Mrs Proudie
Meditation and Reflection

Mrs Proudie: Prayer for Europe and Frau Merkel's ottoman trouble

 

I have been spending the last six days and nights by my mother’s bedside. I am much relieved that her final days are comfortable and peaceful. My prayers are with her. The other day she woke with a start and exclaimed, “Everything is so lovely here!” I reassured her that we do try to keep her bedroom nice and comfortable, spick and span. “No, not here! I mean up there,” she said, pointing at the ceiling. “Up there… where I am going… it’s beautiful!” Shivers down my spine. My Lord the Bishop, with a wry smile, then observed that directly above her head was the trap door giving access to the loft, reached by one of those retractable aluminium ladders: “I think your mother has just located the Stairway to Heaven.” Make of it what you will.

But down to the matters in hand and the stories fuelling the gossips of Barchester this week. We’ve had ‘Song for Europe’ for some time past, when aspiring drivellists put doggerel to music to animate the French et al with movement and colour (‘Boom bang-a-bang’ ring any bells?), and now we have ‘Prayer for Europe’, an ecclesiastical palliative for the undecided soul. My Lord the Bishop thinks (and I agree with him) that the continent is in much need of prayer these days, being beset by insane multi-culti philosophies, idiot politicians and an unprecedented invasion by all and sundry (though this latter phenomenon might alleviate the servant problem which vexes Mrs. Beaton so).

Mr. Slope believes the only way to counter these dark forces is to actively promote ‘Muscular Christianity’ and spends much of his spare time at the YMCA, where he has made particular friends with a policeman, soldier, cowboy, construction worker and Apache warrior. It keeps him off the streets. I believe a clear distinction must be drawn between the continent as a whole and the entity that rules from Mordor-am-Brussels. Some accuse the Church of England of taking sides in the coming referendum, but I would argue the text of the prayer does no such thing. No surprise that the Revd. Mr. Vesey Stanhope is worried about his residential status in Italy should Britain vote ‘Leave’, as is his daughter the Signora. Self-interest of course. To this I say ‘Fie!’ Geography dictates we shall always be part of Europe: sanity dictates we get out of the bureaucratic behemoth while we can.

The guest speaker at the Barchester Flat Earth and Pink Unicorn Society’s evening lecture this week was a Mr. E. Miliband, a strangely animated young fellow from London. He warned that should we Brexit on 23rd June the environmental balance of our planet would collapse, icebergs would career down the Thames and the polar caps would melt instantly the vote was counted. Two minutes later he claimed Britain was too small and insignificant to go it alone. (Query: How can something small and insignificant cause catastrophic environmental disaster?). I was rather distracted by the poor man’s teeth, which put me in mind of Easter Island, so I cannot claim to have followed his argument. He was also at pains to deny his party pandered to anti-Semitism, at which a man on the back row in a bilious brown uniform and jack-boots shouted, “Here, here!” Dr. Livingstone, I presumed.

When I heard Frau Merkel was having trouble with her ottoman I immediately dispatched a bottle of fabric conditioner and wire brush which bought mine up a treat. Alas, like Mr. Slope so often does, I had grasped the wrong end of the stick. It seems the Sultan is not honouring his part of the bargain – the one which enabled refugees to be returned to Syria in return for wagon loads of cash and guaranteed open-season on the cultural heritage of Europe – and everyone is so surprised. Perhaps if she had thrown in the title deeds to a couple of Tyrolean goat farms she would have kept him in line. The moral is, I think, read your history books, lock up your daughters and take off the rose-coloured spectacles.

Testing, testing, testing! Those cunning education wallahs in Whitehall have issued a new diktat, rather like Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be tested. Whilst knowledge of the highest mountains and rivers in the Empire might not seem essential for three-year-olds, it can do no harm, and one agrees with the vigorous (and no doubt fragrant) Mrs. Morgan that measures are ‘jolly good things’. At Dr. Wortle’s School (soon to be an academy) where I am one of the managers, we are keen as mustard to embrace the new philosophy – after all, our Latin school motto is best rendered ‘Don’t feed the pig, just weigh it’. The only cloud on the horizon was the unannounced visit of the county inspection team – Ofsod I think they call themselves – led by Dr. Findfawlt, who quizzed me on how we teach Scripture. “It really won’t do, Mrs. Proudie, it lacks detail,” he said, peering down his nose and pointing at the policy document.

