Never beneath notice?

There’s something about, Beral …

Tallis Steelyard

I spend a lot of my time working in the houses of other people. It’s an inevitable side effect of my position as the finest poet of my generation. But my position is anomalous. I am not a tradesman to be restricted to certain rooms. Nor do I expect the housekeeper to assign an officious maid to supervise me and ensure I don’t walk muck into the front rooms on my dirty boots. Yet the tradesman may legitimately work in the master bedroom, a sanctum I make a point of avoiding. Similarly I am not ‘company’ but nor am I ‘staff.’

In many houses I have a degree of liberty below stairs. It is assumed that I will gravitate to the kitchen. Either because, if I am organising, I will have to coordinate things with the cook and her minions; or if I am merely performing, I’m out of sight…

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