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The collected opinions of an august and aristocratic personage who, despite her body having succumbed to the ravages of time, yet retains the keen intellect, mordant wit and utter want of tact for which she was so universally lauded in her younger days. Being of a generation unequal to the mysterious demands of the computing device, Lady Bracknell relies on the good offices of her Editor for assistance with the technological aspects of her journal.

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Location: Bracknell Towers

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Lady Bracknell conveys her grateful thanks

Although Lady Bracknell is the first to complain vociferously when the standard of service she receives falls below her exacting (and possibly old-fashioned) standards, she is also a firm believer in offering praise where praise is due.

About two weeks ago, on one of her regular perambulations to the local lending library - an edifice whose location figured strongly in her choice of home - Lady Bracknell discovered to her horror that the library is to be closed for refurbishment from January until early May.

Her ladyship has a warm relationship with the library staff, possibly because she is one of a decreasing number of customers who actually borrow books rather than slumping morosely in front of a computer screen for an hour's access to the interwebnet. As she handed her returned books over the counter, therefore, she felt at liberty to convey her distress at this most unwelcome news.

When Lady Bracknell was informed that customers would be welcome at various other libraries in the city, she pointed out that this was all very well in theory but that, in practice, she is too enfeebled to make these relatively short journeys when carrying bags of books.

When advised of this difficulty, the head librarian (a most delightful lady) vowed that she would put some method in place which would allow Lady Bracknell to borrow unlimited numbers of books. If necessary, she said, she would go so far as to make her own, her husband's, and her son's cards available to her ladyship. In the meantime, Lady Bracknell was encouraged to borrow the full twelve books permitted on her own card, and to return for further instructions on the morning of the 31st of December.

Lady Bracknell therefore presented herself at the counter this morning, and returned the two books she had read over the Christmas hiatus. She then asked the head librarian how many books she might borrow, and was informed that she should take as many as she could carry without exposing herself to further injury.

Concentrating on paperback volumes for the purpose of reducing the overall weight, her ladyship proceeded to choose twenty volumes from the shelves, thereby extending her total borrowings to thirty, if one includes the ten which were already piled up in the hall of Bracknell Towers.

At which point the most estimable head librarian successfully achieved the remarkable feat of over-riding the library computer's insistence that no more than twelve books can be borrowed on any single library card.

Lady Bracknell, who has been a voracious reader from her earliest childhood (indeed, her esteemed mother assures her that she had taught herself to read before ever she went to school) , can think of few punishments more tortuous than the prospect of being deprived of reading matter. It is true that she has the means to purchase books, of course, but those of her readers who have visited Bracknell Towers will testify to the fact that they are in constant peril of being attacked by books either stacked in teetering piles, or threatening to fall from high shelves.

Lady Bracknell estimates that thirty books will suffice to satiate her need for written entertainment for something in the region of fifteen weeks (always assuming she is not confined to her bed for an unusual length of time), and the library is scheduled to re-open in the first week of May. Should there be a shortfall, the local Oxfam shop can generally be relied upon to provide a carrier bag full of acceptable reading matter for a fairly reasonable price.

Lady Bracknell is more grateful for the head librarian's act of kindness and consideration for the effects of her physical frailties than she has the skill to adequately convey. Although it is perhaps unlikely that any of the good ladies who work at the library (or, rather, who will be working at other libraries for the next few months) will ever read these words, Lady Bracknell is nevertheless pleased to have the opportunity to share the details of her good fortune with her readers, in case their own experiences have led them to suspect that exceptional customer service is an art not so much dying as firmly deceased.

Her ladyship is also pleased to express the wish that her readers will be well, happy and industrious in 2006. She thanks all those who have commented on her blogging efforts to date (either via the comments facility, or in person), and confirms that she will endeavour to continue to entertain and amuse them in the coming twelvemonth.

Friday, December 30, 2005

The editor engages in a post-Christmas rant

I was supposed to be in the office today.

