Sunday, 24 May 2015

You know that before I could honk my horn I'd be flat on the floor with 6 of her majesty's finest sitting on me.

Forgive me readers for I have sinned. It has been 101 days since my last confessional blog and I have not attempted one since then.

There is no good excuse for this, I did not suffer a traumatic accident in which my typing fingers were amputated whilst cleaning the sharp end of my running lawn mower. Nor have I lost my marbles, gone cuckoo, deteriorated into a psychotic deranged & demented, crazy off my rocker simpleton in which it might be said that I was one extension short of a full switch board or even one sausage short of a Full English,  God forbid!

Neither did God strike me down in anger after my encounter with the Jeovah Witnesses in November!

No. The truth is I just couldn't be bothered or simply lacked the inclination to even start one. As I said there is no good excuse but should I proffer one then I might suggest that it is possible that I just had too many things going on.

In the 101 days since the last blog we took a break to Prague booking out 6 nights for ourselves and we booked ourselves a further 8 nights out for some respite between guests. There have been 77 nights where we have had guests staying in at least one of our guest beds which means there were just 10 nights without any bookings at all. AND THIS isn't even our peek season yet.

My trouble is, as I have often suggested, that I try to do too many things, biting off more than I can chew and something has to give. Sadly the Blog has been that thing.

I'm probably just slowing down through old age, for sure I feel like I'm drifting apart from modern day living, none more so evident than in relation to technology. The phones just seem to get smaller and smaller whilst the dexterity of my fingers gets less & less.

 Everything that causes me grief now days has an 'E' prefix.....

E Banking, brilliant idea, no need to go to the bank I can empty my flimsy bank balance in seconds from my own armchair. Except that in forcing everyone to go electronic means that they can say that the town branches don't have enough business and so they keep closing them. This means I have to drive to towns that are further & further afield so I can bank a cheque because many of my clients don't 'do' bank transfers.
AND....... My usual angst at remembering bloody passwords, which as soon as you cock up on a phone security interrogation they freeze your card and tell you that you'll have to go into a branch to be identified and have your security info re-set. Which is, I remind them, a royal pain in the arse because you've closed all my ******* local branches you dipshits!

E Passports, seemed a good idea so when ours were up graded I chose to foolishly put my faith in the 'E' queue at passport control at Stanstead airport returning from Prague.
 Like a lamb to slaughter....  Immediately I realised that the people going through the old fashioned way were already free and away. No matter I was now stuck in the 'E' queue and slowly shuffled towards these automatons. I'd have said soulless automatons but in fairness have you seen the humans who check your passports! I often wonder if anything could make them crack a smile and I would love to test them out by approaching them in full clown get up, oversized coat, huge red curly wig, big red nose, full face make up and shoes to match. You know that before I could honk my horn I'd be flat on the floor with 6 of her majesty's finest sitting on me.
And yet, here I am at the 'E Passport' control machine stuck behind a barrier that won't open, a scanner that I think isn't reading my passport and a tv monitor flashing some red hazard warning at me. Oh and an aggressive queue behind me looking particularly hostile. Is there anyone manning these machines? No, bugger all. Even the Supermarkets have a trained person floating around the self scan tills and yet the multimillion pound Stanstead aiport....  diddly squit! I'm stuck here on my own, without any instructions on how to use these blithering 'E' machines I might add. There is nothing to tell me what the red flashy thing means and no human to assist me. About now being dressed as a clown seems the better option.

Of course Alison had just sauntered through and thank god that she had as now I had an ally on the other side 'In England'. "Alison!" I shouted and having caught her eye I turned so the angry crowd behind me could clearly hear every word.... "It won't scan my passport" I proclaimed, "and let me in [to England] and there is no instruction on what I should do now, go find some help". The angry crowd were not appeased.

Alison found some idle guys over at the manned passport control who flippantly told her to tell me to go back past the queue (that's right the angry crowd queue) and take a left then another left and there's a guy there who will check my passport manually. I walked quickly past the angry mob, head held down in the subservient position, making no eye contact I mumbled my apologies as I squeezed back upstream.

