"THE TIBWORTH PAPERS" - Life Before The Digital Age

I am the fourth one of The Eight Ninesons, two-thirds of the fifteen Linguadale Quads, five-sixths of the Tennyson Times-Tables.

05/08/85 ... "Deliver-A-Fridge" Day in Eastern Europe.

02/09/85 ... GRIT-EX'85: Campaign to Reintroduce an Appreciation of Interesting Grit.

02/10/85 ... J J Kentleworth's Battered Owbridges, Brighton Centre 15/6

07/10/85 ... French band called "The Pictorial History of Shoelaces" due to appear on "Name That Tune" 14/6

12/11/85 ... "Filex & The Moggo" - Minnow-oriented rock. How can one bloke make so little noise? 2/10�

17/11/85 ... Medicine Socks, with support from Roy Dodd's Gizzard.

18/11/85 ... Jean-Michel Gingo plays his "Variations On A Piece Of Lino", Royal Albert Hall. Ageing Pete Townsend receives hologram from the Queen.

08/01/86 ... First pelican sighted on Giddleton's roof.

10/01/86 ... Being a stoat can be fun! It's official!

12/01/86 ... Only three weeks to St Narlin's Day. Must buy some Oat Krunchies. St Narlin is the patron saint of misspelled breakfast cereals.

14/01/86 ... Antiquarian: A glass-sided vessel for observing ants... or a person who was against the Age of Aquarius?

16/01/86 ... Remember to cancel the milk and the talking swan act. Played Lipton Screel with Drake. He won by eight Liptons. I must buy a better cue.

18/01/86 ... Biceps Beezley.

22/01/86 ... 130 degrees in the shade, searing heat, dust storms... bleeaaarrrgh!

24/01/86 ... Hide the Yugoslavians! Here comes Grogan!

26/01/86 ... Benny Cralton's Obsession: Session musician Benny Cralton plays his own peculiar brand of 8-string "Ob" music.

28/01/86 ... Cleo Lane is first on the left.

30/01/86 ... A film buff is a piece of soft cloth used for polishing cinema screens.

01/02/86 ... Ned Zessity & The Mothers Of Invention play Rinstead Pastel, a village in Surrey.

04/02/86 ... Saw unique tracks of the Redling Throated Narsalwit (a male with a limp carrying a bass viol).

Todd? A Gridler? But what is his background? Is he English? Can he play IGNAR#7m?

10/02/86 ... Your trousers have set fire to the zebra.

12/02/86 ... TV-AM, "The Fardsarner File". Tina Fardsarner travels to Manchester this week and discovers the meaning of "Ee bah goom, 'Arry! Tillup gorlem?"

15/02/86 ... Crent Delby Week begins.

19/02/86 ... People are becoming more obviously Swedish. I must wear a scarf.

23/02/86 ... Kleenex van Hensalarrakeet's "Just A Thought" for today:- "If ships had wheels they'd be more like lorries."

24/02/86 ... "It Ain't Cress And Celery Soup!"

26/02/86 ... The Pingwings revival starts here.

28/02/86 ... Cant find my book on Top Show Canaries. It contains vital notes on my new Self-Preening Device.

02/03/86 ... Johnny Gargo says "I was as green as a dangerous lion when I saw Gleeson's new fishing equipment!"

03/03/86 ... Dreamt about jellies last night. I was a huge spoon wearing yellow shorts and a scout beret. Rabbithole was fully-rigged as a Baltic trader. I met him in West Street. Rabbithole said his name was Terence Rat again, and then he produced an enormous blackcurrant jelly.

"Darling I went to see the psychiatrist today and, guess what? we're going to have a wheelbarrow!"

04/03/86 ... I don't trust that Neville Tibworth. I think he's stolen my book on Top Show Canaries.

05/03/86 ... Nothing from Tibworth as yet.

10/03/86 ... Found out that Tibworth's middle name is Paxos-Noreenus. That explains the new canaries.

12/03/86 ... Hopefully Tibworth will take the "Corgi" bait.

13/03/86 ... He didn't! Denmead tonight, must try out Self-Preening Device.

19/03/86 ... I seem to have an extra canary. Must be Tibworth's.

31/03/86 ... Saw ace video "I Was Frankenstein's Other Canary". Vincent Price played a circular clown with a bell on his head. Gripping!

02/04/86 ... What does it mean when one's favourite canary takes up yoga?

03/04/86 ... It means that its sand sheet is dirty. Try Calgon - it removes dangerous [bird]lime scale.

06/04/86 ... According to Helen, Tibworth was on the News At Ten. Must phone ITN.

Thought for the day: It takes twenty-six people to write "The News Huddlines"

07/04/86 ... Must contact Tibworth.

09/04/86 ... Here come those awful Facial Discriminators!

17/04/86 ... Tibworth spotted in Chessington Cresswell.

12/05/86 ... Received letter from Tibworth. Tibetan postmark. He says my Rimmington knife looks like a spoon.

27/05/86 ... Received mysterious strawberry jelly. Tibworth link?

28/05/86 ... Met Mrs Tibworth in Halford's. She asked if the jelly was nice. Ah ha! I was right!

02/06/86 ... Bought new swing for the canaries. Am considering asking Interpol to help with the Tibworth dilemma. My canary Champion Jack Frost Conway III of Welwyn Garden City came second at Crufts.

17/06/86 ... Am surrounded by jellies. Damn that Tibworth!

09/07/86 ... No jelly this morning... no sorry, one's just arrived and there was a canary feather in it!

"Her female colleague went to the counter where Lacey, who was still exposing himself, asked if there was any tomato sauce, the magistrates heard."

14/07/86 ... International Alma Cogan Fun Decade starts.

25/07/86 ... Mitchell said that it's impossible to make an egg jelly.

MUSIC IS WASTED ON MUSICIANS.

03/08/86 ... Diment's fancy dress party 7pm. I'm going as as a nature reserve if I can find my green trousers.

07/08/86 ... Taught Drake how to play "Lipton Screel".

08/08/86 ... Do you acquire bread at a crust-station?

