Tag Archive | Stories

The Lonely Man – part two.

photo (1)


Tom listened to Martin chatting away.  He knew what Martin was trying to do, but it wasn’t working.  Nevertheless he appreciated the effort and tried hard to give back a little of the kindness that Martin was sharing with him.  Martin droned on and Tom attempted a smile, but soon he was lost in his thoughts again and his coffee turned cold and the sun went in behind a cloud.

He remembered happier times in his life and tried to recapture the moments.  We all do that, don’t we?  A certain smell of flowers, grass even or perfume can take us back to our childhood or a time when the colours of our life were brighter and sounds were clearer, summers were longer.  Tom remembered the smell of a field where he used to play as a child with a group of friends. In that time he was closer to the ground. Sometimes crawling along on his tummy like a soldier and all the small animals were right in front of his nose.  Mice and voles scuttled away and the pungent smell of the weeds and flowers in such close proximity filled his mind with their presence.

‘So Tom, Tamsin and I would love it if you came over to our place on Sunday and shared our barbecue.  What do you think? Some of her friends will be there too.’

Tom smiled a little.  He appreciated the thought and ‘hell, why not. He had nothing to lose and everything to gain.’

‘Thanks Martin.  I’d love to come.  What time do you suggest?’

‘Whenever you’re ready Tom. Just turn up – late afternoon would be ideal.’


Ok mate. I’ll see you there; oh and thanks…’

Martin returned to his own table feeling pleased.  Well, it’s a start, at least he thought.


Over by the window, her cake now finished, Pat brushed the crumbs from her blouse and reached down to get her handbag so she could check her face in the small mirror, which was a gift from her late husband.  Out of the corner of her eye she saw Mick coming towards her so she aborted the mirror and went for her handkerchief instead. It wouldn’t do for Mick to think she was vain.  It was two years since Pat’s husband, Dick Clark, died. Every day that passed since Pat found herself thinking about him.  Sometimes the thoughts made her laugh or smile as memories came back, but more often she felt a tear in her eye at a reminder of some past event that they shared together.  Now though she must move on in life.  It was time to look ahead, not back.  There could be new memories to come, but they would need a little encouragement. She was still attractive and she still had much to give and wouldn’t it be nice to have someone to go to the theatre with now and then or out on one of those inviting day trips she kept reading about in the daily paper.

Take that nice young man in the corner for instance, the one with the striped jumper. He shouldn’t be looking so down and depressed.  What could have happened to him?  Perhaps he’s lost his job or failed his exams? Maybe his girlfriend has finished with him.  He looked well cared for.  Perhaps he’s been living at home and now he’s been told he has to move out.  We all have our problems, thought Pat.

She looked up into Mick’s kind, smiling face.  He wanted to know if she had enjoyed the cake and if today was a special occasion.

‘Yes, it’s my birthday today,’ she told him, ‘so I thought I’d give myself a treat.’

Mick smiled broadly and replied ‘Well we can’t let this day go without celebrating, how about another cup of coffee, on the house?’

to be continued …


ps Yesterday I noticed that someone from The Faulkland Islands had looked at my Blog. I want to say ‘welcome’ to that person in particular because as you all may know, The Faulkland Islands belongs to Britain, even though it is on the far corner of the world. I was delighted to see that one of our own had found my Blog. It made my day.


Bertie Saves The Day

Let’s all snuggle round the fire on this dark November evening and Oma will read you a story.  Wait a minute, let me give the coals a poke and release some more heat.  That’s better.  Now, are you sitting comfortably? Then I shall begin.

This is the latest in my stories about Bertie, the wise rabbit. In this story Bertie goes shopping for bananas, but when he gets to the supermarket he finds he doesn’t have his purse with him. ..


Bertie Saves the Day

The animals in Hardwick Grove have always been the first priority to Mr. and Mrs. James who live at no. 38.  Recently things had changed.  There was a new person to take care of:  a small boy called Dylan, their grandson.  He referred to them as Granddad and Oma and he went to stay with them every Friday.  He was two years old at the time of this story.

Dylan loved bananas.  He knew that if he was a good boy, he would get a banana but today there was only one banana in the dish on the table.  Standing on tip-toe, he could just see into the fruit bowl.  Gripping the side of the table and standing on his tip-toes, he could see the stalk of the banana pointing upwards at the figure of The Green Man, which was hanging on the wall.  The Green Man smiled down at Dylan.  He could foresee the future and often gave a hint of what was to come by changing his expression.  Today he was looking benevolent.

