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Sunday plans go awry

February 10, 2014

It was a very sound plan. That Nice Lady Decorator had decreed that Sunday, that day of rest for all us non religious types, should be spent relaxing on the sofa, reading The Sunday Times in front of a roaring log fire in our old cottage in Arundel. The weather forecast was desperate, suggesting strong winds and rain, the staple diet of this winter in England, and what better antidote could there be to such a disgusting scenario? Anyway, she found one.

It had stated innocuously enough. We had driven over to West Chiltington to collect the Merc, having taxied back from our close encounter with Barry “Teddy Bear” King the night before, and had popped into the Roundabout Hotel for a restorative, but frankly quite poor, pint of Doom Bar prior to the planned lighting of the fire and settling down for a quiet afternoon ahead of a roast chicken dinner. She will insist on calling lunch dinner, but she spent a long time up north and still has some bad habits, but I forgive her. It was as we arrived home that the best laid plans began to unravel.

It was actually quite pleasant outside. There was no sign of the wind and rain with which we had been threatened, and so the Decorating Operative suggested, at complete variance to what she had said earlier, that we should pop down to the Kings Arms for a pint before retiring to our living room to implement plan A. It was a good plan, but sadly doomed to failure.

The Kings Arms in Arundel is all that you could ever want from a local pub on a Sunday lunch time. A collection of locals, none as yet Currencies Direct clients, from the widest range of backgrounds and ages, gathered together in a quintessential English social environment, to pay homage to beer, and keep an eye on the 6 Nations rugby match between France and Italy, (Ok I accept that this aspect is not entirely a part of a traditional English Sunday lunch). From 91-year-old David Goulding, DFC, a veteran of the Second World War, down (and I mean this in the most literal sense) to one Ian Porter, probably 60 years his junior, the age gap mattered not a jot. However, anyone entering such an environment who dares to make a dreadful fashion statement must accept the opprobrium that is that hallmark of English mickey taking.

Mr Porter, whom I had not met before, was wearing the most appalling trainers it has ever been my misfortune to tread on, deliberately. I have a picture of them today. Forget the laughably straight legged jeans, concentrate on the footwear.

fashion disaster

No,no and no

This sartorial sin was compounded by his shirt. Now, when one is wearing a tie, as was our favourite local war hero, it is necessary that one does up the top button of ones shirt. There is no other occasion when this is either acceptable or desirable, Mr Porter begged to differ and had his shirt buttoned up to the top. Perhaps I should not have mimicked him in such a cruel way, and in retrospect I think it was unwise to draw attention to his faux pas in quite such a public fashion, i.e. by buttoning up my own shirt in a similarly disastrous fashion, but my sense of what is right and wrong was coursing through me, and I know when something is wrong. I did not look beneath his rather trendy jacket but I have a sneaking suspicion that his underpants would have been visible above his trouser line. His one saving grave was that he was accompanied by his rather gorgeous wife Jane (?), well, whatever she was called is good by me.

Also in attendance was flame haired siren, the lovely red-headed Carolyn, who insisted on ruining a good pint of beer by adding lemonade to it, so in terms of good taste, she had a good companion in Mr Porter. Anyway, at about 5pm, and having adjourned to the White Hart for a pit stop on the way home, I was looking forward to the promised chicken lunch (dinner) but, by now, something as technical as that was beyond the capabilities of That Nice Lady Decorator, so we had warmed up curry left overs, and very delicious they were too.

Chris France

18 Comments leave one →
  1. February 10, 2014 10:42 am

    “Sunday plans go awry”

    AWRY ? A bit of an exaggeration, isn’t it ? Here’s where you might be able to use the word more appropriately :

    A wry blogger, while downing the drink,
    (Rye whiskies) on his sixth, said “I think
    If I’m breathalyzed, woe !
    Things will then surely go
    All awry and I’ll land in the clink !”


  2. Patrick permalink
    February 10, 2014 11:06 am

    I agree, JC, accurately speaking the use of AWRY in the heading is rhetorically probably incorrect — an hyperbole, you might say ! Here’s my rendering for AWRY :-

    If your path takes you way out of line,
    It’s AMISS, but it still could be fine…
    Or ASKEW, there’s no chance
    For what SHOULD BE and IS to combine !


  3. Rev. Jeff permalink
    February 10, 2014 12:28 pm

    Why chaps, Chris will need a physician,
    If you keep up this versed disquisition,
    With all due respect,
    He didn’t expect,
    Such a harsh, Spanish type, inquisition !!

    Terrific limericks chaps but perhaps one of Chris’s more minor rhetorical misdemeanours?


    • February 10, 2014 1:19 pm

      Nah, Rev. Jeff, I disagree — he’s murdering the English language; murder’s a crime and he must be apprehended at all costs. He’s a danger to the public while he’s at large (well, larger than he should be, anyway !) and any of his accomplices must be arrested too and will be dealt with as follows :-

      Chris’s writing too oft comes a cropper,
      ‘Cos his spelling and grammar aren’t proper.
      That’s a criminal offence !
      Fine : three Euros and ten cents –
      Plus it’s off with ‘is ‘ead with me chopper !


  4. Rev. Jeff permalink
    February 10, 2014 12:34 pm

    That should read ‘Spanish style’.


  5. Helen permalink
    February 10, 2014 2:48 pm

    Chris he thinks he is on to a winner
    issy making roast chicken for dinner
    they go off to the pub
    but ah there’s the rub
    curried leavings
    wont make him no thinner ,!!


  6. Rev. Jeff permalink
    February 10, 2014 3:07 pm

    Lovely stuff chaps and chapesses !! Mind you J.C. I’m sure some of our lovely female contributors could find a better use for your chopper ! I’m told they’re very useful for cutting up logs and things.


    • Betty Boop permalink
      February 10, 2014 4:10 pm

      Is that a fly by any chance being cast in MY direction ? I don’t think I know WHAT you mean, Rev. Jeff.

      While I’m on, may I ask of which Parish you are vicar ?


  7. howzaaat permalink
    February 10, 2014 5:20 pm

    I hold a strong affinity for the RAF in which my father served for 37 years. He also was awarded (among other gongs) the DFC and, as not everybody will necessarily know what the medal stands for, it struck me that a brief explanation by way of this limerick might not go amiss :-

    The DFC’s for valour while flying;
    For great courage when others are dying.
    If this medal they wear,
    They’re distinguished and rare –
    This cross is for brave deeds death-defying.


  8. Rev. Jeff permalink
    February 10, 2014 5:37 pm

    That would be the Parish of ‘One over the eight’ Betty. I trust you aren’t suggesting any impropriety on my part. Miss B !! Your talk of flies is hardly appropriate on a mixed message board !!

    Very nice Howzaaat. The Distinguished Flying Cross is indeed something to be cherished.


  9. Bob permalink
    February 10, 2014 10:49 pm

    Here is something I found.
    One word of warning; in recent years, book publishers have tumbled over each other in the rush to bring out books about Brits in France; some of these are written by expats who imagine themselves to be experts on French living because they have lived for two years in the country… or less. At worst these books are opinionated and superficial, if not downright patronising; and even some of the better ones tend to view France either as through rosy-tinted nostalgia for a bygone lifestyle (rural idylls with charming locals in Dordogneshire) or from the standpoint of the wine-swilling yuppy.


  10. February 12, 2014 2:06 pm

    I can confirm that Ian Porter is indeed a media wanker.

    He sometimes wears red trouser. But isn’t posh.


  11. February 12, 2014 2:08 pm

    I can confirm that Ian Porter is indeed a media wanker.

    He sometimes wears red trousers… but isn’t posh.


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