23 November 2009


By the Diaper of Διώνυσος!

Is November's third Thursday already upon us?

(Actually, bin 'n' gorn: Last 19th as ever was, by my troth.)

'Pon my soul, Chrissymass will be with us before we know it.

Nay, lad - as my Yorkshire Gan Gan would preface every sentence; took me yonks to work out that she wasn't actually denying anything - I was oop t'market and Scondoula pointed out the display of Beauj' Nouv' so of course I had to add a trio of bottles to the sinking basket.

She must think me a right boozer. I must put her right one day.

"Ξέρεις, εγώ δεν πραγματικά ποτό. Είναι το χαμόγελό σας και σκούρα μάτια της υπόσχεσης που καθιστούν αδύνατο για μένα να σας παρακούσω. Λοιπόν, κάνει ο διαχειριστής ξέρει πώς να κάνετε τα κέρδη σε αυτό το μαγαζί για να πάει στους ουρανούς;"

Do you remember the days when the posh restaurants competed to be first in with the juvenile muck?

  • On the stroke of minuit, an RAF Harrier jet I(or some speedy 'plane) would zoom crates across the Channel to where John Surtees was gunning his Triumph to zap it up to Soho, police escort, sirens blaring.
  • Cheers as it arrived and we'd all settle down to getting majorly pissed.
  • Good times.

    Sapristi! Imagine it happening today? Pshaw!

    My dears, the angry letters about waste of government money, what?

    Chrissymas: family joke. In Hong Kong we had ancient amah who called me Chrissy Mass. My younger brother asked one day if Dad was Master Mass?

    With all the gravity and wisdom of my 8 years I solemnly announced that, no, dad was 'Lord and Mass'. Obviously.

    Our Father was always referred to the Lord and Master. QED.

    So ingrained was this as a family semi-joke that I gather I once called home from a pal's and asked my mother when The Lord and Master was expected back, so's I could time dinner.

    Mum was later asked,

    "Umm, what sort of upbringing has Christopher had?"

    "Oh, the usual."

    "Hmm, I think not."

    It was explained and then related to my father - the fairest modestest unassumingest man I've known - who, according to Maman, positively preened in his quiet shy Brooding Dane way. Bless you, Dad.

    Loipon, bottoms up, chaps, and santé!

    PS ~ When I returned to Hong Kong to actually work, we had a darling 'help' called Ah Yee who naturally called me 'Master'. Nae big deal.

    Our upstairs neighbour was a nouveau Brit who was appalled and challenged me on it, suggesting I was an unreconstructed colonialising pig.

    When she emerged with the next course, I told Ah Yee in Cantonese of his objection and asked her opinion. What would she be comfortable calling me?

    She gave David Lawson just the sweetest smile and said in Cantonese,

    "This gweilo  let his servant call him by his Name; also, she eat with family AT SAME TABLE."

    (If Madam Yee could have spat her contempt she would've, but I'd moved the spittoons out to the verandah as ashtrays).

    Me: "She says," I told David, "that she chafes under the insult.

    That, come the revolution, my kind will be strung up by our heels."

    Lawson nodded and gave Ah Yee a thumbs-up.

    Ah Yee: "Also, he doesn't make as much money as you."
    Moi: "How the devil do you know that, you cunning hag?"

    Yee: Giggle.

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