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★ Great Bores of Today ★ No.44
‘…help yourself to some marmalade I made it myself if you’re interested I could give you my recipe it’s well worth doing you can only get Seville oranges for a couple of weeks in January so you have to be quick off the mark I cut up the oranges into little strips then you simmer them for a couple of hours I used to wrap all the pips up in muslin but now you can buy special sugar with lots of pectin in it so it’s easy to get a set it tastes so much better than anything you buy from the shop don’t worry about that it’s only a bit of mould…’
© Fant and Dick
Tips for Meanies
Any Meanie who moans at the cost of olive oil will be relieved to find its uses extend far beyond the kitchen. As well as a safe and effective shining agent for stainless steel, this versatile oil makes a natural wood polish when mixed two parts to one with lemon juice. In the bathroom, a drop of olive oil makes a brilliant make-up remover, and male Meanies will find it provides a close and moisturising shave.
Taking a pop The story doing the rounds of Old Etonians of a certain age is that at last year’s 200th anniversary dinner of Pop, the exclusive school society, both Douglas Hurd and Boris Johnson made pointed references to the fact that David Cameron had never been elected to Pop.
‘They didn’t seem to realize that the joke was on them,’ says a former member. ‘Cameron made it to Prime Minister and they didn’t.’
Perhaps Boris thinks he will yet. But most of his colleagues have other ideas.
The Name Game What links these names? Elizabeth Johnson-Smith, Lady Charlotte BonhamCarter, Captain Derek van den Bogarde, Constance Babington-Smith, Frederick Ashton, Ursula Powys-Lybbe, Sarah Oliver (nee Churchill), Elliott Roosevelt Answer on page 11
Still at it... Felicity Belfield is 91 and in February published her first book Sark Rocks (Small Island Publishing, available from Amazon, £8.50). She began writing the paperback last year when she noticed that though there are many books on the tiny island’s wild flowers, wild birds, butterflies, and marine life, there was nothing in readable form on the rocks, just learned papers. ‘The rocks here are wonderful so I bought an iPad, and my family and friends got to work with their cameras,’ she says. She bought the house in Sark in 1960 with her late husband Eversley, and moved there permanently in 1980. She has pursued her enthusiasm for the beautiful Sark rocks, assisted by her five children and seven grandchildren. ‘There are advantages to being older,’ she says. ‘I’m not in awe of anyone, I’m totally unimpressed by excessive wealth, and I’m not bothered by what people think.’ She thinks fellow Oldie readers should visit Sark, but warns that ‘they need to be able to walk around
Sark author Felicity Belfield
8 THE OLDIE – May 2012 D I A R Y
or afford to take rather expensive carriage rides.’ If you know someone who is ‘still at it’ please write to The Old Un’s Diary
Throwing in the trowel Oldie contributor Jeremy Hornsby (see his article on page 12) has written to us about a nonsensical decision taken by the London Borough of Islington. ‘A friend of ours has just been told that Islington in all its wisdom has decided that no one can have one of their allotments for more than ten years! It is hard to think of anything more cruel or ridiculous. Cruel because there will undoubtedly be old gentlemen (or women), possibly widows or widowers, for whom their allotment has been for many years the one good thing in their lives. And ridiculous because anyone knowing their allotment is going to be removed in two or three years’ time is not going to give it all the TLC it needs to keep it fertile etc. Absolute nonsense.’ We couldn’t agree more.
Boosting our medal count The Victoria Cross for gallantry is famously cast from the bronze remains of a Russian cannon seized at Sebastopol. Enough metal remains for around eighty new crosses. But what then?
The solution to the dwindling bronze may lie at a Christie’s auction taking place in early April of items collected by the 1st Baron Raglan, Lord FitzRoy Somerset, who served with the Duke of Wellington at Waterloo (where his arm was injured and amputated) and later commanded the British forces during the Crimean War before dying of dysentery shortly after Sebastopol.
His descendant, the 5th Baron, died in 2010 without issue and as a result his executors have assembled
‘Tomorrow, I’ll park’
items from the 1st Baron’s collection to sell. FitzRoy Somerset’s Peninsular War awards and medals are estimated to fetch between £250,000 and £350,000. The auction also contains a ring – supposedly taken from Tipu Sultan’s body after the Siege of Seringapatam – which FitzRoy Somerset gave to his wife, Wellington’s favourite niece.
Now comes the really interesting part. The sale includes two Russian bronze cannons taken from Sebastopol in 1855. Their estimate stands at £40,000, a high figure which indicates Christie’s might have spotted the possible interest from the men at the Ministry of Defence. Time to replenish your VC stocks, chaps?
Wage slips Oldies thought they were onto a nice little earner when they chased up a recruitment advert in the Times placed by the country’s leading retirement apartment builders McCarthy & Stone for its new ‘Consumer Advisory Board’.
‘People wanted for unique advisory roles,’ the advertisement stated. ‘Passionate
J U N E A N D G E R A L D b y N A F
Not many dead
Important stories you may have missed
Early shoppers at Boots in South Road, Haywards Heath, found the store closed this morning.
Mid Sussex Times
Hereford Police Male Choir said it was too busy to audition on the hit ITV series Britain’sGot Talentafter being approached by the show’s producers. The Hereford Times
A woman was rescued by fire crews after getting her foot trapped in a bed rail. Firefighters were able to release the 60-year-old’s foot without the use of cutting tools. Middlesbrough’s Evening
Harrow police made no arrests as part of Operation Condor,
a 48-hour London-wide crackdown on people flouting licensing rules. Harrow Observer £25 for published contributions
May 2012 – THE OLDIE 9