Monday, 30 December 2013

Dear David - New Year's Eve

Dear David

I have been invited to a New Year's Eve party, I am very excited about it as I don't get invited out much.  I have made my own outfit, what do you think?  Photograph enclosed.  I am very excited.

C

David Responds

Oh well done I am very pleased for you, you must be thrilled to get an invitation at last. 

And a photograph ... I like these letters ... fishing it out of the envelope ... let's have a look ...

Oh well err, your outfit is very nice dear ... especially as you made it yourself. You don't often see that colour orange these days, how very vibrant.

It is quite err ... what's the word?  ... revealing, yes revealing ... no plunging, that's it ... plunging, that's a much better word.  It is very plunging.

Who are those two short men with bald heads standing in front of you dear, I haven't got my glasses on.  Are they your friends?

Let's have a closer look ... oh I can see now, they aren't your friends .. it is still you.

Well I think you look very nice.  You didn't say where you were going (it's not the Laughing Donkey is it?) but I am sure you will have a lovely time, do enjoy yourself.

Oh and that other question I have sent you a private reply in a plain brown sealed envelope, do look out for it.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Celebrity Week

This week's celebrity news:
  • Someone won Strictly;
  • the Queen started her Christmas holidays at Sandringham;
  • Philip said 'oh I can get another winter out of this brown coat;
  • the Queen scanned her guest list and said 'we are going to have to double some of them up, we just haven't got the space';
  • Beatrice asked Eugenie 'what's top and tail?' after the Queen told them which room they had over Christmas at Sandringham;
  • the Pope popped round to see the Pope on Christmas Eve;
  • David is marrying Frankie;
  • Ian McShane did Saturday Kitchen;
  • Ian McShane is right full of himself; and
  • Danny joined EastEnders.

Sainsbury's

Nice and quiet in Sainsbury's this morning, which is just as well as there is nothing on the shelves.

She was pottering around the Patisserie as normal but I noticed she wasn't wearing her Christmas earring.  When I asked her about it, she said she had had it on this morning, but had lost it somewhere.

She says she can definitely remember having it on when she was making the trifles ... but somewhere between the custard layer and the cream topping it disappeared.

I think I will just have two almond slices.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Dear David - Lady Rose

Dear David

Lady Rose has had a coming out party.  Do you think its too late for me to have one?

C

David Responds

God yes - much too late.

Dear David - Champagne cocktails

...  a Dear David Clarification ...

Ethel dear, that recipe for Champagne cocktails I sent you ... you add a small measure of brandy to a glass of champagne, not the other way round.

Hope you see this before you try it.

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Christmas Card

Oh her across the road has just put a card through my door ... on Christmas morning!

Now I have to give her one and she will know I am only sending it because she sent me one.

The rotten old bag!

Dear David - Christmas Morning

Dear David

On Christmas morning is it ok to have a mince pie, a cheese pastie and half a block of chocolate before your breakfast?

David Responds

Yes it is.

Merry Christmas

Monday, 23 December 2013

Dear David - Boxing Day

Dear David

I am having a Boxing Day buffet extravaganza and wondered if you would like to come?

Ethel

David Responds

Oh hello dear I haven't heard from you for ages.

I would have loved to come to your buffet but I'm sorry I have a prior engagement. I have been invited to a 'Festive Pie & Pea' at the Laughing Donkey and I have to go .. they are relying on me doing the gravy.

By the way did you get that mix up with the police sorted out?

Sorry but that might have been my fault. All I said to the police when they sent that nice man around asking about any suspicious 'goings on' in the neighbourhood was that I had heard you had been going to the bingo a lot more than you used to, and that I had seen you in the snug of the Rusty Bucket wearing a new coat.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Celebrity Week

This week's celebrity news:
  • Harry got to the south pole;
  • Catherine chucked Adrian; 
  • someone won X Factor; and
  • someone won a personality on the other side;
  • the BBC pulled off a remarkable marketing coup by screening the Great Train Robbery on the day Ronnie died;
  • Jayne was robbed by a monkey on holiday in India - Jayne was on holiday in India not the monkey;
  • the Queen had a Christmas party;
  • the Queen had to get an extra quiche out the freezer after Camilla had said she wasn't coming but turned up at the last minute;
  • Charles said 'I told you we should have rang first and said you were coming after all;
  • George is going to New Zealand next year; and 
  • one week after he X Factor final Sam isn't seeing Tamara anymore.

Poundland

I see staff at Poundland are complaining as they only get 10% staff discount when they bury goods in store.


That's not very much ... if only things in Poundland were a bit more expensive then the 10% discount would be worth a lot more!

Sainsbury's

What a nightmare in Sainsbury's ... and she was no help.

She said she had had a new wheel put on her 'stackable movables' and the squeak was driving her mad ... and she was too busy to slice, what with the stacking and the ovens to keep an eye on so she didn't have time to do my multi-grain seeded.

I had to do with Margaret for the second week in a row.

All checkouts were open, which is a marvelous sight at 8 in the morning and they had some helpers from the local school to help you pack.

I say help ... if you can call throwing your items in the nearest bag in random order ... non-alphabetical I will have you believe ... help then I suppose it was.

I tried to have a discussion about how really you shouldn't pack hand picked Italian grapes next to a Christmas Yule, but the discussion was going nowhere so I gave up.

But it is done ... Merry Christmas

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Dear David - Budgie

Dear David

I have a budgie in the hospital and it is likely to be still in over Christmas. My little boy is very upset, what can I do?

David Responds

What a funny question.

Still I can see you are concerned about your budgerigar so I will try to help.

Have you thought about getting a stand in for the holidays? Your local pet shop might let you hire one out for a week. I don't know how much it will cost, but they are only little so it can't be much. It should be quite cheap … oh do you see what I did there, I made a joke! Sorry, I can tell by your tear stained letter you are not in the mood for jokes.

Failing that (pet shops are quite busy at this time of year and they might not have any budgies in) I might be able to let you have a canary that you could paint blue (or green … colour of your budgie was not specified in your letter) so you can pass it off as your own. Try and keep it flying around and you might just get away with it.

Let me know if you want the canary and I will pop it in the post together with my free leaflet 'How to make a canary look like a budgie'

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Dear David - John Betjeman

Dear David

Do you know what John Betjeman was famous for?

David Responds

Yes I do ... he invented tar.

Track And Trace

A seasonal tale …

I went to a local Royal Mail main depot to collect a parcel on Saturday morning (07:00). In the boot of my car were several parcels I wished to post.

I collected my parcel from said depot and travelled to a nearby town for an appointment. Whilst in nearby town I posted my parcels - one of them was accorded 'Track and Trace' status (at a cost of £12.62).

Although I was promised 'you can track your parcel anytime on this website', there was no sign of it on Parcel Force site until teatime on Monday - at which point it my parcel had progressed to the local main depot …

… which is where it was on Saturday morning at 7 am before I had posted it!

Incidentally, the woman behind the post office counter

Monday, 16 December 2013

Dear David - Desk Decoration

Dear David

At work I have been called unChristmassy because I don't want tinsel on my desk.  Do you think they are right?

David Responds

No I do not … why would you want some ratty old, dust covered, flea ridden rats tails sellotaped to your desk. Stand firm and tell the tinsel wielding mad woman to sling her hook.

Dear David - Christmas Kiss

Dear David

It is about that time of year where one is likely to bump into ghosts of Christmas past and friends of friends - where you are expected to kiss in greeting. Is it one kiss on one cheek or a kiss on both? Also when should one deploy the air kiss?

David Responds

Yes it is that time of year isn't it … all the people you have been avoiding all year suddenly appear from nowhere and insist you kiss them.

I tend to favour the 'Hollywood air kiss' myself. It avoids touching and potential contamination with any number of airborne coughs and sneezes circulating at this time of year.

Going for actual connection is difficult as there aren't really any rules about one, two or three kisses (although the three kiss approach is more favoured by the Continentals).

My best advice is to treat this kiss like a penalty - decide how many you are going for (a kiss on one cheek or two) and stick to it.

Try holding your opponent in place by the elbows as you dive in, that should help.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Celebrity Week

This week's celebrity news:
  • the Queen said 'eeeh is it that time of year already?' when she was told it was the Royal Variety Performance this week;
  • Charles said 'it's ok mother it's my turn to go this year';
  • Ola says she isn't fussed about doing Strictly again; 
  • Harry went on the subway; while
  • the other Harry didn't go to the South pole - or the North pole, I can't remember which;
  • Lenin's statue was toppled in the Ukraine - I know, it is ages since Lenin was in the news; 
  • Barak took a selfie with Helle;
  • Barak giggled and said 'oh you ... I'm not dead tall; 
  • Michelle's face was tripping her;
  • Ray is doing the last series of Strictly on ice; 
  • Slade get half a million pounds royalties every year for that Christmas record;
  • the Queen was livid that someone nicked her nuts; and  
  • the BBC is going to give Andy a personality - about time.

Sainsbury's

If people don't normally go to Sainsbury's at 7:00 of a Saturday morning, they shouldn't be let in just because it is near Christmas.

