The Brigadier


‘Pancakes’ she said. Pancakes? Why on earth is this rather odd, flatulent and hairy old specimen shouting Pancakes at me? Well that’s what my inner dialogue thought, and frankly, why wouldn’t it. Its not often I’m stopped in the High Street by a wildly gesticulating person with an aroma of stale ‘Crawfords’ biscuits seemingly demanding to know the answer to the the phrase ‘Pancakes’. What can one say to such nonsense but ‘Shrove Tuesday’. So Shrove Tuesday is what i said, shrove being the past tense of the verb Shrive, which apparently has something to do with pancakes, look, really, I don’t know, don’t put me on the spot.

Why is it that mad old biddies are allowed to parade in full view of the more sane members of the general public, why are they allowed to carry what could be termed an offensive weapon in the form of an iron skillet, and why on gods green and tarmacced earth does someone feel the need to rush up and down throwing a flour and egg based product into the air whilst members of the local press gaze on with their Mega-pixie digital thingummies taking inane snaps of those poor unfortunates unable to fathom the travesty of serving a chicken ovum without devilled kidneys.

Be warned dear reader, there is clearly something askew with food nowadays. Yes I realise the old pancake tossers come from a bygone age of making do and using up what’s in the larder, but that doesn’t explain the need for them to carry on this way in this age of microwave technology and fully nutritious ready-meals. In my humble experience of using up the leftover supplies I’d say the best recipe I could come up with was to empty the contents of the broken teacup at the bottom of the fridge into the jagged tin of baked beans of indeterminate age and cook it in a pot until it stops wiggling, of course always go for the subtler hues when it comes to cooking as the fluffy green look tends to taste a little musty, a bit like Benson the butler after he locked himself in that cupboard for a week, (he survived by sucking on mothballs and the turf from the bottom of my wellies).

‘Shrove Tuesday’ is what I said, this stopped the harridan in her tracks. Confess your sins is what it meant, Confess foul harridan, confess and weep for thou art a sinner, oh and stop throwing that batter mix in the air and pass me a lemon.

Yes, to shrive is to confess ones sins. Shrove Tuesday falls before Ash Wednesday, which presumably falls before ‘Who’s going to clean this batter and soot mess up Thursday’ and ‘I’m not speaking to you’ Friday. These odd, everso slightly beffuddled days are the precursor to Lent. Lent being a period of time in the christian calendar when you it’s acceptable to retreive those garden implements that next door borrowed from you back in August last year.

It’s also a time when it’s suggested that for spiritual and mental health we should ‘Give something up’, a tradition I wholeheartedly embrace each year when for about a month I abstain from Gin. Spiritually I feel refreshed, invigorated and cleansed from this foul spirit, however, in contrast my absinthe consumption does rise dramatically, as does my need for psychiatric help. An old chum of mine swears blind that the hallucenigenic additive ‘Wormwood’ which gives the aforementioned spirit that extra zing and also quite readily sent the likes of Modigliani and Van Gogh to an early grave is a fine way of combatting the rigours of modern life, a fact that is bourne out by his ability to ignore the sort of mad old dear in Broadstairs High street who regularly acosts gentlemen of easy persuasiuon such as myself.

I guess it’s a little akin to the pussy drug ‘Catnip’ that my old moggie ‘Mr Bix’ laps up in great quantities from within the tightly crochetted cat toy her ladyship often knocks up for the ginger beast. It certainly creates one space cadet fluff ball of dribble and claws. However one mans meat is another mans poison (or should that be poisson), in that, the other family pet ‘Molly Measles’ (feline, female variety) who doesn’t get it at all, instead looks on in wonderment and shame at the male in the family making such a fool of himself on a cheap addictive drug.

It’s almost like they’re human

As for the woman in the street, she eventually left me alone, probably on account of her pancake ending up in my pocket for later along with half a lemon and a sachet of sugar, it’ll go nicely with a half pint of Wormwood liquor.

But only during Lent of course.


Rhyming nursery style

Just the other day we encountered a surprise visit from the eldest child , who had become bored with his offspring and had decided it would be best to bring them over to our retreat to gorge their way through my personal stash of sweets and cheese, yes, cheese. The smaller one of the two can sniff out a chocolate eclair at twenty paces, and I can assure you, dear reader, that once that treasure trove of confectionary has been sniffed out there’s no getting a look in, a plague of locusts are less hungry.
Now, to stop the little Herberts from going in search and probably discovering the stash of cherries in the bread bin, I attempted to distract the little darlings by reaching down nannie’s old book of nursery rhymes in the vain hope that some nonsense ditties from yesteryear might help them forget about their stomachs for five minutes.
What could be more harmless and cheering than a book of nursery rhymes you may well assume, as did I, that was until I was coerced into revisiting them by the two munchkins. Here’s what I learnt: two children allowed out on their own before a reasonable age are taught that the best place to find water is at a higher altitude than surrounding geography. The clumsy devils proceed to have an accident and consider the best treatment under the circumstance is to run home, go to their bedrooms and apply a solution of Acetic Acid with a sheet of Craft paper. Yes, we’re teaching our children to search for water up a hill and then to administer first aid thought up by an utter loon.
There’s young Tom, who I assume to be the son of a local plumber; well this little chap thought he’d ignore all the X-Boxes and mobile phone shops and go straight to the local live farmyard animal purveyor so he could snaffle a pig. What he was going to do with this particular member of the Suidae family I have no idea, but steal it he did and then attempted to flee the scene on foot. Of course, young Tom had no chance of escape and was soon caught up with, however, this resulted in no prosecution but instead domestic violence ensued and the pig killed and eaten – and this is what I sang to two under sixes. Little Tommy Tittlemouse (which caused much hilarity) stole from other people’s fishing lakes without remorse and a ‘Little Old Woman’ considered the best accommodation to bring up an inordinate amount of children in (whoever these children were, as the lady was clearly post menopausal) was a large shoe like structure. The woman clearly struggled with her life as an unpaid mother to so many children as she never fed them a nutritious diet and regularly physically assaulted them. Charges were never brought.
The oldest munchkin was soon bored with such rot and eyed me with a look of boredom and wry amusement, as if to say “what are you saying you silly old duffer”, and frankly she had a point, these rhymes seemed such fun when I was a nipper, suffice it to say, just like me, they haven’t aged well. Perhaps its time for some more up to date nursery rhymes involving ‘Chantelles’ who manage to get into a frightful pickle after spending all their cash on an online betting shop

