The season approaches when an astonishingly popular, yet somewhat unnecessary, import from one of our ex colonies will once again infiltrate village life.
I do not subscribe to this annual pastime known as, I believe, Tricking and Treating. Indeed, only last month I lobbied the Parish Council to actively deter outdoor pursuits during the hours of darkness when youths should be in their drawing rooms perusing textbooks. Whilst the PC’s negative response was disappointing, it is undoubtedly indicative of a universal attitude designed to appease youngsters. Sadly, my vocal dissent was as solitary as it was earnest. That is not to say my opinions weren’t shared by others, of course, only that some residents were probably precluded from taking up the cause due to a lack of standing in society.
So, given Halloween’s prevalence amongst the younger generation, I feel it is incumbent upon me to lead the way. At least this will proffer me the opportunity to raise standards. No doubt the local children will revel in a rare opportunity to over indulge in boiled sweets and peppermints.
Hence, following my exchange with Cook - during which I made one or two amendments to supper arrangements - I ventured into the village to purchase a supply of edible treats. The purveyor of the sweet shop – a girl of modest years and immodest hemline - seemed a little taken aback at my preference and suggested the addition of a few chocolates might enhance my batch. So I selected a quarter of dark almond truffles - a particular favourite of my dear mother.
Upon returning to Farthing Hall and reminding Cook, yet again, that accurate seasoning is the make or break of a béchamel sauce, thence headed for the orangery to indulge my design instincts. The resulting pastel sketch is quite delightful and will adorn the oak notice board adjacent to the lodge. It clearly states the availability of treats is limited to between afternoon tea and six o’clock.
I see no reason for this frightful foreign ritual to pervade an evening I have assigned to tapestry work. The church kneelers are crying out for attention and some strategically placed needlepoint will surely satisfy the Vicar.
My insistence that youngsters should be dissuaded from roaming the locality for treats has still not received the backing it deserves. No matter. I have instead taken it upon myself to ensure that quality confectionery is available via the servants' entrance at tea time. Along with freshly starched linen napkins, of course.