14/08/86 ... Ideas for song "Message In A Jelly":- Dum de dumm dumm dum, Doo dum de dum dum, Message in a jelly, When there's nothing on the telly, And you've had a row with Sally, Dum dum doodah diddle dum, Message in a jelly.

16/09/86 ... Some Martians have landed. They've left their saucer in Dave's shed and have gone shopping.

"I cringe at all these punk rock guitarists. But really they do me good in the long run. Essentially, people want to hear the guitar played well." - Bert Weedon (12/11/86 Daily Mirror)

01/04/87 ... Oh gawd! Flared nostrils are back in fashion!

09/04/87 ... I'm on an apricot thing at the moment. Feel great!

21/04/87 ... Dreamt about George Formby last night. He was singing "I'm Leaning On The Corner Of A Lamp Post Overnight In Case The Violins From Charlton Swim By".

09/05/87 ... Bought a six-pack of Lawson's Wetsnapper.

15/05/87 ... Bought a shirt with a geometric Alma Cogan motif on the sleeves.

16/05/87 ... Turned into one hundred "Krinto" beans by mistake.

19/05/87 ... Had a barney with Ted Rogan. He said I pinched his model torpedoes. Actually, I borrowed them for a fancy dress do.

28/05/87 ... Had to buy Rogan seven model torpedoes.

02/06/87 ... Trev Lorrison left his beard in Clement's station wagon.

03/06/87 ... Spilled claret all down the front of Rogan's model torpedoes. Mum says I should take them to the Citizens' Advice Bureau.

06/06/87 ... Mum made me an apricot hat. It fooled Susan.

16/06/87 ... Nunu Kinswela and his Buttered Men at The Spoon Club. According to Nerys, Nunu is playing the kunookulimlo on "Hounds Of Love".

18/06/87 ... Learn how to fill my mouth with 87 nutmegs (could be a world record).

23/06/87 ... Must change my name to Brett Maverick. Everybody else has.

25/06/87 ... Found Rogan's model torpedoes in the shoe cupboard. My shoes were missing and Rogan's fingerprints were on my souwester.

31/06/87 ... International Learning How To Say "Wongo Biddereen" Week begins.

09/07/87 ... Me and Carver Latwell stole Forton Road last night and hid it in Durham Street. Well, part of it there - the rest is is in Carver's Mum's attic. Carver wants to sell it to some German sailors.

11/07/97 ... Bought 15 model Belgian hooligans for my model stadia. They broke the legs of the entire Little Kiltney Police Force. St John's Ambulance ran out of plastic cement.

12/07/97 ... They do a lot for charity...

16/07/87 ... Found out that Ted Rogan's sister's middle name is "Lyncrusta".

27/07/87 ... I think my foot is turning into a rabbit.

30/07/87 ... Bought a magic key ring for the George Formby mime session.

13/08/87 ... Day 16: bought flippers in Corbin's.

26/09/87 ... Jason caught a 16-pound cod trying to steal his jacket.

29/09/97 ... Got my "International Circle Of Nutmeg Balancers" membership form. Mum has to sign it.

10/10/87 ... Tibworth attacked by rogue bee! - headline in the paper. Gee, it's great news! Must tell Carver.

13/10/87 ... Considered opening a diamond mine.

20/10/87 ... Millicent Shrubney took the Golden Nutmeg of Montreux. Brilliant use of double-back flip high-kicking. Venue change to Soton University. Don Cherry to MC. Eastleigh Aerodrome brought to standstill by Shrubney entourage. The lightshow weighs 3 tons!

31/10/87 ... Circus quality nutmegs. Zena Quigley 01 398 450614 after 6pm.

22/10/87 ... Almost swallowed a nutmeg whilst amusing next door's rabbit.

12/11/87 ... Mavis Dwyer, 9 The Ruperts, Crestley Avenue. Ex-directory, Nutmeg Evaluator.

18/11/87 ... Swapped an old lampshade for three cougars.

23/11/87 ... I wonder what "Clifton" is in Sonar?

26/11/87 ... Clipped forty seconds off my nutmeg balancing trick.

04/12/87 ... The Grogan Peas have sprouted.

08/12/87 ... My clown suit arrived this morning. Ideas for name: Soddo The Clown? Bimfo? Zimpo? Kippo? They always seem to end in 'O'... unless... Crunchpimple The Clown. Yes! I like that!

09/12/87 ... Forget Mrs Quigley. I knew it was too good to be true.

11/12/87 ... Tosser Robertson has beaten my nutmeg record.

12/12/87 ... Coo! what a bargain! I bought 2cwt of cracknell at the market. Going to make nativity scene.

15/12/87 ... Started a nutmeg balancing workshop at the Community Centre.

17/12/87 ... Nostrils.

18/12/87 ... Took Maureen's kiddies to see Blabbo The Clown at the Guildhall Nutmeg Exhibition. Grabbed loads of freebies.

22/12/87 ... Booked a table for eight at The New Bistro. They specialise in iguana dishes.

24/12/87 ... I'm never going to eat another iguana pie. Had the "machine weapon" wind.

28/12/87 ... Scientists have proved that wearing pyjamas helps stop tooth decay.

12/01/88 ... Started building my town. I shall probably call it "Little Kiltney-in-the-Water".

15/01/88 ... I'm becoming very keen on foreign gravel. Have sent off for information on the subject.

15/01/88 ... Took Den's advice and wrote to the Spanish Embassy. My latin quarter must be 100% accurate. The Airfix flamingo players are useless.

16/01/88 ... Spong's have opened a branch in Gosport. I queued all night and managed to buy three model tailors for a pound each!

18/01/88 ... Bought some more people for my town. Job lot of surplus Hungarians, plus a Tunisian in need of repair (new leg and hat).

09/02/88 ... The unpainted tigers arrived this morning. They will go in my wild life park with the huge aramdillos. Great! Brittain's now make see-through geese!

10/02/88 ... Aswad clashes with Captain Brogan's illustrated talk:- "Early Matchstalk Cathedral Glueing Techniques". I hope the Aswads go on late!

15/02/88 ... Built a new estate on the outskirts of town. I've called it Shuddington Treve. Must buy some young couples and a few dogs.

Just an idea: "Round at Camra Len's, the suite's smell of 6x..."

