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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 10, Number 4, December 2016

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Peter Butler
London, England


The House Round the Corner

The house round the corner was by far the poshest in the village. The 1871 census records it was owned by a brewer, who also ran The Plough Inn and several other local businesses.

The brewer had three servants, one specifically a housemaid to his wife. The maid’s duties, we learn, included scrubbing, washing, mending, and largely ignoring personal needs, occupying a tiny room in the basement, under three flights of stairs. Another servant waited by the door for the brewer’s horse and carriage to arrive each morning.

reflected in the silver
a new housemaid
already looking worn

Today, the house round the corner retains its Victorian frontage and is now multi-occupancy. It is rented by a PR executive, computer engineer, driving instructor, glazing salesman and, most recently, a pretty young foreign student who, spare time, works behind the bar at The Plough Inn.

It is said her presence in recent weeks has boosted takings, and a number of elderly admirers use words like "crumpet," "cracker" and "stunner,"a bit outside her vocabulary, contrasting her looks with the fading brewer’s portrait above the bar. But she enjoys the attention as she waits by the door for the pub manager to give her a lift to work each evening.

glowing in the mirror
she is reluctant to sponge
the kiss she got tonight

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