Saturday, June 17 2006

wasting away

Posted by between moments at 10:47 PM

Tristan’s frequency floods my consciousness now; twisted strains of orchestral anarchy ...

 

is that Jimmy fucking Buffett?

 

Man, T, you are one sick bastard.

Following the trail

Posted by Smooth Blue at 10:07 PM

Earlier this evening, I sat in the window seat of my cosy new home and watched the sun set. The sky was full of soft pinks and purples and I felt so content but, as the sun was sliding down behind the sea, the walls around me seemed to close in and I longed for fresh air.

As soon as I stepped outside, I noticed two lit candles nearby. Each had a lover’s knot tied around the base in red silk thread and I knew they were a sign from Jez. I began to search for further signs. There was a driftwood arrow pointing towards the beach and I crossed over the road and stood on the promenade, gazing out to sea. The strains of an orchestra playing “Margaritaville” drifted around me and, in the distance, I could see the waves washing up on the shore.

I walked down the steps on to the beach where I saw something glittering at my feet. It was a locket on a chain, the sort that you might win on a fairground; cheap metal but it looked like gold to me. I fastened it around my neck and looked for the next clue. I couldn’t miss it. Straight ahead was a huge heart drawn in the sand. There were pebbles in its centre, spelling out the letters J and T. And finally, a row of flickering red candles burned in the sand, leading me towards a boat where a dark silhouette waited. I knew it was Jez and I longed to take those final steps towards him but I was afraid. Afraid it was a dream and I would awaken to emptiness as I have so often lately.

“Toni,” he said, “Toni, it’s me.”

He held out his hand and I took one step forward. Only one step. And then I waited in the soft salt air.

“Jez, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry.”

He walked towards me, each step an eternity, until he held me in his arms.

“Everything’s going to be OK,” he said. And I knew it would be.

It is time

Posted by J-Meister at 03:40 PM

aah, my friends, it is nearly time. It is right. Toni has been leaving me clues too - little mementoes of our time together - notes, tokens, symbols, explanations, connections. This morning she left a little doll, its chest neatly sewn with red thread - a beating heart inside. I have it with me now - I can feel its syncopation, its comforting constant music.

I have been laying the final trail - candles, trinkets, arrows carved from driftwood - that will lead her to me. Tonight I will complete it - lay and light the last two candles nearest to her door - go back to my boat, and wait...

Friday, June 16 2006

Pickytown

Posted by The Softest Person at 07:58 PM

I wanted to leave everyone behind, but everybody in this town looks familiar. Many of them are carrying what may be mangled dolls in their arms, scratching the heads of the genius children as they parade through town. The urban planning seems distinctly unamerican, more like Dresden than LA, more like rat poison than the colliseum. Nevertheless (or thusly) I always know what way to go.

Thursday, June 15 2006

Races

Posted by brims assemblage at 09:29 PM


Now that Mr. H and Fleur have taken a train to meet Denny, the King and I take the express to Picar. The expresses are big like Greyhound buses only they sport the logo of a rabbit on the side of their bright orange carriage. I think it’s good to be somewhere where the rabbits have a chance and so I have a smile on my face. Rabbit races are very popular here says the man sitting opposite to me on the bus. Expensive Pedigrees chase after stuffed Greyhounds and right now he tells me Picar central will be rammed because of the annual Beta-Carotene at the Super-bowl. It’s tradition to bring back silver plated rabbit droppings after each event and throw them into the waterfalls where they’re washed out down to the valleys and then picked up by fisherman who, in turn melt them down and sell the silver back to the city. I love these altruistic traditions.

We’d decided to take this journey to Picar for one because without the village the King however much he might have enjoyed the company of wanker’s and his tight pink jump suit found that fresh company had brought humiliation and it was time to move on. Secondly I had been brought to this place for a purpose that was not yet clear to me and short of clarity I decided on finding reason in the fortunes of the journey alone. Thirdly The first major performance of the Genius Child Orchestra, whose luck had dramatically changed due to a substantial and anonymous donation, were opening for the following days races and this seemed reason enough for our mountainous jaunt.

As we travelled on, a hawker made his way up and down the bus selling T-shirts and refreshments. His shirts were emblazoned with the words, ‘My family went all the way to Picar and all they brought back was this lousy T-shirt.’ The shirts came in four sizes, small, medium, large and hanging dreadfully. He was also selling CD’s and he just happened to have a copy of The Genius Child Orchestra’s first release. I bought a copy and listened to it on my player for the rest of the trip, sharing my phones with the king.

