Idle Eye 20 : The Liquorice Nose

When it comes to raw booze, Nibs has sure got me down. Of course he has: Secreted from the same womb over four decades ago it would be hard not to. So when an open invitation came from Idle Hour HQ to hop over to Lords Cricket Ground and consume some of the finest Portuguese wines available to humanity under the guise of ‘Restaurant Taster’, it was a done deal. Assuming the mantle of potential clients who can say ‘liquorice nose’ without pissing themselves, we slid in amongst the cognoscenti, making a beeline for the overwhelming reds. Nibs, to his credit, was magnificent: Doing that slooshing thing like they do in Sideways and never once being pathetically grateful for free alcohol as I was, he came across as a man at the top of his game. I, on the other hand, did not:

Wine Grower : Thank you for tasting. This powerful Reserva has very smooth attack with beautiful structure and well present tannins which provides long and very soft finale and slightly spicy sensations.

Me : So why is everyone spitting it out, then?

Call me old-fashioned, but in this time of austerity I was deeply disturbed to see man-high black plastic bins that we were supposed to spew our unfinished samples into. To be honest, if it wasn’t for Health and Safety issues I’d have been quite happy to leap into one of them with my mouth gaping like a guppy fish and guzzle up the slops. We’re talking £25-30 a bottle here: Just think what you could do on eBay with the right label and a PR chick in a power suit.

Seasoned tasters know there is an arc upon which, once the apex of saturation is reached, there is a dramatic drop-off in acumen. Unfortunately, it also gives the end user the illusion of clarity and infinite knowledge, coupled with ill-advised Herculean courage. On reflection, perhaps it would be fair to say that I reached this point approximately fifteen minutes after entering the building. And when we finally met the biodynamic bloke Nibs had been searching for, my eyeballs were colliding against their own sockets like bumper cars at a Mayday fair. The only way through was mimicry: So when Nibs whizzed the wine around the glass, so did I. Then he took a deep sniff. So did I. Holding the glass against the pristine white tablecloth, he assessed the colour. So did I, losing a few precious drops in the process. But then came the crunch:

Nibs : She’s a feisty little number, for sure.

Me : Indeed. And traces of liquorice nose…?

Bionic Man : I’m sorry?

Me : Liquorice nose. It’s in there. I can taste it.

Bionic Man : You are tasting the nose?

Me : Yes I am.

You can guess the rest: It wasn’t pretty. And due to a clerical error I missed my stop on the train home. So, next time you’re in IH Barnes, ask Nibs for a go on the Portuguese liquorice wine. Just don’t tell him I sent you..

Idle Eye 19 : The Rug Rethink

Now, the very few of you that have ever met me in the flesh will know that I have been sporting a rather fetching slickback hairdo of late. At least, I thought it was rather fetching until a recent confab with her indoors which brought it rudely to my attention that, instead of a real-life incarnation of Ralph Feinnes from The English Patient, I actually resembled a grizzly Tory MP who has spent way too long in the Club’s Smoking Room. To paraphrase:

Ursula : You look like a bag of spanners. Get it cut.

Me : Ok.

So I’m in Willie Smarts with my new favourite barnet builder Simon, and we’re discussing the power of advertising, as you do. How just a seemingly inconsequential spruce-up can make a seismic difference to one’s self-confidence and, perhaps more significantly, how others then perceive you. And as we’re chatting, I have my OMG moment: (For those over 40 I should point out that OMG is yoofspeak for Oh My God. And for those over 60, yoofspeak is what you used to do when you wore shorts). Because it so turns out that as you read this, Urs and myself will have completed a fancy new Idle Hour Barnes design that will be with the signwriter this week and, hopefully, swinging majestically outside the pub before too long. You see, although we all know and love that insect-ridden behemoth, we all felt that it was kindest to ‘let it go’ and replace it with a dynamic, all-singing, all-dancing younger model. Like Kennedy would have done if he’d relocated, given up politics and tried his hand at SW13 hostelry. Oh, and hadn’t been shot.

