Mrs Proudie
Meditation and Reflection

Mrs Proudie: "the current zeitgeist favours petticoat government"

 

Goodness! It’s out with the old and in with the new and no mistake. One is not a great admirer of Mrs. Shariah Dismay, but as she has assumed the mantle of the Blessed Margaret and is the new chatelaine of Number 10 we must wait and see what she serves up. One hopes it is not cold comfort with something nasty waiting in the woodshed. Meanwhile, Eddie-ina the Eagle swoops down to ‘putsch’ Mr. Corbyn from his perch (the tenacity with which that man clings is widely admired according to The Jupiter, particularly in Pyongyang). Mr. Slope tells me Ms. Eagle is of a Sapphic persuasion (he’s been doing some undercover work); the reference rings a bell but one cannot put one’s finger on it – something to do with Greek Orthodoxy no doubt. It seems the current zeitgeist favours petticoat government, what with Frau Merkin in Berlin and the Hildabeast set to capture the White House and unleash the dogs of war. John Knox must be spinning in his grave. The bishop thinks (and one agrees with him) that this would never do in Barchester, where traditional values prevail and ladies know their place… ahem.

Pardon the cough.

One likes Canadians – they do some ingenious things with maple syrup. Some of Mr. Slope’s best friends are lumberjacks (he met them on a mission station in Loose Jaw or some such place) and they are always welcome at The Palace for their bright and breezy attitude to life, provided they wipe their boots and leave their choppers by the door. Mr. Carney of Threadneedle Street is one such hearty – a Canadian that is – but his comments during the Neverendum leaves a question mark over his career. Unemployment beckons; but be not a-feared, Mr. Carney, a managerial post at the Barchester and Silverbridge Mutual Improvident Bank is vacant and I’m sure we can shoe-horn you in.

The news of Rochester’s financial crisis set off alarm bells, so a visit to see the Treasurer was high on the agenda this week. The office of Treasurer in Barchester Diocese is held by none other than Archdeacon Grantly, surprise surprise. He did not take kindly to being asked to see the books. The figures looked impressive; the income stream more of a raging torrent. How could this be?

The Archdeacon looked sheepish.

“Historical anomaly, dear lady. You see, some parts of the Henrician reforms didn’t reach Barchester on account of the signposts being turned round 180 degrees. Consequently, the cathedral does a roaring trade in selling Indulgences. Whatever naughtiness a person has indulged in, we can provide the necessary ‘Get out of Purgatory’ card (for a fee) and everybody’s happy. We get many discreet enquiries from Westminster.”

Pointed out the Church of England does not hold with such popish doctrines.

“For goodness sake, madam, keep that opinion to yourself and let sleeping dogs lie,” spluttered the Archdeacon, closing the account books with something of a snap. He gave me a sly look.

“Have you heard of something called ‘Peter’s Pence’ by any chance?”

“No, Archdeacon.”

“Thank goodness for that!” he exclaimed, but said no more.

Perhaps Mr. Carney would care to be the new Treasurer? But then again, those sleeping dogs do look rather peaceful…

Must fly. Signora Neroni has invited some of the more discerning ladies of Barchester round to make suggestions for the new Prime Minister’s wardrobe. I shall propose a return to the bustle – hinge the top and she’ll have a convenient storage space for the red boxes. The dress she wore to kiss hands had an unflattering yellow streak – granted it was around the middle and not down the back, but even so. A challenge for ‘The Great British Sewing Bee’ perhaps? I bid you all good day…

  • Uncle Brian

    After the bloodbath in Nice and a sleepless night in Istanbul, what could be more reassuring than to wake up this morning and find oneself safely at home in blessed Barchester!

    • Royinsouthwest

      There will be many who will avow that the fleshpots of the Ottoman Empire cannot hold a candle to Barchester’s charms!

      • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

        Ah so you have met Signora Neroni…

  • Anton

    Come what May, we can be glad of two things in recent weeks: that David Chameleon is no longer in Downing Street and that the Referendum was won by the Leavers of Power.

  • Inspector General

    Could the Inspector come in, Mrs Proudie. You see, it’s not safe on the streets. Mad Jack is about…

    • Politically__Incorrect

      Which Jack is that Inspector? The Ripper or the Happy one?

      • Inspector General

        Why, Jack the Remainer, of course…

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      You are always welcome, dear Inspector…

    • You go running to mummy Inspector, and be sure to hide behind her petticoat tails.

    • Allosexuel

      Yoo will be in guid cumpony wit Len. All de crayzies in one plice.

  • len

    There may be a sudden influx of people coming to Barchester Mrs Proudie to escape from our rapidly collapsing society. Is it a walled city like Chester?.

