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2018-06-02 The Peoples Friend

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Expert advice on caring
for your cat?s teeth
7 feel-good stories
Brilliant burger
recipes to try
Jun 2, 2018 No. 7729
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The best fiction
? Lydia Jones?s drama set in 1900s Jamaica
? A Coronation Day mystery by J.J. Bowden
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UK Off-sale date - 6-Jun-2018
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Inside The People?s Friend
If you like the ?Friend?
then you?ll love...
On
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The People?s Friend Special
No 158, priced �99
? 100-page bumper issue!
? 20 brand-new short stories
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Novel No 862, priced �49
Cover Artwork: Loch Maree, Wester Ross, by J. Campbell Kerr.
Fiction
4 A Sense Of Belonging
by Lydia Jones
15 Chasing Rainbows
by Wendy Clarke
21 Mountains To Climb
by Susan Sarapuk
23 SERIES Busy Bees
by Della Galton
28 SERIAL Bellini?s Caf�
by Anne Pack
41 Down Calico Street
by J.J. Bowden
47 Living Well
by Alison Carter
53 Meeting Maggie
by Helen Yendall
58 SERIAL About The
Hollow Ground
by Pamela Kavanagh
79 A Gift Beyond Measure
by Claire Buckle
85 WEEKLY SOAP
Riverside
by Glenda Young
Leaving
Lisa
Her family might forgive
her, but could she ever
forgive herself?
UK Off-sale date - 14-Jun-2018
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OCKET NOVEL
THE PEOPLE?S FRIEND P
? A gripping family drama
by Angela Britnell
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Angela Britnell
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7 This Week We?re
Loving
13 Maddie?s World
18 Health & Wellbeing
22 Reader Offer:
Picturesque Puzzles
25 Brainteasers
35 The Farmer & His
Wife
36 Cookery: sensational
summer burgers
suitable for all tastes
51 Our Next Issue
63 From The Manse
Window
71 Would You Believe It?
72 Reader Offer: Dwarf
Flowering Shrubs
73 Knitting: our cabled
summer top has a
stylish square
neckline
83 Extra Puzzles
86 Between Friends
Features
8 Willie Shand heads to Loch
Maree to explore one of the
prettiest roads in the
Highlands
27 Vet Linda Simon reveals the
cost of dental care for your
pet
44 Barry Cashin has some expert
advice on buying a caravan or
motorhome
57 Wendy Glass finds out about
the good work of the
Letterbox Club
65 We look at the incredible
career of Scott of the Antarctic
68 Perfect your pruning skills
with the help of Alexandra
Campbell
75 Celebrate sixty years since the
hula hoop took off
76 Book our holiday with Warner
81 Your chance to win an Indesit
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One of my favourite
lunchtime walks takes
me down to Dundee?s
waterfront, home to
Captain Scott?s ship
Discovery. It?s been a
while since I last called
into the fabulous visitor
centre there, but
Wendy Glass?s article
on page 65, paying
tribute to the intrepid
explorer 150 years after
his birth, has made me
determined to plan a
return.
A wilderness much
closer to home is the
subject of Willie
Shand?s cover feature
on page 8, which sees
him heading into the
Scottish Highlands to
admire the scenery
around Loch Maree.
If you?re inspired to
take to the open road
to follow in Willie?s
footsteps, you might
consider investing in a
caravan or motorhome
in which to do so. On
page 44, Barry Cashin
shares his top tips for
making a purchase of
this type.
Other highlights this
week include our look
at the amazing work
being done by the
Letterbox Club to help
spread the love of
reading amongst
children, and expert
advice on taking care of
your cat?s teeth on
page 27. And I must
mention Lydia Jones?s
powerful story, ?A
Sense Of Belonging?,
which is set in Jamaica
in the 1900s.
Angela Gilchrist, Editor.
twitter.com/@TheFriendMag
4
Set in
the
1900s
This was a
strange, alien
world, and
Flora seemed
to have no place
in it . . .
A Sense Of
Belonging
Illustration by Andr� Leonard.
F
LORA gazed out at
a rain-sodden
regiment of trees
beyond the garden?s
boundary: row upon
row of gnarled grey trunks.
?Lila, what did you say
those trees were called??
Her housekeeper paused
in her polishing of the
mahogany sideboard.
?Why, they?s silk-cotton
trees, ma?am. Been here
since before your husband?s
granddaddy?s time.?
?They?re huge.? Flora
grimaced.
Lila chuckled.
?They live hundreds of
years. We Jamaicans says
you has to be careful where
you tread around them so
you don?t disturb the
duppies.?
?What??
Lila laughed again.
?The spirits that live at
their roots.?
?Good or bad??
?Depends on you.?
Flora shuddered and
looked back at her rainlashed garden.
Trees full of ambiguous
spirits: it seemed symbolic
of this strange world in
which she had no place.
Instinctively she fumbled
underneath the cuff of her
gown where insect bites
flared red and sore.
?You wants to rub a
banana skin on those.? Lila
nodded grimly. ?And try not
to scratch.?
?Banana skin? Really??
?Yep. Best thing, honey
? er, ma?am. I?ll get the
kitchen to send one up for
you.?
?Thank you.?
Flora ignored the
housekeeper?s lapse in
protocol.
The woman was old
enough to be her mother
and since Flora?s marriage
she?d been instrumental in
helping the new bride
establish a household fit for
a married plantation owner.
Lila was the bridge
between Flora and the
small band of dark-eyed
servants who stared at their
mistress with curiosity and
incomprehension.
?You will not have a large
household, I am certain.?
Flora?s mother had been
horrified at her daughter?s
choice. ?But even out there
it will be important to
maintain standards ?
perhaps more important.
?Boundaries between
family and staff must
always be preserved.
?Why you could not have
chosen a husband whose
residence is in England, I
am sure I don?t know. But
your father says Robert
Fitzmartin is wealthy and
an excellent man, so I
cannot argue the matter.?
?I love him, Mama,? Flora
had said in those far-off
days when that had been
all that seemed to matter.
?Let us hope that is
enough.? Her mother
pursed her lips.
Flora regarded her jovial
housekeeper with wistful
affection now, still feeling
Mama?s restraining arm on
the hand of friendship she
so wanted to extend.
?I wish it would stop
raining,? she said instead.
?It?ll get worse before it
gets better.?
Lila shook her duster
through storm shutters on
to the wooden porch which
she would brush briskly
when she was done.
?October is the worst.?
?I long for a lull in it.?
?The lull is what you have
to fear most.?
Lila?s eyes were wide with
knowing and Flora felt
again that she would never
be a part of this enigmatic
place.
SHORT STORY BY LYDIA JONES
She glanced up at the
longcase clock: it was still
hours before Robert would
be home.
* * * *
He was late.
?I am sorry, my dear.
There is so much to detain
me out on the fields.?
Flora saw that in her
husband?s haste he had
neglected his toilet.
His face was streaked
with dust; his bleached
blond hair stuck up at
angles from his scalp.
It made her want to touch
him, but the servant was
spooning consomm� into
her dish.
?It doesn?t matter,
Robert,? she said when they
were alone. ?I only wish
there was something I could
do to help.?
?Do, my dear? What can
you mean??
?I feel I am useless.
Everyone here works so
hard: you; the overseer; the
staff. Each has a role to
play in the success of the
plantation. What is mine??
Robert looked perplexed.
?I was wondering.? She
placed her soup spoon
carefully on her plate.
?Might I perhaps teach in
the school??
?The school for the staff
children? Out on the
settlement? Oh, no, I don?t
think that would be
appropriate at all.?
?Why not?? Flora tried to
temper her frustration.
?Your mother founded it.?
?Yes, but she didn?t teach
in it. That wouldn?t have
been ? seemly.?
?Robert Fitzmartin, this is
the beginning of the
twentieth century! What
may or may not have been
seemly for your mother has
surely changed by now.
?You told me yourself that
your family has always
prided itself on the way it
treated its workers ? even
when they weren?t . . . free.?
She stopped short of the
word slavery; she knew the
plantation?s inevitable past
was a source of shame to
her husband.
He looked uncomfortable
and she sighed.
?I simply want to be
useful, Robert.?
?I know.? He smiled. ?And
it was always going to be
strange for you here at the
start. I blame myself, but I
am so busy now much of
the banana crop is fruiting
and it is still rainy season.
?Perhaps you could visit
some of our neighbours?
Hermione Sanderson has
been here a long time. I?m
sure she could offer
valuable advice to a woman
in your position.?
As Flora regarded her
husband, despair began to
creep upon her.
This preoccupied man,
permanently exhausted,
was so different from the
dashing, exotic visitor who
had captured her heart
back in London . . .
?Mama says you?re little
better than a foreign farmer
who is here to find himself a
quick wife,? she said during
their first dance. ?And that I
should avoid you.?
Robert roared with
laughter so that the heads
of her mother and the other
matrons snapped round as
if jerked by a string.
?Shush!? She giggled.
?And you, my uncle
assures me, are the most
difficult and disobedient
woman in the room.?
?You would be, too, if you
were being paraded like a
prize animal at a meat
market every evening.?
?I doubt your mama
would describe the
debutante season in quite
that way.?
?Perhaps not.? Flora
wrinkled her nose. ?Still, I
should be grateful if you
would protect me from
some of these ?suitable?
young men for a while.?
?My pleasure.?
Deep blue eyes crinkled
at the corners and Flora
realised Robert Fitzmartin
was probably a good ten
years older than she.
?Your mama is wrong,? he
said. ?I am in London on
matters of business, and
was dragged along here by
a contact with whom I hope
to trade.? His smile came
again. ?But I am certainly
not sorry I came.?
They danced together at
every ball after that. Robert
made her laugh and
enraptured her with stories
of perfumed trees and
monkeys so tame they ate
from the hand.
In a matter of weeks he
had been to see her father
and arrangements were
being made for the wedding
and her journey to Jamaica.
Flora had found the sea
passage a severe trial, but
the sight of Robert?s
beaming face on Kingston
dock had swept away all
doubts.
On the carriage drive to
her new home she had
been intoxicated by exotic
sights and sounds too
numerous to take in.
As she?d stepped down to
greet the small group of
5
hand. That?s what we call
the grip of Big Mike.?
?Mike??
?It?s the name of the
banana type. Big Mike,
after the man who brought
the plants here. They?re fine
fruit: thick skins so they
don?t bruise in transit.?
There was an energy, a
childlike enthusiasm about
Robert when he spoke
about his crops that was so
endearing. Out here in the
fields he seemed at ease in
a way he never did in a
drawing-room.
Robert was quite different, out
here in Jamaica, from in London
domestic staff lined up at
the door of the house, Flora
had felt a little like a queen.
* * * *
Today she felt like a
foolish girl. The rows of field
workers lined up to greet
her watched with dark,
questioning eyes.
?I wish they would get on
with their work,? she said to
Robert. ?I didn?t mean to be
a bother to them.?
?My dear, you have no
idea how messy a banana
harvest is. When these men
are working there is mud
splashing everywhere and
banana leaves flying
through the air.
?Bodies; people running;
noise. Not at all the sort of
place you?d like to be.?
?I just wanted to see,? she
said in a small voice.
Robert, she could tell,
already regretted agreeing
to show her the working
part of the plantation. As
the staff shuffled feet and
dipped respectful heads he
glanced around.
?Ah, Job,? he said, spying
a large man near the front.
?Perhaps you could part the
pod there and show Mrs
Fitzmartin the young
bananas growing.
?Goodness!? she
squealed, surprise getting
the better of her
awkwardness. ?They?re just
like a large green hand.?
?See how the baby
bananas curve down
around the stems there??
Robert said. ?As they ripen
they turn and curve
upwards like a cupped
?Is that important?? she
asked, wanting to seem
intelligent and wishing her
white silk shoes were not
sinking quite so deeply into
the muddy ground.
?Yes.? Robert nodded.
?Now that we have the
reefers ? the refrigerated
steam ships ? we can send
thousands of banana stems
back to England at a time.
That?s the reason I?m
expanding, why I came over
to London to fix things with
the bankers.
?But bananas have to
arrive in perfect condition.
Nobody wants bruised
fruit.?
?No, I suppose not.?
They relapsed into
silence. The air was thick
with everyone?s mutual
embarrassment; the desire
of Robert and his men to
get on with their work was
palpable.
The rain, so recently
stopped, began again;
stinging drops quickly
leaving dark splodges on
Flora?s white linen gown.
?Come, Flora. It is time to
return to the house.?
?Goodbye,? she called to
the mute workers and was
horrified to hear the crack
in her voice.
On the carriage ride
home the rain increased.
Robert twitched with
anxiety and Flora felt guilty
for taking him away from
the plantation fields to
pander to her whim.
?I?m sorry, Robert.?
?Nonsense, my dear.
Nothing to apologise
for.? His smile didn?t
6
reach his troubled eyes.
Flora was swamped
with a sense of her failure.
* * * *
?I?ve been awaiting a visit
these months since your
arrival.?
Flora felt the reproof.
?There was so much to do
in the house, you see.?
Hermione Sanderson?s
face was lined by years of
sun exposure; her lips
rested in a downturned
sour expression, but
twitched at the edges as
she indicated a seat for
Flora.
?You are welcome, Mrs
Fitzmartin.?
?Flora, please.?
Her neighbour nodded in
a way that managed to
convey disapproval of this
informality and did not
return the offer.
She turned to gesture
testily at a maid bringing
lemonade on a tray.
?Not there, girl ? put it
here.
?You can?t trust them to
do anything properly,? she
said loudly without waiting
for the servant to leave.
Flora shifted
uncomfortably in her seat.
?My own housekeeper,
Lila, is quite marvellous. I
don?t know what I?d do
without her.?
?Hmm.? Hermione
Sanderson scowled. ?If
she?s so wonderful then I?d
advise you to look to your
silver ? or your larder.
Never trust any of them.?
Flora gasped in the face
of the woman?s bigotry.
The matron gave a
savage little nod.
?Ever since they were
freed they think they
deserve all kinds of
liberties. It wasn?t the same
in my mother-in-law?s day, I
assure you.?
From this bad start, the
visit only got worse, so that
Flora couldn?t wait for a
polite opportunity to end it.
The drive home took in
the coastal road. Flora
gazed at white powder
beaches fringed by tall
trees Robert had told her
were coconut palms.
She wondered what had
turned Hermione
Sanderson into such a
bitter husk of a woman.
Even though she was
struggling to find her place
in this alien world, Flora
still knew she would not
follow Hermione
Sanderson?s example.
To isolate herself in her
mansion and view the rest
of humanity with mistrustful
eyes ? such a path could
only lead to great
unhappiness.
She was certain that
Robert could not know
Hermione well. There was
clearly to be no guidance
from a kindly older woman.
Preoccupied as he was,
he had probably merely
suggested the older woman
as the nearest neighbour
for his wife to visit.
Flora stared out at the
vermilion blossom of the
trees ahead: such beauty
and such chaos in one
place. Somehow she would
find her own path.
* * * *
It was the kind of morning
Flora had dreamed of since
arriving in Jamaica. Bright
sunshine dazzled and not a
single rain cloud marred
the expanse of blue sky
beyond her garden.
Transformed by this light,
the silk-cotton trees no
longer seemed like pillars of
doom, but had become a
playground for the
chattering monkeys that
swung acrobatically from
one branch to another,
braving the garden to steal
fruit from bushes.
Flora giggled and
watched in fascination at
the deft movements of their
small human-like fingers.
The frangipanis, bowed
for so many weeks beneath
rain, stood taller today,
splaying perfect flowers to
the sun and sending their
fragrance rippling out on to
the wind.
Flora breathed deep and
felt her mouth smiling at
bright parrots wheeling in
agitated arcs overhead. It
was amazing how much
better you felt when the sun
shone.
?Robert, I thought
perhaps we could go for a
carriage drive to the coast
since the sun has finally
arrived,? she said when her
husband made an
unexpected appearance
later in the morning. ?Can
you spare the time today??
?Are you mad??
Robert stared at his wife
as if insanity were the only
explanation for her request.
?There?s a storm coming,?
he said roughly. ?Can?t you
feel it in the wind? Look at
the birds!?
Overhead, the parrots
had been joined by gulls
that screeched and dived.
?They know a storm is
coming,? Robert said, his
gaze scanning the clear sky
as though he could already
see the threatened danger.
?We don?t know how bad it
will be, but we must try to
save what we can.?
Fear clamped around
Flora?s stomach, all joy in
her sun-splashed garden
now vanished.
?What can we do??
?Stay inside,? he
commanded. ?Get Lila to
shutter everything tight
before she goes.?
?Where is she going??
?To the fields,? Robert
said. ?The only way we can
salvage anything from the
destruction is to harvest
bananas that are nearly
ready as fast as we can.?
Flora didn?t hesitate; with
determination she moved
towards the door.
?I?m coming, too.?
?Don?t be silly. You?re my
wife. You can?t.?
Flora glared.
?Robert, you married me
because you said I wasn?t
like the other London
ladies. You can?t bring me
out here to Jamaica and
suddenly expect me to
behave like one of them.
?I don?t know much about
farming, but even I can see
that our whole future ? for
the workers, for us ?
depends on saving these
bananas.?
She scowled.
?I will not sit in my
drawing-room like some
kind of porcelain doll while
everyone else works to save
the harvest!
?You are my husband and
I shall be sorry to disobey
you, but I will help to bring
in this harvest, with or
without your permission.?
She saw a gleam of
admiration in her husband?s
eyes: something she hadn?t
had since the heady days of
their London courtship.
His lips twisted into a
crooked smile.
?You?d better borrow a
pair of my boots,? he said.
The men were already
organised into teams of
two: one to hack down the
banana stem with a
machete, the second man
to catch it and carry it on
his back to the line of
waiting women who passed
it hand to hand into the
safety of the barn.
Flora felt the ripple of
amazement at her
appearance. She tilted her
chin and moved towards
the line.
Suddenly a familiar stocky
figure stepped forward.
?You come along here,
honey, and stand next to
me,? Lila said, her teeth
very white with her smile.
* * * *
Flora lost count of the
hours she stood in the line.
The gathering wind
roared around them,
snapping branches and
plant supports, and hurling
sharp-edged banana leaves
down to slice into her
aching shoulders.
Rain arrived in powerful
drops that drummed on the
leaf canopy and sluiced on
to pathways till they were
rushing streams.
And still they worked on
? a machine made of
human parts, passing the
precious banana stems
along.
?Enough!? Robert shouted
at last. ?Take shelter in the
barn, all of you. We have
done all we can. The rest is
in God?s hands.?
Flora limped inside with
the rest of the line, her
gown stiff with mud, her
hands bruised and bleeding
from cuts by banana leaves,
her hair hanging in sodden
strips around her face.
?Mama would say I
looked a fright.? She smiled
weakly at Robert.
?My dear Flora,? he said,
his eyes glistening in the
gloom of the barn. ?To me
you have never looked
more beautiful.?
She glanced around at
the exhausted but smiling
faces.
And then she took
Robert?s hand, to sit and
wait out the storm beside
these people with whom
she had finally found a
sense of belonging. ?
loving
www.longleat.co.uk.
This week we?re
BITS & PIECES 7
Bouncing Baby
Oscar-winning Role
Meet Newt, the baby wallaby
who lives at Longleat Safari Park.
Keepers have been taking it in
turns to care for him after he
was abandoned by Mum. They
even have a pouch made from a
rucksack to carry him around!
Gary Oldman shines as Winston
Churchill in the dramatic movie
?Darkest Hour?, for which he rightly
won Best Actor Oscar. The DVD is
available from Amazon and other
outlets from June 4 (�99) or
Blu-ray (�.99).
Happy Days
Help focus the mind on the
good things in your life with
?Everyday Gratitude?, published
by Storey Publishing, �99.
You?ll find lots of inspiration
from a fabulous collection of
quotes and reflections.
Alamy..
Splash Of Colour
Birthday Wishes
Grill On The Go
This three-piece string garden
bistro set in teal will add a splash of
colour to your garden. Priced at just
� from www.sueryder.org/shop,
100% of the profits go towards
helping provide hospice and
neurological care.
Actress and humanitarian
Angelina Jolie turns forty-three
on June 4. The Hollywood star
has received awards recognising
her great charity work, including
supporting the rights of refugees
and women.
Now that we?re into June we can
expect wall-to-wall sunshine, can?t
we? Make sure you are ready for the
rays with this portable barbecue,
which is available now from
www.annabeljames.co.uk ? it?s
priced �.95.
Details correct at time of going to press.
Matt Crockett.
iStock.
iStock.
Ant Eaters!
Ship Ahoy!
According to ?National
Geographic?, ants are a vital
part of our ecosystem. It reports
that the hungry insects eat the
equivalent of 60,000 hot dogs
per year on the streets of
Manhattan.
All eyes are on the remarkable
journey of a toy pirate ship which
brothers Ollie (eight) and Harry
Ferguson (five) launched a year ago.
Thanks to a tracker system, they
know it reached Scandinavia, and is
now off Guyana!
Magical Musical
Lose yourself in the magic of
the untold story of the witches
of Oz in the smash-hit musical
?Wicked?. It returns to the
Edinburgh Playhouse ? the only
Scottish date on the tour ?
running until June 9.
8
Lovely
Loch Maree
Factfile
? A short detour from
Poolewe takes us out to
Cove, where old wartime
lookouts and gun
emplacements remain
as a stark reminder of
less peaceful times.
There you?ll also find a
memorial to those who
didn?t survive the Arctic
Convoys.
Photographs by Willie Shand.
? In 1862, Osgood
Mackenzie bought
Inverewe and Kernsary
Estate and set about
establishing his worldacclaimed gardens on
what, at the time, would
have been no more than
a bleak, windswept
peninsula. Now, plants
from all corners of the
world thrive under the
influence of the Gulf
Stream.
? The wobbly footbridge
over the 200-feet-deep
ravine at Corrieshalloch
will surely get your heart
racing. It?s perfectly
safe, though, and if you
need reassurance, just
remember it was built
by the same engineer ?
Sir John Fowler ? who
co-designed the Forth
Railway Bridge.
Y
OU find me this
morning just a
couple of miles
north of Garve
beside the falls on
the Black Water River. And
an impressive set of falls
they are, too, tumbling and
rushing beneath the old
road bridge.
It?s early morning and, if
all goes to plan, I?ll be back
at this spot again before
the end of the day.
Between now and then,
though, my day will take
me on a 108-mile journey
around one of the bonniest
roads in the Highlands ?
the road west by Loch
Maree, through Gairloch,
by Loch Ewe, Inverewe and
Dundonnell to Braemore
and Loch Glascarnoch.
Normally you might
reckon on two hours to
cover such a distance, but
believe me, on this route
you?ll want to squeeze as
much as you can into every
hour of daylight.
Call me superstitious, but
I always prefer to do
circular drives or walks
clockwise and so, leaving
the A835 at Garve, I set
out through Strath Bran by
lonely Achnasheen and
Glen Docherty to
Kinlochewe.
Rising to 3,061 feet
immediately north of
Achnasheen is Fionn
Bheinn ? an easy hill to
Munroists, which is more
than can be said for most
of the other high tops
within the Fannichs and
Fisherfield Forest.
This is vast, untracked,
rough country, calling for
long, difficult hikes even
before reaching the base of
the hills. It?s one of the last
great wildernesses of
Europe.
Tucked out of sight
behind Fionn Bheinn is
Loch Fannich, whose
waters are used as part of
the Conon Hydro-Electric
Power Scheme.
Within this area you?ll
find some of the most
northerly natural oak
forests in the world, as well
as some of Britain?s oldest
cliffs which have been
around as long as 650
million years.
Take a tour with
Willie Shand
round one of
the prettiest
parts of the
Highlands.
This
week?s
cover
feature
These hills and moors are
home to red deer, pine
marten, otters and golden
eagle. But you don?t need
to climb the mountains to
enjoy some of the best
views or to appreciate the
area?s geology.
Just before the road
drops steeply through Glen
Docherty we?ve a fantastic
view ahead through the
glacier-scoured, U-shaped
valley to distant Loch
Maree.
High on Slioch.
THIS WEEK?S COVER FEATURE 9
Loch Maree from
Glen Docherty.
Loch Maree has its monster
called Muc Sheilch.
Long before the Ice Age,
maybe 800 million years
ago, the Torridonian
sandstones of Slioch and
Beinn Eighe were laid down
by huge river systems in
sand and gravel deposits
almost four miles deep.
Collisions of continents
forced older rocks to cover
younger rocks, resulting in
the white quartz peak of
Sgurr Ban.
In 1877, the welltravelled Queen Victoria
described this as a ?grand
and romantic? view, adding
that ?hardly anyone ever
comes here.?
Of course, anywhere the
Queen enjoyed was sure to
see an influx of tourists and
Loch Maree was to be no
exception.
On her visit, the Queen
stayed the better part of a
week at the Loch Maree
Hotel.
During her trip, Her
Majesty was taken for a
sail to visit the loch?s most
famous island ? Isle Maree
? and there, at the ancient
wishing tree, she made her
wish and, as tradition
dictated, affixed her
offering to its trunk.
The wee tree would be
covered in many centuries
of offerings from iron nails
to coins. It goes without
saying that anyone
removing one of these
offerings might expect
misfortune to follow.
Loch Maree is the largest
inland loch north of the
Great Glen and is just
under 13 miles long. The
road along the loch side
passes through the Beinn
Eighe National Nature
Reserve with some fine
forest walks into the old
Caledonian pine forests.
What a grand picture
there is across the loch to
the 3,217-feet-high
mountain of Slioch ? ?the
spear?.
From the west, Slioch
appears almost
impregnable. Its rocky
sides are so steep that
gullies drop unbroken from
its summit right to its foot.
There is an easy way up,
though, from Incheril and
through Gleann Bianasdail,
though it?s a long, ninehour climb.
Why, you may wonder, is
Kinlochewe (which means
the head of Loch Ewe)
rather confusingly found at
the head of Loch Maree?
The explanation is
simple. Before the 1700s,
Loch Maree was called
Loch Ewe. It was renamed
Loch Maree after
St Maelrubha, who brought
Christianity to the area and
who built his cell on Isle
Maree.
Isle Maree is just one of
nearly 60 little islands
scattered over the loch and
is steeped in history,
legends and superstitions.
It was a place of Druid
worship. The island?s
healing well was visited by
countless patients seeking
a cure for insanity.
It?s an old belief that to
drink water from Loch
Maree is a sure cure for
virtually any illness.
The saddest and most
romantic of the island?s
stories is of the Viking
Prince Olaf and his new
bride who built their tower
upon it.
When Olaf had to go to
war the couple agreed a
signalling system to convey
news quickly upon his
return. If either of them
flew a white flag, all was
well, but if the black flag
flew it was a sign of death.
During Olaf?s absence,
the Princess grew anxious
that he perhaps loved war
more than her.
To test his love,
therefore, upon seeing his
boat approach bearing the
white flag, she decided to
pretend she was dead and
raised her black flag.
Her plan backfired,
however, as when the
Prince saw her flag he
couldn?t bear to go on
without her and thrust a
dagger into his own heart.
As he fell before her, she
rose from beneath her
shroud, heartbroken, took
his dagger and followed
him to their heavenly
home!
They are both buried on
the island beneath the
sacred hollies.
Just before the road
leaves the lochside to climb
past Loch Bad an Sgalaig,
it?s worth stopping and
taking a short walk to view
the Victoria Falls.
By Loch Bad
an Sgalaig.
As their name suggests,
they, too, were graced with
a royal visit in 1877.
The next loch we come to
is the sea at Loch Gairloch,
and if the sun?s shining
you?ll be tempted down on
to the wide sandy beach of
Gaineamh Mor (big sand).
From the centre of the
main village it?s an
enjoyable hike over the
sands to the harbour and
back.
It?s amazing to think that
before 1843 there were no
roads out to this area and
the quickest way here was
by sea.
Keep an eye open and
you might be lucky to spot
whales, dolphins and seals
and maybe even a sea
eagle diving into the sea
for its lunch.
North of Gairloch, our
road takes us past a few
lochans covered with water
lilies. Take time to savour
the last view of Loch Maree
from above Tollie before
dropping to Poolewe and
Loch Ewe.
With lovely sandy
beaches, and enjoying
all the benefits of the
10
Sunbathing
on Loch Ewe.
Above Little Loch Broom,
Destitution Road.
warmer west coast, a
sunny summer?s day
anywhere around Loch Ewe
would be hard to beat.
Loch Ewe and the Isle of
Ewe, however, hide well
their darker secrets.
During World War II, this
natural deep sea loch,
codename Port A, was a
safe haven for Naval and
merchant ships.
It was from here that the
famous Arctic convoys
sailed, carrying vital
supplies to Murmansk and
Archangel in war-torn
Russia.
Facing extreme freezing
conditions, rough seas and
German U-boats, for many
a seaman this would be
their last voyage.
In 19 convoys, some 481
merchant ships under
escort of 100 Naval
vessels attempted the
horrendous journey.
No matter how often I?ve
driven this road, I can
never pass Loch Ewe
without looking in at
Osgood Mackenzie?s
amazing gardens at
Inverewe.
Wandering around the
maze of paths through the
colourful rhododendron
and azaleas, it?s easy to
lose all sense of place and
time. Who would ever
guess we?re just a few
degrees south of the Arctic
Circle?
Above Aultbea pier three
fishermen are busy
mending their creels. Just a
couple of miles further
brings us to another fine
bay with its own wartime
secrets ? Gruinard Bay.
The ruined chapel at
Sand is so old it?s believed
to have been originally
built by St Columba.
What a great view we
have over Gruinard Bay
and its island and away to
the hills of Coigach before
steeply descending to the
wide sandy beach.
During World War II, and
for decades afterwards,
Gruinard Island was well
out of bounds. Top Secret
experiments were carried
out on this wee island in
the development of
biological weapons.
Deadly anthrax spores
were released on
unsuspecting flocks of
sheep and, of course, you
can guess the outcome.
Beyond Gruinard, the
road climbs and turns east
to give a fantastic aerial
view over Little Loch
Broom and the Scoraig
Peninsula.
Across the sea loch is the
settlement of Scoraig.
There are no roads to
Scoraig and its residents
wouldn?t thank you for one,
either. To get there, you
need to take a boat across
or face a ten-mile return
hike from Badrallach.
This road that we?re
following from Gairloch is
part of the Destitution
Road. Why should a road
that passes through such
picturesque scenery be
given such a name?
In the 1840s, times were
far from easy for the local
crofters. After the potato
crops had failed a few
times, folks were desperate
and literally on the point of
starvation.
It was decided that to
help them, employment
would be created by
building these ?destitution
roads?. This road ran 126
miles between Cromarty on
the east coast and Gairloch
on the west.
In exchange for their
labour the men would be
given food rations.
This stretch of the road
above Little Loch Broom
and below An Teallach,
past the Falls of Ardessie,
Dundonnell and on to meet
the A835 at Braemore, is
one of its most famous
parts.
A short distance before
Braemore Junction, I take
a walk down the foot track
into the spectacular
Corrieshalloch Gorge above
Want to know more?
Gairloch Pier.
www.visitscotland.com
Inverewe Gardens ? National Trust for Scotland
Tel: 01445 712952
www.nts.org.uk/visit/places/inverewe
Falls of Measach ? National Trust for Scotland
www.nts.org.uk/visit/places/corrieshalloch-gorge
Falls of Measach,
Corrieshalloch Gorge.
the Falls of Measach.
At Braemore, a look
north invites the eye out
over Loch Broom in the
direction of Ullapool, but to
complete our circuit, we
must turn right here and
head east by Loch
Glascarnoch and the
remote Aultguish Inn.
From there, it?s only a
few more miles before I?m
back in Strathgarve and
reunited with the Black
Water.
As I stop to take the falls?
picture again, I let my mind
drift through all the places
I?ve been since I stood here
in the morning.
Was it really just this
morning? How tempting it
would be to head back into
Strath Bran and do it all
again. ?
Getting
there
To reach
Garve from
Inverness
take the
road
north-west (A9 and
A835) signed for
Ullapool. Garve is 24
miles from Inverness.
MADDIE?S WORLD 13
I?m not sure how
well my tree-hugging
habit would go down
Photographs courtesy of Maddie Grigg.
M
In her weekly column,
Maddie Grigg shares
tales from her life in
rural Dorset . . .
R GRIGG is up
bright and
early today.
He has to
open up the
village shop because
Mr Costner is having a
day?s holiday.
This isn?t a problem, but
we always find we don?t
sleep properly if we have to
get up early. This is mostly
because we?re worried the
alarm?s not going to go off.
I always used a clock, but
now rely on the alarm
facility on my mobile phone
because Mr Grigg didn?t
like the sound of the clock
ticking.
The trouble with that is, if
I don?t save the new time
setting on the phone, we
end up sleeping through
way past sunrise. And that
would never do.
This morning, my
husband jumps out of bed
at six o?clock, showers and
has tea and porridge
before shooting through
the back door and down to
the shop to open up.
