Open letter from Matron,
Mrs H. Plantagenet-Featheringstonehaugh:
To whom it may concern,
There are several vacancies on the Staff at present, due to illnesses and certain circumstances beyond our immediate and personal control. Needless to say; when the Chief Constable of Surrey has been approached and reminded that he has several obligations to myself (Mrs Plantagenet-Featheringstonehaugh), things will be running on a more even keel and the Home will be able to be up and running as efficiently as in former times.
In the meantime, one would be most grateful if one's friends and acquaintances were to put the word about that these vacancies need to be filled soonish, rather than later. These positions range from the Temporary through Semi-Permanent to Permanent.
One feels that a few words of explanation are called for. Applicants should be cognisant of the duties and history of the post for which they would be making application. Needless to say, there are some very sensitive issues pertaining to the Residents, Staff and Management of Twilight Lawns plc.
Only persons of Decent Class or those with exemplary standards of discretion and integrity need consider submission of their Curricula Vitae.
Doctor (or whatever)
A replacement Medical chap, a Doctor of Medicine,
whatever you like to call yourself.
A suitable candidate required. If he is a good chap, and if his credentials are reasonable enough, then perhaps we could come to a little arrangement.
My Dear Brother, Dr Plantagenet-Featheringstonehaugh, (I forget his Christian name at the present; we always called him La Dame aux Camelias, or Marguerite when he was a lad, as he liked to be addressed as such) has had to leave his practice in Crawley, Surrey, rather suddenly after an unfortunate incident when he was dining with one’s good friend, the Anglican Bishop of Crawley.
Apparently, one or two of the selfish little boys who attended, told their parents about the fancy dress (or lack of dress) series of parties that my brother was organising along with His Grace, Francis, and one particular incident was reported to a very unsympathetic local constabulary. The ghastly chaps, from the Sergeant, down to the meanest Constable, must surely have been Socialists.
Regardless, until my brother is able to return to the U.K. with any degree of safety, there will be a vacant position at Twilight Lawns plc for a Locum.
Those who would be interested would find the duties quite light. My brother was wont to pop along about once or twice a week and sit in his office for a while and then go home. Nurse Smythe is very capable, and if it were up to me, I would let her get along with it by herself. Unfortunately the British Medical Council has some very silly rules concerning Geriatric Care, and a fully qualified Doctor of Medicine (or the like) must be seen to be on the premises every now and again.
There are lots of lovely old dears and a few gentle old farts for the successful applicant to inspect on a very casual basis.
Successful Applicant must be able to provide: Some sort of documentary evidence to indicate suitability, but obviously if said applicant were of a decent class and spoke well, other shortcomings could be ignored.
If anyone is interested, please let Nurse Smythe know, or we might become saddled with some foreign chap, a Pole or a Romanian or the like,
Hilda Plantagenet-Featheringstonehaugh (Matron)
Full time Cook. Four Weeks Duration whilst present Cook is on Yearly Vacation
Cook will be on leave for four weeks from a period around Easter. The dates depend on the itinerary of the Surrey and West Sussex Ladies’ Hells Angels Club. Coming at Eastertide, which falls on a different date each year, her annual leave may be described as “a movable feast” (my little joke).
Cook will be travelling through the South of France with her little friends, and a Replacement Cook (Temporary) will be required for the four weeks that she is away. Inclusive Dates and Times will be available in the New Year.
We have tried to cover her absence in previous years, with some success, but Easter 2010 stands out as an unmitigated disaster when Mrs Patel and Mrs Eulalia Hawkins attempted to work in tandem and planned to create an 'Easter Banquet' based on a fusion of West Indian and Madrassi Cuisine. The riot which ensued when Mesdames Patel and Hawkins came to fisticuffs over the main course and the puddings will never be forgotten (or forgiven).
It was at that time that the first of the Easter Sunday Peace Accord Riots took place at The Lawn; riots which filled the local Cottage Hospital; not only with Residents and some Staff with broken limbs and severe lacerations, but the Nursing Sisters and Auxiliaries there were up all night, and most of the next day, stomach pumping some of the greedier old dears who had taken it upon themselves to eat whatever flew their way.
Successful Applicant must be able to provide: Good plain cooking is required for the Residents. Obviously, if one were to be entertaining one’s better class of visitor, a more adventurous cuisine, perhaps French or Northern Italian, would be appreciated, but for the period of cook’s absence one, and one’s guests could always eat at The Ritz or the Savoy or one of the nicer little restaurants in town.
