Archive for the ‘West London Man’ Category

West London Man (20): A trip to Sainsbury’s Audio version

Run Time: 5.27 mins
Produced: West London

The Part of George was played by Charon.  The parts of the sales assistant, the elderly lady and Bronwyn were played by a voice text to speech synthesiser by Cepstral

Listen to West London Man (2): A trip to Sainsbury’s Audio version

Saturday afternoons bored George. It was not so much the gap in the day between lunch and an evening of hedonistic pleasure, but the general administration of life – the trip to Sainsbury’s, the trip to the dry cleaner, the trip to the bloody delicatessens in Turnham Green Terrace. George decided to do the Sainsbury’s run himself this afternoon while Caroline took the children for a walk at Chiswick House.

Parking his BMW 4×4 in the Sainsbury’s car park, George walked into the supermarket and headed straight for the cigarette counter.

Assistant: Good afternoon, how are you?

George:  As well as can be expected, given that I am having my wooden leg changed later this afternoon, thank you.  You OK?

Assistant: I’m fine, thank you.

George: Well, that’s good.  Can I have a pack of Marlboro fully leaded please?

Assistant: I’m sorry, I don’t think we sell fully leaded ones.  What are they?

George: Sorry… The red Marlboro, please.

George paid for the pack of cigarettes and looked at the label.

George: Sorry about this, but the label on the pack says that these cigarettes will make me impotent. Would you mind changing this pack for some cigarettes that will give me fatal lung cancer instead, please.

Assistant: That’s not very nice.

George: I’m sorry… you’re quite right…  it is a joke in excellently bad taste.  Read it in The Guardian Weekend section this morning… an amusing article by Julian Barnes.

Assistant: Oh.  I don’t read the Guardian.  I read The Sun.

George: Excellent…  plenty of jokes in that.  The Guardian doesn’t usually do jokes, it has to be said… in fact, The Guardian is altogether too serious for any day, let alone a Saturday.  .

The assistant looked baffled and an elegant middle aged lady, standing in the adjacent queue, pursed her lips and gave George a disapproving look. George wandered off to collect a trolley and headed down the meats aisle.  An elderly couple were moving at a snail’s pace, weaving uncannily into George’s path as he approched them at speed.

George muttered to himself: God in heaven, how do these old people manage to have eyes in the backs of their heads.  They have all week to go shopping …. why do they have to do it on a bloody Saturday?

George found a gap and went for it, sailing past the old couple and down the aisle to the roast lamb arrea where he picked up a large leg of lamb. It took George approximately ten minutes to fill the trolley with shopping.

George saw a check-out with only one customer.  He also saw the same old couple he had barged past heading for the same counter.  The race was on.  George broke into a trot and just reached the check out before the old couple.George smiled at the elderly man and woman.

George: Sorry about that, but have to rush, getting my wooden leg changed today and have to leg it, pronto.

Elderly woman: You have a wooden leg?

George: The foot fell off the other day when I playing golf. Most unfortunate,  I was playing a difficult seven iron to the green and ended up slicing the ball into someone’s garden.

Elderly woman: Well I hope your new leg won’t cause you any problems.

George: Yes… no absolutely… can’t wander about worrying if my foot is going to fall off.

At that moment, George heard a familiar voice, the soft lilt of a very clever woman, a barrister by training.

Bronwyn: George… behave yourself…  You don’t have a wooden leg… that was a disgraceul performance, running with your trolley to queue jump these lovely people.  I insist that you let them go first.

George laughed: My apologies…. my learned friend is right…. I find shopping very boring – please go first…

Elderly lady: I didn’t think you did have a wooden leg.  You did manage to trot quite fast with that trolley though.

George turned to greet his friend, an attractive blonde in her mid-forties with bright blue eyes.  An amused smile played on her lips as George bent to kiss her cheek.

Bronwyn: I think you need to buy me a cup of coffee when we get out of here.  I want to know what you have been up to.    I heard that Caroline has gone back to work.


