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The People’s Friend - March 18, 2018

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The inspiring art of the
suffragette movement
Mar 17, 2018 No.7718
�30
The Mabaso
children send their
thanks to our
generous readers!
Fabulous fiction
? Pamela Kavanagh?s sparkling spring romance
? Our new serial set in 1882 by Louise J. Stevens
Health Tips
Seven easy ways
to lower your
blood pressure
Pilgrimage to
17-Mar- 2018
�30
Plymouth
9770262238299
11
AU $4.50, NZ $4.50
UK Off-sale date - 21-Mar-18
Competitions open to UK residents only, unless otherwise stated.
7
feel-good stories
Explore Devon?s lovely south coast city
Free
Pattern
Inside
Add an
extra layer
with this
stylish
knitted top
Moneyoff coupon
inside
Tasty Irish
recipes to
celebrate
St Patrick?s
Day
Author Kate
Thompson
chats about
her great
new novel
this week
Inside The People?s Friend
If you like the ?Friend?
then you?ll love...
The People?s Friend Special
No 154, priced �99
On sale
now!
l 8 pages of puzzles
l 14 brand-new short stories
The People?s Friend Pocket
Novel No 856, priced �49
l A modern romance
by Chrissie Loveday
Cover Artwork: Plymouth, Devon by J. Campbell Kerr.
Available in newsagents & supermarkets
Fiction
Regulars
Features
4 Oceans Apart
by Amanda Antonio
15 Lyrics Of Love
by Jacqui Cooper
23 Out Of His League
by Lesley-Anne Johnston
25 SERIES Tales From
Prospect House
by Malcolm Welshman
30 SERIAL Alfred?s
Emporium
by Louise J. Stevens
43 Food For The Soul
by Samantha Tonge
55 One Of The Flock
by Pamela Kavanagh
61 The New Kid
by Alyson Hilbourne
68 SERIAL The Secret of
Trefusis Cove
by Pat Thornborough
87 Singing In The Rain
by Mhairi Grant
93 WEEKLY SOAP Riverside
by Glenda Young
7 This Week We?re Loving
13 Maddie?s World
18 Health & Wellbeing
24 Reader Offer: Half Price
Spring Fiction
27 Brainteasers
35 The Farmer & His Wife
36 Cookery: we celebrate
St Patrick?s Day with a
tasty selection of recipes
59 Our Next Issue
75 From The Manse
Window
79 Would You Believe It?
81 Knitting: an overtop
adds the perfect extra
layer for this time of
year
94 Between Friends
8 Simon Whaley enjoys a
Plymouth pilgrimage
21 7 easy ways to improve
blood pressure
29 Kate Thompson talks
about her new book
?The Allotment Girls?,
plus money-off voucher.
40 Great work is being done
at the Winnie Mabaso
Foundation thanks to
your donations
53 Join in our Talking Point
64 Lorna Cowan explores
influential posters from
the Suffragette era
67 Dawn Geddes discovers
how one charity is
tackling dementia
77 Artist and photographer
Peter Lovelock talks
about what inspires him
85 Sew, Make, Enjoy
91 Extra puzzle fun
p36
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www.thepeoplesfriend.co.uk
www.facebook.com/PeoplesFriendMagazine
Last year, in a gesture
of truly astonishing
generosity, ?Friend?
readers donated over
�,000 through our
Hand of Friendship
campaign to the Winnie
Mabaso Foundation.
Turn to page 40 to read
an inspiring update from
the charity?s founder,
Lisa Ashton, on all that
has been achieved with
your money so far.
Another highlight for
me this week is Lorna
Cowan?s brilliant article
on page 64 about the
poster art used by the
suffragette movement
100 years ago to further
its cause. And I also love
the idea behind Lingo
Flamingo, which aims to
tackle dementia by
teaching people a
second language. Dawn
Geddes explains how it
works on page 67.
Our compelling new
serial, ?Alfred?s
Emporium?, which
begins this week on
page 30, is the first
author Louise J. Stevens
has written for us. It?s
centred around
ambitious young
shopkeeper Alfred and
his dreams for the
future, and is a great
read ? I hope you enjoy
it.
Finally, don?t miss our
Irish recipes for St
Patrick?s Day ? they
sound delicious!
Angela Gilchrist, Editor.
twitter.com/@TheFriendMag
Oceans Apart
Grief had driven
a wedge
between them,
and Anna
couldn?t see a
way back . . .
Illustration by Mandy Dixon.
A
NNA PRESTON
dug her
fingernails into
the palms of her
hands. She
should never have agreed
to a weekend away on the
boat. It was too much, too
soon.
She leaned back to watch
a white gull wheeling in the
cobalt sky. The bird?s
plaintive cry stirred the
pain in her chest.
Her heart was a
shattered mess. Would she
ever feel normal again?
On the deck of the cabin
cruiser, her husband,
Michael, straightened from
securing the anchor warp
and sent her a thin smile.
?All right there, love??
Anna didn?t reply. She
knew Michael was well
aware of her answer.
She swivelled her head
and dared a glance across
the water to the curving
stretch of beach. A party
was getting underway on
the pale frill of sand. A
party she was expected to
attend.
The knot in her stomach
drew tighter.
In the past, she?d loved
nothing better than a social
occasion with Michael and
their friends. Right now,
though, all she wanted was
to stay on the boat, alone.
Michael?s sturdy frame
came into view as he
stepped into the cockpit,
his hair a windswept mess
about his face. He pushed
it back from his forehead
and joined her on the
padded bench seat.
The trip away had been
his suggestion. To clear
their heads, he?d said.
Though judging by the
amount of alcohol stowed
on board, head clearing
was the least of his
intentions.
?Looks like they?re
starting the bonfire.? He
turned towards her, an
expectant look on his face.
?How about we fetch the
cooler and go ashore??
Warmth flared on Anna?s
skin as he settled his arm
next to hers. She pulled
away, preferring the sting
of the evening breeze
instead.
Michael stared at her, his
eyes betraying not only
hurt but a good measure of
irritation as well.
To his credit, he stayed
silent.
Anna stood up and
leaned against the cruiser?s
railing. Across the bay, a
flotilla of various craft
bobbed on the incoming
tide.
In the distance, she could
see their friends Rick and
Tina arriving in Rhubarb,
the quirky sailboat with the
green hull and red mast.
Normally the sight made
her smile, but not today.
Today nothing lightened
her mood.
?You go in if you like.?
She licked the tang of salt
air from her lips. ?I?m
staying here for a while.?
?What? Anna, no.?
Michael?s voice, usually a
smooth baritone, jumped
an octave. ?I?m not leaving
you here on your own, love.
Not like this. Besides, you
said ??
?I know what I said,
Michael, but I?ve changed
my mind. I?m not ready.?
Not when she still felt so
empty.
She moved her hands to
her stomach, to the raw,
SHORT STORY BY AMANDA ANTONIO 5
vacant spot where only
weeks before their first
child had lain cradled
inside her. Until death had
swooped in and stolen her
precious dream.
Michael stepped behind
her and slid his arms over
hers.
?Anna . . .?
The word was hollowsounding, as if dredged
from somewhere deep in
his throat.
It struck Anna that it was
all Michael needed to say.
Because the other words
? the ones he undoubtedly
wanted to say, but couldn?t
? were there between them
anyway.
Words like ?How could
you let this happen, Anna??
Those silent accusations
loomed as surely as if he?d
shouted them in her face.
She pushed at his hands
and spun round.
?What is it you want from
me, Michael??
He flinched, but a brutal
pressure built from within,
searching for an outlet.
?You keep saying we?ll get
through this together,
Anna, but we?re not
together, are we??
From across the bay,
Rick rowed Rhubarb?s
green dinghy straight
towards them. Tina waved
from the stern.
?Hey!? she called. ?We?ve
come to collect you for the
party.?
Anna stared at Michael,
her breath a series of
short, sharp gasps.
?I can?t do this. Tell them
I?m sick or something.?
She ducked into the
galley, heading to the
forward cabin where she
could lick her wounds in
private.
Tina knew about the
baby. The conversation had
been brief and awkward.
?I?m so sorry,? Tina had
said, and then offered a
girls? night out as
consolation.
Anna realised she meant
well, but none of her
friends understood. They
were young career women
like herself. Babies were
something for the future.
?Sick?? Michael grabbed
the cooler from inside the
cabin, his expression dark
and unyielding. ?Sick of
your husband by the sound
of things.?
He turned around and
moved towards the waiting
dinghy.
?Well, you know where to
find me if you change your
mind.?
Anna dug her nails into
her palms again and
choked back the sob that
rose in her throat. Her life
was in turmoil, and her
marriage in shreds.
She threw herself on to
the bed and lay curled in a
ball, invisible fingers
wringing the air from her
lungs.
Breathe, Anna, she told
herself. You have to find a
way through this.
Sleep rode in on the back
of exhaustion, a fitful
stream of mercurial
thoughts that brought her
no peace.
When she finally awoke,
the sun was beginning to
set. Minute by minute the
vibrant hues of scarlet and
tangerine bled into the
horizon until all that
remained was a lipstick
smudge.
She returned to the
cockpit, stretching her
cramped legs on the bench
seat and covering herself
with a blanket.
Night sounds enveloped
her: waves lapping a
hypnotic rhythm against
the hull; the soft clang of a
halyard on a yacht?s mast.
The smell of grilled food
wafted out to her, too. Not
that she cared to eat
anything. Anger seemed
the only thing sustaining
her these days ? that and a
sadness so profound it
spiralled through every
nerve.
The pregnancy had come
as a bolt from the blue. Her
family was ecstatic on
hearing the news, and
Michael could scarcely
contain himself.
He designed and built
boats for a living, and the
thought of one day crafting
a boat for his own child had
him twirling her round in
delight.
She, on the other hand,
with a degree in journalism
and an eye on one day
becoming editor of the
current affairs magazine
she worked for, took a little
longer to convince.
The only baby she knew
was her sister?s: an applecheeked little girl who
appeared to Anna as the
golden sphere her parents
orbited round.
Was she ready for the
same level of commitment
herself? Was she capable
of caring for a tiny human
being, the likes of which
she knew nothing about?
In the end it was Michael
who had settled the
matter.
He pulled her on to the
sofa one night and took her
hands in his. The gesture
was gentle, yet possessed
Anna was happy to give
the little fellow his freedom,
but sadness bruised her
heart at the same time.
Letting go was never her
strong suit.
Back on the sofa, she
gazed into Michael?s eyes.
?That was different,? she
said. ?There?s no
comparison between a
hedgehog and a baby.?
Michael laughed.
?Agreed, but your
nurturing instincts rose to
the challenge of protecting
a vulnerable animal that
night. I know I grumbled
Sadness bruised her heart. Letting
go was never her strong suit
an underlying strength that
made her feel loved and
protected.
?I know you?re a bit
shaken up, love,? he said.
?But you?re going to make
a wonderful mother.?
Anna blew out a sigh.
?You don?t know that for
sure.?
?Yes, I do. Remember the
hedgehog incident on our
honeymoon??
The memory caused her
to smile. They?d rented a
holiday cottage in the
Cotswolds for a week.
One night a hedgehog
had appeared on the patio,
sporting a nasty scratch
across its nose and looking
the worse for wear. Anna
had rushed to its aid.
?Michael, see if you can
find a box and some
newspaper,? she?d called.
Then she?d cleaned the
wound with warm salty
water and dabbed on some
aloe vera gel to help with
the healing.
?We?ll take him to a vet in
the morning to make sure
he?s OK.?
?Goodness, how much
will that cost?? Michael had
replied. ?And what about
our trip to the farmers?
market??
?Oh, Michael, you don?t
expect me to leave a poor
defenceless creature out
there with an infected cut,
do you??
Michael hadn?t, of course,
and after receiving the
all-clear from the vet,
they?d let him loose in the
garden again.
about having our
honeymoon plans
interrupted, but to be
honest I was quite in awe of
you.?
Anna blinked.
?You were??
?Of course I was. I still
am, actually.?
Then he led her to the
computer and showed her
a YouTube video of a
developing baby in the
womb. At the six-week
mark, she could clearly see
the baby?s heartbeat on an
ultrasound scan.
It was a miracle in the
making, and from that
moment on everything had
changed for the better.
She and Michael were
growing their own golden
sphere, she realised, and
her heart had overflowed
with joy.
* * * *
Anna drew her knees to
her chest and pulled the
blanket tighter around her.
The weight of events from
the past month had her
doubting Michael would
ever be in awe of her again.
Her heart tumbled as she
closed her eyes and
succumbed to another
long-ago memory ? the
summer she?d given her
heart to a young man
whose smouldering eyes
and kisses had sent her to
heaven. But with him
bound for university at one
end of the country and her
at the other, they?d both
known it wasn?t to be.
On their last night
6
together, he?d given her
a locket with their names
engraved on either side.
?It holds the memory of
us,? he?d said. Then he?d
kissed her and told her to
stay strong.
But she hadn?t. Her heart
might as well have stopped
beating, and the next day
she couldn?t get out of bed
for crying. It seemed she
would never find love again.
But things had begun to
improve, albeit slowly.
She?d gone off to
university, and though the
pain of losing her first love
had still rippled through
her, she?d also appreciated
that the loss had made her
stronger.
It was something she was
never more aware of than
on the day she stood with
her classmates to collect
her degree.
An ocean swell rocked
the boat and Anna opened
her eyes.
She could sit out here
wallowing in pain and grief
for the rest of the evening,
but that wouldn?t change a
thing. What she needed to
do was share the burden of
loss, not seal it inside like a
great, unmovable stone.
So many things were good
in her life: a rewarding job,
a comfortable home, and a
boat for weekend
excursions.
Most important ? at least
it had been until a few
weeks ago ? was her
relationship with Michael.
Michael, who in his own
aggrieved way was suffering
as much as she was.
Anna dragged in a breath
as realisation hit her.
The time had come to
reach out to the most
important person in her
passion and strength.
She scrambled to her
feet. The night wind carried
the noise of revellers from
the beach and the rhythmic
sound of oars rubbing
against rowlocks, the gentle
splash as they dipped in
and out of the sea.
Her pulse quickened as
she recognised the
approaching figure of
Michael, coming back for
her just as he had after
graduation.
He?d turned up on her
doorstep one day, a little
older and wiser-looking, to
declare that despite three
years of separation, he
couldn?t let go of her. The
puzzle of his life was
missing a piece.
?I couldn?t do it, love,? he
said. ?I couldn?t stay on the
beach with you out here on
your own.?
Anna slipped her hand
into his.
?I want to confess
something,? she said. ?I?ve
been insisting I need time
on my own to think things
through, when what I?ve
really been doing is pushing
you further and further
away, because I haven?t
been able to face you.?
Michael opened his
mouth to say something,
but she cut him off.
?The thing is, we were
lucky before. We found our
way back to each other and
the puzzle became
complete. But not this time.
?This time we?ve lost a
piece we can?t get back,
and I saw no way to co pe
with the pain.
?But now I?m wondering
that if we also put our
child?s memory inside the
locket, we?ll be carrying it
together and the burden
She wanted to be with her
husband more than anything
life, because as much as
love hurt sometimes, it also
had the power to heal.
The blanket slid to the
floor as thoughts of her
husband?s love took shape
in her mind. She wanted to
be with him now more than
anything in the world.
He was everything real in
her life, and she wanted his
arms around her, his
won?t be quite so heavy.
Does that make sense to
you??
Michael lifted the silver
locket fastened around her
neck, his name engraved on
one side, hers on the other.
?I think it makes perfect
sense.?
Watching his strong
fingers around the locket,
something inside Anna
uncurled. Enough to make
her admit that her troubles
felt lighter already.
There was one other
thing, though, and even
although she already knew
the answer, she still needed
to be reassured.
?Do you blame me,
Michael? For losing our
baby??
Michael brushed her
cheek with the back of
rhythm of his heart beat a
comforting tattoo.
?We are strong people,
and together we?re even
stronger. Life isn?t always
easy, but whatever comes
our way we?ll find the
means to cope.?
He pressed a tender kiss
to her temple.
?For now it?s a beautiful
night for star gazing, so
let?s put those negative
The rhythm of his heart beat a
comforting tattoo
his hand.
?Is that what you think?
I?ve been sad and unhappy,
yes, but mostly for what
you went through ? never
because of you.
?For some reason we?re
not meant to be parents
yet, but there will be
another baby for us to love.
I?m sure of it.?
Anna gazed up at his
earnest expression.
?I want to believe you,
but what if there aren?t any
more? What if we can?t
have children??
Michael drew her into his
arms then, guiding her
head to his chest. It was
warm and hard, and the
thoughts aside and take
some time out for us.?
Anna wrapped her arms
around his neck.
?I think you might be
forgetting something.
That?s Rick and Tina?s
dinghy tied to the back of
our boat, and without it,
they?re marooned on the
beach.
?We could just cut it
loose,? Michael joked. ?I?m
sure it will drift into shore.?
Anna laughed for the first
time in weeks.
?It?s tempting, but I have
another idea. Why don?t
we row it in together? I
think I?m ready to join the
party.? n
What inspired me...
Leafing through a
magazine one day, an
image leapt out and
gave me pause.
It depicted a mother
holding a newborn baby.
but it was the woman?s
expression that drew me
into the scene. Her smile
brimmed with intense
joy, yet her eyes held an
echo of pain.
The caption mentioned
the child being a longawaited miracle, and I
wondered if she may
have had difficulty
conceiving or worse,
even lost a baby along
the way.
As heart-wrenching as
that last thought was, I
decided to write a story
Amanda Antonio.
about the aftermath of
such an event, but with
an uplifting ending that
offered hope for the
future.
As for the setting, I?ve
always found a certain
calmness around water
and thought a gently
rocking boat would be
the perfect place for
Anna to find her peace.
loving
BITS & PIECES 7
iStock.
iStock.
This week we?re
Titanic Stories
The Cat?s Whiskers
The National Maritime Museum in
Falmouth has pushed the boat out
with its Titanic Stories exhibition
featuring never before seen artifacts
and focusing on the passengers?
tales. It will run through the year.
Did you know that cat ownership is
rising, with more men than ever taking
on a feline friend? It has been estimated
that almost one in five men now owns
a moggie, which leads us to ask, is there
competition to be man?s best friend?
Anyone For Tea?
Happy Birthday!
GREK herbal teas are created using
Greek herbs from suppliers who are
100% organically certified. Flavours
include chamomile, peppermint,
lemon verbena and fragrant blends, all
packaged in striking black and white
boxes. Details from www.grektea.com.
Switch On
The Plumen 001 is the
world?s first designer
light bulb, using 80%
less energy than a
traditional incandescent
bulb and striking
enough to be a focal
point in any room. See the
full range at www.plumen.
com or call 0207 650 7882.
For All The Family
Fancy a drive, anyone? The Amalfi
coast, South Africa?s garden route,
the Great Ocean Road, Australia,
Normandy and Scotland?s North
Coast 500 have been voted the
top five romantic road trips from
around the world.
iStock.
Road Trip
iStock.
Looking Back
Details correct at time of going to press.
This little book features stunning
images of flowstones (smooth
river rocks wrapped in polymer
clay) alongside instructions on
how to create your own. Written by
designer Amy Goldin, it is available
from book and craft outlets.
Alamy.
The evergreen Glenn Close
celebrates her seventy-first
birthday on March 19. Amazingly,
this talented lady has never won
an Oscar, though she has been
nominated six times. She is, though,
the winner of two Golden Globes.
Flowstones
A recent survey for BA revealed that
the things people missed most in this
digital age was making a mixtape from
the radio, recording TV programmes
on VHS and creating photo albums.
Today?s options may be easier but not
necessarily as much fun!
The latest Disney blockbuster hits
the cinemas this week. ?A Wrinkle
In Time? tells
the tale of
a brother
and sister
searching in
space for their
lost father.
Starring
Oprah Winfrey
and Reese
Witherspoon,
it is set to
be an Easter
winner.
Pilgrimage To
Plymouth
Simon Whaley enjoys a journey
around this delightful Devonshire city.
This
week?s
cover
feature
Factfile
n John Howland fell
overboard Mayflower
during a storm and was
nearly lost at sea, but
managed to grab the
topsail halyards. It gave
the crew enough time to
rescue him with a boat
hook.
Photographs by Simon Whaley.
n Royal William Yard is
home to the largest
collection of
Grade I-listed military
buildings in Europe.
n There are many other
Plymouths around the
world, but Devon?s is the
original.
n Plymouth had a pier
near the Hoe, but it was
bombed during the war.
C
LIMB the oak
tree,? the tourist
guide says, ?but
think laterally.? She
winks as she
hands over a map of
Plymouth to help me
explore.
I have to admit, it?s been a
few years since I last
climbed a tree. But this
wasn?t quite what I was
expecting to do in Plymouth.
This Devonshire city is
sandwiched between two
rivers ? the Plym in the east
and the Tamar to the west.
It overlooks Plymouth
Sound, a natural bay with
deep water channels,
perfect for commercial
shipping and the Royal
Navy?s warships and
submarines.
The tourist centre is
located in the marvellous
Mayflower Museum, with a
great balcony on the third
floor overlooking Sutton
Harbour, Plymouth?s
original port.
The city?s fishing industry
is still based here,
commemorated by a large
sculpture known locally as
the Barbican or Plymouth
Prawn.
It?s not like any prawn I?ve
seen. It has what looks like
the head of an angler fish, a
cormorant?s feet, the fin of a
John Dory, a lobster claw,
and the tail of a
plesiosaurus!
Nearby I spy the
Mayflower Steps, one of
Plymouth?s most famous
landmarks. It was from
here, in September 1620,
that 102 pilgrims set sail on
an ageing merchant ship
called the Mayflower to
start a new life in the New
World ? or North America
as we know it today.
It was a challenging
crossing, and the prevailing
westerly winds meant it
took them 66 days to cross
the Atlantic, before they
eventually arrived in
America, near Cape Cod.
One year later, the
pilgrims celebrated their
first harvest in the New
World with a three-day
festival of thanksgiving,
which has become one of
America?s most famous
The Plymouth Prawn.
THIS WEEK?S COVER FEATURE 9
Drake Island in
Plymouth Sound.
The Plymouth Gin
Bar with ship?s-hull
inspired roof.
public holidays.
There?s a huge scale
model of the Mayflower
here in the museum. Is it
made of oak? It?s not big
enough to climb, so this
can?t be the oak tree the
tourist guide was teasing
me with.
The Mayflower Museum
sits in the Barbican area of
Plymouth, one of the oldest
sections of the city, and the
streets are narrow and
cobbled.
Southside Street is home
to Plymouth Gin, which is
the oldest working gin
distillery in England. My
guide, Pippa, asks me to
leave my camera in a locker,
and instructs me to turn off
my mobile phone.
?When we enter the
distillery,? she says, ?the air
may contain alcoholic
vapours, which could be
ignited by electrical
gadgets.?
A model of the
Mayflower in
the Mayflower
Museum.
And not just gadgets,
either. Just as I enter the
distillery I have to grab a
metal bar to make sure any
static electricity in my body
has been discharged, too.
Pippa explains that the
sailors drank rum, but the
Royal Navy?s officers drank
gin. Their original gin recipe
dates back to 1793, and its
41.2% proof strength is
down to Navy regulations.
These stipulated that no
accidentally spilt liquid
should affect the
flammability of gunpowder.
Plymouth Gin?s 41.2%
strength ensured the navy?s
gunpowder still went off
with a bang!
From the distillery I?m
taken upstairs to the gin
bar, where it?s believed
many of the original
Mayflower pilgrims spent
their last night in Plymouth.
A plaque on the wall lists
all the pilgrims, but my eyes
are sidetracked by the roof.
It looks like an upturned
ship?s hull. Is it made of
oak? There?s no way to
climb it, even if it is.
Back outside, the maze of
tiny streets disorientates
me, and I suddenly stumble
across a narrow passageway
between two houses that
leads to Elizabethan
Gardens. Perhaps there?s an
oak tree in here?
I pass through the dark
passageway and emerge
into an idyllically quiet
oasis. The tinkling of a
water fountain is the only
sound I can hear.
Low box hedges create a
formal garden design, with
plenty of seats to sit and
relax in today?s unexpected
sunshine. I spy a tree, but
it?s not an oak, so it?s not
what I?m looking for.
These gardens were
created in 1970, on derelict
grounds where 16th-century
merchants? houses once
stood.
All this exploring has me
feeling peckish, and a
delicious smell draws me to
the Harbourside fish and
chip shop.
Not only is there a huge
queue outside, which is
always a good sign, but
they?ve also won, or been
shortlisted for, so many
awards they must collect
them by the boatload!
Now there?s an idea.
Perhaps I might solve this
conundrum by taking to the
sea.
Within minutes, I?m sitting
onboard the Plymouth
Adventurer, one of
Plymouth Boat Trips? many
vessels operating around
the city. I?ve opted for the
hour-long harbour tour, and
the friendly skipper is soon
sharing his knowledge of
the city.
?To the left lies Plymouth
Breakwater, which stretches
for over 1,560 metres,
about a mile, and was built
between 1812 and 1841.
?It?s thirteen metres wide
at the top, is ten metres
deep, and is sixty-five
metres wide at the bottom.
That?s about four million
tons of rock!?
We pass Drake?s Island,
an island in the middle of
the Sound, which was
originally called St Michael?s
after the chapel that had
been built on it.
It was later changed to
St Nicholas?s island, but for
the last century has been
named after Sir Francis
Drake, who circumnavigated
the world during the
Elizabethan period.
The boat continues
The Mayflower Steps.
10
The Bakery and Mill building
at Royal William Yard.
Smeaton?s
Tower at
sunrise.
up the River Tamar,
which the skipper jokes
?is the dividing line
between Cornwall on the
left and England on the
right!?
The Tamar is also home
to the Royal Navy docks at
Devonport, the largest naval
base in Western Europe,
and the only place where
the Royal Navy?s nuclear
submarines can be repaired
or refuelled.
It?s time to turn back, and
the Plymouth Adventurer
does this at Torpoint, where
three chain-link ferries
transport vehicles across the
River Tamar from Devonport
Looking down the
steps from the lantern
of Smeaton?s Tower.
to Cornwall.
I?m still looking for this oak
tree as we pass the Royal
William Yard, which is now a
fascinating place of holiday
accommodation, flats, offices
and restaurants.
It used to be known as
the Royal William Victualling
Yard. Victual is the old
English word for provisions,
and this was the Royal
Navy?s store cupboard.
Everything a Royal Navy
warship needed could be
stocked here.
The Grade I- and II-listed
buildings are still all
labelled with their function,
including the bakery,
cooperage (where barrels
were made),
slaughterhouse and
brewhouse.
Soon we?re running past
one of Plymouth?s most
famous landmarks, the Hoe,
which originates from the
Anglo Saxon for ?high
ground?. It?s topped by the
red and white striped
lighthouse known as
Smeaton?s Tower.
The view from the top
must be amazing, so I
decide that?s my next
destination.
Smeaton?s Tower was
originally built in 1759 as a
lighthouse to stand on the
Eddystone Reef, some 14
miles out to sea from
Plymouth. However, in the
19th century it was
discovered that the rocks on
which it stood were
eroding. The decision was
taken to dismantle it, block
by block, and re-erect it on
the Hoe.
Smeaton was the first
engineer who pioneered
the use of hydraulic lime, a
cement that would set
underwater. He gave his
lighthouse strength by
building it with a series of
interlocking, dovetailed
blocks of stone.
Then I spot it. I?m in an
oak tree!
Well, not an actual oak
tree, but the tourist guide
did say I needed to think
laterally. John Smeaton?s
lighthouse design has been
copied by many other
lighthouses, because it?s
shaped like the trunk of an
oak tree.
Chuffed I?ve now found
the intriguing oak, all that?s
left to do is climb the steps
to the lantern room, where
the all-important light
source was a chandelier
holding tallow candles. And
what a view!
Stretching from Dartmoor
in the east, round to Mount
Edgcumbe park and
Cornwall in the west, it
proves that Plymouth really
is a picturesque place. n
Statue to Sir
Francis Drake
on the Hoe at
Plymouth.
Getting there
By car:
Plymouth lies
on Devon?s
south coast,
and the M5
merges into
the A38
leading
directly to Plymouth.
By train: Plymouth is
easily accessible from
London Paddington,
Birmingham, Manchester
and Scotland.
Want to know more?
Tourist Information Centre, Plymouth Mayflower, 3-5 The Barbican, Plymouth PL1 2LR.
Tel: 01752 306330 E-mail: barbicantic@plymouth.gov.uk
Website: www.visitplymouth.co.uk
MADDIE?S WORLD 13
?Here?s to their
continued success
and a long tenancy?
Photographs courtesy of Maddie Grigg.
I
In her weekly column,
Maddie Grigg shares
tales from her life in
rural Dorset . . .
T?S been a while since I
mentioned the Lush
Places pub, and several of
you have asked me what
the new landlords are
like.
I was waiting until they
were really settled in before
I wrote anything. I didn?t
want to wax lyrical and
enthuse, only for them to
throw the towel over the
pumps and call ?Time?. This
has happened in other
villages.
Well, I?m delighted to say
that DJ Landlord and Mrs
Plum have taken to village
life like the proverbial ducks
to water.
They?ve run a pub before,
on the edge of a town, just
over the county border in
Somerset. Village life is a bit
different from the suburbs,
but the move to the
countryside is just what they
wanted. So here?s to their
continued success and a
long tenancy.
Lush Places has had too
many ups and downs as far
as the pub is concerned. We
need to keep supporting it.
It is often those who don?t
use a facility who are the
first to moan when it?s gone,
particularly when they learn
that having a well-run and
friendly village pub is
beneficial to the value of
their houses.
Many home-buyers regard
being close to a good local
pub as an important factor
when they purchase a
property. Popular pubs give
people moving to a village a
chance to meet their new
neighbours.
It?s fish and chip night
tonight and, in the tradition
of our previous landlords,
Jim and Tonic, DJ and Mrs
Plum play host to those
who are waiting for their
supper to be cooked in the
van outside.
It?s a chance to sit with
friends and neighbours
while enjoying a pint or a
soft drink. And if the
conversation becomes
enthralling just when you?re
about to collect your chips,
well, you can bring your
chips in and eat them in the
pub.
Like Jim and Tonic, DJ and
Mrs Plum provide plates,
salt and vinegar and sauces
so you can eat your chips at
their tables. The ladies in
the chip van will even
deliver your chips to the pub
at the end of their session at
eight p.m.
Tonight, talk turns again to
the village pump. Mr Grigg
and Spanish John have
been busy hacking away at
the concrete base, to reveal
a pipe going deep into the
ground. How deep they?re
not really sure, because
there?s at least one kink in
it.
The debate centres on
whether there is water at
the bottom of the pipe and,
if so, where it comes from
and how we get it out.
There is disagreement over
whether it?s from a tank or a
Will Lush Places ever see the
village pump back in use?
well. It probably won?t be
drinking water, that?s for
sure.
?What we need is a pump
to pump up the water,? Mr
Grigg says.
?Isn?t that what the
pump?s for?? I say.
?Yes, but we need to find
out if the water will come
up before we put the pump
in place. And we need to
get a new handle made for
it.?
Spanish John favours
hiring a pump to get at the
water, but Mr Grigg wants to
talk to an old chap in the
village who is apparently an
expert on pumps.
Someone suggests we
should ask the local fire
brigade if they?d like to
incorporate the hunt for the
Lush Places pump water
into one of their weekly
practice nights.
Then DJ Landlord puts on
the jazzy ?Wade In The
Water? by Ramsey Lewis
which, rather appropriately,
is closely followed by ?The
In Crowd? by the same
artist.
That gets us up off our bar
stools before our chips
arrive. n
SHORT STORY BY JACQUI COOPER 15
Lyrics
Of Love
It was the bane of Aurora?s
life, to be called after such a
well-known song . . .
Illustration by Sarah Holliday.
T
HERE was a new
guy working in Ro?s
favourite coffee
shop.
?Name?? he asked
after she?d ordered her
usual latte.
Ro narrowed her eyes at
him. That was pretty bold
for a first meeting.
He laughed at her
expression.
?New system,? he
explained. ?I write your
name on your cup and call
you when it?s ready. That
way people don?t have to
hang about at the counter.?
There did seem to be
names on the cups. Ro had
a choice ? give him her
name and face the usual
reaction, or do without her
coffee.
?Ro,? she said after just a
moment?s hesitation.
He raised an eyebrow.
?Let me guess: short for
Rhona??
She said nothing.
?Robyn? Roberta?
Rosalita??
She sighed.
?Aurora.?
His grin widened.
?Aurora? Seriously??
After twenty years Ro
knew she should be used to
the reaction by now.
?It was my mother?s
choice. It means dawn.?
His eyes creased with
laughter.
?Couldn?t she just have
called you Dawn??
?You?d think,? Ro
muttered.
?Shame your middle
name isn?t Mae.?
She looked at him.
He laughed.
?You?re kidding?
Seriously? Your name is
Aurora Mae??
Then he did what
everyone did when they
heard Ro?s name. He sang
a few words of the song.
?Aurora Mae, you?re
OK . . .?
At least he didn?t do the
stupid dance.
?I?ll be over there by the
window,? Ro said coolly
and walked away.
Words could not describe
how much she hated that
stupid, stupid song!
?Aurora Mae?. The
irritating, catchy tune had
hit number one the year Ro
was born.
It was one of those songs
that had gone beyond fame
to pass into popular
culture, like Slade?s ?Merry
Christmas, Everybody?.
The whole world knew it.
Everyone could sing at least
half the lyrics, and did
exactly that when they
heard Ro?s name.
The cute guy brought
over her coffee a few
minutes later.
?Sorry. I suppose you get
that a lot.?
?No, you?re the first.
No-one?s ever done that
before.?
Grinning, he dropped into
the seat opposite.
?Tea break,? he
explained.
He held out his hand.
?I?m Tim. And I really do
love that song. The Jack
Laker original is by far the
best version. I spent more
time trying to master that
guitar solo than I did
studying for my exams.
?Probably goes a long
way to explaining why I?m
working in a coffee shop.?
He really was attractive.
And he could hardly be
held responsible for how Ro
felt about the song. She
decided to forgive him.
?A fan.? She rolled her
eyes. ?I should introduce
you to my mother. She and
Dad went to school with
Jack Laker.?
* * * *
That was the beginning of
a beautiful friendship, which
developed into a beautiful
romance and, several years
later, to the planning of a
hopefully beautiful wedding.
A month before the big
date, Ro and Tim sat at her
mum?s kitchen table, doing
a final check.
?Flowers?? Tim read from
a list.
?I phoned the florist
today.?
?Caterers??
?Check. Thanks, Mum,?
Ro said as her mother put a
plate of sandwiches on the
table.
?I spoke to the DJ,? Tim
told her. ?He wants to
know about the song for
our first dance. I was
wondering . . .?
Ro knew what he was
going to say.
?No way. That song has
been the bane of my life! I
won?t allow it to ruin my
wedding. Besides, a song
about a break-up is hardly
appropriate.?
Tim looked surprised.
?A break-up? That?s not
what I hear in the lyrics.?
He appealed to his
soon-to-be mother-in-law
for support.
Laura had her sandwich
halfway to her mouth. She
shrugged.
?So I walk away,? Ro
sang, ?because I?m not the
one . . .?
?I gaze into your eyes
and see the universe
unfold,? Tim countered.
?It?s a love song!?
