KEITH NEWBERY: Hosepipes and Stairs - fun for all the family!

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I WAS sitting in A&E awaiting treatment for a severe case of trench-foot (which will teach me to go walking in a pair of sandals at this time of year) when the idea came to me.

There must be millions of fellow countrymen (and women) who, fed up with wading through the delights of the summer, are seeking other ways of occupying their holiday time. As entire families bob around car parks in caravans, or huddle in seafront bus shelters to escape the horizontal rain squalls, they must crave updated versions of popular board-games.

Well, they will be pleased to learn relief is at hand. I have been working feverishly over the past few days and have come up with some ideas certain to have the innovators at Waddingtons reaching for their corporate cheque-book.

For instance, Snakes and Ladders is to be replaced by a new game called Hosepipes and Stairs.

Competitors who land on the bottom rung will be allowed to take their belongings to the upper floors, before leaving the house by sliding down a hose-pipe from the bedroom window.

Monopoly will be revised to take into account recent changes in the money and property markets.

Those who volunteer to become bankers will be sent straight to jail without passing Go, and contestants will be entitled to purchase houses on a buy-for-let basis, thereby denying first-time players the opportunity of owning their own home.

However, anyone who lands on the utilities (especially gas or electricity companies) will only be entitled to purchase them if they prove not to have British citizenship.

You will be thrilled to learn that, as a consequence of the John Terry court case, an updated version of blow football is ready to be launched. It will require those playing the computerised version of the sport to moderate their language.

One competitor will be permitted to shout: “Blow me, that was an unfair tackle you rotter!” His opponent will be entitled to respond with: “Blow you too, you moaning blighter!”

However, as the match reaches its thrilling climax (and in true traditions of the sport) either player will be entitled to shout something a little stronger! In the meantime, I spy with my little eye, something beginning with R...

HATS off to Saga insurance, who this week achieved a new low in customer relations.

I wanted to amend my car policy and was met by the usual disembodied voice which assured me my call was valuable to them.

She then explained they were receiving ‘an unexpectedly high volume of calls’ and if mine was not urgent could I ring back in 48 hours!

What delay would I have been offered if my call had not been valuable to them?

So I went the website route and was greeted with a message which read: “Due to routine maintenance you won’t be able to renew your policy online until Monday, July 16.”

At that moment, it was on Monday, July 16...