The Rose & Crown

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    TardisBlue @tardisblue

    Popping in briefly to say hi and thank you all for this great forum.

    I raised a glass to @htpbdet at 11 a.m. PST, 9 p.m. GMT on Friday. And toasted the Asylum of Whovians at the Dean Swift, the dedicated live-blog hosts, our Emperor, the Time Lord moderators, insightful posters, loyal lurkers, and all the other fantastic forum folk. Not to mention RTD and Julie Gardner and the BBC PTB in 2003.

    I teared up just a bit when I listened to the musical tribute to @htpbdet which @pedant posted. (Methinks it was the unfishy man — I listened on Friday and may have misremembered who posted the link.) And I got sad again watching An Adventure in Space and Time the third time, watching Hartnell sitting sadly in his car at night, gazing at the Tardis from afar. I wanted to tell him to look up, to look at the stars and see how brightly our friend and his family are shining down on him. I was glad that @mini-htpbdets checked in with us on the anniversary. He, his cousin and cousin-in-law, his family, and all their friends were in my thoughts.

    I’m headed off to see The Day of the Doctor in 3-D. I didn’t get up at the crack of doom the morning that tickets to cinema screenings went on sale here. Three hours and twenty minutes later, all the showings in Los Angeles County on the 23rd were sold out, and all but a few of those on the 25th. Luckily, I have some friends in Long Beach, where I was able to snag tickets. Of course, it was so popular that they’ve greatly expanded the number of cinemas and screenings. The obsessive (even obdurate, @Shazzbot) inner Whovian in me is still wondering whether I can get back home from the 7:30 Long Beach showing in time to catch a 10 pm showing closer to home. … Where’s a Tardis-Taxi when you really need one?

    Lots of wonderful insights and comments and theories posted here. Still trying to catch up — was watching all the AG marathons on BBCA over the weekend and minimizing my time on line. I’m mulling things over, and wondering if I have anything new to add to the discussion. You’re all so brilliant and slightly bonkers to boot — fezzes and jelly babies to one and all! Not sure if I have much else to add.

    except for my sincere thanks

    and a shout out to all who posted pictures. @thommck, loved you and your kids. Better keep an eye on one of them, though, looked awfully Master-like in that hoodie. And @Airedales, Scout looked like someone had been spiking his water bowl there toward the end of the evening. No wonder Triton kept trying to escape — afraid of the halluciengenic lipstick, methinks. Either that or else was worried that the Strip-o-Gram company had been double-booked and was sending a C. Baker impersonator instead of Mel. Party sounded loads of fun — glad I was there in good company along Avatar Row.


    Anonymous @

    @tardisblue – darn!  ‘Obsessive’!  That was the other ‘O’ word.  But hey, ‘obdurate’ was kinda cool, yeah?  🙂

    And not that I’m anal-retentive or anything, but the pictures of The Airedales on @phaseshift ‘s blog were reversed.  The one captioned Triton is actually Scout, and vice-versa.  But hey – no-one but their ‘Mum’ can tell them apart, anyway.  😆

    janetteB @janetteb

    Hi. I’m still catching up on posts. I have taken photos but haven’t had time to down load and resize them so hope it isn’t too late to share.



    Anonymous @

    I know everyone at the pub meet-up last Friday night was as impressed with our fantastic waitress Aileen (and @whishtI did like your ‘alien’ joke!) as I was.  I sent this message below to the Dean Swift yesterday.  They replied today that they will pass on to her our rave review.

    All of our party had a smashing time, and extra thanks go out to Aileen, the lovely blonde Irish waitress we had in the upstairs dining room.

    She went above and beyond the call of duty, helping me set up our table with baubles and badges and pictures on stick-clips before everyone arrived.  She was always there when we needed, to take drink and food orders from people who arrived at various times over a 2 hour period, and continued to be available to us until we left at almost 11pm.  She also ensured my two dogs were as comfortable as the human guests.

