Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Dear David - Star Wars

Dear David 

apparently they  are making a new trilogy of Star Wars movies.  I used to love playing with my light sabre in the dark.  but now I am concerned how will they pull it off?  Isn't Princes Leia a drunk or in rehab these days? And surely they won't make her have that silly hair and what about Luke Skywalker, hardly the boy next door these days.  I hear he has a new hip and gout.  Surely it is better to leave it all be? 

David Responds

I don't really know Star Wars, I didn't like the look of it when they brought it out as I don't approve of people rampaging through the universe blowing up planets, saw I never watched it.

From a distance it seems to be a perfect example of making as much money as you can out of re-running the same story. 

I am familiar with some of the original cast though and understand some of them might have fallen on hard times, so in the circumstances I think it would be better if they invested in a new cast.

I think Disney have bought the rights to the film\franchise, so perhaps the new films could star Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck?

Minnie Mouse could take the leading lady role of the Princess - doesn't Minnie wear a funny polka dot bow in her hair?  This could be a contemporary take on the more traditional Princess Leia hair-do.

Not sure what a 'light sabre' is, is it that stick with a candle in it?  I am sure they could build this into any re telling of the story, but if you saw the original, I suspect you might be a little old to be playing with such things now.

As you say, sometimes it is best to leave things in the past where they belong, I suspect this is one of those things.

Dear David - Letter

Dear David

I want to send my letter to Father Christmas now, but mummy says it is too soon. I am so excited about it I want to send it now, can I?

Sarah age 7

David Responds

Send it when you like it doesn't matter, Father Christmas does not exist.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Dear David - Election

Dear David

I am a rather senior politician in America currently running for high office. I was doing rather well until we had a bit of a storm this weekend.  Do you think my chances have been affected?


David Responds

Oh yes I think I know who you are, aren't you the one that said the UK wasn't up to running the Olympics?

I don't normally comment on foreign politics during election campaigns, but since you asked ...

... my honest opinion is that, while yes you were doing a lot better than most people thought, and there was momentum building up in your campaign, I think the moment has gone. 

People on the east coast have more immediate things to worry about, so I am afraid I think your plans will come to nothing. 

Monday, 29 October 2012

Dear David - Hurricane

Dear David

I hear hurricane Sandy if about to hit the USA, could you tell me when they started naming hurricanes after characters from the musical Grease?  Also could you tell me when hurricane Pink Ladies hit and when?  Also is it true America is considering changing their national anthem to 'Your the one that I want ooh ooh ooh!'


David Responds

Oh no dear, I think you have it wrong - I don't think they are naming the hurricane after the character of Sandy from the musical Grease, (played by the lovely Olivia Newton John) I think it is just co-incidence.

But actually to be technical for a moment, they don't name hurricanes.  They name Tropical Storms, which if they reach a speed of over 70 miles an hour then become hurricanes.  

I think the naming convention is to alternate boy and girls names from A-Z, (although I think they struggle a bit when they get to the end of the alphabet). There was no 'Danny' hurricane, nor 'Pink Lady' hurricane.  I think the next one is due to be called Tony.  Confusingly there are plans to use the name Danny for a tropical storm in 2015, but again that is just co-incidence.

On the other hand, for the change to national anthem, I wouldn't put anything past America

Dear David - Outfit

Dear David

I saw your recent letter offering some men's style advice and wondered if you could give me some tips?  I am a bit restricted in what I can wear, pic enclosed.  I live in the US.

(name and address withheld Editor)

David Responds

Of course, I am always delighted to help, and I love receiving pictures of my readers, especially from my foreign readers ...

... fishing the photo out of the envelope ...

... let's have a look ...

.. oh yes I see your problem, err I think those orange jump suits are pretty mandatory outfits in certain, err, what's the word ... establishments in America.

I might normally have suggested adding some accessories, a nice belt or scarf, but I suspect they don't let you have such things.

The best I can offer is perhaps turning the cuff of your trousers to give you a smart '40s look'.  Or perhaps fold back the cuff of your sleeves if you want to go for the more casual '70s Jason King' look. 

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Dear David - Hurricane

Dear David

I have seen this terrible hurricane heading to America, it seems very strong.  Should I bring my hanging baskets in?  I am very worried.


David Responds

Ethel dear it is thousands of miles away, your hanging baskets should be quite safe, although I've always thought it was a bit dangerous hanging them outside your fourth floor flat.

If you are really worried bring them in for a few days.

Dear David - Robbie

Dear David

I am watching the X Factor results show - hasn't Robbie piled on the pounds.  Do I look as big as him? (pic enclosed).


David Responds

I don't really like Robbie's new tune so I was putting my milk bottles out on the door step when he was on so I missed him.  Has he put a bit of weight on? 

I am sure you are quite trim and it is always nice to receive photos from my readers ...

... let's have a look ...