 Science is not my strong point, I am still frequently in awe of the fact that when my supermarket shopping trolley is totally full having had products simply dumped into it willy nilly & then everything is put squarely and neatly into bags invariably you'll be left with a bag that won't fit back into the trolley.Why is that?

Also why after I have opened a piece of cling filmed cheese, cut a huge chunk off it and I attempt to re-wrap the now smaller piece with the same cling film there is no longer enough cling film to cover it all. How can this be?!!

More & more I struggle to understand this mad world...

When I first heard that there was to be a 'Bedroom Tax' I thought they were taxing a little bit of nookie. I have to admit I was intrigued as to how they were planning to monitor it!

And then the body starts to play you up. The other day I sat on the edge of the bed to put my socks on, which I have to do these days. How is it that a gymnast can stand on a beam on tippy toe and do a forward somersault whereas if I simply try to put a sock on whilst standing up I end up hoping around like Tigger on a pogo stick? Anyway I slumped down onto the side of the bed to put my sock on to the accompaniment of a devastatingly loud crack. Damn, I momentarily thought, I've broken a bed strut, only to immediately realise that the crack had come from my bloody hip!

So there you have it, over three months without a blog and I come back even more of a cantankerous crotchety old grouch! And the worrying thing for Alison is that I rather enjoy it.

Friday, 13 February 2015

Billy, Jo, Poppy, Gladstone & Scribble too...

A collective group of friends, all with us for a while,
a strange sort of love from companions that never smile.
Each knew his or her own way,
enjoying life, living it for the day.

Over three decades they kept us amused,
yet most of the time they just simply snoozed.
Warm & toasty suited them best,
taking all of the day to enjoy a long rest.

Most were murderers in the most heinous way,
It's not my fault, I can't help it, their innocent faces would say.
And yet we allowed and indeed encouraged our children to play
with these "butter wouldn't melt in the mouth" fluffy cliches.

We were their best and only true friends,
and yet they used our affections to suit their own ends.
Hungry like wolves, stealthy and mean,
 Unhygienic and yet incongruously clean.

We loved each and every one from the bottom of our heart,
mourning the loss as one by one they each depart.
She's just a cat they'd politely say,
and I'd probably agree on any other day.

So to Billy, Jo, Poppy, Gladstone & Scribble too,
We just want to put on paper how much we loved you.
You were our company through the thick and the thin,
nonjudgmental (as long as we had a can opener & a tin).

We played & cuddled and had as much fun as time would allow.
But an end of an era, there's a strange emptiness in the house now.
A time for sorrow and memories not gone,
It's quiet now, I'll miss you all, but it's time to move on....

Sadly our cat Scribble died last week and we just wanted to say goodbye to her and remember all of our other companions over the last 30 years.
These are they....

God Bless.

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

The year in numbers - again!

Phew! What a year; we've collapsed in a proverbial heap after a manic end to the year.

90 evening meals in just over 6 weeks of the Thursford season. Chicken in a honey and cider sauce and rhubarb crumble being the most popular choices - around 35 of each.

And just when we thought we were done for the year, bookings opened for next years show on Christmas Eve. We'd left a note in the guest rooms this year encouraging them to book early and we had pencilled in some dates ready for people to confirm when they had booked tickets. And so they did and poor Mike took 16 nights of bookings on Christmas Eve - and again had to turn people away.

We end the year with 24 Thursford nights already booked (compare that to 2012 when we did 26 nights) and a total of 72 B&B nights and over 6 weeks of holiday cottage bookings already lined up for 2015. 

Each year we get busier and more and more people come back - some guests are already booked in next year for their fifth and sixth visits. We've welcomed guests from near (quite a few from Norfolk) and far (this year Holland, Germany*, Spain, America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand); from a few months old to 92.

