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Issue Two - 2005. Last year I told you of my sad descent into penury. Regretfully, over the past months, things have got even worse. You may remember that I had moved ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Keith

Keiths Klassic Kristmas Kards
  • The Komplete Kollection

Issue One - 2004
Issue One - 2004
Christmas is supposed to be a time of merriment
and good cheer. But this year your friend has
fallen on hard times, forced to sell off the
family home, which is now a centre for young
people.   The two gentlemen who now own the
estate have moved themselves into the piano
nobile and converted the ground floor into unisex
dormitories for the poor wretches from urban
squalor who visit the house. The formal flower
beds are now football pitches, the shrubbery a
car park, and the woodland walk has been turned
into a BMX trail whatever a BMX is. Oh the
shame of it all.
Issue One - 2004
The new owners Middle Easterners of course now
live the life of country squires, paid for out of
taxation collected by left wing inner-city
councillors bent on wealth re-distribution who
erroneously believe that the Levy brothers are
charitable benefactors. And this is supposed to
represent a caring society?   To protect my
faithful staff, I did elicit a promise of no
redundancies. But oh how it breaks my heart to
see the butler mowing the lawn whilst cook
prepares burgers chips on plastic plates.
Issue One - 2004
  • Losing your ancestral home is bad enough, but to
    read about it the local press is almost too much
    to bear. Where will I be next year? A caravan?
    For the foreseeable future I will be living at
    155 Spearing Road, an ex-council house in High
    Wycombe a house with a number!!, in a road!!
    The shame, the indignity.
  • I hope that you will still think kindly of me now
    that I can no longer invite you for weekends in
    the country with sumptuous dinners, masked balls
    and the chance to meet the great and the good of
    the county. All that is left are treasured
    memories of elegant soirées attended by the
    landed gentry of Buckinghamshire. Oh the shame
    of it all.

Issue One - 2004
This bad news has been sent early as I could not
bear to think that your Christmas card to me
might be marked
Not Known, Return to Sender
Issue One - 2004
Despite my financial predicament and depressive
demeanour, I can still summon enough goodwill to
wish you well at this time of the year.
Greetings from a once happy man
Issue Two- 2005
Issue Two - 2005
Last year I told you of my sad descent into
penury. Regretfully, over the past months,
things have got even worse. You may remember
that I had moved into an ex-council house but in
August, missed mortgage payments allowed the bank
to foreclose on me. They sold my house to a man
who seems to have plenty of money despite not
Issue Two - 2005
There are rumours that he has converted the attic
for horticultural use but I don't know anything
about that. Anyway he has agreed to let me use
the garden shed as a temporary home. He calls it
the gardeners cottage. Strangely, he doesn't
ask for rent but only asks that I keep an eye
open for unwelcome visitors. He seems
particularly worried about the police, maybe he
had a bad experience with them but I don't know
and its not my business.
Issue Two - 2005
So, back to Christmas... With only a camping gas
stove its not easy to cook a traditional meal.
My neighbours have offered to let me eat with
them but being Asian, it would probably be a
curry and as they don't celebrate Christmas it
would be rather run of the mill. No, I shall
do my own thing. The Mini Mart has turkey
sandwiches individual sherry trifles and a
bottle of their own brand whiskey should help to
keep out the cold. I'm not complaining though.
Issue Two - 2005
I have many good memories of Christmases past and
I am positive about the future. Adrian, my
landlord, has promised to run an electric cable
to the cottage in time for next winter so at
least Ill be a little warmer by the time I next
write to you. So, once again, I wish you a happy
Christmas and ask not that you pity me but merely
that you think of me on Christmas morning.
Issue Three - 2006
How proud I used to be when sending out those
personalised Christmas cards from Woodrow High
House. You don't realise how many joyful hours
were spent with the butler, the under footman and
myself, trusty Hasselblad in hand, selecting
suitable scenes for the cards. But that has all
gone these many years. Thankfully, after losing
first the house then tenure on the shed in High
Wycombe the drug squad raided the landlord and
took him and his prize indoor plants away I have
found solace on a friends estate in Devonshire.
