Tuesday, 27 July 2010


We have no wealth or treasure
Yet we are rich beyond measure
We have our health and welfare
And have loved ones who care
Our riches cannot be spent
Nor can their great value be lent
Against coin they cannot be compared
For our riches can easily be shared
Our riches are our family and friends
Whose infinite value knows no ends
We have no wealth or treasure
Yet we are rich beyond measure


The twelve peers
Champion’s of legend
Companions of Charlemagne
Frankish warrior heroes
The brave paladins
Slayers of the moor
Scourge of the Saracen hordes
Thorn in the Emir’s flesh
Legends of Christendom
Righting wrongs
With sword and lance
Fighting for the just
Soldiers of Christ
Soldiers of the light
Heroes of the empire


Can you imagine what it would be like?
To live on a housing estate
And be permanently ill at ease
Feeling your neighbours hate

Not just occasional hatred
But every day for sixty years
Each successive act of hate
Designed to optimise your fears

Can you imagine what it would be like?
To fear not just for your own life
But to be fearful for the safety
Of your children and your wife

Having to be always vigilant
Trying to anticipate their acts of spite
Surrounded by a sea of bile
For six decades without respite

Can you imagine what it would be like?
To know all your neighbours want your death
Want to eradicate you from existence
To squeeze from you your dying breath

If you can imagine this kind of life
And feel that bitter hatred daily
Then you should perhaps understand
How it feels to be an Israeli


I like Germany
I like the Germans
I have friends there
I worked for a time near Frankfurt
And I visit Berlin often
It’s my favourite city
They are nice people
Friendly and welcoming
They share our hopes
And our aspirations
We are so alike
We have always been alike
Well almost always
There were dark days
When they were seduced by evil
And let themselves down
So what happened?
What infected this nation?
This nation so like ourselves
How did the madness take them?
Why did they become inhuman?
Why did they set a new benchmark?
In their inhumanity
Why did the good people not rise up?
And oppose the evil
Why did they fail to stop it
Were the jews so bad
So unworthy of pity
Too worthless to be considered
For whatever reason it happened
They let it happen
The worst of them profited by it
The best of them turned a blind eye to it
But they were all guilty
And after the war
I think they felt the guilt
But they feel no guilt now
Now they try to hide behind a lie
Pretending it wasn’t really that bad
There were just a few bad men
And they are gone now
The Americans exaggerated everything
There were isolated incidents
No more than that
Let’s speak of it no more
Lest we offend Islam
Well Islam should be offended
As it was the Turks of the Ottoman empire
Who taught their German allies
The meaning of Holocaust
When they annihilated the Armenians
I say lets speak of it
Let’s never stop speaking of it
And if offence is caused, then so be it
If it prevents its like
From ever happening again

The Abbottsford Police Chronicles – # 3, A Taste Of Honey

Police Constable Phillippa Mead sat in the Police canteen drinking a coffee and brushing sugar off her uniform trousers and was blissfully unaware that at that precise moment decisions that would change her life forever were being made.

Chief inspector Bill Overend was a great bear of a man but such was his benign disposition you might be confused into thinking he was more of an overstuffed teddy bear, but you would be mistaken, his wits were as sharp as a knife and as a result he was a good copper and he commanded great respect from colleagues and villains alike.
On this particular morning he was on his way to see the Chief Superintendent to discuss replacements.
His squad was already one man down, Chris Blenkin, who was on long term sick leave and was not going to return and another officer, Jenny Hack, who was about to go on maternity leave, so as he entered George Tiplady’s office he did so with some optimism.

Phillippa, or as she preferred Pippa, was to the untrained eye a rather plain almost emaciated looking girl, stick thin with straight shoulder length blonde hair and as she never wore make up at work she looked five years older than the twenty-six she actually was.
Off duty she was a bit of a tomboy and wore quite masculine looking clothes leading some to suppose her to be a lesbian.
They couldn’t be more wrong.
Even though her features were plain there was something about her that shone through from within, now whether it was her eyes which were the most stunning green or a smile that could melt the hardest heart its difficult to know but, as a result she was never short of a date.
She was a single girl and content to be so for now as she had not yet met the right person but she was in no hurry.
There was no one special in her life at present.
She drained her coffee and made her way to the muster room for the duty briefing.

Overend left the Chief Superintendents office after a less than satisfactory meeting; he did get two out of the three replacements, but not the ones he wanted.
Due to political pressure from above to change the profile of the police he had been lumbered with two officers being fast tracked which meant that the ticked the Home Office boxes but had no experience and were worse than bloody useless.
It had been his wish to promote three PCs up from the ranks from his own station to CID, Pippa Mead among them but it appeared that was not to be, for now at least.

He was not the only one in Abbottsford to have had a disappointing outcome Pippa spend her entire shift being the public face of British policing without actually managing to impact crime in any way shape or form but it wasn’t always like that.

As luck would have it that night the criminal fraternity were very active in the Abbottsford police district and as the new officers were not due for another four weeks Bill Overend got the three officers he wanted if only on a temporary basis but if he could clear these cases before the new appointees arrived he would have a strong case for keeping the officers he wanted and the fast tracks could go and tick boxes on someone else’s relief.

The next morning Pippa, and PCs, Webster and Griffin were instructed they had been seconded to CID for a prolonged period.
This came as a complete surprise to Pippa, who, despite having done several spells in CID in the past, was not aware of having made any significant kind of impact that would merit an extended duty in CID, but all that said she was delighted.

Chief inspector Overend was feeling a little smug at his getting his own way even if it might turn out to be short term.
The first order of the day was to place the temporary DC’s to individual teams and then assign those teams to the growing list of cases, which Overend was anxious to make inroads into.

Pippa's day just kept getting better she was added to Detective Sgt Tilly Donnally’s team, Donnally was someone she admired very much, if a little scary, she was a fiery thirty-two year old red head, who led by example and relied heavily on her instincts, which rarely failed her.
Then she was paired with Detective Constable James Pidd who was a quiet unassuming thirty something man, a very calm and very capable detective not a leader but blessed with a very analytical mind.
But despite his unassuming nature, to everyone’s surprise, including his own, he found himself engaged to Theresa Bennington who was the Granddaughter of the Lord Lieutenant of the county, though such is the nature of the man he was not the sort to use his social position to benefit his career.
“Jimmy and Pippa,” Overend said pausing briefly to consult his notes,
“Clifford’s Biscuits were turned over last night, the owner is on site and is probably not a happy cookie.”
“On our way sir.” Said DC Pidd completely missing the joke, as did Pippa who was already halfway to the door.

Jimmy Pidd and Pip Mead had worked together on many occasions in the past and they got on well.
Also they complimented each other he with his analytical mind and she with her razor sharp instinct and hard graft.
The only bone of contention between them was the driving.
They both hated to drive, this was very unusual, as normally partners fight over who gets the keys.
They had tried a number of ways in the past to determine who got lumbered with the driving such as, Rock, Paper, Scissors, Arm wrestling or tossing a coin but they never worked as they both had a propensity to cheat.
So they decided the fairest way was one of them would drive there and the other would drive on the return journey.
Today Jimmy Pidd was driving and there was only one thing he hated more than driving and that was driving in the rain.
At least Clifford’s was in Abbottsford’s only about three miles from the station.
Clifford’s biscuits, was an old family business established in 1879 by Robert Sebastian Clifford and was currently run by his Great-Great Grandson Donald.
They had moved to there present location in Abbottsford’s in 1928.
The two DC’s presented their warrant cards to the Olympic security guard and were waved through the main gate and directed to the reception.
The broad white building was a great example of the art deco style with its angles, curves and symmetry.
DC Pidd got out of the car and paused for a moment, despite the rain, in appreciation of the stylish building.
“What a great building.” Said Jimmy.
“Yes it’s very…. white.” Said DC Mead running towards the building.
“Is that all you can find to say about this magnificent structure?”
Said a stunned
“This wonderful example of Art Deco architecture?”
She stopped running, then took a moment to study the façade then said.
“Yes, I stand by my original statement, it’s definitely white”
“You’re a philistine Pip.” Pidd said running after her.

