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2018-05-05 The Peoples Friend

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The latest advice on
sunshine and skin health
7 short stories
Brilliant recipes
for brunch
May 5, 2018 No. 7725
�30
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The best fiction
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? A spine-tingling mystery by Alice Elliott
? Pamela Kavanagh?s thrilling new serial
set in Cheshire
2
this week
3
Inside The People?s Friend
If you like the ?Friend?
then you?ll love...
On
The People?s Friend Special
No 156, priced �99
sale
now!
l 8 pages of puzzles
l14 brand-new short stories
The People?s Friend Pocket
Novel No 860, priced �49
l A modern Highland romance
by Jill Barry
Available in newsagents & supermarkets
Cover Artwork: Blair Atholl, Perthshire, by J. Campbell Kerr.
Fiction
4 Dressing The Well
by Pamela Kavanagh
15 An Affair Of The Heart
by Angela Petch
21 Best Foot Forward
by H. Johnson-Mack
23 SERIES Busy Bees
by Della Galton
28 SERIAL About The
Hollow Ground
by Pamela Kavanagh
41 A Perfect Fit
by Teresa Ashby
47 When Rebecca Met
Esme by Alice Elliott
53 The Maypole Queen
by Jan Snook
58 SERIAL All Change At
Dawson?s Dairies
by Josephine Allen
79 Man?s Best Friend
by Wendy Clarke
85 WEEKLY SOAP
Riverside
by Glenda Young
Regulars
7 This Week We?re
Loving
13 Maddie?s World
18 Health & Wellbeing
25 Brainteasers
30 Reader Offer: Relax In
The Garden
35 The Farmer & His Wife
36 Cookery: brunch made
easy with a great
selection of tasty
recipes
51 Our Next Issue
63 From The Manse
Window
71 Would You Believe It?
72 Reader Offer: Patio
Scented Gardenia
73 Knitting: welcome a
new arrival with our
beautiful baby blanket
83 Extra Puzzles
86 Between Friends
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Features
8 Willie Shand heads to
Blair Atholl
27 Vet Malcolm D.
Welshman has tips on
keeping ferrets as pets
44 Stephanie Hawthorne
has some great advice
on PPI and
compensation
55 Wendy Turner reflects
on the symbolism of the
wedding ring
56 Get away from it all with
a ?Friend? holiday
65 Archivist Nicky Sugar
tells us about the diary
of an adventurous
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68 Alexandra Campbell
offers advice on running
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77 The latest food trends
81 Try our fabulous
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www.thepeoplesfriend.co.uk
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I?m really excited
this week to announce
details of our next
fabulous ?Friend?
holiday! Following on
from the success of
March?s short break at
Alvaston Hall Hotel,
where I was lucky
enough to meet lots of
lovely readers, we?re
teaming up with
Warner Leisure Hotels
again ? and we want
you to join us. This
time the destination is
beautiful Nidd Hall in
Harrogate, where we?ll
be getting in the mood
for Christmas on a
Turkey and Tinsel
break from November
5-8. I?ll be there, along
with other members of
the ?Friend? team, and
I?m looking forward to
it very much! Full
details are on page 56,
but don?t delay ? it?s
sure to book up fast.
Other highlights in
this issue include
Pamela Kavanagh?s
thrilling new serial set
in rural Cheshire,
brilliant brunch
recipes and a cosy
blanket to knit for a
baby?s cot or pram.
And don?t miss our
article about intrepid
traveller Margaret
Duncan and her
100-year-old diary ?
it?s on page 65.
Angela Gilchrist, Editor.
twitter.com/@TheFriendMag
4
It was a
privilege to be
asked, Sybil
knew, and she
wanted to make
her husband
proud . . .
Dressing
The Well
Set in
1891
Illustration by Ruth Blair.
S
YBIL sighed. What
theme could she
give for the well
dressing on
Ascension Day?
Here in Tissington,
tucked away in the leafy
dales of Derbyshire, it fell
to a group of housewives to
provide a fresh and
innovative approach to the
dressing of the five wells
each year.
A newcomer to the
district since her marriage
to Eddie, Sybil knew it was
a privilege to be asked and
she did not want to let
Eddie down.
The problem was, what
should she suggest? She
had thought of everything
from ?The Garden of Eden?
to ?Noah?s Ark?, but
according to Eddie all her
proposals had been done
before.
?How about springtime in
all its glory?? she asked
him across the supper
table that evening. ?Cherry
and apple blossom and ??
?Nay, lass.? Eddie looked
up from his meal. ?That
were done a few years
back. Twelve, to be precise.
?It were the year young
Georgie fell out of the
apple tree and set up such
a bawling it brought Mam
and Gran running from the
house.
?We were in the orchard
cutting blossom for the
display,? he went on.
?Granfer were in a right
frazzle over it. We were
stripping the tree of too
much blossom. Very fond
of his apple pie, were
Granfer.?
?Oh.?
Sybil thought again.
?Roses, then. A bower of
roses.?
?At the beginning of
May? June?s the time for
roses. Anyway, it?s getting
away from the subject. Best
keep it biblical.?
?But everything I say is
either inappropriate or
done before!? Sybil cried.
?A religious scene
constructed of flower
petals? It must take an
awful lot of flowers to make
the picture.?
?It?s not usually a
problem. When spring?s
been late coming, folks
have made do with hardy
things that grow wild, like
celandines and primroses.?
?Oh,? Sybil said again.
An Ashbourne girl
herself, she was more used
to obtaining her floral
decoration from the
flower-seller on the street
corner.
Combing the hedgerow
and copses for likely
material seemed a
laborious task to her.
?It?s a strange business,
the well dressing,? Eddie
went on musingly. ?Some
say it goes back to pagan
times. One of the wells was
done up with corn dollies
one year. It dun?t get more
pagan than that.?
?No,? Sybil
acknowledged, shrugging.
She turned her attention
to her meal. Eddie, she
saw, was bolting his food
down as if there were no
tomorrow.
?You?re going back to
work again tonight?? she
asked him tentatively.
?Aye, I am that. Pour us
some tea, me duck. A quick
cuppa, then I must be
away.?
Inwardly crestfallen, Sybil
rose to oblige, and soon
afterwards the back door
closed on yet another hasty
departure from her
husband of six short
months.
Sybil blinked back a tear.
Another long, lonely
evening lay ahead of her.
Why was Eddie acting
this way? Was he
regretting their marriage?
A memory of their
wedding day entered her
mind. Mellow autumn
sunshine without, hallowed
dimness within.
Eddie was almost
unrecognisable in smart
grey worsted and snowy
linen. The smile, however,
was the same: warm,
reaching to the depths of
his nut-brown eyes as they
beheld her approach on
her father?s arm.
The tears held strictly in
check now fell freely,
blurring the edges of the
stark little cottage she now
called home.
Where had it gone, that
special glow just for her?
SHORT STORY BY PAMELA KAVANAGH
She kept the place clean,
beeswaxed Eddie?s gran?s
dresser to within an inch of
its life, scrubbed the stone
flags of the floor until they
all but protested, and she
always had a meal waiting
for Eddie when he came
home from the
wheelwright?s where he
worked.
Annoyed with herself for
giving way to her feelings,
Sybil brushed away her
tears and began to clear
away the supper pots.
Once the washing-up was
done she had socks to
darn, and perhaps some
engaging idea for the well
dressing would strike.
* * * *
By the end of the week,
with less than a fortnight to
go before Ascension Day,
Sybil was no further
forward with the requested
theme.
On Monday she was
pegging out the washing
when her neighbour,
Millie-Jane, called out to
her over the low garden
wall.
She looked excited,
cheeks flushed and eyes
bright.
?Ee, Sybil. What do you
think?? Millie-Jane said, a
basket piled high with
washing on her hip.
?What is it?? Sybil
replied.
?You know them cottages
Sir William is building by
the village green??
Sybil nodded. Eddie had
taken her to see one before
their marriage. Spacious
and light, with three
bedrooms above, with
houseplace and a front
parlour below, the cottage
had been the stuff of
dreams.
Sybil had gone into
raptures over the gleaming
black range with separate
bread oven, and the
outside wash-house with its
own boiler and drying rails,
making a steamed-up
house on a winter?s
washing day a thing of the
past.
There had been a long
strip of garden, too, with a
pigsty at the bottom and
room to keep a few hens
for good measure.
Sir William FitzHerbert?s
architect had thought
of everything.
?I liked the one I saw very
much,? Sybil replied.
?Grand, aren?t they? My
Stanley and I went to see
them the other day and I?ve
thought of nothing since.
?Stanley says we can
manage the rental if we?re
careful.? Millie-Jane?s voice
throbbed with pleasure.
?And what with two little?ns
and another on the way, it
seems the right time to flit
to something bigger.?
?You?re leaving??
Sybil was filled with
dismay. She liked MillieJane and relied upon her in
many small ways. She
made her feel one of the
community.
It was Millie-Jane who
had put her name forward
for the well-dressing
proposals.
?I shall miss you,? she
finished lamely.
?I?ll miss you an? all, Sybil.
You must come and visit
once we?re settled in. And
someone else is sure to
move in here. Nice little
place it is, standing on its
own. You?ll not be without
company for long.?
?I suppose not,? Sybil
agreed.
Theirs and the rented
cottage next door were the
only two dwellings on the
lane that led to Tissington.
What were the chances of a
new neighbour being like
Millie-Jane, friendly and
helpful, but not one to
gossip, either?
Coming on top of Sybil?s
other concerns, MillieJane?s news seemed the
last straw.
Sybil became aware of
her neighbour?s scrutiny.
?Are you all right, me
duck?? Millie-Jane asked.
?Oh. Not really. I wish I
could think of something
really good for the well
dressing. Is a biblical
theme essential for them
all??
?It is for Yew Tree Well, it
being near the church.
Hands, Town and Coffin
Wells are generally that
way an? all. Hall Well isn?t,
though. You could try
something for that. ?Twill
give you more scope, like.?
A sudden squabbling
from the house made
Millie-Jane break off.
?Those two are at it
again! I?d best sort them
out.
?Don?t you fret about the
wells, Sybil. Something will
crop up, believe me.?
Millie-Jane dumped her
washing basket on the
ground and hurried off, and
Sybil went dolefully back to
dealing with her own
laundry.
She only hoped her
neighbour was right.
* * * *
That night, Eddie again
devoured his supper and
reached for his coat.
?Back to the
5
herself with that for now.
Sybil took herself firmly in
hand and set about
clearing away the supper
dishes.
Later, she was sitting by
the fire mending a tear in
Eddie?s shirt when her mind
drifted to the welldressing?s ancient origins.
Those long-ago folk were
said to have special
powers. They could harness
the wind, control the
clouds, make the
impossible possible.
What about something
along these lines for Hall
Well? A display that would
A disturbing thought struck Sybil.
What if Eddie had met someone?
wheelwright?s?? Sybil asked
him, trying to keep the
tremor from her voice.
?Not this time. Eli
Winthrop wants some
shelving putting up. He
can?t be doing it himself,
with his rheumatics giving
him gyp.?
?Eddie, you?re working
too hard. You?ll be worn
out.?
?Nay, it?s fine. Eli?s paying
me well. All grist to the
mill, in?t it.?
Sybil frowned. They
weren?t exactly hard up.
There was no weekly rent
to find, with Eddie owning
the cottage. They had
clothes for their backs and
Eddie was generous with
the housekeeping money.
?I could always
economise a little if need
be,? she offered.
?Sybil, you?re as thrifty a
wife as any man could wish
for. So let?s have no more
of that. Right then, I?m off.?
A peck on her cheek and
he was gone, striding
jauntily off along the lane,
whistling as he went.
A disturbing thought
struck Sybil.
Eddie?s mam, who now
lived in Matlock, had once
confided that Eddie went
off with a song on his lips
when they were walking
out. What if Eddie had met
someone else?
She tried to shrug the
notion aside, but the niggle
persisted. There was also
another issue . . .
But she wouldn?t concern
bring Eddie back to her,
like it used to be.
When they were first
wed, Eddie had come home
with a horseshoe from the
forge and hammered it
over the door, saying it
would bring them luck.
Three horseshoes now
graced the lintel.
The first was put there by
Eddie?s grandfather on
bringing his new bride to
the cottage he had built for
them.
Eddie?s father had
provided the second on his
marriage to Eddie?s mam.
And now theirs had joined
the first two. It had become
a family tradition.
How could she recapture
that time in a scene made
of flower petals?
Visions of old magic and
mystical rite swirled in her
head. The green man and
the corn-women. Maypoles,
ritual fire, movement and
song.
So engrossed was she
that when a light tap came
on the door, she started.
?It?s only me,? MillieJane?s voice called.
The latch lifted and she
entered the room.
She was dressed to go
out, Sybil noticed, in her
Sunday coat and bonnet.
?Can I beg a favour,
Sybil??
?Of course,? Sybil replied
tensely.
Millie-Jane frowned.
?Sybil, is something
wrong? You haven?t
been yourself for a
6
while. Won?t you tell me
what it is??
The request was offered
so kindly that Sybil?s
defences fell and she burst
into tears.
?It?s Eddie.? She sobbed.
?He?s never here. Out all
day at work, swallowing
down his supper, and then
off he goes again. Work, he
says.?
??Lass, dun?t worry. He?ll
be putting some money
together for you both.?
?That?s what he said, but
I just don?t know what to
think!?
?Just keep faith and bide
your time. It will be nowt.
Why, Eddie worships the
ground you walk on!?
Millie-Jane nodded
emphatically.
?Now, about that favour.
Me and Stanley are going
to the new place to
measure up for curtains.
Would you mind keeping
an eye on the childer for an
hour??
?No, not at all. It?ll be a
nice change of fireside,?
Sybil replied.
?The kettle?s on if you
fancy a brew. Tilda?s fast
asleep, bless her, but Alice
is still up. Feared of
missing something, that?s
what.?
Sybil threw a shawl
around her shoulders and
followed her neighbour
outside.
Next door a bright fire
burned in the houseplace
grate, and over it a big
black-iron kettle steamed
enticingly.
Stanley was playing a
know fings?? she asked.
?Depends what sort of
things. Nobody knows
everything.?
?I does. I know lots of
fings. I know summat real
?portant what I heard me
da telling me mam.?
She put her chubby face
close to Sybil?s and
whispered a few words in
her ear. Sybil listened,
stunned, as everything fell
into place.
?There,? Alice said,
beaming. ?Only you can?t
tell anyone ?cause it?s a
secret.?
Sybil hugged the child.
?I won?t tell, I promise.
Now, how about a story?
Which is it to be??
?The one about the
gingerbread house.?
As Sybil told the story,
her way became clear. By
the time Alice?s eyes were
drooping, Sybil had solved
the dilemma of the well
dressing.
And this time, she
wouldn?t breathe a word of
her decision to Eddie.
* * * *
Ascension Day dawned
fine, with the ringing song
of birds and warmth in the
air.
Well dressing being a
special event, the day had
long since been declared a
holiday. In the morning
Tissington folk flocked to
the church of St Mary?s for
the traditional service, after
which the wells were
unveiled and people did the
rounds of all five.
To her surprise, Sybil had
Sybil listened, stunned, as
everything fell into place
game of spillikins with his
daughter, but stood up
when they appeared.
?Ah, there you are.
Ready??
?Ready as might be.
Sybil, there?s drop scones
on the shelf should you feel
peckish. Alice, be a good
girl for Auntie Sybil.?
Alice nodded solemnly,
and the moment her
parents were gone she led
Sybil to a chair by the fire
and clambered on to her
lap.
?Auntie Sybil, do you
enjoyed gathering the
hedgerow flowers and early
blossom for the display,
and she told Eddie so as
they strolled arm in arm in
the spring sunshine.
Eddie squeezed her arm
affectionately.
?I?m glad. I were worried
you?d find it hard to settle
here after Ashbourne.?
?As if I would. Shall we
look at the other wells first,
then finish up with Hall
Well??
?Aye, go on, then. I?m
mystified as to what you?ve
done. Give us a hint, lass,?
Eddie said.
?Wait and see,? Sybil
replied teasingly.
Quite a crowd had
gathered around the well
opposite Tissington Hall ?
an admiring crowd, to
judge by the smiling faces.
Eddie took one look and let
out a gasp of surprise.
?Sybil, lass! If it in?t our
house!?
always visit Millie-Jane,
and when somene else
comes next door I can help
her settle in, the way
Millie-Jane helped me.?
Eddie still looked
doubtful.
?It?s small, our place,? he
said. ?Not much room
should any little?ns come
along ? an? considering me
and me brothers slept four
to a bed in that room
Eddie took one look and let out
a gasp of surprise
Marked out in bright
spring petals above the
cottage scene were the
words: Home Is Where The
Heart Is.
?I wanted to show you
how much I love our
cottage. I love the way
every window gives a view
of open countryside, and
the sturdy walls that keep
out the winds no matter
how hard the buffeting. It?s
cosy and homely and I
adore every stick and stone
of it.?
?You do??
?Eddie, I swear I wouldn?t
live anywhere else,? Sybil
assured him.
?Not even one of them
smart new places like
Millie-Jane an? Stanley are
moving to?? Eddie asked.
?Not even that. Oh, I
know I said how much I
liked the one we saw that
time. And I did, very much.
But exchange it for ours,
that your granfer built with
his bare hands? Never!?
?Well, I?ll go to sea!?
Eddie exclaimed broadly,
and there and then in front
of the village he smacked a
kiss on her lips.
On the way home, Eddie
confessed how he?d been
putting in some overtime at
the wheelwright?s, and any
other work he could find, to
put a reservation on one of
Sir William?s cottages.
?I thowt as you?d prefer
it, given when Stanley told
me he were going for one,
an? you being so friendly wi?
Millie-Jane an? all.?
Not for one moment did
Sybil reveal that a sharpeared little bird had
whispered Eddie?s news
already.
?Dearest Eddie. I can
under the eaves, I know it
for a fact. ?Course, there?s
space to build an extra
room or two,? he added,
thoughtful.
They had now reached
their front gate and Sybil?s
mind was on the beef stew
left simmering over the fire
and whether it had boiled
dry.
Thankfully all was well,
and after the meal she
broached the subject of the
overtime again.
?You?ll not be bothering
with it any more, Eddie??
?Not if you?re sure about
staying put,? Eddie said,
between puffs of his pipe.
?By, it?ll be grand to spend
time wi? my missus of an
evening.?
Sybil?s heart warmed to
those words. She took a
long breath.
?Eddie, you know what
you said about extending
the cottage if necessary?
Could you do it yourself??
?Knock through a wall
and build an extra room?
Aye, I could. Why d?you
ask?? Realisation dawned
and Eddie?s pipe almost fell
from his lips. ?Sybil, you
don?t mean . . .??
?October, I think,? Sybil
said shyly.
?Well, bless me! I thowt
you?d been quiet of late.
And here?s me wondering if
you was having doubts
over that wedding band I
put on your finger. Sybil,
me lass, come here.?
She went gladly into his
arms.
Had it been the old-time
religion working its magic
at the well, or had love
conquered all? Sybil chose
the latter and the thought
was sweet. n
loving
BITS & PIECES
This week we?re
Courtesy of Canteen.
iStock.
Street Food
Visit the Pitt in Edinburgh for
the very best in street food ?
fresh and inspired fast food from
around the world. It costs �to
enter every Saturday and has a
wide range of vendors. Located
at 125 Pitt Street in Leith.
7
In The News
With strawberries beginning to make
an appearance on shelves, nutritionist
Lily Soutter recommends that we eat
the whole thing ? including the top! It
reduces food waste, and there are
extra antioxidants in the ?calyx?, as
the top is called.
The Wonder
Of The Woods
The art of ?Forest-Bathing?
(Shinrin-Yoku), the Japanese
tradition of soothing body and
mind by spending time amongst
trees, has proven benefits for
your health. Dr Qing Li explains
how it works in this new book
from Penguin Life, RRP �.99.
Alamy.
Details correct at time of going to press.
Mid-century Style
Orla Kiely?s ceramic plant pot with
wooden stand brings a touch of
Sixties style back into your house.
Easy to assemble and just under
20 cm wide, it?s available from
www.andshine.co.uk for �, with
other sizes and colours on offer.
Indian Adventures
Railway fan Michael Portillo
continues to follow some of the
world?s greatest railway lines as
mentioned
in his
beloved
Bradshaw?s
Handbooks.
Now in
India, this
DVD has
four
journeys in
it, and is in
shops, RRP
�.99.
Super Birthday
Henry William Dalgleish Cavill
turns thirty-five on May 5. The
actor is famous for his role as
Superman, but many will
remember his early role in ?The
Tudors? as the 1st Duke of
Suffolk. He also appeared in
?Midsomer Murders? in 2003.
Rex Features.
Weed With Ease
With good weather come weeds,
but Burgon & Ball?s innovative, light
new device makes removing them a
cinch. Plug it into the ground
surrounding the weed, then twist and
pull. It?s just �.99 from garden
centres or www.burgonandball.com.
Harrods Estates.
Wing Chill
It was a long cold winter this year,
but it was business as usual for this
kingfisher. Out and about fishing in
its native Croatia, it was snapped by
photographer Petar Sabol resting
with a catch on this frozen branch.
A Grand Night Out
Concert-lovers can get one of
the best seats in the Royal Albert
Hall with this Grand Tier Box.
Two boxes away from the Royal
box, it?s being sold by Harrods
Estates for offers over �million.
88
Glorious
Glen Tilt
Willie Shand heads to
Blair Atholl for some
welcome spring
sunshine!
This
week?s
cover
feature
Photographs by Willie Shand.
I
T?S rare these days to
discover a place where
you can turn through
360 degrees and, for as
far as the eye can see,
find all pretty much as
nature intended.
No roads or traffic, no
towns or villages and no
wind turbines to spoil it. I
haven?t had to go far to
find that spot, either ? just
to Blair Atholl and
Perthshire?s Glen Fender.
At Blair Atholl the River
Tilt, reinforced with the
Sheep safely grazing.
waters of the Fender Burn,
rushes beneath the Bridge
of Tilt and will soon be
joining the River Tay.
It?s here at the east side
of the bridge that a narrow,
twisting, single-track road
leaves the old A9 to climb
into Glen Fender.
In just a couple of miles
the road ends at the hill
farm of Tomnaguie. There,
in a grassy lay-by just short
of the farm, I abandoned
the wheels in favour of my
feet.
My plan today was to
take a walk along Glen
Fender, visit the old Chapel
of Lude then climb the wee
hill of Meall Dail Min,
dropping down the back of
it to return by Glen Tilt ?
an easy circular walk of
around six miles.
What a cracking walk
that turned out to be.
Spring was definitely in
the air with daffodils lining
the bankings at Tomnaguie.
There was even some heat
in the sun and hardly any
Coming down into Glen Tilt.
clouds to speak of.
It?s not often you can risk
setting off for the day
without a coat, but today I
was quite happy to take the
chance.
Climbing the gate and
following a rough farm track
soon brought me into lovely
open hill country high above
the Fender Burn.
At the edge of a wood
someone had been sawing
logs for their stove. A
couple of sheep were
enjoying a morning kip
Sparkling River Tilt.
beneath the saw horse.
They didn?t really pay
much attention to me
walking past and, to be
honest, I wasn?t paying
much attention to them, as
my eye had spotted a good
50 to 60 deer on the
horizon less than half a mile
to the north. Strung out in a
long line, they reminded me
a bit of the film ?Zulu?.
There may still have been
a fair distance between us
but they had clearly noticed
me. I looked away briefly
and they were gone ? each
and every one of them as if
they?d vanished into thin air,
just like the Zulus, but
hopefully they weren?t
regrouping for an attack!
One or two ruined
farmsteads lie on the
hillside above the Fender
Burn and at the first of
those, I left the track to
make a short detour down
to visit the now roofless
chapel at Kirkton of Lude.
It?s a long time since folks
worshipped in this chapel.
The Lude family of Glen
Fender moved down from
the high glen the better part
of 400 years ago.
Nonetheless, with only the
sounds of the burn, the
bleat of lambs and cries of
the snipe, it retains a rare
sense of peace, and a rare
outlook, too, on majestic
Beinn a? Ghlo. A few bands
of late snow remained
beneath the summits.
Returning to the track, a
short distance further and I
was starting to look for the
way up Meall Dail Min. If
there was one, I never found
it, but common sense
dictated that before the
track began to lose height, I
should start the climb ?
aiming first for a small rise
with a mini cairn on top.
The Mill, Blair Atholl.
Factfile
THIS WEEK?S COVER FEATURE 9
n The Chapel of Lude
sits within a stone?s
throw of the Fender
Burn, encircled by a
grass-covered field dyke.
Although in an advanced
state of ruin, it has an
interesting wrought-iron
gate bearing the initials
AL and the date 1990.
The letters AL represent
Atholl and Lude while the
date records when the
gate was consecrated.
n From the small cairn
halfway up Meall Dail
Min you?ll win a fantastic
all-round view, and if you
take a look at my blog
on ?The People?s Friend?
website you can see it for
yourself without needing
to do any climbing at all.
n To the climber, Beinn
a? Ghlo offers a bonus.
Each of its three peaks
When I say mini, it really
is. It?s all of a foot high and
made from only a handful of
stones. You?re not likely to
meet many others out this
way, but if you do happen
to meet an old woman with
sunken eyes and long black
hair who?s chanting away to
herself, be very careful
? she may be the witch of
Beinn a? Ghlo.
Two deer poachers from
Mar once had the
misfortune to make her
acquaintance and had a
terrible curse put on them.
Unless they agreed to
provide her with a large
deer at midnight on the first
Monday of every month
throughout the season, she
would bring upon them a
terrible death in the
mountains.
It was climbing Meall Dail
Min that I found myself a
nice wee souvenir in a
seven-point set of antlers.
Deer shed their antlers each
year then regenerate a
completely new set through
the summer.
The heather-covered
slopes continue on to the
main top, dodging one or
two wet pools along the
way. From the 1,748-feethigh summit the view
extends even further ? now
looking over Glen Tilt to
breaks the 3,000-feet
mark and is a separate
Munro. However, with
the highest, Carn nan
Gabhar, rising to 3,704
feet, you?ll need to be fit
to bag these three in a
oner.
n Around 1529, King
James V was treated
by the Earl to an
extravagant affair.
Beneath Beinn a? Ghlo
the Earl constructed a
purpose-made palace
which was built entirely
of wood and some three
storeys high. It even had
a well-stocked moat
around it.
You won?t find a trace
of it now, though, for
immediately after the
hunt, and much to the
King?s surprise, the Earl
set it on fire as it had
served its purpose.
Blair Castle and away
beyond to Schiehallion.
When it comes to stories of
deer hunting, few glens can
rival Glen Tilt. When the Earl
entertained his royal guests
no expense was spared.
In the mid-1500s, when
Mary, Queen of Scots, was
invited to the hunt, there
was no shortage of game
? and little wonder, either.
For the preceding two
months, 2,000 men were
employed to round up deer
from as far afield as Moray
and bring them to Glen Tilt
just for this hunt.
What a great day?s hunt
the Queen had, with an
amazing bag of some 360
deer taken in the day. That a
few of the beaters were also
killed seems to have done
nothing to spoil the
enjoyment of the occasion.
Not everyone who hunted
in these hills and glens was
here by invitation, though,
and despite the dire
consequences of being
caught, there were a few who
took to poaching.
None was better at giving
pursuers the slip than a man
by the name of Lonavey.
Each time they thought they
had him caught, he would
disappear as if the earth
had swallowed him.
Lonavey had a secret
10
Iron gate to Chapel of Lude.
The river at Blair Atholl.
cave high on Cairn Righ
and no-one knew the
whereabouts of its
entrance. As a good shot,
Lonavey had no equal.
Each year, the Earl would
challenge his English
workers to a shooting
match ? expecting to win,
of course. However, after
three years of losing to
them he was at a loss in
finding an Atholl man who
could beat them.
Such was the Earl?s
determination to win that
he invited Lonavey to
compete, offering him a full
pardon for poaching his
deer and suggesting he
might turn a blind eye to
his future exploits.
Apparently, the
Englishmen were well on
their way to securing a
fourth year?s victory when
Lonavey appeared.
Looking across to Blair Castle.
They watched with great
amusement as he took his
gun and ran away beyond
the shooting line, turned
and, in crouched manner,
crept up on the line and
shot right through the
centre of the target, taking
the prize.
He had crept up on the
target in the same way as
he would stalk a deer. It
was the only way he knew.
Later, Lonavey was,
however, to fall foul of
another laird who caught
and imprisoned him.
Suspecting that this might
happen, he was anxious
that his gun wasn?t forfeit
so he hid it in his secret
cave on a ledge that only
saw the sun at noon on the
longest day of the year.
Despite many a search, it
was to remain hidden for
several generations.
There was only a light
breeze on the top of Meall
Dail Min and it was a lovely
clear day to enjoy the
distant views. Schiehallion,
the Beinn a? Ghlo range,
Ben Lawers, Ben Alder . . .
you could even see as far
as the high tops of Glencoe.
Meall Dail Min has a
wide, flattish summit with
not one but five cairns. It
was from the west-most of
these cairns that I made my
descent into Glen Tilt.
Again, there?s no track to
follow but the route is fairly
obvious ? south to meet a
deer fence then turning
more westward through a
gate where it?s joined by
Getting there
By car:
Glen Tilt is
by Blair
Atholl, 35
miles north
of Perth on
the A9.
By bus: the Edinburgh
to Inverness M90
service goes to Pitlochry.
Then take the 87.
another fence.
I couldn?t believe it, but
on the way down this slope
I found another set of
antlers ? this time a
six-pointer.
A sheep with two recently
born lambs kept a close
eye on me as I passed,
watching as the wee ones
made their first attempt to
stand on their own four
feet.
Following the fence line, a
final short but steep drop
took me down to join the
more level Glen Tilt track. If
you turn right at this point,
this old right of way would
eventually take you all the
way through the hills and
glens to Deeside.
But, as my car was still at
Tomnaguie, that was one
that would have to wait for
another day.
After a short stretch of
woodland, passing
Kincraigie Farm, I was back
out in the open. A little
below Kincraigie Farm, I
rejoined the Glen Fender
road, which took me back
through Lower Tirinie to
Tomnaguie.
Like the wee lambs out in
the fields, I fair enjoyed the
spring sunshine today. n
Want to
know more?
Visit the regional
tourist website at
www.blairatholl.org.uk.
VisitScotland have an
information centre at
Pitlochry on 22 Atholl
Road, PH16 5BX, or you
can call 01796 472215.
MADDIE?S WORLD 13
Mr Jolly?s dream
has always been to
escape the rat race
Photographs courtesy of Maddie Grigg.
O
In her weekly column,
Maddie Grigg shares
tales from her life in
rural Dorset . . .
UR community
shop did not get
through to the
finals of the
Countryside
Alliance?s Rural Oscars. But
we?re not downhearted. The
Lush Places shop is a winner
in our eyes.
We?re on our morning
walk, Arty and me, and
we?ve just passed a bunch of
teenagers on their way to
the school bus stop. They?re
a bit early so they can pop
into the shop on the way.
It?s busy in the morning,
what with deliveries and
children and tradespeople
coming in for snacks. And
it?s the time Mr Grigg likes
working in the shop best.
He?s in there today with
the manager, Mr Costner, in
the office while my husband
mans the till like Arkwright
in ?Open All Hours?.
As I?ve said before, we?re
lucky to have found
Mr Costner. With retail
experience and true
community spirit, he?s been
a real asset. He?s ideal for
the role.
Readers of this column will
know he replaced Oliver
Jolly, the jovial chap who
was snapped up by another
retail outlet and left us here
in Lush Places not knowing
what to do.
Lucky for us that Mr
Costner and his wife,
Whitney, had just moved in.
So what of Mr Jolly? Well,
I can report that he?s about
to sail off into the sunset
with his wife, Molly. Well,
not sail exactly. More like
motor, or pootle, along.
Mr Jolly is a narrowboat
enthusiast. A few years ago,
Mr Grigg went with Mr Jolly
on a trip on the Thames. It
was the time when he
managed to singe himself by
sitting too close to the stove.
He realised it only when
he could smell what he
thought was freshly cooked
pork scratchings. In actual
fact, it was his leg that was
crisping up nicely.
Mr Jolly?s dream has
always been to escape the
rat race and navigate the
canal ways of England.
?But why can?t you do
Scotland as well?? Mr Grigg
asked when he looked with
Mr Jolly at a navigable
waterways map.
?I can?t get up there by
canal,? Mr Jolly explained.
?I?d have to have the boat
craned out of the water.?
He and his wife, Molly, had
long dreamed about leaving
Dorset and taking to their
canal boat. The idea niggled
and niggled away at them.
And now they?re doing it.
Both of them have given
up their jobs and they?re
going travelling for a year.
Or three.
Tonight, we find out more
about their trip when we
attend a party in Mr and
Mrs Jolly?s village to wish
them bon voyage.
The band are playing when
we arrive (late, as usual) and
we make our way through
the crowded bar to a table
where Mr and Mrs Jolly are
poring over a map and
explaining their route to
anyone who wants to listen.
Their 60-feet-long canal
barge Corn Dolly will take
them 2,500 miles from
Devizes in Wiltshire and
back.
?We?re going here, here
and here.? Mr Jolly outlines
their incredible journey on
the map.
?And you?re taking a year
out to do it?? I ask.
?We reckon it?s going to
take about three-and-a-half
years,? he says.
?Well,? Mrs Jolly says, ?you
have to do these things,
don?t you? It?s better to say
you?ve tried and done it
than never to try at all.?
And then the band start
playing ?We?ve Gotta Get
Out Of This Place? and Mr
Grigg prods Mr Jolly and
says, ?This is your song.?
