Rowing at Eton Lake, Dorney

Lady S had a three line whip for me and the male offspring of the family today. ‘There’s a rowing do on today, I’m invited and you WILL attend’, she announced. I checked my desk,  decided the two emails awaiting my correspondance would last another day, so said yes. If a trifle petulantly. You can imagine my surprise when I got there and realised that Eton was hosting the Olympics at the same time! Apparently she was giving the medals/cup/plate/vase out or something and was terribly modest by insisting we left the Bentley at home and took a common or garden mercedes taxi to and fro.

Lady S, Master H and Micon Ma Bicon.

Strangely enough we met my old fellow inmate of Salesians Chertsey – Paul Hay – who was doing a splendid job of smiling at people, which is all that the olympic helpers seem to do, and probably a great relief for the police and his probation officer.

If you look closely you can see Lady S presenting the medals.

Lady S presents Silver to GB fours.

It’s not easy!


The Purley King

It’s comforting to realise you are not the only half-wit husband out there. Take my friend Ian Black for instance. He tells me he’s known as a bit of a rapper and now likes to be called “I Am Black”. But I think he may have mis-heard someone telling him to get off the lavvy.  I digress.

As usual, I was on best behaviour when we pulled up outside their Purley manor. I put to one side mental images of I Am appearing at the front door dressed in his best Pearly King jacket dancing the hornpipe and singing ‘Any Old Iron’ with a big partially toothed gormless grin…………

and concentrated on the matter at hand. Namely, ensuring Lady S’ tiara was firmly attached to the blue-blooded bonce as ‘one doesn’t know how the natives will behave’ and she ‘didn’t want it to fall orf if she got a bit squiffy’.  Actually we were met by I Am and his lovely wife Veronique, or, as he likes to call her – Veyron-Eeek. Not to her face obviously. And this brings me to my point. I Am is a perfect example of the married man syndrome. He has become like an open book to his wife. Utterly unable to get away with even the smallest white lie without immediate detection by Veyron. Despite his most determined efforts. I, for example, can walk through the door and Lady S will take one look at me and say, all squinty-eyed

  • a) ‘where have you been? You’ve been down the pub haven’t you?’
  • b) ‘You’ve been a long time… you’ve had a pie from the bakers haven’t you’
  • c) ‘what have you bought?’

It’s uncanny! It could even be something as simple as the giving of an impromptu bunch of flowers soliciting, counter-intuitively us chaps would say,  ‘what have you done wrong……’ It’s just not fair. Especially as they are always bang on the button!

Back to the great evening we had, Veyron’s dinner was a complete tour-de-force pulling heavily on her french connection, or FCUK as I Am and I enjoyed sniggering about. His contribution to the fantastic dinner was limited to slicing the bread for breadcrumbs and, I got the impression from the dark mutterings in the kitchen, didn’t do those very well. I said nothing.

Like mine, his wife regards him as a complete idiot. It’s a wonder we manager to dress ourselves in the morning let alone alone hold down a good job. Well actually I don’t have a proper job but he’s got a good one. One where he’s allowed to talk to people and make decisions. Not like at home, obviously.

We are the down-trodden oppressed gender-challenged of the matriarchal society we are forced to live in. Don’t let any woperson tell you otherwise!

To boldly go where no woperson has gone before


Getting a little worried about my darling wife Lady S. She published this memo today :-

From the desk of Lady S – heart date : 18.07.2012

“Norfolk… the Final Frontier. These are the voyages of the heartship Romany. Its continuing mission: to explore strange new lands, to seek out new life forms and new civilizations, to boldly go where no wo-person has gone before.”

She’s referring to our upcoming boating trip to the Norfolk Broads with friends…

With reference to ones upcoming mission to meet the as-yet undiscovered tribes of Norfolk, one publishes the ship’s charter above. I will be travelling with my lady-in-waiting Lady Barton St. Mary. In light of the purpose of our mission to recruit people to my well-being-group-hug my research shows that conventional crew titles are wholly inappropriate. Therefore : –

Ship’s Manifest

Lady S (moi) – 1st Class Passenger
Lady BSM – 1st Class Passenger
Dame Penelope Humphris – Captain – Wellbeing Server
Roberto Randall – Science Officer – Social Media Rockstar
The Sexton – Medical Officer – Director of Cultural Liaison
Heraldo Lee (my hubby) – Chief Engineer – Diversity Enabler
Master Johnny – Communications Officer – Outreach Guerrilla
Young George – Yeoman – Civil Resilience Persuader

Well, this was wrong on so many levels I didn’t really know where to start.

