“Have you heard what’s happened?” Lillian squealed excitedly, as she almost fell into the church shop in Charley Dale, her ginger hair blowing wildly around her face.

“No, what?” asked Meryl, looking up from the pile of clothes that she was pricing up.

“There’s been a body found amongst the trees leading up to the reservoir.”

“Oh my God,” said Meryl. “Who is it?”

“They don’t know,” said Lillian. “Or at least if they do know, they haven’t said.”

“Is it male or female?” asked Meryl.

“Not sure,” said Lillian. “You can’t tell these days anyway!”

Anna stood there looking startled. She was new to the area and to the church shop where she had found a niche for herself helping out. The woman who had just almost fallen unto the shop seemed utterly wild, and, to boot, as mad as a hatter. Indeed, Anna was soon to discover that Lillian was known as “The Madwoman of Charley Dale.”

Having dropped this bombshell, Lillian proceeded to rifle through all the clothes, pulling them off their hangers, then discarding them. By the time she had finished, the shop looked much the worse for wear, but Meryl tolerated it, with good humour, even though it meant that she would have to put everything back into order again once Lillian had left. And she left with about as much aplomb as she had entered.

“She’s very clever you know,” said Meryl. “She’s written a book. AND she’s been something big at the University. Been doing a Ph.D. but had problems with a Professor who became fixated on her, so she’s had to do it in fits and starts. Well, that’s what she says anyway. She’s so mad that no one ever knows when she’s telling the truth and when she’s not. Seems to live in a fantasy world much of the time. But they say there’s a fine line between brilliance and madness, and she’s certainly brilliant. I bet she shows you her book next time she comes in. She wrote it in her younger days and her picture is on the cover. She was gorgeous in those days, with that wonderful ginger hair all long and curly.”

“She’s quite the local celebrity then,” said Anna.

“Oh yes,” said Meryl. “But you certainly know when you’ve got her!”

“But what about this body?” said Anna. “I walk my dogs down there most days.”

“Well we’ll have to wait and see,” said Meryl. “It might be true or it might not be.”

The shop door then suddenly burst open, and a tiny but very well dressed woman came in, looking very self important.

“Hello Rita,” said Meryl.

“I’ve just seen Lillian,” said Rita. “She says a body has been found down near the reservoir.”

“Yes, she told us that,” said Meryl.

“Well do you think it’s true?” said Rita.

“You tell me,” said Meryl. “You know what she’s like. Mad as a hatter.”

“Yes,” said Rita. “She turned up at church one night. It was meant to be Evensong. But she insisted on saying the words for Morning Prayer, on account of the fact that it was morning SOMEWHERE in the world. We just let her get on with it and carried on with Evensong. The vicar’s about as mad as she is, so they make a right pair.”

Anna stood by, ready to try and help Meryl tidy up the shop again, wondering just what she had got herself into. At that point there was the sound of police cars going past in the direction of the reservoir.

“Oh dear,” said Meryl. “It looks as if it’s true.”


Taking life
To where they will
Strong soles holding on
Along rugged pathways
Onto the highest mountains
Alongside streams in greenest fields
Never giving up keeping going
Soon will be the time to rest satisfied

Sent from my iPad


I have just read another post about blogging etiquette. I have read such posts before and I totally agree with what they say but I always end up having to apologise because there is no way for me that I can actually follow what they suggest.

I value my readers and followers very much indeed, and all the lovely comments that are made, and I try very hard to reply to each one, but I have real trouble keeping up with replying to each one.  With being newly blind, I find it takes me a long  time just to reply to one comment.  I tend to type or dictate something into  the Reply box, then accudentally hit  the wrong  bit and hey presto  it has gone  into  Spam.  Then I re-type it and hopefully get it right the second time around!

Sometimes I get completely overwhelmed when trying to keep up.  So I ask you please  to forgive me if I don’t  always manage to keep up.

What I DO want you to know is just how MUCH I appreciate you all, and your lovely  comments.  THANKYOU.

lorraine xx








Blackbirds are black
Violets are purple
I will wear purple today
Edged with black
Singing a melancholy song
On my darkened path
Pausing by the wooden seat
Where once you showed me bright flowers
Wild with delight
Waving in the breeze
And now you wave goodbye
With the same wildness
Mad as ever you were
But brightly coloured
Today I will wear purple like the violet
Giving fragrance by the wooden seat
Edged with black
Fragrance of death


Apologies for the bluntness of thus.


I saw teeth glistening
White and ludicrous
Obscene in smiling face
Piety in bucketloads
Until the day of res-erection
And then I knew
That a mask
Had covered his face
As black as the robes he wore
That black night

PART 15 of MURDER MYSTERY – Denoument

“I wonder when the police will give us more details?” Cheryl said to Geoff as they made their way home.

“I suppose the full story won’t come out until the trial,” ruminated Geoff.

“I wonder if Mr. Batty will spill any beans?” said Cheryl.”He was in such a state I think he could spill anything,” remarked Geoff.

“Mind you, he might not know much. He might be in as much dark as we are about it all,” said Cheryl.

“But what about your cousin Susan?” said Geoff. “She might blab something.

“Well we’ll just have to wait and see,” said Cheryl.

A week later Cheryl and Geoff were back in Bigley Bottom. A place had come up for rent and they had gone to look at it. They had arranged to meet Janice and Pete in the pub at lunch time.

The murder was the talk of the village. Susan and Mr. Batty were finally on speaking terms again, Susan having been in shock over the arrest of her husband. Mr. Batty was going round the village like a lost soul. His policeman act had disappeared, and the village was full of litter once again.

“So what’s the latest on the murder then?” asked Cheryl. Janice answered,

“Oh, well, it seems that Clarence  otherwise known as Mel, had met George Whimbrush in a café in Ambleton, and they’d got talking. George’s father had made one of the girls in the village pregnant, and George had wanted to try and track down his half sister, as he had been an only child. His father had never made any secret of his past. It turned out that it was Clarence’s aunt who had been made pregnant. A lady named Gladys. Clarence was quite close to Gladys, and Gladys had had a terrible life, having been very badly affected by the pregnancy. She had given the baby up for adoption, and never seen it again. But then when she eventually got married she found she couldn’t have any more children. But Mr. Batty who was her brother, had denounced her, saying she was a slut anyway. He reckoned the earth should have such scum removed from it. Hence his obsession with tidying litter up. Clarence knew this story and felt sorry for his Aunt Gladys, and so Mr. Batty disowned him too. It didn’t help that Clarence was a con man anyway, and that he had put on the charm and got people to sunk money into his businesses that then failed, and they never got their money back.”

