Joe Stead – The Ramblings of an old Codger – Volume 94 – July 2008

Kimber’s Men were recorded at Falmouth Festival of the Sea in June and can be heard on Radio 3 at 6.30pm on Sunday July 13th. The programme is part of a series hosted by Aled Jones called ‘The Choir’. Wow!!

And the band has been invited to perform at Vadehavsregatta and Small Ship’s Race in Nordby, Denmark during the same weekend. So if any of you fancy recording it for me I would be grateful, although I might have a special tool on the computer by then which will allow me to access the programme up to seven days later anyway.

If you’ve got 25 minutes to spare (or even if you haven’t) you might care to look at the following………………
Rude Sunde in New Zealand kindly forwarded it to me.

Nora and I spent a week in Spain in June (Belamadena) and we are going back again this month to Nerja. We were astounded at the cost. Spain was once a cheap holiday; but not any more. The cost of fuel has obviously pushed up prices and the pound against the euro is now such that it’s cheaper to eat and drink in my local pub than it is to eat and drink in bars and restaurants on the Costa del Sol. But we did have one very interesting experience brought about by this situation. We visited a local market; belts, tee shirts and sandals are still cheap commodities so we took little money with us and no credit cards either as pick pockets abound in such environments. We came upon a leather stall selling coats, waistcoats etc. One very nice ladies leather coat on sale at 2465 euro’s took my wife’s eye. She likes expensive things so it’s astonishing she actually likes me. Of course a coat at £2,200 is totally beyond our pocket and I told the salesman so when he insisted that Nora should try it on. We turned down both 1,800 and 1,500 euro’s whereupon the salesman suggested we might like to make him an offer. I refused to do so on three occasions on the grounds that my offer would offend. But after much persuasion from him I offered 500 euro’s, confident he would politely suggest we left his stall. But he suggested 1,000 euro’s and, eventually after a bit more haggling, we settled on 800. However we had no money on us and no credit cards either. To my amazement he wrapped the coat up, put it into a bag and told us he would meet us at our hotel at 6pm that evening and we could pay him then. And he did so without even asking for proof of our lodgings. Consequently we walked out of that market with a beautiful full length leather coat worth in excess of £2,000 which we had not paid for. Astounding! When we met him that evening to settle our bill he told us we were his only customers that day, so it is obvious that the pound against the euro is also affecting trade to the point that local tradesmen are prepared to go to extreme lengths to bring in money for food, gas electricity and pitch hire. Oh, and by the way, we looked in proper shops at the price of similar coats and the original asking price was a constant with that on the market stall. Can you envisage a market in Britain (or anywhere else to that matter) wrapping up a coat worth £2,000 and giving it to you without payment and proof of residency on the understanding that he could pop round to your house that evening to get the money? Of course it is possible that the goods on this stall had fallen off the back of a lorry somewhere; but if they did I can tell you now it was a very big lorry – they had in excess of 100 coats and waistcoats for sale.

If you’ve never read Rod Liddle in the Sunday Times – well you should. He is one of the cleverest journalists in town. Viz:
“So, let me get this right. In one of Britain’s most right wing constituencies a by-election is to take place between two right-wing candidates. One of them, a politician on the rightish side of the right-wing Conservative party, has resigned his seat because he believes the left-wing Labour government is too right-wing on the issues of civil liberties. The other candidate, a right-wing former editor of a right-wing newspaper who supports the Conservative party, is standing in defense of the left-wing Labour government’s policies. Have fun sorting that one out lucky constituents of Haltemprice and Howden.”

You might care to take a glimpse at When you do make sure you do the ‘Life Expectancy Clock’ which you will find under the globe.

