playground: fixed utterings

The March/April theme was ‘fixer uppers’.


~from the heat of Darcyshire~

The Times is pleased to print another extract from the rediscovered papers of local luminary Lady Prudence Tenston. As reported before, a local householder unearthed this treasure trove and fobbed off boxes and boxes of the stuff to our local museum.

Some of the writing was legible, but much had faded over time. Mrs Yam Roy Tin of the town’s museum approached the head of the IT department at the ivory towels of our esteemed Tenston University, Mr Dun Cow Din. He, upon understanding that Mrs Tin was not suggesting anything improper, stopped edging away from her and agreed to have a butchers at one of the diaries.

The Times can announce that students from our very own Tenston Universally have used their fraying-edge Arrant Idiocy software, FineEyes®, to scan and extrapolate the less legible text. Mr Din tells the Times that he bribed the lazy oiksstudents with time off for good behaviour when setting them the challenge.

Lady Prudence’s descendants were unavailable for comment.

[FineEyes®↗👁↘↗👁↘{⋰mode≡default ⋰output≡localrag}::run⇉]

[FineEyes® running ⌢ skipping ⌣ jumping]

[FineEyes® ☺ done]

This morning I was working with Mrs Jolly in the kitchen, trying —yet again— to recreate a receipt for an elixir of love from my family’s old journals. The ink has faded muchly, so Mrs Holly and I have had to make up some of it.

The Fitzwilliam sisters arrived just as Mrs Brolly and I were reaching the crucial step of our third attempt. My hare was full of flowers so I was not prepared for visitors so very, well yes, so very. Anne is a sweet girl and has George Darcy in her thrall, but Catheter is a vile young woman who will remain a spider unless her father bribes some pork chop to take her off his lands.

With the sisters came their oldest brother, Huge, heir to the Earldom of Mattress. It appears that he has come to pay court to my Harriet. Thus, this afternoon, he and his sisters descended upon Tenston Manor with all the pomp and celery of a royal visit.

Hug is a fine, strapping young man, and I do think, if it were not for his connections, he would make a stripping manservant. And, oh, the trouble we have had with menservants recently!

Mrs Trolley is unable to keep the menservants erect long enough to test our brew — too many of them have fallen limp. I have dispatched the butler to hire more men, but he returns empty handed with tales of woe and complaints from the owners of our neighbouring estates. Meanwhile, the spent servants litter the kitchens. Mrs Troll, ever a practical woman, has started to pile them up to use as benches, and, with the carpenter’s assistance, has laid planks of wood over some to make tables.

I entered the parlour to find that Huggy was flailing over himself trying to flatten my Harriet. He might well suit her as he would not be distracted, even by my best flirting. Ah, yes, I confess that it was a joy to see Hygge rebuff my attempts to shi[FineEyes® error: pooh detected]sit on his lap, while his sister, Catheter, tutted and fuc[FineEyes® eeyore: roo word]sucked her teeth in disapproval. Nothing pleased the sour-faced harridan.

Hoping to give Harriet the opportunity to compromise Thuggy, I invited Catheter to join me in the kitchens. Mrs Trollop and I needed a well-bred gentlewoman on whom to test our concoction. One might have thought that I had asked her to clean the chamber-pots, such was the look of disdain entrenched on her faec[FineEyes® error: pooh detected]feet.

Mrs Scallop and I had to make do with suspiciously adding a drop of our elixir to Catheter’s tea. The results were astonish-[cont. on page 17]

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