Some Ground Rules For The Stewards

It is with a mixture of delight and trepidation that I welcome my good chums, the Stewards to our little corner of Wiltshire. After fleeing from the metropolis, they may find our charming country ways a little strange at first, but I have no doubt that after a bottle or two of Claret they will settle down, don their cravats and patronise the hoi polloi in a suitable way.

As the pre-eminent chap in this area, it is beholden on me to lay out some ground rules for them so that they do not make asses of themselves as is their wont:

1) If they should meet me in the street, they should doff their cap and offer to purchase a pint of the finest frothing ale from the nearest tavern.

2) They should refrain from mentioning that they once resided in London. It is most unseemly and considered frightfully gauche.

3) The temptation to rush hither and thither, as if they were still in the metropolis, will be strong. However, there really is no need to whip their horses into a gallop. The peasants are far more amenable and deferential in our corner of Wiltshire and so time can be taken to enjoy country ways and to savour the sight of labourers tilling the fields whilst trotting along the byways.

4) One has to be ready for a shopkeeper, or a member of the petit bourgeoisie, to strike up a conversation. Do not take it as impertinence, but merely a way for them to ingratiate themselves. Always be ready with a quip, both to put them at their ease and to put them in their place.

5) God forbid, but if Major Steward feels it neccessary to don his gaudy checked shirt on an outing, then he must wear a suitably sober Morning Coat to cover its worst excess.

If the Stewards can comply with these simple guidelines, I feel certain that they will have a super time here. Failing this, I will order the serfs to horsewhip them out of the estate and send them packing to the eel pie infested neighbourhood  they have just come from.

Dung Is Departing

The clerks of Petty Insurance Brokers may breathe a deep sigh of relief. Those who receive telegrams from irate bores may sup a glass of beer in peace. The letters editor of The Morning Post may take a day off, as his post bag will be lighter than usual. Serfs who take the modern moniker of “Customer Service Representatives” may throw their flat caps in the air and take the steam train to a sordid seaside resort, partake of an afternoon nap followed by a small flutter at the dog track.

Sir Thumper Dung is leaving these shores for a few short weeks.

His abrasive letters filled with acerbic put downs shall pause. His quill shall have some respite and prepare for the next round of intense ranting.

Countess Clog shall journey to the latrine facaded MacDonald eaterie for a surreptitious beef carccass pie.

Hymns shall be sung in Westminster Abbey praising the Lord for the respite from the Hectoring of the Dung. Our fine Land shall relax and ease itself into a jamboree that shall last from the day Dung boards the steam liner until the dark day that his ship lands again at port.

In the meantime, New Mexico will suffer from his braying, baritone voice caterwauling at  the ineptitude of bell boys, the incompetence of tavern keepers and the inexperience of his bag carriers.

The old curmudgeon is coming to New Mexico. May God be with you.

My Expense Claim

This ghastly furore from the lower orders about their rulers extravagant expense claims is most unseemly. Of what concern is it to the common man how their betters spend their money?

I was born a noble aristocrat and it has been both my solemn duty and my solemn burden to rule this country.

Since the days of Elizabeth I, us Daft’s have taken our role seriously. We have always tempered our intake of claret before a jaunt to Parliament. Should we be called upon to speak we could still string a salient sentence together without recourse to slurring or the need for support whilst standing to deliver our powerful oration.

However, it seems that I am being forced by some jumped up little serf that I should publish my expense claim. For me this is barbaric, and will only make the lower orders envious of my wealth and brazen cheek.

My claims are as follows:

i) 5 guineas: The services of one wet nurse for when I am overburdened with my duties.

ii) 1 guinea: The polishing of my collection of silver spoons

iii) 3 guineas: The daily ironing of my copy of The Thunderer

iv) 224 guineas: To pay for my debts at the backgammon table in the Lords Dining Room whilst awaiting the end of a particularly tedious debate

… I really do find all this rather beneath me. It is all very tiresome and although I have many more claims that would bring tears of joy to your eyes, I feel a tad fatigued and so I shall order Butler to open a bottle of vintage claret and relax on my chaise longue.

A Duel

Last night was spent in the environs of the maritime seaport of Bristol with a number of chums from my old alma mater. The evening was a jolly one as we imbibed copious amounts of vintage claret and regaled each other with lurid tales of yore.

As the evening passed ever more into a haze, offence was taken between two chaps over a misdemeanour that had occurred one drunken night in our youth.