I received a great letter from Nigel Thornbury this last month on the subject of caning; and like him I don’t condone thrashing somebody until they bleed. That was even forbidden in the Royal navy where caning was a part of everyday life for misdemeanors until 1976, where if blood was drawn the punishment ceased. Nigel was obviously at a very brutal school; but it seems that on his own admission he deserved punishment of some kind. Being subjected to a beating for not wearing a school cap is beyond the pale. (or is it pail – I never did know). Blowing up school desks might be considered a slightly more serious matter. You can (and should) read Nigel’s letter later in this edition. And, whilst it is difficult to find a flaw in Nigel’s argument, I still maintain that our youth today are not learning that serious bad behaviour deserves punishment. It is obvious that the methods used today are not only not stopping violence within youth they seem to be actually encouraging it. If my argument has flaws within it perhaps somebody could offer an alternative way of making children understand that discipline is important. We’ve tried patting little Johnny on the head sending him away with a few words of admonishment and it ain’t working. One thing is certain, neither Nigel nor myself have ever stabbed anybody, so our schooling did not turn either of us into killers. But that of course does not prove anything definitive.

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

Jul 5th (KM) Cleckheaton Folk Festival
Jul 6th (KM) Cleckheaton Folk Festival
Jul 10th (KM) Darlington Arts Centre
Jul 11th (KM) Vadehavsregatta and Small Ship’s Race, Nordby, Denmark
Jul 12th (KM) Vadehavsregatta and Small Ship’s Race, Nordby, Denmark
Jul 13th (KM) Vadehavsregatta and Small Ship’s Race, Nordby, Denmark
Jul 14th (KM) Vadehavsregatta and Small Ship’s Race, Nordby, Denmark

Jul 16th (Joe) Harrogate Soroptimist Club, White Hart Hotel, Cold Bath Road, Harrogate.
Jul 17th (KM) Gregson Lane Folk Club, Village of Gregson Lane, Preston.
Jul 18th (KM) The Griffon, Barkisland, Halifax.
Jul 19th (KM) Scarborough Sea Fest
Jul 20th (KM) Scarborough Sea Fest
Aug 22nd (KM) Shrewsbury Folk Festival
Aug 23rd (KM) Shrewsbury Folk Festival
Aug 24th (KM) Shrewsbury Folk Festival
Aug 25th (KM) Shrewsbury Folk Festival
Sep 5th (KM) Swanage Folk Festival
Sep 6th (KM) Swanage Folk Festival
Sep 7th (KM) Swanage Folk Festival

Sep 10th (Joe) Falmouth Tall Ships Festival
Sep 11th (Joe) Falmouth Tall Ships Festival
Sep 12th (Joe) Falmouth Tall Ships Festival
Sep 13th (Joe) Mylor Sailing club, Falmouth. (Provisional) – Valparaiso round Horn.
Oct 25th (KM) Bradford Cathedral
Jan 9th (KM) Sixmilebridge Winter Festival, County Clare
Jan 10th (KM) Sixmilebridge Winter Festival, County Clare
Jan 11th (KM) Sixmilebridge Winter Festival, County Clare
Feb 7th (KM) Square Chapel Theatre, Halifax.

Feb 25th (Joe) Durham, North Carolina. US
Feb 26th (Joe) Calvert Marine Museum in Maryland.
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 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) Portsmouth, New Hampshire. 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
May 2nd (KM) Sweeps Festival, Rochester
May 3rd KM) Sweeps Festival, Rochester
May 4th (KM) Sweeps Festival, Rochester

May 6th (Joe) North Bradford Men’s Forum. - Valparaiso
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
Jun 12th (KM) Falmouth Festival of the Sea
Jun 13th (KM) Falmouth Festival of the Sea
Jun 14th (KM) Falmouth Festival of the Sea
Sep 18th (KM) Deal Maritime Festival - Provisional
Sep 19th (KM) Deal Maritime Festival
Sep 20th (KM) Deal Maritime Festival
Oct 25th (KM) Scrag End Folk Club, Shoulder of Mutton, Oakthorpe, Leicestershire
Sep 25th (KM) The Castle Inn, Combe Martin, High Street, North Devon.