Issue Three - 2006
This time it is an estate of considerable size -
not a council estate. Lady Barbara Gainswin,
the estate owner, has given me a lifetime lease
on one of her caves. It is quite large and not
without charm, although it is without gas,
electricity or sanitation. However the ample
wooded areas of the estate provide fuel for heat
and enough hidden places for sanitation. This
will be the first Christmas in my new home , as
Lady Barbara will be spending the holiday in her
London House, I shall celebrate alone
Issue Three - 2006
Ho, Ho Ho!!
Issue Three - 2006
She has kindly left me a hamper, a disposable
BBQ, and a bottle of bubbly, which, with the
small fir tree from the wood will make it quite
festive. It is good to know that the upper
classes continue to look after each other! If
you have been courteous enough to send Seasons
Greetings to my old address, the police have said
they will forward them to me care of Lady
Issue Three - 2006
So friends, don't pity me and do visit me when
the weather is a little more clement. May you
have a happy and warm Christmas, your
affectionate friend, Keith, Faeries Hall,
Buckfastleigh, Devonshire
Issue Four - 2009
Ill wager that you thought that was the last you
would hear from me. Well, think again. When the
Lady Barbara returned to Devonshire early in
2007, she found the cave empty of all human
presence. Her Ladyship thought, probably like
yourselves, that I had simply faded away as there
was no evidence left of my habitation. She had
known me for many years and it was not out of
character to suddenly lose contact with me.  
Issue Four - 2009
So, where did I go? Let me explain. That
Christmas, back in 2006, alone and huddled up
close to the fire sipping the last drop of the 12
bottles of Chateau Margaux, I had purloined
them from the Hall via a propitiously open window
in the buttery, I heard voices that appeared to
come from the back of the cave. Not ordinary
voices but the sound of what I can only call
monastic chanting. I found out later that is was
the Gregorian Schola  
Issue Four - 2009
 In my befuddled state I went to the far reaches
of the cave whilst all the time the chanting
became louder and louder. Strangely, there
appeared to be a flickering of light coming
through a small crack on the wall. Fortified by
the claret, I clawed at the wall making the crack
big enough to peer through. What I saw was truly
Issue Four - 2009
Twelve monks in brown habits were chanting whilst
swinging incense burners reminded me of a party
I attended in the 60s where some drag queens
handbag had caught fire, but I digress.
Frantically I called out to them to help me. To
this day I dont know why. I wasnt in any
danger and I had never been drawn to the Catholic
faith. Anyway the monks, looking puzzled as to
who or what had disturbed their ritual, came
closer to the wall and one by one peered through
the hole. At this point in the story I must
explain something that came to my attention
Issue Four - 2009
These monks were from Buckfast Abbey which is a
mere stones throw from Lady Barbaras home,
Faeries Hall, and there is a network of tunnels
under the sandstone hills upon which the Abbey
was built. These date from the time of the
original monastery which was founded during the
reign of King Cnut in 1018.
Issue Four - 2009
The tunnels were dug originally as store rooms
for barrels of the excellent Buckfast Tonic Wine
as the temperature and humidity remained constant
all year round. The monks have produced this
fortified wine for millennia and it is still
their main source of income. The close proximity
of these storage tunnels to the cave where I had
been abiding was unknown to all until that
fateful day in January 2007.
Issue Four - 2009
A darker secret concerns the Preparatory School
for boys aged 7 to 13 that the Abbey operated
from 1967 until 1994. Some say that the tunnels
were used by a secret society within the school
dedicated to the teachings of Socrates Plato in
their widest possible sense. I cannot comment on
that besides noting that two former Buckfast
monks were later convicted and imprisoned for
sexually abusing boys during this period.
Issue Four - 2009
Events that happened next were truly
life-changing. The monks quickly made the
opening large enough for me to crawl through.
Despite my bedraggled appearance they obviously
recognised my aristocratic bearing and dignified
speech as being that of a gentleman and not a
tramp. Within a few moments I had explained my
journey from stately home to a Devonshire cave.
