9th December 1830

What a to-do  in this house yesterday, and Eliza for once, excited to set it all down. She doth think it wondrous I was called for to stand before so many gentlefolk and speak my piece.  But, in truth, I was that disgruntled and disturbed I think I would have gone before the King and Queen themselves on account of that there Nelly.

Nelly, as I am never likely to forget, even in my dotage, be the whey-faced, rattle-pated widgeon who hath but lately come to be scullion in place of yon Mary Ann. And a more ham-fisted cag-handed rattle-plate I have yet to meet in any kitchen in the land. So it be no wonder that she and young Willie, who be a veritable imp of Satan and none too handy with his wits neither, do hath what most would call an  ‘understanding’. (Though I do argue that between the two on ‘em there is not much understanding e’er goes on at all!)

Now yesterday being the day of the Mistresses Yule-tide At Home I was up since crack of dawn and making of my mince pies as soon as ever I could - for I am notoriously picksome regarding my mince pies; and have heard it bruited about that Mrs. Simpson’s pies have no equal this side of London .

Well, by and by my eyes was in need of ten minutes ease while my pies were set to cooling;  when who should spy me pulling up my chair to the fireside than that there Willie as he goes to the midden.
So, a few minutes later: - ‘Nelly’ cries he to that poor simple soul ‘Come ye out a minute to your Willie!’

But: ‘Lawks’ answers she ‘I cannot.  For Clara do be scrubbing of the passage way, and were I to tread upon her nice clean floor she would bring down such a peal on me as would rouse Mrs. Simpson.’ Which do prove that at least she hath one farthing’s worth of sense withal.
Yet, ‘Fustion!’ cries the beef-witted loon outside ‘Come ye out through the window, then.’

Now I have not mentioned yet, I see, that this Nelly -  amongst her other afflictions - do possess nether regions the size of one of those  hot air balloons which once we all did spy atop the Downs.  Yet, nothing loath, she doth pull up a stool, hitch up her petticoats and skirts around her waist and make to launch herself to her lovers arms.  Whereat, being Nelly, her clumsy great boots do slip upon the window sill and down she doth go with a shriek...and head and limbs and petticoats and all stuck fast inside the embrasure.

I would have left the silly goose stay there the whole day and through the night too, were it not for the fact that the window wherein she was stuck lay directly above the table upon which I had placed my mince pies and, though she may have succeeded in making her way across it with no damage to them (though now, of course, we will never know), her sudden subsidence had given the largest part of her no place to rest but bang on top of the lot. While I, opening my eyes all of a sudden to her shrieks, did think for an instant that the full moon in all its glory  hath descended to my kitchen in the middle of a winter’s day!

Well, I was so incensed that I did grab the first thing to hand which, truthfully, I did not at first notice was the poker, and belabour the offending part with cries of outrage.  At which did the daft lumpen start, and fly through the window to land face-down upon the midden with half my pies adhering to her quivering , bare bottom!

Oh! I was as sick as a cushion to think of all the work I had put in, and Mistresses guests arriving betimes, but there was nothing for it but to send that Willie around to all the pie shops. And Clara hath applied to one or two of the kitchens around about and, by the grace of God, we managed to provide some victuals for the Mistress guests.  But there! I were sore ashamed that they were not MY celebrated pies and neither did I want anyone to mistake them for it...and so I told the assembled guests.

Now Eliza doth think that  the most important part of the day. But I do think little enough of it myself. ‘ Tis enough for me that, till her dying day, that great moonling Nelly will bear a brand upon her buttocks like to Farmer Olliver’s  bull, to remind her never again to be so daft as to listen that there Willy.