Well, one must admit it. What a full and meaningful year you have all had!
Busy! Busy! Busy! Every year seems to be more exciting than the last in your household, if your four-page ‘Wilmots Christmas Greetings Bonanza’ is anything to go by!
One was so pleased to hear that you have been so engrossed in the work going on in the “new Bathroom”, but a nice photograph or two would have sufficed, Caroline. One is sure that blueprints for the loft and the description of the several guages of plumbing, in Metric and Imperial, would make fascinating reading for someone else, but certainly one finds them somewhat daunting. The booklets of Farrow and Ball colour charts, also, would be more interesting to the likes of Sister Vestibule of the Little Sisters of Selective Charity. The dear soul has a passion for decorating and plasterwork, one believes. Perhaps one could pass them on to her, if you wouldn’t mind.
Artemis’s exams results! How lovely for her, but surely you wouldn’t expect anything else, dear. One has heard that Halstead College for Ladies is hardly worthy of mention in the same breath as a decent Finishing School in Switzerland or Wycombe Abbey School, Saint Swithun’s in Winchester or even Saint Mary’s in Ascot. One has heard that Halstead College must surely be just a step above a Comprehensive.
No wonder your lovely Artemis did well in her exams, but are the intellectually challenged permitted to sit exams, Caroline? It must have been one of the silly ideas from the last Communist Party in power - those dreadful Socialists!
From what Sharon informs one, most girls from that seat of learning would find themselves more gainfully employed by attending ante natal classes and concentrating more on the mathematics entailed in scraping together the wherewithal to survive as a single mother in some hideous little subsidised council flat on the outskirts of Tower Hamlets or somewhere equally salubrious. There is, one has heard, an absolute plethora of local louts who hang around the front gates at Hallstead College for Ladies, ready and more than willing to impregnate the lot of them. One wonders how long it will be before your little Artemis succumbs to their virile charms. If she hasn’t already.
Our dear Sharon informed Nurse Smythe that the girls at Halstead College have been known to have looser morals or even less, the ability to avoid unwanted pregnancies than her (Sharon’s) Aunt Deidre. “Loose Deidre” as she is known locally.
One notes that you mentioned (at length) that your Blaire has had to repeat a year at University “due to some corrupt lecturer” or a “little misunderstanding” concerning her project.
What was she studying, Dear? Something useful like Media Studies or Advanced Origami or ‘Green Ideas for Foreigners’ (Ecology for the Third World)? One would think that that would be right up her street. But from what one has read in the National Press, the nasty little University that has had the misfortune to open its door to the likes of your Blaire have had to admit that getting up any street would be a difficult task for many of their Undergraduates due to the inordinate amount of illegal and prescription substances they smoke, inhale and squirt into their horrid little arms and thighs.
By the way, Caroline, one is quite perplexed. Is “Blaire” a boy’s name or a girl’s name? Either way, it seems a very silly and pretentious arrangement of letters, don’t you think? But one supposes that if she, or he, has been accepted by the horrid little university you mentioned, the poor child needs something that would help others to remember her. Perhaps an “interesting” name would be more useful than any amount of the education that they could possibly be able to provide.
And while we are discussing Education, did you realise that your ‘Wilmots Christmas Greetings Bonanza’ as you refer to it, requires a possessive apostrophe? So your letterhead should have read: ‘Wilmot’s Christmas Greetings Bonanza’. Or if any of the others of the Wilmot clan had a finger in it, it should have been: ‘Wilmots' Christmas Greetings Bonanza’.
Just a small thing, but perhaps your poorly educated offspring wouldn’t have been able to help you in simple punctuation and grammar. You did mention several times in describing your lovely offspring that “Blaires anger at having to repeat her year at University” and “Artemises exams results” and “Nathaniels new job at a Quality Car Showroom.”
Surely you should have realised that the correct punctuation should have been: “Blaire’s anger at having to repeat her year at University” and “Artemis's examination results” and of course, “Nathaniel’s new job at a Quality Car Showroom.”
Do you know, Dear Caroline, the more one has read (and reread) your little missive, the more one sees parallels with that dreadful woman one referred to earlier in one’s reply to you.
Both Artemis and Blaire strike one as being very familiar; if only by name. But for the life of one, one can’t get it out of one’s head that the dreadful woman’s children not only had bizarre names, but they were remarkably similar to those of your brood... if not the very same.
The name Nathaniel brings up the picture of a spotty youth with one finger excavating the contents of his nostrils. One wonders why one has made this connection.
Your charming description of the Happy Wilmot Family gathered around the festive board was absolutely riveting:
“...and of course the family is doing well. Uncle William has come up with his Haemorrhoids as sure as clockwork; right on time for the 1st of December. Somehow it seems rather a rite of passage for the family, don't you know. I can’t imagine Christmas without Dear Old Uncle William perched on his inflatable cushion at the Festive Table. And of course that leaky old cushion always creates gales of laughter with its interesting sounds. Well I'm assuming it's the cushion which provides the interesting sounds. Cousin Phoebe always sits close to him at table, and perhaps it is not intimacy that she requires, but it is also a ploy to disguise her own chronic flatulence.
I’ll never know, but my goodness, some of those bass notes need to be heard to be believed.
Tookie was violently sick in Bruce’s lap after overindulging in sherry trifle and Battenberg Cake. So we put her outside in the garden; but not before she has emptied her bladder over Nathaniel’s back, in passing.”
Dearest Caroline, One knows you won't mind, but one has taken the liberty of correcting your punctuation in the small section above. The section that deals with Christmas Dinner at the Wilmot's residence. One noted that you seem to have only the vaguest concept of the use f "its" and "it's". There is a difference, dear, and one is only glad to point out those difference.
One is enclosing a Book Token from Waterstones, and one implores you to pop along and ask them to hand you a very lovely little book, written by Lynne Truss: "Eats, Shoots and Leaves". One found it very entertaining, and one is sure that you will find it more than helpful.
Ask someone to read it to you if it helps, my dear.
And who is Tookie? One thought at first that it may have been some form of smelly variety of feline or canine animal. But Cook entered the room as Nurse Smythe and Sharon were conjecturing about the name. There resulted a somewhat heated discussion concerning the matter until someone remembered that there was a “Tookie” or someone with a similar name who was involved with most of the male staff at the East Grinstead Sorting Office. She was known as being a “bit of a Tart” as they say. That’s where your Bruce is employed, isn’t he Caroline? Then again, you probably know all this already, so it can’t come as much of a shock to you, can it dear?
And as it’s Christmas I’m sure you can let bygones be bygones, don’t you know.