A Blacker Shade Of Grey
Peter B. Farrell recalls grey days.
Home | Smallville
Peter B. Farrell recalls grey days.
Shock, horror! High school maths is no preparation for an electricity bill announcing that your are £3390.38 in debt.
Peter B Farrell tells of his struggles to set the record straight.
A wrongly delivered letter brings consternation to the Farrell household.
For more of Peter B Farrell’s humorous columns please click on Smallville in the menu on this page.
Peter B Farrell finds himself deeply entangled in the reddest of red tape - and all because he wants to watch TV.
To read more of Pete's deliciously funny columns please click on Smallville in the menu on this page.
Peter B Farrell had to keep a sharp eye on the Rottweilers when he went to see about a wood-burning stove.
Remember those EU regulations when you start to unwrap the new oven.
Peter B Farrell finds himself up to the armpits in plastic in the latest episode of his domestic adventures.
Make sure you get your timing right when you start to cook. Peter B Farrell tells of a hair-raising experience. Or should that be hair-blazing...?
Watch out for more of Peter's sizzling columns.
Peter B Farrell tackles some pre-Christmas DIY, and somehow a postman and a parrot are entwined in the ensuing disaster.
Sample more of Peter's special brand of humour by clicking on Smallvile in the menu on this page - the best of holiday reading.
Just one visit to the refurbished local library – and Peter B Farrell embarks upon a life-changing read. Ahead lie an encounter with Electra Glide In Blue, and dreams of the open highways of Arizona.
It’s ham sandwiches in front of the telly when Peter B Farrell’s oven finally gives up the ghost.
A bargain battery is a flash in the pan - sorry, camera - when Peter B Farrell tries to photograph a church interior. And if one bad buy isn't enough, Peter follows it up with a "cheap'' mayonnaise disaster at the supermarket check-out.
Peter B Farrell goes on a trip to town to buy indigestion tablets. But was his journey really necessary?
“I left the premises armed with a bottle of Wong To Yick’s Wood Lock to rub into the affected parts and a fortnight’s supply of Zhuang Gu Guan Jie Wan to be taken twice a day after meals…’’ Chuckle along with Peter B Farrell as he gets more than he bargained for after entering a Chinese herbal remedies shop.
Now how does that ditty go? … “mackerel swimming in shoals…’’ Peter B Farrell enjoys (endures?) the entertainment at an East Coast resort where New Yar’s Eve is being celebrated in October.
“Number 10 - Tony‘s den;” was followed by a raucous “He‘s never there.” “Two fat persons - 88.“ followed by cries of “Wobble, wobble....'' In this screamingly funny column Peter B Farrell tells how he and his wife Margaret entered into the spirit of Christmas in October at an East Coast holiday venue.
“...We’re bringing the Turkey and Tinsel program forward; party games, our own singers and dancers. It’ll be just like Christmas...” But Peter B Farrell was looking forwards to a Big Band Week.
The last game of the Test series, and instead of watching it on TV from a dentist’s chair Peter B Farrell finds himself staring up at a seemingly endless loop of gyrating females who are cavorting around a group of musicians who should have been in school.
"Despite it being in the middle of summer the heavens opened and we drove on in disbelief amid torrents of rain and occasionally hailstones...'' Peter B Farrell and members of his family, sallying forth without meat pies, follow the tourists' trail on a soggy summer's day in North Yorkshire.
Peter B Farrell joins in a family re-union and goes castle-visiting in Northumberland. Just as well that he had something to take his thoughts away from the too-exciting-to-watch Test cricket series between England and Australia.
Peter B Farrell, bringing with him a large number of postcards and some square plates, returns home at the end of a gloriously enjoyable holiday in France.
There have been 10 earlier chapters describing Peter's holiday adventures in La Belle France. Click on Smallville in the menu on this page and go back to the beginning of the journey: A Planned Departure.
On the last full day of his holiday in France Peter B Farrell visits places where fierce fighting took place after Allied troops landed in Normandy on June 6, 1944. In a town which featured in the book and the film The Longest Day he encounters visiting American veterans of the 82nd Airborne Division.
..."You'll never eat that.'' Margaret stared as I came to terms with the large platter of sauerkraut accompanied by three large sausages, one red, one white and the other a delicate pink, topped by a solitary boiled potato...
Peter B Farrell is nearing the end of his holiday in France. For earlier episodes of his holiday adventures click on Smallville in the menu column on the right-hand side of this page. Peter writes with so much enthusiasm that you wish you had been with him for every mile, and meal, along the way - even when an unwelcomed plate of sauerkraut appeared on the table.
Peter B Farrell is now homeward bound after a glorious holiday in France. But there are still sights to see, such as the Chateau where Leonardo da Vinci is buried, and the largest cathedral in the land.
While homeward bound from a fabulous holiday Peter B Farrell learns a profound lesson in French from Squadron Leader Bigglesworth - the famous Biggles of boys' book fame.
Peter B Farrell dreams of living in France when he goes on a cherry picking expedition.
For more of Peter's flavourful accounts of his holiday in France click on Smallville in the menu on this page.
Writing with his usual zest and good humour Peter B Farrell continues his account of holiday adventures in France. And if this column doesn't make you pack your bags and head for those inviting French towns and byways, nothing will.
Peter B Farrell need not have bothered to take a camera on his holiday travels. His vivid words are more than capable of fixing pictures in the mind. Accompany Peter, a most agreeable and good-humoured travelling companion, on another leg of his journey through La Belle France.
How could anyone resist the opportunity to buy an earthenware salad bowl with a built-in garlic crusher? Peter B Farrell continues his mouth-wateringly appetising account of a holiday in France.
