Mrs Proudie
Meditation and Reflection

“At last! We have a Tory government worthy of the name! The Blasted Heath must be spinning in his grave!”

Goodness! After the Opera Buffa of Bologna it is good to be back in this our Sceptred Isle. Our host, Cardinal Montefiasco, made us most welcome, but it was somewhat disconcerting to find his 15th-century palazzo on the Via Transgenderati made our episcopal palace in Barchester look like a shepherd’s bothy. One must not covet thy neighbour’s ox, goat or any other of his leisure pursuits, so on with this week’s offering.

Monday was the Feast of St. Petronius and all of Bologna was en fête. A makeshift stage had been erected in the Piazza Maggiore by a group of lentil weavers and state-privileged ‘refugees’ in readiness for a musical interpretation of their flight from war-torn wherever, cheered on by crowds of blinkered suicidalists eager to swap their renaissance heritage for bongo-drums and rhythmic hip-wobbling. One despairs of course, but with such madness sweeping Europe what can one do?

Mrs. Dismay’s speech to the party faithful has gone down awfully well at Plumstead Episcopi, where Archdeacon Grantly was beside himself with glee when my Lord the Bishop and I called.

“At last!” he exclaimed, raising his glass of Madeira heavenward, “We have a Tory government worthy of the name! The Blasted Heath must be spinning in his grave! Surely, the restoration of Blue Passports, Imperial measures and control of our fishing grounds is but a heartbeat away. Those political piscatorial poltroons in Edinburgh have been told, in no uncertain terms, that the United Kingdom – in its entirety – will leave the Zollverein as soon as Article 50 is triggered. Krankie’s crew will be spitting feathers!”

Indeed. But if we are admonished to put not our trust in princes, we should be doubly wary of here-today-gone-tomorrow politicians.  Mrs. Dismay has yet to deliver, and promises are by no means cast-iron. But what is this? The return of Mr. Farage as some sort of camerlengo, keeping his party together before the white smoke rises and a new leader is elected? Is he an angel or a demon? We are all agog at the speed and drama of recent events: first Ms. James resigns after being spat upon by one of the great unwashed; then poor Mr. Woolfe is punched by a fellow MEP and lies seriously ill. O tempora, o mores! Standards seem to have taken flight in our green and once-pleasant land. Of course, the rot set in with the French Revolution. I feel a tract coming on…

Whilst taking an afternoon perambulation yesterday I noticed posters had appeared on the walls of Hiram’s Hospital warning of something called ‘fracking’. My first thought was, ‘What a nasty, vulgar expression,’ and as I peered at the small print (always a wise precaution), who should accost me but John Bold, waving a copy of The Jupiter.

“Dreadful news, Mrs. Proudie, dreadful news! The government have said yes to fracking, and The Jupiter reveals the first bore holes in Barset will be drilled right here on the Cathedral Green! What this will do to your foundations is anyone’s guess!”

I felt a surge of indignation at this young man’s reference to my whalebone corsetry, but after he explained the danger we all faced, the penny dropped. Here was a cause to unite the whole of Barchester. Before afternoon turned into evening, I had organised the old gentlemen of Hiram’s Hospital into a human chain around the perimeter of the Green, singing “We shall overcome…” For my part, I withdrew to my boudoir and penned a letter to Sir Abraham Haphazzard asking for clarification of our legal position. I’d often assisted with his briefs, now I needed his guiding hand.

You will no doubt be familiar with the old adage, ‘While the cat’s away…’ Well, the Countess de Courcy attended Holy Communion at the Cathedral last Sunday and, upon our return from sunny Italy, gave a disturbing  account of Mr. Slope’s sermon (following the lead given by Lambeth), jokingly entitled: ‘You pays your money and Taqiyyas your choice: how to forget about the bomb and love the Jihadist.’

“Oh, the Shia effrontery of the man!” I exclaimed.

“No my dear,” replied the Countess, “Trust me, it was Shiite.”

Salaam alaikum, dear friends, until next week.

  • IanCad

    A chuckle in every line. It gets better and better.

    Aleichem shalom to you to, Dear Scribe.

