For various reasons, I have to go to Wales and Ireland at the weekend.
‘That’ll be nice for you,’ said a neighbour. ‘A nice break.’
Why? Why? Why do people say that???
Wherever I go, for whatever reason, people tell me it will be a nice break. Does it happen to war reporters I wonder?
‘Morning Mrs Perkins. I’m off to Afghanistan and Somalia next week.’
‘Oh. That’ll be a lovely break for you.’
And another thing – whenever I get home late from some trip, people tell me how I am.
‘Oh, you’ll be tired and hungry,’ they tell me. No. Not so. I eat and I sleep while travelling, so I’m usually neither.
Now go to my next posting. That’ll be nice for you. Then have a snack and a snooze, as you’ll be tired and hungry.
Admiral The Hon Sir Reginald Aylmer Ranfurly Plunkett-Ernle-Erle-Drax
After my witterings about silly names in TV credits, a big thank you to Ant for sending me some utterly preposterous ones.
‘Back in the seventies,’ he writes, ‘we were reduced to gibbering ninnies each Saturday morning, by Richard Boston’s Guardian column. For several weeks he featured Strange Names of Real People.’
Here are a few of them which made Boll and me chortle –
Admiral The Hon Sir Reginald Aylmer Ranfurly Plunkett-Ernle-Erle-Drax (known among his civil servants as ‘Admiral Acronym’)
Aristotle Tottle (described as a ‘timid, feeble pyrate’ from Falmouth)
Lord Salmon of Sandwich (Master of the Rolls)
Charles Adolphe Faux-Pas Bidet (who expelled Trotsky from France in 1916)
Baroness Gaby von Bagge of Boo
Bunyon Snipes Womble
Miss Pensive Cocke
Supply Clapp Thwing
Sir WC Dampier-Whetham
Inspired by Ant’s list, I uncovered a few more randomly peculiar names –
Admiral Sir Cloudsley Shovel
A Moron (Commissioner of Education in The Virgin Islands)
Taffy Sidebottom Ball
Mossie Husbands (Mrs)
Gaston J Feeblebunny
I’ve just realised I’m practically related to Steven Spielberg.
For a start, I know a sibling of the star of one of Spielberg’s films.
My next door neighbour S provided the sand for Saving Private Ryan. Spielberg was very particular about the colour.
Then, last week, I was in a cafe in London W1 (Great Titchfield Street, to be precise) sitting, by chance, right next to three people who appeared to work with him and were going on about him. They seemed to think he was very good, but he only made brief appearances in their office, which they referred to as ‘Spielberg Drive-bys’. I’ve no idea who they were.