go sober! What?

September 22, 2013

I’m going sober. For October.

It’s no great shakes. Well, not yet. Ask me towards the end of the month when my nickname may well be Shakin’ Simons. I’m giving up booze. For charity. It beats running a half marathon (though if you fancy sponsoring someone doing a half marathon, why not support my friend Nick who is running on behalf of the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity).

We get bombarded for money for charity from all angles, and so I know it is a big ask, particularly on the back of the fantastic effort so many of you made when I carried out my daft Comic Relief challenge earlier this year. But hell, I like to pester, and it passes some time. And something tells me, without a drink for a month, time will pass by slowly.

I’ll write about the challenge here, day by day; listing some drinking tales, some sober stories, some fun, some jokes, some photos. Anything that may be worth a pound or two more for Macmillan Cancer Support.

If you can give, please give.

Oh, and I promise I will not follow Sober October with Movember. I did Movember last year (when many generously gave and my moustache begrudgingly grew). As for December… it’s just too close to Christmas to ask. And so, I sincerely promise I will not ask for any more of your money in 2013.

You can find my Go Sober giving page here. And here’s something I wrote on it today, supposedly giving ‘my story’:

I’m doing this to raise money for Macmillan. That’s my story. To raise as much as I can (though I am setting myself a target of £1664, in honour of one of my favourite beers). My mum and my sister have both had cancer, and are both doing well. In the past I have raised money for other cancer charities… sometimes they can be controversial too (if, say for example, they involve research). But Macmillan, they offer support. So let’s support them back.

Once October is up and running I will write about keeping sober on my blog, Mummified Fox, at https://simonhickson.wordpress.com/ I hope that will entertain along the way, and maybe encourage some of you to give a little bit of money. If all my Twitter followers donated the price of a London pint (rounding it up to a monstrous fiver) I could raise roughly £35,000. Imagine. If everyone gave just 25p I would exceed my target (though knowing how these things work I bet you can’t donate amounts in pence).

Please do give what you can. I know it can be pressurising if every one donates £10 or £20 etc. I know that sometimes the actual sites can also make you feel bad by giving options of what they think you should give (a dreadful policy). If the site allows you to donate £1, donate £1. It all helps, it all adds up.

Go on. Don’t buy me the equivalent of a pint (you’ll only make me thirsty), buy me a bag of nuts.

And thank you all in advance… and those of you who have even had enough faith to donate before the month begins.

Cheers folks. x

fortunate

Comic Relief update

March 19, 2013

It’s all over. Isn’t it?

Well, just three more thank you’s. Thank you to Jen, Ranj, and Tracy.

£2210 for #twitter million Team @tracey_thorn and Comic Relief. That’s amazing. Thank you all. xxx

And, as a thank you from Comic Relief, they sent me another treat video. I’d already had one thank you from them, a video thank you from One Direction. So, to be absolutely frank, to be honest, I didn’t really want another.

This was a video thank you from someone called Pixie Lott. I can’t be sure but I think she may be a character in the Harry Potter films.

The video also urges me to carry on getting sponsors. I feel a little bad doing that but hey… one last mention in case anyone really feels the urge. You can sponsor me here.

Since Comic Relief sent me a thank you video from a pixie I am going to be just as random with today’s thank you to you. Here’s Sparks with Lighten Up Morrissey.

Comic Relief thank you

March 16, 2013

Over the past 12 days I have been part of Team @tracey_thorn, raising money for Comic Relief. The challenge I set myself wasn’t too hard. I’ve not been running or swimming or sitting in a bath of eels. I’ve been listening to the songs of Everything But The Girl and I’ve been writing about them. Not even all their songs. I have more in storage, on vinyl, but the only CD’s I’ve had to hand are Baby, The Stars Shine Bright and Love Not Money (the 2 disc special editions). Apologies to those who sponsored me and asked for songs from Idlewild, or Eden, or songs by Marine Girls. Maybe next year.

An enjoyable challenge. The hard part was reaching the ridiculous target I set for myself; £1986, in honour of the release year for Baby, The Stars Shine Bright. At a push I was prepared to lower my target to £1985 for Love Not Money.

Ten days of pestering had raised about £600. That amazed me. But I started Friday off aware that I would not reach my target.

And who can explain what happened on Friday night? Yes, I kept pestering on Twitter, and bit by bit money came in, but surely I would never reach my target?

