Joe Stead – The Ramblings of an old Codger – Volume 100 – January 2009

I would like to congratulate my 29 world wide fans on receiving, and possibly reading, all 100 copies of Codger Ramblings. This epistle, started exactly 100 months ago, has run non-stop every month ever since. I had no idea (and to be honest no real inclination at the onset) to keep this monster alive for so long. It now goes out to over 1,000 recipient’s world wide – I would imagine however that the actual readership is a considerably lower figure. I expect a lot go straight into the Junk Email bin; never to see the light of day. But it started in October 2000 to let my world wide fan club know what I was up to; and I guess all 29 of you still get it. Whether you are daft enough to read it is of course a completely different matter. The whole collection, yes every word, can be found on my web site. www.joestead.com (Although this month won’t be there yet). But feed back has generally been good and I’ve found it a useful long term tool to not only keep in touch with friends worldwide but also as a reminder that both Kimber’s Men and Joe Stead are available for employment. There is nothing worse than continually phoning people to get work.

So, another day, another dollar. What price then another year? I wonder if those evil buggers who drove planes into the twin towers etc are looking down from Paradise, a virgin on each arm, and a twinkle in each eye, contented that their plan has worked. The world soon to be staggering under climate change has already slumped into deep recession brought on by the foolishness of attacking Iraq. I can condone Afghanistan, there was a logical reason for chasing after Bin Laden although we should have known that a war in Afghanistan could never be won; and never will be. The Americans have plunged 600 billion dollars into the Iraq war and here in Britain Tony Blair has condemned us to a figure we can only guess at; but certainly more than we can afford. What foolishness lies ahead? Well the USA now intend to greatly increase fighting manpower in Afghanistan. I fear it will result in more American lives lost for absolutely no return and more money down the drain.

The President of Iran sent us a Christmas message (which regrettably I missed) on Channel 4 on Christmas day. A message somewhat incredulously condemned by the British Government. OK, so it was full of anti-Western rhetoric; his government presides over repeated human rights abuses and his hatred of the Jewish faith is well documented. But if we don’t listen to him we can’t talk to him; and surely talking has to be better than killing. But one should at the same time remind ourselves that whilst his claim that Jesus Christ would smite the Jews and kick the expansionist Yankees into touch; that he routinely arrests and tortures Christians (who have been unable to escape the country) confiscating their property and closing their churches. One evangelical preacher faces the death penalty for renunciation and conversion of faith. So it would be safe to assume he ain’t exactly a nice man.

An old Cherokee Indian is reported to have told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, “My son, the battle is between two 'wolves' inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, lies, resentment, inferiority, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?”
The old Indian simply replied, “The one you feed.”

The political highlight of the last month for me was to see George Bush being attacked by a pair of shoes. The sincerity of the insult, like the shoes, went unfortunately completely over his head; but it was an enjoyable little episode nonetheless. Something he will doubtless recall over dinner many times with his cohorts as if the matter was a joke. To think that an idiot was for 8 years the most powerful man on the planet is a sobering thought and a reflection on American society. Now thankfully Blair is a thing of the past and Bush will join him before the next Ramblings hit your computer screens. All we need now is to see an end to Mugabe’s rule in Zimbabwe and three of the world’s most hated leaders will be confined to history.

I’m off to America in February for what I suspect will be my farewell tour. I seem to go every 4 or 5 years now which means I will be in my seventies if I go again. Gigs in the US are very different from the gigs here in UK insofar as the distances travelled can be enormous. Last time (four years ago) I drove 900 miles to my first booking! This interlude in my professional singing career will probably see a break in the Ramblings for a month as I will be away from February 15th until April 8th. Perhaps I’ll issue a blank March 2009 Ramblings; should bring in a few angry letters if I do! For many years every time I’ve been across the pond I’ve been invited by Ralph Litwin to perform on his television series “Horses sing none of it”; and I’ve never quite made it. But this time I’m finding the time. I’ll probably never get another chance.

"...Horses Sing None of It!" is a non-commercial half-hour cable television series featuring a surprising variety of entertainers in performance and conversation. The series has won three awards from The Hometown Video Festival, the country's largest and longest-running community media competition: 1996 & 1997 in the category of Cultural/Ethnic Diversity, and 1997 in the Entertainment category. It is produced and hosted by Ralph Litwin, twice NJ Old Style Banjo Champion, winner of the Uncle Dave Macon Freewheelin' Style & 2nd place in Harmonica at 1996 Uncle Dave Macon Days, Murfreesboro, TN.

