Sir Benjamin Lagertin

Good day. It’s been a while but I have a sojourn to Canon Coch’s spare home in Devon this weekend where I fancy feats of liquid excess shall be performed and the world should be prepared.

To this end, I will take this opportune moment to introduce you to a fellow who is attending the weekend. He is of insignificant birth and a misty past, and goes by the name of Sir Benjamin Lagertin.

He is an uncouth sort of chap. He appeared at The Club one summers day a few years back. He procured a glass of a urine like drink called ‘lager’ and proceeded to sit, uninvited at our table where the Canon and I were talking of great affairs of state.

His initial contribution was to belch. Managing a sentence of more than four words without some wind escaping him seemed beyond his talents. He could barely meet our eye for he was following the comely shapes of the serving wenches a tad too intently.

He told us of his past. That he had spent some years in Arabia selling sand to the natives. He was eventually hounded out for not standing his round.

He returned home to Blighty and decided to begin a commercial venture advising tradesmen how to save money on coal. Here is where he proved himself to be a smart fellow and one worthy of a passing acquaintance. He decided to sell only to taverns thereby combining his passion for drink with ‘work.’

I suspect you will hear more tales of this fellow…..



Fitz and his new Lady

I am pleased to report that after years of philandering, Fitzberque has finally found himself a Lady to share languid days by the trout stream regaling her with tales of heroism from his days in Africa manning the fort against all odds with his trusty Enfield.

Although he shares with her a passion for talking about the Empire at great length, I do have some reservations about her.

Fitzberque shall be bringing her to our annual soirée this week. However, in the past, he was always ready to arrive in time for a glug from the claret jug at 4. Now he informs me that he cannot arrive much before 7pm due to his good lady “working.”

How absurd. A Lady working? I have heard it said that the lower classes have to send their women to the cotton mills to make ends meet, but I have never heard of a lady from good society having to soil her hands with labour.

Fitzberque claims she works for charity. That is all well and good, but if she is donating her time to the great unwashed, surely time spent in the company of Great Men takes precedence?

This leads me to the unfortunate conclusion that this Lady must hail from the middle classes, or, god forbid, the labouring classes.

If this be the case, I urge Fitzberque to hurry her along to elocution lessons and urge her to learn the finer points of etiquette before he takes her to the Regimental Mess to avoid embarrassing silences at the top table.

Digging up one’s memories

Due to a month abstaining from the soup, our good friend, Canon Coch is lacking inspiration. He is desirous of questions for his new journal which informs the great unwashed of the ways and methods of the gentleman farmer.

I understand he is entitling his new journal, Digging Up One’s Memories.

I have the the following suggestions:

1) At what rate does one raise the rents to one’s tenants each year so that they can just afford a bowl of gruel each day but not a roast on the Day of the Lord

2) What size cup is your favourite milk maid endowed with?

3) After a hard day watching over your labourers tilling the fields, what tipple do you order from your manservant as you rest your aching limbs in your favourite leather armchair?

That should suffice for now. If you have any pertinent questions, I am sure the Canon would be curious to hear from you.

The Evils of Temperance

It is rare that I concern myself with the well being of others. However, I was unable to pass into a peaceful slumber last night such is my anxiety over Canon Coch’s future sanity.

It is well known that the Canon’s dedication to converting his flock to the ways of the Lord is somewhat haphazard. The chap can easily be sidetracked from his calling by a small flutter on the steeplechase, or by catching a fleeting glimpse of a pretty frock, or the sound of a claret bottle being uncorked.

His inattentiveness to his congregation has so far escaped censure from the Bishop. The Canon is adept at delegating tiresome tasks such as writing sermons or visiting the needy to his conscientious curate.

However, the Bishop has now declared that the Canon is simply not fulfilling his duties and is in danger of being defrocked unless he can prove that he is faithful to the Holy Sacrament. He has therefore ordered the Canon to abstain from the soup for a whole month.

Damn it all. This is sacrilegious behaviour from the Bishop. Does he not know the affect such an embargo shall have on the frail mind of the Canon. Without alcohol he can barely string a sentence together. How does the Bishop think the poor chap can ascend to the pulpit and impart his wisdom without a large glug of communal wine? Indeed without his delightful lady, Helena Saint-Even, he would not be able to raise his head from the pillow without her infamous morning tonic.

Of even greater concern, is who shall partner me on a Friday afternoon at The Club? Am I to follow the Canon’s example and pursue temperance for an interminable month. If this be the case, we shall stare at the table in silence, one of us shall occasionally interject with an inane comment of such tedium that we shall look longingly at the bar and wish for salvation from the ennui.

I therefore urge the Bishop to reconsider his edict. For the sake of the poor chaps sanity (and my own). It is inhumane. A whole month of abstinence will leave the poor chap a babbling wreck; knocking on the door of the sanatorium pleading to be let in and be enrobed in a straight jacket.

A Christmas Message

Dear Commoner

At this time of year, ones thoughts turn to those less fortunate than ones self.

