Fortescue Towers

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

Monday, October 31, 2005


The village has gone absolutely crackers. Everyone from the vicar to the families on the council estate wandering round in protective suits and masks in case a swan sneezes on 'em. Papers are the same, every time a Sparrow drops dead half way across the globe there is ten pages on how we are all doomed. Bonkers, the lot of them and one is definitely not going to give up dining on well hung Pheasant in case it has forgotten to blow its beak.

In fact one is suffering from something of a surfeit of slightly gamey avian wildlife at the moment as the mem' concerned about her health has been blasting away from the clocktower like some deranged sniper. One cannot even go out without the risk of being brained by birdlife tumbling from the sky. The postman will no longer deliver after being knocked unconscious by a plummeting Cormorant and ones gun dog needed resuscitating after a flock of Starlings flew over. Poor thing was running around the great lawn picking up feathered corpses for two hours then the mem' spotted a couple of flights of geese headed our way.

One did attempt to remonstrate with the mad woman but to no avail and the avian slaughter got worse when she discovered the Bofors gun ones father had hidden after the last big shindig just in case the Wehrmacht tried another world tour or the reds arrived on the doorstep one morning. One does rather hope that she runs out of 40mm soon as the pilot of 4.30 mail plane may get something of a shock as he passes overhead. One really does not fancy a re-enactment of the Dambusters raid over the ornamental pond if he should suddenly get flashbacks to his days over Berlin. Birdlife falling from the skies is bad enough but having a sack of birthday cards and telephone bills skip across the lake and crash through ones study window is just not on. One should receive ones mail through the postbox, not be precision bombed by it.

Still at least cook is happy as she can now try a few recipes from her ' Origynalle Mediaevalle Cooke Booke - 1978 Edition' although if Blenkinsop can find ones tin helmet one is going to make a dash for it in case the mem' really does manage to bag four and twenty blackbirds.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

On Mobile Telephones

Ones niece Josella has recently acquired one of those portable telephones. Allows her to keep in touch with the other debutantes and plays 'Rule Britannia' every time someone calls her. Been trying to convince one to invest in one as well. Absolutely not, bloody infernal devices, see the local common oiks hanging around outside the village store using them. Tippity-tapping away to their equally revolting chums, probably informing them that Mr Bhutee has had a few cases of cheap cider delivered and to get there before they drink it all. Not going to lower oneself to that level and anyway, carrying one means that the mem' can get hold of one even when one is enjoying a quiet snifter at ones club or comfortably ensconced in the summer house with a G and T and one of Sir Percivals collection of vintage erotica.

Of course, one isn't completely out of touch with technology. Ones grandfather, the late Sir 'Binky' Fortescue VC, OBE, DFC had one of Mr Bells Telephonic Apparatus installed in the 1890s. Been providing sterling service ever since without the need for gimmicks and makeovers. Does the job it was designed for and can't see Mr Bell resorting to annoying blue amphibians to sell a few more.

However, one does rather prefer to use the old fashioned method of pen and paper. Scribble a missive and get Blenkinsop to deliver it to the mem' in the East wing. If he returns safely unmarked by a couple of rounds of birdshot and without his wooden leg in splinters one knows the message has been well received. Much more pleasant than having to listen to the mems dulcet tones emanating from ones telephone as she employs the turn of phrase that would make a navvy blush.