Meanwhile, I reset the
alarm and go back to sleep,
intending to wake up at my
usual time of five minutes
to seven.
But, of course, I set the
alarm incorrectly and end
up over-sleeping. I am
dreaming I?m in a budget
hotel above a shopping
arcade after meeting my
old flatmate for a meal.
In my dream, I?m aware I
need to get up but my eyes
are stuck together with
sleep.
I manage to break
through my eye-prison and
realise I am actually in my
own bed in Lush Places and
the sun is shining through
the curtains.
I look at my phone and I
see it?s twenty-five past
seven. It?s only half an hour
over, but Arty will be
desperate to go out for her
morning constitutional.
I check that she?s been
fed and watered and had a
comfort break outside
before showering and then
taking her out.
On my way, I meet the
children at the start of their
own days ? the older ones
strolling rather slowly down
to the bus stop and the
little ones rushing to
primary school because
school still excites them.
Going out with the dog at
this time of the morning,
there is much more going
on. Across the road, the
builders are filling up a skip
with items taken out of the
house bought at auction.
There is a certain
sadness, to me at least, in
seeing in the skip an old
bath which for years had
faithfully been there for its
owners.
But I am also delighted
that a young family is going
to move in when the house
is finished and will live their
own lives there.
Down in the fields, Arty
rattles along at a fair old
pace and I do my best to
keep up.
I give my
usual hug to
Our very own
the tree in the
wishing tree.
middle of the
meadow and
make a wish
before
walking to the
church gate
and back.
Back in the
village
square, there
is a toot from
a car waiting
for a bootcladded
walker, who I
last saw at
the till of the
village shop a few days
ago. We meet similarly
clothed people getting into
cars with walking poles and
cameras.
?It?s the village walk,? one
of them explains when I
ask what?s going on.
Once a month, a lady on
the outskirts of Lush Places
organises a communal walk
within about a 20-mile
radius of the village.
A few years ago, they
went along an old railway
line which turns out to be
the place where I used to
keep my pony when I grew
up on the neighbouring
farm in Somerset. There is
no plaque marking my
birthplace, but they all
seemed to know its
significance.
?You ought to come along
next time,? the lady says. ?I
think you?d really enjoy it.?
It?s a great idea, but I?m
not sure how well my
tree-hugging habit would
go down with the rest of
the village.
That?s really something
Arty and I need to keep to
ourselves.
Shh . . . don?t tell our
secret. ?
SHORT STORY BY WENDY CLARKE 15
Chasing
Rainbows
Jenna knew there was something
better waiting for her, and she
wouldn?t rest until she?d found it . . .
Illustration by iStock.
W
HAT?S that,
Dad??
Jenna?s
father stared
up in the
direction she was pointing.
?It?s a rainbow. Beautiful,
isn?t it?? Lifting his daughter
on to his lap, he hugged her
to him.
?Some say there?s a pot
of gold at the end of it.?
Jenna?s eyes widened. In
her money box at home
were three coins, given to
her by an aunt the last time
she?d visited. She wished
there were more.
?Really??
?Who?s to say? A rainbow
is a big thing ? see how it
falls away behind the hills.?
Tipping her head back,
she watched the colours
strengthen. Colours she
knew the names of: red,
yellow, blue. There were
others she couldn?t name,
but they were lovely just the
same.
Her dad leaned back and
closed his eyes.
?It?s warm today, but
somewhere over there, it?s
raining. The sunlight shines
through the drops and
that?s what makes the
colours in the sky.?
Jenna didn?t understand.
How could it be raining
somewhere else when it was
so warm on the hillside?
The air was filled with the
smell of flowers that tangled
through the hedgerow, and
the sun was warm.
She jumped up to see
where the rainbow
disappeared far behind the
hill.
?Can we go??
?Where?? Her father
opened a sleepy eye,
squinting up at her. ?We
haven?t had our picnic yet.?
She shook his arm.
?To the rainbow!?
Jenna stood with her
hands on her hips, looking
down at their little village.
She could see the church
and the school she went to.
Everything was in miniature,
like the wooden houses of
her farm set.
She drew an arc with her
arm across the sky, tracing
the colours with her fingers.
?I want to see for myself.?
Her father sat up.
?See what, Jenna??
?If there?s a pot of gold at
the end of it.?
?It?s not possible, love,?
he said, taking their
sandwiches out of his
rucksack and unwrapping
the paper. ?Some people
spend all their lives chasing
rainbows and never find
what they?re looking for.?
As he spoke, his face
changed. It was as if a cloud
had passed over it. Jenna
looked up but there was
nothing but the sky with its
curved band of colours, now
starting to fade.
?Then they can?t have run
fast enough,? she said,
jutting out her lower lip.
Even then, with her
seventh birthday creeping
closer, she knew that, one
day, she?d find the end of
that rainbow, and if there
was a pot of gold there,
she?d show him.
* * * *
The hall was full. Jenna
looked around her at the
sea of faces. She smoothed
her dress over her knees.
They were getting ready
for the announcements. A
man in a suit and tie had
climbed on to the stage and
was tapping the microphone
to make sure it was
working.
Soon there would be the
welcome speech, but
no-one had come to listen
to that. All anyone wanted
to hear was the name of the
person who had won the
coveted Marketing
Excellence Award.
She looked around her at
the young men with their
designer stubble and the
women with beautifully
made-up faces.
They might give nothing
away, but they were all
hungry for it. She knew that
because she was just like
them.
With so many ambitious
people here tonight, there
was little chance of her
winning, but she?d never
been one to give up without
a fight.
Ever since she?d been a
child, she?d pushed herself
? always striving for
something better. If she
hadn?t, she?d never have
left the village with its slate
roofs and toy-town church.
She?d have been stuck in
a place with no prospects,
counting the pennies and
always wondering what
might have been if only
she?d seen what was at the
end of that rainbow.
?All right, Jenna??
Her husband Adam?s
fingers enclosed hers and,
when she turned, his warm
eyes were regarding her.
?Of course. I?ll be better
once they?ve made the
announcement, though.?
For a moment she?d
almost forgotten he was
beside her. He was wearing
the suit and tie he?d bought
for these occasions, but she
noticed how he ran his
finger around the collar as if
it was strangling him.
At the school where he
taught, he wore an opennecked shirt and only put
on a tie for parents?
evenings.
Beside him was one of the
managers? wives, her mouth
fixed in a red-lipped smile.
Adam had tried his best, as
they?d eaten their meal, but
she knew he hated small
talk.
?I?m glad you came,? she
said. ?You didn?t have to.?
?What? And miss my wife
winning the Marketing
Excellence Award??
?I?ve only been
shortlisted. Still, if I do win,
I?ll be the youngest
marketing manager from
the company to have
achieved the award.?
Adam smiled.
?The only marketing
manager from your
company to win the
16
award, too.?
?Well, yes. It?s not
going to happen, though.
There?s too much talent in
this room.?
?Whatever happens, I?m
proud of you.? She saw his
eyes taking in the
conference room. ?You
know what you want and
you?re not content until you
get it.?
He looked down at his
hands and Jenna knew what
he was thinking.
He?d been teaching in the
same school for 10 years
and had never made
deputy. He?d never even
applied.
?You could succeed,? she
said, giving his hand a
squeeze. ?It?s just a matter
of having the prize in sight.?
Adam turned away with a
shake of his head and
Jenna wondered what she?d
said. After six years, she
still didn?t feel she fully
understood him.
The guest speaker was
doing the preliminaries,
welcoming them all and
talking about the judging
criteria for the award. Jenna
switched off.
She knew it back to front
? how they?d had to show
evidence of collaboration
and communication,
disciplined planning and
quantitative results.
When her name was
called, all eyes turned to
her.
?You?ve done it, Jenna!?
Adam kissed her on the
cheek. ?I knew you would.?
With the roar of applause
in her ears, Jenna went up
to collect her award. But, as
the trophy was handed to
her, she wondered why she
wasn?t feeling happier.
Through the windows,
Jenna could see a rainbow
had started to form, arching
above the buildings.
Suddenly, she was a child
once more, sitting with her
father on the hillside,
watching a rainbow that she
knew would one day lead
her to her pot of gold.
Clutching the award to
her chest, she walked back
to the table, and when she
got there she sat and took
Adam?s hands in her own.
?I?ve been thinking,? she
said, her heart racing. ?This
award will open new doors
for me. I can move on to
the next rung of the ladder.
It will mean more work, but
the salary will be worth it.?
Taking his face in her
hands, she pressed her
head to his. Her voice was
breathless with excitement.
?I didn?t want to say
anything before, but there?s
an opportunity that?s come
up in our Berlin office. It?s
an exciting new role . . .
more money.?
?No, Jenna.? Adam had
said it so loudly the people
on her table stared.
Colour rising in her
cheeks, she stared at him.
?What do you mean? It
would be an amazing
opportunity.?
Outside the window, the
rainbow had started to
fade. Adam stood up and
pushed in his chair, his
knuckles white where they
gripped the back of it.
?For whom, Jenna? Have
you thought about that??
As he made his way
through the room to the
revolving doors, Jenna
looked on with tears
stinging her eyes. He?d
ruined her evening and she
wouldn?t forgive him.
* * * *
?Congratulations, darling.
That?s a serious award.?
Jenna?s dad took the trophy
from her and admired it.
Then he narrowed his eyes.
?For someone who?s just
been picked out as
marketing superwoman, you
don?t look very happy.?
Jenna walked to the
window and looked out at
the hill that climbed away
behind the houses.
?Don?t be silly, Dad. It?s
not that big a deal.?
Her mum looked up from
the ironing, one of her dad?s
shirts in her hand.
?But I thought the
Marketing Excellence Award
was what you?ve been
striving for this last year.?
?It was, but . . .?
?But what?? She put the
shirt down. ?Is there
something the matter,
Jenna? Is it Adam??
Jenna dropped the curtain
and turned to her.
?Yes. He doesn?t want me
to succeed. There?s a job in
Berlin that I have a good
chance of getting, now that
I?ve won that.? She pointed
to the trophy. ?But he
doesn?t want to come with
me. Can?t he see that the
opportunity is everything we
could wish for??
As frustration rose in her
again, she saw a look pass
between her mum and dad.
?Why are you looking at
me like that?? she asked.
?I think we should tell her,
don?t you, Anne?? Her
dad?s face was troubled.
He was usually so
carefree, but Jenna had
seen that darkened
expression once before ? on
a hillside, the smell of wild
honeysuckle filling the air.
Her mum slipped her
hand into his.
?If you?re sure.?
?I?m sure.? He turned to
Jenna. ?I?d like to ask you a
question. What is it you
want most in the world??
Jenna shrugged.
?What everyone else
wants. To be happy.?
?Describe the last few
months to me. What it?s
been like leading up to the
award.?
Jenna thought of the
evenings she?d spent in the
office after everyone else
had gone home, how she?d
come home and slumped in
front of the TV, too tired to
talk to Adam.
If they were invited out at
weekends, she?d turned the
offer down. She?d been
tired and grouchy ? but it
had been worth it.
?It?s been busy,? she said.
?But it won?t always be like
that.?
?Until the next
opportunity raises its head.
Why do you think Adam
doesn?t want to go??
?Because his horizons
aren?t as wide as mine. He
didn?t go for the deputy
position at his school.?
?Knowing Adam, I expect
it?s because he wants to
spend his time at school
teaching the children, not
helping to run it. Did you
ever think to ask him??
Jenna hung her head,
ashamed. She hadn?t.
?But he?s content for
things always to be the
same, like . . .?
?Say it, Jenna. You mean
like me and your mum.?
Her dad sighed. ?It hasn?t
always been like that. I?m a
lot like you, you know. A
few years after we were
married, I left your mum.?
Jenna gasped.
?I thought I wanted more
? the excitement of the city.
A different kind of life. I
believed there was a pot of
gold at the other end of the
rainbow, but I was wrong.
?It took me a while to
realise it, but what I was
looking for was something I
already had. Happiness.
Without your mum to share
it, my new life meant
nothing.?
?And you waited for him,
Mum??
She nodded.
?I had to let him see for
himself ? just as I suspect
Adam would if you go to
Berlin. But I might be
wrong. Your dad and I
worked things out, but we
were lucky.
?I expect Adam doesn?t
want to move because he
has everything he needs
where he is: a lovely home,
a job he adores and a wife
who loves him. You do love
him, don?t you??
Jenna felt tears form in
her eyes.
?Of course I do.?
?Then I?m sure you?ll work
something out.?
?But why are you telling
me this now??
Her dad got up and put
his arm around her.
?Because we don?t want
you to make the same
mistake. Ever since you
were a child you?ve been
restless, always wanting to
move on to the next thing.
?Being ambitious is fine if
it?s not at the expense of
what you already have. Do
you remember that rainbow
we saw on the hillside when
you were little??
Jenna remembered it well.
?I wanted to see what was
at the end of it.?
?The problem with
rainbows is that people who
spend their lives chasing
them often don?t stand still
long enough to enjoy what?s
on their own doorstep.?
Jenna stood up.
?I?m going home to talk to
Adam. I need to say sorry.?
As she opened the door,
she saw that, despite the
sunshine over the hills, rain
had started to fall. Maybe,
soon, there would be a
rainbow.
If there was, she wouldn?t
need to follow it. She knew
where it would lead her. ?
wellbeing
18
Health &
Great advice to keep you happy and healthy
Q. My granddaughter has been diagnosed with
coeliac disease. What exactly is this?
Norma
McGough,
Director for
Policy, Research
and Campaigns
at Coeliac UK,
is here to help.
Coeliac disease is neither an allergy
nor an intolerance but an autoimmune
disease triggered by an abnormal
response to gluten, found in wheat,
barley and rye.
One in 100 people in the UK has it,
but only 24% of these are currently
medically diagnosed. Twice as many
In The News
iStock.
Pioneering
Plasters
In the future, plasters
could contain a special
protein to speed up
wound healing and
minimise the risk of
scarring.
Doctors at Harvard
University have been
experimenting with a
protein called fibronectin
which normally helps
development in the skin
of babies. They have
found that wounds
treated with a fibronectin
patch healed three days
faster than wounds
covered with plastic film
? and left no scarring.
They are now
developing an artificial
version in plaster form for
widespread use.
women are diagnosed as men.
Symptoms include diarrhoea,
vomiting, stomach cramps, mouth
ulcers, fatigue and anaemia. In
undiagnosed, untreated coeliac
disease there is a greater risk of
complications including anaemia and
osteoporosis and, though rare, there?s
an increased risk of small bowel
cancer and intestinal lymphoma.
Removing gluten from your diet is
not harmful, but once you do all tests
for coeliac disease are a waste of
time, so see your GP first.
Coeliac UK has reached its fiftieth
anniversary so has an abundance of
information ? see www.coeliac.org.uk
or call 0333 3322033.
The Great
Outdoors!
Get outside in the fresh air as much
as possible. A US study of 7,000
people has just found that those who
spend the longest time outside have
the lowest risk of chronic illness.
Opting to spend more time
outdoors ? whether you are busy
gardening, jogging, or just enjoying a
stroll in the sunshine ? is associated
with a lower risk of chronic illnesses
such as cardiovascular disease.
You can?t beat
family time out
in the fresh air.
Health Bite
Although they are usually thought of
as more American than British, pecan
nuts are widely available in the UK
and are well worth including in your
diet because new research shows they
can help protect from heart attacks.
The study showed that the healthy
fats in just one small handful of
pecans a day are enough to help
improve insulin sensitivity (which is
known to contribute to weight gain
and heart disease) in overweight
people.
The nuts also contain bioactive plant
compounds, as well as vitamins and
essential minerals that contribute to
overall health. So enjoy a small
handful as a nutritious snack.
We are unable to offer individual advice to readers. Please see your own GP if you have a medical problem.
HEALTH 19
The plant
is used as
a ?detox?
remedy
Sleep Myths
To Avoid
It can be harder to achieve a
really good night?s sleep as we get
older and Neil Robinson, an expert
on sleep at bed company Sealy,
warns, ?In our quest for more sleep
we follow advice that in actual fact
can do more harm than good.
?It is important to get the basics
right ? such as a comfortable and
supportive bed, a calm and quiet
sleeping environment, and a
regular pre-sleep routine.?
Sealy research has revealed
these top myths to be ignored:
Seaweed For Your Skin
A
Our Health
Writer,
Colleen
Shannon,
finds a blend
of tradition
and science.
ROUND the turn of the
twentieth century, seaweed
bath houses were a popular
feature of beach holidays in our
northern climes. However, along with
bathing machines and bloomers, they
faded away over the years.
Now seaweed is enjoying something
of a revival, and it?s increasingly
featured in trendy spas. You?ll find it
not only in seawater baths but also in
facials, body wraps, hair treatments
and a huge range of beauty products.
There is more than fashion at work
here. Scientists have been keenly
interested in the properties of
seaweed and its potential benefits
when applied to the skin.
To hear how seaweed is used by
women (and men) to maintain a
glowing complexion, I had a chat with
Kim C.A. Ford, an expert consultant
who travels the globe to teach and
learn about beauty. She is also an
expert adviser to the British
Association of Beauty Therapy and
Cosmetology (BABTAC).
She told me seaweed is valued as
an anti-ageing treatment to brighten
dull, dry skin and help smooth fine
lines. It?s also seen as a ?detox?
remedy for skin damaged by stress,
poor diet and pollution.
In addition, seaweed is attractive
because it is eco-friendly, being a
sustainable and renewable resource.
When you?re buying seaweed beauty
products, Ms Ford recommends
looking for an independent
endorsement mark to ensure the
ingredients are organic.
To learn more about the science
behind seaweed and skin care, I
turned to Dr Helena McMahon,
Principal Investigator and External
Services Manager at the Institute of
Technology in Tralee, Ireland.
She told me there are hundreds of
species of seaweed. The main types
are red algae (Rhodophyta) and, from
our local waters, green algae
(Chlorophyta) and brown algae
(Phaeophyta).
Seaweed is packed with bioactive
compounds ? naturally occurring
molecules that cause our skin cells to
respond in specific ways.
Some of these compounds can be
used to increase the softness,
hydration, sheen, colour and
smoothness of the skin. They can help
repair damage from too much sun,
including a build-up of unwanted
spots of dark pigment. And they assist
our skin cells to produce more
collagen and elastin.
Because seaweed is powerful, it?s
important to remember that more is
not always better, even for this
natural ingredient, so always follow
the instructions on the label.
Increasingly, manufacturers are
explaining the science behind their
cosmetics, so read the website or
product leaflet.
These should clearly tell you what
the bioactive ingredients are, and
exactly how they affect skin ageing.
Ideally, there should be some
information about scientific studies
that back up the claims.
You?ll find a list of spas and qualified
beauty therapists on the BABTAC
website at www.babtac.com/salons if
you are looking for a chance to treat
yourself to a seaweed experience. ?
? you can always catch up on
sleep
? exercise just before bed helps
you sleep better
? going to bed early always helps
you sleep better
? you can train yourself to
survive on four hours? sleep
? watching TV helps you drift off
? drinking alcohol before bed
ensures deep sleep
Baby-soft Skin
You don?t have to be a
baby to benefit from the
moisturising qualities of
Childs Farm baby
moisturiser, which has
been specially
developed for sensitive
and eczema-prone skin.
With 98% natural
ingredients and no
artificial colours or oils,
the dermatologistapproved skin
moisturiser will calm
and soothe dry, itchy
skin of all ages.
It?s �for 500ml from
Boots.
SHORT STORY BY SUSAN SARAPUK 21
Mountains
To Climb
They had lost
everything, but
the only way to
go was up . . .
Illustration by Philip Crabb.
D
O we have to go
walking in the
rain?? Beth sighed
as she struggled
into her
waterproofs.
?It?s good for the soul,?
David told her.
Beth grumbled to herself.
So far it had rained every
day of their holiday.
They?d managed to ignore
it by touring around stately
homes or exploring the
local market town, but
David was determined
they?d get out walking in
the countryside and, as the
holiday was almost over, it
had to be today.
Beth followed him outside
into the rain, along the
country lane that led up to
the mountains and the
moorlands behind the
holiday lodge.
Rain dripped off
overhanging branches of
the horse chestnut trees
and tap, tap, tapped on her
hood.
This time away had been
intended to bring them
together, to reconnect after
the stresses of the past few
months which had divided
them into their separate
boxes of pain management.
The house was gone, the
business gone, the court
case settled and it was just
herself and David again
with little to their name.
It had brought an end to
months of fighting to keep
the shop and art gallery
going; they hadn?t wanted
to disappoint all the clients
who depended on them and
so had fought beyond what
was reasonable, even
remortgaging the house
they?d worked so hard on.
That had been the
hardest part, losing the
house, and for a long time
Beth had blamed him.
David had retreated into
his place of self-protection,
knowing how much she was
hurting and how his vision
had been the cause of it.
Well, it was over and
done with now. What they
had was at least honest and
they could try to build
again. But so far it hadn?t
been going too well.
Reconnecting was not easy.
?I think the rain might
clear later,? David said
hopefully.
?That?s your trouble ?
you?ve always been too
optimistic,? Beth said
before she could stop
herself.
She?d promised she
wouldn?t snipe any more;
the only way to recover was
to let bygones be bygones
and realise they?d both
played a part in the
collapse of their business.
He didn?t say anything in
response.
?I?m sorry,? she said after
a moment of silence.
?I know.?
It was progress not to
bite each other?s heads off.
She was weary, though.
Their relationship seemed
an effort, even though
they?d agreed it was worth
saving. The trauma of the
past year had drained her.
They were no longer the
successful golden couple
with a great relationship
and a thriving business.
They had almost lost it all.
Now, instead of envying
them, people felt sorry for
them.
The knowledge that
people were talking behind
their backs ? ?Have you
heard what?s happened to
David and Beth? Isn?t it
sad?? ? scalded her. Not to
be successful was a new
experience.
Now she had to remake
her own image of their
relationship, and it was
hard.
?Come on,? David said as
they reached a gate at the
end of the lane and he
extended a hand to help
her climb over.
The land beyond was
boggy and her boots
squelched in the sodden,
springy earth.
?Are you all right?? David
asked as she pulled back.
He let go of her hand.
?My foot?s stuck,? Beth
said.
He waited for her to
extricate herself and they
continued, but he didn?t
reach for her hand again.
Maybe he was too
impatient that she wasn?t
keeping up ? they?d always
moved at different paces.
When they?d met at
university he was away
most weekends with the
climbing club. He was the
sort of person who always
needed to be out and doing
things, whereas she was
more contemplative, happy
to stay in and read a book.
She?d been the one at
home in the shop and
gallery while he was out
and about drumming up
business and taking
meetings.
?We balance each other,?
David had said.
As they trudged on, she
became aware of the smell
of the wet earth, both acrid
and sweet, and definitely
wholesome.
Beth drew in a deep,
invigorating breath.
?It?s stopped raining,?
David said suddenly.
The cloud cover seemed
to be dissipating.
?The weather forecast
said it would clear.
Sometimes it?s good to be
optimistic.?
Was that a dig? Was he
justifying himself?
Still, he was right in this
case. They could have sat in
all day because it was
raining, but now they were
out in the elements and
open to anything.
Beth bit back the urge to
throw a barbed comment;
recriminations would never
bring them back together.
Instead, she let the
surroundings soothe her.
?Where are we going
now?? she said as they
climbed over another gate.
?Up the mountain.
There?s a lake near the top
with an incredible view.?
?Will we see it on a day
like today??
?Let?s wait and see.?
He strode ahead.
COOLInG OFF
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SERIES BY DELLA GALTON: PART 9 OF 30 23
She watched his back.
He?d pushed his hood
back to reveal his hair
brushing the collar of his
jacket and recognition
pulsed through her.
The first time she?d set
eyes on David had been
from behind, and
something about the way
his hair had fallen in layers,
curling at the nape of his
neck, had stirred
something in her.
It did again now. I love
you, she thought. She
hadn?t articulated that for a
long time and the
realisation of it made her
want to cry.
?It?s quite a climb from
here on,? David said as he
turned round.
?I?m OK,? she replied.
?You lead, I?ll follow.?
He raised an eyebrow.
For a long time she?d
accused him of leading
them in the wrong direction
when the business had
started to fail, even though
she could see it was to do
with forces beyond their
control.
They climbed in silence,
the exertion making her
feel alive. The clouds began
to clear to reveal a sliver of
blue sky.
David extended a hand
and she took it. There was
no energy to talk.
As they climbed higher
the sun broke through.
?We?re here,? David said.
They?d reached a plateau.
Ahead of them lay a still
lake reflecting the sky and
mountain peaks towering
over them.
?It?s beautiful,? Beth said,
looking around.
She looked back the way
they?d come to see fields
and country lanes and
villages below them.
?I thought it was going to
rain all day. I couldn?t see
the point of coming out,
but look at this!?
David still held her hand.
She squeezed his.
?I need to learn to trust
you again,? she said.
?Listen, Beth ? I know
we?re not at the mountain
top yet, but we?re on our
way, aren?t we??
She nodded. She didn?t
want to lose what they had
after losing everything else.
?Let?s keep climbing,? she
said. ?We?ll get there.? ?
Busy
Bees
Muttley?s on the move, but
where?s he gone?
H
ELENA decided to
clean Val?s house
herself, in view of the
fact she was a new
customer and Helena
wanted Busy Bees to make
a good impression.
She did have an ulterior
motive, she thought, as she
unloaded her cleaning
equipment from the back of
the Busy Bees van. She
could check in on her
mother, who lived next
door, at the same time.
Elizabeth had been
suspiciously quiet lately,
which meant she might be
plotting something.
Helena glanced at her
mother?s house as she
carried the vacuum up Val?s
driveway. All looked
normal. The curtains were
open.
There was no sign of any
activity, but Elizabeth?s car
was in the drive. Maybe
Helena would call in for
coffee when she?d finished.
She unlocked the back
door as Val had said she?d
be out shopping, and gave
a cry of alarm as a small
brown and white dog
streaked past her ankles.
Helena abandoned the
vacuum and raced up the
drive just in time to see the
Jack Russell disappearing
around the corner of the
street.
This was not a good start.
That dog was a menace,
she thought, remembering
the chaos he had caused at
Elizabeth?s fish and chip
evening a couple of weeks
earlier when he?d stolen a
bowl of strawberry mousse.
But that didn?t excuse
her carelessness and Val
clearly thought the world of
him.
She had just relocked the
house and got to the end of
the drive again when she
heard a voice behind her.
?Mum!? she said, turning
to her mother. ?I?ve let Val?s
dog escape.?
?He?ll have taken himself
for a walk, I expect.?
Elizabeth didn?t look too
alarmed. ?He?s probably
gone to the allotments.
Val?s always up there ?
chatting to Arthur.?
She gave an ironic lift of
her eyebrows and Helena
remembered with
embarrassment how she?d
accused her mother of
having a thing for the
oldest bachelor in town.
?I?ll help you find him, if
you like?? she added.
?Would you? Thank you.?
Helena felt wrong-footed.
She?d been planning a chat
with her mother about the
notice she?d seen in the
village hall announcing the
setting up of an Am-Dram
group.
She?d hoped Elizabeth
might be interested enough
to be diverted from
whatever protest she might
be planning next. Am-Dram
would be perfect. She was
the archetypal drama
queen.
* * * *
At the allotments Arthur
was talking to One-legged
Mick when he saw Muttley
trot round the corner.
?I don?t think you?re
supposed to be out on your
own, are you?? he said,
grabbing the dog?s collar.
His hand closed around
thin air as Muttley darted
away at the last minute.
Mick chuckled.
?You?ll need to be
smarter than that. He?s
way too streetwise to give
up his freedom too easily.
Leave it to me.?
Arthur looked sceptical.
When Helena and
Elizabeth arrived they
found Mick and Arthur
chatting over a Thermos
with a disgruntled Muttley
tied to a hook in the side of
Mick?s shed.
?Thanks so much,?
Helena said to Arthur.
?How did you catch him??
?This is your expert dog
catcher.? Arthur gestured
to Mick, who gave a bow.
?Skill, determination and
knowledge of the game,?
Mick said. ?And possibly a
small bribe. That dog has a
very sweet tooth.?
?How?s the street-light
protest coming along??
Arthur asked Elizabeth.
Helena frowned.
?Oh, Mum. Not another
council protest??
?What do you take me
for?? Elizabeth shot a
glance at Arthur, who?d
gone the colour of a ripe
tomato.
She turned towards her
daughter.
?Don?t worry. The ?Give
Our Village Better Street
Lighting Campaign? is done
and dusted. According to
Rita?s spies on the parish
council, it?s already in
hand. The council have put
the job out to tender. Isn?t
that great??
Arthur looked relieved,
but nowhere near as
relieved as Helena felt.
?That?s brilliant news,
Mum,? she said.
A thought struck her.
?Are you, um, planning
any other protests I should
be worried about??
?No.? Elizabeth winked.
?Apparently there?s some
Am-Dram company looking
for players. I thought I
might audition. That should
keep me out of mischief for
a while, shouldn?t it??
More next week.
Brainteasers
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).
S L
I P
K N O T
Pieceword
A
T Y
O
I
T
D
R A I
I
S
E
D D I
I
X
O D C T
E
E
PUZZLES
25
Answers
on p87
Try our cryptic crossword
ACROSS
1 Risky rescue, making
safe (6)
4 Peasant is curt,
unfortunately (6)
8 Unusually ?t, he?s a
criminal (5)
9 Initially like recent changes
to reading desk (7)
10 Bat oil produced in
Leeds (7)
11 Dream about bearing
guns (5)
12 Sense nice style,
basically (2,7)
17 Scale a trio adapted (5)
19 Brought back new prison
of?cer to be sketched
again (7)
21 Style of farm building
suggests humbleness (7)
22 Observe timepiece (5)
23 Still relaxed (2,4)
24 Soccer shot makes top of
page (6)
DOWN
1 Pay for wooden seat (6)
2 Wine in china stirred it
up (7)
3 Plunder gun (5)
5 A bit of lunch ain?t free (7)
6 The marines get heating
unit (5)
1
2
10
12
7
R
K H A
A
U
A R E A D
I
T C O T C E L
E
S
U R A I I
T
D
10
D R A N C E R
O D
I P
O
A
E
N
WO
C L H I P
T I M I D
D
I Y
E
13
7
13
14
15
17
16
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
7 Is the girl able to ?nd
the country? (6)
9 Days later maybe
forced off the rails (3,6)
13 Get so upset about
one?s self?centred
people (7)
14 No longer played the
part as demanded (7)
3
E R
S
O K I
G A S H I N
E
C A N
S
R
O
C
S C H
N S T A N T E A T
6
11
2
4
5
9
1
U
W
N
O L R O MA S
U
I
R
4
8
With the help of the Across clues only,
can you ?t the pieces into their correct
positions in the grid?
I T
P L A R I S
H
P
F I
E X E L F O RM
3
5
6
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
9
4
11
14
15
ACROSS
2 US train track ? Team?s good?luck object 10 Brown uniform cloth ? Upright part
of a stair ? Neon or helium, eg
4 Weave of hair ? Impediment
12 Cloudburst ? In short supply
6 Mischievous fairy ? Permission to be
absent ? Docile, bashful
14 Discontinue (an order) ? Textured
8 Bordeaux wine ? Anomaly
wallpaper
1
9
8
8
12
15 Evil deed associated
with a war area (6)
16 Big cat removing head
part of ?ower (6)
18 Royal house in situ,
dormant (5)
20 Measure round
West and search for
water (5)
2
5
6
3
2
3
7
5
4
5
3
4
1
7
5
7
1
8
3
9
1
2
6
7
All puzzles � Puzzler Media Ltd www.puzzler.com
YOUR PETS 27
Vet Linda
Simon explains
the cost of
dental care.
Pets & Vets
Dental Care For Cats
D
EPENDING on where
you are in the UK,
and on the extent of
your cat?s dental disease, a
dental check at the vet
could set you back anything
between �0 and �0.
Is this a justifiable cost?
Many owners are
unaware if their pet is
suffering from periodontal
disease and rely on the vet
to diagnose it at their
annual check-up.
Signs to watch out for at
home include foul-smelling
breath, a visible build-up of
calculus (brown or green
discolouration) on the teeth
or the cat going off its food.
When your vet diagnoses
dental disease and gives
you a printed estimate for
the treatment, you may
initially baulk at the cost.
However, to provide a
safe and effective service,
there are corners which
should not be cut.
The basics
As a minimum, each
procedure requires two
staff members: a
veterinarian to perform the
dental work and a
veterinary nurse to assist
and monitor the
anaesthetic.
The time taken will vary
greatly, but can stretch to
several hours if many
extractions are needed.
Most cats will require an
intravenous drip, local
anaesthesia and a course
of pain relief. Some may
also need antibiotics.
istock.