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      You are too kind, dear IanCad, but I am deeply gratified that I can still make you chuckle!

  • David

    Excellent piece Mrs Proudie, and thank you indeed ! Your writings never fail to lighten the mood.
    It has quite brightened my start, under an otherwise rather dull and overcast Suffolk early morning sky.

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      I love Suffolk…delightful county. My Lord the Bishop and I spent many a happy hour in Southwold…thank you for you kind words David – it is nice to know one is appreciated!

  • Manfarang

    I have some bad news for you. British food exports have been a success story. Among those exports are McVitie’s digestives. Perusing this month copy of Tops super store brochure to see what fare is available for the vegetarian festival I noticed Khong Guan digestives are available at 43 baht a packet. Hobnobs next!

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      Hobnobs rule dear Manfarang, hobnobs rule!

      • Manfarang

        Under threat!

        • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

          Goodness!

  • My dear Mrs Proudie, nobody will celebrate more than I when we leave the Zollverein.

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      You must join our celebrations in Barchester, dear Gerry…

  • michaelkx

    Excellent piece Mrs Proudie, and thank you indeed ! Your writings never fail to lighten the mood. But “Trust me, it was Shiite.” was she talking about the commissars conference surely ??

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      Why thank you Michael, so very kind, and yes, I think the Countess had the commissars in mind too.

  • bluedog

    ‘I’d often assisted with his briefs, now I needed his guiding hand.’

    Heavens. The boy scouts and the girl guides was the rule when this communicant was a pup. Heartening to read that Sir Abraham hasn’t lowered the bar.

  • IrishNeanderthal

    Of course, the rot set in with the French Revolution.

    Last night Nicholas Parsons told the story of the Marie Antoinette watch made by Abraham-Louis Breguet. He remarked that we are often presented with a “Blue Peter” account of the French Revolution, ignoring the vast amounts of human blood whose smell was sometimes enough to deter quadrupeds from crossing certain highways.

    • magnolia

      Quadrupeds are clearly more squeamish about mass slaughter than the “higher” bipeds….Wonder what God makes of it all…

      • The Explorer

        Probably regrets that He said He wouldn’t cause another flood.

        ‘God said, “Let there be light” and there was light.
        Man said, “Let there be blood,” and there’s a sea.

  • Orwell Ian

    Discharging white smoke into a climate of equality and diversity is prohibited Mrs P.
    You will be even more agog if the smoke that rises from the bowels of UKIP is a boiling mushroom cloud of ugly complexion.

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      Anything is possible…I mean, heavens, Diane Abbott is now shadow Home Secretary…

      • Orwell Ian

        As if that was not dire enough, politics now sinks further into the depths of absurdity. Blair is considering a comeback. He has ‘previous’ for regime change bungling I believe.
        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-37584407

        • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

          The man is a blackguard and a poltroon…

  • len

    At last a Tory Prime Minister worthy of that name…Been a long time waiting.
    The traitor Heath was nothing less than an undercover agent of the EU elite and it will take some time to unravel the web of lies that bound us to the EU…
    Also perhaps the Labour Party could give some advice to the public on the affects of ‘fracking’ as they seem to have been recently fracked by Corbyn and co?.

  • Plasterer

    I can imagine comprehension and appreciation of this prose as a sort of cultural Shibboleth, but fear that many a fellow countryman might fail to meet the standard…

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      Are you plastered, dear Plasterer?

  • Anton

    Islamic weather: Sunni or Shiite.

  • A Tory government worthy of the name is one which drapes itself in the Union Jack and gives every appearance of striving to do its best for the British while overseeing, in partnership with the rest of the Establishment, the gradual replacement of Christianity by Islam. No party conducts the betrayal with more skill than the Tories.

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      Sadly I think you are right – but betrayal is a cross-party attribute. It begs the question, ‘Who is really pulling the strings?’

      • Dear Mrs Proudie—Whoever is pulling the strings has a great deal of power or influence which is wielded in nearly every formerly white Christian nation, the old Eastern bloc excepted. Whether they simply believe that the world would be better off without white Christian nations or whether there is also an element of revenge I could not say for certain but I would be surprised if revenge did not play a part.

        • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

          Illuminati?

          • Dear Mrs Proudie—Illuminati as in ‘people claiming to possess special enlightenment’? Well, whoever it is must think themselves very special indeed to believe they have the authority to embark on a reordering of mankind. Forgive little Johnny for obfuscating but communicants shout at him when he is direct.

          • Anton

            Johnny: Of the two main subjects you raise here, I agree with you about one (Islam in the West) and disagree with you about the other (Jews in the West). You have shown that you are up for strong debate; please do say more about the present subject. I personally tend to think that there is a conspiracy in the spiritual realms which is coordinating Islam and secular humanism to bring our land down, rather than a conspiracy on earth; but some good friends are convinced of the latter and I have no wish to mock their view.

          • @ Anton—I quite understand that, as a believer, you see a spiritual dimension. My point would be that, even if there is a spiritual dimension, the consequences are being played out here on Earth because of the actions of human beings. For example, there may be a spiritual conspiracy to Islamize the West but it is only happening because politicians made it happen, by instituting a programme of mass immigration.

            I would encourage everyone to see Islamization as something instituted by Man and, thus, capable of being overcome by Man. Invoke the spiritual realm and there is the danger of Islamization being seen as a preordained fate against which it is futile to struggle. My watchword is ‘The Lord helps those who help themselves.’

            The Jews. It is a matter of record, the Congressional Record, that the Jewish community led the campaign to open the United States to Third World immigration; MacDonald covers the subject in Chapter 7 of The Culture of Critique. (BTW, an unsolicited testimonial from Gilad Atzmon: ‘And I started to read Kevin MacDonald. And it was heaven! I learned so much. It was beautiful. What a level of scholarship.’) Douglas Murray touches on the similar campaign to make Europe multicultural.

          • Anton

            Not the Jews I know. They have lived in Israel and are well aware that the Jews’ greatest enemy worldwide today is Islam.

  • CliveM

    Talk is cheap, Mrs Proudie, we need action. Only then will we know the mettle of this government.

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      I agree Clive…

  • David

    Mrs May is superficially conservative but look a little deeper and you see how shallow it all is.

    Firstly “Magpie” May has borrowed her policies straight from Ukip – leave the EU (she was a Remainer remember), the full 2% for defence spending, Grammar Schools and her recent hints about tax reductions for the low paid.

    Secondly she was one of the leading politicians who imported the EU’s “encouragement” to create the legal fiction of “gay marriage”, thus for ever redefining marriage into its present mangled, reason defying, legally unequal mess.

    Thirdly, which gives us a chilling insight into her political philosophy, she intends to rely on Big State to assist the poor and vulnerable. Yes there is a role, in extremis, for the state. But the state is always is a very clumsy, expensive, ineffective and downright dangerous way to bring about positive improvements in the details of individuals lives. Instead she should be aiming at cultural change, to restore family and stable marriage patterns, as the true driver of poverty reduction. Tax reductions for married people would be a good practical start. Much UK poverty is as a result of cultural trends reflected in individual’s decisions, expressed in the excessive divorce rates for example, or producing children outside marriage, often to multiple male partners; all these culturally sanctioned if not encouraged decisions lead people and their children into poverty. Promoting a more stable family system, using amongst other things the fiscal levers available, is the best, most effective and undoubtedly truly conservative way to help people.

    Mrs May will probably be PM for perhaps two terms of government, as the Labour alternative is too dire to contemplate, but it is very doubtful that she is a true conservative in terms of our Christian heritage.

    • bluedog

      The more one reads about the Woolfe-Hookem biffo, the more one understands Farage’s comment that UKIP is fighting for it’s survival. It remains to be seen what Woolfe does with his political career, post-punch-up, but he can be forgiven for resigning from the party. If UKIP’s defence spokesman is a bloke who left school at 15, joined the RAF at 17, left after four years then rejoined the services as a Combat Engineer in the RE without apparently making it to non-commissioned rank, ever, no-one can take UKIP seriously. It’s a very sad end for a party that once showed enormous promise. But if a bloke like Hookem has pretensions to ministerial rank, and ever gets there, it will make Two-Jags look like an outstanding political talent.

