All I Want for Christmas is…

Well my dear and how are you today?  I’m so pleased you popped round as I have quite a few bits to tell you about, including a little update about Mrs. M as I know you’ve been a little concerned since the Security Services whipped her out of her flat in the middle of night.

However, let just catch our breath, and go back a couple of paces.  Incidentally, my dear friend how are you today?  Yes, I know we have had a couple of quick chats in passing but neither of us have had much time to have a proper conversation since I arrived back from my Scottish holiday.  Yes, a couple of tea would be nice tomorrow afternoon.  Saturday is often a quiet day for me, so I will be more than happy to enjoy your company for an hour or two.  I will have a word with Giselle as she is already coming round in the morning with some cakes and biscuits for me.  My cupboard was looking decidedly bare when it came to baked goods.  I’m sure she will make some scones too as she knows that I really enjoy them.

Right then I’ll leave the majority of our conversation till I see you, but there are a couple of bits I would like to tell you about now if you have a couple of minutes to spare.

The first thing I want to tell you about is Mrs. M.  Now I wasn’t sure why the security services felt that she was particularly in danger, but they decided that they could do with “borrowing” her flat.   The easiest way to achieve that was by staging a robbery and kidnap during the night. 

The Security Services were aware the some of the squatters were part of a nasty and vicious group who liked to target pensioners with financial scams.  There are several different ones being perpetrated at the same time, which has also complicated matters.

I’m not going into details at the moment, but Mrs. M isn’t the most tactful of characters at and it was felt that it would be easier with her out of the way.  They specifically didn’t tell me because they wanted my reaction to the news that I believed she was missing to be genuine.   If I knew what had really happened, that would have been unlikely.  So I was deliberately kept in the dark on this occasion.

I can understand the reasoning behind it, although it would have been helpful if once I had been round to Mrs. M’s apartment and seen the mess when I was with Teddy, someone could have told us the true situation much more quickly rather than letting me worry myself sick for the next few days.  From what I hear the police are not too far away from being able to legally gain entry to the apartments and to arrest the two ring leaders.  I also understand that one guy has in the past, been found guilty of intimidating elderly, vulnerable people which was another reason for keeping Mrs. M well away.  I do understand that the authorities have managed to get microphones into the two apartments so that they can hear the conversations. Apparently they record everything and then transcribe it so irrelevant chatter can be deleted and just useful pieces of information can be kept for legal purposes.

Oh yes, I know you’ll be interested in news about the Christmas party.  I’ve had a conversation with Giselle and she will be delighted to provide a buffet of hot and cold dishes.  So I think there may be a casserole of some kind, a side of poached cold salmon and various cold cuts of meat.  There will also be a huge choice of dainty vol-au-vents with vegetarian and vegan fillings.  There will be lots of desserts and cakes too.  I’m feeling hungry just thinking about it.

Oh yes, I went along to the day lounge to see if anyone wanted to discuss the Christmas party with me.  A couple of residents I only know by sight asked me if we would be having crackers, balloons and party poppers!  What on earth do they think we are doing?  This isn’t a party for children.  Of course there will be balloons and party poppers and as long as everyone remembers to only use them on the correct night I will be happy.  Hearing them going off for days afterwards will just annoy me intensely!

I asked them if there was anything they would like at the party.  One woman said that it’s not Christmas if you can’t drink a Snowball which is Advocaat, lemonade and lime juice, although I am aware that some folk prefer to have their Snowball made with Advocaat and Babycham.  Gosh that takes me back an awful long time!

The other request, which I had already anticipated is that folk really want me to arrange a raffle.  This establishment wouldn’t survive without the ubiquitous raffle.  What is it that makes people get so excited about winning items which are only prizes because they were received as unwanted gifts, and then donated to a raffle?  I really can’t understand why it’s become such a part of the institution – certainly in this retirement complex!!

