Life continued, and Lady Tredegar acquired her second husband within a week, when Michael stepped into the role. Here we see him looking distracted; he can hardly be blamed, with Fagin and the Artful Dodger given free reign of his ancestral home, it was a trying time for His Lordship. How many spoons bearing the Morgan family crest made it into the pockets of these Victorian ne'er do wells, only the House Steward, after much consultation with the Housekeeper, could be sure.
The new Lord Tredegar decided to rename his butler 'Rutting'; a name that has given him great amusement ever since he first encountered it in the Middle East some years ago. Although 'Rutting the Butler' sounds more like an old English custom than a name, I assumed the title with grave dignity. A butler should always set an example to others Below Stairs, in both appearance and manners. When talking he must be polite and deferential; when walking he should be, as PG Wodehouse put it "a stately procession of one."
Unfortunately, I also had to help carry the prams and pushchairs from the Side Hall down into the Housekeeper's Room for collection. It is hard to be taken seriously when you are pushing a pink, double-seater pushchair (complete with fluffy toy poking out of the seat) through a crowded house of merry makers. I craved the sanctuary of the Butler's Pantry!