Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Dear David - Dressage ... again

Dear David

I was a bit cross about your reply to my question about taking up dressage.  I think it was a bit ageist. I am more determined to take it up now. Please give me some pointers to the sport.


David Responds

I am sorry you were annoyed, but you are knocking on a bit and horse riding can be dangerous.  I was as much thinking about the practicalities.  As you know I have been to your place for tea a number of times, and you have a lovely home, but the fourth floor of a multistorey isn't the easiest place to keep a horse.  But if you insist ...

Names are very important in dressage,
  • ladies should be called, Charlotte, Fiona or Berranice, (unless your nan is the Queen and apparently you can call yourself what you like);
  • gentlemen should be called Tarquin, Rupert or Cecil (pronounced Cee-sil);
  • horses are called Lightning, Flash or Thunderbolt (dobbin or sugarlump don't have the same impact);
  • You have to wear a top hat when you ride your horse (no, I have no idea why, I think it might be to show skill in not letting it fall off);
  • You have to teach your horse tricks. Because it is posh, they probably call them 'disciplines' or 'required elements', but they are tricks;
  • the tricks are - riding up and down in a straight line, jumping over little fences and the most difficult one is teaching your horse to count out its age with its hoof.  To do this try and get a horse that is two or three years old - it is easier.  If your horse is sixteen you will be there all day!

Dear David - Dressage

Dear David

I was watching the dressage at the Olympics and I think I would like to take it up. Could you tell me the rules?


David Responds

It is great that you have been inspired to take up a new sport, but Ethel love, you are 87, don't you think you have left it a bit late to start horse riding?

Monday, 30 July 2012

Dear David - Seats ... again

Dear David

I has just been to a sporting event and this man said I couldn't sit with my wife and four children.  He made me sit at the other end of the stadium.  Something about the colour of my coat. 

When I got to my allocated seat I was squeezed between two pretty young  blondes. Should I complain?

David Responds

Complain? Result!

Dear David - Seats

Dear David

I am in charge of allocating seats at a big sporting event.

I don't like people sitting in the seats because they make the place look untidy, so I keep turning people away. 

I have been getting wrong.  What do you think?

David Responds

Can you pack it in, this has cost us a fortune, we need to fill the place up.

As a compromise why not move people around so all the ones wearing blue coats are together, all the ones wearing red are together and so on.

You could make some nice patterns and would give you something to do. 

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Dear David - Singing ... again

Dear David

I received your reply to my recent letter about singing but I still don't understand.  Can you be a bit more specific.

David Responds


You have made a fabulous fortune and comfortable living out of a brand that ended forty years ago and on the back of skills of a much more talented colleague.

You have received a mystifying (to me) reverence far beyond that which might be due.

It is time to give it up and do something else, and stop singing at public venues.


I see one of the seven dwarves has been banned from the Olympics following a dopey test ... I  just made that up ...

Dear David - Singing

Dear David

I sang at an open air event last night, but I've had a load of flack since, and I don't understand it.  Can you  help?


David Responds

Yes I think I can.

These games are all about sustainability and providing a safeguard for the future.

This was wonderfully demonstrated by Steve Redgrave passing the flame to some young sportspeople of tomorrow.

The older letting the young take their place, watching, providing help and support but standing back.

Now do you understand?

Friday, 27 July 2012

Celebrity Week

A look at this week’s celebrities:
  • Tulisa is trying to define herself as an artist - go figure; 
  • Cybill got engaged; 
  • Janice is knocking on a bit to be skateboarding in heels; 
  • Ben is Jesus; 
  • the Queen said she didn’t’ care if the Olympic flame was passing Buckingham palace, she had just got in and her feet were killing her so no, she didn’t want to run round Queen Victoria’s monument carrying the flame; 
  • Robert chucked Kristen after she got a new boyfriend; 
  • Justin said he wasn't just a pretty face - I will take your word for it; 
  • Britney wore tiny shorts and sequins; while 
  • Jessica wore a low cut dress; 
  • Jeremy rang a bell and nearly knocked someone out;
  • Jennifer and Joanna carried a torch in London; and 
  • Tara and Jedward were in St Tropez.

Olympic Opening Ceremony

All excited for the Olympics opening ceremony tonight. 

It will be full of fun and surprises.

What with a load of sheep and Boris Johnson on the loose, what could possibly go wrong!

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Dear David - Flags

Dear David
I have a temporary job looking after flags at a sporting event. Yesterday I got wrong as I made a mistake. Can you offer me any help for the future?

David Responds
Have you thought of keeping the flags in alphabetical order?

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Dear David - Lunch

Dear David
In celebration of 60 years in my current job, I am having lunch with four former Prime Ministers. I am not really looking forward to it. Do you have any advice for me?