Anyway my dear, I’m really looking forward to catching up properly tomorrow afternoon when we can thoroughly enjoy a chinwag.  It’s so lovely having my friends close at hand.  It really makes a huge difference to my wellbeing.  However, I better get on with my chores for today, so that I will be able to enjoy my time with you tomorrow.  I also need to decide what I’m going to eat this evening.  As Always –

With Love – Jan  xx

Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree!

Good Day my dear and how are you doing?  It’s been a couple of days since we last spoke and I’ve slowly been catching up with the bits and pieces of news both in the village and the happenings here at Lavinia Court.

One thing which did surprise me slightly (although I don’t know why) was that a note had been pushed through my door which was written by a couple of residents who live on the ground floor.  They said that they knew I was away on holiday but when I arrived back please would I arrange a Christmas party for the residents. 

Apparently, at one of the coffee mornings in the lounge, there was a little discussion about having some sort of a Christmas “do”.  The feeling was that it hadn’t been a great year here for several reasons.  To be honest, everything which has gone on hasn’t really affected the other residents much.  Yes, there was the death of poor Patricia who lived on the ground floor and was really well-loved by everyone here.  That did upset folk, particularly the older ones, who she popped in to see on a regular basis.

 I’m sure you will remember Philip who lived along the corridor.  Most of the residents didn’t really know him as he was a quiet chap who kept himself to himself, but he lived next door but one to me and we used to pass the time of day. 

Most residents knew Gordon, but had only done so for a very short period of time as he moved here after he retired from the police service and only arrived earlier this year.  Later, more residents got to know him a little more, in connection with his position of building manager, but he wasn’t in the position for very long before his death.

I’m really sorry now my dear, as I’ve wandered completely off topic now.  Anyway, I seem to be fairly well-known – for my sins – and I haven’t been here very long either.  However, I don’t think there is anyone else who will arrange a party if I don’t, so I suppose I’ve been volunteered!

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Mary, one of the writers of the note had enclosed her phone number so I gave her a quick call and suggested that she came up for coffee, which she did earlier today.   I’m sorry to say that I didn’t recognise her; unfortunately she’s one of those mousy women who don’t stand out.  Actually it’s a great bonus to be like that.  It’s just the type of person the Security Services look for in an intelligence officer – someone who can blend in and disappear in a crowd.  Not that I’m suggesting that Mary could be an intelligence officer now, considering that she’s about seventy-five!

I digress again my dear, and you really should stop me from doing that.  However Mary came up this morning for a coffee.  Would you believe it, she’s another woman who likes shortbread biscuits too.  I think she had four of them – not that I was counting, of course.

It turns out that Mary and Joan, the other woman who signed the note, had been asking if someone would be arranging a Christmas party this year because there weren’t any posters up about it!  Someone else said that they didn’t think that anything had been arranged but as I run the Knit and Natter group at the library which they’ve been thinking of joining, that reminded them that I live here and they just thought… well yes, you knew what they thought!

I asked Mary if they had any ideas of what they wanted to do at this Christmas party – but no, they had just become fixated on the idea of a Christmas party, and wanted to know whether I’d organise it!  Well, yes of course I will – if folk want a party, then a party they will have!

I’ve just posted a notice on the board next to the office, saying that if anyone has any ideas I will be in the lounge tomorrow morning between 10.30 and noon so they can discuss them with me then.  I deliberately didn’t give my phone number out as I don’t want Mrs All and Mr Sundry ringing me about minor details on an ongoing basis. 

When it comes down to it I don’t think anyone will come to find me tomorrow.  The problem is that they’ll expect me to ask them to do something to help – which of course, the majority of people don’t want to do.  What I’ll do, is go to the lounge and take my Kindle and knitting, so I’m fine anyway regardless of whether anyone comes to speak to me or not.

I’ll need to decide on a date – probably the Friday before Christmas, and I’ll contact the winners of the talent content and see if any of them can provide a little bit of entertainment.  I’ll certainly speak to one of the magicians as he was very good.  To be honest if one of the singers will sing a couple of Christmas favourites and then lead us in singing a few carols that will work quite well.  If there isn’t a pianist available then I can accompany her easily enough.

