Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Monday, December 29, 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
I've come over all "Victor Meldrew"….I don't bloody believe it. We waited until 8 o'clock last night ( well fellows and Dawkins did) and the hampers from Fortnum's failed to make an appearance. This sort of lack of customer focus is precisely why the country is going to ruin.
As soon as they opened this morning I asked Clarence to call the distribution department for me so I could give them a piece of my mind, and in the process perhaps teach them some valuable customer care lessons. I had barely spoken to the oik on the end of the phone before he launched into a tirade of abuse. Before matters really took a turn for worse, I pointed out that its customers like me, that pay his wages and he should therefore show a little defference. Strangely he immediately put the phone down.
No matter, his marketting manager frequents my London club, and so I have made a call to him to ensure sufficient reprimand will be administered. Hampers promised for delivery before 11.00 this morning.( heavily discounted of course… )
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Anyway Tomlinson arrived in his little van and it took two of them to carry the bird into the kitchen where Dawkins was waiting. I'm not sure whether this was actually a turkey or a small ostrich it was that big! By the time Dawkins had removed the giblets, which I generously allow her and fellows to share as a bit of a treat (what was known as humble pie in years gone by), it was nearly lunchtime. Tomlinson was rubbing the breasts, and thighs with butter (the turkey not Dawkins!) ready to cover it in some of the farm bacon. Completely ready the bird (again not Dawkins) was then placed carefully in the walk in cold room.
The venison and goose are already prepared and so its just the final ceremonial dousing of the pud to be completed before we are actually ready for the big day. That and inserting the proverbial sixpence are the only real manual labour I have to do for this Christmas lark, which is good considering the amount it seems to cost me.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Fellows dropped me at the nearby railway station and I joined the tired, the flatulent, and the hung-over on the brief Monday morning journey to London. (Why do people insist on blowing out on curry on a Sunday night and then sharing the experience on the train the following morning? I must, again, impress upn the railway company that I would like my own coach re-instated rather than continuing to share these journeys with such uncouth travellers).
The club was quiet. I suppose many members have returned to the country for a Christmas break or gone abroad. It does mean that the gentle drone of snoring, the sibilance of whispered conversation, the creaking of leather as the members adjust their position, and distant tappity-tap of secretaries and their computers is much reduced and affords a more relaxed atmosphere.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Because of their size, several of the local roads have been closed to allow the fleet of lorries to get through unimpeded. At least it will all be done without my attendance.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
The man from the CAA phoned back. He asked if I was the owner of the laser display and I proudly said that I was. He had been receiving complaints from pilots bound for Heathrow and Gatwick who had been startled by the presence of a reindeer and a sleigh appearing alongside their aircraft. He asked if the display could be turned off or at least reduced in intensity. Feeling cheerful this morning, I agreed.
I phoned Fellows and instructed him to call the Christmas Organiser and tell him to tune down the lasers. (I suppose this is why you put them under test - to discover any minor problems they may cause). It was at this point that Fellows pointed out that the edge of this morning's metal object was not frayed at all but crisply cut, and could the lasers have actually caught a wing tip? Pondering this I told him to bury the object and not tell a soul.
Fellows phoned back whilst I was still driving through Warwickshire. He had enlisted the help of Osbourne and they had shifted the object. It appeared to be part of an aircraft. Puzzling!
Monday, December 15, 2008
The tree is now in pride of place on the terrace. The house is decorated, and the lights are under test. He explained that traditional tree lights were "infra dig" and that we should do something more adventurous by decorating the tree with a new type of light and then illuminating the area further with lasers. As I write the lasers are displaying a reindeer and sleigh moving across the overcast sky.
I'm not sure about all this but I'm sure that Persephone and Arabella will be delighted.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
The beaters were all arranged, the guns prepared, the hampers loaded. The weather was so foul that Memsahib said that it was unfair on the staff to expect them to go out in such conditions and the wind would make it impossible to hit the birds, so it would be a waste. She made sense - particularly after the problems at the hatchery earlier in the year.
I paid off the beaters with a few shillings and sent them home. There were mutterings of discontent, but I certainly wasn't going to pay them for not beating!
Gussie, Quentin, Kipper and the chums came to the house and we broke open the hampers early and scoffed our way through cook's goodies and several fine bottles of port. (That reminds me, I still haven't found any of the USB Port).
