The Stroke Ward then Care Home

First, I’d like to explain that as bad as I thought my Stroke was at the time, after being taken to the Queens Medical Centre, diagnosed with having had an Embolic stroke, I thought I’d been lucky. Then I was transferred to the Newell Stroke Ward at the Nottingham City Hospital; I soon realised it was not bad at all!

The event took place while I was in the land of nod. I woke to find myself all disoriented, dizzy, and confused. I was sprawled half-in, half-out of the £300, second-hand, c1968, eyesorely-horrendously grungy coloured, haemorrhoid-testing, unfit-for-use, recliner. Unable to sit up at all, I was lolling to my right. Actually, I thought I might be dreaming at the time and sort of waiting for the fog to clear – of course, it didn’t. The most embarrassing thing in my life (Bar one, but I’ll not mention that!)…

Mass Bodily Fluids Flood – The deluge!
Miss this first section if you are queasy!

(A lifesaver, thanks to Nottingham City Homes!)  And the deluge came! Trying to work out what was happening and pondered on whether to press the Medical Alarm Wristlet button…

Every part of my body that could leak leaked! This was without any warning and so rapid, even the tears that eructed out and I think missed the face cheeks it was so violent. The nose ran, sweat poured from all over, I dribbled from the mouth – but the worst two of all – the bowel evacuation almost shot out, and the wee-weeing too! (at The QMC later, the Doctor said that my ear wax turned to liquid?)

Even pressing the alert button was hard work; I was swaying about and fell out of the chair onto the floor as I got to the control and pushed it. Then found out I could not talk to the controller who answered the alarm!

QMC – Then City Hospital Stroke Ward

Yet I was aware of the mess I was in and ashamed! But I was talking again, but so aware of how I must have looked and smelt! A blank spell from then on until I was being pushed into the scan room at the Queens Medical Centre.

Memory went until I was in an ambulance on the way to the City Hospital stroke ward, The Newell Ward. They kept taking me for e-rays and scans for the day, but I can now recall little of the processes.

Sister Jane and Pete turned up later. Having been to the flat and cleaned up the mess I had made – Bless Them!  So many of the patients were in a much worse condition than I was, which made me realise how lucky I had been. Walking again needed some therapy, and since then, I have started stuttering. With Peripheral Neuropathy diagnoses two weeks earlier, walking ever since is a challenge nowadays. But it could have been so much worse!

One morning, a new patient arrived. He looked like the spitting image of Tyson Fury. They had to move some beds to make room for him, which he was wheeled in on.

Then The Wailing Nights Began!

For about ten hours every single night – for fifteen of them, the poor chap would start calling out for his Mummy! No one else got any sleep! But it was not his fault, naturally. The insults being thrown out to him from other patients desperately needing sleep obviously made no difference.

After the first two or three nights, Tyson (I never knew his name, I can’t remember it if I did), who had been placed near the door, opposite the rota board, realised he could see the names of the other patients, and he would go through everyone… ‘Bill, Bill, help me!’ ‘Malcolm, I need help, fetch my Mum, please!’ ‘Dennis, call for my Mum, I beg you!’ And so forth… then start again repeatedly for hours longer!

The insults and lousy language slowly got worse as the frustrations grew in the other occupants. “F’ing shut your F’ing Gob!” and “Oi… shitting nob-rot, shut the F’s up” are two that come to mind, of the many. Although I had sympathy and empathy with Tyson’s plight and had resisted joining in the angry banter… on the last the 15th night, I very nearly did, but I didn’t.

Unfortunately, they gave me Clopidogrel to help prevent any more blood clots. Then found out I had an allergy to them. Hence the ankle ulcer and extra bloated feet and legs.

Move Me To A Nursing Home

I was so relieved when a doctor told me that they were desperate for beds for new stroke victims. Relieved? Ha! Had I known what was to come, I would have refused to go! They would be moving me later in the day into a Nottingham City Homes care home for a couple of months.

