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Diana was late in her production of the Christmas puds.  Somehow

she had forgotten to amass one or two ingredients and it was only

Stir-Up Sunday which had reminded her.  Guilt set in as she did not

usually overlook such things.

She had driven into the nearest town over the border and had been

hooted at by some ghastly woman in a 4×4.  Diana was worried that a

rear light was not working on the car.  Then she wondered if her tyre

was punctured.  She kept driving along the country roads, looking for

somewhere to turn off, so that she could check on the problem.

She looked in her mirror.  An angry, snarling face scowled over the

driving wheel of the vehicle behind her.  Then the harpy overtook

her. Amazingly, the wannabe Boudicca didn’t have knives protruding

from her wheels.  The number plate was not local.

Very soon Diana realised that the only problem had been that she was

observing the speed limit.  Charming!  How aggressive people were


She parked near the store-its car park was full- and was surprised to

see a poster in the window, announcing that it was Black Friday and

some lines had a 20% discount.

She found the aisle with baking goods and dried fruit and was pleased

that there were orange stickers on the raisins, currants, mixed peel and

so on.  Three for the price of two-good!

Hmmm, I could do with three packets of mixed fruit, she mused.  Oh, must

stock up on glace cherries and ground almonds..

But there were no more packets of ground almonds.  There was only one

packet of flaked aforementioneds.  And there were only two packets

of dried fruit.

At the till Diana tried to compose herself by silently reciting last weekend’s

collect: Excita, quaesumus...or, for the ‘plebs’ (oops, got to be careful with

that appellation now.  Three million pounds is a lot of money!)  Which

being interpreted was:  Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy

faithful people; that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works,

may of thee be plenteously rewarded.  Inwardly, however, she was still

fuming and, even more so, when she spotted the woman in front of

her in the queue at the check-out.  Her laden basket contained most

of the packets of baking ingredients that Diana had been seeking.

The face looked familiar, but its expression was now that of

overwhelming smugness

Diana turned her head and then noticed miniatures of brandy in a

basket by the till.  As she reached out to add one to her basket, the

wretched woman had the same idea and they both locked horns

over the same bottle.  The woman scratched Diana’s hand with

her talons!

Enough!  This was a shameless display of greed and nothing to

do with the season of good will or penitential Advent.  She just

hoped that her Tetanus inoculation was up-to-date.

Diana put her basket down and stormed out of the shop.

She went to the butcher’s instead.

On the way home, she had the very pleasant experience of seeing

a 4×4 having been pulled in to a lay-by the police.

What a pity that the woman hadn’t been au fait with local knowledge,

to wit, that the Scotsquad, as everyone in Scotland seemed to be calling

the Caledonian Police, tended to lurk around that very corner on a

Friday morning.

Diana found herself humming Let it Go from Frozen.  Oddly, it seemed

just as effective as the collect.  She must discuss that with the vicar

next Sunday.

She sang out lustily:

…and it looks like I’m the Queen

la la la…

Be the good girl you always have to be…

Well, now they know…

No right, no wrong, no rules for me!

Here an inspirational thought came to her:

if the boys in blue were otherwise engaged, then-what the heck!-

She depressed the accelerator, was into fifth gear and off she sped

down those same lanes.

I’m free!

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