Saturday, 30 March 2013

Dear David - Lindisfarne

Dear David

I am a southerner on Easter holiday in the North East.  Tomorrow I am going to Lindisfarne with some friends.  I am very excited.  Do you have any advice?


David Responds

Lindisfarne, in March?  In this weather?  Are you mad?

Advice - acquire a headache, say you think you will be alright if you could spend the day in bed with some Easter eggs, a box set of Judy Garlands and a flask of hot coffee.

Celebrity Week

A look at this week’s celebrities: 
  • David packed in politics and went off to New York; 
  • the orange one wore a pink horse’s outfit – not an outfit that belonged to a pink horse, a horse outfit that was pink; 
  • Dionne went bankrupt; 
  • the orange one got married – oh I know, I’ve lost track as well; 
  • Justin's monkey got seized at an airport - have we not see this all once before? 
  • Marty McFly arrived in the future today; 
  • Jimmy went into the sea wearing a tee shirt - what a funny thing to do; 
  • Simon went to an event with Sinitta; 
  • Chis said it was great to be back with Rihanna; 
  • Rihanna chucked Chris; and
  • Olly fell over on stage.


Popped into Sainsbury's for a weekend shop.

I see the miserable old bag off of specialty bread that was promoted to checkout has been returned to the bakery.  I wonder why?

Still it was a bit of a personal blow as I was planning an Easter treat in the bread department, but she looked even more miserable than usual.  So I decided to give it a miss.

And I noticed she wasn't wearing lipstick (the one I think she bought especially for her role on on the checkout).  Think I might give specialty breads a miss for a few weeks!

Friday, 29 March 2013

Dear David - Date

Dear David

I am all dressed and ready for my date on Saturday, i have sent you a picture of my outfit.  What do you think.  I am very excited.


David Responds

Oh yes, I had forgotten about that.  I think Friday might be a little early to get ready for a date on Saturday night, but I suppose it won't hurt.

Oh and you have sent a photograph ...

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

... Oh don't you look smart, with your hair all greased down and your overcoat all buttoned up.

What's in the box you have strapped over your shoulder?

Ha ha, it looks like a World War II gas mask ... oh it is a World War II gas mask.

Do you think that's necessary?  Why don't you leave that at home  ...

... by the way, I don't think you said where you were going ... it wasn't the Laughing Donkey was it?

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Dear David - Easter Bonnet

Dear David

Just a reminder that the Laughing Donkey will be holding the annual Easter bonnet competition this Saturday. You still have time to get something better than an last year. I have enclosed a photograph of mine so we don't wear the same one again.


David Responds

Yes that was a little embarrassing wasn't it. But I still maintain, mine was more Paris in Spring whereas yours was more Nazi storm trooper with a buttercup in it … but let's not open up old wounds.

Oh and a photograph .. I like these letters …

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

Oh yes ... that is a very colourful hat isn't it, and large too!

What's that bird on the top? Is it a cockatoo (or is it cockatiel, I never know the difference)?

Well your taking no chances this time - there won't be two of those hats will there!

But actually, I'm not sure if I am going to the Laughing Donkey this Easter, after the rather unseemly scramble at the buffet table last year.

I know Greta is knocking on a bit (hasn't she got sharp elbows?) and she only has her pension to get by on, but I've never seen so many sausage rolls and scotch eggs piled up on a plate! And I think Miss Kitty was entirely justified in raising the matter.

Although threatening to smack her in the face with a chicken leg was uncalled for.

It was all rather unpleasant and I have no wish to witness a repeat this year!

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Dear David - Afternoon Tea

Dear David

As it is Easter this weekend, I thought I would invite you to tea on Easter Sunday. 

I don't have much money so I have bought a packet scone mix to bake, (I do love Mary Berry), but with a cup of tea, I thought it would make a lovely afternoon.  I don't get many visitors, would you like to come?


David Responds


Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Dear David - Paste Eggs

Dear David

I followed your idea of making paste eggs for my date at the weekend.  I tried boiling eggs and painting them, it was a right mess.  I think it is a rotten idea, photograph enclosed.  Have you got any better ideas?


David Responds.

I am sorry you didn't like my idea, I thought it would have been great for you.

Oh a photograph ... Let's have a look ...

Ah yes well, when make paste eggs you are supposed to leave the eggs in the shell when you boil them.  What you have here are poached eggs and not really suitable for painting - dingbat.

Try again - but leave the eggs in the shell this time.

Monday, 25 March 2013

Dear David - Spring Cleaning

Dear David

As spring is here my thoughts are turning to spring cleaning.  I overheard the ladies at work discussing cleaning and apparently, from what little I could hear, they get a company called Mr Muscle to clean for them.

