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Highballs for breakfast, lunch and dinner: the prizegiving

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honoria plum

honoria plum

My personal quest is the search for a life inspired by the literature of P.G Wodehouse. Plumtopia celebrates this quest with other Wodehouse fans.

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This is one prize giving ceremony that cannot be undertaken on orange juice alone.

The Cheapest White on the List sat alone at a corner table, solemnly pawing an Anglers’ Rest bar menu.

‘What’s the matter with him? asked The Dubonnet Queen of Ealing Common.

‘The price of Pinot Grigio has gone up’ said a Totally Roasted, discreetly. ‘He’s had to switch to a Chardonnay from South Eastern Australia.”

‘But Australian wine is supposed to be quite good,’ replied The Dubonnet Queen.

‘Not this one,’ said The Cheapest White on the List.

‘I’ve got a nephew in Australia,’ said a Whiskey Mac. ‘Moved to Perth last year. Loves it apparently.’

‘Who hasn’t got a nephew in Australia? That’s what I’d like to know,’ said an Oatmeal Stout.

The Cheapest White on the List nodded. ‘That’s right! Why, if I threw this drink out of the window, I’m practically guaranteed to hit at least three people with nephews in Australia– probably more.’

‘I wish you would,’ said a Diet Shasta Orange and 150 Proof Grain Alcohol, who happened to work in personal injury claims.

‘I’ll bet Mr. Mulliner has nephews all over Australia,’ said the said the Whiskey Mac.

‘And nieces,’ said a Sparkling Water.

The assembled drinkers looked expectantly at Mr Mulliner. He beamed at them in reply.

‘Well, as it happens….’

highballs-jacketAfter a gruelling process of tasting and deliberation, it is my pleasure to announce the winners of the Highballs for Breakfast competition.

The coveted First Place prize is awarded to The Cheapest White On The List. The drink itself is both affordable and palatable, and an appropriate choice for the humble bar parlour of the Anglers’ Rest. His original name is also suggestive of a genuine Character who, either by inclination or impecuniousness, could do with a bit of cheering up. A copy of Highballs for Breakfast should do the trick.

Second Place has been awarded to another great character, the Dubonnet Queen of Ealing Common. This is a name that announces itself! It suggests a woman who has acquired her stature through charm of manner, and a cast-iron liver – surely a winning combination. I feel Wodehouse would have made something of her. The excellent people of Penguin Random House have made a second copy of Highballs for Breakfast available, so the Dubonnet Queen will also receive a copy.

A third copy of Highballs for Breakfast courtesy of Penguin Random House, and a book voucher worth £10 courtesy of self and cat, have also been awarded to Stefan Nilsson for his winning entry (The Code of the Woosters) in the 2016 Reading Challenge .

Prize winners please refer to the Postscript note to claim your prize.

Thanks to everyone who entered, and apologies if you missed out on a prize. I’d be pleased to console you over a pint, and slap you heartily on the back, if you’re ever passing through Somerset.

Finally, and with a heavy heart, it is my sad duty to inform you that my regular partner in judging –the cat, Monty Bodkin — passed away during the running of this competition (rest assured that he had not indulged in any of the tasting). So before my post-judging liver-cleansing commences, I’d like to raise a glass once more.

To Monty!


5 1stday with Monty


PRIZE WINNERS: I will attempt to contact you via your linked contact details to arrange delivery of your prize. Alternatively, you can email me directly at with your postal address. Cheers!



  1. Your dedication to the judging is to be commended 😀

    Sorry to hear about Monty Bodkin – he was a handsome fellow!

  2. LCantoni says:

    “To Monty,” assented the Oatmeal Stout, raising her glass respectfully.

  3. Joss Weatherby (Morten Arnesen) says:

    To Monty – and one more to the eloquent judge.

  4. Jon says:

    The Cheapest White on the List put down his glass of same in a state of some confusion.
    “It says here I won something,” he said, feebly.
    “It’s not from a prince in West Africa, is it?” a Half of Mild put in. “I answered one of those once … ended up in Accra wearing nothing but a white tulle mini skirt.”
    “No, I’m sure it’s nothing like that. It’s from a lady I know. She likes cricket and P. G. Wodehouse, so clearly any such rannygazoo is not in her nature. Even if she does have antipodean tendencies.”
    “Well, why are you looking like a stunned halibut on a slab, then?” the Gin-and-It wanted to know. “I’d be looking rather less fishy, if I’d won something.”
    “I never win things,” the hapless victor explained. “Not even the raffle at the Mother’s Union Annual Fete. And they only sold two tickets. At best I am the Gallant Runner-Up, muttering insincere congratulations to the winner and then retiring ungracefully and unnoticed. I don’t really know how to respond to actually winning.”
    “A simple thanks usually suffices, I find,” the Half of Mild told him. “Don’t go making one of those long speeches where you thank everyone from God down. What have you won, anyway?”
    “A book.”
    “Well, there you go. You’re always telling us you’re a writer. Perhaps it’ll show you how it’s done. And cheer up, for heaven’s sake.”
    “I can’t,” the Cheapest White On The List said, dolefully.
    “Whyever not?”
    “It’s my round.”

  5. Jon says:

    Also, I raise a glass of my own to the late Mr. Bodkin. May his memory be long.

  6. For the record :

    My dear Honoria

    Naturally I am delighted to have won the ‘second’ prize in the recent competition with my pseudonym or alter ego The Dubonnet Queen of Ealing Common; although I look upon it, as surely Bertie Wooster would, as a First Equal Prize. I look forward to receipt thereof and some happy literary snifters in the new year.

    Condolences and sympathies on the death of poor Monty.

    Yuletide felicitations to you and Keep Up the Good Work Spreading the Wodehouse Words,


  7. […] via Highballs for breakfast, lunch and dinner: the prizegiving — Plumtopia […]

  8. Sarah says:

    ‘To Monty’ clink

  9. Kudos to all and have a merry holiday with whatever shakes your spirit.

  10. Oh, all right, if you must! The Cheapest Wine on the List forsooth! I have to advise, however, that according to my recent deep researches across La Manche, the CWOTL is a Chilean pinot gris or an Argentine merlot. Sorry about Monty. Cheers.

    • honoria plum says:

      Thanks Noel. The rising cost of Pinot Grigio was just a little political joke of mine. Boris Johnson, on a recent visit Europe, said EU members needed Britain to remain in the common market because otherwise, the rising price of Pinot Grigio would affect sales.

  11. Murray Hedgcock says:

    While indignant that we of the orange juice brigade were ruled out of order by an over-zealous assessor, I pass on my commiserations on the passing of Monty Bodkin – obviously a cart of character, but who has sadly run out of The Luck of the Bodkins.. My sympathies to your Monty-less household.

    • honoria plum says:

      Thanks Murray. Please let me assure you that the orange juice brigade were not ruled ineligible. The winning entries were simply too well named to overlook. I did include a Sparkling Water in the introductory piece, which I hope goes some way toward making up for it. Hopefully I managed to put your case persuasively in my previous piece reviewing Highballs.

  12. George P. Smith says:

    Please accept my sincere condolences for the passing away of Mr. Monty.
    Only cat partners like us (we never own our cat – the reverse perhaps) know the invaluable amount of love and complicity these beautiful beings can pour on us. purr.

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