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paul wood

Old Contemptible
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Blog Comments posted by paul wood

  1. At work the standard indian tea such as PG tips is referred to as chimp tea. This goes back to the days when we had a Spanish girl working for us whose command of the English language was extremely limited. One lunch she said she was going to the shop could she get anything. I asked if she could get a pack of tea bags. She returned with some disgusting herbal concoction. I tried to explain what was required but without success. I then remembered PG tips had a picture of a chimpanzee on the packet. So finally when she went to the shop a request for chimp tea had the desired  effect. so the name chimp tea stuck.


  2. I like my tea strong enough for my spoon to stand up in. My father got me into it. When my father was at RAF Dum Dum 1943-47 most of his fellow officers drank ice cold drinks to mitigate  the heat, his Sikh batman warned him against it and said that strong hot tea would cool him down, most certainly did. So years later in the UK when everybody else was drinking iced drinks on a baking day the wood family was inbibing copious quantities of hot strong brews of Assam's finest.


  3. 2Mind you as I think Sterne's Tristam Shandy is the finest work of the English language I would suggest it breaks all rules of clarity but who else could create Trim. Uncle Toby and Parson Yorick and his horse intersposed with tale of the Abbess of Quedlingburg and the recreations of the sieges of King William's wars on the bowling green. For those who have never read it read and reread it is highly addictive and  each reading will occupy several pleasurable  days.




  4. My reason for collecting was accidental. As many of you will know I worked for Sotheby's and for the last 18 years Morton and Eden auctioneers cataloguing and valuing coins and ODM. I gained great pleasure in being the temporary custodian of some of the most fantastic medals and groups available including many VCs, Sir John Franklin's NGS, the Younghusband group and Oates polar medal. I decided that as I would never have the funds to afford anything of quality and would avoid mixing business wth pleasure.

    In early 2005 this all chanģed. I was cataloguing a nice collection which had quite a bit of Indian interest, amongst which was an Indian General Service 1908, 1 clasp Waziristan to an employee of the North Western Railway. I made it a weak single lot estimate £30-40. I was criticized for lotting it thus and I then made the fateful statement "If nobody else wants it I will buy it."  I  ended up with the medal as well as a 4 clasp IGS 1908 to a mountain battery which cost £95.

    The India theme suited me as my father  had served in India with the RAF and RIAF from 1943-47 and in the process  had "gone native". As a child I remember him talking to Indian bus conductors in fluent Urdu which resulted in us avoiding  paying any fare.

    Unfortunately buying medals was like taking heroin, a serious addiction from which I was unable to kick. 700 odd medals later, almost all British campaign medals to Indian recipients, the addiction is stll as strong as ever. The marvellous thing about medals to Indian recipients is they are not researched to death like many medals to British recipients where in some cases we even know the make of underpants they wore into battle as a result I have been able to secure some real gems for next to nothing including a WW1 Afghan pair to a captain Mehta who was medical officer and later CO at the prison where Gandhi staged his famous hunger strike and is mentioned several times in Gandhi's diary as MO he knew Gandhi literaly intimately and a Malabar 1921-22 named to the Nizam of Hyderabad.

    I hope this gives a glimpse into why I collect. 



  5. I hope fat tony eventually forgave you (cats can hold long term grudges) As to avatars i use my real name but most of the people withassumed names on this forum i know their real identity and they make no effort to hide it. My picture is not me but the great afghan leader mohammed nadir shah. The hero of the 3rd Afghan war ad far as the afghans are concerned also a carachter i admire

    All the best




  6. The problem with Christmas these days it  seems to start soon after August Bank Holiday. Children are bombarded with advertisements for extremely expensive toys which of course they all want to have. As a child circa 1960 Christmas did not really get underway till School broke up around a week before, then it was the Sunday School Christmas Party, a visit to Santa's Grotto at the local department store, where my mother paid over the odds for me to receive a very second rate "Empire Made" plastic toy. About 3-4 days before my Father would put up the Christmas tree. Christmas Eve it really kicked off dad finished work at 12:30pm (he was allowed a half day on Christmas Eve). The afternoon was the Crib and Carol Service at the local church while my mother was working like a slave to prepare the food for the next day. The night was always spent with me trying to stay awake to see Santa but I always dropped off before he came and then presents, Christmas dinner and my Parents falling asleep during the Queen's speech. I always associate Christmas with the smell of (cheap) cigars which was always my present for dad. The  first  working day after Boxing Day dad went to work and by 12th night the Christmas tree was positively verminous and that and all decorations were removed.

    Christmas really was something as it did not last half the year and the money spent was not so immoral as to leave many families in debt.

    I hope all your Christmas days are enjoyable and pass without too much stress (or fights).


  7. I tend to look at collectables as a way of not spending all my money on, as Hank Williams would have said on cigarettes, whisky and wild, wild women, they get you zero financial return, while with my medal collection I may not make a profit on it but hopefully there will be a reasonable amount of money when I decide to sell.



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