Monday, 14 November 2016

Thought for the Day, with Justin Webly, more or less Arch of Cant

Justin here.

Dear friends, I must admit that I’ve been a little slow off the mark with regard to the USA’s choosing of a new president. Here at the Palace I have been beset by all manner of opinion. But as the young man with the wire in his ear tells me  - notwithstanding some British politicians wanting to ban Mr Trump from U.K. shores, sooner rather than later that will be brushed aside and I will have to meet him. What WOULD Jesus have done?
Whilst I know that Our Lord met quite a few out and out rotters in his time, try as I might, I can find nothing in the Scriptures to help me. On the other hand, staff here at the Palace have been only too willing to offer advice. Even my lady wife has remarked on Mr Trump’s expressive hand movements and became embarrassingly coquettish when mention was made of Mr Trump’s fondness for ladies’ bottoms. The young man with the wire in his ear positively waxed lyrical at the thought of the weaponry probably carried by Mr Trump’s bodyguards.
However, Mr Hassan was far more down to earth and suggested that Mr Trump was little more than a “rich foreign git”. Rich and foreign I understand. “Git” evades me somewhat. I shall pray for guidance.
But I must also offer guidance to the Palace Christmas Arrangements Committee. We are only a little over a month away from that joyous season and whilst as far as Christmas is concerned, I am a self-confessed traditionalist, I do recognize that I must move with the times. However,the local heavy-metal Christian band, “Jesus is Better than Heroin” has offered to open our Christmas service with its latest hit, “ Kick Ciaphas” and I think I must decline. Mr Hassan has offered to arrange a power cut.

What would I do without him ?



Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Thought for the Day, with Justin Webly, more or less Arch of Cant

Justin here... and my apologies for my being away from my Thought for the Day desk recently. Truth be told, I have been involved in not a little Church diplomacy, consulting with my French, Spanish, German and Italian counterparts about Brexit and whether the UK can regard itself as a Christian country after we leave Europe. I did try to point out that Christianity is just ONE form of belief amongst many here, but Monsignor The Reverend Pierre Panique was of the opinion that all the different belief systems tolerated in Europe merely led to unrest. The Italian representative agreed and suggested that I, as head of the most numerous Christian congregation in the UK should declare all inhabitants of these islands Christian. After all, the Spanish bishop said – there is only one God.
You might imagine my shock and disbelief. Even the young man with the wire in his ear sniggered loudly at this point. Up until then he had been content with trying to work out what sort of side – arms were being carried by my contemporaries’ bodyguards. (One Beretta, two Browning Hi-Powers and the inevitable Glock, apparently).
Consequently, upon my return, I was very anxious that details of my Church Brexit discussions did not leak out, considering especially the fact that my Muslim colleagues are awfully keen on the one God thing. What would Jesus have done?
In fact I need not have worried because the Palace was buzzing with ideas about what form our Christmas celebrations should take. I did suggest that it is still only late October. My lady wife actually called me a killjoy  and Mr Hassan laughed heartily. I have never been clear as to what his religious beliefs are, so I asked him. He replied that it didn’t matter and that there was only one God anyway and besides, the main thing about Christmas is getting presents and drinking a lot.
I must admit that at this point I left, pleading tiredness and a headache after my international discussions. As I headed up the wooden hill to a steaming mug of Horlicks. I heard the young man with the wire in his ear and Mr Hassan discussing the practicalities of installing a Bethlehem bouncy castle in the Lady Chapel.

Pip, pip,


Thursday, 11 August 2016

Pangolin Obituary

The death has been reported of Dame Evadne Manifold-Thrust (b 1906). 

Dame Evadne was an early C20th century Olympian who gained two bronze medals in Club Hurling and Club Retrieval. The present Olympic Games under way somewhere abroad are a poignant reminder of Dame Evadne's altogether more amateur era.

