Worts

EXTRACT FOR
Worts 'n' All

(Stewart MacInnes)


Foreword

Worts 'n' All is a collection of short stories I've written over the years; more than I care to say. Some of the stories I wrote with a friend or two which brings back memories of evenings discussing ideas of plots and characters. A lot of these stories were published in small press magazines which were once in abundance in the days before the internet. One by one though these small press magazines ceased publication and to my knowledge none of the ones I subscribed to exist today.
The stories are a mixed bunch. Ghosts, love, adventure, social injustices and environmental concerns are all featured in this book but there's also humorous stories and a few which are just plain silly.
I had to decide what order the stories should be in. I could have blocked each type together or I could have separated the ones I wrote by myself from those written with friends. I decided though to arrange each story in alphabetical order which I concluded was not only the simplest thing to do but is as a good an order as any.
This book of short stories are ideal reading for when you've got five minutes or so to spare as they can be read from start to finish in a short space of time.


Contents
After The Event
All Those Years Ago
Aunt Nellie's Cupboard
Autumn's Beck *
A Winter's Tale? - She's Mad, She Is! *
Blackbird, Bye Bye
Bob's Father And The Spy
Boxed In **
The Challenge
Christmas Spirit
The Columbus Story (Fictional Article)
The Crunch *
Donald MacKinnon's Boots **
Every Time A Sheep Bareth He Loseth A Bite
Frank's Decision
Henrietta
He's No Friend Of Mine
If Only
Impossible Choice
The Inheritance **
Legend Of The Bosmoor Mist **
Morchester's Blade *
Mother Knows Best**
Mrs Philpot
My Last Escape *
The Mystery Woman
Newborn
Once A Pun A Time
One Hell Of A Day
The Priceless Book
The Red Door *
Roger's Match **
Rufus
The Runabout **
Snapshot *
Stolen Love
The Stranger **
Under The Bright Blue Sky **
Utopia Island
Wedding Bells
When A Child Is Born
When I Propose *
When The Screaming Stops **
1st February '93

All stories written by Stewart MacInnes except:
Written by Stewart MacInnes and Bob Dark *
Written by Stewart MacInnes, Bob Dark and Graham Radband **
After The Event

“Tell you what, I live a few minutes from the station, give me a ring when you arrive.”
Good idea, I thought. Wrong! No telephones in the station and the two outside didn’t work.
One of them had a jammed coin in the slot. Try as I may nothing was going to shift it. I couldn’t force the coin through the slot or pull it out. The wretched thing had me beaten. I reckon there’s a little man in there making sure the coin stays stuck. The other phone just simply spat my money out. As the coins slipped down the eject tube, I could have sworn they were laughing at me. Ten or twenty pence pieces, it didn’t matter, the phone wouldn’t take any of them. It’s good to talk - if you get the chance.
I’d felt uneasy about the whole thing from the start; my stomach had left me with an uncomfortable feeling all day. Maybe it was just the fact I was travelling to London. The City had that effect on me, always made me feel apprehensive, just the thought of being there.
What was I doing anyway? I could have stayed at home and watched Kavanagh on TV. Instead I was trying to find a phone box so that I could ring my blind date. What was I worried about? I’d set the video and, what the heck, nothing ventured nothing gained so they say.
I’d previously caught a tube train, which crawled along to endless eternity. The sky was dark. Through the carriage window I watched the flickers of orange and white street lights forming unusual but interesting shapes as the train rolled slowly onwards. Then the carriage’s internal lights began to flicker on and off as the train appeared to be bouncing along the track. I thought it was going to bounce off at any moment. For a while, I didn’t think we were going to make it.
I listened to a conversation between an Australian couple which helped to take my mind off the journey. The man had a patch over his eye, but all the same, he looked nothing like a pirate. His lady companion looked and sounded very concerned, about what, I was unable to grasp. He kept telling her he would do the talking and sort it out. Sort what out? I was nosey and I wanted to know. Yet despite this, when the train arrived at my stop, I was glad to get off.
So there I was. Walking further and further from the station trying to find a phone box that worked. Finally I came across one.
I dialled my date’s number. Nothing happened. I came over all in a flush. Had I written her number down incorrectly? I dialed again. This time I got through.
“I’m outside the Abbott Hotel.”
“I don’t know where that is.”
“I’ll walk back to the station and wait for you there.”
I marched back up the road passing one fast food place after another. How do they all stay in business? Doesn’t anyone cook their own food around here? The stench from some of these places did nothing to settle my stomach. It’s amazing what some people will eat these days.
I waited outside the station for my date. I saw a young lady walk towards me. I knew it must be her. She fitted the description. Long blonde hair. About five foot three.
Before I could make contact she was confronted by the Australian couple. I watched them enter a coffee bar and through cigarette smoke I could see that they were arguing. I thought about going inside but I came to the conclusion it was none of my business.
I never made contact with her again and, I must admit, I’d almost forgotten about her but this morning I saw her picture in the paper. She’s been accused of smuggling Australian artefact. She says she’s innocent and I believe her. I should have gone into that coffee bar and helped her. Still, it’s easy to be wise after the event.
Her case comes up tomorrow but the evidence against her is very flimsy. In fact, Kavanagh won’t be needed for this one. I’ll be there to lend moral support but she won’t know who I am of course. After she’s acquitted I’ll wait outside the court for her. Maybe then, we’ll get to have a cup coffee.