17/02/88 ... I can now impersonate Neddy Seagoon. The Club party should be hilarious.

21/02/88 ... Bought a pack of Austrians in full naval uniform. My Navy estate hasn't arrived yet, but Des gave me some green enamel.

03/03/88 ... Trod on my box of spare chimneys. The whole lot are ruined. Writing to Gregson.

05/03/88 ... Inaugural meeting of the Hants & Sussex Toy Town, Village & Conurbation Society. I've drawn up the blazer badge.

13/03/88 ... Bought an unfinished Meryl Streep at the car boot sale. I have painted her with Heinkel camouflage and put on fighter decals. Looks ridiculous, but I needed a model village idiot.

17/03/88 ... Bought a pair of marble horses at the Andover day out. Broke them up to make model crazy paving for "Pimmertip Manor", my new executive office complex. Penny said my cardboard milk float looked more like a pink and mauve anteater's tail. She's right!

18/03/88 ... Forgot to phone Craig and Jenny about the electric soldiers.

19/03/88 ... Jenny answered the phone in a bit of a panic. It appears that Craig has trodden on his only set of "Mrs Mitchells".

20/03/88 ... Found out that Den Gliddens of Stump is Secretary of the Colchester Model Makers' Guild. Their lyrics make a lot more sense now.

31/03/88 ... I have built a model dairy, but my Hornby beatniks are protesting. I'm going to buy some orange enamel to paint out their beards, then I can use them as cricket umpires on my toy field.

01/04/88 ... Played trick on Tibworth, even though he's in Tibet. Balanced bucket of cess on top of Heathrow customs door. If Tibbers returns today, he's in for a soaking! Of course, it won't count after midday. 

02/04/88 ... Disaster! I thought it would make a good video to let my hamster loose in my town centre. For a while everything was fine. Billy climbed about as I filmed him. And then he ate my Canadians (I had painted them as French onion men). To Billy they must have looked like sunflower seeds. I'm now waiting for nature to take its course.

11/04/88 ... Pete (076) 825193 - Various typists and soldiers. SAE needed.

13/04/88 ... "World Of Polypropylene Toys Expo '88". I've booked a stall, hope to sell my intricate pipe collection.

14/04/88 ... Mitch has fixed the transformer. At last my trains will run on time. Must buy a plaster Mussolini for the station yard.

16/04/88 ... Went backstage and met Frank Zappa. Yes, he's a keen model maker. To soothe his nerves before a gig, he makes rabbit-like monsters out of sprue. He's a weirdy, but a good friend of Den Gliddens.

25/04/88 ... Found a complete set of Hornby talking road sweepers at a car boot sale.

03/05/88 ... I've started writing my book. The working title is "Shedfield Days". It's about my childhood years in Burnley. I'm being interviewed on TV-AM on Wednesday. All my model railings will be sent to London this afternoon.

04/05/88 ... TV-AM interview. Ann Diamond has commissioned me to build a model sea lion pool for her child. The studio lights melted the armadillos.

09/05/88 ... I'm making a "Swaps Box" to store my townsfolk. I've got three dozen identical Milk Marketing Board Supervisors and eight 3/32 scale armadillos.

12/05/88 ... Some clot put Billy in with the armadillos. The plastic really flew, but the armadillos won in the end.

15/05/88 ... I'm spending a week balanced on the top of a buttered tripod to raise money for our club train set.

16/05/88 ... Day 2 on the buttered tripod.

17/05/88 ... Lost my footing when I went and slipped on a particularly rancid and slippery bit, so now I'll have to start all over again another time.

19/05/88 ... Ran out of griffins.

21/05/88 ... Listen to the last verse of "Cosmic Debris". Frank mentions Greg's model coal lorry.

23/05/88 ... Mum put loganberries all over my town. It looks like a red snowstorm. Mum is developing a very strange sense of humour since the exhibition.

24/05/88 ... Fire Brigade buttons wanted, quantities or single items. Stephen Thomas, 8 Bottom Row, Sledmere, East Yorkshire YO25 0XN. (Genuine!)

25/05/88 ... Greg has organised a button cruise. We are sailing to Cherbourg and back, listening to folk music and checking out the button scene. Have seen Bank Manager.

26/05/88 ... I've won the National Car Parks' "Pick-A-Fish" IQ competition. I'm flying to Bristol tomorrow to be presented with my BMX bike. I hope Joanna Whassname awards me the prize.

27/05/88 ... Sod it, the "Pick-A-Fish" competition was a hoax.

28/05/88 ... Lemmy gave a talk at our Club meeting. He's well genned up on Victorian barley-stalk fire engines.

30/05/88 ... Found a buyer for my button collection. A chap from Dover came to a Club meeting. I got three quid.

31/05/88 ... Ran out of razor blades just before finishing my model swimming costume factory. I will have to finish off with my electric razor.

03/06/88 ... Thought I might build a clarinet factory out of feathers. It's going to be bloody difficult. Bought the Zappa video "Take One Cotton Reel: Early Model Car Design".

07/06/88 ... Hooray! I've got a Saturday job at Spong's Fareham branch. Eagerly awaiting my Spong's work coat and hat.

13/06/88 ... Ordered a stock of directional magnets from Timpson's. I will put a magnet in each of my model dragoons and then, using a larger magnet, I should be able to make them march along. (An idea from Frank Zappa's new pamphlet "Dangerous Model Kitchen Building")

23/06/88 ... Received the Norwegian photos. Wow! What incredible model drains. The complete Oslo sewer system out of hair grips and flask tops.

25/06/88 ... Organising a trip to "Thriddleton", the new model village near Ross-on-Wye. Superb collection of Edwardian pub lavatory signs. A fascinating subject. Talk in the evening by Hilary Stapleton called "Before The Button".

"NINE ROADS TO PETAGRINI"

29/06/88 ... Gott bollocked by Mrs Spong for speaking to a customer in my Neddy Seagoon voice. I reckon if my jolly personality can increase sales of Greek navy models, then I can use my funny voice.

30/06/88 ... Am taking Mrs Spong to court about the Neddy Seagoon affair. Receved parcel from Peter Tork of The Monkees. As instructed I left it sealed and sent it to Eric Faulkner who, after leaving the Bay City Rollers, took up coconut straw earmaking. He then reformed the Rollers as a quasi-religious "Airfix For Jesus" band.

