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.


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.


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?


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?


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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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?
David Responds
... Iceland ... is that the one that was on that TV programme a few weeks ago?  
... God no.