Dear The Mock Turtles

I am most grateful to you, The Mock Turtles.

It was a particularly pleasant day today, of which my wife Jean I took full advantage by having lunch on the patio with our neighbours Wilf and Olive Turnbull, accompanied by the splendid Ken Bruce on Radio 2 through an open window. As it was one of very few forays past the conservatory doors for some time on account of a rather dismal Winter, we were sadly afforded only the first opportunity to observe the extent to which our garden had become overrun with brambles. After a second pot of Earl Grey and one too many Orange Viscounts, and whilst pondering the most effective method of loosening the sun-hardened soil at the roots of said unwanted vegetation, Wilf proffered several suggestions. He asked if I could 'Rotavate' it - sadly not an option owing to a blown fuse - and then could I try a trowel, as he was confident that I would get it through somehow. This proved ineffective however owing to insufficient leverage and a clay encrusted blade after too long unscraped which did little more than crumble the surface layer, rendering our intrusive perennial steadfast. Undecided as to our next option and fast becoming despondant, your excellent and persistent well-informed enquiry ''Can You Dig It?'' sent me eagerly to the shed for my favoured spade, Lemmy, who eradicated the infestation with aplomb.


As well as your adroitness in horticultural matters, The Mock Turtles, I am sure that you will not mind me complimenting you upon your ecological sensibilities. I was extremely perturbed by Blondie's assertion on Top Of The Pops 2 last week that she will give me her finest hour, the one she spent watching me shower. Leaving aside that time cannot be bestowed, and, given that it takes me a fraction of this time to cleanse upright, my bathroom or front doors show no signs of forced entry, leading me to conclude that I must have been confused for somebody else. Nevertheless, her glorification of such a grotesque waste of water in stark contrast to your insistence that ''someone turn the lights off'' only serves to enhance your awareness of the importance pertaining to pop stars educating us ordinary members of the public in utility usage-helmed affairs of the environment.


I confess, The Mock Turtles, that ever since seeing Buddy Holly on television and expecting his other musicians to be nocturnal grasshopper-like insects but finding them in actuality more redolent of three trainee bank managers, to being unwaveringly fascinated by 'band names'. As an animal-lover I was dreading, in your own case, that the employment of the definitive article serves merely as a superfluous juxtaposition inserted as a subtle subterfuge designed to encourage, subliminally or otherwise, people to mock turtles and/or by extension, tease terrapins. I was therefore initially relieved to learn that a mock turtle is not a shelled reptile ridicule reference, but, in reality a soup, but then dismayed to glean that the liquid sustenance's stock ingredients are brains and organ meats including the head and foot of a calf , branding it as a baby cow production.


If only your endorsement of such a cruel liquid mélange could have been reconciled by your agrological expertise and admirable 'carbon footprint', you would have been welcome at any time here at Philpott Place for tea on the newly-unimpeded decking.


Until such time we are equally confident that we won't ever get you down and congratulate you upon your continued and perpetual bouyancy.


Kind Regards




Derek Philpott



Dear Derek (and Wilf)

It appears that you distinguished and learned gentlemen have, like myself, a proclivity for calling a spade an 'earth inverting horticultural implement' and why not? For



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