“Well that explains some things,” said Cheryl, “but why did Clarence kill George?”

“According to Susan he just lost his head. He was so angry at what George’s father had done to his Aunt Gladys that he just hit him iver the head and killed him. It isn’t known whether he meant to actually kill him or not. Clarence says not. But who knows?”

“Phew,” said Cheryl. “What a story. But what about the false leg found in the churchyard?”

“Oh, that was nothing to do with anything,” said Janice, “One of the kids in the village stole it from his Dad who had a thing about World War II memorabilia, and he’d got it off eBay. He put it in the churchyard for a lark.”

“And what about the swastika found on the body” asked Cheryl.

“Oh, that was George’s mother’s. She was German, and it was part if her inheritance. A member of her family did well in some Games in Germany. Hitler used to award people medals for that before the war. Around 1935 apparently. George was si close to his mother, and so upset by her death that he carried it with him to make himself feel close to her.”

“Oh my gosh,” said Cheryl. “Who’d have thought something like that could happen here?”

“I know,” said Janice. “But I guess anything can happen anywhere. I don’t think this village will forget this for a long time.”


CAN’T REMEMBER IF I HAVE POSTED THIS BEFORE but I love to hear nightingales

I rest
In Sacred Time
Living in the present
I see nothing in front of me
The Now
I hear the lone call of a bird
Song in the wilderness
Nightingales sing
In dark


Shine, shine dark eyes although you cannot see,
Bright gems of light blazing in anguished soul,
Not even blindness can put out the light in me.

How many times from prison bars did you break free?
Living though dying, this always was your goal,
Shine, shine dark eyes although you cannot see.

Whatever life could throw, you fought to be
Victorious over even death bell’s deafening toll
Not even blindness can put out the light in me.

These eyes so dark now, just like ebony,
That sickness from them once the blinding light stole
Shine, shine dark eyes although you cannot see.

Come with Your light eternal, Lord, that we
Might walk together, towards that glorious goal
Not even blindness can put out the light in me.

Together as we walk we’ll make the darkness flee
Nothing can ever quench the light, we can be whole,
Shine, shine dark eyes although you cannot see
Not even blindness can put out the light in me


Isn’t it strange how life changes, quite unexpectedly out of the blue. There you are planning your retirement, looking forwards to doing the things you never had time to do before.

We planned to climb mountains. I have just posted a poem about the first time we ever climbed a mountain. It had not been planned – it just happened one day. We heard a voice calling us. At least, that was what it felt like. Unexpectedly, we did it! But then we were hooked! We spent all our spare time dreaming about it. Planning what we wiuld do next. Working out routes. Dreaming.

Retirement approached. My husband’s health failed and he had to gave up work before retirement age. But never mind, we were living in a house amongst the hills of Derbyshire. Not exactly mountains, but good enough. At least we could see and enjoy the hills. Then we had to move. To an industrial town where houses were cheap. We could no longer afford to live in Derbyshire.

Not long after we moved, I was diagnosed with cancer. A rare blood cancer that produced many large and dangerous tumours. I was near to death. But I survived, through gruelling treatment. Only to be left blind and unable to walk, thus wheelchair bound.

Our dream of spending our retirement climbing mountains has gone! Well, the normal sort of mountains that is. In fact, every day we climb a mountain. Each day is a mountain, and the call is to survive. We have to have determination and keep oyr eyes focused. It is hard. Sometimes we fail. Sometimes we stumble and fall. Sometimes we hit a black spot. Our marriage has been under extreme stress, and everything that was ever wrong with it became huge under this extreme stress. Some of the stresses were imposed by authority. By rules. By a lack of compassion and care on the part of those who are meant to help and care.

We have coped alone. We climb our daily mountain alone. But in a way that is good. The one thing that we want to keep is our independence. Our personhood. We are in danger of losing that.

We look back to our days of mountain climbing – the conventional sort – and sometimes we become very sad that things did not work out the way we wanted them to. And on this Ash Wednesday we take stock. What can we make out of the ashes of our lives?

For me, I create poetry out of the ashes. This is what keeps me going. I am glad that I am at least able to do that.


The day was clear and warm was the sun
A half baked plan began to take shape
For so many days we’d filled our minds
With thoughts of joining the booted throng
The mountain called with joyful voice
We vowed one day we would reach the top

We’d pitched our tent right at the top
Of a hill lit up each day by the sun
The cows and sheep were in good voice
We looked in awe at the mountain’s shape
We mingled with the bright coated throng
With mountain climbing on our minds

We’d come to this place with much on our minds
We’d never thought of the mountain top
Until we were drawn by the growing throng
Taking their chance in the baking sun
We knew we were not really in good shape
But still we kept hearing the mountain’s voice

We’d never before heard this ringing voice
With so many problems filling our minds
Our lives had taken on such a strange shape
And now we were called by the mountain top
We lost our heads in the summer sun
And joined with glee the booted throng

We cast our lot with the booted throng
Gave in to the mountain’s insistent voice
Our bodies bathed in the morning sun
Putting all inhibitions out of our minds
We kept our focus on the top
As our eyes beheld its rugged shape

The ones around us were in good shape
But they were such a merry throng
We knew in time we would reach the top
As we climbed we kept listening to the voice
We now had nothing else on our minds
We reached the top in the evening sun

From the mountain’s shape we heard its voice
In the sun we joined the merry throng
Our minds made up we reached the top


Mr. Batty took his leave of them and disappeared round the corner again.

“What do you think of that?” asked Pete. “I knew his son was a bit of a rogue, to put it mildly, and that a lot of people had it in for him, but THIS! I never thought he could be capable of something like this.”

“Well, whatever, I think it must have been to do with some dubious business deal that went wrong,” said Janice. “But how he came into contact with an American I can’t imagine.”

“It’s just all too awful,” said Cheryl. “Who would have thought something like this could happen here?”

“Why don’t we all go down to the ice cream parlour,” suggested Pete. “I could do with a good mug of coffee and a bite to eat after clearing up that jungle. I think we all need to relax a bit.”

They all nodded in agreement.