Anyway ... visit to the Patisserie, and she was a bit busy this morning.  She shouted of her mate (... oh doesn't her voice carry!) ... 'Margaret can you slice this bloke's bread?'

I think the word she was looking for was 'gentleman'.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Dear David - Christmas Card ... again

Dear David

I have just received a Christmas card from a neighbour.  I have never had a card from a neighbour before.  Can you tell me the rules for sending one back in return?

Should I try to match the quality of the card; do you have to send the same sort, or should I up the quality a bit?  I am very worried.

David Responds

This is a difficult one.  My instinct tells me you should match quality, after all you don't want to make your Christmas card recipient feel uncomfortable, but at the same time if you have cards of a certain superior quality why would you go out and buy a poor quality card just because a neighbour sends you some rotten old, last in the box bit of tat.
 
Hold steady on this one and maintain your standards and send a card of your usual quality.  If your neighbour feels embarrassed because your card far exceeds their card, well it is their own fault for starting all this in the first place.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Dear David - Christmas Card ... again

Dear David

I received a beautiful Christmas card from a fried of mine, it is quite beautiful - sparkly and classic.  I felt touched, can you imagine my horror when I noticed the second class stamp!  what's is that all about?

David Responds

times are hard and I am not made of money.

And anyway the first class\second class thing is one of the great cons of modern life.  There is no difference between the service you receive.

Think about it ... do you think Royal Mail put all the second class letters to one side for a couple of days before they process them?  Of course not.


Dear David - Christmas Card ... again

Dear David

I have now received a second card - I now have one from neighbours on each side. I think they are bullying me. I am at the end of my tether.

I might see you in the Laughing Donkey in the new year - I don't think I can face going out until then.

C

David Responds

Oh dear you have got yourself into a bit of a state haven't you.

I can see why after years and years of not receiving any Christmas cards because you don't have any friends it could be a bit alarming to suddenly get two, but really the cards are meant to be a good thing.

Try and think of them in that spirit and why not join in and pop out to the newsagents and buy a pack of cards to send in return?

You might want to try a newsagents a long way from where you live, if you go to 'Deirdre's' around the corner, old Mrs cannybody behind the counter is likely to keel over with shock if you buy Christmas cards.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Dear David - Christmas Card

Dear David

I have lived at my current abode for 13 years and for the first time I have received a Christmas card from a neighbour. What should I do? I don't want them to get the wrong idea.

C

David Responds

This is quite troubling.

Are you sure the card was intended for you? It might have been popped through your letter box in error. Did it have your name on the envelope?

I suppose if you have only been living at that address for 13 years your neighbours might not yet know your name, but it is worth a look to check.

If the card is intended for you, is there any indication as to who it is off? Did they scribble their name and house number (for example, Mary at 23) on the card.

Hopefully they did not and you can just chuck it in the bin and that will be the end of the matter. If there are some identification details, the implications are (please steady yourself) that they are expecting you to send them a card in return.

I know … I know … this will probably come as a bit of a shock, but to be honest it was bound to happen one day … you have just received your first Christmas card.

You now need to send one in return. This is called starting a tradition.

After you have sent the card, if you bump into the neighbour any time from now up and to including Boxing day, you have to stop in the street and talk to each other.

But don't worry after Boxing Day you can go back to ignoring your neighbour … until next Christmas of course.

I know it sounds a little complicated, but do send me a stamped addressed envelope for my free leaflet 'The Rules for Sending Christmas Cards'.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Dear David - Christmas Jumper

Dear David

What do you think of my Christmas jumper with the reindeer on the front? Photograph enclosed.

David Responds

It looks more like an elk to me.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Celebrity Week

This week's celebrity news:
  • David was in China; while
  • Elton was in Russia - but maybe not for long;
  • Nigella had fabulous make up for court appearance; 
  • Tom was a little orange - I don't mean he turned into a piece of fruit, just that his colour was a little orange; 
  • Kate wore Margaret's tiara; while
  • Harry wore Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream at the South Pole;
  • Boris didn't pass his IQ test; 
  • Kate went to the pictures;
  • Kate wore a sheer dress to go to the pictures;
  • Kate braved the freezing temperatures walking without a coat from limousine to the front door; and
  • Joey isn't in the jungle anymore - not sure he knows where is it though.

Sainsbury's

Pre-Christmas visit to Sainsbury's and the old bag behind the Patisserie counter was in festive mood wearing a seasonal earring.  I think it was a snow man.

I said 'errr have you lost an earring?' pointing to her singular adornment.

'No' she said 'I found one'.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Dear David - Boxing Day ... again

Dear David
 
Your response to my Boxing Day night out dilemma did not help - give me a proper reply.
 
David Responds
 
Clearly it didn't help as you are still saying Boxing Day night.
 
Still, if only to shut you up …
 
arrange all of your going out outfits into a strict priority order using 'Glamorous' as the category:
  • put number one outfit to one side for New Year's Eve and
  • select number three (Boxing night is high glamour, but does not beat your highlight through the year glamour occasion - save number two outfit for that night
  • You might want to dress up your number three outfit with a diamond brooch
  • if your Boxing night event is a gala dinner, wear a tiara (unless you live in the country - then no tiaras please).

Dear David - Boxing Day

Dear David
 
I have been invited out on a Boxing Day night, night out on Boxing Day night.  I don't know what to wear, can you help?
 
David Responds
 
Yes, stop saying Boxing Day night, it is Boxing Night.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Dear David - Oven

Dear David

They were talking at work today about having their ovens steam cleaned. Should I have my oven steam cleaned?   Photograph of my oven enclosed.

David Responds

Oh a photograph enclosed … I like these letters …  fishing it out of the envelope … let's have a look …

Ah well, that isn't really an oven is it dear, it is a wooden box filled with straw.

I don't think you need to worry about steam cleaning it - just change the straw once in a while.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Dear David - Onesie ... again

Dear David

Re my last letter - Sorry I didn't mean 'do you sleep in a onesie'?, I meant 'does one sleep in one's onesie?

David Responds

Oh I see, well try and be a bit more careful when you ask people questions. And you might want to have another look at your question - there are too many 'ones' in such a short sentence, but I get your drift.

I don't really hold with onesies, I think they are a bit modern for me, but I don't think you should be sleeping in them, especially if your onesie has bunny ears and a tail.

Dear David - Onesie

Dear David

Do you sleep in your onesie?

David Responds

How rude, it is none of your business what I sleep in.

I have passed your letter onto Anna Raeburn she deals with these sort of smutty letters.

Flaming cheek.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Dear David - Boxing Day Buffet

Dear David
 
I am planning a spectacular buffet and mingle at mine on Boxing Day.  I have been saving with Iceland for months and have a massive hamper on order.  Would you like to come?
 
Ethel
 
David Responds
 
... Iceland ... is that the one that was on that TV programme a few weeks ago?  
 
... God no.

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Celebrity Week

This week's celebrity news:
  • Helen wore a tea dress - I didn't know they still did tea dresses;
  • Becks and Posh bought a house for £40 million - I couldn't' see anywhere to put their wheelie bins;
  • William got on stage to sing a couple of songs;
  • Zac still has a broken jaw;
  • Alex wants to be independent, but keep everything British;
  • Nigella has had better weeks;
  • Joan's sister got an Oboe off of the Queen;
  • One off of Bros is doing Christmas Strictly;
  • Nicolas had his first driving lesson;
  • Ryan is 40 and is still playing football; and
  • Corrie moved two miles down the road.

    Dear David - Christmas Tree ... again

    Dear David

    I told my maid what you said regarding her festive creation and the 'white rubber glove' Christmas Tree was removed immediately.  Goodness knows what she's done with the gloves.

    When I was out at the local supermarket buying flax seeds, I returned home to find the stock pile of empty toilet roll tubes (she's been collecting them for months now) had disappeared and discovered and new type of tree in the hallway. To make things even worse, she's placed the whole contraption along side Mrs.Clover's (from next door) fruit basket (now filled with citrus smelling potpourri) and, placed a charity shop picture behind it whilst laying the whole arrangement on one of her crocheted doilies, not to mention the blue frilly table-top cover given to her at the battered husbands' charity jumble sale held last week at the local community center (which, incidentally, took place under torch light as the electricity was cut off a fortnight ago due to none payment of this year's bill and their stockpile of candles had been pinched by the local teenagers)!

    I'm not sure if I can can take much more. I'm traumatised by it all!

    Please Help

    Gretta!


    David Responds

    I am not sure who I am more worried about, you or your maid.  You both sound like a couple of loons ... (and what were you doing buying flax seeds at the supermarket ... you haven't been getting a budgerigar have you?).

    I am not sure what to advise, although I have to say your maid's latest creation has a certain look .... very ... sort of post second world war meets 1950s home made ... still under ration look.  It is the sort of thing Kirstie Allsopp might make on one of her Chanel 4 programmes.

