Friday, 30 March 2012

Celebrity Week

A look at this week’s celebrities:
  • apparently Kate likes rabbits, is good with glitter...and smells of raspberries';
  • Rihanna has been dating Ashton;
  • David and Victoria re selling their house in Hertfordshire - yours for £18 million;
  • Simon had someone over for the weekend - although he didn’t know he was going to have someone over for the weekend!;
  • Madonna wore some shorts - even though maybe Madonna shouldn’t have worn the shorts;
  • William and Kate are on holiday in the snow;
  • Lorraine is going to do Daybreak;
  • David had some dinner parties - sounds like the small gifts you bring for the host were quite expensive;
  • Tulisa made a movie:
  • Tulisa didn’t know she had made a movie;
  •  George didn’t buy a pasty;
  • David bought a pasty;
  • Ed bought a pasty; and
  • the other Ed bought a pasty as well; then
  • George thought he had better buy a pasty as well!


I haven't really celebrated Easter as a festival for many years but I have decided to celebrate it this year.

But there is the problem, what do you do at Easter, do I have to buy a chicken and roast it on Sunday? Is it ok to buy your own Easter eggs? Is there a special double issue of the Radio Times?

So many questions - if only there was someone to write to for advice!


My search for new music continues. 

I found this lady (well it says lady here) and she sings a tune about a Friday night, not sure of her name but she was married to the annoying one with the long hair that only has one pair of trousers (too skinny) and a grey t-shirt to his name, but she isn't married to him anymore, well I quite like the tune but I'm not so keen on the Missy Elliot mix (ooh don't I know a lot about modern music). But you might want to give it a go.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Dear David - Fractions

Dear David

I saw your advice on filling up with petrol, my tank is about five eighths full, but I can’t work out whether that is more than two thirds or less than two thirds. Can you help?

David Responds

Yes fractions can be tricky, which is why I was pleased they were banned in 1992. Trying to compare fractions, for example thirds with fifths, can be very difficult.

In your example five eighths is a half and a quarter of a half, whereas two thirds is three thirds of a half plus a third of a sixth. I hope that helps.

Dear David - Petrol

Dear David

I have been having some difficulty getting petrol this week. I am not sure when to fill up. Do you have any advice?

David Responds

Ah yes getting petrol has suddenly become more difficult. To get petrol you need a basic understanding of fractions. This is a little harder to do these days as fractions were banned by the Single European Act 1992.

Despite this ban on fractions (and a ban long awaited by your blogger) the government has issued some advice for motorists wanting petrol. You should aim to keep your petrol tank one third full and if possible keep it two thirds full. If you have half a tank of petrol you should fill it up.

Unfortunately the government advice is a little unclear as they have not stated if you have one third tank full of petrol whether you should fill it until it is two thirds full or to the half full mark, or even if you should fill it to the top.

I have read the advice twice and it is still not clear so my best advice is to get the bus!

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Dear David - Shorts and Footwear

Dear David

With this sudden spell of warm weather I want to wear shorts, but I am not sure what type of shoes to wear with them. Can you advise?


David Responds

Oh dear, I receive more letters about man's shorts than I do on almost any other subject, although I am not sure if I have been asked about matching footwear.

Men wearing shorts is fraught with danger and I have commented on the various issues many times, footwear is just a new aspect.

Some shoes are just not at all suitable to wear with shorts, at the risk of stating the obvious these are: town shoes, boots, wellingtons, trainers and flip flops. A grey area is espadrilles. Technically these should only be worn on foreign soil but there is a growing acceptance for them to be worn in Britain.

The most suitable footwear with shorts is our fashion must have the deck shoe. These shoes combine the advantage of a sturdy sole to give comfort on city streets with a casual carefree look to compliment the 'I am casual and wearing shorts' look.

Wear blue ones for daytime and black ones for an evening summer stroll.


I notice pasties have been in the news. Apparently it was important to know when the chancellor last bought a pasty at Greggs. Now you know I try to keep politics out of my blog but I feel I have to comment.

I am no fan of George Osborne or his rotten policies but think this was a bit silly. T

he fact that George doesn't buy pasties at Greggs is fine with me because if the Chancellor of the Exchequer has got time to go out at lunchtime and go to Greggs for a pasty then he hasn't got enough to do. Anyway it is miles to the nearest Greggs from Downing Street!

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Digital Switchover

If you are in my local area you might be aware we are having our old TV signals switched off in September, and we are in the midst of a publicity campaign on the TV.