Half an hour later, Ro
showed Tim out. When she
came back, her mother
hadn?t moved from the
table.
?Can you believe he?s
pushing for that song?? Ro
said, gathering up the
dishes. ?He knows how I
feel about it.?
She noticed her mother?s
expression.
?Mum? You OK??
?Sit down, Aurora,? her
mother said quietly.
?There?s something I need
to tell you.?
?What is it?? she asked
anxiously. ?What?s wrong??
Her mother wouldn?t
meet her eye.
?I?m fine. I should
have told you this
16
after your dad died. You
know your dad and I
went to school with Jack
Laker??
Relief flooded through Ro.
?Yes, Mum, I do know.
And you were so star-struck
you named me after his
first big hit. I forgive you,
but I?m not having that
song!?
?I didn?t name you after
the song,? her mother said
quietly.
?Of course you did. It
was number one when I was
born.?
Laura shook her head.
?You were six months old
when the song came out.?
?Six months? Are you
telling me Jack Laker
named a song after me??
Her smile faded when she
saw her mother?s
expression.
?Mum??
?Jack, your dad and I all
lived in the same street.?
?You were neighbours! I
didn?t know that.?
?We were more than
neighbours. The three of us
were inseparable.?
?But ??
?Please, love. This is
really hard. Let me tell it
my own way.?
Ro waited impatiently.
?Jack and I, well, for a
while we were an item,? her
mother continued.
?No! You and Jack Laker?
But you and Dad got
married when you just
turned eighteen!?
Her mother swallowed.
?Before that, Jack and I
were together. He had a
wild streak, Jack. It was
what made him so much
fun, but your grandparents
didn?t approve of him. He
Her mother licked her
lips.
?I got pregnant. When I
told Jack, he left for London
the very next day.?
Ro stilled. So did time.
?You were pregnant?
With me??
Her mother nodded.
?And he just left you??
Laura sighed.
?You have to understand.
Jack lived for his music and
he always had done. He
wanted fame so badly.
More than he wanted me.?
?Or me!?
Laura reached for Ro?s
hand.
?We were both young. I
think my news terrified
him.? She shook her head.
?I couldn?t ask him to give
up his music. And I didn?t
want to raise a baby living
on the road.?
?So you married Dad,?
Ro said, her voice accusing.
?Did he know you were
pregnant??
?Of course,? Laura said
sharply. ?Philip knew Jack
better than anyone. He
knew he wasn?t coming
back and how hard it would
be to raise a baby alone.
?He was my best friend
? he proposed that same
day. I didn?t say yes
straightaway, but he was
persistent. And I never
regretted my decision.?
?Did you ever love him??
Ro asked angrily.
?With all my heart.?
?Why didn?t you tell me??
?Your dad ? Philip ?
didn?t want you to know.
He had lived his whole life
in Jack?s shadow. He
couldn?t bear to live like
that in his own home, too.?
?That?s ridiculous!?
?Jack had a wild streak. It was
what made him so much fun?
was playing in local pubs
and clubs, waiting for his
big break.
?Philip and I used to go
to all of his gigs. It was easy
to let my parents believe I
was dating Philip rather
than Jack.?
Ro couldn?t believe what
she was hearing. Her
mother and Jack Laker.
Just wait till she told Tim!
?What has this got to do
with me??
Her mother looked at her.
?OK,? Ro conceded.
?Knowing I had another,
rich, famous dad, I might
have been a brat about it
sometimes. So, how did
Jack Laker come to write
the song??
?He turned up at the
hospital just after you were
born. His mum still lived
down from your gran,
remember. She must have
told him I?d had a baby.
?Jack was charm
personified. He wasn?t
famous yet, but he talked
his way into the maternity
ward outside visiting hours.
I was terrified he?d make a
scene, but all he wanted
was to hold you.
?When Philip arrived,
Jack placed you in his arms.
He told us we?d made the
right choice. He asked your
name, and asked if we
would give you his mother?s
name, Mae. Then he left.
?Six months later I was
could have been there to
share it.
Philip, she corrected
herself, though, of course,
he would always be her
father.
The sun shone. Her
favourite uncle walked her
down the aisle. Her mum
cried.
After the photos and the
meal and the speeches
came her first dance with
her new husband.
Ro had relented about
the music. Now she knew
Ro couldn?t forget he had chosen
fame over his child
pushing your buggy round
Mothercare when that song
came on. I nearly fainted.?
Everything Ro believed
about her life and her
family had just been turned
upside down.
?Why are you only telling
me this now? Why not after
Dad died??
Laura sighed.
?I should have, I know.
But by then I?d lived with
the secret for so long! Tim?s
right, though. You hate
Jack?s song, but that?s not
completely fair to him. His
parents were divorced and
they passed him back and
forth like so much property.
?I like to think he wanted
better for you, and he knew
your dad and I could
provide that.
?But you only need to
listen to the lyrics of
?Aurora Mae? to know how
he felt about you.? She
reached for the CD player
on the worktop and pressed
Play.
The sound of Jack Laker?s
voice filled the kitchen.
?Aurora, baby, I?ll always
be yours. But while I?m only
playing at life . . .?
Familiar words, but now
with a very different
meaning. Then the last line,
fading softly.
?Aurora Mae. Baby, be
OK . . .?
When it was over, Ro
picked up the CD player
and left the room without a
word.
* * * *
The only thing that could
have made Ro happier on
her big day was if her father
the story of ?Aurora Mae?
she had agreed to have it
at the wedding.
She was still upset with
her parents for keeping her
past from her, but she
understood why they had
done it.
Tim led her on to the
dance floor. The lights
dimmed. A single spotlight
shone on the newlyweds as
the first few notes of
?Aurora Mae? began to
play.
She heard a murmur of
approval as the wedding
guests recognised the tune.
Tim gazed down at her.
?You know Jack Laker
could be here in person,
serenading you right now??
Possibly. Ro had
contacted him via his
mother, who still lived at
her old address. Ro and
Jack had exchanged a few
tentative e-mails. Jack?s
had been warm and
hopeful; Ro?s more
cautious.
She couldn?t forget he
had chosen fame over his
own child.
On the other hand, she?d
had a wonderful childhood
with two loving parents, so
maybe he had been right to
leave.
She gazed up at Tim as
the chorus played.
?Aurora Mae, please be
OK . . .?
And she was OK. Maybe
she?d choose to meet Jack
Laker one day, maybe not.
But she was OK.
As the song from her past
came to an end, Ro danced
on into the future with the
man she loved. n
wellbeing
Health &
Great advice to keep you happy and healthy
Q. My eyes often feel dry and uncomfortable
during the night and first thing in the morning.
Are there any treatments that could help?
Optometrist
and dry-eye
specialist
Niall O?Kane
is here to
help.
Dry eyes can be a problem during
the night due to the fact we don?t
always fully close our eyes when
asleep, causing a dry crescent to
form along the bottom of our eyes.
In The News
Brain Workout!
iStock.
If you enjoy dancing, try salsa!
A new study by Coventry
University has shown that a single
salsa class could be enough to
boost your understanding, focus
and memory by 18%.
It?s not just a fitness thing ?
even the slower, structured dance
styles like tango have been
shown to boost muscle strength
and balance. The study author,
Professor Michael Duncan,
believes the Cuban salsa dancing
style is particularly challenging for
the brain to process because it
forces you to learn and
remember new steps to different
patterns of music while staying in
time with the beat.
This can make the surface dry and feel
like sandpaper in the morning.
To help ease the problem, try to
keep the air in the room from drying
out; if you don?t have a humidifier you
can place a wet flannel on a radiator.
The moisture will evaporate
throughout the night and help to
hydrate your eyes.
I also recommend using Hycosan
Night, a preservative-free eye ointment
that is rich in vitamin A. Because it?s an
ointment it sits on the eye much
longer, giving lasting relief.
If Your Back Hurts . . .
If you suffer from lower back pain,
physiotherapists warn you could be
unwittingly making things worse.
Take a look at the list below and see
if you can make any adjustments.
DON?T
? hold your
mobile phone or
tablet in your lap
DO
? position it at chest
height, so the top is
level with your eyes
? lean over the
sink to wash up
or brush your
teeth
? put one foot on a
small stool to force
you to keep your
back straight
? twist and turn
your whole body
when
vacuuming
? keep your back
straight and move
your arms, not your
spine
? bend from the
waist to empty
the dishwasher
? bend from your
knees and keep
your back straight
? just use your
dominant arm to
wash windows
? alternate hands,
keeping your body
straight at all times
? sit for long
periods with
your legs
crossed
? stand up or at
least uncross your
legs every 20
minutes
Health Bite
When fermented foods are being
widely discussed on the Radio 4 soap
opera ?The Archers?, you know they are
no mere health fad. In fact, studies show
the beneficial bacteria generated by
probiotic fermented foods like kimchi can
have numerous benefits for your health.
This tangy Korean dish made from
fermented cabbage is known to aid
digestion, regulate cholesterol, boost your
immune system, aid weight loss and slow
the ageing process.
You can buy kimchi (which tastes a bit
like spicy sauerkraut) in larger
supermarkets. Look out for fresh rather
than pasturised if you can because the
heat from the pasturising process can kill
off some of the beneficial bugs ? or make
your own kimchi. Then enjoy a dollop on
the side of your plate as a tangy
accompaniment, like pickle but healthier.
We are unable to offer individual advice to readers. Please see your own GP if you have a medical problem.
HEALTH 19
Yoghurt Power
Keep track
of your
key
statistics
How Are Your Numbers?
T
Our Health
Writer, Colleen
Shannon,
explains the
vital things you
should know.
O keep your car running smoothly, it
pays to keep an eye on the
dashboard. If the gauges show that
the oil is running low or the engine is
getting a bit hot, you can fix the problem.
Likewise, there are certain numbers that
can tell you a lot about your health. Not
every medical condition can be
prevented, so it?s not about feeling guilty.
But keeping track of these vital statistics
puts you in control, and gives you the
chance to lower your risk of heart disease,
stroke, diabetes and cancer.
One straightforward check is your BMI,
or body mass index, which gives an idea
of whether you?re at a healthy weight.
According to the NHS Choices website,
here?s how to find your BMI:
? Divide your weight (in kilograms) by
your height (in metres)
? Then take the resulting number, and
divide it again by your height.
For most adults, the ideal BMI is
between 18.5 and 24.9kg/m2.
There are many online BMI calculators
that do the maths for you. Try www.nhs.
uk and search for ?BMI calculator?.
Your waist measurement is important,
too. Because your ethnic background
plays a part, you might hear the advice
expressed differently by various experts.
The British Heart Foundation (BHF)
says the healthiest waist measurement
for women is 31.5 inches or less. For
men from a white European background
the maximum is 37 inches, while for men
from an African-Caribbean, South Asian
and some other ethnic backgrounds it?s
35.5 inches.
Your blood pressure is another vital
number to know. You can have it checked
at your GP surgery or at many
pharmacies. Guidelines from the National
Institute for Health and Care Excellence
(NICE) count anything higher than
140/90mmHg as high blood pressure
(hypertension). The BHF advises that the
ideal blood pressure is 120/90mmHg or
less.
It?s also smart to keep track of some
important figures on a weekly basis.
One of these is your alcohol intake. It?s
well known that too much alcohol can
damage your liver, but it can also increase
your risk of many other diseases.
Although no amount of alcohol can be
guaranteed as safe, guidelines from the
Chief Medical Officer suggest keeping
your weekly intake below 14 units, with
several alcohol-free days. This limit is now
the same for men and women.
You can check the units in your drink at
www.drinkaware.co.uk ? this information
is also on the label, if you are pouring
drinks at home.
And finally, there is exercise. If physical
activity could be made into a pill, it would
be a blockbuster because its benefits are
so amazing. The NHS recommends 150
minutes of moderate activity every week.
Another way to think of it is 30 minutes
a day, five days a week. Moderate activity
means any exercise that makes you huff
and puff a bit.
You can find more information about
keeping your heart strong, and learn how
your own numbers measure up, on the
BHF website at www.bhf.org.uk/hearthealth. Or call their heart helpline on
0300 330 3311 to ask about
prevention. n
After a course
of antibiotics, it?s
a good idea to try
to repopulate
your gut bacteria.
Although
supermarket
yoghurt is a good
source of healthy
bacteria, you can
hugely increase
your intake by
making your own
yoghurt,
particularly if you
use a special
?starter? to boost
the friendly bugs.
The Progurt incubator lets you
make one litre of powerful
probiotic yoghurt in 24 hours
using ordinary milk ? without
the sweeteners and additives
you find in many shop-bought
brands.
The incubator is priced �.74
and probiotic sachets �.75 for
two from www.water-for-health.
co.uk.
Mind Over
Matter
A new study from
psychologists at the University of
Derby has found that
mindfulness can cure
workaholics of their inability to
switch off from work.
After an eight-week course of
lessons for two hours, twice a
week (plus a little practice at
home), the study participants
found they were unconsciously
cutting back on weekend,
evening and out-of-hours
working by as much as 28%.
Incredibly, although this meant
they were working four hours
less per week, productivity and
job satisfaction actually
increased.
You can learn
how to switch
off from work.
EXTRA HEALTH 21
Get Active
Regular physical activity of around 30
minutes on most days of the week is a really
good way to lower your blood pressure, and
can help prevent slightly elevated levels
getting too high. Check with your doctor if you
have concerns about exercising. However, the
best types of keep fit for lowering blood
pressure include walking, jogging, cycling,
swimming or dancing. Strength training can
also help. Pick something you enjoy and you?ll
be more inclined to stick with it.
Beneficial
Beetroot
Cut Back
On Booze
In small
amounts, the odd
tipple can
effectively lower
blood pressure.
However, if your
blood pressure is
high, it?s a good
idea to cut right
back. More than
one drink a day
for women and
men over the age
of sixty-five can
actually raise
blood pressure by
several points ? it
can also reduce
the effectiveness
of blood-pressure
medication.
7 Easy Ways
To Improve
BLOOD PRESSURE
iStock.
Fabulous Flaxseeds
Sprinkle a spoonful of ground flaxseeds over your
cereal, soups, salads and stews every day. A major
study found people with high blood pressure who
consumed a few spoonfuls of flaxseeds every day for
six months lowered their blood pressure on average
from 158/82 to 143/75. That?s enough to mean 46%
fewer strokes and 29% less heart disease over time.
Reduce Treats
Blood pressure typically
increases as we get heavier with
age, and for many people, losing
a few pounds is all it takes to
get blood pressure down to a
normal level. Don?t try a crash
diet (too stressful and difficult to
sustain), but take things slowly
by cutting back on treats,
shrinking portion sizes and
piling your plate with
vegetables.
Monitor It
Seasoning Shake-up
Even a small reduction in salt will
show on your blood-pressure
reading. The easiest way to cut down
is to ban processed foods (which are
very often packed with salt and
sugar) and experiment with herbs
and spices to keep up the flavour in
your home cooking. Look out for
low-salt seasonings such as A.Vogel
Herbamare Low Sodium which is
made with potassium chloride (�95
for 125g tub from avogel.co.uk).
The nitrates in
beetroot give it
qualities that can
improve blood
pressure. Studies
show drinking a
glass of beetroot
juice daily for four
weeks is enough
to reduce blood
pressure, and the
benefits grow
week by week.
For best results
eat roasted
beetroot in a
rocket salad.
Rocket is rich in
nitrates, too, and
the combination
is delicious!
Studies show investing in a home
blood-pressure monitor (from
around � from larger chemists)
and using it regularly can help keep
blood pressure down. Home
monitoring avoids ?white coat
syndrome? (where stress means
your blood pressure sky-rockets
when you are at the GP surgery)
and can help you keep tabs on your
blood pressure, while ensuring your
lifestyle changes are working. It also
allows you to alert your doctor to
potential health complications as
soon as they occur.
Out
Of His
League
The pretty girl was friendly
enough, but Frazer doubted
she?d ever notice him . . .
Illustration by iStock.
U
NEXPECTED item
in bagging area,
please wait for
assistance.?
The semi-robotic
voice issuing from the
self-service checkout alerted
Frazer to the situation
arising in the checkout aisle.
From the system of lights
above the cash registers, he
spotted the red light which
would direct him to the
damsel in distress.
He could see her raven
hair flowing in the breeze
from the chilled aisle, and
her emerald eyes pleading
for rescue from the clutches
of the mechanical money
machines.
He scanned his
administrator pass.
?I have saved you from
the glitch, my lady,? he
announced, tapping the
buttons to override the
decision of the scales.
?My hero!? She
pretended to swoon.
?More money than sense,
some folk,? a voice said.
A work-roughened hand
grabbed Frazer?s and thrust
a cold one-pound coin into
his warm palm, waking him
from the fantasy playing in
his mind. He smiled.
?Is that you scavenging
for coins again??
Ever since Frazer had
begun working at Foster?s
Fine Foods, six months ago,
he?d got to know Joe, who
was one of the store?s more
memorable customers.
Joe?s daily mission
appeared to be to seek out
trolleys that had been
hastily discarded by their
temporary owners with their
security deposits left intact.
Then he?d pass the coins on
to the younger man as if
they were contraband.
It mystified Frazer as to
why Joe didn?t just keep the
coins for himself. It wasn?t
as if anyone would cry theft.
?Was that you
daydreaming about madam
over there again?? Joe
pointed to the young lady
with the black hair.
Frazer had already
confessed that he was
besotted with her.
?You asked her out yet??
Frazer shrugged. Not even
in his wildest dreams could
he imagine doing that.
?It wouldn?t be very
professional of me,? he
replied. ?She never notices
me, anyway. She?s way out
of my league, in case you
hadn?t noticed.?
Joe and Frazer fell silent
as the girl passed them on
her way out of the store.
?Don?t sell yourself short,
son,? Joe replied once her
SHORT STORY BY LESLEY-ANNE JOHNSTON 23
waft of perfume had faded.
?Besides, she buys meals
for two,? Frazer continued.
?And smiles at the texts on
her phone in that way that
just shouts ?unavailable?.?
Joe patted his arm.
?Never mind. Plenty more
cod in the fish aisle.?
Frazer laughed. He often
wondered how he?d get
through the day without
Joe?s visits to brighten it.
?Don?t spend all that in
the one shop now,? Joe
said, gesturing towards the
�coin as he wandered off.
Slipping Joe?s coin into his
pocket, Frazer returned to
his work, confining thoughts
of the beautiful customer to
the back of his mind.
* * * *
At four p.m. Frazer
sauntered out the exit of
Foster?s Fine Foods. It was
nice to finish early for a
change.
Normally his working day
ended at six, but with a new
employee being trained
today and now ready for
some solo responsibility,
Frazer was surplus to
requirements.
The sights and sounds of
the shopping mall assaulted
his senses. It felt like ages
since he?d had time for a bit
of window shopping.
A waft of freshly baked
pastries drifted his way and
he breathed it in, his
stomach reminding him it
was almost teatime.
A recent conversation with
Joe entered his mind.
?There?s a new bakery
opened up just along the
way there,? he had said.
?Their tattie and bean pies
are magic. I go in most days
when I leave here.?
At the time, Frazer had
doubted he?d ever have the
chance to try the delicacy
Joe was so keen on.
By the time his shift
usually finished most of the
shops in the centre were
shut, the cleaners busy
sprucing the place up for
another day.
The bakery was open
now, though, and the
pound coin he had received
from Joe earlier was calling
to him from his pocket,
almost begging to be spent.
Why not, Frazer decided,
surrendering to temptation.
Turning into the glass
doorway of Bonnie?s
Bakery, Frazer scanned the
shop?s display.
He understood why Joe
had been so quick to rave
about this place: its variety
of goodies looked amazing,
much better than the
over-priced and overpackaged goods in Foster?s
Fine Foods, that was for
sure.
?Can I help you?? a sweet
voice asked him, tearing
him away from his
admiration of the pastries.
?Um, yes,? he replied.
?Can I have one of your
bean and potato pies,
please??
?Hot or cold??
?Hot, thanks.?
The assistant smiled,
FREE
SIXTY YEARS A NURSE
MISS CARTER?S WAR
Set against a backdrop
of rationing and poverty,
this true account
follows the dramas and
emotions as Irish Mary
finds her feet in her first
London hospital. From
firm friends, terrifying
matron and sisters,
to the eclectic mix of
patients she strove to
care for and her own
extraordinary love story
? it?s all here!
1948. Having survived
a terrifying war working
for the SOE behind
enemy lines, Marguerite
Carter returns to
England to be one
of the first women
to receive a degree
from Cambridge. As
an English teacher in a
girls? grammar school,
Miss Carter is on a
mission - to fight social
injustice, to prevent war
and educate her girls.
1
2
BOOK When
YOu Order
Six Or MOre
TiTLeS
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Spring Fiction
Enjoy a little nostalgia with our latest offering containing
ten turbulent tales themed around nursing and caring,
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A SENSE OF BELONGING
DAISY?S LONG ROAD HOME
GIFTS FOR OUR TIME
SOMETHING IN DISGUISE
It?s 1948. Working as a Sister
in a Brighton hospital, Daisy
leaps at the chance to leave
her lonely life when her friend
travels to the East on business.
As she uncovers secrets about
the family she never knew, will
she be able to put the past
behind her and find
happiness after all?
3
Christa is invited to Rivenshaw
and a new life and soon
develops a love for the huge
old house and for Daniel. But
Esherwood is not the troublefree sanctuary it first seems and
all those who live there have
some challenges to overcome if
they are to see even a glimmer
of the happy ending they
deserve.
4
Mary?s second marriage to
Colonel Herbert Brown-Lacey
is turning out to be a terrible
mistake. Her children leave
home to escape the Colonel,
and his behaviour is beginning to
become more and more sinister.
A candid depiction of a post-war
family on the cusp of change.
5
In the heart of the Cheshire
countryside, Cholmford Hall
Mews, a converted eighteenthcentury barn, is far more than
an exclusive home to its new
inhabitants. In their different
ways, all the newcomers are
searching for something - love,
peace, a sense of belonging.
But will they find rather more
than they bargained for?
6
THE BOOKSHOP ON ROSEMARY LANE
On Rosemary Lane, in the
Yorkshire village of Burley Bridge,
Della Cartwright plans to open
a very special little bookshop.
Not knowing what to do with
the hundreds of cookbooks her
mother left her, she now wants
to share their recipes with the
world ? and no amount of aspic
will stand in her way!
7
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SISTERS AT WAR
THE GIRLS WHO WENT TO WAR
It is 1939 and Georgia has been
evacuated to the east coast and
moves in with Phoebe, whose
cheerful smile masks a dark
past. Georgia soon finds herself
involved in the complicated
love lives of the village residents
but some secrets aren?t meant
for little girls, and Georgia finds
herself in danger.
Bryony and Hannah are sisters,
but they couldn?t be more
different, and war has widened
the rift between them. Even
though Hannah has left for Jersey,
Bryony is doing her bit, flying
planes at the nearby Combe
Lodge Airlines and everyone else
is pitching in with the war effort
as the family home fills with
evacuees.
9
Jessie Ward defied her mother
to join the ATS, Margery Pott
signed up for the Women?s
Auxiliary Air Force, and nanny,
Kathleen Skin, the WRNS. In
their stories are reflected the
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SERIES BY MALCOLM WELSHMAN: PART 28 OF 30
using a pair of tongs to
remove a pie from the
heated glass cabinet before
sliding it into a pink paper
bag.
?Here you go, sir. That will
be eighty-five pence. I take
it Joe?s been telling you
about them??
Frazer glanced at her,
intrigued.
?Yes,? he replied, laying
the money on the glass top
of the display cabinet. ?You
know Joe??
She giggled and Frazer
laughed, too. Her laugh was
infectious.
?You might say that. He?s
my uncle,? she said. ?These
pies are his favourites. He is
such a lovely man. I see you
talking to him all the time
when I?m at your shop.?
Frazer smiled.
?He?s a character, that?s
for sure.?
He was intrigued by the
girl behind the counter. With
her blonde hair and rosy
cheeks she was the opposite
of his raven-haired crush,
yet in so many ways she had
a beauty far superior.
It felt nice to be noticed
by her, even though he was
sure that she was just as
much out of his league.
Even so, he found he felt a
bit braver with her.
?I didn?t catch your
name,? he said.
?Bonnie,? she replied.
?And you?re Frazer, aren?t
you? I saw it on your work
badge.?
She blushed, as if
suddenly realising that she?d
revealed more than she?d
meant to.
Heartened, Frazer smiled.
?You know, you can
always join in our
conversations,? he said,
summoning all his courage.
?If you?re in the store at the
time.?
Bonnie smiled.
?I?d like that,? she replied.
?Me, too. Well, I?ll see
you soon,? Frazer said.
Bonnie smiled and waved.
As he strode through the
shopping centre Frazer took
a bite of his pie.
He had to admit that Joe
had been right about their
deliciousness.
He grinned, thinking of
Bonnie?s smile.
Joe had been right about
there being more fish in the
sea, too. n
25
Badger?s Holt is
a haven for
more than just
its animals . . .
T
HERE were days at
the hospital when it
felt I was in the
middle of some
violent sandstorm.
Not that I imagined myself
as Lawrence of Arabia,
mounted on a camel,
charging through the sand
dunes on a mission to save
a distressed pet. If anything,
I was more likely to be the
dromedary. One with a
perpetual hump.
So whenever Beryl
booked a slot for me to go
over to Badger?s Holt, I
relished the prospect. It was
like an oasis of calm
beckoning.
Its centre was a circular
log cabin with a turf roof
standing in a patch of
broadleaf woodland. Its
owners were Nesta and
Callum Summers, who had
ditched the day job and the
stresses of a consumerist
society for the tranquillity of
this woodland wonder.
Sharing that retreat and
its three acres were
Primrose the goat, Bluebell,
a Shetland pony, two
wheaten terriers ? Petal and
Blossom ? and a deer
hound called Willow.
As soon as I hit the chalky
track that wound down to
Badger?s Holt I could feel
the tensions of the day also
ebbing away. The trees were
coated in soft mantles of
green, and the steep banks
of the track swathed with
yellow celandine and clumps
of primroses.
It was intoxicating.
I emerged into the
sun-dappled glade carpeted
in yellow daffodils that
surrounded Badger?s Holt.
Today the Summerses?
stock was due for its annual
check-up. Annual booster
vaccinations were given,
and gave me a chance to
relish time, however short,
in this wondrous place.
Nesta was a lady of
medium stature, with a
ruddy complexion and hair
a tangle of curls. Nothing
striking in her appearance.
Not so her partner.
Callum had a frizz of black
and grey hair that cascaded
to his waist, matched by a
beard of equal length.
But both exuded an air of
tranquillity: calm, unruffled
and never rushed.
They approached as I got
out of the car.
Nesta embraced me.
?Paul, how are you??
?No doubt stressed as
ever,? Callum said, also
giving me a hug.
Was it that obvious?
I snatched my black bag
out of the car boot and
followed them round to
their collection of sheds and
pens, feeling with every step
I took a lessening in my
tension. Badger?s Holt was
beginning to exert its effect.
Before we?d reached the
yard Blossom, Petal and
Willow had joined us,
trotting alongside, as calm
as their owners. The magic
of Badger?s Holt had long
since permeated their paws.
?The hounds look fine,? I
commented.
?Touch wood, yes,?
Callum replied.
Once in the yard, Nesta
went to put a head collar on
Bluebell while Callum knelt
down with the three dogs
and quietly ordered them to
sit.
Without a murmur, they
obliged and continued to sit
there, their eyes on Callum
while I gave each of them
their booster.
Bluebell, too, was very
obliging. Placidly he stood
there while I checked him
over and gave him his flu
and tetanus jab.
?Good lad,? I remarked as
I withdrew the needle from
his neck. There had not
been a flinch from him.
Primrose, the Nubian
goat, had been watching
proceedings from inside the
paddock fence, front hooves
up on the first rail.
?Your turn,? Callum said
quietly, reaching through to
gently grasp one of her
horns before leading her
along to the paddock gate
for me to examine her.
?She did have a touch of
mastitis last autumn,?
Nesta said. ?But we
stripped the milk off the
affected side for a few days
and she seemed to get
better.?
Her udder was certainly
fine now, as she calmly let
me feel it. Again, no
flinching or signs of stress.
?Have you time for
coffee?? Nesta asked when
I?d finished.
I always made sure I had
time for coffee with the
Summerses. Today was no
different.
It gave me time to soak
up the scene. The woodland
glade, amber-dappled with
warm yellow sun; blackbird
song ringing out in the
treetops; then, from a patch
of brambles, a delightful
tune, sweet and soft. A
willow warbler, one of the
first of our summer visitors
to arrive.
Its arrival was a reminder
of my departure.
As I drove back, I was
conscious I was taking with
me a slice of the
Summerses? serenity.
I knew it wouldn?t last
when back in the hurly burly
of life at Prospect House.
But maybe the camel that
I?d no doubt revert to would
have less of a hump than
previously.
More next week.
Brainteasers
Missing Link
CHORUS
BAND
UNDER
ENGINE
ANGEL
STAND
BLUE
BOOTS
FLAT
SOLDIER
HOME
OUT
HARD
BOX
BIRTH
LANGUAGE
PRIZE
BREATH
TEDDY
PIT
T R A P
E
K T
E E Y
ACROSS
1 Group
who share
lifts (3?4)
5 Agile (4)
9 Disease (7)
10 Foolish (5)
11 Jewish
religious
teacher (5)
12 Anticipate (6)
14 Deceive (6)
16 Santa?s
cave (6)
18 Deep hollow
place in
rocks (6)
19 Baby
sheep (5)
22 Survive (5)
23 Making fast (a
boat) (7)
24 Affectedly
cute (4)
25 Hallowed (7)
DOWN
2 Unrehearsed
reply (2?3)
1
2
S
S
11
7
O
S P F L Y
I G R
H
D E C E
R Y
P M
R AG E
I
O M I A
C U OR A
R
10
I
E
E
F S
N N OR
A R D N
A R F A D D
V
N
R R
L
O I
M T E
13
ACROSS
1 Neglect ? Bill of goods
3 Speak formally ? Perched
4 Cook in the oven
5 Totted up ? Distance
6 Thing on a list
7 Variety of beet ? Weird
D
I
R
9
10
11
12
13
15
6
7
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
3 Difficult or unpleasant
situation (11)
4 Edible mollusc (6)
6 Wild ferret (7)
7 Toy reeled up and
down on a string (2?2)
8 Germ (7)
10 Extra to
requirements (11)
3
I C
R O E T
R D
A
A
S
E D
X
A U
A L A R
E E L
I T T E D R I F
C
5
10
2
4
4
9
1
Y O C K A S T I E R
E
H
G
Y S
T
R OO S EM
E D
3
8
With the help of the Across clues only,
can you fit the pieces into their correct
positions in the grid?
C H A N G E U N
T R A D
DW
I
C L A R I E OW
D D L Y
Answers
on p95
Try our quick crossword
Fit ten words into the
grid so each one connects
up with the words on
either side eg - wishing well - done. Read down
the letters in the shaded
squares to spell out a
phrase.
Pieceword
PUZZLES 27
5
6
8
9
11
12
14
15
Elucidate ? Unsettlingly odd
Turned
Proclaim ? Happy, Bashful or Grumpy, eg
Make the sound of a kitten
Device for catching insects ? More cold
Huggable ? Tottered, swayed
13 Sprig of
flowers (7)
15 Moment to have
a cuppa (7)
17 Creature kept in
a zoo (6)
20 Corn crop (5)
21 Units of twelve
inches (4)
Sudoku
Fill the grid with the numbers
1 to 9 so that each row,
column and 3x3 block
contains the numbers 1 to 9.
1
3
5 2
1 9 7
7 6 9
5
9
1
8
6
8
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All puzzles � Puzzler Media Ltd ?
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BOOKS 29
The ?Friend?
recommends
Q
You have chosen
memorable historical
events for your novels.
What comes first ? the
story idea or the setting?
That would have to be
the setting. The East
End has such a rich history.
When I stumbled upon a
gem, like the iconic Bryant &
May match factory in Bow,
I knew I had to set a book
A
Q
When planning your
novels, how do you
approach your research?
It?s a bit of a scattergun
approach. I draw up a
huge list of places to go and
people to speak with, which
includes libraries, community
groups, Facebook groups and
calling round the wartime
Eastenders I know. I met a
A
Over the months ahead, we?ll be
looking at new releases by some of
our favourite authors. This month,
author Elaine Everest interviews
Kate Thompson about her book
?The Allotment Girls? . . .
there. Then I discovered the
stories are filled
Q Your
Bethnal Green Bombed Sites
with the rich life of
Producers? Association, which
during the war saw two
hundred women and children
from the borough transform
bomb sites into thriving
allotments, using elbow
grease and pierced dustbin
lids to sift out shrapnel. I had
the beginnings of my story
and ?The Allotment Girls?
was born.
lovely eighty-two-year-old
lady called Ann who told me
all about how she worked at
Bryant & May.
?There was such
camaraderie and friendliness
amongst the girls. It taught
me to be strong, work hard
and to appreciate the value of
friendship,? she told me.
I knew my characters had
to have these same values.
Q
?The Allotment Girls? is an interesting topic. Do you
enjoy gardening and would you like to have an
allotment?
I love pottering about in my small garden, but I?m afraid I
don?t have the greenest of fingers. After writing this book,
I actually applied to my local council for an allotment plot on
which to try to grow a bit of fruit and veg and was told the
waiting list was about five years long!
A
We know you, our readers, love
a good story ? after all, that?s
why you read the ?Friend?!
So we have teamed up with
Pan Macmillan publishers and
Recommends WHSmith to bring you news of
some of the best fiction being
released, along with a coupon to
buy the books at a special discounted rate.
With new work from bestselling authors like
Kristin Hannah, Joanna Courtney and Mary Wood,
amongst others, we?ve had some great choices
over the last few months. All you have to do is cut
out the coupon below and take it along to your
nearest WHSmith high street store.
Q
East End people of the
past. Do you ever meet
men and women ? or have
relatives ? who have
worked in the world you
write about?
I?m intrigued to know
what you will be
writing about next and if
you will ever move your
stories to another part of
the country?
A
Not relatives, but I?ve
met men and women
of the East End of old. Over
the past four years I have
interviewed countless people
as research. They draw from
many different backgrounds
and religions, but all share
common traits: a bristling
pride of their cockney roots,
a ferocious work ethic and a
cracking sense of humour.
The memories of Britain?s
wartime men and women are
the lifeblood of our country.
So why don?t we listen more?
Why are they ignored, their
stories lying forgotten like
suitcases in a dusty attic?
Once youth has gone, what
remains? Wisdom!
Good question. I am just
working on a new nonfiction project and plotting
ideas for a novel. Next week,
I?m heading to Stratford in
East London to access the
archives for Yardley, as I?d
love to find out more about
the girls who packed makeup during the war, at a time
when ?beauty was a duty?!
The factory was situated in
one of the smelliest areas of
East London, over a bridge
called ?Stink House Bridge?
nestled amongst offal and
whalebone factories. Ironic
when you consider that their
soaps, perfumes and makeup ended up in the most
fragrant West End stores.
How long does it take
for you to research
and write your novels?
overlap of writing, research,
editing and promotion. I
mix it up, too, with writing
articles for newspapers and
magazines in my other day
job as a journalist.
Q
A
A year start to finish,
but there is always an
A
ONLY �99 with this voucher in
Only �99 when you buy The Allotment Girls with this voucher. RRP �99 Valid from 14 03 2018 to 13 04 2018.