... fishing the photo out of the envelope ...

oh goodness, you do fill the photo don't you. That is a very nice overcoat you are wearing on the beach, but maybe it is a little long?  Did you not think of perhaps unfastening the belt, it does look rather warm?  Still you cut quite a dash amongst all the sun bathers. 

Dear David - Emergency Money

Dear David

I was once given a tip for a night out - to keep some emergency money separate from your purse in case you lose your handbag.  Do you think it is a good idea?


David Responds

Ethel dear we discussed this last night in the Laughing Donkey. 

I told you ages ago that it is a good idea to keep £10 safe in your stocking in case you lose your handbag. This should be enough to at least get you safely home.

But really dear I was more thinking of a £10 note rather than the £10 of loose change you had in your stockings last night. 

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Dear David - Wash

Dear David

I was on the Metro the other day and I overheard two young women talking about their morning routine and they were discussing the merits of a 'squaddie wash' instead of a shower.  I am at a loss to what a squaddie was is.  Could you advise?  Have you had one?  Is it something that is now fashionable?

David Responds

I have no idea what this is, and I don't think I want to know either.

The only thing I can think is that during national service squaddies used to peel potatoes as a punishment.  Perhaps a squaddie wash is one where you take a bag of potatoes with you so you can get a head start on preparing the evening meal.

I am happy to give advice on any subject but I am not prepared to divulge personal details.

As to whether it is fashionable - it is not.

My best advise to you is to sit next to nicer people next time you use the Metro.

Dear david - Ceefax ... again

Dear David

It seems that Ceefax was popular with the great British public as it has generated a number of letters to yourself.  Do you think we should get a petition up and send it to the BBC or would you mind presenting it in person at number 10?
David Responds

I am not a great fan of petitions, all that paper and lots of grubby hands scrawling all over them, but you old fashioned thing you, I don't think people turn up at number 10 with a pile of papers anymore (and anyway look at what happened to the last one that tried to get into Downing Street riding a bicycle), I think they do it all on line. ('On line' is a technical term and involves using the intergoogle and a computer to do things).

But thank you for sending me a copy of the petition you have so far ...  fishing it out of the envelope ... 

... Let's have a look

... Ethel is that you?  

There are only four names on this petition, two of them are Disney characters, (and I am not sure I believe Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse have ever had much use for Ceefax) and one is E.T. Hel.

This is no good dear you need to get at least 100,000 names before they will even talk about it in the House of Commons.  Even they they just say, they have talked about it and it is a rotten idea.

Ethel dear I think yjst have to accept Ceefax has gone and move on.

The Editor has closed the desk on letters about Ceefax. 

Dear David - Reminder

Dear David

I recently sent you a letter about Ceefax, and you haven't replied, I will forward you a copy of my letter.  You may need a chat with your postman as he doesn't seem to have popped it in your letter box.  This will cost me another 2nd class stamp!

David Responds

I did receive your original letter but I haven't had time to look at it yet.

I realise that when you are knocking on a bit like you are, and living on your pension that your day is your own, but I have a full time job, and various beautifying nights to fit in, so I can't be at my typewriter every minute of the day. 

Oh and if I remember rightly your letters rarely have stamps on them, leaving me to pick up the cost.

Look out for a response to your letter later.

Celebrity Week

A look at this week’s celebrities:
  • Clare had a sexy make-over - well fairly sexy; 
  • Nick and Harry wore the same jumper - but not at the same time;
  • Carol hasn't weighed herself for 12 years; 
  • the orange one got chucked - I thought Leandro chucked her ages ago?; 
  • Calum was losing his hair, but now he isn't; 
  • Zara left a nightclub drunk at 3am; 
  • Zara wore a duffle coat with fur trimmed hood leaving a nightclub at 3am; 
  • Zara isn't from Newcastle; 
  • One Direction have £26 million; 
  • Chantelle went out without make-up on; 
  • Catherine is still going out with Adrian - actually that reminds me wasn't Christine supposed to be marrying Frank?; and 
  • the Stones were singing some songs in Paris.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Dear David - Coupon

Dear David 

Is it acceptable to use a 'money off' coupon in a restaurant on a first date?

David Responds 

Yes, but you might not get a second date.

Dear David - Ceefax ... again

Dear David 

I thought your responses about the loss of Ceefax were rather dismissive. I loved Ceefax and I particularly liked the Advent calendar. From the beginning of December every year I couldn't wait to see what was behind the window each day .. a balloon, maybe a snowflake or a toy or whatever.  It made my Christmas.

David Responds 

Get a life … and stop reading my column you freak.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Dear David - Ceefax ... again

Dear David

I saw your response to my letter about the closedown of Ceefax, but I don't think you took my concern very seriously. Please give me a proper response.

And I don't know who Ethel is, but I am not her.


David Responds 

… well you sound like Ethel ..

I am sorry you didn’t like my response to your letter about Ceefax, but I am not the BBC and it was not my decision to switch it off.

