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!
Oh, another visitor. Had a few through here, I can tell you. Itís because Iím in the television series, Taxi to Kensington. I did my part this week. Iím the gardener. That Carver bloke told me I was a natural. Silly fool, Iíve been gardening all my life, didnít need him to tell me how to do it. Itís your five minutes of fame said Tinsley. Seems to me Iíve done more working here for sixty years than in that five minutes, but everyone seems very excited because I turned on a hose!
Still they paid me well. Iím putting away a bit for John. I know he should stand on his own two feet but what am I going to do with money at my age? He might as well have it to enjoy. He certainly doesnít seem to be having much fun right now. Still Iím content with the odd pint in the Idiot and a biscuit and a cup of tea Ė are you pouring?
To: Philip Porkridge, Chief Accountant, Stoney Grove Trust
I found a web site called flirt power that has some chat up lines for Dad. Be careful though. Some of these are NOT for those under 18!
I know weíre not 'out there' any more, but Ann said I should try and get Dad to move on from his divorce. She thinks he should be dating. I think sheís nuts. Whoíd go out with a miserable old git like him? Still, I thought Iíd do some research. Some of the chat up lines are classics. How about "Are those space pants? Cuz your bum is out of this world!" Wish Iíd known that one! Though I donít think "I've had quite a bit to drink, and you're beginning to look pretty good" would work too well, unless women really do go for honesty!
What did you use with Caroline?
From: Philip Porkridge, Chief Accountant, Stoney Grove Trust
Actually Caroline asked me out! We were at college and she came over and asked if I was just going to stare at her, or whether I was going to come over and talk. I think she was drunk, so I probably looked better!
Does anyone actually use those lines? Even in the movies they have French people and whatnot saying them, not Englishmen. I canít imagine walking up to a woman and saying "Is it hot in here or is it just you?" I mean, theyíd just laugh .....wouldnít they?
Just as I was thinking that England could be quite jolly we had one of the stuck-up hostesses flying back with British you-know-who. How those women stand wearing those outfits I donít know. Maybe thatís why they are so uptight. Luigi doesnít really like to fly so we just ordered a snifter to steady the nerves and she wouldnít serve us! We complained, obviously, and then she got the other one involved and they started talking about air rage. I was getting ready to give them a piece of my mind--we were flying first class--but then the silly cow gave Luigi a yellow card! Just like in football, one more and weíd have been sent off! Then we just starting laughing. Well it is silly, isnít it?
Still it did make me rather worried about the trip back for the wedding and I want to make sure we get there in plenty of time. In case we have to make Ďalternateí arrangements Ė they blacklist you know.
So weíve decided to take the Grange for a month or two. You know, the cottage in the village. I think one of your actors lived there. Luigiís loaded, so the moneyís no problem and I understand that they are willing to take a short-term lease with that actor leaving. Replace one drunk with two, eh!
Thank God youíre getting married in the summer. Any other time in England would have been too dreadful, but as long as we can sit in the garden and drink Pimms we should be able to manage.
Looking forward to seeing you soon. Tell Harold and Iím sure heíll be on the bus to Lands End - how I ever married that man! Well thatís a story for another day.
Luigi says Ciao! (I think he took rather a shine to you, Ann!)
To: Ann Simmons, Executive Director, Stoney Grove Trust
Sorry for the rather formal note, but I have been wanting to ask you about this and Simon keeps walking in on us so I thought an email might be more discreet.
As you know, as best man, it is my duty to arrange the stag night. Or rather, as it has become, a stag event. Simon seems rather keen on making it something special and I must admit feeling a little lost for ideas until I picked up on something he had suggested as an idea for the honeymoon (discarded for that purpose, I think).
The Russian navy, being rather short of funds, has come up with several imaginative ways of making money. One is an Ďadventure holiday,í a week on a Russian ice breaker deep in the arctic. They fly you in by helicopter and you spend a week on board with the crew. Obviously itís not your traditional night in the pub but I do believe it would be memorable and I was thinking, as best man, I would join him.
What do you think? Is it too much? It would mean Simon being away for about ten days but we could do it a couple of weeks before the wedding so that heíd be back in time. Please let me know your feelings on this. The company that organises it also does a rather jolly six days in Istanbul so maybe that would be easier.
To: Philip Porkridge, Chief Accountant, Stoney Grove Trust
I think the arctic ice breaker sounds like a wonderful idea! What an adventure! Having Simon gone for a week or so before the wedding may be a good idea for both of us, and knowing that he was spending his Ďstag nightí with you and the Russian navy is something I entirely approve of.
