Fortescue Towers

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

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Election Fever

One has recently taken to spending ones time in the summer house along with a good bottle of port and a decent Stilton in order to avoid the ever increasing influx of politician chappies, desperate to win votes in the forthcoming general election, into the village. However, emerging from ones exile after running out of water biscuits and seeing the state of the parties one has decided to run for office oneself. After all, one cannot do worse than some of the current fellahs can one ?

So, what does one stand for ? The manifesto of the Fortescue party is as follows:

Education: A return to old fashioned values. None of this wishy-washy liberal stuff. Sound thrashings, cold showers, double Latin, triple Algebra, ten mile runs around the playing field before breakfast and jammy bread for tea. Every school is to have at least one VIth former by the name of Flashman and fagging will be re-established as a disciplinary tool. All games masters will have served at least ten years as an RSM and will have been discharged after findings of brutality. First years will no longer be known by name, simply as "You scrotty little oik!". Masters will have access to a decent wine cellar and the works of Plato, Julius Caesar and Socrates will be put back on the curriculum.

Immigration: A multi-racial society allows us to appreciate other cultures. However, we will have none of this unlimited immigration malarkey. If fellahs from exotic climes wish to settle in this green and pleasant land they will have to show an appreciation for roast beef, warm beer, decent Stilton, jam rolypoly and the history and etiquette of village fetes.

Foreign Policy: We are all for having troops stationed in other lands. After all it did not do one any harm facing the wily Pathan on the frontiers of empire. Cold British steel, that's what they understand. Furthermore it still means that as a nation we have a semblance of empire. In fact, one believes that as a nation it is our duty to show johnny foreigner what we are made of every so often. Can't have 'em coming over here reeking of Gauloises and onions and expecting us to do what they tell us. Thrashed 'em throughout history, not going to let 'em get away with it now.

Crime: Again, none of this liberal nonsense. Hard labour, that's what they need. Televisions in cells ? Rubbish! Sewing mail bags and breaking rocks, soon have them straightened out or at least so worn out that they won't be able to commit any crimes for at least ten years. Furthermore, a mandatory sentence of 25 years will be brought in for anyone caught wearing Burberry baseball caps, tracksuits or cheap jewellry from high street chains. Shooting trespassers will no longer be a crime although this is mainly to save one the embarrassment of having to get the mem' out of the cells yet again.

Health: Been a lot of worries about nasty superbugs. How can we ensure that patients do not become infected. Simple, cut down on the number of patients. A fit nation is a healthy nation therefore everyone will be expected to adhere to a strict PT regime. We will employ all those ex RSMs who do not become games masters to become community PT officers. Every street in the land will be assigned one of these to lead the local citizenry in physical exercise twice a day.

Defence: One is committed to bringing back national service. It has a great many benefits. All those lardy teenagers will get fit thus having an impact on health. Crime will fall due to the thieving classes marching up and down the parade ground or being packed off to defend the frontiers of pseudo-empire and once again Britain will have a strong army with which to give foreign johnnies a bloody nose. This in turn will reinvigorate the defence industry allowing the production lines to turn out Spitfires and Matildas once again after too many years in mothballs.

Economy: Much as one hates to admit it, the current chappie is doing a decent enough job. Must offer him a good bottle of port to see if one can convince him to come over to us. However, one pledges a strong economy and the reinstatement of decently sized paper pound notes and the thruppenny bit.

Countryside matters: As mentioned before on these pages we fully support the right to roam. In fact we propose new legislation that combines this with that other great pursuit, hunting. In this way the day-glo anoraked rambling types get plenty of exercise whilst being chased through the hedgerows and over the meadows by the sporting gentry and a large pack of hounds.

So, there you have it. Vote Fortescue for PM! All round decent chap and thoroughly good egg!