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      Indeed it is, dear len. The walls were constructed in the reign of King Stephen and are still in good repair. Barchester is an oasis of calm in a troubled world.

      • len

        On my way!

      • Allosexuel

        ‘Et was walled to kip de loons in.

        • Lienus

          King Stephen ‘as quit twitteur. ‘Ee ‘as effed the eff off, I ‘ear.
          Or was eet Queen Stephen?

          • Pubcrawler

            Put to flight by the Impressive Matilda.

          • Allosexuel

            Fry is a queen. But (hehe) plise, let us not tolk aboot poofs on dis page. It is noot reelevent.

          • Lienus

            Stop eet. Archboshup Cranky weel spew you out.

          • Allosexuel

            Et is yoo woo annoies ze Archboshup and ansers ‘im bok. I am a guid lad who kips a loo proofile.

  • chefofsinners

    Good day chaps. I’m new to this blog but my old playmate Lienus recommended it as a place of sophisticated wit and rum chummery.

    So, Mrs Proudie, you have been ushered into the primeministerial garderobe? Let us pray that the Iron Maydy was using the term in the original sense, rather than the derivative.

    If you have influence, a suggestion: On the steps of number ten one detected a
    naked attempt to steal the clothes of the Labour party. You might guide our lady toward the tweedy policies of a Farage, twinned with the brogues of Brexit.

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      Goodness me! Your disguise had me totally fooled. I must say I did notice more than a dash of socialism in Mrs. Dismay’s Number 10 speech…we must wait and see…

      • Anton

        May in July?

        • Pubcrawler

          And March in April is a destination, not just a calendrical paradox.

          • Anton

            An august comment, if I might say so.

    • len

      good to see you chef..like the make over…

    • Uncle Brian

      And bonjour to you too, Chef!

    • CliveM

      Goodness always good to welcome new communicants.

      • The Explorer

        Even when he’s the playmate of You Know Who?

        • CliveM

          He said a friend of Lienus! I wonder if we have an answer to a couple of cartoon characters!

          • The Explorer

            I think you’ve found the answer.

          • Allosexuel

            Maybe; maybe noot.

    • Politically__Incorrect

      “chefofsinners”..sounds like something from the Spanish Inquisition

      • Uncle Brian

        Or else a typo for “chefofdinners”

    • Bonjour Chef du Sinners.

      • chefofsinners

        Allo…

        • Allosexuel

          Allo, allo, allo.

          ‘Ow is Lienus? ‘E ‘asn’t bin arund for a wile.Nor since ‘e ‘ad a fall out wit Cremer.

          • chefofsinners

            Details are sketchy but I believe there was an out-of-court settlement which both parties are obliged to publicly deny.

          • Lienus

            Zis is not troue.

          • Pubcrawler

            I never believe anything unless it’s officially denied.

          • Allosexuel

            ‘E did git a noow dress last week.

    • Pubcrawler
    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      Naughty boy

  • CliveM

    I have come to the conclusion that there is too much news at the moment. Every time I switch on the magic lantern something new has happened. I want peace, I want an oasis of calm. Dare I say a bit of dullness.

    I really enjoyed your column Mrs Proudie…..!

    • Politically__Incorrect

      If it’s calm you want Clive, then I’m sure the Inspector will give you a bottle of his finest single malt.

      • CliveM

        Hmm he promised me a pint many moons ago. Still waiting.

        • chefofsinners

          Milk has become expensive since we joined the common market, Clive. Have patience.

          • CliveM

            If it’s milk he’s offering I’m going to be grumpy.

          • Inspector General

            The Rum Tum Tugger is a Curious Cat:

            If you offer him cream, the bastard wants milk…

    • Pubcrawler

      Do as I do: stay in the pub (or pubs if you’re on a crawl) and let your phone battery die. Suddenly it’s like being in the mythical golden age that allegedly never existed.

      So anyway, have I missed anything? Johnny Turk still hammering at the Gates of Vienna?

      • Anton

        Stuffed turkey anyone?

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      Oh dear dear Clive, many thanks….I am so glad to be dull…

    • Anton

      Learn to take party politics as spectator sport rather than something too serious. Then it’s fun!

      • CliveM

        I wasn’t simply thinking of domestic political shenanigans! Don’t take them seriously at all. More a blood sport.

        There have been some unpleasant international events as well. Not sure taking them unseriously is the right way, all things considered.

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      So kind…thank you Clive

      • CliveM

        Only pulling one of your sturdy pins, your blog is the highlight of the week! An oasis of calm.

  • bluedog

    Heavens, it seems Linus has returned from his Git in Frexit les Deux Eglises.

