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The People’s Friend – April 2018

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Six very good reasons
to eat more onions!
7 feel-good stories
Fresh and
fruity recipes
Competitions open to UK residents only, unless otherwise stated.
April 28, 2018 No. 7724
�30
Unmissable fiction
s
Pineapple and Chicken Salad Cup
? A wedding day drama by Helen Yendall
? Annie Harris?s smuggling adventure set in Dorset
Colourful
UK Off-sale date - 02-May-18
AU $4.50, NZ $4.50
ddddddddddddd
Enjoy a day on the Norfolk coast
Free
Pattern
Inside
Polly Pullar
shares her
love of
garden
birds
Plan now
for your
summer
pot plant
display
Knit a lacy
cardigan
in a soft
merino
yarn
�30
dd
28-Apr-2018
Cromer
Fruit Flower Power Fondue
this week
Inside The People?s Friend
If you like the ?Friend?
then you?ll love...
The People?s Friend Special
No 156, priced �99
On sale
now!
l 8 pages of puzzles
l 14 brand-new short stories
The People?s Friend Pocket
Novel No 859, priced �49
l An exciting modern story
by Cara Cooper
Cover Artwork: Cromer, Norfolk, by J. Campbell Kerr.
Available in newsagents & supermarkets
Fiction
Regulars
Features
4 Reaching Out
by Wendy Clarke
15 Marion?s Secret
by Jessma Carter
23 The Potter?s Clay
by H. Johnson-Mack
25 SERIES Busy Bees
by Della Galton
30 SERIAL All Change At
Dawson?s Dairies
by Josephine Allen
41 I Do, Take Two
by Helen Yendall
47 Love In Disguise
by Annie Harris
53 The Friendship Stop
by Ewan Smith
56 SERIAL Alfred?s
Emporium
by Louise J. Stevens
79 Magic In The Air
by Catherine Jones
85 WEEKLY SOAP
Riverside
by Glenda Young
7 This Week We?re Loving
13 Maddie?s World
18 Health & Wellbeing
24 Reader Offer: Neat and
Tidy garden tools
27 Brainteasers
35 The Farmer & His Wife
36 Cookery: juicy fruit
recipes the whole family
will enjoy
51 Our Next Issue
61 From The Manse
Window
71 Would You Believe It?
72 Reader Offer: Hardy
Dwarf Geraniums
73 Knitting: our pastel
perfect cardigan
features delicate lace
trellis
83 Extra Puzzles
86 Between Friends
8 Simon Whaley discovers
animal magic in
captivating Cromer
21 Six good reasons to eat
onions
29 A wonderful time was
had by all at the
?Friend? reader holiday
44 Malcolm Welshman
meets the oldest living
tortoise
63 Polly Pullar takes a
lighthearted look at
rural life
65 Gillian Thornton learns
about the great work of
Mousetrap Theatre
Projects
68 Alexandra Campbell
looks ahead to summer
pot plants
77 Keir Thomas shares tips
for keeping your digital
photos safe
SUBSCRIPTION OFFER ? SAVE �
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www.thepeoplesfriend.co.uk
www.facebook.com/PeoplesFriendMagazine
Have you ever seen a
performance of the
famous play ?The
Mousetrap?? I haven?t,
though it remains on
my list of things I?d love
to do ? one day! This
week, Gillian Thornton
goes behind the scenes
to find out about the
wonderful work being
done by Mousetrap
Theatre Projects, an
educational charity that
aims to bring
disadvantaged young
people into the West
End to experience the
joy of theatre. You can
find out more about
this fabulous initiative
on page 65.
From the world?s
longest-running play to
the world?s oldest living
land animal!
I thoroughly enjoyed
vet Malcolm D.
Welshman?s account of
his meeting with
Jonathan, a tortoise
that is nearly 200 years
old, on page 44.
Finally, don?t miss our
article on page 29
about the recent
?Friend? holiday we
hosted at Warner?s
Alvaston Hall in
Cheshire. We had such
a lovely time, meeting
readers and making
new friends, and the
good news is we?ll be
running another one in
November! I do hope
you?ll be able to join us.
Angela Gilchrist, Editor.
twitter.com/@TheFriendMag
Reaching
Out
I loved my new
baby, but I was
struggling to
cope, and I
didn?t know
who to ask fo r
help . . .
Illustration by Jim Dewar.
T
HE front door
closes and I stare
at it, the anxiety
that has been with
me since I came
home from hospital
growing again.
I want to call out ?Don?t
go?, but even if I did, my
husband wouldn?t know as I
can already hear the
scrunch of his tyres as he
reverses out of the drive.
?I love you,? he?d said as
he kissed me goodbye, his
face tender. ?I love you
both.?
I?d smiled back at him,
hoping he wouldn?t sense
what an effort it was for me
no t to beg him to stay.
Hoping the words that
were going around and
around in my head were
not also written on my face:
I can?t do it on my own.
As the car drives away, I
can?t remember a time
when I?ve felt so alone.
Only I?m not alone, for in
our bedroom across the
hall is our baby daughter,
Jasmine Rose ? only two
months old and the child
we always dreamed of.
We?d picked the name as
we?d sat on the bench
under the rose arbour in
our local park, and felt our
baby?s first kick beneath
our joined hands.
When she was born, she
was just as beautiful as her
name.
Jasmine?s crib stands
beside our double bed. A
bed I lo ng to climb into as
it seems like days since I
last slept.
From the baby monitor
on the wall, I can hear her
little sighs and mews.
Sounds that I have come to
recognise as the prelude to
her waking.
Closing my eyes tightly, I
breathe from my
diaphragm, hoping that the
panic I feel will subside. It
doesn?t, though.
Instead, it escalates as
thoughts crowd into my
head. What if she won?t
feed properly like
yesterday? What if she
won?t stop crying? What if,
God forbid, I drop her?
All those dreams I?d had
of how it would be ? little
Jasmine asleep in her
carrycot as I got on with
the household chores, the
walks we?d share in the
park, the kisses I?d place on
her sweet dark head and
the love I?d give her.
As Jasmine?s first cries
come through the monitor,
I shake my head, feeling
the tears gather.
The dreams I?d had when
I was pregnant were just
fairy tales, belonging in the
book with the castle on the
front that we?ve placed on
the nursery shelf along with
a whole lot of others.
A room filled with soft
toys and tiny clothes that I
spent hours choosing over
the months of my
pregnancy, as my belly
slowly swelled to the size of
Cinderella?s pumpkin.
The telephone ringing
makes me jump, its sharp
tones competing with
Jasmine?s cries.
I put my hands over my
ears and, for one
treacherous moment, wish
that things could go back
to how they were before.
Before I learned that I was
going to be a terrible
mother. Before I was so
afraid.
SHORT STORY BY WENDY CLARKE 5
Steeling myself, I push
open the door to the
bedroom.
Above the white flounced
edge of the crib I can see
Jasmine?s tiny fist, and I
know that when I bend to
pick her up her face will be
red and scrunched.
Reaching down, I feel her
tiny body stiffen as I lift her
on to my shoulder.
?Hush,? I say, as I place
my hand against the back
of her head, holding her
close and rocking her from
side to side as I saw the
nurses on the baby ward
do. ?You can?t be hungry. I
only fed you an hour ago.?
The phone is still ringing.
I go to it and the caller
display shows it?s my mum,
so I pick up the phone and
wedge it between my ear
and my shoulder.
?Hello, Mum. Look, it?s
not a good time.?
?I?m sorry, darling.?
Mum?s voice brings fresh
tears to my eyes. ?Shall I
phone you back when
Jasmine?s asleep??
?She?s just woken,
actually.?
?Oh, give her a kiss from
Granny. I wish I lived closer
so that I could see her
more.?
?You were here for a
week, Mum, and I?m very
grateful.?
?I loved every minute of
it. She?s a beautiful little
girl, Kerry, and I?m so
proud of you all. You?ll be a
wonderful mother ? I just
know it.?
That week seems so long
ago now. A week when I
seemed to sleep for hours
while Mum cooed and
fussed ? changing nappies
and bringing me meals.
When the week had
ended she had gone home
and Martin had taken over,
whistling as he filled the
washing machine, a muslin
cloth slung casually over
his shoulder as though it
were a fashion accessory.
If Jasmine cried, he
would sweep her up in his
big arm and sing to her as
if he?d been born to it.
Although I was grateful
for the rest it had given
me, it only served to fuel
my feelings of inadequacy.
Jasmine?s cries are
intermittent now and the
cloth that?s on my shoulder
is damp from where she?s
burped up some of her last
feed. Maybe that was all
that was the matter.
But then the doubts roll
in: could she be sickening
for something? Have I
pulled the tabs of her
disposable nappy too
tight?
?Kerry, are you still
there??
?Sorry, Mum. Yes, I am.
I?m just trying to get
Jasmine settled.?
?Have you thought about
taking her out? A walk to
the park or to the shops
would give you both a
change of scene.? A note of
concern creeps into her
voice as my baby?s cries get
louder.
?Are you sure you?re all
right?? she adds. ?I could
come over if you needed
me. I?m sure my manager
would give me some time
off if I asked.?
I long to say yes, but
instead I make my voice
light and carefree.
?Don?t be silly, Mum. You
don?t need to do that.
We?re fine here. In fact, I?d
already thought about
taking Jasmine out.?
?Well, if you?re sure.
You?re very lucky to have
such a good baby, Kerry.
When you were tiny . . .?
She trails off and I
swallow the lump that?s
formed in my throat,
remembering how Jasmine
had stopped crying the
second Mum had picked
her up.
It was only me who didn?t
seemed to know how to
settle her.
?Look, Mum, I?ve got to
go. I?ll ring you tomorrow.?
Putting down the phone,
I stand in the middle of the
room wondering what to do
next. Should I change her
or feed her before we go?
What if it rains? What if
the sun comes out and
she?s too hot?
What if the sky comes
tumbling down once we?ve
left the security of our
house?
To stop my racing
thoughts, I change
Jasmine?s nappy and stuff a
couple of spare ones in my
changing bag along with
some wipes.
Then I go to the drawer
and take out two sleepsuits
and a little cardigan and
add them to the bag.
When I?ve done all that, I
look around for something
else to do. Putting off the
time when I will have to
push the pushchair through
the front door.
When my mobile rings,
the relief is indescribable.
It?s Martin. Since he went
back to work, he?s taken to
calling me as soon as he
gets to the office.
?Hi, gorgeous. How?s my
favourite Yummy Mummy??
I look down at my baggy
T-shirt and grey jogging
bottoms. When I got up
My steps slow as I pass.
I study them, wondering
how she isn?t consumed
with worry that one or
other of her children might
fall in.
When the woman sees
me, she smiles.
?First baby??
I feel my cheeks redden.
Is it so obvious?
?Yes. She?s two months.?
She kisses the top of her
own baby?s head.
?Mine?s twelve weeks. I
love this stage ? before
they start to crawl and get
into everything!?
I look at Jasmine and try
I wish things could go back to the
way they were before
this morning, I?d been too
tired to make a better
fashion choice.
?I?m good. Really good.?
?Great.? I can hear the
relief in his voice. I know
he?s been feeling guilty for
not having had more time
off. ?I knew you?d be fine
once things had settled
down. You?re doing
brilliantly.?
?Of course,? I say
brightly. ?When they gave
out the Mum of the Year
badge, my name was
already printed on it.?
I look at the pile of dirty
washing in the basket, the
breakfast things still
waiting to be put in the
dishwasher and the filthy
carpet that won?t get
vacuumed until five
minutes before Martin gets
home.
Before my voice can
waver, I end the
conversation.
As I wheel the pushchair
to the front door, I catch
sight of myself in the hall
mirror. Reflected back at
me is a woman I barely
recognise, and it?s that
image I have in my mind as
I close the door behind us.
I?m not the only mother
in the park. As I approach
the lake, I pass a young
woman with a double
buggy and a baby in a
sling.
She?s standing at the
water?s edge handing
crusts of bread to her twin
boys so they can throw
them to the ducks.
to imagine her crawling ?
heading for the stairs,
sticking her fingers into the
electrical sockets or worse
? and shudder.
Of course, I know about
stair gates and socket
protectors, but it?s as if I
have a heightened
awareness of the dangers.
As if all my senses are on
red alert.
I want to ask her how
she stays so calm, but I
don?t. Instead, I carry on
walking, past a mother
feeding her baby on a
bench and past another
with a dog on a lead in one
hand and a toddler?s reins
in the other.
Instead of making me
feel better, it just serves to
make me feel more
ashamed. I only have one
living thing dependent on
me.
It?s as I pass the
playground that Jasmine
starts to cry. I walk faster,
hoping that the increased
speed will soothe her, but
it doesn?t. Instead, she
becomes more agitated,
her fists waving in the air.
I?m embarrassed now.
My baby is the only one
crying and I know that I?m
going to fail at soothing
her.
Stopping beside the
swings, I lift my daughter
out of her pushchair. Right
away the tell-tale smell lets
me know that she needs
changing and her sleepsuit
is soaked through. I
fight back the tears.
6
?Oh, Jasmine, I?ve only
just changed you.?
Luckily the toilet block
isn?t far away.
Putting Jasmine back in
her pushchair, I hurry
towards it, relieved to see
that one of the doors has a
picture of a mother and
baby on it. I wheel Jasmine
in and slam the door
behind us, shutting out the
world.
However much I want to
give in to the tears that are
pricking my eyes, I know I
can?t; Jasmine needs
changing.
It?s as I lift her on to the
changing mat that I notice
something poking out from
There will be days when
you think you are the worst
mother in the world and
that you will never get the
hang of things. You?ll be
tired and emotional and
think that things will stay
this way for ever.
How do I know this?
Because I was once you.
Don?t struggle on your own.
Ask for help from friends or
family or, if things are
really bad, talk to your
doctor. You won?t have
failed, and you?ll be
surprised at how much
better you?ll feel.
Most of all, though, love
your baby ? and yourself.
You are a new mother and
Some of us are better at hiding
it than others
under it. It?s an envelope.
Wondering what it?s
doing there, I pull it out. It?s
sealed shut and written on
the front in ballpoint are
the words New mother?
This is for you.
I?m a new mother. Does
this mean me?
Curiosity getting the
better of me, I tear the
envelope open and pull out
the slip of paper that?s
inside. Jasmine is quiet
now, her blue eyes
watching my hands.
The note is short ? just a
single side on a page torn
from a notebook ? but, as
my eyes skim over the
words that are written
there, its message is as
valuable as anything
written in the baby manuals
I insisted on buying.
Dear New Mother,
Try not to worry too
much. In the early days,
you will find it hard. We all
have ? it?s just that some of
us are better at hiding it
than others.
Don?t Miss Out!
your local newsagent
to order this
magazine
you are doing the hardest
and most rewarding job in
the world. Well done!
Good luck, from someone
who?s been there, too.
I stare at the page in my
hands. It?s as if someone
has given me permission to
be doubtful and anxious,
and for the first time I don?t
feel so alone.
Quickly, I change
Jasmine?s nappy and, as I
wheel her out of the
changing area, I look
around, as though
expecting to see the person
who wrote the message.
It could be anyone ? the
mother with the twins, the
girl with the toddler and
the dog, or someone I?ve
never even met.
It doesn?t matter who it
is; it?s enough that
someone has reached out.
Jasmine is sleeping now,
her arms bent above her
head as if in surrender, and
I feel an overwhelming rush
of love for her.
This time, I know that if
she wakes and cries, I will
manage.
I look at my watch. It?s
twelve o?clock and Mum will
be on her lunch break.
Taking out my mobile, I
ring her number. She
answers immediately.
?Is everything OK,
Kerry??
?It is, Mum, but there?s
something I want you to tell
me. What was it like when
you first had me? Please be
truthful.?
Mum doesn?t speak for a
moment and, when she
does, I know she?s thought
carefully about her answer.
?I won?t lie to you, Kerry,
it was hard. At times I
thought I?d never sleep
again. That I?d never
understand what your
crying was about or what
you wanted me to do.
?When you slept, I went
into your room a hundred
times a day to make sure
you were all right.?
?Oh, Mum. I wish you?d
said.?
She laughs.
?I didn?t want to worry
you. Are you sure you?re all
right, darling??
?If I?m honest, Mum, I?m
frightened all the time.
Scared I?ll not be a good
enough mother to
Jasmine.?
?Oh, darling, I was
scared, too, but it was all
part of loving you. Part of
being a new mother and
wanting to be the best I
could. I expect Martin?s
scared, too.?
?Martin??
?Yes, it?s easy to forget
that it?s not easy being a
new father.?
?He?s never said
anything.?
?Neither did your father,
but once you and your
sister were older, he
confessed it to me. Talk to
him, Kerry. You?re on this
To guarantee you receive each issue
of ?The People?s Friend?, just ask
your newsagent to place a regular
order for you. Your copy of the
?Friend? will then be held for you
to collect, saving you having to
search the shelves.
Some newsagents may even offer a
home delivery service, so just ask
them about this service as well.
Simply complete this form and hand
it to your local newsagent.
journey together. The rough
as well as the smooth.?
?I will, Mum.?
I don?t tell her about the
note that?s in my changing
bag. I?m going to show it to
Martin when he comes
home.
As I push Jasmine back
through the park, I pass the
mother with the baby in the
sling. She?s sitting on the
bench watching her boys
play nearby.
Instead of hurrying to get
home, as I might have done
before, I stop.
?Do you mind if I share
your bench??
The woman smiles.
?Not at all. I was watching
you over by the swings. You
seemed so confident with
your little one. Far better
than I was in the early days.?
I?m surprised.
?You think so??
?Most definitely. My first
few weeks were spent
counting the hours until my
husband came home from
work. I thought I?d never
leave the house again.?
?But you seem so calm.?
She looks down at her
baby in its sling.
?It?s easier in some ways
when you have another
because you?ve done it all
before. Also, you don?t get
the time to worry.?
She looks at Jasmine,
asleep in her pushchair.
?It?s a tricky journey,
motherhood, but it?s worth
every bump and turn. You?re
doing just great.?
I smile at her and think of
the note in my change bag.
?Thank you,? I say,
reaching down and stroking
Jasmine?s downy head.
Something tells me that
after I?ve shown Martin the
note, I will no longer need it.
Tomorrow, I will seal it in
another envelope and leave
it for someone else to find.
Someone just like me. n
Please reserve/deliver* a copy of ?The People?s Friend? on a
regular basis, commencing with Issue No........ *delete as appropriate
Title/Mr/Mrs/Ms ...................... First Name ........................................
Surname ....................................................................................................
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loving
iStock.
This week we?re
BITS & PIECES 7
Folk Fun
Fans of folk culture are in for a treat
in Edinburgh from April 26 to May 6
as TradFest returns for its fifth year
with traditional music, story, dance,
craft, film and drama. Visit
www.tracscotland.org for details.
Picture This
Scientists have discovered that ?dogspeak? helps with bonding. Dogs paid
more attention to, and wanted to spend
more time with, speakers who used dogrelevant words and a higher tone, than
speakers who used normal speech.
Strictly Happy Day
Birthday greetings to Darcey Andrea
Bussell, DBE, former principal dancer
at the Royal Ballet and ?Strictly
Come Dancing? judge, and patron
of many dance organisations. Dame
Darcey will be celebrating her
forty-ninth birthday on April 27.
Plant Power
?Bosh!? by Henry Firth and Ian
Theasby (HQ, �) is packed full of
over 100 scrumptious recipes fom
lavish lasagnes to brilliant burgers
and perfect puds, all from plant
ingredients. It?s ideal for vegans and
lovers of good food everywhere.
No-frills Grill
The stylish stainless steel Morrisons
Health Grill and Panini Press opens a
full 180 degrees, ideal for closing to
make paninis or leaving open to cook a
full grilled meal on the two hotplates. It
comes with a three-year guarantee and
is only � from the Morrisons Home
range.
Alamy.
Keep youngsters (and the young at
heart!) entertained for hours out and
about or at home with the Doodle Now
and Go Chalk Book, �.95 from online
boutique EatWell www.eatwell-uk.co.uk.
The eight-page books come with four
ZeroDust? Butterstix chalks for easy wipe
on/wipe-off drawing with no mess.
Who?s A Good Doggie?
The Story Of Art
iStock.
For a natural indoor air cleaner,
try plants. The bromeliad came top
in a study of helpful houseplants,
removing up to 80% of unwanted
gases produced by everyday items
like paints, furniture, cleaning
supplies and dry-cleaned clothes.
iStock.
Fresh Air Plants
In The News
We hear a lot about antibiotic resistance,
so it?s good news that Australian
scientists have discovered that a protein
in the milk of the platypus has unique
antibacterial properties that could in time
lead to the creation of a new type of
antibiotic and help to combat superbugs.
Details correct at time of going to press.
Presenters Simon Schama, Mary
Beard and David Olusoga made
the BBC?s
?Civilisations?
compelling
viewing.
The recently
concluded
nine-part story
of the world?s
art from
earliest times
to the present
day is now out
on DVD, priced
around �.99.
Cromer
Colourful
This
week?s
cover
feature
Simon Whaley has to think
on his feet at an unusual
Norfolk zoo.
Photographs by Simon Whaley.
U
NCLE SIMON,
what?s nearly two
metres long, and
can lay up to fifty
eggs??
The problem with nineyear-old nephews is you can
never tell when they?re
asking a serious question, or
telling a joke.
?I don?t know, Ashley,? I
reply. ?What?s nearly two
metres long and can lay up
to fifty eggs??
?I don?t know either, but
there?s one right behind
you!? He points over my
shoulder and backs off.
I look behind and come
face to face with a large,
scaly, reptilian creature
waddling towards me.
Thankfully, there?s a thick
glass screen separating the
Cromer?s parish church with
the tallest tower in Norfolk.
two of us.
We?re in the Tropical
House at Cromer?s Amazona
Zoo. Spread across the
grounds of this fascinating
attraction is a collection of
over 200 animals from
tropical South America.
Not what you expect to
see in north Norfolk, but it?s
proving to be a fun day out.
The creature ? no
The beach is popular with
swimmers and surfers.
crocodile or alligator but a
caiman ? turns and slips
into the large pool of muddy
water, its head and eyes
breaking the water?s surface.
My nephew appears at my
side.
?I thought it was going to
jump over the glass.?
?With those little stumpy
legs?? I laugh. ?No, they
can?t jump. But those legs
THIS WEEK?S COVER FEATURE 9
How many legs do
flamingoes have?
are perfect for creeping
quietly through the tropical
marshes and sneaking up
on small birds and
mammals.?
?How many legs does it
have??
?Four.?
He writes the answer
down in his little notebook.
?What are we up to so
far??
?Sixteen.?
We?re having a boys-only
day out on our Norfolk
holiday, and in an attempt
to keep him interested
throughout the day I?ve
tasked him with counting
the total number of different
animal legs we come across
as we explore Cromer today.
So far, we?ve claimed two
from the strange, ostrich-like
rhea, four from the flexiblesnouted tapir, two from the
squawking parrot, four from
the iguanas, and now the
A chilled-out jaguar
at Amazona zoo.
caiman?s four.
?Did you know caimans
build nests?? Ashley?s finger
traces the words on the
information panel. ?The
eggs hatch in about six
weeks. The mother caiman
then takes her young into a
shallow pool to teach them
how to swim and catch
food.?
I marvel at a mother
caring for 50 baby caiman
all at once. I have trouble
keeping track of one
nephew!
Suddenly, there?s a tickling
sensation across the back of
my shoulders.
?Uncle Simon, there?s a
tarantula on your back!?
Ashley shouts.
?Get it off me!?
I turn round.
?That was me.? He giggles.
?The tarantula is in here.?
He points to a glass case
opposite, where a giant
spider sits silently.
?That?s another ten legs to
add to the list.?
?Eight,? I clarify.
?Tarantulas only have eight
legs.?
Ashley presses his nose
against the glass screen.
?But this one has ten.
Look.?
?Those two small ones at
the front are fangs.? I
shudder. All this talk of
spiders is not good. ?Come
on, let?s keep looking.?
Outside, we encounter the
monkey enclosure.
?You won?t like these
monkeys, Uncle Simon.
They?re called Geoffroy?s
Spider Monkeys!?
These monkeys have arms
that are longer than their
legs, and their tails are so
strong they can support
their entire weight. This
helps them swing from
branch to branch in their
native South American
forests.
?So how many legs do
they add??
Ashley chews the top of
his pen.
?I think it?s two.?
I nod in agreement.
Exploring the grounds
further, we see guinea pigs,
which originated from the
Andes mountain range in
South America, and claim
four more legs; a toucan
with brightly coloured beak
and blue feathers around its
eye, and two legs; then we
see a flock of bright pink
flamingoes.
?Wow! Look how long
their legs are!? Ashley points
across the water. ?Hang on
? they only have one leg.?
I smile.
?They have two?
Ashley frowns.
?No, they all have one
leg.? He points at several
different flamingoes, all
standing on one leg.
?They all have two legs.
But to keep their very long
legs warm they tuck one up
underneath their body,
amongst their feathers.?
We?re nearly back at the
start when we pass the
panther enclosure.
?There?s another four legs
to add to the list,? I suggest.
?They can run fast. When
they?re chasing their prey
they can reach speeds of
over sixty mph!?
?I couldn?t run that quick.?
Factfile
n You may think Norfolk
is flat, but the cliffs
around Cromer reach
heights of 230 feet in
places.
n There has been a pier,
or jetty, at Cromer since
1391. The current pier
dates from 1901, and
cost �,000.
n Cromer has two
lifeboat stations: one at
the end of the pier for an
all-weather lifeboat, and
one on the east
promenade housing an
in-shore lifeboat.
n The tower of Cromer?s
church reaches a height
of 160 feet, four inches.
n Cromer is the
birthplace of the British
inventor, James Dyson.
He sighs.
Ashley is flagging after all
this wandering around the
zoo.
?Shall we go and find an
ice-cream? There must be
one near the pier.?
My nephew nods his head
vigorously.
* * * *
From Amazona Zoo it?s a
short walk through town,
passing the parish church,
with the tallest church tower
in Norfolk, to reach
Cromer?s Pier.
Ashley?s still looking for
legs, and we add another six
to the list ? four from a
passing dog and two from a
seagull.
?Look at all those fishing
lines hanging over the pier,?
he says as we approach the
Grade II-listed Victorian pier.
?Fish are no good. They
don?t have legs.?
?I don?t think they?re
fishing,? I say as we draw
closer.
Stepping on to the pier?s
wooden platform, spying
the sea between the cracks
beneath our feet, we?re
overwhelmed at the number
of people lining both sides
of the pier. They all have
lines and buckets, and are
peering over the
railings.
10
Cromer?s Victorian pier is
perfect for crab-catchers.
Getting there
Cromer is on the north
Norfolk coast, between
Hunstanton and Great
Yarmouth. Take the A148
from King?s Lynn, or the
A140 from Norwich. The
Bittern Railway line links
Cromer with Norwich and
Sheringham.
?I?ve got one!? one
boy shouts.
?Bring it up carefully,
lad,? his grandfather says.
We watch as the boy
slowly pulls his bright
yellow line upwards, and
there, caught in a small
green net, is a crab!
?Cromer crabs are the
best,? Grandad says, ?and
they?re always partial to a bit
of bacon.?
He winks at us, then helps
his grandson take the crab
out of the net and drop it
into a waiting bucket. I spot
some seaweed and a couple
of pebbles in there, to make
him feel at home.
?We?ll go down on to the
beach and put him back in
the water. You mustn?t keep
crabs in a bucket too long.
They?re used to a big, wide
sea.?
?How many legs does a
crab have?? Ashley asks him.
?Ten,? the man says. ?They
use eight for walking, but
the front two have pincers
for grabbing food and
fighting.?
Ashley writes this down in
his notebook, before we
leave them to their crabbing
and continue looking for an
ice-cream stall.
?There?s one!? He pulls
me to the end of the pier.
Out comes my wallet to
buy two ice-creams topped
with lots of brightly
coloured gooey sauce and
some sweets. Well, we are
on holiday!
?What are those?? Ashley
points to the steep, grassy,
cliff-like embankment
separating the esplanade
from the main road. ?Are
they goats??
I?ve heard about these.
?They?re Bagot goats,
believed to be Britain?s
oldest breed of goat, and
they?re also hardy and easy
to tame.?
That makes them ideal
for keeping this cliff
scrubland under control
during the summer
months.
?Another four legs to add
to our list,? Ashley says, still
tucking into his ice-cream.
?That means we?ve seen
sixty-four different animal
legs today.? He pauses. ?I
meant to write down why
flamingoes stand on one
leg. What was the answer
again, Uncle Simon??
?Why does a flamingo
stand on one leg??
Ashley nods.
I grin.
?Because if he lifts both
legs off the ground he?ll fall
over!?
Ashley drops his head
into his hands.
?Uncle Simon, that?s a
rubbish joke!?
?I was only pulling your
leg,? I reply. n
These beach huts add
a splash of colour.
Want to know more?
Cromer and North Norfolk Tourist Information Centre, Louden Road, Cromer NR27 9EF. Tel: 01263 512497
Website: http://www.visitnorthnorfolk.co.uk/explore/cromer-tourist-information/
MADDIE?S WORLD 13
?To be honest, there
have been problems in
the square for years?
Photographs courtesy of Maddie Grigg.
T
In her weekly column,
Maddie Grigg shares
tales from her life in
rural Dorset . . .
HERE are rumblings
in the heart of Lush
Places as word gets
out that the parish
council is concerned
about parking in the square.
For years, the centre of the
village has been a bit of a
free-for-all when it comes to
parking, which has worked
out fine just as long as you
can find a space.
Latterly, Mr Grigg has
taken to parking diagonally
at the kerbside and others
have followed suit, meaning
that at least three more
vehicles can be
accommodated than before.
?It?s much better now,?
Peter Peter the Pumpkin
Eater said. His house fronts
the square and those
diagonally parked cars.
Then we hear that double
yellow lines might be
introduced because
inconsiderately parked cars
are slowing down the traffic
and creating a real problem
for large vehicles to
negotiate.
I?m all for slowing down
the traffic, as so many
vehicles exceed the 20 mph
speed limit. I?m thinking of
painting a Slow Down sign
on the back of my dogwalking coat.
To be honest, there have
been problems in the square
for years, particularly with
lorries trying to do a threepoint turn because their
satnavs insist our narrow
roads are really the best way
of getting from A to B.
I probably look out of my
window far more than
anyone else as I wait for the
muse to make herself at
home on my shoulder, and I
remember very clearly seeing
several collisions between
buses and parked cars over
the years.
I remember why buses
were instructed to do a
three-point turn in the first
place, rather than trying to
swing round the corner by
the pub, after one of them
took out some of the
brickwork.
So negotiating around
parked vehicles in the square
is not new. But the idea of
double yellow lines is.
?Creeping urbanisation,? I
say as Mr Grigg and I sit with
a group of neighbours
around a table in the pub.
?What?s this?? DJ Landlord
says as Mrs Plum serves up a
nice plate of steak and
kidney pie to Mr Grigg, who
rubs his hands with glee.
So Champagne Charlie
takes up the story and by
the time he?s finished we?ve
got double yellow lines,
traffic lights and box
junction markings all around
the square. In our heads, at
least, anyway.
Someone gets on their
high horse about how huge
farm vehicles have become
since the days when little
grey Massey Fergusons used
to roam our country lanes.
?It?s no wonder they can?t
get through,? the person
says. ?Have you seen the
size of those tyres? I?ve seen
countries smaller than that.?
With everyone fired up
about the possibility of
losing parking spaces in the
rush to speed up passing
traffic, Mr Grigg and I are
delegated to attend the
parish council meeting to
find out what?s going on.
So we turn up at a very
brightly lit village hall ? the
new fluorescent lamps are
positively snow-white ? and
sit to one side, the only
members of the public in
attendance.
?You?re welcome to
speak,? the chairman says
when we get to that point
on the agenda.
?We?d rather wait until we
hear what you?ve got to
say,? I venture, reluctant to
spill a whole can of parking
and speeding gripes before
we know their opinion.
Which is just as well,
because apart from
suggesting an advisory No
Parking sign on my
neighbour?s garden wall
? which they?re quite happy
about because it will help
prevent the one pinch-point
everyone acknowledges to
be an occasional problem
? the councillors spend
about three minutes on the
issue and then go on to the
next item on the agenda.
For once I?m pleased that
Mr Grigg and I have kept our
mouths shut. n
Parking in Lush Places square
has become a problem!
Marion?s Secret
SHORT STORY BY JESSMA CARTER 15
Hugh was
surprised to
hear his
playmate
from long ago
had thought
of him . . .
Illustration by Ruth Blair.
T
HE letter was from
Austin Reid. Hugh
had vague
memories of the
middle-aged, benign
lawyer who was a familiar
figure in the small town of
Mossbank where Hugh had
lived as a boy.
Mr Reid must be near
retiring age by now.
So Marion Westhall had
left him a collection of
papers in her will! Hugh
stared out of his office
window in Edinburgh and
mused over what the
papers could be.
Hugh had just started
school when Marion bustled
into his life. She shooshed
him out of the way in the
kitchen when she kneeled to
scrub the floor, she tutted
as she lifted toys from the
bedroom carpet, then she?d
smile, giggle and tease him.
Marion did everything in
a hurry, as if there were so
many daily tasks to be done
that every minute was
precious.
At the end of each chore
she would sigh, flap her
apron in the air and reach
up to tie back the loose
strands of her hair.
?Here?s hopin? the hob?s
nae in a huff.?
The cooker had been
recently installed and its
knobs and controls were
too ?new-fangled? for her.
At home she was used to
poking the fire to turn up
the heat and putting her
hand in to test the
temperature of the ovens.
Now she had switches to
control and watch for fear
they didn?t do what they
were told.
Hugh followed her into
the kitchen and she seemed
to take comfort from his
presence.
?Sit there and give me a
shout if the pot boils over.
But don?t you dare go near
it.?
?Now that you?re at
school, Hugh,? his mother
had explained, ?I?m going
to do some work myself
during the day, but Marion
will be here at home. She?s
going to come here in the
afternoons.?
?Who?s Marion??
?You know Marion. She
lives in the farm cottage
just up the road. She?ll do a
bit of cleaning and maybe
baking, and be here for you
coming home from school.?
Hugh chewed his toast
and thought.
?Will she want to play
games??
?I?ll ask her.? His mum
gave him a hug. ?She?s
co ming to say hello to yo u
this afternoon.?
That evening, Hugh
slipped out of bed and
listened to his parents?
talking.
?She?s as honest as the
day is long. Or so I?ve
heard. And good with wee
ones.?
?But she?s only sixteen,?
his father said. ?And she?ll
have learned bad habits
from that father of hers.
?He?s got a bad
reputation. Not a reliable
worker, so I?ve heard, and
that poor wife of his is ill
and back with her mother.?
?All the more reason for
giving Marion a chance. I?ve
spoken to her often and I
would trust her with Hugh.
He will be in her charge for
only a couple of hours until I
get home.?
Hugh had a good look at
Marion when she first came
to meet him. Of course he
had seen her before, but
never paid much attention.
What he noticed were her
reddish curls caught up in a
black ribbon and her bright
brown eyes.
?Hello, Hugh,? she said. ?I
think you and me will get on
fine as long as you keep
your hair on.?
Hugh laughed because she
talked such nonsense and
because he knew he liked
her.
Marion made everything
into a game. They?d see who
could be first to find the
other sock and put it in the
drawer with its twin; they?d
draw pictures for one
another to colour in and
when they?d decided whose
was best, that one would
get to choose what jigsaw
they would do.
Sometimes they?d just sit
in the kitchen by the stove
and Marion would ask Hugh
to tell her about his reading
book.
?I don?t know that story,?
she?d say. ?You tell it to me
and then I?ll tell you a story
I know.?