But if you really need the information, then read on for information that would have been supplied for Ceefax for the next year:

You will be lucky in love
You will be unlucky in love
You will have money worries
You will come into some money
You will fall out with a friend
You will make a new friend


You will find a holiday advertised for £257 - it will end up costing you £1,000

Pick the first holiday you come across as all package holiday destinations are the same. It is pointless to consider the merits of destination A over destination B as:

· they all have a beach
· they are all hot
· the local food stores sell food that tastes of nothing
· alcohol is not sold in measures specified by UK weights and measures legislation.


your team will win some games
your team will lose some games
your team will draw some games

I trust the above is all the information you need for the next year.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Dear David - Ceefax

Dear David

I am gutted - they are turning off Ceefax for good tonight.  I heard about it on the radio in my automobile on the way to work, how will I cope?  How will I be able to find a holiday, how will I be able to read my horoscope? How will I catch up on world news and sport etc, all from the comfort of my own home.  surely this is a step backwards, next they will stop Green shield stamps!


David Responds

Is that you Ethel dear?  It is no good sending letters anonymously, I would know your lavender scented notepaper anywhere.

I can see losing Ceefax might be a loss to some, but I am surprised you can get it on that old television set of yours dear.  I am not being funny, I have been to yours for tea many times, and you have a lovely home, but that television set of yours last saw the inside of a Department store when Harold Wilson was knocking about.

Unfortunately the BBC have decided to switch it off - so off it must go.

Why don't you try and fill the gap by going to your local library.  They povide a great range of services.

I've been in that one near to you and there is a lovely young man in there who is most helpful.  He is a bit grumpy first thing in the morning, but if you go in the afternoon he sometimes perks up a bit.

Why not make it a bit of adventure, so for example you could ask about horoscopes on Wednesdays, (you might want to check that it isn't half day closing of a Wednesday), then ask about holidays on Thursdays.  You could leave all the sport until Mondays and get the weekend results all at once. 

Mix it up a bit and I am sure you will enjoy this new found source of information.

Oh and Ethel dear they stopped doing Green Shield stamps years ago - you will just have to hope someone buys you a new cafetiere for Christmas like the rest of us.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Dear David - Cross

Dear David

I was very cross at work today and I wanted to send an email with as many swear words as it is possible to have in a sentence.  Is this a good sentence .................. (content removed Editor)

David Responds

Yes that is certainly a sentence and does convey your meaning.  You might want to treat the fourth word as a noun and an adjective as well as a verb, that way you can use it three times.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Dear David - Ironing

Dear David

I am feeling inadequate.  You see I have been listening to colleagues at work and a number regale stories of how they iron whilst watching TV and they iron everything from sheets to undies to tea towels.  I on the other hand iron only on a 'need to' basis.  I did once iron my duvet cover on my bed when my mother was due to visit but it melted the hollow fibre underneath and they stuck together.  What are your views?  Should I do more?

David Responds

Oh dear there are a couple of things here.  I am afraid your friends are right - there is a simple rule to follow 'if it goes in the washer - it gets ironed'.

You need to discuss this with your maid - find out why she hasn't been doing your ironing in the past and make sure she does it in the future.

If you don't have a maid, you need to set a regular 'ironing date' in your diary.

Watching TV as you iron is a great way to make this tiresome task more enjoyable.  Pick a suitable day and time, perhaps during your favourite TV show, and stick to it.

The whole 'oh I just iron as I need it approach' is fundamentally flawed.  Fibres need at least three hours to cool down before they are worn\used otherwise they re-crease very easily.

One little tip, when you iron duvet covers, I think you are meant to take them off the duvet first.

Send me a stamped self-addressed envelope for my leaflet 'How to Iron'.

Dear David - Christmas Gift

Dear David

I don't know what to buy my sister for Christmas, do you have any ideas?  I don't have much money.

David Responds

Ah yes, it is that time of year and it becomes ever more difficult to find that special gift.

Why not get your sister a book of cloakroom tickets? 

I bought some for my sister last year and she was speechless with delight!

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Lowther Castle

Bit of excitement today at Lowther Castle in Cumbria today with an attempt to set a world record for planing daffodils.

The plan was to plant 100,000 daffodil bulbs in a few hours.  Attempt attempted and accomplished, but how exciting.

I have been caught up in the moment and decided to join in the fun.

I didn't want to go mad, as I think daffodils are a bit common, so I have planted four.

That should give a spectacular display in the Spring!

Dear David - Great British Bake Off ... again

Dear David

I have been so inspired by the Great British Bake Off, I want to make my own fondant fancies.  Do you have any tips?


David Responds

I wouldn't bother, they look a right faff to make. Buy a box from the shops.

Dear David - Ouija Board

Dear David

I was playing on my Ouija board last night and Jimmy Savile came through, I know it was him because he spelt out 'guys and gals' and said he 'would fix it for me'.  If he comes through again should I tell him he is going to get sued?  I'm not sure it is appropriate but then it never stopped him.  What do you think?


David Responds

Oh dear this is a difficult one.  Regular readers will know I had the misfortune to be staying at the Queens hotel in Leeds on the night they kept his body for public display ahead of his funeral.  I was scarred by this event at the time - even more so now.