For me, however, I feel Such charity is all rather tiresome. The Great and Good are far better spending their time at The Club regaling chums with tales of adventure, rather than traipsing around hovels on their estates. It is an unnecessary deed; proffering a basket of plum puddings in the hope that God will look kindly upon us in the next life. Such benevolence will only encourage sloth in the peasantry. God is an Englishman, and He would not wish empire builders to indulge in charity when there are savages to be tamed in far flung colonies.

Now, for my customary review of the year. My new moat and the emergency replenishment of my wine cellar meant that rents had to be increased three times. My tenants were a tad concerned that I was exploiting them, but were soon comforted by the fact that I had managed to procure a rather splendid case of ’68 Margaux.

I managed to traipse down to The Lords on a couple of occasions. After a particularly languid luncheon, I enthralled the Chamber with a particularly eloquent speech on the evils of Whiggery and the merits of Mistress Tinkle’s Showgirls.

Two dear chums were hounded out from the metropolis and decided to decamp to the West Country. All was not plain sailing. Boogaloo D’Ormant betrayed his anarchist sympathies by attempting to trip our fragrant Mayor and he also entered into a duel with a past rival. Major Steward got a tad overheated when his vegetables were ignored by the esteemed judges at the Village Show. He also insisted on wearing ridiculous checked garments much to the bemusement of the local populace.

Sir Thunper Dung set off on one of his jaunts to Bora Bora land in search of indigenous tribes boys to tutor in the ways of righteousness. Countess Clog continues to find it tiresome to don a gown; preferring to remain on her chaise longue for the duration of the day in her nightgown, munching on doggy bics and bemoaning the injustice of Dung’s new ear trumpet failing to still his insane rants. Sir Piles obsession with new fangled technology means that he hides himself away in his laboratory dreaming up hair brained schemes and absent mindedly growing an amusing moustache.

Canon Coch’s attempts to live by the oath of the Cloth led him to focus his efforts on converting those who frequent back street taverns.. It was his contention that in order to convert these degraded examples of human kind it would be best for him to share their sins with them. He spent a moment grappling with his conscience before setting off on this path of dubious virtue. His confidence in obtaining a sainthood for such sacrifice is heartening.

Fitzberque’s admirable obsession with taking pot shots at peasants continues unabated. He has five hits to his name in this past month and is aiming for a new record during this festive season. Squire Porter is nowhere to be seen which leads me to presume that he is in the corner of some field cradling a flagon of cider.

Lord Daft. December 2009

The Kodswallop Club Reunion

I sauntered up to the metropolis yesterday for a jolly reunion with my old comrade Kodswallopers. An evening of high jinks was anticipated and it did not disappoint.

The chaps were little changed. Baron Schmidt was still in need of a few pies, McFungus whittered on and on about matters of little consequence and Hummus was full of bravodo.

Unfortunately, Austin failed to attend as he was a little emotional. In all likliehood he would have wept. Such effeminate behaviour would have led to a ducking in the Serpentine.

McFungus provided the main entertainment of the evening. As those who are acquainted with him know, he can be a little overwrought and should things not please him, he will make the servants aware of his displeasure.

The latest contretemps was due to the sudden disappearance of his top hat. He searched hither and thither willing to accuse anyone who crossed his path of being a cussed tea leaf. A waiter then advised him that said hat had been tidied away and was residing in the cloakroom.

At this, McFungus stormed downstairs to collect his belongings only to be asked to pay for the privilege. The chap was enraged and launched an acerbic tirade against all small minded jobsworths who dared impede him. At this a rather large bruiser decided that it was time for him to take leave and he was given a rather solid kick up the behind landing on the pavement outside with his top hat following swiftly after him.

That was the last we saw of him. The next day he sent a rather obsequiois telegram rueing his behaviour and imploring us not to blackball him.

The determination of an Englishman

One of the nobler aspects of an Englishman is one’s absolute determination to not let anything hinder the pursuit of one’s hobbies. Today’s musing is to take my top hat off to William Willett.

He is the chap who is responsible for the hour going back today. Now those who complain about this, kindly consider why this is required.

Many mistakenly assume it is due to my tenant farmers wishing to work the land for longer. Pah! Why on earth would we ruling classes wish to incovenience ourselves for the benefit of our tenants? I say to my tenants; get up earlier you slack jawed yokel and drink fewer flagons of cider.

No, the reason for the hour change is because the darker evenings are really most inconvenient for us to pursue our hobbies.

A duel before breakfast, followed by a ride around the estate and then in the afternoon, my favourite pastime of trapping a peasant, are necessary activities for the day. However, these pursuits must be done in daylight and I, like most landowners, really do find it most cumbersome to have to awaken early.

Willett understood this, and managed to draw himself up from his armchair, put his bottle of claret aside and saunter off to persuade those that mattered to make Daylight Saving law.

As a result, I can still nurse my morning hangover and have time to pursue my hobbies in the civilised hours of daylight.

