Blandings Castle sparkled in the winter frost.
After a crisp, clear day, the sun was beginning to set and a tranquil calm descended upon the Castle and its inhabitants. Beach the Butler was in his pantry, enjoying a special drop of port, which he had been saving for the occasion. Lord Emsworth was dozing in a favourite armchair with Whiffle’s ‘Care of the Pig‘ across his lap.
Somewhere outside, amongst the evergreen shrubberies – or perhaps the kitchen garden, where bare fruit trees created a romantic silhouette in the fading light – an assignation between lovers was taking place. And in the warmth of her sty, the Empress of Blandings lay in contented majesty after feasting on her Christmas provisions.
Off in the distance, the twinkling lights of Market Blandings had begun to flicker, and a hum of woozled carolling from the Beetle and Wedge drifted upon the winter air.
May the simple pleasures of Blandings be yours this Christmas!
In memory of Murray Hedgcock