  • Pubcrawler

    We’re going to need an exorcist:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-37584407

    • CliveM

      The man’s delusional.

      • Anton

        He little realises how unpopular he is.

        • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

          We should tell him…

          • Pubcrawler

            Others have tried

          • Anton

            Don’t mess with the WI.

  • Politically__Incorrect

    Mrs Proudie, instead of using the elderly gents from the hospital it would have been better to hire the lesbians from Greenham Common instead. I hear their singing alone is enough to frack the ground, and would certainly keep speculators away.

    On the subject of party politics, I hear that the Right Horrible Mr Bliar is thinking of returning to politics because he’s worried we are becoming a one-party state. Bit ironic since he helped create it. Apparently, he thinks it would only take 45 minutes for the Tories to become National socialists and undo all the fine work he did as PM. Apparently he’s quite sexed-up about it

    • len

      Politics has certainly got interesting of late.

      • Anton

        I’m loving it. Blood all over the floor in the Tory and Labour parties and UKIP. Best free entertainment this side of the public gallery in the Old Bailey!

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      Your last sentence has turned my stomach…I need hobnobs and a reviving cup of Earl Grey…

    • Coniston

      In The Times today Ken Clarke (in his autobiography) describes Blair as a “One Nation Conservative”.

      • Anton

        Only one Ken Clark, with or without an ‘e’, has anything to do with civilisation.

        • Pubcrawler

          I’m guessing you’re not referring to the jazz-loving, Hush-Puppy-wearing, cigar-smoking, real ale drinker* of that name.

          * He is not totally depraved.

          • Anton

            Decent chap, I suspect. Just in the wrong party.

          • Pubcrawler

            Yes, I think so.

  • Anton

    Dear Mrs Proudie

    Please refer to the process by its correct name of hydraulic fracturing; I’m sure that you do not refer to your husband as The Bish. And please support it, too, for the alternative is that soot from Coketown’s increased burning of coal will soon begin to fall on Barchester…

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      I shall say ‘hydraulic fracturing’ fourteen times before bedtime, then I am sure to remember it.

  • len

    ‘Fracking’ as it has come to be known is a method of giving the Earth a damn good shaking hoping to expel some gas.Seems the same thing is happening to our political parties.

    • Anton

      Apply it to the House of Bishops?

      • len

        Too risky…

  • chefofsinners

    This year’s Nobel Peace Prize to be decided over twelve three-minute rounds. In the purple corner, fighting out of Strasbourg, Steeven Woose, sorry, Woolfe. One hopes he is carrying his European health insurance card.

    From one fracas to another. Linus is thrilled that the government has allowed him to ‘drill for gas’ in the countryside. He is looking forward to the earth moving. The technical term ‘frack’ is a lovely, descriptive combination of ‘cack’ and, er, ‘frolick’.

    While UKIP and Dismay are flexing their masculinity, Jeremy has given us his shadow Corbynet, or perhaps Corbynette. Two of his three great orifices are filled by women. Which is how he likes it, apparently.

    • The Explorer

      I’m the one normally accused of introducing the topic of Linus into a thread. All critics please note: not guilty in this instance.

      • Pubcrawler

        Already noted.

        It’s quiet. Too quiet…

    • Politically__Incorrect

      Chubby Chakrabarti as shadow attorney general. The woman who doesn’t know what anti-Semitism is. Also the “fragrant” Diane Abbott as shadow home secretary. More votes for UKIP methinks.

      • Anton

        See no anti-semitism, hear no anti-semitism, speak no anti-semitism…

  • David

    For decades successive waves of young people complained that politics was boring, thereby claiming to have justified their lack of interest in it. Now that it is becoming distinctly lively, will we see a rush of the present young to join the parties of their choice ? I’ll bet an “Ancient and Modern” that few respond to this quickening of the body politic !

  • Inspector General

    I say fellows, Inspector here. Will be brief as dripping mucus everywhere, but any more about Welby leading his warring flock off to Rome?