Pidd and Mead walked into reception and were greeted by a middle aged balding man in a smart suit.
“Good morning.” He said offering his hand. “Peter Frecknell assistant manager”
“Good morning sir, I’m DC Pidd.” Jimmy said shaking the offered hand.
“And this is DC Mead.” He said gesturing toward Phillippa.
“Sir.” She said also shaking hands.
“Would you like to see the scene of the crime now?” He said relishing the change of routine.
“Afterwards I will take you through to the conference room Mr. Clifford would like meet you before you leave.” And he turned and led them up the stairs.
After Pidd and Mead had been shown the suspected point of entry and Mr. Frecknell had given them a tour of the offices, which were in good order save for the power leads and data cables trailing to and from non-existent PC’s, Printers, and Scanners etc.
The factory operated Twenty-four hours a day seven days a week but the main offices were seldom used after six PM.
They were then covered by CCTV and monitored from the security building located by the main gate.
The offices were patrolled on foot every two hours through the night from eight PM to Eight AM.
The burglary occurred between six and eight. The intruders managed to bypass the alarm system and they were somehow able to override the CCTV feeding back the recorded images to security while they stripped the place bare.
They interviewed staff but no one remembered seeing anything out of the ordinary.
Then they were shown into the conference room to meet Donald Clifford.
Walking into the long grandly decorated room with a huge twenty-four foot long mahogany topped conference table they saw an immaculately dressed man of sixty standing at the far end.
“Good morning, officers.” He said walking towards them.
He was wearing a high quality hand made suit and expensive Italian shoes. His hand made silk tie probably cost more than Mead’s entire ensemble.
“Mr. Clifford?” Jimmy asked.
“Goodness me no.” He said with a hint of a smile. “My name is Tyler-Moore, Marcus Tyler-Moore.”
“He’s our financial Director.” Mr. Frecknell elaborated.
“I’m DC Pidd and this is DC Mead.”
He shook hands with them both.
The door opened behind them and a tall, lean shabbily dressed man in his early thirties entered.
He had what looked like a necktie hanging from his trouser pocket and his shirt was un-tucked.
What must once have been a clean white shirt was now smeared with grease and dirt.
His sleeves were rolled up exposing his skinny white arms also smeared with dirt and his trousers were dirty and torn.
He was wiping dirt off his hands with a monogrammed handkerchief.
“I’m sorry I’ve kept you waiting.” He said politely. “A problem with one of the machines.”
“Don! We have maintenance people to do that.” Marcus said in a fatherly way.
“He can’t help interfering.” Marcus said addressing the two officers. “He forgets it’s his company sometimes.”
“I know Marcus but I like to help.”
He inspected his right hand briefly and offered it to Jimmy Pidd to shake.
“Don Clifford.” He said.
“DC Pidd.” Jimmy said. “And this is DC Me…”
“Phillippa.” She interrupted. “Mead.”
“What a lovely name.” Don said taking her hand and gazing at her.
“The lover of horses and a sweet honey brew”
Phillippa held his gaze and his hand for longer than necessary.
“Coffee?” Marcus broke the spell.
Don and Phillippa broke away with a little embarrassment and they both blushed.
“Yes a good idea.” Don Clifford answered.
“Or tea if you would prefer?” Looking at Pip again.
“Please sit down,” He offered with a sweeping Gesture.
“Tea would be very nice thank you Mr. Clifford.” Phillippa said almost coyly.
“Please call me Don.”
“Ok Don.” She said and giggled.
Jimmy was amazed he had never seen this side of Pippa before she was being feminine and he’d never heard her giggle before. Either.
He looked at Marcus who shrugged this was obviously new behaviour for Mr Clifford as well.
“Coffee for me please.” Jimmy said as he sat in the closest chair.
Marcus nodded in Peter Frecknell’s direction and he slipped out through the door almost unnoticed.
After a few minutes he returned, holding open the door while an over weight middle aged woman in a type of uniform and apron pushed a trolley loaded with crockery, tea and coffee pots, milk jug, sugar bowl and a plate of biscuits.
“Thank you Doreen.” Marcus said as she unloaded the trays onto a side table.
“Sir.” She turned and left.
While they drank Jimmy filled them in about bypassing the alarm system and that they managed to override the CCTV and miraculously managed to leave through the main gate right under the nose of Olympic security.
He directed most of his comments to Marcus Tyler-Moore as Mr Clifford’s eyes were continuously being drawn towards Pip and hers to him.
He went on to explain that Scene of Crime officers would be on site soon though he was not hopeful that that would turn up anything as this was a very professional job.
“If you could provide us with a full inventory of the stolen items as soon as convenient we can have it circulated.” Jimmy said. “And we will be able to give you a crime number for the insurance.”
“Thank you Constable Pidd.” Marcus said.
Jimmy stood up.
“Yes thank you.” Don Clifford tore his attention away from Pip and stood up proffering his hand.
“And thank you also Detective Constable Mead.”
“Yes thank you Phillippa.” Don said taking her hand again.
“I think the officers need to be going now Don.” Marcus said slapping Donald firmly on the back.
He reluctantly let go of Pippa’s hand and they both blushed again.
“You can contact me on this number when you have the list.” Jimmy handed a business card to Marcus.
Pippa handed her card to Donald and to Jimmy’s amazement she giggled again.

Phillippa and Jimmy didn’t say a word on the short walk back to the car.
But when she walked to the passenger side Jimmy broke the silence.
“Oy Dolly daydream.” He shouted. “Your driving remember”
She jumped. “Sorry Jimmy I was miles away.”
“I know where you were and who you were with.”
Then she flushed red.

Bill Overend was pleased with the general progress being made on all the major enquires and was still quietly confident that his expectations of a timely result before the two new staff members would be foisted upon him.
Jimmy and Pip were exploring the possible involvement of the Security company in the Clifford’s robbery as they have been the common denominator in a series of break ins and for several days had been wading through piles of documents from Olympic Security searching for any patterns that might appear.

Although she was enjoying her time in CID Pippa had spent the last two weeks slightly depressed and more than a little bewildered.
She had been awaiting, no expecting, a phone call, from Donald Clifford, she was convinced that they had hit it off, or connected or something and she just couldn’t understand why he hadn’t rang.
This was new territory for Pippa because normally she was not short of admirers though not in anyway inundated, most of whom she felt complete indifference.
She was not used to wanting someone to call and to have someone she was attracted to, Fancied even, not to call her was something of a novelty, which she was neither accustomed to nor would wish to become accustomed to.
She had even committed the cardinal sin, something she had never ever considered, had never needed to consider, she had called his office, not once, nor twice but three times.
She was told on all three occasions that he was not available.
Not available! Bloody cheek.
Pippa was a bit of party girl and very good company and she was popular with a large circle of friends but she hadn’t enjoyed herself since she met that bloody biscuit man.
She hadn’t been out at all for the last week.
Bloody, Bloody man.

As another week drew to its conclusion Pippa Mead continued to discharge her duties in a state of anxious bewilderment.
He still hadn’t called.
What was wrong with the man?
How could she have got it so wrong?
After all she thought he was besotted with her he really seemed to be, she was mow beginning to think it was merely conceit on her part, to assume that he liked her.
Pippa was certainly besotted with him and that had never happened before, and she wasn’t sure she liked it at all.
She had even taken the unprecedented step of actually going to the factory, on the pretext of furthering police enquires, but in reality to see Donald Clifford only to be told he was not available.
She had never ever been treated so shabbily she thought to herself indignantly and then she chastised herself because realized she was being given a taste of her own medicine.
Should she talk to someone?
Yes, but whom?
Tilly? No far too scary, Gracie possibly, no Jenny, she would talk to Jenny.

Bill Overend and his opposite number John Holt who was the Uniform Inspector were having a drink at the “George” this was by way of an olive branch as John Holt wanted his PC’s back and Bill didn’t want to give them back.
They were good friends and had been for years and it would take a lot more than poaching a few PC’s to drive a wedge between them but they both enjoyed playing the part.
While the two Inspectors were sparring in the pub over her future Pippa Mead was anxiously stalking Jenny Hack through the busy market day streets of Abbottsford.
She had tried several times to approach Jenny at the station but she was frustrated by the constant interruptions, either by someone else butting in or by the telephone ringing.
She even tried to catch her in the car park, as she was leaving for lunch, but Superintendent Tiplady got to her first.
So she was reduced to stalking her like a criminal.
Pippa had followed her to every baby shop in town and then to several chemist shops.
By the time Jenny reached the market stalls Pippa was desperate even though she had no idea what she would say.
When Jenny stopped at a green grocer’s stall Pippa seized her chance, she waited until Jenny had paid for her fruit and veg and made her move.
“Hi Jenny. Can I help with your bags you look a bit over loaded?”
“Hi. Thanks Pip. I have over done it a bit. It’s a good job I’ve finished.”
Pippa took a few of the heavier bags from her.
“Are you heading back to the car now?” Pip asked.
“Have you finished your shopping?”
“What? Oh yes I didn’t really need anything.”
They began walking towards the car park.
“It was lucky you ran into me I’m not sure I would have made it back to the car on my own.”
Jenny had been aware of Pippa in the office and suspected she was trying to talk to her.
She had even noticed her around town a couple times and looking at her pensive expression she suddenly realized this was not a chance meeting.
The conversation was pretty much one sided for the rest of the five minute walk with Jenny doing the majority of the talking.
When they arrived at the car park they loaded the bags into Jenny’s boot.
After a glance in Pippa’s direction and noticing the pensiveness had not left her face she said.
“Do you know what I could do with?”
Pippa shook her head.
“A cup of coffee.” She answered. “There’s a café over the road. Do you fancy one?”
“Yes. I’d love one.” Pippa visibly brightened.
Once they were settled at a table Pippa sat fiddling with a napkin and trying to think of what to say and Jenny stirred her coffee while she looked on, while Pippa tortured herself, and smiled to herself.
Finally Jenny could stand it no longer.
“So what’s on your mind Pip?”
“Eh?” She had an expression on her face like a rabbit caught in the headlights of an approaching car.
“Something’s bothering you, what is it?”
Pippa took a deep breath.
“Oh Jenny, I’ve been dying to talk to someone.”
“But I feel so silly and I don’t know where to start.”
“At the beginning is a good place.” Jenny said simply.
“Well you know Jimmy and me went to that break in at Clifford’s, a month ago?”
Jenny nodded and sipped her coffee.
“Well we finished up in the conference room and we met.”
“Donald Clifford.” Jenny interrupted.
“Yes. How did you know?” asked Pip.
“Jimmy told me. He said you were smitten.” Jenny smiled broadly.
“Yes. Jimmy said he was a nice guy. So what’s the problem?”
“He hasn’t called me. That’s the problem. I gave him my card and he hasn’t called.”
“You did throw away all of those misprinted cards you had? Didn’t you? The one’s with the ACC’s phone number on.”
“Oh God I hadn’t thought of that.” Pippa was horrified.
“Have you called him?”
“Yes several times, I even went there to see him I was told he wasn’t available.”
“I can’t believe he wouldn’t see you or speak to you if he was there. He seemed too nice for that.” Jenny said finishing her coffee.
“Have you met him then?” Pippa asked urgently.
“Not to talk to. He was at the front desk one day talking to Sgt. Frank.” Jenny replied. “I assumed it was something to do with the case.”
“I didn’t get a message.”
“That doesn’t mean that he didn’t leave one you know what George Frank’s like.”