Before her ennoblement, Evadne Thrust, as she was then, supported herself, first as a Stoker 2nd Class on the ill-fated SS Fortinbras (torpedoed, Leeds Liverpool canal 1917) then as part of The Strapping Lasses trapeze team with McFarter's travelling circus. In the days before drugs testing, Evadne often turned up to training clutching a crate of Hinchcliffe's Strewth Brown Ale.

Her marriage to fellow club hurler Sir Jack Manifold (1927) meant that Evadne had to retire. She was a far better hurler than Sir Jack and had no wish to embarrass him.
After Sir Jack's sad death, under the wheels of a runaway hearse in 1942, Dame Evadne threw herself into the Campaign for Noisier Hearses, becoming president in 1949, a post she held until her death. Police are investigating the circumstances of Dame Evadne's demise which apparently involved an electric milk float.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Trending: Free-range chicken farm to give free-range samples to bald people

Cheepin Cheerful Chickens of Glossop has announced that it will be making gifts of free eggs to bald people of all ages, in a celebration of what it is to be hairless. The presentations will take place at an open day at the farm on August 19th. There would also be merchandise for sale, such as billiard balls, videos of young coots and bald paté.

Feminist groups have reacted angrily, pointing out that this favours gentlemen of a male persuasion and Sinead O'Connor, but the Cheepin Cheerful spokesman responded that there were no age barriers here and it was all to promote inclusivity. 

"Why, I've visited a maternity ward," chirped MD Henrietta Fowler (74). "Not one of those babbies had a wisp of hair - and I bet they was evenly distributed across all the sexes! And they'll all be welcome here!"

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Pangolin Travel

To compile our annual list of the best places to travel in the upcoming year, the Pangolin team thoroughly and meticulously considers a variety of factors. Which under-the-radar gems are most exciting to our let's-be-British-and-show-how-shitfaced-we-can-get denizens? Which destinations are our Brexit Breakaway specialists fielding requests for? 
Archibald Phutt (98) from Straddlethwaite, somewhere north of Watford Gap Services, shared his travel experiences: "Well I've never been out the country, and proud of it. Can't be doing with that foreign muck where they don't speak English like normal people - or was that Dewsbury? They don't even have proper money - what's wrong with pounds, shillins and pence?
We fought two world wars to keep 'em out and I'm not 'avin' them reds under the beds, yellow peril, wops and spics pinching my bottom while I eat me seagull 'n' chips!"
We asked him about his favoured holiday destinations. One eye got bigger than the other and he started muttering "Luxury. In my day..." so we felled him with a black pudding and nicked his false teeth.
For our five-starred holiday destination - enter Kylie Fishwick (22), our representative from Clacton, who explained that her passport didn't work any more now we're out of the EU Refeyendum. Especially as she'd lost it down a bog in Faliraki last year. She shared a photo of her fave hotel though.
"It's like, awesome, and when I come back from wherever I don't even need to get the key or try and remember where I'm staying the bed's just there. With a twin room like this you have a choice and you don't even have to get in the bed if you don't want. An' a dog come past and licked up all the puke!"
Sunbed by day, crash-pad by night.
Miasma Hotel, Chitterling-on-Sea
Don't miss our next issue:
A Seagull's take on Brexit. That Chekov bloke gets everywhere.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Thought for the day, with Justin Webly, more or less Arch of Cant