    Please ensure the thanks of all of our party reach her, for her phenomenal service last Friday night.

    Whisht @whisht

    Hey @Shazzbot – totally agree!

    Aileen (oh, my terrible spelling 😉 but it was her own joke) was great – rather than ‘just’ serve tables well (in itself a great thing), she also spent time and energy with us.

    Unfortunately we couldn’t give her any of the fantastic gifts you provided – so ‘fame’ (infamy?) will have to do!




    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Yup. Aileen was great.

    Anonymous @

    Well, this is ‘The Pub’ so I’m buying a virtual round.  Whatever you want, you can have!!

    This is an amazing website.  I’ll shut up now and read everything on here.  I have some ideas about the christmas speical but it looks like you have had every idea worth having!

    Whisht @whisht

    On the Comments thread there were some Inter railing memories…. best over here methinks!

    At one point on our trip in the very late 80’s I remember me and my mate going from Rome to Amsterdam via Hamburg.

    We were in a nightclub in Hamburg in order to get to an early 4am train to Amsterdam. Well, what’s the point of paying even the pittance for being in a tent?

    As we rolled out of the nightclub a tad drunk and extremely tired (I’d fallen asleep which they took exception to!) we were walking the empty street to the train station when a car screeched past and slid swerving to a halt ahead of us.

    It was like a film and I raised my finger pointing, saying “jeezus – that guy’s pissed” when out jumped 2 guys in white shirts. Up they came and said very officially:

    “What colour was the little man?”.

    At this point I thought “bloody hell, they’re on drugs!”

    He said it again – “What colour was the little man?”

    The street was empty – there was no one around as it was about 3am.



    I handed mine over, as I was drunk/ tired and now guessed they were cops as the white shirts had epaulette things. My mate was horrified as to handing over passports probably meant we now couldn’t do a runner (as if we could).

    I was now guessing they were referring to the road-crossing ‘man’ who was red, but the road was empty except for their insane swerving car!

    They ‘checked’ the passport on some sort of on-board car computer (this being 1989-ish this seems unlikely, but I’m sure there was some sort of screen in there!).

    He came back with my passport.

    “Ok, you must pay us 50 Marks or spend the night in jail”

    Without actually thinking I (truthfully and overly politely) said:

    “Oh, I’m sorry, we can’t do that as we’ve spent all our money in that nightclub over there and we’re about to get on a train to Amsterdam. Sorry.”

    He just looked at me as I ruefully smiled ‘sorry’ back at him. He then handed back my passport and just shook his head.

    As me and my mate walked off to the station (I was still too drunk/ tired/ confused to think what a lucky escape) the cop shouted back from his car –

    “Send us a cake from England!”

    I stopped, baffled, and turned to my mate and said “Did he just say ‘send us a cake?'” but we both thought better of it and quickened our step to the station!

    Did he really ask for a cake? We were never sure if we misheard.

    hey ho – yet another of life’s mysteries you can’t google (which wouldn’t be a verb for another twenty years or so – ooh us oldsters @timeloop!)


    Anonymous @

    @whisht – what a wonderful story!

    In 1988, an ex-partner and I went to see Jean Michel Jarre when he did the Docklands concert (we saw the Sunday night performance).

    We finally got back to Birmingham at ‘silly o-clock’ on the Monday morning and, being hungry and a little bit tipsy (we’d taken a few ‘tinnies’ with us 😉 ), we wondered around town to see if we could find a 24hr garage in order to get something to munch on.

    While walking to one that we thought might be open, two Police cars screeched to a halt and 4 officers jumped out and ran towards us. They grabbed us and sat me in one car, my ex in the other, and began grilling us about why we were wondering around at such a late hour.

    It seems that we matched the description of two men who’d been vandalising cars belonging to residents close to where we were. I explained where we’d been (providing ticket stub and program as evidence). One of the officers burst out laughing and said ‘You lucky bastard! I was supposed to be going to see him but had to swap shifts.’