Later, when Hugh began
to get homework, Marion
would sit beside him at the
kitchen table and watch as
he wrote.
?That?s a capital A and
that?s a small a,? he would
mutter as Marion
watched.
They?d make scones
16
together. Hugh would
fetch the ingredients and
lay them on the table and
Marion would count out the
spoonfuls into the basin.
Sometimes Hugh would
like the look of a cake in the
recipe book. Marion got
flustered when they tried a
Caused those and such as
those to think about what
was important.?
Austin Reid?s face lit up
with amusement.
?And she made us laugh.
You?re staying at the Royal
Hotel, I believe??
?Yes. I?ll leave tomorrow
Marion had always encouraged
him to read
new recipe, said she had
forgotten her specs, and
then asked Hugh to read
out the instructions as she
mixed and sifted.
Sometimes he?d stumble
over a word and Marion
would encourage him.
?What does it begin with,
Hugh??
Hugh would sound the
letter and they?d guess.
?Sss. It must be sugar.?
?I think we?ll stick to what
we know,? Marion would
say. ?We?ll maybe just make
a cheese scone the day.?
* * * *
Hugh was bemused when
Austin Reid handed him an
old-fashioned leather
suitcase. It looked sturdy.
?No need to open it
here,? Mr Reid said. ?It feels
like it holds quite a lot of
papers.? He smiled. ?I?ll be
interested to hear what?s
inside if you feel like sharing
it.?
?You don?t know??
?I don?t. Marion was a
lovely woman who had had
a hard past. You know
about her mother leaving
her, of course, and that her
father was a bad lot.
?Poor girl never had much
of a chance, but she made
it. I?ve had many surprises
in my day and Marion
Westhall was one of them.?
Hugh was keen to hear
more.
?I only knew her as a boy.
She helped in the house and
looked after me on
schooldays until my mother
came home.?
He reached out for the
suitcase and almost groaned
at the weight.
?She spoke out. That?s
what we all admired. She
spoke out for whatever she
thought was wrong. Wrote
letters to the local paper.
morning.? Hugh lifted the
case, giving a slight groan at
its weight. ?It feels like gold
bars.?
Outside, Hugh raised a
hand towards Austin Reid,
who had already turned
towards the window where
he could watch his fellow
folk from Mossbank go
about their daily business.
At the hotel Hugh was led
up creaking stairs to a small
room overlooking the hills. It
felt as familiar as his old
childhood bedroom.
He hadn?t been back in
Mosstown for many years
and he noticed that the
town centre had changed
little. The river running
through the town centre and
the old humped bridge
made change almost
impossible.
He sat down on the bed,
leaned down towards the
suitcase and pressed the
locks which sprang open
with a click.
Slowly he opened the
case. Inside were browning
envelopes and piles of
cuttings from newspapers.
He lifted out some bundles
and laid them on the floor.
Underneath were what
looked like the old blue
jotters that every schoolchild
would have owned fifty
years ago.
Confused, he began to lift
papers and booklets out of
the case. What on earth had
Marion left him this for?
He stared at the scatter of
papers on the floor, then
lifted up the suitcase and
gave it a shake. An envelope
fell out of a pocket in the
case.
For Hugh.
Inside was a card.
Thank you, Hugh, for
teaching me to read and
write.
Hugh wiped tears from his
cheek. He remembered
Marion clearly, leaning over
him as he sat at the kitchen
table.
?Now, that?s not your
best writing. Do it again.
Look at the ones you did in
class.?
She?d point to his school
jotter, watching as he
concentrated on the paper
in front of him.
?Now, read to me what
you?ve said. Read it nice,
now.?
He shuffled through the
Ladybird books that lay on
the floor ? simple history
books, things-to-make
books, stories from other
countries.
Hugh remembered the
annual clear-out of his
room, Marion tidying up at
the beginning of the
summer holidays, his old
clothes given to the rag
man, his old toys and books
given to Marion to throw
out or take to a jumble
sale.
Many of the books he
had read to Marion.
?Just you read me that
story and I?ll tell you if you
make it sound right,? she?d
Dear Sir,
Once upon a time there
wasn?t a fast car in sight.
Now they whizz past the
school gates. It?s a wonder
the children are alive today.
From Marion Westhall.
Dear Sir,
Hurrah. I have been made
into a lollipop lady.
From Marion Westhall.
The two letters were
written six months apart.
Dear Sir,
Folks are not thinking
straight. Why are so many
apples lying unused on the
ground? It?s God?s good
bounty and the Chinese are
starving.
From Marion Westhall.
Dear Sir,
We were all right glad to
see so many apple-pies at
the Guild sale on Saturday.
From Marion Westhall.
Dear Sir,
Why are there no seats
along by the river? Folk like
a seat now and again.
From Marion Westhall.
Dear Sir,
Thanks to Miss Pinkerton
who left a seat by the river
in her will. Let?s hope others
die and do the same.
He was the only person who knew
what the suitcase contained
say, then listen and watch
his finger follow the words.
Hugh packed the books
carefully back into the
suitcase and picked up a
few folders. Inside were
sheets of paper of different
sizes, some yellowing with
age.
They contained what must
have been Marion?s
attempts at writing letters
and numbers. So she had
watched and copied.
Did she do it after her
father had gone to bed or
did he help her with her
writing? Unlikely, from what
Hugh had learned.
Why had she not
admitted to anyone that
she couldn?t read? How had
she managed to disguise it
for so long?
There were larger
envelopes, all bearing the
same title.
Letters to ?The Journal?.
Inside were neat cuttings
written over many years. He
picked out one at random.
From Marion Westhall.
Hugh fingered through the
pile of cuttings. There must
be hundreds. He shook his
head. It would take him
some time to learn to look
anew at Marion Westhall.
At the bottom of the
suitcase was a small, white,
ordinary-looking envelope
addressed to him.
He opened it carefully and
drew out the single page.
Hello, Hugh,
You?re the only one that
knows my secret. I?d like it
to stay that way, if you
don?t mind. I missed you a
lot when you went away but
I read about you.
Do you hear that? I read
about you!
Marion.
* * * *
Julie, Hugh?s wife, looked
at the suitcase he carried
into the house.
?More homework??
He kissed her.
?Letters from the past.? n
wellbeing
Health &
Great advice to keep you happy and healthy
Q. My husband often says he can?t hear me because I don?t speak clearly.
This never used to be a problem ? could it be my husband?s hearing?
Hidden
Hearing
Audiologist
Farah Kiani
is here to
help.
In the early stages of hearing loss,
we will do things to accommodate
it, such as turning the volume up
on the television, asking people to
repeat themselves and complaining
that people are mumbling.
In your case, the question of
In The News
Sleep Study
Snoring becomes much more
common with age as the
muscles of our neck and throat
soften and slump, but if your (or
your partner?s) night-time
grunting, snorting and whistling
is regularly keeping you awake, it
might be time to have a chat
with your GP.
Scientists in China have found
heavy snoring, particularly sleep
apnoea (which disrupts
breathing and makes sufferers
wake dozens of times in the
night) can cause damage to your
DNA that speeds the ageing
process and heightens your risk
of disease.
clarity of speech could well be down to
some form of hearing loss. The sooner
a hearing loss is diagnosed the sooner
effective solutions can be found.
This will benefit you both in better
conversations and less stress and strain
within the relationship, but also there
is growing evidence that improving
your hearing has a positive effect on
your overall health.
Please do encourage your husband
to have a free hearing test. Why
not suggest you both have one and
accompany him?
To book a free hearing test visit
www.HiddenHearing.co.uk/Friend or
call free on 0800 037 2060.
Blood Cancer
Checklist
Like many cancers, leukaemia is
increasingly treatable if caught early,
but its symptoms are often very vague
and easily missed. Look out for the
following signs and talk to your GP if
you are concerned:
? fatigue
? fever or night sweats
? recurrent infections
? weight loss
? bone and joint pain
iStock.
? bruising
? unusual bleeding from the gums
and nose
? a rash on the legs (small red dots)
Health Bite
The growing numbers of people finding
they are mildly intolerant to gluten has
fuelled a massive drive for gluten-free
products, but unless you are a confirmed
coeliac, you might find sourdough bread
easier to digest.
Most breads use baker?s yeast to help the
dough rise, but traditional sourdough
fermentation relies on ?wild yeast? and lactic
acid bacteria that are naturally present in
flour. This fermenting process gives the
characteristic sour taste and helps the
dough rise.
The acids produced during this process
slow down the rate at which glucose is
released into the blood stream and lower
the bread?s glycaemic index. They also
ren der the gluten in flour more digestible
and less likely to cause food intolerance.
We are unable to offer individual advice to readers. Please see your own GP if you have a medical problem.
HEALTH 19
Hand-holding
Eases Pain
Taking Vitamins
Does a tablet
a day keep the
doctor away?
Our Health
Writer Colleen
Shannon
reports.
I
T?S such an accepted part of our
everyday vocabulary, but the word
?vitamin? was not invented until the
20th century. A Polish chemist, Casimir
Funk, is generally credited with coining
the term around 1912.
The word is a blend of art and science,
based on the Latin word for life (vita) and
a chemical compound (amine, which
occurs in many vitamins).
Today, everyone knows that vitamins
are essential for health. But it?s still hard
to tell whether you?re getting all the
vitamins you need. We?re bombarded
with advice, claims and controversies.
To get an expert view, I asked
Dr Frankie Phillips for some commonsense information about vitamins. She is
a dietitian and spokesperson for the
British Dietetic Association.
She explained that vitamins are natural
compounds which the body needs for the
growth of healthy tissues, and to help us
make energy and fight off diseases.
We only need tiny amounts, which we
mainly get from our food and drinks, or
by taking a supplement.
By eating a healthy, balanced diet, most
people should get enough vitamins. You
can learn more by visiting the NHS
Choices website at www.nhs.uk and
searching for the ?eatwell guide?.
The exception is vitamin D, which
mostly comes from exposing your skin to
sunshine. Low levels of vitamin D are
It?s easy
to top up the
vitamins you
need
common at all ages, and this can cause
muscle aches and bone weakness.
Most people get plenty of vitamin D
between April and September by getting
their arms and face in the sun for a few
minutes each day. But because Britain
doesn?t get enough sun year-round,
Public Health England advises everyone
to take a supplement during autumn and
winter. The standard daily dose for adults
is 10 micrograms. Some people need to
take it all year, so check with your
pharmacist.
Other vitamin deficiencies are less
common but it?s still worthwhile to be
aware of them. People who follow a
vegan diet, without any animal-based
foods, are at risk of vitamin B12
deficiency. As we age, our bodies become
less efficient at absorbing vitamin B12. So
older people can be short of this vitamin,
too, regardless of their diet.
People who don?t eat enough fruit and
vegetables might be low in vitamin C. And
although it?s rare, a vitamin A deficiency
can affect your eyes and skin, and lower
your immunity.
If you feel your diet is not ideal, and
you might need a safeguard, Dr Phillips
suggests looking for a general multivitamin and multi-mineral supplement. It
should include a wide range of nutrients
at the level of 100% of required intake
(or RDA) to provide a balance in the right
amounts. More is not always better,
because with vitamins it?s possible to take
too much.
A multi-vitamin is also far cheaper than
buying lots of separate packs.
You can read more about vitamin
supplements on the BDA website at
www.bda.uk.com/foodfacts. This website
is well worth a visit, because there?s a
good collection of reliable information on
many diet and nutrition topics. n
When someone you love is in
pain, holding their hand will offer
comfort, but studies show
hand-holding can also help them
feel better.
Researchers at the University of
Colorado have found that holding
hands helps synchronise brain
patterns and eases the
perception of pain.
Scientists believe hand-holding
activates an area of the brain
called the anterior cingulate
cortex, which is associated with
pain, empathy and heart
functioning, and previous
research has shown that the
more empathy one person shows
for another, the more their pain
subsides during touch.
New Generation
Pain Relief
Flarin is a new formulation of
the painkiller ibuprofen, which has
been designed specifically for the
relief of ?flaring? joint pain, such
as rheumatic or muscular pain,
back pain and arthritis. A clever
new ?lipid formulation? means the
active ingredients are encased in
capsules which carry them through
the stomach and into the small
intestine where the lipids are
broken down, releasing the
ibuprofen.
This appears to increase its
potency without damaging the
lining of the stomach as ordinary
ibuprofen can. The lipid
formulation means Flarin is
absorbed
differently by the
body, which helps
to shield the
stomach from
damage.
Buy Flarin
(200mg) for �95
in packs of 30 at
LloydsPharmacy.
6 good reasons to eat
onions
}
}
Prevents Diabetes
One medium (100g)
onion contains:
l 44 calories
l 1.4g fibre
l vitamin C, vitamin B6, and
manganese
l small amounts of calcium, iron,
folate, magnesium phosphorus,
potassium, as well as
antioxidants quercetin
and sulphur.
}
BIT
If you start to suffer from
early onset hayfever, eat
more onions! They contain
quercetin, a potent natural
antihistamine and antiinflammatory shown to help
hay fever sufferers. In fact,
onions contain three times
as much quercetin as kale
? the next richest source ?
and 10 times as much as
broccoli. Red onions contain
more quercetin than white,
and avoid over-peeling
because 17 times more
quercetin is found in the
outer layers just beneath
the skin.
Cancer
Fighting
THE
SCIENCE
Ease Hayfever
}
Healthy Heart
A little raw onion
is enough to lower
production of ?bad?
LDL cholesterol. Slicing
sparks off a chemical
reaction that churns
out pungent sulphurbased compounds
designed to protect the
plant from infection.
These antioxidants
work with polyphenols
to act as natural blood
thinners, preventing
cell fragments called
platelets from clumping
together to form the
clots that trigger heart
attack and strokes.
If you don?t eat raw
onions, just chop
and leave for 20
minutes before cooking
to maximise their
beneficial effects.
HEALTH 21
Onions contain a plant
compound called allyl
propyl disulphide, which is
thought to have a similar
effect to insulin in
balancing blood sugar
levels. They are also a
good source of the trace
mineral chromium which
can help keep blood sugar
steady and help prevent
mid-afternoon energy
slumps. Clinical studies of
people with diabetes have
shown chromium can
improve glucose tolerance,
lower insulin levels and
even decrease cholesterol.
}
Quercetin is also known to
have cancer-fighting properties
which, when combined with the
fibre in an onion, offer great
cancer-protecting benefits. One
study showed that eating an
onion a day reduces your risk
of colorectal cancers. Another
study found that men who
ate the most onion and garlic
had the lowest risk of prostate
cancer. Onion is known to help
reduce the risk of oesophageal
and stomach cancer, too.
Onions count as one of your
five a day, and it is very easy
to top up your levels by adding
an extra onion into any homecooked meal.
Keeping Us Happy
Onions contain large amounts of
indigestible carbohydrates called
oligosaccharides which act like fibre
in our digestive tract, feeding our
good bacteria ? which is known to
help improve immune function and
even reduce feelings of depression
and anxiety. Red have far more
polyphenols (key antioxidants) than
white. Pick the strongest flavoured,
most pungent types. Shallots are
great for this!
SHORT STORY BY H. JOHNSON-MACK 23
The Potter?s Clay
Helen was in a dark place, but the
artist knew a way to bring her
into the light . . .
Illustration by iStock.
T
HIS was it. This
little shop in a row
of converted
cottages, iron sign
above the door
proclaiming Perdy?s, was
the reason Hannah had
driven out to the heart of
sleepy Suffolk.
She peered into the bay
window and squealed in
delight when she saw,
amongst the gift items
displayed there, a ceramic
vase, its swirl of colours so
vibrant it immediately drew
the eye.
Hannah stepped eagerly
into the shop and found
herself in a cosy cavern
complete with beams, low
ceilings and sloping shelves,
all crammed with goods.
Her eyes searched for
more pottery like that in
the window. And there they
were, gathered round an
earthen fireplace.
Each single vase, pot and
plate was delicately
sculpted and so unique it
was as if an element of the
creator had been infused
into the clay.
Hannah had been
standing, rapt, for a while
when she heard a faint
whirring sound drifting
through the shop.
Moving towards the
source, she saw what must
be Perdy, perched in an
open doorway through
which a sunny courtyard
could be glimpsed.
Advancing in years but
just as graceful as one of
her creations, the woman
was absorbed in the pottery
wheel she sat behind.
She worked the machine,
eyes on the centre of the
plate, fingers moulding the
clay in time with the turns.
?Rowenata!?
Hannah?s cry so startled
the potter that she crushed
the clay between her
fingers.
?I?m so sorry!? Hannah
gasped.
The woman brushed
silver-streaked hair from
her face with the back of
her hand.
?It?s my fault. I didn?t
realise I had company.?
?I?m right, though, aren?t
I?? Hannah persisted,
gazing at the potter with
undisguised interest. ?You
are Perdita Rowen, creator
of Rowenata ceramics??
Perdita wiped her hands
on a well-used cloth and
stepped off her stool.
?I am, but it?s a long time
since anyone?s realised.
You?re a fan of my work??
Hannah nodded fervently.
?I?ve several pieces, all
special to me.? She nodded
ruefully at the mess on the
plate. ?So I feel terrible
about ruining this.?
?Don?t worry,? Perdita
said, waving Hannah back
into the shop. ?It wasn?t
forming right, anyway.
Now, can I help you find
something in particular or
are you just browsing??
?Actually, I?m here to add
to my Rowenata collection.
It?s taken me ages to find
anywhere that stocks a
decent supply.
?Forgive me, but why is
that, and what?s an artist
like yourself doing in a
sleepy village with only a
single stand of your lovely
work on show??
Perdita smiled.
?Times change, my dear,
and so does fashion; not
everyone remains as
enthusiastic about certain
crafts as you. Besides, it
takes me longer these days
to produce pieces good
enough for sale.?
?What a shame.?
?Not at all. Now I have
the peace I?ve always
wanted, and the leisure for
afternoon tea.?
Perdita gave Hannah a
deep appraising look then
smiled invitingly.
?Would you like a cup,
dear? You look as if you
could do with one.?
* * * *
Hannah sipped the last of
her tea in the comfort of
the back room.
Like the shop, it was
warmed by artistic clutter
and personal touches,
family photographs on
bookshelves and a corner
with kettle and mismatched
cups and saucers.
?You were right,? she
said. ?I did need that. How
did you know??
Perdita shrugged.
?The look in your eyes. I
had the same in mine when
I lost a loved one.?
Hannah started. She had
had no idea she was so
transparent!
To her surprise, she found
herself telling this relative
stranger about her mother?s
death almost a year ago, a
fact she could still barely
grasp, much less accept.
?Rowenata,? Perdita said
after she fell silent. ?It had
some significance to her??
?She bought me my first
piece when I turned twentyone,? Hannah explained,
?then on every birthday
after that except ??
She sniffed.
?It?s silly, but I felt that if
I could buy one myself, I
might cope with her not
being here for this one.?
Perdita rose.
?Do you have to be
anywhere for the next
hour? No? Then come with
me.?
Outside, Perdita passed
over a clay-stained apron
then indicated the potter?s
wheel.
?What?? Hannah gaped.
?You want me to . . .?
?Have a go, yes.? Her
hand remained a moment
longer on Hannah?s
shoulder. ?This is how every
piece of Rowenata began
? a wheel, a whirr and a
lump of clay.?
With expert ease she
threw a piece into the
plate?s centre.
?It takes a few attempts,
but believe me, it?s worth
the effort.?
And so, with Perdita?s
soft voice and hands to
guide her, Hannah pressed
her arms into her thighs
and heard again that
whirring sound. Only now
it was she who was
producing it.
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products must be in mint, re-saleable condition and in the original packaging. Please note delivery to Northern
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OnLine: www.dc-thomsonoffers.co.uk
SERIES BY DELLA GALTON: PART 4 OF 30
It was hard at first to
know just how fast to
operate the foot pedal, how
to moderate the spin of the
wheel so her hands could
start to open out then
mould the clay into shape.
It was even more difficult
to sculpt, spin and keep
clay and fingers moist from
the bucket of water at the
wheel?s side. But with
Perdita?s patient tuition it
became easier to work the
wheel and urge the clay to
move to her bidding.
As they worked, time
passed unnoticed. When
Hannah was brought back
to the present by Perdita?s
touch on her shoulder, she
eased her foot off the
pedal. The wheel slowed
and there, on the plate, sat
a crooked little pot.
* * * *
The pot, which she
nicknamed ?Wonky?, was
given pride of place on her
dresser. Hannah?s glow of
achievement remained even
after other, better-sculpted
items later joined it.
It would always be special
to her, she explained to her
tutor back in Perdy?s den
some weeks later.
?It marks the moment I
began to emerge from the
lonely place I?d been lost
in.?
Perdita nodded.
?Pottery can be very
good therapy for anyone
suffering from affliction or
stress, being such a calming
distraction from the outside
world. For as long as you?re
sitting at that wheel, there?s
nothing between you, the
clay and your creativity.?
?And when it stops,?
Hannah agreed, ?you feel
composed and triumphant,
with a little piece of magic
staring back at you!?
Perdita smiled.
?Precisely. And now
you?re getting so good at it,
you won?t need to buy any
of my humble creations.?
?Oh, no,? Hannah
hastened to correct her.
?There?s nothing that can
compare to Rowenata.
Besides, I?ll be back to buy
a piece every birthday,
remember.?
?Well, amen to that!?
Perdita laughed, and rose
to pour them some more
tea. n
Busy
Bees
Elizabeth spends the night at
the allotment!
Y
OU need to have a
word with your
mother.? Peter
sounded troubled.
?What?s she done
now?? Helena frowned as
she turned from the sink to
face her husband, up to her
elbows in soapsuds.
Sometimes she felt as
though she spent her entire
life cleaning. Either for other
people, being the owner of
Busy Bees, or for her family,
who were more than
capable of cleaning up after
themselves!
Not least, Peter. At least
Elizabeth helped with the
washing up if she came
round for Sunday lunch.
Peter picked up a tea
towel, having interpreted his
wife?s expression correctly.
?It?s not what she?s done,
it?s what she?s going to do.?
He sighed. ?She?s planning
to spend a night in Arthur?s
shed on the allotment.?
?What on earth for??
Helena hadn?t thought her
mum could still surprise her.
?She?s hoping to spot
some endangered lizard or
something. She wants to
stop the council selling the
allotments.?
Helena smiled. She was
secretly proud of Elizabeth.
?I just hope I?ve half her
energy and determination
when I?m seventy-three. Not
that that?s the point,? she
added hastily. ?Of course
she can?t spend the night in
Arthur?s shed. She?ll get
hypothermia.?
?He?s got a Calor gas
stove,? Peter said dryly. ?In
fact, Arthur seemed keen on
the idea. If I didn?t know
better, I?d say he?s got a
thing for your mother.?
?The old rascal!?
Everyone knew Arthur
Matlock was the oldest
bachelor in town.
?OK, I?ll have a word with
her. I?ll pop over tomorrow
morning and see if I can talk
her out of it.?
?Tomorrow might be too
late. Apparently there?s a
full moon tonight. All the
better to see by, Arthur
said. I think we may have to
act sooner than tomorrow.?
* * * *
?The things I do for love,?
Helena muttered as they
drew up alongside the fence
that bordered the
allotments an hour later.
It was already dusk.
Twilight was falling on the
allotments, half of which
had fallen into disuse.
No wonder the council
wanted to sell them off.
Helena could remember a
time when there had been a
two-year waiting list.
She and Peter left the car.
Sure enough, they saw a
light in one of the sheds at
the far end of the
allotments.
?Is that Arthur?s down
there, do you think??
?I guess so.?
?Well, you can go first.?
?Why me? She?s your
mother.?
?Yes, but you know Arthur
better than I do.?
?No, I don?t.?
They glared at each other
25
across the car bonnet.
Then Peter sighed and
threw back his shoulders.
?All right, all right. Never
let it be said that I don?t
interfere when interference
is needed.?
Helena breathed a sigh of
relief and followed Peter
through the five-bar gate.
A few moments later they
were hesitating outside the
shed door. It was impossible
to see inside because there
were pieces of sacking
pinned over the windows.
But they could see the
warm glow of light coming
around the edges.
Peter grabbed hold of the
door handle but Helena put
a hand on his arm.
?Do you think we should
knock first??
In the event, they didn?t
need to. The door was
suddenly swung open from
the inside and Helena found
herself looking into
Elizabeth?s surprised eyes.
?What are you doing here,
love??
Helena glanced over her
mother?s shoulder to where
Arthur was ensconced cosily
on a deckchair, with a
tartan rug over his knees
and a flask on the pop-up
picnic table beside him.
?We?d, um, heard that
you were searching for sand
lizards,? Peter said, glancing
at Helena for help. ?And we
wanted to warn you that
sand lizards are . . .?
?Not nocturnal,? Helena
said with a sudden burst of
inspiration. ?So you?re
wasting your time.?
?Yes, they are,? Arthur
called from the deckchair.
?I saw it on David
Attenborough the other
day.?
?That was geckos,? Peter
put in. ?We saw it, too,
didn?t we, love??
?We did,? Helena said
firmly.
?Oh,? Elizabeth said.
?Well, that?s disappointing.?
She winked in a way that
made Helena suspect she
had very possibly known
this all along.
?It?s very good of you to
come and tell us,? she said.
?Why don?t you stay for a
cup of tea while you?re
here? We?ve got plenty,
haven?t we, Arthur??
More next week.
Brainteasers
Missing Link
ACROSS
1 Put an end to,
ruin (7)
5 Fish?s respiratory
organ (4)
9 Autobiography (7)
10 Colour of old
photographs (5)
11 X?rated (5)
BALL
PLAN
OWN
KICK
12 Plant whose
roots are eaten
raw (6)
FLAT
GAUGE
14 Background
actors (6)
GAFFER
DECK
16 Take umbrage
at (6)
LOVE
EGGS
18 Unbleached
cotton cloth (6)
WHISKY
CREAM
19 Casual affair (5)
COMBINATION
HORNS
RUN
GEAR
GREEN
NUT
INNER
CENTRE
22 Decoration
known in the US
as frosting (5)
1
2
4
5
9
11
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
22
23
24
25
DOWN
2 Wales, in Welsh (5)
10 Secondary actions (of a
drug) (4,7)
3 Lithography, eg (11)
13 Astound (7)
4 Make certain of (6)
15 Moment to have a cuppa (7)
6 Stand?off (7)
17 Sound of pretend crying (6)
24 Plant support (4)
7 Part of a tree (4)
20 Furious (5)
25 Untidy (hair) (7)
8 Pierced (7)
21 Sound made by a snake (4)
23 Metric farmland
unit (7)
1
T
C O P E A S S E
U
D
H
R
R
I
N A B N
E
I C I L A S C E S G
S
C
4
R
R
C
ME N E
B
S E N P R A OR C
I
R K E
S
A
N
A O L
D
7
2
Sudoku
Fill the grid with the numbers
1 to 9 so that each row,
column and 3x3 block
contains the numbers 1 to 9.
2
3
5
3
6
1
8
9
T OR
O
E D I
V
T
E CON
A
D I V N E D E
P L U
N
D
M
E
13
4 6 5 3
7
1
1
2
9
8
11
12
14
15
8
10
12
14
20
21
I
P
R
D A T A I
H
U
S
10
7
12
B
E E
E
A
TW
L E D L OO
L
N
T
V Y E G
6
10
With the help of the Across clues only,
can you fit the pieces into their correct
positions in the grid?
ACROSS
2 Formerly married person ? Slacken
4 Chief journalist ? Trivial sum
6 Purplish fruit ? Optical instruments
3
8
Pieceword
O R T U L L
U
I
S P O E S T
Answers
on p87
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
word.
L
K N C E
Y E R
U
A S E S
PUZZLES 27
Have inside ? Allowed
Selection ? Reduce the numbers of
Disgusting or corrupt place ? Frostiest
Supplication ? Poorly lit
9
3
7
4
4
1 3 4 6
9 7
8
5 9
3
6
2
All puzzles � Puzzler Media Ltd ?
www.puzzler.com
Warner
A Weekend With
R
ECENTLY, along
with my colleagues
Jacki and Kirsty, I
was lucky enough
to spend a
weekend at beautiful
Alvaston Hall Hotel in
Cheshire, owned by Warner
Leisure Hotels.
We were there for the
very first ?Friend? weekend
break, where readers
would enjoy everything
Making new friends
as well as pom-poms!
Margaret from the production
team shares her experiences from
the first-ever ?Friend? reader
holiday at Alvaston Hall Hotel
in Cheshire.
Warner has to offer with
the bonus of some exclusive
?Friend? additions.
These included welcome
drinks to meet the ?Friend?
team, a goodie bag, a
coach trip to nearby
Nantwich and a craft
session making cards and
Easter chicks. There was
also a talk by much-loved
travel writer Neil McAllister
about thirty years of
writing for the ?Friend?.
Despite the fact that this
was technically ?work?, we
couldn?t have had a more
enjoyable weekend!
Those of you who have
stayed at a Warner Leisure
Hotel before will already
know the host of fun
activities available, as well
as the varied entertainment
put on every evening.
After a day of activities
including curling, archery,
meditation and dance
lessons, we were ready for
the fabulous evening meals
prepared by highly trained
chefs, while our waitress,
Claudia, and the other
attentive serving staff
made sure we had
everything we wanted.
It is the dedication and
friendliness of its staff
which give Warner Leisure
Hotels its justifiably good
reputation. Nothing was
too much trouble for them,
and we felt they genuinely
wanted to make our stay as
enjoyable as possible.
REAL LIFE 29
The jewel in our crown
was afternoon tea with our
wonderful Editor, Angela,
who travelled down
especially to meet our
readers. With many cups of
tea, and more than a few
pieces of cake and
shortbread consumed, this
was a great way to pass
Sunday afternoon!
All in all, it was an
amazing weekend and we
loved getting to know some
of our readers and hearing
their stories.
The next ?Friend? break
is on November 5. Hope to
see you there! n
Fancy joining us at
our Turkey And Tinsel
break at Nidd Hall in
Yorkshire in November,
where you will spend
four spectacular nights
celebrating an early
Christmas and New
Year?
All the details will be
in next week?s magazine
? don?t miss it!
All Change At
Dawson?s Dairies
Illustration by Mandy Dixon.
The Story So Far
PETER DAWSON?s four
daughters, JOANNE,
KATRINA, JENNIFER and
ALLISON, are reeling at
the news their father,
following a health scare,
is going to sell Dawson?s
Dairies.
The sisters are sad,
but the youngest, Allison,
decides that she, with
help, will take over the
cheese factory their late
mother helped create.
To improve his
fitness, Peter has begun
swimming, he confides in
his second-in-command,
LILLIAS. Agreeing they
must make the most of
life, Lillias tells Peter she
intends to leave once the
business is sold.
For the daughters?
plan to work they will
need the help of Lillias,
factory foreman JACK,
and AKBAR, the logistics
manager. Allison also
talks to neighbour
GARETH BALLIOL, who
supplies the factory milk.
Gareth has feelings
for Allison, but knowing
his reputation she keeps
herself at a distance. She
does learn from Gareth
that he?s heard from his
aunt SALLY POTTER, the
catering manager, how
anxious the workforce
is to know what?s been
decided.
While the sisters
debate the feasibility of
Allison?s idea, they catch
up on news. Katrina
confides how exhausting
it is to have children,
not knowing Joanne
is hurting about being
childless.
Once all four sisters
have spoken to their
father?s team, it?s time
to confront Peter . . .
As their gaze held, Lillias reminded
herself this was Peter, her boss . . .
A
LLIE, honestly!
You?re running
Dawson?s Dairies,
not a yoga
group. How on
earth will I find the time to
do what you need? But you
give me no option.?
As usual.
Jennifer didn?t say it; she
didn?t need to, Allison
thought, staring at the
blank screen on her mobile.
The horrible thing was,
her sister was right. Allison
was useless.
She ran her fingers
through her hair, tugging it
free of the hairband which
added to her tension
headache.
Six weeks after taking
charge she was already
making a hash of things.
The first flush of
excitement, the honeymoon
period of their new venture,
was over. Having found
Peter?s large office in the
factory too intimidating,
she was in the conservatory
at the back of the house.
The small desk was now
littered with Post-it Notes
and incomplete to-do lists.
Print-outs of the steady
stream of e-mails sent by
her sisters jostled for
attention, Jennifer?s neatly
prioritised lists competing
with Joanne?s PowerPoint
slides and Katrina?s streamof-consciousness musings.
Everything was marked
Urgent. Allison struggled
with the familiar sense of
SERIAL BY JOSEPHINE ALLEN PART 3 OF 6 31
panic. Where to start?
The urge to run away was
strong, but she?d done that
all her life when the going
got tough.
It was fine when she only
had herself to worry about,
but now she was
responsible for the
livelihoods of more than 50
staff.
Then there was the
investors? hard-earned cash
to think about: Dad, as the
main shareholder of their
new operation, and Joanne
and Katrina, the first to
inject fresh capital . . .
Dejectedly, she covered
her face with her hands.
Dad had tried to counsel
her but she hadn?t listened.
?Running any company is
challenging, even more so
when close family are
involved. You won?t have
the luxury of learning from
your mistakes. It?s sink or
swim, Allie.?
At the moment, she
wasn?t just sinking, she was
drowning.
* * * *
?Sorry I?m late.? Lillias
breezed into the board
room, looking unrepentant.
?I got distracted looking at
cruise websites. I?ve a
notion to go on one. It?s
perfect for a single traveller,
as you can just blend in.?
?You sure that?s why
you?re going?? Jack
grinned. ?The Love Boat,
Do-do-de-do-do-do-dedo,? he warbled.
Sally giggled. Akbar
looked confused.
?All joking aside, you
can?t be contemplating
going on holiday! Not at
the moment, when
everything?s up in the air
and likely to come crashing
down at any moment.?
Lillias simply smiled.
?Is that a new dress,
Lillias?? Sally filled the
awkward gap, pouring the
tea and pushing the biscuits
towards Akbar. ?That
colour suits you.?
Another new dress, which
made three in the last
month. And a new hairstyle,
if Sally wasn?t mistaken.
?Thanks. Apparently
pastels are very in this
season,? Lillias said,
shaking her head when
Akbar offered the sugar.
?We?re not here to talk
about the blooming
seasons!? Jack barked.
?Though, in a way, we are.
One in particular ? summer.
Our absent boss. Allison?s
made as many appearances
as the real summer has this
year.?
?Well, those girls have
big plans for the place. I
expect she?s working on
those, eh, Lillias?? Sally
said encouragingly.
Lillias simply pursed her
lips and shrugged.
Akbar straightened up.
?It has been six weeks
since Peter?s daughters said
they were taking over. We
have been patiently
waiting, all of us, anxious to
get involved, yes?
?With the possible
exception of you, Lillias. I
get the impression that you
see your future elsewhere.?
Lillias flushed, while Jack
stared at Akbar with
admiration.
?Is Akbar right?? he
demanded. ?Lillias, we
need to know if you?re in
for the long haul or if you?re
about to jump ship, to copy
the cruise theme.?
?That?s not fair, Jack,?
Sally said with a frown. ?I
know we?re all on edge, but
Lillias has dedicated her life
to this place.?
?No, Jack?s right.? Lillias
cleared her throat. ?I
promised Peter I?d stay on
for a bit to oversee the
transition, but after that
I?m going to take what they
call a bit of me-time.?
?None of us begrudge
you that, you?ve earned it,?
a clearly contrite Jack said.
?But there hasn?t been any
blooming transition! I
haven?t seen you spend any
time with young Allison,
showing her the ropes.?
?Because she hasn?t
consulted me. I admit, I
was a bit hurt to be
excluded while the plan was
being hatched, but I do
understand why. I would
probably have told Peter
before they were ready. I
wouldn?t have been able to
stop myself.