This voucher entitles the holder to one copy of The Allotment Girls by Kate Thompson ISBN 9781509822256 for �99 (RRP �99). Offer is subject to
availability and is redeemable at WHSmith High Street Stores only. Excludes Outlet Stores, WHSmith Online, ?Books by WHSmith? at Selfridges, Harrods,
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and workplaces. Offer excludes Book Customer Orders, eBooks, Kobo eReaders, and book tokens. This voucher cannot be used in conjunction with
any other multi-buy, promotional voucher or discount card. Only one coupon can be redeemed per transaction and it must be surrendered upon use. No
cash alternative available. Photocopies not accepted and coupon is not transferable. WHSmith reserves the right to reject any coupon it deems, at its sole
discretion, to have been forged, defaced or otherwise tampered with.
ts !
r
a ay
t
S d
to
Alfred?s
Emporium
Illustration by Ruth Blair.
M
IND the step,
miss.?
?Thank you,?
Rose replied,
taking the
coachman?s arm and
climbing down.
She watched him lift out
her heavy trunk and place
it on the grass verge.
?Are you sure this is
where you want to be left??
he asked. ?There?s neither
house nor farm nearby.?
Rose looked at the acres
of flat fields and hedgerows,
all whitened by a late
spring frost.
Save for some early
returning birds, there was
no living thing in sight.
?Yes,? she replied. ?My
employer said I?d be met
here at one o?clock.?
?I don?t see anybody,?
the coachman pointed out.
?And it?s well past one.?
?Someone will come,? she
answered, trying to
suppress her growing
unease.
?I hope so. Datcherford is
nearly two miles away.?
?I?m going to Cross Roads
House, not to Datcherford.?
?Mrs Jameson?s place?
That?s two miles in the
other direction. What will
you do if no-one comes??
Rose had no idea.
Mrs Jameson?s
instructions had been so
precise, she thought. Could
she have forgotten to send
someone to meet her?
She might walk ? two
Set
In
1882
Rose arrived at
Cross Roads
House to begin
her new position,
unsure of what the
future held . . .
miles was no great distance
? but she couldn?t drag her
trunk so far.
The coachman was clearly
reluctant to leave a young
woman stranded, but time
was passing and the post
coach could not wait.
?Look!? Rose cried with
relief. ?Someone?s coming.?
A cart was turning into
the lane some 50 yards
from where they stood.
?I recognise the driver,?
the coachman said. ?He?s
the groundsman at Cross
Roads House. I?ll leave you
then, miss. Good day.?
Rose stood back as the
coach pulled away and the
cart drew near. The driver,
a slight man, peered at her.
?Are you the party
named Bryson?? he asked
curtly. ?For Cross Roads
House??
?Yes,? she replied. ?I?m
Rose Bryson. I was afraid
no-one was coming.?
?I has other things to do,?
he muttered. ?I suppose you
want help with that trunk.?
?If you please,? Rose
answered, too relieved to
mind his rudeness. ?You
didn?t say your name.?
?Don?t please me when I
has extra work,? was the
sullen response. ?My tasks
won?t get done if I?m driving
about fetching folk.?
With much huffing, he
hoisted her trunk on to the
cart, leaving Rose to pull
herself up beside him.
She clung on as they
SERIAL BY LOUISE J. STEVENS: PART 1 OF 7 31
lurched forward.
?Biggins,? he said after a
few yards.
?Thank you, Mr Biggins,?
Rose said, determined to
be courteous. ?So you work
for Mrs Jameson??
?Aye.?
?Does she have a family
at Cross Roads House??
?No,? he replied.
?I?m coming as companion
to Mrs Jameson,? Rose
persisted. ?I applied to her
advertisement by post. She
engaged me to start
straightaway, so I suppose
the last occupant left quite
suddenly.?
?They all did,? he replied.
?Six or seven these past
three years.?
Biggins had a crafty look
about him. Rose knew he
wanted her to ask more,
but she wouldn?t give him
that satisfaction. This news
had affected her, though.
Have I made an awful
mistake, she wondered.
She had never questioned
why Mrs Jameson offered
her the position even though
she had no experience.
?Have you been at Cross
Roads House long, Mr
Biggins?? she enquired.
?Longer than anybody,?
he replied. ?I has privileges.
Who else would do what I
do, out in all weathers,
miles from anywhere??
?Is that it?? Rose asked.
?No-one likes working at
Cross Roads House because
it?s isolated??
?Datcherford is the
nearest town,? he said
sullenly. ?A dull place.?
?Are there many visitors
to Cross Roads House??
?Mistress don?t encourage
visitors.? He looked at Rose.
?If you has a follower, he?d
better keep his distance.?
?I haven?t,? she replied.
?Does Mrs Biggins work at
Cross Roads House??
?There?s no Mrs Biggins,?
he replied. ?But I has an
understanding with the
cook.?
Biggins began to whistle
and Rose decided to ask
nothing more. But she
wished he had not
mentioned a follower.
That?s all behind me now,
she tried to assure herself.
She had begun her
journey before daybreak,
and the strain of this day
was taking its toll. Not even
the pitching and rolling of
the cart could prevent her
eyes from closing.
?We?re here,? Biggins
said, waking Rose with a
jolt. ?Cross Roads House.?
Rose looked up as they
approached a driveway.
It was an old house, well
maintained but plain, its
high windows and chimneys
built with such symmetry
that it reminded Rose of a
fortress.
Garden beds on either
side were arranged for
neatness rather than
beauty, and rows of uniform
trees marked the boundary.
Closer in, Rose saw broad
stone steps, pristine white
and leading up to a heavy
oak door. It was closed.
?Will you set me here,
please?? she asked Biggins.
?I suppose there?s someone
to help with my trunk??
?Steady!? he admonished.
?The front door?s not for
servants. You ought to
know that.?
Biggins was right. She
was a servant now, and
couldn?t set herself above
the others. She had a great
deal to learn.
And yet, if she?d chosen
differently, she would be
mistress of such a house.
How easy it would have
been. And how very wrong.
* * * *
?Tom, where are you??
Tom Liversedge clattered
down the stairs into the
kitchen to find his mother
breathless from running.
?What is it, Ma??
?Go and wash your hands
and face,? she told him,
throwing off her shawl.
?Then put on your Sunday
coat and your cap.?
?But today is Tuesday,?
Tom said.
?Do as I say, and be
sharp about it.?
Tom obeyed and within a
few minutes returned to the
kitchen where she waited.
?You?re to go right away
to Hapstall?s shop,? she
said, pulling him this way
and that to tidy his hair
and straighten his clothes.
?I passed by and young
Alfred Hapstall was putting
a notice in the window. A
smart boy is required. I
expect they?ve been busy
with only the two of them
since Mr Hapstall senior
passed away. Mrs Hapstall
and her son will see you at
ten o?clock.?
?But, Ma,? Tom argued,
squirming to get away. ?Am
I not to be apprenticed as a
stonemason alongside our
John??
?No, there?s not enough
work in Datcherford.? She
continued her attempts to
flatten Tom?s unruly hair.
?You?re fourteen and this is
a good opening. I told Mrs
Hapstall how clever you are
with numbers.?
She stood back to look at
the result of her efforts.
?That?ll do,? she said with
a sigh. ?Now, when you get
there, remember to take off
your cap.?
?Yes,? the man answered.
?I?m Tom Liversedge, sir.
I?ve come about the job.?
?I see,? Alfred Hapstall
replied, looking at Tom
keenly. ?Come inside.?
Tom remembered to take
off his cap as he entered.
There were no customers,
but the shop was crammed
so full of goods he didn?t
see Mrs Hapstall at first.
She was behind the wooden
counter, weighing sugar.
?This young man wants to
be our assistant, Mother,?
Alfred Hapstall told her.
She stopped and peered
over the counter at Tom.
?Mrs Liversedge said she
would send him. He looks
tidy enough, but rather
If Rose had chosen differently, she
would be mistress of such a house
?Yes, Ma.?
?Don?t speak unless
you?re asked a question.
Just listen to what you?re
told. There are few jobs in
Datcherford and other boys
will be after this one.?
?Yes, Ma.?
Tom was out of the door
before she could fuss any
more.
What a turn up, he
thought as he walked
briskly along the lane.
He was all set to be a
stonemason and now he
might be a shop boy. Still,
if he had a job and brought
home a wage, perhaps Ma
wouldn?t treat him like a
little lad or tell him what to
do all the time.
Tom knew where to find
Hapstall?s; everyone in
Datcherford bought their
foodstuffs there.
He turned the corner into
the main street, quickening
his pace as the town clock
struck ten. But as he
approached the shop with
its newly painted sign, he
stopped and stared.
A horse was tethered in
front of the shop and a
young man was loading
baskets into the cart.
I hadn?t thought of that,
he realised, bristling with
excitement. If he got this
job, he might be driving the
horse and cart.
He almost ran to the door
of the shop.
?Mr Hapstall?? he said.
slight for the lifting.?
?I?m stronger than I look,
ma?am,? Tom said quickly,
his mother?s instructions
forgotten. ?I chop and carry
all the wood at home and I
help Ma fill the copper for
the washing. I?m sure if you
were to give me this job I
could lift anything in the
shop.
?Oh, and though I?ve
never driven a horse and
cart before, I?m sure I could
master it,? he finished.
Alfred Hapstall folded his
arms and studied Tom.
?You seem to have plenty
to say, Master Liversedge.
Suppose a customer wanted
to make a pie and she
bought apples at a penny
three farthings, and a sack
of flour at fourpence
ha?penny, as well as a
basket of potatoes at
sevenpence ha?penny, how
much would you charge??
?One shilling and a penny
three-farthings,? Tom
replied promptly. ?But
would she not also need
lard for the pie crust??
Mrs Hapstall gave a little
cough and Alfred tried to
suppress a smile.
?You seem to have the
predisposition to be a
shopkeeper,? he said. ?But
you?re fourteen. A grown
assistant would expect to
be paid six shillings a week.
I wonder what you are
worth.?
?You could pay me
32
five shillings while I grow,
sir,? Tom suggested,
?and after a while I might
be worth six shillings and
sixpence.?
This time Alfred couldn?t
stop the smile.
?Very well, Tom,? he said.
?The job is yours. Come
back tomorrow at seven
o?clock.?
?Yes, sir. I?ll be here!?
Tom cried. ?Thank you, Mr
Hapstall.? He hurried to go.
?There is just one thing,
Mr Hapstall,? he said as he
reached the door. ?How big
do I have to be before I can
drive the horse and cart??
?Ask me in a year or two
and we?ll see,? Alfred
answered.
Tom closed the door
behind him, jammed on his
cap and set off down the
main street, his head high.
Wait till Ma hears, he
thought.
He was a man now; he?d
be bringing home a wage.
What?s more, in a year or
so he?d be driving the horse
and cart.
* * * *
?At nineteen you are very
young for this position, and
your lack of experience will
create difficulties for me. I
am prepared to make some
allowances, but my
standards are high.?
?Yes, Mrs Jameson.?
Rose was standing before
her new mistress in the
morning room. She was
aware of being dishevelled
from the journey, having
scarcely had time to take
off her coat and hat before
being summoned.
Mrs Jameson?s piercing
gaze had already picked
out the mud on Rose?s
boots and her crumpled
clothes.
?I expect your
appearance to be neat. I
rarely go out, but when you
accompany me your attire
must be appropriate to the
occasion.
?You will find in your
room two frocks, one black
and one grey. The
housemaid, Baines, is a
competent needlewoman;
she can make any
necessary adjustments.?
?Thank you, Mrs
Jameson, I am most
obliged.?
?The cost of the frocks
will be deducted from your
wages. That is all. Return at
three minutes to five. That
is when I take my afternoon
rest.? With that, Mrs
Jameson turned away and
picked up a book.
Rose left, taking care to
close the door quietly
behind her.
There had been six or
seven others before her,
she recalled. Little wonder.
* * * *
Rose wearily climbed
three flights of stairs to the
small chamber she?d been
allocated.
It contained a bed, table
and chair and a closet.
Clearly the luxuries of Cross
Roads House were confined
to the rooms Mrs Jameson
occupied.
I won?t be downhearted,
she determined. She had
somewhere to live and the
wages were more than
she?d received previously. If
she was careful with them
she?d be free in year or
two.
Exhausted, she lay on the
hard bed. Could this year
be any more difficult than
the last? Was that really
herself she remembered
fourteen months ago ? a
carefree girl, home from
boarding school?
She smiled, remembering
the day her father had met
her.
?You?ll like our new home,
Rose,? he had said in his
cheerful manner. ?It?s a
shame it has no garden,
but it?ll be so much easier
to keep than the old place.?
The old place had been a
draughty rented cottage,
and the place before that a
dingy house at the top of a
dozen steps. Later, Rose
would learn why each new
lodging had had to be
cheaper than the one
before.
?I?ve received a new
commission,? her father
went on excitedly. ?And
once I?ve been paid, you
and I will travel. Wouldn?t
you like that, Rose??
She?d agreed
enthusiastically because she
believed in him, unaware of
how dire their circumstances
really were.
Now, a tear escaped as
Rose recalled her father?s
sudden illness and passing.
She?d been obliged to
search through his papers
and, among the jumble of
sketches and old letters,
she?d discovered an unpaid
bill. Then another, and
another.
He?d meant to pay, she
was certain, but money had
always fallen through his
hands like water.
If her mother had lived,
she might have been a
steadying hand. It was only
due to her foresight that
money had been set aside
for Rose?s education. But
the income from her
father?s paintings had never
matched his spending.
Rose had scarcely had
time to mourn him before
the creditors came
knocking. Worst of all, rent
was owed and she?d gone
to appeal to the landlord
for more time.
Mr Fell was a tall, plainly
dressed man whose sober
bearing made him appear
older than his thirty years.
Even now, Rose gave a
little shiver at the memory
of their first meeting and of
his cold handshake.
?I have no money, Mr
Fell,? she told him as they
sat in his office. ?I only
recently completed my
schooling. If you allow me
time, I will work and return
your money by instalments.
?I know it?s your right to
evict me from the lodgings,
but if you do, I?ll have
nowhere to go,? she added.
Mr Fell listened in silence,
his cold, stern gaze making
her fear the worst.
?Your intention to
discharge your father?s
debts is commendable,? he
answered. ?I recommend
you take cheaper lodgings.
?There is nearby a
boarding house for single
women, run by a lady of
impeccable character. Also,
I know of a vacancy for a
junior teacher. Your
education qualifies you for
the post.?
Rose remembered the
wave of relief she?d felt. Mr
Fell, who might have made
her homeless, had shown
her a way ahead.
?These are practical
solutions,? he said,
brushing aside her thanks.
The teaching post had not
been well paid. She?d had
to darn her stockings and
blacken her shoes to
disguise the worn-out
leather, and though the
lodgings were inexpensive,
the meals were frugal.
But with careful economy
she?d managed to pay Mr
Fell a monthly instalment
and took consolation in
retrieving her father?s good
name.
Then the day had finally
arrived when Rose was able
to take the last instalment
to Mr Fell?s office. As usual
he?d been coldly polite.
?So the first of your
father?s debts is paid, Miss
Bryson,? he remarked as he
wrote the receipt.
?Yes,? she replied,
anxious to leave. ?I hope to
clear the rest in a year.
Fortunately, my other
creditors are prepared to
wait.?
There had been
something in his expression
then, Rose remembered, a
mere flicker of the eyes.
She realised the truth.
?Mr Fell,? she began in
astonishment, ?have you
intervened on my behalf??
?I must add astuteness to
your other qualities, Miss
Bryson,? he replied. ?Yes, I
have standing among the
business community and
your other creditors sought
my opinion. I told them I
felt sure you would honour
your promises.
?But now,? he continued,
?you may cease to think of
me as your creditor. You
have fulfilled your promise
and I have received
excellent reports of your
conduct at the school.
Reputation is everything,
Miss Bryson.?
He straightened his
neckcloth.
?My own name is well
respected. I am a man of
wealth and property and
have recently acquired a
substantial dwelling-house.
?I lack nothing but a life
companion, though I had
despaired of finding anyone
suitable. Until now.
?And so, Miss Bryson, I
ask you to be my wife.?
* * * *
?It is a secret. Neither of
you must breathe a word of
what you are about to
see.?
Miss Delia Bassett
spoke over her shoulder
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to the two young ladies
following. The trio were
walking down the cobbled
main street of Datcherford
as quickly as decorum
allowed.
?Remember, Lydia, and
you, Augusta, not a word
to anyone.?
?Honestly, Delia, it?s only
a dress we?re going to look
at,? Augusta said.
?It is not only a dress! It
is an exquisite evening
gown and no-one must
have an inkling about it
before I make a grand
appearance at my party.?
?I wonder you didn?t
have your dress made in
the city, Delia,? Lydia said
with a meaningful glance at
Augusta.
?Indeed,? Miss Bassett
replied. ?But Mama says
she has not the time to take
me for fittings and I could
not go unchaperoned. But
what a find is Mrs Maloney!
?One would never think it
from the appearance of her
establishment, but her skill
is unsurpassed.
?Here, we have arrived.?
Before them was a little
cottage, squeezed between
a grocer?s and a bakery.
The door opened; clearly
someone had been looking
out for them.
?Good morning, ladies,?
a neat little woman said
from the tiny hallway.
?Good morning, Mrs
Maloney,? Delia greeted
her. ?I have brought my
friends. They are desperate
to take a look at my new
gown, but they have both
been sworn to secrecy.?
The other girls looked at
each other in exasperation.
?Of course, Miss
Bassett,? Mrs Maloney
replied. ?Will you all step
this way??
They followed the
dressmaker into a room
that comprised almost the
whole floor of the cottage.
While they seated
themselves on mismatched
chairs, Mrs Maloney pulled
forward a wooden frame
covered in a white cloth.
?It is almost complete,
Miss Bassett,? she said
quietly. ?If you will try it
on, I can make any
necessary adjustments.?
She swept away the white
cloth to display the gown
below. The girls gasped
their admiration.
Fashioned from the palest
blue silk and its folds
shimmering in the light, the
garment was a feat of
understated elegance.
?Don?t you think it needs
a little beading around the
neckline?? Lydia suggested.
?No,? Mrs Maloney said
firmly.
?Look at the tiny
stitches!? Delia cried. ?You
are an artist, Mrs Maloney.
How did you find thread to
match so well??
?The stitches are the work
of my daughter, Winifred,?
she informed her. ?She is
still training, but I allowed
her to work on this. As for
the thread, you may thank
Hapstall?s for that.?
?You mean the grocer?s
shop next door? Surely not.
That is where Mama orders
our provisions.?
?There have been changes
since young Alfred took over
the shop,? Mrs Maloney
returned. ?It seems there?s
nothing he cannot obtain.?
?Perhaps we should call
in on our way home,? Lydia
suggested, feeling quite
bored. ?There may be other
treasures amongst the soap
and cabbages.?
?Enterprise should not be
mocked,? Augusta
admonished her.
?I want to try on my
gown,? Delia declared.
Mrs Maloney smiled and
indicated a private room.
Carrying the gown carefully,
she followed Delia inside.
While they waited, Lydia
amused herself by sifting
through a box of beads, but
Augusta?s face showed that
she thought an afternoon
spent looking at a dress
was a waste of time.
Both girls turned with a
start as the door opened
and a man strode in, his
face obscured by the basket
of logs he was carrying.
?Here?s your wood, Mrs
Maloney,? he called. ?Shall
I carry it up to your kitchen
as usual??
When there was no reply,
he put down the basket.
At that moment, Miss
Bassett stepped out of the
fitting-room, wearing the
gown.
?I beg your pardon,
ladies,? the man said. ?I
didn?t know there was
anyone else here.?
?That is all right, Mr . . .??
Delia began.
?Hapstall, miss. Alfred
Hapstall.?
?Now you, too, know the
secret of my new gown, Mr
Hapstall,? she went on. ?I
hope I can rely on your
discretion.?
?Absolutely, miss,? Alfred
replied. ?And may I say
that is a wonderful dress?
I?ve never seen the like.?
?Do you think it needs
some beading about the
neck?? Delia asked rather
daringly.
Lydia giggled but Augusta
appeared quite shocked.
Alfred surveyed the gown
for a few moments.
?No, miss,? he replied.
?True elegance requires no
embellishment.?
?You display good taste,
Mr Hapstall,? Delia replied,
enjoying the moment.
?Perhaps you might leave
the wood there, Alfred,?
Mrs Maloney intervened
with timely tact. ?Carry it
up later if you have time.?
?I will,? Alfred said.
?Good afternoon to you all,
ladies.?
?So that is the man who
brought silk thread to
Datcherford,? Delia said
when the door had closed.
She stood before the
mirror, turning this way and
that, watching the folds of
the gown flow around her.
?I think it is perfect, Mrs
Maloney. Will you have it
brought to the house? Your
account can be sent to my
father, of course.?
Delia?s companions
waited while she changed
into her walking dress and
the three left together.
Alfred was standing in front
of his shop as they passed
and he nodded to them.
?He is not what I would
imagine a shopkeeper to
be,? Delia remarked when
they were out of earshot.
?How very gallant to tell
me I had true elegance.?
?I think he was referring
to the gown,? Augusta
muttered, but Delia did not
hear.
* * * *
?Good morning,? Rose
said as she entered the
kitchen of Cross Roads
House. It was her second
week of employment.
Only Molly, the young
scullery maid, smiled to see
her. The other servants
murmured a good morning,
but their conversation
quickly died down.
It had been so since
Rose?s first day, when she?d
gone downstairs for
breakfast. Mrs Dee, the
cook, had been particularly
unwelcoming.
?We weren?t expecting
you, Miss Bryson,? she?d
said. ?It?s customary for the
lady?s companion to take
breakfast in her room. Molly
here can bring it to you.?
?I would rather have my
meals here,? Rose insisted.
?If you don?t mind.?
From Mrs Dee?s
expression she clearly did
mind, but nevertheless
Rose sat down at the table
where oatmeal, bread and
tea were laid. There was
also a used bowl and cup.
?Where is Mr Biggins??
Rose asked in a friendly
manner. ?Has he
breakfasted already??
In the awkward silence
that followed, the other
servants looked to Mrs Dee
to reply.
?Biggins is ground staff,?
she said, fixing a withering
stare on Rose. ?He has to
take his meals in the
outhouse. We wouldn?t want
anyone telling Mrs Jameson
we broke her rules.?
Finally Rose understood.
They thought she had Mrs
Jameson?s confidence and
were worried she might tell
tales.
?Of course not,? she
declared. ?I?m sure they are
followed exactly.?
Today, Rose had darning
to finish before she began
work so she ate her
breakfast quickly and left.
Molly followed her to the
stairs.
?I?ve something for you,
Miss Bryson,? she
whispered, handing her a
letter. ?I reckoned you
wouldn?t want Mrs Jameson
to see it.?
?Why would she see it??
?All the letters are
supposed to go to her first.
She likes to know who is
getting post. But when the
delivery arrives we look
through it before the
mistress sees it. Are you all
right, miss??
Rose was staring at the
envelope, her heart
pounding. She recognised
Mr Fell?s handwriting.
?Yes, thank you, Molly,?
she muttered and hurried
to her room.
She threw the letter on to
the table, resolving never to
open it, but already
unwelcome memories were
flooding back of that awful
occasion when Mr Fell had
offered her marriage.
Young and inexperienced
as she was, Rose had been
too shocked to speak.
?My proposal has
perhaps surprised you, Miss
Bryson,? he said. ?You will
need a moment to consider.
It is an important
undertaking.?
?Mr Fell,? she forced
herself to reply. ?I know
nothing of your interests nor
your disposition. And you
know nothing of me. How
can you consider me a
suitable wife??
?By those qualities you
display,? he said. ?Your
honesty, integrity and
sobriety. As for myself, I
have little time for interests
other than my business. But
I trust there is nothing
objectionable in my nature.
?I am even-tempered; I
dislike to become angry,
preferring to remain in
control of my emotions. We
have that in common, Miss
Bryson. I have observed and
admired your self-mastery.?
?Mr Fell, I am not as you
think,? Rose declared.
?Circumstances have forced
me to live quietly, but I have
known joy and frivolity, and
when my debts are paid, I
will find them again. There
is the reason we are
unsuited.?
?Naturally, as my wife, all
your debts would be settled
by me,? he said, ignoring all
other objections.
?Mr Fell,? she argued,
?this cannot be. What
tastes have we in common?
Where is the affection?
These things are the
cornerstones of marriage.?
To Rose?s dismay, instead
of being discouraged, Mr
Fell went on.
?Do not be swayed by
whimsical notions, Miss
Bryson. You are alone and
in debt. The past year must
have been a hard lesson on
the evils of poverty for you.
I offer you a life of ease and
plenty.?
Overwhelmed, Rose
followed her instinct and
fled without another word.
But Mr Fell wasn?t put off.
Although she refused to
see him when he called at
her lodgings, and returned
his letters unopened, it was
impossible to avoid him.
They often passed by in
the street and he would
linger after church service in
the hope of speaking to
her.
But Rose always hurried
away, sensing his eyes
following her. When she
could bear it no longer, she
answered Mrs Jameson?s
advertisement and, on
receiving her offer, left the
town.
It will not do, she thought.
I must read the letter.
She opened it with
trembling hands.
Miss Bryson, it began.
I fear your departure was
connected to my proposal
of marriage. If I have given
offence, I apologise. It was
never my intention to cause
distress. I saw no harm in
seeking a companion for
myself and it is my belief
that we would do well in a
marriage of mutual benefit.
I ask you to reconsider my
offer. However, if you do
not reply, I will deem the
matter closed.
With my respect, G. Fell.
Have I been too harsh in
my judgement of him, Rose
wondered.
He was an honest man,
self-aware and consistent. A
short note from her ? that
was all it would take to be
free of this awful house, to
be no longer in debt.
If she accepted him, she
would want for nothing. She
wouldn?t be alone any
more, though he would
never love her, nor she him.
She closed her eyes and
tried to imagine Mr Fell?s
hand placing a wedding ring
on her finger and leading
her to his grand house.
What should I do, she
wondered.
To be continued.
Love reading? Don?t miss the Daily Serial on
our website: www.thepeoplesfriend.co.uk.
The
Farmer
& His
Wife
John Taylor
takes up fishing.
I
STARTED fishing at the age
of ten. There was a burn
running through Dad?s farm.
It had a good supply of trout,
eels and bullheads. I became
a dab hand at locating trout
and tickling them.
Likewise, I would watch
where an eel glided, put some
sand on one hand, lift the
stone and grab. A quick flick
on to the bank and it was
mine.
Great days.
I mentioned to the now late
Mr Chalmers, headmaster of
the Burgh School in St
Andrews, that I had a desire to
learn to fish.
?I fish the Cameron
Reservoir every Wednesday
night,? he told me. ?Come
along and I?ll teach you.?
I told Anne about this kind
offer. She knew I had always
wanted to learn to fish.
I went for about six
Wednesdays in a row. Despite
his best efforts to teach me, I
caught only one trout.
He didn?t have any trouble
in attracting them to his line.
The night I caught one he gave
me another to take home.
One Saturday I got a call
from a greengrocer in
Anstruther, asking if I could
deliver two bags of potatoes
right away as he had run out. I
was happy to oblige.
I was leaning over the
harbour rail watching the boats
when I heard my name being
hailed.
There was Paddy, a local
fisherman who ran fishing trips
in the Forth for visitors.
?I?m one short for this trip,
John. Do you want to come??
Why not?
We chugged out down the
Forth, then he stopped his
engine. I was given a line on a
wooden frame with a weight
and a hook. I threaded the
lugworm on the hook and
dropped it over the side.
?When it hits the bottom, lift it
two feet up,? Paddy instructed.
I did, and in no time at all felt
a tug. The next minute I was
reeling in a good-sized codling.
I caught six altogether that day,
two of which I took home.
I don?t reckon that was real
fishing, though. It was just
knowing when to strike and
hook your fish.
I once bought a second-hand
flyrod and a reel, plus the other
bits, in the hope I?d find someone
to teach me to use them.
When Anne and I went on
holiday for a few days to Killin,
at the head of Loch Tay, I put
the rod in the car.
The local newsagent sold
permits for fishing in the river
and one for various lochs.
I bought a permit and one
evening went to a loch near Ben
Lawers, where I caught two
trout! It was a fluke, I?m sure, but
Anne says I was like a dog with
two tails.
I really must learn to fish
properly, as there?s nothing
more relaxing than being alone
with nature, a rod and line and
just casting in hope. n
More
next
week
Ireland?s
Finest
Celebrate
St Patrick?s Day
with these
mouth-watering
recipes.
St Patrick?s
Champion Pie
Course: Main
Serves: 2
Skill level: easy
n Olive oil
n 1 onion, chopped roughly
n 1 clove garlic, chopped
roughly
n 1 carrot, chopped roughly
n 2 bay leaves
n 1 tbs dried thyme
n 250 g (9 oz) stewing beef,
diced into 2.5 cm (1 in)
pieces
n 3 tbs flour
n Salt and freshly ground
black pepper, to taste
n 568 ml (1 pt) Guinness
n 1 tbs brown sugar
n 1 x 400 g Mash Direct Champ
1 Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a
large frying-pan over a medium heat.
2 Add the onion, garlic and carrots
Heat the
Champ in the
microwave first
to make it easier
to work with.
Remember: recipes have been given in both metric and imperial. It is
important to use one method throughout as they are not exactly the same.
with bay leaves and dried thyme.
Cook, covered, for 10 minutes, or
until the vegetables are softened,
stirring occasionally. Transfer to a
plate (remove bay leaves).
3 Toss the beef in the flour and
season, then add to the frying-pan
and cook until browned all over.
4 Once the beef has browned, add
the Guinness to the frying-pan. Then
add the vegetable mixture and top
up with water, if needed, to just cover
the meat and veg.
5 Stir in the brown sugar. Bring to
the boil, then cover and simmer for
about 1 hour, or until the meat is
tender.
6 Pre-heat the oven to 200 deg. C.,
400 deg. F., Gas Mark 6.
7 Put the meat in an ovenproof
dish, then top with the Mash Direct
Champ and drizzle with oil.
8 Bake in the pre-heated oven for
20 minutes, or until golden and
crisping up.
www.mashdirect.com.
36
COOKERY 37
Irish Eggs
Course: Main
n
n
n
n
n
n
n
n
Skill level: easy
Serves: 2
4 bacon rashers
1 x 400 g Mash Direct Mashed Potato
Handful of parsley, chopped roughly
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 large free-range eggs
Plain flour for dusting
Breadcrumbs for coating
Sunflower oil for frying
To Serve: side salad; dipping sauce.
1 Cut the bacon rashers into small pieces, removing any fat. Fry in a
frying-pan until they start to crisp.
2 Follow cooking instructions on the side of the pack of Mash Direct
Mashed Potato, then allow the mashed potato to cool until you can
handle it comfortably. In a bowl, add the mashed potato, parsley and
bacon and mix together.
3 Bring a saucepan of salted water to a rapid boil, then lower two of
the eggs into the pan and simmer for 7 minutes 30 seconds exactly.
Scoop them out of the pan and place in a bowl of iced water, cracking
the shells a little to make them easier to peel later. Leave the eggs to
cool, then peel when completely cold.
4 Position a piece of cling film over your chopping board and place
around half of the mashed potato mixture in the middle. Using your
hands, flatten it out to a long oval shape large enough to wrap around
an egg (around half an inch thick). Place the egg in the middle and
www.mashdirect.com.
gather the ends of the cling film so that the egg is enclosed in the
filling. Make sure the egg is covered evenly and smoothly with the filling. Repeat this process with the other egg.
5 Whisk the remaining two eggs lightly and place the flour and breadcrumbs on separate plates. Coat the mash-covered eggs with the flour,
then the beaten eggs, then the breadcrumbs.
6 Heat the sunflower oil in a deep pan, using enough oil to cover the eggs. Heat the oil until it reaches 170-180 deg. C. on a cooking
thermometer or until a few breadcrumbs turn golden after 10 seconds in the oil.
7 Using a slotted spoon, place both eggs in the oil for around 3 minutes or until the breadcrumbs turn golden brown. Leave to rest on a paper
towel. Serve warm with a side salad and dipping sauce.
Pan-fried Breakfast
Course: Breakfast
n
n
n
n
n
n
n
n
n
Skill level: easy
www.clonakiltyblackpudding.ie.
Serves: 4
3 large potatoes, peeled and sliced
Knob of butter or a little cooking oil
1 x 280 g Clonakilty Blackpudding
1 x 280 g Clonakilty Whitepudding
1 x 200 g Clonakilty Slis韓� Rashers
1 onion, chopped (optional)
4 free range eggs
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Handful of parsley, chopped
1 Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil. Place the potatoes in
the pan and boil for 5 to 8 minutes until parboiled.
2 Place a frying-pan on medium heat. Add a small amount of butter or
oil and then the puddings. Adjust heat as needed and keep turning puddings until cooked through.
3 Pre-heat the grill to medium. Place the rashers under the grill and turn after 10 minutes. Keep cooking until desired level of crispiness has
been reached.
4 Remove the cooked pudding and rashers and chop them into smaller pieces.
5 Heat a frying-pan on medium heat and add butter or oil. Add the onion, if using. Once the onion starts to soften, add the potatoes and brown
each side. Add the chopped pudding and rashers.
6 Whisk the eggs and season. Add the eggs to the pan and keep stirring until cooked.
7 Divide the mixture into four servings, remove from pan with a fish slice and place on plate. Top with parsley and serve.
Clonakilty Whitepudding
and Mushroom Frittata
Course: Lunch or light main
n
n
n
n
n
n
n
Skill level: easy
Serves: 4
1 x 280 g Clonakilty Whitepudding, chopped roughly
3 tbs rapeseed oil
50 g (1� oz) butter
400 g (14 oz) mushrooms, chopped roughly
8 large free range eggs
50 ml (2 fl oz) cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
To Serve: mixed green salad.
1 Pre-heat the oven to 180 deg. C., 350 deg. F., Gas Mark 4.
2 Place the white pudding into an ovenproof 20 cm (8 in)
non-stick frying pan with a deep base and cook on a medium
heat until warmed through. Remove and set aside.
3 Increase the heat under the pan and coat with rapeseed oil.
www.clonakiltyblackpudding.ie.
Add the butter and chopped mushrooms and cook until golden
brown. Remove from the pan and set aside with the white pudding.
4 Crack the eggs into a large bowl and whisk with the cream. Season with salt and pepper.
5 Mix the cooked white pudding and mushrooms in the egg mixture to coat. This will ensure that the ingredients are evenly dispersed through
your frittata.
6 Place the frittata mixture into the frying-pan and with a spatula move the mixture away from the bottom until it starts to set. Transfer to the
pre-heated oven for 10 to 15 minutes to cook through.
7 When cooked, run a spatula around the sides to ensure your frittata will turn out.
8 Slice the frittata into portions and serve with a mixed green salad for a perfect lunch.
www.clonakiltyblackpudding.ie.
