Mary Jane met the Coconut Airplane. Now I know she loves me so.

In the words of Elvis Costello (& the Attractions);

“Radio is a sound salvation
Radio is cleaning up the nation”

Well I did my part yesterday by sorting out not one, not two, but THREE radios! Oh yes, if the job is a big one bring Bob in to do it.


Radio number 1. I have a digital radio in the kitchen. Years back when I got it I did all the preset stations. No real need as I only ever listen to Radio 5. The trouble is that some weeks ago I somehow did something that erased all my presets and I have been stuck with some station I have never heard of which I don’t want to listen to.

I hoped that it would just ‘sort itself out’ but of course it didn’t. Being the DIY Bob I am (and I count this as DIY), I got the instruction book out and after a laborious hours or so I am back to the joys of Radio 5 as well as plenty of other stations I will never listen to.

Radio Number 2. Emboldened by my success I thought I would sort out the presets on Bob Junior’s (Male) car radio. These got lost about three months ago when the car battery had to be changed.


Now this was far more complex as there was more than one set of radio instructions in the manual. I sorted it but he know has some v poor stations selected. Look like there were some frequencies (is that what you call it) I missed too so not all completed. Its not my fault. He should be grateful. I did his clock too.

Radio number 3. My reasonably new shower radio works – Radio 5 too – but keeps cutting out at a certain (low) volume so I can’t hear it over the noise of the shower / my singing / the ripply wobbly noises of my clothes-free torso in the water spray. Having considered this for months I tried an engineering experiment. New batteries. Bingo. Sorted.

Basically, radio DIY – if this is a ‘thing’ – is my specialty now. My motto is ‘No job too easy’ and I am available 24-7 as long as I can be bothered.


Yes, over the last day or two I have been getting a few of those niggly jobs out of the way that you never get round to doing.

  1. Letter to the tax people. Now this issue is not pressing but has been sitting there waiting to be done for ages. Why? It takes ages to go back through old records, do calculations and then frame it in a business letter. For what? Probably minimal ££££ payback. Still, I have done it. Gold Star.
  2. Ryanair on-line. Now that alone should tell you why I have put this off – blood / stone / hurdles / bloody frustrating. I have spent about two hours on it this week alone and still have not managed to apply for recompense. All because they cancelled a flight.


Look all I am trying to say is that, whilst it may seem that for the latter part of this week all I have done is take the dogs out for sunny walks and potter in the garden, I have in fact been doing the dullest yet necessary chores. You are my witnesses to this.

Actually the dog walks have been great. Two days ago we were in bleak midwinter, now it is the height of the British Summer. The dogs have been wading in the river and generally frolicking. I thought I would entertain them today by slipping over in the only bit of slippy mud I could find and then had to walk all the way home pretending my muddy person (there was a lot of mud) was an intentional fashion statement. Even the dogs were sniggering behind me, only stopping when I looked round.


Football. So Arsene Wenger has announced today that he will stand down as Arsenal manager at the end of this season. I don’t have much of an opinion, as let’s face it, it’s not Stockport County is it? He shouldn’t have had all the grief he has had from Arsenal fans recently but then again he should have gone last season if not before. Invariably he will win the Europa League this season.

Vikash Dhorasoo. Heard of him? I hadn’t until – having fixed my radio – I heard a snippet about him on Radio 5 today. Thanks to The Independent and BBC websites for giving me more information.


 Vikash Dhorasoo was part of the French World Cup squad in 2006. Dhorasoo, considered to be “the French football intellectual,” played every game as France qualified for Germany 2006, but once the tournament started he became a marginal figure. Dhorasoo was entrusted with a Super-8 camera by his friend, the singer, writer and film-maker Fred Poulet. While Dhorasoo was travelling round Germany with the French squad, Poulet was following behind, also armed with an 8mm camera. The filming went on to be used to make a documentary about the life of a football substitute.

He only played 16 minutes at the tournament and felt he was frozen out.

“Over the course of the tournament, Dhorasoo’s initial optimism gives way to despair. As the final approaches, he seems to be counting off the days until he is released from his footballing prison”.

After the World Cup he retired from international football, having won 18 caps and scored one goal.

“I didn’t like football enough to want to continue to play that way. It’s only a question of money. I’m happy to have finished. I’m not a good product to sell at the World Cup – it’s big business and I’m not representative of French society.  I’m not white, I’m not from north Africa, I’m not black – I’m different. I’m small, I’ve got long hair – I’m not commercial.”

 In September 2006 he was sacked by Paris St Germain and after a short and unhappy spell with Italian side Livorno  he retired from football altogether in January 2008.

Never heard about him before and what a sad tale. I will try and find the film Substitute now with the tissues handy. In case I cry.


Now I have discussed my big fat sausage finger on many occasions. Just today I received a copy of a long letter from the rheumatologist consultant to my GP. It really was detailed which suggests I gave more information than needed at my appointment e.g. that I have two dogs and that I am currently looking for a job. Is this relevant?

What I really do not remember saying (or indeed being asked about) is that I have;

“…no early morning stiffness”.

Come on! How is that appropriate or indeed relevant? I am 52 you know.

The good weather leads to the same thing for us all. Group singalongs to ‘Barbados’ by Typically Tropical.

TT had a number one hit with the song in the summer of ’75 but how many of you knew that when the version of the track on the album was slightly different. Apparently it began with an additional pre-take-off conversation between Captain Tobias Willcock and Air Traffic Control, whereas the single version begins with the Captain’s welcome to his passengers.


Now you may ask ‘Why do we want to know this Bob?’. My answer would simply be ‘No idea and I don’t care’. I have access to Wiki and I am going to use it. So there.

A number 2 hit the year before was of course the Bay City Roller’s hit ‘Shang-a-Lang’.

Now  I do – genuinely – love the BCRs but WTF was this all about?

“Well we sang shang-a-lang as we ran with the gang
Doin doo wop be dooby do at”

Sounds like a crap street gang to me. Like Michael Jackson’s gang in the ‘Bad’ video or when Survivor tried to look tough in the ‘Eye of the tiger’ video.

Can you imagine the ICF steaming into a load of Millwall fans singing ‘shang-a-lang’? The Millwall boys would laugh at them. As to what they were “doin”, well that makes even less sense. The BCRs were good lads but they would not have survived the Bronx or the mean streets of LA. Their gang would not have had much in the way of ‘turf’.


Now Vikash Dhorasoo’s story made me sad but the BCRs story is one to make you weep – for another blog…… Imagine though, you were one of THE bands of the 70s – hit after hit, sell out tour after sell out tour, adulation on a global scale and tonnes of merchandise sold. Then you find that your pig of a crooked manager had ripped you off and you were left with nothing from it all. Heartbreaking for a group of honest working class lads who made good.

Too much woe in this blog. Lets finish on a high. Here is a picture of a very happy dog.




2 thoughts on “Mary Jane met the Coconut Airplane. Now I know she loves me so.

  1. Oof, bit of an emotional roller coaster that one. I need a cup of tea and a long lie down to recover.


  2. Sorry – a lot to think about I know. Try not to worry x


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