It currently airs on:
1. Cablevision (Morris Co., NJ area) 7:30 PM, Sun. Ch.21;
2. Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN), New York City 2:30 PM Thursday
3. Time/Warner Cable Channel 34 & on RCN Cable Channel 82; also broadcast via streaming video on the web at www.MNN.org (popup players 34/82 http | mms);
4. Comcast (Somerset Co., NJ area) 3:30 PM Fri. Ch. 280;
5. Comcast Cablevision of Northwest NJ 3:30 PM, Mon. channel 21;
6. Service Electric Cable TV, Allentown, PA (in 84 towns) Thurs. 9:30 PM, Ch. 50;
7. LVTV-3, Adelphia Cable in La Verne, CA at 6:30PM Fridays;
8. Princeton TV-30 weekly as announced on their website.
9. SICTV (Staten Island Community TV) every other Sat. 6:00 PM channel 34;
10. Fargo Access Channel 12 (www.cityoffargo.com/cable ) on Cable One 6:30 PM Fridays & 3:00 PM Mondays in Fargo, North Dakota.

Wow!


The Independent reported thus on Friday, 21 November 2008

How Form 696 could pull the plug on the capital's music scene
Warning sounded over new piece of bureaucracy that forces licensees to reveal a mass of information about performers.
Teenage kicks will be harder to get if publicans and managers of other small venues are forced to comply with a new piece of bureaucracy called Form 696, a former punk rock star has warned.
The form demands that licensees give police a mass of detail, including the names, aliases, private addresses and phone numbers of all musicians and other performers appearing at their venue, and the ethnic background of the likely audience. Failure to comply could mean the loss of a license or even a fine and imprisonment.
The police say they need the information demanded on Form 696, which runs to eight pages, so they can pinpoint which acts and venues attract troublemakers, and make sure venues are safe. But Fergal Sharkey, who rose to fame during the punk era as the vocalist on the single "Teenage Kicks" by the Undertones, is so angry about what he sees as a threat to live music that he is consulting lawyers about how to stop it.
As the boss of UK Music, which campaigns for musicians, he will be applying next week for a judicial review into whether a local authority has the right to make it a condition of a publican's licence that they have to fill in Form 696. The scheme was introduced by the Metropolitan Police after incidents at live music concerts in 2006, some involving guns. In theory, it applies to any licensed premises where there is live entertainment, but Detective Chief Superintendent Richard Martin, head of the Met's pubs and vice squad, said that in reality it will apply only to performances likely to draw large crowds.
It applies in 21 London boroughs, but professionals in the music business fear that if it becomes accepted, it will be copied in other cities. Martin Rawlings, director of the Pub and Beer Association, said: "I know of licensees faced with this saying they are just not going to put live music on. Form 696 is being used only in London so far, but there are similar things going on around the country, where the police are asking publicans to sign various protocols. It has gone too far, frankly."
Mr Sharkey has also complained to the Equality and Human Rights Commission that the police appear to be focusing on the music enjoyed by black and Asian teenagers. One of the questions on the form requires the licensee to specify the type of music that will be performed, giving as possible examples "Basement, R'n'B, Garage". Another question asks, "Is there a particular ethnic group attending?"
In a letter to Sir Ian Blair, the Met commissioner, Mr Sharkey said: "In explicitly singling out performances and musical styles favoured by the black community we believe the use of Risk Assessment Form 696 is disproportionate, unacceptable and damaging to live music."
The Musicians' Union is also consulting lawyers, because they believe that performers' privacy is being invaded. Rick Finlay, 49, who has been playing drums in London venues for 30 years, warned that even if licensees agree to fill in Form 696, musicians may not co-operate. "I would be pretty angry about it, and I can tell you some of my colleagues would refuse to work with me rather than give their details," he said. "The last thing they need is a deterrent, which implies that there is something wrong with what they are doing."
But Det Ch Supt Martin said Form 696 was already making live music in large venues safer. "It's not about being risk averse, it's about managing the risk," he said. "If you are a publican and you are just having some performers to entertain your regular customers, you won't be expected to do a risk assessment. It's for when the performance is being put on to draw people in. We will never assess somebody just on the genre of music they are performing. There is a whole raft of factors that are taken into account."

Another nail in the coffin?