    It turned out all right in the end though. After apologising for the mistake, they put us in the same car and gave us a lift to a garage that was open.

    Hunger satisfied, we made our way home, slightly miffed that we hadn’t been strip searched by the , quite frankly gorgeous, officers 🙂

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @fatmaninabox Also a great story 🙂 (and yours @whisht)

    The narrow escapes and egregious escapades of The Doctor Who Forum seems like a blog all of its own.

    Ugh – every now and then I get a flash-back to the Absorbalov episode.


    Whisht @whisht

    my god @juniperfish – you had an Absorbalov escapade while inter-railing??!?

    That must’ve been traumatic.


    ScaryB @scaryb

    @whisht @juniperfish @bluesqueakpip @fatmaninabox

    Lovin all the interail stories and travellers tales. Used to hitchhike a bit, great way to travel sometimes. Tho  2 days on the same corner in the middle of nowhere in Spain not so good. Fortunately no Absorbalovs. Would’ve settled for a lift with K9.  Then there was the time we got dropped off in the south of France, middle of a torrential thunderstorm (we were camping), and after banks closing time (pre ATM era) on the Friday of Bastille weekend. We’d’ve killed for @juniperfish‘s raw cabbage and mayonnaise by the Monday!

    ScaryB @scaryb


    Happy Birthday 🙂

    Doctor Who Cake Presentation Range

    And the barmaid’ll take your order for whatever you like to drink. Cheers!

    PS Cheers back to @TheMasterofAllHeSurveys – That was an excellent way to introduce yourself; you obv have this forum well figured out!  😀

    Rob @rob

    @bluesqueakpip and @purofilion and @arbutus and @scaryb and @janetteb

    Hope I didnt miss anyone out on apliance data stream

    I have the following in my kitchen

    Coffee filter machine


    Espresso machine


    Spare kettle

    4 x cafetieres

    Emergency spare kettle

    Cooker, with saucepan s for heating water

    Fridge for milk and coffee (ground)

    Cupboard for mugs and packs of coffee

    Ummm that’s it time to go and make a brew after all this typing

    Just obeying orders @fatmaninabox on listing my kitchen contents in the right forum 😛

    Anonymous @

    Hello @rob

    I’m confused by your plethora of coffee-making appliances.

    You have:

    Coffee filter machine
    Espresso machine
    Spare kettle
    4 x cafetieres
    Emergency spare kettle
    Cooker, with saucepans for heating water
    Fridge for milk and coffee (ground)
    Cupboard for mugs and packs of coffee

    I have an electric kettle with a wonky lid, and a tall glass jar of Aldi’s Finest (which means, absolute sh*t) coffee grounds. And some milk. Suddenly I feel inadequate.

    Anonymous @


    But I have teaspoons. Lots.

    Get me.

    TardisBlue @tardisblue


    Your post triggered a regeneration in my kitchen.

    My humble French Press was hit with a blinding flash of golden light.

    It’s now is a far more elegant “cafetiere.”

    The Melita pour over plastic filter holder, still mourning the loss of its beloved glass carafe due to an unfortunate stove top accident, is jealous.

    The teapots, cups, saucers, creamers and sugar bowls are above all of this inventorying. They are content to rest securely on their hazard-free shelves. Sometimes I catch them tittering aristocratically. I suspect the glee comes from knowing that they are spared from the day-to-day grind.

    <<looks nervously at computer screen and prepares to duck>>


    Anonymous @

    Blimey @rob, I’m beginning to think you like coffee 🙂

    I take it this (not so) little chap is a hero of yours?

    TardisBlue @tardisblue


    you have me beat on at least one thing:

    I’m out of milk. Got any I can borrow?

    :::waves hi at @TheFerret and @MartyB and @ferrocene and @tennantmarsters2013 and @devilishrobby and @all others who’ve joined recently:::

    @ferrocene, @tennantmarsters2013, @devilishrobby and @others without avatars. I hope you won’t mind just a bit of affectionate kidding. Whenever I see your posts without an avatar, I worry that you’ve run into a Silence or had yourself uploaded into the Great Intelligence’s interweb from tBoSJ. I’ve been loosing sooooooooooooo much sleep over this!!!