01/07/88 ... Fooled Sharon with my Neddy Seagoon voice. She's my solicitor. She's looking at court records to help my case "Seagoon Vs Spong"

03/07/88 ... Started news sheet for the new club. I've called it "The Flypapers". First full-length article is an interview with Mason Jennings, Head of Trouser Design, Aquascutum UK. Nana Mouskouri phoned about the Elgin Fly Buttons. Stupid cow thinks I've got them! Had a meat pie for lunch.

06/07/88 ... Cliff Barnes of "Dallas" phoned about the rabbits. He seems to think I told them to eat Jenny's Scalextric set.

07/07/88 ... Swapped my other train set for a book on Seagull Skin Buttons. Mrs Spong has threatened to adopt me and keep me in a cage. Am considering offer.

08/07/88 ... Grantham for bricks.

09/07/88 ... Spong's admit defeat! Received an apology and a selection of functional mice.

10/07/88 ... Bought two pints of model breath in Spong's. Mrs Spong showed me a photograph of Norman.

13/07/88 ... Ordered hot pants.

14/07/88 ... Saw Grateful Dead at the Thorngate. They were brilliant, but they are older than I thought. They did "The Fly-Button Song".

19/07/88 ... Hot pants have arrived. Great! they are the "Saucer-Size Fly-Button" model!

20/07/88 ... My crest fell off. End of cockatoo concept.

Shades Of Councillor Geoffrey Travis: Geoff O'Neill has double-booked one of the rooms at the Thorngate Halls during the Folk Festival, thus allowing visitors to the complex to be able to donate blood while they enjoy the top roots sounds.

25/07/88 ... Mum left a dishcloth on top of Pimmerkin Manor. IBM have moved out and, worst of all, the Cortina eggs won't hatch!

27/07/88 ... Found some pre-war Bassett-Lowke scale onions. I ate them.

28/07/88 ... Club meeting to organise field trip to Poole Model Village. Bert Carter showed us his awful slides of Madrid.

29/07/88 ... Upset tummy, must have been the model onions. No, it was the cockle stew at The Yardley Arms. Bought a pair of "Bay City Rollers"-style ears for Mr Croolden's party.

01/08/88 ... Painted "Biriani" on the bum of my hot pants, ready for the Aeromodellers' Farting Competition.

03/08/88 ... Heard on the jungle drums that Basildon Council is selling off all its fly button stock. One more casualty of the computer boom.

05/08/88 ... Received a live sea lion through the post, just labelled "From Tibworth - Don't eat it all at once!"

06/08/88 ... Harry Secombe was guest speaker at the Weston evening. He signed my diary! I didn't realise he was Welsh.

07/08/88 ... Bought a book on concrete millinery. Could be an enthralling winter hobby.

08/08/88 ... Worked late at Spong's. Sold five "Captain Bingo" Space Stations. Tried out my "Harry Secombe" haircut on Mrs Spong. She thought I actually was Mr Secombe. 

09/08/88 ... Played some jazz on Mr Spong's pet dingbat. Had to stop when my knees fell off.

11/08/88 ... Mrs Spong took me to the cash & carry. We bought paper hankies and a tin of soup. Ray was there with his new bit of grumble. She thought I was Harry Secombe.

12/08/88 ... Summoned to report to Sir Leverington Spong DFC in London. He's very pleased with my progress. He asked me what I thought of Cardiff. I told him that it was the birthplace of Sir Harry.

13/08/88 ... Model eyebrows invented by Dr Slince-Grooster in Basle, fifty years ago. Bought a flag.

14/08/88 ... Received a consignment of incredibly realistic rubber lizards. Mrs Spong asked me to pack them in tens. Kept the spare one to frighten Tracy.

15/08/88 ... Went with Mr Spong to Peterborough ModelEx'88. We had a stall. Actually received compliments for my Neddy Seagoon voice. Have taken to wearing Harry Secombe-style green suits.

16/08/88 ... Letter arrived. I have been offered promotion!!! Assistant manager, Swansea branch!! This is my big break! Spong's is huge there, with a button department.

Dear Sir,
We here at head office are very pleased with the progress you have made at the Gosport branch. We understand that you yourself are a very keen modeller and button collector, or as we say in the trade, "buttoneer". It is refreshing to find that one of our employees is interested in and so obviously involved in the products that we sell. Not only does it make your job more satisfying to know that you have helped the customer to make the right decision, but also this obviously improves our service to the customer. I understand that you frequently work late at the Gosport branch and have made friends with the managers of that shop. It is pleasing to know that you can so obviously get on well with your colleagues which, I'm sure you'll agree, is a very important part of working life.
Now then, down to the business in hand. I have great pleasure in informing you that your name has been put forward for the Southern Division entry for "Spong's Salesman of the Year" competition for 1988. I understand that you were recommended on the strength of a herculean effort of selling five "Captain Bingo" Space Stations (our most popular line) in one day. I'm sure, with a feat of capitalism such as this, that you will have no problem of winning the prize, which will be presented at a Gala evening by Harry Secombe.
Because of this achievement, Sir Leverington Spong has instructed me to offer you the post of assistant manager at our Swansea branch which will be opening soon, the ceremony being conducted by Harry Secombe. The job offers a salary of �18,000 p/a with a large productivity bonus.
I look forward to hearing from you in reference to the above mentioned post.
Yours sincerely,
Edith Spong
Personnel Officer

17/08/88 ... Made up fifty business cards on Mr Spong's new "Vortexion" Multi-Stenograph copier. "Model Making & Buttoneer. Harry Secombe Impersonations While-U-Wait. Any Distance."

19/08/88 ... Had a pleasant evening at Cardew's gaff. We planned the Stockport Galla stall for the Bank Holiday. Ada Spong (yes, we're on first name terms now!) sold me 200 rubber lizards.

20/08/88 ... All the lizards are packed and priced. As a novelty, we are going to wear cowboy suits and play clarinets to gain attention. Pere Ubu booked for Stockport.

21/08/88 ... Sent broken lariat to Ullapool.

