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Virginia Fisher-Gyles had been a little deflated when Valentine’s Day

eventually arrived and, although the customary bouquet of red roses

had been delivered to her office, nothing of significance had taken place.

A few days had passed and nothing had been said.  He hadn’t even worn

the silk cravat she had given him.  He continued to don his gravy-stained

MCC tie.

Snod had been procrastinating-an inactivity that he indulged in, not

only on the 29th of February.  It was habitual, nay ingrained, as much as

the various taches.

Virginia couldn’t pin his behaviour, or lack thereof, to acedie, as that was

characterised by a restlessness and possibly an inability to work, or pray.

No, he managed his job, though not given to much movement.  He

did not exhibit signs of Weltschmerz, unless anyone mentioned a cover


Aboulia might have been a better diagnosis, but, then again, although

certainly diminished of movement, it wasn’t that he didn’t care about

not caring.  He simply never even considered it an issue.  Emotional issues

just didn’t register on his internal Geiger counter.  Was he suffering from

indolence of the heart, in the same way that Hamlet was thought to have

been?  Was he just a typical man?

In Tsarist Russia, such people had been put to hard labour in some old

babushka’s dasha, to shake them up.  Virginia had a few jobs lined up

for him.

He had the ring, so why was he not transferring it to a female digit

forthwith?  Why was he praying, like St Augustine: Lord…not yet.

Augustinus 1.jpg

The roses had drooped and the water had been unable to be refreshed

any longer.  Virginia tore a strip off her desk calendar.  The 28th February-

that meant that tomorrow she could ….

She sped off to prepare her campaign.  She was as determined as St Brigid

to close the deal with St Patrick.

The next morning she was at her desk, red knickers a hopeful substitute

for the recommended petticoat.  The Headmaster and certain staff

members had been fore-warned.

(About the campaign- not her undergarments.)

She couldn’t be any worse off.  She would propose to Snod on the dais at

the end of whole school assembly.  If the old so-and-so didn’t comply,

then she would fine him the requisite 12 pairs of gloves, or a silk dress.

She had already spotted a desirable Jenny Packham beaded number in

her local boutique.  It wasn’t cheap.