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Advice From Aunt Ethel

by Aunt Ethel

Featherstonedough Manor
Lower Fotheringay on Strognobbin, Derybshire
13th July, Year of Our Lord 2009

My dearest nephew Eric,

I write again having just received your note from the hospital. I can't tell you how distressed I was to learn that you have been injured during a melee with these awful Tank Men. I collapsed into an arm chair and called for Purvisbotter (our new butler - you will remember that Throgsnifton passed away last Whistunday while setting out the croquet course). He brought me a pink gin, which made me feel a little better and strong enough to have another. Once the second bottle of gin was empty, I immediately retired to my salon to write to you.

Am I to understand that these men are conducting military exercises? I do hope that you are not tempted to join them - if you want to serve your Queen (long may she reign!) and Country (Rule Britannia), you will report to your Father's Regiment, the Second Light Prancers. A few years in the Far East would be good for you and keep you away from these wretched fighting men (and from young ladies of dubious carriage).

I am perturbed to hear that Mister Neil caused damage to the castle. All Englishmen must take great care to preserve the few remaining vestiges of the Glorious Years of the Empire. I trust you carefully replaced the stones which fell on your head before departing for the hospital.

Given the state of the National Health System, I am deeply worried that you will not be treated well in the hospital. If you wish to convalesce here at the manor house, call Purvisbotter on the telephone and I will send him to collect you in the motor carriage. I'm sure this Nurse Nellie means well, but I question the care are receiving if she feels she needs to invite you to her abode to give you a decent meal. (No offense to the young lady, but jelly and ice-cream are Not What You Need to recuperate - some boiled mutton and roasted turnips would do you the World of Good, especially if accompanied by a small jug of claret.) You will of course need a chaperone for your visit - I suggest you send a note to the vicar at St. Aethelminster's and ask if the verger or one of the church ladies can accompany you.

Keep a Stiff Upper Lip, my dear boy, and know that you are in our prayers.

Your Aunt Ethel