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March 2006 - A Host of Golden

Well, I suppose if you were to really force me into giving a totally polite response, I'd have to, grudgingly, refer to Mr Angry's little  offering, last month, as a complete and utter disaster.

Alternative, and better descriptions readily spring to mind, but, sadly, they all include words, the number of letters within which, make them somewhat unsuitable for publication in this family show, which is Nick Harvey's Comment.

So there you go; I tried the really, really nasty approach, expecting it to tip the ratio of Correspondence Column classics to pork luncheon meat slightly closer towards the former, but to no avail.

All I managed to generate in my inbox were a few private missives, one chastising me for not being quite as nice as I might to the humble Citroen 2CV.   The writer of that one, a Mr S of Swansea, used to drive one of the things, back in his youth, I gather, which was why he felt the need to rush to their defence.

I hasten to add that I don't think my correspondent lived in Wales at the time that he drove his 2CV.  I don't think 2CVs were ever allowed into the Principality, were they?  I mean, if they had, there'd have been one stuck half way up every bloomin' mountain road in the country, wouldn't there?

Looking back through the extensive Comment archives, I note that it was in May 2003's edition that I found it necessary to have a bit of a moan about those lovely Reliant Robins.  What a fool I now see that I was at the time.  On reflection, I can see that the Reliant Robin was really more of a 2CV, GT, turbo, and would have been totally unsuitable for vegetarians.

So, anyway folks, welcome along to that, for which you have been waiting patiently, the St David's Day edition of this masterpiece of the written word.  Did you like the way that I managed to get a nice reference to that lump of land west of Offa's Dyke in, right at the top of the page?

Well, I thought the poor souls over there deserved it.  I DID promise them a mention, if I remember rightly, down at the bottom of Mr Angry's epistle, last month.

So, I wonder what they're all wearing in their buttonholes to celebrate the day of their patron saint this year?

Many, many years ago, when I used to go to school somewhere west of the border, the majority of people wore daffodils on March 1st, with just the brave, or naturally smelly, wearing leeks.

Which, almost, brings us round to a definition of the subject for in-depth analysis under the Nick Harvey Acme microscope in this month's exciting edition of Comment.

Way, way back in the mists of last autumn, do you remember that we were being warned in almost every weather bulletin on almost every radio and television station, that we were about to be part of the coldest and wildest winter since records began, or, at least, since 1947?

So what happened?  It, perhaps, wouldn't be all that sensible for me to go off on yet another of my regular tirades about the incorrectness of the meteorological prediction being anything to do with the revised hue of the cartographical material, would it?

No, let's just accept that those meteorological predictors got it all wrong, shall we?  There's just one small problem with them getting it wrong, though.  The daffodils believed them all the way along.

I mean, with the possible exception of those of you viewing from the extreme westerly pointed bits, Cornwall or Pembrokeshire for example, has anyone yet seen anything resembling a respectable daffodil flower this year?

Oh yes, there are lots of little clumps of miscellaneous green foliage popping up here and there.  But a decent flower?  Even a reasonable bud?  No way, not a chance!

Now, this is probably where we prove that even if nobody wants to write in to complain about Mr Angry, everybody's ready to put fingers to keyboard to tell me about the host of goldens, currently in full bloom and adorning some roundabout in Tipton, or some other, equally delightful, part of the midlands.

Isn't it strange how human nature just loves to tell other people when they're wrong?

Another of the private missives which I received during the last month was from some bloke telling me that the parking system referred to in one of my, most excellent, travel articles here in Carbuncle Corner, had been discontinued a couple of years ago.

Well, hard luck, Mr Couldn't-be-bothered-to-even-remember-the-first-letter-of-your-name.  If you couldn't be bothered to check that the article in question is dated November 2000, then you shouldn't have bothered to bung up my inbox either.

Needless to say, the missive got transferred to deleted items faster that a lump of, aforementioned, pork luncheon meat.

Now, where was I, madam, before Mr Thick rattled Mr Angry's cage again and you were treated to one of those highly unlikely events, a Nick Harvey digression?

Oh yes, nobody told the daffodils about the change of weather plan, did they?

I have to assume from the whole seven snowflakes which have, thus far, passed by the windows of Harvey Towers this winter, that the promised ice-age has been postponed until 2007; yet those in charge of the delay seem to have failed in their duty of notification.

You seem to get more information about the late delivery of football stadia or roman bath reconstruction than you do about the late delivery of a change of climate.

Those poor daffodils are still huddled together below ground, waiting for the expected twenty foot snow drifts to melt, before popping their little leaf tips out into the fresh air for another season.

Surely somebody speaks daffodil and could have passed the message on?  Where's that Titchmarsh fellow when you need him?

So, dear viewers, now you all understand the reason for my enquiry, a little higher up the page, about what will be adorning the buttonholes of our Welsh friends on this very important day.

With the exception of a few regulars who partake of the odd beverage in The Harp at Letterston, who will be far enough into the pointy end of the country for the daffodils to already be brave enough to have shown their sunny faces, everyone else will be sporting a leek, this year, methinks.

Which, from the daffodil shortage, brings us, neatly, but inevitably, to the leek shortage.

Well, if all these millions of Welshmen are going to be wearing their leeks in place of their daffodils on St David's Day, then, surely it will leave your average Sainsbury's or Tesco's vegetable aisle somewhat devoid of further stock of same.

It, then, brings up a further potential problem for the luncheon plates on the following Sunday, the likely contents of which, will now be simply meat and just ONE vegetable!

It brings horror to the mind of this vegetable loving Englishman, thinking of the deprivation and near starvation which will occur all over the Principality.  I think I'll go as far east as possible, Lowestoft perhaps, for my lunch on Sunday, to be as far away from the hunger and carnage as is humanly possible.

Provided I've eaten by next month, I'll be back with more for your interest and delectation on April 1st, All Fool's Day.  Make sure you're around for that one, won't you.  Right, I'm off, where's me emergency onion?

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