Miles Kington MILES ON TV
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Hello.
How are things?
Things here are fine but very expensive.
We have just had a couple of coffees for a pound each. We are sitting in the sunshine in a café writing postcards.
Yesterday Caroline said we shouldn’t leave it too late to write the postcards home. I agree, even though it was the first day of the holidays. So we drew up a list of people we really wanted to send postcards to.
There were four people on it.
Then we drew up a list of people who would feel terribly offended if we didn’t send them a postcard.
There were thirty-seven on it.
So we have been writing postcards non-stop ever since – we just divided the list down the middle and took half each. The person who finishes first takes the thirty-seventh. That’s why we’re both writing quite slowly.
Anyway, it’s lovely here and things are fine.
Oh no, I’ve said that already, and we’re spending all our time writing postcards, because for some strange reason if you don’t send your postcards on the vey first day of the holiday, you always get back before the postcard does, which tends to remove the point of the postcard, if postcards have a point, which I doubt, except to make the recipient feel jealous.
Anyway, it’s very important to get the postcards out of the way so that we can get down to buying presents for people at home. We’ve drawn up a list of people who would feel terribly offended if we didn’t bring them a small present and it comes to forty-one.
Seems hard to believe that there are four people who deserve a present but not a postcard, doesn’t it, but there you are.
Whoever you are.
Yes, I have written this far in the postcard and still haven’t decided who I am sending it to.
It could be anyone.
Fair’s fair, we could be sending a postcard from anywhere.
I remember once going up to the top of the Hilton Hotel in London to have a lunchtime drink with two mates, for fun and to look at the view, and we were so far above everything and it looked so unfamiliar that we suddenly realised we had no proof we were actually in London.
We said as much to the waiter.
He was Italian and didn’t understand but then I spotted that the hotel name was stamped on the swizzle sticks in our drinks and I said at least that was proof where we were.
Not exactly, said my two friends: they both had swizzle sticks stamped Hilton Hotel, Berlin.
This is true as I breathe.
There is no name on the coffee spoon in this café, but the bill says Café Splendid, Minolta.
Where’s Minolta?
Where are we?
The local language is broken English and the local currency is credit card.
I wonder where we are?
Have a look on the map, would you, and drop me a note?
I remember once travelling in the tube back from Heathrow and there were two air stewardesses opposite me, taking their shoes off and relaxing after a hard flight, and one said; Where’ve you been today – I thought it was your day off?
The other one said: Yes, it was, but I was called out for an emergency flight to GKE.
GKE, said the first one, where’s that then?
I don’t know, she said, but it was about two hours away and seemed quite warm.
Yes, she’d actually been abroad and not had the faintest idea where she’d been, and I know exactly how she feels, because I am in the same boat.
Anyway, lots of love from wherever we are to whoever you are, and on to the next postcard.

BBC Radio 4 October 1987

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Miles on Air
Radio Television
Postcard from Abrod
The Archers
Beginnings and Endings
Franglais
Wife of Bath
Patpong Road
Memorable Verse
Barbed Wire Ballads
Dying Words
How to tell a Funny Story
A Handbag
Dead Slang
Letter from a Magpie
Choosing Baby's Name
Letter from a Cuckoo
Hunchback of Notre Dame meets Richard III
One-liners
Scar Head
Wonderland World Cup
Bunter in Hamlet