Blackpudding Stackers
Course: Main
Skill level: easy
Serves: 2
n 4 x 1 cm (� in) slices of
Clonakilty Blackpudding
n 2 x 1 cm (� in) slices of
cored red apple
n 2 x 1 cm (� in) slices of
aubergine
n 2 x 1 cm (� in) slices of red
pepper
n 2 x 1 cm (� in) rings of
halloumi
n Micro herbs for dressing
For the Relish Dip:
n 1 large bunch of parsley and
coriander, chopped finely
n 4 cloves garlic, pressed or
chopped finely
n 2 tbs paprika
n 1 tbs cumin
n 1 small red chilli
n 1 tsp salt
n 1 tsp grated fresh ginger,
optional
n � tsp cayenne pepper,
optional
n 3 tbs vegetable oil
n Juice of 1 small lemon
1 Place a griddle pan or heavy-based frying-pan on a hot searing heat.
2 Brush all your ingredients with olive oil before placing in the pan.
Griddle the vegetables for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, then griddle the
black pudding for 2 to 3 minutes on each side.
3 To make the relish dip, place all the ingredients in a food processor
and blend until chopped finely. Leave for 30 minutes for the flavours to
develop. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
4 Make up both stacks with the aubergine, red pepper, slice of black
pudding, halloumi and tomato, then top with another slice of black
pudding and finally the apple. Serve with the relish.
Next week: healthy vegetarian
recipes.
For more delicious recipes visit our website:
www.thepeoplesfriend.co.uk.
Help Us Make A
Difference
Update!
Hand Of Friendship
Last year, when we launched
our Hand of Friendship campaign
in support of the Winnie Mabaso
Foundation, ?Friend? readers
responded with quite simply
stunning levels of warmth and
generosity. In fact, you raised
enough money to fund the charity?s
pre-school for a whole year!
When Lisa Ashton asked me if I
thought readers would like to have regular updates on
the children?s progress, I immediately said yes. I?m so
proud that, by working together, we?ve all been able to
make such a big difference to the lives of these children.
As Lis a likes to s ay, the ?Friend? and its readers are
now part of her Mabaso family, bound by the ties of
lasting friendship.
Angela Gilchrist, Editor.
W
E were
absolutely
staggered
when last
year?s Hand
of Friendship campaign
raised over �,000 for
the Winnie Mabaso
Foundation.
Charity with
the children.
Lisa Ashton MBE,
the Winnie Mabaso
Foundation?s
founder and CEO,
reports back on
how your money is
being spent.
Some of you requested
exactly how you wanted
your donations to be spent
and I was delighted that
many asked for veggie
gardens to be planted in
memory of family members
and friends.
Those gardens have
Grannies enjoying
carrots grown in
the gardens.
already been planted and
are growing beautifully,
providing underprivileged
families with the finest
organic vegetables. They
are relieving hunger and
restoring dignity.
Others requested that
their donations were used
to support the Granny
Club, and some of you were
inspired to help our newly
opened sewing school, Sew
Amazing.
If you specifically
mentioned that you wanted
your money to be spent on
a particular project, you
can rest assured that your
wishes were honoured.
After chatting to ?The
People?s Friend? team, it
was agreed that the
remaining undesignated
money raised would
sponsor the Mabaso
pre-school for the whole of
2018.
I thought it would be a
lovely idea to share with
you updates throughout
the year on how your
contributions are making a
huge difference to the
children in our care.
The Mabaso pre-school
has 30 students. All of
them live in the informal
The pre-school is already
transforming children?s lives
Charity is one of the Foundation?s pre-school
teachers. She has worked for the Winnie Mabaso
Foundation for many years and the children adore
her. She lives in a local township called Finetown and
was raised in a similar environment to the children, so
she knows first hand the challenges they face.
Charity and her team put together a varied and
interesting programme for the children. Sometimes
it?s a teacher-guided activity, or storytelling, and
sometimes it?s free play. It?s so exciting to see how
the children?s concentration improves the longer they
spend with the pre-school.
HAND OF FRIENDSHIP CAMPAIGN 41
settlement of Meriting in
south Johannesburg.
Some of the children live
in simple shack dwellings
with their parents, whilst
some live with their
grandparents or aunts and
uncles.
We have several children
who come from what are
known as child-headed
households, where the
parents have passed away
?Education
is the most
powerful
weapon which
you can use
to change the
world?
and older siblings have
been left to care for
younger ones. We keep an
extra close eye on these
little families and support
them as best we can.
The pre-school?s aim is to
provide an excellent early
childhood development
programme through
play-based learning. We
have a fantastic team who
care for the children, and
Over
�,000
raised so
far!
the school is
always filled
with laughter.
Immediately
after daily
registration, the children
have breakfast. Most days
it?s a form of porridge to fill
up their hungry tummies.
We are very lucky to have
running water and flushing
toilets at the pre-school, a
luxury that the children do
not have at home, so we
have to teach them the
importance of hygiene.
Washing their hands
under a tap of running
water is still a novelty.
The new school year
begins in January in South
Africa, so some of the
children have only been
with us for three months.
Already they are
beginning to recognise and
name shapes and colours,
and this week two of the
children learned how to
write their own names.
How fabulous is that?
One of the children who
attends our pre-school is
Paluso. He lives with his
grandmother Angelina, and
we have recently been able
to provide them with a new
shack as their old one had
literally rusted away.
When the rains came the
place filled with muddy
water and
spoiled the few
belongings they
possessed. Now they
have a new home that
doesn?t let in the water and
they no longer have to
chase the leaks with bowls
and buckets.
We have plans in place to
provide our pre-schoolers
with the same
opportunities as children
who come from more
privileged backgrounds, so
days out to the zoo and
picnics are some of the
things we would like to
arrange for them this year.
I will send you updates and
photos when these happen.
Nelson Mandela once
said, ?Education is the most
powerful weapon which you
can use to change the
world.?
Our hope is that the
wonderful academic
foundations that you are
helping us to provide to the
children in Meriting will do
just that, and that these
children will have the
chance to break out of
poverty and have the skills
needed to provide
themselves with a brighter
future.
Thank you from the
bottom of my heart for
enabling us to care for
them this year. n
How you
can help
The Foundation requires donations to fund its
projects and vital work. You can donate:
l By cheque: Please make cheques payable to the
Winnie Mabaso Foundation and send to 78 North
Road, Glossop, Derbyshire SK13 7AU.
l Online: www.winniemabaso.org
You can also contact Lisa by phone: 01457 891498
or by e-mail: Lisa@winniemabaso.org
Charity number: 1160321
Photographs courtesy of the Winnie Mabaso Foundation.
The Mabaso
pre-schoolers.
Food
For The
Soul
Josh wasn?t a boy any more.
Was Yvonne just being
overprotective?
Illustration by Mandy Murray.
F
OUR flights, a
one-hour boat trip
and several jabs,
including those for
yellow fever and
rabies. Not to forget the
malaria tablets.
Yvonne gave a sigh. This
was what it took to take
part in a volunteering
programme in Peru. Her
seventeen-year-old son was
adamant. Josh wanted a
career in environmental
science and this trip would
help him get into a top
university.
A wry smile crossed her
face as she put down the
shopping bags and knocked
on Bert?s door. She was
proud of Josh. He was
brave and passionate about
the earth?s climate and
animals.
Yet wasn?t it her job, as a
mother, to counsel him and
give advice? He wasn?t yet
an adult and this was a
mammoth journey.
Bert opened the door.
He?d employed her two
years ago to do his
shopping and keep the
house clean ? or rather his
daughter had. During the
interview Bert had pulled a
face and insisted he could
manage on his own.
Apparently his daughter
knew better.
As it turned out, she did
have a point. With his
arthritis Bert found it hard
to carry heavy shopping,
and cleaning the bathroom
aggravated his creaky
knees and sore back.
?Come in, young lady,?
he said and led her through
to the kitchen.
Feeling like a twentyyear-old, Yvonne closed the
door, took off her shoes
and put on the slippers she
always brought.
Bert had lovely terracotta
carpets. His daughter had
helped him refurbish the
house last year with new
buttermilk wallpaper and
flooring, plus a more
supportive three-piece
suite.
He?d turned ninety last
month and with a wink had
said he hoped the new
decor would last him
another 20 years.
?It?s lavender cake
today.? Bert rubbed his
hands.
?Oh, really? Another
adventurous recipe from
Annie?? Yvonne?s voice
sounded uncertain.
?Now come on, Yvonne,?
Bert replied. ?We really
should support my
granddaughter?s creative
nature. It?s food for the
soul to step out of your
SHORT STORY BY SAMANTHA TONGE 43
comfort zone.?
?True. I never used to like
beetroot until I tried her
vegan chocolate cake. She?ll
be the next Mary Berry at
this rate.?
?Yes, so we?d better
watch out for any soggy
bottoms,? Bert joked.
They looked at each other
and laughed.
?I?d better get on,?
Yvonne said. ?Meet you
back here in one hour for
our tasting session??
?It?s a date.? Bert gave a
little bow and slowly began
to take out the food items
from the bags and store
them in his cupboards.
Yvonne carried her
cleaning products upstairs
and started by dusting his
bedroom. Then she set
about changing the sheets.
The room was full of
character, with his
collection of pipes set out,
even though he didn?t
smoke any more.
They looked like a set of
wind instruments that might
play a merry tune.
By his bed was a tower of
books ? memoirs of various
global politicians and
leaders that, all together,
looked like a totem pole
symbolising the history of
the world.
Photographs punctuated
the walls ? colourful family
ones and black and white
shots from his military
days.
On his late wife?s side of
the bed lay a Steiff teddy
bear. He?d told Yvonne she
used to collect them. This
one wore a wedding veil
and held a bouquet.
Carefully Yvonne laid it
back on the pillow after
smoothing down the green
sheets.
One paw was worn and
an eye was missing, but for
Bert it was probably the
most valuable item in his
home.
Next she moved on to the
bathroom. She cleaned the
bath and sink, then sprayed
and wiped the mirrors.
Normally Yvonne found
housework therapeutic. The
physical movements acted
like a brush that swept her
mind clear of petty
obsessions and worries.
However, today her
thoughts centred firmly on
Josh and Peru. Tomorrow
was the final date for
signing up to the project.
Still mulling all this over,
she eventually headed back
downstairs for her half-time
break.
Bert sat ready at the
kitchen table. He?d set out
two slices of cake, two cups
and a steaming teapot.
Yvonne smiled and put
down her dusters, bottles
and sponges.
?How are you, Bert?? she
asked as he poured two
cups of tea. ?Did you win
at chess club yesterday??
?Two out of three
games,? he replied
proudly. ?Alfie wasn?t
happy. He?d learned
44
a new move from his
nephew but I still beat
him.?
Bert gave one of his
hearty bellows.
?You should have seen
his face. His eyebrows
disappeared into his
hairline. But it?s about time
I had a chance. He?d won
the three previous games to
that.? He sipped his drink.
?But enough about me.
What?s the matter today?
I?ve not heard a peep out
of you, whistling wise.?
?Count yourself lucky,?
she said and forced a smile.
?We both know I?m as out
of tune as a violin that?s
been left in the sun.?
Bert took off his glasses
and rubbed his eyes.
?Is everything tickety-boo
with your mum? You said
last week that she had a
bad dose of flu.?
?Yes. Everything is fine,
thanks.?
Bert raised one of his
bushy eyebrows.
?You?re talking to
ex-military here, madam,?
he teased. ?I can always tell
when someone is bending
the truth.?
Yvonne pushed away the
unusual-looking cake and
sighed.
?It?s Josh.?
She told him about the
Peruvian jungle trip and
how her son and husband
thought she was worrying
too much.
?I can see why they think
that,? she admitted. ?The
trip is run by a reputable
company and he?ll be
travelling with a couple of
other volunteers.
?But I won?t have internet
or phone contact with him
whilst he?s away. What if he
gets homesick??
Eyes twinkling, Bert tilted
his head and Yvonne gave
a sheepish look.
?I know. His old mum will
be the last thing on his
mind when he?s looking
after spectacled bears and
feeding spider monkeys.?
She shrugged.
?But there are also
tarantulas there, and
apparently moths the size
of hands and ??
?It sounds like a once-ina-lifetime experience,? Bert
interrupted.
?So you agree with Josh
and Martin??
Bert sipped his tea slowly
then put the cup in the
saucer and replaced his
glasses.
?In 1944,? he began, ?I
was seventeen years old,
like your Josh. The
conscription age was
eighteen. I was a frustrated
young man, working on a
building site, watching older
brothers and neighbours in
their glamorous uniforms,
heading off to defend our
country.?
?Glamorous??
Bert shook his head.
?We were young and
naive. The life of a soldier
seemed honourable and
somewhat exotic. Many of
us lied about our age and
enlisted.?
Yvonne?s brow knotted as
she pulled her plate nearer.
?Didn?t the authorities
find out?? She took a bite
of the cake.
?My mother did.? Bert
grimaced and lines formed
in his forehead.
?As D-Day approached,
officials began to turn a
blind eye. They knew they
were going to need as many
young men as possible. But
Mother . . .?
He swallowed.
?She shouted at me. She
never did that. Not even
when we got into scrapes as
young kids.?
?Didn?t your eldest
brother pass away during
the war?? Yvonne asked
softly.
?Yes. He never came
back. It hit Mother hard.
She was never quite the
same again. I didn?t mean
to bring back all that pain,
but I wanted to serve my
country, too, and was
frustrated that just one
year lay between me and
adulthood and fulfilling my
dream.?
?A bit like Josh,? she
said.
?A volunteering trip isn?t
like going to war ? but in
these civilised times I
understand how scary the
idea of the jungle must
seem to you, as his mum.?
Yvonne nodded.
?I?d never presume to
compare my situation to
your mother?s, but yes.? A
lump formed in her throat.
?What if something
happens whilst he?s on the
other side of the world?
There?s nothing I can do.
His fate is out of my
control.?
?That?s exactly how my
mother felt,? Bert said.
?But she must have
agreed in the end. What
changed her mind??
Bert straightened up and
brushed crumbs off his
sweater.
?I said I was sorry, and
that I should have been
honest and told her. But
then I explained how
important it was to me.?
His voice wavered.
?I wanted to do my bit.
My brother had and he
paid the highest price. I felt
his death wouldn?t be in
vain if we all kept on
fighting the good fight.?
Yvonne?s eyes felt wet as
she imagined all those
parents waving goodbye to
their sons, knowing that it
might be the last time they
saw them.
?Mother said years later
that she hadn?t much
choice. She knew I?d resent
her for ever if she held me
back.
?I like to think I wouldn?t
have, but . . .? His
shoulders bobbed up and
down. ?Who knows??
This had crossed
Yvonne?s mind. Josh had
his mind set on a career
that involved the
environment and travel.
Would he always hold it
against her if she prevented
him from grasping what
sounded like an amazing
opportunity?
Josh was no longer her
little boy. At some point
she had to let go, however
difficult that was.
She blinked away her
tears. Martin and Josh
often made jokes about her
not cutting the apron
strings, but Yvonne had
spent nigh on 20 years
looking out for her son.
It was more than a habit
? it was an inbuilt instinct.
She couldn?t imagine a life
without Josh.
She shook herself. She
had to face the fact that
Josh wasn?t a child any
more.
His lust for independence
showed she?d done her job.
?Did you ever regret it??
Yvonne asked. ?Did you
ever wish you?d never
signed up??
Bert thought for a
moment.
?I was a stretcher-bearer.
It was my job to pick up the
injured. At that young age I
had to decide who should
be saved and who should
be left to die.? His voice
turned hoarse. ?Nothing
prepares you for holding
your dying comrades in
your arms.
?But no, I didn?t regret it.
It made me the man I am
today. I acquired lots of
skills I?d never have gained
on a building site.? He
fiddled with the teaspoon.
?It taught me gratitude for
what I?ve got ? and
resilience. I?m content with
the life I?ve had.
?Rosie and I had sixty
blessed years together. I?m
not rolling rich, but I?m not
penny-pinching poor. I?ve
never forgotten my brother
and those comrades who
didn?t make it home. It?s
made me appreciate the
simple things and that has
enriched my life.?
Yvonne nodded. No
doubt the remote reserve in
the Peruvian jungle would
be challenging in its own
way, but in the long run,
getting through that would
benefit her son.
Perhaps he?d gain a
different ? and valuable ?
perspective from living
somewhere simpler without
the internet and mod cons.
She took another bite of
the fragrant sponge.
?What?s your verdict,
then?? Bert asked as he
polished off his slice. ?It?s a
jolly decent cake, I say.?
?It is rather delicious.?
Yvonne wiped her mouth
with a napkin. ?A very
subtle flavour. I should step
out of my comfort zone
more often.?
And that?s what she had
to allow Josh to do, even
though it frightened her
every waking moment.
Josh had his own path to
follow now. Eighteen was
only a number, and he was
almost there.
Stepping out of his
comfort zone would
broaden his mind and be
food for his soul.
Feeling lighter than she
had in days, Yvonne picked
up her fork again and ate
the last mouthful of
lavender cake. n
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point
CHAT 53
Talking
H
Should we keep things ?for best??
OW many of us have
items stashed in
cupboards that never
see the light of day? Lots of
us will have a beautiful
china tea set inherited
from Mum/Granny/Auntie
that we don?t use for fear
of breaking part of the set.
Of course we keep things
that we like, especially
things that hold precious
memories that would be
impossible or too
expensive to replace if we
lost or broke them.
But when we have those
things without enjoying
them in any way, it can get
us down.
While it?s always hard to
deal with a loved one?s
belongings after they?ve
died, there?s an added
poignancy when you come
across unused treasures.
How much nicer it would
be to remember the
happiness the person had
from using these things
they had saved.
Maybe we seldom use
our ?good? stuff, but it
makes us or the occasion
Here?s what
you said on
Facebook
MC Never had a
dinner service. If I
did I would use it
all the time and if
things got broken
at least I?d have
enjoyed using it.
JC
feel special when we bring
them out. If, though, we
know, deep down, that
they?ll never move off that
shelf, then perhaps it?s time
to let them go . . .
Fashions and tastes
change. When we asked on
Facebook if you kept a
dinner service for best, a
number of you pointed out
that people no longer
entertain in the way that
they used to.
Dinner parties are held
less often, and adult
children tend to be much
more informal when they
entertain their friends. Will
the next generation want
collections of china?
It?s no coincidence that
there are over 3,000 books
on decluttering listed on
online retailer Amazon. We
have so much stuff ? much
of it unused ? that there?s
a thriving industry in
helping us to manage it.
Professional declutterers
now exist.
The Victorian designer
William Morris once said,
?Have nothing in your
house that you do not
know to be useful, or
believe to be beautiful.? It?s
still great advice. n
CH
JM
in the future, but I believe using
possessions regularly means you
enjoy them to their full capacity.
You can still treasure an item
whilst using it, and if you do both,
it?s delivering full value.?
iStock
?It?s a way of keeping in touch?
Karen Burns-Booth from www.
lavenderandlovage.com: ?I?m not
somebody who keeps china and
crockery for best. I?ve got
numerous pieces that belonged to
my grandmother and my mother,
and rather than only bringing
them out on high days and feast
days, I use them regularly, almost
on a daily basis ? it?s a way of
keeping in touch with loved ones
who aren?t here any more.?
You can join in the chat every day. Pop in and say hello at
www.facebook.com/PeoplesFriendMagazine
My dinner service
is Wedgwood.
Never used now
because not
dishwasher proof.
My china is on
show in a cabinet,
and gets used
about twice a year,
but I still love it.
I remember those
PD dinner-party days!
My daughter and
her friends don?t
do such things ?
they just eat pizza,
lasagne and any
Asian food that?s
going.
?You can treasure an item whilst usin g it?
Kate Ibbotson from A Tidy Mind
(www.atidymind.co.uk) says, ?I live
by the saying, ?don?t keep anything
for a special occasion; your life
is the special occasion!? Keeping
things for best means you live
I still love my
?good? china and
love setting the
table, but we don?t
entertain nearly as
much as we used
to.
PT
I?m now enjoying
using my good
crockery and cutlery
all the time. It
gives me pleasure
and brings back
memories.
PHB Life is too short
? treat every
day as a special
occasion.
SHORT STORY BY PAMELA KAVANAGH 55
Set in
1840
Tomas had
chosen to be
shepherd and
had left village
life ? and Lettie
? behind . . .
One Of The Flock
Illustration by Gerard Fay.
I
?M telling you, Bart,
there inna nothing to
grow old for,? Jasper
said from where he sat
at their customary
fireside bench in the
taproom of the Royal Oak,
frothing tankard in hand
and holly stick resting
against his gaitered leg.
Bart took a slurp of ale
before replying, brushing
the foam from his lips.
At his feet an ageing
sheepdog dozed in the
warmth of the blaze,
snoring slightly and
twitching in rabbity dreams.
?You?re right, Jasper. I
remember the time me an?
Bess here walked the hills
with the flock, breathing in
God?s good fresh air, nowt
but the calls of curlews and
babble of a stream to shake
the peace.
?Grand, it were. Now it?s
nobbut tattle and the clop
and grind of passing
traffic.?
?You must miss it.
Leastways I can still help
out in the workshop. Our
besoms are doing a fine
trade.
?There?s been a fair few
young fellows calling to buy
one for their mams.? Jasper
looked thoughtful. ?Seems
to me it could have summat
to do with young Lettie
helping out on the shop
floor, our Micky being
occupied making up more
stock.?
Bart nodded.
?Gets bonnier every day,
does your Lettie. Tes a
crying shame her and our
Tomas haven?t hit it off as
we?d thought. Happen it?s
to do with him taking up
shepherding.
?My Edna allus found it
lonesome in our cottage up
in the hills, especially after
our Ruth wed her carpenter.
?Proper cheery Edna?s
been since we removed to
the village. Likes the gossip
and natter, see. Happen
Lettie?s the same.?
?Aye, well, that?s females
for you. Crave the company
of their own kind, bless
them. My Cissie?s never
happier but when she?s
having a jaw with a
neighbour over the garden
fence.?
The two men sank into
reverie, sipping their ale
while gazing into the flames.
It had been a long-held
wish that Jasper?s
granddaughter, Lettie, and
Bart?s grandson, Tomas,
should make a go of it
together, and until earlier in
the year this had looked to
be the case.
Then Tomas had made
the bid to follow in his
grandfather?s footsteps and
become a shepherd, and
with Tomas now resident at
the hillside cottage and
Lettie down here in the
village, the promising union
appeared to have come to
nothing.
?Remember how it were
in our young day?? Bart
said with a change of tack.
?The Psalmody Players? Us
two up in the church gallery
with the others, you on the
flute and me scraping away
on me fiddle.
?Now and again we?d lay
off the instruments and
strike up in harmony to
lead the singing. By, them
were good times, them
were.?
?You?re right there, Bart.
?Twere a bad day when they
brought the piano into the
church and made us
redundant.?
?Surplus to requirement,
aye. The Players all fell
apart after that. Remember
how we got asked to
perform at weddings and
other get-togethers??
Jasper nodded.
?The feasting and
merriment?d go on until the
early hours. Do you still
play a bit??
?I do that,? Bart replied.
?I reckon a person?s never
lonesome if they can pick
out a tune on a fiddle or
whatever.
?Tes a crying shame the
youngsters haven?t kept up
the tradition. Take Tomas.
He showed no interest
whatsoever in playing the
fiddle.?
Jasper swigged down the
last of his ale.
?I can?t say that of Lettie.
Right from a nipper she
wanted to be a fluter.
?Badgered me something
terrible to show her the
fingering and took it up
from there.
?If anything, she?s a
better player than I ever
were. Reads the notation
an? all. That were all
riddle-me-ree to me.?
?Me, too, Jasper. But we
got along just grand,
playing by ear like them
before us did.?
?Exactly so.? Jasper
nodded towards the empty
tankards. ?Want another??
?I wunna say no ? thank
?ee.?
Bart watched his old
56
friend amble off towards
the bar, weaving between
the knots of drinkers. His
mind was still on the joys of
the past.
Gratified though he was
to have Tomas take up the
shepherding, it would have
been heartwarming if the
lad had shown an interest in
the fiddle. Jasper had a lot
to be thankful for with their
Lettie.
* * * *
Lettie put down the flute
with a sigh. How she missed
Tomas now he?d left his
home in the village and
gone up into the heights to
live the solitary life of a
shepherd.
Her mind went back to
the last time they had
spoken. It had been a bleak
day in early January, with a
cutting wind and the hills
snow-capped. She had
huddled into the
fashionable new coat she
had worn especially,
reflecting that it was not as
warm as her thick woollen
shawl.
?You do understand,
Lettie? I?ve wanted to be a
shepherd like Gramps ever
since I can remember. Mam
says I?ll tire of the sheer
slog of it, but I know I
won?t.?
?Your mam grew up
there. She knows what she?s
talking about, Tomas,?
Lettie had replied carefully.
?I don?t doubt it, but I
reckon, as with most things,
you have to take the rough
with the smooth. Mam
confessed how hard she
found it when she married
Da.
?From shepherd?s only
daughter to tradesman?s
wife. She?d have had to
accustom herself to the din
from the yard, for one
thing.?
Tomas?s father ran his
own business in Windsor
chairs and made sure his
sons were trained up in the
skill.
Lettie had loved watching
Tomas?s deft hand shaping
and polishing the furniture.
She had even dared to
hope that one day her own
home might boast a sample
of his work.
?But your mam?s been
happy living here?? she
asked.
?Seems so. She?s a real
homemaker, is Mam. It?s
not as if I?m leaving them in
the lurch over the business.
?They?ve got Davie to
take over when the time
comes, and young Jared if
he?s inclined that way.?
Lettie tried again.
?But you?re a trained
wood-turner, Tomas.?
?And a trained shepherd.
Gramps saw to that.?
Lettie suddenly realised
that any more argument
was futile.
She was hurt that Tomas
had not invited her to see
the cottage he intended
making his home; hurt that
he had not shown her the
small flock of in-lamb
Swaledales he?d acquired at
the market.
And as for not even
thinking to consult her on
his unprecedented decision,
well, that was unforgiveable.
Plainly his head was so full
of dreams there was no
room for her.
Her goodbyes when they
were said were frosty.
Now, she ran her
fingertips over the smooth
maple wood of her flute.
Playing for her own
amusement was all well and
good, but what fun it would
be to belong to a group of
musicians and entertain a
crowd of people, as Gramps
had done.
The notion was instantly
dismissed. A female Player?
Hands would have been
flung up in horror.
All the same, Lettie
couldn?t help but wonder
how they had sounded
when they had played at
the church services and
village events.
* * * *
It was as though her
thoughts had conjured
something up. A day or two
later, Bart, with dog at heel,
came hobbling into the Oak
in great excitement, to find
his friend already seated,
two brimming tankards at
the ready.
?Inna you heard?? Bart
said, sitting and accepting
his ale with a nod of thanks.
?Heard? Heard what??
Jasper asked.
?Well, Edna?s just come in
all of a swelter. Turns out
the piano at the church is
so in need of tuning,
nobody can sing to the
accompaniment. And with
the tuner from Whitchurch
being fully booked up, tes
not likely to get dealt with
in a hurry.?
?Huh, that would never
have happened in our day.
We tuned up our own
instruments.?
?Exactly so. But hark you
me, Jasper. Edna says as
Parson Dobbs wants us to
rustle up the Players. We?re
us, and we dinna sound bad
at all, considering. It were
just the singing.?
Lettie, sweeping up
shavings with brisk
movements of the besom,
paused.
?Tomas can sing. Haven?t
you heard him in church? I
tried to get him to give us a
song last Harvest Supper,
but Lester was with us then,
God rest him, and Tomas
said it wouldn?t be fair to
Lettie was hurt that Tomas had not
consulted her
to play up in the gallery,
like we used to.
?Parson?s got a special
service, see, with dignitaries
coming from Shrewsbury.
Wants everything shipshape
and right as ninepence.?
Jasper took a reviving
gulp of ale.
?Well, I dunno! That?s
news and a half, that is.
What are we waiting for?
Drink up, Bart. Let?s get
ourselves out there and call
up the troops!?
It was a fine April evening
and the two men went from
door to door, dog following,
spreading the news.
Tad Clarke, clarinet,
couldn?t reach for his
instrument quickly enough,
and Micky Carter and Irton
Smiles, fiddlers, were the
same.
Unfortunately old Lester
Poles, bassoon, had passed
on earlier in the year, but
his son, Alfie, had mastered
the art of playing and
offered to stand in.
There was a snag. Where
necessary, Lester had led
the harmonies in his fine
tenor voice, but Alfie had
not inherited his father?s gift
for singing.
?I?d sound like a
corncrake with a bad
throat,? Alfie said. ?One of
the others will have to do
it.?
The trouble was, though
they were equipped with
bass and baritone voices,
none of the company could
sing tenor.
?Stumped, that?s what,?
Jasper said in the workshop
next morning as he sanded
the stave of a besom to a
satin finish. ?We had a run
through last night, the lot of
set up in competition, so to
speak.?
Jasper snorted.
?Owd Lester wunna have
minded. He?d have been
only too pleased to find
another warbler in our
midst. Bless you, Lettie, for
telling me.?
?You?re welcome,? Lettie
said in tones that had a
distinct edge.
Jasper looked at her very
hard.
?What?s wrong, lass? Got
outa bed the wrong side
this morning??
?Not exactly.?
?Then what?s all the
grumples about? It inna like
you to wear a face fit to
sour the cream.?
Lettie bit her lip.
?It?s Tomas. We were
walking out together ? or so
I thought. Then he had this
whim to go shepherding
and I?ve barely seen him
since.?
?Well, he?ll have been
occupied. A fellow can?t
leave his flock to go
courting. It?s been lambing
time and he?ll have been up
all hours.
?It weren?t the best
weather for newborns,
either. All that wet. There?ll
have been sickly lambs to
tend.?
Lettie twirled the besom
thoughtfully.
?I would have helped.?
?Oh, aye? Did you tell
him that??
?Well, no. It all happened
in too much of a rush. One
minute he was here and the
next he was gone. As I said,
all on a whim.?
?That were no whim,
Lettie. Tomas was cut
out for shepherding.
58
Bart said that from the
start. Pity you two can?t
make things up, but there
tes.?
Lettie?s face tightened.
?And another thing. Why
is it men can play in the
group and not women??
?Eh?? Jasper looked
bemused. ?You got me
there, Lettie. You?re a good
enough fluter. Tes just, well,
tradition, that?s it.?
towards the door as if
half-expecting her to
appear, but the door
remained firmly shut.
?I dunno!? Jasper said to
Bart, following the Friday
rehearsal. ?Lettie knows
Tomas has been here
regular all week. Why dunna
she swallow her pride and
put in an appearance??
?Happen she?s got her
eye on some other young
Times were changing ? happen
Lettie had a point about women
?Tradition? Phooey! You
men think all we women are
fit for is getting meals and
sweeping up.?
Lettie gave the besom a
vicious thrust.
?If there was any fairness
in the world there?d be
female voices singing the
psalmody, and female
musicians, too. I?d love to
play up in the gallery,? she
added wistfully.
Jasper went back to his
sandpapering, his mind
whirling. Things had gone
badly wrong between Lettie
and young Tomas and no
mistake.
As for a female?s place in
the order of things, well,
times were changing and,
though it grieved him to
admit it, happen Lettie had
a point.
Tonight he?d talk to Bart
about getting Tomas to
stand in for the departed
Lester. With lambing long
over and dipping and
shearing still a while off,
surely the lad could spare a
moment to help them out.
* * * *
Tomas agreed readily to
the request, and for the rest
of the week the air echoed
to the sound of the old
music drifting from Bart and
Edna?s cottage on the edge
of the village, where the
Players met to practise.
If Jasper expected Lettie
to turn up he was to be
disappointed. He noticed
Tomas?s gaze slide often
fellow,? Bart said, putting
away his fiddle in its
battered case.
?Nay. She?s as sweet as
she ever were on Tomas.
Pride, that?s what it is. And
stubbornness. There inna
nothing like a female for
stubbornness.?
Bart closed the case with
a snap.
?I dunno so much. I
reckon the lass?s feelings
were hurt bad. Our Tomas
were too hasty and
should?ve asked her
opinion, like. Broke her
gently to his way of thinking
instead of just springing it
on her.?
?Happen so. Anyhow, the
rehearsal went well tonight.
Parson should have no
complaints come Sunday
when we take up our
rightful place in the church
gallery.?
?Exactly so.? Bart glanced
at the clock on the
mantelpiece. ?By, I?ve a
terrible thirst on me. If we
look lively we can fit in a jar
before closing time.?
They managed more than
the expected pint and when
they parted company to
continue to their respective
homes at opposite ends of
the village, both were more
than a little unsteady on
their feet.
* * * *
?Gramps! What?s
happened?? Lettie cried out
in dismay when she entered
the shop next morning to
find her grandfather?s right
hand resting in a sling.
He grimaced, wincing in
pain.
?It?s my wrist. I tripped on
the path last night and fell
heavy.?
Lettie gave him an
admonishing look.
?A likely story. Did you
have one too many??
?Now dunna you start.
I?ve had enough lip from
your gran. Tes up to you to
be on my side.?
?Darling Gramps. I am,
you know that. But what
about tomorrow? How are
you going to play at the
church??
?That?s the question, that
is. I?ll not be able to, and
there?s the rub. Lettie,
you?ll have to stand in for
me.?
?Me?? Lettie?s jaw
dropped.
?Now, then, no need for
that face. You can manage
the hymns on your flute,
can?t you??
?Of course I can. It?s not
that. It?s more whether the
others will tolerate a mere
female amongst them in the
gallery ? it being a purely
male prerogative.?
?Oh, ho, getting uppity
now, are we? I can see the
Players will have to mind
their Ps and Qs at tonight?s
rehearsal. You will be there,
Lettie? Seven o? the clock
prompt??
?Of course I will,? Lettie
said, dimpling.
?Ah, nearly forgot. I were
accompanying Tomas?s solo.
He?s giving ?em ?Wake Up
My Soul?.?
Even as he spoke, Jasper
sent up a worshipful wish
that Tomas?s choice of
hymn might be heeded in
more ways than one.
?You are familiar with it??
?I?m sure I?ll cope,? Lettie
said tartly.
* * * *
To the delight of all
concerned, the Sunday
service was a great success.
Parson Dobbs was heard
to congratulate the Players
soundly and the visiting
clergy agreed that old-time
psalmody had a great deal
to be said for it.
So much praise was
heaped upon it that Parson
Dobbs took it on himself to
request that the Players
performed every time until
the piano was tuned, and
twice monthly thereafter.
It was all very gratifying,
but best of all for Bart and
Jasper was the sight,
directly after the service
had ended ? of young
Tomas humbly taking
Lettie?s hand and the two
talking together, heads
close.
?Seems them two have
sorted their grievances,?
Bart said, toasting his
gaitered legs in front of the
taproom fire, the spring
evening having taken a dip
for the worse.
?D?you reckon us?ll be
asked to play at the
nuptial??
?Sure to, Bart.?
His wrinkled old face
alight, Jasper removed his
right hand from the sling
and reached for his tankard,
raising it high.
?To the Players, past and
present, not forgetting our
talented young members.?
?I?ll drink to that,? Bart
said, pausing. ?Seems to
me that sprained wrist of
yours has made a
miraculous recovery,
Jasper.?
?Eh??
Jasper?s lips described a
shamefaced grin.
?Aye, well, tes that
embrocation my Cissie
makes. Tes wunnerful stuff.?
?Aye, it must be. Best not
let your Lettie see how
quick it?s healed. She?ll
mebbe think there?s been
some jiggery-pokery going
on.?
The old friends exchanged
a glance of perfect
understanding.
?Tell you what, Bart,?
Jasper then said. ?What
with Lettie being welcomed
into the Players, and a
wedding in the offing, too, I
reckon there?s plenty to
grow old for, after all!? n
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SHORT STORY BY ALYSON HILBOURNE 61
Keiran starting
at the village
school caused
me no end of
worry . . .