?But now . . . I don?t
want this new venture to
fail. I?d love to help,
contribute in whatever way
I can. But she simply hasn?t
asked me.?
?Nor me,? Akbar said
worriedly.
?Nor me, really,? Jack
confessed. ?I mean, we?ve
talked, and I?ve seen her
plans, but . . . Honestly, I
think she?s bitten off more
than she can chew, and I
can?t bear to tell her so. If
all four were here, it would
be different, but alone . . .?
?She?s not alone.?
Akbar snapped his biscuit
in two.
??That is my point. Her
sisters may not be here,
but we are. Between us ?
and that includes you,
Peter pushed the menu
towards her.
?I?m not the only one
looking different. Have you
had your hair done? And
you suit these casual
clothes. They make you
look younger, a bit less
stern. What I?m saying is,
you look great, Lillias.?
?Oh.? It was daft to be
blushing like a schoolgirl at
her age, but she managed
it just the same. ?Thanks.?
She buried her head in
the menu.
Allison was finding the pressure of
her new role overwhelming
Lillias, for the short term at
least ? we have the skills
and experience to make
this glorious vision of theirs
for Dawson?s Dairies
become a reality.?
Sally clapped her hands.
?Well said. But how??
?I hoped you would ask
me that.? Akbar produced
a folder with a flourish.
?The time for talking is
over. It is time for action.?
* * * *
Lillias pulled out a high
stool at the bench table
where Peter was sitting and
climbed on the tiny round
seat.
?Not built for comfort,
unlike me,? she said wryly.
?What?s wrong with
ordinary chairs and tables??
?It?s a juice bar. These
are bar stools.?
?A juice bar.? Lillias
grinned. ?Imagine! What
are you having??
?It?s called a Muscle
Man,? Peter confessed
sheepishly. ?Beetroot,
blueberries and something
called acai berries. I don?t
know what they are, but it
actually tastes quite nice.?
Judging by his
appearance, Lillias
reckoned, the berries were
doing the trick. Though
more likely it was his new
?work-life balance?.
?You really do look like a
different man,? she said.
?Swimming obviously
agrees with you.?
?I?m up to twenty lengths,
can you believe that? It
really clears the mind, you
know, just ploughing up
and down the lanes. I wish
I?d taken it up years ago.?
??Green Goddess: apple,
spinach, kale, avocado and
lime?. I?ll have that. I?ve
been going to the gym,
though I haven?t exactly
enjoyed it. Too many
torture machines.
?I?m thinking of taking up
cycling. You still look
ridiculous encased in Lycra
at this age, but at least you
get somewhere for all your
puffing and panting.
?And the range of bikes
you can get these days! I?m
thinking a road bike,
because . . .? Lillias broke
off, laughing. ?I?ll bore you
to death. Tell me, how are
things with you??
Peter shook his head.
?Have you thought any
more about what you?re
going to do long term?
You?re still determined to
leave Dawson?s??
?I?m sorry, Peter, I
haven?t changed my mind.
It was a difficult decision,
but now it?s made I know it
was the right thing to do.?
He patted her hand.
?Don?t be sorry. Look at
you, so transformed and
you?ve not even left yet!
I?m seeing a new you.
?So, what is this new you
going to do with herself? I
hope you?re not heading off
around the world in a
camper van or something?
I?d miss you.?
Lillias laughed.
?Nothing so dramatic.?
She sipped her drink. It
was surprisingly tasty,
considering it consisted
mainly of cabbage.
?I haven?t made any
plans, Peter. I?m lucky. All
work and no play for
the last thirty years
33
means I?ve paid off my
mortgage and grown
quite a nest egg. So I?m
considering my options.
?Thing is, I?ve no idea
what I want to do, or even
what I enjoy!?
Peter smiled at her
warmly. His hand still
covered hers. Was it
deliberate, or had he simply
forgotten to move it?
She was fifty-six years
old, Lillias reminded herself,
and well past fluttering
pulses. But clearly her brain
had not seen fit to inform
her fluttering pulses of this.
?Why don?t you come
cycling with me?? she said
impulsively. ?You might
find you like it.?
?Why not? Life?s too
short, isn?t it??
Their gaze held for a
fraction too long. This was
Peter. Still her boss, for
now. A man who hadn?t
looked at another woman
for twenty-five years, Lillias
reminded herself.
She slid her hand free.
?How is Allison coping??
Peter sighed heavily.
?Not well, to be honest,
but I daren?t say anything
for fear of meddling.?
?Peter, everybody needs
support, even you. Am I
not the living proof??
?Touch�! Her sisters are
trying to help, but from a
distance. They?ve got their
own lives to lead. I should
have seen this coming.?
?Perhaps. But neither
stepping back or stepping
in is a solution, is it? You
need to find a way to
support Allison. Strike a
balance between providing
advice and taking over,
because if you don?t . . .?
Lillias broke off to finish
her juice.
?I shouldn?t be telling you
this, but if Allison doesn?t
engage and consult with
Jack and the others soon,
she risks alienating them
and losing their support
and goodwill. And she can
ill afford that.?
* * * *
?I?m trying some Three
Tulsi herbal tea that
Jennifer left. According to
the packet, it provides a
beam of clarity and a joyful
lift of spirits. I could do with
both.? Allison pulled a face.
?I?ll stick to water.? Peter
took a bottle from the
fridge. ?Things that bad??
?Oh, not really. Lots of
plates to keep spinning,
you know??
?Only too well.?
Peter studied his
youngest daughter. Her
smile was fixed and her hair
was a tangle of knots from
her habit of twisting it
around her fingers.
?Your mum used to do
that, you know,? he said,
as she twined a long tress
around her index finger.
?Exactly the way you are
doing now.?
Allison looked stricken.
?I don?t mean to be a
constant reminder that if it
weren?t for me . . .?
?Allison!? He was aghast.
?It wasn?t your fault we lost
your mum. She knew ??
Peter stopped. Though
Claire had been well aware
of the risks, it wasn?t
something they?d have
shared with the three girls
at the time.
And afterwards . . .
Allison folded her arms
across her chest. Of all his
daughters, she?d been the
one who had defended his
decision not to let them
know he was in hospital.
To protect them, he?d
thought, just as he thought
he?d been protecting them
for the last twenty-five
years from knowing the
truth.
Peter guided Allison to a
chair at the table before
sitting down beside her.
?Allison, when she found
out she was expecting you,
the doctors told your mum
and me that having another
baby would be risky. Her
blood pressure was very
high; they were worried
about ? well, there?s a name
for it, I can?t remember,
and it doesn?t matter now.
?They told her she?d be
fine if she was very careful
? complete bed rest,
basically. She did slow
down, but not enough. And
I didn?t make her.?
?Oh, Dad.? Allison
gripped his hand, tears
running down her cheeks.
?What I?m saying, love, is
that you mustn?t blame
yourself. If anyone?s to
blame it?s me. I should
have forced her to rest.?
?Would it have made any
difference?? she whispered.
Peter sighed.
?You?ve no idea how
many times I?ve asked
myself that. And the
doctors, and the midwife,
too. Impossible to know
with any certainty, they
said. Sometimes these
things just happen.?
She was squeezing his
hand so tight it should hurt,
but instead it was
comforting.
?Jennifer said Mum used
to say she was like a shark.
If she stopped swimming,
she?d drown.?
Peter smiled weakly.
?Imagine Jenny
remembering that. Mind
you, in that one sense
Jennifer is very like your
mum. And the first moment
I set eyes on you I knew
Claire?s spirit was in you.
?It?s not painful to look at
you, it?s the very opposite.
Having to take care of you
girls was what kept me
going in those early days.
?And now, seeing you
work so hard ? and at
things that don?t come
naturally ? well, your mum
would be so proud of you,
as I am.?
?Oh, Dad.? To his
astonishment, Allison burst
into a loud sob. ?You?ve no
reason to be. I?m making
such a mess of everything.
What am I going to do??
Peter enveloped her in a
hug, relieved beyond
measure finally to be given
an invitation to help.
?You?re just a bit
swamped, that?s all. Tell
your old dad everything
that?s worrying you, and
between us we?ll come up
with a plan of action.?
* * * *
?Thank you so much for
taking time out of your
busy work schedules to
meet with me.?
Allison smiled brightly,
resisting the urge to fiddle
with her pen and instead
clasping her hands tightly
together on her lap.
She felt sick with nerves.
Dad had advised her to
wear a suit, to look the
part. But he?d also told her
to be herself, so clean
jeans, a plain white shirt
and hair tied back would
have to do.
Sally gave her a mug of
coffee. Allison wanted to
take a sip, but worried her
hands would shake.
?Actually, we were
delighted when you asked
Lillias to arrange this
meeting,? Akbar said. ?We
have some proposals of our
own that we would like to
share with you.?
?Excellent.? Allison gazed
down at the agenda
Jennifer had e-mailed. All
she had to do, her sister
commanded, was to stamp
her authority on the team.
Looking at Jack, Sally,
Lillias and Akbar, each of
whom had a million times
more experience than she
did, Allison decided that
Jennifer, for once, was
talking rubbish.
What she needed was to
get the team on her side,
and to do that she had
better be honest with them.
?Look,? Allison said,
pushing the agenda to one
side, ?I think it?s high time I
was straight with you. I
haven?t got the first idea
how to do this job I?ve
taken on. I don?t have a
business head, but I have
got a big heart.
?I want to make this work
? I need to make it work;
for you, and for all the
people down on the factory
floor, for my dad and my
sisters, and for my own
sake. But I can?t do it
alone.?
Her voice was wobbling,
not in the least bit
business-like, but she had
their full attention now, she
could see that. It gave her
the confidence to carry on.
?You?ll not be surprised
to hear that my dad had
some sage advice for me,?
she said, ?but you will be
surprised when I tell you
what it was. Consult, listen
and delegate, he told me.
It?s a lesson he never
learned, and it?s cost him
and this factory.
?But I?m going to learn
from that, so you?re going
to be seeing a lot more of
me from now on, and I?m
genuinely interested in
discussing your ideas. Can I
count on your support??
?How can you doubt it,
lass?? Jack said.
?I?ve just been waiting to
be asked,? Lillias told her.
?You are so like your
mum when you talk from
the heart like that,?
Sally added.
?We hoped that was
what you were going to
say.? Akbar got to his feet
and switched on the
projector connected to his
tablet. ?So we took the
liberty of preparing a little
presentation. With your
permission??
Allison smiled, feeling the
tension seep from her.
?Fire ahead, Akbar. I?m
all ears.?
* * * *
?I?ve just spoken to
Allison,? Katrina said. ?She
told me to stop sending her
ideas and concentrate on
helping her implement the
initiatives we already have.
The cheek of her, Jen!?
On the other end of the
phone, Jennifer allowed
herself a small smile.
?I must admit some of
your suggestions have
been, well, putting the cart
slightly before the horse.?
?You can talk! You?re
supposed to be mentoring
Allie, but from what I can
see, all you do is send her a
lengthy task list daily, then
chastise her for not having
completed it.?
?That?s unfair. I?m only
trying to keep her focused.
She?s lucky I have time to
do even that much. I have
a full-time job, a kid to
raise ? on my own, may I
add. I don?t have time to
hold her hand. Although,
lately, she?s been consulting
me less and less.?
?Whereas I, a stay-athome mum with three
children to look after, have
oodles of time on my
hands?? Katrina broke off.
?I?m on the phone to your
Aunt Jennifer, Ruby, I can?t
? oh, hold on a minute.?
Jennifer waited while
Katrina deflected a preteenage tantrum about
wearing nail polish to
school, explaining why it
wasn?t permitted.
Jennifer herself would
simply have informed her
niece that it was a rule to
be followed, but Katrina
was an explainer, and
always had been.
?I think we?re both
missing the point,? Jennifer
said when Katrina picked
up the phone again.
?Good grief, Jen! You
never admit you?re wrong.?
?Yes, I do. I just rarely
am,? Jennifer said stiffly.
Katrina stayed silent.
?OK, it?s a fair cop, guv,?
Jennifer said, laughing.
?The point is, I reckon we?re
both feeling a bit guilty,
and resentful, too. Guilt
about just lobbing stuff in
from the side-lines because
we?re busy, and resentment
because Allie is increasingly
doing her own thing. We
can?t have it both ways.?
?I know what you mean.
You should have heard her,
talking about her ?team?
? by which she meant
Akbar, Jack, Lillias and
Sally Potter! She was so
excited. I felt a bit left out.?
?Oh.? Jennifer took some
moments to digest this.
?Do you sense Dad?s hand
still directing operations,
despite everything??
?It had occurred to me.?
Katrina lowered her voice.
?I probed her subtly. ?Dad
has his own life to get on
with?, she told me. ?He may
have given me a few
pointers, but we?re doing
things my way now at
Dawson?s, not his?. What
do you make of that??
Jennifer felt exactly as
Katrina had ? like she?d had
a slap in the face.
?I think we need to see it
as a wake-up call. Teamwork was how we sold this
idea to Dad, but we?ve not
been working as a team,
have we??
?How could we, when
we?ve all got our own hectic
lives to lead??
?But we knew that before
we started, didn?t we? We
need to do more to make
this work, Kat, than sending
Allison occasional e-mails.
?I think we need to show
face at Meldalloch, all three
of us. Show some moral
support, if nothing else. I?m
going to call Joanne
immediately after this and
start making
arrangements.?
Katrina sighed.
?High-flying
businesswoman and super
mum rolled into one. While
I?m just ? well, I?m just a
Surrey Yummy Mummy.?
?You?re underselling
yourself, Kat. You?ve
devoted yourself to giving
your kids the best possible
upbringing. And it shows.
?You should be proud of
them and yourself. They are
a credit to you. Anyway,
you?re my sister, surely you
can see that my life . . .
well, most of the time I lie
awake at night, thinking
what a terrible mum I am.?
She frowned.
?Angus has no daddy,
and a mummy who spends
so much time working that
she?s permanently
exhausted. Do you know
what he said the other day?
That he preferred nursery
to home, because everyone
has fun there.?
?Oh, Jen, children can be
so harsh. Why don?t you
ever tell me these things??
?Because if anyone is
super mum, it?s you.?
Jennifer sniffed. ?You make
me feel such a failure.?
?Good grief! That?s
exactly how you make me
feel. What are we like??
?Sisters??
Katrina laughed.
?Yeah, sisters. So it?s
high time the four of us got
back together. I?ll leave
that in your capable hands,
I?ve a cake with Taylor
Swift?s face on it to bake.
Don?t ask!?
* * * *
?Right, I think that?s more
than enough to be getting
on with. Let?s just recap, to
make sure we?re all singing
from the same hymn
sheet,? Allison said.
She grinned at her sisters,
who were seated around
the dining-room table which
today was doubling as the
board-room table.
?You see? I?ve got all the
business jargon off pat. I
hope you?re suitably
impressed.?
?Recap away, boss,?
Katrina enthused. ?Run
your plan up the flag pole
and see if anyone salutes
it.?
?That way we can make
sure we?ve got all our ducks
in a row,? Joanne chimed
in.
?Make sure that we?ve
picked off the low-hanging
fruit,? Jennifer added. ?It
means getting the easy stuff
done first,? she explained
to a confused-looking
Katrina.
?Can I just say that this
had been a wonderful idea
shower?? Allison laughed.
?Er, I?m not sure what
that is precisely, but we can
touch base on that offline,?
Joanne finished
triumphantly before she
collapsed in a gale of
laughter.
?Oh, my goodness,
please tell me, Jen, that
you don?t really speak like
that at meetings??
?I don?t, but you wouldn?t
believe how often people
do. The ?elephant in the
room?, that?s one I hate
more than anything.?
?Well, there are no
elephants in this room.
Maybe the field mice
behind the skirting have
scared them away. I keep
hearing rustling. I think the
little blighters have taken
up residence.?
?I wouldn?t be at all
surprised; this house is in
need of some serious
maintenance.? Katrina said.
?I don?t know why Dad
didn?t sell up ages ago; it?s
far too big for him to be
rattling around in on his
own.?
Allison rolled her eyes.
?Did it never occur to you
that he kept it on hoping
we and our families would
visit, come to stay??
?Which we hardly ever
do,? Jennifer said,
grimacing. ?Though we?re
planning on being here on a
regular basis for the
foreseeable future. Not all
at once, but as per your
plan, Allie.?
?Talking of which . . .?
Allison frowned over her
scribbled notes.
?Jennifer, you?re going to
be working with Akbar on
the finances, right? Current
running costs, projections,
capital expenditure and, of
course, securing funding for
the new workers? cooperative??
?Yes, boss.?
Allison grinned.
?A bit of forelock tugging
wouldn?t go amiss, either.?
To her delight, Jennifer,
rather than taking offence,
actually laughed.
?OK, moving on, as they
say, to the new artisan
cheese products. We?re
going ahead with two, and
Jack?s in charge of
production, obviously, but
Katrina, you?re going to be
liaising with him.
?You?ll be promoting it by
taking samples to all those
trendy farmers? markets
down in your neck of the
woods in Surrey. I?m
working with Gareth to
target the local markets
and delis.?
?How is Gorgeous Gareth
these days?? Joanne
interjected. ?Still carrying a
torch for you??
Despite herself, Allison
blushed.
?What he carries is a little
black book containing the
telephone number of every
pretty girl in Galloway. He
has no intention of ever
settling down.?
?I wouldn?t be so certain
about that, Al,? Katrina
said. ?He?s never been
serious about anyone
because firstly, he?s
devoted his life to that farm
of his, and secondly, the
one girl he?s always been
keen on has made it very
clear that she?s not
interested.
Three faces rapt with
curiosity were gazing
intently at her. Allison?s
instinct was to clam up, but
they?d made a huge effort
to come here this weekend,
and they had also, clearly,
all agreed on a change of
tack.
There had been almost no
condescending remarks, no
dismissive waves of hands
or shaking of heads. They?d
listened to her.
They?d even deferred to
her when she was in the
right.
They weren?t slow to
disagree, but when they did
they?d explained
themselves. They were
here, in other words, for
her. So maybe she should
try to break the habit of a
lifetime, and not shut them
out.
?He?s too perfect,? she
admitted, colour flooding
her cheeks. ?You know:
handsome, kind to animals
and children and old
people, Farmer of the Year
I don?t know how many
times.
?Even if he does like me
? and OK, I do think he
might ? I?m just not in his
league. And yes, I do like
him, but there?s no way I?m
risking rejection or failure.?
?You?re letting the chance
of happiness pass you by
because you?re scared to
try?? Katrina looked
horrified. ?What do you
think might go wrong??
?I don?t know. Anything.
I?m not the settling kind, for
a start.?
?You?ve never tried, have
you??
?No, but . . .?
?And I know you?re only
twenty-five, but that
biological clock will start
ticking soon.?
?That?s enough, Katrina.?
Jennifer?s icy tone made all
three sisters turn to her in
astonishment.
?I was only teasing her,
Jen.?
?Well, don?t. There?s
nothing remotely funny
about it.
?For a start, you?re
making huge assumptions,
not only about Allie, but
about Gareth, too. Not
everyone wants to settle
down and have kids like
you did. Some people . . .?
She broke off, to
everyone?s horror clearly on
the verge of tears.
?Some people simply
don?t want to have a
family. They have their
career. They prefer the
single life.?
It was clear to everyone
that Jennifer wasn?t
referring to Allison and
Gareth any more. Finally,
they had a clue to the
mystery of little Angus?s
father ? or his lack of a
father.
?I?m so sorry.? Katrina
was out of her chair,
wrapping her arms around
her sister. ?When you said,
on the phone the other day
that you didn?t choose to
be a single parent, I
thought ? well, we all
assumed ? that he?d
scarpered, whoever he was,
when you told him you
were expecting.?
?No,? Jennifer said,
faintly. ?He didn?t scarper. I
did. You see, Allie, you?re
not the only one who?s too
scared to take chances.
?I never told him. He has
no idea that Angus even
exists. He doesn?t know he
has a son, and never will.?
To be continued.
Love reading? Don?t miss the Daily Serial on
our website: www.thepeoplesfriend.co.uk.
The
Farmer
& His
Wife
John Taylor?s
finding bedmaking a bit
of a chore!
I
?LL never forget the time we
went to visit our eldest
grandson when he was
working as a vet in the south of
England. We were staying in his
flat, where he was doing for
himself.
I know I was being very nosy,
but I couldn?t resist a quick
peek into his bedroom.
I shut the door quicker than
I?d opened it. Bed-making was
obviously not his strong point
? the bed-clothes were all over
the place! I wondered if he
ever made his bed or just
crawled in and pulled
everything over him.
I suppose I was surprised at
the mess because I?m so used
to seeing our bedroom with
bed made, no clothes lying
about and no dust.
Anne is very fussy about the
bedroom ? it must be tidy at
all times. And the sheets have
to be changed once a week.
However, it must be said that
Anne and I are getting older
and we know it. Recently, I?ve
noticed one thing being said
over breakfast on Mondays.
?John, spare me five minutes
to change the bed.?
I?ll be honest with you ?
happy as I am to help Anne, I
hate bed-making!
We have a big brute of a bed
and I can see why she needs
help ? it?s so much easier with
two pairs of hands.
Anne has under-blankets
below the electric blanket. I
asked why. It makes it warmer,
was the answer.
These blankets plus electric
blanket need pulling and
straightening.
We still have the good
old-fashioned blankets and
cotton sheets. When we?re
making up the bed, Anne will
invariably come out with,
?Auntie Rachel gave us those
for a wedding present, do you
remember? You can?t buy them
like that any more.?
I?ll bet you can?t. They?re
thick and hard, but I suppose
that?s what the Victorians
wanted. I must admit they?re
too hard for me.
Every five or six months,
Anne gets an urge to ?do? our
bedroom. In other words, strip
the bed and move it and the
other three pieces of furniture
to dust behind and vacuum
underneath.
I can tell you our bed is a
nightmare to move. I used to
push it to one side of the room
which allowed Anne to vacuum
the area exposed. I then
pushed it to the other side to
let Anne get to that bit.
In the end, I found a solution
to all the heavy pulling and
hauling. I simply tipped the bed
up to one side, then the other.
I have to say I can?t see the
necessity of getting rid of every
particle of dust. But Anne says
it?s to be done, so there it is. n
More
next
week
36
Naturally
Sweet
Try our easy ways to your five-a-day
with our healthy fruit recipes.
Braeburn Toffee
Apple Cupcake
Course: Sweet treat
Makes: 12
Skill level: easy
n
n
n
n
n
n
n
n
n
125 g (4� oz) softened butter
125 g (4� oz) soft brown sugar
2 eggs
225 g (8 oz) self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp mixed spice
120 g (4� oz) Greek yoghurt
110 ml (4 fl oz) whole milk
130 g (4� oz) peeled and finely
diced Braeburn apple
For the Cream Cheese Icing:
n 125 g (4� oz) butter
n 250 g (9 oz) icing sugar
n 125 g (4� oz) cream cheese
n Splash of milk
For Decoration:
n 12 dehydrated apple slices
n 4 tbs shop-bought toffee sauce
1 Pre-heat oven to 180 deg. C.,
350 deg. F., Gas Mark 4. Line a 12-hole
muffin tray with cupcake cases.
2 Place the butter and sugar in a large
mixing bowl and whisk together until
light and fluffy. Whisk in the eggs one at
a time.
3 Sift in the flour, baking powder, spice
and mix. Stir through the Greek yoghurt,
milk and diced apple.
4 Using a teaspoon, divide the mixture
between the cupcake cases and bake in
the pre-heated oven for 15 to
20 minutes until risen and golden. Place
on a cooling rack.
5 To make the cream cheese icing, add
butter to a large mixing bowl and whisk
until white and fluffy. Whisk in the icing
sugar until combined, followed by the
cream cheese ? don?t over-whisk or the
cream cheese may split. Add a splash
of milk if you feel the consistency needs
adjusting.
6 Spoon the icing into a piping bag
fitted with a large open nozzle and pipe
a circle of icing on top of each cupcake.
Finish each cupcake with a dehydrated
apple slice and a drizzle of toffee sauce.
http://greatbritishapples.co.uk.
www.dole.eu.
COOKERY 37
Fruit Flower Power
Fondue
Course: Breakfast or snack
Skill level: easy
Serves: 5
n A selection of Dole� Resealable Fridge Packs ? for
example, Tropical Gold� Pineapple Chunks, Peach
and Mixed Fruit plus fresh apples, bananas and kiwi,
diced into similar sized chunks
For the Fruit Dip:
n 1 x 350 g pack of Dole� frozen triple berry fruit
n 2 apples, peeled, cored and chopped
To Serve: freeze-dried berries, crumbled; chopped dried
apricots.
1 Assemble 20 wooden skewers.
2 Thread 5 or 6 pieces of fruit on to each skewer and place on a
large serving plate or platter.
3 Add the Dole� frozen triple berry fruit pack to a NutriBullet or
blender, along with the chopped apples and 4 tablespoons of
water. Blend until smooth.
4 Transfer the fruit dip to a small bowl and place on a serving plate.
5 Serve with a small bowl of freeze-dried berries and dried apricots.
Simply dip the skewers into the fruit dip to coat and then in to the
dried fruits to add a crunchier texture.
Pineapple and Chicken
Salad Cups
Course: Lunch or snack
n
n
n
n
n
n
n
n
n
n
n
Skill level: easy
Serves: 2
2 tbs olive oil
100 g (3� oz) diced chicken breast
� tsp Chinese Five-spice
� pack Dole� Tropical Gold� pineapple chunks (in
resealable fridge packs), drained and chopped (reserve
the juice)
2 spring onions, chopped
6 cherry tomatoes, halved (or quartered if you?re
making this for young children)
2 tbs reserved pineapple juice
� green chilli, deseeded and chopped finely
2 tbs white wine vinegar
1 gem lettuce
Handful of chopped coriander leaves
1 Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a pan and add the diced
www.dole.eu.
chicken. Sprinkle with the Chinese Five-spice and fry for 10 minutes
until cooked through. Transfer into a bowl and allow to cool.
2 Mix in the Dole pineapple chunks, spring onions and cherry
tomatoes.
3 Make a dressing by placing the reserved pineapple juice, chilli,
white wine vinegar and remaining oil into a bowl and whisking
together.
4 Separate leaves from the gem lettuce and place on a platter. Fill
each leaf with a dollop of the chicken mixture and drizzle over a little
dressing. Finish with a sprinkle of coriander leaves.
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.
www.dole.eu.
Raspberry, Blackberry,
Peach, Almond Butter
and Yoghurt Smoothie
Course: Breakfast
n
n
n
n
n
Skill level: easy
Serves: 2
1 x punnet raspberries
1 x punnet blackberries
1 peach, stoned and chopped
Almond butter, to taste
Yoghurt, to taste
1 Put a handful of raspberries, a handful of blackberries and the
chopped peach into a blender or smoothie maker.
2 Add a dollop of almond butter and a dollop of yoghurt then whiz
until smooth. Add a little water or milk if it?s too thick.
3 Pour into glasses and drink straight away.
https://berryworld.com/
Sugar-free and Glutenfree Peach Muffins
Course: Sweet treat
n
n
n
n
n
n
n
n
n
n
Skill level: easy
Makes: 12
50 g (1� oz) pumpkin seeds
25 g (1 oz) butter
1 apple, quartered and cored
� x pack Dole� peach slices (in resealable fridge
packs), drained and diced (reserve the juice)
1 egg
100 ml (3� fl oz) reserved juice
300 g (10� oz) gluten-free flour
2 tsp gluten-free baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp mixed spice
1 Pre-heat the oven to 220 deg. C., 425 deg. F., Gas Mark 7. Line a
12-hole muffin tray with paper cases.
2 Place the pumpkin seeds in a plastic food bag and crush with a
rolling pin.
3 Melt the butter in a small saucepan.
4 Grate the apple into a bowl and mix with the diced Dole peaches.
Beat the egg and then stir into the apple and peach mixture, before
adding the melted butter and reserved juice and stirring again (wet
mixture).
5 Sieve the flour and baking powder into a separate bowl, then add
the bicarbonate of soda and mixed spice (dry mixture) and stir to mix.
6 Gradually stir the wet mixture into the dry mixture with a metal
spoon until sticky and well combined. Stir in the pumpkin seeds.
7 Divide the cake mixture among the muffin cases in the muffin tray.
Bake in the pre-heated oven for 12 to 15 minutes, or until a skewer
inserted into the centre of the muffins comes out clean.
Next week: tasty brunch recipes.
For more delicious recipes visit our website:
www.thepeoplesfriend.co.uk.
SHORT STORY BY HELEN YENDALL 41
I Do,
Take
Two
Our first
wedding hadn?t
exactly gone as
expected . . .
Illustration by Helen Welsh.
I
WAS in my old room at
Mum?s, sitting on the
bed with the vicar. We?d
ushered everyone else
out.
The rain was lashing
against the windows and
drumming on the roof.
Whenever the wind stopped
howling I could hear frantic
voices calling downstairs
and the constant ringing of
the phone.
?So, what do you want to
do, Louise?? Reverend
Hughes asked finally. ?Is
the wedding on or off??
I?d always dreamed of
having a winter wedding.
I?d imagined my bride?s
bouquet of holly and
berries, a gaggle of
bridesmaids decked out in
green velvet, spiced mulled
wine, roaring log fires and
maybe even a sprinkling of
snow.
But I hadn?t reckoned on
Gertrude. Gertrude was
wild and brutal. She didn?t
care about the damage she
was causing, the hearts she
was breaking, the trail of
destruction she was leaving
in her wake.
Gertrude was the worst
storm we?d had up here for
decades and she was
ruining my wedding day.
My fianc�, Ian, and I were
due to be married in an
hour?s time, just a few
hundred yards away in the
village church. I had spent
the last week decorating it
and we?d been planning the
wedding for over a year.
Dozens of friends and
relatives had made the
journey from all over the
country to join in with our
happy day. Some had even
travelled from the other
side of the world.
We had plenty of
umbrellas and wellies, and
the situation wasn?t too
bad here, but everywhere
below us, in the valley, was
flooded. And my father,
who was due to walk me
down the aisle and give me
away, was stranded in the
village where he lived, six
miles to the north.
?They do say rain on your
wedding day is lucky,? the
vicar added.
I sniffed.
?So I?m just about the
luckiest girl in the world.?
I managed a shrug and a
smile. Then I dissolved in
tears again.
There was a tap on the
bedroom door and Josh,
Ian?s teenage son and our
best man, shuffled in,
holding out a mobile
phone.
He looked awkward in his
slightly-too-big suit. His
cravat was askew and his
hair was all over the place.
I worried about Josh. I
could hardly ever get a
word out of him and I
wondered if he even liked
me. He was usually glued to
his tablet or his PlayStation
when I was at Ian?s house,
and I got a grunt or a
raised eyebrow to any
question.
Although it had been five
years since his mother had
died, it had been just him
and Ian for so long, I
wondered how Josh really
felt about me marrying his
dad.
?He?s just shy. He?s at a
funny age,? Ian explained
when I raised my concerns,
but I still wasn?t sure and I
didn?t know Josh well
enough to sit him down and
ask him.
?It?s hard with
teenagers,? my dad said
when I mentioned it to him.
?You weren?t exactly an
angel yourself, Lou.?
?But you turned out all
right, didn?t you?? he
added with a grin. ?Josh
will be fine. You?ll grow to
love him. Just wait and
see.?
Now I took the phone
Josh was holding out to me
and frowned.
?I thought all the
networks were down??
He shrugged.
?Mine still works. It?s
your dad.?
For a moment I couldn?t
speak for the lump in my
throat.
Just about now, Dad
should be helping me ? and
my huge dress ? into the
chauffeur-driven limousine
that was due to do a couple
of slow laps around the
village before drawing up at
the church.
I?d imagined the
neighbours that I?d known
all my life waving me off in
the street. The street that
was looking more like a
fast-flowing brook by the
second.
The line was bad and I
had to press the phone
tight to my ear, but even
so, I could tell Dad?s voice
was cracking.
He?d been picked up by
some friends who?d
managed to reach his
house, but they hadn?t got
very far before they?d had
to turn back and take him
home with them.
?All the roads are closed,
love,? he said. ?There are
police cordons everywhere.
We changed direction a
dozen times but the bypass
is closed and the water?s
like a torrent. It?s just too
dangerous.?
I felt sick. This was a
nightmare.
How could I go ahead
with the wedding without
my father?
There was a pause
and then he cleared
42
his throat.
?You know what I?m
going to say, don?t you??
he asked.
* * * *
?Marriage isn?t a fairy
tale,? Reverend Hughes
said gently. He passed me
another tissue from the
dressing table.
?For every better there?s
a worse, for every richer
there?s a poorer. Marriage
isn?t about the day, Louise.
It?s about the day after,
and the day after that.?
I knew he was trying to
be kind, but I was
inconsolable. My dad had
just told me the wedding
should go on without him.
?I might be able to help,?
Josh mumbled, staring at
his feet and blushing.
I?d forgotten that Josh
was still there, standing
near the door. I rolled my
eyes.
?Well, unless you can
conjure up a helicopter in
the next five minutes, I
doubt it.?
He grabbed the phone
back from me and darted
out of the room, pressing
keys and already talking on
his way downstairs.
I winced. That had come
out all wrong. I hadn?t
intended to snap at him,
but it was too late to call
him back.
The vicar patted my arm
reassuringly.
?This is a disaster,? I
muttered.
?No, it?s not,? he said
firmly. ?Trying to get
through those floods after
the police had turned them
back, now that could have
been a disaster. Everyone?s
safe and that?s the main
thing.
?You?re upset, of course.
It?s disappointing, but this
is still your wedding day
? yours and Ian?s ? and
dozens of your friends and
family are here. Some of
them all the way from
Australia. Are you really
going to let them all
down??
I shook my head. The
vicar was right: I couldn?t
do that.
Later that day, when I
walked down the aisle with
just my bridesmaids and
reached Ian at the altar, I
was puffy eyed, red-faced
and still crying inside.
There was no sign of Josh.
My stomach lurched. Ian?s
cousin was standing by his
side instead and he was the
one who tapped his top
pocket to assure me he had
the rings.
What had happened?
Had Josh refused to be best
man?
My snapping at him
earlier couldn?t have
helped. Or . . . no. The
awful thought crossed my
mind that maybe he?d run
off.
Would he really do that?
Send us all mad with worry
on top of everything else?
* * * *
Reverend Hughes smiles.
?Dearly beloved,? he
says. ?We are gathered
here, for the second time ??
he pauses while members
of the congregation nod
and exchange rueful smiles
?? but happily, under
rather different
circumstances.?
It?s the following spring
and Ian and I are having
our marriage blessed.
We?ve christened the
occasion ?I Do, Take Two?
and I?m so relaxed this time
that I don?t even mind that,
as Dad and I left the house
this morning in bright
sunshine, the chauffeur
stood on the train of my
dress, leaving a large black
footprint.
I shrugged it off.
?It?s probably lucky!? I
said with a laugh. ?Just like
rain on your wedding day.?
When we were planning
this, our second wedding
day, Reverend Hughes
pointed out that the order
of service for a blessing
dictates that the couple
enter the church together
without ceremony ? after
all, Ian and I are already
married.
But he must have seen
my face fall because he?d
patted my hand.
?However,? he said
firmly, ?given the
circumstances ??
?Yes, I want my dad,? I
interrupted. ?Is that
allowed??
He smiled.
?Of course it?s allowed,
Louise. Anything you want,
within reason. Obviously,
you won?t be exchanging
rings or signing the register
or anything . . .?
?No. But otherwise??
?Otherwise, you can have
the flowers and bells,
hymns and readings, the
whole thing. I sincerely
hope that you?re going to
wear that gorgeous dress
again??
I nodded.
?It?s been dry-cleaned
especially.?
