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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

Friday, November 04, 2005

The wheels on the bus go round and round...

When one has been taking the same omnibus for years, as Lady Bracknell has, there is a strong likelihood that there will be a degree of continuity amongst one’s fellow passengers. Many are so unremarkable as to make little impact, but there are some who, over the years, have either piqued Lady Bracknell’s curiosity or irritated her fine sensibilities.

Having encountered two of these persons today, Lady Bracknell has been inspired to list some of the more memorable. Readers may be somewhat shocked at the assumptions her ladyship has made about these innocent fellow travellers. However, Lady Bracknell has long been of the opinion that, while peculiarities of appearance or manner are quickly and wholly forgotten once an acquaintance has been forged, it is very considerably harder to set such considerations aside when one is merely an observer. Lady Bracknell is more than willing to believe that all the persons whom she is about to describe have many sterling qualities, and are much loved by their families and friends. After all, as Lady Bracknell’s esteemed mother is wont to observe, “The world would be a very boring place if we were all the same”.

That being said, Lady Bracknell will now introduce the dramatis personae:

The rumpled elderly gentleman
This gentleman would be wholly unremarkable were it not for his anachronistic fondness for mothballs. Lady Bracknell has encountered mothballs only once before, and that was when she was on holiday with her esteemed parents in a cottage in Wales more than thirty years ago. Even then, their use was so old-fashioned as to be deemed eccentric. Lady Bracknell cannot imagine where the rumpled elderly gentleman purchases his mothballs in this day and age, but she can confirm that he evidently uses a great many of them: to sit behind him on the bus is to ensure that one’s sinuses will be as clean as whistles. (The editor has just discovered, much to Lady Bracknell’s surprise, that mothballs may be purchased on eBay.)

The woman who looks like a man
In days gone by, when Lady Bracknell was somewhat less enfeebled, and travelled rather earlier in the mornings, she saw this woman every day. The woman was always smartly turned out in expensive clothes and a variety of jewellery. And yet, there was something about her facial features which made her resemble a man in drag. Lady Bracknell will confess that she cast many a surreptitious glance at the woman’s hands and feet in an attempt to gather further clues as to her gender. But all her ladyship’s suspicions on this subject were overturned on the day the woman appeared, accompanied by her husband and son. The son bore so striking a resemblance to his mother, that Lady Bracknell could entertain no further uncertainties on the matter. And yet, she often spent her journey attempting to decide exactly what combination of features it was which rendered the woman’s facial appearance so unremittingly masculine. (Lady Bracknell had entirely forgotten about the woman who looks like a man until she encountered her on the omnibus this very afternoon.)

The white-haired gentleman with the harp
Lady Bracknell is much intrigued by this gentleman, although she has only encountered him twice to date. She is tremendously impressed by his skill at manoeuvring the harp case on to, and off, the omnibus without concussing himself, the driver, or another passenger. Had she not seen it with her own eyes, Lady Bracknell would not have believed it possible that a case containing a full-sized harp could be stowed away on a rush hour omnibus in such a manner as not to cause very considerable annoyance all round. What is more intriguing still is the question of where he is going, and where he has been. Is he on his way home from a harp lesson? Or on his way to give a recital? And, if so, to whom? If Lady Bracknell ever has the good fortune to be seated next to the gentleman, she will endeavour to strike up a conversation with him on the subject of his harp.

The strident woman with the stick and her colourless male companion
These two are always seen as a pair, although they are clearly in no way related, and do not arrive at the omnibus stop together. The man is in late middle age, and demonstrates a phenomenon which is peculiar to the male of the species, in that his slight frame has succumbed to middle aged spread only so far as to give him the appearance of secreting a balloon under his jumper. He never initiates conversation appearing, instead, to content himself with monosyllabic responses to his companion’s loudly-vocalised, utterly humourless, and quite exceptionally tiresome reiterations of the tedious minutiae of her domestic circumstances. (Lady Bracknell, who has been subjected to a fifteen minute diatribe on what happened when the flooring was laid in the dining room, finds herself quite unequal to the task of thinking kindly of this excessively vulgar woman.)


Blogger marmiteboy said...