The main point of the campaign seems to be to tell old people they need to be prepared or they will not be able to watch Diagnosis Murder in the afternoon from the autumn.

Now you know me, I am not one to pick faults, but there is one tiny point in the TV information broadcast that I think needs to be corrected.

The voiceover says '… if you are 75 and over …

Well hold it right there. Lots of people are under 75, fewer people are over 75 and some people are 75, but there is no one in the country that is '75 and over'.

So if you don't mind could you re-edit this broadcast and transmit correctly!

Monday, 26 March 2012

Dear David - Reincarnation

Dear David

All this talk about the 100 year anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic has made me think I have been here before and was part of that fateful voyage. How can I be sure?

Miss OB

David Responds

Reincarnation is a fundamental belief in some religions so we shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss the possibility. For you dear, have you experienced any of the following:
  • Do you come over all funny on the Shields ferry?;
  • Have you ever been on a cruise and thought ‘there is never enough lifeboats on this ship’;
  • Do you keep your jewels in a locked box and take it everywhere with you when you are at sea?;
  • Have you ever picked up an iceberg lettuce in Tesco and had a little shudder?
If you have you might have been here before!

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Dear David - British Summer Time

Dear David

I notice the clocks go forward tonight. If I want to record a TV programme that starts at 1 o’clock in the morning do I set the recording to start on Greenwich Mean Time or British Summer Time?


David Responds

Ethel love you ask me this question every year. And every year I explain it to you. I offer to talk you through how to set the recording and then we discover you don’t even have a video recorder.

Now stop it. I have better things to do with my Saturday afternoons than answer your pointless questions!

March Weather

Bit of weather this morning with the lady on the radio telling us that the fog will clear away … eventually. Well that is a relief.

While in Scotland they are heading for the warmest March day for years - apparently the snow will be quite warm!

Friday, 23 March 2012

Celebrity Week

A look at a quite week with this week’s celebrities:

  • Gary has signed up for the next X Factor;
  • Kate wore her mother’s dress to an engagement - this really is going to far, at least it looked like someone had put an iron over it;
  • Hev left EastEnders;
  • William is back home;
  • Jason has some new hair (Donovan not Gardiner);
  • George is singing again;
  • S Club 7 are planning a come back, can it be 10 years since they split? - you have been warned;
  • one left the apprentice almost as quickly as she arrived;
  • the queen is looking for a butler;
  • Britain’s Got Talent and the Voice are due to start this weekend - oh I don’t know if I have the time;
  • Charles played basketball; and
  • Kate took the dog for a walk.

St Stephen's Tower

I see MPs are thinking about re-naming St Stephen's Tower (Big Ben to you and me) to the Elizabeth tower to mark the queen's diamond jubilee. Not sure it is in MPs gift to re-name England’s landmarks, but I suppose it is cheaper than buying her a present!

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Dear David - Work Colleague

Dear David,

I am currently working in a fairly large, open plan office. Seated in close proximity to me is a serial offender of the ‘come to work dressed as a refugee’ look that has become all too common in the modern workplace.

Naturally this bothers me.

Should I confront said person and offer some much needed style tips or should I say nothing and continue to gawp in sheer abject horror at the next ‘car crash in a charity shop’ ensemble that they come schlepping in to work wearing?


David Responds

Oh this is a difficult one as on the one hand you have to maintain some sort of working relationship with this person, but on the other hand you have to spend all day looking at what ever bit of tat they decide to wear to work each day.

In your situation my first instinct would be to offer style advice, you don’t say whether your colleague is male or female, but it hardly matters as the general effect of this dumbing down of fashion is to merge the two into indistinct entities.

As a result the sort of basic style tips needed are much the same; I am sure you will have your own ideas, but the basics are:

  • Cut several meters of material from the bottom of t-shirts;
  • Add a statement belt to pull in and add shape;
  • Throw baseball cap into bin;
  • Give trainers a wipe with a damp cloth.
You get the picture.

Consider offering to go to the charity shops with your colleague next weekend - so you can oversee and ensure nothing too dreadful is purchased.

If you think this is too much or you don’t feel you can approach your colleague then you need to consider some ‘coping strategies’. Does your office have screens or whiteboards you can put between your self and your offending colleague. Perhaps you can bring in some plants to build a ‘plant wall‘ between your desks.

Or if you are slightly more ‘with it’ on the technology front, why not take a picture each day and build a 365 day collage of outfits. Load on to You Tube and you could have the next online sensation!


I don’t often comment on politics, but I couldn’t resist one item announced in the budget.