The single room, with adjoining WC with a shower, was nice and snug. There were no shortages of residents to come in and have a look around and help themselves to anything they fancied. Amongst the things that went missing were one hearing aid, pens, biscuits and a pair of socks. I later saw a bloke wearing the easily identifiable diabetic bamboo socks. My Get Better Teddy Bear from TFZer Pattie in Canada disappeared, but I found it in the TV room?

The routine went like this:

  • A carer would come in to help me get the ankle strap on each morning. They all got it wrong, nearly crippled me! Hehe! The door would open (no locks), and a mystery voice would yell out, ‘Breakfast in ten!’ Then give me the medications. I missed many breakfasts.
  • Occasionally a cleaner would come in to ‘do’ the toilet and moan if I’d left any shaving foam in the sink or floor.
  • The midday food summoning would be something like “Tea!”, “Food!” or “Nosh” followed by the estimated time I have to be down for. I missed a few meals.
  • Evenings, medications and taking the ankle strap off.

Inchcock with his retrieved Teddy Bear! ♥

I was told not to leave the site at any time. During the nine weeks, I was there, my laundry was only returned to me three times. Sister Jane and Pete kept me supplied with socks and shirts from the flat. They asked me to make a statement for the police when a bloke attacked a woman with a knife.

If nothing else, this experience has made me all the more determined to avoid going into a care home.

In a Repeated Dream

For several weeks after leaving the Car Home, and Jane and Pete returning me to the flats, I had a repeating dream… I would be leaving the hospital… with the Grim Reaper calling me back to the Stroke Ward. I don’t think it got to me badly, but I was glad when they stooped! (Watch it now, the bloody thing will start again!) Haha!

Part of the Inchcock True Tales of Woe & Make E’m Laugh Series!

Inchcock’s Escape from Lock-down, No.7, to town. Pictographically

Nervously, I departed, my beloved Woodthorpe Court,

Wondering, if I really ought,

But off I poddled, my expectancies at nought,

Taking my quandaries, feeling relatively taut,

My nerves on edge and tension straught!

The bus-ride was painful and tense, oh, golly!

Feet under the wheels as brakes,

As I sat holding the trolley,

Then I got the nervous shakes,

Sure I would overspend my lolly!

Got to town, and nearly got ran over,

Cold, I wished I’d put on an extra pullover,

A van nearly hit me, moreover,

I swore at the man to show I was no pushover!

I made my way to the Poundsaver store,

Searching for milk tubs, Frazzles and more,

The knee gave way, and I ended up on the floor,

Some ladies, got me up, Gawd I was sore,

They had milk, but I got Frazzles & more,

Paid and left, with a bank balance more, poor!

I had a walk around the City Centre,

Limping now, I felt even ancienter,

The coffee shops looked full, but I’m not a frequenter,

Then one of the Pavement cyclist’s flew by,

If I could, I’d have given him a smack in the eye!

I never saw a policeman. I wonder why?

It looked like rain in the sky,

So I went inside, to keep myself dry!

The Exchange arcade, it was barren of folk,

So many retailers, closed-down, a pig-in-a poke,

Rent £78,000 per annum, it’s no joke,

Service Charge £17,144, what lady or bloke,

Who can afford this? No wonder they’ve gone broke!

The drizzle hadn’t come, so out I went,

Some time in Slab Square, I spent,

Street sleepers, yobboes, arguing, but no police sent,

My frustrations I wanted to vent,

The knee hurting, my money spent,

Getting home to Codeines was my intent!

To the Queen Street bus-stop,

Struggling with my purchases from the shop,

On to the L9 bus I did hop,

Well, struggled, and into the seat did flop,

I was so glad when we got to the Winwood Heights stop!

I alighted the bus, well, fell off of it,

I did feel a right twit!

No injuries, I felt tired, but quite fit,

Off to Woodthorpe Court, I did flit!

Not a soul in sight, for a talk,

So I struggled along Chestnut Walk,

No much thinking en route, the brain had lost its torque!

Into the decorative, welcoming lobby, I did walk!

I tooketh a photo, getting into the lift,

Can’t be accused today, of being a spendthrift!

I’d bought some pressies and a Christmas gift,

I was feeling proud, not peeved or tift,

For once, my thoughts were not all adrift,

There weren’t any at all if you get my drift?

