Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Dear David - Shorts

Dear David

I am having a few days break in a few months time at a Mediterranean destination with a few gentlemen friends. I have most of my clothes sorted, but am stuck for shorts. What’s fashionable in shorts this season?

David Responds

I can see through your polite description - you are going on a stag weekend aren’t you?

As such I suspect you will not be frequenting local high fashion destinations and you are looking for something that looks good, but will survive a night of high jinx as you celebrate with your friends.

After years of long shorts being de rigueur, shorts this year are short. This is not an excuse to dig out some old shorts last worm when Kenny Dalglish was scoring goals for Liverpool in the ‘70s. But before you rush to embrace this new style, take an honest inventory of your body.

White pasty legs or misshapen knees will not be enhanced by a pair of shorts that stop mid thigh.

Be honest with yourself and if your assessment is less than favourable, then stick to shorts that stop on the knee. Add to the look with some false tan applied before you go.

Avoid longer shorts if you have fat ankles as the look will only accentuate this distressing condition. And in a foreign land you could leave yourself open to cat calls in the street of ‘look at him with the fat ankles’.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Pop Tunes

Decided a while ago I need some music, but what to get?  I needed to give this some serious thought as I'm not having any old riff raff on my iPod (do they still call them iPods?).

There is certainly a lot to choose from, so to help I thought about listing some criteria to help narrow it down a bit.  I decided on the following:
  • no one that has been on X Factor\pop idol or similar;
  • no tunes with 'text speak' titles, 'amusing' pun titles or any other corruption of the English language;
  • no one that is dead.
I might have gone too far - it didn't leave much!

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Dear David - Snood

Dear David

I noticed on the Next website in the clearance section (I like a bargain) amale snood. I am not sure what to make of them, should I buy one?

David Responds

A snood is historically a type of European female headgear or in modern times a tubular neck scarf. In the most common form the headgear resembles a close-fitting hood worn over the back of the head.

Snoods were popular for a short time (but now banned) with some dingbat footballers with more money than sense so suspect this is how they have made it to the high street (via Next).

Adapting this female head garment for menswear is a step too far and a snood is not something any self-respecting gentleman (apart perhaps from brother Cadfael) should wear.

A bargain is only a bargain if you wear\use it.  I suspect if bought if would languish unworn in your accessories drawer.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

I am Titanium

I don’t really hold with modern tunes, they are too complicated and often don’t make sense.

For instance I was looking through the musical charts and saw one by David Guetta but the person singing was a woman.

David is fine as far as names go, in fact it was the name your blogger was allocated but why is she called David?

Then when listening, she was singing a song about how she was titanium, clearly she was not.

Titanium is known for its corrosion resistance and has the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any metal. I accept this lady was showing no signs of corrosion but there was no evidence that she was made of any metal that I could see.

It just doesn’t make sense.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Celebrity Week

A look at this week’s celebrities:
  • Natalie is back with Adam - are you mad?;
  • David and Dereck had a fight - only they weren’t supposed to;
  • Adel managed to ruin Blur's Lifetime Achievement Award by being dead common;
  • Lorraine fell off a horse - after treatment and a few days in hospital the horse will be fine;
  • Danielle became a gypsy star;
  • Louis says he would like to see Cheryl back on X Factor - I will remind him he said that in November;
  • a lot of singers made a lot of fuss getting a few plastic statues;
  • Pink is the new thing for your lips - the colour that is not the singer;
  • Jennifer got a star in Hollywood;
  • Caroline has got legs; and
  • Mel C has toned legs;
  • Cheryl wore a white dress;
  • Adel is doing the Olympics closing show - you might want to have a word with her first;
  • Brad and Angelina might be getting married; and
  • Meryl and Julia are going to make a film together.


Dear David - Elephant

Dear David

I can never tell the difference between African elephants and Indian elephants. Can you advise how to tell them apart?

David Responds

My advice is more usually concerned with lifestyle problems, this is the sort of question you can easily answer from any search engine, but since you ask (although it beats me why you want to know when you live in Slough and as far as I know Slough does not have a large elephant population), I will respond.

