Sheringham: Escaping the power cut

(All photos can be enlarged, by clicking on them, so please do.)

The proposed power cut went ahead yesterday, as arranged. Despite a good weather forecast, the day started drizzly and damp. So as soon as we lost the electricity, we drove down to Yaxham Waters Holiday Park, to get a great breakfast in their attractive cafe. Full to the brim, we drove back to collect Ollie, who was excited to be going out in the car.

We decided on Sheringham, some 23 miles north, and just over thirty minutes by car. This is a popular old-fashioned holiday town, with a selection of shops and cafes, as well as a good-sized car park. As we made our way there on near-deserted roads, the sun was trying to break through. By the time we arrived and parked the car, it was warm enough to leave behind my light jacket, and proceed into town wearing a top and shorts!

Ollie was excited by all the new smells, unfamiliar dogs, and small crowds. Despite a stony beach, unlike those further west in Norfolk, the town was still busy with day trippers making the most of unusual October weather. By the lifeboat station, there is a mural of its history.

Ollie was getting puffed out with all that smelling, so we stopped to give him some water from his bowl that we had taken with us.

Because of coastal erosion, the town has installed some significant sea defences. (Sorry about the flare in the top left)

The tide was still high, but you can clearly see the pebble beach. The man in the orange outfit was collecting any rubbish left behind, and he was very thorough.

After the beach walk, we stopped for a cup of tea at a cafe on top of the small cliffs, and by the time we got home, just after 3 pm, the power was back on. All in all, a great excuse for a day out. 🙂


Jamiroquai: My ‘Five A Day’

Back in 2016, I wrote a post about the British band, Jamiroquai. This was it.

Regular readers will remember that it became something of a beetleypete blogging phenomenon, attracting the most views ever on my blog, and continuing to do so for months on end. I continued the theme with no less than eleven more posts about the effect it had on my blog, and how it continued to attract so many views even after the band reformed, and released a new album.

After writing so much about it, and becoming aware that it was boring the pants off many of my most loyal followers, I called a halt to those posts, and gave the band a well-deserved rest from this blog. But a recent skim through my stats revealed that the original post remains a stalwart on my blog. Ever since I posted it, it has been viewed continuously, for over two years now.

This past month, it has been viewed at least five times every day, seven days a week. Even on the rare days when I post nothing at all, you can bet it will still get those five views, or more.

Sometimes, the experience of blogging can throw up something surprising. And this is one of those.

Ambulance stories (9)

I am reblogging some of my old ambulance stories, for a new audience. This one from 2012 has hardly been seen since. 🙂


The fainting woman

After a very short time in the Ambulance Service, you soon learn to disregard the diagnoses given by Ambulance Control. They are at the mercy of the caller, and their own desire to end the call, within their protocols, as soon as possible. So, there is a constant repetition of the same diagnosis given for the call you are being asked to go to. Others can be wildly inaccurate, perhaps because of language problems, or lack of observation on the part of the caller. After a while, you do not expect what you are told, to be what you actually see on arrival.

One morning, we were returning from the Charing Cross Hospital in Hammersmith, when we were called to a well-known high-rise estate, not far from our base. We were told to meet a caller outside the entrance to one of the highest blocks, and that…

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Retro Review: Let’s Make Love (1960)

Even as a boy, I was always captivated by Marilyn Monroe. She did typify the blonde bombshell female so popular during a certain era, but there was something else too. She had a vulnerability, a touching innocence, and both are things that instinctively make women attractive to certain men, I believe. Some people thought she wasn’t that great an actress, and traded on her looks and figure to achieve fame. I disagree, and think she was an outstanding actress at times, and her good looks actually concealed much of the talent underneath. She had a tragically short life of course, and perhaps didn’t cope well with the fame that surrounded her. But she was undoubtedly a rare combination, someone who was incredibly good to look at, but also knew her strengths when it came to choosing parts.

This film is far from being one of her best. The casting of the non-actor and British crooner Frankie Vaughan was uninspired, to say the least. Yves Montand plays a stereotypical Frenchman, and at times is embarrassing to watch on screen. Even with some genuinely funny moments, and many great musical numbers, it is an implausible tale of a poor dancer and singer being wooed by a millionaire who gets his girl in the end. Despite all this, it remains my favourite Monroe film, because of her. With all the nonsense going on in the background, and some ham acting from many cast members, we get to focus on her. We see her at a time when she was arguably not only at her most attractive, but imbued with a confidence sometimes lacking in more serious films she made.