    Key to this is how good at her job is your maid.  If she is a marvel, then you could decide she is 'wonderfully eccentric' and use these incidents as 'funny anecdotes' when your friends call.  After all this latest display has a certain charm, it rather reminds me of my friend Ethel and her homely Christmas decorations when I visit.

    If she is useless as a cleaner use this as an excuse to let her go, start screaming and threaten to call the police if she doesn't leave immediately. 

    Oh .. and errr ... she doesn't live in does she?

    Dear David - Shovel

    Dear David

    Now that the weather is getting colder should I put a shovel in my boot?

    David Responds

    Look you ask me this question every year and I have no idea what you are talking about.

    I have passed your letter on to Denise Robertson, she has time on her hands for time wasters these days so she might send you a reply.

    Friday, 29 November 2013

    Dear David - Christmas Tree ... again

    Dear David
    After yesterday's trauma of the office Christmas Tree, I arrived home this evening to find this - a gift from the maid!  Photograph enclosed. What is it with rubber gloves and Christmas Trees.

    Whatever next?  What do you think I should do. Your advice is much appreciated! 



    David Responds

    I am starting to get worried, I think I read a book like this once ... it didn't end well.

    You clearly have too many rubber gloves in the house (although I quite like the white ones - where do you get them from?) and your maid does not have enough to do.

    I suggest you cut her hours and insist she starts doing the tops of doors. 

    That should keep her occupied so she doesn't have time to make you these creepy gifts.

    Dear David - Christmas Tree

    Dear David

    I've got a dilemma that I'd like to help me out with. The cleaners at work thought it'd be a nice idea to use up several spare marigolds from the cleaner's stock cupboard to create a Christmas Tree.

    I'm worried come January, that there will not be enough gloves to clean the toilets with! Would adding a few fairy light result in it being a fire hazard, or would it add to the festive cheer?  Photograph enclosed.  What do you reckon?

    Much thanks

    Gretta



    David Responds

    That is quite the most revolting and creepy Christmas tree I have ever seen (and I have seen a pink plastic one in Leeds).  If Prince Albert was alive today he would turn in his grave.

    I don't think adding a few festive lights would do anything to enhance this monstrosity.

    The best I can suggest is a few minutes with a couple of hat pins.

    Thursday, 28 November 2013

    Saatchi

    I see Charles Saatchi got a letter from his credit card company telling hiim his bill was £100.000 a month.

    They also said that he should make a minimum payment of £5 by the 20th of the month.

    Wednesday, 27 November 2013

    Scotland

    Have you had a quick look through Salmond's vision of an independent Scotland?

    It seems there will be angels carrying harps in the sky throwing £5 notes onto the streets below, and everyone will be given a puppy.

    It sounds most marvelous.

    Monday, 25 November 2013

    Dear David - Birthday ... again

    Dear David 

    Just a letter to say Happy Birthday and I hope you enjoyed the buffet in the Laughing Donkey on saturday - it cost me a fortune!

    C

    David Responds 

    Thank you very much and the buffet was lovely ... what there was of it.

    I know times are hard and you have only got your pension to manage on, so it was lovely of you to go to all that effort and expense, but to be honest dear ... it didn't go very far.

    Those big lads (who who were they by they?), made short work of your sausage rolls so I am afraid I didn't manage to get one, but your cocktail sticks with pineapple chunks and tinned hot dogs were delicious, I can almost taste them now ... actually I can taste them now.

    And that cheese ... what sort was it dear, and is it meant to be that colour?

    But I am afraid I had one too many drinks so it is all a bit of a blur but I vaguely remember paper plates, doileys and a grapefruit covered in tin foil so I am sure it was spectacular. 

    Saturday, 23 November 2013

    Celebrity Week

    This week's celebrity news:
    • Rita Fairclough is going to be a judge on next year's X Factor; 
    • the Pythons are putting aside their artistic differences to produce a new show and to make some money because they are broke; 
    • Ed got a new hair-do; 
    • Elton has a new tune out - not that struck on Elton but this one is all right; 
    • Ed wishes he had never heard of the Co-Op bank; 
    • Robbie has had some new hair fitted; 
    • some X Factor people went to the fair; 
    • some people are in the jungle; 
    • Meg went to the shops without a hat on; 
    • Posh gave some clothes she can't get into anymore to charity;
    • Harry went to the antarctic .. or the arctic, anyway somewhere, where it is cold; and
    • Jame was suffering from acute exhaustion- celebrities get that when they have been caught saying or doing something they shouldn't and want to lie low for a bit.

    Dear David - Birthday ... again

    Dear David

    Just thought I would give you some advance warning about your 40th birthday celebration tonight in the Laughing Donkey. Me and H have arranged a finger buffet for us in the Laughing Donkey - your favourite sausage rolls will feature heavily ... because you are worth it.

    C and H

    David Responds

    Oh how lovely, I hope you haven't gone to any bother, you know how I hate a fuss.

    When you say 'favourite sausage rolls' you don't mean the home made ones that you brought last year?  What did you put in them, I can still taste them.

    But a do in the Laughing Donkey would be lovely, have you booked the Snug?  I know they put 5p on a drink but it is worth the extra.

    And what about those big lads that wander around with bottles to sell shots ... after last year you haven't invited them have you?

    Oh and can I have a seat in the corner, away from the window?  There is a right draught gets in there at this time of year.

    What about Deirdre from the Community center - she can be a right misery until she has had a drink.  And she never goes anywhere with that sister of hers, she gets right on my nerves.  You haven't told them it's my birthday have you, we will never get rid of them if you have.

    But how exciting ... I can hardly wait.

    Thursday, 21 November 2013

    Dear David - Dr Who

    Dear David

    I am so excited about the new Dr Who - I think it is about the original Doctor - at the weekend I can hardly sleep.  Can you help me get through the next few days?

    Trevor

    David Responds

    Well no not really, you will just have to wait for the BBC to broadcast your programme.

    In the meantime why not put your grandad in a phone box and sit and look at him for a couple of hours?

    Dear David - Christmas Already

    Dear David

    A lot of people are moaning that Christmas is upon us again.  Do you think it is worth having a referendum about only having Christmas every four years like the Olympics?

    C

    David Responds

    I can see the sense of what you say, but there are several drawbacks to your suggestion.

    Many people rely on the gifts they receive at Christmas to re-wrap and re send to friends and family throughout he year a birthday gifts. Making Christmas only every fourth year would greatly add to the yearly birthday gift cost.

    And what about Oor Wullie?  He only gets published every other Christmas, under your suggestion it would be eight years between visits from our Highland friend. 

    On a practical level, if people are shocked and surprised at its sudden arrival when it is every year, imagine the distress caused at the realization that it was Christmas this year and how many 'eeh I can't believe it is Christmas already' and 'I can't believe it is four years since it was here' you would have to put up with!

    So sorry on balance, I think we might as well put up with this annual festival as it is and accept it won't go away.

    It could be worse ... you could be in America and have to deal with Thanksgiving as well  That is like having two Christmases straight after each other!

    Wednesday, 20 November 2013

    Dear David - Christmas Cards ... again

    Dear David

    I my Christmas cards last year in the sales but now everyone is sending Facebook cards. I don't know if we have to send card, cards as well. Life has become so much more confusing.  Can you help?

    David Responds

    Sending Christmas cards has always been difficult, but it is now more complicated than ever.

    For this particular dilemma, when you send a Facebook card, if in previous years you have sent the recipient a card, card, then you have to send them a card, card as well as the Facebook card.

    If you have never sent a card card to the person you are sending a Facebook card to, then you don't need to send them a card card as well.

    I hope that helps.

    Dear David - Christmas Cards

    Dear David

    Is it too soon to send my Christmas cards?

    David Responds

    Ah well … yes .. no … it depends.

    At first thought the answer would be yes it is far too soon to send your Christmas cards, but it depends what you want to achieve.

    If you send your cards now, your friends and family will think you are losing it and avoid you like the plague over the season, leaving you to have a nice peaceful, relaxing stress free time all to yourself. If this is for you, add to the effect by making a small note in your cards to say you are sorry it is so late this year.

    On the other hand if you do want callers and visitors, then leave it until around 10 December to send your cards.

    Tuesday, 19 November 2013

    Mince Pies

    At last Fenwick's have their mince pices.

    The ones with icing topping instead of a pie lid.  I usually buy them in boxes, but this year they are selling them individually.

    £0.85p each!  That's a bit steep, times are hard and I'm not made of money.

    I wonder if they will cut one in half?

    Monday, 18 November 2013

    Dear David - Birthday

    Dear David

    I am just checking that we are celebrating your 40th birthday (again) in the Laughing Donkey on Saturday?

    C

    David Responds

    Actually I'll be 39 ....

    How nice of you to remember, I thought after last year you might have forgotten ... but I suppose that court case would make it stick in your mind.

    I have to say, that judge was right out of order saying ... what was it again ... ah yes ... "never in all his years has he heard of such disgraceful behavior" ... "has he heard of a gentleman,  if indeed you are a gentleman, being so drunk in a public place".