I heartily detest Christmas. If you love Christmas, then - as my father is wont to say - bully for you. After all, we've no choice but to put up with the whole tedious rigmarole every bloody year, so I've no doubt that life is a lot easier for people who can throw themselves into the whole thing with gusto. However, the fact that other people - albeit the majority of other people - love (or profess to love) Christmas does not make Christmas-ophilia mandatory. I don't criticise other people for loving it, and I'd appreciate it if those same people could desist from regarding me as some kind of vile, leprous pariah just because my opinions of the whole shebang differ from theirs. I am no more compelled to love Christmas than I am to love hot weather. Quite why certain people insist on taking my dislike of their own preferences so personally, I know not. I don't expect everybody else to enjoy the things that I do, so I'm hardly likely to take offence when it transpires that they don't. I don't grab people by the sleeve and insist that they've got to love Al Stewart's music, so why do people think that it's acceptable for them to tell me that I've got to love Christmas and/or temperatures in the high eighties? Why on earth do they care whether I love these things or not?

Anyway, I would gladly work on Christmas Day, were it not for the insuperable barrier of the fact that the the office is closed. (I have actually worked in pubs on Christmas Day in my youth, but my pint-pulling days are long gone.) I had even considered working at home this year on Christmas Day, but that cunning plan was foiled by our IT providers' decision that the Christmas break would be the ideal time for them to close the system down and tinker with its innards. So the laborious process of firing up the steam-driven remote access function on the laptop from the comfort of my own home would have been singularly pointless.

Nevertheless, I have no desire whatsoever to drag the whole thing out any longer than is strictly necessary, so am always the first to volunteer to step up to the plate and take myself into the office in the distinctly dead days between Christmas and New Year. To which end, I wrapped up warmly on Wednesday morning and picked my way rather carefully along the frosty pavements to the bus stop. Where I proceeded to wait for fifty minutes in sub-zero temperatures for a bus. The morose driver of said bus, when questioned, declared repeatedly that it was a "Sunday service". To add insult to injury, he threatened to halt the journey after the first five minutes when his ticket printing machine suddenly refused to print any more tickets.

Anyone who knows me will be quailing at the prospect of the sort of mood I was in by the time I eventually stomped into the office at the crack of a quarter to eleven. The first thing I did was to pull up the bus timetables online. At which point it quickly became clear that

  • the company were not running a Sunday service, as no buses run on that route at all on a Sunday;
  • they were running a Saturday service (which means one bus every 30 minutes rather than the usual 20 minutes); and
  • they weren't even doing that properly because they had completely missed out one of the buses.

Now, I have been travelling to work by that bus route for more than eleven years. And for at least nine of those years, I have worked between Chrismas and New Year. And, as those are standard working days, the buses have always run to the standard Mon - Fri timetable in past years. (Except that they have always stopped running at about 4 pm on New Year's Eve, for reasons which I have never fully understood.)

Not being able to face another journey like that of Wednesday morning, I have taken today as an annual leave day. Fortunately, I have enough of my year's leave allowance remaining to me to do that. But I bitterly resent being forced into doing so. My leave allowance, although generous, is not infinite. Given the choice, I would far rather take a week off in January than artificially extend Christmas to the beginning of January.

My suspicions are that the modern fad for taking at least ten days off at Christmas has become so prevalent that the bus company no longer considers it to be economically viable to run a proper service between the 28th and the 31st of December. But these days are not bank holidays, and neither should they be. So where does that leave those of us who would actually prefer to be in work, but who don't drive? And why were those same buses not furnished with leaflets in the week leading up to Christmas warning their regular passengers that there would only be a Saturday service the following week?

(Yes, I'm aware that I should be taking this up with the bus company. But I'm also aware that I'd be well-advised to delay doing so until such time as I am slightly less enraged about the whole scenario.)

