Monday, 11 January 2010

Inclement Weather Continues

(Jim Tushingham has had to defend his shop from the panic buyers).

As you all know there has been little let up in the wintry conditions, and after two weeks it would seem the wonder is beginning to wear off. Even your humble editor has become a victim, and is at this moment sat on a soft cushion to ease a badly bruised coccyx, after slipping on ice on the way home from bell ringing yesterday evening.
Local shaman, Timothy Mittens is predicting another eight nights of sub-zero temperatures, meaning that the ice currently covering roads and pavements is unlikely to thaw properly until next week.
In Froxfield, the A.C.F. has been put on standby to help deal with weather-related disruption. Heavy snow, low temperatures and a lack of gritting mean pavements throughout the county are too slippery to walk on safely. Doctor Cuddler has been struggling to cope with rising numbers of patients who have broken bones after falling on icy paths.
Yet Mr. Martin Bellend who represents Hampshire's health and safety experts has issued a warning to people not to grit public paths – despite the fact that East Effscott is in the grip of its coldest winter for nearly two centuries.
Under current legislation, householders and companies open themselves up to legal action if they try to clear a public pavement outside their property. If they leave the path in a treacherous condition, they cannot be sued.
East Effscott Parish Council, who have a responsibility for public highways, say they have no legal obligation to clear pavements.
Local resident Mr. Carl Marks from The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents expressed his disappointment that public safety was being neglected because of fears of possible litigation. He said: “This is not showing a particularly good attitude. It would be much safer for the public to clear paths, even if it’s not on their property.”
But the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, the professional body representing 36,000 health and safety experts, gave warning that this could lead to legal action.
In guidance to its members, who advise anxious business throughout the county, it said: “In regard to when clearing snow and ice, it is probably not worth it.
Clearing a public path can lead to an action for damages against the company, e.g. if members of the public, assuming that pavement is still clear of ice and thus safe to walk on, slips and injure themselves. We have to accept that in this day and age, when responsibilities are shared, it is only reasonable to expect that any member of the public is not wholly responsible for their own actions. If a member of the public falls and suffers either physical or mental injury, then he or she have every right to blame somebody.”
A legal expert said home owners could fall victim to the same laws if they tried to clear an icy path but failed to do the job properly. John McQuater, president of the Society of Personal Injury Lawyers, admitted: “If you do nothing you cannot be liable. If you do something, I'll nail your sorry ass.”
Motgomery Massingberd, a former Indian civil servant and outspoken critic of Britain’s burgeoning “compensation culture”, said last night: “The idea you can be sued for being helpful is shit on a stick.”
The shortage of gritting salt is likely to mean even fewer paths will be gritted in the days to come. The Parish Council is trying to import supplies, but they are not expected to arrive for another eight weeks.
Members of the public say they have been warned by councils about the legal risks of gritting. Eric Pepper, 88, asked Hampshire county council to deliver grit which he offered to spread but was told by officials he could be sued if he did so. The council later insisted Mr Pepper had been given the wrong guidance.
Forecasters are predicting that freezing conditions will continue until at least Wednesday. Police Constable Hindhorst said last night that the A.C.F. and A.T.C. were on stand-by to help if the weather in the county worsened. The public were advised not to panic buy unless absolutely necessary, as panic buying is leaving shelves bare. Condensed milk, oxo, black treacle toffee and Indian Brandy are in high demand in East Effscott after heavy snowfall has led shoppers to stock up.
Shop staff said one shopper bought 17 loaves of bread and another got six packets of salt on Saturday. A local woman carrying a javalin and bucket of coconuts said: "It's always been the same, as soon as the snow comes, they panic buy."
An elderly man said he was surviving on bugger all. Mr. Francis Parsons was 'living on jam. No bread, no milk. I'm just having jam," he said. "I'm living on jam because I managed to get it, but that's it."
Signs of shoppers stocking up in East Effscott's two village stores began on Friday morning after heavy snow fell overnight.
"Half past seven yesterday morning, it was absolutely rammed. People were just panic buying," one angry man said.
Another resident said: "Every time we get a flake of snow in Hampshire, all the ginger wine and Fisherman’s Friends goes, you have to get used to that."
Shop Owner Victor Widdecombe said: “We were exceptionally busy. It’s not the sort of trade you normally have on a Sunday morning in January.
“People don’t tell us why they’re shopping but they might well have been stocking up.”
One wide eyed customer shouted: “It is so busy — I just wanted to do my normal shop but there are lots of things missing. You would almost think there was a siege coming — people are getting carried away.”
Jim Tushingham, of Tushingham’s Store said: “The panic-buying started on Friday night.
“They took everything, in particular Slone’s Liniment, Ointments and Mrs. Stewart’s Liquid Bluing. Humbugs and Friar Tuck Ginger Essence went extremely quickly.
“A lot of surgical spirit was bought in a short space of time following the news that bad weather was due. People were getting a bit aggressive when we’d run out of things they wanted.”
Mr Tushingham said the store had received its normal deliveries but added that it took between 24 and 48 hours for the next lot to arrive. Stocks are due be replenished Tuesday morning.