Listen to West London Man (2): A trip to Sainsbury’s Audio version

EPISODES 1 – 19 of West London Man – may be found here


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West London Man (19): A short holiday in Padstow, Cornwall

Produced:  In West London

Run Time:  5.37 minutes
Music:  I do love to be beside the seaside
Wardrobe: Boden (left)

The part of Caroline was played by Joanna Le Huquet.  Charon took the parts of George and David Cameron

Listen to the Audio version of West London Man (19)

George and Caroline usually take a summer vacation in Southern France or Tuscany. Conscious, this year, that they should be seen by fellow West Londoners to be doing the right thing, they too are going to have a ‘British’ holiday quickly and then go on their real holiday to Tuscany in early August.  The Boden catalogue arrived and George has purchased some rather fetching outfits for the Padstow trip.  The children, Peregrine and Jocasta are looking forward to playing at the seaside.  George has arranged for a local nanny to look after the children during the day for the short week’s holiday.

George, to irritate one of his Chiswick friends who has an Audi Quattro TT, bought himself an Aston Martin DB9 and he and Caroline went down to Cornwall in the Aston.  The children followed later in the family’s BMW 4 x 4 with Caroline’s Mother who would help look after the children during the week’s holiday.

It was the first day of the holiday.  George and Caroline went for a walk on the beach – George dressed casually in navy shorts and a dark gray polo shirt.  Caroline wore a long floral print skirt and a soft black sleeveless top.

Caroline: George?…. isn’t that David Cameron and his wife, Samantha, sitting on the beach over there?

George brought his Zeiss binoculars up to his eyes and scanned the horizon.  It was not necessary to use binoculars because the Camerons were only fifty or so yards away.

George: I think you’re right, darling… yes…. it is Dave and Samantha?

Caroline: Dave?… do you know Cameron?

George: Well…. not exactly…. I joined WebCameron some time ago and get emails from him regularly.

Caroline: But doesn’t everyone who joins WebCameron get an email from him regularly?

George: welll… yes… yes… I suppose they do.

Caroline: So… you don’t actually know Dave and Samantha then?

George: No…. not as such…. no.

Caroline started laughing and said: Have you noticed that ‘Dave’ and Samantha are wearing exactly the same clothes as we are wearing.

George brought his binoculars up t his eyes again and paused.

George: Bloody hell… you’re right…. how could that happen…?

Caroline: Well they can’t be using a catalogue….. maybe they went to the same shop in West London?

George: Yes… possibly.

Caroline: I wonder if he has brought his bicycle with him?  He got it back you know.

George and Caroline strolled along the beach.  George waved casually at the Cameron’s who were about to be photographed for the newspapers and waved.

George: Hi Dave!… having a good break?  You gave Brown a good fisting in the Commons last week…. keep it up…

Cameron: Thank you… enjoy your holiday too.

George: Absolutely Dave…  gather you got your bike back… some hoodie made off with it is the word on the street….  quite amusing really.

Cameron: It wasn’t amusing at the time. Well… if you will excuse me…. I’ve got to get these pics done.

George: Well Dave… keep it up… you’ll be in Number 10 before Christmas…. and that Vince Cable bloke who called Brown ‘Mr Bean’ will be an excellent Chancellor of The Exchequer.  Good man, Cable….. you made a good choice there.

Cameron smiling wearily:  Mr Cable is a Liberal-Democrat.

George: Absolutely… well… it takes all sorts….. have a great vacation… I’ll be voting for you.  Bye.

Caroline dragged George quickly by the arm, laughing.  The Cameron’s laughed and Caroline was absolutely certain she heard Samantha say “What a strange man…. do you know him?”

Caroline: Well that was a command performance, George…. brilliant in fact.  Instead of saying ‘beasting’, which is probably just acceptable parliamentary language, you used ‘fisting’ and you did not appear to Cameron to know much about politics because Vince Cable is not a Tory…. but who cares… that was funny… very funny in fact… now take me for lunch, then take me to bed and take me..  It has been a while…


Listen to the Audio version of West London Man (19)

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Audio Version: WLM 18 – Der Peitsche
With sound effects and some good music

It was 8.30 on Saturday morning when George had a phonecall from a friend of his. Mr ‘X’, as he prefers to be known, had been telephoned by a journalist from a Sunday tabloid to ask if he, Mr ‘X’, thought it was in the public interest for his “credit-crunch” themed SM orgy, filmed secretly by “Ms ‘W’ on Thursday, should be published in the Sunday edition of the newspaper.  The journalist described the hidden camera footage the newspaper had.  Mr ‘X’, a respected director of a London estate agency, slammed the phone down on the journalist and, in a state of panic, called George.


