Dear Boris

On behalf of my fellow afficionados, I must register the strongest possible objections to your inappropriate reference to the iconic British letter-box. Your context – the veil worn by some religious extremists – trivialises the vital role played by letter-boxes throughout the realm for centuries; and attributes undue importance to facial adornments.

An apology will suffice.

Yours etc.

British Association for Letter-box Lovers (BALLS)


G & T

I’ve rarely been known to refuse one. Schweppes and several fingers of gin. So it doesn’t surprise me to find that it’s now a bit of a cult – with go-to choices of both ingredients. Dwarling, you simply must try my elder-flower. Really cool, huh?

And by sheer coincidence, cool-speak is also defined by G and T. Not only is good pronounced gid but every -ing is an -in; every lot is a lo’. And most cringeful of all, like every plural subject attracts a singular verb.

Worse still we can’t point fingers at speakers of Estuary English or Brummy or Scouse. They are all at it! Like not cool at all.


Lost and found

Where did you get it? I won it. I picked it up. I came across it. Answers that might denote its less-than-conventional origin. Personally I avoid any event resembling a flea market but millions of people love ’em. It’s the thrill of the chase and the improbable but tempting idea that treasure might be there for the picking.

So perhaps I shouldn’t be shocked to read that someone found an elegantly packaged glass bottle, presumed it was perfume, presented it to his lady-love……….and poisoned her with a deadly nerve-agent. But I am. Yes, it’s the antidote to serendipity. Someone will probably calculate the odds against the man’s ill-fortune. But I doubt it will spell the end of garage sales or expeditions with metal-detectors – or the temptation simply to snag things lying around the town.

There is nothing like a Dane

I came across a Grauniad leader this morning – and had to read it twice. Is this about Denmark, with the happiest people in the world?

I suppose the biggest difference a non-Dane notices over there is that most of the folk in the shopping centres (except perhaps in the few cities) are discernibly descended from Scandinavian stock. Compare that to most British towns. But there is another major difference. Since WWII we have grown used to seeing and living cheek-by-jowl with incomers of all races and persuasions; they are part of our landscape. I hate the word ‘integration’ but I would say they play a part in our society which most of us recognise and no longer resist, as we did at first. But the Danes are still where we stood after WWII! Hence the existence across that small country of 56 ‘ghettoes’, as described in the article, linked below.

After my second reading, I have had visions of PM Lars Løkke Rasmussen playing our favourite Viking, King Canute (never mind the spelling), as portrayed in fake news as a megalomaniac resisting the waves. I hope I’m wrong.