I’d seen folk arguing, and one shoplift,

And yet, I didn’t feel in the slightest miffed!

Frazzled, I’m glad to say – Yes! Hehehe!

Inchcock’s Tales (Confessions) of Hounds Gate – Part of ‘The Nottingham Lads True Tales of Woe’!

Inchcock’s Tales (Confessions) of Hounds Gate

Part of ‘The Nottingham Lads True Tales of Woe’!

Hounds Gate 01a

Hounds Gate, Nottingham; The early name for the street was Hungate, and it was referred to as such in 1326 and appeared in this form on John Speed’s map of Nottingham of 1610. It is thought it received this name from being where part of the kennels for Nottingham Castle 100 attack hounds were situated.

We could do with bringing them back! Hehehe!

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I hobbled up it this morning with the camera, and the brain in nostalgia-Mode! It is a sad sight nowadays. Abandoned retailers, and a muggers and druggies paradise. I have found out that 1098 crimes in May 2019 were reported within and half a mile. Big Issue Sellers, and Ice Cream vans, and muggers today. Rumour has it that two Nottingham policemen were spotted patrolling on foot in Hounds Gate in 2018, but we cannot confirm this overdramatic, ridiculously sensationalised claim.

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This morning, there were few Nottinghaman’s about, being early in the day. Thus less chance of being mugged, sold some weed or a street beggar begging and his dog snapping at my feet! Hehehe!.

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It is interesting to remember that the first town steward, John Collishaw, who was appointed in 1787 lived in Houndsgate and he only died so recently as 1809. The spectacular Bridge of Sighs, which connects the two portions of a great soft-goods warehouse and which spans Hounds Gate in really a charming manner, was erected in 1923. My father used to collect and deliver to it as late as 1959. He always called to see if they had any returns, when he was on the Nottingham run. I suspect that this might have been prompted by the threepence 3d, he was paid for each one he collected. I used to go with Dad on school holidays, and the slightly pleasantly built meaty, muscular young lady who managed the warehouse and office, was always a cheerful soul as I recall! Haha! 

Another memory, was of a twenty-year lad, legless, totally drunk, and getting arrested, on a Wednesday night, in about 1966. Yes, it was me! Shame-Mode-Adopted! 

Sister Jane swore she saw two customers in that Sub-Way store last month! Huh!

Hounds Gate 01e

Towards the top of the road, I came across a self-advertised Cargo-Bike. I looked back and took this picture while the chap was busy organising his load. He really ought to fit an alarm to it, you know!

Hounds Gate 01fCloser to the top of Hounds Gate, was Ye Olde Salutation Inn. Claimed to be the second oldest pub in England along with theRoyal Children pub on Castle Gate nearby.

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I mention this, because I am not a born-again recovering holier than thou alcoholic, and remember visiting both pubs many times in my drinking days. And by gum, they sold some great beer, and the atmosphere was great!

Hounds Gate 01h

I exited Hounds Gate, up the paved path. On to what was called Granby Street in 1963 when it was built. This was a Whoopsiedangleplop moment for me. The three-wheeled trolley guide then toppled over, the toe was mercilessly stubbed again in the process, and a few well-chosen words were spoken. Well, no that’s a fib – they were not well-chosen at all, the just burst out!

Hounds Gate 01J

The memories flooded back at the same time, though.

Finally, a photo from c1920 of Hounds Gate.

Hounds Gate 01k

Not much changed aesthetically I think.

I’ll let you know when I look up what aesthetically means.

T.T.F.N. Folks!

Inchcock’s 2019 Nottingham Wheel Photos

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Monday 18th February 2019

Getting onto and into the cage was done with great pain, difficulty and a little swearing and muttering under his breath. Getting out and off the cage, was done with a lot of pain, difficulty, swearing and muttering under his breath!

But the old fool got nervous, as the wind blasted through the cage and it to swing to-and-fro, thus, rocking the boat as if to put it!

He did not like the dirty smeared plexiglass windows.

But loved taking the photographicalisations, using his old Sony camera.