All Those Years Ago

The ten-thirty train from London brought a handsome young man, seeking to avoid the London blitz, to the small village of Wint. You walked up the high street and stepped into the Green Dragon with that cheeky grin on your face. As fate would have it I was helping the landlord out that day - pulling pints behind the bar.
The old lady who sat in the corner near the door soon latched onto you. With a shawl which hung from her shoulders like ill-fitted curtains, her bony fingers that clenched her glass of stout, she amused you with yarns and folklore. No sooner had she finished telling one tale, she would hold out her glass at arms length, you dutifully obliged her with more stout. Had I not come to your rescue she would have skinned you down to your last penny.
I think you’d taken an instant shine to me, at least I’d hoped as much, I thought you were gorgeous. I had beautiful dark hair and my rosy cheeks were a sight to behold you teased.
Your eyes lit up like London’s neon lights when I mentioned Metcalf Farm. It was just what you were looking for, ideal for your needs. A small farm but there was an abundance of vegetables and other crops, all ready to be picked.
You’d talked me into it, after all, we needed some help on the farm and when I’d finished my stint behind the bar we were on our way. The rain had stopped but it had left behind a sea of puddles, so deep, it felt as if we were walking on water. You were so excited, you could have walked across a lake and never noticed.
Do you remember the day we declared our love? I still have vivid memories of you getting down on one knee and as a token of your love you placed a red rose in my hand. I’ve never felt so alive as I was that night; we could have been the only people on Earth and it wouldn’t have mattered. Graciously you asked me to be your wife, the moonlight’s approval shone brighter than noonday.
We would be married in St. Peters Church that stood so pretty on Beacon Hill. But then came your call-up papers. We knew they would come. I’d always hoped they wouldn’t.
We decided to postpone our wedding plans until after the war. You said it wouldn’t be right to begin married life with yourself away most of the time. You promised the war would soon be over and we’d settle down to have a family.
Whenever you went away I prayed for you, night and day, asking God to keep you safe. Bravely you went into battle with the troops just a few months before the war ended in 1945. All those years ago.
News came of your death. My heart died with it. I kept praying for a miracle, hoping you’d come home with that cheeky grin on your face. But you never came back.
I met my husband, Peter, a year after the war ended and we married in 1947. Peter was a very famous musician in those days, known throughout Europe, I believe. I expect you read about our wedding in the newspapers.
I‘m very lucky to have such a wonderful family. I have two lovely daughters - Elizabeth and Julia. Four grandchildren - Mark, Andrew, Kate and Anne. My eldest, Elizabeth, is married to David and Michael is Julia’s husband. Collectively they run Metcalf Farm and I lend a hand whenever I can.
I got quite a shock when I read about you in the magazine. You’ve become something of a celebrity I understand. I recognised you in the picture instantly. Those lovely blue eyes. Your hair is old and grey now, but those good looks and that cheeky grin are unmistakeable.
My prayers were answered - you didn’t die on the battlefield. Instead you were so badly injured you spent two years in France before you were well enough to return to England.
I’m sorry to hear that your wife died three years ago - Peter passed away around that time too. I’ve never forgotten you, you’ve always been in my heart. Dare I write and ask an old soldier to take another trip on the ten-thirty from London? Fifty years on, St. Peters Church still stands pretty on Beacon Hill.

