COLUMN: The Ely Grumpster is almost ready for his holiday...

The Ely Grumpster

The Ely Grumpster - Credit: Archant

• The countdown has begun to the Grumpster holiday.

Doris is already packed. I need to shop as last month, she made a bonfire of my much beloved knee length black socks, sandals and slightly off-white string vests. “I am not ‘aving you look like one of them gumbies orf monty python”. Charming.

• We are going with Jane and Jim. Jim is a blacksmith with a right bicep the size of Mars. Jane is mad as a box of frogs, whose party piece is drinking 5 or 6 g&ts in an hour before passing out. Always seen them as classic material for Grumpster’s next Play.

• We went away with them in 2016. After staring at the rain for 2 weeks in the Loire Valley, we have taken no chances this time - Italian Riviera. Jim is bombing around Europe on his Triumph Tiger, joining us in Turin. Then it’s a short journey to Genoa.

• Doris, Jane and myself are catching the train from Paris to Turin. Sounds like heaven. Staring out of window at French peasants sweating in the sun, whilst I quaff a cheeky sauvignon and devour rare fillet mignon. Weather in Italy should be 27 degrees. Whole lot better than 2016!

• We chose our holiday friends carefully. After a series of disasters in the 90s with friends and family of the first Mrs Grumpster, I refused to ever do it again, until Doris put me in a headlock and refused to release me until I complied.

• Then we had a catastrophic week of family fighting in France in 2014, when her teetotal dad witnessed the family dipsos clear out the entire stock of wine in a single night. Holiday never really recovered after that.

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• It was fun in 2016 and should be even better this year with sea and sun. Little chance of a phone signal or internet. Perfect. All the self-centred drones who think Doris should be at their beck and call 24/7 will have to find some other way of filling their dull, monotonous lives for a couple of weeks.

• So, need to order some holiday clothes online. What is the best place for vest/knee length socks/open toed sandals combination?

• P.S - by the time this goes to print, we may be in world cup final. After Iceland, 2016, this is an amazing transformation. Well done lads.