    Please take pity on me and put an avatar or stasis cube or childhood drawing up or vegetable or punctuation mark or *something* to distinguish you from the asexual white ciphers assigned to members without avatars. There’s a siege a-comin’ and it’s best to be able to tell friend from foe. 😀 Those blank white avatars look a lot like Whispermen. Just sayin’


    TardisBlue @tardisblue


    a belated happy birthday! I’ve been a bit under the weather, so I missed your actual 46th. Sorry.

    :::bowing down in respect for our newest Time Lord:::

    Gee, the UK must have a *serious* game of Risk. I’m a bit vague on the rules, but I don’t remember anything about becoming a Time Lord when you win on your birthday. Congrats!


    Anonymous @


    Thank you and I hope you’re feeling better.

    I can feel a touch of ‘man flu’ coming on so I’ll be spending the next few days drinking hot lemon with a spoonful of honey and a drop ( or two 😉 ) of Brandy in it. It’s not a proper cure but, if I drink enough of them, I end up not caring that I’m poorly 🙂

    Anonymous @

    @rob  – without getting too personal you are English, no?  Tea? I have nothing except a kettle and a 15 year old percolator which makes devilish long blacks-perfect for drinking  during 44 mins of Who. Also, loads of ice with black coffee for an iced version but none of this milk and ice cream rubbish 🙂  No expensive coffee maker. Of my friends who do, they end up rarely using it as the milk goes off and it takes forever to clean! I have a glass tea pot as the other half has discovered herbal tea and T2’s a chain shop in Aussie. We’ve all sorts of flowery, herbal  motifs… kindest to you.

    Anonymous @


    In Britain, I think, you can tell what jobs people do by what they drink. Builders, plumbers, electricians, labourers etc tend to be tea drinkers. Office workers usually stick to coffee, simply because vending machine tea (if you can call it that) is just to disgusting to drink 🙂

    I can’t function until I’ve had my morning cuppa but then it’s coffee all the way.

    Herbal tea does nothing for me I’m afraid – although blackcurrant tea on a hot summer’s day is surprisingly refreshing. Coffee on the other hand, I’ll drink hot or cold, with/without milk/sugar and anyone who buys me coffee flavoured with a hint of almond is a friend for life, or at least, until I’ve finished it 🙂

    Rob @rob


    You are soooo in the coffee club, I kept wondering why my fingers kept getting scolded stirring the coffee


    I’m Cornish “mes osta y’u koffi bagas” 😀


    Even allowing for the play on words which I got in an instant (ducks way way lower) you’re in the coffee club too


    You need coffee-sip for colds and flu, its a well known fact that caffeine cures all known malaise’s especially with a tot or two or three of something you like in it, in fact I’ll guarantee after 5 such coffees you’ll be feeling quite happy

    Anonymous @


    The honey/lemon/brandy combo’s beginning to work but I’ll quite happily quaff coffee and brandy, with or without a cold 🙂

    janetteB @janetteb

    This afternoon I invited friends in for a cup of tea, they being of the tea drinking persuasion, only to find, after rummaging through the pantry that the only tea to be found was either Peppermint or Chai. I compensated for the lack of their preferred beverage by showing them “The Night of the Doctor” and The Five(ish) Doctors”. Coffee is my addiction of choice. I think I was still at primary school when I was introduced to it. When I was a student I would occasionally try and give up by switching to herbal tea but one late night working and I would be in desperate need of caffeine in order to get through the next day even though it tended to put me to sleep.



    Arbutus @arbutus


    This is just so interesting! It’s quite different here in Canada, or at least, in the western part of it. (As I understand to be the case with northern and southern England, it never does to assume any similarity between western and eastern Canada– and northern is a whole other issue here!)  When I was growing up, the norm was coffee in the morning and tea in the afternoon or evening, unless you were in a restaurant, where coffee was usual. This was equally true on both sides of my family, the Ukrainian working class side and the upper middle class British side.