23/08/88 ... 300 years ago, Desmond O'Foyle invented Bacofoil. Mrs Spong let us have an extra-long Scuba Quenchie break.

03/09/88 ... Back on TV-AM. Serves me right for winning at the Harry Secombe Convention. Have been offered big money by several American and Sri Lankan TV companies. Taking Ann Diamond to Flunkie's Club tonight.

06/09/88 ... Found Mrs Spong's sardine cake in my work coat pocket. Ate the lot.

07/09/88 ... Mrs Spong's cake didn't agree with me. I have always found anchovies and other sardine-like beasts to be very argumentative.

09/09/88 ... Bought a set of Davy Crockett shaving knives. They're better than any razor... and six feet long!

13/09/88 ... Found out where Greg had hidden the rabbit he had run over. Bought new Thermos flask.

15/09/88 ... Invited on stage at the Flunkie's party. Did my impersonation of Bridport.

19/09/88 ... Telephoned Father Christmas and booked him for "Spongarama", our Christmas theme grotto. We've all got to dress up as Zippy and the Rainbow gang.

21/09/88 ... Spong's day out to "Little New Zealand", a theme park and model beard exhibition. The beards are incredibly realistic but very small.

22/09/88 ... Had the mad urge to paint my ankles green. Used Humbrol - bad idea! I had to stand still for twelve hours while they dried.

23/09/88 ... Photocopied Mr Spong's head for a joke.

01/10/88 ... Anne D is getting to be a nuisance. Have been offered regular model advice spot on Radio Bristol.

03/10/88 ... Sent for compass and RDF. Told Mrs Spong about "Project X".

05/10/88 ... Wrote a letter to Benny Hill to ask him why he left the milkman job.

07/10/88 ... The rozzers have busted Throttler Morgan's fence. I hope the ponies haven't escaped.

09/10/88 ... 2 dozen plaster Noddies. Phone Basher at the night club. Nobby's got a fence.

"If  you cook apple sauce like cranberries, it tastes more like prunes than rhubarb does." - Groucho Marx

11/10/88 ... Ordered hiking trousers.

13/10/88 ... Accused of stealing a pair of socks. They are Mr Spong's best ones. Told the rozzers I was desperate for a hanky.

15/10/88 ... Spong's have got wise to my rubber lizard earner. I've been demoted to Stock Room Artificer. If they find out about the balloons then I'm up the creek!

16/10/88 ... Sent for Marbela brochure and bought trunks.

18/10/88 ... Built a model fog out of chicken wire and raccoon fur.

19/10/88 ... Offered a pony for some balloons at Flunkie's. I can't afford the time to feed the damn thing. Filled the Chevette with Noddies for a trip to Rotterdam.

20/10/88 ... Threats from Gleason. Bought a crash helmet.

21/10/88 ... Cancelled hiking trousers. Bruiser Hughes-Foster delivered the model trugs. Not a word from Milan.

23/10/88 ... Mum sewed on my Steradent badge. Had phoney credentials printed. My name is Kurt Jurgens and I'm a 58 year old biochemist.

25/10/88 ... Accrington, the Fox & Bobol pub, ask for Headless Harry.

29/10/88 ... Urgent call from Grogan. In hurried Cockney he said "The frozen peas are... aaaarrrghh!" Then he seemed to hang up. He really is a bit of a wag.

31/10/88 ... 10.30 Bristol Docks. The mysterious Italian with the dog will collect two crates of Noddy Fire Stations. Customs think I'm a Belgian Steradent employee.

03/11/88 ... Spent all night hollowing out Spangles packets, only to discover that Corfu isn't an American word for lavatory.

05/11/88 ... Arrived at work and immediately had to report to the office. Detective Inspector "Neggo" Spooner was there with his uniformed gorillas. Used the "Look out chaps, aardvark!" ploy and ran to the Chevette.

06/11/88 ... Arrived at Cardew and Diane's gaff in the early hours. Diane knitted me a false beard. Even Mum wouldn't recognise me.

07/11/88 ... Cardew and Diane have bricked me up behind the cocktail unit until Diane's brother (a Police informant by trade) leaves for Brussels.

09/11/88 ... World In Action, 10.30pm. It's about me!!! Anne D imprecated in theft of minesweeper. This is big-league stuff!

11/11/88 ... Met the man they call Ludo. He gave me the job in "La Bimbaloona's". I'm billed as "Emerson Lake & Palmer The Human Seagoon".

13/11/88 ... Neggo was at the Loose Tubes do. I was blacked up and playing a trombone so I think I got away with it.

14/11/88 ... Upset tummy. I'm going to retire from the cabaret circuit. I reckon I've eaten four dozen goldfish this week.

15/11/88 ... Bracklesham Bay. 

25/11/88 ... Flew out to Rio and met the bloke who robbed the great train. Am enjoying my new job with Tupperware International. Mr Biggs throws a good party - sold 27 flasks!

28/11/89 ... Saw Craig about the trick lemonade.

30/11/88 ... Tomorrow, I will either marry the Nolan sisters or sell my trombone.

01/12/89 ... Sold the trombone.

02/12/89 ... Stole sardines to pay Clagworth. Got a job as bassist with The Sly & Robbies.

04/12/89 ... Brixton gig. Fell over Sly's drum kit. Got my foot stuck in the Roland and a string broke during my ukelele solo.

05/12/89 ... Chucked in the Sly & Robbie job. I thought they were too serious about staying in tune.

06/12/89 ... Spotted a growth industry. Sold forty growths in the first day.

07/12/89 ... Mr & Mrs Grogan, after 6pm.

09/12/89 ... Stole a luxury yacht and sailed it to the Welsh Harp Rezzer. Traffic terrible near Wembley. Had a craze for sago pudding.

10/12/89 ... Last night's poker match turned nasty. Lost the shirt off my back. Big Logan had nine aces up his sleeve and a tomahawk in his trouser leg.

11/12/89 ... Bus for Marbela leaves at 10.30am.

13/12/89 ... Sweating hot. Marbela is quite a nice little Polish village. Spent the afternoon eating blackcurrants.

14/12/89 ... Enjoyable evening counting grain.

