“Oh Great Re-Arranger of the Clan Furniture, Keeper and Guardian of the Perennial Aspidistra, He who Sees All, Hears All and Knows All, Representative of the Most Glorious Mistress Baas our Queen, Wise Senior Administrator of our Clan, to what do I owe this unexpected, yet pleasant, visit to my most humble of mills?”

“Yes…” Drawing out the word, The Senior Administrator looked up from his clipboard at the genuflecting miller, paused before marking the display of supplication as ‘acceptable’. “I have a question for you. miller.”

“Windy, Oh Great Re-Arranger of the Clan Furniture, people in this part of the village call me Windy.”

“Well …” The Senior Administrator barely stifled his sneer at the miller’s truncating of his full title, something that was becoming rather common since the honey from the new apiary had been used in the production of the clan’s first mead. It was, however, something he would have to deal with later. “Each month, miller, I allocate you 800 pounds of grain.”

“Which I mill into the finest wholemeal flour and send to the bakers, as instructed.”

“Yes.” The Senior Administrator furrowed his brow. “But they report receiving 1200 pounds of flour each month.”

“It is an efficient system.”

“Indeed it is.” His questions answered, if not explained, and not wishing to engage in any further trivial conversation, the Senior Administrator turned to leave; however. as he reached the door, the miller spoke again.

“Though people have been commenting on how the bread is gritty of late.”