The Boy Marmite is somewhat dismayed to discover that Lady Bracknell finds her circumstances so reduced that she finds it necessary to use public vehicular transportation in the form of the omnibus.

Or has her chauffeur been sacked again for drinking the cooking sherry?

9:24 pm  
Blogger The Goldfish said...

I believe it was Baronness Thatcher once said:

"A man who, beyond the age of 26, finds himself on a bus can count himself as a failure."

I really don't understand why any of you voted for her. I am let off as I was too small to vote while she was in power (this was back in the day when they used a metre rule).

Unfortunately, I myself find myself unable to travel by omnibus at this time or indeed by steam engine. I am reduced to that great pollutant the automobile and am very much aggrieved.

I once took my friend Hammy, the hamster on a bus. I was doing an English Speaking Board exam and was going to do a talk about the hamster. On the bus he was wide awake and noring at his bars. Throughout the exams of the other children he was going ballistic, hurtling around on his (somewhat squeaky) wheel thus causing a disturbance and distraction.

Then when it came to my talk the little blighter fell into a deep sleep from which he refused to wake.

11:18 pm  
Blogger w1ld child said...

Does the woman with the stick have a stick as fine as your goodself?

1:07 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Indeed not. She carries a stick of no particular note. And has a voice like nails down a blackboard, to boot.....

Excellent avatar, by the way. Does Lady Bracknell detect the graphics skills of a certain geezer?

1:11 pm  
Blogger marmiteboy said...

I would like to point out to Ms Goldfish that although coming from Essex and living not a stones throw from the once Tory heartland that is Basildon I never voted for Mrs T nor her party. I would never stoop so low.

4:55 pm  
Blogger JackieTruckle said...

Dearest Lady Bracknell,
Please forgive my impudence in writing to you but I have perused with great enjoyment your most excellent website and thenceforth onto other equally admirable websites of the various disabled bloggers, whom you recommend. As somethig of a cyber ignoramous, who is merely dipping a toe into the uncharted waters of "blogging" I would appreciate some words advice as to the etiquette of the activity. For example, is it permisable to post a comment without first being introduced. I would so hate to embarrass myself by commiting a "faux pas". I of the opinion there are many in a similar position to myself who would greaty appreciate some guidance.
Yours most sincerely,
Jackie Truckle (Miss)

6:25 pm  
Blogger w1ld child said...

Yes Lady Bracknell does indeed detect the excellent graphic skills of a certain geezer.

10:01 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Lady Bracknell is most gratified by Miss Truckle's delicacy in the matter of etiquette, as it so clearly indicates quite exceptionally good breeding.

The editor informs her ladyship that, each time a blog post is typed onto the computing device, its author has the option to choose to turn off the facility to accept comments.

Miss Truckle can therefore be confident that, should the capacity to comment on a particular author's work be available to her, comments from all visitors (with the exception of spam robots) are being actively sought.

In any event, should a particular comment be of a nature which the author deems unacceptable, that comment can be deleted by the blog owner without further reference to the individual who posted it.

Lady Bracknell trusts this has set Miss Truckle's mind at rest, and thanks her for her generous comments.

11:06 pm  
Blogger pete said...


I imagined the good Lady being ferried about in a yellow 1930 Phantom II Sedanca de Ville(Rolls-Royce).

12:21 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

To the two gentlemen who have evinced surprise that she travels regularly by omnibus, Lady Bracknell would remind them that she believes she made this fact abundantly clear in her September 3rd entry, entitled, "Lady Bracknell fulminates about public transport".

12:30 pm  
Blogger pete said...

Forgive me Lady B' If one were to ask 'Which book and screen character resembled me'. I would have to say the Aged P from G.E. by C.D.

*Smiles and nods*

12:50 pm  
Blogger Katie said...

Am I right in saying your Ladyship did not approve of her fellow passengers then? They all sound disconcerting to me! You get characters like that on buses, your ladyship, like I get sometimes!

2:05 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful my Lady. I remember as a youth being fascinated by my piano tutor who resembled Rex Harrison in drag, so I can certainly understand your fixation with the lady with the masculine features.

8:32 pm  

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