Dominic Clegg – In Memoriam

On the morning of Sunday the 29th of October, 2017, I found out that Dominic Clegg, one of my dearest friends, had passed away.

Dom was one of the Universes larger-than-life personalities; if I had to sum him up, I’d say he was a cheeky, mischievous, politically incorrect, Bernard Manning joke-loving schoolboy who was trapped in the body of a pork pie-eating behemothic Yorkshireman.

Cleggy always spoke his mind and was the most gifted wind-up merchant (all in good jest, I say, all in good jest!) who lived for cracking banter and laughter with his friends, but most important of all to him, was his family.  I honestly can’t recall a conversation with Dom, where he didn’t talk about or show me pictures of his wife or his two sons,  That is something I truly respected him for.

I first met Foghorn Clegghorn, as I called him, back in 2007 when we began working together for Mercedes-Benz; in all the time that I have known Dom, I have always wondered how somebody so fucking tight with money could be so amazingly popular?  I even know a few Northerners who thought he was tight!

Tight wasn’t the word!!?  This was a man who claimed absolutely everything he was entitled to on company expenses, Cadbury’s crème eggs, Monster Munch and the now-legendary ‘Triple Decker Pork Supreme’ sandwich that Dom purchased from the dodgiest motorway services stop in England.  He was so tight, he actually squeaked when he walked.

This was a guy who drew collective groans from everyone in the office when he made a rare visit to the office and inevitably tried to sell his infamous Christmas raffle tickets; Andy and I always teased him that we NEVER won any prizes from the poxy raffle and that the Northeners who carried out the draw, probably used to realise they had pulled out a foreigners (Foreigner = anyone south of Bradford) winning ticket and proceeded to draw another until they had found a suitable alternative.

I absolutely relished every second of the close-to-the-mark banter we shared, which was nearly always with Andy, our mutual colleague from Birmingham.  Whenever we met up, it was a case of ‘A Northerner, Brummie and Southerner walk into a bar…….’ and we were the butt of each others faux-distasteful jokes.  They were the best of times.

The biggest joke and ironic thing of all though, is that Dominic was originally from Kensington in London! He was more of a Londoner and a “Southern fairy” than I am!  From aristocratic Kensington no less!  Not that you would ever think that once you saw him wearing his flat cap and clutching his favourite whippet.  He was the embodiment of a true Yorkshireman, loved Rugby league, cider, ale and homing pigeons.  OK, the last one is a fib, but I loved giving him shit about how he had a pigeon called Speckled Jim.

Moving away from the Andy Capp stereotype, Dominic was actually the most unlikely Punk Music fan you’d ever meet (he was extremely passionate about music in general!) and was someone who actually loved curry as much as me.   Imagine that!?!

One of my favourite memories of Dom was sitting together in Kiplings, a curry house in Bradford.  Karma gave the big man a dry slap after he sat teasing me, constantly, whilst grinning ear-to-ear, about my Indian roots, in a fake Indian accent, whilst surrounded by Indian/Pakistani/Bangadeshi (delete as appropriate) waiters.  As I was tucking into my main dish, I suddenly witnessed Dom go bright red and cry like a girl, all because he chomped on the hottest chilli known to Yorkshireman, it was like something out of a Tom and Jerry cartoon and I can remember it like it was yesterday.

I don’t think I’ll ever fully comprehend what the World is going to be like without Dominic, how Andy and I will never be the three Mercedes-Benz Stooges ever again with him; I always think people like Dominic are invincible, immortal and ever-lasting because they truly are giants amongst men.

Dom was every bit of that, and will continue to be.
And I shall miss him.

T’Rest In Peace.

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Shalob.  Guardian Of The Tomatoes

It won’t be long before the colder weather truly kicks in and finishes off my tomato plants until I go again next year!

So in the spirit of good partnership, I have included some pictures in this post to show my appreciation of my resident spiders, my amazing arachnid guardians who have kept pests such as aphids and other crop destroying gits at bay!

