Lockdown Group

This group is to cheer up everyone in Lockdown.

Post your handy tips, funny stories, pictures and items to keep us entertained.

Thank you.

Jenny, Sixtyplusurfers

Members: 9
Latest Activity: May 22, 2020

Lockdown Group

This group is to cheer everyone up in Lockdown. Post your handy tips, pictures, stories and items to keep us entertained in the 'Comment Wall' below. Thank you. Jenny, Sixtyplusurfers.

Comment Wall

Comment by Jenny Itzcovitz on April 23, 2020 at 11:32

Hello Silverfox - I really enjoyed your morning story. That sounds like such a fun camping holiday - you must have had so many laughs.

Dear Henrietta, certainly kept you on your toes!

Keep the stories coming. Best wishes to you and Pat.

Jenny xx

Comment by Silverfox on April 24, 2020 at 10:14

                                  Camping Holidays
Our grown-up children often refer to our camping holidays as the best ever, despite them having travelled to many exotic places in their later lives. We hadn’t much money in those early days, but that didn’t matter, so long as we had some reasonable weather, it was all great fun, and even the dog was excited when she could see us loading up the car!!
I shall never forget our first tent, which was a second-hand MFI tent, the type they advertised in the weekend newspapers. I paid £25 for it, and it was an enormous great thing. It had certainly seen better days, but it was robust and the heavy canvas seemed in reasonable condition. I purchased some special paint and with a bright blue roof, plus vivid orange walls, we loaded up the car and headed off to North Wales on our first ever camping adventure. We drove along the coast and spotted a site called ‘The Puffin Camp Site’ and we booked in for a full week. Pat was not impressed with our tent and she remarked that it looked like something Colonel Gaddafi might have lived in!!
Having erected the tent, we decided to have a run out in the car, and we finished up on the Isle of Anglesey. It was mid-afternoon and we noticed the distant sky turning very black, so we headed back to our campsite. The approaching bad weather was catching us up and by the time we reached our tent there was a severe gale blowing and it all looked very scary. The tent had a veranda and when we arrived back, the supporting poles had collapsed, and the veranda was blowing like a huge flag in the gale. I soon got it secured and then a man approached and asked if we were new to camping and of course, I had to say “Yes”. When I asked why, he explained that I had pitched the tent in a most dangerous location, directly beneath a large oak tree. He said there was a very bad storm approaching and asked if I had any spare rope. As it happened, I had a lengthy rope in the car boot, so I tethered the tent both inside and out and despite the oak tree, we decided to risk it, and we battened ourselves down for the night. It was horrendous and without a wink of sleep, I spent most of the night swinging from the steel roof supports to prevent us from being blown away. During the course of the night, we heard people screaming and the sound of pots and pans, as some far more modern tents than ours had collapsed under the force of the storm. The next morning, it looked more like a battle site, and there were just a few tents still standing, including our Colonel Gaddafi jobbie!!

Happy Days.

Comment by Jenny Itzcovitz on April 24, 2020 at 15:44

What a great story - it sounds like you had so much fun camping in your 'Colonel Gaddafi' tent. It was obviously made from something very 'robust'. Those were the days .... 

Comment by Silverfox on April 25, 2020 at 10:43

                           More Camping Holidays
I have previously referred to Farmer Johnnies Camp Site, and that’s where we spent most of our camping holidays. There are many stories to tell, but here are a few that immediately come to mind.
Over the years, when visiting the same camp site, we got to know many campers, some of whom became good friends. There was a couple from Liverpool and on one occasion we were the only tent in the field on the day of our arrival. We pitched our now posh tent in a prime location with a sea view and just as we had finished setting up, who should arrive onto the site, but the folks from Liverpool. They came to say hello, and then asked whether we minded them pitching up alongside us. Obviously, we were delighted, but they insisted on keeping a good space between our respective tents. I guess they must have left at least 10 – 12 feet between us, and that was just fine. After they had set up, both parties left the site and when we returned, we couldn’t believe that another family had arrived, and they had pitched between our two tents. There was barely 12 inches either side, and when our friends returned, with his amazing Liverpudlian sense of humour, the husband came to our tent and said, “That guy will almost be sleeping in my bed tonight!!”
In the early days, money was scarce and with me liking a pint, I used to brew my own beer, and take a barrel away on our camping holidays. I recall that on one occasion, I had loaded a barrel containing forty pints of home brewed bitter onto the roof rack, supported on top of our sleeping pillows. When securely roped down, my improvised used plastic chemical container looked a fine site, at least it did to me!. We headed off and it was a beautiful summer day with not a cloud in the sky. We were about halfway to Farmer Johnnies, when Pat told me it was raining on her side window. “Don’t be silly,” I said, “It can’t be raining out of a blue sky.” I looked over and realised there must have been a leakage from my beer, so I pulled over to investigate. It was my best bitter leaking and all the bed pillows were soaking wet. You can imaging the missus was not best pleased and when we arrived at the site, we did our best to dry them out, but there remained a strong smell of beer throughout the week, and I for one, had some amazing night’s sleep, taking in the hoppy smell rising up from my sleeping pillow.
There was another holiday with an unfortunate situation regarding my home brewed best bitter. When I sampled my first pint it had a distinct odour and a mild taste of TCP, and I realised it must have acquired a wild yeast or some other infection. I was naturally very disappointed, but I persisted with the brew and I soon discovered that after a few mouthfuls, the TCP effect seemed to diminish, and from then on, it was case of necking the first half pint or so in double quick time. Needless to say, I didn’t suffer from a sore throat during that particular holiday.
On another occasion, things went wrong right from the start. We had been doing some home improvement’s, when I had constructed a new garage, tarmacadamed the drive, and erected some smart wrought iron gates at the end of the drive. We had loaded the car to capacity, when a neighbour shouted something about the kitchen sink! All seemed well until I began reversing off the drive, and there was a sickening crunch as the underside of the car collided with my recently fitted new gate stop. I managed to ease the car forward and then, rather than unload all the gear, I took my hacksaw, reduced the height of the stop by a full one inch, and then we were on our way!
More Happy Days!

