Sadly the Shores family is not always imbued with the Christmas spirit which can be demonstrated by two recent examples…

As diligent followers of this blog will appreciate the upstairs landing next to the den and the guest bedroom on the second floor upstairs is now reserved for toys & games, including a permanently set up chess set that so far only Emma’s boyfriend Josh has beaten me at…

These games recently though, thanks to judicious use of eBay, have been multiplying as Debbie and I relive our childhood and well as those of Emma, James and Alex as can be seen in the photo below.

Tintin, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, Trivial Pursuit, Master Mind, Shufflies Castle, Action Man, Escape from Colditz, Stingray, Thunderbirds, Six Million Dollar Man, Frustration & Toy Story

Once a week we try and have a games night where we usually play the usual suspects such as Monopoly, Cluedo or Trivial Pursuit but last night I decided to try out Mousetrap which had arrived in the parcel post the day before.

The first thing I noticed was that the old bath had been replaced by a flushing toilet (that’s progress for you) and that the new format game requires the “adult” to set it all up with now three traps in advance of play. ¬†The instructions and all the parts fortunately were all present so with loud mutterings of “haven’t you finished yet” from my family acting as encouragement I finally buckled under pressure and asked James to help…

Note the sadly thinning hairline of your truly and the toilet on top of the Mousetrap tower – you flush to release the ball bearings to trigger the three traps!

The game is aimed at six years up but does state “requires adult assembly” which I translate to requiring a mechanical engineering degree however we got there and Debbie eventually won the cheese and duly renamed the game “Mousecrap”!

Smarting at the injustice of it all I packed the game away until next Christmas when I hope memories will have faded and decided to take a photo of our outside Christmas decorations of Father Christmas, one of his Elves as well as Mother Christmas – we’re politically correct here in Wales especially towards garden gnomes…

Three Christmas gnomes hidden in our rear garden against the garage wall so hopefully most of our neighbours can’t see them…

Sadly the scrooge like behaviour extends to our dogs Molly and Hamish, the former barking at the three intruders every time she goes outside, capped by our intrepid Scotsman who “christens” them with a “wee” as part of his traditional welcome to the family.

Bah humbug! ūüôā


I Used To Be A Punk Rocker!

It’s been quite a mixed day here in our Llanfoist escape. ¬†It’s actually been raining quite a bit so we took a break from the canal walk and swimming and decided to get in the holiday spirit by visiting Wyevale garden centre in Raglan to look at the Christmas decorations.

Before we headed out though the postman knocked on our front door with¬†the Real Life vinyl album from the punk group Magazine thanks to Discogs that I haven’t listened to in over forty years…

The vast majority of my original music collection was originally purchased in vinyl LP format in the late 1970’s and early ’80’s, but sadly over the years most got “lost” thanks to several house (and boat) moves. ¬†Despite this one of the first things Debbie and I did on moving to Wales was to buy a high end stereo system for the den and slowly rebuild our record collections.

How time passes so quickly! ¬†It made me pause for thought to realise that despite being still only 57 (for just over a week) I’ve actually been alive for seven decades being born in 1959!

Now a lots happened in this time and I remember asking my father once what invention had impacted his life the most when he was probably the same age as I am now and also retired.  I remember his careful answer after a period of reflection was television.

So I thought it would be interesting to look over these decades of my life to date and reflect on what my main memories are from each – I wonder if others will have the same recollections!


Doesn’t really count as I was born in November 1959!


Toys: Action Man, Thunderbirds, Stingray, Spirograph, Play-Doh,
Music: The Beatles, Cliff Richard, Val Doonican
Games: Newmarket card game at Xmas with my maternal grandparents
TV: Blue Peter, Crackerjack, Magic Roundabout, White Horses, Doctor Who (Yeti), Star Trek


Toys: Flying Scotsman train set, Microscope, Clackers
Music: ABBA, Stranglers, Bee Gees, Magazine, Sex Pistols, The Clash, Queen
Games: Escape from Colditz, Pong, Chess
TV: Six Million Dollar Man, Top of the Pops, Swap Shop, Dads Army, A Team, Survivors, UFO


Toys: None that I can remember!
Music: Madonna, Duran Duran
Games: Sinclair Spectrum, ZX81, Dungeons & Dragons, Trivial Pursuit
TV: Howard’s Way, Just Good Friends


Toys: Scalextric, Titanic, Ghostbusters, Tracey Island, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Furbies
Music: Mainly on cassette Go Nuts, Spice Girls, Tom Jones
Games: Charades, Titanic, Sega Mega Drive (Sonic, Aladin)
TV: Beavis and Butt-head, X-Files, Red Dwarf,Robot Wars
Film: Toy Story


Toys: Cluedo, Scrabble, Monopoly
Music: Mainly on CD
Games: PlayStation 3 (Call of Duty)
TV: Castaway 2000, TV Burp, Doctor Who


Toys: Webley air pistol, telescope
Music: Back mainly to vinyl and streaming on Amazon Music
Games: PlayStation 4 (Uncharted, The Last of Us)
TV: Games of Thrones, Harry Potter, Stella, Gavin and Stacy, Doc Martin

Well as we head rapidly towards the end of 2017 I decided to take another plunge back into memory lane thanks to a quick visit to the Borough market where I picked up these two old friends for the princely sum of ¬£23 before settling into watching Saturday night’s TV fayre of Strictly Come Dancing and the X Factor – oh and write this blog – goodnight!


I Used To Be A Punk Rocker!