Monday, November 13th

I have not been writing much in my diary of late. To be honest, I have not been writing anything in it at all. My wife and I, because of the little domestic difficulties we encountered as a result of her dastardly dishonesty and downright cheating with her friend Jan in Stowmarket, have been having what can perhaps best be described as a quiet time, each minding their own business, and thinking their own thoughts.

As a result of the fire at the village hall (I refer you back, should you need it, to the diary for Wednesday, September 27th) my wife has had to find a new home for the yoga class she teaches ( Oh Yeah! Yoga!). In much the same way, all the other activities that usually go on in the hall, such as the Young Mother’s Knitting Society, the weekly Scrabble Lunch, the Book Group, Watercolour Art for All Afternoons, and the Christian Youth Club and the Boy Scouts have also had to find somewhere else. Turns out it was not such a big problem, as the Cricket Club said she could use their old hall, which has been sitting gathering dust since 2018, when the club found it could no longer muster eleven chaps to make up a team. My wife says it is not a very salubrious environment for yoga, and it has more spiders than she has ever seen in her life, plus the kitchen is unusable, but beggars cannot be choosers. I poked my head in the door one afternoon, and it is a bit shabby, but it is only for yoga.

The main reason I have gone back to the diary today is to record (if only for historical and documentary purposes) some changes that have taken place in our local (very local) government i.e. the Parish Council. Elections to the Council were not due until at least this time next year, but there were some rumblings and grumblings during the period when we were concerned about the Government in Whitehall intending to dump a lot of “illegal” foreigners on to us and have them living in the village hall, and some personal animosities surfaced. One or two resignations followed involving some who had also been part of the GASSE (“Go Away! Stay Somewhere Else!”) group, and John Garnham, the Parish Clerk, has been forced into unwanted action to revivify the Council, or to give it the impression of life, at least.

Anyhoo, Bob Merchant has resigned from his post as Buildings & Environment Superintendent and been replaced by – and I cannot believe I am writing this –  Michael Whittingham. What he knows about buildings or the environment I really have no idea, and I am not at all convinced he has the tact or diplomatic skills to serve as a community representative, but I suppose that is the way of the world these days at all levels of government. I think Bob was upset that he did not get the contract to refurbish the hall, but I was not surprised. He has never been cheap. Bernie Shepherdson has moved from Logistics to Finance, replacing Miss Tindle, who apparently informed John Garnham that she wishes to devote more time to her stamp collection. She has, however, agreed to take on the role of Refreshments Officer in place of Miss Goldsmith, who has gone to live with her sister in Lyme Regis. The not unimportant role of Publicity & Community Liaison Officer had been held for a long time by Jeffrey Cooper, but he very much under-performed with GASSE and has now said his war wound has been playing him up, and is using that as an excuse to step down. The post has been filled by yours truly, which is my “debut” on the Council, and something that I am looking forward to with enthusiasm. I think my efficiency and dedication to duty as the Advanced Round-the-clock Security Executive (ARSE) for GASSE did not go unnoticed.

In case you are interested, work on the Hall repairs and refurbishment is due to start at the end of this month, once one or two minor details are agreed as regards required facilities i.e. toilets etc. I am not sure we need a baby/nappy changing room – what’s wrong with an ordinary toilet? – but that is not my province.

Oh, my wife is calling from the kitchen. We have friends, Barry and Jill Hill, coming for supper this evening, and she probably wants to consult me about the menu, as if she cares what I think. I was not in favour of this supper, which will mean pretending that everything is hunky dory between us, but my wife says they are our oldest friends and we owe them a meal.



James Henderson




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