Oliver Gosling said...


Happy New Year to you. It is indeed indicative of the times we live in when a fellow has his bag of plums grabbed at by a lady in a leopard print fake fur coat in the middle of the afternoon.
Do you think there is a need to panic buy shares in a salt mine?

lilith said...

Mr Tushingham is an inspiration.

T. P. Fuller said...

Oliver, it's very good to see those clean cut chops so early on in the new year. I trust your farmer's lung is not giving you jip this cold snap.
So sorry to hear about your plums. Did the bag tear? Were your plums bruised? It was no doubt a woman from the council estate desperate for one of her five a day. I believe that Dr. Cuddler had to tell one such lady that although tobacco was indeed a plant, a cigarette was not at all the same as a piece of fruit.
In regards the shares I am afraid that I neither have the acumen or finances to even consider such an endeavor. I was left quite busted after the Fangshang-Modo-Fuller rendering plant in Scotton Pinkney.

Lilith, sweet fragrant newly wedded girl; always a pleasure. Mr. Tushingham is indeed an exampler of an England that not unlike Camelot, (not the licensed operator of the UK National Lottery) is fading into the mists of time.

Dr. Edward Mayhap Cuddler (Dr.) said...

Cuddler here,
Times are indeed testing but, once again, we see that we are a nation that shows our true mettle in a crisis. It was, however, unfortunate that due to the number of broken limbs resulting from the slip I was forced to replace Medical Plaster dans Paris with household gypsum render from the Wickes depot in Falling Hatchman (trade discount for repeat purchases). This proved a mostly satisfactory substitute though the need to apply a baselayer, scratchcoat and finish layer slowed the throughput in the surgery. Your patience is appreciated at this trying time and remember to use PVA to seal the cast before painting with any household emulsions.

Oliver Gosling said...

I believe due to a fractured jaw, Rodney Fitzallan was 'rendered' speechless...

Webley-Bullock said...

Dear Mr Fuller,

What an important letter, and regretfully somehow missed among the junk mail I seem to get everyday from people wanting me to buy a step-in bath and wear a nineteen-fifties costume!!

As a latent designer of machinery to eliminate molehills, I have asked Nuggett and Co to knock up a similar machine to clear pavements of compacted snow. Mr Nuggett assures me that he can make this by Thursday (today), so I am up bright and early to take delivery at 10.00am.

William is here with me to help unload the equipment and is getting very excited about something, as he has found a bottle of 'Old Spice', and keeps putting it on his neck. This may be because Toniatteline may also accompany her father, and she has this effect on boys of a certain age. (In fact the effect never seems to wear off with her so I am told...)!

I hope to give you an update when the lorry arrives, and I am able to prise my nephew away from the heaving bosom of his delivery assistant.

Yours, again with apologies for the tardiness,


Webley-Bullock said...

Dr Cuddler,

How pleased I am to see that your repairs are proceeding well!

There are some unused implements in the artificial insemination equipment cupboard whch may augment your procedures for such events!

You only have to ask!

With felicitations,


Webley-Bullock said...


First Fuller, then Cuddler, and now your fineself!

How the devil are you?

My God, are you still embracing that pastime you endear yourself to, y'know, er - bell ringing, leadwork...?

Talk of which, 'The Bells' does a good curry on a Thursday, goes down well with a half-pint of Robinsons 'Old Elbers'!

12.00 noon?


Oliver Gosling said...