Sir Boogaloo D’Ormant, Composer to the Royal Household’s Pets, had once taken a turn around the room with a charming lady who had otherwise been spoken for. His claims that he was unaware of her obligation, was met with hoots of derision by us fellows, as it was his wont to deploy his unbounded charm and serenade many a Lady that took his fancy.

The Lady in question’s chap was made aware of this transgression, but managed to contain it within his bosom for many a year; until last night.

One drop of port too much, and the hurt chap implored me to set up a meeting with Sir Boogaloo to iron out their differences. Always one for a duel, I suggested that pistols at dawn may be the most heroic way to settle the argument. There is nothing like a good duel first thing in the morning to build up one’s appetite for a hearty English breakfast.

The hurt chap concurred and so I hurried off to select the pistols and inform Sir Boogaloo of the exciting news that sport was to be had in the morn. Sir Boogaloo was not best pleased with the development as he was more than happy to continue supping a little more alcohol in preparation for a lengthly slumber. The last thing on his mind was a dawn rise and a spot of pistol practice.

Then the famous killjoy, Lord Piles Collarbone, waded in and declared the idea monstrous. He ordered us to go to the waiting carriage and return homeward forthwith. His actions thus depriving us sporting fellows a chance for a flutter on who would get hit.

A Sartorial Disaster

It has been a while since I last stirred myself from my excessive langour and put pen to to paper for this journal. However, a most concerning development has occurred amongst some of my closest chums and I feel duty bound to warn the populace against following their most disturbing lead.

It all started when that most gullible of chaps, Major Steward, moved to Bath and began indulging himself in little whimsies. Now that he is a country gentleman he has become rather lax and he feels that he is able to wear clothes that are most unbecoming of a gentleman.

The particular attire that he has taken to wearing is something imported from our errant colonial cousins across the pond, and it is called a Lumberjack Shirt. I had never heard of such drapery before. The most shocking thing about this “shirt”, is that it is nigh on impossible to wear a cravat.

To me, a man without a cravat to add a soupcon of style and élan to his attire, is a man who has lost his love of life. A cravat worn at a jaunty angle, shows those beneath him in society, and those who are his equal, just the type of chap he is. A man without a cravat, however, lends himself to inciting all sorts of revolutionary fervour.

If such behaviour was not enough, I have yet more disturbing news. It is that Lord and Lady Piles Collarbone are now following his lead, purchased said “shirt” and intend to wear it on our next evening together. The mind recoils with horror at such wanton abandon of all societal norms. Does this mean that I shall be the only chap wearing a cravat? Does it mean that Lady Collarbone will not be wearing a frock? The mind shudders. It feels like 1776 and 1789 all rolled into one.

So beware my readers, if you see such lemming like behaviour amongst your acquaintances, please inform me, and I shall raise the matter with the utmost urgency both in The House and with the local magistrate.

Singing For Their Supper

On occasion I have been known to cast a friendly glance at our brethren who choose the simple life of a traveller.

Well, the other day these chaps, Ginger, Ed and Will trespassed onto my vast country estate singing ditties in the traditional English folk style. It is my wont to take a 12 bore to these traveling tinker types, and send them on their merrie way with shrapnel in their behind.

However, I took to their simple ways. They did not have a coin between them and instead relied on their vocal chords and ingenuity to get by.

I have always admired the plucky spirit of an Englishman and I saw in these chaps a stout heart and an intrepid nature that inspired me. Not only did I order the servants to give them a sandwich and a jug of ale, but I ordered the labourers, servants and gardeners to take a leaf out of their books and leave their tenanted accommodation and live off the land.

I will then be able to rent their simple cottages out to borgeois holiday makers and everybody will rejoice in my benevolent nature.

If you would like to hear some of these chaps ditties, then you may by pressing this bell.

Austin is Tired and Emotional

I have been alerted to the fact that the cad and bounder, Austin, is neglecting his duties at home. His fragrant wife has advised me as much via telegram.

As previously scribed, Austin is one of those unfortunate fellows who works for a living.

He was born into a bourgeois family of moderate means and was sent out to earn a crust whilst still in shorts. You may question how I know such a chap. Well, he managed to bluff his way into the Kodswallop Club where he became a star turn; always ready with a quick jape and his taste for ladies bonnets always raised a chuckle amongst the members.

Austin has remained loyal to the Kodswallop Club, even after I was blackballed for my fey indolence. However, it seems that they are demanding much from him and he is little at home.