They insisted that I follow them back to the
Abbey to tell them more. Once there, they
listened in enthrallment
Issue Four - 2009
I admit that the story may have been a tad
embroidered, as my tongue had certainly been
loosened a little by the claret and you will know
that I always like to play to the gallery.
When I had finished, Brother Julian for we were
by now on first name terms, asked about my
future intentions. I said that I had no plans,
apart from a determination to one day reclaim
Woodrow High House from the clutches of the evil
Levy family.
Issue Four - 2009
Brother Julian poured a large glass of Tonic Wine
and asked if I would consider becoming a
postulant. I thought for a minute or so before
agreeing. I didnt want them to think me ignorant
so I didnt tell that that I had no idea what a
postulant was. By this time the effects of the
claret were wearing off only to be replaced by
the euphoria caused by the never ending supply of
Tonic Wine. My eyes were closing and I was
intermittently drifting into somnolence. Brother
Julian suggested that I sleep in his bed whilst
he would sleep on the floor.
Issue Four - 2009
The next morning I awoke to find that I had
signed a postulancy the monastic equivalent of a
contract. for those of you who are unaware of
the term, it means someone who has made a request
to be admitted to a monastic order both before
actual admission and for the length of time
proceeding their admission into the novitiate. It
is also used to describe the ecclesiastical
status of a person who has discerned a call to
the priesthood
Issue Four - 2009
I argued that I had signed under duress and the
effect of the Tonic Wine but to no avail. The
Benedictines are very short of priests and they
werent going to let me out of the contract.
There is no telephone at the Abbey and I was
allowed no contact with the outside world save
for watching the public through the glass walls
of the famous Bee House where the last
remaining colony of Buckfast Bees is kept.
Issue Four - 2009
I was allocated the duty of trainee Bee Keeper,
meaning that whilst working, I could see the
public but not communicate with them. How was I
ever to leave this place? Although the monks were
always kind to me and the food wasnt too bad
they grow everything themselves, I missed the
bonhomie found in an English country pub.
Drinking Tonic Wine with a room full of silent
monks is no substitute.
Issue Four - 2009
One day, after the visitors had gone and I was
sweeping up the detritus that tourists always
leave behind, I found a mobile phone. I quickly
secreted it inside my habit and made my way to
the quietist part of the Abbey. Once there, I
made the most important call of my life. It was
to the Lady Barbara. I told her of my two years
of imprisonment and begged her to help me once
again as she had done before. She immediately
spoke to her friend, Sir Hartley-Bumgardner,
owner of the local paper, the South Devon
Clarion. Sir Hartley is a distant relative of
the Rev Pat Bumgardner, the Senior Pastor of the
Metropolitan Community Church of New York.
Issue Four - 2009
Sir Hartley made one telephone call to the Abbott
at Buckfast. Intimating the damage that could
be caused by Pat Bumgardner calling for an
investigation into suspected goings on at
Buckfast was enough. I was released back into
the community the following day.  
Issue Four - 2009
How lucky it was that the Abbott wasnt aware
that the Reverend Pat has been an active
campaigner for the rights of lesbian, gay and
bisexual people for many years and would
certainly never have called for such an
investigation and she probably doesnt even know
of the existence of Sir Hartley.
Issue Four - 2009
So all is well that ends well. I have moved back
to High Wycombe and Im living with Adrian as he
has now finished his period of detention. He no
longer has horticultural interests but prefers
to purchase all his needs on the open market
which flourishes on the estate. He is helping me
in my plans to regain Woodrow High House.  
Issue Four - 2009
I hope that next years Christmas card will once
again bear the famous crest of my ancestors and
be adorned with a picture of myself at the front
door of Woodrow High House.
Issue Five - 2010
Home at last, well almost...
Issue Five - 2010
..I say almost. Please don't amend your records
just yet. Whilst I am now back in the familys
ancestral seat, things aren't quite finalised in
the legal sense. Whilst those scruffy London
urchins were away on a personality improvement
weekend to another stately home that the Levy
brothers had acquired, I sort of moved in.  