Pippa, the moment she returned to the station, went directly to reception in search of Sergeant George Frank.
She found him in a form of conversation with PC Deacon, which involved Deacon uttering a few words and Sgt. Frank ranting his response. His ranting's could last for up to ten minutes depending on the subject.
The reason for this was simple George Frank was a miserable old pain in the ass who hated his job and tried to ensure everyone else did as well.
“I took my girl friend to the eye on Saturday.” Deacon began.
“The what?”
“The London eye Sarge, at Greenwich.”
“Oh the big wheel. I never go to London it’s a cesspit.”
“But the view is fantastic.” Deacon enthused.
“A toilet is still a toilet Deacon irrespective of the angle from which it is viewed.”
“But you can see for miles.”
“A sewer is still a sewer.”
“Sarge?” Pippa stopped him in mid rant. “Have you got a minute?”
“What is it Mead?” He barked.
“I’m working on the Clifford’s robbery case.”
“I’ve have been trying to get in touch with Mr. Clifford at the factory and I was told he came here to the station about a month ago and spoke to you.”
“Did he leave a message?” Asked Pippa.
“I don’t know. It’s busy down here you know a lot happens in a month.”
“Could you check Sarge?” She asked. “It’s very important.”
He sighed heavily and put his glasses on and began moving papers around and looking under things and all the time he was muttering under his breath.
Then he began on the shelf under the counter and after a great deal of huffing and puffing he brought out an item and put it on the counter.
The object had a square wooden plinth at the base through which a six-inch spike was attached.
Impaled on the spike were pieces of paper of different shapes and sizes.
He fumbled through the pieces of paper still muttering beneath his breath until he suddenly…
“Ah ha.” He exclaimed.
He pulled off a wad of papers from the top and the removed an item and replaced the wad back on the spike.
He then replaced the spike under the counter where he found it.
“There.” He said thrusting an envelope in her direction.
“Now perhaps I can get back to work?”
“Thanks Sarge.” Pippa said rushing out the door.

She ran up the stairs and straight into the ladies toilets.
When she got inside she checked she was alone and then chose a cubicle and sat down.
She sat for what seemed like an hour, although it was only a few minutes in reality, staring at the envelope.
It was simply addressed to DC Mead.
What if it was a list of the stolen goods or a thank you for a prompt and professional response or a copy of the insurance claim or maybe a donation to the Police officers benevolent fund?
She steeled herself and ripped open the envelope.
Inside, folded in half, was a sheet of A5, expensive, notepaper.
She took a deep breath and chastised herself for behaving like a silly schoolgirl and unfolded the sheet of notepaper.
On the paper was a short hand written note in very neat style of handwriting.
And she read:

Detective Constable Mead, Phillippa.

I have to apologize for contacting you in this rather forward manner, but I have been trying to speak with you for the last few days and I have tried several times to phone you on the mobile number you provided.
This was, however, to no avail as all I managed to get was a rather rude and abusive gentleman whose comments I could not bring myself to commit to paper.
I understand from the Sergeant on reception that you are out of the office following enquiries so I am leaving this note.
I have unfortunately now been called away on family business and will out of the country for the next few weeks.
The reason I have been so anxious to contact you is that I would very much like to take you to dinner, which will now have to be on my return.
I look forward to hearing from you, and I hope very much that you will honor me with your company.

My very best regards.


At the bottom of the page, also in his very neat hand, were two phone numbers and an email address.
She was up on her feet out of the cubicle and dancing when the door opened and Jenny Hack waddled in.
Pip raced over and hugged Jenny.
“It’s good news then?” Jenny guessed.
“Yes, yes.” Was all she could manage.
“Don’t hug to tight I need a wee.”

Pippa Mead was feeling much happier with the world.
Not only had she, if belatedly, received, and read, the letter from Donald Clifford but she and Jimmy had made a major break through on the case.
She was on top of the world.
She managed to corner Jenny in reception just as she was leaving, she was with her friend Lizzie but that was the closest to being alone she had been all day so she took her chance.
“This is a little something to say thanks for your help with ... well you know what.”
Jenny beamed a tearful smile and Lizzie looked puzzled.
“Thanks Pip, that’s really sweet”

It was now three days since Pippa had received, and read, the letter and it was also three days since she had begun trying to contact him on the two phone numbers and the email address he had included in the letter.
Donald kept two mobile phones, one for business and one for private use.
When she dialed the mobile phone numbers all she got was the answer phone, so she left message after message after message.
When that failed she emailed, several times, but to no avail.
During those three days she had gone through every emotion between elation and black despair.
Doubting the evidence contained in the letter, which had led her to believe his interest in her was more than professional.
She even doubted his motives for wanting to dine with her.
The family business of which he wrote in his letter was obviously a fabrication and he was merely playing some kind of sadistic game with her.
But she played her part in the game by phoning and emailing at regular intervals.
She had even called Marcus Tyler-Moore, the Clifford family solicitor.
He told her the last time he spoke with Donald he was in transit to Australia but that had been over two weeks ago and he had heard nothing since.
Then she began to wonder if he had been killed and was that the reason nobody could reach him?
Or maybe he was lying in a coma somewhere in a filthy foreign hospital.
Then this morning she awoke early, around four o’clock, and switched on her PC to check her emails.
While the PC was booting she went to the kitchen and made herself a hot drink.
Then she wandered back to PC and sat silently as she logged on and she expected to find her mailbox empty as usual.
She was right it was empty but for two piece’s of junk mail.
One was from the financial sector wanting to loan her money and the second, as if to add insult on to injury, was an invitation to join a singles club.
Then she cursed herself for abandoning her carefree existence and allowing herself to be diverted.
She had never sought a soul mate or a life partner she had an abundance of friends with whom she had fun.
This was not fun.
What her friends must be thinking of her she could hardly imagine.
All she could do was put this past month down as a temporary aberration.
She would tell her friends she had been unwell but was much better now.
Pip reached out and picked up her address book and flicked through.
It was time to put all this love nonsense behind her, it was not for her, and now she had to get on with her life.
Finishing her tea she returned to the kitchen and poured herself another mug.
Returning to the PC she reached out to switch off.
She had mail.
What this time, free books, Jesus saves, stripper’s r us or a lonely-hearts site.
She reached out again to hit the off switch.
But what if?
No! I’m not going there again, she thought to herself.
But what if?
No! I’ve made my decision, it’s over, and I’m cured.
She hesitated, her hand poised over the power switch.
“Shit!” She muttered as she sat down.
She opened her mailbox all the time cursing herself for weakening.
There was a new email from an address she didn’t recognize and she moved it to trash without opening it.
“Why do I do this to myself?” She said to herself walking towards the bathroom.
“Why didn’t I just trust my own judgment in the first place?”
She stopped suddenly.
“AU!” she shouted, “It ended AU.”
She ran back to the PC.
Quickly sitting down she recovered the email from the trash.
Pippa took a deep breath and opened the mail.
It was from Donald.
As she eagerly read the mail all her doubts and fears dissolved away.
Donald was indeed in Australia and he had had a series of misadventures.
Firstly he dropped his business mobile in the departure lounge at Heathrow Airport and then on arrival in Sydney he had the bag containing his laptop stolen.
But it was only when he tried to use his second mobile phone to report the theft that he realized it was also in the bag with his laptop.
So that was why Pippa had been unable to contact him.
The reason for his protracted visit was that he had been named as executor to his recently deceased Uncle’s estate and he had been attempting to settle his Uncle’s many interest’s, for example the last sixteen days had been spent on a remote sheep station.
He was now back in Sydney staying at the home of a close friend and was availing himself of his friend’s computer.
He still had a few lose ends to tie up but he was hoping to be back in England by the end of the following week.
Pippa was overjoyed.
She replied to the mail immediately and was rewarded a few minutes later with a reply of her own.
This continued for the next two hour’s until she glanced at the clock and reluctantly dragged herself away to get ready for work.

Pip spent much of a bright spring Saturday in her flat dressed in “Sloppy Joes” and glued to her computer trading emails with Donald Clifford in Australia.
The general content of their correspondence was first date stuff finding out each other’s likes and dislikes their backgrounds and their aspirations.
This was interspersed with outrageous flirtation and even a degree of lovemaking.
This was a new experience certainly for her and she hoped for him also.
She had not had Internet sex before.
It was nice.
Even so she couldn’t wait for him to come home.

A week later Pippa Mead’s slender frame trembled as she looked up at the board to see that flight BA145 from Sydney had landed.

She had arrived at the airport two hours before the flight was due and then the flight was delayed a further ninety minutes.
She had spent a sleepless night and even spending two hours getting ready hadn’t eaten into the time as much as she thought it would so she decided she might as well waist the time at the airport rather than at home.
Big mistake.
She had thought that there would be more distractions at a busy international airport and the time would not hang so heavy.
The problem with this theory was that almost everywhere you look at an airport you find a clock or time display.
She had bought magazines, she tried reading a book, and she drank endless cups of coffee and made endless visits to the toilets.
Pippa felt as thought she had been at the damned airport for days.
Now the plane had landed and she was trembling.
Pippa turned on her heels and rushed to the nearest toilets.
After emptying her bladder for the umpteenth time she stood in front of the mirror and surveyed her reflection.
She was, by her own admission, a rather stick thin plain looking girl with, two redeeming features, the most stunning eyes and good legs.
As she stood before the mirror she combed her straight shoulder length blonde hair and then touched up her makeup.
She had discarded her normally masculine looking clothes, which led many people to suppose her to be a lesbian.
Instead she wore a short floral dress, showing off her legs, she liked her legs.
She turned side on to admire herself in the mirror then she stood on her tiptoes to get a better look at her legs, she nodded to her self, shame I don’t have a bum though she thought to her self.
Having viewed herself from every possible angle she gave herself a quick spray of perfume and put her things away in her bag.
Stopping briefly for one last look in the mirror she said out loud.
“I scrub up very nicely.”
Then she nodded and made her way back to the arrival hall.