When Granddad had finished his crossword puzzle and Dylan was finished playing with his circus train, Granddad stood up, stretched and asked Dylan the question he was waiting to hear.

‘Would you like a banana, Dylan?’

‘Eh!’ replied Dylan.  He couldn’t quite manage ‘yes’.

‘O.k., let’s see if there are any in the fruit bowl.’

Dylan ran and Granddad walked to the table in the dining room where Oma’s large, wooden fruit bowl stood.  Dylan jumped up and down in anticipation.

Picking up the banana Granddad unzipped it for his grandson.  He was just about to give it to him when the main part of it snapped off and fell to the floor right in front of Pippa, the one-eyed dog, who snaffled it immediately and then looked incredibly guilty.

Dylan went quiet.  Then when he realised what had happened, his eyes screwed up and tears began to spring forth alarmingly.  He found his voice and started to howl, at which point Pippa slunk away and hid under the sideboard.

Sitting in his house in the garden, Bertie, the wise rabbit, heard the commotion and decided to investigate.  He pushed up the top of his run with his nose and hopped up the garden path and in through the kitchen door.  Mrs. James was standing at the kitchen sink, wearing her best floral apron and washing some tasty-looking cabbage for lunch.

Bertie, being a magical rabbit; a tribute given to him by a recent visit from the fairy queen, was able to stand tall and wear clothes like the people who lived in the house.  He could also talk to the humans just as if he was one himself; although this was all temporary.

‘What’s all the commotion?’ asked Bertie of Mrs. James, who wiped her hands on her apron and turned to go into the living room.

Bertie soon understood what was wrong and kindly offered to go to Sainsbury’s and buy a new bunch of bananas.

‘That’s very kind of you Bertie!’ said Mr. and Mrs. James in unison.

Mr. James opened his wallet and found some money to give to Bertie.

‘Here, take my little purse,’ said Mrs. James, helpfully. She gave Bertie the little purse, which was sparkling with sequins all over it.  It really was very pretty.

Dylan had stopped howling and stared in amazement at Bertie, the wise rabbit, who stood in front of him resplendent in a beautiful brown tweed waistcoat and a pair of corduroy trousers to match.  Dylan had never seen such a big rabbit before even at the zoo where some of the animals were as big as a house and others had necks so long they could reach up to the clouds.

‘Off you go Bertie, don’t lose the purse.  I’m very fond of it.’

‘No, of course not,’ said Bertie, puffing himself up with importance as he hopped away out of the front door and up the street.

A few curtains twitched as Bertie passed by, but nobody came out of their house to stare.

When Bertie got to Sainsbury’s he soon found the bananas.  They were on a stand near the door all bright and shiny yellow.  He chose a nice big bunch and put them in his basket.  Then he got distracted.  He could smell carrots and sure enough there they were, lots of them on another stand nearby, all red and appetising.  Bertie’s tummy began to growl.

‘Perhaps I’ll just stop here and eat a few carrots to keep me going.’ He thought, but before he could indulge himself, a store detective came across and tapped him on the shoulder.

‘Don’t even think about it, sonny,’ said the man, looking fierce.

Bertie was not a young rabbit, but the man couldn’t see that.  To him a rabbit was a rabbit and it ought to be back in its hutch or better still out in the fields somewhere.  Bertie took the basket to the check-out, but when he got there he couldn’t find the purse.  He hunted through all his pockets, there were six in all, but there was no sign of it.

‘Is there a problem, sir?’ asked the girl at the till, looking bored.

‘No, no problem,’ said Bertie, but my purse is lost, that’s all.

‘No money, no bananas, sir’ said the girl.

‘Yes, yes, I know’ Bertie answered the girl impatiently.

Then he said, ‘one moment, please keep the bananas, I’ll be back in a minute.’

He had seen a way out of his current dilemma and he didn’t want to miss the opportunity.

Two little old ladies were pushing their shopping carts over to the doorway.  Neither of them looked as if they could lift anything more than a feather hat.

Quick as a flash, Bertie was by their side and offering to help them take the shopping to the car, better still lift it into the boot for them.

The old ladies looked at Bertie and then at each other.

‘Do you see what I see?’ said Olivia to Amy.  ‘Is that a life-sized rabbit or are my eyes deceiving me?

‘Amy adjusted her glasses on her nose.’

‘It’s a rabbit,’ she replied, ‘and it’s talking.