Comment by biddymarie on April 28, 2020 at 11:02

Well we have our daughter & granddaughter living with us so sometimes can be a bit fraught to say the least.I know & feel for a lot of people who live on their own. But personality I am really getting used to this lockdown I watched a great Andrew Lloyd Webber ' Show  on 'The show must go on ' on YouTube ( on Fridays 7pm but only on for 48hrs) We had our own music  Concert on Saturday afternoon from picking songs on YouTube  showed granddaughter what great music is Beach Boys, Queen, & ended up with Frozens 'Let itgo!' Lol And she makes my heart sing when shes banging her plastic saucepan with a wooden spoon. Im luckier than most but there are some great Programmes on Quest too. Be safe out their but also make the most of it. Read,Take up painting or just ring up relations ( maybe afternoon though if got kids as doing schooling).

Comment by Jenny Itzcovitz on April 28, 2020 at 11:16

Hello Biddymarie, it sounds like you are doing very well! How lovely to be living with your daughter and granddaughter. 

The lockdown is a good opportunity to take up new hobbies ... I've been growing herbs on my windowsill (a new one for me) and baking muffins (also new). The FaceTime conversations with family are a real life saver.

It does test and challenge you. But also makes you appreciate the small things in life which are important such as family and friends.

Take care. Enjoy Sixtyplusurfers.

Best wishes

Jenny xx

Comment by Silverfox on April 30, 2020 at 11:30

                                               Les Ash

Les was a fitter at the mill in rural Cheshire, where I served my engineering apprenticeship, and in his spare time he played the piano. He was a very unassuming man, who was liked by all, and one day he came to work with a horror story about something that had taken place the night before. He was a regular piano player at a workingmen’s club in his hometown of Biddulph. The evening had been in full swing and as usual, Les was tickling the old ivories, when all of a sudden, a guy came bursting into the bar brandishing a 12-bore shot gun. He strode up to the bar and pointed the gun at another guy who was standing there holding a pint of ale. Les said you could hear a pin drop as the place went deadly quiet and naturally, Les had stopped playing the piano. The guy with the gun was swearing in a most aggressive manner, as he accused the other man of having an affair with his wife (or words to that effect)! and then there was a loud bang as he pulled the trigger and the individual who’d been shot, collapsed onto the floor. Someone phoned for the police and Les decided the only thing for him, was to continue playing the piano, as if nothing whatsoever had happened. I’d love to know what kind tunes he was playing!
There is another story about Les and his musical pursuits. Apparently, as well as being a very good pianist, Les was an accomplished piano accordion player.
The story goes that Les was entertaining customers at a pub in Biddulph, one very cold winters night. It was snowing heavily and when it was closing time the weather conditions were poor. Les was travelling home on his motorcycle, so some kind people decided to assist him with the preparation for his hazardous journey. They put his jacket on back to front with his piano accordion slung across his back. Les had a peak flat cap, which they also put on back to front in the belief that it would be less prone to blowing away in the gale.
Les set off for home, but unfortunately, he crashed the motorbike and lay injured in the road. A passer-by sent for the police and ambulance and when they were attending to Les, they miss read the situation and thought his head had twisted round in the accident. They spent some time attempting to turn his head back to front before they realised, he was wearing his jacket the wrong way around!!