Well, so much for that.
girlfriend and who?s here
today, sitting at the end of
an aisle, watching him
perform his best man
duties.
Later, we?re all off to the
White Lion for a slap-up
lunch and Dad can finally
make his father-of-thebride speech.
He told me on the way to
the church that he?s
fine-tuned it and we
laughed: he?s certainly had
It was the nearest to a speech I?d
ever heard Josh make
It?s got a big size-ten
footprint on it now, but I
really don?t care. All that
matters is that everyone I
love is here with me ?
including the three most
important men in my life
? Ian, Josh and Dad ? and
my dad has finally walked
me down the aisle.
We took our time. We
nodded, waved and smiled
at everyone, practically
taking baby steps.
?You?re my only
daughter,? Dad had said,
squeezing my hand in the
limousine as it crawled
three times around the
village.
?We?ve waited a long
time to do this and we?re
never going to do it again.
So, let?s make the most of
it, eh, Lou??
Josh had told me, at our
evening reception all those
weeks back, when the
power failed and the ceilidh
band were playing on in
darkness, that a wet knot is
harder to pull apart than a
dry one.
?So, if it rains when
you?re tying the knot,? he
said, blushing furiously,
?that means unity, and a
stronger bond that won?t
easily be broken.?
Ian and I glanced at each
other. It was the nearest to
a speech I?d ever head him
make.
?That?s lovely,? I said.
?But how do you know all
this, Josh??
He shrugged.
?I looked it up on
Google.?
Then he?d sloped off to
talk to a friend of his
cousin?s, a pretty blonde
who later became his
plenty of time to do that.
When Josh disappeared
on our wedding day, it
wasn?t anything to worry
about. Ian whispered it to
me as we stood at the aisle,
during the first hymn.
My clever stepson was
sorting out a Skype
connection in the church, so
that my dad and his friends
could watch the whole
service from home, on the
computer screen. It wasn?t
quite the same as being
there, but it was the next
best thing.
As the photographer
hadn?t been able to get
through the floods, Josh
took all the wedding photos
on his phone: atmospheric
black and white pictures, as
well as silly shots of guests
in wellies, with twirling
brollies.
He presented them to us
when we came back from
our honeymoon, in a
beautiful album, and I was
touched.
Not only had my new
stepson managed to
capture the lighter side of a
wedding that had, at the
time, seemed like
something of a disaster, but
he?d also managed to
airbrush out my tears and
put a little colour in my face
in the pictures.
I gave him a hug.
?You?re a genius!? I
exclaimed.
Josh blushed.
?I want you to know,? he
began, twisting his hands,
?that I think it?s cool that
you and Dad have got
married.?
And I cried all over again.
Only this time, they were
tears of joy. n
Coming Out Of His
Shell
Malcolm D. Welshman is delighted
to meet a tortoise that is nearly
two centuries old.
Debbie the manager.
people including the
Princess Royal, Prince
Andrew and the future
Edward VIII, who was
pictured riding on his back.
I feel a mere underling in
comparison, and very
privileged to be in such
august company.
To think, in his time,
Joanathan the tortoise has
seen 28 British Governors,
eight British monarchs and
51 Prime Ministers come
and go.
There?s even a grainy
black and white photograph
of him alongside Boer War
prisoners that dates from
1886, when he had been on
the island four years.
Measurements taken from
the picture show he was
mature at that time so
would have been about fifty
years old. This gives him a
birth date no later than
1832.
My meeting came about
as a result of a speaking
engagement of mine on
board a cruise ship where
one of the ports of call was
going to be St Helena ? a
tiny island in the middle of
the South Atlantic, 1,200
miles from the African
mainland and one of the
remotest places on earth.
My veterinary curiosity had
been immediately aroused
since I had read about its
most famous resident,
Jonathan, the Seychelles
giant tortoise.
He?s a national symbol,
appearing on the island?s
postage stamps and on the
local five pence coin. How
could I miss the opportunity
of having a t阾e-�-t阾e
with him?
The internet is an
indispensable tool and via it
the St Helena Tourist Board
did a brilliant job of putting
me in contact first with the
local vet, Catherine Man,
who looks after Jonathan
and then Debbie, the
manager at Plantation
House, the Governor?s
residence.
Here, Jonathan resides in
a paddock within the
manicured grounds at the
front of the house.
As I stepped off the ship?s
tender on to the tiny wharf
of Jamestown, the island?s
capital, I could imagine
Jonathan as a mere fiftyyear-old, being hoisted
ashore at the same spot
back in 1882 along with
several other tortoises. He
currently has three
companions: David, Emma
and Freddie.
Jonathan plays plenty of
attention to Emma, his
nubile young companion of
forty-nine.
?He constantly races after
her,? Debbie says.
Which in tortoise terms is
apparently � to 1 mph.
Jonathan is in good hands
regarding veterinary care.
He?s checked every Friday by
the island?s current vet, Cat.
Back in 2016 it was
noticed that Jonathan
seemed a bit off colour.
Lethargic, perhaps? Though
how you tell that in a
tortoise beats me.
He was seen to be picking
at leaves and twigs rather
than using his beak to shear
off blades of grass, a sign
that he had lost his sense of
smell. That meant he was
unable to detect food,
whereas his fellow giants
could still home in on the
tiniest morsel dropped on
the ground.
Coupled with the
Jonathan in about
1900, during the
Boer War.
Rex Features.
Photographs by Malcolm D. Welshman unless otherwise stated.
I
AM wary when the
world?s oldest living land
animal trundles up to
where I am sitting and
attempts to heave himself
over my outstretched legs.
Having no desire to have
my kneecaps crushed by
300 kg of giant tortoise, I
proceed to tickle his neck.
That does the trick. He
halts, stretches his neck,
head held high, and levers
himself up on his front legs.
Every sign says that my
neck scratch is pure bliss
and to please continue the
tickling.
?Well, matey, I wonder
how many times you?ve
enjoyed having this done to
you,? I say as Jonathan turns
his head and gives me a
rheumy-eyed stare.
His answer would have
been ?More times than
you?ve had hot dinners, my
man,? since this tortoise is
one-hundred and eighty-six
years old and, hot dinners
aside, has had countless
meetings with many famous
NATURE 45
The Governor?s
residence.
Stop right there!
development of cataracts
resulting in poor sight,
things didn?t bode well for
our elderly gentleman.
So a weekly food
supplement was instigated.
This now consists of fruit
and vegetables from the
Plantation House garden:
carrots, cucumber, guava,
bananas and lettuce. To this
are added apples and pears,
which have to be imported.
Cat tells me, ?He probably
gets more fresh fruit and
veg than most of us on the
island. And he makes me
quite jealous some weeks,
especially when the ship is
due and the shops are
running low on supplies.?
?But that?s no surprise, is
it, old fella?? I say. ?You?re a
V.I.P. ? a very important
patient.?
I lean across and rub my
nose against his beak. All
very friendly. No objections.
If he had wanted to,
Jonathan could have rapidly
retracted his head into his
shell by expelling air from
his lungs, which would have
produced a loud hissing
sound.
But no, he remains the
perfect gentleman, head
out, listening to me
blathering on. Seems his
hearing is still excellent.
Whenever they start
playing tennis he lumbers
over to investigate. In his
earlier days when he was
allowed free range round
the grounds, he would
make his way over to where
they were having tea parties,
causing havoc by stomping
through, overturning tables
and chairs.
It was the same when
croquet was being played.
He?d sit on the balls and
upend and buckle the
hoops.
Which reminds me ? my
knees are still potential
targets for being upended
and buckled. So I sensibly
swivel to one side and
Jonathan, having decided
he?s been tickled enough,
trundles past me for the
sanctuary of some shade.
Interview over. I smile and
pat his shell as he passes.
?You?re a remarkable
chap,? I murmur. ?Long may
you reign.? n
The tropical landscape
of Ascension Island.
SHORT STORY BY ANNIE HARRIS
47
Love In
Disguise
Smuggling was rife along this
coast, but Thomas had no notion
who the ringleader might be!
Set in
18thcentury
Dorset
Illustration by Martin Baines.
N
O, Papa, please.
We don?t want
him here.?
Squire Trenchard
looked across the
breakfast table at his only
daughter.
?I?m sorry, Sophia, but I
cannot refuse this request.?
?Of course you can,
Papa. You said yourself you
have not seen this Mr
Browning since your
university days.?
?But when Giles asks this
favour of me, tells me that
his son, newly qualified as a
physician, wishes to gain
experience of a country
practice, I must agree.?
?If that is what this son of
his wishes, let him go
elsewhere.? She tossed
back her hair.
?I told Giles in a previous
letter that now old Doctor
West has retired,
Overcombe has no
physician.? He shook his
head. ?How shameful that
it is 1825 and we have no
doctor here.?
?There are several in
Weymouth. You remember,
Papa, how Mrs Woods took
the seabathing cure last
year and spoke very highly
of her physician.?
?But the poor of our
parish cannot pay their high
fees.?
The squire sighed. If only
his beloved Charlotte had
not died in childbed, she
would have managed this
lovely but wayward young
woman who was the joy
and despair of his life.
?My dear.? He reached
across the table and took
her hand. ?I cannot refuse
my old friend. There are the
rooms at the back of the
house which you and I
never use.
?This young man ?
Thomas ? can have them,
with one as a surgery. No,?
he added as she opened
her mouth. ?It is our
Christian duty to our
villagers, if not Giles.?
He could have added that
he had his own reasons for
being glad to have a doctor
in such close proximity, but
he would not share these
thoughts with Sophia.
Instead, he went on.
?Giles writes that his son
was an outstanding student
at Bart?s Hospital, so you
never know ? we might be
harbouring a future Royal
Physician to King George
himself!
?And although I lost so
much when the county
bank collapsed, one more
mouth to feed will not
break us.? He smiled
tenderly at her. ?You are a
good little manager,
Sophia, as was your dear
mother.?
?Oh, Papa.? A deep blush
crimsoned her cheek.
?Not another word, my
love. I shall write today.?
?Very well. I shall ride this
morning. Hero needs the
exercise.?
?Dorcas tells me the
Revenue men were at
Lulworth last night.?
?Oh? Did they make a
seizure??
?No, but the smugglers
are becoming ever bolder.
Take care, my love.?
?I will, Papa.? Sophia
blew him a parting kiss.
* * * *
A month later Dr Thomas
Browning took up the
shabby valise that the
tranter threw down from
the cart.
?Thank you, Dewey.?
William Dewey touched
his cap.
?I shall collect your trunk
from the delivery office on
Thursday. Now, take that
path over there at the edge
of the wood.?
Thomas was halfway
along the path when he
heard a horse?s hooves. He
stopped and, peering
through the trees, saw a
black horse, the rider a
young woman in a dark
blue habit.
She was cantering
decorously along, side
saddle, but as he watched
she pulled up the horse,
looked around her then
threw one leg over the
saddle, touched the whip to
the horse?s flank and
launched into a gallop.
He could still hear her
laughter as they
disappeared.
He sucked in his breath.
Whatever would his mama
have said if his sister was
bold enough to ride like
that? Who could she be?
Some girl from the village,
presumably . . .
* * *
?Ah, here she is.?
The squire turned and
Thomas stifled a gasp as he
saw a slim young woman in
a dark blue riding habit.
?Sophia, may I introduce
our new doctor, Thomas
Browning, whom I?m sure
will be a great asset to our
parish.? He smiled kindly at
the young man.
?Your servant, ma?am.?
Thomas recovered himself
and bowed.
?Doctor Browning.?
Sophia inclined her head
coolly.
?Sophia, Dorcas is busy
? our housekeeper,?
the squire added to
48
Thomas, ?so will you
take our guest to his
quarters? Thomas, you will
wish to wash after that long
journey from London.?
Without a word, the girl
turned and Tom hurried
after her, through the back
of the manor and across
the courtyard, where she
pointed with her whip to a
pump.
?You can draw water
there.?
?Thank you.?
But she was already
leading the way up a flight
of stone steps and into a
suite of rooms, newly
whitewashed.
?These are your . . .?
?Miss Sophia!?
They both swung round
as a grubby urchin
appeared in the doorway.
?Will Yeo! What are you
doing here??
?Oh, miss, Granda?s
awful bad, and old Dewey
said ??
?Mister Dewey, to you.?
But Sophia was smiling
indulgently at the scamp.
?He said there?s a new
doctor and can he come??
?Of course I will, er, Will.
At once.?
Sophia put a hand on the
doctor?s arm.
?You will not be paid.
They are as poor as church
mice, and rogues into the
bargain.?
He looked down at her,
his brown eyes serious.
?I am a physician, Miss
Trenchard. I took an oath
to heal where I can ? and
not always for recompense,?
he added reproachfully.
She had the grace to
blush.
?I?m sorry. So many
doctors are greedy
scoundrels.?
* * * *
Thomas washed his
hands. As he stood at the
window drying them, he
saw Sophia canter into the
yard.
He watched her hand the
reins to the groom, then
went back to the old desk
the squire had given him,
opened his medical
reference book and was
immediately engrossed.
Minutes later, he heard a
footstep and swung round
to see her standing in the
doorway.
?Oh, I did not know you
were here. I ? I came to see
if your quarters are
adequate. I am sorry to
disturb you. Aah!? She
clutched her hand to her
throat and he leaped up.
?Miss Trenchard, are you
unwell?? He crossed the
room to her.
?No.? Sophia pointed a
trembling finger.
?That?? He suppressed a
smile. ?Oh, my skeleton.?
?You are a bodysnatcher?? Her grey eyes
were enormous.
?Not at all. I purchased
him from an honest dealer.
I wish to study anatomy in
more detail than was
granted us at Bart?s. Come,
let me introduce you.?
He took her hand and led
her over to the skeleton
which was suspended from
a large hook.
?Anatomy is fascinating.
See, there is the spine, each
vertebra separate, so that
he can bend and flex.?
He ran his fingers down
the bones, then lightly
brushed his fingers down
Sophia?s spine so that she
jumped and her cheeks
flushed peony-pink.
?I?m sorry.? He blushed,
too. ?I get carried away.
Don?t let me detain you.?
?No, tell me more. I am
interested.?
?Well, see how the
shoulder joint is articulated,
enabling his arm to move
back and forth. Likewise,
the hip, so that the leg can
walk, run, bend.
?This is a male, so his
pelvis is narrow, but if he
were a woman the pelvis
would be wide, to enable
the ? that is . . .?
He stopped abruptly and
cleared his throat before
going on.
?And see how the skull
sits on top of the spine. A
famous doctor has said that
nerves run up the spine into
the brain, telling one to eat
and speak, but his theory
requires much more work
to be proven.?
His enthusiasm was
infectious and Sophia
smiled.
?I think you may be the
very doctor who gains such
knowledge, Doctor
Browning.?
They stared at each other
for several moments, then
she spoke.
?I am keeping you from
your studies. I must go.?
* * * *
Thomas saw little of the
squire and his daughter for
several weeks, except at
supper time. He was kept
busy at his surgery, for
word quickly got round
Overcombe that the new
young physician was kind
and skilled ? and did not
immediately demand
payment, as old Doctor
West had done.
One evening, as they
finished their dessert, the
housekeeper appeared.
?If you please, sir, Miller
Ford is asking for the
physician. His wife . . .?
?I will go.? Thomas
jumped up. ?Mistress Ford
has been in daily
expectation of her
confinement. I fear it may
be twins, which is always
difficult.?
?Well, good luck, my boy.
I know you will do your
best. And what are you
doing, Sophia??
?Oh, I ? I thought I would
ride over to Millstock. I
have not seen Hester for an
age.?
Next morning Thomas
met Sophia in her riding
habit crossing the yard.
?Miss Trenchard, where is
your father??
?In his study. He seems
to be much preoccupied of
late, spending more and
more time in there. But
please, call me Sophia.
?No. I was in Weymouth
a few days ago to ask
advice on a case from
Doctor Moore, who has
established an admirable
reputation even whilst
working in this backwater.
?He was one of those to
attend the old King when
he came to take the waters
each summer . . .?
He broke off. The
conversation had, in fact,
turned to more personal
matters, with the older man
making him an offer that he
was now mulling over.
?He said there is much
smuggling in this area, and
the Revenue are
intensifying their searches
and night-time patrols.?
?Oh.? He saw an odd
expression flit across her
face. ?Please do not tell my
father. It will only alarm
him.?
?Well, the parish
constable, then??
?No.? She drew a deep
breath then went on more
calmly. ?I will deal with this
matter, so . . .?
At that moment, with a
clatter of hooves, a rider in
Revenue uniform rode into
the yard.
?Miss Trenchard??
?Yes.? It seemed,
incredibly, to Thomas as if
stark terror flashed in her
eyes, then she recovered.
?What do you require,
officer??
?I must see the squire.?
?He has given instructions
that he is not to be
disturbed.? She drew
A rider in Revenue uniform rode
into the yard
Miss Trenchard sounds so
formal. How is Mary Ford??
He smiled.
?She is well. And so are
her twin boys, though it
was difficult.? His tone
changed. ?But on my way
home last night I glimpsed
a band of smugglers.?
?Oh!? She gasped and
turned pale.
He took her hand.
?Do not be alarmed, Miss
? Sophia.?
?I am not.? She turned
from white to red and
snatched her hand back. ?I
was just surprised. You
must be mistaken, sir.?
herself up. ?You may tell
me your business.?
?Very well then, miss. A
lugger was spotted in the
bay along from Lulworth,
where we were waiting last
night. Our informant says it
was a Frenchy.
?Contraband was
certainly landed, but before
my lads could reach the
spot it had gone. We
followed tracks which
seemed to lead towards
Overcombe.?
?Thank you, sir. I will
inform my father,
although I am sure
you are mistaken. All
50
our people are lawabiding citizens,? Sophia
added piously.
He looked far from
convinced.
?I?m sorry to have
bothered you, miss, but we
are determined to root this
business out.? He touched
his cap. ?Good day.?
Wheeling his horse, he
rode out of the yard.
Sophia was frowning, her
lips pursed. She seemed to
have forgotten Thomas?s
presence, and when he
spoke she started.
?What?? she said
abstractedly. ?No, I shall
not tell my father. It will
simply worry him, so I shall
deal with it. James!? She
called to the groom.
?Saddle Hero for me,
please. I need to ride again
this morning.?
She walked off to the
mounting block, leaving
Tom staring after her,
uneasy . . .
* * * *
Over the next few weeks
the weather turned wet and
windy, and some nights
Tom fancied he could hear
mighty waves breaking on
the shore a few miles away.
He would lie in the
darkness, his head propped
on his hands, planning a
future as a world-renowned
physician.
He had done this for
years, since before his first
term at Bart?s, so it was
nothing new ? except that
now the shadowy figure of
a young girl with unruly hair
and grey eyes would
stubbornly intrude, wiping
away all other images.
More used to diagnosing
the ailments of his patients,
he failed to recognise from
his own symptoms that he
was in love.
One night his dreams
were shattered by an
urgent tapping on his door.
A villager in need of help,
even at this hour!
He opened the door to
see William Dewey staring
wild-eyed at him.
?You must come, sir. You
are needed urgently.?
?Of course.?
He hastily pulled on shirt
and breeches and followed
the tranter down into the
yard, where he saw in the
shadows a second man
half-carrying, half-dragging
a slight form, enveloped in
a dark cloak.
?Lend a hand, William,?
he begged. ?She?s
swooned.?
As Thomas bent to help
lift the inert figure, the
cloak fell back and he saw
the deathly pale face of
Sophia!
Between them they
carried her into the room
he used as his surgery. As
they laid her on the couch
her eyelids opened and she
whimpered with pain.
?Did she fall??
Dewey hesitated then
spoke tersely.
?A musket ball. Her
shoulder.?
?A ???
?William.? Sophia caught
at the man?s arm as he
gently pulled away her
cloak. ?You must ??
Her eyes went to Thomas,
bending over her, and she
stopped.
He saw them exchange a
look, then the man nodded.
?Isaac will help me put
the . . .? a swift glance in
his direction ?. . . goods
where they?ll be safe,
Captain.?
?Make haste now,? she
murmured. ?Do not fret. I
am in safe hands.?
The other man muttered
something, then they both
turned on their heels and
disappeared, leaving Tom
staring down at her.
?He called you Captain.
Not only are you with that
lawless band, you are their
ringleader!?
?What if I am?? She met
his gaze defiantly. ?Do you
not know how much our
people are taxed, almost
beyond bearing? And how
do you think you eat so
well when my father?s bank
was ruined??
?But . . .?
?I refuse to be a prim
young miss. Our society
endeavours to stifle women,
to keep us in our place, but
I cannot accept this.? She
gave him a sidelong look.
?I suppose you think I
should sit at the pianoforte
or my embroidery all day.
Aah!?
She gave a smothered cry
of pain as blood oozed
through her dark jacket.
?Oh, Sophia! My ??
He gently pulled away the
sodden fabric of her shirt to
reveal a slim shoulder, a
long, jagged slash across it.
He sucked in his breath,
swallowed hard, then
peered at it.
?You are fortunate. The
ball has passed straight
through, but I must . . .?
?No! I shall do very well.?
She went to sit up but he
pushed her back down.
?Don?t be a fool. I must
clean the wound or
gangrene will set in and you
She gasped.
?With care all will be well,
but if he should suffer a
sudden shock ??
?If I were arrested, you
mean??
?Precisely. I could not
answer for the
consequences.?
?I shall stop at once,? she
said determinedly. ?The
men will do likewise. It is
too dangerous now, and
none of us desire to swing
from Dorchester?s gibbet.?
?My reputation will be in ruins if
this gets abroad?
could lose your arm ? or
your life.?
She managed a weak
smile.
?Poor Thomas. How hard
it must be for you to deal
with such a lawbreaker.?
Their faces were very
close together.
?Oh, my dearest girl!?
The words burst from him.
?I mean, will you entrust
yourself to my hands? I fear
I must stitch the wound.
But I shall be as gentle as I
can.?
?I know. Please, I can
bear it.?
She turned her head
away as Thomas washed his
hands, then began . . .
When he finished, huge
beads of perspiration stood
on both their faces, but she
had not made a sound.
?You were very brave.?
He smiled down at her.
?But now, in case fever sets
in, you must spend the rest
of the night in my bed. I
shall lie on the couch,? he
added hastily. He lifted her
gently in his arms.
She gave a teasing smile
as he laid her on the narrow
bed.
?My reputation will be in
ruins if this gets abroad.?
?Sophia,? he said gravely.
?You must end this
smuggling. It is too
dangerous.? He hesitated
?There is something else.
Your father has sworn me
to secrecy but I fear I must
break my vow.?
?What is it?? She went to
struggle up. ?What is my
father keeping from me??
?He has consulted me
because his heart is
troubling him.?
?I am very relieved. But
we have to keep this night?s
doings from him, and
although the wound should
soon heal, your movements
will be restricted for some
days.?
?I shall tell him I had a
fall from Hero.?
?Yes, that should suffice.?
He paused.
?Sophia, you know that I
have been visiting Doctor
Moore in Weymouth.?
?Yes. He has a fine
reputation in the town.?
?Indeed. He has asked
me to join him as his junior
partner.?
?Oh.? She did not meet
his gaze. ?Then you will be
leaving us??
?Not immediately. I shall
not abandon my patients
here ? any of them,? he
added meaningfully. ?But
one of my fellow students is
seeking a position. He has
the makings of a fine
doctor, and I am sure he
will gladly take my place.?
?I see.?
She was still not looking
at him, and Thomas drew a
deep breath.
?There is one obstacle to
my moving to Weymouth.
Doctor Moore says many of
his female patients prefer a
married physician to attend
them.?
?Well, Thomas.? Still
unable to look at him, she
was fidgeting with a loose
button on his cuff. ?As such
a well-regarded doctor, can
you not prescribe a remedy
to that particular
problem??
?Oh, Sophia!?
And bending down, the
doctor kissed his patient. n
Inside next week?s issue
Our cover feature:
Willie Shand heads to
Blair Atholl and enjoys
some spring sunshine
On sale
every
Wednesday
Plus
7 short stories
l Welcome
a new arrival
with our
beautiful
baby
blanket
l Brunch
made easy
with a great
selection of
delicious
recipes
l Alexandra
Campbell
offers advice
on running an
Open Garden
event
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SHORT STORY BY EWAN SMITH 53
The
Friendship
Stop
The sign had appeared out of
nowhere. Who had ever heard
of such a thing?
T
ERRY was singing at
the top of his voice.
?Sweet Caroline,
do?do?doo.?
It was Friday
afternoon and, once he?d
emptied his trailer at the
council dump, the weekend
could begin.
He was the caretaker at
Hillside Primary. The school
playground was having a
revamp and his trailer was
full of rusty netball posts,
broken football goals and
other playground equipment
that was no longer needed.
?Woo!? Terry cried as his
van bounced over a hump.
The trailer bounced, too,
and he didn?t notice the
object thrown out on to the
pavement.
As the van hurried down
the road, Terry?s singing
faded into the distance.
?Good times never
seemed so good . . .?
Illustration by iStock.
* * * *
Mrs Parker frowned.
?Hold on a second,
Monty.? She stopped her
poodle as they were about
to turn into the park and
picked up the object lying
on the pavement.
It was a wooden pole set
in a wooden base with a sign
on top. It looked rather like
a bus-stop sign, but instead
it said The Friendship Stop.
There was a laminated
card attached.
Do you need a friend?
Stand by the Friendship
Stop and soon someone will
join you.
Mrs Parker gazed at it
suspiciously. She came to
the park every day with
Monty and she?d never seen
this Friendship Stop before,
yet it clearly wasn?t new.
Anyway, it was a
ridiculous idea.
Of course, there was lots
of loneliness in the world;
she sometimes wondered
how she would manage
herself without Monty.
But it was bizarre of the
council to think that you
could find friends simply by
standing beside a sign.
Shaking her head, she
placed the sign by the fence.
?Come on, Monty. Let?s
find some of your friends in
the park. I have a phone
call to make.?
* * * *
Valeria wandered slowly
along the pavement. It was
the first time she had
braved an outing on her
own since she and Jasiel
had arrived in England with
their eighteen-year-old son,
Manuel, a few days before.
Her two men were so
excited. It had been an
honour for Jasiel to be
appointed Foreign Artist In
Residence at Trentham
University for six months.
After years of struggle, his
talent was finally being
recognised. And Manuel
was overjoyed to be staying
in the country of
Manchester United and
Pink Floyd.
When the two of them
came home each day, they
were full of tales about
what they?d been up to. Of
course, Valeria assured
them that she loved being
in England, too, but she
was finding it hard.
This was the first time she
had left Venezuela and her
English wasn?t as good as
Jasiel?s and Manuel?s.
When people spoke to
her, she found it difficult to
understand them; they
talked so fast. Everything in
this country was so
different: the clothes, the
shops, the food.
The truth was that she felt
homesick. She hadn?t let
Jasiel and Manuel know ?
the last thing she wanted
was to spoil their adventure
? but she wondered how
she was going to cope over
the next six months.
* * * *
?Blast,? Cara muttered,
gazing at her phone.
She was on her way to
meet her sister at the caf�
in the park but Desi had
just sent her a message.
Sorry, Cara. Tammy next
door has gone into labour.
I?m on my way to the
hospital!
Cara looked around
gloomily. She?d had a busy
day: first a meeting at the
college about her daughter
Melanie?s trip to Spain, then
taking Gravy to the vets and
collecting Dan?s suit from
the dry cleaners.
Then she had taken some
lunch to old Mrs Wendell
across the road whose hip
was still playing up, done a
quick shop and cut the front
grass.
She badly needed a coffee
? and a doughnut into the
bargain.
She pictured a Boston
Cream with chocolate
frosting and custard filling;
that was what her body was
craving. But she could
hardly go to the Java Bean
by herself.
She sighed miserably. She
might as well turn round
and head for home.
* * * *
?I don?t understand. I?ve
never heard of this
Friendship Stop scheme.?
?The sign is by the park
entrance. I can see it from
where I?m standing.? Mrs
Parker was talking to her
cousin, Sandy, over the
phone. He was a local
councillor.
?For a start, it?s rather
tatty. I don?t think its
appearance does the council
any credit at all.
?But more importantly,?
she continued, ?it?s not
sensible to encourage
lonely people to hang
54
around street corners
waiting for complete
strangers to befriend
them.?
?It sounds barking mad to
me,? Sandy retorted. ?But I
wouldn?t put anything past
the current administration.
I?ll ask around and get back
to you.?
* * * *
Valeria came to a simple
wooden sign standing by the
park fence and stopped for
a moment.
She had been trying to
read the signs she saw on
her walk and was quite
pleased by how many she
had understood, though
some had confused her.
There was one by a piece
of waste ground which had
said No Fly Tipping. That
didn?t make sense at all.
?The Friendship Stop,? she
murmured to herself.
She thought that
friendship probably had
something to do with the
word ?friend?, and knew
that to stop meant to finish
doing something. But that
didn?t help her much.
She read the little notice.
Do you need a friend?
Stand by the Friendship
Stop and soon someone will
join you.
She understood that; the
meaning was clear. But it
left her even more confused.
Did people in England find
friends by standing beside
signs on the pavement? She
read the sign again,
wondering if she had
misunderstood.
?Are you looking for a
friend??
Valeria turned hurriedly. It
was a woman about her own
age.
For a moment, confusion
overwhelmed her at being
addressed by a stranger.
However, the woman had a
cheerful smile and Valeria
understood what had been
said.
?Yes,? she replied, being
careful with her accent. ?I
would like a friend.?
* * * *
It had just been a joke.
Cara had noticed the sign
and the woman gazing at it
and had made the remark in
passing. She had expected a
smile or a laugh in response.
So when the woman
responded seriously to her
question, she was taken
aback.
She stopped. It was clear
from the woman?s words
that English wasn?t her first
language.
?Are you here on a visit??
The woman thought about
what she had said for a
moment, then smiled
tentatively.
?Yes. I visit with my
husband and my son. Our
visit for six months.?
?Lovely.? Cara stuck out
a hand. ?I?m Cara.?
The woman took her hand
gently.
?I am Valeria.?
?What a beautiful name.
Welcome to Trentham,
Valeria.?
?Thank you.? There was a
moment of silence. Valeria
considered what she was
going to say, practising the
words in her head first. ?I
go for walk.?
?Well, you have a lovely
day for it.? Cara?s eyes
suddenly narrowed.
?Valeria, would you like a
coffee and a doughnut??
Valeria frowned. She
hadn?t understood the last
part.
?What kind of nut is this??
Cara linked arms with her
and led her off into the
park.
?Let me tell you about the
Java Bean?s doughnuts . . .?
* * * *
As it turned out,
communication between
them wasn?t a great
problem.
With Cara?s
encouragement, Valeria?s
confidence grew and she
understood a lot of what
Cara said when it was
spoken slowly and clearly.
Valeria told Cara about
her husband, Jasiel, and
how he had struggled for
years to make a living as an
artist. At last things were
improving and this latest
position was a wonderful
opportunity.
It was also a great
opportunity for Manuel,
who would be studying at
the university during their
visit.
Cara told Valeria about
her daughter, Melanie. She
was studying Art History,
and in a few months? time
she would be going on a
placement to the Prado
Museum in Madrid.
?My Jasiel know this
museum so well,? Valeria
said eagerly. ?He visit many
times.?
?Melanie would love to
meet him,? Cara replied,
then she grimaced. ?I worry
about how she?ll get on in
Spain. She?s been trying to
learn a bit of Spanish but
she hasn?t got very far with
it.?
Valeria frowned.
?But we speak Spanish in
Venezuela.?
Cara?s eyes widened.
?Is the Spanish the
same??
Valeria shrugged.
?It not very different.?
Cara looked at Valeria for
a moment then stretched a
hand across the table.
?I?m so glad we met,
Valeria. I think we?re going
to be good friends.?
Valeria smiled shyly.
?I think so, too.?
* * * *
Terry drove back from the
dump, whistling cheerfully.
Once he?d returned the
trailer to the school the
weekend could begin.
His whistle suddenly
faded.
?What is that doing
there?? he muttered.
He pressed his foot on the
brake and his van slowed to
a stop. There, on the
pavement, was the old
Friendship Stop sign from
the school playground. It
must have fallen off the
trailer.
He climbed out of the
van.
?I?m amazed.?
Terry turned as he picked
up the sign. It was an older
woman with a poodle. They
had just come out of the
park.
?Amazed??
?That is so efficient. I only
spoke to my cousin twenty
minutes ago and the sign?s
already being removed.
Excellent work.?
Terry hadn?t a clue what
she was on about.
?No problem,? he said,
tossing the sign on to the
trailer.
?It?s great to see the
council working well for a
change.?
Terry smiled as he
climbed back into the van.
?Have a good weekend.?
?Come on, Monty,? Mrs
Parker said eagerly. ?I?ll
write a letter to the
?Chronicle? about this.?
* * * *
?Valeria and I are going to
be good friends,? Cara said
over tea. ?I?ve invited the
three of them for lunch. It
would be a good chance for
you and Manuel to practise
speaking Spanish together.?
Melanie grimaced.
?It?ll be weird trying to
speak Spanish with a bloke I
barely know.?
She glanced at the photo
on Cara?s phone. Manuel
had olive skin, dark eyes
and long hair that tumbled
over his ears.
?On the other hand,? she
murmured thoughtfully,
?perhaps it would be a good
idea to spend some time
practising my Spanish.?
* * * *
?I had such a nice time
with her,? Valeria said
eagerly as she ladled out the
salad. ?Cara would like us to
visit her family for lunch.
Manuel, you can help her
daughter, Melanie, practise
Spanish.?
A grimace crossed
Manuel?s face. Giving
Spanish lessons wasn?t how
he had planned to spend his
time on this trip.
Then he glanced at the
photo on his mother?s
phone; the long hair, the
smile, the flashing eyes.
His eyes narrowed.
?I suppose I might be able
to spare time.?
Jasiel began tucking into
the food.
?So you?re beginning to
like it here??
Valeria?s eyes widened.
?I like everything about
this place. Particularly the
Friendship Stops. I love
them.?
Jasiel frowned.
?The Friendship Stops??
?Yes,? Valeria said
eagerly. ?If you are lonely in
England, you stand by a
Friendship Stop and within
minutes someone comes
along who is willing to be
your friend.?
Jasiel and Manuel looked
at each other as Valeria
sighed happily.
?This is a wonderful
country!? n
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PFROY
Set
in
1882
Alfred?s
Emporium
Illustration by Ruth Blair.
F
OR goodness? sake,
girl, stop snivelling.
She?s left and that?s
an end to it.?
?But I liked Rose,
Mrs Dee.? Molly sobbed.
?She was the only real
friend I ever had.?
?I doubt she?ll give you
another thought,? Mrs Dee
snapped back. ?You can?t
trust these lady companions;
they think they?re above
the likes of us. Now, get on
with your work.?
?Yes, Mrs Dee,? Molly
replied, listlessly mopping
the floor. ?But I won?t
forget Rose. She was kind
and you could trust her.
She never told tales to the
mistress, did she? Not even
about Mr Biggins eating in
the kitchen when he?s not
supposed to.?
Molly froze, shocked at
her own daring in speaking
out, but the dreaded
reprimand didn?t come.
She risked a glance at
Mrs Dee. The cook was
absently stirring the
pudding, deep in thought,
so Molly carried on with her
task.
?Biggins has been
fortunate,? Mrs Dee
acknowledged. ?He gets
away with a great deal. If
Mistress had ever found
him out, he?d have been
sent packing.?
Molly listened in
amazement. Never before
had she heard Mrs Dee say
a word against Biggins.
After all, it was known to all
the staff at Cross Roads
House that the two of them
had an understanding.
?I think Mr Biggins is too
clever to get caught,? Molly
ventured.
