The result of a poorly Sunday, and the fantastic mis-remembering of the name of a holiday cottage rental company produced this fictional obituary, of Dickensian-sounding anti-hero, Alastair Bidet:

Alistair Bidet, Tour Guide, Entrepreneur.

Obit.

Spawned of a line of plumbers of French Ancestry (his great-grandfather emigrated from Vernet-Les-Bains), Alistair Bidet was born in Bottom Flash, near Winsford, Cheshire.

A carefree young child, his godfather, Thomas Crapper, was amongst the first to encourage academic pursuit in Alistair.

Whilst still in the earliest flush of youth he went up to Cambridge, where amongst the ivory towers he set his mind to Classical Literature. It was there that he learned from his fellow students of the diversions offered by a Grand Tour.  His mind was quickly made up: upon graduation, he would travel.

His performance, culminating in Gentleman’s Degree at the age of twenty-one, proclaimed a rather greater allegiance to attending communion at the porcelain temple than the austere regimens required for academic rigour. However, his father remained supportive, believing that a European education would offer something more tangible than the stuffy confines of a college.

Showered with good wishes, he set off. And how travel changed him! The famous journals of that time, ‘Jottings from the Privy of a First Class Car’ detail his extensive excursions by rail, and the various characters he met, who would remain ‘chums for the rest of his life’: Lady Margaret Pears, estranged daughter of the soap magnate; Vestaglia Accappatoio, the Neapolitan soprano, and Mr. Twy Ford, who readers may remember sadly passed away last spring.

Gifted in the art of rhetoric – Twy was once heard to comment ‘No hot air from Bidet, just a wonderful warm jet of relaxing information’ – Bidet’s fledgling idea for a tour company – Crapper providing the capital – soon took off.  For the next twenty years he educated British travellers with his genteel, informative guided holidays of Europe. He never quite cracked the American travel market, who perceived many of the operators he used to be insufficiently sanitary.

He was regrettably taken ill last Tuesday, and his swift deterioration, caused by an obstruction to the lower bowel, put paid to his upcoming expedition to the Amazon Basin. He will be sadly missed, and we have had many readers writing in, reminiscing about the various excellent tours they went on”

Alistair Bidet’s Walking Tour of the Cisterns of Ancient Rome

Alistair Bidet’s Quick Nip To The Louvre

Alistair Bidet’s Cleanly Excursions to Bath

These will continue, led now by his daughter, Mrs Portia Potty.

He is survived by his widow and two children, condolences to Flushing Road.

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