Receiving your letter brought it all back with a shudder.

But your letter did prompt a question in my mind 'what are you doing with a Ouija board trying to contact the dead'?  You don't even like contacting the living.

But still, I am not one to pass comment.

You don't say if you were on your own when this contact from the other side occurred, (if there was someone else there I might suspect some trickery), but if you were, I might be a little concerned, but not too worried.

You are knocking on a bit to be a serious target and he is dead after all, but if he does come through again, be quite firm and make it clear his attentions are not welcome.  Tell him to sling his hook and get back to the other ratbags of history where he belongs.

Celebrity Week

A look at this week’s celebrities:
  • Jude is looking a bit rough these days; 
  • Jude is wearing the same shorts on holiday he wore last year - gross, that is so last year; 
  • Felix jumped from outside the planet and landed on the planet; 
  • Girls Aloud got back together - apparently it was 'long awaited' I haven't been waiting that long; 
  • Our Cheryl was singing at the Arena; and 
  • Girls Aloud are going on tour next year; 
  • Justin and Jessica are getting married next week; 
  • Tom said a bad word on Good Morning America; 
  • Andrew got fed up with getting wrong all the time so he resigned; 
  • John won the Great British Bake Off - what am I going to watch of a Tuesday now?; 
  • Matt shaved his hair off; 
  • David was asked to pick up the Nobel Peace Prize for the UK, but said he was a bit pushed busy wise and was afraid to be pictured picking up an award as part of Europe;
  • Susan sang with Donny; and 
  • George had a first class train ride - unfortunately he only had a standard class ticket!

Friday, 19 October 2012

Dear David - Fashion Sense

Dear David

My friends often make fun of my clothes; saying they are dated and old fashioned. I am fed up with it. I have enclosed some photos of me, what do you think?

David Responds 

Oh dear this must be most trying and thank you for your photographs … let's have a look

… yes I can see why your friends might make comment. Your clothes do give you a certain look of Lionel Atwill from the 1933 film the 'Secret of the Blue Room', but this is your style and if you are happy with it, then that is all that matters.

Although you might want to think about a new hair style the 'I was a prisoner on Devil's Island' look doesn't suit everyone.

Dear David - Pizza Delivery

Dear David

I am being set up by the FBI, I was only trying to deliver a pizza to some bank when they swooped.  They are telling people that my two pepperoni stuffed crusts and three ham and mushrooms in the boot of my car were explosives.  Do you thing the American public will realise it is a stunt.


David Responds

Oh dear - I don't normally comment on situations that are subject to legal proceedings.  And what with the extradition process in this country as it is, you never know where you might end up.

But I don't think I believe your story, Domino's don't do a ham and mushroom, they do a ham and pineapple, but they don't do a ham and mushroom. 

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Dear David - Trip

Dear David

I hear you give quality impartial advice and I am wondering if you could help.  I hold a quite high public office but today I went bottom over boobies after a fell off my high heels in India in front of the world's press - people must think I was drunk on duty.  How do I regain my credibility on the world stage and do you have any tips for wearing high heels?

David Responds

Oh dear that sounds like a most unfortunate incident.

I think there are a couple of things here.  You need a coping strategy in case this unfortunate occurrence happens again.

Go to your local gym and learn a couple of back flip moves, so if you do trip in the future you can roll with it and perform a dramatic recovery.  You might want to think about calling out 'Taa dahh' should you trip over again.

This won't help you regain your credibility now, but should limit the damage if you turn up drunk for work again in the future

Tips on how to wear high heels is a little out of my field of expertise, but from observation follow these tips:
  • only wear high heels if you are not planning to walk anywhere;
  • don't wear high heels if you are riding a bicycle;
  • wear thick socks with high heels - this will give you extra grip and prevent chaffing;
  • unless you are Ginger Rogers, don't tap dance wearing high heels.
Send me a stamped self-addressed envelope for my leaflet 'How to Wear High Heels'.

Dear David - Pleb

Dear David 

I am a rather senior member of the government (I think wrote to you once before) and I have been getting a load of grief because I called someone a 'pleb'. 

I had thought it was over and done with, but the some of the Riff Raff in the Labour party are dragging it up again.  What can I do?

David Responds

I'd stop calling the Labour party Riff Raff.

Dear David - Weather

Dear David

I am thinking of popping out of the office at lunch time, but it looks a bit cold out. Should I put a coat on?

David Responds

This isn't really the type of advice I give, but since you ask, it does look a bit cold out so I would put on a coat. 
And if you have a woollen cardigan with a big collar, I would put that on as well. You never know it might pull in a bit cold between your office and the corner shop.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Dear David - Halloween

Dear David

I am new to this country and understand there is the major festival of Halloween is coming up, I have never heard of it. Can you explain it to me?

David Responds

Ah yes Halloween, a major event of the calendar.