"My wife, a poor traveller, had been seasick for most of the voyage, despite sitting on a newspaper...'' The inimitable Peter B Farrell goes travelling in La Belle France, taking with him his humorous outlook on the world.
Read, enjoy - and look forwards to another episode of Peter's travels next Sunday in Open Writing.
As Peter B Farrell makes his meticulous preparations for a holiday in France he discovers that hang gliding and bungee jumping are definitely out, and on no account must spears and crossbows be used.
Sit in a comfy chair, or brace yourself against a secure object - say a heavy oaken table - before starting to read Pete's column. We don't want you to accidentally fall and break a leg while in the midst of uncontrollable chortles.
Peter B Farrell embarrasses himself by reading the latest bleeping best-selling multi-bleeps novel while riding the bus home from the city.
There's a message in Peter B Farrell's hilarious account of his adventures with mirrors. If you have just bought an exercise bike, make sure you cannot see your own reflection before pumping those pedals!
During a wekend break at a holiday centre Peter B Farrell mounts an eercise bike to become a gym Lance Armstrong.
A baritone with a voice like a foghorn overcomes Peter B Farrell's powers of endurance on a Leisure Break weekend.
If you want your funnybone to be well and truly tickled, click on Smallville in the menu on the right hand side of this page and read more of Peter's words.
This full-blooded slice of nostalgia by Peter B Farrell raises the question: were the good old days all that good?
Your wife insists that a new ironing board cover is essential for the smooth running of the household. You accompany her to the store, wishing all the while that you were back home constructing a wormery. Then you go and buy that expensive plywood...
Peter B Farrell, writing wih his usual gusto, turns a shopping expidition into a rollicking good read.
The weekend of music and dancing at a holiday centre was to be highlighted by a final fancy dress gala evening. Recalling the John Belushi film, Peter B Farrell's bright idea was to go as the Blues Brothers. So on with the sunglasses, dark suits, black hats...and let's get ready to rock.
...Then there was the animal lover on the bicycle, whose two small dogs sat in a box behind him, peering from either side. The dogs wore hats: Easter bonnets, rain hats, sun hats, and at Christmas, hats decorated with tinsel and holly... Peter B Farrell introduces some unusual characters in his smallville world.
So when you go visiting the "natives'' in Lincolnshire, what should you take as a gift? How about that well-known ointment which is all the rage in Hollywood because it allegedly holds at bay signs of ageing? Peter B Farrell ventures into the peculiar world of alternative medicine, sings a few songs from the Forties, and return home with the sausage rolls.
If you go Youth Hostelling these days, watch out for long-haired blondes in the shower room. And face the fact, you may not get to see the Midnight Cowboys. There's good humour aplenty when you enter Peter B Farrell's smallville world.
Treasure these words by Peter B Farrell. They were produced at his new computer workstation. Oh the trouble he had assembling it! For a start the instructions were in Chinese...
...Grandad once came home drunk and fell asleep before he had his supper. Grandma gave his dinner to my cousin, who lived next door, but not before wiping some gravy on his lips. On waking he demanded his supper but was reminded he'd already had it. The proof was on his lips... Peter B Farrell recalls in vivid detail events from his childhood, and introduces us to Ginny the monkey.
"...my knuckles were white as I clutched the top of the parapet. Dry mouthed, knees shaking, I peeped over my side of the building, but not far enough to see parked cars...'' Forced to change jobs, Peter B Farrell discovers that he is not really suited to the construction industry - and working in a hospital makes him feel even queasier.
...My mum's back garden was in that film The Full Monty, and as for The Prisoner, Patrick McGoohan... Peter B Farrell has close encounters with the famous, and an even closer encounter with a party of angry Sisters.
So what do you do when you lose your car keys - and you can count on it that one day you will? If your experience of this small disaster is like that of Peter Farrell, be prepared to buy a birthday card.
Peter B Farrell starts to prepare for a holiday in France - and at the same time keeps score in the battle of the sexes.
An irritating digestive complaint...a hospital visit to see a specialist...a photographic exploration... Peter B Farrell's account of an unwelcomed encounter with the surgical equivalent of a stapling gun will have YOU in stitches.
Loud chalk-striped trousers, a new pair of vari-focal glasses, a juggling act wih two tubs of ice cream... Read Peter B Farrell's delicious account of a night at the theatre and laugh out loud.
So what do you do with 600 horseshoes? And what about the insurance? Peter B Farrell explains all.
"I was led into the world of the jazz guitar after nearly seeing Julian Bream, the classical guitarist, in concert,'' says Peter B Farrell as he tells of frustrated quests to hear "live'' jazz.
For your average male Christmas shopping is one of the worst ordeals life has to offer. Peter Farrell shares the aversion but turns his reluctant shopping experiences into high comedy.
Now is the season to chuckle with Peter B Farrell. He thinks that maybe he should get a DVD player. On the other hand, Christmas is coming...
"The first few nights we quaked under the sheets listening to the thunder of approaching hooves as Red Rum tried to steeplechase over the caravan...'' With many a chuckle along the way, Peter B Farrell tells of his introduction to country living.
The flash of a speed camera causes Peter B Farrell to brood about past misdemeanours and apprehensively await the arrival of each day's mail.
Peter B Farrell and his wife find a £20 note while strolling along a footpath...and Peter weaves the ensuing events into another delicious column.
So what do you turn to when your extensive supply of Mexican green tea chocolate (yes, really, Mexican green tea!) finally runs out? Read Peter Farrell's revelation - and chuckle line by line.
After sampling the Country Western life style Peter Farrell and his wife decide there's a lot to be said for television and taking care of a family of house plants.
Peter Farrell, who will be writing a regular column about books, jazz, life, and all that sort of thing, tells us of the time when a customs officer disapproved of James Thurber's deliciously humorous opus "Is sex necessary?''