I thought of Pookie, Swim-Swim and bubbles, my fish back home in Camberwell, I thought of the Meister and Toni and I thought of The Softest Person and wondered again, as I often had if there was perhaps more significance to all things doll. I’d been feeling a bit plastic myself just recently and it really is a very difficult feeling to describe. I have an odd taste in my mouth for example and I think that I can make out these moulding marks that appear to run along the sides of my torso and then down the insides of my thighs. Also, and just sometimes, my eyes open when I sit up and then close again when I lie back down which is very irritating. I’ll have to go and see a doctor when I get to the city. I wondered why, what and if about all kinds of things and then I just started thinking about sex.

The king sleeps now on my shoulder, dribbling and I can see that we’re nearing our destination as we climb along the plateau’s edge. It’s an unbearable route for anyone fearful of heights and some of these roads don’t even seem to have a barricade. I’m no good with heights and so I close my eyes, recline my seat back and try to forget about falling while I listen to the tins and whistles, wails and crescendo’s of the orchestras Kinder maelstrom until I’m off to sleep too. ‘This shaker of salt makes me want to cry, this shaker of salt makes me wonder why, oh wieeeeee, oh wieeeeee are we the genius chillen chiklin orchestra woooeee, oh wieeeeee.’

A few more hours

Posted by keeping up with A.P. at 06:27 PM

Far away, on the island of Manhattan, tracks are being obscured. Contracts are being cross-shredded and records are being misplaced. Case files are being sewn tight, like a perineum after a difficult birth to a child of old grudges and new malice. Workers with gloves are re-arranging furniture and checking behind mirrors. A small, obscure corner of the city is being turned around and no one will ever notice.

Here in my room, my breathing gets thinner by the hour. I've left a last letter for whoever finds me, mostly as my roundabout way of apologizing for the inconvenience. In the meantime, I've taken to lying on my back and listening. The tide's come in, and I can hear the shushing of the waves from outside my window. It's a soothing sound, one that hints of letting go, and being enveloped, and being washed away.

Legs and Logs and Swampy Bogs

Posted by On the Lake by the Snacks at 06:49 PM

People here like to have their pants perfectly cylindrical. From the belt down to the cuff. The pockets can sag a little. I had spotted a few cases of this before, but most of the passengers waiting at the train station have stuffed their pants with decorative tissue. Some use a wire frame. And not stiff-legged, their joints work just fine.

We happened to be standing behind a professor in a vest who had a long baguette propped on his shoulder. He wore his pants without any infrastructure and kept his eyes closed, I gathered he was off somewhere else, postulating. Two kids ran up and sliced off the edge of his bread with a little serated boomerang, but Fleur chased after them and reprimanded them with a very mean, suffocating hug. She reached down the pants of the older boy and pulled out a styrofoam fish which had been puffing out his jeans' thigh. He jutted his arms out to reclaim it, but she adroitly knocked him on the head with it and he ran off ashamed.

"That's a strong woman," the professor said to me. "Can she swallow a sofa whole?" Fleur returned the missing cap from his loaf. He tried to balance it, but gave up. "My dear, can you swallow a sofa whole?" He chuckled and handed the roll to a toddler who had wandered up and was giggling and thrashing with a little serated (but plastic and child-safe) boomerang.

"Tell me. Are you usually this protective over bread?" he asked.

"I have a few brothers," she said. "Spoiling their fun is kind of my lifestyle." She tapped her chin with the styrofoam fish. The detail done on the scales was incredible. Someone out there is a fine craftsman!

I made a point to shake the man's hand. "Hello, I'm Pal." We shook hands and said nothing further. I made motions to start a few thoughts, but he was usually too busy searching the pockets of his vest or closing his eyes.

After awhile, he pulled out a cellular telephone and started surfing the web. Most of the time he spent reading about the Muppets on Wikipedia, but he also happened to visit Brim's blog! Something inside me shouted at the top of its lungs and I put my hand over his telephone screen before he could read any further.

Fleur pointed with the fish. "Train's boarding."

We sat next to a fellow with truly, truly puffy legs. But heavy. The kind log cabins are made of. Fleur went to put her seatbelt on, but the guy had crushed the latch to powder. She ended up sitting with the fish crossed from shoulder to hip.

The guy with the legs said, "Alright, Rabbit Internet!" He and his son turned on the computers the train gives you. They read rabbit blogs and downloaded rabbit files. He turned to us and said, "You guys want some Internet? It's rabbits only. And it's only on this train! You're missing all the news about the carrot crash!"

