From John Rowen

From John Rowen

  • Posted by Sandra
  • On 3. May 2021

From John, husband (and much more besides) to Susanne, who has kindly submitted the following on his life as Comprador de comestibles and what hardships this entails

“Secretary” is a short form of my function here.  My full title, rarely used, is “Secretary and general dogsbody to her nibs, Susanne”.

Since the tragic developments of Corona during the last week or so, the burden of secretarial duties has diminished considerably, as Bridge and Mah Jongg sessions have been put on ice. No more the stream of phone messages taken, written down and left on the dining room table for instant attention by her nibs on return from one or the other session at the tables. Past are also the succession alarm signals of incoming e-mails on my PC from members of four different groups of Bridge and Mah Jongg ladies, requiring immediate reply by S.

My more menial duties as “chah wallah”, to prepare early morning tea (PG Tips bags) served with biscuits in bed, together with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, paper edition have been extended to also serve afternoon tea (PG Tips bags or Darjeeling First Flush finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe, loose, drawn for 3 minutes and 15 – 30 seconds in 95 degree C hot water, not boiling water). These beverages are accompanied by either small cakes, crumpets or toasted slices of raison bread with sliced cheese, also prepared by the chah wallah, although he does not have a valid German licence for such work.

More recently I have been promoted to also act temporarily as “Comprador de comestibles”. This sounds better than “groceries buyer”, a function I was rarely trusted to perform without major doubt about my qualification.

I am therefore considering applying to my trade union for recognition of an enhanced title of “Secretary, chah-wallah and comprador de comestibles” and cancellation of “general dogsbody” as the latter can be performed by someone else, or not at all

P.S.  I failed to mention, that since the Bridge and Mah Jongg sessions no longer take place at our home, the pressure on our stock of toilet rolls has reduced noticeably. We can probably survive for over 40 days on current reduced levels of consumption.

Dear John

Well, what can I say!  In spite of obvious extreme hardships at present, you have not failed us!  Indeed, such gallantry and courageousness should be amply rewarded, if in spirit only and thus your deeds will not go unnoticed.  Your words, now prominent on the BWC Online Diary, will be read by a nobler, wider public who will, without doubt, recognise fully your high competency in all matters domestic. Notwithstanding least, your ability to calculate accurately rest room requirements.  Amazing!

I, we, bow to you, John – a well deserved promotion to Comprador de comestibles!


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