Dear Joe
As always I enjoy your ramblings, while you may be right that Brown has had his day, it is unwise to count ones chickens until they are hatched, many people thought Mrs Thatcher [the milk snatcher] had had her day, then the Falklands war saved her, no one can tell what the future holds, if it did we would all be picking the winner of the Cheltenham gold cup.
Dick Miles

Hi Joe,
In your June Ramblings you advocate bringing back the cane. You even describe your slippering at the hands of your teacher, Mr Kippax as an almost jolly experience through which you both smiled! Well, I can tell you that I was caned many times at my very traditional all-male grammar school and there was nothing joyous about the GBH administered on those occasions. I promise you that when you've been flogged so severely on your arse that it's necessary to wash the blood from your underpants, it's no laughing matter. More importantly, these beatings were futile as they never "taught me a lesson". On the contrary, they taught me to hate and despise the perpetrators, and to commit ever more serious misdemeanors against the strict school regime to which I was subjected. It was commonplace to receive severe beatings for such crimes as: not wearing a school cap, possessing cigarettes, flicking paper pellets, etc. My feeling was that if they were going to beat me anyway then I would commit crimes of appropriate severity to match the punishments I was already getting. So it was that I learnt how to make bombs capable of shattering windows and blowing solid oak desks to smithereens. I learnt that there was a lot of fun to be had in throwing darts at the scum element of the teaching staff and I delighted in sabotaging their belongings and making their lives as miserable as possible. It wasn't all bad though; there were a handful of teachers that I got on quite well with and, because they didn't beat me, I behaved like a model pupil when in their lessons.

You actually confound your own argument when you say that Mr Kippax "delightfully gave you six whacks" and that he enjoyed it. Therein lies the problem because, in the same way as a thug on the street enjoys beating up a defenceless passer-by, so the cane-wielder receives gratification from beating small boys. We cannot condone that.

I like to think that I turned into a reasonably responsible and caring adult once I left school and for this I give full credit to my parents. I don't remember either of them hitting me at any time. They never had much money so I never got much more than a pair of socks for Christmas and, because they scraped a living from their own business which couldn't be left to run itself, I never got any holidays either. But what I did get was unconditional love and understanding - I learnt by the superb example they set and, even though they died years ago, their influence is still very strong.
I do enjoy your Ramblings Joe - even when they're off the mark!
Nigel Thornbory

So why not vote Lib-Dem? We certainly don’t want Brown back with the Labour party, and I agree with your sentiments on the Conservatives.
It’s time we gave the Lib-Dems a chance; they deserve it. It only needs people like you and your readers, to grasp the nettle and vote for what they really believe in.
Best wishes,
Paul Barnetson 01 243 527 898


Japanese scientists have created a camera with a shutter speed so fast, they can now photograph a woman with her mouth shut and a man with his flies zipped.

Another racial joke
George met Fred in the street and said, "Fred, in future you should draw your bedroom curtains before making love to your wife!"
"Why?" Fred asked.
"Because" said George, "all the street was sniggering when they saw you two making love yesterday."
Fred said, "Nosey buggers. Anyway the laugh's on them. I wasn't home yesterday."

See it’s not so funny when you change the names is it?


Tomb Stones

Lester More - Arizona
Here lies Lester More
Took 3 shots from a 44
No Les
No More..

Harry Edsel Smith of Albany, New York :
Born 1903--Died 1942.
Looked up the elevator shaft to see if the car was on the way down.
It was.

In a Thurmont, Maryland , cemetery:
Here lies an Atheist, all dressed up and no
place to go.

On the grave of Ezekial Aikle in East Dalhousie Cemetery , Nova Scotia :
Here lies Ezekial Aikle, Age 102. Only The Good Die Young.

