We’re open ! Read all about it !

At 8am on Saturday 29th October, Templeton’s Hardware Store officially re opened it’s doors to the residents and well wishers of the East Yorkshire town of Sprodlington.  Recent unforeseen circumstances had meant that the store needed to be refit and the range and merchandise changed.

Many readers of my ramblings will know how difficult times have been for me recently, both in the business world and personally,  and I was very touched to see so many people queuing for the re opening this morning.

Sadly, our intended ribbon-cutting  celebrity Stevie Culshaw, (2007 X Factor contestant who managed to get through to the  judge’s houses before narrowly being beaten for a place in the final) was unable to come. He sent a text saying he had been called in for an early breakfast shift at Primrose Valley Holiday Camp. But a quick re adjustment, and I gave the scissors to Mayor Beryl Frampton who said some lovely words before letting in the vast queue who were eager for their early glass of Matteus Rose.

I expected a very busy day and I have not been disappointed by those who wanted to share in the start of this new chapter in the life of Templeton’s Hardware. As I take these few minutes to share the opening with you I wanted to mention Sue Winkton who had traveled all the way from East Cottingwith near Hull to share this special day. Sue said that there was no early morning bus and so she traveled up last night and had to sleep in the bus shelter on account of both of the rooms at The Cross Keys being taken. Thank you Sue.

The only sad note this morning was that the whole opening was a little too much for Jason Tucknott,  our local Special Constable who had agreed to help me on his day off from special constable duties (not that I am sure what they are).  I had explained to Jason how the new tills worked and also the bar-code scanner, but he was quickly flustered when a customer changed their mind and opted for round-head screws rather than flat-head screws.  He fell to the floor and needed the expert assistance  from Cyril Tewster who insisted on getting his fluorescent jacket from the car first.

Jason made a quick recovery and is back on the tills now. In a funny way, the little commotion brought in an extra little crowd.

Thank you all again for your support on this special day.

Me and my Big Mouth !

Well at least now I know that someone who reads this blog, or is an acquaintance of mine on Facebook has contacts in my small market town of Sprodlington.

A few weeks ago I told you all about Dave Threadmere and how I was gloating about how I had short-changed him for a 7/16 inch and 1/2 inch quad box wrench.

I’d only just popped out tonight for a quick pint of Bishop’s Pizzle in The Cross Keys, when I walked past Devonshire Terrace –  a group of skanky, pebble-dashed, caravan-front-drivewayed, dog-on-a-bit-of-string, rusty metal gate archway type houses.

“Templeton you little shit !” shouted Threadmere as he stormed out of his garage and up his driveway.

“Evening Dave” I answered, looking for somewhere to run.

“You shafted me for that wrench.”

“I may have inadvertently slightly over-charged you on a temporary basis.” I said “But that’s why I’m here – I’ve brought your change.”

“Yeah right!”

Now, I might not have been too clever with my next line.

“Well why  on earth  would I be walking up this God-forsaken road ?  It’s a hole”

And at that point I watched Dave change colour and tighten his fists in rage.

“Anyway,” I garbled. “Here’s your change !”

I fumbled for anything I could find in my back pocket and threw him a £20 note.

“Sorry Dave – Keep the change.”

What an absolute Twat !

Jewellery Jewellery Jangle Jangle

So how do I look ? Pretty smart huh ? Well, I haven’t decided to take office yet as I want to find out what all the perks are first.

Sprodlington is not currently twinned with anyone – Possibly on account of most of the inhabitants having spent most of their lives living in the same street. But I can change all that. I remember dear Doris Brazil from Appleton Marsh who had a torrid time after twinning with Gaza for a short period.

I always thought Bangkok would be a  great place to twin with, but I will see if a scoping mission is available before I commit further.

Jason’s Tattoo

Even if we are being extremely generous, it would be true to say that Special Constable PC Jason Tucknott’s early career as Sprodlington’s eyes and ears has been pretty disastrous.  In fact, Colin was saying last week that  Helen Keller would have been more succesful.

Yesterday Jason came into the shop holding a piece of tissue over his arm.

“Guess what Andy’s done for me” he said.

“Andy who?”

“Andy ! You know, Andy the hairdresser.”

“I’ve no idea Jason” and after glancing upwards I said “He’s not cut your hair”

“No” he laughed “Andy’s done me a tattoo !”

“Andy’s not allowed to do tattoos any more Jason. You know that !”

It was something to do with a misspelled tribute to the TV presenter Brian Cant.

“It’s fine” Jason continued. “He’s kept his old gear in the back of his shop.”

