At the October lunch we had a riveting and shocking address by Mark Cook, founder of the charity Hope and Homes for Children, who showed a short film about the treatment of war children in orphanages in Central Europe. There was nary a dry eye in the house by the end, and we were fortunate to be able to support his work by presenting him with a cheque for 1,000 Euros, in addition to the usual small gift.

During the lunch, members were asked to discuss ideas for our charitable giving, and whether we should have luncheon speakers. The summary of the feedback was:

Charities – members prefer to leave this to the committee.

Speakers – prefer good speakers, or none. Some lunches without speakers are fine.

Last Saturday, 8 of the more hardy CADS joined HMS Elfin on her trip to Wormerveer, after dropping off Sinter Klaas and 100 Zwarte Piets at Zaandam. A great time was had by all, as well as large quantities of mulled wine and pepernoten.

At the 30th November lunch we will be addressed by Jarige Job, the charity which supports birthday parties for kids whose parents use the Voedselbank. We gave them half of the proceeds of our Jubilee Ball raffle earlier in the year, and it will be interesting to hear how they spent it.

In other news the EU budget is under discussion. They want a 10% increase from member nations. What will Mr Rutte do? Our Voorschoten library and swimming pool are facing funding cuts of 25% and 30% respectively. My view is to stop all further contributions until the previous EU accounts are approved. What do you think? As for David Cameron, can someone tell him to shut up until the bidding starts? He wants a zero increase, he says. What a wimp!

The next financial scandal has broken cover. HSBC is identified as the crooks’ favourite bank,  after an internal whistleblower sent details of 4,388 suspicious Jersey account holders to the Inland Revenue. The list includes drug runners and arms dealers on the run from police, several former bankers on remand for fraud, and various computer spammers and fraudsters. Additionally, there are whole teams of investment bankers on the list, although it is not yet clear whether any of them have failed to disclose their holdings. HMRC is investigating…

Nadine Dorries is outrageous. She made her money charging Liverpool council for providing residential care to penniless pensioners and to working Mums to look after their kids. This little deal was very profitable, so whilst husband Paul built newer and bigger houses to fill, she worked on selling housefuls of pensioners to BUPA for a ridiculous amount of money. Next she set up shop in Prestbury and destroyed a perfectly good retail business, employing a team of foreign workmen to knock it about, flooding the chemist next door with sewage, driving her husband to alcoholism, and finally abandoning her 15 year old daughter in a rented house in the village whilst she partied from her Cotswolds’ house (neighbours Rebekah Wade and Dave Cameron) to get herself selected as a Tory MP. Whilst her daughter trashed the Cheshire house, holding numerous boozy parties to which police had to be called, and her half-baked ‘Gorgeous’ beauty business went belly up leaving staff and suppliers unpaid, Nadine got herself selected to a safe seat, using her charms to ensure she was recommended to the constituency by her new top Tory pals. Ms Dorries is 56.