The ice cream parlour wasn’t too full, it being late afternoon by now. There was just a low buzz of people talking, and it wasn’t long before they were served. As usual, the radio was on in the corner, and snippets of local news were being given out. A scarecrow festival in Little Wallop, and a fancy dress competition at Upper Broadley. One or two dog shows, and a cricket match.

The music droned on, but suddenly there was an announcement that startled them all. Mr. Clarence Mel  Batty had been arrested for the murder of Mr. George Whimbrush. The body of Mr. Whimbrush had been found on the aerodrome just outside Bigley Bottom. More details would follow.

Pete nearly dropped his mug of coffee and Cheryl spluttered and almost choked on her lemon drizzle cake.

“Oh my God,” said Janice. “And to think, we nearly got involved in one of his schemes. But something didn’t feel quite right, and we never went ahead with it.”

“Yes, we did have a narrow squeak,” said Pete. “He was such a good talker. He could have sold muck to a farmer. Such a charmer he was too.”

“They usually are,” said Geoff. “But what in earth made him go this far?”

“My cousin Susan will be in a right state,” chimed in Cheryl. “Not that I care much for her, but she must be in a bad way. And with her mother in that Nursing Home with Alzheimers as well.”

“It’s funny though,” said Pete. “Underneath all that charm I always thought there was something a bit nasty. He was just like his Dad.”

“I wonder how he came to meet that American though,” said Janice.

“Oh I’m sure he must have been up to some scam and maybe the American uncovered it,” said Pete.

“Yes, maybe they’d known each other for a while. The world’s a small place now what with the internet and everything,” said Janice. “Maybe he was trying to sell false legs!”

“Well you never know,” said Pete. “Have you seen that World War II anti aircraft gun sitting in the front garden of a house out on the river bank? It’s almost bigger than the garden, and taller than a flippin’ double decker bus. Looks right threatening almost hanging over the road.”

“My Mum told me a lot about the war,”piped up Cheryl. “The farm being almost at the end of the runway and everything. They would hear the planes coming back from bombing raids, and some of them were in a really bad way.”

“That must have been heart stopping,” said Pete.

“Yes, and some of them didn’t make it to the runway. They crashed into fields. My grandparents had their hearts in their mouths, worried sick that one would crash onto the farmhouse,” said Cheryl. “My Mum told me a lot about the war. Did you know she went and joined up under age, and became a balloon girl in Scotland?”

“Nope,” said Pete.

“Yes,” said Cheryl. “But eventually they found out she was under age and sent her home again.”

“Bet she went home with her tail between her legs,” said Janice. “My Mum never told me much about the war. All I knew was about the American airmen who were here after the war, based on the aerodrome. And how they could always get hold of nylons and nice things for the girls.”

“Yes, it’s funny to think that there was still rationing when I was born in 1948,” said Cheryl. “My Mum got married in the church in my auntie’s wedding dress because they couldn’t get the stuff for my grandmother to make her own for her.”

“Well we’ve come a long way since then,” said Pete. “And I’m not sure all of it’s for the better.”


What is a Sestina?


I have written quite a few sestinas before, but after reading this today, in the above link, I wanted to have another go!  Not sure if it any good, but here we are!


In the midst of darkness I see only light
In the dazzling rays that thrill my aching heart
As I sit in deepest dark I feel the arms
Of a greater being than I’ve ever known
Put a veil around this body bruised and torn
To shield it from the arrows of the night

In a daze I contemplate this darkest night
And I know without a doubt it is the light
In a strangest way the veil is gently torn
And a love I knew not of enters my heart
In this vale of tears how can such joy be known
By a wayward child caught up in strongest arms

On the waves of pain I searched for loving arms
In consuming fear I shivered through the night
Oh so many tragedies my soul had known
As I thought I’d never ever see the light
But within I felt a stirring in my heart
And in dazzling darkness found my spirit torn

In this purest moment understanding torn
As in tumult felt around me mystic arms
In the dark I felt the beating of my heart
And my feet began to dance in this long night
I beheld with my blind eyes the coming light
In a trance I knew that peace I’d never known

Now I thank the universe for all I’ve known
In the mystic light where temple veil is torn
Join in joy Creation’s praising of the light
That was born in darkness held in sun’s great arms
For in this dark world there isn’t only night
But in moon and sun the healing of my heart

In my heart I know the veil is truly torn
A love I’ve never known gives me its arms
I greet with joy the night that’s filled with light



Last night I dreamt that I walked down the lane
Looking upwards at the sky
I sigh knowing I will not walk there again

Faith was born that would never wane
Guarded by hope that would never die
Last night I dreamt that I walked down the lane

Beyond the bright stars no falling rain
Could dampen my joy I knew love was nigh
I sigh knowing I will not walk there again

Sometimes I am saddened consumed by pain
I have to be honest I tell you no lie
Last night I dreamt that I walked down the lane

My spirit still sings though my heart is lain
In cancer’s firm grip one day I will die
I sigh knowing I will not walk there again

The stars are shining in eyes that flame
With something so deep hear my spirit’s cry
Last night I dreamt that I walked down the lane
I sigh knowing I will not walk there again


When they got to the churchyard they found Pete talking to the vicar. The vicar was waving his arms in the air in a rather exaggerated manner.

“What’s going on here?” asked Janice.

“Haven’t you heard?” said the vicar in a sort of booming voice. “The police are questioning somebody about the murder up on the aerodrome.”

“Yes,” said Janice. “I was just telling Cheryl and Geoff about it.”

“I’ve got a feeling we might be in for a shock,” said the vicar, “Though I’m saying nothing for the moment.”

Suddenly Mr. Batty appeared from round the corner looking upset and dishevelled.

“You mind you don’t mess that churchyard up,” he barked at everybody. I’ve spent all my life trying to keep things decent and I’m not about to stop now.”

He looked as if he was about to burst into tears. Quite out of character for him. Turning back towards the gate he shouted, in a half breaking voice,

“I’m going to get all this litter cleared up. Get rid of all the scum in the world. It’s about time,” he shouted.

He walked away running his fingers in an agitated manner through his hair, at least, what hair he had left!

“He’s in a bit of a state,” commented Pete. “Wonder what’s wrong with him?”

The vicar looked down at the ground. He obviously knew more than he was saying.

“I think we’ll find out soon enough,” he said. “I’ll leave you to it then. I’ve got some business to do. Might see you later.”

The four of them stood around for a while, looking shell shocked. What on earth did the vicar know that no one else knew? And why did Mr. Batty appear looking and acting so out of character?

