from Jim Henderson’s A SUFFOLK DIARY

Friday, August 4th


I’ve decided a daily diary takes up too much time to write every night and, as my wife has more than once pointed out, it can impede marital intimacy. She was joking, of course. But she is out every Friday evening having supper with her friend Jan in Stowmarket, or so she says, and when she’s not here it’s a good time for me to round up the week, although this week will be largely hearsay: we have had a few days away visiting our friends Toby and Cassandra in sunny Basingstoke.

Anyhoo, back safely at home, the saga of the wandering foreigners our so-called masters (and mistresses!) in Whitehall intend to dump in the Village Hall has moved on apace in our absence. Last Thursday’s meeting was a lively affair, with a very good turn-out. An obvious question was asked about involving our Member of Parliament but, as a number of people pointed out, he is very hard to track down, and is fast becoming our very own version of Nadine Dorries. A “Search Squad” was formed to find and contact him, led by the redoubtable Major Edward (Teddy) Thomas, who has jungle and guerilla experience, or claims to have. Bob Merchant, of Merchant & Sons Builders (“No Job Too Big, No Job Too Small: Give Bob a Call”) offered to put up security fencing around the hall to keep outsiders out, and this has apparently been provisionally agreed upon as long as the fencing is tasteful and not an eyesore. Mrs. Tregonning suggested some trellis, with sweet peas, but she is 91. Michael Whittingham suggested putting the fencing up all around the entire village, but after a show of hands it was decided this would be going too far – at least for the time being. As a result of several telephone calls, on Monday a very tired and, by all accounts, an obviously not very interested reporter from the East Anglian Daily Times stopped off in the village to speak to a few people. It seems he was making a detour on his way back from covering Ipswich Town’s pre-season soccer matches in Innsbruck, wherever that might be. (I think it’s in France.) But nothing has appeared in the newspaper yet. It is the East Anglian Daily Times, after all, and one learns to be patient. Importantly, a “Nerve Centre” of the newly-formed GASSE campaign has been established in the Shepherdson’s summer house, and I plan to pop round one day soon to show willing. GASSE, by the way, stands for “Go Away! Stay Somewhere Else!”. The de Freitas’s 7-year-old thought it up.

This weekend it looks like I’ll be busy digging up onions and carrots, and probably some potatoes. I can feel the old back ache just thinking about it! The vegetable plot seems to have gone mad in the few days we were away, what with all the rain, and there are several courgettes and cucumbers screaming at me to pick them, so I think the wife will be happy for the next few days. She likes a courgette, although she always says she prefers cucumber. Unfortunately some of the lettuces have made a run for it, and I shall have to salvage what I can. (When  I said “made a run for it” I meant “bolted”. It was a joke.)



James Henderson



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