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Back to the York hotel for dominoes … where Christmas has already started!

The group returned to the York for a competitive evening of dominoes … but the welcome was not quite as enthusiastic as usual from the staff!

They were clearly rushed off their feet with 30 or more guests enjoying Christmas dinner, yes Christmas dinner! They were all dressed up in tinsel and hats, Chrissie jumpers and everything!

Christmas decs everywhere, carols … we were actually witnessing “Turkey and Tinsel”!!! in full flow on – what – November 14th … and apparently it all started on November 1st!

I have now researched this and found that these 3 to 5 day coach trips to the seaside to enjoy “an extras Christmas” are very popular. For around 200 quid per person you can have five days half board in a hotel in November, Christmas dinner and god knows what else. Then on your return to the real world you can book yourself a room in a looney bin!

Anyway, back to the dominoes. Jane was on it on arrival and managed to get the carols switched off in our room … then John arrived in a full skeleton outfit literally from head to toe!

Earlier, when I picked him up he asked me to help him with his mask. As I pulled it over his head I stupidly said “hey there are no holes in this, you won’t be able to see?” … to which John laughed and replied “aren’t you forgetting something!!”. It’s always great fun to see what John is going to be dressed in at our events!

Despite no curry this time on the menu (much to Kimby and my disappointment), a hearty meal was served and enjoyed by all. As always, Spud was on the prowl for money … I think I saw him wheeling and dealing with the hotel staff; there was mention of Swiss bank accounts and everything!

Finally, the staff were able to come to the bar to enable some of the members to plough into the Fosters … and on with the game!

As usual, competitive with plenty of cheating – well on our table anyway (Spud as usual)! … and I did hear Derek on the table next table say “oh look there is a domino on the floor!”

On our table, Diane as always was good value fondly remembering playing the game with her family back in the day.

The evening was great fun and particularly important as we had a guest, Mr Alan Jones, from the Freemasons. Mr Jones gave a short speech to the members explaining that the two main objectives of freemasonry is to have “fun and support charities” … it was interesting to learn that the money raised by Freemasons is from their own pockets rather than collecting from the general public.

Indeed, Mr Jones described that a Sunday lunch was arranged with dozens of members of the Lodge attending … with the objective of raising funds for two charities, one of which is Energeyes! He proceeded to present a cheque for over £400 to Aileen. People are so kind to the group!

Anyhow, great night and definitely more fun than collecting money at the carnival, dressed as a bee in lashing rain!!


 Did you know that the Pizza delivery company called Dominoes, started with brothers Jim and Tom Monaghan buying an ailing pizza restaurant in 1959 called “DomiNicks”. Soon after Jim left the business with Tom buying him out by giving him a beaten up Volkswagen Beetle which they bought to deliver Pizzas. Not a smart move by Jim as his brother went on to sell his stake in the business for $1 billion twenty years ago! Tom Monaghan has pledged to give half his fortune to charity, the so-called “billionaire’s” pledge that Microsoft’s Bill Gates has signed up to. So this is what I say to my wife as she watches me stuff another pizza “I am only doing this for charity darling!”

Oh no, having searched turkey and Tinsel I am now being inundated with coach tour holidays …actually the one to Llandudno on the 27th looks interesting …. booked! Ang and I are off for 3 nights at the Hotel Pant y Wacco (named after the pretty Welsh village!).

Now we are into Christmas “mode” something to make you smile/groan …

Great news guys! After its annual day off … the DFS sale is back on tomorrow!

I have got no problem buying tampons. I am a modern man. But apparently they are not a “proper” present!

Paul McCartney bought his ex-wife an artificial leg. It wasn’t her main present – just a stocking filler really.


A warm welcome was given to all at the Ebdon Arms in Wick St Lawrence … with expectations running high for a thrilling and intellectually challenging evening! Well, perhaps the “Dumb trivia quiz” section was not too intellectual!

Waiting for the 20 or so members and volunteers … or rather kind of prowling around the room in anticipation … our Quizmaster for the evening – Stevie Z – had clearly fully prepared and was pumped up for the event. High value prizes to be won (a box of biscuits and everything!) together with a medal for each in the winning team – to be coveted by all!

