1. Chris Woodhead was at David Jones’s house, one day; and his Dad (or Fido, as Chris and I referred to him), came round there for him. It was the time of year when people talk about holidays—“Had your holidays yet? Where have you been?”—and, indeed, as Fido was talking to Mr. Jones (whom Jones called “Dads”), they got on to the topic of holidays. The Joneses had recently spent a holiday in Saltdean, and Dads was telling Fido about it: that Saltdean was where they usually went, and that they’d found a very good hotel—a Butlin’s hotel—and…
2. During the course of this conversation, Jones — twelve- or thirteen-year-old Jones! — stepped in, and suddenly started to take over. One would almost guess that he was a rep. for Butlin’s, the way he was trying to sell this hotel to Fido! He was enthusing on it; everything his Dad said, he endorsed: “Oh yes, Mr. Woodhead, and one thing we like is” (such a thing). “And it’s rather unlike any other Butlin’s hotel. One might get the impression, Mr. Woodhead, you know: ‘Butlin’s holiday camp’. Oh, it’s not like that at all, Mr. Woodhead. It’s a very quiet, select—could I say, almost sedate?—hotel. And Saltdean: oh yes, it’s a beautiful place, just on the outskirts of Brighton. Oh yes—ideal place to be!”
3. When the conversation was more or less over and Mr. Jones was showing them to the front door, Jones disappeared. He came back with a brochure about this hotel, enthusing about it again and saying, “Look, Mr. Woodhead, you take the brochure and have a look at it, and see what you think. I’m sure you wouldn’t be disappointed if you did decide to choose Butlin’s at Saltdean for your next holiday.”
“One day down to Budleigh…”
5. “One day down to Budleigh”, with the same rising intonation at the end, became one of the many catch-phrases of Jones that Chris and I would reel off with laughter when we got together.
My goodness, what a laugh, I'd almost forgotten this! But, yes, now it all comes back: especially the bit at the end where Jones disappears and comes back with a brochure. As if Fido hadn't heard enough about this bloody hotel already!!
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