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A tacky affair

No stranger to aristocratic excess, Astragal has many memories of whiling away happy days with his landed chums at their country estates. So when a summons to Blenheim Palace arrived with the morning’s post, Astragal quickly donned his cape and boots and was on the next coach out of town. Diligent scholars will know that the Spencer family residence is also the birthplace of Winston Churchill. The occasion: a briefing about ‘green roofs’. Dismayed to learn that this had little to do with aerial croquet, yours truly took consolation in a guided tour around the state rooms. Led around by a particularly knowledgeable guide. The gilded ceilings, the opulent furnishings, the elegant company – bliss. But what’s this? Upon inspecting the family standard – a flag draped upon a rather grand mantelpiece – Astragal was alarmed to see that the only thing stopping the flag from falling on the floor was two pieces of Blu-tac. Astragal is all for a bit of modernity, but Blu-tac! Not even an honest reef-knot? Hard times indeed for the British aristocracy…

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