John Gibson: A Grey day at tea time for some

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I KNEW Earl Grey when he was a commoner. Just like you and me. That long ago. Every chance you now drink his tea. It was never to our taste in Leith. Always the loose leaf stuff from the Co-op.

Earl Grey was a bit rich, perceived as a bit toffee-nosed. Nobody at the foot of the Walk drank it. Well, they hadn’t heard of it, although some connoisseurs claimed it went down a treat with a dash of Brasso.

In time they became more worldly. They even took the advent of triangular teabags in their stride.

But seasoned Earl Grey sippers are grumpy because Twinings, who own the 180-year-old blend, have been tampering with the recipe, adding a dash of lemon and a smidgeon more bergamot.

Branded “vile” by some critics and I can sympathise. When Heinz recently messed about with the ketchup I marched on Westminster waving a “hands off” banner. And who’d dare meddle with Marmite down there? Nobody’s brave enough.

Can people not leave things as they are? Next time you spot somebody dunking a Digestive in their Earl Grey, be a good citizen and get them an Asbo.

They’re all wearing tea shirts in Leith, by the way.

L for leather

We’re talking Pussy Galore. Or, if you prefer, Honor Blackman. Her claim to fame, she had a roll in the hay with Sean in Goldfinger.

With her 90th not a million miles away, she turned 86 the other day.

Invariably leathered, Blackman buckled a swash in 43 episodes of The Avengers and my recollection of the old gal is rekindled when I see far-from-shy shopper Mary Portas, pictured below, in black skin-tight leather trousers. Mary . . . just don’t.