Walkies In The Kitchen
Doglovers will
enjoy that
postexercise
cuppa even
more with
this fun
range of
kitchenware
from Ulster
Weavers. ?Walkies? depicts happy dog characters and
their owners in soft grey tones with notes of cherry red
and apple green to tone with modern kitchens. Walkies
trays are available in different sizes. This 100%
melamine tray measures 48 x 29 cm (19 x
11� in) and costs �.00 from
www.ulsterweavers.com or call 0844 844 1325.
Say ?Aah?!
On recovery, your cat will
be monitored closely by a
nurse until they have fully
woken up.
Further costs
For older or unwell
kitties, a pre-anaesthetic
blood test may also be
recommended to check for
underlying disease and to
tailor the medication used.
Dental X-rays are quickly
becoming recognised as
vital for a thorough feline
dental procedure, ensuring
no roots have been left
behind, which could lead to
trouble at a later date.
In addition . . .
Vet clinics inevitably have
large overheads to cover
just like any other business:
rent, equipment, cost of
goods etc.
Taking into account all of
the above, it is clear that
costs to the clinic (and
therefore the client) soon
add up.
Always ask your vet
exactly what you?re paying
for.
Once the various fees are
listed, you will hopefully
appreciate the value of
each, and your cat will have
healthy pearly whites in no
time! ?
Your pet
questions
answered
by PDSA Vet Olivia Anderson-Nathan
Q
Is it OK for my dog to
eat bones he?s buried
and dug up later?
A
Any toy or treat that?s
been buried in soil
could be contaminated by
worms or dangerous
bacteria, so avoid them
unless you can give them a
thorough wash. Bones can
also present other problems;
hard bones can cause the
teeth to fracture if chewed.
They can cause damage to
the lining of the tummy and
block the intestines, which
can be fatal. Even if the dog
is lucky and avoids these
problems, the high calcium
can cause constipation. It?s
best to offer a healthy treat
or softer chew instead.
Q
What?s the best way
to keep my rabbit
cool in hot weather?
A
Keep your bunny?s
housing out of direct
sunlight and provide shade
by draping a towel over
part of their run. Shady
hiding places like a tunnel
can also help. If it?s really
hot, you can wrap a frozen
bottle of water in a towel
and pop it in their run to
give them something cold
to lie against. Bunnies
should have access to cool,
clean water and fresh
low-calorie greens to keep
them hydrated.
PDSA is the UK?s leading veterinary
charity. For further information visit
www.pdsa.org.uk or call 0800 731 2502.
28
As Derek
helped the old
man move out
of his cottage,
he noticed the
pretty woman
from the
caf� . . .
Bellini?s Caf�
Illustration by Kirk Houston.
The Story So Far
BELLINI?S CAF� is in
the news as it celebrates
60 years of trading. But
although matriarch
MARIA is confident
about the future, her
friend, GLADYS, and her
children are less certain.
Maria?s eldest, TONY,
is a senior accountant,
but things are not going
well with the business.
He fears redundancy,
and fears even more
what his upwardly
mobile wife, DIANA, will
say.
To escape Diana?s
sharp tongue, he calls
on his brother and is
shocked to see how
rundown the caf� looks.
JULIA, his sister, is a
hairdresser and single
mother to AMBER. She
shares Gladys?s doubts
over whether her
younger brother, LUCA,
is committed to the caf�.
Though he runs
Bellini?s at present, Luca
was forced into the role
after his father?s death,
and longs for a different
life.
The construction of 60
new houses in the area
may give the local
economy a boost. The
project manager,
DEREK, clashes with his
boss MICHAEL over his
insistence on health and
safety issues, but
refuses to let his
standards slip.
While out walking he
stops at the caf� and
bumps into an attractive
woman in the doorway.
He?s taken aback
when the woman, Julia,
berates her brother
publicly over his
dismissive talk about
Bellini?s!
J
ULIA was glad she
was tall so she could
hide in the back row
alongside the other
sopranos.
Jeff, the choir master,
called for order from the
20 singers by clapping his
hands above his head,
creating an echo in the
Gothic-style, red sandstone
church.
?I know you?re all excited
about the new piece, but
we?ve a lot of rehearsing to
do to get it right.?
He led them through the
usual warm-up vocal
exercises before starting
the rehearsal proper.
Julia found it hard to
concentrate and even
harder to put the events of
the afternoon out of her
mind. She?d shocked
herself, never mind the
customers in the caf�, by
losing her temper like that.
Even worse, the outburst
hadn?t made her feel any
better. She was still angry
with Luca and would have
to find a more rational way
to tackle him.
?Smile, Julia. Relax those
jaw muscles.?
The gentle command
from Jeff startled her and
she fixed a grin to her face
whilst remonstrating with
herself for allowing her
younger brother to have a
bearing on what was
usually a joyous evening.
She?d joined the choir for
some time for herself ? her
first indulgence after years
of working and bringing up
Amber.
Determined not to allow
her evening to be ruined,
she pulled her shoulders
back, lifted her chin and
concentrated on Jeff?s
playing of the melody on
the keyboard.
?Right, sopranos. I hope
you were listening. After
three. One, two, three.?
Julia took a deep breath,
opened her mouth and
began to sing.
?When you?re weary,
feeling small . . .?
?Again!? Jeff dismissed
their efforts with a wave of
his arms. He was a hard
taskmaster who demanded
perfection in a firm but fair
way.
He repeated the first few
phrases several times until
he was satisfied enough to
move on to the altos,
followed by the tenors and
finally the basses.
For the last half hour of
rehearsal all the parts were
sung together. This was
Julia?s favourite bit. The
mingling of voices as they
rose in volume resonated
across the church.
By the end of the evening
SERIAL BY ANNE PACK: PART 2 OF 4
her mood had lightened.
Jeff wasn?t finished.
?I?d like you to go over
your parts as often as
possible between now and
Thursday, or you?ll forget it
and we?ll have to start all
over again, and we don?t
have time for that. If you
can get together in twos or
threes, even better.?
He held up a finger.
?Remember, I?ll know if
you haven?t been
practising. We?ll step up
rehearsals as we get closer
to the county heats. The
church concert can act as a
dress rehearsal. Last I
heard, the tickets were
almost sold out.?
He bundled his music
together and stuffed it into
a scuffed leather case.
?Any questions??
Gladys called out from
among the altos.
?Speaking of ?dress?
rehearsal, what are we
going to wear??
?Something smart but
not too glitzy.?
Gladys looked around as
if to garner support.
?I just think it would be
better if we all looked the
same. I?m pretty good with
a sewing machine and
could easily run up some
outfits.
?Look, I have a few
pictures here to give you
an idea of my thinking.?
She reached into her
shoulder bag and produced
some pages torn from
glossy magazines, showing
choirs dressed in smockstyle flowing robes with
flouncy bows.
Lisa, a newish member
and about the same age as
Amber, shrieked.
?You?re kidding. Choirs
don?t dress like that!?
Gladys was undeterred.
?Well, I think they look
smart. Besides, I think we
need an ?identity?.?
Lisa gave a little shiver.
?I?m not wearing anything
like that. We?ll get laughed
off the stage.?
As Gladys and Lisa held
their ground, others joined
in. Jeff stamped his foot on
the wooden floor.
?I suggest if anyone has
any other ideas you discuss
them elsewhere and bring
your decision back on
Thursday. Goodnight, all.?
He turned on his heel
and marched out.
After saying her
goodbyes to everyone,
Julia hurried out while the
debate gathered
momentum. She met the
caretaker at the door,
impatiently rattling a set of
keys in his hand.
?If I were you I?d go in
there and threaten them
with locking the door.
Otherwise you could have a
long wait.?
He gave a deep sigh.
?Thanks for the tip.? A
moment later he was
marching up the aisle.
* * * *
A cup of tea would have
been welcome after a long
day, but when Julia arrived
home she discovered the
kitchen was out of bounds.
Amber and Ross had
filled every worktop and
floor space with canvases,
silk screens and various
odd-looking sculptures.
The sink was littered with
used sponges, squeezed
tubes and dirty brushes.
Julia ignored the
mayhem and smiled.
?Hello, you two. Looks
like it?s been a successful
evening?s work. I won?t
disturb you. I?m just going
to phone Uncle Tony.?
Amber feigned tearing
her hair out.
?We?re never going to get
this finished!? she wailed.
Ross turned to Julia and
threw up his eyes.
?She?s exaggerating as
usual. We?ll be done by
midnight, tops.?
Julia returned to the
sitting-room, swung her
feet up on the sofa and
keyed in Tony?s number,
hoping Diana wouldn?t
answer.
A few seconds later she
heard his voice.
?Hi, Tony, it?s Julia. Sorry
to ring so late, but I must
talk to you.?
Tony listened as Julia
spilled out her tale,
responding with occasional
sympathetic noises.
?We have to join forces to
talk Luca out of this
madness. If the caf� closes
it?ll break Mum?s heart.
?You and I own equal
shares of one half of the
business. That must give us
some say in the matter,
don?t you think??
Tony shrugged.
?I went to the caf� myself
recently. I have to say I was
shocked to see that Luca?s
allowed it to get so run
down, and he hasn?t
developed the business to
keep up with the times.?
?What do you mean??
?Lots of businesses close
because they refuse to
change to meet consumer
demand.?
?I?m not asking for the
business to change. Clean
it up, yes ? enough to stay
open. But the caf�s
simplicity and authenticity
are part of its charm.?
?Julia, a new coat of paint
29
been thinking?
He turned to see Julia
smiling sheepishly.
He put up his hands to
shield himself. She giggled.
?Relax. I come in peace.
Can we talk, please??
Luca indicated a table by
the window where he sat
down opposite her.
?I?m sorry I shouted at
you, but it was the shock of
hearing you say the caf�s
had its day. If this place
closes it will kill our
mother. You know it will.
?After all she?s done for
us, I think you?re being
selfish.?
Luca was momentarily
?I want to see a bit of the world,?
Luca said. ?And I?m going to?
isn?t going to cut it. We
need to think creatively
before we approach Luca.
We must offer something
special to get people to
want to go to the caf�.
?I?ll have a think on it and
suggest you do, too.?
?I will.? Julia wasn?t sure
what she?d agreed to.
?Great. Let?s speak again
soon.?
?Yes, let?s. Night, Tony.?
Julia replaced the
receiver and sank back into
the soft cushion.
It had been a confusing
conversation, but it was
nice speaking with her
brother. They used to be so
close, until his marriage to
Diana, who was from a
well-to-do family and gave
the impression she?d
married beneath her.
Julia had shrugged off
the negative vibes from her
over the years for the sake
of the children, who all got
on famously. Amber loved
seeing her cousins for
sleepovers and would
return with stories about
Diana?s very tidy house.
* * * *
Luca poured the contents
of a two-kilogram bag of
ground coffee into the
container beside the coffee
machine.
Behind him the caf� door
opened. He hoped it wasn?t
going to be yet another
smart Alec sniggering
about his sister?s
unbelievable outburst
yesterday. What had she
speechless. He looked
directly into her eyes and
spoke in measured tones.
?You?re taking a rather
blinkered view. I like the
caf�, but because of it my
twenties and thirties have
passed me by.?
Julia opened her mouth
then shut it again.
?Have you ever thought
of what it was like for me? I
was a boy when Dad died.
?One day I was helping
out in the back shop, and
the next I was actually
running the show alongside
a grieving widow.?
?That?s a bit dramatic.?
?It?s true. Amber was a
baby at the time and your
husband had just upped
sticks and left, so nobody
was allowed to say
anything to upset you.
?As for Tony, he was too
busy getting qualifications
and building his career to
be troubled by something
as lowly as the caf�.
?So little Luca was the
chosen one. Lucky me.?
?I . . . hadn?t realised,
Luca. I was too busy trying
to hold things together for
me and my baby. You
should have said.?
?There was never a right
time. Before I knew it Mum
had retired and I?d taken
up the reins completely.?
He sighed.
?But I?m telling you now,
there are things I want to
do. I want to travel and see
something of the world.
?And I?m going to,
soon, whether you
31
and the rest of the
family like it or not! I am
not going to let my forties
run away.? Luca slapped
his hand on the table.
Julia placed her hand
over his.
?Oh, Luca, I?m so sorry I
didn?t see what you were
going through. I honestly
believed you enjoyed
running the caf�. I know it?s
late, but I really will try to
put things right.?
She tightened her grip.
?If Tony and I can come
up with a plan for the caf�,
will you at least listen??
Luca shrugged.
?Sure, but I?m serious. I
see no future for me here.?
?I understand, but in the
meantime you could make
a few changes to improve
the caf�s efficiency, which
would help you.?
She nodded towards the
gum-chewing girl behind
the counter.
?Maybe a more diligent
and presentable assistant
might help ? I mean, half
the tables are uncleared.?
But as Julia spoke, Luca
tuned out. It was too little,
too late.
He thought of other
Italian immigrant families
and the recurring pattern.
Father runs caf�, son takes
over. No say in the matter.
He often thought of Uncle
Pete, who lived in another
town and with whom Luca
used to spend some of his
holidays. Pete had regaled
him with stories of what
he?d do if only he didn?t
have a caf� to run.
Luca recalled the faraway
look in his eye.
He knew that look. No
way was that going to
happen to him.
* * * *
?Yes, Mr Wilkins. I
absolutely take your point
and I?ll make sure it doesn?t
happen again ? you have
my word.?
Derek replaced the
receiver with a thump.
It was the latest in a
series of calls from locals
saying the heavy vehicles
were too noisy, there were
too many of them, and that
they often parked in front
of local businesses because
there was no dedicated
parking space for them on
or near the site.
Mr Wilkins ran the
dry-cleaners and pointed
out his delivery vans often
couldn?t get near his
premises. The baker had
said the same thing.
It should never have
come to this, so Derek
e-mailed Michael asking to
meet at the earliest
opportunity. The situation
had all the ingredients of
an accident and Derek was
determined it wouldn?t
happen on his watch.
A short while later the
door burst open and an
irate Michael stomped in.
?This had better be
important.?
Derek stopped what he
was doing on the computer.
?I assure you, it is
important. I?ve had lots of
complaints about the heavy
machinery going up and
down the main street.
?Not only that, they?re
parking in front of local
businesses, causing
inconvenience. The
situation?s unacceptable to
the locals, and to me.?
Michael gave a bemused
smirk.
?No law against it.?
?No, but it?s noisy and a
potential hazard to the old
and very young, not to
mention souring relations.
This could have been
avoided if you?d let me put
an alternative route into
the site and set aside an
area for vehicle parking,
like I asked.?
Michael paced the floor,
glaring at the plans and
diagrams on the walls.
?That costs money and it
would only be temporary. I
suggest you step it up a
gear. The sooner the job?s
done the sooner the
problem will disappear.
?Now, if that?s all . . .?
Michael made to go but
Derek shouted to his back.
?I haven?t finished yet.?
Michael turned.
?There?s also the matter
of the mounds of topsoil.
The inferior quality fencing
you insisted I install is
ineffective. The kids are
managing to find a way in.?
?What? I could have them
done for trespass.?
?And how would that
make us look? Silly. You
also need to consider that
if someone gets hurt on
site they could sue us.?
Michael narrowed his
eyes and stepped closer.
?Then you?d better make
sure they don?t.?
He opened the door and
slammed it behind him.
For two pins Derek would
have followed and given
him a good shake. Didn?t
Michael realise health and
safety was of paramount
importance on building
sites, and that Derek was
simply trying to protect all
concerned?
Instead, he made himself
calm down. Somehow he
had to stay on the right
side of his boss.
He knew he daren?t
spend any more on fencing.
He?d just have to stay late
every evening after work
and be more vigilant about
keeping people out until
either the topsoil was
removed or the
development was finished.
And he?d have a word
with the drivers to ask
them to park on the edge
of town instead of directly
outside local businesses.
The other problem,
however, might resolve
itself soon. The row of
cottages, one of which
would have to be vacated,
was due to be demolished
along with an old barn to
make way for the next
phase of the housing
development.
It should be possible to
create an access road there
without incurring too much
expense.
* * * *
As he?d promised to Bert,
the elderly occupant who
was moving out, Derek
arrived early to help on the
day of the move. He felt it
was the least he could do.
Some of Bert?s family and
a few locals were already
there, busily packing things
into boxes.
Bert stood in a corner of
the living-room, leaning
with both hands on his
walking stick, surveying the
scene.
Derek?s heart went out to
him. He moved to the old
man?s side and spoke
quietly to him.
?Bert, I?m sorry that my
company is the cause of
you having to leave your
home. I know you?ve been
here a long time.?
Bert looked up at Derek.
?I?m not sorry. Best thing
that could have happened!
I?m going to a lovely
modern house with double
glazing, central heating and
insulated walls.
?South facing, too, so I?ll
get sunshine all day. Not
beside a stream and
shadowed by a large copse
of trees like here.?
Bert chuckled.
?You?re doing me a
favour.?
?I?m relieved to hear that.
Now, I?d better give these
folks a hand.?
Derek took a few boxes
out to the waiting van.
With so many hands on
deck it didn?t take long till
it was full. He went back
into the house.
?The van?s ready to go,
Bert. If you like I can take
you in my car to your new
house where others are
waiting to get you settled
in. What do you say??
?Lead the way, young
man.? Bert pointed with his
stick and left without a
backward glance.
Derek held his car door
open for Bert. Just then
another car drew up,
conspicuous by its painted
flowers.
Julia lowered the window
and called over.
?Bert, I hope you?re
remembering the concert
this evening! Gladys told
me you were coming.?
?Wouldn?t miss it for
anything.? With Derek?s
help Bert eased himself
into the passenger seat.
Derek closed the door
and walked round to the
driver?s side, pleased that
Julia hadn?t driven off. In
fact, she seemed in no
hurry to leave.
?There are still some
spare seats if you fancy
coming along. It?s for a
good cause ? to help fund
the choir through the
national choirs?
competition.?
Her smile faded a little.
?But I expect you already
have something planned.?
Derek crouched so he
was eye-level with her.
?Actually I don?t, so I?ll be
there, too.?
Her face lit up.
?Brilliant, see you later.?
She raised the
window and sped off,
33
leaving Derek basking
in the afterglow of her
sunny smile, the hint of
floral fragrance lingering in
his nostrils.
As he straightened up he
couldn?t help wondering if
there was a significant
other in her life.
* * * *
Tony lifted the catch on
the gate. It squeaked on its
hinges as it swung open.
The front garden was a
riot of colour. Roses lined
either side of the path and
beyond the manicured
lawn, flowering shrubs
filled the outer borders.
Fuchsia blooms hung
from the hanging basket at
one side of the cherry red
front door, and ivy had
blanketed a stone sink
under the window. For as
long as Tony could
remember, his mum had
enjoyed her garden.
He tapped on the door,
held his breath and walked
into the tiny hallway which
led to the living-room.
?Tony! What a lovely
surprise. It?s so good to see
you.? Maria clapped her
hands together.
Gladys rose and lifted the
tea tray from the low table.
?Hello, Tony. I was just
about to leave. I?ve lots to
do before my shift in the
caf� starts.?
Maria stood and reached
up to hug her son.
?Would you like tea or
coffee ? something to eat??
?I?ll refill the kettle,?
Gladys called from the
kitchen.
?Thanks, Gladys, but I?m
fine. I?ll just sit and chat
with Mum.?
?All right. I?ll rinse out
our cups then slip out the
back door.?
Maria took Tony?s hand
in her tiny one and led him
to the sofa. A frown formed
on the olive skin of her
unlined face.
?Is everything OK? I
know how busy you are.?
Tony felt guilty that he
didn?t visit as often as he
ought.
?I was passing and
thought I?d drop in.?
?Well, I?m glad you did.
Gladys has been telling me
about the caf�. Apparently
Luca said that it won?t stay
open much longer! Can you
believe that?
?It may not be true and I
don?t want to upset Luca by
mentioning it, but I must
confess it?s troubling me.?
?These things have a way
of growing arms and legs,
Mum. I?m sure everything
will be fine.? Tony tried to
sound nonchalant.
Maria?s hand tightened
around his.
?I do hope so. I can?t
think of it not being there. I
have so many happy
memories tied up in it.
Much of my life, in fact.?
Maria gazed into the
middle distance wistfully.
?I can remember the first
time I went there with your
dad. We sat in a corner,
sipping cola through a
straw. It was always busy.?
Tony hadn?t expected
this. He?d come to tell her
he would soon be out of a
job, but her pain was far
greater, so he said nothing.
?Would you fetch the
photograph album from the
top shelf in my wardrobe??
?Of course.?
Tony went into his mum?s
bedroom, mainly
unchanged from his
childhood.
The carpet square was
now threadbare. The bed
his parents had slept in
was covered in a faded
floral eiderdown.
The highly polished
walnut wardrobe still stood
in the corner, though the
smell of mothballs was now
replaced with lavender.
Inside, exactly where he
knew it would be, was the
leather-bound album his
mother cherished.
He carefully removed it
and took it to Maria.
?Seeing these always
makes me happy.?
Maria stroked the black
and white images secured
to the page with little white
paper corners.
?This was how the caf�
looked when I first knew it.?
Tony took in the big cars
parked on the street and
the happy faces squinting
into sunshine as they ate
ice-cream cones.
But it was the backdrop
that made his heart flip.
The art-deco frontage,
which had been boxed
over at some point to lend
it a more modern look,
gave the building a
streamlined elegance.
Tony had seen the photos
umpteen times before, but
not for many years, and
today he viewed them in a
different light.
Maria turned the page
and the first snap caught
his eye. A handsome man
sat on a butcher-style
delivery bike.
?What was the bike for??
Maria smiled.
?That?s your grandfather.
He would set off on that
bike every day and not
return until he?d sold a
whole can of ice-cream. He
travelled for miles and
could be away all day.?
?Was that before he
opened the caf�?
?No, it was at the same
time. He and your
grandmother had to make
the business work. They
worked long hours with
little profit, but they?d
come all this way from Italy
and were determined to
make a go of it.?
Tony stayed longer than
he?d intended but was glad
that he?d allowed Maria to
relive the story of his
grandparents and parents
through the photographs.
Listening to the struggles
and challenges those
generations had endured
made him see his own
situation in a different light.
By the time he left he?d
silently resolved to do all
he could to save the caf�.
* * * *
With each passing mile
his anxiety returned,
thinking of what lay ahead.
He?d been putting off
telling Diana the news but
knew he couldn?t keep it
from her any longer.
He found her at her desk
surrounded by swatches of
material and samples of
wallpaper. She returned his
greeting as he stood in the
doorway to her study, but
didn?t turn her head.
He marched in and pulled
the papers from
underneath her pen.
?I?ve something to tell
you.?
Her reaction to the news
was even worse than he?d
expected.
?But you?re head of the
team. Why would they get
rid of you? Why not
someone who reports to
you, or the most recent
appointment ? you know,
last in, first out??
She paced back and forth
as she spoke, her arms
gesticulating widely, her
bare feet slapping against
the solid oak floor.
?Have you even tried to
fight your corner??
Her eyes blazed as she
leaned with both hands on
the opposite side of the
desk, as if the barrier
might prevent her from
lashing out at him.
?It?s not just me. They?re
getting rid of lots of people,
from all the departments.?
She ran her fingers
through her hair and all
but covered her ears.
?It?s the younger ones
with more commitments I
feel sorry for.?
She marched round the
desk towards him, stopping
only when their noses were
almost touching.
?We have commitments. I
hope you?ve registered with
all the relevant agencies
and that you?re actively
looking for another job.
After all, we have a certain
standard we must maintain
and I don?t want anything
to jeopardise that.?
She pushed past him and
went to the kitchen.
Deflated and wounded by
her words, Tony retreated
to his own study, the sound
of clattering pots and pans
ringing in his ears.
* * * *
Julia pinned the pink silk
dahlia below her left
shoulder, giving a welcome
splash of colour to the
otherwise drab outfit.
Black was alien to her
colourful wardrobe, so
much so she?d had to buy
the top and trousers in a
local charity shop.
Around her in the vestry
the rest of the choir were
similarly attired. The gents
wore bow ties in the same
shade of pink, all made by
Gladys, who?d reached a
compromise with Lisa.
Julia had to admit that
collectively they looked
good.
There was little time for
nerves, because she?d
offered to help with
make-up. She checked each
member, applying
eyeliner to some and
35
blusher to paler faces,
and even took the shine
off a few bald heads.
Before she knew it they
were being led into the
church by Jeff and the
evening?s programme got
underway to a capacity
audience.
They began with a few
old favourites from their
repertoire to warm up the
audience and get feet
tapping.
Around the fourth song
Julia felt relaxed enough to
narrow her gaze against
the bright lights to pick out
people in the audience.
She spotted a few of her
clients, her mum and
Amber, then felt her heart
leap at the sight of Derek
near the back. More
importantly, he looked like
he was enjoying it.
The many hours of
rehearsing had paid off and
their last piece, ?Bridge
Over Troubled Water?, got
a standing ovation.
The minister was
generous in his praise.
?Friends, we?ve been
treated to a first-class
performance this evening,
I?m sure you?ll agree.?
Lots of applause.
?I can tell you that the
sum of fifteen hundred
pounds has been raised to
fund the choir through the
competition. I think they?ve
a great chance of getting to
the final, don?t you??
He led the cheers and
clapping, then invited the
waiting photographer and
reporter to step up.
At that point the
audience began to disperse
? too quickly for Julia?s
liking. She?d phone her
mum later and get some
honest feedback, and of
course Amber wouldn?t
hold back on what she
thought about it.
But it was not getting a
chance to speak to Derek
that made her most
disappointed. She?d make a
point of asking him next
time she saw him.
* * * *
The following day, as she
was heading out of town on
her way to a client?s house,
she spotted him beside the
derelict cottages.
It was impossible to miss
him. His arms were waving.
He seemed to be having
a set-to with someone and
a group of workers from
the building site appeared
to be trying to calm things
down.
On impulse she pulled
over and got out, surprising
herself at the concern she
felt for Derek.
Then, just as quickly, she
reminded herself that he
was probably married. In
fact, the plain truth was
she knew very little about
him.
As she approached the
gathering she could hear
harsh exchanges being
made.
Michael?s barked
command made her jump.
?Get back in that digger
and keep working.? Fury
was etched on his face.
?Don?t you dare.? Derek
hissed through gritted
teeth. ?We have to get this
investigated. I?ve phoned
the authorities. They?re on
their way.?
Julia edged forward.
?What is it??
Michael faced her but
jabbed a finger towards
Derek.
?He thinks he?s found an
Iron-Age fort or some
such.? His tone was
sarcastic. ?I?ll be back in an
hour and if that digger is
not working again, you?re
all sacked.?
He stormed off towards
his car.
Julia could see Derek
shaking and she wanted to
put her arms around him.
Instead she stepped closer.
?Is it a fort??
Before replying, Derek
indicated to the others that
they could return to work.
His eyes were still blazing
but his voice was now
calmer.
?It could be any number
of things ? but that?s for
the experts. I?m always on
the lookout for these
things. It?s part of my
training.
?This might turn out to
be nothing, but my instinct
tells me it?s significant.?
To be continued.
Love reading? Don?t miss the Daily Serial on
our website: www.thepeoplesfriend.co.uk.
The
Farmer
& His
Wife
Anne laughs at
John Taylor?s lists,
but he wouldn?t
be without them.
A
NNE laughs at me
for making lists. But
there are two good
reasons for making them.
First of all, I enjoy
making lists. Secondly,
and far more important, if
you live, like we do, far
from a corner shop, you
think twice before running
into St Andrews or
Anstruther for the wee
things you have forgotten.
I have several lists, all
for different purposes.
There?s the farm list, for
when I?m in Cupar. It
covers questions I want to
ask as well as things I
have to buy.
Anne says I?m good at
looking innocent and
asking a simple question.
The other person is
usually pleased to be
asked and goes to great
lengths to be helpful.
I?m always willing to
learn and, let?s be honest,
I can learn from some of
the younger farmers who
have attended college.
My main list, though,
the most important one, is
really for Anne, so I tell
her. She says it?s purely
and simply for my tummy.
It?s her shopping list!
I love cheese, so it heads
the list. And with cheese
you need lots of cream
crackers. I add to the list
as the spirit moves me.
What set me off on this
story was this. The other
week we went to Perth
where Anne bought a
present for a newborn
baby. It was a sleep suit.
?I should buy two,? I said
flippantly, ?so that she can
wash one while the baby?s
wearing the other.?
I should have kept my
mouth shut. The mother
was delighted with the gift
and decided she wanted to
buy another with money
given to her by a relative.
?Please would you get me
one the next time you?re in
Perth?? she asked.
Of course we promised.
We enjoy shopping in Perth
so it was no trouble to
make a second trip.
We had one or two things
to get ourselves, but
neither of us made a list.
It was about 4.30 p.m.
as we were heading home.
?Should be back by six,
dear,? I said.
Anne suddenly exclaimed
loudly.
?John, we never went for
that baby garment!?
I turned the car round
and we went back at full
speed before it closed.
We made it, but the shop
had sold out of the wee
suits we were there for.
Maybe, if we?d made a
list, we would have been in
time to buy the last one! ?
More
next
week
36
Burgers
Brilliant
Our easy recipes are
perfect for picnics, barbecues
and summer lunches.
Piri-Piri Chicken
Burger
Course: Main
Serves: 2
Skill level: easy
2 chicken breasts, skinless
1 tbs + 1 tsp piri-piri seasoning
mix
1 lime
2 tbs oil
4 spring onions, 2 chopped
finely and 2 cut into strips
2 tbs mayonnaise
� avocado
Salt
� Little Gem lettuce
2 burger buns
You can buy
spicy or mild
piri-piri seasoning
blends. Choose
whichever suits
your taste.
www.lovethecrunch.com.
1 Cover the chicken breasts with a sheet
of clingfilm and bash the thickest part
with a rolling pin. Ideally the breast will
be a similar thickness all over so it cooks
evenly. Mix together 1 tablespoon of the
piri-piri seasoning mix, the juice of half
the lime, the oil and the finely chopped
spring onions to make a marinade.
Pour this over the chicken and leave
to marinate overnight or for as long as
possible.
2 The chicken can be cooked on the
barbecue, in a griddle pan or grilled.
Whichever way you do it, cook on a
medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes,
turning regularly. It should be charred on
the outside and juicy but cooked in the
middle.
3 While the chicken is cooking, mix
together the remaining piri-piri seasoning
and the mayonnaise. Slice the avocado
and dress with lime juice and a good
pinch of salt. Tear the Little Gem leaves
and toast the buns.
4 Lay the Little Gem leaves on the
bottom half of each bun, lay the cooked
chicken breast on top, add a dollop of
piri-piri mayonnaise and top with the
spring onion strips and slices of avocado
before topping with the bun lid.
COOKERY
www.britishasparagus.com.
37
British Asparagus,
Mozzarella and Bacon Sliders
Course: Lunch or party snack
Serves: 6
Skill level: easy
9 British asparagus spears, trimmed
2 tsp olive oil
� lemon, juice only
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
6 slices of streaky bacon
6 small buns, halved
150 g (5� oz) mozzarella cheese, sliced and patted
dry
1 Heat the grill to high.
2 Lay the asparagus spears on a large plate, drizzle with oil, add
a squeeze of lemon juice and season then shake the plate to
roll the spears until they are well coated.
3 Grill the asparagus and bacon on both sides until golden and
cooked. Return the asparagus to the oily plate and roll it in the
dressing once more.
4 Toast the cut sides of the buns. Cut the asparagus spears
in half to fit into the buns. Top one half of each bun with
asparagus then a slice of mozzarella. Return to the grill to melt
the cheese.
5 Cut the bacon to fit the buns then top each slider with a crisp
piece of bacon and the top half of the bun.
Super Sesame
Burger
Course: Main
Serves 4
www.kikkoman.co.uk.
Skill level: easy
1 tbs vegetable oil
4 good-quality quarter-pound
beef burgers
8 tbs Kikkoman Teriyaki Sauce
with Toasted Sesame
4 sesame seed burger buns,
halved and cut sides toasted
4 slices Cheddar
Little Gem leaves
� red onion, sliced into thin
rings
1 beef tomato, sliced
1 Heat the oil in a non-stick frying-pan
and cook the burgers for 3 to 4 minutes
on each side. Reduce heat then add
Kikkoman Teriyaki Sauce with Toasted
Sesame for a further 2 minutes.
2 Add a slice of cheese to each burger
and melt.
3 Top the base of a toasted bun with
Little Gem lettuce leaves, some onion
rings and tomato slices then add the
burger.
4 Finish with warm leftover sauce from
the pan then top with the bun lid.
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
Sticky Honey Aubergine
and Halloumi Burger
Course: Main
Vegetarian
Skill level: easy
Serves: 4
1 large aubergine, sliced into 8 thick rounds
4 tbs olive oil
8 tbs Kikkoman Teriyaki BBQ Sauce with Honey
250 g (9 oz) halloumi cheese, sliced into 8
4 sesame seed burger buns, halved and toasted
4 handfuls rocket leaves
1 Light a barbecue or heat a griddle to medium.
2 Brush each slice of aubergine with oil. Cook on the
barbecue or griddle for about 2 to 3 minutes each side.