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

In which we learn that Ouch! is not only a website

The editor, sharing as she does her employer's complete indifference to all things related to Christmas, has been passing the time over the last few days conducting ever more abstruse searches on the Interwebnet.

One of the more entertaining results of this searching is shown to the right, and should serve to resolve the eternal problem of what to buy for the editor-of-a-BBC-disability-website-who-has- everything.

Ouch! is described as a "voodoo it yourself toothpick holder". He is available in charcoal gray or oyster white and, when fully impaled, holds a total of 35 cocktail sticks/toothpicks. He can be purchased for a mere $5.99 from perpetualkid.com.

Whilst one might at first feel that it would be appropriate to applaud the editor for her generous impulses towards a certain Mr Rose, Lady Bracknell harbours a degree of doubt that a small, silicon object embedded with 35 sharp, pointy things is really the ideal gift for a man who has been tragically deprived of his sight. Tactile gifts are all very well, but her ladyship suspects that one ought - if one has any fondness at all for the blind recipient in question - to draw the line at items which, when experienced purely through the medium of touch, are likely to damage the fingertips. Lady Bracknell, who has no wish to inflict injury on Mr Rose, suggests instead an angora scarf of incomparable softness.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Lady Bracknell reproduces the wise words of another

It being the season when even those persons who revel in a hermit-like existence for the rest of the year may well find themselves unwittingly thrust into the company of family members and friends who display a singular lack of understanding of the impact of chronic pain, Lady Bracknell thought it might be helpful to reproduce an extract from the Pain Support website.

(Her ladyship strenously denies any connection between this posting and the fact that the editor has been feverishly weeding her emails at work in anticipation of something called a "hardware refresh exercise" which is due to take place in the first week in January.)

There follows something in the nature of an open letter to acquaintances of persons who live with chronic pain. Lady Bracknell regrets that, the original publication date of this letter being more than a year distant, the editor can not now bring to mind the identity of its author. She wishes to make it abundantly clear, however, that she did not write this herself. Lady Bracknell is full of admiration for the clear-sightedness of the individual who did, and hopes that said individual will not object to his or her words being reproduced in the pages of this blog.

"Please understand that being in pain doesn't mean I am still not a human being. I have to spend most of my day with this pain and I probably don't seem like much fun to be with, but I am still me within this body.

Please understand the difference between being 'happy' and 'healthy'. When you have the flu you probably feel miserable with it, but I have been in this pain for years and I cannot be miserable all the time. In fact I work hard at NOT being miserable, so if you are talking to me and I sound happy, it means I am happy. That's all. It doesn't mean that I am not in a lot of pain or extremely tired or that I am getting better, or any of those things. Please don't say "Oh you are sounding better". I am not sounding better, I am sounding happy.

Please understand that being able to walk for 10 minutes doesn't necessarily mean I can walk for 20 minutes. And just because I managed to walk for 20 minutes yesterday doesn't mean I can walk the same today. It is just as confusing for me as it is for you.

Please understand my pain is variable. It is quite possible that one day I am able to walk to the park and back whilst the next day I will have trouble getting to the kitchen. Please therefore don't attack me when I am in pain one day and you say "But you did it before". If you want me to do something then ask if I can. In a similar vein I may need to cancel an invitation at the last minute and if this happens, do not take it personally.

Please understand that getting out and doing things does not make me feel better - it can often make things much worse. My pain can cause secondary depression (wouldn't YOU get depressed if you were hurting all the time?), but it is not created by depression.

Please understand that if I say I have to sit down/take these pills now, that I have to do it right now and it cannot be put off because I am out for the day or whatever.

If you want to suggest a cure for me.......please don't. It is not because I don't appreciate the thought and it is not because I don't want to get well, it is because I have had almost every single one of my friends suggest something at one point or another. You can try them all then realise you are using up so much energy trying things that can even make you worse. In many ways I depend on others who are not in pain......sometimes I need help with the shopping, cooking or cleaning. I may need the help of the doctor or physiotherapist."