My fine old dear! I'm not sure if it's a touch of snow blindness, but my eyes have become a little misty.
How are you? I trust your pipe work as stood up to the challenges in this testing time?
A half pint of shandy would be very welcome, but I'll have to pass on the curry as we Fullers are martyrs to Pruritus Ani, and curry would not help.

T. P. Fuller said...

Gosling. You might have worms.

Doris, I would tell William to go gently with the Old Spice, I believe it continues to ferment in the bottle.

Dr. Edward Mayhap Cuddler (Dr. (BSc Hons)) said...

Dear Doris,

Any and all help appreciated whether the donor is a medical or non-medical doctor. I hold no preconceptions or prejudice. I have had to resort to taking a junior hacksaw to the surgery bannisters in order to knock up some splints such are the shortages of viatl equipment. I have discussed the matter with the pharmacist in Effscott Fitzgerald, one Mr. Gravel, and he assures me that he is prepared to back me up with a variety of pain alleviating tinctures. Not for the bloody patients - my back is killing me.

Webley-Bullock said...

Dear Dr Cuddler,

There's a big cupboard marked 'Sterile', and several packing cases full of peculiar instruments with names like "Patagonian inserter" and "Offset easement crampon".

They're yours for the taking, just call by, and I'll show you round!

Stay for a snifter as well if you like, you're always welcome - even before lunch!


Dr. Edward Mayhap Cuddler (BA Phil (honarary)) said...

Sterile be damned, these are times of duress and emergency. I'll sterlise the lot in the flame of aburning candle. It worked for Robert Mitchum and it'll work for me.
Thank you for the offer of a drink, I'll bring the regulated linament to warm us both up.

Private Gripweed said...

Fear not, good people of Effscott Easterly, your brave protectors (TA) will be hear just as oon as we can arrange a bit of time off from work. Salt supplies permitting and as long as we can borrow Frank's shovel we will clear your streets. SALVE!

Pastor Thurmond Babbs said...

The snow and ice, ungodly though it seems, harbers one thing only.

The end of days.

Gods Wrath will rain down upon your heads for your drinking and smoking and giggling. Frogs next. You watch.

T. P. Fuller said...

A round of thanks to dear Mr. Babbs our local T.V. pundit. 'End of Days'. Is, I remember a film starring Mr. Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger the hero of Thal. So is it on that television again? Makes the license fee worth every penny no doubt. As it happens I do recall giggling during a brief viewing of it.

Pastor Thurmond Babbs said...

Channel Five, Sunday, 10.00pm

Scrobs... said...

I would pay a million license fees just to watch again, the scene in a long forgotten film, where a bell made from half the gold in the world, rolled down a cliff into the sea...

...and floated!

T. P. Fuller said...

Long forgotten? I think not. I take it that you are referring to Jack Cardiff's 'The Long Ships'. The greatest Viking adventure of them all.

DR Edward Mayhap Cuddler (BSc Med, MA Arts (Telford)) said...

Perhaps it was the scene where Kirkland Douglas runs along the outstretched oars that Mr. Timothy Cribbs was trying, in his own way, to reproduce while dancing on the roof of the Police van ( I refer you to the previous news bulletin). It must have been on Turner Classic Movies that week.

Oliver Gosling said...

Mr. Cuddler you are confusing Jack Cardiff's 'The Long Ships' with Richard Fleischer's The Vikings, "Mightiest Of Men... Mightiest Of Spectacles... Mightiest Of Motion Pictures!"
Sorry to embarrass you so publicly, I can only suppose that one Viking looks very much the same as another after a hard day dispensing cough drops.

Dr. Edward Mayhap Cuddler (Dr.) said...

Cough drops, Oliver, cough drops? Cough drops be damned - I'm a Tixylix man through and through.
Now you come to mention it you are correct. Yet again your encyclopedic knowledge of Halliwells Film Guide has proved indispensible. I can hear the lucid note of the Viking Horns even now.
And it's Dr. Cuddler I'll thank you. I'm not a surgeon, the court case of Rex v Cuddler 1972 proved that beyond all shadow of a doubt.

Oliver Gosling said...


