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Of Moles and Men  

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on July 7, 2000

Sfx                                 Opening music

Announcer                     Bristow by Frank Dickens. With Michael Williams as Bristow,  Rodney Bewes as Jones,  Owen Brenman as Hewitt and Dora Bryan as Mrs. Purdy and featuring Liz Fraser and Joan Sims as Gert & Daisy. Of Moles and Men.

Bristow (VO)                 I am a very private man, and because of this, respect the privacy of others. In modern times, the invasion of another’s privacy is accepted as the norm and due to this those well off take stringent measures to ensure that those in their domestic employ do not go around spilling the beans or “blowing the gaff” as it is called in the underworld. I was reminded of this the other day when I ran into Gert and Daisy, two members of the Chester-Perry cleaning staff, enjoying a well-earned tea break.

Gert                               Anyway, so I said to her, Lady Chester-Perry I said , my mother, God rest her, who worked for Lady Sparser before the war, always wore gloves for the protection of her hands. It’s the first thing a gentleman notices about a member of the opposite sex, her hands…

Daisy                             Her hands, yes.

Gert                               I mean, it doesn’t matter what the rest of her is like, it’s the hands that attract the men

Daisy                             Hands yes, like a peacock’s feathers, the hands.

Gert                               Peacock’s feathers, what are you talking about?.

Daisy                             Peacock’s feathers to attract the female, it was on the telly.

Gert                               Oh you’re talking body language, with peacocks. I’m talking texture not body language. The beauty of the hands, not waving about of them

Daisy                             The beauty yes… Chester-Perry, yes

Gert                               Well she didn’t like me speaking my mind like that because you see you can’t see the beauty of her fingers for diamond rings…

Bristow                          Good morning ladies, I hope I’m not intruding on your private conversation…

Gert/Daisy                      acknowledging noises

Bristow                          …but I heard mention of Lady Chester-Perry. Do you know her?

Gert                               Course we do. We clean for her.

Bristow                          You clean Sir Reginald’s stately home, Dunwell Manor?

Gert                               Oh it’s not called Dunwell Manor ‘cept by the people who work here. It’s called The Grange

Daisy                             The Grange, yes.

Bristow                          Ya,ha hmm…what’s it like?

Gert                               We’re not allowed to discuss it

Daisy                             Not allowed

Gert                               We have to sign a paper, don’t we Daise?

Daisy                             Yes to keep it secret

Bristow                          Oh I see , a sort of Official Secrets Act

Gert                               Our lips are sealed.

Daisy                             My lips are, yours aren’t. You’re always talking about it

Gert                               Oohh!.

Sfx                                 Door opens

Jones                             Morning Bristow, morning ladies

Gert/Daisy                      Morning Mr Jones

Bristow                          Ah, morning Jones. Did you know these two clean for the Chester-Perry’s?

Jones                             Dunwell Manor?

Gert                               Oh it’s not called that really, it’s called The Grange

Jones                             No I didn’t. So you see our beloved firm’s founder in the privacy of his own home.

Gert                               That’s right.

Jones                             Do you speak to him?

Gert                               Course we do

Daisy                             Every day

Jones                             Do you talk to him about what goes on here?

Gert                               Cause we do. But our lips are sealed, aren’t they Daise

Bristow                          They have to sign an official secrets thing.

Jones                             Well you should have refused. They’re public figures, therefore public domain. At my, er, further education class last night we were discussing the royal family and their rights to privacy. That’s the nice thing about going to further education classes, discussing items of general interest.

Bristow                          Further education? What are you talking about?

Jones                             Didn’t I tell you? Well, I’m attending further education classes every evening.

Bristow                          That’s the first I’ve heard of it.

Jones                             I didn’t mention it because I know you take no interest in the future. Like most of Sir Reginald’s employees. And I didn’t think you were interested in bettering yourself.

Bristow                          Thank you Jones for those incisive comments on the lack of enthusiasm on the part of your fellow workers to better themselves, but the subject I was discussing with these ladies was the intrusion into the private lives by the modern generation…

Jones                             As I was saying, if you were paying attention, and this is another failing of thos who have no desire to better themselves…

Bristow                          For Pete’s sake

Jones                             …that people in the public eye, and I include Sir Reginald and Lady Chester-Perry in that class, are public property and like the royals we have a right to know what they do in private.

