What I Did on my Holidays – Part 4

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.

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12 responses to “What I Did on my Holidays – Part 4

  1. What are p-Celts John?

    • Hi, isobel.

      Briefly, Irish, Manx and Scots Gaelic are called q-Celt languages, whereas Welsh, Cornish and Breton are part of the p-Celtic grouping. All of them are supposed to derive from a proto-Celtic source. The original ‘kw’ sound in that language is believed to have evolved into a ‘p’ in one group and into a ‘k’ sound in the other. The example given is usually the word for ‘head’ in each language -‘pen’ in Welsh and ‘ceann’ (pronounced ‘can’) in Gaelic.

      The use of p-Celt here was a tilt at Janh1 whose spelling was a bit shaky for a while. I used to attribute this to her being Welsh and, therefore, not overly familiar with vowels and their use when writing in English. Mind she’s obviously been working at it and has improved out of all recognition. Or got hold of a better spell checker.

  2. Thank-you John.
    I popped over here hoping for a new installment. My disappointment at there not being one tempered by finding your answer.

  3. Isobel, there are no new instal(l?)ments (you’re not Welsh are you?).

    There was a lot more of the holiday but I never got around to writing about the rest of it. As a result of your encouragement, I might well finish the series off.

    Thanks again.

  4. Oh do please John.
    No not Welsh, English which means European mixture. French, German and Irish that I know of…

  5. John
    I think I’ve been incredibly patient.
    Has it paid off?
    No.
    You admit yourself that Mrs Mackie has been away for a week, so why no Part 5?
    And now Bearsy doesn’t want to talk, even in a whisper, about blog pages other that DnMT on his, I have had to resort to the direct attack.
    If you would allow subscriptions, I could sign up, and then I’d know, probably sometime in the next millennia, that you had written a new post.
    i’d be happy with anything, even if it had nothing to do with the holidays. It would be like a promise of spring.
    Yours in sadness,
    Isobel

  6. Isobel, my apologies.

    I have been too busy aiding the reactionary, Thatcherite forces of darkness in their attempt to seize control of the country. It helps to pass the long, lonely days as I await the return of my beloved from Portugal.

    And, of course, I may just have let the house get into a slight bit of a mess and I have been in frantic cleaning mode for the last couple of days.

    Funnily enough, St Georges Day yesterday got me thinking and I am working on a ‘Holiday’ episode thereanent. Provided both the house and I pass inspection, I’ll get right on it tomorrow morning.

    • Good man!
      That’s about the last paragraph.
      The first is too awful to contemplate. Is Blair really coming back?
      My flat looks like it’s been turned over by several sets of burglars.
      For the first time in days I’ve been able to do more than clean the bath and do the washing up. Something about shaking a laden duster out of the window makes a girl feel good sometimes!

  7. Drumming of fingers on table.

  8. Pingback: What I’m going to do on my holidays | John Mackie

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