David Responds

Yes, don't have a starter and skip the pudding. Keep the chat to a minimum and you could be out in an hour.

Oh, and if they try and sit you next to one called Gordon, say you would prefer to sit at the other end of the table next to the window\door\kitchen!

The Queen's Outfit

Much has been made in the press over Sam Cameron turning up to a lunch date with the Queen wearing the same colour outfit.

Just for the record, such clashes do not officially happen. 

The Queen is programmed so she does not see or recognise that people she meets as wearing the same colour\outfit.
I have adopted this same approach for many years and it has saved much anxiety during social engagements.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Dear David - Watching the Olympics

Dear David

I am really pleased have the Olympics, but I'm  not really interested.  Have you any tips on how I can avoid it?

David Responds

With the BBC (to name only one broadcaster) planning to transmit about a million hours of the Olympics, good luck with trying to avoid it.

Short of going to Outer Mongolia I doubt you can miss it, so why not try a different approach?

Why not try join in with a game of treats?  So for example, every time someone on TV says '400 meters', give yourself a Kit Kat.  Or whenever some one plays 'Gold' by Spandau Ballet or 'We are the Champions, have a small vodka.

You can make the game more exciting by extending it to cover specific events so, for example if Turkey win the Javelin, you will clean your upstairs windows, or if France win the cycling (ha ha) you will drink a bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale.

I am sure you can think up your own treats and forfeits, the possibilities are endless.

follow my tips and I am sure you will get endless hours of fun out of the Olympics.

Monday, 23 July 2012

The Voice

I see Tom Jones and Jessie J have quit the Voice after just one series.  The question being asked is who will replace them?

I have a better question - Why replace them?

Friday, 20 July 2012

Celebrity Week

A look at this week’s celebrities:
  • Beatrice had a kebab in St Tropez; 
  • the queen planted a tree; 
  • Halle fell over; 
  • Rihanna wore a hat, 
  • Rihanna wore a denim jacket; 
  • Rihanna wore daytime pyjamas; 
  • Rihanna wore a ball gown; 
  • Rihanna wore some ripped jeans; 
  • Rihanna must have lots of money to spend on clothes; 
  • Mr Buckles looked like a rabbit in headlights in the select committee; 
  • Richard thought he might like to buy a record company; 
  • Andrew is looking for Jesus - maybe he should have a word with Cliff;
  • some Jesuses aren't going to go to the west end; 
  • Boris had a haircut - bit early - Wednesday next week would have been better; and
  • Tamara chucked her boyfriend.

Pride Cafe

In town today so decided to pop into Pride cafe.

If you haven't been yet this is a new restaurant\cafe venue in Newcastle.  My first visit so I was all excited.

This addition to the area is long overdue, but unfortunately for me is way out of the way for work so I won't be able to make it a regular stopping off point, but I will be there for a coffee whenever I can.

Not time to do a review, (but I will say, nice decor and reasonable prices) so I leave it to you to investigate and make up your own mind - but make sure you go.  Support your local community.

GM Daybreak TV Competition

Bit of a phone in competition on Daybreak this morning.  You could win £30,000 off your mortgage and £10,00 in cash, very nice.  All you have to do is answer a simple question ...

Complete the saying 'The early bird catches the ...'

A - Wasp
B - Worm
C - Weevil

Hmmm tricky one.

I don't think it is A, I don't think a bird would like to eat a wasp although there are birds called 'bee eaters' so maybe they do?  But do bee eaters eat wasps? I don't think they would, wasps look a bit scrawny to me.  So I don't know now, it could be A - Wasp?

I don't think it is B - worm.  Worms aren't very nice.  I don't like worms and I don't think birds would like them either.

Then there is C - Weevil.  Not sure I even know what a weevil is, I can't imagine birds liking weevils.

So I think it is A - Wasp, where is my phone ...

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Dear David - Pickpockets

Dear David

I am very worried about pickpockets in London around all the events at the Olympics, what should I do?


David Responds

Yes this could be quite a problem during the Olympic period.  Best to take extra care with your purse, put it right at the bottom of your shopping trolley and put a bag of potatoes or a few tins of beans on top of it, that should make it hard to get at.

But Ethel  love you are not going anywhere near London, you should be alright!

Dear David - Coal

Dear David
I like a coal fire on dark winter evenings, but they are a bit messy. Do you have any tips for making them easier to have?

David Responds
Yes a coal fire on a dark and clod winter evening is very cosy (why you are asking in the middle of July beats me), but as you say, they can be a bit messy.

When you send your maid out to get a fresh bucket of coal, tell her to 'dress the coal' in the scullery before she brings it into the drawing room.

To dress the coal, take individual pieces and wrap in clean paper. Tell your maid to arrange the wrapped coal pieces decoratively in your coal scuttle.