Anyway, using my forthcoming rug rethink as a metaphor, I asked Simon how he felt about saving me from the Green Room of irrelevance. And then we laughed, oh, how we laughed! Because, despite my heartfelt plea that he paid special attention to my ‘thin patch’, he insisted I had a magnificent head of hair and proceeded to prove it with precision Samurai slashes to my nurtured loved ones. It hurt, but it was for the best. And he was right. Because now I resemble a David Niven understudy from A Matter of Life and Death (if I was just that tiny bit posher and in black and white). It’s the Shiva Effect. Slash and Burn. Out with the old etc.. What could be more appropriate for a sartorial Idle Hour blogger who has just done exactly that with the logo? Sometimes life just ties itself up in a bow, no? And that’s why we keep on going.

Some say that God is in the detail. Others say the Devil’s in there. Personally, I don’t give a monkeys who’s doing what and to whom as long as the end result is justified. When you first clap eyes on the little beauty you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. And the sign’s not bad either…

Idle Eye 18 : (Spread) The Love

Have I upset you? Have I? Come on people, let’s have it out: Stats were down this week after what was, it must be said, a very promising start which petered off to virtually bugger all as it progressed. Now, I don’t mean to insult your collective intelligence as I know full well that a healthy percentage of UK cognoscenti are already following, but this ‘ere blogging business is not a one way street. Sorry. Here’s the deal: I sit up all night once a week (or twice if the muse is off-duty) constructing a tightly-woven, semi-articulate drawl linking my own sorry existence with that of Nibs and the Idle Hour. Somehow I manage to make this amusing and/or poignant, depending on your viewpoint. On cue. And the only task I require in return is that you read the bloody thing and occasionally drop me a line or two in the comments section so that I know I’m not pissing my God-given talent up a wall. It’s not a huge ask, is it? Or am I missing something here? Help me out.

Hmmm… In retrospect, probably not the killer romantic opener I’d been planning for the 2012 Valentine’s post. You see, as usual I’ve been on the phone to Nibs, trying to sniff out the lowdown on what treats he has in store for you lovebirds out there. From what I can gather, it’s probably something along the lines of special menu, candlelight, attentive yet respectful staffing and no Techno. Or Hard House. Or Death Metal. (Personally, I think this is an oversight: We are living through difficult times, and the days of a half-carafe of Mateus downed to Renée and Renato are mercifully behind us). I had planned a majestic, almost cinemascopic opening paragraph alluding to the great lovers and those who have lived their lives as if each day was their last: Anthony and Cleopatra, Romeo and Juliet, Bergman and Bogart, Frank and Betty etc…etc… From there I would make a contrived narrative leap over to Idle Hour Barnes where miraculously I would mirror these iconic figures with you lot, and this inexpensive literary technique would make you all feel a bit better about yourselves, thereby convincing you to spend a bit more money and consequently securing my position as a viable financial option. Yes, I was going to do all the above. I was. In spades. But then I saw the stats.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: ‘Oooh, get him! Has one bad week and he throws all his toys out.’ Well, no. I’m sorry, I thought we were all adults here and, frankly, that’s just a cheap shot. I expected so much more from you. And anyway, it’s not just about my so-called ‘bad week’, is it? It’s about love, it’s about respect and it’s about…er… Actually, screw it. It IS about my ‘bad week’. You want quality? Well, quality costs. And right here is where you start paying.

Idle Eye 17 : The Size of Things to Come

In a time of unprecedented selfishness it was comforting to learn that Australian Patriarch Ken Grenda has decided to split huge profits from the sale of his 66 year-old bus company with his staff. All 1800 of them. Strewth! Can you imagine Fred the Shred doing that back in the good ole days of RBS?

Sir Fred* : (to room) Are we all in? Oh good. Well, you’re probably wondering why I’ve asked you to assemble here today and I’ll not beat about the bush. This year we made a record profit of ten billion pounds. Ten billion! That’s a lot of billions. And it got me to thinking that I could not have done it without your tireless support, your hard graft and your willingness to think outside the box when times were tough. So thank you all and, er, goodbye.

Staff : Sorry?

Sir Fred* : Nothing to be sorry about. Your sacrifice has put RBS right back on track. So buy yourselves a wee drinkie and remember : You did it once, you can do it again. And feel free to drop a few coins in the pension pot on your way out. Every little helps.