    • bluedog

      Anglican-Catholic threats to reverse the split from Rome are a regular occurrence, IG. They seem to happen at quiet times of the year between the major Christian festivals. But have no fear. Nothing has happened for 500 years and on the basis of that precedent it seems highly unlikely that it ever will.

      Shortly one expects the Blessing of the new Secretary General of the UN, formerly the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. The gentleman will therefore be proclaimed as both Great and Good, in order to soothe the masses before the next unstoppable tide of third world humanity engulfs the West.

      • Inspector General

        Oh. In that case one will crawl back to his sick bed. The common cold, of all things, looks likely to propel the Inspector into the next life. The dear ladies from the local tea rooms are mounting a vigil at the Inspector’s bedside. Which is fancy for taking it in turns to watch him die. They’ve drawn lots, you know. Farewell, old faithful, the time approaches…{COUGH}….

        • bluedog

          No, No, No, Inspector. Don’t leave us. You may be too beautiful to live, but are surely too young to die!

          Aside an aside, one does worry about this Proudie woman. At exactly the same time that ++ Welby goes to Rome, so it seems does she. What to conclude? Is she really Justin Welby? Or his better half, Justine? One trusts that she was able to roll up a few Carravaggios and secrete them within her water colourings in the finest English tradition.

          • Inspector General

            The Inspector General

            1890 – 2016

            “The world is a poorer place without him, and maidens wept on his going. Probably”

          • Royinsouthwest

            Most people would think 126 is a pretty good age. However, if you are not ready to leave us yet why don’t you try some of your whisky? If you have exhausted your supplies you could always despatch one of the maidens attending you to the nearest supermarket to get another bottle or two of Scotch.

          • He should send for his local priest.

          • Royinsouthwest

            I think the Inspector would be more likely to do that if he was ready to leave us!

          • chefofsinners

            Pink News is publishing a souvenir edition.

          • Pubcrawler

            BUMper?

          • Cressida de Nova

            The priest is too busy…there’s a lot of plague going about in the Inspector’s area at the moment. The priest’s co-opting you Jack. Here’s your opportunity:)

          • He needs an understanding modernist, progressive. Jack would never do. Pope Francis could give him a ring. He makes a lot of phone calls to the lost sheep.

          • chefofsinners

            Every time there’s an emergency he dials 666.*

          • To ease you through:

            “Guys, take this laptop off of me
            I can’t use it anymore
            It’s gettin’ dark, too dark to see
            I feel like I’m knockin’ on heaven’s door”

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            *Ahem* what do you mean ‘this Proudie woman?’ Most ungentlemanly, if one may say that of a canine…In any case I went to Bologna…consult your atlas.

          • bluedog

            One grovels in suitably obsequious apology, Mrs P. One had thought that Bologna was simply a cover for the Eternal City. One is re-assured by the implication that your Lord and master, the Bishop, is not consorting with the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith with a view to surrendering the hard won right to consecrate bishopesses. The prospect of them being defrocked and forced to swim the Tiber properly appalls.

        • Pubcrawler

          Oh, just get a few pints down your neck, you old woman. Remember, ale is physic

          • Inspector General

            Gasp! Such breathtaking callousness from you, you old soak…

            Oh, this it, one is going…one is going…

          • Pubcrawler

            Well get one for me while you’re there. And a packet of scratchings. Ta.

          • CliveM

            Hot toddy and then another. Keep going until all functions cease. You will be better in the morning.

          • Pubcrawler

            Exactly. I had a bastard of a head cold earlier this week. Half a gallon
            or so of porter on Wednesday evening saw the germs off good and proper, and I
            was right as rain next day.

          • CliveM

            I find that works well, but even better when combined with a really hot curry.

          • Pubcrawler

            Remembering, of course, to put the loo roll in the fridge before you go to bed.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Chicken soup old man, chicken soup. Get it down your neck.

          • CliveM

            At last, nothing worse then pandering to an old hypochondriac.

            Heard men with their head hanging off, make less fuss.