Bertie followed the ladies out to their car and helped them to pack their purchases in the boot.

Afterwards one of the ladies gave Bertie a tip.  He put it carefully in his pocket where the purse should have been.

Bertie was a wise rabbit and this had been a good idea.  He pursued it until he had enough money to pay for the bananas and then he went back into the store and paid the check-out girl.

‘Found it then, did you?’ she smiled.

‘Not exactly, no,’ he answered, but I found a way around it.

With the bananas safely in a bag, Bertie left the shop and made his way home to Hardwick Grove.  On his way up the hill he had to pass a number of pyracantha bushes with their berries all shiny and red to tempt the birds.  Something else was hanging in the branches of one of them, something with sequins all over it, something that looked like Mrs. James’s purse.

‘It is Mrs. James’s purse,’ exclaimed Bertie, ‘but I can’t reach it.  I need a stick.’

He looked around for a stick but he couldn’t see one anywhere. Then he saw a dog carrying a stick across the playing field back to its master.

‘I know,’ said Bertie, ‘I’ll throw a banana.  The dog will chase after it, dropping the stick for me to pick up.  He pulled a banana off the bunch and put the rest of them under the bush till he came back.  Then he waited till the dog was looking in his direction, taking care that the dog didn’t see him. He didn’t want the dog to chase him or bite him! He threw the banana as far as he could across the field.  The dog chased after it.  Bertie came out of hiding and ran fast across the field to pick up the stick.

When he got back to the safety of the bush, the dog was back with his master.  He dropped the banana at his master’s feet and was looking around for his lost stick.

Bertie was out of breath.

He poked the stick into the bush until he freed the purse and then put the purse back safely into his pocket.

‘Now to get these bananas back to Dylan.’

He bounded along, swinging the bananas round in circles inside their Sainsbury’s bag, until found the sign for Hardwick Grove came into view.

‘This is it.’ He smiled.

When he got in, he looked around.  The people were all in the back room, watching television.  Bertie emptied the contents of the purse into Dylan’s piggy bank and then took the bananas into the back room and gave them to Mrs. James.

‘Thank you Bertie.  You are a good rabbit.  You’ve saved the day.’

Bertie says ‘Always keep your valuables in a safe place.’

There Wasn’t Enough Time


There Wasn’t Enough Time

There wasn’t enough time. There were only two days to draw rainbows and not even one night to count the stars. If I had known about the ending before I picked up the book, I would never have started reading it. But it was a sunny day and the yellow in the rainbow was as vivid as the swaying corn on that August day when I found stars in my coffee. I stirred and stirred but the stars didn’t go away so I added some sugar and then more stars appeared. As I watched, a hole appeared in the bottom of the coffee mug and the stars spilled through, sprinkling the floor with their magic. I followed and all the colours of the rainbow wrapped me round.

Red trees with crimson branches lined the road as I travelled onwards. In every leaf was a vein of love. I could hear the heart beat. My legs were walking, the tree stood still, but the movement ensued. Facing changes at every turn in the road, I could see the confusion as the colours merged one with another. If I could just stay focused then the purity would return and my way would become clear, but it didn’t.

Blue rolled in on a crashing wave, covering everything with emotion. Tears and screams were louder than the foam as it bubbled and frothed to whiteness over everything. There wasn’t enough time to save the children. They all turned blue.


There were times in my life when I should have found the time to do something but I didn’t. I regret them now but I am still doing it; like the time when my friend Kath had just lost her husband. He died suddenly from a heart attack and left her bereft and uncertain in life. She never got the chance to say goodbye to him. One afternoon I left work a bit early in order to go down to town to collect a pair of glasses, which were ready for me. As I made my way to the bus stop, I saw Kath walking towards me. If I could have turned tail and gone in the other direction, I would have, because I just didn’t have the time to speak to her right then. I knew that if I stopped and spoke, I would miss the bus and the next one would get me to town too late and the shop would be shut and I would be disappointed and have to go to town another time. There was nothing for it. I stopped, smiled and passed the time of day with Kath but she was having none of it. Out came the whole story about how Jim had died suddenly etc. etc. I already knew the story and the details but I just had to listen to it again because she wanted to tell it to me. After a little while, I began to start moving from one foot to the other.

“I have to go now, Kath,” I heard myself saying. “I will miss my bus if I don’t. I’ll come and see you next week. You can tell me all about it then!” but I didn’t go because deep down I didn’t want to hear the story again. There were other things I would rather do.