?Clever?? Mrs Dee
replied. ?Sly, more like. But
he?ll overstep himself one of
these days and it will all
come out.?
?I hope not, for your
sake, Mrs Dee,? Molly said
awkwardly.
?What do you mean by
that??
Molly realised from Mrs
Dee?s dark look that this
time she really had gone
too far.
?I mean that, if Mr
Biggins was caught eating
his meals where he?s not
supposed to, whoever
served him those meals
might get into trouble as
well.?
This was the first time
Molly had ever seen Mrs
Dee lost for words. It didn?t
last for long.
?That mop won?t move
itself,? Mrs Dee snapped
and began stirring the
Opening day
was here! Would
the new
Hapstall?s be a
success?
batter more vigorously than
before.
Molly, thankful not to
have earned a telling off,
bent to the task, but no
sooner had she finished
than Biggins came in by the
garden door, carrying a box
of produce.
?Last of the carrots till
next season,? he
announced, dropping the
box on to the pristine
kitchen table. ?A cold
morning for a man to be
out gatherin?. My fingers
was already froze from
holding on to Mrs Bassett?s
carriage horse.?
On that pretext, he made
straight for the armchair by
the range, his boots leaving
a trail of mud across the
newly washed floor, and
began to warm his hands.
??Tis well she didn?t stay
longer.?
SERIAL BY LOUISE J. STEVENS: PART 7 OF 7 57
?I know why Mrs Bassett
called,? Miss Baines said,
flouncing into the kitchen
just at that moment. ?It
was to tell the mistress her
good news. I was listening
all the time I served them
tea, though I made a show
of clattering the cups and
pretending I couldn?t hear.?
?Very wise,? Mrs Dee
muttered.
?It seems,? Miss Baines
went on in a conspiratorial
whisper, ?Mrs Bassett?s
daughter was planning an
unsuitable engagement and
Mrs Bassett has been
beside herself with worry.
And do you know who the
young man was??
Molly and Mrs Dee
waited to hear, but Biggins,
who?d already lost interest
in the story, turned his chair
away towards the fireside.
?It was that shopkeeper
from Datcherford,? Miss
Baines disclosed. ?The one
who delivers here. Mr Alfred
Hapstall.?
Molly gave a little gasp of
surprise.
?What was her objection??
Mrs Dee asked. ?He?s a
man of business, isn?t he?
I?d think he was a catch for
any Datcherford girl.?
?Not good enough for
Miss Bassett, evidently. But
the funny thing is,? Miss
Baines added with a wicked
grin, ?it all appears to have
been a mistake.
?Everything came to a
head yesterday when the
young man denied interest
in engaging Miss Bassett,?
she explained. ?Now she?s
to go off to Paris for some
months, much to her
mother?s relief. Did you
ever hear the like of it??
?You?d better take care,
Miss Baines,? Mrs Dee said.
?Don?t let the mistress hear
you spreading gossip.?
?I wouldn?t tell a soul!?
Miss Baines protested.
?Anyway, it?s settled now.?
?No. It isn?t settled! This
changes everything!?
Everyone turned to look
at Molly.
?What can you possibly
know about it?? Miss
Baines demanded.
?I know why Alfred
Hapstall would never have
married Miss Bassett. He
likes someone else better.?
?Who??
?Rose.?
?Rose Bryson?? Mrs Dee
asked.
?It?s true,? Molly replied.
?And Rose likes him. But
she must have thought he
was in love with Miss
Bassett. She wrote to him
to say goodbye. Look.?
She pulled the letter out
of her pocket.
?I was to put this in the
post. Rose thought she and
Alfred would never meet
again. And they won?t,
unless he can stop her in
time. She?s leaving on the
coach at one o?clock. That?s
why I have to get this letter
to him now.?
There was a laugh from
Biggins.
?Away with your romantic
fancies,? he said with a
sneer. ?Leave the young
man be.?
He turned away to warm
his hands by the range.
?How can you say that,
Mr Biggins?? Molly
answered passionately.
?Alfred and Rose could be
happy together.?
?There?s nought wrong
with the life of a bachelor;
he don?t need a wife to
fetter him.?
A chill fell on the room.
Neither Miss Baines nor
Molly dared look in Mrs
Dee?s direction. Mrs Dee
had her gaze fixed on the
back of Biggins?s head.
?So you think no man
should be fettered with a
wife, Mr Biggins?? she asked
in a dangerously calm voice.
Biggins, being neither
quick nor clever, took a few
moments to realise his
mistake. In the tense silence
of the room, he turned to
confront Mrs Dee.
?I didn?t mean . . .? he
began, cowering beneath
her glare. ?You and me ? we
has an understanding.?
?Quite,? she replied. ?An
understanding that has
gone on for more years
than I care to remember.?
?These things shouldn?t
be rushed,? Biggins
protested, but Mrs Dee was
not for turning.
?Put on your coat and
hat, Molly,? she ordered
without taking her eyes off
Biggins. ?Mr Biggins is
going to take you in the
cart to Datcherford and
deliver the letter.?
?Drive to Datcherford??
Biggins whined. ?I has too
much work to ??
?On your way back, Mr
Biggins,? Mrs Dee cut in,
?you may wish to go to the
parson and arrange for the
banns to be called.?
?Banns?? Biggins was now
visibly trembling.
?The banns for our
wedding. Until you show
intent to enter into
matrimony with me, you will
not take your breakfast in
this kitchen again, nor enjoy
the privilege of evenings by
this fire, nor have me
prepare your supper.?
Molly pulled on her coat.
?I?m looking for Mr Alfred
Hapstall.?
?He isn?t here at
present,? Mariah answered.
?I?m Mrs Hapstall, Alfred?s
mother. Can I help you??
?I?m a friend of Rose and
I have a letter I must give
to Mr Hapstall or it will be
too late, and Rose will be
gone.?
?Wait,? Mariah said. ?Tell
us slowly.?
?I have to find Mr
Hapstall,? Molly insisted.
?So that he can stop Rose
from leaving.?
?Leaving? Do you mean
Biggins took a few moments to
realise his mistake
The hapless Biggins was
staring at Mrs Dee with
disbelief, but he knew he
was beaten.
?Please hurry, Mr
Biggins,? Molly pleaded.
?There isn?t much time.?
Muttering darkly, he
stamped out of the kitchen.
* * * *
?This has been the best
day I can ever remember.?
?You?ve waited a long
time to drive Lissip, haven?t
you, Tom?? Mariah had
been waiting at the shop for
Tom to return. ?And now
you?ve proved you can
handle her, Mr Alfred may
want you to take over all
the deliveries.?
Tom jumped down from
the cart, polishing a smear
of dust from the side with
his shirt sleeve.
?I hope so, Mrs Hapstall.
I?ll always take the greatest
care. I know what pride Mr
Alfred has in Lissip and the
cart. He says it reflects the
business when people see it
being driven about.?
?I know you will, Tom. But
look who?s coming.?
Tom turned to see another
vehicle rattling down the
cobbles towards them.
?Oh, it?s Mr Biggins from
Cross Roads House, looking
more miserable than usual,?
Mariah muttered under her
breath. ?Who?s the girl with
him??
The cart had barely
stopped when Molly
jumped down.
?Good morning, ma?am,?
she said, steadying herself.
Rose Bryson is going to
leave Cross Roads House??
?Worse than that,
ma?am. She?s leaving
Datcherford. The coach
leaves at one o?clock?
?And you said you have a
letter??
?Yes. Here it is.?
Molly pulled the creased
envelope from her pocket
and handed it to Mariah.
?Rose wrote to say
goodbye to Mr Hapstall,
but I know she didn?t really
want to go. She thought he
was going to marry Miss
Bassett, but he isn?t, and if
Rose knew that I?m sure
she would change her mind.
I think Mr Hapstall won?t
want Rose to leave, either.?
?I know he doesn?t want
her to go,? Mariah said,
gripping the letter and
trying to think what to do.
?Tom, you know where
Mr Darrowby lives, don?t
you? Go there now and tell
Alfred he must come home
at once. Hurry.?
Tom was aboard the cart
and away in seconds. He?d
turned the corner before
Mariah remembered she
still had the letter.
?There isn?t much time,?
Molly replied fretfully as the
church clock began to strike
midday.
?We have to go.?
Everyone had forgotten
Biggins.
?We has to go now,? he
insisted, adding sullenly, ?I
must make another call.?
With a darkening face, he
took up the reins.
?I must get on, or
59
he?ll surely leave me
here,? Molly whispered
urgently. ?But you will find
Mr Hapstall and tell him,
won?t you, ma?am??
?Don?t worry,? Mariah
assured her. ?I know Alfred
will want to ask Rose to
stay. They?ll both be very
grateful for what you?ve
done, as am I. Thank you.?
With a blush and a nod,
Molly jumped aboard the
already moving cart and
was away.
?I hope Tom finds Alfred
quickly,? Mariah said to
herself. ?The post house is
half an hour?s drive away.?
Still clasping the letter,
Mariah paced up and down
the street outside the shop.
Her gaze was fixed on the
corner where, at any
moment, she hoped to see
Tom returning with Alfred.
But minutes went by and
the church clock chimed the
quarter hour.
A customer arrived and
Mariah went inside to serve
her. From there she heard
the clock chime the half
hour and still Alfred and
Tom hadn?t returned.
Another customer came,
then another, but she
scarcely heard their
pleasantries. She was
conscious only of the clock
striking the last quarter as
she weighed out tea and
flour and packed their
baskets.
She followed the last
customer into the street.
?What can I do?? she
muttered, still clutching the
now crumpled envelope.
One o?clock chimed. She
had just a slight hope Tom
had found Alfred and they?d
set off to the post house,
but this was the main
thoroughfare to the post
road and she would surely
have seen them pass by.
She stood for some
minutes looking at the
assembly building opposite,
the chill wind making her
wrap her shawl more
tightly.
?Why are you outside in
this cold wind, Mother??
Mariah spun around to
see Alfred strolling up the
street.
?Alfred! Where have you
been??
?I called on George
Darrowby but he wasn?t at
home so I went to see Mr
Lampton, the town clerk.
He opened up his office for
me on a Saturday! I had a
few questions but he does
love to talk and ??
?You?re too late.?
?Too late for what??
Mariah gave him the
letter.
?It?s from Rose Bryson,?
she said.
Alfred opened it, his smile
fading as he read the short
message.
?Rose is leaving,? he said
in disbelief. ?I must get to
her. It won?t do to wait until
tomorrow.?
?She?s already gone,
Alfred. I?m so sorry.?
?Gone??
?She?s on the one o?clock
coach. She?d heard you
were marrying Miss Bassett
and I suppose she felt there
was no point in remaining.?
?How do you know all
this?? Alfred asked.
?A maid from Cross
Roads House brought the
letter, hoping you could find
Rose in time. I sent Tom to
look for you at Mr
Darrowby?s house.?
?If only I hadn?t been so
impatient to see Mr
Lampton,? Alfred
reproached himself, pacing
the street in frustration. ?I
might have come straight
home. Perhaps I could still
get there. Which direction
did you send Tom? If I had
the cart . . .?
?Tom will be searching
the whole of Datcherford for
you. And you know the post
coach has never been late,?
she said sadly.
?Then I?ll follow her. Mrs
Jameson must know where
Rose has gone. When Tom
returns, I?ll ride out to Cross
Roads House. Whatever it
takes, I?m going to find Rose
and ask her to come back.?
?Here?s Tom now,? she
said, looking over Alfred?s
shoulder. ?But whatever?s
happened to the cart??
?I?m really sorry, Mr
Hapstall,? Tom called out as
he approached.
The reason was all too
apparent. Twigs and grass
were stuck to the mud on
the wheels, the newly
painted sign was hanging
on by a single nail and a
great gash has been scored
into the side.
Only Lissip seemed none
the worse; head high, she
was trotting towards them.
?I couldn?t find you,? the
red-faced Tom said, pulling
the cart to a halt. ?I thought
if I took a short cut I might
be able stop the post coach
and speak to the lady
myself. I gave Lissip her
head and she seemed keen,
but I?d forgotten how
narrow the lane is and we
went into the hedgerow.
?I didn?t see the old stone
wall because it was
overgrown with ivy and
that?s what damaged the
sign.?
?I can?t be angry with
you, Tom,? Alfred replied,
looking up and smiling
broadly. ?What?s important
is that you found her.?
He stepped forward and
held out his hand to Tom?s
passenger.
?I?m so glad you came
back, Rose,? he said.
* * * *
?What a strange day this
has been,? Rose said as she
and Alfred sat together on
the little bench in the back
yard of Hapstall?s shop.
?For me, too, Rose,?
Alfred replied.
The sound of crockery and
pans clattering could be
heard above them. Mariah
had refused all offers of
help from Rose and Alfred,
saying she wouldn?t mind a
little time to herself, and
had shooed them outside.
?What a shock it was
when the coach stopped
and there was your young
man in the road, standing
up the cart and shouting
my name.?
?I should have spoken out
sooner,? Alfred said, pulling
her close. ?But I would have
followed you. Wherever
you?d gone. I couldn?t have
let you go without even
asking you.?
?Asking me what??
?If you thought that you
and I might make a future
together. I?m happy to wait
until we?ve spent more time
together and for you to be
sure. Mind you, after
fearing I?d lost you today, I
know I?m sure already.?
Rose smiled.
?I am, too, Alfred. I will
have to go away for a time
to settle my father?s affairs,
but I will come back. I can
find other work.?
?I was coming to that,?
Alfred said with a smile.
?Would you consider
working in a department
store? I happen to know
where there is a vacancy.?
Rose?s eyes lit up and she
laughed.
?Do you think I would
make a successful
assistant??
?I believe you could do
whatever you turned you
mind to. But I would like
you to be part of my new
venture. Will you think
about it??
?I think,? she replied with
an impish smile, ?that it will
be the only way I might
spend time with you over
the next few months. I know
how intent you?ll be on
making the store a success.
I accept your offer.?
They shook hands in
mock seriousness.
?There?s someone I?d like
to help,? Rose began
thoughtfully. ?Molly at
Cross Roads House. She
was so kind to me ? my
only friend there.?
?I think we both owe her
a great deal,? Alfred
agreed. ?How can we be of
service to her? Are you
thinking she might be part
of our new enterprise, too??
?Quite possibly,? Rose
answered. ?Molly is an
orphan, placed at Cross
Roads House by the
institution where she was
brought up. She?s only had
the most basic education. I
have some experience at
teaching, and if I can
improve her in that way, it
would open up all sorts of
possibilities for her.?
?You couldn?t do better
for her,? Alfred said
admiringly. ?And if I can
help her, I will. Now, let?s
go up to supper. Tomorrow
will be a busy day.?
* * * *
?Of course, he?s taken on
too much for a young man.?
?Imagine going from a
small shop to a place the
size of the assembly
building? It?s absurd.?
?He?s bound to fail. And
then what will happen to
him and his mother? They?ll
be turned out, just you wait
and see.?
Every morning for several
weeks, a little coterie of
Datcherford matrons
had gathered to observe
60
the works taking place
on the assembly building
and to prophesy doom
upon Alfred Hapstall?s new
venture. It was the best
entertainment they?d had in
many a year.
Alfred knew well what
they were saying, because
once or twice he?d caught
their conversation as he
passed by.
And they were not the
only ones. His project was
the greatest, or possibly the
only, talking point in
Datcherford for a
generation and there were
few who viewed it with
optimism.
But Alfred had never
doubted for a moment, and
now his day had come. The
cynics had been proven
wrong.
By daytime he?d overseen
his new shop as it rose from
the decay of the assembly
building, and on many a
night, after the workmen
had departed for their
homes, he?d let himself in
through the rear entrance,
taken up a brush or hammer
and worked on alone.
Now the dust, noise and
chaos of the past weeks
were gone and Alfred
looked about him in the
silence.
At present he owned just
one room on the ground
floor ? though it was a vast
space compared to his old
shop ? and the rest of the
building was still boarded
and out of his reach.
The magnificent staircase
had been swept clean but
as yet it led nowhere, and
the crystal chandelier
remained unlit.
One day, he?d promised
himself, he?d have fine
velvet curtains hanging at
the tall mullioned windows.
For now, though, his newly
stocked counters and
shelves had been fashioned
from old timber and he
couldn?t yet afford carpets
for the wooden floor. But it
didn?t matter.
This place, the beginning
of his dream, was clean and
ordered, and it bore the
name of Hapstall?s in high
letters that could be seen
the length of the main
street. At half past eight
this very morning he would
open the great front door
and begin trading.
?Are you happy??
Alfred hadn?t heard
Mariah?s tread as she came
in through the rear door.
?More than I can say,
Mother,? he replied. ?But
you needn?t have risen so
early. It?s barely light.?
?I couldn?t sleep any
longer,? she said. ?I?ve
brought you breakfast.
You?ve worked so hard,
now you must stay strong.?
?I didn?t stay very late
last night. I left Mr
Darrowby to lock up.?
She opened the wicker
basket she?d brought and
Alfred set two chairs. They
ate in contented silence
until the rear door at the
back of the shop opened
again and Tom appeared.
?Morning,? he greeted
them. ?I thought it best if I
came early, today being the
grand opening and all.?
?Then you?re in time to
share our breakfast, Tom,?
Mariah offered. ?Sit down.?
?Do you think we shall
have much trade on the
first day?? he asked.
?Alfred believes curiosity
will work in our favour,
Tom,? Mariah replied. ?This
is the biggest event in
Datcherford for years.?
?You might say the only
event,? Alfred added wryly.
?But you?re right, Mother.
Curiosity will draw them in
and good service and a
plentiful supply of quality
merchandise will ensure
they return.?
?Do you remember the
day you brought the silk
stockings to sell?? Mariah
asked. ?I confess, I thought
you?d overreached yourself.
But now look!?
She pointed to a counter
in the far corner of the
great room.
?Gloves and lace
handkerchiefs and the like!?
?They look well, don?t
they?? Alfred remarked.
?Rose has a good eye for a
display. Ah,? he said as the
door opened once more.
?And here she comes. It
seems no-one wants to be
late on our first day.?
?Good morning to you
all,? Rose said gaily. ?Mrs
Maloney woke me early,
and I saw the light from my
bedroom window.?
?And you remembered,?
Alfred replied, looking at
her dress.
It was the same one she?d
been wearing the day
they?d walked in the garden
of Cross Roads House and
he?d told her of his plans.
?Of course.?
?My first lady in grey,? he
said, deeply touched.
?Alfred has been here
since six o?clock,? Mariah
said. ?No doubt fretting in
case anything has been
overlooked.?
?Nothing has been
overlooked,? Alfred
affirmed. ?I haven?t been
fretting, I?ve been going over
my words. Today I intend to
greet each customer at the
front door.?
?What will you say?? Rose
asked.
Alfred stood up and faced
the three of them.
?I shall say, welcome to
Hapstall?s. We are very
pleased to see you. Our
grocery department is to
the left, offering an even
larger choice of items than
at our last premises.
?We hope you will also
visit our new household
department, where Mrs
Hapstall will be pleased to
show you an excellent range
of items for your home.
Miss Maloney is in charge
of our haberdashery
counter, and in our ladies
section you will find Miss
Bryson on hand with an
array of fine articles.?
?That?s a fair speech, Mr
Alfred.? Tom grinned.
?Every customer in my
store will always be sure of
a good welcome,? Alfred
replied, returning the smile.
?There?s the clock chiming
eight,? Mariah said. ?We?d
better be about our
business.?
While Mariah and Rose
put away the remains of
their breakfast, Alfred and
Tom switched on the lights.
Just then Miss Maloney, the
dressmaker, arrived,
looking a little concerned.
?Now that the time has
come, I feel a little
nervous,? she confessed.
?Don?t be,? Alfred said,
taking her hand. ?I know
you?ll do well. And who in
Datcherford, besides your
mother, knows more about
fabrics and thread??
?Aren?t you anxious,
Alfred?? Mariah asked.
?No, I?m not,? Alfred
replied. ?I?ve always
believed the store will be a
success. Once people see
what we have to offer
they?ll tell others and the
word will spread. It might
take some time, but I know
it will happen.
?And,? he added, smiling
at them, ?I have the best
people at my side. Now,
let?s take our places.?
With an air of purpose,
they checked the counter
tops, rearranged the chairs
and opened the tills. The
ladies pulled on their white
cuffs while Tom and Alfred
tied on fresh aprons.
* * * *
Suddenly, there was a
clatter at the rear door and
George Darrowby came in
carrying a box of tools and
something wrapped in an
oily cloth.
?Here I am, Mr Hapstall,?
he declared. ?I?ve been up
since dawn repairing it.?
?Repairing what??
?The lock,? George
explained. ?It broke last
night as I was going home. I
removed the spring and the
casing and took it home,
where I have the right tools.
Didn?t you notice the front
door won?t open??
For a moment, Alfred
could only stare at Mr
Darrowby.
?What?? he cried. ?No.
We used the rear entrance.
You mean I can?t let anyone
in the front door??
?Have no fear, sir,?
George replied. ?I shall have
this working before you are
ready to open the store.?
?I-I?m opening at halfpast eight, Mr Darrowby,?
Alfred stuttered.
?Just so,? the old man
said calmly as he selected a
number of tools from his
box. ??Tis a wonder that the
thing has lasted as long as
it has, being the original
lock. I would wager that the
only people to unlock this
door in the past two
decades have been me and
my son.?
The church clock chimed a
quarter past eight.
?Mr Darrowby, please
hurry,? Alfred pleaded,
pacing up and down. ?If
anyone comes to the shop
early and I can?t let them in
? it?s unthinkable.?
?If anyone comes, did you
say?? Mr Darrowby replied.
61
?Didn?t you ???
?You mustn?t panic,
Alfred,? Mariah interrupted.
?If there?s an early
customer we can ask them
to use the rear door.?
?No,? Alfred said. ?That
won?t do at all. I wanted
this door to open at exactly
half past eight. I?ve planned
this moment in my head for
years. It?s to be the grand
start of Hapstall?s.?
His nervousness was
caught up by the other four.
Everyone began rearranging
the stock, counting the coins
in the tills ? anything to
allay anxiety as they kept
glancing at the front door.
George Darrowby was
steadily and methodically
inserting each tiny, centuryold screw and bolt into the
mechanism as Alfred
hovered at his back.
?What?s that noise?? Tom
asked.
?Hmm?? Alfred voiced.
?I think there?s someone
outside,? Tom told him.
?I?m sure I heard a voice.?
?Are you sure? There
must be customers waiting
already. We mustn?t open
late. There?s nothing else
for it. I?ll have to ask them
to come in the rear
entrance.? Alfred sighed.
?Now just you have
patience, Mr Hapstall,? Mr
Darrowby said. He selected
another tool and began to
slowly turn the brass key. ?I
think we have it now.?
There was a loud click.
Alfred?s sigh of relief was
just as audible.
?Thank goodness. And
thank you, Mr Darrowby.
I?m sorry for my
impatience.?
George Darrowby picked
up his box of tools as the
clock chimed half past
eight.
Alfred glanced at Mariah,
Rose, Miss Maloney and
Tom. The four smiled back
encouragingly.
?This is it,? he said. ?Let
us see if we have any
customers.?
He started to pull back
the heavy wooden door and
gave a gasp of surprise.
?I tried to tell you,?
George Darrowby said with
a grin. ?There were folk
arriving as I came in.?
?They?ve come!? Alfred
cried, staring at the throng
of people filling the street.
?Look at them all!?
George helped pull open
the door and the crowd
surged forward.
?Welcome to Hapstall?s,?
Alfred began to the first
visitor. ?We are very
pleased . . . Yes, do go in.
Mr Lampton, how nice to
see you here. Yes, Mr
Bannerman, I don?t wonder
you wanted to be among
our first customers. That?s
correct, Mrs Graine, we sell
gloves. Good morning, Mrs
Penshire, and welcome to
Hapstall?s . . .?
Alfred gave up. There
were so many. It seemed
most of the town were
there.
Someone was waving over
the mass of heads. It was
Richard Graine. He was
mouthing something but
Alfred couldn?t make it out
over the hubbub.
Another familiar face
appeared in front of him.
?Good morning, Mrs
Dee,? he called. ?Welcome
to Hapstall?s.?
?It?s Mrs Biggins now,?
she informed him stoutly,
sweeping past with the
hapless Mr Biggins in her
wake.
Alfred didn?t have time to
congratulate them before
another wave of arrivals
followed.
?A good start,? a voice
boomed above the others.
Alfred turned to see Mr
Bassett. He was alone.
?I came to see how the
opening is turning out,? Mr
Bassett said. ?It would
appear I made a wise
decision to do business with
you, Alfred Hapstall.?
?I can assure you of it,
sir,? Alfred replied
distractedly. ?But please
excuse me. I have to see to
my customers.?
He pressed his way
through to the grocery
section where Tom was
attempting to serve several
customers at once.
To his left Mariah was
encircled by people eagerly
examining the wares. As she
looked up and smiled,
Alfred knew she would
cope.
They all would, of course.
He had the best people
about him. And this was
just the beginning.
The End.
On
Reflection
From the manse
window
by Janice Ross.
I
ENJOY watching the popular
TV programme ?Dragon?s
Den?, where entrepreneurs
courageously attempt to pitch
their business ideas to a panel
of investors with the hope of a
cash investment to kick-start
their businesses.
Often these entrepreneurs
are so convinced of the
potential of their idea or
gadget that they have sunk
every penny of their savings
into developing it.
They walk into the Den
sometimes confidently, but
more often rather nervously,
and make a three-minute
presentation to successful
tycoons whose stony faces
portray little encouragement.
It takes real courage and
determination to go after
something you believe you
can do, especially in front of
the Dragons!
Spencer Silver probably
knew what this felt like. He is
an American scientist, and this
story begins in 1968 when he
was attempting to develop an
adhesive.
This glue was to be stronger
and tougher than anything
previously produced. Sadly, his
experiments and trials failed.
He did create a new
substance which, when
attached to surfaces, could be
peeled apart easily but still
remain sticky, but no-one was
interested in this. Silver,
however, felt sure that this was
an important discovery.
For years he struggled to
find a use for this adhesive,
and also to interest others in
developing it, sadly to no avail.
He became known as ?Mr
Persistent?.
Eight years later, in 1974,
another scientist was having
problems of a rather different
sort. Arthur Fry?s hobby was
singing. On a Wednesday night
he attended choir practice.
He would bookmark the
pages of his music sheets and
books with many little strips of
paper which, of course, by
Sunday had usually all fallen
out! This frustrated him no
end.
Then came the chance
meeting. Arthur Fry met
Spencer Silver at a seminar
and they started chatting about
Silver?s glue. Suddenly Arthur
Fry had a Eureka moment!
What if they could make a
bookmark which would stick to
paper without falling off but
which would not damage the
sheets, and could then be
peeled off again?
And so Post-It Notes were
born.
The success of the venture
left the two partners gasping.
Spencer Silver?s determination
had paid off.
The apostle Paul also had
something worth fighting for,
something which took him
great determination and
courage. He had a discovery, a
life-changing message which
burned within him.
He knew it was good news
and he knew it was for all
men. This message had turned
his life right around, from
being a well-learned religious
zealot who hated Christians to
a humble follower of Jesus
Christ.
This discovery had also cost
him everything, not just his life
savings like some in ?Dragon?s
Den?, but his very life.
Paul was severely attacked
for his faith, he was hard
pressed, perplexed,
persecuted, struck down but
he never gave up.
Today his words still
encourage followers of Jesus
to run the race marked out for
them with perseverance,
straining towards what is
ahead, pressing on towards
the goal. n
Next week: Kathrine
Davey is looking for
inspiration.
For many years, the stories of John and Anne
Taylor and their life on the area of Fife known
as the Riggin have been a mainstay of
?The People?s Friend? magazine.
FROM
ONLY
�99
Now, join John and Anne for the third
instalment of these much-loved tales
accompanied by the original watercolour
illustrations created by Dundee artist
Douglas Phillips.
The Proof Of
The Pudding
November,
It has been ready since
ed to sample
but I am finally allow
the great delicacy!
like??
a ton of hen feathers looks
ID you ever find out what she dished out her delicious
as
day evening
Anne came out with this
a reminder of one Wednes
Christmas pudding. It was
the ton of feathers
in November . . .
when Anne mentioned
It was about seven o?clock d the daft question was a pile of
for the first time. What prompte
on her scales.
you have
breadcrumbs rising high
there! Keep going, darling,
?John, there?s only six ounces
ten more to weigh.?
D
nights, when it
to be one of those daft
I knew then it was going
...
least before we got to bed
the spirit
would be one o?clock at
on with something when
Anne?s a great one for getting
making the Christmas pud.
moves her. And that includes Anne?s ideas are best executed in the
that
the menial tasks.
The spirit seems to insist
with
help
to
e
has someon
evening. It?s then that she out pans, wash up or put away. Not to
get
Read, fetch, carry, weigh,
the sink a good wash.?
the sink, but he
mention, ?Oh, darling, give
he could float away down
?Someone? often wishes
to his paper!
obeys before going back
the spirit first spoke.
Anne said out
We were having tea when
a Christmas pudding tonight,?
?John, help me to make
the tea.
I agreed. Our first
of the blue as she poured
to go anywhere else, so
had
I couldn?t find an excuse
er which recipe book she
rememb
couldn?t
Anne
Farmers.
problem was that
out the one from the Young
used last year. She got
for Christmas pudding!?
?John, there?s no recipe
and I checked.
fifty-eight.? I
She handed me the book
page
on
see,
?
plum pudding
?There is, but it?s called
isn?t a plum in it!?
a plum pudding? There
peered. ?Why is it called
the ingredients!? I was told. e to read out
?Just for that, you can read
why she wanted someon pudding.
as ?
As soon as I started, I realised
into a plum ? not Christm
went
that
pieces
and
the bits
all!
There were 21 things in
ng. I want to make two.?
?Right, you double everythi of breadcrumbs first.?
?OK. We?ll do sixteen ounces have done was to put a loaf on the
should
Looking back, what we
and then put it on her
we didn?t. Anne cut it up
scales and weigh it. But
isn?t big, so Anne was
accurate, scales. The dish
g four more,
old-fashioned, but very
it into a bowl, then weighin
weighing four ounces, puttingthe heat was growing that she came out
as
etc. It all took time. It was
be forgotten:
with the phrase, never to
like.?
looks
hen feathers
?I wonder what a ton of
of breadcrumbs.
d and weighed 16 ounces mixed . . .
Eventually, we crumble
and
and then we mixed . . .
We assembled the rest
at night!
By then it was eleven o?clock John. Will you come down at two to
stove,
?I?ll just put them on the
of water??
see they haven?t run out
n until the
I gave her a look.
boiling and simmering operatio
Anne agreed to leave the
crawled into bed.
midnight before I finally
next day, but it was still
What is my verdict?
I?ve sampled the result.
and
as,
Now it?s Christm
all the trouble! n
worth
well
and
?
s
Deliciou
40
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country air
A breath of
Renowned nature writer Polly Pullar
takes a lighthearted look at rural life.
Photographs by Polly Pullar.
T
HE morning is warm,
blackbirds have been
singing since
daybreak and I am
sitting in the garden
drinking tea.
Three dozing collies lie
beside me whilst a few
equally dozy bees have
decided that spring is
indeed on its way and are
buzzing half-heartedly
around exploring the lovely
little celandines fringing the
garden.
Then I hear the sharp call
of another new arrival to the
farm. As if the morning was
not glorious enough, a flash
of brilliant yellow as bright
as daffodils catches my eye.
There on the roof, against
a backdrop of azure blue
sky, a little bird bobs and
bows, dipping up and down,
its tail noticeably almost the
same length as its dapper
Grey wagtails stand out
with their long tails.
little body.
You?d be forgiven for
thinking it was a yellow
wagtail, but in fact this is the
grey wagtail, a bird that
remains in the British Isles
throughout the year though
moves around, and on our
farm only reappears in
spring to breed, having
probably wintered on lower
ground or nearer to the
coast.
We have three wagtails in
this country, with other
vagrants also occasionally
seen. There is the most
common and delightful little
pied wagtail that may be
found in every county of the
British Isles, the grey ?
which to my mind is the
bonniest of the trio ? and
then there is the yellow
wagtail.
It only appears in spring
and summer to breed in
water meadows and marshy
areas before sensibly
migrating south to warmer
climes for the winter.
The yellow and grey
wagtails are frequently
confused.
One immediately
distinctive feature of the
gorgeous grey wagtail is its
extra long tail. This is longer
than that of its relatives.
All wagtails dip and bow,
bob and curtsey up and
down. When they do this
near their favoured watery
habitat in constant hunt for
insects it gives rise to a host
of nicknames that relate
them to a woman cleaning
clothes or plates, lifting
them in and out of the
water as she scrubs.
All over the country,
wagtails have been given
names such as Peggy
Dishwasher, Dishwasher
and ? one I particularly like
? Polly Dishwasher, as well
as Waterbird, Barley bird
and Oatseed bird ? the last
two because they tend to
reappear in a farmyard at
sowing time.
So there I was, sitting
peacefully in the garden
when I had my first seasonal
view of the dear little grey
wagtail.
I rushed in for the camera.
I was hoping that he (you
know, because the males
have a smart dark cravat
that they lose at the end of
the breeding season) would
stay there long enough for
NATURE 63
me to take his picture.
Every spring a pair of grey
wagtails returns to make a
nest under the little
footbridge on the burn close
to our house. My first
sighting of them is always a
euphoric moment.
I often stan d on the
bridge and watch their
delightful breeding displays,
the male looking
immaculate, and his wife?s
plumage slightly more
subdued but equally lovely.
I have always found it
interesting that grey wagtails
always seem to choose
particularly beautiful places
in which to raise their
brood.
It is as if they have the
ultimate taste for design.
They like fast-flowing, clear
water, and during walks up
into the Perthshire hills I
may sit by a peaty burnside
on a bank edged with
unfurling fern fronds and
densely carpeted with wild
flowers, and there a pair of
grey wagtails will be.
To sit and watch them is
to fill even a grey, miserable
wet day with glorious rays
of sun.
The odd thing is that, even
though this is technically the
grey wagtail, there is simply
nothing dull about it at
all. n
We?ll take another
Breath Of Country Air
in our May 26 issue.
HELPING OTHERS 65
For All
Theatre
Gillian Thornton goes behind the
scenes to find out how Mousetrap
Theatre Projects are sharing the
magic of live performance.
Photographs by Alex Rumford.
W
HATEVER your
taste in
entertainment,
you?ll almost
certainly have
experienced the magic of
live theatre.
Nothing quite beats the
excitement of watching a
production that transports
us into a world of makebelieve. It may move us,
amuse us, or make us think,
but it will always entertain.
But not everyone is so
lucky. Many families who
live in deprived areas of
Britain or who live with
challenging family
circumstances have never set
foot inside a theatre.
And thousands of young
people are missing out on an
experience that could enrich
their lives in so many ways.
But for youngsters living in
London, help is at hand from
an organisation which takes
its name from the world?s
longest-running play, ?The
Mousetrap?.
This Agatha Christie thriller
has been on continuously in
the West End since 1952.
Having fun at a Relaxed
Performance.
When Sir Stephen WaleyCohen purchased the
production rights in 1996,
he thought it was time the
play gave something back.
So I?ve come to
Shaftesbury Avenue in the
heart of London?s
Theatreland to meet Susan
Whiddington. She is the
director of Mousetrap
Theatre Projects.
This educational charity
brings disadvantaged young
people into the West End to
experience theatre. Patrons
include Hugh Bonneville,
Eddie Redmayne, Alison
Steadman and David Suchet.
?I was asked to head up
the venture when it
launched in 1997 and
started work on a laptop in
the understudy?s dressing
room at St Martin?s Theatre,
home of ?The Mousetrap?,?