As Pippa reached the arrival gate the first of the passengers were beginning to dribble through.
Then as more and more streamed through the gate she began to panic what if he doesn’t recognize me now I’m not dressed like a lesbian, what if I don’t recognize him.
When she calmed herself down she thought “I hope this blokes worth all this, my life’s been a complete disaster since the moment we first met”.
She need not have worried, the moment she saw him she knew him, and it was not the shabbily dressed man she had first met.
But the tall, lean thirty something that entered the concourse was unmistakable Donald Clifford.
He was wearing chinos and a sweatshirt and Pippa thought he looked great.
There was tiredness around the eyes but apart from that he looked great.
He paused for a moment to glance at the sea of faces then he looked straight into her exceptional eyes, smiled and walked toward her.
She pointed towards the exit and they began walking that way, both on different sides of the barrier and never averting their gaze and totally oblivious to anyone else’s presence.
When the reached the exit in the barrier they continued walking still gazing at each other until they were out of the main flow of travelers.
Now they were facing each other.
“Hello.” Don said.
“Hello.” She answered coyly.
Then they kissed.
And all the panic and self-doubt just melted away.
This man was worth it; this man was her soul mate.

The Abbottsford Police Chronicles – # 2, Natural Justice

Frank Owen stepped through the automatic doors and onto the pavement; he paused briefly and cast a glance back over his shoulder at the Churchill hospital and tried to think of a time when he had left that ghastly building with good news, but he couldn’t so he proceeded to the bus stop through the mist and murk.
It was a damp and dismal late October day, grey and uninspiring, the kind of day when it was impossible to discern where terra firma ended and the sky began.
When he reached the bus shelter he entered the inhospitable Perspex box and sat down on what supposedly passed for a bench.
He leant his walking stick against the bench beside him and then reached into his coat pocket and retrieved a pack of cigarettes and his lighter.
He put one to his lips.
“You shouldn’t do that you know, they’ll kill you they will” A voice said from one corner of the shelter.
He turned his head to see that the voice belonged to a small skinny women in her fifties wearing a shabby coat over what he presumed was a cleaners uniform.
“They killed my husband” she continued as she sat down on the bench.
“And he was a lot younger than you”
He smiled and nodded then he lit the cigarette and inhaled deeply.
Frank was seventy nine years old, eighty in November, and he gave up smoking on his fortieth birthday and apart from the very rare occasion when he was offered a cigar at a special occasion, a wedding, a regimental reunion or some other gathering, he had not smoked for half of his life, until a few weeks before when he was first diagnosed.
The oncologist used words like carcinomas and metastasised he didn’t really take it all in but it was in his pancreas, oesophagus, stomach and bowel which meant they would have to gut him like a fish even if surgery was an option which it never was.
There were treatments of coarse but they would merely delay the inevitable.
The prognosis was that without treatment he would probably see another birthday but not another Christmas.
So he thought what the hell he’d really missed smoking and it was hardly likely to kill him now.
He exhaled and a cloud of smoke which seemed to hang in the still moisture laden air.
“I will just have to take that risk my dear” he said to her and smiled.
Frank was a big man; over six feet tall and broad shouldered and despite his need to walk with a stick he still carried himself with a military bearing and apart from rheumatism in his knees, hence the need for the stick, and the fact that he was dying he had felt ok, a little discomfort at times but no more than that,
He had lost a little weight of late, not a bad thing in itself he had been a stone or two overweight for a good few years, and he had felt tired a good deal which he put down to his age, he would not have gone to the doctors at all but for chronic indigestion the reason for which had soon become quite apparent.
But in those few short weeks since the initial diagnosis the pain had started and it was getting worse, pain like he had never known before, even when he was shot in Korea it didn’t hurt so bad, and he was starting to look gaunt and skin hung loosely about his neck.
He thought back to that day’s consultation and the doctor’s words.
“You have a little time to get your affairs in order” he said to him.
“But you will deteriorate quite quickly”
Just as well I have no affairs to get in order, he had thought to himself.
He had no one to miss him or mourn him; his passing would be be as insignificant as a ripple on a pond.
Irene his wife of 39 years passed away ten years previous after a stroke and his only child Derek was knocked down and killed by a drunk driver while he was crossing the road outside his university digs aged 20.
He had no other family left his elder sister had died in childbirth and her daughter died shortly afterwards and his brother died in the port of Aden a victim of Yemeni terrorists in 1966.
He had no nephews or nieces, no distant cousins, the friends and comrades who were not already dead were gaga so there were no beneficiaries of his meagre estate.
There was enough in his savings to bury him and the rest of his worldly goods would be sold and the money could go to the hospice where he was set to shuffle off this mortal coil.
He was ready to die, he had had enough, his life had been almost intolerable since Irene died, lonely and meaningless, but the last year had all but broken him and he was ashamed of himself and that was something he thought would never happen, but he had allowed himself to become a victim, giving in to intimidation and what was most unforgivable of all he had become a coward.

A car horn sounded which brought him back from his self pitying reflections. He looked up to see a car parked in the bus bay with the passenger window down.
“Can I give you a lift Frank?” The driver called.
Frank got to his feet and walked stiffly to the car.
“Thanks” he said through the open window.
“As long as it not out of your way”?
“It’s not a problem Frank” Said the driver.
So Frank opened the door and got in, the door made that whirring sound as the window was raised as he belted himself in.
The driver was a muscular man in his mid thirties with Jet Black hair and wild eyes who appeared to be tall even sitting down.
His name was, Boris Katarski and he was a Detective Sergeant with the Abbotsford CID. Whom Frank had got to know during a murder enquiry almost a year previous.
This was not the first time they had bumped into each other, and it had happened more then once at the hospital, he supposed that police business was bound to involve visits to the hospital for any number of reasons.
“Thank you Sergeant this damp weather gets right in your bones” he said rubbing his knees.
“No problem, Frank, so what brings you to the Churchill on a damp and dismal Thursday?” Boris asked trying not to sound like a policeman.
“Just visiting a friend” Frank lied not wanting to be pitied. “And you?”
“Oh just interviewing a victim of crime” He answered not entirely convincingly.
“Anyway how come you’re at the mercy of public transport? Where’s your car today?”
“Oh it’s in my lock up I’m afraid I can’t afford to keep it on the road anymore”
Frank replied not quite honestly. “The pension doesn’t seem to stretch as far as it used to”
The rest of the journey consisted of small talk about politics and the previous nights match.
Then they turned into Orchard Lane and pulled up outside number 14 where Frank lived.
“Thanks for the lift Sgt it’s really appreciated” He said as he opened the car door.
“Don’t mention it and please call me Boris”
“Ok. Thanks Boris” He replied a little uncomfortably and then he got out the car after some undignified effort.
“I don’t move as well as I did” he said with a laugh.
Just before he closed the car door he said goodbye, then made his way up the short path to his front door.
It was a an unremarkable little house build in the same decade as Frank was born but looked as if it had stood the test of time better than he had himself and would be around a good many years after his passing.
The front garden much as the back needed some attention and he had had to admit to himself some while ago that he wasn’t up to the task anymore.
The hanging baskets that throughout the summer hung either side of the front door and half a dozen stone planters were about all he could keep on top off though not for much longer.
He fumbled for his door key and slipped it into the lock and having unlocked the door and he went inside turning briefly to wave to Sgt Katarski before closing the door behind him.

Boris sat in the car and watched Frank walk up the path and returned his wave and carried on watching him until the door closed.
He liked Frank, he was a nice old boy, but that wasn’t the reason he kept engineering these accidental meetings.
He knew Frank was keeping something from him and DS Katarski was like a dog with a bone he would not let it go.

Safely in his house he lit the gas and sat down in front of the fire he was glad he had got a lift the damp weather was getting to him, but as much as he appreciated the life and as much as he liked the Sergeant he always made him feel ashamed.
He had first met DS Katarski when he was investigating the brutal murder of Brenda Sage, an elderly neighbour, who lived in the house across the road from his own.
The reason for his great shame was that he lied.

On the evening of the murder Frank had been stood at the kitchen sink washing up after his supper idly looking out through the window, he had an unhindered view of the road and the houses opposite due to the lack of net curtains which he had dispensed with after his wife died, mainly because he thought them too fussy but also because he liked to see what was going on.
Just as he was washing up the last saucepan he saw Brenda’s front door open, which surprised him because she didn’t get many visitors especially of an evening so he was curious to see who it was.
The porch light was off and in the shadows he could only just make out a slight figure. But as they moved down the path to the gate they were illuminated by the street light.
Franks jaw dropped to see Danny Blake open the gate and pass into the street.
Blake was a small wirery man in his twenties, a vicious thug, who having never done an honest days work in his entire life made his living from crime.
Burglary, robbery, mugging, shop lifting you name it he’d done it, he was nothing if not versatile.
Then to Frank’s horror Blake looked directly at him and smiled a very unattractive smile, then his blood ran cold as Blake waved his hand across his throat in a cutting gesture.
Frank was frozen to the spot, powerless to move under his evil gaze.
Then he turned and walked casually down the street.
Frank was in turmoil he knew something bad had happened, Brenda could be laying in her house injured, but the implication from Blake was clear if he said anything he was dead.
He didn’t know what to do, he picked up the phone and put it straight down again, if he phoned the police he would have to say what he saw.
He grabbed his coat and rushed out the back door, went down the path and through the back gate where his car was parked.
He drove a couple of miles down the road until he reached a small parade of shops where he knew there was a phonebox, from there he called the police.
By the time he got back to his kitchen the police were already knocking on Brenda’s front door.
Once they had gained entry and then returned to their car he could tell by their body language and the lack of urgency that she was dead.
DS Katarski knocked on his door the next morning and that was when the lying began.

