The following is an excerpt from Doris’s latest letter, which was waiting for me when I stepped off the plane and back into wireless range.
After spending the preceding week on a state of high alert (DBLW DefCon 1), at last the Blarneycrone show rolled into town and all the preparations were worthwhile.
Audrey let me down, I have to be honest, the girl’s in a mess and Mayor Pepé was incomprehensible, which I put down to nerves. Otherwise I thought it all went swimmingly and the good townsfolk of Appleton Marsh DC (Devon Council) gave a good account of themselves.
You looked fabulous Blabs I must say. I’ve never been a fan of leggings, or slippers when used for formal occasions, for that matter but you pulled it off. I think the rhinestone poncho helped. You looked so gracious and regal but you definitely a common touch which went down with the more raucous elements of the assembled crowd. I wish though you’d have told me that I had red moustache on account of the wine! Did anyone take me seriously that night?
I pleased that you enjoyed the FB and it was no trouble at all for Kirsty to run you the 55 mile round trip to Exeter at 6.00am in the morning to catch your train. She admitted to feeling quite weepy when you said your goodbyes, but this is quite normal; Kirsty is on industrial-strength tablets to combat her depression.
So, you came you saw and you conquered our hearts. Even Flo grasped that something was going on. You took with you, our admiration and affection, and a dress from the Sue Ryder shop which I know for a fact used to belong to Lillian “Hanging Basket” Greenhalgh.
I am following your odyssey and see that you are now in the Northern Ireland of your ancestors. It looks, if I’m honest with you, a little dreary but then so does Appleton Marsh if it’s twilight and it’s in the middle of a freak thunderstorm.
Well, must sign off. I have to open the shop in the morning. As they say in your adopted home: “missing you already.”
Your dear friend,
It was good to find your missive waiting when I finally made it back to American shores. I flew from London via Raleigh, North Carolina where my bag chose to spend an extra 24 hours before finally turning up in DC. We are now reunited and I am back in Itchy Ankle with half a hundredweight of dirty laundry and fond memories of my sojourn in both the West Country and Northern Ireland. BTW, the photos I posted the other day were taken neither a twilight nor in a thunderstorm but at lunchtime on the best day I was there. In County Down, that sort of weather is described as great, with endless people commenting on how “its clearing up a bit now”.
You’ll be pleased to know that my Appleton Marsh commemorative teapot and scone plate made it back in one piece and now have pride of place in the kitchen. Please thank Margaret Chaff for organizing the whipround.
Must run now as I have your policeman friend’s clothes to post and I need to take my poncho to the drycleaners–the fringe got trailed in Audrey’s Branston Pickle when Pepe took me for a turn round Appleton Marsh townsquare during South Hams So You Think You Can Dance.
Best to Flo and Kirsty. Kirsty sent her invoice for the petrol by email and so I’ve a money order to take care of this morning too. All go in Itchy Ankle…Blabs.
P.S. Clever of Crocs to have invented a slipper-like fringe to add to the front of their plastic clogs isn’t it? Let me know if you’d like a pair of your own–the furry lining is very comforting in winter and honestly, those velcro bootees do your ankles no favors.