This story starts in Scarborough at the end of April 2016, when wife Sue had decided to enter the Yorkshire Sportive, a gruelling 50 miles bike ride around the hills and yet more hills of that part of North Yorkshire. I opted not to enter for the sake of my health and sanity, and walked the town area while Sue cycled.

The evening before the event, we walked out from our retro 1950s hotel to find food. As we were where we were, fish and chips was the chosen fare, and we found a suitably fine local restaurant which served the delicacy. Once seated, we were presented with two menus – one a little pricier and more extensive than the other. Fish and chips were on both.

A young lady came to take our order, and I asked quite naturally what the difference was between the fish and chips on one menu compared with the same offering on the other. She looked somewhat puzzled by the question, or at least that was what I thought. No, she was thinking, and a little later her words of explanation tumbled out in a rush once she had them all lined up in her head. “The fish and chips on the cheaper menu is…less more”. She knew what she wanted to say but the correct words did not align themselves in her head, and ‘less more’ came out. I asked if ‘less more’ meant ‘smaller’, and she looked relieved and she quickly agreed with me – “yes, that’s right, smaller…”. Much smiling and nodding of heads ensued.

The reason I mention this little episode is not to make fun of the young lady in question, but more as an example of the tricks the brain can play sometimes. We had another last week, which made us shriek with laughter.

We had been asked to stay with eldest son, and mind his six and nearly two year olds for a week, whilst his wife went to Canada for the wedding of a lifetime best friend. This would be hard work for two ‘older’ people, even though we know the children in question to be as settled and compliant as one could reasonably expect in children of that age. And so it proved. It was full on, but we made it through to the end of the week, by which time Mum had returned to the nest.

Whilst eating our (entirely coincidental) fish and chip supper, Mum remarked that the 6 year old had dirty marks on her face. Wife Sue came up with the answer straight away, as she knew exactly why the marks were there (she had been drawing with multi-coloured pens). Alas, her brain played a similar trick to that which afflicted the young lady in Scarborough. The ‘drawing’ word would not come, and ‘doing pen’ came out instead, which provoked instant merriment – and we’ll make sure that it won’t be forgotten in a hurry.

Wife Sue is always quick-witted and never stuck for a word, but in a way, it’s quite a relief (for me, who is more often stuck for les mots justes) to know that no-one is infallible.

Isolated moments of brain fart (undoubtedly as a result of over-tiredness) can result in moments of mirth to no-one’s disadvantage. Long live slip ups, we are human after all!!