Monday, 31 December 2012

Dear David - Christmas Countdown

Dear David

My maths has never been my strong point, can you tell me how many shopping days there are left until Christmas?

David Responds

Are you joking, we have just had one, if you really must know there are 358 to Christmas 2013.

Keep track on the website, but really, you need to get out more.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Celebrity Week

A look at this week’s celebrities: 

the celebrities have been dead boring over Christmas, but …
  • the queen went on an informal walkabout on Christmas day when she trapped her thumb in a kitchen drawer; 
  • Kate got married – not that Kate a different Kate (twin set);
  • Tom was dancing in a nightclub – well it is Christmas; 
  • David ran outside in the water; 
  • Helen wore pink lipstick; and
  • Posh and Becks packed their holiday in after a few days because it was chucking it down - I know how they feel.

Friday, 28 December 2012

Dear David - Harrison

Dear David

I have just been reading a biography about John Harrison, he was a quite famous clock maker in the 18th century.  I wonder if you can tell me anything about him?

David Responds

err, you have just read a biography about him - how much more do you think I know!  (You have to wonder sometimes about the people that write to me).

Anyway since you mention John Harrison some of my other readers might not know about him, so ...

John Harrison invented a clock that could tell the time at sea.  This was very useful as before then, passengers were often late for breakfast.

John Harrison also invented longitude, this meant that ships could go back and forwards as well as up and down.  This is very handy if you want to go exploring and finding places.

But the real break through came when Archimedes invented the arc and ships could then go round corners.  Soon after, Pontius Pilate discovered America.

Obviously books go into a lot more detail, but that is more or less it.

Dear David - Christmas

Dear David

I just wanted to write and say I hope you had a lovely Christmas and how nice it was to see you on Christmas eve when I dropped off your present and hamper.  It was so kind of you to wave at me from the window after your maid had told you I had arrived.

I am sorry I couldn't stay for a cup of tea (by the way those home made cookies in the photograph did look delicious) but £2.50 is a lot out of my pension, what with the cost of the bus fare to yours on top.  The journey home wasn't too bad, I only had to wait an hour and a half for my bus and after a while you got used to the cold.


David Responds

Thank you for your kind letter and I did have a lovely Christmas thank you. It was very kind of you to pop by with a hamper and gift for me, (how ever did you get it all on the bus!).  I hope you had a nice time too and I look forward to all your letters in the new year.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Christmas Decoration

Has a new Christmas decoration for next year, (thank you Mrs C).

It is a personalised tree decoration in the form of a money box (no money)

It now joins my other decorations for festive fun next year.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Dear David - Christmas Day

Dear David

This is my first Christmas in the UK.  Someone told me that on Christmas Day it was acceptable to have a Crunchie, half a Terry's chocolate orange and a sausage roll before breakfast.  Is that true?

David Responds


Dear David - Interview

After several interviews earlier in the year, Dear David was excited to be offered an exclusive Christmas interview with Her Majesty the Queen.  Read on for our fascinating chat ...


'Hello, ... oh it's you again'

smiles 'Hello. You have had a busy year this year haven't you?

'I've not stopped since January'.

'I suppose, what with you being 60 this year'

'I wasn't 60 this year, I have reigned for 60 years'

'Oh, is that not the same?'

'Not really'

'Have you done all your Christmas shopping?'

'I don't really do Christmas shopping'

'You don't?'

'No, people do it for me'

'That must be nice'

'It is'

'Do you like Christmas?'

'It's alright'

'What do you want for Christmas?'

The queen looks around and lifts her hands.  'Do you want another palace?'

'No I just mean I have everything I need so I don't really want anything for Christmas'

'Oh, ... not even a pair of slippers?'


'Are you sure? Are yours not worn a bit?  Everyone likes slippers at christmas'

'Well I suppose I could do with a new pair' (excited now ...I think I have my headline)

'What have you got Philip?'







'A selection box'

'A selection box?'

'Yes he likes Cadburys'



'You don't spend much at Christmas do you?'

'Are you being cheeky, I am a pensioner you know?'

'Sorry, I was just saying'

'Well don't, do you want to ask me anything else?'

'Do you go out with your mates on Christmas eve and have a skin full?'

'I don't go out drinking with mates'

'Do you have them round?'


'Sounds quiet'

'It is'

Silence ....

'What do you do on Christmas day?

'We go to church then have lunch and play charades. Then I go to bed'

'Sounds quiet'

'It is'

Silence ....

'When you back to work'

'After the new year'

Silence ....

'Nice long break then'


Silence ....

'Well have a nice time - Merry Christmas'

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Christmas Card

Christmas Card

Christmas card

You might have read my post about a Christmas card I received with cabbages on it.

