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Saturday, 20 February 2016


Voted Bristol's Number One Chippy 

I first posted the bones of this in 2009 when I was enjoying myself so much in the Ambulance Service.  I have had a bit of fun with it recently ~ in fact it has become rather addictive and cheered away the recent wintry blues.

My idea was inspired by my good friend David McMahon of authorblog, who sadly is no longer blogging.  I took the theme from his post, "Nearer, My Cod, To Thee", where he reports a fisherman finding a cellphone, still working, after being swallowed and inside the belly of a giant cod. Quite remarkable! One might be tempted to say that the cellphone had become temporally immobile.

Obviously, the fisherman must have cast his nets to the other side of his boat to land such a big fish. I wonder if the phone was ringing off it's hook, as the cod was caught. Of course one cannot but imagine the caller hearing an automated response, "I am sorry, the line is busy right now and it has not been possible to connect you; please try again later!"

Perhaps this fish was a distant descendant of another large fish which swallowed Jonah and, not liking his taste, either spat him out, or blew him ashore from his blow hole, causing him to land near Nineveh, and from there he went on to convert the whole city ~ not to Fish and chips, I might add. 

The cellphone incident occurred somewhere in the UK and there is the distinct possibility that, after the fish was gutted, boned, cleaned and cut up, these pieces of Cod, which passeth all understandingmay have turned up in a fish and chip shop, located in Bristol, called  . . wait for it . . . The Cod Almighty

Perhaps you may think this all a huge red herring and I do not wish to be an old trout about appearing too secretive of its location, so I will tell you exactly where it is 'plaiced'

You'll find it situated on Southmead Road, A4056, quite near Southmead Hospital, in north Bristol.  

And here it is, still there today I hasten to say, and there is not 'mushroom' inside because customers are packed in like sardines in a tin ~ no room at all for a single bloater.

We passed by regularly on our various ambulance duties, ferrying patients to and from Southmead Hospital, and often wider afield. 

Sometimes, if we had time and felt hungry, we stopped there for a bite to eat and I'll tell you now that the flavour of these 'chish and fips' was absolutely fabulous and second to none!

From across the road we could not see clearly whether the owner was the sole proprietor or not, but he was a nice chap called Raywho was a Fin and very friendly, but a bit 'stingy', so we nicknamed him Stingray. Yet he was quite reasonable to pensioners because for two portions he charged just six squid.

His assistant was Spike, who never showed his teeth in spite of his long snout.  Non of us doubted they would not dream of deliberately 'carping' anyone. We thought that neither would they ever, under any circumstance, contemplate telling anyone to sling their hooks or tell them 'you've had your chips, mate  . . . . cod off.'

If you looked closely inside you would have seen some people, mouths drooling, waiting patiently at the counter. Just round the corner inside, I once saw an elderly man 'perched' on a seat sound asleep. When I asked if there was a problem I was told, "Oh! that's Barrycuda'eel be ok ~  'e's fallen asleep after 'is dinner; 'e loves it 'ere ~ don't worry 'e's only a kipper and 'e's quite 'armless!".

There was a lot of activity taking 'plaice'; a lady doing the 'conger', a gambler throwing his 'dace' and a young lad wearing roller 'skates' . . .  oh! . . and a lady starting another 'roe' of knitting, and a man from the cobblers next door, where you get your boots 'soled and 'eeled'. A young girl kept us entertained by playing a 'tuna' for us on her mouth organ.  Her Koi rendition of 'Salmonchanted Evening' from 'Mouth Specific' upset one miserable old croaker who in a deep bass voice told her to stop it, so she promptly gave him a stickleback which firmly closed his loosejaw for good.

At The Cod Almighty there is no sign whatsoever of any overpowering 'stench' of fish, but just a mild mouth-watering whiff, which smelt a little bit funny, yet was guaranteed to excite one's salivary glands and stimulate the gizzard.

The haddock and mushy peas were great as well, as were the fish cakes, fish fingers, sausage rolls and pasties and snake and pigmy pies - all super and would make anyone 'bream' with delight.   This man certainly knew how to trawl for business and to catch any drifter and reel them in one by one. He was an expert 'hook, line and sinker' man.

But there was no sturgeon to be seen anywhere, and being a Royal fish, and thus attracting and belonging to royalty, Prince Charles, who lives nearby at Highgrove, in Tetbury, was highly conspicuous by his absence, much preferring Camilla to cook for him at home. However, she was in two minds, wondering, "Shall I give him baked beans on toast or 'shall-i-butter' him a nice slice of bread with some pilchards as a treat for him being a good boy.

