Lady P - April 2020
Greetings and salutations my ravishing readers!
I am honoured and thrilled to be the travel correspondent for the global phenomenon that is emmaheaven.com. My name is Lady Perdita Fitzwilliam Tudor-Croft, Perdy to friends, Ditsy D to family and Dirty Dita to my unsavoury exes, but you can all call me Lady P.
My darling readers, one has a rather extraordinary tale to regale you with this month, so pour yourself a large glass of something strong and buckle up buttercups!
It all began with Boris announcing the Corona lockdown, which threw a LOT of people’s plans into a tizzy, not least my darling gals at #TeamHeaven.
Their final communique to me before they battened down the hatches to work from home was: “you have carte blanche this month Lady P with your assignment - you could have an adventure and get into a pickle in an empty room, so do your best/worst!”, and with that ringing endorsement, I was left to my own devices and imagination!
Fortunately one had had the good sense to hot foot it back to Mummy and Daddy’s stately pile in the countryside for a little R&R the weekend prior. So when all this social-distancing and self-isolating was introduced, one’s fragile equilibrium was already on the mend after being in receipt of some TLC from my nearest and dearest.
Therefore, being ‘confined to barracks’, one had absolutely no problem whatsoever staying close to home, with a stately pile to explore along with a supportive, loyal family at one's disposal.
Here follows, not so much the Chronicles of Narnia, but something probably best described as one’s Corona Chronicles...
After the initial shock of the government’s announcement, which clipped our collective wings, I dusted myself down, and did what us Brits do best in times of adversity. Get creative and put on one’s stiff upper lip - thank heavens I don’t do Botox, otherwise one would be well and truly scuppered!
Time for adventure and a little exploring was in order. It’s been an absolute age since I wandered along the labyrinthine corridors, landscaped gardens and luscious glades of our family’s sprawling estate.
Even though the sun has been shining a lot of late, it’s still been a tad cold, so one wrapped up warmly and started out with a visit to Daddy’s orangery. There I found the black sheep of our family, cousin Giles, holding court with Daddy, who was hanging on to his every word.
Giles has spent a phenomenal amount of time in Latin America, and is a huge fan of plants being used for medicinal purposes. He seems to be forever on the lookout for people with deep pockets to invest in his eclectic ventures. His last venture - importing ayahuasca ‘lozenges’ - not unsurprisingly fell before the first hurdle, once Customs got wind of it. He now seems to have moved on to CBD or some other alphabetical variant. Giles really is quite the entrepreneur, albeit an eccentric one...
I must say though, under Giles’s tutelage, Daddy’s developed some very impressive green fingers. There were spiky looking plants throughout the orangery - they must either be very fragile or very important, as there is some very high tech-looking equipment in there, controlling lighting, humidity and temperature.
When I enquired as to what they were, Daddy told me to kindly bugger off and keep my nose out of things that don’t concern me. Well, how rude!!! So one did bugger off, in a huff I might add, to the safety of the kitchen in search of some comfort food for one’s elevenses.
The smell wafting from the kitchen was simply to die for. Cook must have been busy baking that morning, and on closer examination of this gorgeous aroma, one was thrilled to discover a stash of freshly baked brownies. Jackpot!!!
After snaffling a few brownies, I also found a bottle of beautifully chilled Baileys Irish Cream to wash them down with - well one needed a little bit more of a kick than a mere glass of milk!
I headed for the library, where the fire was blissfully roaring away, and Daddy’s armchair looked extremely comfy and inviting. Once settled, and wrapped up in a soft cashmere throw, I tucked into the brownies, which tasted a little different to cook’s usual concoction. Perhaps, like most of the country, cook has stumbled upon a new recipe courtesy of YouTube, or maybe she’s had to resort to using whatever ingredients she can lay her hands on in the larder, to spice them up a bit? The mind boggles.
Anyway I digress…
Back to that roaring fire, where the flames were tantalisingly hypnotic. I started to feel rather sleepy, a little fuzzy around the edges if you will, and as if something had taken over my mind and body. I swear I could hear voices in the distance calling out to me. They started to get louder and closer, enticing me to go in search of them.
As if in a trance, I got up and started to search for who was calling out to me. The voices led me down the hallway, up the grand staircase and along the corridor of the left wing, towards my dear late Great Granny's old bedroom, which is empty apart from her wardrobe, filled with all her old fur coats. Mummy doesn’t have the heart to throw them out, even though she’ll never wear them; an ‘incident’ with PETA activists whilst wearing faux fur, has left her marked in more ways than one...
Feeling nostalgic, one opened the door to look upon these coats (whose pockets used to contain some sweet treat or other) and was instantly reminded of Great Granny. The impulse to touch and smell them was overwhelming, and in my semi-febrile state, I soon succumbed, pulling the coats towards me, and hopefully excavate their pockets for some long lost mint imperials!
Stepping further into the cavernous wardrobe, I began searching its contents. It was like taking a trip down memory lane, inhaling the wonderful lingering scents of her perfume, moving deeper inside the wardrobe, in search of more hidden treasures, when lo and behold, one stumbled straight into a tree! A TREE?! Yes. A tree! In the back of our wardrobe? Well one wasn’t expecting THAT!!!
