This is just about my favourite place – l’Ile d’Or just off Cap du Dramont, St Raphael, Var, France. And these two lasses are very definitely my favourite people, my lady wife with the daughter and heiress. Very happy memories of holidays spent here over many years starting in 1977.
When Britain really was Great.
If you were raised on Magpie, Magic Roundabout, Top Of The Pops & Blue Peter, and you played in ditches and woods, fell out of trees and went home filthy and got a thick ear plus beefburgers for tea, had 3 TV channels all finished by 11pm & school started with the Lords prayer and ended in detention, had to be in at 7 having missed Nationwide to watch It’s A Knockout, rode home made go-karts with pram wheels, recorded the top 40 from the radio by microphone on a tape, drank from the tap, rode your Raleigh Chopper or Chipper all day, went to the corner shop for a 10p mix up, watched the footy on a Saturday in the boys’ pen for 50p, scored millions of goals on Carleton Green and took hundreds of wickets in Purston Park, never had any health and safety laws or cycle helmets or rubberised floors in adventure playgrounds to protect you — and you STILL turned out OK, then YOU were lucky enough to grow up WHEN BRITAIN REALLY WAS GREAT!!!
The Good Wife Guide
Be a Good Wife.
Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs.
Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal (especially his favourite dish) is part of the warm welcome needed.
Prepare yourself: Take 15 minutes to rest so you’ll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work weary people.
Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it. Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives. Gather up schoolbooks, toys, paper etc. and then run a dust cloth over the tables.
Over the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering for his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.
Prepare the children, take a few minutes to wash their hands and faces (if they are small), comb their hair, and if necessary, change their clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part.
Minimise all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise from the washer, dryer, and vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet. Be happy to see him.Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to see him.
Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first. Remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.
Make the evening his. Never complain if he comes home late or goes out to dinner or other places of entertainment without you. Instead try to understand his world of strain and pressure, and his very real need to be at home and relax.
Your goal. Try to make sure your home is a place of peace, order and tranquillity where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit. Don’t greet him with complaints and problems. Don’t complain if he’s late for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through that day.
Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or have him lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him. Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low soothing and pleasant voice. Don’t ask him questions about his actions or question his judgement or integrity.
Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him.
A good wife always knows her place.’
1. I have played Daddy Warbucks on stage twice, and shaved my head both times
2. I love Gilbert & Sullivan with a deep and abiding passion
3. I’ve been married to Tracy for over 20 years
4. I have a daughter, Kate, who is 19 and training to be a teacher
5. I’ve made Roy Castle and Lynda la Plante laugh (not at the same time)
6. I still love Leeds United
7. I love classical music, but also early punk and a lot more in between
8. I love France, and the French lifestyle
9. I enjoy travelling, and discovering new places. The latest one is Nerja in southern Spain
10. I’m fatally attracted to gadgets, but have to keep them out of my daughter’s clutches, as she inevitably breaks them
11. I still play a surprisingly good game of badminton (this may now be out of date) 😦
12. I once blagged a ride in a hot air balloon
13. I love swimming, but my breathing technique is rubbish, so I have to do a length on one breath.
14. I admire Jim Broadbent and Tim Spall as actors, and Mike Leigh as a director
15. I hate Manchester United. Really, really despise them, and everything they stand for
16. I love being on stage and working with talented people, of whom I am lucky enough to know many
17. I read a lot, and a wide variety of material, but I particularly like Bill Bryson’s stuff. THAT’S a writer
18. I believe that after death there is either nothing or something – either way it’s not to be feared
19. I speak reasonable French, but it’s a lot better after a few weeks across there
20. I hold an Equity card, so I can be described as a professional actor by anyone who hasn’t seen me perform.
21. My favourite stage role is Alfie Doolittle
22. I can’t see what anyone sees in Andie MacDowell. She is a vapid and futile woman
23. I love Filey, and walking from the south end of the bay to the tip of the Brigg
24. I can’t understand why people are cruel to animals
25. If I appeared on Mastermind, my specialist subject would be the Flashman novels by George MacDonald Fraser
26. I find it difficult to stop at 25
27. I have co-commentated on two Leeds United matches at Elland Road alongside the legends that are Peter Lorimer and Eddie Gray. One grumpy, one genial – both genuine Leeds United icons.
28. I can’t stand bad manners and people who think it’s OK to be rude
29. I once scored a hat trick in a competitive game of football past a goalkeeper who’d played in a World Cup Qualifier. OK, he played for Oman. But still.