This page contains most of the content from the main 'story line' characters. It is designed to allow an easy way of keeping up with the story on slow connections (or for reading later). It is, of course, no substitute for the real thing!
Martin, is that you? Oh, sorry. Silly man is puttering about the garden. I told him not to be long, and heís been at it for more than an hour. Actually, he seems to be feeling better. We went for a drive to East Imbiben yesterday and had a bite to eat at the Drunken Hare. Iíve been trying to get him to see a specialist, but he wonít have it. Says heís had enough of doctors. The man is as stubborn as mule, you know. Thereís no budging him when he gets his mind made up.
But no sooner do I get Martin sorted then John falls apart. The boyís a wreck. Well, you canít blame him, really. Emma has run off with Nigel Banks! Imagine your girlfriend leaving you for a vicar! I suppose it could be worse, she could have left him for a nun, but thatís not likely, is it?
Youíll never guess who else has made an appearance! Simonís Mum. Blimey, is she a talker! The woman never stops to draw breath. Poor lad, growing up in that household.
She should be right at home--the actors are all back from London and are like a flock of crows. All noise and preening and pecking at each other. Dear me, I wish they'd finish up and go away.
Well, since you're here, why don't you join me for a nice cup of tea? I've got some sausage rolls, too, if you fancy one? Good, I'll go put the kettle on.
I decided I couldn't marry Simon until I met his mother, and as he seemed in absolutely no rush to do the honors, I tracked her down and sent her an email. It wasn't too hard--his Dad told me where she lives. I asked her if we could meet in London for lunch sometime this summer. Now that I've done it, I'm sure that Simon is going to be really pissed. I think I've just made a big mistake...
She's coming! Here! Simon's Mum, that is. She's going to be in England on Wednesday, and is coming for a visit. Simon is going to kill me!
To: Philip Porkridge, Chief Accountant, Stoney Grove
Ann bought this wedding magazine. I was looking through and all I have to do is the honeymoon. Another advantage of being a man if you ask me! Anyway I've been doing some research. Don't really see Ann going for the naked nuptials on a beach in Jamaica. Anyway I guess we've got the wedding plans set. But there were some others, look bloody incredible.
What do you think? I want it to be really memorable and, for once in my life, I have time and money. There's this month long trip on a Russian frigate in the Arctic which sounds really cool, actually frigid, but that might be a bit much. That Tito bloke went to the Space station, but we're not that rich. We could do the Machu Pichu thing, or I found a site for Safaris at www.safariguides.com. Check out the picture at www.vertical-adventures.com-- I meant that would be a trip!
What did you and Caroline do?
To: Simon Tinsley, Executive Director, Stoney
Actually we went for a week in Majorca. It was OK, but it was bloody hot. We spent most of the time at the hotel - well with your honeymoon you don't want to do too much, do you? Not that we did too much of that either, because Caroline couldn't bear to be touched after she got sunburn on the second day. Come to think of it I think she still has sunburn! She spent the middle of the holiday lying in a darkened room with a wet towel over her face. Still I did find this English pub that had Satellite TV, so it wasn't a total disaster. To be fair Caroline got better. The last few days were quite fun. We met another couple and spent the nights sucking on those funny drinks with fruit and umbrellas. The first night I didn't realize they were alcoholic. I started at the table, spent a truly embarrassing moment on the table, and finished up under it.
Understand totally about the missis, common problem in our business. Just give me a tinkle when you want to drop a little wager and your old mate the Hat will manage it for you. We can settle up next time you're in London. Now that I have the cell phone you can give me a bell anytime. Snooker finals this weekend. Ain't technology great!
Haven't seen you for ages. How are you? I don't supposed you're going to manage a visit up here now that you're engaged, but I'd love to see you before you get married. Don't suppose Ann will be too happy about us seeing each other afterwards! Don't worry if she doesn't want me to come to the wedding. Let me know when your bachelor party is and I'll spring out of the cake!
Anyway give me a call sometime
Love and hugs
How did you ever track me down? Iím sure that son of mine was no help! I really do appreciate the effort and your invitation. By the most amazing coincidence, Luigi and I are flying out to the UK on Wednesday to do some buying for the pub. Iím dying to see your house. Simon extended the olive branch and came for a visit last year when you two had split, but hasnít issued a reciprocal invitation yet. Instead of meeting in London, Iíve decided to intrude on you both and come to Stoney Grove. I do despise the English countryside, but this once Iíll make the exception. See you on Thursday!
He'll only kill you if he finds out...
Gary: Oh hello, Suzanne. What are you doing here?
Suzanne: Actually, I was going to have tea with Ann. She wanted my advice on her trousseau.
Gary: Oh, right. Never understood why they called it that, makes you think of trousers, doesn't it, rather than nightgowns and things.
Gary: Not really seen much of the lady of the house, but Tinsley's all right. We went and saw some footie and he's got this monster motorbike. She all right then?
Suzanne: I enjoy Ann's company. It's so nice to be around people who arenít in television.
Gary: Oh, know what you mean. But I mean, you're seeing Carver, right? I mean, isn't that all the TV crowd all the time?