George: Hi…what you up to?

Mr ‘X’: I’m about to be outed by a Sunday newspaper….

George: Excellent…..

Mr ‘X’: No… it’s not bloody excellent… I’ve been filmed at an orgy… S&M…

George: Even better… tell me more…

Mr ‘X’ took George through the story.  On Thursday afternoon, Mr ‘X’ had visited a professional dominatrix… Ms W.

Mr ‘X’ explained the ‘scenario’ to George.  Mr ‘X’ had arranged for the dominatrix, Ms W, to invite two of her friends in ‘the scene’ to attend.  The scenario was “Crime and Punishment”.  The film had shown Mr X being ordered to strip naked by three women dressed like bank managers. The video footage went on to show Ms W, an attractive blonde dressed in a navy blue skirt suit, complete with an identity badge on her jacket lapel with the logo of a bank and marketing strapline “We’ll whip your finances into shape”, shouting at Mr ‘X’ in a faux Birmingham accent.

Ms W shouted.. “I want you to read those files and tell me why you thought these clients of yours were suitable for mortgage applications to this bank.”  The film then cut to a naked Mr ‘X’  saying… “They are not suitable, Madam Bank Manager.  I erred, Madam Bank Manager.  They had no prospect whatsoever of paying off their mortgage. We were being greedy, Madam Bank Manager. I have sinned… punish me”.

The video was a bit fuzzy at this point, but, nevertheless, showed Ms W putting on a judicial wig and black dressing gown;  the latter as it transpires,  purchased by Mr ‘X’ from M&S for the occasion. Ms W provided the judicial wig from her ‘dressing up’ box; a gift from a grateful client of hers who had, in his day, served in a minor judicial capacity. There followed a short passage where Ms W sentenced Mr ‘X’ for his crimes against West London society.

A transcript of this footage reveals the following dialogue:

“You have been a very naughty estate agent and you are now going to pay for your crimes against this bank.  You will be taken from here and be strapped to a B&Q workbench and your bottom will be caned until it is very pink and you repent of your sins.”

Discretion requires that we draw a veil over this very private performance of Le Vice Anglais and English haut-culture…. save to say that Mr ‘X’ was caned by each of the three women dressed as high street bank managers.  While no Bank has complained, nor been informed,  about this footage…  nor has there been any FSA or Bank of England interest, Mr ‘X’ is worried that publication of the film may well prejudice his reputation as a ‘hard closer’ and prejudice his chain of estate agencies in an already depressed housing market. George telephones his City lawyer friend Hugo, who calls  a friend of his, a specialist in libel and privacy law, who in turn arranges for Mr ‘X’ to have an immediate consultation with Ralph Gomorrah QC, one of the most famous barristers in the country, whose earnings were not reported in The Times today…. (£1.175m, exluding VAT)


Gomorrah QC: Good.  Well… let me say at once that I see every prospect of success here.  As you know, there is a famous case going through the courts at this very moment… the case of Max Mosley.  We don’t know the result yet, but Mr Justice Eady is not known for his empathy with the press and has form when it comes to issues of privacy.  The problem we have is that there is no right to privacy in England & Wales.  Lest you wonder if you may have been better off carrying out these erotic entertainments of yours in Scotland, I am not able to comment on (a) what they get up to in Scotland, apart from deep frying Mars bars and other exotic foods,  and (b) they have a separate legal system.

Mr ‘X’: I wasn’t in Scotland.

Gomorrah QC: Good… just as well.  I would not have been able to act for you if you had been. Be that as it may… the essence of the case is this:  It is a balance between your rights as a private individual to enjoy your leisure time and engage in sexual acts without interference or unwarranted intrusion and the right of the public to know that those who are in the public eye, in positions of responsibility,  are not all off their heads and engaging in activities likely to harm the interests of, inter alia, (a) The fabric of the British nation, (b) to put god fearing members of the British public in fear of harm and corruption to themselves and (c) and this is the difficult one… activities of concern to HM Government likely to pervert… sorry… divert… the attention of the state from interfering in the lives of the citizens of the United Kingdom and good governance etc etc. The law is complex.  You will appreciate this.  This is why, I’m afraid, our expertise comes at a high price.

