Friday, 3 July 2009

Charlie says "NO!" to anything less than Harrods

Every year, my sister and her friends trot off to a rowing competition on the banks of the River Thames in Buckinghamshire. It's an age old tradition, fraught with dress codes, etiquette and, err, cravats. Only yesterday a student was turned away from the members only Stewards' Enclosure because her knee length dress was too short. This Saturday there are 15 girls going, including me and some friends. The event is called 'Henley Regatta'.

But, in the interests of this blog, I would like to call it "Pimms O'Clock"

or

"Bag 'a' Rower"

or

"Let's get smashed in a marquee while wearing a nice dress"

Sorry, ignore that. It's all very serious. Sporting. Yah, yah.

The question of what to wear has been a hot topic, with one member of our party bringing two dresses (one of a suitable length for the Stewards' Enclosure, plus one for our marquee) and another asking if it would be appropriate to wear a distractor. "A distractor?" we replied, as emails flew back and forth between the girls. "Yeah, you know, those things you wear on the side of your head. With bits sticking up." Dawns broke and pennies dropped all over London. "Oh, darling, does one mean a Fascinator?". I was jolly glad she made that faux par before we entered the enclosure. What would the hoi polloi think?

Next for us was the issue of tents. Not for us the hassle of taxis home and faffing with hotels. No, no. Give us a good old tent in a field to retire to after our day and night of Pimms enduced revelry. "I was just going to get one of those ones you chuck in the air" I volunteered, knowing that my tent building skills after a day of drinking would probably end in me using it as an open air sleeping bag. My sister duly ventured onto Argos Direct, ordered a tent and arranged for it to be delivered yesterday as she had the day off work.

Later - with no sign of the tent - it transpired that earlier in the day, someone had indeed arrived at the house clutching a box and the firm instructions that "If no one is in, just go down the left hand side of the house and leave it behind the gate". According to my mum, someone rang the bell but there was no one there when she opened the door. Charlie Dog then rushed out and...err...said "No!" to Argos man, who was ferretting about down the right hand side of the house, looking for the left-hand side gate. So Charlie Said NO again. Loudly. And continued to say "NO!" even more when faced with a man flapping a cardboard box in his face. The man then raced back to his van and retreated hastily without a word, leaving my mum at the door slightly baffled, and Charlie muttering "Bloody canvassers" as he ambled back into the house.

A phone call to Argos later revealed that the man had stated "Customer refused delivery" as the reason for not delivering the tent.

The woman on the helpline, on hearing the full story, then entered a follow up message:

"No - delivery man ignored instructions, took one look at barking labrador and sprinted back to van before driving off"

Usually Charlie reserves this level of fury for Jehovas Witnesses and double glazing salesmen. I'm glad he's joining in the Regatta spirit and raising his standards to include Argos, more commonly known as the home of Elizabeth Duke sovereign rings and gold "BEST MUM EVA" pendants.

Tents, distractors, appropriate length dresses and multiple bottles of Pimms are now sorted, but I think I'll leave the dog at home.

8 comments:

The Unbearable Banishment said...

Do you know that you cannot get Pimms in the states? It's scandalous! Well...actually...some of the better pubs might have it, but when I request it, I am looked upon with a mixture of sympathy and scorn. The bottle, lifted from some back shelf, is usually caked with dust. One more reason to visit London (as though there weren't enough already).

Brennig said...

"Let's get smashed in a marquee while wearing a nice dress"

I drink Pimm's by the pint but you'd *never* catch me wearing a dress (nice, or otherwise).

Mouldy-Old-Tartlet said...

I've never done the Regatta but I have gone down to jolly old Putters to watch the Oxford and Cambridge boys have a damn good row. Ra ra!

pinkjellybaby said...

It sounds like LOADS of fun! weeee. Don't forget to put cream on if it's sunny....sunburn doesn't go with pretty dresses...

miss*H said...

Pimms o'clock!!!
Don't forget Argos does a lovely range of gold clown necklaces too. Wicked! :)

Ellie said...

I like the way you have trained Charlie to say 'NO!' very emphatically and with authority. I will be trying the same with the Dog in my house. She is smart, but I am afraid not that smart.

Around My Kitchen Table said...

Sainsbury's were selling off Pimms for £10 a bottle today. But I guess if one is concerned about the cost of a bottle of Pimms one is not the type of person who would be welcome at Henley!

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Unbearable - That's a travesty, no Pimms? What on earth do you drink when it's hot and sunny??

Brennig - That's a lie. You don't have to pretend to me, sweetcheeks.

MOT - Ra, rah indeed. Rowers are hot. End of.

PJB - Ah. Should have followed your advice really. I caught the sun a little bit...

Miss H - Argos do a lovely line in hoop earrings, too.

Ellie - It's more of a growling NO, disguised as a bark. It took months of training him using salesmen as bate.

Around - Ahh, should have gone there. Paid £13 for mine in Morrisons. Never mind!

 

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