Blake had not been satisfied with his implied threat to Frank on the night of the murder he made a point of reminding him whenever he got the chance in the street, in the pub, at the shops, and whenever he got to hear that Frank had been seen talking to a policeman then a window would be smashed, the flowers in his planters would be dug up or a tire on his car would be slashed, the last time his wipers were ripped off, that was the reason he kept his car off the road now he couldn’t afford the repairs.
But the worst thing of all was when he just stood in the street and stared at his house, taunting him, shaming him.
Every act perpetrated against him underlined the contempt he had for himself for succumbing to Blake’s intimidation.
But now the worm was turning, he was dying and that he could do nothing about, but he didn’t want to die a coward and that he could do something about.
It was too late to tell the police what he saw the cancer would have seen him off long before the case got to trial; it was too late for conventional justice but he had something better in mind.

The next day he put his plan into action, he had hatched the plan while he was waiting in the oncology department at the hospital.
The first part was quite simple and involved luring Blake to his house and he decided the best way was with the lure of money.
The only snag being that he didn’t have any so he spent an evening cutting up pieces of newspaper to the size of a ten pound note and by placing a real note at each end and securing them all with a rubber band it made up an impressive looking bundle of notes.
The second part involved making sure Blake saw the bait; this was achieved by way of an improvised meeting.
Frank knew that Blake was a regular at the Bricklayers Arms, the pub at the end of his road and was generally in the pub between six and seven most evenings.
He got himself in a position so he could see his mark through the window then he drained his glass quickly and was on his feet directly in his path as he entered then he stood blocking his way as he put on his overcoat.
“Come on old man get out of the way” He sneered.
Frank made an exaggerated movement to get his arm through the armhole and could see by the expression on Blakes face the precise moment he saw the bundle of notes that was now clearly visible sticking out of Franks inside coat pocket.
“I’m just going, I’m just going” Frank said and made his goodbyes to the barmaid satisfied that the bait had been well and truly taken
He knew he had plenty of time to walk the 80 yards or so to his house as Blake would have to bide a while in the pub so as not to draw suspicion on himself.
Once he was through the front door he quickly took off his coat remembering to retrieve the bundle from his pocket and went straight too the sitting room.
He had now reached the third and decisive part of his plan which he had pondered on long and hard.
Now he was dying he intended to address the situation of allowing himself to be intimidated before it was too late.
Before sitting down he adjusted the angle of his armchair so that it faced the door but was not visible from the doorway until the door was fully open.
Then he sat down and with his left hand picked up the revolver from the table.
The gun was a war souvenir from his time in Korea and he hadn’t had it out of his trunk for forty years or more.
He spent most of the day cleaning it and he loaded it with three rounds, that was all that he had, but he only needed one.
He had covered the sofa with a large platic sheet that he used for decorating which was peppered with spots of different coloured gloss and emulsion. Not that he was doing it to conceal the crime he just didn’t want to ruin the sofa, his wife really liked it.
At first he thought he would just scare a confession out of him but it would never hold up in court and he would retract it as soon as he could.
So he had resolved to kill him quickly and cleanly and then give himself up.
Frank knew Blake would come through the front door, there were security lights out the back, and the front door wouldn’t take much force to open.
He just sat there and waited he didn’t suppose it would be long the lure of a roll of notes is very strong to someone of criminal bent, and he was proved right, when he heard the wood splinter on the front door, Blake had stayed little more than an hour at the pub and now he was in the hall.
Frank passed the gun into his right hand and pointed it in the direction of the door.
What Frank hadn’t considered until that moment was the possibility that Blake wouldn’t come alone but he needn’t have concerned himself as Blake was far to greedy to share the spoils of an easy score.
The door handle turned and the door began to move and all of a sudden it was wide open and Blake rushed in.
“I thought I’d come for a little visit Frank” He said looking round the room.
“I think you have something for me ..”
Then he saw the gun for the first time and started to edge backwards to the door.
“No need to rush off Blake, come in and sit down, make yourself comfortable as you’ve come for a visit”
Blake carried on edging backwards then Frank pulled the hammer back with his thumb until there was an audible click
Blake turned white and Frank smiled.
“Sit down” He said again.
Blake sat down on the plastic sheet.
“Is that thing supposed to frighten me?” Blake said trying and failing to regain his bravado.
“No, it’s supposed to kill you” Frank replied coldly.
Blake started to shake
“No, please” he begged
“You don’t have to kill me, I’ll leave you alone from now on, I promise, please don’t kill me”
“Why should I spare your life, you miserable piece of vermin?”
“I beg you please I don’t want to die”
“Did Brenda beg for her life before you beat her to death? Why should I spare your life you didn’t spare hers?”
“It wasn’t me, I’m innocent”
Frank was shaking with rage now all the anger at his shame and cowardice was coming to the fore, he wanted to tell Blake how he had stained his life, how he made him feel about himself, but the words wouldn’t come.
Instead he sat and stared at the snivelling creature before him and decided now was as good a time as any and picked up the cushion he had earlier placed by his chair that he would use to muffle the sound of the gunshot, again not to conceal the crime but so as not to disturb the neighbours.

Boris was officially finished for the day and off the clock but decided, as it was on his route home, to call round to see Frank Owen.
Boris thought Frank must have seen someone the night Mrs Sage was murdered and he had a pretty good idea who and he planned to ask him straight out why he hadn’t come forward.
Boris was a pretty good judge of character and there had to be a good reason why a man like Frank Owen would keep quiet.

As he turned into Orchard Lane everything was quiet and he parked in the first available space. It was only as he walked up the path that he noticed the front door was ajar.
He pushed it open slowly and stepped inside the dark hallway.
“Frank!” he called

Frank heard the Sgt call just as he aimed the gun at Blake, who seeing the old man momentarily distracted took his chance and sprang up off the sofa and launched himself at him,
Then the gun fired and the bullett hit Blake in the chest throwing him back onto the plastic covered sofa, before continuing its flight, hitting the wall by the door just as Boris opened the door.

Boris burst into the room and heard something hit the wall about twelve inches from his head, he wasn’t sure what it was until he saw the smoking gun in Franks hand then he looked at the hole in the plaster and thought to himself that that was too close for comfort.
He tried to put the fact that he had narrowly missed being killed from his mind and quickly surveyed the scene, a motionless body, the plastic sheet, the cushion silencer, a wad of cash and a smoking gum.
His first task was to take the gun from Frank who relinquished it without argument then he checked the motionless body for signs of life and for the first time realised it was Danny Blake.
He turned and looked at Frank.
“He’s dead” He confirmed.
“What the hell happened Frank what was he doing here?”
“I set a trap for him, ambushed him if you like,” He pointed at the bundle of notes
“I lured him here and then executed him”
Boris sat down on the vacant chair while Frank filled him in on the events of that evening and the previous year which lead up to it.
He told him everything, seeing Blake, the 999 call, the lying, the intimidation, the vandalism and the cancer right up to the point when Boris entered the room.
“You can arrest me now” Frank stated.
Boris sat in the arm chair with his head back and his eyes closed and said nothing.
“Well Sgt arrest me”
“I’m not going to arrest you, you old fool” Boris replied leaning forward.
“But I killed him, and you know I did”
“I’m not arresting you” Boris repeated
“But you have to, I killed him and I’m prepared to face the music”
“If I arrest you for murder you will spent your last days in prison awaiting trial” He paused
“I have spend half my professional life trying to put that in prison” he pointed at the corpse.
“And all I hear are the excuses, “he’s from a broken home, his mother was prostitute, his father was a drug addict, the poor lamb it’s really not his fault” but you Frank they will convict in a heartbeat, while vermin like him play the system”
“I don’t want you throwing your life away, your career away, to save me” Frank said
“Don’t worry” the Sgt said
The next hour passed largely in silence, as Boris tried to think what to do next.
Then he suddenly got up and walked to the door, when he got there he fumbled in his pocked producing a pen knife which he used to dig the bullet from the hole in the plaster then he put both in his pocket.
Then he turned to Frank and asked.
“Where’s the fuse box?”
“Under the stairs, Why?”
“We need to disable the security lights at the back”
Boris said with his head inside the cupboard.
Then he and Frank wrapped the corpse in the plastic sheet which they then carried out to Franks garage, fortunately it was possible to access the garage from the garden reducing the risk of being seen and with the lights disabled and a convenient fog they managed to get to the garage unnoticed.
Once in the garage they put the body in the boot then paused for a breath Boris then checked the shelves and found a container of metholated spirit and another of turpentine and put them in the boot next to the body.
“What now” Frank asked still breathing heavily.
“Drive to the old Northchapel print works on Oakham Road I’ll follow on in my car, ok?”
It was a foggy night which was something of a blessing and a curse, a blessing as it was good cover if you were up to no good but a curse when you’re nearly eighty years old and your eyesight’s not to clever.
So Frank drove carefully over to Northchapel constantly checking his rear view mirror to make sure the Sgt was behind him.

Boris was nervously following Franks beat up old Mondeo through the fog cursing the slow progress and praying that Franks funeral pace driving would not attract any unwanted attention, he breathed a heavy sigh of relief when he finally saw the Mondeo indicating to turn into the old print works.

Frank drove on round to the back of the buildings to a spot that couldn’t be seen from the main road Boris pulled up some fifty yards from the other car and once out went straight to the boot and after a cursory glance at his surrounding dragged the body from the boot and with some difficulty and little help from Frank manhandled Blake’s body into the drivers seat.
He threw the old plastic sheet onto the back seat then started to splash the contents of the two containers of flammables all over the cars interior, remembering just in time to leave a small amount in one container.
He then rummaged in the car boot and found an old umbrella he then soaked the end of it with the remaining turpentine.
“Go and get in my car” He said to Frank
Finally he lit the end of the umbrella with Franks lighter and tossed it through the open car window, and then almost as an after thought he fished in his pocket and retrieved the bullet and tossed it into the flames.

