Yes, it’s the Pesach Special!

Without chametz, this blog may be your only remaining pleasure. Drop your email address into the box on the right to ensure you don’t miss anything!

And now we Passover to our Matzah Correspondent, Gabriel Webber.

A day in the life of…

We received an intriguing letter from Kingston Council the other day. It was about new parking restrictions that will be starting soon, in preparation for the Olympic torch going past our road zomg I is so excited. The Council warned that “the restrictions will be in operation at any time” (I think they meant ‘at all times’, rather than that they’ll start at a random point between now and the Olympics).

But even more exciting was the job-title of Roy Thompson, who wrote the letter:

I wonder if he takes people on work experience…

An ice-cream Kohn

An early prototype for the 2012 Olympic torch

Eagle-eyed readers of the ‘weird news’ columns of various newspapers (actually I think that might be just me…) will have spotted references to the government’s 24-page consultation on updating the Code of Practice on Noise from Ice-Cream Van Chimes Etc.

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (‘Defra’)* helpfully explain on their website:

“The consultation will be of particular interest to those associated with the ice-cream industry [OK so far…] and to members of the public with an interest in ice-cream chimes.”

Anyway, since I know that every reader of this blog falls into the latter category if not the former, and since this very topic featured on Any Questions** this week, grab a Solero, sit back and enjoy!

*God knows why I provided that acronym because I wasn’t actually planning to use it again or anything.
**Additional parts provided by Stephen Willis. Ice-cream provided by Whippy & Sons Ltd.

In which Falmer takes her rightful place on the world stage

The BBC’s rather sensationalist story entitled, “Is Brighton the next Maastricht?” alerted me to the fact that a major Council of Europe ‘High Level Conference’ is taking place in Brighton (which is, of course, at sea-level and not remotely at a  High Level) next week, basically on my doorstep.

On the conference’s website, the High Level delegates discover that they’re actually not so important after all: “Journey times should be planned around travelling in normal traffic and delegations should not rely on motorcycle escorts.” Shame. I so often do rely on motorcycle escorts.

Anyway, since I have a Jewish mother who’s constantly pushing me forward, I was urged to email the Council of Europe and ask if I could visit/volunteer/intern/chair the conference. I did so, and I’d like to share with you the reply that I got:

"Your message to was deleted without being read."

Note the amount of time between me sending the email and this so-called Chantal Tiphaigne dealing with it!

A stand-in

Because George Campbell is busily enjoying his Easter break (pictured above) somewhere in the 19th century, the Baron Werner von Rheinbaben has kindly agreed – for one posting only – to stand in. Here is what he had to say in an article wot he wrote in 1935 and wot I read in 2012 for the purposes of plagiarism research. (And is it just me or was he so obviously a German spy?)

I’m not sure I really want to go into his “relationships” with British sailors…

Mum: “I set an alarm to remind me to turn my watch on.” / Dad: “What?” / Mum: “Well I had this watch that you can’t wind, it doesn’t let you change the time, but you can stop it. So when we had to change the clocks I stopped it and meant to turn it on again at twenty-five-to-ten, but kept forgetting…” / Dad: “Unless you make some strong representations, I think that story might end up in Gabe’s blog.” / Me: “Unless you make some very strong representations you might end up being sectioned.”

Dad: “I’d quite like a pre-concert nap but you’ve got Stephen coming round so I’ll do it on the train.” / Me: “Yeah, a train is much more tranquil than a house in Surrey.”

Woman on telephone: “Is your mum or dad there? Could you ask your mum or dad to call me back?” [Do you think she realises that I’m not 12?]

Mum: “I bought an interesting bread today.” / Me: “You live an exciting life, don’t you.” / Mum: “Well I’m going to the Post Office later to stockpile stamps before the price goes up!”


Since Pesach is a festival about the unity of the Jewish people, you may wish to read my criticism of the Jewish Chronicle’s double standards and more. (Although I was pleasantly surprised when they published an edited extract of my letter to them!)

Webber Senior [pictured left in a typical pose] is to be congratulated on his article printed in the Ex Historia history journal, published by Exeter University. I do think, though, that his piece rather lowers the tone of the publication – particularly compared to the article that appeared right below his (click to enlarge):

And I’d also like to put on the record what I consider to be the only advantage of Just a Minute being transferred from radio to TV:

“Haven’t I seen that blazer somewhere before? On a deckchair?”

Next year in Jerusalem…


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