The leadership team were straight into action with Spud as always on the hunt for money (to supplement his pension) and Aileen orchestrating the delivery of food by the waitresses. Aileen was invaluable to them memorably pointing out to the waitress that the fish and chips were for “the man in the red top” … which didn’t really narrow it down as there were 18 of us in Energeyes red!

Super food with ham, eggs and chips the most popular with Kimby and myself enjoying our usual curry which we rate at a very good 8 out of 10.

And so to the quiz … Stevie Z thought it would be good idea to mix the teams rather than people sitting with the same crowd. This led to around 10 minutes of exciting activity and movement – so as well as a quiz we got to play a bit of musical chairs! That said, James ignored it all and calmly finished his chocolate sponge before taking his place in Team Clare.

There were four teams with leaders Spud, Clare, Daniel and Michelle … I personally was not a leader but this didn’t bother me in the slightest (I wasn’t bitter or anything!); I was happy to join Daniel’s group which we named the “Saucy Feelers”! Named in light of the box of objects Stevie Z and Michelle had created for the visually impaired to try to identify the contents.

Spud stole an advantage right from the start increasing his team to six in total and pretty much led throughout.

Thanks to Stevie Z there was a wide range of interesting and challenging questions along with the all popular musical round.

Without a doubt the most controversial round was the “Dumb trivia” section … I had no idea that police officers in Washington are given classes on how to sit down!; nor that it is illegal in Georgia to eat fried chicken with a fork; let alone that you have to have a hunting licence in order to buy a mousetrap in California!

To cap it all and the most jaw dropping question related to male behaviour in Illinois. The question: “A law in Illinois prohibits men from doing what in public?” The answer: “Have an erection!!!”

Well, the expression “I wasn’t expecting that!!” came to mind … and the question (and answer!) caused quite a kerfuffle amongst the ladies in team Saucy Feelers.

So Spud’s team, the biggest and with a strong suspicion of cheating! Won the day – congratulations to them.

After prize giving and much gloating by Spud we all had a bit of a chat and then headed for the hills … another great quiz night with Stevie Z the star of the show!

Actually, all this talk about movements in trousers in Illinois reminded me of a story …. or rather the following was on a card I bought for my brother recently …

The missing cock!
The village priest went out to collect his freshly laid eggs on Sunday morning and realised his cockerel was missing.
At morning service he decided to ask his parishioners if they had seen it.
“Has anyone got a cock?” the priest asked.
All the men stood up! … “No, no” said the priest, “I meant has anyone seen a cock this morning?”
All the women stood up! … “No, no” said the priest, has anyone seen a cock that doesn’t belong to them?”
Half of the women stood up! … “No, no, no!” exclaimed the priest … “What I meant was, has anyone seen my cock this morning?”
The alter boys and organist all stood up and the priest fainted!

All the best

S.T.E.V.E (more…)


Daniel “closes the jaws of the lions” – or rather beats the fiercely competitive/high scoring other members – and triumphs at the skittles!

Sunshine once again bathed Weston beach … and as the sun went down the group assembled for skittles for what was to be an impressive performance by all concerned – well apart from me!

Some of us arrived from a hot day at work but others such as Kimby and Julie arrived notably refreshed after their “Wednesday swim” … it was great that Spud was able to join them at the pool sporting his Hi Viz mankini! John arrived in a colourful summer outfit – clearly having just stepped off the plane from Miami!

Soon after arrival Stevie Z took control of the food orders and Spud collected the payments (I am sure he charges commission!)

Fish and chips was the favourite this time although I can fully recommend Kimby’s and my own favourite … curry!

Slight confusion … was it a darts evening or skittles – Spud was unsure? Of course it was skittles although it got me thinking. Perhaps we could combine the two? With one member throwing a dart over the head of the other member, as he or she crouches to roll the ball down the skittle alley!? Scoring would be tricky though … and I suppose there are some health and safety issues to consider!

