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A DYKWIA Trapped in Blighty

TonyHancock

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2010
Messages
5,420
2020 was supposed to be my Annus mirabilis, my swan song or even my grand finale. After more than 12 years of almost constant travel my retirement beckoned. How I yearned for my days of freedom, admittedly Griselda was still in negotiations with British Airways over something called “status”, I didn’t want the “Qantas Scenario” to occur whereby I was to be denied importance by some pen pusher. British Airways clearly need to recognise my importance when I retire.

I now find myself, for multiple reasons, “trapped” in Blighty with no prospect of a return to Hancock Towers. I would blame myself but it is all Griselda’s fault, she should have foreseen this very scenario, after all her higher national diploma in the mating behaviour of bats gives her the very insights I nearly pay for. :p

Ms Pugh has led me to believe that British Airways may still be flying to Australia, but the Concorde Room is closed, yes seriously, the Concorde Room is closed. Obviously this makes it impossible to fly now. Mr Trump will not allow me to pop over to the USA either; Griselda has written a very stiff letter as a result, but a chap named Shillings or was it Pounds was not helpful in his response.

So here I am in a country that appears to have diverted its entire industrial sector to printing money. I am a glass…I was going to say half full, but I rarely allow my glass to get that low without a refill, nevertheless Griselda has submitted an application to Boris, via his father, to print cash on her Epson something or other. I know you are thinking I am too generous, but one likes to do their bit and besides Sid James assures me that for every ten notes she prints we can keep three.

Sorry just hold on a minute….

“Well obviously I will have been in the UK for more than 183 days, I am trapped since British Airways has closed the Concorde Room.”

“But Mr Hancock Mer Majesty’s Revenue and Customs department believe you may owe them some income tax because you have spent such a long time in The United Kingdom.”

“Gadzooks! For Heaven’s sake I am trapped here because British Airways saw fit to close down a critical, lifesaving, part of my travel needs, you will need to sort this out.”


Right I am back again.

I have given up hope of Mr Morrison sending an aircraft to rescue me. It is scant reward for the income tax I have minimised over many years, but this does appear to be the way modern society is heading. :p

It now appears likely that my retirement will be delayed as a result of…..mmm hang on a minute what is it that is causing all of these issues……..Oh yes my retirement is likely to be delayed because of some sort of bat derived flu.

Discussion of money is so vulgar but Griselda has been kind enough to advise me that the stock market has had a bit of a minor blip as a result if this bat flu, although I think she might be losing her marbles. I just can’t see it myself. Bats? Global economic crisis…of course not, bizarre!

I have not been in the Concorde Room since January and this is disappointing. The lower classes have clubs such as The Reform, The Athenaeum, or The Hurlingham, but The Concorde Room is my Club and quite frankly I am distraught. I was due to visit this weekend, twice no less, but now Griselda cannot even give me a date for my next visit.

It has been more than a traumatic month for me. I travelled, in February, First Class, from London to Birmingham by train and the Captain failed to come and see me. It gets worse, I found that dinner is not served after 7 PM and I had to make do with cheese and biscuits. The cheese was not even Chedder or Stilton. The wine was simply appalling and the stewardess did not even leave the bottle. I really do not understand modern society. :p

The news is filled with horror stories of stockpiling of essential foods but here I do see a glimmer of hope I was able to procure a couple of bottles of 1971 Grange with no difficulty at all. It just goes to show the nonsense peddled by modern media. :p

So this is the beginning of a trip report with no knowledge of the ending…..or even the middle. If I were to believe the local press Grisleda needs to get here tout de suite, she may need to slaughter, gut and roast local wildlife to go with the 1971 Grange. (Not to mention bring the luxury soft toilet rolls she fought so hard for.)
 

love_the_life

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Dec 21, 2012
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Oh I feel for you. TH. The pain of not being able to visit your club....and no foreseeable escape, A diet of fish, chips and mushy peas or beef and Yorkshire pud maybe on the cards. Take heart by knowing that we, back in here in good old Oz will be waiting eagerly to hear of your return to our fair land, :eek:
 

TonyHancock

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2010
Messages
5,420
It has been a remarkable start to the day here in Blighty. I have discovered something called a Supermarket. Yes, supermarket, and I have to say I think this concept, with a few tweaks could take off, everywhere. It is a merchant that sells just about everything the general masses appear to want and goods are organised into aisles.

