Jasper has all the gear and no idea.
One summer when Jasper was fifteen he was sent to help out on his uncle’s farm. Percy didn’t have the heart to tell his sister her son was more trouble than he was worth.
But now Jasper’s regaling his new neighbours with tales of a childhood spent hunting, shooting and lambing ‘on the family farm’. He omits the time he forgot to check the safety on his 12 bore and, startled by a hare, shot poor Percy.
Jasper never much liked the country, all that mud messed up his Nikes and he spent most of the time either on his PlayStation or trying to crack his uncle’s Internet filter.
But now, in full regalia; Le Chameau wellies, a Purdey gilet, tweed plus fours and his new Beretta slung nonchalantly over one shoulder, he holds forth with tales of a muddy childhood, and how he’s finally ‘come home’ to The Manor. Bruno, his new chocolate lab, snuck out during a particularly slow anecdote, and is now several fields away.
Keen to embrace every aspect of country life, Jasper took a hireling out with The Cotswold Hunt; he was thrown at the first line, but it’s okay, everyone knows cobs are maniacs.
Another time he had his buddies down from London to shoot a buck – he still doesn’t know why people pointed out it was July. He splatters his conversation with ‘righto old chaps’ and, during an uncharacteristically acrid summer, ‘great weather for the crops, what’.
He fits right in. Being fired from JP Morgan was the best thing that ever happened to him. He’s only been in Stow-on-the-Wold a month and is already the life and soul. People guffaw with delight when he enters the local.
The Manor is first rate, and after he’s wooed the chair of the planning committee, his landscaped golf course will really be something else. Jasper has finally found his tribe.