Bristow                          With the greatest respect, might I say that you are talking through your further development hat when you say that our beloved firm’s founder and his even more beloved wife are public property.

Gert                               They are famous Mr. Bristow. That’s the price of fame. That’s why we had to sign that paper, isn’t it Daise?

Daisy                             What piece of paper is that Gert?

Gert                               Well you know, the piece of paper that said we wouldn’t go around talking about things. That piece of paper we signed!

Daisy                             I signed it. I don’t know whether you signed it, you were talking non-stop. You get carried away at times, proper motormouth you, some days.

Bristow                          I say steady ladies.

Hewitt                            Morning ladies

                                      General chorus of Morning Hewitt

Bristow                          Hewitt, you represent the younger generation. So your teeny teeny tiny views must be worth something. Do you think Sir Reginald and Lady Chester-Perry are public figures, and if so, are in the public domain?

Hewitt                            You mean like Beckham and Posh Spice [note 1]

Bristow                          Cheeee..I knew it was silly of us to ask

Jones                             Bristow, don’t dismiss him like that, he’s making a valid point. Whoever it was he’s talking about are obviously in the public eye and that is what we are discussing at the moment. Hewitt, I was at my further education classes last night discussing well known people, and whether they are in public domain.

Hewitt                            Well I should think Beckham and Posh Spice are. They’re in everything going. Now personally I think they are wrong for each other, Dave should have stuck to the ball

Bristow                          I told you it was silly to get him involved

Jones                             Just a minute, Bristow, just a minute. Hewitt is answering the question. He has an opinion. And this is because Beckham and er, erm Hewitt speaks the name with him Posh Spice, are high profile figures and naturally of public interest…

Sfx                                 Door opens

Fudge                            WHAT IS GOING ON? HAVENT YOU PEOPLE GOT ANYTHING TO DO.

Jones                             Yes, yes of course we have…


Sfx                                 Door slams

Gert                               Oogh. Oogh What a misery. He’s not allowed to talk to us like that.

Bristow                          Oh ho, we don’t mind. He like’s to let off some steam every now and then. Puts him a good mood – for about five seconds

Gert                               Well I don’t like it.

Daisy                             I don’t like it either Gert. I’m going to tell Sir Reginald.

Gert                               You better let me talk to him. I’m better at it than you. Goodbye Gentlemen

                                      Goodbyes from Bristow, Jones and Hewitt.

Bristow (VO)                 Little did I realise, as the door closed behind them, that a door had opened to the unmentionable and unspeakable Jones who had, without anyone suspecting, already begun to make use of those two hard working cleaning ladies and was already infiltrating Dunwell Manor though the tradesmen’s entrance. It was not until the next day that I realised that Gert and Daisy were to be taken seriously. They were enjoying another well-earned tea break when Fudge entered.

Sfx                                 Cleaning ladies enjoying tea break. Door opens

Fudge                            amazingly muted by his standards  Hm, er Bristow ..hmm er Good Morning ladies.

Gert/Daisy                      Oh, morning Mr Fudge

Sfx                                 Much humming and hawing from Fudge as he retreats and gently shuts his door

Bristow                          Congratulations ladies. That’s the first time I’ve ever heard him deliver a grovelling apology.

Gert                               laughing Time he was taught some manners. Now, where was I Daise?

Daise                             You was putting Sir Reginald in his place

Gert                               Oh that’s right. So I said to him, I said, “Sir Reginald”, I said “with respect you are wrong. Your staff are not mindless worker bees toiling to acquire the remuneration that is their honey they are hard working and thinking people, eager to develop their minds, like Mr. Jones of the Buying Department who attends Further Education classes for that purpose”

Daisy                             What purpose is that, Gert?

Gert                               To develop his mind, that’s why he goes to classes. Oh I wish you’d pay attention. “Jones of Buying” he said in that la-di-dah voice of his “I must make a note of that name. People with hambition are few and far between and worth keeping an eye on”

Bristow (VO)                 I suddenly realised the evil that was Jones. He had cottoned on, during yesterday’s conversation with Gert and Daisy that they were of use, and his mention of attending Further Education classes had been deliberately planted to ensure that Sir Reginald Chester-Perry, our beloved firm’s founder, would get to hear about him. A vacancy had occurred for an assistant head of Production Control and, like mine, his hat was in the ring. I decided to tackle him at the very earliest opportunity. It came during an enforced rest in tbe gruelling Chester-Perry work schedule

Sfx                                 background typing and other working noises

Bristow                          Hmm…Jones? Mmm – would you mind if I asked you a personal question?

