Seals Of Approval

I am not sure if anybody else feels like this but for me this year still seems like it is very much on hold. My plan is to make the best of everything I can do and not worry about the things that I cannot do. We need to be sensible, stick together and look after each other like never before in our lifetimes.

We all deserve the same common courtesy and protection during these unusual times. The world has been through tough times in the past as has Great Britain itself and we will come through this one to. If at the end of it you can hold your head up high and know you have done what was requested and suggested of you to the best of your ability. That is all we can ask of each other.

The other important thing as far as I am concerned is to have a laugh at every opportunity. Life is short, it goes quickly but there is always time for humour and a bit of fun in my world, whatever the situation. In fact I seem to spend a lot of my time laughing at myself for all the stupid things I do during the day. Some weeks being in a house with me is like living with Frank Spencer. For the record they are just tiny silly things that I do nothing dangerous I have certainly never roller skated while I was attached to a bus!

Neil Quigley Stand Up Comedy
Neil Quigley Stand Up Comedy

As I have mentioned before I am spending a lot more time at home in light of the current situation. That has led to me watching more films than I would normally do. People are always amazed by not only the lack of movies I have seen but how many classic must see ones I have never seen. I find generally I really have to want to see a film before I am prepared to commit my time to it. Obviously I have more time at the moment so it is much easier for people to get me to sit still and see them as I have fewer excuses available to me to avoid them.

Until recently I had only ever watched one single Quentin Tarantino film. That was Kill Bill. My girlfriend could not believe this and she I think felt I was missing out. Therefore I agreed to watch one of them with her. We decided on Pulp Fiction. I was aware of it, although I do admit that I did not know Bruce Willis was in it. We sat down to see it at her place a few weeks ago.

Once we had firstly made ourselves some home-made Pizza’s. I say we, she made the base and produced a huge selection of toppings and I used these to create my own like a seven year old doing their first ever cooking lesson. I must say they tasted brilliant and were the perfect pre-film meal. You can put as much cheese on as you like when you make them yourself. I do remember visiting a Pizza place before going to the cinema as a kid on a few occasions at least!

Home Made Pizza

Before it started she did explain that the plot line did move about a bit and promised me that it was not too gory as I am not good with that kind of thing. I enjoyed it. The time seemed to go quickly which is always a good sign. It was very easy to watch and follow despite the order that you see the story develop. I had been using the phrase “Zed’s Dead Baby” every time I heard a motorbike go by for the last twenty years and now I know the scene that it was actually from and the film.

The other thing that really surprised me was when Winston Wolfe appeared. I think I may have said out loud it is the bloke from that advert. I have seen several of those adverts for that Insurance firm and I had no idea that the character was from Pulp Fiction. I will be honest now I know this piece of information those adverts suddenly make much more sense.

Neil Quigley in Car
Neil Quigley

Over the last three years I have started to do quite a bit of travelling and have visited lots of new countries and places. I decided that I was due a holiday but owing to the current implications of a trip to another country, excluding the fact that these can all change within a very short space of time anyway. I thought that this time I would stay within England.

My girlfriend and I decided we were going to book an Airbnb for a short break somewhere in the United Kingdom. We wanted to go to a place where they had nice beaches that would not be too busy. We did a bit of research on this subject and decided that Norfolk would be a good option. Then we just had to decide on the accommodation. Neither of us had used the holiday rental company before so it took us a while to narrow down the area and shortlist suitable properties.

We decided we wanted to be near to the beach and to the sea. Then we managed to get the choice down to either a Medieval Tower or a nice little cottage on a cliff. In the end we chose the one that had a garden. Therefore the other week we went on a four night break to a little fisherman’s cottage in Scratby, Norfolk. We drove up in her car and arrived to a sunny welcome at our pre-arranged check in time. We got the key to our blue palace for the next few days and moved our things in.

Our Cottage

We got a text from our hosts saying that one of them would drop by later that evening to check that everything was alright. It was only a two minute walk to the beach. As soon as we had settled in we then headed off to get some sand between our toes. We walked along the beach to California, which is what the next hamlet along was called. I can confirm there was no Hollywood sign there though. After having a look at our new surroundings we walked the road way back to the cottage.

It had a lovely big secluded back garden with one of those big couple swing chairs at one end. We had a sit in that while toasting the start of our vacation with some Champagne, which was very relaxing in the evening sunshine, I can confirm. My girlfriend made us dinner and we may have also opened a bottle of wine, well we were on our holidays. The host did drop by and stayed in the front garden while we chatted to him. He gave us food suggestions and ideas of things we could do while we were there.

Champagne in the garden

When I was a boy we used to visit a Holiday Park in Hemsby every year for about five years. I always remember having a great time there. As it turned out it was only a few miles down the coast from where we were. Therefore on our first day we had a walk down the beach to Hemsby.