Then brush over some Kikkoman Teriyaki BBQ Sauce with
Honey and finish cooking for a minute or two, making sure
they do not burn. At the same time cook the halloumi slices
for 1 minute on each side until golden.
3 Place the rocket leaves on the bottom of the burger bun,
then add 2 slices of aubergine, a drizzle of sauce, then top
with the halloumi and bun lid.
www.kikkoman.co.uk.
Sweet Potato Burger with Avocado Cream
2 beef tomatoes
2 tbs jalape駉s, optional
2 tbs vegan mayonnaise
4 bread rolls
4 lettuce leaves
For the Burgers:
500 g (1 lb 2 oz) US sweet
potatoes
1 x 240 g can of black
beans
� red pepper, diced finely
1 onion, diced finely
Course: Main Skill level: easy
Serves: 4 Vegan
2 tbs olive oil
1 tsp cumin
� tsp cayenne pepper
5-6 tbs white
breadcrumbs
Salt and freshly ground
black pepper, to taste
For the Avocado Cream:
1 avocado
1-2 tsp lime juice
1 garlic clove
Handful of coriander
1 Pre-heat the oven to 200 deg. C., 400 deg. F., Gas Mark 6.
2 To make the burgers, peel the sweet potatoes, cut into chunks,
spread on to a baking tray and bake for around 20 minutes, or until
tender. Rinse the black beans with cold water and leave to drain, then
pur閑 in a food processor along with the cooked sweet potatoes, then
set aside in a large bowl. Next, lightly fry the diced pepper and onion in
a pan with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, adding the cumin and cayenne
pepper towards the end. Add to the sweet potato and bean pur閑,
along with the breadcrumbs. Mix well and add salt and pepper to taste,
then set aside for at least 30 minutes to thicken.
3 To make the avocado cream, skin and stone the avocado and blend
with the lime juice in a food processor. Peel and crush the garlic and
stir in, then season to taste. Pick the coriander leaves from the stems,
chop finely and stir into the avocado cream.
4 Heat the remaining oil in a pan. Shape 4 patties from the sweet
potato mix and fry on each side for 2 minutes until golden brown.
5 To serve, slice the tomatoes thickly. Chop the jalape駉s, if using, and
mix with the mayonnaise. Cut the bread rolls in half, toast, and spread
the bottom half with the mayonnaise. Garnish with the lettuce and
tomatoes, and add a sweet potato patty. Top with a blob of avocado
cream and place the other half face down on top.
Next week: meat-free recipes.
http://sweetpotatoes.eu/en/.
For more delicious recipes visit our
website: www.thepeoplesfriend.co.uk.
SHORT STORY BY J.J. BOWDEN 41
Down
Calico
Street
Set in
the
1950s
It wasn?t just the robbery that
had upset Mrs Campbell ? it was
the terrible timing of it!
Illustration by Kirk Houston.
I
T was a chilly, grey day
and London had woken
to a steady drizzle.
Despite this, there was
an air of excitement for
this, the first day of June.
It was the day before the
Coronation of Queen
Elizabeth II.
All police leave had been
cancelled, and extra
divisions from around the
country had been drafted in
to help police the
celebrations. The capital
was ready to burst with
visitors.
Even outside the royal
route, groups of friends,
families and work
colleagues were in a holiday
mood of celebration. Street
parties and family
gatherings were planned.
Detective Sergeant John
Foster would be working
tomorrow, but today was
his day off. He decided to
take a turn around Green
Park and St James?s Park
to soak up the atmosphere.
Green Park was dotted
with people camping out to
get a good view. Some had
umbrellas and deckchairs.
Others had picnic baskets
and even small Primus
stoves for making tea. The
crowds were, despite the
weather, in festive mood.
Foster was walking along
Westminster Bridge when
he bumped into a woman.
They both mumbled
apologies, then the woman
broke into a grin.
?You?re that detective,
aren?t you??
Foster automatically took
a step back.
?What luck!? she said. ?I
was just coming to see you
lot. There?s been a crime!?
Foster was about to state
he was off duty, and she
would be best continuing
towards a police station,
but the woman hadn?t
finished.
?I remember you! Our
Sheila said you solved what
had happened to that
missing haul from the
jewellers. You?re just the
man I need.?
Foster sighed but decided
to listen to what the woman
had to say.
?My name?s Mrs Joyce
Campbell. I live on West
Calico Street, across the
river near those bombedout warehouses.
?My hubby, Martin, and I
saved up and bought a
television set to watch the
Coronation tomorrow, and
we woke up this morning to
discover someone has
stolen it!?
She paused dramatically.
?We need it back for the
Coronation. We?re having a
party ? invited all our
relatives and some friends.?
She sobbed.
?I?ve saved all my rations
and baked for this party!?
?When was the set
stolen??
?Last night. They must
have crept in when we were
asleep.?
?You keep your doors
locked?? Foster asked.
?Never needed to!? Mrs
Campbell declared. ?We
trust our neighbours ?
known most of them all my
life. Please help!?
Foster had joined the
police force to help victims
of crime, and although he
resented doing any police
work on his day off he felt
he had no choice.
He nodded and Mrs
Campbell hailed a cab.
* * * *
West Calico Street was a
cul de sac on the South
Bank deep within the old
warehouse complexes. But
where the area once had
been completely built up, it
was now a bleak bomb site.
The houses were two
rows of terraces facing each
other, with access to their
back yards via narrow
alleyways in front of the
railway embankment.
The taxi dropped the pair
outside number eight.
?How many houses are on
this street?? Foster asked,
as Mrs Campbell led him
into her front room.
?Twelve,? she said. ?There
used to be an East Calico
Street but the council have
demolished that. They said
the buildings were unsafe.?
The house was small and
neat. Yet the front room
was cluttered with a
collection of chairs and
stools, and conspicuous by
its absence was a complete
lack of focus for these
chairs. The corner of the
room the TV had stood in
was empty.
Mrs Campbell explained
that the TV had been in a
large mahogany case which
had stood in the corner
since they got it delivered
three days ago.
?Have you got an aerial??
?Of course!? Mrs
Campbell said. ?Wouldn?t
be much use without one.?
?Is it still here??
Mrs Campbell ran out to
the front of the house,
peering up at the roof. She
returned more calmly.
?We?ve still got that.?
Foster examined the
room. It was obvious that
chairs had been moved to
aid the removal of the TV.
There were scrape marks
on the bare floorboards
near the door, and scuff
marks on that and also on
the front door.
Ignoring the gang of
children that had gathered
as he examined the
pavement and then the
road, Foster walked up and
down until he found tracks.
They led to the alleyway
feeding the odd-numbered
houses.
?What have you found??
Mrs Campbell asked.
?The dust from the
bomb site has
42
collected in the gutters
on either side of this
road, and the rain has
converted that red dust to
mud. If you look carefully
you can see tracks of a
two- or four-wheeled vehicle
? say, a pram or a cart ?
leading from your house to
this alley. They look fresh.?
?Lots of people have
prams around here. The
kids have carts, and there
is a hand-cart we all use to
collect coal.?
?Yes, but would anyone
use one in the middle of the
night??
Foster walked back up
the road and pointed to the
scrape and scuff marks on
the floor and doors of
number eight.
?When the TV was
delivered, was it brought in
by two men??
Mrs Campbell nodded.
?It was heavy.?
?Did you watch the men
deliver it??
?Yes, and I wouldn?t have
let them make a mess like
that!? Mrs Campbell
pointed to the scrapes on
her front door.
?Therefore, whoever stole
it was not fit enough to lift
it properly and did not have
the assistance of a strong
adult. It was a man on his
own or two weak people
? two women, or a woman
and a teenager.
?They transferred it to a
cart in the street. You can
see the deep gouges the
wheels have made, proving
it held something heavy.?
?Goodness!? Mrs
Campbell exclaimed.
?You?re like one of those
trackers in a Western!?
?Who knew you had a
television??
?The entire street! We?re
the first ones.?
?It is odd that they should
choose last night to steal it.
It?s also odd that they
should steal it without its
aerial, though I suppose
clambering on the roof
would have been a bit
obvious.?
He scratched his head.
?If they are real thieves,
they must already have
someone in mind to sell it
on to. Of course, it could
have been just malicious
theft by a jealous
neighbour, or even a bad
joke.
?But in that case I think
you might have some idea
who that could be.?
?There is always a bad
apple,? Mrs Campbell said,
and looked up the street.
By this time, net curtains
were twitching and figures
stood in doorways,
watching the goings-on at
number eight.
?Who would steal your TV
out of malice??
?I hate to cast
nasturtiums,? Mrs Campbell
said, dropping her voice to
a whisper, ?but her at
number three is a vicious
minx.?
?What?s she saying about
me?? A tall, angry woman
marched towards them.
?Nobody is saying
anything about anyone. I?m
Detective Sergeant Foster
and I am investigating the
disappearance of Mrs
Campbell?s television set.?
?You?ve taken it!? Mrs
Campbell bellowed, glaring
at the tall woman. ?You?ve
always been jealous of me
and my Martin, just
because your husband is a
ne?er-do-well!?
?How dare you?? the tall
woman shouted, and a
full-blown argument began.
Foster raised his voice.
?Excuse me, but who are
you??
The tall woman squared
her shoulders.
?Mrs Bella Mitton,
Joyce?s sister.?
Foster turned to Mrs
Campbell.
?Who lives with Bella??
?Her son George, and
Esme, her daughter.?
?How old are they??
Mrs Mitton spoke up.
?Our George is eight and
Esme is seven. Why??
?And where is your
husband??
?He?s a merchant seaman.
He is probably around the
Azores now. Why do you
want to know that??
?To prove to Mrs
Campbell that you could
not have taken her
television. I notice you hold
your left arm when you are
not using it. I also see that
you have a slight limp in
your left leg.
?This suggests to me you
have a weakness on your
left side, and so there is no
way you could have moved
that television ? especially
when the only help you
could rely on was a pair of
young children. I presume
no-one else lives with you??
?I had polio when I was a
kid. Has she accused me??
Mrs Mitton said, glaring
again at her sister.
The two women began
shouting at each other
again. Foster noticed that
the other inhabitants of the
street seemed to accept
that as normal.
Families argued,
especially siblings. He
remembered the
tempestuous relationship
he had with his two sisters,
and decided to stop the two
rowing in the same way as
his mother.
?Stop! Do you want me to
knock your heads
together??
The two women fell silent
and stared at Foster.
?When I followed the cart
tracks they led to the back
alley. No doubt it would be
easier to make a getaway
by dragging the cart down
the alley, away from prying
eyes in the street.
?So, the big question is
? where is the cart now??
* * * *
The small crowd of Calico
Street inhabitants looked at
each other in puzzlement.
?We find the cart, and we
find the television. Is there
anyone on this street who
could be a likely suspect?
I?m not talking residents
alone, I also mean visitors.?
One of the women
gasped.
?That Trev Saunders was
about last night, looking for
our Ivy!?
?It?s bound to be him!?
Mrs Campbell said with the
same assurance she had
used to condemn her sister.
?Do you know where he
could be??
?Follow us!? Mrs Mitton
cried, striding off down the
street with her sister and a
small crowd of Calico Street
residents.
Foster followed, and
eventually they arrived
outside a public house
called the Hope and
Anchor. It was still closed,
but this did not stop one of
the women pounding on the
door.
There was no answer, but
Foster saw a curtain move
in the flat above the pub.
?Go round the back!? was
the cry, and some of the
women split from the main
group and went down a
side alley beside the pub.
Foster decided to follow,
just in time to see one of
the young boys being
propelled over the backyard fence by his mother.
The back gate was
unlocked, and the crowd of
women and children
swarmed in.
Foster could not see
much above the throng, but
he heard the triumphant
cry.
?It?s here! The cart is
here!?
The banging on the public
house door became more
insistent, until a tattooed
man in his shirt sleeves
opened the door and
demanded to know what
the rabble wanted.
Mrs Campbell pushed
forward and pointed with a
trembling finger at the
man.
?If you?ve got my
television, Ernie Walsh . . .?
Foster decided to
intervene before things got
even more out of hand. He
explained to the man who
he was and what had
happened.
The man flushed.
?I didn?t know it was
stolen. A bloke sold it to me
this morning.?
?A brand-new television,
on a hand cart and with no
aerial ? weren?t you
suspicious??
By this time the throng
were in the public house
itself and had found Mrs
Campbell?s stolen property.
By lunchtime the
television was back in Mrs
Campbell?s front room, and
the street had settled down
again in its own way.
The sisters were sharing a
pot of tea with the mother
of the boy who had opened
the pub?s back gate, and
everyone else was
commiserating with Ivy?s
mother that she took up
with such disreputable
young men.
As Foster headed back to
Scotland Yard, he left Calico
Street buzzing with
excitement.
It was a pity, he thought,
that he had so much
paperwork to do! ?
money
44
Your
Buying A Caravan Or Motorhome
by Barry Cashin,
Consumer and
Money Expert.
A
N image of an
age gone by for
many,
caravanning is in
rude health these
days, with over 800,000
people taking caravan
holidays each year.
Whether it?s a static
caravan situated on a
purpose-built site or a
mobile unit parked in a
farm campsite, caravan
ownership and DIY holidays
are on the rise.
With more leisure time
and disposable income,
people across the age
spectrum who are
becoming increasingly
bored with conveyor-belt
package holidays are
taking control of their
holiday destinies
themselves and taking to
the open road.
iStock.
Caravan or
motorhome?
A mobile caravan is a
basic home on wheels
which can be towed by an
ordinary motor car. Usually
providing accommodation
for two to four people,
most come complete with a
kitchenette and toilet/
shower cubicle and can be
hitched up to electrical
power at one of the
thousands of official
caravan sites and parks
throughout the UK.
Static caravans generally
offer a larger, more
luxurious option, with
accommodation for up to
10, separate bedrooms,
lounge areas and storage.
These are permanently
sited at purpose-built
caravan parks and can be
rented out on a weekly or
fortnightly basis.
Increasingly popular is
the motorhome, defined by
the DVLA as a ?motor
caravan?, where the vehicle
and living accommodation
are all in one. They offer
ultimate flexibility and
freedom, for wherever you
park up for the night
becomes your home.
This could be a lay-by, a
beauty spot or national
park (subject to local
bylaws). These come in all
sorts of sizes and levels of
luxury, depending on your
touring needs and budget.
Buying
Specialist trade
magazines with classified
ad pages show where you
can buy brand-new or
second-hand caravans or
motorhomes, ranging from
a few thousand to tens of
thousands of pounds.
Alternatively, there are
retailers everywhere which
you can find on the internet
or in caravan magazines
where you can view and
buy in a showroom.
The buying process is
similar to buying a car
except you cannot take a
caravan for a test drive! If
buying second-hand, you?ll
also want to make extra
checks of the fixtures and
fittings for wear and tear.
According to the latest
figures available from
consumer data provider
Statista, nearly 21,500
mobile caravan sales were
made by dealers in the UK
in 2015.
Maintenance
Caravans are costly items
and therefore of immense
interest to thieves. Of the
many accessories available,
a key consideration is
security, whether in the
form of alarm systems and
wheel clamps, tow bar
locks or rigid steel posts
sunk into owners?
driveways to which the
caravan is affixed.
These can be expensive
but are worth every penny.
As far as routine
maintenance is concerned,
keeping the caravan clean
internally and externally
and checking tyre
pressures won?t cost you a
penny but will extend the
life of the caravan by years.
If you are unable to
service your caravan
yourself, retailers can
provide a maintenance/
service schedule carried
out by caravan
professionals which should
cost no more than a car
service.
Insurance
Like any vehicle,
motorhomes must be
insured for use on the
road.
Finding the right policy
can be a little trickier than
insuring your car, but there
Did you
know?
In the UK, around 50
million nights are spent
in caravans each year!
Source: National Caravan Council.
are plenty of insurers in the
market, including many
specialists.
The usual comparison
sites are a good place to
start to get an idea of the
kind of cover available, but
do check the specialists,
too, as not all companies?
policies are available
through comparison sites.
Caravans, too, need
insurance against fire and
theft, and do check your
motor insurance policy to
ensure you?re covered for
towing. ?
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
The Open Road
1
More than 56,000 caravans and motorhomes were
sold in the UK in 2017, and the figure is set to
soar.
2
The Caravan and Motorhome Club, www.
caravanclub.co.uk, has more than 500,000 members,
half of whom own a towed, touring caravan.
3
More than 10 million people stayed in a caravan,
motorhome or camping site on an English holiday
last year.
4
Of people using a caravan or motorhome, 78%
stay within the UK, with an adventurous 22%
venturing farther afield in theirs.
Ask The Expert
Bob Mather of
?Scottish Caravans
& Motorhomes?
magazine is here
to help.
Roughly how much would I expect to pay for
Home
From Home
With parking spaces
at a premium these
days, the question of
where to keep a
caravan or motorhome
is high on the list.
If your home has no
dedicated parking
space, you might rule
out the possibility
altogether.
But even when space
is available at home,
many people still
choose to store their
caravan or motorhome
at a secure parking
location when it?s not
in use.
True, this has costs
attached, but the best
sites include good
security, which may
also lead to lower
insurance premiums.
The Caravan Storage
Site Owners?
Association (CaSSOA)
provides a register of
over 500 secure sites
which are specifically
designed for the
purpose of storing
motorhomes and
caravans.
Registered sites are
rated Gold, Silver or
Bronze depending on
the security level of
the venue.
Find out more about
the storage options
available at
www.cassoa.co.uk.
overnight stay at a campsite for a caravan
Q an
or motorhome?
Very good question; prices can vary for a number
of reasons. You normally find the costliest parks
are in the more iconic areas of the country.
The cost for standard parks is somewhere between
� to � per night for your unit with two persons.
Some parks will charge extra for more adults and
children and also extra for an awning or if you have a
dog on board.
With parks offering extras like clubs, swimming
pools, etc. on site you could be looking at anything
between � to � per night.
Some parks will offer discounts for early- or lateseason bookings or for stays of over seven nights.
Highest prices are during Bank Holidays, July, August,
September and over Christmas and New Year.
If you?re a member of the Caravan & Motorhome
Club or the Camping & Caravan Club, prices are
slightly cheaper for their own sites. Both clubs offer
the option of staying on their hundreds of CL (certified
location) van sites throughout the country whose
prices range from � to � depending on facilities.
Whatever your choice, enjoy your touring!
For more information, see the latest issue of
?Scottish Caravans & Motorhomes? or visit
www.scottishcaravansandmotorhomes.co.uk.
A
Next month: PCP car deals explained.
SHORT STORY BY ALISON CARTER 47
Living
Well
The residents of Meadow Views
expected everyone to pull their
weight, especially in the garden . . .
Illustration by iStock.
H
ELEN saw the
Fiat from where
she was digging a
flower-bed. It
swung into the
courtyard of Meadow Views
and screeched to a halt.
?Who?s that?? she asked
Paul, who was standing
beside her, wiping compost
from his hands.
?I?ve no idea, but let?s go
in and see. It?ll start getting
dark in an hour anyway.?
Several people were
working in the communal
gardens alongside them. A
young man was employed
to do heavy work, but
apart from that, the
residents looked after the
grounds themselves.
Paul and Helen watched
a chubby young woman
leap from the car, wearing
ripped tights and a parka.
They followed her inside.
?We are nosy,? Paul said.
?Why not?? Helen asked.
?Is she somebody?s
granddaughter, do you
think??
?I?ve not seen her
before,? Paul replied.
In the main lobby the girl
turned to face them.
?Is there anyone who can
help me about a flat?? she
asked. ?Number eleven.?
Number 11 had been
Colin?s flat, now standing
empty. This young woman
was probably family, Helen
thought, come about some
admin.
?Bob?s the one to talk
to,? she said. ?First door on
the right.?
?Ta,? the girl said.
Bob Forrest was just
opening his office door as
the girl reached it, followed
a few yards behind by
Helen and Paul, who were
heading for the lounge.
Helen remembered that
Bob had some major dental
work scheduled for that
afternoon. He looked
nervous already.
?Flat number eleven??
the girl said. ?I?m Kayley
Barrett.?
Bob blinked. Gerry
Cartwright came out of
number two, and Kayley
watched him pass by.
?There?s a lot of
crumblies in these flats,
aren?t there? No offence,?
she said, grinning at Helen
and Paul. ?Bob, can I have
the key? I can shift stuff
once ??
?Oh!? Bob?s face
brightened. ?You?re Colin?s
family!?
?He was my great-uncle,?
Kayley said, and held out
her hand for a key.
?Something like that.?
?We liked him,? Bob said.
?I didn?t know the guy,?
she said, ?but thanks. Look,
I?ve only got today to move
in, so.?
?Move in?? Bob was
blinking furiously. ?That
can?t be right.?
He glanced at his watch,
agitated, and Helen
stepped forward.
?Bob, I know you?ve got
to get into town, so why
don?t Paul and I sort this
one out??
Bob looked grateful as he
handed over the key and
hurried off.
?Let?s go to number
eleven,? Paul said, ?have a
chat and see whose wires
have got crossed.?
As they walked, Kayley
peered in through the small
interior windows that
overlooked the corridor.
?Nice,? she said. ?Lovely
carpets. Induction hobs! It?s
all old people so far ? this
place is almost like an old
folk?s home!?
?These are wardenassisted flats,? Paul said.
?Bob?s the warden?? She
looked pleased. ?I?m
getting there. Does Bob do
cleaning? I hate cleaning.?
?Here we are,? Paul said
firmly. ?In we go.?
* * * *
Leaning against the units
in the kitchenette, Kayley
talked.
?My mum got this letter
saying the old guy had left
me something. I thought it
would be a vase or
something, but it was a
whole flat!?
Helen opened her mouth
to speak, but Kayley
continued.
?Mum said the family had
drifted apart. That happens
in my family ? we?ve got a
thing for drifting. Mum?s
started three businesses
that never got off the
ground. Dad is always
?about? to start jogging.
?I?m not going to be like
that. Once I?ve done the
graphics course I?m going
to be earning proper
money. I went and forgot
the application deadline
last year, but it?s not going
to happen again.?
?Kayley,? Paul said, ?can I
make it clear that these
flats are occupied by ??
?You two seem nice,? she
interrupted. ?It?s a nice flat.
Dad said I could sell it. He
talked about estate agents
and viewings and a
solicitor. It sounded well
tiring.? She looked around
her.
?Better to live in it. I
mean, I?ve been desperate
to leave home for ages, but
I?ve never quite saved a
rent deposit out of my
wages.?
Helen looked at Paul.
?I think we might be
getting out of our depth
here,? she said. ?Isn?t there
a meeting of the Residents?
Panel this evening? I?m
sure it can straighten this
out.?
?I?m gonna go out to my
car,? Kayley said. ?Just
bang on the door if you
need me, yeah??
Paul looked uncertain,
and Helen felt the same.
Meadow Views was for
retired people. But if she
was Colin?s family, they
could hardly throw her out
on her ear, and if he had
left her the flat . . .
?OK, Kayley,? Helen said,
?we?ll see you later.?
* * * *
Helen tracked down a
couple of members of the
Residents? Panel and
gave them a quick
run-down of the
48
situation with number
eleven. When she
knocked later, Kayley
seemed to have forgotten
about the meeting.
?Actually, I?ve ordered
pizza,? Kayley said. ?I?ll
take a rain check.?
?I think that a chat with
the panel would be good
idea,? Helen said. ?It?s a
short meeting.?
In the end, Kayley
agreed, and soon after six
Helen was introducing her
to the residents around the
table.
?And this is Charles
Roberts,? she said finally,
?who chairs the meeting.?
The panel listened to the
story of Kayley?s
inheritance. Then Charles
spoke.
?I?m sure you are aware,?
he said, ?that Meadow
Views is ??
?An old folk?s home, yes,?
Kayley interrupted. ?I think
I?ve worked that out. It?s
kind of funny, my uncle
leaving me this flat. But I
don?t mind if you don?t.?
There was a long silence
as everyone stared at
Kayley. It was broken by
Carmel, a petite lady
originally from Spain, and
now in charge of the
planting of the annual
Easter garden.
?It?s not an old folk?s
home,? Carmel said firmly.
?It?s a complex of wardenassisted flats with serviced
dining-room, staffed
laundry and salon.?
?Whatever,? Kayley said.
?It?s nice.?
?I?m sure we can sort this
out,? Charles said. ?Janet
here ? she?s secretary, and
a retired solicitor ? has a
copy of the statutes from
the original development.?
Helen had known that
Charles would do this right.
He?d been a sales
executive, and always
spoke well. The variety of
people at Meadow Views
was one of the reasons
Helen had chosen the
place.
There was a policeman
among the occupants, a
deputy head teacher and a
woman who?d worked as
chef for a sultan!
Kayley was grinning.
?Solicitor? Cool. You can?t
tell just by looking at an
OAP what they did before,
can you?? she said. ?I
mean, they look alike.?
There was another long
silence. Janet coughed.
?I have reread the entire
document,? she said. ?In
summary, it seems there
was a serious omission
when the apartments were
released for individual sale:
there?s no clause about a
minimum age for
residents.?
Kayley sat back.
?Great,? she said. ?Glad
that?s ironed out. I?ll see if
my pizza?s come.?
?The meeting?s ongoing,?
Charles said.
Janet continued.
?There is, as is usual with
communal buildings, a
clause allowing the
committee to ask a
resident to leave.?
?That?s just in case of
severe noise issues or
smelly cooking,? Gerry said.
Janet peered at her
papers.
?Yes, or offensive
behaviour. It says here,
?not adhering to the ethos,
way of life or aims of?, et
cetera.?
?Well, I can?t cook and I
don?t make much noise,?
Kayley said, ?and I am
definitely not offensive.?
?No, of course not,? Janet
said quickly. ?I suppose
that, back then, nobody
imagined an, um, young
person would come here.?
Nobody said anything for
a while, and after a
discussion about service
charges, during which
Kayley yawned and looked
out of the window for the
coming of her pizza, the
meeting adjourned.
* * * *
Kayley, it turned out,
worked in a clothes shop in
town. She told Helen that
she?d decided to take two
more days off work.
?For moving in, you
know,? she said. ?I told my
boss it?s traumatic and I?ve
got stress.?
?Your boss won?t mind??
Helen asked.
?He?s an idiot. He doesn?t
let us use the staff discount
for our friends! He can do
without me for a day or
two.?
They were in the main
lounge, looking out at
Carmel and other
residents, working in the
gardens.
?What?s with the bits of
string?? Kayley asked, and
waved. ?They all look
cheerful ? I think my
arrival?s going down well. I
mean, having a young
person around brightens
things up.?
?That?s the layout for the
Easter display,? Helen said.
?It?s a tradition. The garden
is divided ??
?Oh, and what?s with all
the stuff through my door??
Kayley interrupted. ?Back
home I just got pizza
vouchers and leaflets. Here
it?s all ?Dates for the diary?
from number four, or Film
Choices forms from Gerry.
Or will I be on a team for a
ten-pin bowling evening??
?Mary runs the bowling
trips,? Helen said. ?She?s
very organised ? you?ll
have seen her clipboard.
There?s a league, and the
teams are decided in
advance, so ??
?Oh, I?ll go,? Kayley said.
?Why not? There?s a group
discount so it?s cheap. I
may wipe the floor with the
other team, though, with
me being so young.?
A small crowd came
through the lounge,
pushing Jo Fergus in her
wheelchair, and laughing so
hard that Kayley had to
stop talking.
?This lounge is like
Piccadilly Circus,? she said.
?Me, I?m not even one of
those people who talk to
you on the bus.?
* * * *
Carmel sat beside Helen
during a competitive
Scrabble evening.
?I?ve got that young lady
on board at last,? Carmel
said.
?For the Easter flowers??
?I reminded her that
everyone mucks in,? Carmel
said, ?but it was telling her
there?s no need for
anything elaborate that
clinched it. She?s picked a
patch now, and will have a
think about a colour
scheme.?
?Let?s hope so,? Helen
said.
* * * *
Kayley began to appear
in the dining-room. She
would move from table to
table, and Helen got the
impression that she felt she
was cheering everybody
up. She sat opposite Helen
one evening.
?It?s Friday!? she said.
?Thank goodness. My job is
so boring.?
The dish of vegetables
was passed round, and
Kayley declined.
?They?re into ?initiatives?
at the shop. Initiatives! All I
want to do is get through
my shift and head home.?
?I suppose retailers need
to innovate,? Charles
suggested.
Kayley looked at him.
?Dunno,? she said. ?All I
know is that it?s easy work,
so it?s dull. What did you
used to do??
?Salesman,? Charles said.
?You make of a job what
you want to make, I think. I
liked a challenge. Could
you maybe think of ways to
improve your working day,
Kayley??
She shrugged.
?I?m only an assistant,?
she said. ?There?s an
assistant manager and
manager above me. I?m not
the ideas person, Charlie.
No, I?ll probably leave.?
She laughed.
?D?you know, I wonder if
living here makes it worse
for me ? you all doing
nothing while I go out to
work every day. Gotta go.?
Paul smiled at Helen
across the table as Kayley
rose to go back to her flat.
?I?ll be busy doing
nothing tomorrow,? he
said.
?With the book group,
you mean?? Helen said.
?Once I?ve finished the
accounts for that fundraiser,? Paul said, ?and
booked the Chatsworth trip
tickets. Did you get a food
bank shift??
?It?s after my guitar
lesson,? Helen said.
* * * *
Unfortunately, Kayley
forgot the ten-pin bowling
night. She was supposed to
meet them all there.
?I felt bad,? she told
Helen the following day.
?It is quite important to
Mary,? Helen said.
?I know ? prizes and
everything. Mary was
snappy about it ? said
?my? team was too
50
small without me, and
the evening didn?t
work.?
?Did you have an
emergency?? Helen asked.
?It was my soap ? a
massive climax in the plot.
I told Mary this morning. I
don?t think she watches it.?
* * * *
As usual for the time of
year, Carmel?s work on the
Easter garden display was
shifting into a higher gear.
?Kayley?s been told,?
Carmel said to Helen, ?that
if she wants to put in bulbs,
then I?ll need her plan
soon. Bulbs don?t wait.?
?Ah, I think I heard
Kayley saying that she?s
ordered some bulbs
online.?
Carmel frowned.
?She thinks I?m ?hassling?
her about the Easter
display. She said she hasn?t
really got time for
gardening, and doesn?t
know about flowers.?
A week later, in the dusk,
Helen found a young man
poking at a patch of earth
with a hoe.
?I?m Aziz,? he said, as
though that explained
everything. When Helen
continued to look
enquiringly at him, he said,
?The pizza guy.?
?Oh,? Helen said. ?A
friend of Kayley?s??
?I?m not sure about
?friend?. She eats a lot of
pizza, so I s?pose I know
her.?
?So . . .? Helen surveyed
the earth and the plastic
bag at Aziz?s feet.
?Oh, yeah ? so she paid
me to put these things in
here. She?s at the shop.?
?Do you enjoy
gardening??
Aziz bit his lip.
?I raked leaves for my
nan,? he said, ?one time.?
He grinned.
?Kayley said that her bit
of garden will be a massive
surprise for everybody in
the old folk?s home.?
?Did she?? Helen said.
* * * *
Bob announced that he
was going for a winter
break in the sun with his
wife.
?The man who tests all
the electrics is coming on
Thursday,? he told Helen.
?Sorry about that ? it was
the only date he had.
?I?m not allowed to hand
over my master key, so can
you make sure that
everyone?s on parade, or
makes arrangements to let
the man in if they?re going
to be out??
?Can do,? Helen agreed.
But on Thursday morning
Helen and Paul saw Kayley
heading out towards the
car park.
?Kayley,? Paul called, ?the
electrical safety testing!?
She turned round. Her
parka was half on and half
off, her hair dishevelled.
?I might not have read
my shift pattern properly,?
she called back, flinging
open the door of her car.
?It?s in really small print. I
thought I had a day off;
turns out I don?t. My boss
says I?ll be on a disciplinary
if I miss any more time.?
?Can I have your key
then?? Paul called. ?It?s
imperative that we do a
complete annual check . . .?
But the engine was
already revving, and off
drove Kayley, knocking
over a plant pot as she
veered round the corner.
* * * *
Charles called the
All-Residents meeting the
following week, and Helen
called at Kayley?s flat to
make sure she could find
the time.
?It?s in the lounge,? Helen
said, ?the only room large
enough.?
?Oh, yeah, I think I?ll go,?
Kayley said. ?There?s
nothing on telly. Also, it
can be a laugh, being the
only person under sixty in
the room. Your faces when
I talk about social media!?