    To be fair to you I don't think anyone could have predicted that doing a paso doble on a bar top could end up in such a disaster.  It was a thousand to one chance that your high heel would end up in that big lad's pint.  And when he got cross and grabbed you by the throat, we all knew you were just trying to calm him down by tickling him under the chin and saying 'oh don't be such a misery', so it wasn't really your fault that such a big fight ... oh what was it the judge said? ... oh yes, that was it ..."and so ensued what he can only describe as a common brawl".

    So I think you were really hard done by, by the way have they lifted your curfew?

    But to your question, yes I am having a do in the Laughing Donkey, nothing fancy, they are going to cordon off a small area next to the fruit machines for one or two discrete guests.  If I see you I will wave.

    Dear David - Andre

    Dear David

    I am Andre Rieu, do you have any advice for me?

    David Responds

    Yes, take that brooch off your cravat.

    Saturday, 16 November 2013

    Celebrity Week

    This week's celebrity news:
    • Robbie has a  new tune out - doesn't it sound like an old tune;
    • Robbie can't really whistle;
    • a load of people are going to the jungle - Joey, ah bless;
    • Chris dyed his hair; and
    • Cliff's looks a bit dodgy too;
    • Strictly on Ice is doing 'All Stars' competition next year for final run - if they had concentrated more on people who can stake they might have got a few more years out of it;
    • Charles was 65;
    • Camilla wore the Queen Mother's tiara;
    • the Queen told her to put it back where she found it, she wasn't gone yet; and
    • Anne said we should eat horses - oh I couldn't manage a whole one.

    Dear David - Christmas Do!

    Dear David

    I have a worry.  Work are planning an evening out prior to Christmas, at which we have been requested to wear a jumper.  I am at a loss!  Sartorial advice needed, but please don't advise scratching the fixture - I have to go.

    Miss C

    David Responds

    Ah yes it is the time of year for the works Christmas do.  Made even more difficult by various imposed themes.

    Your event requirement does at least have a practical nature - a jumper in December - but it is hardly glamorous.  I share your distress.

    Since you have to go I am assuming it is too late to drag out your great aunt Maud and give her a dreadful case of the flu and you have to see to her?

    If this isn't an option you have one or two other possibilities.  On the night, ignore the jumper rule and say 'Oh "compulsory jumper wearing?" - I thought you said compulsory fabulous ball gown wearing!'

    If you don't feel you can pull that one off, why not throw a cashmere pashmina over bare (but lightly dusted) shoulders and say you are counting your pashmina as a jumper.


    Dear David - Jalapenos

    Dear David

    What are Jalapenos like?

    David Responds

    Oh I'm not sure, I've never been to Jalapenia, but I am sure they are very friendly.

    Sainsbury's

    For last week's trip to Sainsbury's I had to scrap ice off the car, this week it is 9 degrees ...

    ... and excitement at the Patisserie, lots of people milling around filling shelves, even my large multi-grain seeded, was ready and sliced.

    I think I even heard singing in the background.


    No sign of the miserable old bag, must be her day off.

    Friday, 15 November 2013

    Dear David - Medium... again

    Dear David

    I notice you will do readings for a small fee. Please find enclosed a photocopy of my palm. Can you see into my future?

    C

    David Responds

    Yes I am happy to do a reading for a small consideration.

    Oh and you have enclosed a copy of your palm .. let's have a look …

    … Oh, did you have the photocopier on 'Enlarge'? Your palm seems quite big … and hairy too.

    Let's see if I can make anything out under all those hairs … aren't they dark ...

    Ah yes let's see now.  It says here that you are going to meet a strange man ... no sorry ... not strange ... what's the word ... ah yes 'odd', that's a better word ... you are going to meet an odd man and you will go somewhere you have never been before.

    Not sure what that last bit means, have you been to Cleveleys?

    Look there is a lot of information here, I will jot it down and pop it in the post once your cheque has cleared.

    Thursday, 14 November 2013

    Dear David - Medium

    Dear David

    I went to a medium on Tuesday and she said she could see I had a 'long felt want'. I didn't understand as I only had my handbag with me. What did she mean?

    David Responds

    Ah yes a visit to a medium, sure to raise a lot of questions. But in this instance I think she just meant you have a long held desire for something. Any idea what that might be?

    As it happens I do have the gift of prophecy myself, so if you would like to send me a photocopy of your palm and £10 I can do you a personal reading.

    Tuesday, 12 November 2013

    Christmas Sofa

    If you thought it is far too soon for furniture companies to be telling us to 'buy now in time for Christmas delivery, well it isn't ...

    If you want a new sofa for Christmas - you will have to order it by the weekend!

    Dear David - Christmas Present

    Dear David

    I can't think of what to buy my bin man for Christmas.  Do you have any ideas?

    David Responds

    Oh yes that is a tricky one isn't it.

    I had the same problem last year, but I know bin men start really their working day really early so they finish early ... which means they have the afternoon free.  So last year I bought my bin man a lovely box set of Bette Davis films. I am sure they went down a treat.

    But it is funny now tyou mention it, I haven't seen him since, he always sends his mate to empty my bin.  Maybe he is embarrassed about receiving such an extravagant gift.

    Monday, 11 November 2013

    Dear David - Cake Stand

    Dear David

    I am trying to find an authentic 1950s Royal Doulton cake stand for my themed 'Christmas after the Coronation' event on Boxing Day, but I am having no luck finding one.  Can you help?

     Ethel

     David Responds

     Oh your event does sound fun, but sorry I can't help I have been looking all over for one for myself.  Have you asked Doreen at the Community Centre, they might have one you can borrow.

    Sunday, 10 November 2013

    Dear David - Santa ... again

    Dear David

    I told mummy  you said I was too late to send a letter to Santa and she said something I didn't understand,  what does 'viscous old rotter' mean?

    Sarah age 6

     David Responds

     What does she mean 'old'?

    Saturday, 9 November 2013

    Celebrity Week

    This week's celebrity news:
    • the Boomtown Rats put aside their differences for a reunion tour and the money;
    • Ed willfully looked out of the window; 
    • Jennifer had her hair cut; 
    • Bankrupt Mo is going to do the jungle thing - has she not been in it before?; and
    • Rebecca is doing the jungle; and
    • so is Joey - ah bless;
    • Justin is having a bit of a time in Brazil; 
    • the group that was going to be the new One Direction left X Factor - if only they didn't have to sing, they would have got on much better;
    • the one that does the numbers on Countdown that isn't carol left Strictly;
    • looks like Trinny is seeing that bloke - is she mad?; and 
    • James looked a bit rough when he moved back in with his mother.

    Sainsbury's

    Bit of a surprise at the patisserie this morning when I was greeted with a beaming smile and a cheery Hello.

    'I've kept you a family mince and apple if you want it' she said.

    Well go on it thought, I'll take it.

    I don't know what she is up to but she is still a miserable old bag.

    Friday, 8 November 2013

    Dear David - Santa

    Dear David

    I am writing my letter to Santa, can you help me with what to write?  I am very excited about Christmas.

    Sarah age 6

    David Responds

     Sorry, it is too late, last posting day for Santa was last week.

    Thursday, 7 November 2013

    Dear David - Christams

    Dear David

    Do you know when China is sending over our Christmas?

    David Responds

    Oh, I'm not sure, I think it is due a week on Tuesday.

    Dear David - Call Ring

    Dear David

    I have been trying to work out the difference between 'ring me' and 'call me', when meaning to get in contact with me by telephone.  I can't work out which is best to use.  I mhave been very worried, can you help?

    M

    David Responds

    What a funny thing to worry about.

    Essentially there is no difference, in this context they mean the same thing. 

    My personal guidance would be to use 'call' if you wish to be formal, but use ring' if you wish to be less formal.

    Wednesday, 6 November 2013

    Dear David - Bananas

    Dear David

    I seem to have bought some of those forever green and hard bananas you mentioned earlier. Any further advice on what to do with them?

    RP

    David Responds

    Pop them in a brown paper bag and put them in your airing cupboard.  They will be ready to eat by morning.

    Dear David - Hercule

    Dear David

    What is the English name for Hercule?

    David Responds

    Hercule.

    Dear David - Gran Canaria ... again

    Dear David

    I am having a lovely time here in Gran Canaria, (phew! Isn't it hot?), but I remember what you said the last time I was here to encourage me to go to the beach, so I am going to take your advice and give it a go. What do you think of my new beach outfit? Photograph enclosed.

    C

    David Responds

    Oh I am pleased you are enjoying your holiday, and bravo to you for taking on a new adventure at the beach.

    Oh and a photograph .. I like these letters … fishing it out of the envelope .. just pop my glasses on … let's have a look …

    … Ah well … that's not really an outfit for the beach is it dear, it's more … well I'm not sure how you describe it … it looks … more for comfort, yes that's it … it looks very comfortable.

    And woollen ... it looks woollen, no wonder you are hot. And the leg warmers .. I mean they do match and they are very nice, but do you think you need them for the beach? Why not roll them down an bit let a bit of sunshine on your skin.

