Clown of the week award goes to the numpty who tied up his dog outside the shop at the bottom of Dodworth Road on Saturday evening so he could go in the shop. The dog was big and energetic, the sign was one of those portable A board types that a toddler could pick up with one hand. The dog ran across the road dragging the sign and almost got himself run over. Poor thing, it was terrified. I mean… I have no words – or maybe…’there’s a bloke who could audition for the scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz’.

There was a jolly little video on Facebook recently of the Wilko team doing a farewell conga through the Alhambra centre. Despite the smiles, they must have been gutted. What an end of an era. I used to love a poke around in there. But now it has fallen, like so many big shops have fallen and our High Streets have taken another knock. I remember when WH Smiths closed up – I actually cried. Wallis, Debenhams, House of Fraser – in Leeds the building where that stood has been demolished – all gone, like old friends passed. I wish all the staff luck, but I know so many of them will find it hard to get new jobs. What is to become of the High Streets in towns? You’ll be okay though if you want to work as a volunteer in a charity shop.

My old dad would have been ninety this week. And though it’s been four years since his passing, it was a gulp moment for me. And just as sad for me was the date coming and going without my mum even recognising it.

Just a little observational point, if you’re old and responsible enough to take a dog out on a walk, you’re old and responsible to pick up after it. Negotiating old, cold mighty dollops when you’re out walking is not a favourite pastime. And whilst we are on the subject of civic responsibility, out walking I saw that the Dodworth Road bus stop had yet again been vandalised; the cover housing the bus times ripped off. I wonder if these vandals will be old one day and standing at a bus stop unable to see what time the next one is due because someone has smashed it to smithereens and they’re seething about it. And will they think back and remember what they once used to do.

Shout out of a book signing at the Book Vault on Market Street. Author Chrissie Yates will be selling and putting her autograph on her debut novel ‘When Evil Walks Amongst Us’ which is a gripping read. Tomorrow - Saturday 14th October 10am – 12. Do give her your support. And if you can’t make it on the day, you can always ring the bookshop to reserve a copy. I am so delighted that this bookshop, set up just before Covid, has survived. It’s a proper valuable addition to the Barnsley family of shops and is so very fondly thought of. Do watch out for news of its anniversary celebrations coming up in December!

Seeing ‘Will and Ken, the Removal Men’ advertised in the Chron made me dig out a notebook where I’ve saved lots of real funny names for businesses, as I use quite a lot in my book. Top of my list are: ‘Doggie Styles’ pet grooming, ‘The Chipsy King’ chipshop in Amsterdam, ‘Bread Pitt’ bakery, ‘Thai-Tanic’ Takeaway, and ‘Abra-kebabra’, ‘Hairy Pop-Ins’ Barber shop and, last but not least, ‘Hand Job’ nail parlour. The truth is funnier than fiction could ever be!