Hullo, Justin here...
Whilst I am aware that I often begin my thoughts for the day with cricket musings, giving rise often to Mr Hassan (especially) saying, “Oh no. Not bloody cricket AGAIN!”, I think the England team’s current performance in the second test against Pakistan certainly bears mention. Having been soundly beaten in the first test, the England batters responded brilliantly in searing heat to post a magnificent total, then went on to remove Pakistani batsmen willy-nilly. Mr Hassan made light of the oppressive heat, pointing out that a great- uncle of his actually melted in the Great Drought of 1910 just outside Nagpur. His point evaded me.
My lady wife and I did manage to get away for a few days gentle brass-rubbing, driving ourselves believe it or not in our Archdiocese-approved Mini with the young man with the wire in his ear following closely behind in his huge 4x4. We headed first to Clittery Ambo, deep in the Gloucestershire countryside, there to seek the church of St Mabel the Marginal with its famed twin tombs of Sir Clovis Clitter and his lady wife Clementine. Disappointingly, we found the village overrun with young people clutching Smartphones, playing something called Pokemon Go. After a distinctly moderate cream tea at the Jam ‘n ‘ Stuff cafe, we moved on and not ten miles further stumbled across St Alan’s in the Midden parish church, a delightful 15th century pile. Sadly, it was closed, but the ever-resourceful young man with the wire in his ear called a colleague, the vicarage was located and soon I was knocking on its door. Unfortunately, the vicar, a Miss Eugenie Bone, did not recognise me and refused to believe I was who I said I was. Then she called the Police. You might imagine the confusion this caused. What WOULD Jesus have done? However, the attending officer did recognise me, called The Rev Bone a cloth-eared silly old bat, saluted the young man with the wire in his ear, after sneaking a look at his Glock, and bade us be on our way.
So, I look forward to our Autumn break, and some better-researched brass rubbing ventures although my lady wife has expressed a preference for somewhere called Ibiza – or is it Ibitha – which sounds distinctly foreign. We shall see.

Pip, pip,


Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Thought for the Day, with Justin Webly, more or less Arch of Cant


Justin here,
It goes without saying that I was, and still am elated by the performance of the England Cricket team, sparkling as it did with individual achievement of the highest order. Of course, detractors abound, sadly my lady wife amongst them, preferring as she does the relative violence and bloodshed of rugby. My Mr Hassan was also unimpressed, citing the difference in population numbers between England and Sri Lanka. The latter, he supposed only has “a couple of hundred folk in it”, adding, “and most of them is like, yer hunter-gatherers” Previous experience has taught me not to pursue debates with Mr Hassan. Nevertheless, I cherish the memory of Alistair Cook’s 10,000 runs and the lethal smoothness of Jimmy Anderson’s run up, culminating as it so often does in bails and stumps parting company.
But I digress. Like the rest of the country, the big talking point here at The Palace is the European referendum. Personally, I pray for an outcome which will make everybody happy and content, but my experience in business tells me that will not be so. There are deep differences between those who wish to remain part of Europe and those who wish to go it alone – ferociously so if Mrs Clench, one of our elderly Sunday School volunteers is to be believed. She is approaching 90, and Mrs Clench’s family was bombed out during WW2 and she has strong opinions about Germans. Like Mr Hassan, Mrs Clench does not listen to reason and believes that Adolf Hitler is in fact frozen, cryogenically preserved, somewhere in Argentina – ready, at the push of a button to spring back to life and “take over from that tubby woman what runs the place now”.
The young man with the wire in his ear takes a more realistic view. His first thoughts were that if you seek public opinion, those opinions will be rubbish. His second was that if the US administration  thinks the UK should stay in Europe, then that’s what we should do because the US has bigger guns than us. I did point out that President Obama’s (I’ve shared Shredded Wheat with him) time was coming to an end and asked what on earth would the dreadful Donald Trump’s position on Europe be. The young man with the wire in his ear laughed and said, “Even stupid Americans wouldn’t vote that clown into the White House”. I confess that as he walked away, I thought I saw the glitter of doubt in his eye.

Pip, pip,


Thursday, 12 May 2016

Pangolin Newsflash!

Glossop Secretary sent home with No Supper for refusing to wear Bondage Gear at work

Legal secretary Gertrude Peng (78) has been sent home with no pay from her £8,500 per annum job with Greebo, Perv and Leer Solicitors of Glossop. It has emerged that the directors of this legal firm made it a requirement that their staff should be 'appropriately dressed', and Eggbert Greebo (142) told The Pangolin that it was important the clients should realise that high standards of discipline and restraint were paramount in this company. Of course, being a legal firm, they have totally failed to issue any contracts of employment and have since denied that they'd ever seen Ms Peng.
© Raimond Spekking / CC BY-SA 4.0 (via Wikimedia Commons)

"It was awful", Ms Peng told The Pangolin. "How was I supposed to do my nails and stare out of the window dressed like that?"