I can't find them in the Yellow Pages do you know where I could find Mr Muscle?  I need doing top to bottom.


David Responds

Ah yes, I think you might have misunderstood.  Mr Muscle isn't a company (as far as I know), it is a product.  Check the cleaning materials aisle in Sainsbury's.  

I've just re-read your letter, and I think you are being smutty.

I don't encourage this kind of question, I think you might be more comfortable writing to Marjorie Proops she does this sort of letter.

Dear David - Date

Dear David

I finally got a date from the lonely hearts column you suggested I join. We are meeting at the weekend but I don't know where to take my date. Do you have any suggestions? I am a bit nervous and I don't have much money.


David Responds

Oh well done you! Didn't I tell you, if you sent enough letters eventually someone would give in and agree to go out with you?

You don't say if your date is male or female (I am guessing male) and yes a first date can be tricky but it does not need to be expensive.

As this is Easter weekend, why not go for a walk in the park? There should be the first signs of spring and maybe a little warm sunshine (we can hope). Stop off at a cafe and buy your date a coffee.

Yes I know coffee today can be a little expensive, but stick to plain coffee and try to steer away extras like cake with a casual 'oh lets have a coffee, but don't want to spoil our appetites with these fattening cakes'. That should keep the bill down.

Have you thought about giving your date a small gift?

As it is Easter, why not make your date a paste egg to hand over while you have your coffee?

Making it will fill a lonely afternoon and can be made from next to nothing from items lying about the house.

With 'stick-on' hands and cotton wool hair - imagine the delight on your date's face as you hand it over!

Do have a lovely time.

Send me a stamped self-addressed envelope for my free leaflet 'How to Make a Paste Egg'.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Celebrity Week

A look at this week’s celebrities:
  • Jessie had her hair shaved off – thank goodness she has got rid of that fringe; 
  • the ratbag stood on a balcony in her dressing gown having a coffee; 
  • the orange one said Alex nicked her mobile; 
  • Michael packed in football – I thought he retired when he played for Newcastle; 
  • the new pope got .. well poped; and 
  • Justin got enthroned, 
  • the queen went on the tube; 
  • the queen said I remember when you could get to Chalk Farm for thruppence; 
  • Kate was in Cumbria; 
  • Kate said it was quite cold in Cumbria; 
  • Princess Caroline is a grandmother; and 
  • George is looking a bit rough.


Quite trip to Sainsbury's this morning, and no sign of the miserable old bag off of speciality breads on the checkout.  Pity, I quite liked her.

Had to go to the old bloke that insists on calling me 'bud'.  I have no idea what I have ever done to make him think I like being called 'bud'!

Friday, 22 March 2013

Dear David - Vjazzle

Dear David

I keep hearing about vjazzles.  I am not sure what one is, do you think I should get one?

David Responds

Yes they do seem to be quite popular, those people in The Only Way Is Essex all seem to have one.

I suppose it depends on whether you have the time to take up a musical instrument.  Why not give it go - but remember practice makes perfect.  


Me and Flo - 1958

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Dear David - Enthronement ... again

Dear David

Thank you for your reply to my letter, but when I asked for advice after my enthronement I didn't actually mean on what I was wearing, I meant for my role in the future. Do you have any advice?

David Responds

Not really, but you might want to think about why the Church of England has sought and obtained exemption from every bit of discrimination\equality legislation for the last 30 years.

Dear David – Enthronement

Dear David

I've just been enthroned as leader of a large religious organisation. Do you have any advice for me?

David Responds

Another one, that's two in a week, what's going on?

This isn't really my field as I like to keep out of religion, but since you ask ...

... if you are planning to wear that hat again I would have it looked at. It didn't seem quite right to me, did the previous owner have a small head? Maybe you could get it re-sized?

And the cuffs on your tunic, those frills are a bit restoration for me, perhaps you could get them altered to something with a straighter line?

The yellow cape was quite nice - but it will show every mark.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Dear David - Speech ... again

Dear David

Well I made my speech, I was very excited. Did you see it? Did you like it?

David Responds

Yes I did see it, I've been through every word of it - there was no mention of gypsy creams.

I don't think you can be trusted - you weasel.

Dear David - Speech

Dear David

I am a senior politician in charge of a lot of money. I have to give a big speech today. Do you have any advice?

Name and address withheld (Editor)

David Responds

Not really, you're supposed to be the expert, but you might want to keep away from pasties - you got yourself into a lot of bother over that one last year.