There you have clean coal all ready to use! 

For a seasonal twist why not use red or green paper, your festive visitors will exclaim with joy when they see your beautifully decorated coal and marvel at your skill and inventiveness.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Dear David - Chief Executive

Dear David

I am a rather successful chief executive of a security firm.  I recently celebrated meeting almost half my targets, and I am so successful I could do it all again on the other side of the world at the same time, no problem.  I think I am well worth my £57 million management fee, what do you think?

David Responds

You are delusional, get help.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Dear David - Olympic Lanes

Dear David

After spending the day in London (again!) I have a question for you....
If I paint the Olympic rings on my forehead, do you think I would be allowed to use the Olympic Lanes that are reserved for athletes, hangers on & the such like?

Ms. 'Not looking forward to commuting to the Big Smoke'

David Responds

Oh dear sounds like you have had a bad day. 

Painting the Olympic rings on your forehead is certainly an option and the foreign visitors in London will just put it down to ‘British quirkiness’, so I don’t think you will get any odd looks. 

I have checked the rule book for ‘traveling in London during the Olympics’ and I can’t find anything that covers your question. I emailed Boris and Lord C to see what they thought, but I haven’t yet had a reply.

Have you thought of pretending to be an athlete instead, perhaps buy a canoe and carry it with you or maybe a pole vault (or should that just be a pole?).  I am sure you would then be able to use the Olympic lanes.  You might want to see what sport is being done on what day, and adjust your accoutrements accordingly.

Alternatively, why not be a security guard?  I have heard they are a bit short of them and I am sure as a member of the security force you will soon be zooming up and down the Olympic lanes.

Monday, 16 July 2012

G4S Security

Dear David

I am a senior member of the government, but I have had a bit of a rough time in Parliament today.  Do you have any advice for me?

David Responds

Yes, get a decent hair conditioner.


Joyous sight this morning when I notice that monstrosity of a building that has blighted the entry to the city (as you leave the Tyne Bridge) is being demolished. It has stood there as a miserable reminder of 50s/60s architecture as long as I can remember.

It is now almost gone and we have a much improved welcoming view of a great building with magnificent rotunda. Joyous sight indeed!

Sunday, 15 July 2012


Bit of a rumpus over the weekend as the company providing security for the Olympics say they won't be ready in time.

If only there had been more a bit notice of when the Olympics were going to be held ...

Friday, 13 July 2012

Celebrity Week

A look at this week’s celebrities:
  • Leandro had a spray tan; 
  • the Stones have been singing songs for 50 years; 
  • Eugenie got her degree; 
  • Roger won a game of hitting a ball over a net; 
  • Roger went on holiday on a yacht; 
  • Jools has been reading Jamie’s messages;
  •  Ronnie might be doing Strictly; and 
  • Fern is going to give it a go as well; 
  • Jodie is going out with Kirk; 
  • Moyles is leaving Radio 1 - might start listening again now; 
  • Nicki said the grass around her trailer in Glasgow was too long; 
  • Singing group G4 didn't provide all the security guards they were supposed to; 
  • J-Lo isn’t doing American Idol; 
  • Ryan had a hole in his t-shirt - it counts as news apparently; 
  • Halle has had her hair cut; 
  • Carmen wore a swimsuit; and 
  • David said someone else should light the torch at the Olympics opening ceremony ‘cause he is sick of the sight of it.

Thursday, 12 July 2012


If you have an O2 phone, you might have had a bit of disruption in the last day or so.

Everything is back to normal now, but it still made an item on the news, with one particularly woman distraught woman over the lack of a connection for a few hours saying 'I couldn't get in touch with my family', ... 'I didn't know what to do', ... 'I was very scared'.

God help us!

Wednesday, 11 July 2012


Bit of a rumpus in the Parliament today.  David was seen telling a colleague 'to do the honorable thing' and Cameron was waving his finger at the same time.

Later he warned others about listening to 'tittle-tattle'.

Well it is all getting nasty now.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Dear David - Girls Aloud

Dear David

A while ago I saw one of the girls out of Girls Aloud (don't know her name, she has red hair) being interviewed on TV.  She told us how excited she was as she was launching her solo career.  They played her new video which showed her walking down a street singing a song (it was quite good), wearing a dress and everything.  What happened after that interview?

David Responds


Monday, 9 July 2012

Barker and Stonehouse

I have just receive a letter from Barker and Stonehouse inviting me to an impromptu sale of damaged stock following a flood at the Metro Centre. 

This is very thoughtful, but no thank you, I don't want to buy your rotten water damaged stock, go and flog it somewhere else.

Flaming cheek!

Dear David - Peter Barlow

Dear David
I have read that the character Peter Barlow in Coronation Street is going to commit suicide . Do you know when this is going to happen?