An Anarchist is in our Midst

I have a lot of time for the ex Composer to the Royal Household’s Pets, Boogaloo D’Ormant. However, my patience is beginning to wear thin in light of his latest revolutionary activity.

As those of you who have had the misfortune to spend an hour or two with him in a backstreet ale house, the briefest of time passes before he recounts tales of challenging Dr Brian Mawhinny to a duel, or blathering on about how the railways have gone to the dogs.

This evening he accompanied me to a recital, to which I had been invited to add gravitas and a soupcon of style. I should have realised trouble was in the air when he arrived at my mansion and declared that he was a tad peckish and insisted on mixing with the local riff-raff by going down to what is commonly called “the chippie.”

Upon his return, rather than eat said peasant food in the servants quarters, he insisted on eating it in the Royal Dining Room whilst reading one of  my leather bound first editions. The stench of the working class emanated through my mansion.

We then took the phaeton to the music hall where we imbibed a glass or two of cheap wine and patronised the local dignitaries before listening to a chap play his wind instrument to great affect. I thought the evening had passed without incident; that Boogaloo had been kept off the subject of the railways, until I made the mistake of introducing him to the Mayor.

They shook hands and Boogaloo, sensing an opportunity for notoriety, trod on the Mayor’s frock and she promptly stumbled down the stairs. The militia were quick off the mark, but not before Boogaloo realised  an evening in the stocks was imminent and feigned gallantry by stopping her fall.

The Mayor was all gratitude and graciousness but I knew that all was not what it seemed. I knew that Boogaloo’s revolutionary tendencies had got the better of him but, as with all anarchists, he soon realised that he would be cut off if his Pater discovered such caddish behaviour, and quite frankly, he enjoyed Pater’s benevolence a little too much to stick to these revolutionary whimsies.

Ear Trumpet

Those of you who follow Sir Thumper Dung’s ramblings will be aware that he has recently been to the sanatorium for improvements to his hearing.

He has long had to cup a hand to his ear so that he could hear put upon clerks make excuses for their administrative failings. He also has the propensity to bark orders at those about him, unaware that he brays so loudly that he can be heard above a pack of lively hounds readying themselves for the Hunt.

I have been embarrassed to be at his table at The Club on many an occasion as he rants at a simpering waiter, or at his home where he treats his servants in a most unbecoming way.

However, we must make allowances for his behaviour. He claims to be a learned scholar with his mind in different spheres to the common man. More tellingly, he is but a mere baronet and so is not accustomed to the ways of the upper classes. He therefore has the propensity to treat his inferiors with a lack of elan. He has to overcompensate for his humble beginnings from peat burning Irish stock by telling all about him who he is and why he should be elected to The Royal Society forthwith.

In order to repair one of his many deficiencies, he entered into the sanitorium to rectify his ear a few days ago. This had been preceded by lengthy correspondence outlining his expectations of the nurses and surgeons. He made it quite clear that any incompetencies would be met with irate letters filled with acerbic rebukes that would make the most stout hearted surgeon quake in his slippers.

His ranting began as he entered into the sanitorium, continued as he awaited the surgery and was directed to each orderly as they passed.

Although the fitting of an ear trumpet is a pain free and simple procedure, the surgeons decided that a full anaesthetic would be necessary in order to still the insane rantings of this wild baronet who had spent too many years on expeditions with only indigenous men for company.

He was in the middle of a rant “you better not mess this up or you shall be hearing from my …… “, when peace descended onto this world and he was under. The whole sanitorium exhaled and the relief was palpable.

Sir Boogaloo D’Ormant and the Royal Hounds

Sir Boogaloo D’Ormant is the latest chap to have fled the metropolis for the tranquility of the West Country. Like Major Steward, he departs in order to remove himself from the disapproving glances of Society.

On this occasion, it is not a duel that has forced the chap to flee, but  due to his dismissal as Composer to the Royal Household’s Pets.

Those who have made his acquaintance will be aware that he is a chap who is prone to hirsuteness. This hand that The Lord dealt him is what has led to his downfall.

The royal hounds mistook him for one of their own, and being of Royal Breeding assumed that Sir Boogaloo was a junior member of their pack. Sir Boogaloo did not take too kindly to this humiliation and in order to subdue the hounds, he fed them with the inferior foodstuffs from the shoddy cafe that fronts public latrines, Mr McDonald.

Upon hearing that the Royal Hounds had been fed such bilge, he was told to stop playing with his organ and remove himself from the Royal Palaces forthwith.

As a result he took the first Great Western steam train out of London and settled in the bohemian enclave of Bishopston in Bristol, where morals are loose and few questions are asked.

It is in this neighbourhood of sin that Sir Thumper Dung resides with his mistress Countess Clog. Living together with child despite their not being down the aisle and making oaths of allegiance before the Archbishop. I am sure Canon Coch will have something to say about this.

However, I digress. Welcome Sir Boogaloo to our little corner of England. Our luncheon Club will benefit from his presence and his tall tales.

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