As Matron has been quite distressed upon seeing the Twilight Lawns Christmas Card for this year (2014), it has fallen to me, and one or two kind helpers, to try to mitigate the effects of the “Post Modernist Atrocity” created by Mrs Berengaria Scott-Glossop and Miss Lettice Rogers-Allbody. That monstrosity which, unfortunately, would have come crashing, obscenely, through your pre-Christmas letterbox.
To tell you the truth, we were somewhat at a loss as to what should be our recourse to action; having little or no idea how we could create a more traditional Christmas Card at such short notice.
Then, by serendipity, one of our Residents, Magda, Dowager, Marchioness of Hove, received the following letter from her niece, Felicity.
Dearest Auntie Magda,
As you may remember, your adorable Great Nephew, Nigel, attends that highly reputable bastion of Education, Saint Botolph’s-by-the-Green, Surrey. I am sending this lovely photograph of Nigel in his costume for the Nativity Play; arranged and scripted by his dear Uncle Francis. Francis, as you may remember, is Mrs Plantagenet-Featheringstonehaugh’s good friend, and he is a Gentleman of the Cloth; Francis, Anglican Bishop of Crawley.
Apparently the Upper Sixth at Saint Botolph’s-by-the-Green, were staging a rival performance in the lead up to Christmastide; a sort of a Pantomime based on the story of Robin Hood. I think it was entitled ‘Girls in Green’ or something jolly like that.
Unfortunately, bows and arrows and Upper Sixth Louts, whether of a decent class or not, do not make a good combination. Those naughty boys (I’m sure that it was all done purely in a spirit of fun, if somewhat unnecessarily) decided to have target practice in the hall where our dear Nigel was rehearsing for his part as the Baby Jesus.
Too many arrows and not enough Nigel to go around, I’m afraid to report.
But his dear Uncle Francis is a real old trooper, so he quickly rewrote the little Nativity Play as ‘The Life and Somewhat Prickly Death of Saint Sebastian’.
All the Pink Papers gave the show wonderful write-ups but poor dear Nigel has to go round fully clothed most of the time, now. And as you well know, our family has never been known to show too little flesh. One fondly remembers your dear sister, Beatrice; Beatrice des Grandes Poitrines, as she was known.
And all the Elastoplast poor little Nigel used up was quite more than one could have anticipated.
Please note: the enclosed photograph of Nigel in his roll of ‘Baby Jesus’ was taken during rehearsals, and not, as is apparent, after the target practice. But boys will be boys, and I am sure that within some months and by diligent applications of aloe vera he will be frolicking on the sands at Cap D’entibe or Le Rouret or Golfe Juane, where we have our Summer home, as he has in former years.
Isn't this a lovely photo of Dear Little Nigel. The family resemblance is quite remarkable, isn't it?
Lots of love,
(Nigel’s Mummy, as I'm sure you'll remember)
Of course, when I was made privy to the letter and also to the picture of dear little Nigel, I immediately contacted Bishop Francis, and he was enormously enthusiastic to give a helping hand. Being a Man of the Cloth, dear Francis (or Fluffy, as he is known to his intimates) was given full reign, or carte blanche, as they say, and within a very short time the updated, and certainly more traditional Christmas Card was “up and running”.
Naturally, as is often the case in these awful situations, word got about that a re-issue of the Christmas card was immediately necessary. However, when it transpired from which quarter the call to arms was most clearly heard, we all stood back in wonder and gratitude, to discover that Betty, Mr Mould’s constant companion and beloved friend had offered, not only her tireless energy in proofreading the documents involved, but she also provided some “selfies” that she had taken on Raj’s mobile phone.
Those photographs, and their use, can only be described as being “the icing on the Christmas cake”. They add what Tom Mould proudly describes as lending an “Ovine Aries verisimilitude” to the finished product.
Bravo Betty. (Or should one say, “Brava Betty”?”
Once again, from all of us (excluding Mrs Berengaria Scott-Glossop and Miss Lettice Rogers-Allbody, who were discouraged from having anything to do with this version) may we take the opportunity to wish you all somewhat belated, but we are all sure, more acceptable and traditional Seasonal Greetings from “Our house to Yours”, as they say.
And with the deepest gratitude for his diligent and enthusiastic work in the matter to:
(His Grace, Francis, Bishop of Crawley)
With Very Best Wishes
All of Us
A Lovely and Traditional Bethlehem scene with Little Baby Jesus in the Manger, surrounded by happy little Stable Animals, doing what Biblical Animals do Best.
Now isn't this more authentic and in keeping with a traditional Christmas?
Of course it is.
I know I know little about these things, but when I poined out that there is an electric light switch on the wall of the stable, Fluffy said that he hadn't noticed it, but he assured me that in that part of the world, many years ago, stables and most homes, had all the amenities, and being a Man of the Cloth, I'm sure he must know these things.
Have a Happy Christmas