“We like to keep paperwork to a bare minimum,” I replied, wondering where this was going and what was wrong with it.

“Well,” he said wearily, there are only three brief statements on it: (1) Christianity is good; (2) Islam is a bit horrid; and (3) Don’t fret about any of the others. It simply isn’t inclusive and might give offence.” The penny suddenly dropped – ever since Mustafa Fatwah joined the Board of Managers he had been sounding off about religion, and as sure as eggs are eggs he must have pointed this out to the inspectors. That man is a Trojan horse! I assured Dr. Findfawlt that the school was willing to make any suitable adjustment required – “How about ‘Jesus is the only way?’” I suggested helpfully. For this I was suspended as a manager – can you credit it, me, a bishop’s wife! I have never been suspended in all my life. Our marriage is not like that.

Goodness! Look at the time! One must fly, for the clock now stands at ten to three and there are hobnobs still for tea. Until next week dear friends, farewell!

  • Uncle Brian

    Goodness, Mrs P, your missives are growing more fascinating by the week, and longer too, or is that just my impression? Your acute observation about the new friends Mr Slope has made at the YMCA puts me in mind of a similar troupe of all-singing, all-dancing, but only half-French (if that) entertainers who spend far too much of their time here at Cranmer’s. Do you suppose Mr Slope could arrange for them to take part in activities of whatever kind that would help to relieve the pitiful monotony of their deeply unhappy lives?

  • CliveM

    Well done Mrs Proudie, a triumph as always.

    It’s good that you have risen majestically to the task in hand and ignored the nae sayer of ill repute!

  • Findaráto

    I see Hyacinth Bucket and Benny Hill’s bastard progeny is deluded enough to ignore judicious criticism and persist in exposing the paucity of her literary talent to the world.

    One is reminded of the plot of a recent French film in which the fine actress Catherine Frot portrays a middle class baroness who believes she can sing. So convinced is she of her talent as a soprano that she regales her long-suffering “friends” with tuneless recitals in exchange for false praise and the distribution of much largesse.

    In the film, Mlle Frot’s character falls prey to unscrupulous anarchists who plot to reveal her delusions of grandeur to an incredulous and mocking world. The results are predictably tragic.

    Let’s hope that in this closed circle of xenophobes and Little Englanders, the astonishing absence of literary talent that marks the scribblings of she who masquerades as Mrs Proudie can be concealed from a harsh and unforgiving wider audience. Her delusions have already resisted my attempts to bring her to reason. The fall that awaits her should the wider world get wind of her derivative and unfunny missives may well provoke a crisis that could break the strongest and most self-confident spirit. And then be it on the consciences of those who encouraged her to make a fool of herself. One hopes they’ll be able to sleep at night, although given the usual ease with which they they sacrifice others to their holy cause, I’m probably just being naive…

    • len

      But you still must read Mrs Proudie Findy, like Christianity she keeps popping up (not popping out i hope) and will (like the films ) Carry on Regardless.
      Another winner Mrs P……

      • Findaráto

        Reading La Proudie’s turgid little columns is rather like watching X-Factor auditions.

        One cringes for the poor deluded fool who thinks she has talent.

        One disapproves of the audiences who shriek in laughter and derision.

        One sees clearly the cynical machinations of the voting panel. They know “good TV” when it’s making a fool of itself on a stage in front of their cameras. When they egg these psychologically fragile people on into exposing themselves even further to public ridicule, one could quite cheerfully slap their stretched and painted faces. And yet the wannabe performers are there of their own free will…

        Worst of all is one’s own reaction. One watches, spellbound by the awfulness of it all.

        And thus it is with La Proudie’s contribution to this blog. ‘Though my heart sank into my toes as I read it just now, I could hardly stop myself. The urge to deride was strong, but the urge to feel compassion and pity for a deluded mind that knows not what it does was stronger.

        One hopes she gets help soon. And that the fake archbishop’s cynical ploy in exposing her to the public gaze for political gain is revealed as the underhanded trick it most certainly is.

        One almost feels nostalgia for the days of Large Girl, Disabled Nosering, Welsh Git and Hipster Vic. The Drab Four were pretty bad, but at least their delusions were of a public-spirited nature. They thought they were helping people with their aimless wittering and threadbare moralising. Whereas Mrs Proudie’s intentions are clearly far more self-centered and cynical. To vomit as much bile over as many targets as she can appears to be her goal. Pity for her that the pH level is so close to neutral that it does no visible harm. It certainly stinks however…

        • Anton

          “To vomit as much bile over as many targets as she can appears to be her goal.”