I have given a little thought as to the food.  I think that having a buffet will be the easiest to arrange.  Now what I do need to think about is cost.  I’m going to have to charge residents for attending.  That’s only fair; it’s something that they want, and not something which would normally be provided by Head Office.

I am concerned about the squatters who still seem to be residing in two apartments at the other end of this corridor.  I think that the best option regarding the squatters is for me to speak to Teddy and ask her if there is any way that those apartments could be blocked off for the night.  I don’t want to confront the squatters – it’s not my business to do so, but a light police presence, even an unofficial one, would make me feel happier!

So then, my dear, back to thinking about the cost.  I think that there may be between 30 and 40 people who would like to attend.  I know it’s close to Christmas but the majority of us older folk don’t like going out in the evening, particularly during the cold, dark winter months.   I think that I will need to come up with a price that is all inclusive.  We don’t have a permanent drinks license here but I’m sure there will be a way round it, particularly as people won’t be paying for anything on the night.  I’m going to keep it simple and offer a sherry on arrival, and soft drinks and wine with the food.  Of course, I’ll ask G to arrange the food for me.  I really must ring her tomorrow and ask for her assistance.  I need to start making notes in my little book.

Right then I have a plan.  After my stint sitting in the lounge tomorrow morning I will make a poster saying that I would like a list of names of people who would like to attend.  It will also say that I don’t have a fixed price yet – Giselle will be providing the food – that will be very popular – and once I know approximately how many folk will be attending I’ll confirm the price, which I don’t expect to be much higher than about £30 per person.  I think that seems to be a reasonable figure and once I’ve had a chat with G and priced some wine etc we’ll be able to confirm the price.  If there’s any money spare, I can always buy some raffle prizes which will be extremely popular.

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Well my dear this conversation has been rather longer than I expected, but things happen all the time here.  To be honest, I’m quite happy arranging this, not that I would make anyone aware of that fact.   Right I better go now, so that I will be ready for action later.  I’ll be back soon to let you know what’s happening.  As Always –

With Love – Jan  xx

What Would You Think if I Sang out of Tune?

Well my dear, I’m sure that if it were me singing at the time you’d rush out of the room screaming.  However, the most important part is actually the title of the song and one which is instantly recognisable by many people.  “I get by with a little help from my friends!”  Don’t you think that’s a wonderfully iconic title which means so much in different ways and is probably relevant to us all.  It’s often said that we are not an island – we all need people!

I’m sorry my dear, I’m sure you’re wondering how, and why on earth I started this conversation.  I can explain – honestly I can.  Over the past few days since I arrived home from my little holiday in Scotland, I have been wondering why my mood has changed and why I feel so much happier here.  I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed the majority of my unexpected trip over the border and would be delighted to return.  However, there is one major point of difference between the gorgeous log cabin we stayed in and my tiny flat (I’m sure it shrank while I was away).   Here I have a wonderful group of friends and acquaintances who I can call on at very short notice, and not only to ask for their assistance.  

When I was in Scotland Mrs. M was with me for the majority of the time although I’m sure you recall that she spent a night in the local hospital after her mishap.  She is good company, but spending over two weeks in a small cabin and only talking to one person who was rather distracted for part of the time, meant that at times it appeared to be that I was alone.  Now, I’m happy spending time by myself – in fact I’m very comfortable talking to myself and listening to the radio when I choose.  However, I wasn’t in my own home and therefore I didn’t have everything close at hand as is usual when I’m here.  That wasn’t anyone’s fault – and in fact, it wasn’t a big deal in the scheme of things.

When I start to analyse things – and perhaps I shouldn’t – I’m trying to understand why things felt so different.  I think that, for me, the major difference was in having to consider the needs of someone else.  For instance, at about 1pm it’s time for me to have a snack.  I go into my wee kitchen, and decide whether to have an egg, or perhaps some cheese and crackers.  I make myself a mug of tea and “Bob’s your uncle” – lunch is ready in about five minutes – well, in a maximum of ten minutes!

