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Northen version of a fat cat

March 30, 2013

When I was at school in the late 60’s,  I was given a very old atlas which had marked on the map of the world “unexplored East Africa”. I was reminded of that when, faced with a huge queue on the M1, surprisingly heading north, perhaps a lot of missionary efforts? I was given the job of seeing if there was an alternative route across the wilds if Yorkshire. This was after 2pm so it was already getting dark. You will not be surprised to know that I could see no alternative to staying on the only good thing to come out if Yorkshire, yes, the M1.

Listening to the radio on the way to the frozen north I heard a track by REM and it reminded me that the Wingco once boasted of having a picture of himself taken with the group. As he said as he showed me, “that’s me in the corner”. REM, as many will know stands for Rapid Eye Movement, which will hardly be required up north this weekend due to the eternal gloom.

Arriving in Leeds later than we intended due to that traffic, we found Waterstones, the venue for the talk by James Fearnley, who is an original member of the Pogues playing the accordion, with whom That Nice Lady Decorator went to school. Sadly we did not have time to stay for his reading as we were booked to have dinner with John “Chuckle Brothers” Surtees and his voluptuous wife, the Lady in Waiting herself, the lovely Rachel, who was revealing a wonderful cleavage by wearing a very alarming top. I still have no idea what is the colour of her eyes.

Arriving at their home in the touchingly named Scarcroft, I took a picture of this animal who was clearly feeling very at home and relaxed. Little did it know it is probably being fattened up for Sunday lunch. So, what to do when in Yorkshire? I know, go to the pub and discuss the merits of having an account with Currencies Direct. Alas, you know I jest, well not about going to the pub, that is never a laughing matter.

cat basking


An indifferent pub meal in no way detracted from a splendid evening of reminiscences about Australia last year or indeed of a number of other occasions when we have metals consumed alcohol together in convivial fashion. I did not have to do the hard sell about the benefits of having an account with Currencies Direct because Chuckle already has one. He just hasn’t used it.

Discussion turned to piercing as Sprog 2 has stupidly ignored a continuing stream of advice ( mainly from me) and gone and had her tongue pierced. I am quite old-fashioned when it comes to tattoos and piercings and regular readers will not be surprised to know that I am dead set against both. What happens if you realise in later life that you do not want to announce to the world that you are a life long fan of Tooting and Mitchum United? as befell one of my friends who is now even worse off, being a Chelsea fan? Anyway, she is deservedly in some pain and eating through a straw. She needed some money for the weekend and I took the opportunity to teach her one of life’s little lessons. She could have some money if she was able successfully, and to my entire satisfaction, to repeat a number of tongue twisters. Sometimes one has to be cruel to be kind.

Today, it is off to the even wilder wilds of North Yorkshire to stay with Steve “yeah yeah yeah” Jackson and  his lovely wife who, after that cricket tour of Australia last year calls herself Brainy Wag.

Chris France

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