from Jim Henderson’s A SUFFOLK DIARY

Monday, September 18th

I usually only do this diary business on a Friday, but I had to come here tonight, because it has been an interesting evening, to say the least. Not only has there been a Zoom with our MP about the so-called illegal immigrants, of which more later, but my wife is currently in the bathroom having a bath. She has come back! Long story short before she finishes up and comes out fresh and sparkling, while I was in the middle of the Zoom thing I heard a key in the front door and before I could get up and investigate my wife was in the room. She mumbled a Hello and then asked me what I was up to on the laptop and said she hoped it was not pornography. I quickly muted my microphone and turned off the camera and told her it was our MP about the foreigners, to which she replied that she would have preferred pornography. (So would I!) Anyhoo, she has not said much yet except to indicate that things between her and the Jan fellow in Stowmarket have not worked out, but at the moment that is all I know. She was in a tremendous hurry to get to the bathroom, and she locked the door, something she has never done before. I assume she will come out eventually, unless she has gone in their to drown herself out of shame.

As for the Zoom with our illustrious (sic) MP, it was something of a non-event except for the fact that he thinks the plan to send the unwanted foreigners to shack up in our village hall is a non-starter even though the Home Secretary will not admit as much. What grounds he has for making that claim were a bit thin, to be honest. He says he has inside information but would not disclose his sources, but he always gives the impression of wanting to sound more important and “in the know” than he probably is.

Oh, I hear the bathroom door. I had better go. More anon!

Tuesday, September 19th

My wife and I have had a long and difficult heart-to-heart and she has just gone off to teach her yoga class ( Oh Yeah! Yoga!) in the village hall, which at the moment is in a bit of turmoil because Suffolk’s model railway enthusiasts are setting up for some kind of big show at the weekend, and all the hall’s regular activities, 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 are having to take place with a lot of nerdy-looking chaps coming and going and mumbling into their beards about the comparative qualities of Hornby v. American brands like Atlas. I popped in at one point in my role as the Advanced Round-the-clock Security Executive (ARSE) for GASSE (“Go Away! Stay Somewhere Else!”) – the village’s organisation formed to prevent the import of lots of unwanted foreigners to the village hall – and it was a bit chaotic so I left pretty quickly after making sure our sentries were still sticking to the rota, which they were, give or take.

But I digress. It turns out that my wife’s loverboy Jan fellow was all very well for a weekly tryst and betrayal of the sanctity of our marital oaths but fell very short when it came to living with on a full-time basis. It did not take her long to find out! I have no wish to mention any of the long list of faults my wife recounted in tedious detail or, and especially, the catalogue of his frankly unpleasant personal habits, because I have only just had my tea and would like to keep it down. However, I have made it very clear to my wife that I am far from happy about her unfaithful and treacherous behaviour, and that she has not heard the last of it, not by a long shot.

Thursday, September 21st

I have given up looking for a chartered building surveyor prepared to fake documents saying the village hall has RAAC (Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete), and will say as much when GASSE meets tomorrow evening. My wife’s brother’s wife’s brother (I gather the correct term for that is co-co-brother-in-law, although I am not convinced) who I thought was some kind of surveyor turns out to be not the right kind of surveyor. Apparently what he does has something to do with minerals. Also he lives and works somewhere in Asia. My wife is not sure where, and also she tells me she is not currently on speaking terms with her brother because of something his wife did or said, which I did not know. There appears to be quite a lot about my wife I do not know.

Friday, September 22nd

I have told the GASSE management committee that the chartered building surveyor search is a lost cause, but Michael Whittingham says he is well on the way to knocking up some convincing paperwork from the RICS (The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors), and I have to admit what he showed us is very convincing, albeit 100% illegal. Miss Tindle said she would have nothing to do with it, and John Garnham, the Parish Clerk, as well as a couple of other people, expressed strong reservations. Michael Whittingham called them a lot of lily-livered bastards, which did not go down at all well, and the meeting wound up quite acrimoniously. I would not be surprised if there are not moves to kick Whittingham off of the committee before too long.

Tomorrow my wife and I are going to Baylham House Rare Breeds Farm, a trip we had to cancel a few weeks ago for reasons I prefer not to go into here because it involves distasteful memories involving my wife’s visits to Stowmarket and the Jan fellow. The weather forecast is not too good, but I think we have to do something, and get out of the house for a while and try to get back to some kind of normality. That one of us has been despicably and treacherously intimate with someone other than their legally betrothed spouse and the person with whom they have a joint account and mortgage with the Halifax has not been mentioned since Tuesday morning.



James Henderson




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