Grenda’s heartwarming generosity is made all the more poignant because he’s the little guy made good. His third-generation family business succeeded where so many multinational corporations have failed because he cared for & respected the people who put him on the map and, finally, rewarded them in a way that would be unthinkable to those in the corridors of power. He cut them in. Perhaps there’s a lesson in there somewhere, and not necessarily about the distribution of wealth :

The Idle Hour was realised almost eleven years ago. I remember it well. Nibs, Da Mudda and myself scrubbing floors, hanging pictures, architecting the lavs etc.. but the most potent thrill of all, particularly for Nibs, was the notion that it could make a difference. The pubs in the vicinity at that time were tired, languid affairs that gave you little incentive to leap up from Buffy and go out. I think, and I know I am partisan, that the Idle Hour upped the game considerably, and it did so because it thought small. Why spread the love too thin when you can pile it on over a lesser circumference that appreciates the effort so much more? And the very thing that makes it special is its size. Go figure…

So, Sir Fred*. Sorry about today, really, sorry. It’s a bitch when you lose a gong, don’t we all know it? But maybe when you’re not shooting peasants in Spain or fast-tracking it with Max, you can take stock for five minutes and think about where you went wrong. Hey, maybe even start again. But this time, take a bit of advice from the little guys. The Nibs’s and the Grendas of this world. And maybe this time you won’t screw it up for the rest of us.

*Not Sir Fred

Idle Eye 16 : The Curse of Celebrity

I despair, I really do. We are living in an era where all you have to do to be the zeitgeist is get your bum out or unleash your rotten larynx onto a public so anaesthetised by mediocrity that to hit a note accurately is the equivalent of a presidential motorcade. Without the sniper, obviously. Although, my stars, we certainly could do with one. Does anyone remember a time when to be a celebrity meant that you actually had to have something of value to offer? When footballers earned not much more than Bob the Builder and spin was something you did in tennis not politics? And when did it become acceptable to get your house done up by TV producers with one eye on the ratings and the other on gullibility? The list goes on and on as our resistance to cack shrinks like the polar ice caps.

Anyway, I’m on the phone to Nibs because I saw that Nick off The Apprentice at my work last week, and he had that Keira Knightley off the films at Idle Hour Barnes. Not last week, but recently. In the last 18 months, anyway. And she said it was her favourite pub in London. And I was going to ask that Nick off The Apprentice to check out the Idle Hour but at the last minute I got scared and I went red and he saw me and I got really embarrassed. So I pretended not to see him and then he walked past me and then I did this really loud cough and then he turned around and I was like, so, uh! And then I went into WH Smiths and got some Malteasers. And Heat magazine.

Perhaps we’re all missing a trick here. I recall a time when Kylie, whose work to that date had been considered risible, was implausibly embraced by the fashionable music press. NME, Sounds, Melody Maker, all of which had been championing fiercely independent bands, suddenly turned on a sixpence and tried to make us all believe that this (admittedly) attractive media puppet had significant cultural value that we were not yet aware of. I fervently believe that this was the fulcrum point of our demise.

Anyway, I’m on the phone to Nibs because I heard that track off the last Take That album was on an advert. And the advert was, like, really brilliant. And then I got to thinking it would be really brilliant if the Idle Hour had, like, a song, sort of like the Take That one, not exactly like it but kind of the same, and it was on an advert for the pub, but with Take That doing the music. Or even Kylie. Cos that would be really brilliant.

Art, as in nature, has ever-decreasing circles of influence. One day these circles will become so small they no longer have the space to turn. Then, and only then, my friends, will we understand. Last orders at the bar, folks. And I’ll have a P please, Nick…

Idle Eye 15 : The Scotch

Burns Night. What’s that all about, eh? Come on you Scotch, I want an explanation. And it had better be a bloody good one. Seems to me you get in a bunch of transvestites partial to a bit of sheep’s entrails boiled to buggery in it’s own stomach lining, get them half cut on single malt and let them loose on poetry. What could possibly go wrong? Now, any one of the above would normally be cause for alarm but, as Aristotle once succinctly remarked, ‘the whole is profoundly more disturbing than the sum of its parts’. And he was wise..

So let’s take a step back and put it all into perspective. Can you imagine the flack if we foisted a similar indignity on our deep-fried Mars Bar munching chums?

The Scotch : Ah dinnae ken this Pam Ayres, laddies.

The Brits : Ahem… Well, she’s a completely irrelevant poet who we drink to until we are sick, every year, then we read her poems which no-one understands or likes while we eat a traditional British dish that no-one likes. Then we dance about a bit and chat to the food in an accent that no-one understands. Then we go home.

