Rare Swansea Tuna, Labour Saving Devices and the Bog by Vince Nolan


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So I was in Sainsbury’s, Swansea Marina, hard at another well-deserved sandwich when one of life’s annoying little cameos developed in front of me.  Why is it that some people insist on sitting at a dirty and un-cleared table rather than find another one which is ready for occupation? Anyway, a wife who was very much in charge, sat husband down amongst somebody else’s dirty crockery and then proceeded to complain many times about the dirty table. Eventually the husband, in despair, cleared the table by dumping its contents on an adjoining and hitherto clean table. Madame then ordered a jacket potato with tuna only to be told that there was no tuna. At this point I was forced to smile since I was eating a tuna sandwich bought in the same café not ten minutes earlier.  It was as much as I could do not to shout “Tuna over here!” She of course complained and said that it was the second time they had run out of tuna and that there was plenty of it on the shelves. The Great Swansea Tuna Conspiracy I thought to myself. She was told that to remove a can from the shelves would result in her being charged for it plus the price of a jacket potato with tuna. She then muttered and mumbled for a further 20 minutes as her husband suffered indigestion whilst staring longingly at the Marina and the peace that could have been his reward if he had been able to steal a yacht and sail silently away into the sunset.

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There are many serious issues in life my friends, but a self-imposed dirty table and a lack of tuna don’t even come close.

I have a client who is a really nice guy and who has designed the primary call-blocking gizmo for landlines which means that it automatically screens out persistent and unwanted sales calls.  Anyway, I recently attended a meeting with him and he asked me if I liked poached eggs. Odd question from a telecoms entrepreneur I thought to myself. Nonetheless, I consider myself to be a bit of an expert at poaching eggs, properly cooked but still runny of course.  Ignoring my culinary claims he insisted on giving me an egg poaching gadget which needs to be greased, loaded with an egg, placed in a saucepan of boiling water up to the fill-line on the gadget. The saucepan then has to be covered and the water boiled for a full 6 minutes. I explained that I boil the pan of water, add a little vinegar, agitate the water, drop two eggs in and fish them out three minutes later, perfect. No device required. Labour-saving device, I don’t think so.

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Next up and on home ground, he asked if we were ever bothered by unwanted sales calls at Nolan Towers. I said we were not since we didn’t have a landline.  He said:  “get a landline and install this gadget, which filters out 90% of unwanted calls”.  I reminded him that I am not bothered by 100% at present and don’t have the cost of a line, handset or call blocking wizardry.

Finally, his phone rang and he looked at it and said “Who’s that?”  He did not recognise a caller on his own phone.  I suggested he bought a gadget which filters out 90% of unwanted calls etc, etc.  Just to finish off he then said:  “You’ve hit the nail right on the target there.”

Is it me attracting them?

Talking of jobs, my mate works in B&Q and this guy came in shouting and swearing about needing something to fill a big hole in his wall. Needless to say, my mate showed him the door.

You may have read about the proposed Circuit of Wales Motor Racing Track destined for North Ebbw Vale. A recent update in the Western Mail caught my eye when it was announced that the company responsible for the project had appointed Martin Whitaker as CEO who had previously enjoyed a senior role at the Circuit of Bahrain.  It went on to say that he had an excellent “track record”. One assumes that this would have been a pre-requisite for all candidates.

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You’ll like this. I read that the planners in Barry have given the go-ahead for the development of the former Butlins’ site. The article went on to say that the nearby toilet block, which had been closed for 15 years, has been given Grade II listed building status. In other words friends, the bogs are of special architectural or historical interest and should be protected for future generations to enjoy. Oh please!  Did somebody famous or infamous once utilise the urinal? Was some long forgotten character caught-short?  Did some Diva have a dump there? (or possibly instead, some prima donna have a poo there). Probably not but the world has gone mad.

Not wishing to knock the build-up to the US Elections but please. The outpourings of Mr Trump on foreign policy simply reveal the limited understanding he has of world affairs (and tonsorial matters of course). His latestcomments about areas of London being no-go to London Police because of radicalisation have drawn fierce criticism from all sides. Our Prime Minister was clearly incandescent with rage when his spokesperson said: “The Prime

Minister would clearly disagree with this view”.  That showed those damn Yankees. However, all is not lost. It was left to Boris Johnson to put forward the diplomatic response when he said:  “Crime has been steadily falling in London and New York and the only reason I wouldn’t go to some parts of New York is the real risk of meeting Donald Trump”. Touché, which is French, Mr Trump!

Talking of the rich and famous, I have just finished reading a biography of Peter O’Toole.  During his hell-raising days he sent his beloved leather jacket to the dry cleaners to see if they could try to remove the ingrained beer, food, vomit etc.  Alas they could not and they sent it back to him with the following note:  “It distresses us to return work which is not perfect”.  He then adopted this line as his preferred epitaph.

And finally………..what do the Millennium

Stadium and Bambi have in common?

One is a Welsh idea and the other is a well-shy deer.

Happy New Year.