I think you should keep this as a surprise for Simon Ė Iíll make sure he has his passport and that he has no commitments for the time.
Thanks so much,
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Alan Carver: Martin, good! I was hoping to find you here.
Martin: Well, Iím just leaving. Shirley sent me up to collect the rest of the dishes. Sheís not very patient when sheís washing up.
Alan: But Iíve got something important to discuss with youÖ
Martin: Nothingís so important to Shirley as getting the plates in to soak before everything starts to set. Sheís particular that way, she is.
Alan: Damn the bloody dishes! Sit down man. Just give me five minutes!
Martin: No need to get so worked up. Itís not good for you. Youíll be having heart troubles.
Alan: Never mind that. After the shooting yesterday, several of us went down to London last night, to rushes. Let me get right to the point. You were fabulous! Brought us all to the verge of tears!
Martin: Iím afraid Iím not following you, Mr. Carver. What have I to do with rushing Ďround London?
Alan: No, no. Rushes. We took a look at the film. Your scene, in the garden. It was done with such subtlety, such restraint, and yet it touched all of us. Well, to be blunt, we loved it.
Martin: Oh, that. Well, Iím glad you liked it. Iíve been practising.
Alan: Practising? Martin, youíre a natural, and you know, thatís not something I say every day. Most people work for years to attain such a nuanced performance.
Martin: Seems like they should be doing something else if it takes them that long to learn to turn on a hose.
Alan: Itís not the turning on, Martin. Itís the way you moved, the way you made that hose speak for the passion bottled up inside the gardener and the two young lovers for years, the joy in your eyes at the triumphal burstÖMagnificent is the only word I can find. But it just isnít enough.
Martin: Well, thank you. Glad you liked it. Now Iíd best be getting along with these dishes.
Alan: Wait. Let me finish! Iíve been thinking for quite awhile about doing a remake of Being There. The Peter Sellersí film. Some critics, in fact, quite a few, consider it his masterpiece, so Iíve been a bit hard put to cast someone in the role of Chance. Are you following me?
Martin: Not really. Are you talking about one of those Pink Panther films? They were good for a laugh. Liked the bloke that kept popping out of the closet with his sword. Always fancied a go at him myself.
Alan: No, no. Those were rubbish. Being There was a brilliant social satire. And the main character, played by Sellers, was a gardener.
Martin: HmmÖseems to me Iím being typecast.
Alan: If I bring you the video, would you watch it? I could have a copy of the script sent roundÖ
Martin: Always happy to watch a new film. Certainly, send it round. Now if you donít mind, the missus is waiting!
Irene: Emma, would you mind if I had a quick word? Donít want to interrupt, or anything, but since you know Frank so well, I thought you might help me decide something.
Emma: I think you know him better than I these days.
Irene: Well, yes and no. Itís important that I donít get this wrong. Thatís why I need your advice.
Emma: About what?
Irene: Hollywood. Arthurís been approached by a major American studio to produce an historical drama set in the States. Heís asked me to come along.
Emma: Are you going?
Irene: Of course! How could I pass up a chance like this? Itís what everyone dreams about, even stuffy men like Arthur who claim that itís the art that motivates them. Heís dying to go.
Emma: Does Frank know?
Irene: Not yet. Iím hoping heíll come visit, of course. Weíll probably be gone for a year.
Emma: Are you serious? Frank go to America? It nearly kills him to go to the Idiot for a pint!
Irene: Oh, youíre just being overprotective. Heís fine with traveling. He came down to my flat in London for a visit.
Emma: And did you know that was the first time in nearly 15 years that heíd left the village?
Irene: Well, now heís done it, it should be easier for him to make the next step.
Emma: Itís quite a big step. I hope you realise that. What happens if he says he wonít go?
Irene: Of course heíll go. Oh, this isnít what I wanted to talk about at all. You see, I assumed heíd come to visit. I was going to ask if you thought heíd move there with me. You know, for the whole time.
Emma: Irene, youíll have to ask him yourself. As you say, Iím probably being overprotective. Maybe I donít know him as well as you think I do.
Womanís Voice: Donít doubt yourself, dearie. Heís not going anywhere.
John: Have you thought about it?
Ann: Thought about what, John?
John: The invites. Did you include my dad?
Ann: I really donít see how I can. My testimony, and Simonís, sent him to jail. He must hate us for that. Besides, Iím not sure I want him here. What if he walks out with the gifts while weíre cutting the cake?
