Tuesday, 31 December 2013

F*** a duck


Breaking news from the last few hours of 2013 - a giant yellow duck placed in the harbour of Taiwan has exploded, and officials believe that it was attacked by eagles. The duck had only just been repaired after it had suffered the same fate last month as a result of an earthquake.  Fowl play is not suspected.

I have yet to scan the New Year's Honours list, but I am beginning to think that  - once again - I have been overlooked, and my services as self-appointed 'arbiter of taste' have gone unrecognised.

I suppose this is the fate which awaits all those who - like me - attempt to hide our lights under Bushells, and slip in and out of society leaving a trail of anonymous good deeds for which we will never truly be thanked by a grateful nation. I only have myself to blame for this apparent oversight, and like the rest of the team who discovered the Higgs-Boson particle, I will just have to zip my mouth and watch some other extrovert soak up all the credit.

Just like the Higgs-Bosun particle project, most of my more noteworthy achievements of 2013 were conceived in a pub. The pub in Cambridge where Higgs thrashed out the accelerator theory with about 20 others was called 'The Eagle' - spooky, when you find out that the giant rubber duck in Taiwan was destroyed by one only yesterday.

I briefly lived in Cambridge during the early 1970s and sometimes frequented The Eagle but, try as I might, I can find nothing spooky about this fact, other than that I was - as usual - ahead of my time. This is called 'early doors' where I come from.

I have signed a confidentiality agreement which prevents me from showing you most of my more spectacular achievements of 2013, and I believe (and hope) that this is because my client would like to keep me all to himself throughout 2014 and beyond, so I am going to have to make do with a more public project, also conceived in a public house, and this is the public house itself.

I took on the persona and mannerisms of Linda Snell in order to push this little renovation through as quickly and efficiently as possible, and I think it is only now that my reasons for turning into her are becoming clear to the 536 owners, several thousand regulars and The Board, despite the fact that my choice of colour for the woodwork still causes violent conflict, even in the season of goodwill. I feel sure that Robert Plant is on my side though, which is all that matters to me.

Here's wishing you as prosperous a 2014 as I have just had in 2013 - so don't expect any more than keeping your head above water. At least the colour of the door keeps the wolves away.

 Before

After

36 comments:

  1. Happy new year to you too Tom. Devastating that you haven't been recognised with a knighthood at least. I love the idea of you Snelling (a verb that should be added to the OED I feel) around the pub to create the desired result. Very nice it is too.

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    1. Dame Linda Snell, OED. Pantomime dame?

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  2. Did you notice if I was included in the list? Lord Magnon of Cabernet and Merlot has a ring to it.

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    1. Are you the same as Lord Magnum of Champagne?

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  3. Earl Gray of Trelawnyd
    Sounds good too
    Happy new year Thomas

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    1. That's got you off to a tee... Did you know that David Archer (Tim Bentinck) is - in reality - the Earl of Portland? Happy N.Y. to you and Chris as well.

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  4. Happy, happy 2014 Tom.
    Lady Jacqueline de Montford has rather a nice ring don't you think ? ….. never gonna happen though !! XXXX

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    1. It could be arranged - I have a friend here in Bath called Alexander de Montfort. There is one problem - he is as gay as a nine pound note, and as camp as a row of tents.

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    2. He could be a distant relative …… my husbands family tree has been traced back to Simon de Montfort.{ Mumford originally being de Montfort } XXXX

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    3. First of all, where is the apostrophe in 'Husband's'? Disgraceful.

      Secondly, either you had better be quick in consummating a relationship which will end with the name 'Fitzmumford' as the progeny's title, or forget it. Like I say, the family line would die out if left to him.

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    4. I was being rebellious and leaving my apostrophes {!!} out.
      We have a son who has a son so, the family line is not going to die out anytime soon. XXXX

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  5. Many congratulations on making a superb looking pub front.

    I have alway considered that one title in the family is quite sufficient and we have several not that it does them any good, for they all die anyway.
    A very happy and prosperous New Year to you and yours Old Boy.

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    1. And to you, Heron. I would not be any nicer to you if I knew you came from a titled stock-pot, so you will always know my feelings are heartfelt.

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  6. Happy New Year Sir Tom Stephenson, as you should be...

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    1. In Elizabethan times, Sir Thomas Stephenson would have sounded quite good at court... hang on, we ARE in Elizabethan times!

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  7. You do fine work, Sir.

    We have no royals across the Pond, although you wouldn't know it from the way some people act.

    May 2014 be kind to you and may your work be admired and enjoyed.

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    1. Don't blame us for your dirth of royals over there. You had your chance, but you kicked George the Third out. I have a feeling you're going to kick Fergie out as well unless she pays her hotel bill. Commoners, eh? You can take the girl out of Essex, but you can't take Essex out of the girl.

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  8. Happy New Year Tom. I think the renovation looks great too

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  9. I have it on the highest authority, the 'little sausage' herself, mind you, that your efforts to beautify a certain watering hole have not gone unnoticed. 'One' must keep from too public of a recognition of such an outstanding feat, though, lest 'one' be willing to let you be lured to fields outside of the realm. Instead 'one' must let you continue in your humble ways while hiding in a, errr, sorry, "under" a Bushell while observing your efforts for this great country with a kind and well meaning eye.

    (I have probably placed all the commas incorrectly, but 'one' get's somewhat befuddled when quoting her Majesty.)

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    1. You mis-quoted her husband and consort. It's 'Little Cabbage', not 'sausage'. 2000 deaf people can't be wrong. This is how I know you are just trying to make me feel better about it...

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  10. Happy New Year Tom. I won't say prosperous then.

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  11. Have a lovely evening and then a happy and rewarding new year.

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  12. Lovely post, you quiet over achiever you. Happy new year Tom x Sarah

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  13. The reno photos are remarkable and deserving of accolades!
    As for the Duck, the story gave me giggles, much needed. ( my nick name is the Duck or Duckster....hmmmm).
    Happy New Year....to us all!

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    1. Happy New Year to you too, Duckie. I had to ponder for a while before I realised that you weren't talking about Reno, the town of rhinestone cowboys. I used to sing "I'm a limestone cowboy" when I fist started out in masonry.

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  14. Duck cheep to good home. Buyer must collect.

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    1. You've been reading too many crackers, Gwil.

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  15. Much prefer the after version. Happy new year here is awarding you the order of the Yorkshire Dales.

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    1. I'm glad you do, Weave. It makes it all worthwhile. Happy N.Y. to you too.

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