Janet spoke first, and
Kayley, sitting beside
Helen, whispered, ?She
looks serious, don?t you
think, for a woman who
tells good jokes? She does
tell good jokes, although
she?s eighty or whatever.?
Janet swallowed.
?Kayley,? she said, ?after
a series of informal
meetings among residents,
it is felt that the time has
come to put our concerns
to you.?
?What?s up?? Kayley said,
and put her feet on a coffee
table. ?Garden not going to
plan? Who?s not done their
patch?? She grinned at the
assembled company.
?We have made a
decision to invoke Clause
Fourteen,? Janet said.
Kayley made a ?let?s all
look scared? face.
?Right,? she said. ?Sorry
? I should have read all
those statues but I never
did ??
?Statutes,? Janet
corrected.
?It?s just that I don?t read
much ? it?s why I?ve not
tried the old book group.?
Janet took a deep
breath.
?It is felt that you have
not been able to adhere to
the ?ethos, way of life and
aims of the resident body?.?
Kayley took her feet off
the table and sat up.
?I?ve not what??
?We had no power to
prevent you from coming to
live here.? Charles was
leaning forward, speaking
gently. ?Nor would we have
wanted to. Why should a
young person necessarily
be excluded??
There was a murmur of
agreement.
?But you have struggled,
we believe, to ?fall in? with
the spirit of Meadow Views.
Residents here make an
effort, you see. That?s our
ethos, I suppose. We
involve ourselves.
?It?s a disappointment,
for instance, that you
employed a pizza delivery
boy to work on your garden
plot.?
?He?s seventeen,? Kayley
said, ?so not so much of the
?boy?.? She laughed, but the
laugh died quickly.
?Carmel is concerned,?
Charles said, ?that the
result will be
disappointing.?
?I don?t think it?ll even
grow,? Carmel said. ?It?s
not as though there are
limits put on what can be
included in the designs.
Last year, Ruth here did a
LGBT themed plot, and it
was a triumph. A rainbow!?
?It?s LGBTQ,? Ruth
corrected.
?We are also, as a
group,? Charles said,
?positive in our outlook.?
He hesitated. ?You, on the
other hand, tend to, um ??
?You ooze pessimism,?
Carmel said. ?You suck out
our energy.?
Helen saw Kayley?s pale
eyes open in surprise.
?You have a job in a busy
and interesting retail
outlet,? Mary said, ?but we
have to listen to you telling
us how put-upon you are,
how it?s not good enough,
how it?s boring.?
?Some of us,? Jo added,
?feel that you?re lucky to
work in a centrally heated
shop with a water cooler
and twenty per cent off.?
?And five weeks? holiday,?
Janet added, placing a
page of the statutes on the
coffee table.
?We are all trying to be
active, Kayley. If we commit
to bowling, we go bowling.
Jack over there got three
strikes, and he?d just had
knee surgery.?
?We feel you might be
happier elsewhere,?
Charles said.
* * * *
There was no need, in the
end, to invoke Clause 14;
Kayley sold Number 11
and moved back in with her
parents.
The sale didn?t go
through until the end of
March, and she returned
around then to sort things
out.
Helen found her in the
lounge, looking out at the
garden. The plants and
flowers were spectacular ?
a riot of colour and
ingenuity for Easter.
?That?s mine,? Kayley
said, and pointed to a bare
patch, scattered with
weeds. ?I don?t know what
Aziz did ? planted the
whole lot upside down??
?He?s probably better
suited to a career in food
transportation,? Helen said.
?I learned a lot, living
here,? Kayley said softly.
?How to crochet a bed
jacket?? Helen asked.
?No. Not that. I learned
how to be . . .?
?An old person??
?How to be a grown-up,?
Kayley said. ?I?m trying to
look at things a bit
differently.?
Helen turned and smiled
at her.
?Good luck then, Kayley,
with your future.?
Kayley grinned.
?And good luck with
yours, too.? ?
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now
SHORT STORY BY HELEN YENDALL 53
Meeting Maggie
Could this be
the last time I?d
need to buy a
ready meal for
one?
Illustration by Jim Dewar.
I
THOUGHT you could do
with this, Simon, love.?
Mum was on the
doorstep, struggling
with a big black box.
?Here, let me.? I took it
from her and as the metal
corners dug into my
sweater, I realised what it
was. ?Hey, you can?t give
me this!?
I stepped back to let her
in, but there wasn?t
enough room for us all
? me, Mum and the
microwave ? in the
doorway, so I went through
first, walking backwards.
Mum picked up the post
from the mat and followed
me inside.
I heaved the microwave
on to the kitchen worktop,
pushing a few things out of
the way to make room. I?d
have tidied up if I?d known
she was coming over.
?Oh. It?s a bit big for this
place, isn?t it?? she said,
tears filling her eyes.
Please, no more crying.
?Mum, it?s fine,? I lied. ?I
can get myself a smaller
one eventually and you can
have it back.?
She nodded and looked
around. I saw the bedsit
through her eyes: messy,
not very clean, and small.
?I still don?t understand
why she?s stayed in the
house and you?re here,
when she was the one who
ended the marriage.? She
frowned. ?Wasn?t she??
I shook my head. I didn?t
want to go over it all again.
Yes, strictly speaking, it
was true that Stephanie
had called time on our
marriage. But it had, sadly,
been over in all but name a
long time before that.
No-one was the guilty
party; we?d just married too
young and grown apart.
It wasn?t what we had
envisaged when we pledged
to spend our lives together,
and we were both sad our
marriage was over, but it
wasn?t the end of the world.
These things happened.
There were no children to
worry about and we were
both adults.
We?d get over it and so,
in time, would my mother.
As for letting Stephanie
stay in the house, it had
seemed the gentlemanly
thing to do.
I sighed.
?Steph is there
temporarily. The house is
on the market, and once
it?s sold and we split the
profits I?ll be able to get
something better. This is
just a stop-gap.?
I switched on the kettle
and tried not to dwell on
the fact that the monstrous
microwave blocked most of
the light from the tiny
kitchen window.
It was practically a family
heirloom, the microwave.
Mum bought it when they
were all the rage, and she
was so enamoured with the
new technology she even
went to evening classes to
learn how to use it.
For months everything we
ate came courtesy of the
microwave, until she
pressed Cook instead of
Defrost on a frozen chicken
and it exploded.
Then the novelty wore off
somewhat.
?Anything interesting in
my post?? I asked and she
flicked through the letters
in her hand.
?Mostly rubbish. But
look!? She held up a leaflet.
?There?s a new supermarket
opening this morning. You
should get yourself down
there and stock up.?
* * * *
There was a long queue
into the car park and I
considered turning around
and going home. But Mum
was right: I did need to get
some food. I?d been living
off take-aways for a week.
I opened the window and
peered out, trying to see
what was causing the delay
up ahead. The cars at the
top of the queue were all
waiting for a space.
No-one wanted to move
further into the car park in
case they missed one.
Suddenly there was a
flash of fluorescence and a
young woman in a green
tabard weaved her way
through the cars and
started to direct the traffic.
?There?s a space down
there on the right!? she
called out to one driver.
She stood on tip-toe,
looking for spaces.
?Straight down, sir. I
think you?ll find there?s one
at the end of this row . . .?
Within minutes the
congestion had eased.
?Thanks!? I called over
once I?d parked and was
making my way towards
the front of the store.
She waved back.
?Just doing my job.?
I never imagined myself
getting excited about
shopping, but the new
store was a revelation.
As well as the usual food
and drink, they had an
impressive range of craft
beers, and down the
central aisles there were
lots of special offers on
household goods:
saucepans, food mixers,
even TVs.
No microwaves, I noticed.
At least, not today.
A woman tapped me
on the arm.
54
?You?re tall. Could you
reach up and get me
some of those candles,
please??
?Sure. How many??
She wanted three of each
kind.
?Are they really that
good?? I asked as she piled
them up in her trolley.
?Oh, yes. Much cheaper
than those designer ones,
and just as good. The basil,
lime and mandarin?s the
best. Here, smell!?
She was right.
I dropped one in my
trolley for Mum as a
thank-you.
?Maggie! Where on earth
have you been??
The store manager was
berating a member of staff
in an urgent whisper
behind me.
I turned to see the girl
from the car park hastily
pulling off her bright green
tabard. She was even
prettier close up, with long
auburn hair and a
smattering of freckles.
She was wearing a grey
trouser suit and the badge
on her lapel said Maggie
Maguire, Assistant Store
Manager.
She was flustered.
?I was just trying to sort
out the car park.?
?And doing a very good
job of it, too,? I interjected.
?I was on the point of
leaving, and so were other
potential customers, until
she saved the day!?
The store manager gaped
and then looked at my
trolley, which was stacked
pretty high.
?In that case ??
?Well done?? I prompted.
?Er, yes. Well done,
Maggie. Now, if you could
help supervise the tills for a
moment . . .?
He ushered her away but
not before Maggie Maguire
shot me a grateful look and
mouthed, ?Thanks.?
* * * *
?What would we do
without ?em, eh?? the
checkout girl mused a few
minutes later, as she
scanned my ready meals.
?Er, sorry??
She nodded at the
cartons, which I?d started
to stash in my carrier bags.
?The ?pop and pings?.
Microwave meals for one.
Saviours of the single!?
Was it that obvious? Did
she have to shout it from
the rafters?
The woman in the queue
behind me smiled
sympathetically, then
quickly looked away again.
?Oops, I scanned that
one twice,? the girl said,
grabbing back a chicken
curry. ?I?m new. Mind you,
we?re all new. I?ll have to
call a manager.?
The nearest manager
was the girl from the car
park.
?We must stop meeting
like this,? I wanted to say.
What I actually said, as
Maggie leaned over the
checkout girl and expertly
corrected her till, was
?Sorry.?
What was I saying sorry
for?
?No problem,? she said
with a smile. ?All sorted.?
* * * *
By the time I got back to
the bedsit, laden with
bags, the place was
sparkling.
Mum had tidied up,
produced a vacuum cleaner
from somewhere, made the
bed and spruced up the
bathroom.
?Hey, you didn?t have to
do that,? I said, but it
looked great.
Habitable at last.
?Make sure you keep it
this way. I shan?t be
popping over every
weekend to do it!?
Fair enough.
?How did you get on,
anyway?? she asked.
I gave her the candle I?d
bought and then showed
her all my ?pop and pings?.
The microwave was going
to see a fair bit of action.
?It was a good idea,
Mum. I?ll definitely be going
there again.?
* * * *
I went back to the
supermarket quite often
after that. Sometimes I just
nipped in for the paper and
a pint of milk on my way
home from work.
The highlight of every
visit was spotting Maggie
Maguire.
A few weeks after my first
visit, I was there when the
schools had just finished for
the day and I found myself
dodging children in the
aisles whilst their mothers
yelled at them.
?Harmony! Be quiet!?
?Tiffany-Mae, if you don?t
stop that this minute . . .?
Maggie was stacking a
shelf and she turned
towards me.
?Yours?? she asked,
nodding at the little girls.
?Definitely not,? I said
and then, in case that had
sounded severe, I added, ?I
like children, but ??
?Don?t tell me,? she
interrupted. ?You couldn?t
eat a whole one??
We laughed.
I was still smiling a few
minutes later as I arrived at
the tills. There were long
queues at every one.
Suddenly Maggie
appeared at my side.
?Would you like to come
over to this one??
She opened up the till at
the end and for a few
minutes it was just me and
her.
I was kicking myself that I
hadn?t bought more stuff,
to make ringing them up
last a bit longer.
?This is tasty,? she said,
holding up the lamb tagine
microwave meal for one.
?Is it??
?Yes.?
She?d stopped scanning
and seemed to be waiting
for me to say something
else.
?Er, do you have a
microwave?? I asked.
She laughed and nodded,
still holding the carton.
?I rely on these things
too much. I?ve just moved
to the area with the job.?
She gave a little shrug.
?I should cook more,
really. You know what they
say, if you can read, you
can cook!?
I gave her my bank card.
Before she scanned it,
Maggie looked at my
name.
?What does the ?S? stand
for??
?Simon,? I said.?
?Simon,? she repeated
with a smile. ?That?s nice.?
Ping!
That was the moment I
fell just a little bit in love.
* * * *
It?s three weeks later and
I?m making dinner for two.
I?ve got broccoli and
carrots in a handy
microwave pack and
there?s a macaroni cheese
for two sitting in a box on
the side. I can see it?s too
big to go in the microwave.
I bought the macaroni
dish just in case ? my
safety blanket, if you like
? but now that the meat
sauce is sizzling away
nicely on the hob, I don?t
think
I?m going to need it.
I?m making spaghetti
bolognese from scratch.
Turns out it?s true what
they say ? that if you can
read, you can cook.
Those blasted onions
have made my eyes water
something rotten, but I
reckon she?s worth it,
Maggie Maguire.
She?ll be here in 20
minutes. Just time to let
the sauce simmer, light
one of my new candles in
the lounge and go and
freshen up.
I shove the ready meal
away in the freezer and
give the microwave a little
pat.
Tomorrow it?s going back
to Mum?s. I don?t need it
any more. ?
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HELPING OTHERS 57
The Magic of
Reading
Wendy Glass finds out about the
Letterbox Club, which encourages
vulnerable children to discover a
love of books.
T
HE wonderful world
of books is an
important part of
childhood. Thanks
to BookTrust?s
award-winning programme
the Letterbox Club,
children across the UK are
discovering the magic of
reading.
The club sends
vulnerable children a
colourful parcel of books,
games and stationery once
a month for six months.
?All children deserve to
experience the joy of
books,? Amy Harker of the
Letterbox Club says.
?Many of the children
who receive our parcels are
being looked after by
someone other than their
parents. Perhaps they?re
living in a children?s home
or with foster carers, or are
in the early stages of
adoption. Often it?s the first
time they?ve had books of
their own and the first time
they?ve received something
through the post.
?Carers have told us
about children dancing with
excitement when a parcel
arrives from the Letterbox
Club, and of others who
ask the postman when their
Images courtesy of the Letterbox Club.
?It?s Such A Lovely Idea?
?I?m very pleased and
proud to be a patron
of the Letterbox Club,?
best-selling children?s
author Jacqueline Wilson
says. ?It?s such a lovely
idea to send a parcel
containing a book and
all sorts of games once
a month to children in
care. It means so much
to them. I?ve written
several books about
a looked-after child ?
Tracy Beaker ? and I
know just how much
she?d appreciate a
Letterbox parcel.?
Author Jacqueline Wilson.
next parcel will be
arriving every time
they see him.
?The Letterbox Club is
about inspiring a love of
reading and, through the
games in the parcel,
encouraging engagement
with numeracy,? Amy adds.
?And it works.
?Through our evaluation
process, a thirteen-year-old
recipient of a Letterbox
Club parcel told us, ?I don?t
usually enjoy reading, but
this month I got sent ?Diary
Of A Wimpy Kid? and, so
far, I?m up to page seventynine?. Another child
revealed that she?s now
planning to become an
author.?
The Letterbox Club was
set up in 2003 by foster
carer and Professor of
Education Rose Griffiths,
who came up with the idea
while considering ways to
improve the educational
achievements of lookedafter children.
Fifteen years later,
Professor Griffiths?s idea is
giving an educational
lifeline to looked-after
children all over the UK.
?Reading provides an
opportunity for children to
escape into a world of
imagination, which can be
a new experience for
children who have never
experienced reading for
pleasure,? Amy explains,
revealing that 11,000
children were supported by
the charity in 2017.
?As well as unleashing
imagination and creativity,
research has shown that
reading for pleasure can
help children in other ways,
including improved
educational outcomes,
wellbeing and social
mobility.?
Children aged three to
thirteen are enrolled into
the Letterbox Club, run by
BookTrust, by local
authorities and schools.
Each parcel aims to meet
the child?s interest level
and contains books
selected by an independent
panel of experts, who avoid
sensitive issues and also
take into account feedback
provided by the Letterbox
Club?s young members.
?We get a lot of
comments from children
who are interested in
non-fiction books and we
also get a lot of feedback
about silly or humorous
stories,? Amy says.
?Children often mention
how much they enjoy
receiving these parcels
because it means ?Someone
knows where I am?.
?Looked-after children
are more likely to
experience home or school
moves, and these parcels,
which are delivered to
them wherever they?re
living, provide a sense of
continuation and stability.
?We recently heard about
a child who had been highly
resistant to reading and
was permanently excluded
from mainstream school.
?After receiving one of
our parcels, he arrived at
an appointment with a
Letterbox Club book in his
hand, having read it on the
bus as he liked it so much.
?There really is a book
out there for everyone, and
the Letterbox Club helps
children who are looked
after to find theirs.? ?
For more information
about the Letterbox
Club, visit www.
booktrust.org.uk.
58
About The
Hollow Ground
Set in
the
1870s
Illustration by Sailesh Thakrar.
The Story So Far
After the death of her
father, NAN VESSEY
becomes owner of Cross
Lanes Farm, which is
very run down. Nan has
employed stranger
PIERS MERRIMAN to
work on the farm
alongside farmhand
LOGAN BRASSEY and
shepherd NOAH
SKELLAND.
Since Nan?s father?s
death, a veiled woman
has been spotted visiting
his grave and Nan
wonders who she could
be, but her cousin
CHARLOTTE tells her not
to worry.
Local landowner?s son
DANIEL HARRISON has
resolved to make Nan
his wife in order to
obtain land to add to his
father EDWIN?s estate,
and Nan accompanies
him to his family?s
function at Vinewood.
Piers lives in a cottage
on the farm and sets
about making changes so
that it can once again be
profitable. Piers hopes
to be promoted to
bailiff, a position
formerly held by TOM
DEWES.
Piers?s changes are
successful, old
farmhands are rehired,
and things at Cross
Lanes Farm are looking
up . . .
As the farmhands celebrated
bringing in the hay, Nan
realised Daniel didn?t fit in
at Cross Lanes Farm . . .
T
HERE was relief at
Cross Lanes when,
after an inclement
start to the
summer, the
rainclouds dispersed, the
sun appeared and the
drowned hay meadows
responded to the warmth
with a good head of mixed
herbage.
Almost overnight, it
seemed, the crop was
ready for cutting.
?Us?ll be hard put to get
this lot in ourselves. Could
do with some of the men as
got laid off when things fell
apart here,? Shepherd
Skelland said to Piers.
?There?s Bob Trimelow
trying to keep body an? soul
together doing odd jobs for
folks. Same goes for
Geoffrey Penk, and them
with families to support.?
?We could certainly do
with the extra help,? Piers
said. ?Local men, are they??
?Oh, aye. Geoffrey?s a
SERIAL BY PAMELA KAVANAGH : PART 5 OF 8 59
competent all-rounder and
Bob?s an experienced
dairyman.?
?I?ll see what can be
done,? Piers said.
He put the proposition to
Nan, and after some
serious contemplation of
the farm?s accounts it was
decided that they were in a
position to take on the two
men again, on a full-term
basis, much to their joy.
News of this upturn of
events travelled, and other
past Cross Lanes workers
came seeking their former
jobs back. Nan could not
promise this; the farm did
not warrant it as yet.
However, she did offer
seasonal work to cope with
the hay harvest, which was
gladly accepted.
?By, there?s a sight for
sore eyes,? Logan Brassey
said, observing the men
advancing towards the hay
meadows, scythes flashing
in the sunshine.
Shepherd Skelland
nodded.
?Getting to be more like
old times, inna it??
?Aye. Here come the
wimmin with the cider. Lor?,
look at Miss Nan, skirts
kilted up like a common
village lass. What the late
gaffer would?ve said to that
dunna bear thinking
about.?
They watched as Nan and
Mercy entered a thicket of
shady willows to place the
stoneware jars of cider in
the shallows of the brook,
where the water ran
coolest.
?Tes to be hoped there?s
enough to go round,? the
shepherd commented.
?There?ll be some thirsty
throats come elevenses, an?
even thirstier ones by
fourses.?
?You?re right there,?
Brassey agreed. ?Ready??
They collected their newly
honed scythes and went to
join their old comrades to
cut the hay.
* * * *
Piers worked like a man
possessed. He wanted the
job completed before the
summer?s fickle weather
turned foul again.
He wanted this for Nan.
He had promised to put the
farm back on its feet and so
far he had not let her down.
Hard physical labour also
helped keep his mind off
the growing closeness
between Nan and Daniel
Harrison ? a dandy in
Piers?s view, and an
unreliable one at that.
He was coming to terms
with the fact that he
wanted Nan for himself. He
loved her. There was no
getting away from it.
The men were cutting in a
long line. Sunlight glinted
off metal as the blades rose
and fell in time-honoured
rhythm, as hay had been
cut here for generations.
The bitter prospect of
Nan being wed to another
? any other, let alone
Daniel Harrison ? caused
Piers to swing his scythe
with such ferocity that the
men on either side of him
glanced his way with
apprehension.
There was a mid-morning
break to slake their thirst,
another at noon to
consume the food the
women brought from the
house, and a third brief
stop to down more thirsty
gulps of strong cider.
By this time the hay
meadows were taking on a
very different aspect
indeed.
By late evening, the sun
sinking in a blaze of
crimson and gold behind
the ragged line of
woodland, the open ground
was decked in neat rills of
new-mown hay crop.
Wearily, the band of men
made their way home,
scythes over their shoulders
and singing as they went in
a bid to keep their aching
limbs on the move.
There was satisfaction
there, too, of a job well
done.
All Piers wanted was a
dip in the pond to wash
away the sweat of the day
and cool his sun-scorched
flesh, a bite of supper and
sleep.
Tomorrow was market
day. He had a couple of
promising bull calves to
sell.
He hoped they would
fetch a reasonable price,
which would go towards
paying the harvesters and
hopefully get the farm
another working horse.
Old Ginger and Violet
were getting a mite long in
the tooth for hauling laden
hay-wains from the
meadows.
* * * *
Hampton Beast Market
was bustling.
The sun beat down,
making dust of ground that
had earlier been rendered
almost inaccessible by rain
and the trampling of
countless hooves.
Calls from penned
livestock carried on the air;
there was the combined
reek of cattle, horses, swine
and the thick, woolly tang
of sheep.
Both bull calves made a
good sale. Heartened, Piers
opted to go ahead with his
proposal and take a look at
the work horses on offer.
It was getting on for noon
and he paused at a
farming fraternity he stood
a good chance of learning
more about Henry Vessey
and the circumstances of his
death, something that
seemed to Piers to become
more under question as
time progressed.
He opted to carry on as
usual, but be extra vigilant.
Decision made, Piers
brushed the crumbs from
his hands and set off
towards where the horses
were being auctioned. He
also wanted to visit the
trade stands.
Brassey had complained
about the state of the
whetstone for sharpening
the tools. A new one would
be no bad thing.
* * * *
Harvesting over, Brassey
and Shepherd Skelland met
Piers loved Nan. There was no
getting away from it
vendor?s to buy a steak pie,
succulent with herbs and
gravy.
He was standing in the
shadow of an elm, eating
his purchase, when he had
the feeling of being
watched. He threw a glance
all around, scanning the
area for what might be
construed as trouble.
There was nothing in the
milling throng to give rise
to concern and Piers put
the matter down to his
state of mind. Last night he
had had the dream again.
The shouts, the numbing
blow, the returning to
consciousness to find
himself locked in a room, a
pouch of stolen coins on his
person.
Maybe this was why his
imagination was playing
tricks on him.
Nonetheless, the incident
was unsettling. Piers felt he
should be on his guard.
Should he avoid the
market in future? Take the
precaution of sending
Brassey or the shepherd in
his place?
Barely had the idea
formed than it was
rejected. So obvious a
change of routine would be
sure to arouse the curiosity
of the men.
Also, here among the
at the Oak for a private
celebration of the event.
The weather had
remained open. Hot sun
and gentle breezes had
done their job and the rills
had been winnowed until
every single blade of
herbage had become
fragrant, golden bounty.
Gathered on to the wain,
the crop had been
transported to the farm by
a strong Suffolk Punch
acquired by Piers at the
market.
?Does your heart good to
see them haycocks in the
stackyard, dunna it??
Brassey said, reaching for
his ale.
Shepherd Skelland, his
arms a mesh of scratches
from the prickly stalks, gave
a nod.
?True enough. Did you see
Merriman stacking hay as if
there were no tomorrow? I
reckon he?s done the work
of two men these past days.
Aye, and fitted in a trip to
market between times.?
?You have to wonder what
drives him,? Brassey said.
The shepherd took a swig
of ale.
?Whatever, he?s no
shirker.?
?He?s not lacking in
judgement, either.
That?s a good ?oss he
61
brought back from
market. And he got the
whetstone. Long overdue,
that?s been.?
?Remember that stranger
turning up here asking
questions about him??
Shepherd Skelland asked.
?I do. What of it??
?Seemingly nothing came
of it. T?were strange,
though. I?d practically come
round to putting my trust
in Merriman, but that
made me think again.?
?Me, too,? Brassey
agreed. ?My missus called
it sour grapes, Merriman
having pulled things round
? summat I cunna do.
Happen there?s truth in
that. Ready for another??
Brassey gathered up the
empty tankards and went
to the bar to get them filled
up. On returning, he
shunted his friend?s ale
across the table top.
?What think you of the
coming Haysel Feast??
?I?m all for anything that
puts the farm on the map
again. Here?s to Nan
Vessey for going ahead
with it,? the shepherd
replied.
He raised his tankard ina
toast and Brassey joined
him.
?Like a dog wi? two tails
over it, is my missus.
Childer are the same.
There inna nothing like a
bun party to give ?em
summat to smile about,?
Brassey said.
Shepherd Skelland spoke
sharply to his two dogs,
who had crept out from
under the table with
expectations of food.
?Taking liberties, the pair
of ?em. Tes Mercy?s doing,
sneaking ?em titbits when
my back?s turned. I tell her
working dogs canna be
spoilt but she dunna
listen.?
?Mercy inna a bad lass,?
Brassey replied. ?Pulled
her weight gathering in the
hay alongside Miss Nan.
Sunbonnets flapping, arms
bared, more like a pair of
sisters than servant and
mistress.
?And now there?ll be the
Haysel cooking for the lass
to tackle. You game for
helping set up the trestles
an? what-have-you in the
barn, Noah??
?Aye, better show willing.
Seems we?ve the Broxton
Players booked for the
dancing. Good, them are.
Bob Trimelow?s giving folks
a song and Geoffrey Penk?s
doing a recitation.?
?What?s your
contribution?? Brassey
asked.
?Me? I?m standing on me
head an? telling ?em a wise
crack or two!?
?And pigs might fly,?
Brassey said succinctly.
* * * *
Thunder muttered on the
horizon on the evening of
the Haysel Feast. The wind
rose and dark clouds
gathered, blotting out the
blue.
?I do hope the rain keeps
off,? Charlotte said with a
rueful glance at her silk
gown. ?I may have to slip
out to the stable to make
sure Firedance is all right.
The poor darling does so
hate a thunderstorm.?
?I shall ask Merriman to
keep an eye on her,? Nan
said. ?The storm will pass
over, so Firedance won?t
have any qualms when you
ride home tomorrow.?
?You?ve put my mind at
rest admirably, Nan.?
Charlotte reached for her
evening cape. She had
arrived with an abundance
of luggage that Nan felt
warranted a stay of a week,
rather than a single night.
Mercy had been called
upon to leave her
preparations for the feast
to deal with the travel
stains on the visitor?s riding
habit, as well as run the
smoothing iron over her
nightgown, tomorrow?s day
dress and numerous
petticoats.
Then there was the
primrose silk ? in which
admittedly Charlotte looked
charming ? to be lightly
pressed.
Nan?s sympathies lay with
her housemaid, whose face
had been a study of
grimness as she carted the
armfuls of clothing away.
?Ready?? Charlotte asked
brightly, raking Nan with
an assessing look. ?Not
that shawl, Nan. I have my
mauve gossamer with me
that will tone beautifully
with your gown. I?ll ring for
Mercy to fetch it.?
?Mercy will be in the
barn, dealing with the
food,? Nan said briskly.
?Then bide a moment
while I get it myself.?
Presentable at last, they
hastened towards the tithe
barn, wincing as a crack of
lightning illuminated a sky
that was now rolling with
menacing purplish clouds.
In the barn all was jollity
and light. Everyone was
here, all keen to celebrate
the first Haysel that Cross
Lanes had seen for quite
some time.
Lanterns were lit against
the darkening evening, and
the workers? wives had
decorated the rafters with
garlands of hedgerow
flowers and fronds of ivy.
Dressed in their best, the
company was seated at
trestle tables groaning with
food. There were baked
meats galore, a huge
Cheshire cheese, goldencrusted loaves of bread and
butter from the dairy.
To wash it all down were
six kegs of cider, courtesy
of the Royal Oak, along
with pitchers of cordial for
the children, whose eyes
grew rounder by the
second in anticipation of
the treats in store.
On a makeshift stage, the
Broxton Players were
tuning up. This petered to a
close at Nan?s appearance
on the scene.
Taking her place at the
head of the table, she gave
a short address, after which
the feasting began.
?See who?s here!?
Charlotte exclaimed.
Nan looked up to find
Daniel approaching, looking
somewhat out of place
among the homespun-clad
assembly in formal dinner
suit and cravat.
?Daniel, how good of you
to come,? Nan said.
?It does to show an
interest,? Daniel replied.
Feasters shunted along
the bench to make room
for him. A platter and
cutlery were produced.
Charlotte, opposite,
acknowledged the
incomer?s presence with a
nod of her head and turned
back to continue a debate
on horse breeding with
Piers on her left, while
tucking in to her meal.
?Shall you be staying for
the entertainments?? Nan
asked Daniel.
?I had thought to, my
dear. Mustn?t miss the
opportunity to dance with
the fairest lady here.?
To make clear who the
next master of Cross Lanes
was to be. The unspoken
words seemed to hover
between them.
When only crumbs
remained, the merrymaking
began.
Bob Trimelow began the
proceedings with a lively
song that had everyone
joining in with the chorus.
Geoffrey Penk recited a
ballad of true love lost and
found again, and Piers gave
a rendition of ?The Barley
Mow? in his fine baritone
voice.
The floor was then cleared
for the dancing.
At some point Piers had
gone to check on Charlotte?s
mare.
?All fine and hearty,? he
reported, his hair glistening
with raindrops. ?I?ve given
her another armful of hay to
keep her happy.?
?Thank you, Merriman.
What of the storm??
?It?s pretty lively out
there. Only to be expected
after the heatwave.?
?What a good thing we
got in the hay in time,? Nan
said.
?Amen to that,? Piers
replied.
Daniel made no comment.
Nan turned to him.
?Daniel, would you excuse
me for a moment? I would
speak with Merriman. See,
the musicians are striking
up. I?m sure Charlotte would
like to dance.?
With the two of them
darting her less than
agreeable glances, she
asked Piers to step aside
where it was more private.
?Merriman, this is a
matter of importance. You
will be aware of the need
for a bailiff now we are
taking on staff. Would you
be interested? I greatly
appreciate all you have
done here.?
?Nay, mistress. It was only
a matter of putting things
on the right track.?
Nan gave him a knowing
look, her dark eyes shining.
?I?m not blind to how
diligently you have striven
for Cross Lanes. Will
you take the
62
position? There will be a
substantial increase in
wage.?
He hesitated, and the
guarded look Nan had seen
before entered his eyes.
?Don?t feel you must give
me your answer now. Take
a little time to think it
over,? she suggested.
?I?ll do that,? Piers told
her.
The musicians began the
opening bars of a familiar
piece guaranteed to bring
the company surging to the
floor.
Piers smiled that slow
smile that lit the strong
lines of his face and was
seen all too rarely.
?Now, mistress, may I
have the honour of this
dance??
Nan, entering into the
spirit of things, swept him a
curtsey.
?Why, thank you, kind sir.
Charmed, I?m sure.?
He took her hand and led
her on to the floor, while in
the wings Daniel looked on,
his displeasure at the sight
all too evident.
The moment the jig was
over, he claimed Nan for
himself.
?A word, madam, if you
please.?
Nan, flushed and smiling
with enjoyment, felt an
unwanted qualm of unease.
Daniel led her away from
the noise and laughter.
?What meant you by
dancing with a peasant of a
farm hand?? he said
abruptly.
?I beg your pardon??
Nan, shocked at the
outburst, drew a calming
breath. ?You refer to
Merriman? He happens to
be my right-hand man. I?ve
offered him the position of
bailiff.?
?You?ve what?? Colour
touched Daniel?s cheeks.
?You?ve continued with this
reckless nonsense after all
I?ve said?
?Nan, you know nothing
of this individual. Have you
no sense of propriety or
intuition??
?I have an abundance of
both,? Nan said tersely. ?I
would like to know what
right you have to speak to
me in this way??
Daniel?s face reddened all
the more.
?You ask me that?? he
said, his voice cracking with
emotion. ?I speak thus
because I care about you.
Because I want you as my
wife!?
The untimely proposition
was out before Daniel
realised it and Nan
stiffened.