The African elephant (largus earus elephantus) has large ears whereas the Indian elephant (littleus earus elephantus) has small ears. I accept that unless you have one of each elephant in front of you to compare, it might be difficult to decide whether the elephant has large ears or small ears.

I suggest you cross that bridge when you come to it!

Dear David - Princess

Dear David

When I grow up I want to marry a Prince and live in a castle like Princess Kate did. Will I?

Sarah age 6

David Responds


Thursday, 23 February 2012

Dear David - Gym Kit

Dear David

It has been a lovely day and was wondering if the time was right to start wearing my spring gym kit.

David Responds

Too soon.

Dear David - Dandy

Dear David

Sometimes I have heard people refer to me as a 'Dandy' or a 'Fop'. Should I be worried?

David Responds

These things are all relative. For example in some parts of (name of city withheld… editor) scraping the mud off your boots will lay you open to charges of foppery. I wouldn’t' worry about it.

Speed of Light

You might remember a while ago I reported some scientists at CERN had suggested they might have found evidence to disprove a basic law of the universe, (the one about how nothing can travel faster than the speed of light). 

I think I reported at the time that this was nonsense (it would be far too complicated and need so much work if it was true) and so it seems it is. Apparently they have found a couple of flaws in the results (something about a plug not being connected properly and the man with the stop watch not being as agile starting and stopping the watch as he might be).

It still has to be confirmed, but it seems all is now right with the universe again. You read it here first.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Dear David - Dyson

Dear David

I have just bought my first Dyson vacuum cleaner. I find I am rushing home after work every evening to vacuum my floors. Is this normal?

David Responds

Yes dear this is quite normal. Your delight with your new cleaner will wear off in a year or two.

The Brits 2012

Bit of a fuss over the Brits last night.  Not sure why ITV felt the need to apologise to Adel, as far as I could see it wasn't ITV that made an offensive gesture on live TV.

There is a whole world outside the celebrity obsessed music business and the time allowed for the Brits was up - time to move onto the next programme.

There was nothing stopping Adel continuing with her tedious list of 'thank yous' in the privacy of the O2 arena while the rest of us watched the News. 

These people are supposed to be role models - it is supposed to go with the deal of 'we give you millions of pounds for singing a few songs, that you would do for free anyway and you behave yourself and give young people something to look up to'.

I await an apology from Adel.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012


I was having a bit of a look through my iPod and I really must get some new music.  Over 70% of the singers on my tune list are dead.

And I'm not too sure about Liza Minnelli

Deard David - Awards

Dear David

I am going to a music awards ceremony tonight and I think I might win a few.  I don't know what to wear, do you have any advice?

Lady singer (name withheld)

David Responds

Yes.  Anything but that black woven check nylon dress you normally wear, I'm sick of the sight of it.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Car Wash

Little trip to Sainsbury's this morning and they are now offering a personal car washing service in the car park.  A man with a trolley and cleaning stuff cleans your car for you while you are in the store.

How marvellous.

I still maintain there was no mention of a fee when ordering the service!

Friday, 17 February 2012

Celebrity Week

A look at this week’s celebrities:

  • Fearne went to the Bafts dresses as Baby Jane Hudson;
  • Fearne hadn’t planned to look like Baby Jane Hudson - she just did;
  • Adel won some Grammys - I'm getting fed up with Adel, whatever happened to that nice Duffy?; and
  • Meryl got something too;
  • Sean needs to keep his trap shut;
  • Cher (the little one, not the proper one) said Cheryl mimes when she sings;
  • Robin has been singing on stage after he hasn't been so well, and
  • George is on the beach in Australia after he was ill also;
  • Gary might be doing X Factor again this year;
  • Jennifer put a skate boot in her head (not on purpose);
  • Peter is a dad again, or in prison - or both;
  • Steve has had better Valentine's Days
  • Daniella had a night out with her nose;
  • Katie isn't in prison, despite what Twitter says;
  • Nicole and Lewis are back together again;
  • Janet might be doing US X Factor and

      Dear David - Belts

      Dear David

      I was recently attempting to improve my sartorial education by reading an article titled "Hints for the modern gentleman" on Charles Tyrwhitt website. In it they intimated that belts should not be worn with a suit. In a similar article in a recent Men's Health they also stated this, but added that a high street suit can be improved considerably by removing the belt loops and adding side adjusters.