In Europe the Autumnal festival of Halloween goes back to the 16th Century (although it's pagan roots are much earlier).  In America it goes all the way back to the first season of Rosanne.

It is the evening of the last day of October where as night falls, all the horrors of the neighbourhood take to the streets

and knock on your door and ask for treats (usually sweets or cakes - never give money), with the threat of a 'trick' if you do not comply.

It is meant to be a night of excitement and fun, but it can all be a bit of an anti-climax, for example last year I bought a sweet and was ready to hand it over on a 'first come first served' basis, but no one called. 
There was a brief moment when I thought I heard voices on my front path, but I heard one child say 'don't go there, that's where the miserable old git lives'. I wasn't sure who they meant, (I think they meant old Mr Smith at number 24) but they disappeared. 

There were no other callers that evening so the sweet remains to be claimed again this year.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Dear David - Hadrian's Wall

Dear David

I wonder if the volunteers David Cameron wants to use as part of the Big society could rebuild Hadrian's Wall after the referendum?  Do you think I am onto a winning suggestion for the coalition?

David Responds

Doing as you suggest would re-instate ancient country boundaries and make Scotland start somewhere in the middle of the car park at Tesco on Wallsend high streetI haven't seen the wording of the referendum question, but I am fairly sure it doesn't involve a change to existing national borders. 

A more accurate, if more complex suggestion might be to excavate Hadrian's Wall and move it up a bit.  

But there are problems - Hadrian's Wall was built at the narrowest point of the country so there might be issues with the number of original bricks available to build a longer border, but this could be overcome by not building it quite so high as the original.

There is another problem with your suggestion - should independence happen then David Cameron's Big Society will mean nothing to Scotland as it will then be a foreign country.

This means any rebuilding would have to be done by English people only.  And if Scotland didn't want the wall rebuilt, they might pull it down as fast as the English build it up.  I see trouble ahead on this one.

You might want to think of another suggestion for the 'Big Society' maybe something to do with wool, or cutting things out and sticking them into books.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Dear David - Scottish Referendum

The Scottish referendum in the news again has generated a flurry of letters into Dear David, here is a selection of replies:
  • Miss L in Cornwall - no it does not mean that New Year's Eve will be cancelled in future, it just means you will not be allowed to call it Hogmanay; 
  •  Mr P in Bracknell - border arrangements have still to be finalised, but barb wire walls, search lights and observation towers with armed guards are unlikely; 
  • Mrs J in Bournemouth - your secret store of shortbread in case of war should be ok, you probably won't have to hand it over to the Scottish government; 
  •  Mr T in Kent - no you won't have to dig up the thistles in your garden and send them to Edinburgh, you can keep them.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Dear David - Laughing Donkey ... again

Dear David

I didn't stay long in the Laughing Donkey, they weren't friendly like you said they would be.  So I have been watching TV and I am a bit confused about the adverts, you see I always thought that prime time TV advertising is very expensive and every interval and every interval has different sofa companies flogging their goods, but why is every sofa so hideous - surely they should advertise nice sofas not horrible ones?

David Responds

Oh dear, there are so many parts to this letter I hardly know where to start.

I am sorry you didn't enjoy the Laughing Donkey, I wasn't there so I don't know what happened but I think it might have to something to do with turning up so early (do you have a drink problem?).  You have to let the Laughing Donkey build a bit, if you go at around 1 am it is like New Year's Eve in the Wild West. 

Maybe I will take you one night (your not Ethel are you playing a trick on me) and you will have a good time.

You miss the point about advertising sofas on TV, it is not about trying to sell the ones they show you (and I agree they are always hideous) it is about getting you into the store to sell you the nice ones they don't advertise.

It goes like this ...

... you see a really reasonably priced sofa on the TV, it is in your budget range and it gives you four years interest free.  Marvellous you think, the only thing wrong with it is that it is hideous. 

You then reason that the store will be full of other, much nicer sofas at the same sort of price, this lures you into the store.

When you get there, they do indeed have lots of much nicer sofas ... but unfortunately they are just a bit more expensive ... and not included in the 'four years interest free' offer.

But we all know once you have decided you want as new sofa, you are not going to leave until you have bought one!

Add to this, sofa companies only really sell at bank holidays and major Christian festivals, so the pressure is on - hence the big expensive advertising.

Oh and while we are on the subject of TV sofa adverts, have you ever noticed, gay people never seem to sit on sofas? 

Dear David - Surprise Surprise

Dear David

I see Surprise Surprise is back next week with Holly Willowboobie.  Is Cilla Black dead?

David Responds

It is difficult to tell.

Dear David - Laughing Donkey ... again

Dear David

I am in the Laughing Donkey and there is a group of ladies in comfortable shoes wearing most of Primark's autumn collection.  I am thinking of engaging them in polite conversation, do you think fashion is a good topic to open with?

David Responds

Eeh what you doing in the Laughing Donkey at this time of night - it must be empty.

I think I might have to read between the lines here.  When you say 'comfortable shoes' do you mean 'Wellington's,  boots' and 'trainers'? 