The plan to give us yearly statements to show how the tax we pay is spent seems a good idea.

But looking at it more closely, the government doesn’t decide on a person by person basis where to spend our money, so for example they don’t say, we will spend all of David’s tax on health, and all of him’ next doors money on the environment.

It is all proportional. So if the annual spend on health is 40% then the statement will just show 40% of my tax going towards health.

Seems a very expensive and 20th century solution to a problem. I could knock up an online calculator to do all that in half an hour at next to no cost!

Wednesday, 21 March 2012


Bit of excitement with a table booked at a nice restaurant. 

And even more exciting as it is my turn to send back the wine!

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Dear David - Biscuits again ...

Dear David

I saw your recent letter about biscuits and wondered about chocolate biscuits in tins, should they be removed or is it acceptable to offer the tin ?Worried I may be doing this wrong.


David Responds

You have to remember the point of putting chocolate biscuits into tins is to persuade us to pay a premium for the same biscuits normally sold in packets. Manufacturers rely on us thinking ‘oh that tin will make a great button box’ but of course it never does and ends up in the bin.

It is easy to get carried away at special times of the year and buy tins of luxury biscuits (‘luxury biscuits’ another marketing ploy to make us spend money), this is fine but keep it as a treat. But remember you will get twice as many biscuits if you buy them in packets.

The only time I can think of that you might serve biscuits straight from the tin is perhaps tea time on Christmas Day. You will be surrounded by family and there will be a quite cosy informal atmosphere. It can add to the party mood if casually open your tin of chocolate biscuits, maybe to party poppers if you can arrange it! Go mad and have fun on this special day.

But for all other times I would suggest serving your biscuits (sold in tins or otherwise) on a china plate.

Dear David - Biscuits

Dear David

I saw a recent letter about biscuits, do you have any more advice on serving biscuits to your friends?

David Responds

Ah yes serving biscuits can be a minefield. But consider these simple tips for a stress free social occasion.
  • Generally round biscuits are for children and rectangular biscuits are for adults;
  • Go for biscuits with ‘old European’ names like bourbon or garibaldi;
  • Avoid square biscuits like custard creams (custard creams are not quite square, but still they are best avoided).
This should help you narrow down the range of biscuits to serve. Have you maid arrange them nicely on china plates.

No packets please, I once saw biscuits offered out of the packet and if ever there was an occasion where the expression ‘stunned silence’ could be used - that was it!

Monday, 19 March 2012


Had a bit of a walk along the beach in the (almost) spring sunshine. Saw some children playing and singing 'One, Two big fat pig'

How charming.

I wanted to suggest 'One, Two big fat coo‘, would be more poetic, add a Scottish lilt to the tune and be more pleasing to the ear, but my friend wouldn't let me!


I was very pleased with my delivery from Barker and Stonehouse today.

Yes the delivery van was very large and her next can't have failed to see it.  Let's see her get at my gypsy creams without mentioning it!

Saturday, 17 March 2012


Popped into Sainsbury’s this morning and thought I’d go to the garage and fill up while I was there.

Have you seen the price … £1.379! I’m not paying that. I’ll use something else!

Friday, 16 March 2012

Celebrity Week

A look at this week’s celebrities:
  • Jude got a new girlfriend and a new cardigan - it is not true that bets are being taken that the cardigan will last longer than the girlfriend;
  • One Direction were on the telly in America;
  • David had a ride in an airplane;
  • David went to see some baseball - or was it basket ball? - same difference;
  • David had a hotdog;
  • David thought hanging around with the US President isn’t all it is cracked up to be;
  • Sian isn't doing breakfast anymore;
  • Ken Barlow has ...- well let's not think about this one;
  • Frank put his house on the market - £7million if you want it;
  • Katie won Celebrity mother of the year award - again;
  • Katie was out drinking beer in her underwear - well she wasn't drinking the beer out of her actual underwear … but you know what I mean;
  • Robbie hasn't put a bit of weight on;
  • Strictly Ice Dancing trundles on, but we must be getting near the end as Britain's Got Talent is starting up soon;
  • BGT has lost Piers but gained the one off of Little Britain that I should like but don't, and the one that replaced the old one on Strictly but has now left anyway;
  • and on the other side the Apprentice is starting again - has that not just finished?;
  • Rebekah popped into see the police again - she didn't take her horse and
  • George was arrested - not Michael this time Clooney.

Dear David - Expression

Dear David

I often use the expression 'to set hares running' I have now been told the correct expression is 'to set rabbits running'. I am very worried, can you confirm the correct wording?

