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Dear Amy,

Simon is at it again, and his father is here indefinitely. I’ve been running all over the house trying to make him comfortable, and in the end he never is. He’s upset Shirley by telling her that pigs wouldn’t eat her food, stolen the progeny of Martin’s award-winning lettuce (he competes in Large Vegetable competitions and won first prize last year in the Salad category at the mid-Sussex County fair) and scared the Hermit. He also "let slip" that his son was going up to London to meet for drinks with his old girlfriend Jackie. I innocently asked Simon about her over dinner, and he lied to me and said she was in Nottingham. I know you think I went off the deep end over Emma, so I'm trying to keep a level head.  But he actually dated this one, for years it seems. His father keeps telling me what a fun girl she was, and how he was sorry to see it end. I'd like to kick both of them.

What’s worse, Simon is actually in London now, "on business." I hate that I’ve turned into this jealous shrew. Why can’t he be straight with me? What does he want with her?

I’ve found myself spending more and more time with Chester, the building inspector. He’s a nice guy, and is really becoming a friend. In Simon’s absence we’ve been doing some work around the house and grounds along with John, Shirley's nephew, who has come to stay for the summer. There’s a stone temple down at the lake (actually two of them). A few days ago we finally got the door to one open and found a really beautiful marble tomb with a life-sized reclining woman. The wife of the man who built Stoney Grove died mysteriously, and someone placed this there as a memorial to her. I’m thinking of cleaning her off and restoring the temple. Then again, we’ve got so many projects. Besides, Simon would probably start chatting her up too.

Before Simon left, we had a weekend visit from two of his friends, Phil and Caroline. Phil was the British equivalent of a good old boy, and his wife was kind of snooty.   Still, it was nice to have houseguests and gave us a good excuse to show the place off.

Glad to hear your proposal is done. I’ll keep you posted on the results of our lawyers’ meeting with the lottery officials. Thanks too for the invitation.  If I don't get things straight with Simon, maybe I will come and see you...