After all this publicity I had afforded The Cod Almighty, with my post in 2009, I expected next time I passed by that I would notice a huge queue of people standing in a long line, eagerly awaiting their meals.  And sure enough they came in multitudes, just like at the famous seven loaves and five fishes event when there was not a 'dorsal' left ~ it was all 'finished'.

If you are viewing, Mr Owner, please remember not to be a stingy old shark and stop twiddling your barbels because I am angling for a free cod and chips for this plug, which should boost your trade enormously, after all these extra people you have netted, thanks to me. Just think, mate, you are no longer a little minnow or small fry ~ you are a big fish and you have a brill business. Customers are coming to you in shoals

When I saw him again I suggested he gave me a freebie as a thank you, but he bristled under the gills and he said rather curtly, "No 'ruddy' way you flathead and silly pollock . . . . who do you think I am, a longnosed sucker?"   . .  and he promptly told me to 'cod off' and that he was a dab hand at this business without me and he was not a 'flipping 'charity'? 

"Oh!", I said, 'floundering', "I thought you were a nice guppy but now I can see you are no Angelfish, in fact you are a Devil Ray and I shall not be extending my 'filletitations' to you again.  I am so sorry to have 'encroached' on your time, I am sure, "You are rapidly becoming a rotten mackerel, you stingy old flatfish. For goodness hake, aren't you even going to 'mullet' over? . . . . your nasty comments are very 'misplaiced'.  Do you always batter your customers like this and rub salt and vinegar into their wounds?   I am wrapping this up right now and I shall not return for another serving, so there!" 

And with that we said our goodbyes and I have not seen him since.

Before our 'daceagreement' I took home some cod and chips for my son and just look what he did with the ketchup - what a mess! . . . and I was amazed because he actually prefers brown sauce.

That's youth of today for you. 

But I did the same to mine last week, didn't I?  . . . lol

Many apologies for all these 'in-tench-ional' and 'orfeful' puns. However, it is essential to use them all in order to convey my full message. Incidentally I had a whale of a time doing this!

A 'ruffe and ready' pun is good for the sole and somehow I 'haddock-ray-ving' to do it, and the 'op-perch-tuna-ty' presented itself very nicely.  It's hardly brain 'sturgeon' stuff but these fish puns are easy to follow any day of the week barramundi, but if you cannot follow them at all you might consider all this a 'load of pollacks', or to be more polite, a load of 'codswallop'.  

I have omitted to comment on several varieties of fish I hardly dare mention, including hugetits, a very buoyant species found in the Mediterranean Sea, or to expand further on what could be said on pike, crappee, pouting and halibut. There is no 'porpoise' in being rude, so my lips are sealed.

My big problem now is that I shall be thinking of this after posting and no doubt other fish words and sayings will spring to mind and swim to the surface, which I would have liked included . . . . haha


The link to David's post is still there but I am including the short story below because it is so funny.  I am sure David would not mind. He left his blog open for anyone wanting to read it:

Ringing Endorsement

Nearer, My Cod, To Thee

A businessman in the UK, who lost his cellphone on a beach, was amazed when it turned up - in the belly of a giant cod.  A week after he lost it, his girlfriend's cellphone rang and it was a fisherman saying he'd found the phone in a 25lb (11.5 kg) fish.  The handset was returned, allowed to dry out - and it still works.

Footnote: In cod we trust

Thank you David


Cod knows what I am going to post next week !!! 
I shall be like a fish out of water . . haha



A Funny thing happened at the Fish and Chip Shop

This week I have not been in a position to help anyone so I am recalling a fairly recent and rather amusing incident, when I attempted to help a 'down and out'.  

I was on my way home after working in my daughter's garden and I felt very hungry, just as I frequently do.

I decided to buy some fish and chips in a town which is about half way home. Also, I needed to buy some groceries from a supermarket, nearby.  

I had just bought my fish and chips when I noticed a young lady sitting outside the supermarket.  She was an obvious 'down and out', and probably homeless. Fortunately it was a nice day, so she was not cold.

I stopped and asked her if she was hungry and in broken English she replied that she was, so I gave her my fish and chips.

I returned to the fish and chip shop and asked for another portion. The lady serving looked at me rather strangely and remarked that I had just bought some and I replied that I liked them so much I was buying some more. She laughed and looked amazed, saying, "But you have not had time to eat the first lot!"

I joked that I was hungry and then I said, "Well, actually I gave them away to a 'down and out' girl just outside, so I am getting some more for myself.

She said, "Oh how kind, I shall charge you just half price!", and we both laughed.  She said, "What would you do if you saw another 'down and out' outside? Would you give them those too?"  