The strong references to Star Trek got me musing. Had her sect made links with the Scientologists? Had her soft spot for Tom Cruise, because he looked a lot like me, and her high powered contacts finally born fruit? Or had she simply fallen in love with the humourous sci-fi show that so typified the genre? If so, why?

Something comes along to burst your bubble

You know how it is – things are ticking along just nicely – when something comes along to burst your bubble.

Take this for example. My old friend Rob (ex chauffeur to Lady BSM, prior to knocking her up then gaining her hand after permish from her father the Marquess) has recently learned how to read and write. So well has he done he has started writing a blog.  And yesterday he posted this. A life in the day of Gerald an homage to the sunday times supplements.

Quite apart from his effrontery and sheer bloody cheek he is playing with fire. My libel lawyers will be contacting him shortly.


How to behave in a Chinese Restaurant

Yesterday Lady S and I went to the local chinky “Ho flu’n gdung” to meet our friends “Swiss Tony” Garrod (pre cherished cars to the gentry) and his current wife “Ms Temperance”.

On arrival Sarah said “Mr Pong, our table for four please, under the name of Lee”.. puzzlement scudded across the maitre d’s brow….. “Wahh?”…… “Mr Lee? Table for four?”, she repeated……. and the penny dropped “aaahh! Mr Rrreeee! We fawt you Chinese man! Prease sit down”

But when the menu arrived we puzzled over it for a while; we don’t often eat Johnny foreigner food, apart from curry of course. So we called over Pong again. It didn’t go well. The language barrier seemed impenetrable. Lady S employed the normal technique of someone of her high class when confronted with an unfortunate who doesn’t have sufficient grasp of the English language. Voice raised, enunciation precise and slower, tone mildly condescending. No improvement. No spark.

I, on the other hand, had done a bit of boning up on the Mandarin lingo. The trick with learning a foreigner’s language is to put yourself into their shoes, so to speak. To behave as though you are one of them. By adopting their mannerisms and peculiarities while you speak so you will more easily be able to converse with them. In the instance of the Chinese gentleman: draw face in to big cheesey grin, make a big squint ensuring lower lip is covering lower teeth, deep breath. “aaahhhhh….. Wah we wahn is… Nahmber 42 swee sou por, 16 chickin n brack been saw, firty two ram and ginger, plorn clackers, flied lice…”

…. Silence…

“fair vair marr Mr Ree, that’ll be abou twenny mehn?”

Well, this virtuoso performance fair took everyone’s breath away. Lady S was agog and I fancy I heard a tremor of applause from the other diners. “You speak Chinese,” she whispered, “where did you learn that? What did you order?” I distracted her, but she was very impressed.

Our meal passed happily with interesting conversations hithering and thithering – muching ado about nothing. But finally, as all evenings out do end …. the bill.

“Mr Ree, did you and your guests enjoy your evening.”

In English, “ooh yes, it was very nice thank you”

“Wah you say? Wah abou your chicken?”

In Mandarin, “Chickin? ….. ih waah rubbery”

“Rubbery? ooooh! Verrry sorreh Mr Rrreee.”

“No no, RUBBERY my chickin wah Rubbery. Why you no rissen?”

“Mr Ree, you veh funny man, first we fink you Chinese man now we think you Benny Hill!”

Well, I mean to say…..

Too posh for Marlborough ?

Marlborough Leavers Ball 2012

Our young Henry, having completed his tenure at Marlborough College to the delight and relief of all, not least his house master, celebrated his leaving at the School Leaver’s Ball last weekend. Lady S fussed over the boy’s attire saying,

“Dahling Henners you don’t need your monocle tonight, just your dinner suit. And ditch the bong, they’ll take a dim view of it in chapel.”