But he was wrong. We caught some of the news about the carrot crash. Yeah, sure, the carrot's having a hard time. Fleur and I looked at the train schedule and figured we should be arriving at Denny's house by tomorrow morning. We sang to each other very softly, the tale of the lost dogs and the tales of the swampy bogs. I looked out the window and missed my daughter.

Jez

Posted by Smooth Blue at 04:38 PM

You’re probably going to think I’m crazy but I’m convinced Jez is here, in this village. First of all, I was about to throw away the envelope from AP yesterday when I noticed, in the bottom right hand corner, Jez’s initials and a tiny heart. At the time, I thought it might be an old envelope from Jemima’s or AP making some sort of joke but then, this morning, outside the front door, I found a small carving of a narrowboat, like the one Jez had. It was about the size of the toys you get in Kinder Surprises. It was warm in my hand and all sorts of images of the weekend we spent on the boat came flooding into my mind, as though they had been compressed into this tiny little boat somehow.

I think he’s trying to send me the message that he’s here. I needed to find a way to contact him so I bought a postcard of Che Guevara from the souvenir shop (there’s a local link with Guevara but I’ll not go into that here). It looks like the painting that was on his narrowboat. I’ve left it next to the door step, held down by a heart shaped pebble I found on the beach. Dr Flingle was walking past and I thought he was going to tell me to take it away but he just shook his head and said, “Women!”

Back inside, I started thinking about the things I’ve done. Do I deserve to be with someone as nice as Jez? I’m not convinced that I do. But you can’t wipe out history. What I can do, and I’m going to do, is to use AP’s money for a good purpose. The other day, I heard some music. When I followed it up, I found it was being played by The Genius Child Orchestra and I overhead someone saying they were short of funds. So I’m going to give the money to support the work of The Genius Child Orchestra. Picar is a wonderful place but it is a little short of music.

Perhaps when all this tainted money is gone, I’ll be able to start afresh. I know that’s what I was doing three months ago when I started this blog – it didn’t work out but I’ve learnt so much on my journey, I’m much more prepared this time. And I might be able to make that fresh start with Jez, you never know.

Pushing the envelope

Posted by J-Meister at 11:15 AM

Toni is here. I have been watching her for a few days now, from my beautiful vantage point out on my beautiful boat. I can see all the life of the village from here, but nobody knows I'm watching. When I first saw her my heart turned over - I wanted to rush straight to her - but I need to know if I can trust her. So I am biding my time. Yesterday morning she was so close I could almost touch her - eating a fisherman's breakfast outside the fisherman's cafe as the fishermen gathered. She looked so vulnerable, so small - I wanted to take her in my arms, tell her everything would be alright.

I am leaving her clues. I have found where she is staying, and as she ate her hearty morning meal I slipped past without being seen, pushed the bulky envelope through the door. I don't know what it contains. I don't know if she will notice the initials I have written on the bottom right hand corner, the little heart pierced with a broken arrow...

The Call is Heard

Posted by My House Arrest at 04:09 AM

Lucy and I have heard the clarion call. Alicia and her Genius Child Orchestra have set up on the crowded streets of downtown Picar. Our radios picked us the first scratches of their strings, plaintively calling to us, pining for their "lost shaker of salt." I take this as the dollmaker accepting my invitation.

Led by Lucy, we are marching to the echoes of the rhythm section's drumbeats. We are marching through the back alleys and shantylands on the outskirts of Picar, the site of our glorious house arrest. We are beating a path to spot where the children are performing. The men with the Roman collars have been good enough to line the way, providing an escort to our encounter, our meeting with the Softest Person.

I never check to see if Lucy is still behind me, I can feel her hot breath on my neck.

Wednesday, June 14 2006

Genius Child Orchestra

Posted by The Softest Person at 07:21 PM

Alicia tells me of her other friends.

She treats the Genius Child Orchestra as if they were a video game.

She wants them to play our song, which is "Margaritaville".

I hate that song, our song.

A Letter

Posted by Smooth Blue at 04:24 PM

I went for a long walk this morning, along the seafront. It was very early, even before the fisherman had gone out, although some of them were getting their boats ready. The sea air gave me an appetite and I stopped at the café for breakfast. I got chatting to the woman who runs it and she says she might have a job for me. Washing up again.