      I've just purchased a new suit which is in need of the legs shortening and was wondering about getting the loops removed at the same time, but felt I should page the Oracle first. What are your thoughts? I'm sans belt today in a kind of road test and my middle does feel a little loose (not sure I like this feeling, but I think I could get used to it in the name of fashion).


      Beltless in Leeds

      David Responds

      This is a tricky one as the general convention is that you should wear a belt with any trousers, whether as part of suit or a more casual outfit. (This includes jeans, but not 'trakkie bottoms' whatever they are).

      The advice you have seen is technically correct, trousers without belt loops and belt will give a much more 'made to measure' tailored and slim line look but does rely on correctly tailored 'side adjusters'. But generally gentlemen feel more comfortable with the added security of a belt.

      If you feel the 'no belt look' is for you, make sure you go to a professionally accredited tailor (not a shop on the high street that does adjustments 'in one hour including curtains and fitting new zips' - especially avoid such establishments if they use an exclamation mark in any part of their window advertising).

      Care also needs to be taken when sporting your new look, or the casual observer may think you are a Bellhop. To this end, it is probably best not to wear a pill box hat with your newly adjusted trousers.

      But be aware, getting the look wrong, could be disastrous, I suggest adjusting an old pair of trousers first before risking a new suit.

      Thursday, 16 February 2012


      I don't often write about music, I mean I know about tunes and things, but I'm not that fussed.  But I have noticed changes over time.  In the olden days there were lots of male soloists in the charts and apart from the occasional tune by Dusty Springfield or Petulia Clark, that was pretty much it as far as women went.

      Things have moved on and these days I notice it is nearly all new women in the charts - (to illustrate my point - quick question, name three male soloists that have been in the charts in the last year), which is fine, but I wonder why? 

      I don't really know who all these new singers are, well I know some of them, there is that one with the red hair that wears hardly any clothes and stands in fields and sings, and the blond one that sounds like Dale off of Alvin and the chipmunks. Oh and the one that wins everything but only sings three songs.  But who are all the others, and where do they come from?

      Oh and another thing I have noticed, they all shout, and seem very angry about something or other. 

      It doesn’t seem much fun being a singer these days!

      Tuesday, 14 February 2012

      Dear David - Mouse ... again

      Dear David

      In a recent reply you used the term, littlus brownius mousius, what does it mean?

      David Responds

      It is latin. It means little brown mouse. Not to be confused with its larger cousin biggus greyus mousius (big grey mouse).

      Monday, 13 February 2012

      Dear David - Mouse

      Dear David

      My mother has a mouse. What should I do?

      David Responds

      You don’t say what colour the mouse is or if your mother wishes to keep it, but I shall assume it is a brown mouse and that she does not.

      The brown mouse (littlus brownius mousius) is the most common house mouse and will probably make its home in the kitchen. If your mother has wood flooring a brown mouse will give a nice accent so she might like to think about keeping it.

      If the mouse is grey it really won’t go so your mother should encourage it to leave. Try leaving the kitchen door open and make ’shooing’ noises whenever it appears. If this does not work, try walking around the kitchen with a sweeping brush in hand. When the mouse makes an appearance make large sweeping motions with the brush and again some shooing noises. This should be enough to make your mouse leave.

      If all else fails you can buy one of those little plug in devices that emit a high pitch noise (beyond the human hearing range) Mouses hate the noise and will quickly leave and go next door!

      Dear David - Valentine's Day

      Dear David

      I never know what to buy my wife for Valentine’s Day. Can you give me some advice? I don’t have much money.

      David Responds

      You have left it a little late but all is not lost.

