The whole house has been in uproar this week!
It all began the morning after Burn’s Night when having discovered a missive from my Lord Byron – the maid servant Florence, (a foolish girl if ever there was!) took it upon herself to notify Cook of the contents.
Now, even though I was attending to some financial correspondence in my room at the time – the hysterical shrieking, wailing and bellowing from the kitchen below was simply too much and I had to leave my desk to investigate.
Upon my arrival downstairs, I observed Florence cowering in the furthest corner of the kitchen sobbing hysterically as Cook paced back and forth waving both letter AND cap frantically in the air while screaming ‘Carrots! Carrots! We need more carrots!’ at the terrified young kitchen hand.
Although I had not the slightest idea of what was going on – I quickly deduced that this scene of domestic discord had something to do with Cook’s letter and the supply and demand of the humble carrot.
As Cook rushed over to me clutching the letter – I immediately recognized the scrawl of my Lord Byron:
‘I must inform you that for a long time I have been restricted to an entire vegetable diet neither fish nor flesh coming within my regimen, so I expect a powerful stock of potatoes, greens & biscuit’
To say that I was utterly baffled at the conclusion of this letter was something of an understatement – particularly as the author was still ensconced with his bride and her family some two hundred and seventy miles away AND dining quite contentedly upon the fish plucked from the wild north eastern sea by recent reports!
Added to which was the letter was in fact dated ‘June 25 1811’ and addressed to the author’s late mother Mrs. Catherine Gordon Byron – two facts of some importance and both quite unnoticed by Florence AND Cook!
With all summoned to the kitchen table, I sought to calm those tears and fractured nerves over cups of tea and generous servings of Cook’s apple cake and my gentle inquiries to the reason for the earlier fuss were followed with a chuckle from footman Arthur Gray.
‘Why? ‘Tis still Veganuary Mrs. S.’ says he.
Mrs. S.’‘January 31 1815’