Oh and if you could do something about the cost of Gypsy Creams (have you seen the price of them), it would be appreciated.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Dear David - Cooking ... again

Dear David

Thanks for your advice for the fish fingers and chips. I waited 24 hours for a reply so you can imagine I was ravenous. The chips and fish fingers were burnt to a crisp and inedible have you been winding me up? Photograph enclosed.

I only have a packet of Kipling fancies in now!


David Responds

Oh err yes, sorry about that, I wondered if you would spot my little typing error. Try 150 for 20 minutes next time.

And a photograph, I like these letters ...

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

Oh my goodness, that is a lot of smoke coming out of your cooker isn't it.

It is quite ... what's the word? billowing, yes that's the word, the smoke is billowing out of your cooker (that is a lovely word, isn't it ... billowing).

And what a lovely cooker, I haven't seen one of those for years, I bet there have been many meals cooked on that cooker - it looks very sturdy. Was it your nan's?

But at least you have your Kipling fancies, do you have the ones with the little chocolate eggs on the top?

I like those ones, if you want to pop a box of them in the post to me as a thank you for all my help I don't mind.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Pope Interview

Dear David has been offered an exclusive interview with the new pope ...



'Congratulations on being poped'

'Thank you'

'How did you find out you had won?'

'I don't think it is really 'winning''

'Oh - ok, so how did you find out you were pope? Did you get a letter?'

'No you don't get a letter, I was in conclave'

'Conclave? - What's that?'

'It's like a big meeting in a locked room and we decide who to elect'

'Oh, like judges houses?'

'Well no, not exactly.  The Holy Spirit visits and helps us decide who should be pope'

'Like Sinitta?'

'Sinitta isn't the Holy Spirit. Look do you know what you are talking about?'

'There is no need to snap, I am just asking how you got to be pope'.

'I'm sorry'

'It's ok'

'It's been a long week'

'It's ok' So, what have you done since you became pope, has it been fun?'

'Oh I've done lots of things, I went on a bus, I went to pay my hotel bill and I talked to people from the window in St Peter's on Sunday'.

'Is that all?'

'It is quite a lot for a few days'

'Were you annoyed having to work of a Sunday?'

'Well no, I have to work every Sunday'

'Oh, that's not good. In this country you can be excused having to work of a Sunday for religious reasons. Can you not do that?'

'No, not really'

'Is that because you are foreign?'

'I'm not foreign'

'You are'

'I'm not'

'You are'

'Look have you not got any sensible questions?'

'Have I not got any questions?'

'Sorry ... have ... you ... got ... any ... sensible ... questions?

'Why are you losing your temper?'

'I am not losing my temper'

'You are'

'I'm not'

'You are'

'The queen warned me about you ..., I have to go ...

And he got up and left.

I am sure you will agree this has been a fascinating chat with the new pope.

Dear David - Cooking

Dear David

I am cooking my evening meal, the instructions on fish finger box say 220 degrees for 10 minutes and the chips say 190 for 15 minutes. I would like to eat them both together, I'm confused. Can you help?


David Responds

Oh dear this is a tricky one isn't it.

I don't normally get asked cookery questions - there are lots of sites available for tips and help on cooking, but I can see you are in quite a dilemma, so I thought I would try and help.

But first to clarify a statement in your question - what you are doing isn't really cooking, it is more 'heating things up'. Just thought I would sort that one out.

I don't know what brand of frozen food you have (have you been to Iceland?) but you will never cook frozen chips in 15 minutes, so I think you should just ignore the guidance on the packets, and follow my simple instructions instead.

Place your chips and fish fingers on the same baking tray and pop into the oven for 30 minutes on 200.

You don't say if you are 'cooking' for one or if you are making dinner for two (I suspect it is just the one) but if you do have a friend, pop a few more chips on the baking tray.

You don't mention garden peas - I assume you do those in the microwave?

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Her Next Door

Had her next door round this morning for a cup of tea. It's been a while since she was round, things got a bit frosty after she said my Genoa surprise was more 'surprise' than 'Genoa'.

She brought the eldest one with her.  My isn't she getting big, she is turning out to be the double of her mother.

I'm not being funny but she would be better off if she looked more like her father.