So, bon voyage, Oliver
Jolly and Molly. And God
bless all who sail (or pootle)
in Corn Dolly. n
Oliver Jolly and Molly are looking
forward to their adventure.
An Affair
Of The
Heart
SHORT STORY BY ANGELA PETCH 15
Dorothea yearned for those
long-ago days when their love
was still new . . .
Illustration by Mandy Dixon.
D
OROTHEA chips
away at the
Edwardian oak
shelves with her
knife, removing
layers of gloss to reveal
beauty in the grain.
Looking at the piece of
furniture as it slowly reverts
to its original state, she
thinks that once upon a
time, before life got in the
way, her marriage had also
been beautiful.
She sighs, peels off her
rubber gloves, chucks the
scraping tool into the
corner of her workshop and
snaps off the radio. The
afternoon play, with its
sugary-sweet love story, is
rubbing salt into the wound.
She moves outside to the
patio, but the sun does
nothing to lift her spirits.
Although she hasn?t
smoked for years, she
suddenly craves nicotine.
Patrick will be home soon.
She hasn?t even started to
think about preparations
for supper.
It would be fun to eat out
for a change, but it?s only
Tuesday and her husband
craves quiet evenings and
early nights to get through
to Friday.
* * * *
On the train, Patrick
struggles to keep his eyes
open. He fights the rocking
rhythm of the 17.45
carrying him away from the
city to manicured suburbs.
Flipping his paper to the
crossword on the last page,
he attempts 9 Down. The
clue says: Three (muddled
Italian); men tire (anag).
Tire ? yes, a man can tire
of this existence, he thinks,
as he stares at the ribbons
of tatty back gardens along
the tracks. Still, only
another two years until . . .
?Retirement!? he exclaims.
Fellow passengers look
up and smile at the balding
man in the corner of the
carriage.
Patrick smiles back and
settles down to fill in the
first letters of his crossword.
* * * *
Back home, Dorothea has
discovered a stray packet
of Gauloises in an inlaid
mahogany jewellery box at
the back of her workshop.
She lights up and decides
to treat herself to a glass of
wine. She needs this drink
to dilute the prognosis she
heard this morning from
the mouth of an impossibly
young doctor.
Usually she waits for
Patrick and they take their
pre-dinner drinks listening
to the seven o?clock news.
She inhales and succumbs
to a fit of coughing.
Grimacing, she grinds out
the cigarette and returns to
the summer house which
has been her workshop
since the girls fled the nest.
A Victorian hoop-back
bedroom chair, its velvet
seat worn smooth and in
need of reupholstering,
hangs from the roof. By the
window, a dressmaker?s
dummy draped in antique
lace is turned towards the
panes like a waiting woman.
Piled on the floor are half
a dozen mildewed volumes
of Shakespeare, too
stained and tatty for sale.
She selects one, finds her
scissors and spends a
pleasant half hour selecting
letters suitable for her
purpose, her tongue
resting on her upper lip as
she concentrates.
Then she glues the
shapes on to a torn sheet
of music from an old song
book. The letters dance
their message between
crotchets and quavers.
Your wife is having an
affair.
When she has finished,
she folds the sheet into a
small brown envelope and
on the outside she pastes
more letters.
Mr Patrick Swilland.
Popping the envelope
into her handbag, she
moves to the kitchen to
scrub potatoes for supper.
She hums as she wraps two
fillets of salmon in foil,
adding parsley and butter.
* * * *
The next morning is
Wednesday: auction day.
Dorothea creeps from the
house while Patrick sleeps.
Before she pulls the front
door to, she slips her
envelope between a pile of
post waiting on the mat.
By seven Patrick has
showered, shaved and
dressed. He descends the
stairs to retrieve the
morning post, sorting the
bills and unwanted
circulars while waiting for
the kettle to boil.
He opens the interesting
brown envelope, a puzzled
frown adding to the deep
lines on his face.
On reading the message,
his heart doesn?t miss a
beat. Neither does he
screw up the paper
and toss it into the
16
bin in disgust.
He simply emits a
single laugh, like a bark,
and files the letter into his
briefcase, along with all the
others.
He laughs because he
can?t imagine his wife
having an affair. It would
be too bizarre for words.
* * * *
At the sale, Dorothea
bids successfully for a
pretty Edwardian chest of
drawers. It has been
painted cream, but she
knows she can strip it down
to reveal the rich
mahogany beneath.
There is nothing left to
whet her appetite and she
leaves early, driving home
listening to the soundtrack
of ?Mamma Mia?, which
Patrick hates.
That evening, she waits
for him to comment on the
morning?s letter, but he is
absorbed in a television
documentary about train
journeys. Aggrieved, she
flicks through ?Antiques
Quarterly? and yawns.
?You don?t mind if I go
up?? she asks and Patrick
waves her vaguely out of
the room.
She wonders why she
bothers to ask. He would
never say, ?Yes, I do mind,
because I want to take you
in my arms this instant and
whisper sweet nothings in
your ear.?
It?s not that she wants
him to make a fuss ? she
would just like a sign that
she is the woman he chose
all those years ago to be
his wife.
She thinks wistfully of
their early days together,
stretched out on a picnic
blanket, skylarks soaring
above in the Suffolk sky. Or
a Dorset beach, waves
tumbling to the shore,
watching for shooting stars
and making wishes for their
future together.
Later, when money was
tight, they went on
weekend breaks in their
back garden. They erected
two tents ? one for
themselves and one for the
twins ? and ate sausages
cooked over a bonfire,
pretending they were on
safari in the Serengeti.
Then Patrick would tell
ghost stories, which made
the children too terrified to
sleep alone, so all four of
them ended up squeezing
in together.
Nowadays they can
afford to go away and spoil
themselves. But they never
do.
* * * *
A week later, in Patrick?s
office, there?s a lull between
projects and he is sorting
paperwork for the
shredder. He intends to
throw out his file with the
collection of strange letters
from Dorothea.
The latest still brings a
wry smile to his lips.
Dorothea having an affair,
indeed! He knows she
adores him ? she has told
him so often ? and it is not
in her character to stray.
What a catch she was all
those years ago, with her
gorgeous, curvaceous
figure, her laughing eyes
and sense of adventure. His
friends envied him,
thumped him on the back,
congratulating him on their
engagement.
In reality, it was Dorothea
who did all the running and
coaxed him from his
shyness. They spent lunch
breaks sharing crosswords,
chatting about everything
and anything. Then one day
she sent him an invitation.
A certain lady requests
the pleasure of Mr Patrick
Swilland?s company for a
long weekend in Norfolk.
It was the first of her
anonymous notes. She
added directions to a pub,
which she?d completely
written in crossword clues,
including the room number.
Dodie?s canine friends,
was the clue.
He worked out the
answer was 101. That was
the serendipitous start of
their 32 years together.
Patrick decides to keep
the battered file of letters.
On the train journey
home, he feels unusually
awake. Work has been less
frantic lately and there are
rumours about voluntary
redundancies buzzing
around the office. He plans
how he will tell Dorothea
about his early retirement.
His crossword remains
untouched as he stares
through the window and
contemplates the future.
?I?m home,? he calls when
he arrives, letting himself in
through their shabby front
door.
Soon he will have plenty
of time for DIY. When the
moment comes to put their
house on the market, first
impressions will matter to
buyers and a lick or two of
fresh paint, plus a
landscape of the front
garden, will be beneficial.
Dorothea is not in the
kitchen preparing supper
to the chatter of the radio,
and the summer house is
locked.
Then he remembers it?s
Wednesday; she is likely
delayed at the auction.
He settles down in his
chair by the French
windows and makes a start
on his crossword.
At nine thirty, when she
still hasn?t returned, he
experiences a first flutter of
concern and thinks about
her latest letter.
An affair, it said.
But Dorothea loves me,
he thinks.
He read in an article
about true love involving
selflessness and putting
your lover first. That?s what
Dorothea has always done.
She gave up her career,
despite her university
degree, and accepted all
the moves that went along
with his work. Though he
knows he doesn?t tell her
often, he really loves her.
How could she possibly be
having an affair?
He brushes his teeth and
stares at the person he
doesn?t recognise in the
mirror. Where have all the
years gone? Where has
Dorothea gone?
In the bedroom, while
reaching for his pyjamas
from under the pillow,
something flutters down on
to the rug.
It?s a piece of sheet
music. The title ?Who Is
Sylvia?? has been replaced
by ?Who Is Dorothea??
Pasted below are more
letters.
Patrick puts on the light
to decipher a clue.
A tad past a century.
Deep down, something
seems to connect with
Patrick. Without a doubt in
his mind, he knows what he
must do.
Hurrying downstairs, he
grabs his jacket from its
hook by the front door and,
still wearing pyjamas and
slippers, he jumps into his
car to drive northwards
through the night.
* * * *
Four hours later, his tyres
crunch over the gravel of
the parking space by the
old pub and thin morning
light silvers on the river.
Inside room 101,
Dorothea is drowsing. She
smiles into her pillow when
she hears him arrive.
As he slips into bed
beside her and snuggles
into her warmth, she
murmurs, ?You took your
time.?
?I?m so sorry, my love. Do
you think I?m too late to be
your affair??
?We?ll talk about it in the
morning, silly man. Settle
down and go to sleep now.?
She lies still, listening to
his steady breathing.
Tomorrow they will spend
time together, go for lunch
at the restaurant further
along the river and talk.
She?ll choose her moment
to tell him gently that the
cancer has returned. There
will be no more anonymous
letters, for she needs him
to take control now.
With the morning sun
rising, her mind whirls with
random thoughts.
She decides what she will
do with her antiques in the
summer house. It will be
best to leave her latest
chest of drawers painted,
for she has read in various
magazines the distressed
look is quite the thing
nowadays.
Maybe, before it is too
late, they might book the
Serengeti holiday she?s
always dreamed about. She
would like to treat the
twins, too. She imagines
how they will all spend hot
days watching game on the
plains and maybe finish the
holiday with a trip to the
island of Zanzibar.
There is so much she
wants to do.
She stares at her
husband sleeping beside
her and her heart sings
because he has finally
understood.
Better late than never,
she thinks, then she falls
asleep. n
wellbeing
18
Health &
Great advice to keep you happy and healthy
Q. I seem to be waking more frequently through the night. Do
you have any helpful tips?
Dave Gibson,
sleep expert
and founder of
thesleepsite.
co.uk, is here
to help.
As we get older most of us tend to
have fragmented sleep. For some, it is
to do with a need to use the toilet
more often. For others, it can be linked
to stress and worries.
If you are using the toilet more often,
aim to stop drinking earlier in the
evening.
In
The News
Navigating Study
Even if you?ve always had a
great sense of direction, you
might find your ability to read
a map and find your way
around a new area gradually
dwindles with age.
A new study by German
neuroscientists has shown
that one of the first areas of
the brain to be affected by
the ageing process is the
?spatial centre? which coordinates navigational tasks.
The study authors hope that
this finding might open up
new ways for detecting
Alzheimer?s disease.
To help with stress and an active
mind, make a to-do list of all your
worries before you get into your
bedroom. If you find your mind racing
in the night, try mindfulness,
meditation, relaxation exercises and
breathing techniques to help you
switch off and relax.
Bizarrely, another technique that
can help is this. Rather than shutting
your eyes hoping to get back to sleep,
keep your eyes open. However, if you
end up lying awake for more than 20
minutes, get out of your bedroom
entirely. Do some deep breathing and
relax your body, or perhaps read in
dim light, and then only go back to
bed when you feel tired.
Feet First For
Fitness
We know exercise is good
for us, but is a daily walk
enough? A new US study
tracked nearly 90,000
post-menopausal women
over a span of ten years to
show how good walking is
for health. They found:
? walking just once a week
is enough to cut your risk
of heart failure by 5%
? walking twice a week cuts
your risk by a fifth
? walking every day
reduces your risk by 35%
iStock.
? walk for longer than 40
minutes to boost the impact
by 25%
? fast walkers are 38% less
likely to suffer heart failure
than those who dawdle
Health
Bite
Amaranth is a wholegrain which is
becoming almost as fashionable as
quinoa and for good reason. It contains
even more protein than oats and is
packed with iron, calcium, vitamin B,
magnesium and zinc, as well as hearthealthy omega-3 fatty acids.
The tiny seeds come from the
amaranth plant, which you may know as
the garden plant Love-lies-bleeding.
When cooked, amaranth seeds have a
thick, porridge-like texture which makes
them a great addition for soups, stews,
porridge or puddings. Or sprinkle them
raw over salads. You?ll find them in the
natural foods section of well-stocked
supermarkets or health food stores.
We are unable to offer individual advice to readers. Please see your own GP if you have a medical problem.
HEALTH 19
Expert Advice
Sunshine And Skin Health
S
Our Health
Writer Colleen
Shannon has
the latest tips
on UV
protection.
UNNY days feel so rare in Britain.
Give us just one nice afternoon and
the nation?s gardens, beaches and
parks will be packed with sunbathers.
With our climate, who can blame us?
But most people know that too much
sun is linked to skin cancer.
According to Cancer Research UK
(CRUK), ultraviolet (UV) radiation from
the sun causes nearly nine in 10 cases
of melanoma, which is the most
dangerous type of skin cancer. And
short bursts of intense exposure are
the riskiest of all.
Fortunately, we can protect our skin
while enjoying the outdoors sensibly.
To find out how, I had a chat with
Emma Shields, Senior Health
Information Officer at CRUK.
She explained that the sun?s
ultraviolet rays damage the genetic
material (DNA) in our skin cells. Over
time, cells with damaged DNA can go
renegade, dividing in a disorderly and
uncontrolled way.
At a basic level, this is what?s
happening when someone has cancer.
Any change in your skin colour,
including a suntan, is a sign that your
skin is being damaged.
So CRUK encourages everyone to
?own your tone? and appreciate that
your natural skin colour, whatever it
may be, is also your healthiest.
To protect your skin from sun
damage, it takes a three-pronged
approach. The idea is to use a
Seek
shade
from the
sun?s rays
combination of shade, clothing and
sunscreen.
When you?re outside, seek the shade,
especially between 11 a.m. and
three p.m. in the UK summer when the
sun?s rays are strongest. (For young
children, it?s stricter: see www.nhs.uk.)
Also beware when the UV index is
three or higher. You can check it online
at www.metoffice.gov.uk or listen for
this information in the weather
forecast.
In the sun, cover up with loose
clothing, a hat and sunglasses.
Your last line of defence, for the parts
that aren?t covered by clothes, is
sunscreen. No sunscreen is 100%
effective, but when used properly it
helps protect against two types of UV
radiation.
Look for four or five stars on the
label, which shows how well the
sunscreen reflects or absorbs the UVA
type of rays. These mainly cause skin
ageing, but they also contribute to skin
cancer risk.
Your sunscreen should also have a
sun protection factor (SPF) of at least
15. This means it reflects or absorbs
most UVB rays, which are the biggest
culprit in skin cancer.
Really slather it on and don?t be
stingy. Top up your sunscreen
regularly: even waterproof or all-day
formulations can wear off.
We do need some exposure to the
sun, so our skin can make vitamin D.
For most people, all it takes is a few
minutes a day, with your face and arms
or legs exposed. In the UK, this has a
benefit between April and September.
To learn more about the sun and
your health, visit the CRUK website at
www.cancerresearchuk.org/sun. Then,
when the sun does come out, you will
be ready to enjoy it safely. n
Bladder
problems are
rarely
discussed,
but a new
book by two
highly
qualified
psychologists
looks set to
change that.
Dr Megan
Arroll and
Professor Christine Dancey are
experts in the psychological
impact of illness and disease and
their book is packed with advice
for dealing with the impact and
understandable embarrassment
that bladder problems, such as
overactive bladder syndrome and
cystitis, can have on our lives.
?What?s Up With Your
Bladder?? is published by
Hammersmith Books, and is
available from bookshops priced
�.99.
Yoga Is Good
For Your Teeth
Studies show that people
under stress are at greater risk
of gum disease because anxiety
appears to dampen the immune
system, reducing its ability to
fight the bacteria that causes
gum inflammation.
Incredibly, regular yoga
sessions can help. Not only is
yoga a great way to protect
your flexibility and balance,
especially as you get older, but
a study in India last year found
people who enjoy yoga have
lower rates of gum disease, too.
SHORT STORY BY H. JOHNSON-MACK 21
Best Foot Forward
Maggie set about finding her
granddaughter a special pair of
wellies she would love . . .
Illustration by iStock.
S
O much for global
warming.? Maggie
sighed as she
peered out at the
low grey clouds
streaking the sky.
It hadn?t been the wisest
thing to plan a picnic on a
bank holiday.
Her husband Clive came
in through the back door,
their collie, Chaser, at his
heels.
?Why so glum?? he asked
as Chaser shook muddy
water over the kitchen floor.
?Gracie will be here any
minute,? Maggie moaned,
grabbing a towel to wipe
the tiles. ?And this
weather?s spoiled my plans!?
?She?s four,? Clive
reminded his wife. ?She?d
be content to spend all
afternoon sorting through
your button jar!
?Chin up, love,? he added
as the doorbell rang.
Maggie gave Clive a
tremulous smile as she
hurried to answer it.
The weather wasn?t to
blame for her despondency.
Ever since retiring two
months ago, Maggie had
been unable to shake off a
heavy, sad feeling.
For the first time in her
life, she felt lost.
Her granddaughter Grace
could always cheer her up,
though. She was exactly
like her father had been at
that age ? all fingers and
thumbs.
She didn?t quite live up to
her name, but that just
made her more special.
?Thanks for this, Mum.?
Noel sighed. ?I?ll be back to
pick her up around five.?
?I had planned an
afternoon in the garden,?
Maggie explained with a
scowl at the weather. ?Any
ideas for what to do to
keep her amused??
?I want to go to Pirate
Wood,? Grace announced,
beaming at her gran.
?Oh, perhaps not today,?
Maggie replied hastily,
eyeing Grace?s pristine
white shoes. ?How about
we draw some pictures for
the bedroom wall Daddy?s
painting??
Grace?s eyes glowed.
?Woods first. Then
drawing.?
Recognising that
mutinous jaw ? a family
trait ? Maggie looked
appealingly at Clive.
He shrugged.
?Why not? It?s stopped
raining.?
?But it?ll be muddy!?
Maggie wailed. ?And she
doesn?t have wellies!?
Noel laughed and ruffled
his daughter?s hair.
?I?m sure you?ll think of
something.?
Maggie?s solution was a
pair of plastic bags tied
round Grace?s feet with
string. They made a rustling
sound as she skipped ahead
of her grandparents, but at
least they saved Maggie
having to explain ruined
shoes to her mother.
?What is it, love?? Clive
asked.
Maggie realised she?d
sighed.
?I don?t know. I?ve been
looking forward to
retirement for such a long
time, and it?s not what I
expected.?
?It is a big change in your
life,? Clive pointed out, ?so
it?s going to take some time
to adjust.?
?It?s more than that. I feel
as though I don?t belong
anywhere. I?ve lived most of
my adult life for other
people. Now I?m not
needed so much.? Maggie
stared straight ahead, the
sight of Gracie bobbing
along blurred by unshed
tears. ?I?ve got nothing else
to fill that gap.?
?So the boys are grown
and you?ve left the office
routine after all these
years. So what?? Clive put
his arm around her. ?You
have your freedom now;
you just need to decide
what to do with it.
?What was your father?s
favourite phrase?? he
continued. ?Put your best
foot forward! Take his
advice. Don?t dwell on
where you?ve been, but
focus on the path ahead of
you.?
Maggie blinked away the
tears. Clive was right.
She waved back at
Gracie, hailing them from
the top of a tree stump.
Then, giving in to a sudden
impulse, she clambered up
after her.
* * * *
After her walk, Gracie
was content to get stuck
into some Picasso-style
artwork. With a lighter
heart, Maggie joined in.
?I liked my rustle boots,
Nanny. Can I wear them
again next time??
?Sorry, darling,? Maggie
apologised, swapping a
yellow crayon for Gracie?s
red. ?Those were one-offs.
But we?ll buy you a pair of
proper wellies to use when
you visit. How about that??
Grace looked at Maggie?s
pond-green boots propped
by the kitchen door and
wrinkled her nose.
?Not like them!? She held
up a drawing full of spiky
lines. ?I want pirate ones.?
?They?d certainly be more
interesting!? Crossing the
kitchen, Maggie held her
picture against the leg of
one muddy boot. ?There!
Do you like them now??
Grace nodded.
?They?re fun, Nanny. Can
I have ones like that??
Maggie paused and
gazed at the boot.
?Yes,? she said slowly as
an idea dawned.
* * * *
Next day, Maggie paid a
visit to an old school friend.
Seth Patterdale had
taken over his family?s
shoe-making business a
couple of years ago, and it
was thriving under his
creative leadership.
?Maggie!? Seth pulled a
hand from the pocket of his
waxy overalls so he could
heartily shake hers. ?What
can I do for you??
Maggie fumbled in her
bag for the picture
she?d drawn.
SERIES BY DELLA GALTON: PART 5 OF 30 23
?I wanted to order
some wellies for my
granddaughter?s birthday,
with this design, and I
wondered if you could help.?
She felt herself blush as
Seth took the drawing.
What had she been
thinking of, imagining that
her amateur artwork would
look any good printed on
boots?
?So this ship illustration
would be on the leg,? Seth
said thoughtfully, ?and
these smaller pirates
scattered round the foot. Is
that right??
Maggie nodded. Seth
smiled and held out his
arm.
?Come with me, Maggie.
Let?s see what we can do.?
* * * *
Grace?s fifth birthday
party was held in her
grandparents? garden,
where there was plenty of
room for young guests to
run amok.
Maggie had invited Seth
and his family, so they were
there to see Gracie?s delight
when she unwrapped the
Patterdale wellingtons.
Within seconds, she was
tearing round the garden in
her new boots, chased by
eight excited children.
?Where did you get those
wonderful wellies?? the
mother of one of Grace?s
friends enquired. ?They?d
be perfect for my Alfie.?
Seth glanced at Maggie.
?They?re a new bespoke
children?s range we?re
working on.?
Maggie met Seth?s
hopeful look and nodded,
with a hint of her old
confidence.
Seth grinned.
?I think we?ll soon be
ready to take orders,? he
added.
?So,? Clive murmured in
Maggie?s ear, ?how?s that
retirement pathway looking
now??
?Sounds marvellous,?
Alfie?s mother said. ?I don?t
suppose you?ve got any
designs with cowboys in
the pipeline? I?d love to
order a pair of those.?
Seth looked enquiringly
at Maggie, who smiled.
?I?ll put my best foot
forward,? she promised,
?and see what I can come
up with.? n
Busy
Bees
Love is in the air, but for whom?
T
HERE is nothing going
on between myself and
Arthur Matlock,?
Elizabeth told her daughter,
folding her arms across her
chest. ?The man is five
years younger than me, for
one thing. Which makes
him practically a toy boy!?
Helena, who had called
round on spec but hadn?t
yet managed to get past
the doorstep, sent up a
silent plea for a big dollop
of tact and diplomacy, both
of which she felt she was
severely lacking in that
moment.
She was trying very hard
not to point out that five
years was hardly worth a
mention when both parties
were well past pension age.
?I don?t mind what you do,
or don?t do, with Arthur,?
she said. ?That isn?t the
issue. You?re grown-ups.?
?Then what is the issue??
Elizabeth widened her eyes
innocently.
Helena took a deep
breath.
?Well, it?s this protest
business. Is it really wise to
go up against the council?
If they want to sell the
allotments to a developer,
does it really matter??
?Of course it matters.?
Elizabeth drew herself up
to her full five-foot-three.
?The council will walk all
over us if we don?t act.?
?The thing is . . .? Helena
paused for breath. ?Could I
come inside, Mum??
Five minutes later they
were sitting at Elizabeth?s
kitchen table.
This was much more
civilised, Helena decided.
?The thing is,? she
repeated, ?the allotments
aren?t being used. Except
for Arthur?s.?
?And One-legged Mick?s,?
Elizabeth said promptly.
?That?s the one next door
to Arthur?s,? she explained,
when Helena frowned. ?You
probably couldn?t see much
of it when you came calling,
in view of it being dark.?
?It wasn?t that dark,?
Helena protested,
remembering a rusty old
wheelbarrow and a fallingdown shed. ?It didn?t look
in use to me.?
?It?s very difficult to keep
things up with one leg.?
Elizabeth wasn?t going to
be swayed. ?Mick is nearly
eighty.
?Anyway, that isn?t the
point. The point is that the
council doesn?t listen to
what its residents want.?
?I think they do try.?
Would this be a good time
to remind her mother that
Peter worked for the
council? And that it was
embarrassing for him when
Elizabeth arranged protests
against his employers?
Possibly not. It had never
stopped her in the past.
Helena decided to try a
different tack.
?Busy Bees has quoted
for the contract to clean all
the council offices,? she told
her mother. ?It would be
brilliant if we got it.?
?So two members of my
family are working for the
enemy.? Elizabeth sighed.
?Well, I never thought it
would come to this.?
?They?re not the enemy,
Mum. One of the plans for
that land is for sheltered
housing. For people like
your friend Mick. It could
save him from having to
rely on Community Care.?
?I suppose,? Elizabeth
said ungraciously.
?So you?ll call off the
protest? It was a petition,
didn?t Arthur say??
?I?ll think about it.?
* * * *
?Do you think it?s true
about the sheltered
housing or council
propaganda?? Elizabeth
asked her friend, Rita,
when they were on their
Saturday morning ramble a
couple of days later.
They were strolling along
a country lane and the
hedgerows were alive with
spring flowers.
?It might be,? Rita said.
?I?ll ask my friend on the
parish council.? She leaned
closer. ?Your Suzy and my
Josh seem to be getting on
well. Had you noticed??
?Suzy did mention it.?
The thought of Rita?s
grandson dating her own
granddaughter gave
Elizabeth a glow of
pleasure.
?Well, that was one thing
we plotted that seems to
have worked out for the
best,? she murmured. ?If I
do say so myself.?
?We?re rather good at
matchmaking,? Rita agreed.
Elizabeth beamed at her
friend and wondered if she
ought to put Phase Two of
her matchmaking plans
into operation. The one
that involved Arthur.
Not for herself, as she?d
been so keen to point out
to her daughter. But for
Rita. The two of them were
made for each other.
Anyone could see that.
?Rita,? she said, as they
passed a cluster of
bluebells growing alongside
the path. ?I?m thinking of
having a supper at mine to
discuss what we might do
next with regards to the
allotments project. Nothing
fancy ? what do you say??
?I?d be delighted to help,?
Rita said.
Like taking candy from a
baby, Elizabeth thought.
More next week.
Puzzle It Out!
Word Ladder
Move from the word
at the top of the
ladder to the word
at the bottom using
the exact number of
rungs provided by
changing one letter
at a time (but not
the position of any
letter).
Q U I Z
S H O W
Pieceword
ACROSS
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
1 Unimportant person having
lost trunk? (6)
4 Beasts tormented
8
9
hound (6)
8 Unusual object may make
you inquisitive, not us (5)
9 Longed for knight
10
11
indeed (7)
10 Amaze on high notes in
filthy place (7)
12
13
14
11 Android British in origin (5)
12 Faulty batch loaded into
15
16
journalist?s car (9)
17 Mob store as reported (5) 17
18
19
20
19 Back by coastal area
shortly with new
weapons (7)
21
22
21 Clear another New York
theft (7)
22 Paint stirred is
unsuitable (5)
23
24
23 Popular territory away from
the coast (6)
5 Al?s away from Oz country (7) 15 Hot thing, cold
24 One?s to alight in Cuba,
one! (6)
6 Brush, or brushwood? (5)
say (6)
16
Prepared
for
7
To
court,
presently
(2,4)
DOWN
publication ? it is
1 Most pleasant one caught 9 Drink upsets Rhys in Northern
indeed corrected (6)
Ireland city (3,6)
in cosy place (6)
18
Country
river,
13
The
bridle
strap,
within
that
2 Town branch stocks
Russian
one? (5)
context
(7)
gold (7)
20 Cruise back to a
14 King and a politician in the
3 Insect makes a dull
stage name (5)
style of African capital (7)
sound (5)
L
G
E U B Y G
R D I N
S L A L OM
I
A
A
V
Y
Y
I T L E T A T I A
1
L
V E
E
4
C
P A
D I S
T
C
S
P
MA G H I L
B
7
I
I N G
T
10
E
I
H
I
R
T N E R
R O D N EM U T H E S I T
A
O
E
T
Y
S
O E
C
13
T E N
I
N E S
S
I C
E
U
A
N O T
I
T
N E D O P E
I
A
L
I G Y
H L Y S T Y
I
Answers
on p87
Try our cryptic crossword
With the help of the Across clues only,
can you fit the pieces into their correct
positions in the grid?
R
O
I V
S
R D O
N H Y P RMO E Y E
C
Y
N E
M
D I S
PUZZLES 25
ACROSS
2 Mesmeric ? Surveying, gazing at
4 Bottle?cap remover ? Reprieved
6 Eyelid boil ? In a puerile way
8 Arch?enemy ? Gifted child
2
3
Sudoku
Fill the grid with the numbers
1 to 9 so that each row,
column and 3x3 block
contains the numbers 1 to 9.
3 6
5
6
5
8
9
11
12
14
15
10 Expanding by pressure from within ?
Red gem
12 Milk of ___, stomach medicine ?
Gossip
14 Zigzag ski race ? Cocktail wine
9 4
5
8
7
1
4 9
8
9
1 2
6
9
5
7 3
2
8
4 7
2
5
6
3
1
All puzzles � Puzzler Media Ltd www.puzzler.com
YOUR PETS 27
Your pet
questions
answered
Vet
Malcolm
D. Welshman?s
tips on keeping
these popular
pets.
by PDSA vet Rebecca Ashman.
Pets & Vets
Fun With
Ferrets
D
URING my time as a
practising vet, I was
often asked if I had a
favourite animal that I?d
treated. There have been
many, but one of the most
interesting and lively has to
be the ferret.
It?s the domesticated
version of the European
polecat and has been used
for pest control and hunting
for centuries.
Nowadays, they are
increasingly being kept
purely as pets. They are
certainly engaging and
friendly. Moreover, they
are extremely active.
So keeping one as a pet
does mean providing more
maintenance than other
caged animals such as
rabbits and guinea pigs.
Daily stimulation is a
must, with provision of
toys, tunnels and other play
things.
These will help to prevent
boredom, especially if you
only have the one ferret. As
they are very sociable
animals you could have a
pair or even more, space
permitting.
A ferret house or cage
should be at least three
storeys, with a minimum
floor space of 0.19 square
metres and 1.2 metres
high. Newspaper flooring,
litter tray and nesting box
should be provided.
iStock.
Cat And Mouse
Exercise and entertain your cat with the
irresistibly entertaining HEXBUG Remote Control
Mouse Cat Toy.
The toy comes with a remote control, so that you
can make it start,
pause and stop
on command on
Purr-fect
hard surfaces.
for
When switched
your cat!
on, the mouse?s
wiggly tail
attracts the cat?s
attention, and the
chase begins!
RRP 14.99 from
www.hexbug.com.
All tired out after
a hard day?s play!
Because of their curious,
lively behaviour, they do
need a run or the use of a
spare room where they can
be let out for as long as
possible on a daily basis.
You?ll find ferrets love
playing with each other and
people. In fact, it?s known
that they can be taught to
fetch a ball like a dog does,
and they can also be trained
to walk on a lead.
I was reminded of their
fun-loving nature at the
South of England Show a
few years back.
A gentleman had set up a
course for ferret racing
which consisted of a series
of plastic tunnels pinned out
in circuits round a grassy
track.
He had six ferrets lined up
in cages and you could place
bets on which might win
when they were released to
scamper through the
tunnels.
My choice came last. Even
so, to judge from the
liveliness of those ferrets,
they all had winning ways. n
Q If my cat doesn?t go
outside will she still
need flea and worm
treatments?
A The risk to your cat is
lower, but fleas and
worms can be brought
indoors on clothing,
footwear or another
animal. Once a flea
infestation takes hold it
can be costly and
difficult to fix so
prevention is advisable.
Given correctly, flea and
worm treatments are
safe and effective, so it?s
still worthwhile doing it.
Q Can I use any kind of
detergent to clean my
budgie?s cage?
A Diluted household
washing-up liquid and
hot water will remove
dried-on droppings. You
can buy specially
formulated bird-cage
disinfectants from pet
shops. Disinfect toys and
perches regularly. Wash
off any residue and
thoroughly dry
everything before your
budgie comes back into
contact with it. Avoid
other types of household
detergent as these can
be toxic to small birds.
PDSA is the UK?s leading veterinary
charity. For further information visit
www.pdsa.org.uk or call
0800 731 2502.
o
T
s
t
r
Sta
!
y
da
28
Set in
the
1870s
About The
Hollow Ground
Nan?s father had warned her
that things in life ? and at Cross
Lanes Farm ? were not always
what they seemed . . .
Illustration by Sailesh Thakrar.
C
ROSS LANES
FARM stood in a
fold in the hills at a
point where two
lanes met. Fields
sown with sparsely growing
winter corn stretched as far
as the eye could see, edged
with straggling hedges of
blackthorn and holly.
The farmhouse, long, low
and rambling, its ancient
timbers bleached by time
and weather, and chimneys
pluming smoke, was
surrounded by yards with
barns and outbuildings of
red stone quarried nearby.
To the rear, a tangled
garden and overgrown
orchard lay silent under a
lowering grey sky.
Inside the house, in a
beamed and flag-floored
room that had been the
farm office for longer than
anyone could say, Nan
Vessey sat behind a scuffed
oak desk on which her
hard-backed journal lay
open at an entry made
some three weeks earlier.