          Whereas you, in contrast…

        • dannybhoy

          Mia-owwwwwww!

        • The Explorer

          She’s really got to you, hasn’t she?

          PS. Will take your word for it with X-Factor. Never watched it.

        • The Explorer

          “One almost feels nostalgia for the days of…” You need pine no more. They’re all available on YouTube, including discussions not seen on Cranmer.

        • William Lewis

          So that’s a “No” from you is it?

    • The Explorer

      “this closed circle of xenophobes and Little Englanders”. It’s not that closed a circle. It allows you to be part of it.

      • chiefofsinners

        Closed circle? If it was open, it wouldn’t be a circle, would it?

        • The Explorer

          Interesting point. I take the term ‘closed circle’ (as used generally, rather than just by Linus) to refer to size rather than shape in that numbers are fixed. An ‘open’ circle could absorb new material and then re-assume its circularity..

    • Anton

      “I see Hyacinth Bucket and Benny Hill’s bastard progeny is deluded enough to ignore judicious criticism and persist in exposing the paucity of her literary talent to the world.”

      Just like you!

    • CliveM

      What an unpleasant and pitiable combination jealousy and mysogeny is. You are an example to us all.

    • IanCad

      Really Findars! You are becoming as a literary Rumplestiltskin; Huffing and puffing, ever attempting to reach new depths of altiloquence. Soon, I fear, you will vanish in a keyboard tantrum and we will hear no more from you.

      Sure, you write well, but you are a rebel without a cause, constantly charging into battles that are in your own fevered brain.

      The week is coming to a close, try to relax. It is just about time for tea; a little honey should sweeten you up.

      • chiefofsinners

        He does not write well. Every slur which he hurls at Mrs P comes to him in rare lucid moments of self-perception.

    • Inspector General

      How are we to be rid of your horrid presence. Do say…

    • Jealousy is not an attractive trait Findus.

  • The Explorer

    As I said a thread or two ago, the demise of TGI Monday has gone to Findarato’s head. Now he wants to see the collapse of Mrs Proudie, Cranmer and all its contributors, the Monarchy and Christianity.

    • Anton

      In the long run only the last will survive. We already know that, but some of those named may be pleased to have played their part in its survival.

      TGI Monday continues on YouTube, for those so minded.

      • Uncle Brian

        comment deleted

      • dannybhoy

        Are they in chronological order do you know? I suggested a topic which was favourably received, but since AC has inexplicably abandoned TGI I have lost track of what’s where..

        • Anton

          They seem to be numbered in the title on YouTube. I haven’t watched any more, I admit.

      • The Explorer

        The demise of the last one is his ultimate aim. The others are just means to that end.

        • Ivan M

          Civilisation as we know it. Wow! You think we have a Dr Moriarty on our hands?

    • Uncle Brian

      Just a couple of days ago, in a comments thread at the Spectator, Rev. Dan Stork Banks denied the rumoured demise of TGI Monday:

      No, we are still going strong. Songs of Praise are filming the show on Monday.

      http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2016/05/the-bbc-should-commission-a-christian-version-of-womans-hour/

      • The Explorer

        I meant on this blog.

    • sarky

      Crikey!! I didn’t realise the power of the man!!

      Before we know it Ken Livingston will be singing his praises.

      • The Explorer

        I didn’t say he’ll achieve it; just that those are his aspirations.

      • Anton

        He might already be. We don’t know who is is, unless you believe in elves.

  • The Explorer

    Perhaps they perceived serious spiritual need.

    • sarky

      I think it was the bribe of free wool and a custard slice.

  • Please ignore the ravings of Linus. They detract from Mrs P’s fine writings and sour the experience. He did this with TGIM. Let’s not let him do it again.

    Jack hereby declares Friday’s thread a Linus free zone when we simply overlook him.

    • IanCad

      Where’s your missionary zeal Jack? By all means encourage him. Maybe our kindness, rationality and all-round commonsense will eventually win him over. When indeed, he becomes one of us we all must resist the temptation to rub his snotty nose in it.

      • We can freeze him out of one thread a week until he learns some manners. This will be instructive for him and also an act of discipline on our part.