In a London cemetery:
Here lies Ann Mann
Who lived an old maid
but died an old Mann.
Dec. 8, 1767

In Ribbesford, England:
Anna Wallace
The children of Israel wanted bread,
And the Lord sent them manna.
Clark Wallace wanted a wife
And the Devil sent him Anna.

In Ruidoso, New Mexico:
Here lies Johnny Yeast... Pardon me for not rising.

In Uniontown, Pennsylvania:
Here lies the body of Jonathan Blake.
Stepped on the gas instead of the brake.

In Silver City, Nevada:
Here lays The Kid.
We planted him raw.
He was quick on the trigger
But slow on the draw.

A lawyer's epitaph in England :
Sir John Strange.
Here lies an honest lawyer and that is Strange.

John Penny's epitaph in the Wimborne cemetery:
Reader, if cash thou art in want of any,
Dig 6 feet deep and thou wilt find a Penny.

In a cemetery in Hartscombe, England :
On the 22nd of June Jonathan Fiddle went out of tune.

Anna Hopewell's grave in Enosburg Falls, Vermont :
Here lies the body of our Anna,
Done to death by a banana.
It wasn't the fruit that laid her low,
But the skin of the thing that made her go.

On a grave from the 1880s in Nantucket, Massachusetts :
Under the sod and under the trees,
Lies the body of Jonathan Pease.
He is not here, there's only the pod.
Pease shelled out and went to God.

In a cemetery in England :
Remember man, as you walk by,
As you are now, so once was I
As I am now, so shall you be.
Remember this and follow me.

To which someone replied by writing
on the tombstone:

To follow you I'll not consent ..
Until I know which way you went.

Some Nursery Rhymes
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall
The structure of the wall was incorrect
So he won a grand with Claims Direct.

It's Raining, It's Pouring. Oh shit, it's Global Warming.

Jack and Jill went into town, to fetch some chips and sweeties.
He can't keep his heart rate down, and she's got diabetes.

Mary had a little skirt with splits right up the sides
And everywhere that Mary went the boys could see her thighs.
Mary had another skirt 'twas split right up the front
....But she didn't wear that one often.

Mary had a little lamb, her father shot it dead.
Now it goes to school with her, between two chunks of bread.

Simple Simon met a pie man going to the fair.
Said Simple Simon to the pie man
'What have you got there?'
Said the pie man unto Simon
Pies you dickhead.

Mary had a little lamb, it ran into a pylon.
10,000 volts went up its arse, and turned its wool to nylon.

Jack and Jill went up the hill, to have a little fun.
Jill, the dill, forgot her pill, and now they have a son.

Jack and Jill Went up the hill, and planned to do some kissing.
Jack made a pass and grabbed her ass, now two of his teeth are missing.

Mary had a little lamb, its fleece was white and wispy.
Then it caught Foot and Mouth Disease, and now it's black and crispy.

The Wisdom of Larry the Cable Guy
1. A day without sunshine is like night.
2. On the other hand, you have different fingers.
3. 42.7% of all statistics are made up on the spot.
4. 99% of lawyers give the rest a bad name.
5. Remember, half the people you know are below average.
6. He who laughs last, thinks slowest.
7. Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.
8. The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese in the trap.
9. Support bacteria. They're the only culture some people have.
10. A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
11. Change is inevitable, except from vending machines.
12. If you think nobody cares, try missing a couple of payments.
13. How many of you believe in psycho-kinesis? Raise my hand.
14. OK, so what's the speed of dark?
15. When everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.
16. Hard work pays off in the future. Laziness pays off now.
17. How much deeper would the ocean be without sponges?
18. Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.
19. What happens if you get scared half to death, twice?
20. Why do psychics have to ask you your name?
21. Life isn't like a box of chocolates. It's more like a jar of jalapenos. What you do today, might burn your butt tomorrow.
22. Just remember -- if the world didn't suck, we would all fall off.
23. Light travels faster than sound. That's why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

Keep smiling, keep singing.

Joe Stead