February 1, 1875.
Today Papa was laid to
rest in the churchyard of
All Saints, Harthill. Well
attended though the
funeral was, and giving a
terrible finality, I can
scarce believe he is gone.
It was a stupid death; a
fall from his horse, and he
the best horseman in all
Cheshire.
Nan swallowed hard, her
gold-brown eyes troubled.
Henry Vessey was gone,
leaving her the inheritance
of a run-down farm and a
host of worries, not least
the need to find some form
of staffing for the house
before the place ran to
ruin. Hence the interview.
Pale midday sunshine
filtered through the leaded
window. Nan, mustering
control, scrutinised the girl
who stood nervously before
her, the work-roughened
hands tightly clenched
behind her back.
?How old are you,
Mercy??
?I?ll be sixteen come
April, miss.?
?Are you well acquainted
with household tasks??
?Eh?? Sheer blankness
crossed the girl?s face. ?Beg
pardon, miss. I dunna see
your meaning.?
?Are you able to cook,
clean and attend to the
laundry?? Nan said,
clarifying her words.
?Oh, aye,? the girl replied.
?I can scrub and sweep and
cook all right. I?m a dab
hand at the wash-tub, an?
all. Mam?s seen to that.?
There was no mistaking
the truth behind the
statement and Nan?s heart
softened.
As the illegitimate child
of Patti Dale, the smith?s
daughter, Mercy had not
had an easy passage.
Certain indiscretions might
SERIAL BY PAMELA KAVANAGH: PART 1 OF 8
be expected of a young
lass, and as long as a
wedding band was put on
her finger, folks were
prepared to overlook the
appearance of an early
babe.
No wedding band, and
the offspring suffered for
the parent?s sin. That was
the way of the world, and it
was all credit to the smith
that the infant had not
ended up in the workhouse,
the usual case in the
circumstances.
Nan tucked back a strand
of brown hair and gazed at
the girl, her mind grappling
with the problem she faced.
She would be doing
herself no favours with the
community by taking on a
girl born out of wedlock, but
what choice had she?
With the housekeeper
having deserted them for a
better position elsewhere,
and the rest of the servants
left to seek work in the
towns, she was in a fix.
?You know you would be
expected to live in? The
working day here begins
early and ends late.? If at
all, Nan thought. ?There is
no room for shirkers at
Cross Lanes.?
?I?m no shirker, miss. I
dunna mind hard work, nor
do I mind leaving home.?
Payment posed a
problem. With the coffers
low, the standard wage for
a housemaid was out of the
question, and this child ?
Nan was only five years
Mercy?s senior but feeling
decades older ? would be
expected to accomplish a
great deal more than the
usual household duties.
Nan made a swift
calculation in her head.
?Very well, Mercy. I can
offer you twelve pounds
per year all found. You will
receive bed and board,
working clothes and a pair
of boots, and payment
fortnightly.?
?I?ve got the job?? Delight
mixed with disbelief shone
in Mercy?s eyes. ?Lor?
dumble us, Mam?ll be like a
dog wi? two tails! You
wunna be disappointed,
miss. I?ll work hard. I will.?
?Let us hope so.? Nan hid
a smile. The girl was so
grateful she might have
been given the moon, when
the reality was far from it.
?You can expect to have
one Sunday afternoon off
every month. You will wish
to visit your family at
Broxton. Not too far away,
I warrant??
?No, miss. Though I
reckon Mam?ll not care two
pins if I turn up or not.
Gramps might, though.
Him?s a goodly soul.?
?There you are. I?ll show
you your quarters. Are you
able to begin immediately?
You will need to fetch your
belongings, of course.?
The girl nodded eagerly.
?I took the liberty of
bringing my bundle, just in
case. Tes outside the back
door, miss.?
?I see.?
Again Nan wanted to
smile. Unschooled and none
too clean in her person
Mercy Dale might be, but
she seemed willing and
there was much to be said
for employing a girl to train
up oneself.
In a strange way she felt
an affinity with the new
maid. They had both grown
up lacking a parent ? in
Nan?s case her mother, who
had left home when Nan
was in the cradle. Having
something in common
surely held significance.
The inner voice that
hinted at caution, Nan
pushed aside.
She waited for Mercy to
collect her bundle and led
her up the back stair, their
feet clattering on the bare
treads, to the attic room in
which had slept countless
servants over the years.
Seeing her bedchamber,
Mercy?s face lit up.
?A room of me own! I?ve
had to share with Mam at
the smithy.?
The room contained a
chest of drawers, a
washstand with flowered
jug and bowl, and an
iron-framed bed with thin
straw-stuffed mattress.
A set of coarse cotton
sheets, grey blankets and a
coverlet rested at the foot
of the bed. A row of pegs
by the door served to hang
clothes on, and apart from
a small biblical text over
the bed, there was no
ornamentation whatsoever.
?Have you any
questions?? Nan asked.
Mercy looked suddenly
scared.
?Please, what time does I
start of a morning??
?Well, I rise at six, so I
shall expect you to be
down by then with the fire
in the kitchen range
refreshed and the kettle
boiling.
?I take my breakfast in
the dining-room at eight.
The outdoor staff, Brassey
and Skelland, eat in the
29
from the buffeting of the
chilly easterlies and grateful
for the feeble sunshine that
peeped now and again
through the grey clouds.
?Aye, looks that way,?
Shepherd Skelland replied,
brushing crumbs from his
beard.
He was a thin-faced man,
small and given to bouts of
dourness.
The look of bewilderment on
Mercy?s face was not lost on Nan
kitchen at eight-thirty.
?You prepare the men?s
midday snap and take it
out to them wherever they
happen to be working, and
they are given tea at four.
?Brassey lives in the
village so doesn?t require
an evening meal. Skelland
has a tied cottage on the
slopes and sees to himself.
?I eat at eight,? she
continued. ?It?s up to you
when you have supper.?
Nan paused. The look of
bewilderment on Mercy?s
face was not lost on her.
?Come now, Mercy. We
shall fall into a routine. I
shall address you by your
given name rather than the
customary surname, there
being just the two of us.?
Mercy bobbed a curtsey,
looking more confused than
ever.
Nan gave her a smile of
reassurance she was far
from feeling and departed
for the laundry room and
the uniform.
As she went she
wondered what the men
would think of the new
addition to the house.
Brassey, being a neighbour
of the smith?s, would
probably have plenty to say
on the matter.
* * * *
?Seems the missus is
taking on Patti Dale?s
byblow in the house, if I?m
not mistaken,? Logan
Brassey said to his fellow
worker, shepherd Noah
Skelland.
The two men sat on a
rough-hewn bench outside
the barn, consuming a
midday snap of bread,
cheese and onion, washed
down by cold tea from a
stoneware bottle.
Here they were sheltered
??Twill cause a stir
hereabout,? the shepherd
continued. ?The gentry?s
particular about household
staff.
?A girl from the
workhouse has a degree of
anonymity about her,
where Mercy?s background
is known to folks.
?Them fancy Barnhill
relatives of the missus
wunna take kindly to
seeing that one installed at
the house.?
Brassey bit into a raw
onion with a crunch that
made the eyes water.
?I dunna see them caring
one way or another. Tes
common knowledge the two
families rarely speak due to
that falling out between the
brothers way back.?
?Aye. Funny business,
that. Folks were laying bets
on whether Charles Vessey
would bother to turn up at
his brother?s funeral, him
being absent for the best
part, seeing to that woollen
mill of his Manchester way.
?No-one expected the
wife to be there, her being
semi-invalid and all. It were
just him and the daughter
as it turned out.? The
shepherd paused. ?Made in
a different mould, the
daughter.?
?You?re right there,?
Brassey agreed. ?Miss
Charlotte?s a caring lass,
regardless of the family rift.
Dunno what her folks make
of it.?
?Happen they?ll not
know.?
?Happen you?re right.?
Brassey chewed on a crust
of bread. ?Do you ever
wonder how the gaffer met
his end??
Shepherd Skelland
stared, his cup halfway
to his lips.
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31
?He came off his horse
and broke his neck. You
were here when Minstrel
came charging up riderless.
?Twere we two found the
gaffer.?
?I shan?t ever forget it,?
Brassey replied. ?It seems
out of character to me, the
master coming off his horse
like that. He were a grand
horseman.?
?Accidents happen all the
while, Logan. And now look
how we?re left.?
The shepherd indicated
the ramshackle yard with a
sweep of his hand.
?Gone to ruin,? he stated.
?The late gaffer had a lot to
answer for. A baker?s
dozen of full-time staff we
had here at one time. All
gone. Because Henry
Vessey indulged a crackpot
scheme to put down every
last field to arable.?
?Tes true enough. He
wunna to know about the
bad summers we?ve had,
nowt but cold and wet
throughout. I thought I
were getting rising damp
with it all.?
?Not to mention webbed
feet,? the shepherd added
with grim humour. ??Twere
no wonder the corn were
rotting in the ground.
Please God this year will be
better.?
?Amen to that. Them
grains from the Americas
hasn?t helped matters. All
them steam boats the
shipyards are turning out,
speeding up the imports,
and them bigwigs in
London encouraging it.
?Book learning, that?s
what?s at the root of it all,?
Brassey continued. ?I?m
telling you, Noah, education
and mechanisation?ll be the
death of rural life as we
know it.?
?Exactly so. I never felt
the need of schooling in all
my life. Things at Cross
Lanes should?ve been left
as they were,? the
shepherd said. ?Now we?re
reduced to a couple of
milch cows and no sheep at
all. Dunno what things is
coming to and that?s a fact.?
Brassey nodded, taking a
bite of cheese. It was a
familiar gripe and a crying
shame that Noah should be
reduced to general yard
work, but at least it was a
job.
?Tes come to summat an?
all, us two working for a
petticoat,? Shepherd
Skelland continued. ?Shame
the missus never found
herself a farmer?s lad to
wed, one what?d take the
farm over. Her?s fetching
enough.?
?Aye.? A glimmer of
amusement appeared in
Brassey?s eyes. ?The same
could be said of you, Noah.
A good woman like my
Annie to go home to of a
night wunna come amiss.?
Shepherd Skelland
looked as if he had
swallowed vinegar.
?Me, tied to a pair of
apron strings? Never!?
?Aye, well, so be it. For
two pins I?d be looking for
other work, but there?s the
family to consider.
?They?re settled at the
cottage by the smithy and
my Annie dunna want to
leave. I?m staying put in the
hope of better things to
come.?
Shepherd Skelland
thought of the tied cottage
in the hills in which he had
lived for most of his life.
Would he leave and try his
luck at the hiring fair? Not
as yet, though what the
future held was anybody?s
guess.
They both looked up as
hoofbeats sounded on Moss
Lane. A few moments later
Nan?s cousin, Charlotte
Vessey, rode into the yard.
?Good day, Brassey.
Shepherd Skelland,? she
called out cheerfully.
The men rose and went
to help her dismount.
?Good day to you, miss.?
Shepherd Skelland took
the mare?s bridle.
?The missus is inside. I?ll
put this?n in the stable,? the
shepherd said.
Giving him her thanks,
Charlotte kicked her
elegantly booted foot from
the stirrup, lifted her knee
over the pommel of the
side saddle and slid
gracefully to the ground,
aided by Brassey.
She was flushed from the
ride in the brisk air, her
eyes bright and her hair
artfully arranged under the
plumed tricorne hat, the
colour of which matched
the plum velvet of her
tailored habit with the
Russian frogging.
Miss Vessey?s one
deference to the family?s
recent loss was a band of
black silk worn on her arm.
She went jauntily towards
the house, bringing a smile
to the lips of the men.
Not many had the gift of
introducing sunshine into
lives severely lacking in
that direction, and this
young miss was respected
accordingly.
* * * *
?Hello, Nan. Are you
well??
Her cousin looked up with
a smile as Charlotte entered
the farmhouse kitchen.
?Well enough, thank you.
Would you care for tea??
?Lovely.? Charlotte
removed her gloves and
tossed them, along with
her riding crop, on to the
table, then subsided on to
the settle in front of the
fire.
?That?s better. My heart,
it?s blustery out there!
Firedance hates the wind. It
makes her jink something
dreadful. She nearly had
me off more than once, I
confess.?
Charlotte clapped her
hand over her mouth,
visibly contrite. In the light
of Nan?s recent loss, the
remark was unfortunate.
?That was tactless of me.
I am very sorry.?
?Apology accepted. Mind
you take care. That mare of
yours is a frisky creature.?
?But a darling all the
same. The girl from the
smithy, Mercy Dale. Have
you engaged her??
Nan looked up from
spooning tea into the
teapot.
?Oh, yes. Well, I had to
have someone here to see
to things.?
?Of course you do,?
Charlotte replied. ?I?m sure
Mercy will turn out a
godsend. Just don?t allow
liberties. Start as you mean
to go on.?
?I shall do as you advise,?
Nan said succinctly.
She mashed the tea and
went to the larder, coming
back with the remains of a
plum cake on a platter.
?It is to be hoped Mercy
is as able a cook as she
says. We?re nearly out of
cake and the men expect
some in the afternoon with
their tea. Ah me, what a
state of affairs!?
?Let?s not be despondent.
I have everything in hand.
Expect a hamper today. I
told Cook to do extra this
morning and she?s made a
gingerbread loaf that
should last Shepherd
Skelland and Brassey the
week.?
?Charlotte, you
shouldn?t!? Nan exclaimed.
?Why not??
?But my aunt and uncle!
What will happen when
they learn you are visiting,
let alone supplying me with
baking from their kitchen, I
dread to think.?
?Papa has other things to
occupy him at Manchester
and Mama?s happy to leave
me to my own devices,?
Charlotte assured her
cousin. ?As for Cook ? she
won?t breathe a word.
?You?ve lost weight, Nan.
I worry about you being so
wan and peaky. That black
crepe doesn?t help matters.
I shan?t be sorry when the
months of mourning are
over and you can get into
something more flattering.?
?All in good time,? Nan
replied.
She brought the tea tray
to the fireside and poured
them each a cup, shaking
her head in mock despair
as Charlotte pounced on
hers and swigged it down
with relish.
?Ah, that?s good. Strong,
sweet and hot!? Charlotte
was suddenly serious.
?Nan, have you reached a
decision on what you are
going to do??
?About what, pray??
?The farm. Everything.?
Nan shrugged.
?I?m not selling, if that is
what you are implying,? she
replied firmly. ?Cross Lanes
has been in the family for
generations. I shall get the
farm back on its feet if it is
the last thing I do.?
Charlotte made a wry
face.
?There?s no need to be so
fierce. I simply thought a
sale would bring in
sufficient capital to set you
up in a little house
somewhere, with a maid to
see after you.?
?Charlotte, you know as
well as I do I would be
bored out of my mind.
So let us have no more
33
of such talk.?
?Very well. Dear Uncle
Henry. It was a sorry day
when he sold the livestock
and ploughed up the
grazing for all that wheat
and corn.?
?As things turned out, it
was,? Nan said quietly.
Charlotte pursed her lips.
Henry Vessey had been no
farmer. His mind had flitted
from one scheme to
another like a moth round
a flame, venturing into
areas he should have
avoided.
He had been a dreamer,
given to flights of fancy,
such as obtaining the
mechanised binder and
other inventions that had
cost every last penny and
now lay rusting in a corner
of the farmyard.
He had been a learned
person, a lover of poetry
and a gifted storyteller, not
a true man of the soil.
He had made a disaster
of things and now here was
Nan, left to pick up the
pieces. Nan, a woman in an
undeniably male domain!
Charlotte checked
herself. She was here to
cheer, not depress.
?Something will turn up,
you?ll see. Nothing stays the
same. Take today, for
instance, engaging Mercy
for the house, when
yesterday you were in a
gloom about getting anyone
at all. Who knows what
tomorrow may bring??
?Someone to take
command and direct my
two workers into some
semblance of constructive
labour wouldn?t go amiss!?
Nan replied without any
conviction.
?This morning I sensed
reluctance when I
instructed them to repair a
broken fence.?
?You need to charm them,
Nan. Use your feminine
wiles. It cannot fail with the
likes of Shepherd Skelland,
providing you go about it
the right way.?
At that moment the
long-cased clock in the hall
wheezed and struck two.
?My, is that the time??
Charlotte stood up. ?I must
be away. I?ve a fitting for a
new ballgown at three and
Madame Le Blanc will pout
disgracefully if I am not
there to receive her.?
?I understand. Will I see
you tomorrow?? Nan asked
and Charlotte nodded. ?I
shall look forward to it. Oh,
how does my aunt fare??
?Mama?? Charlotte gave
a smile. ?Oh, same as ever.
Barely eating enough to
keep body and soul
together. I tell her a little
fresh air would not go
amiss, but she shudders at
the very idea.?
Charlotte retrieved her
gloves and picked up her
riding crop. Then, with a
cheery smile, she left.
It was only a matter of a
20-minute canter from
Harthill to her home, and
she had just set Firedance
to a lively pace when she
saw a figure approaching
and reined in sharply.
The lane was narrow and
she edged past, the mare
snorting and jinking.
The man doffed his cap
and trudged on, a bulging
saddle-roll over his
shoulder, and Charlotte
continued on her way.
Her mind was whirling.
The stranger was
undeniably interesting. She
had liked the shock of dark
hair, and his eyes had been
pleasingly appraising as
they had met hers.
Who was he and where
was he bound?
In the next breath she
recalled her appointment
with her mantua-maker.
The stranger forgotten, she
urged Firedance to a gallop
and headed home.
* * * *
Piers Merriman bent his
back to the gradient and
headed for the crest of the
hill. It had been a long haul
from the farm outside
Nantwich where he had
been clearing the ditches
these past weeks, and he
was tired.
Over the course of the
day he had stopped at
farms and holdings to
enquire about work, but it
was not the best time of
year and the answer was
always no.
So he tramped on,
scanning the bleak
landscape for the next
likely place of employment.
He reached the top of the
hill and stopped. By, that
land was in a bad way! It
would be a challenge for
someone, putting it to
rights.
He pressed on until he
came to where another lane
crossed, the continuation of
the one he travelled no
more than a muddy track
into a wood.
The entrance to the farm
was here, marked by a pair
of wooden gates that
sagged on rusted hinges.
As Piers strode up the
rutted drive, he noted the
evidence of neglect.
Ranks of weed-choked
winter corn struggled to
grow in a field to his left.
Hedgerows were straggling
and overgrown with ivy and
bramble.
Ahead, the farmhouse
stood sentinel over all, and
Piers caught his breath.
Built of a sturdy timber
framework, it had to be
centuries old. The lower half
was constructed of old
brick.
Diamond-paned
casements peeped out
between masses of rambler
rose and honeysuckle not
yet in leaf.
The sloping roof lacked a
few slates, but the chimneys
rose staunchly, huffing
fragrant blue woodsmoke.
It was the loveliest house
Piers had ever seen ? or
would be with the roof
mended, the timbers tarred
and the casements sorted.
A picture it would be then.
Two smock-clad men in
the process of mending a
fence in a home field had
lowered their tools to gaze
at him in open curiousity.
Piers sent them a nod and
continued round the
corner, passing under a
clock-arch into a spacious
yard where hens pecked for
food among cobblestones.
Other than this and a
pair of cows in an openfronted byre, there did not
appear to be any more
stock.
Piers went to the back
door and pulled the bell.
His summons was
answered by a round-faced
girl in an ill-fitting uniform,
her cap askew.
?Can I help you??
She seemed breathless
and uncertain. Piers
mustered a smile.
?Aye, lass. Is the master
about? I?d like a word.?
?Nay, mister. Master
Vessey?s been in his grave
these three weeks or so.?
?Ah. His lady wife, then??
?Tes Miss Nan you want.
Her?s inside. I?ll fetch her.?
While he waited, Piers
surveyed the farmyard and
stout stone outbuildings.
His gaze fell on some
abandoned machinery in a
far corner and a low whistle
escaped his lips. Someone
had thought to try
mechanisation, and none
too successfully it seemed.
?Good afternoon,? a
pleasant female voice said.
Piers turned abruptly.
The woman before him was
tall and slender, the drab
garb of mourning
marginally relieved by a
plain white collar and cuffs.
Smudged and shadowed
brown eyes flecked with
gold regarded him levelly
from an oval face. She was
one of those women who
just missed being beautiful,
but was arresting
nonetheless.
?I am Nan Vessey, the
owner of Cross Lanes Farm.
You wished to speak with
me??
Piers realised he was
staring. He removed his
cap.
?Good afternoon, ma?am.
I?ve called to ask if you?re
taking on staff. The name?s
Piers Merriman. I noticed
some men in a field on my
way in. Seems to me
they?ve got their work cut
out here.?
Her look was wry, but
she held her dignity.
?As you can see, we are a
house in mourning. With the
bereavement being recent,
this takes precedence for
the moment.?
?I?m sorry to hear it,
ma?am. My condolences on
your loss.?
?Most kind. My thanks,
sir. Excuse me.?
She took a step back into
the house, indicating an
end to the interview.
?About the work,
mistress,? Piers said hastily,
?I?ve already made it
clear. We are in mourning.
Besides, there is little work
to be had on a farm this
time of year.?
?There is on this farm,?
Piers argued. ?Your hedges
want laying and your
drainage sorted, and
that?s only scratching
35
the surface. If the rest is
the same, it?ll take a
fleet of men to put the
place to rights.?
?I?m not in a position to
take on staff,? Nan Vessey
burst out helplessly.
?You wouldn?t have to,?
Piers told her. ?With the
fellows you already have
and myself making a third,
quite a bit could be done.
?I?d not expect much in
the way of wages,? he
continued. ?A hot meal and
somewhere to lay my head
at night would suffice.?
She seemed to hesitate.
?You have references??
?No, ma?am.? He had left
his place of employment in
too much haste for that.
?I see. In that case ??
?Give me a month and
you?ll see a difference here.
Three months, and things
will be looking a great deal
more shipshape.?
?Indeed, you are very
convincing, sir.?
Piers smiled.
?A man has to earn a
crust, Miss Vessey.?
There was a pause,
indecision flitting across
the fine gold-brown eyes.
?I think we can do better
than a crust,? she said.
Hope leaped in Piers?s
chest.
?I?m inclined to give you a
try. We have two tied
cottages. Shepherd
Skelland has one and the
other is in need of repair.?
?That can be done,? Piers
said gently. ?This must once
have been a thriving farm
and it?s a crying shame to
let it slip further into the
mire. What acreage do you
have here??
?Two hundred and fifty,
not counting the woodland.
Much of it is hill country.
We ran a flock of
Swaledales here once, as
well as cattle and swine.?
?And will again,? Piers
said.
Nan Vessey gave a shrug.
?Perhaps. Meals will be
provided, along with a basic
wage. That is all I can offer.?
?It?ll do,? Piers said.
He had a bit put by for
necessities ? not that he
needed much. And there
was the bequest, though he
had plans for that, once his
problem was sorted.
He retrieved his saddleroll from the step where he
had left it.
?Lead the way, mistress.?
* * * *
Nan sat at the desk in
the farm office, the curtains
closed against the cold
night, firelight leaping on
wall and ceiling.
In the light from the lamp
and the single candle, her
journal lay open.
Nan rubbed her fingers
wearily over her forehead.
It had been another long
day, if an eventful one.
Two extra staff taken on
and each an unknown
quantity. Mercy was a local
girl and less of a concern,
but Piers Merriman was
something of an enigma.
As they had looked at the
cottage, she had questioned
him. It seemed strange that
one of his knowledge and
experience should have no
references, and the fact
weighed against him.
But she liked his direct
manner and his gaze was
honest and steady. There
had been nothing to
mistrust in his personable,
square-jawed face.
Nan?s papa had
maintained she was a good
judge of character. Please
God she was right in this
case, since she had given
him a three-month trial.
Lines of a poem her papa
used to quote drifted into
her mind.
Ah, how the echoes still
resound
About the hollow ground.
When asked its meaning,
Henry had said it spoke of
past events coming to roost
in the present, adding a
caution that things were not
always what they seemed.
Well, for good or bad,
she had employed help for
Cross Lanes. Skilled help, if
the man was to be believed.
Dear goodness, she was
tired. She needed her bed.
Rising, she closed the
journal and went to bank
down the fire for the night.
Then, candle in hand,
Nan left the room, closing
the door softly behind her.
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
not a fan of the
silver screen
I
T was a beautiful evening
and Anne and I were
sitting in the garden.
?Fancy going to the
pictures tomorrow, dear??
I asked out of the blue.
Anne looked at me as if
I?d gone mad!
What had prompted my
question was this. Driving
along North Street in
St Andrews on my way
home, I had been amazed
to see a queue of people
outside the picture-house.
I couldn?t understand
why people were queuing
to sit in the dark to watch
a film when there?s so
much else to see outdoors.
Anne?s reply was, ?I?d
rather walk up to the top
fields, sit on the big stone
and look over the Forth.
What on earth made you
think about going to the
pictures, John??
I told her about the
queue at the cinema.
There was silence for a
minute, then she said,
?John, do you remember
the first time we went to
the pictures??
I remembered it well.
We hadn?t been going
steady long when I asked
her to go to the pictures in
Anstruther.
We cycled there. I even
remembered the title of
the film. It was ?The House
Of Rothschild?, a movie
starring George Arliss and
Loretta Young.
Anne and I held hands
and were spellbound.
Anne had never been to
the flicks, as they were
called in those days and I
had only been a couple of
times.
Once a year, when I was
a lad, I was deposited with
an aunt in St Andrews for a
few days? holiday.
My aunt was prim and
proper and kept a maid. I
think Mother insisted that I
went to knock some of the
country bumpkin out of me!
One year, she saw an
advert in the paper for a
film on in Dundee. It was
called ?Broadway Melody?.
We took the train to
Leuchars, where we
changed and caught the
northbound train from
Edinburgh to Dundee.
?Broadway Melody? was
a hit with me. It featured
lots of ladies dancing on a
stage, showing lots of leg!
Needless to say, my aunt
was disgusted and we left
before the film finished.
Anne and I didn?t go to
the pictures. We took a
stroll to the top fields and
sat in silence looking across
the Forth and at the
beauties of nature.
We spent an enjoyable
evening which did us far
more good than being
cooped up in the dark. n
More
next
week
36
Let?s Have
Brunch!
Relax and enjoy a
leisurely bank holiday
with our delicious recipes.
Oaty Potato
Cakes and
Smoked Salmon
Course: Brunch Skill level: easy
Serves: 2
450 g (1 lb) floury potatoes, peeled
and diced
Salt and freshly ground black
pepper, to taste
25 g (1 oz) butter
100 g (3� oz) White?s Speedicook
porridge oats
4 large eggs
150 ml (� pt) skimmed milk
4 slices smoked salmon
1 spring onion, trimmed and sliced
thinly
www.whitesoats.co.uk.
1 Cook the potatoes in a pan of lightly salted
boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain well
and return to the saucepan and heat for
30 to 40 seconds to drive off any excess
moisture. Allow to cool.
2 Mash the potatoes with half the butter and
season to taste. Stir in the oats and divide the
mixture into 4 equal pieces. Shape into
10 cm (4 in) patties.
3 Whisk the eggs and milk together and
season.
4 Add half the remaining butter to a large
non-stick frying-pan and heat until foaming.
Add the potato cakes and fry for
3 to 4 minutes on each side until golden
brown, adjusting the heat if necessary so the
butter does not brown. Arrange on kitchen
paper, cover and keep warm.
5 Wipe out the pan and return to the heat,
add the remaining butter and melt. Stir in the
egg mixture and cook over a medium heat
for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring until creamy and
just set.
6 Arrange the potato cakes on individual
serving plates; serve both or one on the side
instead of toast. Spoon over the scrambled
eggs and smoked salmon. Sprinkle over the
spring onion and freshly ground black pepper
and serve immediately.
COOKERY 37
www.kikkoman.co.uk.
Teriyaki Prawn and
Avocado Toast
Course: Brunch Skill level: easy
Serves 4
2 avocados, peeled and stoned
2 limes, 1 juiced and 1 cut into
quarters
Salt and freshly ground black pepper,
to taste
4 slices sourdough bread, toasted
1 tbs olive oil
350 g (12 oz) raw king prawns
4 tbs Kikkoman Teriyaki Sauce with
Roasted Garlic
Handful of coriander leaves
1 Mash the avocados with the juice of one of
the limes and season to taste. Spread over the
toasted sourdough bread.
2 Heat the oil in a non-stick frying-pan or wok
and cook the prawns over a high heat for
30 seconds.
3 Add the Teriyaki Sauce with Roasted Garlic
and cook for another couple of minutes, until the
prawns are cooked through.
4 Spoon the prawns over the avocado, scatter
with a little coriander and squeeze over a little
more lime juice.
American Buttermilk Pancakes
3 large British Lion
eggs
150 ml (� pt)
buttermilk
175 g (6 oz) self raising
flour
1 tsp caster sugar
Pinch of salt
1 tbs vegetable oil for
frying
To Serve: crispy bacon
and maple syrup.
Course: Brunch Skill level: easy
Serves: 4
www.eggrecipes.co.uk.
1 Beat the eggs and
buttermilk together in a large
bowl. Sift over the flour, sugar
and salt then quickly mix to
form a smooth, thick batter.
2 Heat a little oil in a non-stick
frying-pan. Gently drop large
spoonfuls of the batter into the
hot pan and cook for
2 minutes until the base is
crisp and golden. Flip over
and cook for a further 1 to
2 minutes. Keep warm in a
clean tea towel and repeat
until all the batter is cooked ?
makes about 12.
3 To serve, stack 3 to 4
pancakes per person on
plates, stacking them up with
crispy bacon. Serve with maple
syrup.
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.
38
One Pan Egg and Beans
Bagel Course: Brunch Skill level: easy Serves: 4
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 green pepper
1 tbs olive oil
2 x medium tins chopped tomatoes
2 x tins baked beans
Generous dash of Worcestershire sauce (optional)
4 eggs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 New York Bakery Co. Original bagels, halved
2 tbs butter
1 Pre-heat the oven to 200 deg. C., 400 deg. F., Gas Mark 6.
2 Take the seeds out of the peppers and chop.
3 Heat the olive oil in a large ovenproof frying-pan. Add the peppers
and stir fry for 5 minutes until just softened.
4 Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for another minute before
stirring in the baked beans with a dash of Worcestershire sauce, if
using, and heat through until just bubbling.
5 Make 4 wells in the bean mixture and crack in 4 eggs ? it?s easier
to crack them into a small cup first.
6 Cover with a lid or foil and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the eggs
are cooked to your liking. Season to taste.
7 Split and toast the bagels, spread with a little butter and spoon the
beans over, ensuring everyone gets an egg!
www.newyorkbakeryco.com.
Walnut Waffles with Date
Drizzle Course: Brunch Skill level: easy Serves: 4
300 g (10� oz) spelt
flour
1� tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
� tsp bicarbonate of
soda
2 eggs
170 ml (6 fl oz)
buttermilk
170 ml (6 fl oz) milk
40 ml (1� fl oz) honey
1 Sift the flour, baking powder,
salt and bicarbonate of soda into
a large mixing bowl.
2 Whisk the eggs in a jug along
with the buttermilk, milk, honey
and melted butter.
3 Whisk the wet ingredients
into the dry ingredients until you
have a smooth batter, and leave
to rest for 30 minutes.
4 Grease your waffle iron
liberally with butter, sprinkle in
some of the chopped walnuts,
https://californiawalnuts.uk.
50 g (1� oz) butter,
melted, plus extra for
greasing
60 g (2� oz) California
walnuts, toasted and
chopped
1 tbs coconut oil
1 tbs walnut butter
30 ml (1 fl oz) date syrup
Pinch of salt
2 bananas, sliced
and heat until hot.
5 Cook the batter in batches
until all the batter is used up,
keeping the waffles warm as
you go.
6 In a small saucepan gently,
heat the coconut oil, walnut
butter and date syrup to form a
sauce, then stir in a pinch of salt.
7 Serve the waffles with the
sliced bananas, drizzle with the
date sauce, and sprinkle with
toasted walnuts to finish. n
Next week: tasty TV snacks.
For more delicious recipes visit our
website: www.thepeoplesfriend.co.uk.
40
SHORT STORY BY TERESA ASHBY 41
A Perfect Fit
I had watched him walk out of
my life before and return ?
what was different this time?
Illustration by Kirk Houston.
I
LOOKED down from my
stepladder and saw a
dark shape silhouetted
in the open doorway of
my shop. Paul couldn?t
see me from where he
stood, but I could see him
? tall, handsome and
looking so lost that my
heart clenched.
He?d come to say
goodbye, for good this
time. This time I was the
one who had spectacularly
messed up.
I was taken back to the
day he turned up out of the
blue, two summers ago.
It was a roaring hot day
like today. I?d propped the
shop door open to let in
the smallest of breezes
along with a shaft of
sunshine and suddenly he
was there, filling the
doorway.
I carried on serving my
customer, Judy, who had
brought in an anniversary
cross-stitch for framing. As
I went through a range of
colours for the mount, I
was too scared to look
again in case I was seeing
things.
?Are you OK, Debbie??
Judy asked. ?You?re
shaking.?
?Am I?? I tried to laugh it
off, changing the subject.
?How about this pale
green??
While Judy went through
the different colours I lost
myself in the past.
I?d been with Paul since
we were fourteen. Then,
when we were twenty-one,
he upped and left with no
explanation except to say
he was no good for me,
whatever that meant.
His best friend, Max, was
hurt by his sudden
departure, too, and for a
while Max and I went out,
but there was no romance.
I knew I?d never love
anyone like I loved Paul
and Max was only looking
for company.
Paul grew up in a
children?s home and he
always said I gave him the
roots he lacked. Some
roots!