I ate my bacon and eggs outside, watching the boats bobbing off to the fishing grounds. It looks like a good life, being a fisherman. Living your life with the rhythm of the sea. Being a part of its ebb and flow. Like breathing but much much more.

When I got home to the cottage, there was a notice on the front door. “Dr Flingle’s surgery closed due to bereavement.” I unlocked the door and went in. There was a strong smell of licorice.

“Lock it,” a slurry voice said. It was Dr Flingle.

I locked it behind me and peered into his office. “Are you OK?” I asked.

“Hadbit toomuch ‘f thegreenfairy,” he slurred.

“Pardon?”

“The Green Fairy. Absinthe.” He lifted the bottle to show me.

“Has something happened?”

“She’s gone, gone. Run off with that efffffffff’ing Polemite Preacher.” He put his head down on the desk. “Left me for a bloody preacher.”

“But it says bereavement on the door.”

He lifted his head. “’S’right. She’s dead to me.” He picked up the bottle and poured another glass. “Dead and gone.”

“If there’s anything …”

“No, I’ll be fine. Fine. Fffffing fine.”

I turned to go.

“Oh,” he says, “Oh Tanya.”

“It’s Toni.”

“Oh yes, Toni. For you.”

He handed me an envelope, a bit sticky and stained from the absinthe but with my name clearly handwritten on it. I kept turning it over and over as I went up the stairs. Behind me I could hear Dr Flingle muttering, “Always said she was plastic. Always.”

Inside the envelope was a lot of money and a note:

Dear Toni

It worries me that you’re going to get yourself in too deep working for Morgan, especially as it was my idea. It’s tough, even for people like me and I can tell that you aren’t as strong as I am. I’m giving you this money in the hope it will encourage you to break free while you can. Take yourself back home to England and pay off those debts. Be a nurse again and help people instead of doing them harm.

When I told you this was an easy way to make money I was wrong. I realise that now. If I could get away from it I would but it’s too late for me. It’s not too late for you.

AP


It’s made me feel really guilty about AP. I know now I shouldn’t have accepted that extra job from Tristan. But it can’t be helped.

Tuesday, June 13 2006

pink panther

Posted by between moments at 09:44 PM

Alright, you motherfucker.

You want me to face up to this, face into it, lie face down in it until it fucking drowns me?

Fine.

I was born of a clear cold night on an island that doesn’t exist, to a man with no woman and a woman with no man, and before I was born my mind split in two and Lucy took the other half.

I was raised in the moonlight on the edge of the tide on an island that doesn’t exist, and everything I ever needed was ripped away from me. My other half was gone.

But she doesn’t exist and neither do I.

She’s a fucking doll, Tristan.

And so am I.

And so is Aliss, who yes, clearly, was always Alicia. Alicia trying to give me a second chance. Alicia kicking tango with dear Lucy, fencing nearly fearless with my soul.

And you, old Tristan, are also a fucking doll. Made of stuffing and sawdust and buttons and rope. Not that it matters; we could be marrow and flesh and hair and we’d still be what we are.

But you wanted to be a fucking Pinocchio, Tristan. You wanted it more than any of the rest of us. Cut the strings, cut the strings, cut the strings.

There are no fucking strings, Tristan!

The strings are inside us, wound around our little rubber hearts, threaded through our arteries. Web of subcutaneous fiberglass fat that rides beneath our cotton skins.

You can’t make those strings shrivel up and die by flooding the system with poison, Tristan. Biker Joe, A.P. – you’re not going to get anywhere with that. They don’t know what you think they know, and even if they did they would die before they told you.

They would die, Tristan, before they told you. Because their little doll hearts beat blacker than yours, and each and every one of them wants to be the man in the pink jumpsuit.

Picar

Posted by brims assemblage at 07:53 PM


A richly vibrant, sometimes insanely paranoid and cruel palimpsest, Picar has been tightly woven over thousands of years into layers of progressive architectures. The lower levels of its structure are carved from the Plateau itself, whilst successive strata dilute the symbols of ancestor magic becoming ever more rational, dispassionate, frail, and cynical, the further one stood from its birth stone the brighter and cheaper its neon became.

Gangs of warrior monks dressed as Catholic priests and adorned with black gold kept check on the so-called radicals, peace seekers, punks and immigrants. The fundamentalist vigilantes struck for order. Outbreaks of civil unrest between the priests, who believe that true liberty is a pollution of the human spirit and the Polemites, secularists who believe that no true enlightenment can take place unless the sacred is re-marketed, has become more and more frequent.