Susan says. She is a native
of St Louis, Missouri, and
has spent all her working life
in the theatre.
?We ran our first event in
March 1998 with a visit to
the play ?Art?. The producer
was a former high school
teacher who was really keen
to get young people in to
see the play.
?Afterwards the students
could discuss the play with
Ready to enjoy a
West End show.
the actors and take a
resource pack.
?Then another producer
invited us to see a musical
and our programme just
grew and grew as more
supporters came on board.
?Today we have eleven
staff running twenty-three
different programmes
involved with schools,
families and communities.
And every year we take
thousands of children from
state schools in the London
area who are disadvantaged
or have special needs on
visits to top theatres.?
Mousetrap Theatre
Projects offers tickets to
students and their families
for between �and �.
Susan and her team work
closely with social services,
youth organisations and a
range of other agencies
across London to
identify individual
The children get
involved at school, too.
All ages can enjoy a
theatre performance.
families and
communities that could
benefit from their offers.
?We are unique in that we
work very hard to find the
right production for each
group of young people,?
Susan explains.
?We meet with teachers,
youth leaders and families
to find out what they want
from their theatre
experience. So it?s
wonderful to receive so
many letters, e-mails and
thank-you cards.?
Every Mousetrap
programme includes a
theatre visit, but there?s so
much more on offer.
Working with a database of
specialised teachers and
theatre staff, the team are
Access for all
Mousetrap Theatre
Projects also work with
families who have
disabled youngsters. They
arrange special
performances for blind
and partially sighted
children, for instance,
where they join in a
workshop about the
performance and get the
chance to meet the actors
and touch costumes.
Then there are Relaxed
Performances for families
with autistic children for
whom a family theatre
outing has been out of the
question. Staff can tone
down lights or sounds and
provide quiet areas
outside the auditorium for
children who need to take
a break.
Parents are then able to
relax knowing that if their
child stands up or makes
an inappropriate noise,
everyone will understand.
able to offer creative
learning resources to
schools.
Mousetrap works with
community groups on
projects such as a six-week
summer programme that
includes a theatre visit and a
range of associated activities.
Some youngsters who live
in outer London boroughs
have never been to the West
End before, let alone a
theatre production.
Last autumn, a major
programme enabled groups
of young carers from across
London to produce their
own plays and then
showcase them in one
inspirational day of youth
theatre.
?We work with individual
families, too,? Susan
continues.
?Every summer, we target
specific families with a
leaflet inviting them to a
theatre production for just
six pounds a ticket. There?s a
choice of thirty-five shows
and optional add-ons such
as workshops and backstage
visits.
?Many of them have no
idea what to expect, so for
?Family First Nights?, we
provide information in
advance about what to wear,
Happy students enjoying
a � night out.
how much an ice-cream
costs, and how to get there.
?We phone them a few
days before the visit to see if
they have any questions. A
couple of weeks later, we
send more special offers. For
many families, it?s the start
of a love affair with theatre.?
In 20 years, Mousetrap
Theatre Projects has taken
over 175,000 young people
to the theatre, and there are
currently 14,000 names on
its database who receive
monthly special offers. But
they don?t all come with
their school, family or youth
leader.
Thanks to the
theatrelive4�programme,
teenagers aged between
fifteen and eighteen in state
secondary education can
buy tickets for just �each
to visit the theatre
independently.
A similar programme
called westend4� offers
tickets to drama students
aged nineteen to
twenty-three for a tenner.
The Society of London
Theatre is the main source
of funding for Mousetrap
Theatre Projects, who reach
out to a new audience the
theatres are unable to reach.
Other income comes from
trusts and private donations
and without them, none of
the disadvantaged
youngsters would benefit
from the power of live
performance.
?We?ve seen many
youngsters inspired to
follow their own career
through the theatre,? Susan
tells me. ?And the best bit of
my job is watching them
light up as they enjoy new
experiences and develop
new talents and life skills.
?Every year, our Youth
Forum run their own awards
ceremony for theatre
productions with some great
categories such as ?Show
That Made Me Dance All The
Way Home? and ?Aesthetic
On Point? (Best Design). It?s
a fabulous evening and
often a chance for them to
meet some of our
supporters and patrons.
?Our patrons are all busy
actors so we really
appreciate what they do for
us. In 2017, Eddie
Redmayne made a short
publicity film about our
work which was shown in
cinemas before his hit
movie ?Fantastic Beasts And
Where To Find Them?. And
several of our other patrons
are really hands on.?
So next time you go to a
London show, just take a
moment to think about the
cast and crew. One of them
may well have had their first
introduction to theatre
through Mousetrap Theatre
Projects ? an open door to a
whole new world. n
Want To
Know More?
For more information, visit
www.mousetrap.org.uk
At Doddington Place
Gardens in Kent.
my garden
Notes from
Alexandra Campbell is looking
ahead to her summer pot plants.
Check Your Ivy
Photographs by Alexandra Campbell and iStock.
Late spring is a good
time to cut back ivy. It?s
best not to prune ivy in
the autumn because
that?s when it flowers.
Its flowers and berries
are excellent nectar for
pollinating insects. Ivy
can be cut back fairly
brutally ? just pull it off
and chop away. But be
careful if it has wrapped
itself round your
guttering. Ivy can get
everywhere so do an
annual check around
now.
I
T?S about now that I start
thinking about planting
up my pots for the
summer. Sometimes I just
want easy-care, longlasting plants that won?t be
too much trouble.
Then I see friends with
beautifully planted pots and
realise how gorgeous they
can be.
When choosing plants for
outdoor pots, I have two
strategies. One is a variation
on the classic ?thriller/filler/
spiller? design. A ?thriller?
plant is a dramatic plant,
either in a strong shape or
an eye-catching colour, and
it adds height.
If your pot is against the
wall, plant the thriller at the
back, but if your pot can be
seen from all angles, plant it
in the middle. Tall
ornamental grasses can
make a good ?thriller? plant,
as do dahlias, yucca,
cordylines and canna lilies.
?Filler? plants are usually
more rounded and give the
arrangement body and/or
variations on the colour
scheme. Petunias, begonias,
heuchera and pelargoniums
are all good ?filler? plants.
And ?spiller? plants
cascade over the sides.
Good spillers include
calibrachoa, trailing lobelia
and ivy.
But I find that two kinds of
plant is often enough, as
both ?thrillers? and ?spillers?
can double up as ?fillers?.
I?ve done this by adding
surfinias to a grass called
Panicum virgatum
?Shenandoah?. You could
also add a trailing plant to a
pot of dahlias, marguerites
or cosmos.
It?s worth noting that
some ?thrillers?, like dahlias
and grasses, are best in late
summer and autumn, while
plants like petunias and
pelargoniums flower from
June onwards. So the
emphasis changes as the
summer goes on.
Another easy way of
planting up pots is to pick
just one or two colours.
Plant all your pots up with a
simple colour combination.
It?s easy and it looks smart.
And it can be very costeffective to buy several trays
of, for example, petunias or
violas in one colour and
plant them in all your pots.
To make arrangements of
commonly available plants
look special, think about
colour. Lots of plants are
sold in multi-colour packs
but these won?t show your
pots off to best advantage.
Good colour themes could
be all purple, all white, all
pink or two contrasting
colours. For example, purple
and yellow, or purple and
orange. Or stick to variations
of one colour range, such as
bronze, orange and yellow,
GARDENING 69
Rhubarb Surprise
Wisteria Hysteria
I can?t believe I?ve
actually managed to kill all
my rhubarb. I thought it
was indestructible. I
neglected the rhubarb bed
and it got suffocated by
ivy. Either that or the
?Beast from the East? got
it, but I don?t seem to have
lost much else in the
garden. I?ve also missed
the official season for
planting rhubarb (between
November and March), but
I?ve now discovered you
can plant potted rhubarb
at any time, although you
need to make sure you
water it in dry spells.
Phew.
We?re nearly into the
beautiful wisteria season.
Some people are afraid
that wisteria roots will
undermine their
foundations. This is
unlikely, as wisteria is
supported by your wall, so
it doesn?t need a big root
system. And it twines
round wires rather than
suckering, so it doesn?t
damage brickwork. But
builders will often want
you to cut it down. Get a
second opinion!
or purple and blue.
There is one important
colour rule. The human eye
finds it uncomfortable to
focus on equal amounts of
two contrasting colours.
If you choose a contrasting
colour scheme such as
purple and yellow or blue
and white, then plant
three-quarters (or twothirds) in one colour and no
more than a quarter or a
third in the other colour.
?All one plant? is the
easiest pot scheme of all.
I?ve found heucheras really
good in pots on their own,
and also nepeta (cat mint).
A friend fills her big pots
with plectranthus which
carries on all summer long.
How you plant your pots
makes a big difference to
how successfully they grow.
Plants in pots need new
compost every year.
If you?ve a big pot with
small plants, you can take
off the top third and renew
it. But if plants aren?t looking
healthy, change all the soil.
You can pack the lower half
with polystyrene balls, and
not use too much compost.
Plants in pots need to be
fed. You can do this
fortnightly, but it?s less
trouble to add a slow
release plant food at the
beginning of the season,
such as Bayer Garden
Phostrogen Slow Release
Plant Food & Moisture
Control.
Above all, even if it rains,
plants in pots need regular
watering. They don?t get
much moisture from the
rain as it runs off the leaves
of a full plant pot.
And if you have lots of
little pots, clump them
together so they won?t dry
out as quickly. It looks
good, too. n
Visit Alexandra?s blog online at
www.themiddlesizedgarden.co.uk.
Roasting Green
Vegetables
I used to think that only root vegetables could be
roasted, but I now roast almost all my vegetables
except spinach, kale and salad leaves. The asparagus
season is starting, and new spring cauliflowers will
be ready to harvest. In the winter, roasted brussels
sprouts are wonderful, as are roasted kalettes,
which is a cross between a brussels sprout and kale.
Broccoli seems to be available all year round, and I
now roast it rather than boiling it.
My favourite roasted cauliflower and broccoli
recipe is adapted from ?The Doctor?s Kitchen? by
Dr Rupy Aujla (Harper Thorsons). I love his recipe for
Soy Roasted Vegetables With Ginger Noodles, and
serve an approximate version of the Soy Roasted
Vegetables with roast lamb or pork.
Cut a broccoli up into florets. Skin the stem, and cut
into small cubes. Cut the cauliflower into florets and
chop up the ribs and leaves. Roughly chop an onion.
Throw it all into a roasting pan with 3 tablespoons of
oil. Add 2 teaspoons of turmeric, 2 tablespoons of soy
sauce and a scant 1/2 teaspoon of chilli powder, plus salt
and pepper. Toss thoroughly and roast for around
25 minutes at around 200 deg. C., 400 deg. F.,
Gas Mark 6. I use coconut oil, which Dr Aujla suggests,
but you can also use rapeseed or olive oil.
Asparagus is so delicious that you can just roast it in
oil without any spices. Prepare it as usual, then toss it in
olive oil and salt. Roast for 8 to 10 minutes in an oven
at 200 deg. C., 400 deg. F., Gas Mark 6.
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 1DD.
82%
Q
of us find that going
on holiday improves
our mental health ?
and 72% find that
getting away from
it all also helps our
physical health.
A
�0,000
I?D LIKE TO KNOW
My friend was telling me about
some sort of cold storage place in
Norway where seeds from around
the world are gathered. I?d never heard
of this before. Is it true?
Mrs J.R., Dunfermline.
This is true. Tucked away on the
Norwegian island of Spitsbergen
there is a vault created in an
abandoned coal mine which contains
thousands upon thousands of different
varieties of crop seeds, including barley,
maize and potato.
Dubbed the ?doomsday? vault, in a nod to the fact that if there were to be a global
food crisis these vaults could hold the key to growing produce, one of the main aims of
the Svalbard Global Seed Vault is to protect seeds that could potentially be lost for ever,
say due to global warming, for instance.
There are no genetically modified seeds kept here and this vault is just one of
hundreds around the world.
Q
My sister is left-handed and it got me
wondering ? what percentage of the
population is also left-handed?
Mrs K.B., Dorset.
A
It?s estimated around 10% of the population
is left-handed. Some famous left-handers
include Prince William and Barack Obama.
Interestingly, the number of left-handed presidents
far exceeds this percentage, with James Garfield,
Herbert Hoover, Henry Truman, Gerald Ford,
George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton all joining Mr
Obama in the left-handed club.
Q
My friend and I disagree.
She insists that an orca
is a dolphin but I?m sure
it?s a whale. Who is correct?
Mr J.B., Bournemouth.
A
Your friend is correct.
Orcas are actually the
largest of the dolphin
family. The confusion obviously
stems from the fact that orcas
are also commonly known as
killer whales!
Something we didn?t
know last week...
iStock.
TEA-BREAK TRIVIA 71
If Meghan and Harry decide they?d rather
not say their vows in Windsor Castle,
there?s no shortage of more unusual
wedding venues near their Kensington
Palace Home. VisitLondon.com has
discovered the happy couple could say
?I do? at London Zoo, in a cable car
above the Royal Albert Dock ? or at the
top of the 262-foot-high ArcelorMittal
Orbit sculpture, sliding down the world?s
largest tunnel to ground level after being
pronounced man and wife!
*Please do not send an SAE as we cannot give personal replies.
is the asking price
for a beach hut on
Dorset?s Mudeford
Spit (and it doesn?t
even have a loo!)
4%
of the world?s
population
have belly
buttons that go out
instead of in.
60 years
ago, women were
granted the right to sit
in the House of Lords
(no change of name,
however!)
�360
is the average amount
Brits have tucked
away in their savings
account.
Hardy Dwarf
Geraniums
Create a riot of colour in your garden
this summer with these hardy perennial
Geraniums which have become much
prized in recent years for planting in
herbaceous borders. Ideal for suppressing
weeds, all five varieties are very easy to
grow and will thrive in all types of soil,
enjoying shade, partial shade and full sun
and will flower continuously throughout
the summer. Height 15-30 cm.
BUY 10
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Our collection of 15 for �.98
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Pre-order now for delivery in June.
DIAMETER
JUMBO PLUG
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SUPPLIED
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14 Hadfield Street, Old Trafford, Manchester, M16 9FG.
Perfect
KNITTING 73
Pastel
Worked in a soft merino
yarn, our cardigan features
a delicate lace trellis on
the fronts and sleeves.
intermediate
Photography by Ally Stuart, www.allystuartphotography.co.uk.
Hair and make-up: Linda Wilson. Photographed at Rufflets
Hotel, St Andrews, www.rufflets.co.uk.
MEASUREMENTS
To fit sizes: 76/81 cm (30/
32 ins), 86/91 (34/36), 97/102
(38/40) 107/112 (42/44),
117/122 (46/48), 127/132
(50/52).
Actual size: 86 cm (34 ins), 97
(38), 107 (42), 117 (46), 127
(50), 137 (54).
Length (approx.): 56 cm
(22 ins), 57 (22�), 58 (22�),
58 (22�), 59 (23�), 61 (24).
Sleeve seam: 43 cm (17 ins), 44
(17�), 44 (17�), 44 (17�), 45
(17�) 45 (17�).
MATERIALS
7 (8, 8, 8, 9, 9) 50-gram balls of
King Cole Merino Blend 4 Ply
(shade Sage 853). 2.75 mm
(No.12) and 3.25 mm (No.10)
knitting needles. 7 buttons from
Duttons for Buttons, tel: 01423
502092 email: michelle@
duttonsforbuttons.co.uk.
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.co.uk.
74
TENSION
28 sts and 36 rows to
10 cm measured over st-st
using 3.25 mm needles.
ABBREVIATIONS
Alt ? alternate;
beg ? beginning;
dec ? decrease;
inc ? increase; K ? knit;
P ? purl; psso ? pass slipped
st over; rem ? remain;
sl ? slip; st(s) ? stitches;
st-st ? stocking-stitch (knit
1 row, purl 1 row);
tbl ? through back of loop;
tog ? together. tw2 ? sl1,
K1, pass slipped st over and
knit into back of it;
yf ? yarn forward.
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 with your
queries, you must enclose a
stamped, addressed envelope
if you would like a reply.
Panel (worked over
21 sts)
1st row ? P1, K1, yf, sl1,
K2tog, psso, yf, K1, P1, K1,
tw2, P1, tw2, K1, P1, K1, yf,
sl1, K2tog, psso, yf, K1, P1.
2nd row ? P21.
3rd row ? P1, K2, yf, sl1, K1,
psso, K1, P1, K1, tw2, P1,
tw2, K1, P1, K2, yf, sl1, K1,
psso, K1, P1.
4th row ? P21.
These 4 rows form panel.
RIGHT FRONT
With 2.75 mm needles cast
on 61 (67, 75, 81, 89,
95) sts.
1st (right-side) row ? K2,
[P1, K1] to last st, K1.
2nd row ? K1, [P1, K1] to
end.
Repeat 1st and 2nd rows
twice more, then 1st row
again.
Next row ? Purl, inc 1 (2, 1,
2, 1, 2) sts evenly across row
? 62 (69, 76, 83, 90, 97) sts
??.
Change to 3.25 mm needles
and st-st with panel:
1st (right-side) row ? K19
(23, 23, 26, 28, 30), work
21 sts from 1st row of panel,
K22 (25, 32, 36, 41, 46).
2nd row ? Purl.
3rd row ? As 1st row but
working 3rd row of panel.
4th row ? Purl.
These 4 rows set the pattern.
??? Continue in pattern
until work measures 34 (34,
34, 31, 31, 31) cm from
beginning, measured through
centre of work and ending
after a purl row. (The varying
lengths are to allow greater
depth in the front slope for
the 3 larger sizes.)
Shape front slope ?
Dec row ? K2, sl1, K1, psso,
work to end.
Work 3 rows straight.
Rep the last 4 rows until 59
(66, 73, 78, 85, 92) sts rem.
Work dec row once more ?
58 (65, 72, 77, 84,
91) sts.
Work 2 rows straight thus
ending at side edge.
NB: on left front, work 1 row
only.
Shape armhole ?
Dec row ? Cast off 6 (7, 8,
10, 11, 12) sts loosely, work
to end.
NB: on left front ONLY purl
1 row ? 52 (58, 64, 67, 73,
79) sts.
Still working front dec row on
next row and every following
4th row, AT THE SAME TIME
dec 1 st at armhole edge on
every row until 46 (50, 52,
55, 60, 65) sts rem, then on
every following 4th row until
41 (42, 44, 47, 48, 51) sts
rem.
Continue working front dec
row on every following 4th
row from previous dec until
31 (33, 35, 37, 39, 42) sts
rem.
Work straight until front
measures 17 (18, 19, 20,
21, 23) cm from start of
armhole shaping, ending at
armhole edge.
Shape shoulder ? Cast off
8 (8, 9, 9, 10, 10) sts
loosely at beg of next row
and the following 2 alt rows
? 7 (9, 8, 10, 9, 12) sts.
Work 1 row straight.
Cast off.
LEFT FRONT
Work as right front to ??.
Change to 3.25 mm needles
and st-st with panel:
1st row ? K22 (25, 32, 36,
41, 46), work 21 sts from
1st row of panel, knit to end.
2nd row ? Purl.
3rd row ? As 1st row but
working 3rd row of panel.
4th row ? Purl.
Complete as given for right
front working from ??? to
end but noting that front
slope dec row will be ? Work
to last 4 sts, K2tog, K2.
BACK
With 2.75 mm needles cast
on 127 (141, 155, 169,
183, 197) sts and work
7 rows in rib as given for right
front.
Next row ? Purl.
Change to 3.25 mm needles
and beginning with a knit
row, work in st-st until back
measures same as left front
to armhole shaping, thus
ending at side edge.
Shape armholes ? Cast off
6 (7, 8, 10, 11, 13) sts
loosely at the beg of next
2 rows, work to end ? 115
(127, 139, 149, 161,
171) sts.
Dec 1 st at each end of next
and every row until 105
(113, 121, 131, 139,
149) sts rem, then on every
following alt row until 97
(103, 109, 117, 123,
131) sts rem.
Work straight until back
measures same as front to
shoulder shaping, ending
after a purl row.
Shape shoulders ? Cast off
8 (8, 9, 9, 10, 10) sts loosely
at beginning of next 6 rows,
then 7 (9, 8, 10, 9, 12) sts at
beginning of next 2 rows ?
35 (37, 39, 43, 45, 47) sts.
Cast off loosely.
SLEEVES
With 2.75 mm needles cast
on 51 (53, 55, 57, 59,
61) sts and work 6 cm in rib
as given for right front, ending
after a 1st row.
Next row ? Purl, increasing
2 (2, 4, 4, 6, 6) sts evenly
across row ? 53 (55, 59, 61,
65, 67) sts.
Change to 3.25 mm needles
and st-st with panel.
1st (right-side) row ? K16
(17, 19, 20, 22, 23), work
1st row of panel, K16 (17,
19, 20, 22, 23).
2nd row ? Purl.
3rd row ? As 1st row but
working 3rd row of panel.
4th row ? Purl.
Continue in pattern shaping
sleeve by inc 1 st at each
end of next row, then on
every following 6th (6th, 6th,
4th, 4th, 4th) row until there
are 73 (91, 95, 75, 85, 99)
sts, then on every following
8th (8th, 6th, 6th, 6th,
6th) row until there are 91
(97, 103, 109, 115,
121) sts.
Work straight until sleeve
measures 43 (44, 44, 44,
45, 45) cm from beginning,
ending after a purl row.
Shape top ?
Cast off 6 (7, 8, 10, 11,
13) sts loosely at beg of next
two rows, work to end ? 79
(83, 87, 89, 93, 95) sts.
Work 0 (0, 2, 4, 4, 8) rows
straight.
Dec 1 st at each end of next
row and every following alt
row until 45 (47, 53, 55, 59,
63) sts rem, then on every
row until 29 (31, 37, 39, 43,
47) sts rem.
Cast off loosely.
TO COMPLETE
Join shoulders.
Borders ? With 2.75 mm
needles, cast on 11 sts. Work
a strip in rib as given for right
front until border, when
slightly stretched, fits up left
front edge and round to
centre back of neck. Cast off
in rib.
Mark position on left border
for 7 buttons, the first one to
be on 5th/6th rows, the
seventh one to be level with
1st front dec or a few rows
below, and the remainder
spaced evenly between.
Work right border to match
left border but working
buttonholes to match
markers thus:
1st row (right side) ?
Rib 4, cast off 3 sts in rib, rib
to end.
2nd row ? Rib, casting on
3 sts over those cast off.
To Make Up ? Omitting
ribbing, press work on wrong
side following pressing
instructions. Sew on borders.
Sew in sleeve tops. Join side
and sleeve seams. Sew on
buttons. Press seams. n
Next week: welcome
baby with a cosy
blanket.
Rico Baby Dream dk
㏑ico Design Ltd. All rights reserved.
Preserving Your
Pictures
KNOW HOW 77
Technology expert Keir Thomas
shares his tips for keeping your
digital photos safe.
M
ANY of us have
become used to
taking snaps
with our mobile
phones or even
our tablet computers. While
this is convenient and fun,
an important question is
raised when we come to get
a new model.
How do we get the photos
off the old one ? or at least
ensure they?re transferred
across to the new one?
Most phones and tablets
automatically store the
pictures you take online.
Apple?s iPhones and iPads
uses the iCloud system for
this, for example. Samsung
uses its similarly named
Cloud system.
Therefore, often the
least-fuss plan for saving
your pictures when
upgrading is to get another
model from the same
manufacturer.
When setting up your new
phone or tablet, just ensure
you type in the same user
account as you did on your
iStock.
Professional vs Home Printing
Printing your photos at home compared to having
them printed professionally has a drawback.
Professional print s will last for at least as long as
traditional photos taken with a film camera.
Photobox says its prints are guaranteed fade
resistant for 150 years, for example. By way of
contrast, prints you make at home will start to fade
within five or ten years, or perhaps even earlier.
Using special photographic paper and
ink can help, but finding the right
combination is complicated, and
varies massively depending on the
make and model of printer you use.
The prints fade because air and light
get to them, so simple steps such as
putting a print behind a glass frame,
or putting prints in a photograph
album that spends most of the
time in a drawer or cupboard, can
help eke out more life from them.
old phone. Your photos
should appear on the new
phone or tablet
automatically after an hour
or two.
If you?re not familiar with
user accounts then the best
plan might be to ask for
help from the shop
assistants when purchasing
the new phone or tablet.
This is perhaps wise advice
in any case!
Google offers its Google
Photos system to store
pictures online, and this can
be added to any phone or
tablet ? even Apple models.
You?ll find Google Photos in
the Google Play Store on
most phones and tablets, or
the App Store on Apple?s
iPhones and iPads.
Because it?s compatible
with all phones and tablets,
using this to store your
photos will let you transfer
your pictures between
manufacturers. While
making it all work isn?t very
difficult, it?s again best to get
some help.
Another solution is simply
to create prints of your
favourite digital camera
snaps, just like we did with
cameras in the old days.
Some high-street shops
and Asda supermarkets offer
digital printing services, in
which case all you need do
is take your phone along to
one of the floor displays and
plug it in, before following
the instructions on the
screen.
Alternatively, you can use
an online service that will
deliver the snaps to your
home. Just download the
app and follow its
instructions.
There are many competing
services, but Snapfish,
www.snapfish.co.uk, and
Photobox, www.photobox.
co.uk, are popular, and offer
competitive prices.
You can also print your
own photos at home using
your own printer ? but only
if it?s built to work with your
phone or tablet.
If you?ve an Apple iPhone
or iPad you?ll need to ensure
your printer works with
AirPrint. If you?ve any other
kind of phone or tablet,
you?ll need to ensure the
printer works with Google
Cloud Print. Check the
printer?s manual for details.
Again, printing from your
phone or tablet is intended
to be simple but can still be
involved. You might require
some help to learn the
steps.
Try typing your printer
make and model in the
YouTube search box to find
lots of useful tutorials. n
Holidays in Jersey
JerseY - BATTle OF FlOWers TOur
OPTION 1. 7-10 AuGusT 2018
BesT WesTern rOYAl HOTel***
OPTION 2. 4-11 AuGusT 2018
FOrT d?AuVerGne HOTel***
This is a wonderful opportunity to see one of the
greatest european floral festivals, the Jersey Battle
of Flowers which takes place in August every year ?
tickets to the main parades are strictly limited so we
recommend that you BOOK eArlY.
TRANSFERS FROM THE HOTEL TO THE MAIN PARADE AND
MOONLIGHT PARADE ARE NOT INCLUDED, YOU HAVE TO
MAKE YOUR OWN WAY TO THE ARENA.
OPTION 1.
�9
3 niGHTs FrOM
PP
Supplement for half board �.00 per person per night
7-10 AuGusT 2018 | BesT WesTern rOYAl HOTel***
Includes a half day morning excursion, on the Wednesday
evening a special behind the scene tour to see the final
touches being put to the floats, and on Thursday 9 August
reserved seats to watch the Battle of Flowers main parade.
Price includes
? Return flights from Gatwick* with 1 piece hold baggage
per person
? 3 or 7 nights? accommodation in a twin/double room at
selected hotel
? Return transfers in Jersey
? 3 or 7 x full buffet breakfasts at selected hotel
? Tours, excursions and tickets as detailed in the options
? All current taxes
OPTION 2.
�5
7 niGHTs FrOM
PP
Supplement for half board �.00 per person per night
Supplement for sea view �50 per person per night
4-11 AuGusT 2018 | FOrT d?AuVerGne HOTel***
Includes everything listed in Option 1, plus on the Friday
morning an opportunity to see the floats close up in detail
and to meet Miss Battle 2018, and on the Friday evening a
reserved seat to the Moonlight Parade.
*Flights may also be available from exeter, southampton, london city, southend, Bristol, Birmingham, east Midlands, cambridge,
liverpool, Manchester, leeds, Glasgow, edinburgh, Belfast and others ? Most will incur a supplement, please call us for details.
Please send me a copy of ?The People?s Friend? Battle of Flowers Tour brochure
Name ...........................................................................................................................................
Address ........................................................................................................................................
.....................................................................................................................................................
............................................................................ Postcode
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Email Address ...............................................................................................................................
From time to time, DC Thomson & Co. Ltd., it?s group companies and its partner businesses would like to contact customers about
new products and offers we think may be of interest. We?ll assume that we can contact you by post or telephone unless you tick the
relevant box. No contact from DC Thomson & Co. Ltd, or its group companies unless relating to an existing order
No contact from our partner businesses unless it relates to an existing offer
For A brochure: complete the order form and send to:
The People?s Friend, Jersey Offers, Heron
House, Jersey Airport, Jersey, JE1 1BW
To book, cAll: 01534 496652
quoting The People?s Friend
or VisiT:
www.thepeoplesfriendtravel.co.uk
Organised and operated by Travtel International ATOL Protected 1965, ABTA No. V0300. Subject to availability.
Supplements may apply. NB: A financial protection fee of �50 per person will be added to your invoice.
SHORT STORY BY CATHERINE JONES 79
Magic In The Air
My grandson?s
favourite author
was coming to
town. Meeting
him would be
the perfect
birthday treat
for Liam!
Illustration by Jim Dewar.
T
HE moment I saw
the sign in the
bookshop window, I
could have danced
a little jig right there
on the high street.
I had spent the morning
trying to find a birthday
present for my grandson,
Liam. I?ve never been the
best at buying gifts.
Some people are clever
like that, choosing just the
right thing. I haven?t got the
knack, but now, right in
front of my eyes, was the
answer.
We are honoured to
welcome the celebrated
author A.J. Hughes who will
be in the shop between
eleven o?clock and midday
this Friday.
Due to a busy schedule,
the author is here for one
hour only to sign copies of
his new book, ?Magic In
The Air?. Arrive early to
avoid disappointment!
?This has got your name
on it, Liam,? I said to
myself. ?And it takes place
on your birthday.?
Mad about dinosaurs and
fossils, Liam likes watching
nature programmes on TV
and reading books about
wizards, goblins and talking
bats.
I had found the perfect
present for my grandson.
A.J. Hughes was his
favourite author. I?d take
him to get the latest book
signed as his birthday treat.
I have read every one of
A.J.?s books to Liam at
bedtime. Though the stories
are aimed at children, adults
have fallen under his spell.
Grown men and women
attend conventions dressed
as Gringles, Grutters,
Billybongs and the rest of
his eccentric characters.
Though I?m probably too
old to believe in charms, I?m
not ashamed to admit I can
see the appeal of magic.
?It was pure luck I noticed
it,? I told my daughter Anne
when I dropped round for
coffee later. ?I was about to
go home empty-handed.?
Not a fan of shopping,
I?ve never made a fuss
about clothes or make-up. I
like to be well turned out
and look forward to my visit
to the hair salon, but the
truth is I?m happiest in
trousers and a jumper.
Living on my own, I have
plenty of other activities to
occupy me, including
regular visits from Liam.
Anne and her husband
Simon have an allotment
where they grow tomatoes,
potatoes and courgettes,
and Liam and I help to weed
or water the vegetables.
?It?s a great idea, Mum,?
Anne said. ?What a treat
for him.?
Though I smiled, there
was concern mixed in with
my sense of triumph.
A.J. Hughes was a
popular author and the
shop would be packed.
We?d need an early start.
?I can?t get over it being
on his birthday, too,? I
replied. ?Like magic!?
?Thanks, Mum,? Anne
said, hugging me. ?Liam?s
going to love it.?
* * * *
The morning of Liam?s
birthday, I rose at six
o?clock.
Usually I sleep until at
least an hour later, but I
had butterflies in my
stomach about the book
signing. I wanted everything
to run smoothly and the
day to be a success.
?Grandma!? Liam called,
running to the door when I
arrived at the house to pick
him up. ?Mum says we?re
going on a secret trip.?
?Happy birthday!? I
replied. ?Are you ready??
Seeing my grandson?s
excited nod, I remembered
that, as a child, I?d found
half the fun of any treat was
the expectation.
Bursting with anticipation,
I couldn?t help telling Liam
there and then that we were
off to the bookshop to see
A.J. Hughes.
?Is he really going to write
my name in his new book??
he asked, jumping up and
down. ?Thanks, Grandma.?
Before leaving, Liam
showed me his birthday
presents, proudly listing the
contents of a bug-finding kit
which included a magnifying
glass, a small net to catch
insects, and a booklet
identifying various species.
?Will you come to the
woods one day to catch
creepy crawlies, Grandma??
?I can?t think of anything
I?d like more,? I replied,
smiling at my daughter.
Liam had wanted a dog
for his birthday, but Anne
had explained that with
both parents working, the
animal would have to be on
its own all day.
?I hope this goes to plan,?
I told her before helping my
grandson into his car seat.
?It?ll be fine,? Anne said.
?Look how thrilled he is.?
I was glad I had allowed
plenty o f time to get to the
bookshop. The traffic was
busy and every set of
lights turned to red as
80
we approached.
Buses pulled out, a
lorry blocked the way as it
unloaded outside a shop,
and when a pigeon alighted
on a zebra crossing, we
waited as it strutted across
the road.
Aside from a pantomime
every Christmas by the
local amateur dramatics
group, nothing much
happened in this town. I
usually enjoyed the peace
and quiet.
?Come on, A.J. Hughes,?
I said. ?Cast a spell to
speed things up.?
?Grandma, look!? Liam
cried. ?There?s a lost dog.?
My grandson was
pointing at a small dog
sitting on the pavement
surrounded by a group of
concerned passers-by.
Knowing Liam would be
upset if we didn?t make
sure the animal was all
right, I pulled in alongside
the gathering crowd.
I was worried, too. The
poor thing was tied to a
lamppost and had an
abandoned air about him.
?This note says the owner
is sorry for no longer being
able to look after the dog,?
a man said, waving a piece
of paper in the air. ?It says
he?s called Eddie and needs
a home.?
?Someone will have to
take him to the dogs?
home,? a woman called. ?I
would help but I haven?t
got my car.?
Several people glanced at
me holding my keys as
Liam bent down and
stroked the dog?s ears.
I?d been roped in on
incidents like this before,
once when Liam and I
found a poorly hedgehog
which we took to an animal
welfare centre where it
made a full recovery from
lungworm.
?Hello, Eddie,? Liam said
to the dog. ?Do you want
to come in the car with us??
Two sets of doleful dark
eyes looked up at me. The
growing crowd was staring
in my direction, too.
?He looks just like the
dog in A.J. Hughes?s
books,? my grandson went
on. ?He can?t be left here,
can he, Grandma??
?OK, Liam,? I replied.
?But he?ll have to come
with us to the bookshop or
we?ll miss the signing.?
Pulling off, I looked in the
car?s rearview mirror at the
dog who was sitting on the
back seat beside Liam. My
heart beat faster with
pleasure at the sight of my
grandson?s smiling face.
Then I realised time was
ticking on and began to
worry we?d miss his birthday
treat. Why had this
happened today of all days?
* * * *
When we arrived at the
shop, with Eddie in tow, a
queue stretched outside the
door.
Staff dressed as
characters from the books
were offering sweets to fans
as they waited.
I spotted several wizards
and a talkative white rabbit
in a top hat.
We were at the end of the
queue, but it moved quickly
and I was relieved when we
shuffled towards the door.
Sitting at a desk, A.J.
Hughes greeted fans as they
handed him a book before
telling him their names so
he could write a dedication
inside.
?Speak up. I?m a bit hard
of hearing,? I heard the
author saying to one fan.
?There you go, young lady.?
?Thank you,? the girl
replied, before moving off
so the next fan could take
her place.
When the shop manager
told me no dogs were
allowed inside, she
suggested I wait at the door
with Eddie while Liam went
to have his book signed.
I watched her accompany
my grandson to the desk
where A.J. Hughes sat. Liam
was the last in line to have
his book signed.
?Hello, young man,? the
author said as I looked on
with relief that we?d made
it. ?What?s your name??
