Further to my reminiscences of The Li band in Italy (and my book pp.334–7),
We board another train to carfree and carefree Venice, where we have four wonderful days. We are staying—virtually alone—at the splendid hostel on the tranquil Isola San Giorgio, home of the majestic Cini Foundation, gazing across the water at San Marco. In the evening we take the vaporetto for our first meal at the excellent trattoria Il Giardinetto. This sure beats doing a Messiah in Scunthorpe for a jolly good tea, as we London musos say.
In the spirit of the sinological footnote, the precise version goes like this:
A fixer calls us up and goes, “Hi—can you come and do a Messiah next Monday night in Scunthorpe? There’s no fee, but there’ll be a jolly good tea.”