The Association Football Tournament

The hoi polloi are becoming rather over excited by an impending tournament in our Cape Colony. Emporiums are being decked with the flag of St George in an attempt to encourage the great unwashed to buy more cider and gruel.

Many of you would suspect that I disapprove of such behaviour. On the contrary, I welcome such patriotism. This event keeps the peasants from hatching revolutionary plans such as getting the vote. It enables my steward to work them harder and put their rents up whilst their minds are diverted elsewhere.

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.

Judging

As the pre-eminent chap in the area, I often receive requests to judge competitions at local fetes and jamborees. I find it all rather tedious, although seeing the hoi polloi simper and bow before me is always rather gratifying.

Recently, Lady Crapp requested that I add a certain gravitas to her Box Brownie Competition and cast my eye over some images that a few of the local peasants had submitted. Why anybody should wish to expend such effort for the honour of having your work hung in a public place, I have no idea. It seems to be a better use of one’s time to be in The Club regaling chums with tales of mischief whilst supping a bottle of vintage claret.

I did said judging with one languid eye on the images and the other on an ale. The winners were announced today to great fanfare. However, Major Steward, who has a most unbecoming competitive edge, has taken offence at his lack of success and sent me the following, embittered telegram:

“I write to express my absolute outrage at the results of your photo competition!

Clearly my talents are far too sophisticated to be recognised by small town snappers. When my talent was so blatantly obvious I can only assume you decided not to award me any prizes as you thought I was a professional and it was a competition for amateurs only.

You’ll be hearing from my legal representatives…”

The presumption of the cad made me choke on my luncheon and I ordered an immediate response

“If you consider your out of focus, poorly composed, dull photos were worthy of a prize you are more misguided than I thought.

Your wife, however, clearly has the eye of an all seeing God, and can espy opportunities with her faithful Box Brownie that passed your myopic eye. If you were man enough, you would free her from the burdens of looking after your Estate and permit her to attend our Box Brownie Club.

You could try and sue, but I fear that it would end in ridicule and your being hounded out of our Town, just as you were hounded out of London.”

I have now had a simpering reply, acknowledging that I am correct and he withdrawals all accusations. He is not only a scoundrel, but also a coward. Pah!

St George’s Day

Forgive me, for I have been tardy. I neglected to scribe a missive in honour of that fine upstanding chap, St George.

I was a little under the weather yesterday. I arrived at the Club early for our annual celebration, and we raised a glass to many an English hero. The toasts were numerous and it all got a little misty eyed.

As I am as solid as an English Oak, I am beholden to remind one what it is that makes an Englishman the Chosen One. What gives an Englishman the right to patronise the world?

It is priorities. A true, upstanding Englishman knows how to be a gentleman.

For example, if one looks at Raleigh, one sees a chap who carried on playing the games he was taught at boarding school, whilst that damn Armada had the temerity to sail into our waters. Once he finished his game, and only until then, did he turn a steely glance upon the swarthy infidels and use his guile to send them on their way.

Here is a chap who knew what was important. A chap should never interrupt a game of cricket for anything but a cup of tea and a slice of cake. A call at the Club from ones bookmaker should be brushed aside until the last drop from the bottle of vintage claret has been drunk.

So, dear fellows, I hope that your St George’s Day saw the oak in your grounds grow ever stronger, and that you managed to sing Rule Britannia very loudly until your voice was hoarse.

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.

The Village Fete

Once a year I am forced, by centuries of precedence, to open the gates to of my country pile to the great unwashed of the neighbourhood. Peasants from the village, who rely on my patronage, are allowed onto my manicured lawns for an afternoon of games, competitions, ale and cake.

As a proud Englishman, I am conscious that without the peasants yeoman like hard work, our proud nation would degenerate into foppish sloveness and our fields would not be tilled. Therefore, I see it as a proud responsibility to put on a jolly good show as an act of gratitude for all their hard work through the year.

This year, as is true of every year, the most popular stall was Flog The Poacher. The crowds always take great delight in horsewhipping these lawless scoundrels.

The Wet Wench competition drew a large crowd of flatulent, bawdy lower class types. The wenches stand in line and are interviewed by the Blacksmith about how they like puppies and do good works at the local Work House. The wenches then have to sit on my knee, and with suitable coyness have to tell me what a marvelous landlord I am. However, the highlight is undoubtedly the Wet Petticoat Competition, from which we judges decide who will be crowned Wet Wench Of The Year.

All in all, the whole day was a success. This is despite Squire Porter embarrassing us all by appearing in his new Gold Thigh Length Boots and singing camp songs into the early hours after one too many glasses of mead.