It was hard to put all of this aside and get on with clearing a path to Cheryl’s grandfather’s grave. But it had to be done and this was as good a time as any. Cheryl decided to wheel along the path that went around the church, looking at the graves. Many of the names were familiar to her, names that she had heard her grandmother mention. Strangely, she felt as if she was among friends. This place had always felt like home to her, and she planned to be buried here too, when her time came. Her coffin was to be brought to the church drawn by horses. They were to take her up to the lane end of her grandparents’ farm, and halt there for a moment, then take her to the church. The headstone on her grave was to read, “Home at Last.” Yes, this place WAS home to her!

As she looked at the various graves, she was arrested by one that had on its headstone the words, “In the midst of life we are in death,” and she thought of the poor man whose body had been found up on the aerodrome. A deep sadness came over her. No one deserved to die like that.

Cheryl returned to where Janice and Geoff had been standing, watching Pete attack the jungle with his scythe. Pete had almost finished, but Janice and Geoff had gone into the church.

Cheryl wheeled up towards Pete. She could now see the grave, and indeed, it was in the form of a book, laid on the ground. To her, it was sadly beautiful. Two brothers, both of whom had died far too young. Yes, in the midst life we ARE in death, she thought to herself. Suddenly, feeling quite overcome, and, full of gratitude, she gave Pete a kiss on the side of his face, and thanked him for what he had done.

“Hey, no problem girl,” he said to her, “It was the least I could do.”

Janice and Geoff appeared from inside the church at that point.

“Would you believe there’s a dead mouse in there,” said Geoff.

“Oh no, not another body,” said Cheryl, half wincing and half laughing.

Mr. Batty suddenly appeared from around the corner of the church. He still looked dishevelled and agitated. Pete approached him.

“Come on mate what’s up? This is not like you.”

Mr. Batty erupted.

“It’s that bloody son of mine. He’s being questioned about the murder. He’s been trouble all his life. No matter what we did, he always went his own way. There are so many people in this village out to get him, and they’ve tarred me with the same brush. Now look what he’s got into! I’ll not be able to go on living in this village.”

The four of them looked stunned. No one spoke, for a moment or two.

“But how? Why?” asked Pete.

“Oh, it’ll all come out,” said Mr. Batty. “And it’s not a very pretty tale.”

#WOTD. Waffle

It would have been every kid’s dream. To live in one of the most famous seaside towns in Britain. Well, in those days it might have been every kid’s dream, though now, it has changed so much that it is almost unrecognisable. I was lucky enough to live there for a while.

Every Sunday we would go to the sea front and take a walk, though often it would involve jumping over the waves that hurtled and crashed onto the promenade. Of course, it was great fun, and we were not aware of danger. The wind would be biting our faces, and our hair would be blowing in our eyes. And that was all part of the fun of it. We never wore hats!

By “us” I mean me and my Mum and Dad. Mum always loved to eat shrimps and prawns in little white dishes purchased from little stalls on the promenade. With lots of vinegar, of course. We would walk the whole length of the promenade, then make our way to the Pleasure Beach, and eat a WAFFLE complete with mounds of jam and cream. I have never, ever, since that time tasted waffles so good.

I suppose you could say they were good days. Dad used to go and wait at the stage door of the theatres, and collect autographs for me. Not that I understood it really. I never ever saw or watched the people he got the autographs from, and I never knew who they were. He would come home excitedly, bearing the autograph book complete with various names, announcing his success. I guess his excitement made me a bit excited too – ot it was meant to! If I am honest, it really left me a bit bewildered. Who were these people? And why were they so important?

Often, there were huge thunder and lightning storms. Storms like I had never seen before coming in off the Atlantic. And I was scared like I had never been scared before.

It all sounds great. But there was one drawback. We lived in houses where there was a woman in bed who was an invalid, and usually dying. Mum’s job was to look after her while Dad went out to work. So, I could never play, or make any noise whatsoever. In fact, even talking was forbidden, for the most part. We would have a room in the house, and a bedroom. Eventually the woman would die, and I would come home from school to find sombre faces and undertakers and various people in the house, all dressed in black. Mum would have a very serious face, and I would be told,

“Don’t go in there.”

It was all pretty horrible. And then I would be told we were moving again – to another house where a woman was in bed, dying.

So when I think of waffles, I have mixed emotions. Kind of bittersweet.

I have to say though, that I do still love to eat waffles – with jam and cream, of course.


“Let’s have a ride up the road to the aerodrome before we go to the churchyard,” said Cheryl. “We can stop at the lane end to my grandparents’ farm as well. I used to walk up that lane every night with my grandmother taking the milk checks and the empty milk bottles to the lane end ready for the milkman in the morning. I used to look for God going up that lane. Can’t remember where I first heard about God, but I was sure He must be up in that sky above the lane somewhere.”

“Did you ever find Him?” asked Geoff with a grin.

“Well my grandmother didn’t know where He was, but she thought He must be everywhere.”

“Oh,” said Geoff, laughing. “So you were well and truly covered wherever you were then.”

“I suppose so,” said Cheryl. “When we got back to the farm one time, I went and sat on a chair and said to my grandmother “Well if God’s everywhere then, I must be sitting on Him now.””

Geoff laughed loudly.

“And what did your grandmother say?”

“She just said she supposed I must be!”

“It’s not the same now though,” said Cheryl. “The farmhouse has gone and there’s a modern ranch style bungalow in its place.”

And with that they arrived at the lane end, and could see that there were police cars on the aerodrome and some blue and white tape in the distance.

“Looks like they’re still searching the area,” said Geoff. “I wonder what they’re looking for?”

“I don’t know,” said Cheryl, with a shiver. “I know it’s making me feel queer. Perhaps we shouldn’t have come.”

“Do you want to go?” asked Geoff.

“Yes, let’s,” said Cheryl. “We can always come back another day when all this is over.”

They made their way slowly back into the village.

“Let’s go and have a coffee before we go to Janice’s,” said Cheryl. “I need something to give me a lift.”

Soon they were at the ice cream parlour, and Geoff parked the car in the car park, then helped Cheryl in in her wheelchair. They found a quiet table in a corner where Cheryl could recuperate a bit. They didn’t just do great Italian ice cream, but they did great Italian coffee as well. Cheryl sat with her cappuccino, reminiscing.

