Clarice, Lady Frumpington-Otter

I’m slightly nervous today as my Great Aunt is passing by on her way to visit Roland Clarke on the launch of his new book “Hooves”. Cameron has gone into hiding as she totally disapproves of his lifestyle and insists that if the silly boy had only taken riding lessons in his youth he might have turned into a damn fine young man.

Ahem! So please welcome Lady Frumpington-Otter (known to the family as “Ottie”).

Many thanks, Pudding. Oh, yummy, port. Those glasses aren’t the family crystal ones, are they? You know very well that your Great Grand mama willed them to me.

No, Ottie, they’re very cheap imitation ones. So please do tell us a little about your life before you became an equine expert and horse judge.sidesaddle

Horse judge? Dear heavens! I know you have gone all arty-farty and esoteric, child, but I’m much more than that, don’t you know!

Where should I start? Of course I had my coming out ball in 19… oh I forget and I was engaged to a rather nice young captain in the Royal Arse Hortillery, erm, Coarse Fritillery, no – Horse Artillery! That’s it.

But I had to give a demonstration of side saddle dressage in Hungary and I met this absolutely charming knife thrower from a circus which was performing in the same town. This was, of course, during the days of the Cold War so our liaison seemed doomed to disaster, despite our mutual love of whips, spurs and all things leather.

But you managed to get him out of Hungary, didn’t you, Aunt? It’s a famous family dinner-party story. Lazlo

Yes, with the help of a rather charming Austrian diplomat, actually. Pudding, dear – is there any more of that chocolate cake? Yes, another port would be fine.

So, Klaus, the Austrian diplomat agreed to disguise himself with Lazlo as a pantomime horse in exchange for my Hanoverian warm-blood, Maximillian (seemed a good exchange to me – one Hungarian knife thrower for a horse I could replace)

So Klaus filled in the import papers for a horse that didn’t exist and you crossed the border with them in your horse-box as a pantomime horse?

Yes, I believe poor Klaus’ back was never the same afterwards but Lazlo and I were very happy. Of course we were shunned by polite society but we produced some rather good offspring and lots of horses, dogs etc.

Must be off, Pudding, I’m due at Roland’s. Thanks for the port. Cheery-bye!

And that, friends, was my Great Aunt. I think I need a lie down!


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