Before too long I was at 50%. Then I had over £1000.

It seemed like it could be possible.

I wanted £1986. By the end of the night 104 sponsors had donated £2145.

Unbelievable.

Comic Relief has broken all records in this its 25th year, raising over £75m. And you’ve helped. You can find out about all of the charity’s work here.

I’m staggered and astonished.

A big thank you to you all.

Thank you to Rhada, Charlotte, Peter, Clare, Ian, Tony, Zoe, Kirsten, Paul, Belinda, Jim, Ben, Sophie, Ian, Andy, Janetta, Gerald, David, Clare, Simon, Matt, Lisa, Mark, Frank, Karen, Ian, Andrea, Paul, Siobhan, Hannah, Glenn, Helen, Zoe, Robin, Vicky, Veena, Simon, Naomi, Gill, Trev, Louise, Christian, Kirsty, Caroline, Steven, Vince, Amanda, Jacqueline, Pia, Kate, Melanie, Adrian, Kindle, Catherine, Glenn, Kathryn, Jonathan, Frazer, Anita, Robert, C, Will, Chris, Jake, Fiona, Richard, Karyn, Mark, Clare, Lisa, Rob, Helen, Paul, Jim, Mark, Robin, Jane, Olly, Lindsey, Roger, Jill, David, Matthew, Mark, Anne, Ian, Jon, Toyoko, Ben, Samantha, Gary, Andrew, Ed, Nick, Craig, Jonathan, Kevin, Yvonne, Kathryn, Etta, and Andrea.

This morning I had an email from The Red Nose Team. It encouraged me to get more sponsors even though Red Nose Day is over. It’s admirable to pester me as much as I’ve pestered you. But no. We’ve done what we set out to do. We’ve done better than could be expected.

Besides, they are offering me a special treat if I get one more sponsor before Tuesday morning. My last treat was a One Direction video. Please, I beg you, no more sponsoring.

I hope I’ve thanked everybody. I’ve not put surnames as some of you wanted to be anonymous (I’ve already half compromised that!) And I’ve used the names from all my emails, which, in some instances, are different from the ones on my sponsorship page. Some names appear twice; sometimes you’ve sponsored me more than once, other times there’s just two or three of you.

A special mention for Wonky. I don’t know which one of you is Wonky, but Wonky, you pushed me over the finish line.

And even then you all carried on giving.

And thank you to my team leader, Tracey Thorn, for being so supportive and for not minding my EBTG ramblings, which you can read here.

Here’s my drunken thank you filmed late last night by Zoe. I started the evening with a big martini. Then some beers. And here I am draining the bar with my last martini.

Thank you all. You overwhelmed me. And you’ve taken part in something that changes lives for the better. xxx

Well yes, to a degree.

Tonight is Red Nose Day Night. It starts in an hour. It’s most probably on as you read this. And you’re being battered with demands for money. And I’m still on at you. Am I trying to be funny?

Ok. I get it. Comic Relief. You’re after jokes.

Tracey and Ben are in a restaurant. Ben has poached quail eggs for a starter and Tracey has a bowl of tomato soup. It’s a huge bowl of soup! There’s Ben with his small quail eggs, and Tracey has what must be a few gallons of soup. So much soup she has to ask Ben to help her finish. He leans over to take a spoon or two, but the bowl is so big he falls into it. Tracey calls the waiter over and says; “Waiter, waiter, there’s a buzzin’ fly in my soup!”  And the waiter says; “Shush madam, or I’ll pop a cap in yo’ ass.”

Ok, it’s not a good joke. It’s not even a joke. It’s a play on a joke, with references to Ben’s solo career.

It’s the end of a long week. And today I have been at a writer’s meeting all day. It’s possibly the first time this year I’ve left the house. Tonight is Red Nose Day Night and I need a drink.

You have all been fantastic. I’ve just looked and I am almost at £1000. Astonishing.

Over the weekend I will thank you all. I will write some more too, because I know this is hurried and is maybe letting Team @tracey_thorn down. You can read all my challenges here.

This song, Are You Trying To Be Funny?, is from Love Not Money. Tonight though, well, money will be best. Money please. Not trying to be funny. I’ll leave that to all the people who are going to entertain us in 20 minutes time.

If you can sponsor me, if you will allow me to still pester, you can do so here.

