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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

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

At last! A cure!

Regular readers possessed of impressively long memories may recall Lady Bracknell bemoaning the decrepitude of her kitchen appliances as long ago as October 2005.

The dishwasher, which was of a venerable age, retained its willingness to slosh water noisily around its innards for some months after Lady Bracknell reported the problem with its "on" button: however, it recently grew unequal to the task of actually using said water to clean the dishes which were stacked inside it, choosing instead merely to rinse them in an apathetic manner.

Lady Bracknell eventually concluded that washing dishes by hand used less energy than washing dishes by hand after they had been feebly sprayed with water by the ailing dishwasher. For some months, therefore, her ladyship has been reduced to washing her own dishes at the kitchen sink. Quite apart from the question of the propriety of an elderly aristocrat having been brought down to the status of a mere kitchen skivvy, Lady Bracknell has better - not to mention more seemly - uses for her severely limited capacity to stand upright. A replacement must be sought.

The Editor was therefore instructed to scour the interwebnet for suppliers. To Lady Bracknell's dismay, no supplier could be found who was willing to unplumb the existing machine on the day of delivery of a new one. Not even for ready money. The Editor consulted Mr Larkin.

Mr Larkin recommended that the Editor identify the supplier closest to Bracknell Towers from the Euronics website. "But the nearest shop is 7.6 miles from here", she wailed, piteously. Mr Larkin sighed deeply. (Lady Bracknell is given to understand that Mr Larkin is often reduced to sighing deeply when in conversation with the Editor.) "You don't have to actually go to the shop!", he replied, through gritted teeth. "A dishwasher is a dishwasher is a dishwasher. You could just ring them up".

Suitably chastened (albeit only temporarily), the Editor telephoned Lunt's Domestic Appliances and explained that none of the residents of Bracknell Towers is physically capable of manhandling large, heavy pieces of kitchen equipment, but that Lady Bracknell would be happy to pay whatever was required for all the heavy work to be done for her. This being found to be satisfactory all round, an order was taken. It then occurred to Lady Bracknell that she might just as well have her equally elderly cooker replaced at the same time, with the result that the order was amended, and a generous discount offered.

Lady Bracknell has long yearned for a stylish cooker with many useful features. However, when she first began to research the subject some five years ago, she soon realised why the lady from whom she bought Bracknell Towers had been so keen for her to pay a little extra on top of the buying price so that the cooker which was in situ might pass into her ownership. The gap for the cooker is 46 cm wide. There is but one cooker on the market of such narrow dimensions. Whilst it may well be perfectly serviceable (indeed, Lady Bracknell hopes very much that it is), a thing of beauty it is not. Nevertheless, it has four working rings: this fact alone is a cause of considerable excitement to a household which has been working on only two rings for the better part of the last four years, and on only three for at least six years prior to that.

Both devices arrived yesterday afternoon. Lady Bracknell can not speak highly enough of the professionalism and speed with which Angus and his youthful but anonymous sidekick removed the existing, elderly appliances and replaced them with the bright, shiny new ones. Nothing was required of her ladyship save an initial opening of the front door, and the removal of the ever-helpful Young Master Bertram from the field of combat. (He was not amused.) The whole operation - which Lady Bracknell is not ashamed to admit she had been dreading - was over in less than forty minutes.

Left alone with her new toys, Lady Bracknell's parsimonious nature soon overcame her initial urge to test the dishwasher on the three plates and a teaspoon which were available to be washed, so she is not yet in a position to report on the standard of its performance. The cooker has so far been used to cook one pan of pasta, and to grill three slices of toast: hardly a thorough test of its capabilities, but there is nothing to complain of as yet.

As an added bonus, Lady Bracknell has now been made privy to the secret of the cure for back pain: according to Angus, he cured his own "bad back" by running the New York marathon. He is clearly of the opinion that this miraculous cure would work for all instances of back pain. Given the service which he had but lately performed for her, Lady Bracknell overcame her impulse to point out to him in no uncertain terms that back pain which responds positively to the impact of pounding the pavements for twenty seven miles is back pain of a rank amateur level and, frankly, back pain of a type for which she would be only too pleased to exchange her own, and merely smiled and nodded politely as Angus skipped lightly down the stairs on his way to lift some more heavy appliances for another customer.

Mr Larkin requested that, should Lady Bracknell act on Angus's advice and enter herself into the next New York marathon, she purchase an extra air ticket so that he might observe her performance. Via the good offices of the Editor, Lady Bracknell advised Mr Larkin that he might wish to choose his location along the route with care, suggesting that less than a hundred yards from the starting line might prove to offer the best opportunity for catching a glimpse of her ladyship prior to her being stretchered off the course.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"unequal to the task of actually using said water to clean the dishes which were stacked inside it, choosing instead merely to rinse them in an apathetic manner"

Not unlike the Hon. Glossop, and probably much easier to live with.

9:47 pm  
Blogger The Goldfish said...

One has to ask whether Angus suggested that there was something particularly special about the New York Marathon? Along the lines of the benefits of swimming back crawl at Lourdes, for example.

The Goldfish is very heartened to hear of her Ladyship's new purchases. There is a wonderful satisfaction in using something which works after a long period of making do. Here's hoping that it will only be a short time before her Editor enjoys exactly the same feeling with the technology she uses in her other employment.

8:42 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Whilst I am only too painfully aware that your ladyship can cover greater distances than I on foot, hence my chosen career as a professional driver, it must be said, with all due respect, that the coverage tends neither to the fleet nor the gazelle-like.

Therefore, should the esteemed Mr Larkin choose a vantage point towards the thin end of your suggested 100 yards (which I believe he will more readily recognise as approximately a half-furlong), he would be well advised to bring a good book and a thermos…

And one of those pointy sticks with a seat on one end…

I believe I have a spare tartan rug in the boot of the Rolls.


2:17 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Dame Glossop has entirely redeemed herself with her latest comment: Lady Bracknell was much amused.

11:03 pm  
Blogger Charlesdawson said...

Thank your Ladyship for another entertaining blog entry to lighten my broadband-cursed day.

As the proprietor of a multi-cat household, may I enquire what precautions your Ladyship takes to prevent Young Bertram and Lady Caspar from singeing their bums on the hot plates?

I have always distrusted electric hot plates for this reason, and myself had a gas oven with a complete glass lid for this reason.

I am sure your Ladyship's devoted readers would be enlightened and interested to read your thoughts on this.

Excuse me, I just have to go and remove Custard from the central heating boiler. The imposition of her weight to the bread dough proving thereon is not going to improve its rising capacity one bit, let alone the temper of the (mercifully unaware) bread cook.

9:49 am  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

None of Lady Bracknell's feline companions has ever so much forgotten itself as to jump up onto kitchen work surfaces.

In any event, Lady Bracknell is of the opinion that any cat stupid enough to "singe its bum" on an electric hot plate deserves to suffer both the consequent indignity and the ridicule of its peers.

4:04 pm  
Blogger Charlesdawson said...

Are you sure we are talking about the same species? Cats? Felis domesticus?

Never have I encountered a cat who, once it had grasped that one didn't want it to get to a certain place, wasn't bound and determined to get there as soon as possible.

Evidently breeding tells.

7:15 pm  

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