We had an ice-cream and a quick look around the place. I had not been back there for probably about thirty two years. It had not really changed at all, everything looked very familiar it did bring back a lot of memories. We also had a quick game of crazy golf. Obviously it is the taking part not the winning that is the important thing, but for the record I won!

Crazy Golf

Then we walked a bit of the Norfolk Coastal Path up to Winterton on Sea. There we had a sandwich at the beach cafe. We do really know how to live when we are away. After a brief rest we walked back along the beach to Scratby. One of the best things about a seaside holiday in the United Kingdom is surely the Fish and Chips you can get on the coast. I was really looking forward to this treat. Now I had not had this meal for a while so I had possibly set my expectation levels too high, but we were both disappointed with the standard of fish and chips that we were given from the local chippy.

The next day we decided we would walk in the other direction along the beach and ended up in Caister on Sea. There was not a lot going on right near the beach, however we did find a quiet pub with a nice big beer garden. There were hardly any people in there so we found a table outside. I ended up having my first pub pulled pint of ale since lockdown began. I am not saying I really enjoyed it but it went down very quickly. We just had the one drink which might mean that my resistance to temptation has improved, but I somehow doubt that.


We walked back to the cottage again along the beach. We did plenty of walking and got lots of fresh sea air while there. That evening we ordered a Chinese from a place in Hemsby that was recommended to us and did deliveries. I phoned through our order. It was early evening so we had our curtains open, about twenty minutes after I had made the call a man on a scooter pulls onto next door’s driveway and gets out some food from his bike, while holding the menu from where we had ordered.

At first we thought maybe the delivery driver had got the wrong house, I even stuck my head out of the door to possibly get his attention. We thought they had our food, even though at that point we had not paid for it. Anyway he did not reappear from the house and later our meal arrived. It was fantastic. But I loved the comedy timing of the neighbour bringing home his food from the same take away. What are the chances of that?

On our final full day at our Norfolk coastal retreat we decided to take a drive out to Great Yarmouth. When I stayed in Hemsby as a child we always made two visits there one in the day for a look round and one at night to see a show. Lynda had also been there as a child, so it was nice reminiscing together about the place, while we walked down the promenade. We both remembered going to the model village. And also both think we have pictures of it somewhere.

We went for a quick stroll on the Britannia Pier. It has a theatre where I have seen Freddie Starr and The Grumbleweeds among others. There was also another theatre where we once had front row tickets for a Michael Barrymore show and my sister got to shake his hand at the end. Going to a performance was always a big part of my childhood holidays. We did of course go to the circus at The Hippodrome one year to.

Neil Quigley

After stopping for a milkshake by the beach and then getting a few gifts for people I decided I needed one more holiday treat from my past. I got some Candy Floss from one of the street stalls.

I had not had it for years, I do have a really sweet tooth but I must confess it tasted a lot sweeter than I remembered it had been a very long time since I had any of the stuff. I did not manage to finish the whole bag which would have been unheard of as a seven year old.

Candy Floss

We headed “home” to spend some final time in the garden back at the cottage before setting out to do the last thing we had decided that we wanted to do while in the area. While researching our holiday we had discovered that a Seal colony had made one of the local beaches its home and that they could often been seen in the water and on land there. They are located at Horsey Gap Beach. We took a drive out there at around five o’clock in the afternoon. There is a car park there with about a five minute walk down to the beach itself.

Within ten minutes of being on the beach we had spotted a few seals bobbing about in the sea. We kept walking down the beach stopping for a bit, doing some spotting in the water and then moving on again. We had heard that hundreds of the animals can be found on the sand but at this point we had only seen a few swimming.

We decided to walk a bit further along the beach and all of a sudden saw a huge group of the creatures all lying together on the sand. There were small ones, massive ones, old ones and young ones. It truly was a wonderful sight. I am pleased we had decided to go and see if we could spot them. And that we were successful.

On the way back from the Seals we ordered an Indian Take Away from a place that again had been recommended to us. The food was ace and we had a nice last evening at the cottage enjoying that and watching “The Life of Brian” which is a brilliant film, so funny. The next morning we had to be up and out of the accommodation by ten o’clock. We got up early, packed our stuff and tidied up. It was my first experience of Airbnb. The hosts were great and helpful, the place itself was nice, it had everything it was said to and it was a simple and enjoyable experience.

Just before we jumped into the car to head home we had breakfast at the local tea rooms. It was as civilised as it sounds except that I had an American Breakfast with pancakes, syrup, scrabbled egg and the best bacon I have tasted in ages. It was a lovely end to a great English seaside break. I do like travelling abroad and seeing new and exciting things but there is still plenty to enjoy and discover on this little island of ours.