I am overwhelmed by how generous you have all been.

Enjoy Comic Relief tonight, and enjoy Everything But The Girl performing Are You Trying To Be Funny?

With only two days to go it looks like I’ll run out of time to write about all the songs on Baby, The Stars Shine Bright… or maybe not. Am I allowed to carry on reaching my target beyond Friday night? Yes? I will have to. Come hell or high water I will reach my target of £1986 for Comic Relief.

If you’re new to this challenge just take a look over the past ten days and you will find out why £1986.

It’s for Comic Relief. I’m part of #twittermillion Team @tracey_thorn. We’re going to raise a million. Just you see.

In the build up to Big Red Nose Day tomorrow the BBC is showing Comic Relief: Through Hell And High Water tonight (BBC1, 8pm). In it Jack Dee wrestles with a hippopotamus. Maybe.

And guess what? Tracey Thorn and Ben Watt wrote a song called Come Hell Or High Water for Baby, The Stars Shine Bright. How could I not listen and learn to that one today?

But what does it mean, come hell or high water? Well, someone called Kitt writes: “This phrase appears to have been coined in the late 1800s to describe trail drives bringing cattle to the railroads. They had to cross the rivers even if they were flooding and the summer sun made the open prairies unbearably hot. The trail from Texas to Kansas went through hell AND high water.”

Ok. That sounds about right. It’s like Starship singing Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now. Singing it whilst Jack Dee hippo wrestles. Maybe. In mud.

Come Hell Or High Water (EBTG style) is, like yesterday’s A Country Mile, a country and western affair of sorts; a lush Patsy Cline-like ballad of drinking and singing and selfishness and charm; of staying “off the rails”,  of not quite walking the line.

Come hell or high water/ You never will be/ A goddess or a genius/ A drunkard at twenty three/ And all that you yearn for/ Is attention I guess/ Come hell or high water/ You deserve nothing less

And, selfishly on my part, seeking attention no doubt, I’m using these posts as an excuse to play some of my other favourite tracks that, obliquely, connect to EBTG. This one reminds me of (I’d Be) A Legend In My Time, as sung by Patsy Cline. I can’t find that on YouTube (which is a shame, as it’s the arrangement that makes me link the songs together).

I could play you the Johnny Cash version, but I won’t. Do give it a listen though.

A voice straight from heaven/ So you like to believe

Please enjoy lloyd Horlick singing (I’d Be) A Legend In My Time.

I think that’s just become my new favourite YouTube find of all time. For now.

Here’s Tracey singing Come Hell Or High Water… with some kind of desert island theme… hey, that’s YouTube for you, don’t blame me.

You can blame me for Lloyd if you like.

And if you can sponsor me, if you can help me reach my target, then you would be a legend in this time. You can sponsor me here.

Only two days to go! Tomorrow is Comic Relief’s Big Red Nose Day! And I am at a whopping £575 thanks to the immense generosity of all those who have donated. Big thanks and lots of love to yesterday’s lot; Zoe, Robin, Vicky, Veena, Simon, and Naomi. x

£575. I’m astonished. And, if you’re wondering what £575 can do for Comic Relief you can find out about all the people and issues they support here.

A just world free from poverty.

It sounds impossible doesn’t it. But look what happened yesterday! The new Pope is black, and a woman. No? Oh.

But he does travel everywhere by public transport (so they say) and he does shop at Primark and Lidl and he does support the poor and he does give all clothes back to the children who made them and he does believe in gay marriage and he doesn’t  necessarily, always, every day, believe in God.

Not all of the above is true. He does champion the poor I’m told.

A just world free from poverty.

Well, bit by bit.

And there’s no harm in trying.

And you lot are definitely playing your part.

But, for the last two days, I will try your patience by seeing if I can get more of you to give.

See, I set myself an unattainable target of £1986, in honour of the 1986 release of Everything But The Girl’s 1986 album, Baby, The Stars Shine Bright. £575 is truly amazing, but it turns out to be 28% of my target.

I’m persistent and stubborn and mad. I would love to get to £1986.