The Scotch : Are yuz tekking tha puss?

The Brits : Not at all. It’s really good fun. You just have to get into the spirit of

SMACK!

…it.

*bleeds*

Anyway, turns out that Nibs is throwing a gourmet version of this, frankly, astounding evening at Idle Hour Barnes this coming Wednesday and, if for no other reason, I’d be grateful if you’d all go along and report back here. For instance, I’d like to know what exactly is the posh version of a haggis. Is it free-range? Left to amble freely across the heather-strewn highlands and islands until such time that Alex Salmond needs a bit of free PR and the axe comes down in the back of a soundproofed tartan Range Rover? Does it sport a diamante sporran perhaps? Or, specced up with free education, does it take the moral high ground over you the humble diner, sweating miserably over your forthcoming university fees? All these and more are questions I would like answered by this time next week so please, do your bit.

Finally, I’d like to round up this weeks’ waffle with a plea (yes, another one, don’t get out your pram). Like the Good Lord himself, this blog needs followers, and I’ve heard tell that it has been a bit tricky of late to subscribe. There’s a reason for this : I failed to add the button that lets you do exactly that. Until now. It’s on the Posts page, RHS, up top. So if you’ve arrived here via Arsebook etc.. please don’t bail out. Click. Subscribe. And trust me, I will make your life a sorrier place than it is already. On a weekly basis. And you can’t say fairer than that xx

Idle Eye 14 : The Bagging Area

Let’s talk cheese. Why the hell not? It’s a staple. Good, honest fare made by farmers and Blur and consumed in quantity by the French, West Country types and yours truly. Soft on the palate and hard on arteries, this formidable foodstuff has done the rounds for centuries and is showing no signs of letting up any time soon. So it came as no small surprise to learn that sleb chef Anthony Worrall Thompson has sullied the reputation of our dairy doyen by popping into Tesco in Henley-on-Thames and nicking it. For Heaven’s sake man, get a grip! Now, clearly Tony feels the same about the Empire of Evil as I do but really, cheese and discounted coleslaw? My heart actually bleeds for the guy so I thought I’d use my Bro-given platform to offer him a little assistance for the future:

  • First rule of shoplifting: Always shoot above your status. There’s very little point in doing time for sandwich fillings, no matter how much quality bubbly you wash them down with.
  • Second rule of shoplifting: Never admit culpability. Ever. Even if they find you with a boot full of hooky lager and an empty petrol tank, you hold your head up high and come on all Penelope Keith. It’s the British way. None of this ‘Oooh sorry, I’m a klepto, I’ll make amends’ crap, it’s balls out, chest in or bust. Either that or think very hard about the products you have stolen and seek culinary advice. From a celebrity chef, perhaps?

Speaking of cheeses, Nibs brought over a selection from the Idle Hour last week. You know the sort of thing, a NASA-funded one that removes the roof of your mouth, another so creamy it should be ‘R’ rated, some blue, some borrowed etc.. And, it must be said, they were outstanding. All of them. In case you’re wondering, yes, the Alex James one made an appearance, woo hoo! It’s called ‘Blue Monday’ for all you Eighties throwbacks out there, it’s made in Kingham, Oxfordshire and apparently it’s eye-wateringly expensive. Of course it is: The man drank a million quids worth of champagne in three years, he’s got to claw it back somehow.

Hang about, I’ve just come up with a solution. No win, no fee, and it works like this: Tony, you load up the Bentley with the three crates of champers you actually paid for and head over to Alex’s in Kingham (it’s not far from your manor, I checked on Google Maps). In exchange for these, Alex will donate as much Blue Monday as he can squeeze into the boot and/or passenger footwells because he laaavs abitavit! (BTW first check whether he’ll bung in a bit of cheap slaw on the side). Then, when you’ve sorted your respective addictions, head on over to the Idle Hour for a conciliatory slap-up where Nibs will show you both how it’s done proper.

Honestly, I blame the parents.

Idle Eye 13 : The Resolutions

I’d like to start off 2012 with an apology and then we’ll get down to business. It seems that one or two of you were deeply affronted by the insinuation made on the Cast & Crew page that Nibs’ and my own dear mother is somehow affiliated with the Nazi party. On reflection, I have come to the conclusion that this may not be the case (despite some damning evidence to the contrary I am legally bound not to disclose) and I apologise unreservedly for any offence caused. So much so that I spent the week after Christmas tracking down the only surviving member of the Waffen-SS, one Herr Josef Ümlaut, to make the apology in person. I am, and have always been, a gentleman.