Worts

EXTRACT FOR
Worts 'n' All

(Stewart MacInnes)


Foreword

Worts 'n' All is a collection of short stories I've written over the years; more than I care to say. Some of the stories I wrote with a friend or two which brings back memories of evenings discussing ideas of plots and characters. A lot of these stories were published in small press magazines which were once in abundance in the days before the internet. One by one though these small press magazines ceased publication and to my knowledge none of the ones I subscribed to exist today.
The stories are a mixed bunch. Ghosts, love, adventure, social injustices and environmental concerns are all featured in this book but there's also humorous stories and a few which are just plain silly.
I had to decide what order the stories should be in. I could have blocked each type together or I could have separated the ones I wrote by myself from those written with friends. I decided though to arrange each story in alphabetical order which I concluded was not only the simplest thing to do but is as a good an order as any.
This book of short stories are ideal reading for when you've got five minutes or so to spare as they can be read from start to finish in a short space of time.


Contents
After The Event
All Those Years Ago
Aunt Nellie's Cupboard
Autumn's Beck *
A Winter's Tale? - She's Mad, She Is! *
Blackbird, Bye Bye
Bob's Father And The Spy
Boxed In **
The Challenge
Christmas Spirit
The Columbus Story (Fictional Article)
The Crunch *
Donald MacKinnon's Boots **
Every Time A Sheep Bareth He Loseth A Bite
Frank's Decision
Henrietta
He's No Friend Of Mine
If Only
Impossible Choice
The Inheritance **
Legend Of The Bosmoor Mist **
Morchester's Blade *
Mother Knows Best**
Mrs Philpot
My Last Escape *
The Mystery Woman
Newborn
Once A Pun A Time
One Hell Of A Day
The Priceless Book
The Red Door *
Roger's Match **
Rufus
The Runabout **
Snapshot *
Stolen Love
The Stranger **
Under The Bright Blue Sky **
Utopia Island
Wedding Bells
When A Child Is Born
When I Propose *
When The Screaming Stops **
1st February '93

All stories written by Stewart MacInnes except:
Written by Stewart MacInnes and Bob Dark *
Written by Stewart MacInnes, Bob Dark and Graham Radband **
After The Event

“Tell you what, I live a few minutes from the station, give me a ring when you arrive.”
Good idea, I thought. Wrong! No telephones in the station and the two outside didn’t work.
One of them had a jammed coin in the slot. Try as I may nothing was going to shift it. I couldn’t force the coin through the slot or pull it out. The wretched thing had me beaten. I reckon there’s a little man in there making sure the coin stays stuck. The other phone just simply spat my money out. As the coins slipped down the eject tube, I could have sworn they were laughing at me. Ten or twenty pence pieces, it didn’t matter, the phone wouldn’t take any of them. It’s good to talk - if you get the chance.
I’d felt uneasy about the whole thing from the start; my stomach had left me with an uncomfortable feeling all day. Maybe it was just the fact I was travelling to London. The City had that effect on me, always made me feel apprehensive, just the thought of being there.
What was I doing anyway? I could have stayed at home and watched Kavanagh on TV. Instead I was trying to find a phone box so that I could ring my blind date. What was I worried about? I’d set the video and, what the heck, nothing ventured nothing gained so they say.
I’d previously caught a tube train, which crawled along to endless eternity. The sky was dark. Through the carriage window I watched the flickers of orange and white street lights forming unusual but interesting shapes as the train rolled slowly onwards. Then the carriage’s internal lights began to flicker on and off as the train appeared to be bouncing along the track. I thought it was going to bounce off at any moment. For a while, I didn’t think we were going to make it.
I listened to a conversation between an Australian couple which helped to take my mind off the journey. The man had a patch over his eye, but all the same, he looked nothing like a pirate. His lady companion looked and sounded very concerned, about what, I was unable to grasp. He kept telling her he would do the talking and sort it out. Sort what out? I was nosey and I wanted to know. Yet despite this, when the train arrived at my stop, I was glad to get off.
So there I was. Walking further and further from the station trying to find a phone box that worked. Finally I came across one.
I dialled my date’s number. Nothing happened. I came over all in a flush. Had I written her number down incorrectly? I dialed again. This time I got through.
“I’m outside the Abbott Hotel.”
“I don’t know where that is.”
“I’ll walk back to the station and wait for you there.”
I marched back up the road passing one fast food place after another. How do they all stay in business? Doesn’t anyone cook their own food around here? The stench from some of these places did nothing to settle my stomach. It’s amazing what some people will eat these days.
I waited outside the station for my date. I saw a young lady walk towards me. I knew it must be her. She fitted the description. Long blonde hair. About five foot three.
Before I could make contact she was confronted by the Australian couple. I watched them enter a coffee bar and through cigarette smoke I could see that they were arguing. I thought about going inside but I came to the conclusion it was none of my business.
I never made contact with her again and, I must admit, I’d almost forgotten about her but this morning I saw her picture in the paper. She’s been accused of smuggling Australian artefact. She says she’s innocent and I believe her. I should have gone into that coffee bar and helped her. Still, it’s easy to be wise after the event.
Her case comes up tomorrow but the evidence against her is very flimsy. In fact, Kavanagh won’t be needed for this one. I’ll be there to lend moral support but she won’t know who I am of course. After she’s acquitted I’ll wait outside the court for her. Maybe then, we’ll get to have a cup coffee.