David Responds
No idea, but I wish he would get a move on, he is getting on my nerves.

Saturday, 7 July 2012


As we are now well into the weekend, I see a recent survey shows that we start thinking about the next working week, and all the stuff we have to do on Monday morning, at about 4:13 on Sunday afternoon.

Just thought you might like to know that - have a nice weekend!

Friday, 6 July 2012

Celebrity Week

Bit of a thin week for celebrities, what with Tom and Katie taking all the media coverage, but a brief look at this week’s celebrities:
  • Ann was at Tynemouth Metro; 
  • the ratbag was on holiday with her latest boyfriend; 
  • Camilla took her high heel shoes off and stood on some sand; 
  • while Katie put high heel shoes on; 
  • Bob decided he had fleeced enough off the British public and decided to leave;
  • Leonardo has put a couple of pounds on; 
  • Myleene threw herself into making money following her split; 
  • Nancy and Suggs went to see Sting - not together; and 
  • Katie says Leandro wouldn’t go near her if he knew what she was like - he mustn’t have read any of her 40 autobiographies!

Dear David - Super Powers again ...

Dear David
I thought your response to my recent letter was rather abrupt, nevertheless I am still interested in your views on which would be the best super powers for me. I am a lady and would like powers to use for evil. I was thinking maybe Catwoman powers, what do you think?

Dear David 

I am sorry you found my letter a little abrupt, but you supplied very little information on which to base a reply, I was only seeking to clarify your requirements.

I see you are leaning towards powers for evil, this is probably more interesting than the rather insipid powers of goody-two-shoes lady super heroes.

You have however made a classic mistake in mixing up crime fighters with super heroes. Crime fighters are the likes of Batman who are regular people but have taken on a crime fighting role.  Whereas super heroes have a genetic ability not present in other humans (or indeed they are not human at all).

Catwoman belongs to this crime fighter genre, so Catwoman powers would be limited to wearing a face mask with whiskers and maybe a long tail. Neither of which I think are much use outside of a masquerade ball.

Evil lady super heroes (and that is a contradiction in terms) are rather thin on the ground, so you might want to think about using powers for good instead, I am thinking something along the lines of Wonder Woman ...

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Dear David - Who Wants To Be ...

Dear David

I am reading a thriller at the moment and in the book a woman is alone in the house watching Who Wants To Be a Millionaire.  In the programme a nice man is just about to find out if he has won half a million pounds, when the woman is murdered, but we don’t get to find out if the man won the money or not. Do you know if he did?

David Responds

Oh for heavens sake.

No, he didn’t he lost the lot!

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Dear David - Super Powers

Dear David

Sometimes I think it would be really useful to have super powers.  Which ones do you think would be most useful?

David Responds

Ethel is this you with one of your pointless questions?

You don't say whether you want to use the super powers for good or for evil. Nor do you say whether you are a lady or a gentleman, so your question is a little vague.  Write back with a bit more information and I will think about it.

Dear David - Rickets

Dear David

I read somewhere that with all this rain, you could end up getting rickets.  Is that true?

David Responds

I don't think you can get it overnight, but if you are worried sit in front of the cooker with the door open for and hour or two.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Dear David - Gazebo

Dear David

My husband wants to get a gazebo for our garden. I am not so sure, what do you think?

David Responds.

Oh no lovey, you don’t want any African animals in your garden!

Dear David - Banker

Dear David

I used to be in charge of a bank, but I had a bit of bother, now I am not in charge of a bank.  I think some of my friends should take some of the blame with me, do you think they will?

David Responds

I am afraid I think you will find all your friends suddenly realize that ‘they were on holiday’ when the thing happened, or they ‘weren’t really working in that area’ at the relevant time.

I think you are on your own!

Monday, 2 July 2012

Dear David - some answers

Dear David

has been a bit busy, but here are some answers to a few recent letters:
  • The GB Olympic torch relay has been going on for nine years and seven months;
  • No, Djokovic is not half Scottish;
  • I think it might be a little early to ask Tom Cruise for a date; and 
  • Yes it is very good of the British museum to lend the Lindisfarne gospels to the north east - especially since they belong to the north east.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Dear David - Leap Second

Dear David

I have read in the news about about a leap second to be added to clocks around the world.  What is it, I am very worried, what should I do?

David Responds

Is that you Ethel?

A leap second is added to time now and again to bring clocks into line with the Earth's orbit around the sun.  It isn't worth going round changing all your clocks, just have a bit of a lie in tomorrow morning - don't worry about it.

Higgs boson

Science news just in ...

... scientists at Cern will announce this week that the Higgs boson 9the God particle) has been found.

If you have been following this story, they have been looking for it for ages.

Apparently it was in the last place they looked.