Mrs H. Plantagenet-Featheringstonehaugh (Matron)
Head Gardener in the Absence of Tom Mould (Head Gardener):
Raj, the present Assistant Gardener, has plans to go on holiday to spend some time with his family in Pakistan or India, or wherever those chaps come from. He is an invaluable assistant to Tom Mould, and we will be hard pressed to maintain significant areas of beds and the kitchen garden, let alone the extensive grounds at Twilight Lawns, if they are both absent at the same time. Our dear little Wladyslaw, Czcibor and Józef are willing to continue with the more menial aspects of digging, pruning, watering and mowing, but as with most foreigners, they can’t really be trusted, so if they appear to misunderstand instructions, we have always found that a good deal of shouting usually works wonders, and they will do as they’re told. All foreigners, we have found, speak perfectly good English, but just pretend not to understand out of some perverse sense of enjoying being difficult. They will need a firm hand.
Of Interest to Applicants: Raj is a dedicated amateur gardener in his own right and has a very interesting collection of strange plants which he keeps at the back of the old stables. By serendipity, his cousin Samir is staying with him at present, and he will be able to water Raj’s collection and make sure they get enough Ultraviolet rays required to keep them healthy. However, if Samir is unavailable for any reason, these plants must be taken care of, as a priority. Discretion in this matter is paramount.
Other Aspects if the Post: We are sure that dear Raj will be sorely missed by one or two of the more lonely gentlemen.
Successful Applicants should not necessarily have darker skin, but there are opportunities to make a bit of extra “pocket money” if they are quite young, have a waist size of 30 ins – 32 ins and can look fetching dressed as an Arab Dancing Boy.
What extracurricular activities the successful applicant may indulge in will be completely his business, as long as discretion is strictly observed.
Miss Beryl Pugh (Secretary)
I must apologise to all those who applied for the position of Head Gardener at Twilight Lawns recently. Our Head Gardener, Mr Tom Mould had applied for his annual leave and it had been granted. Unfortunately, Betty, his constant companion happened to be browsing the Internet in Nurse Smythe’s office and discovered that Tom was planning, not only to take his vacation without Betty this year (He had told her that he had been unable to obtain a special passport and visa for her) but that he wasn’t planning to go to Venice for the Carnival, but had secretly planned on visiting the country town of Bindoon in West Australia. Bindoon is a town noted for sheep farming, sheep shearing contests, sheep breeding and a particularly friendly breed of sheep, know locally as “Woolly Smilers”.
Of course, Betty was outraged and accused Tom of being "nothing better than a sex tourist", and threatened to report him to the Animal Lovers’ League for inappropriate behaviour.
Needless to say, Tom won’t be travelling to the antipodes in search of fresh fields. Now Tom and Betty have rescheduled their holiday for a quiet, yet educational trip to Florence, where they have managed to find a charming pensione the ‘Pensione Bertolini’ and surprise, surprise, they have obtained a room with a view of the Arno.
(on behalf of Matron and Mr T. Mould)
The above is an advertisement for Dulcie cards.
All names & addresses are purely fictional; any similarities between persons, living or dead are coincidental & the product of a deranged mind.
Kitchen Assistant & Maid Of All Work.
Sharon is heavy with child. Naughty little Sharon (the slut) who not only works in the kitchen at Twilight Lawns, but also has a part-time job as a Femme de Chambre at ‘The Grange’, Norbury Market, will have to take maternity leave very shortly. She has been far too free with her favours, and contrary to what her grandmother told her, it is not possible to avoid pregnancy by spitting into the mouth of a bull frog. Needless to say, there are several frogs who live near the Virginia Woolf Memorial Pond, Twilight Lawns, who have had some very distressing midnight visits from our Miss Sharon. It must be ghastly to be woken late at night by some common little slut, standing over one and saying “Open up Freddie” or words to that effect. After all, one feels that frogs, also, must have standards of behaviour.
But I digress. Sharon will be off duty for a couple of weeks towards the end of the year, and it would be very useful if we could find a replacement. It would suit our purposes if the applicant were strong, but plain; too many complications arise when a servant is attractive to the opposite sex. So we require a good Maid Of All Work who is strong of arm, honest, able to follow simple orders and plain, if not downright ugly.
If ‘The Grange’ should so need her, the successful applicant should be prepared to go there and help out in an emergency. But no funny business, which was, no doubt, Sharon’s undoing, that has put her (and us) in this embarrassing situation.
Miss Beryl Pugh (Secretary)
Care Assistant with some experience in Physiotherapy for the Aged (Level 2 or higher)
Position open for a Care Assistant to take over when we are too busy to have to mess around when some Old Dears start to feel needy. The successful applicant will be stepping into the breach left when our former Care Assistant was dismissed for taking her duties far too lightly.
The former care assistant needs to be named as all should beware of the little minx: She was (and might probably still be) Ms Angelica Höchstrutter.