    But this has changed a bit with the growth of the espresso craze. Now, the Great Canadian Debate tends to be Starbucks vs. Tim Hortons (meaning high-priced lattes vs. a better value “cup of Joe” from the doughnut chain. And in urban areas, there are the espresso geeks and their debates about indy roasters, single origin beans, barista competitions, and so on. Myself, I like a nice single-shot latte once in a while, and I drink clear tea by the potful!

    Arbutus @arbutus


    Fully agree, by the way, about vending machine “tea”, which is probably what Douglas Adams was thinking about in the sequence with the Nutrimatic drink dispenser and the beverage that is “almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea”. Many workplaces around here nowadays have kitchens and kettles, and people bring their own teabags to work.

    OsakaHatter @osakahatter

    @rob et al

    I have a cafetiere and a kettle but NO BLOODY COFFEE.  Life is unfair.  Given all this talk, is the pub getting closed and replaced with a coffee shop?  That’s very 21st century Britain!


    Would it be inappropriate to say ‘Thanks for sticking your head above the parapet’?  I’ll get my coat.  No, seriously, cheers – I’m more lurker than poster at the mo but appreciate the work of all the mods none the less.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @arbutus – coffee in the morning and tea thereafter sounds pretty familiar.

    @janetteb – chai is tea. Just tea with added spices. You should have told them it was special ‘Christmas Tea’. 🙂

    Whisht @whisht

    Coffee in the morning (americano).
    Tea during the day (several).
    Beer in the evening*.

    Luckily all of those are by the pint, which is fitting for the Rose methinks.


    *actually sometimes that’s wine, and some other times vodka or gin.

    But never by the pint. [ahem].

    [now to see if that other post has unblocked itself… too many links it seems…]

    janetteB @janetteb

    Our local pub now does coffee and cake. (and repairs bicycles.) Still at least they are pokie free. Most of our pubs have caught that affliction.

    Oh and it’s definitely coffee in the morning while I catch up on the news and read through forum news if I have time, then coffee during the day to keep the neurons ticking while I work, then wine in the evening then coffee before bed while I check the news and the forum again to see if anything has changed.  @bluesqueakpip. I like the “Christmas tea” suggestion.

    @osakahatter I have been mostly lurking too lately due to real life demands. It always gets a little crazy at this time of year. I am still catching up on TDotD discussion. Haven’t had time to even consider the Christmas special yet.



    ScaryB @scaryb


    Given all this talk, is the pub getting closed and replaced with a coffee shop?

    No, it’s just taking a tip from the  Australian model, as described by @janetteb (hi there 🙂 ) and selling (excellent) coffee and cake as well as booze. Which is my excuse for being here at this time in the morning. 😀

    @rob – I may move in with you!

    Cheers everyone

    PS No-one makes espressos like Italians in Italy. (brew till there’s half an espresso cup of liquid, then add 3 teaspoons of sugar. Way to go). ::bounces out the pub::

    Anonymous @

    I’m trying to stay unspoiled about the Christmas special, so I’ve had some time to catch up on the non DW threads here.  Fascinating discussion about coffee making (@Rob, that’s a truly impressive amount of kit you have 🙂 ) and tea drinking and what different people’s habits are.

    For the record, it’s tea all the way for me.  Coffee is too jolting to my system.  And the more milk, the better.  But my girlfriend can drink two cups of coffee and go straight to sleep after.


    Our local pub now does coffee and cake. (and repairs bicycles.) Still at least they are pokie free.

    What  is a ‘pokie’?

    Whisht @whisht

    Ah – good question @MartyB!