David Responds

I wish that was all I had to worry about. But since you ask, either is fine, but I would prefer you use 'rabbits'. Hares are creepy.

Thursday, 15 March 2012


Had him next door round the other night, (not him next door that is married to her next door that has all my gypsy creams - it was him next door the other way that is married to the one I mistakenly called Pauline on their Christmas card last year when she is called Joanne and they had a big row because she wanted to know who Pauline was) anyway he was round because we have a bit of an adjoining wall and he wanted to know if I thought we should pull it down and build it up again as he said he didn't think the bricks were quite straight.

I said ok as long as I don't have to do anything other than maybe stand and watch and say 'that bit needs to go back a bit' then I'm fine with it.

No timescale was mentioned so maybe this is an exciting project for the summer!

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Dear David - Cleaning

Dear David

Do you have any tips for cleaning your kitchen?

David Responds

I think you are confusing me with Anthea Turner, speak to your maid.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Dear David - Budgerigars

Dear David

I have been thinking about getting a budgie, but I don’t know much about them. Can you offer any advice?

David Responds

I don’t know much about budgerigars either, but I think I can offer you a few thoughts.

All budgies are much the same and they come in three main colours, blue, green and yellow (not too sure about yellow - they might be canaries).

You don’t say what colour your living room wallpaper is, but you can either get a budgie to contrast or match your colour scheme. I would suggest you go for a contrast - trying to match a budgie to your wallpaper could be difficult and time consuming.

So if your overall room colour is blue, go for a green budgie and vice versa.

If you are a little avant-garde and have a red d├ęcor, then go mad and go for a yellow bird.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Dear David - Monkeys and Apes

Dear David

How can you tell the difference between monkeys and apes?

David Responds

Regular readers will know I don’t like monkeys (they give me the creeps, like birds and hippopotamouseses), but I am not easy put off, so happy to answer your question.

Monkeys and apes are often confused with for example chimpanzees (mickyes monkeyus) being called monkeys when in fact they are apes, and Barbary apes mis-named as they are in fact monkeys (they are macaques).

An easy way to tell them apart is generally apes do not have tails, whereas monkeys do. But my best way to tell them apart is monkey’s arms aren’t strong enough to support their weight so they generally run along tree branches whereas apes (apus kingus kongus), with stronger arms swing through the trees.

Dear David - Engagement

Dear David

I have just become engaged and want to have an engagement party. I had thought about having it at my local but they have asked for £110 for a plate of sausage rolls and two dozen sandwiches! I am knocking on a bit and don’t have much money so I can’t afford it. Do you have any suggestions?


David Responds

Congratulations Rita and well done.

The price you have been quoted by your local seems a bit steep, so I think you need to look elsewhere. I have had a quick look at your location (the wonders of the internet) and suggest you give the Flying Horse a ring. My friend Nellie Harvey is the landlady there now and I am sure she will put on a fantastic buffet for half the price you have been quoted.

Mention my name and she will put on her de luxe spread (including doilies) at no extra cost.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

I am titanium ... again

I have been thinking about that tune ‘I am titanium’ sung by that lady who takes her clothes off in a farmers field (or is that the other one? Anyway …) I would suggest a better and more accurate title to the song would be

'I am oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus, potassium, sulphur, sodium, chlorine, and magnesium … and simple bystander contaminants without function like caesium and titanium'

Might be a little difficult to find a rhyme, but you don't know if you don't try!

Friday, 9 March 2012


Just seen a news item where two women are going to go for 60 days without any form of beautification.

That's nothing, I used to work with someone who did it for years!

Celebrity Week

A look at this week’s celebrities:

  • the ratbag has been out with her toyboy - he’s not what I would call a toyboy;
  • Freddie might be doing the next Celebrity Big Brother - yes please;
  • Harry wore a lovely blue suit in wherever it was in the Caribbean;
  • Harry wore some new suede shoes;
  • Harry must have just got his birthday money;
  •  the Queen had a day out in Leicester;
  • Justin bought a $10.8 million house for his 18th birthday - like you do;
  • Kate is on tour with Queen;
  • Jamie has put a bit of weight on;
  • Jessie J has covered up her scouse brow;
  • Someone threw a beer can at David; while
  • Victoria rode a horse - there is a lot of it about; and
  • Lorraine recovered after she fell off a horse;
  • J-Lo wore a dress with a plunging neckline;
  • Ronaldo's car broke down; 
  • Jessica got an engagement ring off Justin; and
  • Adele bought a house in Brighton, and waved at photographers - at least I think it was a wave.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Dear David - Solar Flares

Dear David

I have seen in the news a report about solar flares and how we will be bombarded with charged particles over the next 24 hours. Should I be worried?