    Oh that reminds me, did that recipe for a poultice I sent you do any good?

    Monday, 4 November 2013

    Dear David - Gran Canaria

    Dear David

    I have just arrived in Gran Canaria.  Can you advise any places to go for a nice night out?

    C

    David Responds

    Oh how lovely, a few days in Gran Canaria. 

    There are many places to go in this popular holiday destination. Look out for that place that looks like a massive '70s car park - it has lots of bars and restaurants to visit on a night out.

    Try the show tune place.  It has a television set and they play recordings and you can spend a lovely evening listening to all the latest tunes from today's top singing stars, Petulia Clark, Dusty Springfield ... Cilla Black to name a few.  I do like Cilla ... have you heard her?   She has the most marvelous northern accent, 'Step inside Luv', I can almost hear her voice now!

    And of a weekend there are 'Hollywood specials' to look forward to, featuring the likes of Liza Minnelli and Judy Garland, (did you know Liza was Judy's daughter? It's not well known, she likes to keep that one quiet). 

    I have asked my friend Miss Beverly Hills to look out for you, (you can't miss her ... she is quite tall), she will give you all the inside information on the best places to go. 

    Saturday, 2 November 2013

    Celebrity Week

    This week's celebrity news:
    • Lady Gaga lost her luggage on a trans-Atlantic flight to the UK;
    • Lady Gaga had to perform her new tune on X Factor in her vest and pants;
    • Janine is leaving EastEnders;
    • just as Sonia is going back;
    • Harry broke a toe;
    • David got some new glasses;
    • James (Blake not Blunt) won the planet Mercury; 
    • Denise was on holiday with her latest husband;
    • the Queen signed something about making it easier to have your Sunday papers delivered; 
    • Rebekah has been seeing Andy - funny it never made it to the front page of The News of the World, nor get a mention when she divorced Grant Mitchell for adultery; and
    • Barak said he never hacked the pope's phone - but he said he might want to give their Kevin a ring back about Christmas.

    Shipley

    The Shipley art gallery has opened its craft store for Christmas.  They are promising all sorts of lovely knitted things you can give as gifts this Christmas.

    Do go along and support this local initiative.

    Oh one note .... I don't want anything knitted from a craft fair for Christmas.

    Brought to you by 'Dear David Crafts'.

    Bananas

    I have come to the conclusion that bananas are a nuisance in the Caribbean.

    And somehow those countries have found a way of making us pay to transport all of there bananas half way around the world so that we can put them in our bins

    Sainsbury's

    ... And so it starts ... scraping frost off the car.

    And a bit of fashion advice to the young gentleman wearing flip flops and no socks ... when there is frost on the ground ... wear proper shoes.

    But last week's disappointment, bit of excitement at Sainsbury's with a shelf full off my multi-grain seeded.

    But oh doesn't she snatch it out of your hand when you ask for it to be sliced!  It's not my fault she has a dozen carts to load and no time to be doing personalised slices.

    Rotten old bag. 

    Thursday, 31 October 2013

    Dear David - Halloween ... again

    Dear david

    I am off out halloweening, I thought you might like to see my outfit.  What do you think? Photograph enclosed.

    C

    David Responds

    Actually I'm not sure 'Halloweening is a word, but even if it is, it isn't one I would encourage you to use.

    Oh a photograph ... I like these letters ...

    ... fishing it out of the envelope ... Let's have a look ...

    Aw well, that isn't really a Halloween outfit is it dear ... that's a onesie.

    I know onesizes were quite scary when they first came out, but everyone has them now.  Even the Queen has got one (hers has little corgis on it). 

    If you want to make your outfit a bit scarier, why don't you take the bunny ears off?

    Dear David - Halloween ... again

    Dear David

    I am expecting some Halloween callers tonight, can you give me some advice on what to give them?

    David Responds

    Oh dear, I might not be the best person to ask. There has been a bit of Halloween confusion around chez David this year.

    I had thought I was about to get some Halloween callers of my own, (I could hear footsteps on the front path) but then I heard someone say 'oh don't go there, that's where the rotten old misery lives'.

    And then they disappeared. I think they have mixed my house up with old Mr Smith at the other end of the street.


    But in answer to your question, I like to set them a quiz question and if they get it right I give them a sweet.  Perhaps a toffee penny from last year's Quality Street, there is sure to be one knocking around somewhere.

    Wednesday, 30 October 2013

    Dear David - Halloween ... again

    Dear David

    Can you settle an argument, there is a pint of lager on it?  Was the big bird behind the bar in the Laughing Donkey on Saturday in Halloween costume or not?

    David Responds

    Yes, I wondered about that myself ... but oh isn't she big?  She could lift a melon up with one hand.

    To your question, it was it was difficult to tell.  Why not call it a draw.

    Dear David - Halloween

    Dear David

    I am a little confused - there were people in Halloween costumes in the Laughing Donkey at the weekend, but it is Halloween night on Strictly this Saturday. So does that mean people will be out in costumes again this Saturday?

    C

    David Responds

    Yes well, I was afraid this would happen when I saw Halloween was of a Thursday this year.

    Last Saturday was probably too early to go to the Laughing Donkey all 'Halloweened up' but I think this Saturday is too late. The problem is, once a festival is over … well it is over.

    For example, after weeks of preparation, look at how quickly Christmas is forgotten. Santa Claus the day after Boxing Day is just embarrassing.

    But unfortunately there will be the hardy (or perhaps foolhardy) souls that will turn up in a festive outfit this Saturday … so I am afraid it is not all over.

    Tuesday, 29 October 2013

    Dear David - Bake Off

    Dear David

    Now that the Bake Off has finished, I've got nothing to watch of a Tuesday. will they be showing a new series of the Great British Sewing Bee?

    David Responds

    Oh I doubt it, I think that one sank without trace.

    Monday, 28 October 2013

    Dear David - X Factor

    Dear David

    Can you explain the voting system works on X Factor of a Sunday night?

    David Responds

    No, not really.

    Saturday, 26 October 2013

    Celebrity Week

    This week's celebrity news:
    • Bet Lynch singing single Ladies was voted off X Factor;
    • After six days, Beyonce has stopped squirming;
    • Kelly got married;
    • Frances won the bake off;
    • George got christened; 
    • Chris left millionaire; 
    • Millionaire is packing it in after 15 years; 
    • Angela asked Barak if he had been bugging her phone; 
    • Barak said he hadn't been bugging Angela's phone;
    • Barak said Anglea might want to ring the garage as her car is ready; 
    • Katy keeps hair locks from Taylor and Miley - vile; and 
    • Orlando and Miranda split up.

    Sainsbury's

    Bit of an upset at the Patisserie in Sainsbury's this morning when there was no sign of my large sliced multi-seeded.

    I was a bit surprised because the old bag behind the counter might be miserable, but she knows how to pack a shelf.

    While I was deciding on a suitable alternative, I saw her rushing in, coat on (it's not often you see a full length rabbit fur these days) and a couple of shopping bags.  That explained it, she was late.

    I hovered around a bit to see if I could hear anything ... but she went straight out the back, so I never found out why she was late.

    Friday, 25 October 2013

    Christmas Decoration

    Regular readers will know that last Christmas I was given a Christmas decoration off a lady friend at work.  (More about Christmas decorations in future blogs). 

    When I say 'lady friend' I don't mean a "lady friend", but a friend who is a lady.

    When she gave me the gift, although not stated it was implied, or at least understood, that 11 more would follow in years to come to make up a full set of 12 in 2024.

    This understanding has been thrown into disarray as she is leaving to work in a different office.  I suspect my lady friend isn't likely to maintain this Christmas gift over coming years.

    I am sorry to see my friend go and wish her well, but I am not sure she fully thought about how this move would impact me.

    Thursday, 24 October 2013

    Dear David - Halloween

    Dear David

    I don't know whether to go out celebrating Halloween on Saturday night or wait until next Thursday (the 31st).  What do you think?

    David Responds

    Well first of all I don't think 'celebrating' is quite the word.

    Halloween is about lost and gone souls and is not something to be trifled with (or perhaps that should be 'something with which to trifle...').

    Activities for the festival vary but most common is to scoop out the flesh from an old turnip, sticking two inches of an old candle in it and standing out the back for an hour in the freezing cold.

    And as for when to do it - the date of the festival is quite clear … it is 31 October.
    Just because you like to get bladdered in the Dog and Duck of a Saturday is no excuse to move this traditional festival.

    Tuesday, 22 October 2013

    Dear David - Halloween

    Dear David

    I have a spare ticket for the community centre Halloween fancy dress and buffet on Saturday. I don't get out often and don't have many friends but I wondered if you would like to go with me?

    Ethel

    David Responds

    No thanks.

    Anyway I'm not free on Saturday as I am judging the trannie 'Night of Horror' fancy dress in the Laughing Donkey. And as you can imagine it could be quite time consuming working out who is entering the completion and who is just watching.

    Monday, 21 October 2013

    Dear David - Gazebo

    Dear David

    I am thinking of getting a Gazebo for the garden. What do you think?