After a heated discussion in the Laughing Donkey last night I would like to issue a retraction.

The said cabbages are not cabbages, they are in fact Brussels sprouts.

I would like to apologise for any distress suffered by stating the Brussels sprouts were cabbages and I hope in the spirit of Christmas all can be forgiven and the matter can now be considered closed ...

... but they still look like cabbages.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Dear David - Mayans

Dear David

Who is going to tell they Mayans they were wrong?  I am concerned they might get upset.

David Responds

How thoughtful of you, and yes we do seem to have escaped the worst effects of the world ending.

I too was a little worried about how the Mayans might feel if the world didn't end in the middle of Cash in the Attic yesterday so I have been in touch with them a few times since the back end of October.

I said I had my doubts about the world ending this week and even sent them a selection of 2013 calendars to cheer them up, (I think they liked the kittens one).

I think I made a little progress as I received a card back on Tuesday saying 'Merry Christmas and all the best for 2013'.

Celebrity Week

A look at this week’s celebrities: 

  • Bradley won the Sports Personality thing;
  • the queen attended a cabinet meeting; 
  • the queen said she didn't think it was right that she had to take the minutes because she had never been before and didn't know who everyone was; 
  • the queen said cabinet meetings are dead boring; 
  • the cabinet gave the queen 60 place mats;
  • the queen asked philip what she was supposed to do with 60 place mats;
  • the queen told Philip to ask them if they still had the receipt; 
  • Harry got another tattoo (not Prince of .. Harry); 
  • the orange one has a new boyfriend; and 
  • Courtney has a new boyfriend as well; 
  • Robert got a haircut – well it is Christmas; and 
  • Arnie got a funny hair-cut – only it wasn’t meant to be funny; and
  •  Ronnie got married.

Sainsbury's at Christmas

Popped into Sainsbury's this morning - not the best idea I have ever had, but unfortunately unavoidable.

If you are looking for old trout, then this was the place to be, especially round the fruit and vegetable aisle.

Checkouts all open and operational, but checkout dopey was looking particularly bewildered.  Oh but bless her, she was in Christmas fancy dress as Where's Wullie.  Which was a bit ironic as I could spot her from the other end of the store, but still she was trying.

If you are heading out - wrap up and have fun ... 

Friday, 21 December 2012

Christmas Card

I received a Christmas card today with a picture of a cabbage on it.  How strange.

I have read and heard the nativity story many times and there is no mention of cabbages. 

There is a Joseph, there is a Mary, there is a little baby Jesus.  There are shepherds, sheep and three kings and gifts.  But there were no cabbages. 

The three wise men did not say, 'we are Kings from afar, bringing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, oh and here are a couple of cabbages, stick them in your shopping bag, they will come in handy on Boxing Day'.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Dear David - Christmas Carollers

Dear David

I had my first ever Christmas Carol singers to my door last night, it was so exciting I just had to let you know.

Don't you think it is delightful?


David Responds

No I don't, if they come back tell them to sling their hooks, it is too soon.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Dear David - End of the World

Dear David

Apparently the Mayans predicted that civilisation as we know it will end on 21 December 2012.  I just thought I'd mention it as we might not be able to get that Christmas sherry in the Laughing donkey this year.  If you don't get your Christmas card in time I am sorry, although I did put a first class stamp on it due to the urgency.


David Responds

I have written on the subject of the predicted end of the world on Friday previously and how inconvenient it is. I don't really think the Mayans have thought this through properly, what with it being so near to Christmas. 

There could be a bit of an impact on the Laughing Donkey and rang them this morning and they said (it was the one with the spooky eyes that you like the look of) they had a special order of sherry due on Friday to get you through the Christmas holiday. So they are obviously expecting it to be open as usual on Saturday.

If not I will be a bit cross as I have paid a £5 deposit to secure our usual table next to the fruit machines.

Oh and as for your Christmas card, if it is anything like your birthday card, I wasn't expecting it until the back end of February anyway.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Dear David - Christmas Party

Dear David

After I wrote to you a while ago to tell you I didn't have any Christmas parties to go to, one of your readers kindly invited me to the party at her local community centre.

I have sent a photograph of the outfit I wore to the party.

I had such a good time, and it is all thanks to you. 


David Responds

I am pleased you had a good time, it is so rewarding when my help and advice brings such joy. 

Oh and a photograph … I like these letters …

… fishing it out of the envelope

Let's have a look …
Good Lord what have you got on? What did you go as - the Hobbit?
If you have any more Christmas parties planned this year ring me urgently on my private number for some style advice.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Dear David - Christmas Present

Dear David

I am so looking forward to getting together on Christmas eve and I am making you a little something.  I don't want to spoil the surprise, but could you tell me how long your arms are?


