Wednesday, March 29, 2017



What a momentous day!   It would hardly surprise me if people have been dancing in the streets, if bells were ringing out, if there were bunting and frolics and if peoples` minds were not completely engaged on the significance of this special day.

Now, whilst I am aware of certain `other events` taking place today, the priority should surely be to celebrate the fact that, seven years ago on this date in 2010, Southampton FC overcame the northern powerhouse that is Carlisle United and won the Johnstones Paint Trophy 4-1 in front of a packed house, including your correspondent, at Wembley Stadium. 

The Saints goals that day were scored by Rickie Lambert, now of Cardiff City; Michail Antonio, now plying his trade with West Ham United; Adam Lallana, now at Liverpool; and one Papa Waigo N`Daiye, aka `The Specimen,` who was then on loan to Southampton from Fiorentina and, having been on a world tour ever since, is currently playing for the UAE team Al Arooba.

Surely an event worthy of celebration and yet another demonstration of the importance of getting one`s priorities right.   In the words of the bard, `I`ll get me coat.`



Tuesday, March 28, 2017



THE END OF THE LINE..
More from our golf correspondent...

The photo above perhaps conjures up visions of heroic failure coupled with more than a little desperation.   And the same might be said of Snopper`s golf trolley, which carried the name `Kingsway` and which was, of course, the brand name for Woolworths` own brand products.  And it was all of 35 years ago that that purchase was made, since when that same trolley has carried Snopper`s eclectic array of golfing equipment around an equally mixed series of golfing venues.

In the last year or so, his redoubtable trolley has been showing its age, signs of wear and tear, perhaps reaching a tipping point last Autumn when the tyres began to fall off.  In a fit of inspiration, Snopper simply removed the tyres and trundled on regardless.  Trouble was that without the tyres, the trolley made a frightful noise especially when dragged along gravel paths, all of which led to complaints and exhortations fro club members and the sparse galleries for him to buy a new one.

And yesterday, following much detailed analysis and research, the deed was done and Snopper is now the proud owner of an ultra efficient and quietly wheeled trolley.  Maybe it was this event which led yesterday to arguably one of the least propitious rounds of his long and undistinguished career.  Although there was at least some redemption when he parred the difficult par three fifth, the rest of his round epitomised that same heroic failure and desperation that encapsulated the demise of Woolworths all those years ago.

But maybe we should forgive him these trespasses, as he has had an emotionally difficult time of late.  It was one thing to say farewell to his Greg Norman golf ball but quite another to see his 35-year old Kingsway trolley finally come to the end of the line.  It felt like losing Woolworths all over again.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

 FAREWELL GREG NORMAN..
Our Golf Correspondent reports

It has been an interesting time to be following Snopper`s golfing exploits in the last two or three weeks.  Some have been admirable, others not so;  but some of them have happened off the course, away from the ever critical galleries.

Take, for example, the recent changes in Snopper`s golfing equipment.  Now some months ago hus next door neighbour, who can perhaps be described as a `proper golfer,` bequeathed some of his cast off irons to Snopper, having upgraded his own set of clubs to a more upmarket one.   Snopper has got the hang of these and his iron play has consequently reached a level that might now be characterised as `adequate.`

And just last week, his neighbour the other side - himself a 15 handicap trophy winner - donated a couple of `rescue` clubs, a 4-wood and a 5-wood, which Snopper gleefully accepted as he is in almost constant need of `rescuing.`  His first sortie with this neighbourly array of clubs showed signs of improvement although Snopper accepts that he made need to get used to playing with decent clubs for a change.

As for the Greg Norman in my title above, I have to report that Snopper managed somehow to use the same Greg Norman golf ball for almost three complete 9-hole rounds, only for the ball to disappear into dense undergrowth on the final hole of his third round. This in itself is something of a victory but one tinged with a little sadness as Snopper had grown quite fond of his Greg Norman ball and was sorry to see the relationship coming to an untimely end.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017


"LIGHTS WILL GUIDE YOU HOME..."

Well, as you can see, my bucket list is just about non-existent, possibly because I live in my fantasy world where I don`t expect to `pass on` any time soon or more probably because I really can`t be bothered to write a list and even if I could I`m not at all sure what it might contain.

