Saturday, 21 April 2012


A funny thing happens to me on the way to a decision. An inner voice says, ”Oh, you don’t want to bother doing that.” Do other people suffer this persuasive question? Is that what makes some people lazy? My wife has a voice which says “No slacking” and another meant for me “Brisk your whiskers!” Which explains why she is in perpetual motion and makes it a thing of wonder that we are still together since I paid 7/6 for her forty-two years ago. It might explain why at the age of nearly 83 I bought my first mobile phone last week. Mind you, I am not alone. There is a chap in India who feels exactly the same. He is one of the helpful chaps on Orange Customer Service who advises mobile phone customers. I spent days trying to get my Sim card to stay in place. In a way of explanation I said to him, “I don’t suppose you get many customers who bought a mobile phone at the age of 82?” “Don’t worry about it,” he said, “I’ve never had one...” I said: “I thought working for a mobile phone company you would have to...” And he said: “That is what my wife says. She says I should have it on so she would know where I am. I don’t always want her to know where I am...” IT’S A FLABULOUS LIFE At 21 stone I am two people so I am never lonely. That is only one of the advantages of obesity. I do not know why it has such a bad press. My obesity is a puzzle. I drink no more than a glass of wine with my only real meal, which is lunch. For breakfast I eat fruit and for supper three Ryvita butties which taste like roofing felt. My problem is genetic. I am reaching 83 but it hasn’t shortened my life. Obesity is probably the cause of my diabetes but don’t knock it. I am eleven stone overweight so I don’t have to wear a seatbelt. I walk with difficulty so I have a Blue Badge which means I can wield a hosepipe till the cows come home, I can park anywhere and I get the key to the disabled lavatories which are always cleaner and larger than those restricted to the hoi polloi. I get free prescriptions. I might lose a leg or go blind but at my age it won’t be for long and I am in no doubt there will be more perks. In the meantime my bulk assures me of preferential treatment in restaurants and respect from Maitre Ds. Caesar preferred my sort to those with a lean and hungry look and I cannot find it in my heart to blame him. I may have recurring cancer but I will never know - I am too fat to fit in a scanner. It has been suggested I use the scanner they use for racehorses at the vet clinic in Newmarket where Taz had a broken leg mended. But that cost £6,000. God knows what they will charge a human being. ELF AND SAFETY A retired health and safety lecturer was crushed to death while dismantling a garden shed because he thought it was 'dangerous', an inquest heard. Austin Mitchell, 74, was helping his neighbour Ada Ellis in her back garden when he was killed. The wooden shed in Whissonsett, near Fakenham, Norfolk, had previously been used as a pigeon loft and was covered in debris. Mr Mitchell had advised his neighbour that it was dangerous and volunteered to help out. AND SO SAY MOST OF US... His BBC colleagues John Humphrys, Jeremy Vine and Len Goodman may have been fronting shows over the weekend commemorating the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, but Andrew Marr charted his own course, reports the Mail. "We are treating it as a national celebration. Are we going to be doing this for air crashes in future?" he asked on his BBC2 Sunday show. "I think it is sordid and tasteless and very dull and I hope after today we won't hear any more about this sad story except from the driest of dry historians." With ITV drama Titanic plunging in the ratings, it looks like viewers share Marr's sinking feeling. HAPPY BIRTHDAY And every other day for Bailey, the terrier who owns our gardener Don Hipkin. On Monday he dines on tongue, Tuesday cottage pie, Wednesday and Thursday chicken, Friday cottage pie, Saturday two burgers without bread. And Sunday? A joint and two veg, of course. What else? He breakfasts on sausages, barking to request the number required. He snacks every day on high protein dog food and his pills are always buried in a morsel of sponge cake. He is seventeen. So much for doggie diets. HOME TO ROOST THE British National Party candidate for Liverpool mayor Mike Whitby is only eligible to stand in the election because he rents a redundant pigeon shed in the city. Mike Whitby, who claims to put “local people first”, is also standing for a seat on Wrexham council on May 3. As Mr Whitby lives in North Wales he must own property or have business interests in Liverpool to stand for mayor. On his nomination papers he cites that he rents a “storage facility” at the Cricketers’Club in Wavertree. FAMILY MATTERS Our cousin Isabel Suckling, the choirgirl whose debut album came fourth in the favourites list on Classic FM, continues to make the headlines. After her appearance with mentor Aled Jones singing in Robin Gibbs’s “Titanic Requiem” the “Tatler“ was ecstatic. “Everyone at the Titanic Requiem concert last night talked about two things: How beautiful the music was (there were quite a few people in Central Hall reaching for tissues) and how wonderful singer Isabel Suckling is. Isn't Isabel beautiful? Isn't Isabel talented? Conversation was basically Isabel obsessed. In between chatting, everyone congratulated RJ Gibb on the concert (he jointly composed all of the music performed with his father Robin) and Aled Jones on his rendition of new song Daybreak (he was backed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra). After the concert, guests - including RJ's mother Edwina - trotted to the bar for wine, champagne and canapes.” I HOPE IT’S THE END PIECE... We are closing care homes and public lavatories and the surfaces of our main roads need urgent repairs. So naturally we are giving £2 billion, even though we are not members of the Euro, to those Europeans countries so corrupt and profligate they are mired in debt. And is anyone surprised that the Royal Family, though they are vociferously opposed to wind turbines, is getting extra revenue by building a turbine forest on Crown Estate la