Jones                             That depends on how personal it is. Is it normal personal, medium personal or smack-in-the-mouth personal?

Bristow                          Normal

Jones                             Fire away.

Bristow                          What would you say if I told you, with all respect, you are the slimiest double-crossingest, double dealingist, sycophanticist, evillist, schemingist unsavouryist, back-stabbing blackguard I have met!!!

Jones                             Dear oh dear oh dear. I know what you’re trying to say, Bristow but you don’t have the vocabulary to put it across.

Bristow                          Cho!

Jones                             I suggest evening classes on basic English will help, if you really want to express your feeling properly.

Bristow                          Don’t give me that nonsense you were trying on the cleaning ladies earlier.

Jones                             Me?

Bristow                          The mention of further education classes was expressly aimed at planting the image of yourself as an ambitious would-be executive, knowing that they would mention it to Sir Reginald. You’ve never been to a further education class in your life, you charlatan!

Jones                             You’re only annoyed because you didn’t think of it first.

Bristow                          expostulates

Jones                             fading out Na-na na na-na, as they probably say at further education classes

Sfx                                 Door shuts

Bristow (VO)                 Smothering a curse, I took some extra work into the typing pool. I hate suffering alone.

Sfx                                 Link music

Sfx                                 Much typing in the background

Bristow                          Good afternoon Miss Suman. An angel dressed in homespun she giggles Are you putting on a little weight? Or is it a trick of the light?

Sunman                          It might be weight, but it doesn’t matter. I started aerobic classes last week. The weight will soon come off

Bristow                          Aerobic classes eh? Very trendy.

Sunman                          I’ll say. Sir Reginald Chester-Perry’s daughter Fiona [note 2] is in my class.

Bristow                          disbelieving intake of breath Do you speak to her?

Sunman                          Of course. She’s easy to talk to.

Bristow                          Do you mention work?

Sunman                          If it crops up, yes

Bristow                          I thought it would. I was talking to someone in my advanced further education classes about that sort of thing last night.

Sunman                          You go to advanced further education classes. I had no idea. You never mentioned that before.

Bristow                          I…er it’s not the kind of thing you talk about. You just do it if you’re ambitious. You have to these days to keep up with the pace of modern business. Specially if you want to – get on.

Sunman                          That’s what Mr. Hewitt says. He was in here just now. Bristow makes noises Apparently he attends junior further education classes for the very same reason.

Bristow                          Ho ho, he’s a funny lad. He calls them junior further education classes but they’re just a bunch of teenage tearaways that meet on street corners and whistle at girls. Both laugh It’s funny the amount of time one wastes when one is young. And how one only realises it as one grows up. I used to laugh at further education  but now I cant get enough of the stuff. Lets get up that ladder.

Sunman                          Oh Mr. Bristow, although you act as an easy-going, easy to please kind of guy, I think underneath you are as hard as nails.

Bristow                          You are right Miss Sunman, they don’t come any harder than me.

Sunman                          And ruthless too

Bristow                          Right on Miss Sunman. They don’t come any more ruthless than me. Hard as nails and ruthless too!

Sunman                          So how come, if you are hard as nails, and ruthless too, you’re only eighteenth in line for Chief Buyer?

Bristow                          Er Wuff…underneath the hard as nails and ruthless façade, I’m an easy-going, easy-to-please kind of guy.

Glockling                        Miss Sunman, there’s a Fiona Chester-Perry on the telephone in my office asking for you. Would that be Sir Reginald’s daughter?

Sunman                          Yes. I’m so sorry Miss Glockling. She doesn’t know we are not allowed personal phone calls. Could you tell her to call back?

Glockling                        No, that’ll be all right. Take it in my office.

Sunman                          Oh thank you Miss Glockling. Excuse me Mr. Bristow.

Glockling                        These modern youngsters. Time was when top management and employees never made eye contact never mind rang each other up. I don’t really approve, I’m afraid. I’m one of the old school

Bristow                          agreeing Ye-ahh

Glockling                        I don’t go for these classes where staff and management meet socially and I don’t think attending them is a good career move. Judging by what is front of me, you wouldn’t know anything about good career moves.