Yesterday, Comic Relief sent me an email with some tips on how to raise more money. (This email was an improvement on the one from the day before, where they sent me a bizarre treat as a thank you for the money raised so far). This is part of the email:

Here are a few tips to help you:

  • Chase everyone who promised to sponsor you but hasn’t done it yet with our reminder email.
  • Offer a prize for the person who sponsors you the most.
  • Tell everyone you’ll do or wear something silly (preferably, embarrassing) if they help you reach your target.
  • Download our sweepstake poster for an easy way to raise an extra 30 quid.
  • Hold a bake sale, a quiz night or set up a swear box at work to add to your total.
  • Download our old-school sponsorship form, put on a big smile and ask people in person.

Here’s my response. No. No. Ok. No. No. No.

I’m full of Big Nose fun me.

Here’s my reasons: I’m not Duncan Norvelle (odd 80′s style reference); I could offer a prize, but in the name of a just world free from poverty, I would offer everyone one; I have said that if we reach 50% of the target me and Zoe will recreate the cover artwork of Baby, The Stars Shine Bright (for 100% we’ll even do Love Not Money); sounds tricky; I work alone, I can’t bake, I already watch Pointless every night, I have more swear words than I have pounds; ask people in person? I haven’t done that since I was in the Cubs.

There’s my reasons. I always do my best to say yes, so I am a little ashamed of myself.

But not ashamed enough to say, if you can, please donate here.

Quick update: In the time it’s taken me to write this the total has gone up to £610! Fucking amazing… see? I told you I could swear. I feel positively Geldofian. Thank you Gill and anon. x

Only three more days to go of my Comic Relief team @tracey_thorn Challenge. And my challenge is… well, it’s not much of a challenge at all really. I am listening to tracks from two EBTG albums, Baby, The Stars Shine Bright and Love Not Money and then I am writing about them. Why those two albums? Because they’re the two I have.

And my plan is to raise £1986, in honour of the release year of Baby, The Stars Shine Bright. If I can’t reach my target I will settle for £1985, the release year of Love Not Money.

People have been incredibly generous and kind, and, at the time of writing, my total is £540. That truly astounds me. Thank you all.

But I have set myself a ridiculously high target and, truth is, I am a country mile off reaching it. And so, as we reach the last few days of campaigning, I am going to try and cover some of that huge distance by writing about a track from Baby, The Stars Shine Bright  called, hey, A Country Mile.

A Country Mile isn’t an out and out country song but it does have a bit of torch and twang about it. And Ben Watt’s gorgeous orchestration makes me think of Owen Bradley and the great work he did late on in his career with k. d. lang. And then there’s Tracey Thorn’s soaring vocals, that would make any man, woman, or member of One Direction, swoon. And so, a breather before the song. Time to enjoy a bit of Kathryn Dawn.

And each time you smile/ I know I would follow you a country mile/ For all that I’m chasing is worthless and vile

I’ve looked online for information about country miles. This is my favourite find; Robin Hood shot a full mile; and, according to his bard, a north-country mile was equal to two statute ones.

If you are going to follow someone for a country mile, it’s not going to be easy. it’ll take time and the chances are you’ll stand in a cow pat.

Oh… that reminds me. Some folk have been surprised that these blog posts aren’t just jokes. It never occurred to me that I should be using the songs of EBTG as a basis for jokes, but if there’s the demand I’ll do my best to provide.

Here’s a joke my grandpa used to tell me. He told me of walking home drunk from the pub. He took a short cut through the local cow field. His cap fell off. He tried on 24 before he found his.

That’s the joke.

Another from my grandpa; the first joke I ever heard. It’s more of a riddle to be honest, but I was all of four, I’d laugh at anything.

Here it is:

What goes under the water and over the water but never touches the water?

I’ll tell you the answer at the end, give you time to think about it.

But when you smile/ I swear I would follow you a country mile/ Please save me before I do things that aren’t worth my while

This was one of Zoe’s choices but in the end she went for Don’t Leave Me behind. So I dedicate the lines above to her for saving me.

Oh, give me a break. I’m allowed some indulgence here. What? More jokes?

Why was Ben and Tracey’s barbecue a washout?

Because they remembered everything but the grill.

Right, can I get back to the songs now please?

There’s lots of Country Mile’s out there. Rory Gallagher, Clinic, Slim Dusty. Or how about this one from The Ink Spots.

But you’d have to go a further country mile to match this:

Three days to go to Red Nose Day. If you can spare a pound or two please sponsor me here.

Oh, and did you get it?

The answer is; an egg in a duck’s belly.

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