Now there are some downsides, firstly when I gave the gentleman near the door a list of chattels I wished to purchase he suggested I take something called a trolley and gather them myself. I could pay for them upon departure, which is also unusual as they could just as easily be added to my account. Despite these repairable flaws it was quite the experience. I particularly enjoyed wrestling a nine pack of Andrex toilet paper off a feisty octogenarian. I have no idea what to do with a nine pack of Andrex toilet paper but everyone seemed to want one. Sid James says that he can probably sell them and recoup the cost. :p

The wine selection needs a little work, the best I was able to procure was a couple of bottles of Wolf Blass Silver Label Shiraz. I would have taken more but, and this is another flaw in the supermarket concept, one is only allowed to purchase two similar items. o_O

I am getting ahead of myself; I have returned to the ancestral pile in the Fenlands of East Anglia, a sort of dystopian nightmare set to the backdrop of Scandinavian Noir, and find myself in a state of semi self-isolation. It is all rather like the opening scene of David Lean’s magnificent Great Expectations, but without the Hulks, and a significantly larger number of Eastern Europeans. (The latter being an improvement to the local gene pool.)

I say semi self-isolation because apparently Mr Johnson will allow us to exercise and visit merchants for produce and vittles. The schools are closed, the pubs are closed, restaurants are closed and presumably shops selling non-essential goods and services will soon follow. Sadly the BBC has not closed, it wouldn’t be so bad if it had trawled its extensive archive and replayed some rather spiffing content from yesteryear. Instead the BBC, on a daily basis, trots out a growing number of reporters desperately looking for their “All the President’s Men” moment, with their faux seriousness and pompous language. To be fair it is not just the BBC it is the broad media. One can only hope that the BBC will listen to Esther Rantzen and cheer the public up as it did in the second world war. I rather fancy listening to reruns of ITMA. (I fear the younger generation may not cope with some of the funnier moments though.)

…and another reason to avoid the media is the obsession “celebrities” have with annoying the general public. No, I do don’t want to listen to a bunch of talentless “f” list oiks “entertaining” me by singing popular music, particularly something called “Imagine”.

It is not all bad news in business though, I think the first award for “excellent marketing in difficult times” goes to the joint Johnson & Johnson/Glaxo Smithkline Beecham team responsible for their hugely successful, behind the scenes, “Ibuprofen is bad” campaign. :p

As trip reports go this is lacking in….errrr…….errrrr……travel but I do need to inflict it upon you all!

TTFN
 

Flashback

Senior Member
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Oct 29, 2006
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Oh I feel for you. TH. The pain of not being able to visit your club....and no foreseeable escape, A diet of fish, chips and mushy peas or beef and Yorkshire pud maybe on the cards. Take heart by knowing that we, back in here in good old Oz will be waiting eagerly to hear of your return to our fair land, :eek:
I would pay to see that - TH cooking some home made F&C or Yorkshire puds! With the pubs, restaurants, cafes etc. shut it's the only option for your weekly fix. I guess there's takeaway for F&C, heck, I even walked past a pub today that was doing take away Sunday roasts! How ingenious.
 

kiwitripper64

Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2008
Messages
391
Did you send Jeeves over to Auckland by sailboat recently. My local just sold a man $2000 of gin. seriously thinking ahead
 

TonyHancock

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2010
Messages
5,420
I have been misleading you, I am not in semi self-isolation I am, in fact, social distancing. For those of a certain age that means I am keeping my distance from people, but I know the younger generation like to come up with new “simple” jargon. I am conscious that the many teenagers reading my reports may find my vocabulary a little archaic so will endeavour to help them by having Griselda add what she calls links. (I have no idea what that means.)

