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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, June 24, 2006

The Servant Problem

Lady Bracknell must apologise for the recent dearth of entries to this blog.

Her regular readers will be aware that her ladyship is unfamiliar with the workings of the computing device; is much too elderly and aristocratic to learn secretarial skills; and therefore relies on her editor (who, let us not forget, is remunerated handsomely for the performance of her duties) to act as a modern-day amanuensis and convey her employer's words of wisdom onto the screen.

Since Saturday last when our gracious Queen saw fit to bestow membership of the Order of the British Empire on her, the editor has consistently argued that she is either too busy, or too tired, to take dictation from her benefactor. (Lady Bracknell should add at this point that, while she would never dream of questioning the Queen's judgement on any matter, in her own limited experience as an employer of the editor, she has observed that the woman is both reluctant to take orders from her social betters and far too fond of expressing strong opinions in company. Still, the deed is done, and Lady Bracknell confesses that she is not above enjoying the kudos conferred upon her by the fact that she has a titled member of staff.)

Evidently, the stress of keeping the knowledge that she was to be awarded an MBE to herself for the better part of five weeks has now been superseded for the editor by the demands of obtaining a suitable outfit in which to attend the investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace. She is very excited to have found a local milliner: by all accounts a young lady of not inconsiderable skill and knowledge, and one who will not permit her customers to purchase hats which do not become them. This talented young businesswoman will provide a bespoke hat for around £120: even Lady Bracknell is forced to admit that this sounds very reasonable, and to agree that supporting owners of small businesses is always preferable to pouring money into the infinitely deep pockets of chain stores.

With the vexed question of the hat resolved (apparently, the editor's face demands something called "an east west brim"), the issue of what is to be worn over her smart black frock has come to the fore. In the absence of anything which precisely meets the editor's requirements in those cyberstores which she generally frequents, the decision has been reached to have a tailored jacket made for the occasion by a dressmaker.

The editor is insisting that the jacket and its lining be fashioned from silk, and has therefore been spending her evenings searching for fabrics of the desired weight and colour on the interwebnet. Samples have been ordered from here and here, and the editor is to take tea next weekend with a lady of her acquaintance, whose taste in such matters she respects, in order to make the final choice.

Lady Bracknell is in behopes that the meeting next weekend will resolve the editor's anxieties for the moment, and that she will thereafter submit to her duties as before. Indeed, given that Lady Bracknell has shown extraordinary leniency in this matter over the last week or so, should the editor fail to come to her senses very soon, her continued employment and residence in Bracknell Towers can not be guaranteed. One can not, after all, submit oneself to be seen to be taken advantage of by one's domestic staff.

8 Comments:

Blogger The Goldfish said...

Whilst one must not forget the social order, one must count one's blessings, and her Ladyship's Editor is one of them. Would it not deny us of her Ladyship's Perorations, the Goldfish would recommend that her Ladyship ceased her complaints and allowed a generous paid holiday for such an excellent employee.

The Goldfish's cognitive functioning is somewhat impaired today, but on a second reading, she finds no reference to a colour of said outfit, other than the black frock. Is this to remain a secret?

There may be some regret by the Gentleman of the Goldfish household, that her Ladyship has inadvertantly introduced the Goldfish to Cheap Fabrics Online...

6:35 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Lady Bracknell apologises for the omission.

The jacket is to be fashioned from a particularly lustrous shade of blue. The editor is confident that she will recognise the perfect colour once she receives the fabric samples she has ordered.

Lady Bracknell offers her condolences to the gentleman known as AJ, and hopes that his purse will be able to withstand the demands which she suspects will soon be made of it.

7:56 pm  
Blogger The Goldfish said...

The Goldfish must at once correct her Ladyship's assumption that she is a kept woman! The Goldfish spends her own hardly-earned cash on such frivolities, using the generous retainer she receives from Her Majesty's Government.

The Gentleman known as AJ merely objects to the vast quantities of arts and crafts materials which the Goldfish accumulates for her various projects, not every one of which see fruition.

8:54 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Lady Bracknell is a product of her own age and, as such, cannot be expected to keep up with these modern social mores.

Whatever next? Will women be asking for the right to vote?

9:19 pm  
Blogger Charlesdawson said...

As a mere male I cannot be expected to understand the fine detail of her Ladyship's Editor's costume ponderings.

May I however interject one note of caution? We are in England and it is Summer. Therefore anyone proposing to attend an outdoor event, however august (ooh! I made a pun!) would be well advised to make alternative arrangements, of the oilksin and wader variety, in case our weather performs its usual trick.

May I hope that in any case, your Ladyship will avail herself of modern technology to the extent of providing your loyal public with a photographic representation of the costume? Pirelli awaits!

8:44 am  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Mr Dawson,

The editor is very much hoping that her investiture ceremony will not take place until at least late September, as she is no lover of hot weather.

She trusts that, should it rain, one of her guests will come armed with a large umbrella for the short limp between the hansom cab and the entrance to the palace.

Apparently, those who have been honoured are offered official photographs and a DVD of the event. However, as the DVD costs the outrageous sum of £100, and the photographs are equally pricey, Lady Bracknell's readers may have to make do with scanned copies of photographs taken with the editor's brother's Box Brownie.

11:05 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey! lovet his blog!

6:05 pm  
Anonymous Dame Honoria Glossop said...

This blog is a joy. Re. the editor's recent behaviour, I fear her ladyship's predictions of some years ago have now come true, viz -"I do not approve of anything that tampers with natural ignorance. Ignorance is like a delicate exotic fruit; touch it and the bloom is gone. The whole theory of modern education is radically unsound. Fortunately in England, at any rate, education produces no effect whatsoever. If it did, it would prove a serious danger to the upper classes, and probably lead to acts of violence in Grosvenor Square. "

3:44 pm  

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