Why has no one told me about this extra meal?

  • @domjoly

My house is still flooded. I have still not received a visit from the Prime Minister, Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg or Prince Charles. I turned down the offer from Prince Andrew, the Duke of Golf, and have also said no to Prince Edward's offer to come and perform The Vagina Monologues in the village hall to help raise money for my well-being. It's not that I don't appreciate the offer, it's just that I don't feel anybody would show up, and then I'd have to to turn up, out of guilt, and it would all be really awkward.

My flooding is like some Sisyphean torture; it's not from sewage or a river, it comes out of the ground and so I pump most of it out in the day only for it to flood again overnight. One night we just gave up and drove into Cheltenham and stayed the night in a hotel. The relief of a night's sleep without the sound of a pump was rather ruined by returning to find that one of my dogs had decided to go for a swim in the water and laid a large "floater" to boot. Not only was this quite revolting but, as I explained to him, it would have been incredibly embarrassing if either Prince Harry or William had turned up incognito to start laying down sandbags. Fitzgerald, the guilty party, took my point and apologised but this still left me playing a game of "trap the floater" with a kitchen colander for well over an hour.

The worst part was when the power was out. It had been out for two days and I had been unable to contact anybody at the power company when, by chance, I drove past one of their engineer's vehicles. I chased him down and asked him whether he had any idea when we might get power back? He was a nice guy but clearly overwhelmed by events. He promised me that power would be back by dinner-time. I drove home and told my wife the good news.

"What time is dinner time?" She asked. I realised that I was not sure. I go with the simple breakfast-lunch-supper combination. I went to Twitter to ask what time they thought a man from Gloucester meant when he said "dinner". It caused utter confusion. There was an even split between lunch and supper, mainly along north-south boundaries. There were also the obvious jokes: "In Gloucester that means in about five days", and so on.

But then the confusion expanded as northern Tweeters said that "supper" was a mysterious extra meal after their evening "dinner" which comes after the southern "tea" which in turn is different from the posher, afternoon tea. Most northerners talked of a sandwich and a cup of tea before bed as "supper". I was totally unaware of this extra meal. I always have supper as my main evening meal, except when I'm invited to friends in the evening where it becomes a dinner party if posh or a kitchen supper if dodgy and with the Prime Minister and the head of News International.

I went back to my wife armed with all this new information and she was even more confused than ever. "You people do this on purpose to confuse foreigners," she said. She's not wrong.