Comment by Jenny Itzcovitz on April 30, 2020 at 11:56

Hi Silverfox, thank you for sharing your stories about Les. He sounds a very 'colourful' character. You definitely have a talent for story telling. Take care, and best wishes to Pat. Jenny xx

Comment by Silverfox on May 6, 2020 at 14:48

                            A bad day out in Blackpool (Part 1)
In the early 1970s, times were tough, when our children were young, and I clearly recall a day out in Blackpool that really peed me off.
Our first child Tracey was still a baby and whilst very beautiful, she suffered from projectile vomiting, very often, straight after her bottle feed. Whilst I can count on one hand the number of occasions when I have been physically sick, I do have a very tickled stomach, and the least smell of vomit, or the briefest glimpse of someone retching, makes me automatically heave out of control.
On the day in question, Pat and I had decided to take Tracey to Blackpool, where Mother and Father-in-law (Joan & Jack) were staying on holiday. Pat gave Tracey her morning feed and everything seemed ok, with no signs of the feed coming back. We loaded the car with all the things needed to support a babe in arms and off we set. We were nicely heading north on the M6 motorway, when I was hit in the neck by a fountain of warm milky vomit, fired from behind, where Tracey was sat on her mother’s knee. My reaction was no surprise whatsoever, and I began retching to a point where it was difficult to maintain concentration on my driving. I opened the side window to gasp at some fresh air, but the remainder of the journey was blighted by repeated attacks from my crippled stomach.
Upon arrival in Blackpool, where it was blowing a gale and piddling down with rain, we located the guest house where Ma and Pa were staying and we cleaned up the mess as best we could, although there was no chance that we could completely get rid of the awful smell of vomit. The girls expressed a wish to go shopping, so we decided to take a walk to the boating pool where Jack suggested we might get some shelter from the terrible weather. He was right, because the pool was like an amphitheatre with high surrounding walls, which provided good protection from the wind and rain. We got ourselves a couple of deck chairs and sat there watching the paddleboats and canoes going merrily by. After a few minutes Jack said “Shall we take a ride in a boat?” It seemed a good idea to me, so we made our way to the jetty and paid our fares for the hire of a canoe.
The boat attendant had a canoe secured to the end of a long pole with which he was keeping it in place alongside the wooden jetty. “Get in the front,” said Jack, and very carefully, I lowered myself into the front end of this steel boat, which seemed much heavier than I would have imagined. Having got myself into position with the rowing paddle firmly in hand, I was aware of the canoe moving as Jack positioned himself into the rear of the boat.
“We’re off” he shouted, which I understood to mean that we were moving off. Not one bit of it, and following a couple of violent wobbles, the canoe capsized, and we sank to the bottom.
What a hell of a shock, and whilst the water was not very deep, I was completely under the surface, and might easily have drowned. It was a struggle getting my legs out of the damn thing and panic was about to set in when, I got myself free and was able to stand up and get my head above water. As I looked round, Jack stood up spitting out the dirty water and he shouted, “Good God, I think I’ve swallowed a herring.”

Comment by Silverfox on May 6, 2020 at 14:50

                   A bad day out at Blackpool (Part 2)

The boat attendant was not pleased, and he was more concerned about how he could recover his canoe from the bottom, rather than our state of health and wellbeing. I accused the attendant of negligence and said that he should not have cast off until it was obvious that we were stable and in a safe state to paddle our canoe. He said that Jack was to blame because instead of sitting in the bottom of the canoe, he had parked his backside on the rear cover section, which raised the centre of gravity and made the boat unstable.
Sat around the pool were lots of people in their deck chairs, many in fits of laughter at what they had just seen. One rather plump gentleman was rocking to and fro to a point where he seemed fit to burst.
I demanded a refund from the attendant, but he flatly refused, and instead, he offered us another ride, which we reluctantly accepted. By this time, we were feeling the effects of the cold and one lap of the pool was sufficient, so we cut the ride short. As we disembarked, a mighty roar sounded as people cheered and laughed at our misfortune. The very large gentleman was still rocking in his chair, when the canvas ripped and he fell backwards, with his legs up in the air. “It’s our turn to laugh now,” I said, and I told him it served him right!
What could we do now? We were ringing wet through, freezing cold, and desperate to get into some warm dry clothing.
“Let’s go to the Derby Baths,” said Jack, “as they will have drying rooms where we can get ourselves sorted.” Drying rooms, I thought! I don’t think so, but he seemed very sure, so we strode out across the promenade.
What a spectacle Jack looked, he was wearing a brand new Marks & Sparks pure woollen cardigan, and the weight of the water had stretched it to a point where the hem was almost down to his ankles. We got some funny looks as we waited in the queue to book our drying rooms, and when it came to our turn, “Drying Rooms,” the attendant said, “no such things here, we only have swimming facilities.” That was enough for me, so we made our way back to the boarding house, where the girls had just returned from their shopping trip. You can imagine their amusement when we explained what had happened.
“Get in the car quick,” I said, and off we set for home. By the time we arrived home in the Potteries, my clothes were almost dry, but I had great difficulty removing my jeans. When they did come off, my legs were coloured blue from the dye in the cloth.
What a day that had been, one which I would like to forget.

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