    David Responds

    Oh no, I don't approve at all. Your back garden is not place to keep a wild African animal.

    Anyway, I'm not sure the council will let you keep one.

    Why not have a nice greenhouse instead?

    Saturday, 19 October 2013

    Dear David - Emergency

    David Responds

    Doreen, if you can read this from where you are ... Try hitting it with a hammer, if that doesn't work cover it with a doily.

    Celebrity Week

    This week's celebrity news:
    • a triumphant return to the X Factor for the so full of herself and experience in the pop world    one, with two of her three acts voted the least popular and up for elimination - I couldn't have scripted the humiliation better myself; while 
    • Gary is leaving the X Factor; Olly might be joining X Factor; 
    • Sonia is going back to EastEnders; 
    • Madonna has got plump cheeks;
    • Madonna was banned from the pictures - banning her from making pictures might have been better; 
    • Hillary got a parking ticket in London;
    • George and Boris went to China - sounds like a programme on CBBC;
    • Harry went to Nando's; while 
    • the Queen needed to get her library books back so William stood in for her giving out some awards; 
    • Kylie got chucked; 
    • Morrissey wrote a book; 
    • Morrissey's book is dead miserable;and
    • William gave someone an Oboe.

    Sainsbury's

    Early morning visit to Sainsbury's, and I will get a smile out of that miserable old bag on the Patisserie if it kills me.

    It's not my fault she has never heard of an Opera cake.

    And no, I don't want her to pipe an 'O' on a jam doughnut instead.

    Friday, 18 October 2013

    Dear David - Power Walking

    Dear David

    Is it permissible to laugh at power walkers?

    C

    David Responds

    Is 'power walker' where you walk up and down quickly with a pair of skis, when there isn't any snow?

    You don't say whether you are a power walker and people laugh at you or whether you laugh at power walkers, but whichever I think if you walk up and down with a pair of skis you get what you are asking for.

    But having said that - it isn't very nice to laugh at people.

    Oh you have attached a video clip… how very modern … let's have a look … now how do I get it to work …. oh I see … you click on it … that's it … here we go …

    Ah well that isn't really 'power walking' is it dear … it is more skipping.

    I am not surprised people were tittering at you in the street … Oh! look out for that kerb … too late … ouch, you went down like a bag of hammers.

    Are you all right dear? Maybe you should give the power walking a bit of a miss from now on.

    Wednesday, 16 October 2013

    Dear David - Charlotte Royale

    Dear David

    I was thinking of making a Charlotte Royale at the weekend.  Do you have any tips?

    David Responds

    Good God, are you mad?  They are dead complicated and take ages to make.

    If you are determined to go ahead try my top tips to make it easier. 

    Buy a Sainsbury's jam Swiss roll and cut into thin slices to make the dome. 

    Use an Angel Delight to make the filling. 

    That should save you a couple of hours


    Tuesday, 15 October 2013

    Dear David - Laughing Donkey

    Dear David received a rather terse letter from the manager of the Laughing Donkey this week. Needless to say, I won't be repeating the content here, but suffice it to say in response

    … while you are quite correct I wasn't in the Laughing Donkey on Saturday night, it is hardly my fault that you are now stuck with a load of cheap vodka you can't sell.

    Monday, 14 October 2013

    Dear David - Christmas Decoration

    Dear David

    I know you verge on the minimalist. But how much decoration should the average person have and should it be confined to one room? I considering the possibilities of bathroom decorations!

    David Responds

    Oh my good heavens you have written to me just in time.

    You are of course right, I do have a minimalist approach to Christmas decoration, but you might be excited to learn I was looking at adding a third decoration to my collection yesterday ... but I put it back.

    But back to your question, I think one room decorated for Christmas is an ample sufficiency.  

    Just think of your poor visitors wandering around your house from room to room dazzled and startled by sparkling things coming at them from all directions.

    Much better to keep decoration to one room and let sanity reign over the rest of your home.  

    If you plan to continue with your Christmas Bathroom idea, drop me a line with an outline and I will give you a personal response and send you my free leaflet 'How to Decorate your Bathroom for Christmas'.

    Dear David - Christmas Cards

    Dear David

    How many Christmas cards will you send this year?

    A

    David Responds

    What a timely question as I am, as we correspond, currently drawing up my final list of Christmas card recipients. 

    Sending Christmas cards can be quite tricky (which is what I think is behind your letter) and getting it right can be difficult.  Plus times are hard and Christmas cards aren't getting any cheaper, so fulfilling this social duty at a minimum cost is very important.

    For my own personal list, fortunately as this is an 'uneven' year it is my friend's turn to send the card so I am saving one there. 

    I will be sending one to all the staff at the Laughing Donkey - the one behind the bar with the funny eyes gives the person standing next to you a funny look if you don't send one

    As usual, I am leaving one with Doreen behind the front counter at the community center for regular visitors to have a look at.  I will pop it in a plastic cover this time, after ... well let's just call it an incident with a gravy boat and an Irish dancer last year. 

    And I will send one to the old dear at the library.  Bless her she isn't getting any better, she still stamps your books even though they went electronic ages ago.

    So how many is that then .... three.  I better get started writing.

    Do look out for my Christmas card list special in coming weeks.

    Dear David - Christmas

    With only 10 weeks to go Dear David is now open for all your Christmas queries.

    And here we have our first query from Bewildered in Jesmond.

    Dear David

    What is Christmas?

    David Responds

    Oh what a question.

    One answer is that it is the celebration of the birth of J (notice I didn't say it is J birthday).

    Another answer is that it is a national commemoration day we spend with family and friends where we eat a meal and exchange gifts.

    The issue is that although we spend it with the same people we spent it with last year, eat the same food we ate last year and exchange the same presents we gave last year, it takes three months to plan it.

    Sunday, 13 October 2013

    Dear David - X Factor

    Dear David

    What is wrong with Sharon's lips?

    David responds

    Oh I don't know I didn't notice, I try not to look at her when I'm having my tea.

    Saturday, 12 October 2013

    Celebrity Week

    This week's celebrity news:
    • the old bag left Loose Women;
    • X Factor managed to stretch 12 minutes of singing across four hours of two nights prime time TV; 
    • Some people won the Nobel prize for physics for something that doesn't exist - I could have done that; 
    • Popeye was named new Sunderland manager;  
    • Cheryl chucked Tre;
    • the Queen finished her summer holiday and went back to London to do some queening;
    • the Queen is down to her last million; 
    • the Queen had to get her wheelie bins from the bottom of the garden as someone had been using them as goal posts;
    • Calum hasn't got much money left; and
    • Calum might have to get a proper job like the rest of us.

    Sainsbury's

    Bit of excitement in Sainsbury's this morning .. they have their Christmas spicy Domestos in. 

    And at the checkout too, when the lady gave me a money off voucher because, she said, if I had bought my items elsewhere I would have saved £0.08p.

    If she thinks I will be too embarrassed to use it next week because the amount is so low ... well she can think again.

    It is mine, and I'm having it!

    Thursday, 10 October 2013

    Dear David - Halloween

    Dear David

    Are we wearing fancy dress to the Laughing Donkey this year?

    David Responds

    God no. I don't think that is such a good idea.

    Do you not remember last year when you said you were going to go as a 'scary pastry chef'. And I asked 'if you were going to wear one of your Mary Berry scarves?'

    And you got cross because you said you didn't have any Mary Berry scarves, all your scarves were masculine and didn't look anything like the ones Mary Berry wears.

    Then on the night in the Laughing Donkey when you were wearing your 'scary pastry chef' costume ... remember when that big lad came over and said 'oh what are you supposed to be - a scary Mary Berry?'

    And you got dead annoyed and you said your outfit was better than the rotten Frankenstein costume he was wearing. And he said he wasn't wearing fancy dress, he always looked like that

    And then you fainted, and the big lad brought you round by throwing a cider and blackcurrant in your face.

    And you were furious because you said he had ruined your Mary Berry scarf. And then it all got out of hand and you ended up being asked to leave when the doorman said you 'were a disturbing influence on other customers'.

    So no, I don't think fancy dress for Halloween is a good idea.

    Tuesday, 8 October 2013

    Dear David - X Factor

    Dear David

    Why is it on judge's houses on X Factor that they always choose the wrong three?

    David Responds

    I know, I've noticed that!

    Oh and I know you didn't ask who I thought would win … but ... not sure, the Boys and Groups are weak …

    ... oh and the Overs aren't very good.

    And I'm not sure how the one that looks like Su Pollard got picked for the Girls  … and the other Girl that sleeps on a sofa will get voted out by week four.

    That only leaves the one that is prettier than Nicole, that Nicole doesn't like … I give her a fortnight if that …

    So I don't think any of them will win it …

    Monday, 7 October 2013

    Dear David - Side-saddle

    Dear David

    Lady Mary rides side-saddle. Why doesn't Zara Phillips?

    David Responds

    Oh yes, I noticed that. It amazes me how they stay on the horse riding side-saddle.