So I write this missive in the hope that Austin shall return homeward and attend to his charming Lady. These late nights and long hours do a chap no good. It causes one to lose one’s hair and get ghastly wrinkles. It also leaves less time for a drop or two of the fine stuff.

The Stewards In Bath

Our dear chums The Stewards have decamped to Bath; fleeing the infestations of London.

Rumours abound that the Major was blackballed from his Club for being over zealous and most un-English in the pursuit of winning the Beefsteak Cup. As a result, no Club would accept him. Feeling wretched he has come to Bath hoping that such caddish behaviour will be overlooked and he will be welcomed to the finer establishments once again.

The Stewards have found the move to require some acclimatisation. Madam Steward has been most put out that shopkeepers and tinkers have the temerity to speak to her. She has had to speak down to them on more than one occasion to advise them not speak to her unless first spoken to. 

Major Steward has not been immune to cavalier behaviour either. He was merrily pootling along upon his brand new Penny Farthing when he was slapped on his behind by some young rotters overtaking him in a Sports Carriage. The Major would normally have enjoyed a slap on his behind, taking him into a reverie of reminiscence of his time in the Headmasters study at McNuggets School For Young Stowaways. Forsooth, in this instance the slap took him by surprise and he almost fell off his bicycle.

I hope that they will soon call this place home and that they leave their London ways behind for the benefit of all mankind. 

Dastardly Willy Has Fled These Shores

My good chum, Dastardly Willy, has had to flee our Sceptered Isle and make his fortune on the other side of the world.

As you know, Dastardly Willy leads a double life. By day he tends to the coiffures of the finest in the Land, but by night he is a dandy chap who hangs around the backstreets of Bath, lightening unsuspecting chaps of their wealth.

When I heard that he was making his way to the other side of the world, I assumed that the Hand of The Law had something to do with it. After all, the dastardly chap was getting more and more cavalier with his light fingered escapades.

However, I am informed that he departs these shores due to his noblesse oblige. He will favour the islands of New Zealand with his presence, and the tears have not stopped streaming down my face since his departure. 

For Dastardly Willy will leave a large gap in all our lives. His knack of falling asleep after one too many ales in The Club gave us Chaps innumerable opportunities for pranks and much hilarity. We admired his gall at wearing his pink pantaloons to the Prince Regent’s Ball and starting a fashion amongst the more susceptible elements of society. And finally, the coiffure’s of the Great and Good of our isle, will no longer be as fine as they once were.

So raise a tankard to the old boy and his family. We wish him “Bon Voyage” and “Adieu”.

Beware my woolen friends, Dastardly Willy is coming after you…..

The Disappearance of Princess Ien

As Mr Sherlock Holmes once pronounced “This is quite a three pipe problem.” Indeed I had to request the finest shag to solve the disappearance of Princess Ien last weekend.

We visited her at her country pile in the New Forest. Little Paulo was of course in attendance regaling us with tales of another investment opportunity. His last one involved Tulips being cultivated in a bubble somewhere near the South Sea. It seemed like a jolly good idea to me, so I invested the odd shilling or two.

We were sitting down for our aperitifs, or sharpeners as one likes to call them, when we realised our hostess was not present. To the uninitiated, this may not seem shocking. Perhaps she was perfecting the balance of her wig, or taking a stroll around her lawn, or ordering her servants to add a little more claret to the Coq au Vin.

Alas, her absence was much more serious. Princess Ien has never been known to miss aperitifs. Even when she has been confined to her sick bed all day complaining of headaches, she still musters the courage to journey to the drawing room for a glug of vin blanc. 

Not wishing to panic Little Paulo, I tried to keep him occupied with amusing anectodes about jolly japes at The Club. However, it was clear that his mind was elsewhere and so we alerted the servants to search high and low.

The maids searched the house, the gardeners, the game keepers and their hounds searched the estate but still no sign of the Lady. Then The Butler had an inspired idea and whispered in my ear that Little Paulo and I should perhaps search in the environs of the wine cellar. The fellow is a genius. Of course she was there. Looking somewhat dishevelled and uttering an incoherent stream of wisdom, she was having the time of her life.

It seems that at some stage during the day, she thought that it would be a good idea to taste the latest Burgundies. Well, one thing led to another and she was on her 4th bottle before she was found  with her tiara askew and her cosmetics smudged.

« Previous Page« Previous entries « Previous Page · Next Page » Next entries »Next Page »