Well how about the daft idea being mooted by some to ban all drinking and driving? Anyone caught with the slightest whiff of alcohol on their breath to be banned from driving for one year! Well it seems like a good idea on paper; but in reality? In reality it will eventually see the closure of all our pubs and restaurants. It will see the closure of all small licensed venues that promote music; and without them in 20 years it will see the end of all entertainment as we know it. Because without venues for groundwork we would today have had no Rolling Stones, no Beatles. None of them would have seen the light of day. The non-drinkers can argue till they are long in the teeth and blue in the face that alcohol is not a necessity for live music. OK, I agree for the minority it’s not a necessity. But venues are already closing hand over fist due to the stupid non-smoking laws. Surely smoking rooms in pubs is a much better idea. In Ireland pub closure has become an epidemic. Without sufficient punters all our pubs will close; and with them live music will vanish too. Think long and hard on it before you change the drinking/driving laws. They are fine as they are. People just need to be responsible. Perhaps changing drinking and driving laws for those under 21 might help.

So whilst we still have some venues here is where you can see KM and JS.


Joint Fixture List for Kimber’s Men and Joe Stead.

2009
Jan 12th (Joe) North East Leeds Probus Club – Valparaiso round the Horn
Jan 16th (KM) Sixmilebridge Winter Festival, County Clare, Ireland
Jan 17th (KM) Sixmilebridge Winter Festival, County Clare, Ireland
Jan 18th (KM) Sixmilebridge Winter Festival, County Clare, Ireland
Feb 7th (KM) Square Chapel Theatre, Halifax.
Feb 25th (Joe) Durham, North Carolina. US
Feb 26th (Joe) Calvert Marine Museum in Maryland. US
Feb 27th (Joe) Pickers Supply Concert Hall, Fredericksburg, Virginia, US.
Feb 28th (Joe) Washington Folk Song Society. US
Mar 1st (Joe) South Street Seaport Museum, New York. US.
Mar 2nd (Joe) Taping television show ‘Horses sing none of it’. Randolph, NJ. US.
Mar 7th (Joe) Philadelphia Folk Song Society. US.
Mar 10th (Joe) Montgomery College, Bluebell Hill, Philadelphia US (Lunch time).
Mar 10th (Joe) The Mermaid Inn, Winston Road, German Town, Philadelphia. US
Mar 14th (Joe) South Portland, Maine. US.
Mar 15th (Joe) House Concert, Boston, Ma. US
Mar 16th (Joe) The Cantab Lounge, 738 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, Boston, Ma. US
Mar 17th (Joe) World Performance Center in Essex. Ma
Mar 28th(Joe) Fiddlers Dream Coffeehouse, 1702 East Glendale, North Phoenix, Arizona.
May 2nd (KM) Sweeps Festival, Rochester
May 3rd (KM) Sweeps Festival, Rochester
May 4th (KM) Sweeps Festival, Rochester
May 8th (KM) Clennell Hall Folk Festival, Alwinton, Northumberland
May 9th (KM) Clennell Hall Folk Festival, Alwinton, Northumberland
May 10th (KM) Clennell Hall Folk Festival, Alwinton, Northumberland
May 11th (Joe) Leeds
May 20th (Joe) Menston Retired Mens Forum, Kirklands. (Paul Robeson)
May 23rd (Joe) Exmouth Shanty Festival
May 24th (Joe) Exmouth Shanty Festival
May 25th (Joe) Exmouth Shanty Festival
May 26th (Joe) Exmouth Shanty Festival
Jun 12th (KM) Falmouth Festival of the Sea
Jun 13th (KM) Falmouth Festival of the Sea
Jun 14th (KM) Falmouth Festival of the Sea
Jun 18th (KM) Topic Folk Club, Bradford.
Jul 24th (KM) Warwick Folk Festival
Jul 25th (KM) Warwick Folk Festival
Jul 26th (KM) Warwick Folk Festival
Aug 21st (Joe) Moira Furnace Folk Festival Leicester - Provisional
Aug 22nd (Joe) Moira Furnace Folk Festival Leicester - Provisional
Aug 23rd (Joe) Moira Furnace Folk Festival Leicester - Provisional
Aug 28th (KM) Shrewsbury Folk Festival
Aug 29th (KM) Shrewsbury Folk Festival
Aug 30th (KM) Shrewsbury Folk Festival
Aug 31st (KM) Shrewsbury Folk Festival
Sep 4th (KM) Hull Festival of the Sea
Sep 5th (KM) Hull Festival of the Sea
Sep 6th (KM) Hull Festival of the Sea
Sep 9th (Joe) North Bradford Men’s Forum. - Valparaiso
Sep 11th (KM) Swanage Folk Festival
Sep 12th (KM) Swanage Folk Festival
Sep 13th (KM) Swanage Folk Festival
Sep 18th (KM) Deal Maritime Festival
Sep 19th (KM) Deal Maritime Festival
Sep 20th (KM) Deal Maritime Festival
Sep 29th (Joe) Leeds Elmete Probus Club, New Inn, Eccup Lane, Bramhope. - Valparaiso
Oct 19th (KM) The Bridge Folk Club, Newcastle Upon Tyne
Oct 25th (KM) Scrag End Folk Club, Shoulder of Mutton, Oakthorpe, Leicestershire
Nov 14th (Joe) The News from Nowhere Club, Waltham Forest. – Robeson Lecture.
2010
Sep 25th (KM) The Castle Inn, Combe Martin, High Street, North Devon

