Monday, May 20, 2024

Arsenal Gentleman’s Weekly Review

Hello there Sir, Madam. How nice to see you. Yes, this is the place. Welcome to the official Arsenal Mansions tour at London Colney. Arsenal Mansions is a fine Edwardian pile, 20 bedrooms, been in the family since 1886 and rebuilt in the 1920s. Owned by a consortium of fine and nefarious fellows until just a couple of years ago when the new owners moved in. Yes, they are a touch vulgar, but they are (whispering) AMERICANS, you see. So we shall make allowances for them.

Would you like the tour? Let us start with the Goalkeeper’s Suite. Just through here. As you can see, this is one of the nicest rooms in the house. Extremely well appointed. Beautifully designed, wonderful light flooding through the windows. Nothing to worry about in here. Recently redecorated and repaired. That noise? Oh don’t worry about that, it’s coming from the large wardrobe in the corner, the vintage Emi. We only allow the doors of the piece of furniture open a few times per year.

Come through now to the back. On each wing you can see we have some hastily erected extensions put in just last year by some cowboy builders. I think we can all agree that these were a mistake. The Maitland-Niles wing is pleasant enough until you realise it’s more of a kitchen than an entertaining room, but we have to make do these days. And on the other side of the building… well, let us just say that none of us here at Arsenal Mansions envisaged what the locals colourfully call a ‘brick shithouse’ being built on the west of this grand old house. But if we removed it now we’re not quite sure what should go in its place.

Just ahead of us now, in the centre of the back of the house is what we call the Clown Parlour. As you can see this is a place for football’s clowns from all corners of the globe to come and unlearn their skills. Buckets of tiny pieces of paper are ready for flinging, custard pies piled high on the table, the clown car is ready to collapse and if you listen carefully you can hear the HONK of an old fashioned car horn as our two residents greet each other in the traditional Arsenal centre half’s fashion. The boot room off to the left contains appropriate footwear for central defenders from all the premier boot suppliers; Nike, Puma, Bigglesthwaite’s Enormous Eighteen Inch Multi-coloured Brogues, all the greats. The operating theatre? Ah yes, that is for the mandatory removal of 25% of the brain, specifically the parts which control leg movements and positional awareness.

Into The Engine Room then. Yes, that’s it. No, don’t worry about the electrical smell in here. Or the clanking noises. No, or the fire in the corner. Or the exploding fuse boxes. It’s all perfectly normal in this part of the house. Yes, that is a boiler being used as the power source for a vacuum cleaner. Why? Well you see the current owner, Lord Emery, was so annoyed that he was bought a boiler rather than a vacuum cleaner that he decided to try and turn the boiler into a vacuum cleaner by attaching it to the boiler with some garden hose. Yes, we do have a number of wonderful modern devices in here but Lord Emery doesn’t seem to be able to make them understand the simplest instructions.

We experimented with a microwave but Lord Emery tried to watch television on it so that was that. Over there we see our trusty old steam engine with a maximum speed of twelve miles per hour, called the Xhaka Special. Even though we have a number of much more comfortable and efficient vehicles at his disposal, that is the one that Lord Emery likes to ride around the grounds on. Nobody knows why.

Come through to the very front of the house. Yes, this is a wonderful room. The music room. Please note the Number 14 piano in the corner. Yes, the concert grand. Absolutely delightful. Acquired from Germany a couple of years ago. And over there is this season’s arrival, a very expensive and modern ‘synthesiser’ from the Ivory Coast. We are assured that it is really marvellous but unfortunately we can’t seem to work out how to switch it on. Do excuse the wonky number 10 trombone over there. Such a difficult instrument. Not been in tune since 2017 really.

So that concludes our tour. Do join us again soon! Sir? Madam? Where are you going?


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