          • chefofsinners

            As Olivia Newton-John sang: “Let’s get physicale”

        • len

          If you are not out of the bed soon i’ll be round with my sandwich board(mended now) to proclaim the benefits of Protestantism….Loudly.

          • Allosexuel

            *pâmoison*

            Is dat a, ow you say, eupenism for sumthin rood?

            Vous êtes si Magistral.

          • Pubcrawler

            Ooooh, I can see you got all the Polari. Where did you pick it up?

          • Allosexuel

            Ow dare yoo. I ‘av piked notin up. Sins my changement de sexe I av bin a good girl.

          • Pubcrawler

            Zat is not wot zey av writen on ze wall of ze pisoire

          • Allosexuel

            Ow wood I now dat? I do nut use such plices.

            Vous semblez sexy. Donnez-moi un grand garçon anneau.

          • Pubcrawler
        • Cressida de Nova

          They are going to have to wash you before they lay your body out.I hope you have checked they are all Catholics . You don’t want Protestants getting their hands on you.Their ways are different to ours.

          • Anton

            Not so, Cressida. Different FROM…

          • chefofsinners

            Hmm. That distinction is arbitrary, already ignored by most, and will die with the current generation of grammar pedants.

          • Anton

            You don’t say it “differs to”, do you?

          • Pubcrawler

            Or worse, ‘different than’.

          • Anton

            Carl might wish to defend that particular barbarism.

          • Pubcrawler

            He can try..

          • chefofsinners

            ‘Different than’ is the predominant form in the North American dialects.

          • Pubcrawler

            Quid multam?

          • chefofsinners

            No, but it’s just a convention and conventions change. And this one is changing.

          • Anton

            Agreed; for the worse.

          • Cressida de Nova

            Oops! I will try and keep up.

          • Cressida de Nova

            Oops ! I will try to keep up.

          • Cressida de Nova

            Oops…I’m loosing the plot methinks !

          • Anton

            Or even losing it?

          • CliveM

            Let me assure you Cressida that this Protestant has no desire to lay hands on the Inspectors body!

          • Cressida de Nova

            Pleased to hear that Clive.

          • chefofsinners

            Not to worry. Protestants are allowed to wear protective items made of latex.

          • Allosexuel

            Pour aller là où aucun homme est allé avant.

          • Pubcrawler

            Ooh, isn’t he bold?

          • Allosexuel

            E as very peu air, it is troo.

          • Pubcrawler

            More alopecia than allosexuel, then.

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            That’s yer actual French…

          • Allosexuel

            Linus is reedy to lay im ….

    • Politically__Incorrect

      Inspector, my wife recommends a warm drink of milk and onion, an old Russian remedy from the countryside I believe. No wonder Stalin had those peasants all shot.

      • Coniston

        Actually most of them were deliberately starved to death – some 6 million of them.

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      Hobnobs dispatched, dear Inspector…dunk well in a glass of madeira then rub your chest with goose-grease…

  • Royinsouthwest

    I’m disappointed by your apparent opposition to fracking, Mrs Proudie. I don’t know whether or not Barchester has a railway station but if you ever make journeys by train would you want a man carrying a red flag (Jeremy Corbyn, perhaps) walking in front of the locomotive? One must move with the times.

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      Well yes, actually, I would love Comrade Corbynov to walk in front of a train with a red flag…a capital idea.

      • Pubcrawler

        He would just try to sit on it.

        • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

          The train I had in mind was the Japanese Bullet…

          • chefofsinners

            Gordon Brown preferred the Lying Scotsman.

          • Pubcrawler

            Angular Merkin seems to prefer the Orientals Express.

      • Anton

        Leave him exactly where he is; he’s doing a grand job of making Labour unelectable.

    • Politically__Incorrect

      I would guess someone might bribe the driver to push a little harder on the throttle.

  • Dominic Stockford

    They’ll not be worthy of the name until they repeal the Same Sex Marriage Act.