Thanks to the returning guests, Late Rooms and Trip Advisor, bookings continue to grow at a rapid rate (nearly 100 extra nights in 2014 than 2013 and almost three times as many nights as we did in 2012 - when for much of the time there were two of us). One thing that has dropped this year is the number of blogs - we'll try harder next year!

We also intend to book out time regularly over the coming year and to have a weekend off every 4 to 6 weeks so that we can also enjoy what every else comes to North Norfolk for. (Already three weekends are booked in February - that's our off season!).

Wishing all our readers a very Happy New Year

* Mike tried very hard not to impersonate Basil Fawlty but it was our German guests who mentioned the war (they were inquiring about the black silhouettes dotted around the village in early August which represented soldiers who had died in the first world war).

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

£3,000 in a brown envelope, no questions asked, and a visit from the riot squad. Just another day at the office....

Every couple of years I would be transferred to another branch of the Supermarket chain for which I worked. In general I was moved on because my work there was done and my skills were required elsewhere, but I'm sure that some of the moves may have been for other reasons to which I was not to be privy.

This frequently meant that I would be taking over the problems left to me by the previous incumbent. Often these were many, varied and complicated. In one store there were several long term sick staff who had not been managed correctly and as a result were still on the books with no likelihood of ever returning. Some had been absent for several years and I had the task of dismissing people that I had never met.

There have been all sorts of odd things that my 'fresh eyes' seem to see that others were either blind to or even complicit in. In one Store my branch Manager was also new to it and he came to me holding a thick brown envelope. He was slightly concerned because he had just been given it by the leader of the Car Wash crew that worked in our car park. When I opened it I saw that it was stuffed full with cash, £3,000 to be precise all in grubby used £20 notes. Apparently the gang leader helpfully explained that this was our 'cut' of their takings. Neither of us were used to such vague accounting and we decided that we would immediately record it on to our store accounts and that we would then try to establish a more business like approach for future payments. We could not find how the previous 'administration' had accounted for these funds and never did.

That whole car park cleaning team concerned us and we started to review the operation with a mind to cancel any agreement or contract that they may have had. Well as it happens fate took their removal into it's hands and one sunny summer afternoon I had a tip off that I should be aware that I was likely to have a police riot squad arrive in the next ten minutes They would be supporting immigration officers and were targeting the car washing team.

This sounded really rather interesting and so I asked a fellow Assistant Manager to watch the shop floor whilst I inspected the car park. Well by the time I had got to the car park the 'hit' was already in full progress. There were about 15 car wash workers and they were matched easily in numbers by the riot police plus some. It was no exaggeration to call them riot police for they were fitted out in the full riot kit with visors lowered on their helmets, new style batons and the full blue onesies.
They had sealed off every exit route and there were just a few stragglers being rounded up by the time that I got there. Some of the car wash guys had their hands on their heads but as far as I could tell this was just instinct and probably what they were told to do by the police in their home Country.

It was all very interesting and by the time the Police had carried out their checks in full and had taken all those that were likely illegal aliens away we were just left with two poor sods. I felt a little sorry for them, much as you do for the last kids to be picked for the footy team, well they weren't part of the 'in' team. That then was not just the demise of our car wash contract but the contractor too, for he was taken off with them never to be seen again.

I have worked alongside many interesting people who have come from all over the world. I asked a South African what he thought of Britain, "|Britain", he replied rather solemnly, "Is very..." he pondered looking for the most appropriate words finally settling for, "Very Grey". I could see his point, I would imagine that South Africa was like a HD TV starburst of colour compared to Britain being more like your Black & White TV. I thought to my self how ironic that analogy was.

