Never a Crossword at the Border on Le Weekend by Vince Nolan


Once upon a time, the current Mrs Nolan and I decided to do some missionary work in Clevedon in the West Country.  This being the first Holiday Weekend after the schools broke up. Well true to form, the clever people who decide such matters thought it would be a good wheeze to close the old Severn Bridge thus transforming the new one into a modern ten-mile, traffic jam.  Congratulations.  Having been blessed with cat-like reflexes I did a quick recalculate and headed off up the M50/M5 towards the Middle Lands instead.  We then decided to turn off to take a look around Kidderminster, a place neither of us was familiar with (and still aren’t).  Imagine my amusement when we joined another queue heading towards the little known and never advertised Kidderminster Annual Classic Car Show.  So we were stuck in traffic again, heading to a town neither of us wanted to go to in the first place.

Vince Nolan 18Of course we never got there either and had an hour in Worcester City Centre once I had managed to find a vacant car parking space, such fun!  However, all was not lost.  On the way back we decided to salvage something from the day and to avoid our usual pubs and to go one on the old A48, The Nobody Inn, which as the name implies, is always nice and quiet.  We couldn’t get near the place.  It looked like the cast from the film Ben Hur had decided to go there for a day out, oh and then it started to rain.  Remind me why we go to Greece?

Talking of holidays, Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson went on a camping trip. After a good meal and a bottle of wine they lay down for the night, and went to sleep.  Some hours later, Holmes awoke and nudged his faithful friend.

“Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see.”

Watson replied, “I see millions and millions of little stars.”

“What does that tell you?”  Watson pondered for a minute.

“Astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets.
Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo.
Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three.
Theologically, I can see that God is all powerful and that we are small and insignificant.
Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow.  What does it tell you?”

Holmes was silent for a minute and then spoke. “Watson, some pillock has stolen our tent.”

I have no wish to make light of some of the horrendous global terrorist outrages which seem to have beset our World of late.  However, a recent article in the Western Mail caught my eye.  It described a terrorist suspect as follows: “The suspect is described as between 20 and 30 years old, about 6ft tall, of athletic stocky build, with dark hair that was long on top.  He had a well-groomed bear and wore dark clothing.”  Shouldn’t be too hard to find him walking around with a well-groomed bear then.   One assumes they meant beard but you never know these days.

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Apparently the value of fraud cases in Wales has dipped in the first half of the year, according to research from consultants KPMG.  Presumably this is due to a lack of confidence in the economy within the criminal fraternity.

Now She Who Must Be Obeyed and I like Crosswords as opposed to cross words.  This clue amused me, taken from one we recently completed:  “Muddle (3-2)” with the cryptic clue “Heard Michael got out of bed in the confusion.”  The answer was of course Mix Up which I thought was pretty clever.

Did you hear about the crossword compiler who reached his hundredth birthday?  The Queen sent him an anagram.

Here’s another thing……… mosquito’s.  I am a regular blood donor and was due to pitch up at my local Bleeding Centre recently to give them a pint of high quality unleaded life-juice.  They refused to take it because I had just come back from Greece.  Apparently this is now a danger zone for West Nile River Fever which is carried by the mosquito.  So we have Malaria, West Nile River Fever, Zika Virus and Dengue fever to name but four (apparently there are at least eight mosquito borne diseases that I can look forward to catching).

Two mosquitoes were buzzing around when they saw a drunken man.  One said to the other, “You bite him, I’m driving.”

How about this re the continuing saga that is Brexit?  The British Government has been warned by the Irish Government that any attempt to fortify the border between Northern Ireland and The Republic will simply not work.  The Irish Foreign Affairs Minister, Charlie Flanagan insisted that the two countries must keep the “invisible border” that presently exists, after Brexit.  Now there is an interesting concept.  We have to keep something that is invisible in order to maintain the status quo with a neighbouring country.  A bit like the “Entente Cordiale” or the “Special Relationship” that don’t exist either, one assumes.

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In other EU News, the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, was visiting France recently. The customs officer asked, “Occupation?” The Chancellor replied, “No, just visiting.”

Elsewhere in the EU, five Brits in an Audi Quattro arrive at the Italian border. The Italian Customs Officer stops them and tells them: “Itsa illegal to putta fiva people ina Quattro.”
“What do you mean it’s illegal?” asked the driver.
“Quattro he meana four” replies the Italian official.
“Quattro is just the name of the car,” the Brits retort disbelievingly.  Look at the papers: this car is designed to carry 5 persons.”
“You can’ta pulla thata one ona me,” replies the Italian Officer.  Quattro means four. You hava fiva people ina your car and you are therefore breakin’a the law”.
The driver replies angrily, “You idiot! Call your supervisor over – I want to speak to someone with more intelligence!”
“Sorry,” responds the Italian official, “He can’ta come.  He’sa busy with 2 guys in a Fiat Uno.”

I bet you did the accent!

Ciao for now my European chums and happy motoring.