Why being lord of manor is not all it’s cracked up to be

foxy nDon’t you just love the Easter break? OK, my schedules are up the Swannee and I have fewer days in which to perform, but what’s not to like about a double four-day week with plenty of CHOCOLATE sandwiched in between?
Not that I’ve actually received either a Signature Chocolate Cabinet or a Classic Ostrich Egg just yet, but my esteemed boss tells me his is “looking after” some “special treats” which have arrived for me. Little does he know, however, that Roxy and I have already decamped to the South Coast for Easter, but please keep it to yourselves…
Now it may not surprise you that my paltry pay won’t quite stretch to the exorbitant prices in Brighton; instead we have had to slum it in a rather run-down Airbnb flat in somewhere called Littlehampton…although apparently it is known round these parts as LA. But that, my friends, is where the comparison stops.
I had never even heard of it, but Roxy tells me it is “up and coming” and, to be fair, it does seem cheap enough. And with the promise of a “variety of captivating award-winning architecture including the Stage by the Sea, East Beach Café and Britain’s Longest Bench, plus an extensive programme of cultural events”, it is, according to the town’s website, at least, “a must-visit destination”.
The thing is, I thought this place was in bad shape, until I read an interview with the older brother of one of our favourite agency chiefs, Lord John Townshend, now chairman of, well, Now.
According to last week’s Sunday Times, older sibling Charles George Townshend, the 8th Marquess no less, has more than a little fixing up to do of his own. Yep, the grade I listed, neo-Palladian, Dutch-gabled, Iconic-columned Raynham Hall – built by the original Marquess, who made his fortune importing the turnip to these shores – is falling apart.
And, it seems, our flat and the stately home – which dates back to 1619 – do have a few things in common after all, as his wife, the Marquioness Townshend, explained: “Nothing had been done here for nearly 50 years and its soul was missing…the bathrooms were indescribably horrible and our kitchen is ghastly.”
I know the feeling luv. However, even worse was to follow when the Marquess admitted he had “no idea how many rooms we have, but I know I open and close 82 shutters every day”.
And I thought it was grim up North…

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