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The collected opinions of an august and aristocratic personage who, despite her body having succumbed to the ravages of time, yet retains the keen intellect, mordant wit and utter want of tact for which she was so universally lauded in her younger days. Being of a generation unequal to the mysterious demands of the computing device, Lady Bracknell relies on the good offices of her Editor for assistance with the technological aspects of her journal.

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Location: Bracknell Towers

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Apistephto, ki'omos alithino*

When Lady Bracknell suggested recently that disabled persons might wish to buy vast quantities of chocolate bars in order to win a place in the Big Brother house, she was merely, to use the modern parlance, "having a larf".

The Dude and Becca were never in any real danger of having to sacrifice their currently svelte figures to consume innumerable fingers of wafer biscuit enrobed in a chocolate coating of indifferent quality.

Lady Bracknell was not at the time persuaded that anyone would purchase more Kitkats than they could realistically expect to have eaten before the sell-by date for the dubious benefit of thereby possibly winning a sojourn in the house in question.

But Lady Bracknell was wrong. Evidently her advanced age has prevented her from being in tune with the zeitgeist. It has been reported that one woman bought over 10,000 Kitkats.

Let us pause for a moment and attempt to envisage how much space 10,000 bars of chocolate take up. No, it is no good. Lady Bracknell has little in the way of spatial awareness at the best of times and, beyond being quietly confident that they would take up a lot of room, cannot project with any confidence just how much room that would be.

The mathematics, though, are easier. Hypothesising that the RRP for one Kitkat bar is somewhere in the region of 50 pence under the decimal currency system (ten shillings, therefore, in old money), this lady has spent five thousand pounds for a one in one hundred chance of being incarcerated for several weeks in the company of persons whose combined intelligence, charm, self-knowledge and integrity (with the notable exception of Pete) approaches that of the average garden slug. What strange times we do live in, to be sure.

Lady Bracknell is in behopes that the 10,000 chocolate bars, despite their indifferent quality and their deplorably low percentage of cocoa solids, have, at least, been eaten. That they have been donated to disadvantaged children who cannot afford their own chocolate bars, and who generally have no option but to subsist on bread and dripping. If it is ultimately revealed that said chocolate bars were merely tossed aside once their wrappers had been feverishly torn off, then Lady Bracknell will be doubly appalled.

*The title of this blog entry has been transliterated from the Greek. Lady Bracknell lived in Athens for a while when she was considerably younger, and "Apistephto, ki'omos Alithino" was a popular television programme at the time. The programme was American in origin: its original title was - if Lady Bracknell remembers correctly - "Strange But True".

As was often the case, a title which had been designed to be short and snappy became somewhat cumbrous in translation. The example of this phenomenon which most sticks in her ladyship's mind is the television adverts for Mars bars. Readers above a certain age will no doubt recall that Mars bars used to be marketed under the following slogan: "A Mars a day helps you work, rest and play". (Lady Bracknell apologises to any reader who finds that he or she now is now humming the accompanying jingle and cannot stop doing so.)

This was translated word for word in the contemporaneous Greek advertising campaign, resulting in the following far-from-compact slogan:

"Ena Mars kathimerina sas voethai na thoulevetai, na xekourazetai kai na pexetai".

Try singing that to the jingle. Lady Bracknell suspects you will run out of music quite some time before you run out of syllables.

(Lady Bracknell's Greek is no longer fluent, and she has never, in any case, been fond of transliteration. She apologises profusely to the delightful inhabitants of Greece if she has made any errors.)


Blogger stella said...

Miss Stella is MOST relieved to know that the humble Kitkat is available in the UK. I have already packed the Vegemite, but I'm pleased to know that I will be able to get my hands on my favourite chocolate bar when the need arises, as it inevitably will.

Friends assure me that I'm going to freeze my toosh off over there, so the chocolate consumption may provide it with some extra insulation.

