Friday, April 29, 2016

Elephant elements

I was watching Masterchef the other night and I heard one of the amateur chefs say that she was cooking a dish with three elephants.  On playback it turned out she'd said 'three elements'.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Fish and chip shop

These aren't strictly listening ones, but I was sitting in a Turkish-owned fish and chip shop in my part of east London the other day, studying the menu, when I saw the following items spelled very sweetly:

Cheese and onion paste
Beefburger/Sausage in butter
Curry source

Meanwhile the greengrocer's opposite had brockly on special offer. On a positive note our local video shop, The Video Proffesionals, sigh, has closed down and the pub has taken down its advertisement for bar staff with 'fleuent English', so there's progress.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Another quiz, another mishearing

Yesterday in response to the pub quiz question, "What is the Danish for 'toast'" I was on pretty confident ground, having lived in Scandinavia, and called out the answer 'Tostbrod', to everyone's amusement, only to be told the answer was 'Skol'. I'd clearly got a bit ahead of myself and hadn't heard the indefinite article 'a'.

Shock at Dusseldorf Airport

Last weekend I was taking a flight from Dusseldorf to Munich and I was standing in the queue to hand in my boarding card and board the plane. The man in front of me had an argument with the airline official and then, when it was my turn, the airline official took my ticket and said, under his breath, 'Sod off'. I was rather surprised and a bit offended. That was until half an hour later when I realised he'd actually said 'Dusseldorf' really quickly.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Shoe search

Yesterday I went to a pub where I'd accidentally left a couple of pencil drawings of rhododendrons last week. I said to the Australian bartender 'I left some sketches here last week. Could you see if they've been handed in, please?' He went to the end of the bar and phoned the office, only to come back and say: 'Sorry. No one's handed in any shoes lately.' I was staggered until I realised he'd mistaken 'sketches' for 'Skechers', a famous shoe brand.

Thursday, September 6, 2007


I had a traumatic culinary experience today when I picked some fresh spinach from the garden thinking 'how idyllic' and then a snail fell into the washing up bowl as I went to wash the leaves. I took the snail outside and threw it down the garden, only to return to find a bright green caterpillar had taken its place. I carefully placed that on a leaf, only to return to find an earwig having a paddle in the washing-up bowl. After all that I nearly lost my appetite. But obviously this experience was still in my head last night when I was watching Jamie Oliver's TV programme and heard him say 'Take a healthy slug.' All sorts of thoughts were going through my head until he said the next part of the sentence: 'of white wine'.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Rick Stein

I just walked into the living-room only to hear the chef Rick Stein saying on television: 'You can't beat roast bat.' When I looked at the screen there was a huge seabass and not a bat, so that was a relief.