Published on MyT 19th Sep 2008
I am not happy. This was supposed to be one of the highlights of our tour around the United Kingdom.
Believe it or not, our plan was hatched before credit crunch time. We had decided that we had spent far too many Summer holidays abroad and that it was time to revisit our own country while it was still there. I was idly browsing MyT when I came across an impassioned plea from Christina Osborne as she urged Flavia to visit Pembrokeshire at the earliest opportunity.
For those of you who missed it, this it what she wrote:-
‘Don’t come to Pembrokeshire.It is cold, wet and a howling gale constantly, there is nothing for your dear screaming tantruming little kiddies to do except to play with dog muck on the beach!
All the old castles are unsafe and risk assessed to fall on you and yours!
The food is disgusting, plain old Pembrokeshire spuds and local sheep!
The Welsh all have orfe and its catching!’
How could we resist such a encomium? Weather (and food) that would remind us of our own dear homeland. It was a bonus to learn that we had a good chance of recovering the entire cost of the holiday by indulging in a little light litigation.
So, off we set for Christinaland with high hopes. We had to do a bit of forward planning, since we had run out of ‘screaming tantruming little kiddies’ of our own, but I was able to negotiate a preferential rate with a fairly close relative – obviously not too close, because the wife might have got a wee bit upset. The brats were, however, close enough in blood ties to ensure that any potential claim could not be excluded on the grounds of remoteness of damage – SG and Wolfie will tell you all about the importance of the precedents established in ‘Bourhill v Young’ if you ask them nicely (and they probably won’t charge you too much).
Our time in Pembrokeshire was a complete disaster. The weather was pretty good by this year’s abysmal standards. The food was delicious and the area itself is totally memorable. We spent hours on superb deserted beaches searching them for the alleged dog muck in the hope that the cannon fodder could catch something that was preferably non -fatal but potentially profitable. Nary a canine turd to be found.
We fell back on the castles but they proved to be disappointingly stable with not even the suggestion of the hint of a possible claim for injury to our not very near and not particularly dear.
I could have forgiven CO all of this, but it’s the bloody orfe that really hacked me off. I had never heard the word before so I googled. The thought of seeing the Welsh wandering around clutching ornamental fish was irresistable. I should, of course, have realised that p-Celts cannot spell to save themselves and that she meant to write ‘orf’.
To add insult to injury and despite my best efforts, I completely failed to successfully expose the holiday fund to the sheep disease involved once I had found out what the word meant.