I know you guys don't have Cheezels over there. I have a friend who married a gentleman from Newcastle Upon Tyne, who comes home to stay with me every year. Our first activity every trip is to rent a movie, and lounge about eating Cheezels and enjoying Australian beer. Then she always seems to want Vietamese Take Away, followed by The Age newspaper and Sweet Chilli Tofu.

Despite my friend Caroline's fondness for Cheezels, I prefer Twisties. Do I need to buy 10,000 packs before my relocation to the UK? Or are they available on Brittish soil?

11:47 am  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Lady Bracknell, having instructed her editor to perform an interwebnet search for Twisties, regrets to inform Miss Stella that, to the best of her knowledge, they can not be purchased in the UK.

Might a packet of Cheesy Wotsits go some way towards filling the void?

Lady Bracknell is, of course, very pleased to hear that Miss Stella's plans have come to fruition, and hopes that a meeting can be arranged during Miss Stella's stay.

2:35 pm  
Blogger Charlesdawson said...

For some reason I was unable to recall the tune to the jingle mentioned by her ladyship; however, all day I have been haunted by another vintage melody: "Hands that wash dishes can feel soft as your face/ With mild green Fairy Liquid".

7:54 pm  
Blogger Sally's Life said...

Twiglets reach the parts that others can't.

10:27 pm  
Blogger jfsouthpaw said...

I get the original type of tofu, fry it to death and add sweet chilli sauce - would that be comparable to Sweet Chilli Tofu?

11:50 pm  
Blogger jfsouthpaw said...

Twisties look a bit like Hoola Hoops, which come in lots of flavours now. (They used to just be ready salted.)

11:52 pm  
Blogger marmiteboy said...

I heard on Radio 5 Live the other morning of a women from an Irish Radio station in Dublin that spent about 6 grand (of the stations money) just to get a golden ticket. And she did. Lets hope that both of these people who have wasted vast sums of money don't get picked. If they do the spiirt of Charlie Bucket will be dishonoured.

Great news to here that Stell is on her way to Blighty. I too look forward to meeting her.

7:40 am  
Blogger stella said...

Aw thanks! I do need to get myself a new wheelchair before I jump on a plane though, and I can't find anything that I like. It seems I'll have to settle for the very same model of chair I got 10 years ago and pay a lot more for it. Hard to believe there's not something better by now.... like a hover chair! Gearless brushless motors and a decent raise and lower range shouldn't be TOO much for a girl to ask should it?

I'm aiming to be over there at the start of next year, which means I'll be going from an Australian summer (ie, very hot) to an English winter. Brrrrrr!

I'll have to be converted to Cheesy Wotsits by the looks of things. Or these Hoola Hoop things jfsouthpaw suggests.

Despite your lack of Twisties, I'm rather looking forward to living in a country where I'm allowed to call myself a Disabled person. Woohoo, bring it on!

6:08 am  
Blogger James Medhurst said...

The spirit of Charlie Bucket may be dishonoured but the spirit of Veruca Salt lives on.

9:11 pm  
Blogger Charlesdawson said...


It is possible to insert passages in Greek into a blog or answer using the following rather long-winded process (courtesy of Pete): go to


and type in your text in English; then tell it to translate into Greek.

You can then Copy the Greek and Paste it into your blog and the Greek alphabet will be miraculously preserved.

9:02 am  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

An interesting tool, but a clumsy one. It is rather like using a dictionary to translate, but without the helpful notes.

Lady Bracknell would not recommend its use to anyone unfamiliar with the language into which they wish to translate words or phrases.

In the particular instance in hand, for example, "A Mars a day helps you work rest and play" is rendered as:

Ένας Άρης ημερησίως σας βοηθά να απασχοληθείτε στο υπόλοιπο και το παιχνίδι

which is clearly some distance removed from the advertising slogan which was actually used.

The above caveats notwithstanding, Lady Bracknell is grateful for the link and may well utilise it in future.

9:59 am  

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