Tally Ho, anchors aweigh and how the Dickens are you?
Bit of a curtailed missive this, I fear. One is rather unwell this weather dontcha know? Not a sore-head, windy-bottom, never-again Sunday morning illness either.
No. This is the real thing: the General’s bootlaces, the curate’s egg – the sore head, runny nose and chesty cough variety of unwell.
So you find me still within the four-poster, a-coughing and a-spluttering into a silk kerchief. A bit like those Romantic poet Wallahs of yore really: all doom, gloom and atomic-powered self-sympathy. Minus the consumption and syphilis though. And spitting up blood.
Not that any bugger in the household would notice if I were expectorating the red stuff. Damned ingrates, I could be dying here. But no, they’d rather blather on about Rafael Federer getting the heave-ho at Wimbers and how this is Andy Nadal’s year than ensuring this poor invalid’s hot toddy is within easy reach.
I managed to dig deep within myself though, shout for My Man Carruthers and order him to summon medical assistance for yours truly v. quickly, pronto and as soon as can be. With all his claimed ailments he’s bound to be on first-name terms with the chit of a girl that secretaries for the bag carriers.
But the silly old bugger didn’t have the faintest notion of what one was tootling on about. Shows how dicky the old vocal cords are if you ask me.
“Would you,” I croaked, “phone the doctor fella? Tell him his pills, unctions and presence are required ASAP.”
He simply stared at me as if he’d caught me in bed with his daughter again.
“Does Your Grace require another wee whisky?” he asked.
“No,” I said with all the vim and vigour at hand, which was not a lot, “I want a cure for this disease wreaking through the old capillaries.”
“And not a whisky?”
“Well a small one,” I relented. I didn’t wish to hurt the old ogre’s feelings by rebuffing his obvious concern, y’see.
“As Your Grace wishes,” he said, before scooping up the half-full tumbler at my side.
“And don’t forget to get hold of the medical chap,” I instructed. “This is a dire emergency here. Dial 999 if you have to.”
“Should I speak to the doctor before I fetch your whisky?” he asked.
“Oh, bloody good show Carruthers,” I said, nothing wrong with applauding the minions now and again. “Have a chat with the surgery first.”
That was an hour ago. I’m still waiting on my dram and it’s like a bally desert in here I can assure you.
On reflection, I should have insisted that something whisky this way comes above all else. Didn’t think the bloody phone lines would be so busy though.
But, hey ho! One lives and learns.