Once the car was well ablaze they drove off, they made better time on the return journey with Boris driving.
“Fancy a pint?” Boris asked
“No not really” Frank said rather surprised at the suggestion.
“Well you need to have a reason not to be at home so we’ll go and have a beer”
The pub he chose was the Coach and Horses on the outskirts of Abbottsford and it was not chosen at random.
The first reason he picked this particular pub was that its car park was adjacent to the river and was a handy disposal point for the gun and secondly it was known to be the favourite watering hole for more than one of Blake’s associates so in the unlikely event that the gun was discovered the finger of suspicion could reasonably be pointed in their direction.
Once they arrived at the pub he parked the car as near to the river as possible.
Boris opened the glove compartment and removed the gun that he had wrapped in a tea towel and placed it on his lap.
Then he very carefully wiped it down thoroughly including the two remaining bullets and the spent cartridge case.
“Ok Frank lets get that beer”
They both got out of the car and Boris lead frank towards the river.
“I suppose you used to fish this river when you were a lad” Boris said for the benefit of any unseen ears.
Frank wondered what the hell he was talking about then Boris gave him a knowing look.
“Yes, yes” Frank replied finally cottoning on.
“Yes many times, I’ve caught many a fish in this river.”
At that moment Boris tossed the gun into the dark water.
Then they turned towards the pub.

They stayed in the pub for an hour or so and barely exchanged a word but once they were back in the car Boris went over what they would have to do next.

On arriving back at Franks house they had to make sure there was no evidence of the shooting, but in order to account for the broken front door they had to make it look like a burglary had taken place so draws were pulled out a table knocked over, that sort of thing, and they had to do it quickly because it was supposed to have already happened.
Once Boris was satisfied it looked like a burgled house he phoned the station and reported that Frank Owens house had been burgled and his car stolen.
Then he had to go outside and break the lock on the garage doors to make it look like that had been broken into as well.
It was just as Boris sat down on the armchair to make a call to the police that he noticed the bullet hole in the wall again.
He stood up scratching his head wondering how to cover it.
“We could move that cabinet” He suggested pointing at a tall unit at the other end of the room.
“Or the hat stand from the hall”
He shook his head and muttered to himself.
“What about a standard lamp, do you have a standard lamp?”
He was panicking now.
“Why don’t we just move that picture so it covers the hole”
Frank suggested.

The story Boris gave the police was that due to a nagging suspicion that Mr Owen was withholding information about the murder of Mrs Sage he had decided to visit Mr. Owen.
He had thought that if he invited him out for a drink in the hope that in convivial surrounding over a pint he might relax and let something slip, which unfortunately he did not, so he gave him a lift home.
Staff at the pub were questioned and confirmed that the Sgt and Mr Owen were indeed at the pub that night and though there were conflicting statements as to what time they arrived these were ignored as it was a busy pub.
On returning to 14 Orchard Lane they found the hose had been burgled and Mr Owens car stolen.
It was at this point that Mr Owen admitted have withheld information about the Sage murder and went on to say he believed he had been targeted because he had been seen in Sgt Katarskis company as certain acts of vandalism and spite had been perpetrated on him in the past to ensure he kept his mouth shut.
This story was later borne out by the fact that Blake’s corpse had been found in Mr Owens burnt out stolen car.
In the following weeks police took the view that Blake had either had a falling out with one of his own associates or a rival miscreant who had then killed him.
All the evidence pointed to Blake having burgled the house his fingerprints had been found on the external and internal doors of the property and having located the car keys he had stolen the car which he then drove to a remote location where he later met his end by a single gunshot the bullet having been found at the scene confirmed this hypothesis.

Boris only saw Frank on a handful of occasions after that night the last of which was at the hospice a few days before he died Frank was very near to the end and had little strength left but he manage to grasp Boris’s hand firmly and mouth the words “thank you”.

Sgt Katarski never regretted his actions in not arresting Frank for Blake’s murder it was not done solely with the intention of getting him off the hook but rather more by allowing him a dignified end to his life while at the same time dispensing some natural justice for Mrs Sage.
The bi-product of his actions was to give the CID the excuse to raid the property of every known associate of Blake’s with the thinly veiled motive of finding his killer.
They could never find sufficient evidence to prove them guilty of his murder but it did turn up enough evidence of wrong doing to lock them up for something else.
While Boris felt his conscience was clear in relation to helping Frank, the many pats on the back he received regarding the numerous indirectly related arrests did make him feel a little uncomfortable.
But he did smile to himself at the irony of the situation of Blake’s murder being in the same pile of unsolved cases as that of his victim Brenda Sage.

The Abbottsford Police Chronicles – # 1, The New Recruit

Detective Inspector Bill Overend often referred to himself as “optimistically middle aged”, because although there was no guarantee that he was in the middle of his life, he was nonetheless optimistic.
He was actually forty-five years old, at least for another twenty-one days, and he knew only two well that he had long since seen the middle of his life.
He described himself as “a well made man” not in a conceited way and not in the terms of an Adonis or someone of Herculean stature but more like solid, sturdy or robust some might even say, “Well built”.
But he liked to be thought of as “well made” it was an old fashioned expression, which his father always used, and he liked it for that reason as much as any other.
The few enemies he had were less flattering about his 6 foot 4 inch 18 stone presence.
But he was a popular man in the job as well as out of it.
As if his height and size did not make him distinctive enough he also had close-cropped Grey hair, that is, what had not already fallen out had turned Grey, and a predominantly Grey beard.
His children often told him he had his head on upside down.

It was a cold March night, well early morning actually, as he stood alone in the back garden of his four bed roomed detached home in the idyllic village of Chapel Hill.
He and his family had lived there for almost ten years.
They all loved it there so much.
Life had been good to them and they had a very comfortable and rewarding life.
It had not always been so.
It had taken a combination of hard work and good fortune in equal measure to get to where he was today.
He and his wife of twenty-six years, Sally, had always been happy in each other’s company but life had been more difficult and testing at times.
When they were first married they had a dingy two room flat in Nettlefield, a sprawling commuter town about ten miles and nearly twenty-five years away from where he now stood.
They got out of there after two long years of hard work, with Bill doing as much overtime as he could get, and Sally working days for a Paper Merchant as an office assistant and three evenings, and the occasional weekend, waiting tables at a Pub restaurant.
On the rare occasions that they were not working they spent quiet evenings planning their future and not spending anything.
There only vices being the occasional bottle of wine and smoking roll ups.
So in time they managed to scrape-up enough money for a deposit on a one-bedroom shoebox on a new development on the outskirts of Northchapel.
But they still had to keep working the long hours and extra shifts to meet the mortgage.
Mortgages were new territory for both of them, as no one in Bill’s or Sally’s family had ever owned their own house.

Then after a little over a year in their new home Sally broke the news that she was pregnant.
She was very worried about telling him and she delayed telling him for almost three days before she finally blurted it out, as a result of fear and simple delight and a need to share her joy.
But she need not have worried he was as delighted as she was and they were so exited that they danced around like march hares for what seemed like hours.
Even though this was not part of the plan yet they could not have been happier.
The unexpected news of Sally’s expectancy did cause some problems however the main one being the house was far too small for another person however little they might be.
They could have decided on an abortion and delayed the family a few years but that didn’t sit well with either of them.
And they dismissed the thought almost as soon as it came to mind.
Not that they were part of the anti abortion lobby it just wasn’t for them.
What was meant to be was meant to be.

They put the house on the market and sold it within two days and with the housing market booming they made a very healthy profit.
However the size of house they were looking for they just couldn’t afford.
They could have borrowed the extra money and taken out a bigger mortgage but they would never have been able to meet the payments with only one salary coming in.
Then out of the blue came a turn of good fortune.
There was a knock at the door; it was an old friend of Bills, Dave Butcher.
He had joined the RAF as a aircraft fitter as soon as he was old enough but they had stayed in touch and got together whenever possible.
“Butch” was an only child and had inherited the family home, a three-bed semi in Abbottsford, when his dad died suddenly of a heart attack eighteen months previously.
His mum had died when he was only four from a brain tumor.
Bill and Sally had taken care of the funeral arrangement as the news had hit him hard.
“Butch” and his Dad were very close and he took it really badly.

When they had announced they were getting married, out of all their friends and family only Butch, and Sally’s best friend Janice had supported them.
Everyone else had said they were too young, that they should wait and they should experience life first.
Sally’s parents were horrified when she told them she didn’t want to go to Art College.
That she needed to get a job so she could start saving up because she was going to marry Bill.
They had thought that she would grow out of it that it was just an infatuation, a maturity thing, and when she came to her senses she could just go to Art School the following year instead.
They didn’t know her as well as they thought.
Suffice is to say they didn’t think Bill was good enough for her but then no parent really believes that anyone is good enough for their daughter.
Bills parents didn’t want him to tie himself down so early in his life, even though they loved Sally almost as much as he did, they just wanted them to wait for a year or two.
Never the less they married in 1985.
She was nineteen and he was twenty.
Janice Monk was bridesmaid and Dave Butcher was best man.