Unfortunately, her troubles have not ended there. Her sorry tale of working as a receptionist at Cadaver, Necro and Cadaver Funeral Parlour of Wincy Street, Bletchington, will be covered (or uncovered) in a future article.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Thought for the Day, with Justin Webly, more or less Arch of Cant

Hullo, Justin here…
What a week it has been! First and foremost on my To Do list was finalising arrangements for our Spring Fayre, including the first public appearance of a local beat combo called “God is Dead”. I must admit that I found their name something of a problem, but happily, after a swift private conversation with Mr Hassan and the young man with the wire in his ear, they agreed to appear on the programme as “God is Quite Possibly Not Dead”, which for me at least was something of a relief. 
When I later enquired of Mr Hassan how so swift a solution had been found, he replied somewhat archly, that he had threatened to cut their amp jacks off. Whatever that might mean. 

My lady wife’s organizing of the Lambeth Speed-knitting teams was faultless. It was a close-run thing with Palace Purls just edging out late entries Westminster Cast-Offs with an utterly splendid 37 metres of Fairisle scarf. 

The following morning I woke early, to be briefed by the young man with the wire in his ear about our breakfast guest – none other than President Barak Obama! The young man with the wire in his ear was terribly excited. After insisting that I wore an anti-stab vest, he, my lady wife and I stood and watched The President and The First Lady and their entourage enter. The young man with the wire in his ear kept nudging me whilst surreptitiously pointing at various members of Mr Obama’s group, and whispering things like, “Glock 19, Smith and Wesson 44, Browning Hi-power". I am pleased to say that no weapons of any sort were seen during our simple repast. Mr Obama put us all at our ease and even cracked jokes, likening the offered Shredded Wheat to roof insulation.
Then, of course, he and Mrs Obama had to leave the Palace and travel to another royal residence, there to congratulate our Queen upon her 90th birthday. I am of course sworn to secrecy with regard to what happened during that momentous coming together although I can confirm that whilst a dog bite was suffered by the bearer of the Glock 19, no animals were shot. Apparently, he missed. So, in the words of The Bard – all’s well that ends well!

Pip! Pip!


Saturday, 9 April 2016

Thought for the Day, with Justin Webly, more or less Arch of Cant

Justin here.
Oh my goodness – where to start? Just as I was coming to terms with my need to deliver sermons with rather more vim and vigour than hitherto, I am confronted with depressing world issues which demand responses.
Let me begin with Mr Donald Trump, the American would-be president so apparently beloved by an alarming number of his fellow countrypersons. I have listened attentively to his policy speeches and sadly, can only assume that he is conducting a rather long-winded practical joke, or indeed, that he is a narrow-minded super-rich bigot. My Mr Hassan and the young man with the wire in his ear have both offered their opinions but I simply cannot publish them here.
And I do feel for the poor Port Talbot steel workers and their families. It is indeed ironic that the owner’s name, Tata, is a diminutive of “goodbye”. I do hope not.
But as my lady wife will attest, I have been plunged into the slough of despond by England’s cricketing loss to the West Indies. Frankly, I am not a fan of the limited 20 over version of the game with its rather brutal hit and hope philosophy. For me at least, a game between two teams of professional cricketers should last three days. It should be interrupted at least twice by rain and/or bad light. Batsmen should score thoughtfully, glancing the ball delicately, unencumbered by body armour and high-impact helmets, whilst the crowd should be large enough to be heard occasionally , never indulge in coarse shouting and never rejoice in names like “The Barmy Army”. But those days are dear, dead and beyond recall. Nevertheless, I do feel for honest toilers like Ben Stokes – so reminiscent of the fast-bowling village blacksmith of days gone by and who was clouted for six four times in his final over.
What would Jesus have done? Well he would probably have stoically accepted the result and moved on. Which is exactly what I shall do. There is much to arrange here at the Palace especially with regard to the imminent Palace Spring Fayre. I shall need all my diplomatic skills to avoid the inclusion of events like The Archdiocese Wet Tee-shirt Contest and a performance by a local pop-group called, apparently, “God is Dead”

Pray for me.

