Now don’t go and get your Welsh mixed up with your Filipino (or any other Austronesian language). Not that you thought that you would be discussing language acquisition in a property blog. Neither did I, until I found myself embroiled in a total fiasco over a phone line courtesy of that “British multinational telecommunications services company” [sic], British Telecom (the clue is in the title, beginning with ‘B’). Having yet another issue with our means of communicating with the outside world, I rang the number on the bill and got through to Anna, in the …Philippines. Together, we, (me as the customer, she as the customer service agent – an oxymoron if ever there was one), established that she could not help me so gave me the number of my ‘account team’ in Cardiff. I rang the number, with a genuine Cardiff dialling code and was told to press 1 for English and 2 for Welsh. I pressed 1 and got put through to- you’ve guessed it -the Philippines; who still could not provide any assistance or a solution to my problem. So I rang the Cardiff number again and pressed 2 for Welsh and managed to speak with a living, breathing individual who would only speak Welsh and only broke with the mother tongue to tell me that he would only speak Welsh, not English. Duw fy bleeding helpu (translate that).
All the international conversing ironically meant that I could not make my ‘date’ with the Big O (of the Obama variety) at the Shobaraj last night. I was going to pick him up in the car, as all the roads are empty and Newport is the town the world forgot (not for the first time). At the roundabout at Junction 26, there were 30 police officers all stood around. There are 5000 in town and tanks are parked on the fairways of the Celtic Manor. So much for my short game. At least it will all be worthwhile, as the centre of Newport is regenerated thanks to the influx of foreign money. Just like the benefits that are still resonating as a result of hosting the Ryder Cup… When are they going to get rid of the “Host for the Ryder Cup 2010” off the road signs?
Continuing the international theme, Frankie Dettori has made it from the back pages to the front pages (and not for indulging in illegal substances). Strictly speaking, it was the front page of the property section in last Saturday’s Torygraph, as he is selling his very lovely house for £2.45 million. What I was drawn to was not the property specifications, but the standard of reporting by Max Davidson, who stated that “if you want a tip for the 4.20 at Uttoxeter you need to hang about the local pub” [sic]. Possible, but unlikely. Frankie lives in Newmarket, the world-renowned centre and birthplace of flat-racing and Uttoxeter is a jumps only track in Staffordshire. I would wager that Frankie (and most of Newmarket) have never had any reason to go there or any interest in ever doing such. Furthermore, Max comments how punters from “Ayr to Market Rasen” have backed a horse purely because the diminutive Italian was doing the steering. Ayr maybe, Market Rasen, definitely not. Jumps only again, attention to detail Max.
This week’s competition prize to win a framed picture of me (second prize is two copies).
1. For what is Uttoxeter famous?
2. At which track DID Frankie ride in a hurdle race?