Mr ‘X’: Don’t worry about the money

Gomorrah QC: Thank you, I won’t.  There is, as it happens, an interesting article in The Times tomorrow (Max Mosley case: bend over, free speech, this is going to hurt), curiously, available on Pageflakes today, where the received wisdom is that Mr Justice Eady in the Mosley case may well come down in favour of Mosley and extend the right of privacy law.  We will not know until Monday… but I have every confidence, given that this tabloid alerted you in advance to publication…and they do not always do this… that we can get an injunction, buy some time, and even prevent the newspaper from mentioning that they are subject to an injunction and see what the lie of the land is when Eady J pronounces.  You will, therefore, have an opportunity to visit these wonderful Inns of Court and me again. How does that sound?

Mr ‘X’: Sounds good… may I have another..?

Gomorrah QC: Another what?

Mr ‘X’: Another consultation.

Ralph Gomorrah QC relaxed, clearly relieved that Mr ‘X’ was asking for another consultation and not something else.


Audio Version: WLM 18 – Der Peitsche
With sound effects and some good music

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Audio version of West London Man (17): Jolly snorting weather

“Henley Royal Regatta was first held in 1839 and has been held annually ever since, except during the two world wars.  Originally staged by the Mayor and the people of Henley as a public attraction….” …. zzzzzzzz…

George yawned as he read the information on  the Henley Regatta website to find out where Henley was and groaned at the prospect of having to go there.  He was beginning to regret having invited the minor Sheik and one of his near neighbours.  George had absolutely no interest in rowing and the thought of spending hours by a glorified canal watching hoorays rowing up and down did not appeal one bit.

Caroline wandered into his small study and asked what time he was planning to leave for Henley.

“About 10.30, darling” George replied, turning to look at his wife who stood in the door way smiling.

“I suppose you’ll be drunk when you get back?”

“It is a possibility…thankfully the Sheik has to go to a dinner… but god knows how I’ll lose Buzz Lightyear.”

Caroline laughed…  “Your problem.  He is rather dull, but I did warn you. I’ll lend you one of my hand mirrors.  If you give it to him it will keep him amused for hours, apart from using it as a chopping board. Don’t worry if you are late.  Helen is coming round and we’re going to watch a DVD.”


As it happened George and his two guests did get to Henley in a hired limousine but found it rather dull. “Buzz Lightyear”, who managed to get through half a wrap of charlie on the way to Henley, did not help matters by stripping down to his Armani  underwear and swimming across the river in the middle of one of the races; causing some alarm as the Cox on each boat altered course fairly rapidly to avoid him. The decision was taken to return to London, partly dictated by the social opprobium visited on the three men as a result of the swimming episode,  and spend the afternoon at a pub in Chelsea.  The Sheik decided to go back to The Dorchester and rest.

George: So, Charles… bravo performance!

Charles: Yeah…. thought I could swim faster.

George: Well your legs were certainly thrashing away… and it was quite amusing when you grabbed one of the oars and nearly overturned the boat.  I don’t, however, think I’ll be going back to Henley after that tour de farce.

Charles: Got any gear? Mine got wet.

George: Jesus…. you are not telling me you keep your stash in your underwear are you?

Charles: Yes.

George: The mind boggles.  Remind me not to have any of yours next time you offer.

George took out his wallet and slipped it under a copy of The Guardian that was on the table.  Charles glanced from left and then to right, picked up the wallet and walked in to the pub.  He returned a few moments later, slipped the wallet back under the newspaper and hailed a passing waitress to order some Champagne.

Charles: good… good… so, mate… how are things?

George: Well, apart from the fact that you have asked me eight times already today, and not much has changed, they are OK.  Caroline has started working again. Business is getting a bit tight and the kids are fine… you?

Charles: Good… very good.

Cosmo reached into his jacket, took out his mobile, pressed a few buttons and held the mobile towards George.

Charles: What do you think?

George: Charles… I think you are showing me a picture of breasts… rather blurred…

Charles: Yeah…. from Latvia…

George: So you went to Latvia to take a picture of some breasts?

Charles: No… I met her the other night….

