Tales From The Pantry: A Butler's Diary

From the pantry of an historic country house comes the ongoing diary of its butler, Mr Dean Fielding. I shall be giving you a glimpse of the family I serve and of the lives both 'Below Stairs' and 'Above'. I hope you follow my jottings daily.

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Have been butler here for over 15 years. Having previously, and unusually for these days, worked my way up from footman to under-butler to my current post. You can now follow me on Twitter via: http://www.twitter.com/butlerfielding

Friday, November 24, 2006

The Tourists Cometh

Tomorrow there is an invasion. The hatches will be well and truly battened down. Supplies have been stockpiled. The tin hat is firmly placed upon my head. I intend to defend my pantry to the last round of ammunition. For tomorrow, a tour party will be wandering around the House. They arrive at 2pm and their tour will be conducted by Sir Geoffrey's archivist (a part-time position). I have a grim forboding about this event. This morning I spotted a raven of the most blackened hue at the very top of the Cedar Tree. It gave, what I could only ascertain to be, a look of warning. Surely this was a grim omen. Of course it could be that the bird was looking for worms and saw me only as a distraction, but that is neither here nor there.

Members of the public tend to wander. They see a tour party as something a little similar to Colditz. It is their duty to escape using any means necessary. I can assure you it can be very disconcerting when cleaning the Georgian candelabra to look up and find a complete stranger, camera dangling around the neck, gazing at you with a look of intense curiosity. You feel like the depressed gorilla at the zoo. It is not a pleasant feeling.

Below Stairs is not part of the tour. The tour contains wondrous rooms full of baroque carving and remarkable early 17th century ceilings. It is a rare chance to view the state rooms of Carstone House. It is not an excuse to stray into the Pantry and jab the butler with a pointy stick hoping he will do tricks.

Robert, the Hall Boy, looks tired again this morning. His gloom continues. He now has a little of Jean Paul Sartre about him. I will not mention anything to him. If he has again stayed up to watch the cricket, the poor lad has suffered enough.

4 Comments:

Blogger UKBob said...

Good luck with the visitors, I hope they don't give you too much grief.

5:37 pm  
Anonymous Mr Bruce said...

Visitors? Im sure it has added a little spice to the house and kept everybody on their toes! *not saying that you dont keep everybody on their best behaviour each day* Tell me what is the typical christmas day at carstone?
Do you get any time off to spend with family?
Take Care

8:40 pm  
Blogger Tea & Margaritas in My Garden said...

A wonderful surprise to finally get back to your blog and find two posts to read :)
Look forward to hearing how things turned out for the busy day and hope everything went smooth for you.

tea
xo

11:11 pm  
Blogger Mr Fielding said...

Mr Bruce it is a pleasure to hear from you again. I trust you are keeping up the finest traditions and standards of our craft in your role as a butler over the pond?

I do get some time for family at Christmas. My family is actually quite a small one. I have a sister but that is about it. In fact I see the staff here as the closest thing to family that I have. Sometimes I stay at Carstone for Christmas Day.

The typical Christmas Day at Carstone is quite an extravaganza. In fact the Christmas celebrations take up several days here. Back in Victorian times, Christmas used to last for nigh on a fortnight, with a ball EVERY evening for the guests. It must have been absolutely exhausting for the servants.

I hope I get the opportunity to post daily over the Christmas period so you get a little taste of the festive season here at Carstone.

11:53 am  

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