Letters

Hi Joe,
Thanks for ramblings. Ray and I turn off every programme in which Ross the Tosser has appeared. What worries me is that BBC thought he was fit to employ in any capacity in the first place. His humour is of the playground 'who can piss the highest up the wall ' fashion. It brings into focus a wider problem. The BBC's idea of comedy is increasingly of the school loo genre. In addition programmes such as 'Weakest Link' are screened at 1715 hrs, prime listening time for children. This programme teaches kids that total lack of respect and rudeness to strangers is clever, even acceptable.
A look at Radio 4 comedy reveals a declining standard of mediocrity diving into lunacy. Count Arthur Strong is a prime example.
The BBC and even our joke of a Government have not yet realised that there are now more oldies like me than there are children. The voting power is with us OAPs. Yet BBC claims that Robinson, Ross et al are to attract the youth listeners. The humour of the school urinal was beaten out of us in my childhood and I think our world was better for it. The F word is now apparently clever repartee, what next, the C word?
In the Navy in the 1950s sea language was pretty ripe but sailors ashore did not use it and never in front of women and children and certainly not in public. Jack ashore and Jack at sea were participants in two cultures. To a man we would have given the Jonathan Rosses of this world a damn good thumping. Ross is of the gutter and best dumped there.
Best aye,
Eric Cowell.


Hi Joe,
Greetings from somewhere near the South Pole - New Zealand actually. Hey Joe, that joke about New Zealanders and the cow was a bit close to the bone. I thought that we had kept that a little secret between ourselves. Any Kiwi repeating it will be summarily executed or exiled to Australia. Most people choose execution.
As ever I enjoy your ramblings but a little typo crept in there. You referred to President Johnson whereas I think that you meant Kennedy.
All the best,
Rudy Sunde.


Joe
I am glad to see you are laying off Gordon Brown, come the man come the hour. Our dour Scotsman is the most likely person to get the English out of their financial predicament.
There is a rumour a foot Joe, that you are a paid up member of the Conservative party, I hope this is untrue.
Dick Miles


Hello Joe,

Banning smoking surely has taken its toll on pubs closing. I wonder why smoking couldn't have been dealt with like it's been done in Spain. If there is a physical divide then the bar can have one part for smokers and one part for non-smokers. If not then the owner has to choose to have the bar for smokers or for non-smokers. If the owner chooses to allow smoking then people under 18 aren't allowed in. This is for the irresponsible parents who are going to make their children passive smoke.
Don't you think that's a far better idea?
I expect the British government will see the error of it's ways eventually when the pub becomes a thing of the past.
Speak to you soon.
Big hug.
Rhonda Tauman, Tenerife. X