        • IanCad

          Is that the Catholic remedy?

          • Used to be pre-Vatican II.

          • Findaráto

            It’s actually Amish and called “shunning”, but in his pursuance of the wreaking of vengeance for slights real or imagined, Front Room is positively ecumenical in his ability to approve of the rituals and practices of other faiths.

            Careful though, his enemy’s enemy is his friend. But only until he manages to liquidate the enemy, at which point his sights will turn on you.

            You’re safe for the time being though. I’m still here and his clumsy attempts to get rid of me have borne no fruit. So I’ll continue to draw his fire, such as it is, for the time being.

            I don’t mind though. It’s like being pelted with cotton wool buds by an asthmatic tetraplegic. “Take that, foul atheist!” he wheezes as the perfectly innocuous ball of insubstantial plant fibres bounces harmlessly off me. It’s hardly the same as being stoned to death, is it? But if it keeps Front Room happy and makes him think he’s fulfilling his duty to his imaginary god, far be it from me to rain on his parade.

          • Has someone just farted? There’s an awful smell around the place.

          • Findaráto

            That must be you, Front Room. Soiled your incontinence pants again, have you? Ring the bell and a carer will come to change you. Probably…

          • There it is again ….

          • Findaráto

            Diarrhoea is it? Poor Front Room!

          • … and again. A distinctly French air to it too. Is there no end to this pollution?

          • Findaráto

            Been eating unpasteurised French cheese, have you? Risky at your age.

          • big

            Happy Jack help me! what was it this person said that all the comments for ‘ Guest’ have been removed, why?

          • There’s a poster who keeps deleting his account and then creates another one and reappears with a different ID. He denies doing any of this and pretends to be a new person. He has done it several times now.
            So his comments were self deleted when he closed his Disqus account after making a fool of himself commenting on Europe.

        • Pubcrawler

          Can’t we palm him off* onto Mundabor or something?

          * No, not like that

          • Mundabor wouldn’t tolerate any of his comments.

          • Pubcrawler

            Sadly true. It would entertaining to watch, though.

      • chiefofsinners

        Jack Is always zealous to update us on the missionary position.

    • Hi

      He’s an Alter cocker, as Sarah would say in Yiddish….

      • Indeed.

        An old shit or old fart. An old man who sits around grousing and complaining all the time.

        • Hi

          And an Irish Shabbat Shalom ! Whiskey in that jar!

          https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hlWTASnnft4

          • sarky

            Try the metallica version. Love the video!!!

        • dannybhoy

          Old Fart is preferable Jack.
          Everyone is subject to the need to evacuate their bowels on a fairly regular basis..

          • Old fart it is then. Jack will allow you to inform Linus.

          • dannybhoy

            I lost interest in Linus some time ago when he became something of a celebrity here..

          • Very wise too.

          • dannybhoy

            You didn’t answer my recent inquiry after your health Jack.
            I hope that all remains well for you?

          • My health is okay, Danny. Thanks for asking.

  • Inspector General

    Greetings Mrs Proudie, dear lady. May the Inspector be among the last to congratulate you on your appointment as Cranmer’s {Ahem} ‘kept woman’…

    Twas the nefarious internet forces of militant sodomy that prevented a fellow taking communion with you all of late, as stricken with machine AIDS, one’s lap stringbox finally gave it all up and expired…It was a sorry sight, seeing it just hanging there, lifeless, I can tell you!

    Yours is an important mission, dear thing, as nothing on this earth, and one does mean nothing, is more important than the state of the Empire. As we approach the day when we can finally push the Napoleonics off this sceptred isle, and reclaim what is rightfully ours, to wit, our destiny, then ALL must come out on side.

    The Inspector has taken the opportunity to raise our coming prospects for liberation whenever he hears the weather discussed, which with this being England, is around every 35 minutes. He has promised all and sundry that indeed the weather WILL improve when we start burning coal again and stop this fracking business which threatens to reduce to rubble innocent Briton’s homes all over this land. Only fools seek to replicate the effects of earthquakes, and fat greedy European ones at that.

    On a less happy topic, one notes that London may soon have an Islamic administration. Then so be it. The Inspector’s friends on Pink News will be besides themselves with glee. Anyone but the nasty Conservative will do for them, even if it means the possibility of being whipped in the street, or worse.