Talking to one of our regular security guard contractors I discovered that he was from Somalia and that he was a political refuge. An unassuming and polite man he did not ooze with the normal 'toughness' that you'd expect was required from a security guard. Most of my colleagues did not give him the time of day which always frustrates me. It is often the same with the cleaners in store and I have always made it a point to talk with them and find out who they are. I consider them to be as important and as valuable as any other member of staff and as interesting too.
It was during one of these conversations with the Somalian guard that he told me of his harrowing time, I believe he was a government paid soldier fending off rebels. He casually told me that he had even been shot. A little later he lifted his shirt and showed me his wound. He clearly had 5 bullet wounds in a cluster just to one side of his stomach, I was gobsmacked that he was still alive then he explains that it was a machine gun that had struck him.

It is a sad fact that this violent world creates so many victims and that there are so many people out there that many of us see everyday and even work with but yet we never make a little time to find out about them the human, the person. However with so many of these people they manage to face off their adversity and I have to say that I take my hat off to them for getting on with life, earning a little money and working with such dignity.

Wouldn't it be lovely that if today (Christmas Day) everyone makes a resolution to chat with a colleague or neighbour and find out just one interesting fact about that person or whatever but most importantly take an interest in what & who they are as an individual and not simply another name and employee number.                               

Seasonal wishes to everybody, across the world, who find themselves embroiled in a conflict that is out of anybodies control, least of all their own control!

Merry Christmas everyone....

Friday, 14 November 2014

The God, the Bad & the devil's advocate

Hoodies are very useful whilst vacuum cleaning. The hoody is a much maligned garment with an unfairly tarnished reputation and despite my knowing and indeed my championing of them I still feel out of place wearing one in Holt.
Holt is our local town, a picturesque place which they say would have looked much like Lavenham in Suffolk choc full of medieval beamed houses if it were not for a massive fire in 1708.  The fire was so devastating that within 3 hours the vast majority of the town had been burnt to the ground. As a result the town had to be rebuilt in one 'hit' as it were and so most of the buildings are Georgian in their style making it quite an unusually well co-ordinated town architecturally speaking.

At Christmas, this Wednesday actually, they cover these Georgian buildings with those small LED lights, just about every single high street building and the whole thing sits very pleasantly upon the eye. The town is proud that it has only one chain store and to be honest that is a Boots the chemist which is also probably one of their smallest branches. There are no Starbucks, Cafe rouge, Costa, Pret a Manger, Subways nor are there any Ask, or Macky 'D's, or Burger King or whatever.

They range from the best homemade cakes of the 'Horatio Mugs' cafe to the quirky 'Folly Tea rooms' all are exceptional places to relax and enjoy high quality food made (that's not defrosted) on the premises. The reliance that we seem to have developed for the 'safe' places to eat where they all sell the same formula, and frankly near enough the same menu, is unsettling. What they make up for with good coffee and tea they equally fail with their boring choice of mass produced cakes and lack of all character. The point is that the little guy, cafe's, teashops and pubs and restaurants not only survive but positively thrive here and Holt is full of them. You might even say that the proof of the cake is in the eating.

Anyway, I was in Holt wearing my hoody and I have to admit that I felt that people may have been judging me, putting me in the yob bracket. The truth of course is that I only felt this because in my tiny little under nourished mind I still think that when people look at me they are seeing an 18 year old. I forget about my 54 haggered years and that, actually, to most people I look like a sad old fella who wouldn't harm a fly.

I think it was the latter Michael that the two lady Jehovah's Witnesses thought that they would be greeted by at the front door when they made the error of ringing my door bell a few weeks ago. I normally give them short shrift at the door with a rather boring "Sorry I'm not interested' in answer to whether I would like one of their leaflets. But that time was different. That time I think that I just may of had the devil in me and well I guess if anyone should be able to help with this who more appropriate than a couple of Jeovah's Witnesses.....

I think they rued the day that they came to my house. All the clues looked favourable to them in fairness. Our little jam shop in the porch looked 'homely'. They could see the plaque on the wall in the porch too with a little christian fish etched into it. And if they knew their latin they would have read "Pax Intrailtibus, Salus Exeuntipbus, Benedicto Habitantibus" carved around it. If they didn't know their Latin then they probably would just have thought that we were big Harry Potter fans.
Translated this reads;
Peace (to all) entering (here),
Well being to those leaving,
Blessing (on all) who live here.