John: Thatís not fair! He only stole because he thought he owed me. It was nothing personal. Heís reformed. Heíll need a job when he gets out, and if you and Simon invite him to the wedding, people will think that heís respectable again.
Ann: I donít think one afternoon at Stoney Grove cancels out two years of jail.
John: But there will be people at the wedding who respect you and who might be willing to give him a break if they see that you have forgiven him.
Ann: Well, Iíll think about it. I donít know what Simon will have to say.
John: Iím sure heíll be fine with it.
Ann: And what about you, John? Reverend Banks is doing the ceremony, and Emma is a bridesmaid. Will you be okay?
John: Iím over it. End of story. Not that it matters, but did you know that sheís left him?
Ann: Emma? Left the Reverend?
John: Moved out last weekend. Sheís living in a flat in the village. By herself.
Ann: Do you know why?
John: She doesnít fancy him, does she? Well, if she thinks sheís coming back to me, sheís wrong. Anyway, think about my dad, will you?
Ann: Okay. Iíll talk to Simon.
Ann: Well, if youíre going to back out, nowís the time to do it. Iím about to mail the invitations.
Simon: Back out? Iím shocked that you should even suggest such a thing! Now that my motherís been here, I feel I can weather anything.
Ann: Glad Iíve fallen in love with such a romantic. By the way, how do you feel about inviting Jerry Anderson?
Simon: Fine with me as long as he doesnít nick the bride.
Ann: Really? Do you think itís okay? John would really like him to come, and I guess Iím not sure.
Simon: What harm can it do? I say invite him. Give The Hat someone to talk to.
Ann: Simon, youíre not inviting that man!
Simon: What are the odds that heíd come?
Ann: Not funny. Heís not coming. Right?
Simon: Right. Not to change the subject too quickly, but I get the impression that Phil is up to something. Has he mentioned anything to you about a stag party?
Ann: Well, if he did, I wouldnít ruin the surprise. But no, he hasnít said a word about a party. Maybe heís decided that the whole stripper-in-the-cake/boys-down-the-pub thing is passť.
Simon: Well, he bloody well better organise something. I deserve it!
Ann: Iím sure Phil wonít leave you out in the cold.
Simon: Hello Dad. How are you? Havenít seen you much since you got back.
Mr. Tinsley: OK I suppose, legs are playing up a bit.
Simon: You were gone a while.
Mr. Tinsley: Well I couldnít stay here, could I? Not with that woman in the house. Is she coming to the wedding? Is she bringing that Italian bloke?
Simon: Of course sheís coming to the wedding, sheís my mother. And she can bring who she wants.
Mr. Tinsley: You could say on the invite Ė no guests. They do that, you know. Itís going to be quite crowded with all those hangers-on from the village coming.
Simon: Well actually I wanted to talk to you about that. I was wondering if you were bringing anyone?
Mr. Tinsley: Me? Who would I bring?
Simon: Well you were getting on quite well with Flo Blue when she was here. Bit of a thing for her, eh Dad?
Mr. Tinsley: No. Up close she was a bit old looking. They do them over on television, you know, make-up and stuff.
Simon: Well Ann thought, well suggested, that maybe youíd like to bring someone. I mean youíre not that old. You could still go out on a date. You and Mum have been divorced for years and years.
Mr. Tinsley: I see. Trying to get me married off so I wonít be a burden.
Simon: No. We just thought that if you, you know, smartened yourself up a bit, you could get a friend.
Mr. Tinsley: I donít know anything about going out these days. Itís all different now, isnít it. All sex, sex, sex. Anyway, I donít meet anyone stuck here.
Simon: Well maybe you could join a club? Or volunteer, or join a civic group. What are your interests?
Mr. Tinsley: Well I was volunteering here. Not that I got any thanks for it. I donít have any hobbies, waste of time.
Simon: Well, what if you did meet someone? What are your chat-up lines?
Mr. Tinsley: No need to look so desperate. I was quite the lad in my day, you know. I had a few lines.
Simon: Really? What?
Mr. Tinsley: Well I donít remember now, it was a long time ago. No wait, Iíve got one ĎHello Darling. Now I know what we won the war for!í That was a winner.
Simon: Bit dated perhapsÖwell, it was probably dated then. Any others?
Mr. Tinsley: Oh yes, this got your mother. ĎHello, you must be French.í
Simon: Iíll see if Ann can give you any tips.