On the outskirts of the city walls dispossessed ragamuffin’s and exiles slice at each others flesh for scraps of food filtered from the sewers that drain effluent into the Efflit river and on into the lakes. The landscape is dotted with small fires, nests for metal buckets that boil down discarded fish bones for the purposes of making sniffing glue, a vile, yellow residue of poor oblivion.

Once a month warrior monk outreach team’s venture into the slums to offer work instead of charity. Those that accept and there are many, march to the discipline of the hard chapters, brigades of highly skilled fighters that push into the Libertines, neutrals and Polomites. ‘Covert or overt, podium or sword,’ this is their cry.

Amongst the romance of the cafes, the neutrals sip coffee and keep the flames of Picars powerful oral traditions alight under the glow of Absinthe and whisky until the soporific effects of opium level excess and filter out fools. Certain whispers rouse excitement and debate; sometimes there is talk of an army or some mythic garrison of peace crusaders from the UN, but they laugh. There was never anyone coming, no aliens to save us, great truths or absolutes, that god forbid would snuff out the mysteries. We had all heard the stories before and we’d laughed then too. But still, talk was different now and the gossip had turned to something new, people were talking about ‘The Ten.’

My New Home

Posted by Smooth Blue at 06:22 PM

I’ve found somewhere to live. It’s only half a cottage, the upstairs rooms of a doctor’s surgery but it’s full of ‘original features’ and has a brilliant sea view. The walls are bumpy and whitewashed and the windows are leaded in a diamond pattern. There’s an open fireplace which the doctor tells me still works but I don’t need it just now. I think some of the furniture might be original too. It certainly looks old enough.

I spent this afternoon sitting in the window seat reading a book I found in the bottom of the wardrobe. “Easter Parade,” by Richard Yates. The sun was shining in and, behind me, I could hear the sea washing up on the shore. Sometimes, it seemed like it was saying, “Jez, Jez,” but then I’d get drawn back into the story and I wouldn’t be able to hear it any more.

Tomorrow I’m going to do some more practical things. Try to find a job. Contact Ann at home to ask her to put my house up for sale and then use the money to pay off my debts. That will be my commitment to staying here so I can truly settle. I think I can be happy here.

groin crotch

Posted by ezra kire at 05:24 AM

groin crotch

groin crotch

groin crotch

groin crotch

groin crotch

groin crotch

groin crotch

Monday, June 12 2006

Phoenix

Posted by brims assemblage at 10:05 PM


Mr. H and Fleur said that they’d prefer it if I didn’t come with them to confront the preacher. I followed them anyway at a distance and after a short trek I was able to find some decent cover from which to view proceedings. A column of smoke billowed out from the small hamlet. All the inhabitants were placing their costumes, all that rubber, grease paint and ribbon on to a huge fire and as each individual threw their skin on to the flames they were given an instrument by the preacher himself. Each time he reached into a large box filled with violins, mouth organs, a large variety of brightly coloured Kazoos and an old standpipe that had been drilled with holes. There were also a large number of empty plastic containers that were handed out along with requisite tools for their rhythmical thrashing.

I watched as Mr. H and Fleur walked around the queuing villagers and through the rippling haze of burning costumes. When they reached the preacher I couldn’t hear what was being spoken from my inaudible vantage but watching carefully it was clear that the conversation was focused on the moustache problem. Mr. H angrily prodded the radish and then waggled his finger at the preacher. After H had finished making his case the preacher took a moment to think. Finally he spun about, bent down into the box that housed the instruments and spun back hitting Mr. H with a Tambourine in one hand and then artfully following up with a blow from a rubber chicken with the other. H reeled backwards as Fleur quickly came to his aid. She immediately tried to protect him, cursing the preacher man and lunging at him, swiping towards and missing his head in retaliation as two of the villagers rushed to restrain her. The preacher kept pointing to Mr. H’s top lip with a huge smile.

From what I could make out I think H sustained a small cut to his brow. At least I could see that the radish had gone. Fleur was gently let go and the village that had seemed content to patiently wait out the fracas that had momentarily halted proceedings once again turned to its endeavors with a shrug. My two new acquaintances left the smoke filled square as the preacher picked up a small round object and popped it into his mouth. It was the radish. Mr. H’s moustache was only hidden after all; the art of illusion comes easy to a preacher.