?I can?t make up my mind
and you have someone
waiting.? Judy stepped
back from the counter.
?Serve this young man
first.?
?It?s all right,? Paul said.
?I?m in no hurry, but for
what it?s worth, I think you
should go with the pale
green. It?s a beautiful piece
of work, and the green will
set it off perfectly.?
His eyes twinkled at Judy
and she blushed. He?d
always been charm on a
stick. Shame it had never
meant anything.
Paul was bigger than I
remembered. His shoulders
were broader and he
looked strong and
powerful. I?d never seen
him with a beard before,
but with it he was even
more attractive, and his
hair was darker and slightly
longer on top.
?Pale green it is, then,?
Judy said. ?When will it be
ready, Debbie??
?This time next week.?
?Perfect.?
I worked out the cost and
she paid me, but before
leaving she beamed up at
Paul.
?Thank you.?
He was always being
thanked because he just
couldn?t help being nice. He
gathered up lost pets and
injured wild animals.
It was only me he was
capable of hurting.
?Hi, Debbie,? he said
when Judy had left. ?You
look great.?
?What do you want??
I sounded cold, but it was
nothing to how brittle I felt
inside.
?To see you,? he replied.
?I was hoping we could
have a coffee or lunch. I?m
sure Carol would let you
have some time off.?
?It isn?t up to Carol. The
shop is my responsibility
now. I took over the lease
when she retired and I live
in the flat above.?
?Really?? He looked
genuinely delighted. ?And
you run craft workshops
here, too? That?s amazing,
Debbie.?
The cold feeling inside me
intensified. Love, longing
and regret had morphed
into bitterness and
suspicion.
?So, lunch??
?No, thank you.?
?Coffee, then??
?You don?t get it, do you,
Paul? I?d like you to leave.?
He looked hurt and as he
turned to walk away I
realised I had never
stopped loving him,
however much I told myself
otherwise. Even more
reason to keep my
distance.
An hour later, the shop
was quiet. I was leaning on
the counter flicking through
a supplier?s brochure when
I heard footsteps.
I looked up with a smile
which vanished as I saw
him, a paper bag in one
hand and a cappuccino in a
take-away cup in the other.
?Oh, it?s you.?
?I?m not looking for
forgiveness,? he said. ?I
haven?t come back
expecting you to fall in my
arms.?
?Good, because you?d be
disappointed.?
?Everything?s changed
round here.?
?It?s been three years.
Maybe you just don?t
belong here any more.?
?I don?t belong
anywhere.? He sounded so
sad that I felt the tiniest
crack in my resolve.
?This was the only
place that ever felt
42
like home, but I blew
that, didn?t I??
?Get to the point, Paul,? I
said to stem the sudden
rush of sympathy.
?I came back to see Max,
but I wanted to see you,
too.?
?Well, you?ve seen me,? I
said. ?Mission
accomplished. Thanks for
the coffee and cake.?
I could see my words
stung him. They certainly
stung me. I had had no
idea I was capable of being
so harsh.
After that he popped into
the shop every now and
then, sometimes with
coffee, sometimes with an
ice-cream. It took ages
before I started to thaw
and we were into autumn
before he began to tell me
what he?d been up to.
?I?ve been moving about
the country working as a
casual gardener, but it?s
time I settled down and
started my own business
properly. I can?t live in a
beaten-up campervan for
ever.?
He looked at me and the
ice inside me threatened to
melt.
?Leaving you was the
biggest mistake of my life,
Debbie.?
How do you make a
mistake like that? How do
you think you don?t love
someone if you do?
?I don?t want to go over
all that again,? I warned
him.
?You?re the only one for
me, Debbie,? he said.
?No-one else measures up.?
* * * *
I didn?t make the next
year easy for him, but last
summer, in a moment of
weakness, I gave in and
agreed to go out on a date
with him.
I insisted that we didn?t
talk about the past, so he
talked about the garden
behind the shop and asked
if he could sort it out for
me.
?It?ll be good practice,?
he said. ?And maybe you
could put a card up in your
window for me.?
It wasn?t long before
instead of opening my
bedroom curtains on to a
tangle of brambles and
weeds, I looked down on
swirling flower-beds and a
lawn.
?He?s really settled, isn?t
he?? my mother said as she
watched him toiling in the
garden. ?I know it sounds
corny, but he went away a
boy and came home a
man.?
?Who?s to say he?s
home?? I said. ?Who?s to
say he won?t take off again
when he goes off me??
?Oh, darling. He didn?t go
off you. You were both so
young and he was too
immature to cope with his
feelings. Look at him out
there. Digging, planting,
making it pretty.
?People who are about to
flit don?t plant shrubs. He?s
even got a vegetable patch,
for goodness? sake.?
I wasn?t convinced. Even
the van he bought with his
name on the side didn?t
convince me he was back
to stay. He?d rented a flat,
but I knew he could up and
leave when the fancy took
him.
Every week brought more
colour to the garden and
my life and I realised how
drab my days had been
without Paul.
He turned up at my flat
for breakfast one morning
with hot pastries and
take-away coffee from the
bakery. I was still in my
dressing-gown, yawning
and rubbing my eyes.
?How can you be so
cheerful and awake?? I
said, faintly disgusted that
anyone could be so chirpy
so early.
?Because I have a lot to
be cheerful about,? he said.
?Today?s the day.?
A cold sliver of fear went
through me.
?You?re moving on??
?No. Never again. I know
you don?t want to talk
about the past, but we
have to. Because until we
do, we can?t move on.?
He put his coffee down
and reached into his
pocket, taking out a tiny
box.
?No,? I said. ?Don?t say
it.?
He looked so crestfallen.
?But I love you, Debbie.?
I closed his fingers round
the box.
?No,? I repeated. ?I?m
sorry, Paul. I think you
should go.?
It didn?t matter what
Mum said; he?d let me
down once, so what was to
stop him doing it again?
He pushed the box back
in his pocket and left, thus
proving me right, and my
heart broke all over again.
I missed him coming
round and I struggled to
keep the garden looking
nice. I still saw his van
driving round and I knew
he worked for some of my
customers.
* * * *
And now he was back. I
stepped down from the
ladder and as he turned
round I saw his face light
up briefly before sadness
fell again like a curtain over
his beautiful eyes.
?You?ve come to say
goodbye.?
?Would it make life easier
for you if I did??
It was the last thing I
wanted, but I couldn?t tell
him that.
?You must do what you
want, like you always
have.?
He winced.
?Let me explain why I left
when I did,? he said. ?Then,
if you still want me to go
away, I will.?
?OK. I?ll lock up the shop.
We can sit in the garden for
a few minutes.?
Outside, he couldn?t
resist threading the
honeysuckle through the
trellis and pulling up some
weeds.
?You need a gardener,?
he said with a sad laugh as
he sat beside me on the
bench.
He hesitated for a
moment, then began.
?For seven years you
were the one steady thing
in my life, the only person I
loved. I was happier than
I?d ever been. Then my
father contacted me.?
?He did? You didn?t say!?
?I was so excited.?
He let out a small laugh.
?I wanted to surprise you.
I?d always believed I?d been
put in care because my
father couldn?t cope after
my mum died, but I was
wrong. He rejected me,
Debbie. He wanted a new
life and I wasn?t part of it.?
I reached across the
table and clasped his hand.
How could anyone reject
their own flesh and blood?
?He told you this??
He nodded.
?His advice to me was to
forget about getting
married and have a life
instead. I?ve never been
one for self-pity, but when I
looked at him all I saw was
a frightened, grieving
five-year-old sent to live
with strangers.? He broke
off and rubbed at his eyes.
?I thought, what if I turn
out like him??
?But you?re not like him!?
?I know. I wasn?t thinking
straight after I saw him. I
thought it was better to
leave you than hurt you
later on. It was only
afterwards, when I?d had
time to calm down and
think about it, that I
realised what a stupid
mistake I?d made.?
I wanted to believe him,
but . . .
?It took you three years
to realise that??
?No, it took me a few
weeks,? he said. ?I came
back, but as I walked down
your road I saw you with
Max.?
The words hung between
us. There was nothing I
could say. How must he
have felt, that I?d jumped
so quickly into another
relationship, and with his
best friend of all people?
Not that I had, but it
must have seemed that
way to him.
?I knew you?d be better
off with him, so I walked
away.?
?Why did you come back
two years ago? What
changed??
?Finding Max on
Facebook, seeing the
photos of his wife and
baby, I realised I?d got it
wrong. I will love you for
ever, Debbie,? he said and
he took the ring from his
pocket. ?Will you marry
me??
My heart felt warm and
full for the first time in
years and I flung my arms
around him, almost
knocking him over. When
he kissed me I knew we
were meant to be together.
?I love you, too, Paul. I
always have,? I said as he
slid the ring on to my
finger.
It was a perfect fit. Just
like us. n
44
money
Your
PPI And Compensation
Stephanie
Hawthorne,
award-winning
financial
journalist,
writes for us.
MILLIONS of people
over the past decade took
out mortgages, loans and
credit cards. If they were
mis-sold PPI (Payment
Protection Insurance) at
the same time, they are
entitled to compensation.
Many people are
completely unaware that
they had a PPI policy. The
original idea was that the
policy would cover the
monthly payments on your
credit card or loan if you
lost your job or fell ill.
But sales people sold
these policies in a very
cavalier fashion without
proper explanation. The
end result was that they
were bought by people who
weren?t eligible for the
cover.
For example, they were
sold to people who were
self-employed or with
pre-existing medical
conditions and were
useless when they tried to
claim. Similarly, people
who were retired were
wasting their money.
If you fall into any of
these categories, it is likely
that you were mis-sold PPI
and can claim, but time is
running out. The deadline
for making a claim is
August 29, 2019. Figures
from the Financial Conduct
Authority show around
85% of claims on policies
paid for with a lump sum
(upfront) for compensation
are successful. The average
customer payout for loan
PPI compensation is
around �000.
To check whether your
agreements came with PPI,
look at the policies for such
words as credit insurance,
credit protection, loan
repayment insurance,
payment cover, protection
plan, loan protection,
accident sickness and
unemployment cover
(ASU), loan care account
cover or mortgage payment
protection insurance. Even
if you can?t find the policies,
it may still be worth
claiming.
There are lots of claim
management companies
around who may pester
you with cold calls, but
ignore them as they may
take 25% to 30% of your
PPI compensation.
The Money Advice
Service has an excellent
website full of useful advice
and there is even a
template letter for what to
put in your letter seeking
compensation: https://www.
moneyadviceservice.org.uk/
en/articles/letter-templates.
First of all, search out
those dusty documents in
your bottom drawer.
Make a copy of them and
write a letter to your lender
who sold the PPI using the
excellent Money Advice
Service template.
It won?t take you long. All
you have to do is fill in the
blanks and of course send
copies of all relevant
documents.
If you don?t get a reply or
decision within eight weeks,
the next step is to complain
to the Financial
Ombudsman Service.
The Ombudsman will ask
you to fill out a
questionnaire to decide
whether or not you?ve been
mis-sold PPI.
Even if you previously
have had your PPI claim
rejected you may still be
able to get a refund on the
grounds that your provider
earned excessive
commission, but didn?t
inform you when you
bought the policy. This
follows a court case about
this known as Plevin.
In addition to PPI, the
FOS deals with complaints
about bank accounts,
credit, debit and store
cards, motor, travel and
household insurance, loans,
including payday loans, car
finance, mortgages,
repayment problems and
debt collection, money
transfers and online
payments, financial advice,
savings and investments
and pensions.
If the FOS upholds a
complaint, the FOS
generally tells the business
Did you
know?
The deadline to
complain about PPI is
August 29, 2019.
Remember to allow
plenty of time for the
Ombudsman to receive
a complaint before that
date.
to put their customer in the
position they would be in if
they?d been treated fairly
? or if a mistake hadn?t
happened. This can mean a
wide range of things and
will depend on the
individual circumstances of
each complaint.
The FOS can tell a
business to pay a specific
amount of money up to
�0,000. But often they?ll
need to do something that
doesn?t have a direct cash
value ? like amending
someone?s credit file, or
dealing with a claim that
they?d originally rejected. n
Please note that the information given on these pages does not constitute financial or legal advice and is for general guidance only. Please consult a professional financial adviser
for advice on your own circumstances.
FINANCE
45
Common Complaints
1
In the third quarter of 2017 the Financial
Ombudsman Service handled 147,775 enquiries
from consumers, taking on 81,647 new cases.
2
PPI remained the most complained about
financial product, with 43,394 new cases. Current
accounts were the second most complained about
product, with 4,976 new cases in the third quarter
of 2017.
3
More than 21.9 million UK residents went on
summer holidays abroad last year. The FOS
dealt with around 3,000 complaints about travel
insurance in 2017 ? deciding in nearly four in 10
cases that the insurer hadn?t treated the customer
fairly.
4
Alcohol exclusions
are a common feature
of travel insurance.
You?re not expected
to avoid alcohol
completely ? but
bear in mind your
claim may be turned
down if it?s linked to
drinking excessively.
Ask The Expert
Pension Transfers
Members of final
salary pension schemes
are being enticed to
leave their schemes
which pay a guaranteed
income in exchange for
a large pension pot. In
particular, many
members of the British
Steel Pension Scheme
(BSPS) have been
targeted.
As of March 12,
2018, 10 firms have
stopped providing
pension transfer advice
as part of the Financial
Services Authority
crackdown in this area.
Some final salary
pension scheme
members may be
concerned about
whether the advice they
received was suitable.
If a member has
already transferred
their pension and is
concerned about the
advice they have
received, they should
make a complaint to
the firm.
If they are still not
happy, they should
speak to the Financial
Ombudsman Service.
Caroline Wayman,
Chief Ombudsman,
Financial Ombudsman
Service, is here to help
WHAT should I do if I have
Q a financial complaint?
DEALING with any problem can be stressful, so
as soon as you have that uneasy ?feeling? that
something has gone wrong with your money,
talk to the Ombudsman Service. We?re a free
service, set up by law to help sort out problems
between financial businesses and their customers.
We receive over a million enquiries every year.
Even if you can?t put your finger on what has
happened, we can help unravel the issues and talk
about what you want to happen to put things right.
If you have any paperwork, e-mails or calls notes
that relate to the problem, these can all be helpful,
but if you don?t, don?t worry. Once we?ve got some
basic details from you, we?ll speak to the business,
look over all the information and tell you what we
think, as an independent body, should happen next.
Remember, you don?t need to pay someone to
bring a complaint for you. It?s free and
straightforward to do it yourself.
Give us a call on 0800 023 4567, tweet
@financialombuds or complete the online complaint
form at www.financial-ombudsmanorg.uk.
A
Next month: more expert tips.
SHORT STORY BY ALICE ELLIOTT 47
When Rebecca
Met Esme
Illustration by Tracy Fennell.
S
ORTING through
Gran?s belongings
was a task they had
put off for months.
The cardboard
boxes had sat in the attic
of their spacious north
London townhouse for at
least six weeks before
Rebecca and her mother,
Iris, felt like going
anywhere near them.
Somehow it was never
the right time to begin
sorting through the
personal possessions of the
woman they had both loved
so much.
?Your gran had a
wonderful and long life,
Rebecca. We must focus on
that,? Iris had said, but
they both knew that
without Gran?s cheerful
smile and gentle words of
wisdom, nothing would
ever be the same again.
Still, one wet and windy
Sunday afternoon, with
nothing else left to do,
Rebecca and Iris decided to
make their way upstairs to
start work.
As the hours passed they
became quite lost in the
land of memory. From silk
slippers to sepia
photographs, each item
had a story or anecdote
attached.
Soon Rebecca and Iris
were weeping in a
bittersweet mixture of joy
and loss as they
remembered their mother
and grandmother who?d
left such a big gap in both
their lives.
?What?s that?? Rebecca?s
eye was caught by a
compact mirror. It was
peeping out from within
some merino wool
cardigans it had been
wrapped in, presumably to
keep it safe.
She pulled the mirror out
for a closer look. It was
round with a crimson rose
painted right in the centre,
dotted with tiny rubies.
Rebecca also noticed that
it was warm to touch,
which was odd as there was
no central heating in the
attic.
?Look, Mum, the colours
are so vibrant and it?s in
perfect condition. Do you
think it?s Victorian??
?Edwardian, actually.? Iris
was staring at the mirror
and a small frown had
formed on her brow.
?It?s beautiful.?
A true magpie, Rebecca
loved everything that
glittered.
As soon as her
hand touched
the mirror
Rebecca felt
something
strange . . .
?Look at it. I?m sure Gran
would have wanted me to
have it.?
?I don?t think so, darling.?
Iris reached out and took
the mirror from Rebecca?s
grasp.
?Your gran was always a
bit funny about that mirror.
She wouldn?t let anyone
else touch it. The only thing
she ever said was that
every time she held it, she
felt an uncanny sense of
unhappiness.
?All I know is that it
belonged to your gran?s
great-aunt Esme, who died
tragically young.?
?If Gran didn?t like it, why
didn?t she sell it? It looks
expensive.?
?It?s a family heirloom,
Rebecca, it?s not something
you can just throw away in
exchange for money. It
wouldn?t be right. Your
gran always kept it stashed
safely away, so we?ll do the
same.?
Iris seemed keen to move
on, but Rebecca hadn?t
given up just yet.
?Can?t I look after it for a
little while, Mum?? she
pressed on. ?I?d like to
feature some antiques on
my blog. This would be a
great start, and I promise
I?ll be careful with it.?
?Well, I suppose it can?t
hurt,? Iris conceded as she
handed the compact back
to her daughter. ?It?s great
to see you interested in
something other than
clothes.?
Rebecca quickly slipped
the mirror into her skirt
pocket. She didn?t want the
conversation to turn
towards her future again.
She felt confused enough
about the best way forward
and, although she knew her
mother loved her and
meant well, sometimes a
chat with her made
things feel worse.
48
Rebecca had loved
clothes and shopping all
her life. She?d even styled
her dolls in the latest
trends when she was three
years old.
She was nineteen now
and had, for the past
couple of years, been
writing an online blog
called ?Passion For
Fashion?. It had become
very popular and she now
had 10,000 followers.
She loved typing her
thoughts and reactions to
the latest trends and it
gave her such a buzz when
her work was shared on
Twitter and Facebook.
Rebecca also commented
on the fashion choices of
before making an excuse
and leaving the room.
Iris was a vintage
wedding planner and whilst
Rebecca admired her
mother?s organisational
skills, she wasn?t sure it
was a talent she?d
inherited.
Once back upstairs and
sorting through her
wardrobe for clothes to
wear the next day, Rebecca
found herself unable to
take her mind off the
compact mirror.
She could feel the heat
coming off it from the
inside of her pocket and
when she took it out and
held it, a sense of profound
longing and sadness
A chill slid down her spine and she
gave a shudder
models, celebs and city
elite; the more risqu� or
controversial the better.
It was these snippets of
chitchat that always
brought in the most views
and shares, with lesserknown celebrities now even
asking to be featured on
the blog and sending her
the juiciest gossip.
The problem was that the
blog was where Rebecca?s
heart lay, so she found it
hard to muster much
enthusiasm for anything
else. She hadn?t got on well
with academic work at
school, and when it came
to applying for universities,
Rebecca had been at a loss
over which course to
choose.
Instead, she had opted
for a gap year, though still
felt unsure of the next step.
* * * *
?You?ll have to find a
direction some time,
darling,? Iris said later,
once Gran?s belongings
were finally sorted out and
they were sitting down to a
cup of tea in the kitchen.
?Your dad and I can?t
support you and your
shopping habit for ever.
Why don?t you come to
work with me next week to
see how you like it,
especially now you?re
interested in the Edwardian
mirror??
?Thanks, Mum. I?ll think
about it,? Rebecca replied
washed over her.
The curious emotions
became even more intense
once she opened the silver
clasp and looked at her
reflection. The mirror was
so small that she couldn?t
see her face in full but
there was something about
the eyes, nose and mouth
that didn?t seem like her
own.
Her eyes were the same
light grey, and the shape of
her mouth and nose were
right, too, but the skin
looked pale and there was
an infinite misery in the
eyes. So much so that she
didn?t want to stare into
them for long.
?Mum,? she called as she
went back downstairs.
?Have a look at your
reflection for a minute.
Does anything strike you as
strange??
Iris held the compact and
peered into the mirror.
?Not really ? sadly my
wrinkles haven?t gone
away,? she replied. ?Why
do you ask??
?Oh, I?m sure it?s
nothing,? Rebecca
answered, taking the
compact back.
It was like a mini radiator
now, but even so, a chill
slid down her spine and she
gave a little shudder.
* * * *
That night Rebecca
dreamed she was sitting in
a small but elegantly
furnished sitting-room. She
supposed it must have
been an Edwardian lady?s
parlour. The walls were
painted in a grey criss-cross
pattern and the armchair in
which she sat was
upholstered in myrtle green
velvet.
She was wearing a long
crimson dress and what
she presumed must be a
corset was making her
chest feel tight. Portraits of
stern-looking gentlefolk
adorned the walls along
with a couple of grand gilt
mirrors.
A handsome piano
carved from walnut wood
stood in the corner of the
room and a merry fire
crackled in the hearth.
All of a sudden, Rebecca
was aware of a heaviness in
her hand and looked down
to see she was clutching
Esme?s mirror. It was
hotter than ever and
suddenly her whole body
felt stifled and out of
control.
In panic, she dropped the
compact and ran to the
door, only to find it locked.
Rebecca felt a scream form
in her throat, but before
she could cry out, she
jolted awake, her heart and
head pounding in tandem.
?Goodness,? she
murmured, rubbing her
eyes.
Then she stopped. For a
split second, she was sure
she saw a glow of red light
coming from the dressingtable where she?d placed
the mirror the night before.
Switching on her bedside
lamp for a better look, she
got up and went to the
table to retrieve it. There
was no glow now and
Rebecca couldn?t be sure
that she hadn?t still been
dreaming.
The compact held its
residual warmth which was
now becoming very
familiar. On impulse
Rebecca opened the clasp
and had a peep at the
reflection inside.
This time her insides
dipped in a painful stab of
fear, for the eyes in the
mirror were wet with tears,
yet when she placed a
finger to one of her own, it
came away bone dry.
Rebecca kept the lamp
on for the rest of the night
and put the compact mirror
inside her handbag which
she kept on a chair at the
side of the room. She didn?t
want to see any more of
that glowing red light,
whether she?d dreamed it
or not.
The next day dawned
and despite being tired
from her fitful night,
Rebecca was keen for some
distraction.
?If it?s worrying you that
much, why don?t we put the
mirror back in the attic??
Iris suggested over
breakfast when Rebecca
told her about her restless
night.
?Perhaps,? Rebecca
replied.
She could barely make
sense of it, but something
deep inside her was telling
her that she had to hold on
to the mirror for now.
She decided to go
shopping in London?s
popular West End. One of
her favourite shops had a
new collection and she was
keen to check it out and
then review it on her blog
before anyone else got
there first.
?Spare any change,
love?? came a man?s voice.
Rebecca had just walked
out of the tube station. The
man was staring at the
ground.
Homeless people were a
common sight in London
and Rebecca hadn?t ever
thought very much about
them, but for some reason
she ducked into a nearby
caf� and returned with a
take-away coffee and a
flapjack wrapped up in a
brown paper bag.
She?d also picked up a
flyer about a local mission
which offered beds for the
night and advice sessions.
The man looked up as
she handed them to him
and his deep brown eyes
lightened a little as he
thanked her.
A mixture of sadness and
shame filled Rebecca as
she walked away. For a
second she?d become
uncomfortably aware of the
harshness of the wind as it
stung the insides of her
ears and she bristled at the
disapproving looks the man
received from a couple of
people passing by.
The feelings of others
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.?
mention, ?Oh, darling, give he could float away down the sink, but he
?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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50
had never felt so acute
to her before and she
wiped away a tear before
making her way to the
shop.
* * * *
?I?m going to see Auntie
Mona after work
tomorrow,? Iris announced
over dinner that evening.
?I think I?ll come, too,?
Rebecca replied.
?Really?? Iris looked
pleased. ?You haven?t been
interested in visiting your
great-aunt before.?
?Well, now I am.?
Rebecca didn?t see Mona
very often. Her great-aunt
had always enjoyed
travelling and spent a lot of
the year abroad.
Now she was older, she
aunt?s love of adventure.
?Now, Rebecca, I?ve
bored you enough. It?s time
to hear all about you,?
Mona said, setting down
her cup and beaming.
Rebecca?s heart gave a
momentary dip. Mona?s
smile was just like Gran?s.
She paused as she racked
her brain for something to
say. Rebecca wasn?t sure
Mona would be too
interested in the gossip
from her blog, but, stuck
for anything else, she told
her about it anyway.
Her great-aunt listened
politely. She actually knew
a lot more about the online
world than Rebecca had
expected.
?You must have a look at
my travel blog,? she told
The mirror no longer filled her
heart with sadness
was mostly at home and
Iris visited her regularly.
It hadn?t ever occurred to
Rebecca that Mona might
be glad of the company,
but all of a sudden she felt
quite concerned for this
relative she barely knew
and found she wanted to
make a difference in her
life.
It only took several
seconds of Mona?s
company, however, for
Rebecca to realise she
needn?t have worried about
her great-aunt at all. She
was met by a bright and
cheery smile from this
woman who was sitting in a
living-room dedicated to a
life of extensive travel.
A purple and green
patterned rug lay on the
floor, embroidered with
lilies and ferns in silver.
Her dresser was full of
ornaments and artefacts
hailing from around the
world. Mona took delight in
explaining a small wooden
sculpture of an African
child, handmade especially
for her in Uganda.
Paintings of elephants,
sunsets and exotic-looking
vegetation adorned the
walls, and, when Rebecca
volunteered to make them
all a hot drink, she saw
that the kitchen cupboards
were packed full of teas,
spices and sweet treats, all
testament to her great-
her. ?Sadly my globetrotting days are over, but
new memories still come to
me even now. When you?ve
lived as long as me, your
mind is a real treasure
trove of goodies.
?Only last week I found a
cast-iron teapot from a
lesson in the Japanese Tea
Ceremony I attended some
time in the 1970s when I
visited Tokyo.
?It took me right back to
the Zen garden, the spring
sunshine and the serene
smile of the teacher, or
sensei, as we called her. I
took a photo of it and put it
straight on the blog. I?ll
give you the link.?
The idea of stories
attaching themselves to
possessions struck Rebecca
and soon she was thinking
about the compact mirror
again.
She whipped it out from
her handbag and asked if
Mona knew anything about
it.
?Gosh, your gran never
told me she?d held on to
that mirror. Just looking at
it reminds me of my sister.
I still miss her every day.?
?Me, too,? Rebecca
murmured.
?She was never an
itchy-footed traveller like
me, but I loved her for her
home-making ways. We
always used to say that she
was the one who made a
family nest whilst I flew off
to explore.?
Mona paused for a
moment.
?I?m sure you know
already that this mirror
belonged to our great-aunt,
Esme. We never got the
chance to meet her as she
passed away so young.
?Our poor grandmother
never got over the loss of
her sister and rarely spoke
of it, but when she did, she
told us that Esme died of
boredom and a broken
heart.? She shrugged.
?We?re going back to
Edwardian times, of course,
and in a well-to-do family
like ours, women weren?t
expected to work.
?Their only opportunities
were to gain
accomplishments, like fine
needlework, painting,
playing the piano and
speaking French.
?It wasn?t enough for
Esme. She wanted to
change the world. My
grandmother told me once
how she was for ever trying
to help the poor, even
walking around London
with warm blankets and
parcels of food for those
poor souls.?
?It?s still a problem now,?
Rebecca agreed.
?And she wanted to
write,? Mona continued.
?She desperately wanted to
plough all her feelings into
a book for others to read.
But her father insisted she
should be wed to an earl
far out in the countryside.
?Even though I suppose
she could have written
some kind of memoir, or
perhaps a sweet little love
story, Esme grew sick and
passed away soon after her
marriage. She had a bout
of scarlet fever, which in
those days was enough to
finish you off.
?But our grandmother
always insisted there was
more to it than that, and
that her sudden change of
lifestyle had killed her zest
for life.?
?How sad!? Rebecca
could feel tears gathering
in her eyes.
?I might have a photo of
her somewhere,? Mona
said, rising slowly from her
chair.
As soon as they saw it, all
three women gave a start.
?Goodness, you?re the
very image of her, aren?t
you, dear?? Mona gasped.
It was true. Esme?s eyes
in particular were so very
similar to Rebecca?s.
?You?re very quiet,? Iris
commented on the way
home.
?I?m thinking,? Rebecca
replied.
She?d worked out why
she felt the need to hold on
to the mirror. That
unfinished business was
suddenly so clear, she
wondered why she hadn?t
realised it before.
?We?re so lucky, Mum,?
she blurted out once they
were back. ?We have
opportunities women from
the past could only dream
of and enough money to
make them real.
?I can?t believe how much
time I?ve wasted feeling
unsure of what to do with
my life.?
?Well, I may have been a
bit hard on you, darling.
You?re at a crossroads, and
when we have lots of
choices it?s hard sometimes
to know which direction to
take.?
?I know where I want to
go now,? Rebecca
answered. ?I?m going to
have a serious look at
university courses and I?ve
decided I?ll study history.
?I?d like to know more
about the past, but there?s
more. Tomorrow I?m going
to the mission in town that
helps homeless people to
ask to volunteer there.
?One more thing ? I?m
going to turn my blog into
a book.?
With that, Rebecca ran
upstairs to the desk in her
bedroom to open up her
laptop. She took the mirror
out of her bag and placed it
on the desk.
It didn?t feel so warm any
more nor fill her heart with
sadness.
Gingerly, she opened the
mirror and this time the
features in the reflection
were most definitely her
own.
It was time for Rebecca
to start her book. She
already knew the title:
?Passion For Fashion And
Beyond?.
Her fingers tapped on the
keyboard and underneath
it she added, For Esme. n
Inside next week?s issue
Our cover feature:
Pat Coulter enjoys
a riverside walk
in Marlow on the
Thames
Plus
On sale
every
Wednesday
7 short stories
l Brighten
up your
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using felt
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forward to
Harry and
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wedding
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The
Maypole
Queen
Moira was all for technology
inside the classroom, but out
in the playground it was a
different matter!
Illustration by Sarah Holliday.
I
T seemed a long time,
Moira thought, since
she?d last stepped
through the front doors
of the primary school.
She breathed in the familiar
smell of the place: a
combination of poster
paints, baked beans and
small child.
It was eight years since
she?d retired, but she?d
taught here for close on
forty years ? almost her
whole career ? and now she
was here to attend the
retirement party of her
younger colleague and
friend, Eleanor.
Eleanor retiring! It didn?t
seem possible.
?Moira!? a voice called
excitedly. ?You?re here! Oh,
it?s lovely to see you!?
Moira found herself being
hugged by a pink-cheeked
Eleanor.
?I?m so glad you could
make it,? she continued,
taking Moira?s arm and
leading her to a table
where drinks were being
served.
?It?s nice to see one of the
old crowd,? she said in a
lower voice. ?I?ve really
reached my sell-by-date; I
can?t tell you how glad I am
to be retiring.?
?Yes,? Moira said,
?retirement?s great.?
?But?? Eleanor frowned.
?You sounded a bit wistful,
Moira. Are you missing
being at work??
?Oh, no! All that marking,
those early mornings in the
rush hour? But . . . I
suppose I could do with
some sort of project.?
She glanced round at the
groups of chatting teachers,
only one or two of whom
she recognised.
?They all look so ??
?Young?? Eleanor said,
then giggled. ?Oh, Moira,
they are. I feel like a
dinosaur here these days.
Even the parents look as if
they should still be in
school. And talking of
young . . .? she rolled her
eyes ?. . . I should warn you
that Charlie wants a word.?
?Charlie??
?He?s new. Looks about
twelve, teaches Year Three
and is also an IT specialist.
Doesn?t think it?s really
teaching unless a
computer?s involved.? She
passed Moira a glass of
wine. ?He wants to ask you
about the maypole.?
Someone tapped a pen
on the rim of a glass and
the hall grew quiet.
?Another new broom,?
Eleanor whispered. ?Our
new head teacher.?
A tall woman was looking
round smiling, her gaze
coming to rest on Eleanor.
?I wanted to say a few
words about Eleanor, who
SHORT STORY BY JAN SNOOK 53
is leaving us after many
years of dedicated service
to our school . . .?
Moira fixed a smile on
her face and found her
mind wandering. In her day
a head teacher would never
have worn jeans to a
retirement do ? or any sort
of do, come to that.
She tried and failed to
imagine her first
headmistress in anything
other than twinset and
pearls.
She could see her now,
instructing the children in
the intricacies of maypole
dancing and instructing
Moira at the same time.
Soon afterwards the
maypole had become her
own special baby: she had
taught generations of
children the dances,
watching nervously as they
performed each May Day.
Despite weeks of practice,
they occasionally got
muddled, the ribbons got
tangled and the audience
dissolved in fits of laughter.
The children improved
over the years as Moira
learned what could go
wrong and ironed out more
wrinkles.
Then, just as she felt
she?d really got it right,
arthritis got the better of
her and she handed the
baton on to someone else.
For the next few years
Moira watched the children
dancing on May Day.
Watched, too, as the
school maypole became
more and more dilapidated,
until it fell into disrepair
and couldn?t be used.
?. . . so I?m sure you?ll all
join me in raising your
glasses to Eleanor?s happy
retirement.?
Moira squeezed Eleanor?s
hand and joined in the
applause.
After Eleanor had made a
brief thank-you speech, a
young man in a track suit
strode over to where she
and Moira were standing
and stuck out his hand.