Overhead, a tremendous
drum-roll of thunder all but
shook the rafters, setting
the candles flaring and
spuming trails of smoke.
On the floor the spirited
dancing continued. No-one
in that foot-stamping, handslapping, whirling throng
paid any heed to the
violence of the storm
outside, but Nan did.
Coming directly after
Daniel?s bungled words, it
seemed an omen.
?Forgive me,? Daniel said
brokenly. ?It was not my
intention to approach the
matter so baldly. I had
planned a ball at Vinewood
and a request for your hand
in wedlock in the rose
garden.?
Nan stared at him.
?You think that would
have made a difference to
me? This is where I belong,
Daniel. My roots are here,
among those you glibly dub
peasants.?
?I?m sorry.? He looked it,
his face troubled and
repentant. ?Please say I am
forgiven. I was jealous at
seeing you so obviously at
ease with . . . Merridene,
was it??
?Merriman. So??
?Nan, I think a great deal
of you. Nothing would give
me greater pleasure than
to see you mistress of
Vinewood, as my wife.?
It was apparently the
best he could manage in
the circumstances and it
only served to make
matters worse.
Nan?s lips pursed in a
thin line. This was not her
idea of a marriage proposal
and no amount of
justification would alter
that.
A distinct throbbing at
her temple heralded the
onset of pain. Soon it would
develop into one of the
debilitating headaches that
troubled her from time to
time.
Now, when she had so
wanted to be at her best,
and when the evening had
been progressing so
favourably, too.
She mustered a suitable
response.
?Daniel, I appreciate your
request. At the moment I
am too taken up with other
issues to ??
?I?ve made it clear,?
Daniel cut in, a peevish ring
to his voice, ?you have no
need to concern yourself
with farm staffing and hay
crops.
?You are a lady, and have
the opportunity of living the
life of one at Vinewood. Or
we shall build a fine new
house, designed to our own
specifications.?
?May we leave it for the
present?? Nan asked. ?This
is not a suitable time to
approach so serious an
issue. I shall give you my
answer after the grain
harvest in September.?
Nan?s tone was decisive
and Daniel had no choice
but to acquiesce.
He gave her a bow and
took his leave.
* * * *
?You imbecile! Call
yourself a suitor? What a
fool I have for a son!?
Edwin Harrison lamented
and raged, storming up and
down the library while
Daniel stood miserably by
the long-cased window,
wishing himself anywhere
but here.
?Daniel, are you
attending to me??
Daniel stirred himself.
?Of course, Papa. I have
admitted my error. What
more can I do??
?What more can . . .??
Edwin looked at his son in
sheer disbelief, his lips
working wordlessly.
?I?ll tell you what you can
do,? he said at last. ?You
can court the woman. Use
your charm ? if you possess
any! Present her with gifts.
Promise her a life every
woman dreams of.?
It struck Daniel, belatedly
and with a force that shook
him, that this was a female
quite capable of resisting a
king?s ransom, should the
spirit move her.
He would have to alter
his approach and show a
greater interest in that
confounded farm. Let her
see what a considerate
fellow he really was.
Above all, he must
observe patience.
* * * *
?Tipping down again!?
Brassey said gloomily,
coming across Piers and
Shepherd Skelland
sheltering against the rain.
Piers had his eye on the
rising level of the brook.
?Let?s hope it soon stops.
Another inch or two and
there?ll be floods. This was
an unfortunate place to
position a stackyard,? he
said, anxiety over-riding his
usual reticence in speaking
his mind.
Shepherd Skelland
nodded.
??Twere the late gaffer?s
doing, as you?ll likely know.
Tom Dewes tried to tell him.
The gaffer wunna listen.
Once he?d got an idea in his
head there were no
stopping him.?
?Was that why Dewes
left?? Piers asked.
?That were the start of
things. Tom were a good
bailiff. He knew what were
what, but no man can go
against the will of his
master.?
Piers privately thought
Dewes could have tried
harder to put his point over.
He took in the puddled
stackyard with its rows of
newly stacked haycocks, its
barn and outbuildings full of
sheep-hurdles, cattlepenning and tools.
It did not compare with
the centuries-old tithe barn
and other housing in the
main yard, erected on
higher ground away from
the danger.
?I reckon them had more
sense all them decades ago,
when the farm were first
built,? Brassey remarked.
?I was thinking along the
same lines,? Piers said.
They were joined by Bob
Trimelow, now restored to
his position of cowman, and
Geoffrey Penk, general
hand.
?It?s the risk of combustion
that troubles me,? Piers
went on to say. ?That hay
hasn?t had time to fully
mature. If we get another
hot spell the hay will sweat
and could go up in flames.?
?Tes a fact,? Bob put in.
?What?s to be done about
it??
?We need to dig an outlet
63
to take excess water from
the brook, channel it
around the back of the
farmhouse so it enters the
brook at a lower point.
?I should put the idea to
Miss Vessey.?
?Her?s too taken up wi?
hobnobbing wi? the
Harrison pup to be
bothered with this,? the
shepherd grumbled.
?Can but try,? Piers said
grimly.
That evening he sketched
a plan on the back of an old
bill of sale and went to the
house.
The rain had eased off. A
watery sunset painted the
sky with streaks of orange
and grey. Midges jigged in
merciless swarms and
swallows swooped to feast
their fill.
?It might be more clear if
I showed you what I have in
mind,? Piers said as Nan
studied the routed design
in puzzlement.
?I?ll get my shawl,? Nan
replied.
She accompanied Piers to
the stackyard and listened
carefully as he outlined his
strategy.
?I see. Yes, that would be
the answer to the problem.
Dear me, how sodden the
ground is here. And how
fast the brook runs. Didn?t
we speak of this before??
?Aye,? Piers said noncommittally.
Nan sighed.
?I should have trusted
your judgement.? She
looked at the drawing in
her hand. ?It?s quite an
undertaking, and the men
are busy. Could it wait??
?Not for long,? Piers said.
?I?ll put it to the others. See
what they think.?
* * * *
Nan was about to head
for the churchyard, a posy
of garden flowers in her
hand, when Charlotte came
clattering up on Firedance.
?Charlotte. You?ve just
caught me. I want to put
these on Papa?s grave.?
?I?ll come, too. Is
Merriman here? He can
stable Firedance for me.?
?Merriman?s in the
stackyard with the men. He
has an idea for a culvert to
talk over with them.?
?Is there no end to the
man?s talents? Come with
me, then. I shall attend to
Firedance myself.?
Charlotte put her mare in
a stall next to Minstrel, the
solidly built liver-chestnut
hunter that had belonged
to Henry Vessey.
Charlotte paused to offer
the horse a titbit.
?Darling Minstrel. He?s
such a poppet,? she said as
the animal chomped up the
treat. ?Do you ride him??
?Not as often as I would
like. Merriman uses him for
farm business.?
?With no problems? ?
?None. Minstrel has
perfect manners ? Papa
saw to that. Shall we go,
Charlotte? I don?t like the
look of those clouds.?
They had entered the
churchyard when Nan
pulled to a frowning stop.
?Oh! See who?s there.?
Standing at the foot of
Henry Vessey?s grave was
the woman mourner.
?It?s that woman again,?
Nan said quietly. ?It?s been
a while since she came. We
must speak to her.?
?Nan, I don?t think that
would be wise,? Charlotte
replied.
?Why ever not, Charlotte?
Why so hesitant? I?m going
to see what she wants.?
Nan continued on her
way and Charlotte followed,
her feet crunching
reluctantly along the path.
On reaching the grave,
the woman spoke.
?Charlotte, you?ve caught
me out. I wasn?t expecting
anyone so early in the day.
Pray do not look so
troubled. It was inevitable
that I could not keep up the
charade indefinitely.?
Nan looked from the
stranger to her cousin.
?Charlotte, I don?t
understand. You are
acquainted??
?We are,? Charlotte said
in a low voice. ?Nan, there
is something you should
know. Shall we all go back
to the house? This may
take some time.?
To be continued.
Love reading? Don?t miss the Daily Serial on our
website: www.thepeoplesfriend.co.uk.
On
Reflection
From the
manse window
by Rev. Susan Sarapuk.
I
HAVE discarded lamps
lying around my house.
The bulbs gave out so I
put in new ones, but there
came a time when even
new lightbulbs didn?t
work, so I assumed there
was something wrong with
the lamps themselves.
Loath to throw them
away, I laid them aside,
until one day I suddenly
had the idea of maybe
changing the fuse.
I located a screwdriver,
undid the plug on one of
the lamps, removed the
old fuse, replaced it with
the new one and ? hey
presto! ? it worked. I felt
really pleased with myself.
Then I had to work out
where to place the lamps
because I?d bought a
couple of new ones in the
meantime.
We live in a throwaway
society ? disposable
coffee cups, disposable
nappies, plastic, fashion
changes, technology that
quickly becomes obsolete.
It?s easier and cheaper to
replace an appliance
rather than repair it.
I?m glad God doesn?t
cast us aside because we
don?t work! We do not
work the way we were
created to be, the way he
meant us to be.
Deep down we know
this, so we try to make
things right, to fix our
problems ? perhaps we
try to live good lives or be
religious by attending
church regularly.
But, like my lamps, once
the fuse has gone, it
doesn?t matter how many
times you change the
bulb, the lamp isn?t going
to work.
Something is wrong at
the heart of us and the
fuse needs to be replaced.
God promises in the Bible
that he will take out our
heart of stone and replace
it with a heart of flesh,
that the law will no longer
be external and something
we struggle to obey, but it
will be written on our
hearts and we will love it.
Only in Christ can we
find ourselves made new
and fit for purpose. It?s
God who?s powering us
and giving us the ability to
be light because he?s
replaced the fuse at the
heart of us.
Think of Peter who tried
to do everything in his own
strength. He tried to tell
Jesus what to do and he
was full of bravado,
declaring he would die
with Jesus, only to find
that he was wretched,
useless, a coward, not fit
to be a leader or an
example to anyone.
It was only after the
resurrection and
Pentecost, when he?d seen
himself for who he really
was, that he was a
changed man. Why?
Because God had replaced
the faulty fuse in him with
the Holy Spirit, and now
the lamp was ready to
glow endlessly because the
power source was working.
God doesn?t discard us
when we?re broken and
pick some new people.
God knows how to fix us,
and if we allow him to then
he will.
So, if you?re tired of
trying to be good and you
feel like your light is going
out, ask God to change
your fuse.
With him the power will
be everlasting. ?
Next week: Janice Ross
says, ?Do it your own
way!?
Scott
S
cott Of
Of The
The
Kris Miller.
K
Antarctic
Alamy.
HERITAGE 65
Wendy Glass follows the incredible career of
Captain Robert Falcon Scott, intrepid explorer.
O
NE hundred and
fifty years ago,
on June 6,
1868, Robert
Falcon Scott
was born in Devonport,
Plymouth.
His father ran a brewery,
but young Robert wanted
to follow in the footsteps of
the seafaring side of his
family and, at the age of
thirteen, he joined the
Royal Navy.
Robert progressed up the
ranks, and in 1900, aged
thirty-two, he was asked to
lead the Royal Geographic
Society?s expedition to the
Antarctic.
He would take command
of RRS Discovery, a new
ship which had been
specially built for polar
exploration.
The captain sailed to
Antarctica, where
Discovery became trapped
in the ice for two years.
As they waited for the
massive slab of ice to thaw,
or a rescue ship to arrive
and release them from
their frozen prison, Captain
Scott and the sailors and
scientists who were with
him made the most of their
extra time in Antarctica.
Between 1901 and 1904
they discovered the first
Emperor penguin colony,
travelled closer to the
South Pole than anyone
had managed previously,
mapped hundreds of miles
of unknown coastline and
explored vast swathes of
ice where no man had ever
dared to walk.
Discovery?s enforced stay
in Antarctica made
newspaper headlines
around the world, and once
the ship had finally been
blasted out of the ice,
Captain Scott returned to
the UK to discover he was a
national hero.
Desperate to explore
Antarctica further, he
immediately started
organising his next
expedition.
His fame as an explorer
had brought the Royal
Navy captain to the
attention of London society,
and he soon found himself
attending dinner parties
alongside royals,
aristocrats, actors, artists,
authors and playwrights.
It was at one such event
in 1907 that Captain Scott
spotted Kathleen Bruce, a
bohemian sculptress who
was friends with Isadora
Duncan, George Bernard
Shaw and J.M. Barrie,
creator of Peter Pan.
The daring explorer
proved attractive to
Kathleen and, after a
whirlwind courtship, the
couple married.
A year later, their son
Peter, widely believed to
be named after J.M.
Barrie?s much-loved
character, was born.
However, even a happy
family life wasn?t enough to
sway Captain Scott from
his Antarctic endeavours.
In 1910 he set sail for
Antarctica, this time on
board an ex-whaling ship,
Terra Nova, and with his
beloved wife by his side.
Kathleen left the ship in
New Zealand, waving
farewell to her husband
from the dockside at Port
Arthur.
God knows I love you
more than I thought could
be possible, Kathleen wrote
in the letter she gave to her
husband before he
embarked upon the
final leg of his voyage
to Antarctica.
66
An Unlikely
Friendship
Alamy.
iStock.
Captain Robert
Falcon Scott.
An Emperor penguin colony.
It was a letter he tucked
away for safe-keeping in
the pocket of his jacket.
Although the 1910 Terra
Nova expedition was
primarily a scientific
mission, Scott was keen to
become the first to reach
the South Pole ? a
challenge which Norwegian
explorer Amundsen also
had in his sights.
Scott and his men started
their 800-mile trek to the
South Pole in October
1911.
The journey was long,
arduous and lashed by
storms, and when Scott and
his four fellow explorers
arrived at the South Pole
on January 18, 1912, they
were met by a devastating
sight ? the Norwegian flag.
Amundsen and his team
had reached the South Pole
eleven days earlier.
Captain Scott wrote in his
diary, A terrible
disappointment. This is a
terrible place.
The long march back to
base camp proved even
more testing than the walk
to the South Pole. The
weather had deteriorated
further, supplies were
dwindling and frost bite
had become a problem.
They were hundreds of
miles from Terra Nova. By
March, two of the team
were dead, and when a
terrible storm hit them at
full force, Captain Scott,
Dr Wilson and Birdie
Bowers sought refuge in
their tent.
As they huddled together
for warmth, Captain Scott
wrote letters to his friends,
his colleagues and, of
course, his beloved wife.
I am anxious for you and
the boy?s future ? make the
boy interested in natural
J.M. Barrie, best
known today as the
author of ?Peter Pan?,
was one of Captain
Scott?s closest friends.
When the two men
first met in 1906, Barrie
was the most successful
playwright of the time
and Captain Scott was
Britain?s best-known
adventurer. However,
both men harboured
secret ambitions of
alternative careers ?
J.M. Barrie as an
adventurer and Captain
Scott as a writer.
Our talk was largely a
comparison of a life of
action (which he poohpoohed) with the loathly
life of those who sit at
home (which I scorned),
J.M. Barrie wrote to
Peter Scott, his godson.
Overlooking a
beautiful valley in the
east of Scotland stands
a memorial to Captain
Scott and his brave men
? a lasting reminder
of the link between
a Scottish glen and
Antarctica.
Captain Scott and his
second-in-command,
Dr Edward Wilson,
made many of the
plans and preparations
for his fateful journey
to Antarctica from
Burnside Lodge, a
cottage in Glen Prosen,
one of the most remote
of the Angus Glens.
Today, an 11-foot-high
granite memorial by
sculptor Bruce Walker
provides a lasting
reminder of those brave
men.
?My grandfather
would have been very
proud to be remembered
in this way at this
beautiful, inspirational
spot,? Falcon Scott,
grandson of Captain
Robert Scott, says.
history if you can, he wrote
in one.
Kathleen must have paid
heed to his words as Peter
Scott was to become Sir
Peter Scott, founder of the
World Wide Fund for
Nature (WWF).
You know I have loved
you, Captain Scott went on.
You know that my thoughts
constantly dwelt on you.
Almost a year later, as
Kathleen sailed to New
Zealand to meet her
husband on his return from
Antarctica, news reached
her ship of a terrible
tragedy.
A search party had found
the frozen bodies of
Captain Scott, Dr Wilson
and Birdie Wilson in a
snow-covered tent.
Kathleen?s letter to her
husband was still in his
breast pocket, next to his
heart. ?
RRS Discovery, the ship that carried Captain Scott on his 1901 voyage to
Antarctica, provides a fascinating insight into life on board a ship almost 120
years ago.
RRS Discovery was built in Dundee
in 1901 and returned to the city in
1986. She has been lovingly restored
to all her former glory and is now
the centrepiece of Dundee?s awardwinning Discovery Point. Visitors can
step on board, find out more Captain
Scott?s first Antarctic expedition, and
discover the horrendous conditions
Scott and his men endured as they
made their long, dangerous and
bitterly cold trek to the South Pole.
Bob Douglas.
A World Of Discovery
For more information,
visit www.rrsdiscovery.
com.
68
my ga
garden
Notes from
Alexandra Campbell gives her tips
for perfecting your pruning skills.
Photographs by Alexandra Campbell and iStock.
So That
Plant Is Dead
A few weeks ago, I
suggested waiting to
see if plants survived
the winter or not. But if
they haven?t recovered
by now, they probably
need taking out.
I?ve been asking
designers what to do
with a sudden hole in a
summer border and one
good suggestion is to
put a large pot (with a
plant) in there. The pot
will give the plant a bit
more height and you
can remove it when the
flowers are over.
E
ARLY June means
secateurs at dawn
? it?s a big pruning
month, as the May
flowering shrubs go
over. Don?t leave it any
longer or they won?t have
time to grow the wood for
next year?s flowers.
Proper pruning makes a
huge difference to a
garden. Think of it as
tailoring.
Sadly, many of today?s
parks and public green
spaces are ?pruned? by
men with chainsaws in
hi-vis jackets, rather than
by trained gardeners.
All shrubs are cut back at
the same time, and
sometimes they?re taken
down to the same height
and width.
The result is lumpy,
congested shrubs and
fewer flowers. And men
with chainsaws are also
invading private gardens,
too, under the guise of
?garden maintenance?.
If you
y want elegant
g
shrubs with lots of flowers,
you either have to employ
a professionally qualified
gardener or learn about
pruning yourself.
I have even come across
professional gardeners who
take the ?chainsaw man?
approach, so it isn?t always
easy to find the right
person. You can try to
instruct a chainsaw man,
but he won?t always do
what you ask.
Firstly, your tools. You
need a pair of secateurs, a
pair of loppers and a
pruning saw. I use Felco
secateurs, a Fiskars
pruning saw and Wilkinsons
Ultra-light Loppers.
Then think about what
you want. If you like a thick
hedge with a nice sharp
edge, then the chainsaw cut
will be fine, or you could clip
it all over with shears. A
light trim now will help it
thicken up, and you can trim
it again in November to give
you a nice clean outline for
your winter garden.
But when it comes to
flowering shrubs, such as
weigelia, philadelphus,
spiraea, berberis and more,
decide whether you want to
see an open spray effect
rather than a chunky lump
of greenery.
For an open spray effect,
you need to cut whole
lengths of branch out where
they intersect with other
branches. Or take up to a
third of the oldest and
thickest stems right from
the base.
GARDENING 69
Do You
Need A
Pond Pump?
The Lawn
I?m hearing more and
more about mulching
mowers. These are lawn
mowers which chop up
the grass very finely, so
that you can leave it on
the lawn. It acts as a
mulch to retain moisture,
and eventually composts,
adding nutrients. Robotic
mowers are mulching
mowers, as they mow
little and often. The cut
grass is very fine so you
don?t see it. All very
tempting!
If you just shorten the
branches, then they will
sprout where you cut them,
creating an irregular and
over-crowded mass.
Keep standing back to
look at the overall shape.
And look at the shapes of
shrubs when you?re visiting
professionally run gardens.
Pruning isn?t difficult,
provided you remember
the plant will send out new
growth wherever you cut it.
If you want elegant
sprays, make sure new
growth emerges from the
trunk, base or another
branch. But if you want to
thicken up the plant, cut
across branches, and it will
thicken where you cut it.
Now is the time to prune
pyracantha so as not to
lose either the flowers or
berries. If you have a
wall-trained pyracantha
(which I do), take out any
growth that?s sticking out
too far. Your flowers should
just be over by now, but
you should still be able to
I?m now in the fourth
year of a mini wildlife
pond in an oak barrel. I
worried that the water
would get mucky if I didn?t
have a pump, but it?s
stayed clear. I don?t know
if that?s because I filled it
with oxygenating plants
(available from any
garden centre), but they
do help. If you need to
thin pond plants out, let
them lie beside the pond
for 24 hours to allow wee
creatures to get back to
the water.
see which branches didn?t
flower this year. Cut them
back or out.
Wisteria, too, needs its
summer prune in June. Cut
back those new long
tendrils to about 20 cm.
Then there?s the ?Chelsea
chop? which should be
carried out from late May
to early June.
Cut down some flowering
perennials by one third to a
half of their height to make
the plants flower later. If
you have a big clump of
plants, you can ?Chelsea
chop? half of them, leaving
the other half to flower at
the normal time.
It works with rudbeckias,
asters, penstemons, phlox,
campanula, echinacea and
more. But check first ? I did
the ?Chelsea chop? on the
wrong plant once, and it
took two years to get back
to the right size.
Sharpen the blades of
your secateurs and loppers
from time to time before
putting them away. ?
Visit Alexandra?s blog online at
www.themiddlesizedgarden.co.uk.
Gardening Gloves
I?m having a bit of a rant about gardening gloves.
I recently went into a large garden centre (which
shall be nameless). I managed to try on some
gardening gloves without disturbing the labels, and
they were so stiff and uncomfortable. They were
the only gardening gloves stocked, too.
Too many gardening gloves seem to be made for
the gift market. They look pretty, but are absolutely
no use for gardening. Yet good gardening gloves
are absolutely essential to avoid the cuts and
scratches that can turn nasty.
As gardening blogger, I get given gloves, so I have
tried a lot of different ones. But in spite of having a
bulging basket of gloves in the potting shed, I still
sometimes buy my own.
What makes a good gardening glove? Firstly, they
need to be flexible yet strong. The best ones are
reinforced around the palm and fingers, with a
stretchy material across the knuckles and the back
of the hand.
You need different gloves for different jobs.
All-purpose gloves are best for weeding and
planting, but you need strong leather gauntlets if
you?re doing any major pruning, especially of thorny
or large shrubs.
Good gardening gloves are washable (although I
suggest 30 degrees as I have shrunk a few of my
favourite pairs).
I particularly like Showa, Fiskars and Spear &
Jackson gloves, and my husband likes his Cobra
gloves.
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
w
Q
Can you tell me the correct
name for the young of
peacocks?
Miss C.Y., Bournemouth
h.
Although commonly known as
peacocks, the name for these
birds is peafowl. Peacock denotes
the male of the species, peahens
the female and peachicks their
young. They are related to the
pheasant family.
Like many bird species, it?s the
males who have the beautiful
colours and long tail feathers, with
peahens having duller plumage.
Peacocks use their tail feathers to great
reat effect to attract a
female. While these birds can fly, they can?t stay airborne for very long.
Peafowl are omnivores, enjoying a mixed diet including grains and insects, and they
live for around 20 years.
A
Q
We all take ATMs for granted for accessing
our money, but when was the first one
installed in the UK?
Mrs A.C., Doncaster.
The first Automated Teller Machine was
installed in a branch of Barclays in Enfield,
north London on June 27, 1967. British inventor
John Shepherd-Barron apparently came up with
the idea while soaking in the bath ? talk about a
eureka moment! The first person to try out the
ATM was ?On The Buses? actor Reg Varney.
A
Q
I would like to know if
there will be a sixth
series of the Australian
soap ?A Place To Call
Home??
Mrs B.J.O., Co Antrim.
The sixth and final season
of this period drama is to
go into production soon and
is due to air in August of this
year.
A
iStock.
Something we didn?t
know last week...
To increase your odds of enjoying a happy,
healthy old age, concentrate on making
friends rather than making money. An
80-year study by Harvard University has
found that good friends are more important
than fortune or fame when it comes to
being happy and healthy as you get older.
Although it?s important to look after your
body, the researchers found that it?s also
important to look after your mind and your
soul ? and having good, strong friendships
is one of the best ways of doing this.
*Please do not send an SAE as we cannot give personal replies.
June 2
is National Rocky Road
Day in the US ? the
perfect excuse for us all
to indulge in the sweet
treat.
8,251
guests attended the
Coronation of Queen
Elizabeth II on June 2, 1953
? 65 years ago.
20 years ago,
the first DVDs went on sale
in the UK.
2 times a year
? how often, on average,
domestic ovens are
cleaned.
10
? the most difficult
age for modern
children. Terrible
teens have been replaced by
temperamental ten-year-olds.
73%
of us write a shopping
list before going grocery
shopping ? but the survey
doesn?t mention how
many of us arrive at the
supermarket and realise
the list is at home!
Photography by Ally Stuart, www.allystuartphotography.co.uk.
Hair and make-up by Linda Wilson.
Photographed at Rufflets Hotel, St Andrews, www.rufflets.co.uk.
KNITTING 73
Shades Of The
ediate
m
r
e
t
In
Get set
for summer
with our cabled
top which features
a stylish square
neckline.
Sea
74
MEASUREMENTS
To fit sizes: 76/81 cm
(30/32 ins), 86/91 (34/36),
97/102 (38/40), 107/112
(42/44), 117/122 (46/48),
127/132 (50/52).
Actual size: 86 cm (34 ins),
97 (38), 107 (42), 116
(45�), 126 (49�), 130
(53�).
Length: 55 cm (21� ins),
56 (22), 57 (22�), 58 (23),
59 (23�), 60 (23�).
Sleeve seam: 14 cm
(5� ins).
MATERIALS
6 (6, 7, 7, 8, 8) 50-gram balls
of Rico Design Creative
Sport Print DK in Blue
(012). One pair each
3.25 mm (No. 10) and
4.5 mm (No. 7) knitting
needles; cable needle;
stitch-holders.
This yarn is available from Rico
stockists. If you have difficulty
finding the yarn used, you can
order directly from Wool
Warehouse,
www.woolwarehouse.
co.uk, tel: 0800 505 3300.
TENSION
22 sts and 28 rows to 10 cm
measured over st-st using
4.5 mm needles.
ABBREVIATIONS
Alt ? alternate;
beg ? beginning;
CB ? slip next 3 sts on to cable
needle and hold at back of
work, K3, then K3 from cable
needle; CF ? slip next
3 sts on to cable needle and
hold at front of work, K3, then
K3 from cable needle;
dec ? decrease;
foll ? following;
g-st ? garter-stitch (knit every
row); inc ? increase; K ? knit;
P ? purl; rep ? repeat;
sl ? slip; st(s) ? stitch(es);
st-st ? stocking-stitch (knit
1 row, purl 1 row);
tog ? together;
yrn ? yarn round needle.
IMPORTANT NOTE
Directions are given for six
sizes. Figures in brackets refer
to the larger sizes. Figures in
square brackets [ ] refer to all
sizes and are worked the
number of times stated. When
writing to us with your queries,
you must enclose an SAE if
you would like a reply.
FRONT
With 3.25 mm needles, cast
on 99 (109, 121, 131, 143,
153) sts.
Work in g-st for 6 cm, ending
after an even number of rows.
Next row ? Purl, inc 1 st at
each end of row ? 101 (111,
123, 133, 145, 155) sts.
Next (right-side) row ? K9
(13, 18, 22, 27, 31), P6 (7, 8,
9, 10, 11), [K6, P2, yrn, P3tog,
yrn, P2] 5 times, K6, P6 (7, 8,
9, 10, 11), K9 (13, 18, 22, 27,
31).
2nd row ? P9 (13, 18, 22,
27, 31), K6 (7, 8, 9, 10, 11),
[P6, K7] 5 times, P6, K6 ( 7, 8,
9, 10, 11), P9 (13, 18, 22, 27,
31).
3rd - 8th rows ? Rep 1st and
2nd rows 3 times.
9th row ? K9 (13, 18, 22, 27,
31), P6 (7, 8, 9, 10, 11), [CF,
P2, yrn, P3tog, yrn, P2, CB, P2,
yrn, P3tog, yrn, P2] twice, CF,
P2 yrn, P3tog, yrn, P2, CB, P6
(7, 8, 9, 10, 11), knit to end.
10th row ? P9 (13, 18, 22,
27, 31), K6 (7, 8, 9, 10, 11),
[P6, K7] 5 times, P6, K6 (7, 8,
9, 10, 11), P9 (13, 18, 22, 27,
31).
These 10 rows set the pattern.
Continue in pattern until work
measures 38 cm from
beginning, ending after a
wrong-side row. Place a marker
at centre of last row.
Shape armholes ? Cast off 5
(6, 7, 7, 8, 9) sts loosely at
beg of next 2 rows ? 91 (99,
109, 119, 129, 137) sts.
Dec 1 st at each end of next
3 (3, 5, 7, 8, 9) rows, then on
every foll alt row until 81 (87,
93, 97, 103, 109) sts remain.
Work straight until front
measures 10 (9, 9, 10, 10,
10) cm from marker, ending
after a wrong-side row.
Shape neck ? Pattern 20 (22,
24, 25, 28, 31), turn.
Work straight on this group of
sts for left half of neck until
work measures 17 (18, 19,
20, 21, 22) cm from start of
armhole shaping, ending at
armhole edge.
Shape shoulder ? Cast off 5
(5, 6, 6, 7, 8) sts loosely at
beg of next row and the foll
2 alt rows ? 5 (7, 6, 7, 7,
7) sts.
Work 1 row straight. Cast off
loosely.
With right side facing, slip next
41 (43, 45, 47, 47, 47) sts on
a stitch-holder and leave.
Neatly rejoin yarn to remaining
20 (22, 24, 25, 28, 31) sts
and work to end of row.
Complete as given for left half.
BACK
Omitting neck shaping, work as
front to shoulder shaping,
ending after a wrong-side row.
Shape shoulders ? Cast off
5 (5, 6, 6, 7, 8) sts loosely at
beg of next 6 rows, then 5 (7,
6, 7, 7, 7) sts at beg of next
2 rows ? 41 (43, 45, 47, 47,
47) sts. Slip remaining sts on a
stitch-holder and leave.
SLEEVES
With 3.25 mm needles, cast
on 55 (59, 65, 69, 73,
77) sts, work 8 rows in g-st.
Change to 4.5 mm needles
and beg with a knit row for
right side, work in st-st, shaping
sides by inc 1 st at each end of
5th row, then on every foll 4th
row until there are 69 (73, 79,
83, 87, 91) sts.
Work straight until sleeve
measures 14 cm, ending after
a purl row.
Shape top ? Cast off 5 (6, 7,
7, 8, 9) sts loosely at beg of
next 2 rows ? 59 (61, 65, 69,
71, 73) sts.
Work 0 (0, 0, 0, 4, 4) rows
straight.
Dec 1 st at each end of next
row and every foll knit row until
29 (33, 35, 39, 41, 45) sts
remain, then on every row until
19 (23, 25, 29, 31, 35) sts
remain. Cast off very loosely.
TO COMPLETE
Join left shoulder.
Neckband ? With 3.25 mm
needles and right side facing,
knit across 41 (43, 45, 47, 47,
47) sts of back, pick up and
knit 22 (24, 26, 26, 29,
31) sts down left side of neck,
K1 from corner (i.e. between
the last st picked up and the
first st of the front neck sts),
knit across 41 (43, 45, 47, 47,
47) sts of front neck, pick up
and knit 1 st from corner,
finally pick up and knit 22 (24,
26, 26, 29, 31) sts evenly up
left side of neck ? 128 (136,
144, 148, 154, 158) sts.
Place a marker on each of the
two corner sts of front neck.
1st row ? Knit.
2nd row ? Knit to within 1 st
of first marked st, ?sl1, K2tog,
pass slipped over ?, knit to
within 1 st of second marked
st, work from ? to ?, knit to
end ? 124 (132, 140, 144,
150, 154) sts.
Repeat these 2 rows 3 times
more ? 112 (120, 128, 132,
138, 142) sts.
Cast off evenly knitways.
To Make Up ? Press work
lightly on wrong side following
pressing instructions. Join right
shoulder and edges of
neckband. Sew in sleeves. Join
side and sleeve seams. Press
seams. ?
Next week: make a
quilted spectacles case.
REMEMBER WHEN? 75
Hoop Facts
iStock.
In A
Spin!
i
T
We celebrate the hula hoop?s anniversary
with a look at its sixty-year history.
OYS come and go,
but few really stand
the test of time.
Only a handful of
ingenious
inventions have proved so
enduring that they keep
coming back, and among
them is the humble hula
hoop.
It?s still a popular toy
today, but is also widely
used for fitness ? with
added weight and grip to
make it a little easier to
keep up!