Celebrity Week

A look at this week’s celebrities: 
  • Sylvain says he will keep in touch with Samia after Strictly on Ice finished – well until Christmas anyway;
  • the ratbag got chucked; 
  • someone won Strictly on Ice; 
  • the one that thought he was going to win Strictly on Ice didn't; 
  • the Spice Girls were melted down – not the real ones; 
  • the ratbag’s wedding is still on – apparently; 
  • the queen still isn’t right; 
  • Sylvain and Samia had an argument; 
  • Zara couldn’t get into the races; 
  • Clare had a tab at the races; 
  • Britney wore a dress – but the shoes were all wrong; 
  • Jude said he didn’t want his face on a fireplace – well you wouldn’t would you?
… and a special pull-out papal special …
  • The new pope said he had never hosted a TV quiz show and had never even heard of Bullseye; 
  • the new pope said he didn't like his new red shoes, he thought they were a size too big and the left one was a bit scuffed;
  • the new pope got a new apartment;
  •  the new pope said be didn't know who was in here last but I don't like them curtains and the nets are rotten.


Early visit to Sainsbury's and I see the miserable old bag on specialty breads has been promoted to till operator. I didn't spot her until too late and had to use her checkout.

I didn't like the way she lingered over my Spanish strawberries, I thought she was going to say something ... but she didn't.

That's another one I have to look out for!

Friday, 15 March 2013

Dear David - New Pope ... again

Dear David

I am very worried that it took less than 24 hours to elect the new pope. I spend longer than that picking what to wear to go to the Laughing donkey. Do you think the cardinals had more important things to do?


David Responds

There is another way of looking at this of course ...

... they can elect a pope in the time it takes you to get ready on a Saturday night!

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Dear David - Prison ... again

Dear David

I'm not sure about the pressed flowers idea but now I am in here I was wondering where I stood with regard to my conjugal rights. Am I entitled?

David Responds

No, you are ok, when you are in prison you don't have to do that - anyway I thought you were divorced?

But if you feel tempted, I think 'Crusher' in B Block is looking for a friend ...

Dear David - New Pope

Dear David

I hear the new pope is from Argentina.  Does this mean if we don't give them back the Falklands we will all go to hell?

David Responds

Yes well, the last time catholics tried to take British lands, Philips' boats ended up at the bottom of the English channel and Mary got her head chopped off.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Dear David - Prison

Dear David

I've been naughty and I'm off to prison for a wee while over a minor motoring conviction kind of thing - all blown out of proportion. Anyway do you have any tips on how to survive prison?

David Responds

Oh I think I know who you are, wasn't there something on the 6 o'clock news about you the other day?

Sorry to correct you, I don't think you are in prison over those speeding points, I think you are there because you lied to the police - they get very cross when you do that.

But to your immediate predicament.

Funnily enough my advice for imprisonment is the same as for retirement!

You need to get a hobby while at Her Majesty's pleasure.

I would suggest something that you can do indoors, doesn't take up much room, and doesn't need a lot of expensive equipment.

What about pressing flowers?

You can get a large scrap book reasonably cheaply, then all you need is a pack of tissue paper, a few flowers and off you go.

Oh, you didn’t say whether you were her or him? If you are him, you might want to give pressing flowers a miss. Let me know and I will try and think of something else.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Dear David - Vatican Smoke

Dear David

What does black smoke coming out of the Vatican mean?

David Responds

The pope likes his sausages well done.

Dear David - Vote

Dear David

I am  in the middle of voting for the head of a rather well known religious organisation, but I am not sure who to vote for.  Do you have any advice?


David Responds.

Oh dear, i am not sure it is for me to give you advice on what to do, but there are a couple of things you might want to avoid doing; don't say 'has anybody got a coin?'  and don't say 'eeny, meeny, miny mo! 

Monday, 11 March 2013

Dear David - Retirement

Dear David

I wrote to you a couple of weeks ago when I retired from leading a rather large religious organization.

Retirement isn't all it is cracked up to be and I am dead bored. I am thinking of going back to work part-time. What do you think?

(papa) Name and address withheld (Editor)

David Responds

Normally I might think this was a good idea, but I can see one or two difficulties.

Were you thinking of maybe doing Tuesday, Wednesdays and Thursdays?

This would be more like job sharing than part-time and given your situation I can't see how it would work, I don’t think this is such a good idea.

Have you thought about going into consultancy?

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Celebrity Week

A look at this week’s celebrities:
  • Justin could hardly be bothered to turn up for his own concert; and
  • he had a bit of a go at a photographer – you wouldn’t want Justin to come at you fists flying …:
  • Alex was too distraught to talk to the media – strange he normally has plenty to say;
  • Manchester United don’t like losing matches;
  • Manchester United don’t like losing matches – sorry did I say that twice?;
  • Joan had a manicure; and
  • Britney needs a new bra;
  • Cliff went on holiday with his companion;
  • Bonnie is going to sing a song in Europe;
  • One D have had panic buttons fitted in their homes - just what every 19 year old needs;
  • Vicky is unlikely to be having Christmas lunch with Chris; and
  • Wayne isn’t for sale - Watch this space.