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I’m not sure I will be capable of taking these view shots next year.

It was hard work climbing up and getting into the cage this year.

Mind you, getting back out and down was just as bad, no worse! Hehe!

A least the cost hadn’t gone up, still £6 for us pensioners.

Shame about the rocking in the wind and dirty plexiglass.

TTFN

It’s Been a Funny Old Life Part 3 – Prosed ponderously by Inchcock

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As an ankle-snapper I had a skinny physique,

In fact they knicknamed me ‘The Pipsqeak’,

When Mam was at home, times were bleak,

She and Dad shouted and fought, they didn’t speak,

She rarley stayed home for more than a week,

To the outside loo, if one wanted a leak,

Getting the tin bath off the yard wall every week,

Demanded a certain safety-first technique.

Drag it into the front room in front of the fire,

Clean it up with bleach and a pad of wire,

Heating up water in kettles & pans was dire,

The use of the fire and stove I’d aquire,

To keep the bath topped up as Dad did require.

After several top-ups Dad would retire,

Then t’was my turn in the cold water in front of the fire!

Dry missen off with the wet towel Dad had used,

Bath back on’t wall ready fer it to be reused,

Out to the coal-house while Dad snoozed,

Chopped wood brought in coal, getting bruised,

Laid the fire for the morning – felt abused!

Life was how it was, so why feel sad or blue?

No hot running water, fridge or TV it’s true,

Tableclothes? The Evening newspaper would do,

Lighting the gas-lamps was risky too,

When Pennies in the meters were due…

Mam had some arcade coins, one or two!

No toilet paper for our out-side loo,

Cut-up newspaper for wiping: the memories ooh!…

Nottingham Then and Now Part 3: How some buildings have changed over the Years

Areas of Nottingham City Centre – and how they have changed!

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Long Row – shoppers passing what was Griffin & Spalding, then Debenhams department store.

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A flight of steps leading up from Weekday Cross. Under these steps, or their predecessors, was at one time kept a stock of whale-oil, which was used for the illumination of the town, which must have rendered the neighbourhood somewhat unsavoury. It is recorded that upon one occasion a frost occurred of such intensity as to freeze this stock of whale-oil.

Weekday Cross itself stood in the north-west corner of the area, in front of the more modern entrance to the hall. The first actual mention of it occurs in 1549, but a cross probably existed there much earlier. It was pulled down in 1804, and pictures which remain of it show it to have been an ordinary pillar cross upon steps. The arms had disappeared, and it was crowned by a great stone globe. From the steps surrounding it Royal and municipal proclamations were made, and it was really just an ordinary normal market cross.

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People wept openly in Long Row when the wrecking ball started smashing away one of Nottingham’s favourite old buildings.

These were the final, desperate moments for the Black Boy Hotel, the eccentric Watson Fothergill-designed Victorian edifice which, over the years, had welcomed stars of show business and sport through its doors.

It was the end of the Sixties, a time when functionalism was the trend, when an act of municipal vandalism swept away the splendid old hotel to replace it with a bland and ugly concrete monolith.

But more than 40 years later, people refuse to let the Black Boy’s glory fade. The name crops up whenever the subject of Nottingham’s lost architectural history is aired.

And tomorrow it will be given a permanent memorial when a plaque commissioned by Nottingham Civic Society is officially unveiled on the site – now occupied by Primark – by the Lord Mayor Coun Brian Grocock.

Hilary Silvester, chairman of the Nottingham Civic Society, said: “The plaque will be a tribute to Mr Fothergill’s work.

“Fothergill went in for fantastic designs with timbering and gabling and turrets. The Black Boy Hotel was his masterpiece where he incorporated all of these bits of different design.”

The Black Boy Hotel began life in the 17th century on land owned by the Brunts family of East Bridgford, and by 1700 the inn was an established staging post with coaches departing to all parts of the country.

In 1711 Samuel Brunts founded the charity which still bears his name. Among the foundations he created were almshouses and schools in Mansfield, funded by income from various properties, including the Black Boy.

The Turner family became tenants of the Black Boy in the mid-19th century – a connection which was to last for more than 100 years.