Gingerly stepping further along, one tree soon turned into two then three, until I was standing in the middle of a forest. And if you think that wasn’t bizarre enough, the last time I looked it had been a mild Spring day, yet everywhere was now covered in snow… Perhaps you will begin to understand that by now, one was seriously questioning one’s sanity!
In my befuddled state, one could still appreciate the splendour of one’s surroundings, it was quite breathtaking and rather magical until I was rudely knocked off my feet by a furry creature carrying an enormous pile of shopping, I mean, hasn't he heard of Amazon Prime?! They do marvellous deals for frequent shoppers, I told him, and then, to one’s utter amazement, he answered back!
Now, call me naive, but when have you ever heard of a furry creature talking? (Hipsters with bushy beards don’t count!) Or shop for that matter?! What a simply splendid notion.
I was a teeny tiny bit unnerved when he invited me to join him for tea and crumpets, but the cold was starting to bite a tad, and one could certainly do with a cup of Earl Grey, not to mention the fact that this was a perfect opportunity for him to be interrogated, Lady P style.
One struggled to keep up with him as he navigated the snowy terrain. Had one known she’d be trekking through the snow then obviously one would have worn the correct footwear - glamorous fluffy house slippers don’t quite make the grade.
His home was rather like the cave one had visited recently in Petra, Jordan, only this one had a door, was terribly quaint and, once inside, was deliciously cosy.
After chivalrously taking one’s cashmere throw, he sat me beside the fireplace and went about preparing the tea and crumpets. He had impeccable manners, the crumpets were toasted to perfection and topped with a jam that was truely to die for, and he was ever so attentive.
Unfortunately, he didn’t have any Earl Grey tea, so one settled for the house or should that be cave, brand? I must confess, I found myself to be quite the ‘smitten kitten’ - if only all chaps could be like him...He even had that tinge of ginge I’m so partial to...
The conversation that followed however, was not what one could have anticipated. NEVER in my life has anyone shown quite so much interest in getting to know little old me. He bombarded me with question after question and while I do love talking about myself and my passions, this was another level!
He kept calling me ‘a daughter of Eve’, and I kept having to remind him that that wasn’t Mummy’s name, or did he know something that I didn’t? It had me quite worried if I’m being honest, although he calmed down a little when he discovered that I didn’t have two brothers and a sister.
I did start to tune out when he mentioned something about prophecy or whatever, however, at the mere mention of thrones, crowns and queens, well one’s ears pricked up pronto and went on red alert.
Now this would definitely require further probing, but, this other-worldly creature had other ideas, and now wanted to serenade me with his magic flute and anoint me as the Queen of the Night or some such... Well I think it was a flute... I have only a limited knowledge about woodwind instruments, but I have been known to blow a fully respectable C flat out of a French Horn given adequate preparation...
Anyway, I digress…
The music was utterly spellbinding, and one was enchanted by it and the cave’s roaring fire with its swaying, hypnotic flames, one could feel one’s eyelids getting heavier and heavier...And that was the last thing I distinctly recall…
The next thing I knew I awoke, curled up in Daddy’s armchair, in front of the library’s fireplace, feeling rather strange and more than a tad discombobulated. One’s head was feeling rather fuzzy muzzy, while one’s stomach had a ravenous hunger it had never felt before, with a sudden urge to eat mountains of junk food!
After consuming obscenely copious amounts of cake and chocolate, one decided to venture up to Great Granny’s room, just to double check that one hadn’t entirely lost one’s marbles. Alas when I opened the wardrobe door and parted the fur coats, the only things I found there, were the back of the wardrobe, a lone sweet wrapper and a small puddle of water...
Was I going mad? Did one need to reinstate one’s therapist? Or did an extended stay at The Priory beckon (again)?
I have no answers whatsoever my ravishing readers, only questions… So I think it’s best that we part ways for the time being and hopefully normal(ish) service resumes next month…Meanwhile, I wonder if Deliveroo cover our remote area, as I am still ravenous, and have a hankering for a greasy burger and fries… I have no idea what has got into me!
Must dash. I’ve just seen the time. It’s cocktail hour with Mummy, Daddy, cousin Giles and the rest of the extended family. Time for a Quarantini Martini. Don’t stint on the olives!
***Note for #TeamHeaven***
Darling gals, I do hope you’re all keeping well during this lockdown? I was going to suggest/beg, that you send me on a cruise sometime soon. However, a friend of mine who works on board a cruise ship, is currently confined to a port overseas, and to her cabin. Talk about cabin fever!!!
We’ll need to get our creative thinking caps on for our next assignments. Perhaps a video call with my ginger Prince?! Or virtual cocktails via Zoom, wearing our best bib and tucker?!
With so many events cancelled or postponed, I have a surfeit of new outfits for the season ahead, which will languish in my wardrobe. It would be a crime for them not to see the light of day. And I daren’t put them in storage - you never know what will happen to them, or me if we get too close to any old wardrobes!
Lady P illustrated by Jack Heaven
Background image: Trevor205 (Trevor M) Washington: Pixabay.com
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