Dear Mr. Difford

Re: Up The Junction


Your 'kitchen sink classic' is unfortunately the only 'track' playable in our Honda since our next door but one, Gordon Gilliard, mistook '45s And Under' for a drinks coaster on a recent visit to return shears. Therefore, whilst my wife Jean and myself are great admirers, grossly repeated exposures to the gritty narrative bely glaring oversights coupled with baffling Forteana, which lead us to conventional science-flouting conclusions.

You are first, however, to be commended. In this day and age it is especially heartening to learn of an expectant parent whose partner is willing to face up to their responsibilities by putting in a hard day's graft without recourse to 'State handouts'. That said, there are some disconcerting elements pertaining to both the preparations for your first day at your new job and the position itself that demand sedulous analyses.

I find it quite unsettling that, your services being required on Monday, you had a bath on Sunday, particularly in view of the fact that it had already been established in the preceding couplet that you had moved into a basement with thoughts of your engagement and stayed in by the telly although the room was smelly. Having relocated, replete with said betrothal intention musings, within a fetid cellar, please forgive me for stating that any ablution, no matter how thorough, on the evening prior to your employment commencement, leaving you an entire night to be once again permeated by subterranean pungency, would not have set a good impression with your superior. Whilst fully sympathetic to your frugality, Jean also discreetly points out that the very fact that you have made reference to the tub cleansing, implying that it is an semelfactive event and therefore not a regular occurrence, could indicate that it is your good self that is the source of the rank underground fragrance. She therefore recommends more regular immersions if utility budgeting allows, or, at the very least, Superdrug's Indus Malabar as a more economical alternative to Lynx Africa. On the other hand, it strikes her that nearly half a day of 'coming in handy', presumably via manual blue-collar exertions in keeping with your social station, would likely cancel out the effects of a good soak and that 'Stanley', if similar perspiring and grime-ingrained, would not be likely to 'Spot The Difference'.

As a cautionary aside, it is to be recommended that your contractual terms be rigorously scrutinised, Mr. Difford. Department of Trade and Industry Guidelines to Working Time Regulations clearly state that a toiler is entitled to an uninterrupted break of 20 minutes when daily working time is more than six hours, hence the consecutive 11 hour shift referred to is in direct contravention to the Act. Also, if, as I suspect, remuneration is of a casual 'cash in hand' variety, please ensure that all income less deductible expenses is declared on a Self Assessment Tax Return before the 31st January Deadline. Failure to do so could lead to prosecution and in extreme cases, prison. I have it on good authority from my erstwhile foreman Willy 'Won't He' Wallace, whose son was caught 'liberating' copper from some railway lines some years ago, that this is not ''Some Fantastic Place'', especially at a time that your television has had to be sold and your meditative fiancé has little kicks inside her.

Finally, in relation to your occupation and salary, rather than putting away a tenner each week to improve your partner's disposition, the simple setting up of a £40 per month Standing Order, thus eradicating time-consuming trips to the bank and worries relating to burglary, fire or flooding at your dank home, could prove far more beneficial.

From hereon in, Mr. Difford, I hope you will forgive my sceptical bafflement, firstly concerning your claim to have to have taken her to an incubator at ten to five this morning where thirty minutes later she gave birth to a daughter. Although by no means experts in medical matters, Jean and I often watch Holby City when there is nothing else on and are quite confident that the aspirant mother would surely be ushered to the Maternity Ward upon her arrival at hospital. Said thermostat box would only be employed if complications arose after labour, and would house the infant and not the parent, who would in any case be too big to fit in it, irrespective of 'dress size'.

We are then expected to believe that your walking daughter is two years older and her mother is with a soldier. Whilst the alcohol dependency estrangement and her conscriptee concord need not be debated, that your offspring could have aged 730 days since dawn must.

I am afraid, Mr. Difford, that the only logical conclusion to be drawn from this chronological acceleration is that you are currently residing within a rip in the space/time continuum. This theory would fully explain why solid objects appear to be disappearing from your kitchen; alone there you feel there's something missing when in fact they have been removed at some point in the past. It would also solve The Mystery Of The Railway Arms, the most likely explanation being that rather than having been lost track of, the tavern has been demolished and you are now viewing its 'vanished' aftermath from a future vantage point.


Sadly your non-Christian chauffeuring from bar to street to bookie hints at a fiendish source of this Torchwood-like phenomenon.

I strongly exhort you therefore to move Down The Junction as soon as possible, and most certainly not attempt to mimic your former 'boogie woogie'' work colleague's BBC Two successes. 'Later...With Chris Difford' whilst still in the vortex, is likely to create severe problems with their innovative and splendid  'Catch Up Option'.




Derek Philpott



Reply from Mr. Difford, received 26/3/2014



Dear Mr. Philpott


Well what can I say? You really pushed the boat out and devoured my lyric with a fine tooth; you came, you read, you polished me off like some old red wine from a service station on the A23. For old timers you



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