This week Queen Elizabeth II became Britain’s longest serving Monarch. We may not be royalty but this seems the perfect time to tell you about the time we took an imaginary trip across the pond.
It might sound completely mental to imagine we are traveling to the UK, but until we make “The Guardian Bestseller List” or our books are made into movies (we can dream) we’ll just have to pretend we’re visiting the places in our stories.
Start the day out with a Classic British Breakfast
fried eggs, bacon, sausages, baked beans, toast & tomato
Play a Very British Game of Dr. Who Yahtzee
Or watch “Doctor Who” while noshing on Jammie Dodgers
Visit a Local British Restaurant
Fish and Chips for Lunch
Spend the afternoon reading the words of a British Author.
J.R.R. Tolkien, Lewis Carroll, Jane Austen, Charlotte Bront, Emily Bront, Charles Dickens, C.S. Lewis, Ian Fleming, Roald Dahl, and Agatha Christie…just to name a few.
Decorate the dinner table for a “Doctor Who” Dinner
Yummy fish sticks and custard
Cassandra Pizza and Bow Tie Pasta
So, if you ever do get to Jolly Ole England, remember…pants mean underwear, sweaters are called jumpers, and trainers are tennis shoes.
If you’re not too knackered from the “trip” curl up on your settee with a cuppa and read this scene from HOLLOWED HUMUSARA, introducing our favorite “Britishy” butler, Chesterfield.
At that moment the castle’s ornate wooden doors swung open and a slender man descended the stairs. He wore an old fashioned black tuxedo with long coat tails, a crisp white shirt, and a bow tie. His salt and pepper hair was meticulously combed back. Skylee thought he looked like he had just stepped from the pages of a Jane Austen novel.
Chrism, who was still slightly out of breath from dancing, stepped up to Skylee and let out a soft snort. “Where’d Phileas find him, Buckingham palace?”
Skylee gave her sister a poke in the ribs without taking her eyes off the approaching man. “More like the Antarctic,” she murmured back, resisting an urge to laugh.
“What the heck?” said Chrism, wrinkling up her forehead.
“Antarctic…penguins?” Skylee softly replied. “Get it?”
“Oh, I got it” she said, rolling her eyes. “Honestly, does everything have to be about wildlife with you?”
Skylee shrugged and grinned.
“Welcome to Mogg Castle,” said the man when he reached the bottom of the stairs. “My name is Chesterfield, the caretaker here. ‘Tis a pleasure to make your acquaintance.” He spoke in a prim and proper British accent.
Skylee noticed something odd about him. His facial features seemed almost immobilized. But before she could study him more closely, a squeaky little meowing sound caught her attention. A rather large cat with fluffy orange and white fur had followed him down the steps. As the caretaker introduced himself to the adults, the cat scurried up and rubbed against Skylee’s legs.
Kneeling down, she stroked it gently. “Ooo, such a big kitty, she cooed. “Yes…let’s see…are you a Maine Coon? I think so…yes I do… Aren’t you a good…uh, girl? No…no, you’re a boy…aren’t you?”
“Aaaaw,” said Chrism, joining her to pet the cat. “Look at him, he’s so gorgeous! And he reminds me of someone.”
And just like that, Skylee was struck with an unnerving thought. Ever since her sister had turned into a bear and then a snake—not to mention seeing Levi, the Silvereye, flying around her hotel room—she couldn’t see animals in the same way. Now, she found herself wondering if they were a Corporus.
Well, if I could shift I’d be a cat, she thought, looking closer at the kitty. His large eyes shone like golden glass and his fur felt too soft to be real.
“Hello young miss,” said Chesterfield, bowing slightly to Chrism, and then pivoting to bow to Skylee. “Miss Porter, I see you’ve met our resident cat.”
Skylee stood. “Oh, hi—yes sir—we have. What’s his name?”
“We call him Mr. Chi.”
“Oh, what does it mean?” asked Skylee.
“The name has many meanings,” he said. “In China it is the energy of life or literally air, and the traditional unit of length, sometimes referred to as a Chinese foot. It can also mean dragon. In Greek it is the twenty-second letter in the alphabet. And in some urban settings it means an extremely attractive person, a hottie.”
“Er, well, thanks,” muttered Skylee, glancing over at Chrism, who stood gawking at Chesterfield as though he had just spouted a second head. “That was a very, um, very thorough definition.”
“You are welcome, miss.”
“Huh—can’t believe it,” Chrism muttered under her breath. “He might actually give her a run for her money.”
“Who?” asked Skylee with furrowed brows. “What are you talking about?”
Her sister smirked. “I’m just saying that Chesterfield here reminds me of another Wiki-fact wizard I know.”
“You are mistaken, miss,” said Chesterfield in a corrective yet tactful tone. “It is true that my data is accessed via Internet and includes an extensive number of dictionaries, glossaries, encyclopedias and web browsers, but I rarely scan Wikipedia.”
“Ooo…kay?” said Chrism, looking puzzled.
Skylee let out a small laugh and glanced nervously at the caretaker’s expressionless face. Is he for real? she wondered. She was searching her brain for the right thing to say when her mother stepped closer.
“Oh, Pumpkin,” she said, picking up the cat, which had still been weaving in and out of Skylee’s calves. “He seems to really like you.” She handed the furry feline to her.
Skylee cradled him in her arms. “He’s so perfect.”
“Correct, young miss, he is an android pet, a DroidCo Nine model. Mr. Mogg has equipped the manor with the finest technology, take myself for example I am a DroidCo Generation Twenty.”
“You’re an ANDROID!” Chrism blurted out, and then clamped her hand over her mouth.
Everyone stopped talking and looked at Chesterfield.