?I?m Charlie,? he boomed,
?and you must be Eleanor?s
mate, Moira.?
Moira caught Eleanor?s
eye. Mate? No wonder
Eleanor was ready to retire.
?I wanted a word about
the maypole,? he said. ?I?ve
mended it, and I hoped you
might just quickly teach the
kids the dance? Shouldn?t
take more than twenty
minutes or so,? he added.
?Could you pop round
one Wednesday afternoon
around three o?clock? Then
they can go straight home
afterwards. The last Friday
in April would probably be
best, then it?ll be fresh in
their minds on May Day.
That suit you??
?Twenty minutes?? Moira
spluttered. ?For them to
learn a maypole dance??
?Sure,? Charlie said with a
patronising smile. ?I
watched a YouTube clip.
Doesn?t look too hard.
And there?s an app I
can use if they really
54
get stuck.?
?An app,? Moira
repeated.
?Yes,? he said. ?It?s a sort
of programme for . . .?
?I know what an app is,?
Moira said through
clenched teeth. ?I just don?t
think it?s an effective way to
teach children maypole
dancing.?
Another patronising
smile.
?Well, today?s kids are
used to getting information
from computers. It?s the
way we teach these days.?
She was actually shaking
at the temerity of the man
(while Eleanor suppressed
laughter), but found herself
agreeing when he offered a
compromise. They?d have a
trial run the following
Wednesday, just to show
her how easy it would be.
?Oh, I?d love to be there
on Wednesday,? Eleanor
said when they parted.
* * * *
On Wednesday afternoon
Moira found herself walking
through the playground,
past the ancient maypole
and into Charlie?s
classroom, where the
children were staring at
what Moira took to be the
YouTube clip Charlie had
referred to.
Girls were dancing round
a maypole doing the most
complicated dance she had
ever seen.
?Nearly over,? Charlie
called cheerfully to her,
?then we?ll all go outside
and try it out, OK??
The music finished with a
final flourish and the screen
went blank.
Moira followed the class
out into the playground
where the children ran to
the maypole and started
picking up the ribbons and
running round wildly.
Charlie did nothing to
stop them: he was
Don?t Miss Out!
your local newsagent
to order this
magazine
consulting his phone,
looking at the maypole
dance app, presumably.
?When you were fixing
the maypole, did you look
at the ribbons?? Moira
asked mildly. ?That blue
one looks as if one good
tug would rip it in two.?
?What? Sorry, I was just
reading the instructions for
this dance. It?s called the
Grand Chain. I?ll just get the
kids into pairs.?
?I don?t think you should
start with that one. To be
honest, I would start by just
getting them to skip in a
circle.?
Charlie looked at her
incredulously.
?I?m sure they can all
skip,? he said. ?We?ve only
got an hour!?
He put the class into pairs
and started reading out
instructions to 24 totally
bemused children, while
Moira watched.
?I said pass your
neighbour with your right
shoulder, then your left,? he
shouted. ?Luke, you?re
going the wrong way! Ben
are you an A or a B? Well,
you?ve got to remember!
?Joss! What did I say?
Don?t tug on the ribbon, it?ll
tear . . .?
The hour passed quickly,
but apart from Charlie
videoing the chaos (while
Moira pinned the torn
ribbon together) nothing
much was achieved.
?I?ve already put it in the
school newsletter that we?re
having a May Fair, with a
maypole dance,? Charlie
said sorrowfully. ?I don?t
see how this lot will ever be
able to do it.?
He looked so forlorn that
Moira took pity on him.
?Next time, let me have a
go. We?ll start with
skipping. Lots of little boys
don?t know how to skip.
And most children get their
left and right mixed up. I
would expect it to take at
least ten sessions.?
She looked sternly over
her glasses at him, then
remembered that he was,
after all, a member of staff,
and quickly adjusted her
face.
* * * *
The following week
Charlie was waiting for her
in the entrance. He had a
couple with him whom
Moira hadn?t seen before.
?I hope you don?t mind,?
he began, rather more
tentatively than hitherto,
?but I was talking to Jack
and Isobel and they?d like
to watch. They teach this
age group, too, and their
school is thinking of buying
a maypole.?
The session went rather
better, and by the end of it
the children could at least
skip round the maypole,
each holding a ribbon,
roughly in time to the
music.
A few sessions on and the
children had begun to plait
the ribbons without too
many mishaps, and the
number of spectating
teachers had grown.
?How?s it going?? Eleanor
asked when she rang to
catch up with the maypole
progress.
?Better than I expected,?
Moira admitted, ?though
we still have occasional
relapses when Charlie
decides that IT is the only
way forward.
?I mean, I?m all for
computers in the
classroom, but I?m still not
convinced they add much to
maypole dancing.
?Especially not,? she
added, beginning to laugh,
?when Charlie tried to find
something online last week
and we ended up with a
screen full of pole dancers.
He deleted that pretty
quickly, I can tell you!?
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Some newsagents may even offer
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it to your local newsagent.
When Eleanor stopped
giggling, Moira continued.
?But it has given me an
idea. Even with my new hip
I?m finding chasing after the
children quite difficult.
?And more and more
teachers keep coming to
watch ? well, to learn,
really. And you know what I
was saying about needing a
bit of a project? I think I?ve
found one.?
Eleanor came to lunch a
few days later.
?What?s that?? But she
could see what it was. ?Why
do you have a maypole in
your hall??
?I bought one. Secondhand, and it comes in two
bits so it will fit in my car.?
Moira smiled.
?I?m setting myself up as
a maypole teacher. I?ve
already got several
bookings. Word is getting
round ? and I?m not
teaching the children, just
the teachers.
?The trouble is, a lot of
them are so young they?ve
never even seen a maypole,
and it would be a pity if a
tradition like maypole
dancing died out.?
?How are you rounding
up enough teachers to
make it worthwhile??
?That?s where technology
does come into its own,
and, of course, I have
Charlie to thank.
?You remember he took a
video of the first chaotic
session? Well, he took
another once the children
were reasonably competent
? a sort of before and after.
He put it on YouTube and
suddenly I have bookings
all over the place. It?s like a
proper business!
?I could never have done
it without him,? Moira
added with a mischievous
smile, ?but he?s had to
admit it takes an
experienced human being
to untangle a maypole!? 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 ....................................................................................................
Address ......................................................................................................
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REAL LIFE 55
A wedding
ring is a
symbol of
eternal love.
Ringing True
Wendy Turner reflects on the
symbolism of the wedding ring.
iStock.
W
OODY
ALLEN once
said, ?There
are three
rings
involved with marriage.
The engagement ring, the
wedding ring and the
suffering.?
It made me smile, but
the quote caught my eye
because a friend, who
knew I?d lost my husband
some years ago, noticed I
no longer wore my
wedding ring.
She hoped I didn?t mind,
but asked when and why I
had made that decision.
You see, she, too, had
recently lost her husband
but had unexpectedly met
up with an old friend and
they were becoming quite
close, spending more and
more time together.
My friend continued to
wear her wedding ring, but
would her new friend, she
wondered, be offended by
this?
To wear or not to wear?
A decision sometimes has
to be made after a
divorce or separation, at
the passing of a loved one
or at the beginning of a
new relationship.
As I pondered the
question, I wondered
what some close friends
might think.
A quick sweep round
produced some surprising
answers.
Many people see their
wedding ring as
representing happy times
and holding loving
memories.
?It need not be
expensive,? one friend
said. ?In fact, we had no
money when we got
married. The value is in
the one who gave it with
love and the life we
shared over many years. I
always worry in case I
lose it.?
Some people continue
wearing their ring long
after their partner?s death;
a tangible connection with
a loved one can of course
be a source of great
comfort.
?I would probably want
to continue to wear my
wedding ring if my
husband was no longer
around,? another friend
commented. ?In my day
there was a status about
wearing a ring on that
finger ? a result of growing
up in the Fifties!?
One friend happily used
her mother?s wedding ring
at her own wedding, and
no doubt there are many
who like to wear their
departed parents? rings as
a mark of affection and
even of comfort.
?I will always treasure
my ring,? a young friend
revealed. ?Hopefully it will
be a reminder of a very
happy time in my life. But
in the event of splitting up
or death, I don?t think I
would continue to wear it
on my wedding finger.?
A friend and his partner
intend that their
engagement rings will also
be their wedding rings.
?I?m not big on
jewellery,? he explained,
?so I don?t want two! But I
absolutely love wearing it.
It reminds me every day of
my relationship and love
for this person. It?s also
great to twiddle with when
I?m thinking about
something or nervous!?
In my own case, after my
husband?s death I found I
was wearing my wedding
ring less and less. Losing a
life partner plunges the
survivor into a strange
new world where tasks are
no longer shared and
everything falls on one
person?s shoulders.
Perhaps I wore it less as
I found my feet in this
world, making decisions,
standing up for my rights
and being there for my
friends when they needed
a helping hand, especially
if they were going through
a similar phase of their
own lives.
It was once thought that
a vein ran directly from
the fourth finger of the left
hand to the heart ? ?Vena
Amoris?, the Vein of Love.
Wearing a ring on this
finger was seen to be a
public declaration of love.
It seems that we wear
our rings out of a
combination of love,
respect, connection, sweet
memories and as a sign of
our commitment and
faithfulness.
And, valuable or not,
rings are treasured
possessions.
A circle has no beginning
or end and a ring is a
symbol of infinity, endless
and eternal love. n
Valuable or
not, rings are
treasured
possessions.
56
Get Away From It All
Exclusive! Great
Enjoy a fun-filled
Christmas 4-night break
at Warner?s Nidd Hall
Hotel, Harrogate, with
?The People?s Friend?
Value
from just
�9
per person
? November 5-9, 2018
Half-board
menu included
in the price
Dear Friends,
I?m thrilled to invite you all to take a festive short break with the
?Friend? at beautiful Nidd Hall Hotel in Yorkshire. Having enjoyed a stay
with Warner before, I know you?ll be guaranteed a warm welcome.
Why not join me and other members of the ?Friend? team for an
unforgettable, tailor-made holiday just for you? Over the five days there
will be a host of ?Friend?-themed activities for you to take part in,
including tea and a chat with me. It?s a great opportunity to make friends
with other ?Friend? readers. I?m looking forward to meeting you!
BREAKFASTS:
With a choice of full
English and continental
buffets, or dishes cooked
to order, breakfast will set
you up for a fun-filled day
ahead.
Angela Gilchrist, Editor.
Your room awaits . . .
Relax in style in one of Nidd Hall?s comfortable, well-equipped
bedrooms, with en suite bathrooms and lots of thoughtful touches.
STANDARD ROOM
Fantastic-value Standard
rooms are a real home from
home with TV, tea and coffee
making facilities, biscuits
replenished daily, comfy
chairs and reading lights,
hairdryer, iron and ironing
From board, telephone and safe.
�9
Limited
single rooms
available
without
supplement
EVENING MEALS:
Choose from the carvery,
extensive buffet or Nidd
Hall?s menu of delicious
dishes served straight to
your table. Make sure you
leave room for dessert!
SIGNATURE ROOM
For added luxury, treat
yourself to a Signature
room, which has all the
amenities of a Standard
room and includes a pillow
menu, toiletries selection
and a complimentary
From bottle of wine.
�9
Offer subject to availability, new bookings only, applies to groups of under 19 and can be withdrawn without prior notice. Prices correct at time of printing, prices quoted are per person.
Additional � supplement per night for single occupancy rooms, note first 7 rooms to be booked will not incur this charge. *Minimum of 16 guests required for the Harrogate trip (transport
only, not a guided tour). Please advise on booking if you would like to go on the Harrogate coach trip. Holidays booked less than 10 weeks ahead of holiday start date must be paid in full at
booking. Calls cost no more than calls to geographic numbers (01 or 02). Bookings must be made by 29/06/2018. Warner hotels are over 21s only. Full terms and conditions for Warner
Leisure Hotel breaks can be found at www.warnerleisurehotels.co.uk (Bourne Leisure Holidays trading as Warner Leisure Hotels is a company registered in England and Wales, company
number 01854900, registered office 1 Park Lane, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, HP2 4YL).
With The ?Friend?
57
As a guest of the ?Friend?
you will be treated to . . .
Monday Evening
? Private welcome drinks
? A ?Friend? goody bag
? Meet and greet with
the ?Friend? team
Tuesday
? Craft session run by
the ?Friend? team
where you will make
Christmas decorations
? Exclusive tour of the
gardens led by one of
Nidd Hall?s expert
gardeners
? Travel writer
Neil McAllister talks
about 30 years of
writing for the ?Friend?
Wednesday
? Coach trip to
Harrogate (leave
10 a.m. return 2 p.m.)
Please reserve your
space when you book*
? Talk from the ?Friend?
team on the history of
?The People?s Friend?
Thursday
? Another craft session
run by the ?Friend?
team where you will
make more Christmas
decorations
? Tea and a chat with
the ?Friend? Editor
Brand New!
It?s Christmas Eve, Christmas Day,
Boxing Day and New Year?s Eve
all rolled into one. And the most
wonderful thing is, when your
break is over, you?ll still have
Christmas to look forward to.
?
?
?
?
?
?
?
?
?
?
?
?
Use of our Fresh-Air Fitness
Indoor heated swimming pool
Fully equipped fitness studio
Ice cold plunge pool
Steam room and sauna
Hot spa pool
Aqua fit sessions
Free Wi-Fi in public areas
Air-rifle shooting
Archery
Nordic Walking
Bowls
The Great and
Small Yorkshire
Tapas Restaurant.
Warner Hotel Guests ?
3 Tapas dishes
per person are
included.
Warner have rebranded the Terrace
restaurant as the Great and Small
Yorkshire Tapas Restaurant, with a
new menu and locally sourced food.
It?s the perfect place to enjoy some
Yorkshire Tapas.
Enjoy our amazing live entertainment every night
Warner are renowned for their fantastic live entertainment.
Let Victor Michael take you on a musical journey from shows and movies from
past to present day. Also enjoy Jamie Sutherland, a fresh and original comedian.
To book call 0330 102 9952 or email
groups@warnerleisurehotels.co.uk
Please quote: ?The People?s Friend?
Lines open Monday - Friday 9am-5.30pm
58
All Change At
Dawson?s Dairies
Illustration by Mandy Dixon.
The Story So Far
TAKING over the
family?s cheesemaking
firm from PETER
DAWSON after his
health scare seemed a
good idea to his
daughter ALLISON and
her sisters JOANNE,
KATRINA and JENNIFER.
But now Allie?s starting
to feel she?s bitten off
more than she can chew,
a fact that?s very clear
to Peter?s team: JACK,
LILLIAS, AKBAR and
SALLY. Though she?s too
proud to ask for their
help, the team draw up
an action plan and also
engage the help of
GARETH BALLIOL, the
farmer who supplies milk
to the factory and who
has always carried a
torch for Allie.
Next time Peter and
Lillias, who are growing
closer, meet, she tells
him his youngest girl is
struggling.
Peter has a quiet word
with Allison who admits
her struggle to her dad,
and he advises her to
meet the team and ask
for help, which she does.
Her sisters, meanwhile,
are also aware of her
task, and feeling guilty
for not getting more
involved, they agree to
come home to give Allie
their support.
While they?re together,
single mother Jennifer
confides that little
ANGUS?s father is
unaware he has a son . . .
Allison was nervous. Could she
really ask Gareth to pose as a
male pin-up?
T
O summarise,
there?s been a
great public
reaction to the new
range of cheeses.
But when people at the
farmers? markets ask if they
can order more online, or
how to find out more about
Dawson?s Dairies, what am
I to tell them, Allie? Have
you any idea when the
website will be up and
running??
Seated at her father?s
desk in the factory office
? it had been four months
since she?d taken over the
reins, but she couldn?t
think of it as her desk ?
Allison sighed.
?Not long, Katrina. It?s
ready to go, with links to
Twitter and our Facebook
page, too. The problem is,
it?s a bit boring.?
On the other end of the
phone, Katrina chuckled.
?What did you expect,
leaving the design with
Jennifer??
?And Akbar,? Allison said
defensively.
?Akbar is brilliant with
numbers and he?s a great
strategist, but when it
comes to creativity . . .?
Allison grinned.
SERIAL BY JOSEPHINE ALLEN: PART 4 OF 6
?I know. That?s what our
website lacks ? something
that grabs the attention. I
don?t suppose you?ve had
any inspired thoughts??
?Actually, I have. I got the
idea from one of the kids?
storybooks. It was a
favourite of theirs.
?I miss those days. Ruby
won?t even let me into her
bedroom without knocking,
and all she reads are vlogs.
Sam likes nothing more
than a good dinosaur book,
but as for Finlay . . .?
?Katrina, get to the point.
I?ve got a meeting in five.?
?Gosh, you sounded
exactly like Dad there.?
Allison rolled her eyes.
?I?m now realising the
pressure he was under.?
?You?re looking after
yourself, aren?t you? Eating
properly? I know you?re
only twenty-five, but . . .?
?Precisely. Twenty-five,
not five! I?m fine, Kat, but I
really am pushed for time.?
?Sorry, it?s just you?re my
baby sister. Anyway, you
want to hear my idea.?
?Yes, please.?
?Dawson?s Dairies is a
family business, right? Not
just us, I mean the factory,
the new caf� and shop
when they?re launched.
Gareth?s farm, and the
other suppliers, too, when
we sign them up.?
?Yes,? Allison said, trying
not to be impatient. ?That?s
outlined on the website.?
?Well, there?s pictures of
the factory and of the farm,
and an artist?s impression
of the shop, but customers
want to relate to the people
involved. Jack and his
team, Sally and hers. The
four of us, even.
?Photos. Fun facts, silly
anecdotes, so people aren?t
just buying cheese but
connecting to a community.
What do you think??
?I like it! It?s a great idea,
though I?m not sure that
Jack will take too kindly to
becoming the poster boy of
Dawson?s Dairies.?
Katrina laughed.
?No. But he needn?t
worry; there?s a much more
suitable candidate staring
us in the face.?
?Hmm,? Allison said.
?Why do I get the feeling
I?m not going to like this??
?Think about it,? Katrina
urged. ?We need to tell our
story graphically, like a
picture book. You know ?
here is a farmer and his
cows, and . . .?
?No! I am not going to
ask Gareth to pose for our
website. You?ll be wanting
him to wear a kilt next.?
?He absolutely should
wear a kilt. Allie, you know
he?s perfect. Think what
that big muscly bloke in a
kilt did for Scott?s Porage
Oats. Gareth is every bit as
handsome.?
?We?re selling dairy
products, not calendars.?
?Calendars!? Katrina
exclaimed. ?That?s one we
missed. Put that on the
agenda for our next review
meeting. When is that??
?Two weeks? time, when
the shop opens. You will be
there??
?Of course. It?s the
weekend and the kids can?t
wait to see the dairy. What
do you think, Allie? Will
you speak to Gareth??
?I?ll think about it.?
?You know I?m right.?
Allison laughed.
?You?re also completely
transparent. Nothing is
going to blossom between
me and Gareth.?
?Never say never. It?s a
great business idea. Think
of the publicity we could
get from your wedding.?
?I?m hanging up now.?
?No, hold on.? Katrina?s
voice became serious.
?When did you last speak
to Jennifer? Not about
work, but . . .??
?Angus?s dad? I haven?t
spoken to her at all about
it. What is there to say,
Katrina? She?s positive
Angus?s father won?t want
to know. It?s not our place
to persuade her otherwise.
No matter what we think.?
?Well, I think she?s wrong
to keep it from him. He has
a right to know he has a
son.?
?I hope you haven?t said
so.? Even as she spoke,
Allison knew that Katrina
wouldn?t have been able to
prevent herself.
?He deserves to have the
choice,? her sister said
defensively, confirming her
suspicions. ?I?m sure that if
he saw Angus he?d change
his mind.?
?That?s because you think
everyone is like you, and
that they want a family. We
don?t even know this man,
but Jennifer does.?
?This is not just about
Jennifer, it?s about Angus.?
?Angus is not your wee
boy, and Jennifer knows
her own business.?
Allison hesitated. Until
recently, she would not
have dreamed of doling out
any sort of advice to her
confident and savvy sister.
?Kat, we?ve only just
started to get on, the four
of us,? she said gently. ?I
like the new us very much.
Don?t rock the boat, OK??
?But isn?t that what?s
refreshing about the new
us? Instead of pretending
everything is perfect and
putting on a front, we can
admit we make mistakes,
and support each other.?
?Yes. So we support
Jennifer, whatever life
choices she makes.?
Katrina sighed.
?How did my baby sister
59
?Well, when you say
production . . .? Jack
frowned. ?It?s small scale at
the moment. We?ve got a
dairy within a dairy at the
factory now. Three of the
staff had to be completely
retrained. But Allison will
have filled you in on
everything??
Peter shrugged, looking
sheepish.
?Not enough, if I?m
honest, and I don?t like to
ask in case she thinks I?m
interfering.
?The truth is, Jack, I?m
dying for something to get
my teeth into. I?m finding
this retirement lark a bit,
well ? I?m worried my brain
is turning to porridge.?
?Lillias tells me you?re in
training for a triathlon. Is
she pulling my leg??
Peter laughed.
?A mini-triathlon, and the
only thing being regularly
pulled is my calf muscle.
Peter was finding retirement more
than a little boring
get to be so wise??
?By listening to her big
sisters.? Allison was thrilled
by the compliment.
?So you?ll speak to
Gorgeous Gareth??
Allison rolled her eyes.
?I guess so.?
* * * *
?How are things, Jack??
It was the first Saturday
of October, the day Jack
Ashcroft and his wife did
their monthly shop, making
a day of it in Carlisle.
Ella was trying on shoes.
Jack knew from experience
that this would take a while
and left her to it.
He was staring in the
window of the cycle shop,
marvelling at who in their
right mind would squish
themselves into the limegreen shorts sported by
one of the shop dummies,
when Peter Dawson
emerged from the shop
clutching a carrier bag.
How were things at the
factory, he wanted to know,
and Jack was tempted to
give him the truth.
But Peter wasn?t his boss
any more.
?Fine. Lots of change.?
?New cheeses in
production, I hear??
Lillias keeps telling me I?m
too impatient and need to
warm up more thoroughly.
?Sorry, Jack, I didn?t
mean to put you on the
spot about work stuff.?
?Thing is, Peter, if I tell
you how things are, you?ll
not be able to stop yourself
from interfering.?
?Then they?re bad??
?Not bad, just taxing.?
Jack scratched his head.
?It?s a lot of change. A lot
of work, too, setting up
that shop and caf�. Though
I have to say Sally has that
part well in hand.
?As to the rest, I reckon
you?ve a good ?un in
Allison. She works hard,
and she?s got her priorities
straight now.
?A wee pep talk from you
would maybe be helpful,
but as to jumping back into
the fray at Dawson?s, well,
that would be a mistake.
?Are you really that
bored, Peter? Lillias seems
to have taken to retirement
like a duck to water.?
?Hasn?t she just! Apart
from training with me for
the triathlon she?s got her
cordon bleu cooking
classes on a Monday,
sewing bee on a
Wednesday, and on
61
Saturday she goes to a
writer?s group.?
?What on earth can she
be writing??
?She won?t tell me, but I
do know she?s been talking
a lot to my Joanne, so I?m
guessing it?s some sort of
pot boiler.?
Jack laughed.
?Good for her. Our very
own Jackie Collins.?
?Steady on.? Peter looked
appalled. ?I was thinking
more like Catherine
Cookson. Not that I?ve ever
read any Catherine
Cookson.
?Or Jackie Collins, I
hasten to add. I?m not
much of a reader.?
?Then maybe you should
join a book club. Though I
must say I can?t see you at
one. My wife goes, and she
says they mostly sit around
drinking wine and talking
about their holidays.?
?My life is one permanent
holiday,? Peter grumbled.
?I know I?m lucky and I
shouldn?t complain, but I
feel useless, Jack. I need to
be doing something. I?m
aware I have to let Allison
find her feet, but . . .?
?Well, there?s plenty
others like Allison out
there. People starting new
businesses, in need of a bit
of advice now and again.
Ever thought of setting
yourself up as a business
angel??
?Ha! Who?d listen to me?
I?m a prime example of
what not to do.?
?So, let them benefit
from your experience.?
Peter looked thoughtful.
?You might have
something there.? He held
out his hand. ?Thanks,
Jack, I appreciate that. I
hope you?ll be there next
week to cheer me and
Lillias over the finishing
line??
?I wouldn?t miss it for the
world.?
* * * *
?I?ve no idea what a
hashtag is.? Sally Potter
took a last sip of her tea.
?I?m a caterer; I don?t think
I?m cut out for this Twitter
lark. Can?t we just advertise
the old-fashioned way, with
leaflets through the door??
?Dawson?s Dairies is
moving into the twenty-first
century at last,? Akbar
said. ?I can?t believe you?ve
never tweeted. Everyone
does it.?
Sally sighed.
?I?m not the only one on
the staff who?s got a
problem with all this social
media stuff.?
?Maybe we could arrange
a masterclass, then,?
Allison interjected. ?Or two.
At lunchtime. I could do
that, if you think . . .?
?I think you?ve got more
than enough on your
plate,? Jack replied. ?What
about if I did it??
?You??
Though it was Allison
who asked the question,
Sally and Akbar, too, were
staring at Jack in
astonishment.
?Aye, me,? he said. ?I?m
not a blooming Luddite.
Some of our lot are, mind,
so it might be best coming
from me. Then they can say
to themselves, well, if Jack
can do it, why not me.?
Sally clapped her hands
together.
?That?s brilliant! Don?t
you think so, Allison??
?Yes, but Jack, you?ve got
as much on your plate as I
have. Will you have the
time??
?I?ll rope my wife in. She?s
a whizz on that What?sApp
thing on account of the
kids. And no, she won?t
mind. We?ve a lot riding on
the success of this
business, with my staff
shares.?
?Thank you. Perhaps
you?ll ask her to come
along to the factory photo
shoot tomorrow, then.
?You?re all remembering
that?? Allison smiled
nervously. ?No dressing up,
mind, just ordinary work
gear.?
?Well, I?m getting my hair
done, and I?ve got a new
lipstick,? Sally confessed,
?and I know at least ten of
the girls are getting their
hair done, too, even though
they?ll all have hair nets.?
?And I have a new tie,?
Akbar chipped in. ?What do
you think, Sally, does my
hair need a trim??
Jack rolled his eyes.
?I?m more concerned
about the state of the shop
and the caf�. Neither are
anywhere near completed.?
?We can add the pictures
in from those when we
open. And we will open on
schedule,? Allison said
firmly. ?I?ve been looking at
the project plan. Here?s a
list of outstanding tasks.?
* * * *
?What do you think, Sal??
Jack asked some time
later. ?Just between you
and me, will we make the
official opening date??
?It?ll be a close call, but
that girl ? she?s so like her
dad, isn?t she??
?More like her mum, the
way she can talk anyone
round. Peter, he?s a force
of nature, but don?t you
recall how Claire could
charm the birds out of the
trees?
?I reckon Allison?s
inherited the best traits
from the pair of them. But
you haven?t answered my
question.?
Sally pursed her lips.
?Like I said, it will be a
close call. I?ve got the staff
lined up, all right, and it
looks like the building work
and decorating will be
done, but it?s the stock I?m
worried about.?
?The cheese, you mean.
We won?t have a lot of the
new range ready, it?s too
tight, but we?ll have the
repackaging done of our
key brands.?
?Yes, but the shop isn?t
just selling cheese but
produce, too, and at this
moment in time, I?ve no
idea what that means.?
?Allison?s talking to
Gareth Balliol. He?s got a
lot of contacts out there
with other farmers. Leave
that to her.? Jack grinned.
?Gareth will go the extra
mile for our Allison. Poor
lad, I don?t think she even
notices.?
Sally chuckled.
?The public face of
Dawson?s Dairies. The
photo shoot is the day after
tomorrow, and she hasn?t
told him yet. I?d love to be
a fly on the wall when she
does.?
She checked her watch
and exclaimed in dismay.
?I have to run. I?ve an
appointment at that posh
baker?s ? beg pardon,
patisserie ? to sample
cakes for the caf�.?
She fluttered her fingers
at Jack.
?I don?t know, the things I
have to do in the line of
duty.?
* * * *
?This is very posh. If I?d
known we were coming
here to eat, I?d have made
more of an effort.?
Which put him firmly in
his place, Gareth thought,
mentally rolling his eyes.
Not that he was
complaining. As far as he
was concerned, Allison
Dawson would look
gorgeous in his milking
overalls.
As it was, in her jeans
and that pretty top he was
having trouble keeping his
eyes off her, though as
usual, she was oblivious to
the fact.
?What did you expect??
he asked, ushering her
towards the front door of
the country house hotel.
?McDonalds? One of my
mates is the chef here, and
he?s getting quite a
reputation as the new kid
on the block ? there?s even
talk of him entering
?Masterchef, The
Professionals?.
?We?d get kudos if we
could persuade him to put
our artisan cheese on the
menu, though he tells me
that what he?d really like
from my farm is goats?
curd. It?s all the rage in
culinary circles, apparently.
?Anyway, I reckon you
owe me more than a
double cheeseburger for
putting me through that
photo shoot. Have you any
idea what an idiot I felt,
pretending to milk one of
my cows in my kilt??
Allison giggled.
?I?m sorry. If it?s any
consolation, I?ve seen the
results and you?re going to
transform the traffic on our
website. You?ll have
everyone drooling over
you, sending you fan mail
and asking you if you?re
married.?
?I?m not in the least bit
interested in getting fan
mail from anyone except
you.?
Allison stopped.
?Gareth, you know this
isn?t a date, right? I agreed
to come out with you
because I owe you, and I?m
truly grateful. We all are.?
He sighed.
?What do I have to
62
do to make you take me
seriously, Allie??
?Nothing. I mean you
can?t. I?ve no interest in
being another entry in your
little black book.?
?For the love of . . .?
Gareth sighed. ?I?m nearly
thirty years old, Allison.
Those days are long behind
me. If you?re not interested
and I am imagining this
attraction between us, then
do me a favour and put me
out of my misery. But if
there?s a chance . . .?
?I?m not the settling down
type, Gareth.?
They had stopped at the
bottom step of the hotel,
but there was no-one else
around. He took her hand.
?Maybe not in the past,
but now ? you?ve been
back in Meldalloch nearly
four months, and you seem
pretty settled at the helm
of Dawson?s Dairies. Have
you plans to run off again
that you haven?t shared
with any of us yet??
?Of course not.?
Gareth felt a bit sick.
He?d not planned on
speaking out, but there
was no going back now.
He had always had what
his mother called ?a bit of a
thing? for Allison, but these
last four months had
proved it was something
more deep-rooted.
He?d go down on one
knee and ask her to marry
him right now, he was that
certain, but he knew Allison
pretty well, and there was
nothing more guaranteed
to make her turn tail and
run, dairy or no dairy.
?I?m not asking you to
make any promises,
Allison. I?m just asking you
to give me a chance to
prove to you that we could
be happy together. Will you
do that, or am I wasting my
time? I?m a big lad, I can
take it on the chin if I have
to.?
She smiled at that.
?You don?t have to. I?m
not making any promises,?
she added hastily, ?and if
you tell anyone that we are
? that we?re whatever we
are ? then I?ll kill you. My
sisters will be planning the
wedding before we?ve even
had our first date.?
?I like your sisters,?
Gareth said, pulling her
into his arms. ?But right at
this moment, the only one
of the Four Seasons I?m
interested in is this one.?
Then he kissed her.
And to the surprise of
them both, Allison kissed
him back.
* * * *
The Meldalloch and
district mini-triathlon was
held exactly one week
before the planned grand
opening of Dawson?s
Dairies Deli.
Lillias and Peter had
entered as the Dawson?s
Big Cheeses team,
according to the T-shirts
they were sporting,
courtesy of Jennifer.
The new company logo
and website address was
on the back, and the pair of
them were instructed to
make sure both views got
into the local press.
Which was all very well
for Jennifer to say, Lillias
thought. She doubted even
?Vogue?-worthy Joanne
would look good in padded
Lycra cycling shorts.
Though Lillias had to
admit, the hours of training
she?d put in had paid off.
Peter agreed, when they
met at the starting line just
outside the swimming pool.
?You look fantastic,? he
said, giving her one of his
awkward but lovely hugs.
?Nervous??
?Terrified,? Lillias said, as
they were lined up by the
photographer from the
local rag.
Jack was there, wielding
a complicated digital
camera, taking pictures
destined for the news
pages of the Dawson?s
Dairies website. She pinned
on her widest smile and
sought Peter?s hand.
?You OK??
?Ready as I?ll ever be. Did
you have a good chat with
Joanne last night??
?Very.?
Lillias smiled. Peter was
desperate to know what it
was she was writing, and it
was fun teasing him.
?It?s great she made it
over from France to help
out with the opening, isn?t
it?
?Though she was saying
she?s going to have to burn
the midnight oil on her own
book. Publisher?s
submission deadlines and
all that. Too much pressure
for me. I?m just enjoying
having a stab at it.?
?How is your magnum
opus coming along? Or,
should I say, boiling up??
Lillias burst out laughing.
Jilly Cooper set in a cheese
factory, Joanne had
informed her last night, was
what Peter was imagining.
A far cry from the truth.
?Look, there?s Sally and
some of the production
ladies come to cheer us on.
Smile, Peter. You, of all
people, must know how to
say cheese!?
* * * *
The rain, which had held
off for the 22-kilometre
cycle which followed the
16-length pool swim,
turned to a downpour as
Peter and Lillias reached
the finishing line of the
six-kilometre run.
Not that they?d run the
course, though they had
kept up a pretty
respectable pace, and the
crowds, cheering everyone
on along the way, really
had been uplifting.