All Those Years Ago

The ten-thirty train from London brought a handsome young man, seeking to avoid the London blitz, to the small village of Wint. You walked up the high street and stepped into the Green Dragon with that cheeky grin on your face. As fate would have it I was helping the landlord out that day - pulling pints behind the bar.
The old lady who sat in the corner near the door soon latched onto you. With a shawl which hung from her shoulders like ill-fitted curtains, her bony fingers that clenched her glass of stout, she amused you with yarns and folklore. No sooner had she finished telling one tale, she would hold out her glass at arms length, you dutifully obliged her with more stout. Had I not come to your rescue she would have skinned you down to your last penny.
I think you’d taken an instant shine to me, at least I’d hoped as much, I thought you were gorgeous. I had beautiful dark hair and my rosy cheeks were a sight to behold you teased.
Your eyes lit up like London’s neon lights when I mentioned Metcalf Farm. It was just what you were looking for, ideal for your needs. A small farm but there was an abundance of vegetables and other crops, all ready to be picked.
You’d talked me into it, after all, we needed some help on the farm and when I’d finished my stint behind the bar we were on our way. The rain had stopped but it had left behind a sea of puddles, so deep, it felt as if we were walking on water. You were so excited, you could have walked across a lake and never noticed.
Do you remember the day we declared our love? I still have vivid memories of you getting down on one knee and as a token of your love you placed a red rose in my hand. I’ve never felt so alive as I was that night; we could have been the only people on Earth and it wouldn’t have mattered. Graciously you asked me to be your wife, the moonlight’s approval shone brighter than noonday.
We would be married in St. Peters Church that stood so pretty on Beacon Hill. But then came your call-up papers. We knew they would come. I’d always hoped they wouldn’t.
We decided to postpone our wedding plans until after the war. You said it wouldn’t be right to begin married life with yourself away most of the time. You promised the war would soon be over and we’d settle down to have a family.
Whenever you went away I prayed for you, night and day, asking God to keep you safe. Bravely you went into battle with the troops just a few months before the war ended in 1945. All those years ago.
News came of your death. My heart died with it. I kept praying for a miracle, hoping you’d come home with that cheeky grin on your face. But you never came back.
I met my husband, Peter, a year after the war ended and we married in 1947. Peter was a very famous musician in those days, known throughout Europe, I believe. I expect you read about our wedding in the newspapers.
I‘m very lucky to have such a wonderful family. I have two lovely daughters - Elizabeth and Julia. Four grandchildren - Mark, Andrew, Kate and Anne. My eldest, Elizabeth, is married to David and Michael is Julia’s husband. Collectively they run Metcalf Farm and I lend a hand whenever I can.
I got quite a shock when I read about you in the magazine. You’ve become something of a celebrity I understand. I recognised you in the picture instantly. Those lovely blue eyes. Your hair is old and grey now, but those good looks and that cheeky grin are unmistakeable.
My prayers were answered - you didn’t die on the battlefield. Instead you were so badly injured you spent two years in France before you were well enough to return to England.
I’m sorry to hear that your wife died three years ago - Peter passed away around that time too. I’ve never forgotten you, you’ve always been in my heart. Dare I write and ask an old soldier to take another trip on the ten-thirty from London? Fifty years on, St. Peters Church still stands pretty on Beacon Hill.

