The early part of the year was dominated by landscaping the grounds; Fezziwig, the landscape architect, had levelled the area behind the mansion prior to putting in the folly - a full-size replica of the Pantheon - but unfortunately the Combined Cadet Force from Tarquin's school mistook the place for a full size replica battlefield and put one of their flags through the gas main whilst doing a march past.
Luckily, those little oiks puffing at their Woodbines behind the stables were just within striking distance of the blast, and came to a tidy end. Saved embarrassing discussions with Plod, eh what?
Once the crater had been refilled (we failed to mention that newts had moved in during the interim) and they'd taken away the protective barriers, we were able to leave the grounds and took Lucretia's mother, Morgana, to Thailand for a sunshine break. Frightfully primitive once one left the confines of the hotel, but it was possible to obtain cucumber sandwiches, with proper cutlery. With the air conditioning, one could quite imagine one was still in Tunbridge Wells. Morgana expressed some dissatisfaction at the fact that all the hotel staff were foreign, mind, but we gave her a timely reminder that it can get terribly chilly in Salcombe at this time of year.
Tarquin continues to shine in his studies, obtaining top grades for his A/S Levels in Mathematics, Pure Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Statistics, Mechanics, Even Further Mathematics and The Correct Use of a Slide Rule. He gained a distinction for Grade 8 Violin and took the leading role in the school production of 'Second from Last in the Sack Race'. He has represented the school in rugby, cricket, tennis and athletics. The cleaner was nevertheless disconcerted to find approximately 53 bras, worn and in varying sizes, under his bed - but then boys will be boys I suppose.
Cordelia has refused to visit the family since being released from Holloway in August. We are hoping she will at least wear a wig to disguise the shaven head and tattoos when she attends the wedding of cousin Branwell and the lovely Camilla next March.