Monday, September 12, 2005


A comparative study of the relative merits of Islay malts kept me up until the wee small hours this morning so it was with some degree of annoyance that I was awoken while the forenoon was still in single figures by a persistent ringing of the doorbell.

The obstinate nature of the endeavour convinced me that it was the collector for either the water board or the refuse collection service and, despite my state of less than total awareness, I was reminded of the Yorkshire chinese rentman joke...she ent in.

Trying to return to slumber under this aural assault proved fruitless so I did in fact, get up and clumsily set to bringing to a concurrence the ingredients of several strong coffees all the while fervently hoping that she was bruising her finger on the bell button.

Anyway, she came back this afternoon and, notwithstanding the fact that England were 199 for 8 and more or less guaranteed the Ashes, I was not well disposed to receive her favourably. I grabbed my wallet and headed for the gate.

"So you knew you'd have to pay then?" said she, on espying the wallet.


"I came this morning, you know."

"Yes, I heard."

"So?" She asked accusingly.

"So. I was in bed and if someone chooses to disturb me at that ungodly hour by leaning on the doorbell for half an hour, I'm buggered if I'm going to answer it."

"I didn't know you were in bed. I saw the cars (autók) in the drive and thought..."

"Thought? You saw the doors (ajtók) in the drive and..."

"Cars, not doors..." in a helpful spirit, correcting my Hungarian.

"Shall we speak English then? Here's your money, now piss off."

It's at times like this that I realise I will never quite be able to shake off my innate Englishness.

I've been feeling guilty about it ever since.

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