    One must sign off now, as the Inspectorate’s laundry needs seeing to, and the Inspector’s illegal Mexican immigrant who will be doing it is fast asleep with the fire on, and in this weather too. The blighter…

    God Save The Queen!

    • dannybhoy

      You gotta get computer security literate IG>
      May I recommend Malwarebytes excellent free versions of their programmes designed to protect those who insist on opening themselves to the dangers of the mucky side of the internet..

      • Powerdaddy

        It will be them gay bum sex sites…he’s gay bum sex mad, posts about it all the time.
        🙂

        • dannybhoy

          I am an Englishman sir, and believe that a man is resumed innocent until proven guilty.
          There is nothing attractive about another man’s anus.
          At least to the vast majority of us who understand where babies come from, and how pleasurable the making of them can be to both parties .. :0)

          • Powerdaddy

            I don’t want to cause alarm…., but has anyone told him yet that the data can still be retrieved from his lap stringbox even though it is broken……?

          • dannybhoy

            Dunno.
            But the Inspector General remains a valued contributor on AC and if you can give him some help computerwise it would be appreciated.

          • Andre´Kristian

            Do pardon my whim, sir! No genuine discourtesy intended. A conspicuously ridiculous comment, I dare say! One shouldn´t encourage the filthy hobby which increases the alarming overpopulation of this poor planet 🙂 However, it would be most gratifying to receive tidings concerning forced sterilization amongst the giant masses, unfit to multiply, not to mention the victory over the morally handicapped scoundrels of the LGBTQ-mafia! A wondrous Utopia!
            With sobriety and glee, A.

  • Oh, you are Sarky. You are.

    • Pubcrawler

      🙂

  • Thank you Mrs Proudie, and take no notice of Findus’s comments I rather think he’s jealous of your popularity.

  • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

    It is nice to know one has friends, and the Inspector General has reappeared! What fun…

    • Anton

      He is a man after your own…

  • May the Sixth be damned.

    • The Explorer

      Aren’t you going to curse the other Five as well?

      As a matter of interest, what are they?

      • Pubcrawler

        He’s gone all ‘Star Wars’ on us…

        • The Explorer

          As in, “May the Force be with you”?

          • Pubcrawler

            Something like that, yes.

          • dannybhoy

            Or even The Farce be with you…

      • The Sith …. servants of evil.

        • The Explorer

          Sith, Hyacinth Bucket, X Factor: all these references to popular culture on this thread are above my head. Do they all relate to ‘Star Wars’? Benny Hill I remember: he was the bloke who used to get chased by gorgeous women.

          • Pubcrawler

            Count your blissful ignorance of these things a virtue.

    • Uncle Brian

      Got anything planned for Friday the Thirteenth?

  • dannybhoy

    That…
    or they just wanted to get rid of you.
    Nah you are special Snarks. We all love you.

    • sarky

      Bit disappointed with the answer, bit to wishy washy. Think I could have answered it just as well.

      • dannybhoy

        You’re embarrassed that’s all. Christian love is a wonderful thing.

        • sarky

          Whaaaaaaaat???? No I’m definitely a bit disappointed.

          • dannybhoy

            You would prefer I insult you? I only have a go at you when I think you’re being daft.

  • Bluesman_1

    Mordor-am Brussels – I am stealing that.

    Thank you Ma’am.

  • bluedog

    ‘One must fly, for the clock now stands at ten to three and there are hobnobs still for tea.’ Hmm, sounds more like the Islamic emirate of Balham rather than genteel Barchester.

  • chiefofsinners

    My sympathies regarding the breasts which gave you suck, Mrs Proudie. One hopes they don’t go tits up quite as fast as the government’s academies policy. Education secretary Miss Piggy Morgan is looking more like a muppet by the minute.

    • Sadiqistan (formerly London) now reduced to third world suburb of Pakistan

  • “I was rather distracted by the poor man’s teeth, which put me in mind of Easter Island.”

    Lol.

    http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2015/01/28/1FFAE49200000578-0-image-a-35_1422404294259.jpg

    • chiefofsinners

      Did he not erect one if his own teeth, with mighty promises inscribed thereon? One year ago almost to the day. Lest we forget. May 3rd: Edstone day.

  • HedgehogFive

    “Mustafa Fatwah”

    Mustafa FASWAH, please. That is a somewhat colloquial Arabic word for ventilation of the bowels.