    I think Lady Mary rides side-saddle because, well she is a lady, whereas Zara is a bit more 'tomboyish'. And in those competitions, Zara rides quite fast, I think she would fall off the horse riding side-saddle.

    But I am no expert on things equine. I have passed your letter to Claire Balding, she might know.

    Saturday, 5 October 2013

    Celebrity Week

    This week's celebrity news:

    • David had a few days in Manchester; 
    • Frank had a new son - or maybe Mia has a new book to sell; 
    • Gordon lost a bit of weight; 
    • Gordon lost two Michelin stars - I think this is unrelated to the above; 
    • George thinks Ian is a bit thick - different George; 
    • Harry went to Australia for the weekend to play with some boats - sorry technically they are ships, although I did see one boat;
    • Brendan dropped Sophie; 
    • Gary is going on tour, on his own this time; 
    • Bruce is exhausted from doing Strictly last week so he is having a lie down this week; and
    • JLS released their last single\video - funny that really because when I saw them on X Factor they all said all they wanted to do for the rest of their lives was sing together (maybe singing in a band isn't all it is cracked up to be).

    Sainsbury's

    Regular readers will know at this time of year I am in search of the perfect mince pie.  The ones with the icing top instead of a pastry one.

    Alerted by my cousin to their arrival in Sainsbury's it was an excited visit this morning.

    They took a bit of finding and there were only a few, but I did find them.

    They looked a bit skinny to me, I was hoping for something a bit more substantial, but I bought two boxes, just to make sure.

    What do they taste like?  I will let you know.

    Oh and I saw her next door hoovering in the garden when I got back, so no doubt she will be round later ... sorry that should say 'hovering'.

    If she thinks she is getting one of my mince pies ... well she isn't.

    Friday, 4 October 2013

    Dear David - Online Dating

    Dear David

    I have recently joined an online dating agency, but I don't understand all the terms they use. Can you explain please.

    David Responds

    Oh I don't usually do these icky subjects, this is probably something you should ask Denise Robertson, she does this sort of stuff. But here are some of the more popular terms used … and their meanings:

    No strings attached = married
    up for fun = married
    single = married
    likes nights in = married
    likes night in = skinflint
    likes nights in with bottle of wine = likes nights in with several bottles of wine
    good sense of humour = miserable as sin
    told good looking = ugly
    young outlook = old
    gym regular = been to gym once
    sorted = nutcase

    Thursday, 3 October 2013

    Dear David - Name ... again

    Dear David

    I saw your reply about the problem I have created with my gentleman caller.  I don't think your suggestions will work.  He will go mad when he finds out I haven't told him my real name.  I am very worried, what are we going to do?

    David Responds

    What do you mean 'we'?

    Wednesday, 2 October 2013

    Dear David - Name

    Dear David

    I have recently met someone I quite likebut when I met him I gave him an alias.  Would you mind sorting this mess out for me at the weekend in the Laughing donkey as you are one of my best friends.  i am worried as it has the potential to end very badly.

    Anon

    David Responds

    ... I am one of your best friends?  Sorry but who are you again?  Are you the one that works behind the bar with the funny eyes, or the tall skinny one that looks like Miss Jones off of Rising Damp when he puts a wig on for a 'theme night'?

    Anyway you do seem to have got yourself into a bit of a pickle.

    As you know, I always advocate total honesty in all things so you shouldn't be surprised to find yourself in this little difficulty.

    You don't say what your real name is or what your 'nom de plume' is so it is a little difficult to be specific.  For example if you told your gentleman friend (I am assuning it is a gentleman friend) your name is Phil and you are really Bill, you might get away by blaming the noise in the Laughing Donkey for the misunderstanding and you can both have a bit of a laugh about it.

    If you have a more exotic name, like ... eeerrr Claudius or Aristophanes you could say your you use your alias name to make life simpler.

    Drop me a text on my private number with your name and your alias and I will see if I can be a little more specific.

    Tuesday, 1 October 2013

    Dear David - Bake Off ... again

    Dear David

    Why do you never see a chav cooking on the Great British Bake Off?

    David Responds

    Oh I don't know. I had never thought about it. 

    Maybe it is because they are not allowed to put their baked pies in a Greggs bag when they show them to Mary and Paul.

    Dear David - Bake Off

    Dear David

    How can I get my spotted dick to stand out?

    David Responds

    Oh yes this is quite a challenge isn't it.  What you need to do is ... oh hang on ... wait a minute ... this is one of those smutty letters isn't it?  I know who you are ... your Kenneth Wiliams aren't you?

    Well I'm not falling for your tricks.   I have passed your letter onto Denise Robertson, she has a raucous sense of humor, I am sure she will be happy to deal with your letter.

    Dear David - Shut Down

    Dear David

    I am the President of a rather large country and I have just shut everything down. I wish I hadn't because now I've got nothing to do and I'm dead bored. Can you help?

    Anon

    David Responds

    Ah yes, well let that be a lesson to you - you should think these things through before you do them.

    But for your immediate problem, have you thought of doing some colouring in? This is a very soothing pastime, and needn't cost a lot of money. If you don't have a colouring book, see if you can get a couple of old newspapers and colour in the pictures. Not the Washington Post, there aren't many pictures in the Washington Post.

    Monday, 30 September 2013

    Dear David - Royal Mail

    Dear David

    I was thinking about buying a share in Royal Mail. What do you think?

    Ethel

    David Responds

    'A share'? I don't think you are allowed to buy just one, I think you have to buy a few.

    Anyway, I don't really give financial advice, well not since the advice I gave about buying shares in Woolworth's (who saw that happening!).

    If you do decide to invest, remember the value of shares can go down as well as up.

    Saturday, 28 September 2013

    Celebrity Week

    This week's celebrity news:
    • Harry and Niall had a game of golf;
    • Katy has a new perfume out;
    • Ed went to Brighton;
    • Ed made a bit of a speech; 
    • Cher released her 26th album;
    • David is back in EastEnders;
    • David said he wasn't sure if he was a feminist - not the David back in EastEnders;
    • Ricky is doing the Voice in Australia;
    • Harry went to a casino - not 'Prince of' Harry;
    • George is going to be Christened next month; and
    • Rosie and Justin haven't split up.

    Dear David - Tutu

    Dear David

    You said you would never mention that night I wore the tutu again.  Anyway I don't really remember much about it.  I still want to wear it.

    C

    David Responds

    Oh you must remember, I told you all the details while we were waiting for that nice policeman to check your card details when I went to bail you out.

    Do you not remember ... you were at the bar wearing your tutu and that big lad asked if you could pass him a straw.  And you said there weren't any straws, and he laughed and said 'Oh sorry they must be your legs'.

    And you were furious and you said he should think himself lucky see your legs ... and he said 'I don't want to see your rotten skinny legs'.  And you said 'don't you bandy legs with me'.

    And he said 'who are you calling bandy legs'.

    And then it all got a bit out of hand.

    The next thing I knew, the music was off, the lights were on and the riot police were pushing everyone out onto the street.

    So no, i don't think you should wear your tutu.

    Dear David - Strictly

    Dear David

    In honor of Strictly being back on TV do you think I could get away with wearing my tu tu to the Laughing Donkey this weekend?

    C

    David Responds

    Not with those legs.  And anyway, have you forgotten the last time you wore it?

    Sainsbury's

    Early visit to Sainsbury's and just in time to see fresh rolls being put out on display.

    If you have ever wondered if it is worth using the tongs to select our rolls, I wouldn't bother, the miserable old bag on specialty bread was picking them up with her bare hands and chucking them in the baskets four at a time.

    But hasn't she got big hands, she could manage four dried tomato and black olive at a time. 
    Miserable old bag.

    Thursday, 26 September 2013

    Dear David - Crafts

    Dear david

    I saw your letter about crafting and thought I would tell you about our little up coming event at the community center.  It is the old folks autumn competition 'stars of the silver screen in buttons'.  Would you like to be a judge?

    Ethel

    David responds

    God no.

    Dear David - Winter Hobby

    Dear David

    As summer is over and the nights are drawing in, I want to take up a craft for the long winter evenings.  I was thinking of embroidery, what do you think?

    C

    David responds

    Oh I think a new hobby is a great idea, and this is a great time to start, by the time Spring comes you will be quite proficient!

    But ... eerrr, I'm not sure embroidery is such a good idea.

    It's just ... well how can I put it ... you are not the most delicate of things, and your hands are quite large, almost shovel like, (remember winter 2010 when you dug your 4x4 out of that ditch with your bare hands?), and those needles are quite small. 

    Let me have a think of an alternative, in the meantime I will send you my free leaflet 'How to fill the long lonely winter nights with a new hobby'.

    Tuesday, 24 September 2013

    Dear David - Hemp ... again

    Dear David

    I saw your reply to my letter, but if you read my question properly you will see I was asking about decoration for my loaf.  Now give me a proper reply.

    C

    David Responds

    How rude.

    I have looked up 'hemp' and I don't think it is the type of thing I want to be associated with.