I have now watched all nine episodes of the Tottenham Hotspur Amazon documentary “All or Nothing”. It was interesting to see behind the scenes of my club and get more of an idea about the player’s personalities and the back room staff set up. I have now slightly changed my opinion of Jose Mourinho in view of his work ethic and how he deals with and manages situations.

It does highlight the many different factors that can influence not only the results on the pitch but team spirit and cohesion as well as the different relationships that form within a football club. Would I have watched it if it featured another club, probably not to be fair but it was a nice snapshot of a season with my team that I followed from the outside and have now seen how it was developing from the inside!

Neil Quigley

Spurs almost predictably had a poor first game of the new season. We lost at home to Everton. I think they will have a good year but I felt we really underperformed in that game. Since that set back we have progressed in the Europa League and won our first away Premier League match by an impressive margin. That victory included goals and assists from our two main strikers, which hopefully bodes well for the future.

The season will as ever have many twists and turns with plenty of celebrations and disappointments. One thing is for sure there is never a dull moment supporting Spurs. It is also great to have Gareth Bale back with us on loan. He went from a young player who seemed to be a bad omen who lost every game he played to our star player. We sold him for a then world record fee. I cannot wait to see him back in action in a Spurs shirt but it does look like we will have to wait until after next month’s International matches at least for that.

Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham Hotspur

You can listen to me still on Saturday afternoon between 2pm – 4pm on Radio Ninesprings

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

Have fun and we will catch up again soon. Stay safe! Cheers Neil.

Spurred On

Last Sunday 30th August 2020 saw the last ever show broadcast on the Aylesbury radio station Mix 96. It was hosted by Nathan Cooper who had been there for twenty three years. It is the place where I did work experience when I was at college in the year that it was launched 1994. It is also the station where my professional radio career began. Therefore as you can imagine it was an institution I had very fond memories of.

Neil Quigley

I listened to the final show. I was lucky enough to get a mention on it from Nathan. After all these years I must confess I still love hearing my name on the radio. He did an amazing job presenting that show. The place holds so many professional and personal memories for him. It has been his life for over two decades. His final link was just perfect, delivered and executed masterfully. Plus he did manage to make me cry right at the end.

Mix 96

The radio landscape across the United Kingdom has been changing for at least the last twenty years with “local” regions becoming a lot larger and with more networked shows across lots of radio stations. Mix 96 was one of the last originally independent radio stations to finally dissolve into this new system. Which is a mark of its success, financially and audience wise. A tribute to all who ever set foot in the place and worked hard there and to the Aylesbury Vale as a whole, who got involved, helped and supported the station right from its launch.

Mix 96

Last year to celebrate Mix 96’s Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Richard Carr from Bucks TV made a documentary about the station. I do make a few appearances in it and it is well worth a watch. It will give you a brief history of the station but also supply some great behind the scenes stories and insight into how it came to be in the first place and what it was almost actually called. I have a copy of it that I might just have to watch again now. It was such a fun and exciting place to have worked. Great days!

Neil Quigley

It has been replaced by Greatest Hits Radio. It does feature a few familiar voices including Pat Sharp who did a weekend show for a bit during my second spell at Mix 96. It also has Martin Starke doing the Drive Time Show. He was on my team when we won a Pop Master Quiz live event hosted by Ken Bruce last year, so I can vouch for his music knowledge. It does seem lots of things in life change and move on. Mix 96 was an exceptional local radio station but now on 96.2fm we have Greatest Hits Radio.

Neil Quigley

I am still only prepared at the moment to go to outside events. This does of course limit my options but I do not feel comfortable as yet inside pubs or restaurants. I recently went to a Comedy Store live event at Hatfield House. As I continue my tour of big estate houses that are allowing their grounds to be used for public gatherings.

I have been to the actual Comedy Store in London many times. If you have not had the pleasure of going there it is a small enclosed space holding a few hundred people. It is totally perfect for a fun night out under normal circumstances but currently closed as any chance of social distancing in there is non-existent.

Neil Quigley

Therefore this gig was very much outside on a stage that was quite a long way from the audience. When we arrived and parked up it was raining so we waited in the car for a bit and thankfully it stopped. It did not start until eight-thirty. We made our way to find a tiny white circle to claim as ours. There were lots of them painted two metres away from each other. We had taken with us some camping chairs so we set them up and settled down for the show.

Before it started a man asked me how many people each circle could hold and seemed surprised when I said it depends how many people are in your group. I honestly think he was planning on asking to sit in with us. I can only presume he has not read a paper recently or does not own a television or a radio. Mate if we did not have to all social distance I would not be sat outside in the dark in a field on a chilly night in late August. It was a lot colder than I was expecting and I definitely under dressed for the occasion.

Ian Stone

The host for the night was Ian Stone. I saw him over twenty years ago at The Comedy Store on a night where a work colleague of mine at the time spent his entire set heckling him. It was nice to see him again and hear his stuff uninterrupted. The first act was Tom Ward who I had seen before at the Old Rope Comedy Club in London. He was great. There was then an interval which gave me a chance to get a cup of tea from the one drink outlet they had onsite, which was an old red bus.

