Charles Nevin: Time for the Duke to grapple with Gripple

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Happy Monday to you, and welcome to my essential guide to the week ahead, especially designed to strike that loud "can-do" note both fashionable and necessary in these bracing times.



Events: Important announcements are coming up, including the figures for inflation, unemployment, public borrowing, mortgages, and retail performance. And, tomorrow, Leslie Phillips will be granted the Freedom of the City of London, which should be the cue for some traditional restrained ribaldry involving other sorts of figures, "I say!", "Ding-dong!", and what other entitlements are available to a Freeman beyond driving sheep over London Bridge. I like the look, too, of the Queen's visit on Thursday to Gripple, the Sheffield industrial and agricultural fixings suppliers. Fan coils, ready crimping, the clamp and rod method, seismic bracing, catenaries, Y-fits: rarely can the Duke have been presented with so many open own goals.



Suggestion: Now Christmas is coming, why not take a trip down Oxford Street? They're trying to introduce a lane system for pedestrians: dawdlers and browsers to the left, hurriers with purpose to the right. Actually, I have been making my own arrangements for some time now when processing our busier streets: battery-powered indicators and brake lights sewn into my high-visibility jacket and a hard hat with wing mirrors. I shall not, however, be repeating the incident when, momentarily confused, I had to switch on my hazard lights in the middle of the famous X-Crossing at Oxford Circus. Have you ever seen a 32-pedestrian pile-up?



Significant dates: This is Movember, when moustaches are grown to highlight men's health problems. The Top 10 moustaches have been declared: 1. Salvador Dali. 2. Hulk Hogan. 3. Albert Einstein. 4. Friedrich Nietzsche. 5. Charlie Chaplin. 6. Freddie Mercury. 7. Daley Thompson. 8. Bruce Forsyth. 9. Jimi Hendrix. 10. Ian Botham. Sorry, Leslie. Cultural note and trying-at-home warning: when William Burroughs attempted it in 1951 with a revolver and his wife, she became former. Seminal writer, questionable shot. This Saturday is World Hello Day, when you are asked to "Greet 10 People For Peace". Personally, I should have thought World Goodbye Day would be far more appropriate, and shall act accordingly.

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