The Diaries Of Manuel Pipez
Chapter Two: Marshians
Up very betimes, and by coach to my Lord's house. My Lord lives far from the crowds to the west of the town. My Lord is very particular about his views and so I am fain to walk the last two miles as common coaches must not be seen from the house. A pleasant walk as the drizzle was not too heavy.
My Lord however is already about and is gone to Winchester and thence London to discuss land with Lord Southwark, which vexes me. The public declaration of the Welborne plan is due shortly. He will be gone a week.
I dally with the kitchen staff and have cakes and ale before returning to the office.
At dinner to the Red Lyon with Mr Chr. Lennon and Mr Ro. Smith. Much discourse on the plight of the country, the tension with the Scotch a big worry. Very merry. I discoursed about the plans for the new Welborne, I hope my Lord does not hear of my indiscretion. Messrs Lennon and Smith and very interested, mainly with the name.
They are adamant that there are other Welbornes in the country. Mr Lennon says there is a famous Arts Festival in Welborne in Norfolk, what will this Welborne have to make it stand out he asks. Mr Smith says another Welborne will just confuse people. I respond that this Welborne will be different, to much jeering, I add that this is a unique Welborne, how is it unique they cry, it is not just Welborne, but Welborne-in-the-Marsh I tell them proudly.
My companions are beside themselves with laughter which I do not understand. Mr Lennon says Welborne-in-the-Marsh, almost crying, and he supposes the people will be Marshians.
I do not comprehend the hilarity they see in my Lord's plan. I fear my Lord is correct when he says he is wasted on these common imbeciles. I leave Mr Lennon and Mr Smith telling all in the Inn their silly joke, which I hope goes no farther.
Home to dine with my wife, and Mr Cox the shipwright, again. I shall have to speak to my wife about him.
My boy's lute is not found yet, and so to bed.
Up late and to the office to prepare for the Welborne-in-the-Marsh announcement. I fear there will be much opposition, bootless opposition from the jealous. They will be crushed by my Lord's arguments but we must be prepared in case questions are asked in a higher place. My Lord will need my assistance.
My Lord has not given any hint to the sort of opposition so I am fain to make my own questions.
The Pipez list of questions on Welborne-in-the-Marsh:
- Where are we going to get the people for all these houses, there just aren't enough in the town needing a home
- If we build on all the farmland how will we grow food to feed the town
- Where will the noble lords hunt if all the wildlife is driven from the country
- The land is a marsh, barely suitable for farming, houses will float away or be permanently wet
- Will there be sewers
- How will people travel, the road isn't big enough now; what about the BRT, which has coaches too tall to go under the road
- Are there to be shops and schools or will they walk to town for these
- Will they need doctors
There are many more problems than I thought. I am up long into the night trying to resolve them, without success. The more I think, the more problems arise.
Home late. Met Mr Cox leaving as I got home. Odd, I shall ask my wife of him in the morning.
No news from my Lord so there will be time for me to prepare some answers later in the week.
Jan 8th Lord's Day
Up very late after the long day yesterday. A long discourse with my wife about Mr Cox the shipwright. He is showing her calculus. I am very vexed at this news as I have never yet met a shipwright who could understand arithmetic, let alone calculus.
With my wife and girl to church. A pleasant sleep during the sermon given by the Scot.
Home to dine. My boy has a message from my Lord, who has decided to return tomorrow. I clip my boy, the message arrived yesterday but he neglected to pass it to me. He will have a good beating tonight when I return from the office.
I shall have to get a new boy, a reliable one.
To the office to work on my answers to my questions. Some answers found, but it is a difficult case to defend.
Home late for supper. Back to the office to work late. Home around 1am and so to bed.
Up betimes to my Lord thinking he would need my work on the Welborne-in-the-Marsh questions. He is out before me. His maid tells me he is out to see Hoblein who is making his portrait, not a miniature but a full size portrait. The announcement of the Welborne-in-the-Marsh plan is tomorrow. He will be back this afternoon.
To the Red Lyon to dine with Mr Lennon and Mr Smith. They are still in much cheery humour, but with thought and some ale I do see some merit in their mirth. With more ale the idea of Marshians in Hampshire is quite amusing. Much merry singing, we are asked to leave.
To my Lord in the afternoon. He is much vexed over something I know not. I present my work on the Weborne-in-the-Marsh questions. He is not content at all. My work seems severely vex him further. He is purple in the face as he shouts at me.
"There are no issues!"
"There will be no opposition!"
No-one who counts is opposed to it and he will crush the little people who oppose his grand scheme! My work I am told is just wasted time.
"Nothing will stop me", he bellowed.
I see his eyes are glazed from his ranting, I edge towards the door. As I open the door and begin to slide through he catches sight of me and shouts, "And Mr Pipez, why is everyone I see speaking of Marshians!"
Home to my wife for supper. Much vexed about my Lord's response. I will need to be careful tomorrow.
And so to bed.