Illustration by Mandy Dixon.
I
WOULDN?T have
chosen to move in the
middle of the school
year, but when the
cottage came up to rent
and was so much cheaper
than our flat in the city, it
seemed silly not to.
Keiran assured me, in his
eight-year-old way, that
he?d be fine.
There were lots of things
he was looking forward to:
more space to play, the
woods to explore, and the
possibility we might get a
dog if things went well.
He started at the school
in the village, the only child
who was new, trying to fit
into a tight-knit group of
kids who?d known each
other for ever.
I suppose he had novelty
value at first. I walked him
down the road to the
school gate and the other
children stared at us as
they filed into the
playground. Most of them
managed to get themselves
to school without parents.
?Can I go by myself
now?? Keiran asked after a
couple of weeks.
A little shiver of worry
went through me. Used to
the city where children were
always supervised, I had
trouble letting go.
I watched from the
window as he walked along
the street before turning
away to get myself ready
for the day. It took me a
while to get going in the
mornings, so Keiran sorting
himself out was a big help.
After a few weeks he was
The New Kid
coming home dishevelled,
grass stains on his clothing,
bumps, scrapes and bruises
about his body and odd
streaks across his face.
I presumed there was
some rough and tumble at
break times and thought
nothing of it. He would
have talked to me if there
was a problem, wouldn?t
he?
At the weekends he went
off to play football with the
other village boys, but one
Saturday he came back
after just an hour.
When I encouraged him
to go again the next
weekend, he said he had
stuff to do at home.
* * * *
The phone call came as a
surprise.
?Mrs Honeyman? This is
June Frenkel, headmistress
of St Peter?s Primary
School.?
I rushed down to school.
Keiran was standing, stony
faced, in her office. He
refused to meet my eye.
?I?m afraid I have no
alternative but to suspend
him for a day,? Mrs Frenkel
said. ?It?s not the first time
he?s been caught fighting,
but this time we?ve had to
send the other boy to
hospital.?
I gasped. This was so
unlike Keiran. I couldn?t
believe what I was hearing.
?There must be some
explanation,? I declared.
?Well, if there is, Keiran
isn?t explaining it.?
We left the room with me
feeling as much in disgrace
as Keiran. As I passed Mrs
Frenkel in the doorway, she
touched my arm.
?I?m sorry,? she said
quietly. ?I have my
suspicions that this is not
Keiran?s fault, but if he
won?t talk to me there is
nothing I can do.?
She gave a tight smile as I
left and my body relaxed a
little.
We got home but Keiran
wouldn?t speak to me. He
kept his head down.
?I?m disappointed,? I
said. ?I thought I brought
you up to know that
fighting won?t win you
battles.?
He said nothing.
It?s hard being a single
mum. I couldn?t think of
any particular punishment
that might make Keiran
rethink his behaviour, and I
was inclined to believe Mrs
Frenkel because this was
unusual for him. Still, I sent
him to his room.
I couldn?t stay cross for
long. There was only the
two of us and we depended
on each other for company,
especially since we were
still new to the village. I
tried to make his enforced
day at home boring.
The next day, rather than
wanting to go to school,
Keiran appeared in the
kitchen doubled over.
?I?ve got stomach ache,?
he said.
I was dubious and
wondered if it was
connected to the fight.
?Breakfast?? I offered him
muesli or toast, but he
shook his head. ?You must
have a drink, stomach ache
or not. Here, have some
milk.?
I pushed a glass of milk
across the table to him.
?I have work to do,? I
told him. ?I can?t keep
you home. If you?re
62
not well in school they?ll
ring me and I?ll come and
get you.?
I sent him off and waited
for a phone call, but it
didn?t come. This behaviour
repeated itself for several
weeks, with Keiran
complaining of a stomach
ache or a headache or
earache in the mornings.
I took to drawing little
pictures for him and
slipping them in his pencil
case so he had something
cheerful to see when he
opened it up at school. It
made me feel less mean
about sending him off when
he obviously didn?t want to
go.
* * * *
The day I had to go to
London for a television
interview, Keiran was
particularly reluctant to go
to school.
?Can?t I come with you??
he said. ?I want to see
them making TV.?
?It?ll be boring. There?s a
lot of sitting around before
Amanda and I are
interviewed. There won?t be
any famous people there.
You won?t be missing
anything.?
He scowled and set off for
school, dragging his feet
along the path to our gate.
I got ready for the trip. I
was the illustrator for a new
children?s book.
It was a big commission
for me, one I was very lucky
to get, and the television
interview was good
publicity for my work.
The interview went well
and I was home in time for
Keiran when he got back
from school.
away. They are the original
drawings for the book. You
know, the ones you saw in
my studio.
?Our publisher has
allowed them to be
auctioned to raise money
for stroke research.
Hopefully we?ll make a lot
of money.?
?Will we be rich??
I ruffled his hair.
?No, not us. The money
will go to a charity. But ?? I
drew the word out ?? with
any luck the interview might
get me some more work.
We?ll have to hope, eh?
Now it?s time for bed.?
Keiran came home from
school the next day
surrounded by children. For
a moment I went cold as I
watched from the window.
Were they picking on him?
As he turned from one to
the other I realised they
were all talking quite
amicably and there didn?t
seem to be a problem.
Keiran was grinning
widely as he gave a wave
and left them at the garden
gate.
?What?s up?? I raised my
eyebrows as he bumbled
his way in the front door.
He was breathless.
?Everybody saw you on
telly last night. They think
your drawings are fab!?
He dropped his bag on
the floor and bent over it,
undoing the fastenings. As
he stood up he had a
crumpled envelope in his
hand.
?What?s this??
?A letter from Mrs
Frenkel.?
My heart sank.
?What have you done
now?? I looked at him.
The television interview was good
publicity for my work
?Can I stay up and watch
it?? he asked that evening.
?Are you sure? It might
be a bit boring.?
?I want to see you on
telly!? He grinned.
So we made popcorn and
sat on the sofa together.
When it was finished Keiran
turned to me.
?That was great. Are you
really giving away the
pictures??
?No, not giving them
He grinned.
?Not me. It?s about you.
She wants you to come and
talk at assembly about
drawing and ??
?Oh, that?s a relief,? I
interrupted. ?I thought you
were in trouble again, and
you let me think that,
didn?t you??
Keiran laughed, knowing
the game he?d been
playing.
?Will you come, Mum?
And talk to everyone??
?Oh, Keiran. I don?t
know. I?m an artist. I don?t
usually give talks. The
author did most of the
interview on television. I
just talked about the
auction.?
It was Keiran?s turn to
look disappointed.
?How about if I come and
talk, not just about the
book, but about how you
can overcome difficulties?? I
suggested.
Keiran turned slowly away
?Do you think the
children will understand?? I
asked.
?Of course,? he replied.
On the day of the
assembly we walked to
school together. Keiran held
his head up high and
introduced me to his
friends.
Most of the children said
hello and asked if I?d
brought some pictures.
It was a daunting
prospect to get up on the
little stage and see the
It was a daunting prospect to get
up on the little stage
from me.
?Keiran, tell me. Was the
fight you got into about
me??
He swallowed and
nodded.
?Was someone teasing
you??
?No, Mum. He was rude
about you!? Keiran?s head
jutted forward and his
bottom lip wobbled. ?He
said you couldn?t do
anything.?
?Ah,? I replied. ?Couldn?t
you just have talked to
him? Did you have to
fight??
?He wouldn?t listen. He
wouldn?t understand.?
Tears glistened in his eyes.
I put my good arm
around him and hugged.
?I see I?ll have to come
and give a talk, then,? I
told him.
?Great!? Keiran broke
free of my embrace and
punched the air. ?But it?s
OK now. No-one?s listening
to him because they?ve
seen you on the telly. They
think you?re great.?
Keiran?s affirmation was
kind, but it was still a scary
thing for me to go and talk
to the children.
I discussed it with Mrs
Frenkel and she thought
combining it with a chat
about overcoming
difficulties was a great idea.
So I wrote a draft speech
and collected together
some examples of my work.
I tried it out on Keiran.
?How does this sound??
He clapped and cheered.
I didn?t think he was a
particularly discerning
audience.
mass of faces beneath me.
The children waited
patiently as it took me a
few minutes to climb the
steps.
Keiran was in the front
row, sitting cross-legged
with a frown on his face as
he watched me get
comfortable.
The stroke I had a few
years ago has left my left
arm paralysed and the left
side of my face wooden. It?s
hard to lift my left leg, too.
Keiran?s shoulders
relaxed as I got into place.
I opened up my paper,
resting it on the lectern,
and found attached to the
top a little picture that
Keiran had drawn, similar
to the ones I had put in his
pencil case.
My eyes welled up with
tears and for a moment I
couldn?t focus on the words
on the page.
I hoped my talk would
show the children that they
could do anything they put
their minds to, and that
overcoming difficulties was
part of the journey, but it
needn?t put them off.
It was possible to achieve
their dreams.
I held up a copy of one of
my drawings that was to be
auctioned.
Boys either side of Keiran
nudged him and pointed
and he beamed and
nodded, happy to be the
centre of attention.
It?s a relief Keiran has
settled into school and has
friends, but I?ll never stop
worrying altogether.
Of course not. I?m a
mother. n
64
Why Won?t
They Let The
Women Help
John Bull, a fictional
fat, suited man who
often appeared in
posters to symbolise
England, is seen here
struggling to look after
three children and do
the housework. The
message appears to be
that if women could
vote and get involved
in the prevalent social
issues of the
Edwardian era ?
unemployment, infant
mortality rates and
poor schooling ? much
could be achieved.
Power
Poster
Pictures courtesy of Cambridge University Library.
A century ago, at the height of the Suffragette
movement, women campaigners mastered the art of
political advertising. Lorna Cowan finds out more.
T
HROUGHOUT 2018,
events and
exhibitions are
taking place across
the UK to celebrate
the 100-year anniversary of
women winning the right to
vote. It was the result of
decades of campaigning by
fearless women, and men,
who endured abuse and
ridicule ? and risked arrest
? to get their voice heard.
At the Cambridge
University Library, a
collection of suffrage posters
is on display until March 31.
Although delivered to the
library in a brown paper
parcel around 1910,
addressed simply to ?the
Librarian?, the posters were
not discovered until 2016.
A leading figure of the
suffrage moment, Dr Marion
Philips, is thought to have
been the sender.
?These posters are
fantastic examples of the
suffrage publicity machine
of the early twentieth
century,? Dr Chris Burgess,
exhibitions officer at the
library, says. ?They were
created to be plastered on
walls, torn down by weather
or political opponents, so
it?s highly unusual for this
material to be safely stored
for over a hundred years.?
While some posters
appear witty and humorous,
others are more shocking,
often using metaphors to
get their message across.
?The majority opinion was
against women?s votes,? Dr
Lucy Delap, from the Faculty
of History, explains.
?The suffrage movement
had to reach out to many
women, and campaigning
went far beyond the simple
equality message to point
out how the vote could
make a difference in
households, at work and on
the streets.?
The posters are on display in
Cambridge University Library
Entrance Hall until March 31. The
exhibition is free and open to all.
Visit www.lib.cam.ac.uk.
Votes For
Women
A weekly suffrage paper,
?Votes For Women?,
provided supporters and
sympathisers with up-todate news.
The publication was
owned and edited by
Frederick and Emmeline
Pethick-Lawrence, senior
members of the militant
movement Women?s Social
and Political Union (WSPU),
and as such, posters
announcing that the latest
issue was on sale were
printed in WSPU colours of
purple and green.
HERITAGE 65
Coming In
With The Tide
Caricatures were often
used by suffrage artists
and this poster depicts
Mrs Partington, a famous
outspoken Conservative
from 19th-century political
satire, attempting to
sweep back the ocean
after a storm.
She is trying to prevent
the seeming flood of
support for women?s
votes, and hoping her
mop will stem social
progress.
Gander, Goose
A male gander is seen
here tucking into a meal of
votes, whereas his female
counterpart is not so
fortunate and has to go
without. This evocative
poster was the winner of a
1908 competition by the
Artists? Suffrage League, a
society devoted to
publishing suffrage
propaganda. The artist was
Mary Sargent Florence
(1857-1954), who also
designed the badge and
banner of the Tax
Resistance League.
Now You
Greedy Boys
Mrs John Bull, the
symbolic wife of the
aforementioned stout
Englishman, is seen here
competing for scant
resources against the
organisations that appear
on the children?s bibs. Each
were linked to the major
political parties of the day,
and their campaigning
activities were
underpinned by women?s
work. The poster argues
that this support should be
withdrawn until women
could also participate at
the ballot box.
Handicapped
One of the most
popular posters of the
suffrage campaign ?
and the winner of ?best
design suitable for use
at elections?, awarding
artist Duncan Grant a
prize of �? shows a
man with the wind in
his sails, relaxing en
route to Westminster.
The woman, on the
other hand, is
struggling to row her
boat on choppier
waters. The poster is
a poignant reminder
that equality for
women did not exist.
Votes For
Workers
Not all women actively
demanded the vote, but
this poster appeals to the
viewer for this seamstress
at home, as well as
others working in textile
factories, to be given the
power to improve their
lives. Interestingly, only
women householders
over the age of thirty, or
the wives of men of
property, were given the
vote in 1918. It was
another 10 years before
all women over twentyone had the same equal
voting rights as men.
HELPING OTHERS 67
Classes are
always
enjoyable.
Robbie Norval is keen
to share the benefits
of learning languages.
Lingo
Flamingo!
Dawn Geddes discovers how one charity
is tackling dementia with language lessons.
Photographs by Dawn Geddes.
T
HE prospect of
developing dementia
as we get older is
something that
worries many of us.
With recent research
showing that 850,000
people in the UK are already
affected by the condition,
it?s clear that we are right to
be concerned.
Luckily for us, Lingo
Flamingo, a social enterprise
based in Glasgow, has come
up with a new way of
tackling the condition ? by
teaching people over the
age of sixty a second
language!
While the thought of
learning a new language
might seem like a challenge
too far for many people,
Robbie Norval, Founding
Director of the non-profit
organisation, says that a
challenge is actually just
what our brains need to
keep the debilitating
condition at bay.
?Studies have shown that
Our brains benefit
from a good challenge.
people who are bilingual
actually develop dementia
four to five years later than
people who are not.
?The reason for this is that
learning a second language
builds up our cognitive
reserves, making the brain
more resilient to things like
stroke or dementia.?
After working in the care
sector himself and noticing
that many of the activities
offered to service users
were passive, Robbie
decided to establish Lingo
Flamingo, an organisation
which would encourage
people to strengthen their
brain power by learning
languages.
Since its launch in 2015,
the enterprise has continued
to go from strength to
strength and now offers
classes to older people
across Scotland, teaching
them French, Spanish,
German and Italian.
Lingo Flamingo classes
don?t follow a set
curriculum, tailoring their
sessions to the needs of
their learners instead. They
aim to make all of their
classes enjoyable, proving
that life-long learning really
can be fun.
?We link a lot of our
learning to nostalgia and
culture, building on our
learners? existing knowledge
of each country and its
words.
?If we are teaching Italian,
for example, we?d do some
activities around Italian food
and its names as well as
practising common Italian
hand gestures and the verbs
that go with them.
?Towards the end, we
might do some sensory
work through tasting Italian
foods like bruschetta before
ending the session by
sing ing along to Italian
songs such as Dean Martin?s
?Volare?.?
Robbie says that one of
the most important
elements of the classes is
the way that they encourage
social interaction during the
learning process.
?One of the most fantastic
things about our classes is
that they provide a new
experience for our learners.
Our participants are getting
out and meeting new
people at the same time as
challenging themselves to
learn something new.?
As well as offering these
sessions to older adults to
prevent the effects of
dementia, Lingo Flamingo
also work with adults who are
already living with the
condition.
For those sessions, Lingo
Flamingo tutors concentrate
more on the sensory aspects
of learning, focusing on smell,
touch and taste.
?We had a married couple
who used to attend our
classes in Ayrshire.
?The woman already had
quite advanced dementia and
couldn?t really communicate,
so although she paid
attention during the sessions,
she never really spoke.
?Through the class she
regained some confidence,
and at one point she actually
picked up her pen and wrote
the Italian word ciao, which
was fantastic!
?It was the first time her
husband had seen her write
in two years. Her family wrote
to us later to say that
although it was a small
advancement, it really had
made a big impact.
?When you measure results
when it comes to people
living with dementia they
really can be small, but to
their family and their carers
that small thing can mean so
much.? n
For further information
about Lingo Flamingo, visit:
www.lingoflamingo.co.uk.
C
Standing at the door was the last man
the two friends expected to see . . .
Illustration by David Young.
The Story So Far
FRIENDS VAL and
BETTY are house-sitting
Tangara cottage on the
Cornish coast for local
artist PETER JOHN. They
want to know the source
of a noise which
disturbed them on their
first night, but local
shopkeeper KIT PELAGO
and fisherman AIRCUT
advise them that the
rumbling sound is nothing
they should concern
themselves with.
Undeterred, the ladies
keep watch on the
hillside that night, but
nothing happens.
Next day is spent in
St Ives at art galleries
and watching surfers
from the sea front. One
older surfer catches Val?s
attention, and that
evening the friends spot
him again in the local inn
where Kit and Aircut?s
group are performing sea
shanties.
The surfer turns out to
be ALEXANDER GREY, an
Australian who is here to
claim his inheritance from
his great-uncle of a tin
mine and land behind
Tangara cottage. His
plans to tear down what
is there and build a
beach resort in the area
have made him unpopular
with locals.
Later, Val and Betty
again keep vigil. This
time they hear the
thundering noise, and are
nearly mown down when
a horse gallops by.
Its rider is Alexander
Grey . . .
B
ETTY, I sat on
some stinging
nettles!? Val cried.
?I?m glad I?m
wearing my jeans.?
?Are you stung??
?Just on my hand, but I
didn?t get a shot of him at
all.? Val looked into the
viewfinder of her camera.
?The flash didn?t go off.?
?Good job. It would have
spooked that poor horse
even more.?
?Fancy riding so fast! In
the dark, too.?
?Let?s get back to the
cottage. At least we know
what the noise was now.?
They made their way
carefully down the stone
steps behind Tangara and
soon had the kettle boiling.
?Are you sure you?re not
hurt, Val??
?I?m OK, just a few
scratches on my cheek.?
?Ditto on my chin. It
could have been worse.?
?We could have gone
right over the edge and
down those steps!?
?But we didn?t.? Betty
spooned chocolate powder
into two mugs. ?Best to
forget it: we probably won?t
be seeing Alexander Grey
again. Anyway, it was partly
our fault that he nearly
knocked us flying.?
?He shouldn?t have been
riding at such a speed in
the dark, and I expect we
will see him again ?
especially if we?re at the
Crab and Mermaid.?
Betty grinned.
?The fish and chips were
a bit special, weren?t they??
* * * *
Next morning Betty??s chin
and Val?s cheek were a bit
sore and puffy so both were
glad of the little first-aid kit
they kept in the car. They
smoothed on some
ointment.
SERIAL BY PAT THORNBOROUGH PART 3 OF 6 69
?Shall I take a photo??
Val asked with a smile.
?No! I don?t want to be
reminded of the incident.?
Val sighed.
?You?re right. Let?s stick
to our house-sitting; that?s
what we came here to do. I
must say Alexander Grey
did sing ?The Wild Colonial
Boy? beautifully, though.?
?That doesn?t excuse him
from riding that poor horse
like a wild man, or for being
so rude to us!?
They were clearing up the
breakfast dishes when there
was a rap on the door.
Betty answered.
Alexander Grey stood
there, a bouquet of roses in
one hand. He removed his
hat and held it to his chest.
?I hope you?ll accept
these with my apologies for
what happened last night.
They?re for both of you.?
Val came to the door.
?Oh!?
?I came to apologise.? He
offered the roses to Val. ?I
hope you weren?t hurt.?
Val took the flowers.
?They?re lovely. You
didn?t have to.?
?I did. I behaved badly
and spoke roughly to you
both.? He peered at Val.
?You?ve hurt your face!?
?Betty hurt her chin.?
?Then I?m doubly sorry. I
? I wasn?t quite myself. I
didn?t expect to see anyone
on the road.?
?We could tell you
weren?t ?quite yourself?.?
Betty?s voice was grim. ?We
could smell the results of an
evening at the Crab and
Mermaid, and you were
galloping much too fast on
a dark road ? at night!
?Suppose you?d met a car
coming the other way??
?No-one drives up there;
the road leads to my place.
I might ask why you were
there. You startled me.?
?We didn?t know what
the rumbling noise was late
at night, so we wanted to
see what it was.?
?Now you know. You also
know what curiosity did to
the cat, though, and that
could have easily happened
to both of you.?
He grinned.
?You could have asked
folk what the noise was.
Everyone knows it?s me and
Polly. I don?t drive when
I?ve been to the inn.?
?We did ask, but were
advised to mind our own
business, that it was a local
matter. However, we do
know who you are and what
you plan to do here.?
?And you disapprove??
?Yes!? Betty said firmly.
?It breaks our hearts, what
you plan to do with this
beautiful place. And to pull
down Tangara!?
?It?s a dump.?
?It is not!?
?You?ve no amenities,?
he pointed out.
?We do! We?ve a shower
we invented ourselves.?
?Interesting. I suppose it
involves the old tin bath.?
Betty held in her anger.
?That?s none of your
concern.?
?It will be, and maybe
sooner than you think. I
just have to agree a price
with Peter John. Enjoy the
flowers and I hope your
scratches get better soon.?
He went up the path to
Kit?s shop.
?What a disagreeable
man.? Val put the roses on
the table.
?Only when we began
talking about his
development plans for the
place,? Betty observed.
?Before that he was polite
and apologetic.?
Val went into the kitchen
space and found an old jug.
?This?ll do.? She arranged
the roses in it. ?I still don?t
like him.?
Betty observed, though,
that Val?s cheeks were red.
* * * *
?One crusty loaf and two
pints of milk.?
Betty looked up from
sketching to see Kit.
?I had two pasties left
over from this morning?s
delivery. I thought you two
would like them. On the
house.? He sat on the grass
beside her deckchair.
?That?s kind of you, Kit.
Who?s minding the shop??
?Closed for lunch.
Where?s your friend??
?Val?s on the beach.
She?s snapping the seaweed
and shells.?
She pointed to a figure in
the distance, crouching with
camera poised.
?Val?s determined to
secure a winning shot
before the tide comes in.?
?I?ve no doubt she will.?
Kit grinned. ?I see Aircut
checking his moorings,
keeping a weather eye on
her. When the tide turns it
comes in with a rush.?
?We had an adventure
last night,? Betty confided.
She told him the whole
story, including today?s visit
by Alexander Grey.
Kit was angry.
?He?d no right to shout at
Betty was all attention
?Well??
?The brothers, Simon and
John Grey, were the last
inheritors of Whealgrey.
They worked hard together.
Then they fell in love with
the same girl, Lyndsy
Morgan. She agreed to
marry Simon and a date
was set.
?John was heartbroken
?The two brothers fell in love with
the same girl?
you like that! You could
have fallen . . .?
?We didn?t. And we did
give him a fright.?
?Want me to have a word
with him??
?No, thank you all the
same. Let it be. We?ll just
avoid him. You?ve enough
worries with all the changes
he intends to make here.?
Kit sighed.
?We like the place just as
it is. No-one wants change,
especially Peter John. But I
think he?ll be forced to sell
Tangara. Grey will make
things uncomfortable.?
?I can?t bear to think of
it,? Betty said. ?We?ve only
been here a short while but
we love the calm and
beauty of the place.?
?It?s money.? Kit sat up
and gazed across the bay.
?He wants his inheritance
to pay for itself.?
?Some people know the
price of everything and the
value of nothing.?
?You?re right. Whealgrey
has a lot of history.?
?Tell me.? Betty put down
her drawing pad.
?Well, it?s mostly old
memories mingled with a
lot of gossip, but there?d be
truth in it, I daresay.?
Kit sat up and faced her.
?The old mine was
thriving and it passed down
through the same family of
Greys. Then, in the Sixties,
it ran dry of tin and
Alexander?s uncle sold off
all the equipment, leaving
only the engine house,
chimney and the
homestead in which he
lived until he died. It
became a ruin.?
?Did he have no family??
?Yes, one brother who
had emigrated. That?s
where the story begins.?
and made plans to go to
Australia. He sold his share
of the mine to Simon.?
?Did he ever come back??
?No, never. But he didn?t
go to Australia alone.?
?He didn?t??
?Someone went with
him.? Kit?s eyes twinkled.
?Tell me.?
?Lyndsy Morgan! She
upped and went with John.
Simon was broken-hearted.
He never married but ran
the mine until it failed.?
?Poor man.?
?Yes, he was a lonely
one. Folk said he stood on
the headland gazing out
across the waves for hours.
He became a recluse.
Children would creep up
there of an evening, knock
on the door and run away.
Kids do that kind of thing.?
?A very unkind thing.?
Betty frowned.
?They swore they could
hear noises coming from
the old mine ? that it was
haunted.?
?Who were the children??
?Me, Aircut and the
rest,? Kit admitted.
?Naughty! I hope you?re
ashamed of yourselves.?
?We are. The last time we
went up there we peeked
through the window and he
was asleep. So we knocked
on the door and ran but
nothing happened.?
?Was he . . .??
?Yes. We ran back and
raised the alarm, and to
cap it all we were praised
for our part in finding him.
We?ve felt guilty ever since.
?It took years to find the
next of kin, Alexander Grey.
Now he?s inherited a place
of no value except for the
land. I still feel bad about
teasing that poor old
man.?
71
?We can?t change the
past, but we can try to
improve the future.?
Kit shrugged.
?What can we do??
* * * *
As the friends dined on
pasties and salad, Betty
related the story of
Whealgrey.
?What a scandal for such
a quiet little place,? Val
observed between
mouthfuls of pasty. ?It?s
like a romantic novel. By
the way, where did you get
these delicious things??
?Kit brought them when
you were beachcombing.?
?Aircut came out on the
beach to check the
moorings of his fishing boat
while I was photographing
seaweed. He wanted to
know if we?d like to go for a
moonlight ride in his boat
when the tide turns.?
?Did you say yes??
?How could I say no? We
might see a mermaid.? Val
grinned.
?I hope Aircut?s got
lifejackets.?
?I asked about that and
he said yes. And we?ve to
wear something we don?t
mind getting grubby as his
boat?s a bit whiffy due to
the mackerel.?
Val reached into her
pocket and took out a shell.
She placed it on the table.
?Look what I found when
I was out there. It has some
interesting markings on it. I
thought it would be a nice
keepsake.?
?It looks like a big whelk
shell.? Betty picked it up.
?Those marks don?t look
natural. They look as if
someone?s cut them into
the shell.?
?Way out there? It must
have been under the sea
and rolling about in the tide
for years.?
Val took the shell from
Betty.
?It?s a definite pattern,
though. Look, that?s a
moon and some stars and
? and something that looks
like a fish hook.?
?Someone must have
been messing about and
carving it years ago and
just flung it into the water,?
Betty suggested.
?I?m going to look it up in
my mermaid book. And
tonight I?ll show Aircut.?
Betty smiled.
?Val, it wasn?t carved by
a mermaid, that?s for sure.?
* * * *
The sun was disappearing
as Betty and Val walked to
Aircut?s cottage. He was on
the shore, his boat pulled
up on the sand to make it
easier for them to climb
aboard and sit side by side.
?I?ve given Saucy Sue a
wash down this afternoon
so she?s not too smelly.
Here?s a couple of
lifejackets, and I?ve brought
a flask of coffee in case it
gets a little cool out there.?
?Thank you, Aircut.?
Betty didn?t ask if he?d
laced the coffee with his
home-made cordial.
?I won?t have you out too
long.? He pushed the boat
into the water. ?But it?s
lovely coming back by
moonlight and I?ve brought
my concertina so we can
have a sing-song.?
He pulled a woolly hat
down over his ears and
picked up the oars.
?Ready?? The outboard
motor was clear of the
water and secured. ?I don?t
start her motor till I?m well
out of the bay.?
?We noticed that,? Betty
said. ?We wondered why.?
Aircut pulled on the oars
and the boat moved away
from the shore.
?I don?t want to disturb
the horses, you see. The
noise of the outboard
would scare them away.?
?What horses? You?re
pulling our legs.?
His eyes twinkled.
?Seahorses.?
?The white tops of waves
when there?s a storm??
?No, m?dear. Seahorses,
the small ones that live
among the seaweed at the
mouth of the bay. They?ve
been there ?undreds of
years. Don?t do to disturb
them ? unlucky, you see.?
Betty was stunned.
?I thought they were
endangered. How do you
know they?re there??
?I?ve known about ?em
since I used to go diving as
a lad. Thought nothing
much of ?em except to
leave ?em be. Darling little
things, they are. I ?aven?t
been diving down there for
many a year now.?
He was romancing, Betty
thought, just to make this
trip exciting. He probably
told the same story to all
the trippers.
?It?s a long time since you
were a boy,? Val said.
?Maybe they?re gone now.?
?No, they?re there for
ever, ?cause nobody knows
about ?em except the
Shantymen, me, and now
you two, of course. You
won?t spread the word and
spoil things, will you?? He
grinned. ?We don?t want to
have folks diving about and
looking for ?em.?
Betty still didn?t believe
him, but she smiled and
nodded. After all, they were
out here on the sea in the
near dark with the only
person who could row and
start an outboard motor!
They sat and listened to
the creak of the oars and
the water surging past the
bow of the boat as the
Saucy Sue cut through the
wavelets.
?I don?t suppose,? Val
whispered, ?that you
believe in mermaids??
?You can?t live in
Cornwall and not believe in
the merfolk.?
Now he really was pulling
their legs, Betty thought.
?I found a shell on the
beach this afternoon.? Val
reached into her pocket
and held it out for him to
take. ?It?s very like one in a
book I have.?
He shipped the oars and
took the shell. There was
just enough twilight to see
by. He gazed at it closely.
?Well, I never. I ain?t seen
one like that for I wouldn?t
like to say how long.?
?What does it mean??
He turned the shell over
in his hand.
?This fish hook thing
means that someone is
falling in love with you ?
being hooked, you see. And
the moon and the stars,
that?s what he?ll be willing
to give you.?
He handed the shell back
to Val gently.
?The merfolk, they know
these things. It was left for
you to find. No doubt
about that.?
?Oh, Aircut, what a load
of twaddle.? Betty sniffed.
?Poor Val?s already taken
by this mermaid book she
bought. Don?t encourage
her with fairy tales. We?re
both too mature and
sensible for romance.?
Aircut took up the oars.
?Well, you explain it. A
seashell on the beach,
carved up pretty, set there
for your friend to find.
What else but something
not of this world??
?Yes,? Val said.
?Remember what
Shakespeare said about
there being more things in
heaven and earth.?
?I know what he said!?
Betty was exasperated.
?It?s an old shell someone
threw away. You found it,
that?s all.?
Aircut sighed.
?Anyone want coffee??
He didn?t set the motor
going. They sat in the
gently rocking boat,
drinking coffee from small
enamel mugs. The coffee
was delicious and Betty
suspected that a little of
Aircut?s cordial had been
added. Just enough to take
the chill off the night air.
The moon rose and Aircut
played his concertina while
they sang shanties.
?You ladies sing lovely,?
Aircut said. ?Would you
consider singing along with
us on the next Shanty Night
at the Crab and Mermaid?
A bit of feminine harmony
would go down a treat.?
?Oh, we?re not that
good,? Betty said.
?Come to a rehearsal with
us. We?ll soon teach you
the harmonies,? Aircut
urged. ?They?re simple.?
?Come on, Betty,? Val
pleaded. ?It?ll be fun.?
Betty smiled.
?OK, we might enjoy it.
When shall we come to a
rehearsal??
?Tomorrow evening.? He
stowed the mugs before
taking up the oars again.
?We?d best get back now
the tide?s on the turn. I
won?t bother with the
outboard motor and I?ll
take you right up to your
beach. How?s that??
?Perfect,? Val said.
As good as his word,
Aircut ran the boat up the
beach in front of Tangara
and they climbed out.
?Give us a shove!? he
called and they pushed the
boat into the water again
and shouted their thanks.
They squelched up the
grassy slope and
72
removed their sandals.
?All that about
mermaids seems silly now
we?re ashore,? Val said.
?It is silly. It?s part of
Aircut?s bit for the tourists.?
?Not the seashell. That?s
still a mystery.?
?Rubbish. It?ll be
someone?s arts and crafts
effort, thrown away.?
?It isn?t late,? Val said. ?I
think I?ll take some photos
in the moonlight. It?s so
beautiful out here.?
?I?m going to sit with my
book. Don?t go too far.?
?OK, Mum.? Val laughed.
?I?ll be very careful of the
sea monsters.?
* * * *
Betty lit the oil lamp and
settled down with her book
at the table. The roses
looked lovely in the light of
the lamp and her book was
a good rollicking story.
On glancing at her watch,
she realised that Val had
been gone for an hour.
Don?t fuss, she thought.
Val?s a grown woman ? she
won?t get into any trouble.
Another half hour passed.
She went to the door and
looked out. Moonlight
illuminated the bay. The
tide was half out, leaving a
strand of foreshore, wet
and sparkling. There was no
sign of Val.
As she watched the water
there was some turbulence
near the entrance to the
bay and a splashing noise.
?Val!? she shouted as
loud as she could.
?I?m here, Betty.? Val
approached her, coming
along the path that led to
Kit?s shop.
She stopped by their car.
?Were you worried??
?Yes, I jolly well was,?
Betty replied. ?Where have
you been? You?ve been
gone over an hour and a
half. I was beginning to
wish that we hadn?t
decided to leave our mobile
phones at home.?
?I?ve been down by the
rocks near Aircut?s cottage.
I couldn?t go any further
because of the tide, but I
got some lovely shots of the
moonlight on the water.
?It?s so lovely down there
that I didn?t notice the
time. And there was
something else. I?ll tell you
when we get indoors.?
?Come in now, it?s getting
chilly out here,? Betty said
as Val mounted the steps to
the door. ?I heard a big
splash out there just now.
Did you see anything in the
water??
?Yes.? Val put her camera
on the table and sat down.
?I think it was an enormous
fish. This huge tail came out
of the water and slapped
down again.
?I think I was quick
enough to get a shot of it. I
could see the swirl of it as it
went to the mouth of the
bay, its tail went up and
down again with a splash,
then it was gone.?
?I heard it.?
?Look, there it is in the
viewfinder.? Val handed the
camera to Betty. ?It looks
like a fish tail, doesn?t it?
?We?ll ask Kit tomorrow if
dolphins have been sighted
here. Or whales.?
Betty put her hand on her
friend?s shoulder.
?A whale would be too
big to get into the bay, and
it was certainly not a
mermaid.?
?I wasn?t even thinking of
that,? Val fibbed.
?Well, it?s a good job it
didn?t appear earlier. It
could have tipped us out of
the boat.?
* * * *
?Dolphins have been
sighted occasionally around
these parts ? seals, too,?
Kit told them. ?But not for
a long while. Did you get a
good look at it? Did it jump
right out of the water??
He handed their groceries
to Betty.
?No, I only saw the tail,?
Val said.
?I heard the splash,?
Betty added. ?It was loud.?