I have enjoyed a fantastic yield of truly tasty cherry and plum tomatoes from my crop this year, all of which were undoubtedly protected by Shalob and her eight legged spinning sisters.

Having an organic security solution to devour pests and parasites is much nicer than using a chemical from Bayer.  Plus its cool to see them at work.  

Scuttle scuttle scuttle.  Web web web.  Yum yum yum.

Strawberry Hanging Baskets

Another simple way to grow strawberries is using hanging baskets!  A bit of drilling, fix some fucking brackets to the wall and you’re off!

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Strawberries are very thirsty wotsits so you have to water them a lot, but it’s amazing how quickly everything kicks off once they are established!

Buds (bud bud bud bud), flowers, bees, strawberries!  Ain’t nature a fucking marvel bruv?

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Strawberry fields forever!

Veggie Trough

It’s amazing how utterly addictive gardening is and how quickly it can eradicate all other interests from your life; I have barely played my PS4 and Xbox One lately (thank goodness for my Nintendo Switch on business trips!) and I’ve hardly binged upon my usual TV serials at home (apart from an occasional episode during my lunch breaks at work!).

OK, so I exaggerated a bit about giving up the Geek lifestyle.

My pride and joy these days is my veggie trough; the planter was a Christmas gift from my Mum via my local garden centre, into which I have planted cauliflowers, carrots, mixed salad leaves (rocket and such), cucumbers and tomatoes.

Once I’d figured out the best place for it to sunbathe, I lined the trough with a membrane, added some broken up polystyrene and pebbles for drainage, then filled it with decent soil mixed with some compost.

Due to traveling overseas so much for work lately, I was not able to grow everything from seeds, so I opted for Plan B and purchased some young plants from my garden centre. I now have a little plastic greenhouse and will be ready to become the Germinator next year!

The universe wasn’t particularly kind to me in late April, when an unexpected harsh frost killed my poor cucumbers and left me with only one tomato plant from the four I had planted; fortunately, I left a tomato and cucumber plant in my greenhouse for such an event and added this to the trough.

Next year I will add some frost netting!  By jove I will!

Anyway, this is what the trough looks like at the moment, you can even see the pot of coriander growing next to the Christmas tree!

  • The carrots are about 2 weeks away from harvest, give or take.
  • The tomatoes now have flowers and are ready for the bees to do their work before the plant begins to bear fruit.
  • Cucumbers are almost ready to open their flower buds, so the bees can do the same thing.
  • Cauliflowers are massive!  But have a long way to go yet before I can harvest them.
  • The the mixed ‘salad’ leaves which have totally grown out of control, since I scattered a load of seeds on top of the soil.  The rocket and mixed leaves are ready to eat and bloody nice!  Yum.

I’ll add some updates soon!

Martin Mcguinness

So I find myself asking why Martin McGuinness is being lauded as the Irish Nelson Mandela today by Bill Clinton?  Rather than a mass murderer?  

It’s pathetic.

Yesterday saw a lunatic, willing to die for jihad, drive a car through innocent people over Westminster Bridge before eventually stabbing a policeman. Mindless.

Apparently, some people feel enough solidarity to put up a ‘Prayers for London’ profile picture, but have the opinion that Martin Mcguiness was a top man!?  A visionary of peace???

How is this jihadi monster any different to Martin McGuinness????

It’s undeniably that British Governments committed terrible and unjustifiable atrocities over many, many years; my ancestors cettainly had their fill of British colonialism because on one side my bloodline is Indian and on the other side, there is Irish.

India was raped, pillaged and utterly controlled by Great Britain, before Ghandi and others brought about change, apparently without firing a bullet.

So why is there now a romanticism about a man who encourged car bombings, shootings and all manner of evil things?  Before eventually being involved in the Irish peace process.

I’m sorry, but I don’t buy that redemption story for one minute. 

That would be like Jimmy Saville setting up a charity for abused children!!!

Psuedo-Intellectuals armed with catchy memes, happily champion how ‘awake’ they are, but I do not think you are particularly intelligent if you think murdering innocent people is ever justified.