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.


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?


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.


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?


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.


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?


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?


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.


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).


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.


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?


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.