The game commenced and immediately Steve and Michelle Z resumed their rivalry for pub game supremacy! Michelle scored strongly to reach 40 from her 8 “goes” which included two scores of 10! However, Steve Z had a swagger about him and returned a total of 54 which included a 9! So the “Zoller Pub Game Cup” was retained by Steve …. but I am sure Michelle will be back next time!Some super scores were achieved. Julie, James, Matt and Kimby all scored over 30 with Joy an impressive 37. Then Michelle at forty but all a distance behind Andrew who secured third position by shooting a fantastic 47! The finish was so exciting. With just two “rounds” to go Steve Z was out in front with 41 with Daniel chasing hard with 38. The pressure was on – a “fiery furnace” of an atmosphere – as Daniel hits an astonishing 9 in each of his last two rounds! … giving him a total of 56 leaving Steve in second place with 54!

Throughout there were some big one off scores. Bearing in mind I had not witnessed a 9 in previous skittles evening, there were no fewer than 7 scores of 9 or more! Joy and Steve Z with a 9 each and as said Daniel with 9 twice; Michelle with those two big scores of 10 and finally James with a stonking score of 14 in just one round … it was surely a record breaking evening!! …. I personally didn’t do so well coming last with 32 and nearly hitting the putter upper!

Other memorable events included Matt’s method of bowling.  Matt was unable to find “The Dam Busters March” (written by Eric Coates, the theme from the famous film) on the Jukebox … but his style of bowling certainly reminded me of the famous “bouncing bomb”. Seemingly to be celebrating the 75th anniversary of this most memorable of air raids (May 18th, 1943), he tossed the ball nearly head height repeatedly narrowly missing the strip light (and the putter upper!) on a number of occasions – but he scored well! Come back Steve Wall – all is forgiven!

On a more serious but exciting note. Aileen gathered the group together to give the news of her visit to the Mayor to receive a cheque for the money raised for Energeyes – absolutely terrific news and this will mean so much for the group. The visit to the Mayor along with the Sunday service were such wonderful events and Aileen, you and the group are so right to be so proud! Indeed Aileen, may I say on behalf of the group … you know we all think you are fantastic and we are thankful “beyond words” for what you do for the group.

Aileen also told of a wonderful charity event in memory of Marie on May12th – which would have been her 65th birthday. The event was held in her local, the Red Admiral, where she used to help out all of the time … raising a tremendous sum for charity.

In summary … all agreed it was another memorable and enjoyable evening!!

Steve’s “jottings” …

“Daniel and the lion’s den” along with the “fiery furnace” are biblical references to chapter 6 and 3 from the book of Daniel. The prophet Daniel is regarded as one of the most admired/highly regarded prophet in Hebrew Scriptures – “by the rivers of Babylon” and all that! He was a kind of superstar of the day who with others at the time loved to sing. Along with other prophets and colleagues of the time including Ezra, Meshak, Shadrach and Ezekiel … Daniel regularly held singing competitions with the people (the public if you like) voting. It is thought this story inspired (the of course hugely religious) Simon Cowell to create “X Factor”!

Did you know …  a “strike” is when all nine pins are knocked down with one ball – it is also known as a “flopper” (nothing to do with Spud’s mankini). When all nine pins are knocked with two balls, this is called a “spare” and the third ball can then be thrown at a “fresh” nine pins.

Dam Busters …. 75 years on “Operation Chastise” remains as the best known air raids during world war two. Circular shaped bombs weighing no less than  4200kg were dropped at an angle to bounce a few times on water and then sink into position and destroy dams in Germany.

Just think of it, each bomb weighing the equivalent of 4,200 one kilo bags of sugar. Now a bag of sugar contains 3,870 calories and so the calories contained in a bomb if it were made of bags of sugar would total 16,254,000. This is equivalent to the calorific intake of a grown man for 22.3 year!! Pretty boring diet though and the chap would himself end up looking like a bouncing bomb!

Joke … I’ve been dating a homeless woman recently, and I think that its starting to get serious … she’s asked me to move out with her!

And in the week of the Royal wedding some thoughts on keeping marriage special …

Wife: “Our new neighbour always kisses his wife when he leaves for work. Why can’t you do that?”. Husband: “How can I, I don’t even know her!”

Wife: “My son wanted to know what it is liked to be married. I told him to leave me alone and when he did I asked him why he was ignoring me!”

…and an aghhhh moment! … “The perfect marriage is when each of you secretly believe that you have the better deal”




Super performance by our own “Calamity” Jayne!!

