soon after moving into MERRY HALL, the Master of the house (that would be Nichols, the owner) sauntered into the kitchen to speak with Gaskin (that would be Nichol's Man-who ran the house). The Master was off to find URNS.
G- Urns? Whatever for?
N- For the pillars outside
G- There's a hundred and one things we want more than urns. We've hardly got two tea-cups left to match. There's only one coffee pot that isn't cracked. The Hoover's on its last legs. You ought to e putting first things first.
(Nichols tries to pacify Gaskin and takes off rather in a hurry. As he drives out to shop Urns, Gaskin's words drew him in."Most people would have agreed with him, particularly if they had seen Merry Hall. There were a thousand and one essentials clamouring for attention...walls falling down and cellars flooding and windows sticking, and there was a most peculiar smell in the woodshed. This latter,alone,was a first thing of major importance."
(He's coming around. No?)
"But then, I have never believed in Gaskin's philosophy. Surely-in all matters appertaining to elegance-the most important thing to do first is the last thing? "
As Nichols continues speeding down the road, ruminating on Gaskin's
'Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves'
No- for Nichols rants on- "that is the meanest, drabbest little axiom that ever poisoned the mind of youth..."
"These profound but anti-social reflections were suddenly interrupted by a loud hiss and a sharp jerk of the steering wheel. "
"I had a puncture. It seemed a rather cold comment on my philosophy, for if the first thing you have to do is to change a tyre... well, the first thing you have to do is to change a tyre, and that is all there is to it."
Did that sharp reality jolt Beverley into a change of heart, a turn round back to Merry Hall to see to that woodshed.
What do you think?
at Merry Hall
of all the Beverley Nichols books MERRY HALL is my favorite.
Yes, that encompasses many books, and You could change my mind; I'm Open.
Perhaps it's because it was the first Nichols & You know what they say about your first.
Perhaps it's because it is a love affair with a house.
Nichols threw caution to the wind stepping into a house he loved- with rows of lilies he fell head over heels for. There were lean times-Nichols admits as much to his biographer & friend Bryan Connon in Beverley Nichols: A Life.
There are so many glorious Nichols passages in this book, You just have to read it.