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Published on January 9th, 2013 | by The Town Crier


Horse’s Mouth

At Town Crier, we occasionally get letters from readers seeking advice on all manner of personal situations. They could be questions of etiquette, social faux-pas or family matters. We are always happy to help and so we have enlisted the help of a local stalwart who in her own words has seen it all and calls a spade a gardener. Lady Ophelia d’Knight, (Offa to her friends, but we’re allowed to call her lady d’Knight), will be happy to answer any of your queries in future issues.


Dear Lady d’Knight

Perhaps you can help with an annual dilemma. Every year my mother, rather than asking what I want for Christmas, puts together a hotch potch package of ‘gifts’ for me which I’m pretty sure she finds lurking in the back of her own cupboards. Last year for example, she gave me a coat hook, the kind you have to screw onto the back of your door, and a peg bag. I don’t even have a washing line, I tumble dry everything. It’s very difficult to always feign gratitude, and I’m always expected to act as if the best thing I’ve ever received. How can I either get her to give me something I’d really like or just not bother?



Dear KW

I’m sorry to say that there really isn’t anything you can do without causing offence, something incidentally that mothers are allowed to do but daughters aren‘t. Your mother might be giving you things she feels you need. Are you prone to leaving your coats lying around? And perhaps you should think about getting a washing line to help save the planet not to mention your electricity bill. Just keep smiling, accept the gifts gracefully and then ‘donate’ them to your local charity shop.


Lady d’Knight


Dear Lady d’Knight

Whenever my teenage son leaves the house, his attire leaves rather a lot to be desired. It’s not just that he’s scruffy but he looks as if he lives on the streets. How can I get him to smarten up his act?



Dear ET

According to my young trendy friends, this is the look amongst youngsters. It’s hard to tell the difference between homeless and hipster. Looking on the bright side, and least you’re not having to fork out £100 on a Jack Wills sweatshirt, and with a bit of luck, passers-by are dropping money at his feet so he can cover the cost of his own McDonalds.

Lady d’knight


Dear Lady d’Knight

I am writing to you with regards to one of your recent columns. In it you claimed that giving someone a meal of cold shoulder of mutton was the equivalent of giving them the brush off, or implying that it was time your guests should sling their hooks.

As a small holder, raising my own lambs for my table, I can tell you that there is no finer dish than cold shoulder of lamb particularly when served with a bit of bubble and squeak and piccalilli.



Dear SH

My comments were not meant to cause offence, indeed I’d hoped that I was sharing my knowledge regarding the origins of a British saying. I have spoken with cook and she assures me that shoulder of lamb is no longer a cheap option for dining, and she concurs that it goes well with bubble and squeak. Although personally I’ve never eaten it, probably because I understand it consists of fried left-over vegetables. I don’t eat leftovers. And I haven’t been able to eat piccalilli since I was in India in the ‘50’s. Being a lady, I shan’t go into details. Needless to say, I don’t eat much as I agree with Wallis Simpson in that one can never be too rich or too thin.




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