I left her with a disappointed look on her face as I rushed to catch the bus and get to town in time. I have never forgotten that look.


The sky exploded in red when the planes arrived in New York on 11th September. None of us alive today will ever forget that day in a hurry. There were towers of hate in the minds of the people who did that. Red was for sorrow that afternoon as I sat at my computer at work and watched it happen. Straight away, what did I do? I emailed my son, who was living in Paris, France, at the time. My email read:

“I love you, I love you, I love you so much.”

He lived right by the Embassies and I really thought that the campaign of horror would travel round all our capital cities. There wasn’t enough time to give him a hug but I could email him, so I did. I have never been so glad of email as I was that afternoon. I thought if we were all going to die then at least he would know that, far away as he was, he had my love.


As a newly wed couple, Jim and I had a flat to look after. It had two bedrooms, one of which we used as a dining room for entertaining. Entertaining was top of the list in those days but when Jim’s parents asked us round it was a case of…

“We can’t come this weekend, we’re entertaining. Oh yes, and we’re decorating the bedroom. It looks ever so nice. The wallpaper is…”

In my colouring book of life the walls were purple with orange geometric flowers dancing all around the room…

Looking back at when our children were small, I realise that I really didn’t have the time to do anything other than look after them. Somehow I managed to be superwoman and fitted into my day a lot more than I do now. I got them all ready on a Sunday morning to go to church and we went every week, not just once a month. I was really proud of that but it came at a cost. The cost was that I was so tired at the end of that Sunday that I didn’t have the time to give to my husband that which he deserved and needed!

“Shall we have a cuddle, darling?” he would say to me.

“I haven’t got time. I have to get the boys bathed and into bed. Maybe later.” I would reply.

Does it sound familiar?


I turned another page of my book and there was the envy of green. Every car, which sped by, was a brighter shade of green but none could match the green of the grass beneath my feet. That grass, which fed so many beasts, there wasn’t time to cut it.

When my boys were small, life was hectic. We played together in the snow and the rain and in the sunshine too. Life was full and I was happy, never happier. But – there wasn’t enough time to notice that my mum was getting ill. She couldn’t walk properly and I didn’t notice, I expected her to be there for me but was I there for her?

Later on the boys went to school and there wasn’t a spare minute. As soon as they got home on a Friday afternoon, I took their clothes off them and stuffed them into the washing machine. They had to be washed, dried, ironed and ready for Monday morning – oh yes, and mended. There were always holes in the knees. Christmas came round more quickly each year and there was so much to do. They had grandparents and aunties and uncles to buy presents for them but after the holidays were over and it was time to write the thank you notes – they didn’t have time.

“Oh mum, do we have to do it now, there’s a great film on TV. Can we do it after that’s finished?”

All three of them went to University. How we found the money for that I’ll never know. It broke my heart when we took them on that first day and I had to do it three times! I couldn’t wait till the end of the semester so I could go and visit them but when I phoned up…

“Sorry mum, you’d better not come this weekend. I’m going here or there, wherever. There isn’t enough time to have you this week.”

Now the children have grown and left home (at last, only not holding breath, they could be back at any minute). I have time to do all the things I didn’t have time to do when they were at home, or do I? Time to do more for other people – I’m working all week. Time to help the grandmother – I have to clean my own house. So what do I do all day, I ask myself. Where do all those hours go?

We are all running through life, chasing time, hurried, jostled, overburdened, frantic and we never seem to get where we are going. I never do all the things I want to do. It seems as if God has made the days too short. He must have made a mistake in His calculations. The hours are too short, the days are too short, and our lives are too short.

Hurrying onward, I see an orange sunset and as the sun disappears behind the waves, I heard a hissssssss. I smile as it cools itself in the water.

Tomorrow is a new day. With a rainbow of colours I am making myself a promise. If God gives me another day, I will use it wisely. I will not waste it. It is a gift but a gift, which will not keep. I have time, plenty of time, all the time, which God has given me.

I have the years of my life and the days of my life. They are all mine to fill, quietly, calmly but to fill up to the brim.

The Archdeacon’s Bottle of Gin

The Archdeacon laid aside his Sudoku puzzle, stretched and looked out of his study window to see if his 10 a.m. appointment was coming up the tree-lined road.  It was summertime and the mature lime trees were in full leaf, looking beautiful as always, but making it difficult for parkers to get out of their cars in the confined spaces.  The trees had grown to their full size, their roots causing the paving stones on the path to lift and separate.  It really could be quite dangerous.  I must ring the council and let them know, thought the Archdeacon, nobly reaching towards his old, oak desk to retrieve a pen so he could write himself a reminder note.

