Pub Story

8 03 2018



I had to go back to England recently. Wife Julie came with me for two weeks and our children Kate and Joe also came over for a quick four day stay. The occasion was sad – my mum had passed away – but it was wonderful to have the entire Brooker family together including relatives, some of whom hadn’t seen each other for a decade or more.

The day after the funeral the four of us visited some of our old haunts around the picturesque town of Wimborne in Dorset. We decide to have lunch at a pub we used to go to when Kate and Joe were small – the Barley Mow at Colehill. It’s an old thatched country pub dating back to the 16th century. Oliver Cromwell is said to have stayed there on his way to lay siege to the Royalists at Corfe Castle in 1645, and his troops are supposed to have prayed in nearby God’s Blessing Lane before going into battle, but then again every old pub in Dorset has some such tale to tell.

Anyway, we found a free table right next to a roaring log fire and I went up to the bar to order our drinks. There was a notice on the counter asking customers who wanted to run a tab to leave their credit card at the bar. I went to hand over my card, but the landlord – a big, burly chap – told me there was no need. To get the full flavour of what happened next you need to read the following with a Dorset accent (or, if you’re Canadian, a Newfie accent will probably do just as well):

A fellow at a nearby table now addressed himself to me, speaking loud enough for everyone in the bar to hear: ” ‘Ere, mate. You lot are sittin’ in the wrong place. You don’t wanna be sittin’ over by yon fire. You wanna be sittin’ over by the door, so’s you can do a runner.”

I explained that my days of nipping out of pubs without paying were long over and pointed out that the landlord was a lot bigger than me, almost certainly a lot tougher, and that he’d probably kill me if he caught me.

“What, ‘im?” came the scornful reply. “Ken wouldn’t catch you in a month of Sundays. Truth is, that old bastard couldn’t catch a cold, never mind catch you.”

Cue gales of laughter all round, from customers who’d likely heard the same line many times before.

Mum would have loved that story!


All the best.

Dave B.



The many sins of Marina Mahabir

15 01 2018


Now please don’t misunderstand – my friend Marina is a wonderful person. To quote just one of her many admirers: “Marina is a flawless individual with an outstanding taste in men.” (Admittedly that quote is from Wayne, her husband, but even so…)

It’s just that there are a few things Marina won’t put up with. And as Marina and I are in Mexico right now (not just me and Marina, but Wayne as well. Oh and Scottish Wife too, in case this is all getting a bit confusing) Marina needs to make it clear to the local population that there are some things that are just not going to happen.

For example, Marina’s convinced that the water here should never be consumed by tourists, so whenever she orders a drink she says ‘sin hielo’ (‘no ice’). She’s also a keen conservationist, so she’s recently added ‘sin popote’ (‘no straw’) to the order. And, of course, being allergic to various types of sea food she also gives a very firm ‘sin camarones, sin fish’ whenever her meal is being discussed.

So, to sum up, whenever Marina is in Mexico and gets the chance to ‘sin’ – she takes it!

Abrazos, amigos!

Sr. Dave

Something to laugh at…

23 12 2017

No, not my golf game. That would be cruel. Fair, but cruel.

I sent the following message to my golfing buddies a few days ago, just before a layer of permafrost settled over Glacier Greens golf course and ended any lingering hopes I had of re-discovering my game before 2017 drew to a close:

It’s not been a good year for me. In fact, I’ve been playing so badly I had to get my ball retriever re-gripped.

So, to take my mind off my golfing woes, here’s one of the funniest animal voice-overs ever. It’s an oldie, but definitely a goodie:

Merry Christmas and a lovely 2018 to all ye golfers and non-believers alike.


Dave B.


Haka challenge

13 11 2017

It’s cold, wet and very windy here in Beautiful B.C. and – not surprisingly – the golf course is closed for the day. I’ve toured the back yard and picked up two garbage cans worth of debris. I’ve spent an hour or so with Scottish Wife sorting out receipts dating back to the dawn of the century. And now I’m on my third cup of (very strong) coffee while I peruse the latest in the world of sport. No golf on TV today (it’s a Monday), no soccer either except Italy v Sweden (and I don’t have that channel), no cricket (the ritual slaughtering of the England team at the hands of the Aussies doesn’t start for a couple of weeks yet). But what’s this? The Rugby League World Cup and a pre-match tête-à-tête between Samoa and Tonga:

Goosebumps, eh?

Dave B.

P.S. I’m trying desperately hard to make a link, however tenuous, with golf and this is the best I can come up with: how about a golf haka at the next Ryder Cup with the teams led by, say, Ian Poulter and Patrick Reed? Now that would get the fans fired up…


The Book of Jeremy Corbyn

11 06 2017

Sometimes you read something so brilliant that you just have to share it.

This piece, by Anthony Lane, appeared in the New Yorker on Friday, the day after the British General Election:

