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.

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.

America – Coming to One’s Senses

A while ago, we indulged our colonial children from across the pond, and permitted them a degree of self rule.

This was against our better judgement, but in the spirit of paternalism we ruling classes felt that the Americans could be trusted to have a degree of autonomy.

We have tolerated their mistakes and their occasional petulance: their adolescent punch up of 1812 with the loyalists across the 49th Parallel; their tardy entry into various wars; and their obsession with insipid meat products wrapped in a bun.

However, eight years ago, they seemed to forget their feudal obligations and elect a half wit to run them. It made me wonder why they had got rid of Good King George all those years ago.

My learned colleagues in the Lords were forced to down our port and approach the real chap who runs America, our Queen’s representative the Governor General, and urge him to do something. The GG has said that it is not too easy to sway these colonial whippersnappers without a little tantrum and some attempt to pretend that they have independent thought from their masters in London. 

Lessons needed to be learnt and I am pleased to report that today they have taken our counsel and elected a Jolly Good Fellow to the White House.

It is always immensely gratifying to see our Colonial Children come to heel and learn from their mistakes. Let us hope that this is the end of it and no more shall they have the pretence of “knowing better.” Henceforth, shall they take their master’s advice and defer to England.


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…..

Thumpress Dung

As those of you who are in Society, or who try to ingratiate yourself with the Great and Good by devouring the Court pages in The Thunderer will know, the great Naturalist Sir Thumper Dung has produced an offspring.

He has managed to hide his disappointment at not producing a son and heir, by the comforting fact that he may form an advantageous alliance by marrying her off with a member of the English Aristocracy. He has always yearned to improve his rank from a humble baronet and take his seat in the Lords.

Let us hope that his planning for the betrothal takes up his few sober moments, as it may divert his addled mind from doing those preposterous impersonations of Appleborough.



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.

Bank Holidays Are So Very Tiresome

I do find bank holidays so very tiresome. They were introduced by the trading classes as a sop to those who were even lower down the social scale than themselves.

Why do the labourers feel as though they should have an extra day off? Is not one morning a week to go to Church sufficient? 

If those who serve us have a day at some squalid seaside town, who is there to iron my Thunderer, mix my morning Bloody Mary, or butter my crumpet in the dull time before the bar opens at 6?

Furthermore, the tracks and lanes are full of the hoi polloi traipsing to their Great Aunt’s cabbage infused hovel. I can barely pass them in my Four Wheel Carriage without knocking them into the ditches and drains.

Needless to say, I vehemently opposed the passing of The Bank Holiday Act in the Lords. It was one of the few debates that I have managed to awaken from my drunken slumber during the proceedings and stir myself into arguing a coherent stream of invectives against giving the labourers any rights beyond their feudal obligations. 

We lost the vote due to a large section of Whigs deciding that patronising the lower classes would earn them their love and affection. Do they not realise that this type of behaviour will lead us down the rocky path which can only end in the ghastly guillotine?


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