George: Charles… put your mobile away…. I’ll be right back.

George went to the Bar, ordered another bottle of champagne, and nipped off to the lavatory. As he was walking back to the bar his iphone rang


George: Hello Katja… where are you?

Katja: In Henley, as I said I would be. You?

George: I was at Henley… we still meeting tomorrow?

Katja: Of course…. were you there when that weird guy swam across river?

George: Yep… in fact… I took him to Henley… I’m in Chelsea with him now. He’s flying.

Katja: OK… so it is problem for you, not for me.  I will meet you 1.00 tomorrow. I will text place to meet.


Audio version of West London Man (17): Jolly snorting weather

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Audio Podcast version: West London Man (16)

I busted a mirror and got seven years bad luck, but my lawyer thinks he can get me five.
Stephen Wright, American actor and writer.

Wimbledon ticket prices plummeted when Andy Murray crashed out of Wimbledon after his straight sets defeat at the hands of the incredible hulk. Caroline has returned to work with her ex-boss Rod, and George is at home watching Criminal Justice, the new BBC five part drama. The children are staying with Caroline’s parents in Surrey for a week.

George had read that Bar Council Chairman Timothy Dutton QC had objected to the portrayal of barristers in the drama, written by former barrister Peter Moffat – issuing a press release to this effect on Monday 30th June.  Timothy Dutton QC stated: “The drama shows barristers acting in breach of their professional obligations. In episode two a QC encourages a client to provide a false defence to a Court. Such conduct constitutes a grave breach of professional conduct and would be grounds for the barrister to be struck off. The Bar Council is very concerned at the portrayal in this way of a profession which works to the highest ethical standards.”

George had watched the first two episodes on BBC iPlayer, but was at home to watch the third episode.  He rather liked the look of the female QC, Alison Slaughter. George, who had enjoyed nigh on a half bottle of Jack Daniels and several lines of cocaine, decided to ring his City lawyer friend Hugo. It was just after 10.00 pm


Hugo: Hello

George: Hugo…George here… how are you? I’ve been at the Jack a bit…. but have you been watching this BBC drama, Criminal Justice?

Hugo: I work until 11.00 at night, George.  I do not watch television dramas and certainly not dramas about criminal lawyers… I see quite enough law being done criminally each day… by other firms, of course.

George: Right.  Your profession doesn’t come out too well… very dodgy in fact…. lawyers trying to encourage their clients to put false defences.  Top banana at The Bar Council is none too pleased.  Been banging off letters to all the papers. Even the Evening Standard got it – although it was exactly the same story as the one in the Daily Mail.

Hugo: And your point is…. George?

George: This Dutton guy… he has a point.  Can’t have the legal profession being portrayed in an unfavourable light….. not good for values, for the economy… for society… respect for the law.

Hugo sighed, put his pen down, took off his expensive platinum frame glasses, put them on the desk and started laughing.

Hugo: Values?…. good to hear you know what they are…. I’d have thought if you were up on a charge you would want a barrister who bent the rules a bit?

George: Well…. you may have a point… but… hypothetically…. doesn’t Dutton have a point?

Hugo: Yes… Dutton has a point.  Whether he will achieve anything in terms of changing public perception by making this point is quite another thing.  The fact is that lawyers rank behind traffic wardens and estate agents in the affections of the public.  This has some benefits.  We are known to be rapacious, greedy, venal, bastards that no-one, apart from shrewd bankers, is surprised by the fee levels we charge… but, be that as it may,  the BBC must be delighted that Dutton has waded in.  Acres of news coverage for their drama.  Moffat replies, quite sensibly (a) that it is drama and, rather more pointedly,  said in the press today… and I quote from The Guardian… (b) “It is absolutely common practice for defendants to be prodded towards giving instructions which suit the best available defence.”

George: So Duttton is wrong?

Hugo: No… Dutton is right.  Moffat did, however also point out, as the Daily Mail reported, and I quote: “Timothy Dutton … seeks to reassure us that defence practitioners act to the highest standards. Does this include the barrister disciplined recently for punching his opponent in court? Or the defence practitioner who sent documentary ‘evidence’ (in fact invented and drafted by himself) from an internet cafe in Oxford Street to his opponent?