When Butch called round he said that he needed a favor as he was being posted to Sardinia for the next three years and he needed someone he could trust to house sit for him.
He still couldn’t bring himself to sell; the place still had too many memories.
“You could rent it out,” Sally suggested.
“It needs doing up before I can let it” Dave countered.
“And I only have 4 weeks leave”

So would they help him out and house sit while he was abroad, rent free, on the condition they did some of the maintenance.
They knew they would not be doing him as much of a favor as he would be doing them.
This was his way of thanking them for being there for him when his dad died.
So they agreed.
They lived there for three years which gave them the time to save for the next move.
The miners strike in the 80’s helped to grow many a Policeman’s savings fund due to overtime and subsistence payments.
It was on the last occasion after returning from a stint in the Nottinghamshire coalfields that Bill found himself in the right place at the right time.
There had been a gruesome discovery in woodland near the sleepy village of Pepperstock Green, The murdered and mutilated bodies of Anne Gresty and Juliana Molesworth.
Detective Inspector Walter Quilty had been asked to put a murder squad together to investigate and Bill was picked for the squad.
This great opportunity came at a time when he had pretty much given up any ambitions to be a detective, he thought he would just study for his Sergeants exam and stay in uniform
Getting onto a murder squad was one of the most difficult things in the life of a P.C. but not as difficult as staying on it or indeed joining CID permanently.

One of the older hands on the squad told him “The trick is to get noticed, but for the right reasons, and without it being obvious you are trying to get noticed”
He wasn’t prepared to play that kind of game; it seemed more trouble than it was worth.
He decided to leave all the tactics and brown nosing to his more ambitious peers.
Besides because of his size he was a difficult man not to notice.
So he would have to make sure he did what he was asked and hope for the best.
He needn’t have worried.

Quilty had noticed Bill on several occasions during the course of the investigation and had been impressed with the quiet assuredness in which he handled his assignments and some of the more delicate situations they sometimes found themselves in.
So although he didn’t know it at the time DI Quilty had already earmarked Bill for the team even before Bill turned up the vital links, which lead to the arrest of the killer.
It turned out that the two women were lovers and after thorough searches of their homes Bill discovered that they had a mutual friend.
The mutual friend was Nicola Cuffe, also a lesbian.
She had formerly been involved in a sexual relationship with both of the dead women, although not at the same time.
When she discovered that her former lovers were now lovers themselves it enraged her to the point of committing murder, twice.
The act of mutilation was perpetrated out of sheer spite.
As if finding out Juliana and Anne were lover was not enough she then found their love letters and the knowledge that they were not just lovers but in love as well tipped Nicola over the edge.
So it was a crime of passion.

Detective Inspector Walter Quilty always liked to make new appointments to the team personally.
His favorite location for this, at any station, was the police canteen not because he took any pleasure in the foul brew misleadingly dispensed as tea, But because that was where people tended to be more relaxed and less formal.
Some DI’s liked to do it in the pub over a drink or two.
Walter Quilty didn’t drink himself; he didn’t care if others on the team drank as long as it didn’t affect their work in any way.
So when Quilty walked into the canteen Bill had no idea of his purpose in being there.
Having collected a mug of something brown, wet and luke warm he made his way towards the table occupied by Bill and another PC John Holt.
John was the same age as Bill but joined the force two years after him and they had become firm friends. He and his wife, Mary, were to be godparents to his first child Isabel.
“Morning gentlemen” he said, he sat down and stirred his tea and looked across at John Holt.
John fidgeted nervously and ran his finger inside his collar, excused himself and left.
If he’d stayed under Quilty’s stare any longer he felt he would have confessed to something, anything.
With PC Holt out of the way Walter turned his gaze upon Bill.
“That was good work on the Pepperstock case constable Overend” The DI said looking suspiciously at his tea.
“Thank you sir” Replied Bill
“How would you like get out of uniform permanently?” Quilty asked “and join my team?”
“Very much sir”
“Do you think you can handle it?” Questioned the DI
“Yes sir”
“Ok I’ll square it with Superintendent Foxton” Said Walter as he stood leaving his tea.
“Unless you hear otherwise report to CID tomorrow, eight thirty”
The DI said over his shoulder as he walked away.
“Yes sir”

Isabels birth was followed by another daughter Abigail then sons Daniel and Harry luckily his promotions followed at a similarly frenetic pace.
By the time Harry arrived Bill had made Inspector and his boss was promoted to DCI
This was on the back of their success in solving a very high profile child abduction case.
Arresting both abductors as well as securing the child’s release, unharmed.

Bill inherited most of his predecessors team plus the addition of two new transfers Detective Constable Boris Katarski and Detective Sergeant Tom Adamson.
Bill was very much a first impressions kind of person and when he overheard the two men talking he knew they would fit right in..
“Katarski? What sort of name is that? Where the hell does a name like that come from?” asked the DS.
“Cricklewood Sarge” he answered walking away.
“Ask a stupid question” Adamson muttered to himself.
Bill chose Tom Adamson as his DS.
He never regretted it.

The house, “Little Hardings,” was nestled in the hillside amidst the remnants of the ancient forest, which was once draped across the whole of the southern landscape.
The garden sloped gently away from the house and he looked out across the valley to the distant lights of Abbeyvale, the nearest town, and beyond to Grace Hill on the far side of the valley.
He looked up at the clear night sky.
The sky was clear but for the heavens bejeweled with stars, were their more stars in the sky tonight, no of course not, it’s just been a while since he enjoyed the simple pleasure of the night sky.
There was frost in the air and his breath showed like plumes of smoke as he exhaled.
“Smoke.” He heard himself say “if only.”
He found himself wishing he hadn’t stopped smoking, he hadn’t thought about smoking for months.
Bill had stopped smoking nearly a year ago, St George’s day.
He had defeated the nicotine monster as St George had defeated the dragon he would have said it was symbolic were it not for the fact that he hated symbolism so much.
He had been a serious smoker for almost thirty years.
What prompted him to stop?
It certainly wasn’t the insufferable bores who would wave their hands exaggeratedly in front of them and cough irritatingly while simultaneously rolling there tongue out and grimacing when ever they are in a smokers presence.
People like that only make you wish you smoked a pipe.
Nor was it the endless health warnings where smoking was the cause of every illness from cancer and heart disease to athlete’s foot and piles.
Bill always thought that every smoker accepted that smoking was harmful to your health.
But they took a gamble that it wouldn’t happen to them, that was certainly his view.
Even the fact that his brother, who was five years his senior, and a heavy smoker, had had a series of heart attacks when he was Bills age didn’t deter him from smoking.
And he was certainly feeling the effects of smoking like the morning cough and the breathless gasps climbing stairs.
As for National no smoking day he always found it to be an amusing concept.
Many more smokers would participate if there were also a national smoking day when all the sanctimonious little prigs would have to have at least five good drags on a Woodbine.
That would give them something to cough about.
Then there is the annual ritual of the Chancellors Budget, when anything which might give the slightest pleasure to the great unwashed, must be taxed. But even having to pay more for the privilege didn’t persuade him to stop smoking.
What finally pushed him over the edge was the realization of the fact that he was an addict.
He was no longer choosing to be a smoker; he was one because he was addicted.
He was no better than a common junkie.
And that just made him mad.
He’d never really tried quitting before and he wasn’t sure how too.
There were plenty whom did have the solution to his problem and they weren’t backwards in coming forwards.
The funny thing was that most of them had never smoked in their lives.
His Aunt Mary suggested Hypnosis.
He really didn’t fancy hypnosis at all just incase they discovered he was the reincarnated embodiment of Attila the Hun, Vlad the Impaler or even worse a new labor supporter.
The woman in the off license suggested acupuncture.
Acupuncture was never going to do it for him.
He didn’t believe in alternative medicine.
And if you don’t believe in the treatments one hundred percent they will never work.
Also he thought there is something faintly ridiculous about some one who sticks pins in people for a living.
And he lost count of the people who swore by nicotine substitutes, patches, chewing gum, lozenges, tablets or inhalers, all designed to replace the nicotine you would normally get from tobacco.
To his way of thinking if you want an efficient means of getting nicotine into your system then have a fag.
Now as a confirmed cynic he happened to think that nicotine substitutes are more effective at keeping affluent Pharmaceutical companies affluent than helping people to break the habit of smoking.
The addiction was to nicotine after all.
In the end he chose cold turkey, why do they call it that? , He didn’t know.
With a little positive thinking and an awful lot of will power he did it.
It was a lot easier than he thought it was going to be.
The first week was by far the hardest but he did start to feel the benefits, such as more energy, improved sense of taste and smell and tackling the stairs without getting breathless, which boosts you up when your will power might get a little shaky.
He found the hardest things were social events especially those involving alcohol, but it could be done.
He never really suffered any withdrawal symptoms but he has suffered the most extraordinary side effects in the form of unusual and extraordinarily vivid dreams.
Just a few nights ago for example, it should be mentioned that under no circumstances could Bill be described as a Cricket fan.
His knowledge of the game is virtually non-existent, this may seem an odd subject to dream about then when he detests it so much but nonetheless he did.
It amused him greatly as he thought of it.
He had on many occasions described the games rules as unfinished because the games inventor died of boredom before he could complete his work.
He always enjoyed baiting cricket fans with his suggestions as to how to improve the game, such as “tip and run” a concept familiar to most young boys forced to play the game.
Or playing with a burning ball, that would liven up the game.
So why someone so disparaging about the game should dream about it is one of life’s imponderables.
He had been selected to represent England in a test match against the West Indies in Trinidad.
If that wasn’t amazing enough he was to open the batting with Phil Tuffnell, you see even his subconscious knows nothing about Cricket.
Now for some reason there was an unpronounceable Pakistani bowling and Bill hit the last ball of his first over the pavilion for a huge six.
As he began acknowledging the crowd’s applause, Tuffers began walking down the wicket so Bill walked to the middle to meet him, he shook Bills hand warmly and then he reached in to his pocket and brought out a packet of menthol cigarettes and offered him one, and they stood there smoking and soaking in the atmosphere.
As they stared about them they saw the West Indies captain talking animatedly with the umpire and they turned their gaze on Tuffers and Bill and then walked towards them.
Bill naturally thought they were in big trouble and even Phil looked a little nervous.
As they reached the middle the umpire said “I am sorry Gentlemen to interrupt your smoke break but do you think I could trouble you for a match”? And he took out his pipe.
And that was how it continued after every over they would meet in the middle and have a smoke.
And that is fairly typical of the dreams he has from time to time.
I suppose the big questions are firstly, does he miss it?
Yes he does, not that he has cravings.
What he misses is the habit, the ritual and the feel of a cigarette in his hands.
And secondly would he ever smoke again?
Yes in a heartbeat but he would regret it so he refrains.
He would kill for one now though.