Another great turnout at the “Deadwood Arms”(!) or rather “The Regency” … around 20 of us assembled for a hearty meal and a fiercely contested session with the arrows!Despite another change in lineup in the kitchen (chef leaving) the Regency food was as good as ever (I can recommend the ham and eggs) but we quickly moved onto the main event …New to the group, Mike was soon in action and registered 95 with his first three darts … so he will not be invited back! No seriously, Mike’s a super chap and we look forward to welcoming him to future events.

Following Michelle’s win last time – or rather her beating Steve Z(!) – clearly Steve had been practicing … establishing an early lead and winning a close contest … 241 plays 229! Rather suspiciously Michelle scored just 10 with her last three darts – Spud reckons she “threw it” for an easy life at home! Great to see Steve Wall back to the group … on good form with plenty of mickey-taking! And in terms of darts “Demolition Man” Steve lived up to his reputation … strong throws for sure but the wall did take a bit of a pounding! But at least the TV screen remained intact this time!

Then … Jayne “came to the Hockey” or rather the ”oche” … and WOWZA what a score …. 319 topping the leaderboard and including three scores of over 60!Many good scores were achieved: Mike 283, Daniel 277, Derek 254 pushing our winner to the end … I thought I did well with 126!Everyone did well, high scores, minimal damage(!), and a great laugh as always!

FYI … Calamity Jane (for those too young to know) was a film based on a sharp-shooting woman in the Wild West (Deadwood, South Dakota) starring Doris Day and Howard Keel. The film was released in 1953 … 6 years before I was born! … Spud would have been just 15?!

Did you know … the saying “taking the mickey” comes from the rhyming slang saying “taking the mickey bliss”!

Gardening tip … although gardening books describe how some shrubs prefer acidic soil … it is not a good idea to empty the contents of your car battery into the soil. One, it will kill the shrub and two, your car will not work!

Joke … A self-made millionaire celebrating with his wife of many years asks her “In your wildest dreams did you ever think we would have all of this?” …. to which she replied “darling in MY wildest dreams YOU don’t figure”!!

All the best



Thank you for the music!! 

Another great EnergEyes night out with around 20 of us at the Playhouse eagerly awaiting to be entertained….and it certainly didn’t take long for the fun to start with John arriving in a full glitzy 80’s style outfit – take a look at the photos!!

A pretty much packed theatre immediately responded to the incredible music and voices of “Arrival – ABBA tribute act”. There were many costume changes throughout with the ABBA “girls” starting the show with the classic tiger and cat motifs on their white tunics … the guys with their (perhaps a bit dodgy) wigs adding to the spectacle!!

Kicking off with “Waterloo” followed by … The Winner Takes It All … I Have A Dream ….SOS ….the first half of the show was packed with memorable hits. All of us seemed to know every song – John knew every word!!

But it was after the interval when the show moved into overdrive with songs

like … Voulez Vous (what does that mean anyway?!) … Summer Night City … Chiquitita (or as Spud thought “Chicken Tikka”?!) …hit after hit getting the audience on their feet and dancing in the aisles.

The band and our gang were now energized(!) and the base guitarist went a bit loopy with the excitement of it all!!

There were many memorable moments including….

Dancing Queen! Sue C was on her feet for pretty much the whole of the second half making a new friend and dancing partner with a very lively (but perhaps a little intoxicated?!) lady from Taunton!!

Fernando! Mobiles were twinkling as the band serenaded the audience to this ABBA classic. However, John stole the show (and indeed the band saw clearly!) his brightly illuminated shoe held over his head and swaying to the music!!

Does Your Mother know! A chance for all to “dance” to the music from their chairs with fingers aloft!!


Honey Honey! Throughout the concert Philip’s monocular seemed to be malfunctioning …. or was the combination of a front row seat and the short skirts on stage the explanation!!


Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! A Man After Midnight! My own moment of embarrassment as I found myself singing along over-energetically and swinging my hips a little too much!!


So a great night, super seats and as always fab organisation by the Boss (Aileen)!!


