Tuesday, 27 August 2013


Still in the throes of trying to help sort out the affairs of my late mate Clive.

Sadly he left things in a bit of a mess. So we have been trying to track down a will and get his property valued for probate purposes, never realised there were so many rules, regulations and potential bills.  We now have interim death certificates so we can move forward with untangling it all.  The biggest problem now is how to value his business?

As the creator and owner of the "Splosh" empire. (For wet and messy fun lovers. 18+ only).  How do you put a value on several custard based websites?

One thing I'm absolutely sure about is that he would find the whole thing extremely funny.

If anything can be learned from this it is as follows:

1) Make sure you have a will.
2) Ensure it is up to date and all the paperwork is easy to find
3) Give a copy to an executor or trusted friend.
4) If at all possible try not to die in the first place!

In happier news: The Dark Lady is continuing to reorganise the house.  I am not sure how she does it but it does seem to be a lot cleaner and tidier and at the same time more comfortable.  Not sure how this was achieved but maybe it's a girl thing that I've not mastered.

Her tour de force so far has been the kitchen. She has completely reorganised things so that I can't find anything. However I don't worry about this as she is a terrific cook and if she wants to spend more time in there I can spend more time in my "study" which she has cleverly carved out of a spare bedroom.  So brilliantly done was this that the only casualty was a badly chipped novelty Xmas mug my sister gave me in about 1995.  She even found enough space on the shelves to go and buy some old coloured crockery from a second hand shop to add a but of colour. I have been a slave to plain white ever since I was told years ago by a very sophisticated friend that having white crockery shows off the food better and means that the colour of the comestibles will never clash with the plate.

Something that has never really occurred to me before or since as I fork mountains of brown stuff into me whilst watching "Camper van Crisis"!

We headed off to France last weekend.  One of the things we like to do is to get the early Portsmouth Ferry on a Friday morning. Grab the newspapers and go and have a proper sit down breakfast in the restaurant, this takes at least an hour. Then we repair to a cabin and sleep the rest of the journey away.  On this occasion we had only got halfway through the meal when the tannoy fired up.

"Would Mr and Mrs Lester please report to the information desk"

"What's that"? Trilled the Dark Lady prettily.

"No idea. I'll go and find out. You carry on enjoying your breakfast"

"Do you think you've left the car lights on or maybe the alarm is going off"?

"Could be, although the lights were definitely off when I went to fetch the emergency Marmite a few minutes ago".

Emergency Marmite is always carried as ferries and hotels very often don't have it. Leathery catering toast just doesn't taste right with "preserves".

As it was a bank holiday weekend the boat was very crowded.  I hurried through the crowds and joined the queue at the Information desk.

"Monsieur Lester"?


"We are pleased to inform you that as a regular ferry passenger for over twenty years we would like to invite you and your wife up to the bridge in order to watch the ship depart Portsmouth harbour".

You note that no attempt was made to engage me in French. They must realise from my appalling accent that I was a lost cause and it was simpler and quicker to use English.

I hurried back to the restaurant.

"What's the matter"?

Asked the DL all concerned. 

Now I am a big one for surprises and one of my wedding vows was to "surprise and delight". So I thought I'd keep schtum

"Nothing it's all good. Just finish up as we need to go downstairs".

"Why. Is something wrong"?

"No. Nothing is wrong it’s actually rather nice".

"What the matter. Why do we have to go"?

"It's all good. It's going to be a nice surprise"!

Exasperation began to creep in a little at this point as I struggled to maintain the element of the surprise.

"There's something wrong isn't there"?



"No need to shout."

At this point even the badly behaved children who seem to populate ferries and other public places we frequent stopped and stared at the purple faced man waving a jar of Marmite for emphasis at an attractive woman who, able to multitask, was folding her newspaper, packing her handbag drinking her coffee, putting on her coat and eating toast all the same time.


He said rather spoiling it with his impotent rage.

"Well why didn’t you just say so?!"

This made perfect sense; with the benefit of hindsight.

Up on the bridge the view was spectacular and all was perfect calm.

"See. I told you it was a nice surprise. Why didn't you just believe me"?

"I thought you may be trying to stop me worrying by saying it was all fine. When really something terrible was happening because you are a loving and kind man"!

How she puts up with me I've no idea. The woman is a saint!

1 comment:

RuthnJasper said...

She puts up with you because she LOVES you, of course! What a nice suprise though - I bet Portsmouth looked lovely from the ship's bridge (p.s. message from those who know - if you ever decide to visit the Spinnaker Tower in Pompey, take the stairs and NOT the lift. Word to the wise...).

What a great mate you are to help with the sorting out of your late friend's estate. As far as websites, etc. are concerned the value probably lies in the "intellectual property rights" range - try here for some ideas:- http://media.gn.apc.org/rates/newrates.html. Hope this helps.

Best wishes to you. x