Co-written by Arthur Miller, directed by the estimable George Cukor, and shown in a lovely Cinemascope print, it was a delight to watch her at the cinema in my childhood. I have watched this film many times since, and never cease to be amazed by her looks, and her subtle skill too.
Watch it just for her.

Significant Songs (200)

Why Do Fools Fall In Love.

I have reached the 200th song in this series, so I am going all the way back to when I was just four years old. Of course, I was too young to even know about the song then, let alone appreciate it. But my older cousins, aunts, uncles, and family friends all loved it, and carried on playing it for years.

Once I was old enough to enjoy family gatherings and weekend parties, I soon became accustomed to hearing this old favourite played many times; watching my relatives dancing around, singing along, and doo-wopping to the music. To say that this is an infectious song would be an understatement, as it is well-nigh impossible to resist the youthful exuberance bursting from the vocals and backing. And I still love it as much today, sixty-two years after it was released. Not long after my fourth birthday.

Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers formed in New York City. When they had a huge hit with this song, lead vocalist Frankie was just fourteen years old. The following year, Frankie split from the group and became a solo artist. Like many before and since, his decision to embark on that solo career proved to be a big mistake, and further success eluded him. He turned to drugs, and started to use heroin. He died of a drug overdose in 1968, aged just twenty-five.

But his song lives on. It is still popular on film soundtracks, and even gets played on the radio.

A Beetley Power Cut

On Tuesday the 16th, we have been informed of a ‘Planned Power Cut’ that will affect Beetley. If it goes ahead, we will have no electricity from 9 am, for the rest of the day. (Duration unknown) With this in mind, I am planning on getting out for the day, and eating out too, somewhere that still has electricity. We will have no heating or cooking facilities, no landline phone or Internet of course, and if it is as dark as it is today, the only option would be to read by torchlight, huddled under a blanket. I could take the rare opportunity to spend the entire day in bed, but I have a feeling that Ollie will not be happy if he doesn’t go out.

Now I know this is of little consequence in the grand scheme of things, but I thought I would let you know. If the power cut doesn’t happen, then it will be ‘normal trading’ on my blog. But in the event that they go ahead with it, then I will not be able to comment on any of your posts, reply to those on mine, or check emails. I could use the Internet on my mobile of course, but give the size of the screen, that’s not going to happen.

So if I disappear tomorrow, just be aware that I am not dead. (Well I hope not)

Lyrically Evocative (16)

There are times when a song sounds so good, and is such a huge hit, it is actually quite easy to overlook the lyrics at first. And when it comes along with an outstanding video to promote it, I can find myself lost in watching, rather than listening properly. This was pretty much the case in 1990, when Sinead O’Connor released her version of Prince’s song, ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’. Written over six years earlier, Prince had never released the song himself, though he had performed it at some concerts.

Sinead’s version was a powerful and emotional rendition, stripped bare, and accompanied by one of the best pop videos ever made. It was a worldwide hit, and has become so associated with her that many people believe she actually wrote it. But she did something important, she made me listen to the lyrics, and be affected by them. This is a song about love and loss, and one that will endure.
It is so much more than the chart hit that it became.

Here are Prince’s lyrics.

It’s been seven hours and fifteen days
Since you took your love away
I go out every night and sleep all day
Since you took your love away

Since you been gone I can do whatever I want
I can see whomever I choose
I can eat my dinner in a fancy restaurant
But nothing
I said nothing can take away these blues
‘Cause nothing compares
Nothing compares to you

It’s been so lonely without you here
Like a bird without a song
Nothing can stop these lonely tears from falling
Tell me baby where did I go wrong

I could put my arms around every boy I see
But they’d only remind me of you
I went to the doctor and guess what he told me?
Guess what he told me?
He said boy you better try to have fun
No matter what you do, but he’s a fool
‘Cause nothing compares
Nothing compares to you

All the flowers that you planted mama
In the back yard
All died when you went away
I know that living with you baby was sometimes hard
But I’m willing to give it another try
‘Cause nothing compares
Nothing compares to you

Nothing compares
Nothing compares to you
Nothing compares
Nothing compares to you

“Nothing Compares 2 U” as written by Prince Rogers Nelson
Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, BMG Rights Management

And here is Sinead singing them, in that great video.

(If you can’t see the clip, try refreshing the page)