AND if that hadn't confirmed that I may be singing from the same hymn book as them then the representation built into the wall out of flints of two fishes, five loaves of bread and (probably the clincher here) the large cross must had made them think this will be any easy win.

Well I had had a reasonably good day and as any of my family will tell you I am at my worse when I'm in a good mood, a real pain in the arse, especially high factor of "devil in 'im".

I answered the door with my usual polite manner, a manner that I maintained throughout. They started off using a new tack, which frankly was long over due as I feel sure that no one ever has a conversation with them unless of course they are of a like mind, which kinda defeats the object of their spreading the word tour.
This new tack was to suggest that they were doing a survey and wanted to ask me some questions. Well if I were a moron or blind then this would have worked but I had seen the group 'hitting' the street and had already sussed out that they were God' nigglers simply by looking at the cheap suits on the guys who had the statutory Jehovah's witness satchels on their shoulders which were rather optimistically brimming over with leaflets.   Along with the 'God' leaflet in her hand it was very clear indeed whom they represented today.

So eventually they got around to my soul, which from all accounts is on the precipice of damnation (and at this point they didn't even see the devil sitting on my shoulder). I allowed them a little free 'talk time' as the mobile phone contracts might put it. Then I felt some healthy debate was required, after all if I am to buy this package then I need to know that I'm not being sold a bum deal.

We 'debated' several points and these are the top line ones, I honestly cannot remember all the points but I do know that at every time that they were stumped they fell back to safe mode telling me that the world will soon end and that I need to make my peace with God now before it is too late. This frustrated me a little because I genuinely was intrigued by my own questions and seriously hoped that they truly did have a good answer!
Questions like... If there are some good people on the earth why has he scheduled the demolition of the whole planet? I mean that's as bad (perhaps even a little worse) than the mean old teacher who kept everyone in detention because the kid that nicked the board rubber wouldn't own up, no names mentioned Chris Thompson! It makes him look a bit of a miserable old coot doesn't it?


If I had made the world, right. Then I created people and gave them this world and said enjoy it, I have made it for you then I just pile loads of if's and but's and rules that you can do this and you can't do that. And that we must rest on the sabbeth day with I believe giving thanks every seven days, etc, etc... Could you really say that he made that from an altruistic viewpoint?

Ans; He gave us the gift of life..

Well that doesn't answer my question at all I replied.

I mean, I know that I am a mere human mortal but honestly if I had made a world, a universe and I gave it as a present, I truly promise you that one 'thank you' would be lovely but to keep doing so week after week, well I would personally be embarrassed and after a while I'd think you were just socially inept.

 Ans; He gave us freedom of choice...

Ahh but did he really? Your saying that I have freedom of choice in my actions yet if I choose not to repent to him then I go to hell. Sort of, but more ipso facto.....  Hobsons choice really isn't it. You choose but don't do what I want and you go to damnation. Have you heard the word megalomania?
 I guess I'm asking if it would come over a little less egotistic if had just said here's the world, universe and everything, no catches and I TRUST YOU to set the rules to live by, BUT if you break it, I ain't fixing it? Isn't that the true GIFT of life?

Ans; God works in mysterious ways....

 Well we carried on for some fifteen minutes and I sensed that they were getting a bit discombobulated and so I drew the grilling to a close. I brushed the devil from my shoulder, and a little dandruff too, thanked them for their time and declined a leaflet I then wished them a fond farewell, they looked a little weary as they shuffled off.

I then went back to more mundane worldly things such as hoovering, which brings me right back on track with my original point... Hoodies are really helpful when you are doing the vacuum cleaning. You see I need to take bookings via phone calls which can come any time but if I'm using the vacuum cleaner then I can't hear the phone. So I chuck the phone in my hood as it hangs over my shoulders and it is so near to the head that I can hear it ring!