15/12/89 ... Tried out a bowl of  "Bozniev" - live eels in vanilla paste topped with blackcurrant pur�e.

16/12/89 ... Joined the Plodvik Food Collective Xmas Club.

17/12/89 ... Joined local Communist Party social Club. Great fun! We had a tombola evening - first prize was 2oz beetroot and I won it! I like the place! I met Lek Vanessa the union bloke.

18/12/89 ... Bought loads of Bozniev to paint my flat with.

19/12/89 ... Contacted Cardinal Lubjiac, the big church nob. Took over as manager of his night club. Ate some blackcurrants and watched the floor show.

20/12/89 ... Put my name down for the astronaut job. I told the bloke I had two O'Levels and experience with aliens.

21/12/89 ... Everything run by the church here. Had a fight with a rural bishop over a rude but light-hearted remark about Skodas.

22/12/89 ... Suffering from a Papal fat lip. Bought live stork at Gdansk car boot sale. Sold it for a profit in the evening to a Polish general.

23/12/89 ... Thinking of getting into black market storks. Ate some beetroots.

24/12/89 ... Ordered to KGB secret headquarters. I think my beetroot fiddle has been sussed. Bought a Mao jacket and "Castro Is Fab" socks.

25/12/89 ... Arrived at KGB HQ. Unbelievable! Tibworth is the boss... and he's a bishop! He calls himself Karelj Wasseskji. I thought he was going to arrest me but he said Happy Chrimbo and gave me a pair of canary-yellow gloves.

26/12/89 ... Watched snooker and got pissed on "Gazimskji", a sort of beetroot and egg rum. Tibworth phoned the Pope.

27/12/89 ... Had a friendly fight with Nogorno, my new girlfriend. She's a PT instructress at the Institute.

28/12/89 ... Borrowed Nikolai Kubenchka's ape suit, to play a trick on the Hungarians.

29/12/89 ... Became a religious maniac in the morning. I had to so that I could get an invite to the Papal thrash at the Vatican. Discussed the new brewery project. I suggested that the new whisky in a tin should be called "Vatican'69".

30/12/89 ... Re-run of Sooty Show on the box. Sooty is dubbed into Russian - his voice is done very well by "Sootsin The Bear". Roll on tomorrow night's big do, when Bishop Glokorski gives me a cloak.

31/12/89 ... New Year's Eve. The telly's on the blink and my hot water bottle is leaking. I think I'll return to Blighty under an assumed name.

13/11/92 ... Joined the Navy. Saw a folk-rap band called Trudy & the Shredded Wheat. They're a bit like Santana, only balder.

14/11/92 ... Joined the RAF. Flew eighteen sorties.

17/11/92 ... Told eight fibs. Will have a go at nine tomorrow.

I've seen stuff that'd make your hair boil, I've seen things that'd make your blood curl...

04/01/95 ... Decided to be King of Wessex. Ate my cereal with a golden spoon. It was great!

06/01/95 ... Betting shop, 3pm - A monkey each way on "Foot-Spa Delight".

28/01/95 ... Film: 3am, Channel Four, "I Love Locusts". Crosby and Sinatra at their best. Mavis Rintley plays a near-perfect Uncle Tim.

03/02/95 ... 11.35am - Club Boo Boo audition. Thought I'd mix yodelling with Greek swing.

04/02/95 ... Start work at Club Boo Boo 11pm. See Mr Jenkins re: velveteen suit.

06/02/95 ... Club Boo Boo Waitangi do. I'm on after the Dirk Harrison Quartet and before the bingo.

14/02/95 ... St Valentine's Boo Boo Spectacular. I'm backing Kathy Kirby. At last I will meet my idol. (Must remember: G, F#, B, C, F#, Ab)

16/02/95 ... Introduced Neddy the Horse into my act. Ordered publicity photos. Ideas for my act name: "Meon Meyorse", "Minto & Neddy", "The Two Narners", "The Curtain Razors", "Neddy & Minto", "The Chinese State Orchestra & Neddy". Moira came up with a winner: "Chico Velvetune & Neddy". Received Equity card.

17/02/95 ... Got a rave review in "Stage & Aviary":- "Chico held his audience in a trance of sheer delight. This man and speaking horse act is bound to hit the big time!"

20/02/95 ... Had great fun at "Pope's" rug afternoon.

21/02/95 ... Phoned Hollywood. Mr Keaton loved my Space Ritual video.

26/02/95 ... "Songs Of Praise" cathedral gig. Same studio as "Houseparty". They just took out the kitchen and glued an altar to the worktop. I'm telling the parable of "The Three-Legged Shepherd And His Rich Uncle".

28/02/95 ... Phoned Hayley Mills about the dishwasher.

01/03/95 ... Ash Wednesday at Boo Boo's. Packed house. I'm considering making a record.

08/03/95 ... Club Boo Boo "All Nite Rave Spring Party". Made Neddy a huge pair of bathing trunks.

10/03/95 ... Lunchtime: London Palladium "Cocktails With Neddy". My horse sings Kathy Kirby hits whilst I mix unique drinks. Safeways: 2 bottle cordial, 1 bottle rum, 2 parsnips, sponge mix, Nivea cream.

11/03/95 ... How do I get egg out of velveteen?

12/03/95 ... Miss Kirby returns tonight by popular request. I'm in her famous Love Poodle Tableau.

13/03/95 ... 3am: Don't ask me what Miss Kirby did with the trombone. Must buy ointment.

16/03/95 ... Started a craze for saying "Look at the size of your feet, Mrs Bumbly!". Dierdre of the Beverley Sisters is acting as Mrs Bumbly while the horse is off sick.

18/03/95 ... Accidentally joined the navy.

19/03/95 ... Sent off for my free Orb picture biscuits.

22/03/95 ... Super day. Auditioned for leading role in the new Sam Donaldson film "Honey, There's A Chap With A Magnet At The Door".

05/04/95 ... I've been cordoned off.

06/04/95 ... Missing Neddy something rotten.

07/04/95 ... Going to spend three weeks in Sardinia this afternoon. Must check out Le Club Gauluie, famous for its amusing straw hat mimers.

08/04/95 ... I'm booked as support act for Loop Guru. Hired a 4000 gigawatt rig and one flashing yellow light.

