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06/06/2014: Mauled Munich Millinery Mightily Maddens Minuscule Mannequin

Pat, the Farkham Hall labrador is a very placid creature. He enjoys nothing more than a good chew at a stick on his morning constitutional around the Hall grounds. Well, in fairness, a good chew at anything will do, but a stick is preferred. Pat actually belongs to my old pal, Dimitri Varkov, but as he is often away on business, I take my share in looking after the little fellow.

This has never been a problem until very recently. In fact, it was never a problem until the German supermodel, Uma Schticken-Zect arrived for a photo shoot of some designer hats from the famous German milliner, Horst Tschitt. The entourage of make-up people, photographers, dressers and associated hangers on all stayed in the hotel at Far Kingtown, but Ms Schticken-Zect insisted that she stay as my guest at the Hall.

Her particular favourite Teutonic Titfer was a somewhat gaudy red number with all the trimmings of faux fruit, feathers and a couple of strange looking metallic thingummiebobbles that I couldn't quite make out.

Unfortunately, Pat the labrador was also fascinated by this item. Then it happened. Ms Schticken-Zect momentarily laid the aforementioned headwear on a chair within his line of sight. Displaying speed and agility not normally associated with the breed, Pat the labrador snatched the hat and made off to the garden.

The shriek and flow of German invective let me know that something in Ms Schticken-Zect's world was not as it should be, so I rushed to find her in the garden, shaking and sobbing at the same time. "Luk vot yur dock has done to my beautivul hatt!". I could see that a substantial mouthful of the brim was missing and there was a deal of labrador slobber on some of the faux fruit. She advanced on me brandishing the munched millinary as though it were a weapon. "Zat hatt vas unique, unt kosst sree soussand uros to make!". "Who vill pay for ziss damach?"

Nobly, I offered "Varkov and I will pay". This didn't seem to help much. Ms Schticken-Zect went a similar colour to my toe when Belittle, the butler dropped Grandfather's Zulu Knobkerry on it from the height of our tallest bookshelf. "You are dampt right I vill fark off, unt you vill mosst zertainly pay". With that, she drew herself up to full height, resembling a Swan Vesta match about to ignite, turned on her heel and marched out. I remember musing that Germans are probably better known for marching in, but nonetheless, she was gone. Somewhow, I don't think we have heard the last from this particular Hanoverian Harridan.

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