Chantelle and Will,
Went on William Hill,
and both became terrible debtors.
Chantelle, no job,
Will – quite a slob,
Had ignored all the letters.
A loan was sought,
and online bought,
To pay for all their token.
Now they have to pay,
almost twice a day,
to stop they legs being broken

Missing Issues and other stuff

The first sixteen page Broadie first appeared in June 2008. We were far from sure how the idea of a magazine for Broadstairs would go down, but after nearly five years we’ve been amazed how well Broadie residents have responded to their own little publication, what has especially been quite astounding is the way in which the mag’ seems to have been taken into your hearts, (And the lack of complaints we’ve had – except maybe a couple of threats of legal action)<!–more–>

At present the magazine runs between 24 -32 pages, but we are open to making it larger depending on how many people would like to contribute, and whether we can use the content that is contributed. We print 5000 copies which are mostly distributed free to homes in the CT10 area, we do however like to switch the areas that get free copies each issue so everyone gets a free one now and again, but fear not, there’s many places to pick up a copy, sometimes for free and sometimes for an excessively reasonable sixty pennies.

We really do enjoy getting new articles, it’s always a joy to read someone elses contribution, however, please don’t be downheatened if we dont use the prose that you’ve lovingly put together, not everything is always suitable, it’s sometimes very possibly libellous and on the occasion we dont believe ‘Broadstairs’ is quite ready to hear what some of you have got to say.

If you ask us why we haven’t used your ramblings we’ll gladly give our reasons and we’ll also suggest ways in which we could perhaps use it with maybe a few changes.

Okay, so we’re not professional journalist (‘Yes it shows’ some have sniffed) but that’s not what we’re about. It’s a community thing and we’re very proud to be part of your and our community.

There’s a few issues missing on the downloadable ‘Back Issues’ section. However we are working on getting them all together and publishing them for your perusal.

At the mo’ the font on the covers on some of the issues all looks a bit wafty. It’s okay, it’s not actually like that when you download it, we’re not 100% sure why its gone a bit skewy but we suspect someone will tell us.

Whatever happened to my typewriter

So here we are on that infernal contraption that she bought last year with her winter heating allowance. Typing out varying degrees of nonsense to a potential audience of billions which will be read by three slightly bored and dissappointed teenagers who’d mistyped ‘Boobie’ into their Google thingamy, (whatever the hell that means), and a couple of crotchety old fools, a bit like myself, who’ve got nothing better to do until ‘Countdown’ comes on.

So, what on earth are we supposed to put on this electronic wonderland that is our website?

Ever since the dawn of time when we bashed rocks against each other for fun, mankind has attempted to communicate – be that by painting terribly childish pictures on cave walls or by carving silly little pictures into bloody great lumps of rock in the middle of a dessert – ridiculous – they could build the pyramids but couldn’t spell the word sand without drawing four hyroglyphics. One particular Pharoah chap by the name of ‘Xerox’ invented paper, Caxton invented printing, and Peter, 42, from Ramsgate invented writing obscene messages on the back of the toilet door in my favourite watering hole, although quite what he expects me to do with the information he provides is beyond me. Yes, really physically beyond me.

But what these examples all have in common is communication, and my oh my, don’t we all like to communicate a lot in this day and age. I’m amazed how we ever survived, during my childhood when we were sent off for weeks at a time into the wild blue yonder with nothing but a wedge of Cheese, three stale loaves and half a pound of Beef dripping all lovingly wrapped in a canvas tent brought back from the Boer war. Father would hand out the guns as he said goodbye at the door of the manor house. “You can never be too careful of those Badgers” he would say “Now off with you, and dont come back till you’ve got some hair on your chin and some blood on your hands”. Of course most of us heeded his warnings of wild animal attacks on our camping adventures, all except young ‘Bingy Bingo’ who took great pleasure in poking at animal sets with his pointed stick – he came off a lot worse than that angry, angry Badger I can tell you, but did we have a telecommunication device to call for help? No. However, we didn’t really need one,  father came running when he heard the screams as we performed an emergency amputation to remove ‘Bingys’ four mauled fingers with a blunt scout knife. Still, he never poked at an angry Badger again. More to do with not being able to pick up a stick than anything else – ended up quite dead after dropping his rifle on the Sargeant Majors foot during passing out parade… there was an angry man.

But I digress.

Yes, what to put on here apart from the badly spelled and awfully punctuated ramblings of a silly old fool?

Ideas please?

The Brigadier


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