?It was probably a large
fish. There are plenty of
those around. It?ll be out at
sea now. It was probably
looking for food. There are
lots of strange things in the
sea.?
?Mermaids have a tail like
a whale.? Val shrugged.
?There?s a drawing of one in
my book but not so big.?
?Not the merfolk again!?
Betty groaned.
Kit grinned.
?Has Aircut been spinning
you a yarn??
?Lots of them,? Betty
declared.
?Don?t take him too
seriously, though there?s a
lot more to him than meets
the eye.? He winked.
?We won?t.? Betty
laughed. ?By the way, we?re
coming to the rehearsal
tonight. He?s invited us to
provide a bit of feminine
harmony to the shanties.
We were singing out in his
boat last night.?
?Then you must have
impressed him. He?s very
choosy who he invites to
the shanty evenings.?
?We?re looking forward to
it,? Val told Kit.
?We?ll see you about
seven o?clock. We?ll go
round by the road.?
?Watch out for the
phantom horseman,? Kit
teased.
?He?s no ghost. He?s just
an impolite man.?
?One with a good deal of
influence and a lot of
money.? He frowned.
* * * *
There was a warm
welcome at Aircut?s cottage
and places were made for
them in the circle of singers.
?Just sing along with us
for a while until you get
used to it.? Aircut handed
them sheets of paper with
the words to the shanties.
?Then we?ll be able to tell
where you?ll fit.?
He took up his concertina
and began to play.
The shanties, like hymns,
were easy to follow and
Betty and Val were familiar
with the popular ones.
They were mainly work
songs sung by sailors of the
old tall ships as they pulled
the ropes and turned the
capstan to raise and lower
the anchor.
?Well done, ladies.?
Aircut was pleased. ?I?m
glad I asked you to join us.
Now, which one of you
would like to do a solo??
?You do it, Val. You were
always the one who could
hold a tune.?
Val blushed but
consented to try.
?Good-oh!? Aircut said.
?We?ll sing ?Tom Bowling?.
That?s a sad one, perfect for
a lady?s voice. We?ll hum in
harmony and you can sing
the words.?
They began without
accompaniment. Val sang
the heartrending ballad.
?Well done, lass,? Aircut
praised her. ?We?ll keep
that one in, that?ll get ?em
crying.? He grinned.
?I don?t want to make
anyone sad!?
?Go on with you.? Aircut
winked at Val. ?Everyone
likes a bit of sad stuff. We?ll
round off the evening with
?The Drunken Sailor? and
everyone can join in. That?ll
make ?em happy again.?
?When?s the Shanty
Night?? Betty asked.
?Friday.? Kit smiled.
?Seven-thirty at the Crab
and Mermaid. You two will
be on the stage this time.?
Betty felt a shiver of
panic.
?Do you think we?re
ready?? Val was also
nervous.
?Of course you are. We?ll
have a couple more
rehearsals before the
performance, just to make
sure.? Aircut put down his
concertina. ?Just sing
natural ? you?ll be perfect.?
* * * *
Val was applauded and
asked for an encore of
?Tom Bowling? and they
both got a supper on the
house. Betty felt a sense of
belonging as they joined in
the banter.
She noticed Alexander
Grey sitting in the same
corner of the room that he
had occupied on their first
night at the Crab and
Mermaid.
He had cheered with the
rest and even stood up to
applaud when Val sang her
solo. His horse was still
tethered in the car park
and it was beginning to
drizzle with rain.
Poor Polly, Betty thought,
there would be another wild
midnight ride tonight. But
at least the noise of her
thundering hooves would
be no longer a mystery.
?Don?t look now, Betty,
but I think he?s coming over
here.? Val rolled her eyes in
the direction of the corner
of the room where
Alexander Grey was getting
to his feet and smiling
across at them.
?I?ll be polite.?
?We?re only here for a
short while. We don?t want
to make things
uncomfortable, do we??
Val reasoned.
?Good evening,
ladies.? Alexander Grey
bowed his head slightly to
them. ?The shanties were
delightful, and that solo
brought tears to my eyes.?
?Thank you,? Val replied.
Betty just smiled.
?May I join you?? He
drew a chair up to the table
and sat down. ?We three
haven?t got off to a good
start, have we? I?d like to
make amends.
?I know I?m not very
popular and I?m a rough
guy. Can?t help it, I
suppose, but I wouldn?t like
to have bad feeling
between us.?
He gazed at them both
with deep blue eyes starred
at the corners, his sunbleached hair dishevelled
as if the only comb he used
was his fingers.
Betty, feeling relaxed and
a little euphoric after their
success with the Shanty
Men, felt herself begin to
warm towards him. She
took a deep breath.
?It was our fault, too, on
the road above Tangara.
Maybe we were foolish to
appear out of the dark.?
?And I shouldn?t have
been a bit over the eight
and riding too fast.? He
held out a hand. ?Shall we
begin again??
Betty hesitated,
remembering this was the
man who had no feelings
for Trefusis Bay or Tangara
and was preparing to
change the lives of so many
residents to suit his own
plans.
Val put out her hand and
took his in a firm grasp, so
Betty did the same. Better
friends than enemies, she
thought. Maybe they could
change his mind in the
short time they had here,
but she doubted that.
He smiled.
?Now, can I offer you a
drink??
?That?s very kind of you
but we?re drinking Adam?s
Ale.? She pointed to her
glass of water with lemon
and ice.
?Then I shall join you,
and I promise to ride old
Polly at a gentle trot when I
return home.?
He beckoned to the
landlord and asked for a
glass of water with ice and
lemon.
?And don?t look so
stunned!? he told him.
Betty was relieved that
the tension had lifted and
their conversation didn?t
turn to land development.
They discussed sea shanties
and Australian folk songs.
?One more thing.?
?What?s that?? Val asked.
?May I have the pleasure
of your company tomorrow
for dinner at a wonderful
restaurant at Land?s End
that I?ve discovered? That
would be both of you, of
course.?
Betty felt a little warning
tingle. This was too friendly,
too soon.
?I ? I think I have one of
those summer colds coming
on,? she fibbed. ?I?d better
stay put for a couple of
days. I don?t want to
spread it around.?
?Have you really?? Val
was concerned. ?You
haven?t said anything to
me.?
Betty glanced towards her
friend.
?Anyway, I think I must
decline your kind offer,? she
told Alexander.
?Then I must stay, too,
and look after you.? Val
patted her friend?s arm.
?I?m sorry to hear that.
But surely your friend can
cope very well on her own?
After all, it?s only a sniffle,
isn?t it?? He looked a little
too knowingly at Betty.
?Oh, of course.?
Oh, dear, she thought,
this isn?t what we want at
all, and now I?ve got myself
into a muddle.
Alexander Grey turned to
Val.
?You?ll come, won?t you?
Please. I promise not to
collect you on old Polly, to
drink only water, and I shall
drive my car extra
carefully.?
Betty looked at Val,
hoping she wouldn?t say
yes. Hoping she wouldn?t
get involved.
There was a short silence
as Val took a sip of Adam?s
Ale.
?I would be delighted.?
To be continued.
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On
Reflection
From the manse
window
By David McLaughlan
W
HO likes queueing?
Not me!
And I especially did
not like standing in line for
four and a half hours in
Schiphol Airport, with luggage,
waiting (and hoping) to have
a cancelled flight rearranged.
But it did give me plenty of
time to indulge in a favourite
pastime ? people-watching!
Several hundred people
were confined in a chicane in
a relatively small place while
airline staff did their best to
keep everyone happy. The
chicane meant I got to spend
time next to many people,
move apart, and find them
alongside me again later.
Of course, people
responded differently to this
confusing and unexpected
situation. There were the loud
and vocal complainers ? but
only a very few out of several
hundred people. And their
complaining never served to
move them any further up the
line.
Some people retreated into
their electronic devices or
plugged in headphones.
Others talked. They talked to
pretty much anyone who
would listen. And those folks
seemed to maintain a happy
bubble around themselves all
the way.
One man, who was
suffering from a sore back,
refused to let it get him down.
?I?m not in a queue,? he
told me, with a wry smile, ?I?m
spending time with a whole
bunch of my new best
friends.?
As the airline staff passed
out water and chocolate,
people who had seen them
deal with difficult characters
took the chance to thank
them for all they were doing.
?After all,? one woman said,
?you didn?t make the snow
that closed the airport.?
?If I could,? the staff member
replied, ?I wouldn?t do it when
so many people are trying to
get home.?
Some kept the chocolate
bars she was passing out in
their wrappers. Then they
quietly passed them to the
families with children. People
watched each other?s bags
when they had to leave the
line for a while.
A couple of seats were
passed around for those who
found standing so long
difficult. Phones were shared
so people could call loved
ones. Advice and tips were
passed around.
Everyone waited the same
length of time, regardless of
how much they had paid for
their tickets. One or two sang
quietly to themselves, and I
wouldn?t have been surprised
if a sing-song had broken out.
Stressful times bring out the
best and the worst in us, and
this was no different. But, after
such a long time in line, I was
glad to have my good opinion
of people confirmed.
Overwhelmingly, this situation
brought out the best.
It struck me as oddly
appropriate that, on the flight
into the airport, my movie of
choice had been ?Dunkirk?.
Waiting in line hardly
compares with the evacuation
of four hundred thousand
men from a beach under siege
by hundreds of volunteer
sailors, but the Dunkirk spirit
has come to be attached to
any situation where people in
trouble find their common
humanity and realise we are
all in this ? this situation, this
life ? together.
In a small, but nonetheless
wonderful, way, it was present
in that long, long queue. And it
made the waiting all the more
worthwhile n
Next week: the Rev.
Susan Sarapuk asks who
can we depend on?
INSPIRING LIVES 77
Peter reflects nature
in his photographs
and in his detailed
artwork.
?Nature connects
everybody?
Photography courtesy of Peter Lovelock.
T
Artist and photographer
Peter Lovelock talks to
Steve Newman about the
inspiration for his work.
O find beauty in
nature is not difficult
to do. To find a facet
of it that
encapsulates your
feelings, then capture it for
others to see, is not quite so
easy to achieve. But this is
something that artist Peter
Lovelock has managed to do
in a variety of mediums.
His two main areas of fine
art are hand-drawn ink
images (some handembellished with gold leaf,
aluminium leaf, copper leaf,
pastels or watercolour) and
photography. So can a
connection be made with
someone looking at or
buying his work?
?Yes, nature is one of those
things that connects
everybody. My work is an
emotional response to the
natural world and I?m
attempting to share with
you, the viewer ? not just
what I am seeing but also
what I am feeling at that
exact moment.
?It?s important to see, not
just look. Trees, plants,
organic shapes, landscapes,
seascapes, natural
structures and rock strata
are all an inspiration to
me.?
Peter can find himself
working for hours or even
days on a single drawing
created with a stippling
drawing technique, slowly
building up shapes, detail,
textures and structure until
there is a feeling of
completeness.
His career started with
training to be a physical
education teacher, leading
on to a professional life
that involved work in a
Want To Know More?
variety of roles, including
residential care for young
people, youth work,
teaching and community
education plus living in,
teaching and managing a
yoga centre for two and half
years plus time in India.
?My time in India aided
my understanding of eastern
philosophy, nature and our
place within it. I have always
been intrigued by the
knowledge and ceremonies
of indigenous peoples and
their connection with the
earth and the wider
universe.?
Yet strangely enough, it
was the stark beauty and
isolation of the west coast
of Scotland that sparked his
emotions and had a
dramatic impact on him.
?It was the initial impetus
for starting to use drawing
and photography to capture
what I was feeling and
seeing. That experience in
my twenties sparked my
emotions and has continued
to be a major influence in
my work.
?It?s not all glamour, of
course ? there?s the neverending artist?s quest for
searching out and
experimenting with
materials and putting aside
time in the evening for
administration/office work,
etc.
?I even sustained a neck
injury last spring! I spent so
many hours looking up at
trees, day after day, taking
photographs and filming
that I needed several
sessions with my
physiotherapist to repair the
damage ? a pain in the neck
for sure!
?I never forget that I?m
extremely lucky to spend a
lot of my time exploring
beautiful areas of coast and
countryside looking for
inspiration.
?On one hand my work is
a response to the natural
world. On the other, I enjoy
and am able to record
modern life in all its guises
? people, places and
events.? n
Peter?s work can be viewed at www.peterlovelock.com. Peter?s work is also on show at the Gallery at the Guild in
Chipping Camden, Gloucestershire, formerly the Old Silk Mill, well known as the home of C.R. Ashbee?s world-renowned
Guild of Handicraft which occupied the property from 1902-1908. It is open Monday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.
and on Friday and Saturday to 5 p.m. More info from www.thegalleryattheguild.co.uk or call 01386 840345.
believe it?
Would you
Got a question? Get in touch through e-mail
wouldyoubelieveit@dctmedia.co.uk or *write to
?The People?s Friend?, 2 Albert Square, Dundee DD1 9QJ.
I?D LIKE TO KNOW
Q
A
The HMS Unicorn was launched
on March 30, 1824, making the
ship one hundred and ninety-four years old this month. This
makes HMS Unicorn the oldest ship in Scotland and the fourth-oldest ship in the UK,
after Mary Rose (launched 1511), HMS Victory (1765) and HMS Trincomalee (1817),
a spokesperson told us.
You can climb aboard HMS Unicorn for a good look round, with the hours extending
from April over the summer months, when it will be open Monday to Sunday, 10 a.m.
until 5 p.m., through to the end of October, when it changes to shorter winter opening
times.
Q
A
According to the Ethnologue
catalogue of world languages,
there are thought to be in excess
of 7,000 languages spoken throughout
the world. It?s a difficult question
to answer precisely as numbers are
constantly in flux.
Q
I read with interest your feature
on Muriel Spark and, believe
it or not, I?d never seen the
film adaptation of her book ?The
Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie? until just
a few weeks ago. Maggie Smith is
outstanding in the lead role, but can
you tell me if she was married to her
co-star Robert Stephens?
Ms C.B., Derby.
A
Yes. The couple wed in 1967 and
had two sons together, before
divorcing in 1974.
Something we didn?t
know last week...
iStock.
250
years ago, in
1768, British china
manufacturer William
Cookworthy was
granted the patent for
English Porcelain.
1 in 20
British men have never
seen their partner
without
make-up.
I know that Dundee is home to
the famous RRS Discovery, but
it is also home to the wonderful
frigate Unicorn, as I visited it many
years ago. Can you remind me how
old this ship actually is?
Mrs P.W., Bristol.
I?ve just started taking French
lessons at night school and
I?m curious to know how many
languages are spoken around the
world.
Mr D.M., Edinburgh.
TEA-BREAK TRIVIA 79
The Oxford English Dictionary has made
some additions to the latest version of its
legendary lexicon. Hangry ? being ?bad
tempered as a result of hunger? ? and
me-time ? ?time devoted to doing what
one wants? ? are new entries, along with
babymoon, which is a relaxing holiday
taken by couples before the arrival of
a baby (me-time for two!) One of our
favourites is ?hazzled? ? a term used to
describe skin that?s been left rough, dry
and chapped thanks to the sun or wind.
*Please do not send an SAE as we cannot give personal replies.
11 hours
is how long, on average,
we spend spring
cleaning
every year.
11,000
miles is flown by globeskimmer dragonflies
when they migrate from
India to East Africa and
back every year.
92%
of ten-year-olds have
regular online access.
3,474 km
is the diameter of the
moon ? which is much
smaller than Jupiter and
Saturn?s moons.
KNITTING 81
It?s A
Topper
intermediate
Our overtop adds the
perfect extra layer
and is worked in a
variegated cotton yarn.
To fit sizes: 76/81 cm
(30/32 ins), 86/91 cm
(34/36), 97/102
(38/40), 107/112
(42/44), 117/122
(46/48), 127/132
(50/52).
Actual size (at widest
point): 96 cm (38 ins),
106 (41�), 118 (46),
128 (50), 140 (55),
150 (59).
Length: 56 cm
(22 ins), 57 (22�),
57 (22�), 58 (23),
58 (23), 59 (23�).
MATERIALS
6 (7, 7, 8, 8, 9)
50-gram balls of King
Cole Vogue DK (shade
Elderberry 2123). One
pair each 3.25 mm
(No. 10) and 4 mm
(No. 8) knitting needles.
For yarn stockists write,
enclosing an SAE, to:
King Cole Ltd., Merrie
Mills, Snaygill Ind.
Estate, Keighley Rd,
Skipton BD23 2QR.
Telephone: 01756
703670. Website:
www.kingcole.com.
TENSION
22 sts and 28 rows to
10 cm measured over
stocking-stitch (knit 1
row, purl 1 row) using
4 mm needles.
ABBREVIATIONS
Alt ? alternate;
K ? knit; mp ? make
one st purlways by
picking up and purling
into back of horizontal
strand lying before next
st; P ? purl;
psso ? pass slipped st
over; rem ? remain;
rep ? repeat;
SKPO ? slip next st, K1,
pass slipped st over st
just knitted;
st(s) ? stitch(es);
tog ? together;
yf ? yarn forward;
yrn ? yarn round
needle.
Important Note
Directions are given for
six sizes. Figures in
brackets refer to the five
larger sizes. Figures in
square brackets [ ] refer
to all sizes and are
worked the number of
times stated. When
writing to us, you must
enclose an SAE if you
would like a reply
to your query.
Photographs by Ally Stuart, www.allystuartphotography.co.uk.
Hair and make-up by Linda Wilson.
Photographed at Rufflets Hotel, St Andrews, www.rufflets.co.uk.
MEASUREMENTS
82
PANEL
(worked over a basic
7 sts)
1st row ? P2tog, yrn, P1, K1,
P1, yrn, P2tog.
2nd row ? K3, P1, K3.
3rd row ? P3, K1, P3.
4th row ? K3, P1, K3.
5th to 8th rows ? As 1st to
4th rows.
9th and 10th rows ? As 1st
and 2nd rows.
11th row ? P3, mp, K1, mp,
P3 ? 9 sts.
12th row ? K3, P3, K3.
13th row ? P3, K1, [yf,
K1] twice, P3 ? 11 sts.
14th row ? K3, P5, K3.
15th row ? P3, K2, yf, K1, yf,
K2, P3 ? 13 sts.
16th row ? K3, P7, K3.
17th row ? P3, K3, yf, K1, yf,
K3, P3 ? 15 sts.
18th row ? K3, P9, K3.
19th row ? P3, SKPO, K5,
K2tog, P3 ? 13 sts.
20th row ? K3, P7, K3.
21st row ? P3, SKPO, K3,
K2tog, P3 ? 11 sts.
22nd row ? K3, P5, K3.
23rd row ? P3, SKPO, K1,
K2tog, P3 ? 9 sts.
24th row ? K3, P3, K3.
25th row ? P3, slip 1, K2tog,
psso, P3 ? 7 sts.
26th row ? K3, P1, K3.
These 26 rows form panel.
BACK
With 3.25 mm needles, cast
on 83 (95, 107, 119, 131,
143) sts.
1st row (right side) ? K2,
[P1, K1] 3 times, [P2tog, yrn,
P1, K1, P1, yrn, P2tog, K1, P1,
K1, P1, K1] 6 (7, 8, 9, 10,
11) times, P1, K2.
2nd row ? [K1, P1] 4 times,
[K3, P1, K3, P1, K1, P1, K1,
P1] 6 (7, 8, 9, 10, 11) times,
K1, P1, K1.
Rep these 2 rows until work
measures 13 cm, ending after
1st row.
Next row ? Purl, increasing
4 sts evenly across row ? 87
(99, 111, 123, 135, 147) sts.
Change to 4 mm needles
Next row (right side) ? K8,
purl until 8 sts rem, K8.
Next row ? K4, P4, knit until
8 sts rem, P4, K4.
These 2 rows set the basic
pattern.
Repeat these 2 rows once.
Next (increase) row ? K8,
P1, mp, purl until 9 sts rem,
mp, P1, K8, (2 sts increased)
??.
Working the increased sts in
reverse stocking-stitch work
9 rows straight.
Rep the last 10 rows until
there are 105 (117, 129,
141, 153, 165) sts.
Work straight until back
measures 51 (52, 52, 53, 53,
54) cm measured through
centre of work, ending after a
wrong-side row.
Shape shoulders ? Cast off
4 (5, 6, 6, 7, 8) sts loosely at
beginning of next 10 rows,
then 4 (4, 4, 7, 7, 7) sts at
beginning of next 2 rows.
Finally cast off 5 (5, 5, 8, 8,
8) sts at beginning of next
2 rows ? 47 (49, 51, 51, 53,
55) sts.
Slip remaining sts on a
stitch-holder and leave.
FRONT
Work as back to ?? ?
89 (101, 113, 125, 137,
149) sts.
Next row ? K4, P4, knit until
8 sts rem, P4, K4.
Work centre panel, AT THE
SAME TIME work side
increases spaced as on back
as follows:
1st row ? K8, P33 (39, 45,
51, 57, 63), work 7 sts from
1st row of panel, P33 (39, 45,
51, 57, 63), K8.
2nd row ? K4, P4, K33 (39,
45, 51, 57, 63), work 7 sts
from 2nd row of panel, knit
until 8 sts rem, P4, K4.
3rd to 8th rows ? Rep 1st
and 2nd rows 3 times but
working 3rd to 8th rows of
panel.
9th row ? K8, P1, mp,
P32 (38, 44, 50, 56, 62),
work 9th row of panel,
P32 (38, 44, 50, 56, 62), mp,
P1, K8 ? 91 (103, 115, 127,
139, 151) sts.
10th row ? K4, P4, K34 (40,
46, 52, 58, 64), work 10th
row of panel, knit until 8 sts
rem, P4, K8.
Important note: Each time
the 11th, 13th, 15th and
17th rows of panel are worked
2 sts are increased. These sts
are then decreased to the
basic 7 panel sts on 19th,
21st, 23rd and 25th rows.
Where stitch totals are quoted,
panel sts must always be
counted as 7.
11th row ? K8, P34 (40, 46,
52, 58, 64), work 11th row of
panel, purl until 8 sts rem, K8.
12th row ? K4, P4, K34 (40,
46, 52, 58, 64), work 12th
row of panel, knit until 8 sts
rem, P4, K4.
13th to 18th rows ? Rep
11th and 12th rows 3 times
but working 13th to 18th rows
of panel.
19th row ? K8, P1, mp,
P33 (39, 45, 51, 57, 63),
work 19th row of panel, purl
until 8 sts rem, mp, P1, K8 ?
93 (105, 117, 129, 141,
153) sts.
20th row ? K4, P4, K35 (41,
47, 53, 59, 65), work 20th
row of panel, knit until 8 sts
rem, P4, K4.
21st to 26th rows ? Work
6 rows straight but working
21st to 26th rows of panel.
Place 2nd section of panels:
1st row ? K8, P23 (29, 34,
40, 45, 51), work 1st row of
panel, P17 (17, 19, 19, 21,
21), work 1st row of panel,
P23 (29, 34, 40, 45, 51), K8.
2nd row ? K4, P4, K23 (29,
34, 40, 45, 51), work 2nd row
of panel, K17 (17, 19, 19, 21,
21), work 2nd row of panel,
K23 (29, 34, 40, 45, 51), P4,
K4.
3rd to 26th rows ? Work
24 rows as set on the last
2 rows but working 3rd to
26th rows of panel and
working side increases on next
row and following 13th and
23rd rows ? 99 (111, 123,
135, 147, 159) sts.
Work 3rd section of panels:
1st row ? K8, P14 (20, 24,
30, 34, 40), [work 1st row of
panel, P17 (17, 19, 19, 21,
21)] twice, work 1st row of
panel, P14 (20, 24, 30, 34,
40), K8.
2nd row ? K4, P4, K14 (20,
24, 30, 34, 40), [work 2nd
row of panel, K17 (17, 19,
19, 21, 21)] twice, work 2nd
row of panel, K14 (20, 24,
30, 34, 40), P4, K4.
3rd to 26th rows ? Work
24 rows as set on the last
2 rows but working 3rd to
26th rows of panel and
working side increases on
every 10th row from previous
increase row ? 103 (115,
127, 139, 151, 163) sts.
Panels are all now complete.
Final increase row ? K8, P1,
mp, purl until 9 sts rem, mp,
P1, K8 ? 105 (117, 129, 141,
153, 165) sts.
Work straight to match back
until front measures 14 (18,
18, 22, 22, 24) rows less than
back up to start of shoulder
shaping, ending after a
wrong-side row.
Shape neck ? Work across
34 (39, 44, 50, 55, 60) sts,
turn.
Continue on this group of sts
and work 5 rows, decreasing
1 st at neck edge on every
row ? 29 (34, 39, 45, 50,
55) sts.
Work 8 (12, 12, 16, 16,
18) rows straight thus ending
at side edge.
Shape shoulder ? Cast off
4 (5, 6, 6, 7, 8) sts loosely at
beginning of next row and the
4 following alt rows, then 4 (4,
4, 7, 7, 7) sts at beginning of
next alt row ? 5 (5, 5, 8, 8,
8) sts.
Work 1 row straight then cast
off.
With right side facing, slip next
37 (39, 41, 41, 43, 45) sts on
a stitch-holder and leave.
Neatly rejoin yarn to remaining
34 (39, 44, 50, 55, 60) sts
and work to end of row.
Complete as left half working
1 more row before shaping
shoulder.
TO COMPLETE
Join left shoulder.
Neckband ? With 3.25 mm
needles and right side facing,
knit across 47 (49, 51, 51, 53,
55) sts of back neck, pick up
and knit 20 (23, 23, 26, 26,
28) sts evenly down left side
of front neck, knit across 37
(39, 41, 41, 43, 45) sts of
front neck, finally pick up and
knit 21 (24, 24, 27, 27,
29) sts evenly up right side of
neck ? 125 (135, 139, 145,
149, 157) sts.
1st row ? K1, [P1, K1] to end.
2nd row ? K2, [P1, K1] to last
st, K1.
Repeat these 2 rows twice
more.
Next (picot) row ? Cast off
3 sts, ?slip st on right needle
back on to left needle, cast on
2 sts, cast off 4 sts firmly,
K2tog and slip 2nd st on right
needle over first st, rep from ?
until no sts remain.
To Make Up ? Press work
lightly on wrong side following
pressing instructions and
omitting ribbing. Join right
shoulder and edges of
neckband. Join side seams
leaving approx. 20 (21, 22,
24, 25, 26) cm free for
armholes. n
Next week: knit this
cabled sweater
CRAFT 85
Boho Bright
Stylecraft Yarns? Head Over
Heels yarn has a new range
called Boho, which features a
monochrome faux Fair Isle
strip in among the colour
stripes. There are six shades
in all, with three free leaflet
designs to accompany them: a
child?s top, a shawl and socks.
Find it in your local stockist,
or www.stylecraft-yarns.co.uk
has stockist info. The 4-ply
yarn comes in 100g balls.
A Riot Of Colour
Cindy Lass has been painting for
more than 20 years and has translated
some of her stunning artwork into
needlepoint designs. We love Sweet
Wonders, a riot of pink blooms. Each
kit comes with everything you need to
stitch it, including Appleton?s tapestry
wools and a painted canvas or plain
canvas with chart. Details from
www.cindylassneedlepoint.com or call
07833 554999.
enjoy
SewMAKE
New ideas for knitters and crafters.
In The Bag
This book features 20 bag
designs by Debbie von GrablerCrozier, including totes, bucket
bags, backpacks, clutches and
shoulder bags. There is a guide
to the techniques needed plus
step-by-step photography and a
section on creating beautiful
finishing touches. Finally, all the
templates required are included
on a handy pull-out sheet.
Available in book and craft shops
or from www.searchpress.com,
price �.99.
Calling All Quilters
The Festival of Quilts 2018
takes place at the NEC in August
and the competition is now open for
entries. There are 15 categories in all,
ranging from Fine Art Quilt Masters to
Novice Quilts, and children and schools
have sections, too. Every entry is
displayed and there are thousands
of pounds to be won. To find out
more visit www.
thefestivalofquilts.
co.uk.
OUR PICK OF FUN TOY LEAFLETS
King
Cole
9008
DMC
Dinosaurs
Sirdar
2487
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SHORT STORY BY MHAIRI GRANT 87
Wet weather
didn?t have
to be gloomy.
It all depended
on you!
I
Illustration by Ruth Blair.
T
ODAY something
wonderful is going
to happen!?
I repeated that
mantra every
morning when I got up. But
as I looked out the window
today, my positivity began
to wane. It was raining ?
again.
That made three days in
a row. Snow and ice I could
cope with, but rain . . .
At least my sister Kim had
had decent weather at the
weekend for her wedding
and was now sunning
herself in Barbados.
My mother had
FaceTimed me from France
to say that she and Serge
had snow. I wished I could
enjoy myself in the sun and
snow.
For a moment, I felt
bereft ? left behind.
I had taken a week?s
holiday in February to be a
bridesmaid at my sister?s
wedding and had thought
that my mum and
stepfather would be staying
the week, but another
commitment at home had
seen them go back to
France two days after the
wedding.
I was still trying to get my
head round that. A
Frenchman stealing my
mum almost from under my
nose.
At least Kim had had the
decency to be with Sam for
years before she tied the
knot. I?d had time to get
used to the idea.
Still, I did have an open
invitation to visit France,
and my mum came back
often.
I sighed and padded
through to the kitchen to
look out the window there.
?Yes, Kara, it?s still
raining there as well.?
Watching the rain drip off
the trees, I put the kettle
on. I had visited the art
gallery, phoned all my
working friends, gone to the
cinema and done some
window shopping.
I had a pile of books to
read on the kitchen table,
and I flicked through them
while the kettle boiled and
Suki, my cat, weaved
around my ankles.
?Tell me, Suki, that
something wonderful is
going to happen today.?
Suki told me no such
thing. Instead she meowed
plaintively.
?OK, keep your fur on.
Tuna coming up, then we?ll
have a quiet day together.?
But I couldn?t settle. I had
ants in my pants and
reading ?Pride And
Prejudice? didn?t stop my
restlessness.
?You know, Suki, I don?t
know why Elizabeth doesn?t
tell Mr Darcy just to get
lost. I would.?
Just like I had told Jack
Andrews years ago, when I
saw him holding hands with
Alicia Matthews.
He had been my first
love. I had been fourteen
and full of righteous
indignation when, urged on
by my friends, I had given
him his marching orders.
Where had that memory
sprung from? I hadn?t
thought of Jack in years.
This was serious and called
for action. I had to get out.
Before I had time to
think, I put on my raincoat
and wellies while Suki
meowed her dissent. I
twirled in front of her. I
loved my matching raincoat
and wellies. They were light
blue with yellow flowers
round the bottom.
?I,? I announced, as if it
were her fault for keeping
me in, ?am going out for a
walk.?
Suki meowed even louder
and tried to trip me up. But
I was having none of it.
?And you,? I said,
pointing at her, ?should
have been a dog. I would
have been out much
sooner.?
With that parting remark
I opened the door, to be
met by a sheet of rain.
* * * *
I could have fun in the
rain. It was just a question
of being inventive.
There wasn?t a soul about
so I picked up a lolly stick
and threw it in the gutter
and watched it swim down
towards the drain. I was
twenty-four going on four
and I didn?t care.
Then I splashed in every
large puddle I came across
? and there were plenty.
I was heading for the
park. It was where Jack and
I used to hang out. Once,
he pushed me so fast on
the roundabout that I got
sick. Jack had to support
me or I would have fallen
down.
A neighbour reported to
my mum that I was drunk. I
had to breathe in her face
before she believed me.
Aged fourteen and I
had undergone my
88
first breathalyser test.
It was at the
bandstand next to the river
that I stopped now.
Under the cover of the
canopy someone was taking
photographs. I watched
before he turned round and
spotted me. Then he lifted
his camera and pointed it
at me.
I?m not normally a
show-off, but I had all this
energy just bursting to get
out. So I started to boogie
to the tune of ?Good
Vibrations? by the Beach
Boys.
?Good, good, good
vibrations,? I sang, arms
outstretched and twirling in
the rain.
It was a moment of pure
madness. The man could
have been anybody, but at
that moment I didn?t care.
We were alone in the
park with the rain and that
gave us something in
common. Especially as he
started to sing along with
me.
?Kara?? the man said
when I finally stopped and
waved, ready to move on.
The voice was familiar. I
walked towards the
bandstand.
?Jack?? I asked with a
sense of wonder.
It was as if I had conjured
him up with my thoughts.
Since we?d left school I had
only seen him once and
that was fleetingly.
?None other,? he said
and gave me an elaborate
bow.
I walked towards him, still
thinking of him as some
mirage. He?d gone to
university down south and
hadn?t come back. But the
what he saw.
?What are you doing out
in the rain??
?Dancing. And you??
?Taking photos. I was
going stir crazy cooped up
indoors,? he replied.
?Snap,? I said.
We both smiled at my
unintended pun.
He had a lovely smile. My
hormones started to get
ideas, then I remembered
Jack was engaged, maybe
even married.
I?d overhead it at Kim?s
wedding in passing. I?d
meant to ask at the time
but the best man had
whirled me away for the
first dance.
Ah, that was why Jack
had been in my thoughts.
So much for me thinking
there was some mystic
connection.
I was prone to ideas like
that, for all the good it did
me. I often got the wrong
end of the stick. As did my
mother.
She once grounded me
for sneaking out of my
bedroom window at night
to meet Jack.
?That boy is nothing but
trouble,? she said to me
when she?d read me the
riot act.
She?d pictured me
drinking cans of lager in the
park, getting up to hankypanky and even into
trouble with the police. No
doubt my camouflage outfit
hadn?t helped.
But the truth was Jack
and I had been staking out
a badgers? sett in the
woods, hoping to catch
sight of them.
We never did. But for
ages after we split up I
The man could have been anybody
but at that moment I didn?t care
bow was a giveaway. Jack
was into gestures like that.
He?d kissed the back of
my mother?s hand when
she?d told him that his hair
was as long as a Tudor
pageboy?s. But it was short
now, and darker ? or
maybe that was the rain.
And had he always been so
tall?
Jack kissed me on the
cheek then stood back to
appraise me. I wondered
envisaged him and Alicia
seeing the badgers.
?I like the outfit,? Jack
said now. ?It suits you.?
?It?s my happy gear,? I
replied. ?So, what brings
you back here??
?I?m looking at premises
here to set up my design
business. It has good
transport links and I have
quite a few companies in
the area on my books.?
Jack was getting
animated and into his
stride. I nodded solemnly.
As the rain beat off the
overhead canopy I put my
serious hat on and asked
questions about sites,
possible clients and
business start-up grants,
and listened with polite
interest to his replies.
?Of course,? he said, ?I
won?t be taking all the risk.
I?ve got a partner.?
?Partner?? I enquired, on
red alert. ?As in business or
relationship??
something witty, but the
words dried up at the way
he was looking at me. It
made me think that
perhaps he regretted his
duplicity.
I smiled encouragement.
?Well, it was lovely
meeting you again, Kara,?
he said, clearing his throat.
?Give your mum my love.?
Then he pecked me on
the cheek and strode off.
How could I have misread
the signals? I was left
dejected, rain dripping off
At that exact moment the rain
stopped and a weak sun came out
?Relationship??
?You know, girlfriend,
fianc閑 or wife.?
?A wife? I?m not that
grown-up. No, there?s
no-one else like that in my
life. I meant a business
partner.?
I swear that it was at that
exact moment that the rain
stopped and a weak sun
tried to come out. We both
looked up at the sky and
then the washed-out park.
