Much as I yearn for an era when children associated Easter with spiritual matters rather than culinary intake, I have decided to impart a measure of cheer to local, less privileged offspring. I believe there are quite a number. No doubt the limited incomes of their parents regularly stretch to procuring copious quantities of tobacco and alcohol, of course, but then not everyone’s priorities are correctly aligned. Perhaps the Chancellor’s recent budgetary announcements may in some way positively influence the moral outlook of those parents who doubtless took on the role with little forethought and even less planning.
To this end I have advised the Vicar to include a modicum of financial guidance in his Easter Sunday address. Such revelations might even be transferred to printed pamphlets and popped through the letterboxes of those properties displaying nicotine stained net curtains. Outreach at its basic level, I believe. The Reverend assures me he is considering my proposal.
But to return to my hitherto mentioned project. I have already summoned a number of retailers to Farthing Hall where, to my delight, they assented to donate chocolate eggs. True, I was dissuaded from my initial suggestion of distribution via means testing. Yet how I would have found the time to undertake this task I cannot imagine what with my preoccupation collaborating with a courier company. I trust the chosen driver is now en route to the south coast where a shipment of Swiss chocolates is awaiting delivery to The Hall.
In addition I rang the Headmistress of the village school this morning and suggested that, as part of their Domestic Science syllabus, children make and decorate their own chocolate eggs then arrange them in hand woven baskets. This turned out to be a remarkably difficult conversation. To have reached such a lofty position in charge of a school – albeit a State one - without appreciating the negative impact of confrontation is incomprehensible. I do hope she extends more politeness to her charges than she did to me.
And now to my other seasonal duties. I have instructed the Housekeeper to acquire fragrant soaps and towels. It is all very well for the elderly to turn up for their ritual Maundy Thursday foot cleansing, but the Vicar cannot be expected to sully his hands on grubby callouses.