Pip, pip,


Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Thought for the Day, with Justin Webly, more or less Arch of Cant

Justin here. Last Saturday, joy was boundless in our home thanks to the Herculean efforts of the English Rugby Union team. I say boundless although our Mr Hassan seemed unimpressed, calling the game “an imperialist power struggle”. Whilst I don’t quite see it that way, I must confess to relying upon my lady wife and the young man with the wire in his ear to explain the finer points to me. I, of course am a devotee of leather ‘pon willow.
Nevertheless, the English victory and the passions aroused thereby served to remind me that I had resolved to inject my Sunday sermon with, for want of a better term, a bit more vim.
Now, I am ever mindful that our God is a forgiving God. What would Jesus have done, I wondered. However, like Our Lord when faced with moneylenders in the Temple, I decided not to mince my words. I roundly condemned political double-speak, the reduction of disability allowances, badger culling, soccer players’ salaries, the fox hunting lobby, pornography, paedophilia, the cost of HS2, and people traffickers, pausing occasionally to strike the lectern in front of me.
The effect was stunning. I saw with my own eyes transfixed parishioners, several biting their hassocks. The service concluded with “Onward, Christian Soldiers!” and my hand was shaken so often that as I type, I wear an elastic support. I confess that afterwards I lay in a darkened room for a while. Forgiveness is far less exhausting than hell and damnation.

Pip, Pip,


Monday, 29 February 2016

Thought for the Day, with Justin Webly, more or less Arch of Cant

Justin here. A few days ago, my lady wife and I returned to the Palace, with her looking forward to the Six Nations Rugby, whilst I, invigorated by a few days brass-rubbing, fondly anticipate penning the following few thoughts.
First, I must thank the young man with the wire in his ear for standing in during my absence and whilst our writing styles may differ, I am in broad agreement with his thoughts on Europe. In this modern world of wall-to-wall toothpaste adverts and Facebook, this island cannot stand alone as it once did in the dark days of 1940. And I ask myself, what would Jesus have done ? Well, I for one believe that Our Lord would preach forgiveness. He would forgive foreigners for being foreign, driving on the wrong side of the road and refusing to understand even when shouted at. He would even forgive some of the more questionable European sausages. 
But I am heartened in my Christian preaching by the re-emergence after ten long years of refurbishment of The Flying Scotsman, that singularly beautiful Gresley locomotive. I heard it described during television coverage as being “alive” and seeing it hurtling northwards amid clouds of smoke and steam, I think that is most apt. Of course, I have no wish to cast aspersions upon our excellent diesel and electric motive power units, but the romantic in me does wish that they could be as dramatic as The Scotsman when delivering their undoubted tractive efforts.
I am resolved therefore to reinvigorate my preaching style; to appeal to my flock’s sense of drama; to counsel forgiveness certainly, but to do so far more assertively. I might even raise my voice.

As ever,

Pip, Pip,


Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Thought for the Day, with Justin Webly, more or less Arch of Cant

Justin here…
Whilst I remain firmly of the opinion that Church and State should remain separate to look after the secular and spiritual issues facing us, I am more than aware how our ever-increasing communications abilities are blurring hitherto clear divisions. 

Recently I became aware of an extremely rich American person called Donald Trump. Apparently Mr Trump would like to be President of the United States. He has already stated that he would, given the power, ban Muslims from entering the US and, presumably, because he is a Republican, he supports an odious organization called The National Rifle Association, once the favourite club of Charlton Heston – he of the cold dead hand – and star of several Hollywood versions of the nature of God. 

Mr Trump tends to appear in public with a youthful female person who I had assumed was his granddaughter. My lady wife assures me that this person is his wife. The young man with the wire in his ear assured me that this was indeed the case. Initially, I found this quite touching – that such a young woman should want to sacrifice her youth in order to help a far older man to achieve his lofty ambition. Then the young man with the wire in his ear told me that this was not the case and that she was “in it for the money”, which I found profoundly disappointing.