Issue Five - 2010
The term squatter has been used in the local
rag but that is not the case. This is my home for
Gods sake, it has been in the family for
generations. Cromwells wife was given refuge
here during the civil war. My family have done
their bit for King Country over the centuries
maybe not during the civil war. That was because
my ancestor, Sir Horace Woodrow, thought that
Charles would lose the war as well as his head
and that he would be succeeded by King Oliver.
So, in a perverse way, Horace could still claim
that the family were royalists  
Issue Five - 2010
As I said in my card last year, my lucky escape
from the clutches and crotches of the evil
monks at Buckfast enabled me to return to my
horticultural friend, Adrian, who is now back in
society, courtesy of Kenneth Clarkes
money-saving initiative. Adrian had made a
handsome donation to the Tory election fund, but
that in no way affected the decision to release
Issue Five - 2010
Adrian is currently replanting the orangery with
his own seedlings. He refers to them as SIR,
apparently an acronym for Sativa, Indica and
Ruderalis which means nothing to me. What
matters is that he assures me that it will
produce a cash crop that will more than pay for
the legal costs I shall face when the bailiffs
arrive with an eviction order. Understandably, I
don't ask too many questions.  
Issue Five - 2010
I hereby serve notice to all who will listenI AM
HERE, AND HERE I SHALL STAY. More news next year
I promise.   In the meantime, Seasons Greetings
to you all.  
Issue Five - 2010
Woodrow High House as seen on a sunny winters
day from the site of the proposed croquet lawn.
Issue Six - 2011
Issue Six - 2011
As you will remember, last year I returned to the
family seat at Woodrow High House with my friend
Adrian the horticulturist. In early August,
whilst I was doing the weekly shop, the local
bobbies arrived and carted Adrian away with his
prize pot plants, muttering something about pot
having two meanings.
Issue Six - 2011
Anyway, his promise to help defray the costs of
the pending eviction case has now gone up in
smoke literally. Within days I had another
surprise. A coach load of youngsters arrived for
a training weekend organised by the gay
campaigning group, Stonewall. I had to hide, but
where? There was nothing I could do to avoid
detection except to join the crowd and pretend to
be one of the Stonewall staff.
Issue Six - 2011
From the Bucks Free Press - August 2011
Issue Six - 2011
It took until the allocation of sleeping quarters
before it was realised that there were 32 bodies
and 31 beds! So, rather than be caught out, I
came out and declared that I had been a
lifelong but anonymous supporter of Stonewall for
years. That did the trick and no more questions
were asked.
Issue Six - 2011
Its now December and I am still here while the
court considers my umpteenth appeal against
eviction. There are drawbacks as the power lines
have been cut. I am sure it was the bailiffs but
I cannot prove it. Still, no harm done as the
woods provide all the fuel I need to cook with
and heat the place. With Adrian away again for a
lengthy period I was afraid that I would be
lonely but it was not to be.
Issue Six - 2011
One of the Stonewall staff asked if she could
move in as she was having emotional problems with
her partner. I agreed no questions asked, no
explanations given, and things have worked out
ok. Shes almost as useful as a man when it
comes to chopping the trees down, but no comfort
in any other way - cant cook and doesnt know
what a vacuum cleaner is for.
Issue Six - 2011
She said she was a fan of Vita Sackville West of
Sissinghurst fame so I had hoped for some
gardening tips. Turns out shes more interested
in Vitas love affair with Virginia Woolf. Only
to be expected, I suppose. Till next year then,
Seasons Greetings to you all.
Issue Seven - 2012
  • Like the never ending staircase.

....the story of Woodrow High House just goes on
and on.
Issue Seven - 2012
You will remember from last years card that a
lady from the Stonewall staff moved in with me
at Woodrow High House. I didnt ask any
questions as quite frankly I needed some company
whilst Adrian the horticulturist was ensconced
in HMP Portland should have been called Potland
as most of the inmates there are on drugs
charges but I digress. Dorothy, for that is
her name, had previously made her living as a
look-a-like for Amélie Mauresmo.  