They?d agreed to stick
together, though he was by
far the faster swimmer and
the stronger cyclist. Though
she was sure he?d be
unable to stop pushing
ahead, he?d surprised her,
and himself, by keeping
pace with her.
Companionship had the
edge over competitiveness,
Peter had discovered. He
was also discovering that
Lillias?s companionship had
an edge over almost
everyone else?s these days.
?Nearly there,? he said,
holding out his hand. ?You
up for a sprint??
?I could manage a fast
trot,? she said. ?I hope your
Joanne has arrived with my
make-up bag. I?ve no
intention of looking like a
drowned rat on the website
Come on, then, let?s get the
Dawson?s Big Cheeses over
the finishing line.?
They crossed together
and were immediately
surrounded by family,
friends and a scrum of
people from the factory.
Joanne was staggering
under the weight of a huge
magnum of champagne.
?You did it,? she said. She
handed the bottle for
opening to Gareth, who
seemed to be constantly at
Allison?s side these days.
?Congratulations, Dad.
And Lillias, of course.?
Peter?s heart swelled with
pride. His heart had been
the catalyst for all this,
when it threatened to fail
him.
Thank goodness he?d
heeded that early warning.
Who?d have thought that it
would change his life for
the better?
He?d never been so fit.
He?d not seen so much of
his precious girls in years.
And yes, he missed being
useful, but he had plans
now. Lillias wasn?t the only
one with secrets.
?A toast,? he said, as
Gareth doled out paper
cups of bubbly. ?To the
future. Bring it on!?
* * * *
Two days before the
grand opening of the
Dawson?s Dairy Deli, order
had been created from
chaos. The decorating was
done; chairs and tables
were set out, the cutlery
and napkins were stacked.
An intimidating coffee
machine hissed and
burbled in the background
as Sally and her team
experimented with mochas,
lattes and cappuccinos. The
scarier juicer had, Sally told
Allison, been tamed.
Menus and price lists had
been printed. The big
screen would flash a
selection of images from
their website and a live
webcam stream of the
cheeses being produced,
had been connected up.
And the life-size cut-out
of Gareth, their poster boy,
stood ready to welcome
visitors.
Tomorrow, the shelves
would be stacked, even if
they wouldn?t be fully
stocked. Thanks to Gareth?s
contacts, they not only had
their own cheeses, but also
artisan smoked meats and
a selection of sausages.
It was Sally who had
sourced the chutneys,
pickles and preserves,
encouraging a friend to
extend her hobby into a
nascent cottage industry.
In addition, thanks to
Joanne?s tip-off, she had
lined up a selection of
63
cakes and patisserie for the
caf�, and had discovered
that the baker was a dab
hand at artisan bread, too.
Which left one problem.
A very big problem. None
of the cool cabinets and
industrial fridges were
working. They had been
fine for four days, then they
had all stopped.
Sally had called Allison,
who had called an
electrician, but there was
no problem with the shop?s
electrics. The problem was
with the white goods.
?It?s a question of
warranty,? the electrician
told her. ?I?m really sorry.?
?Not as sorry as our
supplier will be,? Allison
had said grimly, reaching
for her mobile.
?No sign yet?? Sally
asked for the hundredth
time. ?No, sorry, of course
not, I?d have heard.?
?Any sign yet?? Katrina
bustled in. ?I left the kids
with James. He?s taking
them swimming, and Angus
is going, too. I thought you
might need a hand.?
?What we need is a
miracle,? Allison said.
?No sign?? Joanne set her
laptop down. ?I thought I?d
work here, keep you
company while we wait.
Don?t worry, Allie, they?ll be
here, they promised.?
?I know, but I doubt they
can replace all of the units
and get them up and
running in time.?
?They are taking you
seriously, though. You said
the company director was
coming in person.?
?Yeah. I guess they don?t
want the bad publicity I
threatened them with.?
?Whoa, look at you,?
Joanne said. ?Ms Scary
Businesswoman.?
?Not scary ? scared!
Everyone has worked hard,
I can?t let them down.?
?It won?t be you, it?ll be
the refrigeration company.
And here it comes now.?
A lorry pulled up in the
car park, escorted by a
shiny black sports car.
?The boss, presumably,?
Allison said, as a man
emerged and began to
issue instructions to the
truck driver.
?My, they are making
bosses younger and more
gorgeous these days,? Sally
said, joining them as the
man strode across.
?Kyle Morgan.? He held
out his hand. ?Which one of
you is Allison??
?I am.?
He shook her hand.
?I?m sorry we?ve caused
you so much of a problem.
I?ve had the units hooked
up to power, running in the
back of the truck. It means
they?ll be ready to use
almost as soon as they?re
plugged in and wiped
down.
?If you?ll just let me clear
some space here, we?ll have
them unloaded in a trice.?
?Excellent.?
Allison watched, secretly
impressed, as Kyle Morgan
set about directing
operations. He wasn?t as
young as she?d thought,
maybe nearer forty than
thirty, with an air of natural
authority that she struggled
not to be intimidated by.
Within an hour, the old
units had been removed,
the new ones installed, and
the reassuring hum of
refrigerators could be
heard.
?Thank you,? Allison said.
?You?ve saved the day.?
?Shouldn?t have
happened in the first place.
It?s never happened before.
Rest assured we?ll be
investigating this, and
obviously looking at some
sort of compensation for
you, too.?
?That?s terrific. Can I get
you and the guys a coffee
before you head back? I?d
offer you lunch, but as you
can see . . .?
?Coffee would be great.?
Kyle sat down at a table.
Sally, Joanne and Katrina
drew up chairs beside him.
?So, Kyle,? Katrina began.
?Are you always so handson with your customers??
To Allison?s astonishment,
the super-confident Kyle
looked sheepish.
?Actually, you?re not just
any customer. You see, I
happen to know . . .?
Jennifer, who had just
arrived unnoticed, dropped
the stack of folders she had
been carrying from the car.
Her face was ashen as she
stood in the doorway.
?Kyle! What on earth are
you doing here??
To be continued.
On
Reflection
From the
manse window
by Kathrine Davey.
A
FEW weeks ago, I
sent an e-mail to a
fellow preacher,
headed ?Inspiration
needed?. I asked her if she
had done anything
memorable that I could
use for ?On Reflection?.
She had a few ideas.
Often thoughts are built
on the ideas of others;
many great inventors took
inspiration from another?s
idea.
My ideas, especially
those born during the
waking hours of the night,
are about mundane
household tasks.
Occasionally, I might
have thoughts about a
possible sermon, but then
I find that I have forgotten
them by the morning.
Even if I?ve had the
foresight to have a pen
and paper at hand to
make notes, my night-time
scribblings make little
sense.
Inspiration can come
from all sorts of sources
and people. The word
means to breathe in and
we can take in lots of
things from others ? both
good and bad.
In some cases we have a
choice about what to
breathe in, although
sometimes the air we
inhale is full of pollution,
whether from chimneys or
car fumes in the cities of
our developed world.
In some countries, the
city air is so full of
pollutants that people
wear face masks just in
order to go about their
everyday business.
We can be inspired by
many things. Great works
of art or pieces of music
can go by many of us
relatively unnoticed, but
those who are inspired by
them find they are
rewarded with great
pleasure.
We are often urged to
develop a state of
mindfulness, which is all
about deciding to let
awareness of our
surroundings and our own
feelings help us
concentrate on what is
really important.
We are told one benefit
of broadening our horizons
in the way we look at
things is often improved
mental health.
This puts me in mind of
a hymn that I came across
recently:
?Everywhere around me
I can see the hand of God?.
It was there all the time,
but only the person who
looks for it can find it.
I have a friend at my
church who likes going for
long walks by the river
with his dog, and he often
muses, ?How can people
fail to notice God when
they can see the wonders
of his creation??
How, indeed?
Many people think that
mindfulness (making the
effort to direct our
thinking) is a new idea, but
in fact it was mentioned
years ago in the Bible, by
St Paul.
?Finally, brothers and
sisters, whatever is true,
whatever is noble,
whatever is right, whatever
is pure, whatever is lovely,
whatever is admirable ? if
anything is excellent or
praiseworthy ? think
about such things.? n
Next week: Rev. Andrew
Watson turns his hand
to some housework!
Journey
Margaret Duncan?s
HERITAGE 65
Archivist
Nicky Sugar tells
us about the
century-old diary
of an adventurous
post-office worker.
Mingling with friends ? the
freedom of life on board.
Photographs courtesy of Bristol Archives
T
HIS year sees the
centenary of the
Representation of
People Act, when
some women were
allowed the right to vote.
It?s a year when institutions
up and down the country
are keen to tell the stories
of independent and
influential women, famous
and unknown, to celebrate
this first cautious step
towards equality.
Deep amongst the
contents of the former
Empire and Commonwealth
Museum, now held at the
Bristol Archives, archivist
Nicky Sugar recently came
across the diary of one
such unknown character,
Margaret Duncan.
Margaret?s diary only
spanned one year, but
what a year!
The story of this postoffice worker from Balmullo
in Fife, who answered an
advert to travel halfway
across the world on her
own and work in British
East Africa, grabbed the
team?s attention so much
that they?ve been
publishing excerpts from
the diary online.
People are welcome to
go along to the archives in
Bristol and read them for
themselves as well.
What was it that
attracted her to the story?
?It?s very like ?Bridget
Jones?, that is what I really
like about it. The photos
are really candid; they are
the kind of photos you
would expect young people
that age to take even now
in the Instagram era ? you
know, them just mucking
around at parties and on
motorbikes.
?Especially when you are
used to photos from the
World War One era looking
so posed and staged.?
Margaret?s character
shone off the pages.
?Margaret talks a lot
about wanting an
adventure and wanting to
see the world.
?She saw an advert in the
Post Office Circular where
they were looking for
young unmarried women to
go out to the colonies,
specifically British East
Africa, so she just
answered the call!?
Margaret was twentynine at the time, and
Margaret with a Royal
Engineer she worked with.
actually celebrated her
thirtieth birthday on board
the ship.
Nicky did some detective
work, and thanks to the
Postal Museum digitising
some of their records, she
was able to find Margaret
working in St Andrews and
living in a house in
Balmullo.
Margaret?s journey took
her two months ? one
down to Cape Town and
then one up the East
African coast, before the
Suez Canal made the job
easier.
?Margaret was really
bubbly and she had this
intense desire to see the
world. She writes about
travelling on the outside of
trains, for example ? it?s as
if she wanted to cram as
many experiences into her
life as she could.
?She mentions the men
she meets, which is maybe
part of why she went
abroad! At home, she
couldn?t socialise casually
with men, because people
wouldn?t get away with that
in Britain in 1918.?
Amongst the possessions
found were photos of
Margaret and her son,
Charles ? who became a
famous Kenyan
photographer ? while they
were on the beach with
other families and in
swimming costumes.
It would have been very
unusual at home in Britain
at the time.
?Margaret had a little bit
of a wicked sense of
humour as well.
?She is talking about this
woman who doesn?t like
Scottish songs: ?Every time
I see her I glare at her
because she doesn?t like
the songs. I cut her dead
whenever we met!?
?She was not averse to
winding people up a bit.?
Nicky is painstakingly
selecting the best sections
for sharing on the internet,
separating the days that
were very much similar to
the day before, and
balancing the long days
Margaret had for writing
on the ship with the
instantly busy life she
66
Margaret with
her family in
1915, before
the journey.
Travelling in
style ? getting
carried on a
rickshaw.
Nicky?s Favourite Quotes
The first page of Margaret?s diary.
took up once she landed
and settled in Africa.
Nicky also went digging
for some background
information to put the
story in context.
?There?s an extract up
now which has a bit about
the Australian soldiers.
Well, I managed to find
some of their enlistment
records.
?The main reason I did
that was to draw attention
to all the other
organisations that have
digitised records and made
them available online.
?The Australian National
Archives digitised all their
soldiers? records, the Red
Cross have digitised all
their volunteers and I
thought it would just be
nice to get a bit more out
about how that information
is out there.?
Plus Nicky wanted to be
able to explain what
happened next to the
characters Margaret meets
on her travels.
?You read about these
soldiers who are going
back to Australia because
they are injured and you
wonder if they have made
it.
?So to hear that they
lived until the 1960s is
quite nice.?
?Margaret writes about
finding Scottish people
wherever she goes, which is
quite entertaining.
?I think the thing that
made me sit up and take
notice most is the final
entry which was written in
February 1919.
?She starts off by saying,
?I am really sorry I haven?t
written in this diary for four
months; we have done this,
we have done that, we have
been to parties, oh, and by
the way in November we
had the Armistice?.
?That really brought it
home to me that young
people didn?t stop being
young people just because
there was a war on.
?We imagine it all being
terribly sombre and that
all anyone ever thought of
over those four years was
who died.
?You forget, really, that
most people were just
carrying on most of the
time.? n
?I?ve got chummy with Miss Kemp
the Cambridge
girl and really like her very much.
I?m glad she?s
in our Cabin, we have tastes in com
mon and are
both determined to accept all disc
omforts as part
of the great experience.?
* * * *
?We got in here [Dar es Salaam] on
Friday,
anchored a few hundred yards from
shore and
could see the people walking up and
down, knew
there were hundreds of British boys
on shore, and
we weren?t allowed to go. No ladies,
only men. We
threatened to swim ashore, we thre
atened to dress
as men, I was promised several suit
s of clothing
and the men thought it a great joke
.?
* * * *
?That afternoon we had a little birt
hday teaparty
in the saloon, ever such good fun,
of course I
read the cups. To crown the thing,
the Marconi
boys asked Eleanor and I to Potts?
cabin after
dinner and all drank my health in
Port wine! (I
felt rather sick and ill on Friday.)?
* * * *
?I travelled on the brake van of a goo
ds train
with the four Indian guards and one
white man,
nationality questionable. One does
such things in
BEA, and all were quite respectful and
nice. What
fun we had!?
Read Nicky?s extracts from the diary online at
www.bristolmuseum.org.uk/blog or go along to the
archives at ?B? Bond Warehouse on Spike Island in
Bristol or call 0117 922 4224.
68
my garden
Notes from
Alexandra Campbell offers advice
on running an Open Garden event.
Photographs by Alexandra Campbell and iStock.
Washing
Your Silver
Birches?
Are your silver birches
as white as those at
RHS Chelsea and RHS
Hampton Court? In
professional gardens,
silver birch trunks are
washed every year. I?ve
done a video on the
Middlesized Garden
YouTube channel, but
it?s easy. Take a bucket
of warm water with
washing-up liquid and
wash the bark with a
sponge. Though people
may think you?ve taken
leave of your senses!
T
HE garden visiting
season has started,
and there are an
increasing number
of smaller gardens
open, either through the
National Garden Scheme
(NGS) or locally run Open
Garden events.
Opening your garden is a
great way of raising money
for charity. If you?re doing
fund-raising for a local
cause, why not consider an
open gardens event?
I help organise the
Faversham Open Gardens
& Garden Market Day (held
this year on June 24). So
what can I tell you about
organising an Open Garden
scheme?
Firstly, get a group
together. Our committee is
roughly seven people, with
a few more who take on
specific jobs on the day.
We open 30-plus
gardens, and run a
specialist garden market
and a children?s
competition. Most local
Open Gardens consist of
about five or six gardens.
The NGS is increasingly
opening groups of local
gardens under its umbrella.
That?s a help, because
there is already a publicity
machine in place, and they
can advise you. The NGS
emphasises that you ?don?t
have to have a garden
worthy of a Gold Medal?.
Entrance fees go to the
NGS and its charities. If
you want to go it alone,
then the money can go to
the charity of your choice.
You need to choose a
date ? many Open Gardens
schemes are in June, so
you may have a lot of
competition if you choose
that month. Whatever date
you choose, the owners will
all tell you ?it should have
been last week?!
Insurance is an issue.
Some charities, such as the
NGS, have insurance which
covers such events.
So if you?re fund-raising
for, say, the village hall, see
if the event will be covered
by their insurance
(Faversham Open Gardens
GARDENING 69
Don?t Forget
Watering
What To Do
With Bulbs
It?s time to lift and
divide overgrown clumps
of daffodils and any other
bulbs that have already
flowered. But if you?ve
had bulbs in pots indoors,
I?ve also found it
worthwhile to plant them
somewhere in a corner of
the garden. I pop them
under deciduous trees
and shrubs because
nothing grows there in
the summer. I?ve been
amazed at how many
have flowered in later
years, especially
hyacinths.
and Garden Market Day is
run for the Faversham
Society and is covered by
its insurance).
If you?re insuring it as a
one-off event, home insurers
can be wary. However,
Paveys Group and Lycetts
both specialise in such
insurance.
Because of insurance,
participating gardens need
to have side access, so that
people don?t have to troop
through the house. In many
towns, that will limit who
can open their garden.
Other issues include
publicity, design of the
leaflets, teas and plant
sales, children, dogs and
wheelchair or buggy access.
We ask our garden
owners to answer questions
for the guidebook. But if
you only have five or six
gardens, you can probably
get all the information on a
leaflet.
Doing teas will increase
the money you raise, and
visitors want refreshments.
Newly planted trees and
shrubs need much more
water than well
established ones. I
generally feel that plants
should be resilient enough
to survive in the garden
without watering, but in
the first year (or two)
after planting, they do
need extra help. Water
regularly, giving them a
good soaking around the
roots once or twice a
week rather than a
sprinkle every day.
Prune Shrubs At The
Right Time
Garden visitors seem to
be such nice people. All our
garden openers say they
enjoy showing their
gardens to people who are
appreciative.
So if a local charity asks
you to open your garden,
it?s worth considering. The
best thing about it is that
getting it in shape for a
particular date does make
you do it!
Last year, we were
delighted to welcome a
party of ?Friend? readers
from Ruislip. The 2018
date is June 24.
If you?re getting a group
together, e-mail us at
favershamopengardens@
gmail.com, so we can
arrange tickets. Tickets are
�each or � for two
from the Faversham
Society, 13 Preston St,
Faversham, ME13 8NS
from the beginning of May
or from our stall on the
day. Drop into the
Middlesized Garden and
say hello! n
Visit Alexandra?s blog online at
www.themiddlesizedgarden.co.uk.
If some of your shrubs
still have bare branches
and blackened leaves,
then they may have
been damaged by last
winter. The problem
wasn?t necessarily the
cold ? many mature
plants have already
made it safely through
several hard winters.
But sap started rising
and shrubs began to
bud in the warm spell at
the beginning of March.
So they were much
more vulnerable to the
subsequent
catastrophic drop in
temperature and
freezing winds.
I spoke to the head
gardener of Doddington
Place Gardens in Kent,
Lucy Adams. She?s seen
more winter damage
this year than ever
before. However, she
says ?just watch and
wait.? Many mature
shrubs and trees have a
good root system and
can ?push new growth
up?. Weed around the
base, and add a mulch
of well-rotted horse
manure or compost.
But she advises
against cutting away
the burnt-looking
branches too soon.
?Prune at the right
time for that particular
shrub ? any earlier and
you may shock it.?
If you?re trying to
decide whether the
plant has died, scrape
away some bark with
your fingernail. If there
are traces of green
underneath, it?ll
probably bounce back.
But if it?s brown, check
several other branches.
If you can?t find any
sign of life at all, it has
probably died.
believe it?
TEA-BREAK TRIVIA 71
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.
�
I?d Like To Know
is the average amount
spent on eating out every
month by British adults.
a big fan of ?Bergerac? actor John
Q I?m
Nettles. Can you tell me a little bit
about him and if he was born in Jersey?
Ms L.M., Kent.
�360
the hit BBC police drama
A Although
?Bergerac? is based in Jersey, John Vivian
Drummond Nettles, who plays the lead
character, was born in St Austell, Cornwall, in
1943.
The actor played the part of Jim Bergerac
for 10 years from 1981 until 1991, and Tom
Barnaby in ?Midsomer Murders? from 1997
to 2011. He has had various theatre roles in
his career. John, who has also written a few
books, is married and has a daughter. He
received an OBE for his services to drama
back in 2010.
about in my garden, I?m
Q Pottering
always amazed at how weeds seem
to flourish far more than the
flowers. What is the fastest-growing
plant in the world?
Miss A.D., Perth.
Perhaps not something you?d typically
see growing in a UK garden, but a
species of bamboo is the fastestgrowing plant ? 35 inches per day! It
does, of course, prefer a more tropical
climate as opposed to the ?great? British
weather!
A
is the average amount
held in a savings account
by British adults ? an
amount that would
possibly be higher
if we didn?t eat out
so often!
Alamy.
all-time favourite hymn
Q isMy?Amazing
Grace?. Can
you tell me who wrote this?
Mrs A.C., Birmingham.
English poet and clergyman
John Newton penned the
A words
to this hymn, which
was published in 1779. It?s
incredible to think how much in
use the hymn is to this day. The
tune ? ?New Britain?, which is so
recognisable ? was put to the
words in 1835.
Something we didn?t
know last week...
iStock.
When it comes to being happy, research
has confirmed that it?s the simple things
in life that make us smile. A good night?s
sleep, being surrounded by nature and
even tidying up all boost wellbeing.
Donating money or time has a similar
effect. Regularly volunteering to help
others increases feelings of fulfilment,
while a scientific study found that giving
money to a charity or buying a gift
for someone makes you happier than
keeping it in your purse.
*Please do not send an SAE as we cannot give personal replies.
40
years ago, way back in
1978, May 1 was declared
a public holiday in the UK.
130 feet
is the height of the
maypole which was placed
in London?s Strand in
1660 to celebrate the end
of the prohibition of
dancing round the
maypole.
13 stone,
13 lbs
is the average weight of
men in the UK ? only in
Australia and the USA
are men heavier.
May 2,
1568 ?
Mary, Queen of Scots,
made her daring escape
from the castle in the
middle of Loch Leven.
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OnLine: www.thompson-morgan.com/TM_TDC19
KNITTING 73
Sweet
Dreams
Photographs by Storyteller Photography ? Rebecca Armstrong.
Welcome the new
arrival with a
lovely pram
or cot
blanket.
te
Inte
dia
rme
Here
we used
Purple-Fuschia
(008).
MEASUREMENTS
Pram size: 55 cm
(21� ins) x 65 cm
(25� ins).
Cot size: 70 cm (27� ins)
x 90 cm (35� ins).
MATERIALS
6 (9) 50-gram balls of Rico
Design Baby Dream DK in
Beige-Green (010). One pair
each 3.25 mm (No. 10) and
4 mm (No. 8) knitting
needles; cable needle.
If you have difficulty finding
the yarn used, you can order
directly from www.
thewoolfactoryonline.com,
telephone 01507 466838.
TENSION
23 sts and 29 rows to
10 cm measured over bobble
pattern using 4 mm needles.
ABBREVIATIONS
6LPC ? slip 3 sts on to cable
needle, hold at front of work,
P3 then K3 from the cable
needle;
6RPC ? slip 3 sts on to cable
needle and hold at back of
work, K3 then P3 from the
cable needle;
C6B ? slip 3 sts on to cable
needle and hold at back of
work, K3 then K3 from the
cable needle;
C6F ? slip 3 sts on to cable
needle and hold at the front
of work, K3 then K3 from the
cable needle;
inc ? increase; K ? knit;
MB ? make bobble [K1, P1,
K1, P1, K1] in next st, turn,
P5, turn, pass last 4 sts
worked one at a time over
last st, knit last st through
back of loop;
P ? purl; st(s) ? stitch(es).
IMPORTANT NOTE
Directions are given for two
sizes. Figures in brackets refer
to the larger size. Figures in
square brackets [ ] refer to all
sizes and are worked the
number of times stated.
When writing to us with
queries, you must enclose an
SAE if you would like a reply.
BOBBLE PATTERN
(worked over 44 (60) sts
and 12 rows)
1st row ? Knit.
2nd and every foll even
row ? Purl.
3rd row ? K2 [K5, MB,
K2] 5 (7) times, K2.
5th, 7th & 11th row ? Knit.
9th row ? K2, [K1, MB, K6]
5 (7) times, K2.
12th row ? Purl.
CABLE PANEL
(worked over 38 sts and
10 rows)
1st row ? P4, 6LPC, P6, C6F,
P6, 6RPC, P4.
2nd row ? K7, P3, K6, P6,
K6, P3, K7.
3rd row ? P7, 6LPC, C6B,
C6F, 6RPC, P7.
4th row ? K10, P18, K10.
5th row ? P10, 6RPC, C6F,
6LPC, P10.
6th row ? K10, P3, K3, P6,
K3, P3, K10.
7th row ? P7, 6RPC, P3, K6,
P3, 6LPC, P7.
8th row ? K7, P3, K6, P6, K6,
P3, K7.
9th row ? P4, 6RPC, P6, K6,
P6, 6LPC, P4.
10th row ? K4, P3, K9, P6,
K9, P3, K4.
TO MAKE
With 3.25 mm needles cast
on 131 (163) sts and work in
g-st (knit every row) until work
measures 5 cm with an odd
number of rows. Change to
4 mm needles.
Next (right side) row ? K49
(65), P4, K1, inc1, P9, [inc1]
three times, P9, inc1, K1, P4,
K49 (65) ? 136 (168) sts.
Next row ? K5, P44 (60),
K4, P3, K9, P6, K9, P3, K4,
P44 (60), K5.
1st patt row ? K5, work 1st
row of Bobble Pattern across
44 (60) sts, work 1st row of
Cable Panel across 38 sts,
work 1st row of Bobble
Pattern across 44 (60) sts,
K5.
2nd patt row ? K5, work
2nd row of Bobble Pattern
across 44 (60) sts, work 2nd
row of Cable Panel across
38 sts, work 2nd row of
Bobble Pattern across
44 (60) sts, K5.
Continue in pattern as set
but working 3rd - 10th rows
of Bobble Pattern and Cable
Panel as required.
11th patt row ? K5, work
11th row of Bobble Pattern
across 44 (60) sts, work 1st
row of Cable Panel across
38 sts, work 11th row of
Bobble Pattern across
44 (60) sts, K5.
12th patt row ? K5, work
12th row of Bobble Pattern
across 44 (60) sts, work 2nd
row of Cable Panel across
38 sts, work 12th row of
Bobble Pattern across
44 (60) sts, K5.
13th patt row ? K5, work
1st row of Bobble Pattern
across 44 (60) sts, work 3rd
row of Cable Panel across
38 sts, work 1st row of
Bobble Pattern across
44 (60) sts, K5.
Continue in pattern working
12 rows of Bobble Pattern
and 10 rows of Cable Panel
as set until work measures 60
(85) cm, measured from
cast-on row and ending after
a right-side row.
Change to 3.25 mm needle
and work g-st to match lower
edge. Cast off.
TO COMPLETE
Sew in all loose ends. Press
according to instructions on
ball-band. n
Next week:
create a Lagomstyle plant pot
FOOD 77
What?s In Season
Asparagus ? British asparagus is now at its best. We
can buy imported asparagus all year round, but the home-grown
version is unbeatable, especially if you find it freshly picked.
Classically served with a hollandaise dressing and eaten with
the fingers, it?s delicious lightly steamed as an accompaniment
or used as an ingredient in salads, quiches, soups, risottos and
pasta dishes. It keeps for up to a week in the fridge if you store
it standing in a container with the cut ends in a little water.
Avocado
Angel
enjoy
Avocados are delicious,
but can be tricky to handle.
The Avocado Angel lets you
slice, peel, pit and mash all
with one clever device. The
magnetic nesting handles
make it easy to store,
too. From Taylor?s
CookEAT
Eye Witness, RRP
�.99.
Coming to a kitchen near you...
Take-away At Home
?The Curry Guy Easy? by Dan
Toombs (Quadrille, �.99) is a
treasure trove of 100 Indian
restaurant favourites that you
can make in your own kitchen
with minimal equipment and faff.
Labels tell you if recipes are
fast, slow, veggie, gluten-free or
BIR (British Indian Restaurant).
Dan?s added plenty of great
shortcuts and tips, too. Now
every night can be curry night!
S
PRINGTIME sees the return of
some of our favourite homegrown seasonal vegetables. As
well as asparagus, Jersey Royal
new potatoes are in the shops
until the end of July. With luck we?ll get
some lovely weather to make the most of
the delicious salady produce now available:
lettuce, rocket, radishes, spring onions and
watercress are all good at the moment.
Then for dessert, lovely, tart gooseberries
and perhaps some elderflower cordial would
go down beautifully. If you?re feeling
adventurous, why not pop out into the
garden and harvest some young, tender wild
nettles? Don?t forget the rubber gloves! They
make lovely soup and you can brew them
into a tasty tea, too. n
Coeliac Awareness
It?s estimated there are
around half a million people in
the UK with undiagnosed coeliac
disease. May 14-20 is Coeliac
UK Awareness Week. Coeliac UK
campaigns for better diagnosis
and provision of gluten-free
options for those living with the
condition. Find out more at
www.coeliac.org.uk.
Our gluten-free picks
High
protein
and
sugarfree
Nut Butter Crunchy
Bites ? crunchy snack
wafers with nut butter
fillings. RRP: �79
each from www.
mindfulbites.co.uk
30
flavours
and a
3-year
shelf life
Spice Drops�, no-waste
extracts. RRP �50
from selected
Sainsbury?s and Whole
Foods or online at www.
holylama.co.uk.
Dairyfree,
too
Celebrate the Royal Wedding
with Heck?s sweet ginger and
American mustard limited
edition sausages! Available
from Sainsbury?s and www.
heckfood.co.uk until May 22.
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PFROY
SHORT STORY BY WENDY CLARKE 79
Man?s Best Friend
Andrew?s daily
run was more of
an obstacle
course, thanks
to Fergie!
Illustration by Pat Gregory.
A
NDREW ran
through the
open iron gates
of the park,
noting the
daffodils that were pushing
up through the grass. He
liked to notice the
changes. Even the little
ones.
He set off along the path
he always took before
returning home to his flat
and to his drawing board.
His route took him past
the memorial rose garden,
round the side of the
bandstand, the lake and
then on to the open
grassed area.
As he ran he counted the
78 steps to the little kiosk,
whose shutters were
always just opening as he
reached it, then 25 more
to the bowling green.
While he ran, his
thoughts were on the
weekend ahead. It was the
first time he and Kathy
would be going away
together. A little cottage
by the sea.
A chance to get to know
each other better.
?Morning, Cyril.?
The man in the green
overalls looked up from
sweeping the path and
raised a hand. It was the
same every morning.
There was a definite
touch of spring in the air.
As his feet pounded the
asphalt Andrew could feel
his heart beating in his
chest. His running shirt
was starting to stick to his
back.
Now he was heading for
the grassy area with
benches dotted at intervals
along the path.
His pace slowed and he
gritted his teeth, knowing
what was to come.
The sharp yaps and
growls had started
already. From his pocket
he pulled out his
headphones and pushed
the buds into his ears.
Then, fixing his eyes on
the horizon, he ran past
the first bench, which was
always empty; past the
second with its plaque
telling folk that Joan used
to love sitting there, and
on to the third.
The little brown and
white dog was in the
middle of the path,
blocking his way. His yaps
were getting louder and he
was straining at the lead
tied around the arm of the
bench.
As always, Andrew was
forced to run on to the
grass. He?d done this so
often he knew just how far
off the path he needed to
go to avoid the little dog.
His owner always
seemed unaware of her
pet?s barking, keeping her
head bent to the book she
was reading.
But today she raised her
head and addressed him.
?You don?t need to be
nervous of Fergie. He just
likes the sound of his own
voice.?
Andrew slowed to a stop.
?I?m sure he?s very nice.?
?He?s a lamb.?
The little dog was
straining at its leash.
Andrew glanced at the end
to make sure it was tied
securely to the bench.
?He?s a bit full on, isn?t
he??
?Only with people he
likes.?
The woman pulled on the
lead and the little dog
trotted back to her side.
Andrew wondered what
he?d be like with someone
he didn?t like.
?My name?s Morag
Rosen. I live over there.?
She pointed across the
grass to a crescent of
Victorian houses whose
roofs could just be seen
above the wall that
bounded them.
?My daughter says I
should look for a nice
bungalow, but I?ve been
here for nearly forty years.
The park is like my second
garden.?
?Mine, too. I only have a
flat.?
The little dog began to
growl and Andrew took a
step back.
?Anyway, it was nice
talking to you, but I?d
better go ? work waiting.?
?Say goodbye, Fergie.?
The little dog darted
towards him, barking.
Andrew turned tail.
* * * *
When Andrew returned
to the park the following
morning, he?d decided to
revise his route and avoid
the benches by the
chestnut trees. Instead,
he?d take a second turn
around the lake. Fergie
would have to find
someone else to taunt.
Only one more day until
his trip away with his
lovely girlfriend.
One more day before
he could swap his run
in the park, his
80
drawing-board and
design programme for
the smell of the sea and
the whisper of the wind in
the dunes.
He circled the
bandstand, passing the
kiosk and on towards the
bowling green with its
immaculate turf.
?Morning, Cyril.?
He ran past and then,
instead of going straight,
took a right.
?You can?t go that way.
Tree cutting.?
Cyril jerked his thumb at
the maple further down
the path, where a man in a
safety harness was looking
?Oh, for heaven?s sake.
Why don?t you find a cat to
annoy instead of me??
He ran off the path and
on to the grass as usual,
but something wasn?t
right. Instead of straining
at its lead, the little dog
was coming with him.
Not only was his lead not
attached to the bench, but
he didn?t have a lead at all.
?Mrs Rosen, can?t you
keep your dog under ???
The bench was empty.
Fergie was making little
running darts at him,
barking. Andrew braced
himself for the attack, but
it didn?t come. Instead, the
It was hard to believe that this
was the same dog
up at its wide branches.
Andrew stopped.
?Oh, great.?
Cyril leaned on his
broom.
