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A fragment. - Wemyss's Appalling Hobby:
From the Party Guilty of Committing 'Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn'
A fragment.

The sort of berks who persist, not merely in seeing sexual connotations in the most innocuous landscape and built environments, but rather in seeing nothing else save sexual connotations in the most innocuous landscape and built environments, reducing all things to a thrust of the loins: the people who derive the name of the River Kennet from ‘cunt’ rather than the Roman vicus of Cunetio, now Mildenhall, and attach a wombed and titted significance to Silbury: have, no doubt, their own, moist, thoughts concerning the mill and the ford beside.

More sober etymologists simply accept the fact that there has been a


… little mill that clacks,
So busy by the brook …
She has ground her corn and paid her tax
Ever since Domesday Book;


and that the ford above the mill at Twatford Mulliner has been ‘Twatford’ time out of mind.

Nonetheless, in a world more full of berks than of sober scholars, it had seemed good to Harry and Draco to market their organic – and accordingly dearly-priced – line of flour, under a name less likely to startle the conscientiously broad-minded but instinctively puritan mums of Kensington and Notting Hill.  Drawing upon and playing about with the local pronunciation of Twatford, they had hit upon a mark that conveyed perfectly what the grimly-determined searchers for organic foods secretly most desired, a name easily called, easily remembered, freighted with faux-mediævalist associations in the best William Morris style, and insinuating the snob appeal secretly irresistible to their target market: Tabard Mills.  The rude hinds of ‘Twaaavverd Mulner’ long before, would have been approving, amused, in their canny, smocked, moonraking fashion, at this new form of getting it over on the excise-man. 

Even as they began selling without the region as ‘Tabard Mills’, Draco and Harry had realised that, locally, they were far better advised to sell what they milled, and to mill what was brought in for milling under fee, under the Twatford Mulliner name; and later still, Draco had realised that the sort of people who had first enthused over Tabard Mills’s product, could be made to pay still more for a line of milled stuff marginally more selective, considerably dearer in price, and given the transgressive name, which could not be condemned due to its great antiquity, of Twatford.  The initial and swiftly suppressed wince of urban women of both sexes, followed by the falsely knowing and falsely sophisticated middle-class smile, became itself a selling point.  There were times, Draco reflected, that he could well have been the perfect eminence grise to Dave Cameron.

Harry had a superstitious half-belief in such incantatory – and, Draco insisted, quite meaningless or quite silly – names and concepts as ‘Fair Trade’ certification, and Draco had a Slytherin determination to use any means to levy all that the trade would bear on anything they sold from the Estates, with the result that the Mill and all its product, like the whole of the agricultural product from cider to lamb, was gleefully made available, at the appropriate tariffs, on several schedules, organic, organic – Fair Trade, and ‘traditional (conventional)’ – meaning, neither.


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2 comments or Leave a comment
From: tree_and_leaf Date: August 19th, 2006 05:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Trust a Slytherin to be able to play the EU, DEFRA, any quango you care to mention, and the well-meaning middle-classes for all they're worth - well, it's certainly more sustainable than trying to get by on the single farm payment (or even get the single farm payment). Good for him.
themolesmother From: themolesmother Date: August 20th, 2006 09:21 am (UTC) (Link)
...under a name less likely to startle the conscientiously broad-minded but instinctively puritan mums of Kensington and Notting Hill ...

This had me laughing out loud. We've had quite a few of that breed here this summer. My favourite quote from one such to three robust and very noisy little boys who were busy sliding around our polished oak floor while yelling at the tops of their voices:

"I don't think that's a very good idea, guys, do you?"

Kids completely ignore her and carry on. Honestly, what planet are these people on?

Great fragment. Looking forward to more.

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