This particular Archdeacon was missing his parish; the beautiful church overlooking the town, the commodious rectory and most of all, his flock.  It was a large parish and a lot of thank you letters to write once he had accepted the promotion from Rector and Rural Dean to Archdeacon three years previously.

The Bishop had assured him that he was ‘just the man for the job’ and this was borne out by the number of phone calls to ‘see how he was getting on’, that he received in the six months after he left.  An Archdeacon no longer has a parish of his own.  He lives in a church house; in this case a beautiful one, built to a high standard in the 1920’s and he is responsible for the whole archdeaconry.  Archdeaconries vary in size.  Our particular Archdeacon is in charge of an archdeaconry with nine deaneries in it and each deanery has up to twenty-nine parishes in it, all with their own Vicar, Priest-in-charge or Rector.  That’s three hundred churches, up to three hundred Vicars and six hundred Church Wardens.  That’s a lot of responsibility so the Bishop has to be very careful that he does pick the ‘right man for the job’.

Of course with all the cut-backs, sometimes one Vicar has to cover up to four churches, but that would mainly be in the country districts.

The Archdeacon’s house is situated in the centre of a busy town although you would never know it if you took your tea on the lawn in his well- manicured back garden. A gardener was employed to come once a week and keep the weeds under control. In reality he did much more than that, assuming that he was storing up points in heaven for when he eventually parked his lawn-mower in St. Peter’s garden shed.

The hierarchy of the Church of England is very rigid and so once you get the call to higher office, off you go. Mostly Vicars move on every so many years, each time taking on a larger parish, until they are deemed experienced and responsible enough to become a Rural Dean.  This post extends their duties as Rector of their own parish and prepares them for future promotions.

Once our Archdeacon was in post, he became the Bishop’s right-hand man and he was quick to learn the intricacies of the job.  Apart from being the first point of call when one of his many Vicars had a problem, he was also responsible for the annual inspections of the many beautiful and ancient buildings that grace the English countryside in his own particular archdeaconry.

To help him in his daily work, he had a part-time secretary, to whom he gave the accolade ‘The Real Archdeacon’ because, in his humble opinion, she did all the work! This faithful soul kept all his appointments up to date, typed the many letters, organised the annual Visitation of Church Wardens and was always on hand to intercept telephone calls when she was able to shield her boss from the most unnecessary intrusions.  Perhaps her biggest task was sorting out the annual inspections.  There was just time in one day for the Archdeacon to do three inspections. However, with three hundred ancient buildings to visit, it was vital that all three were near to each other.  She couldn’t allow her Archdeacon to criss-cross the Deaneries in a haphazard fashion. Sounds easy? Well it wasn’t.  It was an almost impossible task, but one that the faithful secretary took in her stride.

August was approaching and with it came the Archdeacon’s birthday.  Each year the secretary bought him something he would really enjoy.  This year she decided to buy him a bottle of gin.  He can take it with him on holiday and drink it on the beach, she decided, feeling generous because the cost of the gin would make quite a hole in her weekly wage. He works so hard, he deserves it! She justified the cost to herself.

The secretary knew that the Archdeacon’s holiday with his wife and family was to coincide with his birthday the following week, so that night she stopped off at the local supermarket and bought the biggest bottle of gin she could afford and some pretty paper to wrap it in together with an appropriately sober birthday card.  As she wrapped the present up that evening, she pictured him opening it and relishing the partaking of it. This happy thought brought a smile to her face.

Next day she carried the present carefully in to work, setting it on his desk in a prominent position.  He’ll probably think it’s a bottle of Ribena, she surmised.  She wasn’t trying to curry favour; she was just grateful for her job, which gave her the opportunity to work flat out for four mornings a week and any extra hours she could manage for free. She didn’t work Fridays so this would be her last opportunity to wish the busy man a happy holiday and clear up all the many loose ends from his untidy desk before he made his departure the following Saturday.

The Archdeacon was surprised and pleased with the unexpected gift and after due thanks, he moved it to a safer place than his untidy desk, to a corner of the sideboard in the dining room.

‘Don’t forget to pack it, will you? It’s meant for you to enjoy while you’re away,’ said the secretary.

