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

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Back In The Saddle Again

Actually, nothing would upset me more than being in a saddle. I have a great deal of admiration for the beauty of horses; I frequently make a trip to the stables, and have a chat with Sir Geoffrey's Groom, but, I do not believe my constitution could survive actually riding one. I know from the archives here that it was usual in Victorian times for both the Housekeeper and Butler of Carstone House to each own a horse, which would have been stabled here alongside the family's steeds. Indeed, (thumbing through the notes that Llywelyn gave me) I can tell you that the butler's horse here in 1876 was named 'Preacher'. No doubt this was an excellent animal but it would not have got on well with me, I fancy. Horses don't. They eye me with suspicion. Obviously, to them, I resemble a horse rustler, or a hay-stealer, and consequently am not to be trusted.

Many thanks for all the kind messages and emails. I have for some time been looking after my sister who was struck down with an illness that, happily, now seems to be in full retreat. I do not blame it. I sometimes think that if my sister had been stationed at Rorke's Drift in 1879 that the fearless Zulu warriors would have taken one look and decided that the odds weren't so massively stacked in their favour after all. They would have fled to the hills, all the time checking over their shoulders, to assure themselves that my sister was not following. These are, nevertheless, the words of a relieved and very grateful brother.

These last few months have been the longest period I have been away from Carstone. I missed it dreadfully. All seems to be well here. Simon, the footman, had been attending to my duties throughout my absence, and, aside from an understandably tentative first few days, he has, by all accounts, performed admirably. I left a letter of thanks for him to find, as well as a homemade chocolate fudge cake, which is one of my sister's specialities.


Anonymous The Mixer said...

Glad to hear your sister is back on her feet and it's lovely to have you back on the Blog, Fielding.

7:26 pm  
Anonymous Augustine Mulliner said...

Great to see you back, Fielding, and to know your sister is doing well. I'm looking forward once more to diverting anecdotes from your stately home of E.!

8:32 pm  
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