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Lady Bracknell makes a useful discovery

Regular readers may recall Lady Bracknell's recent list of helpful suggestions for stratagems to be used during inclement weather. In particular, the suggestion that, for the purposes of remaining warm, it is advisable to ensure that the room you are in is warm. In order to establish the warmth of the area in which one is situated, the not-remotely-patronising author of this handy hint suggested hanging a thermometer on the wall.

However, should one have had the great good fortune to have inherited a magnificent mansion from one's ancestors, one might be put to the expense of purchasing literally dozens of thermometers, were one to follow this advice to the letter.

Unless, of course, one had chosen instead to invest in a pair of these practical, yet stylish, thermometer earrings. (No, really: Lady Bracknell is not making this up.)

These remarkable items, which combine form and function in a novel manner, may be purchased here for the princely sum of $40 (plus shipping and handling). Chilly persons who can call on the assistance of either a spouse or a liveried minion will be able to learn the ambient temperature of whichever room they are currently gracing with their august presence without the slightest effort.

Those who live in splendid solitude will need only to unhook one of the pair to read off the temperature for themselves.

Naturally, there is little to be gained from learning the temperature of any given room if one does not have the means to raise that temperature should it be uncomfortably frigid. Lady Bracknell would draw the attention of any of her readers who have not already seen it to her post on the Ouch blog in relation to the "In The Balance" report from Leonard Cheshire which provides sobering information about disabled people's experience of debt.

Monday, December 19, 2005

The gas man cometh. Allegedly.

At the time of writing, Lady Bracknell has been anticipating the arrival at any moment of a British Gas employee purposing to upgrade her meter for precisely seven and three quarter hours. When a further four and one quarter hours of this tedious vigil have elapsed, her ladyship will be justified in placing a call to the gas board, at which point she will doubtless be met by a recorded voice of quite exceptional vacuity which will suggest in a gratingly cheery manner that she rearranges the appointment.

Given that Lady Bracknell did not actually request the new meter, and that it is, in point of fact, being thrust upon her regardless of her own wishes in the matter, she considers it somewhat unlikely that she will be able to find an opportunity to wait in Bracknell Towers for another twelve hour period in the forseeable future.

Indeed, Lady Bracknell is at a loss to understand why British Gas expect their customers to submit without demur to their claims that they cannot be more precise about their timing than to intimate that a workman will call at some point between 8 am and 8 pm. Surely it can not be entirely beyond the wit of man to construct a rather more rigid timetable? And, this being the run up to Christmas, how realistic is it to anticipate that customers will have so little with which to occupy their time that twelve hours of waiting for the doorbell to ring will not inconvenience them in the slightest?

In Lady Bracknell's distant youth, the needs of the customer were of paramount importance. The customer, in fact, was "always right". But, since the ominous day when Parcelforce withdrew its Saturday morning deliveries, the die would appear to have been firmly and irrevocably cast in favour of the providers of services, and the customer has taken on the aspect of a troublesome gadfly.

Generally speaking, where Lady Bracknell encounters poor service, she will take her custom elsewhere. (For example, she will no longer order her groceries to be delivered from the Tesco website given that their most recent neanderthal delivery man was most put out at her ladyship's refusal to carry half of the delivery upstairs, even when she pointed out to him that, if she were capable of carrying heavy bags of shopping, she would have no need to pay the exorbitant delivery charge.)

But she has changed gas and electricity providers on several occasions in the past, and has found the whole business sufficiently exhausting as to have no great desire to change again. Neither is she sanguine that an alternative provider's standard of customer service would be any higher than that of British Gas.

Bracknell Towers is growing rather chilly, but there would seem to be little to be gained from turning the central heating on at this point given that the gas supply will need to be temporarily turned off in order for the new meter to be fitted.

Instead, Lady Bracknell will retire to bed where, under the comforting warmth of her duvet, she intends to write the last of her Christmas cards.

