I write this morning from my kitchen table after a long and eventful week both at the Smokery and at Pattisson Towers!
It started a full week ago, which I have to admit feels a tiny bit more like a month, when Charlie and I finally agreed that due to the monsoon raging outside there probably weren’t any more excuses we could find to avoid turning the boys beds into the bunk beds they were designed to be. Now, you may remember that I have occasionally alluded to the fact that I am genuinely the world’s most impractical man so the very thought of embarking on such a task, even just as my wife’s lowly foot solider, leaves me short of breath and in all honesty a tad grumpy! I have since been informed by everyone who came into contact with me last Sunday that the phrase “Tad Grumpy” does not even come close to the horrendous reality they apparently had to endure! Anyway after a good deal of sighing and the occasional curse regarding both the state of the boys bedroom and the “quality of Philips screwdrivers these days” mount bunk bed was conquered, our marriage was hanging by a thread and the boys were literally bouncing off the walls and indeed the top bunk with excitement! It was at this point that Mrs P decided to strike a deal with Stan. The deal offered was that now he had a bunk bed he had to sleep in it all night as swapping with his father at 2am was no longer an option. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to be proud or ashamed with his response which was “what present do I get if I sleep in my own bed for a whole week?”. His mother who clearly had unbeknownst to me dropped one of the beds on her head and concussed herself in their erection, said “what would you like?”. In less than a second he replied with words that until then I did not know even existed in a sentence in that order. “A Rainbow Barbie Doll”. I suspected strongly that Edith had possibly had a strong influence on this rather unusual choice but then again lets not forget that when he is not Stan he is his alter ego of Martha who has a splendid collection of his sisters cast off dresses! The deal struck he has proceeded to sleep all night in his own lower bunk. Yesterday morning his mothers half of the deal was produced and the extraordinary out pouring of excitement would probably suggest that Edith had no hand at all in his choice! I attach a picture in way of proof and also just in case there are any of you out there that need to know exactly what a ‘Rainbow Barbie Doll’ looks like!
Enough of that madness the other reason it has been such a long week is because we have been signing off the new catalogues and taking delivery of them from the printers. They will begin to arrive with you towards the end of next week and I hope you approve. We were also informed that we would be having our annual Environmental Health Audit on Thursday which turned out to be six hours in length and although we passed with flying and very complimentary colours is quite nerve wracking and a tad exhausting. Finally, yesterday we had a whole and completely new flue installed on the hot smoker which is long overdue and looks fantastic Tim won’t know himself tomorrow and I’m sure the chaps who spent the whole day on the roof installing it have hopefully warmed up again by now.
Our October Box is proving hugely popular as are many of our hampers which folk are sending to loved ones and friends who find themselves slightly re-immersed in less than liberal worlds of movement and making merry according to where they are situated! We can sadly do nothing at all about who is allowed to do what, with who and when BUT we can and will carry on delivering anything you or your pals may like delivered to their, or your, doors.
I will leave you now having clearly banged on even longer than usual for which I apologise. I have been told by Bertie and the rest of the loons and Mrs P that I have to record the fact that today I become the oldest person working at the Smokery by 16 years, somehow 15 was bearable. For this to be possible clearly I must have an incredibly young team, which I do, as Amber as the next oldest was very keen to point out. I have been spoilt rotten and presented with a brand spanking new golf bag which I will be using with pride for the next two days as I am skiving off to play golf and make merry with three great pals. Just between you and me having to ensure 2 metres distance at all times from Peter, Coxy and William is a significant blessing and one I am extremely grateful to Boris for!
Have a great rest of Sunday and if anyone knows who is responsible for the design and longevity of Phillips Screwdrivers these days give them a good kick in the pants from me. I must truly be approaching old man status as I nearly wrote ‘they don’t make them like they used to!
My very very best regards,