Author Archive: Jellywoman

236. Humankind cannot bear very much reality…

“At the age of twenty seven, copper-haired Maggie Hope had already foiled a plot to assassinate Churchill and blow up St Paul’s, saved Princess Elizabeth from being kidnapped, rescued a captured pilot from Berlin, taught at a school for Special Agents in Scotland and prevented First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt from being implicated in a lesbian murder scandal which would surely have led to America refusing to join in the War.”

I think it’s the gritty realism of the Maggie Hope novels that most appeals to me.

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235. Travelling light

This time, we said, we are definitely going to take Considerably Smaller Suitcases.

Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve been planning our second Grand Tour.  Autumn come she will and we’ll be hopping on and off trains with gay abandon, clutching our trusty Interrail Passes and Considerably Smaller Suitcases.

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234. Shake well before use…

What with Manchester and London Bridge and elections, I’ve been tiptoeing around social media of late, in an attempt to avoid the slabs of pure venom which are scattered amid the good stuff.  So, it was only this morning that I hit upon a post sharing the shattering news that one of my heroes – Tom Isaacs, president and co-founder of the Cure Parkinson’s Trust – died last week.  His passing was, apparently, “unexpected and swift”.  He was just forty nine.

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233. I’ve a lumbar-back and I’m OK…

“Now, I have to tell you about the possible complications,” says the Good Doctor.  “These are incredibly rare: I’ve done many, many lumbar punctures and no-one has ever had a problem but, legally, I still need to tell you.”

“Can I say that I’d rather not know?” I ask.

“I’m afraid not,” the Good Doctor tells me.

Damn.

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232. I’ll be seeing ewe…

Dear Elves,

We hope you found the wallpaper steamers we left out for you.  If by any chance you finish the walls tonight, feel free to make a start on stripping the ceiling.  We won’t be back till teatime tomorrow so keep going for as long as you wish.

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231. More like a hawk than a handsaw…

“I think it looks like a rabbit; sort of leaping sideways.  Like in the film of Watership Down … you know, the Bright Eyes bit.”

ActorLaddie puts on his peering glasses.  “I was thinking a gun, myself.”

“Well that,” I say self-righteously, “is the difference between us.”

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230: And we’ve had a postcard from Mrs Trellis

We were nearly late for the appointment.  Couldn’t find anywhere to park.  The only spaces near the hospital were for wheelchair users – don’t you think they could be further away?  After all – they’ve got wheels.

So, the professor got me to walk up and down a bit and prodded me and said ‘yes, that’s Parkinson’s.’  My wife said ‘how can you tell just from that?’ The professor said ‘well, there are other signs too.  Your handwriting has got very small, for one thing.  And your facial muscles seem a bit frozen – you seem to be finding it difficult to smile.’  ‘Well, that could be,’ I said, ‘because you’ve just told me I’ve got Parkinson’s.’

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229. The photographers will snap us…

“Now, we need to make sure that all the points have contact with your skull.  If you look at the screen, you’ll see that most points are showing red at the moment.”

I look at the screen and indeed, on the diagram which represents my skull, there are many, many red spots – a positive plague of red spots.

“Now, when the points have sufficient contact, they go green.  So I’m going to manipulate the points until they have contact.  It is not painful – a bit like having your head massaged.”  And off he goes.

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228. Good luck will rub off…

What am I like? Here am I inviting you… nay, begging you …. to read my blogs – hundreds of the little blighters – (the early ones are the best: less parentheses) and not once have I given a moment’s thought to your safety whilst doing so.  Not a glimmer of a risk assessment has crossed my mind.

Yet, while immersed in the Jelly Chronicles (I have a particular fondness for number four), you might be putting yourself in all sorts of dangers.  Heavens, your solicitor could, at this very moment, be preparing a claim for damages!  I must remedy this remissness without delay.

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227. Murder in the Library

Mrs B has seen me coming; is already standing in the porch, in fact, with last month’s library books neatly bagged up.

“How did you enjoy them?” I ask.

“Very good.  I’ve given this one five stars.”

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