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Services with a smile?

A public service, I had the dubious pleasure of getting up early (I’ll do it for sailing…) for BBC Radio Devon. The good news was it was for Gordon “Sparkie” Sparks who claims he does not interview, rather, chats.

We had a good chat. Sparkie is supposed to play music during the chats. With each equally interested in the other music didn’t happen. After, I was surprised to be thanked by Gordon for an excellent session. Hearing the recording again I wish my dear “ol'” Dad and Mum could have heard it!

Intermediate Service: Over the past few days CarCheck of Plymstock have been working hard to keep my  “moonlight grey” Vectra in top condition.  The bad news was 2 visits were essential as parts did not arrive on time. An intermediate service, a steering issue, a new tyre, re tracking plus a new cam belt and now she is running better than ever. It seems each time Chris services her she gets younger!


CarCheck have done a very good job and for many years have looked after me well, thanks especially to Mike the boss and Chris the mechanic.

Managed a brief amicable lunch with my former beloved in a Barbican cafe, of hot soup and jacket potato. She was looking healthier than I have seen her for a long time, more relaxed and more animated, more her “real” self, good to see.

Besides children and many experiences we currently share an issue with my not so beloved Bro and Sis who most of the family think abused my Mother into depression; according to 5 of her friends, stolen from her and bad mouthed me at every opportunity. To a set of reasonable questions asking him to clarify Mother’s accounts, dear Bro says “see u in court“. They seem determined to make off with as much of her estate and funds as they possibly can, even denying me access to Mother’s house, access I am legally entitled to and refusing to reveal to my cousins where other’s remains are so they can’t visit with flowers. About £100,000 is unaccounted for. I’d love to be proven wrong because then I’d no longer feel deeply ashamed of my siblings.

Apparently this is very trendy of them.  Ripping off old people and other inheritors is, the solicitors tell us, very much a growing business. Hence our agenda.

Not letting them spoil a beautiful sunny day we also managed a walk on Plymouth Hoe to discuss how our lives are changing and her desire for an Internet business. She is reading up on the Internet, asked many questions and was shocked to already have been quoted £5,000 for a web site. I said I would help her if she so wishes.

A vital “service”. Much time spent shopping this week. Basically buying things need to adapt to my strange and different life some of which is now in France: things the French don’t understand like English Tea and Chocolate, and good products either unavailable in France or much more expensive there like Ribena and wholemeal pastas. We have quite a list of “English ” products that would probably go down a storm in the South of France!

Had lunch with my friends who have my “stuff” in store in their barn in the N of France. Unfortunately the petite, beautiful, buxom, blue eyed and Blondie Lindsey did not turn up. Am I loosing my charm???  Good people, I have been blessed with more than the usual number of real friends, they are having a difficult time with health and wealth or rather the lack of both, and the part that effects me immediately includes my taking bolt cutters to the barn lock…

Had a most interesting meeting at Plymouth Uni with the head of the Department of Business Studies (Maritime) during which much news was exchanged and we have agreed to help each other in various ways including web site links, exchange of info and I will brighten the place up with a couple of “Roaring Forties” posters partly because they like my friend Sir Robin Knox-Johnston.

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Art Service: Now I am off for a drive into sunny Cornwall to collect some framed prints from my friends of 25 + years at ArtCentre of Callington. ArtCentre frame prints for me when clients decide to buy hassle free, a framed print,  for I usually call ArtCentre  who send the pics direct to the client. This time a large copy of “A dispute settled” is for presentation to the National Collection at the Falmouth Maritime Museum (an out station of Greenwich) and the other of “Velsheda, superyacht on charter” is to be collected by Tony Cox who commissioned the original painting some 20 years ago and has become a friend.

Tony has often generously invited me to sail and paint on his 60′ “Morning Star” in the Greek Islands – just get on a flight, you needn’t worry about food, drink and a cabin. Thus far my turbulent life has stopped me going, we hope to put that right next year.