09/04/95 ... Ate a peculiar vegetable.

10/04/95 ... Loop Guru, Swindon Young Farmers' Club. I'm support again! I call myself MC Kippertie Suntorpedo.

12/04/95 ... Hayley says I'm very ambient for my age.

15/04/95 ... One of my fans has knitted me a splendid poncho.

16/04/95 ... Velveteen suit too hot for rave parties. A good little earner: Selling bags of frozen peas to cool down the overheating teenagers. I call them "Ecstapeas".

18/04/95 ... The Orb, Bristol Sound City. I'm the support act. Did you know that the orb lads got their name because lead guitarist Stan "Rapperound" Fuddley is a mad keen Roy ORBison fan. His first suggestion was to call the band "Roy Or Bison". For a while, they played under the name The Royal Bisons.

21/04/95 ... Gauls, Barbarians and Belgae Nites doing very well.

22/04/95 ... Boo Boo's Folk Fest. Brilliant set by The Corn Cutters. And Wow! it was great to hear The Real Aliens again!

23/04/95 ... Started the Club Boo Boo Rave Nites for the over-forties. Called them Acid Householder Evenings.

23/05/95 ... It's not every day that Mr Roy Hargreaves asks to smooth your dog!

24/07/95 ... Greetings, occupants of planet Shitheap...

25/07/95 ... Troggs Nite. Shot myself.

26/04/95 ... Celtic Roots Night at Boo Boo's. Goodness me, those Celts don't half like our twentieth century lagers. Loud amplification appears to be their goddess.

27/04/95 ... Bought a Moog synthesiser off of Shabs for ten quid. I'm learning "Sunshine Of Your Love" on it.

29/04/95 ... Started up an Oglander's Roots Evening. Ethnic music from the Isle of Wight is going to be big.

05/05/95 ... Wow! This "Northants Roots Rock Between The Years 1915-1923 Inclusive" evening is really great!

08/05/95 ... Found a pet.

09/05/95 ... Took my pet to CBB's. Did the fire trick

11/05/95 ... Practised the Dance Of The Seven Lethal Ray Grenades. Thank goodness they were duds!

12/05/95 ... The 'old problem' is back. Doc says no dancing or spicy meals for a week.

13/05/95 ... All day toga party 'round at Nipper Lipton's new flat. Had a tremendous laugh. Nearly drowned.

14/05/95 ... Painful leg.

15/05/95 ... Interesting set by "Stootchild World Puma", an 18-piece rapping crew from Mauritius. Loved their rendition of "Speedy Gonzalez".

17/05/95 ... Big Norway thing at Boo Boo's. Played Norwegian rave tunes till nearly eight o'clock!

25/05/95 ... Starving hungry, tried that new corduroy flavour Cup-A-Stew. Bit of an anal disaster. Missed the Flying Trunlins gig.

26/05/95 ... Had a barney with the floor manager at Boo Boo's. I don't like people who fart near my Kathy Kirby shrine.

30/05/95 ... Finished the pilot for my new telly series "Robowicky".

31/05/95 ... Channel Four, 10pm - documentary about nut toffee. Good review for "Robowicky" in the journal of British Pencil Case Collecting. "Howzat! Letts Scores A Century At Cannes Film Festival" - Daily Mirror.

01/06/95 ... "Dave Swarbrick goes googly in this new sports-fi extravaganza" - People's Friend. 

02/06/95 ... Scorcese hurt in Festival rumpus. Hollywood welcomes "Robowicky".

03/06/95 ... Phoned the Future Sound boys. I'm cleaning their pond tomorrow.

04/06/95 ... Brought those bathing trunks. Cleaned FSOL's pond all the morning. The lads recorded me talking to a fish.

05/06/95 ... Had a chat with a red indian chief.

06/06/95 ... Won a national talent contest.

07/06/95 ... The chief, "Gordon With Ears Like Running Salmon" has recommended me to the Board of Natives. I will receive a tribal name.

22/06/95 ... Had a "Boris Yeltsin Theme Nite" at Boo Boo's. Everyone had to dress up as their favourite ice lolly. I came second as "Magnum The Chocolate Excitement". One of Whacko's crowd came as "3-Flavour Kathy Kirby Rainbow Novelty Delite". Poor sod melted before the judging started.

23/06/95 ... Name for a Jewish double act - "Schmell & Saltz"

24/06/95 ... Cartilage operation a complete success.

30/06/95 ... Brewster and Fishhead came 'round to see my cartilage.

02/07/95 ... The day I saw false storks.

05/07/95 ... Club Boo Boo Algerian Special, featuring the Abdul Lundquist Heart Of Asia Beat Duo.

07/07/95 ... I have been invited to MC the Klangenvoll�'95 Festival. Had to ask Mum what 'grunge' was.

14/07/95 ... Bought "Alphonse And His Sex Trumpet From Hades" for the froggy celebrations. Shock news: Mum tells me I'm actually twinned with Avignon-sur-Plit.

15/07/95 ... Won the bloody Lottery again.

16/07/95 ... Bought a huge marrow as a joke.

27/07/95 ... Capercaillie. Shot myself again.

01/08/95 ... Supporting Mouth Music at Boo Boo's "Fortress Imagination" Psychedelic All-Niter.

03/08/95 ... Decided to live in a globe and call myself "Old Robin The Spoon Gleamer".

07/11/95 ... Put a comical slogan on my coat.

09/11/95 ... Convinced Leroy that "Dental Giants Retain Lime Sidings" is an anagram of Herefordshire.

11/11/95 ... Thought about a comical situation.

06/12/95 ... Started a craze for living as a pirate. Spent afternoon stealing booty and drinking.

07/12/95 ... Laid the keel. Found a superb wooden leg thing.

17/12/95 ... Bought some oak for my new secret pirate ship.

18/12/95 ... Forgot Drake.

19/12/95 ... My secret pirate ship shall be named "Sandie Shaw".

20/12/95 ... Bought myself a "Mr Bumbly" hat.

21/12/95 ... Sold my pirate ship and leg to Gordon Murray.

03/01/96 ... National Orlem Day.

