Welcome to the Home for Wayward Children!
The Baron, here.
Warmest greetings, one and all- I’d like to extend a spirited yet reserved welcome to these, the oaky halls of The Home for Wayward Children.
Do make yourself comfortable.
Where were we?
The tale of the foundation of this venerable institution must, I’m afraid, must wait for an occasion more suited to loquaciousness, as The Skipper tells it with a certain histrionic flair, and I would very much hate to steal the little chap’s thunder.
I would be gratified, however, if you would permit me the indulgence of introducing our cast of rogues, The Founding Fathers, if you will.
There we are.
A dashing lot, if I do say so myself, photographically immortalised in the midst of a laudanum and cooking sherry binge though we may have been.
But The Baron digresses.
In the centre we have the ever cheeky The Skipper, our Puck about the Estate, an avid gardener of some renown, and an honorably discharged Able Seaman to boot!
The Skipper’s tales of strange Turkish bath houses and encounters with bloodthirsty Pagan Cults are have been known to stop the heart of even the hardiest Welsh coal miner or, indeed, a sub Saharan adventurer acting at Queen Elizabeth’s behest!
As a specialty, The Skipper often holds fireside ‘Brandy and Tall Tales’ evenings in the Home’s Drawing Room (West Wing), which have become the stuff of legend in the County; indeed, The Dame and I have, at times, been forced to place a strict embargo on some of The Skipper’s, shall we say, saltier associates to ensure the continued good name of this institution!
What a scallywag that Skipper is!
Next, it is my inestimable pleasure to introduce to you the matriarch of our weird clan, the aforementioned Dame (second left), a lady who keeps confidence with the likes of Vita Sackville and Amelia Earhart, and who is in possession of a tongue as tart as said company.
The Dame is The Home’s Head of Discipline, and jolly proficient she is at it, I might add- many a wayward member of the Girl’s Wing has suffered under her cruel, yet fair, ‘disciplines’.
(A brief cautionary aside- It is a little known fact, but The Dame also cares for an ailing relative, who has been struck down with a brain malady of some seriousness; this is something you would be wise not to mention in her presence, and I only tell you of it now to avoid a future embarrassment!)
In addition to being a strict Patriot, our dear Dame also busies herself (in her valuable personal time) with the administration of the County Chapter of The Pony Club, and keeps strict tabs on The Home’s cellars and supplies of bawdy French erotic novels.
The Dame’s private readings, on the nights when The Skipper has failed to book the Drawing Room (West Wing), are something to behold.
Or so I’m informed, as I am not a Lady and thusly not invited.
Finally, then, taking up the rear, as it were, is me, The Baron.
Adventurer, womaniser, self abuser, man of letters, louche scumbag- these are but a few of the noms de plume by which I have been known throughout the Commonwealth (and several of the dingier dens of iniquity across the sub continent).
Others, and I hope I am not labouring the point, have included but are not limited to: scoundrel, cad, raffish ne’er do well, cowboy, rotter, and ****head.
Why, once, a Gypsy Palm Reader of some ill repute had the audacity to label me a self obsessed, hyper-masculine blowhard, not to mention several even bawdier expressions a person of breeding wouldn’t dare repeat in company as refined as your own!
The mind fairly reels.
But perhaps I labour the point too greatly.
Over the course of the coming weeks and months, several other HWC Alumni will introduce themselves in these pages- look for communiques from the desks of The Lord and The General as soon as their busy adventuring, womanising and colonising schedules allow.
In a future journal entry, I will take great pleasure in relating to you in some detail the values upon which these venerable Halls were founded, and, furthermore, reflect upon some of the more lurid events that have amazed and delighted even we world weary Headmasters.
Until next we meet, then, I bid thee adieu, and, indeed, toodles.
Originally published at eldepositodelplatino.wordpress.com on February 14, 2007.