When we were away, I used to ask Mrs. M what she would like for lunch and she would always ask me what we had available?  Originally I asked her if she would prefer an egg or some cheese for lunch, but she always answered with a question.   Something along the lines of “do we have any ham?”  That was why I decided to change the question and ask her what she would like – but every time she responded by asking what was available and it started to irritate me slightly.   I was getting to the point of suggesting she had a look in the fridge and decide what she fancied, but unfortunately she then had her little accident and I didn’t want to cause her another problem in trying to struggle to the kitchen.

Now my dear, I know I am moaning, and I really don’t mean to.  I’m not suggesting for one minute that Mrs. M was to blame for my irritability – no, Mrs. M probably felt exactly the same.  When it comes down to it, we are used to our own little routines, and particularly when you live alone you have your own way of doing things for yourself.  You don’t need to consider the opinions of others.  In that respect perhaps I am rather selfish.  It’s not deliberate; it’s a combination of getting older and being left to my own devices to get on with things in my own way.

Going back to the beginning of my rambling conversation today, I’m trying to say that although I like doing things how and when I want – I also love having the company of my friends who live near to me.  They pop in for thirty minutes for a quick cup of tea, or been to the newsagent and have bought me a copy of “The People’s Friend”, a weekly magazine.  You know I’ve been reading it – not continuously, but from time to time for nearly sixty years, and I still enjoy it.

I love receiving a phone call from one of my friends asking if I’d like to go for a coffee to The Roasted Bean.  Another friend is quite likely to ask if I’m going to the library and if so, shall we meet for a snack there at lunchtime.  Of course, I have my Knit and Natter group at the library, where about fifteen of us enjoy coffee and cake and ostensibly get on with our knitting or crochet, while in actual fact, the knitting usually sits in our project bags while we all catch up with the news and gossip.

It would be lovely if someone could help me regarding the various crimes which have yet to be solved – but that’s for another post when I’ve managed to glean more information. 

So my dear, although I may sound as if I’m moaning, in truth I’m not.  I’m so grateful for the folk who surround me and offer me support every day, whether it’s Georgie offering to open my post so I don’t need to see the words written by our anonymous coward, or Teddy and Giselle who ring me and pop in to see me a couple of times a week.  Then of course Alex and I speak nearly every day and I’m looking forward to seeing him, Chrissie and the girls at the end of the week.

I haven’t forgotten Mrs. M – I believe she is comfortable in London and Bertie has now joined her for a short time before they travel back to Edinburgh together.  I also understand that my contact at the security services will be making a visit to see me in the not too distant future.

So my dear as I started to say right at the beginning of this conversation “I get by with a little help from my friends.”  You can choose your friends but you can’t choose your relatives. I am extremely lucky to have my wonderful friends here and around Lavinia Court.  As Always –

With Love – Jan  xx

What Has Happened to Mrs. M?

Good Afternoon my dear, and yes, it is a beautifully bright day.  Please come in and we’ll have a cup of tea whilst I let you know everything that has been happening here during the past couple of days.

I’m sure you’ll remember that Teddy and I went to Mrs. M’s apartment when she failed to appear for afternoon tea the other day.  Her clothes were strewn across the bedroom floor and there was a mixture of shower gels which had been deposited in the washbasin and toilet making a dreadful mess.

Teddy quickly checked out the rest of the apartment and after a quick glance and confirmation from me, we decided that it didn’t look as if anything had been stolen.  Mrs. M’s mobile phone wasn’t there, but neither was she, so we came to the conclusion that she had taken it with her.

Teddy went back to the local police station to check whether any CID officer had been to Mrs. M’s property for any reason.  There was a negative response to this, and although several officers do actually know Mrs. M – it’s quite a small village – no-one had any recollection of seeing her recently.

I was beginning to be rather worried.  Mrs. M isn’t a young woman, and she’s still a little sore following her “accident” in Scotland. 

I slept badly last night, but came to the conclusion that I needed to speak to someone official to find out if they could tell me anything.  So this morning I rang my contact at Thames House.  It’s really not a place you want to call, my dear.  If you don’t have the current password or the name that someone is currently using in a specific case, it’s well-nigh impossible to speak to anyone.