David Responds

Oh god not another jumper. 

Ethel love, I thought we had this all out last year?  It is very kind of you to knit me a jumper and to go to so much trouble, but knitting isn't really your strong point is it dear?

I'm not being fussy, but I really do prefer both sleeves in my jumpers to be the same length, and you haven't quite mastered casting off have you?

Why don't you just buy me that nice cappuccino maker we talked about instead?

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Dear David - Night Out

Dear David

I've just travelled 15,000 km overland through Siberia, what should I wear for a night out in Newcastle?

David Responds

Not that scarf, take it off.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Celebrity Week

A look at this week’s celebrities: 

  • Someone finally won X Factor; 
  • Louis said Christopher was never going back to Liverpool; 
  • Christopher went back to Liverpool; 
  • the Spice Girls squeezed a bit more money out of the half dozen songs they sang with a new musical; 
  • the queen saw some gold bars; 
  • Matt has a cold; 
  • Jessie might be engaged – I thought she was married; and 
  • Janice got engaged too; 
  • Priscilla is in panto; 
  • the Voice people started making the next series; 
  • Sarah wore a woolly hat; and 
  • Cheryl wore a woolly jumper – it must be winter; 
  • Hugh got a star in Hollywood; 
  • Harry got Taylor 23 cupcakes for her birthday – I wonder how old she is?; and
  • Charles and Camilla sent some Christmas cards – they were on 3 for 2 at Smiths.


And the Christmas food rush has started.

Don't be caught out, remember the shops will be closed for three hours and eight seconds over the holiday period.

Oh and no 70p coupon this week, just when I need it most!

Friday, 14 December 2012

Dear David - Stamps

Dear David

Question withheld for legal reasons (Editor).

Knuckles, Pentonville.

David Responds

It was quite fascinating to learn what you can do with a postage stamp, a tub of Vaseline and a Christmas card, but I really cant condone such a thing.

I should remind you that it it is a serious offence to attempt to defraud Her Majesty's postal services.

Men's Fashion

If you are a Men's fashionista you might have gone for this seasons new look - the velvet jacket.

If you have I feel it my duty to point out that James May has one and has worn it to an event.

You might want to take your velvet jacket and set fire to it in the back garden.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Dear David - Feather Duster

Dear David

I wondered if you would mind passing on a household tip to your readers.  If they have never used one could you suggest they try using a feather duster?  I have just bought one and it has transformed my cleaning routine.  I've skipped around the house with it today with amazing results. I am ready for Father Christmas and still days to go!

David Responds

Thank you for this festive and timely tip.

Yes, I have used a feather duster for many years and they do take they hard work out of this heavy household chore.

But I think I should point out that they don't actually remove dust, they just move it around a bit. 

The next day your royal doulton figurines will be covered in dust again.

This was fine in years gone by when feather dusters were designed to keep your parlour maid busy every day and stop her spending her mornings in Bettys tea rooms. 

But for the modern busy householder they do have their drawbacks as the time saved dusting has to be off-set against the extra days you have to dust!

Dear David - Christmas Present

Dear David

My son has just turned 13. He has become a typical teenager, uncommunicative, untidy and does nothing around the house. What can I get him for Christmas?

David Responds

A paper round.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Gay Marriage

Bit of a discussion going on in the media about gay marriage at the moment.  Not going to get into that discussion, but I did notice an MP say that he was against it but he wasn't a bigot.

To prove his point he gave the example of the time he punched a gay man in the face. 

We pay these people £65,000 a year and they can't even see the irony in their own arguments.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Dear David - Christmas Cards ... again

Dear David

I received a Christmas card today from one of my drinking friends from the Laughing Donkey.  The thing is I wasn't planning on sending him one as I only have one book of 4 second class stamps.  Do you think it is acceptable to hand deliver it in the Laughing Donkey when I see him for a Christmas sherry?

David Responds

No it is not acceptable to hand deliver a Christmas card in the Laughing Donkey, because if you think I am going to cart it around with me all evening so you can save 50p, you have another think coming.

And anyway I have seen your book of second class stamps, they are covered in dust and have pictures of George the 6th on them so it it high time you used them and bought a new book of stamps.

Dear David - Christmas Cards

Dear David

This year I spent £17 on stamps. That cost is not sustainable. I may attempt to gather email addresses next year and send something electronic (...perhaps people could print it off?).  It's not the same as getting a card through the door but £17 is a lot of money.  Do you have any suggestions for next year?


David Responds

Thank you for your enquiry and sorry about that little misunderstanding earlier.  I have a new sub editor, he is quite keen, if a little brusque.  I've had a word.