?That?s not the usual way
you go.?
?No. I wanted to avoid
that pesky dog. It has it in
for me.?
In the distance, the
sound of barking could be
heard. Both men turned.
?That?s Mrs Rosen?s
dog,? Cyril said, scratching
his head. ?He doesn?t
usually make that din until
you run past.?
?She says he likes me,
but I think he likes the look
of my juicy ankles.?
Cyril laughed.
?Well, you either go that
way or back the way you
came. He?s not a bad little
dog. Not scared of him,
are you??
Andrew drew himself up.
?Of course not.?
?Well, then. Enjoy your
run.? Cyril resumed his
sweeping.
With gritted teeth,
Andrew ran in the
direction of the barking.
Today, he wouldn?t stop
but would ignore both dog
and owner.
Soon the first bench was
behind him, then the
second.
He ran towards the
third, but as he drew
closer it was impossible to
ignore the stocky little dog
that stood in the middle of
the path, barking at him.
dog stopped just before it
reached him before turning
in circles, still barking.
?Easy, boy. No need to
get in a tizz.?
Where was the old lady?
Andrew scanned the park.
There was no sign of her.
?Where?s your mistress,
Fergie?? He crouched
down and held out his
hand. ?Does she know
you?re here??
To his surprise, the little
dog stopped barking,
jumped up into his lap and
started licking his ear.
?Hey, cut that out!?
Andrew said, wiping it with
his sleeve. ?Don?t you know
I don?t like dogs??
He stood up.
?Sorry, mate, but you?re
not my problem. Stay
there and I?m sure
someone will find you.?
Andrew set off again, but
as he ran around the edge
of the grassed area he
started to feel uneasy.
It was quiet. Fergie had
stopped barking and, when
he looked around, Andrew
could see him standing in
the middle of the path,
watching him, his ears
down.
?For crying out loud! I
can?t believe I?m feeling
sorry for a dog.?
He walked back and
stood in front of Fergie,
who started barking again.
?Something?s wrong, isn?t
it?? He looked over to the
terrace of Victorian
houses. ?Is it Morag? Has
something happened??
Finding nothing to use as
a makeshift lead, Andrew
picked Fergie up, surprised
when he laid his head on
his shoulder. It was hard to
believe this was the same
dog who tried to have a go
at him every morning.
The wall that separated
the gardens of the houses
from the park had gates in
it. All were shut except for
the one at the end. When
he reached it, Fergie
started to bark again.
?Is this one yours,
mate??
The garden behind the
wall was long and narrow.
Andrew put Fergie down
and watched him run to
the door of the
conservatory.
A voice came from
within.
?You found him, Fergie!
What a good boy.?
?Mrs Rosen, is that you?
Are you all right??
Andrew poked his head
inside the conservatory
and saw Morag sitting with
her leg up on a chair.
?Is that you, dear? I
hoped Fergie might go and
find you. I let him out in
the garden and forgot I
hadn?t closed the gate.?
?Why would he find me??
?Because he likes you. I
told you, he only barks at
people he likes.? As she
spoke, she winced.
?Are you OK??
?I turned my ankle when
I was gardening. It?s a bit
sore, that?s all.?
Andrew inspected it.
?It looks like a sprain. It?s
very puffy. I?ll get some ice
for it.?
?Don?t worry. My
daughter will be here soon.
She?s coming to stay for
the weekend.?
?OK, I?ll be going, then.?
?There?s just one thing.?
Fergie was at the
conservatory door,
wagging his tail. When he
saw Andrew watching him
he barked excitedly.
?Yes??
?Fergie doesn?t like my
daughter. He won?t let her
walk him and he sulks the
whole time she?s here.
?I don?t suppose you
could . . .??
?Me?? Andrew looked at
the little dog in horror.
?I?m sorry, Mrs Rosen, but
I don?t like dogs. I?ve never
had one and haven?t a clue
what to do with them.
Besides, I?m away this
weekend.?
?I?m sorry, it was unfair
of me to ask. It?s not as if
we even know each other.
Fergie and I will be fine,
won?t we, boy? And thank
you very much for
returning him to me.?
?You?re welcome.?
Andrew slipped out of
the conservatory and shut
the door, then made his
way down the long garden.
When he got to the gate
he looked back to see
Fergie, his nose pressed to
the glass, his ears down.
?Sorry, mate. It won?t
hurt you not to have a
walk for a couple of days.?
* * * *
Andrew leaned back on
his elbows and tipped his
face to the sun.
?This is the life. Lucky we
chose such a good
weekend weather-wise.?
?It?s been great.? Kathy
leaned over and kissed his
cheek. ?We must do this
more often.?
Beyond the sand dunes
could be heard the rush
and pull of the sea on the
shore.
?It?s so peaceful. Like
we?re marooned on a
desert island, just you and
me . . .?
?And Fergie.? Kathy
laughed as the little dog
pushed his nose into her
hand and barked loudly.
Andrew smiled. It
seemed he liked her, too.
?It was kind of you to say
you?d have him for the
weekend. He?s a great little
dog. But I don?t
understand ? I thought
you didn?t like each other.
What made you change
your mind??
Andrew looked at the
little dog who had
disappeared over the top
of the sand dune and was
now running and barking
at the waves as they ran
up the sand.
He remembered how
something had made him
turn and walk back along
the long garden path.
Something with soft ears
and an annoyingly loud
bark.
?He did,? he said. n
COMPETITION 81
YOU
could be
our lucky
winner
WIN!
The New Vax
Platinum Power Max
Carpet
Cleaner
R
Two
to be
won!
EVITALISE and
keep carpets
deep-down clean
by winning the new
Vax Platinum
carpet cleaner (�9 from
www.vax.co.uk).
Proven to clean better
than the leading rental
carpet cleaner, it removes
93% of bacteria along with
other fungi and allergens
lurking within your carpets.
Designed by the UK?s
No.1 carpet washing
brand, Vax, the new
Platinum carpet cleaner is
easy to use and is as
manoeuvrable as your
normal vacuum. It includes
a treatment wand tool to
clean stubborn stains from
floors, upholstery, stairs or
even the car.
Its smart ?Automix?
technology ensures no
guesswork for you as it
automatically treats your
floors with a precise mix of
water and Vax Platinum
Solution, before agitating
the carpet in two different
directions with its patented
Spin-scrub technology and
brushbar.
This double action
pushes the solution deep
into the fibres, then dirt
and bacteria are simply
sucked away, leaving
carpets looking, feeling and
smelling like new.
When finished, simply
remove the water tank and
tip the dirty water away.
And with its Quick Clean
function, your carpet can
be dry in as little as an
hour.
We have two Vax
Platinum Power Max
Carpet Cleaners to be won
in this fantastic
competition. To be in with
a chance, simply answer
the question opposite. n
It?s So Easy To Enter
Just answer the following question:
In which season do we traditionally
give our homes a deep clean?
a) Spring
b) Summer
c) Winter
09012 925 026 (�02)
Text PFCOMP, your name, address then
a, b or c to 64343 (�00)
?
Send your answer, name, address and
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Once you know the answer, just call 09012 925 026 (calls cost �02. Calls
from mobiles will cost more) or text PFCOMP, followed by a space, then
your answer (a, b or c) and your name and address, to 64343 (texts charged
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Lines open at 6 a.m. on Saturday, April 28, 2018 and close at 9 a.m. on Friday, June 1,
2018. The winners will be drawn at random from the correct entries after the closing
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enter. Competition contact details: Premium Rate Telephone Services Department, D.C.
Thomson & Co., Ltd., 2 Albert Square, Dundee DD1 1DD. Helpline: 01382 426103. Your
personal data will not be used for any other purpose than entry to this competition.
82
Puzzle It Out!
Arroword
Phrase used
to advise
caution (6,5)
PUZZLES 83
Enter the answers in the direction indicated by the arrows.
Princess
Eugenie?s
sister
Official
newspapers
Hole of
a needle
Hearth
African
language
Decrees,
edicts
Hate
intensely
Fourth letter
of the Greek
alphabet
Rock
bottom
Dramatic
performer
Yield (to a
superior)
Big bundle
(of notes)
Discuss
Portable
lamps
Garden
shed
Having
limits
Fool, wally
Daisy-like
flower
__ Mis閞ables, book/
musical
In cipher
Ignore (a
temptation)
Solutions
Arroword
ADRIATIC
GREENLAND
E
F
S
T Y F I R S T
E
R WA
A
D E BA T
CH E S
HU
T
F I N I T
OD E D
L E
R
R E S I S
AEGEAN
IONIAN
Pathfinder
S S G A
ARABIAN
IRISH
A Z O S O R K
ATLANTIC
KARA
N A L A N T V A L A C
AZOV
NORTH
A A T
BERING
NORWEGIAN
BLACK
ROSS
N O S C B
I
A N A
N O A M O N D E A B L
CARIBBEAN SARGASSO
R T E G
DEAD
I
R A K D E N
O H A E B A R N
I
R E
N N A E B C A G G R E
SOLOMON
S
S
A
K
C
N
A
L
N
E
E
A R B D N
O
R
G
R
A
D
N
B
E
R
R
I
N
A
S
O
L
B
A
A
D
I
G
I
L O
O
N
S
S
A
R
I
E
K
N
G
I
I
R
A
I
O
V
A
B
D
A
R
A
R D R
I
W
E
G
Z
T
I
C
N
R
A
C
S H G
I
A
L
H
A
N
O
S
O
I
B
B
I
E
L E A N A R S
G
I
S
I
A
L
O
M
G
E
E
I
C
L
I
R
L
T
N
A
E
A
A
A E L
I
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E
D
A
A
I
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T
H
N
C G A W R O N O S
T
A
I
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N
A
I
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R
O
N
I
ATLANTIC, SOLOMON, DEAD, KARA,
CARIBBEAN, NORTH, AEGEAN,
IONIAN, ADRIATIC, GALILEE,
IRISH, AZOV, ARABIAN, BERING,
GREENLAND, BLACK, ROSS,
SARGASSO, NORWEGIAN
T
D
E
T
E
S
T
Beginning with the highlighted letter, follow a continuous path
to find all the words relating to seas and oceans. The trail passes
through each and every letter once, and may twist up, down or
sideways, but never diagonally.
G B
S A F E
Z
A
D E L T
T OR
TW I
E
C
A S T E
Pathfinder
GALILEE
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SOAP BY GLENDA YOUNG
OUR
WEEKLY
SOAP
George?s day at
the allotment
hits a snag . . .
iStock.
M
ANDY BOW,
the TV soap
star?? Ruby
said, her eyes
wide.
Mary nodded slowly.
?And she?s living in the
riverside apartment
complex, here in
Ryemouth??
?Susan said she moved in
last week,? Mary tried to
explain.
?But she?s television
royalty!? Ruby continued.
?What?s someone like
Mandy Bow doing moving
to Ryemouth??
Ruby glanced across the
living-room to George, who
was sitting reading his
newspaper, pretending not
to listen to his wife and her
best friend gossiping about
their new neighbour.
?No offence, George, but
that shipyard site was a
mess for many years after
the yards closed down.?
George rattled his
newspaper.
?No offence taken.?
?But Mandy Bow? Living
here on our doorstep??
Ruby took a deep breath.
?Didn?t she play that
red-headed woman in
?Medford Crescent???
Mary nodded.
?Nancy Perkins. She left
a few months before the
show finished, didn?t she??
85
Riverside
?I heard she got sacked,?
Ruby said in a low voice. ?I
remember reading it in one
of the papers at the time.?
Mary raised her
eyebrows.
?She must have left the
show about, what, ten
years ago??
?Twelve,? George
announced from behind his
newspaper.
Both Mary and Ruby
turned towards George,
who laid his newspaper on
his lap.
?She left the show twelve
years ago,? he said, then he
glared at Ruby. ?And for
what it?s worth, she wasn?t
sacked. She left to look
after her husband, who was
also her manager, and he
wasn?t well.?
?Is that right, George??
Ruby asked, surprised he
knew so much about the
soap actress.
Mary laughed
?Oh, I remember now!
We used to watch ?Medford
Crescent? when we were
first married. And you?d
never miss it, would you,
George? You used to have
such a crush on that Nancy
Perkins character, didn?t
you? Ah, it?s all coming
back to me now!?
?I had no choice but to
watch it.? George smiled. ?I
had to watch it because
you loved it so much. But it
was a smashing show and
she was a cracking actress.
?Anyway, I?m off out to
my allotment for the rest of
the day. Those plants won?t
grow themselves!?
George busied himself
swapping his slippers for
his boots and picked up his
jacket from the coat rack in
the hall. Then he kissed
Mary lightly on the cheek,
said goodbye to Ruby and
disappeared out of the
door.
?Best thing that ever
happened to him, that
allotment,? Mary told
Ruby. ?Keeps him fit, and it
gets him out of the house.
He loves it. It?s like his own
little piece of heaven.?
Just then, Mary?s phone
buzzed into life.
?Sorry, Ruby,? she said.
?Susan promised to text
me this morning to confirm
the final arrangements for
baby Sarah?s christening
next Sunday.?
Mary swiped open the
text from her daughter and
read it aloud to Ruby.
?Everything?s confirmed
with the vicar, she says. Do
you fancy a walk down to
the Old Engine Room for
lunch, Ruby? Susan says
that Mandy Bow is having
lunch in there right at this
very minute. What do you
say we go and meet our
new neighbour??
* * * *
Up at the allotment,
George let himself into the
site with the key he kept in
his jacket pocket.
His heated greenhouse
and corner plot were at the
far side of the allotments,
and as he walked to his
own space, he couldn?t
resist taking a look at the
flowers, fruit and
vegetables that the other
gardeners were growing.
He breathed in deeply,
content to be spending the
day in his favourite place.
He planned to listen to the
radio, the smooth jazz
station that Mary wasn?t
keen on listening to at
home, while he checked on
his plants.
Many of them were ready
to be potted up into bigger
pots and he was intending
to put some plants into the
ground, now that the
danger of frost had passed.
As he walked to his corner
plot, he let his mind wander
around all of the jobs he
planned to do that day. He
thought he might even treat
himself to lunch at the Ship
for a pint and a sandwich
and a chat to Big Jim.
But as George neared his
allotment he couldn?t
believe what he saw. The
shock of it was too much,
and George stood stock still
on the pathway that led to
his greenhouse, trying to
make sense of what lay in
front of him.
Broken glass lay at the
front of the greenhouse
from a window that had
been smashed. And
something, or someone, had
been inside the greenhouse,
too.
Plant pots had been
thrown about, there was soil
everywhere and plants and
seedlings were scattered to
the floor.
George stood, anger rising
within him once the shock
started to wear off. He took
out his phone and called the
Ryemouth police, who said
they?d send someone round
just as soon as they could.
Then he called Mary to
break the bad news.
More next week.
86
A ?Friend?
Indeed
Best Of Buddies
I thought readers might like to see this photo of little
Emily and her big friend Lara.
Emily is my sister?s lovely little granddaughter and Lara
is their huge but gentle Bernese dog. They are the best of
friends and you can see from this photo how much they
enjoy each other?s company.
Miss D.J., Aberdeen.
I started reading your
magazine as a young girl
growing up in the
Seychelles. My mum
worked hard to get her
subscription, so after I
moved to the USA in 1973
I got my own subscription.
I?m now sixty-three and
when the magazine arrives
it?s like a trusted friend
coming to visit. I enjoy the
recipes and try them out,
love all the stories,
especially the serials, and
the artwork and pictures
makes me feel like visiting
Scotland!
Thank you for giving me
so much.
Ms M.M., USA.
Friends
Between
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
Your magazine landed on the
doorstep, as usual, and how exciting it
was to see Loch Awe mentioned.
Last September, while staying at the
Loch Awe Hotel, I declined a coach trip,
enabling me to relax along the loch?s
shore instead. It was so quiet and
peaceful ? glorious away from all the
hustle and bustle.
The picture here shows the spectacular
view from my hotel window, wonderfully
summed up in your article.
My husband is not so keen on quieter
places but I?ve always had a longing to
live in such areas as Loch Awe. I think
myself lucky that I can at least enjoy a
holiday there.
Mrs A.G., Somerset.
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 prize.
Picture Perfect
Many years ago, when I
was a child, my grandpa fell
seriously ill.
During his recovery, to
keep his mind and body
active, he taught himself
how to draw ? something
he?d never done before.
Every single week he
bought a copy of ?The
People?s Friend? and would
faithfully draw his version
of the picture on the front
of the magazine. When
finished, each one was
framed and they were
proudly hung all around the
house.
I still vividly remember
some of the drawings ? he
really did do a great job of
capturing each picture. So
much so, every time I see a
copy of your magazine it
makes me think of him with
a smile.
Mrs M.S., Inverness.
Have Wheels,
Will Travel
The Star Letter in a
recent copy of ?The
People?s Friend? sent me to
hunt for the photograph
here, showing my husband
and the pushchair he made
for our triplets back in the
Fifties.
The photo shows
Elisabeth, Ruth and
Timothy, aged about ten
months old, with Jonathan
aged three and Jeremy
nearly two. Talk about
having your hands full, but
the pram certainly meant
we could take the family
out and about.
Mrs J.L., Felixstowe.
YOUR LETTERS 87
Changed Days
iStock.
Up The Hill
A poem
just for
you!
I climbed our village hill today;
It left me out of puff.
The path is very beautiful
But ? phew! ? it?s steep enough.
The view up there is glorious,
It makes my spirits soar:
The distant hills, the farms, the fields,
The quilt-like valley floor.
There?s just one tiny problem ?
The wind?s quite strong today,
And as I took a selfie ?
Why, it blew my hat away!
Ewan Smith.
I very much enjoyed the
article about the Oxford
English Dictionary.
In the late 1960s I spent
one of my university
vacations working for
Oxford University Press at
their then London
headquarters in a beautiful
house in Dover Street.
I helped to look after the
library, an information
source containing all the
books published by the
Press, including the
complete OED.
Nowadays, if we want to
know anything the first
thing most of us do is
consult the internet, but
back in those days it wasn?t
as easy, and one of my main
tasks was dealing with
telephone queries from
members of the public who
might want to know about
characters in a play, or who
wrote a particular book, or
where a certain quotation
originated.
It?s amazing to think how
much things have changed
in such a relatively short
space of time.
Mrs L.R., Wigton.
Way With Words
Holiday Friendship
When my daughter and I went to my grandson?s wedding
in Cyprus we obviously managed to find a little time to
relax in the sun.
This little fellow, who I named Lucky, seemed to befriend
me and would settle alongside me on the sunlounger. I
love cats, so it was nice to get such a warm welcome while
away from home.
Mrs B.D., Norfolk.
I enjoyed reading in a
recent issue about fusing
two or more words to make
a new word that sums
something up perfectly. The
article reminded me of
when my son was small and
would invent new words.
A couple of examples that
come to mind are ?tizzly?
? tingling and sizzling ? to
explain how his tongue felt
when he tried curry, and
?flustrated? ? a blend of
flustered and frustrated.
His new words became
part of the family lexicon
and we still use them today.
Mrs C.F., Essex.
Puzzle
Solutions
from page 25
Word Ladder
One answer is:
Quiz, Quit, Suit,
Spit, Spot, Shot,
Show.
Crossword
NOBOD Y
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Sudoku
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hem as the
man strode across.
?Kyle Morgan.? He held
out his hand. ?Which one of
you is Allison??
?I am.?
He shook her hand.
?I?m sorry we?ve caused
you so much of a problem.
I?ve had the units hooked
up to power, running in the
back of the truck. It means
they?ll be ready to use
almost as soon as they?re
plugged in and wiped
down.
?If you?ll just let me clear
some space here, we?ll have
them unloaded in a trice.?
?Excellent.?
Allison watched, secretly
impressed, as Kyle Morgan
set about directing
operations. He wasn?t as
young as she?d thought,
maybe nearer forty than
thirty, with an air of natural
authority that she struggled
not to be intimidated by.
Within an hour, the old
units had been removed,
the new ones installed, and
the reassuring hum of
refrigerators could be
heard.
?Thank you,? Allison said.
?You?ve saved the day.?
?Shouldn?t have
happened in the first place.
It?s never happened before.
Rest assured we?ll be
investigating this, and
obviously looking at some
sort of compensation for
you, too.?
?That?s terrific. Can I get
you and the guys a coffee
before you head back? I?d
offer you lunch, but as you
can see . . .?
?Coffee would be great.?
Kyle sat down at a table.
Sally, Joanne and Katrina
drew up chairs beside him.
?So, Kyle,? Katrina began.
?Are you always so handson with your customers??
To Allison?s astonishment,
the super-confident Kyle
looked sheepish.
?Actually, you?re not just
any customer. You see, I
happen to know . . .?
Jennifer, who had just
arrived unnoticed, dropped
the stack of folders she had
been carrying from the car.
Her face was ashen as she
stood in the doorway.
?Kyle! What on earth are
you doing here??
To be continued.
On
Reflection
From the
manse window
by Kathrine Davey.
A
FEW weeks ago, I
sent an e-mail to a
fellow preacher,
headed ?Inspiration
needed?. I asked her if she
had done anything
memorable that I could
use for ?On Reflection?.
She had a few ideas.
Often thoughts are built
on the ideas of others;
many great inventors took
inspiration from another?s
idea.
My ideas, especially
those born during the
waking hours of the night,
are about mundane
household tasks.
Occasionally, I might
have thoughts about a
possible sermon, but then
I find that I have forgotten
them by the morning.
Even if I?ve had the
foresight to have a pen
and paper at hand to
make notes, my night-time
scribblings make little
sense.
Inspiration can come
from all sorts of sources
and people. The word
means to breathe in and
we can take in lots of
things from others ? both
good and bad.
In some cases we have a
choice about what to
breathe in, although
sometimes the air we
inhale is full of pollution,
whether from chimneys or
car fumes in the cities of
our developed world.
In some countries, the
city air is so full of
pollutants that people
wear face masks just in
order to go about their
everyday business.
We can be inspired by
many things. Great works
of art or pieces of music
can go by many of us
relatively unnoticed, but
those who are inspired by
them find they are
rewarded with great
pleasure.
We are often urged to
develop a state of
mindfulness, which is all
about deciding to let
awareness of our
surroundings and our own
feelings help us
concentrate on what is
really important.
We are told one benefit
of broadening our horizons
in the way we look at
things is often improved
mental health.
This puts me in mind of
a hymn that I came across
recently:
?Everywhere around me
I can see the hand of God?.
It was there all the time,
but only the person who
looks for it can find it.
I have a friend at my
church who likes going for
long walks by the river
with his dog, and he often
muses, ?How can people
fail to notice God when
they can see the wonders
of his creation??
How, indeed?
Many people think that
mindfulness (making the
effort to direct our
thinking) is a new idea, but
in fact it was mentioned
years ago in the Bible, by
St Paul.
?Finally, brothers and
sisters, whatever is true,
whatever is noble,
whatever is right, whatever
is pure, whatever is lovely,
whatever is admirable ? if
anything is excellent or
praiseworthy ? think
about such things.? n
Next week: Rev. Andrew
Watson turns his hand
to some housework!
Journey
Margaret Duncan?s
HERITAGE 65
Archivist
Nicky Sugar tells
us about the
century-old diary
of an adventurous
post-office worker.
Mingling with friends ? the
freedom of life on board.
Photographs courtesy of Bristol Archives
T
HIS year sees the
centenary of the
Representation of
People Act, when
some women were
allowed the right to vote.
It?s a year when institutions
up and down the country
are keen to tell the stories
of independent and
influential women, famous
and unknown, to celebrate
this first cautious step
towards equality.
Deep amongst the
contents of the former
Empire and Commonwealth
Museum, now held at the
Bristol Archives, archivist
Nicky Sugar recently came
across the diary of one
such unknown character,
Margaret Duncan.
Margaret?s diary only
spanned one year, but
what a year!
The story of this postoffice worker from Balmullo
in Fife, who answered an
advert to travel halfway
across the world on her
own and work in British
East Africa, grabbed the
team?s attention so much
that they?ve been
publishing excerpts from
the diary online.
People are welcome to
go along to the archives in
Bristol and read them for
themselves as well.
What was it that
attracted her to the story?
?It?s very like ?Bridget
Jones?, that is what I really
like about it. The photos
are really candid; they are
the kind of photos you
would expect young people
that age to take even now
in the Instagram era ? you
know, them just mucking
around at parties and on
motorbikes.
?Especially when you are
used to photos from the
World War One era looking
so posed and staged.?
Margaret?s character
shone off the pages.
?Margaret talks a lot
about wanting an
adventure and wanting to
see the world.
?She saw an advert in the
Post Office Circular where
they were looking for
young unmarried women to
go out to the colonies,
specifically British East
Africa, so she just
answered the call!?
Margaret was twentynine at the time, and
Margaret with a Royal
Engineer she worked with.
actually celebrated her
thirtieth birthday on board
the ship.
Nicky did some detective
work, and thanks to the
Postal Museum digitising
some of their records, she
was able to find Margaret
working in St Andrews and
living in a house in
Balmullo.
Margaret?s journey took
her two months ? one
down to Cape Town and
then one up the East
African coast, before the
Suez Canal made the job
easier.
?Margaret was really
bubbly and she had this
intense desire to see the
world. She writes about
travelling on the outside of
trains, for example ? it?s as
if she wanted to cram as
many experiences into her
life as she could.
?She mentions the men
she meets, which is maybe
part of why she went
abroad! At home, she
couldn?t socialise casually
with men, because people
wouldn?t get away with that
in Britain in 1918.?
Amongst the possessions
found were photos of
Margaret and her son,
Charles ? who became a
famous Kenyan
photographer ? while they
were on the beach with
other families and in
swimming costumes.
It would have been very
unusual at home in Britain
at the time.
?Margaret had a little bit
of a wicked sense of
humour as well.
?She is talking about this
woman who doesn?t like
Scottish songs: ?Every time
I see her I glare at her
because she doesn?t like
the songs. I cut her dead
whenever we met!?
?She was not averse to
winding people up a bit.?
Nicky is painstakingly
selecting the best sections
for sharing on the internet,
separating the days that
were very much similar to
the day before, and
balancing the long days
Margaret had for writing
on the ship with the
instantly busy life she
66
Margaret with
her family in
1915, before
the journey.
Travelling in
style ? getting
carried on a
rickshaw.
Nicky?s Favourite Quotes
The first page of Margaret?s diary.
took up once she landed
and settled in Africa.
Nicky also went digging
for some background
information to put the
story in context.
?There?s an extract up
now which has a bit about
the Australian soldiers.
Well, I managed to find
some of their enlistment
records.
?The main reason I did
that was to draw attention
to all the other
organisations that have
digitised records and made
them available online.
?The Australian National
Archives digitised all their
soldiers? records, the Red
Cross have digitised all
their volunteers and I
thought it would just be
nice to get a bit more out
about how that information
is out there.?
Plus Nicky wanted to be
able to explain what
happened next to the
characters Margaret meets
on her travels.
?You read about these
soldiers who are going
back to Australia because
they are injured and you
wonder if they have made
it.
?So to hear that they
lived until the 1960s is
quite nice.?
?Margaret writes about
finding Scottish people
wherever she goes, which is
quite entertaining.
?I think the thing that
made me sit up and take
notice most is the final
entry which was written in
February 1919.
?She starts off by saying,
?I am really sorry I haven?t
written in this diary for four
months; we have done this,
we have done that, we have
been to parties, oh, and by
the way in November we
had the Armistice?.
?That really brought it
home to me that young
people didn?t stop being
young people just because
there was a war on.
?We imagine it all being
terribly sombre and that
all anyone ever thought of
over those four years was
who died.
?You forget, really, that
most people were just
carrying on most of the
time.? n
?I?ve got chummy with Miss Kemp
the Cambridge
girl and really like her very much.
I?m glad she?s
in our Cabin, we have tastes in com
mon and are
both determined to accept all disc
omforts as part
of the great experience.?
* * * *
?We got in here [Dar es Salaam] on
Friday,
anchored a few hundred yards from
shore and
could see the people walking up and
down, knew
there were hundreds of British boys
on shore, and
we weren?t allowed to go. No ladies,
only men. We
threatened to swim ashore, we thre
atened to dress
as men, I was promised several suit
s of clothing
and the men thought it a great joke
.?
* * * *
?That afternoon we had a little birt
hday teaparty
in the saloon, ever such good fun,
of course I
read the cups. To crown the thing,
the Marconi
boys asked Eleanor and I to Potts?
cabin after
dinner and all drank my health in
Port wine! (I
felt rather sick and ill on Friday.)?
* * * *
?I travelled on the brake van of a goo
ds train
with the four Indian guards and one
white man,
nationality questionable. One does
such things in
BEA, and all were quite respectful and
nice. What
fun we had!?
Read Nicky?s extracts from the diary online at
www.bristolmuseum.org.uk/blog or go along to the
archives at ?B? Bond Warehouse on Spike Island in
Bristol or call 0117 922 4224.
68
my garden
Notes from
Alexandra Campbell offers advice
on running an Open Garden event.
Photographs by Alexandra Campbell and iStock.
Washing
Your Silver
Birches?
Are your silver birches
as white as those at
RHS Chelsea and RHS
Hampton Court? In
professional gardens,
silver birch trunks are
washed every year. I?ve
done a video on the
Middlesized Garden
YouTube channel, but
it?s easy. Take a bucket
of warm water with
washing-up liquid and
wash the bark with a
sponge. Though people
may think you?ve taken
leave of your senses!
T
HE garden visiting
season has started,
and there are an
increasing number
of smaller gardens
open, either through the
National Garden Scheme
(NGS) or locally run Open
Garden events.
Opening your garden is a
great way of raising money
for charity. If you?re doing
fund-raising for a local
cause, why not consider an
open gardens event?
I help organise the
Faversham Open Gardens
& Garden Market Day (held
this year on June 24). So
what can I tell you about
organising an Open Garden
scheme?
Firstly, get a group
together. Our committee is
roughly seven people, with
a few more who take on
specific jobs on the day.
We open 30-plus
gardens, and run a
specialist garden market
and a children?s
competition. Most local
Open Gardens consist of
about five or six gardens.
The NGS is increasingly
opening groups of local
gardens under its umbrella.
That?s a help, because
there is already a publicity
machine in place, and they
can advise you. The NGS
emphasises that you ?don?t
have to have a garden
worthy of a Gold Medal?.
Entrance fees go to the
NGS and its charities. If
you want to go it alone,
then the money can go to
the charity of your choice.
You need to choose a
date ? many Open Gardens
schemes are in June, so
you may have a lot of
competition if you choose
that month. Whatever date
you choose, the owners will
all tell you ?it should have
been last week?!
Insurance is an issue.
Some charities, such as the
NGS, have insurance which
covers such events.
So if you?re fund-raising
for, say, the village hall, see
if the event will be covered
by their insurance
(Faversham Open Gardens
GARDENING 69
Don?t Forget
Watering
What To Do
With Bulbs
It?s time to lift and
divide overgrown clumps
of daffodils and any other
bulbs that have already
flowered. But if you?ve
had bulbs in pots indoors,
I?ve also found it
worthwhile to plant them
somewhere in a corner of
the garden. I pop them
under deciduous trees
and shrubs because
nothing grows there in
the summer. I?ve been
amazed at how many
have flowered in later
years, especially
hyacinths.
and Garden Market Day is
run for the Faversham
Society and is covered by
its insurance).
If you?re insuring it as a
one-off event, home insurers
can be wary. However,
Paveys Group and Lycetts
both specialise in such
insurance.
Because of insurance,
participating gardens need
to have side access, so that
people don?t have to troop
through the house. In many
towns, that will limit who
can open their garden.
Other issues include
publicity, design of the
leaflets, teas and plant
sales, children, dogs and
wheelchair or buggy access.
We ask our garden
owners to answer questions
for the guidebook. But if
you only have five or six
gardens, you can probably
get all the information on a
leaflet.
Doing teas will increase
the money you raise, and
visitors want refreshments.
Newly planted trees and
shrubs need much more
water than well
established ones. I
generally feel that plants
should be resilient enough
to survive in the garden
without watering, but in
the first year (or two)
after planting, they do
need extra help. Water
regularly, giving them a
good soaking around the
roots once or twice a
week rather than a
sprinkle every day.
Prune Shrubs At The
Right Time
Garden visitors seem to
be such nice people. All our
garden openers say they
enjoy showing their
gardens to people who are
appreciative.
So if a local charity asks
you to open your garden,
it?s worth considering. The
best thing about it is that
getting it in shape for a
particular date does make
you do it!
Last year, we were
delighted to welcome a
party of ?Friend? readers
from Ruislip. The 2018
date is June 24.
If you?re getting a group
together, e-mail us at
favershamopengardens@
gmail.com, so we can
arrange tickets. Tickets are
�each or � for two
from the Faversham
Society, 13 Preston St,
Faversham, ME13 8NS
from the beginning of May
or from our stall on the
day. Drop into the
Middlesized Garden and
say hello! n
Visit Alexandra?s blog online at
www.themiddlesizedgarden.co.uk.
If some of your shrubs
still have bare branches
and blackened leaves,
then they may have
been damaged by last
winter. The problem
wasn?t necessarily the
cold ? many mature
plants have already
made it safely through
several hard winters.
But sap started rising
and shrubs began to
bud in the warm spell at
the beginning of March.
So they were much
more vulnerable to the
subsequent
catastrophic drop in
temperature and
freezing winds.
I spoke to the head
gardener of Doddington
Place Gardens in Kent,
Lucy Adams. She?s seen
more winter damage
this year than ever
before. However, she
says ?just watch and
wait.? Many mature
shrubs and trees have a
good root system and
can ?push new growth
up?. Weed around the
base, and add a mulch
of well-rotted horse
manure or compost.