?Liam,? my grandson
whispered shyly.
The author quickly wrote
a message and returned the
book as the town?s church
clock struck midday.
?Thank you,? Liam
replied, before paying the
cashier with the money I?d
given to him.
?We were just in time,? I
said, when my grandson
returned.
Behind him, the author
vanished through a door at
the back of the shop.
?See, A.J. Hughes has
done a disappearing trick.?
?But he?s written a
different name, Grandma.?
I looked where Liam was
pointing. The message in his
book read: Best wishes to a
fellow Gringle. Lots of love
to Ian, from A.J. Hughes.
?What a shame,? I said,
feeling as disappointed as
my grandson. ?The author
told one customer he was
hard of hearing. He must
have thought you said Ian
and not Liam.?
Leaning to ruffle his hair, I
wished I could cast a spell
to make it right, but then
Liam began to giggle.
?Don?t be sad, Grandma.
It?s funny,? he replied. ?Ian
does sound like Liam. It?s
my fault, not yours. I should
have spoken louder.?
Liam was laughing so
much he made me smile,
too, and I was grateful for
his good-natured reaction.
When a man and a small
boy rushed towards us on
the pavement, we moved
from the shop doorway as
Eddie the dog pulled
towards them on his lead.
?Is A.J. Hughes still
here?? the man asked.
?We?re not too late, are
we? I wanted to get a book
signed for my grandson. It?s
his birthday. It would mean
the world.?
When I told him the
author had gone on the dot
of midday, the man?s face
fell. Seeing his downhearted
expression, I felt sorry for
both of them, but there was
nothing I could do to help.
?Come on, Ian,? I joked
to Liam in an attempt to
cheer him up. He had
stopped laughing when he
saw the other boy and his
grandfather were upset.
?Let?s go for an ice-cream.?
?You?re called Ian, too,
are you?? the man asked as
they walked with us. ?That?s
my grandson?s name. What
a coincidence!?
?No, I?m not called Ian.
My name is Liam, but it is
my birthday today.?
As Liam pulled his signed
book from the bag, he gave
me a grin before handing it
to the other boy.
?Here you are, Ian. This is
for you,? he said. ?Happy
birthday!?
Ian?s dejected expression
vanished. Opening the
book, he smiled excitedly.
?Look, Grandpa!? he
said. ?It?s my name. A.J.
Hughes must have known
we were coming after all.?
As his grandfather
watched in delight, the boy
read out the message.
?It says ?Best wishes to a
fellow Gringle. Lots of love
to Ian, from A.J. Hughes?.?
?Happy birthday, Ian!? I
said, thinking how magical
coincidences could be.
As my grandson chatted
about wizards with his new
friend, Ian?s grandfather
shook my hand.
?I?m Alan,? he said. ?It?s
an understatement to say
you?ve saved my bacon. I?m
usually not sure what to
give him and this seemed
the perfect surprise. Thank
you so much.?
?Our pleasure,? I said,
feeling pleased the day had
improved. ?I?m Margaret,
but I?m afraid we haven?t
got a book with your name
in, too.?
Alan laughed.
?Did I hear mention of
ice-cream?? he asked. ?It
would make the day even
more memorable if you and
Liam would join us for a
birthday treat.?
* * * *
As the five of us walked
along the pavement
together, Liam took Eddie?s
lead while Ian hugged his
new book.
?I?m having the best
time,? Liam said. ?And I?ve
got a dog for the day.?
?Would you like Eddie to
stay longer than your
birthday?? I asked, already
picturing the dog settling
into my home. ?I reckon he
might enjoy coming with us
to look for creepy crawlies
in the woods, don?t you??
I?m not saying I believe in
magic or A.J. Hughes?s
talking animals, but I?m
convinced that dog turned
round and gave me a
grateful glance.
I smiled back.
If it hadn?t been for
Eddie, we wouldn?t have
been at the shop when Alan
arrived late.
?Thank you, Grandma,?
Liam replied, taking my
hand. ?This birthday is a
dream come true.? n
PUZZLES 83
How long will it take you to correctly fit the words
relating to days, months and seasons into the grid?
JULY
JUNE
5 letters
DECEMBER
FEBRUARY
NOVEMBER
SATURDAY
APRIL
MARCH
9 letters
6 letters
SEPTEMBER
WEDNESDAY
M
A
R
C
H
AUTUMN
MONDAY
SPRING
Solutions
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
Brick Trick
E ND
D E N S
S N I D E
S I NGE D
D I NGOE S
D I AGNOS E
AGON I S E
E A S I NG
GA I N S
S ANG
GA S
2
1 Come to a close (3)
2 Animal lairs (4)
3 Sarcastic,
nasty (remark) (5)
4 Slightly burnt (6)
5 Australian wild dogs (7)
6 Identify (a disease) (8)
7 Worry intensely (7)
8 Calming, abating (6)
9 Acquires (5)
10 Warbled (4)
11 Domestic fuel (3)
R
1
Kriss Kross
J
U
L
Y
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.
A Y
Brick Trick
G
J
U
F
N
C EMB E
B
E R M
U
A
A P R I
R
C
A Y
H
8 letters
S P R I N
O
V
D E
M
T EMB
E
A
R
U
T URD
U
MOND
N
4 letters
W
S E P
D
N
E
S A
D
A
Y
Kriss Kross
All puzzles � Puzzler Media Ltd www.puzzler.com
SOAP BY GLENDA YOUNG 85
OUR
WEEKLY
SOAP
A well-known
face arrives in
Ryemouth . . .
iStock.
S
HE?S there! Look!?
Susan cried, waving
Dave over to their
bedroom window.
Dave looked down
at the entrance to their
apartment block. Outside
in the car park he could see
what looked like a vintage
car, with what appeared to
be a chauffeur in the front
seat.
?What?s going on?? Dave
whispered.
?Why are you
whispering?? Susan
whispered back.
As the two of them
watched, down below, a
short woman got out of the
back of the car. She was
wearing black sunglasses
and a red headscarf, and
she walked to the door of
the apartment block and
disappeared inside.
Susan shrugged and
shook her head.
?I wonder if she?s going to
be our new neighbour??
?Well, the sign?s been
taken down on Jenny?s old
flat,? Dave said. ?So it?s
likely.?
Susan turned away from
the window and walked
towards baby Sarah,
sleeping soundly in her cot.
?We need to get the
christening sorted out,
Dave,? Susan said.
Dave continued peering
out of the window.
Riverside
?Bob Lewin?s walking
towards the car,? Dave said
with a frown. ?He?s chatting
to the chauffeur now. He?s
leaning into that car and
talking to the driver.?
Susan raised her
eyebrows in surprise.
?Susan?? Dave said
slowly, without turning
from the window. ?That
woman?s just walked out
again, and you?ll never
guess what she?s doing.
You?re going to have to
come and have a look
because I don?t believe I?m
seeing this.?
Susan walked back to the
window, intrigued to find
out what was going on, and
when she saw what was
happening she couldn?t
quite believe her eyes.
The glamorous newcomer
in her dark glasses and
scarf was being hugged to
within an inch of her life by
Bob Lewin.
* * * *
Meanwhile, in the Ship,
Jim and Claire were busy
working behind the bar.
?I hear you have a new
neighbour,? Jim said to his
barmaid as he pulled a pint
of Ryemouth Riveter.
?Yes, some woman?s
bought Jenny?s old flat,?
Claire said, ringing two
packets of crisps and two
bitter lemons through the
till. ?She seems nice. Mum
says she recognises her off
the telly, but I can?t say I
know her. Amanda, she?s
called. Amanda Bow.?
Jim stopped what he was
doing.
?Amanda Bow??
Claire nodded.
?What?s the matter, Jim?
You?ve gone as white as a
sheet.?
He pulled his phone from
his pocket and swiped it
into life. Then, after a few
key presses and a quick
search online, he held the
phone up for Claire to see.
?Is this her??
?Yes, but she looks a lot
younger there. She?s aged
since that photo was
taken.?
Jim stood with his mouth
open.
?You know who this is,
don?t you??
?No, I don?t. Should I??
Before Jim could say any
more, the door of the pub
swung open and Bob Lewin
walked in. It took Jim a
couple of seconds to realise
that there was someone
else with Bob.
When Jim did look up, he
saw the figure of soap siren
Mandy Bow, as large as life
and twice as glamorous as
she had ever looked on TV
when she?d starred in his
favourite show.
?Pint of stout for me,?
Bob told Jim. ?And a gin
and tonic for my friend.?
Jim watched,
flabbergasted, as Mandy
Bow sat in Bob Lewin?s
usual seat by the fire.
He waved, as discreetly
as he could, for Bob to
walk over to the side of the
bar where he could have a
quiet word.
?Is that who I think it is??
he whispered to Bob. ?Is it
Mandy Bow??
Bob gave a brief nod.
?Well, that?s her stage
name. She?s a local lass,
you know, originally from
Ryemouth, and now she?s
returned to her roots to
retire. I used to go to
school with her back in the
day, and she was best
friend to my wife Gladys.
She kept in touch with
Gladys even at the height
of her fame. But Mandy
Bow will always be Audrey
Smith to me.?
?Audrey Smith?? Jim
repeated, puzzled.
Bob smiled.
?She wants to live a quiet
life now. Doesn?t want to
be recognised.?
Jim glanced over at
Mandy, who was stroking
Buster.
?For someone who
doesn?t want to attract
attention, she?s doing a
good job of sending out the
wrong signals,? Jim told
Bob. ?I mean, wearing
those sunglasses indoors
for a start!?
Bob sighed.
?She can?t bring herself
to admit that her soap
career is over. She says she
doesn?t want attention, but
when anybody recognises
her, she loves it. She?s got
her son working as her
chauffeur and she only
goes as far as the
supermarket on the
Ryemouth ring road.?
Jim poured the drinks
then took them over to
where Mandy was sitting.
?I?m a big fan, Miss Bow,
and it?s a pleasure to meet
you,? he said, handing over
her gin and tonic. ?And
these drinks are on the
house.
?Thank you.? She giggled,
removing her sunglasses
finally. ?But please, call me
Audrey.?
More next week.
Best Of
Buddies
Here is my lovely
twenty-one-year-old
granddaughter Anna,
and her equally lovely
but boisterous black
Labrador, Jet.
He is quite a handful.
So much so, I?m
surprised that he stayed
in her arms long
enough to have a photo
taken!
Mrs B.W., Devon.
Between
Friends
Write to us at Between Friends, ?The People?s Friend?,
2 Albert Square, Dundee DD1 1DD, or e-mail us at
betweenfriends@dctmedia.co.uk.
Star Letter
The recent serial ?To St Peter?s Fields? perfectly
captured the atmosphere of that particular time
in our history. It was of interest to us as my
husband Brian is a supporting actor for film and
TV and spent four weeks last summer filming
that particular event at Tilbury.
The movie ?Peterloo?, directed by Mike Leigh,
tells the story of the Peterloo Massacre. Brian
played the part of a slum dweller. Before filming
particular scenes the historian would explain
the context and the particular mood of that day.
The filming was extremely realistic and both
physically and emotionally exhausting. On more
than one occasion Brian found himself eye-toeye with horses? nostrils and soldiers? sabres!
The release date still has to be set for
?Peterloo?, so we?re unable to send you a picture of Brian in his costume.
However, here?s one from a 1970s thriller that he was in last year. The side
whiskers are courtesy of the make-up department!
Mrs S.R., Sawtry.
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.
Battling The
Elements
This is my youngest
granddaughter Abbie Robertson
who is a radiographer, working
in Dublin.
I?d just like to say thanks to
her and all the health
professionals who battled their
way into work through wintry
conditions last month. What a
sterling job they do.
Mrs B.R., Peterhead.
Wise Words
In response to Miss A.B.,
Manchester, who was querying
the fates of King Henry VIII?s
wives, my father taught me the
rhyme below, which I?m sure he
learned when studying history at
school.
King Henry VIII, six wives he
had wedded.
One died, one survived, two
divorced, two beheaded.
It?s a great way to remember,
especially as it often comes up
in quizzes!
Mrs R.A., New Zealand.
Peek-a-boo!
This was a cat bed I made
from a cardboard box covered
in fabric, with a hole cut in the
side. Chelsea definitely seemed
to appreciate it.
Ms C.P., Essex.
YOUR LETTERS 87
Puzzle
Solutions
A Mother?s Love
I live in north Devon with my son Harry and the below poem
came to me and sums up the emotions I faced when he was ill.
Sunshine, innocence, wonderment and awe,
Love for your child, so engraved it is raw.
Tears of deep pain, hollow sadness in your soul,
But then . . . ?Mommy, look! I did a grass roll!?
Helplessness, anger and the feeling of no power,
But then . . . ?Mommy, look! I found you a flower.?
Nausea, worry and lines that won?t fade,
But then . . . ?Mommy, look what I made!?
My son sees magic day and night
And this has helped us win the fight.
Live in the moment, however hard it may be,
Hope will be there ? in the dark, you will see.
Ms S.I., Devon.
from page 27
Missing Link
One Hundred
Years Young
As my dear friend Annie is
soon to turn one hundred, I
thought it would be lovely for
her to be featured in her
favourite magazine ? the
?Friend?, of course.
She has read the magazine
for more than 60 years and
never misses a copy.
Ms P.L., Castlederg.
I enjoyed reading Barry Cashin?s article on ?Shrinkflation?.
It remind ed me of a conversation I had a few years ago with a
cashier in a supermarket. I had purchased a bag of mini corn on
the cob and remarked that the price had gone up.
She said it had n?t, the price was still the same. I tried to
explain that there were fewer in the bag now so that made them
more expensive, and I gave an example that if the bag cost
�40 and there were eight then that was 30p each, but now
that there were only six that made them 40p each.
She insisted the bag was the same price, and I gave up
explaining!
It seems shrinkflation can pull the wool over some people?s
eyes ? depending on how it is packaged!
Mrs K.E., Sheffield.
Crossword
S CU P P E
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MEMO I R S
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Pieceword
patterns to help pass the time.
I?m sure you?ll agree she made
Here?s a photo of my granny, a fantastic job.
Jane McLaughlin, who is ninety
Having nine children, 21
years old and has been a
grandchildren and eight
follower of ?The People?s
great-grandchildren, my gran
Friend? for many years.
has certainly done her fair
She was recently
share of knitting over the
convalescing and thought
years!
she?d try one of your knitting
Ms R.S., Troon.
Hats Off To Gran
Food For Thought
The words in order
are Game, Goal,
Tyre, Tape, Nest,
Sour, Lock, Riot,
Wing, City.
The word is
EGYPTOLOGY.
V
D I
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A
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Lasting Appeal
It still hangs in our den . . .
a painting our daughter did
more than 40 years ago.
I copied the design on to a
piece of needlepoint and
made a replica, the picture
now on the pillow in the
photograph.
It?s a great way to make
memories last and I never tire
of looking at it.
Mrs W.C., Address
requested.
A S
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unless it relates to an existing order q No contact from our partner businesses q
country air
A breath of
Renowned nature writer Polly Pullar
takes a lighthearted look at rural life.
Photographs by Polly Pullar.
T
HE morning is warm,
blackbirds have been
singing since
daybreak and I am
sitting in the garden
drinking tea.
Three dozing collies lie
beside me whilst a few
equally dozy bees have
decided that spring is
indeed on its way and are
buzzing half-heartedly
around exploring the lovely
little celandines fringing the
garden.
Then I hear the sharp call
of another new arrival to the
farm. As if the morning was
not glorious enough, a flash
of brilliant yellow as bright
as daffodils catches my eye.
There on the roof, against
a backdrop of azure blue
sky, a little bird bobs and
bows, dipping up and down,
its tail noticeably almost the
same length as its dapper
Grey wagtails stand out
with their long tails.
little body.
You?d be forgiven for
thinking it was a yellow
wagtail, but in fact this is the
grey wagtail, a bird that
remains in the British Isles
throughout the year though
moves around, and on our
farm only reappears in
spring to breed, having
probably wintered on lower
ground or nearer to the
coast.
We have three wagtails in
this country, with other
vagrants also occasionally
seen. There is the most
common and delightful little
pied wagtail that may be
found in every county of the
British Isles, the grey ?
which to my mind is the
bonniest of the trio ? and
then there is the yellow
wagtail.
It only appears in spring
and summer to breed in
water meadows and marshy
areas before sensibly
migrating south to warmer
climes for the winter.
The yellow and grey
wagtails are frequently
confused.
One immediately
distinctive feature of the
gorgeous grey wagtail is its
extra long tail. This is longer
than that of its relatives.
All wagtails dip and bow,
bob and curtsey up and
down. When they do this
near their favoured watery
habitat in constant hunt for
insects it gives rise to a host
of nicknames that relate
them to a woman cleaning
clothes or plates, lifting
them in and out of the
water as she scrubs.
All over the country,
wagtails have been given
names such as Peggy
Dishwasher, Dishwasher
and ? one I particularly like
? Polly Dishwasher, as well
as Waterbird, Barley bird
and Oatseed bird ? the last
two because they tend to
reappear in a farmyard at
sowing time.
So there I was, sitting
peacefully in the garden
when I had my first seasonal
view of the dear little grey
wagtail.
I rushed in for the camera.
I was hoping that he (you
know, because the males
have a smart dark cravat
that they lose at the end of
the breeding season) would
stay there long enough for
NATURE 63
me to take his picture.
Every spring a pair of grey
wagtails returns to make a
nest under the little
footbridge on the burn close
to our house. My first
sighting of them is always a
euphoric moment.
I often stan d on the
bridge and watch their
delightful breeding displays,
the male looking
immaculate, and his wife?s
plumage slightly more
subdued but equally lovely.
I have always found it
interesting that grey wagtails
always seem to choose
particularly beautiful places
in which to raise their
brood.
It is as if they have the
ultimate taste for design.
They like fast-flowing, clear
water, and during walks up
into the Perthshire hills I
may sit by a peaty burnside
on a bank edged with
unfurling fern fronds and
densely carpeted with wild
flowers, and there a pair of
grey wagtails will be.
To sit and watch them is
to fill even a grey, miserable
wet day with glorious rays
of sun.
The odd thing is that, even
though this is technically the
grey wagtail, there is simply
nothing dull about it at
all. n
We?ll take another
Breath Of Country Air
in our May 26 issue.
HELPING OTHERS 65
For All
Theatre
Gillian Thornton goes behind the
scenes to find out how Mousetrap
Theatre Projects are sharing the
magic of live performance.
Photographs by Alex Rumford.
W
HATEVER your
taste in
entertainment,
you?ll almost
certainly have
experienced the magic of
live theatre.
Nothing quite beats the
excitement of watching a
production that transports
us into a world of makebelieve. It may move us,
amuse us, or make us think,
but it will always entertain.
But not everyone is so
lucky. Many families who
live in deprived areas of
Britain or who live with
challenging family
circumstances have never set
foot inside a theatre.
And thousands of young
people are missing out on an
experience that could enrich
their lives in so many ways.
But for youngsters living in
London, help is at hand from
an organisation which takes
its name from the world?s
longest-running play, ?The
Mousetrap?.
This Agatha Christie thriller
has been on continuously in
the West End since 1952.
Having fun at a Relaxed
Performance.
When Sir Stephen WaleyCohen purchased the
production rights in 1996,
he thought it was time the
play gave something back.
So I?ve come to
Shaftesbury Avenue in the
heart of London?s
Theatreland to meet Susan
Whiddington. She is the
director of Mousetrap
Theatre Projects.
This educational charity
brings disadvantaged young
people into the West End to
experience theatre. Patrons
include Hugh Bonneville,
Eddie Redmayne, Alison
Steadman and David Suchet.
?I was asked to head up
the venture when it
launched in 1997 and
started work on a laptop in
the understudy?s dressing
room at St Martin?s Theatre,
home of ?The Mousetrap?,?
Susan says. She is a native
of St Louis, Missouri, and
has spent all her working life
in the theatre.
?We ran our first event in
March 1998 with a visit to
the play ?Art?. The producer
was a former high school
teacher who was really keen
to get young people in to
see the play.
?Afterwards the students
could discuss the play with
Ready to enjoy a
West End show.
the actors and take a
resource pack.
?Then another producer
invited us to see a musical
and our programme just
grew and grew as more
supporters came on board.
?Today we have eleven
staff running twenty-three
different programmes
involved with schools,
families and communities.
And every year we take
thousands of children from
state schools in the London
area who are disadvantaged
or have special needs on
visits to top theatres.?
Mousetrap Theatre
Projects offers tickets to
students and their families
for between �and �.
Susan and her team work
closely with social services,
youth organisations and a
range of other agencies
across London to
identify individual
The children get
involved at school, too.
All ages can enjoy a
theatre performance.
families and
communities that could
benefit from their offers.
?We are unique in that we
work very hard to find the
right production for each
group of young people,?
Susan explains.
?We meet with teachers,
youth leaders and families
to find out what they want
from their theatre
experience. So it?s
wonderful to receive so
many letters, e-mails and
thank-you cards.?
Every Mousetrap
programme includes a
theatre visit, but there?s so
much more on offer.
Working with a database of
specialised teachers and
theatre staff, the team are
Access for all
Mousetrap Theatre
Projects also work with
families who have
disabled youngsters. They
arrange special
performances for blind
and partially sighted
children, for instance,
where they join in a
workshop about the
performance and get the
chance to meet the actors
and touch costumes.
Then there are Relaxed
Performances for families
with autistic children for
whom a family theatre
outing has been out of the
question. Staff can tone
down lights or sounds and
provide quiet areas
outside the auditorium for
children who need to take
a break.
Parents are then able to
relax knowing that if their
child stands up or makes
an inappropriate noise,
everyone will understand.
able to offer creative
learning resources to
schools.
Mousetrap works with
community groups on
projects such as a six-week
summer programme that
includes a theatre visit and a
range of associated activities.
Some youngsters who live
in outer London boroughs
have never been to the West
End before, let alone a
theatre production.
Last autumn, a major
programme enabled groups
of young carers from across
London to produce their
own plays and then
showcase them in one
inspirational day of youth
theatre.
?We work with individual
families, too,? Susan
continues.
?Every summer, we target
specific families with a
leaflet inviting them to a
theatre production for just
six pounds a ticket. There?s a
choice of thirty-five shows
and optional add-ons such
as workshops and backstage
visits.
?Many of them have no
idea what to expect, so for
?Family First Nights?, we
provide information in
advance about what to wear,
Happy students enjoying
a � night out.
how much an ice-cream
costs, and how to get there.
?We phone them a few
days before the visit to see if
they have any questions. A
couple of weeks later, we
send more special offers. For
many families, it?s the start
of a love affair with theatre.?
In 20 years, Mousetrap
Theatre Projects has taken
over 175,000 young people
to the theatre, and there are
currently 14,000 names on
its database who receive
monthly special offers. But
they don?t all come with
their school, family or youth
leader.
Thanks to the
theatrelive4�programme,
teenagers aged between
fifteen and eighteen in state
secondary education can
buy tickets for just �each
to visit the theatre
independently.
A similar programme
called westend4� offers
tickets to drama students
aged nineteen to
twenty-three for a tenner.
The Society of London
Theatre is the main source
of funding for Mousetrap
Theatre Projects, who reach
out to a new audience the
theatres are unable to reach.
Other income comes from
trusts and private donations
and without them, none of
the disadvantaged
youngsters would benefit
from the power of live
performance.
?We?ve seen many
youngsters inspired to
follow their own career
through the theatre,? Susan
tells me. ?And the best bit of
my job is watching them
light up as they enjoy new
experiences and develop
new talents and life skills.
?Every year, our Youth
Forum run their own awards
ceremony for theatre
productions with some great
categories such as ?Show
That Made Me Dance All The
Way Home? and ?Aesthetic
On Point? (Best Design). It?s
a fabulous evening and
often a chance for them to
meet some of our
supporters and patrons.
?Our patrons are all busy
actors so we really
appreciate what they do for
us. In 2017, Eddie
Redmayne made a short
publicity film about our
work which was shown in
cinemas before his hit
movie ?Fantastic Beasts And
Where To Find Them?. And
several of our other patrons
are really hands on.?
So next time you go to a
London show, just take a
moment to think about the
cast and crew. One of them
may well have had their first
introduction to theatre
through Mousetrap Theatre
Projects ? an open door to a
whole new world. n
Want To
Know More?
For more information, visit
www.mousetrap.org.uk
At Doddington Place
Gardens in Kent.
my garden
Notes from
Alexandra Campbell is looking
ahead to her summer pot plants.
Check Your Ivy
Photographs by Alexandra Campbell and iStock.
Late spring is a good
time to cut back ivy. It?s
best not to prune ivy in
the autumn because
that?s when it flowers.
Its flowers and berries
are excellent nectar for
pollinating insects. Ivy
can be cut back fairly
brutally ? just pull it off
and chop away. But be
careful if it has wrapped
itself round your
guttering. Ivy can get
everywhere so do an
annual check around
now.
I
T?S about now that I start
thinking about planting
up my pots for the
summer. Sometimes I just
want easy-care, longlasting plants that won?t be
too much trouble.
Then I see friends with
beautifully planted pots and
realise how gorgeous they
can be.
When choosing plants for
outdoor pots, I have two
strategies. One is a variation
on the classic ?thriller/filler/
spiller? design. A ?thriller?
plant is a dramatic plant,
either in a strong shape or
an eye-catching colour, and
it adds height.
If your pot is against the
wall, plant the thriller at the
back, but if your pot can be
seen from all angles, plant it
in the middle. Tall
ornamental grasses can
make a good ?thriller? plant,
as do dahlias, yucca,
cordylines and canna lilies.
?Filler? plants are usually
more rounded and give the
arrangement body and/or
variations on the colour
scheme. Petunias, begonias,
heuchera and pelargoniums
are all good ?filler? plants.
And ?spiller? plants
cascade over the sides.
Good spillers include
calibrachoa, trailing lobelia
and ivy.
But I find that two kinds of
plant is often enough, as
both ?thrillers? and ?spillers?
can double up as ?fillers?.
I?ve done this by adding
surfinias to a grass called
Panicum virgatum
?Shenandoah?. You could
also add a trailing plant to a
pot of dahlias, marguerites
or cosmos.
It?s worth noting that
some ?thrillers?, like dahlias
and grasses, are best in late
summer and autumn, while
plants like petunias and
pelargoniums flower from
June onwards. So the
emphasis changes as the
summer goes on.
Another easy way of
planting up pots is to pick
just one or two colours.
Plant all your pots up with a
simple colour combination.
It?s easy and it looks smart.
And it can be very costeffective to buy several trays
of, for example, petunias or
violas in one colour and
plant them in all your pots.
To make arrangements of
commonly available plants
look special, think about
colour. Lots of plants are
sold in multi-colour packs
but these won?t show your
pots off to best advantage.
Good colour themes could
be all purple, all white, all
pink or two contrasting
colours. For example, purple
and yellow, or purple and
orange. Or stick to variations
of one colour range, such as
bronze, orange and yellow,
GARDENING 69
Rhubarb Surprise
Wisteria Hysteria
I can?t believe I?ve
actually managed to kill all
my rhubarb. I thought it
was indestructible. I
neglected the rhubarb bed
and it got suffocated by
ivy. Either that or the
?Beast from the East? got
it, but I don?t seem to have
lost much else in the
garden. I?ve also missed
the official season for
planting rhubarb (between
November and March), but
I?ve now discovered you
can plant potted rhubarb
at any time, although you
need to make sure you
water it in dry spells.
Phew.
We?re nearly into the
beautiful wisteria season.
Some people are afraid
that wisteria roots will
undermine their
foundations. This is
unlikely, as wisteria is
supported by your wall, so
it doesn?t need a big root
system. And it twines
round wires rather than
suckering, so it doesn?t
damage brickwork. But
builders will often want
you to cut it down. Get a
second opinion!
or purple and blue.
There is one important
colour rule. The human eye
finds it uncomfortable to
focus on equal amounts of
two contrasting colours.
If you choose a contrasting
colour scheme such as
purple and yellow or blue
and white, then plant
three-quarters (or twothirds) in one colour and no
more than a quarter or a
third in the other colour.
?All one plant? is the
easiest pot scheme of all.
I?ve found heucheras really
good in pots on their own,
and also nepeta (cat mint).
A friend fills her big pots
with plectranthus which
carries on all summer long.
How you plant your pots
makes a big difference to
how successfully they grow.
Plants in pots need new
compost every year.
If you?ve a big pot with
small plants, you can take
off the top third and renew
it. But if plants aren?t looking
healthy, change all the soil.
You can pack the lower half
with polystyrene balls, and
not use too much compost.
Plants in pots need to be
fed. You can do this
fortnightly, but it?s less
trouble to add a slow
release plant food at the
beginning of the season,
such as Bayer Garden
Phostrogen Slow Release
Plant Food & Moisture
Control.
Above all, even if it rains,
plants in pots need regular
watering. They don?t get
much moisture from the
rain as it runs off the leaves
of a full plant pot.
And if you have lots of
little pots, clump them
together so they won?t dry
out as quickly. It looks
good, too. n
Visit Alexandra?s blog online at
www.themiddlesizedgarden.co.uk.
Roasting Green
Vegetables
I used to think that only root vegetables could be
roasted, but I now roast almost all my vegetables
except spinach, kale and salad leaves. The asparagus
season is starting, and new spring cauliflowers will
be ready to harvest. In the winter, roasted brussels
sprouts are wonderful, as are roasted kalettes,
which is a cross between a brussels sprout and kale.
Broccoli seems to be available all year round, and I
now roast it rather than boiling it.
My favourite roasted cauliflower and broccoli
recipe is adapted from ?The Doctor?s Kitchen? by
Dr Rupy Aujla (Harper Thorsons). I love his recipe for
Soy Roasted Vegetables With Ginger Noodles, and
serve an approximate version of the Soy Roasted
Vegetables with roast lamb or pork.
Cut a broccoli up into florets. Skin the stem, and cut
into small cubes. Cut the cauliflower into florets and
chop up the ribs and leaves. Roughly chop an onion.
Throw it all into a roasting pan with 3 tablespoons of
oil. Add 2 teaspoons of turmeric, 2 tablespoons of soy
sauce and a scant 1/2 teaspoon of chilli powder, plus salt
and pepper. Toss thoroughly and roast for around
25 minutes at around 200 deg. C., 400 deg. F.,
Gas Mark 6. I use coconut oil, which Dr Aujla suggests,
but you can also use rapeseed or olive oil.
Asparagus is so delicious that you can just roast it in
oil without any spices. Prepare it as usual, then toss it in
olive oil and salt. Roast for 8 to 10 minutes in an oven
at 200 deg. C., 400 deg. F., Gas Mark 6.
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 1DD.
82%
Q
of us find that going
on holiday improves
our mental health ?
and 72% find that
getting away from
it all also helps our
physical health.
A
�0,000
I?D LIKE TO KNOW
My friend was telling me about
some sort of cold storage place in
Norway where seeds from around
the world are gathered. I?d never heard
of this before. Is it true?
Mrs J.R., Dunfermline.
This is true. Tucked away on the
Norwegian island of Spitsbergen
there is a vault created in an
abandoned coal mine which contains
thousands upon thousands of different
varieties of crop seeds, including barley,
maize and potato.
Dubbed the ?doomsday? vault, in a nod to the fact that if there were to be a global
food crisis these vaults could hold the key to growing produce, one of the main aims of
the Svalbard Global Seed Vault is to protect seeds that could potentially be lost for ever,
say due to global warming, for instance.
There are no genetically modified seeds kept here and this vault is just one of
hundreds around the world.
Q
My sister is left-handed and it got me
wondering ? what percentage of the
population is also left-handed?
Mrs K.B., Dorset.
A
It?s estimated around 10% of the population
is left-handed. Some famous left-handers
include Prince William and Barack Obama.
Interestingly, the number of left-handed presidents
far exceeds this percentage, with James Garfield,
Herbert Hoover, Henry Truman, Gerald Ford,
George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton all joining Mr
Obama in the left-handed club.
Q
My friend and I disagree.
She insists that an orca
is a dolphin but I?m sure
it?s a whale. Who is correct?
Mr J.B., Bournemouth.
A
Your friend is correct.
Orcas are actually the
largest of the dolphin
family. The confusion obviously
stems from the fact that orcas
are also commonly known as
killer whales!
Something we didn?t
know last week...
iStock.
TEA-BREAK TRIVIA 71
If Meghan and Harry decide they?d rather
not say their vows in Windsor Castle,
there?s no shortage of more unusual
wedding venues near their Kensington
Palace Home. VisitLondon.com has
discovered the happy couple could say
?I do? at London Zoo, in a cable car
above the Royal Albert Dock ? or at the
top of the 262-foot-high ArcelorMittal
Orbit sculpture, sliding down the world?s
largest tunnel to ground level after being
pronounced man and wife!
*Please do not send an SAE as we cannot give personal replies.
is the asking price
for a beach hut on
Dorset?s Mudeford
Spit (and it doesn?t
even have a loo!)
4%
of the world?s
population
have belly
buttons that go out
instead of in.
60 years
ago, women were
granted the right to sit
in the House of Lords
(no change of name,
however!)
�360
is the average amount
Brits have tucked
away in their savings
account.
Hardy Dwarf
Geraniums
Create a riot of colour in your garden
this summer with these hardy perennial
Geraniums which have become much
prized in recent years for planting in
herbaceous borders. Ideal for suppressing
weeds, all five varieties are very easy to
grow and will thrive in all types of soil,
enjoying shade, partial shade and full sun
and will flower continuously throughout
the summer. Height 15-30 cm.
BUY 10
AND GET FIVE
FREE
Johnsons Blue
Our collection of five for �99 consists of one each
(a) Johnsons Blue
(b) Cinereum Ballerina
(c) Sanguineum Striatum
(d) Cinereum Giuseppii
3CM
(e) Sanguineum Alba
Our collection of 15 for �.98
includes 3 of each variety.
Pre-order now for delivery in June.
DIAMETER
JUMBO PLUG
PLANTS
SUPPLIED
Name ....................................................................................................................
ddress .................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................
........................................................................... Postcode ..................................
Telephone .............................................................................................................
E mail ddress .....................................................................................................
ITEM
PRICE
5 ardy Geraniums Collection
�99
1
�.98
ardy Geraniums Collection 5 REE
Total Cost Of Order
QTY
Cinereum Ballerina
Sanguineum Striatum
Cinereum Giuseppii
Sanguineum Alba
TOTAL
SUPER SAVER COLLECTION
�
I enclose a cheque for � ............................ made payable to . Parker Dutch
Bulbs ( / Ltd. (Please write your name and address on the back) or charge my
Visa / Mastercard / Maestro (delete as necessary)
Card No ........................................................................................................................
Start Date ......... /......... Expiry Date ......... /......... Issue No .. (Maestro only)
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From time to time DC Thomson & Co Ltd, its group companies and its partner businesses would like to contact
customers to manage their account, for market research purposes and about new products, services and offers
we think will be of interest. e?ll assume that we can contact you by e mail, post or telephone unless you tick
the relevant box. No contact from DC Thomson & Co Ltd, or its group companies unless it relates to an existing
order No contact from our partner businesses
ffer sub ect to availability and open to readers only.
rders will be despatched in une. ffer closes 15. .18, while stocks last.
PF
The collection of five costs just �99 or buy two packs
for �.98 and we will send you a third collection of five
absolutely free ? that?s three each of all five varieties
CALL:
0161 848 1100 quoting PF134
Lines open Mon - Fri 8am - 7pm, Sat/Sun/Bank Holidays 9am - 5pm. Calls cost
10p/min from BT landlines. Calls from other networks and mobiles may vary.
BY POST: Send coupon with credit card details or a cheque/postal order
payable to J. Parker Dutch Bulbs (W/S) Ltd., to: ?The People?s Friend?
