My Dear Chums,

Here’s another little story of big business and the way it operates from the shadows.  Upon a recent visit to a large supermarket with the Sainted Mother-in-Law, she dropped a jar of honey which she had secreted in her coat (only kidding).  It conveniently failed to bounce.  She then looked for an assistant and explained what had happened.  She was advised that no instore cleaner would be available for many hours (this being late morning) because the increase in the minimum wage had been introduced that day and the cleaners had seen their hours cut proportionately to save the store money.  Alas, a true story and an outrageous one my friends.

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So this 80 year-old woman was arrested for shoplifting in a supermarket (no relation). When she went before the judge he asked her, ‘What did you steal?’ She replied, ‘A tin of peaches.’ The judge then asked her why she had stolen them and she replied that she was hungry. The judge asked her how many peaches were in the tin. She replied that there were six. The judge said, ‘Then I will give you six days in jail.’ Before he could pronounce the punishment, the woman’s husband stood up, and asked the judge if he could say something. The judge said, ‘What is it?’ The husband said, ‘She also stole a tin of peas.’

She Who Must Be Obeyed and I paid a visit to Bridgwater the other day.  I am not sure when the “E” was dropped from its name but there we are.  One of the striking things about the town-centre apart from an eerie lack of people on a Saturday afternoon was the proliferation of barbers and hairdressers.  We lost count after about 30.  Now this is either the centre of the UK hairdressing trade or everyone had the same idea at the same time.  Bizarrely the local populous did not look particularly well-coiffured so I don’t know what was going on – oh and they were all closed on a Saturday too.  Weird.

We also pitched up at the Millennium Centre recently to watch the much acclaimed musical Billy Elliot which was sensational.  However, about a week later I overhead the following conversation in our local hostelry, the Bull and Brexit, spoken by two older ladies:

1st lady: “I saw Billy Elliott last night.”

2nd lady: “I remember him, used to live in our street.”

1st lady: “No, not him, the ballet dancer.”

2nd lady: “There used to be lots of dances in


1st lady: “Not Barry, oh f…..orget it.”

I cannot let these scribblings pass without a mention of the splendid way the Welsh Soccer team, management and fans acquitted themselves both on and off the pitch at the recent European Championships.  I am not a soccer fan per say but viewing this as we did from our rented idyll in Greece, it warmed the soul (which is precisely what we needed in 42 degrees of heat).  The UK may have been out of Europe but Wales was firmly in it.  For the Belgian match I was the only guy celebrating the goals in a bar full of Brits, quite eerie. Fortified by a number of Mojito cocktails and in the safe knowledge that She Who Must Be Obeyed was packing the usual kind of weaponry she carries around in her handbag, I felt pretty safe.

Staying with our recent holiday, plenty to report, but my pick was probably when we encountered two Northern Ladies who started to talk to us at our favourite beach bar (below).  Not a bad picture eh?

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For the non-disciples out there, we go on holiday to get away from fellow Brits and do not pal up with them, go for drinks with them or agree to meet them for breakfast in the Hawaiian Ballroom. We have even pretended to be German in the past, just so we didn’t have to enter into mindless discussions about reality TV or the State of the Nation. This latest experience was mercifully witnessed on our last day. We were sat here minding our own business when two ladies who were new arrivals tried to engage us in conversation. We were of course polite. Well, She Who Must Be Obeyed was polite. They informed us that “Nobody were on’t beach as tide wer’t coming in.” I looked up from the large beer I had been studying and mouthed, “That would be the tide-less Aegean Sea then.” Not content with this they then proceeded to put their feet (and shoes) on the above chairs to make themselves more comfortable.  You will see from the picture below where our shoes were placed.  Whereupon the bar owner, Costas, told them politely but firmly to take their feet off his furniture.  They then turned to us and said “Must be’t cultural thing.”  “Yes I said, the Greeks are famous for the cultural thing.” At this point we made a sharp exit using these very feet to a favourite local Taverna, The Feta and Phoenix where we hid for a few hours until the danger had past.

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Finally, in personal news, Son and Heir has announced that his four-year tenure in Qatar is now over and he is on his way home via the Seychelles and Madagascar, where he stopped off to play rugby against their National Rugby XV, as one does. Much celebration in Chateau Nolan as you can imagine. However, he has since announced that he will soon be off again to take up a very decent job in Sydney.  Not sure if this is a comment on our parenting skills, but short of him becoming an astronaut, he could not be further away from us if he tried. Just to put us in the right mood I have a found a list of 10 Australian slang sayings he may benefit from learning:

Cya this Arvo – See you this afternoon – Cya this arvo in work!

Daks – Trousers – I got some new daks yesterday at the shop.

Dunnie – Toilet – D’ya know where the dunnie is, mate?

Earbashing – Constant chatter/talking – Her

earbashing while I tried to study was driving me crazy!

Fair dinkum – Genuine/ real – Claire’s a fair

dinkum Aussie.

Heaps – A lot – Thanks heaps for your help. 

Hooroo – Goodbye – Hooroo mate, see ya


Rellies  – Relatives – The rellies are in town this weekend and we’re going to the beach.

Spiffy – Great-looking – Those blue thongs are pretty spiffy, I think I’ll buy them.

Thong – Flip flops – I need a new pair of thongs, these are about to break.


God Help Us and Gooday Cobber’s.