Joe
Every day now my mind never rests from the thoughts of those friends in 3 Cdo Brigade RM, with others, now out there facing an enemy that knows no rules - it's not traditional warfare they are facing even though they've been well trained as all Royal Marines. They not only have to fight the Taliban but, above all, conduct a 'hearts and minds' campaign as a vital part of their task, with the local people and, I might add, with some considerable success too, not that the media pays much attention to that aspect .
BUT how do you recognise a 13 yr old boy as a suicide bomber? What do you feel when three of your mates are killed by one right in front of you?!
How do you feel, knowing that an IED is likely to blow up you and your vehicle at any time despite all the care and observation? Or that a RP can take your head off in a moment, or you stumble on a well-concealed booby trap which, if you're lucky only taking your leg off?
The mental stress is enormous, and too much overlooked, but they continue their tasks with a spirit and cheerfulness that is so remarkable almost to an unbelievable extent.
They don't get the MOD support they deserve - the civil servants paperwork must be correct - damn the fact that some equipment is short or sub-standard - no wonder our ex-Service chiefs are, once again, up in arms with so little support from our government politicians!
Our boys (and girls!) are fantastic and deserve all our support - they can't even receive many of the Christmas gifts sent out to them as so many are in FOB's ( Forward Operating Bases) hundreds of miles from the main bases and supplied by armoured convoys to run the gauntlet over many hours driving, and fight their way there too, to take fuel, food, ammo and water - these basics are total priority. Some of the drivers (and most personnel are qualified drivers now to take over immediately from other driver casualties) are the young ladies of our Band Service, trained medics too.
I can't speak too highly of them, many who have volunteered and gone back after previous tours.
About two/thirds of the Forces in S Afghanistan are Royal Navy and Royal Marines ! With big Navy Support Units and most choppers are RN helicopter squadrons, with RN Harrier support aircraft - a long way from the sea!
We can be so proud of them but spare a thought for so many of their families, this Christmas, who will be dreading that knock on their front door.
We all salute their courage - both the troops and their families, when we are so helpless to do much to do anything for them, except to ensure they are never just a statistic! Don't let anyone say that there is anything the matter with our youngsters today!! They're bloody marvellous!!
Brian Williams,


Hi Joe,
I'd be most grateful if you will kindly support my friend Kevin's (remember Folk at The Chequers?) initiative. He wants to gain a high web profile, in the next few weeks, for a video of my 1977 version of "Rudolph".
If you enjoy this link http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=47260338
please click on it whenever you can in December and spread the word.
It is also on YouTube with other JSC archive clips.
With grateful thanks
John


Dear Joe
How to wash a toilet ------ BUT as a cautionary warning from the RSPCA --- get the wife to do it -- after all it's a woman’s job!!!
This was simply too much of a time saver not to share it with you.
1. Put both lids of the toilet up and add 1/8 cup of pet shampoo to the water in the bowl.
2. Pick up the cat and soothe him while you carry him towards the bathroom.
3. In one smooth movement, put the cat in the toilet and close the lid. You may need to stand on the lid.
4. The cat will self agitate and make ample suds. Never mind the noises that come from the toilet, the cat is actually enjoying this.
5. Flush the toilet three or four times. This provides a 'power-wash' and rinse'.
6. Have someone open the front door of your home. Be sure that there are no people between the bathroom and the front door.
7. Stand behind the toilet as far as you can, and quickly lift the lid.
8. The cat will rocket out of the toilet, streak through the bathroom, and run outside where he will dry himself off.
9. Both the commode and the cat will be sparkling clean.
Yours Sincerely,
The Dog

FUNNIES

When you're from the country you look at things a little differently...........

A Montana rancher got in his pickup and drove to a neighboring ranch and knocked at the door.
A young boy, about 9, opened the door.
'Is yer Dad home?' the rancher asked.
'No sir, he ain't,' the boy replied. 'He went into town.'
'Well,' said the rancher, 'is yer Mom here?'
'No, sir, she ain 't here neither. She went into town with Dad.'
'How about your brother, Howard? Is he here?'
'He went with Mom and Dad.'
The rancher stood there for a few minutes, shifting from one foot to the other mumbling to himself.
'Is there anything I can do fer ya?' the boy asked politely. 'I knows where all the tools are, if you want to borry one. Or maybe I could take message fer Dad.'
'Well,' said the rancher uncomfortably, 'I really wanted to talk to yer Dad.
It's about your Brother Howard getting my daughter, Pearly Mae, pregnant.'
The boy considered for a moment. 'You would have to talk to Pa about that' he finally conceded. 'If it helps you any, I know that Pa charges $500 for the bull and $50 for the hog, but, I really don't know how much he gets fer Howard.'

Five Surgeons

The first, a Manchester surgeon, says: 'I like to see accountants on my operating table, because when you open them up, everything inside is numbered.'
The second, a Liverpool surgeon, responds: 'Yeah, but you should try electricians! Everything inside them is colour coded.'
The third, a Newcastle surgeon, says: 'No, I really think librarians are the best; everything inside them is in alphabetical order.'
The fourth, a Birmingham surgeon, chimes in: 'You know, I like construction workers...those guys always understand when you have a few parts left over.
But the fifth, a London surgeon, shuts them all up when he observed: You're all wrong. Politicians are the easiest to operate on. There's no guts, no heart, no balls, no brains and no spine, and the head and the arse are interchangeable.


IMPORTANT FINANCIAL PLANNING IN TIMES OF ECONOMIC CRISIS.

