BRIDGET WHELAN writer

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Brighton’s Regency Housekeeper Regrets She will Not be Answering Letters Today or Making Luncheon or Doing Much Else Besides…

Mrs Finnegan, housekeeper at The Regency Town House, is on her summer holidays.

Dear Reader,

I decided that my SUMMER HOLIDAYS should start today at half past stupid O’ Clock this morning when WOKEN by the cat who had inextricably found its way into the MEAT safe. It had consumed HALF of its own body weight in liver AND nibbled the neck of a wood pigeon by the time I discovered it.

I also suspect it gave two lamb legs a thorough licking.

On top of that the milk is sour, the salt damp and I am very much afraid that mice may have got into the flour.

As you know, I ALWAYS endeavour to look upon on the sherry trifle side of life and can also REPORT the sun is shining, the flowers are in bloom and there is no member of the Hankey family in the household.

The master and mistress are visiting friends (separately) and Miss Martha is due to return next week.

The Summer holidays start now.

Miss Susan has already DEPARTED on her day off (at the moment I doubt if anyone would have refused her permission if she had ASKED for an ENTIRE day and a half) which means BROODING looks and meaningful glances are now temporarily in short supply.

It is MY belief that she has gone to London to consult a solicitor. It will end in tears and quite possibly the Workhouse…or WORSE

However, while I am on my SUMMER holidays I do NOT have to think about it.

I sent little Sissy home to her mother with three Chelsea buns and portions of the wood pigeon the cat didn’t get. She was so GIDDY with happiness she ran down the road without her cap or saying goodbye. But by the corner she remembered herself and raced back to give me one quick darting PECK on the cheek.



I would have TOLD her OFF for her familiarity but I was quite TAKEN by surprise. She was off again, her petticoats flying and her heels kicking the air before I could UTTER a word.

What shall I do on my holidays?

Nothing.

You might as well go.

I will RETIRE to bed and doze. After that there’s a bowl of PLUM duff that needs finishing off. I might decide to read an improving book. I might not.

You’re still here! Truly, there is nothing happening. I am on my summer holidays.

Not gone yet?

I’m not entirely certain I will manage a WHOLE book so please don’t get your hopes up.

A page is looking less likely now.

Well, if you really need SOMETHING to do you can reflect on the ADVICE I gave two summers ago.


SHADE is your friend. Find it and sit in it. Seek out trees and TALL ACQUAINTANCES. Walk in the shadows.

Better still, stay indoors which is EXACTLY what I shall be doing in MY summer holidays (which end at midnight tonight).

Tomorrow I will seek out mouse traps. Today I DOZE.

MRS FINNEGAN is a regular feature created and written by Bridget Whelan WITH a host of volunteers at The Regency Town House, readers and subscribers.
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11 comments on “Brighton’s Regency Housekeeper Regrets She will Not be Answering Letters Today or Making Luncheon or Doing Much Else Besides…

  1. Sarah Waldock
    June 21, 2022

    A wise interlude! it has been very hot, and the shade is most welcome.

    • bridget whelan
      June 21, 2022

      Mrs Finnegan is delighted you agree and hopes that you may also benefit from a reclining day by and by

  2. beth
    June 21, 2022

    Love the advice

    • bridget whelan
      June 21, 2022

      Stands the test of time – especially the bit about tall friends

  3. Sandra
    June 21, 2022

    If the weather is set hot and sunny maybe give sea bathing a try?

    • bridget whelan
      June 22, 2022

      Mrs F had a bad experience with sea bathing almost exactly two years ago and she may not be keen on trying again.

      To quote: “The bathing machine is as cold and damp as the insides of a fish. The floor is pierced with holes and every scrap of wind from here to Minsk whistles through the wooden walls.” But the weather is better now….

  4. Cathy Cade
    June 21, 2022

    Quite right too!

  5. Jennie
    June 23, 2022

    Excellent advice!

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This entry was posted on June 21, 2022 by in Mrs Finnegen ADVICE from the 1830 and tagged .
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