Ramble on (and on)…

30 Jun

You may as well have something to listen to, this may take a while…

Sometimes you get a great idea for a post that you just have to write.

Sometimes you flounder around seeking inspiration, until your synaptic fishing expedition snags upon a juicy morsel of cerebral flotsam.

And sometimes you just want to blether on about nothing in particular, just for the sake of posting a blog.


Now, I’m aware that I have made a similar assertion in a recent post, but that ended up falling into the second category, that of a Flash Of Inspiration.

This is more of a Category Three post.

It may not come as a total shock to you that I tend to lean toward the verbose end of the social spectrum, especially when I’ve got a couple of ciders inside me, and there’s nothing I like more than striking up a conversation with a random stranger in a pub.
It’s a great way of meeting new people.

I mean, you already know you have drinking and pubs in common, and if you get chatting in the “smoking area” then you also share the increasingly exclusive status of social pariah into the bargain.

Well, I recently reconnected with a friend that Elaine and i first met when we moved to Devon, purely by bumping into him when I snuck into a local pub for a cheeky pint just a few weeks ago.

Whilst sitting out on the terrace, drinking, smoking, and catching up in the unexpected sunshine of early English summer, I happened to mention that we were going to the upcoming Chagstock Festival, and within two minutes was embroiled in an animated conversation with a twinkly-eyed, tanned, fifty-something Welsh banjo player named Dai who is known as Banjo Dai. (As opposed to the more obvious Dai the Banjo)

It turned out that this affable and equally verbose chap, (he later claimed that I was “the only person I’ve met who’s as annoying as me”) and his wife were staying in the flat above the pub, having come to Devon for his work as a professional gardener.

After chatting about music for a while, and having established many common points of reference on the musical map, we retired to the flat so I could listen to some of his work.

As I have previously stated, I have no personal musicianship skills whatsoever, but even I can appreciate beautiful musical instruments when I see them, so I knew I was in for a treat when I was greeted by this sight as I entered the flat..


Needless to say, I wasn’t disappointed, and you too can avoid disappointment by experiencing some of Dai’s excellent music RIGHT HERE.

Apart from meeting interesting new people, it’s always good to find out that folks you already know have been involved in newsworthy events since you last ran into them, and pubs are without doubt the best place to catch up with such gossip, and it seems as though we had missed out on the details of a particularly fine story that had graced the pages of the local press a couple of years ago.

Another character that we met not long after moving to the West Country is a bloke Elaine christened “Sweary Terry” due to his constant use of rather over-colourful language.
He was never shy about getting stuck into to a punch-up either.

Anyway, back in 2011 Terry got involved in a “neighbourhood dispute”, the details of which I’m not entirely clear on, which resulted in him being visited by four local ruffians intent on teaching him the error of his ways.

They made the elementary mistake however, of attempting to cross the drawbridge of the proverbial Englishman’s Castle, entering Terry’s home against his express wishes (expressed in fairly inventive terms I’m sure) and advancing into his inner sanctum.

Not having a traditional English siege weapon to hand, he went for the alternative that was most immediately available to him, the razor sharp Japanese Katana mounted on his living room wall, and brandished it in a suitably threatening manner with the hope of discouraging the interlopers.

Not being overburdened with intelligence, the lead goon proceeded to show just how tough he was by grabbing the business end of the samurai sword and favoring our hero with a “so what are you going to do now then?” expression, gripping the blade tightly in his fist

Well, what Terry did do now was smartly yank the sword back towards him.

It was what he said next though, that made this a typical Terry story;
“Now, pick up your fingers and get the fuck out of my house”


A Katana. Fingers not included.

It should be noted that in court earlier this year Terry was found not guilty of assault on the grounds of using reasonable force to defend his home against unlawful invasion (..or something. I’m not a lawyer, and this was a pub conversation remember) and the digitally challenged protagonist had his extremities successfully reattached.

And in case Welsh banjo players and samurai sword-wielding amateur surgeons aren’t random enough to share a post, I’ve also had my second experience this year of customer service above and beyond the norm, again with technical assistance concerning my phone.

This time it was help with a video editing application which has allowed me to do things like this in the past..

…but to which I no longer have access due to incompatibility issues with my phone’s upgraded operating system.

Having tried out various different apps (so many of these things have malicious adware embedded in them, and others simply do not do what they’re supposed to) I managed to find one that most closely resembled the old editor I’d used before.

Unfortunately, when I tested the new version I found a couple of slight glitches in it, and having paid the princely sum of about £2 for the app I felt fully justified in e-mailing the developer to see if they could help.

Not only did I get an almost instant response from an extremely helpful chap called Eli, but he has also spent the intervening three days attempting to work some techie magic on the old version of the app or find me suitable alternatives. In all we exchanged nearly fifty e-mails, surely better after sales service than you’d expect for a two quid purchase anywhere else.

As a result, I now have a couple of other useful editing tools I wouldn’t otherwise have found, and the option to try out some newly developed operating software.

If you’re an Android user and have any technical issues, you could do a lot worse than checking out Eli on the AndroidWarzone blog.

And that’s it.
Ramble completed.


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4 responses to “Ramble on (and on)…

  1. Ron

    June 30, 2013 at 23:34

    ” and if you get chatting in the “smoking area.”

    Oh boy, you at least have a smoking area in your pubs. Here in the U.S. in most of our states, smoking (in bar or pub ) is prohibited. If you want to smoke, you have to go outside and stand 50 feet away from the building. I remember the days when you were permitted to smoke INSIDE. I’m not a heavy smoker, but I do smoke. And I’m one of those smokers who only smokes in the evenings and in my own home.

    Great post! Enjoyed reading about the various characters you’ve met.

    And WOW….that is one awesome musical instrument collection on that wall. I bet the photographs were great to see up close!

    • dalecooper57

      July 1, 2013 at 05:32

      Smoking is only permitted outside here too, but a lot of pubs have covered (and in some cases, heated) smoking shelters. And you’re right, that wall has some great photos

  2. jerseylil

    July 3, 2013 at 06:48

    Hi there. Enjoyed “Ramble On” so much that when it was done and the choice to select other Zeppelin videos popped up, I then clicked on “Whole Lotta Love,” which then led me to “Stairway to Heaven” (my Zepplin favorite, and oh the memories there…but I digress.). Hey, thanks for the entertainment and brief trip down memory lane.

    Excellent that you got to reconnect with your old friend Banjo Dai while sneaking into a pub for a cheeky pint! Nice wall at his house. So after I was done listening to “Stairway to Heaven” (which I just had to play over again yet one more time lol!), I listened to a few of Dai’s banjo tunes, great stuff, and I especially liked “I’ve got a cockerel called Elvis.”

    Guess “Sweary Terry” (like Elaine’s nickname for him) won’t have those guys coming back anytime soon. Yikes about the fingers but can’t say the guy didn’t have it coming. Your Klone 2.0 video was cool, pretty trippy! This was a fun rambling post. 🙂

    • dalecooper57

      July 3, 2013 at 07:16

      Glad you liked it. Sorry, Dai is s new friend. It was while catching up with another old mate I hadn’t seen for a couple ofyears, that I met Dai. My rambling explanation is to blame I’m sure.


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