In the unlikely event of Mr Trump becoming President, he will hold sway over things secular and spiritual. Worse than that, young people might even start to copy his hairstyle which appears to stem from an exceptionally low crown beginning at the base of his neck.

Things follicle remind me of the passing of Sir Terry Wogan – the great communicator and champion of toupee wearers everywhere. Sir Terry’s hairpiece really did not matter. Whether sporting it whilst ridiculing Eurovision nit-wits or helping to raise millions for Children in Need, it was simply a perfectly acceptable part of who he was. Oh how I wish there might have been an interview between said Trump person and Sir Terry. A gentle demolition of greedy, narrow-minded pomposity. Sadly though, Mr Trump would not have understood the jokes.

Pip! Pip!


Thursday, 28 January 2016

Business Support and Advice: that all-important interview

Remember, when you go for an interview it's important to make a good impression. One of the ways you can do this is to make conversation, and another - essential - one is to ask about the organisation you'll be working for.

The following should be very helpful to you in your quest:

  • If you're a bloke, ask your interviewer if female staff have been known to make many complaints about sexual harassment.
  • It's important to let women know they're attractive; it boosts company morale. Ask the receptionist if it was her you saw dancing at Juicy Lucy's Lapdancing Club.
  • Explain that the reason all your exposed flesh is covered by thick cream is to blot out the sun. Let them know that, as a troll, you will turn to stone should you encounter daylight.
  • (You may wish to substitute the term 'vampire' for 'troll' in the above.)
  • Ask if they discriminate against people who develop appalling body odour by around 10.30am.
  • Explain that your shaking is not a sign of nervousness. Let them know it means you don't have to buy batteries for your vibrator.
  • Ask if they encourage employees to develop their hobbies and interests during office hours. Explain that you'd be happy to share your maggot collection with everyone.
  • Examine the drinks machine - if they have one - and ask if it's OK to 'Bring a bottle" if they only serve tea and coffee.
Sorry if the above sounds a little patronising, but not everyone's got Anna Prongg's talent for small talk.

And Good Luck!!!

Monday, 25 January 2016

Pangolin Science: Time Travel

Thanks to the tireless efforts of hundreds of scientists at the Hadron Collider (a sort of underground giant circular metal tube around which stuff is fired in the hope that bits of stuff will bash into each other) it is now widely accepted that there is a little tiny thing called a Higgs Boson which can in fact travel faster than the speed of light. This means that Bosons must whizz back and forth, from dimension to dimension, creating all sorts of problems for astro physicists and mathematicians. Also, Bosons are nowhere near as useful as Teflon.

So what does all this mean to the ordinary man or woman or transgender person in the street? Well, despite my being a fairly famous scientist, having had papers published on things like why jeans manufacturers insist on using fly buttons instead of the far more efficient zip, and only last year, my controversial piece on mole masturbation, I don’t have a lot of patience with the time travel lobby. In fact, to use a technical term, I think it's bollocks.

Having spoken at length to many mystics, spiritual leaders, Churchpeople, the ghost of Arthur C Clarke, and Mrs Muriel Twite who does readings, I am convinced that past, present and future do not exist. Everything is happening all at once. OK, puny humans only last 80-odd years, but during that time, everything that has ever happened, is happening, and will happen is taking place simultaneously. Dying is but a stage in our mortal progress. Afterwards we become part of the great timeless cycle.

Many fellow scientists scoff at my beliefs (Oh yes they do!). They ask stupid questions like; if its all happening at once, why can’t we see it? I would have thought that was obvious. Life as we know it would become impossible if we were trying to complete our daily tasks when in one corner of the room Anne Boleyn was having her head chopped off whilst in the other the Germans were marching into Poland. Fortunately all these things are usually kept separate by infinitesimally thin cosmic dividers. I say “usually” because very occasionally beings from one dimension stray into another. These are called Ghosts and are a damned nuisance.

