Monday 25 July 2016


can barely describe my euphoria at the proliferation of bunting adorning the village this season. Doubtless on other occasions such decor could well incite accusations of unnecessary flamboyance. And rightly so. Yet this year patriotic emphasis is a must. I concur with the local view that a fervent display of nationalism is quite in order.

            Not that those elected to oversee village jubilations were originally quite so focused. When I first perused the minutes of the Parish Council’s Extraordinary General Meeting – despite stepping down from said body last year I have insisted the Secretary forwards a copy of all paperwork – in which our elected members debated public beautification, I was somewhat alarmed at the initial proposals. I mean, really, window stickers! As I frequently insisted when chairing this vital body, the ability to access excessive quantities of inferior objects at minimal rates does not make said articles an acceptable choice. My hastily compiled – though simultaneously concise - epistle reminded my ex colleagues of this most obvious fact.

            Thankfully, the Councillors took little persuasion to my proposals and I am obliged to concede that my timely intervention prevented a public calamity. For with minimal delay I was asked to assume the sourcing of alternative regalia obliging me to rekindle the flagging Haberdashery Guild with my bespoke bunting initiative. A most satisfying task. I confess my imported silks rather extended the original, ridiculously modest, budget. Yet as I indicated to the High Sheriff while declining a slice of mass produced cherry sponge at the Recycling for the Over Eighties Awards, to be restricted by price is to renounce quality.

            Since then the village hall has overflowed with bobbins and fabric. Indeed, I have been quite astonished at how the whirring of sewing machines has rekindled fond memories of Nanny. How I used to revel in the dexterity of her fingers when she laboured over the outfits I annually designed for my china doll collection.  

            I am gratified to note that even those less creative ladies of the village have, with a degree of direction, contributed to the production. Some, admittedly, have been restricted to administration. Nevertheless, box labelling is a necessity if we are to keep track of bunting distribution.

            I have not been in a position to personally take on all quality control. Pressing domestic commitments at Farthing Hall have taken precedence. A couple of the helpers, however, once fully trained and instructed in acceptable stitching techniques, have proved, well, acceptably useful.

            Just a few hundred yards more and the agreed requisition will be complete.