“It always did feel real isolated up there,” said Cheryl, with a shudder. “Grandma used to worry about us walking back from the village on our own after a night out. “You never know who’s around,” she would say. Even in broad daylight walking down to the village she’d be scared, and be looking around for a potential attacker. Scared the living daylights out of me she did. Then on the way back she’d say, “Well I’ve got a tin of treacle in my bag that I can hit them with.” And she would put her hands around it in readiness.”

“Well we’re safe here now, down in the village. Unless of course Mr. Batty comes and lambasts us for something!” said Geoff. “But sometimes I wonder if he sees human beings as litter, messing up his world!”

“I know what you mean,” said Cheryl. “Sometimes he makes me feel really uncomfortable. There’s something really unpleasant underneath his smiling exterior.”

“You know, I wonder about that son of his. You say that Mr. Batty threw him out one night and then he rolled up at your cousin’s?”

“Yes,” said Cheryl. “At least that’s her story. “They got married eventually and had two kids. But he’s always on the lookout for people whom he can lure into his schemes. He’s a good talker. But then when everything collapses it’s too late, and yet another person has lost a lot of money. Then they’re after him, but there’s little they can do. He’s certainly got a lot of enemies in this village anyway.”

“Well, do you think it’s time to go now?” asked Geoff. “Are you ready for it?”

“Yes,” said Cheryl. “As long there are no more false legs in that churchyard.”

When they got to Janice’s she was ready and waiting for them.

“Have you heard the news?’ She said.

“What news?” asked Geoff.

“The police are questioning someone about the murder.”

“Oh my goodness,” said Cheryl. “I wonder who it is.’

“Well they’re not releasing any details yet, but say they will do shortly,” said Janice.

“Well let’s hope they’ve got the right person,” said Geoff. “Everyone will feel a but safer then.”

“Come on. Let’s get to that churchyard and see how Pete’s getting on,” said Janice.



FOWC with Fandango — Salient

“So what are the SALINT facts please Sir? You say she has absconded in a wheelchair and that the wheelchair only goes at four miles per hour at its fastest. You say that the wheelchair will only go eight miles on one full charge, but that it is not fully charged anyway. You say that she is blind and that she is wearing shocking pink. Is there anything else that I should know?”

“I don’t think so. That’s about it.”

“Then I don’t think we will have much trouble finding her. She can’t have got far. I don’t think we will be declaring it a major incident.”

“But it is. She’s got my meat pie inside her fleece.”


This is a Repost, but it is my favourite poem of all time, that I have written.  I love to think of the forest, and the beautiful green.   So here it is again:


Forest, you enfold me
Under your canopy of purest green
Setting my senses free

I feel you though I cannot see
Hear the Living Waters teem
Forest you enfold me

Remembering how I used to be
In sacred space I sit and dream
Setting my senses free

My heart, my mind, my will agree
Working together as a team
Forest you enfold me

Your spirit lets me know that we
Do not need “sight” on which to lean
Forest you enfold me
Setting my senses free


INSPIRED  BY BEETLEYPETE.  Thankyou Pete.  If you haven’t yet discovered Pete’s blog, then please consuder taking anlook.  It us a great blog, and he writes some fantastic stories.

Thinking Aloud On a Sunday


I’ve been thinking about thinking about the past! We’re always told to let the past go, and to live in the present. Sometimes it’s hard to do that. I wonder if, as we get older, we do it more? I mean, we have more past behind us than we have time in the future. And our future is often influenced by the past whether we like it or not.

I must admit that I do think of the past a lot, because my present is shit. And my future is even shittier! There was nothing that I could have done in the past that would have made my present much different. Oh I might have been richer. I might have been married to a different bloke. I might have been living in a different place. But fundamentally nothing would have been different. I would still have got cancer, and I would still have been blind. My life would still be as it is now.

I do think of the past and how I used to be, and of how in the blink of an eye things can change. Your whole life is completely altered and re-written. And it saddens me. I am sad. What makes me sadder than anything is that there is nothing I can do to change it. We all need hope. And particularly hope of change for the better. In my case that does not exist. I know with a certainty that what lies ahead of me is deterioration, and even more loss of any form of independence.

How do I feel about this? I feel despairing, at times. I feel sad. I feel angry. I grieve a lot.

But when all is said and done, I have to go on living, or trying to live, in the best way that I possibly can. Finding ways through. Finding ways of still existing as a person. Because this thing takes away your personhood if you are not careful.

I have to admit that I often feel envious. I read or hear of just ordinary things that people are doing, or even just hear them out in the street from my open bedroom window, and I have pangs of envy and jealousy.

I guess that somehow or other I will get through. But the future is frightening. Sometimes I cry. Sometimes I shout. Sometimes I scream. These are all human things to do. But mostly I just endure, for it is the only way to get through. And that is my biggest hope of all – that I can just go on enduring.


“What do you think you was doing volunteering me for clearing up the churchyard?” said Pete to Janice.

“Well I didn’t think you’d be doing much today,” said Janice. “Well, not much that is useful that is!”

“What do you mean?” said Pete.

“Well you seem to spend most of your time gassing to your mates or going to the betting shop.”

“What’s wrong with that?” inquired Pete. “I’m retired now. There’s nothing much spoiling and I think I’ve done my time what with spending all my days off doing your Mum’s garden and all that.“

Janice got a faraway look in her eye.

“Yes, those were the days,” she said, when Mum was still here, next door. We were lucky to be able to have part of her garden to build this house on. I remember when Cheryl and her grandmother used to walk all the way from the farm to see Mum. And Cheryl’s Mum and my Mum were old friends, before that. Got married at about the same time. They were both pregnant at the same time and used to natter together. I understand much of the conversation was about how NOT to get pregnant any more. No one had much money in those days and getting a large family too soon was just not on.”

“Seems strange, said Pete. So different to today.”

“Yes,” said Janice. “But people were closer in those days. Much more community spirit. Everyone helped everyone else.”

“Well I think Mr. Batty thinks he’s doing his bit for community spirit now,” said Pete.

“Hmm,” said Janice. “Well it won’t hurt you much to do your bit for Cheryl today then. She hasn’t exactly got much going for her at the moment, being in that wheelchair after that awful cancer, and knowing it might come back any time. If we can help a bit and uncover that grave for her then I think we should. We used to have some fantastic times together and she’s a shadow of her former self now. You know they’re trying to move back here, her and Geoff?”

“Well I do now,” said Pete.

“Yes, she’s trying to reconnect with her past and the happy times at the farm. She always thought of this place as home, and if anything happens to her again and it is for the worse, she wants to spend her last days here, surrounded by happy memories.”

