Well, my dears, it’s lovely to speak with you again. I’m afraid I’m in something of a tizzy at the moment. You must know what it’s like when you get a song in your mind, and it keeps going round and round. Well, that’s the position I find myself in just now.
It all started a few days ago while I was waiting for G to come round for tea and cakes. There was a song playing on the radio which was just starting – “When you walk through a Storm hold your Head up high” – and at that point, Giselle rang the buzzer downstairs. Of course, I switched the radio off and waited in anticipation of my friend arriving, complete with some delicious cakes and biscuits.
A couple of minutes later there was a tap on my door. It was lovely to greet my friend again and she rushed into the kitchen to put her cakes on my cake stand. She really enjoys making her home-made goodies look their best and it’s lovely to see them displayed so beautifully. While she was sorting the cakes out I heard her singing quietly – “and don’t be afraid of the dark” – would you believe it – it’s that song again!
We sat down in my living room and of course G had lots of “news” for me. Now, my dears, you know how I always need to take G’s stories with quite a large pinch of salt. This time she was able to tell me a little about the new chap who has moved in to the vacant flat on the first floor. He is called Albert, and used to be a builder, but his wife has recently died and he decided that he didn’t want to remain in the home they had shared for some forty years. He has a son and daughter-in- law who have a couple of young children and they were looking for a larger home. After Albert’s wife died he suggested that his son and family should move into the home which was now far too large for him. Apparently, the property had been rather too big for the couple anyway and they had been thinking about downsizing to a bungalow.
Albert and his wife lived not too far away from here and G happens to be friends with his daughter-in-law. They had been at the same school, although not in the same year. There is something slightly weird about this family, but at the moment I can’t tell you any details. Something is strange, and G tells me there are several family secrets. Giselle was tripping over herself – now this sometimes means that she’s not sure whether things are true, but on other occasions she just can’t get the words out quickly enough and gets over-excited.
Giselle did tell me that Albert has a brother who isn’t known for being on the “straight and narrow”. He likes to bend the law to fit the circumstances. We really don’t need anyone else in our little community who is related to someone who isn’t concerned about staying on the right side of the law. If it were just a case of the occasional parking ticket or similar, that would be OK. These things happen to the majority of people.
While this conversation continued we finished our first pot of tea and some beautiful little fruit tarts. I realised that we were in for the long haul, so I went and put the kettle on again.
Giselle followed me back into the kitchen while I brewed the tea, and we continued chatting. It transpires that not only is Albert’s brother a dubious character, but he is rather well acquainted with Mr. R who, as you may remember, is currently in Belmarsh Prison. Ah yes, I knew there was something I needed to tell you. Why on earth didn’t you remind me? Mr Roach’s trial was last week and then we all had to wait to hear what happened at the sentencing. Mr. Roach pleaded “not guilty” – well, that didn’t surprise anyone! However, regardless of that, he was found “guilty”. Guilty of what – I’m afraid I still don’t know, but it must have been something fairly serious. Unfortunately, we still don’t know many details of his crimes as the case was held – for the majority of the time – in camera. The good news is that we won’t be seeing Mr. R for some considerable time, as he has been given a sentence of nine years – with a recommendation that he shouldn’t be considered for parole until has served at least seven years. That must be good news for all of us. I will try and find out some details as soon as possible. I’m sure that we’d all like to know exactly what he had been up to – although I’m sure that it won’t all come out.
Giselle and I took our second pot of tea back into the living room and she continued to tell me more about Albert’s family. Not only does he have a brother who is known to be a charming, but ruthless criminal, but there are other family members who aren’t squeaky clean either.
There is a rather worrying trend continuing at the moment. I fully accept that people can’t be responsible for the actions of family members, but there should be some method of restricting access to a retirement community like this, for those folk with a criminal record. I understand that Albert’s brother has only just been released from prison. I asked G how long he had been inside for, but she didn’t seem to know the answer. I think I must make my own enquiries.
Gosh, I can hear the radio again. I have the windows open, and so of course, the noise wafts up to us. “Walk on, walk on, with hope in your hearts, and you’ll never walk alone…..” Why on earth is that song being played everywhere today? I do enjoy it, but can’t understand why it seems to be so popular just now.
Anyway, G is packing all her bits and pieces together. She’s left me a lovely slice of cherry pie and some cream. I do enjoy cherry pie – it’s one of my favourite desserts. It’s not worth me making any kind of pie just for myself – it would last me for ages.
Right, she’s gone now so I’ve switched the radio back on again. There it is again – why are they playing that song – “You’ll Never Walk Alone”. The commentator then announces that he’ll be playing songs from Carousel all week, as the local amateur operatic society will be performing it next week in the new civic hall attached to the library. I do like the music from Carousel, but may go off it slightly if is going to be played non-stop for the next few days!
“Walk on, walk on with hope in your heart, and you’ll never walk alone” – when you think about it those words are very true. There have been some awful events here, but we just have to put our trust in the boys and girls in blue. The police do their best for us all – and don’t forget all the ancillary occupations involved. Where would we be without people like Teddy – oh, by the way, she’s gone for orange, pink and purple stripes in her hair this week. Just thought you’d like to know!!
Anyway my dears, I’ve gone on for quite long enough. I do need to decide on what I’m going to eat this evening. At the moment I’m veering towards bacon and eggs, but that may change. I do enjoy it, but it’s so filling and of course, I have been eating cake this afternoon! I better take a look in the fridge and see if there’s anything I fancy. I’ll be back again soon. As Always –
With Love – Jan xx