Then my eyes strayed to
the river.
?So, what brings you
back here, Kara??
?Jack,? I whispered,
hardly registering his
question. ?Look!?
I pointed to the opposite
bank of the river.
?An otter!?
We stood stock-still and
stared. Then, with great
caution, we squelched
through the grass and crept
nearer to the bank.
I had heard that there
were otters on the river but
I had never seen any
before.
?Wow,? Jack whispered.
?This makes up for the
badgers.?
?Did Alicia Matthews ever
see the badgers?? I
whispered.
?Alicia Matthews? Not
that I know of. There was
never anything between us
? except for her brother?s
PlayStation.?
A game on PlayStation? I
was betrayed for a game on
PlayStation! How fickle can
young love be?
We watched the otter in
silence until it disappeared.
I was going to say
my hood.
I watched him walk away
before I shouted.
?Jack, what did you mean
when you asked what
brought me back here??
My voice carried on the
air and stopped him in his
tracks.
He turned and looked so
forlorn standing there that I
wanted to hug him.
?You?re in France now, I
believe. I heard you
married a Frenchman.?
?Me, married? I?m not
that grown-up. My mum
married a Frenchman. He?s
called Serge and she met
him on holiday.?
We started to walk
towards each other then
and we were both smiling.
?Do you fancy a go on
the roundabout, then?? he
asked.
?Are you kidding me? I
was as sick as a dog the
last time.?
?OK, but we can go and
look for the badgers some
time??
?We could,? I conceded,
taking his arm, ?but
perhaps we can start off
with having a drink
together.?
?What an excellent idea!
And maybe followed by
dinner??
?Don?t rush me,? I
replied. ?I?m still
accountable to Suki, my
cat. She?ll want to know
where I?ve been.?
Do you know what I?m
going to tell Suki when I get
home?
I?m going to tell her that,
today, something wonderful
happened. n
EXTRA PUZZLES 91
Kriss Kross
How long will it take you to correctly fit the
words relating to Morocco into the grid?
4 letters
6 letters
DUNE
AFRICA
SOUK
AGADIR
ARABIC
5 letters
F R A N C E
BERBER
ATLAS
DESERT
CEUTA
DIRHAM
OASIS
FRANCE
RABAT
KASBAH
SPAIN
TAGINE
Solutions
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
1 Number of
Commandments (3)
2 Polite man (4)
3 Slight colour (5)
4 Dining (6)
5 Ripping (7)
6 Ventilating (8)
7 Hard volcanic rock (7)
8 Grading (6)
9 Colossal (5)
10 Small biting fly (4)
11 Garment label (3)
Kriss Kross
Brick Trick
T E N
GE N T
T I NGE
E A T I NG
T E AR I NG
A E RA T I NG
GRAN I T E
RA T I NG
G I AN T
GN A T
T AG
Enter the answers to the clues in the bricks in the wall.
Every word is an anagram of its neighbours, plus or
minus a letter.
R T
RABA T
E
E
K
A F R I CA
B
S
E
B
GAD I R
A
U
A
H
E
N
R
C E U T A
B
I
S P I C E
Brick Trick
D E S E
I
F RANC
H
OA S I S
M
P
A
A
I
T AG I N
L
A
SOUK
SPICE
All puzzles � Puzzler Media Ltd www.puzzler.com
SOAP BY GLENDA YOUNG 93
OUR
WEEKLY
SOAP
Jim?s new puppy
is finally given
a name!
iStock.
I
FEEL like a celebration is
in order this weekend,?
Jim announced to his
staff at the Ship.
?For St Patrick?s Day??
Sam asked. ?I thought we
were doing something for
that in the back room,
having an Irish-themed
party and a quiz??
?There?s that, of course,?
Jim said. ?But I was thinking
of something else, too.?
?It?s not your birthday, is
it?? Claire asked, and she
and Sam exchanged a smile.
?No, it?s not my birthday.?
Jim laughed. ?You?ll have to
guess again.?
?Wetting the baby?s
head?? Claire suggested.
?What baby?? Sam asked.
?George and Mary?s
granddaughter. Didn?t you
hear??
Sam shook his head.
?Susan had her baby last
week. A little girl. Sarah
Georgina, they?re calling
her. I took Brady to see the
baby yesterday.?
?George hasn?t been in for
a while,? Jim said. ?I?ve not
seen Mary for ages, either.?
?Probably spending all
their time doting on their
grandchild. It?ll be their
first,? Claire said.
?Well, it?s not the baby I
was thinking of celebrating,?
Jim continued.
?Christmas?? Sam
suggested.
Riverside
Claire laughed.
?Hallowe?en??
?Oh, the two of you are
being daft,? Jim complained.
?If you?re not going to be
serious then I?ll tell you.
?This weekend marks one
year since we reopened the
pub. Can you believe how
quickly that?s gone??
?Is that all?? Sam asked,
deflated. ?I thought it was
going to be something
exciting.?
?It is exciting,? Jim huffed.
?A lot has happened in the
last year. We?ve got a darts
team now; we?ve got new
customers coming in from
the apartments on the
riverside; and we?ve got the
bar menu up and running.
?We?ve even got you
working for us now, Claire.?
Claire nodded towards
the puppy who was
watching them from under
its favourite seat by the fire.
?And you?ve got a new
dog.?
Jim sighed and glanced
over at the small dog.
?I wasn?t going to keep
him, you know. I was
determined not to let him
into the pub, never mind
my life, after Buster died.?
?That puppy?s got you
wrapped around his little
finger, Uncle Jim.? Sam
laughed.
?Do dogs have little
fingers?? Claire joined in.
Sam shrugged.
?If you?re keeping him,
Jim, you need to give him a
name,? Claire said. ?You
can?t just keep calling him
?that dog?, if he?s staying.?
?The problem is, he only
answers to Buster,? Jim
whispered.
?Call him that, then. If he
answers to it then that?s
half your training problems
sorted. And why are you
whispering?? Claire said.
?Because I don?t want the
dog to know we?re talking
about him.?
?Oh, he knows, Uncle
Jim,? Sam said. ?Just look.?
All three of them turned
to see the puppy crawl from
under the seat and plonk
itself in the middle of the
pub carpet.
Its head was tilted to one
side and it gave a soft bark.
?You two carry on getting
ready to open up,? Jim told
Sam and Claire. ?I?m going
to have a little word with ??
?Buster?? Claire replied.
At the mention of the
name, the puppy returned
to its place under the seat
where Jim?s old dog had
always liked to sit.
Jim walked from the bar
and sat down in the next
seat, picking up the puppy
in his arms.
?Right, little Buster,? he
said, stroking the dog. ?Me
and you are going to have a
chat. There are some rules
you need to know.?
* * * *
That evening, after
checking on Susan and the
baby, George and Mary
took a walk along the
riverside path to the pub.
?George!? Jim shouted
when he saw who was
coming through the door.
George laughed.
?I feel like I?m in that TV
programme ? that
American one where they
shouted ?Norm!? every time
he walked into the pub.?
?Do you mean ?Cheers???
Mary asked, walking in
behind him.
?That?s the one!? George
replied.
?What?ll it be?? Jim asked.
?These are on the house, by
way of congratulations on
the safe arrival of your new
granddaughter. You must
be as proud as punch, eh??
?She?s a beauty,? Mary
said. ?And thanks, Jim. I?ll
have a gin and tonic.?
?Pint of Ryemouth Riveter
for me, Jim,? George added.
They took their drinks and
sat at one of the free tables
in the front room of the bar.
After a few minutes, Bob
Lewin appeared at their
table with a pint in one
hand and a gin and tonic in
the other.
?I hope you?ll accept these
from me,? he said. ?I heard
the good news.?
?Thank you very much,
Bob,? Mary replied, trying
to mask her surprise.
In all the years she?d
known Bob this was the
first time she?d ever known
him to put his hand into his
pocket.
?I?ve got something to tell
you, Mary,? George said
after Bob returned to his
own table. ?You know I rang
Doreen to tell her about the
baby??
Mary took a long sip of
her G&T at the mention of
George?s sharp-tongued
sister.
She?d never found Doreen
easy to get on with and she
knew George found her
difficult, too.
?Well,? George continued
sheepishly, ?she?s said that
she?s coming next week for
a visit!?
More next week.
94
Just A Phone
Call Away
Silent Visitor
My cat, Amy, has not
entirely given up on her
mysterious white handsome
stranger, who miraculously
appeared without warning
one day.
She?d been out and about
all afternoon collecting some
bounty, and this irresistible
young man was there to greet
her on her return.
She was a bit surprised at
first, but so far the stranger is
being rather coy and isn?t
saying very much!
Miss B.C., Coventry.
Here is a photograph
of my daughter Hattie in
St Andrews, where she is
at university.
I am very proud of her
and although I miss her a
lot we stay in touch with
long telephone calls and
often find ourselves
chatting about the stories
and articles in the
?Friend?.
My daughter would be
so surprised if her picture
is published and that
would definitely give us
something to talk about!
Mr S.J., Suffolk.
Between
Friends
Write to us at Between Friends, ?The People?s Friend?,
2 Albert Square, Dundee DD1 9QJ, or e-mail us at
betweenfriends@dctmedia.co.uk.
Star Letter
My granddaughter brought her fiveweek-old daughter from London to visit
me in Manchester Royal Infirmary, so
that I could hold her.
This four-generation photograph was
taken so that in years to come my
great-granddaughter can be shown how
she was held by her ninety-four-year-old
great-grandma.
In the picture are my son,
granddaughter, myself and my greatgranddaughter, Phoebe.
It was a very special moment and one
that I will treasure.
Ms S.R., Peterborough.
Our Star Letter will receive
a Dean?s all-butter
shortbread tin worth
�.69 RRP. Consume as part of
a balanced diet.
All other printed UK letters will win one of our famous tea
caddies and a pack of loose tea. Our friends from overseas will
receive an alternative gift of a pen.
Museum Piece
Just like your reader from
Crieff, many years ago I
received a pattern for a World
War II Land Army doll uniform.
I made the doll?s outfit in
tribute to my cousin who was
a Land Army girl.
For more years than I care
to remember, the doll sat in
my patio window until I had to
move into a home. Now, I
didn?t want this Land Army
doll to go to just anyone, so
my friend talked to the curator
of a military uniform museum
in Niagara Falls, Ontario, and
they were delighted to have
her.
I was invited to the museum
and later they sent pictures of
my doll in a cabinet ? a fine
happy ending.
Ms W.C., Canada.
Natural Therapy
I thought your readers
would love to see this picture
of a swan nurturing her young.
I was feeling quite stressed
and decided a walk was just
what I needed. Seeing this
swan with her cygnets proved
amazing therapy ? it was such
a beautiful sight.
Ms P.H., Wisbech.
YOUR LETTERS 95
Preparations
For Nice Weather
A poem
just for
you!
Cutting Remark
I feel I must tell you
about the time when I was
an extra for a TV
programme.
Of course, I phoned
round family and friends
to let them know about
my ?appearance? ? even
though I had my back
towards the camera.
I had to laugh when just
minutes after the
broadcast my sister
phoned and said,
?Gwili . . . you need a
haircut!? What can I say.
She certainly keeps me
grounded!
Mr G.L., Northwich.
Officially it?s springtime but the elements don?t know,
Instead, winds have been gale force, with low temperatures
and snow.
It really is the springtime, though it?s very late, I fear,
In fact, it?s cold as winter ? yet it was red hot last year.
We?re still in boots and sweaters ? sheltering birds are
puzzled, too,
Last week they?d started courting, now they don?t know
what to do.
I?ve started my spring cleaning and I?m sorting everything,
Then once this cold spell?s over I can really enjoy spring,
For I am quite determined I?ll have all my big jobs done,
Then when spring invites summer, I can relax in the sun.
Chrissy Greenslade.
Courageous Action
I read with interest the reader?s letter about the Australian
heroine Grace Bussell, who was likened to Grace Darling as
she, too, helped rescue people from drowning.
I have a personal story about a similar heroine ? Jane
Whyte, my great-grandmother. One October day in 1884
the steamer William Hope, from Dundee, suffered engine
failure and began drifting towards jagged rocks off Aberdour
Bay. It seemed the sailors? fates were sealed when the
anchor cable snapped, leaving them at the mercy of the
terrible conditions.
From the shore Jane spotted their plight and, without
fear for her own safety, waded into the freezing North Sea
and caught a rope which was flung by the desperate
sailors, which she duly wrapped round her body. She then
struggled to return to shore and literally made a lifeline for
the sailors to reach dry land.
Fifteen men safely made shore due to Jane?s actions.
She was awarded a silver medal and cash reward by way
of thanks.
Mr J.F., Stonehaven.
Stepping Up Recycling
I thought readers might like to see
my idea for recycling ? using my
grandchildren?s worn-out wellies as
plant containers.
As well as making such a cheerful
sight, they bring back happy memories
of long country walks and playing in
the garden, whatever the weather!
Mrs B.S., Welford Upon Avon.
Puzzle Solutions from page 27
Missing Link
The words in order
are Girl, Fire,
Cake, Moon, Foot,
Help, Cash, Sign,
Draw, Bear.
The phrase is
GIANT PANDA.
Crossword
CAR POO L
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Sudoku
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led with a
lot of gossip, but there?d be
truth in it, I daresay.?
Kit sat up and faced her.
?The old mine was
thriving and it passed down
through the same family of
Greys. Then, in the Sixties,
it ran dry of tin and
Alexander?s uncle sold off
all the equipment, leaving
only the engine house,
chimney and the
homestead in which he
lived until he died. It
became a ruin.?
?Did he have no family??
?Yes, one brother who
had emigrated. That?s
where the story begins.?
and made plans to go to
Australia. He sold his share
of the mine to Simon.?
?Did he ever come back??
?No, never. But he didn?t
go to Australia alone.?
?He didn?t??
?Someone went with
him.? Kit?s eyes twinkled.
?Tell me.?
?Lyndsy Morgan! She
upped and went with John.
Simon was broken-hearted.
He never married but ran
the mine until it failed.?
?Poor man.?
?Yes, he was a lonely
one. Folk said he stood on
the headland gazing out
across the waves for hours.
He became a recluse.
Children would creep up
there of an evening, knock
on the door and run away.
Kids do that kind of thing.?
?A very unkind thing.?
Betty frowned.
?They swore they could
hear noises coming from
the old mine ? that it was
haunted.?
?Who were the children??
?Me, Aircut and the
rest,? Kit admitted.
?Naughty! I hope you?re
ashamed of yourselves.?
?We are. The last time we
went up there we peeked
through the window and he
was asleep. So we knocked
on the door and ran but
nothing happened.?
?Was he . . .??
?Yes. We ran back and
raised the alarm, and to
cap it all we were praised
for our part in finding him.
We?ve felt guilty ever since.
?It took years to find the
next of kin, Alexander Grey.
Now he?s inherited a place
of no value except for the
land. I still feel bad about
teasing that poor old
man.?
71
?We can?t change the
past, but we can try to
improve the future.?
Kit shrugged.
?What can we do??
* * * *
As the friends dined on
pasties and salad, Betty
related the story of
Whealgrey.
?What a scandal for such
a quiet little place,? Val
observed between
mouthfuls of pasty. ?It?s
like a romantic novel. By
the way, where did you get
these delicious things??
?Kit brought them when
you were beachcombing.?
?Aircut came out on the
beach to check the
moorings of his fishing boat
while I was photographing
seaweed. He wanted to
know if we?d like to go for a
moonlight ride in his boat
when the tide turns.?
?Did you say yes??
?How could I say no? We
might see a mermaid.? Val
grinned.
?I hope Aircut?s got
lifejackets.?
?I asked about that and
he said yes. And we?ve to
wear something we don?t
mind getting grubby as his
boat?s a bit whiffy due to
the mackerel.?
Val reached into her
pocket and took out a shell.
She placed it on the table.
?Look what I found when
I was out there. It has some
interesting markings on it. I
thought it would be a nice
keepsake.?
?It looks like a big whelk
shell.? Betty picked it up.
?Those marks don?t look
natural. They look as if
someone?s cut them into
the shell.?
?Way out there? It must
have been under the sea
and rolling about in the tide
for years.?
Val took the shell from
Betty.
?It?s a definite pattern,
though. Look, that?s a
moon and some stars and
? and something that looks
like a fish hook.?
?Someone must have
been messing about and
carving it years ago and
just flung it into the water,?
Betty suggested.
?I?m going to look it up in
my mermaid book. And
tonight I?ll show Aircut.?
Betty smiled.
?Val, it wasn?t carved by
a mermaid, that?s for sure.?
* * * *
The sun was disappearing
as Betty and Val walked to
Aircut?s cottage. He was on
the shore, his boat pulled
up on the sand to make it
easier for them to climb
aboard and sit side by side.
?I?ve given Saucy Sue a
wash down this afternoon
so she?s not too smelly.
Here?s a couple of
lifejackets, and I?ve brought
a flask of coffee in case it
gets a little cool out there.?
?Thank you, Aircut.?
Betty didn?t ask if he?d
laced the coffee with his
home-made cordial.
?I won?t have you out too
long.? He pushed the boat
into the water. ?But it?s
lovely coming back by
moonlight and I?ve brought
my concertina so we can
have a sing-song.?
He pulled a woolly hat
down over his ears and
picked up the oars.
?Ready?? The outboard
motor was clear of the
water and secured. ?I don?t
start her motor till I?m well
out of the bay.?
?We noticed that,? Betty
said. ?We wondered why.?
Aircut pulled on the oars
and the boat moved away
from the shore.
?I don?t want to disturb
the horses, you see. The
noise of the outboard
would scare them away.?
?What horses? You?re
pulling our legs.?
His eyes twinkled.
?Seahorses.?
?The white tops of waves
when there?s a storm??
?No, m?dear. Seahorses,
the small ones that live
among the seaweed at the
mouth of the bay. They?ve
been there ?undreds of
years. Don?t do to disturb
them ? unlucky, you see.?
Betty was stunned.
?I thought they were
endangered. How do you
know they?re there??
?I?ve known about ?em
since I used to go diving as
a lad. Thought nothing
much of ?em except to
leave ?em be. Darling little
things, they are. I ?aven?t
been diving down there for
many a year now.?
He was romancing, Betty
thought, just to make this
trip exciting. He probably
told the same story to all
the trippers.
?It?s a long time since you
were a boy,? Val said.
?Maybe they?re gone now.?
?No, they?re there for
ever, ?cause nobody knows
about ?em except the
Shantymen, me, and now
you two, of course. You
won?t spread the word and
spoil things, will you?? He
grinned. ?We don?t want to
have folks diving about and
looking for ?em.?
Betty still didn?t believe
him, but she smiled and
nodded. After all, they were
out here on the sea in the
near dark with the only
person who could row and
start an outboard motor!
They sat and listened to
the creak of the oars and
the water surging past the
bow of the boat as the
Saucy Sue cut through the
wavelets.
?I don?t suppose,? Val
whispered, ?that you
believe in mermaids??
?You can?t live in
Cornwall and not believe in
the merfolk.?
Now he really was pulling
their legs, Betty thought.
?I found a shell on the
beach this afternoon.? Val
reached into her pocket
and held it out for him to
take. ?It?s very like one in a
book I have.?
He shipped the oars and
took the shell. There was
just enough twilight to see
by. He gazed at it closely.
?Well, I never. I ain?t seen
one like that for I wouldn?t
like to say how long.?
?What does it mean??
He turned the shell over
in his hand.
?This fish hook thing
means that someone is
falling in love with you ?
being hooked, you see. And
the moon and the stars,
that?s what he?ll be willing
to give you.?
He handed the shell back
to Val gently.
?The merfolk, they know
these things. It was left for
you to find. No doubt
about that.?
?Oh, Aircut, what a load
of twaddle.? Betty sniffed.
?Poor Val?s already taken
by this mermaid book she
bought. Don?t encourage
her with fairy tales. We?re
both too mature and
sensible for romance.?
Aircut took up the oars.
?Well, you explain it. A
seashell on the beach,
carved up pretty, set there
for your friend to find.
What else but something
not of this world??
?Yes,? Val said.
?Remember what
Shakespeare said about
there being more things in
heaven and earth.?
?I know what he said!?
Betty was exasperated.
?It?s an old shell someone
threw away. You found it,
that?s all.?
Aircut sighed.
?Anyone want coffee??
He didn?t set the motor
going. They sat in the
gently rocking boat,
drinking coffee from small
enamel mugs. The coffee
was delicious and Betty
suspected that a little of
Aircut?s cordial had been
added. Just enough to take
the chill off the night air.
The moon rose and Aircut
played his concertina while
they sang shanties.
?You ladies sing lovely,?
Aircut said. ?Would you
consider singing along with
us on the next Shanty Night
at the Crab and Mermaid?
A bit of feminine harmony
would go down a treat.?
?Oh, we?re not that
good,? Betty said.
?Come to a rehearsal with
us. We?ll soon teach you
the harmonies,? Aircut
urged. ?They?re simple.?
?Come on, Betty,? Val
pleaded. ?It?ll be fun.?
Betty smiled.
?OK, we might enjoy it.
When shall we come to a
rehearsal??
?Tomorrow evening.? He
stowed the mugs before
taking up the oars again.
?We?d best get back now
the tide?s on the turn. I
won?t bother with the
outboard motor and I?ll
take you right up to your
beach. How?s that??
?Perfect,? Val said.
As good as his word,
Aircut ran the boat up the
beach in front of Tangara
and they climbed out.
?Give us a shove!? he
called and they pushed the
boat into the water again
and shouted their thanks.
They squelched up the
grassy slope and
72
removed their sandals.
?All that about
mermaids seems silly now
we?re ashore,? Val said.
?It is silly. It?s part of
Aircut?s bit for the tourists.?
?Not the seashell. That?s
still a mystery.?
?Rubbish. It?ll be
someone?s arts and crafts
effort, thrown away.?
?It isn?t late,? Val said. ?I
think I?ll take some photos
in the moonlight. It?s so
beautiful out here.?
?I?m going to sit with my
book. Don?t go too far.?
?OK, Mum.? Val laughed.
?I?ll be very careful of the
sea monsters.?
* * * *
Betty lit the oil lamp and
settled down with her book
at the table. The roses
looked lovely in the light of
the lamp and her book was
a good rollicking story.
On glancing at her watch,
she realised that Val had
been gone for an hour.
Don?t fuss, she thought.
Val?s a grown woman ? she
won?t get into any trouble.
Another half hour passed.
She went to the door and
looked out. Moonlight
illuminated the bay. The
tide was half out, leaving a
strand of foreshore, wet
and sparkling. There was no
sign of Val.
As she watched the water
there was some turbulence
near the entrance to the
bay and a splashing noise.
?Val!? she shouted as
loud as she could.
?I?m here, Betty.? Val
approached her, coming
along the path that led to
Kit?s shop.
She stopped by their car.
?Were you worried??
?Yes, I jolly well was,?
Betty replied. ?Where have
you been? You?ve been
gone over an hour and a
half. I was beginning to
wish that we hadn?t
decided to leave our mobile
phones at home.?
?I?ve been down by the
rocks near Aircut?s cottage.
I couldn?t go any further
because of the tide, but I
got some lovely shots of the
moonlight on the water.
?It?s so lovely down there
that I didn?t notice the
time. And there was
something else. I?ll tell you
when we get indoors.?
?Come in now, it?s getting
chilly out here,? Betty said
as Val mounted the steps to
the door. ?I heard a big
splash out there just now.
Did you see anything in the
water??
?Yes.? Val put her camera
on the table and sat down.
?I think it was an enormous
fish. This huge tail came out
of the water and slapped
down again.
?I think I was quick
enough to get a shot of it. I
could see the swirl of it as it
went to the mouth of the
bay, its tail went up and
down again with a splash,
then it was gone.?
?I heard it.?
?Look, there it is in the
viewfinder.? Val handed the
camera to Betty. ?It looks
like a fish tail, doesn?t it?
?We?ll ask Kit tomorrow if
dolphins have been sighted
here. Or whales.?
Betty put her hand on her
friend?s shoulder.
?A whale would be too
big to get into the bay, and
it was certainly not a
mermaid.?
?I wasn?t even thinking of
that,? Val fibbed.
?Well, it?s a good job it
didn?t appear earlier. It
could have tipped us out of
the boat.?
* * * *
?Dolphins have been
sighted occasionally around
these parts ? seals, too,?
Kit told them. ?But not for
a long while. Did you get a
good look at it? Did it jump
right out of the water??
He handed their groceries
to Betty.
?No, I only saw the tail,?
Val said.
?I heard the splash,?
Betty added. ?It was loud.?
?It was probably a large
fish. There are plenty of
those around. It?ll be out at
sea now. It was probably
looking for food. There are
lots of strange things in the
sea.?
?Mermaids have a tail like
a whale.? Val shrugged.
?There?s a drawing of one in
my book but not so big.?
?Not the merfolk again!?
Betty groaned.
Kit grinned.
?Has Aircut been spinning
you a yarn??
?Lots of them,? Betty
declared.
?Don?t take him too
seriously, though there?s a
lot more to him than meets
the eye.? He winked.
?We won?t.? Betty
laughed. ?By the way, we?re
coming to the rehearsal
tonight. He?s invited us to
provide a bit of feminine
harmony to the shanties.
We were singing out in his
boat last night.?
?Then you must have
impressed him. He?s very
choosy who he invites to
the shanty evenings.?
?We?re looking forward to
it,? Val told Kit.
?We?ll see you about
seven o?clock. We?ll go
round by the road.?
?Watch out for the
phantom horseman,? Kit
teased.
?He?s no ghost. He?s just
an impolite man.?
?One with a good deal of
influence and a lot of
money.? He frowned.
* * * *
There was a warm
welcome at Aircut?s cottage
and places were made for
them in the circle of singers.
?Just sing along with us
for a while until you get
used to it.? Aircut handed
them sheets of paper with
the words to the shanties.
?Then we?ll be able to tell
where you?ll fit.?
He took up his concertina
and began to play.
The shanties, like hymns,
were easy to follow and
Betty and Val were familiar
with the popular ones.
They were mainly work
songs sung by sailors of the
old tall ships as they pulled
the ropes and turned the
capstan to raise and lower
the anchor.
?Well done, ladies.?
Aircut was pleased. ?I?m
glad I asked you to join us.
Now, which one of you
would like to do a solo??
?You do it, Val. You were
always the one who could
hold a tune.?
Val blushed but
consented to try.
?Good-oh!? Aircut said.
?We?ll sing ?Tom Bowling?.
That?s a sad one, perfect for
a lady?s voice. We?ll hum in
harmony and you can sing
the words.?
They began without
accompaniment. Val sang
the heartrending ballad.
?Well done, lass,? Aircut
praised her. ?We?ll keep
that one in, that?ll get ?em
crying.? He grinned.
?I don?t want to make
anyone sad!?
?Go on with you.? Aircut
winked at Val. ?Everyone
likes a bit of sad stuff. We?ll
round off the evening with
?The Drunken Sailor? and
everyone can join in. That?ll
make ?em happy again.?
?When?s the Shanty
Night?? Betty asked.
?Friday.? Kit smiled.
?Seven-thirty at the Crab
and Mermaid. You two will
be on the stage this time.?
Betty felt a shiver of
panic.
?Do you think we?re
ready?? Val was also
nervous.
?Of course you are. We?ll
have a couple more
rehearsals before the
performance, just to make
sure.? Aircut put down his
concertina. ?Just sing
natural ? you?ll be perfect.?
* * * *
Val was applauded and
asked for an encore of
?Tom Bowling? and they
both got a supper on the
house. Betty felt a sense of
belonging as they joined in
the banter.
She noticed Alexander
Grey sitting in the same
corner of the room that he
had occupied on their first
night at the Crab and
Mermaid.
He had cheered with the
rest and even stood up to
applaud when Val sang her
solo. His horse was still
tethered in the car park
and it was beginning to
drizzle with rain.
Poor Polly, Betty thought,
there would be another wild
midnight ride tonight. But
at least the noise of her
thundering hooves would
be no longer a mystery.
?Don?t look now, Betty,
but I think he?s coming over
here.? Val rolled her eyes in
the direction of the corner
of the room where
Alexander Grey was getting
to his feet and smiling
across at them.
?I?ll be polite.?
?We?re only here for a
short while. We don?t want
to make things
uncomfortable, do we??
Val reasoned.
?Good evening,
ladies.? Alexander Grey
bowed his head slightly to
them. ?The shanties were
delightful, and that solo
brought tears to my eyes.?
?Thank you,? Val replied.
Betty just smiled.
?May I join you?? He
drew a chair up to the table
and sat down. ?We three
haven?t got off to a good
start, have we? I?d like to
make amends.
?I know I?m not very
popular and I?m a rough
guy. Can?t help it, I
suppose, but I wouldn?t like
to have bad feeling
between us.?
He gazed at them both
with deep blue eyes starred
at the corners, his sunbleached hair dishevelled
as if the only comb he used
was his fingers.
Betty, feeling relaxed and
a little euphoric after their
success with the Shanty
Men, felt herself begin to
warm towards him. She
took a deep breath.
?It was our fault, too, on
the road above Tangara.
Maybe we were foolish to
appear out of the dark.?
?And I shouldn?t have
been a bit over the eight
and riding too fast.? He
held out a hand. ?Shall we
begin again??
Betty hesitated,
remembering this was the
man who had no feelings
for Trefusis Bay or Tangara
and was preparing to
change the lives of so many
residents to suit his own
plans.
Val put out her hand and
took his in a firm grasp, so
Betty did the same. Better
friends than enemies, she
thought. Maybe they could
change his mind in the
short time they had here,
but she doubted that.
He smiled.
?Now, can I offer you a
drink??
?That?s very kind of you
but we?re drinking Adam?s
Ale.? She pointed to her
glass of water with lemon
and ice.
?Then I shall join you,
and I promise to ride old
Polly at a gentle trot when I
return home.?
He beckoned to the
landlord and asked for a
glass of water with ice and
lemon.
?And don?t look so
stunned!? he told him.
Betty was relieved that
the tension had lifted and
their conversation didn?t
turn to land development.
They discussed sea shanties
and Australian folk songs.
?One more thing.?
?What?s that?? Val asked.
?May I have the pleasure
of your company tomorrow
for dinner at a wonderful
restaurant at Land?s End
that I?ve discovered? That
would be both of you, of
course.?
Betty felt a little warning
tingle. This was too friendly,
too soon.
?I ? I think I have one of
those summer colds coming
on,? she fibbed. ?I?d better
stay put for a couple of
days. I don?t want to
spread it around.?
?Have you really?? Val
was concerned. ?You
haven?t said anything to
me.?
Betty glanced towards her
friend.
?Anyway, I think I must
decline your kind offer,? she
told Alexander.
?Then I must stay, too,
and look after you.? Val
patted her friend?s arm.
?I?m sorry to hear that.
But surely your friend can
cope very well on her own?
After all, it?s only a sniffle,
isn?t it?? He looked a little
too knowingly at Betty.
?Oh, of course.?
Oh, dear, she thought,
this isn?t what we want at
all, and now I?ve got myself
into a muddle.
Alexander Grey turned to
Val.
?You?ll come, won?t you?
Please. I promise not to
collect you on old Polly, to
drink only water, and I shall
drive my car extra
carefully.?
Betty looked at Val,
hoping she wouldn?t say
yes. Hoping she wouldn?t
get involved.
There was a short silence
as Val took a sip of Adam?s
Ale.
?I would be delighted.?
To be continued.
Love reading? Don?t miss the Daily Serial on
our website: www.thepeoplesfriend.co.uk.
On
Reflection
From the manse
window
By David McLaughlan
W
HO likes queueing?
Not me!
And I especially did
not like standing in line for
four and a half hours in
Schiphol Airport, with luggage,
waiting (and hoping) to have
a cancelled flight rearranged.
But it did give me plenty of
time to indulge in a favourite
pastime ? people-watching!
Several hundred people
were confined in a chicane in
a relatively small place while
airline staff did their best to
keep everyone happy. The
chicane meant I got to spend
time next to many people,
move apart, and find them
alongside me again later.
Of course, people
responded differently to this
confusing and unexpected
situation. There were the loud
and vocal complainers ? but
only a very few out of several
hundred people. And their
complaining never served to
move them any further up the
line.
Some people retreated into
their electronic devices or
plugged in headphones.
Others talked. They talked to
pretty much anyone who
would listen. And those folks
seemed to maintain a happy
bubble around themselves all
the way.
One man, who was
suffering from a sore back,
refused to let it get him down.
?I?m not in a queue,? he
told me, with a wry smile, ?I?m
spending time with a whole
bunch of my new best
friends.?
As the airline staff passed
out water and chocolate,
people who had seen them
deal with difficult characters
took the chance to thank
them for all they were doing.
?After all,? one woman said,
?you didn?t make the snow
that closed the airport.?
?If I could,? the staff member
replied, ?I wouldn?t do it when
so many people are trying to
get home.?
Some kept the chocolate
bars she was passing out in
their wrappers. Then they
quietly passed them to the
families with children. People
watched each other?s bags
when they had to leave the
line for a while.
A couple of seats were
passed around for those who
found standing so long
difficult. Phones were shared
so people could call loved
ones. Advice and tips were
passed around.
Everyone waited the same
length of time, regardless of
how much they had paid for
their tickets. One or two sang
quietly to themselves, and I
wouldn?t have been surprised
if a sing-song had broken out.
Stressful times bring out the
best and the worst in us, and
this was no different. But, after
such a long time in line, I was
glad to have my good opinion
of people confirmed.
Overwhelmingly, this situation
brought out the best.
It struck me as oddly
appropriate that, on the flight
into the airport, my movie of
choice had been ?Dunkirk?.
Waiting in line hardly
compares with the evacuation
of four hundred thousand
men from a beach under siege
by hundreds of volunteer
sailors, but the Dunkirk spirit
has come to be attached to
any situation where people in
trouble find their common
humanity and realise we are
all in this ? this situation, this
life ? together.
In a small, but nonetheless
wonderful, way, it was present
in that long, long queue. And it
made the waiting all the more
worthwhile n
Next week: the Rev.
Susan Sarapuk asks who
can we depend on?
INSPIRING LIVES 77
Peter reflects nature
in his photographs
and in his detailed
artwork.
?Nature connects
everybody?
Photography courtesy of Peter Lovelock.
T
Artist and photographer
Peter Lovelock talks to
Steve Newman about the
inspiration for his work.
O find beauty in
nature is not difficult
to do. To find a facet
of it that
encapsulates your
feelings, then capture it for
others to see, is not quite so
easy to achieve. But this is
something that artist Peter
Lovelock has managed to do
in a variety of mediums.
His two main areas of fine
art are hand-drawn ink
images (some handembellished with gold leaf,
aluminium leaf, copper leaf,
pastels or watercolour) and
photography. So can a
connection be made with
someone looking at or
buying his work?
?Yes, nature is one of those
things that connects
everybody. My work is an
emotional response to the
natural world and I?m
attempting to share with
you, the viewer ? not just
what I am seeing but also
what I am feeling at that
exact moment.
?It?s important to see, not
just look. Trees, plants,
organic shapes, landscapes,
seascapes, natural
structures and rock strata
are all an inspiration to
me.?
Peter can find himself
working for hours or even
days on a single drawing
created with a stippling
drawing technique, slowly
building up shapes, detail,
textures and structure until
there is a feeling of
completeness.