Bristow                          splutters

Sunman                          Miss Glockling? Would it be possible for me to leave at four thirty this afternoon? Fiona wants me to go shopping with her.

Glockling                        simpering Of course you may go at four thirty. Be sure and tell her you have my permission.

Sunman                          Thank you Miss Glockling

Sfx                                 Door shuts

Bristow                          Yes, hmm..I’m not so sure I agree with your decision Miss Glockling. Just because Fiona is the only daughter of our beloved firm’s founder, she carries no weight here. But even as I speak I realise I’m being stupid because being the only daughter of the firm’s founder gives her quite a lot of weight here, and I think you have made a good career move. Bye.

Sfx                                 Link music

Bristow (VO)                 I decided to enrol in further education classes without further ado.Miss Glockling had been wrong to dismiss them so quickly. To my mind they were an essential career move.Had not Sir Reginald, in his conversation with Gert and Daisy, noted Jones as a person to keep an eye on? And had not Miss Sunman, purely though a connection at classes succeeded in leaving work early?.And it seems to me that if you can get time off by mentioning someone you met at evening classes then I’m all for evening classes. For getting time off is the best career move of them all.

Sfx                                 Tea trolley clanks in

Purdy                             Tea up!

Bristow                          Ah Good morning Mrs Purdy. Cup of your wet and warm please. Strong enough so that when I drink it, I stagger round the office like a drunkard on uneven paving stones.

Purdy                             Oh you like it that strong do you. Well stand well back

Sfx                                 Tea urn gushes. Bristow expostulates

Purdy                             That’s the way they like it at evening classes.

Bristow                          Don’t tell me you attend evening classes?

Purdy                             I don’t attend them – well I do but only to do the refreshments.

Bristow                          Yuh – where – uh where do they hold these classes?

Purdy                             All over the place. The majority of the people here go to St. Mary’s Mixed Infants school. Why are you asking, are you thinking of going?

Bristow                          As a matter of fact I am.

Purdy                             Oh you should. Best thing to do these days.You can never get enough education. I say that to my husband but you can’t tell him anything. “I got my education in the university of life” he says. Pig ignorant he is, and proud of it. And our eldest son Elvis takes after him. All he thinks about is football. Football mad he is. Where’s that going to get him? He works at a warehouse. “if it was good enough for Dad, it’s good enough for me” he says. Oh I married badly Mr. Bristow. I should have married Roger Gatsby the jeweller. He promised to smother my hands and wrists in diamonds, he did. Have you finished with your cup?

Bristow                          gulps last of tea Yes, thank you. That was nice and strong. I can feel my desk swaying about like a boat on water.

Purdy                             fading Bon Voyage. That’s French

Sfx                                 Door shuts

Bristow                          I think it’s all systems go. I have the desire to acquire further education and I know where it can be obtained. There is nothing to stop me.

Sfx                                 Door opens

Hewitt                            Morning Mr Bristow

Bristow                          Ah Hewitt. I’ve decided to enrol for evening classes. Why don’t you join me. Or perhaps you’d rather stick to your make-believe junior education lessons.

Hewitt                            Oh, you’ve been talking to Miss Sunman. I, I only told her that because she goes to aerobic classes with Chester-Perry’s daughter Fiona and I though Fiona might be interested in a young swinger who wants to further his career.

Bristow                          Patently absurd. But carry on.

Hewitt                            Well I’m interested yes, but I don’t know I’d like to attend the same classes as you. I’m a much younger man and naturally prefer the company of people my own age. I feel that by going to classes where there are loads of geriatrics Bristow splutters no offence meant, I’d be missing out on the dolly birds.

Sfx                                 Door opens

Jones                             Na-na na na-na, Bristow!. Morning Hewitt

Bristow                          Well well Mr. Further Education himself. Come to impart more words of wisdom have we?. More stuff from the non-existent night classes.

Jones                             You don’t have to actually attend evening classes to land the job of Assistant Head of Production Control, you have to let people believe you attend them. Get the word to the people who decide these things. It’s common sense. What they call using the old grey matter.

Hewitt                            You’re saying you don’t go to evening classes.