“That figures,” said Pete.

“So are you going to help her then?” asked Janice.

“I don’t see why not, given the circumstances,” said Pete.

“Well go and get your scythe then, and get on with it. “But watch out for Mr. Batty. He’ sure to be buzzing round.”

“Oh never mind him,” said Pete. “I can handle him. Him and his ne’er do well son. There’s plenty after him in this village for money he extracted from them to sink into all those businesses that always went under.”

“Right, I’ll see you later in the churchyard then, when Cheryl arrives,” said Janice.

“O.K.” said Pete. “Don’t you worry. “I’ll make a good job of it.”

“I wonder what it’ll look like when Pete gets it uncovered properly,” Cheryl said to Geoff as they travelled along.

“In the form of a book,” remarked Geoff. “That’s unusual.”

“Yes,” said Cheryl. “And I’ve found out a bit about the one named on the right hand side of the book. It’s John, his brother, who got killed near the end of the War. Got right the way through almost, then got killed as they were advancing through France. It must have been awful for Granny Jones. First of all losing her son, my real Grandad, to a brain tumour, when my Mum was just a year old, then losing another son aged only 19 in the War. He’s buried in one of them foreign graveyards in France. I don’t suppose Granny Jones ever got over there to see it.”

“Yes, it must have been awful,” said Geoff. “Just a young lad who’d known nothing but farming, and village life, being put into that lot. But he wasn’t the only one. Most of them were lads like that.”

“His name’s on the War Memorial in the village,” said Cheryl. “I found it last night. Fancy me never having known about that. The War Memorial is right outside Rose Cottage where Granny and Grandad Jones lived. There’s a gorgeous horse chestnut tree there too, and a nice wooden seat where you can sit down and contemplate. Faces up Kirkham Road where the farm was. It’d be nice for me to go and sit there sometime. Think about my memories.”

“Yes,” said Geoff. “But after this lot they’ll be a bit different.”

Cheryl looked a bit woe begone.

“You’re right there,” she said. “I wonder who that poor man was. And who did him in, and why?”

“Well I’m sure we’ll find out in time,” said Geoff.

“It’s odd that it’s an American though,” said Cheryl, “after them being based here during the War. They used to fly from here to bomb Germany. Loads of them crashed on the way back. Missed the runway, and ended up in farmer’s fields. They weren’t too popular, despite what they were doing for the country.”

“But this one couldn’t have been one of them,” said Geoff. “But I agree, it’s odd.”

“There’s too many queer things about this whole affair,” said Cheryl. “And what about that false leg they found in the churchyard. German, too. I wonder if that’s anything to do with it.”

“Who put it in the churchyard?” said Geoff. And why the churchyard?”

“I don’t know,” said Cheryl. “But I hope they find out soon. This makes me feel so creepy.”



I lie in between yawning and dreaming
My heart waiting to find release
For love is not mine to keep but mine to give
For no reward
Asking nothing
Just years of giving
Years of reaping
In time love’s calling will grow strong again
And the light weave patterns in our eyes
And write the words we want to say
But cannot for now the dark is here
Love has lain bleeding
In the soul’s dark night and body’s demise
We lie in the silence the words strangled
I put my hand out to touch you
But you are gone
You went when the lights went out


Stay with me until the morning
Stay until the new day’s dawning
Let me know your touch so strong
The new day won’t be very long
I close my eyes my soul is yawning

I am so tired and I am yearning
To rest in peace my world is turning
I hear kind Nature’s eternal song
Stay with me

Let sleep dispel my spirit’s churning
All things rest my flame is burning
Inward light does call me on
The light that always in me shone
A new call now I am discerning
Stay with me




I watch them swooping, soaring, diving,
Dancing in the air in pure joy
And I hear their song from the trees
Their wings unclipped
Their voices not silenced
Free to sing as they will
Whatever their song
I sang to you a song
and you silenced me
Clipped my wings
No longer could I soar with the birds
But in the darkness of the prison you put me in
My song rises
In the night I sing as I will
That love is nothing to do with fear


What is left deep in my heart
When I am stripped?
I remeber it well,
The day I was on all fours
Drooling at the mouth like an animal,
Playing out some goddamned drama on a bed,
All eyes upon me,
Though naked except for my skin,
And even that was coming off,
I remember you walking away,
You who bore me and saw me naked the day I was born,
But now my skin was open,
Cancer had done its worst,
And your words said it all,
“Where is your God now?”
But inside all of that pain I knew
That it is not the skin that contains God,
But the heart within,
And that day above all
I heard Him cry
From deep within me,
Deep guttural cries,
As if the whole Creation was groaning,
As if in the pangs of childbirth,
Oh what a birthing this was,
For here, now, in this place,
I heard above all the words
“I am with you. I am Suffering itself. You are not alone.”


In the flow of life both love and joy
Hold hands and slip beneath the waves
Rise up again and ride the crest
Shouting ecstatic words in poetry
Effervesce in circling foam
Dancing to the rhythm of the ocean
Connecting to the heartbeat of the universe
Life flowing fast and free
Born again from the darkest place
In the waters of the eternal womb


Janice’s phone rang. It was a couple of days since her conversation in the pub with Cheryl. Cheryl’s voice came from the other end.

“Are you game for it today then?”

“You mean going to look for your grandfather’s grave?”

“Yes,” said Cheryl. “Looks like being a nice day, so a good time for it, I was thinking.”

“O.K. then, said Janice. “Shall we meet in the pub at around 12. 30?”

“That’ll be great,” said Cheryl.

“I wonder if there have been any more developments since we were there the other day?” said Cheryl as they travelled along in the car.

“Well I’m sure we’ll soon find out if there have been,” replied Geoff.

As usual the pub was buzzing. The talk was all about the body on the aerodrome.

“Long time since anything as exciting as this has happened,” said Fiona as she deposited their meals on the table. “The police have been here to question the landlord. Seems it WAS him that was staying in the chalet as was murdered. Frank couldn’t help them much as he hardly ever saw the bloke. But he could confirm that the name and address as was on the business card found on the body was the same name as he registered in. It’s not often that we get Americans here. Never mind dead ones!”

“Bodies seem to be the thing at the moment,” said Cheryl. “I’m here to try and find my grandfather’s grave in the churchyard. I’ve already been warned about the bats inside the church if I go in there. And that it’s not unusual to find the dead body of one.”