So where were we? Ah yes, 2012. Well, we all enjoyed the fireworks (thanks, Boris) and we’ll all be working just that little bit harder to pay them off, right? But never mind that, it’s the Olympics, innit! THE OLYMPICS!!! Sponsored by health and efficiency magnates Coke and MacDonalds and mascotted by cuddly cyclopses Wenlock and Mandeville. Brilliant! I don’t know about you but I am going to be glued to my set for weeks, swilling official fizzy pop and burgers until I am fit enough to hound down one of those monocular LOCOG lackeys and lance it with a javelin. There, I said it. Now, who else can I offend this week? C’mon Seb, have a pop.

I also promised Nibs that I would make this blog more Idle Hour-centric in one of my less rational, claret-sodden moments of weakness. Well, it was New Year and I was welled up with the mucus of human kindness. So we discussed characters we could slowly introduce that, in time, you will all become familiar with, based on your favourite pubs’ staff, locals and such. It was a drawn-out process but we got there in the end. So, without any further ado, I would like to introduce you all to Timmy:

You:  Hello Timmy!

Timmy:  Meow.

You:  TimmyTimmyTimmyTimmy!

Timmy:  Meow.

Obviously, over time, Timmy’s inherent qualities will manifest themselves on the page and her (sic) antics will become increasingly unlikely and hilarious, but first I have to get to know the little gal and this far in it’s all she’s given me. However, I think you can already tell she’s got the X-factor and I’ll be exploiting this ruthlessly as you might imagine.

Lastly, but by no means leastly, I’d like to thank you all for reading this nonsense over the past few months. Perhaps if you stick with it, you will notice a maturity of style and keen wit develop as the weeks go on, and perhaps, in an ideal world, you will meet Giles Coren in a fancy restaurant he is being paid to eat in and beg him to review Nibs’ tiny but perfectly formed establishment. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.

Oh, and Happy New Year.

Idle Eye 12 : The Bruises (Fah La La La La, La La La Lah)

I woke up this morning with two large bruises on my person. The first, a striking black bloomer, was nestling obstreperously on my right knee, and the other, an iridescent slow-burner like Christmas lights seen through an orange segment, sat resplendent on my left forearm. Now, I know for a fact that these babies weren’t there last night because I checked. It’s what you do from time to time when the body begins to rebel. So where did they come from? And what could they possibly want? At first I presumed they were oncoming signs of seasonal ailments suffered almost exclusively by the self-employed, but I was otherwise in good health and indeed had just carried a case and a half of holiday cheer in from the car. Perhaps it was the work of a rogue banker, splashing a small portion of his/her bonus on a voodoo curse in revenge for last weeks post. Unlikely, requires imagination. Bewildered, I called out for help:

Ursula:  What now? I’m making pies.

Me:  I’ve got two weird bruises. I think you should come and look.

Ursula:  Let me get this straight. There’s two shopping days to go, I’m cooking for eight, the flat is a tip and you want me to look at your bruises?

Me:  Something like that, yes.

In a second she was at my side, eager to discover something fresh and exciting about her partner. I peeled up the leg of my pyjama bottoms to reveal Exhibit A, glistening enthusiastically in the raking sunlight.

Ursula:  Is that it?

Me:  No, there’s another one.

I rolled up my sleeve with pride to the location where Exhibit B was vying for position. Ursula shot me a tender look that could have knocked small birds from trees and left, but at that very moment something astonishing happened. The darker bruise appeared to pulsate as I watched it, and as I drew closer I could see there was movement inside, the movement of what seemed like tiny people in what seemed to be a tiny pub, clearly enjoying themselves and raising their tiny glasses towards the huge figure looming above. “Merry Christmas from the Idle Hour Barons Court”, they cried in unison before clanking their respective tipples together. Squinting harder, I could just make out a miniscule bearded man in a Miami Vice jacket and penny loafers embracing another absurdly small representative from the Jägermeister company. In the background I spotted a lavish North African drinking space (ideal for pint-sized parties, by the way) and off in the kitchens an award-winning chef called Tony was creating a fabulous meal for everyone present.

Me:  (urgently) Urs! URS!!!