  • David

    I understand that much money was set aside to turn the last home of that traitor Prime Minister Edward Heath, which was in Salisbury, into a sort of museum, to his memory. Few visit I am told. History will judge him harshly I believe. The rumours concerning his alleged wrong doings continue to swirl about.
    As a nation we have had more than our fair share of such high level treachery. But the strength, wisdom, work and courage of our many good men and women, and the deep seated soundness of our ancient constitution will se us through into better times. The consistent prayers of believers are, as ever, vital.
    In past ages God has used this nation to spread his Word throughout the world. I believe that he has another such good use for us, as yet to come. All believers must be both faithful and ever watchful.

    • Old Nick

      Surely so few visited that it shut.

      • chefofsinners

        I have visited Salisbury Cathedral and its precincts on multiple occasions without it ever occurring to me to enter this ghastly monument to the folly of a strange and bitter man. He never quite got over himself. One can only regret that he didn’t live to see Brexit; it might have finally taught him humility.

        • Anton

          His centenary came 16 days after the Referendum and I would gladly have wished him the ton.

      • David

        Really ? Well I am not surprised.

        • Old Nick

          Alas I am wrong. The closure seems to have been temporary. But who would pay SIX QUID to view a collection of political cartoons, however fine the house they are in.

  • chefofsinners

    Don’T has been at it again, Mrs P.
    Boasting that he has winkled his way beneath your crinoline. Someone called Fanny seems to be involved, too, but I can’t quite put my finger on it.

  • The Explorer

    Let’s have an update on the Inspector’s condition. If the worst has happened, Linus will be inconsolable.

    • bluedog

      An hour has passed without a bulletin being released by his doctors. One fears the worst, suspecting that the goose-grease proscribed by Mrs Proudie is to blame for our loss.

      • Depends where it was applied …. and by whom.

        • bluedog

          One’s researches inform that mixed with camphor, the evil smelling grease should be applied to the chest. One trusts in the Inspector’s case it would not also act as a depilatory. A chest Brazilian as a side effect of the ‘flu would be too much to bear for any man. We can only hope and pray.

          • It could be far worse, bluedog. Imagine in the wrongs hands with a helpless, prostrate Inspector. We need to ensure Linus isn’t lurking in the shadows.

          • chefofsinners

            The Inspector said he was feeling bunged up.

          • Allosexuel

            Et is troo. E nettoie is les tuyaux d’évacuation wit et.

          • Allosexuel

            Et is vrai. Linus is rouerie. E goosed moi win I wos sous le temps.

    • chefofsinners

      If he’s survived, you mean? No doubt the Introspector General is too busy confessing to update us.

    • The Inspectors “condition” defies modern science.

      • The Explorer

        The inspector defies modern science.

  • Inspector General

    An Inspector returns. He cheated death, almost. (Turns head and spits out the last of the residual soil in his mouth). Why Mother Nature, an agent of the Almighty, no less, makes an annual attempt to kill him is one of the great mysteries. What’s as bad, his store of winter belly fat has been depleted. As thin as a rake now. Will probably never survive to see Spring resulting. Anyway, much like the Phoenix, what’s left of the Inspector arises from a cloud of cigarette smoke to fight on. Can any of you fellows remind him what the fight was about…

      • Inspector General

        Brilliant stuff, Marie. It’s playing right now on another window. Who thumped Cock Robin, or did his injuries appear unaided like stigmata.

    • IanCad

      Have a care for yourself Inspector. Whilst adhering to the first two of the Government’s five essential food guidelines – Alcohol and tobacco – you really must stoke up on the other three; Sugar, Fat, and Tater-Tots.

      • Inspector General

        Yes, Ian. The Inspector is signing up for the flu jab. He’ll want a double dose, just to be sure. One in the arm and one in the arse.

    • The Explorer

      Glad you’ve survived for the moment at least, Inspector. Linus will be so thrilled.

      • Inspector General

        One wants nothing to do with thrilling Linus, dear chap.

    • Royinsouthwest

      Your silence led me to suspect that you were on a pilgrimage to Lourdes!

      • Inspector General

        The Inspector made a pilgrimage to the ‘Mouse and Wheel’, Roy. In search of the legendary ‘water of life’. It was duly imbibed soon after arrival.

        • Royinsouthwest

          It seems to have done the trick!