I said, "I would send them in here! ~ your turn!"  

She laughed and said, "I might not be as generous as you!" and we both laughed again.

On my way back to the car I saw the girl eating her fish and chips and she was alone.  I asked her if she was enjoying them, and she replied rather curtly, "There's no salt on them!"  . . . . lol

I said, "Well, the fish and chip shop is next door, go and ask them for some salt, and they might throw in some extra vinegar".

I thought . . . the ungrateful thing . . . but I smiled inwardly and thought it was all rather amusing.

When I got home I transferred my fish and chips onto a plate but boy, the lid flew off the ketchup and my fish got drenched and was swimming in a pool of ketchup! . . . . lol

No matter, it was delicious. I like ketchup.

Now doesn't that look appetising? . . lol

Now we are in the mood for fish and chips, please tune in for my next post in a few days when I recall a story from my ambulance days and a favourite Fish and Chip shop that my colleagues and I used to frequent regularly. 

Preview of coming attractions when I hope to get some new ambulance stories posted.


I digressed ~ now back to topic.

This year the lovely Manu is hosting the RAK series, following our equally lovely Betsy who hosted during previous years.

We are always looking for additional stories to inspire others to try to make someone's day a little happier (or a lot if we can). 
So if you have any ideas and would like to participate in this very worthy cause then please contact Manu by clicking on the picture.

  There will be a full set of instructions explaining exactly what to do next.

Also, by clicking this link those interested in reading other participants' RAKs can do so.

Please join in if you can and help to spread the word about RAKs.

Friday, 12 February 2016


This year Manu is hosting the RAK Challenge following sterling work in previous years by the lovely Betsy at My Five Men (the greedy thing . . lol).

I am linking to Manu HERE where we can see other people participating.

The idea is to encourage spontaneous kindnesses and to make someone's day.

Well, my Grandson, Peter, made mine today and I do believe it was a genuine act of kindness on his part to his Grandpa. So this week the RAK was his to me.

We were having a bit of fun this morning playing hide and seek . . .

Now you see him . . . 

Now you don't . . . 

Later he spotted some dust in the bedroom and said, "Grandpa! . . clean, clean, hoover . . . now, get it, do it, me do it!"

I was so 'chuffed' to be motivated to do some cleaning by this little lad and we spent 3 hours thoroughly cleaning upstairs with a Spring Clean. He had a little feather duster and brush and was in his element helping Grandpa while I vacuumed.  

At two he is just beginning to string words together to convey his intentions and he said, "I come again and more, more!" . . . lol . . . so we shall certainly amuse ourselves with this activity while I look after him twice a week.

I am so grateful to him because he has inspired me to continue over the coming weekend so I can get the house 'spick and span' again. 

To be honest this is the first time I am really looking forward to doing it since my wife, Maria, died almost three years ago, when the stuffing was really knocked out of me.

So thank you Peter . . . you are a star.

We found his Daddy's remote controlled car which unfortunately no longer works but I have said I will buy him one. He proceeded to pretend to make an imaginary telephone call to his daddy to tell him the good news . . . 

As for me, this afternoon I donated my 106th pint of blood so, although this was not exactly a random or spontaneous activity, I am pleased to be able to help someone again in this way and will continue to do so 4 times a year.

Click on this picture link to see fellow participants' RAK activities.


Thursday, 11 February 2016

Rosa ~ almost 6 months

What more can I say other than she melts my heart.

She laughs and screeches with delight and we had a wonderful long conversation in "baby" yesterday.  My daughter was most touched by it.  

Friday, 5 February 2016


Just a short update on the grandchildren.

I saw baby Rosa on Wednesday for the first time in 2 weeks and she has changed a lot during that time.  She took a little while before she got used to me again but quickly started smiling and laughing.  She is approaching 6 months.

She likes playing with silver kitchen foil because of the crinkly noise it makes ~ under supervision of course.   

She is doing very well but lets us know with severe determination when she wants a feed. 

For the last two days I have been looking after young Peter and he loves getting involved 'helping' with various projects like vacuum cleaning and washing up.  Don't they just love anything to do with water . . . :)

Something amused him no doubt on this snap.

He is playing with my screwdrivers again . . . :)

They moved into a three bedroom house recently and I have been helping them move over the last two weeks.  It is all done now and they are settling in well.  Peter loves his new home and much larger bedroom. They live very close to me, just up the road and round the corner.

Wishing you a very pleasant weekend.

Oh . . . . I should have described the foil item as a "survival blanket" which of course is harmless to babies . . .