Baron Crapulence
The witterings of
Baron Crapulence of Chugley Harvard
As recorded by Felicity O'Toole

baron crapulencehave enjoyed the last month in London, but It is always good to get back to my ancestral home, Crapulent Towers. It has made a change to get away for a bit, even poor people who live in grimy hovels would probably agree with me there! They should do so more often, it might even cheer them up a bit. I do always travel to London every month for two or three days and try to combine business with catching up with friends at one of the many clubs of which I am a member. I particularly like Ventral's, it has fine food although there are one or two rather odd members. We do have a reasonable cook in our town house but I like to eat out when in the capital - I rarely have the opportunity when I am at Crapulent Towers.

baron crapulenceWhilst on the subject of cooks, my good lady wife has drawn my attention to the fact that Cook isn't getting any younger. "Well who is?" I retorted, but she ignored me and told me that we really had to get another cook now so that Cook could train her up to scratch before actually keeling over. I can see her point, it would leave us terribly 'in the lurch' if she were to selfishly demise without warning. She's been Scruffy Yokelhere since before I was born and thinking about it she must be in her seventies now. Getting someone younger would be a good idea because we might then be able to dispense with one of the kitchen maids, but could we ever get hold of anyone who would be able to come up to Cook's high standards? I suppose we had better try, otherwise we would have to move our London cook down here, and although she is quite adequate, I'm not sure whether she would be up to the dinners we have come to expect here. We would then have to find someone to replace her, so perhaps the good lady wife is right. She usually is.

baron crapulenceAnother appaling thought has crossed my mind. I don't think Cook has any relatives, I understand she came here as kitchen maid straight from an orphanage when she was 14. This was before I was born, I dare say my father came to some arrangement with them. But it does mean we will be responsible for her funereal arrangements. Carruthers will have to cope with all the formalities but it occurs to me that neither I nor my good lady wife know her name! We wouldn't dare ask her but we won't really be able to apply for a death certificate in the name of "Cook". I'm sure the registrar wallahs wouldn't wear it, they're a bit pedantic in my experience. Our accountant must have it and the dowager Baroness might remember it. Which reminds me that I haven't been down to the Dower House for some months. I must try and remember to put some time aside to go and see my mother. I do seem to recollect seeing her at Crapulent Towers last Christmas, attacking dinner like a starving sow and later dozing in a corner somewhere, but I might be wrong. I keep putting off visiting as it so difficult to communicate nowadays, one can't have a proper conversation when one has to shout all the time and the old dear's meandering utterings are difficult to comprehend. It has always puzzled me that she appears to have no problem with her maid in this respect and even my good lady wife doesn't appear to have any difficulty.

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More of Felicity O'Toole's reportage can be found on The Interag
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I: Noblesse Oblige

II: London

III: Cook

IV: Some Daughters

V: More about Cook

VI: A Cricket Match

VII: A brief engagement
and cider

VIII: Children Going and Not Going

IX: A Shoot

X: Christmas, Now
and Then

XI: A Night in Soho

The Watley Review