Mary dear, lovely to see you – cook’s in a bit of a tiz this week as I asked her to prepare an apple pie for us.  She called me a BDW!   Now just what do you think that means?  Is it a car darling?  I don’t think I’ve ever been compared to a car before….

Oh Agatha dear, do sit down you are getting quite unnecessary.  I believe a BDW is one of those Bloody Difficult Women that have been in the press this week.

Have they dear?

Oh yes, Ken Clarke put his foot in it again…

Seems to me he’s constantly walking in it dear, but let’s move on shall we?

Not until he’s wiped if off his shoe, dear one.  We don’t want it through the house!

Quite Mary!  Anyway, he’s said that Theresa May is a BDW which seems a good thing.

Does it dear?  I know I can also be difficult, particularly with the servants, but one has to if one is going to run a tight ship.

Absolutely!  I don’t think Ken was being derogatory, just stating that there is a type of woman who gets things done come hell or high water.

A bit like the unsinkable Molly Brown then dear?

Oh my goodness yes.  And do you remember my Aunt Fenella?  When she was being interviewed by the local rag about what she attributed her long life to, said “Well getting off the Titanic helped!”  Bravo for her I say and yes, she was a BMW.

No dear, not BMW, a BDW!  Anyway I do think the world needs them – my sister is one you know?

Oh goodness yes, Celophina’s certainly one – always coming round and whizzing about tidying the whole place for you and telling you to get your life in order and by the time she leaves 15 minutes later, it is.  And that time she supposedly “rescued” that swan.  I’m sure she only did that so she could claim compensation from Her Majesty!

Bless her Agatha, yes!  It’s infuriating really as we can never find anything after one of her tidying episodes.  She always winds up putting everything in the oddest places.  I remember I found our guest, Dr Fitzwilliam, stuffed in the broom cupboard once.  We thought he’s gone home, but Celophina had tidied him away as she thought he was the children’s old mannequins – you know ‘penny for the guy’ type of thing!  Poor man he was quite discombobulated; turned out he’d been there for 5 days!

My word!  Wasn’t he the chap who knew Mary Seacole?

I do believe you’re right dear.  How apposite.

What’s that Mary dear?  More apple pie?

Oh yes please Agatha. But I do believe that a new statue of Mary Seacole has just been unveiled at Guys/St Thomas’s Hospital.  Now, she most definitely was a BDW.


Quite dear.  Wonderful woman.  She was one of our greatest unsung heroes.  A black homeopathic nurse who took herself off to the front line during the Crimean War and just got on with the business of saving lives.  She was quite a star at the time – I seem to remember that she had tea with Great Aunt Winifred at one time, but I may be wrong.

I do believe you’re right dear, but then it all got horribly political and then the government got involved and changed the curriculum so little Bertie and Algie were taught about Florence Nightingale instead.

Well it seems at last that Mary is taking pride of place and quite right it is too dear and I am totally delighted to see that, finally, we have immortalised the very first black woman in this way here in the UK.

You would certainly need to be a BDW if you’re on the front line dealing with the suffering soldiers on that scale,  Agatha dear.

I do think it’s a tad peculiar though, Mary, that the male version of a BDW would be … well… a man!

Oh not that old chestnut again, dear.  We need to accept that women just have to be stronger, more determined, better jugglers than our male counterparts just to sit at the same table.

Oh but it were different Mary!  I mean, my niece Lucy, she complained just last week of being upbraided by her male boss for not being “assertive” I think was the term he used.  He made it clear that she needed to behave more like her male colleagues to get on.  It was all I could do to stop her ordering some testosterone on the internet and injecting herself!

Now, we wouldn’t want that at all, just imagine the side effects (shudders).  No, I think it’s perfectly possible for gals to be successful just by being themselves.  No need to “man up” as they say.

I agree, dear.  That’s all rather 1980s now anyway. But they need to stand up for themselves more.  Just think dear – Companies are having to publish the gender pay gaps, and there will be no surprises to find out how far behind women are at work on equal pay – still!

Is the gender pay gap like the Cheddar gorge?

No, it’s much larger dear.  Another slice of apple pie?

Oh yes please Mary dear.  But don’t you think that a lot of companies won’t do that, you know small businesses who like to keep women at a certain level because they are only women and they fulfill a traditional role in business?


Oh now don’t get agitated Mary dear, you know it sets you off and really dear I think that’s a topic for another conversation when we have the strength to deal with it.  Sometimes you can be quite exhausting!

Well Agatha, I must admit I am quite fatigued.  The dear Count had me up till the wee hours with his snoring.

But Mary dear, how many times have I told you, just move into the room next door.

But Agatha , I moved to the East wing and he still kept me awake!

Have you tried the gardener’s cottage?  I hear he is quite a young lad…

(Blushing) Now now, you know what happened when we had that charismatic Mr Lawrence stay with us….

(Blushing even more) Another cup of tea dear?

Apple pie recipe:

Life Love and Dirty Dishes

4 thoughts on “BDW

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