from Jim Henderson’s A SUFFOLK DIARY

Friday, August 11th

Exciting news! I am officially an officer in GASSE (“Go Away! Stay Somewhere Else!”), the organisation formed to stop our village hall being taken over by government lackeys and turned into a hotel for swarms of unfortunate foreigners because there’s no room on any of the barges they planned to use and which have now turned into breeding grounds for deadly bacteria. I am in charge of scheduling the guard rota at the hall, and after quite a bit of debate it was decided I would be called the Advanced Round-the-clock Security Executive (ARSE). It’s quite an honour. I’ve set up 24-hour round-the-clock seven-days-a-week sentry duty at the hall, and only those authorized by GASSE and/or the Parish Council and with the necessary documentation is getting in. Miss Tindle, who is a dab hand at sewing, and has a lot of spare time since the library was shut down, has made armbands for all the organisation’s officers, so we can be easily identified. We’re a democratic organisation, and have appointed Bernie Shepherdson to be in charge as Director: Operations, Publicity & Everything Else (DOPEE). He and his wife Bernadette have very kindly said we can continue to use their summerhouse as GASSE  headquarters (HQ).

A lorry turned up on Tuesday afternoon with two chaps intending to dump a load of bunk-beds at the hall, but we sent them packing with their tails between their legs. Bob Merchant is intending to put up some security fencing round the hall, but he says there’s going to be a delay because getting stuff nowadays is a nightmare: either things are “Out of Stock” or deliveries are held up because they can’t get the drivers now East Europeans aren’t allowed here to do it. I mentioned last week that Major “Teddy” Thomas was looking for our Member of Parliament. So far he’s drawn a blank, which Alec Smart, the village wag, says was to be expected, because as MPs go, he is a blank.  

I have been giving courgettes and cucumbers away. My wife says we can’t freeze them because they are mainly water. Surely that should make them easier to freeze? But I suppose she knows best. She always says she does. She’s in Stowmarket with her friend Jan this evening. Again.

Oh, before I go, and just for the record, and because they have asked me to say, Toby and Cassandra and the twins, who we visited last week, only live technically in Basingstoke, insofar as their postal address is Basingstoke but the house is several miles outside Basingstoke. Toby and Cassandra are adamant they would never actually live in Basingstoke, and told us they haven’t ever been into the actual town of Basingstoke, and always send the au pair when actually going there for something is unavoidable. When I suggested they might drive to Reading, Toby and Cassandra just laughed. (I’m surprised they are reading this diary; I would never have had them down as International Times readers, although Cassandra is the sort who may have been a bit of a hippie back in the day.)





James Henderson

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