Post script

I only recorded this blog because a few days back I saw the Jehovah press gang in action again down our street. I observed them go down the other side of the road in the usual two by two format (I guess it worked for Noah, except that darn unicorn!! ). Anyway having done the other side of the street they then came back on my side. I waited and waited and I waited some more. But not a knock or a ring, sod all! So feeling left out I went to see where they had got to. Well it turned out that they simply by passed me and went next door instead. Effectively I have been blacklisted by the Bloody Jehovah's Witnesses!

Hallelujah, there is a God!

Sunday, 2 November 2014

The problem initiated with a visit to a National Trust property last year and concluded with the death of a food processor!

Our food processor broke down this week. It hadn't been very happy for several weeks and I knew something was afoot as it whinged and moaned more and more through the month, but I never thought that it would actually down tools!

The problem initiated with a visit to a National Trust property last year where shortly after Halloween I bought a super-sized pumpkin for just £1. This extortionate cost was funded by the sale of my own smaller pumpkins leading up to Halloween.

Well now, I kept the seeds from that pumpkins big belly, cleaned them, stored them and generally mollycoddled them for many months until it was time to sow them into little pots to germinate in my greenhouse. Eventually they were big enough to go out and do their thing in my allotment, which they did with some gusto I might add.

By late September the unbelievably prolonged warm summer had filled the pumpkin patch with all
sizes of bright orange balloons.
 I stood there looking at the answer to the meaning of life itself. There were 42 of them. The largest of which were 22lb and I had several of those. This was better than I had hoped for but there was a problem as I wished to sell these for Halloween which was still 30 days away and they would certainly not last in this warm weather.

It was a hard call but I opted to harvest the lot (except 2 green ones that were living on the pile of cow manure) and I once more called on the help of my little green truck to transport them home.
My truck is called Claire Rebecca. This is because it has a green livery just like the Eddie Stobart lorries and whose trucks all have female names painted on them. For years & years on holidays across Britain my daughter has been trying to see her name emblazoned on one of them. God knows what we would have had to do if she saw one heading north on the M6 but we'd probably ended up in some dodgy industrial estate in the backwaters of Crewe taking her photo next to it.
So to overcome this I have now named my mini Eddie Stobart truck 'Claire Rebecca' and that should put an end to her quest.

So I filled Claire Rebecca to the brim then returned a second time and filled her again until my crop was all safely in. I walked along the street with my imaginary peacock tail feathers high in full display mode with my little truck full in tow. Sadly the imaginary peacock feather display drooped somewhat as a massive tractor trundled past me with his trailer bubbling over with it's 4 tons of sugar beet. I felt a little inadequate.

Still when I got home I sorted them into two types, 'Really ripe' and 'Just ripe', placing the really ripe in to the coolness of my wood store / tool shed / pumpkin climate controlled storage facility.

 The just ripe ones were placed outside but under cover to keep them dry.

Now all I could do was wait....

Two weeks later.......

Having kept an eye on them I decided that most of them were fit to sell and I placed them on my front yard wall, all priced up, to see what I could sell.

After a slow start word got around and cars pulled up and people started buying them and before long I had sold out of all the small ones then the medium size ones and so it kept going.

I kept a few for the children in the family that had booked the cottage leading up to Halloween for which they were very grateful. We even lent them the carving kit and gave them the candles etc.

Naturally being the big kid that I am I kept two for me to carve too.

I put aside any that started to show signs of going soft and made soup out of those. This was my main reason for growing the pumpkins as I love pumpkin soup. As well as the Pumpkin crop my Tomatoes were going berserk in production too and in the last week of October (just days from November) I had picked over 20lbs of the things. I cannot remember such a mild Autumn. I am writing this on the 2nd of November and I have Sweet Peas and Dahlias still prolifically flowering in the garden. I have just picked 6 ounces of autumn raspberries and we had tea in the back garden in short sleeves. Global warming gone mad!