      • Have a good look round at home, if you are lucky you might find a box of chocolates left over from Christmas. Re-wrap the chocolates and your problem is solved
      • There is sure to be a garage near to where you live. Don’t be tempted by the lovely display of flowers in buckets outside, they will be quite expensive. Instead have a look inside. Garages are a treasure trove of potential gifts - dusters, screen wipes, sponges and cans of oil are just some of the goods on sale - and if you are lucky they might have a bargain bin to search around. Make up a lovely gift set with a yellow duster, car shine wax and screen wash - add a packet of rolos to make it extra special;
      • This one might be a bit tricky, especially if you are ham-fisted, but stay with it. You will need:
        • A sponge cake get one from the kitchen cupboard, or buy one for a £1 if you have to,
          some paper cup cake cases - you might have to buy these as well;
          A scone cutter (if you don’t what these are, look them up ion the internet) or a teacup will do if you don’t have one
          A flake
        Cut the sponge cake up with the cutter (or your teacup) and put into individual cup cake cases. Crumble the flake over the cup cakes. Arrange nicely in a box. You now have a lovely gift at next to no cost.

      Saturday, 11 February 2012

      Cats and Dogs

      Event - Bit of a walk in the park this morning and someting I have never actually seen before - a dog chasing a cat.

      Conclusion - Cats can run fast!

      Friday, 10 February 2012

      Celebrity Week

      A look at this week’s celebrities:
      • Lydia wore some high heel shoes without heels;
      • One Direction arrived back in England from US tour and went straight to Greggs;
      • Harry ate a pie in the street - common as muck;
      • Eeeh when you look at old photos of One Direction, don’t they look so young!;
      • Ann wore a mink coat;
      • William was called a ‘conquistador’ in Argentina - he said he quite liked that;
      • the queen had to plant a tree while a load of younger fitter people stood watching her shovel soil - she said being a queen isn’t all it is cracked up to be;
      • Madonna had a bit of a dance at the Super Bowl;
      • the queen has put in 60 years doing the same job;
      • the queen said she didn't even get a gold clock;
      • someone pointed out the queen already has several gold clocks;
      • the ratbag announced the split from her husband days after his 60th (is that all) birthday - accidentally on national TV for all to see;
      • Whitney was tired and emotional leaving a nightclub - as tired and emotional as a newt; and 
      • Holly is going to be Cilla - Surprise Surprise!

      Thursday, 9 February 2012

      Dear David - Go-karts

      Dear David

      I have been invited to a Go-karting event. i have never been to one before. Should I go?

      David Responds

      Go-karting? In February? Have you gone mad!

      Diamond Jubilee Concert

      I see they are planning a bit of a pop concert for the Queen's 60 jubilee (well not her 60th jubilee, she has only had a few of them, but the jubilee to celebrate her 60 years of queening).  All sorts of old crocs are being lined up to sing old songs.

      It is all very exciting.

      Although hang on a minute, I remember the last one 10 years ago.  We had three songs and two choruses of 'For She's a Jolly Good Fellow' and then they closed it down. It was all over before it got dark!

      Wednesday, 8 February 2012


      Any time we think about cutting a fiver off the defence budget, a load of military fume about the imminent disaster if we do it.  The latest of these says that the current planned cuts would mean we wouldn't be able to mount another operation like the one we just had in Iraq.

      He said it as if that would be a bad thing!


      Saw a bit of an item on a Sports channel (my remote had stuck).  Ian Botham (not one of my favourites) was being interviewed about some England cricket match being held somewhere hot.

      Things weren't going great for England, apparently and Botham advised the team to set out their goals.

      I think I know what is going wrong.


      Regular readers will know I have had one or two issues with Paperchase in the past, but stuck in Leeds and needing a card I had little choice but to pop in (Clinton cards of course being some sort of mammoth joke). 

      I quickly found a suitable card - my sister's birthday so one that looks like it has been a card before is fine) and went to pay.  I was served by a charming young man with a beaming smile and a helpful manner - he even asked if I would like a paper bag for my purchase.

      Transaction almost complete and I was even considering removing Paperchase from my 'endangered suppliers' list and then he ended our interaction with a 'Cheers pal'

      It had been going so well.