Yesterday started quite busily. I ventured out in the glorious East Anglian sunshine to The Co-Operative Society store to purchase a copy of The Sunday Times. It was particularly satisfying to note that one can procure alcohol at 6:00 AM here on a Sunday, although the selection was rather poor and the store is changing it’s opening hours so it is soon be 7:00 AM. (Will this damned virus ever cease to erode our simple unalienable rights?)

The government here is gradually moving towards what the media describes as a “complete lockdown”, this is the same media where a chap by the name of Boris Starling declared “This was the week that changed Britain and the British – maybe forever”, apparently the nearest modern equivalent is the week Princess Diana died in 1997, otherwise it is back to that fateful week in September 1939. (Clearly the author slept through the Falklands invasion, and the great storm of 1987.- to be fair I did actually sleep through the storm of 1987.)

I can’t help thinking I am missing a trick here; I think I could create a hyperbolic piece of utter tosh and charge half of what this chap probably did.

It is actually quite pleasant in the orangery this morning, in fact I have had to open the door to let some air through. My concern now is that when the cheap alcohol runs out the masses will extend their credit card debt by purchasing from the top shelf on the liquor aisle in those supermarket places and I will be left with cooking sherry. Now that really would be a genuine catastrophic event. I did manage to keep a bottle of 1971 Grange on the go for 90 minus last night but fear I won 't be able to stretch it out for longer.

Don’t Forget the Diver! (One for the teenagers!)
 
Last edited:

TonyHancock

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2010
Messages
5,420
Today Mr Johnson essentially confined people to their homes…well apart from a spot of exercise, oh and shopping, going to and from work if that work can’t be done at home, oohhh and any medical need. Shops selling clothes and electronics etc must close.

The new rules haven’t gone nearly far enough in my opinion. For a start all live film interviews with amateur “experts” conducted on “mobile” devices should be banned with immediate effect. I was attempting to eat lunch, a rather fine stilton as it happens, the other day when The BBC presented a tramp homeless person talking about music as well as the coronavirus, Robert Geldroff or some such name. Quite why this chap was pontificating about coronavirus is beyond me, he was barely capable of constructing a sentence…..and it is not as if anybody will want to be within seven feet of him. :p

Whilst sitting in the orangery sipping a rather pleasant Coates Plymouth Gin (Navy Strength) Dry Martini, I took the time to focus on my creative side, not forgetting a dash of commerciality. The idea hit me like a British Rail Class 40 diesel electric locomotive. I could combine modern society’s appetite for reality television, with the trend for quizzes and my own fascination for “celebrities” in “interesting” situations. Yes you have probably guessed my moral boosting idea…..Celebrity Hanging, Drawing and Quartering. :p

“F” list celebrities, spaced seven feet apart, who have been particularly annoying during the coronavirus pandemic answer questions about 19th Century Social History if they get a question wrong they are hanged for a short while, revived, and then asked another question, if they get that wrong they are disembowelled, questions continue and if they get further questions wrong they are beheaded and then cut into quarters. The winner is the celebrity who is cut into the least amount of parts. I suspect it would have to be shown on television after 9 PM but who would not want to see this? It was suggested that “celebrities” may be none too keen to volunteer for this but quite frankly some of them will do anything to get on TV. :p

As we enter this new lockdown I am quite comfortable with staying “at home” I am quite comfortable with keeping my distance from people, actually I find that aspect deeply satisfying, what will push me over the edge is the pompous, self-aggrandising, unintelligent members of the media whose key skill seems to be stating the bleeding obvious as if it is a ground breaking revelation.

Don't mind if I do!
 
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