Jen Brister

The next comic to perform was the wonderful Jen Brister. I have seen her a few times before including at the sadly short lived comedy night at a pub in Aylesbury. She is very funny, I like her a lot. The headline act was Phil Nichol who I had not seen before. He was brilliant. A bit wild and wacky and I think it is fair to say he brings a lot of energy to the stage. He does some comedy songs as part of his act and he certainly seemed to be enjoying himself.

Phil Nichol

Overall it was a good night. The comedians were all great despite admitting themselves that they were a bit out of practice, which of course is totally understandable. Personally I did not feel that the social distancing was as controlled and as good as other events I have been to. But a large part of that of course is reliant on the other people there with you and how they behave. I think that may be my last outside event until at least Fireworks night. As it was not as easy to laugh at the jokes as it could have been, while shivering slightly.

Comedy Store Hatfield House

One of my horses “Proclaimer” ran the other week at Yarmouth. The trainer Julie Camacho had been trying to get him a race for a while. But we were not having much luck. The last race he was due to take part in the race meeting was abandoned just before it was about to start. Anyway he did manage to get a run in at last in Norfolk.

He went off favourite and finished in second place in a seven furlong race. That was a great result for the team and I was happy with that. He ran very well under the excellent jockey Tom Marquand. He does seem to be improving with every run at the minute, so I have plenty to be optimistic and excited about. I look forward to seeing him out on a racecourse again soon. Hopefully in the next ten days.


A very obvious side product of staying at home more is that I seem to be watching more films. Normally if I manage more than two in one year that is exceptional but I am flying through them this year. Last weekend I watched Bad Boys for Life. Amazingly I had already seen the first two Bad Boys films before. I have like most people of my generation grown up with Will Smith. I probably should add that I did enjoy the first two movies. The first one was my favourite as I think it was slightly funnier.

The latest one is good and a fun easy watch. That is meant as a compliment. Although due to the ages of the two stars now it is in danger of being a bit Lethal Weapon at times. There is plenty of action in it and it was a bit gorier than the previous ones from my memory anyway. I did like it although that may have been because it did seem to borrow a key plot line from my favourite film franchise. Spoiler alert! There is a bit of a hint of Star Wars about it. Up to the point of where the set piece finale scene looks weirdly familiar. It was a good though.

Star Wars Exhibition
Star Wars

I was not totally sure if I was looking forward to this or not as we had not had the greatest season. And I was a big Mauricio Pochettino fan so I was disappointed when he was sacked. However I have watched the first three episodes of the new Tottenham Hotspur Amazon “All or Nothing” documentary. I think I decided as a Spurs fan and season ticket holder that it was my duty to see it. I never got round to seeing the Manchester City one even though I had heard that it was really good, so I did not really know what to expect.

Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham Hotspur

In the end you see very little of us under Pochettino and he is gone by the end of the first episode. They have got some great shots of the stadium and our training complex. It is quite interesting seeing what goes on behind the closed doors of a Premier League club. Although I feel it is not exactly secret camera stuff. You do feel everyone is at least aware of the cameras being around. It was very nice to see my former radio colleague Amy Lewis feature at Jose Mourinho’s first press conference asking a question. Mind you, it is only the back of her head you see but you can hear her voice. She currently works for ITV sport.

Tottenham Hotspur

One thing that was good to see and that impressed me was Harry Kane in the team meeting saying to the whole squad exactly what we were all saying about the performances in the stands at that time. In fact he almost said word for word the views that I had been expressing. It is interesting to see how Jose deals with and talks to his players. He is actually a lot calmer in the dressing room than I may be thought he would be. The only annoying thing is I get to relive the moments when we totally blew the chance of a top four finish.

I am looking forward to the next six episodes which will be released over the next two weeks. Possibly due to the fact I know quite a bit about the club I have not seen or learnt anything ground-breaking as yet. But in the first three episodes we only saw small snippets of each situation. It is referenced in the introduction but I do also feel that losing the Champions League Final against Liverpool really did affect us mentally during the last campaign. I hope I continue to be entertained by the behind the scenes workings of my club.

Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham Hotspur

As you can probably imagine from the way I am dealing with the current ongoing situation there is no way I am going on holiday abroad at the moment. But I am heading off for a short break near the seaside in just over a week’s time. I have rented a cottage on a cliff overlooking the sea in Norfolk. I am looking forward to getting away for a bit. It is always good to have a change of scenery now and again. I will tell you all about it next time we speak.

Neil Quigley

You can listen to me still on Saturday afternoon between 2pm – 4pm on Radio Ninesprings

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

Have fun and we will catch up again soon. Stay safe! Cheers Neil.