Post Script

The gas man failed to arrive within his generously-allotted time span. Lady Bracknell is not amused.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Lady Bracknell's Theory of the Final Straw

Lady Bracknell, having been schooled from a very young age in the harsh reality that nobody other then oneself really has the slightest interest in hearing about the details of one’s health problems, is not one to write at length in public about the unpleasant physical effects of her impairments.

She will be alluding to some of them today, but craves her readers’ temporary forbearance. The purpose of this exception to her ladyship’s general rule should shortly become clear.

Lady Bracknell experiences chronic pain of very considerable severity in her lower back, sacro-iliac joints, and upper left leg as the result of multiple injuries to her lumbar discs. Her mobility is also substantially impaired. She has type II diabetes, for which she takes various medications. This means that, amongst other considerations, she must always take care to carry some morsels of sustaining food with her in her capacious handbag when she leaves the house.

(Readers will no doubt be relieved to read that the previous paragraph contains about as much detail concerning her ladyship’s impairments as is ever likely to be made available in the public domain.)

Naturally, the combination of these conditions is somewhat challenging and results in Lady Bracknell’s stamina being severely limited. But she has lived with the first for sixteen years, and the second for the better part of five, and is accustomed to dealing with their effects.

However – and here we come to the point behind this unusual degree of medical detail – Lady Bracknell has a much more minor complaint which, in comparison to her more established and much more serious conditions, drives her to absolute distraction.

Lady Bracknell has seasonal eczema*, the itching from which comparatively trivial skin condition she finds utterly intolerable. It may seem strange that an individual who can live quite happily with two fairly major health problems should feel herself to be pushed to the brink of sanity by a few small patches of inflamed skin, but it is the undeniable truth.

A truth, moreover, about which Lady Bracknell has developed a theory. (It has been some little while since Lady Bracknell has propounded one of her theories in the pages of this blog, and she flatters herself that her readers may have been pining for a new one.)

Lady Bracknell’s Theory of The Final Straw is that there is almost no end to the constant physical or mental discomfort which an individual can learn to endure in a stolid, and occasionally cheerful, manner. However, should any minor symptom only occur from time to time, and should the individual in question therefore not be given the opportunity to become accustomed to its hourly impact, that will be the symptom which he or she finds impossible to bear.

Should any of her ladyship’s loyal and regular readers be able to provide illustrations from their own experience to support her theory, they are most welcome to do so via the useful comments facility.

*Lady Bracknell recommends Lush’s “Dream Cream” for the treatment of topical eczema. She has found it to be considerably more effective than any of the emollients which can be bought in a pharmacy, or which have been prescribed for her by her general practitioner.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Lady Bracknell's guide to etiquette in the theatre

It being the time of year when even those persons who could not ordinarily be dragged by wild horses into a theatre are donning what they fondly believe to be suitable outfits in preparation for attending a pantomime, Lady Bracknell is of the opinion that it is high time a word or two was said about etiquette in the theatre.

Guy Pocock who, as regular readers may recall, penned "Brush Up Your Manners" in 1939, compiled the following list of things to leave at home, or at least in the cloakroom, when visiting a theatre, cinema, or concert hall:

Food in crackly paper bags
Cosmetics and appliances
Nail scissors
Wet umbrellas and mackintoshes
Babies in arms
Children with bad colds
Elderly relations with bad coughs

Lady Bracknell worked in what is called "front of house" for a local theatre for some years, and can confirm from personal experience that the manners of theatre audiences in the provinces fall generally very far short of the ideal. She has therefore compiled her own list of rules which novice theatre-goers may find useful.

  • theatres generally contain several hundred seats. The later you arrive, the more difficult it will be to navigate by seat and row number for the simple reason that persons already seated will have obscured those numbers. If, when taking your ticket, an usher gives you directions to your seat, he or she is not doing so for idle amusement. It will save time - and be considerably less wearing on the nerves of all concerned - if you listen to these directions and follow them. If you have failed to follow them, and are consequently ejected from the seat which you have chosen at random, it is bad form to snarl viciously at the usher who asks you to move.

