Spring 2013

Spring 2013

Monday 10th June 2013

New guests arrived yesterday, a nice middle-aged couple who I am guessing were originally from up North.

I decided to make them a cream tea using the antique Chinese Satsumaware service which came into my possession. I carefully took out eggshell thin cups and saucers from the drawer where they are kept and delicately placed the wafer thin plates next to them. I scooped clotted cream into one blackbird-egg delicate bowl and raspberry jam into another and set the fragile teapot next to the eminently breakable sugar bowl and then placed everything onto a tray. I tripped on the rug as I went into the Drawing Room, but managed to stay upright and keep my composure. There then ensued a tense hour where I flitted about near the double doors to that room, listening to every tinkle and clatter. Wincing every time I heard china come into contact with anything else, and willing people, in my mind, to be VERY careful. I know it is considered rather common not to use ones lovely things and to set them aside in cupboards where they collect dust and take up valuable storage space, but having taken into account the anxiety associated with washing up the items by hand, as well as the anticipation of the sound of shattering china for over an hour as the guests took tea, and I am now completely resigned to being common, and am thinking of getting a nice tea service from Asda or Homebase. Some small part of me has become Hyacinth Bucket from "Keeping Up Appearances," worrying about her Royal Doulton tea service with the blue hand -painted periwinkles.You can take the boy out of suburbia...

As well as indoor worries (where did that smear come from on the paintwork in the Garden bedroom,) I now have outdoor worries. The Ducks are stalking me. As soon as I open the door there is a cacophony of quacking, and twenty beady eyes fix me with a gimlet stare as I mentioned in another one of these little missives from the B&B. BUT, it has become worse. I think they think I am Mummy Jolly (or as His Grace calls me Mamma Jolina.) Once my foot hits the terrace, there is a waddling, undulating, rushing mass of white feathered bodies with little yellow webbed feet speeding up the slope from the pond, and I am trailed from the Greenhouse to wherever I go in the garden for feeding time. Those beaks are beginning to look decidedly sharp!

The other day we decided to have a bonfire, and Lawrence, myself and ten Aylesbury ducks settled down to watch the flames consume a mass of weeds, brush and undergrowth which had been excavated from the far side of the pond in order to create a little "woodland" walk - I though wild creatures were supposed to be afraid of fire! The Indian Running Ducks are desperate to maintain a facade of indifference to me, but this is overcome by sheer greed as they watch the Aylesbury's eating all the food, so they now have to speed over to wherever the feeding frenzy is taking place as well...Omigosh! It's like the plains of the Serengeti here. I am reminded of Basil Fawlty in "Fawlty Towers" asking one of his guests who was complaining about the view from her room, if she expected to see herds of majestic Wildebeest sweeping across the pampas above Torquay. Note to self - Do NOT mention this to His Grace, or there will be herds of majestic Wildebeest sweeping across my East Sussex lawn. 
What is that? I think I hear the rustlings of an opening cornflake packet in the kitchen (individual size, naturally,) so I had better go and "put on the show." 
Bon Appetit!
Egg Count: 2 brown chicken eggs: perhaps they are settling into their new billet.