`Completely hopeless' is George Knox Mawer's frequent verdict on his young son's efforts.
The sign above father's chemist shop in north Wales reads `feeling ill in Wrexham'.
Only the brave dare to need medicine.
One of father's objectives in life is to repel all visitors who dare to invade his house, especially relatives. He tries to terrify his American cousins by his appalling driving, but even a description of how black pudding is made fails to deter them.
The Knox Mawers' annual holiday to Newquay provides a challenge to eat the landlady's mackerel and to play cricket for Atlantic View against Wavecrest Private Hotel. Young Ronnie is, as ever, `completely hopeless'.
A time of good cheer is not how the Knox family describe their Christmas. Young Ronnie gets a board game called `Gibb's Giant Decay', masonic brother Bowman receives a pair of Swedish ear plugs, and his wife gets a pair of surgical stockings.