Eventually, after holding on for what seemed like an eternity, I was told to expect a call back within the next ten minutes, so please would I remain close to the phone as I would need to be “patched” through!  Now what the heck does that mean?  Well, yes, I know the general drift of it, but don’t understand the technicalities – although I suppose it doesn’t matter as long as I can actually speak with someone who may be prepared to assist me.

Twenty-five minutes later my landline phone rang and a vaguely familiar voice introduced himself to me.  Ah yes, it was the gentleman who came to visit me some months ago, and if I remember correctly he had been in some kind of accident himself at that time as he required the services of a driver to assist him to my door.

Well then, to actually speak to someone I’ve spoken to in the past was a definite result in my book!  He enquired as to my health and I reciprocated – politeness doesn’t cost anything my dear.  After a couple of minutes he asked how he could assist me.  I explained that Mrs. M and I had just returned from a holiday in Scotland – when he interjected with “oh yes, how was your log cabin?”  Pardon – how did he know we had been staying in a cabin?  He continued “I always prefer Loch Lomond in the spring – before all the midges arrive in July.”  Now this was all very well, but I hadn’t mentioned Loch Lomond.  I asked the obvious question – “how did you know we were staying in a log cabin at Loch Lomond?”

There was a little pause then and a little “ah sorry, I didn’t mean to say that, but I suppose I must come clean now.”  Well, yes, that would be good!

After several moments of clearing his throat and sighing my acquaintance admitted that he had known where we were going.  It transpires that he knows Bertie and Freddie, and it was thought that the safest place for me to be for a short time was in Loch Lomond.  The young family staying in the cabin next door to us – well yes, the man was an intelligence officer in M15, and was due for some leave, so it was arranged that he and his family would move in next door so there was one person staying close who could assist us if there was a major problem.  That didn’t work out too well!

The mishap that happened to Mrs. M was actually an accident.  Members of the security services were arranging extra cameras but didn’t want to worry us.  So they arranged for two men who looked a little dubious, but could do the job, to climb into the trees to fix the cameras.  Unfortunately one of them didn’t notice Mrs. M until it was too late and he pushed her down and then panicked slightly.  His colleague confirmed that it wasn’t me – I would have been in a wheelchair – but Mrs. M just heard a small part of the conversation.

It seems to have been a set of circumstances which backfired slightly.  Mrs. M was a little quicker than me and thought she knew who was behind her “accident” although she didn’t mention anything to me about it.  The texts she had been receiving were from our friend in London who was trying to set things up without ringing her.

Apparently, the security services in London were rather concerned about my safety following the anonymous letter and silent phone calls I received.  They are unsure as to my connection with any ongoing case, but they think it is probably related to the murders of Gordon, Peter and his sister.

Mrs. M is currently in a safe house in London and her brother will be joining her for a few days.  The reason Mrs. M was removed from her apartment relates to the squatters next door.  The police and security services think that there are several folk within that group of illegal residents who are involved with drugs and blackmail, so they wanted Mrs. M out of the way.  However, it would have been strange if she had gone away on holiday again so quickly after returning home so it was decided to stage an “overnight snatch” – the apartment would be left in a mess, but nothing damaged.  It will be straightened up again soon, but various police officers and other officials can currently wander in there without it looking suspicious.

I’m sure I don’t have all the details just yet, but I feel a little better now.  I’ll give you more of the news in a short while.  As Always –

With Love – Jan  xx

Where, Oh Where Can Mrs. M Be?

Right my dear I need to start off by saying that Mrs. M isn’t here.  I didn’t choose the title just to grab the headlines – it isn’t “fake news”.  Mrs. M is missing from her apartment and I really don’t know where she is – I don’t exactly know when she ‘went’, but I suspect it was early yesterday afternoon.