Issue Seven - 2012
This is where it gets creepy. The real Amélie as
I am sure you will know was a world champion
tennis player who retired in 2009. Having no
interest in womens tennis, I hadn't spotted the
likeness. To me Dorothy was just a nice girl who
wore very sensible shoes.  
Issue Seven - 2012
With the Amélie work getting very sparse
Dorothy had to make a career change. So, taking
advantage of my kind and generous nature and the
secluded grounds of Woodrow High House she
enlisted the services of some of her more, shall
we say, feminine looking friends to start a
supposed Kissogram troupe with a unique selling
point of having a military theme.    
Issue Seven - 2012
Yet again however, your friend had been
hoodwinked. The real reason for this groups
existence was nothing less than terrorism. They
planned to attack and occupy parliament demanding
that Barbara Castle's 1976 Equal Pay Act be
implemented IN FULL - AND AT ONCE. When I
became suspicious I saw them making placards
which seemed to have nothing to do with
kissogams I called the local bobbies with whom I
had become quite friendly. Within the hour
Dorothy and her troupe were carted away never to
be seen again.      
Issue Seven - 2012
Your friend meanwhile also decided on a new
career path. Still needing funds to challenge
the eviction order, I opened a residential nude
riding school. Why not, I have the secluded
grounds and stables and the help of my new friend
Justin who I refer to as the Master of the
Horse. Adrian is not too pleased but that cant
be helped.   When Adrian comes back, maybe we can
start Nude Troika Racing courses.        
Issue Seven - 2012
Till next year then, Christmas wishes from your
old friend.            
Issue Eight- 2013
Ive Tried. God Knows Ive tried but its time
to call it a day. ... dreams and plans for Woodrow High House
have finally come to an end.
Issue Eight- 2013
This year I should have been able to report on
the success of my Nude Riding School But oh
how the worm has turned. It transpires that
Adrian the horticulturist and Dorothy the
look-a-like for Amélie Mauresmo were known to
each other all along Do try and keep up with my
previous messages or none of this will make
Issue Eight- 2013
To continue, both Adrian and Dorothy felt that I
had betrayed them so they colluded to dash my
plans for Woodrow High House and its estate.
They joined forces with Cheryl Gillian, the local
MP and strident antagonist of the HS2 rail plan
in its original form. They proposed a new route
which would pass right through the estate and
would consequently mean that the treasured
privacy would be lost  
Issue Eight- 2013
Alas, my heart sank when a High Court ruling gave
the "green light" to the high-speed rail project.
I am sure that my legal actions to regain
ownership of the house were about to bear fruit
when this damned railway defeats my very wish to
The house itself will not be affected when the
railway is built, but the close proximity of the
track will ensure that civilised life will be
impossible. I am sure that the line was
deliberately routed away from the house itself in
order to minimise compensation. Such is my luck.

Issue Eight- 2013
The only piece of good news that I have.  
My dream of uncovering the history of my family
home became reality when Professor Petty of
London Youth the current users of the house
 found crumpled paperwork behind a loose board in
a bedroom whilst undertaking a survey.
Issue Eight- 2013
He found documents showing that Oliver Cromwell,
former resident of the house, had visions for a
model society where every youth was given the
chance to be the best they could be. Quote
......even those who hath displayed anti-social
behaviour may undergo a positive change with the
right opportunities. It remains a mystery as
to why he did not implement his dream before he
died in 1658.   
Issue Eight- 2013
Whilst it has given me great pleasure to know
that the Lord Protector once shared the rooms
that I grew up in, I wonder what Cromwell would
have done concerning the ruination of Woodrow
High House? Another regicide perhaps?   So, to
paraphrase a more recent novelist - 2013 was the
worst of times, it was the best of times.  
Issue Eight- 2013
What more is there to say, I know that I will
never return even if it was possible. My future
now lies elsewhere and I will contact you again
when I have more news. Till then, Happy
Christmas to all who have followed my travails
these past years.