‘It is about time the Bar faced the fact that like every other profession it has brilliant and fair-minded practitioners, those of average ability and the violent, dishonest and stupid working within it.’

George: So there are bent barristers?

Hugo: You must reach your own conclusions on these matters, George.  On the other hand…. if you would like a professional opinion on the matter… I take AMEX, Visa and Mastercard…. do you have your card with you?… I need the 16 digit code and the three digit security number… and, as you are pissed, I may as well take your PIN number as well.

George: OK…OK….It’s only a drama…. and… yeah…. you don’t get many lawyers admitting to being lawyers down at Mahiki.  Fancy going to Mahiki tomorrow night?

Hugo: No… but we could try another bar or go over to Brinkley’s. By the way…  have you seen Katja again?

George: No… we had a quick shag at Ascot…. but she’s due over here again for Henley?  You going to Henley?

Hugo: Yes I am.  Why are you going to Henley, George?  You know nothing about rowing.

George:  Bit of business.  Day out… bit of drinking… the usual….networking…and tax deductible… got a minor Arab Sheik coming from Qatar or some other Emirate…. who likes to break free while he is over here… and, f course, Katja is coming over…. Oh… and I’m taking one of my near neighbours… an Audi Quattro TT driving prat who finds himself fascinating.

Hugo: I may see you there.  I must now return to my paperwork… time is money…. Profits per equity partner are rather important here.


Audio Podcast version: West London Man (16)

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Audio version – West London Man (15) : 15 – Love to George

The English summer continues. Ascot has, thankfully, passed into memory and George has two tickets to watch the Murray v Haas game at Wimbledon. Caroline has tickets for the second week. George, it has to be said, has absolutely no interest in Tennis. His tastes are for full contact sports like rugby, but even George was surprised when a New Zealand mate of his phoned from New Zealand to name the four England players, allegedly involved in absolutely nothing at all, and certainly nothing of note in terms of exciting play or even vaguely interesting or diverting opposition against the All Blacks, and then moved on to talk about spit-roasting.

Caroline has been offered a post by her ex-boss and is spending the day at her old office to get a feel for things before making a decision on whether to accept the offer.

George has invited Rick, a musician who enjoyed some success with a band in the eighties. They arrived at Wimbledon shortly after 2.00. Two women were playing tennis, so George and Rick went off for some drinks and a bit of Class A

Rick: I can’t stand f******g tennis. Why are we here? I mean look at ’em. The place is crawling with chinless wonders, and…. see those two caber tossers with the Scottish flag painted on their faces. I mean… who the f**k plays tennis in Scotland?

George: Apparently the guy with the curly hair is a Scot… Andy Morgan… or something…. No… I can’t stand tennis either, but free tickets are free tickets – and they come with £200 in crisp twenties for drinks which should see us through. Champagne?

Rick: Nah…. I want some Pimms…. undiluted…. on the rocks and no F*****g fruit. I’ll have an umbrella in it though. I’m off to the bog for a sharpener.

Rick nips off to the lavatories to powder his nose. George organises the drinks and buys Rick a treble Pimms on the rocks. There were no umbrellas available at the Bar for the drink, so George put the Wimbeldon Lawn Tennis Club umbrella supplied with the tickets into the tall glass of Pimms and opened it up ready for Rick’s return. People nearby look on with mild disdain. Their disdain was soon to turn to severe disdain and a lot of middle class muttering and clucking. Rick returns, sees the Wimbledon umbrella stuffed in his glass of Pimms and starts laughing maniacally… and very quickly.

George: I’ll be right back. This is a bit of a Class A joint… so when in Rome…. time to get the Dyson out.

Rick: OK…see you in a mo, mate.

The two men drink for about an hour, talking quickly at each other, glance occasionally at others wandering about not watching the tennis, and get fairly drunk. Rick didn’t enjoy his Pimms so he went and bought a couple of double Vodkas for himself and a bottle of Champagne for George. He also bought some strawberries, mashed them into a pulp with his fist, licked the strawberry juice off his hand and poured the pulped strawberries into his two glasses of Vodka. After several more visits to the lavatory and further drinks orders, the two men make their way out to their seats for the Centre Court Murray v Haas match. The game starts soon after.

George: Come on Tim!….

Rick: Who is Tim?

