An extract from the autobiography of the much fabled
Twattersley Fromage MBE, TP, UFC, WNKR of the First Order & Jolly Decent Chap
My quest a simple yet illustrious one that would herald the dawn of a new heroic age of exploration. At the behest of none other than Her Majesty herself I had willingly consented to her request that one of her own from this great nation of ours be the first to reach the North Pole walking backwards no less! And it was there in the Arctic Circle at my base camp on that frozen sea of ice and just 60 miles from the pole that I received the problematic telegram that would tear at my loyalties to the two most important women in my life namely our treasured Queen and my beloved Agnes. It read;
Dearest Twattersley (STOP) Daddy is in a spot of bother (STOP) The shit has hit the fan (STOP) Seems a syndicate of his creditors have called in his debts (STOP) They desireth to foreclose on the Manor rendering us all homeless (STOP) Like the common blue-collar plebs are more often than not (STOP) Thing is (STOP) Oops that was not meant to be a ‘stop’ (STOP) Ivor ‘Gawpy’ Leer the famous artist has offered me a small fortune to pose for him (STOP) Enough in point of fact to get Daddy off the hook (STOP) You do remember ‘Gawpy’ don’t you? (STOP) Think you were both at Eton together (STOP) Whatever he wants me to pose nude (STOP) Needs must when devil drives and all that (STOP) Am not comfortable posing for ‘Gawpy’ unchaperoned given his salubrious reputation (STOP) I know you are a tad busy doing something or other in the frozen north (STOP) Yet I am due to attend his Notting Hill studio on Thursday coming (STOP) We are so broke I will even have to take the bus along with all the disgusting hoi polloi to get there (STOP) Oh do oh do chaperone me there Twattersley (STOP)
My everlasting love (STOP)
PS (STOP) Do bring along one of your thermal vests for afterwards as ‘Gawpy’ says his place can be on the chilly side (STOP)
That bloody cad and bounder ‘Gawpy’ Leer has put his oar in where it is not wanted yet again. His reputation with the ladies goes before him…he even had his evil way with house nurse Chubither Chubly at Eton and she could haunt for The British Empire. Plainly I could not allow my dear Agnes to fall prey to him. Moreover our love being ‘winter found’ I myself had not yet seen Agnes with even her gloves off let alone the whole kit and kaboodle. Certainly ‘Gawpy’ was not going to get first dibs on that front if I could do anything about it. Of course, my problem was that the day the telegram arrived was a Tuesday; Agnes would be taking her kit off for ‘Gawpy’ just two days hence yet plainly I could not let our Sovereign down.
Luckily in preparing for the expedition I had not just practised walking but also running backwards…the latter being a safety measure in case I was attacked by a polar bear or such like. In training I had even managed to run backwards for 400 yards in just 20 seconds. Not bad for a novice. Whatever I had little choice but to amend my original plan. It was thus that I determined to run backwards at speed to the pole; affix thereupon the Union Flag; take a quick snap as evidence then rush back to Blighty for Agnes thus keeping both ladies happy as Larry.
So immediately after a swift energizing nibble on a piece of Kendal Mint Cake I donned my “teardrop” snowshoes (akin to a tennis racquet for the uninitiated) back to front and was off like a rocket to claim magnetic north for Queen and Empire. It only took me just 72 minutes to reach the pole whizzing past a cartwheeling Kraut in a leotard (typical Germanic exhibitionist in my book) and a naked Swede on a monocycle, en route as only a true Brit can. I planted our flag in the snow took a nifty snap and headed off homeward bound. Albeit a bit of a sprint I got back to base in no time and boarded an ice-breaker bound for Spitsbergen. From there and with the assistance of a helpful Norwegian moose breeder I mounted a hot air balloon (not literally I stress for that would be a sickening perversion of sorts) with a view to crossing the North Sea and hopefully landing near a train line with a London connection out of Lowestoft. Sadly it was not meant to be. I hit an area blighted by a serious low pressure weather system halfway across and the resulting storm caused me to crash land upon a fishing boat bound for Arbroath in Scotland. I must say I’ve never really taken to the Sweaties (good old Cockney slang for Scots, by the way). Most likely because I cannot understand a word they say. I’ve always held the view that one needs a translator when north of Hadrian’s Wall…well in truth north of the Thames. Still with a little sign language the captain of the vessel got my drift and hurried along the best he could toward the herring smoke houses Arbroath is so famous for.