All the best




PS Voulez- Vous … is nothing to do with a small hollow case of puff pastry filled with an appetising meat or fish mixture … but actually means “Do You Want” … I am none the wiser!!


PPS Chiquitita is indeed Mexican for “Chicken Tikka” … you learn something every day!!!

PS photos are available as yet.


Archery, The Downs School, Wraxall, Somerset Sunday 16th August 2015.

I am trying to set up a regular Archery event for EnergEyes and a few of the members and myself visited The Down’s School, Wraxall, for a trial session on Sunday afternoon 16th August 2015. Brilliant coaching from Paul and Francesca and finger’s crossed we are able to find a suitable venue in Weston.



Aileen, Andrew, Andy, Ernest, Jayne, Jean, John, Margret, Matthew, Phillip, Sarah & Spud were the members and volunteers who visited the SS Great Britain.

We all got here by cars, from Weston, Spud took Ernest, Jane and Phillip. Derrick took Aileen, Andrew and Matthew. From Clevedon, Margaret, brought Jean and Sarah. John brought Andy.

We all meet up in the car park at the SS Great Britain, where I took a group photo. (See Photo)

From the car park we went to a coffee shop  before going on our tour of the SS Great Britain.

We got our tickets from the reception and Andrew, Andy, Ernest, Jane, Jean, Matthew, Phillip had to sign a card for the tickets. They last for a year and allows you to visit as many times as you like.

We made our way down below using the stairs or lift, where we walk around the bottom of the ship, where we saw the propeller and rudder was and at the from of the ship was the anchor.

We then made our way back up stairs to have a look around the museum. We saw a black & white film showing the SS Great Britain sailing up and down in rough seas. On another screen it showed footage of how the slowly brought the SS Great Britain up the river Severn, to hits resting place.
As we passed through the museum, Ernest, Phillip and Jean had a go at steering the ships wheel whilst Aileen was giving instructions on which way to turn the wheel whilst looking at the compass. We then passed an area showing the original wooden rudder.

We then went into a room where you can dress back in period. Andrew, Aileen and Jean dressed up. (See Photo)

After lunch we all made our way to board the ship. On the outside deck we walk around and got our audio descriptions aids, whilst walking around. Below deck we went in the first class section of the ship. Where we saw a cabin with bunk beds, the doctors surgery, were the doctor was treating a sailor with a cut hand. Aileen then took a photo of Andy and Matthew sat next Isambard Kingdom Brunel. As we were was a door in one of the passage ways a door slightly opened, and a mans voice said sorry this water closet is occupied. Jayne liked this as she kept pushing the door and the man behind the door was getting very annoyed. Well I can imagine what Kym would have said if she had come. “Don’t worry dear. I have seen it all before.” (See Photo)

Are next stop was the next deck below where we saw the kitchen, see how the cooked and what sort of food they made on board the ship. Passing through the passage ways we also seen a butcher cut up meats and cutting and filleting fish including what looked like a whale. From here we made our way to the first class dinning area. A long room with tables going up each side of the room. It looked very grand with the decor.

We then finished by going back to the cafe for a drink before Spud took Aileen, Matthew and Phillip to the bus stop to catch the bus back and Spud took Andrew, Ernest, Jayne and Jean back to Weston. John took Andy back to Portishead


We started our first pottery class on Friday 14th November 2014.
2 pm until 3pm at Sanford, Somerset

Well who went to the first lesson?

Ann, Ernest, Jean, Kym, Matthew & Su.

Elaine Bruce was our instructor for the pottery lesson. A very well presented lesson and we were provided with an apron to protect our clothing.

Elaine then placed a piece of clay on each person’s board. She then said to us all to hold the clay and squeeze it and just feel it. Ernest was certainly getting carried away as he was rolling his clay into a very long sausage. When I turned to Kym she had shaped her piece into some form of sex toy! Ann and I didn’t know where to look and just started to laugh.

For our first lesson Elaine suggested making Christmas tree decorations, which we all thought was a fantastic idea.