George: He’s over there in The Royal Box.

Rick: Yeah… but who is he?

George: A tennis player…. he didn’t win Wimbledon…. . but few do. In fact, if you think about it… only one person a year can win Wimbledon… he was a good player but just did not make it despite the hopes of a nation…. but made piles of cash being British about not winning…..

Rick: Bit like most of us in the rock biz.

George: Same with our lot, really… in fact probably true of most people. A lot of people are pretty useless at what they do and get paid for it. I mean take newsreaders. Why do they earn shedloads for reading?

Rick: Yeah, mate…. same with Gordon Brown… “Started well, f****d up, still in power….. and he complains about that buffoon Mugabe being elected with no opposition candidate!”

George: You have a point…. not a great point, and certainly not set point, but a point nevertheless… and does it matter?… they’re all on the make… dodgy expenses, nannies who can’t type doubling as secretaries…. failing to comply with their own regulations….

Rick: Yeah… and some of those f*****s also cycle and don’t stop at red lights, ride on the pavement and cycle the wrong way down one way streets….C***s…

George: Yes… they are…. F**k I’m pissed…. that tennis ball is going incredibly fast…. Well done Tim!… play up… play up… play the game.

Rick: Who is Tim?…. ah… F**k it… I can’t watch this shit… I’m going back to the bar… fancy a drink?

George: Yes…. this is tedious.


Audio version – West London Man (15) : 15 – Love to George

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Audio podcast version: West London Man 14: Royal Ascot

The Summer Season progresses and today is the first day of Royal Ascot. George has taken the day off to take Caroline to the races. George did a great deal of research, read the website carefully, and decided to go with a black Silk top hat.

The car arrived at 10.00 and by 11.30 and George and  Caroline were in a car park greeting friends, also from West London. The champagne was on ice. George had tried his best to hire the Butler who was reported today in a Telegraph report about an unfair dismissal case throwing tantrums and smashing crockery because he did not want to do the washing up – but to no avail.

An early lunch was taken. A catering agency provided the victuals and a butler.

Caroline was talking to a close friend about returning to work. George was in a group of men, all from the City, talking about Barclays and HBOS. George then took one of the group to one side to have a private conversation.

George: Jonny… I think Caroline may be having an affair.

Jonny (Eton and Brasenose College, Oxford): Really? What makes you think so?

George: Long lunch with her ex-boss… she’s thinking of going back to work… told me that she was meeting up with a girlfriend in the evening… but called the girlfriend to speak to Caroline on the pretext that I couldn’t get through on Caroline’s mobile. She wasn’t with Caroline and not quick enough to cover.

Jonny: I see. And… what are your thoughts on this?… laissez-faire?… licence to yourself?… I mean, you’re not exactly a saint. Not a great time for divorce and financial settlements, I wouldn’t have thought.

George: Divorce?… no way. No… I’m quite pleased as it happens…

One of the other men walked over, already mildly over refreshed, and the moment of confidences was gone. Lunch was completed and the group wandered off to watch the races. The Queen arrived in a Landau drawn by grey horses. The BBC commentator muttered something about the fact the horses had been at The Trooping of The Colour on Saturday and that the livery worn by the horsemen was peculiar to Royal Ascot.

The party watched the jockeys being paraded for the crowds’s attention – a Royal Ascot first – and George asked one of the group where Becher’s Brook was, only to be informed that it was in Liverpool. George was not phased by this information and wandered over to talk to Caroline.

George: Enjoying it?

Caroline: It’s great… you?

George: Absolutely… I’m going to wonder about… have a look around.


George grabbed a bottle of champagne, filled his glass and wandered off, taking the bottle with him. He had walked but fifty yards or so when his iphone rang.

George: Hello

Katja: I can see you… you are about fifty yards away. How are you George?

George stopped in his tracks, quickly scanned the crowd and saw Katja standing ina  group of men wearing grey top hats. She was the only woman in the group.

George: Katja… got you… who are the guys?

Katja: Bankers… a partner from a City law firm and a partner from an accountancy firm. How goes it?

George: It goes well…. can you get away… place a bet or something, powder your nose?

Katja laughed: I can do all three… shall we both powder our noses?


Audio podcast version: West London Man 14: Royal Ascot

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