As you happen to be East Effscott’s only G.P. I have taken to consulting my own Pears Medical Encyclopedia (compiled by Dr James Alexander Campbell Brown, MB, B.Chir 1911-1964). In that time I have discovered: -
1. Sufferers of Psittacine beak and feather disease are in fact limited to Old World and New World Parrots (Psittacini, Hookbills).
2. Massage of the perineum with warm almond oil is not the standard medical treatment.
3. Pop-Eye, or to give it its medical name (exophthalmial). You were quite right in saying that the condition is caused by a wide range of factors including, bacterial infections, parasite infestations, poor water quality, and internal metabolic system disorders. However you were wrong in diagnosing myself as a sufferer, owing largely to the fact that I am not a tropical fish.
4. Treatment for Pop-Eye is with a broad spectrum antibotic, and injection is in fact the prefered method if the problem is of a bacterial nature. Massage of the perineum with warm peanut oil is again not the standard medical treatment.

T. P. Fuller said...

Messrs Gosling and Cuddler. I understand that the two of you have what is known in the vernacular as ‘previous’. However one should always consider that the course of true love never runs smooth, etcetera, and women will follow their hearts.
Oliver it is a long time since Honoria consulted with Dr. Cuddler over her vagionplasty, and it must be said that the worse that the good doctor did was to offer her an estimate.

Habgood Gum said...

The wife Delilah be a member of yon Dr. Cuddler’s Fat Loosers clinic and last night they floor collapsed from under a group of around 17 of they partaking of a weighing event.
Delilah say they were gathered at the St. Nun’s Vestry, and as they queued to see how many pounds they had shed with the help of they Dr. Cuddler’s massage program, them heard a loud noise shortly followed by the collapse of they floor.
Said Delilah they suddenly heard a huge thump; and most thought it were an earthquake, then everything flew up in they air. They floor collapses in one corner of they room and along they walls.
Delilah say, that crack spread round they room, then ower bits of they floor gave way in tother parts of they room and then there were smell of sewage.
Luckily, my Delilah and all of they dieters escaped intact and managed to move they scales which were not spoilt in they accident, to nearby churchyard, and were able to complete their weekly weigh in.
Still I can’t help wondering how this here Cuddler can show his face if is group o’ fatties can bring dewn a building that stood for four hundred year. I reckon this fat massage is nought but moonshine.

Scrobs... said...

'The Long Ships' it was indeed Thomas!

Please excuse my memory lapse on this occasion, When I first saw it, we had been partaking of much needed refreshment in the Green Lawns Tennis Clubhouse after losing/winning against Dover/Eastbourne/Old Anchorians etc etc, and the moment is hazy.

It was also in 1967.

Scrobs... said...

Dear Mr Gum,

You have just reminded me of the Bill Tidy cartoon in 'Private Eye' from the sixties, where an Arabian nobleman is requesting his over-large female partner to remain for further participation in whatever they were doing...

The caption reads: -

"Stay, the night is young and you are enormous"!

T. P. Fuller said...

Mr. Gum,

I see your concern over the massage program. Indeed from the window of my study I do tend to see Dr. Cuddler's 'Fat Loosers' arrive and depart, and it must be said that over the last few months there has not been any marked weight loss amongst the group. However I think it would be unfair to blame the collapse of the floor on the 'Fat Loosers' as you yourself have pointed out, the fabric of the building is ancient, and it is more likely to be dry rot rather than the combined weight of the group.


I understand that if you can remember watching the "Long Ships' in the summer of 1967, then you weren't really there.

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Tonto Goldberg said...

How and Howdy Mr Gosling

Perhaps Dr Cuddler was following the ancient wisdom of the Cherokee. It was revealed to the white man, Francis Fesmire of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, that a sure-fire cure for hiccups is digital rectal massage. The ancient secret wisdom was also verified by Majed Odeh of Bnai Zion Medical Center in Haifa, Israel.

I felt obliged to tell them both as it seemed wrong that I alone was the sole inheritor of this ancient secret wisdom, whispered to me by my mother on her deathbed. Well, she could hardly bring herself to mention it earlier, the embarassment would have killed her, but at that point it wasn't a material consideration. Alas, if I had qualified as a shaman maybe she would have trusted me earlier but my winding path lay in another direction.

I sought only the public good when I told Dr Cuddler, a medical man, of the technique, and he got Roddy Fitzallan to refer all the female cases of hiccups in the pub to him in furtherance of verifying the theory. No faith, these people.

Please note, it is important to use extra virgin olive oil as peanut oil can bring on an allergy and snake oil is no longer a realistic option.

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