Now to your question. 

Yes postal costs are becoming a bit of a concern, and to be realistic, they are unlikely to go down.  But postage is only part of the problem, there is the increasing cost of cards to consider, so you are right to think of an alternative.

You should attack this on two fronts - reduce the number of cards you send and also the cost of the cards.

The whole sending of Christmas cards is a nightmare and I have issued guidance a number of times in the past on what to do, but why not take a new angle?  

Start a discussion with your friends and family on how these days Christmas cards are not so fashionable and really it is just the older generation that likes\sends them.  Then state that in future you are only going to send cards to old people.  That should get a few dropping out of wanting a card!

Next you need to reduce the cost of the cards.  I am sure you have a friends or family members with a young child, offer to baby sit one night as a treat.

On the night take a large pack of paper cut to individual 'Christmas card' size, a box of paints and a paint  brush.  

In a four hour session you should be able to encourage the average child to paint 20 pictures.  They don't have to be grand, just a couple of Christmas trees and a Father Christmas should do it.  A few hours and you should have 20 cards at no cost.

Make the rounds of friends with children and you could have 100 cards by the end of the week.

Reducing the number of cards you send and having the cards produced at no cost should keep your expenses down.  

A final tip is to send the cards without a stamp.  This means the recipient has to trail down to the depot and pay double to get your card.  This will help to make them less willing to be on your Christmas card list the following year.  

But don't send all your cards with no stamp, divide them between people who don't know each other or live miles apart so they can't compare notes.  You will have to fork out for one or two stamps, but it will be the bare minimum!

Merry Christmas

Christmas Cards

Popped along to post my Christmas cards at the weekend.  Finding a Post Office is easier said than done.

Second class this year - 50p each for stamps!  Times are hard and I'm not made of money.

Not sure how long they will take to deliver but you should have your card by Wednesday.

If you haven't got a card by Thursday, your not getting one.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Dear David - Holiday

Dear David

I've just got back off holiday and my skin is golden brown from top to toe - trust me it has been an exhausting process.  Could you give me some tips to help maintain my glow over the festive period.  After all we have festive sherry to have in the Laughing Donkey at some point. I have enclosed some photographs.


David Responds

I am so pleased you had a nice holiday. It is nice to get way at this time of year isn't it.

Oh and you have enclosed some photographs, I like these letters.

... fishing them out of the envelope ...

... Let's have a look ...

Ah ... well ... yes ... that's not really golden brown is it?

I think that is more what they call bright crimson.

Is this you on the beach?  Your hair seems a bit flat and stuck to your head - is that sweat?  Still I suppose it must have been quite hot.  And what's that in front of your nose, are you eating a tomato?

Are these your friends?  Don't you all look organised, with your neatly folded overcoats and umbrellas.  No sudden rain shower was going to catch you out was it!

It does look like you had a fabulous time, but as you say, how best to maintain your holiday look.  I would give that rash a few days to calm down and then apply lots of moisturiser.

I would start with Astral cold cream extra strength, until the weekend and gradually move to a lighter moisturiser and you should be perfect for Christmas.

Oh and I look forward to seeing you in the Laughing Donkey.  The owner says he will too, he says he doesn't sell as much sherry when you are away.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Christmas Decorations ... again

I have been inundated with a letter requesting evidence of my Christmas decorations, I hope you enjoy this photograph.

Celebrity Week

A look at this week’s celebrities - with a look at the Royal Variety Performance:
  • The Royal Variety celebrated the 100th year anniversary of Bruce Forsyth’s act; 
  • the Queen has been going to the Royal Variety for 60 years as Queen; 
  • the Queen looked back over the years she has been going to the Royal Variety and thought I’ve sat through a right load of tat; 
  • Prince Philip got wrong off they Queen because he forgot to set the video for New Tricks when they were at the Royal Variety; 
  • the Queen said she hated the bit where she has to go backstage and meet everyone because she just wants to get home and get to bed; 
  • the Queen said she hoped Philip was watching the acts and can think of something to say because she wasn’t watching,she was reading a Catherine Cookson on her Kindle; 
and other celebrities
  • Cat and Pat walked on a carpet; 
  • John and Olivia released a dodgy tune; 
  • the final three warmed up for the final on Saturday;

Her Next Door

I had her next door round this morning.

'Oh what a lovely decoration' she said 'how quaint'.  I'll give her quaint.

Managed to steer her away from my gypsy creams but as she left she said I must come to her for coffee next Saturday.

I know her game ... that will make it my turn the Saturday after, which is the last Saturday before Christmas.

Well if she thinks I'm breaking out my family size box of Tea Time assorted two days before Christmas, she has another think coming.