Dan was a single guy living at home with only his father and working in the family business.
When he found out he was going to inherit a fortune when his father died, he decided he needed a wife with which to share his fortune.
One evening at an investment meeting he spotted the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.
Her natural beauty took his breath away. 'I may look like just an ordinary man,' he said to her, but in just a few years, my father will die, and I'll inherit $20 million.'
Impressed, the woman obtained his business card and three days later, she became his stepmother.
Women are so much better at financial planning than men.

Rugby in Heaven
A little light relief for which growing up in Wales is not a mandatory requirement - but it helps.
Two 90 year old men, Mike and Joe, have been friends all of their lives.
When it's clear that Joe is dying, Mike visits him every day. One day Mike says, 'Joe, we both loved rugby all our lives, and we played rugby on Saturdays together for so many years. Please do me one favour, when you get to Heaven, somehow you must let me know if there's rugby there.'
Joe looks up at Mike from his death bed,' Mike, you've been my best friend for many years. If it's at all possible, I'll do this favour for you.
Shortly after that, Joe passes on. At midnight a couple of nights later, Mike is awakened from a sound sleep by a blinding flash of white light and a voice calling out to him, 'Mike--Mike.'
'Who is it? asks Mike sitting up suddenly. 'Who is it?'
'Mike--it's me, Joe.'
'You're not Joe. Joe just died.'
'I'm telling you, it's me, Joe,' insists the voice.'
'Joe! Where are you?'
'In heaven', replies Joe. 'I have some really good news and a little bad news.'
'Tell me the good news first,' says Mike.
The good news,' Joe says,' is that there's rugby in heaven. Better yet, all of our old
friends who died before us are here, too. Better than that, we're all young again. Better still, it's always spring time and it never rains or snows. And best of all, we can play rugby all we want, and we never get tired, or injured.'
'That's fantastic,' says Mike. 'It's beyond my wildest dreams! So what's the bad news?'
'You're in the team for Tuesday.'


Gloves
A young man called Chris from London wanted to buy a Christmas present for his new girlfriend.
They hadn't been seeing each other for very long and she lived in Scotland .
Chris consulted with his sister and decided, after careful consideration, that a pair of good quality gloves would strike the right note... not too romantic and not too personal.
Off he went with his sister to Harrods and they selected a dainty pair of fur lined quality leather gloves. His sister bought a pair of sexy knickers for herself at the same time.
Harrods had a free gift wrap offer but the assistant mixed up the two items, the sister got the gloves and Chris unknowingly got the knickers.
Good old Chris sent off his gift wrapped present in a parcel with the following letter.
Dear Maggie,
I chose these because I've noticed that you are not wearing any when we go out in the evenings. If it had not been for my sister I would have chosen the long ones with buttons, but she wears shorter ones (which are easier to remove).
These are a very delicate shade, but the lady I bought them from showed me the pair she had been wearing for the past three weeks and I hardly noticed any marks.
I had her try yours on for me and she looked really smart in them even though they were a little bit tight on her. She also said that they rub against her ring which helps keep it clean. In fact she hasn't needed to wash it since she began wearing them.
I wish I was there to put them on for you the first time, as no doubt many other hands will touch them before I have a chance to see you again.
When you take them off remember to blow into them a little bit because they will be naturally a little damp from wearing.
Just imagine how many times my lips will kiss them during the coming year.
I hope you will wear them for me on our next date.
All my love,
Chris
P.S. My mum tells me that the latest style is to wear them folded down with a little bit of fur showing.

Paddy and Colleen were making passionate love in Paddy's mini van, when, suddenly, Colleen, being a bit on the kinky side, yells out "Oh big boy, whip me, whip me!"

Paddy, not wanting to pass up this unique opportunity, obviously did not have any whips on hand, but in a flash of inspiration, he opens the window, snaps the antenna off his van and proceeds to whip Colleen until they both collapse in ecstasy.

About a week later, Colleen notices that the marks left by the whipping are starting to fester a bit so she goes to the doctor. The doctor takes one look at the wounds and asks, "Did you get these marks having sex?"

Colleen, a little embarrassed that she has slept with Paddy [let alone that she allowed the kinky boy to whip her] ~ eventually admits that, yes, ~ she did.

Nodding his head knowingly, the doctor exclaims, "I thought so, because in all my years as a doctor you've got the worst case of van aerial disease that I've ever seen".

Keep smiling, keep singing and a happy New Year.

Joe Stead.