No idea, 4.4 units. No sooner had I arrived in Norfolk for my holidays than I had to persuade Mrs H that it would be a good idea for her to accompany me to King’s Lynn so that I could catch a train to London. Clearly I could have accomplished this all on my own, but I dressed it up in concern that she should not be left without the use of a car all day. Unfortunately she is astute enough to have realized that my real motivation was (a) fear of finding the car park completely filled by early commuters – which is certainly what would have happened if I were starting my journey from, say, Alnmouth, to pluck the name of a mainline station more or less at random; and (b) the hope of getting so pissed over lunch that I would still be unfit to drive when I finally staggered back in the evening.
Lunch did not disappoint, mainly because my fellow guest was the sort of shameless individual who says “Could I have another glass of red wine, please?” when the bottle of fine Burgundy on the table is plainly exhausted, thereby prompting the purchase of another. There were other incidental delights, including the appearance of a couple of mice from the kitchen and being driven back to King’s Cross by a man with a Hitler moustache, but I think I shall save those for a column.
At least I had the presence of mind to ask if we might detour to the House of Lords gift shop on the way out, so I was able to return laden with boxes of chocolates to sweeten the ladies who had spent the day without me, and particularly the one who had had to make a second two hour round trip to King’s Lynn to pick me up. I also brought a teddy bear for The Baby. My fellow guest was before me in the gift shop queue and kicked off with “Can I have two of your teddy bears, please?” Since he is one of The Baby’s godfathers, I thanked him prematurely for his thoughtfulness and generosity, to which he responded, without skipping a beat, “Er, could you make that three bears, please?”
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