David Responds

The news reports are a little frightening, but you should not be unduly alarmed. The ‘charged particles’ referred to are hot, but quite small and will bounce off anything they come into contact with. If they hit your bare skin you might feel a tiny sting and hear a ’pinging’ noise.

In the circumstances you might want to take some sensible precautions:
  • If you need to go out in the next day or so, use an umbrella (or a parasol if you have one), this should protect you from the worst of the solar particles;
  • Wear a long sleeved jumper or cardigan for added protection;
  • Apply an extra coat of hair lacquer to deflect any stray particles.
And Joan love, you might want to bring your hanging baskets in for a couple of days.


My post of yesterday caused a bit of a furore and I have been inundated with a letter after suggesting that daffodils are not in flower in the north east of England.

I can now report that daffodils are indeed in full bloom in many parts of the region.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Day Trip

Little trip to Leeds today, not been for weeks. Noticed the daffodils are out, (don't know how as it is always freezing cold and miserable as sin In Leeds) when there is hardly a sign of them at home.

Most exciting part of my visit was receiving a Cadbury's mini egg (one) as a gift. It was yellow. 

The yellow ones aren't very nice

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Dear David - Farmer's Market

Dear David

I have been invited to a farmer’s market at the weekend, but I have never been to one before. Do you have any advice for me?
David Responds

Oh a farmer’s market, how exciting. This is a great way to spend a Saturday morning, but there are some things you should consider:
  • The most important thing about a farmer’s market is what to wear. At this time of year it will be cold, so wrap up warm in your best wool coat, a statement cashmere scarf, killer boots and a great big hat;
  • The food on offer will be much as you find in your local supermarket, but a little different, potatoes are likely to have mud on them. Ask the store holder to remove the mud before weighing out your purchase, this could save you pounds;
  • Apples and pairs will look misshapen and crooked. Apparently this is normal and is how they grow in the wild;
  • Don’t be alarmed by fresh eggs, just ask the man to put them in a brown paper bag and tuck safely into your shopping bag. You might want to ask your maid to give them a bit of a wipe when you get home;
  • Give the milk a miss, apparently in the country they get it straight from cows!

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Dear David - Afternoon Tea

Dear David

I saw the queen had a tea party during the week, I think I will do this for a few friends and wondered what biscuits to serve. Do you have any tips?

David Responds

How very modern of you to serve biscuits rather than sandwiches and cake for afternoon tea. Don’t be tempted to serve chocolate biscuits, although delicious, they will leave marks on your guest’s gloves.

I am partial to a gypsy cream but they might be a bit too exciting for afternoon tea, I suggest something from Huntley and Palmers, perhaps a Nice biscuit or if you feel like pushing the boat out try a Bourbon.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Dear David - Dating

Dear David

I have decided to look through the lonely heart ads to find a mate. Do you have any advice?

David Responds

Lonely heart ads are a minefield and you need to take great care, but understanding the truth behind the words is a great start. Remember these hidden meanings for a happy search
  • Discreet - married
  • Good sense of humour - miserable as sin
  • Told good looking - ugly
  • Likes nights in - cheapskate
  • Looking for fun - married
  • Professional - works in a chip shop
  • Adventurous - married
  • Looking for long term relationship - isn’t looking for long term relationship
  • Likes evenings in with a bottle of wine - lush
  • Occasional smoker - smokes 60 a day
  • Social drinker - never out the pub
  • Likes entertaining at home - lives on take-away.

Celebrity Week

A look at this week’s celebrities:
  • Angelina had one of her legs at the Oscars - looked a bit scrawny to me;
  • the ratbag moved in with her toy boy;
  • Rochelle is still with Marvin, even though they postponed their wedding;
  • Rebecca wore white trousers;
  • Pixie isn't going to live with her boyfriend - there was a time when it would be news if a celebrity did live with her boyfriend; while
  • Kerry has moved her boyfriend of four months in;
  • Rebekah borrowed a horse; and
  • David rode Rebekah’s horse;
  • Lorraine might be going to take over Daybreak;
  • the queen had a day out in Fortnums with her son’s second wife and her grandson’s first wife;
  • Matthew said he didn’t say Kelly wasn’t the brightest bulb; and
  • Englebert is going to sing a song in Europe.