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If you remember I had arranged for Mrs. M and Teddy to come for afternoon tea (well, a pot of tea and a slice of cake).  I didn’t have the time or inclination to make tiny sandwiches.  I’ve already told you about my perambulations yesterday morning from the library to the coffee shop, where I bumped into Giselle, and then I came back here, in time for a little snack.  Pardon! – oh right, you want to know what I had for my lunch.  Well I kept it simple as I knew I was a little later than I expected, so I just had poached egg on toast.  Yes it was lovely, before you ask!

I had arranged for Teddy to arrive a little earlier than Mrs. M so we could catch-up on what was happening.  Sure enough, Teddy arrived.  No she didn’t bring Harry although I would have loved to see him again, but we had decided that he may prove to be something of a distraction, seeing that we wanted to find out Mrs. M’s involvement with these crimes. Why did she receive so many texts?  Why did someone knock her down and was it supposed to be me?  I also wanted to know about the phone conversation which I overheard on a visit to the bathroom when she seemed upset “because nobody was supposed to get hurt”.

Yes Teddy arrived and we had a cup of tea and some little tarts I collected when I was at the coffee shop.  I knew that G had baked them, and although she will be bringing some cakes and buns here in a couple of days I actually needed some sweet treats now as I really do enjoy them with my afternoon cup of tea.

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Mrs. M had said she would be round at 3pm and she’s normally punctual which pleases me.  I can’t abide folk being tardy, particularly when they have an appointment.  I do feel that it’s bad manners to arrive “fashionably late”.  There’s no such thing – you are early, punctual or late!

At around 3.15pm I rang Mrs. M just to make sure she hadn’t dozed off – yes, we can all do that, especially after lunch or dinner.  However, her mobile appeared to be switched off, which was extremely unusual as I don’t think she ever uses that option.  Her phone is switched on at all times as is mine – it’s really useful to be able to ring someone if you ever take a tumble.

Teddy decided to pop round to Mrs. M’s just in case she had hurt herself.  I gave her my spare key so that she would be able to let herself in after shouting through the letterbox.  A few minutes later my mobile rang and it was Teddy who asked if I could go down there as she wanted to show me something. 

A couple of minutes later I arrived at Mrs. M’s apartment.  Teddy had left the door ajar for me so I called out to her and she came to meet me.  Teddy asked me to look round the apartment.  Mrs. M’s clothes were strewn all over the bedroom floor and it looked as though her suitcase had just been emptied everywhere.

Now Mrs. M isn’t the neatest of people but I could tell that this wasn’t just her usual untidiness.  I went into the bathroom and her shampoo and shower gel had been emptied into the washbasin.  There was a gooey mess of colours in the washbasin and also poured down the toilet pan.  Wonderful, that’s going to take ages to clear up.

However, that wasn’t the problem.  Mrs. M wasn’t there.  Now I know what you’re going to say – she could have forgotten that she was coming to see me.  I do appreciate that, but there was no way in which Mrs. M would leave her apartment in such a state.   She may be untidy, but this was beyond that description.

I’m really sorry but this has definitely upset me.  I know that Mrs. M is involved in something and I am connected to it.  Teddy looked round in case she could see Mrs. M’s phone but it wasn’t there and it was still switched off.

We decided to lock Mrs. M’s doors and we went back to my flat.  Teddy said that she was going back to regional police headquarters and would have a chat with one of the guys in CID and then she’ll ring me later.

I really don’t know what has happened to Mrs. M.  Yes, there is the possibility that she had gone out, or away for a few days, but I don’t believe that as her suitcase was still there in her bedroom.  I’m going to leave you now, but I thought you’d like to know the current situation.  As soon as I hear anything at all I will let you know.  As Always –

With Love – Jan  xx    

Boys and Girls Come Out to Play…

Well my dear the days are really flying past and as I’ve been away for a few weeks I’m rather out of touch with everything which has been going on around here.

I decided I should remedy the situation – what do you mean, you think that I’m just being nosy?  Indeed I’m not – it’s really important that I know what has been going on in my absence.

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I decided that I should take a quick visit to the library for a couple of reasons.  The first was to return a couple of large print books I had borrowed.  Unfortunately I still found them too difficult.  No, nothing to do with my ability to read the written word – no need for any comments like that, thank you very much!  No it’s just that I find it easier to read my Kindle.  Large print books are all very  well and good, but they are extremely heavy and difficult to hold when trying to read them, particularly when you need to hold a magnifying glass at the same time.