Hoops made of natural
materials have been used
as toys for hundreds of
years, and were used in
ceremonial dances in a few
Native American cultures,
but it wasn?t until Richard
Knerr and Arthur Melin
marketed them as ?hula
hoops? and began selling
them from the US in 1958
that the modern plastic
ring we know and love
really took off.
The story goes that a
visiting Australian told
them how children at home
used bamboo rings as
exercise equipment.
Released in April sixty
years ago by Richard and
Arthur?s Californian
company Wham-O, they
became a phenomenon,
and that summer became
the summer of the hoop!
The toy took its name
from the Hawaiian dance
that looked so similar to
?hoopers? in action, and
immediately caught on.
Sales took off over the
summer holidays of that
year, and within four
months 25,000,000 of
them had been sold.
At the peak of the
hoop?s popularity, the
manufacturer was
producing 20,000 a day,
and it took only two years
for over 100,000,000 to
be sold.
Singer Georgia Gibbs
made the most of their
popularity by releasing
?The Hula Hoop Song? in
late 1958, performing it on
?The Ed Sullivan Show?. It
was her last US Number
One.
?The Daily Mirror?
newspaper even sponsored
their own team of ?hula
hoop girls? who performed
at venues around the
country, and PE classes
began running hoop
groups.
Soon the craze peaked,
but its popularity was given
a boost in the Sixties when
b
ball bearings were put
iinside the tubing to make a
noise.
n
In the States, this
resurgence
r
prompted a
national
n
hula hoop contest
that
t
ran between 1968
and
a 1981 and attracted
over
o
2,000,000 entrants.
Classic moves like the
? Wham-O also
patented the Frisbee,
which took its name from
a US pie company,
Frisbie. Connecticut
students had been seen
tossing the empty pie
tins back and forth. It
took off, literally and
figuratively, with 100
million sold by 1994.
? The longest spin of a
hula hoop was by Aaron
Hibbs from the US, who
entered the Guinness
Book of Records with an
amazing 74 hours 54
minutes of rotating.
? Marawa Ibrahim
managed the feat of
spinning 200 hula hoops
at once on her fourth
attempt at the record in
2015.
? Roman Schedler,
multiple hula hoop
record breaker, once
spun a 24 kg (53 lb)
tractor tyre for an
incredible 71 seconds at
a festival in Austria in
2000.
?knee knocker? and the
?alley oop? were often part
of the routines.
Things quietened down in
the Eighties, but by then
the hoops were part of
circus acts and acrobatic
teams? regular tools of the
trade, and were especially
popular in Russia and
China.
Now they?re back on the
map as fitness aids, and
every bit as much fun as
they ever were! ?
Alamy.
Send Us Your Memories!
Hula hooping was
even part of PE for
this London school.
Were you a star hula-hooper? Do you still spin? If
so, we?d love to hear from you! Send your letters and
pictures to the address on the Between Friends page.
76
Get Away From It All
Exclusive! Great
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Hotel, Harrogate, with
?The People?s Friend?
Value
from just
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? 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.
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With a choice of full
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77
As a guest of the ?Friend?
you will be treated to . . .
Monday Evening
? Private welcome drinks
? A ?Friend? goody bag
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Tuesday
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where you will make
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Wednesday
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Please reserve your
space when you book*
? Talk from the ?Friend?
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?The People?s Friend?
Thursday
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? 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
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Christmas to look forward to.
?
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Use of our Fresh-Air Fitness
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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
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Bowls
The Great and
Small Yorkshire
Tapas Restauran
nt.
Warner Hotel Guests ?
3 Tapas dishes
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Warner have rebranded the Terrace
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It?s the perfect place to enjoy some
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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
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To book call 0330 102 9952 or email
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Please quote: ?The People?s Friend?
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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
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p
Douglas
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
has someone
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
Farmers.
problem was that Anne
out the one from the Young
used last year. She got
for Christmas pudding!?
?John, there?s no recipe
and I checked.
I
t.?
fifty-eigh
She handed me the book
page
on
plum pudding ? see,
?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
wanted someon
she
why
realised
I
As soon as I started,
Christmas ? pudding.
went into a plum ? not
the bits and pieces that
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.
ounces
16
weighed
d and
Eventually, we crumble
and mixed . . .
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.
Now it?s Christmas, and
all the trouble! ?
worth
well
and
?
s
Deliciou
40
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SHORT STORY BY CLAIRE BUCKLE 79
A Gift
Beyond
Measure
Lin had high hopes for her
daughter, but Sophie had
her own ideas . . .
Illustration by Mandy Dixon.
S
O, what?s the big
secret?? Lin asked
her daughter.
Anticipation had
been rising ever
since Sophie had phoned
Lin, asking to meet at a
local caf� because she had
something to tell her.
Sophie sipped her latte
and then carefully placed
the tall glass on to its
saucer.
?I don?t know how I?ve
managed to keep it from
you . . .?
This was it, Lin thought.
The moment she?d been
waiting for.
Sophie took a deep
breath.
?Over the past year I?ve
been writing a novel. I
didn?t tell you because I
needed to make sure I
could finish it first ? that it
wasn?t some unattainable
goal.
?Anyway, I sent it out to
agents and one has taken
me on. It needs editing and
whipped into shape, but
just imagine, before long
my book will be in the
shops!?
As she looked at her
mum, Sophie?s wide smile
began to slip.
?You are pleased for me,
aren?t you, Mum??
Lin masked her
disappointment by pushing
back her chair, reaching
across the table and
hugging her daughter.
?Oh, darling, of course I
am. Dad will be, too.?
How foolish she?d been to
think Sophie would have
announced a pregnancy in
a caf�.
They sat down.
?Maybe I shouldn?t have
kept it secret, but I didn?t
know if it was any good.
Not that I didn?t trust your
judgement, or Dad?s. Nick
was the only person I
showed it to.?
?I understand.?
Lin did. She and Sophie
were close, but her
daughter was fiercely
independent and valued
her privacy.
Besides, Nick was an
English teacher and far
better qualified than her to
judge Sophie?s writing.
Lin smiled.
?I?m so proud of you.
Now, let?s order lunch and
you can fill me in.?
As they ate their
sandwiches, Lin listened
while Sophie related the
plot of her psychological
thriller.
She described how she?d
worked till midnight most
evenings and what a
godsend Nick had been,
preparing meals and doing
the lion?s share of the
housework.
Lin made appreciative
noises and tried not to feel
deflated. She had told the
truth about being proud of
Sophie, but her daughter
was thirty-six years old,
had forged a career in
Human Resources and had
been married for five years.
The next logical step would
be to start a family, surely.
Lin worried the couple
might be going through the
same problems she and
Greg had encountered
when they?d tried for a
baby. She saw a chance to
broach the subject.
?Look, Sophie, matching
outfits!? Lin whispered,
nodding at a young woman
at a nearby table lifting her
baby out of its buggy.
The tiny tot had a black
and white spotted dress
and headband in identical
material to the mother?s.
?Sweet,? Sophie cooed.
?Remember those party
dresses you used to make
for me when I was little??
?So, do you think you
might like to start a family
soon?? Lin asked casually,
looking down at the list of
desserts.
?No way.?
The emphatic reply made
Lin?s stomach sink, but she
attempted to keep her
voice calm.
?Oh. I thought that now
you and Nick were settled
and you?ve written your
book . . .? She shrugged.
?Exactly. We?re settled,
the two of us, and that?s
how we want it to stay. My
friends who have kids are
either frazzled or hard up,
or both.?
Sophie sighed.
?It?s not that I don?t like
children, I do. Just other
people?s.?
?But you?ve both got
good jobs, and Dad and I
would be on hand to help.?
?Mum, please, stop. I?m
sorry if you feel let down,
but I love my life. Nick and
I can afford to travel
wherever we want. Believe
me, some of the places
we?ve been have shown us
how overpopulated the
world already is, without
adding to it.?
Lin put down her halffinished sandwich, her
appetite ebbing away.
?In a couple of years,
maybe . . .?
?No, Mum. I haven?t
inherited your maternal
instinct.?
?For lots of people that
comes after the baby?s
born.?
Lin saw Sophie?s jaw set
and her mouth form a tight
line.
?Let?s not talk about it
any more.?
?Agreed.? Sophie raised
her latte. ?A toast.?
* * * *
Greg was in the kitchen
when Lin related the
lunchtime conversation.
?Great news about the
book. And, well, these
days more and more
people are choosing
80
not to have kids.?
?But when I think
about everything we went
through to have a baby!?
?What difference does
that make??
Greg pinched his
forehead between his
roughened thumb and
forefinger, testament to the
manual work he?d carried
out over the years.
?Look at it this way, Lin.
Our daughter?s happy,
we?re fit and healthy,
business is good. Isn?t that
enough??
She didn?t answer,
because, in a way, it
wasn?t.
At nearly seventy, Greg
was still working. Not
manual labour any more,
but overseeing his small
building company.
Now she was retired,
sometimes Lin did feel a
little side-lined.
?Anyway, I?ve got to get
on. There?s stuff to do in
the workshop,? he said
gruffly.
His shoulders slumped as
he walked down to the end
of garden and into the
workshop he?d built when
Sophie was no more than a
babe in arms.
* * * *
The late afternoon sun
had come out from behind
a cloud and brightened the
border of colourful flowers.
Maybe the garden would
do the same for her mood.
Lin took the secateurs
from the kitchen drawer
and went outside to dead
head the plants tumbling
out of the patio pots.
Along with other gardens
in the area, she and Greg
opened theirs each year in
aid of the local hospice,
providing refreshments for
visitors as well as skittles
and croquet to keep any
children occupied.
A light breeze cooled her
skin as she worked her way
around the garden.
When she reached her
Beatrix Potter rose along
the fence, she took a
moment to inhale the
delicately scented, creamy
pink blooms.
She loved telling the
children who visited the
garden that it was named
after the famous author,
the creator of so many cute
animal characters.
To represent a couple of
the famous ones, she?d
bought a terracotta
hedgehog and a painted
duck and had placed them
nearby.
Lin stretched up to where
a cluster of spent flowers
was hanging.
?Ouch!? She squealed as
a thorn tore into her finger.
She sucked on the wound
and hurried indoors,
berating herself for not
bothering with gardening
gloves. She went upstairs
to wash her hands and get
a plaster.
When she came out of
the bathroom, the door to
the box room was banging.
She walked into the room
and shut the window, then
sat on the bed and gazed
at the magnolia walls and
tired grey carpet.
She?d held off from
decorating, waiting until
the time was right.
It was in here she?d
imagined curtains the
colour of buttercups, a
carpet the colour of her
rose and walls in either
forget-me-not blue or
peony pink, a perfect room
for a grandchild.
Lin stood and opened the
single pine wardrobe. There
were a few coats on
hangers, but it was the two
plastic boxes at the bottom
she wanted.
She kneeled down and
dragged them out.
One contained baby
items of Sophie?s, including
a lemon outfit knitted by
Lin?s mum, who?d passed
away when Sophie was a
toddler.
And, wrapped in tissue
presents
paper, was the lacy
christening shawl Lin had
crocheted whilst pregnant.
She buried her face in the
fine white wool. The pain
was there, she realised.
It lay dormant most of
the time, but it could still
be roused.
She especially
empathised with couples
coping with infertility,
knowing how lucky she and
Greg had been after years
of anguish.
Rewrapping the shawl,
she put it away.
The other box contained
a pile of Sophie?s childhood
drawings and selected
school books from junior to
senior.
Lin flipped through an
English exercise book from
the year Sophie was
thirteen and stopped at an
essay.
How I See My Future.
She began to read. There
was a preamble about the
girls? school Sophie
attended, how it had
instilled in her the
motivation to achieve.
But it?s my mum who has
made me who I?ll be in the
future. She thought she
couldn?t have a child, but
she never gave up hoping,
or trying to attain her main
goal in life.
?Always believe you can
achieve what might seem
impossible, and if you don?t
get there at least you?ve
tried your best? has always
been my parents? motto.
And it?s one I?ll take with
me into the future.
I love books. My
favourite author when I was
little was Beatrix Potter.
Mum and I would snuggle
up together and she?d read
to me. It?s where I got my
first taste of brilliant
writing.
One day I might even
write a book of my own.
We all have different
dreams, but if I have as
much determination as
my mum, I know I can
reach mine.
Tears pricked at Lin?s
eyes. Sophie was fulfilling
what they?d always hoped
she would. Her dream.
* * * *
?Are you up there, love?
I?ve made tea,? Greg called.
She cleared her throat.
?I?ll be down in a tick.?
She went into the kitchen.
Greg gave a rueful smile.
?I?ve been thinking out
there in the workshop. I?m
not ready to hang up my
work boots yet, but maybe I
can wind down so we can
spend more time together.?
He hugged her.
?I can?t say I?m not
disappointed about Sophie?s
decision, but I?m proud of
her, too. How about we see
if she and Nick fancy coming
away for a weekend to
celebrate? Our treat.?
Lin nodded.
?What a lovely idea. Give
them a ring now and ask.?
Sipping her tea, she
looked out of the window.
The setting sun bathed the
garden in a golden light.
She thought about how
floral wallpaper would
brighten up the box room,
and if she got rid of the bed
there would be space for a
table.
She could haul out the
sewing-machine that she
hadn?t touched in years. A
local charity often asked for
donations of clothes for the
Indian orphanage it
supported, and she?d be
able to make exactly what
was needed.
She?d never part with the
baby clothes, and she knew
the yearning for a
grandchild would not
suddenly disappear, but she
and Greg had more than
enough to be thankful for.
As her gaze settled on the
garden fence, she knew
what she?d give Sophie
when they next met.
A bunch of beautiful
blooms from the Beatrix
Potter rose. ?
Discover a new way to enjoy our favourite short stories
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? One prize of: 1 x Indesit Innex washing machine (BWE 91484X W UK)
? Dimensions H 845 x W 595 x D 615 mm
? Installation is not included in the prize
? Removal of prize winner?s appliance is not included
? Indesit is not responsible for any kitchen alterations should the prize not fit (i.e. in
non-standard designs)
? The promoter of this competition is Indesit
82
PUZZLES 83
Wordsearch
Find all the words relating to Blue
Peter in the grid. Words can run
horizontally, vertically, forwards,
backwards or diagonally.
ACTIVITY
GARDEN
ANTHEA TURNER
JOKE
BADGE
N O
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LETTER
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L E E V U E L R E K
BBC
MISTAKE
E R E
CHALLENGE
NEWS
P G T T
CHILDREN
PAINTING
COMPETITION
POEM
M Y D A T E T R E E C B A
COOKING
REPORT
DANCE
THEME TUNE
EXPEDITION
TIME CAPSULE
FLAG
TRAVEL
M L
D N C T
T A
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L E V A Y H O G T
O S H A L E P U K H O B K
C C R F B O R O N L
G A R D E N J
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S W E N N H
M E C A P S U L E A
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All puzzles � Puzzler Media Ltd www.puzzler.com
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SOAP BY GLENDA YOUNG
OUR
WEEKLY
SOAP
Mandy Bow is
about to bow
out of the
limelight . . .
iStock.
M
ARY fell into
her armchair,
too tired to
take off her
jacket.
She dropped her canvas
shopping bags to the floor,
along with the plastic bag
she?d had to buy.
?Busy day, love?? George
asked, peering over the top
of his newspaper.
Mary let out a long, low
sigh before she replied.
?I?m worn out,? she said.
?Ruby and I have been run
ragged by Mandy in town.?
?Mandy?? George asked,
his interest piqued. ?Mandy
Bow, the TV star woman??
Mary laughed.
?You know full well which
Mandy I mean. Or do I
mean Audrey Smith? It?s
hard to know when you?re
with that woman whether
you?re coming or going,
never mind whether to use
her stage name or her real
name.
?Ruby and I have spent
most of today with her
buying bits and pieces for
Mandy?s ??
?Audrey?s,? George
butted in.
Mary closed her eyes and
pushed her head back
against the chair.
?For Audrey?s charity do
85
Riverside
at the Ship tonight.?
?You have got Mike and
me tickets for it, haven?t
you?? George asked.
?Course I have,? Mary
replied. ?I?ll even make sure
they?re front row seats if
you?ll do me a favour.?
George put his paper on
the sofa beside him.
?What?? he asked.
Mary smiled.
?Stick the kettle on.?
* * * *
Later that afternoon,
Ruby and Mary were busy
in the back room at the
Ship. Barmaid Claire was
helping them bring in seats
from the bar and creating a
makeshift stage.
?Are you expecting many
people?? Claire asked,
looking around the room
and wondering how many
chairs they could fit in.
Ruby and Mary
exchanged a look.
?Well, Audrey sent out
fifty invitations to the
people who used to run her
fan club when she was on
TV,? Mary began.
?And someone put it on
social media,? Ruby
continued. ?Apparently it?s
gone viral, so who knows
how many will come. They?ll
have to get through me
and Mary first.?
Mary plonked herself
down in one of the chairs.
?All we?re doing is
checking tickets before
letting anyone in.?
?No ticket, no admission.
Got it, captain!? Ruby said,
giving Mary a mock salute,
and the two friends smiled
at each other.
Sam shouted through
from the bar to get Claire?s
attention.
?Sorry, ladies, duty calls,?
Claire said. ?There must be
customers coming in.?
Claire walked through to
the bar to find Sam trying
to deal with a crowd of
people who were pushing
and shoving to get served.
She started serving, and
from the excited chatter of
the customers, it became
apparent that they were
Mandy Bow fans booked to
hear her talk in the pub.
When they were served
with their drinks, they kept
Sam and Claire ? and Jim
in the kitchen ? busy with
their food orders.
Soon the time came for
the charity event to begin
and the fans began to
troop into the back room,
having their tickets checked
by Mary.
Ruby led everyone to
their seats, which were laid
out in rows, encouraging
everyone to move along
the rows so that all the fans
would fit in.
George and Mike arrived
at the pub together.
?Ah, our VIP guests.?
Ruby smiled as she showed
them to their reserved
seats at the front.
* * * *
As the fans were waiting
to see their favourite TV
star, Audrey was being
driven to the pub ? and in
some style, too.
With her son acting as
chauffeur, she rode in the
back seat of a hired limo,
and when they reached the
pub, she asked him to
circle the block so that she
could watch her fans
walking inside.
?Are you ready, Mum??
Colin asked as he pulled up
at the pub?s front door.
?As ready as I?ll ever be
for the final performance I?ll
give as Mandy Bow.?
Colin smiled.
?That?s not the first time
you?ve said that.?
Audrey looked out of the
car window at the
welcoming pub.
?I mean it this time.
Tonight?s my last night as
Mandy, to raise funds for
the hospital where baby
Alfie was treated. And from
tomorrow it?ll be just me,
plain old Audrey Smith.?
Colin hopped out of the
car and opened the door.
?There will never be
anything plain about you,?
he said, offering his arm.
?You might mean a lot to
those fans in there tonight,
but you mean the world to
me and my family.?
Audrey stepped out of
the car and hugged her son
to her.
A shout went up from
inside the bar when one of
the fans caught sight of her
through the window.
She smiled and offered a
regal wave in return.
?Enjoy every second of it,
Mum,? Colin whispered.
He led her into the Ship
where they were greeted
by a thunderous round of
applause.
The whole pub stood to
attention, cheering as
Audrey made her way to
the stage to speak to her
fans for the very last time.
More next week.
86
Memorable
Monument
Imagine my surprise at seeing
the article on the Monument to
the Unknown Woman Worker.
This particular artwork in Belfast
really took my fancy during my
visit to the UK in 2010.
As you can see I also took a
picture of the statue from the
back as well as the front, as
shown in your feature, as I just
found the statue so intriguing.
Thank you for reminding me of
a wonderful trip.
Ms C.R., Australia.
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
Some weeks ago you printed a letter from a reader
regarding the 1951 Festival of Britain and showing a
picture of a cloth embroidered to commemorate the
event. I wonder if my letter today will also be of
interest?
This year commemorates the 90th anniversary of
the building of the Tyne Bridge. King George V and
Queen Mary came to the opening ceremony on
October 10, 1928. My uncle, Edward C. Lennox, was
Public Lighting Engineer for the North Eastern
Electricity Supply Co. in Newcastle, and was in charge
of the electrics on the bridge. He was presented to
their majesties at the ceremony and his distinctive
green lamps are still in daily use.
The schoolgirls of Gateshead and Newcastle were
asked to submit some craftwork for display in the
Shipley Art Gallery in Gateshead. I embroidered a
tray cloth in green linen with cross stitches on the
hems and a sunflower in two of the corners.
Queen Mary was pressed for time to see all the
exhibition, so some of the work (mine included) was
sent to Buckingham Palace for her inspection there. I
was a pupil at Lady Vernon Girls School in Bensham
at the time. You?ll see by the photo that my name is
still clearly visible: ?Nina Clark, Age 6?. I am now
ninety-six, yet I can still recall the occasion.
Ms N.N., Newcastle upon Tyne.
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.
Koala Cuddles
This photo was from my
first visit to Melbourne,
Australia, some years ago,
and it brings back happy
memories of our visit there.
It always makes me chuckle
when I look at this picture.
Ms J.D., Burnley.
Crochet
Challenge
Although I?ve been a keen
knitter for over 60 years,
having learned at school in
the 1950s, I never acquired
the skill of crochet.
With my big birthday
(seventy) just months away,
I have given myself the
challenge of completing a
piece before then. No mean
feat, I have to say, with
many previous attempts
unravelled!
However, you recently
published a very pretty
crochet pattern for a vintage
bag which I?m now inspired
enough to try. Fingers
crossed my perseverance
pays off this time, and let
the celebrations begin!
Mrs V.R., Turriff.
Enjoyable Trip
Can you imagine having
to polish all these clogs?
Thankfully Mum and I
were just inspecting them
on a visit to Amsterdam,
and the only ones we had a
real interest in were the
ornamental ones, which we
bought to bring home to
remind us of such an
enjoyable trip.
Mrs P.B., Hexham.
YOUR LETTERS 87
Favourite ?Friend?
I thoroughly enjoyed the story ?Scarlett?s Tree? by Ewan
Smith as it was such an unusual storyline.
The other stories, together with all the regular features
and articles, make my Saturdays so enjoyable.
I have cooked very many of the recipes and have cut out
numerous ones to keep for future use.
The knitting patterns are also a love of mine and I have
knitted umpteen of those.
It was actually my mother who initially bought your
magazine, and since my mother died I now get it on
subscription as I don?t want to miss a single issue.
Mrs C.M.V., Chester.
A poem
just for
you!
Dawn
When dawn breaks on a summer?s day
And birdsong fills the air
And fiery clouds are on display,
There?s nought that can compare.
When witnessing such scenes unfold
And sampling nature?s gifts untold,
Who?d wish to be elsewhere?
Dennis W. Turner.
Delightful Daisy
iStock.
This is my little rescue Westie, Daisy, guarding my
?Friend?.
She?s just turned two years old but obviously
appreciates what this magazine means to me.
I adopted her from the Dogs Trust in West Calder after
she had been found as a stray. She is so loving and
friendly and always wants to stop to get a pet from
anyone we happen to pass by when we?re out on our
walks.
Ms A.B., Falkirk.
Thoughtful Gesture
I recently celebrated my
seventieth birthday and received
many cards and good wishes from
family and friends on the day.
I have three great-nieces who I
love to bits, and was very touched
when the youngest, Freya (in
Singapore), took the time to write
me a personal poem. It was such
a thoughtful thing for a twelveyear-old to do and made my day
all the more special.
Here?s a ?selfie? of the two of us
when we caught up a couple of
months back.
Ms D.D., Glasgow.
Puzzle Solutions
from page 25 Crossword
Word Ladder
One answer is:
Slip, Ship, Shop,
Show, Snow,
Know, Knot.
S E CUR E
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Sudoku
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Terms and conditions.
We?re sorry, but we can?t reply to letters or return photographs and poems unless you enclose a stamped addressed envelope. All contributions must be your own original work
and must not have been sent elsewhere for publication. The Editor reserves the right to modify any contribution. By making a contribution you are agreeing that we and our group
companies and affiliates may, but are under no obligation to, use the contribution in any way and in any media (whether now known or created in future) anywhere in the world. If
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Published in Great Britain by DC Thomson & Co. Ltd., Dundee, Glasgow and London. Distributed in the UK and Eire by MarketForce UK Ltd, 5 Churchill Place, Canary Wharf, London
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The People?s Friend, DC Thomson & Co. Ltd., 2 Albert Square, Dundee DD1 1DD.
??s much-loved
character, was born.
However, even a happy
family life wasn?t enough to
sway Captain Scott from
his Antarctic endeavours.
In 1910 he set sail for
Antarctica, this time on
board an ex-whaling ship,
Terra Nova, and with his
beloved wife by his side.
Kathleen left the ship in
New Zealand, waving
farewell to her husband
from the dockside at Port
Arthur.
God knows I love you
more than I thought could
be possible, Kathleen wrote
in the letter she gave to her
husband before he
embarked upon the
final leg of his voyage
to Antarctica.
66
An Unlikely
Friendship
Alamy.
iStock.
Captain Robert
Falcon Scott.
An Emperor penguin colony.
It was a letter he tucked
away for safe-keeping in
the pocket of his jacket.
Although the 1910 Terra
Nova expedition was
primarily a scientific
mission, Scott was keen to
become the first to reach
the South Pole ? a
challenge which Norwegian
explorer Amundsen also
had in his sights.
Scott and his men started
their 800-mile trek to the
South Pole in October
1911.
The journey was long,
arduous and lashed by
storms, and when Scott and
his four fellow explorers
arrived at the South Pole
on January 18, 1912, they
were met by a devastating
sight ? the Norwegian flag.
Amundsen and his team
had reached the South Pole
eleven days earlier.
Captain Scott wrote in his
diary, A terrible
disappointment. This is a
terrible place.
The long march back to
base camp proved even
more testing than the walk
to the South Pole. The
weather had deteriorated
further, supplies were
dwindling and frost bite
had become a problem.
They were hundreds of
miles from Terra Nova. By
March, two of the team
were dead, and when a
terrible storm hit them at
full force, Captain Scott,
Dr Wilson and Birdie
Bowers sought refuge in
their tent.
As they huddled together
for warmth, Captain Scott
wrote letters to his friends,
his colleagues and, of
course, his beloved wife.
I am anxious for you and
the boy?s future ? make the
boy interested in natural
J.M. Barrie, best
known today as the
author of ?Peter Pan?,
was one of Captain
Scott?s closest friends.
When the two men
first met in 1906, Barrie
was the most successful
playwright of the time
and Captain Scott was
Britain?s best-known
adventurer. However,
both men harboured
secret ambitions of
alternative careers ?
J.M. Barrie as an
adventurer and Captain
Scott as a writer.
Our talk was largely a
comparison of a life of
action (which he poohpoohed) with the loathly
life of those who sit at
home (which I scorned),
J.M. Barrie wrote to
Peter Scott, his godson.
Overlooking a
beautiful valley in the
east of Scotland stands
a memorial to Captain
Scott and his brave men
? a lasting reminder
of the link between
a Scottish glen and
Antarctica.
Captain Scott and his
second-in-command,
Dr Edward Wilson,
made many of the
plans and preparations
for his fateful journey
to Antarctica from
Burnside Lodge, a
cottage in Glen Prosen,
one of the most remote
of the Angus Glens.
Today, an 11-foot-high
granite memorial by
sculptor Bruce Walker
provides a lasting
reminder of those brave
men.
?My grandfather
would have been very
proud to be remembered
in this way at this
beautiful, inspirational
spot,? Falcon Scott,
grandson of Captain
Robert Scott, says.
history if you can, he wrote
in one.
Kathleen must have paid
heed to his words as Peter
Scott was to become Sir
Peter Scott, founder of the
World Wide Fund for
Nature (WWF).
You know I have loved
you, Captain Scott went on.
You know that my thoughts
constantly dwelt on you.
Almost a year later, as
Kathleen sailed to New
Zealand to meet her
husband on his return from
Antarctica, news reached
her ship of a terrible
tragedy.
A search party had found
the frozen bodies of
Captain Scott, Dr Wilson
and Birdie Wilson in a
snow-covered tent.
Kathleen?s letter to her
husband was still in his
breast pocket, next to his
heart. ?
RRS Discovery, the ship that carried Captain Scott on his 1901 voyage to
Antarctica, provides a fascinating insight into life on board a ship almost 120
years ago.
RRS Discovery was built in Dundee
in 1901 and returned to the city in
1986. She has been lovingly restored
to all her former glory and is now
the centrepiece of Dundee?s awardwinning Discovery Point. Visitors can
step on board, find out more Captain
Scott?s first Antarctic expedition, and
discover the horrendous conditions
Scott and his men endured as they
made their long, dangerous and
bitterly cold trek to the South Pole.
Bob Douglas.
A World Of Discovery
For more information,
visit www.rrsdiscovery.
com.
68
my ga
garden
Notes from
Alexandra Campbell gives her tips
for perfecting your pruning skills.
Photographs by Alexandra Campbell and iStock.
So That
Plant Is Dead
A few weeks ago, I
suggested waiting to
see if plants survived
the winter or not. But if
they haven?t recovered
by now, they probably
need taking out.
I?ve been asking
designers what to do
with a sudden hole in a
summer border and one
good suggestion is to
put a large pot (with a
plant) in there. The pot
will give the plant a bit
more height and you
can remove it when the
flowers are over.
E
ARLY June means
secateurs at dawn
? it?s a big pruning
month, as the May
flowering shrubs go
over. Don?t leave it any
longer or they won?t have
time to grow the wood for
next year?s flowers.
Proper pruning makes a
huge difference to a
garden. Think of it as
tailoring.
Sadly, many of today?s
parks and public green
spaces are ?pruned? by
men with chainsaws in
hi-vis jackets, rather than
by trained gardeners.
All shrubs are cut back at
the same time, and
sometimes they?re taken
down to the same height
and width.
The result is lumpy,
congested shrubs and
fewer flowers. And men
with chainsaws are also
invading private gardens,
too, under the guise of
?garden maintenance?.
If you
y want elegant
g
shrubs with lots of flowers,
you either have to employ
a professionally qualified
gardener or learn about
pruning yourself.
I have even come across
professional gardeners who
take the ?chainsaw man?
approach, so it isn?t always
easy to find the right
person. You can try to
instruct a chainsaw man,
but he won?t always do
what you ask.
Firstly, your tools. You
need a pair of secateurs, a
pair of loppers and a
pruning saw. I use Felco
secateurs, a Fiskars
pruning saw and Wilkinsons
Ultra-light Loppers.
Then think about what
you want. If you like a thick
hedge with a nice sharp
edge, then the chainsaw cut
will be fine, or you could clip
it all over with shears. A
light trim now will help it
thicken up, and you can trim
it again in November to give
you a nice clean outline for
your winter garden.
But when it comes to
flowering shrubs, such as
weigelia, philadelphus,
spiraea, berberis and more,
decide whether you want to
see an open spray effect
rather than a chunky lump
of greenery.
For an open spray effect,
you need to cut whole
lengths of branch out where
they intersect with other
branches. Or take up to a
third of the oldest and
thickest stems right from
the base.
GARDENING 69
Do You
Need A
Pond Pump?
The Lawn
I?m hearing more and
more about mulching
mowers. These are lawn
mowers which chop up
the grass very finely, so
that you can leave it on
the lawn. It acts as a
mulch to retain moisture,
and eventually composts,
adding nutrients. Robotic
mowers are mulching
mowers, as they mow
little and often. The cut
grass is very fine so you
don?t see it. All very
tempting!
If you just shorten the
branches, then they will
sprout where you cut them,
creating an irregular and
over-crowded mass.
Keep standing back to
look at the overall shape.
And look at the shapes of
shrubs when you?re visiting
professionally run gardens.
Pruning isn?t difficult,
provided you remember
the plant will send out new
growth wherever you cut it.
If you want elegant
sprays, make sure new
growth emerges from the
trunk, base or another
branch. But if you want to
thicken up the plant, cut
across branches, and it will
thicken where you cut it.
Now is the time to prune
pyracantha so as not to
lose either the flowers or
berries. If you have a
wall-trained pyracantha
(which I do), take out any
growth that?s sticking out
too far. Your flowers should
just be over by now, but
you should still be able to
I?m now in the fourth
year of a mini wildlife
pond in an oak barrel. I
worried that the water
would get mucky if I didn?t
have a pump, but it?s
stayed clear. I don?t know
if that?s because I filled it
with oxygenating plants
(available from any
garden centre), but they
do help. If you need to
thin pond plants out, let
them lie beside the pond
for 24 hours to allow wee
creatures to get back to
the water.
see which branches didn?t
flower this year. Cut them
back or out.
Wisteria, too, needs its
summer prune in June. Cut
back those new long
tendrils to about 20 cm.
Then there?s the ?Chelsea
chop? which should be
carried out from late May
to early June.