So it is my assertion that as a result of a visit to a National Trust property a year ago and the volume of pumpkin soup thereby created which my poor food processor had to liquidise, that caused it to finally give up the go. I may sue the National Trust.

The irony is that my intention was to use the £54 that I raised selling the pumpkins to self fund next years allotment seeds etc but the new Food Processor cost £109 and so instead of getting £54 I've ended down by £55!                    How is that bloody fair?!!!

Still we have had a great October and here are some photographs to illustrate how summer like it has been.....

Turnips in flower in front of Melton Constable estate church

Brinton in a warm 20 degrees C

Cley Church, not a cloud in the sky.

25th October and families crabbing at Blakeney in their tee shirts.

Blakeney........     lovely. Who wouldn't want to live here?

My prize winning Sweet corn, well they would be if we had a village produce show!!

Our latest find, Holme Beach miles & miles of unspoilt beach and not a sun lounger in sight!

My favourite 'Arty' photo of October. (I might actually print this one).

Wells-Next-The-Sea Beach huts.

Again one of my 'prize' Onions.

"And finally" as Trevor McDoughnut used to say.......

We had a visitor earlier in the month. Alison was the first to notice something strange going on in the garden whilst we were cooking the guests breakfasts. It was a Sparrow Hawk who had snatched one of our regular Collard Doves and was devouring it right in front of us. It was a Sparrow Hawk that I saw snatch away one of the fairly rare Spotted Flycatchers that were breeding in our vine two years ago and it may well be another that my children saw catch and kill a Blackbird. I know one thing for sure.... in case it thinks my grey hair is a Pigeon, I'm wearing a hard hat when I'm in the back garden next.

Happy Halloween........


Monday, 15 September 2014

Things that you don't want to hear from the kitchen.....

I greatly admire those B&B's whose dining rooms are attached to or are a part of their kitchen. Everything you do is totally open to scrutiny and you have to be not only totally on top of your game but of exemplary behaviour.

Whilst I think in general I could pass the scrutiny bit, I am sure that I would feel an immense amount of added pressure by having an audience.

However I have to admit that exemplary would not be the first word that I would use to describe my behaviour in the kitchen. For when things don't go the way I wish then I have to confess that I lose a little of my civility and perhaps the odd curse may slip through my lips. I am not proud of this but there it is. What is a man to do?

I was pondering the 'open kitchen' layout of a B&B and how it is probably for the best that my guests don't have to hear such profanities on a Sunday morning when I was reminded of an episode of "The Hotel Inspector". The hotel in question was run by a family whom seemed to disagree about everything and they could often be heard by their guests with some really random comments wafting into the dining area.

This got me thinking about things you would not want to hear being said in the kitchen as you await your breakfast. Here is a list of 20 that would fill me with unease....


2. "It's OK, it landed the right way up."

3. THUD.  "Ha, GOT IT!"  "Bugger.... where did it go?"

4. "Tiddles! Get off that worktop NOW."

5. "What do you think it is?"
   "I'm not really sure but I think I can get it out."

6. "Do me a favour and have a smell of this."

7. "Scrape it off over the sink..... It'll be fine."

8. "Is that a current or a fly?"

9. "Did you wash out the bleach from their teapot before you made their tea luv?"

10. "Wow! Earwax is almost exactly the same colour as egg yolk."

11. "Darling is this the olive oil or the sample you've gotta take down the doctors?"

12. "Are those floating bits meant to be there?"

13. "I can see the words 'Use By' but the rest is just a complete mystery I'm afraid..."

14. "Quick the blood is dripping over everything".

15. "What's the 3 second rule?"

16. "Well I'm not going to tell them.... you're in charge, you do it!"

17. "Is this last weeks bacon or this weeks?"

18. "I told you... I don't know how long the fridge was switched off."

19. "Stop the cat and get that sausage back!"

20. "Remind me again did you say that it's all right to serve it if it smells funny but looks OK or if it smells OK but just looks funny... I can never remember."

Happy dining.