And as for Primark, I didn't know they had an 'autumn collection' I thought they just had stuff piled on the floor and the 'autumn collection' was what they sold in the autumn?

I am not sure starting off with fashion is such a good idea.  

I know times are hard so I am sure these ladies have taken these basics and with some clever work have made the best of a difficult job ... wiping the mud off their boots ... adding a big belt to hide hideous seams to give a high fashion catwalk look to dungarees, but I think there might be a limit to how far you will get discussing the finer points if haute couture.

Why not try something a bit safer, perhaps cookery, see if they have been watching the Great British Bake Off and you can maybe swap recipes.

But take care, don't invite them to join you at your table or you will never get rid of them.

Dear David - The EU

Dear David

We were very happy to win the Nobel Peace prize and are thinking about going in for the Nobel Prize for economics next year.  Do you thingk we should?

The EU

David Responds

I wouldn't bother.

Dear David - Face Lift

Dear David

I am thinking of having a face lift.  Can you tell me where you had yours done?

David Responds

You cheeky swine, I haven't had a face lift. Now sling your hook and don't come back. 

Write to Deirdre in The Sun, she looks like she might be able to help.

Dear David - Laughing Donkey

Dear David

My usual drinking buddy has cancelled on me this evening (apparently his fake tan has gone streaky) and I am pondering on going to the Laughing Donkey by myself. As I am unaccustomed to going out on my own I wonder if you could give me some dos and don't s to help me have an enjoyable evening while I am out?

David Responds

Oh do go, I am sure you will have a wonderful time. 

Oh and just for the record I am sure your 'buddy' does not have streaky fake tan and his tan  is applied most evenly and professionally, ... I am sure your 'buddy' is just a little under the weather!

If you do go a little preparation beforehand will go a long way. 

The Laughing Donkey is most welcoming, and if you ring ahead they will set out a table for you.  Ask them to put a bottle of wine in a wine bucket and set out with two glasses, this service will cost extra, but it is worth it. 

Make sure they don't stick you in the corner near the door as there can be a rotten draught on a windy    night.

But try not to be placed too near the stage as the lady singer tends to wander up and down, and, sitting on your own she might make bee line for you and sing to you directly.

If she does this, don't get too carried away ... and you might want to take a closer look, as there are tales that she is no lady ... if you get my meaning.

Oh and in case you are wondering about the two glasses ... use one for yourself but turn the other one upside down, that should discourage riff raff coming up to you and trying to engage you in conversation.

Have a great night!

Dear David - Conference

Dear David

I have just been watching David Cameron at his Party's annual conference and I was wondering if you could tell me what planet he comes from?

David Responds

Oh dear, yes this is a difficult one as I try to keep out of politics where I can.

I think if goes back to the basic fundamental belief of Tories that they are the natural party of government.  That it is the natural order of things that they should always be in power, so that when they are the governing party, they don't really have to do much to stay where they are.

It is almost as if they are standing looking out of a window onto some gentle, green and pleasant land of joy and plenty that never really existed for most of us, while the rest of us are round the back digging coal and trying to get by.

If you look through history, political parties come and go, (nothing lasts forever).

So one day the Tory party will disappear and remaining Tories will look around bemused and wonder 'how did that happen?'

Celebrity Week

A look at this week’s celebrities:
  • Justin (18) is a mentor for the over 25s on US X Factor; 
  • while Rylan had a narrow escape on UK X Factor; and 
  • Gary lost his temper;
  • Kate was in the North East on a visit - has she not just been here?; 
  • it is Wayne’s turn to be captain; 
  • the queen has a bad back; and 
  • the queen is looking for a new gardener - wonder if it has anything to do with her bad back?; 
  • Rod has an auto biography out - he is knocking on a bit to write an auto biography, they usually write them at age 20 these days;  
  • Denise hurt her neck on Strictly - I thought it was stronger than that - as it's made of brass; 
  • Nick and Harry wore the same jacket - not at the same time; and
  • Hilary has stopped wearing scrunchies - but I'm not sure what she is wearing is any better.

Dear David - Boybands ... again

Dear David

I saw your response to my letter about boybands and I am a bit cross, you are always telling me what to do.  Even if you think I am too old, I want to know about boybands!


David Responds

I am sorry you were cross dear, but as for telling you what to do, this is an advice column; you ask a question and I give you the answer - that it is sort of how it works. 

But since you insist ...

... boybands are singing groups of young men.  They are generally made up of uneven numbers (groups of three or five etc) there is something not quite right about a boyband of even numbers.

The groups will be made up of individual types so that the band as a whole will appeal to the greatest number of people.  There is always a 'best looking one' that everyone is supposed to like, but there will be a range, right down to the ugly one that they stick at the back and never gets to speak in interviews.

If you are in a boyband and you have just realised that the others are always standing in front of you and you never get asked any questions, that is because you are the ugly one.

