Yes, my dear I’m back again. I’m really pleased to see you because I’ve been feeling a tad bewildered. No sooner has one thing happened and we have just dealt it in one way or another – than the next thing hurtles our way, rather like a juggernaut which doesn’t have any working brakes.
I moved here under rather trying circumstances, but decided I needed to make the best of it. The property is in a really pleasant area, and I thought I had adapted to my new situation reasonably well. I had several longstanding friends who lived within a few miles and I thought it would be wonderful to be able to see them on a more regular basis.
I didn’t take into account that I appear to have moved into “crime central!” There is an aura of respectability which belies the events which have happened with monotonous regularity over the past nine months. Is it just me, or have crimes been occurring for years in this little part of the country? If it is a new phenomenon then that must surely suggest that the majority of events are connected to me – in one way or another! Perhaps not – they may be purely coincidental. However, I really don’t believe that – do you? I’m sorry my dear, I’m aware that I am in a reflective and slightly pessimistic frame of mind which isn’t helping matters.
Thank you for chatting with me about this latest problem. I do appreciate you taking time out of your day in order to listen to the ramblings of a silly old woman but I feel that I do need to let you know what is now happening.
You probably remember that Teddy brought a young female police officer to see me – together with Harry! To all intents and purposes it just looked as if they had been out for a walk and were calling in for a restorative cup of tea.
I think that was where I left you last time we spoke. Anyway, sure enough Teddy, Julie (policewoman) and Harry appeared. It was lovely to see Harry. I had his favourite biscuits waiting for him together with a bowl of water. There was a little minute of amusement when Harry, who was rather excited, started dropping his Bonios into the water and then paddled in it while he was trying to retrieve them! Every time his nose went into the water he snuffled and sneezed. Eventually I emptied the bowl, washed it and refilled it with fresh water. He had a long drink and then I gave him some more biscuits which he crunched noisily.
In the meantime, we made a pot of tea and sat down to discuss the situation. I explained about the phone call – of course, Julie had been told a little about it, but I went into more detail. She then made a couple of calls on her mobile. It was decided that it would be a good idea, if I was amenable to it, for me to go away on holiday for a few days. Not immediately, as that would look suspicious, but in a couple of days. I would tell a couple of neighbours that I was going to Scotland with Mrs. M to see her brother and his wife. As Mrs. M had only just returned from visiting her sister on the Isle of Islay we decided that it wouldn’t be credible to say we were going there.
I rang Mrs. M while Teddy was here and asked if she fancied a few days away – and I told her I’d explain the details to her later. She was delighted as she’s always ready for an impromptu trip. As it happens she does have a brother who lives near Edinburgh who fortuitously also owns a small holiday cottage in Loch Lomond. It is actually one in a group of small log cabins set in the grounds of a rather posh hotel. These cabins are well spaced out from each other and in a secluded area. They aren’t advertised in any holiday brochures at all as they were only sold to friends of the hotel owner and can only be occupied by the owners or members of their family.
Mrs. M had told me about these cabins some months ago when we were talking about holidays. She had suggested that it would be a lovely idea for us to spend a few days there sometime. She has been there several times with her brother and sister-in-law, and is quite well-known to Freddie, the owner of the hotel.
In the meantime, the police arranged to have my landline phone monitored, but in a way that wasn’t obvious to anyone looking in case anything appeared to change with the way the phone rang or was answered. I hadn’t previously used the answerphone option on the phone, so was advised not to use it now.
Everything was to be the same as normal. I would make it known that I was going away with Mrs. M for a week or so. I would only give the information in a casual way, so my neighbours would just think I was letting them know out of courtesy rather than specifically giving them information. In that way if anyone asked where I was, they would say I was away on holiday with another resident. It had been planned for some time and I had been looking forward to it.
The only person in the building who would actually know the true situation was Georgie. As she is my oldest friend, she would be expected to know where I was etc. She would pop into my flat and water my plants and check my mail. If anything looked different she would ring Teddy – as she knew her anyway.
In all fairness we didn’t expect anyone would come to my flat, and obviously shouldn’t even be able to enter the building – but we all know that if people are determined, they will find a way in. I still have all the tiny security cameras in place, and of course I changed the locks after Gordon came into my flat without invitation a couple of months ago.
So that is the situation my dear. Do you think it’s a good idea for me to go away for a few days? It may not be necessary, but I think it will do me good to have a little break. Mrs. M is good company and I will take my knitting with me. I have treated myself to some new books for my Kindle, so I’m nearly ready.
We have decided to book a car and driver to take us to a small hotel in Glasgow where we will spend the first night. Mrs. M’s brother will collect us the next morning and drive us to the cabin. If anyone asks, we will be staying with Mrs. M’s brother and his wife for the week.
Well my dear, I’m quite looking forward to this unplanned holiday. I will be able to keep in touch with you as I have my phone, and I’ll also send you some pictures. I just need to pack some appropriate clothes – it always rains when I go to Scotland so I will be taking my Barbour jacket. I think I may take a pair of Wellington Boots as although I won’t be walking much at all, it does tend to get rather muddy around the outside of the cabins. My wheelchair is ready to go and Mrs. M has shown me photos of the pathways which are really well maintained – apparently the disabled access is wonderful throughout the whole site which is a great bonus from my point of view.
Right my dear, I’ve gone on for far too long again, and I have things to do. We’ll speak again soon. As Always –
With Love – Jan xx