In 1878 architect Fothergill Watson, as he was then known, extended the hotel and thereby began his involvement in the redesign of the building.

Nine years later he completely rebuilt the Long Row frontage, retaining its fashionable colonnade.

The Bavarian design had all Fothergill’s characteristic ornamentation.

In 1897 – by which time the architect had switched his name to the grander Watson Fothergill – a central tower was created with stone lions at its base, and a statue of Samuel Brunts was mounted over the front entrance of the hotel.

During renovations of the Black Boy in 1928, the well-known local artist Denholm Davis was commissioned to paint two murals in the Haddon Room, depicting views of Haddon Hall.

Sadly, the effect of tobacco smoke was such that the murals were eventually covered by oak panelling.

During the years immediately before and after the Second World War, when the Black Boy Hotel was at the height of its fame, many well-known celebrities stayed there including Gracie Fields, George Formby, Gregory Peck and Laurence Olivier.

The Australian cricketers were regular visitors and a story is told of their efforts to have Little John – the bell of the Council House clock – silenced at night. The English team were a safe distance away in the Victoria Station Hotel!

The reception rooms of the Black Boy were impressive with four of the main rooms named after local country houses… Thoresby, Rufford, Haddon and Chatsworth.

The hotel also boasted an American bar, a gentlemen’s-only bar, a writing room and a hairdressing salon.

The remainder of the hotel was, however, short of modern facilities, with bathrooms at a premium, and the upper floors resembling a warren. Perhaps the need for modernisation was the reason the lease was offered for sale by the trustees of the Brunts Charity in 1960.

The following year, Littlewoods acquired the site for the next 99 years at a starting price of £46,000 a year.

The opinion was expressed by the auctioneer, W R Brackett, that the site offered an opportunity for a large and imaginative development. Although protests were voiced at the prospect of the Black Boy closing, the hotel finally shut its doors on March 8, 1969.

Everything was sold at the auction which followed the closure of the hotel. A set of George III dining chairs went for £750 and an oil painting of Watson Fothergill and his family fetched £575.

Forty waste paper baskets and four fire buckets also went under the hammer.

The four stone lions which guarded the central tower were bought by the corporation and can now be found in the grounds of Nottingham Castle.

The statue of Samuel Brunts, which graced the façade of the hotel, was given to the Brunts School, Mansfield, where it remains – although with its left hand missing.

The small statue of a black boy, which was in the foyer of the hotel, was also saved, but a similar statue of a black girl appears to have been lost, along with the Davis mural.

In the early 1970s the utilitarian Littlewood store was built on the site, opposite the windows of the Council House, providing a permanent reminder of the city planners’ short-sighted, criminal folly..

Ken Brand, a Watson Fothergill expert, said it was a travesty the Black Boy was no longer standing.

“Its demolition was considered by most to be the worst example of architectural vandalism of that era in Nottingham… or anywhere” he said.

Well Inchcock agrees with him 100%!

Nottingham Then and Now: Part 2: The Elite Cinema, Upper Pariament Street

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Memories of The Elite Cinema, Upper Pariament Street, Nottingham

The Elite was one of the first in a new breed of ‘super-cinema’ to be built in Nottingham. Designed by the London architectural firm of Adamson & Kinns, the facade and exterior side walls were treated in an expensive white glazed tiling and contained statues along the upper portion of the building. Internally the decoration was carried out by interior designer Fred A. Foster who created a stunning interior with the auditorium walls lined with wood panels and a great deal of decorative plaster. Seating was provided in stalls and circle levels.

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It opened on 22nd August 1921 with Mary Pickford in “Pollyanna”. There was a grand concert organ by the firm of Willis-Lewis which had 78 stops, plus a full orchestra. The facilities within the building also included a a restaurant, a Georgian Tea Room, a French Cafe in Louis XVI style and a large ballroom located on the top floor.

In the reception was a gigantic ornate open coal-fired fire-place.

002Elite5

The first ‘talkie’ in Nottingham was shown at the Elite Picture Theatre, George Jessel in “Lucky Boy” and after its screening, the cinema was closed for several weeks in July 1929 for a refurbishment.

