We’re having a splendid time, somewhat tinged with sadness for all of us, I think, in realising that it won’t be like this ever again. Greek Helen has seized control, organising the cooking and summoning tradesmen where things need to be done (where my husband and I just make lists). And child labour has been impressed to get quite a bit done outdoors.
Archie and my husband, tidying a half-fallen tree on the west lawn:
We are overrun with deer. I don’t think a day has passed without one of us seeing some, either in the garden or visible from it. And the garden is full of their droppings (I’m sure there’s a technical term). Just exactly like a kitchen infested with mice except that deer are prettier.
The Beast of Strathardle
One of the children, walking home over the stubble field, found the corpse of a recently-dead lamb, apparently savaged by a large-ish animal. Attentive readers will remember that when we first went up in April, we found the leg of a deer in the kitchen garden, and, on a later visit, the leg of a lamb on the west lawn.
The farmer took the news calmly. I guess you have to be pretty calm to be a farmer. He said that lambs are rather prone to SIDS and this one could have been mangled after death by a fox. He also said that he had seen what looked like a panther on the hills above Cultalonie two years ago, but keeps quiet about it because people wouldn’t believe him. The boy who cuts our grass and found the lamb’s leg, said the same thing.
I have been horrified, absolutely horrified, to discover that the prince was shown to the world in a store-boughten shawl. Experts agree that this was it, although the first reports said that it was the cashmere shawl from the same maker, as chosen by Victoria Beckham. (British readers will know; I’m not going to explain.) A couple of days ago, there was a coy line on the website about increased demand for the cashmere shawl due to recent events. Emphasis now seems to have shifted to the cheaper one.
All that was required for this occasion was a simple hap shawl, which thousands of knitters would have been overjoyed to be commissioned to produce. You want cashmere, madam, I’ll do you cashmere. Perhaps I should rejoice for G.H. Hurt.
Then the Mirror newspaper came up with this, claiming that Prince William himself, and his father, had shawls from G.H. Hurt. Really? Prince Charles was born in
I’m pretty sure, and I’m even more sure that he wasn’t displayed to the world
in the forecourt of the palace by the Princess his mother or the Duke of
Edinburgh or anybody else. There must have been an early Beaton photograph of
the Princess smiling into a cradle. It’s hard to believe a machine-made shawl
was visible. Buckingham Palace
I am being curmudgeonly.
Amongst the pile of mail on the mat when we got back yesterday was a nice letter from Barack and Michelle congratulating me on my forthcoming 80th birthday. I suspect Theo’s fine Italian hand has been at work again.