But she advises
against cutting away
the burnt-looking
branches too soon.
?Prune at the right
time for that particular
shrub ? any earlier and
you may shock it.?
If you?re trying to
decide whether the
plant has died, scrape
away some bark with
your fingernail. If there
are traces of green
underneath, it?ll
probably bounce back.
But if it?s brown, check
several other branches.
If you can?t find any
sign of life at all, it has
probably died.
believe it?
TEA-BREAK TRIVIA 71
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.
�
I?d Like To Know
is the average amount
spent on eating out every
month by British adults.
a big fan of ?Bergerac? actor John
Q I?m
Nettles. Can you tell me a little bit
about him and if he was born in Jersey?
Ms L.M., Kent.
�360
the hit BBC police drama
A Although
?Bergerac? is based in Jersey, John Vivian
Drummond Nettles, who plays the lead
character, was born in St Austell, Cornwall, in
1943.
The actor played the part of Jim Bergerac
for 10 years from 1981 until 1991, and Tom
Barnaby in ?Midsomer Murders? from 1997
to 2011. He has had various theatre roles in
his career. John, who has also written a few
books, is married and has a daughter. He
received an OBE for his services to drama
back in 2010.
about in my garden, I?m
Q Pottering
always amazed at how weeds seem
to flourish far more than the
flowers. What is the fastest-growing
plant in the world?
Miss A.D., Perth.
Perhaps not something you?d typically
see growing in a UK garden, but a
species of bamboo is the fastestgrowing plant ? 35 inches per day! It
does, of course, prefer a more tropical
climate as opposed to the ?great? British
weather!
A
is the average amount
held in a savings account
by British adults ? an
amount that would
possibly be higher
if we didn?t eat out
so often!
Alamy.
all-time favourite hymn
Q isMy?Amazing
Grace?. Can
you tell me who wrote this?
Mrs A.C., Birmingham.
English poet and clergyman
John Newton penned the
A words
to this hymn, which
was published in 1779. It?s
incredible to think how much in
use the hymn is to this day. The
tune ? ?New Britain?, which is so
recognisable ? was put to the
words in 1835.
Something we didn?t
know last week...
iStock.
When it comes to being happy, research
has confirmed that it?s the simple things
in life that make us smile. A good night?s
sleep, being surrounded by nature and
even tidying up all boost wellbeing.
Donating money or time has a similar
effect. Regularly volunteering to help
others increases feelings of fulfilment,
while a scientific study found that giving
money to a charity or buying a gift
for someone makes you happier than
keeping it in your purse.
*Please do not send an SAE as we cannot give personal replies.
40
years ago, way back in
1978, May 1 was declared
a public holiday in the UK.
130 feet
is the height of the
maypole which was placed
in London?s Strand in
1660 to celebrate the end
of the prohibition of
dancing round the
maypole.
13 stone,
13 lbs
is the average weight of
men in the UK ? only in
Australia and the USA
are men heavier.
May 2,
1568 ?
Mary, Queen of Scots,
made her daring escape
from the castle in the
middle of Loch Leven.
Patio Scented
Gardenia
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with an intoxicating fragrance
that is simply divine.
Gardenia ?Kleim?s Hardy? is the first of its kind that
can be grown outdoors all year round. Its glossy
evergreen foliage provides the perfect backdrop
for the exquisite blooms in summer. A beautiful,
compact shrub for sheltered borders and containers.
Height and spread: 90cm (36?).
Supplied as a 9cm potted plant.
BUY 1 FOR �99
DOUBLE UP FOR 1p
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Title .......... Initial .......... Surname .............................................................
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CODE
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DESCRIPTION
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Gardenia Jasminoides ?Kleims Hardy? x 2
Large Patio Pot and Saucer x 1
Large Patio Pot and Saucer x 2
Incredibloom Fertiliser 1 x 100g Pack
Incredibloom Fertiliser 1 x 750g Pack
Maxicrop Plant Treatment
(one treatment covers your whole order)
PRICE QTY
�99
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�99
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TOTAL
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MAXICROP PLANT
TREATMENT
Give your plants the best possible
start with this amazing offer!
For ONLY �00 we will treat your
whole order with MAXiCROP.
�95
I enclose a cheque for � ______________ made payable to
Thompson & Morgan and with my name and address on the back.
Or charge my Visa / Mastercard / Maestro
Card Number __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __
? Reduces plant stress during transit
? Greater tolerance of frost
Large Patio Pot and Saucer
? Helps to stimulate strong root development
Security code (last 3 digits on signature strip) __ __ __
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T&C?s: Offer subject to availability and to UK readers only. Offer closes 14th June 2018.
Please note that your contract of supply is with Thompson & Morgan, Poplar Lane,
Ipswich, IP8 3BU, company reg no. ? 358372. Terms and conditions available upon request.
All offers are subject to availability. Plants despatched from May. Please note that we cannot
deliver this product to the following postcode areas: GY, HS, IV41-IV56, Offer quote code:
TE1428 KW15-KW17, PA34, PA41-48, PA60-PA78, PA80, PH40-PH44, TR21-TR24, ZE1-ZE3.
DC Thomson & Co Ltd and its group companies would like to contact you about new products,
services and offers we think may be of interest to you. If you?d like to hear from us by post,
please tick here ? telephone, please tick here ? or email, please tick here ?. From time
to time, carefully chosen partner businesses would like to contact you with relevant offers.
If you?d like to hear from partner businesses for this purpose please tick here ?. TM_TDC19
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OnLine: www.thompson-morgan.com/TM_TDC19
KNITTING 73
Sweet
Dreams
Photographs by Storyteller Photography ? Rebecca Armstrong.
Welcome the new
arrival with a
lovely pram
or cot
blanket.
te
Inte
dia
rme
Here
we used
Purple-Fuschia
(008).
MEASUREMENTS
Pram size: 55 cm
(21� ins) x 65 cm
(25� ins).
Cot size: 70 cm (27� ins)
x 90 cm (35� ins).
MATERIALS
6 (9) 50-gram balls of Rico
Design Baby Dream DK in
Beige-Green (010). One pair
each 3.25 mm (No. 10) and
4 mm (No. 8) knitting
needles; cable needle.
If you have difficulty finding
the yarn used, you can order
directly from www.
thewoolfactoryonline.com,
telephone 01507 466838.
TENSION
23 sts and 29 rows to
10 cm measured over bobble
pattern using 4 mm needles.
ABBREVIATIONS
6LPC ? slip 3 sts on to cable
needle, hold at front of work,
P3 then K3 from the cable
needle;
6RPC ? slip 3 sts on to cable
needle and hold at back of
work, K3 then P3 from the
cable needle;
C6B ? slip 3 sts on to cable
needle and hold at back of
work, K3 then K3 from the
cable needle;
C6F ? slip 3 sts on to cable
needle and hold at the front
of work, K3 then K3 from the
cable needle;
inc ? increase; K ? knit;
MB ? make bobble [K1, P1,
K1, P1, K1] in next st, turn,
P5, turn, pass last 4 sts
worked one at a time over
last st, knit last st through
back of loop;
P ? purl; st(s) ? stitch(es).
IMPORTANT NOTE
Directions are given for two
sizes. Figures in brackets refer
to the larger size. Figures in
square brackets [ ] refer to all
sizes and are worked the
number of times stated.
When writing to us with
queries, you must enclose an
SAE if you would like a reply.
BOBBLE PATTERN
(worked over 44 (60) sts
and 12 rows)
1st row ? Knit.
2nd and every foll even
row ? Purl.
3rd row ? K2 [K5, MB,
K2] 5 (7) times, K2.
5th, 7th & 11th row ? Knit.
9th row ? K2, [K1, MB, K6]
5 (7) times, K2.
12th row ? Purl.
CABLE PANEL
(worked over 38 sts and
10 rows)
1st row ? P4, 6LPC, P6, C6F,
P6, 6RPC, P4.
2nd row ? K7, P3, K6, P6,
K6, P3, K7.
3rd row ? P7, 6LPC, C6B,
C6F, 6RPC, P7.
4th row ? K10, P18, K10.
5th row ? P10, 6RPC, C6F,
6LPC, P10.
6th row ? K10, P3, K3, P6,
K3, P3, K10.
7th row ? P7, 6RPC, P3, K6,
P3, 6LPC, P7.
8th row ? K7, P3, K6, P6, K6,
P3, K7.
9th row ? P4, 6RPC, P6, K6,
P6, 6LPC, P4.
10th row ? K4, P3, K9, P6,
K9, P3, K4.
TO MAKE
With 3.25 mm needles cast
on 131 (163) sts and work in
g-st (knit every row) until work
measures 5 cm with an odd
number of rows. Change to
4 mm needles.
Next (right side) row ? K49
(65), P4, K1, inc1, P9, [inc1]
three times, P9, inc1, K1, P4,
K49 (65) ? 136 (168) sts.
Next row ? K5, P44 (60),
K4, P3, K9, P6, K9, P3, K4,
P44 (60), K5.
1st patt row ? K5, work 1st
row of Bobble Pattern across
44 (60) sts, work 1st row of
Cable Panel across 38 sts,
work 1st row of Bobble
Pattern across 44 (60) sts,
K5.
2nd patt row ? K5, work
2nd row of Bobble Pattern
across 44 (60) sts, work 2nd
row of Cable Panel across
38 sts, work 2nd row of
Bobble Pattern across
44 (60) sts, K5.
Continue in pattern as set
but working 3rd - 10th rows
of Bobble Pattern and Cable
Panel as required.
11th patt row ? K5, work
11th row of Bobble Pattern
across 44 (60) sts, work 1st
row of Cable Panel across
38 sts, work 11th row of
Bobble Pattern across
44 (60) sts, K5.
12th patt row ? K5, work
12th row of Bobble Pattern
across 44 (60) sts, work 2nd
row of Cable Panel across
38 sts, work 12th row of
Bobble Pattern across
44 (60) sts, K5.
13th patt row ? K5, work
1st row of Bobble Pattern
across 44 (60) sts, work 3rd
row of Cable Panel across
38 sts, work 1st row of
Bobble Pattern across
44 (60) sts, K5.
Continue in pattern working
12 rows of Bobble Pattern
and 10 rows of Cable Panel
as set until work measures 60
(85) cm, measured from
cast-on row and ending after
a right-side row.
Change to 3.25 mm needle
and work g-st to match lower
edge. Cast off.
TO COMPLETE
Sew in all loose ends. Press
according to instructions on
ball-band. n
Next week:
create a Lagomstyle plant pot
FOOD 77
What?s In Season
Asparagus ? British asparagus is now at its best. We
can buy imported asparagus all year round, but the home-grown
version is unbeatable, especially if you find it freshly picked.
Classically served with a hollandaise dressing and eaten with
the fingers, it?s delicious lightly steamed as an accompaniment
or used as an ingredient in salads, quiches, soups, risottos and
pasta dishes. It keeps for up to a week in the fridge if you store
it standing in a container with the cut ends in a little water.
Avocado
Angel
enjoy
Avocados are delicious,
but can be tricky to handle.
The Avocado Angel lets you
slice, peel, pit and mash all
with one clever device. The
magnetic nesting handles
make it easy to store,
too. From Taylor?s
CookEAT
Eye Witness, RRP
�.99.
Coming to a kitchen near you...
Take-away At Home
?The Curry Guy Easy? by Dan
Toombs (Quadrille, �.99) is a
treasure trove of 100 Indian
restaurant favourites that you
can make in your own kitchen
with minimal equipment and faff.
Labels tell you if recipes are
fast, slow, veggie, gluten-free or
BIR (British Indian Restaurant).
Dan?s added plenty of great
shortcuts and tips, too. Now
every night can be curry night!
S
PRINGTIME sees the return of
some of our favourite homegrown seasonal vegetables. As
well as asparagus, Jersey Royal
new potatoes are in the shops
until the end of July. With luck we?ll get
some lovely weather to make the most of
the delicious salady produce now available:
lettuce, rocket, radishes, spring onions and
watercress are all good at the moment.
Then for dessert, lovely, tart gooseberries
and perhaps some elderflower cordial would
go down beautifully. If you?re feeling
adventurous, why not pop out into the
garden and harvest some young, tender wild
nettles? Don?t forget the rubber gloves! They
make lovely soup and you can brew them
into a tasty tea, too. n
Coeliac Awareness
It?s estimated there are
around half a million people in
the UK with undiagnosed coeliac
disease. May 14-20 is Coeliac
UK Awareness Week. Coeliac UK
campaigns for better diagnosis
and provision of gluten-free
options for those living with the
condition. Find out more at
www.coeliac.org.uk.
Our gluten-free picks
High
protein
and
sugarfree
Nut Butter Crunchy
Bites ? crunchy snack
wafers with nut butter
fillings. RRP: �79
each from www.
mindfulbites.co.uk
30
flavours
and a
3-year
shelf life
Spice Drops�, no-waste
extracts. RRP �50
from selected
Sainsbury?s and Whole
Foods or online at www.
holylama.co.uk.
Dairyfree,
too
Celebrate the Royal Wedding
with Heck?s sweet ginger and
American mustard limited
edition sausages! Available
from Sainsbury?s and www.
heckfood.co.uk until May 22.
Subscribe Today
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every order
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PFROY
SHORT STORY BY WENDY CLARKE 79
Man?s Best Friend
Andrew?s daily
run was more of
an obstacle
course, thanks
to Fergie!
Illustration by Pat Gregory.
A
NDREW ran
through the
open iron gates
of the park,
noting the
daffodils that were pushing
up through the grass. He
liked to notice the
changes. Even the little
ones.
He set off along the path
he always took before
returning home to his flat
and to his drawing board.
His route took him past
the memorial rose garden,
round the side of the
bandstand, the lake and
then on to the open
grassed area.
As he ran he counted the
78 steps to the little kiosk,
whose shutters were
always just opening as he
reached it, then 25 more
to the bowling green.
While he ran, his
thoughts were on the
weekend ahead. It was the
first time he and Kathy
would be going away
together. A little cottage
by the sea.
A chance to get to know
each other better.
?Morning, Cyril.?
The man in the green
overalls looked up from
sweeping the path and
raised a hand. It was the
same every morning.
There was a definite
touch of spring in the air.
As his feet pounded the
asphalt Andrew could feel
his heart beating in his
chest. His running shirt
was starting to stick to his
back.
Now he was heading for
the grassy area with
benches dotted at intervals
along the path.
His pace slowed and he
gritted his teeth, knowing
what was to come.
The sharp yaps and
growls had started
already. From his pocket
he pulled out his
headphones and pushed
the buds into his ears.
Then, fixing his eyes on
the horizon, he ran past
the first bench, which was
always empty; past the
second with its plaque
telling folk that Joan used
to love sitting there, and
on to the third.
The little brown and
white dog was in the
middle of the path,
blocking his way. His yaps
were getting louder and he
was straining at the lead
tied around the arm of the
bench.
As always, Andrew was
forced to run on to the
grass. He?d done this so
often he knew just how far
off the path he needed to
go to avoid the little dog.
His owner always
seemed unaware of her
pet?s barking, keeping her
head bent to the book she
was reading.
But today she raised her
head and addressed him.
?You don?t need to be
nervous of Fergie. He just
likes the sound of his own
voice.?
Andrew slowed to a stop.
?I?m sure he?s very nice.?
?He?s a lamb.?
The little dog was
straining at its leash.
Andrew glanced at the end
to make sure it was tied
securely to the bench.
?He?s a bit full on, isn?t
he??
?Only with people he
likes.?
The woman pulled on the
lead and the little dog
trotted back to her side.
Andrew wondered what
he?d be like with someone
he didn?t like.
?My name?s Morag
Rosen. I live over there.?
She pointed across the
grass to a crescent of
Victorian houses whose
roofs could just be seen
above the wall that
bounded them.
?My daughter says I
should look for a nice
bungalow, but I?ve been
here for nearly forty years.
The park is like my second
garden.?
?Mine, too. I only have a
flat.?
The little dog began to
growl and Andrew took a
step back.
?Anyway, it was nice
talking to you, but I?d
better go ? work waiting.?
?Say goodbye, Fergie.?
The little dog darted
towards him, barking.
Andrew turned tail.
* * * *
When Andrew returned
to the park the following
morning, he?d decided to
revise his route and avoid
the benches by the
chestnut trees. Instead,
he?d take a second turn
around the lake. Fergie
would have to find
someone else to taunt.
Only one more day until
his trip away with his
lovely girlfriend.
One more day before
he could swap his run
in the park, his
80
drawing-board and
design programme for
the smell of the sea and
the whisper of the wind in
the dunes.
He circled the
bandstand, passing the
kiosk and on towards the
bowling green with its
immaculate turf.
?Morning, Cyril.?
He ran past and then,
instead of going straight,
took a right.
?You can?t go that way.
Tree cutting.?
Cyril jerked his thumb at
the maple further down
the path, where a man in a
safety harness was looking
?Oh, for heaven?s sake.
Why don?t you find a cat to
annoy instead of me??
He ran off the path and
on to the grass as usual,
but something wasn?t
right. Instead of straining
at its lead, the little dog
was coming with him.
Not only was his lead not
attached to the bench, but
he didn?t have a lead at all.
?Mrs Rosen, can?t you
keep your dog under ???
The bench was empty.
Fergie was making little
running darts at him,
barking. Andrew braced
himself for the attack, but
it didn?t come. Instead, the
It was hard to believe that this
was the same dog
up at its wide branches.
Andrew stopped.
?Oh, great.?
Cyril leaned on his
broom.
?That?s not the usual way
you go.?
?No. I wanted to avoid
that pesky dog. It has it in
for me.?
In the distance, the
sound of barking could be
heard. Both men turned.
?That?s Mrs Rosen?s
dog,? Cyril said, scratching
his head. ?He doesn?t
usually make that din until
you run past.?
?She says he likes me,
but I think he likes the look
of my juicy ankles.?
Cyril laughed.
?Well, you either go that
way or back the way you
came. He?s not a bad little
dog. Not scared of him,
are you??
Andrew drew himself up.
?Of course not.?
?Well, then. Enjoy your
run.? Cyril resumed his
sweeping.
With gritted teeth,
Andrew ran in the
direction of the barking.
Today, he wouldn?t stop
but would ignore both dog
and owner.
Soon the first bench was
behind him, then the
second.
He ran towards the
third, but as he drew
closer it was impossible to
ignore the stocky little dog
that stood in the middle of
the path, barking at him.
dog stopped just before it
reached him before turning
in circles, still barking.
?Easy, boy. No need to
get in a tizz.?
Where was the old lady?
Andrew scanned the park.
There was no sign of her.
?Where?s your mistress,
Fergie?? He crouched
down and held out his
hand. ?Does she know
you?re here??
To his surprise, the little
dog stopped barking,
jumped up into his lap and
started licking his ear.
?Hey, cut that out!?
Andrew said, wiping it with
his sleeve. ?Don?t you know
I don?t like dogs??
He stood up.
?Sorry, mate, but you?re
not my problem. Stay
there and I?m sure
someone will find you.?
Andrew set off again, but
as he ran around the edge
of the grassed area he
started to feel uneasy.
It was quiet. Fergie had
stopped barking and, when
he looked around, Andrew
could see him standing in
the middle of the path,
watching him, his ears
down.
?For crying out loud! I
can?t believe I?m feeling
sorry for a dog.?
He walked back and
stood in front of Fergie,
who started barking again.
?Something?s wrong, isn?t
it?? He looked over to the
terrace of Victorian
houses. ?Is it Morag? Has
something happened??
Finding nothing to use as
a makeshift lead, Andrew
picked Fergie up, surprised
when he laid his head on
his shoulder. It was hard to
believe this was the same
dog who tried to have a go
at him every morning.
The wall that separated
the gardens of the houses
from the park had gates in
it. All were shut except for
the one at the end. When
he reached it, Fergie
started to bark again.
?Is this one yours,
mate??
The garden behind the
wall was long and narrow.
Andrew put Fergie down
and watched him run to
the door of the
conservatory.
A voice came from
within.
?You found him, Fergie!
What a good boy.?
?Mrs Rosen, is that you?
Are you all right??
Andrew poked his head
inside the conservatory
and saw Morag sitting with
her leg up on a chair.
?Is that you, dear? I
hoped Fergie might go and
find you. I let him out in
the garden and forgot I
hadn?t closed the gate.?
?Why would he find me??
?Because he likes you. I
told you, he only barks at
people he likes.? As she
spoke, she winced.
?Are you OK??
?I turned my ankle when
I was gardening. It?s a bit
sore, that?s all.?
Andrew inspected it.
?It looks like a sprain. It?s
very puffy. I?ll get some ice
for it.?
?Don?t worry. My
daughter will be here soon.
She?s coming to stay for
the weekend.?
?OK, I?ll be going, then.?
?There?s just one thing.?
Fergie was at the
conservatory door,
wagging his tail. When he
saw Andrew watching him
he barked excitedly.
?Yes??
?Fergie doesn?t like my
daughter. He won?t let her
walk him and he sulks the
whole time she?s here.
?I don?t suppose you
could . . .??
?Me?? Andrew looked at
the little dog in horror.
?I?m sorry, Mrs Rosen, but
I don?t like dogs. I?ve never
had one and haven?t a clue
what to do with them.
Besides, I?m away this
weekend.?
?I?m sorry, it was unfair
of me to ask. It?s not as if
we even know each other.
Fergie and I will be fine,
won?t we, boy? And thank
you very much for
returning him to me.?
?You?re welcome.?
Andrew slipped out of
the conservatory and shut
the door, then made his
way down the long garden.
When he got to the gate
he looked back to see
Fergie, his nose pressed to
the glass, his ears down.
?Sorry, mate. It won?t
hurt you not to have a
walk for a couple of days.?
* * * *
Andrew leaned back on
his elbows and tipped his
face to the sun.
?This is the life. Lucky we
chose such a good
weekend weather-wise.?
?It?s been great.? Kathy
leaned over and kissed his
cheek. ?We must do this
more often.?
Beyond the sand dunes
could be heard the rush
and pull of the sea on the
shore.
?It?s so peaceful. Like
we?re marooned on a
desert island, just you and
me . . .?
?And Fergie.? Kathy
laughed as the little dog
pushed his nose into her
hand and barked loudly.
Andrew smiled. It
seemed he liked her, too.
?It was kind of you to say
you?d have him for the
weekend. He?s a great little
dog. But I don?t
understand ? I thought
you didn?t like each other.
What made you change
your mind??
Andrew looked at the
little dog who had
disappeared over the top
of the sand dune and was
now running and barking
at the waves as they ran
up the sand.
He remembered how
something had made him
turn and walk back along
the long garden path.
Something with soft ears
and an annoyingly loud
bark.
?He did,? he said. n
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PUZZLES 83
Enter the answers in the direction indicated by the arrows.
Princess
Eugenie?s
sister
Official
newspapers
Hole of
a needle
Hearth
African
language
Decrees,
edicts
Hate
intensely
Fourth letter
of the Greek
alphabet
Rock
bottom
Dramatic
performer
Yield (to a
superior)
Big bundle
(of notes)
Discuss
Portable
lamps
Garden
shed
Having
limits
Fool, wally
Daisy-like
flower
__ Mis閞ables, book/
musical
In cipher
Ignore (a
temptation)
Solutions
Arroword
ADRIATIC
GREENLAND
E
F
S
T Y F I R S T
E
R WA
A
D E BA T
CH E S
HU
T
F I N I T
OD E D
L E
R
R E S I S
AEGEAN
IONIAN
Pathfinder
S S G A
ARABIAN
IRISH
A Z O S O R K
ATLANTIC
KARA
N A L A N T V A L A C
AZOV
NORTH
A A T
BERING
NORWEGIAN
BLACK
ROSS
N O S C B
I
A N A
N O A M O N D E A B L
CARIBBEAN SARGASSO
R T E G
DEAD
I
R A K D E N
O H A E B A R N
I
R E
N N A E B C A G G R E
SOLOMON
S
S
A
K
C
N
A
L
N
E
E
A R B D N
O
R
G
R
A
D
N
B
E
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R
I
N
A
S
O
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B
A
A
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I
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I
L O
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A
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N
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A
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S H G
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C G A W R O N O S
T
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I
ATLANTIC, SOLOMON, DEAD, KARA,
CARIBBEAN, NORTH, AEGEAN,
IONIAN, ADRIATIC, GALILEE,
IRISH, AZOV, ARABIAN, BERING,
GREENLAND, BLACK, ROSS,
SARGASSO, NORWEGIAN
T
D
E
T
E
S
T
Beginning with the highlighted letter, follow a continuous path
to find all the words relating to seas and oceans. The trail passes
through each and every letter once, and may twist up, down or
sideways, but never diagonally.
G B
S A F E
Z
A
D E L T
T OR
TW I
E
C
A S T E
Pathfinder
GALILEE
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SOAP BY GLENDA YOUNG
OUR
WEEKLY
SOAP
George?s day at
the allotment
hits a snag . . .
iStock.
M
ANDY BOW,
the TV soap
star?? Ruby
said, her eyes
wide.
Mary nodded slowly.
?And she?s living in the
riverside apartment
complex, here in
Ryemouth??
?Susan said she moved in
last week,? Mary tried to
explain.
?But she?s television
royalty!? Ruby continued.
?What?s someone like
Mandy Bow doing moving
to Ryemouth??
Ruby glanced across the
living-room to George, who
was sitting reading his
newspaper, pretending not
to listen to his wife and her
best friend gossiping about
their new neighbour.
?No offence, George, but
that shipyard site was a
mess for many years after
the yards closed down.?
George rattled his
newspaper.
?No offence taken.?
?But Mandy Bow? Living
here on our doorstep??
Ruby took a deep breath.
?Didn?t she play that
red-headed woman in
?Medford Crescent???
Mary nodded.
?Nancy Perkins. She left
a few months before the
show finished, didn?t she??
85
Riverside
?I heard she got sacked,?
Ruby said in a low voice. ?I
remember reading it in one
of the papers at the time.?
Mary raised her
eyebrows.
?She must have left the
show about, what, ten
years ago??
?Twelve,? George
announced from behind his
newspaper.
Both Mary and Ruby
turned towards George,
who laid his newspaper on
his lap.
?She left the show twelve
years ago,? he said, then he
glared at Ruby. ?And for
what it?s worth, she wasn?t
sacked. She left to look
after her husband, who was
also her manager, and he
wasn?t well.?
?Is that right, George??
Ruby asked, surprised he
knew so much about the
soap actress.
Mary laughed
?Oh, I remember now!
We used to watch ?Medford
Crescent? when we were
first married. And you?d
never miss it, would you,
George? You used to have
such a crush on that Nancy
Perkins character, didn?t
you? Ah, it?s all coming
back to me now!?
?I had no choice but to
watch it.? George smiled. ?I
had to watch it because
you loved it so much. But it
was a smashing show and
she was a cracking actress.
?Anyway, I?m off out to
my allotment for the rest of
the day. Those plants won?t
grow themselves!?
George busied himself
swapping his slippers for
his boots and picked up his
jacket from the coat rack in
the hall. Then he kissed
Mary lightly on the cheek,
said goodbye to Ruby and
disappeared out of the
door.
?Best thing that ever
happened to him, that
allotment,? Mary told
Ruby. ?Keeps him fit, and it
gets him out of the house.
He loves it. It?s like his own
little piece of heaven.?
Just then, Mary?s phone
buzzed into life.
?Sorry, Ruby,? she said.
?Susan promised to text
me this morning to confirm
the final arrangements for
baby Sarah?s christening
next Sunday.?
Mary swiped open the
text from her daughter and
read it aloud to Ruby.
?Everything?s confirmed
with the vicar, she says. Do
you fancy a walk down to
the Old Engine Room for
lunch, Ruby? Susan says
that Mandy Bow is having
lunch in there right at this
very minute. What do you
say we go and meet our
new neighbour??
* * * *
Up at the allotment,
George let himself into the
site with the key he kept in
his jacket pocket.
His heated greenhouse
and corner plot were at the
far side of the allotments,
and as he walked to his
own space, he couldn?t
resist taking a look at the
flowers, fruit and
vegetables that the other
gardeners were growing.
He breathed in deeply,
content to be spending the
day in his favourite place.
He planned to listen to the
radio, the smooth jazz
station that Mary wasn?t
keen on listening to at
home, while he checked on
his plants.
Many of them were ready
to be potted up into bigger
pots and he was intending
to put some plants into the
ground, now that the
danger of frost had passed.
As he walked to his corner
plot, he let his mind wander
around all of the jobs he
planned to do that day. He
thought he might even treat
himself to lunch at the Ship
for a pint and a sandwich
and a chat to Big Jim.
But as George neared his
allotment he couldn?t
believe what he saw. The
shock of it was too much,
and George stood stock still
on the pathway that led to
his greenhouse, trying to
make sense of what lay in
front of him.
Broken glass lay at the
front of the greenhouse
from a window that had
been smashed. And
something, or someone, had
been inside the greenhouse,
too.
Plant pots had been
thrown about, there was soil
everywhere and plants and
seedlings were scattered to
the floor.
George stood, anger rising
within him once the shock
started to wear off. He took
out his phone and called the
Ryemouth police, who said
they?d send someone round
just as soon as they could.
Then he called Mary to
break the bad news.
More next week.
86
A ?Friend?
Indeed
Best Of Buddies
I thought readers might like to see this photo of little
Emily and her big friend Lara.
Emily is my sister?s lovely little granddaughter and Lara
is their huge but gentle Bernese dog. They are the best of
friends and you can see from this photo how much they
enjoy each other?s company.
Miss D.J., Aberdeen.
I started reading your
magazine as a young girl
growing up in the
Seychelles. My mum
worked hard to get her
subscription, so after I
moved to the USA in 1973
I got my own subscription.
I?m now sixty-three and
when the magazine arrives
it?s like a trusted friend
coming to visit. I enjoy the
recipes and try them out,
love all the stories,
especially the serials, and
the artwork and pictures
makes me feel like visiting
Scotland!
Thank you for giving me
so much.
Ms M.M., USA.
Friends
Between
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
Your magazine landed on the
doorstep, as usual, and how exciting it
was to see Loch Awe mentioned.
Last September, while staying at the
Loch Awe Hotel, I declined a coach trip,
enabling me to relax along the loch?s
shore instead. It was so quiet and
peaceful ? glorious away from all the
hustle and bustle.
The picture here shows the spectacular
view from my hotel window, wonderfully
summed up in your article.
My husband is not so keen on quieter
places but I?ve always had a longing to
live in such areas as Loch Awe. I think
myself lucky that I can at least enjoy a
holiday there.
Mrs A.G., Somerset.
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 prize.
Picture Perfect
Many years ago, when I
was a child, my grandpa fell
seriously ill.
During his recovery, to
keep his mind and body
active, he taught himself
how to draw ? something
he?d never done before.
Every single week he
bought a copy of ?The
People?s Friend? and would
faithfully draw his version
of the picture on the front
of the magazine. When
finished, each one was
framed and they were
proudly hung all around the
house.
I still vividly remember
some of the drawings ? he
really did do a great job of
capturing each picture. So
much so, every time I see a
copy of your magazine it
makes me think of him with
a smile.
Mrs M.S., Inverness.
Have Wheels,
Will Travel
The Star Letter in a
recent copy of ?The
People?s Friend? sent me to
hunt for the photograph
here, showing my husband
and the pushchair he made
for our triplets back in the
Fifties.
The photo shows
Elisabeth, Ruth and
Timothy, aged about ten
months old, with Jonathan
aged three and Jeremy
nearly two. Talk about
having your hands full, but
the pram certainly meant
we could take the family
out and about.
Mrs J.L., Felixstowe.
YOUR LETTERS 87
Changed Days
iStock.
Up The Hill
A poem
just for
you!
I climbed our village hill today;
It left me out of puff.
The path is very beautiful
But ? phew! ? it?s steep enough.
The view up there is glorious,
It makes my spirits soar:
The distant hills, the farms, the fields,
The quilt-like valley floor.
There?s just one tiny problem ?
The wind?s quite strong today,
And as I took a selfie ?
Why, it blew my hat away!
Ewan Smith.
I very much enjoyed the
article about the Oxford
English Dictionary.
In the late 1960s I spent
one of my university
vacations working for
Oxford University Press at
their then London
headquarters in a beautiful
house in Dover Street.
I helped to look after the
library, an information
source containing all the
books published by the
Press, including the
complete OED.
Nowadays, if we want to
know anything the first
thing most of us do is
consult the internet, but
back in those days it wasn?t
as easy, and one of my main
tasks was dealing with
telephone queries from
members of the public who
might want to know about
characters in a play, or who
wrote a particular book, or
where a certain quotation
originated.
It?s amazing to think how
much things have changed
in such a relatively short
space of time.
Mrs L.R., Wigton.
Way With Words
Holiday Friendship
When my daughter and I went to my grandson?s wedding
in Cyprus we obviously managed to find a little time to
relax in the sun.
This little fellow, who I named Lucky, seemed to befriend
me and would settle alongside me on the sunlounger. I
love cats, so it was nice to get such a warm welcome while
away from home.
Mrs B.D., Norfolk.
I enjoyed reading in a
recent issue about fusing
two or more words to make
a new word that sums
something up perfectly. The
article reminded me of
when my son was small and
would invent new words.
A couple of examples that
come to mind are ?tizzly?
? tingling and sizzling ? to
explain how his tongue felt
when he tried curry, and
?flustrated? ? a blend of
flustered and frustrated.
His new words became
part of the family lexicon
and we still use them today.
Mrs C.F., Essex.
Puzzle
Solutions
from page 25
Word Ladder
One answer is:
Quiz, Quit, Suit,
Spit, Spot, Shot,
Show.
Crossword
NOBOD Y
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CUR I O D
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