A new Compton 2Manual/6Ranks organ was installed which was opened by Cyril Birmingham.

24 June 1929: The talking picture show had been introduced two years earlier in America with Al Jolson’s The Jazz Singer.

002Elite6The first full-length ‘talkie’ film in Nottingham were shown at the Elite Cinema.

Organist Jack Helyer, in his white coat and tails, entertained audiences with their favourite tunes.

Peoples best memories was of the open fire in the foyer, especially when they arrived at he cinema and it was cold and icy outside!

Next in the Nottingham Then and Now Series:

A selction of Nottingham area photographs of specific Buildings

Then and Now – See the changes that has taken place.

Nottingham Then and Now – Part One: Sheep Lane – Market Street

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Market Street (Above colour photograph) started out as a narrow alley called Sheep Lane but due to its limited width quite a few accidents happened, pedestrians going up meeting carts coming down caused people to be squashed against the sides – usually resulting in blood stains on the floor and wall.

This led to the locals referring to it as Blood Lane.

When it was widened (civic improvements in 1866) the aim of the Gentry was to name it Theatre Street, because it led from the Market Square to the Theatre Royal.

The market people had other ideas and the night before the official unveiling some of them unscrewed the sign and replaced it with one stating Market Street.

The following day was market day and everyone, the Gentry and the market people, congregated at the bottom of the widened Sheep Lane for the opening ceremony.

The Mayor pulled on the cord to revel the new sign and proclaimed the new roadway to be “Market Street”, even though a portion of the assembled crowd – mostly Gentry – complained; but they were heavily outnumbered, and tried to point out the Mayor’s error when it was already too late.

There has been 128 murders recorded on Sheep Lane/Market Street.

Next in this series: The Elite Cinema – Upper Parliament Street.

Inchcock Views High-Rise Council Pensioners Flat on the 16th Floor

Woodthorpe

The other day I went to view an warden aided flat,

To get there I had to be strong and an acrobat,

Top of a hill, it was windy, glad I had me hat,

I found the City Councils Commissariat.

We went to look at the flat, on the 16th floor,

I noticed the kicked in panel on the front door,

The place was in a right state, very poor,

Electrics hanging off the wall down to the bare floor,

A smell lingered everywhere, a sweet sickly odour,

Noises from the Romanians living next door.

A distinct feeling of gloom lingered in the air,

I decided I didn’t want to live there,

Although the view from the window was fair,

I turned on a tap, the water was brown… I despair!

I caught the wall and the plaster shred,

A lick of paint will sort that, the Commissariat said,

That only made me cringe and exacerbate,

Then under the sink an insect zoo did await!

The light switch hung off the wall by its wire,

In the front room a non-working electric fire,

The ceiling peeling, electric needing a rewire,

For living here I could not aspire!

I told the Commissariat Thanks but I don’t think so,

She took it like a mortal lethal blow,

She scowled at me, and don’t you know…

She didn’t speak to me again and let me go.

Hey-ho!

Inchcock’s: It’s Been a Funny Old Life – Part 2

Inchcock’s: It’s Been a Funny Old Life – Part 2

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Each morning there was the fire grate to clean out and renew,

Get Dad’s breakfast, he’s eat owt, porridge eggs or stew,

Then get some cash from him for groceries, not easy to do,

Boil some water for Dad to wash and shave in too,

No internet, Google, Facebook, WordPress or Yahoo,

Had to do me morning paper round while Dad ate his stew,

Back an hour later Dads time for work was due,

Off he’d go, I’d clean his pots – getting to school the next issue,

Knowing I’d get bullied and learn nowt – it’s true,

Lunch with Echo margarine or lard sarnies, Eurgh!

Out of school and rush to the paper shop, more work to do,

Back to the house to lay the fire I flew,

Dad would arrive between six and ten demanding a brew,

Light the fire make his nosh, mine is overdue,

Entertainment from the light radio, no radio Two,

Raise a laugh, The Archers and The Navy Lark too,

His language was not usually bad or blue,

But he often said: ‘You useless article you!