  • if you are a member of a large party, and the organiser did not book in sufficient time for all 34 of you to sit together, it is not acceptable to decide as one to just sit together anyway and then to glare in a corporately menacing fashion at the innocent souls who simply wish to sit in the seats they have pre-booked.

  • Do not attempt to carry bottles of alcohol into the auditorium. To do so is neither big nor clever. No doubt you have not the slightest intention of wasting the precious liquid by dropping the bottle, but accidents do happen, and broken glass is extremely dangerous.

  • if you arrive late and are ushered to your seat during a scene-change, try to hold the difference between a scene-change and an interval in the forefront of your mind, and move to your seat as quickly and quietly as possible. Now is really not the time to worry about who is sitting next to whom and, in any event, the actors will not wait for you to sort yourselves out because they will be blissfully unaware that you have had to be sneaked in under cover of darkness.

  • by the same token, if you know that you have never mastered the art of arriving anywhere on time, don't book seats in the middle of the longest row.

  • for your own sake, check the date on your tickets before you leave the house. Likewise, if there is more than one theatre in the vicinity, check the theatre details as well. (Should you get this wrong, the theatre staff will not laugh in your face. They will, however, laugh uproariously the moment you are out of earshot.)

  • "No cameras in the auditorium" means no cameras in the auditorium. At all. For any purpose. Should you have a burning desire to capture little Billy's first trip to the theatre on film, either stifle it entirely, or control it until you are in the foyer, or on the pavement outside the theatre.

  • when you are requested to turn your mobile phone off, kindly resist the temptation to demonstrate how much cleverer you are than the theatre management by merely turning the volume to "mute". Mobile phone signals - whether or not the handsets are muted - can and do play merry hell with theatre sound systems.

  • try to remember that, in a theatre, the performance is live. You are not at home with a DVD or a video tape, and you can therefore not rewind. If you were not concentrating, you have only yourself to blame. Please desist from asking your companion what that bloke in the velveteen smoking jacket did in the last scene, or you will break the concentration of those of us who are following the plot.

  • do not hurl vocal abuse at the performers unless you want to be summarily ejected from the auditorium. If you are not enjoying the play, leave quietly and without fuss. Preferably at the next interval.

  • if you absolutely must unwrap a sweet - for example, if you have a tickle in your throat - please do so with all possible speed. The process of untwisting a cellophane wrapper is no less noisy and distracting for being strung out over thirty seconds.

  • the people who swarm about the stage when the lights are low, and who are dressed entirely in black, are members of the stage crew. There is no need to applaud them when they change the set. If they had wanted to be applauded for their work, they would have chosen careers as performers.

  • should you be determined to demonstrate to all and sundry that you are entirely ignorant of the mores of the theatrical world, there is no more effective way of doing so than to applaud the entry of an actor whom you recognise from the television. Unless, of course, it is to so far forget yourself as to comment loudly to your companion about how much older/fatter/shorter said actor looks in the flesh.

  • it is not unusual for modern productions to contain full-frontal nudity. Kindly refrain from vulgar sniggering.

  • if attending a matinee performance is an unwanted part of a package deal involving a coach trip to a large city with lots of shops, kindly do not use your time in the theatre to discuss your purchases with your companion whilst roundly ignoring the performance. No-one is holding a gun to your head. Large cities contain many establishments in which you may be seated and may consume restorative cups of tea, and where conversation is not frowned upon. Go to one of those instead, and meet up with your coach when the performance is over.

  • should you wish to leave your seat during the interval when others in your row have chosen not to, try to exit from the end of the row which will inconvenience as few people as possible.

