Fortescue Towers

Random ramblings from the life and times of Col. Fortescue Featherstonehaugh Fortescue.

Monday, December 05, 2005

A butler in a fir tree

One has discovered that ones gentlemans gentleman and fir trees do not mix awfully well.

After last years Christmas lights debacle which only saw the drive cleared of 737s in mid January one decided to ensure that this years festive decorations were a little more low-key. Just a small pine tree for the great hall and a bit of tinsel around grandfathers portrait above the stairs. Thus one sent Blenkinsop limping through the snow with Clackthorpe to select a suitable tree from the big wood at the top of the hill and one settled down for a pleasant post lunch nap as cooks mashed potato was sitting somewhat heavily. One must have dozed for some hours as the embers were glowing in the fireplace and dusk was falling about Fortescue Towers when one was woken by the kind of screams usually heard from below stairs when Great Aunt Agatha cannot find the key to the Sherry Cabinet. This time however, they seemed to be emanating from beyond the study window.

Ones gaze was caught by the sight of ones butler hurtling down the slope on a rather large fir tree, his agonized screams being caused every time the runaway pine hit a hillock and brought his nether regions into contact with the trunk. Like a woody torpedo he was headed straight for the front entrance. It was most fortuitous that the parlour maid was on hand as her quick thinking saved the door from destruction by the simple expedient of opening both it and the windows at the rear of the house.

Like a guided missile the tree and its screaming manservant cargo shot through the house, helped on its way by the mem' who gave it both barrels from the upper landing. Describing a graceful arc it shot over the verandah and through the ornamental gardens until its headlong flight was halted in an explosion of pine needles, squirrels and tumbling butler by the Summer house by the ornamental pond.

A fir tree stuck horizontally through the summer house is not quite what one had in mind but one must say that the servants have done a splendid job decorating it. In fact if the local W.I had a prize for the most Avant Garde decorated tree in the village one is sure one would walk off with the prize without any problem whatsoever. However, one thinks that next year one will get the tree from B & Q.