    But I do have contacts that might be able to help you in the Laughing Donkey.  So I have passed your letter onto the tab man with one ear called Albert.  See him on Saturday night and he might have something for you.

    Dear David - Hemp

    Dear David

    Where do I get hemp leaves from?  for decoation purposes only of course?

    C

    David Responds

    You don't say what it is you want to decorate and I am not sure I quite know what hemp is.  Why don't you get a nice brooch instead?

    Dear David - Ladies Maid ... again

    Dear David

    I received your leaflet 'How to dress yourself when you don't have a ladies maid', what does it mean 'take dress out of wardrobe?

    David Responds

    Oh God ... stay where you are, don't move ... I'm coming round.

    Monday, 23 September 2013

    Dear David - Ladies Maid

    Dear David

    When I awoke this morning I discovered my ladies maid quit without giving any notice.  I don't know what to do, can you help?

    David Responds

    Oh dear how distressing, but please don't panic, I will try and talk you through this ... I am here for you. 

    First of all ... can you move?  Try and sit up ... can you do that for me?

    If you can sit, try and put a pillow under your back.  Don't worry if the pillow is a bit heavy, you will get used to the weight.  You might be a little breathless after this sudden movement, but don't worry, it is quite normal.

    Now when you are sitting up, try ringing that little bell next to your bed.  You might have to wait a while before someone comes.  Please be patient.

    Your upstairs housemaid should arrive soon, but don't be alarmed if your parlour maid arrives instead, your servants will have been surprised to hear you ringing your bell so they might panic.

    Tell your maid you will take breakfast in bed and to cancel all your appointments for the rest of the week.  This will give you some time to get dressed, it will be difficult for you as you will have to do it yourself.

    I have sent you my leaflet 'How to dress yourself when you don't have a ladies maid'. You should get it in a couple of days.

    Saturday, 21 September 2013

    Celebrity Week

    This week's celebrity news:
    • Professor Green and Millie got married - no I have no idea who they are either - but it says here they got married;
    • Liz and Shane split up; 
    • David had long unkempt hair for Paris fashion week;
    • Chris is taking driving tests in LA;
    • Simon had an argument with the one that is having his baby;
    • Tom has lost a bit of weight;
    • Julie is still telling the tale of her marriages and her time on Corrie;
    • Shane arrived in London to make up with Liz;
    • Liz went to New York;
    • David had a nap with his shoes off;
    • David wore black skin tight jeans;
    • David is too old to wear black jeans;
    • David's jeans weren't meant to be skin tight;
    • Godfrey told a joke that wasn't funny;
    • Godfrey tells lots of jokes that aren't funny;
    • Nigel was annoyed with Godfrey;
    • Nigel said Godfrey was offensive;
    • Nigel said he was annoyed because it was supposed to be his turn to be offensive.

    Dear David - Harry Styles

    Dear David

    I have been putting all your style advice into practice to make me look like my favorite out of One Direction.  What do you think?  Photograph enclosed. Do you think I look like Harry Styles? 

    David Responds

    Oh I do like it when people find my style advice useful ... I love it when I can turn someone who is rather dreary and uninspiring into someone exciting and fabulous.

    ... let's have a look at the photograph ... I do like these letters ...

    Good lord, what have you done?  Is that the before photograph or the after one?  Oh hang on, there is something written on the front in crayon ... what does that say ... ah yes 'After' with the more unusual spelling containing two 'f's.

    I never told you to do all that!  You haven't told anyone you followed my advice have you?

    And no, you don't look like Harry Styles, more like Harry Worth. 

    Look I will pass your letter onto Gok Wan, he likes a challenge. 

    And don't go out of the house until he contacts you.

    Friday, 20 September 2013

    Dear David - Night Out

    Dear David

    Since when did it become socially acceptable to have a Saturday night out in clothes I would do the gardening in?  Can you recommended somewhere nice to go?

    David Responds

    Ah yes this has been a worrying trend over many years.  Even my local, the Laughing Donkey, is not immune to this worrying fashion.

    Sadly the days of dressing up on a Saturday night in your latest finery are long gone.

    For some, the best they can manage is to shine their Wellington boots on the back of their overalls.


    You don't say whether you are a lady or a gentleman, (I have had a look at your enclosed photograph, but I am still not sure), but don't let the masses deter you, if you want to dress up in the latest designer gear for a night out - you go for it.

    Where do you live dear? I tried putting your post code in my GPS to see if I could find somewhere local for you that is a bit smart, but your not coming up.

    You aren't in Essex are you, I think there might be one or two places you could try.  Drop me a text with your post code on my private number and I will see if I can find somewhere.

    Wednesday, 18 September 2013

    Dear David - Caravans

    Dear David

    Tomorrow I have to count, verify serial numbers and occupancy of over 900 static caravans.  Do you have any advice for me?

    David responds

    Yes, start early.

    Dear David - Hair Extensions

    Dear David

    I have seen in the news that men are having hair extensions to look like Harry Styles.  Do you think I should have extensions put in my hair?

    C

    David Responds

    What hair?

    Dear David - Tray-Bake

    Dear David

    Can you give me a recipe for a home made tray bake?

    David Responds

    Oh a bakery question ... I like these ones.

    Yes a home made tray-bake can be tricky, try my recipe for a special Christmas treat ... although I did get it originally from Mary Berry herself. 

    Buy a shop made block of shortbread, a jar of jam, six glace cherries (quartered), some Cadbury's buttons (for decoration) and a box of icing sugar.  Put them all on a tray.

    Monday, 16 September 2013

    Dear David - Antiques

    Dear David

    I have been watching a lot of daytime television and I do love all those antiques programmes, but I don't understand all the terms they use. Can you give me a guide?

    Ethel

    David Responds

    Oh dear, I have had this question several times before, but since you ask, here are some of the more popular descriptions they use … and their meaning:

    Collectable - tat
    Very collectable - common
    A good eye - lucky
    Decorative - tat
    Speculative - tat
    No age to it - new
    At its price - paid too much
    In the style of - copy
    Silver plate - worthless
    Pewter - worthless
    Cigarette box - worthless
    Arts and Crafts - tat
    70s - worthless
    Family piece - worthles; and with two meanings ...
    Interesting - boring
    Interesting - worthless.

    Oh and Ethel, that reminds me, could I have my opera glasses back, I don't particularly want to squint all the way through Pagliacci.  

    Saturday, 14 September 2013

    Celebrity Week

    This week's celebrity news:
    • Andrew went for a walk in the garden and had a chat with a policeman;
    • David left his secret work box (the work box isn't secret, it is the work that is secret) on a train;
    • William left the RAF;
    • Kerry is having a baby;
    • Tom was doing jury service in America;
    • Boris told someone to get stuffed; Boris said he was very sorry for saying get stuffed, he said it just slipped out, he had meant to say 'no';
    • Sian isn't going to a wedding this weekend;
    • that Geordie bird won BB; and
    • Elton won something as well; and
    • Zara wore an outfit from Thoroughly Modern Millie to somewhere or other.

    Dear David - Bouncer ... again

    Dear David

    I was upset you mentioned that I don't like being out after dark in your reply to my recent letter. I thought we agreed not to talk about it again?

    C

    David Responds

    I am sorry you were upset by my reply. I know you are still a bit touchy about being out after dark and the whole subject of … well ... what the local paper called 'Stalkergate'.

    But really you have to put it behind you, when the whole sorry story came out in Court there was absolutely no evidence against you, the judge even said … now what did he say again .. oh yes I have the report here … let's have a look … 'I find it difficult to believe that this slip of a defendant mounted a serious surveillance operation of terror against that big lad over there'.

    So really forget all about it and try to re-build your life. And no more nonsense about going out after dark.

    Sainsbury's

    At last the Christmas sweets have arrived at Sainsbury's, complete with jack frost and snowmen decoration.  I was beginning to think they weren't going to bother with Christmas this year.

    Meanwhile, over at specialty bread I see they have moved the bread slicer round the corner (the bread slicer is a machine not a person).  Which is all very well, but when I have spent 10 minutes selecting my munti-grain seeded, I don't particularly want to let it out of my sight. 

    The miserable old bag that slices it could be up to all sorts round that corner.

    Friday, 13 September 2013

    Dear David - Bouncer

    Dear David

    I have been thinking about a new job. What do you think about me becoming a bouncer?

    C

    David Responds

    A bouncer! I know you have been looking for something new since you were finished at Greggs, after that unfortunate incident with a waffle iron and a tray of jam doughnuts (how is Tracy by the way, has she had her cast off yet), but whatever made you think of being a bouncer?

    I'm not sure it is wise, not with your ankles.   And you know you don't like being out after dark … and what with your bus pass ending at 9pm, I'm not sure it is the best career move for you.

    Having said that I do know the seniors group at the community center are having a bit of bother with some local lads trying to crash into the Bring and Buy coffee mornings, so you might want to give them a ring and see if they need a bit of muscle for the door.

    Well I say muscle … it would be more 'looking at trouble makers in a menacing way' with you, but you get my drift.