The Diarist

My thanks are due to: Sasha  Darlington it is her photo that heads up this snippet from my memoirs.

My thanks are due to: Sasha Darlington it is her photo that heads up this snippet from my memoirs.

I believe that it was Carl Jung who said “man needs difficulties; they are necessary for health”. Well that’s the way this day started, as a wet flannel was threatened. Once I was up, mother supplied me with a steaming bowl of porridge topped with a drizzle of golden syrup. Soon after I was pedalling hard on my cycle, by six am, I had reached my place of employment and unlocked the yard gates.
Behind which my charges waited. It was icy cold so they were not going anywhere without help. As their drivers arrived I unlocked the garage and rolled out the sack trolley with its bank of batteries. As I approached a Bedford TD, who’s driver had placed two burning rags under the engine block, and was busy wafting a third under its fuel tank. Whilst saying “hurry up lad, I’ve got cakes to deliver over three counties today”. I smiled as the old lady at last cranked into life. Working at Oliver and Gurden was never dull.


At the moment I am having difficulties with WordPress, frustratingly it is blocking me from liking any story. Something that at the moment I am unable to deal with, in part due to having flu. Anyway I will at least be able to enjoy reading all your stories, but I may well struggle to comment on them. My apologies.

There is a 1958 film about cake manufacturers “Oliver and Gurden”, the film has a rather long preamble around a rather sleepy Oxford in 1958. It shows the Oxford I knew. The film is on YouTube. ‘Oliver and Gurden 1958’ should locate it.

Michael Humphris.

This Post Has 18 Comments

  1. James

    For two days I couldn’t comment on any WordPress blog. I contacted Akismet support and they got it sorted out. Apparently I had been inadvertently marked as “spam”. That could be happening to you as well.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you James. Flu is stopping me dealing with it

  2. Rosemary Carlson

    I’ve been having the same problem with WordPress, Michael, but it seems to have been fixed now. Get well soon!

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Rosemary

  3. Iain Kelly

    Charming tale Michael, hope your WordPress woe resolves soon.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Me too Iain, me too.

  4. ceayr

    Nice mood piece, Michael.

    Do you mean ‘pedalling’ rather than ‘peddling’?

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you kind sir. As a cyclist I really should be able to spell pedalling correctly. But sometimes I struggle with the simplest of words, often the computer helps me !

  5. anuragbakhshi

    Sweet little story Michael. And get well soon.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you. I am now on the mend. Helped by reading Hunger Games, I smiled at your twist, as I remembered a group of monkeys raiding a party of tourists, one of whom was myself.

      1. anuragbakhshi

        Ha ha ha. Thank you so much Michael

  6. Jules

    I am a tad late this week at getting back to visits… I hope you are all well now.
    I don’t have the like options turned on at WP – though somehow I think they still exist in the Reader option and in comments.

    There are some issues with WP, but for me it is the easiest to use and allows me to control many things that other blog sites do not.

    I like your story. I’ve heard of a few very cold places where you have to keep your engines warm overnight. I’ve not heard of a batter bank that helps to start trucks. I’d be wary though of having rags flamed under engines.

    Thanks for visiting… Jack was complete fiction. But yes I can see that one needs to enjoy where they are at any one given moment. 😉

    1. Michael Humphris

      Hi Jules, you are right I don’t believe anyone would burn rags these days to warm diesel fuel; to many additives. But back in the early 1960s we did. It was a fascinating time… Word press is still my preferred choice,

      1. Jules

        I remember the 1960’s… Fascinating is just one word… 😉
        I was still in single digits for most of that time. 🙂

        1. Michael Humphris

          It was a great time for music,

          1. Jules

            Indeed. I like my ‘Oldies Station’ – And folk music. 🙂

  7. Sascha Darlington

    I felt very much like I was in the moment with your story, Michael. Well done!

    1. Michael Humphris

      I appreciated this comment, thank you Sascha.

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