    Now, a few people have wondered if we ever need to run polls, and crowd-sourcing was so hip only a year or two ago (my thumb’s on the pulse of culture), so lets see if they’d be useful in this instance…

    Pokies are:

    a) People asking for charity donations
    b) Slot machines
    c) Pies of a questionable ‘meat’

    janetteB @janetteb

    b) An Australian band have a song which expresses my feelings about them perfectly. It’s titled “Blow up the Pokies”. Sadly most of our pubs have been invaded by them.




    Timeloop @timeloop

    I am feeling guilty to bring it up after those posts, but they gave me the idea (don’t worry, not asking for money or anything like that). So really it’s @whisht ‘s fault 😛

    But it is charity related. You can make money for charities without changing any of your habits. This add-on makes money out of tabs. So the more tabs you have open the more money you get for a good cause without doing anything else.

    You can also decide how the money (you did not give) should be spend by voting on the videos of this site: The ten most popular get the split of the final sum. Each comment you make on one of the videos is worth a penny and is paid by John Green for you.

    The Project for Awesome’s goal is to decrease worldsuck.

    I thought as lots of us have a similar mind-set you might like the idea behind it.

    Anyways, cheers, see you on Friday,



    Rob @rob


    Well not every penny fits the slot, especially in a latte vending machine on a motorway services, not that I’m still bitter about that episode,  no not at all 😉


    one section of the bar could be stretched to make room for a barista 😉


    no problems we have a spare room lol


    I may have lied 😉 or eggsagerated

    Anonymous @


    I searched a bit regarding your tab display charity information.  I remember reading something about that other trend that was around for a while, for people to go to a website and click on a counter to give microscopic amounts to charity, and this tab thing sounded like that.

    While miniscule amounts can be (and I stress the ‘can be’ — with unscrupulous people setups, sometimes virtually nothing is) donated to charity in this fashion, the danger is that people can use this method of giving and feel they’ve done their bit.  When volunteering for an hour per week at a home for the aged, or a hospice for battered women, or the local dogs trust, wherever, is so much more valuable.

    Not that people can’t do both.  I can’t recall where I read it, but giving to charity via these internet schemes is changing people’s charitable donations and volunteering habits.  By all means, if the scheme is valid and the charities in question are getting adequate amounts of money from them (which can be difficult to ascertain), continue to click / open tabs / whatever, but don’t forget there’s a food bank or a disabled children’s play centre that could use your time as well.

    I hope that didn’t sound like a harangue.  But the need for volunteering is something that was drilled into me from childhood, and my parents and all my siblings and me have been involved all our lives.

    Anonymous @

    Fancy something different to drink over the festive period? Try dishwasher vodka.

    I wonder what jelly baby/jammy dodger/banana vodka’s like. Only one way to find out. I’m off to the shops 🙂

    Anonymous @


    I would never have pegged you as a Mumsnet reader.  Your interests are vast and varied.  🙂

    I saw this article in The Independent.  It name-checks Partners in Crime.

    Oh, really?  Parthenogenesis is apparently rampant in America.  The Apocalypse must be nigh …

    TardisBlue @tardisblue

    stepping into the pub from Doctor Who News 2

    Your Christmas dinner sounds delish. I’d be happy to be a guest at your table any Xmas.

    When you talked about Czech dumplings, did you mean kolaches? I’ve never heard of fruit dumplings with quark. Sounds good, though.

    (Quark is a soft, spreadable German cheese.)

    The pub’s getting more upscale every day – fruit dumplings for desert, and Purofilion’s got a source for affordable lobster and a yummy recipe! There *is* a full kitchen, isn’t there?