We were provided with 2 sticks which we placed on the either side of the board. This was to help us roll the clay to the correct thickness. We were all given a rolling pin and started rolling out the clay. We then shared the different cutters which we used to cut out our different shapes. We had a Star, Snow Flake, Christmas Tree, candy Stick, Snowman, Gingerbread Man and a Reindeer. We did find that the clay got stuck in the cutters, making it hard to get the shapes out. Elaine showed us that by putting cling film over the rolled out clay and placing the cutters on top made the cut out stay on the board, which made it easier. After the shapes were cut out we used a straw to cut a small hole so that ribbon or string could go through the hole to hang the decorations on a Christmas tree.

At the end of the lesson Elaine explained what happens to our masterpieces that we made. It will take about a week for the clay to dry out. Elaine gave each of us a piece of dried out clay to feel and at this stage the clay is brittle and breaks very easily. This is why they go into a kiln which in turn will harden the clay.

Our next lesson is on Friday 12th December 2014, and we will be decorating the cut out shapes.

The 2014 Somerset and Bristol Poppy Appeal Launch – Friday 24th October 2014

Who went on this trip?

Aileen, Spud, Russ, Eileen, Phyllis, Philomena, Kym, Matthew, Ernest, Ann, Jean, Graham, Harry, Phillip, Andrew, Paul, Julie, Margaret & Nigel.

We met up outside Weston-super-Mare railway station at 9am. (Well done to everyone who got there early).  As everyone had arrived we were advised by a member of the station staff to catch the 9:01 train to Taunton instead of the 9:29 as this saved us having to go over the bridge to platform 1. (see photo)

Once we arrived at Taunton railway station we then needed to make our way outside to catch a bus to Bishops Lydeard.  Aileen was told that the bus does not stop at Bishops Lydeard Station on Fridays. However, on this occasion, they kindly stopped outside the station, but we were told to catch the bus back up on road. We boarded the bus and it took about 20 minutes to get to Bishops Lydeard Station.

What an amazing site to see; the Norton Manor Steam Engine in all its glory.  We were met by one of the organisers who showed us where we were going to be seated. Whilst some of the people boarded the train Aileen, Matthew, Spud & Russ went down to the front of the train o take pictures of the engine which had an enormous poppy fastened on the front of the fire box. (see photo)

As we were walking up the platform to board the train, the guard requested that out members had to take off their EnergEyes high visibility jackets; Aileen soon sorted out the guard who then backed down and allowed everyone to keep them on.  We then boarded the train for its journey to Minehead, departing at 11am. (see photo)

Arriving at Minehead Station we walked down to the end of the platform and a band was playing music on the adjacent platform.  We were escorted on to a coach which took us on a very short journey to Minehead & West Somerset Golf Club. We made our way into the golf club, past the bar and out into a marquee.

Once seated, we were given sandwiches and crisps for lunch, during which time speeches were given by people from the Royal British Legion.

We were then highly entertained with some magic tricks, with a bit of comedy thrown in. The magician got the audience involved, Russ being the first one chosen. He had to pick a card out of the pack and show it to everyone and put it back in the pack and shuffle them but he managed to drop the cards all over the floor.  The magician then brought a wooden duck out to help him with the trick. He placed the cards in a slot in front of the duck and asked Russ to empty his mind, a very easy task for Russ, and then concentrate. Russ was asked to stroke the duck’s beak. As Russ did this the duck, with its beak, snapped and Russ jumped and moved his hand away quickly.  The duck them selected a card from the slot and the card was blank.  The magician told Russ not to think blank thoughts!  The duck then picked another card out, which had a picture on it, and Russ said it was not his card. The next time the duck selected a card, the ace of spades, it was the card the Russ had picked.

The next trick involved Paul, There were two ladies from the audience stood with the magician and Paul had to catch an imaginary playing card and then throw the card to one of the girls.

In between the magic tricks three ladies sang lovely songs going back to 1900s to the 1940s; they sang brilliantly!

During the interval we had a raffle. Five people won on our table – Spud, Matthew, Aileen, Russ and Paul.  We all won a poppy that was made out of balloons, and placed in a pot. (see photo)

The singers came back and during the last song everyone stood up and held hands as we all joined in singing “We’ll meet again”.

Sadly it was time to catch the coach back to the station, the train back to Bishops Lydeard and then a bus and train back to Weston-super-Mare, arriving approximately 6.38 pm.

Posted by Matthew Stevens