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Dear Sir (I presume you are male),

I write, as you undoubtedly know, to express the concerns, worries, perturbences, fears, misgivings and foreboding of The Tavistock Society. Allow me to paint a vivid picture of where it all went wrong.

As the Landlord rapped on the door, early on that fateful Tuesday morning, screaming ‘blue murder’ about our failure to fulfil his rent paying expectations, the horizon seemed dark. He drove away cursing, but twenty minutes later we peered through the curtains to see perhaps the most festive of spectacles: a crisp carpet of fresh blue white snow. We immediately consulted the Society Regulations for guidance as to which course(s) to follow.

Our first action, as covered in chapter CCCXIII: /Snow day/, was to eat five ‘Ice-Pops’ a piece, with a view towards acclimatisation (winter). This was followed by an ‘egg and spoon’ race and a 34m dash. And next we (and here is the rub) settled down to watch the ‘sledging report’ on your local station. Who knew what would avail? The long Helter-Skelter-like-spiral down Roseberry Topping, short technical runs in Bollihope Common, or a vomit-inducing panic, cusp-to-base down Cauldron-Snout?

Tiddle-winks, bat-the-rat, hungry hippos, making kites and biscuits, hat-fitting and sledge-waxing. These are all of the activities to which we had to recourse. In short: we spent the hours in misery. We praise the BBC/ITV for its sterling work for sailors, fisherman and the like re: the ‘Shipping Forecast’. Though we have never seen a boat in real life, it stirs the senses and fires our imagination. There was also an episode of ‘Dad’s Army’ / ‘Heartbeat’ which we found watchable.

However, as in comedy enterprises, timing is vitally important. The hours ebbed away from us like as assassin (under the cloak of night). Come 1430 hrs, the Society could hardly wait; word-of-mouth had it that the snow was beginning to show signs of melting, though naturally this was not verifiable due to the absence of broadcasting. Our final decision was made independently and was thus exceedingly ill informed.

We attempted an urban run, which sadly resulted in catastrophe. Not only did the High Street have no hills, but it also lacked snow. As we vainly tried to propel ourselves through the unforgiving, dirty slush by the roadside, an irresponsible omnibus, straying too close to the gutter engendered our soaking, in what was essentially, ice-cold filth. As we stumbled past the local school, eyes still stinging from the tears, we heard a terrible cry. To this day it is still vigorously debated as to whether the somewhat portly (oafish) youth yelled “rush them” or “get them”. Eitherways the result was the same. The air was heavy that day my friend, with the mass of malevolent waters (in various states (save gas (except water vapour))).

Sir, I have in my time been the assailant in 37 forms of attack, but never has anything so dastardly appeared in my repertory. Is this what I pay my license fee for? I may watch your channel again, but will turn over in any advertising break.

Although it is too late to save matters this season, satisfaction is demanded. I trust that satisfaction shall be received next year.

The Tavistock Society Recommends:

· Walls painted magnolia are more welcoming that those in harsh white.

· Skimping on washing powder is false economy, as cheaper brands merely degrade clothing more rapidly.

· Using magnets indoors is wrong in all forms.

· Better (or at least some) coverage in the sledging report. We favour the presentation of John Craven.

· Eggs to be sold in Hexagonal containers to reduce packaging.

· Woollen vests to be worn by the over 50’s and under 5’s.

Sir, I remain your faithful servitor,

Shar of the Tavistock Society.