EXTRACT FOR
Worts 'n' All

(Stewart MacInnes)


Foreword

Worts 'n' All is a collection of short stories I've written over the years; more than I care to say. Some of the stories I wrote with a friend or two which brings back memories of evenings discussing ideas of plots and characters. A lot of these stories were published in small press magazines which were once in abundance in the days before the internet. One by one though these small press magazines ceased publication and to my knowledge none of the ones I subscribed to exist today.
The stories are a mixed bunch. Ghosts, love, adventure, social injustices and environmental concerns are all featured in this book but there's also humorous stories and a few which are just plain silly.
I had to decide what order the stories should be in. I could have blocked each type together or I could have separated the ones I wrote by myself from those written with friends. I decided though to arrange each story in alphabetical order which I concluded was not only the simplest thing to do but is as a good an order as any.
This book of short stories are ideal reading for when you've got five minutes or so to spare as they can be read from start to finish in a short space of time.


Contents
After The Event
All Those Years Ago
Aunt Nellie's Cupboard
Autumn's Beck *
A Winter's Tale? - She's Mad, She Is! *
Blackbird, Bye Bye
Bob's Father And The Spy
Boxed In **
The Challenge
Christmas Spirit
The Columbus Story (Fictional Article)
The Crunch *
Donald MacKinnon's Boots **
Every Time A Sheep Bareth He Loseth A Bite
Frank's Decision
Henrietta
He's No Friend Of Mine
If Only
Impossible Choice
The Inheritance **
Legend Of The Bosmoor Mist **
Morchester's Blade *
Mother Knows Best**
Mrs Philpot
My Last Escape *
The Mystery Woman
Newborn
Once A Pun A Time
One Hell Of A Day
The Priceless Book
The Red Door *
Roger's Match **
Rufus
The Runabout **
Snapshot *
Stolen Love
The Stranger **
Under The Bright Blue Sky **
Utopia Island
Wedding Bells
When A Child Is Born
When I Propose *
When The Screaming Stops **
1st February '93

All stories written by Stewart MacInnes except:
Written by Stewart MacInnes and Bob Dark *
Written by Stewart MacInnes, Bob Dark and Graham Radband **
After The Event

“Tell you what, I live a few minutes from the station, give me a ring when you arrive.”
Good idea, I thought. Wrong! No telephones in the station and the two outside didn’t work.
One of them had a jammed coin in the slot. Try as I may nothing was going to shift it. I couldn’t force the coin through the slot or pull it out. The wretched thing had me beaten. I reckon there’s a little man in there making sure the coin stays stuck. The other phone just simply spat my money out. As the coins slipped down the eject tube, I could have sworn they were laughing at me. Ten or twenty pence pieces, it didn’t matter, the phone wouldn’t take any of them. It’s good to talk - if you get the chance.
I’d felt uneasy about the whole thing from the start; my stomach had left me with an uncomfortable feeling all day. Maybe it was just the fact I was travelling to London. The City had that effect on me, always made me feel apprehensive, just the thought of being there.
What was I doing anyway? I could have stayed at home and watched Kavanagh on TV. Instead I was trying to find a phone box so that I could ring my blind date. What was I worried about? I’d set the video and, what the heck, nothing ventured nothing gained so they say.
I’d previously caught a tube train, which crawled along to endless eternity. The sky was dark. Through the carriage window I watched the flickers of orange and white street lights forming unusual but interesting shapes as the train rolled slowly onwards. Then the carriage’s internal lights began to flicker on and off as the train appeared to be bouncing along the track. I thought it was going to bounce off at any moment. For a while, I didn’t think we were going to make it.
I listened to a conversation between an Australian couple which helped to take my mind off the journey. The man had a patch over his eye, but all the same, he looked nothing like a pirate. His lady companion looked and sounded very concerned, about what, I was unable to grasp. He kept telling her he would do the talking and sort it out. Sort what out? I was nosey and I wanted to know. Yet despite this, when the train arrived at my stop, I was glad to get off.
So there I was. Walking further and further from the station trying to find a phone box that worked. Finally I came across one.
I dialled my date’s number. Nothing happened. I came over all in a flush. Had I written her number down incorrectly? I dialed again. This time I got through.
“I’m outside the Abbott Hotel.”
“I don’t know where that is.”
“I’ll walk back to the station and wait for you there.”
I marched back up the road passing one fast food place after another. How do they all stay in business? Doesn’t anyone cook their own food around here? The stench from some of these places did nothing to settle my stomach. It’s amazing what some people will eat these days.
I waited outside the station for my date. I saw a young lady walk towards me. I knew it must be her. She fitted the description. Long blonde hair. About five foot three.
Before I could make contact she was confronted by the Australian couple. I watched them enter a coffee bar and through cigarette smoke I could see that they were arguing. I thought about going inside but I came to the conclusion it was none of my business.
I never made contact with her again and, I must admit, I’d almost forgotten about her but this morning I saw her picture in the paper. She’s been accused of smuggling Australian artefact. She says she’s innocent and I believe her. I should have gone into that coffee bar and helped her. Still, it’s easy to be wise after the event.
Her case comes up tomorrow but the evidence against her is very flimsy. In fact, Kavanagh won’t be needed for this one. I’ll be there to lend moral support but she won’t know who I am of course. After she’s acquitted I’ll wait outside the court for her. Maybe then, we’ll get to have a cup coffee.