Suzanne: Alan is a great director and I learn so much from just being with him. We're just friends.
Gary: Really? I mean good, well good for you. Frankly he scares the willies out of me, but I suppose it's different if youíre a woman. Are you ready for our scene this week? It's in the village. You know, the tea shop. You're supposed to be distant.
Suzanne: I'm sure I'll manage.
Irene: It's so nice to be back here. Did you miss me?
Frank: Oh yes, it's much nicer talking to people you can see.
Irene: It was good of you to come up to London to see me. When this is over you'll have to come up more often. That's where I am most of the time, you know.
Frank: Won't you be coming down here?
Irene: Yes, when I can. But TV is a frantic business, and Arthur keeps me quite busy.
Frank: I thought you'd come down here to stay after the filming. You could write your poetry.
Irene: Let's go and talk about it, shall we?
Flo Blue: Oh Mr. Tinsley. Again. How do you do?
Mr. Tinsley: Fine. Very good and all. Thank you.
Flo Blue: Have you seen Frank? We were going to talk about his mother.
Mr. Tinsley: No I havenít. Donít know why youíre so keen to find him either. He's quite barmy you know, nutty as a fruit cake. He went in hospital last year.
Flo Blue: Oh the poor man! I understand his mother had quite a tragic life.
Mr. Tinsley: They were all talking about it when they found out she wrote the books. Didn't really pay any attention myself. Though I do remember she had an affair with a German. I don't approve of that. I mean you and I are old enough to remember, aren't we?
Flo Blue: Actually, Mr. Tinsley, I was just a baby during World War Two. Good-bye!
Simon: Hello Dad.
Mr. Tinsley: I never said anything to the woman.
Simon: What? No, never mind. Look, do you fancy going to watch some cricket?
Mr. Tinsley: You trying to get me out of the house?
Simon: No! Ann said... well I just thought it would be nice if we did something together.
Mr. Tinsley: So you're coming too?
Simon: Sure, I thought we could persuade Phil to come and take the car down to Hove to see Sussex play.
Mr. Tinsley: It'll probably rain.
Reverend Banks: Hello John. Howís your granddad today?
John: Heís all right. Heís out in the garden if youíre looking for him.
Reverend Banks: Actually, I came to see you.
John: Emma send you?
Reverend Banks: No, she didnít.
John: How is she?
Reverend Banks: She seems to be in good spirits. John, I donít know what you might have heard through the grapevine butÖ
John: That you and her were dancing at the social? Donít worry, Reverend! We split up. You can do what you like. Besides, I donít think thereís much harm in you having a dance together. I mean really, youíre not her type.
Reverend Banks: Well, actually, thatís why Iím here. I wanted to tell you, in person. I am her type. Emma and I are exploring a relationship. As you can imagine, there are certain impediments when oneís a vicar.
John: Exploring a relationship? Do you mean youíre dating? You and Emma? Christ! And I suppose you want my f**king blessingÖ
Reverend Banks: No, I didnít expect it. I just thought you should know.
John: Well, I know. Thanks for bloody nothing.
Mrs. Tinsley: My, my, here I am at last. Iím frightfully sorry if I kept you waiting. I got lost you know. All of these little villages tend to blur together after awhile and I quite lost my bearings. Of course the bottle of wine we had at lunch didnít help either. Well, never mind that now. Iím here. So good to see you. You must be Ann?
Ann: Um, yes. Iím glad you made it safely. Itís a pleasure to meet you at last, Mrs. Tinsley.
Mrs. Tinsley: Maude, please dear. Mrs. Tinsley makes me sound ancient and wrinkly, a bit like my exís Mum the last time I saw the old thing. And you neednít have worried. There was no danger of my not being safe. Luigi is an expert driver. You know those Italian men. Can drink like a fish and still perform superbly. Ha! So, whereís Simon? And I suppose Harold is skulking around the place too? Have to say, I hope heís out.
Ann: Theyíve both gone out, Iím afraid. They went to see the cricket at Hove.
Mrs. Tinsley: Well, I am sorry to miss Simon. But Harold...well, that's a lucky break! Donít know how youíve managed him for as long as you have. Almost as long as I did before I gave him the boot. Never marry an Englishman. Theyíre so boring. Oh! What am I saying? Well, maybe Simonís different. He did live abroad. Perhaps heís learned a few things in the bedroom. Am I embarrassing you? Yes, I think I am. Simon tells me you ran off to Italy a few years back without him. Did you enjoy it? Eat, drink and be merry? Do tell!
Ann: I went to do some research. On medieval nuns.
Mrs. Tinsley: Medieval nuns? How terribly dull. But look at you! Such a little thing! I canít believe my son is marrying an American. I mean, most people would think it a bitÖwell, never mind. I think I like you. And won't Simon be surprised to find me here! I do love a surprise!
Ann: Can I get you some tea orÖsomething?
Mrs. Tinsley: Iím dying for a gin and tonic. Is it too much? Well, it is after lunch. I think Iíll be quite safe.
Ann: Thatís fine. I think Iíll join you.