“Oh, you’ve been talking to Mr. Batty then,” said Fiona. “He’s obsessed with those bat bodies! I shouldn’t think he’d have been very pleased about the false leg either. But who needs police when you’ve got Mr. Batty? He seems to know everything that goes on. Makes it his business to!”

At that, Mr. Batty appeared.

“Ooh, talk of the devil,” said Janice.

“How did the birthday party go?” asked Geoff.

“Well, as well as could be expected given the circumstances,” said Mr. Batty.

“What do you mean?” inquired Geoff.

“Well, Mrs. Jackson dropped dead at lunch time, and then Letty Holmes fell and sprained her ankle.”

“Oh dear,” said Geoff. “What a calamity.”

“It was,”said Mr. Batty. “The ambulance had a job to get into the village for all the police cars. Not to mention the undertaker. The vicar’s going to be busy now!”

“Well, we’re off shortly,” said Cheryl. “I’m sure we’ll be in again soon.”

Mr. Batty, having delivered his news, left first, closely followed by Cheryl and Janice and Geoff.

It was no mean feat trying to find the grave. The churchyard was, as the vicar had warned, become overgrown. There was no way that Cheryl was going to get her wheelchair through the jungle, so she remained on the path by the church door watching Janice and Geoff. Eventually there was a cry from Janice,

“I think I’ve found it. I’ll take a picture of it. It’s in the form of a book, with your grandad’s name on the left hand page, and someone else, probably his brother, on the right. Only the one on the right is just “In Memory of,” and it seems he’s buried in France. So, he was a World War II soldier who fought in France.”

“Wow,” shouted back Cheryl. “That’s amazing. I never knew about that.”

“I’ll get Pete to come with his scythe tomorrow and clear a path through for you so you can get to the grave,” shouted Janice.

“Great,” shouted Cheryl, excitedly.

Slowly, they started to make their way back to Cheryl. At that, Mr. Batty appeared, closely followed by the vicar.

“You found it then,” said the vicar.

“Yes,” said Cheryl. Or more to the point, THEY found it!”

“Yes, it is a bit overgrown,” said the vicar.

“Well I’m going to get Pete to bring his scythe tomorrow to make a way through for Cheryl,” said Janice. “I hope that’s O.K.”

“Be my guest,” said the vicar. “It’s needed doing for a long time.”

“But mind he doesn’t drop any litter,” piped up Mr. Batty. “I don’t want no cigarette packets to be clearing up.”

“Don’t you worry,” said Janice. “Pete hasn’t smoked for a long time, having seen his Mum die of COPD.”

The vicar suddenly appeared from out of the church. No one had noticed him going in.

“Would you credit it,” he spluttered. “Smarties. In the Collection plate! It’s kids again.”

Cheryl and Janice tried, unsuccessfully, to stifle a giggle.

“Oh, you never know what you’re going to get in there,” said the vicar. “Once there was a huge jar of frogspawn on the font. I expect they’d got it out of the wash dyke.”

“Ooh, I remember the wash dyke and frogspawn”said Janice. “Kept us happy for hours. My Dad was always happy to have the frogs coz they ate the slugs.”

“I don’t want frogs in my church,” said the vicar. “Never mind “All creatures great and small.” We’ve got enough with the bats!”

“We’ll go now then,” said Cheryl. “And tonight I’ll be looking up that other name on the grave on Ancestry.”

“Bye for now then,” said Janice. “We’ll see you tomorrow.”

Fandango’s Friday Flashback


Fandango’s Friday Flashback — February 21

Here is what I posted  exactly a yearr ago today:


Surrendering to the darkness I sit,
Letting its arms wrap around me, rock me,
For by no other is my dark life lit,
Only in the dark can I truly see,
Waves of peace wash over my aching soul,
Soothing, calming my ever raging storm,
For I have tried so long to reach a goal
Not of my own making, how I was torn,
I knew that in the dark there was more light,
For in the dark I see with different eyes,
The eyes that walk by faith and not by sight,
And in the darkness now my spirits rise,
The light deceives false comfort offers me,
Embracing dark I can be truly free


What place is this
That has no walls
But swells with grace
Expanding into the void
Full to bursting
No barriers
No borders
All are welcome here
The table is set
The banquet is ready
Come, eat
Be filled
No limits
All, all may come
Come today


I had some very strange things happen to me today. I am not even sure that I can explain it.

I had been out in the car during the afternoon, which I normally do when I am feeling well enough. I love to go for a drive in the countryside, though I can see nothing at all beyond greyish shapes in a thick fog. It frustrates me terribly that I can no longer see the things that I love. The river bank, and the river. And, because I am in a wheelchair I cannot even get out and have a refreshing walk, as I used to do.

I am not going to lie and say I am O.K. with this, because I am not. It grieves me very deeply, and it can make me deeply depressed. I have to really fight to stay O.K. I guess if it were just blindness I would be much more O.K. But it is not.

I think I have said before that prior to my cancer diagnosis I was very active. To go from being what I was then to what I am now is very distressing and takes a lot of coming to terms with.

When I got back home this evening and returned to my bed, which I have to do, I suddenly felt overcome because I am in a world on my own that no one else is in. They couldn’t be. It is not possible.

But I became very distressed by it. It was as if it suddenly hit me how much I am not part of this world.

It is very strange and isolating to hear people talk quite normally about normal things. Things that they can see. Things that they have done or are doing. This evening I simply felt that I am not in the world any more.

If I do get to go anywhere where there are people, which isn’t very often, the problem is added to by my being in a wheelchair. People are towering above me, and they usually do not come down to my level to talk to me. Though most people don’t want to talk to me at all. I think that in some way they fear me because I am so different to them. So, I cannot see people, plus they do not come down to my level to talk to me, which makes me feel not part of this world.

But now here’s the thing – I feel and act as if I am perfectly normal. It is quite odd, because here I am feeling not part of this world , yet feeling myself to be perfectly normal.

It is a conundrum to me!

All that I can say is that I am so glad I have WordPress for it is my only place of connection with the world.

I wonder if others in a similar position to me, having lost so much, feel the same way.


No one wanted to rush off after their meal. So much had happened, and the two women were feeling particularly emotional. Both had difficult memories, and it was as if they needed each other for support.

“It must have been so different in the village when the American airmen were here,” said Cheryl.