All Those Years Ago

The ten-thirty train from London brought a handsome young man, seeking to avoid the London blitz, to the small village of Wint. You walked up the high street and stepped into the Green Dragon with that cheeky grin on your face. As fate would have it I was helping the landlord out that day - pulling pints behind the bar.
The old lady who sat in the corner near the door soon latched onto you. With a shawl which hung from her shoulders like ill-fitted curtains, her bony fingers that clenched her glass of stout, she amused you with yarns and folklore. No sooner had she finished telling one tale, she would hold out her glass at arms length, you dutifully obliged her with more stout. Had I not come to your rescue she would have skinned you down to your last penny.
I think you’d taken an instant shine to me, at least I’d hoped as much, I thought you were gorgeous. I had beautiful dark hair and my rosy cheeks were a sight to behold you teased.
Your eyes lit up like London’s neon lights when I mentioned Metcalf Farm. It was just what you were looking for, ideal for your needs. A small farm but there was an abundance of vegetables and other crops, all ready to be picked.
You’d talked me into it, after all, we needed some help on the farm and when I’d finished my stint behind the bar we were on our way. The rain had stopped but it had left behind a sea of puddles, so deep, it felt as if we were walking on water. You were so excited, you could have walked across a lake and never noticed.
Do you remember the day we declared our love? I still have vivid memories of you getting down on one knee and as a token of your love you placed a red rose in my hand. I’ve never felt so alive as I was that night; we could have been the only people on Earth and it wouldn’t have mattered. Graciously you asked me to be your wife, the moonlight’s approval shone brighter than noonday.
We would be married in St. Peters Church that stood so pretty on Beacon Hill. But then came your call-up papers. We knew they would come. I’d always hoped they wouldn’t.
We decided to postpone our wedding plans until after the war. You said it wouldn’t be right to begin married life with yourself away most of the time. You promised the war would soon be over and we’d settle down to have a family.
Whenever you went away I prayed for you, night and day, asking God to keep you safe. Bravely you went into battle with the troops just a few months before the war ended in 1945. All those years ago.
News came of your death. My heart died with it. I kept praying for a miracle, hoping you’d come home with that cheeky grin on your face. But you never came back.
I met my husband, Peter, a year after the war ended and we married in 1947. Peter was a very famous musician in those days, known throughout Europe, I believe. I expect you read about our wedding in the newspapers.
I‘m very lucky to have such a wonderful family. I have two lovely daughters - Elizabeth and Julia. Four grandchildren - Mark, Andrew, Kate and Anne. My eldest, Elizabeth, is married to David and Michael is Julia’s husband. Collectively they run Metcalf Farm and I lend a hand whenever I can.
I got quite a shock when I read about you in the magazine. You’ve become something of a celebrity I understand. I recognised you in the picture instantly. Those lovely blue eyes. Your hair is old and grey now, but those good looks and that cheeky grin are unmistakeable.
My prayers were answered - you didn’t die on the battlefield. Instead you were so badly injured you spent two years in France before you were well enough to return to England.
I’m sorry to hear that your wife died three years ago - Peter passed away around that time too. I’ve never forgotten you, you’ve always been in my heart. Dare I write and ask an old soldier to take another trip on the ten-thirty from London? Fifty years on, St. Peters Church still stands pretty on Beacon Hill.