Hardy Geraniums Offer (PF134), J. Parker Dutch Bulbs (W/S) Ltd.,
14 Hadfield Street, Old Trafford, Manchester, M16 9FG.
Perfect
KNITTING 73
Pastel
Worked in a soft merino
yarn, our cardigan features
a delicate lace trellis on
the fronts and sleeves.
intermediate
Photography by Ally Stuart, www.allystuartphotography.co.uk.
Hair and make-up: Linda Wilson. Photographed at Rufflets
Hotel, St Andrews, www.rufflets.co.uk.
MEASUREMENTS
To fit sizes: 76/81 cm (30/
32 ins), 86/91 (34/36), 97/102
(38/40) 107/112 (42/44),
117/122 (46/48), 127/132
(50/52).
Actual size: 86 cm (34 ins), 97
(38), 107 (42), 117 (46), 127
(50), 137 (54).
Length (approx.): 56 cm
(22 ins), 57 (22�), 58 (22�),
58 (22�), 59 (23�), 61 (24).
Sleeve seam: 43 cm (17 ins), 44
(17�), 44 (17�), 44 (17�), 45
(17�) 45 (17�).
MATERIALS
7 (8, 8, 8, 9, 9) 50-gram balls of
King Cole Merino Blend 4 Ply
(shade Sage 853). 2.75 mm
(No.12) and 3.25 mm (No.10)
knitting needles. 7 buttons from
Duttons for Buttons, tel: 01423
502092 email: michelle@
duttonsforbuttons.co.uk.
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.co.uk.
74
TENSION
28 sts and 36 rows to
10 cm measured over st-st
using 3.25 mm needles.
ABBREVIATIONS
Alt ? alternate;
beg ? beginning;
dec ? decrease;
inc ? increase; K ? knit;
P ? purl; psso ? pass slipped
st over; rem ? remain;
sl ? slip; st(s) ? stitches;
st-st ? stocking-stitch (knit
1 row, purl 1 row);
tbl ? through back of loop;
tog ? together. tw2 ? sl1,
K1, pass slipped st over and
knit into back of it;
yf ? yarn forward.
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 with your
queries, you must enclose a
stamped, addressed envelope
if you would like a reply.
Panel (worked over
21 sts)
1st row ? P1, K1, yf, sl1,
K2tog, psso, yf, K1, P1, K1,
tw2, P1, tw2, K1, P1, K1, yf,
sl1, K2tog, psso, yf, K1, P1.
2nd row ? P21.
3rd row ? P1, K2, yf, sl1, K1,
psso, K1, P1, K1, tw2, P1,
tw2, K1, P1, K2, yf, sl1, K1,
psso, K1, P1.
4th row ? P21.
These 4 rows form panel.
RIGHT FRONT
With 2.75 mm needles cast
on 61 (67, 75, 81, 89,
95) sts.
1st (right-side) row ? K2,
[P1, K1] to last st, K1.
2nd row ? K1, [P1, K1] to
end.
Repeat 1st and 2nd rows
twice more, then 1st row
again.
Next row ? Purl, inc 1 (2, 1,
2, 1, 2) sts evenly across row
? 62 (69, 76, 83, 90, 97) sts
??.
Change to 3.25 mm needles
and st-st with panel:
1st (right-side) row ? K19
(23, 23, 26, 28, 30), work
21 sts from 1st row of panel,
K22 (25, 32, 36, 41, 46).
2nd row ? Purl.
3rd row ? As 1st row but
working 3rd row of panel.
4th row ? Purl.
These 4 rows set the pattern.
??? Continue in pattern
until work measures 34 (34,
34, 31, 31, 31) cm from
beginning, measured through
centre of work and ending
after a purl row. (The varying
lengths are to allow greater
depth in the front slope for
the 3 larger sizes.)
Shape front slope ?
Dec row ? K2, sl1, K1, psso,
work to end.
Work 3 rows straight.
Rep the last 4 rows until 59
(66, 73, 78, 85, 92) sts rem.
Work dec row once more ?
58 (65, 72, 77, 84,
91) sts.
Work 2 rows straight thus
ending at side edge.
NB: on left front, work 1 row
only.
Shape armhole ?
Dec row ? Cast off 6 (7, 8,
10, 11, 12) sts loosely, work
to end.
NB: on left front ONLY purl
1 row ? 52 (58, 64, 67, 73,
79) sts.
Still working front dec row on
next row and every following
4th row, AT THE SAME TIME
dec 1 st at armhole edge on
every row until 46 (50, 52,
55, 60, 65) sts rem, then on
every following 4th row until
41 (42, 44, 47, 48, 51) sts
rem.
Continue working front dec
row on every following 4th
row from previous dec until
31 (33, 35, 37, 39, 42) sts
rem.
Work straight until front
measures 17 (18, 19, 20,
21, 23) cm from start of
armhole shaping, ending at
armhole edge.
Shape shoulder ? Cast off
8 (8, 9, 9, 10, 10) sts
loosely at beg of next row
and the following 2 alt rows
? 7 (9, 8, 10, 9, 12) sts.
Work 1 row straight.
Cast off.
LEFT FRONT
Work as right front to ??.
Change to 3.25 mm needles
and st-st with panel:
1st row ? K22 (25, 32, 36,
41, 46), work 21 sts from
1st row of panel, knit to end.
2nd row ? Purl.
3rd row ? As 1st row but
working 3rd row of panel.
4th row ? Purl.
Complete as given for right
front working from ??? to
end but noting that front
slope dec row will be ? Work
to last 4 sts, K2tog, K2.
BACK
With 2.75 mm needles cast
on 127 (141, 155, 169,
183, 197) sts and work
7 rows in rib as given for right
front.
Next row ? Purl.
Change to 3.25 mm needles
and beginning with a knit
row, work in st-st until back
measures same as left front
to armhole shaping, thus
ending at side edge.
Shape armholes ? Cast off
6 (7, 8, 10, 11, 13) sts
loosely at the beg of next
2 rows, work to end ? 115
(127, 139, 149, 161,
171) sts.
Dec 1 st at each end of next
and every row until 105
(113, 121, 131, 139,
149) sts rem, then on every
following alt row until 97
(103, 109, 117, 123,
131) sts rem.
Work straight until back
measures same as front to
shoulder shaping, ending
after a purl row.
Shape shoulders ? Cast off
8 (8, 9, 9, 10, 10) sts loosely
at beginning of next 6 rows,
then 7 (9, 8, 10, 9, 12) sts at
beginning of next 2 rows ?
35 (37, 39, 43, 45, 47) sts.
Cast off loosely.
SLEEVES
With 2.75 mm needles cast
on 51 (53, 55, 57, 59,
61) sts and work 6 cm in rib
as given for right front, ending
after a 1st row.
Next row ? Purl, increasing
2 (2, 4, 4, 6, 6) sts evenly
across row ? 53 (55, 59, 61,
65, 67) sts.
Change to 3.25 mm needles
and st-st with panel.
1st (right-side) row ? K16
(17, 19, 20, 22, 23), work
1st row of panel, K16 (17,
19, 20, 22, 23).
2nd row ? Purl.
3rd row ? As 1st row but
working 3rd row of panel.
4th row ? Purl.
Continue in pattern shaping
sleeve by inc 1 st at each
end of next row, then on
every following 6th (6th, 6th,
4th, 4th, 4th) row until there
are 73 (91, 95, 75, 85, 99)
sts, then on every following
8th (8th, 6th, 6th, 6th,
6th) row until there are 91
(97, 103, 109, 115,
121) sts.
Work straight until sleeve
measures 43 (44, 44, 44,
45, 45) cm from beginning,
ending after a purl row.
Shape top ?
Cast off 6 (7, 8, 10, 11,
13) sts loosely at beg of next
two rows, work to end ? 79
(83, 87, 89, 93, 95) sts.
Work 0 (0, 2, 4, 4, 8) rows
straight.
Dec 1 st at each end of next
row and every following alt
row until 45 (47, 53, 55, 59,
63) sts rem, then on every
row until 29 (31, 37, 39, 43,
47) sts rem.
Cast off loosely.
TO COMPLETE
Join shoulders.
Borders ? With 2.75 mm
needles, cast on 11 sts. Work
a strip in rib as given for right
front until border, when
slightly stretched, fits up left
front edge and round to
centre back of neck. Cast off
in rib.
Mark position on left border
for 7 buttons, the first one to
be on 5th/6th rows, the
seventh one to be level with
1st front dec or a few rows
below, and the remainder
spaced evenly between.
Work right border to match
left border but working
buttonholes to match
markers thus:
1st row (right side) ?
Rib 4, cast off 3 sts in rib, rib
to end.
2nd row ? Rib, casting on
3 sts over those cast off.
To Make Up ? Omitting
ribbing, press work on wrong
side following pressing
instructions. Sew on borders.
Sew in sleeve tops. Join side
and sleeve seams. Sew on
buttons. Press seams. n
Next week: welcome
baby with a cosy
blanket.
Rico Baby Dream dk
㏑ico Design Ltd. All rights reserved.
Preserving Your
Pictures
KNOW HOW 77
Technology expert Keir Thomas
shares his tips for keeping your
digital photos safe.
M
ANY of us have
become used to
taking snaps
with our mobile
phones or even
our tablet computers. While
this is convenient and fun,
an important question is
raised when we come to get
a new model.
How do we get the photos
off the old one ? or at least
ensure they?re transferred
across to the new one?
Most phones and tablets
automatically store the
pictures you take online.
Apple?s iPhones and iPads
uses the iCloud system for
this, for example. Samsung
uses its similarly named
Cloud system.
Therefore, often the
least-fuss plan for saving
your pictures when
upgrading is to get another
model from the same
manufacturer.
When setting up your new
phone or tablet, just ensure
you type in the same user
account as you did on your
iStock.
Professional vs Home Printing
Printing your photos at home compared to having
them printed professionally has a drawback.
Professional print s will last for at least as long as
traditional photos taken with a film camera.
Photobox says its prints are guaranteed fade
resistant for 150 years, for example. By way of
contrast, prints you make at home will start to fade
within five or ten years, or perhaps even earlier.
Using special photographic paper and
ink can help, but finding the right
combination is complicated, and
varies massively depending on the
make and model of printer you use.
The prints fade because air and light
get to them, so simple steps such as
putting a print behind a glass frame,
or putting prints in a photograph
album that spends most of the
time in a drawer or cupboard, can
help eke out more life from them.
old phone. Your photos
should appear on the new
phone or tablet
automatically after an hour
or two.
If you?re not familiar with
user accounts then the best
plan might be to ask for
help from the shop
assistants when purchasing
the new phone or tablet.
This is perhaps wise advice
in any case!
Google offers its Google
Photos system to store
pictures online, and this can
be added to any phone or
tablet ? even Apple models.
You?ll find Google Photos in
the Google Play Store on
most phones and tablets, or
the App Store on Apple?s
iPhones and iPads.
Because it?s compatible
with all phones and tablets,
using this to store your
photos will let you transfer
your pictures between
manufacturers. While
making it all work isn?t very
difficult, it?s again best to get
some help.
Another solution is simply
to create prints of your
favourite digital camera
snaps, just like we did with
cameras in the old days.
Some high-street shops
and Asda supermarkets offer
digital printing services, in
which case all you need do
is take your phone along to
one of the floor displays and
plug it in, before following
the instructions on the
screen.
Alternatively, you can use
an online service that will
deliver the snaps to your
home. Just download the
app and follow its
instructions.
There are many competing
services, but Snapfish,
www.snapfish.co.uk, and
Photobox, www.photobox.
co.uk, are popular, and offer
competitive prices.
You can also print your
own photos at home using
your own printer ? but only
if it?s built to work with your
phone or tablet.
If you?ve an Apple iPhone
or iPad you?ll need to ensure
your printer works with
AirPrint. If you?ve any other
kind of phone or tablet,
you?ll need to ensure the
printer works with Google
Cloud Print. Check the
printer?s manual for details.
Again, printing from your
phone or tablet is intended
to be simple but can still be
involved. You might require
some help to learn the
steps.
Try typing your printer
make and model in the
YouTube search box to find
lots of useful tutorials. n
Holidays in Jersey
JerseY - BATTle OF FlOWers TOur
OPTION 1. 7-10 AuGusT 2018
BesT WesTern rOYAl HOTel***
OPTION 2. 4-11 AuGusT 2018
FOrT d?AuVerGne HOTel***
This is a wonderful opportunity to see one of the
greatest european floral festivals, the Jersey Battle
of Flowers which takes place in August every year ?
tickets to the main parades are strictly limited so we
recommend that you BOOK eArlY.
TRANSFERS FROM THE HOTEL TO THE MAIN PARADE AND
MOONLIGHT PARADE ARE NOT INCLUDED, YOU HAVE TO
MAKE YOUR OWN WAY TO THE ARENA.
OPTION 1.
�9
3 niGHTs FrOM
PP
Supplement for half board �.00 per person per night
7-10 AuGusT 2018 | BesT WesTern rOYAl HOTel***
Includes a half day morning excursion, on the Wednesday
evening a special behind the scene tour to see the final
touches being put to the floats, and on Thursday 9 August
reserved seats to watch the Battle of Flowers main parade.
Price includes
? Return flights from Gatwick* with 1 piece hold baggage
per person
? 3 or 7 nights? accommodation in a twin/double room at
selected hotel
? Return transfers in Jersey
? 3 or 7 x full buffet breakfasts at selected hotel
? Tours, excursions and tickets as detailed in the options
? All current taxes
OPTION 2.
�5
7 niGHTs FrOM
PP
Supplement for half board �.00 per person per night
Supplement for sea view �50 per person per night
4-11 AuGusT 2018 | FOrT d?AuVerGne HOTel***
Includes everything listed in Option 1, plus on the Friday
morning an opportunity to see the floats close up in detail
and to meet Miss Battle 2018, and on the Friday evening a
reserved seat to the Moonlight Parade.
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liverpool, Manchester, leeds, Glasgow, edinburgh, Belfast and others ? Most will incur a supplement, please call us for details.
Please send me a copy of ?The People?s Friend? Battle of Flowers Tour brochure
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SHORT STORY BY CATHERINE JONES 79
Magic In The Air
My grandson?s
favourite author
was coming to
town. Meeting
him would be
the perfect
birthday treat
for Liam!
Illustration by Jim Dewar.
T
HE moment I saw
the sign in the
bookshop window, I
could have danced
a little jig right there
on the high street.
I had spent the morning
trying to find a birthday
present for my grandson,
Liam. I?ve never been the
best at buying gifts.
Some people are clever
like that, choosing just the
right thing. I haven?t got the
knack, but now, right in
front of my eyes, was the
answer.
We are honoured to
welcome the celebrated
author A.J. Hughes who will
be in the shop between
eleven o?clock and midday
this Friday.
Due to a busy schedule,
the author is here for one
hour only to sign copies of
his new book, ?Magic In
The Air?. Arrive early to
avoid disappointment!
?This has got your name
on it, Liam,? I said to
myself. ?And it takes place
on your birthday.?
Mad about dinosaurs and
fossils, Liam likes watching
nature programmes on TV
and reading books about
wizards, goblins and talking
bats.
I had found the perfect
present for my grandson.
A.J. Hughes was his
favourite author. I?d take
him to get the latest book
signed as his birthday treat.
I have read every one of
A.J.?s books to Liam at
bedtime. Though the stories
are aimed at children, adults
have fallen under his spell.
Grown men and women
attend conventions dressed
as Gringles, Grutters,
Billybongs and the rest of
his eccentric characters.
Though I?m probably too
old to believe in charms, I?m
not ashamed to admit I can
see the appeal of magic.
?It was pure luck I noticed
it,? I told my daughter Anne
when I dropped round for
coffee later. ?I was about to
go home empty-handed.?
Not a fan of shopping,
I?ve never made a fuss
about clothes or make-up. I
like to be well turned out
and look forward to my visit
to the hair salon, but the
truth is I?m happiest in
trousers and a jumper.
Living on my own, I have
plenty of other activities to
occupy me, including
regular visits from Liam.
Anne and her husband
Simon have an allotment
where they grow tomatoes,
potatoes and courgettes,
and Liam and I help to weed
or water the vegetables.
?It?s a great idea, Mum,?
Anne said. ?What a treat
for him.?
Though I smiled, there
was concern mixed in with
my sense of triumph.
A.J. Hughes was a
popular author and the
shop would be packed.
We?d need an early start.
?I can?t get over it being
on his birthday, too,? I
replied. ?Like magic!?
?Thanks, Mum,? Anne
said, hugging me. ?Liam?s
going to love it.?
* * * *
The morning of Liam?s
birthday, I rose at six
o?clock.
Usually I sleep until at
least an hour later, but I
had butterflies in my
stomach about the book
signing. I wanted everything
to run smoothly and the
day to be a success.
?Grandma!? Liam called,
running to the door when I
arrived at the house to pick
him up. ?Mum says we?re
going on a secret trip.?
?Happy birthday!? I
replied. ?Are you ready??
Seeing my grandson?s
excited nod, I remembered
that, as a child, I?d found
half the fun of any treat was
the expectation.
Bursting with anticipation,
I couldn?t help telling Liam
there and then that we were
off to the bookshop to see
A.J. Hughes.
?Is he really going to write
my name in his new book??
he asked, jumping up and
down. ?Thanks, Grandma.?
Before leaving, Liam
showed me his birthday
presents, proudly listing the
contents of a bug-finding kit
which included a magnifying
glass, a small net to catch
insects, and a booklet
identifying various species.
?Will you come to the
woods one day to catch
creepy crawlies, Grandma??
?I can?t think of anything
I?d like more,? I replied,
smiling at my daughter.
Liam had wanted a dog
for his birthday, but Anne
had explained that with
both parents working, the
animal would have to be on
its own all day.
?I hope this goes to plan,?
I told her before helping my
grandson into his car seat.
?It?ll be fine,? Anne said.
?Look how thrilled he is.?
I was glad I had allowed
plenty o f time to get to the
bookshop. The traffic was
busy and every set of
lights turned to red as
80
we approached.
Buses pulled out, a
lorry blocked the way as it
unloaded outside a shop,
and when a pigeon alighted
on a zebra crossing, we
waited as it strutted across
the road.
Aside from a pantomime
every Christmas by the
local amateur dramatics
group, nothing much
happened in this town. I
usually enjoyed the peace
and quiet.
?Come on, A.J. Hughes,?
I said. ?Cast a spell to
speed things up.?
?Grandma, look!? Liam
cried. ?There?s a lost dog.?
My grandson was
pointing at a small dog
sitting on the pavement
surrounded by a group of
concerned passers-by.
Knowing Liam would be
upset if we didn?t make
sure the animal was all
right, I pulled in alongside
the gathering crowd.
I was worried, too. The
poor thing was tied to a
lamppost and had an
abandoned air about him.
?This note says the owner
is sorry for no longer being
able to look after the dog,?
a man said, waving a piece
of paper in the air. ?It says
he?s called Eddie and needs
a home.?
?Someone will have to
take him to the dogs?
home,? a woman called. ?I
would help but I haven?t
got my car.?
Several people glanced at
me holding my keys as
Liam bent down and
stroked the dog?s ears.
I?d been roped in on
incidents like this before,
once when Liam and I
found a poorly hedgehog
which we took to an animal
welfare centre where it
made a full recovery from
lungworm.
?Hello, Eddie,? Liam said
to the dog. ?Do you want
to come in the car with us??
Two sets of doleful dark
eyes looked up at me. The
growing crowd was staring
in my direction, too.
?He looks just like the
dog in A.J. Hughes?s
books,? my grandson went
on. ?He can?t be left here,
can he, Grandma??
?OK, Liam,? I replied.
?But he?ll have to come
with us to the bookshop or
we?ll miss the signing.?
Pulling off, I looked in the
car?s rearview mirror at the
dog who was sitting on the
back seat beside Liam. My
heart beat faster with
pleasure at the sight of my
grandson?s smiling face.
Then I realised time was
ticking on and began to
worry we?d miss his birthday
treat. Why had this
happened today of all days?
* * * *
When we arrived at the
shop, with Eddie in tow, a
queue stretched outside the
door.
Staff dressed as
characters from the books
were offering sweets to fans
as they waited.
I spotted several wizards
and a talkative white rabbit
in a top hat.
We were at the end of the
queue, but it moved quickly
and I was relieved when we
shuffled towards the door.
Sitting at a desk, A.J.
Hughes greeted fans as they
handed him a book before
telling him their names so
he could write a dedication
inside.
?Speak up. I?m a bit hard
of hearing,? I heard the
author saying to one fan.
?There you go, young lady.?
?Thank you,? the girl
replied, before moving off
so the next fan could take
her place.
When the shop manager
told me no dogs were
allowed inside, she
suggested I wait at the door
with Eddie while Liam went
to have his book signed.
I watched her accompany
my grandson to the desk
where A.J. Hughes sat. Liam
was the last in line to have
his book signed.
?Hello, young man,? the
author said as I looked on
with relief that we?d made
it. ?What?s your name??
?Liam,? my grandson
whispered shyly.
The author quickly wrote
a message and returned the
book as the town?s church
clock struck midday.
?Thank you,? Liam
replied, before paying the
cashier with the money I?d
given to him.
?We were just in time,? I
said, when my grandson
returned.
Behind him, the author
vanished through a door at
the back of the shop.
?See, A.J. Hughes has
done a disappearing trick.?
?But he?s written a
different name, Grandma.?
I looked where Liam was
pointing. The message in his
book read: Best wishes to a
fellow Gringle. Lots of love
to Ian, from A.J. Hughes.
?What a shame,? I said,
feeling as disappointed as
my grandson. ?The author
told one customer he was
hard of hearing. He must
have thought you said Ian
and not Liam.?
Leaning to ruffle his hair, I
wished I could cast a spell
to make it right, but then
Liam began to giggle.
?Don?t be sad, Grandma.
It?s funny,? he replied. ?Ian
does sound like Liam. It?s
my fault, not yours. I should
have spoken louder.?
Liam was laughing so
much he made me smile,
too, and I was grateful for
his good-natured reaction.
When a man and a small
boy rushed towards us on
the pavement, we moved
from the shop doorway as
Eddie the dog pulled
towards them on his lead.
?Is A.J. Hughes still
here?? the man asked.
?We?re not too late, are
we? I wanted to get a book
signed for my grandson. It?s
his birthday. It would mean
the world.?
When I told him the
author had gone on the dot
of midday, the man?s face
fell. Seeing his downhearted
expression, I felt sorry for
both of them, but there was
nothing I could do to help.
?Come on, Ian,? I joked
to Liam in an attempt to
cheer him up. He had
stopped laughing when he
saw the other boy and his
grandfather were upset.
?Let?s go for an ice-cream.?
?You?re called Ian, too,
are you?? the man asked as
they walked with us. ?That?s
my grandson?s name. What
a coincidence!?
?No, I?m not called Ian.
My name is Liam, but it is
my birthday today.?
As Liam pulled his signed
book from the bag, he gave
me a grin before handing it
to the other boy.
?Here you are, Ian. This is
for you,? he said. ?Happy
birthday!?
Ian?s dejected expression
vanished. Opening the
book, he smiled excitedly.
?Look, Grandpa!? he
said. ?It?s my name. A.J.
Hughes must have known
we were coming after all.?
As his grandfather
watched in delight, the boy
read out the message.
?It says ?Best wishes to a
fellow Gringle. Lots of love
to Ian, from A.J. Hughes?.?
?Happy birthday, Ian!? I
said, thinking how magical
coincidences could be.
As my grandson chatted
about wizards with his new
friend, Ian?s grandfather
shook my hand.
?I?m Alan,? he said. ?It?s
an understatement to say
you?ve saved my bacon. I?m
usually not sure what to
give him and this seemed
the perfect surprise. Thank
you so much.?
?Our pleasure,? I said,
feeling pleased the day had
improved. ?I?m Margaret,
but I?m afraid we haven?t
got a book with your name
in, too.?
Alan laughed.
?Did I hear mention of
ice-cream?? he asked. ?It
would make the day even
more memorable if you and
Liam would join us for a
birthday treat.?
* * * *
As the five of us walked
along the pavement
together, Liam took Eddie?s
lead while Ian hugged his
new book.
?I?m having the best
time,? Liam said. ?And I?ve
got a dog for the day.?
?Would you like Eddie to
stay longer than your
birthday?? I asked, already
picturing the dog settling
into my home. ?I reckon he
might enjoy coming with us
to look for creepy crawlies
in the woods, don?t you??
I?m not saying I believe in
magic or A.J. Hughes?s
talking animals, but I?m
convinced that dog turned
round and gave me a
grateful glance.
I smiled back.
If it hadn?t been for
Eddie, we wouldn?t have
been at the shop when Alan
arrived late.
?Thank you, Grandma,?
Liam replied, taking my
hand. ?This birthday is a
dream come true.? n
PUZZLES 83
How long will it take you to correctly fit the words
relating to days, months and seasons into the grid?
JULY
JUNE
5 letters
DECEMBER
FEBRUARY
NOVEMBER
SATURDAY
APRIL
MARCH
9 letters
6 letters
SEPTEMBER
WEDNESDAY
M
A
R
C
H
AUTUMN
MONDAY
SPRING
Solutions
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
Brick Trick
E ND
D E N S
S N I D E
S I NGE D
D I NGOE S
D I AGNOS E
AGON I S E
E A S I NG
GA I N S
S ANG
GA S
2
1 Come to a close (3)
2 Animal lairs (4)
3 Sarcastic,
nasty (remark) (5)
4 Slightly burnt (6)
5 Australian wild dogs (7)
6 Identify (a disease) (8)
7 Worry intensely (7)
8 Calming, abating (6)
9 Acquires (5)
10 Warbled (4)
11 Domestic fuel (3)
R
1
Kriss Kross
J
U
L
Y
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.
A Y
Brick Trick
G
J
U
F
N
C EMB E
B
E R M
U
A
A P R I
R
C
A Y
H
8 letters
S P R I N
O
V
D E
M
T EMB
E
A
R
U
T URD
U
MOND
N
4 letters
W
S E P
D
N
E
S A
D
A
Y
Kriss Kross
All puzzles � Puzzler Media Ltd www.puzzler.com
SOAP BY GLENDA YOUNG 85
OUR
WEEKLY
SOAP
A well-known
face arrives in
Ryemouth . . .
iStock.
S
HE?S there! Look!?
Susan cried, waving
Dave over to their
bedroom window.
Dave looked down
at the entrance to their
apartment block. Outside
in the car park he could see
what looked like a vintage
car, with what appeared to
be a chauffeur in the front
seat.
?What?s going on?? Dave
whispered.
?Why are you
whispering?? Susan
whispered back.
As the two of them
watched, down below, a
short woman got out of the
back of the car. She was
wearing black sunglasses
and a red headscarf, and
she walked to the door of
the apartment block and
disappeared inside.
Susan shrugged and
shook her head.
?I wonder if she?s going to
be our new neighbour??
?Well, the sign?s been
taken down on Jenny?s old
flat,? Dave said. ?So it?s
likely.?
Susan turned away from
the window and walked
towards baby Sarah,
sleeping soundly in her cot.
?We need to get the
christening sorted out,
Dave,? Susan said.
Dave continued peering
out of the window.
Riverside
?Bob Lewin?s walking
towards the car,? Dave said
with a frown. ?He?s chatting
to the chauffeur now. He?s
leaning into that car and
talking to the driver.?
Susan raised her
eyebrows in surprise.
?Susan?? Dave said
slowly, without turning
from the window. ?That
woman?s just walked out
again, and you?ll never
guess what she?s doing.
You?re going to have to
come and have a look
because I don?t believe I?m
seeing this.?
Susan walked back to the
window, intrigued to find
out what was going on, and
when she saw what was
happening she couldn?t
quite believe her eyes.
The glamorous newcomer
in her dark glasses and
scarf was being hugged to
within an inch of her life by
Bob Lewin.
* * * *
Meanwhile, in the Ship,
Jim and Claire were busy
working behind the bar.
?I hear you have a new
neighbour,? Jim said to his
barmaid as he pulled a pint
of Ryemouth Riveter.
?Yes, some woman?s
bought Jenny?s old flat,?
Claire said, ringing two
packets of crisps and two
bitter lemons through the
till. ?She seems nice. Mum
says she recognises her off
the telly, but I can?t say I
know her. Amanda, she?s
called. Amanda Bow.?
Jim stopped what he was
doing.
?Amanda Bow??
Claire nodded.
?What?s the matter, Jim?
You?ve gone as white as a
sheet.?
He pulled his phone from
his pocket and swiped it
into life. Then, after a few
key presses and a quick
search online, he held the
phone up for Claire to see.
?Is this her??
?Yes, but she looks a lot
younger there. She?s aged
since that photo was
taken.?
Jim stood with his mouth
open.
?You know who this is,
don?t you??
?No, I don?t. Should I??
Before Jim could say any
more, the door of the pub
swung open and Bob Lewin
walked in. It took Jim a
couple of seconds to realise
that there was someone
else with Bob.
When Jim did look up, he
saw the figure of soap siren
Mandy Bow, as large as life
and twice as glamorous as
she had ever looked on TV
when she?d starred in his
favourite show.
?Pint of stout for me,?
Bob told Jim. ?And a gin
and tonic for my friend.?
Jim watched,
flabbergasted, as Mandy
Bow sat in Bob Lewin?s
usual seat by the fire.
He waved, as discreetly
as he could, for Bob to
walk over to the side of the
bar where he could have a
quiet word.
?Is that who I think it is??
he whispered to Bob. ?Is it
Mandy Bow??
Bob gave a brief nod.
?Well, that?s her stage
name. She?s a local lass,
you know, originally from
Ryemouth, and now she?s
returned to her roots to
retire. I used to go to
school with her back in the
day, and she was best
friend to my wife Gladys.
She kept in touch with
Gladys even at the height
of her fame. But Mandy
Bow will always be Audrey
Smith to me.?
?Audrey Smith?? Jim
repeated, puzzled.
Bob smiled.
?She wants to live a quiet
life now. Doesn?t want to
be recognised.?
Jim glanced over at
Mandy, who was stroking
Buster.
?For someone who
doesn?t want to attract
attention, she?s doing a
good job of sending out the
wrong signals,? Jim told
Bob. ?I mean, wearing
those sunglasses indoors
for a start!?
Bob sighed.
?She can?t bring herself
to admit that her soap
career is over. She says she
doesn?t want attention, but
when anybody recognises
her, she loves it. She?s got
her son working as her
chauffeur and she only
goes as far as the
supermarket on the
Ryemouth ring road.?
Jim poured the drinks
then took them over to
where Mandy was sitting.
?I?m a big fan, Miss Bow,
and it?s a pleasure to meet
you,? he said, handing over
her gin and tonic. ?And
these drinks are on the
house.
?Thank you.? She giggled,
removing her sunglasses
finally. ?But please, call me
Audrey.?
More next week.
Best Of
Buddies
Here is my lovely
twenty-one-year-old
granddaughter Anna,
and her equally lovely
but boisterous black
Labrador, Jet.
He is quite a handful.
So much so, I?m
surprised that he stayed
in her arms long
enough to have a photo
taken!
Mrs B.W., Devon.
Between
Friends
Write to us at Between Friends, ?The People?s Friend?,
2 Albert Square, Dundee DD1 1DD, or e-mail us at
betweenfriends@dctmedia.co.uk.
Star Letter
The recent serial ?To St Peter?s Fields? perfectly
captured the atmosphere of that particular time
in our history. It was of interest to us as my
husband Brian is a supporting actor for film and
TV and spent four weeks last summer filming
that particular event at Tilbury.
The movie ?Peterloo?, directed by Mike Leigh,
tells the story of the Peterloo Massacre. Brian
played the part of a slum dweller. Before filming
particular scenes the historian would explain
the context and the particular mood of that day.
The filming was extremely realistic and both
physically and emotionally exhausting. On more
than one occasion Brian found himself eye-toeye with horses? nostrils and soldiers? sabres!
The release date still has to be set for
?Peterloo?, so we?re unable to send you a picture of Brian in his costume.
However, here?s one from a 1970s thriller that he was in last year. The side
whiskers are courtesy of the make-up department!
Mrs S.R., Sawtry.
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.
Battling The
Elements
This is my youngest
granddaughter Abbie Robertson
who is a radiographer, working
in Dublin.
I?d just like to say thanks to
her and all the health
professionals who battled their
way into work through wintry
conditions last month. What a
sterling job they do.
Mrs B.R., Peterhead.
Wise Words
In response to Miss A.B.,
Manchester, who was querying
the fates of King Henry VIII?s
wives, my father taught me the
rhyme below, which I?m sure he
learned when studying history at
school.
King Henry VIII, six wives he
had wedded.
One died, one survived, two
divorced, two beheaded.
It?s a great way to remember,
especially as it often comes up
in quizzes!
Mrs R.A., New Zealand.
Peek-a-boo!
This was a cat bed I made
from a cardboard box covered
in fabric, with a hole cut in the
side. Chelsea definitely seemed
to appreciate it.
Ms C.P., Essex.
YOUR LETTERS 87
Puzzle
Solutions
A Mother?s Love
I live in north Devon with my son Harry and the below poem
came to me and sums up the emotions I faced when he was ill.
Sunshine, innocence, wonderment and awe,
Love for your child, so engraved it is raw.
Tears of deep pain, hollow sadness in your soul,
But then . . . ?Mommy, look! I did a grass roll!?
Helplessness, anger and the feeling of no power,
But then . . . ?Mommy, look! I found you a flower.?
Nausea, worry and lines that won?t fade,
But then . . . ?Mommy, look what I made!?
My son sees magic day and night
And this has helped us win the fight.
Live in the moment, however hard it may be,
Hope will be there ? in the dark, you will see.
Ms S.I., Devon.
from page 27
Missing Link
One Hundred
Years Young
As my dear friend Annie is
soon to turn one hundred, I
thought it would be lovely for
her to be featured in her
favourite magazine ? the
?Friend?, of course.
She has read the magazine
for more than 60 years and
never misses a copy.
Ms P.L., Castlederg.
I enjoyed reading Barry Cashin?s article on ?Shrinkflation?.
It remind ed me of a conversation I had a few years ago with a
cashier in a supermarket. I had purchased a bag of mini corn on
the cob and remarked that the price had gone up.
She said it had n?t, the price was still the same. I tried to
explain that there were fewer in the bag now so that made them
more expensive, and I gave an example that if the bag cost
�40 and there were eight then that was 30p each, but now
that there were only six that made them 40p each.
She insisted the bag was the same price, and I gave up
explaining!
It seems shrinkflation can pull the wool over some people?s
eyes ? depending on how it is packaged!
Mrs K.E., Sheffield.
Crossword
S CU P P E
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Y
R
N
MEMO I R S
P
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N
U
ADU L T
R
L
M E
E X T R A S
D
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K
B
CA L I CO
H
T
N O
I C I NG H
S M
O
S T EM
T O
R
A
R
E
U
G I
M
E P
A
I S
S
S E
S
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E
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F
F L I
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C T A
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S L E
Pieceword
patterns to help pass the time.
I?m sure you?ll agree she made
Here?s a photo of my granny, a fantastic job.
Jane McLaughlin, who is ninety
Having nine children, 21
years old and has been a
grandchildren and eight
follower of ?The People?s
great-grandchildren, my gran
Friend? for many years.
has certainly done her fair
She was recently
share of knitting over the
convalescing and thought
years!
she?d try one of your knitting
Ms R.S., Troon.
Hats Off To Gran
Food For Thought
The words in order
are Game, Goal,
Tyre, Tape, Nest,
Sour, Lock, Riot,
Wing, City.
The word is
EGYPTOLOGY.
V
D I
N
E D
A
P L
O
CO
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The People’s Friend, journal
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