Another reason for my sojourn to the library was to check on the Knit and Natter Group which I started a few weeks ago.  I manage to persuade one of the more sensible women in the group to lead it for the couple of weeks that I was going to be away.  Now Delia is a great knitter, and has a good personality so I introduced her to the café staff and explained to them that she would be sitting in for me for a couple of weeks.   Unfortunately Delia, although she is a lovely woman, isn’t blessed with a particularly good memory – oy, there’s no need for the not so cryptic comments about my memory.  At least I make a note in my diary of the time of the meetings.  It’s not difficult – same time, same day each week – what’s complicated about that!  Nothing!!  Apparently poor Delia turned up every morning – well, from Monday to Friday – to make sure she was there in readiness for anyone who may turn up for a meeting.  Now why would she do that – we only have one meeting every week.  I asked her why she went every day and the answer was that she didn’t want someone to turn up, not knowing when the group had its meeting and be disappointed.  So Delia was there every morning “just in case!”  I suppose I can vaguely understand her logic but there was a notice pinned up giving the day and time of the meetings.  Anyway I had a quick word with the café staff and they said that everything was fine while I was away, although they did seem particularly pleased to see me again.

I stayed for a little chat with the staff members and they said that it was really good that I was back – I’m not sure why they seemed to be so enthusiastic that I’m here – I assume that something must have happened – however they didn’t mention anything specific, so I decided to ignore it.

After my visit to the library I decided to call in at The Roasted Bean for a quick coffee on my way back here.  Yes, OK I know it’s only two minutes from home but it’s rather nice being able to pop in and out around the village.  I’ve missed being able to do that while I’ve been away. 

Talk about good timing, my dear – I arrived at our local coffee shop to find that Giselle was just leaving, after delivering some of her beautiful cakes and scones.  It was lovely to see her, and she immediately decided to join me for a coffee.  She was aware that I had been away as I sent her a text just before I left – not giving any details – so she wouldn’t worry about not seeing me at my window.  G always looks up here when she goes in and out of The Roasted Bean and waves to me.  I often receive a text saying that if it’s convenient she’ll come up for a coffee.  Well, you know me my dear I’m always pleased to see her.  To be honest, she’s wonderful value for money, as she keeps me up to date with a fair bit of the news.  Now I’ve been out of the loop for a little while so I was eager to hear what she could tell me.

Apparently, she hasn’t been in Lavinia Court very much as she has been so busy baking, but fortunately while she was at The Roasted Bean making some deliveries she was able to chat with a few of the residents who went in for coffee.  The main topic of conversation still seems to be the murders of Gordon, Peter and his sister although I would have expected that to have been “old news” by now.  Apparently not – according to G who advised me that some residents are telling a completely different story about the murders.  One of the elderly women who has a flat on the ground floor here delighted in telling G that apparently the three victims had been shot and she heard them cry out at the time.  That in itself was a wonder as this particular woman is as deaf as a post.  It’s normally G who embellishes stories – but not this time…  Poor Bella, the elderly woman in question, said that the police officers had been round to see everyone, but she was the only person who heard the murders actually being carried out!!  I’m sure the officers are used to hearing this sort of rubbish and know to ignore the stories of elderly, vulnerable and deaf residents.  The officers are experienced in dealing with lonely folk who just enjoy having a chat with someone.

Apart from this, I had a lovely conversation with G.  I do love seeing her.  She has said that now I’m back she’ll do a little bit of baking for me and bring it round in a couple of days.  Isn’t that kind of her?

After my coffee with Giselle it was time for me to come back to my little flat.  My suitcase is now at the top of the wardrobe and my clothes have been laundered, so I’m beginning to feel normal again.  I’m expecting Mrs. M and Teddy later so I hope to update you soon about that situation.  I suppose I better have something to eat before I forget.    As Always –

With Love – Jan  xx

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