    Anonymous @

    @tardisblue  (thank you to you) In Czech kolach is generally ‘any cake’. The dumpling dish is one wherein the plum/apricot with stone are covered by sweet pastry and boiled in water. Quark is used but people tend to blend equal quantities of cottage cheese with ricotta and pop it through a strainer so the cheese comes out like ‘mince’-quite fine, in other words.  The record in our family was dad eating 22. Each dumpling requires several tbs of sugar, butter & ‘cheese mush’ so multiplying all that by 22 =high blood pressure and possible heart attack!!! I’m one of the few Aussies who don’t own a BBQ. I carry my 25 yr old fry pan outside to the deck to cook eye fillet for 5-6 mins for that medium rare steak (otherwise the smell stays indoors). I do lobster the same way -basically fried with butter, garlic, chilli and white wine to ‘fry it off’.  This is ‘Boxing Day Dinner with the Doctor’ as we’re seeing it on the 26th unlike your Christmas Day viewing (sniff)

    Kindest, purofilion.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Parthenogenesis is apparently rampant in America.

    @MartyB – rampant heavy petting sounds a bit more likely.  Some sperm seem to be kitted out with jet propelled backpacks.  🙂

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @tardisblue @purofilion

    In my Ukrainian family, a kolach is a braided bread made at Christmas time, very rich with eggs and butter. My grandmother made it every year when I was growing up, and I took over for her in her later years. I still make it every year, and now my son has learned how to make it as well, so I know that the tradition will continue.

    Being vegetarian, we don’t eat lobster, but frankly anything “fried with butter, garlic, chilli and white wine” sounds absolutely stupendous to me!  In fact, if you substitute “olive oil” for the butter, you will have the recipe for at least half of what I cook. (If you don’t specify the frying medium, and expand “chilli” to include any highly spicy flavouring, it probably covers about 3/4 of my dinners!)

    Forgive me if I am being slow, but if you don’t have a BBQ, upon what are you using your frying pan? I hope you’re not building a campfire on the deck?   🙂

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @bluesqueakpip     Okay, fortunately no tea was spilled as I laughed hysterically over my new vision of backpack-wearing sperm heading out on an adventure. My husband and son once read a “facts of life” book that included a cartoon of a lot of little sperm traveling along a highway lined with roadside snack-sellers.

    Anonymous @

    @arbutus  ha ha. Yes, I attach the old electric fry pan (I missed the word ‘electric’!) to an extension cord in the house and take outside all the meat/implements. Then, once done, I bring it all back in and the splatters, well, they stay outside. Most neighbours are used to me throwing steaks on make-shift BBQ in the garden or on the porch with a bottle of wine handy to pour over the meat/fish and a glass on the side for the chef. Due to droughts and fire polices, no-one is allowed to light incinerators or bon-fires of any kind. In my youth, every second person used to ‘burn’ things on a Sunday till the sky was grey with smoke (like Gallifrey) and suburbs were putrid with burnt waste. It became an addiction to light the incinerator!

    Anonymous @


    I would never have pegged you as a Mumsnet reader.

    I like Mumsnet. Mumsnet is cool 😎

    Anonymous @

    The arrival of the Quebécois not-quite-inlaws is Sunday.  Partner’s mum is committed to commandeering the kitchen for the duration.  (Wha-hey!)  I’ll share the sofa with her father (for four very long days) who pretends not to speak much English.  My 25-year-old schoolboy French amounts to ‘où est la bibliothèque?’, and he apparently feigns his English is similarly limited to enquiring about the library’s location. (Fermée, I will say.  Fermée.  Les bibliothèques sont toutes fermées en raison de compressions budgétaires gouvernementaux.)

    At the very least, if he asks my intentions with his daughter, I won’t understand but can refill his drink.  Copiously.  Sainsburys had some excellent bargains on bottles this week.  🙂

    Her Nan, thankfully, is a Doctor Who fan too (English ex-pat in Quebec).  She and I are already planning to turf the rest out at 19:28 Christmas Day.  Is it wrong to be a little bit in love with your partner’s Nan?  😀

    Happy Christmas one and all.  Might lurk if the possibility arises, but in the interim those skirting boards and curtain rods won’t dust themselves.  And surly Quebécois not-quite-father-in-laws require ample mental preparation time.

    Oh, and we’re also all – en famille – volunteering for Crisis on the day.  It’s a bit late, but I hope all of you can find a way to make someone else’s Christmas that bit more special.

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