    On the subject of open borders, Mrs P, have Mustapha Fatwah and sons returned to the Sublime Porte to assist in restoring order on behalf of the Sultan, or do they remain in that oasis of calm, as you unwisely describe it, of Barchester? One hears that the Farmers Market will shortly be renamed the Bazaar.

    • Pubcrawler

      Caravanserai, serai, serai, whatever will be, will be. Inshishah.

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      Goodness ! Oh dear bluedog, you have given me the vapours….

  • Anton

    Your Grace (and Avi?)

    That banner near the top of your frontpage which states “ten years of blogging,” and with pictures that cycle, takes aeons to download and would be prohibitive on mobile devices or at village internet speed. Could it perhaps be simplified? In particular I doubt that Mrs Proudie would be able to read it on her 19th century laptop…

    • Did you have similar problems with the previous banner cycle? It’s possible to reduce the res on images on my end or for His Grace to (ehem) finally bring back the previous image cycle, since the anniversary is past. And then, maybe you need to move to the big city?

      • CliveM

        Avi

        It has no effect on mobiles as I don’t get the 10 years of blogging banner. My phone is quite old and seems to manage.

        • Well, that covers it then; it’s all Anton’s fault. Time to upgrade from his steam-operated difference engine machine. Besides, as he is a villager, should he not be more patient by nature? Plenty of time for media to download while he is cheering on his favourites at the weekly paint-drying competitions.

          • Anton

            I did not say I lived in a village and I have viewed the page in places where the net is both slow and fast!

          • I guessed that much, but the lines that generated themselves were too just too yempting 😉

      • Anton

        I have viewed this page in both villages and a large city. It’s thumping slow in both, presumably because it’s (unnecessarily?) BIG.

        • Uncle Brian

          Anton, how long is an aeon? How slow is thumping? You don’t have to wait for the banner to finish opening. You can click on Mrs Proudie’s “More”, or whichever one you want to look at, and leave the banner to go on unfolding by itself, in the dark, while you’re not looking at it. No problem.

          • Anton

            It nevertheless takes a while before the arrow turns into a hand meaning that a click will leap to it.

  • IanCad

    So much information and allusion in one post!!
    Mrs. P. There is so much in you that your posts are as carronades.
    Lumberjacks and Lesbians!!?? Perhaps nearer to the truth than even you can imagine.
    Just to the south of the 49th, in the Olympic rain forest, and thirty miles west of Port Angeles, lies a remarkable little dorp that is named, Sappho. Established, in the 1800’s, it is said, by a group of hefty female loggers. They clear-cut, or, should I say – Brazillianated – vast swathes of the magnificent Douglas Fir and Western Red Cedar groves which once graced the now rather bare region.

    • Carronades? Nay, more like 24-pounder bronze culverins fired in series of broadsides. That’s our formidable Mrs P.

      Sappho on the Olympic Peninsula. Things one learns on this blog.

      • Uncle Brian

        Near Cape Flattery, my atlas tells me. I wonder where they got that name from.

        • Funny, I might have caught a glimpse of it, as I once gazed in its direction from Hwy 14 on Vancouver Island in the hope of spotting an arriving or departing “Boomer” (a US nuclear sub) on the Juan de Fuca Straight. Only saw a few frigates and a destroyer, though. I think I saw one finally, from Mount Tuam on Salt Spring Island where I stayed with in-laws, but didn’t have a glass with me to be sure.

        • IanCad

          I’ll jump in here UB.

          Cape Flattery was named by Captain Cook according to Wiki, which provides the following quote:
          “… there appeared to be a small opening which flattered us with the hopes of finding an harbour … On this account I called the point of land to the north of it Cape Flattery.”

          As to the naming of Sappho; I feel my explanation is far more plausible than that of the local guidebook.

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      One tries, dear Ian one tries…

  • len

    Couldn`t resist this…the song that is…. not the persuasion!…

  • Humanity, like all species, must change and evolve. A stationary condition is impossible. Sapphists are like the soft-tongued lizards that emerged during the Cretaceous period. They are destined to multiply and dominate, so others must seek a symbiotic relationship to survive.

  • Inspector General

    Listening to the BBC news at 3, Nicola Sturgeon may well follow in the steps of another virulent National Socialist, Adolph Hitler, and end up in prison for plotting against the state.

    Still, she’ll be able to pass the time writing her autobiography, “My McStruggle”

    • Pubcrawler

      Mein Banff.

      • Inspector General

        Perfect…

        “Mein Banff – The McStruggle of a would-be Queen o’ Scots”

        • Surely the Ukip leader in Scotland, David Coburn, is the Queen o’ Scots, Inspector.

          • Inspector General

            Coburn’s a good fellow. One will not hear any criticism of him…

          • One hears he favours the legalisation of recreational drugs, an essential accessory for those of his persuasion.

