Dear Lindisfarne


Re: Fog On The Tyne

I am ashamed to report that in my youth, after a skinful at the pub, I was caught short and had to relieve myself against the post office.

Rather the worse for wear, I found myself slippin' down slowly, slippin' down sideways just as sirens alerted me to the approach of the local constabulary. Although the copper could comprehend my flouting of the law resulting in the potential for a charge of public lewdness, thankfully there was no cause for me to run for home, running fast as I can (oh-oh); luckily I managed to convince the officer that I was merely looking very closely for opening times and had managed to drop my bottle of pop in the process. I’m sorry Lindisfarne, but with this trauma still in mind I don’t doubt that presently we will have a pint or two together but must decline your invitation to presumably ‘meet on the corner’ where we can have a wee wee and we can have a wet on the wall.

On an unrelated matter, Lindisfarne, I must heartily disagree. Irrespective of the fact that said abundance may indeed have accumulated above a river in your immediate location, I am quite convinced that any collection of liquid water droplets or ice crystals suspended in the air at or near the Earth's surface cannot be either purchased, bequeathed or stolen. Fog on the Tyne cannot therefore conceivably be all yours all yours under any circumstances.

I look forward to hearing from you in the near future, but as I have missed the last collection you are perfectly entitled to tell it to tomorrow.

Yours sincerely



Derek Philpott



Dear Mr. Philpott,

Thank you for your letter. All of us here at Lindisfarne Towers are sorry to hear of your unfortunate experience, and can sympathise – we all remember when we had our first pint.

Regarding your reference to the suspended airborne precipitation frequently encountered in the Newcastle area, its ownership has been a matter of dispute since Roman times. In the 19th century, various industrialists and mine-owners claimed ownership on the strength of their enhancement of the phenomenon, and attempts were made to nationalise it in 1948. However, by the late 1960s, demand had fallen, so my late colleague Alan Hull was able to claim it as his own without contest, and so it remained until his death in 1995 (despite an attempt by a local footballer to lay claim to it in 1990). Alan Hull’s undisputed ownership of the material is verified on a plaque (placed there by the City council) outside Newcastle City Hall, which clearly states that “The Fog On The Tyne was all his”.

Alan bequeathed his fog to the city and people of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, in whose ownership it has remained ever since, though rumours persist of an imminent hostile takeover bid by the current owner of Newcastle United Football Club and a chain of shops purveying sportswear to the sartorially challenged.

In view of your interest in this matter and your previous misfortune, we hope you will reconsider our invitation to meet us on the corner. As we gather you are from outside the area, we would be happy to provide the services of an interpreter. If you could make it at the end of the working week, I can assure you that it’ll be all right, we’ll have a drink on a Friday night; following which, we might have one more bottle of wine that we can swig together before we all fall down.

Finally I should add that Lindisfarne are advocates of responsible drinking, i.e. you have to get your round in, or wor lass will have you running for home before ye knaa it.

All the best,





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