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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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

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

A Ball To Look Forward To

Sometimes duty is a painful business and, my goodness, how Mr Cromwell must have suffered over the past week.

The first evening (Thursday) he settled down behind a tree near the lake to await the dastardly fishermen. I remember as I prepared my hot chocolate (yes, I know it is summer, but hot chocolate is one of my little pleasures no matter what the season) that night that the storm seemed intent on barging its way, uninvited, through my bedroom window. The wind howled, the rain battered against my poor innocent window pain, and I thanked my lucky stars that I was a butler and not a gamekeeper.

The next morning I got the rundown from Mr Cromwell, who seemed none the worse for his nightly vigil. Yes, the rain was heavy, he explained, but that was neither here nor there (a phrase he is particularly fond of using). The point was that the rain seemed to keep the miscreants away. There was no sign of them. They had lost their desire to fish. Cromwell kept up his lonely vigil for the three following nights and still the fishermen did not arrive. Perhaps they did and caught a sight of the determined looking Cromwell. That would be enough to put anybody off fishing for a while. Perhaps it even turned them vegan. Peace has now returned to the lake.

Good news was confirmed last week. Sir Geoffrey has given us the go-ahead for a Summer Servant's Ball, in commemoration of the twentieth anniversary of the noble baronet's succession to the estate and title. In the old days we only had one Servant's Ball a year (usually around Twelfth Night) but over the past decade or so, perhaps sensing a certain lack of lustre in the eyes of those Below Stairs come August, a smaller, more modest, summer event has also been added to the calendar. I think this might be a bigger event than previous summers. I have to do some of the organising but everything should be arranged by the time of the Ball (on the last day of August), so that I can enjoy myself.

Quite a surprise today: Wendy (one of the Housemaids) has handed in her notice. I must consider the situation carefully.


Blogger Tea & Margaritas in My Garden said...

Looking forward to hearing all about the ball.


12:07 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thoroughly enjoy your blog! Ahem, diary. Poor Mr. Cromwell...

Also, I believe it's spelled "window pane." Or maybe that's just the way we do things on this side of the pond. Because we're godless Yanks who like to do things just to be different.

6:12 pm  
Blogger Mr Fielding said...

You are of course correct 'anonymous'. That has happened several times while writing this diary. Usually my spelling isn't quite so inconsistent. I decided to sit down at the end of the day, type, and see what comes out. Checking for spelling mistakes has never really been part of writing a diary. My guard drops. Mistakes, dressed in a beard and dark glasses, sneak in unnoticed.

Thanks for pointing it out. It is indeed 'pane' over here as well.

8:11 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are quite welcome! I was hesitant to point it out at all, because it seems a little petty to point out spelling errors immediately after praising your work, but...well, I study English, and being petty about spelling is one of my nastier habits.

Keep the blog going! It's a wonderful read.

5:57 pm  

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