Tales From The Pantry: A Butler's Diary

From the pantry of an historic country house comes the ongoing diary of its butler, Mr Dean Fielding. I shall be giving you a glimpse of the family I serve and of the lives both 'Below Stairs' and 'Above'. I hope you follow my jottings daily.

My Photo
Location: United Kingdom

Have been butler here for over 15 years. Having previously, and unusually for these days, worked my way up from footman to under-butler to my current post. You can now follow me on Twitter via: http://www.twitter.com/butlerfielding

Monday, March 27, 2006

A Warm Welcome To My Blog

The above photograph is not actually of me. I am most dreadfully unphotogenic. I could, and indeed often do, find myself in a similar situation to the fellow above: stepping out of the shadows while holding a tray, but my profile is not quite as pleasing to the eye.

The idea of this blog came to me last week. My job can be conducive to day dreaming at times. Do not get me wrong: I work extremely hard, and I can rarely be certain when I will be allowed to disappear through the Green Baize Door and retire to my bed at night. But, certain tasks, such as polishing silver does sometimes allow one a moment to reflect on life with all its hopes and travails.

I was polishing my master's silver punch bowl, last Tuesday, when the idea came to me. The things that occur in this house, are often far more interesting (to me at least!) than many of the things you see on television or read about in books. So many people seem to believe that butlers are extinct. That we are quaint things that appear in films like Gosford Park and Remains Of The Day, but that, surely, in this day and age do not exist outside of Her Majesty's Household.

This is a fallacy.

I hope you will return here again and again to read my jottings. I shall post whenever I get a minute. I hope to post everyday but that will not always be possible. It will all depend on my Master's arrangements.

Perhaps it will be best if I supply a 'Dramatis Personae' as the Victorians used to say of the people living in this household (I think I shall tomorrow). It will be essential for you to get to know them. I hope you find the blog interesting and enlightening.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hope this blog works out. It should be fascinating!

6:03 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am following with warm interest

6:21 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a great fan of P.G. Wodehouse, as well as editor of theWodehouse Society (US) publication I lok forward to your blog. Actually I don't know what a blog is, but good luck anyway.

Dan Cohen

7:38 pm  
Blogger Mr Fielding said...

Thank you all for your kind comments.

Dan, a blog is an on-line diary really. It comes from the words 'web log'. I'm not sure if Plum would have given up his favourite typewriter in order to write a blog, however!

I think PG Wodehouse is a hero to butler's everywhere.

8:18 pm  
Anonymous Pighooey said...

What ho, Comrade Fielding! I, like Dan who posted before me, am a member of The Wodehouse Society (U.S. version). In fact, I'm currently its president, so on behalf of TWS, please allow me to wish you the best of luck with your blog. I'm sure it will be very interesting indeed and I hope to remember to check back often (I'm afraid I'm on the "mentally negligible" list somewhere just below Bertram W.).
Yours ever,

11:33 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's the Ottawa (Canada) chapter of The Wodehouse Society piping in. We in the colonies shall anticipate Mr. Fielding's entries keenly. It will be interesting to watch one of our favourite little corners of the world progress in real terms.
All the best!

2:49 pm  
Blogger Mr Fielding said...

I must say I am quite overwhelmed by the prompt response from all these Wodehousians. Thank you Dan Cohen, Pighooey, and the representative from the Ottawa branch, I shall endeavour to fulfil your expectations.

As ever, and perhaps inevitably, we live to serve!

2:58 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Naturally everybody who thinks about life of english butler now thinks to the film "The vestige of the day" by James Ivory. Is it too much ask to you if the life you experience in your castle ressemble to that portrayed in the film?
More generally a study of the film cum coparison between it and present reality would be perheaps ambitious but most interesting.

11:07 pm  
Blogger Mr Fielding said...

An interesting suggestion. It should be possible to post my thoughts on certain scenes from that film.

It has been a while since I have seen it mind. I shall need a refresher.

1:09 pm  
Blogger RanTen said...

Fielding, Old Chap... this is bloody marvelous.

Reminds me of the Drones and all that.

Am not much of a blog reader, but I dare say, I shall be keeping close tabs here.

I don't think that the techies who invented this "blog" thingummy, ever kept a diary; just imagine, first I read how "the summerhouse get so grotty", and then discover I got to start at "Dear Old Carstone", and then find out its still not the bloody start of the diary - but somewhere at the chapter 4!!!

Nevertheless I shall persevere.

Carry on, Fielding.

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