  • should you and your companion/s be in the habit of conducting friendly arguments about who will pay for the ice-creams, please resolve your differences before approaching the vendors. Intervals are of a finite duration, and it is difficult enough to get everybody served before the curtain goes up without having to endure three middle-aged women all trying to outdo one another in generosity.

  • similarly, if you offer to pay for a bar of chocolate and a carton of Kia-Ora by means of a cheque, your offer is unlikely to be very warmly received.

  • if you are attending a pantomime, and are encouraged by the performers to clap along to the music, do at least try to clap in time.

  • on leaving the auditorium, do everything in your power to resist the temptation to mill aimlessly. Doing so creates a bottle-neck, and is most discourteous to those persons behind you who may have very good reason for wishing to expedite their departure. Not everyone travels by car.

It should not be necessary to memorise every last detail of this list. All that should be required is to understand that you will not go far wrong if you take the feelings of others (the theatre staff; the actors; and other theatre goers) into consideration throughout the duration of your visit.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Lady Bracknell presents a mixed bag

The editor, although still somewhat monosyllabic, now being biddable enough to at least take dictation from her employer, Lady Bracknell has decided to take advantage of what, after all, may be only a brief window of opportunity, to convey to her faithful readers a number of items of information which have come into her possession over the last few days.

Firstly, although it is undoubtedly deplorably solipsistic to enter one's own name as a search term on the Mighty Engine of Google, Lady Bracknell must admit to having experienced a surge of pride when she discovered that her own humble blog is currently the fourth "hit".

(A gentleman with whom Lady Bracknell does good works suggested to her today that she might be able to elevate her blog to "top hit" status by the simple procedure of instructing the editor to type the words "Lady Bracknell" one hundred times into a single blog entry. But Lady Bracknell feels that such a ruse would be unbecoming to one of her aristocratic status and would, moreover, set a poor example to the masses. Honours which have been gained through underhand and manipulative behaviour are, in her ladyship's opinion, not worth having.)

Secondly, Lady Bracknell was pleasantly surprised - not to mention proud - to discover that her blog has been deemed worthy of mention in The Ragged Edge World-o-Blogs section.

Thirdly, Lady Bracknell was most gratified to discover that Steve the Stick Man has borrowed copiously from her ladyship's various encomia on his splendid products in the comments section of his site.

Fourthly, should it be the case that not all of her readers regularly make the trip across to Miss Prism's entertaining blog, Lady Bracknell wishes wider attention to be drawn to Prism's musings on what she would do with a million hours. (This began as a discussion on what one might do with a million pounds, but Prism is not a particularly venal soul, and so decided instead to ponder what she might do with a million hours.) Lady Bracknell - whose affections towards Prism grow ever warmer - considers this to be an admirable mental exercise. Her ladyship's own pain levels render the prospect of 114 years of free time less than wholly enticing: however, readers who do not share her scruples are encouraged to comment on Prism's blog should they have any thoughts of their own to append to what is already a distinctly appealing list.

Finally, Lady Bracknell and the editor would like to extend their sincere thanks to those readers who offered words of support in response to the previous blog entry. Lady Bracknell hopes that said readers will understand why specific details of the cause of the black cloud have not been forthcoming, but assures them that both she and her trusty editor will live to fight another day. As long as that day is not quite yet.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Normal service will resume shortly

Lady Bracknell feels that she must apologise to her readers for the current - and previously unwonted - dearth of new postings to her blog.

The editor appears to have sunk into some manner of a malaise, brought on, as far as Lady Bracknell can gather, by a sudden alteration of her responsibilities at work. It is difficult for her ladyship to proffer a more specific account, as the editor can currently barely be prevailed upon to speak.

Neither threats nor cajoling have proved successful in persauding the recalcitrant and obstinate woman to submit to the task of taking dictation, so Lady Bracknell must either learn how to type directly onto the computing device herself, or wait until the black cloud has dispersed.

In the interim, she hopes that her readers will be able to find something both instructive and entertaining in her earlier posts.

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