Friday, December 12, 2008
I have been thinking about having an artificial ice rink installed. At first the dilemma was where it should go - the East terrace? the South terrace? but we still have the tree to consider.
I have decided to follow the Somerset House model and install the rink in one corner of the stable yeard (away from the where the cars are kept). Hopefully this will prove great fun over the next few weeks. I shall have cook set up a second kitchen so that Clarence or Fellows can provide mulled wine and small cooked snacks. It will be nice to see Arabella, Persephone and the Memsahib doing their spirals, Salchows, toe loops, Lutz and Axels in their slinky outfits.
Closer to Christmas we'll host an evening for the local villagers (note, I'll have to find someone to roast chestnuts on an open brazier - I might have to send Fellows down to the east End of London to find someone suitable). The choir from the cathedral can provide carols (the Bishop owes me a favour due to my ongoing silence regarding a certain indiscretion).
Thursday, December 11, 2008
I wandered in to a local pub and was immedeiately accosted by the friendly atmosphere and the peculiar smells. It became clear after a few minutes that in order eke out their meagre rations the working classes had pooled their food and decided to share it out amongst them. I had never seen anything quite like it and was choked by their kindness in inviting me to partake. It would have been rude to say no, so I picked at various offerings. Most were pastry covered comestibles filled with God knows what. One chap from North Britain kept muttering about neeps and tatties and plunging into one of the offering.
All in all a strange evening. It is interesting to see how the working classes spend their time (though it is probably best to observe from a distance!)
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
After all, Every Little Helps…. So I'm told!
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
danger of being laid off and the unions making threatening noises.
I like Aston Martins (there's probably one or two still in the stable
block) and I think I have one on order (or was that a Maserati)?
When I first heard of the possible lay-offs I did think of putting in
an offer, but now the Unions are involved they can forget it.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Having arrived back at the ranch, as they say ( stately pile I say….), I took the bath that Clarence had helpfully provided. Having not spared the horses in the Jalopy on the way down I found myself with an hour or two more than expected before joining the gang on the jolly to the gallery.
As I haven't ventured into the west wing for a while, since I caught the "Memsahib" messing with sequins in the ball room, in fact, I thought a tour of the outlying quarters was in order. Trouble started when yet again I heard girlish giggling coming from the said ball room. At first I thought it was just Arabella or Persephone high japing, but upon closer inspection I could clearly see the back of the Memsahib in a little black number.
Just as I thought , that bloody new stable lad, Raoul, from Argentina or Peru or somebloodywhere, was there, prancing around to the sound of the tango!
The blood coursed through my veins, and I span around on my heels and thought about fetching my Purdie and getting my avenge!!!!
On the way to the amoury, I had an change of heart and decided to calm down with a glass of pink gin and listened to Betty's speech on the wireless before dressing and attending to the important duties of enjoying ones self with chums. The Stable lad can wait…
This evening I have invited a few chums and some business contacts to come and meet me at the National Portrait Gallery for a viewing of some of the family paintings that we have out on loan. No doubt we will enjoy a few glasses of festive cheer (though I made it clear that the fineest stock from home could not be used, they may use some of the domestic stock).
This evening will also an opportunity to meet with some aspiring artists who have been asking if I'd sit for them. I will have to give in at some point as there is still a large space on the wall at the back of the mezzanine landing on the grand staircase at home where traditionally has hung the portrait of the master of the house. Since father moved on, the space has cried out to be filled.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
What had not been clear was the fact that I was expected to "participate". This went beyond the normal level of participation (i.e. paying the bill). This time I was expected to dress up and cook! I was up to my elbows in salad, pasta, pizza dough, and balsamic vinegar. I'll never get the stuff out from beneath my finger nails - in fact I have had to book a manicure.
I know that I try to connect with the common man - but sometimes I fear I go too far.
Monday, December 1, 2008
Clarence had also sent Fellows out to de ice the drive and gates, which was more to do with trying to annoy Fellows than necessity demanded
After a delicious breakfast of kedgeree and black coffee to keep out the cold, I entered the sumptuous warmth and luxury of the car…(Clarence again, I think he wants a day off, the bloody creep..) No staff, no family, just me and the open road. Turn up the "Steppenwolf" and hit the accelerator..and start to sing "Born to be
I was a little concerned recently when this photo appeared in the press. Fortunately, whilst the apalling "photoshop" editing left tell tales of a certain person's presence - it was not enough to be identified.