Jason took the tissue from his arm and I could only stare in disbelief.

“Who’s that ?”  I said  “Who the bloody hell is that ? It looks like Ray Reardon the snooker player.”

“No stupid. Its Dracula !” Jason looked at me for confirmation.

“But there aren’t any fangs Jason. Dracula has big fangs.”

“Yeah, I know.” he stumbled. “We realised that after Andy had coloured the lips in. It was too late.”

He’s done it now ! He’s really done it now !

Well, Colin’s gone and done it now!  It’s one thing to rip your shirt off and shout “You’re all cheats!” after losing a game of dominoes, but no one could have guessed where next  Colin was going to  show his charm.

The evening started as a fairly quiet affair. Three of us; Colin, Steve Bishop and me, chatted our way through a few pints of Bishop’s Pizzle in The Black Bull. Colin seemed on fine form. Then

“Right,” he shouted. “Three more of these and then we’re off for chips.”

“Three !” I spluttered. “I can’t manage three Colin, let alone one. I’m a little out of practise.”

“Poof !” Colin barked. “You’re as bad as Trevor. You’ll be on Sherry soon as well.”

“I think that’s a bit harsh Colin. We’ve had four pints already and I’ve told you I’m trying to save some money to impress a lady.”

“You’ll impress nowt in Yorkshire lad,” he said. “You’ve gone soft !  I’ll order – you start drinking and I’ll finish them.”

I looked up.  Steve had gone.

“Bastard!”  I thought.  I should have seen it coming and joined him, but like a fool I stayed.  It was cabaret time.

“I’m not going to manage any more than two then.”  I protested.

“I’ll get the chips delivered.” said Colin.  “We can eat them here.”

“Colin, for starters no one from the chippy is going to deliver chips to us here in the pub, and even if they did, there’s no way the pub would want us to eat them here !”

He slammed down the first of the six pints he had ordered and started the second.

“I’ll phone.” he said.

Colin then phoned Sheila Foggerty at Foggy’s Chippy.

“Chips please Sheila !” shouted Colin.  “We’re wait for then here in The Bull.

I’m not sure he needed the phone as they could probably hear him the three doors down, but he repeated himself anyway, and a little louder.

“We’re busy Colin.”  I could hear Sheila.  “It’s 10 o’clock and we’re chocca.”

Colin sank the contents of the next pint.

“I’ll clear the shop then !”he  howled.  “How’s that?”

There was no reply.  Colin threw the phone down on the table and lifted the next pint.  He finished it in one and I just knew what was coming next.

He stood up on the bar stool and took of his shirt. He then removed his shoes and his trousers.

“Right.” he said. “Chips!”

And with that he left. There was no way I was going to want to see what happened next.  I put my glass down and went quietly out through the pub back door; through the beer garden and home.

Finding the perfect Mrs Templeton to replace Mrs Templeton

  It would be wrong not to start with the word “Regrettably”, but  it does look like Wendy has decided to move in with her sister Sammy, down in Weston-Super-Mare.   I’m not sure where our daughter Tracey is as I asked her to move out too, but I’m less bothered about her.  She sponged from us for too long anyway;  mithered me, and I have to say over recent weeks smelled a little strange (like damp) which I was keen to lose from the house.

37 years of marriage is a long time by anyone’s standards, but when Wendy left, I told her that would be the final time we would see each other.  She has already phoned this evening, but I have blocked the calls.  I did see Tracey parked outside earlier, but I didn’t  answer the door –  Come Dine with Me was on.

And so, I move on to a new chapter in my life. I’ve decided to “go public” so to speak. as it makes it more formal in my mind and closes the door for good. Wendy tried to explain she was not prepared to put up with the attention I get from other women, but that’s not something I can help. We all know there are some crack-pots out there. But there are some lovely ladies too.

Talking of Come Dine with Me, perhaps that is the kind of thing I should do now ?   I could  meet some new friends, and it would also give me the opportunity to talk about Templetons Hardware.  I could offer to cook for people in their homes too. I do a chuffing good Spaghetti Bolognese, chips and gravy.

So, to a nice glass of red I return and a bed with room to turn to follow.

Here’s to happier days.

When “No” means “No” say the good folk of Sprodlington

Well God Bless the lovely folk of Sprodlington for rallying around and getting Templetons Hardware open again for business.

The little town was stunned by the shameful trashing of our family shop, just because I rebuffed the unwanted attention of an overly keen lady.

Sprodlington wanted to send a message – just to make it very very clear.