“Yes,” said Janice. “I think from what my Mum said, it was an exciting time in some ways, for the girls, but there were many broken hearts too. Some of them told girls they weren’t married, but then when they got pregnant, it turned out they were. They weren’t all bad though, and some of the girls were taken over to the States to live, eventually, having married their beaux. They were very happy by all accounts. But it was a time of huge upheaval in the village. How strange that the body was that of an American, and that it was found on the aerodrome.”

It was Cheryl’s turn to become sad and weepy then.

“I remember my Mum’s sister, Pat, coming over to see us when we lived in Blackpool,” said Cheryl. “I didn’t understand what was happening at the time, but the atmosphere was very sombre. I knew something big had happened. A few months later we went to see my grandmother at the farm, and there was a little baby there. No sign of Pat. She had run off. But he was a beautiful little boy with fair curly hair and blue eyes. It was only later in time that my mum told me that my auntie Pat had come over to Blackpool to tell her that she was pregnant.”

“Yes, I remember Jim,“ said Janice. “You and Jim and your grandmother used to come up to our house to see my mum. It was always nice when you came and we had some good times.”

“Yes,“ said Cheryl. “Jim was born in 1956. The American airmen were based at the aerodrome until 1955. He hardly knew his mother but my grandmother treated him as one of her own and he had a good time on the farm with the lads from the village. They were always messing about with cars and motorbikes. As Jim grew up he always had to dress just so, in the latest fashion. I distinctly remember my grandmother saying to him that clothes maketh not man. I think she’d got a bit fed up with him always having to be dressed up and her having to do his washing and ironing.”

“I remember there always being a good crowd of them at the pub,“ said Janice. “Do you know what made him leave?“ she asked.

“Seems he’s got into trouble with money,” said Cheryl. “He never was any good at handling money and my grandmother used to despair of him. But there were a lot of people after him and he just couldn’t handle it any more. He went off on a boat to Holland but we don’t know what happened after that. We don’t even know if he’s alive or dead. Broke my mum’s heart it dId. She always did want to try and find him but she was always scared because she didn’t want to frighten him. Said it was up to him if he wanted to contact us again. Every Christmas we hoped that he would, but he never did and Mum’s dead now. He left his briefcase with my mum and it had a combination lock on it so that no one could open it. He said he would come back and get it sometime but of course he never did. I’ve got it now. No idea what’s in it.”

The atmosphere had become very heavy, and Janice and Cheryl decided to call it a day.

“Come back again soon,” said Janice. “If you want, I’ll come and see your grandfather’s grave with you once you’ve got the plans off the vicar.”

“O.K.” said Janice. “That’ll be nice. I’ll be back later this week.”

The vicar had got the plans ready when Cheryl and Geoff called on their way home.

“Here we are then,” he said. “What did you say your grandfather’s name was?”

“Jones,” said Cheryl. “Harry Jones.”

“Ah,” said the vicar.. “Here he is. Right down by the south wall of the churchyard. It’s a bit overgrown down there. But you should be able to find it. I think the police have moved their blessed tape now. Good job, or Mr. Batty would be on the war path.”

“Thanks,” said Cheryl. “We’ll be back another day then.”

“Wonder how the birthday party went,” said Geoff, as they drove away in the car.


At that point their meals arrived.

“I wonder if all this is anything to do with the guy who has been staying in one of the chalets,” said Fiona, as she placed their meals on the table. “He’s been here a few days but we haven’t seen much of him. He arrived with what looked like a kind of kit bag. Odd shape, it was. I’m sure he spoke with an American accent. Strange to say, but I haven’t seen him for a couple of days.”

“Did anyone come to see him at any point?’ asked Geoff.

“Well that’s the thing,” said Fiona. “We never really know what goes on in those chalets. They’re a bit away from the pub, and once people book into them they’re quite private. They can come here for meals if they want to, but not all do. He never came in for a meal, and he kept himself to himself.”

“Does anyone know how the guy on the aerodrome died?” asked Geoff.

“According to the police he was beaten about the head,” said the vicar.

“I wonder what he came here for?” ruminated Geoff. It all seems a bit odd to me.”

“You’re right,” said the vicar. It’s not the sort of place you come for no reason. I mean, there’s not much here really. Well, except for the fishing ponds up at Sunnyside Farm, and they have their own log cabins and chalets. Yes, I reckon he was here for a reason.”

At that point Mr. Batty appeared, looking very self important. “I’ve had a visit from the police,” he announced. “Seems there was a man staying in the village who met up with my son. It’s his body on the aerodrome. They found an American driving license on him and various other papers. His name is George Whimbrush. And he’s an American business man.”

“This gets stranger and stranger,” said the vicar. “But it’s all good for business. We’ll be getting sightseers next.”

“I’ll tell Frank to get the other chalets ready then” said Fiona. “We might get a sudden influx, especially when the police release the information about the swastika and the false leg.”

The vicar gave a big guffaw, and said,

“ I hope they’re looking after that leg well at the police station. Who knows who it could have come from! Or how it got into my churchyard.”

Mr. Batty chimed in,

“Yes. Littering up the place like that. And I wonder when the police are going to clear their tape up. Anyway, I’d better go. I’ve got a birthday party to go to at the Grizzlys. You can always rely on the Grizzlys to do a good birthday party.” And with that he marched off.

“No doubt the police will be down here soon,”said Fiona. “I feel sure they’ll have some questions to ask us.”

Cheryl and Janice had not said much, but suddenly Janice began shivering violently.

“What on earth is the matter?” asked Geoff. Janice began to cry. The vicar went and put his arm around her, and Geoff gave her his coat to put around her.

“It’s just……oh I don’t know,” blubbed Janice. “It’s as if someone has walked over my grave. I was remembering what Mum told me about the American airmen just after the war. But she’s dead now, and she can’t tell me any more.”

“Yes, my Mum told me a lot too,” said Cheryl. “And of course you know how our Jim came into the world. And he’s missing now. Took off some years ago, and no one knows where he is.”

For once, the vicar became quite gentle.

“It’s a nasty business all round,” he said. “Now you be sure to eat a good meal, you two ladies,” he said. Then, turning to Cheryl, he said, “And I’ll see you at the vicarage later, and we’ll sort that grave out. And then he disappeared.

“He’s not a bad sort,” said Janice through her tears. “He did my Mum’s funeral and he was lovely.”

“I hope we can find my grandad’s grave,” said Cheryl.

“Oh, I’m sure you will,” said Janice.