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.

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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

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


I have been quiet. Very quiet. In fact I would have received approving looks from librarians for my lack of chatter of late. I am sure speculation has been rife (from the handful of people who read this blog) as to my mysterious disappearance. Perhaps in pubs and bars across the kingdom, and at water coolers in workplaces around the world, there has only been one topic of conversation: Fielding. Where has he gone?

The mystery can now be solved.

I was rumbled. The game is up. The cat has been let out of the bag and is sunning itself in the Orangery Garden.

Fortunately it was not Lady Carstone who found me out. No, the figure that exposed me was the Lodge Keeper we all know as Llywelyn. Of course, that is not his real name, but, when searching for supernatural tales on the internet (yes, Google, I am glaring at you!) he stumbled across a rather familiar little scene. It was not hard for a keen mind like Llywelyn's to recognise himself. There are very few Lodge Keepers around these days, still fewer who are Welsh, have a fascination for ghosts, and have recently taken a butler on a nocturnal supernatural tour of a historic house.

The game, as I have said, was well and truly up. My identity was shot to pieces.

Cowering from the icy finger of truth that was pointed towards me, I went into hiding somewhat. Not only did I not update this site, but I also tried to avoid venturing near the Lodge Gates, and whenever I saw Llywelyn in the gardens I pretended not to see him, and became absolutely fascinated by whatever plant was in front of me at the time. Barton would have been impressed by my sudden horticultural interest.

Yesterday, however, the inevitable, as it so often does, happened. Llywelyn approached me near the entrance porch to Carstone, and just as I was wondering how quickly a butler could run the 100 metres across gravel, he called out in a not unfriendly manner. This stopped me in my tracks. He then started to reproach me for not updating this blog. He pointed out the inaccurate (in his eyes) portrait I had painted of him, but on the whole he found it very amusing. I can only assume that Lodge Keepers get so little press these days (positive or otherwise) that Llywelyn was grateful for anything that could shine a light on that noble profession.

So this blog is not necessarily dead. So long as Llywelyn's silence can be bought (presumably with something of liquid form) there is no real reason why this rather odd diary cannot continue.

Llywelyn has made it clear however, that he would sometimes like to post on these pages himself. He has agreed to use the nom I have given him to maintain whatever semblance of secrecy remains.

I fear I have no choice but to accede to his request.

Friday, May 05, 2006

A Week Of Calm

Another few days drift by without a post. Oh dear. It seems to have become more of a journal than a diary. Nevertheless, onwards and upwards, what is past is past, etc etc.

Not an awful lot has happened since I last posted an entry here. We have had a quiet week. It is sometimes the way after a large event like the Monarch's Ball, that Carstone House, like a middle-aged former athlete, now finds that it needs to catch its breath after such an exertion.

Sunday will see the return of Mr Miles, who is entertaining some literary friends; the publication of his book of verse 'The Salmon' is imminent. My Master Sir Geoffrey is not particularly looking forward to this event, and he will try to stay out of the way as much as possible. To him, any poetry written after Alfred, Lord Tennyson died is just plain balderdash and totally incomprehensible. Lady Carstone will play hostess, which she will do with some aplomb.

I am on the hunt today for a new hammer for the dinner gong. I am afraid the old one snapped yesterday evening. The details of which I would rather not go into.