As a thank you I helped the crew unload their rather smelly catch and was on my way south. However by the time I had run like billy-o as far down as Newcastle a tiredness overwhelmed me. Fortunately I had stopped at a place by the name of ‘Marjorie’s Black Pudding Emporium’ for sustenance and slumped over the counter a weary man. Marjory herself, a buxom gal, took pity and offered me her charity insisting, I must add, that I first shower off the pong of smoked fish and sweat that was about my personage. That she joined me in said shower an added bonus although being scrubbed down with a galvanised metal scourer did rather take the edge off things…some crucial to my very being. The locals she told me call her the ‘Lucrezia Borgia of the North East’ and, having been well and truly rubbed up the wrong way, I can understand why.
Moving on, given that it was now Wednesday morning and after Marjory had primed my breakfast sausage by firm hand (commenting that she adored the manner in which I munched at her undoubted delicacies with such relish) I was off without so much as a by your leave as time was of the essence if I was to save Agnes from Gawpy’s roving hands. However, the problem was that I had heard on the radio whilst breakfasting that there were major traffic disruptions on the A1 trunk road. It was therefore fortuitous when I stumbled across a small bespectacled child…I must say he surely had fantastic eyesight to see through those amazingly thick lensed glasses…willing to trade his skateboard for the last bar of Kendall Mint Cake I had in my rucksack. I certainly made sound headway skating this way and that through the throng of traffic jams toward London. By nightfall I had got as far south as Luton no less. Lots of Johnny Foreigners live in Luton and I found one living rough under a railway arch who was prepared for a small fee to give me a piggyback ride the 34 miles to Notting Hill, London, W11. Although the chap was manifestly malnourished he was up for the task although I must say his turban made the ride less than comfortable, we got on well…he even carried me through the night braving pouring rain and storm winds ensuring that late morning I was delivered up outside Gawpy’s studio ready for the off on the chaperoning front.
Albeit in a wretched state and devoid of sufficient beauty sleep…I’ve always found it hard to nod off on the shoulders of a Sikh as it happens…I made a dart for the front door. It was unlocked and I entered, rushing up to the first floor studio thinking I’d got there in the nick of time only to find Agnes stark naked laying upon a chaise longue and a salivating Gawpy (I’ve always despised the way he dribbles in the company of ravishing womenfolk) painting away like a good ‘un. Yet again the bastard had got one over on me on the female front!
“Agnes my love your chaperone is here for you…and Gawpy don’t you even think of trying anything on with my Agnes…pistols on Hampstead Heath at dawn if you do, Sir.”
Agnes piped up, “Little too late for that Twattersley…we have…how shall I put it…um…already consummated our love for one another…and I must say I’ve never had so much fun in my life…at least Gawpy isn’t like you…a boring twat, Twat…and he’s bailed out daddy to boot!”
“You’ve done what Agnes! Here’s me having made my way with some haste from the North Pole risking life and limb and now you tell me you are in love with this scallywag.”
“Sorry about that Twattersley, in hindsight you need not have rushed, or for that matter, bothered at all…anyway I don’t need your services any longer and the engagement, obviously, is off.”
Plainly I was mortified yet being a stiff upper lipped Englishman I made no show of my anguish merely saying, “Right then Agnes if that is what you want I shall take of my leave…by the way where shall I put the thermal vest you wanted?”
“Oh Twattersley you fool, even you must know that a woman in love has no need for a thermal vest. You may as well keep it…bye Twatters…see you around no doubt.”
I left Notting Hill a broken man.