His career started with
training to be a physical
education teacher, leading
on to a professional life
that involved work in a
Want To Know More?
variety of roles, including
residential care for young
people, youth work,
teaching and community
education plus living in,
teaching and managing a
yoga centre for two and half
years plus time in India.
?My time in India aided
my understanding of eastern
philosophy, nature and our
place within it. I have always
been intrigued by the
knowledge and ceremonies
of indigenous peoples and
their connection with the
earth and the wider
universe.?
Yet strangely enough, it
was the stark beauty and
isolation of the west coast
of Scotland that sparked his
emotions and had a
dramatic impact on him.
?It was the initial impetus
for starting to use drawing
and photography to capture
what I was feeling and
seeing. That experience in
my twenties sparked my
emotions and has continued
to be a major influence in
my work.
?It?s not all glamour, of
course ? there?s the neverending artist?s quest for
searching out and
experimenting with
materials and putting aside
time in the evening for
administration/office work,
etc.
?I even sustained a neck
injury last spring! I spent so
many hours looking up at
trees, day after day, taking
photographs and filming
that I needed several
sessions with my
physiotherapist to repair the
damage ? a pain in the neck
for sure!
?I never forget that I?m
extremely lucky to spend a
lot of my time exploring
beautiful areas of coast and
countryside looking for
inspiration.
?On one hand my work is
a response to the natural
world. On the other, I enjoy
and am able to record
modern life in all its guises
? people, places and
events.? n
Peter?s work can be viewed at www.peterlovelock.com. Peter?s work is also on show at the Gallery at the Guild in
Chipping Camden, Gloucestershire, formerly the Old Silk Mill, well known as the home of C.R. Ashbee?s world-renowned
Guild of Handicraft which occupied the property from 1902-1908. It is open Monday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.
and on Friday and Saturday to 5 p.m. More info from www.thegalleryattheguild.co.uk or call 01386 840345.
believe it?
Would you
Got a question? Get in touch through e-mail
wouldyoubelieveit@dctmedia.co.uk or *write to
?The People?s Friend?, 2 Albert Square, Dundee DD1 9QJ.
I?D LIKE TO KNOW
Q
A
The HMS Unicorn was launched
on March 30, 1824, making the
ship one hundred and ninety-four years old this month. This
makes HMS Unicorn the oldest ship in Scotland and the fourth-oldest ship in the UK,
after Mary Rose (launched 1511), HMS Victory (1765) and HMS Trincomalee (1817),
a spokesperson told us.
You can climb aboard HMS Unicorn for a good look round, with the hours extending
from April over the summer months, when it will be open Monday to Sunday, 10 a.m.
until 5 p.m., through to the end of October, when it changes to shorter winter opening
times.
Q
A
According to the Ethnologue
catalogue of world languages,
there are thought to be in excess
of 7,000 languages spoken throughout
the world. It?s a difficult question
to answer precisely as numbers are
constantly in flux.
Q
I read with interest your feature
on Muriel Spark and, believe
it or not, I?d never seen the
film adaptation of her book ?The
Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie? until just
a few weeks ago. Maggie Smith is
outstanding in the lead role, but can
you tell me if she was married to her
co-star Robert Stephens?
Ms C.B., Derby.
A
Yes. The couple wed in 1967 and
had two sons together, before
divorcing in 1974.
Something we didn?t
know last week...
iStock.
250
years ago, in
1768, British china
manufacturer William
Cookworthy was
granted the patent for
English Porcelain.
1 in 20
British men have never
seen their partner
without
make-up.
I know that Dundee is home to
the famous RRS Discovery, but
it is also home to the wonderful
frigate Unicorn, as I visited it many
years ago. Can you remind me how
old this ship actually is?
Mrs P.W., Bristol.
I?ve just started taking French
lessons at night school and
I?m curious to know how many
languages are spoken around the
world.
Mr D.M., Edinburgh.
TEA-BREAK TRIVIA 79
The Oxford English Dictionary has made
some additions to the latest version of its
legendary lexicon. Hangry ? being ?bad
tempered as a result of hunger? ? and
me-time ? ?time devoted to doing what
one wants? ? are new entries, along with
babymoon, which is a relaxing holiday
taken by couples before the arrival of
a baby (me-time for two!) One of our
favourites is ?hazzled? ? a term used to
describe skin that?s been left rough, dry
and chapped thanks to the sun or wind.
*Please do not send an SAE as we cannot give personal replies.
11 hours
is how long, on average,
we spend spring
cleaning
every year.
11,000
miles is flown by globeskimmer dragonflies
when they migrate from
India to East Africa and
back every year.
92%
of ten-year-olds have
regular online access.
3,474 km
is the diameter of the
moon ? which is much
smaller than Jupiter and
Saturn?s moons.
KNITTING 81
It?s A
Topper
intermediate
Our overtop adds the
perfect extra layer
and is worked in a
variegated cotton yarn.
To fit sizes: 76/81 cm
(30/32 ins), 86/91 cm
(34/36), 97/102
(38/40), 107/112
(42/44), 117/122
(46/48), 127/132
(50/52).
Actual size (at widest
point): 96 cm (38 ins),
106 (41�), 118 (46),
128 (50), 140 (55),
150 (59).
Length: 56 cm
(22 ins), 57 (22�),
57 (22�), 58 (23),
58 (23), 59 (23�).
MATERIALS
6 (7, 7, 8, 8, 9)
50-gram balls of King
Cole Vogue DK (shade
Elderberry 2123). One
pair each 3.25 mm
(No. 10) and 4 mm
(No. 8) knitting needles.
For yarn stockists write,
enclosing an SAE, to:
King Cole Ltd., Merrie
Mills, Snaygill Ind.
Estate, Keighley Rd,
Skipton BD23 2QR.
Telephone: 01756
703670. Website:
www.kingcole.com.
TENSION
22 sts and 28 rows to
10 cm measured over
stocking-stitch (knit 1
row, purl 1 row) using
4 mm needles.
ABBREVIATIONS
Alt ? alternate;
K ? knit; mp ? make
one st purlways by
picking up and purling
into back of horizontal
strand lying before next
st; P ? purl;
psso ? pass slipped st
over; rem ? remain;
rep ? repeat;
SKPO ? slip next st, K1,
pass slipped st over st
just knitted;
st(s) ? stitch(es);
tog ? together;
yf ? yarn forward;
yrn ? yarn round
needle.
Important Note
Directions are given for
six sizes. Figures in
brackets refer to the five
larger sizes. Figures in
square brackets [ ] refer
to all sizes and are
worked the number of
times stated. When
writing to us, you must
enclose an SAE if you
would like a reply
to your query.
Photographs by Ally Stuart, www.allystuartphotography.co.uk.
Hair and make-up by Linda Wilson.
Photographed at Rufflets Hotel, St Andrews, www.rufflets.co.uk.
MEASUREMENTS
82
PANEL
(worked over a basic
7 sts)
1st row ? P2tog, yrn, P1, K1,
P1, yrn, P2tog.
2nd row ? K3, P1, K3.
3rd row ? P3, K1, P3.
4th row ? K3, P1, K3.
5th to 8th rows ? As 1st to
4th rows.
9th and 10th rows ? As 1st
and 2nd rows.
11th row ? P3, mp, K1, mp,
P3 ? 9 sts.
12th row ? K3, P3, K3.
13th row ? P3, K1, [yf,
K1] twice, P3 ? 11 sts.
14th row ? K3, P5, K3.
15th row ? P3, K2, yf, K1, yf,
K2, P3 ? 13 sts.
16th row ? K3, P7, K3.
17th row ? P3, K3, yf, K1, yf,
K3, P3 ? 15 sts.
18th row ? K3, P9, K3.
19th row ? P3, SKPO, K5,
K2tog, P3 ? 13 sts.
20th row ? K3, P7, K3.
21st row ? P3, SKPO, K3,
K2tog, P3 ? 11 sts.
22nd row ? K3, P5, K3.
23rd row ? P3, SKPO, K1,
K2tog, P3 ? 9 sts.
24th row ? K3, P3, K3.
25th row ? P3, slip 1, K2tog,
psso, P3 ? 7 sts.
26th row ? K3, P1, K3.
These 26 rows form panel.
BACK
With 3.25 mm needles, cast
on 83 (95, 107, 119, 131,
143) sts.
1st row (right side) ? K2,
[P1, K1] 3 times, [P2tog, yrn,
P1, K1, P1, yrn, P2tog, K1, P1,
K1, P1, K1] 6 (7, 8, 9, 10,
11) times, P1, K2.
2nd row ? [K1, P1] 4 times,
[K3, P1, K3, P1, K1, P1, K1,
P1] 6 (7, 8, 9, 10, 11) times,
K1, P1, K1.
Rep these 2 rows until work
measures 13 cm, ending after
1st row.
Next row ? Purl, increasing
4 sts evenly across row ? 87
(99, 111, 123, 135, 147) sts.
Change to 4 mm needles
Next row (right side) ? K8,
purl until 8 sts rem, K8.
Next row ? K4, P4, knit until
8 sts rem, P4, K4.
These 2 rows set the basic
pattern.
Repeat these 2 rows once.
Next (increase) row ? K8,
P1, mp, purl until 9 sts rem,
mp, P1, K8, (2 sts increased)
??.
Working the increased sts in
reverse stocking-stitch work
9 rows straight.
Rep the last 10 rows until
there are 105 (117, 129,
141, 153, 165) sts.
Work straight until back
measures 51 (52, 52, 53, 53,
54) cm measured through
centre of work, ending after a
wrong-side row.
Shape shoulders ? Cast off
4 (5, 6, 6, 7, 8) sts loosely at
beginning of next 10 rows,
then 4 (4, 4, 7, 7, 7) sts at
beginning of next 2 rows.
Finally cast off 5 (5, 5, 8, 8,
8) sts at beginning of next
2 rows ? 47 (49, 51, 51, 53,
55) sts.
Slip remaining sts on a
stitch-holder and leave.
FRONT
Work as back to ?? ?
89 (101, 113, 125, 137,
149) sts.
Next row ? K4, P4, knit until
8 sts rem, P4, K4.
Work centre panel, AT THE
SAME TIME work side
increases spaced as on back
as follows:
1st row ? K8, P33 (39, 45,
51, 57, 63), work 7 sts from
1st row of panel, P33 (39, 45,
51, 57, 63), K8.
2nd row ? K4, P4, K33 (39,
45, 51, 57, 63), work 7 sts
from 2nd row of panel, knit
until 8 sts rem, P4, K4.
3rd to 8th rows ? Rep 1st
and 2nd rows 3 times but
working 3rd to 8th rows of
panel.
9th row ? K8, P1, mp,
P32 (38, 44, 50, 56, 62),
work 9th row of panel,
P32 (38, 44, 50, 56, 62), mp,
P1, K8 ? 91 (103, 115, 127,
139, 151) sts.
10th row ? K4, P4, K34 (40,
46, 52, 58, 64), work 10th
row of panel, knit until 8 sts
rem, P4, K8.
Important note: Each time
the 11th, 13th, 15th and
17th rows of panel are worked
2 sts are increased. These sts
are then decreased to the
basic 7 panel sts on 19th,
21st, 23rd and 25th rows.
Where stitch totals are quoted,
panel sts must always be
counted as 7.
11th row ? K8, P34 (40, 46,
52, 58, 64), work 11th row of
panel, purl until 8 sts rem, K8.
12th row ? K4, P4, K34 (40,
46, 52, 58, 64), work 12th
row of panel, knit until 8 sts
rem, P4, K4.
13th to 18th rows ? Rep
11th and 12th rows 3 times
but working 13th to 18th rows
of panel.
19th row ? K8, P1, mp,
P33 (39, 45, 51, 57, 63),
work 19th row of panel, purl
until 8 sts rem, mp, P1, K8 ?
93 (105, 117, 129, 141,
153) sts.
20th row ? K4, P4, K35 (41,
47, 53, 59, 65), work 20th
row of panel, knit until 8 sts
rem, P4, K4.
21st to 26th rows ? Work
6 rows straight but working
21st to 26th rows of panel.
Place 2nd section of panels:
1st row ? K8, P23 (29, 34,
40, 45, 51), work 1st row of
panel, P17 (17, 19, 19, 21,
21), work 1st row of panel,
P23 (29, 34, 40, 45, 51), K8.
2nd row ? K4, P4, K23 (29,
34, 40, 45, 51), work 2nd row
of panel, K17 (17, 19, 19, 21,
21), work 2nd row of panel,
K23 (29, 34, 40, 45, 51), P4,
K4.
3rd to 26th rows ? Work
24 rows as set on the last
2 rows but working 3rd to
26th rows of panel and
working side increases on next
row and following 13th and
23rd rows ? 99 (111, 123,
135, 147, 159) sts.
Work 3rd section of panels:
1st row ? K8, P14 (20, 24,
30, 34, 40), [work 1st row of
panel, P17 (17, 19, 19, 21,
21)] twice, work 1st row of
panel, P14 (20, 24, 30, 34,
40), K8.
2nd row ? K4, P4, K14 (20,
24, 30, 34, 40), [work 2nd
row of panel, K17 (17, 19,
19, 21, 21)] twice, work 2nd
row of panel, K14 (20, 24,
30, 34, 40), P4, K4.
3rd to 26th rows ? Work
24 rows as set on the last
2 rows but working 3rd to
26th rows of panel and
working side increases on
every 10th row from previous
increase row ? 103 (115,
127, 139, 151, 163) sts.
Panels are all now complete.
Final increase row ? K8, P1,
mp, purl until 9 sts rem, mp,
P1, K8 ? 105 (117, 129, 141,
153, 165) sts.
Work straight to match back
until front measures 14 (18,
18, 22, 22, 24) rows less than
back up to start of shoulder
shaping, ending after a
wrong-side row.
Shape neck ? Work across
34 (39, 44, 50, 55, 60) sts,
turn.
Continue on this group of sts
and work 5 rows, decreasing
1 st at neck edge on every
row ? 29 (34, 39, 45, 50,
55) sts.
Work 8 (12, 12, 16, 16,
18) rows straight thus ending
at side edge.
Shape shoulder ? Cast off
4 (5, 6, 6, 7, 8) sts loosely at
beginning of next row and the
4 following alt rows, then 4 (4,
4, 7, 7, 7) sts at beginning of
next alt row ? 5 (5, 5, 8, 8,
8) sts.
Work 1 row straight then cast
off.
With right side facing, slip next
37 (39, 41, 41, 43, 45) sts on
a stitch-holder and leave.
Neatly rejoin yarn to remaining
34 (39, 44, 50, 55, 60) sts
and work to end of row.
Complete as left half working
1 more row before shaping
shoulder.
TO COMPLETE
Join left shoulder.
Neckband ? With 3.25 mm
needles and right side facing,
knit across 47 (49, 51, 51, 53,
55) sts of back neck, pick up
and knit 20 (23, 23, 26, 26,
28) sts evenly down left side
of front neck, knit across 37
(39, 41, 41, 43, 45) sts of
front neck, finally pick up and
knit 21 (24, 24, 27, 27,
29) sts evenly up right side of
neck ? 125 (135, 139, 145,
149, 157) sts.
1st row ? K1, [P1, K1] to end.
2nd row ? K2, [P1, K1] to last
st, K1.
Repeat these 2 rows twice
more.
Next (picot) row ? Cast off
3 sts, ?slip st on right needle
back on to left needle, cast on
2 sts, cast off 4 sts firmly,
K2tog and slip 2nd st on right
needle over first st, rep from ?
until no sts remain.
To Make Up ? Press work
lightly on wrong side following
pressing instructions and
omitting ribbing. Join right
shoulder and edges of
neckband. Join side seams
leaving approx. 20 (21, 22,
24, 25, 26) cm free for
armholes. n
Next week: knit this
cabled sweater
CRAFT 85
Boho Bright
Stylecraft Yarns? Head Over
Heels yarn has a new range
called Boho, which features a
monochrome faux Fair Isle
strip in among the colour
stripes. There are six shades
in all, with three free leaflet
designs to accompany them: a
child?s top, a shawl and socks.
Find it in your local stockist,
or www.stylecraft-yarns.co.uk
has stockist info. The 4-ply
yarn comes in 100g balls.
A Riot Of Colour
Cindy Lass has been painting for
more than 20 years and has translated
some of her stunning artwork into
needlepoint designs. We love Sweet
Wonders, a riot of pink blooms. Each
kit comes with everything you need to
stitch it, including Appleton?s tapestry
wools and a painted canvas or plain
canvas with chart. Details from
www.cindylassneedlepoint.com or call
07833 554999.
enjoy
SewMAKE
New ideas for knitters and crafters.
In The Bag
This book features 20 bag
designs by Debbie von GrablerCrozier, including totes, bucket
bags, backpacks, clutches and
shoulder bags. There is a guide
to the techniques needed plus
step-by-step photography and a
section on creating beautiful
finishing touches. Finally, all the
templates required are included
on a handy pull-out sheet.
Available in book and craft shops
or from www.searchpress.com,
price �.99.
Calling All Quilters
The Festival of Quilts 2018
takes place at the NEC in August
and the competition is now open for
entries. There are 15 categories in all,
ranging from Fine Art Quilt Masters to
Novice Quilts, and children and schools
have sections, too. Every entry is
displayed and there are thousands
of pounds to be won. To find out
more visit www.
thefestivalofquilts.
co.uk.
OUR PICK OF FUN TOY LEAFLETS
King
Cole
9008
DMC
Dinosaurs
Sirdar
2487
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SHORT STORY BY MHAIRI GRANT 87
Wet weather
didn?t have
to be gloomy.
It all depended
on you!
I
Illustration by Ruth Blair.
T
ODAY something
wonderful is going
to happen!?
I repeated that
mantra every
morning when I got up. But
as I looked out the window
today, my positivity began
to wane. It was raining ?
again.
That made three days in
a row. Snow and ice I could
cope with, but rain . . .
At least my sister Kim had
had decent weather at the
weekend for her wedding
and was now sunning
herself in Barbados.
My mother had
FaceTimed me from France
to say that she and Serge
had snow. I wished I could
enjoy myself in the sun and
snow.
For a moment, I felt
bereft ? left behind.
I had taken a week?s
holiday in February to be a
bridesmaid at my sister?s
wedding and had thought
that my mum and
stepfather would be staying
the week, but another
commitment at home had
seen them go back to
France two days after the
wedding.
I was still trying to get my
head round that. A
Frenchman stealing my
mum almost from under my
nose.
At least Kim had had the
decency to be with Sam for
years before she tied the
knot. I?d had time to get
used to the idea.
Still, I did have an open
invitation to visit France,
and my mum came back
often.
I sighed and padded
through to the kitchen to
look out the window there.
?Yes, Kara, it?s still
raining there as well.?
Watching the rain drip off
the trees, I put the kettle
on. I had visited the art
gallery, phoned all my
working friends, gone to the
cinema and done some
window shopping.
I had a pile of books to
read on the kitchen table,
and I flicked through them
while the kettle boiled and
Suki, my cat, weaved
around my ankles.
?Tell me, Suki, that
something wonderful is
going to happen today.?
Suki told me no such
thing. Instead she meowed
plaintively.
?OK, keep your fur on.
Tuna coming up, then we?ll
have a quiet day together.?
But I couldn?t settle. I had
ants in my pants and
reading ?Pride And
Prejudice? didn?t stop my
restlessness.
?You know, Suki, I don?t
know why Elizabeth doesn?t
tell Mr Darcy just to get
lost. I would.?
Just like I had told Jack
Andrews years ago, when I
saw him holding hands with
Alicia Matthews.
He had been my first
love. I had been fourteen
and full of righteous
indignation when, urged on
by my friends, I had given
him his marching orders.
Where had that memory
sprung from? I hadn?t
thought of Jack in years.
This was serious and called
for action. I had to get out.
Before I had time to
think, I put on my raincoat
and wellies while Suki
meowed her dissent. I
twirled in front of her. I
loved my matching raincoat
and wellies. They were light
blue with yellow flowers
round the bottom.
?I,? I announced, as if it
were her fault for keeping
me in, ?am going out for a
walk.?
Suki meowed even louder
and tried to trip me up. But
I was having none of it.
?And you,? I said,
pointing at her, ?should
have been a dog. I would
have been out much
sooner.?
With that parting remark
I opened the door, to be
met by a sheet of rain.
* * * *
I could have fun in the
rain. It was just a question
of being inventive.
There wasn?t a soul about
so I picked up a lolly stick
and threw it in the gutter
and watched it swim down
towards the drain. I was
twenty-four going on four
and I didn?t care.
Then I splashed in every
large puddle I came across
? and there were plenty.
I was heading for the
park. It was where Jack and
I used to hang out. Once,
he pushed me so fast on
the roundabout that I got
sick. Jack had to support
me or I would have fallen
down.
A neighbour reported to
my mum that I was drunk. I
had to breathe in her face
before she believed me.
Aged fourteen and I
had undergone my
88
first breathalyser test.
It was at the
bandstand next to the river
that I stopped now.
Under the cover of the
canopy someone was taking
photographs. I watched
before he turned round and
spotted me. Then he lifted
his camera and pointed it
at me.
I?m not normally a
show-off, but I had all this
energy just bursting to get
out. So I started to boogie
to the tune of ?Good
Vibrations? by the Beach
Boys.
?Good, good, good
vibrations,? I sang, arms
outstretched and twirling in
the rain.
It was a moment of pure
madness. The man could
have been anybody, but at
that moment I didn?t care.
We were alone in the
park with the rain and that
gave us something in
common. Especially as he
started to sing along with
me.
?Kara?? the man said
when I finally stopped and
waved, ready to move on.
The voice was familiar. I
walked towards the
bandstand.
?Jack?? I asked with a
sense of wonder.
It was as if I had conjured
him up with my thoughts.
Since we?d left school I had
only seen him once and
that was fleetingly.
?None other,? he said
and gave me an elaborate
bow.
I walked towards him, still
thinking of him as some
mirage. He?d gone to
university down south and
hadn?t come back. But the
what he saw.
?What are you doing out
in the rain??
?Dancing. And you??
?Taking photos. I was
going stir crazy cooped up
indoors,? he replied.
?Snap,? I said.
We both smiled at my
unintended pun.
He had a lovely smile. My
hormones started to get
ideas, then I remembered
Jack was engaged, maybe
even married.
I?d overhead it at Kim?s
wedding in passing. I?d
meant to ask at the time
but the best man had
whirled me away for the
first dance.
Ah, that was why Jack
had been in my thoughts.
So much for me thinking
there was some mystic
connection.
I was prone to ideas like
that, for all the good it did
me. I often got the wrong
end of the stick. As did my
mother.
She once grounded me
for sneaking out of my
bedroom window at night
to meet Jack.
?That boy is nothing but
trouble,? she said to me
when she?d read me the
riot act.
She?d pictured me
drinking cans of lager in the
park, getting up to hankypanky and even into
trouble with the police. No
doubt my camouflage outfit
hadn?t helped.
But the truth was Jack
and I had been staking out
a badgers? sett in the
woods, hoping to catch
sight of them.
We never did. But for
ages after we split up I
The man could have been anybody
but at that moment I didn?t care
bow was a giveaway. Jack
was into gestures like that.
He?d kissed the back of
my mother?s hand when
she?d told him that his hair
was as long as a Tudor
pageboy?s. But it was short
now, and darker ? or
maybe that was the rain.
And had he always been so
tall?
Jack kissed me on the
cheek then stood back to
appraise me. I wondered
envisaged him and Alicia
seeing the badgers.
?I like the outfit,? Jack
said now. ?It suits you.?
?It?s my happy gear,? I
replied. ?So, what brings
you back here??
?I?m looking at premises
here to set up my design
business. It has good
transport links and I have
quite a few companies in
the area on my books.?
Jack was getting
animated and into his
stride. I nodded solemnly.
As the rain beat off the
overhead canopy I put my
serious hat on and asked
questions about sites,
possible clients and
business start-up grants,
and listened with polite
interest to his replies.
?Of course,? he said, ?I
won?t be taking all the risk.
I?ve got a partner.?
?Partner?? I enquired, on
red alert. ?As in business or
relationship??
something witty, but the
words dried up at the way
he was looking at me. It
made me think that
perhaps he regretted his
duplicity.
I smiled encouragement.
?Well, it was lovely
meeting you again, Kara,?
he said, clearing his throat.
?Give your mum my love.?
Then he pecked me on
the cheek and strode off.
How could I have misread
the signals? I was left
dejected, rain dripping off
At that exact moment the rain
stopped and a weak sun came out
?Relationship??
?You know, girlfriend,
fianc閑 or wife.?
?A wife? I?m not that
grown-up. No, there?s
no-one else like that in my
life. I meant a business
partner.?
I swear that it was at that
exact moment that the rain
stopped and a weak sun
tried to come out. We both
looked up at the sky and
then the washed-out park.
Then my eyes strayed to
the river.
?So, what brings you
back here, Kara??
?Jack,? I whispered,
hardly registering his
question. ?Look!?
I pointed to the opposite
bank of the river.
?An otter!?
We stood stock-still and
stared. Then, with great
caution, we squelched
through the grass and crept
nearer to the bank.
I had heard that there
were otters on the river but
I had never seen any
before.
?Wow,? Jack whispered.
?This makes up for the
badgers.?
?Did Alicia Matthews ever
see the badgers?? I
whispered.
?Alicia Matthews? Not
that I know of. There was
never anything between us
? except for her brother?s
PlayStation.?
A game on PlayStation? I
was betrayed for a game on
PlayStation! How fickle can
young love be?
We watched the otter in
silence until it disappeared.
I was going to say
my hood.
I watched him walk away
before I shouted.
?Jack, what did you mean
when you asked what
brought me back here??
My voice carried on the
air and stopped him in his
tracks.
He turned and looked so
forlorn standing there that I
wanted to hug him.
?You?re in France now, I
believe. I heard you
married a Frenchman.?
?Me, married? I?m not
that grown-up. My mum
married a Frenchman. He?s
called Serge and she met
him on holiday.?
We started to walk
towards each other then
and we were both smiling.
?Do you fancy a go on
the roundabout, then?? he
asked.
?Are you kidding me? I
was as sick as a dog the
last time.?
?OK, but we can go and
look for the badgers some
time??
?We could,? I conceded,
taking his arm, ?but
perhaps we can start off
with having a drink
together.?
?What an excellent idea!
And maybe followed by
dinner??
?Don?t rush me,? I
replied. ?I?m still
accountable to Suki, my
cat. She?ll want to know
where I?ve been.?
Do you know what I?m
going to tell Suki when I get
home?
I?m going to tell her that,
today, something wonderful
happened. n
EXTRA PUZZLES 91
Kriss Kross
How long will it take you to correctly fit the
words relating to Morocco into the grid?
4 letters
6 letters
DUNE
AFRICA
SOUK
AGADIR
ARABIC
5 letters
F R A N C E
BERBER
ATLAS
DESERT
CEUTA
DIRHAM
OASIS
FRANCE
RABAT
KASBAH
SPAIN
TAGINE
Solutions
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
1 Number of
Commandments (3)
2 Polite man (4)
3 Slight colour (5)
4 Dining (6)
5 Ripping (7)
6 Ventilating (8)
7 Hard volcanic rock (7)
8 Grading (6)
9 Colossal (5)
10 Small biting fly (4)
11 Garment label (3)
Kriss Kross
Brick Trick
T E N
GE N T
T I NGE
E A T I NG
T E AR I NG
A E RA T I NG
GRAN I T E
RA T I NG
G I AN T
GN A T
T AG
Enter the answers to the clues in the bricks in the wall.
Every word is an anagram of its neighbours, plus or
minus a letter.
R T
RABA T
E
E
K
A F R I CA
B
S
E
B
GAD I R
A
U
A
H
E
N
R
C E U T A
B
I
S P I C E
Brick Trick
D E S E
I
F RANC
H
OA S I S
M
P
A
A
I
T AG I N
L
A
SOUK
SPICE
All puzzles � Puzzler Media Ltd www.puzzler.com
SOAP BY GLENDA YOUNG 93
OUR
WEEKLY
SOAP
Jim?s new puppy
is finally given
a name!
iStock.
I
FEEL like a celebration is
in order this weekend,?
Jim announced to his
staff at the Ship.
?For St Patrick?s Day??
Sam asked. ?I thought we
were doing something for
that in the back room,
having an Irish-themed
party and a quiz??
?There?s that, of course,?
Jim said. ?But I was thinking
of something else, too.?
?It?s not your birthday, is
it?? Claire asked, and she
and Sam exchanged a smile.
?No, it?s not my birthday.?
Jim laughed. ?You?ll have to
guess again.?
?Wetting the baby?s
head?? Claire suggested.
?What baby?? Sam asked.
?George and Mary?s
granddaughter. Didn?t you
hear??
Sam shook his head.
?Susan had her baby last
week. A little girl. Sarah
Georgina, they?re calling
her. I took Brady to see the
baby yesterday.?
?George hasn?t been in for
a while,? Jim said. ?I?ve not
seen Mary for ages, either.?
?Probably spending all
their time doting on their
grandchild. It?ll be their
first,? Claire said.
?Well, it?s not the baby I
was thinking of celebrating,?
Jim continued.
?Christmas?? Sam
suggested.
Riverside
Claire laughed.
?Hallowe?en??
?Oh, the two of you are
being daft,? Jim complained.
?If you?re not going to be
serious then I?ll tell you.
?This weekend marks one
year since we reopened the
pub. Can you believe how
quickly that?s gone??
?Is that all?? Sam asked,
deflated. ?I thought it was
going to be something
exciting.?
?It is exciting,? Jim huffed.
?A lot has happened in the
last year. We?ve got a darts
team now; we?ve got new
customers coming in from
the apartments on the
riverside; and we?ve got the
bar menu up and running.
?We?ve even got you
working for us now, Claire.?
Claire nodded towards
the puppy who was
watching them from under
its favourite seat by the fire.
?And you?ve got a new
dog.?
Jim sighed and glanced
over at the small dog.
?I wasn?t going to keep
him, you know. I was
determined not to let him
into the pub, never mind
my life, after Buster died.?
?That puppy?s got you
wrapped around his little
finger, Uncle Jim.? Sam
laughed.
?Do dogs have little
fingers?? Claire joined in.
Sam shrugged.
?If you?re keeping him,
Jim, you need to give him a
name,? Claire said. ?You
can?t just keep calling him
?that dog?, if he?s staying.?
?The problem is, he only
answers to Buster,? Jim
whispered.
?Call him that, then. If he
answers to it then that?s
half your training problems
sorted. And why are you
whispering?? Claire said.
?Because I don?t want the
dog to know we?re talking
about him.?
?Oh, he knows, Uncle
Jim,? Sam said. ?Just look.?
All three of them turned
to see the puppy crawl from
under the seat and plonk
itself in the middle of the
pub carpet.
Its head was tilted to one
side and it gave a soft bark.
?You two carry on getting
ready to open up,? Jim told
Sam and Claire. ?I?m going
to have a little word with ??
?Buster?? Claire replied.
At the mention of the
name, the puppy returned
to its place under the seat
where Jim?s old dog had
always liked to sit.
Jim walked from the bar
and sat down in the next
seat, picking up the puppy
in his arms.
?Right, little Buster,? he
said, stroking the dog. ?Me
and you are going to have a
chat. There are some rules
you need to know.?
* * * *
That evening, after
checking on Susan and the
baby, George and Mary
took a walk along the
riverside path to the pub.
?George!? Jim shouted
when he saw who was
coming through the door.
George laughed.
?I feel like I?m in that TV
programme ? that
American one where they
shouted ?Norm!? every time
he walked into the pub.?
?Do you mean ?Cheers???
Mary asked, walking in
behind him.
?That?s the one!? George
replied.
?What?ll it be?? Jim asked.
?These are on the house, by
way of congratulations on
the safe arrival of your new
granddaughter. You must
be as proud as punch, eh??
?She?s a beauty,? Mary
said. ?And thanks, Jim. I?ll
have a gin and tonic.?
?Pint of Ryemouth Riveter
for me, Jim,? George added.
They took their drinks and
sat at one of the free tables
in the front room of the bar.
After a few minutes, Bob
Lewin appeared at their
table with a pint in one
hand and a gin and tonic in
the other.
?I hope you?ll accept these
from me,? he said. ?I heard
the good news.?
?Thank you very much,
Bob,? Mary replied, trying
to mask her surprise.
In all the years she?d
known Bob this was the
first time she?d ever known
him to put his hand into his
pocket.
?I?ve got something to tell
you, Mary,? George said
after Bob returned to his
own table. ?You know I rang
Doreen to tell her about the
baby??
Mary took a long sip of
her G&T at the mention of
George?s sharp-tongued
sister.
She?d never found Doreen
easy to get on with and she
knew George found her
difficult, too.
?Well,? George continued
sheepishly, ?she?s said that
she?s coming next week for
a visit!?
More next week.
94
Just A Phone
Call Away
Silent Visitor
My cat, Amy, has not
entirely given up on her
mysterious white handsome
stranger, who miraculously
appeared without warning
one day.
She?d been out and about
all afternoon collecting some
bounty, and this irresistible
young man was there to greet
her on her return.
She was a bit surprised at
first, but so far the stranger is
being rather coy and isn?t
saying very much!
Miss B.C., Coventry.
Here is a photograph
of my daughter Hattie in
St Andrews, where she is
at university.
I am very proud of her
and although I miss her a
lot we stay in touch with
long telephone calls and
often find ourselves
chatting about the stories
and articles in the
?Friend?.
My daughter would be
so surprised if her picture
is published and that
would definitely give us
something to talk about!
Mr S.J., Suffolk.
Between
Friends
Write to us at Between Friends, ?The People?s Friend?,
2 Albert Square, Dundee DD1 9QJ, or e-mail us at
betweenfriends@dctmedia.co.uk.
Star Letter
My granddaughter brought her fiveweek-old daughter from London to visit
me in Manchester Royal Infirmary, so
that I could hold her.
This four-generation photograph was
taken so that in years to come my
great-granddaughter can be shown how
she was held by her ninety-four-year-old
great-grandma.
In the picture are my son,
granddaughter, myself and my greatgranddaughter, Phoebe.
It was a very special moment and one
that I will treasure.
Ms S.R., Peterborough.
Our Star Letter will receive
a Dean?s all-butter
shortbread tin worth
�.69 RRP. Consume as part of
a balanced diet.
All other printed UK letters will win one of our famous tea
caddies and a pack of loose tea. Our friends from overseas will
receive an alternative gift of a pen.
Museum Piece
Just like your reader from
Crieff, many years ago I
received a pattern for a World
War II Land Army doll uniform.
I made the doll?s outfit in
tribute to my cousin who was
a Land Army girl.
For more years than I care
to remember, the doll sat in
my patio window until I had to
move into a home. Now, I
didn?t want this Land Army
doll to go to just anyone, so
my friend talked to the curator
of a military uniform museum
in Niagara Falls, Ontario, and
they were delighted to have
her.
I was invited to the museum
and later they sent pictures of
my doll in a cabinet ? a fine
happy ending.
Ms W.C., Canada.
Natural Therapy
I thought your readers
would love to see this picture
of a swan nurturing her young.
I was feeling quite stressed
and decided a walk was just
what I needed. Seeing this
swan with her cygnets proved
amazing therapy ? it was such
a beautiful sight.
Ms P.H., Wisbech.
YOUR LETTERS 95
Preparations
For Nice Weather
A poem
just for
you!
Cutting Remark
I feel I must tell you
about the time when I was
an extra for a TV
programme.
Of course, I phoned
roun
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