But I came across something on F***book the other day that made me think that, after all, there might be something I would like to do and in a place where I might like to do it. It`s being in a flash mob down at Southampton`s Westquay shopping mall, singing Coldplay`s `Fix You.`   A few reasons for that.  I love good music, of course, as you can tell from my frequent posts nicking videos from Youtube.  Then there is my affection for Southampton, the centre of my boyhood spent at the Waterside village of Hythe on the western shore of Southampton Water.  And my love of Southampton FC, one of whose more famous fans is Coldplay drummer Will Champion, local boy made good if ever there was one.

And it all comes together in this flash mob performance by local choirs at Westquay, which left me with a lump in my throat, a few goosebumps and a tear in my eye.  Now, this video doesn`t appear on Youtube - it`s of F***book - so uploading it on to here isn`t the easiest thing; but if you highlight the link below then right click on it, an option appears to go to the website.  Fingers crossed it works and you can enjoy it as much as I did:-

https://www.facebook.com/dancoopermusicuk/videos/1471725966205925/

Saturday, March 11, 2017

EMERGENCE....
Our Golf Correspondent reports.....

It has been some time since we heard anything at all from Snopper and when I caught up with him the other day it quickly became apparent that he was finally ready to emerge from his winter hibernation and resume what passes for `normal service.`  What galvanised him into action was the news that the golfing authorities are planning to introduce a whole series of rule changes.

Now, Snopper has always had a problem with the rules of the royal and ancient game, not the least because he has failed, either through ignorance or deviousness, to apply most of them to his own version of how the game should be played.   He is, therefore, worried that he might not be able to `have another go` if his first tee shot lands - as it invariably does - in nearby woods or ponds.   Moreover, he is concerned that his own rule concerning lost balls might now be in trouble.  You see, he has always contended that losing a ball is punishment enough without adding to your score, which he chooses not to do.   The list goes on - putts being held to be `near enough` and so on.

But there is hope on the issue of the number of golf balls allowed in a bag.  Snopper has probably always exceeded the rule in this regard, on the basis that he invariably loses more balls than the number allowed.  However, his last two rounds of 9-holes on the infamously easy Poult Wood course have seen him, for the first time ever in a long and undistinguished career, use the same ball and lose none at all.   The ball is called `Greg Norman` but that is where the similarity ends.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

BACK TO THE MUSIC....

.....and a piece that came to mind as I harked back to the days of childhood.  When I was seven, I developed a pretty serious kidney disease which kept me in Southampton Children's Hospital for a few months and resulted in me missing a whole year of schooling - something I`ve been trying to make up for ever since.

Of course, those were the days before television and after returning home from hospital I used to lay in bed and listen to Children's Hour on the old BBC Home Service.  The programme came on at 5.00pm each evening and did what it said on the tin, providing entertainment and education for young listeners like me.   It had regular features and also `drama series` usually with six episodes and it was the introductory music to these series that fascinated me at the time and still live in the memory from 70 years ago. 

I remember one series was called `Ballet Shoes` and the music which introduced it was Wolf-Ferrari`s Jewels of the Madonna.  Another was a series of talks on current affairs by Stephen King-Hall, which whilst not wildly entertaining nevertheless introduced me to the overture to Reznicek`s comic opera Donna Diana. It`s a happy, jaunty piece with a haunting melody. The opera is rarely performed these days but the overture is still a popular stand-alone piece at symphonic concerts and it`s easy to understand why.   Here it is.......


Monday, November 21, 2016

WHEREFORE ART THOU?

I`m reliably informed that the recent BBC series, Poldark, has come to an end, which seems to have caused a degree of consternation among his feminine devotees.  This reminded me of the filming locations in Cornwall which have now become increasingly popular destinations for Poldark buffs as well as providing local entrepreneurs with the opportunity to arrange Poldark Guided Tours.

One of those locations was the out-of-the-way fishing hamlet of Porthgwarra, at the foot of Gwennap Head, and we visited there a few years ago when I took these photos.  The first shows Porthgwarra in the rush hour, whilst the second shows Mrs. Snopper looking for all the world like Miss Woodruff in The French Lieutenant`s Woman wandering the Cobb at Lyme Regis in the forlorn hope that her hero might one day appear.    At least Mrs. S. has another Poldark series to look forward to.......




(Please click on photos for larger images)