Monday, 24 December 2012
Dashed awkward situation, dashed awkward ...
Christmas update No. 2 ...
Bit of a dashed awkward situation in re the parkland next to the driveway. The grazing sheep have all been dyed either red or green per standin' orders and then dipped in glitter but, well ...
... the gardeners finished the life-sized ice-sculptures of Father Christmyth, sleigh and a full compliment of reindeer yesterday (I had them work by the light of a burning tied-cottage until it was done). Overnight it appears that half a dozen live reindeer found the sculpture and liked it a little too much. They're all frozen mid-coitus and it's ruddy awkward knowin' just what to warm up and how exactly to warm it up legally in order to release them.
As guests are driven from the gates or walk from the Estate's railway station the ice-sculptures are virtually invisible; all anyone sees is a formation of reindeer, rampant, bein' spoiled rotten (even for a nation of pet-lovers) by footmen with hairdryers and crowbars - and all while Father Christmas looks on and a recording of James Mason shouts 'Ho ho ho Merry Christmas from all at Owl Towers' every thirty seconds.
I don't want to order them shot, that would give children and impressionable adults quite the wrong message, athough if push comes to shove we may be able to blame Tracey Emin or that other pillock, the one who does pigs in formaldehyde and calls it art. Have to label it "Festive Blood-splattered Gay Reindeer with Sleigh" or something, tell everyone we've gone Modern this year.
There is some good news though; preparations indoors are coming along nicely.
The tree in the hallway is looking splendid. Builders are replacing the dome over the stairwell (the only way to get a 70' tree indoors is to lower it in by crane). It's being bagged at the moment ready for Rentokil to gas any wildlife carried in on its branches. I've asked them to do all of the guest bedrooms too; better safe than sorry after last year's bed-bug incident. Staff-Cook is hoping for a bumper harvest and something big and juicy to roast for the below-stairs Christmas dinner. From the tree, that is, not the bedrooms. Last year they had a squirrel each and two Greenpeace protestors - padded out with vegetables they lasted for weeks and saved us a fortune on feedin' the staff.
Nanny has been brought down from the loft. Some of the ladies from the local Civil Defence Unit are dusting her off and arranging her nicely on a commode by the drawing room fireplace. She makes a lovely talking point and somewhere for the indoor Macaws to land.
Cook reported earlier that there's a shortage of Brussels Sprouts this year, so I've set some of the farm workers and half of the grooms to paring down cabbages instead. At an average of twenty Brussels sprouts per meal per guest over ten days (excuding breakfast) it might seem extravagant but, well - there's really no substitute for a good sprout, is there? Boxing Day just wouldn't be the same without wind. You haven't lived until you've seen the High Sheriff of the county explaining the fundamentals of the cross-Channel hovercraft.
Ridin' out later to visit the Vicar and make sure that the choir is up to scratch and that they know when and where to appear. King's College have never been what you could call reliable but still, "alma mater" choir and all that. Haven't forgiven them of course for the nonsense of Christmas '93 when there was absolutely no-one singing in the boathouse by the lake as the guests went by on the steam-launch. Serves us right for keepin' this Vicar, I suppose, when we know he's nissed as a pewt most days and twice on Sundays.
Might check on how the reindeer de-frostin' is comin' along as I go.
Have to think of some way around the Colonel playing the part of Father Christmas again this year. Just doesn't seem the same somehow since he failed his CRB check and has to be handcuffed to a Social Worker at all times. May have to get into the old red Bat Farsted suit and hand out the presents meself I suppose unless I can think of a suitable replacement quick smartish.
It's always a bit chaotic at this time of year, eh?
Chin-chin and tally ruddy ho ho ho.
Eh? What? What do you mean, the Queen wants Nanny moved out of shot before she records her speech this year? The ruddy woman's a guest in my house and she'll make do with what's on offer and if it's not good enough she can damned well go back to her flat in Windsor.
Over and Ight, for the moment.