As I expected when I wrote the first of this little series, not a great deal of my time on my recent holiday was spent at either my keyboard or my little notebook – so everything you are now reading has been written after my return to what passes for normality in my life.
I DID however make a few notes during the course of the week so that I could hang little articles such as this one on them.
And the first of those notes reads, simply, “Headline, Daily Mail Friday 9th July 2010”.
To set the scene, we had booked our holiday in Devon on a “Friday to Friday” system and had hoped that this would save us from a lot of the usual holiday traffic congestion. I had EVEN anticipated that the A43 (our preferred route from Northampton down towards Oxford) would be closed for three days around Silverstone due to the British Grand Prix.
Apparently the drivers in this event are so BAD that they need to practice for two whole days before the real race and I can only think that the road had to be closed in case some of them got lost and accidentally started driving on it!
Anyway I went across past Milton Keynes with a view to getting back on course just past Buckingham and ground to a halt! It turned out that all of the pillocks who lacked my foresight had been diverted through Buckingham and I now had to give way to them!
So, by the time we reached Cherwell Valley Services on the M40 we were behind my schedule and I was hot and a bit, shall we say, stroppy!
I was not made any happier to find that this Service area had suffered a fire a few month s ago and not only comprised a series of temporary structures but only had a Costa coffee kiosk.
If you have been reading these articles for a while you will know what I think about Costa and I had forgotten to bring a flask! (See https://littlealfie.wordpress.com/2009/10/20/caffeine/)
And to, finally, get back to the point, I wasn’t happy at all when we went into the little “newspaper and sweets” portacabin to stock up with a few essentials.
And THEN I saw THAT newspaper.
Just to position this in its proper place in history I should explain that a gentleman named Raul Moat was at this time on the run in north-east England having shot his former girlfriend, killed her new partner and shot and blinded a policeman. The current update on this story was that two men who had helped Moat had been caught and were helping the police to try to find him.
The somewhat uninformative headline simply said “Killer’s two accomplices caught!” in big, bold letters.
The only trouble was that the only other item on that front page with NO headline of ANY sort to identify it was…………….. a photograph of Bruce Forsyth and his wife!
I was MUCH happier after seeing that!