Fortescue Towers

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

Friday, July 28, 2006

Bangers and Crash

With the recent spell of clement, some might say overly so, weather one decided that a little al fresco dining might be called for. The fact that great uncle Quentin was in residence and his constantly burning briar had necessitated a fog warning siren to be fitted in the long gallery naturally had nothing to do with it. One simply felt mans primal urge to hunt down and consume ones food beneath the azure skies or at least get cook to throw a few meaty morsels from ones local purveyor of such upon a barbecue on the terrace in the hope that even cook could not ruin them any more than the average outdoor chef.

One really should have learned by now that if cook is involved even water is in danger of becoming scorched, ruined and otherwise unpalatable. Gazing from the study window, one was momentarily convinced that the weather had broken and a dense fog had rolled in from the sea some miles distant but on opening the window one became more convinced that great uncle Quentin was puffing a particularly vile mixture of old English Shag mixed with Utterthwaites special compost mixture. However, this was not the case as uncle Quentin does not have a tendency to explode when he lights up.

Deep in the roiling fug one noticed a brief flash of light and one was surprised to hear the deep booms of several explosions the like of which one had not heard since ones service days. Seconds later the fug cleared and one was greeted by the sight of the Gazebo hurtling skywards on a plume of fire and a shower of smoke trailing chipolatas.

Rushing from the study one swiftly ascertained that cook, having some problems with the barbecue had adulterated the charcoal with a can of petrol Utterthwaite had been using to refuel 'Old Betsy', his faithful lawnmower with by the gazebo. On applying a match to the barbecue cook discovered that petrol, fire and chipolatas are rather a bad mixture, the resulting explosion hurling meat based products several hundred feet into the air. Worse however, was yet to come as due to spillage a trail of fire raced back to the gazebo.

It would appear that Clackthorpe, fearing another invasion of Johnny Foreigner had taken to stockpiling munitions once again and was using the base of the gazebo as a had wondered what the furtive rustlings beneath ones feet were when one was avoiding the mem' by taking a decent port and a good book out to the gazebo for a few hours solitude. Anyhow, on being exposed to the flame the stored explosives did what explosives are wont to do and rather went bang.

Luckily the gazebo made a splash landing in the ornamental lake and injuries were light, confined to a slightly scorched cook and the verger who was rather taken by surprise by a banger from heaven as he cycled along the lane. One is told that the resulting damage to the 'Tea Shoppe' is not too severe and that the cream gateaux saved the verger from any lasting damage. One was slightly perplexed to notice Luigi, the under gardener and the chambermaid sneaking through the kitchen garden, soaking wet, slightly scorched and in a state of deshabille. One really cannot fathom how they might have arrived at such a state as they were nowhere to be seen at cooks ill fated outdoor culinary attempt.