JAMES BRAXTON As seen on BBC's Bargain Hunt and Flog It

Tuesday, May 20, 2003
Tea for Three
Our last day in Dublin. We have had a great time, having been to a rugby match at Lansdowne Road and a Gaelic football match at Crock Park. I would describe Gaelic football as a mixture between football rugby and netball. The later element, netball, as it has no offside rule, and a finite distance the player is allowed to run with the ball. It was very amusing, as there seemed to be lots of excitable players rushing around marking each other, with no real evidence of the ball being in play.

Our final challenge was to find the third and final bargain in a fair being held at our hotel/Hogwarts, for which we only had half an hour. Fergal Peter and I decide on a Victorian combination winetable/reading stand. I hope it will prove to be a bargain at £160, auction next Tuesday. The bargain is filmed and in the can by noon and I repair with the City tour drivers to the hotels bar, for 'a pint'. I bid them farewell and join and two of the BBC team for tea, which was lovely to chat for 2 hours. Conversation at tea table tends to build, rather than the talk of the bar, that tends to deteriorate. Horace Walpole, the 17th century diarist, wrote in damnation of the newly introduced tea party, 'The gossip of the tea table was the preparatory school of the brothel.' This was written in response to the introduction of tea after supper, requiring the men of the house be reasonably sober for their visiting guests, rather than staying at the dining table drinking port until bedtime. A subtle change to the timetable that curbed a leisured gentleman's way of life. I must say, in this instance, I much preferred the glamorous company of the tea table