Saturday, 25 June 2011


Went to watch the "Abingdon's got Talent" talent show, with Alan & Sue. Held in the town square where the kebab van normally sits. The Mayor turned out, and the guest celebrity judge was the young blonde woman who reads the news for BBC Oxford. As you'd expect, there were many entries in the 'street dance' and 'body popping' categories. The worst offender being, 'Swan Blanc', who pranced around like an idiot to the "windows crash remix theme". God, that was embarrassing. And yes, that is his real name. If I'd had any rotting fruit about my person, that would have been the time I would have thrown it.

Ukelele ManStandouts (for me) were 'Big John', who regaled us with some out of tune Northern soul, belted out at the top of his voice. And the man who attempted to play "Swords of a 1000 men" by Tenpole Tudor, on his ukelele. Both destined to fail. But they gave it a go, anyway. That to me, is pure Englishness. Made from the same stuff as Robert Falcon Scott. Bless them. Unfortunately, I wasn't in charge of dishing out today's prizes, and a man who "Irish Danced" won the over 17s group. While an angsty girl with an acoustic guitar, won the under 17s.

Big JohnMister Sumo disgraced himself, by pinching one of the judge's toasted cheese sandwiches. He'd first sniffed it when it was being delivered. And she'd made the fatal mistake of putting it down on the floor, by her feet. Before I knew what was happening, he'd whipped it. The only evidence of what had transpired was a piece of thinly sliced tomato laying forlornly on the ground. The only bit he hadn't managed to cram into his gob.

We then got kicked out of "The Black Swan", before we'd even gone in. Because Sumo is a dog. and dogs are not welcome. "The Black Boar" had a big sign saying "No Dogs", so we settled for "The Punchbowl". The landlady had a fear of big dogs, but he was allowed in anyway, as long as he didn't climb on the furniture. The regulars all made a fuss of him. So, The Punchbowl gets my "Best Pub in Abingdon" award. Rough and ready, unpretentious, and full of lovely people.

All pubbed out


  1. AnonymousJune 25, 2011

    Was his dancing as bad as this last year in Sheffield at the tramline concert. Peter the dancer is a mathematician I worked with who has "difficult reality" moments.


    Having trouble posing comments to your site.

  2. AnonymousJune 25, 2011

    I will try that again with the link. Doh!


  3. AnonymousJune 25, 2011

    Hi Mick.

    >> Having trouble posing comments to your site.

    Sorry, yes. that's been going on for a while. a fault with blogger, i think. From what i've been able to ascertain, it's not the first time its all gone a bit wobbly. I should probably changeover to wordpress or something similar, but i'm attached to this address, and don't want to lose the stuff i've already written.

    >> Was his dancing as bad as this last year in Sheffield at the tramline concert.

    oh, much lamer. he (sadly) thought he was fabulous. his choice of music didn't do him any favours. and he just turned up in his 'street' attire. the judges were quite scathing, and said he'd just "bounced around for a bit". which sums it up perfectly, i think. it could be, that he was attempting to be ironic. but he clearly had too much personal emotional investment in his performance to pull it off. the most cringeworthy 'turn' of the whole day.


  4. Hi Ken
    As the owner to two black labradors we tend to judge Pubs by their welcome to dogs, it's a good a scale as any I guess. Loved the sandwich snatch move that Sumo laid on, it is just a preprogrammed Labrador thing. One of mine has snatched a fisherman's cheese butty - he was less than happy and I was mortified - funny after the fact though..

  5. AnonymousJune 26, 2011

    Hi Lesley. Great to hear from you. I used to read the Caxton blog religiously before we got our own boat, to see how Sumo would cope with his life afloat, and where we'd be able to walk him, without having to traverse miles and miles of concrete.

    Particularly worrying was the time Floyd? fell into the lock and had to be hoisted up on Joe's knees via the ladder, and eventually floated out. Thankfully, that hasn't happened to us yet.

    Please give the boys lots of fuss from us.


  6. Hi Ken
    It was Fletcher that toppled in the icy lock at Leicester and it was me that went in get him out - both dogs are used to locking now and are no problem at all.
    The boys say thanks and hope to meet Sumo one day!

  7. Hello again K -n- S.

    re >> I should probably changeover to wordpress or something similar, but i'm attached to this address, and don't want to lose the stuff i've already written.

    You can run the same blog in tandem no problemo... I do!

    Our blogger blog is on but we also point to it from as well as

    Plus we keep a full backup of all the content on

    You can have as many domain names pointing to your blog and as many copies of the blog as you like.

    Blogger backups are sometimes difficult to restore. I have been there, hence the once a month back-up to wordpress.

    Blogger is behaving and letting me post on your blog again. Thats one of bloggers most endearing points.... it changes on a day to day basis...


  8. AnonymousJuly 05, 2011

    Thanks for the tips, much appreciated.