Ursula:  (in distance) **** off!

I was on the cusp of leaping from my bed when I noticed the second bruise. Not to be outdone, it was ebbing and flowing like a seasick calzone on a waterbed. I took a closer look out of fairness, and again I saw a myriad of microscopic pub-faring folk in mid-carousal just underneath the surface wound, only this time they were crowded around a log fire, being served what looked like mulled wine from a man wearing a somewhat vulgar Miami Vice jacket and Penny Loafers. At first they were blissfully unaware of my ugly moon face peering down at them, but eventually someone shouted and pointed:

Tiny Reveller:  (to room) There appears to be an enormous bloke watching us from above.

Me:  Fear not, small beer-swilling man, I mean you no harm.

Tiny Reveller:  But how are we to know this, vast crater-faced monster? We are here to celebrate what we call Christmas at the Idle Hour Barnes with our favourite award-winning landlord Nibs, Da Mudda and his brother. Could you come back another time?

Me:  His brother? Are you sure?

Tiny Reveller:  Of course I’m sure! Would you like to buy him a drink?

Me:  You know, I think I would, drunken gnome. Please send him forth.

In what felt like slow motion but actually was slow motion, I watched as a perfect replica of myself in 1/75 scale reached up and asked me for money. This was too much: I leapt back, banging my head against the Louis XIV mahogany headboard and instantly knocked myself out.

I cannot say how long I was gone for, but when I awoke I immediately noticed the bruises had disappeared. Oh, and that I’d pissed myself. Again. Looking around me I became aware that it was Christmas Day and my entire family had gathered around to celebrate the occasion. Da Mudda was smiling and pretending to like Bing Crosby, Nibs was smiling and pretending to like Bing Crosby and Ursula was going at my crotch with a J-cloth. And way, way off in the distance, I saw my own reflection. It was drinking an oversized glass of Jägermeister and giving me the thumbs up. And smiling.

Idle Eye 11 : The Voice of Reason

It’s that time of year when the jolly fat man, flushed from the effort of his exertions, comes for his annual handout and leaves you to clear up the mess. Sounds familiar? Yes, it’s that time again and don’t we all love it? I refer to the bankers’ bonus, of course, and the endless discussion thereof, from the red tops to Radio 4, from white van interiors to Hampstead tearooms it seems we cannot be rid of someone, somewhere, who needs to vent their spleen. And we, the Great British Public, absolutely lap it up. In these austere times when, Heaven forbid, we have to share bathwater, meals and the rest with our nearest and dearest, there’s nothing we like better than donning the gloves and having a good old-fashioned wallop at the City.

‘I think it’s disgusting, immoral and it should be illegal’ – A woman I just made up, the streets, yesterday.

‘We didn’t work our whole lives to be lied to and robbed at the end. Is this the right march?’ – A Public Sector worker, Whitehall, yesterday.

‘Do they know it’s Christmas time at all?’ – Simon Le Bon, a yacht, the Eighties.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. I’m supposed to be a vegetarian, lily-livered Lefty, right? What in God’s name am I doing pandering to these monsters, these harbingers of misery who put profit before people, bonuses before benevolence and continue to take, take, take as we mere mortals continue to reimburse their errors? Well, my friends, think on: Remember when ‘Call Me Dave’ campaigned vehemently for us all to hug a hoodie? Well, I took something on board that day. I learned that perhaps we should learn to embrace the unknown instead of taking a shot at it like the great collector and public benefactor Frederick John Horniman did when he first came across a walrus:

Stooge:  Sir, something stirs there on yonder iceberg. He is a fantastical creature, long of tooth and great of hair. And I do believe he is something of which we have never seen the like.

BANG!

Horniman:  Put him in the bag with the others, Bobbins.

So bankers, hear my cry! I come to you in peace, I bear you no ill will. All I ask is, well, now you’ve got more in your Armani pocket than I shall earn in a lifetime, that you spend it wisely. And it is narratively convenient that I happen to know just such a place for you to do so. Cross the Thames if you have to. Charter your private jets in the direction of SW13 and W6. Spend the wad of our King Mervyn here today and throughout the Christmas period. And do not spare the rod! The Idle Hour will cater for your every need, your whims, your festive fantasies. And with such style and finesse that you will wonder why you ever wasted your nights at Dirty Dicks. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll let me off.