      Monday, 6 February 2012

      Dear David - Career Change

      Dear David

      I have a friend who is celebrating sixty years in the same job. I want to mark this in some way. Do you have any suggestions?

      David Responds

      Goodness sixty years doing the same job! You don't say what the job is or whether your friend is male or female (but judging by the rest of your letter I am guessing female), but she must be fed up with it by now, why not take her out to lunch one day and suggest she re-trains and tries her hand at something new?

      She must be knocking on a bit now, so perhaps something part-time maybe a couple of afternoons serving in a tea shop?

      Sunday, 5 February 2012

      Head Teachers

      And a bit more political news! Spotted an item that said that 1 in 4 head teachers were performing below average, and MPs were going to do something about it.

      Quite right.

      But hang on a minute, I’m no mathematician, but don’t 25% of any group doing anything perform below average?

      Like say a group of MPs - don’t 25% of them perform below average? Well I suppose you could work it out if there was any measure of an MPs performance, or even a job description to go on come to that!


      Caught a bit of foreign news on the TV earlier, admittedly I wasn't really paying attention but, apparently India doesn't want the peanuts we send them. 

      I suppose with all the elephants they have they need lots of peanuts, but I didn't even know we did send them peanuts!

      Saturday, 4 February 2012


      What with all this cold weather about and advice on TV to look after elderly neighbours - pop round and make sure they have their heating on, see if they need anything at the shops etc, I thought I would go and see if her next door needed anything.

      She was livid, she said she was only 34!

      Well she looks older.

      Friday, 3 February 2012

      Celebrity Week

      A look at this week’s celebrities:
      • Shirley is joining Downton; (MacLaine not Bassey);
      • Lydia and Arg split up - but we are not sure they were a real couple in the first place;
      • Courtney wore a dress that looked a bit like one Marilyn once wore;
      • Katie had a night out in suspenders - that’s a garment not a nightclub;
      • Nicole, Paula and Steve have all been fired from US X Factor - I'm sure we have been told this all before;
      • Pixie Lott wore Polka Dot - it rhymes, but it is so last season;
      • Sharon is going back into EastEnders; and
      • Terry is going back in Corrie;
      • Kelly wore a bikini in the sea - outrageous;
      • Terry isn’t captain anymore - is that again? I am sure he wasn’t captain anymore before?;
      • Rio says he doesn’t want to be captain because he has done it before and they took it off him;
      • David put his underwear on sale in shops - not his actual underwear that is, who would buy that! Think I’ve just answered my own question; and
      • One Direction are back from America - hardly seems worth chucking that lass for a couple of weeks away.

      Wednesday, 1 February 2012

      Dear David - Winter Weather

      Dear David

      I have heard that cold Siberian weather is heading our way this week. I am very worried. What should I do?

      David Responds

      There is no need to be worried, after all it is the middle of winter, so cold weather should be expected. But there are some precautions you can take to make sure you are fully prepared.

      Every home should have these three things:
      • A flask - if you are not sure what a flask is, it is like a bottle with a screw top. A flask keeps hot things hot, and cold things cold. Don’t ask me how it knows which is which, it just does;
      • A tartan blanket - any blanket will do at a push, but for the best results your blanket should be tartan. I keep mine neatly folded next to the fire in the living room;
      • A shovel - lean your shovel against your dustbin (if you are lucky enough to be still allowed to have a dustbin) to give an authentic rustic feel to your outdoors living area. Wickes have some lovely new shovels just in. Black steel with oak handle, but watch out for the woman on the till - she is a right cat.
      Get these three simple items and you will be all prepared for the worst weather Siberia can throw at us!


      In case you missed it asteroid 433 came quite close to planet earth last night. When I say quite close it was 16 million miles away, but as it is 21 mile wide, that is quite close enough thank you very much.

      I report this just in case you were wondering what that slight whooshing noise was at about 3am this morning as it went past.

      And Joan love you might want to check your hanging baskets in case the backdraught, knocked them off their brackets!