05/01/96 ... Bought oil drum for tonight's "Hear & Now" bash.

06/01/96 ... Won the Lottery jackpot. Now I can afford to join the Community Association.

07/01/96 ... Had myself chromed.

08/01/96 ... Had an expensive shave.

09/01/96 ... Lovely weather, enjoyed "New Gosport Poets" evening. My piece "Ode To Felix Bartoloni" was well received.

10/01/96 ... Great fun at the spelling bee.

11/01/96 ... I'm very keen on this Community Centre lark. 7.30: Talk on the history of fibre glass. 8.30: AGM, Room 8 (Susan has my notes)

12/01/96 ... Bought everyone in the darts team a T-shirt with "Fareham Bullseyes" on it.

13/01/96 ... Fareham Bullseyes 8 - Havant Primordial Trumpeteers 4

15/01/96 ... It's fun being rich. This morning, I bought a space rocket. Swapped it in the afternoon for a Cornish monkey sanctuary.

17/01/96 ... Bought three really good friends. It's great having an "Old Brigade" to drink with.

18/01/96 ... Had a good old reminisce with my three friends.

19/01/96 ... Fareham Bullseyes Vs The Goat And A Packet Of Biscuits. Did we have fun with eggs or what?!

20/01/96 ... Tried my hand at "Tweeling" in the afternoon. My advice: never buy a second-hand tweeling auger.

21/01/96 ... Very informative talk from Mary Steelson, "Where Does Rope Come From?".

22/01/96 ... I find great solace in pole vaulting.

23/01/96 ... Hat Making Special 7.30. Theme: "Northampton Easter Frolics". Put my playing card collection in a suitcase - Disastrous results!

24/01/96 ... Damn, blast and sod it! Lost my true identity down the back of the sofa!

25/01/96 ... SUDC Orange back! Shady deal with Williamson. Bought hot drink vending machine.

26/01/96 ... Me and pole vaulting are finished. We are no longer an item.

27/01/96 ... First planning session "Summertime In Fareham". Can we afford Mr Bongo & His Comedy Lion? I suppose we could sponsor the drunken bastard.

28/01/96 ... Mr Bongo, Kelverton Clinic 01832 616120. Slogan: "Fareham's Fine And Dandy - Fun In The Creek'96". Invented a funny mascot, Fareham the Fox Cub. The kids will love it.

29/01/96 ... "Summertime In Fareham" first meeting of my baby "The Fareham The Fox Cub Club". Aims: to create Borough loyalty within the up-to-tens age group. Not too promising. Myself, Mr and Mrs Ryan and their kiddie Gary were the only participants. I'm now stuck with 47 gallons of Vimto and 300 "Captain Jim's Chicken Glow Fingers".

30/01/96 ... Chicken Glow Fingers for breakfast, lunch, tea and supper. Managed to sell the Vimto as oven cleaner.

31/01/96 ... Flew to New York to meet the Secret Personality. Keep thinking about pole-vaulting.

02/02/96 ... "The Gravies Of Africa" talk 8pm. Borrowed Craig's intermediate pole. Had a sly vault after lunch.

03/02/96 ... Why does someone called Edith keep sending me pine cones?

04/02/96 ... Phoned Secret Personality. Good feedback. Must find supplier of oysters.

05/02/96 ... Bought a pole. Avidly reading "The Pole-Vaulters Top 100 Jumps" register. Vaulted till dawn.

06/02/96 ... Offered God four million quid for a decent sunny day. No reply as yet. Have left my answer-phone on just in case.

07/02/96 ... Dolly phoned. Yes, that's right, Miss Dolly "Two Zeppelins" Parton. She can't fit our Communty Association gig into her busy schedule. I'll never wash my phone again!

08/02/96 ... Mexican Hooly night at the CA. Marcia looked great in her grass dress. I turned up as "El Signor Boing-Boing" the pole-vaulting conquistadore.

10/02/96 ... Bullseyes V Trumley's Hardware 'A' Team. Bastards thrashed us! Wrote peculiar story about a coin for the Fareham "Peculiar Stories About Coins" weekend.

12/02/96 ... The old problem has flared up again.

14/02/96 ... Had tremendous fun filling paper cones with onion powder.

15/02/96 ... Mrs Murgatroyd's brilliant illustrated talk, "Wristwatches: A Trojan's View".

16/02/96 ... Now I know why people say "Aye, he's as punctual as a Trojan". Started my own little cone-filling evening at the Club.

17/02/96 ... "Are you married?" "No, I play the harmonica."

18/02/96 ... Grand opening of the Ferneham Illuminated Fish Tank. I paid for the fish. Our guest, Mr Norman Wisdom was hilarious. He named a guppy Mr Grimsdale. Alf said the fish was female. Norman quickly renamed fish Mrs Grimsdale. We laughed like drains.

05/03/96 ... Finished totally with pole-vaulting. Must buy Mr Laswell a new greenhouse.

09/03/96 ... Community Association Grand "Eating A Car" Evening. Made a special drink using radox and cornflakes.

11/03/96 ... Corky my new llama is settling in well.

13/03/96 ... Bought the Shooglenifty back catalogue. Had a sneezing fit and wet myself.

19/03/96 ... Phone Naylor - Don't mention the hamster.

20/03/96 ... New hobby project - Putting Dried Peas Into Dustbin Bags.

21/03/96 ... Filled my first dustbin bag. Very satisfying. Started second bag. Agency very impressed.

23/03/96 ... Ninth dustbin bag full. Have started making scale model pea bags using green painted millet and Smith's salt packets. Trick of the trade: buy budgie millet sprays and dip them in the green paint.

25/03/96 ... My hobby - I call it "Legumary" - is getting more and more exciting. I now number each pea with a fine white marker pen.

27/03/96 ... Hobby World evening at the Assoc. I sold all my millet. Naylor reckons I'm on to a winner. Young Becky has started painting pepper with interesting results.

29/03/96 ... Filled a Durex with broad beans. We are talking serious fun!

09/04/96 ... Yep, I'm captain of the cricket team.

10/04/96 ... Had a game of cricket. Didn't like it.

14/04/96 ... Grace gave me two pounds of tangerines. My cupboard is sticky with fruit juice.