Thursday, 17 May 2018

Sunday, 4th March 1838

Last week the Widow Harvey, Poisoner to the Gentry, managed to get her hands on Young Bingham Hutchinson's giant melon.

She assured me that she would make something memorable out of it. Well, she came through in Spades, because the meal she prepared will live long in the annals of culinary infamy.

She grated the thing, mixed it with flour, water and what she decribed as "secret ingredients" and fried the resulting mess as fritters. It was, she told me, "mock fish".

Exactly what  terrible offence the innocent piscene denizens of Neptune's deep have given to deserve such cruel  mockery I do not know, but it seems both needlessly harsh and undeserved.

Mock fish? We went well beyond the realms of mockery and seemed to reach savage satire. I could only slowly shake my head at the inhumanity of it all.

Then I nearly broke a tooth on something sharp and hard. It appears that Lucrezia the mad poisoner had not bothered to remove the skin from the gourd before cooking it. I questioned her about it and she said that she had done it that way deliberately. "The skin is where the goodness is!" she told me.

Clearly the woman has a different view from most as to what constitutes "goodness".

Dear Lord! We have met the new Advocate-General, Mr George Milner Stephen. In fact we seem to have become infested with the new Advocate-General, who seems to treat Government House as his personal pied a terre. As a result I find him everywhere I look and between him and Widow Harvey's brat of a child I can say that the foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Governor of South Australia hath not where to lay his head.

Other than a talent for drawing and playing the flute and the guitar I see nothing else that might recommend Mr Milner Stephen as a legal talent. He, however, seems to think that he is the finest legal  mind since Blackstone himself. Well, I admire his confidence, but remain to be convinced that his high opinion of himself is grounded in some semblance of reality.

I note that he is adept at charming the womenfolk. He has smarmed all over Mrs Hindmarsh, which suggests some strength of character, but also seems to wish to work his charms on my daughters as well. Well, we shall see.

I did feel sorry for the man when he was introduced to the delights of South Australian politicking when Mr Fisher's fiddling blew up in his face. 

After the meeting Fisher held without notice a week or so ago, where he attempted to influence the selection of land to his own and his cronies' advantage, a group of colonists went before the courts and had an injunction granted them by Milner Stephen halting Fisher's plans.

Fisher has been getting about the place saying that there was no legal action against him which is a remarkable claim given that there clearly was one. And in fact, Milner Stephen has show remarkable fortitude by replying to Fisher that "There WAS a legal action against you because I granted it!"

There was a degree of Fisherite huffing and puffing when Milner Stephen dropped some very dark hints about Contempt of Court and what might happen to a man bound over to keep the peace who did not keep to the terms of the injunction granted by the Court.

Fisher has since changed his tune to be "There was no Injunction against Mr Fisher. The injunction was granted against the actions of the Land Committe." which is a nice distinction, given that Fisher formed the Committe, chaired the meetings and stacked the membership with people who would vote as he directed. 

I swear the man is making it up as he goes along.

I have a reasonable swathe of land and, as a private land owner, wrote to FIsher asking for assurances that the value of my land would not be decreased by his actions. Well, if it gave Mr Fisher a few moments discomfort then it brightened my day.

Instead Fisher is now claiming that I am, as Governor, interfering in the proper workings of the Commissioner's business and that the Crown (meaning me) has no right to expect an answer.

Well, that seems rich! The number of times I issued a Proclamation and had Fisher declare it none of his business and hence not Government business! And now, when I enquire AS A PRIVATE CITIZEN he starts sqealing like a stuck pig about interference.

The man is out of control and I cannot help but feel that one of us will have to go!  

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