And there came from the land of Britain a prophet, whose name was Jeremy. And he cried aloud in the wilderness, and said, Behold, I bring you hope.
And it came to pass, in the land of Britain, that the High Priestess went unto the people and said, Behold, I bring ye tidings of great joy. For on the eighth day of the sixth month there shall be a general election.
And the people said, Not another one.
And they waxed wroth against the High Priestess and said, Didst thou not sware, even unto seven times, that thou wouldst not call a snap election?
And the High Priestess said, I know, I know. But Brexit is come upon us, and I must go into battle against the tribes of France, Germany, and sundry other holiday destinations. And I must put on the armor of a strong majority in the people’s house. Therefore go ye out and vote.
And there came from the temple pollsters, who said, Surely this woman will flourish. For her enemy is as grass; she cutteth him down. He is as straw in the wind, and he will blow away. And the trumpet of her triumph shall sound in all the land.
And the High Priestess said, Piece of cake.
And there came from the same country a prophet, whose name was Jeremy. His beard was as the pelt of beasts, and his raiments were not of the finest. And he cried aloud in the wilderness and said, Behold, I bring you hope.
And suddenly there was with him a host of young people. And he said unto them, Ye shall study and grow wise in all things, and I shall not ask ye for gold. And the sick shall be made well, and they also will heal freely. And he promised unto them all manner of goodly things.
And the young people said unto him, How shall these things be rendered, seeing that thou hast no money in thy purse?And he spake unto them in a voice of sounding brass and said, Soak the rich. And again, Pull down the mighty from their seats.
And the young people went absolutely nuts.
And they hearkened unto the word of Jeremy, and believed. For they said unto themselves, Lo, he bringeth unto us the desire of our hearts. He cometh by bicycle, with a helmet upon his head. And he eateth neither flesh nor fowl, according to the Scriptures. For man cannot live by bread alone, but hummus is quite another matter.
And the High Priestess saw all these things and was sore. And she gathered unto her the chief scribes and the Pharisees and said unto them, What the hell is going on?
And they said unto her, It is a blip, as if it were a rough place upon the road.
But they said unto themselves, When the government was upon her shoulders, this woman was mighty. But now that she has gone abroad unto every corner of the land, she stumbleth. For surely it is written that ruling and campaigning are as oil and water, and there shall be no concord betwixt them.
And the chief scribes wrote upon tablets, saying, Jeremy is false of tongue. He hideth wickedness in his heart. And his sums do not add up. And nobody paid any attention.
And the elders rose up and said to the young people, If ye choose Jeremy, he will bring distress in your toils and wailing upon your streets. Do ye not remember the nineteen-seventies?
And the young people said, The what?
And the elders spake again, and said to the young people, Beware, for he gave succor in days of yore to the I.R.A.
And the young people said, The what?
And the young people said, Jeremy shall bring peace unto all nations, for he hateth the engines of war that take wing across the heavens. And he showeth respect for all peoples, even unto the transgender community.
And the elders said, The what?
And it came to pass that the heathen of this land came among the people, with fire and sword, and slew many among the faithful. And great was the lamentation.
And the High Priestess waxed exceeding wroth and said to the people, Fear not. For I shall bind your wounds and give ye shelter from the heathen, and shall take up the sword against them.
And there came again pollsters from the temple, who said, Will the people not vote for her in this hour of need? And nobody paid any attention.
And it came to the vote. And the elders went up to vote, and the young people. And the young people were as a multitude. And in the hours of darkness there was much counting. And the young people watched by night, and the elders went to bed.
And there came in the morning news that the High Priestess had vanquished the prophet Jeremy. But the triumph of the High Priestess was as the width of a nail. And she was vexed.
And the elders and the chief scribes and the Pharisees spoke among themselves, yea, even in the corners of their houses.
And there was great rejoicing amidst the multitude of the young. And they took strong wine, and did feast among themselves. And there were twelve baskets left over.
And of the pollsters there was no sign.
And the people saw Jeremy and said, Surely this man has won? Doth he not skip in gladness like a young hart upon the hills?
And there was great murmuring among the elders. And they said unto themselves, Weep not. For the High Priestess doth but prepare the way. Cometh there not one who is greater than she?
And they said, Behold, for the hour of the redeemer is upon us. And his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Prince of Peace. And they cried in one voice, Boris.
And the young people said, Oh, shit.
And the people gave tongue, and made supplication unto the Lord, saying, Lord, let our cry come unto thee.
And the Lord thought the whole thing was absolutely hilarious.
And then the people said, Lord, what shall we do regarding Brexit? For henceforth the High Priestess shall be as weak as a newborn lamb. How shall we hope for continued access to the single market?
And the Lord said, The what? ———————————————————————————————————————————–
(Mr. Lane – you’re a genius.)
All da best!Dave B.
Oh yeah. JC’s a thing all right…

Trumped by the Dutch

26 01 2017

I’ve not played golf for nearly two months now, largely because the famously mild Vancouver Island winter was replaced this year by weeks on end of sub zero temperatures. I’m not sure my fellow Canadians from the Prairies and back East are truly sympathetic for us wussy Westerners, but still…

Anyway, rather than focus on the train wreck that was my golf game before the big freeze I have been forced to look outwards to take in the wider scene of what’s going on elsewhere on the planet. I couldn’t help but notice that a very angry man with orange skin and an extremely dubious hairstyle has been elected leader of the free world. Unfortunately, he is now setting forth policies that seem to threaten the well-being of the said free world.

I must admit I found this somewhat troubling, but then yesterday I received this video from my good friend and fellow Sandbagger, Smokin’ Joe Dunham. Please watch it. It’s great. You’re gonna love it, you really will. Trust me, it’s fantastic:

P.S. I’ve heard Donald Trump’s real golf game is about as bad as my own, in which case I do have a certain (limited) amount of sympathy for the man. Of course that could, in the words of the equally vile Kellyanne Conway, just be an alternative fact…

All da best!

Dave B.


20 11 2016

Sometimes you see something and you’re just lost for words. It’s a rare occasion when that happens to me, but here’s one such instance. I’m sure you don’t have to be a fan of cricket – or, for that matter, any sport – to have the same reaction as I did. Wow!

The fielder, Liam Thomas, was playing for the England Physical Disability team against Pakistan in the final of a recent tournament in Dubai.

How can you not be inspired by that?

All da best.

Dave B.