Jones                             Na-na na na-na

Hewitt                            But you said you did. In front of the cleaning ladies and I believed you. Oh you were telling lies.

Jones                             Na-na na na-nah

Hewitt                            Very funny. I’m disappointed in you Mr. Jones

Jones                             You modern generation.

Sfx                                 Door slams

Jones                             We were like that once

Bristow                          Jones you may have been. I was never like that.

Sx                                  link music

Bristow (VO)                 I spent the first part of the afternoon smarting. And the rest polishing my halo. For was I not going off to try and better myself. After we finished work for the day I hastened down to the front desk to ask the whereabouts of the school [note 3] Mrs. Purdy had mentioned earlier.

Eddy                              St Mary’s Mixed Infants?

Bristow                          That’s right Eddy

Eddy                              Well well well. I never thought the day would come when Mr. Bristow of the buying department would show an interest in further education. You’d do well at evening classes. I’ve heard you sleep all day. So you should be nice and fresh for the evening.

Bristow                          Where will I find it?

Eddy                              Down the road, past the Bull and Bucket, left at the Crown into Jermyn Street, left at the Anchor …oh wait a minute wait a minute wrong image,you’re going to evening classes…so down to Dillons the bookshop, left at the library, straight on when you get to the university…

Bristow                          interrupts I’ll find it. Thank you.

Eddy                              OK Mr. Bristow. Yes, madam

Sfx                                 Link music

Bristow (VO)                 Funny how a sudden spring comes into my step when the Chester-Perry building is behind me.  Ah here we are. St. Mary’s Mixed Infant school. If you can read this you are too old. Please ring for attention.

Sfx                                 Doorbell plays Ding Dong bell pussys in the well

Girl                                Hello?

Bristow                          startled Holy Mackeral. Are you still in school?

Girl                                No I live here with my mummy. You pressed the wrong bell

Bristow                          I, Oh, sorry.

Sfx                                 Doorbell plays same tune but at a lower pitch

Stokes                           Yes?

Bristow                          Is this the place for evening classes?

Stokes                           Yes

Bristow                          I know that face. Arent you Mr Stokes, the concierge at Chester-Perry’s?

Stokes                           I’m the caretaker, if that’s what you mean. I know your face too, you’re Mr. Jones’ friend. You’re the chap that’s always treading on my cat. Her pitiful cries are with me still. A word of warning, they got a cat here too.

Sfx                                 cat gives a pitiful cry

Stokes                           I don’t believe it. Whats the matter with you?

Bristow                          I’m sorry, I’m terribly sorry I didn’t see it.

Stokes                           Hope nobody finds out, You ought to get your eyes tested,

Bristow                          Never mind about my eyes. I said sorry. I’m trying to find out about evening classes

Stokes                           Oh you come to the wrong person to find out about that. If it was to do with classrooms or the toilets you’d be talking to the right man. If it was about cloakrooms or toy cupboards you’d find none more helpful. If it was about playgrounds and swings and roundabouts go no further. But evening classes – that’s my Achilles heel

Teacher                          What’s going on out here?

Stokes                           This chap’s trod on on the cat. Does it all the time

Bristow                          I didn’t see it

Stokes                           He’s got bad blood, that’s what he’s got bad blood

Teacher                          David, I’ll take over. Your face is going bright red. You go and lie down. Stokes huffs away You work at Chester-Perry’s don’t you?

Bristow                          Yes

Teacher                          I’ve see you gazing out of the window on the second floor of the Chester-Perry building. You’ve been doing it for the years, no matter what time of the day it is. You’re a landmark. What can we do for you?

Bristow                          I’m interested in further education classes.

Teacher                          Are you?  I mean, are you?

Bristow                          Yes I am. And I’d like to enrol. I’d like to start tonight.

Teacher                          I’m afraid that’s not possible

Bristow                          Not possible. Why’s that?

Teacher                          We are nearing the end of the term

Bristow                          Oh that’s all right I can catch up. I learn quickly. I have a retentive memory. Like a sponge. Dates, times places no problem. Try me.

Teacher                          Try and remember. The new term starts on the third of September at seven thirty.

Bristow                          Hang on I’d better write that down.

Teacher                          Let me explain. You have to register at the beginning of term. You cannot join a class as and when you feel like it. There are rules. We cannot break them. I’m sorry. Perhaps next time.