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Staff problems

Ones good friend Lady J has been discovering that the old adage of "You just cannot get the staff these days" still has a rather unpleasant ring of truth about it. Concerned about the poor state of her boundaries and with worries that the travellers camped on the village green might suddenly encroach on her land or that several swarthy fellows might suddenly arrive and offer to tarmacadam her drive (although given that her drive is almost a mile in length, one fears that a few tons of surfacing material purloined from the nearest roadworks might not quite suffice unless of course the nearest roadworks happen to be the M25) she attempted to secure the services of a reputable tradesman.

Naturally, in light of events one believes that her suspicions should have been raised when her 'reputable' boundary builder arrived three days late with only a bicycle and a packet of superstrength Capstan in his possession and demanded that her cook put the kettle on before he had even progressed beyond the kitchen garden then proceeded to drink tea every half hour and even intrude upon Lady Js luncheon. Apparently it was only the fellows particularly ripe personal odour that kept her upright and prevented the need for the smelling salts to be used. Not only this but when asked how he liked it the impertinent chap replied "Strong, hot and sweet". Although her cook assured her that this was not some lurid suggestion about bedroom matters but merely a comment on how tradesmen liked their tea, Lady J could not help but notice that he winked and gestured several times whilst making the comment but put it down to the poor fellow having a severe facial tic instead.
However, after neglecting the task for which he had been employed and several incidents that led to him being banned from entering the kitchen or being found in the vicinity of cook, his descriptions of 'how he liked it' finally led to him being grabbed by his personage and thrown into the nearest duck pond by the groomsman who had taken offence at his language.

Of course, this still leaves her ladyship without proper boundaries and the chance of waking up one morning to discover the croquet lawn gravelled over and several caravans parked on the tennis courts. Clackthorpe did offer a few 'items' from his service days but these were vetoed due to their highly explosive nature. Not of course because her ladyship was worried about the travellers but simply due to the abundance of wildlife in the area. Relations with the village are strained enough after the problems over Easter without residents being pelted with high velocity badgers from Lady Js herbaceous borders.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Egg hunt

Just returned from sorting out the debacle that was this years village easter egg hunt. Luckily, being a magistrate one was able to bring ones influence to bear and have the whole sorry saga swept under the carpet before the tabloids got wind of it.

Of course, in these politically sensitive times the village W.I should have thought long and hard before using the word 'Hunt' in the title as before we knew it the place was crawling with long haired layabouts tootling horns and trying to fling themselves in front of the horses. One would have thought some sense might have prevailed when they realised there were no horses to fling themselves in front of, although one did launch themselves at the vicars bicycle and another did minor damage to the milkmans float.

Undeterred by this setback they then started running around the place waving aniseed soaked rags to confuse the hounds. Again, doomed to failure despite attracting the attention of a few mangy curs from the travellers camp at the end of the village. Several of the saboteurs were spotted haring across the lower meadow with a pack of starving wolfhounds in hot pursuit. One supposes that might be considered a form of justice.

In the midst of all this, the ladies of the W.I were bravely attempting to muster the village Scouts and Guides and a minor celebrity from some awful television soap opera to set off on to find where the eggs were hidden. Shame that the mem', woken from her sherry induced fug by the baying of hounds and the panicked screams of protestors trying to leap the fence encircling the meadow, decided to see the trespassers off with a few well placed rounds of buckshot. Now the mem' isn't the steadiest of us at the best of times but after an evening on the sherry with great aunt Cecilia her aim is rather worse.

Naturally it was not her intention to hit the soap opera chappie but the image of his bare arse over a table in the local inn whilst the doctor picked the lead pellets out will haunt one for many years to come and one certainly saw some gruesome sights during ones years on the frontiers of empire. Luckily further damage was averted when Clackthorpe managed to knock the mem' cold with a sand filled sock after a furtive creep through the arboretum reminiscent of his days with the commandos albeit slightly less deadly. Must give the chap a raise.

Fortunately the village bobby was most understanding despite a stray shot or two putting a few holes in his nice shiny new patrol car and as mentioned before, one, in ones capacity as magistrate was able to sort things out without charges needing to be brought. However, next Easter, one will be locking the mem' in the cellar and suggesting that the W.I leave eggs well alone.