In the old days boybands could be around for quite a few years, but the 'generations' of boybands is getting shorter.  So of the two you mentioned in your last letter, The Wanted is already looking old and dated as they have been replaced by One Direction.  Goodness knows how old the ones set to replace One Direction are likely to be!

The music they play doesn't really matter, it is all much of a muchness, pick one and enjoy ... if you can.

Dear David - Boybands

Dear David

I am thinking of trying out new music.  I have heard that boybands like The Wanted and One Direction are all the rage.  Can you tell me a bit about boybands?


David Responds

Ethel dear, don't you think you are a bit old to be following boybands?  Haven't you got some nice Alma Cogan records you can listen to?

Nobel Peace Prize

In case you missed it in the news the European Union has won the Nobel Peace Prize.  That is all of us - so well done you.

There is money with this prize, but I don't suppose it will go far between 500 million of us, but if the awarding committee wants to pop a cheque in the post for my share, that would be very nice - no rush.

If might be a bit of a nightmare if we all have to go to Sweden (or is it Norway) to accept the Prize, but I think we should go really.

I can do any day next week except Tuesday.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Dear David - Domestic

Dear David

I have for sometime now employee of a 'lady who does'.  Recently I seem to have noticed that things seemed to have been moved around in my drawers.  I think she is rummaging even though I explained st the interview that my drawers were out of bounds.. I don't want to sack her as she polishes beautifully and is always happy to 'Mr Muscle' my appliances for £3 an hour and a food hamper at Christmas.
Can you advise.

David Responds

When I first read your letter I thought you had said your domestic was going through your drawers, as in under garments, which would be quite disturbing, but re-reading I see you mean your drawers in general.

I am afraid this is one of the perils of employing help, you don't know what they get up to when you are not around.  Have you thought about asking your maid or your cook to keep an eye on her when you are out?

But £3 an hour!  You rotten old skin flint, I am surprised she is prepared to work for such an amount, I suspect her first language is not English, which might explain why she isn't following the rules you set out during the interview. 

I can only suggest that you move all the items you don't want your help to see into one room and tell her she need not clean that room.  She will be quite glad to have one less room to do.

I am not so sure about using these newfangled tin can spray concoctions to clean your valuable Wedgwood and Royal Doulton, I think you would be much better off using more traditional things like Bicarbonate of Soda and vinegar.

Send me a stamped self-addressed envelope for my leaflet 'How to clean like the Victorians'.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Dear David - Great British Bake Off

Dear David

I have been greatly inspired by the Great British Bake Off and have decided to arrange my own competition with some of the pensioners from our Afternoon Tea club.  We don't have much money so we will be doing recipes from the war. 

I am now looking for a couple of judges and thought you would be ideal.  Would you like to be one of our judges?


David Responds


Monday, 8 October 2012

Dear David - Judge

Dear David

I am a judge on a rather popular singing talent contest, but I don't really understand the rules for eliminating contestants.  Can you explain them to me?

David Responds

I think I know the competition you mean and the rules are quite complex, so you might want to take notes.

At the elimination point the compare will ask you for your decision.  He will pretend you only have five seconds to answer, but they will really have about 30 seconds planned in - this is to build anticipation and excitement, so take your time.

Say you love both acts and that this week it is really difficult.  Say you have thought about it and you have made a decision.  Being a judge this is the minimum to be expected.

Just before you give your decision, you will be asked who you want to save, this is quite confusing as this is the elimination point.  The logical question should be 'who do you want to eliminate'?

Don't be thrown by this apparent change of direction just remember which one you liked the best and give that name.

If you make a mistake, stick to your original decision because as if you ask the man to repeat the question he will get confused and change direction too - and say 'I must know who you are eliminating', then he will say 'tell me who you are saving'.

If all else fails say 'I want to go to the public vote', but try not to do this too often as it makes the whole judging process pointless.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Dear David - X Factor sing-off

Dear David

I've just watched the debacle that was the X Factor sing-off and I got to wondering what you would sing if you found yourself in that situation and why.

David Responds

Yes it was a bit of a debacle wasn't it.  At first I thought it was a fix but if it was a fix you would probably do it a bit more smoothly.

Actually now I think about it, I did notice someone talking to Louis while Caroline was singing and thinking at the time it was a bit unfair as it meant Louis wasn't giving her his full attention - maybe he was being told something after alll ...

But to your question ... I don't really do singing, so I would be unlikely to ever be in this situation and I can't really think of a song I would sing, so I would probably do something else. 

I spent a number of years working in a circus so I would probably perform one of my circus acts, maybe a bit of juggling. 

I did a bad thing ...

Standing at the bar last night getting served I felt a tap on my shoulder.  Turned around to see two young girls - I don't think they were old enough to be in the bar - trying to get my attention.

I ignored them (that wasn't the bad thing, I ignore lots of people).  Turned around giving my attention back to the barman. 

Another tap on the shoulder - I ignored it.

Another tap on the shoulder - I ignored it.

Finally served I turned around and the young girls were still there.  We had the following conversation:

'Are the drinks expensive in here?'

