Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Day 2 - 13th August

Before I start this entry I wish to mention the Butlers' Twitter
(@WeAreButlers) as a quick and easy way of contacting a Butler. Butler
Thompson and I are monitoring the feed as well as adding comments
throughout the course of the day. Do send us any pictures or messages
you might think relevant.

The day started with a spot of breakfast at a local cafe where a
comment on the cafe's name, misheard by Butler Jennings, resulted in
my explaining about yew trees being of importance to Edinburgh. I had
learnt this at a venue's art exhibit a few days back, which goes to
show the holistic nature of learning. Along such lines, Butler
Fletcher explained that the gentlemen who commented on "The Athens of
the North" was correct about Edinburgh's hills resembling the Seven
Hills of Rome. Breakfast done, Fletcher presented me with a folder of
butlerial Certificates of Elevation. For those unaware of this
service, we have calculated the altitudes of venues above sea level,
which is most vital information for both venue and performer. Before
we could initiate the presentation of these important papers, it was
vital that the Butlers went to Greyfriars Kirkyard for some
"McGonagalling". Willam Topaz McGonagall is renowned as "The World's
Worst Poet", as well as being a Tragedian, and is one of the Butlers'
favourite people. It is our duty to recite his verse by the plaque
which stands as the only marker of the unknown grave of this great
man. (Ask any Butler and they can recount the stories of McGonagall's
travels to see Queen Victoria, his infamous performance of Macbeth and
the time he was attacked with a plate of peas.) This task complete,
Jennings and I began to distribute Certificates of Elevation to
venues. Of note was a certain church-based venue where the young lady
fell down some stairs in her eagerness to meet us. There they have
also kept their Certificates of previous years on display; clearly
this venue are mindful of the dangers of flooding or of the actors
suffering from altitude sickness and must be commended for such. As we
reposed outside Fringe Central (where we managed to work out the
length of pieces of string a few years back), we were summoned for a
spot of tea with two graduand friends of the Butlers. It was most
pleasant to take tea with them, although I was disappointed that
heather tea lacked any thrilling taste or aroma and we all mourned the
fact that thistle tea was not simply a large boiled thistle. Our
friends were later going to a show which involved the imparting of
facts for the payment of sweets, an idea which may prove very useful
at your next cheese and wine party or fancy cocktail evening although,
of course, I live to serve so any "payment" is anathema to me. After a
brief stroll down the Royal Mile (where I was recognized by a group of
space aliens) and a delicious haggis pie, we presented our final
Certificate. Two occurrences of note followed. Firstly, Butler
Fletcher was stumbled upon, but he was accompanied by Butler Newsam,
aka "The Professor", who was taking in the sights in mufti. We joined
them for a theatrical presentation about the Bright Young Things and
then hurried to a show using shadow puppets, based on a section of
"Dandelion Wine" by the much-missed Ray Bradbury. Bidding farewell to
Newsam, we then met a man who claimed to be the Anti-Christ, and urged
that the Butlers should serve as his valets. Of course we would have
been more than happy to be of service, but I had to explain that we
could not buy him a drink as we do not carry money. Finally, we again
joined our graduand friends for a chance to share the events of a day
which has presented a perfect example of the range that makes up a day
in the life of a Butler.

Jancis the Butler

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