The Servant Problem
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of keeping the knowledge that she was to be awarded an MBE to herself for the better part of five weeks has now been superseded for the editor by the demands of obtaining a suitable outfit in which to attend the investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace.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.