Cut down some flowering
perennials by one third to a
half of their height to make
the plants flower later. If
you have a big clump of
plants, you can ?Chelsea
chop? half of them, leaving
the other half to flower at
the normal time.
It works with rudbeckias,
asters, penstemons, phlox,
campanula, echinacea and
more. But check first ? I did
the ?Chelsea chop? on the
wrong plant once, and it
took two years to get back
to the right size.
Sharpen the blades of
your secateurs and loppers
from time to time before
putting them away. ?
Visit Alexandra?s blog online at
www.themiddlesizedgarden.co.uk.
Gardening Gloves
I?m having a bit of a rant about gardening gloves.
I recently went into a large garden centre (which
shall be nameless). I managed to try on some
gardening gloves without disturbing the labels, and
they were so stiff and uncomfortable. They were
the only gardening gloves stocked, too.
Too many gardening gloves seem to be made for
the gift market. They look pretty, but are absolutely
no use for gardening. Yet good gardening gloves
are absolutely essential to avoid the cuts and
scratches that can turn nasty.
As gardening blogger, I get given gloves, so I have
tried a lot of different ones. But in spite of having a
bulging basket of gloves in the potting shed, I still
sometimes buy my own.
What makes a good gardening glove? Firstly, they
need to be flexible yet strong. The best ones are
reinforced around the palm and fingers, with a
stretchy material across the knuckles and the back
of the hand.
You need different gloves for different jobs.
All-purpose gloves are best for weeding and
planting, but you need strong leather gauntlets if
you?re doing any major pruning, especially of thorny
or large shrubs.
Good gardening gloves are washable (although I
suggest 30 degrees as I have shrunk a few of my
favourite pairs).
I particularly like Showa, Fiskars and Spear &
Jackson gloves, and my husband likes his Cobra
gloves.
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
w
Q
Can you tell me the correct
name for the young of
peacocks?
Miss C.Y., Bournemouth
h.
Although commonly known as
peacocks, the name for these
birds is peafowl. Peacock denotes
the male of the species, peahens
the female and peachicks their
young. They are related to the
pheasant family.
Like many bird species, it?s the
males who have the beautiful
colours and long tail feathers, with
peahens having duller plumage.
Peacocks use their tail feathers to great
reat effect to attract a
female. While these birds can fly, they can?t stay airborne for very long.
Peafowl are omnivores, enjoying a mixed diet including grains and insects, and they
live for around 20 years.
A
Q
We all take ATMs for granted for accessing
our money, but when was the first one
installed in the UK?
Mrs A.C., Doncaster.
The first Automated Teller Machine was
installed in a branch of Barclays in Enfield,
north London on June 27, 1967. British inventor
John Shepherd-Barron apparently came up with
the idea while soaking in the bath ? talk about a
eureka moment! The first person to try out the
ATM was ?On The Buses? actor Reg Varney.
A
Q
I would like to know if
there will be a sixth
series of the Australian
soap ?A Place To Call
Home??
Mrs B.J.O., Co Antrim.
The sixth and final season
of this period drama is to
go into production soon and
is due to air in August of this
year.
A
iStock.
Something we didn?t
know last week...
To increase your odds of enjoying a happy,
healthy old age, concentrate on making
friends rather than making money. An
80-year study by Harvard University has
found that good friends are more important
than fortune or fame when it comes to
being happy and healthy as you get older.
Although it?s important to look after your
body, the researchers found that it?s also
important to look after your mind and your
soul ? and having good, strong friendships
is one of the best ways of doing this.
*Please do not send an SAE as we cannot give personal replies.
June 2
is National Rocky Road
Day in the US ? the
perfect excuse for us all
to indulge in the sweet
treat.
8,251
guests attended the
Coronation of Queen
Elizabeth II on June 2, 1953
? 65 years ago.
20 years ago,
the first DVDs went on sale
in the UK.
2 times a year
? how often, on average,
domestic ovens are
cleaned.
10
? the most difficult
age for modern
children. Terrible
teens have been replaced by
temperamental ten-year-olds.
73%
of us write a shopping
list before going grocery
shopping ? but the survey
doesn?t mention how
many of us arrive at the
supermarket and realise
the list is at home!
Photography by Ally Stuart, www.allystuartphotography.co.uk.
Hair and make-up by Linda Wilson.
Photographed at Rufflets Hotel, St Andrews, www.rufflets.co.uk.
KNITTING 73
Shades Of The
ediate
m
r
e
t
In
Get set
for summer
with our cabled
top which features
a stylish square
neckline.
Sea
74
MEASUREMENTS
To fit sizes: 76/81 cm
(30/32 ins), 86/91 (34/36),
97/102 (38/40), 107/112
(42/44), 117/122 (46/48),
127/132 (50/52).
Actual size: 86 cm (34 ins),
97 (38), 107 (42), 116
(45�), 126 (49�), 130
(53�).
Length: 55 cm (21� ins),
56 (22), 57 (22�), 58 (23),
59 (23�), 60 (23�).
Sleeve seam: 14 cm
(5� ins).
MATERIALS
6 (6, 7, 7, 8, 8) 50-gram balls
of Rico Design Creative
Sport Print DK in Blue
(012). One pair each
3.25 mm (No. 10) and
4.5 mm (No. 7) knitting
needles; cable needle;
stitch-holders.
This yarn is available from Rico
stockists. If you have difficulty
finding the yarn used, you can
order directly from Wool
Warehouse,
www.woolwarehouse.
co.uk, tel: 0800 505 3300.
TENSION
22 sts and 28 rows to 10 cm
measured over st-st using
4.5 mm needles.
ABBREVIATIONS
Alt ? alternate;
beg ? beginning;
CB ? slip next 3 sts on to cable
needle and hold at back of
work, K3, then K3 from cable
needle; CF ? slip next
3 sts on to cable needle and
hold at front of work, K3, then
K3 from cable needle;
dec ? decrease;
foll ? following;
g-st ? garter-stitch (knit every
row); inc ? increase; K ? knit;
P ? purl; rep ? repeat;
sl ? slip; st(s) ? stitch(es);
st-st ? stocking-stitch (knit
1 row, purl 1 row);
tog ? together;
yrn ? yarn round needle.
IMPORTANT NOTE
Directions are given for six
sizes. Figures in brackets refer
to the larger sizes. Figures in
square brackets [ ] refer to all
sizes and are worked the
number of times stated. When
writing to us with your queries,
you must enclose an SAE if
you would like a reply.
FRONT
With 3.25 mm needles, cast
on 99 (109, 121, 131, 143,
153) sts.
Work in g-st for 6 cm, ending
after an even number of rows.
Next row ? Purl, inc 1 st at
each end of row ? 101 (111,
123, 133, 145, 155) sts.
Next (right-side) row ? K9
(13, 18, 22, 27, 31), P6 (7, 8,
9, 10, 11), [K6, P2, yrn, P3tog,
yrn, P2] 5 times, K6, P6 (7, 8,
9, 10, 11), K9 (13, 18, 22, 27,
31).
2nd row ? P9 (13, 18, 22,
27, 31), K6 (7, 8, 9, 10, 11),
[P6, K7] 5 times, P6, K6 ( 7, 8,
9, 10, 11), P9 (13, 18, 22, 27,
31).
3rd - 8th rows ? Rep 1st and
2nd rows 3 times.
9th row ? K9 (13, 18, 22, 27,
31), P6 (7, 8, 9, 10, 11), [CF,
P2, yrn, P3tog, yrn, P2, CB, P2,
yrn, P3tog, yrn, P2] twice, CF,
P2 yrn, P3tog, yrn, P2, CB, P6
(7, 8, 9, 10, 11), knit to end.
10th row ? P9 (13, 18, 22,
27, 31), K6 (7, 8, 9, 10, 11),
[P6, K7] 5 times, P6, K6 (7, 8,
9, 10, 11), P9 (13, 18, 22, 27,
31).
These 10 rows set the pattern.
Continue in pattern until work
measures 38 cm from
beginning, ending after a
wrong-side row. Place a marker
at centre of last row.
Shape armholes ? Cast off 5
(6, 7, 7, 8, 9) sts loosely at
beg of next 2 rows ? 91 (99,
109, 119, 129, 137) sts.
Dec 1 st at each end of next
3 (3, 5, 7, 8, 9) rows, then on
every foll alt row until 81 (87,
93, 97, 103, 109) sts remain.
Work straight until front
measures 10 (9, 9, 10, 10,
10) cm from marker, ending
after a wrong-side row.
Shape neck ? Pattern 20 (22,
24, 25, 28, 31), turn.
Work straight on this group of
sts for left half of neck until
work measures 17 (18, 19,
20, 21, 22) cm from start of
armhole shaping, ending at
armhole edge.
Shape shoulder ? Cast off 5
(5, 6, 6, 7, 8) sts loosely at
beg of next row and the foll
2 alt rows ? 5 (7, 6, 7, 7,
7) sts.
Work 1 row straight. Cast off
loosely.
With right side facing, slip next
41 (43, 45, 47, 47, 47) sts on
a stitch-holder and leave.
Neatly rejoin yarn to remaining
20 (22, 24, 25, 28, 31) sts
and work to end of row.
Complete as given for left half.
BACK
Omitting neck shaping, work as
front to shoulder shaping,
ending after a wrong-side row.
Shape shoulders ? Cast off
5 (5, 6, 6, 7, 8) sts loosely at
beg of next 6 rows, then 5 (7,
6, 7, 7, 7) sts at beg of next
2 rows ? 41 (43, 45, 47, 47,
47) sts. Slip remaining sts on a
stitch-holder and leave.
SLEEVES
With 3.25 mm needles, cast
on 55 (59, 65, 69, 73,
77) sts, work 8 rows in g-st.
Change to 4.5 mm needles
and beg with a knit row for
right side, work in st-st, shaping
sides by inc 1 st at each end of
5th row, then on every foll 4th
row until there are 69 (73, 79,
83, 87, 91) sts.
Work straight until sleeve
measures 14 cm, ending after
a purl row.
Shape top ? Cast off 5 (6, 7,
7, 8, 9) sts loosely at beg of
next 2 rows ? 59 (61, 65, 69,
71, 73) sts.
Work 0 (0, 0, 0, 4, 4) rows
straight.
Dec 1 st at each end of next
row and every foll knit row until
29 (33, 35, 39, 41, 45) sts
remain, then on every row until
19 (23, 25, 29, 31, 35) sts
remain. Cast off very loosely.
TO COMPLETE
Join left shoulder.
Neckband ? With 3.25 mm
needles and right side facing,
knit across 41 (43, 45, 47, 47,
47) sts of back, pick up and
knit 22 (24, 26, 26, 29,
31) sts down left side of neck,
K1 from corner (i.e. between
the last st picked up and the
first st of the front neck sts),
knit across 41 (43, 45, 47, 47,
47) sts of front neck, pick up
and knit 1 st from corner,
finally pick up and knit 22 (24,
26, 26, 29, 31) sts evenly up
left side of neck ? 128 (136,
144, 148, 154, 158) sts.
Place a marker on each of the
two corner sts of front neck.
1st row ? Knit.
2nd row ? Knit to within 1 st
of first marked st, ?sl1, K2tog,
pass slipped over ?, knit to
within 1 st of second marked
st, work from ? to ?, knit to
end ? 124 (132, 140, 144,
150, 154) sts.
Repeat these 2 rows 3 times
more ? 112 (120, 128, 132,
138, 142) sts.
Cast off evenly knitways.
To Make Up ? Press work
lightly on wrong side following
pressing instructions. Join right
shoulder and edges of
neckband. Sew in sleeves. Join
side and sleeve seams. Press
seams. ?
Next week: make a
quilted spectacles case.
REMEMBER WHEN? 75
Hoop Facts
iStock.
In A
Spin!
i
T
We celebrate the hula hoop?s anniversary
with a look at its sixty-year history.
OYS come and go,
but few really stand
the test of time.
Only a handful of
ingenious
inventions have proved so
enduring that they keep
coming back, and among
them is the humble hula
hoop.
It?s still a popular toy
today, but is also widely
used for fitness ? with
added weight and grip to
make it a little easier to
keep up!
Hoops made of natural
materials have been used
as toys for hundreds of
years, and were used in
ceremonial dances in a few
Native American cultures,
but it wasn?t until Richard
Knerr and Arthur Melin
marketed them as ?hula
hoops? and began selling
them from the US in 1958
that the modern plastic
ring we know and love
really took off.
The story goes that a
visiting Australian told
them how children at home
used bamboo rings as
exercise equipment.
Released in April sixty
years ago by Richard and
Arthur?s Californian
company Wham-O, they
became a phenomenon,
and that summer became
the summer of the hoop!
The toy took its name
from the Hawaiian dance
that looked so similar to
?hoopers? in action, and
immediately caught on.
Sales took off over the
summer holidays of that
year, and within four
months 25,000,000 of
them had been sold.
At the peak of the
hoop?s popularity, the
manufacturer was
producing 20,000 a day,
and it took only two years
for over 100,000,000 to
be sold.
Singer Georgia Gibbs
made the most of their
popularity by releasing
?The Hula Hoop Song? in
late 1958, performing it on
?The Ed Sullivan Show?. It
was her last US Number
One.
?The Daily Mirror?
newspaper even sponsored
their own team of ?hula
hoop girls? who performed
at venues around the
country, and PE classes
began running hoop
groups.
Soon the craze peaked,
but its popularity was given
a boost in the Sixties when
b
ball bearings were put
iinside the tubing to make a
noise.
n
In the States, this
resurgence
r
prompted a
national
n
hula hoop contest
that
t
ran between 1968
and
a 1981 and attracted
over
o
2,000,000 entrants.
Classic moves like the
? Wham-O also
patented the Frisbee,
which took its name from
a US pie company,
Frisbie. Connecticut
students had been seen
tossing the empty pie
tins back and forth. It
took off, literally and
figuratively, with 100
million sold by 1994.
? The longest spin of a
hula hoop was by Aaron
Hibbs from the US, who
entered the Guinness
Book of Records with an
amazing 74 hours 54
minutes of rotating.
? Marawa Ibrahim
managed the feat of
spinning 200 hula hoops
at once on her fourth
attempt at the record in
2015.
? Roman Schedler,
multiple hula hoop
record breaker, once
spun a 24 kg (53 lb)
tractor tyre for an
incredible 71 seconds at
a festival in Austria in
2000.
?knee knocker? and the
?alley oop? were often part
of the routines.
Things quietened down in
the Eighties, but by then
the hoops were part of
circus acts and acrobatic
teams? regular tools of the
trade, and were especially
popular in Russia and
China.
Now they?re back on the
map as fitness aids, and
every bit as much fun as
they ever were! ?
Alamy.
Send Us Your Memories!
Hula hooping was
even part of PE for
this London school.
Were you a star hula-hooper? Do you still spin? If
so, we?d love to hear from you! Send your letters and
pictures to the address on the Between Friends page.
76
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
cchairs and reading lights,
hairdryer, iron and ironing
h
From b
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
m
and a complimentary
a
From b
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?
77
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 Restauran
nt.
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
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
g Phillips.
p
Douglas
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
has someone
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
Farmers.
problem was that Anne
out the one from the Young
used last year. She got
for Christmas pudding!?
?John, there?s no recipe
and I checked.
I
t.?
fifty-eigh
She handed me the book
page
on
plum pudding ? see,
?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
wanted someon
she
why
realised
I
As soon as I started,
Christmas ? pudding.
went into a plum ? not
the bits and pieces that
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.
ounces
16
weighed
d and
Eventually, we crumble
and mixed . . .
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.
Now it?s Christmas, and
all the trouble! ?
worth
well
and
?
s
Deliciou
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SHORT STORY BY CLAIRE BUCKLE 79
A Gift
Beyond
Measure
Lin had high hopes for her
daughter, but Sophie had
her own ideas . . .
Illustration by Mandy Dixon.
S
O, what?s the big
secret?? Lin asked
her daughter.
Anticipation had
been rising ever
since Sophie had phoned
Lin, asking to meet at a
local caf� because she had
something to tell her.
Sophie sipped her latte
and then carefully placed
the tall glass on to its
saucer.
?I don?t know how I?ve
managed to keep it from
you . . .?
This was it, Lin thought.
The moment she?d been
waiting for.
Sophie took a deep
breath.
?Over the past year I?ve
been writing a novel. I
didn?t tell you because I
needed to make sure I
could finish it first ? that it
wasn?t some unattainable
goal.
?Anyway, I sent it out to
agents and one has taken
me on. It needs editing and
whipped into shape, but
just imagine, before long
my book will be in the
shops!?
As she looked at her
mum, Sophie?s wide smile
began to slip.
?You are pleased for me,
aren?t you, Mum??
Lin masked her
disappointment by pushing
back her chair, reaching
across the table and
hugging her daughter.
?Oh, darling, of course I
am. Dad will be, too.?
How foolish she?d been to
think Sophie would have
announced a pregnancy in
a caf�.
They sat down.
?Maybe I shouldn?t have
kept it secret, but I didn?t
know if it was any good.
Not that I didn?t trust your
judgement, or Dad?s. Nick
was the only person I
showed it to.?
?I understand.?
Lin did. She and Sophie
were close, but her
daughter was fiercely
independent and valued
her privacy.
Besides, Nick was an
English teacher and far
better qualified than her to
judge Sophie?s writing.
Lin smiled.
?I?m so proud of you.
Now, let?s order lunch and
you can fill me in.?
As they ate their
sandwiches, Lin listened
while Sophie related the
plot of her psychological
thriller.
She described how she?d
worked till midnight most
evenings and what a
godsend Nick had been,
preparing meals and doing
the lion?s share of the
housework.
Lin made appreciative
noises and tried not to feel
deflated. She had told the
truth about being proud of
Sophie, but her daughter
was thirty-six years old,
had forged a career in
Human Resources and had
been married for five years.
The next logical step would
be to start a family, surely.
Lin worried the couple
might be going through the
same problems she and
Greg had encountered
when they?d tried for a
baby. She saw a chance to
broach the subject.
?Look, Sophie, matching
outfits!? Lin whispered,
nodding at a young woman
at a nearby table lifting her
baby out of its buggy.
The tiny tot had a black
and white spotted dress
and headband in identical
material to the mother?s.
?Sweet,? Sophie cooed.
?Remember those party
dresses you used to make
for me when I was little??
?So, do you think you
might like to start a family
soon?? Lin asked casually,
looking down at the list of
desserts.
?No way.?
The emphatic reply made
Lin?s stomach sink, but she
attempted to keep her
voice calm.
?Oh. I thought that now
you and Nick were settled
and you?ve written your
book . . .? She shrugged.
?Exactly. We?re settled,
the two of us, and that?s
how we want it to stay. My
friends who have kids are
either frazzled or hard up,
or both.?
Sophie sighed.
?It?s not that I don?t like
children, I do. Just other
people?s.?
?But you?ve both got
good jobs, and Dad and I
would be on hand to help.?
?Mum, please, stop. I?m
sorry if you feel let down,
but I love my life. Nick and
I can afford to travel
wherever we want. Believe
me, some of the places
we?ve been have shown us
how overpopulated the
world already is, without
adding to it.?
Lin put down her halffinished sandwich, her
appetite ebbing away.
?In a couple of years,
maybe . . .?
?No, Mum. I haven?t
inherited your maternal
instinct.?
?For lots of people that
comes after the baby?s
born.?
Lin saw Sophie?s jaw set
and her mouth form a tight
line.
?Let?s not talk about it
any more.?
?Agreed.? Sophie raised
her latte. ?A toast.?
* * * *
Greg was in the kitchen
when Lin related the
lunchtime conversation.
?Great news about the
book. And, well, these
days more and more
people are choosing
80
not to have kids.?
?But when I think
about everything we went
through to have a baby!?
?What difference does
that make??
Greg pinched his
forehead between his
roughened thumb and
forefinger, testament to the
manual work he?d carried
out over the years.
?Look at it this way, Lin.
Our daughter?s happy,
we?re fit and healthy,
business is good. Isn?t that
enough??
She didn?t answer,
because, in a way, it
wasn?t.
At nearly seventy, Greg
was still working. Not
manual labour any more,
but overseeing his small
building company.
Now she was retired,
sometimes Lin did feel a
little side-lined.
?Anyway, I?ve got to get
on. There?s stuff to do in
the workshop,? he said
gruffly.
His shoulders slumped as
he walked down to the end
of garden and into the
workshop he?d built when
Sophie was no more than a
babe in arms.
* * * *
The late afternoon sun
had come out from behind
a cloud and brightened the
border of colourful flowers.
Maybe the garden would
do the same for her mood.
Lin took the secateurs
from the kitchen drawer
and went outside to dead
head the plants tumbling
out of the patio pots.
Along with other gardens
in the area, she and Greg
opened theirs each year in
aid of the local hospice,
providing refreshments for
visitors as well as skittles
and croquet to keep any
children occupied.
A light breeze cooled her
skin as she worked her way
around the garden.
When she reached her
Beatrix Potter rose along
the fence, she took a
moment to inhale the
delicately scented, creamy
pink blooms.
She loved telling the
children who visited the
garden that it was named
after the famous author,
the creator of so many cute
animal characters.
To represent a couple of
the famous ones, she?d
bought a terracotta
hedgehog and a painted
duck and had placed them
nearby.
Lin stretched up to where
a cluster of spent flowers
was hanging.
?Ouch!? She squealed as
a thorn tore into her finger.
She sucked on the wound
and hurried indoors,
berating herself for not
bothering with gardening
gloves. She went upstairs
to wash her hands and get
a plaster.
When she came out of
the bathroom, the door to
the box room was banging.
She walked into the room
and shut the window, then
sat on the bed and gazed
at the magnolia walls and
tired grey carpet.
She?d held off from
decorating, waiting until
the time was right.
It was in here she?d
imagined curtains the
colour of buttercups, a
carpet the colour of her
rose and walls in either
forget-me-not blue or
peony pink, a perfect room
for a grandchild.
Lin stood and opened the
single pine wardrobe. There
were a few coats on
hangers, but it was the two
plastic boxes at the bottom
she wanted.
She kneeled down and
dragged them out.
One contained baby
items of Sophie?s, including
a lemon outfit knitted by
Lin?s mum, who?d passed
away when Sophie was a
toddler.
And, wrapped in tissue
presents
paper, was the lacy
christening shawl Lin had
crocheted whilst pregnant.
She buried her face in the
fine white wool. The pain
was there, she realised.
It lay dormant most of
the time, but it could still
be roused.
She especially
empathised with couples
coping with infertility,
knowing how lucky she and
Greg had been after years
of anguish.
Rewrapping the shawl,
she put it away.
The other box contained
a pile of Sophie?s childhood
drawings and selected
school books from junior to
senior.
Lin flipped through an
English exercise book from
the year Sophie was
thirteen and stopped at an
essay.
How I See My Future.
She began to read. There
was a preamble about the
girls? school Sophie
attended, how it had
instilled in her the
motivation to achieve.
But it?s my mum who has
made me who I?ll be in the
future. She thought she
couldn?t have a child, but
she never gave up hoping,
or trying to attain her main
goal in life.
?Always believe you can
achieve what might seem
impossible, and if you don?t
get there at least you?ve
tried your best? has always
been my parents? motto.
And it?s one I?ll take with
me into the future.
I love books. My
favourite author when I was
little was Beatrix Potter.
Mum and I would snuggle
up together and she?d read
to me. It?s where I got my
first taste of brilliant
writing.
One day I might even
write a book of my own.
We all have different
dreams, but if I have as
much determination as
my mum, I know I can
reach mine.
Tears pricked at Lin?s
eyes. Sophie was fulfilling
what they?d always hoped
she would. Her dream.
* * * *
?Are you up there, love?
I?ve made tea,? Greg called.
She cleared her throat.
?I?ll be down in a tick.?
She went into the kitchen.
Greg gave a rueful smile.
?I?ve been thinking out
there in the workshop. I?m
not ready to hang up my
work boots yet, but maybe I
can wind down so we can
spend more time together.?
He hugged her.
?I can?t say I?m not
disappointed about Sophie?s
decision, but I?m proud of
her, too. How about we see
if she and Nick fancy coming
away for a weekend to
celebrate? Our treat.?
Lin nodded.
?What a lovely idea. Give
them a ring now and ask.?
Sipping her tea, she
looked out of the window.
The setting sun bathed the
garden in a golden light.
She thought about how
floral wallpaper would
brighten up the box room,
and if she got rid of the bed
there would be space for a
table.
She could haul out the
sewing-machine that she
hadn?t touched in years. A
local charity often asked for
donations of clothes for the
Indian orphanage it
supported, and she?d be
able to make exactly what
was needed.
She?d never part with the
baby clothes, and she knew
the yearning for a
grandchild would not
suddenly disappear, but she
and Greg had more than
enough to be thankful for.
As her gaze settled on the
garden fence, she knew
what she?d give Sophie
when they next met.
A bunch of beautiful
blooms from the Beatrix
Potter rose. ?
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82
PUZZLES 83
Wordsearch
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6
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43418369
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44579
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2417
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476776
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and the bay. No Pets. No smoking.
Free colour brochure Tel 01736 710
247. www.tregew-marazion.co.uk
RAILWAY WAGONS ? Luxuriously converted, all with 4 posters. Complete tranquility at this disused rural railway station.
Yorkshire Wolds. Pets welcome - no
giraffes! www.thewagons.co.uk or call
01377 217342
GLORIOUS NORTH DEVON. Only 9
cosy caravans on peaceful farm. Wonderful walks in woods & meadows.
Close sea, moors & lovely days out.
�5-395 pw. Discount couples. Nice
pets
welcome.
01769
540366
www.snapdown.co.uk
CORNWALL HAYLE near St Ives, holiday chalet, sleeps 4, costal seabeach
views. 01209716535. Patpascoe@hotmail.co.uk
HIGHLANDS
SCOTLAND, Portessie.
Cosy fisherman?s cott. O-L Moray Firth.
Near golf course. 01202897807.
www.seabreezebuckie.co.uk
SOAP BY GLENDA YOUNG
OUR
WEEKLY
SOAP
Mandy Bow is
about to bow
out of the
limelight . . .
iStock.
M
ARY fell into
her armchair,
too tired to
take off her
jacket.
She dropped her canvas
shopping bags to the floor,
along with the plastic bag
she?d had to buy.
?Busy day, love?? George
asked, peering over the top
of his newspaper.
Mary let out a long, low
sigh before she replied.
?I?m worn out,? she said.
?Ruby and I have been run
ragged by Mandy in town.?
?Mandy?? George asked,
his interest piqued. ?Mandy
Bow, the TV star woman??
Mary laughed.
?You know full well which
Mandy I mean. Or do I
mean Audrey Smith? It?s
hard to know when you?re
with that woman whether
you?re coming or going,
never mind whether to use
her stage name or her real
name.
?Ruby and I have spent
most of today with her
buying bits and pieces for
Mandy?s ??
?Audrey?s,? George
butted in.
Mary closed her eyes and
pushed her head back
against the chair.
?For Audrey?s charity do
85
Riverside
at the Ship tonight.?
?You have got Mike and
me tickets for it, haven?t
you?? George asked.
?Course I have,? Mary
replied. ?I?ll even make sure
they?re front row seats if
you?ll do me a favour.?
George put his paper on
the sofa beside him.
?What?? he asked.
Mary smiled.
?Stick the kettle on.?
* * * *
Later that afternoon,
Ruby and Mary were busy
in the back room at the
Ship. Barmaid Claire was
helping them bring in seats
from the bar and creating a
makeshift stage.
?Are you expecting many
people?? Claire asked,
looking around the room
and wondering how many
chairs they could fit in.
Ruby and Mary
exchanged a look.
?Well, Audrey sent out
fifty invitations to the
people who used to run her
fan club when she was on
TV,? Mary began.
?And someone put it on
social media,? Ruby
continued. ?Apparently it?s
gone viral, so who knows
how many will come. They?ll
have to get through me
and Mary first.?
Mary plonked herself
down in one of the chairs.
?All we?re doing is
checking tickets before
letting anyone in.?
?No ticket, no admission.
Got it, captain!? Ruby said,
giving Mary a mock salute,
and the two friends smiled
at each other.
Sam shouted through
from the bar to get Claire?s
attention.
?Sorry, ladies, duty calls,?
Claire said. ?There must be
customers coming in.?
Claire walked through to
the bar to find Sam trying
to deal with a crowd of
people who were pushing
and shoving to get served.
She started serving, and
from the excited chatter of
the customers, it became
apparent that they were
Mandy Bow fans booked to
hear her talk in the pub.
When they were served
with their drinks, they kept
Sam and Claire ? and Jim
in the kitchen ? busy with
their food orders.
Soon the time came for
the charity event to begin
and the fans began to
troop into the back room,
having their tickets checked
by Mary.
Ruby led everyone to
their seats, which were laid
out in rows, encouraging
everyone to move along
the rows so that all the fans
would fit in.
George and Mike arrived
at the pub together.
?Ah, our VIP guests.?
Ruby smiled as she showed
them to their reserved
seats at the front.
* * * *
As the fans were waiting
to see their favourite TV
star, Audrey was being
driven to the pub ? and in
some style, too.
With her son acting as
chauffeur, she rode in the
back seat of a hired limo,
and when they reached the
pub, she asked him to
circle the block so that she
could watch her fans
walking inside.
?Are you ready, Mum??
Colin asked as he pulled up
at the pub?s front door.
?As ready as I?ll ever be
for the final performance I?ll
give as Mandy Bow.?
Colin smiled.
?That?s not the first time
you?ve said that.?
Audrey looked out of the
car window at the
welcoming pub.
?I mean it this time.
Tonight?s my last night as
Mandy, to raise funds for
the hospital where baby
Alfie was treated. And from
tomorrow it?ll be just me,
plain old Audrey Smith.?
Colin hopped out of the
car and opened the door.
?There will never be
anything plain about you,?
he said, offering his arm.
?You might mean a lot to
those fans in there tonight,
but you mean the world to
me and my family.?
Audrey stepped out of
the car and hugged her son
to her.
A shout went up from
inside the bar when one of
the fans caught sight of her
through the window.
She smiled and offered a
regal wave in return.
?Enjoy every second of it,
Mum,? Colin whispered.
He led her into the Ship
where they were greeted
by a thunderous round of
applause.
The whole pub stood to
attention, cheering as
Audrey made her way to
the stage to speak to her
fans for the very last time.
More next week.
86
Memorable
Monument
Imagine my surprise at seeing
the article on the Monument to
the Unknown Woman Worker.
This particular artwork in Belfast
really took my fancy during my
visit to the UK in 2010.
As you can see I also took a
picture of the statue from the
back as well as the front, as
shown in your feature, as I just
found the statue so intriguing.
Thank you for reminding me of
a wonderful trip.
Ms C.R., Australia.
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
Some weeks ago you printed a letter from a reader
regarding the 1951 Festival of Britain and showing a
picture of a cloth embroidered to commemorate the
event. I wonder if my letter today will also be of
interest?
This year commemorates the 90th anniversary of
the building of the Tyne Bridge. King George V and
Queen Mary came to the opening ceremony on
October 10, 1928. My uncle, Edward C. Lennox, was
Public Lighting Engineer for the North Eastern
Electricity Supply Co. in Newcastle, and was in charge
of the electrics on the bridge. He was presented to
their majesties at the ceremony and his distinctive
green lamps are still in daily use.
The schoolgirls of Gateshead and Newcastle were
asked to submit some craftwork for display in the
Shipley Art Gallery in Gateshead. I embroidered a
tray cloth in green linen with cross stitches on the
hems and a sunflower in two of the corners.
Queen Mary was pressed for time to see all the
exhibition, so some of the work (mine included) was
sent to Buckingham Palace for her inspection there. I
was a pupil at Lady Vernon Girls School in Bensham
at the time. You?ll see by the photo that my name is
still clearly visible: ?Nina Clark, Age 6?. I am now
ninety-six, yet I can still recall the occasion.
Ms N.N., Newcastle upon Tyne.
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.
Koala Cuddles
This photo was from my
first visit to Melbourne,
Australia, some years ago,
and it brings back happy
memories of our visit there.
It always makes me chuckle
when I look at this picture.
Ms J.D., Burnley.
Crochet
Challenge
Although I?ve been a keen
knitter for over 60 years,
having learned at school in
the 1950s, I never acquired
the skill of crochet.
With my big birthday
(seventy) just months away,
I have given myself the
challenge of completing a
piece before then. No mean
feat, I have to say, with
many previous attempts
unravelled!
However, you recently
published a very pretty
crochet pattern for a vintage
bag which I?m now inspired
enough to try. Fingers
crossed my perseverance
pays off this time, and let
the celebrations begin!
Mrs V.R., Turriff.
Enjoyable Trip
Can you imagine having
to polish all these clogs?
Thankfully Mum and I
were just inspecting them
on a visit to Amsterdam,
and the only ones we had a
real interest in were the
ornamental ones, which we
bo
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