Posts Tagged ‘schooldays’

Christmas at Scarhelldeath Hall – epilogue

December 17, 2014


‘I had the whole thing sussed quite early on,’ I assured Noddy and his son later on, as we sat in his study, toasting crumpets in front of a roaring fire; Noddy and I sipping whisky, Noddy Minor enjoying a mug of cocoa (into which, yes, I admit, I had surreptitiously splashed a nip of whisky).

‘I briefly toyed with the idea that McPortillo was behind the whole thing, but a quick chat with the pink-kilted groundsman soon assured me he was oblivious to it all.’ I still wasn’t convinced that he hadn’t accepted the shilling from the ghastly women for help somewhere along the line, but sadly nowadays we can’t accuse without proof in this wretched politically correct world we live in.

The past few hours had been a hive of frenzy. The culprits were, as I suspected, my ex-wife Abigail and her lover, the soi-disant witch Pam. The local Plod had been called – and an ambulance – and we all helped to haul the wretched Pam out from under the debris. The silly woman was lucky she hadn’t been killed in the plummet from the ceiling, but apart from a few broken bones, concussion, severe scratches, a perforated eardrum, a dislocated hip and a splinter in her eye, she was unhurt.

Abigail was hysterical – I think I actually preferred her as the implacable human tank of a Matron – and it took a couple of slaps before she could calm down and explain the plot to us. And, I am afraid to say, it was partially my fault.

A while back, the pair of them had asked me to look after the dogs while they hunted for a house in which to set up a retreat for sapphic witches. I’d refused, pointing out I was taking the high road to Bonnie Scotland for my trip to Scarhelldeath Hall. The dratted pair must have squirreled themselves way in my library at the Rectory – my old home which I had been forced to bequeath to my ex-wife – done some research and concocted this dastardly plan to frighten poor old Noddy into flogging the Hall to them for a pittance. Obviously, Pam’s previous life as a magician’s assistant helped her stage all the little son et lumiere which had so astounded everybody. Except for Old Stirling who swiftly saw through the whole sorry masquerade.

When I’d telephoned Cilla the previous night I had asked her to rummage around in Noddy’s family history, and it transpired that there was no proof whatsoever that his papa had dipped his wick illicitly, and even less evidence that ‘Dorcas’ was his half-sister – or even an accredited matron! In fact, there was no verification she even existed.

The ex-trouble-&-strife had been led away from Scarhelldeath Hall in handcuffs (yes, there had a been a twitch downstairs, not that she and I had ever indulged in anything other than ‘lights-off obligation rumpy,’ all due to her latent inclinations as opposed to any deficiency in my expertise in the trousers-off department ).

The ghastly Pam had been carted off in an ambulance with a muffled cry from beneath the bandages of ‘And we would’ve got away with it if it hadn’t been for you meddling pensioners!’

I’m not sure what they’ll be charged with. Harassment? Fraud? Impersonating a ghost without a licence? I merely hope that Abigail sees through the malignity of the odious Pam and finds a nice sexy lady to settle down with. And lets me watch.

And so I prepared to take my leave of Scarhelldeath Hall. The boys had all left for their hols, as had the surviving staff. Noddies Major and Minor invited me to stay for the Yuletide festivities, and while I was tempted, I am of an age where the comfort of my own bed, central heating and a decent bar being in the vicinity is more important than family and friends. A draughty, damp pile Scarhelldeath Hall may be a adequate for young children, but not for grand old gentlemen of letters! Besides, if the ex-wife gets banged up in chokey, then I may reclaim ownership of The Old Rectory – and the dogs, Rommel, Lucan and Aspinall – again.

Before I buggered off, I imparted simple words of advice to Noddy Minor on the thorny subject of Bullying, and they amounted to this – ‘No-one else matters except you! As long as you get what you want , that’s all that counts! And if someone’s in your way, then propel them out of it! The good Bully makes the victim realise that they are Boss with as little effort as possible. Although a little violence now and then is not to be sniffed at.’

And I think that is wise counsel we should take to heart in all aspects of our lives.

Yuletide felicitations!

To hear Sir Desmond at work go to



Scarhelldeath Hall

February 11, 2013

This weather reminds one of one’s schooldays, in particular my prep school on the rain-lashed east coast of Scotland. It was called Scarhelldeath Hall just outside the village of Killcarcass. An excellent school with a very good survival rate for boys.

Although I was always a sporty cove & school champion, one didn’t always fancy a run along the cliff edge in this sort of weather. So I’d often pay one of the younger boys to do the run for me. Well, when I say pay, I’d promise not to thrash them if they didn’t. Occasionally a boy would be blown off the side of the cliff during a run, but it helped make men of us. No-one would’ve dreamed of complaining.

I sometimes regret not getting blown off more often at school. Who knows what levels of manhood to which I could’ve risen?

Learning to avoid the runs was a vital lesson. Persuading little boys to take my place or else taught me the people skills I still use today. Scarhelldeath Hall is now a golf club & luxury health spa whch seems a shame. Apparently, they dug up the graveyard to build a tennis court. I was cold, unhappy, hungry & lonely every single day at Scarhelldeath Hall, but it made me the man I am today.

Did I mention we wore a kilt as uniform? Strictly no underpants. Frostbite of the orchestras was a regular affliction.

We had one teacher, Mr Maestri, known affectionately as ‘Bastard’ to us boys. He’d lost both arms in the Boer war. Or was it Crimean?

But he didn’t let being sans arms stop him beating the living daylights out of us boys at every opportunity. One respected a man like that. Never worked out exactly how he beat us or with what. One was bent over his desk, kilt ahoy, & he was behind us. Peeking doubled the thwacks.

Happy days! Well, desperately unhappy, actually, but I wouldn’t have had them any other way.