We pitched up to the Castle and Ball just before Vespers and dressed for dinner. If I say so myself I look pretty sharp in a dinner suit and the old girl scrubs up well too. We looked a jolly site as we trundled down, sorry dine, the high street to Littlefield, Henner’s school house to be greeted by….. yet more Champagne! Parrfect! We heard a nice speech from the house master who was obviously so pleased to see the back of his present charge of miscreants and ne’er do wells, I could see the tears running down his face. He was fair hopping with delight when he said

“end do enjoy the chepple service, so nice. ”

Which, to be fair, it was. The rousing Jerusalem finale put us in fine fettle for the ensuing feast and as the vista of The Court presented itself to us, complete with marquees and dodgems, all looked well. But then it all changed. Tristan was our door manager and as my better half passed him our tickets he looked at us both then paused….

“Good evening Lady S welcome to the Ball but aim afwaid the servant can’t join you”, while nodding at me.

“I BEG your pardon?” she said, “what do you mean?”

“Well ‘e ain’t one of us is ‘e? …  your manservant, I mean.”

“Are .. you   ..  referring ..  to .. Him?” she pointed slowly, dangerously.

He swallowed, “err yehs”.

She looked back at me, at my little crumpled shoulders, and turned to him, “you mean my husband? who despite being a complete idiot, has paid your exorbitant school fees and is now being refused entrance to the Leavers Ball?”

“yehs ‘im… ‘e jest don’t look right do ‘e?”

“what on earth are you talking about boy?”

“I’m tewibly soweh be ‘e jest don’t cut the mustard, ‘e ain’t one of us and ‘e can’t go to the ball’

My mind wandered from watching Lady S lifting ‘the little scrote’ by the neck and hoying him into the bushes. It wandered because I was feeling intense feelings of liberation at the thought of no more school fees. WOO HOOOO! WOO HOOOOO! But was brought back to reality when the unfortunate man managed to croak

“given ‘is tape maybe ‘e could run the dodgems?”

Now, it’s a closely guarded secret and it may surprise you but the Lee heritage mists into an 18th C. time of horses, no fixed abode and traveling about the country…. (Getting the picture?) So it’s amazing that Tristan was so perceptive. But perceptive he was and boy he could press a button.

“er er er I could do dodgems, I could do dodgems” I said hopping about.

And so it was settled, The Great Geraldo, knowing his place, was happy and comfortable to run the  machine while his better half gracefully dined with the great and good. And a fun evening was had by all. Indeed our return to the hotel was so enhanced by a night cap with the Gentry that I got chummy with major general sir blah blah. Jolly nice chap. Someone you could have a bit of banter with. The following morning as I was checking out he leaned over saying,

“jolly nice of you to pay my bill old chep!”

and as I look down and absorbed the huge sum I said,

“Well egg jelly I think I have.’

Getting excited about the Norfolk Broads

Getting excited about the Norfolk Broads boat trip. Lady S sees it as more of a mission to convert the poor people of Norfolk to her post-anarchic/pro-life/vegan/Anti capitalist collective than a holiday. You can join her for 10% annual income and you get as much alfalfa as you can carry. While Lady Barton St. Mary regards it as an opportunity for Rob, her beau and now chauffeur, to try out a new mode of transport. Like an urchin being given a sweet, his little face lit up when he was told he would be captaining the Romany 2 for the week. Penny, the vicar’s daughter, having worked with at risk children in an area renowned for in-breeding, considers her experience, plus her husband’s in burying people, will extend much needed cradle to grave assistance to the in-bred Norfolk tribes. Sexton, however, has no such plans. Being a simple soul his week will comprise eating, drinking, fishing, twitching and bitching. With his laser like ability to find comedy in other people’s misfortune providing constant merriment. I, on the other hand, am concentrating on ensuring all measures are in place to avoid accidental self-harming such as; no naked flames to melt the boat, no bbq to burn myself with, no glass marmite jars to smash my hand up, no carving knives to slice my fingers with, stout shoes to not tread on sharp objects, a life jacket so I don’t drown when i fall overboard drunk, and a rope to tie myself to boat so they don’t leave me when I get pushed in. And some good advice, don’t annoy strangers, especially hurty, punchy ones.