'I don't know'

'How much did those drinks cost?'

'I don't know'
Girl points at one drink 'How much was that drink?'

'I don't know'

Girl points at the other drink 'How much was that drink?'

'I don't know'

'How much did you give the barman?'

'How much change did you get?'

I was just about to say, 'I don't know' but then I did the bad thing ... I said £7.

Last I saw they were at he bar spending all their pocket money on one drink

Friday, 5 October 2012

Dear David - Darcey

Dear David

Who is this Darcey Bushel? She is very irritating, keeps saying 'yeah' after every critique, can you arrange for Arlene to come back?

David Responds

Oh no - Darcey is one of my favourites she is a proper dancer - Prima Ballerina.  We don't want that ratbag with the rats tails hair and the screechy voice back. 

And it is Bussell not Bushel.

Coupon ... again

Excitement again at Sainsbury's this morning with my 50p coupon from last week.

You might remember there was a bit of controversy over the issue of the coupon as I don't think Sainsbury's have thought the offer through properly, but never mind I have the coupon.

Bit of a disappointment though at the checkout - no coupon this week's and the 'Brand Match' shows I only saved £0.08 by shopping there rather than Asda.

Now I cant work out whether I have made 8p or lost 42p?

Celebrity Week

A look at this week’s celebrities:
  • Alex bought Chantelle a Chinese;  
  • Cat and Pat got married; 
  • Aliola accidentally hurt her foot, now she can’t dance with Johnny on Strictly; 
  • Justin wasn’t very well on stage; 
  • Richard might get a new train set after all; 
  • Chantelle was moving house, but now she isn’t; 
  • this year’s nut case on X Factor has been revealed; 
  • Kylie is in Rio: 
  • Gaga wore the safety pin dress that Liz wore 20 years ago - it didn't have the same effect; 
  • Tulisa doesn’t have that rotten blonde hair anymore - mind you the brunette look isn’t much better; 
  • Lisa Marie had her first UK gig; while 
  • Agnetha is going to record a new album; and
  • Victoria learnt that just because you can ride a bike - it doesn't mean you can dance.

Dear David - Snoods

Dear David

Are snoods still fashionable?

David Responds

Snoods have never been fashionable.

Dear David - Universe ... again

Dear David

I thought you r response to my question about how fast is the universe expanding was a bit brief and unspecific. Could you give me a proper answer?

David Responds

How rude. The universe is expanding at 74.3 ± 2.1 kilometres per second per megaparsec.

Are you any wiser now clever clogs?

Dear David - Universe

Dear David

How fast is the universe expanding?

David Responds

Quite fast.

Dear David - Extradited ... again

Dear David

I have just been extradited from the UK again.  Do I have to go this time?

David Responds


Thursday, 4 October 2012

Christmas Present

Regular readers will know my Christmas decoration was smashed to smithereens the Christmas before last, and I have been looking for a replacement ever since.

Well today I received my first Christmas Present (thank you Mrs B) and to add to the joy it can be my new Christmas decoration.

Now ... to decide where it should go ...

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Dear David - Extradited ... again

Dear David

I was recently extradited from the UK, ever since I have been fed up, depressed and I can't sleep.  What can I do?

David Responds

Oh dear, you need to get out a bit more, go on holiday - take a trip abroad.  America is nice at this time of year.

Dear David - Baked Potatoes

Dear David

Now that it is autumn, do you think it is ok to eat baked potatoes?

David Responds

Yes there are certainly indications of autumn in the air, but I would give it a few weeks before starting on the baked potatoes - if you have them now, winter will seem to go on for ever.
But as the seasons have changed, you might want to put out your autumn towels.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Dear David - Super Heroes

Dear David

I have just watched the latest Avenger movie and I was wondering, if you could be any of the Marvel superheroes who would you be and why?  Also which superhero do you think I identify with? After all I do have a fancy dress party to go to soon.

David Responds 

I am sure you had a most entertaining evening with your comic book story.

I have never thought of myself as a super hero, but I suppose if I had to choose one I think I might go for Spiderman, he was always my favourite as a child, although I don't really like spiders. Failing that, I would probably go for Flash - I think he has the nicest outfit.
As to who you could be, thank you for sending a photograph, 

… fishing it out of the envelope …

… goodness you are a large chap.  

And don't you have long arms, do your knuckles hurt when you walk across the street?
A little tip - have you thought about using a neutralising foundation to tone that green down a bit?  pop into your nearest Boots and ask for the L'Oreal counter - they will be delighted to help you.

But oh dear - fancy dress parties are festooned with problems. Read my post on fancy dress parties for some more tips.

And send me a stamped self-addressed envelope for my leaflet How to survive a Fancy Dress Party

Monday, 1 October 2012

Dear David - Ryder Cup

Dear David

I enjoyed all the celebration parades in the UK after the Olymips, do you thin we should have on ein America for the Ryder cup?

An American in London

David Responds

... not so fast.