We all like a bit of fun and Twilight Lawns has had its fair share of fun in the past. One has only to watch the Residents at their fortnightly Housie Housie evenings, or to have watched them sitting enthralled when Sister Mary Perpetua’s Little Friends of Jesus entertained us with their Morris Dancing Extravaganza.
Lesson to be learned: Some audience participation was ill-advised. Beatrice will probably be permanently confined to a wheel chair after “Dobbin the Hobby Horse” in the form of a very fat seven year old fell on her. One must agree that sticks, swords, handkerchiefs and bells had never been perceived as particularly aggressive instruments until that memorable evening.
Unfortunately, the last Care Assistant incumbent (Ms Höchstrutter) went too far when she, (either through a wicked streak in a very unChristian soul, or because she just didn’t care about her charges in the least), set in motion a whole catalogue of unkindnesses which took a lot of explaining and a good deal of Police man-hours to untangle.
There are Specifics: (One feels that an explanation of what occurred should be made, so that the Successful Applicant knows where she/he stands and so that she/he will not make the same errors of judgement; mistakes; or indulge in just perversely cruel actions) of the wicked, wicked former Care Assistant. (Shame on you Ms Höchstrutter)
The elderly do need exercise, it is true, but the “Wrinkly Hunt” which Ms Höchstrutter allowed the Cub Scouts of the East Surrey Pack to organise was unnecessary, cruel, and only slightly amusing. Why the Reverend Hugh Halitosis didn’t discover what was going on and why he didn’t do something about it is beyond one.
How they managed to take all those Residents all the way to Farthing Downs is still unclear. To unleash them and then “hunt” them through the woods and across the open spaces with all those dreadful dogs; and those naughty little Cub Scouts shrieking and bellowing and beating the undergrowth with sticks is fuel for nightmares. It took days to round up some of the Old Dears, and to the present one has no idea of what happened to Clarice and Old Mr Potter. Let us assume that they are still living rough, or that some kind peasants have taken them in. Three months is a long time, however.
Care Assistant seems a somewhat empty title, when remembering the attitude of the ghastly Höchstrutter: There are many times during a full and busy day when one Resident or another wants some extra attention; perhaps they have fouled themselves or missed a couple of meals or fallen down in the ornamental garden or fallen into the Virginia Woolf Memorial Lake… some, if not all of the usual occurrences at Twilight Lawns. Our usual policy is to politely ignore them and get around to the problem at a more convenient time. That, we have found, works well and promotes continuity.
A Care Assistant, on the other hand, should show a little more care… that is part of her duties. Ms Höchstrutter had a stock reply when the Old Dears tended to be too needy: “Bugger off!”
Demon drink, we feel, was part of the reason (or one of the reasons) for her bizarre attitude to her post. She seldom spent the afternoons of any day in a sober enough state to do much, apart from striding around the Home in her flamboyant manner, whacking the side of her boot with her riding crop, barking out invectives and sneering at Staff and Residents alike.
We think that it was due to the encouragement of Demon Drink that led her to make an indecent proposal (with actions, invading her personal space) to Cook, when she strode into the kitchen and found Dear Cook, bending over, taking a tray of croissants out of the oven. Thank God, Eulalia Hawkins (Mrs) was present; heard Cook’s screams, and with the assistance of Raj, managed to drag that dreadful person off our Dear Sweet Cook.
It was at that stage that it was decided that the awful Ms Angelica Höchstrutter had to go, her contract as Care Assistant only partly complete.
Those interested in this post, please contact:
Miss Beryl Pugh (Secretary)
Dear Relatives, Friends, Visitors and Residents,
If you have enjoyed visiting Twilight Lawns plc, but would like to know a little more about us, one has pleasure in announcing that Maude, our Dear Maude, has compiled a series of anecdotes, tales and minor histories concerning our beloved Home.
Clever Maude, with the assistance of Raj and his computer, and also having access to the filing cabinet in Nurse Smythe’s Office, has put together what these modern technology chaps call a Kindle, or eBook.
(Heavens what bizarre words they use nowadays)
This is not, one must hasten to add, a real book, with real paper and bound in real, genuine Morocco leather, but one must move with the times one supposes.
This Kindle artefact is available online (whatever that should mean) under the title of ‘The Twilight Lawns Chronicles’ by Ian Dorking-Clark,
(This is either a nom de plume employed by Maude and/or Raj or is an actual resident, one of our more literary old gentlemen, currently residing in the Lord Kitchener Wing.
Your obedient servant,
Hilda Plantagenet-Featheringstonehaugh (Matron)
The Twilight Lawns Chronicles’ by Ian Dorking-Clark
Now available on Kindle, eBook, etc. See on line & at all reputable eBook sellers.
Copy and paste the following link into your browser:
AT TWILIGHT LAWNS plc
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