He looks at his watch
He shakes his head and sighs.
He is standing in the middle of his lawn in his back garden at 2.00am on a cold march night wearing dressing gown and slippers wishing he hadn’t stopped smoking.
He looked down at his feet and wiggled his toes.
Correction wearing wet slippers and wishing he hadn’t stopped smoking.
Just then bright yellow light spills into the darkness behind him illuminating the lawn but for his large shadow stretching into the darkness.
“Bill are you coming in?” A woman’s voice called softy.
It was his wife Sally also donning dressing gown and slippers.
Sally however, sensibly chose not to venture out into the night air and just put her head out far enough around the French door to call to Bill without waking the neighborhood.
“I’ve made coffee.” She waited a few moments.
“OK sweetheart” Bill returned in equally hushed tones without turning round.
“I’ll be in, in a moment”
He heard the door close and the bright light disappeared as Sally drew the curtain back across the door.
He looked at his watch again 2.05am.
Bill despaired.
He had had some intriguing cases over his career and he was certainly no stranger to sleepless nights, either because of his work or because of the children.
Every parent experiences it at some time even with the best of children.
But this was different this was a new experience.
And it was something totally out of his control he could do nothing.
He could not help in any way, he felt redundant.
He was about to become a Grandfather for the first time.

Sally was sitting in her armchair giving every outward appearance of dignified calm.
She was in her normal corner beneath her lamp, cross-stitching, the normal paraphernalia scattered about her.
But for the fact that she had re-stitched the same area six times she was coping well.
She was wishing now that she had not insisted that her son in law, Paul, phone the moment, Isabel went into labor.
“We could have had a good nights sleep and woken to the happy news” She said to herself.
But it wasn’t the lack of sleep that worried her it was not being with her daughter to help.
She looked at the clock again.
“It hasn’t bloody moved” then she laughed.
She was always onto Bill about swearing.
The door handle rattled as Bill opened the door, there was some fumbling behind the curtain and then Bill appeared.
“My feet are wet,” he said
“I’m not surprised” Sally said unsympathetically.
“Your coffee is by your chair but it’s probably cold by now”
Bill sat down and kicked off his slippers and picked up his coffee.
Putting the mug to his lips he took a mouth full and grimaced
“Uh that’s horrible” and put down the mug.
Sally set her stitching to one side and got up.
“You go and dry your feet and I’ll make some fresh” she said and took his cup.
“It’s all right love I’ll do it, it’s my own fault its cold, you carry on with your stitching” Bill protested.
Sally reached to her full five feet two inch height and kissed him warmly.
“Go and dry your feet,” she said
Bill hugged her to his chest and kissed her forehead.
“I love you,” he said
She reached up and kissed him again.
“Of course you do, why wouldn’t you love me I am wonderful after all” she walked nonchalantly out of the room suddenly her head reappeared around the door.
“I love you too”
They both laughed helplessly.
It was amazing how, no matter how old he got, he still loved her as much as he did when he first saw her all those years ago.

It was 4.00am.
Sally had gone back to bed at three o’clock but Bill had decided to sit up a little longer. He should have gone to bed with Sally as he was fighting to keep his eyes open.
He had been struggling with the “long blinks” for the last half hour.
The blinks were getting longer and longer and.
Bill was hacking his way through the dense jungle with a machete while Stanley and Livingston offered words of encouragement.
Bill stopped to mop his brow with his handkerchief.
“Let’s press on Overend” called Stanley.
Bill acknowledged Stanley and went to work again with the machete in a short while he broke through into a large clearing.
Very soon thirty or forty pygmies surrounded them from a previously undiscovered tribe.
They were led through the jungle by the fierce looking pygmies for about an hour until they suddenly found themselves in the pygmy’s village.
The pygmies spoke a very strange language that none of them had ever heard before yet funnily enough they could understand every word.
They were introduced to the tribal chief amid great ceremony and then they were led into a large hut.
The hut was lined with the tribal elders and the visitors were introduced in turn finally they were invited to sit in close proximity to the Chief.
After a magnificent feast, complete with music and dancing girls, the Chief clapped his hands three times and a serving girl came into the hut carrying a large tray.
She presented it to the chief and he gestured grandly to his guests and the serving girl offered round a box of Henri Winterman slim panatela cigars.
Bill woke with a start.
“No I don’t do that anymore”
He looked around the room and for a moment he didn’t know where he was.
Looking down he saw the cat curled up on his lap and he stroked her.
“Hello Blackberry old girl”
He took off his glasses and rubbed his eyes.
He replaced his glasses and looked at the clock.
“Breakfast time eh girl”
She jumped down purring loudly and trotted off in the direction of the kitchen.
Getting to his feet Bill paused to stretch then he walked to the French doors and threw back the curtains letting in the weak morning light.
The cat mewed loudly from the kitchen doorway and Bill turned and walked towards the kitchen.
“Ok you stupid creature I'm coming”
As he walked into the kitchen he picked up the kettle and checked the level, finding it sufficiently full he replaced it on the stand and switched it on.
Then he opened a cupboard and took out a sachet of cat food and a clean bowl.
The cat was in a frenzy not knowing whether to meow or purr and performing figures of eight around Bills Feet
“Ok Berry, ok, here it is, anyone would think you’d never been fed before”
Bill placed the bowl on the cats mat then he turned his attention to the tea.

With the cat fed and the tea made Bill took a sip of his coffee before he made his way upstairs with Sally’s cup of tea.
He walked into their bedroom and walked around to Sally’s side of the room,
“Cup of tea Sal” he said as he put her tea down on the bedside cabinet.
“Thanks love” she said sleepily
“What’s the time?”
“Just after seven” Bill said as he sat down on the edge of the bed his coffee in hand.
“Any news yet?” she asked
“No” Bill yawned “not a thing”
Just at that moment the phone rang, Bill and Sally looked at each other.
Sally reached out her left hand and clasped Bills hand tightly and with her other hand she picked up the phone.
“Paul? Hello what news?”
A Pause.
“A boy, that’s fantastic, seven pounds eight ounces”
She’s looking at Bill all the time.
“A good size”
Another pause to absorb more information
“Mother and baby both doing well”
She let go of Bills hand to wipe her eyes
“Oh Paul we’re so proud”
She wipes away another tear.
“Yes we would love to, ok well see you later bye”
Bill put down his coffee in preparation.
Sally hung up the phone looked at Bill and dissolved into tears and launched herself into his arms.

After the tears had subsided Bill got up and took off his dressing gown then he pulled back the duvet and slipped under the cover and snuggled up close to Sally.
“And what do you think your doing?” said Sally suspiciously
“It just occurred to me that I’ve never made love to a granny before”

Thursday, 15 July 2010


The tank stopped abruptly
And we sat open mouthed
At what we beheld
Our brains could not assimilate
What our eyes were seeing
Great mounds of …. What?
It can’t be that.
All the horrors of war
We had witnessed, experienced
Since D-day
Did not prepare us
For what Belsen held in store
A place devoid of God
A place where even birdsong was banished
We dismounted and approached on foot
As each step brought us closer
Our worst fears were realised
We saw that the mounds were indeed bodies
Or something likened to bodies
Then I saw an androgynous figure
Stood at the fence
A dirty little bag of bones
Wrapped in dirty rags
Bony fingers clutching the wire
Like a birds feet gripping a trig
I reasoned it was a girl
As the rags might well have been a dress
“We are English” I said
“Don’t be afraid”
Her fleshless face was beyond gaunt,
Her shaved head little more than a skull
Her huge eyes were so black and deep
I could see into her soul
A weak smile played round her mouth
And tears welled up in her huge eyes
I would not have believed it possible
For her desiccated form
To have held enough moisture for tears
But they were there
And they ran down the grubby cheeks
Of the little bag of bones
And dripped onto her ragged dress
We ran to the gates
And forced them open
Then we stepped into the jaws of hell
More skeletal figure appeared
From amidst the piles of rotting corpses
Bemused and disbelieving
They hugged us, and thanked us
Some cried, some laughed
We gave them water
And fed them our rations
Not realising we were finishing
What the Germans had started
The food was too rich
For their weak emaciated bodies
What we didn’t realise
Was we were killing them with kindness
The girls name was Elise
She was the same age as me
But she died the next day
Her face with the huge tear filled eyes
Haunted my dreams
All of the days of my life
Penetrating my soul
And breaking my heart
My only consolation
Was that she at least knew kindness
Once more before she died



When will the lightning strike?
When will the thunder roar?
When will that moment come?
When love knocks at my door

When will the drum beat out?
When will love’s music play?
When will that moment come?
When love finally looks my way


I don’t know the minute or the hour
When God decided from his exalted tower
To make us both shelter from that shower
And to make our love bloom like a flower


On the first day we met
I gave to you my heart
I gave to you my soul
I gave to you my love
And I resolved to grow old with you

You have been my beacon
My guiding light
You have been my friend
The love of my life
And I resolved to grow old with you

Now is the saddest time
Now my heart breaks
Now my soul cries
Now my love hurts
I so wanted to grow old with you

Now after we have parted
Your heart beats in another chest
Your soul abides above
Your love is eternal
And I must grow old alone


When you give your heart to another
You bathe in the warmth of the sun
You walk tall upon the earth
Tall enough to touch the stars
You make love beneath the moon
And Venus guides your path
As you navigate the Milky Way
But when you are cast aside
You crash back down to earth
And inhabit planet Solitude