Suddenly, just as I was about to hurry back to the encampment I heard a branch snap behind me. I spun around. “Good morning!” A well-spoken male voice said in a whisper. The man didn’t look too threatening in a tight, pink jump suit. “And who are you?” I said whispering back.
“My name is Kallerakal and actually it’s not my name anymore its Marjorie or Marge for short if you like. I came up here a while ago after reading all these self help books and I thought ah, to hell with all this king stuff, I did used to be a king you know, that really was my name…” I nod. “Anyway so the thing is it didn’t take me too long to work out that all those cats down there are barking. So I refused all that doll get up and they made me look after the err…” He paused for a moment and pointed over to a small enclosure filled with old gentlemen in orange jump suits, “…to the err, to the wanker’s over there and…”
“Wanker’s, Who?” I interrupted perplexed.
“Ah, well, you see, some of the old men in the village get…some of them got caught cracking one off.”
“Cracking one off?”
“Yes, you know what I mean don’t you, shaking the fat-man, bashing the Bishop. Cracking one off for Christ’s sake, you must have heard of that?” He graphically articulated with his fist.
“What, so they lock up all the…” I laughed as I said it, “…the wanker’s”
“Well yes, anyone who gets caught of course.”
“And you get to do this job in a tight pink cat suit?”
“Yes.” He said, looking down and over his attire objectively, an excess of blood ruining an otherwise honest but pale complexion.
“Well if it was me old boy I think I would’ve taken the Barbie outfit.”

We both turned back to the village and to a chorus that one might hear from an orchestra pit before a performance. “What’s with all that I said?” pointing down towards a small, growing crowd hacking away at the production of polyrythmns and an attendant sea of grinding disharmony. “Wannabes, sycophants and madmen.” Said the redundant king.

The Genius Child Orchestra

Posted by The Softest Person at 10:12 PM

Nobody can play it like Alicia with her leg cut.

Floating still

Posted by J-Meister at 04:38 PM

I go out in the boat

I float

I come back to land

I breathe with the waves

I am alone, beautifully alone

I am the waves

I am the sea

I am me

Down b- La-e Tao

Posted by Smooth Blue at 05:59 AM

I’-e been sleeping down b- La-e Tao for the past few nights. I left the Golden Chain in the middle of the night, crept out so that -emima and AP wouldn’t -now. AP seemed to be ill, he was confined to his room and I saw -emima bustling in and out loo-ing worried. I had to lea-e. I couldn’t loo- -emima in the e-e after what Morgan as-ed me to do and, of course, I couldn’t let AP -now I was refusing m- mission. It’s all a bit scar- but, for some reason, I -now it’s going to turn out alright.

Before I go an- further, I’d better e-plain that I’m using a -e-board that onl- has nineteen letters so -ou’ll ha-e to be patient and a little proacti-e in reading this. The computer belongs to a -illage of dolls that is nearb- and, although the whole thing seems -er- strange, I’m not letting it worr- me. As long as it’s connected to the internet, I’m not going to let it worr- me. That’s the best thing around here. I saw a man with a radish on his lip –esterda-, but I’m not letting that worr- me either.

There’-e been a couple of times in the past three months when I’-e found m-self in Picar with nothing. The first was after m- impulsi-e -ourne- to Picar and the second was after m- une-pected return from New –or- when I was hoping to go to England. But I’-e planned this time. I’-e got a ruc-sac- pac-ed with clean clothes (lots of –nic-ers and soc-s, -ou can ne-er ha-e too man- -nic-ers or soc-s) and a debit card for m- Picardian ban- account which is stuffed with mone- from Morgan (he paid reall- well). Plus I bought a tent and a sleeping bag so I am -uite comfortable at the moment.

I ha-e a plan though. There’s a fishing -illage where I’m hoping to rent a cottage. It’s possibl- a bit too near to The Golden Chain but it’s a -er- close-lipped place. As
-ou’re entering the -illage, there’s a sign that sa-s, “What happens here, sta-s here,” and, fingers crossed, news of me being there shouldn’t get bac- to -emima (or an-one else for that matter.)

I don’t thin- I’ll be going bac- to England -et. I don’t thin- I can go bac- to England. This place won’t let me. I’m sad about that because -ez is there but I carr- him in m- heart and in m- head so at least I ha-e that. I’ll tr- to settle here, ma-be find a -ob in the -illage. Probabl- gutting fish, -nowing m- luc-.

There’s a rag doll here waiting to use the computer so I’d better go. “Important Polemite mission wor-,” she keeps sa-ing, “It can’t wait, it can’t wait.” I’ll let -ou
-now about the cottage.