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Not ‘lax‘ in any moral sense, you understand, Dear Diary.  Just an

abbreviation for that energising and energetic sport which I once

taught all those years ago when I was a fresh-faced sports

mistress at St Vitus’ School for the Academically-Gifted Girl, that

educational establishment now served by my one and only

daughter, Drusilla.

Lacrosse, how indebted I am to you for my trim figure in late

middle- no, change that-early middle age.

My New Year Resolution was to record in your pages an unfolding

record of my life as I turn my back on Bradford-on-Avon and return

to Suttonford, or environs thereof.  I could castigate myself by

declining to add a preposition in the final position of a sentence,

but, Dear Inquisitive Reader, I am not allowing such an intrusion

into these highly personal pages. I can assure you that ‘thereof’

is actually an adverb.  So, Parse that! as my primary teacher used

to say to me.

Apparently all that pedantic wrangling and linguistic strait-jacketing is-

new hate word- ‘prescriptive‘, so we can write what the ….we like!

Having spoken to Sonia, my old friend, ex-colleague and godmother to my

child, I was persuaded to come and lodge with her while my cottage is on

the market.  Diana, she urged, Feel free to stay as long as you’d like.

So, here I am in Royalist House, 3 3/4 High Street. Suttonford.

Will this new chapter of my life include Augustus?  I should ask Sonia; she

claims to be a clairvoyant.

Gus has frankly been a bit of a bore recently.  We were all three en famille at

Christmas and our pre-festivities Turkish trip was delightful, but since he

assumed this Acting Head harness, he has shown a distinct lack of

delegation. I don’t know what he expects his School Secretary to do.

Well, maybe I don’t want to know, Dear Diary!

Last night he was moaning on the telephone about the fixtures list having

been published on the Calendar he inherited. Apparently, he has been left

to fill in the subtle logistical details.

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The Fundraising Burns’ Supper for the PTA is a current example.

He hasn’t even booked the speaker for The Immortal Memory yet.

Did I know anyone who could deliver it?  I ask you.  I’ve only just arrived

in the community.

Why should I?

It all leads me to question our compatibility.  I am not that burbling stream

that he once paddled in and which scarcely covered the ankles of his

gumboots.  No, the mighty river of my post-menopausal personality would

probably engulf his emotional waders, to continue an aquaeous metaphor,

and would sweep him off his feet, into a tidal estuary.

Maybe his Classical learning has influenced my subconscious and transmitted

some Heraclitean analogy concerning never being able to step in the same

river twice.  We have both moved on, I fear.

We emerged from the house into the street and immediately were almost

knocked over by a child on an aluminium scooter.  Sonia didn’t see that


Our physical evasion led us to bump-literally-into a neighbour of Sonia’s,

namely an interesting looking woman called Candia Dixon-Stuart.  She was also

on her way to the infamous Costamuchamoulah must-seen cafe, in order to

meet a friend, and so we fell into step.

Her Jacobite surname, albeit hyphenated, led me to the most serendipitous


I asked her if she knew of anyone who could give some readings of the Bard’s

works at an impending Burns Supper.

She immediately replied, I can, of course.  Although I live in Suttonford, you

may detect a hint of the Caledonian in my genetic code.  Prick me and do I not

exude a few drops of blue blood from the Kingdom of Dalrieda?!

I took this as an affirmative and she drew my attention to a clan badge that

she wore on her lapel.  I did not know if this indicated an invitation to

remove it and plunge its pin into her soft and yielding flesh.  I did not

doubt that, eviscerated, her remains would bear the motto: Nemo Me

Impune Lacessit just as indelibly as that other Mary had the word:

Calais stamped on her heart, or running right through her like a stock

of seaside rock.

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Over a couple of cappuccinos, she introduced us to her friend, Carrie,

who turned out to be half Italian and half Scottish.  Gosh, these Scots

certainly had some diaspora and spread their seed around like some

blown thistledown.

Carrie told me that her mother- Morag!- a stereotypical name- would have

come down had she not been performing at various Masonic associations

and venues north of the border.

Very kind, but somehow I think Candia is our woman and she will ‘step up

to the plate‘ to re-circulate a current, over-used metaphor: isn’t that a cliche?

I gave her Gus’ number and am half-inclined to allow him to take me along as

his guest of honour.  There are bound to be some spare tickets and, frankly,

this new acquaintance intrigues me.