Closing in on Appleton Marsh

Dear Doris,

Well, I’m back in London and find it curiously unchanged—I arrived last night to pouring rain and industrial inaction on the Tube.

I’m staying in a tall terraced house in Camden in a room that overlooks the main road, and I must say it’s good to hear the phlegmy rattle of the black cabs as they go dieseling past the door. Looking forward to a naff caff full English breakfast later this morning too…

The flight was painless, thanks for asking, although I must note that cocktails at 30,000 feet are much less fun now they make you pay for them. I played solo scrabble the whole way across the Atlantic and listened in to a conversation between a 10 year old boy and his mother in the row behind. She plans to marry, and is expecting a baby with a man her son doesn’t much like.

 “You don’t love us like you used to” said the son “You already love him more than us and you will love it more and you will keep on having babies and I don’t want them”

“Don’t be silly Tom” said the mother, but when her balding lover stopped to visit row 28 she began to bill and coo at him in such a nauseating fashion that it wasn’t hard to see why Tom was worried.

The man in the row in front, blessedly, did not attempt to put his seat back. When people do this, the comfort derived is so much less than the inconvenience suffered by those behind them, who are nearly sawed in half by their tray tables and can’t see their laptop screens. I recommend that airlines return all seats to the fully upright position and do away with this major in-flight irritation.

I can hardly believe that I am already so close to Appleton Marsh and look forward to seeing you and Flo in a couple of days. I’ll check the coach schedule and with luck I can get to Cheriton Bishop around lunchtime. Perhaps Kirsty could fetch me in the Picasso if I can make it work with her break schedule at Boots?

Thank Flo for her kind offer of the put-you-up but I think it would be foolish for me to risk something folding. I’ll be absolutely fine at the Trust House Forte (they have their own Goblins) and their website says they run a shuttle service to and from your High Street, picking up just outside Sue Ryder.

I know you usually do the window on Thursdays and I promise I won’t hold you back. I’m happy to write price tags, pin things the mannequins or simply run around with the Bissell—all hands on deck for the August Bank Holiday Sale!

Yours back in Blighty, Blabs

About Liz Barron

US Peace Corps Volunteer in Armenia. Permanent address in Washington DC. Deep roots in Northern Ireland and persistent Belfast accent. Blogger,cook, mother, grandma, Scrabble-player and enthusiastic world traveler.
This entry was posted in Crone as Pen Pal, Culture with the Crone, friendship, The Traveling Crone and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Closing in on Appleton Marsh

  1. Doris says:

    What went wrong, Blabs. After putting out the bunting and hiding Flo out of sight, I waited, and I waited.

    Ever since I heard you were coming, and I told Margaret Chaff, Connie Jackson, Audrey Brown and the rest of the Appleton Marsh Mafia, there has been a buzz about town. Nobody’s talking about the Pope around here; it’s all Blabs, Blabs, Blabs. Today, every time a car pulled up outside the Sue Ryder shop I strained my neck to see if it was the Blabs Mobile.

    Risking DVT and a restricted view of your laptop screen (and with a make or break convention looming), your half-centenary tour has reached Europe and we’re so pleased that Appleton Marsh is on your itinerary.

    I’ll be honest, your no-show today has been a crushing disappointment. By time closing time I’d had enough of the sound of Flo’s incessant moaning coming from the staff room. After letting her out we cling-filmed the battenburg together before locking up.

    If we felt irked then our irkedness soon turn to concern when Kirsty turned up in her Picasso. She’d been listening to a programme on BBC Radio Devon (103.4FM, 94.8FM, 95.8FM, 96FM and 104.3FM) about the dangers facing the unwitting tourist in London. Agreeing you fell in this category Kirsty went on to recount tales of organ theft, forced prostitution and worse. Unsettled, on the off-chance, we took a detour past the THF where a vexed Kirsty, confused by the one-way system, succeeded in catching her colour coded bumper on a planter near the hotel’s drop-off point.

    I remembered that you had relatives in Worst Yorkshire and we decided that you had probably changed your itinerary without telling us.

    If this reaches you Blabs, we are waiting. The Bissell has been emptied and is R.T.G. We have enough battenburg to fill a microwave and a box of unopened Ritz crackers. Mayor Pepé Rodriguez is on stand-by to open twinning negotiations with you now Appleton Marsh has severed all ties with Gaza.

    It’s a bit early for the fallow deer rutting season but there’s still plenty for us to do when you eventually turn up.

    In great anticipation and with much admiration,

    Your true friend Doris.

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