Cavaliers and Roundheads

Sir Timothy FitzBerque invited a few of the chaps from The Club to a little Civil War re-enactment yesterday at his Castle in Gloucestershire.

Civil War Chaps

Squire Porter was there proudly showing off a new dainty little parasol which he had recently purchased in little boutique during his last visit to Paris. “It’s just a frivolous frippery but it keeps my blonde locks from the rain and adds a soupcon of style to my dress,” he declared upon his arrival at The Castle.

We also learnt that the origins of the Squire’s dubious wealth was not from the land, but from pilfering loose change and gold earrings from those dastardly rotters The Roundheads. We were all heartly cheered to hear this. All of us chaps were of course on the side of The King and the fact that one of our number was brave enough to have a forbear who would scour the battlefields for dead New Model Army chaps and defrock them of their few valuables is admirable.

Sir Timothy was as ever entertaining. He regaled us with tales from history. Of great wars and splendid Naval Battles where we gave those Frenchie’s a good beating. He fed us fine meats and topped our glasses with the finest mead. As ever he looked at home in his Castle and for good measure he ensured that those scoundrel Roundheads were beaten to a pulp for our entertainment.

Hurrah for the King.

A Hot Buttered Muffin

Today I think I shall extol the virtues of a hot buttered muffin. I have little else to do. The labourers are tilling the fields, the poachers are ensnared, the horses are neighing in the meadow and the travelling tinkers have been sent on their way.

A muffin with melted butter oozing over its decorous sides. There is no finer foodstuff for teatime. With the possible exception of the hot buttered crumpet, the Victoria Sponge and the cucumber sandwich.

I digress.

Dear readers I feel that it is my duty to issue a solemn warning for the future of our divine muffin. I have been alerted to the shocking rumour that there is an imposter muffin circling our island, ready to invade and spread its degrading seed through these shores. It will corrupt our heirs and divert our servants from their chores.

Indeed the degradation wrought may go as far as tempting factory workers into faceless restaurants run by traders such as Mr McDonald (that well known supplier of public conveniences is rumoured to be contemplating putting a restaurant in the path of the latrine, but more of that another day).

This imposter, this so called “muffin” is coming from across the pond. It is not a muffin. It is a very large cup cake.

If we allow such a misnomer to propagate through our shores, the very fabric of England may be rent asunder.

Our very own English muffins will be a mere afterthought, a minor tea time foodstuff, forgotten in the wasteland that is dominated by this American misnomer. Whatever next? Will the colonials start to adulterate the King’s English? Maybe they will start spelling words differently or, heaven forfend, develop their own accent.

Well I say, enough. Are we not made of sterner stuff? Are we not made of English oak? Do we not rule the oceans? Let us defend the rights of our humble muffin and prevent the large cup cake from entering these shores.

I shall propose such legislation to be passed forthwith, or at any rate, the next time that I am sober in the House of Lords.

The State Visit

I have been honoured by the presence of the little known Scandinavian Princess Ien, this Easter weekend. Her claim to have royal blood has been unverified by Debretts but she is awfully good fun and so we shall let that pass. Her penchant for the finest champagne means that we never hear a peep from her before midday.

The Princess has impeccable manners. She has the appearance of a Lady with a permanent smell under her nose. It is a demeanour that reflects well on her and assures me that she is from impeccable lineage.

She has a loyal companion, Little Paulo.

A dapper chap of small stature and a twinkle in his eye. Some say he is descended from travelling tinkers. Others that he is a scion of the Medici family. He deals in second hand carriages and golden trinkets and has the frightful habit of sending and receiving telegrams at all hours of the day. It is ghastly carry on and I mean to have a word with the old boy.

It is perhaps disconcerting that I have to cavort with a chap who works for a living, but he provides us with many amusing anectodes of the trading classes. The japes that he relates convinces me that trade can contribute nothing to the governance of our proud nation.

Legislation is the preserve of the aristocarcy and it is our duty, for the good of England, to continue to guard our own narrow interests. Hip Hip Hurrah.

The Vote

I am a very concerned. It seems that the Whigs have nothing better to do than cause sleepless nights amongst the Great and Good of our proud nation. Their latest wheeze to upset all upstanding Englishmen, is to suggest that we might like to extend the vote to the middle classes.

Hogwash.

Do these cads not realise to what we owe our Empire? Do they not realise it is because we are run by chaps who have not had to buy their own furniture?

If we let those who are not gentleman vote, they who have to work for a living; then the fabric of our nation will crumble. Yokels will no longer doff their caps as I pass, we will all be forced to speak French and bounders everywhere will insist that we eat cucumber sandwiches with the crusts left on. I shudder to think of such cavalier behaviour.

So next time you come across a Whig, challenge him to a duel. It is the sole language they comprehend.

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