Early morning visit to Sainsbury's and I notice they are changing the font on the price labels.  I don't like it.

And they seem to have stopped selling Bath buns and I had to get Chelsea buns ... again.  they are not the same.

I need to find another supermarket. 

I wonder if Waitrose do bath buns ....

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Dear David - Papal Interview

Dear David

I've been thinking about applying to be the next pope. Do you have any interview tips? Also, what do you think of my interview tie? Do you think it is suitable. Photograph encloswed.


David Responds

Oh yes that is a nice job isn't it. Although I think I should point out that you have to work of a Sunday, and I have seen you slumped in a corner of the Laughing Donkey at 3 in the morning on many a Saturday night. Might be a bit of a push to get to the Vatican for a 10 o'clock service.

If you do go for an interview, you might want to brush up on your catechism (who made you?, God made me, why did God make you?, blah blah blah). But don't recite it in a 'sing song' voice, they don't like that.

Make sure you know who Our Lady is, (Jesus's mam).

Try and get candles into the conversation, and if you don't mind second hand shoes you could be onto a winner.

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

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

err yes, that is a nice tie ... very ... err, colourful

... that design .. is it a dancing lady?

I haven't got my glasses on so I can't quite see, but it looks like she isn't wearing any clothes?

Not sure that is the best tie for a 'pope interview' have you got a plain one, or maybe one with a nice stripe on it?

One last tip, at the end of the interview they might ask you if you want to ask them anything - don't ask how much the salary is!

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Dear David - Word

Dear David

Today I used the word 'behest' in normal conversation. Someone tittered when I used it. Do you think the word is ok to use?

David Responds

Well only if you are called Ethelred and are King of all the Britons.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Dear David - Meal

Dear David

I am a rather well known person living in London (and other places).

I have just come out of hospital having had a little tummy upset. My son and daughter in law want to celebrate by taking me out for a meal they have suggested the Star of Punjab on the high street. Do you think that is a good idea?

Anon R
David Responds

No, not really.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Dear David - Whist

Dear David

I have been invited to join a whist drive. What is one of those?


David Responds

Oh dear I am sorry.

I am afraid your next invitation is likely to be to a 'Bingo Night' or 'Tea dance' at the community centre.

You can find lots of information about Whist Drives on the internet, but briefly it is - card game, four people (two pairs), take turns laying cards down - highest card wins.

Do this until all cards have been played or you pass out with boredom.

Send me a stamped self-addressed envelope for my free leaflet 'How to spend the afternoon when you are knocking on a bit'

Saturday, 2 March 2013


After two weeks of trauma (snow and enforced use of self-service checkout) it was back to normality at Sainsbury's.

And I don't have to have those rotten Namibian grapes.  They are awful, they are the wrong shape and the juice is too dark ... sanity is restored.

Celebrity Week

A look at this week’s celebrities:
  • the orange one is having a baby – again – what is wrong with that woman;  
  • Daniel won an Oscar for My Left Moccasin; 
  • Adel won an Oscar for singing a song – it’s an Oscar, but not like a proper Oscar; 
  • Ranulph says it is quite cold in the Antarctic;
    Rafa says he doesn’t want to hurt his knees; and 
  • the other Rafa wasn’t very happy either; 
  • Ryan is 40; 
  • Ryan has played 1,000 games for Manchester United – most of them away from home; 
  • Nick won an election despite the best efforts of the media; 
  • the queen had a dodgy curry; 
  • Philip said ‘mine was alright’; and 
  • Richard got a Hollywood Star on the walk of fame – I thought he would have had one years ago.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Dear David - Retirement

Dear David

Until recently I was the leader of a rather large church, but I have taken, well not exactly 'early retirement', but let's say, work wasn't expecting me to retire.

Now I am at a bit of a loose end.  Do you have any ideas on how I can fill my days?


David Responds

Ah yes, retirement can sneak up on you and without a plan, it can be a bit of a mixed blessing. You could find yourself hiding away and missing out on so many things.

Keep in touch with your workmates - and be sure to let them know you want to go to the Christmas party when December comes around.

Take up a hobby, I know everyone says that, but it is good advice.

I don't know if you caught the Great British Bake off when it was on, but if your pension can stretch to a few bags of flour, some eggs and the occasional block of chocolate, baking is a great way to spend a winter afternoon.  And you get to eat the proceeds too!