Bristow                          I’m sorry but that isn’t good enough.

Teacher                          How can I put it in a way you’ll understand? Last year Sir Reginald and Lady Chester-Perry applied for advanced bridge tuition and we were unable to accommodate them because the term had started. Like you they were not pleased and we even received a letter from their legal department querying our decision. Fortunately we were able to produce the rules. If Sir Reginald and Lady Chester-Perry were refused, what chance…

Bristow                          I understand. Thank you and goodnight!

Sfx                                 Link music

Bristow (VO)                 The next day was bright sunny and warm. Imagine my surprise, when hovering around the cleaning ladies, who were enjoying a well earned tea break, I was surprised to hear the following.

Gert                               So I said to him I says, Sir Reginald what are you trying to say. Your staff can’t spend too much time at night classes, you can’t have too much study.

Daisy                             You shouldn’t have spoke like that Gert. He that pays the piper calls the tune remember My father told me that. He that pays….

Gert                               I know about he that pays the piper, I wasn’t born yesterday but I was only speaking my mind Daise, you can’t be hung for speaking your mind.

Daisy                             You can these days but go on tell me what happened

Gert                               “I quite hagree with you” he says in that posh voice of his “but I will not have people who work for me attending night school to the detriment of their work”

Daisy                             He’s right. He’s paying the piper.

Gert                               Course he’s right. And he’s entitled to call the tune. He’s had Mr. Jones checked out, Oh he has, he told me “Hafter our conversation the day before yesterday” he said “I asked for a report on Mr. Jones and was surprised to find both it and him curiously negative on all counts”

Daisy                             Negative? That means he’s no good

Gert                               Right on. He said “If he claims to attend evening classes, and I have my doubts about that, I can only assume he realises he has no future with us and his studies are before applying for a position elsewhere” he said.

Daisy                             Fancy

Bristow                          Good Morning ladies

Gert                               Oh he looks smart this morning

Daisy                             Very smart. A credit to his mother and family

Bristow                          Oh, thank you. I like to dress up sometimes. Tonight is my bridge night.

Gert                               You play bridge? Oh isn’t that funny, tell him Daisy

Daisy                             Sir Reginald likes bridge, he plays a lot of bridge.

Bristow                          Is that so. Ha ha. Well I never. Chuckles That is a surprise.

Sfx                                 Link music

Bristow                          Morning Jones, morning Hewitt. They reply cheer up the pair of you its not the end of the world

Jones                             It might just as well be

Bristow                          Why? What’s wrong?

Jones                             What’s wrong? I’ll tell you what’s wrong. They’ve brought in someone from outside – as assistant head of Production Control, over our heads that’s what’s wrong.

Bristow                          Don’t be ridiculous

Hewitt                            He’s not being ridiculous Mr Bristow it’s true. The tea lady’s son, Elvis Purdy, got the job.

Bristow                          splutters Its impossible. He lives for football. How can a chap who knows nothing except kicking a football around be promoted to assistant head of Production Control, a position above you, Mr Jones and myself who’ve been here all these years. How is it possible?

Hewitt                            He plays football

Bristow                          So he plays football.

Jones                             He plays football in the same team as Robin Chester-Perry, son of the firm’s founder.

Bristow                          Cor, shee,doh

Sfx                                 Closing music

Announcer                     Bristow was written by Frank Dickens and featured Michael Williams as Bristow, Rodney Bewes as Jones, Owen Brenman as  Hewitt, Dora Bryan as Mrs. Purdy, Liz Fraser as Gert, Joan Sims as Daisy, Kate Odey as Miss Sunman, Jon Glover as Fudge and Eddy, David Batley as Stokes, Carol Starks as Miss Glockling, and Jane Booker as the Teacher.  The music was composed and performed by John Whitehall. The sound recording was by Graham Harper, the director Neil Cargill.


1.      Real life characters do not, and probably should not feature in a time-independent work like Bristow but for benefit of those who do not know, Beckham refers to the Manchester United and England football captain, and Posh Spice (Victoria Adams) an ex-pop star of indefinable and probably vanishingly little talent whom he married in July 1999

2.      Actually Fiona is Sir Reginald’s daughter-in-law. She married son and heir Robin in 1970.

3.      Absolutely baffling. Bristow was educated at St. Mary’s Mixed Infants. How can he not know where it is?