          • As do I; the only useful proposal our silly PM made. Which same will devolve into a tangle of regulations, more public servants, concessions to unions and favours to government-connected cartels, but it’s the thought that counts.

          • IrishNeanderthal

            Completely off topic, but this really is hilarious!

            Hilarious Yemeni-Israeli Show (In Hebrew, English & Arabic Subtitles)

            Canadian Border Force used to dealing with wayward USAnians wouldn’t know what had hit them!

          • Thanks! I’ll be checking it on my home WiFi…strained the data plan this month!

          • Yes, you look as though you might ….. ;o)

            All cartels, legal and illegal, are connected to government.

            Power to the little man!

          • I know. It’s that incomprehending glare.

          • More the shades and dishevelled hair.

          • Well, yeah, gotta hide the dialated pupils and what do you expect of my hair when everyone in the house hides their hairbrushes?

          • Not surprised ….

          • Inspector General

            He’s entitled to his opinion on issues…

            But his greatest gift to the political scene was when the thugs who constitute Big Gay thought they had him in their pocket because of said persuasion like they seem to do with other political homosexual types, men AND women, he told them all to sod off. As a result, he earned a loathing from them that he still enjoys today.

            To stand up to those brutes when others, gay or straight, scatter before them, now that deserves a knighthood.

          • He opposes homosexual marriage only because he believes it increases homophobia from religious people and types like you.

          • Inspector General

            …don’t leave yourself out!

          • Jack will let you cosy up to Davey – he wouldn’t want to get in the way.

          • HedgehogFive

            I would say that the activities of Stonewall increase homophobia, especially the advertisements they post all over the place.

          • Royinsouthwest

            Are you in favour of it then Jack?

          • Anton

            There were far more – and institutionalised – homosexual relationships in ancient Greece yet the Greeks never thought these the same as marriage.

        • IrishNeanderthal

          Then who is in waiting to become the **Next** King of Scotland?

          • Inspector General

            Junckers

          • HedgehogFive

            I’m sure they’re relieved it won’t be General Amin.

          • IrishNeanderthal

            I had Boris Johnson in mind, but the Inspector (below) may well be only too right.

    • Uncle Brian

      Inspector, if you’re ever driving a car in Glasgow, be careful you don’t park too close to Nicola Sturgeon’s constituency office. Or if you do have to park there for whatever reason, be careful you don’t look out of the car window. It can get you into trouble.

      https://www.sundaypost.com/news/scottish-news/man-accused-of-stalking-nicola-sturgeon-may-sue-police/

      • Good God! the arrogance of the woman.

      • Inspector General

        Interesting case, Brian. If he was denied access to water and medicine, then that’s torture. He can expect a good payout. As for being detained for being a muslim acting suspiciously, then not a court in the land would convict the police on that…

      • Royinsouthwest

        The story cannot possibly be true. The man is an immigrant from Turkey and Sturgeon has told us repeatedly hat she is in favour of immigration unlike the racists in UKIP!

    • IanCad

      The Referendum means zilch Inspector. The wee lass is in need of prosecution, ideally before a judge in the mould of Lord Braxfield: “—-ye are a very clever chiel, but ye wad be nane the waur o’ a hanging.”
      David Davis wants to trigger Article 50 early next year. Theresa May seems to want to wait for Sturgeon’s decision as to whether she will or not call for another vote on Scottish Independence. Who’s running the Union?
      Hate to say it again but the Remainers are marshaling their forces. Civil war is not unthinkable.

    • bluedog

      Chillax, Inspector. This communicant suspects that Mrs May would have been delighted that M/s Sturgeon went on TV to disclose her hand. The next step will be to draw out the exact terms that M/s Sturgeon demands in her act of blackmail. Once M/s Sturgeon has backed herself into a corner, dealing with her becomes less difficult.

      • Inspector General

        Saints preserve us Bluedog. When it comes to the Union, you find the Inspector at a low ebb. Was it not the other day that Teri went up to see Nicky and they danced around each others handbags promising always to be the best of mates…

        That awful word compromise is haunting this man…

        • bluedog

          Patience, Inspector, patience. One has every confidence that Mrs May will run rings around M/s Sturgeon without the latter ever realising. Nicola’s ego will prove to be a formidable ally.

          • Inspector General

            There’s an idea! One woman scheming against another and bringing her down. But has it ever happened in real life?

          • Anne Boleyn, Inspector.

          • Uncle Brian

            Queen Elizabeth and Mary Queen of Scots?

  • IrishNeanderthal

    A remark from India:

    Now we may have Merkel, May and quite likely Clinton in command.
    Three ladies!!

    • chefofsinners

      How now you black and midnight hags?

    • DP111

      We might even have Marie Le Pen in France.

      What next? A female pope in Rome?