‘No, I certainly won’t,’ he replied.

The last morning passed in a flurry of letters dictated and typed.  Of course there were twice as many phone calls as usual and an emergency to deal with when suddenly a loud crash caused the Archdeacon to look out of his window. He watched in astonishment as a runaway car rolled down the hill without a driver and came to rest with a loud bang and a shattering of glass right against the front of a safely parked car further down the slope.

‘Oh my God!’ exclaimed the Archdeacon forgetfully.  ‘She must have forgotten to put the handbrake on when she parked it!’

‘She?’ replied the secretary quizzically.  ‘How do you know it was a she?’

The Archdeacon looked a tad embarrassed and sheepish when he realised he was being sexist.

‘Well whoever’s car it was that rolled into the other one, he’ll probably get away with it because from where I’m sitting it looks like the other car bashed into his!’ observed the secretary remembering that it was deemed the fault of the person behind when an accident such as this occurred.’

‘Maybe,’ replied the Archdeacon, hoping he wouldn’t be asked to be a witness. He refrained from calling the police, but remained on the alert for developments.

During the two weeks that the Archdeacon was away, his industrious secretary worked hard.  She got to grips with the mountain of filing and shredding and then set about sorting through the annual inspection returns.  There was a complicated spread-sheet to design, where in to show the results and a number of new Churchwardens’ Handbooks to send out.  This of course involved a lot of wrapping up and carrying of heavy boxes to the Post Office, which naturally she did after her working hours were over so as not to waste valuable time spent in the office doing more important things!

All the while she worked, the Archdeacon’s cat kept her company, leaving little presents under her desk for her to clear up when she got in each morning and once or twice an even larger and smellier present in the hallway or under the settee where even the longest broom handle was unable to reach.

The faithful secretary took all this in her stride and looked forward to the return of her boss and his family in due course.

On his return the Archdeacon was tanned and refreshed and full of his adventures at the seaside.  At coffee-time he showed his secretary the lovely photographs he’d taken on the beach, in front of the guest house and walking on the seafront, his family looking happy and relaxed complete with sun-hats and ice-creams.  The weather had been warm and pleasant and not too hot to take advantage of the beach whenever possible, he told her as she smoothed her lank hair away from her white cheeks, which had not seen the sun since the day the old King died.

‘It’s hard to get back in gear after two weeks away,’ sighed the Archdeacon as he picked up the mountain of mail that was waiting for him on his desk.

‘Indeed’, said the secretary.  She had been sure to sort the mail so that the most urgent letters to be answered were on the top of the pile.

‘Are there many e-mails?’ he asked, reaching for the dictating machine.

The secretary smiled encouragingly at him and opened up the Inbox containing the latest collection of e-mails.  Most of them were from the usual addresses: the Diocesan Office, the Bishop, several applications for appointments from the clergy.  One unusual address caught the diligent secretary’s eye.  It was from a guest house in Sandy Bay, where the Archdeacon and his family had spent the last two happy weeks.

‘Dear Archdeacon’, it read… ‘I am writing to thank you for the very generous gift of a large bottle of Gordon’s gin.  It was most unexpected and welcome and I want you to know how much Ted and I appreciate the gift.  After you left I found your mobile phone charger, which I will send on to you when I can get to the Post Office.  It may not be till the end of the week because my leg is playing up again, but I assure you, I’ll send it on as soon as I can.’

‘Well I never!’ exclaimed the secretary, her cheeks flushing with annoyance.  She carefully printed all the emails and took them in to the Archdeacon with the one from the guest house on the top.  The Archdeacon read that one first.

‘Damn!’ he exclaimed when he’d read it.

A Bible, which was perched precariously on the corner of his desk suddenly broke free of its constraints and fell with a thud to the floor causing the Archdeacon’s coffee cup to fly out of his hand and spill its hot contents all down his trousers.

‘Damn, damn, damn.’

The next day the Archdeacon was at a Property Meeting at the Diocesan Office.  His secretary arrived punctually in her office at 9 a.m. and sat down at her desk. She picked up the map of the nine deaneries, which was awaiting the planning of the annual church inspections. With her longest ruler she measured the distances between the churches taking care to make sure that the three daily inspections she was going to arrange were as far away from each other as possible. Then she started her list.

That should do it she thought as she stroked the Archdeacon’s cat behind its ears. The cat purred loudly.  Was that a smile on its face?


This was an Archdeacon’s Story from Oma’s library.