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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, March 25, 2006

Lady Bracknell emerges, blinking, into the light

After an exceedingly wretched couple of weeks spent shivering in her bedchamber under the duvet accompanied only by five boxed sets of Babylon 5 DVDs, several gallons of soup, and an ever-dwindling supply of library books, Lady Bracknell has this week ventured forth into the great outdoors – in a somewhat trepidatious manner – to attend a variety of medical appointments. Her ladyship’s continuing frailty has precluded travel by omnibus, with the result that she has spent the better part of fifty pounds sterling on hansom cab fares.

She had her chest x-rayed on Monday: a somewhat bizarre experience necessitating stripping to the waist; donning a hospital gown of a quite execrable style and fit; compressing her capacious bosom against a plated device; and having a bright light flashed against her from behind. This process had to be repeated, as her capacious bosom had not been adequately compressed in the first instance.

Tuesday was the occasion of a much-overdue and sorely-needed visit to the osteopathic gentleman. Dude the chauffeur being himself confined to bed (one simply cannot get the staff), the journey was somewhat rigorous, and Lady Bracknell was very much exhausted the following day.

The house adjacent to Bracknell Towers has been undergoing noisy renovation for many months now. It feels to Lady Bracknell as though this work has been going on since the Dawn of Time, but she is assured by the owner of the property that it started as recently as last September and that it is nearly finished. Be that as it may, at about 10.30 on Thursday morning workmen started to knock down the garage. Lady Bracknell and her feline companion became aware of this at the moment when tons of tumbling bricks caused the foundations of Bracknell Towers to shake in a disconcerting fashion. (It would appear that no brick building can be razed to the ground in this day and age sans the accompaniment of one of the less intellectually-rigorous local radio stations being played at a volume sufficient to be audible above the noise of destruction.)

Lady Bracknell, who bows to no man or woman in the matter of sensitivity to noise, decided to vacate Bracknell Towers rather earlier than was actually necessary in order to attend the eyesight examination which was scheduled for one o'clock. Her feline companion having no such opportunity to vacate the premises, Lady Bracknell imagines that she must have hidden under the bed with her paws in her ears until the last brick had fallen to the ground.

Arriving in the city centre somewhat earlier than planned, Lady Bracknell took the opportunity to visit her bank and deposit the sizeable cheque which her esteemed father had sent her by way of a birthday gift. That done, she pottered somewhat aimlessly around the streets in an attempt to kill time. (Any readers who have done this themselves will be aware that, while it takes ten minutes to admire the goods in a shop window if one is in a hurry, it takes only about five seconds to exhaust their attractions fully should one be early for an appointment.) But Lady Bracknell should not really grumble, given that her aimless loitering rewarded her with a glimpse of Ken Dodd in the flesh.

Eventually, sufficient time had passed for Lady Bracknell to bend her steps towards Blankstone's Magnificent Optical Emporium. (The website for this most welcoming of establishments is currently under construction, but Lady Bracknell has instructed her editor to provide a link to it once its pages contain anything of note.) Lady Bracknell was soon provided with a cup of coffee and invited by the charming Mr Blankstone to "show him her wares". (This invitation related, of course, to the spectacle frames which the editor had ordered on Lady Bracknell's instructions from the interwebnet: there is nothing improper in Mr Blankstone's dealings with his customers.)

It has long been Lady Bracknell's preference to patronise small businesses over large chains wherever practicable. Unfortunately, her physical frailties quite often override her principles on this point. After all, when one needs to have one's groceries delivered to one's door, one has no option but to call on the services of Mr Sainsbury or Mr Tesco. But in the matter of opticians, Lady Bracknell stands firm. When one wishes to co-ordinate one's spectacle frames with one's handsome walking sticks, one must pay great attention to the calibre of frames one purchases. A shop from a large chain of opticians will display a great many spectacle frames, but none will have the individuality which a perfectionist such as her ladyship seeks.

Also, when Lady Bracknell is preparing to spend several hundreds of pounds, she chooses to do so in an establishment in which she is recognised and greeted by name when she arrives. The fact of having worked in the service industry herself in her youth has rendered Lady Bracknell peculiarly sensitive to standards of customer care. She had used to frequent a more local optician, but has removed her custom from them in light of the unwelcoming attitude of their receptionist, a woman for whom customers were clearly an inconvenience which interfered in her lengthy telephone conversations with her family and friends.

Mr Blankstone and his staff offering an exceptionally high level of care and consideration for their customers, Lady Bracknell need look no further for an optical establishment to frequent. These beautiful spectacles having been ordered, Lady Bracknell hopes to return within the week to collect them and, if necessary, have them adjusted to fit her aristocratic visage.

Lady Bracknell wishes to extend her grateful thanks to all those who asked after her, or who wished her well, during her extended absence from what she believes is called, "the blogosphere". Although not yet quite restored to full health, she is well on the road to recovery. Blog entries may remain sparse for the immediate future, but Lady Bracknell will write again when stamina permits.


Blogger The Goldfish said...

Welcome back, Lady B! Hope you are feeling back on top form as soon as possible - you have been greatly missed.

3:02 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome back! I have been greatly concerned about you. March is never an auspicious month for one's health. Around this time last year I nearly succumbed under a pernicious strain of influenza.

What a time for the neighbors to be so noisy! My neighbors enjoy blaring what can best be described as raucous tri-toned beeps late into the evening, which greatly disturbs the desired tranquil tone of those crepuscular hours.

Regards and best wishes for your further recovery,

Louise N.

5:45 pm  
Blogger Katie said...

May I too add my best wishes to you Lady B? Welcome back and hope you recover soon from your illness.

Master Mac has been wondering of your whereabouts and I am sure he will be delighted with the news that you will soon return.

Recover soon your ladyship, as you are greatly missed.

7:30 pm  
Blogger Marcelle Proust said...

Veuillez recevoir, madame, mes meilleurs voeux de santé restorée et continuelle. Moi aussi, j'aime Babylon 5 comme passe-temps et restorative.

9:18 pm  
Blogger Charlesdawson said...

Mr Dawson is pleased to note the resurgence of Lady Bracknell and trusts that her Ladyship is fully recovered from the grots.

11:17 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am most relieved to see that her Ladyship is on the road to recovery and would like to offer my sincere wishes for a return to normal health.

4:27 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You had me worried m'lady. All is well with the world once more:)

10:54 pm  
Blogger Nicola said...

* contented sigh *


4:07 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not being a fan of science-fiction, I am most distressed to hear that Lady Bracknell only had the company of Babylon 5 DVDs. Each to their own. Ahem.

However, I am delighted to hear that m'Lady is now on the road to recovery. It will be a relief to see you back in, yes, that strange thing called the blogosphere.

8:54 pm  
Blogger pete said...

Long time no read, glad to see you back!

“The best friend is the man who in wishing me well wishes it for my sake.” - Aristotle

10:01 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I knew your ladyship was much restored to health when I was clobbered by a sideswipe at my efficacy as a dependable employee because of my own failing health.

Nevertheless, I am still glad to see you're back (not to mention your capacious bosom):~P

1:27 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

In the words of Young Mr Grace, "You've all been very kind...."

8:58 pm  

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