Happily, unlike the ideas of the boson advocates, my theory is easily proved. All it takes is a comfortable chair, low lighting, Enya on the gramophone, a fat joint and a large bottle of Rasputin vodka. Enjoy!

Dr P J Whimbrel

Monday, 18 January 2016

Thought for the day, with Justin Webly, more or less Arch of Cant

Justin here. 

First, my apologies for not wishing you all a Happy New Year on the stroke of Midnight a few days ago. This was caused, in the main, by fallout from our recent misunderstandings about Christmas decorations. I had to become counsellor and confessor among my immediate flock, seeking, as Jesus would, to heal the wounds of disagreement. In the end, the young man with the wire in his ear sprayed our Nativity scene silver (Ford Mondeo “Shimmering Lake”, apparently) and everyone, including Mr Hassan, thought it looked most attractive although I myself have reservations about metallic cattle.

The Junior Choir carried all before it in a great musical swell of Christmas praise. Even after 14 renderings of Hark the Herald Angels, there were cries for more.

And now, of course, we are faced with all the hopes and fears of a New Year. I have had several suggestions for a theme for my forthcoming sermon. I note Mr Hassan’s. He is incensed at the recent failure of London Transport’s Oyster card which apparently enabled thousands of tube users to travel free. In point of fact, Mr Hassan does not travel by tube or bus, being a Palace resident, but feels very strongly that, and I quote, “If all that lot get something for nothing, why can’t I?” There IS a theme there somewhere, but I have yet to grasp it.

Closer to home, my lady wife is opposed to me using reference to the English cricket team’s recent, glorious match victory over South Africa. She pointed out that there are another three Tests still to play and went on to observe that our cricketers are past masters of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Therein, another theme looms. I shall think on it.
And of course now, as I write, days of hope come to an end and our doughty cricketers have emerged victorious. Thanks be, thanks be indeed! 

Pip, pip,


Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Dear Lady Violet,

I want to tell my bloke to stop talking. He's been talking non-stop for four years now - including during his sleep - and I've tried to mention it but I couldn't get a word in edgeways. Ironically, he actually goes on and on about how women never stop talking (I'm a woman, by the way) and I'm now working on a way of silencing him which won't lead to me receiving a lengthy prison sentence.

Any ideas? I could always record a couple of hours of his 'conversation' and play it for the judge in mitigation I suppose.

Yours in anticipation,

Camilla Sludge (aged 27, going on 75)

Lady V:

Dear Ms Sludge,
You are not alone. In fact there are one or two celebrated cases - Wetwang v Thighgripper, Bloan v Tucknip and Flume v Schnott to name but three which came to court because of circumstances very similar to yours. In all three cases, the accused, Thighgripper, Bloan and Flume were found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment. Thighgripper [Muriel] for squirting superglue up Arnold Wetwang's nose; Brenda Bloan for battering Terence Tucknip to death with a sockful of rancid custard, and Edna Flume for attacking Gaylord Schnott with a pair of heavy-duty nutcrackers.
Sadly, dear girl, there is only one answer. Leave him. Move far away. Do it NOW!

With sympathy,

Lady Violet

Dear Lady Violet,

I want to know how to stop making a complete prat of myself in public. Every time I see my current main squeeze's boss (who's Chancellor of the Exchequer, by the way) I can't stop myself whacking him round the face with a wet fish. I've apologised countless times, but each occasion is the same.

I once tried leaving the two-week-old plaice at home rather than popping it in my handbag, but that was no good because I nicked a plate of someone else's salad and whacked him with that instead - and that was worse, if anything. On each occasion I felt propelled by alien forces I couldn't control.

What should I do?

Love and kisses,

Drusilla Frogsbourne, OBE

My Dear Ms Frogsbourne,
Frogsbourne. Osbourne. Is there something here I don't know about? No matter. I would suggest very strongly that you try very very hard to ditch all this fish nonsense. You are, after all, via your gentleman friend, in the presence of greatness. Our Chancellor is a lord amongst men; a shining example of all that is good and honourable in this troubled world, and he can well do without his aides turning up smelling of haddock.


Lady Violet