Agatha dear, do come in. I’ve got some rather spiffing news.
Oh what a thrill Mary dear. One can always do with a little light entertainment to brighten the day. Now, don’t tell me. Has the Count finally won the annual Little-Snetherton Ping Pong Championships?
Oh good gracious, no unfortunately not dear. This news is far more exciting.
Well Mary, if that is indeed the case I feel that I may need some of Martha’s sterling bread pudding to steady the nerves.
Agatha dear, I feel we can do a tad better than that….Angus has found a rather topping bottle of the Bolly ’27.
Goodness! Isn’t that a little excessive for elevenses?
Nonsense Agatha it’s in perfect keeping. Now, do sit down before I burst! Here (passes Agatha a glass of the aforementioned Bolly)…. The Count and I are going travelling.
I’m sorry dear, did you say that you AND THE COUNT are going travelling? Are you feeling quite well? I know that we found our sojourn to Egypt quite invigorating, but surely you realise that you are not spring chickens any more. The thought of you struggling across windswept plains with a large knapksack strapped to your back, or staying in a hostel and smoking unusual plants makes me feel quite peculiar.
Don’t fret my dear friend. I have decided that it’s a corking plan. Just what is needed at our time of life and I feel quite exhilarated by the whole idea. I must say that the very thought of it has quite taken 10 years off of me and The Count is skipping about like a youthful seventy year old.
Mary dear, I think that may just simply be a side effect of the champagne. But that said, you do seem to be quite fixed on the notion.
Agatha, indeed we are, but I must confess that there is a part of me that is a trifle concerned about leaving you behind. Particularly as poor Binkie is no longer around to look after you.
Oh please don’t fret about me, my dear. Binkie is reaping his just desserts and although I will always be fond of him, he will simply never change his conniving ways, even though I am the most determined woman there is nothing to be done. Besides, Snetter manages the house very well and dear Algie is always on hand to guide me through any mishap.
Of course dear one. How is Algie after his rather belated ‘coming out’? I understand that it was quite a shock in some circles.
Mary dear, he is quite the changed man. It’s as though the weight of the past years has been lifted and he is in a perpetual Disney movie, bursting into song when ever he gets the opportunity. Of course the government pardoning so many gay gentlemen for their so-called crimes, has made a huge difference. But, I do believe that Daniel has certainly played a part in his new-found happiness.
That wouldn’t be Daniel of the Blyth-Williamsons by any chance? He’s a total charmer my dear, comes from a delightful family and all so well connected. I believe they own quite a substantial amount of Shropshire. Maud Clevington-Simms knows the whole crowd.
Yes, quite right Mary dear. I must admit – he’s quite the scoop! But goodness me, how is Maud? I haven’t seen her since Fenella Hart-Worthy put mustard powder in her lingerie drawer when we were in the 4th form at St Margaret for the Pure of Heart. Poor gal was in the infirmary for weeks and then when she recovered from the itching and embarrassment, her family packed her off to a finishing school in Switzerland. I have only heard vague rumours about her rather unusual life from Fenella. She never married, I heard.
No, but she had liaisons in several countries, and five children. Made a bundle on those self help meditation books she wrote after her years out East. But she looks chipper. She keeps rabbits now, apparently her house is teeming with the little blighters, but she seems happy. We met for tea at Claridges on Tuesday and she mentioned that she has friends out in Bangkok. In fact she has put me in touch with a couple of chaps who may be able to help us find some accommodation.
Bangkok! Are you sure dear? I understand the city is a tad different to the rolling hills and leafy lanes of Sussex. In fact, last year, before I discovered his true nature, Binky took me to a show in Brighton. I thought it was going to be a rather splendid Oscar Wilde type of thing. But the Bangkok Lady Boys were quite a revelation. I needed several stiff gins afterwards at the hotel to calm my nerves.
Don’t worry dear. The Count is quite broad minded as you know. And I am just looking forward to being immersed in something totally new, however risque. It’s all part of life’s rich tapestry, the plan is to learn about other cultures and different ways of life.
You know what Mary dear? I do believe you’re onto something – wider understanding, wider horizons etc. What with all this bally business of Brexit and Trump, perhaps your rather wild idea seems quite sensible. Who knows, I may come out and join you. When I was Head of Jam at the WI I worked with a charming chap. He was Malaysian. There’s a remote possibility that he’d still be alive I think.
Dear one, you can’t be serious! Surely Che Cheng would be over a hundred by now?
Quite possibly Mary, quite possibly. There’s always a chance though don’t you think?
Absolutely Agatha. Now how about some more bubbly and a slice of that delicious bread pudding?